10 October 2012

Where The Hell Have I Been? (Originally Published 5 Aug 2009)

Current mood:busy

It's funny, I started posting like a madman on the Cafe and then...nothing, for quite some time. There's a reason.

There's always a reason!

My reunion with my Ex has cooled to the point of ice-age. There are a lot of reasons for that but I am not comfortable listing them here, even with my now limited audience. Fancy that! I used to bare my soul, evil and all for the entire world to see back in the J-Land days but now, after a few lessons learned over the years, I have been schooled in the art of discretion. Oh, I'm sure a few items will slip out here and there but for the moment, where Joe is concerned, the less said, the better. He will always be my friend, though. That makes me happy.

On the work front, I have been at odds with my manager concerning my Friday nights. He's been unhappy with the turn-out (as have I) and he wants to sit down with me to see if there's anything we can do to salvage the event. Now, while all this has been going on and I haven't been behind the bar, Friday's have gotten better and better, as I had thought they would. It has taken time to build a crowd but they are coming. Of course, now I am on the outs with my boss so who knows what's going to happen.

I do! (But it's another thing I am not at liberty to say. Don't worry, you'll all be the first to know!)

My mother came for a day trip to the island of love and it was WONDERFUL! I'm going to write about the trip later today, I just wanted to post something to remind myself that I'm alive.

Off to the flower shop.

Holiday Malaise. (Originally Published 8 Jul 2009)

Current mood:bored

Yesterday was the fifth of July and I did absolutely nothing of consequence. I think our founding fathers did enough, two hundred and thirty-three years ago, and the country didn't need me to add to their little rebellion, revolution...whatever. Actually, all I had was one Geo. Washington in my wallet and on this little island of love, that don't get you far at all. Christ, Jitney bus fares are now two dollars and twenty-five cents. I sat in the house and watched telly, I sat on the porch and read a book, I sat in the backyard and looked at the bugs and shoobies doing their thing. Both were disturbing and annoying. I weeded the little flower garden that lines the back fence, watered said flowers, grass, bushes, front yard. It was a very relaxing and a very boring way to spend the holiday.

I was hankering for a walk but the sun was out in it's full glory. Luckily it wasn't hot, just bright and I really didn't feel like slathering sunblock three-thousand all over me just to take a little constitutional. It's sticky, smelly and uncomfortable. The stuff works (and I definitely need it) but I try to avoid using it when I can. So I waited through the day for the beginning of sunset (which is around eight or nine at night) to take a nice, long healthy walk.

I also figured that waiting until later on the Sunday of a holiday weekend would also help me avoid the mass of shoobies that infest my city each year.

Boy was I dead wrong.

A bit of dumb luck was on my side for the first part of my walk. I started off in Ventnor (a block from the Wawa for those who know the area) and strolled down Atlantic Avenue, looking at the clouds in the sky, the people on their porches and dodging the cars that tried to kill me when I crossed the streets. I made it to Atlantic City in one piece and found myself on Pacific Avenue, wandering by The Knife and Fork, peering in to see if Becky from the Art of Flowers was there. It's one of her favourite haunts. She wasn't and I continued along Pacific, noting the lack of Eastern European kids in the city this year. Usually by now, you can't walk ten feet without hearing Russian or Ukrainian or Estonian or some other Slavic language. Now, there are so few in the area and I've heard it's because there weren't enough jobs so they issued far fewer work visas. Before I knew it, I was down by Caesars and I decided to cut through to the boardwalk to see how things were there.

My first clue should have been the mass of people in the casino itself. Just trying to get past the zombie slot players was a chore and I took the steps (the gods know these well fed Americans weren't going to use the stairs!) and made my way to the boards. Insane! It was like those Fifties movies where you see so many people on the beach, no one can move! I was astounded that the city was still so bloody busy! I zigged and zagged through the crowd, my years of training by working in a casino really helped and before I knew it, I was down by Resorts. That's where the insane shoobie woman was running around, screaming something about "NOOO! The fleas!!!!" and jumping up and down in a circle and ducking her friends. She was truly Ancora crazy and I somehow ended up in the middle of the crowd that began to surround her (as they always do for some strange reason). I found the nearest exit through these really cute surfer boys and ran up the three outside levels of steps and into Tramp Touch My Hole...err...I mean...Trump Taj Mahal. I wandered down the enormous hallway to Plate, the restaurant where my friend Carlos works but I couldn't find him. It was surprisingly slow in the casino but I figured everyone was outside on the boards. I took the steps down through the main atrium and made my exit out the front door, ducking the army of Asians and dashing past the little Indian lady in full sari and smoking like a fiend.

I took Pacific Avenue again, this time facing West but by now, the sun had made it's way low on the horizon and I was safe from it's evil rays. Strangely, the traffic was light along the avenue, in harsh counter-point to the crush of humanity on the boardwalk, a block away. I kept my pace brisk and sailed down the street until, once again, I was at Caesars.

Here's where I had my own moment of madness and went BACK into Caesars to the boardwalk to once again attempt walking through the masses.

I gave up rather quickly. I ducked into the Boardwalk Hall underpass that exits from the boards to Pacific because no one goes through there because it's scary and dark. I finished my walk down Pacific and finally made it back home.

Where I sat and did nothing.


Strange Dreams (Originally Published 29 Apr 2009)

Current mood:vexed

I woke up early this morning, still coming out of that half dream state.  The threads and fabric of the dream tearing away to the reality of laying in my bed, under my covers, realizing I'm feeling a bit too warm.   It's that time of year where comforters are too much but lighter bedcovers are not enough.  I lied there, pondering the brief remberances of the dream I was having before I woke. 

That's when the realization came to me: I had that dream before.  Well, not that particular dream but the continuation of one.  It's like a television mini-series and I just got to watch the next chapter.  It was my London dream, where I moved to that great European capitol a few years ago and have lived there since.  I've never been to England (or out of the states, for that matter) but, where my dreams are concerned, I feel as if I have.  I have friends there, not transplants of people I know in my life here but actual friends.  My friends and family have come to visit.  I have a flat and a job.  I have been through the city many times, I even know the neighborhood, where to buy groceries and sundries, where the best laundrette is.  I have no clue if such a neighborhood exists in London for real but in my dreams, it's very real to me.  I have other dreams similar to this as well.  Some of them are fanciful, the old flying dream or where events in my life are happening together that can't possibly happen due to the timeline.  But there are a few dreams where things are fully formed, and compleatly out of my experience and I wake up, suddenly, and feel like I have been ripped from one life into another. 

Right now, I'd rather be in London. 

Dance Recital! (Originally Published 2 Apr 2009)

Current mood:fascinated

A while ago, Joey G. rang me up and...well...decided for me that I was going with him to a dance thingy in Delaware. I heard about this by voice mail and I knew that I was going. With Joey G., there is no pondering. He already did the whole argument thing in his head with me and talked me into it. No, I wasn't there and yet, I was talked into it. 
Believe me, if you know Joey G., this makes perfect sense. 
On the day in question, he rang me up and I had TOTALLY forgotten about it. I talked to "him" and he told me to ring Joey and tell him I wasn't going. I couldn't go because, frankly, I was (and am) poor. I knew that if I answered the phone, I was going and that's exactly what happened. The phone rang and the next thing I know, I got ready, Joey was out front and off we went to Delaware!
He decided to take Route 40 which cuts through South Jersey to the Delaware Memorial Bridge. This route, hot cats and cool chicks, is very, very, very rural. We drove past cows, horses, farms, silos, CowTown (a rodeo, of all things!)! I was definitely NOT in my element. Some of the homes were very beautiful but they were in the middle of nowhere. We mused that gods forbid you forgot the milk at the store, it would take thirty miles round trip to go back to the supermarket and home again. "He" rang in route and was a bit surprised that I was on my way to lovely Delaware. The weather, which was forcasted to be rainy and overcast, cooperated and cleared up, giving us beautiful blue skies and wonderful puffy clouds, the perfect compliment to our trip through the garden state. 
We arrived at the DuPont Country Club and I changed into dress pants in his chariot. I wasn't going to wear them for the ride. I hate them (the zipper is a bit wonky) but I had to dress nice for the event. And, forchrissakes, we were at a bloody country club! 
It was very froufrou and I LOVED it! We met Donna Boyle, a very good aqaintence of mine, pulled up and we all entered together. Joey and I went to the men's dressing room (which I found odd that they separated the sexes, I'm used to real dressing rooms) and he got ready. He and Donna were performing, the headliners, acutally! Once we got settled (read: drinks) we found an empty ballroom and they rehearsed. It was interesting listening to their shorthand. They have their own language for the dance moves which were named after various people. It went like this:
"I think we should do the Shelia and Frank here"
"No, I was thinking the Donna Dip would work better"
"Okay, then we'll do the Tom and Diane into the 123 Slide"
Or something like that. They knew what they were talking about. They finished, Donna went off to get ready and Joey and I wandered around (read: more drinks). 
I decided to stake my claim at table four and watch the others. Music was playing and there were a few dancers. I just love W.A.S.P.s, they are so uptight. You just know they haven't farted in about fifteen years. The dancing started and I absorbed every minute of it!
They absurdity of the performers was only outmatched by their sincerity! Some of them were rather too old to be there, some were too large to be thrown around but they were hoofing it like pros and I was actually impressed. After a bit, though, I was getting a bit tired of seeing the "host" of the show, the entire affair was to showcase his students and he danced with EVERY BLOODY ONE OF THEM! He looked like a young Liberace, somewhat handsome, if you like the type. By now, the cocktails had kicked in and I was feeling antsy. I wanted food and I had to wait through intermission, more dancing by "Lib" and then, just as my patience was up, Joey and Donna came out and danced.

They stole the entire show.

Of course.

It was flawless. I especially loved the part where he spun her on the floor, walked away, had a drink, a cigarette, checked his email and then returned to lift her back up just when she slowed down!
After the applause, we got to eat. Joey wasn't having the potatoes nor the albino asparagas so once I was finished my plate, we switched and I ate what he had left. Such decorum at a country club, I know, we're hopeless. The women around us were trying not to laugh (or that fifteen year fart would have burst out) at Joey's and my conversations.
I went to get another round and saw the hail come down on the golf course, the promised storm clouds rolled through and played havoc around us.
We finished up our food, said our goodbyes and suddenly Joey and I were off, back through South Jersey, laughing at the events of the day and watching the storm as it headed for the coast of South Jersey, our destination. The lightening was beautiful, darting across the skies for miles and miles ahead of us and we marveled at the wonder of Mother Nature.

And then laughed some more! 

Plans (Originally Published 27 Feb 2009)

Current mood:smitten

Chuck, the head floral designer, has been doing a bit of spring cleaning at The Art of Flowers (where you should get all your floral needs).  It’s freaking me out.  Every time I go in the back workshop, he’s bent over in half and climbing into one of the shelves that house the vases and whatnot that they use for the arrangements, finding lost treasures. Then he’ll be sitting on the floor, going through one of the many cabinets, sorting through the accessories and the paraphernalia used to help make said arrangements.  This is a daunting task, people.  The workroom is huge.  I, though, benefited by acquiring some of the cast-offs, mainly the broken or nicked candles, which are burning nicely in my bower as I sit here writing this.  It’s not quite dawn, the night skies are only now giving way to the rising sun.  I am up early again, this time at five-thirty in the morning.  I was up at two, three-fifteen, four-ten, four- forty, five-oh-five and I got really tired of tossing and turning (all by myself).  Now I’m up, sitting here with a cup of tea in my hands, candlelight and Lappy light competing with the ever creeping dawn just out my windows, a vitamin B-6 pill dissolving under my tongue and I’m trying to figure out what the hell to do today.
.. ..
I do have to get my ass to unemployment to sign up for partial benefits. It’s always good to suck on the government teat when they are just giving away money (see: bankers, auto makers) and it’s a good way to supplement my income until bloody town starts hiring again!
.. ..
Other than that, Miss Patti is torturing me to bus all over ....Atlantic.. ..County.... with her on errands, not exactly in my top three hundred and fifty-seven thousand things-to-do list.  I’ll probably go with her but I’ll see if I can procure a chariot first.  
.. ..
Insomnia sucks!
.. ..
It’s supposed to be an even better day today, in the sixties with sun shining brightly.  I can’t wait! 
.. ..
Umm…who just said that?  Not gothic, pale, vampiric, night-crawling, sunblock three thousand wearing Mortimer!
.. ..
Time to shower (which I haven’t done in days! EWW!) and get moving (although most of the city is either still sleeping or on their way home).

A Most Glorious Day (Originally Published 27 Feb 2009)

Current mood:giddy

.. ..
I have been watching movies again.  My good friend lent me ten new DVDs and I have been entranced with three out of the four I viewed over the last two days.
.. ..
First I screened “Nomad (The Warrior)”, which I found to be rather formulaic.  And miscast.  The Mexican lead trying to pass as a descendant of Genghis Khan is all you need to know.  He was cute, though.  
.. ..
Second up was “Zodiac”.  An excellent movie from beginning to end and rather graphic.  
.. ..
For the third film, I chose to watch “Sleepy Hollow” (since it was well after midnight) which I had always wanted to see.  It’s a cute retelling of the legend and I enjoyed Tim Burton’s take on the classic tale.  The cast is a who’s who of British actors most of which are in Harry Potter.  
.. ..
When I woke up after a few hours rest (insomnia, release me from your cruel clutches) I decided to keep the gothic theme going and watched the amazing “Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”. Absolutely amazing!  I really had reservations about the cast (non-singers in a decidedly demanding musical) but I was happily entertained.  It was gloomy and dark, just the way I like it!
.. ..
I had company for breakfast at Brittany’s Café, that is, once I got myself together.  I did a quick workout, and threw on a black T-shirt, faded black jeans and my suede thrift shop blazer and then ran down to meet him.  We sat in my favourite spot and ordered and ate, it was nice to see a friendly face across the table so early in the morning.  I didn’t have to bury my nose in the newspaper and I didn’t care a whit for the gossip around me.  
.. ..
The day was turning out quite nicely and we took a drive to Gardener’s Basin and walked around for a bit.  He then drove me back to The Art of Flowers (where you should get all your floral needs) where he left me to my devices.  I stalked everyone on Facebook and MySpace for a while and I chatted with Chuck and Jack.  I decided that I couldn’t waste such a nice day and I burst out of the shop and began aimlessly wandering through the city.  Before I knew it I was nearly back at Gardener’s Basin (it’s at the western tip of Absecon Island) and I trekked back through the various spots I am normally known to visit, making the rounds through the city proper.  I ended up on the boards and bee-lined my way home, basking in the fifty-four degree temperature.  It was lovely.  
I picked up a Greek salad for dinner and by five o’clock, I was home and in front of the telly, watching the extras included on the “Sweeny Todd” DVD.  
.. ..
My mobile rang off the hook once I got home, my friends are still on the late shifts and I seem to be keeping right proper farmer’s hours!  They wanted me to meet them for dinner/drinks/whatever and I begged off.  
.. ..
Now I am going to try to get some sleep.  Tomorrow’s goal: Unemployment! 

And The Forecast Is... (Originally Published 23 Feb 2009)

Current mood:blustery

.. ..
Today ran the gamut of weather.  This morning it was overcast and comparatively warm.  Then, as I made my way to The Art of Flowers (where you should get all your floral needs) the clouds parted and the sun came out, if only briefly.  I chatted with Becky for a bit, logged onto my MySpace and my Facebook pages and then checked my email through AOL (hate them, the bloody pricks who eat their own young).  I have several accounts through many Internet portals but everyone knows my AOL address so I use that one almost exclusively.  I then decided to wander, I have been getting back into my five-mile daily walks as well as my morning workouts.  It feels good to get back to the fit and healthy Mortimer again.  
As I wandered through the city, the clouds began to hide the sun and I made my way through The Hilton hotel and casino, which was slower than expected for a Sunday morning.  I emerged on the boardwalk under dark, ominous skies and ignored the rolling chair guys who called to me to hire them.  
Before I got to the Tropicana, the clouds released a light rain over the boards and I pulled my umbrella out of my bag and strolled along like the sun was beaming and it was a spring day.
.. ..
Love will do that to a fool such as I. 
.. ..
I was hungry, I didn’t go to ....Brittany....’s Café as I usually do.  My lack of funds once again has me counting every cent spent and I decided I needed to feed my addiction and went to the nearest dealer I know and purchased my fix.  
.. ..
Three soft hot pretzels for a buck fifty!  Can’t beat it!
.. ..
I then went into Bally’s and ran through the crowds like a mouse in a maze, taking the stairs instead of the escalators that connect the various casinos.  The one from Bally’s Wild Wild West to Caesars is nearly three stories high and I can once again take them two at a time without getting winded when I get to the top.  I walked through Caesars to The Pier and chatted with my buddy, Phil, who works at the sushi bar.  I told him I was going to sit along the picture windows that comprise the entire length of the third floor and read The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Ablom.  He had read it and told me it was good.  I found an open spot overlooking the stormy ocean, took off my raincoat and sat down to eat my hot pretzels and read.  
.. ..
I did not stop until I was finished.  Both the pretzels and the book.    
.. ..
To be honest, it’s a quick read, not that wordy but what a read it was.  I sat there after reading the last few words with tears streaming down my face, much to the consternation of the people next to me.  They weren’t the bookish type so I didn’t even try to explain.  I got up, put on my coat, went back to Phil and told him that he could have warned me it was a tearjerker!  He laughed at me, of course, and we chatted about the book for a bit.  I bid my farewell and walked through the cold rain down the boardwalk and back to The Art of Flowers.  I told Becky about the book and she began to read it whilst I went to the workroom computer and logged back on to my MySpace, my Facebook and my AOL once more. I finished up and went out front and she was still reading, quickly.  She was up to the third person he meets in heaven (of the five) and I gave her the book to finish while I walked through the snow, which started to come down to get my dinner.  
.. ..
Ahh…....New Jersey.... weather. 
.. ..
I picked up a salad at one shop and then pasta and sauce from another and by the time I got home, the sun was out again and it was windy and cold.  In this state, if you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes!
.. ..Tomorrow, I am going to unemployment to file for partial benefits and I’m going to rejoin the gym.  Now I’m trying to decide what to read next.  I think I’ll do my Ben Franklin biography. 

Correspondence (Originally Published 22 Feb 2009)

Current mood:gallant

He: Good morning my friend, how art thou?
Me: I am of good humour on such a saturnine day but I greatly miss someone dear to me.   
He: To be dear, I strive to be.
Me: Thou art most dear above all, even our own self.
He: I loved you at first glance, this is something you will always have.
Me: A treasure of diamonds could not shine so bright nor be worth so much. 

Sickening, isn't it!  Ahh...love!

About Last Night (Originally Published 19 Feb 2009)

Current mood:excited

As a component to the book I am reading about Queen Elizabeth I, a friend of mine lent me the movie “The Other Boleyn Girl”.  Tudor fashion was outrageous, especially for the men but Eric Bana made a very hunky Henry VIII, no matter how wide his shoulders were in those outfits.  Anne Boleyn was pretty much everything they said about her, a heretic whore.  My kind of gal!  It’s a great lead-in to the wonderful movie “....Elizabeth....” starring the luminous Cate Blanchett (although reading the novel, I see how they played fast and loose with that little thing called “historical accuracy”).  
My friend also lent me the remake of “The Women” which I enjoyed. The original is a masterpiece, a camp classic of the first order and I was a little concerned that the new version would suck.  
Happily, it did not suck.  
It had its moments, some of which had me laughing out loud.  Candice Bergen was a highlight.  Love her! 

Miss Patti and I did meet for a late dinner at Los Amigos, as planned.  I got there a bit early, ordered a margarita and read, chatting with the waitress a bit and waiting for my date.  I then noticed that they were cleaning up.  Everything.  My spidey-sense was tingling and I asked what was going on.  I was informed that they were shutting down and we were the last customers.  


By the time we rushed through our meal, the kitchen lights were off, the front bar had the stools on top and they had to unlock the door to let us out.  


The meal was delicious and the sangria was divine!

Patti wanted more so, we nixed the idea of going to the Westside Lounge (I wonder why?) and proceeded to go to The Pier to see Lance, who was not working.  So we sauntered through the casinos until we got to Bally’s and the Blue Martini, a fabulous little bar right off the casino floor.  She had never been there before and was tickled by the ice rail that’s imbedded in the polished black marble bar.  It’s a cute touch and we ordered our usual cocktails, although I had to teach the barkeep how to make a mackintosh apple martini.  We find it far tastier than the ....Washington.... apple.  She decided on another but I begged off, knowing how she gets and I watched her little stomach absorb the alcohol of the second round and go straight to her little head!
We had little time to waste after that and I escorted (carried) her through Bally’s, up the street and to the bus terminal, listening to her tell me how woozy she was! 
She’s so cute when she’s knocked back a few. 

I got home and changed out of my clothes (I looked like an English professor for some reason) and climbed into bed, where I instantly fell asleep.  

Time to start my day!

Sorry, Been A Bit Busy (Originally Published 19 Feb 2009)

Winter is not over but dear Orion is slowly leaving my nighttime sky.  He is there early, right after sunset and marches quickly through the heavens to hide himself from me.  I fear he is jealous of the fact that I have given my heart, once again, to another.  Venus has kept her vigil in the west, lighting the way as bright as La Luna, set aflame by the rekindled spark that has consumed my heart of late.  I am in the throes of love and I cannot help myself to show it.  Everywhere I go, people remark at the change in me, how my countenance has brightened, my inner glow burning through my skin, the rhapsodic tone of my voice, the happiness I can no longer conceal.  I am a priest of Aphrodite, a target of Cupid’s sweet dart, a plaything of Eros and Amore.  I sleep in the warm embrace of infatuation and wake to the tender caress of adoration, the enchantment of which I unabashedly bathe in daily.  Love is truly a many splendored thing!

.. ..
Gods, I have been reading FAR too many Tudor era novels!
.. ..
Although it’s cold and rainy outside, I am looking through rose-coloured glasses and things couldn’t be better.  Oh, things are very bad, actually.  I am not going to list them here, for all to see but as it stands, right now, I am blissfully turning a blind eye to my predicament and keeping a decidedly sickening (I must admit) Pollyanna outlook.  A “pessimism free zone”, so to speak!
.. ..
I need to be smacked back into reality!
.. ..
Yes, hot cats and cool chicks, things are, in reality, rather bleak.  My prospects are not good.  I have been simply everywhere and can’t find anything worthwhile during this hateful time of year.  February in ....Atlantic City.... is the worst time for something like this to happen.  But I have hope that my penance will be brief and I will be allowed back into the bosom of my former vocation.  
.. ..
Lesson learnt!  A harsh lesson, indeed.  
.. ..
Miss Patti has offered to take me out to my favourite watering hole, Los Amigos, tonight when she’s finished her shift.  I am looking forward to spending time with her.  We did recently have lunch together, I took her to Applebee’s for her birthday but I haven’t seen her recently as much as I’d like.  Hopefully tonight we’ll get a little drunk, a lot stuffed and gossip about everything.    
.. ..
I talked to my mother the other day.  Once again, the psychic connection was working and, after thinking about her for a few days, she rang me up and wanted to know what’s been going on.  Gotta love that motherly intuition!  My step-grandmother has been under the weather so I lit a candle for her at my shrine to all the higher powers.  
.. ..
I was at The Art of Flowers (where you should get all your floral needs) during the Valentine’s/President’s Day holiday and let me tell you, you’d never know there’s a recession going on!  They had a great weekend and the city was jammed packed to the gills!  So much so, I was annoyed as I made my way around my little island.  The shoobies were EVERYWHERE!  There was a line, a literal LINE, outside the Coachstore at The Walk outlets.  The womens love the Coach!  Unbelievable! 
.. ..
I think I’ll finish reading my book, Elizabeth the Great by Elizabeth Jenkins (which I just found out is a first printing, I wonder if it’s worth something?) and bask for a bit in the torchlight I lit for a certain someone who has my heart…