Daily Archives: December 21, 2007


Well today started out ok, it’s only 1:00PM now. Woke up with the door bell, a woman saying there was a package for me. I gathered myself together, showered, made some coffee and checked the email. Eventually I made my way downstairs, saw a package from Annemarie, Rex and Earl. The baked goods I usually get, brownies and cookies. Perhaps the best presents, and they don’t last too long. I was actually feeling ok. I decided to return a suit that I ordered online from Macy’s since it wasn’t what was pictured, and I ordered it when I thought I would be getting a bonus at the end of the year. Since there was no bonus and I wasn’t too fond of the suit I decided to return it to the Macy’s in the Newport Mall in Jersey City.

I wandered around Hoboken first, grocery shopping and came home to a nice breakfast and read the papers. Spoke with Claire about Katie who is subletting her apartment. Claire says Katie works from the apartment a lot, so maybe I should call her on the cellphone since Katie can’t seem to figure out Claire’s voicemail where I left a couple of messages already. Claire also suggested leaving a note on the door of the apartment. I noticed that the once overflowing mailbox for Claire’s apartment had been cleaned up so there was some action between last night and this morning. But no response to a knock on the door, or voicemail. It didn’t matter since I filed a claim with FedEx anyhow since it’s been almost a week and a stranger has my package and shows no sign of giving it to me.

Still I was in a pretty good mood and I grabbed the unwanted suit, still in it’s original packaging and headed towards the Light Rail station. Not many people walking the streets of Hoboken before noon. I went and bought a round trip ticket from the machine and found I had gotten six other tickets that I didn’t want and wound up giving them to a woman behind me on line. She offered me money for the tickets and I refused her payment, an honest attempt to be nice for the holidays. Got to the mall and had the suit returned, getting credit on my Macy’s card. Then I wandered around the mall, not many people there. Almost bought gift cards form my sisters in law, Karen and Elaine at the Gap, but decided to go back to Macy’s and use that credit and get them gift cards from Macy’s instead.

Everything was going according to plan much to my surprise and it was all relatively stress free. Got back on the Light Rail, albeit the wrong one but it was going to Hoboken anyhow, just a little bit out of the way. I walked through my old neighborhood at Second Street and Madison Avenue. It certainly has changed quite a bit, no more burned out buildings, all condos now. Returned the library copy of Oliver Sacks Musicophilia since I decided on giving Elaine a gift card, I’ll keep the copy for myself and finish reading it without the pressure of a library due date. Came back home, feeling alright. Got a call from Annemarie en route to Orlando with her boys.

Annemarie was concerned about my work attitude, how I wear my emotions on my sleeve and how off putting it must have been for my coworkers. I’m sure she meant well but when I got off the phone I felt worse than I did previously. Felt paranoid basically. I called Bill hoping to be able to talk to him about the call. He was in a good mood, talking to his coworker about his plan to take me to see the Sweeney Todd movie tonight. I am looking forward to it, I told him, but just wanted to talk about the call with my sister. Bill kept interrupting, which he inadvertently reminded me of how Tom Chin always interrupts me when I talk, and like when dealing with Tom Chin I simply shut up and let the interrupter continue interrupting. It took a few seconds before Bill realized I wasn’t saying anything. Basically I said I’ll see you tonight at the movie, and that was that.

Perhaps it’s best if I don’t interact with anyone until I absolutely have to. Could be the best for all concerned. I’m impressed that I wrote this much in 28 minutes, including running down four flights of stairs to see an empty mailbox, then climbing back up those four flights.

Now it’s a little later, maybe an hour since I started this. I do feel pretty stupid about the whole bonus thing especially when relating to Bill about it. It’s all bullshit mainly, Bill has real problems dealing with life and death and I’m whining about not getting something that was never promised to me in the first place. Bill offers to listen mainly and once I start I’m hesitant to finish since it’s so childish. And like Annemarie suggested earlier, not everyone gets bonuses. She didn’t, brother Frank didn’t, since they’re both government employees. So it’s probably for the best that I forget this matter entirely and focus on the important things, once I figure out what the important things are.

I am still working, I forwarded various newsletters and updates to everyone at work and with each forward a Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings and my phrase this year, Happy Everything. I even went so far as to send Tom Chin a holiday ecard which may or may not make a difference. I got some cd’s from Annemarie which she burned for me, Neil Young, Miles Davis, Carole King, Bruce and a collection of Billie Holiday that does not contain Strange Fruit which was odd since it’s one of her most well known, albeit tragic songs. I’m enjoying most everything so far, though the Neil Young’s Greatest Hits needed to be entered manually. I wonder what happened on that end?

I checked the mail again and the PacSun gift card came in so that was cool. I just have to get the gift card for niece Cassie and I should be done with holiday shopping. And I am feeling better. Just listening to music, Feist which is really very good. I have to give it to Apple, I would never have heard of her if I didn’t see that iPod commercial with her singing and dancing to 1,2,3,4. Well I would have seen her on Saturday Night Live, where she was also very good. So things are slowly working out, thanks to my lack of interaction with anyone. It’s all for the best I guess. Nobody moves, nobody gets hurt.

It’s 4:15 now, Harcourt time. This being the holiday season, work had ended at lunch in the warehouse and offices, everyone pretty much three sheets to the wind. I remember one year I had gone home after work, last day before the holiday and got some money before walking up Rochelle Avenue to the Garden State Plaza so I could buy some records. Most of my coworkers were at the Mouse Trap, a pub on the Avenue and I saw one or two as I walked past. I went to Sam Goody and bought a Hall and Oates album X-Static, with Intravino on it, a track that was getting a lot of radio play at the time. As I walked back I stopped in the Mouse Trap, obviously 16 years old, not driving and proceeded to have a few beers with my coworkers for a few hours, eventually getting a ride home in Gary Pless’ pick up, with Gary driving down the wrong way on Riverview Avenue where I lived. No checking of ID, not pulling over an obviously drunk Gary Pless. Such was life in the 1970’s at holiday time. I did have a good time and lost the Hall and Oates record sometime later.

Back to now, I just got off the phone with FedEx having met Katie at my door, she was exhausted from carrying a heavy box up four flights of stairs. I think it’s a gift from Billie, it’s a large, heavy box with mirrors on it. It’s nice and I have no idea where to put it. I called FedEx to rescind my claim, telling Pam the customer service representative to ‘call off the hounds’ which made her laugh and made me feel good to make someone laugh so perhaps I’m coming out of this blue period. Really diggin’ Feist. Perfect music for a day like today. I recommend it. Getting ready to head into the city, to meet up with Bill to see Sweeney Todd on it’s opening day. I have high hopes and so far the headlines for the reviews have been quite favorable, with the New York Times saying it was close to a masterpiece. So I’m psyched. Bill is too.

And now we’re back. Sweeney Todd was excellent, and a packed theater with a winding line through the corridors of the movie house. Luckily we had good seats close to the front and comfortable enough not to strain our necks. Yes, Johnny Depp sounds like late 70’s Bowie and that’s not such a bad thing. Obviously he and Helena Bonham Carter are actors, not singers but they performed admirably. Tim Burton deserves a pat on the back for his direction, and of course Stephen Sondheim gets the hosannas. Another recommendation, providing you can stomach the blood, and there’s quite a lot of blood. I’m sure I will see it again.

I called up brother Frank on the bus ride home and told him how good it was. Frank feeling like joking was putting me on as I strained to hear him since the bus terminal, and the Lincoln Tunnel have lousy cellphone reception. I should have waited until I see him on Monday to tell him all about it. It was frustrating, but I’m sure he got the gist of it. It is almost a masterpiece. There were moments when I had nothing but a smile on my face, trying to hold off singing along with Mr. Todd and Mrs. Lovett. And there was the hair rising on the back of the neck as well as a lump in the throat, it was that well done. I have seen it on stage several times, maybe 8 or 9 times and I’m impressed with Tim Burton’s job well done. Go see it.

Excellent cookies and brownies by the way.