Tag Archives: Vivek

In The Flesh

Thursday. Woke up when the alarm clock went off. Looked out the window and it looked foggy which was odd. Shuffled around the apartment then I wondered why I was up so early and went back to bed for another 45 minutes.

When I woke up again it was a full blown snow storm. That was a drag. I had to rally myself for the interview scheduled for 10:30. Thought about canceling the interview since I already had a job scheduled to start, but I got it together and headed out. It wasn’t too bad, just a wet sticky snow.

I forgot my umbrella and just trudged onwards towards the Path train. I was wearing a wide brimmed hat so that definitely helped with the snow. Got a seat on the train and got off at Ninth Street. It had stopped snowing in the city and the sidewalks weren’t slippery at all, just wet.

I was about 20 minutes early for the interview so I just stood outside and talked to Bill on the phone for a while. The place where I interviewed is diagonally across the street from Wolff Olins. I thought about stopping by then I thought again and asked why would I do that.

I headed upstairs to the the 10th floor at 225 Varick Street. Dismal building, even more dismal office where I waited. So this company would hire me and send me out to wherever or whatever company would require my services.

I sat and read the New Yorker from last month. Finally Tim McSorley cam out and got me, leading me into his office. He offered me a water or coffee and I politely refused. He went and got his own water, leaving me to sit there. His office was shambles, wires all over the floor. I guess it was an improvement, other people were in cubicles outside on the floor.

Nice guy though, a lot more pleasant than he was on the phone. Tim McSorley doesn’t give good phone. The interview didn’t last long since most of the questions were done over the phone.

I was out of there in about 20 minutes and headed over to a newsstand to see if they had Uncut magazine. Apparently it’s unavailable in the tri-state area. I walked over to the West 4th Street subway station and waited for the E train uptown to Lexington Avenue.

Made my way into the office, Greg Stevens wasn’t around. He was in earlier but I guess he went to the racquet club. I got his things together and waited for the movers. I did go out to pick up some lunch and got a phone call from the girl who works for Vivek.

Apparently the building management didn’t know Greg Stevens was moving out today even though I set the whole thing up last week. The left a message for Vivek and he called them. He was intentionally left out of the loop by yours truly and almost messed up all the plans I made.

I called the building manager reminding her that I called her yesterday but she was out. She mentioned that we wouldn’t need to reserve the freight elevator since there wasn’t that much to move. I got that taken care of and shortly after that, the movers came and packed things up, putting chairs under blankets and onto dollies.

Goodbye 800 Third Avenue.

I met them a little further up Third Avenue and they moved everything in with skill and speed. Greg was soon off to lunch with his brother but before he left he asked me about how much I was going to get at the new job, leaving me to believe that he was ‘fishing’, perhaps to hire me as his assistant. It would be nice to work for him, after all that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 3 years.

But that all remains to be seen. I might bring it up again tomorrow when I help Greg Stevens unpack his office.

It was a busy day for sure and I am pretty tired. Feel like falling asleep now, at 6:30, but if I did I know I would be up at 11:00 and unable to fall asleep again. So I will stay awake. I know in a little while I will get my second wind.

JD Salinger is dead. I never read The Catcher in the Rye, because I didn’t have to. Most everyone had to read it in high school, but not me. And when I heard that that was the book John Lennon’s killer was reading at the time of the murder, I never wanted to read it, ever.

Shapes of Things

It’s another hot day today, but not as hot as it was yesterday. Last night after writing I went for a Hoboken stroll with Julio. He certainly talks a lot, no getting words in edgewise for me.

I suppose that what friends are for, providing a forum just to listen. And that’s what I did. He has many things on his mind and can’t wait to hug Alexander again.

It will be about 2 weeks until he gets to do that again when Julio flies off to Copenhagen to reunite with Stine and Alexander, then it’s off to Spain for a week. Perhaps this weekend Julio and I will be able to make it the the beach.

Last week was a wash out, plus he had to attend a wake. Hopefully the weather will be cooperative and there won’t be any viewings to attend.

Came home Bill was watching I don’t know what on TV. It wasn’t Lawn Hors d’œuvre that much I know. He’s accused me on monopolizing the TV which I guess I do since I’m here more than he is, and I tend to watch other things besides Lawn Hors d’œuvre.

So to avoid the stepping on of toes I asked if we could watch Weeds & Nurse Jackie. He was fine with it and how could he not be? He watches and enjoys the shows as well.

Weeds was good, Andy was great as usual. It’s getting weird though and the bodies keep piling up in Nancy’s wake. Of course things were given away when they showed the preview for next week.

Nurse Jackie was good, but how long can she keep those plates spinning in the air? 2 shows about women with double lives and how they affect their families. Both top shelf, totally engrossing. Perfect for a summer night’s television viewing.

After the news and the Simpsons we watched a documentary on NYC in the summer of 1977. Son of Sam! Studio 54! Hip Hop in the Boogie down Bronx and punk rock at CBGB’s! I went to bed midway through, waking up an hour later to find Bill still awake and watching it.

I slept in today, waking up around 10:00. It was nice. I checked my voice mail, Greg Stevens was wondering where I was. I called him and told him I would stop by around 1:30.

I figured I would be later than that but of course I was early. There is nothing for me to do in the office anymore. Viveka who replaced me is handling things.

Not in a good way either. She’s overwhelmed, Vivek is losing his mind. I asked him how his wife was doing and he said it was a nightmare. She’s due to drop a baby any day now. He’ll be out of the office for a few weeks.

Viveka has a Sunday job working retail and she goes back to school in September. Who knows how that will work out? She doesn’t, I asked.

I’m going to help Greg out with a project that should take a few hours. I told him I will be in tomorrow, early so as to avoid Vivek. Greg said he would pay me for my time so that’s nice.

Moonlight Mile

Well I am back on my own PC, a re-calibrated PC that Rand used to use, so you know it’s good. Got it last night and was spellbound by how fast it is compared to what I used to own.

And I was also able to finagle a flat screen monitor from work that wasn’t being used. It helps to write a building pass granting permission for someone to leave with something especially when that someone is me. I did get permission from Vivek so that made it OK.

So today was back to collecting No Fun Sallies. Still some in the pond but I don’t know how long it will last.

Just got off the phone with my bank. They changed their online system and I couldn’t access it. On hold for almost 15 minutes. Nice chatty girl on the other end dispelled my bad feelings. It was them not me after all. New computer system, transposed my previous password.

The other day as I was walking down the street I saw my face. It looked like I had a pocketbook mouth. That’s what my family called a puss, not smiling. I didn’t like the look of that so lately I’ve been making an effort to smile as I walk.

It takes a conscious effort that’s for sure and I’m certain that I look like a loon. But I’d rather have a silly smirk on my face rather than a puss. Interacting with people can get rid of that though.

OK, I’m back. Been distracted by many things. Stop. Start.

It’s a beautiful night. Anne & Earl made it back to California, Stine & Alexander are off to Denmark, Rand is off to San Diego on Wednesday to be joined by Lisa on Friday. Off to fight some giant squid I gather, after the comic book convention.

40 years ago the astronauts landed on the moon. I don’t remember much about it. I did happen in the middle of the night I think and by that time I was in bed for hours. And once again it was near impossible to get me out of bed.

According to Wikipedia, it the moon landing occurred at 10:56pm EST Sunday July 20. I was probably in bed for a few hours by then. I guess I was roused from bed to watch the historic event but I don’t think I cared much and wanted to go back to bed. And for me, 10:56 EST was the middle of the night.

Time is relative after all.

Last night I watched True Blood. That keeps getting better. Last night had an extremely interesting scene with regards to Eric. Almost homoerotic. We shall see where that winds up with that.

Bill and I also watched Hung which was OK, and Entourage which started a few weeks ago, but this was the first episode of the season that I’ve seen so far and it was OK as well.

I was up later than usual just enjoying the new computer and once again I have to thank Rand for his kindness and ingenuity.

That’s it. Sorry if it was all over the place, but then again, I am all over the place.

I posted some pictures of the Paul McCartney concert in the Here Today entry from Saturday, July 18, go check it out.

9:25PM
An hour later, I’m listening to Paul’s last record, it’s by The Fireman and it’s called Electric Arguments which is Macca and Youth who used to be in Killing Joke. It’s really good and I’m not just writing it as still coming down from Friday night. I just have it on and had forgotten that I was listening to Paul.

The Beatles shadow looms over all things he will ever do. Same with Ringo. Both seem fine with it.

I might have written this once before, and I attribute it to Pete Townshend. That a good rock & roll show or even a song will take you to another time and space for a few minutes. That’s what happened to me.

Throughout the show, I had no idea what the hell was going on and I loved it. Very trippy, and no, I wasn’t tripping.

Truly you had to be there.

Looking at some of the pictures posted in Here Today, and I’m there, obviously having a grand old time with friends and family. I look and still feel somewhat ecstatic.

Wonderful insanity.

Here Comes The Moon

Today is Thursday. Been overcast most of the day until I headed out and then it was quite sunny. I slept until 9:00 and that was great. I was so tired yesterday after skipping lunch and the dinner I had last night barely kept me awake.

Still I got myself together and wrote. I was thinking about having a cigar and checking out the music at Church Square Park down the street, but Rand called and asked if I wanted to join him and Lisa on a walk over to the 13th Street pier.

Apparently they too were having live music. That sounded more enjoyable, what with the company I would be keeping and the fact that it sounded like some turgid blues were being played at Church Square Park.

I met up with Rand & Lisa outside their building and the three of us having a few laughs courtesy of Lisa, ably reprising her role as Lady Gigglepuss. It actually would have been ideal if our friend Lois would join us, but she was in for the night, which was too bad since this was right up her alley.

It was a beautiful night on the pier and a good way to enjoy a cigar and have some beers.

It’s actually a private pier, but someone finagled it for the night. Four musicians playing separate sets on acoustic guitars. I don’t know if calling them ‘folk’ would have fit, more like ’emo’. It wasn’t bad though Rand and I had a few laughs comparing one of the musicians to Yusef Islam nee, Cat Stevens.

Saw some familiar faces from Hoboken, but none more familiar than Alice Genese. It’s always a pleasure to see Alice. Last time I saw her, she was giving me a ride home a few years ago from Chaz’ holiday party, when she told me she thought my former roommate William and I were a couple.

Oh no, I quickly dissuaded her of that thought. Too damn skinny for my appetite!

I had a few Heinekens with Alice, Rand and Lisa had Vodka Tonics. The music was ok but it was more about the atmosphere, being out on the pier on a beautiful summer night.

Came home, Bill was watching a marathon of Entourage and wishing he had an agent like Ari Gold. He soon went to bed and I stayed up later than usual since I didn’t have to get up early.

Like I said, it was a gorgeous day, enjoyed a cigar as I walked across town to the office. Vivek was in doling out Kinematic T Shirts and I duly collected my share. Also did some things that needed to be done, things that no one else would think of doing.

Apparently I’m only in for 3 days a week, which is better than nothing and I could always use the Kinematic T Shirts

It seemed like a bus dropped off a lot of good looking men as I walked around midtown. Almost got whiplash turning my head so fast.

I did track Annemarie’s flight from San Francisco and it was on time, so now I wait for her and her son Earl to arrive so we could get some pizza at Grimaldi’s in Hoboken.

I’m looking forward to seeing them since it’s been a couple of years since we last spent time together. And I’m hungry.

The Lady Gigglepuss

The Lady Gigglepuss


7.8.09 005
7.8.09 007

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.

Young and Dancing

Here I am again, on Bill’s Mac. I’m lucky since he doesn’t mind. Of course my hours using his Mac are limited but that’s ok.

Right now it’s a beautiful warm day, a nice breeze is blowing through the open window.

So today was my first day of being unemployed. Not so bad so far. I mean, the weather has held up nicely.

I did go into the office again. Met Greg Stevens and the head honcho from the Los Angeles office. Nice guy the head honcho is.

They may be taking me on, but that will have to be discussed with their next meetings I suppose. I filed my unemployment claim while I was in the office.

Vivek was in, looking better than he did yesterday. I am still with the program that Vivek suggested, getting financed bajo la mesa. We’ll see how that works out. It could be a decent thing and all I can do is count on their hopelessness when I’m not in.

The deckchairs still need to be arranged.

I did have a scare on the way home, saw Abby in Hoboken talking on his cell on Washington Street. I knew it was him and lucky my bus rolled on by so there was no contact at all, plus his head is so far up his ass all he would be able to see is his lower intestine and not me.

Last night was nice, I watched True Blood and wow! Of course I can’t give anything away. I’m sure when Annemarie shows up we’ll watch an episode or two since she’s now into it from watching the DVD’s of the first season.

Tonight I’ll watch Weeds and Nurse Jackie I guess.

I have a few invites for the 4th of July on Saturday. I was invited to Rand’s sister’s house in Weehawken, as well as one of the neo-cons having a party on his boat in Port Liberte in Jersey City.

I think I’ll be sticking with Jim and Meghan and their Super girls and see Conor Oberst and Jenny Lewis at Battery Park City. That’s in the afternoon so I would have sometime between then and the fireworks at night.

This year the fireworks are going to be on the Hudson River, in honor of Henry Hudson discovering something that was already there and well known. And it was a mistake on Henry’s part, thinking it might be a passage to China.

I guess anywhere in Hoboken would be a good spot to watch the fireworks.

Tonight Bill and I are having a ‘date’ so to speak. Just another nice little dinner. It’s because of that, that I had to take a raincheck from Casey Chasm who was hanging out tonight and invited me over.

I have to meet up with him and the missus before they blow this Popsicle stand of Hoboken. Also have to talk to Rand about a new computer since mine is definitely on the way out. I’m sure we will cross paths the next couple of days.

Junebug

Well here I am again, writing an entry on Bill’s Mac. I can’t seem to get a connection on my computer and since Bill’s was available here I am.

Let’s see, last night was a late night posting, saw In The Heights, on Broadway and it is highly recommended. Also posted pictures from last night, going so far as to take a picture inside the theater, but it was during the curtain call and not during the performance.

Today I woke up early, around 6:30. Got out of bed, Bill was on his way out, off to work. I knew Greg Stevens had his boss from Los Angeles coming in and Greg had thought it might be a good idea to meet him so that Greg might entice him to get me on the payroll.

That meant it would be good if I got in the office before Greg. I showered and was out the door before 8:00, making it into the office before 9:00.

On the way to the office I saw Tom Chin, but since I got a haircut yesterday he didn’t recognize me and I was ok with that since I didn’t want to see Tom Chin at all, at least not getting paid to see Tom Chin.

I thought today might have been my last day and technically it was. Greg Stevens gave me a going away card saying they would miss me being in the office. Vivek came in, very tired and looking like hell.

Actually looking like he had too much fun on Gay Pride weekend, but that isn’t the case since the guy is as straight as 6:00.

I finally was able to sit with the intern, Neela who is very nice and can’t stand Abby either. She’s going to be doing the things that I was doing with the movie boxes whereas I will just run the rest of the office.

The plan is to pay me in Cafe Press T-Shirts, come in for a few hours during the week and get paid in cash. It’s a decent plan I think, if it comes to fruition. We’ll have to see about that.

I did put out the word that today could be my last day and my brother, good old Brian suggested eating a burger in front of Vivek as a possible affront to Vivek’s Hindu sensibilities.

But things seem to be working out ok, but like I said, we’ll see about that. It certainly felt like a weight off my shoulders knowing at least that the movie box days are over.

I will file for unemployment tomorrow, making it certain that my days of official work are over with the end of June. It’s an interesting and a little unnerving but then again a lot of things are.

On a different note, I did mention to Rand a few weeks ago that I should get a new computer. He agreed.
I don’t know if that meant a new ‘New’ computer or if he had a refurbished one lying around. Now that unemployment is looming on the horizon money is certainly tight.

I could scrimp and save I suppose and get a decent Dell but of course I hold Rand in such high esteem that I would like to pick his brain regarding whatever suggestions he might have.

Bill’s Mac sure is fast though. Maybe I could just use this until then…..

Jackson

Ahh, it’s Friday. This five day work week, it’s something I haven’t done in a while. Of course, Vivek calls me up this morning around 9:30. He needs to speak with me. Says he’ll be in an hour.

He shows up around noon.

Oh so cute that Indian Standard Time. We talked, my last day is June 30. Actually July 1, since Greg Stevens would need my help both days. It’s ok, I like Greg.

Michael Jackson is playing everywhere, though I expected to hear it on WCBS FM Oldies last night when I went to bed, instead I heard Hotel California by the Eagles.

Maybe it was a commentary, saying that Michael Jackson could check out anytime he’d like but he could never leave the Hotel California.

I’m stressed of course. At work I was extra busy. Planned on leaving at 2:00, left at 4:30. Damned Indian Standard Time!

There are people moving in on Monday and since I will be out and Vivek is inept, I had to make all the necessary arrangements, reserve freight elevator, prepare and send off the certificate of insurance.

And Vivek being Vivek was not forthcoming with the information making me double back and send off the needed paperwork a few times. Then he left with Abby, someone he says he can’t stand.

Vivek did have a plan for me to come in for a day or two during the week to make sure things are running and in stock. I am supposed to be paid in slightly used underwear the which is fine. It would be nice to have some supplemental cash. Forget about the flat screen TV he supposedly offered me a few weeks ago.

I have been bringing home some things for the past few weeks and also filled a beach bag with some stuff.

Tonight is the night that Juan, Bill and myself are going to Blow Off. Juan was good at getting me psyched the other night and Bill is into it. Disco naps are in order since we won’t be going out until later.

I’m stressed from earlier today so a nap should help me out. I know Bill is planning on napping as well. Juan is having dinner with his dad and also bringing a bottle of Absinthe afterwards.

That should be interesting. Never had that before. Bill will be dancing and taking pictures and looking after Juan and myself (I Hope). Thats in case Juan and I get crazy, Bill will have his feet on the ground.

I just need to psych myself up. And last night I bought from iTunes, the Essential Michael Jackson, a 2 disc set (download) of his big hits, including the Jackson 5 and the Jacksons as well as a duet with Paul McCartney.

No State of Shock with Mick Jagger or Scream with his sister Janet though. They just announced on the news that the few record stores that are left have sold out of most of Michael Jackson’s stuff, except for his Metal Machine Music.

No wait, that was Lou Reed. I always get the two confused. Lou Reed was the one that sang, ‘I Want to be Black’, not Michael Jackson

It still is a bit of a shock that he’s dead. Michael Jackson that is. Rumors are out that it was a shot of Demerol which did him in.

Also rumored is that Michael Jackson’s share of the Beatles catalog will go back to Macca. That would be incredibly generous.

Where would Yoko fit in on this? Would Paul share with her? Sony/ATV has the other half of the catalog so that would be a battle since they wouldn’t give it up that easy.

Time for my disco nap.

Right now it’s dark out. Thunderstorm approaching, and it’s supposed to be gone by 8:00 which is good. The line for Blow Off stretches around the block and who wants to stand in the rain?

pics of the Names Project/AIDS Quilt 2009

Names Project 2009 1
Names Project 2009 2
Names Project 2009 3
Names Project 2009 4
Names Project 2009 5
Names Project 2009 6

Limbo Rock

It’s a Tuesday. It was rather cool this morning and thought I’d wear a suit. No tie, casual. I listened to some 2 Tone on the way to the office which made me feel like an extra from the movie, Snatch. Or maybe a ‘Westie’.

Bill often mentions that I could pass for a ‘Westie’. For those playing at home, the Westies were an Irish gang on the west side on Manhattan who often ran afoul of the police and organized crime.

They’re generally romanticized on TV and in movies, but they were gangsters and killers who may have loved their mothers, but would have no problem killing yours.

I suppose I could have passed for one. A spring in my step, Madness, the Selecter and The Specials playing on the iPod. I probably could have gotten the part, if I only applied myself.

Oh, how many times was that written on my report cards, ‘If only he’d apply himself’. Unfortunately, after reading the report card, my father would apply the back of his hand to my head which drove me further away from any applications of the sort.

And also drove me further away from my father.

Last night was a good night once again. Bill came home and there was no Lawn Hors d’œuvre to watch so before we watched Weeds and Nurse Jackie, we watched Kathy Griffin instead.

She was alright, sometimes funny, sometimes annoying. Reminds me of Susan Shed somewhat. Bette Midler was her guest and that was OK.

Bette Midler is a little old lady. Raunchy on stage, but a short grouch off stage. She’s really tiny. I know I met her when she recorded Bette of Roses at a studio I worked at. I had to monitor her daughter Sophie while Bette recorded, making sure Sophie didn’t play in the elevator.

Bill & I watched Weeds which was good, and Nurse Jackie which was excellent.

On Weeds it seems Nancy is figuring out that she may have gotten in too deep, she keeps pissing off the wrong people. On Nurse Jackie, she’s maintaining a balance of self medicating but whoops, something did go slightly awry with that.

Today at work a few people asked how the interview went. I explained it was a meet and greet and they suggested that I wear a suit just in case they sent me out for an interview. It was all a lie of course but they seemed to believe it.

At least I didn’t have to kill off a dead grandparent.

My situation changes daily. Perhaps one of the sublets will take me on, perhaps paying me in mad scrotums while I oscillate wildly.

In any event, if I am somehow still working, I will need some time off to spend with Annemarie and Earl when they fly east in a few weeks.

I am getting away from the movie box/ hotel deal. Vivek says he’ll make up his mind on July 4 and odds are he’s leaving that job too.

And when I left today it seemed like I’ll be gone by the end of June. Then again that could all change tomorrow. I

t’s a fucked up situation and all I can do is just wait it out. And I’m not stressed about it. At least not right now.

In an hour or so who knows? I may have a sip from the well of despair, but right now I’m fine thanks.

Just Another Day

Well a thunderstorm just passed by. Lot’s of rain and it looks like that’s it for rain today. I could be wrong of course.

I’m home now, it’s 5:28. I’ve been home since 4:00. I left work early today. It’s demoralizing. Vivek and I talked very briefly. He doesn’t know what to do, but he’s thinking about the baby that’s on the way.

He mentioned that he hasn’t been paid in three months. That make me want to be quiet about not being paid today. I am supposed to get paid on the 15th and 31st day of each month, but for some reason I wasn’t.

That was enough to make me want to go home early. I should be paid tomorrow but this is how this lack of organization goes on.

Another aspect of that, at around 10:45 this morning I get a call from Abby. He says there is an Indian woman outside the office building and would I go down and bring her upstairs? I wonder why this woman doesn’t just present herself at the security desk in the lobby and get a pass.

Sure enough, the door bell rings and it’s the Indian woman. She says she is supposed to be in the office at 11:00. Apparently she’s an intern and today is her starting date. So I set her up in a conference room.

She sat there playing on her Blackberry until 2:00. No one who told her to come in, came in. This is what I deal with every day.

Sanjay eventually came in and sat with her. I didn’t stick around, I left at 2:30. I told Vivek I had an interview. I didn’t but I like to think that I’m showing them how serious I am about getting out of there.

Vivek says he’ll make up his mind on July 4. A Saturday, as well as a Federal holiday as you well know. Doesn’t do me any good.

The way things are going, even though they (Vivek & Sanjay) said I could take time off when Annemarie and family comes to down, that doesn’t seem likely as it approaches.

I mean, will I get paid vacation time? Did I even take a vacation last year?

I also heard from the French Spaniard, he called. Asked if I had a chance to make some calls on the list and I answered, ‘What list?’

Oh it’s definitely a fucked up situation that I desperately want to be out of.

Last night was a good night. Watched some Lawn Hors d’oeuvre with Bill, then we watched the season premiere of the vampire show, True Blood.

Once again, very good, quite intense. The vampire Bill seemed to have a more pronounced southern accent this season. Good also to see some favorite characters making the cut this season which looks to be even nastier than last year.

Then we watched Entourage, followed by a half hour documentary on Edward Hopper on PBS, narrated by Steve Martin. Tons of Hopper paintings that I had never seen before. Also did not know that Edward Hopper was 6’7”. He is one of my favorite painters.

I was able to help Stine this morning get tickets for Paul McCartney at the new Mets stadium on the same date that I’m going. She’s taking Julio.

She was going to pay a lot of money through a ticket broker for what actually turned out to be the cheapest seats available. She gave me her card info and I was able to log in and eventually get seats, saving her hundreds of dollars.

So that’s going to be a fun night, right?

Chest Fever

Well finally a day without rain. For the past 7 or 8 days it has rained. Today was nice. Would have been nice for a bicycle ride, but I didn’t want to be all achy tomorrow, plus Central Park would have been really crowded since today was also the Puerto Rican Day Parade.

I stayed local today. Last night was nice. Didn’t watch TV until 12:30. Just wound up playing music for hours. Bill came home in the middle of it which made it more fun.

He fiddled around with his laptop as I sat at the computer going from Simon and Garfunkel to Silvio Rodriquez to Massive Attack to James Brown, finishing up with some Billie Holiday, James Moody, Wes Montgomery, Steely Dan and finishing with Brian Eno and David Byrne.

James Moody’s Moody’s Mood for Love was the closing theme for Frankie Crocker on WBLS in the 1980’s and Wes Montgomery’s Bumpin on Sunset was what my brother Frank used to end his radio show on WFMU years ago.

I was posting some of the track listing on Facebook, mentioning the Donna Summer/ New Order mix of I Feel Love & Bizarre Love Triangle was a mix I had heard years ago coming back with Julio and a friend of his from seeing a mutual friend in a production of Showboat.

The 3 of us were lysergically enhanced and when I heard the mix originally on Hot 97 I knew it was something I had to try. I did try the mix a few times and it’s always a fun thing to do. It was a happy memory, still fresh 20 + years later.

Went to bed soon after that. Slept ok, woke up with a headache. Dehydrated I think. No, I wasn’t drinking last night. I’m a social drinker I guess and since Bill doesn’t drink, neither do I. If I’m out with friends drinking, no problem.

Drinking alone, that’s a drag. I took one aspirin and went out to get some newspapers and coffee and some Stevia. Came home, Bill was off to church already, had a nice breakfast. Headache wouldn’t go away so I took another aspirin, and took a nap which helped somewhat.

Got a call from Julio. They’ve been spoiled, wondering what happened to the bagels this morning. Stine thought something might have happened.

Nothing happened, just that Bill picked up bagels from H&H in Manhattan on his way home last night and I didn’t feel like getting bagels for them when I wasn’t going to get any for myself.

Later I met up with Julio, Stine and Alexander on Washington Street. The toddler was sleeping as we walked up the boulevard, heading over for some time by the river where we watched a fisherman catch a 4 four striped bass.

Big fish, people were having their pictures taken standing next to it.

It’s amazing to see a human mind work. Watching Alexander as he tried to communicate over the past year, he points and makes sounds. He say ‘hey’ a lot and is fascinated by helicopters.

Not so much a 4 foot striped bass hanging from a tree. I preferred the helicopters myself.

Stine is going to try to get 2 tickets for Macca on July 17. She might have missed the pre-sale yesterday but tomorrow is the general sale and she might have a better opportunity then.

Back to work tomorrow. I guess I’ll find out what is going on, how long will I still be working there for. I look forward to finding out. Perhaps it will be my last week, or perhaps they’ll just do it by the end of the month. I do intend to talk to Vivek about it tomorrow.

Roll With It

Last night was hum drum, ho hum. Came home, struggled with last night’s blog entry. Yes, it was a struggle. Not easy making this relatively interesting. You might think writing 500 words is a walk in the park, and sometimes it is, but last night was not one of those times.

I got through it though.

I watched the recordings of the Daily Show and the Colbert Report and both left me underwhelmed. And that was after watching Keith Olbermann. Didn’t watch Rachel Maddow. Just not in the mood.

Bill came home a little after 10:00, just in time to watch a show on PBS about Muslim comics in the US. It was a good show, the comics were generally funny, trying to present a more positive image of Muslims, to prove that they’re not terrorists and that they have a sense of humor.

Watched the news after that, then turned on the Simpsons, at which point I went to bed leaving Bill to do whatever it was that he does when I’m asleep.

I had to get up earlier than usual since people were coming in to check out the office space. I guess it’s for when the company I work for moves out when the lease is up in February of next year.

The people were supposed to show up at 8:45. I was there at 8:30. At 9:30 I called the guy who called me yesterday to set this up and found out that the guy had been emailing Vivek and they decided that it would be best for them to come in at 10:00.

Why is that?

Because Vivek told the guy that I wouldn’t be in until 9:30. The guy was apologetic saying that he should have called me. I said no, he didn’t need to call me. It was more that Vivek who sits 20 feet away from me should have told me.

They came in and wandered around, sitting in a closed door meeting with Vivek, once again leaving me in the dark.

After I went out and ran some errands, Vivek called me into his office for a talk. I sat down on the leather couch as he sat at his desk. Basically he told me that I should start looking for another job. I’ve been doing that on and off for the past couple of weeks and there’s nothing out there.

Apparently, Vivek is disenchanted with the movie box deal. He has a wife who’s having a baby and things on the movie box front are not working out as well as he had hoped. So he’s throwing in the towel and he’s been offered another job.

He said he’d speak with the other directors of the companies that share our space but that doesn’t seem like anything will come of it.

But you never know.

I asked Greg Stevens if he was looking for an assistant and he does need one since I have been acting as his assistant for the past few months. But they can’t afford one.

I called Bill and told him what was going on. Oddly enough I felt somewhat relieved since now at least I know what is going on. The fact that nothing is going on is troublesome.

I have to work out some unemployment facts, The original company that hired me in 2007 went belly up in March and I shifted over to this misbegotten new company. I need to see if I could collect from the original company.

The bookkeeper gave me a phone number of an employment lawyer she knows that owes her a favor and I’ll be giving him a call soon enough.

And on the plus size side, Chastity Bono is getting a sex change.

Foreground

It’s back to work for me again! Of course I could have used an hour more of sleep but that’s just not how things work out.

Last night Bill and I watched Into the Storm, a bio-pic of Winston and Clementine Churchill. It was good but I started thinking that the Churchill bio-pic a year or so ago starring Albert Finney and Vanessa Redgrave was a little bit better.

What can I say? I just like Vanessa Redgrave that much.

Len Cariou as Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a nice touch. Bill enjoyed it. He told me so as he headed off to bed as I watched the news and of course spaced out on the weather report. Bill and I sat on the stoop before the bio-pic and smoked cigars, very Churchillian.

We seem to have landed in a spot where we both really enjoy each others company. I guess if you’re in a relationship you know how it goes. Sometimes your partner drives you up the wall. Not lately though.

We’ve been there for each other and simply enjoyed walking around Hoboken or Central Park.

He was out of the apartment as I was getting out of bed this morning. The forecast today was that it was going to be warm so I dressed casual. I headed into the city, reading the New Yorker.

The bus got crowded fast despite a few coach buses following each other quite closely. I made it into the office a little after 9:00 which is the way they want things to be.

Of course things were busy. I made myself a cup of coffee and found there was very little milk left.

That meant I had to head out and get milk which I did. Then when I came back and was about to make a second pot of coffee for the office I found there was no more coffee. So it was out for me again.

Lately Vivek and Sanjay are so secretive, or more likely, absentminded about telling me what is going on. It was a surprise to see that one of the big wigs from Kent, Washington was in as well as the French Spaniard.

Both were in to see me and engage me in a meeting. That was an unwelcome surprise for myself and for them as I told them I had way too much to do this morning to sit down and talk.

Eventually I made it back and I did have their meeting and it went well.

They all seemed to like what I had to say, despite the fact that I had no idea what it was I was saying. It was a very Chauncey Gardiner moment.

‘As long as the roots are intact, all will be well in the garden.’

The Washington state big wig went off with Vivek and Sanjay to Parsipanny and I was left with the French Spaniard. Pierre is what I’ll call him and he was a nice guy, very easy to get along with. We talked about the design of the still incomplete website and he’s they guy who’s going to get that together.

It’s odd that someone has to fly up from Florida to discuss these things with me as well as sit in on a phone call with a potential client yet Vivek and Sanjay and even the now invisible Abby could never find the time to do the same.

Obviously if I need to talk with someone about this, I need to call long distance rather than talk to those guys sitting about twenty feet away from me.

Yesterday as I walked home from sitting by the river and before smoking cigars with Bill on the front steps, I stopped by Tunes and picked up Grizzly Bear’s latest CD, Veckatimest. It’s pretty good, and enjoyable.

None of the songs are as good as Grizzly Bear’s Deep Blue Sea on the Dark Was The Night double CD Red Hot compilation, but a few of them come close.

Not really something that moves you along as you walk around midtown Manhattan. More like something you can listen to sitting still and get a lot out of it.

I recommend it.

Um “oh” e um “ah!”

What a day this has been. First off, I broke the rule of going to sleep the same time as Bill and wound up not being able to sleep well. A few interruptions and before I knew it, Bill was kissing me goodbye, telling me that I looked angelic laying there.

A few minutes later the alarm clock went off, no music- just the buzzer. I got it together and looked forward to an easy going day. Vivek in Las Vegas, and Sanjay flew in last night from Florida thanks to my ticket purchases.

Last night after finagling the tickets Abby was in the office. I need this I need that. Fine, whatever. I left around 5:00 and didn’t say goodbye. He was on the phone.

I left and halfway through my walk to the bus terminal, I get a phone call. It’s Abby. He couldn’t believe I left when he needed envelopes and stamps and copies to be made.

Not for work, but his own personal accounts. I told him to go to my cube and instructed him where to find the things he needed. Then he needed copies to be made and I instructed him on how to operate a copier. Hit the green button!

This morning after Bill left I did my thing and made it to the bus. As I sat down on the bus I realized that I left my cellphone at home. I almost got off the bus but decided to proceed with the day.

A nice walk across town and I soon found myself in the office by 9:15. At 9:16 I get a phone call from Sanjay. Tomorrow is a conference call at noon and I’m expected. I mentioned that I thought I was off on Fridays.

Sanjay says, no problem, we’ll just do the conference call on Monday. I explain to him that Monday is a federal holiday. No problem for him, they’ll just conference me in from home. Oh what a thrill.

Sanjay eventually made it in the office right around the same time as Abby. That made things busy and not as easygoing as I had hoped. A quick demonstration on how the Movie Box works in hotel rooms.

If you want to watch a crappy movie that went straight to DVD then this Movie Box is for you. And the adult fare is strictly hetero and boring.

The day went on and on. At one point I had to go to the post office for Abby and get some mail certified. I warned him that the lines in the post office can be long and I wasn’t sure when I would be back.

The line wasn’t that long and afterwards I used the opportunity to take a leisurely stroll around midtown and enjoyed a Padron.

I figured out that I knew what I had to do and as I finished my cigar I went back to the office with a new, fresh outlook. It was 3:00.

At 3:01 the phone rings, It’s Nash who works in Kent, Washington. He’s frantic, telling me the conference call is going on and I should be in on it.

Sanjay was in a meeting and Abby was somewhere. So I followed Nash’s instructions and jumped in on the conference call. I didn’t know what was going on and all these instructions were being thrown at me.

There was no one I could turn to or ask anything of so all I could do was take notes and I wound up transcribing most of the call.

I was in over my head. It seemed that anytime I get a grip on the situation the rug gets pulled out from under me. I am really at the end of my rope and I am considering telling Vivek when he returns that I don’t think it’s going to work out.

It’s not what I was hired for and I don’t like the hours. I’m sure they would be better off with someone else who could do the job. And the hours, the dirty looks that I get when I try to leave at 5:30 or 6:00. They seem to be nice people but I don’t think I can work with them.

And it’s soon enough that they wouldn’t have invested that much in me.

I’d be willing to continue supporting the office, booking conference rooms, ordering supplies, being the liaison between the office and the building personnel who like me a lot.

I’m well liked by the office personnel and even the conservatives seem to like me enough to make unofficial overtures that they’d take me on if it doesn’t work out.

But this dealing with hotel and motel owners and the insane hours and tardiness of these guys is really wearing me down. Perhaps that is what is causing me to lose sleep at night.

Right now I’m so tired that when Harpy called I could only respond in monosyllabic words.

I come home, not wanting to cook so I pick up two slices of pizza. Bill comes home and a few minutes later the buzzer rings. It’s a pizza that Bill’s ordered. He doesn’t care. He hasn’t had lunch and will eat the whole pie himself.

This day, will it ever end?

Bill before pizza
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Mo’ Onions

Last night before I came home I hung out with Casey Chasm and his friend Moishe. Last minute, spur of the moment thing. Mrs, Chasm was out of town so it was sort of hang out with the guys. Casey’s always a good guy to hang out with, Moishe- I couldn’t say. I’ve only met Moishe twice and he seemed alright.

It was an interesting hour or so. I would have stayed for dinner, but the groceries I bought over the weekend needed to be eaten before they went bad. I did stay for some scintillating conversation and a few Bass Ales. I left feeling rather buzzed, listening to Lou Reed singing about New Sensations on the iPod.

Nothing going on around here and that was fine by me. Watched O & RM again. Back to my old habits. Didn’t pay much attention though. Nothing much on TV. Not one to watch Dancing with the Armenian Idols, I just talked with Harpy on the phone.

Bill came home when I was almost finished playing the guitar. Just playing to some Smiths songs, but hampered by the Dm7 chord. Bill was rambunctious as ever, with lots of silliness. I love him. He really bolsters my spirits and he’s relentless in his bolstering.

After RM we wound up watching The Soup on the E Channel. We like Joel McHale. Then it off to bed for Bill, wrestling with the sleep apnea mask. I eventually joined him, sans mask.

Woke up more tired than I was when I went to sleep. Not enough milk for cereal, just enough for coffee. Not the best way to start off the day. But I got through it.

Caught a bus that was more crowded than I hoped and sat in the very last seat. An overweight guy sitting next to me, almost on top of me. He was apologetic and I did my best to get over it and focus on the New Yorker.

The walk across town was pleasant and uneventful. No errant mice fleeing a swarm of sparrows and starlings.

The office was quiet again, I settled in moments after a phone call from Vivek. He had a few things for me to do. He was home after driving his wife to the airport at 5:00 in the morning and was trying to get some sleep. I could have used some more sleep myself.

I got whatever it was he wanted done. I always get whatever anyone asks of me done. He was going to be out of the office for the rest of the week.

He also set up a conference call, Vivek in bed, me in the office and some French guy from Spain on the phone in Florida. Apparently he has a lot of hotels under his belt so all I could do was take as many notes as possible, hopefully writing things down so they would make sense later on.

I was busy enough, but not enough that the day flew by. In fact it was a bit on the slow side. I had my usual salad for lunch, with a low fat balsamic vinaigrette.

Vivek did make an appearance which surprised me. He needed me to print out some boarding passes which I did and then saw him off into a cab headed to LaGuardia Airport, headed to Atlanta. He did ask how I felt about the ‘new’ job.

I told him that things were getting better, and that I wanted to do good, not just for the company but for myself. He mentioned that he did introduce me to the French Spaniard as their first employee.

I almost mentioned that I wasn’t fond of staying late, but decided we could talk about that next week when he gets back.

I smoked a Saint Luis Rey cigar and I did enjoy a compilation of 2 Tone bands, The Specials, The Selecter, Madness and the English Beat mainly on my walk back to the bus terminal.

Stay Hungry

And it’s Friday again and it’s been a bear of a day. I’m back to a four day work week, this week at least, but somehow I was in the office five days. It’s a fucked up situation and these Indians are driving me crazy with their careless disregard of other people’s time.

Since I’m not working for the company that hired me three years ago and as of three weeks ago I’m working for another company, my payroll wasn’t done in time, missing this term. Vivek had to come in and cut me a ‘live’ check.

He said he’d be in at 11:30, he was in at 12:30. Said he’d cut the check in 5 minutes, an hour later I got the check. Then I tried cashing the check at the bank it was drawn on, but my official NJ State ID was not in their book of recognized identifications.

This was after getting a spiel about how much I would benefit opening an account with Chase Bank. A total waste of my time.

Then I schlepped across town to find my branch. I was trying to do this before 3:00, you know, banking hours. What a friggin’ hassle it was. Still I was able to deposit the check and my head is somewhat above water, at least for today.

Getting my check today was only one reason I went into the office. The other reason was to help out Greg Stevens. He’s also working for a new company and his IT person came in from Los Angeles to help him out.

Help him out with things that were done by our former IT guy last month, but he didn’t tell anyone. That IT guy, and perhaps most IT guys have bad communication skills.

I explained to the new IT person that I’m not an IT guy, that I only know a little bit more than Greg Stevens, who then said that I knew a LOT more than he does.

It’s something like 75 degrees out, quite nice and sunny. I have been home so far for about a half hour.

It’s funny, when you’re growing up, they hint at the pressures of life, but when you’re actually an adult, that is when you feel the pressure. Still I am home, decompressing.

Tonight Bill and I are off to the movies. Bill bought tickets to see Star Trek and it does look exciting. Bill is a Trekkie, I am not. He loves all that. I did enjoy Star Trek: The Next Generation somewhat but never watched it religiously.

I also enjoyed the occasional episode of Deep Space Nine and Voyager, and the Star Trek movies that I had seen. Never went out of my way to watch these shows though.

I saw some of the Star Trek movies, but not all of them. So while it’s nice to be home and relaxing, I will be headed back into the city in a little over an hour.

I’ll bring a book and I’ll have my iPod since I anticipate sitting in traffic outside the Lincoln Tunnel.

I just got a phone call from Abby. We shipped a TV set and a Movie box out yesterday via FedEx.

Before I left the office, I checked the tracking on the two boxes. Both were delivered at 10:04AM this morning to the Ramada Inn in North Brunswick. The guy who was supposed to get them said he only received the TV. I told Abby, reassuring him and talking him in off the ledge that both boxes were delivered at the time I mentioned.

It is nice to have some time home. I’m writing this and doing laundry while the news spews forth more news of Swine Flu. My hackles are raised with every strangers cough or sneeze that I hear. I pass by holding my breath and exhaling with force in hope that the virus passes me by.

Makes sitting in a dark theater with a hundred other people that much more exciting.

Happy Birthday to Brian Eno! 61 years old today.

Forgetful Heart

So here I am again, this time it’s Tuesday. Oh, I neglected to mention that I wrote yesterday’s entry using Google Docs. As I am today. I usually use Open Office but it was annoying me. This is quite user friendly which is why I using again today. I’m still at work.

Going to a wake tonight in Manhasset, Long Island. A former co-worker’s father passed away and since the co-worker was a nice person I thought I would show my face. I’m meeting up with 2 other former co-workers, Robert and Gazi.

I’m meeting Gazi in front of the library then heading into the subway to meet Robert where we will ride to Gazi’s house in Queens and then drive to Manhasset. So that is all out of the ordinary.

Last night was nothing special again. Wound up alternating between listening to music and watching TV.

Today is the dreaded May 12. A foul day for me and my siblings. In 1991 May 12 was Mother’s Day which turned into the worst day of my life. Or one of them at least. Since I wrote about it previously on May 12, 2006 there’s no need to go and write about that sadness again, at least not today.

Work has been weird today, but what else is new? Vivek was in this morning and asked me if I was going to be able to work with him on his latest project. Of course I said yes. I mentioned that despite a few stumbling blocks once they’re out of the way I could only see clear sailing.

I think I have the gift of telling people what they want to hear. He was somewhat subdued but seemed to appreciate what I was saying. But there is always this anxiety that invades my consciousness throughout the day. It usually happens when I’m out of the office running an errand or something.

Today I had to deposit some dosh for Vivek and as I walked to the bank it struck me. Just the uncertainty in my employment. My sister Annemarie nailed it before I even recognized it. Working in what used to be a financial firm that is teetering on the brink of disaster is freaking me out in moments where my mind is unoccupied.

On the way to the bank there was a Salsa band playing and that certainly took my mind off my woes. I’m a sucker for a trombone.

I’ve done all I can do for the day here in the office and now it seems I’m merely killing time until 5:15 when I will leave, light up a cigar and wander over to the Public Library on Fifth Avenue and meet up with Gazi. I haven’t seen him in a few years so that should be a hoot, if only the circumstances where more entertaining than going to a wake.

I’m just glad to be writing this now rather than trying to write it later. I hope to get home at a decent hour.

Tomorrow I’m going to see the Ludes at Kenny’s Castaways on Bleecker Street. The Ludes are John and Donna Hamilton and Dave from Tiny Lights with Lois DiLivio performing a tribute to the Carpenters. It’s a free show so if you find yourself on Bleecker Street around 9:00PM, stop by.

It’s also a farewell for John Hamilton who is leaving NYU to teach at Harvard. I suppose I’ll be writing early tomorrow as well since it makes sense to stay in the city, rather than head home and then back into the city again.

Plus they do want me to stay late here at work so if I stay until 8:00 that should make them somewhat happy.

Now here’s some Salsa!
photo-0135

Born Late

OK, this is what happened today. I wonder if I should start off each entry with ‘this is what happened today’? But then again I do write about the night before so maybe I should write, ‘This is what happened in the past 24 hours’.

Last night was quiet, Bill came home halfway through Lawn Hors d’oeuvre. I wish I caught the whole episode but I watched The Colbert Report after Lost. Lawn Hors d’oeuvre had some very good acting by a Central American actress who was simply heartbreaking at the end.

So damn sad. I think it had something to do with the beating and eventual death of Jose Sucuzhanay who was attacked in Brooklyn in December while walking home arm in arm with his brother after drinking one night. And also the day laborers out in Long Island who were routinely beaten by gangs of white kids. Gripping.

Lost was good last night, and too convoluted to get into here.

Bill was in a weird way, mostly depressed from not getting enough sleep. He’s been using a mask for his sleep apnea and it isn’t comfortable for him, causing him to wake up several times in the night.

With no relief in sleep and the situation with his mother who told him that she wants to die the poor guy is a mess. This morning he sent me a text about how he just wants to cry. He was at work and thats not how he usually goes through his day.

I was waiting for Abby to pick me up when I got the text. Abby told me yesterday that he was going to pick me up at 9:00 to go to Avenel. At 9:00 as I was about to leave, Abby calls.

He said he spoke to the property owner and said we should be there at 10:30, so he was going to pick me up at 10:00 instead.

Now I’m a stickler for time and a sucker for time. No matter how many times I’ve been kept waiting by family members, partners and friends, if they tell me they they will be somewhere like say, noon, I will be there at 11:55.

I always give them the benefit of the doubt.

So at 9:50, I went downstairs thinking that maybe this new guy, Abby will be early. I don’t like to keep anyone waiting you see.

At 10:15 I called Abby to find out what is going on. He told me he was on 50th Street and should be here in 10 minutes. Also the property owner apparently told him anytime after 10:30 was fine, which was not what he originally told me.

He also wondered why I was calling while waiting outside. I told him that we could do the trip some other time.

I had to go to the bank to get some cash and find out when I would be getting my new bank card, and there were things to do in the office that needed to be done today.

I’m probably being a pain in the ass to Vivek and company buy I do have other responsibilities. Responsibilities that are more or less concrete rather than the kind that change with the weather and Vivek’s whims.

I made it into the office and spoke with Greg Stevens before he headed out to the Hamptons. He just laughed at this situation, telling me that these guys run on Indian time. He inferred that Vivek was like a big kid who is used to getting his way, by hook or by crook.

Then it was off to the Hamptons for him.

I did whatever it was I could do in the office, also checked in with Bill from time to time. He took my advice, had a banana in the morning, a salad for lunch and another banana in the afternoon.

When I last spoke to him, he sounded a lot better. Not exactly ‘happy’ but busy enough at work to occupy his mind.

And if you’re in Hoboken on Sunday, and it’s not raining, you should check out Rand’s gate sale which is conjunction with Lois’ gate sale.

lois-gate-sale

It’s also the Art and Music Festival with the headliners being the Box Tops featuring Alex Chilton and also various members of the Feelies in various bands like Yung Wu, Wild Carnation and East of Venus.

Unless it rains.

The Perfect Kiss

Well today was better than yesterday and that’s good. Nice to start off on a positive note. Ending on a positive note is another matter entirely.

The mellowness was from the fact that Vivek and Sanjay were in India and not coming back to the States until Wednesday, meaning they won’t be in until Thursday which is my last day of the week I think.

I say I think because I think Vivek is expecting me to work 5 days a week, which will be nice to get that money again, and also it means that the cleaning of the hallway will be done on Saturday or Sunday.

That’s not so bad. We shall see when Vivek returns.

I had a good talk with Greg Stevens and he was totally supportive of my situation, having dealt with Vivek for a number of years. His advice was very much the same as Annemarie’s and Harpy’s, hang in there. I don’t have much choice but to hang in there.

I’ve been hanging in there for so long that I am considered well hung.

Tomorrow I’m supposed to be going to Avenel with Abby. For what, I don’t know. He’s supposed to be picking me up here in Hoboken so that saves me a commute. That should make for an interesting experience.

I was planning on writing the other day about my driving experiences. I’m giving it a shot tonight. In 1981, a friend of mine, Derry Pedovitch and I had an idea to move to Los Angeles.

Derry had family there and he made arrangements to stay in Canoga Park. Derry had a van and we decided to drive Route 80 to Utah, then whatever highway would take us to Southern California.

It wasn’t that pleasant a trip. The northern route was dull, it took most of a day to get through Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Turnpike was a four lane highway, two lanes going east and west.

We made it through to Ohio and parked in a campground in the middle of the night. We were on the road the next day, looking at nothing but corn as we drove though Indiana, Illinois and Iowa.

We slept in Nebraska and I got into a fight with Derry almost abandoning me in Nebraska when the van’s cassette player ate one of my tapes. After that we made it to Utah, sleeping in Beaver.

Then it was onto Southern California, getting a room in Alhambra after sitting in traffic for a few hours. In Canoga Park I found Derry’s family were nice, a little rough around the edges though.

We realized once we got there that everyone travels to Los Angeles to start all over again and we weren’t so special. It was a weird couple of weeks that also included a trip to Las Vegas were I lost all the money I had.

That was also the last time I gambled, not counting playing the lottery. It was one of the stupider weekends in my life.

Our money and dreams were depleted and we headed back to New Jersey, driving the same route, only this time it was nonstop.

I went back to work, and eventually got Derry his job back in the same warehouse. 6000 miles in about a month.

I wouldn’t recommend it, but it did get me the courier position when it became available a few months later.

Derry betrayed me a year or so later and I never spoke to him again.

Headlights Look Like Diamonds

Starting off, I don’t like the new hours. Sure, going to work at 9:00 is nice, less of a rush hour crowd, but leaving the office at 7:00, getting home around 8:00 and then having to make dinner is not my cup of tea.

Maybe I can get used to it, but on day one, I don’t like it.

The day today was a fiasco, even before I got on the bus. As it happened, I was waiting for the bus when Greg Stevens called my cellphone wondering if I was coming in to the office. I told him I was.

Then he asked if I was close to the office and I told him I was still in Hoboken waiting for the bus. He was off to a meeting and needed a letter that Vivek had sent out earlier this month, the letter stating that the company was broke and belly up.

I told him that I should be in the office by 10:00 and if he left me a fax number I would fax the letter over to him. I was there a little after 10:00, I found the letter and faxed it to wherever he was.

The day progressed awkwardly. Basically I was doing the same job as before, only 90 minutes later. Things still needed to be done and the other people in the office weren’t about to do it themselves.

The conservatives were all dressed up for meetings, I was casual since it was going to be close to 90 degrees today.

I got a phone call from Abby this morning as I sat at my desk. He asked if I was going to call the various hotels and motels that were discussed yesterday.

I told him that I still would like some help with this aspect since the people that I was calling had questions that I couldn’t answer, and I too had some questions.

He didn’t seem to hear that and asked again, and I raised my voice telling him that I requested help yesterday when he, Vivek and Sanjay (gave the business partner a name) sat opposite me at the table and all they did was nod their heads in unison, and still nothing was resolved.

I don’t want to look like an idiot and I don’t want the company to look bad.

I told Rand yesterday that it was like the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, only this was worse since the hands were attached to the 8 arms of Shiva and the left still wasn’t saying anything to the right.

I did what I could, calling up the hotels and motels, and doing my best after Sanjay sat down and we did a phone call together. Still, things didn’t go as smoothly as anyone would have liked.

Some people I called didn’t know anything about what I was calling about and some simply weren’t interested. This was the equivalent of a ‘cold call’ or so they thought.

I heard from Sanjay that this was ordered by a guy who owns several of these hotels and motels, unfortunately the owner didn’t tell the managers of these places.

It was confusion on both ends.

Some people weren’t in, some people were unavailable. I had to keep calling because all of a sudden this needed to be taken care by 6:00 this evening.

‘Let’s give it to the new guy’ must have been the thinking behind that one. I called one motel manager at 4:49, telling him I’d call back in an hour to help him with the questionnaire. At 5:55 the guy’s phone was out of service.

It was truly the essence of ridiculousness.

20th Century Boy

Presently in the phone with Harpy. Blood pressure which is usually low is quite high while talking to him. It all stemmed when for some strange reason I tried giving him a call to let him know the latest developments at work.

Like last week when I wrote I have all these phone numbers in my cellphone and hardly any of them were available. Well, Rand was available and I told him about the latest.

Harpy was unavailable, as was Bill, Annemarie, and everyone else. That’s fine. They have their lives, their problems and I’ve got mine.

What happened was mainly a continuation of last week. Last week was when I started phoning up a few hotels and motels and asking them questions regarding beaming movies to their rooms.

I couldn’t do it all the way through since the people on the other end had questions that I couldn’t answer. Vivek and his business partner and Abby were all unavailable.

Still I felt it best if I went through the questionnaire with one of the three next to me in case there were questions. I told them this today and they agreed.

It didn’t mean they were going to find time to sit there next to me. In fact they still wanted me to call, looking and sounding stupid sitting next to an empty chair. It’s just ridiculous.

But the peak of ridiculousness was when they told me that I would be driving to different hotels and motels to check out the properties. Oh how their faces fell when I told them I didn’t drive.

They offered to pay for driving lessons but I told them I knew how to drive, it’s just that I don’t want to drive. And I don’t have a license.

I am probably one of the few Americans they’ve met who steadfastly refuses to drive.

I explained to them that I used to drive for a living. I drove to California and back. I’ve driven to Florida and back. I drove to Austin, Texas. And twice a day I used to drive from Saddle Brook NJ to 757 Third Avenue, only a few blocks away.

When I had to do an “impersonation of Janet Leigh” for Vivek’s business partner is when I tried calling.

Rand understood. He was my unofficial co-pilot for about a year.

Things have changed since I last drove 23 years ago. More new drivers and more older drivers. It’s not so much I don’t trust them, but the tons of metal are unsafe at any speed.

All it takes is one split second, one thing to go wrong and everything could all go bad.

And I do not want to drive a car or truck or van ever again.

Harpy insisted on telling me over and over that it would be something new to do. That if I want to keep my job I had better start to drive again. Sorry, but if it comes down to that I would rather walk than drive.

And dealing with Vivek and his business partner and Abby is something else entirely. Several times as I sat with them, plans for what I should do change within seconds. ‘John should do this.’ Then ‘John should do that’ which totally conflicts with the initial proposal.

What am I getting myself into? I was also told that I could start coming into the office at 10:00 since Vivek and his business partner don’t usually make it in until noon sometimes.

So they want me to stay later, until 6:00 or 7:00.

Sorry if tonight’s entry is incoherent. I think I should put off talking on the phone until after I’ve written since whatever state of mind I might have been in previously, it’s gone now and I am a bit tense.

Action Time Vision

So Happy It’s Thursday again. Yes it’s my Friday. Or is it? It looks like I will be going in to the office for a little while tomorrow.

I now work for a company that supplies movies to hotels and motels. That just happened this morning, not by my doing. The company that hired me is no more.

I still support The Conservative Mortgage Company, That Cancer Research Foundation, The Hulk Investment Company, Investment Consultants Australian for Beer Company, and now the Asian Indian Beamed Movie Company.

Five companies, all contributing to my salary. There might be one or two smaller companies that I overlooked but you get the picture.

So today, Vivek calls me from Washington DC? Pensacola? and tells me something about what I have to do today.

Some Indian dude named Abby called up, telling me that he’s stopping by to see me about what Vivek talked to me this morning. The thing is, Vivek was half asleep when he called and I only understood about 10% of what he was saying.

Abby says he’ll be in the office in an hour. Two hours later he shows up. I get a crash course on what I have to do. Call up various hotels and motels that have signed up for the movie beaming service and ask them questions from two different questionnaires.

That wouldn’t be too difficult. It was eerily similar to a job I had about 20 years ago, working for Rupert Murdoch and helping to build his Hotel Database to Nowhere. But instead of looking at brochures and running off to ingest some powders with coworkers, I’m basically on my own.

Abby had hit the road running off to Washington DC when I finally had a chance to make some calls. Make that call. Midway through while talking to Raj in Reading PA, I realized I was over my head.

I thanked him for his time and mentioned that I would call him back with a few more questions in a day or two. I had some questions of my own to ask but Vivek and his business partner were unavailable, as was Abby.

Actually Abby did call from the road telling me that there was one person that was important to reach today. I called that one person who was quite personable and asked that I email him the questionnaires which he will fill out and fax in tomorrow.

And that’s the basic reason why I will be going in tomorrow. To get a fax and then scan it and send to Seattle. I don’t mind really.

I will just start my laundry tonight and head into the office without any of the daily hang ups. It’s my job now and like Vivek said, the company that hired me is no more and if I want a job, this is the job I should take.

Beaming movies into hotel and motel rooms for $2.99 a day, $3.99 if you want to include adult movies. All the movies are stored in a box and available with the touch of a finger. It’s actually something I am looking forward to.

I saw Matthew Broderick on the street yesterday.

Time to Pretend

After a beautiful weekend weather wise, it’s a definite downer today. Sheets of rain again. It’s supposed to be like this until Wednesday, with the drying out (or so they say) on Thursday.

Last night Bill and I watched a documentary on Leonard Bernstein. Bill had never seen it before, for me it was the second time I think. Bill told me his father had issues with Leonard Bernstein and really had problems with West Side Story.

He felt it was demeaning towards Puerto Ricans, which is too bad since the message is quite powerful and the music of course is still amazing 50 years later.

Then it was bedtime for Bill and eventually me. We never go to bed at the same time.

Didn’t want to wake up and go to work, not in this weather. But I had to of course. Bill was up and running as I shuffled past, making my way into the shower. He was out the door by the time I got out. Had some coffee and cereal and was smart enough to wear an rain coat.

Rode to work, almost done with last week’s New Yorker, making me almost up to date.

After a good talk with my sister yesterday about job security, I decided that picking up used tissues is not beneath me, especially if it means I will still have a job.

So for me, it was picking up snot rags and washing coffee cups that people couldn’t wash for themselves with a smile on my face. I had to get over the fact that the used tissue in the empty tissue box stayed on the conference table most of last week, and the one who put it there simply could not see the two trash cans in the same room.

Yep, that’s how it’s going to be until February 28, 2010.

Casey Chasm was due in today and it was a good thing I cleaned up the conference room. Casey invented something and got it patented. Such a thing it makes you wonder, why hadn’t anyone invent something like this before?

I told Vivek about it a few weeks ago and asked if he’d be interested in meeting with Casey. Vivek said yes, Casey was into it, so it was all about trying to pin Vivek down. Today was the day he was able to be pinned.

I didn’t have any clear idea on what would transpire. Perhaps Vivek would pull out a check book right then and there. That didn’t happen.

What Vivek did was give Casey some good advice on marketing and business presentation. Good advice for free. There is still more work to be done for Casey but he now has an idea in the direction he should be headed in.

Now I’m trying to get Casey together with a former co-worker who has some good ideas on marketing. I’m just putting them together, hopefully they could work things out.

Also today was the Boston Marathon, which my niece Meghan ran in Hooray for Meghan De Carlo, my niece who finished the Boston Marathon with an Official time of 3:19:31! Excellent time, much, much better than I could ever do. Perhaps riding my bicycle I’d keep up, but without wheels she would leave me in the dust.

The whole family is proud of her for this accomplishment. If she runs in the New York City marathon, I will be on the sidelines, egging her on.

All in all, an interesting, out of the ordinary day.

One Less Bell To Answer

Back to work for me today. Very cold this morning. I lay in bed, kept hitting the snooze button. I would get out of bed eventually just waiting for the right time. My cellphone kept going off with a text message. I figured it was Bill wishing me a good morning. When I got out of bed I checked it.

Bad news.

While Bill slept last night, his mother (who has Alzheimers) wandered out of the apartment without her coat and shoes and went looking for something, perhaps a ride to Puerto Rico. Stuyvesant Town security found her and brought her back. She cannot be left alone and obviously needs an eye on her at all times.

When I responded to Bill’s text, with an ‘Oh jeez’ he immediately called and filled me in. She had frostbitten feet from being outside with the temperature in the teens and a knife like wind chill. Bill told me the story and said he had to get a locksmith and see how much it would cost to get an additional lock on the door, one that you lock with a key inside.

All this before a shower and coffee. I said all that I could to be supportive, then jumped in the shower. Got myself together, wore a nice suit, not too nice since the world was a frozen mess, and some work boots which did not go with the suit at all despite being a similar color. Rode the bus and read the New Yorker.

Walked across town with the iPod playing a range of songs from Pet Shop Boys to the Monkees ending up with the Neville Brothers. The office was quietly buzzing when I came in. Some people came in yesterday, most didn’t. Greg Stevens was in New Mexico on vacation for a few weeks.

Tom Chin made it in and while I was talking to Bill, he asked me to come in his office when I got off the phone. I walked in expecting the worst but it was just asking me to go to the bank when I had the chance. I had errands to run and decided to stagger them, do some now, do some later.

As the day went on I spoke with Bill a few times, just checking in. Medicare had sent a bureaucrat to size up the situation with Bill’s mother. They tried to do it last week but Bill was unavailable. Their visit was to see whether or not Bill’s mother needed 24 hour care. Perhaps after hearing of her unauthorized excursion they will see the need.

I made it to the bank and picked up my lunch. By the time I came back, Vivek was in the office. Not that it mattered. He and his partner sound like they’re arguing, but they are just really loud Indian guys. After an hour or so, Vivek comes up to me and says he needs to speak with me. I figured, this was it.

We go into an empty conference room, he sits on the couch I sit on a chair near the couch. It almost looked like a psychotherapy session. He tells me that things aren’t going so well and that he will have to cut my hours.

Effective this week, I will be working 4 days a week out of 5. I was ok with that. Not happy about it but I realized that I would rather work 4 days a week rather than 0 days a week. I told Vivek, if that was the case I would like to take Mondays off since Tom Chin is out on Fridays.

He told me that wasn’t going to happen since Tom Chin will not be around much longer. They asked Tom Chin for his resignation and he gave it to them. I don’t have the details on his last day but he will be more of a consultant and really not around much at all. So I’ll have Fridays off.

I told Bill about it a few minutes later and he was concerned, but I tried to ease his mind since he had enough on his plate, telling him that 4 days is better than none. And it’s true, it is. Things will be tighter around here, but I think it’s manageable.

Who knows? In a few days I could be totally panic stricken.

Crackerbox Palace

Not a bad Fat Tuesday. Not that I’m celebrating Mardi Gras. Just today was an agreeable day. Sure there was a bit of nonsense but nothing that couldn’t be overcome. Last night was rather ho hum. I thought Heroes would be the big thrill of the day, but actually it focused on the boring characters.

Harpy called when it started and I told him I would call him back In retrospect, I should have taken his call. The horned rimmed glasses guy’s back story simply isn’t compelling, and the cheerleader would have been a better storyline. Also, no Syler which means dull dull dull.

After that I watched Futurama and Demitri Martin’s show on Comedy Central. My brother Frank recommended it and he was right, it’s pretty funny. He does remind me of John Hamilton though. Speaking of John Hamilton, Bill and I are attending a surprise party for him on Sunday. Hopefully he doesn’t read this blog, or Google his name, where this entry might pop up.

Went to bed after the big news story of New York getting a new archbishop, replacing the old archbishop who’s retiring. Not that anything with change, they’ll just have to let out or take in the brocaded cape and gowns.

Haute couture while schools are closing. Yeah they have their priorities straight.

Yesterday was the first time in a while that I’ve walked on the property of St. Patrick’s cathedral. I usually cross the street, but it couldn’t be avoided. Did you hear or read that the catholic church is bringing back selling indulgences? Yep. Sure are. Gotta raise some money and bishop needs a new pair of (Prada) shoes.

Slept really well last night, woke up to the sound of the Monkees singing Daydream Believer. I like leaving a little later, the bus isn’t that crowded since there are buses rolling down Washington Street every 5 minutes and I get to ride in a coach bus. Very comfortable.

Since I finished Sarah Vowell last week as well as the double issue of the New Yorker I had nothing to read yesterday and wound up staring out the window. Today I made sure I had something and brought the latest issue of Uncut magazine and read about the formation of Apple Records 41 years ago. What a mess that turned out to be. Good intentions, lousy results.

Work was a breeze today. Tom Chin has the flu and didn’t stay all day which was good. He gave me something to fax when he gave me the go ahead and then he left the office. I got the thing ready but didn’t fax it, but sent an email telling him I did.

I’d get yelled at if I didn’t fax it and wasn’t sure if he wanted me to, perhaps I missed his go ahead. He responded, probably while on Metro North heading back to Connecticut, in caps writing ‘I told you to wait until I told you!’ I replied that the fax machine wasn’t working properly so it didn’t go out after all.

Actually it never left my desk. He’ll probably have something to say about it tomorrow, if he comes in.

Today’s comedy was courtesy of Vivek. He gives me some checks to deposit. One goes to this bank A, the other goes to that bank B.I get the deposit slips all set but the account number has one too many digits. I ask him if he’s sure it goes to bank B and he says yes.

I go to bank A and that went well, I was able to make the deposit. I go to bank B and they tell me it’s not their bank. I then go to bank C across the street and it’s not them either. I then cross another street and go to bank D where I’m met by some helpful staff.

They escort me to an office and a handsome young man comes in and enters the info. It turns out it is his bank, bank D. He does the transaction while I wait in the office and comes back with the deposit receipt. I ask him how things are with the current economic climate and he tells me he works at a bank that actually has shown a profit.

Then he asks where I bank and I tell him. I’m getting a vibe from this guy, that he’s into me. Imagine that, being seduced so I could perhaps switch banks. It was a pleasant experience and I left after complimenting him on his suit. Gave him something to dream about.

Left work an hour or so later, on my way to see Bill for a few minutes. I had every green light and made it across town in surprisingly record time. Saw Bill and we had a few laughs. He asked me to go to Easter services with him and his mother.

Sure, I said, mentioning that I will have 40 days from tomorrow to think about it in case I change my mind. He mentioned that he wouldn’t be able to get ashes tomorrow due to his hectic schedule. I told him that Ash Wednesday is probably a favorite holiday of dermatologists around the world.