Friday, July 29, 2005


The last two days have actually been stunning, weather-wise. Brings up the spirits and clears out the mental cobwebs. A bit tired today, but feeling good. Missed the gym last night, but will make up for it on Sunday.

Tomorrow is set for what should be the final Punch Line mixing session. Plans are confirmed; call time is 11 and I am hoping that when we are finished, we are genuinely finished and I can take this recording to the mastering lab next week. From tomorrow onward, it's all about mapping. Taking care of all the details from mastering to concluding the art prep to manufacturing. This is the part of a project that I've always loved, especially from my time at Roadrunner and Atlantic. You get to see the proverbial "birth of the baby". Except this time it's mine. A great feeling. I'm sure once I get to the next album, the novelty will have obviously worn off, but this is the first full-length album. Releasing your first cassette e.p. or first 45 is a big deal, but this one is special. It's almost too bad we didn't get this out when albums were still the way you did things, but this is almost as good.

Am going through withdrawal. Need something to read; something meaty and with depth. Any suggestions? Help would be greatly appreciated.

Have a great weekend. Here's hoping...

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Melt with you

It's just too hot to even think. I haven't been outside since I got to the office this morning; I feel like I need another shower. All I can see is me on the beach with a ice bucket of bottled waters, my iPod and a copy of Surfer Magazine. Unadulterated bliss as the combination of waves, sun and music carry me away. I don't think I'm ever as zen with anything as when I'm at the beach. Instead, I have to look forward to a steamy ride home on the subway and a torture ride on the ferry, surrounded by rude halfwits from foreign lands who constantly remind me that I'm an American pig... I don't get it. Why come to New York if you hate Americans? Anyhow--xenophobia notwithstanding...

Waiting to hear back from Chris and Bob re: Saturday. Would like to get this solidified and then done. A lot of work to still do. Probably even more of the roll-up-the-shirtsleeves nature, what with the art, layout, pre-production and manufacturing, then setting up the distribution. Not a complaint. This is something I never really imagined back in '83 when Two Minutes Hate had first taken flight. We thought doing a 45 would be enough. As soon as the final mixes are approved, I'll post something on my website. One hopes that the excitement in The Punch Line camp now begins to climb to a fever pitch in opposition to the subdued manner in which we've been operating lately; the recording process has been very long, etc. When you hear the end product, it's damned well worth it.

Am hungry as all get-out; been really good again, watching my dietary intake, etc. Went to the gym last night and feel great today. Again, been flexing the disciplinary muscle. Of course, I wouldn't mind a bit of chocolate as a quick fix...

Enough rambling. Time to get back to work...

Monday, July 25, 2005

Weekend rewind (life during wartime)

Check back with me later on the poignancy of that above sub-title...

A great weekend with Liz, albeit nothing special. Quiet night Friday, although I did, in fact, break out the 12-string and run through some songs. Observations: a) my voice is better than it's been in years, which surprises me (happily). b) I can still remember these songs, even if I don't play them all that often. c) time to change the strings on the guitar. A little flat. Saturday was our norm, nice and early. Lunch at Golden's for a fun meal and back in the apartment in the cool comfort. Same for yesterday, after hitting the gym (take one week off and reach new heights the next--fantastic) and the quick run to Menlo Park. Yes, I was lazy and didn't do the laundry, which I will do tonight.

Watched "Six Feet Under" last night--certainly one of my favorite shows of the last few years. Had a moment when the red-headed girl, Claire (a.k.a. the bitchy-stoned-artist) says to her date "I found my friends right where I left them". It was a powerful thing, as this was something that has been a topic in this blog, LeFig's blog and in conversations Liz and I have been having lately. Just yesterday at lunch we were talking about people not growing and not changing and at what point do you say "enough". To see and hear the scenes that led up to that line was eerily identical to our discussions. If I had the time right now, I would continue the conclusions we've drawn and the reasons/analysis behind it all, but I'll save that for an end-of-the-week posting.

This coming Saturday is supposed to be the (proverbial) last Punch Line mixing session. If it goes as planned, we should be done and the disk can go to mastering before manufacturing. I would be very happy if we complete this task as scheduled. As I said last week, listening through the album--even the "unmixed" songs--it sounds rich and powerful and full of life. You can't help but be enthused and chomp at the bit to hear the "end" product. I'm enjoying these last elements tremendously; I hope Bob and Chris are as well and I think these last sessions have been fun, so it stands us in good stead.

I guess on a more personal note, I'm glad to hear that my friend B. is doing better and was actually up here to pack up the remnants of his apartment before heading back South. From all reports, he's at near 90% again and I couldn't be more relieved and happy. B., if you're reading this, stay well, brother and get in touch when you're up to it.

Outside, the sun is trying to peek through the clouds. I hope that's a good omen.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Favorite thing

We're in business--finished all the downloading, bookmarking, etc. on the iBook last night. Actually had time to sit down and surf for a while just to get the hang. Really irritating, though, that I can't work on the website because you have to have 5.5 or some such shit for Internet Explorer and Mac is only currently provided with 5.2.3. Again--why do I hate Microsoft?

Anyhow, while this morning is hot and sunny, I'm looking forward to tonight, as I plan on going into Synchronic East (I like that--it's really the spare bedroom) and working on my acoustic set. I haven't even touched the guitar in over a month (let alone approach the 12-string or play any songs), but I have this nagging desire to do something. I enjoy dusting off some of the songs I haven't played or given thought to in years and I do like the acoustic arrangements of songs like "Wild Skies" and "Whatever Makes You Happy" (which has yet to see the light of day in a recorded band version). So that's my target for the evening--at least before Liz gets home.

No great plans on this weekend's agenda. More heat; the usual household duties tomorrow and then we'll see how we're feeling come Sunday morning.

Another day of horrors in London; a new morning as we get ready for police searches of our bags. You know what? I don't have a problem with that. The world has a problem with terrorists. This is not a time for bullshit. This is a time to be vigilant and cooperative and safe. If you have nothing to hide, why fear the police inquiry? And keep in mind, I'm a card-carrying Democrat.

Mull it over and have a good weekend. Stay cool.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Okay, so I spent most of yesterday moving files from my external hard drive of the home iMac to my new iBook--done. Tonight, I'll continue to finish saving bookmarks. Hopefully, some of the dudes here can help me find the right download link to Windows Media Player, because no matter where I go, it ain't happening. Not a tragedy, mind you. I managed to get the WiFi router working on Tuesday night, so I didn't need configuration. I did need a lot of help in trying to get the damn Microsoft Office for Mac working, though. Ask me again why I loathe Microsoft programs...

Haven't really had too much time to think about The Punch Line or about music in the last few days. Between being as physically tired as I've been and emotionally drained, I'm in a state of suspension. Thankfully, the last two days have been sunnier (albeit wickedly hot) and that does help lift the mood.

Just heard more incendiary devices have been detonated in London, again on buses and in the Underground. Jesus fucking Christ. At first report, only one injury--I hope it goes no further than that.

Would really love to either be at Shea Stadium for today's noon game or at the Jersey Shore. Perchance to have a moment's escapism?...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


The iBook arrived today; I'm still in the process of loading various necessary programs into it and I won't be able to use the WiFi at home yet until Brother Amit, THE tech wiz, configures it for me tomorrow. Patience is a virtue and I'm still getting my mind and fingers used to the idea of actually, finally having one of these fine machines. There are numerous files that I need to move to the new toy and I'll be doing it slowly and methodically so as not to lose anything, etc. Nice to be able to synch up my new Treo to the iBook via Bluetooth; I feel like I've joined the modern world in more ways than I'd previously imagined.

Having said that, here's another night where I'll be skipping the gym; I missed all of last week due to slight sciatic pains in my leg and the mixing session Sunday. It's also about 94 degrees out and somehow I just don't have the physical energy to exert. Now add the iBook needs to be taken home.

Just got Bob Mould's new album. Really good; certainly wide and varied. Still loving The Punch Line, though. Pop with balls.

Okay--more tomorrow when I can play WiFi Guy.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Weekend rewind (light and shade)

The Punch Line did a mixing session yesterday, and I'm proud to go on record saying apart from the fact that 5 of the 10 songs for the album are mixed, which leaves (in reality) one more session to go before sending the disc off for mastering, the songs sound incredible. I won't bore you with any ridiculous gushing or sounding over-dramatic, but these first final mixes leave me still shaking my head in a happy state of disbelief. Everyone worked hard, exchanged ideas and worked economically to make this session a fruitful one.

Spoke with J.W. last night for the first time since his parting. Great to hear his voice and pick up on his good vibe; very unhappy to hear about the illness and subsequent departure of a very dear mutual friend of ours. Get well, B. -- words won't do me justice to say how much I've treasured our friendship. Please stay in touch.

iBook due to be delivered today. Picked up the WiFi router and will make my (feeble) attempt to connect it tonight. Hopefully, T-W Cable will be back up and running by the time I get home, although I do need to do laundry and yoga to re-center my emotional core. At the moment, I feel the strains of my friends' unhappiness and troubles and selfishly don't want it to have any adverse effects on me.

Had a lovely and laid-back Friday night with Liz at Le Figaro; walked back to the ferry after dinner and was wiped out. Did all the necessary chores, etc. on Saturday (as you would have guessed), then wound out for the evening in the cool of the air-conditioned apartment; Liz with her jewelry and magazines, me with a good book...

Who read the new Harry Potter already? I did.

Friday, July 15, 2005

The daily sauna

Okay, you can skip the idea of my planning to buy an iBook... I bought it. Should arrive by Wednesday, if I'm right. Am I chomping at the bit? You bet. Although I don't have an SUV or even a new ride in general, I'm now officially transcended to indie-yuppie. So fuck you all (and you know who you are... ha ha ha) who mock and scorn those of us who have Treos, shop at Whole Foods and used to be "punk" (insert over-dramatic wretching sound here). I'll take my iPod Mini and be on my way, you peasants. The iBook now gives me the flexibility to work on the website at home and countless other things that weren't possible until now. Like GarageBand...

The Punch Line have a mixing session scheduled for Sunday, thankfully. I'm looking forward to hearing the songs we work on with fresh ears. It's been since May and the time is drawing nearer to delivery date of the master. I think with the planning and anticipatory pre-emptive actions for these scant sessions, it should go fairly smoothly (optimistic p.o.v.). Again, having had time and distance from the songs helps make the process less frustrating. I don't want to wind up hating the songs after hearing them umpteen times in the mix process.

Meeting Liz tonight at Cafe Le Figaro; time we had ourselves a nice, quiet dinner with no cause for distraction. I think in lieu of not going anywhere on vacation, evenings like these are a regular necessity. Helps us diffuse from the stresses of the work week.

Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Weekend rewind (duty now for the future)

Hmmm... nothing spectacular or heavy-duty to report, truthfully. A quiet Friday night; a typically-chore laden Saturday morning. The heat this weekend was turned up, so after coming home from grocery shopping, Liz and I ordered in from this fab new local Italian eatery, then trekked out in the late afternoon for Italian ices; this place (the ORIGINAL) will be the only thing I'll miss, once we move off Staten Island. Sunday was an early jaunt to the gym and a drive into New Jersey for fun food and some light/inexpensive shopping.

Ah, yes--I did finally buy a Treo 650 on Friday--I'm still waiting for it to be delivered and for PalmOne to call me back, as they left a message yesterday. Inconvenient, but I'll bite my lip and be patient for the moment. I think also this week I will be ordering the iBook. After lengthy phone conversations with both Bob (Friday night) and Brian (Saturday afternoon), they seem to be moving in that direction and I don't feel like being left behind! With that said, I also want to start moving/clearing my files (especially the ones for Synchronic and The Punch Line) off the iMac and onto the new machine, as I'll actually be able to work on the website from home with the new toy. Ah, say what you will--modern technology is a cool thing. I was wrong for prior outbursts!

Spoke to brother Raymond last night; glad to hear that he and the family are well and safe in London. Good to hear his voice and a relief, to be honest.

Gym tonight; bringing lunch and changing up my diet yet again to healthier, organic foods--while I feel pretty good physically, I haven't seen a numeric drop in my weight, so time to get on with the necessary amendments. Besides, it's too hot to eat anything heavy. Is that a feasible excuse?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Red London

Blood. The mindless violence and hateful spilling of the blood from ordinary people going to work in the Underground. The news of this morning's terrorist bombings in London have filled me with the same blind rage I felt on September 11, 2001. Except this time, it's dear friends of mine in London who I worry and pray for; people I love who I'm hoping are safe and at home.

England, our hearts and souls are with you.

I'm proud to have British lineage.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Weekend rewind (chilled to perfection)

A great weekend. No pressures, no aggravations, no arguments or headaches--just simple down time, which was sorely needed and highly welcomed. What more can you say about that?

In a nutshell--got home from work Friday and went for a quick snack walk with Liz--ran into Brother Rolando, which was great as we haven't seen him in a while; stayed in and watched t.v. as it was storming all night. A leisurely Saturday with Starbucks, groceries, a take-your-time, we're-in-no-rush lunch, a Target stop and then grocery shop for Dad (we did this around 6 p.m.) and frozen custard. By the time we were in for the night, Bob had called, so we had a chance to catch up on his move, etc. He sounds great and the vibe I got from him made me feel even more up. Sunday was a hard drill at the gym, then back to Hoboken--deja vu of last Sunday? You bet. A great lunch; nice long walk around the town and back home to watch some not-so-great movies on PPV, which makes me very glad that we don't go to the cinema all that often. Yesterday, off to the gym for a bonus; coffee, a stop at Tastebud's and home to do laundry. 72 hours of peace of mind and quiet; time for Liz and I to just enjoy.

After all that, I'm still in workout mode and will be hitting the gym again tonight. As I told Liz during the weekend, I think I'm finally making up for lost time and negligent indiscipline. It doesn't hurt me, either, obviously. The older I'm getting, the more conscious I am towards my state of physical well-being. Anything I can do to build up my physical body and in turn put myself on a better mental and spiritual plane--I'll do it. 40 (to this point) has been an eye-opening year. I certainly don't run from making changes like I used to; I figure I can only benefit from changing a habit here, taking a supplement there and doing all that I can to be in complete control and (for lack of a better word) harmony with me. I don't think I ever really cared as much as I have in the last few years and turning 40 has been instrumental towards it all.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Independence day

Actually, I'm thinking of The Comsat Angels' classic. A beautiful morning; a long weekend ahead with no set plans in place and it feels good to be in a laid-back mode.

Hit the gym last night; full-on workout and then walked afterwards to Astor for a haircut--would you believe it felt absolutely fantastic to get out and walk, even in this heat? All this exercise has been doing wonders for me, both body and mind. A quiet evening of bad t.v. and cheap laughs with Liz was the perfect ending--especially as she's home today with a more-than-well-deserved day off to/for herself. Don't know what we're doing tonight, if anything (depending on when I actually do leave here) and I like that.

So with that said, I will get back to work and hope you have a nice (and safe) weekend.