Tag Archives: Oliver!

The Underdog

It helps if you pay attention to EVERYTHING. I should have done that today. It would have spared me a lot of frustration. It started at 9:23 this morning. Bill at work being snarky and feigning surprise that I was up at that time.

Then he ‘caught’ himself, realizing that I was going to help Greg Stevens today. Mindless chatter back and forth. I mention that I would be able to swing by his office and pick up a money order from him. He asks what time and I suggest 2-ish.

No, he didn’t use the standard line, ‘Funny you don’t look 2-ish’. Not his type of humor, didn’t grow up at 13 Riverview Avenue.

He suggested that 3:00 would be better.

The thing with instant messaging is that sometimes you write and focus on what you’re writing so much so that you don’t read what the other person is writing. In this case, I did not read the 3:00 he wrote and just continued on what I was writing.

Totally missed it. So there I was, helping Greg Stevens and I was finished early. I called Bill a little after 1:00 and got his voice mail.

I continue walking my way down towards his office, enjoying the day as well as enjoying a La Flor Domincana cigar that I picked up. Bill has 3 phones. His work phone, his iPhone and his former T-Mobile phone which is now Verizon. Same number as he had when I signed up with T-Mobile.

Every couple of blocks or so, as I got closer and closer I would call one of his phones and leave a message. Eventually I made it down to his office and stood outside, killing time and enjoying the cigar. If it weren’t for the cigar I would probably be freaking out, but I was mellow.

After waiting outside for about 45 minutes I decide to head to the Path train. No calls, no messages, no texts forthcoming. I finish the cigar a block away from the Path train and head downstairs. Finished a New Yorker from January and came home.

The phone rings and it’s Bill. He must have gotten all of my messages. He asked if I had gotten his text and I didn’t. He mentions that we had chatted this morning and then I answered yes, that I did get his instant message.

I pulled it up and there it was at 9:26, Bill saying that 3:00 would be better. I felt like a schmuck. Bill’s message did not register at all, I was too wound up in what I was writing instead of what Bill was writing. No, it’s not the end of the world.

I’ll get the money order tonight when Bill comes home.

I watched the first half of ‘Oliver!’ when I came home. It was a funny thing. A Facebook friend mentioned that she saw a production of Oliver last night at Bloomfield High School and I commented ‘Consider yourself at ‘ome!’.

It was one of the first movies in a movie theater for me so it has a special memory for me. It was also on Turner Classic Movies last night which I recorded. I’m not sure whether or not Oliver or the Jungle Book was the first movie, at least the first movie I can remember.

I’m sure I was at the double feature of A Hard Day’s Night and the Last Man on Earth at the drive in with my family, but I definitely do not remember that at all.

I was probably paying too much attention to what I was writing and not paying attention to what was going on before me.

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Rocky Racoon

Well this day is just another day I suppose. It’s a Sunday, that much I know. And it’s been another up & down day for me. Last night I didn’t turn on the TV until the 11:00 news. I mainly sat in front of the computer and copied dozens of songs from the Rolling Stones to the Specials to Elvis Costello to the Cure to Elton John.

Trying to figure out the easiest songs to play. If I’m going to start busking for real, I should have at least 10 songs that I know inside out, songs that the passerby would know. I’ve loved the Specials for 30 years but never attempted any of their songs.

Turns out their songs are remarkably easy to play. I wonder if that was former head Specials leader Jerry Dammers doing? He’s always been the one to do things with the fans in mind. Rat Race, a classic Specials song is really easy to play and lot’s of fun.

Though being unemployed it has a different meaning as I want to be a part of the Rat Race. No more harboring dreams of somehow living my life and not having any part of mainstream employment. I want a job. A mainstream job.

I’ve worked in the music business, worked in magazine publishing, a Rupert Murdoch experiment. Not your average jobs. They were fun and definitely interesting, but the real jobs that I’ve had paid well and offered benefits and some relative stability. But of course as we all know, the stability wasn’t going to last.

But back to the music, Elton John songs aren’t that hard either. I’m no Davey Johnstone, but he’s no John Ozed either.

It was good not watching much TV last night. I did watch Saturday Night Live and was charmed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I loved his ‘Make ’em Laugh’ opener. Who wouldn’t be impressed by those back flips? I’m sure Donald O’Connor would have been.

Dave Matthews was meh, but I wasn’t expecting anything different. Just don’t get the whole Dave Matthews thing.

Due to my financial situation certain substances are out of reach. And since those herbs aren’t being ingested, oh the dreams I’ve been having have been quite weird. I guess they generally are weird, but I woke up this morning with three dreams that stood out.

One involved those certain herbs and how the buds were actually infested with spider eggs and when you smoked those buds, the spider eggs would explode leaving one’s face with a white substance. In the dream there were some buds laying there, and one of them started to move on their own.

Another dream involved my sister and myself somewhere in central New Jersey. We were arguing which is something we never do and never did before really. But I was spitting ice cubes at her, then I lost my clothes and was trying to make my way to a mall where I could by some clothes. It involved winding my way down some stadium seating and some farmland.

The last dream was me being at Tower Records in the Village for their closing sale and buying a container of tobacco but not having any rolling papers and being incredibly frustrated. Perhaps I’d have dreams like these frequently but they were usually suppressed from what I had smoked prior to sleeping.

It’s a good enough reason to resume ingesting those herbs again, but finances being what they are lately it’s not likely to be happening any time soon. That’s a drag, or rather the lack of a drag.

I did make it to Tariq’s studio this afternoon. I’m glad I went. I was surprised to see some accomplished musicians there playing bass, drums and guitars. Tariq once again encouraged me to play guitar but I was once again intimidated by actual musicians. The great Tim wasn’t there but he doesn’t intimidate me, he’s 15 years old.

Spying a Ensonic keyboard in the corner that no one was using I opted for that. I played keys for a friends band about 15 years ago, so it wasn’t that much of a stretch. I did my best to add some color and textures to what they were playing and did my best to emulate Alan Price when they played House of the Rising Sun.

When I play that song on guitar (another easy song to play by the way), I tend to imitate the organ in my phrasing. Hard playing towards the end on my part. I also like to think I added a Middle Eastern vibe to a Pearl Jam song they were playing.

I think it was called Black, but I don’t know any Pearl Jam songs so it might have been some other group. Anyway, no one complained or said ‘Get that guy out of here, he’s horrible’ so I would like to think I did alright.

Right now, Bill is watching Lawn Hors d’œuvre and I’m listening to the White Album on headphones as I write. Sort of like listening to music before I had my own stereo when I was living in my parent’s house. The White Album was released today, 41 years ago. So there’s a Beatles fact for you today.