Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Department of Environmental Conservation - Test Day/Stop Buggin' Me



A sight for sore eyes.

I passed the test on my very first try and I am quite happy and very relieved.

What with all the well wishers on Social Media insisting that I would indeed pass immediately I would look a right twit if I failed on my first attempt but this is neither here nor there.

This was not my goal, nor do I really care what anyone says ?

Actually I really Do.

Many was my cheerleading squad and I would not lose any backup if I did stumble on my first try and so nice of everyone to rally about me succeeding and also nice to know I am thought of highly as opposed to lowly. PHEW.

I wanted my license on first try.



The day began on my one hour and fifteen minute rush hour commute to Long Island City.

Two trains and an easy trip (D to Times Square, transfer to the no. 7 for 3 stops to Hunters Point)


I have driven past this diner several times with my boss man Ray with foresight to possibly dropping in for a Lime Rickey or Coffee on the impending day of the exam.

Walking by on the day I saw there was no "active" Diner much less a lunch break permitting beverages during exam time.

Once this was a majestic eatery now left in ruin.


Barud-Dur - The Dark Tower

a.k.a. - The D.E.C. 


The Mouse Police Never Sleep.


Time for the test (#2 Pencils Only)

Was I nervous ?, you bet.


And they'll play noisy games like zoozittacarzay,
A roller-skate type of lacrosse and croquet!
And then they'll make ear-splitting noises galooks
On their great big electro whocarnio flooks!

This was the closed book exam portion (1 of 2).


The open book exam (2 of 2) was quite a bit tougher.

I made all 50 questions with 2 minutes to spare (out of 90 minutes allotted) but half the class flunked out as the clock ran out.

This I do not understand. We were given the half time warning, the 7 minute warning and the 2 minute warning verbally.

Would not an educated last minute guess on the open book give everyone a fighting chance at possibly passing ?


Afterwards I celebrated with a Vegetable Tostada and Spicy Meat (Enchilada) Taco.


One (1) Spicy Meat (enchilada) Taco ($1.75).


Sunday, February 26, 2017

STEVE HACKETT - 2/25/17 Playstation Theater - Times Square, New York City



Carrie, Kenny, Chris and myself attended an excellent Hackett performance. This was my second Hackett concert at the same venue which now brandishes the moniker Playstation Theater (I really dislike these newfangled corporate sponsored names, whatever happened to War Memorial Stadium.
?).

After a slight delay beginning our MTA trip from Brooklyn due to weather conditions (called pouring rain) we got underway to Times Square. Arriving a few minutes late I noticed a few fans milling around outside the venue and was relieved it appeared the show had not begun yet and then we ate some Brownies. We grabbed a Beer at the bar and made our way to the seats and ran into Jamie & Charlie going to their seats, without rhyme or reason and with no pre-meditation all three of us were wearing the very same t-shirt (I preferred theirs as the logo was brighter and larger but who am I to mess with a Squonk) so we had an audience member snap a photo.










Gratuitous Marquee Photo.


Brownie pic, Full Tilt on purpose.


Fine Bourbon and Honey Jack was served pre show at Carrie & Chris' place.

Shot Goblets courtesy of The Bovis.


Taking one of those "HoldCameraOverYourHeadAnd PointBlindly" photos I happened to catch Carrie and Chris in one and appreciated the happenstance.





Thursday, November 3, 2016

RUSH - TIME STAND STILL AMC 25 - 11/3/16 New York City



Hot on the heels of the Rush documentary "Beyond the Lighted Stage" comes ,... hew waittaminnit has it really been six years already ?!!!

Anyways what I was trying to say was I certainly have no complaints about another quality Rush doc and this one is completely different from the previous one.

"Time Stand Still" focuses on the R40 tour of which the band had heavily hinted would be their last Full On tour but this unique film is also a love letter from the fans and crew about the ride we all took together and hammered home the fact that this was Indeed the Final Tour, I found this dichotomy rather heartwarming and heartbreaking simultaneously.

I was also fortunate to attend a one night only viewing of the film thanks to my bro Frank (A.O.F.) who procured us a pair of tickets.


The mini marquee outside of theater 18 letting patrons know where the heck to go. 

Said marquee, was not displaying this info before the film so kinda defeats the purpose doesn't it ?!!!

I snapped the "marquee" photo after the film.


Pre-film, Fathom Entertainment who specialize in hosting these one night only DVD pre-release concert events were wise (as they are wont to do) to display advertisements for future Rush Releases (Time Stand Still Blu-Ray, Rush 2112 40th anniversary bundles,"Masters of Resonance" documentary (DW Drums) and Rush movie house friendly quizzes etc. as opposed to upcoming hollywood feature films).

Those in attendance were also treated to a wonderful animated Neil Peart short (see below) and a 26 minute reel of band and peer interviews ("A Salute to Kings") of which I still have not been able to locate as an "extra" on my home viewing release. My wise friend Frank commented during this segment "I don't think this is going to be on the Blu-Ray" and I replied "it has to be" after all these were insightful and often hysterical interviews, but then Ray Daniels espoused "please enjoy the film everyone". 

Kinda puts you in a private club huh ? well no complaints here.

Incidentally Gene Simmons (KISS) was hysterical in the film (my opinion).


Post-film and two happy and very pleased Rush campers.

It had been a long 36 year ride as Rush fans for ourselves as well which shall continue because "RUSH AINT OVER YET"


And of course prior to the screening and only eight blocks down the road.

We had GYRO ll


Saturday, October 15, 2016

SHIN GODZILLA - Regal Cinema 18 - 10/15/16 New Rochelle, New York



Frank and myself (A.O.F.) have always been fans of THE BIG G since we were kids but by the time of the American 1998 Godzilla disaster pic (and I mean that sarcastically) we began to see them as theatrical releases before VHS/DVD/Blu-Ray had a chance so this was a big day for us as we stood on the precipice of Monster Island waiting to see what goodies were up on offer, furthermore this was a Japanese release a few years after the Gareth Edwards directed American remake which ruled. 

And from which Mr. Edwards might be able to learn a thing or two. These are BIG words but this is a BIG monster and I loved this film BIG time.


Markito with Godzilla action figure in tow was quite excited to see this film and unspoken from myself to my comrades there is nothing like seeing a G film with a young person.


No posters on display and boy we were looking for them.

Yes I may have stolen it but there was no way to tell this film was running at this theater aside from asking an usher/customer service person. Well there was this lit marquee but like billions of floors up from the latest "MINIONS" pic.


No Words can ever express the thrill I get from seeing this intro logo come up on the Big screen.


A few new tricks up his sleeve and dorsal fins to boot.

I watched in happy awe.


This just scared the crap out of me.


The Three Kaijuteers - Markito, Frank and myself.

Now it was off,... back to Brooklyn for an after Dinner at Silver Star !!!


Shin Silver Star.


DESTROY ALL CRISPY NOODLES.

Markitos Godzilla figurine on the rampage was not destroyed but kept at bay with an order of Beef with Broccoli.




Friday, August 5, 2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

FRANK ZAPPA - EAT THAT QUESTION - Film Forum 6/24/16 New York City



Being a video archivist of All Things Zappa for many years and having seen the trailer for this film prior to viewing I assumed I had (pardon the expression) "Seen It All" or at least most of it but this left me filled with awe at the amount I had not.

I Love this film.

Pete Townshend, Bob Fripp, Bill Bruford and Frank Zappa are my "go to" guys for interviews in the Music world and this film consists of musings from the late great Mr. Zappa many of which this Video Archivist had not seen.


Damn, I missed the Q & A but had no idea as I purchased my tickets earlier than this was announced.


Marquee Selfie.


Eat That Easel.



Monday, June 29, 2015

RUSH - R40 TOUR - Madison Square Garden 6/29/15 New York City



7/2/2016 - A year and a day have passed since this event and I finally get to put down words regarding my memory reminiscing on the glory that hindsight can achingly paint and yearning for previous greatness of which a void may be falsely filled due to wishfully galvanizing the remembrance of  a positive picture in the minds eye of an event of the most highly statured nature.

Yet my mind does not play tricks on me.

THIS CONCERT KICKED ASS.


The iPhone 4 screensaver.

Captured on the day and being my long standing screenshot for several months.


Of this text my memory is dim but it appears to concern the fact that FRANK WAS DILLIGENTLY AT WORK TO SECURE US RUSH TICKETS !!!


On the night and in the building.

Two happier campers you would be hard pressed to find. We were amongst the crowd of twenty thousand to celebrate our boys victory year of 40.

Yep they made it folks against much critical adversity and changing musical climates, we were and shall remain Proud Fans of RUSH.


Pre concert is when I prefer to purchase my takeout food item souvenirs as there can be a larger mob post concert and the goal is to get back out into Manhattan's gasoline drenched, germ permeated air in haste.


Aside from an R40 t-shirt I also scored a program of which I collect and as a "trinket" a five dollar R40 lanyard (or was it ten dollars).

This was the "Night of the Soaked Program" mystery debacle wherein I found myself exiting the arena only to find my program which was in the supplied shopping bag drenched in Beer or some such liquid, yet being keen observers Frank and I noted no beverage drinkers in our proximity during the performance. My latest theorem is someone on the escalator accidentally dripped liquid into my bag by accident.

Anyways, I tried a few vendors after the fact for a fair exchange of said drenched item to no avail and the "old timer" at the last stand was downright rude, he exclaimed "We Dont Sell Them Like That, You Probably Found It !!!"

The customer is always right and he basically called me a liar but I just took it like a Rush Fan/Man and purchased another program, They weren't going to let me leave empty handed, I will show them,...

hey waitaminnit.


In the arena perched in our front row seats (section 226).


The Tickets (photo courtesy A.O.F. archives)


The show was cleverly designed in linear reverse/backwards time machine format BLAHBLAHBLAH encapsulating the sense of humor that is RUSH BLAHBLAHBLAH and from the looks of the stage gear at this juncture here we find them somewhere in the early 80s or late 90s BLAHBLAHBLAH.

Since this entry concerns the R40 Tour let me say that it was one of the finest concerts I have ever been to (as of this writing and most likely of all time). 


Here we find the boys in mid-70s mode BLAHBLAHBLAH during a track from "Fly By Night" if I am not mistaken.


FOODS TO BE HAD. 

GYRO ll - A longstanding mainstay of GoingToAConcertAtMadisonSuareGardenAndGettingABiteToEatBeforehand.

Gyro ll is pretty much an Gastronomical institution of the lower midtown area. I can only imagine the brouhaha and zaniness that has occurred when the Grateful Dead has come to town across the street from this fine establishment.

Gyro to Infinity and Beyond. Perfection abounds and I doubt that can fall exclusively to their extra touch of a powdering of Paprika atop the White Sauce.


As difficult as it was to resist I kept my "in camera" video footage capturing to a minimum preferring to actually Enjoy The Concert and Be There. Here are the two clips I took home as souvenirs as I knew I would be "jonesing" to relive the experience awaiting the impending DVD release.


The aforementioned "impending" DVD release.

Frank & I are awaiting to get together at his sprawling palatial estate to enjoy this film together in glorious 5.1 Surround Sound.


Frank tempted me to peek at the setlist online and try as I might I gave in after a few hours. Hemispheres (prelude) and Cygnus X-1 had me entirely stoked and I inwardly predicted "Xanadu" of which I was correct and gratefully so as part of the song selections on this most Amazing Tour.