Wednesday, August 31, 2011

David Guetta Feat. Jennifer Hudson- Night Of Your Life (Full Song)

Photo Source: madetobenow

Today's "Song of the Day" is an early favorite from David Guetta's "Nothing But the Beat," which I downloaded yesterday. This one features the vocals of Jennifer Hudson and I just love everything about it, especially the hook! I think Guetta's got another winner with this one...stay tuned for something on the album...

Nothing But the Beat - David Guetta

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Song of the Day - Mr. Jones - Counting Crows

Photo Source: Juicy Bands

I was doing an article on new music releases last night for Gather (check it out here) and one of the items coming out today is a DVD/CD by Counting Crows of a live performance of their entire first album, "August & Everything After." One of the songs off that album is "Mr. Jones," a song that was played heavily back in 93' when it was out. Now I've never considered myself a big fan of the group, but I used to love this song. It's kinda folksy rock and roll and it's got some great lyrics. Check it out:

Mr. Jones - August and Everything After

August 29th/30th, 2011 - Late Night Blabbering

Boy am I in trouble! It is 1:30 AM and I am wide awake once again. I should be sleeping and I will once I finish this post. There are exactly seven days left of summer vacation for me and I need to get into a better sleep mode, though it’s not gonna be easy.

Ending summer with a bang!

After the past few days of being stuck in the house, the weather has turned beautiful. I’ve done most of the cleanup in my yard and though I have to go to school in the morning for a bit, I am ready to enjoy these last few days of my first summer off. Of course that involves clubbing, hehe…going to Splash tomorrow with my friend Ivan and Circus Wednesday, Splash again on Thursday and of course the big show on Fire Island this weekend. Come Monday morning I am going to be sooooo depressed, lol.

Some fortune…good and bad

I had two hits of luck today, both having to do with money, and one was good, the other bad. The good news had to do with my electricity being out in the downstairs of my house. I said yesterday that I had to call an electrician today to fix the baffling problem, and I did. I called Dew Edward & Son right here in Patchogue and they came with good news. Apparently, there are three electrical wires coming into my house from the transformer across the street and one of them got disconnected. It was just hanging there and I couldn’t believe none of us saw it yesterday. Long story short…LIPA’s got to fix it and these very nice gentlemen didn’t charge me a penny! Thanks guys!

Now on to the bad…since I was home cleaning the yard all day, I figured I’d take my car in for some much needed checking up. Another long story short…I needed brakes, two tires, a tune-up and an oil change…grand total: $1,000!!!! WTF? Thank God I have a credit card, and I’m not going to get sick over it. At least my car is safe and running great.

Writing, writing and more writing

I’ve been in a zone tonight. I was invited over my neighbor and friend Terry’s house for dinner earlier. Her daughter Margaret was trying to save some rapidly defrosting food she’d had in her freezer (no power!) and they needed help eating it, lol. I got home a little after 9 and I’ve been writing ever since. It’s funny, but my eyes were very droopy when I got home, but now, after hours of writing, I’ve become less and less tired. Once this is over, though, I’m headed into the shower and then taking a nosedive into my bed. I just hope I can sleep!

Well that’s all I’ve got for now. Here’s a video of Lady Gaga’s much talked about performance from last night’s VMA’s, which I missed. It’s really the only part of the show I’ve seen so far and I liked it. Hopefully I’ll get my TV back before MTV stops repeating it….


I need for you to know
I need to be more clear
My signals were not enough
And so now clarity will bring understanding
I need for you to know

You need to leave me be
Allow me my own time
To decide where to go next
Take my cues and understand
That you just need to leave me be

I’m a man striving for my own happiness
Though I have no idea what that looks like
Career? Wealth? Friendship? Or love?
I just don’t know
But I continue to strive for my own happiness

I need to right my own ship
And set my own life straight
Lots of soul searching to do
And thoughts to be thought
So I can right my own ship

Right now I’m all about myself
Working on the things
That get me through my days and my nights
In hopes of a clearer tomorrow
Right now I’m all about myself

I’m not so sure what you see in me
That makes me so special in your eyes
I feel I have nothing to give, lost in my world
Enjoying yet dreading the solitude of my life
I don’t really know what you see in me

Love will come again one day, I’m sure
And I’ll know it when I feel it
It may sweep me up unexpectedly
Or be right there where it always was
But love will come again one day

I want you to understand
That right now I have no love to pursue
None for you, nor for anyone else
No time for love, only for life
This I need you to understand

Should the day arrive
When I believe that you’re the one
I’ll come to you with arms wide open
And rejoice in the joy of love again
Should the day arrive

Just don’t pin your hopes up
There’s no promise in my words
Who’s to say anyway
That you’d still be around
Just don’t pin your hopes up

Please don’t dream a fruitless dream
Take heed my words
Love has no rhyme or reason
And one way love is a hopeless love
So don’t dream a dream that may never happen

Monday, August 29, 2011

Song of the Day - Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles

Photo Source: Spectrvm

I can think of no better song for such a beautiful day, one that comes after such an ugly one. I remember once when I was deejaying a party, it had been raining all day and by the time the outdoor party had begun the sun started peeking through the clouds and I played this song. The smiles on everyone's faces at hearing the song was as wonderful as anything! Enjoy the Beatles' classic "Here Comes the Sun":

Here Comes the Sun - Abbey Road

Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 28th, 2011 - After Irene

It’s Sunday evening and boy am I tired! Irene has come and gone and though it wasn’t nearly as bad as all the hype, it was bad enough. The wind gusts are still strong out there, much stronger than I would have thought, and hopefully all that has fallen off my trees to this point will be all that falls.


Irene wasn’t nearly as scary as I’d anticipated it to be. As I said this morning, I slept right through the dark hours of its ferocity, and though there were harrowing moments, the sunlight made it that much easier to bear. The winds and rain lasted until about noon and when it was done I went for a walk to assess the damage before starting my own clean-up. It wasn’t bad at all: trees down here and there, lots of branches everywhere and a couple of damaged signs and whatnot, but I’d say we really escaped this one pretty much unscathed.

The Cleanup

One thing I can say for sure this evening is that although I love my house, I really don’t know how much longer I can stay here. Owning a home is a big responsibility, financially, emotionally and physically. I got to experience the physical part to the hilt today as I began cleaning up the mess that Irene left behind.

I think that out of all my neighbors, I got hit the worst. I felt like I was the only one out there clearing brush all freaking day long. The first order of business was that giant limb that was blocking my car in the driveway. I have a chainsaw, but it broke just last week when I was cutting down another tree, so I had to use a good old-fashioned hacksaw to break that thing into a million little pieces before I could move it out of the way.

I labored for hours, eventually calling my friend and neighbor Blanche for some assistance. Who knew that a PLU like Blanche would have not one, but two brand-spanking-new sharpened hacksaws and an ax! He and I finished chopping that sucker up until it could be moved totally out of the way, but it took a third person, my brother Dave, to help get that still heavy last piece moved. To the two of them, I say thanks!

After they left there was still plenty to do. I had to pull about 30 plants from the garage that I had placed in there for safety. I swept all of the debris out of my driveway and I about four hours after I started I was done for the day. After a quick visit from my friend Dita, I crashed and slept for a long while. It was frustrating having to do all of that work by myself, not to mention the physical demand it placed on my aching back (which is still sore after the spill I took in the city two weeks ago!), but at least I can get out and there'll be that much less to do in the coming days.

Through it all I kept thinking that when Joe and I first bought this house, it was for the two of us. I don’t think I was ever meant to own a home by myself. It's just too much work for one person. I’ve got to keep patient, keep my mind on my goal of losing the house for my own well-being, as well as other reasons. We shall see!


I admit it; I definitely lucked out with not having lost power from the storm. Well, not totally lucky. Strangely, the electricity in my living room and my kitchen are still out and I can’t for the life of me figure out what happened. My brother, who knows a little about electric, checked out my fuse box and all the wires going to and from it and even he was baffled. Blanchie thinks it might have been a lightning strike. In any case it’s weird, and it’s causing me to miss the MTV VMA’s, which I had hoped to cover in some fashion. Now I have to call an electrician in the morning…can anyone say “mo money, mo money, mo money?”

So now it’s almost 11 and I’m wide awake. I’m supposed to go to school in the morning one last time before heading back for the year next week, but their email system is shut down and I don’t know if there will be anyone there. It’s an hour’s drive from here so I’m not going to chance it unless I’m sure. We’ll have to wait and see…in the meantime, I write…

Here are some pictures I took today:

The infamous limb where it broke off from the tree

A clearer shot of the limb behind my car

What greeted me on my deck right after the storm

My driveway

What I had to chop up

Song of the Day - Powerless - Nelly Furtado

Photo Source: Photobucket: NellyFurtadoArgentina

I can't think of a more appropriate song to feature today, the day that Hurricane Irene slammed into New York and beyond. Aside from the obvious loss of electrical power, a hurricane such as this makes you realize how truly powerless we all are when it comes to Mother Nature. I only hope and pray that no one gets injured or worse and that damage across the area is minimal.

"Powerless" is off of Nelly Furtado's stellar sophmore album, "Folklore," and it's one of my favorite songs of hers. It's beautiful and melodic and the lyrics are pretty "powerful"... Enjoy!

Powerless (Say What You Want) [With Spanish Lyrics] - Powerless (Say What You Want) - Single


Paint my face in your magazines
Make it look whiter than it seems
Paint me over with your dreams
Shove away my ethnicity
Burn every notion that I may have a flame inside to fight
And say just what is on my mind
Without offending your might

Cuz this life is too short to live it just for you
But when you feel so powerless what are you gonna do
So say what you want
Say what you want

I saw her face outside today
Weatherworn, looking all the rage
They took her passion and her gaze and made a poster
Now it’s moccasins we sport
We take the culture and contort
Perhaps only to distort what we are hiding

Cuz this life is too short to live it just for you
But when you feel so powerless what are you gonna do
But say what you want
Say what you want

Hey you, the one, the one outside, are you ever gonna get in, get in
Hey you, the one that don’t fit in, how ya, how ya gonna get in
Hey you, the one outside, are you ever gonna get in with your
Broken teeth, broken jaw, broken mojo
Yeah, this life is too short to live it just for you
But when you feel so powerless, what are you gonna do

Cuz this life is too short to live it just for you
But when you feel so powerless, what are you gonna do
Cuz this life is too short to live it just for you
But when you feel so powerless, what are you gonna do
Say what you want, say what you want, say, say, say

Cuz this life is too short,
just for you

August 28th, 2011: 8:21 AM - Irene Update

8:21 AM

Irene is officially here! I woke up about an hour ago in a sweat because the power was out and my air conditioner had gone off. Luckily there hadn’t been too much noise during the night, or if there was I didn’t hear it. After checking a few light switches and confirming there was no power, I headed to each window to check out what was going on outside.

Oh, there’s a lot of wind out there, alright, but the winds luckily are not sustained. Every once in awhile the gusts are pretty strong…I have no idea how strong, but my trees are all dancing to the wind. So far, so good, except the power of course, but from what I’ve heard, Irene’s just about halfway done with us so we’ve still got a few hours left of her.

Upon further investigation I discovered that there is a loose wire hanging from one of my trees and across the front yard. That must be why I have no power, at least on the main floor. You see, I went to check the basement about a half an hour ago and out of habit I flicked the light switch on and to my surprise the lights went on. I’ve also got power upstairs, too, strangely enough, so at least I got to make a pot of coffee, thankfully.

I am now in my front office, with the ac on keeping cool and my eyes are separated, one on my computer screen and the other on the swaying trees right outside my window. I don’t know how long I will stay up here because it feels like I shouldn’t be up here at all. I will keep that eye out…

The only other thing so far happened just before I discovered there was electricity upstairs. I tried lying back down on the sofa for a few z’s and within minutes I was awakened suddenly by a large crash. A 20-foot limb came clean off a tree in the backyard, crashing down right between my car and my deck. Phew! Big crisis averted, for now. It’s not going to be an easy clean-up, but it’ll all be worth it as long as that’s all there is.

I hope whatever power I do have stays on…I’m typing extra fast just in case…stay safe everyone and hopefully I’ll catch you later…

August 28th, 2011 : 12:41 AM Irene Update

12:41 AM
I know it's dark, but here's one of the trees at the end of my driveway, with a streetlamp shining behind.

Well I’m all cozy in my living room downstairs now, with my pillow and blankie on the couch and the AC on full blast. I figured it’s safer to sleep on the ground floor in case a tree should fall on my house. I heard an 11 year-old kid somewhere down south was killed today when a tree fell on to his apartment building, and so I made the decision to spend the night downstairs. Before heading to bed, I decided to take a look at the weather update so I know what to expect.

Of course, there’s wall to wall coverage on virtually every channel, which I don’t mind at this point, but finding the actual forecast took a lot of patience. Here’s what they’re saying for the NY Metropolitan Area:

The northernmost part of the storm is already here, which is evident outside. The winds have picked up and it’s pouring at the moment. They’re saying we’re getting the strongest winds so far here on LI, with gusts already over 40mph. The weather’s going to steadily worsen until about 3 AM, when the hurricane force winds and rain will officially start arriving. The bad stuff is supposed to last for nine hours, until about noon, and then things will dissipate to calm by afternoon.

Though I’m not scared at the moment, I am afraid of what’s to come during the night. I stepped outside before for a cigarette and the trees were swaying back and forth as if they were blades of grass. It made me realize just hopw small we really are. Well, I’m going to TRY and get some sleep before I’m woken up again by what I know will be horrible noises. I just hope the power stays on! Be safe!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

August 27th, 2011 - Nervous Anticipation

Photo Source: NY Times

I just finished writing a piece on Y!CN about the here and now, waiting for the Hurricane Irene to arrive. (You can check it out here.) It’s taken me all day to get into the writing mode and at the moment I feel as if I could go on for hours and hours, piece after piece, but who knows how long the power will last?

Nervous Anticipation

Truth be told, I’m starting to get a little scared. Everything’s eerily quiet outside and I’m here all alone. For the past couple of days I’ve been making fun of some of the people who’ve been proclaiming doomsday with Irene, and now that it’s close I feel a little foolish for not taking them too seriously before.

I’ve experienced two hurricanes in my life, Belle in 1977 and Gloria in 1985. That was a long time ago and back then I lived at home with my parents and my five siblings. I guess you kind of forget what it’s like after so long. Now I’m alone, and I’ve got a lot at stake. Out of all my friends who also sit at home alone right now, I’ve got the most potential for disaster. I have so many trees on my property and at least three or four of them hover over my house. I think I’ll be speaking with the Man Upstairs tonight!

Photo Source: Facebook

Don’t Believe the Hype

I need to make a little rant, just a little one…it’s about “Hype”…I can’t stand it!!!! Every time there’s a weather story to report, they’ve got coverage of every angle, wall to wall, 24/7. It happens everytime we get a snowstorm and now that Irene’s a coming, it’s all over the place, scaring people to death.

Yes, I realize that a hurricane is a serious weather and coverage is warranted, but I’ve seen the craziness all this hype does to people. They use words like “ferocious” and “menacing,” terrorizing” and “vicious.” How do they expect people to react? Especially old people! I mean, c’mon!

I know it will never change, but I just needed to get that off my chest.

Photo Source: Huffington PostIt’s Definitely Approaching

Well, since the time I started writing this the rains have gotten heavier and the wind is starting to pick up. I’m not going to lie….my stomach has lots of butterflies a fluttering and I’m scared. I’ll never forget Belle, that hurricane in 77’. It was a Category 1, I believe, but it came in during the dead of night. Those howling winds and the sounds of things blowing around and the lights going off send chills up my spine just thinking about it. Gloria came in the middle of the day, and although it was a bad one, it wasn’t nearly as frightening because of its arrival time.

They say that Irene will be here around 8 in the morning. If that’s the eye, or the center of the storm, that means some howling and such will come during the dark hours. I don’t think I’m going to get much sleep tonight and neither are many of my fellow Long Islanders and New Yorkers…

Oh, and my friend Nancy Lou just informed me that there’s also a tornado watch in effect for Suffolk County, my county, until 5AM. Great! Just great!!!

To any of you in the path of Irene, please stay safe!

Song of the Day - "Come on Irene"...I mean "Eileen" - Dexy's Midnight Runners

Photo Source: nosvc

Okay, so I know the name in the song is not exactly right, but for some reason I've been singing this song in my head with the word "Irene" in it. Anyway, it's almost showtime for the wicked Irene....stay tuned...

Come on Eileen - Too-Rye-Ay (Expanded Edition)

Photo Source: Guardian UK

Friday, August 26, 2011

August 26th, 2011 - A hurricane and a colonoscopy: loads of fun!

Photo Source: Press TV

Long Island is in the upper middle of the map....yikes!

It’s Friday night and the big storm is looming! Yes, hurricane hysteria is here and I say let’s just get on with it already! I’ve had a pretty crappy couple of days and come hell or high water, I’m going to party tonight…

Ugh, Men!

All week long I’ve been anticipating today’s procedure (a colonoscopy) and yesterday’s, um, prep for it, and so my mind has been somewhat preoccupied from the other issues in my life. I don’t know, but dating men is the last thing on my mind these days…I’m just not feeling it…and yet suitors seem to be coming out of the woodwork for my attention. I’ve never been very good at letting anybody down, and though I’m trying my best, it all just gives me a big headache!

I’m starting to think I may become celibate and not ever seek out anyone for any sort of companionship, sexual, romantic or otherwise. Oh, who am I kidding? Maybe once school starts and all of this weather nastiness is over I’ll be in a better mood and…

Anyway, I’m going to Splash tonight for one last hurrah before the big one arrives sometime tomorrow night and I’m going to do my darndest to have a good time.

Prep Not Fun

Yesterday was the prep for today’s procedure and what everyone told me was spot on! I had to fast the entire day and around six o’clock I had to begin “the prep.” The name of the powdered stuff I had to drink had the word “bowel” in it, so you can imagine what it does. By the time I started it I was so hungry I could have eaten a horse, but I digress…

I had to drink this 16 ounce mixture twice, at six and at then again at two in the morning. My friend Ozzie came by to hang with me beforehand and we went to get me some yum-yums (lime jello and chicken broth! Tempting, right?) to dine on for the evening. Oz was pretty good until after I took the first dose and my stomach started grumbling, and then the little jokes started coming. Sheesh, I know that this particular procedure touches on the more embarrassing things about the body, but… Hehe... Before long I had to kick him out and the rest of the evening was spent….aw, you can just imagine!

Photo Source: Medline Plus

The Colonoscopy

Nancy Lou, who I dedicated today’s “Song of the Day” to earlier, showed up at my house at 10:15 sharp and we headed out to the surgical center in Shirley. I really wasn’t too nervous because I was just thinking of the nice big breakfast he and I would have afterwards. The whole thing lasted about two hours and again, what people told me was dead on. The anesthesia they gave me put me into the most blissful sleep and before I knew it, I was eating Lorna Doones and drinking a can of fruit juice, groggy in my bed.

I had a polyp, which was removed, and justified my going for the procedure in the first place. The doctor told me that all polyps eventually become cancerous (in about 10 years), so I’m happy I didn’t wait the four years to have it done.

A Vivid Anesthesiec Dream

I know, I know, anasthesiec is not a word, but since I was under it when I had this weird and vivid dream, I just wanted to use my own made-up word. Any-who, in the dream I was in a nightclub with my mother (very strange!). The club was similar to an after-hours place in Jackson Heights I used to go to years back, like an apartment turned into a disco. We were dancing, something like the Watusi, and I saw ‘him’ and three friends sitting on a chair across the room. He looked over at me and then turned and walked away, down the stairs. I looked over at my mom, who was still getting down, oblivious to the scene and boom, I woke up! So real and so weird!

Irene’s a Comin’

Well it’s been 26 years since we’ve had a major hurricane hit Long Island and this one looks like a sure thing. Wall to wall coverage of it is making everyone frenzied. There’s not a battery or a bottle of water to be had anywhere. Details are sketchy, as they always are with these things, but it looks like we’re right in the track of this thing as of tomorrow night and into Sunday.

Of course, I am a little worried. As I said the other day, I’ve got a lot of old, gnarly trees around my house and even the last thunderstorm that hit us I lost several huge branches. I did a lot of prep work today and I’m going to finish tomorrow by putting all of my plants and loose yard stuff in my garage. I did my shopping, and other than that there’s little I can do but wait and sit it out.

Local municipalities are taking this thing seriously, though. I got a phone call earlier that they are issuing a mandatory evacuation for all points south of Montauk Highway in Patchogue, my town, which is only about a mile and a half from where I live. So even though I don’t have to evacuate, my friend Blanchie does. Yikes! At least we have at least almost another full day to prep, and like I said, all anyone can do at this point is wait it out and hope for the best.

In the meantime, I think I’m going to have a bona fide hurricane party tomorrow night, you know, with lots of booze and a few good friends. Should be a fun way to ring in Irene! Tomorrow’s gonna be a busy day! I’ll keep you posted…

Song of the Day - Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler

Photo Source: badmovieart

Did I ever tell you you're my hero?

Today's "Song of the Day" is by special request from a good friend of mine. I promised Nancy Lou I'd spotlight this song one day this week, and in my mind I wanted it to be today. You see, I haven't known Nance too long, and in the short time I have known him, he's shown himself worthy of the title 'friend.'

Today I am going for my very first colonoscopy, something I never thought I'd do at my age, but my doctor told me it wouldn't be a bad idea and he convinced me to go for it, so here I am. Nancy, upon hearing the news, immediately offered to take me, and for that I am grateful.

Nancy Lou is an avid reader of this blog and the other day he asked me when I was going to quit the "Madonnathon" I had been running last week.

"Why don't you do some Bette?" he asked.

"Okay, Nance, I like Bette. What song do you want me to put?"

The answer is right below. "Wind Beneath My Wings" is probably one of the most classic songs ever recorded. It's beautiful and sad and everything in between. Of course, it's from the movie "Beaches," one of the biggest tearjerkers of all time, and the soundtrack is awesome, as well. So Nance, this one's for you! Enjoy!

Experience the Divine - Greatest Hits (Deluxe Version) - Bette Midler

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Song of the Day - Aaliyah Tribute, Ten Years Later

Ten years ago today, a promising young career was suddenly cut short when a plane carrying 22 year old R&B singer Aaliyah and her entourage from the Bahamas to Florida crashed shortly after takeoff. They had been filming a video for the single "Rock the Boat" and had wrapped up early, so they decided to leave the night before their scheduled departure.

The plane they took was smaller than the one they had taken down there and it was overloaded with baggage by over 700 pounds. It also carried one more passenger than it was legally allowed to carry. Unfortunately, all of the extra weight proved too much for the small plane and the resulting crash took the lives of Aaliyah and eight others on board, including the pilot.

Aaliyah was just beginning to hit it big at the time of her death. She'd recorded three albums, the last of which ("Aaliyah") had been released just a month before her death. She'd also begun to dip into the acting field, appearing in the films "Romeo Must Die" in 2000 and "Queen of the Damned," which was released a year after her death.

Aaliyah worked a lot with hot producer Timbaland, whose signature sounds could be heard in both of the songs featured here today. The first one I always loved for its thumping, slow sounds and the sampling of a baby coo taken from Prince's "Delirious" and the other, "Try Again," is taken from the soundtrack to "Romeo Must Die." It was her first and only #1 single.

It's hard to believe its been ten years since Aaliyah left us. We can only imagine what more wonderful gifts she would have shared with us. In the meantime, we've still got her music, her legacy. Enjoy!

Are You That Somebody

Are You That Somebody? - Dr. Dolittle (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)

Try Again

Aaliyah - Aaliyah

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

August 24th, 2011 - Come on Irene; What Earthquake?; Opening Up; Writing Wednesday; H is for "High Rise"

Happy Hump Day everyone! It’s yet another beautiful summer day on Long Island and here I sit in my office, in the middle of the day, typing away, lol. This is my last bit of writing for the day, thankfully, and then I can get on with doing stuff I should be doing…outside! Here’s the latest from my so called life…

Photo Source: cbs news

Come on Irene!

For the first time in a long time, we here in the northeast are under watch for the latest hurricane, Irene, which seems to be heading in our direction. We’ve had these types of warnings many times in the past and a lot of them turned out to be nothing more than some rain and a little wind, and I hope that’s the case this time, too. They’re saying Sunday, so anything can happen between now and then. We haven’t had one since I bought my house in 98 and I shudder to think about one hitting here full force because I have a lot of trees in my yard. Fingers crossed and stay tuned…

Photo Source: Watt's Up With That?

Earthquake? What Earthquake?

I think I am probably the only person I know who didn’t feel the Earth trembling at yesterday’s earthquake, which struck in Virginia but was felt all over the Eastern Seaboard. I spoke to a couple of people who felt it around 2PM, but I didn’t even know about it until much later. They say it’s the strongest earthquake to ever hit the area at 5.6 on the Richter, and of course the end-of-the-worlders are out in full force. Gimme a break!

Opening up

As I told you the other day, I’ve been struggling a lot lately with the things I put on this blog. It all started when I got a nasty and derogatory email from a reader that made me do a lot of thinking. More than a week has passed now and several friends have given me cause to keep doing what I’m doing and not be affected by such malicious nonsense. After all, this is my space and if anyone doesn’t want to read it, they don’t have to.

Though I have no idea specifically what the emailer was referring to in his rant, I had removed a piece I thought he might have been responding to, a poem about my recent face to face encounter with him. At the moment I have no plans to republish it in full, but here’s an abridged version of the original that I had penned a week ago Sunday:

Yet another regretful episode in this muddled story
A chance meeting unforeseen
At almost the very spot where we first met
We’d both imagined this in our minds
Yet neither could know what really to expect

It all happened so suddenly
I looked up with disbelieving eyes into your face
And saw you looking into mine
And in a flash, all I could think of to do was turn and run
But you saw me as I saw you and called to me from behind

At that point, the deed was done
The circumstance of our encounter was settled
You were excited and I was terrified
My reaction dampened your evening and mine
The latest in a series of miscommunications between us

Running away was not the mature thing to do
Yet it was an impulse borne out of months of despair
And yes, anger, at the very thought of you
I regret the action and wish I could take it back
But what’s done cannot be undone

I don’t know how you expected me to react
With a smile and a hug, perhaps
Some genuine catching up of old friends
I laid it all out for you the last time
In a way I believed to be noble and complete

Whatever happens from here forth
Please understand that there were reasons for my action
Perhaps a little subconscious hurt thrown your way
In return for the hurt I’d endured
A little bit of karma in action

I know you couldn’t see
Through all of the discomfort between us
That deep down it was nice to see you again
In the flesh
The same person I so cared for once upon a time

So take good care of yourself
I’m happy to hear you’re in a better place these days
Should there be a next time, don’t worry
I promise not to turn my back again
Next time I’ll flash you a brilliant smile, I promise!

Reading this over once again, I don’t think there's anything about it I need to feel bad about writing, either on myself or on him. It's just the openness and feeling that I always express in my writing, no matter the subject. Yes, my experiences with him were some tough moments in my life and even though I’m in a good place now, contact of any sort inevitably brings back memories, bad and good. So I make no apologies for penning the piece, and I’m glad to share it once again with you.

It’s funny, but things have taken a sad turn even since I wrote the piece. After not having seen him for seven months, I ran into him three straight times at Splash, the last time being last night. Though I meant what I said in the last stanza, things haven’t gone exactly that way in subsequent encounters. There’s kind of a distant iciness there now, like we're both sort of pretending not to see each other while we’re standing just a few feet away. It's weird and uncomfortable, and no fun at all. I guess the circumstances from that night have brought us to this, starting with my reaction almost two weeks ago.

It’s a little unnerving and sad, but I guess that’s just the way it’s going to be. At least there’s just one more week of Splash Tuesdays and/or Thursdays for me, and so I’ll return to going there on Saturdays again afterwards and these random contacts shouldn’t happen anymore anyway.

Related post: Untitled

Writing Wednesdays

Well, I already missed the second week of Writing Wednesdays, and so here are links to some of the pieces I’ve been up to…


Amy Winehouse Tributes by Green Day, Coldplay and at the VMAs

Gaga’s “You and I” exemplifies her musical versatility

Spotlight on new music releases for the week of August 22nd

Preview of the 2011 VMAs

Yahoo Contributor Network

Elton John's Top Twenty Songs

Pesto: Easy, Delicious and Versatile

Volunteer's Corner: Working to Protect and Preserve the Environment of Long Island and Beyond

What Are You Listening To? Summer 2011


Fun outdoor activities on Long Island this weekend

H is for "High Rise"

During my "Song of the Day" posting in dedication to Nick Ashford, who passed away yesterday, I mentioned another of Ashford and Simpson songs that I loved whose title just happens to start with the letter "H," the next letter in our Z-A Blogger's Challenge. Bonus! The vid's a little grainy, but the song is oh so sweet sounding! Enjoy!

High-Rise - The Best of Ashford & Simpson

Song of the Day - Solid - Ashford & Simpson

Photo Source:

Today's "Song of the Day" is dedicated to Nick Ashford, who passed away yesterday at the age of 70. Ashford was one half of the singing/songwriting duo Ashford and Simpson, together with his wife Valerie Simpson. The two of them were best known for the many hit records they penned for others, including the Marvin Gaye and Tammie Terrell's/Diana Ross' hit "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," Chaka Kahn's "I'm Every Woman," and "You're All I Need to Get By."

Though the two of them wrote a lot of music for others, they also wrote and performed for themselves on occasion. They put out several albums between the 70's and 90's, having their biggest success with this one, "Solid." The song is a positive one, and it resonated with a lot of people because this particular couple, notwithstanding their strikingly opposite statures (Ashford towered like a foot above his wife), had a love that was "solid as a rock." You could always see the love between the two whenever they appeared together. They had been married for 38 years when Ashford died.

I'm especially sad about Ashford's death because I was a big fan of their music in the early 80's. I had the album before "Solid," called "High Rise," and I loved it. I even saw them perform once at MSG, as part of a concert marathon called the "Budweiser Superfest." They had lots of energy, from what I remember, and they were one of the highlights of that show for me.

So anyway, if you're too young to remember this song, take a listen. It's really a good, uplifting tune. And if you do know it, press play and enjoy the memories!

R.I.P. Nick Ashford

Solid - Solid

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Song of the Day - Free - Ultra Nate

Photo Source:

This wonderfully liberating song was a big dance hit back in the summer of 1997, hitting the #1 spot on Billboard's Dance Chart for two weeks. It was the first of only two big hits for Ultra Nate, the other being as part of the trio Stars on 54 with fellow dance divas Amber and Jocelyn Enriquez. That song was a discoed remake of Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind," which was another great song from the soundtrack to the film "54." We'll save that one for another time, but for now, check out Ultra Nate's "Free":

Cause you're free, to do what you want to do...

Free (Radio Edit) - Free

August 22nd, 2011 - He's still there? / Abandoned Diners

A beautiful sunset over Long Island last Saturday

Well it’s 1AM and I’m still wide awake…at least my mind is. I had a long day today, but it was a good one overall, busy but good. It seems that my mind just never stops going and if I could do without sleep I’d still probably not get in everything I want or need to do, especially during these fast-dwindling days and nights of summer. I tell ya, there’s something to be said for the routine a job gives you!

He’s still there!

Today I visited my ex-student and current family member Arnoldo, who I first told you about a couple of months ago. The last time I saw Arnoldo was towards the end of the school year back in June. He had successfully fought off that infection he’d had and was getting the much-needed treatment for his lupus, finally, after a seven week stint in the hospital. I got a text from him on July 8th telling me he was being released from the hospital, which was one of the best things I’d heard in a long time.

Ever since, I’ve settled into my own summer life, assuming that all was okay with Arnoldo, but I was wrong. His sister Mayela sent me an email the other day asking how I was doing and in my response I asked about Arnoldo. Arnoldo had called me himself a couple of weeks ago, but I regrettably neglected to call him back! In her answer she said he was “still in the hospital.” Still? I was confused.

As things turned out, Arnoldo did get out of the hospital, but it wasn’t for long. After two returns and maybe a week’s worth total of days at home, the poor guy has remained in Stony Brook Hospital battling not only the sicknesses that plague him, but the anguish and frustration that goes along with all of it. I went to the hospital today.

I think my visit helped out at least a little. Mayela had told me he’d been very down the past couple of days and he seemed fine, almost happy, during the time that I was there. During the middle of my visit, an orderly came in to take him down for a small, quick surgical procedure that he didn’t know was coming. His fiancĂ©e Jill had just brought us all some Red Mango frozen yogurt (delicious!) and we were enjoying it and some good conversation when the she showed up. I was annoyed that they had come in at such a time, as Mayela and Jill had just gotten there, but it was just another day in the life for the weary Arnoldo.

I know that yesterday I spoke of my own upcoming colonoscopy and my cuts and bruises from last week, but you know…I’m pretty lucky compared to this brave young man. I mean, he just turned 25 years of age and he knows words that no one his age should know (I’d repeat some of them now, but they’re all medical related and I can’t remember a one of them!). He mentioned getting spinal taps and other painful-sounding procedures and my empathetic nature just got the best of me thinking of what he’s got to go through every single day.

Please, I know that none of you know Arnoldo personally, but if you’ve read this far and feel for the guy, I ask that you remember him in your prayers or your thoughts. He is someone I and a lot of other people admire and he could certainly use a little positive energy sent his way. He and Jill have postponed their October wedding until next year, when hopefully Arnoldo will be able to enjoy it as he should, pain and worry free. I hope so! Thanks!

A Rant for Today

Before I had this blog I used to have another one called “Rants.” It was a series of rants about the things in life that irk me, and there are a lot! At the moment I am undergoing yet another reexamination of my life and where it’s going, as I alluded to yesterday, and one of the things I’m working on is learning to focus. I have a history of spreading myself too thin and getting involved in too many things all the time, which causes me nothing but distress and a feeling of dissatisfaction.

I want to narrow my focus in hopes of a better success and a happier future, and so even though that blog is still live, I think I may just shut it down and integrate it into here. I hardly ever go to it anymore anyway, and I’ve still got things I like to rant about. So I’ve decided that whenever I have a rant, be it big or small, I’m just going to put it here on “John’s World.” After all, ranting gets you nowhere anyway except to release some steam, and including a rant or two here and there helps me to narrow that focus just a little. So here is the first official rant of “John’s World”:

Diner Abandonment

The other night, two friends and I met at a local diner for dinner. For those of you unlucky enough to not have any diners where you live, you are truly missing out. It’s amazing to me how at any time of the day or night you can order from such a varied menu of dishes. You could order a cheese omelet or a beef brisket at three in the morning, or a roasted chicken for breakfast if you wanted. I have no idea how they do it, but they do and it’s incredible.

Any-who, diners are also great places to meet up with people you don’t often get to see. They’re great for relaxed, conversational meals with good friends, at any time of the day or night, and quite often the conversation lasts well past mealtime. Coffees or sodas are refilled and the enjoyable chatter continues, that is until the check comes…

During your meal at a diner, the waitresses and the busboys are continually monitoring the table for water or coffee refills, extra napkins, and clearing out emptied plates. Once the bill comes however, they’re simply done with your table, only to be seen from afar. You and your friends are left to sit and chat over whatever dirty dishes, napkins and glasses were left there before the check came.

This happened the other night, as me and my friends sat for almost an hour after we’d finished our meal, enjoying friendly conversation in the mostly empty place. What had been constant visits to our table by the busboy and the waitress during the meal suddenly stopped once the check had been placed on the table, leaving us to talk amongst the filth.

The same thing happened two weeks ago in another diner when I met my friend Rita for lunch. It’s just weird to me how they could suddenly ignore you at that point. I tell ya, if you work at a diner, here’s a piece of advice for you:

Don’t ignore your diners once they’ve finished their meal. Clean up after them, and they can continue what is obviously a pleasant time in your establishment. Who knows, maybe they’ll even order another drink or something while they chat, but they can’t if you don’t come back to the table. And if you did clean there table, it’ll only add to the positivity of their experience in your diner and they may even throw you a big tip, or better yet, they might come back!

They're probably gonna kill me, but during my hospital visit today, I played with Cam Wow and took some funny pictures:

Our little patient!

The worst and best of Mayela, lol

Jill, Arnoldo's fiancee....isn't she purdy?

Well, it’s almost two and that’s all she wrote for this evening. As ever, thanks for reading, especially this far! I’ll catch ya next time and until then, enjoy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Song of the Day - Moves Like Jagger - Maroon 5, feat. Christina Aguilera

Photo Source: Fanvasion

Today we return too our regular "Song of the Day" feature with the very hot and fun "Moves Like Jagger" by Adam Levine and the boys of Maroon 5, joined by Christina Aguilera. Check it out...

Moves Like Jagger (Studio Recording from