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Tag - Jeff Thomas

Website Boot Camp or Jeff’s Florida Vacation

Jeff Thomas - Outlet ShoppingMy friend Jeff decided to come to Florida for vacation, but little did he know, that by staying with us, he was entering a website “Boot Camp.”

We had just finished designing two websites for Jeff, and he was also the proud owner of a brand new MacBook Pro laptop (which turned out to be the only Mac, ever made, that didn’t work correctly!)

Jeff jumped in with both feet to learn about how to make posts on his blog, how to navigate through his sites, and how to work more productively and efficiently.

Along with work, we did have time to shop as well (if you spend any time with me, you are going to end up shopping…it is inevitable.)

As soon as I picked Jeff up last Sunday, we hit the Miromar Outlet Mall in Ft. Myers and Jeff purchased what he claims is “his favorite shirt ever.”

Then, on Wednesday, we hit the Ellenton Outlets and Jeff walked right into this beautiful Cashmere Coat, that I insisted he needed to purchase. He hemmed and hawed and walked away from it twice, but he eventually gave in, bought it, and walked out of the store wearing it! (Here is a photo of Jeff and his date, ready for a night on the town.)

Jeff is also visiting some of his old friends from Boston, and there is talk of a Thundertrain reunion, this weekend, at some bar in Ft. Myers. Apparently, all of the original members of the Boston band Thundertain, live in Ft. Myers, with the exception of lead singer, Mach Bell.

Mj & Kelly Do New York

Someone had to do it…I just had to de-virginize another person into becoming a Handbag Ho!

Kelly was complaining about not making enough money, so I showed her how she could make more money, by joining me on my never-ending “quest” for handbags. Doesn’t she look happy spending lots of money here?!

Unlike the last time I was in New York, (where I found nothing to buy except one Prada bag, that I just had to keep for myself) – This time we did some major damage between Saks and Bergdorf Goodman for handbags and then Kelly stepped into the World of Luxury with her first personal Luxury purchase, which was not a handbag! (I am not allowed to disclose what it was, but it was gorgeous and very unexpected!) Once that first step is taken, there is no going back!

We shopped all day on Saturday which made up for the hours of mindless trekking we had done on Friday, down in the Village and Soho. I had a brand new Android phone whose Maps/GPS feature took us over a mile out of our way! Once we got back on track, we celebrated with pizza at Lombardi’s.

We started the day on Friday with cake items from the Magnolia Bakery on Bleeker and then ended the day on Saturday with Cupcakes from Sprinkles on the upper East Side. The jury has returned with the verdict…Sprinkles wins hands down! The cake I had from Magnolia was tasteless and dry while Sprinkles cupcakes were lush and rich tasting! I never eat that much sugar in a day, much less a month, so I was a little queasy from it all.

Kelly editing Mj's Blog Posts

Kelly editing Mj’s Blog Posts

My friend Jeff drove in from Boston on Saturday and pretended to be interested while we were obsessing over handbags and then he dragged us down to the Village (again) later that night, to hear a band. We never made it to that club but ended up getting soaked to the bone, walking to the subway on the way home. I have never been so wet in my entire life. It was worse than stepping out of a shower. ARGH!

We did meet four young boys from Belfast, who were lost on the Subway. They followed us downtown through a few line changes and then we set them off on their own into the Village. Hope they made it back safely.

We ended up back at the Hotel, exhausted, and just dropped to the floor!

Out of amusement I always say that I am going to the “Bodega” to get my coffee and Jeff told me that “Bodega” meant “Whorehouse” in Spanish, instead of Grocery Store, which I thought it meant! Uh…Jeffy – go look on Dictionary.com which shows you are WRONG! So I can still get my coffee from the Bodega!

Kelly left early on Sunday and I walked around a bit through a Street Fair on Lexington and then had to go buy another suitcase to fit all the purses we had purchased.

Tsk. Tsk. Such bad language but SO hilarious!

The trip then ended on a ridiculous note in that my flight was delayed four times at La Guardia. I got a hotel room so I didn’t have to sit in the terminal and then ended up missing my flight, when it finally took off at midnight, instead of 9:00 pm. I finally made it home at about 11 am on Monday.

We stayed at the St. Giles Hotel (The Court) on 39th & Lexington and while it was convenient to Grand Central, I think I preferred it when I stayed at the Empire Hotel further uptown. It just seemed easier to get around from up there rather than having to walk more from the Midtown location of the St. Giles.

The St. Giles was great in that we had a one-bedroom Suite (about 650 sf) for less than $250/night. Again, not as nice or upscale of a Hotel as the Empire was, but it was like having an apartment in the City, which was much nicer to live in for the few days we were there. I already miss being up there, rain and all! It also wasn’t as hot as I expected it to be which was a welcome relief.

Such bad language on this T-shirt we saw in the Village but so appropriate for who I was thinking of, when I saw it!

Jeff Thomas & "7"

Steve Thorsen, Jeff Thomas & Phil Provost - "7"

“7” Flyer – (Defacement done by Krystyna, for some reason!)

This is my friend from Boston, Jeff Thomas – and some of his many “7” bandmates. I hope Jeffy forgives me, because I promised to write this blog post well over a month ago and am just now getting around to it.

I thought I had met Jeff during the second time I lived in Boston (Boston Part 2) BUT, in reading through an older diary, I realized that I had actually met Jeff during the first year I lived in Boston (Boston Part 1), when I just happened to go to a club that his band Slash played at. I vaguely remembered meeting him that night, since at that time, I wasn’t really hanging out at rock clubs, so being at one kind of stood out in my mind. But when we finally did meet, for “real”, in early 1980, neither of us remembered that first meeting, from two years previous. Plus, I think Jeff was wearing spandex pants that first time I met him, although he swears that isn’t true!

Funnier even still are the photos in this post…they were all taken during my “Boston Revisited” Tour, although I knew both Jeff and Jane during Boston Part 2. (Yes, confusing even for me!) I will add their photos to both Image Galleries so they are represented equally for those two times I was in Boston.

And even funnier than that….Jeff and I talked on the phone about a month and a half ago and he said he would mail me some of his CD’s and since he doesn’t have a computer yet (WTF?!) I told him I would mail him some photos. We got each others mail on the same day, and each of our envelopes to each other, contained the same photos, from 30 years ago. That was pretty freaky!

Phil Provost, Rick Delano, Jeff Thomas & Jane (Balmond) Mangini - "7"

Where’s my Photo Credit?!

But, what I came to find out, after opening his “7” CD, was that Jeff illegally used my images for his CD liner with NO photo credit! He “violated” my copyright! Ha ha! Oh well…They were pretty crappy photos anyway since I just happened to have my camera with me that day, and they were rehearsing in this god-forsaken place that had no air conditioning.

I find it amusing that I have hundreds of images, of bands I didn’t really know, yet I hardly have any images (and no “pro” images) of my very good friends, who were in bands. What a bad friend I must have been.

I have so many memories of hanging out with Jeff…he was one of the few people we knew, who had a car in Boston, and he was the only person who didn’t drink or imbibe, in any way, shape or form, so he was always sober enough to drive us all home.

My Bud – Jane (Balmond) Mangini – Keyboard Player extraordinaire

As I said above, I (re)met Jeff, in early 1980, and I liked him, but Jeff was crazy ga-ga in love, with my best drinking buddy friend, Jane. When Jeff and I talked on the phone recently, I read him some stories out of my Diary from back then, and apparently one night, when he was giving me a ride home from the club, I started “bitching” about guys in general, saying I was “done” with them. When we reached my apartment, Jeff got out of the car and told me that I “needed a hug” so he picked me up and started twirling me around! That made me crack up and got me out of the bad mood I was in!

Jeff didn’t remember that story, until I brought it up again, and then it came back to him. Every time I have a conversation with someone from the past, one of us always says something or remembers something that triggers a memory in the other person. The most ironic thing is the last entry in my diary, from that second year in Boston, is with me being pissed off at Jeff, for chasing after Jane, and dissing me in the process!

Eventually Jeff and Jane were in a band together (the band’s name was “7”) which is where the rehearsal photos in this post come from.

When I came back to Boston in the Spring of 1981, I remember Jeff was the first person I met up with. I think all our other friends were working, so I remember Jeff and I walking from Kenmore Square to the house he was renting in Brookline. I think I’ve already said that certain music or certain songs remind me of very specific parts of my life. I will never forget, that Jeff played Prince’s new album Dirty Mind for me, as soon as we got to his house. I fell in love with that album and I still remember how that music moved me, to this day.

Rick Delano, Jane (Balmond) Mangini, Jeff Thomas - "7"During that same Boston trip, Krystyna and I disappeared to New York for a long weekend, and when we came back to Boston, is when I met Mark Normand and a bunch of other people. I remember that at the end of that week, Jeff had a huge party at his house, that I think I invited three different guys to. Didn’t know which one I was really interested in, (and Jeff was probably in that “mix” as well) so I thought I would see how the night went.

I ended up leaving with Mark Normand and his friend Kevin, and I’ll never forget Krystyna and Jeff, hanging off the balcony, calling me a “trampoline” as I walked away, into the night! Ha ha (Trampoline was a ridiculous word that my gay friend Tony came up with, for people who “bounce around” from one person to the next.) In my defense, I never had this many guys around, at any given time. My Mother had just passed away and I think I was looking for a “distraction” from the pain.

I did come back to Boston again, that same summer, (one loses track of just exactly how many times I went back to Boston) and during one of those trips, I remember Jeff, Jane, Krystyna and the other guys in the band, drove me to the airport to go home, and we tried to get Jane’s dog Max, through the airport as a “seeing eye” dog! No one was buying that, because Jane’s dog Max didn’t behave very well.

Jane (Balmond) Mangini, Max the Dog, and a bottle of wine

Jane (Balmond) Mangini, Max the Dog, and a bottle of wine

Jeff eventually moved out to LA at around the same time Krystyna did. They both lived with me, for awhile, at what I am now going to start calling the “Commune House”, in Manhattan Beach, since so many people lived there, or stayed there, at any given time. It was like the “Halfway House” for all recently relocated people from Boston.

I did find some other hilarious photos, from Easter Sunday at that house, that has me, Jeff and Krystyna in them, as well as my cat and a rabbit. (I have no idea who owned that rabbit!) I still have to scan those images in, so it will be awhile before they are online.

Jeff and I talked on the phone about some of the stuff we remembered from those days in LA and some of the stories he remembers never happened at all (or they only happened in his mind! ha ha) and the other stories…well, they’re not “fit” for a family blog, such as mine is! Let’s just say that those memories are best left, just between the two of us.

At one point, Jeff ran a “Jam Night” at a local LA club and Krystyna and I were bored, so we thought we would go torment him. We dressed up in strange outfits and wore wigs (I think mine was blonde) and we pretended to be French. I say that we had Jeff fooled, ’cause he came up to me and started hitting on me. Jeff swears that he knew it was us all along! Yeah, right!

I do have photos of Jeff at my LA going away party, so he actually lived in LA a lot longer than I did. I did see Jeff one other time, when a band he was in, played here in Florida. It might even have been the weekend that Kevin and I got married, so I know we didn’t go to a bar, but I think we met up with Jeff during the day, to say hi.

Jeff Thomas and Rick Delano - "7"

Don’t give me “that” look Buddy!

Following this post are two of my favorite songs of Jeff’s. One is She Rips the Bone, which I have heard about a gazillion remakes of (but I still love it) and the other one is Break the String.

When I listened to the CD’s that Jeff just sent me, I was instantly transported back to that Summer of 1981, and that hot, sweaty rehearsal space, where I first heard, Jeff, Jane, Rick and Phil rehearsing those songs. It really is amazing how music makes such a powerful impact in our lives.

Enjoy the songs and I will be adding more to the Jeff Thomas and “7” listening Library soon!

MUSIC: Listen to She Rips the Bone by Jeff Thomas

MUSIC: Listen to Break the String by “7”

Boston Revisited

These photos were taken right after Mark’s band, Swingers Resort, had played in the WBCN Battle of the Bands. Mark had a great support system of friends from his hometown of Lawrence, MA and they all came out to watch his band play.

It’s funny that there is an actual photo of me with a boyfriend, since there are not many of those around!

Click Here to view my Photo Gallery of Mark Normand

Click Here to view my Photo Gallery of Mark & Swingers Resort

The Boston Years: Part Two

Images from the second time I lived in Boston and all my crazy musician and club friends. Seemed that every night was just another excuse to party!

Check out the Images below.