Monthly Archives: November 2010

I Need You to Turn To

Today is a day off, and it’s sort of been a non day. Not much going on, raining and drizzling most of the day. I’ve been busy but overall would rather put this day behind me. I slept until 9:30, a half hour later than I have been sleeping since the hour I start at the cigar shop is a bit later.

I predicted that I would wake up at 9:30 yesterday, for what that’s worth. I was soon in the shower as the coffee was brewing. After a cup of coffee I was headed to Washington Street, to buy more coffee, some bagels and the newspaper.

Then I stopped by Mr. L’s where my barber Tony was available. He fell off a ladder a few months ago and his arm is not healing as fast as it should. Plus he doesn’t like his doctor. Despite his handicap, Tony did his usual good job on my hair, and I’m quite happy with it.

No need to trim the goatee since I don’t have it anymore, but he did do the nose hairs as well as trimming the eyebrows. Once again he earned his tip. I came home, had a couple of bagels and spoke to a recruiter on the phone.

I filled out an online application last night while writing the previous entry and had an interview scheduled for this afternoon. The interview was scheduled for 3:00 this afternoon so I got myself together around 1:00, then ran some errands, dry cleaners and bibliothèque.

I had to return La Strada as well as Performance since they were due back tomorrow and I hadn’t had the time to watch either. Oh well, I will just have to get them again some other time.

I was early enough to see the 2:00 bus go on by, and I figured I would catch the 2:15 bus, but as usual, the 2:15 bus was late and didn’t show up until 2:35. Still I wasn’t running late and the interview was scheduled 2 blocks from the bus terminal.

And it was a pointless interview. The receptionist didn’t even offer to take my raincoat or show me where I could hang it up. My, how the front desk protocol has fallen. The recruiter who had contacted me was a short fellow named Edward and he asked if I brought my resume.

I told him I didn’t and I asked him earlier on the phone if I should. He said that would be up to me. I didn’t bring it since I emailed him my resume and figured he could simply print out a new copy if he needed it.

He also suggested bringing 2 forms of ID and I asked him if it was for an I-9 form. He said that it was and I mentioned that according to the I-9 form, a passport is the kind of ID that you need. No need for any other ID unless you lack a passport.

I sat wearing my raincoat as Edward and I walked and talked our way through my employment history, still some padding on it but kept the Wolff Olins in there this time. I simply explained that working there was a big mistake, a bad fit.

It seemed to go well with Edward and he stepped away and sent Rachel in his place. Rachel tried to talk me into taking temporary positions despite the fact that I mentioned that I would be available to in January.

After a few minutes with Rachel, she tried to pass me off onto Jason but Jason couldn’t be bothered to meet with me and made himself unavailable. It was just as well since I didn’t have much faith in these recruiters and would be greatly surprised if they actually contacted me with a job offer.

Back to work tomorrow, five days until my next day off. Expect late postings.


I Can See Your Future

Yesterday was Sunday, today is Monday. Yesterday I had off, today I worked. Tomorrow I have off again. I loathe this retail scheduling. But that is the nature of the beast. I did laundry yesterday, some grocery shopping, cooked food and walked around Hoboken with my friend Lois.

It was a nice time spent with Lois, went to CVS, Rite Aid and Burlington Coat Factory. Lois bought some trousers for her husband Fred. I tried on a belt which left me to think I lost two inches on my waist rather than the one inch I originally thought I had lost.

I suppose it’s from standing around on my feet for nine hours a day and not eating much these days. I noticed the not eating much on Thanksgiving when the first trip to the buffet proved to be enough, but I would be damned if I wasn’t going to get my money’s worth.

I had envisioned my usual stroll around Hoboken with Lois, walking just north of the Lipton Tea building, along the water’s edge down to Pier A or so. I think Lois had other ideas because after the Burlington Coat Factory, she had wanted to go home.

I enjoy Lois and have been friends with her for almost 30 years, but yesterday it was hard to connect with her. That could be because I hardly ever go out and socialize. I am generally so tired after working that the last thing I want to do is have contact with people.

On Saturday night, while Bill was in Atlantic City he asked if I wanted to have breakfast with him at Stacks on Sunday morning. I would have loved to normally, but I said that it was my day off and I really would rather just stay at home and not deal with crowds of loud and noisy people.

Rand invited me over for a cocktail a few weeks ago and I begged off. It was an open ended invitation, I could come over anytime or so that is what I believed. But I haven’t called or gone over for a drink. After a ten hour shift, I’d really rather just go home.

And just like now, I am home. I get home around 11:00. I hustle on down the street after closing the cigar shop, tonight’s soundtrack was courtesy of Hot Chip, in 13 minutes 28 seconds.

Just 26 days left of this nonsense, 26 days until Jesus’ birthday. 26 days of holiday hours. Granted I won’t be working all of those 26 days, probably 19 of those days I have to work. I am off tomorrow, then it’s 5 days of work, then another day off.

I am looking forward to the day off though. Already I have plans to make, like seeing another recruiter. Right now I am filling out an online application, which is totally pointless since they already have my resume.

But it’s what they want, and who am I to deny them that?

I've Got My Mind Set On You

Just got home at 10:59. I am not liking the late shift but I can’t do anything about it as I am committed somewhat. I am very tired and it’s cold outside. It was another long day. I did not sleep well last night again.

Bill was home but I went to bed earlier than he did and then woke up around 3:00 when the CO detector went off. Nothing bad, nothing major, just the battery needed to be changed. Which Bill did today, or so I gather since the detector is back on the ceiling.

Right now I feel like going to sleep but pretty sure I wouldn’t fall asleep since it’s too early and my body clock more than likely would not allow it. I guess I’ll stay up for awhile.

I would actually not be writing this right now. But here I am. I was thinking about not writing tonight and simply writing tomorrow.

This morning I headed out for the bus, kissing Bill goodbye as I walked down the stairs. As usual I let the 11:15 bus go by, opting for the 11:30 bus. The 11:30 bus did not arrive until 11:55. I wound up waiting for about 45 minutes.

There was a couple nearby that waited nearly as long as I did. The male half of the couple ran across the street, leaving the girlfriend at the bus stop while he ran into Hoboken Daily News to get a bottle of water.

Then when he came back, the two of them went into a nearby boutique, presumably to get warm. The bus arrived as late as I mentioned and I got on. The couple attempted to get on, but didn’t know the fare and did not have the change.

These fools, standing nearby, not asking anyone how much the fare is, or even getting change for the bus. They got on and got off almost immediately. As the bus moved to each stop after mine, there was almost always someone else who didn’t know the fare or have their money despite the fact that they might have waited as long as I did.

People are clearly clueless. Hoboken is generally a friendly town, someone could have told them the cost of the fare, perhaps even given them change or pointed them in the direction of a place where they could get change, but no. They don’t ask, and they get kicked off the bus.

Of course with my bus being late, that meant that I was going to be late. I phoned ahead 45 minutes before I was supposed too show up for work at 12:30 and let Sean know and to have him tell Calvin that I was running late.

I hate being late. I hate having people wait for me, and I hate waiting for people. And now with a later hour for my commute there are a whole new set of dunderheads to navigate around as I trudge my way up to the cigar shop.

That’s it. I’ve hit 500 words. No more from me tonight. That’s it. Good night.
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I.G.Y.

Well this is how it’s going to be until after Jesus’ birthday. I went into work today a little later than usual. That’s my new schedule for the holidays, 12:30 to 10:30PM. And it seems that having 2 days off in a row is not going to happen either.

A day off here, two or three days on and then another day off. Oddly enough that doesn’t bother me. Having two days off in a row lately makes it difficult to go back to work, at least willingly. Today was different since I would have liked to have had off today, the day after Thanksgiving when most everyone has the day off.

I was glad to have slept in late, late meaning to 9:00. Bill was worried that I wasn’t going in and I told him the itinerary. I had coffee and cereal before I headed out. Bill decided to wait for the bus with me. It was a nice time waiting and I really didn’t want to go, but I really didn’t have a choice.

Bill went to have his breakfast at Stacks as I headed into the city on the bus, once again staring out the window, looking at the top of the Palisades, thinking about Weehawken, and 11 years spent there. Soon we were hurtling through the tunnel and I was walking through the bus terminal in no time.

Not as crowded as it was on Wednesday, and the trains seemed to be running on a weekend schedule. I paid my fare already so all I could do is wait. Had to hop on a local train, I thought I was running late and didn’t want to risk the train on the express track to foul up.

I had a few minutes before I went into the cigar shop so I called up Bill as he was finishing his pancake breakfast. Just a quick ‘I love you’ before I headed in. And in the shop were Marcus and Bradley. Marcus in his office and Bradley manning the counter.

Bradley does many things that I used to do years ago, and eventually gave up. Still he can be somewhat humorous which makes it easier to get through the day. And it was a long day. Everywhere else where there was shopping it was Black Friday, lot’s of people, sales that run for only a few hours.

Unfortunately where the cigar shop is, it was dullsville. Neither Bradley or I did the sales we did on Wednesday. Really slow. Few regular customers came in and the ones that did come in were generally not my favorite people.

There were one or two that made the cut but the rest were mainly paste. It took a while for the closing hour to arrive, Bradley left 2 hours previously. I sat in the back and smoked a small cigar, music off so I could hear the door open.

Working with Calvin tomorrow and closing with Sean so that should make closing that much more enjoyable. He’s been very agreeable since he’s been inducted into the fraternity he pledged to.

Surprisingly I was able to make the bus earlier than the one I expected to catch. I waited at gate 323, something like the twentieth on line when a guy come up behind me. I was playing music so I didn’t hear what he said, so removed one of the earphones and asked him what he said.

He asked if I was waiting for the 323. I said I was waiting at gate 323 for the 126 bus. That turned out to be what he meant. I placed the earphone back in, but heard him say something else so I turned and said ‘Sorry?’.

He looked at me and said ‘deleted’. Different crowd for the after 10:00PM buses. Not my type of crowd.


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I Am Kurious, Oranj

It’s Thanksgiving evening now. Bill and I got home about an hour ago, after having a nice dinner at Oscar’s Brasserie with Hyman Gross. Hyman and his companion June used to have Thanksgiving dinner at Oscar’s every year, then last year, June up and died around this time.

He had mentioned how blue he was feeling the past couple of weeks, not looking forward to a solitary Thanksgiving dinner. So Bill and I decided to stay local. Not just for Hyman, but also because I didn’t want to have to spend 5 hours in a car or a train going to Bill’s cousin’s house. It would have been about 2.5 hours in each direction.

Last night as I was home, as I was writing I kept thinking that I had to work today and had to keep reminding myself that I had off. It was somewhat disconcerting and it wore me down.

A very brief phone call with my brother Frank also happened last night, discussing Janet Wygal’s side projects from 25 years ago and almost veering into a discussion about what is going on in my life, when Patti Lupone, Michael Cerveris and George Hearn starting singing a song from Sweeney Todd on the Stephen Sondheim 75th birthday celebration on PBS, cutting Frank’s interest in my life of turmoil short.

I was all set to go to bed around 1:00 last night, Juan was a no show. Bill phoned as he was about to leave Washington DC and head back to the tri-state area. He felt like closing his eyes for a few minutes so I offered to stay up until 1:30 and give him a call so that he wouldn’t oversleep. And that’s what I did.

I threw in Iron Man 2 from Netflix and started to get into it, pretty amped up and called Bill at 1:30. He had just woken up a minute before I called. I watched a little bit more of Iron Man 2 before I went to bed for some tossing and turning. I don’t fall asleep easily when Bill isn’t around.

When I woke up around 10:00 this morning, there was Bill sound asleep in bed, sleep apnea mask on. I puttered around, showered and made breakfast for myself, thankful that Bill made an extra special effort to get some bagels from H&H while he was in the city this morning.

I woke Bill up around 12:30 so we could start to get ready to head into the city. I was determined not to be late, so as to prove to Hyman that Bill had indeed made it back on time. We got to the Waldorf Astoria before Hyman and were seated when he came in. I found him and directed him to our table.

Hyman didn’t have much to say to me, possibly because I told him I did want to hear his negativity and when he did speak to me, I was probably best described as cheeky. It wasn’t bad, we all got our salads at the same time, but went for the entrees without Hyman who went on his own. He also purloined one or two cloth napkins which he put into his bag.

We headed out after Bill and I decided to split the bill and treat Hyman. A walk through the lobby to get a cab on the Park Avenue side, Hyman opting not to ride back to Hoboken with us. He went his way and we went ours, running into Denise Foster in the queue for the bus. Denise used to cook fabulous holiday dinners before she started witnessing for Jehovah.

Now Bill naps, I write and Juan is making his way down to Hoboken to hang out for a bit. Work tomorrow, going in later. The 12:30 to 10:30 shift starts tomorrow and that is what my holiday schedule looks like. This is why I desperately wanted to be out of the retail world before the season. Too late for that now.

John Ozed, Hyman Gross and Bill Vila


Denise Foster


Bill Vila


the John Ozed guy

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I Love The Flower Girl

So tired. Been a long day. Close to 10 hours on my feet. Now, Bill is in Washington DC, supposed to be dead heading back to Manhattan, estimated time of arrival 6:30 tomorrow morning. I wish he were here, but he isn’t so I am enjoying a little time to myself.

Juan is around somewhere, he could be making the trek up from Trenton back t Union City. He said he might stop by if it isn’t too late. But what is too late? Now is too late. Still I would welcome him here, no matter what.

I heard from the former president of my former job this morning. He asked for the info, a copy of my resume so he could tailor a letter to mail to my prospective employers. He’s using snail mail, not email since he’s not that computer savvy. I have no idea what he is writing.

Perhaps he’s writing that I am the absolute worst and the company would be smart to change their address lest they receive contact from me again. But I doubt it. Harpy made an appearance at the cigar shop today and that was nice, it was good to see him. Not much time spent, he was off doing things and I was off standing on my feet for the first of many hours.

Marcus split the scene soon enough, leaving Bradley and myself. And lately Bradley has been pretty funny. Funny ha ha, not funny strange though he is a bit strange in a funny way as well. It certainly was a busy day, lot’s of people, the majority were men, buying cigars for a long weekend.

I remember those long weekends. And quite a number of those guys sat in the backroom, and drank and smoke the afternoon away since they were off of work early. It got so crowded that we had to turn people away from the boisterous, smoky scene.

Sean came in and worked but mainly talked on his phone, out of the view of the cameras. If we wanted him to do something, like his job, we had to ask him. Large packages came in, quite unexpectedly as well as cigars ordered earlier in the week.

I put a box on the side and called a customer who asked me to call him when the cigars he liked came in. Got his voice mail and after a few hours figured he wasn’t coming in so I put them back in stock. The time did not fly by, it was quite a long day.

Eventually I left the store, closing the register and ignoring a $0.40 discrepancy in the receipts. I was too tired to figure it out and it would have taken some time. I just wanted to go home. I’m sure that will come up in a week or two.

I made it to the bus terminal, listening to Mezzanine by Massive Attack. At the gate was Hyman Gross and we chatted while we waited and as we rode on the bus to Hoboken. He expressed doubt that Bill would make it back in time for dinner and I took exception to that, and told him so.

Until then, I had no doubt that Bill would make it and if it wasn’t for Hyman’s negative attitude I would have had 100% positivity that Bill would be there. I suppose if you make it to 80 something years old, you can be as grouchy and curmudgeonly as you’d like.

I did speak with Bill a few minutes ago, and he said he should be back here, in the NYC area on time. Hyman might have picked up on my discomfort and changed the subject to Marcel Proust, Thomas Mann and James Joyce. He recommended that I read The Dead by Joyce, it’s supposed to be quite beautiful.

So I just requested the DVD from the bibliothèque as well as Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Will I have the time to watch the DVD or read the book? Will you have the time to read this?

What are you looking at?


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I'm Not Here

And now it’s Tuesday, I think. It was a long day today. Spoke with the bookkeeper who sent her letter as she said she would. It’s a nice letter, stating what a good worker I am, or rather was, and what a help I was to her.

But the only dates she mentioned was her working for the company in early 2007 until the dissolution in 2010. She’s willing to help me out, but not willing to lie or fudge the truth and I totally understand that.

The former president didn’t respond to my voice mail so maybe he feels he’s in a bind. I totally understand that too, since his wife runs a foundation and the company that is interested in me is doing some legal work for the foundation, gratis.

In other work related news, I received a phone call that I could not take from an agency in Bala Cynwyd that is interested in me, or at least wants to know where the Susquehanna skeletons are hidden.

I only know of a few and they have nothing to do with Cafe Press saucers and key chains. Mouse pads are a different story, especially if you are one of the few people that use a mouse pad these days. Or have an AOL or Hotmail address.

I left a message to the caller asking him to get back in touch with me. More phone tag. Other than that, it was me and Bradley working at the cigar shop today and surprisingly we got along just fine. He is a moody bitch as he is prone to describe himself that way.

Since it was me and him, Marcus being aloof we basically had a front row seat to the incompetence of the management. Mainly Marcus. A worker came in to do some work on the pipes for the humidor, but we didn’t know about it.

Marcus did but did not tell us, nor did we know how to get the worker access to the loading dock. His telephoned response was to look in the building manual from 2006. That’s how up to date Marcus likes to keep things.

We even texted Calvin who was on vacation somewhere in the Midwest and who surprisingly did not get back in touch with Bradley or myself. Even if things were completed we don’t know and when the worker came forth with his paperwork to be signed, I had Bradley sign it since I couldn’t be arsed.

Bradley left at 7:30 leaving me to work solo and it was slow from there on in. One guy came in, and I couldn’t tell if he was mentally challenged, drunk or Eastern European, or a combination thereof. Still he bought 4 pens at $25.00 a shot, plus the 8.88% sales tax.

I treated myself to a hamburger which I wolfed down. I figured I didn’t want to make a sandwich when I got home. I didn’t know that Bill ordered yet another pizza from Grimaldi’s since he didn’t want another sandwich either.

I wish I had known, I could have saved some money. That’s about it.

Thanksgiving in 2 days. A day off for me, then my hours go to 12:30 to 10:30PM, with the dreadful loud Christmas music playing on a continuous loop throughout the area.

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I'll Take New York

It’s a Monday and the roller coaster continues. I’m sure you would like to hear about the latest Susquehanna story. Well over the weekend, confidential documents were not found and the thought of contacting the government and paying 60.00 for each document copy seemed a bit much.

I was now relatively content to stay where I was at the cigar shop and resume searching for a new gig in the new year. I was off yesterday and spent some quality time with Bill, went to Stack’s for some breakfast but the line was too long, even to sit at the counter and eat.

We decided on bagels and a nice walk around Hoboken, stopping by the Guitar Bar and chatting with Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro for a few minutes. Back home with bagels and the newspaper and some document searching.

Bill was off to TekServe to get some things done, I stayed home and watched the DVD of The Runaways. Can’t say I was much of a fan of the Runaways but the movie was somewhat entertaining though I don’t know how true it was.

Dakota Fanning played Cherie Currie and Kristen Stewart played Joan Jett and the creepy Federal agent from Boardwalk Empire (Michael Shannon) played the creepy manager Kim Fowley. It was OK and not about to make me run out and get the Runaways Greatest Hits.

Bill came home in time for 60 Minutes and the Simpsons and then we both watched Boardwalk Empire which was as good as usual. After that Bill went to bed while I watched Lennon Naked, a docu-drama about John Lennon in the 1960’s. It was alright, something I’d have no need to watch again.

Sleep followed and I fell fast asleep next to Bill. He was up earlier than me as is the norm around here. I rallied about an hour later and got myself together after a decent breakfast. Out on the street again, waiting for the bus.

The uneventful bus ride, and a walk through the bus terminal to catch a train. Spoke with Bill before I headed into the cigar shop. I figured it would be a good day, perhaps a good week with Calvin on vacation.

Marcus and Bradley were in the humidor mostly, I stayed outside. Marcus made it a point to tell me that the backroom is not to be opened until noon, no exceptions. Marcus playing by the rules. While he and Bradley were rearranging the humidor, a gentleman using crutches came in.

I did my usual, ‘let me know if there is anything you have questions about’ spiel. The gent said he was merely browsing and I let him browse away. A few minutes after that, the gent on crutches was on the other side of the showcase in front of me when another customer walks in.

The other customer elbows the gent on crutches to the side and pulls out what may have been a Cuban cigar (like I’m supposed to be impressed), saying that he’s going to go into the back to smoke it as he’s clipping the cigar.

I mention that he would have to buy a cigar first before he does that. He remarked that I must be new there, he’s a regular customer and he’d never seen me before. I tell him I’ve been there since June and I’d never seen him before either.

He asks for Marcus, finds him and complains that I won’t let him in the back without buying a cigar. The rule is, if you want to smoke a cigar in the backroom, you have to purchase a cigar first. Another rule.

Marcus disposes of this rule allowing the ‘regular’ customer to do whatever he pleased. So the rude customer headed into the backroom and Marcus came out to talk to me. He didn’t think it was right that I gave a hard time to the customer and I told him that I didn’t think it was right for the customer to elbow the gent on crutches out of the way so he can clip his illegal cigar.

Marcus said that he knew the customer was difficult and I corrected him saying the customer wasn’t difficult, he was a scumbag. Marcus’ take on it was that the gent with the crutches didn’t say anything so there was no problem, just with my attitude.

It was a nice afternoon so I went out to my usual spot for lunch, on a bench by the park. I called up Bill who offered his usual support. Then I called the recruiter, not really knowing what to say. I did tell her I couldn’t find the documents needed for my background check.

I also mentioned that I was in touch with the bookkeeper and the former president of the last company and both were willing to write letters on my behalf stating the dates that I worked at the last company.

It does get convoluted here. Seems the former president was college roommates with the middle name of the company that seems to be after me. Six degrees of separation indeed! I called the former president and bookkeeper and both said they were willing to do what they can, and write on my behalf.

And the recruiter called again, letting me know that the new company really wants me and will consider the letters of recommendation as well as allow me to give two weeks notice at Marcus’ cigar shop.

A roller coaster of a day, wouldn’t you say?

I Like It

And now I find myself on a Saturday night. Some friends are probably seeing Tiny Lights somewhere on Ludlow Street, other friends are doing who knows what. For me it’s been a long day and after having to deal with people all day, the last thing I want to do is actually be around people.

Bill is about all I can handle and he’s 3 feet behind me watching something on PBS with the volume louder than usual. I sit and type, my back to Bill listening to Brian Eno and J. Peter Schwalm on my computer with the headphones on, though I can still hear the TV behind me despite the fact that the volume is all the way up on the computer and headphones.

Last night was an interesting night somewhat, at least it was to me. Had a talk with Bill on the phone while he was in Atlantic City, and then a talk with Annemarie. Both conversations were concerning the job which I interviewed for and was told I would start on December 6.

Now at this moment in time it seems like that is unrealistic. I don’t have the paperwork they require for the background check and even if I did the fudging of the start date on the resume would seem certain to derail any offer. Live and learn I suppose.

Today at the cigar shop, it was Don’s last day. He’s leaving to work for a start up internet company. So the cigar shop is in the lurch with Don’s departure and if I left, it would more than likely cripple them. Yeah I have problems sometimes with working at the cigar shop, but more often than not, it’s manageable.

And I am loyal, loyal enough that today when Calvin asked me if I could work, dangling the prospect of overtime to entice me into such a situation. I said I would work half a day if needed, since he was trying to convince Marcus into coming in to fill in.

Calvin is driving to Ohio with his wife and kid at 4:00AM Sunday morning, taking his first vacation in a year, or so he said. Now at home, the news is on and the volume is a little bit lower, making it bearable, though the news is still generally bad.

Calvin said a few minutes later that I would not have to come in, an employee from another cigar shop will be coming in to help out Bradley. I also spoke with Bradley when he called to ask about the alarm when he comes into the shop.

I told him to call me if he had any problems while he worked. Now with Ron gone, I’m the senior employee. Of course there is no extra money in the new title.

After dealing with people all day long the last thing I want to do after work if deal with idiots. Unfortunately I missed the 9:35 bus by 1 minute and had to wait for the 9:55 bus which idled at the gate for 10 minutes. And this bus seemed to be filled with inconsiderate self centered people all headed to Hoboken.

That’s it. I’m done. Over and out.

Not posting tomorrow.

I And I

Once again it’s been an up and down, over and out kinda day. Despite Hyman Gross and Hyman Gross 30 years younger, aka Harpy insisting that I remain positive I am thisclose to cutting my losses.

The recruiter’s assistant sent an email from the company that was interested in me, asking for a W2 and a check stub, for what I thought was proof that the company I used to work for existed.

From the big company- “Also, I will need John to provide me with either W2’s or pay stubs for Bio-IB LLC for the years (04/2006 – 07/2009) he worked there.” I found a W2 form from 2009 and a pay stub from 2008.

I gave the forms to Bill so he could scan them and send them off for me, as well as the Fair Credit Reporting Act Form. He scanned all the papers but it wasn’t enough. I can’t find the other W2 forms, probably shredded.

With Bill’s help, I found the phone number of the former bookkeeper from the last job and spoke to her on the phone. The bookkeeper and I always got along fine and was willing to help, but it turns out that she doesn’t have the W2 forms, nor does she have access to them since Vivek and his partner in finance are notoriously horrible with keeping records.

She did offer to send me a letter with her company letterhead stating the fact that I did work for the bio-technology firm from the years I stated on the resume. I doubt that would be enough since I could have asked Harpy who was a bookkeeper for sometime way back when to write a letter.

So as I write this I feel the job opportunity is slipping through my fingers. Oddly enough I am fine with it. I am tired of all this fuss, and tired of being stressed with the fact that I would be leaving the cigar shop at the height of their busiest season. And at least I still have a job.

Today would have been the day to give my two weeks notice, and despite the recruiters telling me that is what I should do, I am quite glad that I didn’t. Next week being a three day work week for most people, means not much work will be done.

Even if I did find the paperwork, with the background checks involved, nothing would be done until November 29 at best, way too short for two weeks notice. I did what I could, and almost landed a job. But things being what they are, and out of my control, out of my hands it really doesn’t seem likely.

I don’t think it’s negativity, I think it’s being realistic. I think it would be best for now to stay where I am and stick to the first plan, to hang in there and start looking anew in January. At the very least, I still have a job and should do my best to keep it.

I don’t need this additional aggravation, though it does make for something to write about, something to make loins moist in Bala Cynwyd. Fuck the Susquehanna Investment Group.

And once again I really have to thank Bill for being so supportive and understanding.

Bill with mouth guard being supportive

In My Time of Dyin’

Now it’s a different day and I am in a nervous mood. I was told by the recruiter yesterday that I had gotten the job. Now there are a few things a few things I have to fill out. Some paperwork authorizing a credit check, which should provide a few laughs.

I also had to find a pay stub from the last job to prove they actually existed at some point because they certainly don’t exist anymore. Now that’s where my nervousness comes in. You see after having to answer why did I leave McMann & Tate after 9 months over and over again, I decided to edit it out and moved up the start date for the last job to fill the void.

It seemed to work and it has gotten me this far, but I am terribly worried about them finding the omission. A few friends as well as Bill told me not to worry about it, that I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill. And I have accepted this, knowing there is no turning back.

If they find it, they find it. If they don’t well, then I am off the hook. And if they find it, I still have the cigar shop job. And so I’m not going to give my notice until I am absolutely sure I have the new job lined up. Which makes sense.

It does put me in a weird position. I was hoping to give my two weeks notice which will be a disappointment to Marcus and Calvin. Now it looks like I might give one weeks notice which would be even more disappointing to them.

But I was going to offer them my services on any Saturday or Sunday to help them out during the holiday season. Who knows? I may still be there through the season. Oh what a predicament I’m in, or think I’m in.

Today wasn’t all stress though. Bill Moyers stopped by the shop to get some cigars, and asked if I got the copy of the speech that he made a few weeks ago. I told him I did, that I was out the day he dropped it off for me.

I still haven’t had the chance to read it things have been so mental with me today. He’s a really nice guy and I am happy to have made his acquaintance. He was actually the first person I wished a Happy Thanksgiving to, which I started doing today.

A lot of people have taken off next week since most everyone has both Thursday and Friday off, so I figure it would be nice to start the holiday nonsense. Plus the area surrounding the mall has gone into full Christmas spirit, with holiday songs playing quite loudly and lights changing colors.

I remember when I had an interview in the area last year, that I found myself taken by the holiday decorations. Now that I’m going to be seeing them, perhaps almost everyday for the next month, I’m no longer taken by them at all.

Ah… who cares?

Kitty in the window

I’m Moving On

Well here I am on a Wednesday night. It’s getting chilly out. Lot’s of rain last night, it’s what I fell asleep to. I had an interview scheduled for this morning at 9:30, so that meant Bill making sure I was relatively coherent before he left.

I left the apartment a little after 8:00. I am not one to be late and will leave early and arrive early so as not to be tardy. I was able to flag down a bus that was a block past my stop and the bus driver was gracious enough to let me on board as I thanked her profusely.

A walk through Bryant Park like I used to do when I was working with Greg Stevens at 800 Third Avenue. I was early when I got to 44th Street and Lexington Avenue and waited outside the building for 20 minutes before heading in at 9:15 for my 9:30 interview.

The interview went well. The interviewer was Jill and she reminded me of Miriam Molloy and Nancy Gerstern, two women who had the same composure as Jill. Jill talked and talked as she walked me through the offices, after taking an elevator and then 2 flights of marble steps.

We sat and I listened to Jill go on about the job and what my duties would be. I felt like I had the job already and when the time came I asked a question which Jill promptly answered and continued talking about what duties I would have while I worked with a team.

I sat there and listened as Jill talked, thinking about how sweaty my t-shirt was, if it was going to rain outside when I left. It was an hour long interview just like yesterday. I was soon back on the street, an hour to kill before I headed back to the cigar shop.

I called the recruiter and let her know that I think it went well. She was happy to hear that and I was happy to tell her. I called up Bill and told him that it went well, then I headed into the cigar shop after walking around through midtown.

It was Don and Calvin today. Marcus flitting about somewhere. Apparently there was a cigar event going on tonight, scotch in the cigar shop, steaks at a nearby restaurant then back to the cigar shop for more scotch and cigars.

After being in the cigar shop for about 45 minutes, I got a phone call from the recruiter, congratulating me on landing the position. I was happy that I did but soon felt guilty. Don is leaving the cigar shop, his last day is Saturday, and now I am going to give notice, right before the busy holiday season.

Yeah, I’ve been unhappy working at the cigar shop, but these guys were good enough to take me in. And I lost about an inch around my waist and I intend to keep it like that. I’m basically not looking forward to facing their disappointment.

There is the fact that it’s a Monday through Friday job, and it basically pays a lot more than what I am making now. I don’t think telling Marcus and Calvin the truth will suffice so something else will have to be said. Bill is thrilled though and his happiness is encouraging to me.

I will tell Marcus and Calvin something on Friday.

Oh and Martini Basher came in before I came in, still hurt by my writing a few lines about his crap reggae CD. He can dish it out, but obviously he can’t take it. Punk ass.

I May Hate You Sometimes

Last night was a good night on TV. Weeds had it’s season finale and it was the best episode of the season. It was followed by the season finale of The Big C and that was very very good. Perhaps The Big C is the most moving show on TV.

Laura Linney can do no wrong in my book and her oncologist is mad cute. A scene involving Laura Linney’s character Cathy’s son was just perfect. Got me all misty. He was such a douche bag throughout the season, perhaps playing your typical teenager, but last night he was on point.

As good as Weeds was, The Big C gets the top honor. It should win some awards down the line. I highly recommend viewing it when it comes out on DVD.

And Gregg Gillis broke the Internets with his Girl Talk release. I was able to download the entire mp3, mixed as one track, but I cannot get the breakdown of individual tracks. I have to say that I am not digging All Day as much as I dug Feed the Animals.

That might be because I don’t know the samples as I did the samples on previous Girl Talk releases, and maybe it is because there’s a lot more metal and gangster rap on it. I’m not writing it off totally. There’s still a chance it could grow on me. It’s just not as clever as Feed the Animals.

I went to bed while Bill was on his way home from the awards ceremony in Harlem. He was part of a group award for his stage managing for Pekong, a play I saw up in Harlem earlier this year. I didn’t get a chance to see Bill in his tuxedo much to his dismay.

I woke up the morning around 6:00 to relieve myself and saw Bill getting dressed. I wasn’t sure if he just got home, but he told me he was home and slept for a few hours and now it was time for him to go to work.

Today was a rainy Tuesday. But not steady enough to warrant an umbrella. I had one just in case. I headed into the city and saw Bill again. I stopped by his office to pick up some fresh copies of the resume, tailor made for this evening receptionist position.

I am so fortunate to have a good man like Bill at my side. He’s so supportive in so many ways and I am so grateful. I made it to the interview early once again and filled out whatever forms they asked me to fill out.

I had to take a typing and grammar test again and today I typed about 30 words per minute, 15 words less that the last time and I was in bad shape last time. No shower in the morning left me quite groggy. Today with a hot shower and some coffee I did less than I expected. Grammar was OK though, I scored 95%.

After the testing, I met with Amy who was very nice and answered all of her questions. It went well and I left there after about an hour. I decided to drop in on Greg Stevens unannounced. I made my way up his floor and ran into Deborah who works with Greg’s wife.

She told me that Mr. & Mrs. Stevens were in Arizona where they maintain a second house. And have their photograph taken with John McCain. I chatted with Deborah and Jennifer for a few minutes before I headed back to the Path train.

I got a message that the people I interviewed with want to see me again tomorrow so that’s been scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9:30. Then it’s back to the cigar shop.

When I got back home I got a phone call from a recruiter that I used to email every Monday morning. I didn’t this week and here he was calling me up for another position.

When it rains it pours.

♫ Meet Cathy who's lived most everywhere...♪

I’ll Cry Alone

It’s now Monday. It’s been a good 24 hours mostly. There was some difficulty getting back to Hoboken last night. One bus is late and that creates a backlog. I hustled to get from the cigar shop to the bus terminal and made it in good time, but I was surprised to find a line snaking around the corner on the second floor.

It wasn’t that bad, actually. The line moved rather fast and when I got onto the bus, I was annoyed by the fact that some choice seating was taken up by a young woman with one of those suitcases that you drag around.

The suitcase was a little bit larger than the young woman. And across from the young woman with the suitcase was a larger woman, larger than the suitcase. It made for an interesting scene, with the Inmates cover of Dirty Water playing in my head.

Came home where Bill greeted me at the door like he has for the past few days. We watched Boardwalk Empire and Bored to Death. Boardwalk Empire was good as usual, gets better with each episode and Bored to Death was charmingly funny as it usually is.

Bill went to bed after that and I stayed up not watching anything in particular. I went to bed a little after midnight. Slept alright and woke up a little later than usual. Went to the cleaners, the supermarket and the bagel shop all before noon.

Spoke with Bill who was working today. I sent Connie a birthday card and walked around Hoboken this afternoon, stopping by the Guitar Bar and chatting with Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro. He just played a few dates with Ian Hunter.

He asked if I saw Richard Barone at Maxwells this weekend and I told him I hadn’t. I’m simply not interested in seeing Richard Barone anymore. I would have rather seen Ian Hunter in any event, but I had to work.

I walked around the waterfront, nobody I knew there except for the usual panhandlers who don’t get anything from me these days. They seem resentful. I walked onto the latest pier in Hoboken, one that was supposed to be open during the summer. Better late than never I guess.

I enjoyed a cigar as I walked around. Bill mentioned that he had some shirts that needed to go to the cleaners so it was a return trip back there. He’s off to an awards show in the New York State Office Building on 125th Street tonight.

While I was on the pier, I received the number 212-123-4567. I recognized the number as the number that comes up when the last staffing agency that I signed up with calls. I decided not to take the call and a few minutes later I was notified on a voice mail.

Apparently the last position I interviewed for was back in play and the company wanted to meet with me. I called back the agency and now I have an interview tomorrow at 10:00. I was told by the recruiter that the interview might last 2 hours, and I might meet more than one person.

I got off the phone with the recruiter and called Bill and told him. I had forgotten the fact that the position was for the 5:30PM until 1:00AM shift. That’s doable, it will take an adjustment, but it can be done. More importantly it’s for a little more money and it is a Monday through Friday job.

I told Bill that it was funny, I become settled in the job that I have at the cigar shop and decide to stop looking for a new position until next year and I get a call with regards to a new job. I also told Bill that I was feeling a bit guilty, thinking of leaving the cigar shop right before the holidays, and also thinking of Don who is leaving this weekend.

Once again I am getting ahead of myself, not knowing what tomorrow will hold, as usual.

There is a new Girl Talk release, available for free at http://illegal-art.net/allday/ . It might take a while since it’s quite popular.

Tonight I am going to put a cover on Hyman Gross’ air conditioner. He’s been after me for a while. I told him that 8:30 would be the cut off for me to come over. Quite an arbitrary time, but I do have to do some research for the interview tomorrow morning.


Girl Talk


I Need a Situation

Baby, I know you’re wonderin’, why I don’t come over to your place. Cause I’m not too sure about how you feel, so I’d rather go at my own pace. Yes, I just posted a Lisa Lisa & the Cult Jam video on Facebook, and so now the song is in my head.

Today was back at work for me. Back at the cigar shop. Don, Sean & myself. It was the last weekend of a fine team. Don’s last weekend is next week, but Calvin will be with us and that is no fun. Sean came up with the idea of ordering a pizza for this special weekend and so that was nice.

I agreed knowing that I would be likely having pizza with Bill tonight. So a greasy pizza this afternoon, and a coal over pizza tonight with Bill. Both were good and hit the spot. When I was living in Weehawken, pizza was the main staple of my diet, passing Monetti’s Pizza every night.

Now, maybe I have pizza once a week. And today was the exception to that rule.

Last night, instead of seeing Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby I stayed home while Bill tried to explain to his friend Theresa how to operate an iBook. But it was more than that. Theresa needed to be schooled on most of the computer basics, that Ctrl B means BOLD, Ctrl I means Italics and Ctrl U means Underlined. Stuff like that. No underlining on WordPress.

It was an interesting and entertaining evening. I mainly sat in front of my computer as they chatted. I tried watching Bill Maher and the DVD of Inherit the Wind which I have been watching in spurts for the past few days.

The DVD is from the bibliothèque and is due back in a few days. I have off Monday and Tuesday so I should have ample to time to finish that one off. I also have the animated movie, 9, with the voices of Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly and Jennifer Connelly. It’s directed by Shane Acker and produced by Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov.

I just got that off the cover of the DVD. I have no idea who Timur Bekmambetov is. That’s also due back at the bibliothèque soon so I’d better get crackin’ on that.

I am looking forward to tonight’s Saturday Night Live. The guest host is Scarlett Johansson and the musical guests are Arcade Fire. Hopefully there will be funny skits.

And since tomorrow is Sunday, I don’t think I’ll be a postin’. Unless there is something to post about.

What? Oh I still have to write more? How much have I written so far? Only 449? It seemed like more. Felt like it at least. Oh well still have to meet that quota.

Bill mentioned to Theresa that I write every day, at least 500 words. She was impressed. And I hope you are too.

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

All work and no play play, makes Jack a dull boy.

Raymond aka & Don aka


Sean aka


Hyman Gross

I Dig Love

It’s been a pretty good day. I had off after all. Got some things done which was nice, spent some money too. I bought some new headphones for the iPod and also a cassette adapter to convert my tapes into mp3’s.

The headphones work fine, the cassette adapter, not so much. I will probably have to figure that one out. The first tape I tried to convert was the Tom Tom Club, Close to the Bone. It’s their second album and of course I like it more than their first album.

The first album is readily available on CD, the second album only available if you buy the deluxe version of the first album. I did that once before, while I was still an office manager. I thought I found a great deal and a good price, but it was actually the CD that I had already.

I tried uploading the cassette earlier but it came out horribly. I can play the cassette through my computer though.

Tonight Bill’s friend Theresa is coming over. She has a new Mac book, as does Bill, and Bill is going to show her how to use her laptop properly. Also tonight Wreckless Eric is playing with Amy Rigby at the Bowery Electric.

Dave Bell is supposed to be going and I was asked to go but I thought I was working. Now that I’m not, I’m not going. I do have to work tomorrow and I am just as happy staying home and doing not much at all. I’m a lazy sod after all.

I heard from Canon today with regards to my camera. I don’t know what was wrong with it, but they fixed it, for under $100.00. I think it was what they call the dry cell on the camera. It just went kaput. I suppose I will find out next week when I am supposed to get my camera back.

Also got a Lampe Berger unit that I bought at the cigar shop and had shipped to the Guitar Bar. It burns an oil that covers up various odors, which we use in the cigar shop to cover up the smell of cigars. Hard to believe some people don’t like the smell of cigars, at least good cigars. I’ve always liked the smell of a good cigar.

I never minded the smell, whether from the cigars that my father smoked around the house or the smell of cigars that Father Lennon would smoke while roaming the halls of St. Francis de Sales in Lodi. And the cigars they smoked were more than like cheap machine rolled cigars, like White Owls or Antonio & Cleopatra.

The smell should go over well with Theresa coming over, and also good for our next door neighbor, Kim, who hasn’t complained but if I can smell cigars (and I smoke cigars) then she could more than likely smell them as well.

Not much else to report on this end. I’m staying in, not going out. Back to work tomorrow and Sunday and off Monday and Tuesday. It’s a messed up schedule but that is the life of retail. The epiphany still holds. It may not be the job that I want, but it’s the job that I got.

I Live For You

Oh my it’s been a long day. I am home now and glad to be here. A bit tired. I’d rather not write but here I am doing just that. All for you people, all for you. You had better be grateful you bastards. That’s right, I called you bastards.

Whether or not that is an apt description, I don’t know. Only Harpy, Anne and Sung post on this here blog. The majority of you do not. And I know there’s a few of you, searching for some investment group’s office manager and receptionist.

Yes you Mickey and Maura and the Crazy Peggy Guggenheim partners. In other blog related news, this entry is number 1,803. Yes, the other day I hit 1800 entries. I of course did all the work, all you did was read it.

On an iPad, or a smart phone or a lap top or whatever you use to access the world wide web. I sweated, typed callously with callouses. You hit the page up, page down buttons, scrolled using your mouses.

I ran the risk of Martini Basher’s wrath, made myself more visible on the Internets, and incurred the incredulity of Sally Maurice and their Cafe Press calendars and coffee mugs as well as the well heeled citizenry of Bala Cynwyd.

Oh Susquehanna Investment Group, why hast thou forsaken me?

At work, it was a long day. But warm enough somewhat that for the first time in a few weeks, I was able to go outside and enjoy some part of the day. It was nice to be able to leave the store for about an hour. I started reading the latest Uncut magazine with the Kinks on the cover, or maybe I should write Kinks Kover.

As I headed back to the cigar shop, I heard the sound of a drum kit nearby and decided to wander by. I saw it was a one man band, a bloke with a drum kit, a drumstick taped to his leg and 2 bass drums, an amplified acoustic guitar and a microphone.

The bloke was quite good and highly enjoyable. I love wandering around and finding some busker who blows me away. This young man certainly earned a dollar from me, as well as a dollar from quite a few other people. I wrote my email address in his notebook and hopefully I will hear from him soon. His picture is below.

Other than that, work was an arduous task. It was Calvin, Don and Bradley. Today I didn’t care much for Bradley. I’m convinced he’s a former special needs child. This is what happens when they grow up. Their hair turns prematurely gray, they possess an all consuming need to pound a counter top like it was a set of bongos, and are subjects to bouts of Tourette’s Syndrome.

I anticipate difficulty working with Bradley once Don splits the scene. I could be wrong, it’s happened before. Just a premonition of sorts I suppose.

Last night I finally caught the new Conan O’Brien show on TBS last night, in time to catch the musical act, Fistful of Mercy, featuring Ben Harper, Joseph Arthur and Dhani Harrison. They sounded great, Dhani sounding and looking like his dad. You can catch the full episode on the official Conan O’Brien website.

that one man band






aka Don

I Am The Cosmos

Detectives, mobsters, Hasidim and gun runners as well as an occasional asshole and the regulars that came into the cigar shop. That’s the clientele. We do get a fair amount of police officers and detectives, some working undercover.

So deep undercover that you’d think they were hip hop kids from John Jay or Fordham. Sometimes a detective comes in wearing a bulletproof vest underneath their street clothes. Or sometimes we get uniformed officers, coming in for a few cigars. And an occasional fireman will also come in for a few sticks.

On the flip side of all that, we get some mobsters. Today the detectives were in first and the mobsters were quite nervous, unable to do their thing, nervously looking over their shoulders. They didn’t stay too long, but the detectives did.

And then there is the Hasidim, Moises who comes in every now and then, who today, was sitting across from Rick. Rick says that he’s a gun runner. Goes to Russia and buys artillery and sells to the Mossad as well as Hamas.

Rick is pretty free with his mouth and makes one think that if someone was a gun runner, would they be shooting their mouths off so freely? Pun intended.

Overall, it was a weird day today. It was Calvin and Don with Marcus making an early appearance. Calvin is trying to be very nice since now that Don is leaving. Offered to take me to a jazz show tomorrow night after work.

I, of course, begged off. I don’t like jazz much and I do like to go home immediately after work. Been that way I suppose since 2006. That was when I last had access to a car service to go home. Nowadays, I see those town cars going past me as I walk to the bus.

Going out after work lately is a invitation to trouble, and let’s face it. I’m not much of a drinker these days. That was a surprise to Juan last week when he popped by last week. I don’t care if people want to have a drink or two. I prefer the jazz cigarettes myself.

I will go out for a pint or a cocktail on occasion and enjoy myself as I imbibe, but given the choice I’d take the herbage. It takes longer to recover from booze than it does for the herbs, at least it does for me.

Back at work, Calvin punished Sean a few weeks ago for an infraction that I can’t remember. Reduced his hours from 30 to 16. Now with Don departing, Calvin mentioned to Sean that he was going to increase his hours.

Calvin did not know that Sean has taken a second job at a shop nearby to make up for the hours he lost. And now Calvin is upset with Sean over that. I can’t blame Sean. He needs the work and did what he had to do to make up for the hours missed.

With Don on the way out, it’s almost like it is turning into the blessing/curse for a toast, ‘I hope you live in interesting times’.

I’ll Come Running

OK, it’s Tuesday, I know that much. It has been a decent day. Marcus was not in the shop when I showed up and Calvin had the day off, leaving Don and Bradley and myself to run the shop. It wasn’t bad.

There were moments when Bradley was going off, being outrageous for the sake of being outrageous, like I used to do when I was 16. And Don was busy telling certain customers of his plans for leaving the cigar shop behind.

Most of them, nay- all of them were happy to hear the news and wished him well. He has a few contacts within the customer group that he’s going to do work for as well. Don is quite computer savvy, and tried to get me involved with these situations but alas, I am not as computer savvy as he is.

I might be more computer savvy than the average guy on the street, but there are still others more savvy than me. He has bolstered my ego somewhat, that Don. So the way things are going, Bradley will assume Don’s duties at the shop, coming in early, doing an inventory check and leaving around 7:00.

I’ll remain with the schedule of coming in late and leaving late. I guess that’s fine, since I’m not a morning person and wouldn’t want to commute during the rush hour. After Thanksgiving (which will be here, 2 weeks from this Thursday) I’ll be going in at 12:30 and leaving at 10:30 or thereabouts.

Such is the retail life. But there was one customer than came in this evening who asked if I worked in finance before working in the cigar shop. I explained my positions, office manager, office services, reception.

It turns out that he’s working with a company that I interviewed with this time last year. Nothing happened with that office team and I still send an email to them, to remind them I am still looking.

No word from that Mr. Castillo and according to the customer, Mr. Castillo is no longer employed by that office team. The customer did ask that I send him a resume and I will do that very soon.

Still I hang onto the epiphany that even though it’s not the job that I want (the cigar shop) it is the job I have, and there still aren’t many jobs out there to be had. So the resume was sent out once again. Hope is still there, but also somewhat satisfied (?) with the fact I am still working.

And getting a free cigar a day and a nice discount on cigars is a nice perk. I met Tico Torres from Bon Jovi yesterday. He’s the drummer. Nice guy, never met him before but I said I had as I shook his hand.

It was Jon Bon Jovi that I met when I was working at Right Track, Jon’s cousin Barry Bongiovi (super nice guy and quite handsome) was the manager of the studio at that time.

That’s it for now.

I.C.B. (John Peel Sessions)

And now we find ourselves on Monday, November 8, 2010. It’s my friend Maurice’s birthday and also Scott Williams birthday. Both of them are 42 years old today. I haven’t seen Maurice since I saw Beck with Julio at Radio City on Valentine’s Day in 1999. Another world ago.

And I haven’t seen Scott Williams since the early part of this century at his mother’s wake. I might have seen him once since he may have been a police officer being interviewed on the television a few years ago.

I sent a Facebook message to Maurice and sent him birthday wishes. Alas I have no information regarding Scott so if he searches for himself, the grandson of Nanny Williams, best wishes Scott.

Yesterday was a busy day. Spent part of the day with my brother Frank, his wife Elaine, their daughters Meghan and Corinne and Meghan’s husband Rob. Meghan ran the New York City marathon last year and this year it was Rob’s turn.

I met up with Frank, Elaine and Corinne in front of Stack’s pancake house. Meghan was in the city already, cheering Rob on. We waited a good while to get some pancakes and after 20 minutes we decided to head out sans pancakes.

We opted for bagels at Panera Bread further down Washington Street, closer to the Path train. Not much of a wait to get on a train. From the 33rd Street Path train we were on the R train heading to 5th Avenue, the Plaza Hotel.

From there we could head into Central Park and wait for Rob to run by. We walked up into the park, and at one point we were in the roadway. We decided to step over the 2 foot wooden barrier, first went Elaine, then Corinne, and me with Frank bringing up the rear.

Unfortunately Frank lost his balance and took a tumble backwards. I grabbed his arm but I was no match for gravity. He landed on his back and boinked his head. I didn’t think it was so bad but there were a few people around who saw him hit his head and were concerned.

There were also a number of Emergency Service Technicians (EMT) nearby and a few of them made their way over. They asked Frank a couple of questions, do you know where you are? What year is this? And he answered correctly.

Speedy pulse and all that, caused them to sit with him for a while. It would have been worse I think, if I wasn’t grabbing Frank’s arm, he would have fallen a lot faster and really did some damage to his skull. The roadway was intact by the way.

We made our way to the other side of the park, trying to connect with Rob, post finish line. After some waiting we saw Meghan and Rob coming towards us, Rob looking in sore shape. Despite being the #1 track coach in New Jersey, he was wasted from the marathon, his time being 3:28, swearing that it was his first and last marathon.

We met up with Rob’s parents who dutifully got their car and drove Rob & Meghan home, leaving us to get the subway and the Path train back to Hoboken. Frank was OK, everyone was tired.

I made my way to the Hoboken Artist Studio Tour, but decided to only see Hiro Takeshita. He’s been living in my old apartment building at 2nd and Madison Streets for the past 26 years. It was nice to see him as he showed me his latest works as well as things from the past.

By that time I was tired and also needed to do some grocery shopping, so after a half hour I headed out. Hiro did say that he sold a few pieces and that it was very crowded the day before, and that was good to hear. I do enjoy his work and he’s a genuinely nice guy.

Came home, made dinner and talked with Frank to see if he was alright. He was and we rehashed things from earlier in the day and earlier in our lives. A few minutes after that, a phone call from Annemarie, more chatting.

Bill came home during the call and for some reason, was sitting in the kitchen not making a sound. After I got off the phone with Anne, I went over to Bill who was out of sorts. He had gone to see a friend sing in a cabaret, and since there was a 2 drink minimum he had 2 Absolut and cranberry cocktails, then after the show went to the gym where he promptly over did it.

He had a ringing in his ears, was dehydrated and generally disoriented. I brought him down to earth somewhat and kept a close eye on him throughout the night. He rarely drinks and this is why. Sleep followed after a while, after Boardwalk Empire and Bored to Death.

Bill went first and I was asleep an hour later.

I’ve realized lately that I have a job. Not the job I want, but the job I got. So I’m likely going to take a break from frantically looking for something new. Perhaps next year.

It’s just as well since Don came to the cigar shop on his day off, to give his 2 weeks notice. So now, behind Marcus and Calvin, I will be the longest serving employee. Into my 6th month. Sean is a part timer so he doesn’t count.

By Hiro Takeshita.


I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape

Man, sometimes I just don’t like people. I know, I am one of the people and someone somewhere might be writing the same thing about me. But lately I’ve been finding people are mostly annoying and inconsiderate things.

You hold the door for them and they don’t say thank you. They stop and stand right in the middle of the sidewalk, or walk 4 or 5 abreast down the sidewalk, making it impossible to pass. And then there are the bus people, who will wait for the bus and never ask anyone how much the fare is, or will not have their money ready until they actually get on board, then it’s time to dig through their pocket books or wallets, sometimes asking if anyone has change of a ten or a twenty.

Tonight as I was heading home, I got on a crowded bus and found a seat in the second row. There was a guy sitting there, skinny enough for me to think it wouldn’t be that tight a fit. As usual I said excuse me as I was sitting down.

He sat there, legs apart reading the salmon colored Financial Times. I said, ‘tight squeeze, eh?’ and he replied that it was. I noticed he had about 3 inches on his left and could have easily shifted over a bit making it more comfortable for the both of us and mentioned the fact that he had a few inches to move over.

He said he didn’t have space to move. Now I’m sure the space was larger than his cock, but no- he wouldn’t move and instead huffed when I sat. So he was going to be like that. I decided that I too will sit there with my legs apart, not really caring if our legs touched.

Also adjusted my pea coat so that it wasn’t hanging over the armrest, increasing his obvious discomfort. More sighing from his side as I put my head back and closed my eyes for a minute. Then I decided to play some Siouxsie and the Banshees which I hoped would annoy him.

Whether or not it did, I’ll never know. He got off at 14th Street and I wasn’t surprised at that. Most newbie know nothings in Hoboken live up there, paying for nice addresses but not considering that they will always stand on the bus since by the time the bus makes it up to 14th Street, it’s standing room only.

He got off the bus and I spread out, enjoying the space. I don’t go looking for trouble but I can usually find it. Maybe it’s living in this metropolitan area that makes everyone tense and nervous. I can’t say I’m above it, but usually by the end of the day, I’m tired and just want to get home. Pretty much in a mellow mood since I’m too fatigued for anything anyway.

I make my beeline down the avenue, avoiding most everyone and everything. If someone actually needed my help, I’d be sure to help them out if I could. But some people are just shit, to paraphrase William S. Burroughs paraphrasing a madam from a whore house.

That’s about it for today. Tomorrow I’m going to cheer on my niece Meghan’s husband in the New York City marathon, and after that I hope to check in on Tim Daly and Hiro Takashita’s studios on the Hoboken Artist Studio tour.

I doubt I’ll be writing, but one never knows, do one?

Sean


Can't help, lovin' that man of mine...

I Just Love You More

I went back to work today. A hot shower made all the difference. The water heater came in last night and I was the one who stayed while Peter’s handyman Robert installed it. He did a better job than expected, everything was hooked up within an hour.

I was kind enough to help Robert bring the old heater down four flights of stairs. It was bulky but not too heavy since Julio helped us empty the old, defunct heater the night before. It was the least I could do.

It took about an hour for the water to become heated again, and despite that, I decided to wait until this morning to take a shower. And it was a good shower, steamy too. It wasn’t raining out this morning and I was glad for that.

The usual uneventful ride into the city on the bus, an uneventful subway ride to the cigar shop. There was a pastor’s assistant in my car, preaching about how his god was a good god if you worshiped and praised it as much as possible. It sounded like a needy god to me. Luckily the pastor’s assistant had no words for me. I didn’t mind.

I got to the cigar shop, Marcus asked how I was feeling. I told him I was somewhat better and embellished my story with how I wound up wearing some of my vomit, I was also soaking wet (true) and came home and slept for 6 hours (1/3 true, actually 2 hours).

Other than that it was an easy day. Marcus split after a few hours leaving Calvin and Don and myself to run the shop. Things went smoothly, no stepping on toes, all relatively calm.

Calvin left at 7:30 leaving Don and myself. It made closing a lot easier, 2 of us counting the money and sorting things out. We got out of there in about 5 minutes which is 10 minutes faster than I usually manage.

A walk down to the bus terminal listening to A Tribe Called Quest. Been years but I still know most of the words and can bob my head with the best of them.

Ran into Hyman Gross once again. Bill and I decided to have Thanksgiving dinner with him. He’s an old man and his dinner partner for Thanksgiving passed away last year. So rather than him being alone for the upcoming holiday, we decided to start something new with Hyman.

We’re having dinner at Oscar’s Brasserie in the city. We made a reservation for 2:30PM on that Thursday. We were aiming for 3:00PM. I asked Bill to make the reservation earlier in the week and he didn’t so we had to take the 2:30 slot which is fine for Bill and myself.

I think Hyman might have a problem with it though. I guess we’ll find out on Monday when either Bill sees Hyman in the morning or I see Hyman in the evening.

It’s been a long day. I’m tired somewhat. That’s all for now. Over and out.

I Keep/Still Here

Well this day was a wash out in most senses of the word. Right now, Peter’s handyman Robert is here installing a General Electric 40 Gallon water heater. I just got off the phone with Julio who seemed quite annoyed with the fact that Peter did not heed Julio’s advice and get a Rheem water heater, the kind of water heater that lasts 15-20 years.

The one that went kaput last night lasted 2 years. I suppose General Electric makes disposable water heaters nowadays. Bill told Peter a few times- Julio’s advice so it’s not like nothing was said. But Home Depot has the deals so that is where Peter goes.

Lot’s of rain today. Bill took off from work so that the water heater could be delivered. I had an interview this morning at 10:00. Last night I shaved with some warm water on the stove. No chance in taking a hot shower this morning.

I puttered about, had some coffee after getting up an hour earlier than I usually do. That made me groggier and without a shower my energy levels were near depletion. I headed into the city, crowded bus, people without exact fare, or not having the money ready or not even knowing how much the fare was.

My aggravation with these people is what energized me. I got off the bus and headed to the recruiter’s office. I thought I would be late but it didn’t turn out to be. But I did call and let them know I might be late. I was on time and headed up to the office.

They gave me paperwork to fill out which they then took back once I told them that I was there last month. They set me up with a typing test on which it was determined that I can type 44 words per minute. That was down from 45 words per minute a few years ago. I also took a grammar test on which I scored 100%.

I met with 2 recruiters, both of them nice older women. I was out of there in about 20 minutes and haven’t heard anything from them since. I was wearing a sock with little elastic which meant it drooped down to my ankle.

That was driving me crazy and I was going to go to Brooks Brothers to buy some sock garters. I have a pair at home and didn’t think of wearing them until I got to the street when I left the apartment. On the way to Brooks Brothers I called up Bill to see if anything had happened.

Nothing going on in Hoboken. Bill mentioned that he had hoped to take a half day and head to work this afternoon. I decided to call in sick so I could go home and relieve Bill of his waiting around for a water heater duties.

I called up the cigar shop and spoke to Marcus, telling him that I had fallen ill, and threw up. Marcus joking asked if it came out clear or soupy or chunky. I was grossed out by his humor and said chunky. I felt bad about calling in sick but felt it was the right thing to do.

I made my way to the bus terminal in time for the 11:20 bus back to Hoboken, which did not arrive until 11:40. A bickering couple with their screaming baby took most of the attention of everyone in the queue for the bus.

I made it home a little while before the new hot water heater arrived. Robert, his assistant and Peter’s wife dropped off the new heater.

I took a nap for a few hours while Bill watched a painting program on TV, then I was awake and Bill took a nap while I watched Weeds. And now Robert is here, installing the new water heater. Bill went to an AFTRA meeting in the city. I look forward to taking a shower tomorrow.

I Learned the Hard Way

Well well well. Where to begin? I’ll start at the end. As I was walking from the cigar shop to the bus terminal, listening to Pet Shop Boys singles collection, by cellphone rings. It’s Bill. My first thought was that Bill was nearby and saw me stomping down the avenue.

No, it wasn’t anything pleasant like that. Bill told me, he was washing his hands in the bathroom and heard some water running behind him and walked into the kitchen to find water spewing forth from the hot water heater that was installed 2 years ago.

Peter our absentee landlord decided to save money and bought a General Electric hot water heater from Home Depot. I told Bill to turn off the spigot (tighty righty, lefty Lucy) and then I called Julio. A hint of panic in my face as I asked him to do me a favor, to go up to our apartment and check to see if Bill was able to turn off the water.

He moaned but did come upstairs. I then called Peter and let him know what was going on. He was on the line with Bill and got off the phone with me as soon as he could. I trudged to the gate and chatted with Hyman Gross.

He asked how I was doing, what kind of day did I have. I told him I was glad the work was done and also told him about what happened with the hot water heater. He assumed the hot water heater was in the basement like other places have. Not us. Our hot water heater is between the stove and the kitchen sink.

He asked how big the hot water heater was and I told him it was as big as he was, which made him remark that it was probably shrinking like he is. Hyman is in his 80’s in case you didn’t know. His remark made me laugh somewhat.

But as the minutes moved on I realized how much of a hassle this was going to be. I have a job interview tomorrow morning, with a recruiter. It’s for a Monday through Friday job and that’s what I was looking for.

The hours are unlike any hours I’ve worked before. 5:30PM to 1:00AM. It’s a law firm and my job would be to make sure all the lawyers and others will get their town cars home. It’s also supposed to be an immediate hire.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I came home and trudged up the four flights to the fifth floor where U heard voices. I was hoping it would be Peter but he’s an absentee landlord after all. It was Bill and Julio in the kitchen.

The blue bucket underneath the spigot collecting a steady stream of water, wads of paper towels on the floor, some puddles as well. Julio took off a pipe from the water heater since it was difficult to use the bucket with the pipe there, and with the hot water heater now defunct, the pipe in question was redundant.

Julio stayed for a little while as I threw out the paper towels and laid down newspapers, remembering the method used when the cellar in our house in Lodi would sometimes flood. Super absorbent and cheaper than paper towels.

Also threw down some rags to sop up the water. Julio split and went back to his life, Bill and I discussed Bill taking off tomorrow for the installation of a new water heater. Peter’s flunky Robert is supposed to get one and deliver and install it.

Robert is an idiot and I don’t trust him so I will have to tell Bill to keep an eye on everything Robert does. So that is where I’m at right now. Very tired too.

I Can Be Cool

Well let’s see. I’m writing this right now, but unable to post it, or at least, unable to access any browser. The browsers I use are mainly Firefox and Chrome. Neither is allowing me access to the internet. Bill isn’t getting action on his Mac-book.

Now it’s working but we were seriously offline for a while there. For a while means about 15 minutes. I tried my usual tricks. Turn that off. Turn this on. Look the the south while itching to the north. I blame the goddamned GOP.

They’ve won a few seats today, but what brings me satisfaction is that Linda McMahon, Christine O’Donnell and Carl Paladino all lost the races they were running in, and Brown & Boxer are predicted to have won their races. That brought a smile to my face.

This morning was all about going back to work. And the fear that I had done something wrong, was warranted. Apparently I overcharged a phone order. Not the end of the world and easier than undercharging a customer.

So I started out with negative sales. If I was really concerned with the 1/3 of 1% commission I would be bothered, but I’m not, so I wasn’t. It was Don and Bradley today featuring the Marcus who just would not leave.

It’s been fairly cold, too cold to go out and smoke, making me a prisoner. Not that I minded. I had my music playing, and the company in the backroom wasn’t so bad. Answered many questions about the music I was playing.

It wasn’t so bad, but I do prefer the chance to sit on a bench near the park and read and watch people go by, as well as not having to look at the same walls all day long. Both scenarios involve the smoking of cigars, which is the perk of working in the cigar shop.

Bradley is prone to saying the most absurd things without any wit or irony attached. He reminds me of me when I was 16, but I used wit & irony to my advantage. Or so I thought. Here I am, 32 years later and reluctantly happy to be working. Still the resumes go out.

I was surprised when I checked my Google Analytics that one of the most visits to this here blog was through a search for that investment bank’s personnel whom I named. So that left me feeling a bit queasy so I went and changed the names of Malcolm McConnell and Mary O’Shaughnessy who worked for the Whitney Partners Investment Group.

If I had gotten the job I would have more than likely written about Malcolm and Mary, after changing their names. For now the names will be changed, if only to protect myself.

If you do a search for those names, they will not appear. There were 37 searches for Malcolm McConnell and Whitney for the month of October. Perhaps I’ve edited things a bit late, maybe I shot myself in the foot.

The scenario that springs to mind is Malcolm and Mary or someone they know did a search and saw what I wrote which really wasn’t so bad when you look at it. And whomever it was, they did not have the cojones to leave a comment.

The scenario continues where Malcolm and Mary get in touch with the recruiter and ask where did I get the nerve to write their names on an obscure blog like this?

Juan made an appearance last night for a few hours. Surprised him when I said I really don’t drink anymore. That didn’t stop him from having some wine and a shot of bourbon I have laying around. It was great to see him for the few hours that I had.

We picked up like we only saw each other last week. We’re BFFF Best Fuckin’ Friends Forever. He may be moving back up here when his lease expires in January. That would be nice.

We shall see I guess.

My BFFF