Famous People

So I Hear You Paint Houses?

If you are a fan of The Godfather, Bronx Tale, Good Fellas, Micky Blue Eyes you may want to pay attention. About 2 years ago I was visiting with a client whose last name also ended in a vowel. He asked me if I had seen the new trailer for a movie set to come out in the fall of 2019. The name of the movie was “The Irishman” and the cast was going to be kick ass.

Directed by Martin Scorsese the cast includes; Bobby DiNiro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano, Harvey Keitel, Steven Van Zandt, Anna Paquin and many others. I mean this cast demands some serious attention. This past Easter we went over to Vivian & Stone’s house for brunch and met Welker White and her husband Damien. Welker plays John Gotti’s wife. Naturally we didn’t’ want to chat shop but she told us in so many words that it was going to kick ass.

So the movie like many movies there was a snag in production. Pretty much the backer of the movie pulled out and Scorsese sat with a half written movie for about 6 months. Then Netflix comes in and says “Blank check but you got to go with us.” The finish the movie and the plan was to have it in theaters for about a month then it will be on Netflix. Trust me because this movie is a long one.

Well the Movie Theaters get pissed so they don’t show it. What does Netflix do? The rent out the Belasco Theater off Broadway and show it there. We went this past week and it kicked ass! When it comes to Netflix watch this!

Thank you to Vivian and Stone for inviting us.

I am sorry but seeing a movie in a Broadway Theater is kick ass!
The Marquee!
Nipped from Welker’s Instagram Page
Some Movie Props in the Lobby
How cool is that!
I got a friend here who wants to talk to you!
Jimmy is Missing?
I want a bumper Sticker!
Dial that Number!
Bev Naps!

Like I said, go see this movie!

The “Otter is 100BZE/50US” Birthday Celebration

As previously mentioned in last weeks worthless dribble post we just returned from a quick 4 night trip to Belize. Now that I have ridden the subways with my mosquito bites and sunburn a couple of times I am ready to give a proper description of the shenanigan’s that went on down in Belize. Hate to say it but if you are one of those Lurkers I am going to disappoint you. What goes on down in San Pedro stays in San Pedro. Sorry that are the rules.

Now before you think all are safe, I am not going to lie one bit. I swallow hard every time I see that The Windy City Brit posts some pictures to the FB page thinking she took pictures of that drunk guy on Friday night. But she is a good soul and would not do that to me the person who got overserved. Small bills right T?

So let me give you some back story to this Great weekend extravaganza. About 2 and a half years I get a notification that there will be a celebration down in Belize for Otter’s Birthday. I go to the calendar to circle those dates. The dates don’t match up. I recall that Otter and I are close to the same age as we are more of the junior members of the ACMB. Then I realize that he is inviting me to an event 2 and a half years in advance. What an asshole!

That is kind of brilliant if you ask me. This way you can start saving up, schedule the dog/child sitters and look forward to a weekly update by Otter on the page. I am kidding, he would send updates for those of us who have never been or for those of us who forget a lot (Pug I am not looking at you) and it was fun to bust Otter’s chops. Granted he saw a tweet that I sent to Joe Belize that I was going to be on the island for his birthday celebration and didn’t realize that we had RSVP’d in the yes. We always wait till the last minute to book airfare and hotel accommodations.

Here is where Otter gets Mad Props;

  • He arranged for hotel accommodations at one of the resorts south of town.
  • Scheduled a boat/Snorkel/Booze Cruise for all members.
  • Arranged a mid day afternoon activity for those who needed to watch College Football.
  • He talked a 6 person band from Columbus Ohio to come down and play 2 nights and a split off band to play 2 shows. Oh and he was able to coordinate getting drums, PA and sound boards handled down there on the island.
  • He not only was able to bring some of us older (well not so much me or TravelQueen) ACMB members, Friends from Ohio and those who have never visited San Pedro before.
  • I am not even going to harp on his mad spread sheet skills. (Love ya Otter)

Here is what I appreciated from the weekend plans. Other than the Friday 8:30AM call to be on the dock for the Booze Cruise (you can’t drink all day if you don’t start early) that was really the only formal plans that you had to do. Trust me when I say that I have been places where you have to follow a ridged schedule and if you have ever hearded cats before…..

The other part that we really enjoyed and I mentioned it in an email to TacoGirl was that it was so much fun experiencing San Pedro thought the eyes of someone who has never been there. That I knew of there were threee couples who were first timers to the island. To watch them experience the island like we did made this trip even more memorable.

Happy Birthday Otter! You magnificent Bastard! I am so happy to have been able to share your 50th birthday celebration with friends and family.

This was a fun time on Friday!
Great Views with Great Friends. Also this is the “Before” picture when Mrs. Otter arranged for the deck chair that we were sitting on was to fall off the deck. Thanks to my cat like reflexes I was able to prevent falling to my demise.
The Fabulous Johnson Brothers *Photo Credit to Windy City Brit
Me to XXXX – You happen to be drooling, pull yourself together there XXXX
Funtimes at Camo Cantina
Not only is he 50 but he can sing a song or two too!
The Band on Saturday Night!
Broke my heart when they said they have menus and we didn’t have to order from the board.
Us and the Windy City Brit and the Movie Star
Love that I don’t have to look at high rises to see the sky!
We get it Otter, you are with the Band!
My Favorite Dancing Jewelry Designer
Wait, what does this mean we have an excuse to go back to the island with the same group? Congrats you two kids!

It was a fun long weekend and I am so grateful for the friendships that we already have and those that were started last weekend!

Losers Lounge Takes on Stax Music

Otis Redding, The Staple Singers, Sam & Dave, Carla and Rufus Thomas, Booker T & the MG’s and a whole bunch of others were featured by the Joe McGinty 7 and The Losers last weekend. I was really excited to see this feature given that I am a Memphis guy. The show was great but man I wish that they did a little Black Moses. Sadly the show we saw didn’t feature any but it was a great time with The VQ and the Asian Fireman. On thing that was strange was that a lot of the normal players were off on Friday night but were playing on Saturday night. Well as long as Donahue look a like Mike Fornatale and Carlton Smith were on it was going to be a good one.

Opening Act – Mr. Big Stuff
Liz Vice singing “These Arms of Mine”
Milton and Julia Joseph – Breakdown
Carlton “Soul; Man” Smith!
La La Brooks formally of The Crystals Singing Gee Whiz
Pretty Much when Mike Fornatale is going to sing its going to be a good one!
Yes he killed Otis’ version of “Try a Little Tenderness”
Joe McGinty Finishing up “The Ballad of El Goodo”

By the way, great job singing the classics. I have to say that singing some of the original Stax songs “Walkin the Dog” is hard to do if you don’t have that voice. David Milone did The World’s Oldest Teenager proud!

A Moment of Silence For The King Please

Do you know what you were doing when you found out when Elvis Died? Considering that with the exception of S(Squared) and I think the “Swedish Connection” who are on my team but nobody else can answer that question they weren’t born yet. Anyway I do, I was at Paul Chandler’s House in East Memphis.

More Visitors Than The White House
Bjarni? Purple Dranks?
How cool would that be seeing him at the Stop Light
Can’t wait to see this one in a couple weeks!
I think that a Fire Truck giving a “Love Tap” to someone like this is perfectly acceptable.
Shout Out to the person who for whom we know in this picture. Get Well. We Love You and Your Time isn’t up yet!

Put on some Suspicions Minds Today and Sing it Loud! Have a good Weekend!

A Trip to 161st Street to sit in “The Baller Seats”

Sometimes it is good to be Carbunkle Trumpet. Oh and sometimes it is even better to be sitting in Baller seats for a Yankees/Red Sox home series on Friday night. Needless to say it is a helluva good perk of working for the Double Decker Tour Bus Company. Oh and for the Yankees to win too? What can I say? I am money!

Second Row on the Third Base Side Doesn’t suck!
Wish they would put last names on the Jersey’s because I don’t know all my players yet.
Not too bad for a Friday Night
The Red Sox’s TV Personality
Seriously Judge is a grown damn Man!

Feel Free To Hate. I even hate myself for sitting in these seats since I am not such a huge Yankees Fan. But I will still live with myself. Oh and I am 1-0 sitting in these seats and the Yankees swept the Red Sox on this series.

Play It Loud Exhibit @ The Met

When I heard that The Met was going to have an exhibit featuring the musical instruments I was pumped. This past Friday Geranium and I made out way back to the UES and took advantage of the nice weather and late summer hours. If you are a Music Nerd or fan of Concerts/Festivals you need to see this. BK – I know you probably won’t want to come from Queens to the UES but you need to see this. It is worth the price of admission. What I found out very quickly was how many guitars I would see and immediately say “Oh that is X’s guitar” without needing to read the description.

Anyway this is going to be a long post with the pictures so enough rambling.

Chuck Berry’s Guitar
Jerry Lee Lewis aka The Killer’s Piano!
Muddy Water’s Guitar
The King’s Guitar – That is Elvis Presley if you didn’t know that. And we can’t be friends.
Who doesn’t recognize Bo Diddly’s Cigar Box Shaped Guitar
Of course it does help when the talent puts their name on the instrument.
The Beatles…..never heard of them
John Lennon’s guitar on loan from Yoko
Pete Townshend’s Les Paul that he didn’t destroy
Edward VanHalen’s Ax
Recognize one of Jimmy Hendrix’s V?
What is going on here? Did someone pull a Thomas Crown on this exhibit?
It says it should be Keith Richards guitar that was gifted to him by a guy named Eric Clapton. What gives?
What an asshole that would Indian giver his guitar? Well he has outlived a lot of old rockers
The Edge’s Stratocaster. I mean he didn’t ask for this for his tour.9
Jimmy Hendrix’s Flying V. Notice the hologram behind the exhibit.
Angus Young’s Guitar and Geranium
Who doesn’t recognize Flea’s Bass
I am going out on a limb here and say that this is Patty Smith’s touring instrument.
Here is for you Mo-Ho Band Geeks
Clarence Carter’s Sax!
No need to name the artist. Everyone knows this custom baby
Steve Miller’s Les Paul
Bruce Springsteen’s Fender
And if you are wondering how I am able to recall all this I would take a picture of the description following the exhibit. I may have been born at night but not last night.
Paul Stanley’s Guitar
I will give you a hint – This song was sung by everyone at My Pleasure Bar in Fayetteville Arkansas in the early 90’s.
“I am a Joker, I am a Smoker, I am a Midnight Toker….”
A 5 Neck Custom? Cheap Trick anyone?
So this is the fragment of Jimmy Hendrix’s Stratocaster that he destroyed in a sacrifice at the Monterrey Pop Festival in 1967. He then dropped to his knees and poured lighter fluid on it and lit it on fire.
Now here is what is cool that I learned. He wanted to upstage Pete Townshend who was famous for destroying his guitar onstage. I think he did it!
Speaking of Pete Townshend
Anyone a Jerry Garcia fan? Here is his beloved “Wolf”
They also had a bunch of posters of artists. What is ironic about this one is that we actually know someone who was at this show. And she is photographed in the background screaming her head off.
The original Woodstock Poster
How cool is that!

Like I said, if you are a music buff you need to see this exhibit that runs until October.

One Year Ago Tomorrow – We Lost A Great Traveler

I recall it like it was yesterday. The first text came from GrainbinGirl at like 7:AM (6:AM Memphis Time) then the next came from Pepe. “Anthony Bourdain was gone and by his own hand.” *Disclaimer – I have lost many a good friend and family member by their own hand. This post is not in any way shape or form trying to speak of this horrible disease. Sadly it takes too many good people*

Best Friends

So the loss of Antony Bourdain has bothered me for a while. Now that I have just finished up on a whirlwind tour with Shawna (yeah, I am serious when I use real names) I miss him even more.

Tunisa

For this post I plan on speaking about some of Tony’s quotes that I hold dear to my heart.  His friend Jose Andres said it best in his latest book in the tribute;

To our friend Anthony Bourdain, who spent his life planting seeds

That man put a bunch of seeds in my head and I owe it to him to make them grow and experience some of what he got to see. Let’s be honest….the Cock Sucker had the best life in the world and I am so grateful that I can try to do as much as I can!!! Enough with the chatter. Here are my favorite Bourdain Quotes in no sequential order and some notes;

  • “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you.” – Loved my trip to a small town in Switzerland. You don’t get the same experience in the larger towns. Here I was just an American who couldn’t speak French and didn’t know I needed to bring a bag.
  • “If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them — wherever you go.”Or if you are 49 years old do this and load up on the ADVIL! I am not going to lie, the travel I did to see Shawna was tough but I look back and loved every minute of it!
  • “The journey is part of the experience — an expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the A train to Mecca.”I landed at Heathrow exhausted but figured out the Tube Schedule, walked my ass through the rain and got to the hotel. I could have wimped out and paid a King’s Ransom for a Black Car but what is the point if you aren’t going to see and experience Rush Hour into London on a Friday?
  • “I’m a big believer in winging it. I’m also a big believer that you are never going to find perfect city travel experience or the perfect meal without a constant willingness to experience a bad one. Letting the happy accident happen is what a lot of vacation itineraries miss, I think, and I’m always trying to push people to allow those things to happen rather than stick to some rigid itinerary.”This was 100% Barcelona! I only had a list from The Notorious NFG but it was going to be a total wing it. I love that town. I want to go back and I want to go back now.  
  • “Drink heavily with locals whenever possible.”No Comment
  • “You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.” – Loved our visit with English Mike & Ellie as well as our visit with The Tour Agent and Curly Sue in Switzerland. I know that our paths will cross again and when it does. I plan on picking up from where we left off.
  • “Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”It is very well documented that I smoke cigars, drink alcohol on occasion, and need a cholesterol pill. Sure, I try to keep myself leaning towards the cleaner side of life but what’s the point of living if you can’t slide down butt naked on a sheet of ice. Yes, I ordered the damn goose liver and I loved it!
  • “I learned a long time ago that trying to micromanage the perfect vacation is always a disaster. That leads to terrible times.”I am hoping she never reads this but I so disagree with Z-Squared and her guerrilla vacation tactics. I love her to death and will be that “3AM phone call guy to come bury a body” guy but I can’t vacation with her. Let that shit roll off the back.

And will I finish with this one. I will always have the deepest respect and love for Ernie and Lynn Mellor for giving an out of work carnie a job.

  • “Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.” – Nothing is better than standing over a hot smoker busting balls and or discussing life. I am always appreciate of the visits with the Asian Fireman in Woodlawn.

So, if you have not figured out by my already 900 words this is telling you to go out and explore. It doesn’t have to be in a different country. It can be in a different part of your home town.

All you have to do is be friendly, be respectful and always be humble.

How cool would it be if you were having a lunch on this beach?

Rest in peace Tony. I am still pissed I didn’t get to drink with you at Billy Mark but that is more for a selfish reason.

To honor you I will try to see as much of this world as you did.

Geranium and I had a blast this past weekend. Hope you did too. Pictures from this past weekend

22 years of marriage on Saturday, Momma got home on Thursday, and we had a 3 day weekend – Maya and I were happy! This is going to be more of a Friday Picture post. That being said;

We went to EWR to meet Momma when she got off the plane. Maya was pissed naturally!
Congrats to the Lady Killer on graduating from St. Dominic School for Boys.
Made some MoJo Coffee for Momma on Saturday with her new Keurig
Went into the city on Saturday to get some shirts. I was nice and didn’t curse anyone!
Two cuties right there!
Brilliant – The bar we frequent on occasion in Dekalb Food Market is a stroller destination for the families nearby. I always wondered why they had kids movies on the TV. The tables are full of the kids in highchairs and they are glued into the monitors with headphones on linked via Tunity. The parents are getting their drink on happy as clams. Like I said – Fucking Brilliant because not a child was screaming!
Holy Shit! I feel pretty good about myself considering I am the same age!

Hope you have a good week folks. Be thankful that it is only 4 days. Oh and Geranium is leaving my ass to head to Seattle today as well. She gets back on Friday and she is going to meet me at Andi’s bar at Baker Street in the UES.

Jose Andres – Are we still keeping score @GrainbinGirl?

So my good friend GrainbinGirl and I share a little obsession together. We stalk the F out of chefs and try to garner seats at restaurants that are the talk of the town. Every January we kick ourselves that we did not attend the Caymen Cookout with all the celebrity chefs but in fairness the price tag does make that a hard trip to swallow. Please note that before we moved to New York she had a sizeable lead on me with regards to chef sightings. That immediately changed

When we moved to the UES it was actually her who figured out that Eric Ripert was one of my neighbors and right after that discovery I ran into him. No seriously, Monkey Head Maddy blind as a bat, actually walked right into him on E71st street. As you can imagine he was petrified that he hurt her and picked her up and petted her. Since then we dined at a couple really cool joints and I rubbed it in to her but not to be a complete dick I did get her a book from Ripert.

When I found out that Jose Andres was going to be signing his new book at his new joint in Hudson Yards I messaged the Murphranks to see if they wanted to join. This was right after my return from Barcelona and Mr. 3 First Names responded that I must have really enjoyed Spain since I was now “Everything Spain”. I booked the tickets and last night we headed down to Hudson Yards to check it out.

To say that Jose Andres is a huge celebrity is not an exaggeration. To say that Jose Andres is a humanitarian doesn’t scratch the surface. To allude that Jose Andres isn’t passionate about life and about food you must have never watched of Bourdain’s shows. And what I also love about him is that he is one of the only chefs in the world to currently be sued by a sitting US President. Yeah, he hates Trump as much as I do. Actually who carries a red wine on tap at his restaurant in Hudson Yards called “Democrat”? But of course Jose Andres does.

Adam Rapport from Bon Appetite was the moderator but was more of a “keep things on track” and the back and forth between Andres and Matt Goulding was hilarious. When I say that you really should have been there it is an understatement. I mean who else can total a rental car in Barcelona and say to the rental car employee who is having a come-apart “But I am Jose Andres and I must get to Madrid” and they are thanking him? Jose did mention Anthony Bourdain during one of the questions but I loved this comment the best;

“I am a vegetarian, I mean look at me. I am as big as a cow and I got this way from eating only vegetables.”

I am betting he isn’t tweeting FAKE NEWS or advising anyone not to show up to a congressional subpoena
Adam Rapport on the left, Jose Andres center and Matt Goulding on the right
He spoke to every person and took every selfie. My kind of a guy
Oh did I mention that Tom Colicchio the co-founder of Gramercy Tavern and a slew of other restaurants was there too?

And don’t worry GrainbinGirl. There is a FedEx delivery heading your way tomorrow. #RoboCares

April 29th – Is A HUGE Day In History

Not only is today Willie Hugh Nelson’s 86th birthday but today is also our Godchild Willimena Esmerelda’s 2nd Birthday! I remember it like it was yesterday. We were down in in the Dominican Republic drunk and RJ texted saying that W.E. arrived and things were good.

The irony is that W.E’s mother is a huge Willie Nelson fan much like myself so April 29th just seemed like a good day to be born. Come clean Mal-O-Rie, you were doing jumping jacks the night before telling her it was closing time weren’t you? Wait till the FedEx Ground guys deliver the 12 pc drum set and inflatable 2 story slip and slide to Bar 595 this afternoon.

If you don’t like Willie you can just kiss my ass!
She is stinking cute! Can’t wait to hang with her and her sisters this summer!

Happy Birthday Willie and Willimena Esmerelda!