Monthly Archives: February 2011

I Believe

Just got home and feeling a bit tired. A long, slow, unenlightening day. I wasn’t looking for enlightenment so I was fine with that. Slept fairly well last night, Bill wasn’t snoring, since he’s been wearing the apnea mask while sleeping. That certainly helps the both of us.

He was up and out while I slept, I vaguely remember Bill saying something to me as he kissed me goodbye while I lay in bed. I noticed it was raining and was in no hurry to get out of bed. I hit the snooze button a few times before I got tired of that and surrendered to the start of yet another workday.

I did my usual routine, calisthenics, pilates and an egg white omelet. No wait, that’s someone else’s life. I showered, made coffee and had cereal before heading out into the rain. It wasn’t too cold but they forecast that it would be cold tonight, so once again I stood at the bus stop in my winter coat.

Not too crowded and a woman a few seats ahead of me gave me a look of disdain since I probably smelled like the cigar I just had. For some reason I tried to cover up the smell, spraying cologne on my hands but over did it and wound up smelling like cologne and a cigar.

I was early once again and chatted with Bill on the phone as I stood outside of the building where the cigar shack is. It was a brief call and I thought about the call I had with Lovely Rita last night. She used to work retail and had worked a long, long time.

Now she’s a dog groomer and she much prefers that. In fact she mentioned that each night, no matter how tired she might be, before she leaves the grooming place, she says to herself, ‘At least I’m not working retail’. She also mentioned that when you work retail you tend to dislike people in general and I found that to be especially true.

We chatted during the very dull Academy Awards. I tried paying attention to it but really couldn’t get into it. Maybe it was because Bill had gone to bed after the first hour and maybe it was because Bill and I only saw one of the movies nominated. In any event it was dullsville.

As much as I like James Franco and Anne Hathaway, maybe next time have a professional comedian handling the proceedings. I went to bed after the news following the Oscars. Work was slow, not much going on.

It was Calvin and the Bradley today and it was fine. We got along fine, and stayed out of each other’s way. But the day could not end soon enough. Tomorrow I have an appointment with the former co-worker Donald the K.

Perhaps he can hook me up within his organization or point me in the direction of where something might be happening. We’ll just play catch up I suppose and I should see some other former co-workers that are working with Donald the K.

That’s it for February. And in February, at least as on 10:30PM on February 28, there were 1,457 visits from 654 cities to this here blog.

Here are the top ten:
New York
Bala Cynwyd (!)
Los Angeles

Bottom ten:
Sterling Heights
Palma De Mallorca
New Haven

I Believe in the Man in the Sky

OK, its 10:19 and I just got home a few minutes ago. It hasn’t been such a bad day. ‘Always room for improvement’ which is what I say lately when someone asks how I’m doing. And of course, there is always room for improvement.

Last night Bill came home from the play Ankhst, feeling sick as a dog and holding a bottle of Nyquil. I prefer to go to bed after Bill goes to bed and he was waiting for the Nyquil to kick in. I suggested that as usual he would fall asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow, but he didn’t see it that way.

Being sick, he did not think it would work. I waited for him to go to sleep before I joined him in bed. He was wearing his mouth guard to help prevent his snoring, but of course by the time I made it to bed, he was snoring. I nudged him, told him out loud he was snoring but it had no effect.

He snored all night, leaving me to wake up crabby and without enough sleep. He was apologetic when I told him before heading off to work at the cigar shack, and said he would make sure it didn’t happen tonight.

After last week’s debacle with work, someone (perhaps drunkenly) putting the wrong hours into the wrong Excel spreadsheet cell, I was a bit anxious to get to work on time. The bus arrived as it should have and I sat in the back watching the bus get more crowded at each stop.

No one I knew on the bus and there hardly ever is, so I stared out the window as we drove past the Burlington Coat factory, the site of my excursion yesterday. We were at the bus terminal in no time and I strolled through, headed to the subway.

Some guys singing Tracks of My Tears, accompanied by a stand up bassist. They sounded good enough to warrant me throwing a dollar in their collective hat. I was soon inside the cigar shack, working with Calvin and Thomas, the new guy.

Thomas used to sell shirts and suits and now he’s selling cigars. A safety net made of tobacco I suppose, caught me and now it caught Thomas. Calvin was in the humidor and to my surprise in walked Donald the K, someone I used to work with and who I’ve been corresponding with lately.

It was good to see him and it seemed he was happy to see me. He and his wife are now empty nesters and lately they find themselves strolling the shopping area on weekends. It was a brief visit and I told him I would call him later next week.

Thomas was fun to work with and the cigar shack was fairly busy. With three of us working, that meant I was actually able to leave the cigar shack for an hour for lunch. Been a while since I was able to do that. It really breaks up the day.

I was even able to go to the internet café and do whatever it is that I do online for 10 minutes. Now I’m home again, Bill is still in the play. He told me they cut the play from 3 hours to 2.5 hours including the 10 minute intermission. I just hope he is feeling better.

Tomorrow is Sunday and so I don’t think I will be writing. Unless there is something to write about. And I have my doubts that there will be. But I could be wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time.

It’s all so Bala Cynwyd sometimes, isn’t it? I blame the solar storm.

I Beg of You

It’s been a soggy Friday. Still it’s a day off and I’m happy about that. I finally started getting into the New Yorker. And specifically an article about asteroids hitting the earth. How that was what probably killed off the dinosaurs and how it’s likely to happen again.

That started bumming me out and for a quick second I looked out the window to see if any asteroids were headed to Hoboken. I would probably do a Wile E. Coyote thing and pull down the shade and hope for the best.

And if I’ve learned anything from movies like Deep Impact and Armageddon, the catastrophic event would be known for some time. When you think about it and look at the fact that it probably happened again, the world caught fire from the asteroid crashing into the Yucatan peninsula, it really throws the concept of religion out the window.

All religion actually. Oh the universe is such a cold, heartless place. It doesn’t matter how evolved you are, if and when it happens we’re all going together. This can be a nice thing. I didn’t even finish the article, it was way too heavy. Great drawing by Jaime Hernandez which is what drew my eye in depth.

Last night was quite pleasant and a surprise to some that I had actually gone out and socialized. It was a nice enough walk up to Maxwells, listening to Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Do It Yourself and enjoying a cigar as I strolled up Hudson Street.

It was a nice enough evening and I walked in and saw Rand at the bar, talking to a woman named Stacy. I ordered a pint to no one’s surprise and Rand ordered one for himself. Lisa showed up and had a Mojito and then Lois arrived and had a red wine. Throughout all this RoDa was wandering around being the manager of Maxwells for the night.

I mentioned a concept I had to Rand & Lisa as well as Lois and they all liked it, but had no idea on how the next step should go. A few minutes later I’m out on the sidewalk having a smoke with RoDa and I tell him about the concept (not writing about it here) and he is most enthusiastic.

We agree to be partners on this with a handshake and a hug, which with no notary public available, a hug will sometimes suffice depending on what county of New Jersey you might be in as well as what voting district.

I dominated the jukebox inside as we all sat and drank. Scott Harbison made a cameo appearance looking for Todd or Dave about some work, then leaving after finishing a ginger ale. After a few pints and many laughs it was time for me to go.

Actually Lois started making her move and I asked her to wait and I would leave with her. That’s all it took for Rand & Lisa to join us, leaving RoDa to pilot the ship solo. I was home by 11:00, a little wobbly on the way.

I was home before Bill who when he did arrive told me he was feeling ill and was very quickly out in bed. I stayed up watching Laurence Fishburne as Thurgood Marshall. And today I woke up to rain. Cut short my plan of maybe heading into the city and checking out some art galleries.

But doing it alone and in the rain didn’t seem too appealing. So I stayed local, a trip to Burlington Coat Factory was about it. Just a grey, grey day.

I Asked the Lord

Writing earlier than usual tonight. I have plans to go out to Maxwells to have a pint or two with Rand and maybe Lisa too. Been awhile since I hung out with them, been a while since I’ve been to Maxwells. Been a while since I also had two days in a row.

It’s been a nice day off, some blues almost crept in. Bill and I have been getting on each other’s nerves lately. That happens with everyone in a relationship. The toothpaste cap never put on, the coat on the chair, the back pack on top of the slippers.

It’s not the end of the world, just a yellow card that gets pulled out. Things are slowly getting back on track. He’s fighting off a cold and has a show the next four days, Ankhst once more. So I guess with Ankhst on stage, there is bound to be angst off stage as well.

I kept myself somewhat busy, watched the Daily Show with the war criminal Donald Rumsfeld on. I have to admit I wasn’t paying much attention to it and from what I watched Rumsfeld got off easy. Last night I started to watch the Ian Dury bio-pic, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll.

It was good, Andy Serkis was excellent as Ian. I don’t know how they pulled off the withered left side of Ian, but it was distressing in some shots to see. The band playing the Blockheads were quite good and the actual Blockheads backed up Andy Serkis on the soundtrack. Everyone except for the late Charlie Charles of course, one of the best drummers ever.

It focused quite a bit on Ian’s relationship with his son Baxter, as well as the ups and downs of pop stardom. Sex & drugs & rock & roll indeed. I recommend it nonetheless and it’s available on Netflix.

One caveat, there is an outdoor scene where Ian and entourage move from Catshit Mansions to a nice house in Kent, and the vocals gets dodgy. Lots of echo which caused confusion leaving me to believe that these rock & roll party scenes were set up that way, audio wise. But I have my doubts.

I streamed it through Netflix and also moved the DVD to the top of my queue. I’ll watch it again, and with subtitles hopefully. The cockney was a bit thick you see.

Right now I’m catching up on Big Love. Still a good show, but I lost track. Chloe Sevigny sure can play a mean Can’t Understand Normal Thinking type. Oh she’s just so rotten.

Inbetweenies of Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll and Big Love, I was out on the streets of Hoboken, a visit to the Guitar Bar and talking with Mister Wonderful Jim Mastro again, then a walk to CVS where I needed to get two new Carbon Monoxide detectors since the ones we had kept going off leaving Bill & myself to think that we were going to die in our sleep.

But it wasn’t because of Carbon Monoxide, rather it was because they had gotten so old they kept beeping to let us know it’s time to get new detectors.

I just had a nice supper, pasta, chicken and pesto. Yes I know, the same old, same old. But it’s cheap and it keeps for a few days, and what’s it to you anyway?

♫ Home improvement expert Harold Hill of Harold Hill/of do it yourself dexterity and double blazing skill/came home to find another gentleman’s kippers in the grill/ he sanded off his winkle with a Black & Decker drill…♪

I Apologize

So tired. It’s been a long day. Almost an entire 10 hours on my feet. It started out slowly this morning no jobs to send out resumes to. Rainier Castillo at Office Team never responds to my emails. Nothing much happening with postings online.

Joe Padilla, a customer at the cigar shack told me in November that his company bought Robert Half which owns Office Team and that he could help me get a job through him. And also Rainier Castillo was fired.

It turns out Rainier Castillo was not fired and Joe Padilla fabricated his story for some reason. I should have known better. I heard that Joe Padilla was a former coke dealer and I suppose I should have known that coke dealers, whether active or retired really can’t be trusted.

I got myself together this morning after breakfast and coffee and a lack of job postings and headed out for the bus. No usual phone call to Bill, things are a bit frosty lately between us for the past 24 hours. He’s not home right now and I have no idea where he is. And I am fine not knowing.

I am enjoying this time alone after dealing with customers all day. Don’t really feel like talking anyhow. Writing of course is something I also don’t feel like doing, but here I am, doing just that. An uneventful bus ride on a bus with a bicycle rack in front of the bus.

I had seen them in San Francisco years ago and thought it was good and so far I’ve seen a few buses from NJ Transit with them. The other day when I had to take the Path train since the buses weren’t running I saw one of those buses at the Hoboken terminal.

Bill insisted that those buses are not permitted to drive into the Port Authority bus terminal with the bicycle racks in the front of the bus but here I was again, riding one of those buses into the bus terminal.

I made it to the cigar shop at the usual time, early and saw Calvin behind the counter. It was first his first day back from a few days off. Marcus was floating around somewhere as was Thomas the new guy they are hiring.

Marcus left as did Thomas, leaving me & Calvin to run the shop. I took a Xanax at noon. Just didn’t want to deal with any nerves or jitters and felt it would smooth out the day. I was told that my sales for February were outstanding, both Marcus and Calvin were impressed.

Also had to sign a memo with a warning in the details about my taking for granted that I would always be closing the store on weekends. Apparently it wasn’t the drunken mistake made when someone was drinking and putting assigned hours in the wrong cell on the Excel spreadsheet.

Once again I did not get much of a chance to have lunch. Interruptions and stuck inside the cigar shop for basically 10 hours kept me on the sales floor. Marcus returned to teach his sommelier class and Calvin left at his appointed hour.

No one came into the cigar shop for about 90 minutes, then my friend my friend Bruce showed up a few minutes before closing, as did someone else who was buying cigars for a golf outing. Bruce’s timing was off. I really didn’t have time to chat and wanted to get the hell out of there.

It’s my Friday since I actually have off 2 days in a row. I’m too tired to be excited about it. I hopped on a train to the bus terminal and made it to the gate when I looked over at the next gate and there was Hyman Gross.

I decided not to get on the bus that was loading and walked over to Hyman and waited for his bus with him. I wasn’t too communicative.

He was asking about Octavia, a bus driver friend of Hyman’s and Bill. She’s the one who mentioned that Hyman’s absence in December might have been the result of Hyman attempting to take his own life, saying that it wasn’t the first time he tried it.

I think Octavia thrives on drama, both her own and other people like Hyman. I got off at Hyman’s stop a few seconds after he got off, not wanting him to fall and to make sure he got to his building alright. I walked him to his building and ran up the stairs to get his mail.

Then after saying good night to Hyman walked home to Park Avenue, feeling quite light headed for some reason. And now I am home, and quite happy to be home alone.

I think I’ve exhausted the Frank Sinatra song list and now I am using songs done by Elvis Presley. I don’t anyone has noticed or will notice.

I Ain’t About to Sing

It’s amazing how fast things can go quickly downhill. I was in a pretty good mood coming home, had a fun, heartfelt chat with Lois on the phone, touching on the fact that talking is so much better (& easier) than texting. I wanted to apologize for being a Debbie Downer on the bus a few weeks ago when I saw her and her husband Fred.

I don’t like complaining about the job and it seems that all that I do is complain about the job. I suppose if you go back to the beginning of this here blog, I complained about every job I had from Wanker Banker to McMann & Tate to Golden Staffing to whatever name I gave to the last gig with starring Ashish Sanghrajka, with Ankur Sheth providing a supporting role.

And now with a new job (after 9 months, is it really ‘new’?) I am still complaining. Anyhow, I come home still feeling good. After all, I got out of work and jumped on the train as it got to the station, and made it to the bus a minute before it left the gate.

The nice chat with Lois still in my head as I climb the four flights of stairs and I am taking my work boots off in the hallway when I hear Bill inside making some strange noises and yelling. I quicken my moves and open the door and see the oven open. I figured he might have burned himself somehow.

But no, he was watching the dunking contest from the NBA All Star game the other day and was so excited. That’s one of the charming things about Bill that I love. He acts like a 12 year old boy sometimes. No lovey dovey behavior. He greeted me and went back to the game.

I sussed out that the heater built into the stove was on the fritz again and that’s why the oven was open. We have a really old stove, the kind they don’t make anymore and the kind that if you want parts for it you would be better off getting a new stove since that would be easier.

I see Bill watching the dunking contest and ask if he saw the guy jump over the car. He didn’t see it and didn’t know anything about it. So I ruined it for him. If I knew about it and I dislike sports that much, I figured he would have heard about it at least, but no he didn’t.

I set about getting out of my work clothes and into something a little more comfortable since Bill is fearful of lighting the heater. It requires lying on the floor for a few minutes and pressing the pilot light button inside the heater.

But to get out of my clothes I have to navigate through all of Bill’s stuff and Bill himself who is dumbfounded by the dunking contest and a little bit pissed off by the fact that I gave away the big surprise of the guy jumping over a car to make a dunk.

But he’s not saying he’s pissed off. No he’s eerily quiet. I lay on the floor after changing and moving his very heavy backpack off of my slipper and moving it to the couch where I find my mail, where I would not have found it if I did not move his back pack. I mean really, my New Yorker is in there!

I am able to get the pilot lit, but cannot get the heater to ignite. So we have a pilot light but no heat, except for the oven which I also relit since if I didn’t do that, half the apartment would be cold. I’m still not angry and despite what Bill says, I’m not cruel either.

After being on my feet for 9 hours, dealing with the public, I just wanted to chill out in my quarter of the living room. The other three quarters concerns Bill’s manifest destiny, eyeing my quarter. I think it’s best to let him do what he has to do, rehearse for something tomorrow, something that requires him to be evil. I have no doubt Bill can pull off being evil.

Still in a pretty good mood mind you. Bill and talked, which was when he said that I was acting angry and almost cruel. I just wanted to get my slippers. And my New Yorker.

I just got the heater working again and almost dislocated my shoulder, patting myself on the back. Bill remains quiet, sitting 2 feet away from me, looking at his iPad and memorizing a part of something and practicing being evil.

I’m cool.

I’ll Never Smile Again

No three day weekend here. For some it was President’s Day weekend and today being a Monday made for a federal holiday. Oh how I remember those 3 day weekends. It isn’t easy trying to avoid looking at the past but sometimes it pops up and I have to wonder where did I go wrong?

Well its official, Putnam Lovell is no more, they’ve been sold off by Jeffries, the company that snapped up a few former employees and friends, especially dear Brenda, such a sweetie and a dedicated worker. She sent me an email and I called her a few days later and left a voice mail but I haven’t heard from her since.

Also thought about Wolff Olins. How I despised that place and now I look back and think it wasn’t so bad. I’m sure things might be different if I did not find the memo describing my job as needing 2 people to do it. They knew it and had no problem running me into the ground.

I was so cut off from most everyone that I had no real connection to anyone. And the ones I was connected to had left soon after I did.

Yesterday I worked at the cigar shack and the Bradley was in good form. He didn’t pick up the fact that I quoted him almost word for word before I left on Saturday, asking him if he was mad at me, as if that would be the reason that he wasn’t talking to me.

Yesterday he talked and was relatively amusing. Today I woke up to find that it had snowed overnight. That didn’t make me very happy, in fact I said ‘Fuck’. It would have been nice to be off today but that’s not how it works. I got out of bed and released some water and then decided to go back to bed with the TV on, so I would drift off too far.

Then I got out of bed a little before 9:00, one less thing I had to do was done. Made coffee, poured cereal and showered. I was dressed and out on the street after 10:00, walking up to the bus stop to catch the 10:30 bus. It did not arrive.

I called Bill and he checked the schedule, everything should have been running on time. I used the ‘My Bus’ program on my cellphone and that told me there would be a bus at 10:50. At 11:00 I headed to the Path train.

The train was crowded with other bus riders, all unhappy from having to go to work on a federal holiday as well as having to stand for the ride into the city. That’s one of the main reasons I don’t take the Path train. I like to sit as I commute.

I could have caught the B or D train when I was finally in the city but opted for the N or the R train. I’m more comfortable with those trains, even though that drops me off about 2 blocks from the cigar shack, where the B or D train would drop me off right outside the shack.

I called Bill once I was headed to the shack and he couldn’t understand why I would take the N or the R. I was frustrated, he was confused and it started to get heated. It cooled off considerably once I called him back a few minutes later.

Overall I was a half hour late, me ‘Mister I Hate Being Late’. The day went well, the Bradley was OK to work with, actually funny again. Of course that could all change tomorrow, which isn’t here yet.

I did meet Larry Gatlin today. He’s a country singer from the Gatlin Brothers and I also met Jane Wenner, former wife of Jann Wenner, publisher of Rolling Stone. Both of them were quite nice.

It wasn’t so bad a day.

I Wouldn’t Trade Christmas

Last night I went to see Ankhst. It’s the play Bill’s been rehearsing for the past month, maybe longer. I had left the apartment and headed to the bus stop a little before 7:00. I figured I would have enough time once I got into the city, a walk from 42nd street to 54th street should be no problem.

The problem was the Lincoln Tunnel traffic. We crawled through the tunnel and once we got to the bus terminal at 7:45 I was faced with a choice. To take the subway or to walk. I figured the walk would be best and so I hustled up Eighth Avenue, enjoying a cigar I started in Hoboken.

I got to the theater, which is in a municipal community center next to the Midtown North precinct. Bill had texted me and also told me the night before that there was a heating problem. It wasn’t that there was no heat, there was too much.

I got there just as the play started and had to wait for a chance to take my seat. The playwright greeted me and an usher waited with me, to give me the OK signal to take my seat. They asked if I was with a little old man and initially I said no, then I remembered that Hyman Gross said he would be there.

And there was Hyman, sitting in a seat. The dancers left the stage and I walked over, hoping that no one in the audience would think I was part of the performance. I had shut off my phone and reminded Hyman to do the same.

Little did I know that midway through the first act, even though my phone was turned off, an alarm I had set went off which I immediately silenced by taking out the battery. Same thing happened to Harpy when saw the Watchmen movie.

And it was hot. Though Hyman and I were sitting next to an old air conditioner, we could barely feel it.

The collar of my shirt was soon soaked with sweat and I was glad I had a bottle of water. Hyman was wearing layers and I have no idea how he got through it. After 90 minutes, there was a 10 minute intermission. I went outside for a quick smoke and some cool air. I almost got locked out and had to knock on the glass to get back in.

The first act was good, very wordy. Quite a few people in the cast, most of them flubbing lines and it was noticeable. I could tell and I didn’t even know the script. It took place in an Egyptian tomb, the discovery of a pharaoh, with no body, no mummy, just an urn of ashes.

To me it seemed like the playwright was trying to be like Tom Stoppard, and that’s not such a bad thing to be, but it lacked the wit and the pacing of a Stoppard play.

The second act took place in ancient Egypt, and was a bit confusing to me. The acting by all was earnest and they were doing their best. But it was too long and meandering and a little bit confusing. And the heat. It was so hot. I started to think that since the play takes place in Egypt, that perhaps they decided to turn up the heat to create an artificial dry heat like you were in the desert with them characters.

Hyman and I waited outside after the show and congratulated the cast members as they left on a good performance. We weren’t lying they all acted admirably. Plus, if they didn’t we wouldn’t tell them they were bad anyhow.

Bill came out and I thought we would walk to Ninth Avenue and get a cab to the bus terminal since walking would be too much for Hyman, but Bill decided to get a town car to Hoboken via his day job. Bill sat in the front and Hyman and I sat in the back.

As I was pulling out a collection of Evelyn Waugh to show Hyman, Hyman asks that the light be turned off as it was bothering him, so it was back into the bag for Evelyn Waugh.

Bill and I got out with Hyman to make sure he got in alright and we walked home from there. We watched some TV and eventually wound up in bed, fast asleep. I had dreams of preparing for a Zombie attack as well as being given Marlboro cigarettes since they were the only smokes available in the post-apocalyptic world.

Despite the dreams, I slept fairly well and got out of bed at 8:15 and started my day. By 10:15 I was at the bus stop and 15 minutes later, I was on the bus once again. Soon after sitting down, I get a text from former co-worker Don who asked if I was working today.

I responded and thought he was planning on stopping by. But that was not the case. He then asked who was opening and I texted back that the Bradley was opening. Apparently he was late and customers were texting Don wondering what was going on.

I thought that strange and checked the schedule I carry around in my notebook. To my horror and surprise I was supposed to be opening on a Saturday, which I haven’t done since July. For the past 7 months, I’ve been closing but for some reason I was scheduled to open.

I was anxious and figured that the Bradley needed to come in late. I wasn’t even sure whether or not I knew about the change since I had the schedule for 2 weeks already. In any event, there was no one to blame but myself.

I should have checked the schedule and not counted on the fact that for the past 7 months I’ve been closing the damned store.

Now the store is part of a complex and all the stores in the complex are supposed to open at the same time. Not the cigar shack this morning. I got to the store at 11:12 and immediately set about starting things up and counting money.

On schedule (or at least today’s schedule) the Bradley shows up. I explain that I had just gotten there myself and his drawer which I tried to count was way over. He knew that since he had the same drawer yesterday. He also knew that he was coming in at 11:30 (duh).

I figured that Calvin was having a few sips as he created the schedule on an excel spreadsheet, and put the wrong hours in the wrong cells. Or maybe he was just testing. The Bradley knew to check and I took it for granted. That’s how my day started.

The customers, so anxious to show up and start smoking in the man cave eventually arrived and took their places. My day was basically ruined, the edges of my perspective were tainted with anxiety and dread. The Bradley was no help and we spent the majority of the day not talking to each other.

It was just another reminder of how I have got to get the hell out of there. But I am also starting to think there is nowhere I would fit it. My best jobs I feel, are now behind me. It was an uneasy realization and didn’t help things.

Also my drawer was short $13.00 which I replaced from my wallet. I felt that $13.00 would be a small price to play to alleviate the turmoil from the past day.

Now I’m home, earlier than I thought I would be when I left this morning. Tomorrow is Sunday and I am scheduled to be in at 10:30. That means I have to catch the 9:30 bus.

Once again it’s me and the brain dead Bradley. At least I know what I am getting myself into. And I am also quite sure that the Bradley, golden child of Marcus and Calvin, is quite an asshole.

It’s rumored that he is to be the centerfold of Proctology Monthly later this year. He’s certainly not going to make Artforum.

Hyman Gross

I'm in there somewhere

I Would Be In Love (Anyway)

A day off that’s been very mellow and hopefully promises to continue that way. I’m writing earlier than usual since tonight I am going to see Bill in Ankhst, a play that he’s been rehearsing for a while.

It’s been a beautiful day, sunny and very close to 70 degrees. I’ve been out and about and was going to take a nap but felt I should write this since I don’t plan on writing later on.

I had forgotten that one of the reasons this blog exists was because I thought about doing something like what the late Spalding Gray used to do. I would have a reservoir of information about myself that I could likely cherry pick stories and anecdotes if I ever had the nerve or the venue to do such a thing, such a performance.

My sister sent me a review from SF Gate of the latest Steven Soderbergh film, about Spalding Gray called “And Everything Is Going Fine”. That got me to look on YouTube to see what clips of Spalding might be available and there were quite a few, mostly of things that I already own on DVD, like Swimming to Cambodia, Monster in a Box, and Gray’s Anatomy.

I was fortunate to have seen Spalding Gray perform at various places in Manhattan back in the day. I saw a few of his shows at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in Lincoln Center, the Performing Garage and PS 122.

I had seen advertisements all over the place for Swimming to Cambodia when it was being done at Lincoln Center and it got my curiosity going enough that I think I went by myself the first time. I was obviously taken by the whole experience that I told several friends as well as siblings about it and some of them joined me in excursions or saw him on their own.

I also saw a few readings and attended a premiere of Monster in a Box. I never spoke to Spalding Gray but our eyes met a few times when I saw him, and perhaps a kinship was recognized.

I was very bothered when I heard he was missing and tried to help, leaving a message on his wife’s answering machine saying that perhaps he was in Northern California. Hey, I was only trying to help.

I was greatly saddened when I heard that he took his own life, allegedly jumping off the Staten Island ferry after seeing Tim Burton’s Big Fish. And to this day I’ve never seen Big Fish, because I always associate it with Spalding’s demise.

The same thing with The Catcher in the Rye. Never read it and since it was noted that John Lennon’s assassin was reading it after the foul deed, I will forever associate it with that, and not the literary classic I’ve heard it to be.

I am interested in seeing Steven Soderbergh’s film. I think it might have come and gone in Manhattan already. There is a play going on in Manhattan where someone on stage interviews 10 random people from the audience.

That’s something that Spalding used to do, but by the time I came around he was doing straight performance pieces, no interviews. Bill and I saw Spalding a few months before he died. In late 2003 Bill got tickets to see a new piece at PS 122.

I had read earlier that week an article in Esquire I think, that Spalding hasn’t been well lately, because of a car accident in Ireland a few years earlier where he was seriously injured. Despite reading the article I wasn’t prepared to see Spalding in the condition he was in.

There was no spark there and it was sad. He was dispassionate, none of the ranting and raving, arms flailing. He was sub-subdued. It was almost painful to watch. As we were leaving I explained to Bill and a woman sitting next to us what I had read in the article which seemed to be quite true after what we had just seen.

From what I heard the performance did improve as the run continued, and I regret not going back to see it again. Perhaps someday I will have the gumption to actually do some readings from these entries, maybe cobble together something that would resemble coherence and wit.

Someday, just not today.

I Won’t Dance

19 minutes, 4 seconds. That’s how long it took for me to get from the cigar shack to the bus terminal. It was a nice night so I decided to walk. First time in weeks actually. And it was all Echo & the Bunnymen. I’ve been listening to them lately. I don’t have much of their stuff, everything I used to have was on vinyl and I ain’t vinyl no more.

It was a long day, just me and Calvin running things. We got along just fine and I inadvertently took one of his customers. I didn’t realize it until after it was done. No harm, no foul though I’m sure he would or will cry loud if and when he hears of it.

No big deal on my end, he did take a sale from me before the December holidays. It was busy enough to both of our surprise. There were a few salesmen in the shop, one was sitting there when I came in. he was just socializing on behalf of the Alec Bradley company and gave me a cigar which was nice.

That’s how you do things. If you want the sales staff to sell your cigars, then you should gift them some cigars. I mean, everyone knows that, right?

Since it was just me and Calvin, that meant I wouldn’t be able to go out for lunch. That sucked of course, meaning that I would be trapped in the cigar shack for 10 hours. And I was. No escape, no exit. I was able to get a Shepherd’s Pie for lunch.

It was good and filling and since I was trapped in the cigar shack, I was also able to have the time and sit in the man cave and enjoy a cigar. It was interrupted a few times by Calvin’s need for my assistance, and I sat among customers who gave me their side of things about how the cigar shack has been run.

They also ran down some names of people that have come and gone while they have been fairly regular customers over the years. It was tiresome and I would have rather kept reading about Scientology in the New Yorker. But I did my bit, with a few ‘Oh really?’ and ‘No way’ comments on what was being said.

Tonight was all about a cigar tasting event by Ashton Cigars. It was planned about a week ago and it filled up quickly. A few regulars were there as well as a few people I had never seen before and some women even participated which probably got the men all excited.

It was crowded and smoky in the man cave as the event went on, though I didn’t get a chance to witness it firsthand. It ended on schedule and I was ready to go as usual, but somehow thought that these people would clean up after themselves.

They didn’t. That was left to me. I did a cursory clean up, throwing out crap and emptying ashtrays. And the Ashton representative did not leave me any cigars so I guess that means that Ashton is the brand I will not push. Their loss.

I am also off tomorrow and I am looking forward to that. Supposed to be 60°. And tomorrow night I am seeing Bill in Ankhst, the play he’s been rehearsing for the past couple of weeks, maybe months. It should be fun and I just heard from Hyman Gross who is out of the hospital and might join me in seeing Bill onstage. That would be nice, and understandable if he can’t make it.

Both Bill and I are glad that Hyman is out of the hospital.

Full Moon Waxing

I Wished On The Moon

Wednesday Wednesday, can’t trust that day. And that’s what today is, Wednesday and oddly enough it wasn’t so bad. No pharmaceuticals involved either. I thought about it though but decided not to. Slept well last night, enough so that I did not want to get out of bed.

Bill was off today and that meant there was no 6:00 goodbye kiss, no short chat as he hovers over me as I sleep. I just kept hitting the snooze button.

Last night I watched a movie, Champagne for Caesar, a movie I had seen once in the 1970’s. Not a bad movie, though it’s no Casablanca. Ronald Coleman, Celeste Holm, Vincent Price and Art Linkletter in a breezy comedy about a game show winner.

I enjoyed it more in the 1970’s and watched it again last night since I never knew the title of it, or actually had forgotten the title. Actually when looking at the TV listing grid online, as soon as I saw the title I knew what it was.

And so I stayed up until 1:45 or so watching it. No Richie Crist to talk to about it in the playground afterwards on a Sunday afternoon, which is what I also recall from the 1970’s. I’ve been watching some older films lately, perhaps making up for Pedro’s disdain of black & white films.

He hates them. No Casablanca, no Citizen Kane, no It’s a Wonderful Life, Some Like It Hot, or Dr. Strangelove for him. Definitely no A Hard Day’s Night since he doesn’t like the Beatles either. But he does like Raging Bull. His loss, though I fear that a lot of younger people feel the same way. It’s a shame I suppose and shows a distinct lack of imagination.

I’ve been watching a few older movies lately, late at night. The other night I watched the Treasure of Sierra Madre which I had never seen before. I never saw Bogart like that in a movie and Walter Huston was quite good as well. I kept thinking I’ll watch a little bit and then go to bed but was thoroughly engrossed throughout the movie.

I also watched My Man Godfrey last night, that William Powell, so classy. Carole Lombard was a lot of fun, great cast, screwball comedy, fast talking, all very good. Tonight it’s Lawrence of Arabia which I have never seen from start to finish. I have it on DVD somewhere anyhow and can’t make the 4 hour investment tonight.

I was once Lawrence of Lodi back in the day for a Halloween costume. I didn’t have anything to do with it and don’t recall how old I was when I wore it, but I am pretty sure it was my first Halloween, or at least the first one I can remember. If you can remember the sixties, then you probably weren’t there. I don’t remember the sixties, so I guess I am part of that counter culture.

At work, Marcus and Calvin decided to get rid of Der Fred, the Palindrome. But he was off today and so they were going to do it tomorrow. He was originally hired as part time seasonal help and now the season was stretching into March and the Palindrome was getting to be a grumpy old lady.

Then Calvin got a text message, that the Palindrome was released from his day job, assistant manager at the hotel and since he was qualifying for unemployment benefits, he wouldn’t be able to work part time at the cigar shack. So Marcus and Calvin had their dirty work done for them inadvertently.

Funny how that worked out.

I Wish You Love

Last night I wrote how I wasn’t looking forward to the interview this morning. The interview was scheduled for 11:00 and that meant I’d best be on the 10:00 bus into the city. Where I usually wake up around 8:00, this morning I slept until 9:00.

It was reassuring that I could get ready for work in an hour if need be. I always knew that I can do that, it’s just that I haven’t done that in a long time. I got it together and was soon on Washington Street in the cold winter air. Where it was 57° yesterday, today it was 27°.

I chatted with Bill on the phone briefly and rode into Manhattan, doing the crossword puzzle in last week’s New York Magazine which Bill subscribed me to. I really enjoy their crossword puzzles.

I made it to 1601 Broadway about 15 minutes early and if it were warmer out I probably would have stayed outside for 10 minutes, but since it was pretty cold, I headed upstairs to Bland Street Consultants.

I had an appointment to meet with Carrie with a “K” and announced myself at reception. Apparently there were 2 Carrie’s in the office. I was given the usual paperwork and sat down and filled it out as I sat there in my overcoat. The receptionist was too busy joking and talking with 2 recruiters who were standing around to tell me where I could hang up my coat.

After the one sheet, two sides of paperwork, I sat and did some more work on the crossword puzzle. Finally Carrie with a “K” showed up and I followed her as she spent a couple of minutes looking for an office where we could meet.

And it was a brief meeting. She asked me who referred me to her and for the life of me I couldn’t remember. I sent her my resume a few weeks ago and figured she would have accessed the email before the meeting, but she hadn’t.

Once again I explained who Putnam Lovell NBF were (Wanker Banker) and what BIO-IB was. I explained that I am presently working 50 hours a week at the cigar shop and that I was looking to get back into the corporate world.

Carrie with a “K” asked if I would be interested in a temp to perm position.

‘I work 50 hours a week…’
‘Do you think working a temp to perm position would affect that?’ Carrie with a “K” asked.

Yes, she actually asked if I took a temp position would affect the fact that I work 50 hours a week. After about 5 minutes the interview was over. I was disappointed and felt I should have stuck to my original plan and rescheduled the interview.

I called Bill who thought I was going to head to the cigar shack, since he didn’t know I had off today. He was more upset with how the interview went than I was. I walked back to the bus terminal in the cold and had the same bus driver who had just picked me up in Hoboken earlier.

I did some grocery shopping on the way home and when I got back home I did some laundry after having a breakfast for lunch.

I also visited Hyman today. I brought him the New York Times as well as a Hershey Bar. He seemed in better spirits and remembered that I don’t appreciate negativity in my life right now. We had an enjoyable chat about literature and the New Yorker.

He was going to tell me about the latest issue, the double Eustace Tilly issue when I told him that I like to just read the New Yorker, I don’t read the table of contents when I start. He recommended that I read Evelyn Waugh and Andre Gide which I duly ordered from the bibliothèque.

It was nice to see Hyman again and if he is still in the hospital on Friday I will visit him again. He thinks he might be out by then and if he is, he might join me in seeing Bill in the play he’s been rehearsing. That would be fun.

I mentioned it to Bill on my way home and Bill said he would pay for the cab fare from the theater to the bus terminal since Hyman’s in no condition to walk the distance anymore.

Back to work tomorrow, off on Friday. The ‘night before’ anxiety sets in.

I Wish I Were In Love Again

Monday again and the day before a day off for me. The day trip Bill and I had planned to take to Bala Cynwyd has been postponed yet again. We just couldn’t be arsed actually.

It was another day at work, and today’s cast of characters were Marcus just back from a cigar festival in the Dominican Republic, Calvin back from a weekend off and the Bradley.

The Palindrome only made an appearance to pick up food he bought yesterday and left in the fridge. Not much to say from his side and according to Calvin it seems the Palindrome’s days, or rather- hours, are ending soon. He was only supposed to be hired for the holidays and those holidays are long gone.

That’s the fact of the matter, not because the Palindrome turned into a little old Italian woman, dressed all in black, but because his time is up. And like the Palindrome said over and over again, he doesn’t need this job, he has a real job at a major hotel in midtown.

It was a beautiful day today, when I checked the thermometer outside of the cigar shack, it read 57°. It wasn’t spring but it felt like it and no, there was no greenery to smell. For some, the winter of their discontent continues.

Now the temperature has dropped considerably and it’s windy and chilly in the low 30’s. I was invited to an art opening at Maxwells tonight that Rand is a part of, but it’s late, it’s cold and I have an interview tomorrow.

An interview I don’t have much faith in, but still I will attend. I will go to the building, show my ID and then be ushered into a reception area to fill out an application with information directly lifted from the resume I sent them. I don’t even recall what the interview was for actually.

I’m sure they will tell me, but having just written that, I think it might be just another recruiter meeting, checking me out to see if I’m fit enough to send out on interviews.

I never heard from the woman I met last week. Then again I have never heard from my cousin who I asked for help last year. It’s fine with me. The company that my cousin works for has been a major target of the Wiki leaks thing so it might be a good idea that I’m not there.

It’s also a good thing I suppose that I never finished filling out my online application for Borders books since I heard they were staving off bankruptcy and when I woke up this morning, I heard on the radio that their stock was trading for $0.25 a share. That can’t be good.

And I will more than likely visit Hyman in the hospital, that is if he’s still there. Bill went over the weekend and met Hyman’s nephew while visiting. I will pick the newspapers for Hyman and stay for a little while.

It’s going to be a busy day off.

I Will Wait For You

I know, I know it’s Sunday. Why am I writing? Doesn’t John Ozed take Sundays off? Well after last night’s maudlin report, the suicide hotline called me to see if everything was alright. I was despairing last night over $49.50. It was pointless.

After writing I just wallowed. Bill came home and noticed my emotional absence. We watched Saturday Night Live and Bill laughed a lot. I was hollow in my wallow. I also took half a Xanax to help me get over it and thought it helped a little bit.

Bill went to bed as I watched Chris Brown as the musical guest and realized that all auto tune songs sound like they all have the same singer, which is pretty stupid when you look at it, or listen to it.

Bill was soon fast asleep in bed and I stayed up to watch the whole show. It was not worth staying up but I was waiting for the Xanax to kick in. Eventually I too was in bed, taking my position on the left. Bill was wearing his sleep apnea mask which interrupted my sleeping, the air was leaking out quite loudly and to me it sounded like a tornado at a beach resort.

Whatever stage of sleep I had reached, the sound of the apnea mask quickly brought me to the surface. And the Xanax did not achieve its desired effect for I was pissed.

I once again followed my advice and got out of bed and after about 20 minutes of sitting in front of the computer I went back to bed and found Bill had adjusted the mask and it now sounded like a steady hissing which did not interfere with my sleep.

I still only got about 5 hours of decent sleep. I was awake a little after 8:00 this morning and got myself ready for work. Bill had just gotten out of bed a few minutes before I left, and kissed him goodbye as he sat on the edge of the bed.

The 9:30 bus arrived and I got on, another uneventful ride above ground and under ground. I was opening the store with Der Fred (the Palindrome) who was scheduled to come in at 11:00. I got some breakfast and coffee and recounted all the money I was in contact with and it turns out that I was so burnt out last night that it was my miscount over and over was needless since I wasn’t getting it right, at all.

This morning, after some rest and fresh eyes, I found what happened. A few misplaced/miscounted bills were found and a $49.50 weight was lifted off my shoulders.

John Ozed Shrugged.

I was able to watch some of the morning shows as I ate my egg sandwich and drank some coffee. A little before 11:00 the Palindrome arrived and announced himself by knocking on the glass doors. Soon after that the Palindrome started complaining.

It’s too cold. I’m bored. What time is lunch? Whine whine whine.
I’m reluctant to touch the thermostat in the cigar shack and so I suggested he do some work in the humidor where it’s always 70°.

It’s too humid in there, the Palindrome whined, and what would I do?
Straighten things out I suggested.
Straighten what out? The things I straightened out before I left last night?

That is the cigar shack experience. The Palindrome was so upset that he actually stopped talking, after he mentioned that he felt like quitting right then and there. If you recall, he constantly mentions how he is the assistant manager at a big hotel and doesn’t need the part time money.

I even offered my suit jacket so he would be warm. But he was method acting the role of martyr. Little did he know I teach a master class in martyrdom.

The Palindrome has worked weekends before and it’s generally colder for some reason. You would think that he would figure out how to dress when working a Saturday or Sunday. And not wear a tight black sweater and black trousers which show off the muffin top quality of his 33 year old torso.

Overall it was like working with an old woman. And he was dressed all in black so you can probably figure out what kind of old woman the Palindrome resembled both inside and out.

The closing went well, everything accounted for. Bill stopped by before closing with some Hoboken chocolates that he picked up after he say Hyman Gross in the hospital. And also harpy made an appearance in the cigar shack and so it was a very nice day after all despite the old lady dressed in black.

I really appreciated the fact that the Palindrome didn’t really speak to me for the next 5 hours.

Oh yeah, one more thing…it was Beatles day today. I played Live at the BBC, Let It Be, Abbey Road, 4 Tracks from Yellow Submarine, White Album, Magical Mystery Tour, Sgt Pepper, Revolver & Rubber Soul. That definitely helped my day along.

That’s it. A Sunday Edition.

You can't out martyr me.

I Will Drink the Wine

Wow, yesterday was quite a good day, at least mood wise for me and today was the opposite of that. I did well sales why yesterday as well as today, but right now the main thing on my mind is why my drawer was short $49.50.

I counted the money a number of times, counted the money in the safe, counted the cash deposits and everything was in order except for my drawer. I didn’t steal the money and even now I’m not sure if it’s actually missing.

Tomorrow I will recount over and over and will even have Der Fred do some counting as well. Today it was the Bradley and Der Fred. The Bradley has been somewhat under the weather, coughing and hacking and burping all over the place as well as sounding like crap.

Der Fred did his usual spiel of how he doesn’t need the job, he has a full time job as an assistant manager at a big hotel in midtown, and how he just works part time at the cigar shack to get a discount on cigars which he loves so much.

And also the other spiel of how he can’t believe that I do this job day in and day out, polishing windows and standing around waiting for a customer to come through the door. And he whines about how bored he is working there. I told him if he doesn’t need the job, if he doesn’t need the money he should just leave. He said he wouldn’t do that, his love of tobacco is that strong and demanding.

I told him that boring people usually get bored and I’m hardly ever bored. I have an imagination which is always active. So active that it feeds these artistic impulses I have every day, almost every time I turn my head, I see art.

And that’s why I always carry a camera. I suppose it’s a Duchampian ideal, that something is art because I say it is. Something catches my eye and if I walk past it, I regret it so I usually turn around and take a photo, which is what I did tonight.

Even walking through the bus terminal under a heavy cloud, I look on the floor and see something that gets my attention, so I turn around and take a snapshot. Tonight after the counting over and over I was waiting for the bus and had a feeling I would see Lois DiLivio and sure enough, Lois and her husband Fred show up.

They had just seen a cabaret act at Don’t Tell Mama and were quite happy. Then I told them my tale of woe and inadvertently brought them down to my level, or at least unconsciously tried to. They were sympathetic of course, Fred telling me how things like that happen at the supermarket where he works. I know he tried to help, but it didn’t.

I also mentioned that I have a feeling that I’ve been set up. I did tell Calvin a few weeks ago how burnt out I was, after earlier that day telling him how the cigar selling business will soon be over. I probably should not have said that, since selling cigars is more than likely the only thing Calvin knows how to do. If they charge me with theft, then the company wouldn’t have to approve any unemployment benefits to which I am entitled.

Maybe it’s my usual everyday paranoia. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they did do something as underhanded and as nasty as that. They love the Bradley, he’s their guy. Marcus and Calvin wonder where the passion is, the passion that I showed when I was interviewed last May.

I just heard from Hyman Gross. He’s still in the hospital, he has gout. Bill is going to visit him tomorrow and along with the newspapers Bill will bring for Hyman, Hyman asked if he could borrow my phone charger. I have 2 and could spare one for as long as he might need it.

It brought to mind something that Pedro said the other night on the phone, something that I usually tell other people, that someone is always worse off than you. And here was Hyman telling me how good I have it, to have someone like Bill to come home to.

And he’s right. I do have it good and won’t let $49.50 get me down. That’s much easier said than done.

I Whistle A Happy Tune

10:00PM and all is well. Surprisingly it has been a good day. No time spent at the hospital since I had to go to work, but Bill was in contact with Hyman Gross who they were keeping for one more night. I spoke to Bill a few times today since I ordered some flowers and a teddy bear to be delivered today.

In the past I always had problems getting whatever it was I ordered to Bill’s office, so I decided to be proactive and had them delivered today so they would be on his desk Monday morning for that Valentine’s Day thing. And it was cheaper too.

So I kept calling asking if anything arrived and finally they were properly delivered. I don’t know why I was in such a good mood today, but I didn’t question it, I merely accepted it. I wasn’t exactly whistling a happy tune all day but nothing really bothered me.

It was like a fresh pair of eyes looking at the world. A fresh pair of eyes, still using the same corrective lenses. It was me and Calvin most of the day, with Der Fred coming in, in the late afternoon. Calvin and I got along fine. It was like I mentioned to Pedro last night on the phone.

I get anxious before going to work but once I’m there, everything is generally manageable. And by the way, I thought about taking a Xanax this morning but forgot about it, remembering when I had started walking to the bus terminal. It was fairly busy today as well.

Quite a few women buying cigars and accessories for their husbands and boyfriends and whomever. And even Keith Olbermann came into the store today. He was basically trying to be unnoticed but I noticed him. Calvin had mentioned a few times in the past that Keith Olbermann would come into the store from time to time, and since Calvin waited on him then, I figured Calvin should wait on him now.

That meant interrupting Calvin’s lunchtime smoke, and for once he didn’t mind. No dirty looks. I even told Keith Olbermann that it was good to see him, he was missed and shook his hand. No big fanfare, all quite self-contained.

He is going to be on Current TV in a few months, and I did not tell him that where I live, there is no Current TV available. Unless it gets picked up by Cablevision, I’m sure I will hear all about it.

An interesting thing happened as well today, with a different customer. She was buying a pen for her husband and wanted to see various pens. I showed her, since it is my job and she liked this one and that one but wasn’t sure about either.

I showed her another pen and she said it looked kind of gay. I mentioned that I was gay and it didn’t look gay to me at all. That made her very embarrassed and after a while she decided she wanted to think about the pens and left the store a bit flustered. I loved it.

So that’s about it. Nothing else to report. Bill is still at rehearsal, should be home by midnight. I have to work tomorrow, as well as Sunday and Monday. I don’t mind (at least right now I don’t) it’s something to do.

For those playing at home, or merely trainspotting, the past couple of weeks have been titled using songs sung by Frank Sinatra. Just mainly from a list from Wikipedia. Tonight’s title, I Whistle A Happy Tune was also mentioned tonight, in regards to my good mood and I only noticed the song title was next in the list of Sinatra songs after I had written tonight’s entry.

True story!

I Went Down to Virginia

It’s been quite a long day and a busy day at that. Last night was just as I wrote, helping Hyman Gross get into an ambulance. I had hoped Bill would be awake when I got home but he was fast asleep. We did chat on the phone when I was walking home and he offered to stay up, but I said there was no need.

I thought he would have stayed up anyhow, but no. He’s been so exhausted lately and as soon as his head hits the pillow he is in nearly a REM state. I could have used some contact, a hug, but no, there was none of that waiting for me when I got home 10 minutes after we disconnected on the phone.

My own garden of Gethsemane. Couldn’t you bastards stay awake for just a few minutes?

Anyway I wrote and wrote till I was done. Got a lot of positive feedback from my Facebook friends after I posted about helping an old man and picking him up off the ground. Didn’t say it was Hyman Gross since hardly anyone on Facebook would have known who he was.

According to my friend Kevin, he looked like a William S Burroughs type and I could see what he meant. He also looks like what Patrick Morrissey would look like if Patrick were in his eighties.

I got up around 9:00 this morning since it was my day off. I had an interview this afternoon with another recruiter which led me to believe I wasn’t blacklisted yet. I made some coffee and there wasn’t nearly enough so I had to go out and get some more.

So it was out into the street, getting coffee, the paper and some bagels. Came home and was going to fry up some eggs when I realized I was out of eggs. No matter, I was happy enough with the bagels. I did go out again, this time to the supermarket and the dry cleaners.

Picked up a nice suit for my interview and after some more coffee when I came home I was out again on the street. I had enough time to be early for the interview and walked on the sunny side of the streets, taking my time so I wouldn’t be too early.

10 minutes seemed fine and I sat in the reception area of the agency and filled out paperwork which took just a few minutes. A 30 minute interview with Lauren, who was born in Ridgewood, grew up in Oradell and now lives in Cranford. A Jersey girl.

The interview went alright I suppose. I was soon out on the street and headed to the Path train for a ride back to Hoboken. Stopped by the Guitar Bar and saw Mr. Wonderful, Jim Mastro who was busy with a customer.

Then I headed to the hospital where I saw Hyman Gross, back to his usual cantankerous self. Understandably he was anxious to go home but I told him it would probably be best that he stay one more night.

He was worried that his cellphone had only one bar of juice left and since it was a Samsung phone, I told him I would bring him a charger later, as well as the New York Times. And so I came home, changed out of the suit and had some food before heading out to get Hyman’s papers as well as my charger. I did not buy the NY Post, but I did get the Daily News. No money for Murdoch.

Hyman was eating dinner when I got back to his hospital room. He ate and asked me questions and seemed back to normal. We discussed having someone clean his apartment. Someone with no sentimental attachment to the various things he’s collected and picked up over the years. He agreed but to me it seems unlikely that he would do anything about it.

I also spoke to Bill on the phone and he is so proud of me, for the way I took care of Hyman over the past 24 hours. I didn’t think it was anything special, it’s something anyone would do for a friend isn’t it? Perhaps if I find myself in a similar state when I’m Hyman’s age there will be someone to do the same should I need it. But by then it will all be Logan’s Run and if that’s the case I’m a sitting duck.

where Skyline Studios used to be

the view from Hyman's hospital room

photo by Hyman Gross

I Want to Thank Your Folks

Today was an exceptionally shitty day. Decided to forego the Xanax and went in freestyle. I figured that since I wouldn’t be closing with Calvin it would be OK. It was almost OK. Calvin had the usual 2 hour liquid lunch, interrupted by yours truly when I was doing something and before I completed it, decided to check with old’ Calvin to see if it was done correctly.

I was never trained on anything properly in the cigar shack and felt it would be best to get a green light. The look of resentment on Calvin’s face was priceless and worthwhile and there was one tiny thing that I did not do which the lush noticed before heading back to the man cave to continue puffing on his cigar.

It isn’t easy trying to be busy for 9 hours in such a small space with cameras constantly watching. Still I persevered and was a bit stressed while doing so. I thought things would be better when Der Fred came in but he was more of a pain in the ass.

Constantly busting my chops, but to Der Fred’s credit, not once did he ask how I could work there doing the same thing over and over and over again, day in and day out. After I came back from my lunch at 5:40PM, Calvin seemed to be feeling no pain and had this bright idea to remove a bunch of mini cigars that arrived yesterday and put item numbers on them.

For some reason, Marcus ordered quite a bit of mini cigars and no one ever buys them. But just in case they do, we now have hundreds of them, just collecting dust waiting for someone to purchase them. We obeyed the lush’s suggestion and started moving the mini cigars into the man cave, when I got fed up and decided to just label them where they will be sold.

Much easier and no need to move a whole bunch of shit. I think Calvin just wanted to get Der Fred and myself out of the front of the store and increase his sales and also make phone calls. Perhaps make phone calls to any of the four young men who stopped by the cigar shack today and dropped off resumes.

Calvin left an hour after signing out, just sitting by himself in the dimly lit man cave and enjoying yet another cigar, postponing going home to the wife and kid. I guess there are something’s he just can’t do at home. Der Fred and I closed the shop, things were easier with Calvin finally gone.

I closed the shop solo and headed to the subway. Hyman Gross is back in Hoboken and I missed him the other day, opting to take an earlier bus. Tonight after the day that I had, decided to catch the earlier bus since I needed to go down Washington Street.

As I descended the stairs to the subway, my cellphone rang. It was Hyman. I answered but there was no one on the other end. I hung up and saw that an express train pulled in and got on board, making it to the bus terminal in no time.

I tried calling Hyman back once above ground but got no answer. I texted him saying that I would be on the Washington Street bus as I approached the gate for the Hoboken bus. I noticed two policemen standing over someone lying on the ground and hoped that it wasn’t Hyman. It was Hyman.

Apparently he collapsed and the police were going to send him to Bellevue, when I called Hyman’s name and he recognized me. One of the cops helped me get Hyman to the gate where we waited for the bus which drops him off about 20 feet from his apartment.

That bus arrived and I was surprised at the understanding of the other passengers, allowing Hyman and me to take our time getting on the bus. Hyman said his knees locked up and caused him to collapse. He also said he was on Xanax, as well as another medication and also took a caffeine pill.

We got off the bus close to Hyman’s apartment, things going slowly but going nonetheless. As I got on the step, using Hyman’s key to open the door, he collapsed again on my foot. I knocked on a neighbor’s door for help despite Hyman’s protests but there was no one home anyhow.

He lay there confused, not knowing what happened and kept blaming the Xanax. I called the Hoboken Police department and requested they send an ambulance to Hyman’s building. I waited with Hyman for the ambulance which seemed to take forever to arrive.

Hyman was nervous and we did get him up and I set up his walker for him to lean on. I also used his keys and opened the door to his apartment which could almost make the Collyer brothers look like minimalists. The smell of mothballs was overwhelming and I could easily understand why an 80 something year old man would not want to spend his days there.

He also had a plastic shopping bag and was terrified of losing it. When the paramedics arrived they helped him out and I put Hyman’s bag in his apartment, shut out the lights and locked up. I told the paramedics all I knew about the Xanax, the caffeine pill and the other medication that I couldn’t remember the name of.

I made sure Hyman got into the ambulance and told him I would stop by the hospital to see him tomorrow. It’s my day off.

Hyman Gross

I Wanna Be Around

And now we find ourselves in Tuesday, or rather I find myself in Tuesday. Where and when you are I really couldn’t say. Some readers are in New Zealand, others are in Bala Cynwyd (who actually came in second place of ‘readers’ for the first week in February.

It’s peculiar but then I suppose some people in Bala Cynwyd are peculiar. Not the active writing comments type, just the wallflower types, standing on the sidelines and letting life pass them by. Maybe that is the thing to do in Bala Cynwyd, nothing.

My day (as well as last night) was fraught with anxiety. I was going to be working with Calvin after last seeing him on Thursday last. He was slurry and I couldn’t wait to get out of there. So last night I was edgy.

Bill was home fast asleep and I could not talk to him about it. A Xanax was nearby which took the anxiety level down somewhat. After that it was relatively smooth sailing. Slept fairly well too which was needed.

Bill was up and out at 6:00AM and I slept some more until about 8:00, waking up to the Eagles singing Take it To the Limit which was a song I grew up with. Brought me back to a class trip in the 1970’s to Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts.

A day trip which came back a few hours late, filling the parking lot with nervous parents. If it happened today, the parents would have been on the news worrying frantically about their lost babies. Nowadays, it’s my classmates from back then who would be on the TV screaming about their missing, tardy children.

I got out of bed and shuffled about, breakfast, coffee, and shower. I needed to leave earlier since I needed to drop off a suit at the dry cleaners as well as a few shirts that belong to Bill and myself. Then a drop off at the bibliothèque.

I had picked up Herbie Hancock’s CD, Gershwin’s World since Bill and I heard a clip of Joni Mitchell with Herbie singing Summertime. Bill loved it immediately and unbeknownst to me, had downloaded it almost instantly. I arranged for it to be at the bibliothèque. So I burned a copy to no avail. It was alright though, I didn’t mind and got a few laughs out of Bill saying the he did not love me anymore since he went and downloaded it while I sweated and slaved over a CD burner.

Waited for the bus while chatting with Bill on the phone. I tell you, I would be so lost without Bill. He is the guy I can depend on if just for an ear, his good advice and his overall warm and loving spirit. Soon I was on the bus, then walking through the terminal and onto the subway.

Another call to Bill since we have to maintain radio silence while I am working and I don’t want to overload my man with my drama and whatever it is that is happening. I walked into the cigar shack (which is what Bill calls it) and there was Calvin.

The Bradley was also on board and we actually spoke since he wasn’t too happy with Calvin’s behavior. It was certainly an odd thing as I helped the Bradley straighten out the humidor which was Sean’s (Ryan ‘Krispy’ Ramos) domain. The day progressed, I had a late lunch and came back in time for the Bradley to be headed home, leaving me to close with Calvin.

That was what I dreaded but it wasn’t as bad as I anticipated. A half a bottle of beer on Calvin’s office desk and me on Xanax made for a tranquil evening, though we both did a lot of avoiding each other in any event.

A customer came in and was smoking a cigar in the back, so he was a nice buffer. The customer saw Prince again after seeing him at Madison Square Garden a few weeks ago and regaled me with highlights from the show. I headed home after closing the store by myself, getting on a downtown train to the bus terminal.

I called Hyman Gross who missed me last night. I didn’t think he would be out and about again but he was and hoped to see me on the 9:42 bus. But I was on the 9:26 bus. He asked to give him a call tonight and if I spoke to him I would have waited for him, but I got his voice mail and took the earlier bus home.

With all the dry cleaning I brought this morning, I had forgotten to wear a hat and the temperature dropped considerably. I won’t be forgetting to wear a hat again until the spring.

And that’s the name of that tune.

I Tried

Back to work for me today after a very nice day off. Yesterday Bill and I decided to go to the movies. There is a Clearview Cinema complex here in Hoboken and neither one of us had ever been there before. So we decided to check it out.

Bill was off to the gym and I was local. I went out and got some bagels since it was a day off and the Sunday paper. I texted Julio to see if they wanted bagels and he replied that they did and hoped for some warm bagels.

As luck would have it, the bagels were fresh out of the oven. I got the papers and headed home, stopping off on the third floor and saw Julio and Stine as well as Superboy. He’s such a charming little boy and can play me like a fiddle. He knows what buttons to push, what looks to give to get my attention or to get his way.

I was there long enough before I noticed how hungry I was getting. All I had was a cup of coffee and needed some food. Plus I had my own bagels to eat as I watched Stine eat her bagel and Superboy eat his bagel buttons. I eventually came upstairs and had my own breakfast.

I heard from Bill after eating, he was going to meet me at the movie theater and will have the tickets. I farted around for a while before heading out and walking up to the cinemas. It was a beautiful day, in the 40° range which when compared to the past few weeks felt positively spring-like.

I walked into the theater and they were expecting me, giving me the go ahead that Bill was upstairs with the tickets waiting for me. As I approached the second floor I heard Bill talking to someone about how unhappy I am with the job in the cigar shop.

I was hoping that it might have been someone from Clearview Cinema but it was Nicole, our former neighbor. She had just seen The King’s Speech which we were going to see. Nicole is such a sweet woman, nice to see her.

She and Mike split up after they moved away and between me and you, she was the catch, despite what Deborah their downstairs neighbor had to say. She’s in Chatham now and happy to be there I suppose.

Bill and I both enjoyed the movie. Very good and highly entertaining and if you have a sense of the history that the movie takes place in, it makes it that much more engrossing. And top notch acting of course. Funny and touching overall. Recommended.

Bill and I both enjoyed the movie theater too and will more than likely go there again, especially if you go in the afternoon when the seats are $9.50. We came home, Bill took a nap and I had something to eat. The Super Bowl was on somewhere but not here.

Bill was not interested and I certainly wasn’t either. I watched some Lawn Hors d’œuvre SUV. Bill awoke and started rehearsing lines for a play that opens next week. I watched All That Jazz after Lawn Hors d’œuvre SUV, but switched over to see the halftime show, with the Black Eyed Peas.

Now the Black Eyed Peas aren’t my type of music, but then again, I’m not their target audience. They were enjoyable, great stage set up and presentation. Then it was back to the song and dance of Bob Fosse as played by Roy Schneider and featuring actual footage of open heart surgery.

I’d rather write about all that jazz rather than how dreadful it was working with the Bradley. He is truly the golden child of Marcus and Calvin. That’s fine with me. Not much was said between the Bradley and me. Der Fred also came in today.

I like Der Fred, but every day he remarks how he can’t understand how I can work there, polishing the same shelves and mirrors day after day. It’s easy for him to say that since he doesn’t need this job, it’s only a part time thing and he’s in it for the cheap cigar discount. And I told him that quite tersely which seemed to have gotten my point across.

Already I dread working tomorrow. The Bradley opening up and Calvin will be closing the store with me. Oh it’s going to be a long day. I sent out several emails for jobs that were listed online, resume attached. No response. No response from that really ‘good’ interview I had almost 2 weeks ago.

Glad I took hope off life support.

I Thought About You

I am so glad to be back at home in Hoboken. After Thursday night’s meeting/hang out with Marcus and Calvin I was resolved to play the game on their level. With most every new customer that came into the cigar shop I gave them a hearty hello and welcomed them to the good life. Really. I said that.

It was the Bradley and myself and of course, the Bradley is the golden child. Marcus and Calvin are sporting wood for the one who traveled up from North Carolina, leaving a cigar shop there to live with his cousin in Astoria and work as a menial sales associate selling cigars in midtown Manhattan.

Yes the Bradley has the experience and the fact that he is not from the tri-state area means that he does not have that metropolitan attitude. That comes in handy I suppose when you’re in the cigar shop but anywhere else, on the street wouldn’t help matters much.

The Bradley was in one of his moody moods, not really saying much which led me to believe that he probably snorted another Xanax before he came in. I take my Xanax as prescribed, my dosage is 0.5. I think the Bradley’s dosage is 2.0 and he prefers the nasal method.

Well he told me that he snorts his Xanax. Maybe he lies, maybe he doesn’t. I just know what he told me. So with my new attitude I once again tried to engage the Bradley in conversation and once again it was like pulling teeth from a hen’s beak.

I was probably obnoxious with my happy to be here attitude but I didn’t care. I was too busy polishing glass surfaces over and over again, removing items from a shelf and wiping off fingerprints, and using the Windex on the glass shelves, both top and bottom as well as the mirrored wall behind the shelves.

Occasionally I would go into the man cave and empty ashtrays and make small talk with the mostly small minds. Der Fred came in early, the assistant hotel manager who works part time and doesn’t need the job, he just loves cigars that much. So many times in a day he mentions that he doesn’t know how I do it.

It, being the fact that I spend a good part of 10 hours a day wiping and cleaning different items and shelves. He cannot understand how I do it day after day for measly pay. I don’t know how I do it either, and I am starting to feel like Sisyphus, only without a rock, it’s cleaning extremely expensive pens.

I am proud to say that I ignored Marcus and Calvin’s advice to have a drink before heading into work. After the Bradley left, it was me and Der Fred which is actually a palindrome. Der Fred is certainly a chatty Kathy, never really shuts up but it was fine with me after dealing with the Bradley and his non-communication shtick.

But now I am home all that is behind me. Bill is a few feet away from me. He picked up Hyman Gross from a nursing home for elderly Jewish folk in East Harlem and got him to Hoboken. Hyman seems to be OK and happy to be back in Hoboken.

He’s such a frail sort that until the snow and ice goes away that he’ll probably be housebound until the spring comes. And Bill is pretty tired, it’s been a long day for him. I’m grateful that he stayed up for me to come home.

Tomorrow is Sunday and it’s most unlikely that I’ll write. Planning on a Bala Cynwyd kind of day.

Expensive pens!

Oh yeah, one more thing. In January 2011, I had 2,003 visits to this here blog.
Here are the top 5 cities:
New York- 255
London- 49
Washington- 48
Bala Cynwyd (!)- 32
Arcata- 31

Thanks to all who read and an extra special thanks to the illiterates who just look at the pictures.

I Think of You

Dreary Friday, but a day off so it’s not so bad. My mind keeps going back to last night, the tête à tête with Marcus and Calvin. I had about 2 glasses in what I presumed to be nice scotch. 2 glasses (and not rocks glasses, about ¼ of a cordial glass) and I was feeling somewhat loopy.

The third glass set me straight so to speak. One of the things that I remembered this afternoon was the fact that Marcus and Calvin saw how passionate I was in my defense and attributed it to the scotch. They were both further gone than I was and mentioned that it might be a good idea if I came into work after having a drink.

An interesting scenario and one that I have no intention of pursuing. I’m not even sure if I should mention the fact that my riding on Karma Transit, got me home about 30 minutes after I left them in the man cave.

I do have to have a new game plan if I am to play the game and I will not be dealing with Marcus until Monday and I won’t be dealing with Calvin until Tuesday. I have to admit that while I was anxious to attend this tête à tête, I didn’t know what would be brought up.

I still have no idea what cigar it was that they had given me to smoke, all I can remember was that it was mediocre. I’m pretty sure I do not share the mindset of Mickey Blue Eyes and Hot Sauce as Raymond was fond of calling them.

The concept of someone enjoying a cigar differently than the way they enjoy their cigars is totally anathema to them, even though they seem to acknowledge, or at least Calvin acknowledges that no two people see the same thing the same way. In that case for them the movie Rashomon would be a letdown since it had too many conflicting points of view.

But play the game I must, and when someone asks me how things are I will simply accentuate the positive and just lie lie lie. Overall though it was a good meeting, much needed and something that probably should have done last summer or early fall.

The guilt trip was excellent I might add. Never had I been on the receiving end in an employment situation. So today was just getting through all that. Most everything I watched on TV was lackluster from the Daily Show and Colbert Report to Community and the Office.

I had hoped for something funny to laugh at but everything seemed to be off the mark, or it could have likely been me that was wide of the mark. I have been out and about today, mailed a package to dear Billie in Washington DC who finally landed a job after being out of work for such a long time. He was unemployed before I was and was still searching after I started selling cigars and fine writing instruments.

I’m more than likely in for the evening but having written that, I am reminded I have shirts to pick up at the dry cleaners. Sigh.

I Sing the Songs

Well there I was, on the platform waiting for a train downtown. I had just gotten out of a 2 hour meeting, or rather get together with Marcus and Calvin. It was scheduled the other day under the pretense that it will be a re-acquaintance with cigars and scotch.

I agreed to it then and today when the day came I was anxious. I was tempted to slip out of it via a lie and consulted Bill who smartly advised that I ‘play the game’. So I decided to play the game. It started out in a manner of guessing which cigar was which.

Calvin removed the cigar bands and gave Marcus and I each a cigar to smoke. As usual I could not taste the notes that some people taste, I couldn’t even tell if my cigar had a Cameroon wrapper or not. These things don’t usually concern me. Marcus had a bum cigar which he had Calvin replace with another cigar.

After some cigar talk the conversation came around to how disappointed they were in me. Actually Marcus saying that and Calvin nodding his approval after a few drinks. They guy they hired in June of last year was not the same guy they were talking to right then.

Marcus expressed how he felt I was the perfect fit for this good life he envisioned, and how I had let them down. I had no right to feel burnt out. I explained that it was the holiday season, the steady onslaught of customers, most of them decent folk, others seemingly the spawn of some creature from the netherworlds.

I also explained that I had people like Raymond and Sean whispering in my ear, (mainly Raymond, Sean playing the role of Little Raymond) saying that Marcus does this, and Calvin does that and they are not to be trusted. That didn’t matter.

Marcus brought up two examples of my less than exemplary instances, dredging up how I was upset with Mister Lee who had pushed aside some poor soul on crutches just so he could clip his Cuban cigar, and my indignant reaction to his less than human behavior.

Apparently Mister Lee had done nothing wrong and by reacting the way that I did, it was my wrongdoing that upset Marcus. And the other instance was when a big fat lawyer came in and was just plain rude. I’m supposed to take all that shit and allow bad behavior to continue like that since they spend lots of money.

When I defended myself, my passion came through and that was what they wanted. That was what they saw when I was unemployed and desperate to get a job, any job. They wanted my passion my enthusiasm and use that to sell cigars and big ticket items which is what they will get I suppose.

Until something comes in, until my ship comes in, I will play the game. I will collect a paycheck and I will ‘own the store’, making it ‘John’s house’.

After two hours of that I was out the door, turning down Marcus’ offer of cab fare home and opting for the subway and bus combo which karmically worked out nicely since the subway came in a minute after I arrived on the platform and I was the next to last person on the bus to Hoboken.

To Marcus and Calvin this job is their life. A life that is under attack what with the NY City council voting to ban smoking in parks, beaches and public areas like Times Square. I know there are things out there which will constitute and define my life, but selling cigars is probably not one of those things.

I will have a different attitude when I go back to work on Saturday though. What that attitude is, remains to be seen.

Life on Mars?

I Should Care

Well today has been a day off and it’s been OK so far. Slept in until 9:30 and was awoken by the sounds of people scraping the ice off of the sidewalks. It was a good night of sleep, with a strange dream involving some strange tiny white person/thing that did not want me to know that it was sharing the bed.

When I was about to reveal who or what it was, it shocked me into waking up. And going to the bathroom. Perhaps the two were related. I shuffled about the apartment, making coffee and watching the rest of the morning shows, deftly avoiding Kathie Lee Gifford.

After some coffee and checking emails as well as sending out resumes as news about Egypt and the ice storm here, I headed out into the world, dropping off shirts at the dry cleaners, getting the News, some bagels and groceries at the supermarket.

Spoke with Bill on the phone a few times. He forgot to ask me to drop off his trousers for mending. He slipped on some black ice the other day and tore his trousers. It was slippery outside, lots of ice on the sidewalks and stairs, as well as the stairway railings outside.

Quite a few people had shoveled and scraped the ice away, but not many. Don’t know if it was because they were lazy or out of town, or just unable to. There were plenty of day laborers roaming the streets with shovels willing to shovel for a price.

I came home and had a nice breakfast, read the paper and had some more coffee. And more resumes were sent out, more scanning websites and online newspapers hoping for the best. No word from last week’s contestants, so I guess that one went by. This is why it’s good to not have so much hope. Just gotta keep on keepin’ on.

Laundry needed to be done and so I did that while watching last night’s Daily Show and Colbert Report. Got a text from the former co-worker Sean asking if he could use me as a reference. I said it was OK. I think he’s applying to a few stores in the area of the cigar shop.

I have to get him credit, he’s hustling for a job. If only he used that hustle instead of goldbricking around the cigar shop. He really got too comfortable, enough so that he acted as if he owned the place. But then again he is 20 years old.

I had a chance to go out once again into the ice world, which had started to melt. The snow was beginning to melt along with the ice making it foggy out. I brought the trousers to the dry cleaners instructing them on where to put patches.

Then a walk over to the bibliothèque, returning A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow and not getting anything else. Came home after that and watched two episodes of Southland, which Bill and I both really like, but never have time to watch it when it’s originally broadcast.

It was good and as intense as ever. We love Regina King a lot as well. So that’s that. Not much else to report, write or say. So I will just leave it at that. Cheers.

I See Your Face Before Me

It’s now Tuesday. I did not get fired from work. Instead Sean who can now be called Ryan Ramos got the axe. Ryan was a good guy, but 20 years old and full of piss and vinegar and shit and testosterone and puppy dogs tails.

They caught him on camera being off the floor for almost two hours in the past week. He was getting paid of course and that is what upset Calvin and Marcus.

Calvin took me aside and asked how I was doing. I answered truthfully that I was burned out, retail is a drag. He was surprised to hear that and I also told him that most days I come to work I can’t help but feel that it was going to be my last day.

Apparently I was not the only who felt this way, a general malaise had settled on the staff at the shop. I felt better getting that off my chest and the day did not seem so bad after that. I knew Ryan was getting the ax and when Ryan called before he came in, asking me if I knew what was going on, I had to lie.

I knew and could not say a thing. A life lesson had to be learned and I was no student teacher like Karen Valentine in Room 222. The rest of the day went at a steady and strange pace, strange since someone had just gotten fired.

Marcus is a sommelier and had scheduled a class in the back room, after the man cave had been cleared out and the regulars sent elsewhere. Marcus had also taken me aside, asking me what I was doing after work on Thursday night.

I told him I had no plans and he mentioned he wanted me to stay and have a cigar and some scotch with him and Calvin and talk. He expressed concern since he felt he was responsible for my working at the cigar shop.

Apparently he remembered that I had sent him my resume in February of last year and he had finally offered me a job in May. I didn’t apply for the job, but he made the offer. It was nice to know and I agreed to stay for a cigar and some scotch on Thursday night which was fine since I am off on Friday, as well as being off tomorrow.

And tonight a major storm approaches from the west, what is being touted as an ice storm, six inches have been predicted. That will be my day off, and I guess it will be mainly spent indoors.

Another thing that I told Calvin was the fact that the days off here and there are getting to me, to have two days off in a row is so much desirable. A schedule like most of the working stiffs would be ideal.

I can’t expect to get Saturday and Sunday off but perhaps something can be done like a Tuesday and Wednesday off, at least that’s the impression that I got from Calvin.

Strange days indeed. Most peculiar mama, whoa!

I accidentally deleted Kat Charas’ subscription to this blog and was surprised that after all these years, her email doesn’t exist anymore. Come in Kat Charas, your time is up.