Monthly Archives: September 2011

I Don’t Dance

Man it certainly has been a weird day. For me to notice the weirdness it has to be really weird. It started off ‘normally’ enough with Bill kissing me good bye for the day. I told him ‘good night’ and went back to sleep for another hour.

Then I puttered about, making breakfast, showering, shaving and checking emails. Off to the bus for me, calling Bill on my smartphone. No hands free available, so it was a bit of a juggle but I managed to convey my thoughts and feelings and love to Bill’s voicemail.

Of course when leaving the message, Bill calls and I basically said what I said on the voicemail. My regular bus driver should be back from vacation next week so the commute into the city should be back to how it usually is. Plus I like being called ‘Chief’ when I board. He’s a nice guy and it makes a difference when commuting.

Got near the cigar shack and I got myself an iced coffee. I talked to Bill again before heading in. I thought I would be working with Jerry Vale and Calvin but Thomas was in today as well. A schedule change since he had jury duty earlier in the week. It was a pleasant surprise but things were a bit off kilter and I should have noticed that right from the start.

According to Thomas, it was nearly unbearable working with Bradley yesterday. I was out and so was Jerry Vale so it was personable Thomas and unsocial Bradley. Bradley could suck the life out of most any situation and he’s been more off than on lately.

It was difficult trying to start up a conversation with Thomas most of the day, he apparently was still upset with something that happened yesterday. Things got better after I went to lunch and when Thomas got back from his lunch break.

There was a bit of a palaver in the man cave today. A young student at a nearby campus hangs out for an hour or so each day, dressed like he just raided Mitt Romney’s wardrobe and he loves the sound of his own voice, weighing in on so many topics.

He just turned 21 but in many ways he’s a conservative 71. Today the topic was about the young women who were pepper sprayed by Inspector Thomas Bologna. There was a police officer in the room, off duty and in civvies who’s generally a nice guy.

The young old man stated that the women who were barricaded off should have left when the police told them to leave. I had to point out to the slicked hair young old man that they couldn’t leave since they were BARRICADED in, then pepper sprayed.

I mentioned later to Thomas that I so wanted to punch the young old man in the face and Thomas mentioned that most everyone does after a few minutes spent in the man cave with the young old man. Oh how I would love to see him get his comeuppance.

The day finally ended and it was an uneventful ride home, or at least I think it was uneventful, so enraptured with my smartphone, tracking my every move on Google Latitude. And also talking to my nephew as he watched Robert Plant and the Band of Joy at the Not Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco and wishing him a very happy birthday.

Also I am sending birthday wishes to Christina Miro, my dear friend Lovely Rita and the super smart Thaler.

I Don’t Care Apocalyptica

Well it’s been an alright day off, so far at least. First off, I slept really well, later than I expected to. But I was alright with that. Everything I planned was tentative anyhow. I did have to go get some groceries and that is what got me out of bed.

After a shower and some coffee as well as trying to figure out what it is that the smartphone does I headed out. On the way I decided to use the camera and took a couple of shots. I think they came out just as good as they would be if I used the Coolpix Nikon.

Still a bit shaky with it, though it will become more comfortable to use as time goes on. I came home and had a decent breakfast and then headed out again. It was threatening to rain most of the day and I was fortunate to be able to avoid most of the downpours by mere minutes.

I also made it to the library to pick up a book I ordered, The Sibling Effect by Jeffrey Kluger. I saw him on the Colbert Report and the book sounded interesting, so now it was time to pick it up before it goes back to the original bibliothèque.

Tomorrow is my nephew’s birthday, Earl is turning 21 and I bought a Greetings from Hoboken NJ t-shirt. I also had a Bob Marley book and a John Lennon book that I bought second hand earlier in the year and hoped to give them to him when he visited this year. But that did not work out since Earl’s flight was cancelled.

The books were too bulky to have Annemarie bring back with her so I hung onto them. I stopped at the local card shop and bought a birthday card that I thought was cool and walked over to the Post Office. It wasn’t crowded at all and after packing a box and paying for the shipment I headed out for a brief walk around Hoboken. The box will hopefully be there for Earl when Anne, Rex and Earl get back from the Not Strictly Bluegrass Festival this weekend.

I saw Bill Ryan outside the Post Office and said hello. It was good to see him, he’s looking healthy. I always liked Bill and he seemed to like me. I always enjoyed working for him at Pier Platters, either sitting behind the counter if he had to run an errand or manning the register at Pier Platters 2. And of course I always got a good deal on my purchases.

I played with the Google Latitude on my smartphone and watched myself as I wandered around town. I also talked with Bill for a few minutes. I’m trying to be conservative with my phone calls since I do not have the unlimited calls that I used to have with T-Mobile.

I found out later when I got home that I arranged to have my calls to Bill to be free and available whenever I want. I am enjoying the smartphone nonetheless. I found myself at one point in the day accessing some websites on my phone while sitting right in front of the computer. That was very dumb. Why waste time and access when I have everything right in front of me? I was glad I caught myself.

It’s a nice quiet evening, Bill is up in Harlem stage managing a play and here I am, in Hoboken, writing this very line.

I Don’t Care Darius Rucker

Well I just got home and I also just got a smartphone. I don’t necessarily feel any smarter and in fact I found myself being one of ‘those people’, walking around with the device in my hand and nearly oblivious to everything.

And even writing this I am distracted by the smartphone. Too much information and not enough skill at accessing the information. Now the smartphone is connected to the computer, trying to figure out some way to connect.

In other news, it was a strange day at the cigar shack. Calvin was out, Thomas and Bradley were in. Thomas was great as usual, Bradley was a fucking bitch, as usual. Such a moody guy and he seems to thrive on being moody.

I was that way when I was a twenty something, nihilistic most of the time, but I grew out of it, with some assistance from loving friends and family. Apparently Bradley does not having loving friends or family and so we have the bitch that was in today.

It’s strange he can be really funny when he is on, and when he is off he is absolutely a horrible person to work with. I seem to recall him saying that former co-workers down south had similar difficulty working with him and here he is today, proving them right.

Thomas on the other hand is a pleasure to work with and I know I’ve said it before but he really is a good salesman. Puts just about everyone else in the shade, except for Calvin of course, who’s been doing this cigar shack retail gig for a long time.

There’s a commercial on TV lately, some guy talking to the camera saying that ‘You’re not the type of guy to work in an office. Maybe you should look into mechanics or HVAC’ or words to that effect. I usually run into the room saying ‘No, wait! I am an office guy and have no place in automotive mechanics or working in the world of HVAC!’

Unfortunately I am not the target audience for that ad, Lincoln Technical Schools or APEX or some other technical school.

Today Jimmy Seltzer came into the cigar shack, good to see him and his purchase raised my quota to second place, a couple of hundred behind Thomas and a few hundred ahead of Bradley. Jimmy is such a good guy, says I could use his house in the Hamptons anytime I’d like, even when he and his wife are not there.

Alas I don’t think I have the time or the means to get out there right now, but the offer is certainly appreciated. Jimmy Seltzer also mentioned that the entry I posted a couple of weeks ago should be expanded into a full story, perhaps even a book. He made a suggestion as to how to do it and I paid heed to his sage advice.

Now with just a few words to go, my smartphone is singing its siren song imploring me to give it attention. It’s almost like I have a Tamagotchi!

A dying bee that I flicked off of my jacket

I Don’t Care Raheem DeVaughn

Well thanks to some melatonin I was able to get a good night’s sleep. It hasn’t been happening so much lately so anticipating a crazy day at the cigar shack, I decided to get a good night’s rest. I thought Bill had a good night’s sleep as well but I think he might have been over tired to do so.

I woke up early enough, three hours before I actually had to head in today. I was able to take my time and get things done, coffee, cereal and a shower. Good to do such things at my leisure. A walk to the bus stop, ominous clouds approaching from the west.

I waited for my bus, enjoying a cigar, telling a woman with a baby that the 89 bus was approaching and if that was the bus she wanted I would flag it down for her. I then helped her on the bus and waited for my own.

I did see the clod who is fond of throwing garbage into the bushes rather than the garbage can 10 feet away. He avoided me as I avoided him. I did see him throw the cellophane wrapper from a pack of Marlboro Lights in the middle of the street as he jaywalked, but felt he was too far away to do anything about it.

The ride into the city was eventful. My usual bus driver, my #2 favorite is on vacation this week so I had someone from the legion of substitute drivers. He was doing alright, picking up passengers but going rather slowly.

As we approached the tunnel, there was not much traffic and he opted to go through a different lane than most buses do. He rolled on through at an easy pace when all of a sudden there was a crash and a dragging sound.

Apparently, one of the toll booth attendants decided to open her door at the same time as the bus was passing and had her door torn off and the glass shattered. We stopped, the driver got out to see if everything was alright. We weren’t going anywhere it seemed since he now had to fill out an accident report.

Luckily another bus pulled up alongside and offered to take all of us onto his bus. It was crowded but we eventually made it to the bus terminal with no problem. I texted Calvin to let him know I might be late and received no response, but that may be from having a crappy phone on my end.

I was wary on Calvin’s behavior today since the computer crashed yesterday but he was actually alright, not too pissy. It was a relief. I worked with Jerry Vale all day, Calvin going to another organ donor meeting, trying to line up a Korg.

How that worked out I don’t know but here I am and everything seemed to be alright. Just a little over an hour to go before I am able to go home and that is something I am definitely looking forward to.

RIP Yellow Birdie

I Don’t Care Angie Stone

Another Monday. Another opening, another store. Well not really another opening, that was Bradley’s job today, and the store is the same as it ever was. It’s been quite muggy here, high hummus all around.

Yesterday was a day off, and I went to the art and music festival on Washington Street a few times, each time with a fresh undershirt since I was generally drenched. 3 or 4 undershirts were worn yesterday.

I agreed to help Ahndi at Hoboken Daily News and take some photographs. His son just got married in India and since he was unable to attend he figured a nice picture of himself in a suit and tie would suffice.

We talked about doing the pictures at 1:00 and of course I got there on time. But Ahndi wasn’t ready and asked me to come back at 2:00. So I went back at 2:15 and he had a helper in the store, plus 2 policemen.

I convinced Ahndi that it wouldn’t take too long and when things quieted down I took about 6 photos of him. Then I wandered around the festival for a while before heading home with a sweaty undershirt.

Got in contact with Rand & Lisa when I came home, they were out and about. So after a little while I headed back out but couldn’t find Rand or Lisa. I stopped by the Guitar Bar but no Mr. Wonderful either. I did see Alice, whom I walked with last week but she was going in the opposite direction.

After a phone call with my sister I headed back home again. Had a nice lunch and after emailing and whatnot set my alarm clock for an hour for a nap but only managed about 15 minutes which turned out to be enough. Then I decided to go out yet again.

A text from Rand saying they ran into the city to run an errand. Thought they would be back but there was no response to my texts. Maybe there was a response but my cellphone seems to be on it’s last bars so if they replied I might not have gotten it. I didn’t see anyone I knew, so maybe they saw me first.

I but the guy with the drinking problem might have burned so many bridges that he wisely stayed away. I went home again after sitting by the river and smoking a cigar and getting sweaty all over again. Bill came home a little while after I did and we watched some TV, Boardwalk Empire which really started things off with a bang and then we watched Pan Am which we both liked somewhat.

Off to bed for Bill after that, I soon followed. I think I slept really well but Bill said that I was jumpy which I don’t remember being. I dreaded going to work today, me like all the other people dreading Monday but it wasn’t so bad after all. Bradley was taking a class in checking identification which I took twice already, Thomas and me manning the fort and Calvin at an off site meeting regarding organ donations. He has a Farfisa he wants to donate, they’re only looking for Hammond B3’s. Such is life.

Looking forward to going home. Bill’s play ‘Destinations’ is doing the last performance tonight since the last shows originally scheduled for the end of August were cancelled due to the threat of Hurricane Irene. Give the troupe some closure, it was a good show, a good run and they deserve it.

Things were going well mostly today at the cigar shack. Thomas and I did alright, Thomas knocked it out of the box actually. With a half hour to go I went in the back to have a seat for a minute. Just about then Thomas gives a yell for some assistance, apparently his register was crashing, might be under attack from a virus.

He was looking at wedding bands online when it all went pear shaped. Tomorrow I expect that the excrement will be in the HVAC system. Both Thomas and Bradley are out so I guess I’ll be the one. Not looking forward to it. But it will more than likely give me something to write about.

I Don’t Care Fall Out Boy

A Saturday in the city. Not much going on, been an OK day. I certainly did not get the sleep I would have liked to have gotten last night. Some tossing, some turning, some waking up saying ‘What the fuck?’ I’m sure most of you have been there.

I stayed in last night after getting caught in the rain in the afternoon. Had the big ass umbrella from the Wanker Banker days which kept the upper part of the body dry but everything below the knees was very much soggy.

I was able to make it to the bibliotheque yesterday. Gone are the days of me trying to get their audio visual room in order. That’s Pina Lodles department and not mine. I grabbed a Harry Potter title and a couple of CD’s the soundtrack to The Social Network by Mister Nine Inch Nail, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, So Beautiful or So What by Paul Simon and the Gorillaz CD, the live one.

So far I played the Paul Simon CD and I liked it, but did not like it as much after I watched the making of So Beautiful or So What. I would have liked to have watched the making of Surprise, the last CD from Paul Simon, produced with Brian Eno, but that does not exist.

At the cigar shack it was Bradley, Thomas and Jerry Vale. A full staff minus management. It promised to be a scheduling debacle but it actually worked out. These middle eastern diplomats really take a shine to me and buy lot’s of items, then they come back a few days later and buy some more.

Thanks to them I pulled ahead and maintained (and still maintaining) quite a healthy lead. Now it’s pretty much dead in the cigar shack vicinity. It’s a Saturday night. I guess a lot of people are out doing whatever it is they do on Saturday nights.

I used to work at Maxwells on Saturday nights so that limits my knowledge of what goes on, and in any event what went on then is probably totally different than what goes on now. But the again, there is always the possibility it is still the same just with different players.

So now it’s Thomas and myself, finishing up for the day. I am off tomorrow and so is Thomas. I plan on attending the Hoboken Art & Music festival tomorrow, no big names this time, a band that does Sinatra songs in a ska style is headlining. They’re called Skanatra.

I requested the day off before I knew the line up. I can’t say that I regret it, it should be fun and a chance to run into some old friends, at least the old friends that stay in town for the fartin’ mucus festival. Just a matter of minutes before I can go home and chill out once again.

Hopefully Bill will be home, or at least not too long before he returns from rehearsal. Quite a motley crew is in the shack at the moment, so I had better keep an eye on them. Later gators. Bill is home and I am home and I am also off tomorrow!

I Don’t Believe You

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the curtain rod of destiny

after the burial

Bill's flowers: "They're BEAUTIFUL, like you, and they haven't fully bloomed." I love this guy.

I Do, Don’t You

So happy it’s Thursday is one of my favorite acronyms as of late. And it’s Thursday and I am somewhat happy. It’s been a busy day too which was good. The day started out once again, Bill kissing me goodbye. I roused myself from slumber after trying to bargain with the alarm clock. The clock always wins.

After breakfast and getting dressed I walked over to the dry cleaners and saw Mona. I dropped off two of my shirts and two of Bill’s then headed to the bus stop. I chatted with Bill on the phone as I walked.

Overcast and muggy was the weather and since there was nothing I could do about it, I just sat on the bench, smoking a cigar that I actually started last night and listened to the iPod. Specifically a singer named Res which I bought back in 2001. Her songs have popped up on the iPod and has been the subject of some discussion.

It was a fun listen, I remembered being in HMV on 42nd Street and hearing it and asking the DJ who was playing, then I went and bought it. It’s a really good record and nary a word has been heard from her in 10 years.

Today I worked with Thomas and Bradley with Calvin once again sequestered in his office. It wasn’t as busy or containing the financial windfall I helped cause yesterday but still it wasn’t half bad, perhaps it was something I could write home about, or at the very least, write about here.

Still quite a few diplomats and their entourages in the vicinity, women buying gifts for their men in the form of cigars. Jimmy Seltzer made it in, earlier than usual and paid me a very nice compliment about how something that I recently wrote was good enough to perhaps expand into a book.

A very nice thing to hear rather than read what the spammed mastorhaters write, almost always wrong but hey even they have their chance to write though it never gets published, at least not by me. Perhaps Greg, Peter and Bobby Brady have a blog somewhere, or a favorite bathroom wall they write on, I really couldn’t tell you.

Jimmy Seltzer is a prince though and his compliment helped carry me through the day. And ‘My Friend, My Friend’ also made an appearance which was nice, good to see him since I see him so infrequently these days.

Tomorrow promises to be a busy day, I hope to get up early enough to get chores done, laundry, groceries and a stop at the bibliotheque. That should make the day packed with enough things to do.

Now there’s less than fifteen minutes left in my day, work wise. It’s a been a good one, Thomas is a pleasure to work with. Very sharp, a bit witty and a snappy dresser. I write this knowing full well that he won’t be reading this.

He’s a good man and will make his fiance quite happy, he is devoted to her 500%.

I Do Not Hook Up

Here I am on a Wednesday evening in the cigar shack. It has been yet another rollercoaster day. After yesterday and the box debacle Calvin made a point to have Thomas and I making sure the showcases and the stock match up. I had no problem with that, in fact where I was sitting I was the first point of contact with the customers.

That made for some very good sales. Diplomats and their entourages came in and I did excellent today. Thomas didn’t seem to happy about that but he rallied when I had gone to lunch. More number crunching for Calvin but in between crunches he too did alright sales wise. Last I night I left Calvin at around 9:20. He was planning on leaving at 7:30 but did not actually leave until 10:30.

The day started out with Calvin annoyed with me and me annoyed with Thomas. Shit does roll downhill you see. Thomas playing the role of the amiable imp was busting my chops until I told him to not fuck with me. Things didn’t improve with Calvin until we both dealt with a customer that pissed us off. It’s funny how a mutual enemy could bring people together. It reminded me of a Gang of Four song.

I had a late lunch and sat on the usual bench by the park where I sat and smoked a cigar and reread Nick Hornby’s ‘Songbook’ which my sister gave me a few years ago. I had read the New Yorker and since I was all caught up, I needed something to read and in between when I read it then and now, things have changed somewhat for me.

Perceptions and realities mainly, and if you’ve been reading this here blog, then you probably figured that one out for yourself. Last night I came home and noticed I got a letter from a dear friend. It was interesting to read an actual letter, to hold the hard copy in my hand and try to decipher what it was the old friend had written.

It was inspiring to me, resolving to write a proper letter in return. I can only hope my handwriting will be readable, though I do tend to fluctuate between cursive writing and printing words out, but that shouldn’t really matter.

Today, September 21 is an interesting day in my life. In 1999, my father passed away on September 21. The closing of a chapter as well as the start of my own life. I don’t think a person becomes a fully realized adult until both parents die. Then you start to live life for yourself.

A year later, on September 21, 2000 I met Bill. It was at a party downtown in the shadow of the twin towers, and what I reckoned to be my last visit to these parties since I never really had any fun or met any guys. But on September 21, I was determined to have a good time and I sat on the patio outside, enjoying a cigar and feeling like Scarlett O’Hara smoking a Padron, entertaining a bunch of well dressed men in suits and ties.

Through the crowd I met the eyes of a handsome man in a double breasted mustard colored man and later when inside I noticed him bopping his head to Erykah Badu. I asked him, ‘So you like Badu?’ and he replied that he did. We talked and later wound up taking the train uptown and exchanged numbers so that we could meet again. And here we are years later.

I can’t say the past 11 years have been smooth sailing, we’ve had our over under and sideways down moments but here we are, committed and still in love with each other quite deeply. I like that.

And I love Bill.

Work it girl!

I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside

Oh just got back from the cigar shack today and once again it was a bear of a day. It started out in a blasé way, grey skies, falling rain. Not much inspiration to get out of bed. Bill headed off later than usual, only about 45 minutes before I got out of bed. Shower, cereal, coffee and whatever.

And soon I was out on the street walking to the bus stop, talking to Bill on the phone. I love our routines. No Deborah on the bus, just the friendly bus driver and quite a few unfamiliar faces. Broke away from the herd in the bus terminal, going my own way.

Despite just missing an express train I was still early enough for work. Iced coffee, a trip to the bank and another phone call to Bill. Then I found myself in the cigar shack. Calvin was sequestered in the office trying to manage a budget for the next quarter.

This is probably the reason why he turned down the managerial position way back when. He was off yesterday trying to make sense of the budget, during which- a slurry phone call was had in the afternoon. He told me he did not want to be disturbed and I did my best to avoid him at any cost and I was mostly successful.

Of course there are customers who claim to be Calvin’s best friend who popped their heads in and distracted Calvin from his job at hand. There were three of us on staff today besides Calvin. Bradley and Jerry Vale were in as well and Bradley kept grabbing the lion’s share of sales, even Jerry Vale had passed me by.

I was too busy doing menial tasks so I didn’t really care. These things had to be done. When they were done, Calvin emerged from the office and felt that I was loafing about and suggested that I send out some emails to my clients and try to drum up business. Apparently we’ve gone in the past seven days from doing so much better than the year before, to hardly anyone coming into the cigar shack. Since the last year/this year announcement was made, things had definitely fallen by the wayside.

And I did not really need to know the gauge of Calvin’s Prince Albert. Bradley split at his appointed time leaving Jerry Vale and myself with Calvin crunching numbers in the office. Since I was off the floor I was way behind, but it could be explained away.

As I was outside cleaning the window some Europeans came in and were looking around. I tried to help them as best as I could and to my delight we got along quite nicely despite the language problem, thanks to the overworked interpreter in the entourage.

They decided on a nice paperweight and a letter opener to go with it. I set about getting it all ready, and while trying to find the boxes for the items. I found the letter opener box but the paperweight box proved elusive. I didn’t want to but I had to ask Calvin if he had any idea. He didn’t, only saying it should be where I couldn’t find it.

So it was on my knees I went looking for a nonexistent box. A few minutes later Calvin emerged from the office and with an air of authority told me to ring up the item while he found the box. Only he didn’t find the box, he found a box similar to what I was looking for. A different paperweight would now be without a box.

I rang up the items as well as wrapping them and they thanked me before heading out the door. The sale put me in second place right behind Bradley.

Calvin mentioned that Thomas and I will spend tomorrow matching the items in the showcases to the empty boxes nearby. Calvin planned on leaving the cigar shack at 7:30, at 9:19 I left him in the office with a ‘see ya tomorrow’ and heading out the door to my life.

Have another drink drunko!

I Do It For Hip Hop

A brisk Monday today, a chill in the air. Feels like autumn, which in fact will be here on Friday. Thomas just confirmed this since as Thomas puts it ‘He is the shit.’ I certainly did not want to get out of bed since it was so chilly.

I did wake up when Bill was once again kissing me goodbye. I told him he looked nice and he said that I looked nice, though I’m sure I looked a fright, in bed eyeglasses of, looking bewildered. Maybe that was the look that Bill said looked nice. After breakfast and coffee I headed out to the bus stop where I sat and enjoyed a cigar.

My second favorite bus driver was once again behind the wheel. At the next stop my neighbor Deborah got on board and once again we sat and talked. She saw Wicked over the weekend and enjoyed it. I hadn’t seen it but I know quite a few people that have and they seemed to like.

We parted ways at the bus terminal, Deborah going off to her job and me headed to the subway. The United Nations is in session, all the world leaders are in town creating traffic mayhem. That may have been the reason why I sat on a train a few blocks away from the cigar shack, but no- the actually reason was a water main break at 106th Street and Central Park West.

Of course when you’re sitting on the train not going anywhere for a while one can’t help but wonder what is going on above ground. Not like they’re going to say the truth if it was bad news, can’t have a panic underground now can we? I wound up being about 20 minutes late.

I texted Calvin to let him know what was going on but received no reply. I found out when I got in that Calvin had taken the day off today. It was a pleasant surprise. I worked with Thomas and Bradley today and Bradley was in a most excellent mood which made for quite a few laughs throughout the day.

It was sort of like that on Saturday when I last worked with Bradley. I suppose we are all riding the manic high with him. Lunch was interesting, me sitting on a bench smoking a cigar near the park and listening to two former cops talk about their long shifts, 8 days on a shift.

The older former cop lives out by the Hamptons and gets up at 2:00 AM to commute into the city. The younger former cop lives in Brooklyn and doesn’t have that problem or commute. Now it’s just me and Thomas. Been terribly slow lately, the past 5 days have been a crawl.

Still it’s good to work with Thomas. He’s a good bloke and I wish he would write his blog more often. Gentlemens Equity it’s called but he hasn’t posted anything since the beginning of the year. He’s an entertaining and opinionated young man.

I’m The Man

A Saturday near the park, I was thinking it was the fourth of July. But it isn’t and who cares anyhow? Not me, not you. It got chilly last night and the window was open a bit. I was under a couple of fleece blankets which did the job a little, but with the blinds open somewhat the last hour wasn’t so restful as I had hoped.

Bill was up and out once again, headed to be the stage manager uptown for a show that’s opening in a week or so. I got out of bed once again so hungry that I felt ill. Some cereal in the bowl, some coffee in the pot and my naked body in the shower.

Then I was on my way to the bus stop for another day at the cigar shack. A walk up the avenue instead of the train, a stop to get my egg sandwich and then continuing on the walk up the avenue. Early yet again, I sat in the office once I got to the cigar shack and enjoyed my sandwich. For some reason I was so hungry.

Then I clocked in and set about working alongside Bradley. Jerry Vale was coming in later. As with the previous day lately it was slow going. Most of the regulars came in and settled on the man cave. A lot of tire kickers not knowing what they want and eventually deciding that what they want isn’t in the cigar shack.

Sometimes they say they’ll be back, knowing full well that they won’t. I’ve done it myself, deciding against what brought me into a certain shop and awkwardly opting out, leaving the salesperson with what I would hope to be, a glimmer of hope. And after working in retail for a year, I recognize that the glimmer is more often a splinter of hope.

I was able to go outside for lunch today but it was a bit nippy and overcast, the skies threatening to open up eventually. And the cigar I was smoking bulged and ruptured causing some frustration. I still smoked as much of the cigar as I could and read Uncut magazine. Quite a lot of tourists and strollers going back and forth way- too many to really relax.

Back at the cigar shack things were just as they were when I left, cigars sold and not much of anything else. Another celebrity came in today, this time it was Joe Jackson, someone I used to enjoy. I had met him once before when he was recording a set a Maxwells and Steve Fallon asked me to escort Joe Jackson to the stage through the crowd. He wasn’t personable then but that was probably because he was about to go onstage. He wasn’t personable today either.

I told him about Stevie Wonder and he seemed impressed by that, but when I asked if I could take his picture he moaned so I dropped it. At the end of the day, it was a tie between second place between Bradley and myself with Jerry Vale getting the lion’s share of the sales.

Bradley was a bit upset, not with tying for second place but with the fact that his register wound up short. I offered to help him with the count but as usual he was standoffish and prickly and not willing to accept a helpful hand. My register came out as even as it was when I opened this morning.

Finally it was time to close, Bradley had split about 90 minutes earlier. I was counting the money and Jerry Vale was taking a phone call in the humidor. He came back looking crestfallen, he just received news that his mother had died. I sympathized and told him to take a seat, relax, to cry if he wanted to.

He said he was alright, he ran away from home when he was 12 and wound up living with his sister, telling me that his mother didn’t really raise him. She had dementia and was living in a nursing home the past couple of years. Still I could tell it was a shock.

We left the cigar shack together and rode the train downtown, me getting off at the bus terminal and Jerry Vale continuing downtown.

I Just Called To Say I Love You

A late start tonight after an amazing day. It started out once again, Bill kissing me goodbye as I lay sleeping. A nice way to start the day. I soon stumbled out of bed and shuffled along to the kitchen, making coffee, pouring cereal and getting in the shower.

It was a bit nippy in the apartment and I then set about closing a few windows that were left open in the night, no squirrels as of late. It was cool enough that I wore the wool suit, grey pinstripes instead of the sharkskin.

I was working with Thomas and he certainly ups the ante with suits and I do try to hold up my end. A ride into the city, riding with downstairs neighbor Deborah who’s just so sweet. I hadn’t seen her in a while but I saw her yesterday and she was just a supreme boost to my ego after telling her about the interview on Monday.

The whole nonsense of ‘oh you would be bored after 15 minutes’ made her chuckle. She said something that a number of people have said over the years. I have too big a personality, though I’m sure the ¼ Xanax suppressed that enough.

According to Deborah, I’m just too interesting a person, not as nondescript a person as a lot of people are. I could only agree. I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drummer, or drum machine and I will more than likely to be that way for the rest of my ever lovin’ life.

I made it to the cigar shack, safe and sound. It was Calvin and Thomas working today and it’s been slow lately. The regulars have been in and hanging out all day. I was in the humidor when a rather large gentleman came in, I did not see who he was with until they passed the door.

The large gentleman turned out to be Stevie Wonder’s minder and he was escorting Stevie Wonder to the rest room. Apparently Stevie was in need of a pee and wandered into the cigar shack after asking a neighboring shop if they had a loo.

Luckily, the neighbors frequently use our loo and recommended us. Calvin and I were quite excited, Thomas was as well, but not like us. Stevie came out and thanked us, shaking our hands. I asked if I could take his photo and he said yes, so Thomas took my picture with Stevie Wonder and I in turn took pictures of Calvin and Thomas, both with Stevie.

More handshakes, more thanks given. I asked Stevie if he smoked cigars and he said he didn’t but his son does. And with that they were out the door. The minder asked where the really big and expensive supermarket was and I walked them towards it. Not many people in the neighborhood recognized Stevie Wonder except for a man and a woman and they were noticeably overwhelmed.

It was the highpoint of the day, followed by a few hours of Stevie Wonder songs. That’s all I need to write today. The photos are on my Facebook page so go there if you want to see them.

I Do It

It’s a dismal day mostly. Rain on and off. On when I want to go outside for lunch, off when I come back in. Oh the gods, they laugh at my foibles today. yesterday was certainly something else. It was a rough day, what with coming back from two days off.

The light at the end of the tunnel was the fact that I would be seeing Bill. That kernel of hope is what got me home. Unfortunately I received an email from what used to be an old friend, now turned into someone that I don’t know anymore and actually don’t care to know.

She was an old friend, we once had a lot of things in common. Or maybe we didn’t. We both made each other laugh and were once inseparable until I listened to some friends who wanted to know who this girl was- always following me. I regretted telling her over the phone that we needed a break from each other and tried to make amends but the damage had been done.

We stayed friends, but not as close as we once were. Time moved on she went her way and I went my way, our paths would cross every now and then. She moved away and then came back. The guy she was seeing before she moved, moved on and settled down with a woman who treated him better than he was treated before with her. That’s what I’ve been told.

And when the friend came back she was a wreck. I remember specifically a phone call with her in hysterics, seemingly unable to get past the fact that this guy moved on. I tried some tough love, telling her that I would get in touch with this guy and tell him to knock it off, to stop ‘leading her on’. She pleaded for me not to do that, I guess not realizing that I wasn’t about to do such a thing.

I only wanted to help my friend get over this and get on with her life. Her roommate couldn’t take it though and kicked her out of the apartment which was a somewhat shitty thing to do. At least that’s how I heard it happened.

Time moved on as it does and we connected a few times, at parties she had, at parties we both attended. She was even seeing a guy that might have been seeing another friend of mine, which put me in quite an awkward position.

A week or so ago, I found a comic book she drew which was quite brilliant, so brilliant that I considered putting it in a frame and hanging it on a wall. I loved this friend dearly. I thought she was one of the brightest and funniest people I knew.

In May 2009 I went to see some friends play a show on Bleecker Street with Bill and after the show we were hanging on the sidewalk talking with other friends. One particular person, a guy with a drinking problem walked up, and asked where my friend was.

Since the roommate who kicked her out was in the band, the friend definitely would not be there. I explained the situation on the fly, about the friend being so hung up on a guy she treated badly and now she was back, she wanted him in her life, but he wised up and moved on. And that the friend who kicked the other friend out of the apartment was playing, she would not be there.

Two and a half years later, the person who asked inquired about that chat on the sidewalk. I could barely remember but this guy with a drinking problem that seems to go on and off at random moments claims that I said that the friend was a stalker.

I didn’t recall and thought the matter had been cleared up, but no, this guy with the drinking problem is now in love with the friend and told her his take on the sidewalk chat, trying to ‘protect’ her from people like me. I may have said it but I do have my doubts, as well as doubts about the guy with the drinking problem and his method of recall.

The friend sent me an email, asking me about the chat from nearly two and a half fucking years ago. I explained once again, and she was willing to toss out 28 years of friendship stating that the guy with the drinking problem does not lie. I did not say that the guy with the drinking problem lied, but could very well be mistaken.

This guy with the drinking problem who calls me up last year telling me to avoid some chick from the Midwest that he met online. The guy with the drinking problem who posted photos of him with the Midwest chick, of the two of them playing with knives, called me up and told me to watch out for the Midwest chick, she was crazy, her ex-husband, her mother all trying to have her committed.

Out of a misguided sense of loyalty, I listened to the guy with the drinking problem and ignored the Midwestern chick. A week later the guy with the drinking problem was back with the Midwest chick. That’s when I started to think the guy with the drinking problem was more fucked up than I had thought.

Still I liked him somewhat. When the Midwest chick hooked up with yet another mutual friend online, the guy with the drinking problem did his best to convince his friends to not have anything to do with her, like he had done so many times before. How many times can a guy with a drinking problem cry ‘wolf’?

No time for a guy with a drinking problem who has the clarity of sobriety from two and a half years, despite falling off the wagon, drunk and getting turned away from detox programs in the meantime, no time for him and his current companion my now former friend.

I’m in good company though, since a lot of the people the now former friend has dropped are my friends as well and are remarkably baggage free. We have meetings at luggage carousels in airports with alcohol provided by bodegas in the heights at special midnight prices.

The guy with the drinking problem says I should apologize to the now former friend as well as himself, the guy with the drinking problem. I have better things to do with my time, things to do with the people I love. People who depend on me as I depend on them.

And I also have the love of my life, my spouse, my husband- Bill.

I Do #2

And it was back to the cigar shack for me today. The previous 48 hours were quite good, though of course Tuesday definitely paled in comparison to Monday. The alarm clock came to life at the usual time, I couldn’t tell you what song was playing when it went off, and that might be because I woke up before it went off and was in the shower at the time.

After making coffee and having cereal I was dressed (in the same suit that I wore to the ill fated meeting yesterday) and checking email. Nothing coming in, I contacted the people I met with yesterday and asked them to return something that was mine. They offered to scan it and send it but I insisted on the original document.

Perhaps that was the burning of a bridge but as the hours go further from the meeting I couldn’t help but wonder what it was that did me in. They had my papers, and when they asked me about my past previous to the paperwork, telling them about my work in the music business and People magazine might have put the kibosh on it since you know, working in music and publishing is so glamorous and both industries are nearly extinct.

The line that ‘I would be bored after 15 minutes’ of joining their team shows that they basically forget or did not read the CV and had glazed eyes once they heard about my music business/publishing experience. I think they were actually letting me down easy. Perhaps the brass ring was not so close to my grasp as I had originally thought, though the rejection was one of the nicer rejections I’d ever had.

The cigar shack was humming along as it usually does, three full timers on with Calvin playing the role of manager. Tonight was a dinner that had been planned about a month and a half and the tickets were not selling. The staff duly contacted the clients and not many were forthcoming with cash in hand.

Calvin pressured us to contact the clients as second time and so we did, with not much of a different result. The fact is that a lot of people don’t have the disposable income for dinner followed by cigars. That’s a concept that Calvin would rather not hear especially since most of his clients have deep pockets, but not enough of them came forwards looking for food and a smoke.

So that made Calvin a bit bitter today, saying that we were under performing. That was abjectly false but it’s his house so what he says goes. A lot of the day was everyone trying to stay out of Calvin’s way with the exception of Bradley, who owned the idea of dinner and cigars tonight. I busied myself off the floor today, taking in stock and organizing the back stock so that kept me out of the watch of Sauron’s eye.

Some other nonsense was mentioned that I heard about through a third party, some disappointment on Calvin’s behalf that Thomas and I were not attending the dinner and smoke out after work, but we are closing the store and it seems a bit hypocritical for all parties to attend such an event, especially if we were under performing in ticket sales.

It’s just that no one has the money, that’s about it. I didn’t think it would be a good idea after cultivating clients to hound them into buying tickets to an event that they were not at all interested in attending. It’s not easy being so far ahead of the curve.

Music business crippled, publishing on it’s knees, Financial world in tatters. Am I the kiss of death or what?

Despite all that silly speculation, whenever my hearts sinks, it soars when I think of Bill. He’s a good man and I told him today my life is full with him in it. He’s at rehearsal once again and probably won’t be home until later. I look forward to giving hm a great big hug and kiss, for he is my man.

For my Bill.

I Do #1

Yesterday, being the magical day that it was, the bar was set quite high. Of course anything that followed would be bound to be a disappointment. Maybe it’s a Catholic thing from my past, ‘You’re having fun today, tomorrow you will be sorry’.

Just thinking about sitting with Bill, eating some really big burgers, walking around afterwards and smoking cigars, then going to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert certainly warms my heart a day later. Today was different. The magic of course had faded somewhat.

I had an interview scheduled for today, something a friend had set up for me. I mainly went on behalf of the friend for putting herself out there (Thanks Elizabeth). I was a bit anxious as I got myself ready. All I had to go on was a nice chat on the phone this past Sunday and that went especially well. Still I tried to not have any high hopes regarding what may happen.

I took a quarter of a tab of Xanax and as I approached the building I bought a banana from a fruit vendor on the street. Wanted to be in the best of all possible moods and it turned out I was. With the Xanax/Banana combination working through my system I took the elevator to a very high floor.

Lazyteat@gmail says that 1/4 tab of Xanax is being pumped full of drugs.

Apparently “I have found pumping the body full of drugs prior to an interview usually does not work out in the favor of the applicant” so it seems that Miss Greg has gone to interviews pumped full of drugs which did not work out well at all for Miss Thing. I suppose that is why she hasn’t responded to my email asking what it was that they do for a living. Perhaps they don’t work, perhaps she’s not living.

I was astounded by the view, and I could see the Statue of Liberty, and looking over Brooklyn I could even see the ocean in the distance, as well as my neighborhood in Hoboken. I found myself thinking that I would love to work in an office like this with such stunning vistas.

After a short wait, I met with the gentlemen who were friends with Elizabeth, and we walked into a conference room. They had my resume and we ran down the jobs listed. Why did I leave there? What happened here? What do you think of our firm? The last one threw me but I think I recovered and answered with a modicum of relative intelligence.

The interview ended sooner than I expected and was told they would tell me whether or not I got the job. I felt a bit deflated and was soon on the street. Bill’s office was nearby and I gave him a call. He came down and I told him what happened, how I felt the question about the company was probably my Achilles Heel.

Bill was reassuring and suggested that I send an email, thanking them for the meeting. I told him I was already planning on doing that. Then Bill had the added idea of sending an actual Thank You card, a cherry on top as it were. I thought it was a good idea and bought a card in the bus terminal.

I walked home, feeling a bit disconsolate back in Hoboken. After all I did get a haircut and shaved my goatee for this interview, which wasn’t so bad since I did need a haircut and the goatee had a little too much grey in it.

I changed out of my suit and back into shorts and sneakers. I spoke with my brother Frank and that was good. He suggested taking a walk by the river and I explained that I had done that so often lately it is starting to mean nothing to me. Still I had filled out the Thank You card and decided to walk to the post office and drop it off.

I did take Frank’s advice and sat by the river, enjoyed a cigar and read about Zooey Deschanel in the latest New York magazine. After reading all about Zooey, I decided to head home. I made a playlist of the original songs covered in Priscilla Queen of the Desert and listened to that as I walked home. Then my phone rang.

I didn’t recognize the number but saw it was a 212 area code. I answered it and it turned out to be the guy I interviewed with. He was being truthful, telling me that I did not get the job. He explained to me why I didn’t get it, which is something I never heard before.

Basically, I was too good for the job and would have been bored in 15 minutes. I explained that I actually thrive in tedium, in fact I would love a boring job, and it’s where I do my best work. He laughed but once again said that I was basically overqualified.

Perhaps it was telling him about the jobs not on the resume, which would be the music business and People Magazine. Two jobs that people would think would be fabulous and glamorous, therefore rendering any office job to be extremely boring.

‘On the contrary’ I thought, but the gentleman’s mind was made up. He did mention that he was on an HR Council and a friend of his, also on the council might be looking for someone just like me, so he asked if it would be OK to forward my resume to the friend. I couldn’t really say no to that, now could I?

He ended the call telling me he was sorry that it didn’t work out, adding that he ‘wasn’t saying no, just saying not now’, and once again saying I was just too good for the job. I told him that I was disappointed, but I was smiling nonetheless.

So like I wrote earlier, after such a magical day yesterday, lunch with dear friends, dinner and a show with Bill, my spouse (more than a mere roommate), basically anything that followed was bound to be a disappointment, and yes I was quite disappointed today.

At the very least I have some great memories and a whole lot of good friends and family who sincerely love me, as I love them. I am a lucky guy, for some people don’t have that.

The Cake photo sent by Pedro

Happy birthday....make a wish and blow...... lmfao..... yadigg ?????

I Disappear

I can’t go on, I’ll go on. It’s later than usual, but I have a good excuse as well as a note from my roommate. It’s been a really special day for me today. Truly things were all up up up. It started out nicely, sleeping in as it was my day off. Bill went to work later than usual, and left me a very nice, very sweet birthday card.

I read it while still in bed and it proved to be a most excellent way to start off the day. If only I could start off each day like that, the man I love kissing me goodbye and leaving me a nice card. If only everyone could start off their day like that. Since I did not have any coffee in the apartment I had to get myself together and go out and get some.

It wasn’t so bad and surprisingly I did not kill or maim anyone. As I was doing some shopping a handsome young man approached and said ‘Hey John’. I scanned his face, initially thinking it was someone from the cigar shack, but no, it was from a long time ago.

It was Jason, a kid I used to work with at Right Track in the 1990’s. He was just an assistant engineer then now he’s a father to be as well as an award winning engineer. Despite the lack of coffee we were able to have a nice discussion on things, his impending fatherhood, fixing up his apartment with his wife and his part of Hoboken being under 2 feet of water thanks to Irene.

It was good to see him and we left the store at the same time, Jason offering me a ride home and me telling him I only lived around the block. I came home and had a nice breakfast and of course, made some coffee. After reading the paper and thanking each and every person who wished me Happy Birthday wishes, I did some laundry.

I also heard from Rand who was able to get a few of thousand songs from my old, now deceased computer. We planned to meet around 1:00 so he could give me a flash drive. We were both on time and Rand brought up the idea for a birthday lunch.

Sounded good to me so he then called his wife Lisa and we all met up on Washington Street for some Mexican food at Qdoba. It was my first time there and it was very good. I used to prefer Mission Burrito but the last time I found them to be lackluster. Qdoba was good and the company I kept was better.

After lunch I headed to Mr. L’s to get a haircut but Tony was busy so I went home and took some clothes out of the washing machine and hung them on racks and in the bathroom to dry. I headed out again and Tony was free this time.

About an hour after that I was on the bus heading into Manhattan. Bill asked me to meet him at his office around 5:30 so we met up. We had some really good, really big hamburgers near his office, and then walked around midtown enjoying some cigars. I had no idea what I was in store for, I figured we would be heading back to Hoboken in a little while.

After the cigars we headed back towards Times Square to my surprise. It was so crowded with tourists, but I was following Bill’s lead. We walked past the Palace Theater and Bill said we could stop there. We were going to see Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. I was definitely surprised at that.

I didn’t really have any desire to see the show. I did buy the DVD of the original movie years ago for Bill’s birthday and we both loved it, watching it a few times. This was totally out of left field. We had good seats in the balcony and much to my surprise again, I loved it.

It was just as good as the movie, even more visceral. There were times where my eyes welled up a bit. I was blown away at the end as was Bill. So damn good and the ending to a very good day. Perfectly magical.

And thanks for all the good wishes my friends!

I Didn’t Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier

Yesterday since I was off I decided to clean up a bit around the apartment since Bill, ‘the roommate’ was at work at one of his 50,000 jobs. Bill had a very good laugh at that one by the way. Since it had cooled considerably I took the air conditioner in from the window.

No more worrying about it falling out due to hurricanes or earthquakes. Of course since I did that it had gotten quite humid so Bill and I both sweated a bit. Bill was up and out again this morning, off to work on a play that he is stage managing. It should open soon enough.

I was invited to a party by a theater company last night but since I was in Hoboken and not at work I opted not to go. Bill was into it but I think he had second thoughts since I wasn’t planning on going. If I was at work it would have been no problem, but I was off you see.

I rode the bus to work this morning, no vitamin water drinkers throwing empty bottles into the bushes near the garbage cans. I sat and looked out the window, watching random cars get pulled over by the Lincoln Tunnel since a threat alert was going on, to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

I’m surprised they don’t pull over buses. Not that I have anything to hide, but they should take into consideration that buses are targets in hot spots like Palestine & Israel. And there were a ton of officers carrying machine guns in the bus terminal as well as on the subway. I did not take the subway but some police officer friends did tell me that.

I walked up the avenue, getting my egg sandwich and arrived early again. Calvin was manning the shop as I walked in, Jerry Vale coming in a half hour later. A pleasant enough day for me to go out and smoke a cigar and reading the New Yorker that I had to purchase since the latest issue was never delivered to the apartment.

It was the 9/11 issue. I still have the issue from 10 years ago with Art Spiegelman’s cover. I remember spending a few days in LaGrangeville visiting Harpy 10 years ago, a few days before 9/11. I probably went up on Friday and came back on Sunday. Most of the time was spent on the deck outside, reading Harpy’s collection of New Yorkers, smoking cigars and recovering from whatever we ingested the night before.

10 Years ago Bill and I went to a party for my friend Donna at a restaurant on 10th Avenue and 44th Street. Afterwards, a torrential downpour had Bill and I running to the bus terminal where we parted way, Bill off to Stuyvesant Town and me to Weehawken.

Of course neither of us had any idea what was in store for us the next day, and certainly, we were clueless as to what would happen and where we would be 10 years later. A different world. Totally.

I Didn’t Know My Own Strength

Oh my- it has been an absolutely brilliant kind of day. Rain was expected but didn’t happen. I stayed up later than expected last night, watching Something’s Gotta Give, starring Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson. It was a good flick but I had seen it before and went to sleep at the hallway point.

Not much going on otherwise. According to my roommate, I reminded him of Yvonne DeCarlo as I lay in bed when he kissed me goodbye. I made my appointed rounds this morning, dry cleaners, supermarket, newsstand. Nice chat with the cashier I call Oh Mighty Isis.

She’s too young to get the reference, but for me it reminds me of Frankie Mallia in grammar school spinning around and saying that as someone else played the role of Captain Marvel. Oh Saturday morning action shows of the 1970’s, where would we be without you?

It was a gorgeous day as I decided to sit by the river, enjoying a cigar and a cup of coffee and reading the papers. It would have been better if I was on a beach but that was not in the cards for today. If I had a car it would be a nice ride to Sandy Hook, or what’s left of Sandy Hook after Irene passed by, but since I do not have a car or a license it was not going to happen.

There is still a blue sky right now and I am thinking about an after dinner stroll so that I might enjoy that again. I received a nice package from Annemarie in Northern California, some baked goods I assume, something that I am looking forward to. I haven’t opened the box yet, I would prefer to wait until my birthday but since they might go bad or harden opening it sooner rather than later might be the way to go.

A nap was also had today and it did me a whole world of good. Heard from and communicated with a few friends via texts and received some excellent feedback with regards to a few posts that I put up on Facebook. A few laughs and a few notes of thanks were gratefully read. I have some very funny and thoughtful friends.

I just had a bottle of seltzer spray all over me. I am usually good with that but on occasion, like right now I hurriedly open in and it sprays all over me and whatever else may be nearby. I never get upset, I almost always laugh at the situation.

With a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants, I am ever the vaudevillian sometimes. All that’s missing is a spinning bowtie and a dickey.

Back to work tomorrow, Jerry Vale and Calvin. Hopefully Calvin will be in a better mood than he’s been in the past few days. It’s a weekend so perhaps like our attire, the mood will be casual. I guess I will have to wait and see.

For that Incubus and Succubus:

I Did It All

Another crazy ass day, very interesting to say the least. It started out raining when I woke up, Bill kissing me goodbye. He looked quite nice to my sleepy eyes at 6:30. I got out of bed a while later, shuffled over to the kitchen, making coffee, pouring cereal and stepping into the shower. Soon after that I was fully dressed and headed to the bus stop.

Yesterday as I approached the bus stop a guy was standing there drinking a vitamin water and when he finished it he threw it in a nearby bush with a garbage can merely 10 feet away from him. I fished the empty bottle out of the bush and showed it to him, telling him there was a garbage can for that sort of thing.

He didn’t say much, merely grunted. He got on the 10:15 bus as I smoked a small cigar and waited for the 10:30 bus. He was there again this morning, not drinking his vitamin water this time. I hope I don’t see him every day, two days in a row was enough for me.

A few stops after I got on, Lois’ husband Fred got on. Once again it was Thursday and time for Fred to get his new books. We exchanged stories regarding retail and customers. He won that round. After getting an iced coffee I headed in a little early since Thomas texted me, telling me he was running late. I opened his drawer and started the day off nicely.

Bradley was busy checking stock so I covered the floor until Thomas made it in. Calvin was out somewhere and expected in the afternoon. Some bullshit came through regarding hurricane Irene and corporate headquarters. Are we getting paid for the days we were closed or not. Calvin said yes, headquarters said no.

Thomas took the lead on the behalf of the staff and maintained a very heavy emailing back and forth with regards to all that. It was not raining when I went out for lunch and was able to sit on a bench near the park, enjoying a cigar and reading the latest Mojo magazine.

When I was out to lunch, one of the salesmen that frequents our cigar shack came in with very nice gifts for the staff. Apparently we had done a bang up job in the last quarter and were rewarded quite generously. It was for staff and not for management apparently so it turned out to be a good thing when Calvin phoned and said he was not coming in after all.

The mood had lightened up further when some regular customers came in. Turned out they were away and out of the country, one was in Cuba and the other was in the UK. Good to see them both.

The troll like creature waddled in again, with a fresh haircut on his balding dome and once again talking in a stereotypical 1970’s gay lisp. Supposedly it’s OK for him to do that since he has a brother who is gay and the fat little troll also has a closeted roommate. But it’s not OK with me and I celebrated my two week anniversary of not talking or dealing with it.

A nice bus ride home with Denise who I used to see all around town. Now we’re on different schedules so we don’t see each other often enough. We share a birthday or at least used to share a birth date. We’re both born on the same day, different years but now she is a witness for Jehovah so no more birthdays for her. Still it was very good to see her.

A roller coaster of a day and I am quite glad it’s over.

I Did It

Another splendid day in the cigar shack. Things are certainly looking ‘up’. The day started out quite nicely as well. My ‘roommate’ gave me a nice kiss goodbye. He was probably going to one of his many jobs, or doing church work or working on his performance hobby. I have to love that roommate. He’s so dedicated to what he does.More people should be like him and not so lazy. But that’s how it goes I suppose.

Some people can do things and some people can sit back and break out the Vaseline and spew forth on their keyboards since that seems to be what they’re so good at. The cigar shack did crazy good today, all of the staff hitting high numbers, myself in the lead much to Calvin’s dismay.

Thomas of course was a very close second and Bradley came in third, nearly tied with the big C. Lot’s of cigar smokers coming in from the rain and sitting in the man cave, smoking and drinking. No one got too rowdy though there was great potential for it.

Of course they were all super aroused when a woman sat in the back with her beau and lit up a small cigar. That always gets the menfolk going. Draw your own conclusions on that. Thomas and Bradley were their usual funny selves and Calvin seemed to be a bit on the moody side.

Hard to say why, but he was. So many reasons on why that may be but it’s not my story. Feel free to speculate. A nearby bookstore is closing down which has brought a lot of customers to the area, customers who never knew of the cigar shack.

A few of them mentioned that they walked by eight million times but didn’t know we were here. They promised to come back and I certainly believe they will, especially since quite a few of them stayed all afternoon, sending emissaries to the book store while they sat in the man cave puffing away on some expensive cigars.

Most of them were my customers so that is what inflated my numbers quite nicely. One of the customers ordered a couple of pizzas which made lunch easier. No need to go out for something to eat and made the sandwich that I made for lunch an early evening snack. All in all it has been a very easy going kind of day.

Lot’s of love all around within the staff and the customers. It really was a sight to be seen and experienced. Tomorrow promises to be even nicer though Calvin will be out most of the day, expected to return in the afternoon. I am sure Thomas, Bradley and myself will be able to make the most of it.

In fact Thomas and myself have been setting things up the past hour or so making sure that all things should run smoothly tomorrow, no locomotive accidents to be had which will probably disappointed those masturhators out there. They know who they are. Let’s hope they wipe their chins before kissing their roommates.

I Decided

Well what seemed like a promising day once again turned crappy and I am not even talking about the weather. The day started off awkwardly for me, Bill leaving early enough and me in that limbo, between staying relatively asleep and getting out of bed. All I had to do was wait for the alarm clock. But it didn’t go off.

It should have, I thought I had set the ‘proper’ time before I went to sleep last night, but what I had actually done was move the alarm time from AM to PM. Oddly enough, I had a feeling that is what happened and got out of bed at the time the alarm should have gone off.

Of course I owe it to Bill for the wake up goodbye kiss, for if that never happened I might still be asleep 12 hours later. And it was raining a bit this morning. Nothing too bad, just glad that we don’t live in Paterson or Lodi even. Those spots are still somewhat flooded (Paterson at least) and it is supposed to rain until Friday maybe.

I made it to the bus stop with the umbrella alternately opened and closed. That’s how it was. I enjoyed a little cigar as I waited on got on the bus without any problem. Unfortunately there was traffic outside of the Lincoln Tunnel which in turn set me back a few minutes more than I would have liked.

Still it wasn’t too bad, I was only about 5 minutes late getting in. And it was a full time team today, Calvin, Bradley, Thomas and myself. Things were alright though the need to have a staff like that on was a bit weird. I suppose we kept getting in each other’s way and eventually got on each other’s nerves as well.

It was raining out so my usual routine of going out and sitting on a bench and reading was out of the question. I was able to get the latest issue of Mojo magazine, with Pink Floyd on the cover and decided on sitting in the man cave for my lunch hour. I was trying not to do that since there was a customer that I used to get along with, but fell out of favor with me when he came in lisping and mincing about like a gay stereotype from the 1970’s.

Then I figured why would I allow such a troll like person to have a say in where and how I enjoy my lunch. After all I had Mojo magazine and could just as well bury my head in that. Prior to heading out, but after I signed out, a customer came in and wanted some cigars. Since no one else was on the floor, I helped the gent and got his cigars.

When I started to ring him up, Thomas and Bradley appeared and took over. With an ‘Hasta Luego’ from me to the customer, I headed out. A while after I had lunch and was back to work, I heard that the customer that I initially helped on my own time (not on the clock) had tipped Thomas $10.00.

I never get tips and was surprised to hear it. Bradley and Calvin were egging me on to say something when Thomas went off to buy some snacks. I was reluctant at first and then decided to have a little fun when Thomas returned.

Apparently I went too far and Thomas felt I impugned his honor, which was not my intention. That was the start of the slippery slope this afternoon and I haven’t even touched the bottom of the mountain. Yet.

I was able to have a good talk with Thomas, and cleared the air.I like working with Thomas and we have a good rapport. I was trying to be ‘one of the guys’ with Calvin and Bradley egging me on. Thomas was offended by what I said, though it was in jest. Let’s face it, I have never been nor will I ever be, ‘one of the guys’.

I have to admit a certain bemusement with schmuck master_76 and lazy teat Greg still reading this here blog almost every day. Masochists I guess.

I Cut Like A Buffalo

It’s Labor Day and for all you republicants out there it’s a terrible day I’m sure. It was an alright day though I had to work. Getting in was no problem, except there was no 8:30 bus so I walked to the Path train and rode to 33rd Street.

I needed cigarette papers so I figured I would get off the train a stop or two earlier. My decision was made for me when it was announced that the next stop would be the stop I get off at. No worries since it was still a nice morning. Other people had to work today so I wasn’t alone in that regard.

Yesterday was an even better day since I had off. That was an early start too, but not as early as today. I ran some errands, grocery store and had a nice day at home, just chilling out. I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and it was very very good. Quite intense, as intense as part 1.

The copy I had was a bit dark on the screen so I guess I will still go and see it in a movie theater, maybe Friday. I will go alone if I have to, just to see what I missed.

Bill was supposed to drive to Atlantic City, as a backup and found out once he was driving to his first destination, there was no need for a backup. It was OK with Bill though he did a lot of research on Saturday afternoon, finding out which roads permitted buses, which roads were under construction. He came home and after chatting a bit he went to bed.

I headed out, enjoying a cigar and walked over to Pier A where I read the New Yorker, then continued on my way up to 14th Street, and walked back down Washington Street. It certainly felt like a holiday weekend, even though I only had one day off.

I came home, Bill still napping and watched Harry Potter. Despite some audio sync problems I applauded at the end. Very good series overall each episode building tension and the final episodes were certainly top notch. Now I want to read the books and see what I missed.

I figure since the mania has died down considerably, it might be awkward to be seen reading JK Rowling in public, but public awkwardness is something that I am more than used to, so I really have nothing to worry about.

Bill had off today so he stayed up while I went to bed. My sleeping patterns have changed somewhat in the past couple of weeks. Instead of kvetching on things in my past, I find myself thinking of the future which is quite a change of pace from the past couple of decades. Somehow I fell asleep and did not even hear Bill when he came to bed.

And of course I was up too early, Bill asleep as I kissed him goodbye on his hand. He took off his sleep apnea mask so I could properly kiss him goodbye for the day. And as slow as it was in the cigar shack, I had good company in Thomas and Jerry Vale.

Those darn Warhol kids!

Peter Noel?

I Could Kick Your Ass

Something is happening but you don’t know what it is, do you Mr. Jones? Yes, Ballad of a Thin Man is playing at the cigar shack right now. It’s been a decent day, working alongside Thomas and Bradley. All of us in good moods so jokes and laughs were had throughout the day.

Not a bad day after all. Of course the tally could be better Sally, but it is a holiday weekend after all. Regulars have fled the city, people in Brooklyn have fled from the West Indian Day parade on Monday.

Tomorrow is Brazil day in midtown which is usually a fun thing to attend, but crazy crowded. So crowded that sometimes if you want to walk up Sixth Avenue, you have to walk up Fifth Avenue instead. I thought about it but then I thought again. Tomorrow is a day off so I have my doubts about attending. Perhaps if there was someone to go with, but with Bill driving tomorrow I think I will be staying on the western shores of the mighty Hudson River.

The day started out nicely, Bill was up and out hours before I stirred. I vaguely remember a kiss goodbye. Been having dreams that I actually remember lately, one dream involved my regret in not going to the bibliotheque with Roda, another dream had me in a cafeteria with my father and an old coworker from the Maxwells era, awkward introductions back and forth, considering one of those characters was dead.

Now it’s a little over a half an hour left. Thomas is closing so that means I get to go home a full 15 minutes earlier. Both he and I will be off tomorrow, due to return on Minday, Labor Day, working alongside Jerry Vale.

I am sick of tattoos. I know a few friends have them and have had them for years, but lately, it’s like an explosion, whole arms covered in ink by those who apparently did not consider what they will look like in 20 years.

Perhaps if I was in my twenties these days, and did not know any better I too would be inked way too much. When I was in my twenties I did not even consider the fact that I would be alive at 48 years, and here I am. Neck tattoos, I mean really. I just don’t get it. But that’s them and not me and not my concern, it’s just that I see so many of them it’s offputting. Live and let live I suppose.

I might take whatever train pulls into the station tonight. Lots of construction going on at the bus terminal on the way in, so the Path might be a viable option. I will throw the dice in the air and let the metro cards fall where they will.

It seems like a nice evening out anyhow, and a walk from the Path train to home should be nice, unless the other trains pull in first and if that’s the case well I will cross that bridge, or in this case- tunnel, when I get to it.

And the Path train turned out to be the way I got back to the mainland. A nice walk home, talking to Julio who invited me over next weekend when his in laws fly back to Europe. I mentioned that I never see them anymore and that is what prompted the invite.

I may just do that but of course I will have to reconnect next weekend. I will be working next Saturday and Sunday but since I get out early on Sunday that just might be the day. It would be nice to see Julio & Stine and of course, Alexander.

Fare thee well, Film Center Cafe

I Could Have Lied

A nice day to have off. It’s a Friday which is nice, a holiday weekend too. Bill had to work though which was too bad. He kissed me good bye as I slept in bed. I slept longer than I expected too, but I guess it was warranted. Slept really well so I was in no rush to end that.

I got up, made some coffee and showered before going to the supermarket to get what I needed. Came home and had a nice breakfast and read the paper at a leisurely pace. After a quick cigar I started on the laundry which had piled up considerably after a long week.

Some running around after that, strolling the streets of the Hoboken area I was surprised that no one I knew was around. I swung by the Guitar Bar where Mr. Wonderful was quite busy, selling ukuleles to toddlers. Ukuleles are hot right now. I almost wrote ukuleles were big but that might have confused some readers, specifically the first Noel.

It was good to see Jim, daughter #1 seems to be adjusting to college life splendidly and daughter #2 is truly a comedic genius, which she probably gets from her mother, the funniest girl alive. Good kids both of them, and I am still waiting for the results of the paternity test with regards to daughter #1.

So the summer seems to be winding down, though it is not official. The end of summer is towards the end of September and here we are only on the second day of the month. Still time to get to the beach if I only had the proper transportation available. And the good timing would be nice. After Labor Day weekend all bus and trains schedules fall by the wayside with regards to public transportation.

It was a beautiful day today and much easier to deal with than writing this here blog. So many distractions! I returned a few CD’s to the bibliothèque, a Patti Smith cd, a Patti Smith and Kevin Shields cd as well as The Queen is Dead and the Singles Collection by the Smiths. Is there a theme here? It’s what happens when you fall into a Wiki hole. One thing leads to another and before you know it, the ADD kicks in and you forget what you were looking for in the first place.

A quiet night at home, Bill working in the next room, I sit and type and play DJ. Right now, Do You Really Want to Hurt Me is playing, by Culture Club. I’ve been playing ‘Guess That Band’ with Bill, I play a track and he tries to guess what band it is.

I played Bizarre Love Triangle earlier by New Order and Bill thought it was Joy Division which is oh so close, but no cigar. He also guessed Emotional Rescue by the Rolling Stones earlier. Now I am playing DJ Shadow, Midnight in a Perfect World which for sure Bill will never guess.

Back to work tomorrow. President Obama wished everyone a happy Labor Day weekend, John Boehner and Eric Cantor swore to make sure that doesn’t happen.