Monthly Archives: October 2010

I Hate Myself for Loving You

Well Annemarie was correct once again. Community was hilarious. Very busy. And after watching 5 episodes Dead Set I think I’ve had enough zombies for the rest of the year. Last night was the last of the Dead Set episodes and it sure was intense.

I don’t think it ended well for anyone. And I don’t think I gave anything away. When you’re surrounded by increasing amounts of Zoombies and zombies the outcome is inevitable. I think it was one of the best zombie things I’ve seen.

Despite the intensity of Dead Set, I didn’t have any trouble falling asleep but I can’t say it was a restful sleep. Out of sorts somewhat throughout the day. And the day started once again with the alarm clock going off. Stephen Stills singing Love the One You’re With. Not one of my favorite songs.

I got myself out of bed and shut off the alarm clock, giving it the next 2 days off. Shower, coffee and cereal yet again. Right now Twin Peaks is on and I am distracted. After eating I sat by the computer and checked emails when Bill walked through the door.

Tired after driving back from Atlantic City, he was ready to go to sleep and I got myself ready to go to work. I headed out. Bill had the pleasure of seeing Stine & Alexander when he came home and by the time I was out the door they were nowhere to be seen.

A walk to the bus stop, and soon I was in the city. Walking up the avenue, stopping by the farmer’s market, organic cookies yet again. At the cigar shop it was Don & Sean. And it was slow. Outside it was cold, so for lunch I sat in the back room with some of the regulars and enjoyed a $38.00 cigar.

The guys around me were talking scary movies which then turned to talk about scary paranormal incidents in my life. My only contribution to the scary stories was me talking about how I felt my late cat, Zed and him stopping by one night when I was drifting off to sleep.

Really. I felt his presence as he nestled behind my knees where he used to sleep while I slept. It was a very nice feeling and also the first and only time that that happened.

After that it was still slow going. Not much going on. After Don left and night fell various people walked by in costume headed to bars and parties. Lot’s of sluts, Mariachi’s, sexy nurses, vampires and Lady Gaga’s. No zombies were seen which was a good thing I suppose.

A nice walk from the cigar shop to the bus terminal, listening to Talking Heads, Remain In Light, side one. Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On), Crosseyed and Painless and The Great Curve, all in 17 minutes, 3 seconds.

I was able to catch bits and pieces of the Rally to Restore Sanity (and/or Fear) live from Washington DC. I would have been there if I wasn’t working. Tomorrow is Halloween.

Nothing planned except for a visit to see Julio, Stine & Alexander in the morning and in the evening I’m supposed to help Hyman Gross cover his air conditioner. Baby in the morning, old man at night.

Such a Sphinx like riddle.

That's him.

I Can’t Stand It

Right now, I’m home. Bill is driving to Atlantic City. The temperature has dropped considerably, it’s gotten chilly out. Today was a blustery day. Bill Maher is on TV, leaving trails of smarm wherever he goes.

Actually tonight he’s alright, Lawrence O’Donnell and 2 republicunts are on the panel, some blonde and some bald Asian Indian guy. The Asian Indian guy is quite obnoxious as is the blonde, who laughs incessantly when called out on the shit that republicunts get away with.

Just what I needed to come home to. I know I could always change the channel, but let’s face it, I’m hooked into the current political scene. Now Zach Galifanakis is on and he’s being somewhat funny.

It was a long day today. Slept later than usual which made the day a few steps behind everything else. I shuffled around getting my act together and was soon on the street heading for the bus stop. An overcast day mainly, made for a chilly wind.

Uneventful bus ride once again and uneventful subway ride. Actually as I was headed to the subway, 2 guys come up to me and ask where they could catch a bus. I simply pointed upwards and said, ‘On the street’. They then thanked me and headed up the stairs.

I listened to the B-52’s first album, still thrilled by Ricky Wilson’s guitar on Rock Lobster. Yes, I’ve heard Rock Lobster like a million times, but his guitar break still gets me every time. What a cool sound.

Work was with Calvin and Bradley, with Marcus making a late morning, early afternoon appearance. Yesterday Marcus and Calvin gave me a very nice lighter, by Lamborghini. Yes they make cars and lighters. Awfully nice of Marcus & Calvin.

It sort of reminded me of when I was living in Lodi and planning on moving out, when my parents bought me a new bed. ‘Thanks for the gift, but I do have my eye on the door which I hope to be walking through any day now.’ Calvin took me aside and told me I did not set the alarm when I left the shop last night. He didn’t tell Marcus, but if it happens again, he will have to write me up.

Terror Alert in NYC today. Heard about it a little, police presence in the mid afternoon near the cigar shop, flashing lights, heavy duty trucks. People went on with their business. It was too cold to go out and have a cigar on the bench by the park.

Perhaps yesterday was the last day, at least the last pleasant day, with the crazy guy with his bike screaming at the top of his lungs, how great Elton John was, specifically Captain Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy.

Then he would scream the names of names of his siblings and where they were when he last saw them. It went on for a while, alternating singing Someone Saved my Life Tonight and saying that he last saw his sister Crystal about 8 years ago, and that Crystal’s boy was trouble.

Oh, if only he took after his uncle.

I did play the Cramps tonight at the cigar shop after Calvin had left for the day. I trotted to the bus terminal from the cigar store in about 16 minutes, 25 seconds, listening to the first 5 songs from Staring at the Sea, the first greatest hits collection of the Cure.

Thought about Stan B and wondered how he was doing. Note to myself: I should call Kevin C. I owe him a phone call.



Hyman Gross & 2 other passengers

I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother’s Heart

Oh it’s been a while but Bill and I are watching Lawn Hors d’œuvre SUV. Actually it’s on while Bill prepares to go to bed. I just got home a few minutes ago. Been an alright day.

Had the interview at 10:00 this morning. Of course I did my best not to be late but as luck would have it I was on time and pretty much sweaty. It was a short interview, out of there around 10:15. That left me with an hour and fifteen minutes to kill.

I called up Bill hoping that he would be able to come down from his office and see me. But he was too busy. So I took the train uptown and called Bill once again. I’m pretty sure the epiphany that I had over last weekend helped with my ambivalence towards this job interview.

I think Bill was anticipating my climbing the walls over the interview but I was pretty much nonchalant. Even more so once I got to the cigar shop. Marcus, Calvin and Bradley all in. It was a lackadaisical day all around.

It was up to me to make the bank deposit and I saw that yesterday was quite pitiful. I was relieved that I was not to blame for this. I wasn’t in yesterday. Or the day before effectively making this day, Thursday a Monday.

Most of the irregulars came in today, including Martini Basher. He didn’t have much to say to me but what he did say was relatively pleasant. Marcus heard about the incident with Martini Basher and my negative review and seemed alarm at first but I think he saw the humor in it, considering there was Martini in the back hiding behind a newspaper screen and enjoying a cigar.

The day was as remarkably boring as any other day that preceded it. A sales associate from the store next door that sells a lot of expensive and useless things that people don’t really need was leaving after working there for 6 years.

Her name was Elizabeth and after she got out of work she was meeting friends over at a bar near the cigar shop. Calvin suggested that I go over for a quick pint before he left so then he could go over and have a drink himself.

So at around 6:30 I headed over with Elizabeth and had 2 quick pints before headed back to the shop. Calvin was done for the day which was nice and left me with Bradley and Sean. Both helped me out immensely today so I ordered a burger for Sean and French Fries for Bradley.

Before I knew it, the work day was over. I headed out, leaving the cigar shop and headed down the avenue towards the bus terminal, listening to Elephant by the White Stripes. I forgot what a great record that is.

Now I’m home watching a recording of President Obama on the Daily Show. Bill’s asleep and I plan to join him soon enough. After I watch tonight’s episode of Dead Set.

I Can Do Anything (Delacratic)

Last night I saw a guy wearing a Joy Division Unknown Pleasures T-shirt with Arabic lettering. a few feet behind him was another guy in a red shirt that said something about Punk Rock on it. Just something I noticed last night as I walked to the Path train.

I wasn’t sure if I was going into the city like I had planned. I was supposed to be heading to the Eagle, in Chelsea. It was cigar night on their rooftop deck and the website said the Eagle didn’t open until 10:00PM. The calendar for the the club said the cigar night started at 8:00PM.

I decided to take a chance and headed in. If it wasn’t open until 10:00 I’ll just come back home and chalk it up to experience.

So I headed out and walked down Washington Street, which is where I saw the 2 blokes wearing the t-shirts. I was feeling pretty good. I took half a Xanax a few hours before I headed out so I was pretty mellow, little or no apprehension with regards to going out.

A block later I run into Bill who was coming home from work. He was smoking a cigar and happy to see that I was going out and doing something, rather than just sitting at home in front of the computer with the television to my back. It was good to see him and we talked for a few minutes before I headed to the Path train.

Train was not crowded at all, I sat and read the New Yorker to 23rd Street. Then it was a nice walk down 23rd Street, Lovely Rita’s old stomping grounds, past the Half King pub where I’ve enjoyed a few pints in the past. A walk to 11th Avenue and up to 28th Street.

Walked into the Eagle where I was directed to check my bag, and that the party was upstairs. Of course it was, it’s where the roof top deck must be. Only I didn’t know where the stairs were. Up three flights with a stop on the second floor to relieve myself.

Finally made it to the roof top deck where there were about 40 men and 1 woman standing around smoking cigars. I walked over to the bar and had a Stella Artois. I was feeling good and stood in the corner looking around as I lit a cigar.

I didn’t have the usual vibe, I was feeling mellow from the afternoon half a Xanax. 6 hours later I was still mellow. I walked around a bit and sat along the wall. I did recognize a customer from the store, but wasn’t sure if he saw me.

Maybe he was still in the closet, but he seemed to be having a good time. I didn’t go up to him, though I planned to. I was getting a bit frustrated. I didn’t have a scowl on, in fact I thought I had a bemused smile on my face. I texted Bill, ‘Am I THAT unapproachable?’.

The thing is when I go to a gay bar, if the music isn’t horrible (and it usually is), I might try to strike up a conversation with someone nearby. It tends to freak people out. Bartenders usually ignore me too. But it wasn’t crowded enough to be ignored and I went to the bar for another Stella.

Behind me, I overheard two blokes talking about the song Yellow Bird. They were trying to figure out who sang the song and I suggested that it might have been Trini Lopez. Then I explained I remembered Calamity Jane sing it on an episode of F Troop. There 2 gents turned out to be Aaron and Don. Nice guys both of them, and I wound up talking with Aaron for most of the evening while Don wandered off to talk to other people. It turned out to be a good night.

After about an hour though, it was time for me to go. A pleasant evening and a waiting Path train got me home a little after midnight. Caught last night’s episode of Dead Set, thinking that it would be an hour long show, but that was only the premiere episode.

I missed the first couple of minutes but will try to catch it on Saturday night for the repeat broadcast (actually I can watch it tonight).Today has been a bit busy. Laundry, a trip to the post office. I’m returning my old camera for repair.

Bill got me a new camera but the old one can do things that the new one can’t. It’s not under warranty but it’s only a little over 3 years old, I bought it a week before my niece Meghan’s wedding.

Job interview #2 tomorrow. Please send good wishes to me at 10:00AM!

With great appreciation!

Outside the Eagle

I’m Still Here

So it’s Tuesday. Been an alright day. Starting this entry earlier than usual, because I had a day off you see. Last night was a mellow night. Watched Weeds and The Big C with Bill. Both enjoyable, but once again The Big C got us more than Weeds though Weeds was funnier than it’s been lately.

The Big C really has been the better show lately. Bill went to bed after that, I stayed up and watched Dead Set, a British show on IFC . It’s about the TV show Big Brother which is a much bigger hit in England than it is here.

While people are being evicted from the house, there is a Zombie attack throughout Great Britain. Lately it seems that the UK has a lot of Zombie attacks, from Shaun of the Dead, to 28 Days/Weeks Later (to be followed by 28 Months Later).

While the residents of the house have no clue as to what is going on, the production staff is attacked by Zombies. Some are killed and some later turn into Zombies. And these are Zoombies by the way, not the shuffling zombies from Night of the Living Dead.

Last night was the first installment out of five (I think) and there will be a marathon showing on Saturday night. I plan on watching part two tonight when I get back. Get back from where you ask? Well tonight I am thisclose to actually going out.

I’m going to the Eagle in Chelsea for their cigar night. I have to come up with some ideas for the cigar shop and so I decided to dip my toe in the water so to speak. I haven’t been to the Eagle since the 1980’s when they were on 21st Street. Now they’re on 28th Street.

They used to play rock & roll music which is better than the dreadful house music most gay bars play. And for me, if I’m not digging the music I’m not too happy. It’s supposed to start at 8:00 so I can go for an hour or two and check it out and be home at a decent hour. 11:00 would be nice, midnight would be the cut off.

Other than that it was a fairly busy day. Almost wrote active, but all I did was walk around Hoboken. Some grocery shopping, a stop by CSVRx where I talked to Martin Kelly for a little while. I told him about my applying for a job at CSVRx and he joked that it’s a terrible place to work.

He ought to know since he works there, which is why I messed with the letters. Wouldn’t want our Martin to get in hot water for anything that I wrote and with the intersection of my writing and posting videos with my ‘real’ life, it’s probably better this way.

So that’s been my day so far. It’s a little after 7:00 and I’ll probably head out in a while. Taking the Path train in, unless I see a bus heading into the city. It’s roughly the same amount of walking, at least it is in my convoluted way. Definitely out of the ordinary for me, wouldn’t you think?

Just saw the info regarding taking the bus in. A half hour delay at the tunnel. I guess it will be the Path train after all.

This morning


This evening

I Think It’s Better

Well now it’s Monday and it’s actually my Friday since I have Tuesday and Wednesday off. I worked over the weekend, Saturday and Sunday. Both day’s were alright. Raymond stopped by the store on Sunday. It was good to see him. He hadn’t been in the store since he got fired last month. I was able to give him a CD I burned that I carried with me since he got canned.

It was a lot busier over the weekend than it was today. Today was dreadfully dull. Maybe because it was the last day before two days off in a row, but man did it crawl. Yesterday I was out in front of the cigar shop, having a smoke.

As I stood there I saw an MTA truck pull up and inside were four guys. I looked at them and realized that they too, don’t have a Monday through Friday schedule. True, they make a lot more money than I do, but the point is, that I have a job and they have a job and there aren’t a lot of jobs out there.

I should be glad I have a job, and not be so unhappy that it isn’t the job that I want. It was an epiphany of sorts I think. Sure I will keep looking elsewhere, but in the meantime I’m not going to let this job get the best of me.

And yesterday a guy comes into the cigar shop and I follow him into the humidor to help him out. He goes for the La Flor Dominicana section and we start talking about La Flor Dominicana cigars. He like the Double Ligero 700 and I ask if he’s had the Air Bender Valiente.

He says he has and he likes them but would rather have the Double Ligero 700. Then he mentions that he saw my videos on You Tube. I was momentarily taken aback but quickly recovered, and asked what he thought, telling him that some guy in Thailand loves my videos and would like me to step on his face.

It was weird. I never saw this guy before. I guess that some guys who come into the cigar shop might have seen my videos. I do have over 100 posted. If you haven’t seen them, they are just videos of me smoking a cigar.

Some guys love the videos and some guys don’t. It’s 99.9% guys that watch my videos. Occasionally I will get a comment about fags putting things in their mouths. They usually get blocked after I post their comments.

There’s nothing sexual about the videos by the way. It’s art and whatever the viewer sees or doesn’t see, well that’s up to them. I didn’t start out making art but that’s what it turns out to be I suppose. My very own series of Nude Descending a Staircase or The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, only no rioting occurs as far as I know.

It was the second time in a week that my online persona has crossed over into ‘real’ life. First was the Martini Basher reggae vanity CD, and now someone who has seen my videos and actually said something. I found it all to be rather amusing.

Now it’s after 11:00, the news is on. Nothing good as usual. Mostly all local news. Very glad to have off the next two days. Looking forward to sleeping late, maybe till 8:30.

This morning I woke up to Neil Diamond and then ten minutes later, Badfinger. I guess the morning DJ on the radio has a thing for Neil Diamond, since I woke up last week at the same to Cracklin’ Rosie.

And five years ago, on October 7, I started writing this blog. 1,787 posts. Not bad I think.

Ramond aka


Sean aka, Don aka


11:11


Nude Descending a Staircase

I Gotta Be Me

And now it’s Saturday night. Around 10:30. I got home about a half hour ago. A bit tired. Two more days of work, then two days off which is quite nice. Just got to make it to Monday night. Still relieved at I am not working the Monday Night Football thing.

My distaste for most sporting events is now known. No distaste for the athletes though. Apparently a Jason Taylor came into the cigar shop this afternoon. I think he plays for the Jets. I wouldn’t know, but I can guess since one of his kids was wearing a New York Jets t-shirt.

A long day at the store. 11:30 to 9:30. I was glad to be able to go outside for lunch this afternoon. Yesterday, Calvin asked that I take lunch ad sit in the back room to make the already overcrowded backroom look fuller than it actually was.

Reluctantly I did sit there, re-reading David Rakoff’s Don’t Get Too Comfortable. This afternoon I sat on a bench near the park and started reading Rakoff’s latest, Half Empty. Quite funny indeed. It was too short a lunch in the middle of too long a day.

But it was an awfully nice day outside and I was glad to be able to enjoy it, as well as a fun phone call with Annemarie, out in rainy Northern California.

Woke up this morning with Free Man in Paris by Joni Mitchell in my head. Last night I went to bed with Todd Rundgren’s It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference. I don’t know why, there is no explanation as far as I can tell.

I saw Bill for a few minutes this morning as I was getting ready for work. He had just come home from driving a bus to and from Atlantic City. He had some bagels which I could not partake of since I had no time.

A brisk walk up the avenue to the cigar shop with a stop at the Farmer’s Market where I bought the usual organic chocolate chop cookies. This time I did share them with Don & Bradley. Tomorrow it’s work with Don & Sean.

Still no word from the sporting goods corporate office, and all I can say is C’est la vie. They seem a bit flaky, what with the rescheduling and my pursuing them to set up an interview. Perhaps it’s all for the best and perhaps something will happen. The woman who interviewed me seemed to like me enough I suppose.

Tomorrow some emergency drills are taking place at the Lincoln Tunnel in the morning which means I might actually be late for a valid reason. No need to lie, but with some foresight, I should leave earlier than usual to be on the safe side.

I got a late text from Rand inviting me over for drinks tonight, but I had to turn him down. After a long day today and another tomorrow, I’d rather not be hungover. It was an open ended invitation, allowing me to come over and blow off steam which is very nice of Rand & Lisa.

I Zimbra

And it’s Friday for some people, Tuesday for me. Somehow that makes sense. Probably not to you. Let’s see. Another day. Today was an interview day. It was for a sporting goods store.

In my desire to work a Monday through Friday job, I found the posting on the NY Times Monster job search and tried to schedule an interview a week or so ago. They rescheduled and I never heard anything from them again.

Still I maintained contact and finally they got back in touch with me. So it was arranged to meet this morning before I headed to the cigar shop. That meant a lie was needed. I came up with no buses going into the Lincoln Tunnel since there was a car fire and I had to get off the bus and take the Path train into the city instead.

And take the Path train into the city is what I did. A brisk walk down Washington Street, nerves a jumble. Uneventful train ride to 34th Street and a quick walk to the corporate offices of the sporting goods chain stores.

Before I went into the building I called the cigar shop. The phone rang and when it was answered I heard, ‘ Benny’s Pizza can I help you?’ I was taken aback. I mentioned I was trying to reach the cigar shack and heard, ‘What? You don’t want no pizza?’ No, I replied and then heard laughing.

It was Calvin having a laugh. I told him the lie and he understood telling me to come in when I come in. That bought me some interview time and I signed in at the front lobby desk. Handed over my picture ID and got a photo pass, for “Jonh Zeed”.

My name is properly spelled out on the ID but the security card just could not handle a qwerty keyboard. This woman has a job, whereas someone like me who can spell properly can’t get a foot in the door.

Anyway, I made it to the 20th floor and was given a form to fill out as I sat in an oversized catcher’s mitt. I met with Tina who seemed nice and she seemed to like me. She was ready to send me onto the next interviewer, but interviewer number 2 wasn’t responding to her email.

She didn’t want to keep me too long and asked if I could come back next week. I said sure, telling her that I was off Tuesday and Wednesday. She was hoping for Monday and I said that was possible and I would prefer to meet before 11:00.

I suppose I would have to wait to hear about that. It’s Friday night, and as of 10:38PM, there is no word forthcoming. I’m not holding my breath.

I saw Bill for a few minutes after the interview. He’s so great and he is my rock. He doesn’t seem to mind and enjoys playing the role. We parted and I headed to the subway. He’s driving to Atlantic City tonight so I won’t see Bill until tomorrow.

The cigar shop was fairly busy with a cigar promo and a rum tasting. So many smoking rummies in the back room. I decided to make peace with Bradley once again, a new start. It seems to have worked and we actually had a decent conversation for the first time since he started working there.

I treated myself to a hamburger for dinner which was quite good. Haven’t had a burger in a few weeks and of course I walked it off after work on my trek from the cigar shop to the bus terminal. Now I’m tired and don’t feel like writing anymore.

One other thing. I was supposed to work overtime for a Monday Night Football showing in the backroom, food, booze and cigars. My distaste for most sporting events is now well known and I was asked if it would be OK if Bradley worked the event instead of me.

I have no problem with that and now I don’t have to stay in the cigar shop until midnight, and catching the 1:00 bus. Let Bradley get the overtime, for I certainly do not care. Such is my largesse.

I’m Sure of It

What a long day it’s been. Of course any day coming back after a day off is bound to be a long day. And today was just that. No weird dreams that I can recall from last night, no sightings of Stine and Alexander this morning. No, none of that.

Positive reinforcement from Bill before he left in the morning came in handy as I trundled through our messy apartment. Made some coffee, poured cereal into the bowl, added milk and then stepped into the shower.

It made for a perfect mess, milk and cereal, and coffee in the bathtub, but I was not one to care. Lucky for me it was a hot shower, which made for some decent, albeit soapy coffee. I dried myself off and ate whatever I could salvage from the shower water, taking out random hairs as I ate and shaved.

Soon I was out the door, but had to turn back when I realized I was naked. And I still had about 90 minutes to get things right. I used the time wisely, sending out resumes to people that didn’t want them. I did get some things together for an interview scheduled for tomorrow morning at 11:00AM.

Send those positive thoughts at that time please, eastern standard time of course. Anything before or after 11:00 would be a waste and could go to someone else, someone who might be up for the same position. That wouldn’t be good at all, at least not for me.

After donning a suit and tie and daring to wear a pair of shoes that are still new enough to make my foot bleed by the end of the day, I walked up to the bus stop on Washington Street. It was a bit drizzly and wet.

I stood there and let the 10:15 bus go on without me, preferring to catch that elusive white whale of NJ Transit, the 10:30 126 bus. Call me Ishmael. And don’t tell me you lost my number you bastard. An uneventful bus ride, followed by an uneventful train ride.

I sat across from the cigar shop and talked to Bill on the phone. I’m seem to be somewhat more coherent hours after waking up. It was a fun talk, but as we chatted I heard a thud or two. The call ended and as I started to head to the cigar shop

I noticed a starling nearby, looking like it was in bad shape. It took me a minute but I figured out, the starling was what made the thud. It flew into the building behind me, and there it was breathing it’s last. I could have put it out of it’s misery but really, it isn’t my style.

Instead I headed to the cigar shop where there was no one to put me out of my misery. Instead I merely did my job and wound up selling a lot of cigars and cigar related paraphernalia, close to $2000. Gimme that 1/3 of 1%!

Today at the cigar shop it was Calvin and Don with Sean coming in at 4:00. Bill texted me, telling me he got me a present and he wasn’t going to tell me anything about it. He figured I’d probably guess what it was.

The rest of the day at the shop was boring and bland. Not much at all to write about except for once again, one of the neighbors is complaining about the smell of cigar smoke. I can’t say whether or not they actually smell cigars, since I smoke cigars myself.

This time the complaint was from the bank two doors down. The bank the cigar shop does business at. I told Calvin that if they’re going to go after our livelihood, we should take our money out and go to a new bank and deprive them of their livelihood.

Calvin did his usual nervous laughter, like he does after almost everything he says. It goes on even more after he has a few drinks.

And he was nearly busted by a customer who every now & then, leaves a bottle of booze in the store’s pantry. Apparently someone finished off the bottle and most of the signs pointed to Calvin. But he’s the manager of the store so no fingers were pointed, just shoulders being shrugged and murmurs said under non alcoholic breath.

I closed the store with my drawer being over $51.00. I counted a few times but figured I could figure it all out tomorrow. I hustled on down to the bus terminal, where I ran into Hyman Gross. He asked if I had an interview today and I told him it was tomorrow.

He asked where and I told him, and also mentioned that all I really want is a Monday through Friday job. He responded, ‘Why would you want to work there? It’s a job for a high school graduate!’ I told him to knock it off, I didn’t need his undermining and I was looking for a Monday through Friday job.

And I am a high school graduate.

He got the message and said he would say a prayer at 11:00, saying that if this what I wanted, then he wanted it for me. That was nice. Hyman got off at his stop and I got off at mine. I had to walk up to Washington Street to get some coffee since I did not want to be out tomorrow morning.

I came home and there was Bill, opening the door for me. And there was a gift wrapped box from Bill, with my name on it. I unwrapped it to find a new camera. Quite happy and thrilled. Haven’t read the instruction book but already took some pictures of Bill and uploaded them onto my computer.

Back in the Weegee business I suppose.

That's my Boo.



The Dying Starling

I Don’t Want To Know

Well it’s been a day off and it’s been alright. I bought myself a new Timex watch and some new Airwalk sneakers. The last watch lost it’s crown, which is the piece that allows you to adjust the time when you pull it out.

What was left of the crown kept getting snagged on clothes and other things. And the Airwalk sneakers, well after over a year, they’ve been looking ratty. A trip to the mall was in order. The watches were on sale at Kohl’s so I saved about $20.00 on the basic Timex watch.

The co-workers at the cigar shop all have watch fetishes, preferring to spend hundreds of dollars on a watch that does the same thing as my $30.00 Timex. Only it’s not as flashy as a watch that cost several hundred dollars (or more).

On my way home I switched from the old sneakers to the new ones, figuring I was just going to throw them out anyhow. I must have looked a sight sitting on a bench by the Hudson River, in my purple socks, lacing up the new kicks and tossing out the old ones.

I did say good bye to the old sneakers, thanking them for the services they’ve provided. The new pair is basically the same style as the old pair, tan Airwalk kicks. I certainly don’t wear them as much as I used to, mainly on weekends as I truck to and from the bus terminal to the cigar shop.

It was a nice day out too. A little overcast and a little muggy at that. More resumes went out this morning and also communicated with the groups that Don from work had suggested. One of the groups, an LGBT start up had no use for me, but did offer some volunteering work if I’d like.

I thanked them for the volunteering offer, but turned it down. With my schedule I don’t think I would have anytime to do any of that for them. Still no word from the other group Don recommended. And there were other resumes sent out.

Last year the thing from some job listings was a front for continuing education websites like University of Phoenix. You see a job that you feel you are qualified for and send them your resume then you get a response, asking for you to take an IQ test, or a free credit check.

It’s all rather demoralizing and degrading. Demoralizing since you think it’s a good fit and it seems like a scam. Still I continue sending out resumes left and right. No legitimate responses, no words from the cousins.

The mantra is a bit frayed, I’m afraid. If I could have picked up a new mantra with the new watch or sneakers I certainly would have. But no, it wasn’t to be.

Last night or rather this morning I had a very strange dream. I was in an apartment with Brian Eno & David Byrne and a woman. Eno picked up a starter’s pistol and put it to his temple. We told him not to pull the trigger but he did and collapsed.

Blood and water spilled from his head as he lay there. Byrne, the woman and I all tried calling 911 on our cellphones but couldn’t get through. At some point I cradled Eno in my arms and took him outside. When we were out in the daylight, his skin looked like the skin of an avocado, but rather quickly his skin was normal once again and he came to life.

So while it had a happy ending it was disturbing enough that I couldn’t get to sleep again.


I Thought You Wanted to Know

I suppose after 2 nice days a weird day would have to happen eventually. That was today. Not sure if I slept well, and I could have certainly could have used a few more hours of sleep. Most everything was a bit off today, including now.

Had a message that I missed Bill’s phone which I thought was recent but was actually a few hours ago. I just hit the redial button as he was climbing the stairs outside the apartment. Had a phone call from my brother Frank right before that who said, ‘What a great show huh?’ ‘What show?’ I asked.

Was he talking about Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC? It turned out he was talking about Elton John & Leon Russell on cable. I had no idea and in any event I had just gotten home about a half hour before so I would have missed most of the show.

It looked OK. I only saw the last few minutes of what seemed to be the final encore. Leon Russell walking with a cane and Elton looking pudgy.

Another strange event happened today. I came back from lunch and when I went behind the counter, there was Calvin having a discussion with Martini Basheer (misspelled on purpose). When Martini saw me, he said ‘That’s the bloke that wrote a bad review of my reggae CD!’

Calvin and Don turned towards me and laughed. ‘Me?’ ‘Yes you!’ I did write a negative review a few weeks ago of Martini’s vanity project, a reggae CD which sounded like it was recorded with all the needles in the red.

Apparently a friend of Martini’s did a search online and this here blog came up. I admitted it and Martini asked why did I write what I wrote. I said I was used to listening to Studio One recordings, people like Coxsone Dodd and Lee Scratch Perry. ‘I couldn’t compare my music to that’ he said. I

said well in your notes you wrote that was the music you enjoyed listening to and figured that was what you were after. You missed it by a mile. He laughed and walked out of the store leaving me to explain what I wrote to Calvin and Don.

To Calvin I said that I posted it online for some reggae column and to Don I told him the truth, that it was on my blog. I revealed my blogging to Don earlier today. Don’s been very helpful lately, steering my job search to LGBT non profits and start up internet companies that he feels I would be suited for.

Once again someone has more faith in me than I do myself. I did follow Don’s lead and submitted a letter if introduction as well as a resume. One more for tomorrow, can’t do anymore job searches or introductions tonight since I’m really tired.

And pretty much distracted.

I’ll be in a better state of mind tomorrow. I am off from work so I will have time to focus on what I need to do. Right now, I’d rather do nothing at all and get the day behind me. I knew you would understand.

I Got You, Babe

Well today wasn’t so bad. Better than yesterday and I had off yesterday. Haven’t had a Xanax since Saturday night. Yesterday I was feeling sorry for myself and during my weekend phone call with Annemarie I brushed off her suggestion to go out and walk around. ‘But I don’t wanna walk around by myself’, I whined.

Eventually I did walk around Hoboken by myself. From one end of town to another and back down Washington Street. Passed a few places that I filled out applications and dropped off resumes at. Came home and sat on the steps of my building smoking a cigar before heading in. 3

Didn’t do much after that. I did pick up 2 box sets of The Office which I watched, killing time until Boardwalk Empire came on. I also watched Groundhog Day. I really needed a laugh and yesterday I finally connected with the movie.

After a shaky start it’s really coming together somewhat. Last week and this week both had excellent performances. Fascinating stuff, Steve Buscemi is excellent in the roll of Nucky and the rest of the cast is very good as well.

After that was the season finale of Mad Men, which after all these seasons, I’ve finally gotten into it, as has Bill. Bill came home midway through Boardwalk Empire and we both devoured a Napoli’s pizza. Mad Men was very good. I have to watch the previous seasons now. Have to log onto the bibliothèque website and see what I could get.

After that I went and joined Bill in Slumber land. I slept better than he did. He was off around 6:30 this morning, kissing me goodbye and leaving me with good thoughts. I was up and active about 2 hours later.

After showering, eating breakfast, and emailing resumes out, I headed down the stairs. I heard some stirrings on the third floor landing. I let out my Chewbacca growl and as I turned the corner there was Alexander and Stine, Alexander with a great big smile on his face.

They were headed out and the 3 of us walked out together. Alexander speaking in English, complete sentences. When we got out to the sidewalk I asked for and received a ‘gimme five’ from Alexander. Then I asked for a kiss and got a cheek which I kissed.

He doesn’t kiss anymore, instead wanting to be kissed which is so much like his father. Though I’ve never kissed his father.

As they walked in the opposite direction I yelled out ‘I love you!’. After a few seconds, Alexander yelled back, “I love you, John!”. Oh that was definitely the high point of my day, if not my week, if not the month. I walked to the bus stop on a cloud.

It was an uneventful bus ride into the city and an uneventful ride on the subway. Got to the shop, Marcus at his desk, Don behind the counter and Bradley being Bradley which is yet to be determined.

After trying valiantly to befriend Bradley on Saturday and each attempt being rebuffed, I decided to drop the attempts and maintain a strictly work based relationship. I didn’t speak to him unless I absolutely had to, and if he asked anything of me I would respond as briefly as possible.

The day was fine. My friend Sung and his partner Ray stopped by. Sung was going to bring me coffee but I asked that he get me a banana instead. Sung and Ray showed up with a bunch of bananas.

They’re traveling abroad to Taipei and China in a day or two. I couldn’t chat long with them since I was at work but it was good to see them. And Marcus was in a good mood thanking Don and myself for the work we’ve done in the past month. That was good to hear.

I went out for a coffee and in the coffee shop I Got You Babe was on the radio, provoking memories of Groundhog Day. At lunch I sat on a bench near the park, enjoying a cigar and reading the New Yorker. Finally all caught up. Bring on the next issue!

As the store closed and I was counting the money, Bradley was ready to leave but before he left he had a question to ask me, ‘Are you mad at me?’. I explained everything he did on Saturday, including me asking him if he played any musical instruments.

He answered, ‘Yes’ and started to walk away. Anyone else, if they played an instrument would likely tell you the instrument. Not Bradley.

He explained that he’s a moody guy, I answered him saying that he didn’t seem so moody when Sean and Don came in, only when he was with me. I told him, I had no scheme, I wasn’t out to get him, I did not want to get into his pants, I only wanted to help him. And each time I was rebuffed. So, I gave up.

I then told him that I was trying to close the store and I was counting money. Maybe we can be friends again, but not right then. Made it to the bus, meeting up with Hyman Gross and surprisingly, Bill as well.

We three sat together opposite a woman who was definitely enjoying the repartee between us three. She got off at the same stop as Bill and I, and she remarked that Bill and I were adorable.

What a way to start and end the day.

Frumpy!


Happy birthday big brother Frank. Much love.

I Fall Up

Saturday night. Bummed out a bit. It’s been a long day. Started out early since I switched with Don. Instead of him opening and me closing, it was the other way around. I hustled up the avenue to get to the shop on time.

Stopped off at Smiler’s and got a bacon and egg sandwich as well as a stop at the Farmer’s Market for some of those organic chocolate chip cookies that I’m fond of. It’s a good thing that I did not share them with my co-workers since those cookies and a banana were my dinner tonight.

But of course I’m getting ahead of myself with my head up my ass. Got to the cigar shop a minute or so late and there was Bradley waiting for me. Whatever connection there might have been between me and Bradley it’s all ashes now. He’s dead to me.

Sure I will work with him since I have to but there won’t be small talk, or any talk if I can help it. Once again, I tried to reach out in a spirit of camaraderie since we’re working together but just about every hand I put out was brushed away.

The last instance of attempting to be friendly was asking him if he played any musical instruments and he merely replied ‘yes’. True he answered the question, but just about anyone else who did play an instrument would say ‘yes, I play keyboards (or guitar etc).’ Not this piece of shit.

Bradley did become more animated when Don and Sean came into work. Joking with them when I wasn’t joking with them. And when Don and Sean weren’t around it sure got frosty in the shop. Sean is being punished by Calvin and his hours were reduced.

He’s a part timer and just got another part time job at a nearby shop, so he’ll be working there when he’s not working at the cigar shop. Don is working on his own thing and trying to get out. We’d all be happy to leave Marcus and Calvin and the ass wipe to run the cigar shop until it’s extinct (which is only a matter of time thanks to Mayor Bloomberg).

I did make arrangements with my co-workers to leave at 6:00 instead of 7:00 so I can make it to Bill’s play. I will probably catch hell for it somewhere down the line. I did cover myself and made sure things would be running smoothly after I left.

I saw it as much like when Don decided to play the religion card and left the shop early for Rosh Hoshanna and Yom Kippur. The only difference was that I worked most of the day and not for 2 hours like Don did. But Don had clearance from Marcus. Not Calvin though. Calvin told me he would have refused Don’s request.

If it was no biggie for Don and it shouldn’t be for me, but it will be.

Hyman Gross showed up at the shop before 6:00 and I sat him in the back room among the cigar smokers where he promptly fell asleep. I collected him a few minutes later much to the bemusement of the cigar smokers.

Hyman is 80 something and it was slow going, not my usual manic pace. Bill told me what train to take and where to transfer and of course that worked out fine. We got to the street after a train ride and Hyman being an old man wanted to take a bus.

I tried to explain the buses down where we were run north and south and we were heading east. Plus we had more than enough time to get to the Nuyorican Poets Cafe on time. And it being an off off Broadway show, it would not start on time anyway.

The show was a staged reading and it went well enough. Hyman got to see Bill on stage and play some piano. It was loosely based on based on the life of Jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan. Once again I’d rather hear Jazz played live rather than mournful recordings from over 50 years ago.

I reminded Hyman to shut off his cellphone before the performance started and I could have sworn he did, but of course during the show guess who’s cellphone rang? Not mine.

Still despite that I enjoyed the show as did Hyman somewhat. Bill paid for a cab from Avenue C and east 3rd street to the bus terminal. Too many stairs for Hyman which was understandable. A bus ride back followed by Bill and I escorting Hyman home.

And now we’re here, a repeat of Saturday Night Live is on, Bill just went to bed. And I’m glad I’m done writing this. Off work tomorrow, back on Monday. And once again I won’t be posting tomorrow unless there is something worth posting about.

And rest in peace, Barbara Billingsley.

Hyman Gross


Thems eats!


I Don’t Know Much

Friday for most, some other day for me. What else is new? Slept really well last night, woke up groggy, barely remembering Bill kissing me goodbye in the morning and telling me he loves me.

Nice thing to wake up to and sweet dreams were followed by an awful alarm clock, the radio banter of the DJ’s on the oldies station. They were making an appearance at some food court at some mall somewhere in New Jersey.

I got my act together and after checking emails, I checked to see if there were any worthwhile jobs that I should send my resume to. But sad to say there weren’t any jobs worth sending anything to. I’m not reeling like I was yesterday.

The ‘coming in second place’ really knocked me for a loop. I was so certain that I did well and perhaps I did well coming in second, hopefully it was not a competition between me and someone else. Come in cousins, this cousin needs your help. I write that knowing that the cousins don’t read this here blog.

It was quite a blustery morning today. And with rain expected I wore a rain coat of Bill’s that he doesn’t or hasn’t worn in a while. Looks better on me anyhow. I had a quick cigar waiting for the bus and then headed into the city, walking through the bus terminal to the subway.

Figured out how to get to the exit that I really wanted to find which was basically a high point of the morning. Made it into the shop on time. It was Don, Calvin and Bradley.

Bradley is the new guy and really tries too hard to be friends with everyone. Last week he tried humor which I missed most of, only coming in to hear a remark about John Lennon being dead. He knows a lot about cigars after working in a cigar shop in North Carolina for 12 years.

Now he’s up here and trying to fit in, but stepping on toes as he tries. And those toes are mine. I’ve tried to help him out, letting him know where he can get good suits on the cheap, where to get a good lunch cheap, or even breakfast.

But it seems he doesn’t trust me and would rather eat his Pay Day candy bar for breakfast and going to Subway everyday for lunch. Me, I’m like Andrew Weil next to him. I eat breakfast at home and bring a sandwich for lunch.

But after a week of extending an olive branch, my arm is tired and simply couldn’t be arsed to be his friend. Co-workers, sure. friends- doubtful. He’s very much a kiss up anyhow. It’s only been two weeks that he’s been working at the shop but the hickeys on Calvin’s derriere are truly tell tale.

Marcus hasn’t been around much this week so can only guess that his butt is relatively hickey free.

It was a long day today. Tomorrow might be shorter. I switched with Don, I’ll be opening and he’ll be closing. I am going to see Bill in a play at the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe, so I’m leaving at 6:00 to catch the 7:00 off off Broadway curtain.

I’m also going with Hyman Gross who is a character in the life of Bill and myself for the past couple of months. I don’t know why I haven’t written about Hyman Gross earlier, and I’m not sure if I will write about him tonight. Probably not.

I have to go to bed soon since I have to get up early. Smell ya later.

I Wanna Be Loved

Is it worth it? A new winter coat for the wife, and a bicycle on the boy’s birthday? It’s just a rumor that was spread around town, somebody said that someone got filed in, for saying that people get killed in, the result of our shipbuilding.

It’s been that kind of day. Yesterday was a day full of hope. And I maintained that hope, so much so, that I did not check emails regarding the job for the rest of the night. I even decided not to return the Double Fantasy CD from Tunes, figuring I should continue riding the wave of good karma and let the sleeping dogs at Tunes lie.

I maintained the faith that I did the best that I could do and the rest was up to them, but I did harbor the thought that I had gotten the job. Maybe they wouldn’t say anything today, or tomorrow. Maybe they would wait until next week, or the end of the month.

I proceeded with my day today, filled with hope, some optimism and maybe a touch of cockiness, or rather smugness. I felt that I wouldn’t be doing this routine anymore, I was so good at the interview, I couldn’t think that someone else may have gotten the job.

As I waited for the bus I did call the recruiter who set the whole thing up and asked if she had heard anything. She didn’t and told me she was in a meeting (a lie, since why would she take the call from me if she was in a meeting?) but she said she would call me back if she heard anything.

Still I had that hope thing going on. I called Bill before I went in and chatted for a few minutes. Good old Bill, super supportive, the light to my darkness, the yin to my yang.

There were a few giggles when I showed up clean shaven. They had never seen me like this before and it surprised them somewhat. Things were going alright until about a half hour in. I got the call from the recruiter.

She told me I came in second place, the Gee’s decided to go with someone else. She said she’d keep an eye out for me but of course she would say that.

Yes, I was trying to get into the Gee’s, an investment bank at 157th and Lexington. Apparently Michael Noeill and ghnSiova Melley (their real names ?) opted for someone else.

Why? What did I do wrong? Was it because I sent 4 references that weren’t asked for? Was it because I merely cut and pasted the thank you notes the recruiter sent and didn’t proof them until it was too late, which was when I saw some grammatical errors.

I’ll never find out unless Michael Noeill and ghnSiova Melley Google their names and read this. And even then would they have the cojones to actually write a comment? Extremely doubtful.

Still I have other irons in the fire and that hope thing remains, resumes sent to cousins could still get some action.

More nonsense drama in the cigar shop. One of Calvin’s devoted customers was supposedly greatly upset with me since I did not forward a message that he never told me about.

And another favored customer of Calvin’s was written up late last year for being into hardcore kinky sex as well as being abusive to his wife. The guy seems like a coke fiend and usually comes in wired for sound.

So despite the letdown at noon, I realize there was nothing I could do about it. Once again, I’ve got to hang in there.


This pic sums the day up somewhat.

If You Gotta Go, Go Now (Or Else You Got To Stay All Night)

Well a little after 8:00 last night I got a phone call. It was Jane. Who surprisingly sounded like my friend Jane. And that made me post on Facebook, wondering if all women named Jane sounded the same on the phone.

Are they the same Jane or am I insane? Anyway it was Jane the recruiter, reminding me to sell myself, and to ask questions. She mentioned that if you don’t ask questions during an interview you’re basically disqualified. Even ask questions that have already been answered.

I took down all her suggestions, including bringing a fresh resume and hung up the phone a few minutes later feeling incredibly anxious. Bill came home and alleviated my anxiety and it didn’t take long to realize that this job was nothing I hadn’t done before and also had done quite well.

Bill was soon off to bed and I stayed up watching Community, 30 Rock and The Office. Community was great, I had the heads up regarding Abed’s storyline which was like watching 2 shows in one. 30 Rock was OK, but the Office was great. It involved Andy Bernard acting in a local production of Sweeney Todd and it was hilarious overall.

I watched them on the free broadcast channel on cable. You miss your shows from NBC and ABC and you can watch them a day later for free. No need to DVR it. I was still a little bit anxious when I went to bed but slept really well.

Woke up before the alarm clock and was out waiting for the bus earlier than I usually do. I had an interview at 9:30 and of course, I did not want to be late. As I rod on the bus I went through my things and realized that I did not have the updated resume on me.

I texted and called Bill and arranged for him to print out some new copies. The resume had to have changes on it, from Office Manager to Office Services. I’m going after the office service position, not the office manager position. You have to tailor your resume to what they want, you see.

So I met up with Bill for a few minutes and then found myself on the N train. I got off at Fifth Avenue and still had 20 minutes to kill. I went up a few minutes after that and soon met with Mark. He seemed like a nice guy and I think we hit it off.

He thought I had another appointment and when I said that I didn’t he asked me to wait to meet with Margaret. So it turned into 2 interviews in which I think I did very well.

After that I was back on the street, talked with Bill who was quite happy with my report on the interview. I also called Greg Stevens, Vinnie and Brenda all from the Wanker Banker scene which is actually around the block from where the interview was.

Greg, Vinnie and Brenda gave me their consent to put them down as references. I had to explain that the position was for office services and not office manager so they could get their stories straight. I also called Babs Kaye and left a message. She called me back later on also giving me her consent.

Walked back to the bus terminal, stopping by Bill’s office so I could sign some paperwork with regards to being the beneficiary of his retirement funds should something awful happen. And I certainly hope that doesn’t happen.

Wrote some thank you emails which I had to run by the recruiters. I copied mine from suggestions online. They took that and reworded it somewhat and I sent them off to Mark and Margaret, on Mark’s were the references which weren’t asked for but decided to send anyhow.

I hope that wasn’t the wrong thing. Before I left the interview, Mark and Margaret said they had other people to see. I mentioned that to Bill and he said that was the standard line. Perhaps they do have other people to see, perhaps I was the only one they saw.

A decision will be made and I hope I get the job. It’s a temp to perm job which is fine by me. Close enough to my old stomping grounds. The hours are the crazy part. 7:00AM to 4:00PM or so. Maybe some extra time if needed. I explained that I had no problem with that and I really don’t.

It will take some adjusting should it come through, but it’s doable. And it’s Monday through Friday which is what I really want. And paying 12k more than what I’m making working retail, well that truly is the brass ring.

But I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch and also sent the revised resume to my cousin Joe.

Anything could happen, and it probably will.

Guess who I saw today?


The Interviewed

This has been post 1,777. How about that?

I Know I’m Losing You

Maybe I go looking for trouble. But when I see something that seems fishy I will speak up. Now it seems inconsequential to most, but to a music fan on a tight budget it seems strange. It’s a problem that happened a number of years ago when I bought a birthday present for Julio, The Name of This Band is Talking Heads.

I bought it at the local record shop, Tunes and it was in a plastic envelope, not factory sealed like most new products are. As I was wrapping it I heard something rattling inside. The jewel case was broken. It could have scratched the CD.

They had no answer except the robotic line that just because we played it in the store doesn’t mean it’s been used, it’s still new. So today after hearing about the stripped down version of Double Fantasy I felt I had to get it. A treat, a reward for a pretty good day for me.

Before I left the apartment I called to see if they had it in stock. They said they did so I went before doing some errands. Stopped by Mr. L’s where I saw Tony the barber. He cleaned me up nicely this morning.

I walked over to Tunes and sure enough there was one copy, in a plastic envelope, next to Milk & Honey, Walls & Bridges, Mind Games, Imagine etc, all factory sealed. I asked why Double Fantasy wasn’t sealed like the others and was told because it was in the listening post.

I asked wouldn’t that make it used? No, that’s how we do it here. I decided to push it along a bit and said, if it was played wouldn’t that make it used? No, that’s how we do it here.

Once more, I asked the girl behind the counter, clearly annoyed with my question what’s the difference between something being taken home and played and something for sale that was played in the store, to which she replied, that’s how we do it here.

I made the purchase anyway but couldn’t let it go. I called the other Tunes store in NJ and asked for the manager who I figured would be the owner. The one whom I had the almost exact same chat a few years ago.

The girl who answered the phone couldn’t handle my question after a few minutes and then some guy came on the line. He asked what was the problem and I repeated it. He too had the same answer as the robot girl, “No, that’s how we do it here.”

Then he mentioned they had a shrink wrap machine in the back and sometimes they repackage used items which seems dodgy to me.

He said he was sorry I felt the way I did and I said I accepted his apology which greatly upset him, causing him to say that he wasn’t apologizing to me exactly.

I did mention that I do try to support bricks and mortar record stores but I wouldn’t have this problem with Amazon or iTunes. ‘Well, we’re not Amazon’ said the manager. ‘What is the point of this call’ he asked and I said I just wanted an answer to why used items are sold as new.

I also mentioned that I was writing this for an article (this here article). ‘Why did I buy the CD then?’ he asked and I mentioned that I bought it because I wanted the package. I could have just as easily gone to the bibliothèque and gotten it from there and burned it. I’ve already burned the two discs (one stripped down John & Yoko, the other the originally released 1980 version).

According to the receipt, If I still have the original packaging and the receipt I can get a full cash refund within 14 days. I might just do that. The CD is back in the plastic envelope and the receipts are intact.

What do YOU think about this ‘issue’? I’d really like to know.

It was a good day regardless. I had two interviews scheduled, one asked for a reschedule and the other went as planned. And it went well. Really well. Well enough that I have an interview with the client tomorrow.

Things seem to be moving fast. It’s similar to 8 years ago, when I first moved back to Hoboken, almost to the date. I was between jobs and the first night (or close to it) I plugged in and went online searching for a job.

The next day, Matt Semegram from ATS called and asked to see me regarding the position. I scheduled an interview with Matt the next day. He said I was a good fit and they would probably like me. He emailed me some tests which I completed and sent back after I finished it at home.

Matt called the next morning and said that they wanted to meet with me that afternoon. I went in the middle of a monsoon and spoke with Bobby Risotto. I started the job the next day.

Today while filling out the forms at the staffing agency, and after I met with Angela and her supervisor Lorraine I came home after seeing Bill for a few minutes and dashed off a thank you email. I wrote I would be able to start October 18.

About two hours ago, I got a call. The client wants to see me tomorrow morning at 9:30. They will be calling me tonight to confirm and let me know where to go. Fingers crossed.

Do not call me between 8:00 and 10:00PM tonight. You know who you are.

That's him. That's my Bill. Over there.


After a shave and a visit to Tony the barber at Mr. L's.

I’ve Known the Garden

Thank the gods it’s Friday! Yes, I know it’s Monday but for me it’s Friday. That makes tomorrow Saturday and for you it’s more than likely Tuesday, Yesterday, Thursday for me, Sunday for you wasn’t so bad. It was just me and Don and Sean.

We actually had a fun day. Maybe fun isn’t the right word, but it wasn’t so bad. It was dull as all hell though. I had the pleasure of walking up and down Eighth Avenue at the beginning of the day and also walking back to the bus terminal at the end of the work day thanks to a street festival.

None of those idle tourists standing on the sidewalks, drunken office workers smoking outside of bars and pubs. Not for me, I walked down the middle of the avenue, marching in my own parade to the beat of my own drummer which is the usual.

Came home last night and had a couple of greasy slices of pizza for dinner. Bill was in the city working on a play at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and I hoped he wasn’t getting some good pizza. He called when he was on his way home and asked if I wanted him to order a pizza from one of the good joints in town, but I told him not to since I had pizza already.

We watched Boardwalk Empire which out of all the episodes so far, this was the best. And Mad Men was pretty good too. I think I might be finally getting into Mad Men. Better late than never I guess. Bill went to sleep and I soon joined him around 12:15.

Woke up early. Wanted to get a haircut. Tony my barber was in physical therapy and wouldn’t be there in time. I was supposed to have two interviews but the first one asked for a reschedule. The other interview was arranged today, this morning, and it seems like the better job.

I really hope I get it. Then again, I really hope I get any other job besides the one that I have. The American Intramural College things office manager position is something that I’m abandoning hope in. The offer was made in August and here we are in October and not one word from that camp.

C’est la vie.

Today at the cigar shop was somewhat busy, and quite dull. It was Calvin and Bradley. And tonight was the first game of Monday Night Football. $50.00 gets you some free lackluster cigars and pricey Chinese food and some rum.

Not my type of evening since I don’t like Chinese food so much, I can do without the rum and I can definitely be rid of football and Monday Night Football forever. So I was able to get out of tonight’s event, the next one is scheduled for October 25 which would make it imperative that I get out of the cigar shop by then.

That wouldn’t be too much to ask for, would it? I should think not. Just get me out of there, by hook or by crook!

Wearing my Russell Means pin by Andy Warhol in honor of Columbus day

I’ll Cry Instead

The Beatles. John Lennon. Me. That’s what I hoped to write about today. I thought today was going to be an easy day. I did everything right, everything else was wrong. Last night I asked Bill to make sure I was up by 8:30 when he was supposed to be heading out.

I woke up before Bill did. No matter. I did my thing, shower, breakfast, coffee, email. Bill was super supportive before heading out, kissing me goodbye, telling me I am adorable and smart and things like that.

A few minutes later I headed out around 9:20. My barber Tony is back for a few days and I had hoped to see him for a haircut. But as I walked by someone was in his chair so I kept walking and picked up some dry cleaning instead.

Came back home and got dressed for work. Saw the 10:15 bus go by but had no worries since I was going for the 10:30 bus. A bus arrived at 10:55 and I asked the driver if this was the 10:30 bus. He said it wasn’t, they were late and it was behind the 10:50 bus.

Of course with one bus being late that meant the bus would be very crowded and it was. Luckily I phoned in and said I was going to be late. Don answered the phone and suggested that I take the train.

As if the trains run normally on weekends. In fact last night on the news they said all trains running this weekend will be running on a service schedule. Oh and they’re raising the fares to $2.50.

I made it to the shop a half hour late. No one minded. They were playing the Allman Brothers for some idiotic reason. The only reason to play the Allman Brothers in my book is a reason of idiocy.

The day proceeded without incident but the new guy, Bradley is really trying too hard to make friends with everyone and tried showing off his ‘dark humor’ by making jokes about John Lennon’s murder. Truly that is how to score points with me.

I did have a nice phone call with Annemarie for a few minutes. She seemed to be having a good day, so that was nice. After lunch, the usual jerk offs and vaginal slang came in today and I did my best ti minimize contact.

I was able to play selections by John Lennon and the Beatles which was nice. Some people complained and I did want to plug into the celebration of John Lennon’s life. I had wanted to see the documentary they were showing for free in Central Park and I had hoped that I would be able to attend, but working the joyous hours of retail made it impossible.

I left the store on time, after closing up the shop and made it to the terminal only to find a long line waiting for the bus. I was the absolute last person allowed on the 60 person capacity bus, unable to stand behind the white line, I hung on for dear life while the driver sped through the Lincoln Tunnel.

People eventually got off and other people got on the bus but hardly anyone made room for myself and the new people hanging on by a thread. Now I’m home, feeling beaten.

Happy 70th Birthday John Lennon.

I Heard It Through The Grapevine

Today it’s Friday. It wasn’t such a bad day, at least not as bad as yesterday. Yesterday I wrote over 800 words, today I feel it will be a struggle to reach 500 words. But here I go again, once more into the breach.

The day started with Bill running around, upset that he wasn’t able to burn a disc on his mac. He needed to have a few discs burned for the show he is working in tonight at the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe. It’s also the rare show that he is in that I am unable to see since I am working the horrid hours of retail.

Bill was out later than usual this morning and I was up and out of bed soon after he left. Woke up to the sounds of Eddie Money, Baby Hold onto Me. That song is always on the radio, or at least the oldies station.
I did my thing, breakfast, shower, coffee and emails and got dressed early enough. I was planning on being late today, since I would be working with Calvin I thought I’d let him open the register and therefore have to close the register.

Don and Bradley had the early shift leaving Calvin, Sean and myself to close. But as usual, as late as I try to be, I generally wind up being on time. Not a bad thing I know, but it never works out that I can be fifteen minutes late.

So I made it in, and still I had to open the register, Calvin lurking about nowhere near the register. It was a full staff what with Bradley filling in Raymond’s vacant position.

I was prepared in case the Susie Essman damaged clone made it in today or someone of her ilk came in. I brought my digital voice recorder in to the shop today to record any heinous conversations that I might be privy to.

But there was no need for it. Most of the conversations were nonchalant and not worth recording in any event. I had a nice lunch on a bench by the park, enjoying a cigar and reading the biography of Paul McCartney that Julio gave me as a Christmas present last year. I’m enjoying it more now than I did when I originally tried reading it earlier this year.

Back to the shop, more boredom, but Calvin was out of the way, enjoying his two hour lunch, supplemented with alcohol and cigars. My co-workers used to get upset about his long lunches until I reminded them that he’s out of the picture for two hours at least.

Don and Bradley left at 7:30 leaving Calvin, Sean and myself to close the shop for another long 90 minutes. I spent a good part of the 90 minutes in the humidor with Sean while Calvin chatted with a customer who though being a very nice guy, won’t shut up.

Finally I got them out of the shop and I closed the store by myself in about 11 minutes. I prepared beforehand behind Calvin’s back.

I made it from the shop to the bus terminal in 15 minutes, 41 seconds. Hot Chip, Gladys Knight & the Pips, the Heptones and ESG guiding my feet through the clogged sidewalks of the avenue.

I’ve Underestimated My Charm (Again)

And it was back to work for me. Made it a point not to take a Xanax and for most of the day it was the right thing to do. It was an easy enough day, nothing really stressful for the most part. Woke up a few minutes later, mainly because I just wanted to spend some extra time in bed.

Bill had headed off to work as usual and hour before I even considered waking up. But Neil Diamond’s Crackling’ Rosie did get me out of bed. Was it a sign? An omen? I showered and did my thing, breakfast, coffee and email. Nothing groundbreaking there.

I did stop by the bibliothèque on the way to the bus stop. I was at the bibliothèque yesterday and saw a Bettye LaVette CD in the racks and almost picked it up, but decided not to. This morning I thought it might be a good thing to bring to work, listening to Bettye LaVette interpreting British Rock & Roll classics.

But I should have picked it up yesterday since it was unavailable this morning. The problem of living in a town with hipsters in it I suppose. Still I walked over to the bus stop, letting the 10:15 bus go by once again, deciding to wait for the 10:30 bus. Uneventful ride once again.

A walk to the subway listening to David Bowie, so swishy in his satin and tat, in his frock coat and bippity boppity hat. Got to the area of the shop early again and stood around outside, killing time and talking to Bill on the phone briefly.

The day was OK mostly. I went out to lunch again, opting out of staying in for the hour to myself. A lovely hour to myself, spent on a bench by the park is miles ahead of sitting around watching TV and smoking cigars with people I just sold cigars to.

I came back, found Calvin to be quite moody. I don’t think he was able to have his alcohol after lunch. And he was only able to have an hour lunch instead of the hour and a half he usually takes. By this time it was Calvin with the new guy, Bradley and Sean. And Sean and I have been getting along famously lately.

Sean told me about how Calvin told him he didn’t like his attitude and they were thinking of cutting his hours back. I did my best to reassure him. He’s busy looking elsewhere for work, as is Don. The new guy doesn’t know any better.

A customer came in. She looked like Susie Essman, if Susie Essman was brought up in the gutter and had no wit. Calvin passed her onto me. She wanted to buy a pen and since we were standing in front of the DuPont pen section of the shop, I showed her a few of those.

How much were those pens? $300.00 and up. She asked for something less expensive, around $100.00. So I showed her some less expensive pens. She didn’t want a roller ball pen. No wait. It’s a ball point pen she didn’t want. Or was it? She wasn’t sure obviously and I dealt with her the best that I could.

She settled on a shiny silver pen, ball point for $125.00. She asked if it could come in black ink and I said sure, we could change the cartridge if she wanted. She never brought it up again. I made the sale, and started to wrap the pen for her.

Her daughter walked in, made up like a whore. She yelled at her mother for buying the wrong pen. Roller ball pen! Not ball point!

Calvin walked over and asked what the problem was. The mother turns and sees Calvin, 6’2”, shaved bald black head and melts. The daughter makes goo goo eyes at Sean. Outbreak of jungle fever! I took the necessary steps to void the sale since I saw it would go to Calvin, waving my 1/3 of 1% commission goodbye.

The mother asks Calvin if there are any cheaper pens and Calvin says yes of course there are cheaper pens and proceeds to show her less expensive pens. The mother looks at me and grabs Calvin’s shoulder making him bend down some so he can her what she’s saying about me.

I stand there and smile. I know what’s going on.

The daughter is practically drooling over Sean who doesn’t want to have anything to do with her. I walk away. The sale completed, Calvin got his commission.

I come back and Calvin says he’s mad at me. He asks what happened? Why didn’t she like my attitude? When did the situation change and I tell him. The situation changed when the daughter came in, berating her mother for buying the wrong type of pen.

I tell him, the mother wanted to see $100.00 pens so that was what I showed her. She didn’t know what she wanted and I did my best to guide her. And then I told Calvin that the mother was hot for Calvin and the daughter was hot for Sean. Just a matter of fact. I certainly didn’t care.

Calvin soon left for the day leaving Sean and the new guy and myself. I can’t get out of this place fast enough.


I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing

Well somethings are just dumb. And one of them happened to me today. I woke up (I should have stopped right there) and got myself together for another day of work. Shower, cereal, coffee and then I was out.

At the bus stop shortly after that. Bill was off filming an infomercial for his dentist. And then rehearsing a play at the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe. I forgot that was what he was up to and only remembered when I called him and got his voice mail at work.

I rode the bus into the terminal and listened to The The when I walked to the subway. Got to the area where the shop and headed in. There was Calvin & Bradley wondering what it was I was doing there. I said I was there to work and Calvin said that I was off today.

Calvin did offer me overtime and I’m sure I could have done some work until Sean came in. Don called in sick and so it was Calvin & Bradley. But I’m not insane, I just occasionally make boneheaded mistakes like this one.

I could have sworn that I had to work today but since I was off I decided to get a cigar and head home, walking to the Path train. Since I got a hopeful call from my cousin Joe last night, there was a certain bounce in my step. It’s not definite that my cousin can help me, but I do have hope.

I also got a text from my brother Brian who told me he was texting with yet another cousin, my cousin Jackie’s daughter Jaclyn who told Brian to tell me to email my resume to her. So I did. I thought it was humorous for me to head into work when I didn’t have to and I had no one to blame but myself.

Regardless, it was a beautiful day and I had a relaxed stroll down Sixth Avenue to the Path train. It would have been nice to have had lunch with Bill since I was in the area of his office and it was a nice day but he wasn’t around.

Still I walked around my old haunt, past that office building where I refused to return after 2 days of drudgery. Got a seat on the Path train and read some of the latest New Yorker.

Rand lent me the latest collection of Love & Rockets and it’s supposed to be amazing. I’ve left it at home since it’s Rand’s and I wouldn’t want it to be damaged or anything like that.

I was able to do some laundry which is now drying in the bathroom and hanging on racks in the kitchen.

I forgot about what happened last night. Around 10:30 PM, some alarm went off in the building ringing on every floor. Bill was getting ready to go to bed so it fell to me to find out what was going on. We live on the top floor so that meant I met just about everyone in the building if they were out in the hallway.

On the second floor is Antonia, a very old woman in her bed clothes absolutely terrified. Her English is no so good and I did my best to reassure her. Something went off in the basement and Julio and his neighbor Patrick on the third floor figured out what it was and silenced the alarm.

It can’t have been anything too bad since we’re all here today.

On my way back upstairs from the basement I let everyone know what I knew, which wasn’t much but at least the alarm was off. I stayed up later than usual, watching Craig Ferguson interview Alfred Molina. Didn’t watch the whole interview since it wasn’t as funny as I hoped it would be.

But really, what is?


I Fell in Love with a Dead Boy

Oh I slept well enough last night. The Xanax certainly helped. I was getting a bit anxious about going back to work again, one day off followed by seven straight days of work. The medication helped my mood getting up this morning.

Bill had kissed me goodbye an hour earlier as I slept, wishing me well and me mumbling for him to be careful. I wandered into the shower and glad I still had hot water. Some breakfast, coffee and checking of emails. No nibbles after pounding the pavement yesterday. Still I got over it, not much I could do.

I got the suit on, deciding to wear the same suit I wore yesterday while walking the streets. I rarely wear the same suit 2 days in a row, but I didn’t care. It’s not like anyone I work with saw me yesterday anyway. A walk to the bus stop, after getting 2 quick picks for the Mega Millions, feeling lucky I guess.

Spoke to Bill briefly before getting on the bus. He was his usually jubilant self, though of course when I call his boss always enters the picture. I sussed that it’s his way of saying he doesn’t want to talk on the phone anymore. Fine with me.

I rode into the city, walked through the bus terminal and headed into the subway, way ahead of the people I rode the bus with. Why they take the crowded route is beyond me and I do occasionally get strange stares from the people that were sitting behind me when they walk down the subway stairs and see me waiting for the bus.

I did see someone unexpected. It was a friend of Marcus, a guy who sounds like Principal Blackman from Strangers With Candy. The friend’s name is Walton and he’s an obnoxious friend of Marcus, as if Marcus would have any other type of friend.

He saw me standing there waiting for the train and asked ‘What, are you waiting for the train?’. I said yes, and seeing him with a cup of coffee, I asked, ‘What, are you drinking a cup of coffee?’ He said he was escorting his nephew back to Michigan. I remarked that I didn’t know the train went that far.

Just then another train pulled in, allowing me to make a hasty exit, saying goodbye and wishing his nephew best of luck. Got off the train, still in a good mood.

I knew I would be working with Calvin and I forgot I would be working with the new guy, Bradley. Calvin was in a good mood and Bradley was eager. I didn’t have the heart or feel it was my place to tell Bradley what a mistake he made taking this job. But he needs work and perhaps he’s better suited for this job than I am, since he’s spent 11 years working in a cigar shop somewhere else.

It was a fast day though, perhaps it was due to having fresh blood in the fish tank. Bradley did a good job and Calvin kept to himself a lot of the time.

I did point out to Bradley something that wasn’t pointed out to me until a month after I started, about having your name put on a sale on the computer so you get credit for it, and thereby earning that 1/3 of 1% commission.

The day ended, leaving me to close the store solo. While I worked I took my suit jacket off and missed a call. It was my cousin Joe who I finally reached out to, thanks to Annemarie’s prodding. Man, can she prod.

He gave me his email address and sounded like he was willing to help. I’m looking for something low level, and hopefully a Monday through Friday job. I just emailed hm a few minutes ago.

Made some jokes in the email about spam and my mother saying that I was dependable, polished and professional. I read it to Bill and he suggested taking those jokes out since it is an ‘official’ email. So I listened to Bill. For the first time in what seems like weeks, after I got Joe’s voice mail, I felt hope.

This was written with crossed fingers.

I’ll Always Love My Mama

Well here we are. It’s a new day, a new week. Actually the day is almost over. It’s 7:15PM. It’s been a long day. I slept late, not getting out of bed until 9:45 this morning.

I tried to stay in bed, but it was too cold. The disadvantages of a top floor apartment, it gets cold fast. Took out the air conditioner last night which made things somewhat less breezy, but without the heater on, it was pretty cold.

It was a long day yesterday and having had such a good time on Saturday at Rand’s party made for a slightly hungover day Sunday. Which of course, added to my despair and despondency.

I checked my schedule and today is my only day off until next Tuesday, giving me seven days of work, nonstop. I so want to get out of the cigar shop. Part of me says to buck up I can take it and I’m sure I can.

I’m just dreading next Monday when I am expected to partake in a Monday Night Football thing in the back room of the cigar shop. It’s a multi faceted problem. I hate football. It’s not going to end until around midnight and yeah, I’ll be paid for it.

But I probably not get home until close to 2AM. I’ll have to clean the shop and prepare it for the next day. Oh, and I hate football.

In all the years Monday Night Football has been on the air, I have never watched a game. In fact the closest I probably ever got to seeing a game was when Howard Cosell announced that John Lennon was murdered in Manhattan on December 8, 1980, and my mother yelled up to my bedroom what had just been reported.

Today I decided to do something. I went to Flash Tech, a computer store in Hoboken. I also applied at Yes I Do (a card shop, stationery store), Panera Bread, T-Mobile, Tunes, The First Provident Bank, Sears and Macy’s as well as Godiva in the Newport Mall. All through pounding the pavement in the rain.

Some of those places merely referred me to their websites to fill out forms online. Macy’s was a 9 person group interview. I think it went well, and hope it will offer me something besides angst.

I don’t know what’s worse, having no hope, or having hope. The hope thing is all I have left.

The job offer from that guy Ian in August seems to have faded away. I did contact him on the last day in September since he said I should hear something by middle or late September. He proffered a few more weeks since they hadn’t moved into their Manhattan offices yet.

I contacted Kerry, my late cousin Jackie’s daughter asking her if she knew of anything. Also sent a letter to my cousin Joe. He’s a vice-president at a big bank and I merely asked for something low level, in the mail room hopefully.

Kerry responded almost immediately since it was via Facebook messages, saying she’s keep her ears open. Joe hasn’t replied at all. Perhaps it’s because I contacted him via snail mail. So there’s my hope.

And I suppose there is more hope with what I applied for on the street and also online. Other than that, I guess I have to grow a pair and make the best of the situation I find myself in.

I have also been asked to come up with a concept with the shaving company near the cigar shop. Buy a box of cigars and get a free shave. Pay for a shave and get a few premium cigars? I don’t know.

I’m open to suggestions.

I’d be willing to split the 1/3 of 1% commission.

Just received a rejection from T-Mobile minutes ago. As soon as I can, I am dropping them as my cellphone carrier.

afternoon glories



Mom-Me June 1976

I Won’t Back Down

Well it’s later than I expected but really can’t say I have any regrets. Just got back home after spending the day celebrating my dear friend Rand’s birthday. He’s turning 50 years old in a matter of days and today seemed like a good enough day to celebrate it.

He was able to have Maxwells available to him from 12 to 5PM this afternoon. It was a great party, quite a few friends from Rand’s past as well as Rand’s relatives were there to partake in the festivities. Karaoke, food and drinks available to all.

As I stood outside at one point having a cigarette when up walked the wonderful Jose Blackorby. It may have been 15 years or so since I last saw Jose and it was a thrill to see him once again. He’s married now and living in Oakland with his wife and 2 daughters.

Fortunately he was on the east coast this weekend and able to make the party. Rand’s sisters and family made the scene as did Lois & Fred and Roda. Cheryl Welch, Chris Repella, Rob La Rosa and a few others all made appearances. Drinks were had, food was eaten and talk abounded.

So many friends from Rand’s past that I knew and liked (John Donovan and fiance). Bill and I had a lovely time, Bill connected with Mike from the Neutron Drivers, Chaz was there connecting with Mike’s girlfriend Sarah about matters relating to Paul Weller and British music in general.

Songs were sung, stories were told told, catching up as much as possible was attempted. I suppose even some networking was done as well. I tried to avoid telling stories about working at the cigar shop but I guess it was inevitable that they would eventually surface.

Some of us had comparable stories to tell. Mainly it was between me and Fred. I suppose Fred and I are lucky enough to have spouses that are understanding and supportive at our sides. Many chats many drinks and quite a few bites to eat. Can’t say that enough apparently.

War stories were exchanged between Fred and myself and sad to say but Fred is in a worse position than I am. He’s within walking distance of his hell where I have to take a bus and a subway to get to mine. Fred wins.

And like Bill and I, Lois & Fred are lucky to have each other. Lisa looked as great and sexy as ever. It had been maybe 15 years or so since I last saw Jose and I didn’t realize that he was and perhaps still is a positive influence on my life.

I can’t say whether or not he knows that to be a fact but I walked him to the bus stop and as the bus approached, I realized what a lovely man he is, such a positive person. If he’s ever had a problem, I’ve never seen it. Perhaps he hides it well, doesn’t wear it on his sleeve like I do. Perhaps he’s the Buddha.

Needless to say, I teared up, giving Jose a hug & a kiss and telling him I loved him.

Don’t know what else to write. I’m tired and had a few drinks already. Perhaps a few too many, though I could be wrong. Glad to have been able to celebrate Rand’s 50th birthday with his friends and family.

Rand is also a great guy and a good friend and I am quite happy to have him and Lisa in my life. Been almost 30 years that I’ve known Rand and I look forward to many more years of friendship.

Despite the bullshit, the small stuff that I’m not supposed to sweat, it’s people like Rand and Lisa, Lois and Fred, Jose, Julio and Stine and Alexander and Bill of course, as well as Annemarie, Frank and Brian and their families (as well as others that I am not writing down here) that really make life worth living.

Chaz


Lois


Lisa


Roda


Lady Gigglepuss y El Jefe


Jose and Bill



photo by Jose Blackorby

Work tomorrow, not expecting to post, but you never know…