Wednesday, October 1 and it doesn’t start well. The first thing is reaching Bryan which isn’t pleasant. He’s at work, and I still have to get the cat to the veterinarian. My plan was to have her there while the exterminator took care of the apartment. Well, forget that. I grab the bus, and arrive just minutes before the exterminator, so I just put Rosebud in her cage until he’s gone. Of course, that means putting the apartment back together, no mean task while I have to go through sheets of Bryan’s notes telling me to get lost. There’s no money, and no food, so thank goodness there’s one bag of oatmeal left because that’s my totality for eating. Bryan makes himself ravioli when he returns home, and after being bitchy towards me. There’s no equivalency in him. He sleeps while I do notes, and then watch new episodes of Enterprise and The West Wing. They have added William Devane as Secretary of State, and finally wind up finding Zoey Bartlett at the end of the episode, effectively ending John Goodman’s surprise guesting. Bryan is quiet when he gets up but still not sociable. I fall asleep at midnight while he watches television.
Thursday, October 2 and he’s up at 8 am with me following when he leaves. I can tell that he is still harboring his anger. Still, I must go to NYU to take a skills test, and when I get back I make myself some pasta and work on the diary. Things calm down somewhat when he says, “It is what it is” and I reply that that’s not what it is. Then it’s the gym; I was thinking of just going to my parents for the evening, but that changes when I talk to Bryan. I take the bus uptown and join him to walk home. We make ravioli and watch Must See TV, since we have no money at all.
Planet Out notes:
The conservative American Anglican Council (AAC) issued a sternly worded statement, approved by an overwhelming majority of the 2,700 people attending the Dallas meeting, which repudiates the Episcopal denomination’s General Convention for confirming an openly gay bishop and acknowledging that some bishops are blessing same-sex unions.
The declaration demands that the leadership of the Episcopal Church “repent of and reverse the unbiblical and schismatic” actions. It also asks Anglican leaders to discipline Episcopal bishops who “have departed from biblical faith and order” and “guide the realignment of Anglicanism in North America.”
Friday, October 3 and we’re up at 5 am. Sound crazy? Well, it might have been but we’ve been looking forward to anything except pasta for days and Bryan’s credit card goes active right around this time. So it’s off to Around the Clock for steak and eggs, or sausage and eggs in Bryan’s case. He stays awake when we return, but I fall back asleep and pretty much stay that way until almost 10:30 in the morning. I only really get up because I promised I’d go have lunch with him and so take the subway around 11:30 am. After the diner, I return to the apartment with the intent to go to the gym. I take a short walk to Walgreen’s for supplies. But there is a delay as I get a phone call from Dr. Barbara Gossett. Still, I get to the gym for an hour before getting ready for the evening’s seminar. Bryan has picked up before he even gets home at 5 pm and is flying high when I return. I grab a couple of martinis at Dick’s before returning home for a few hours. While home, Paul Barclay calls about Denise Houlihan Cain. It seems she had a stroke and the doctors are just waiting for her children to arrive to pull the plug. She’s almost exactly my age, so this is depressing news. Still, Paul catches me up on the lives of my comedy acquaintances and it’s nice to talk to him. I go back out for a couple of hours and pick up a sub and slice from Due Amici before I return to crash on the couch around 3 am.
From Planet Out:
Meanwhile, with the world’s 38 Anglican primates preparing to meet in London next week to deal with the fallout of the Episcopal Church’s confirmation of a gay bishop, one primate is sounding a conciliatory note. Njongonkulu Ndungane, the archbishop of Cape Town and the primate of southern Africa, called Friday for a high-level commission to study how to live with bitter disagreements about homosexuality that threaten to split the worldwide communion.
“Reducing issues to stark polarizations may make good television,” Ndungane wrote in Friday's edition of Church Times, “but it is not a constructive approach for the church to take on this, or any other, disagreement.”
Saturday, October 4 and I’m off the couch around 11 am since the big clock has stopped. Lunch at the dining hall, I think. Bryan and I go for a drink at Dick’s before I have to join my parents and friends for dinner. But he goes to buy flowers and returns with something extra before I leave at 6 pm. I’m on the uptown bus for twenty blocks, arriving at Marchi’s Restaurant http://www.marchirestaurant.com/ on the corner of 31st Street at Second Avenue for “discreet old-world Italian.” http://home.nyc.rr.com/jkn/nysonglines/31st.htm It is across the street from the Church of the Good Shepherd, an Episopalian congregation founded in 1860. http://goodshepherdnyc.dioceseny.org/index.php Virtual Italia says, “On a lovely tree-lined street lies this vine-covered brownstone with lace curtains at the windows. It feels like an old country club inside, with a stone-walled dining room, working fireplace, and formally set tables. There is no menu, but they’ve been serving old-fashioned Italian cuisine since 1930: platters of antipasto; steaming homemade lasagna; crisp deep-fried fish; roast veal or chicken; plus dessert, fruit, and cheese courses. It's great for large parties. (by Mark Angelucci) http://www.virtualitalia.com/ny/rest/ The full course meal at Marchi is $38.50; glasses of wine are $5.50 and mixed drinks are $7. More than reasonable for the atmosphere and food. “When you leave the premises there is the feeling that you have dined well in a responsible establishment.” The New York Times, Craig Claiborne Column
http://www.studyworld.com/culinary/Marchi_s.htm The party breaks up and I walk halfway down Second Avenue before catching the bus to Dick’s and a martini. Bryan is up and in the bedroom when I return; I crash on the couch before midnight.
Sunday, October 5 and neither of us really see the morning. I’m finally up and washed by noon and go off to the gym at 1 pm. My parents are in the theater district to see “Thoroughly Modern Millie” — produced by Whoopi Goldberg and starring Leslie Uggams and Delta Burke. After the play, Bryan and I take the bus to join them at Capri for dinner. This is becoming a regular stop for us, it seems. Appetizers consist of pasta fagioli soup and carpaccio manzo; entrées include veal scallopine with artichokes in white wine sauce, steak (not so good, actually), shrimp fra diavolo, and what did Bryan have? Of course, there is the traditional bottle of Umberto Cesari Sangiovese and coffee for dessert. We leave them at Port Authority and take a cab directly to Dick’s for drinks for a couple of hours (vodka and 43 for me). Bryan goes to get one while I crash on the couch at 11 pm.
Monday, October 6 and I’m still on the couch at 11 am. I have lunch at dining hall before beginning work on a paper for tonight’s class and doing a couple of loads of laundry. Today should be a gym day, but the paper is taking awhile and I’m somewhat lazy anyway. I leave for class at 5 pm; I almost didn’t want to go, but it’s fun nonetheless. Bob Bolick still reminds me of a calmer John Lithgow with Steve Martin’s features. I almost walk home, but catch the bus halfway; I see the light at the end of the hallway which is encouraging. But when I find both locks locked, my worry increases. It doesn’t abate when I see a beautiful lasagna on the stove but the bedroom door closed. After telling Bryan of my concerns the previous night, I’m very surprised by this. Still, I don’t go out drinking or wandering and just work on the computer until midnight and crashing on the couch.
Tuesday, October 7 and I’m up at 7 am to do the reading for tonight’s class. I even go to the deli for a coffee and bagel. But when Bryan leaves for work, I crash on the couch until he calls at 11 am. What’s going on? I’m not tired, but I sure can sleep. After I shower, I work on the computer. I also get a phone call from NYU to schedule an interview for a job; this is very hopeful — I hope! I’m not in the mood for lunch, but my energy is high because of the mess in the house so I go to the gym for an hour to work it off. When I return, I do my paper for the evening. This class always makes me hyper, and this evening is no exception. Still, it’s nice to get two of my papers back, both with a grade of A. After class, a bunch of us go to an unnamed Japanese sushi place on Bond Street for a martini. Back at the apartment, Bryan has prepared the lasagna with a side of steamed carrots and a bottle of 2000 Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, which I don’t think is as good as the Merlot. We go for a drink at Dick’s around 10 pm, but then Bryan has to go to the bodega. For some reason I ask him to get me one also.
Wednesday, October 8 and I’m off the couch at 9 am, but Bryan sleeps all day. I go to the gym for half an hour before catching the subway to Penn Station and the noontime train to Cranford. The game plan was to visit my cousin Patty, but she’s out all day. Instead, mother and I have breakfast at the Rustic Mill, and get back just shortly before my father. He and I take a ride to see his accountant, then drive to Total Wines. Surprisingly, we see cousin Lorraine there with Aunt Jean in the car. I recommend the BV Merlot to her, while she persuades me to get a bottle from Kentwood (I think). I have macaroni with the folks, secure in the false knowledge that tivo will record Enterprise and The West Wing. I later find out that it didn’t find the first. I also drink almost the whole bottle of wine at dinner, since dad doesn’t have any and mom just a glass. So this leaves me quite drunk before leaving.
Thursday, October 9 and I get back in the apartment around 1 pm with coffee and a bagel; little did I know that Bryan would still be asleep there. I grab a shower and crash on the couch until he gets up, a little before 5 pm. Nothing much changes for the rest of the day, with a slight break for Must See TV before we go for a drink at Dick’s and dinner at Jade Mountain. I try their Iron Steak Jade Mountain special, which is much like a Mongolian beef. Naturally, there’s lots of MSG in the food, and we both pass out at midnight.
Friday, October 10 and it’s the 25th anniversary of my very first radio show, yes, T.V.O.D. But do I have anything to do with music today? Not at all. Indeed, my day starts with an interview with Steve Cohen, my former management instructor at NYU. He’s looking for a Man Friday, and although I don’t think I’m the person, I’ll start helping out at Living Independently on Wednesday until something happens at NYU. I stop at the Episcopal Church Center to say hi to Rick Miranda and see his boss there as well; I really should have stopped to see Tony+ but maybe I’m scared! I walk over to HSBC at noon to have lunch with Bryan at the diner and then take the bus back to the apartment. I’m really not in the mood to do anything but finally drag myself to the gym at 4 pm for an hour. Bryan gets home shortly after I do and then it’s a drink at Dick’s before 6 pm (which means before two-for-one). His desire is the bodega, no matter what I have to say, and so it’s just a couple of slices of pizza for me before I crash on the couch at 7:30 pm. Yes, 7:30 pm. I stay on the couch until morning.
Saturday, October 11 and Rosebud and I have slept for fourteen hours before getting up. But since there’s nothing special to do, why get up? I do a couple of loads of laundry so that I have gym shorts, and go there when Bryan gets up around 4 pm. There are a couple of street fairs in our area, one on Second Avenue and one on Park so it’s easy to go up one and down the other. It’s also probably the final sausage sandwich and zeppole of the season for us. We make a quick stop in Circuit City to look at receivers, but the final result is to utilize the equipment that we have. But first we must have dinner. Oh, wait, first a drink at Dick’s and then dinner at Shima at 8 pm. You may remember that Shima is this interesting cross-section of traditional and new wave Japanese, so that’s the direction we take. Both. Traditional and New York, New York with a double set of sake samples.
Once we return to the apartment, I get to work on the living room; it takes about three hours but the result is the Pioneer Elite receiver now powers the speakers. I’ll have to bring the JVC table radio in from Cranford to power the bedroom. After working on the living room, and playing with the computer, I go to sleep at 2 am.
Do you remember the film, “Trouble with Angels” with Hayley Mills? That’s what I feel like. Instead of graduating and moving on, I’ve decided to stay and be a nun!
Sunday, October 12 and off the couch at 11 am to write an intro to the August page. No gym, but lunch at the dining hall and lasagna in the afternoon. Hmmm, maybe that’s why I’m gaining weight again. I spend some time working on the website before heading off into the outside world. I need to take some pictures for the website since many of the restaurants that we eat at don’t have their own websites or pictures that I can use. Taking a break, I walk over to Virgin Records and hear music from Paul Oakenfold and somebody Van Dyck. But I don’t buy either of them there since I don’t have any cash on me. Later, taking another camera cruise, I stop into Norman’s where I get the Paul Oakenfold and the new A Perfect Circle, “Thirteenth Step.” By this time, Bryan is up so we head off for drinks with Bryan at Nowhere; well, the reason is that Marty has left a message stating he was going to Dick’s and I didn’t want to do that scene. But karma is interesting and at Nowhere there is a transvestite who has just moved here from Austin, named Chrissie. It’s her birthday, and Bryan and I actually get social. But after a few drinks we leave and he goes to bodega while I work on pix and crash on couch.
Monday, October 13 and Columbus Day, but does anyone celebrate it anymore? I have a 10 am interview with the human resources department at SCPS. I think it goes OK, but only just. Still, she is recommending me to the Center for Philanthropy for a job. Bryan isn’t going anywhere today, and so I spend most of the day going to the gym and working on the website. By 5 pm, it’s time to walk to class. Afterward, talking to Karen Livecchia, I realize that she would make a good substitute for me at Steve Cohen’s. I take a few hours off to drink, and catch Bryan on his cellular after midnight at Dick’s. I take the cab to join him there, and the rest of the evening is very blurry, including a walk to the Cock where he sees Louis. I crash on the couch when we return.
Tuesday, October 14 and while Bryan is off to work at a normal time, I tend to my hangover until 11 am. Then it’s up for a shower and the subway to join him at the diner for lunch. Not much happens for the rest of the afternoon, although I get a phone call from NYU to schedule an interview for tomorrow. I walk to class, where I receive a B+ on my last paper (down from a couple of A’s), and join the “kids” for drinks at Peculiar afterward. Then I meet Bryan for dinner at Pangea (calamari and penne, Greek salad and spaghetti Bolognese). Then back home.
Wednesday, October 15 and I don’t want to get up; why is that? I hate the thought of going to work. But up I go to see Steve Cohen, but mainly to say no again. I hope that the job works out for Karen, but it’s not for me. I stop at the Episcopal Church Center after leaving and have a nice chat with Tony Jewiss+ before visiting with Rick Miranda. While there, I see Brother William, who was let go from the clerical directory project while I was there. Even he has a job there. I also see Clay Morris+ and Brother Richard Biernacki before getting ready to leave. At the elevator, I actually see two job postings that I would be perfect for. I drop off a resume to Rick Rubin but don’t expect much from him. I have lunch with Bryan at KFC; we wanted more but my ATM card wasn’t revealing my true balance. I hate that bank. Back home, I rest and get ready for my interview with the Center for Philanthropy at 4 pm. I think it goes well, but how interesting that I am clamoring for an entry level position with no guarantee of even being a front runner. I’m drained when I get back and just watch a couple of episodes of Queer Eye and picking up the house. Bryan has to work late; it’s amazing how he whines about his life. If only he could see his good points. I had hoped to see The West Wing, but didn’t realize that the cable only held things for a week. So I listen to a few tracks from A Perfect Circle’s “Thirteenth Step” before watching Star Trek: Enterprise.
Thursday, October 16 and Bryan is up but I’m having a hard time of it. There’s no money and I’m just not feeling like I care. Every time I speak with Bryan, he’s in a bad mood. Not that I can blame him; his job is just hard, hard, hard. Plus, when I speak with him later in the day, HSBC has let four people go with no warning. The only thing I do all day is have the electrical box fixed in the living room, eat at the dining hall, and go to the gym around 4 pm. I’ve prepared the steaks for dinner, but as the evening progresses Bryan’s arrival gets later and later. I watch a few episodes of Queer Eye, listen to a couple of A Perfect Circle songs, and live versions of Carpet Crawlers and Supper’s Ready by Genesis. It makes me cry as usual. Bryan finally gets home close to 10 pm and I grill the steaks for us; I must say they are good. Our hope was to go for a drink at Dick’s, but of course the Westfield account is screwed up again. That leads to a massive argument between us even though it doesn’t even concern our relationship. Bryan is not the type to leave the rat in the corner alone. I finally fall asleep on the couch but he drags me into the bedroom later in the night.
Friday, October 17 and Bryan has been up and down most of the night, including a 5 am run to the deli for a bagel. It occurs to me that employers always ask for two weeks notices before an employee leaves, but rarely gives more than two hours notice before terminating that same employee. Nice, huh? And just another reason I think society is going to hell in a hand basket. I have to wait until almost noon to hear from my father; he’s going hunting and leaving me the truck and a credit card. I take the bus to meet Bryan; we stop at Odd Job for bulbs (but there aren’t any) and have lunch at Burger King. I take the bus back, stopping at Time Warner for a new remote and change the billing to my name, and Quest for blood work. I’m back at the apartment for an hour around 3 pm and get to the gym at 4 pm. In the evening, I take the subway to meet Bryan and take the express bus to Cranford at 6 pm. Before we call my mother to pick us up, we have a martini at the Riverside Tavern, my brother’s old drinking hole. The plan was to have dinner with my mother at the Garlic Rose in Cranford but instead they choose to have dinner at the Spanish Tavern. Boy, what a time. We have drinks at the bar first, where a man recognizes me because of my mother. The food is just great again; both of them have escargots while I have the mussels in green sauce. For entrées, I have the surf and turf again, Bryan has the paella and mom has chicken. We also have a great bottle of white Spanish wine. We’re a little tipsy when we leave and I’m asleep at 11 pm, while Bryan is up and down most of the night.
Saturday, October 18 and none of us are awake as early as we had planned. Therefore, we don’t leave Cranford until almost 11 am. Our drive to the cemetery takes almost two hours, and it takes Bryan and mom about an hour to plant before we leave for Atlantic City. We arrive there around 3 pm and have lunch at the Tun Tavern at the Sheraton hotel where the Miss America pageant is hosted. Although we had eaten there with Uncle Ralph, almost five years ago, it is definitely not recommended. Our purpose is Atlantique City, a huge antique show at the Convention Center, part of the Sheraton complex, where we stay until closing at 7 pm. Our drive back to Cranford takes shortly under two hours and we arrive before 9 pm. But instead of taking the bus Bryan and I have a drink at the Riverside and then at the Coach & Four. He takes the 10 pm bus while I go back and snack and have some wine. I fall asleep before midnight but he wakes me up around 2 am as he goes to sleep in the city.
Sunday, October 19 and I’m up at 7 am to take my mother to the Church of the Assumption in Roselle Park. Yes, this is the Roman Catholic church that my brother had his funeral mass. Both of the priests that were there at the time are gone, part of the church’s housecleaning of gay people, regardless of whether or not they’ve done anything wrong. My parents’ tradition is IHOP after mass, and I take my mother there. My cell phone seems to be broken, so we stop at Verizon at 10 am where I wind up with a new phone. We stop at Bob’s and Linens & Things, where I get a down comforter for fifty bucks. After a change at home, mom and I drive to Marshall’s but find nothing. I stop home around 3 pm to pack and then take the truck into the city and pick up Bryan to drive to Yonkers and Stew Leonard’s. Wow, this is some place; originally a dairy (they still make their own milk), it’s one of the largest supermarkets I’ve ever been to. They even have live animals to entertain the kids! We take a long drive home and then go to Pylos for dinner. This is the same owners at It’s Greek to Me; thankfully they’ve changed the name and spruced up the surroundings. It’s all quite up, up. The food is excellent with the exception of my chicken which is rather bland. We have a bottle of Retsina, but I can’t say Bryan will ever have it again! We’re back home and in bed by midnight.
Monday, October 20 and Bryan is up early; unfortunately, I am too as I have to take the truck out of its parking space by 9 am. So, that’s when I leave for Cranford with my old Yamaha equipment. I’m only home for less than an hour when I take the train back and go directly to Chase bank on Wall Street to cash my refund check from NYU. Then, I’m at the apartment from 1 pm to 5 pm working on paper about Felice Picano. I would just as soon take the night off from class, but it’s been cancelled for next week so I just drag my ass there. After, I take a pair of buses (wrong idea) and meet Bryan at Dick’s. At 10 pm, he goes to the bodega while I return home to make ravioli and lie in bed and watch episodes of Queer Eye before falling asleep around midnight.
Tuesday, October 21 and Bryan is up early but I’m having trouble getting up. Odd, huh? He leaves around 9 am and I putter away the morning, working on my paper. I have lunch at the dining hall and return to a nice phone conversation with Malaga Baldi. I put in the laundry around 2 pm and go to the gym for an hour around 3 pm. When I return, I finalize our drinking plans for tomorrow night and resend a job application to Rick Rubin. Not that I expect any answer. I put the final touches on to my paper and walk to class at 6 pm. A vibrant class as usual, and at the end I walk out with Heather and Loretta, finding out that she lives on 22nd Street near First Avenue. Bryan is awake when I get home and has the grill going, so it’s burgers and Luna di Luna wine in the purple bottle. Unfortunately, it’s not so great. Bryan wants to get up early and so falls asleep after 10 pm while I’m watching Queer Eye. He’s having nightmares while I’m drinking and playing on the computer so I join him in bed soon after and fall asleep at midnight. He gets up and down a few times during the night.
Wednesday, October 22 and we’re up at 6 am. Well, actually, it’s me since Bryan wanted to be up by then. But he doesn’t get up until almost 6:30 by which point I’m up and around. He leaves around 7:30 am, and I vacuum and watch part of Freshman Diaries (isn’t Neil cute?) and take a short nap before Bryan calls just after 9 am. I guess I’m really up by that point and spend the morning cleaning and doing some e-mail. I get a reply from Rick Rubin telling me I’m no match for the job — surprise, surprise. I go to the gym for an hour before a late lunch with Bryan at the diner and then back home. The shower curtain must be washed, but not much else is done before going uptown to the Episcopal Church Center. I’m going out for drinks with Tony Jewiss+, Rick Miranda and the Rev. Dr. Clayton L. Morris of the Office for Liturgy and Music. Joining us is Andrew J. N. Gary, Registrar, Office of the Bishop Suffragan for Chaplaincies and Margaret H. Stevens. Well, it’s a rollicking evening, for sure, at O’Neil’s. I start off by insulting Rick Rubin and move on from there. Of course, I have to hit Clayton Crawley, and it turns out he’s good friends with Clay Morris. Oh, well, might as well burn all the bridges while I’m at it. Bryan arrives about halfway through and when we leave we go directly to Dick’s for another drink. I think. Actually, things get very vague after this. I do know that he eventually goes to the bodega, which depresses me enough to throw the phone across the room and leave. I have no destination, so when I see the M101 going north, I hop on and take it all the way to the end at 125th Street in Spanish Harlem. It’s very cold out and I’m more and more depressed as I get on the M15 returning down Second Avenue. I have a final drink at Dick’s and a slice of pizza before locking myself in bedroom. At least from what I remember.
Thursday, October 23 and I don’t remember much about the morning. I seem to have enough strength to go up to meet Bryan for lunch at the diner. In the afternoon, I don’t do much except watch the previous evening’s episode of The West Wing. Notable is the President’s learning of the meaning of the Korean word “han” which has something to do with great sadness. Bryan gets home at 6 pm and we go for haircuts after the news. In a big mistake, we go for drinks at Dick’s and have a couple of martinis, and an argument by 9 pm. This means that I go for dinner alone at Pizzeria Uno and have a couple of glasses of red wine with my salad and pizza. Bryan calls while I’m there and we make up; well, whatever, because he comes by and gets the last of the money to go to the bodega. The reason for the argument in the first place. I go directly home and wind up in bed and asleep. I don’t remember any details.
Friday, October 24 and I’m up at 5 am for a couple of hours. When I return to sleep, I stay there until 10 am, along with Bryan who is rather late for work. I shower while he gets ready and then go to the gym at 11 am and lunch at the dining hall when I return. In the afternoon, I do e-mail, particularly responding with Barb Gossett, who invites me to schedule an interview next week, and Malaga Baldi, who loves the website! Ah, but good news never lasts for me; I later get another e-mail from Gossett, with information that she cannot formally interview me until five days after internal applicants can apply. Plus, she’s going out of town so proposes November 10 as a possible day. The only saving grace, possibly, is that I retain the time in the guise of a student interview and hope that I can ethically skirt the subject during it. My energy depleted, I lie in bed and watch the previous week’s episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, not a very good one. Plus, the season hasn’t adequately maintained the overall plot of “the expanse” leaving things somewhat confused. Bryan gets home around 6 pm, and persuades me out to dinner. Our plan was the tapas restaurant on First Avenue, but it’s already crowded. Thus begins a long walk through the East Village looking for somewhere to eat. This can be dangerous, but this evening it’s actually fun. We finally wind up in Little India, and find that La Madre (I think that’s how it’s spelled) has closed and is now a fabulous Thai restaurant, the Secrets of Thai (www.secretsthai.com). Obviously home-cooking on some level; I watch the somewhat chubby cook tasting as he prepares the dishes in the same way that my grandmother would. The resulting flavors and textures are a tribute to his vigilance. Appetizers include “silver bags” of ground chicken and shrimp with plum sauce (basically shumai) and koong salong (shrimp in rice dough with sweet and sour sauce), both $5. Entrées are Geyser shrimp in a clay pot with mixed vegetables and vermicelli noodles, and the red curry duck with pineapple, eggplant, potatoes, bell pepper and basil in coconut milk, each $13. The whole meal comes to $75 and we leave a $20 tip. I must mention the Monsoon Valley red wine that Bryan has; just terrible! He stops at the bodega on the way home and I go right to bed. I attempt to watch the Ellen Degeneres special, but the digital artifacts are too distracting so I watch the Katie Couric special on Elizabeth Smart instead. Then half of So Graham Norton before falling asleep.
Saturday, October 25 and I’m up at 8 am to switch rooms with Bryan. I had hoped to spend the day working on the website, but my depression has grown deeper and I spend most of the morning asleep on the couch, listening to Kerry Waldron Nolan on NPR’s Weekend Edition. This has as much to do with Malaga Baldi and the Felice Picano analysis as anything, and I fall back asleep for awhile. I go for lunch at the NYU dining hall; hmmm, they have salmon, Maryland crab cakes and more … oh, it must be parents’ weekend. I work on the computer for the rest of the afternoon with the exception of a walk to Circuit City. I also make one of my secret marinades for our FreshDirect steaks (ok, one ingredient is the Jewish/Chinese mix) and asparagus … hey, that Beaulieu wine makes an appearance again. Highly recommended, and don’t spend more than ten bucks on it. It would be great to say that we just go to sleep but that really doesn’t happen. But I claim the bedroom and scan my television choices. As our cable company, Time Warner, says, “Now anything is possible.” But are all things are possible? Ooops, don’t get theological on me! I begin by watching “EdTV” written by Ganz and Babaloo Mandel and directed by Ron Howard, with Ellen DeGeneres in a character role that really carries the movie. Otherwise Woody Harrelson always annoys me. Still, Matthew Mac, Ma, Mecon … yeah right … he and Jenna Elfman make it a delightful romantic comedy.
It strikes me, somewhat self-servingly and obnoxiously, that I have never worked for a company where I didn’t help increase the overall profits and visibility. Unfortunately, depression, at least the ups and downs associated with it, definitely curtail my abilities. I told Bryan today that he could erase my diaries if he wanted, but that really would be a shame.
Sunday, October 26 and I get up at 8 am for coffee and more work on the computer. But Bryan doesn’t wake up until almost noon, when we both go across the street for brunch at the dining hall. We don’t do much for the early part of the afternoon, particularly as Netscape has once again decided to blow up. So I go to the gym for an hour while Bryan gets ready for our walk uptown to his office. I might mention that I view the new Microsoft combination cordless keyboard and mouse, which I hope will be on the future purchases schedule. Then it’s a 13 block walk up to the Episcopal Church of St. Thomas to hear a performance of John Cage carillon music. Well, this doesn’t change my opinion of Cage, which is to say it’s like medicine — good for you but distasteful. Even seeing the organist and his (presumed) boyfriend doesn’t make it much better. I had hoped we’d see at least one celebrity in the crowd, considering it was the first time it had been performed in decades. We take the bus back home and, being the pasta specialist, I make linguine with chorizo and green olives. Having no money (Bryan has put it all on his credit card bill), we stay home and watch the DVD of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. One wishes this were a director’s cut or something special, but the running textual commentary is quite interesting. While taking an intermission, I get a phone call from my mother to tell me that Aunt Connie has passed away and Jason has broken his arm. She notes that I don’t seem upbeat, and that certainly is the truth! Even Bryan gets a little perturbed at me, and falls asleep while I finish watching the film. I finish the pasta at 11 am while I type these notes.
Monday, October 27 and I work on e-mail for most of the day. The plan was to meet Karyn Reid, yes, the very first disc jockey I ever met, in the evening. But it turns out that she is free by 3 pm, so I meet her at her hotel in Times Square and we take a very wet walk up Fifth Avenue, going to St. Patrick’s, Rockefeller Center, and finally winding up for drinks at Planet Hollywood when the rain gets too bad. It’s absolutely great seeing her; she’s an amazing woman. Bryan has forgotten his keys, so I meet him at work at 6 pm and we return to the apartment, grabbing dinner together at the dining hall until it closes at 8 pm. Then it’s back home, watching Antiques Roadshow and crashing early.
Tuesday, October 28 and we’re up early so Bryan can get to work. I’m cleaning out old e-mail today and came across this quote from Bob Dylan, sent by Peggy Garry: “May god bless and keep you always; may your wishes all come true; may you always do for others and let other do for you. May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung, and may you stay ... forever young. (c) Bob [Yes, she remembered her copyright symbol!] Bill Abbate sent me an interesting job opportunity; I sent a resume but expect no results. It’s for the Sirius satellite service. One of their channels is OutQ (“the nation’s only fulltime station for the GLBT community”) and they’re looking for radio producers. I send it to John McMullen, their program director, and even send a copy to Michael Alago to sense the interest. I go to the gym at 4 pm, and then hoof it to class. Michael Anderson, editor at the NY Times Book Review, is our guest speaker. I have some very specific feelings about him. He has his own taste in things, and that’s ok; but I don’t think it’s necessary to call Oprah’s taste in books “execrable” — particularly as I think that Raelli King is so pleasant. And arrogant? Not as arrogant as I am by any stretch. How to get a book on Oprah? Give it to me. Bryan is awake when I get back and has made cosmopolitans and pasta for us. Then we lie in bed and fall asleep at 11 pm.
Wednesday, October 29 and we’re up early. I chat with my mother before she leaves for Aunt Connie’s funeral. Her cousin Anna’s husband Art also passed away yesterday, so it’s not a great week for her. Still, she puts $2000 in the bank for rent, and another $300 to get us through the week. I make myself a bowl of pasta around 2 pm. The email continues to pour in and I spend the whole day working on it. Bryan gets out of work at 5:30 pm and I meet him at the subway station since I got him a free pack of Salem cigarettes. We relax until close to 8 pm since we have gotten tickets through Audience Extra to see Omnium Gatherum at the Variety Arts Theatre at 110 Third Avenue. Our feeling is that the premise is almost untenable but the actors make it very entertaining. There are some very broad caricatures; in particular, the hostess is obviously Martha Stewart (a bit more deranged and ditzy), Tom Clancy, Edward Sayed, Christopher Hitchens (of the New Republic), a whiny PETA activist, a strong black woman, a WTC fireman, and an Islamic terrorist (who arrives near the end of the play). I’m reminded of Stephen King’s “Needful Things” — one knows that the storeowner is the devil, and wonders why it takes King 800 pages for the denouement! In this case, all the characters are dead, having just been killed in one of the towers. Back home, Bryan makes us burgers and we settle into bed. On the digital video recorder is a new episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. The West Wing episode — “Constituency of One” — Guest starring Gary Cole as Robert Russell, Mary-Louise Parker as Amy Gardner. In the back corridors, Will (Joshua Malina) gets an offer to be the new top aide to the newly approved Vice President (guest star Gary Cole, “Midnight Caller”). “You can shape the next presidency from the ground up,” Russell (Gary Cole) tells him. Meanwhile, a conservative Democratic senator (Tom Skerritt) is holding up military promotions and Josh is having difficulty getting him to change his mind. Laura Innes (NBC’s “ER”) directs. This is the first season without creator Aaron Sorkin, who previously was a one-man show when it came to the writing. I’m thinking of dreams, where each individual is but a manifestation of the dreamer. Now, each character is different than the others, and there is a lack of team spirit that wasn’t there in previous seasons. Having said that, it’s a good avenue for the season’s playbook. Bryan falls asleep during it, but gets up at midnight, and so I can’t fall asleep. I work on these notes before going to sleep at 1 am.
Thursday, October 30 and we are both up rather early; indeed, Bryan is already at work by 8 am. Most of my morning is spent developing ideas for my meeting with Dr. Barbara Gossett at 1 pm; she is the new Assistant Dean of Graduate Student Life at NYU and I hope that I may be her new assistant. But first we must …
“God doeth all things well.” And so does Rick Whitaker, author of “The First Time I met Frank O’Hara — Reading Gay American Writers” published by Four Walls Eight Windows. His agent is Malaga Baldi and he is speaking at Chelsea Barnes & Noble at 7 pm. The jacket flap describes it as “part reading journal, part literary criticism” — and I might add, part historical analysis — I am quite moved by the fact that he doesn’t take the easy road. He read from a letter that Walt Whitman sent to the family of a boy dying from the Civil War. During the reading, he simply looks up and says that he might not be able to finish. He won our hearts. After the reading, I was pleased to meet his agent, Malaga Baldi and his publisher, John.
I had promised a reward to Bryan for coming, although by the end of the reading he was as converted as I was. We walked to Dick’s and then returned home. Well, actually, Bryan walked down to the bodega while I change and then went downstairs to have dinner at Café Deville (www.cafedeville.citysearch.com).
A lobster bisque ($6.50) along with half a dozen oysters, including a pair each of Peconic Bay, Fanny Bay and Kumamoto ($2 each). Steak tartare ($14) and a glass of Chateau Clarke ($12) and a glass of Heidsick champagne ($12) for a total of ony $62 (plus $18 tip). Interestingly, I talk with a head waiter, the disc jockey, and a few other employees to confirm what I had already suspected. This is a very self-aware crew who needs to serve a self-serving crew of diners.
Friday, October 31 and Halloween but also a normal day; I’m up at 9 am, very hung over, go up to have lunch at the diner, and stop at Circuit City for the Logitech keyboard/mouse duo to replace the Microsoft. I also get a few cheap DVDs, including Donnie Darko, Quills, and Beat the Devil. I go to the gym at 4 pm; Bryan does pumpkin when he gets back. Yes, this holiday, it’s the HULA-ween dancer (see pictures). At 7 pm, we walk to the West Village to see the Village Halloween Parade. We’ve a prime viewing location, directly opposite the NY1 camera crew, and stay for about an hour. Our plan was to watch the whole thing from EJ’s Luncheonette, but only go there for the food. Bryan has breaded fish pieces, while I have the Cajun chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries … and two chocolate milkshakes for both of us. We walk back home by midnight to start watching Donnie Darko. Perhaps we were short on money, because otherwise why wouldn’t Bryan have gone to the bodega?