Monthly Archives: August 2010

I’ll Give You Money

It’s a Tuesday and once again it is quite hot. Not hummus though, just heat. The sun in beaming. And of course at any moment the computer might think it is getting too hot and shut down unexpectedly. So it would be in my best interest (and yours perhaps) to just write write write before it all goes away.

But what to write about?

Weeds was on last night and it was good. The Big C was also on, and I can’t help it, I really like Laura Linney. Ever since Tales of the City. I’m sure I’m not alone on that. Her kid and her husband both deserve a slap though. And maybe her character does too.

The character, Cathy has stage 4 cancer, inoperable, incurable. And she’s not telling anyone about it. But she is living her life the way she sees fit.

I don’t think I wrote about True Blood yesterday. That was on Sunday night. Pretty good, some story lines should be dropped. I can’t wait to see the season finale on September 12. That should be very interesting.

I arranged to have September 12 & 13 off from work. Not that there is anything planned for either day, at least I don’t think there is. I’m open for surprises though.

I also did not write about seeing Neutron Drivers at Maxwells on Saturday night. Got there in time to see the Electric Mess finish their set, with one song. They were entertaining, if only for 3:50. Neutron Drivers came on.

Before they did I went outside for a smoke. A woman came up to me and asked if I was the drummer for the first group. I told her I wasn’t. We started talking. She used to work at the Cat Club and Don Hill’s in Manhattan around the same time I was working at Maxwells.

I didn’t ask her name but figured she was in the same ballpark as me. We briefly chatted about how horrible bands that eventually made it big were when they played our respective clubs. I mentioned Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins as examples and can’t remember who she mentioned.

I do remember her name being Liz. We both mentioned that we hardly ever go out anymore, I was there to see Mike C in Neutron Drivers and she was with her husband who dragged her out to see some bands.

She couldn’t find her husband I cracked wise, asking if she was sure it wasn’t the drummer for the first band.

Rand and Lisa showed up and we enjoyed Neutron Drivers, though Rand agreed with me they should move the songs around in their set list, not have three songs in a row that slowly unravel, losing whatever momentum they might have had.

I had three Stella Artois and it basically got me buzzed. Buzzed enough that wound up home a little after 11:00PM. Two Saturdays in a row where I had actually gone out and saw some music and home before midnight. Glad I did.

Now it’s been a long hot day. Once again, an uneasy night’s sleep. At one point Bill was yelling. I thought he was asleep, he says he wasn’t. He claimed to have been bitten by something. It was enough to wake me up, him yelling through his sleep apnea mask.

I had a dental appointment this morning. Did not go to Coney Island. No swimming allowed since Hurricane Earl (!) is approaching the east coast.

And I do like to take pictures when I am at Coney Island but without a camera it would have been difficult. Back to work tomorrow. Another hot day is predicted.

I Started a Joke

A stretch, the kind of stretch that you do at home at 6:59PM. Just did that. It felt so good. Just finished Ghost of Hoppers by Jaime Fernandez.

It was inadvertent. I was about to start writing when my computer shut down since it was so hot both inside and outside the apartment. I had started reading the compilation a week or so ago.

Always loved Maggie & Hopey and Izzy et all in Love & Rockets. But Love & Rockets published intermittently and it was easily to miss an issue. It finally wrapped up somewhat in the 1990’s if I recall, but was reactivated a few years later I think.

Personal confession, though I love Love & Rockets written and drawn by Jaime and Beto Hernandez, aka Los Bros Hernandez, I personally. liked Jaime’s work with Maggie & Hopey than I did Bet’s tales of Palomar.

Perhaps ‘liked’ isn’t the right word. Maybe ‘preferred’ is more fitting.

I think it was the final ending of Maggie’s story, but I really hope it isn’t. I also started reading The Education of Hopey Glass which is also another compilation from Jaime Hernandez, dealing mainly with Maggie’s erstwhile girlfriend.

It also explains how the hell Hopey lost her eye. But Ghost of Hoppers really blew me away. Quite an intense finale and once again I can identify with Maggie and company somewhat. They’re older, I’m older. They’ve moved away, moved on, lost friends and family just like me.

I don’t think any comic book or perhaps any novel affected me quite like Love & Rockets. I have to get more of the compilations from the bibliothèque.

Slept later than usual today which was quite nice. Never heard from Pedro and I was content to stay home. There was a tentative plan to meet up.

It was especially hot today, but it wasn’t too humid. Still I spent a good part of the day staying indoors with the curtain covering the window. That didn’t last too long since I did laundry and with it, the window curtain.

A trip to the supermarket, a trip to the dry cleaners and a stop by the Guitar Bar to say hello to Mr. Wonderful, Jim Mastro. He just got back from North Carolina with Meghan and the girls, meeting Ann Boyles and her husband Pat Patterson.

Everyone was fine he said and also thanked me for the cigar I left at the store, as a way of saying thanks for accepting a delivery of cigars sent to me from work, saving a ton on money.

Sat by the river, enjoying one of those cigars and also reading the New Yorker from August 9 and also a bit of the Andy Warhol book, when the Velvet Underground just met Nico.

Now it’s 7:30, sun’s going down. Glad to be home, busy doing nothing. And enjoying it. Not much else to do tonight. Finally got the Fantastic Mr. Fox from Netflix so I might watch that before Weeds and The Big C.

I Just Came To Tell You That I’m Going

Well I did go bicycle riding today. It was good to do. I find that Jersey City will marginally better than Hoboken with regards to bicycling, getting to Liberty State Park can be incredibly frustrating. There is no signs directing you to the park and there are several dead ends.

At one point I rode my bicycle about 200 yards through a deserted parking lot only to find the exit or perhaps the entrance gated shut. Had to turn around and pedal back 200 yards. It wasn’t that bad, just frustrating, because I could see the path to the park on the other side of the gate.

It was a beautiful day for a bike ride. I went solo after posting what I was about to endeavor on my Facebook page.

After the headache last week, not just from you know who, but from someone else about not being invited to see Adele Bertei with the Raybeats, I once again decided to do something alone. If someone wanted to join me, that would be fine. If no one did I’d still be going by myself anyhow.

On the way to Liberty State Park I stopped by and checked out the Jersey City LGBT Pride festival at Exchange Place. It was as it was last time I went there. Lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered folk wandering around.

The only good time I’ve ever had was with Juan a few years ago. Going by myself I found myself apart of community that I generally support and fight for. It’s always been this way ever since I can remember.

With the Gay Activist Alliance of North New Jersey back the early 1980’s in Teaneck, most of the other people don’t have anything to do with me. Maybe it’s too much pride on their part or maybe it’s simply not enough pride on my part.

I stood around this afternoon, not scowling but with a bemused look on my face.

Some guys worth checking out and as usual I am oblivious when someone is checking me out. If I’m walking with Bill, Bill usually points out that such and such a guy was just checking me out. He jokes that he ought to do something about it and I usually no idea what it is he’s talking about.

I didn’t stay too long at the festival. I checked out the stalls where various people and groups had things to sell or sign up for. I bought nothing and signed nothing. I did watch an evangelist with a megaphone condemn all attendees while standing next to a bloke holding up a sign that said ‘Fuck This Guy’ with an arrow pointed to the evangelist.

The ride to Liberty State Park was next and after winding my way through side streets I found my way there and treated myself to a Mister Softee ice cream. Not much place for shade in the park though I did eventually found a spot.

Hard to believe it was a year ago that I was there for the All Points West concert. Couldn’t figure out exactly where it was.

I did stop by the Pride festival on the way back and realized once again, that if I would identify with a subgroup, instead of being with the bears, I would identify with being a wolf more. A lone wolf, though on the bicycle I consider myself a bike rat.

No silly shirts and bike shorts advertising some company for me. I’m not practicing for the Tour de France, just out for a leisurely bicycle ride.

I do think people are really oblivious to what is going on around them, or where they are. I almost hit a few people despite honking my horn loud enough to let them know that I was approaching. People are stupid.

Now I’m home, just had some chicken, with penne past and pesto. Heading out in an hour or so to see the Neutron Drivers at Maxwells.

Not writing tomorrow. So you can have the day off from my life’s minutiae.

Me? I’ll be working at the cigar shop.
Jersey City Pride 2010

Fuck this guy

I’ll Be Good To You

Well I thought my friend Mike C was playing Maxwells with his band the Neutron Drivers, but it’s actually tomorrow night. So here I am. Engulf and devour me. Actually, no. Don’t. It’s a Friday today and that’s nice.

Off tomorrow. Back Sunday and off Monday and Tuesday. Don’t know what I’m going to do. Possibly avoid people. It’s supposed to be a nice weekend. Maybe a bike ride tomorrow. Heard from Pedro today and he’s off Monday and Tuesday I think.

He had an idea to do something on those days. Don’t know what day, or what he has planned. I mentioned I was thinking about going to Coney Island. It’s a beach and it’s accessible. I don’t think Pedro would be into such a think since he has mentioned in the past that it’s full of malcontents, malcontents that he watches at his job.

Today was a boring day. Made it through five days of work. No big deal for some, or for most, but for me, it was 45 hours on my feet. It was tiresome and I certainly did not match the sales I did yesterday. I worked with Raymond and Don Birch with Sean coming in after school.

It being a Friday meant the day went slowly. A lot of people get their cigars on Thursday and flee the city on Friday. At least that’s how it goes during the summer. I suppose that after Labor Day that might all change. It remains to be seen.

I did send in my resume to the guy I met in the humidor on Wednesday. No response. He’s probably out of town as well. Perhaps I’ll hear from someone on Monday.

I certainly didn’t want to be there but was glad that I was able to go outside for lunch. Yesterday I had to stay inside since it was just Calvin and myself and he might have needed me. Today was beautiful. Had a cigar on Central Park West.

I decided to take my camera out and take some snapshots. To my dismay, the camera wouldn’t turn on. I thought it might be the batteries so I changed them, but no. It seems dead. I bought it in June 2007 for my niece’s wedding, so it has certainly got some use.

But it’s disappointing to find that it may be dead. Still I have the cellphone camera which isn’t the same but will do the job if I need it to.

It’s a rare Friday evening tonight, both Bill and I are home. The Kids in the Hall are on right now. It’s a beautiful night tonight. Nothing much else to do, or write about. Looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. Bill’s going to a wedding.

I might go for a bike ride. Nothing overwhelming. I’m thinking of Liberty State Park. It will be the rare event, me not having my camera while bicycling. I’m sure I will adjust. One less thing to carry I suppose.

Already started looking at new cameras and Bill hinted that I might get a new one for my birthday. That would be nice.


I’ll Be Gone

Oh I was too tired to post last night and I got in late, a little after midnight. I don’t even want to write tonight. But here I am, writing. In fact I’ve been willing distracted from writing tonight.

Oh, a status update on Facebook from a friend of a friend of a friend? I’m there, not here. But I’m back.

Last night was a staff gathering at the Carnegie Club after work. I was hesitant since it would involve drinking and I don’t like to drink without having eaten something.

I had hoped that I would get a chance to wolf down a burger but Marcus and Calvin were around and they frown on that sort of thing.

I did have a strange encounter with a customer in the humidor. I’d never seen this gent before, he was new to the area. He just opened an office in the neighborhood and was surprised to find it was difficult to get staffing.

I mentioned that I had been an office manager in my previous job and that I missed working a nine to five, Monday to Friday job. He asked if I had a resume and would I mail it to him. He’s the CEO of a college intramural athletics thing.

It was a surprise and I told him I would email the resume, to which he replied he wouldn’t be interviewing me, but someone else would, probably after Labor Day. I plan on emailing the resume tomorrow morning.

Marcus, Calvin, Don Birch, Raymond and myself walked the handful of blocks to the Carnegie Club and were seated in the back. Very nice cigars were handed out and I had a Woodford Reserve.

Some finger foods, mainly cheese and crackers were ordered which turned out to be dinner. The cigars were excellent, as was the bourbon. The conversation was drowned out by some Russians sitting at the next table, but still, Marcus loves the sound of his voice and he dominated the conversation.

Calvin seemed to be nodding out. The word in the shop is that Calvin likes to have a nip throughout the day, his back water bottle hidden from the sight of the customers. I never notice but Raymond and Don Birch have both said that he reeks of booze after lunch.

After about an hour and a half Raymond, Don Birch and myself had our fill. They had off today and live in Manhattan. I had to make my way back to the mainland. We left Marcus and Calvin in the cigar lounge and headed west, Raymond distracted by McDonald’s.

Don Birch hopped on a train and I made my way down to the bus terminal. I had to wait in the upper level since it was past 10:00 and the buses were running on a different schedule. Different, stranger people on the bus and I buried my nose in a book about Andy Warhol.

Hope after midnight and in bed at 12:30. Didn’t sleep that well. Only had 2 glasses of bourbon which amounted to a finger. $15.00 a glass. A bottle is about $40.00 in Hoboken. I certainly wasn’t drunk, but still tossing and turning made for a strange day It was a slow day, few regulars turning up.

Still Calvin and I did well on the cash registers. Earning that 1/3 of 1% commission.

I was disappointed with the fact that Richie, the Colombian cleaner that comes in weekdays was being replaced. Calvin had a run in with him and with Marcus’ blessing the die was cast. It’s too bad, Richie’s a nice guy but he’ll be alright.

He works for a firm and will likely be shuffled over to another spot. I over heard Calvin making the call this morning but didn’t say anything except to ask hours later, ‘Where’s Richie?’

It was a long day and I’m glad to be home. Work tomorrow, off Saturday, back in on Sunday and off Monday and Tuesday. I miss having a nine to five, Monday through Friday job.

Open mouthed Bass?

I’m So Bored with the U.S.A.

Just got home. Checked Facebook. My brother Brian posted a YouTube clip of Elvis, Suspicious Minds. I don’t need to hear the song or watch the video to have the song become an ear worm and burrow it’s way into my brain.

And perhaps I’ve infected you with the mere writing of Suspicious Minds. For that I apologize.

Woke up this morning around 6:00AM, the usual for some but not for me. Bill was kissing me goodbye and also telling me about a bus hijacking in the Philippines, 8 passengers killed, the bus driver lived. Horrible news to wake up to.

I didn’t understand what Bill was saying but despite not knowing what he was saying was enough to cause the next 2 hours to be fraught with tension, with me not being able to go back for a proper sleep.

I just talked with Bill about it and he said he didn’t tell me anything about the bus hijacking, just wished me a good day and that he would see me tonight. I suppose that is what caused the tension.

“I love you baby, have a good day and I will see you tonight” “Leave me the fuck alone!”
Ah, we still have the romance in our relationship.

The work day was the usual drudgery. We had a big shipment of cigars in yesterday and it took four of us to put them all in stock. Today it was learned the order was not for our cigar shop. They found out before I came in and all 7 boxes we were packed and sealed to be shipped out again.

That all happened before I came in and it accounted for the harried looks on Marcus and Don Birch. The day was mediocre at best. I held up my end though. Raymond came in an hour or so later, after attending to family matters.

One of my first customers was a rather rotund gent Boob Zimet. I did my best to help him in the humidor and duly wrote down the cigar numbers for inventory.

I rang up his purchase and asked him if he wanted any of his cigars cut. “Yes, but not by you.” WTF? Marcus overheard that and came running out to make sure I didn’t slug the guy or comment on his ever widening girth.

Turdlike Boob Zimet waddled out and Marcus did a quick search for him online. To my surprise it turns our pus factory Boob Zimet works at the rather large law firm that Jason Flom’s dad used to work at. In fact, fat, old, & stupid Boob Zimet is a senior partner or something like that.

Marcus confirmed that the guy was a real asshole, and that’s really not Mike’s style to use language like that. It’s my style actually.

I found out that I was hired to replace Harold, not just fill in for him while he was attending the natural bodybuilding/rent boy conference in Miami Beach.

That’s what I was told when I started, but now it turns out they wanted Harold out of there and were looking for any excuse which they found when they looked at his attendance records.

Tomorrow night I have to attend a gathering of the cigar shop employees. It may be at the Carnegie Club, or it may be at the shop. Drinks and cigars are in order. I’d prefer the Carnegie Club, but for Don Birch it would be a hassle. I’m the one who lives out of state, on the mainland. He lives in Washington Heights.

In any event, I’d rather not, but I must so that’s where I will be. I don’t know if I’ll be writing or when I will be writing if I do. So that remains to be seen I guess.

Tonight’s walk from the shop was courtesy of Talking Heads, More Songs About Buildings & Food. From Thank You for Sending Me an Angel to The Girls Want to Be with the Girls. 15 minutes and 19 seconds.

Last night’s walk was from a Led Zeppelin playlist, from Good Times Bad Times to Misty Mountain Hop, 4 songs in 15 minutes, 58 seconds. And a thanks is in order to Gary Nelson for reading and commenting on this misbegotten blog.

The Doppleganger of Bobby Zimet

The woman was talking loudly behind me in French.

I’ll Try Something New

It was a Monday today and it was back to work for me. That hardly happens, having a Saturday and Sunday off from work. The retail world doesn’t allow for such things that often.

Yesterday was a rainy Sunday, I just stayed indoors. I watched Gandhi on Turner Classic Movies. Still a long movie and it also had a 45 minute intermission since I went out and ran an errand during the break.

I never saw it from start to finish before and I never saw it with a trip to the supermarket in the middle of Gandhi’s hunger strike. It ended soon enough to watch True Blood which is finishing it’s third season in a week or two.

Bill came home close to the end in time to see someone kill someone else. After that we watched Mad Men which was surprisingly enjoyable yet again. Bill went to bed after that and I stayed up watching who knows what.

I thought about a 3 minute phone call that I had about 5:30 in the afternoon. Someone was very upset with the fact that I didn’t ask them to see Adele Bertei with the Raybeats and Gail Ann Dorsey with me on Saturday night.

I didn’t really ask anyone. I posted it here on this blog, and also posted it as my Facebook status update a few times. They didn’t see it and only found out about it when I posted the videos online. I did it for myself and went by myself.

No harm intended, no slighting either.

The other person was so upset and their anger started to come through so I told them that I didn’t like their attitude. The phone call ended shortly thereafter and basically set a pall on the rest of my day.

It’s too bad, once we were really close, but the past couple of times we had tried to do something, it didn’t go too well. For some reason I still look to them for recognition but it’s time I moved beyond that I suppose.

Still despite all that I slept really well and had a dream involving a Bill Murphy who used to slam me into the lockers in high school every chance he got. He was in a peaceful state in the dream and was trying to tell me something, or perhaps he did tell me something but I’ve forgotten it hours later.

Work was weird, it being a Monday. And it was steadily pouring out. I was fine when I came in, Raymond came in a few minutes after me, soaked to the bone. I was put on straightening up the inventory causing me to miss out on some sales.

I didn’t really care. Marcus came in later than usual. He had a weekend trip and came back all orange like John Boehner. Calvin was himself, nervous laughter behind most every sentence he utters. Don Birch was diffident, much like he was when I first started working with him, nearly two months ago.

Still I didn’t mind. I have a full work week ahead, off on Saturday, in on Sunday then off next Monday and Tuesday. I told you the retail schedule is crazy. I’ll probably be working Labor Day too, but it’s just another day in retail world.

And the mantra continues, ‘at least I have a job’.

I’ll Give You All Night to Stop

It’s been a lovely Saturday afternoon. A lovely day all around. Last night wasn’t so bad either. I just watched TV, saw the 2nd Kids in the Hall episode on IFC. Forgot about the first. Just as funny as they used to be. They age just like us!

I watched the Soup last night, so I guess it was mainly all about comedy and laughter. Does anyone remember laughter?

I went to bed around 12:45 but was unable to sleep. After 20 minutes I got out of bed, telling the air conditioner, the fans, the pillows and most of all the bed that I was leaving the room and that when I came back I had better be asleep.

Yes, I talk to objects all the time. I hesitate to call them inanimate. I’ve actually done that all my life.

After about a half hour of checking emails and responding to Kevin Crud’s comments I went back to the bedroom where the appliances and the bed were waiting for me and within minutes I was asleep. Slept really well and woke up around 10:00.

Oh it was so nice to sleep in on a Saturday morning. It’s really something special. As I was making coffee Bill walked through the door laden with dry cleaning. I told him I would have picked them up for him and he said he texted me.

He did. I didn’t know it until after the fact. I soon went out for bagels and the paper, and picked up my own dry cleaning. After a nice breakfast, I did my own laundry and after 2 washes I decided to go out. Another stop at the dry cleaners with 2 shirts I had left behind.

Then I headed over to the bibliothèque to drop the Love & Rockets compilation but absentmindedly left it at home. I took the light rail over to the Newport Mall and looked at Rockports in Macy’s.

It was a mess and pandemonium. And they didn’t have the Rockports I had seen online. I did have my 3:00 phone call with Annemarie though.

We both agreed that what happened at the Swell Season show in California was truly a horrible, horrible thing. I feel so bad for the Swell Season. In case you didn’t know the Swell Season is a band featuring the man & woman from the charming Irish indie film, Once.

I went into Justin’s and bought two pair of lavender socks. And then went next door and bought a few pair of OTC TNT’s. No shoes, but had socks. Had a nice walk home, past Bobby Risotto’s building. Didn’t know it was his birthday until I got home.

Bill was awake from his nap and was getting ready to drive a bus back to Atlantic City. Before he went out he asked me to drop some shirts and a tie at the dry cleaners, making it 3 visits to Cary’s today.

On the way there I ran into Rand and Lisa coming back from the supermarket. A nice chat with a few laughs was had. A quick jaunt to the supermarket for myself, and now I am back home.

The Dark Knight is playing behind me. I am going out tonight, to Joe’s Pub to see Adele Bertei, backed by the Raybeats with Gail Ann Dorsey on bass. I’m excited. I hardly ever go out these days.

I doubt I will write tomorrow, but I might add a post script to this here entry when I come back tonight. But I am not guaranteeing anything.

Have a good night.

“First they came for the Supermen, and I didn’t say anything since I wasn’t a Superman…”
Post Script 1
I got back from the show at Joe’s Pub about an hour. There are some pics and some videos but I’m having some difficulty with the programs to edit them. Adele Bertei was first up, opening the show. The Raybeats and Gail Ann Dorsey came on to silence. I started a round of applause.

I think they did Slaughter on 10th Avenue, I’m not sure. It was a song like that from a 1950-60’s detective show or film noir. Then Adele Bertei came out and sang Shakin’ All Over. They did mainly covers, Sam & Dave Wrap It Up, The Marvellettes The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game, James Brown There Was A Time and a handful of other songs. They played for about 45 minutes and came back for one encore.

I saw Pat Irwin from the Raybeats and told him what a fun show it was. I asked if the Raybeats were getting together again and he said it was unlikely. Pat’s other band Command V is playing on Wednesday but I doubt I could make it.

I didn’t stay for the headliner and I was back in Hoboken by 10:40 and that’s about it. A nice early night.

Jody Harris with Adele Bertei

Pat, Jody & Don- Raybeats with Gail Ann Dorsey

Post Script 2
It’s Sunday. Not doing the 500 word thing, but I am bending the rules. They’re my rules and I will bend them as I see fit. I really had a good time last night. I went by myself. I posted on Facebook a few times that I was going, and even wrote about it here on this blog. So it was really no secret what I was doing.

I got off at Christopher Street which I hadn’t done in a while and checked out a few shops on the way. Shops that a certain someone would have more than likely been freaked out about. I’ve gone to these shops with Pedro so it’s not so much a gay thing, since Pedro is as straight as Six O’clock.

After that I meandered over to Washington Square Park where I watched the crowd watching the acrobatic performers. Had a little cigar as I sat there, taking it all in and getting a wee bit damp from the fountains by my back.

Started to head towards Lafayette Street, walking along west 4th Street. Been a while since I’d been around there. Bottom Line gone. Tower Records gone. Dojo is still there though. Not much of a line outside Joe’s Pub. I was behind 2 lesbians who were there to see the headliner, Bettina Koster. They asked if I was there to see Bettina and I said no, I was there to see Adele Bertei. They seemed unimpressed.

Soon I was inside and turned down an offer of a table with it’s 2 drink minimum and $12.00 food order minimum. I opted for the bar which was not crowded. Had a nice sight line too. A few minutes later, out come Pat, Jody and Don with Gail Ann Dorsey. Followed by Adele Bertei.

It was a good set, but way too short. I left after their set, not staying for Bettina Koster. A quick walk back to the Path train on Ninth Street and I was back in Hoboken.

It would not have been done this way if I had gone with someone else. I was accountable to no one but myself. It was no secret. All one would have to do is read my Facebook status, like Dave Bell did, or this blog.

I had a good day today, just fartin’ around. Raining on and off. Finally was able to upload the videos which are below. I don’t regret going and I don’t regret not calling anyone up to tell them what I was doing. Some people are upset by this but I can think of two events where I went with someone and it went so badly, hurt feelings abounded.

With all of the fun and relative calm this weekend, it’s surprising that a 3 minute 42 second phone call came thisclose to ruining the good time that I had. Je Ne Regrette Rien.

I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun

It’s now Friday and lucky me, I have off Saturday and Sunday. Maybe now I will see what all the fuss is about. It’s been a while I think that I’ve had Saturday and Sunday off. This was arranged a few weeks ago when I requested to have August 22nd off to see the Specials at Summerstage.

Then to my dismay, the State Department wouldn’t give the band visas. So the show was canceled but I still have 2 days off. Instead of a free show to see the Specials, I am going to Joe’s Pub tomorrow night to see Adele Bertei, backed by the Raybeats with Gail Ann Dorsey from David Bowie’s band on bass.

It’s so unlike me and I’m going alone. There may be tickets still available so feel free to join me. It’s only $20.00. I felt I should see some music over the weekend.

And though I’ve seen the Raybeats several times back in the eighties, and I’ve met Gail Ann Dorsey, I’ve never seen Adele Bertei, having missed the Contortions and the Bloods back in the day.

I had to set reminders to let me know about the show, so rarely do I go out these days.

I even thought about checking out some galleries tomorrow, perhaps an early start. Some things to do about the apartment, laundry, general cleaning up so an early start should occur. I wrote that with a straight face.

Straight meaning, not laughing.

Today was a pretty good day at the cigar shop. Pretty busy and money was made. I did almost $2000.00 worth of sales. Still I was in third place. I do like working at the cigar shop, the staff is alright to work with and the customers are mainly OK.

My Friend, My Friend hasn’t been in the shop the past couple of days, I hope he is well. He’s an intelligent bloke and is good for smart conversation.

I suppose reinventing oneself for a job goes on everywhere, but it’s not a total reinvention, more like the tweaking around the edges. I thought I would have to do a complete overhaul but obviously it wasn’t to be.

Some people know me as one person, others know me as someone else and my co-workers know me as someone entirely different. Or am I. It’s all in perception I guess. We all see things differently.

It’s all like Rashomon, but where and who is the ghost?

I treated myself to a Good Burger dinner tonight. I ate at the shop in the back and figured I would work it off as well as walk it off, which I hope I did when I walked from the cigar shop to the bus terminal.

Tonight’s musical journey was courtesy of the Pretenders first album, called Pretenders. 16 minute, 57 seconds, from Precious (not based on the book Push by Sapphire) to Space Invaders.

Funnily enough, I think I bought the Pretenders first album at EJ Korvettes in Paramus, the same day I bought the Specials first album.

Ah, 1979. A pretty good year for music.

I Confess

It’s a Thursday and I went back to work today. I didn’t mind, it’s something to do and the mantra continues, ‘At least I have a job’. It was a relatively easy day, bottle of water nearby, flask of bourbon hidden in my bag.

I made it to the bus stop and saw the 10:15 bus loading but I didn’t take it. I waited for the 10:30 bus. That’s the bus I like. It wasn’t too crowded and the tooth wasn’t bothering me too much. Water did the trick as usual and I made it to the shop early once again.

It was Marcus and Don Birch today, Sean scheduled to come in later. Marcus was busy rearranging things on the shelves before he headed out for the day. Calvin had off for the day. I was sent an email yesterday telling me that the protocol is to call and leave a voice mail message rather than an email.

I suppose they like to analyze the voice on the recording to make sure I am who I say I am, in the state that I say I’m in. Protocol is never revealed until the line is crossed. Marcus never brought it up and the email was from Calvin.

I had a dental appointment this afternoon and instead of lunch that is where I was. It was actually Bill’s dentist that I saw and since Bill has such a winning smile I figured he could do some periodontal magic on my teeth.

I got there on time and was in the dental chair almost immediately. The dental hygienist took the x-rays regarding the lower left quadrant of my mouth. Apparently I had a cavity under my filling which is what was causing me some extreme discomfort.

Rock & roll radio was playing as the dentist worked on my numbed mouth as he sang along to Billy Idol’s White Wedding and Blondie’s One Way or Another. ‘Roger never sang while he worked on my teeth’ I thought to myself like I was in a Roy Lichtenstein painting.

A root canal was in order and I’ve had so many of them it seemed, that it was not much at all. The good doctor completed 75% of the work, with plans to finish the other 25% next month. And a cleaning and more x-rays at the end of this month.

I am going to have to check in with the insurance and the doctor’s office to see what will be covered under Bill’s dental plan. In any event I was soon out of the office and headed back to the shop a changed man, the thorn had been somewhat removed from my paw, or in this case the pain in my tooth was removed.

I was certainly in a good mood, better than it was when I left. Also increased my sales which were pretty much lackluster before then.

Tonight thanks to Soft Cell’s Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go, The English Beat’s I Confess and Erykah Badu’s Tyrone, I made it from the shop to the bus terminal in 17 minutes, 24 seconds.

I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair

Well I listening to the inner voice which was yelling today. I needed a rest and the tooth was acting up so sleep wasn’t as easy as it should have been. Had a dream that took place down the Jersey shore with my family.

I saw a water spout as I looked out the window and tried to get everyone interested in checking it out with me. No one cared, not even Annemarie. I wanted to walk to the beach to get a closer look and take some photos but had to jockey cars around instead.

I only saw the water spout from a distance, through a window.

It wasn’t an easy day out of work. It was tinged with despair. I do want another job, a normal office job, 9 to 5. But I worry that the longer I stay out of that world and in the retail world, the more difficult it will be to get into that corporate world.

I went out a few times today, running errands. Always a bottle of water by my side. Rinsing water through my mouth does the job well of reducing the pain. Better than bourbon. The catch is I have to drink it a lot and then go to the bathroom a lot.

Good thing there are a few public restrooms in the area. I did go to the bibliothèque and every time I would turn around another librarian would say ‘Hello John’. That was nice. I picked up a collection of Love & Rockets by Los Bros Hernandez, aka Gilbert & Jaime.

Another errand involved UPS. I have a shoulder bag from Eagle Creek and the strap broke. Eagle Creek has an excellent lifetime warranty on their bags. Last month the zipper broke after about 10 years of use.

I sent it back and it came back repaired a week or so later. A week after that, the strap broke. I’ve been using Bill’s larger bag in the interim. Apparently it was sent back via UPS, but with the hours I’ve been working I of course missed it.

And the door tags they leave behind tend to fly off and wind up in the gutter.

I made arrangements for Bill to pick the package up tonight, but since I was not working today I went myself. There is supposed to be a truck at the main post office from 5 to 8PM for pick ups. At 5PM there was no truck.

Nor at 5:30 or 6:00. I went home and had something to eat, then went back out and finally the truck was there. The usual driver wasn’t there. He knows me and always greets me with a hearty hello. But this guy was new. I just had to sign for the package.

No headaches, no hassle.

Now I’m home, a bit sweaty. Watching South Pacific on PBS. There is nothing else on to watch and it’s not so bad. I had seen it once before when I knew someone in the show years ago at some theater somewhere.

It was enjoyable then and it’s even more so now. I had hoped to take Bill to see it but things being what they are it wasn’t going to happen. So we’re here at home on a hot August night, watching it live on television. Not so bad at all.

I Believe in You

Woodland Reserve. My bourbon of choice. Does the trick in silencing a toothache and enables a good night’s sleep. Not slugging from the bottle, just a couple of fingers does the trick.

I was talking to Pedro on the phone yesterday, playing catch up. Mentioned the bourbon and that’s one liquor he won’t touch. No to bourbon.

Once again I woke up, the inner voice pleading with me to take the day off, play hooky. With the toothache I had a legitimate excuse. And I was thisclose to actually calling in, but no. I rallied and shuffled along.

Much care in the drinking of coffee. That went well actually. I eventually found myself on the bus which actually was on time this morning. And the bus wasn’t crowded.

No Angie Baby on the bus either. Her bleached blond hair was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps sitting next to me has caused her to catch an earlier or later bus. I didn’t mind. I’ve been such a zombie lately that I don’t even read in the morning, I just sit and look out the window.

Made it to the shop on time. Actually with time to spare which I spent in the backroom and just chilling out and cooling off. No humidity today, just heat. And it was hot. And of course I wear a suit & tie.

I had a flask which I filled with some Woodland Reserve and not long after getting to work I took a few sips that quieted down the toothache. I alternated the sips of bourbon with sips of water which did the trick.

Bill stopped by the store since he called me before I left the apartment and asked if I could bring his keys to work. He noticed the bourbon on my breath. It was nice to see him in the middle of the day. It was actually the highpoint.

I called Bill’s dentist to tell them what was going on in my mouth. Bill scheduled an appointment for me on Friday and when I called on my lunch hour I spoke with Dawn. I told her the story and she told me that there was a cancellation and that they could see me on Thursday instead of Friday.

That was fine by me, the sooner the better. I went back to the cigar shop after my lunch and told Calvin the latest news. He mentioned that I could go on my lunch hour on Thursday.

The backroom was crowded with cigar smokers including one who had smoked too fast and got dizzy and dehydrated. He had to lay down on the floor of the bathroom and get himself together for about a half hour.

I neglected to mention that Marcus had posted on Facebook and Twitter this morning, that the first 10 people to call the cigar shop with a $50.00 order will get a free lighter or cutter. The phones went crazy and the first 8 calls were some of Marcus’ NYPD buddies.

Apparently he has quite a few of NYPD buddies. They stop by, a few patrolmen each day. On top of that, or perhaps under that, there were a few bent nose types hanging around. Guys you wouldn’t want to mess with.

Guys that look like they were from Lodi, or even Hoboken back in the day. They don’t take part in Facebook/Twitter viral contests. And they only pay cash.

Made it from the cigar shop to the bus terminal in 16:30 thanks to the Buzzcocks, Singles Going Steady.

I need a new job.

I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We’ve Never Met)

It’s Monday I know that much. I had off on Sunday and back to work today so that makes it a Monday. It was an OK day. Yesterday was very quiet, didn’t go out much. To Washington Street and the supermarket.

I did have plans to go out and ride the bicycle but it looked like rain. Plus I realized that I have to deal with people all the time at work and here was a chance to not see anyone, not deal with anyone. And it’s not so bad to not see or deal with anyone. On my terms that is.

I watched Kick Ass which was very good and very violent. Nicholas Cage was very funny. You’d have to see it to understand why. Also watched True Blood was was even more gruesome perhaps. With a touch of wit as well. Mad Men was pretty good too. Didn’t take much to get me interested.

After that I went to bed with Bill waiting in Garfield for a train ride home. Slept really well too. Saw Bill when he was kissing me goodbye for the day. He was dressed in a somewhat business casual manner which made me ask if he was going to work.

He has a few chances to dress business casual and was taking the opportunity to dress that way again while the summer was still around. I eventually got up despite my inner voice telling me not to go in today. I didn’t listen to the inner voice and got out of bed.

Shuffled over to the shower after making coffee and pouring milk on the cereal. I was up and ready to go an hour later and soon found myself walking to the bus stop on Washington Street. I was early enough to catch the 10:30 bus but it never showed up like it usually does.

I called the cigar shop and spoke to Don Birch, telling him I was running late. Apparently people don’t call and say they were coming in late. The bus did arrive and we soon were rolling down Washington Street.

A few stops later a woman who I sort of know came in and sat next to me. Her name is Angie and I’ve seen her several times. She’s a friend of Karen Natapouf who is also a friend of my friend the lovely Rita.

I’ve seen Karen around a few times in the past year and she acts like she doesn’t know me, and the friend Angie does the same. Here she was sitting next to me. Me, with my nose in a book and she in the same thing I always see her wearing to work in her orthopedic shoes.

She usually gets off the bus before me but I always get to the subway platform before her. I always go where no one else seems to go. I don’t follow the flock. I see Angie as she looks the other way.

On the subway platform, there was a guy playing Town Without Pity on a steel drum with some taped backing.

I got to the cigar shop a mere five minutes late. Marcus was back from his convention, and Calvin, Don Birch and Raymond were behind the counter. It took a few minutes to get myself situated but I was soon at the counter with Larry, Moe and Curly.

I have a confession to make. My teeth are messed up and I made a deal with a certain quadrant to keep quiet until Annemarie went back to California. Well, now it’s been a few weeks and the teeth are back to their shenanigans.

I’ve been in a sort of pain on and off for the past 5 days or so. Finally was able to make an appointment with Bill’s dentist, who has an office around the corner from the cigar shop. The earliest they can see me is Friday at 12:30 and I’ve already told Calvin that I will be late this Friday.

So that’s that.

I made it from the cigar shop to the bus terminal in 15:30, listening to selections from the Cars first album.

I’ve Found Someone

Another day. This one was a bear. And not the heavy set hirsute gay male kind. No this was a bear, and difficult to bear. Nothing bad mind you but just a bit of a funk. And my co-workers seemed to be feeling quite the same way.

It wasn’t so bad, since I slept well while Bill was doing his best Ralph Kramden imitation in Atlantic City. I was the dutiful Alice at home.

I made coffee and actually went to the supermarket to get cereal which I had run out of and since it was on sale I was able to get 2 boxes for $3.00 which is a deal indeed. Then picking up some of my dry cleaning before heading home for a breakfast of cereal and coffee, in tandem, not together.

Out of a desire not to watch First Look NY on TV I went out and caught the bus. A nicely paced walk up Ninth Avenue, buying some organic cookies which I shared with some of my co-workers. But I saved most of the cookies for myself instead of giving them all away like I’ve been doing.

It was a beautiful day outside once again. A Spring/Autumn like day, sun shining, a nice cool breeze. Lot’s of people out of town and a lot of people from out of town took their place. The area was really not too crowded, at least inside.

Perhaps there were a lot of bedbugs as an infestation has been reported nearby.

It was certainly slow at the cigar shop. The usual playful bitchiness was going on between myself, Raymond, Don Birch & Sean. By this time Bill had made it home and was sleeping the sleep of bus drivers.

I went out for lunch and had a nice phone chat with Annemarie telling me the latest tales of the Humboldt County scene. After the phone call with Annemarie I sat on a bench near the park and read Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol which I had ordered through the BCCLS system.

I had to return the Leo Castelli biography (just as he had gotten to Manhattan after World War II) since it was due back on Monday and not renewable. Andy Warhol is a fun read and yet it has nothing that I hadn’t read before. Just the same sentences & names in a different order.

Made it back to the shop where headaches both real and imagined ensued. Nothing insurmountable but it did include one instance of me telling Raymond that I resented him for something that he had said. A misunderstanding on his part but a misunderstanding that got under my skin and laid eggs.

It took a while for things to clear up and I had to put him in his place. Like I wrote, the day was a bear and this was the most bearish part. I don’t feel like writing about it in detail but I will say I was right and Raymond was wrong.

There was a sweet moment in the day. A woman came into the cigar shop, en route to a party. She was an attractive woman and needed to buy some cigars for a birthday present for a friend of hers. I made a recommendation and she went for it.

I offered to wrap the gift and we chatted. She was single and tired of looking for Mr. Right. I told her to stop looking and she said that she had. I suggested that she consciously stop looking and he might appear. She looked pretty good, in a nice dress as I told her of the civil union Bill and I had a few months ago and the celebration last month.

She enjoyed the story and really enjoyed me telling her that she was wearing a really nice dress (and she was). I also told her my old adage that straight men will undress a woman with their eyes, whereas a gay man will dress them with their eyes.

She laughed as I finished wrapping her gift and I wished her a good night and a happy birthday since she was turning 40 in 4 days. I also told her this could be her year. I think I helped make her night that much better and I really enjoyed doing so.

Now I am home, writing this. I have a day off tomorrow and then 5 days of work. I won’t be writing tomorrow unless there is something extraordinary to write about, and I certainly hope there won’t be.

It’s my day off goddammit.

I’ve Been Lonely (For So Long)

Well here I am again and it’s Friday for most, and I guess it’s Thursday for me since I have Sunday off. Then it’s 5 days, Monday through Friday with next weekend off.

I arranged to have August 22 off to see the Specials at Summerstage but they were denied visas to get into the US. They’re touring Canada but not here. Boo State Department, Boo!

So now there is a tentative plan to see the Warhol exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum with Harpy next weekend, now that Harpy is off the mainland and back on one of the islands off the coast of North America.

Today was back at the cigar shop. The mantra continues. It was a decent team, Calvin, Don Birch and Raymond. Marcus is at the tobacconist convention and will be back on Monday. It was a beautiful day that’s for sure. Q

uite nice, almost spring like, or maybe even closer to autumnal. I listened to Pylon, Hits when I went into work. Great way to start the day. They were such nice people, and it’s sad that Randy passed away last year and Pylon will be no more.

One of the best bands from Athens GA in my book. I first saw them opening up for Talking Heads in 1980 at the Dr. Pepper Festival at the Wollman Rink and didn’t quite get them.

Fast forward a few years later, I’m shopping in Free Being, the late lamented record store on Second Avenue and I see a Tyrannosaurus Rex on an album cover with a curved edge. That was enough to get my attention, enough to make me buy it, and I fell in love with them for the first time.

It was their second album and I was smitten. I was lucky enough to see them at Maxwells a few times and also able to DJ for them when they played. And they enjoyed the songs I played and even told me so.

This morning, I was early enough to relax in the backroom before I started my 10 hour shift. An excellent way to lose weight I might add. Standing around for 9 hours will slim the waist quite nicely.

My Friend My Friend came into the shop showing me a photocopy of a saucy picture of him and his family for their holiday card from the past. Quite funny and My Friend My Friend would give Divine a run for the money.

Al Sharpton even made an appearance this afternoon, didn’t say anything as he was talking into his Blackberry. I wondered aloud after he left if he put his hair in curlers when he went to bed at night. Other than that, not much else to write about.

But I have to write more as there are only 463 words written so far. Well a little bit more than that actually. The number is actually closer to 480. A number that I am comfortable with but I’m sure the number crunching word counting reader or readers would beg to differ.

Filthy beggars.

I Want You Around

Let’s face it. Most of the time lately, I have no idea what day it is. I was trying to help a customer on the phone, someone who was trying to get cigars sent to his home in Connecticut. I remarked that if he called early enough tomorrow morning, he should get them by Friday.

He said, that tomorrow was Friday. There went my plan for him to satisfy his cigar needs. It didn’t really matter since I was fobbing him off to another cigar shop in Manhattan. But I was taken aback by the fact that today was Thursday for most people but for me it was Tuesday.

And Harpy is somewhere in New Jersey. Attending some wake. As long as it isn’t Harpy’s wake I am fine with it. Hopefully the border will be open when he decides to leave the mainland and return to that island off the coast of America.

Last night I slept especially well. Bill was somewhere in Pennsylvania and didn’t come home until 5:30. He was off from work today so he lay sleeping as I was the one dressed up and headed out the door.

I saw the 10:15 bus at the stop but decided to wait for the 10:30 bus. I sat there on a bench and finished last night’s cigar which would have horrified my cigar shop co-workers. I had no problem with it and stayed far enough away from anyone who was waiting for the bus and might have had problems with the cigar.

I walked through the terminal listening to New Order, Blue Monday. I guess there was a karma pay off with the fact that when I got to the subway there was a train at the station. An express train at that.

I made it into the cigar shop early enough and explained to Calvin the problem with the printer not being connected to the network. He didn’t think it was that much of a problem since all the info was in the database and easily accessible. I didn’t know that and my worrying was all for naught.

It was an interesting day at the cigar shop. In the afternoon an elderly gent came in and I of course welcomed him with a ‘Hello Sir’, like I do with all the male customers. Women get a ‘Hello Miss’. It makes the older women feel younger and the men feel like gentlemen (though most of them aren’t).

I asked the elderly gent if he was at the shop to buy a cigar and he said that he wasn’t, he didn’t smoke anymore. His name was Bill and he was 81. He just wanted to come in and talk about how he first started smoking cigars when he was 13 years old, growing up in an orphanage.

It was a convoluted story but that was the gist of it. He had a few jobs when he was 13 years old, and thrilled at that age when he was making $14.00 a week for stocking the shelves in a grocery store.

He mentioned that his whole life was stories and that he needed a ghostwriter to get them all down before it was too late. I suggested that he go to a nearby college and speak to someone in the English department, maybe they could suggest a student to help him out with what he wanted to do.

I don’t know if that’s how things get done on campuses these days, but it was an idea that he seemed to like.

Just another day I suppose in Manhattan, working in a cigar store. Thursday’s with Old Bill.

I’d Like To

It’s a late write for me. Tonight that is. It’s almost 11:00PM and I’ve only written these words thus far. Am I worried? No, not particularly. It’s almost 11:00 and I’m grilling chicken.

Had the chicken in the fridge you see and it thawed out so it just had to be cooked. Not going to eat it tonight, though I wish I had time. Been a long time since I made my pesto, penne and chicken dish. Been too hot and I’ve been coming home too late to eat or to enjoy it.

I was back at work today, having had Monday & Tuesday being my surrogate Saturday and Sunday. I was a bit anxious for some reason. I am resigned to the fact that I won’t be telling Marcus and Calvin that I’ve gotten a better paying job anytime soon.

But when I made it in, it was just Calvin & myself and it wasn’t so bad. At least at first. Then the computers crashed and we had to shut the store down for a few hours. That wasn’t so bad either. I was able to enjoy a cigar while sitting with the regular customers for a little while.

The IT guy came in from the corporate headquarters and after an hour was able to get things up and running. Just in time for me to have lunch. And I did go out for a little while for lunch but it was too warm for me so I went back to the backroom and read the biography of Leo Castelli.

Time flew after that, Calvin heading home at 7:30 leaving Sean and myself to carry on. Sean has been morose of late, dealing with his baby mama drama. 20 years old with a 3 year old kid. Eventually Sean left as well at 9:00 leaving me to close the shop.

Unfortunately the IT guy did not connect my cash drawer to the printer and I tried to connect it to the printer to no avail. I gave up about a half hour later, leaving a note and headed home.

In 16.8 minutes I made it from the cigar shop to the bus terminal, thanks to the first 3 songs from New Order, the Substance collection. Onto a crowded bus, I sat and read some more about Leo Castelli fleeing occupied Europe and arriving in New York City.

A trip to the supermarket was in order, needed to buy some items for the rest of the week. Came home and here I am.

Last night Bill & I and Bill’s friend Fred went to see Inception after a nice dinner at the Rocking Horse Cafe. The movie was very good, good enough to warrant seeing again. Many layers, many dreams in the movie.

And much to our surprise it was a full house on a Tuesday night, weeks after the movie has been in general release. Great cast, great story and Tom Hardy was perfect eye candy. And Joseph Gordon Levitt was excellent as usual.

I highly recommend the movie.

Now Bill is in Pennsylvania by the Stroudsburg Pocono Airpark, driving a bus. He probably won’t be home until I’m fast asleep. That’s about all I have to write about tonight.

Me in March 2010

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

It’s a muggy Tuesday. Yesterday I received word that the job I interviewed for last week was going to someone else, that I was out of the running. It didn’t really affect me until today.

I’m disappointed of course, and my mantra continues: At least you have a job. And I do have a job. I’m off from the job today and will be back there tomorrow, standing on my feet for 9 hours and selling cigars.

Last night after writing I did leave the apartment and walked over to Rite Aid where I bought some canned air for my computer and some blank CD-R’s. Then stopped off at Napoli Pizza and had 2 slices and a diet coke, before heading home in the balmy air.

Nothing on TV last night, though when I came home Bill was watching The Closer which he enjoys for some reason. I stayed up until 1:15 watching videos of The Roches on YouTube. Slept just as late today as I did yesterday, waking up at around 9:45.

If there’s nothing to do, then why bother? And I had nothing to do so I didn’t bother. I did go out and paid some bills and got some bagels & the paper and also got a haircut. Trying not to feel sorry for myself in the fact that the job I wanted I did not get.

Tony, my barber was on Cake Boss last week and was very disappointed that most of his footage wound up on the editing floor after cutting hair for 49 years. The show is all about Buddy, the Cake Boss rather than the people the cake is being made for.

Lines outside the bakery where the Cake Boss is taped crawl down the street where people wait in the hot sun, waiting to get into the bakery to buy some sweet cakes.

When I saw Tariq yesterday there was the tentative plan to meet up and strum for a bit today. I guess I didn’t make it in time since when I trucked over to the river with my guitar, he was nowhere to be found. And I wasn’t that inspired to play.

I did play guitar for almost an hour but my heart wasn’t that into it. I finished the New Yorker from June and came back home after treating myself to a chocolate therapy milk shake from Ben & Jerry’s.

Now I’m just killing time before I meet up with Bill and his friend Fred at the Rocking Horse Cafe in Chelsea for dinner before we go see Inception at the cinema on 23rd Street. It looks like a storm is approaching so I guess I will have to wear my boots instead of sneakers when heading into the city.

At least I have boots.

All in all it’s been a rather blasé day. Walking around I saw a few people walking around who I guess are out of work. I was one of them up to a couple of months ago. Now I am employed and still looking to better my position.

Trying to hang onto hope. I did interview with 2 recruiters a few weeks ago and one of the sent me on the interview last week. The other recruiter replied to an email I sent telling me that I was still under consideration, it’s just that with August vacations, decisions have not been made as of yet.

Against my better judgment I did check Craigslist for some job postings and saw the job that I walked away from in February, the one that got Sally’s panties in a bunch is available again. Such a terrible job. I guess they keep losing people for the position.

It was such a crap job and seeing the position listed again shows that at least I made the right decision in abandoning the position despite what the Cafe Press maven seems to have thought. Must be something in the Bala Cynwyd water.

I’m Glad There Is You

Oh what a lovely day. It’s a Monday and it’s day off. Things have been mild and nice which of course is good. Last night was good too.

Worked yesterday and home a little after 8:30. Watched True Blood which was intense. Some dream sequences and some interesting character development. Regarding the plot, I can’t give it away since some people haven’t seen it yet.

After that I watched Mad Men which I enjoyed somewhat, which is more than usual. I’ve watched the show several times but can’t really get into it. But last night was a departure of sorts I suppose, and not just because I enjoyed it.

Bill was driving back from Atlantic City and I wound up going to bed around midnight. Slept quite well. So much so that I didn’t wake up until 9:45. I didn’t mind since I really didn’t have much of a day planned.

Almost as if it were a Saturday morning, I had a slow and easy breakfast. Eggs and toast and coffee. After lounging about I headed out in the afternoon sun. A trip to the Guitar Bar to give the wonderful Jim Mastro a very good cigar for being so kind to accept the packages from the cigar shop.

Saved some money by shipping out of state. All legit, nothing underhanded so there’s no need for the Lady Sally Maurice to get it’s panties in a bunch.

Right now listening to Undercover of the Night by the Rolling Stones and I’ve forgotten what an exciting song it actually is. Perhaps their last exciting song, and it’s from the late 1980’s at that.

I remember watching the video several times at 923 Garden back in the day and also recall then roommate Jimmy Lee having the LP and playing the song incessantly.

Hung out in the Guitar Bar for a few minutes talking to Jim and that Swingin’ Neckbreaker Jeff . So many gorgeous guitars, A Rickenbacker certainly caught my eye, but it was way out of my price range.

And Rickenbacker while great, to me seem to always have that jingly jangly sound to them which is cool, but el limitado if you know what I mean.

I also picked up a paperback from a garbage can, apparently someone left in a hurry on Willow Avenue. Quite a few empty DVD boxes, and I almost walked away when I saw Viggo Mortenson’s on the cover of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. I almost saw the movie, but it wasn’t in release that long.

Also heard it was a downer and I do my best to avoid those things lately. SO I’m sure the book will be a laugh riot along the lines of Mad Magazine’s Guide to a Post-Apocalyptic World. I’m not sure but I think Denzel Washington’s The Book of Eli did better at the box office.

Walked over by the river and ran into Tariq who has a head of previously unseen gray hair. He almost always wore a hat. Today the hat was on the bench next to him. His Takemine guitar is broken and he had an Epiphone acoustic instead.

I played it for about an hour while he fell asleep. It sounded great, the guitar that is. I played some songs that if not committed to memory, are committed to my finger placements. My playing couldn’t have been that bad if Tariq fell asleep to it. I think if I was playing dissonant chords, it would be difficult to relax to, so therefore my playing was agreeable. Perhaps even easy listening.

Now I’m home obviously, and might go out for a walk.



I’m Your Money

I can’t go on. I’ll go on. And here I am, going on again. Been awhile since I wrote that, a couple of days, weeks, months perhaps. Last night, made it home earlier than usual and went to bed at a decent hour, like around 12:30.

And fell asleep but once again, not a restful sleep. Not Bill coughing, just unable to get a good night’s sleep. And I had one Stella Artois before bed. It didn’t help, but it didn’t hurt either.

One more day of work, making Sunday, Friday. Funny how that worked out.

Bill was up and out this morning once again. Not driving a bus though. A photo and video shoot for his band. He’s been growing a beard this week and being Puerto Rican, it took him an hour or so.

But the beard was flecked with gray and the video/photo shoot was supposed to show the band in the 1970’s up to the present day. So the gray had to go and thanks to Just For Men, he dyed it out this morning, leaving some of the supplies on the sink. Or actually the directions taped on the bathroom wall.

I’ve actually thought about using Just For Men myself but being of the ginger persuasion I am not sure there is a proper dye kit for me. It didn’t really matter, my gray speckled goatee suits me just fine I think.

I made my way to the bus stop in time to see an early bus pulling away. I didn’t hustle since I knew there was a bus coming soon enough. A ride into the city with a full bus. I got off at the bus terminal and headed up the avenue.

Stopped off at a branch of my bank, and used the ATM. I intended to only use the ATM for a Balance Inquiry and to get $20.00. I hit balance inquiry on the screen and received the Fast Cash of $60.00 which is what I didn’t want.

I went and spoke to the guy in the suit on the floor and he said, ‘Oh yeah, that ATM is broken.’ Why don’t you put a sign on it, or even unplug it? ‘We put a sign on it, but someone keeps taking it down’. Nothing about unplugging.

‘You can always make a deposit and put the extra money back into your account.’ Why would I do that? I don’t have the time, which is why I used the ATM. Just what I didn’t need to deal with in the morning feeling sluggish.

I did find some silver lining in the fact that I wouldn’t need to get anymore money in the next few days since I had more than I needed at the moment.

I made it to the cigar shop once again after buying some organic chocolate chip cookies at the Farmer’s Market. Everyone seemed sluggish at the shop. They stayed and worked the event, drinking whiskey and smoking cigars. I wisely went home.

The day crawled, few regulars coming in and few customers at first. At lunch I smoked a cigar by the park, spoke with Annemarie and read Uncut magazine which has been dissatisfying the past few months.

Back at the shop things still were a grind and not a sexy grind. I snuck out for a quick break a little while after that and called up Ann Patterson nee Boyles. It’s a landmark birthday for her today but she didn’t answer her phone.

While I left a message John Cleese walked by. I couldn’t take a cell phone picture fast enough since I was leaving a message. Who knows how the message came out? I mean, who besides Ann?

The day’s end at the cigar shop couldn’t come fast enough. I sold some cigars to some French blokes who didn’t speak English but understood my pidgin French.

I made it out of the shop and to the bus terminal in 18.4 seconds thanks to the Clash and the first 6 tracks from their first album (US Version).

Not fast enough to catch the 9:35 bus leaving me to wait twenty minutes for the next one. A quick stop at the supermarket and now here I am, writing.

Taking tomorrow off for this here blog unless there is something to write about.

that gray flecked goatee

I’m Your Villain

And here we are on what other people call a Friday. Heck, I even call it a Friday myself, but it’s the middle of the work week for me in retail land, so it’s a Wednesday. And the mantra continues, ‘At least you have a job’.

Last night was OK, came home a minute after Bill. He picked up some milk for me which was awfully nice. I asked him when he asked me to pick up his laundry this morning. He was soon off to bed leaving me to surf the internet for an hour or two.

Not much to see, no one updating or posting anything really worth writing about. I did enjoy the live stream of Arcade Fire from Madison Square Garden last night.

Soon I was the other lump in the bed. Fell quickly asleep but about 20 minutes into it, Bill coughed loudly waking me up and making it difficult to fall back asleep. So following my own advice I got out of bed and sat in front of the computer for about 20 minutes.

Killed some time before finally being able to go back to sleep which was all about tossing & turning. Bill was up and out as usual, leaving me to get some sleep while avoiding the sun as it tried to creep through the blinds.

Finally I woke up, a little later than usual, remembering to get Bill’s laundry. That is what got me up and out of the apartment, after showering and before having coffee. Mona, the dry cleaning lady was quite nice as she saddled me with all of Bill’s laundry & dry cleaning.

I made it back home and up the four flights of stairs where I then had my coffee and started my day. And I was out the door a little while after that, stopping off at the Bibliothèque where I returned the Duke Ellington biography.

Way too dense for me, who is also way too dense. I did pick up a biography on Leo Castelli which is more to my liking than Duke Ellington. I was on the bus and headed through the tunnel, getting to the cigar shop about a half hour early.

I sat in the lounge before it opened and started the Castelli biography. It was slow enough, me and Don Birch and Sean manning the registers. Marcus was soon out, headed to New Orleans for the big tobacconist convention next week.

The usual customers came in, mostly nice. The crabby ones I avoided like so much pubic lice. My friend my friend came in and said hello and quietly remarked that he had read this here blog. And apparently it didn’t put him off too much. It was encouraging to hear.

There was an event that Raymond had a big hand in putting together so he came in towards the end of the day. Air Bender cigars, Kung Fu movies, whiskey and Chinese food.

Since it was payday I already had a plan to get a burger and fries and a chocolate shake from Good Burger around the corner which made my co-workers think I was being holier than thou.

I explained to them that since I didn’t pay $70.00 to participate in the event it didn’t seem right to eat the food, plus I let them in on a secret. I’m not that fond of Chinese food. I mean I will eat it if it’s in front of me, but it’s really not my cuisine of choice.

I did my best ringing up over $1000.00 in sales, really doing my best to get that 3% commission. The co-workers stayed, making overtime and working the event. I was out a few minutes after 9:00 after closing up my drawer.

A nice walk on a lovely evening to the bus terminal, in 17.8 minutes. From Love Will tear Us Apart by Joy Division to Slip Into Something by Kinobe. Not a bad day overall. Two more days, my personal Thursday and Friday, brought on a Saturday and Sunday.

At least I have a job.

I’m Happy Just To Dance With You

It’s a Thursday I believe. It’s also the second time I’ve written that, and a few other lines.When the computer gets too warm it shuts down and it just shut down right in the middle if a classic line.

I had written about how it took me 17.4 minutes to get from the cigar shop to the bus terminal, courtesy of the Wailers songs from the Bob Marley boxed set, Songs of Freedom. From Judge Not to Put It On.

As I climbed the stairs at the terminal, taking them two at a time, and taking care not to trip and fall onto my knees, I heard Bob, Bunny & Peter singing ‘I rule my destiny’. And I guess I did rule my destiny since I did not fall onto my knees.

I made it to the gate where the Willow Avenue bus is and found several women standing there, no discernible queue. If I stood behind the woman at the back it would have seemed awkward so I moved closer to the door instead.

I’m sure that raised some eyebrows but when the bus arrived I did the unthinkable. I stood there and held the door for the women who were all there before me and by rights, had dibs on the seats. I know they didn’t expect that and I certainly didn’t mind doing such a nice thing.

Before that the day was relatively alright. It was Calvin and Don Birch with Marcus there for half the day and Sean coming in and then heading out to work an event the cigar shop was sponsoring across town.

Don Birch isn’t as introspective as he used to be, he’s actually quite funny and acerbic. Calvin was Calvin. He’s been alright too. Could it be I am settling in and being one of the team?

Right now Arcade Fire is streaming live on YouTube from Madison Square Center. It is one of the first times that I’ve listened to Arcade Fire since my meltdown 3 years ago. They truly do strike a somewhat disturbing chord within me.

Three years ago and how far I’ve gone from then. Seems like a good show. I wonder if other people get such a disturbed feeling from them.

Nothing much else to report.

I have to hook up with Rand and perhaps he can figure out why my computer gets so overheated. I do my best to keep it clean but Hoboken is a dust bowl and no matter what, dust will get into the computer.

Tomorrow I will see if he’s available on Monday or Tuesday so I can bring the computer over to his apartment. I’m sure he can get to the bottom of it. He’s good like that.

And I do have to write a letter to Todd at Maxwells to thank him for letting Bill and myself have a party there last month. It went off well and I keep running into people who told me they had a really good time.

Hope you did too.

I’m Gonna Make It Better

Man it’s hummus out. Been hummus all day. Goddamn chick peas. And where’s the pita, huh? I ordered pita! Where it be? It was back to work at the cigar shop. Things moving slowly on the other front. I am resigning myself to the fact that I may be at the cigar shop longer than I had anticipated.

It’s not bad, I still have my mantra, which is “I still have a job’.After 2 days off I find it difficult to get back to work. Was it always this way? Maybe. I don’t remember. I slept a deep sleep last night and there was difficulty in waking up this morning.

No melatonin involved, just no desire to leave a barely air conditioned bedroom. I decided to catch the 10:30 bus instead of the 10:15 bus. No need to hustle, too hummus. Once again my white shirt was translucent by the time I got to the bus stop.

I did finish a cigar that I started last night while I waited for the bus but couldn’t take my usual seat since there was a stay at home dad with his infant sitting there. See? I am considerate.

But the guy is a moron and never pays attention when the bus he needs to take shows up and usually scrambles to get it together and get on the bus with a baby strapped to his chest.

The ride through the tunnel was uneventful as was the subway uptown. I was early enough and it was warm enough outside that I went in earlier than usual and put on my t-shirt and sat in the back room cooling off.

One of the usual customers who everyone seems to think is a drug dealer came in with Spanish food from Washington Heights for everyone. I did not partake since I had my own lunch.

It was Calvin and myself for a few hours since Raymond’s grandmother died last night and they wouldn’t let him leave early, instead allowing him to come in late. Since he’s still on a probation of sorts, they’re not allowing him any time off to go to Florida and grieve with his relatives.

And no breaks either. But there are no breaks for anyone even when working a 10 hour shift. One must sneak away, to get coffee, have a cigarette or get bananas for about 5 minutes.

According to Raymond, that’s how Marcus and Calvin came up through the ranks and so the cycle continues. Treat your employees badly, talk about them behind their backs and then stand back and let the buffalo chips fall where they may.

Calvin did tell me of his passion for writing poetry. Apparently he used to frequent the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe and participate in readings there, as well as having a book of his poetry published under the pen name Dushon, which is his middle name I think.

I have to say I was impressed with that.

Raymond came in, understandably gloomy. Nothing can be done and he wasn’t exactly able to fly down to Florida even if he had the chance. I did get word that Marcus was upset with my interview with a reporter from the Wall Street Journal.

I didn’t want to do it, but Calvin passed on the opportunity. You’d think that since he was the manager he would be the person to speak but instead gave it to the new guy, me. I’m sure Marcus will say something to me when I see him tomorrow.

Other than that, it was a long boring day. I didn’t hustle getting from the shop to the bus terminal while listening to David Bowie, Lodger. Still sweaty, still hummus.

One step forward with regards to Same sex Equality. Thank you Judge Walker.

I’m Not In Love

Another day off. Having two in a row is pleasant. It’s my Saturday and Sunday I suppose. It would have been nice if it were actually on Saturday or Sunday but who am I to complain?

I slept really well last night, so much so that Bill had difficulty rousing me to kiss me goodbye this morning. I vaguely remember it. I slept until about 9:00 this morning.

Woke up, showered, had coffee and cereal. Tentative plans to see Radiant Child, a documentary about Jean Michel Basquiat with Roda.

Whenever there is something Basquiat related going on, I always try to involve Roda. It was a good documentary, ultimately sad. Forgot that Jean Michel died at the way too young age of 27. That dreaded number. I’m 20 years past it so I’m not especially worried.

I was in the end stages of laundry when Roda ambled on by, sitting on the stoop and waiting for me. I almost made us late, but pushed enough to make the 1:15 show.

Saw coming attractions for two other documentaries, one about Nazi propaganda made in the Warsaw Ghetto and the other one about a French contest for the best pastry chef. I would wait until both are shown on cable.

Next week a movie excursion to see Inception is in the works with Bill and his friend Fred. That should be interesting. Also looking forward to dinner at the Rocking Horse Cafe beforehand.

It was fun walking around the Village if only for a little while. I was right around the corner from Wolff Olins, where I worked 4 years ago. I don’t know if I would recognize anyone still there, in fact the people I really liked have moved on.

I did run into the newsstand in the building and picked up the latest Mojo & Uncut magazines. A walk back down Carmine Street to the Path train meant a stop at the Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Bookstore.

I enjoy going in there, lot’s of good, cheap remaindered books on sale. Saw a few things that would make for good books for various people.

Path train home was comfortable, new car, air conditioned and the fact that it wasn’t rush hour meant we had seats. Back in Hoboken, Roda opted for the light rail since he had a birthday party to attend.

I opted to walk along the river for a while before heading to the supermarket and then home. Laundry done, hanging on racks and in the bathroom.

My Netflix account was activated again and I have Terry Gilliam’s Jabberwocky here. I saw that in the 1970’s with my sister at the Bergen Mall. I recall both of us being disappointed that it wasn’t as good as Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Maybe 30 years or so will allow me to look at it with fresh eyes, or at least an informed outlook. Then again, the DVD looks like it’s in bad condition.

I also have The Wonder Boys from the bibliothèque. I never saw it, Julio recommended it when it came out and I just read a review in the New Yorker that mentioned it as Michael Douglas’ best film. It’s always available at the bibliothèque so I thought now would be the time to check it out.

Also after reading a review in the New Yorker, I have a copy of Duke Ellington’s America by Harvey G. Cohen. That’s a tome with a small font.

I am looking forward to Leo and His Circle, a biography of Leo Castelli. That looks like a more entertaining read, I think.

Jean Michel Basquiat

I’m Wild About That Thing

And we’re back on Monday. Worked yesterday, a Sunday and I certainly did not want to. But I had no choice. It’s the job I have. I dress like the job I want. Isn’t that the adage? Dress for the job you want, not the job you have?

If I were a farmer who wanted to be, let’s say, an office manager or a cigar salesman, does that mean I should be working in the fields in a suit & tie? Or would that be over reaching?

Saturday was a good day. Didn’t write about it. It was a good team, me, Raymond and Don Birch. Both Raymond and Don Birch want to leave the cigar shop after working there for 2 years. I can’t blame them.

There’s no future unless you’re management and neither are in the running for such a position since no position exists. Yesterday, Sunday was a different scene. It was me, Raymond and Calvin. Calvin’s the boss, assistant manager of the shop.

Whereas Saturday was laid back and everything still got done, Sunday was slow, narcoleptic. And Calvin being around didn’t help much. I do like Calvin though. Seems like a nice guy. According to Raymond, he’s a drinker and two faced and likes to pit people against each other.

Plus before my arrival, he used to use the word ‘homo’ in a derogatory way quite often. Not while I’ve been there though.

There was a cantankerous customer yesterday, fitting most every stereotype of a cantankerous man. An older gent wanted to step behind the counter while I was the only one in the front of the store and working with another customer while I was supposed to be going out to lunch.

He enjoyed pissing me off while he himself was annoyed with the fact that I wouldn’t allow him back there without someone else there. Behind the counter is where we sell the cigarillos, not cigarettes.

We can’t sell cigarettes thanks to Bloomberg and we also have to post an image of an x-ray showing a stroke victim with the bold words, smoking causes strokes. Several times a day we have people coming in to buy cigarettes.

Most customers ignore it and the European tourists are certainly put off. The American tourists think it’s disgusting and usually ask about the image. We tell them it was either put the images by the computer or have a poster in the window of the same x-ray image, thanks to Mayor Bloomberg.

On his agenda now is a plan to outlaw smoking cigars and cigarettes in New York City parks. Of course those rules don’t apply when Bloomberg is hobnobbing with his college buddies at the St. Regis where the fellow alumni all smoke cigars and drink freely.

Today I was off and I’m off tomorrow. I had an interview courtesy of an agency I signed up with years ago. The position was for the mail room, the money was quite close to what I used to make, nearly $20,000 more than what I make for standing around on my feet for 9 hours a day in a 10 hour shift.

I seem to be perfectly suited for the position and headed into the city nearly 90 minutes before the interview so I could take my time and not arrive sweating like a horse. Thanks to half a Xanax last night and the other half this morning I was pretty much cool, calm and collected.

The interview went well I thought and lasted about 20 minutes. Of course, as usual I spaced when the interviewer asked if I had any questions for them. I didn’t but merely stated that I was reliable and dependable.

At least I hope the interview went well. I think it did. I was told they were seeing other people which could be the truth, or it could be a lie. In any event, I just have to wait and see. At least I still have a job, standing on my feet for 9 hours during a 10 hour shift. With 1 free cigar a day.

Whether or not that resonated with her is another story. I did like the interviewer though, she seemed nice. I walked back to the bus terminal, trying not to sweat. Still calm and collected, though not as cool, I met up with Bill and his friend Tom.

Tom soon headed inside to give Bill & myself some quality time together and we stood outside and chatted. Bill has been super supportive while I maintained my neuroses.