Monthly Archives: October 2011

I Don’t Wanna Know

Another day, another dollar or in this case another roll of toilet paper. For the past two days I have been ill. I started feeling ill on Friday while at the cigar shack. I told Zack and Frank Burns how I was feeling and they were understandably alarmed for their own safety.

I did not mention how I was freezing in the shack since the last time I complained about how cold I was, Zack told me to stop whining. So I kept my mouth shut and worked while Frank Burns yelled at the television in the man cave with his cousin watching the World Series.

I think the bird team won, ably defeating every other team on the planet, therefore winning the World Series. Take that Zambia! Eat shit Lichtenstein! Drop dead Paraguay! Go to hell Sri Lanka! I made it home and after adding a few touches to the entry, I went to sleep and was able enough to make it to work on Saturday.

Definitely a low key kind of day, and once again when I got home I went right to sleep. Now somewhere between Saturday night and Sunday morning I took a turn for the worse. I did not sleep well at all and dear Bill was understandably concerned. He suggested making a doctor’s appointment and I reluctantly agreed.

Unfortunately, I could not make an appointment for Sunday, so I had to choose Monday, today. I woke up as usual on Monday morning and after spending a considerably amount of time in the bathroom, I called up the cigar shack manager and left a voice mail telling him how sick I was.

I had a feeling he wasn’t going to answer his phone. After that I went back to bed and slept another hour. Sweaty, fever dreams followed. Insane situations, people I hadn’t seen in years popped up in a too real manner. It was like high definition. After escaping the fever dreams (death eaters!) I hopped into the shower and put on some clean clothes and headed to the doctor.

Now I am not too fond of this doctor and his twin brother. It’s all too much like Dead Ringers, only these twins definitely do not look like Jeremy Irons. After waiting in the waiting room with a motley group of other ill and sniffling people I was escorted into the doctor’s office and within a few minutes involving a cold stethoscope the doctor gave me some anti-biotic and showed me the door.

It was quite a nice door. Wood, I think. Then I made my way back home and went back to sleep. A few hours later I woke up and was feeling a little better. A bit hungry and not as dehydrated as I was earlier, I plan on returning to the cigar shack tomorrow.

I dislike being sick but then again I am sure everyone dislikes being sick. Worst Halloween ever! Back in the day I would get sick from eating too much candy. Not this time. No candy, no trick and no treat for me.




Angels and Devils

I Don’t Wanna Grow Up

Well it is snowing out right now. Some places have power out, most mass transit is a mess. Bill was stuck on a D train for over an hour making him late for the penultimate show that his is stage managing. I sure Bill was at wit’s end while on the train. Most trains between 59th street and 125th street have been messed up thanks to the rain and now the snow. I just hope he gets home alright.

It’s been a long wet day. It started out once again with me reluctantly getting out of bed. Bill was still fast asleep as I shuffled around, making coffee, pouring cereal and headed for the shower. A steady rain fell outside but it didn’t seem that bad. As I was getting myself ready, Bill awoke and gave me a good morning kiss.

I headed out, down the stairs and could hear the rain falling hard on the hallway skylight. Bill poked his head out and wished me a good day. I did the same as I took his picture and proceeded down the four flights.

On the street it was pouring out and out came the umbrella. A walk up to Washington Street and a short wait for the bus with other damp people. Despite the rain I still wanted my egg sandwich so I walked up the avenue to my usual spot. After getting the egg sandwich I continued up the avenue listening to Hot Chip.

Juan turned me on to Hot Chip a few years ago and today I found out that he may be in town next week for his birthday. It would be nice to see him again. At the cigar shack it was Thomas and Jerry Vale and it was good. Since it was so slushy out, I opted to stay in at lunch time though I did step out for the usual phone call to my sister. Things are alright on the left coast and I headed into the shack and smoked a cigar in the man cave.

The afternoon was not so busy and though I am not too keen on selling pens, I sold two pens which brought my sales up higher than Thomas and Jerry Vale into four figures. And as the day turned into night, the snow kept falling, sidewalks getting slippery.

Less customers coming in, leaving Thomas and Jerry Vale and myself to chat with a really nice customer who is a favorite among most of the staff. The customer eventually went home as did Thomas about an hour later. Jerry Vale and I spent the rest of the time cleaning up the store and getting things ready for tomorrow’s shift. I won’t be a part of that shift having tomorrow off but still things had to be done as well as set up.

Then it was Jerry vale’s turn to leave, and I was alone in the cigar shack making sure the money was counted and put away. A long wait for the subway downtown made me miss the earlier bus but it was no problem really.

A 20 minute wait and soon we were hurtling through the Lincoln Tunnel. I wasn’t sure if there would be power at home since I checked some Facebook status of friends and family and it seemed that they were in the dark due to downed power lines. As luck would have it, I was OK, the power was on in Hoboken, no downed trees.

Now I am waiting for Bill to walk through the door and into my arms. Happy to be home and happy to be off tomorrow.









05 That’s Love, That It Is

I Don’t Wanna Go There

I Knew The Bride when she used to rock and roll is playing right now. It’s been a long day at the cigar shack. And it’s been busy, the shack did phenomenal business today. It was Zack and Frank Burns and me today.

The day started off alright. I slept really well thanks to some melatonin, and woke up feeling refreshed. The I realized I had to go to work so that feeling of ‘I can do anything’ quickly subsided. I got myself together once again, shower, coffee, cereal and soon I was on the street headed to the bus stop.

It was awfully cold this morning, temperatures were in the 40 degree range. And snow is expected tomorrow, 6 to 10 inches has been predicted, at least that is what one of the customers told me and he lives in North Brunswick.

No neighbor Deborah on the bus ride into Manhattan today so I stared at my smartphone. No more looking out the window for me. I listened to Patti Smith on the walk through the bus terminal, Easter to be precise. Got as far as Because the Night.

I do love Rock & Roll Nigger though. Could be my favorite Patti Smith song. Her use of the word ‘nigger’ is defined as being ‘outside of society’. Jimi Hendrix, Jesus Christ and Jackson Pollock all made the cut as well as Grandma I think.

A short ride on the subway and once again I found myself in the vicinity of the cigar shack. There was Zack and Frank Burns behind the counter. Somebody had a black eye and it wasn’t me and it wasn’t my fault either. I wasn’t feeling to well and I think the reason is because of an ionizer which has been in use in the man cave.

It really puts out an offensive ozone odor which I find more displeasing than the smell of cigars burning. I never minded cigars being smoked, at least not good cigars. Dutch Masters and Antonio and Cleopatra (what my dad smoked) and White Owls are a whole ‘nother thing.

For lunch I sat on a bench near the park and tried to stay warm. I finished Mojo with George Harrison on the cover and started in on Uncut Magazine, on which the cover is all about bootlegs.Being outside helped quite a bit and when I returned to the cigar shack it was all systems go.

Very busy and that is when the numbers starting increasing. Zack was quite happy about it and surprisingly Frank Burns did alright too, sold 2 crappy pens that seemed like they were bound for the island of crappy pens. Glad to get them out of the store.

Perhaps whomever orders things won’t order crappy pens that merely take up space. Still I would not be surprised if those crappy pens are returned within the next 2 weeks. Just a feeling I get when I look to the west I suppose.

Can’t wait to go home and that should be just about an hour from now. Frank Burns is one of those people that screams at the TV when a sporting event is on. I know this since he is in the man cave screaming at the TV right now. And now his cousin is here with him so the number of voices screaming should increase by one.

This is the cousin that Zack insinuated months ago that ‘maybe they’re not cousins but actually lovers’. Pathetic really. In any event there are now less than thirty minutes to go and I am quite fine with that.

Tomorrow’s players will be Thomas and Jerry Vale with the Frank Burns dancers making an appearance, performing their homage to Isadora Duncan on Crystal Meth routine.









Irma Thomas – Time Is On My Side

I Don’t Wanna Go Down To The Basement*

A hum drum day off. More hum than drum, or maybe more drum than hum but in any event it was a day off. And it’s been alright thus far. Had crazy dreams last night, one included 2 classmates from 30 years ago, Frank Wester and Ken Mallia who in the dream turned out to be lovers and in the process of adopting a baby.

I don’t think either was gay and though we were all in the same graduating class I don’t think the 2 ever socialized. I hadn’t thought of Ken Mallia since the year 2000 when I attended the 20th year reunion and a mutual friend told me that Ken won’t ever return to New Jersey nor would he visit 2 Pearl Court at the bottom of Trudy Drive.

The last time I saw Frank Wester was at Hitsville in Passaic and that must have been 1982. Frank recognized me and came up to me telling me that my music taste was spot on, New Wave was truly the way to go, despite his mocking me for liking the genre throughout high school.

Frank Wester was not at the reunion either and I decided then and there that it would be my last reunion, I had no desire to see any of these people again, except for Jim Carley or John Nesselt, who both declined to attend the reunion. Those were the 2 friends from high school that I would be interested in seeing once again, but over 30 years later it seems highly unlikely that our paths would cross once more.

The Wester/Mallia dream segued into a dream where I was in an industrial park looking for a place to pee. I found what seemed to be a deserted area and was about to leave my mark, but was soon surrounded by news crews headed by someone wearing a Brian Eno mask. I’m sure I had other dreams but those were the last ones before waking up and starting my day. I’ve read somewhere that a dream lasts only a few seconds then it is supplanted by another dream so that is something to consider.

The day had a lazy start. I showered but had no coffee to make so I took a chance and headed out first to the bibliothèque and then to the supermarket where the cashier took issue with the cover of the Daily News, stating that the Goldman Sachs fat cat was just one of the problems that is going on right now.

Since I did not have any coffee I just nodded my head and walked out after paying. Breakfast and a fresh pot of coffee was had and I read all about the fat cat from Goldman Sachs. Then it was basically watching the TV and checking emails. Heard from the former CEO of an old job who seemed to be fishing about, asking how I was doing, what I was up to.

I replied in kind and he mentioned that he would get back to me, then directed an underling to continue the correspondence setting up a phone call due to happen sometime next week which offered me a little bit of hope, but with a healthy amount of skepticism so as not to be overwhelmed by such a thing.

It’s been a day of steady rain and I hadn’t been out much and now I don’t think I will be out again until tomorrow morning when it’s back to the cigar shack for me.




16 – Rhythm of the Rain

I Don’t Wanna Fight

Standing on the corner of the road to no regret. That is the download from last night. I just played it here at the shack. Thomas remarked again that Green Gartside sounded like Elliott Smith. I am not that familiar with the late Elliott Smith, not much beyond what Juan put on CD’s and whatever might have popped up on the Mojo/Uncut CD’s.

Elliott Smith does seem to be a go to for Thomas and probably Juan too. I guess it might be a twenty something thing. I will take Scritti Politti any day. Seeing Scritti Politti a few years ago at the Bowery ballroom with Lesley Robertson and Adam Ames was definitely a high point on my concert going days.

Also one of the last major concerts in the past few years. 5 years ago actually and having just written that I wonder where the time went. Don’t know what happened to Lesley Robertson and I do come across Adam Ames ever so often on Facebook. I know Adam is not at Wolff Olins anymore but I am not sure if Lesley is still there. But that’s not my concern anymore.

I am at the cigar shack. Today is miles ahead of yesterday. That’s probably because of Thomas’ return. Zack was invisible mostly and Frank Burns taking a spill on the floor was definitely funny. Zack did make an appearance for that and laughed louder than anyone and the red face on Frank Burns made everyone else laugh almost as loud and as hard as Zack.

Though mostly invisible Zack was actually kind today. Apparently the event last night was a success which more than likely added to his bonhomie. And his double breasted suit fit him exceptionally well today.

It was not that bad a day like I said, and for lunch I took a train to midtown and walked back to the shack, just to have something to do. And it was a good day for it. Tomorrow is a day off and a Nor’easter is expected. So I expect to be housebound. Perhaps a trip to the bibliotheque is in order, get some DVD’s and watch them.

I’ve been enamored of the Harry Potter movies lately. I saw the first one in the theater with Annemarie and Rex and Earl who was probably about the same age as Daniel Radcliffe and company. I saw the movies here and there since then, but it was the last two in the series, the Deathly Hallows which really did my head in.

So good, the both of them. Luckily the first part is constantly on cable lately so I’ve been catching bits and pieces of that. Zack lent me a bootleg DVD of part 2, a not bad copy, Danish subtitles. So that’s been fun, and I’ve been able to brush up on my Danish. I guess Zack is not such a bad dude any how.

Thomas is being a douche bag, yet an agreeable douche bag so that is not so bad after all. And now I am home. Ran into Chaz on the street and it was good to see him. As much catching up that could be done in 15 minutes was had, then he was off to Benny’s and I was headed home to the loving arms of Bill waiting for me at the door sans rolling pin and curlers.






10 Baby You’re A Rich Man

I Don’t Wanna Dance

Oh I certainly have had better days than this one. This one was one of the worst. Bad enough that I wound up having the most morbid thoughts on my lunch hour which did not prove to be relaxing. Every time I think I have a grip on the situation, it doesn’t turn out to be that way.

I am sure the gods are laughing at me. It started out this morning, with my computer monitor. I know you get what you pay for and this monitor I got for free a few years ago, maybe two or three years ago from BIO-IB. An office monitor, probably in use for a few years before I got it, and it was more than likely on all the time. So yes I got what I paid for.

It worked well for a few years and this morning it was kaput. It started acting up a few days ago, I would turn it off and hope for the best. And it worked but hope ran out and now I have a rectangular doorstop. Of course being plugged in like I am I need a monitor.

I have the computer that Bill bought for me last year for the holidays as a way to get me to not use his Mac which does not get used at all. It’s his Mac and I suppose boundaries must be maintained and it most definitely his prerogative to allow or disallow my use of his computer. I checked the cables and the connections and everything seemed to be in order.

With no computer my morning routine was cut short and I was on the street a few minutes earlier than usual. And I called Bill as I walked to the bus stop. I told him the situation with the monitor and he asked if I checked the cables and the connections.

I even texted Rand to see if he had any ideas, ideas on where to get a good monitor on the cheap. He responded that Best Buy was having a sale, but alas I am still supporting the boycott of Target/Best Buy so that would be out of the question. I decided to kill some time and head over to Radio Shack on Washington Street.

I wound up buying a monitor for a little over $100.00 which was the price Rand quoted for Best Buy. I wasn’t about to lug a monitor to work so I asked if I could buy it then and there and have someone pick it up later on, someone meaning Bill. I know I should have checked with Bill to see if he could do it and luckily for me he said he could when I asked.

The sales person was a it hesitant on the whole thing but I was fortunate to convince him that it was on the up & up. The ride to work was uneventful, I rode with neighbor Deborah who was supportive and offered hope that something might happen for me where she works and as much as I would like to believe in that I do not hold out much hope on it.

I mean, I like pets, but the ASPCA? I am not so sure, yet I do prefer pets to people. The cigar shack was moribund at best, Frank Burns assuming the role of liter while Zack went to lunch then to meetings and was gone for the rest of the day.

Just as well since Zack hasn’t been to keen on anything that I do, having replaced Thomas on the shit list since Thomas has been on vacation for the past 5 days. Overall it’s been a stone cold drag today. I do not like the situation but must bide my time until something better comes along.



download
11 Road to No Regret

I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You)

Back to work after a really nice day on Sunday. Sunday was spent sleeping in a little longer and then getting up and going out. Bill was sitting around the apartment as I headed out after a shower and a cuppa. As I was walking down the stairs, I heard some commotion below me and to my delight it was Stine and Alexander.

They were gathering things from their old apartment and I gave my Chewbacca holler to Alexander’s surprise. On the street was Julio waiting for them. We chatted for a while and made tentative plans to meet up later in the day. I left it up to them since they always have things to do.

After a trip to the supermarket I came home as Bill was getting ready to head out for the play he is stage managing. A nice breakfast was had, followed by coffee and emails and whatnot on the internets. Despite having some coffee I was feeling sleepy a few hours later so I thought that closing my eyes for a few minutes would do the trick.

But the coffee had other things in mind so I got out of bed and saw that Julio had phoned and texted wondering where I was. He and Alexander were in the park and were heading back to the building so Julio could collect his bicycle as well as Stine’s bike so the three of them could be a bike riding family. Alexander, 3 years old is already riding a bicycle with training wheels.

I have a key to the basement where the bicycles are so I went down and let Julio in. I recommended putting air in the tires so it would be a little easier to walk them up to their new apartment. That done we walked up the sidewalk Julio walking his bike, me with Stine’s bike and Alexander a few yards ahead on his bike, heeding Julio’s command to stop a few feet before the corner.

Within a little while we were in the garage were we parked the bikes. Then we walked over to a biergarten on 15th Street in Hoboken. I had heard of this place but hadn’t made a visit, mainly since I really don’t drink anymore. We sat and Julio and I had half liters of German beer while Alexander drank some milk.

Maybe it’s because I was out of the habit of drinking, maybe it was the really strong German beer but I was positively buzzing. We walked back to the apartment where Stine had made some lasagna. Stine is an excellent cook so of course I devoured everything on my plate and had seconds, and then with some prodding from Julio, thirds.

Then Alexander entertained us, well mainly me since Julio and Stine have seen his antics time and again. After all that it was time for me to go home and time for Julio and Stine to get Alexander ready for bed. Alexander and Julio walked me out and Stine gave me a care package of yet more lasagna to bring home.

The buzz wore off as I walked home, past Hyman Gross’ last residence. Totally unrecognizable, looked in better shape than it was when Hyman was alive. Then again how many home improvements could an 80 something man on a fixed income make on his own?

Bill was being photographed with Cornell West after a question and answer period after the day’s show so I watched Boardwalk Empire on my own, surprised at how violent this particular episode was. Then it was time to watch Pan Am, a guilty pleasure for sure which Bill walked in on halfway through.

A friend of his was in the show last night so I made a point to record it for him. We had a lot of laughs as we described the action as we triple fast forwarded to the scene where his friend was. It was a good day all around. Today was back at the cigar shack and it wasn’t so bad. Zack and Jerry Vale were in and it went well despite a few glitches in the system.

And with all that in the past, I am quite glad to be home now.

I Don’t Think I Trust You Anymore

Well here I am again after a long day at work. It wasn’t so bad though. I did great, connected with quite a few new customers and I was really very funny. I got a lot of laughs. It started out OK as well. I was up before Bill, got myself together with a shower and some coffee and cereal. Bill was up and quite active, he doesn’t need coffee whereas I need a daily infusion.

It’s a balance and we manage quite nicely. Bill was out of the apartment a few minutes before me, a long day for him stage managing. I was out a little while later, waiting for my bus. Using latitude I could see Bill caught an earlier bus and was on 14th Street while I waited at 5th & Washington Street.

Eventually my bus arrived and I settled into a seat. A few stops away about 20 girls from Stevens Tech got on board, the first trip into Manhattan for a few of them. They chatted nervously as the bus rolled along, becoming standing room only before it usually does. And of course with all the nervous young women from Stevens Tech it took a while for them to get off the bus and then stand around waiting for their chaperone to take a proper head count.

They went one way and of course I went another. I walked up the avenue, stopping to get my egg sandwich before heading to the cigar shack. The shack wasn’t too busy, Frank Burns behind the counter. I settled into a quiet spot to eat my egg sandwich before signing in when I saw Frank Burns inundated with customers.

I stepped in and relieved some of the pressure before signing in, yet getting credit for the sales. Pressure off, I went back to the sandwich, then I finally punched in. Jerry Vale made it in a half hour later and the day started accordingly. A new set of drawers came in which needed to replace the old set. Zack told me about it the night before and I set about emptying the old drawers and moving it out.

Then I did the bank run and came back to see that Frank Burns and Jerry Vale moved the new drawers into the man cave. The old drawers were still usable so we kept it to the side instead of throwing it out. I was playing music in the shack with my iPod and a song came on, making Jerry Vale to think it was Delaney and Bonnie.

It wasn’t. It was Joe Tex. That prompted Jerry Vale and I to have a discussion about Delaney and Bonnie. Jerry Vale said that Bonnie was dead. I said she wasn’t. He insisted. I looked it up and saw I was right. I then told Jerry Vale that Bonnie Bramlett was alive, Delaney Bramlett- not so much. Jerry Vale insisted that Bonnie had died a few months ago and that the Wikipedia entry was not updated (as if).

He seemed annoyed and I went to lunch. I had a nice chat with Annemarie for a few minutes as I sat on a bench near the park. Then I read the New Yorker and smoked a cigar. Soon my lunch hour was over but I decided to stop by some girls selling home baked goods by the park for their high school. I bought four blondies and headed back.

Frank Burns was dealing with a hip woman and I asked the woman if the coat she was wearing was a Vivienne Westwood. She said no, she bought it at a Salvation Army. We had a nice chat about clothes and rock and roll and things like that as Frank Burns tried to ring up the sale. The woman was buying cigars and Frank Burns had clipped them before completing the sale.

Well it turned out the woman’s card did not go through and that made Frank Burns very angry. And he also left two cigars unable to be sold again since he had clipped them. I spent the rest of the time with Frank Burns avoiding him since his mood was more poisonous than usual. He finally left, leaving me and Jerry Vale to have a good time and a few laughs about Bonnie Bramlett.

It was a good day and once again I led in sales which was nice. October is turning out to be a much better month than I expected and to watch Frank Burns have his pissy little melt down made it all that much better.









The Rutles – Cheese and Onions

I Don’t Remember

The Swiss cheese schedule goes on. After a day off yesterday, a day on today as well as a day on tomorrow. It’s gotten nippy out, quite cool. Time to bring out the autumn wear. Had a dreadful dream last night, so dreadful I woke up from it at 3:30.

It concerned me being late for something and knowing that my father was waiting and getting angry was upsetting enough. Woke up dry mouthed and needed some nourishment. It was a hard feeling to shake and the feeling was over 20 years old, bringing me back to Harmon Meadow with my sister and she being late with dad getting pissed off in the car, having had to wait 5 to 10 minutes.

Annemarie would know the feeling I’m sure. It’s a feeling I don’t ever want to feel again. Funny even after 11 years being dead he still has an influence that should be discarded and ignored whenever possible. I was able to fall back asleep though and woke up with Bill kissing me goodbye once again, telling me he loves me so very much.

I was able to muster an ‘I love you too’ as he headed out and I returned to sleep. I got out of bed after listening to Penny Lane being played on the oldies station. Shuffle into the shower after starting coffee and getting cereal all set.

Today was to be work with Zack and Jerry Vale. Not a bad team. Thomas is roaming the Berkshires with his fiancee and who the hell knows where Frank Burns is. A walk to the bus stop, my 2nd favorite bus driver approaching. A crowded bus at the next stop, a woman talking to her neighbor around me instead of sitting in the seat next to him which was vacant.

I had a thought, that it’s not that people are getting stupider, it’s just that there are more stupid around than ever before. They’re breeding!

The cigar shack was quite busy today, Zack taking an early lead, Jerry Vale in second place and me trailing behind. But that changed fast enough and eventually I took the lead. It took me by surprise and I was happy about it.

Now it’s after 8:00PM and of course in the vicinity of the cigar shack things have quieted down a lot. It’s darker out earlier and definitely colder out once the sun goes down. Not much demand for cigars after dark. Now we approach 8:30 oh so slowly.

Bill has his play that he’s stage managing tonight so I will be home before him I suppose. And of course I can’t get home fast enough. I mean I can’t even get out of the cigar shack fast enough. But not to worry, it will happen soon enough, of that I am sure. People are bundled up as they stroll past the cigar shack window leaving me to believe there is a sub-arctic chill in the air. Last one out is a rotten egg.

Oh, Ian Stokowski stopped by. He’s the head of a company and after bemoaning the fact that he couldn’t’ find an office manager for his company that moved to midtown Manhattan last year, asked for my resume then seemingly vanished off the face of the earth. Well old Ian was back, stuck with an office manager that he is none too fond of. I was aloof and showed disdain. It would be hard to work for someone that I didn’t respect. I thanked him for his purchase and saw him out.

And I hope Casey Chasm and family are alright. They just popped into my head.




Paul-McCartney-Ou-Est-Le-Soleil_-Half-Speed-Edit

I Don’t Need You

And today is/was a day off. I woke up at a decent hour and almost immediately set about starting my day. Laundry was in the works as well as the trips to the supermarket and the dry cleaners. It was a good start to the day.

Not much else was going on, a stop at the Guitar Bar to say hello to Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro. Jim’s former band, The Health & Happiness Show is reuniting for a fundraiser at Maxwells tomorrow night to help a former band mate’s wife who has fallen ill and has enormous medical bills. I can’t go to show my support, but if you’re in the area maybe you can go. It starts at 7:30 and it’s for a good cause.

I saw the Health & Happiness Show a few times, even worked the door for them when they played the Shannon Bar in the 1990’s. They weren’t my cup of tea then but I could appreciate their talent and they had a good amount of fans.

Then I saw them opening up for the Bongos a few years ago. I used to love the Bongos and they had reunited for the Art & Music festival in Hoboken, and they got some kind of proclamation. The funny thing is this time around I loved the Health & Happiness Show and found the Bongos to be quite lackluster.

If they reunited ten years earlier it probably would have been exciting, but they were ten years too late this time Jim (who also played with the Bongos) & the Health & Happiness Show blew them away. It must have been a comedown, shifting gears from hi-octane to merely regular.

The news of the day has been about the death of Khadafy in Libya. It even featured gruesome pictures of what appeared to be Khadafy’s head all shot up. John McCain and Joe Lieberman traveled to Libya a few years ago, promising Khadafy aid and equipment. Lindsay Graham and Susan Collins also made the trip and I could easily picture the four of them sitting in grief and reminiscing.

I finally got the latest Mojo and Uncut Magazines. I could have picked up Uncut by itself since it was available, but I always buy the two together. I started Mojo after I finished last week’s New Yorker and it’s a good issue. Better than the one edited by Noel Gallagher which was a yawn.

I did a lot of walking around and when I got home I was bushed. So I decided to take a nap. I was watching the Harry Belafonte documentary on cable but was too tired to watch the whole thing. I could always watch it on demand later, or as a repeat which this afternoon’s broadcast was.

I certainly slept later than I expected. It felt good though but instead of a body clock reset like it usually happens I woke up a bit discombobulated. Now a few hours later I am back in the swing of things.

And that’s the name of that tune.






I Don’t Love You My Chemical Romance

A better mousetrap. Can it be had? I don’t know, for some reason that line just popped into my head. At the shack. Zack and the Yanquis phan are smoking and drinking and getting merry like Christmas. Frank Burns has left the cigar shack leaving Thomas and myself to man the controls.

The Swiss cheese schedule continues, off yesterday, on today, off tomorrow. Then two days on and one day off. Yes the mantra goes on, threadbare but a mantra nonetheless.

I neglected to write the other day but I think I saw the badly drawn former friend the other day. It must have been her since I can’t think of anyone who would give out that vibe. I don’t think she saw me, maybe she did. It was brief and momentary and now it’s gone much like our friendship. No skelton bleeding here thank you very much.

It’s been quite a rainy and blustery day here. Been raining all day, one of those days when an umbrella just won’t do you any good. A lot of umbrellas have been turned inside out and sprout forth from garbage cans.

I did have the luck of having Bill swing by the cigar shack to pick up his keys which he left at home. Normally I would drop them off by his office but since today seemed to be monsoon day Bill did not want me to brave the elements so he stopped by the cigar shack after an appointment. It’s always good to have his sunshine come inn on a gray and windy day as today.

So now it is Thomas and myself manning the boards. Not much foot traffic now, especially after 7:00. It’s OK though. Brian nabbed top sales today and I am in second place. Frank Burns is in third place.

I had some really nice customers in today. Connections made, cards exchanged and cigars sold. As well as some nice pens to a bloke from old Blighty, heading back across the pond tonight. He comes back every month and so since he now has my card, he might swing by again and ask for yours truly. Or not. Of course it’s up to him.

25 minutes to go which is quite nice. I will be closing tonight which should get me home closer to 10:00. Bill will be fast asleep, he was so tired when he stopped by. He asked that I wake him up when I come home but there really is no need. A kiss will do. And I’m sure he will be OK with that.

Today is also my oldest brother’s birthday, turning the big 6-Oh. We chatted for a few minutes on the phone while I was on lunch and it was a good talk. I love my oldest brother, we’ve been through a lot. We were really close at one point, then things gradually disintegrated a bit.

Not because of anything in particular, mainly because the chemistry changed. We grew in separate directions and on occasion when we see each other the first 5 minutes are fraught with tension. We’re very much alike in many ways. All water under the bridge now, until the water rises again.

19 minutes to, Zack and the Yanquis phan still smoking and drinking, Thomas and I doing nothing in particular.

Now I am home, Bill fast asleep. I left Zack and the Yanquis Phan in the man cave, drinking and smoking and laughing quite a bit. It’s odd, but I guess understandable. Much like the grizzled old veterans at the VFW when I was growing up, the bar was the refuge from wives and children.

Nowadays I suppose the man cave at the cigar shack is a way to escape the family units. It’s funny, I usually can’t wait to get home to see Bill. I guess it’s not that way for everyone, some people would rather spend time away from family rather than go home to the ones they love.

In the words of that sage Juan- ‘Whatevs.’




adore a door

I Don’t Love You Conway Twitty

A day off and despite the prediction of rain, it did not happen. It was a nice October day, a little cool but comfortable in the sun. I woke up at my usual time and puttered about the apartment starting up my day without the pressure of having to get ready for work.

A trip to the supermarket was in order and a stop at the dry cleaners to drop off some of Bill’s shirts as well as my shirts and a suit which needed cleaning. The supermarket was full of the little old ladies doing their shopping and me. I bought my items on got on line where my favorite cashier, the mighty Isis was working.

She was in an accident a few months ago and is constantly in pain. Still she persevered and was looking forward to getting off of work around noon which was only a few hours away. I walked home and had a nice breakfast.

I have to return the Bob Mould autobiography, See A Little Light, tomorrow so I resolved to go through it as much as possible today. More names from my past (and Bob Mould’s past as well) kept appearing. I remember being friends with his boyfriend at the time Kevin O’Neill when they lived down the street from Maxwells.

Specifically I remember going to their apartment with Kevin where he played the then latest CD from Ultra Vivid Scene. That must have been 1989, when Bob and Kevin first started going out. The book is a good read, definitely a good look into the indie scene in the 1980’s, being in a successful band and dealing with the drugs, the booze and the fame.

I liked Husker Du, but overall preferred the Minutemen. Another three piece band from San Pedro, CA. The Minutemen where so much better live, a great band and a bit funky rather than the sheets of noise from the boys Minneapolis. And my favorite Husker Du song happens to be a cover song. I had angst but I was nowhere near as angsty as what Bob Mould and Grant Hart were singing about.

But it was fun to turn the page and read this about John Bruce, or that about Sandra Lee Phipps. The mention of staying in Arcata raised an eyebrow…

I am almost done with the book and I have to confess I skimmed over the years when he was working in professional wrestling. Not very much interested in that part, nor did I want to read about Bob juicing.

Bob is happy now, has a partner and content to DJ every couple of months around the country with Rich Morel, running Blow Off for the bears into club music. It’s funny that there is a picture in the book of Bob DJ’ing at the Highline Ballroom in 2009.

That could have been the night that Juan, Bill and I went for a night of dancing and clubbing and I wound up lasting about 15 minutes before realizing that dancing and clubbing simply was not my thing. It’s Juan’s thing and that’s alright. I don’t begrudge anyone a good time but as I have been saying for years I prefer to DJ and maybe get people dancing rather than dancing myself.

And like I told my old Maxwells friend Ally last night, I don’t have a social life anymore. What with work and the cost of going out, I’m usually too tired to go out and have a good time. I am more than content to spend my time just with Bill and anyone who cares to come over. But going out? No, I’ve done enough of that. If I’m not feeling the music then I would rather not be there at all.

I also bought an artwork from a former boyfriend of Bob Mould’s in the 1980’s. I gave it to my brother and his wife, what I thought was an investment. They still have it, a colored pencil drawing of a rocket ship about to hit the Earth. I think his name was Mike Covington.

Tu sabe?

October 17, 2011







I Don’t Love Nobody

Another day at work. I have a swiss cheese schedule this week. Off tomorrow, on Wednesday and off Thursday. Then two days on and one day off. It’s a job and yes I am happy to have one. Yesterday was also a work day. It was Zack and Jerry Vale.

I struggled to get out of the apartment in time to catch the 9:00 bus since last time, the 9:30 bus didn’t show up until 9:55 making me late for work. I would rather be early than late so I did my best to hustle without enough sleep. I was still groggy as I headed out, Bill telling me he loved me and I grumbled my way down the stairs. I wish I could have been more animated for him but he knows I am not a morning person.

I made it to the bus stop and a few minutes later the 9:00 bus showed up. It was fairly crowded and at the next stop, RoDa and his son Logan got on board. They didn’t see me since I was in the back of the bus and of course, most everyone in Hoboken who is someone knows RoDa. So he situated Logan in the seat and chatted with a few people around him.

I sent a text, ‘Hello from three rows behind you’. He turned around and gave me a great big smile and a wave and we planned on meeting t the bus terminal. It turned out Logan and RoDa were headed in the same direction as I was, plus they were walking. So we walked up the avenue together, me making a pit stop to get my egg sandwich. We parted ways, RoDa and Logan to get tickets for the New York Comic Convention and me off to work.

When I got to the cigar shack it was 10:00, I was a half hour early. I expected to be able to chill out on my own for a little while before Zack and Jerry Vale appeared, but to my surprise they were there already, smoking cigars. I sat and ate my egg sandwich and once I punched in set about starting the store while Zack and Jerry Vale smoked.

Money counted, both drawers counted, petty cash counted. Everything was in order. It was an easy day and I once again grabbed top sales. I walked down to the bus terminal after work, leaving Zack to close the shack. I hadn’t walked down to the bus terminal since earlier in the year, and a few things changed. New restaurants, new buildings were noticed as I strolled down the avenue enjoying a cigar.

A short wait for the bus and a standing room only ride back to Hoboken. There was Bill waiting for me and ordering a pizza from Grimaldi’s. Love and pizza, two of the finer things in life. We watched Boardwalk Empire which is getting better and better each week, more complex, more characters and more depth.

After that was Pan Am which is a decent soap opera and usually fun to watch. Bill went to bed after that and I stayed up for a little while after that. A good nights sleep was had and it was off to do the same thing again. Thomas and Bradley and I working shoulder to shoulder and it was an OK day. Things were slow but still numbers were posted.

I had volunteered to work the Monday Night Football event despite my aversion to most things athletic. Yesterday Zack told me that Bradley would be working the event and not me. In an email sent earlier Zack wrote that Thomas and I would both have to work a Monday Night Football and since I was off tomorrow it seemed OK for me to do it.

But no, it went to Bradley and it was fine with me. Why it went that way, I don’t know. Perhaps Zack took my concept of the West Side Story update, instead of Jets vs. Sharks it would be Jets vs. Dolphins. I made that joke a few times and got a few good laughs, but perhaps Zack thought I would actually do a few songs from West Side Story at halftime. I did rehearse One Hand, One Heart just in case the halftime show wasn’t cutting it.

In any event, I was out of there at 9:05 instead of 12:30AM and that was fine by me. There was also drama happening amongst the staff, drama that I witnessed and was not part of which was odd for once. I happily rode the bus home and chatted with an old Maxwells friend, Ally on the way back, talking about Bob Mould and Steve Fallon.

Now I am home and extremely happy to be here.






I Don’t Like Mondays

Well it’s a Saturday and it’s been a day off and from what I can tell nice day weather wise. It’s been alright, I’ve been relatively busy though operating on a low flame. Not that I am ill or anything like that. Physically I feel fine.

All week long I was looking forward to going to Maxwells to support Rand and the Kirby Enthusiasm art show. I spent most of the day killing time, cleaning the apartment, getting some groceries and running errands.

Went to the bibliothèque and picked up a couple of things on hold for me and a stop at the dry cleaners to pick up some clothes. I came home and watched some television, not watching anything in particular. All in all it’s been a nothing day really. Lying low basically.

Last night I was home at a decent hour after work, Bill was off working on the play. I watched Bill Maher and then the news. Surprisingly (or maybe not) there was nothing to watch. Bill came home and we talked for a while before he went to bed.

I soon joined him, falling fast asleep. I slept fairly well, probably from the Xanax I had taken 12 hours before. The day before at the cigar shack was so soul crushing that I needed to let things slide and it certainly helped. And the comedown was pleasant enough to insure a good night’s sleep.

The sleep was good enough to make me sleep later than I expected, awoken once more by Bill kissing me good bye for the day. Bill had a full day, a voice lesson and then picking up his cousin’s son (whom he calls his nephew) to work alongside Bill on the play for some school project.

I did go walk around Hoboken for a spell this afternoon. Not much going on anywhere, so my walk was short lived. After coming home and having something to eat, as well as my Saturday phone call to Annemarie I started to get ready to go to Maxwells for the Kirby Enthusiasm show.

I took my time since I was watching a DVD and also downloading some Everly Brothers tracks as well as some Dave Edmunds and a couple of Elvis Presley songs. I wasn’t sure how cool it was outside since on the fifth floor of my building it was quite windy with the windows open.

I did get it together and started to head out. I also called CREDO since I checked my smartphone account. I was near my 300 text limit and couldn’t figure out how that happened so fast. I called CREDO and spoke to customer service.

They told me that my texting including the sending and receiving of texts as well as photographs, which I’ve been sending quite often. So I upgraded my text messaging and downgrading my phone plan because it seems I only talk to my sister and Bill. A trade off of sorts I guess.

Around 5:00 I decided to finally head out the door. But of course I didn’t actually hit the street until 25 minutes later. I walked up Washington Street, listening to the Bongos on the iPod. On the way I saw a young mother with a toddler and a baby in the carriage about to go into the building.

The toddler climbed the stoop to open the door for the mother. I figured the mother would need help carrying the carriage up the front steps so I offered to help. It was no big deal. I was smoking a cigar and lodged it in the front grate and then helped the mother up the four or five steps. After helping her out, I reclaimed my cigar and walked up the boulevard towards Maxwells.

Inside it was busy enough, people coming in for Saturday night dinners. I walked in and some guy waved to me so I waved back even though I had no idea who he was. I didn’t know anyone there so I looked at the art hanging on the wall. Great stuff, many different artists.

After a few minutes I still didn’t see anyone I knew. It was almost like the first time I went to Maxwells, just a feeling of unease from not knowing anyone. I did check in on my smartphone and decided I might have a better signal outside. Standing on the sidewalk I had a smoke and checked my bank account online and saw it was dangerously low.

I decided to head towards the river, planning on sitting on a bench. As I walked away, out of the corner of my eye I did see someone I knew, but didn’t really hang out with back in the day. Now he approached with one of his kids. I figured he didn’t see me so I had the advantage and kept walking, not turning around.

I turned the corner and felt better at being unseen. It was then I felt it would be best to go home. I saw the artwork and liked it, but couldn’t afford a pint or anything else, including a friend’s band playing in the back room as part of the Kirby Enthusiasm event. I felt bad but what could I do.

Perhaps pride got me going home, or perhaps it was shame at not having the funds. Still it was a way to save face. I feel better being home now, regretting not seeing any friends but I was there and they weren’t. Now they are there probably and I am not. That’s how it goes I suppose.

Bibliotheque





heading home


I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me

It’s Friday and for that I am somewhat thankful. It’s been a long day. Last night was busy enough with the hand off to Rand and meeting up with Lois in front of Rand’s apartment. Then I went home and finished the post and saw that most of everything on the hard drive was transferred to my computer.

Some things did not make the cut but oh well. i did get a lot of pics, some of which will be turned into holiday presents, they’re just that good. Stayed up later than I wanted to but it was not so bad. Not a full night’s sleep. Lots of thunder and lightning which kept me up for a short time in the middle of the night.

Bill slept through it all of course. He was up and out at 6:30 this morning, his usual wonderful goodbye kiss was an early wake up. If only my alarm clock was so warm and inviting. I eventually got up after failed negotiations with my snooze button.

Cereal in bowl, coffee brewing in the pot and me in the shower. I was out and checking my email and getting dressed in no time and before you knew it I was on the street headed to the bus stop. A call to Bill of course, him trying to cheer me up and me not fully grasping his kind words of support.

He’s so great and lovely and doesn’t let up until he can hear a smile on my face. I sat at the stop, enjoying a cigar and waiting for the 10:30 bus. At the next stop Deborah the neighbor got on and it was the usual chit chat before she headed her way in the bus terminal and I headed in my opposite direction.

Subway uptown followed by a stop at the magazine store, disappointed in the fact that the latest Mojo and Uncut magazines still have not hit the shelves in this shop. Looks like a trip to the local record store to get in locally and pay the god damned tax. A small price to pay.

The Bob Mould autobiography is proceeding nicely, I already ran into a slew of names of people that I know. Quite surprising. I know I won’t make the cut and I am somewhat relieved.

At the shack it was fairly busy, Thomas and Jerry Vale with me and Zack. Zack did alright today, me a close second. Thomas bringing up the rear, behind Jerry Vale. At least that was the score when I last checked. I am looking forward to going home and just relaxing instead of changing clothes and roaming the streets of Hoboken with a hard drive in my pants.

Bill is working on his play again so I will be home before him. I am closing the shack tonight so if everything goes right and the numbers match up I should be on the bus that I want, heading home. Not much to ask for is it?

And now I am home. Happy to be here. Where you are, I don’t know.



I Don’t Know Why (I Love You)

En bunden af ​​tønde slags dage. Bogstaveligt talt jeg følte lyst til at græde på et tidspunkt! But enough of all that. Things did get better a little bit but hardly enough. A headache and the weather did not help matters much.

I did see Stine this morning. It was the first time since July and she was looking good. Of course Alexander wasn’t with her, he’s been in preschool lately. The tales she told of him were of course pretty funny. ‘No you can’t eat a fudge brownie in my bed’ ‘Mommy you are making me so unhappy’.

Of course that would sound hilarious from the mouth of a three and a half year old, it doesn’t really translate well onto paper, or in this case, a computer screen. The bus ride was uneventful, met up with neighbor Deborah who was singing the temp blues and is looking to get out of the situation she finds herself in.

She helped organize a Broadway show for autistic children and it was a rousing success. Who knew autistic children would connect so much with Equus? But she is not receiving the proper credit for it and so she starts to read the writing on the wall. She has some irons in the fire so hopefully that will work out for her.

At work it was Bradley and Thomas and myself. It was Bradley’s birthday today so he was in a good mood. He is off tomorrow and to put it in his words, he will be ‘trolling for pussy’. No plans for drinks after work with Bradley. I wouldn’t want to get in the way of his trolling.

I hope when I get home the transfer of my photos and music from the old computer, now stored on Rand’s portable hard drive. Rand needs the hard drive back so I think I will be going home and getting the hard drive and walking it to Rands.

Even if the transfer is incomplete I will have to give it back nonetheless. I though I had transferred most of it earlier but I didn’t finish it. It’s my own fault and all I can say is ‘oh well’. I can up for it anyhow some way.

Now it’s just Thomas and myself and it’s not so bad. Not much is going on and things have slowed down considerably in the realm of the cigar shack. Not much contact with the outside world which is just as well since the last time I went outside it was raining. That is what upset me so.

I was looking forward to going outside for my lunch break but it was very wet outside. Rain and drizzle falling sideways and an encounter with a bird did not help matters much either. I sequestered myself in the closet like office and read Bob Mould’s autobiography which was somewhat entertaining.

I have to finish it by October 19 since another gay punk rocker wants to read it and it’s quite new according to the BCCLS system. Well I came home, climbed the four flights, changed from my suit & tie to street wear, grabbed the hard drive and was out on the street again while Bill was fast asleep. I met up with Rand on Washington Street and made the hand off, telling him to put it in his pocket, it would look like he’s carrying a friend. ‘Cause these guys don’t dance and word is out this our last chance.

I walked Rand home. He’s busy with the ComiCon going on this weekend. He’s working on behalf of the Jack Kirby Museum and on Saturday he is hosting a party/opening at Maxwells, called Kirby Enthusiasm. It’s the reason I took off on Saturday so I could attend and support Rand.

Død over den dovne sutten!


I Don’t Know How You’re Livin’

Well it was once again back to work today and once again it was a reenactment of the myth of Sisyphus. I slept really well last night, in bed at a decent hour so that could not have been the reason. Ahead of me was yet another very long day. Bradley and Thomas with Zack flying about the office.

A pall hung over the cigar shack and I knew that even before I came in. I did my morning routine, including a stop at the bibliothèque and Hoboken Daily News. I have started reading Bob Mould’s autobiography and man it’s scary. There is so much in common between Bob Mould and myself in some ways, other ways not so much.

I didn’t hang out in the woods and drink and smoke pot, not at least until a few years later. And hanging out in the woods was more like hanging out at the Woods, a family that I knew through their son Kevin.

It’s a good read so far and it’s almost like hearing Bob speak, though in all the times I hung out with Bob and Greg and Grant, I found Greg and Grant more fun to be around than Bob. Too many defenses up I guess. I suppose I will be reading about those defenses eventually.

The skies overhead threatened rain all day long and it did just that intermittently. Thomas was nowhere to be found when I came in, leading me to think that he was out sick. Bradley was working late today which had me thinking that he was filling in for Thomas on the late shift. But that wasn’t the case, Thomas was running an errand.

It was a relief to see him when he returned. Still it is a weird scene today. Zack has had Thomas on his shit list lately and Bradley is not much fun to be around anyhow. He is sometimes but not particularly today. The day crawled and when it was time for lunch I attempted to go outside as I am prone to do, but it was raining of course.

I had no choice but to head back to the cigar shack and spend my lunchtime in the man cave. I sat and tried reading the Bob Mould autobiography while some incredibly dumb conversations flew around me. The hour ended soon enough, allowing Thomas to take his lunch. He fled the cigar shack and spent his time wandering about a nearby mall.

He came back and it was the three of us, standing around helping out whichever customer walked into the shack. Some of the regulars left to be replaced by other regulars. It was just a very long day. I did see Danny the K walking by with his wife. It was nice to see him and we chatted for a couple of minutes. He was looking good and I told him but he explained it was because he was ill lately which caused him to lose some weight.

They left and soon I was closing the cigar shack. Bradley had to stay later than usual since a delivery of some very expensive wood was expected and needed to be installed. I wished him well and headed home.


I Don’t Know How To Love Him

Well today has been a day off. And an out of the ordinary day, though certainly not extraordinary. I went to bed later than I hoped. After going to bed at a decent time the night before, my good intention fell by the wayside. I slept soundly and as I slept Bill kissed me goodbye around 6:30.

I stayed in bed until about 8:15, then got out and got myself ready for the day. I had an appointment last week to meet with Misha, an associate or possibly Joe Monaco’s supervisor. I decided to visit Occupy Wall Street last Friday, and Misha rescheduled the meeting to today, this morning at 10:30AM.

Not an ungodly hour but still an hour I would rather have been pushed back until later in the day. I had the idea of taking the light rail over to the meeting in Jersey City and walking back to Hoboken. I was not expecting much of anything at all.

I had visited Joe Monaco’s office in 2009 almost 2 years to the day and this time I had the advantage of having a good idea on where the office was. Last time I wasn’t sure and had a panicked call to Bill to find out the exact location.

This time I had the smartphone and was able to pinpoint it exactly, though they hadn’t moved and the building was still there. I made it to the office about 15 minutes early, filled out an application and added some more info and detracted some info from the paperwork from 2 years ago.

I started to read Bob Mould’s autobiography as I waited in the reception area but not too much since I was told to go into a side office to wait for Joe Monaco. A few minutes later in comes Joe Monaco. I forgot what he looked like but did remember that he was cute.

We sat and chatted for about 10 minutes, me explaining that I am basically looking for a Monday to Friday job, that I’d even settle for janitorial work. The retail experience has been humbling enough and after dealing with the wanker last night I would rather deal with trash instead of trash masquerading as people.

I headed out after the meeting, Joe Monaco telling me he would get back to me should something pop up. I was not holding my breath as I exited. Outside it was a nice enough day and I changed my mind, instead of walking back to Hoboken I took the light rail back.

A 10 minute ride instead of an hour long walk proved to be the right idea and I was back in my apartment by 11:30. Finally was able to have the type of breakfast I like to have on my day off and I ate and read the paper. I changed out of my suit and made the usual errands and talked with Bill on the phone.

A whole lot of nothing going on for me today but I was OK with that.

Happy birthday Rand! And thanks for updating and fixing the no pix bug!





I Don’t Know

The day before a day off can generally go two ways. It can be fun with the light at the end of the tunnel getting larger as the hours go by, or it can be horrible with the light at the end of the tunnel getting larger as the oncoming train approaches.

Today it was the former not the latter. I suppose one reason might be because I actually had a good night’s sleep. I went to bed around midnight, not the usual 1:00 in the morning or thereabouts. So I had about 8 hours of very good sleep.

Waking up was no big deal, I was refreshed and in bad need of a shave. After the morning routine in the apartment I was headed out the door, deciding to stop by the bibliotheque to pick up Bob Mould’s autobiography. But it being Columbus Day, the bibliotheque was closed.

It didn’t matter, I walked up to the bus stop and sat and waited for my bus. Yesterday I received a text from Julio who was headed to the park with Alexander. He must have realized that I hadn’t seen the two of them since July and thought I would be able to join them, but no I was a working man. I miss Julio and Stine and of course Kal-El, Alexander. They’ve moved away. Who knew that a mere six blocks away would seem like they were living in Australia?

Yesterday wasn’t so bad in the shack, the possum was in a good mood and Jerry Vale was more like his old self and not like the old lady he has been the past few days. Today was Thomas and Zack. Zack spent most of his time in the office and when he wasn’t in his office he was on the floor filling orders for his deep pocketed clients.

Thomas was a bit under the weather, he says he has a cold but I am wary. I am thinking that he might have the flu. Time will tell I suppose. In any event I am thinking about getting a flu shot tomorrow just to be on the safe side. I am in contact with so many people and things that I am a likely candidate.

One particular germ, (no not Greg, Peter or Bobby) came into the cigar shack and headed right to the humidor. The door was still open and since I was right there I followed him in. I did my usual song and dance, asking if he was looking for anything in particular.

He said he was and that he would know it when he saw it. I got the weird vibe from him and backed off, not like I was hovering over him anyhow. He did ask about two cigars, wondering which was full body and which wasn’t. I said it was the cigar in his right hand and he seemed satisfied and walked out of the humidor.

I noted the cigar he picked out and followed him to the register. As I started to ring him up, he asked if he could say something. Of course he could and I told him so. He mentioned that he didn’t appreciate being treated like a shoplifter.

I asked him what he meant and he stated that as soon as he walked into the humidor I walked in right behind him. I told him yes, I did do that. I walked right in since the door was still open. I didn’t feel like waiting a few seconds since the door was ajar after all.

Oh he was so upset and for no reason at all really. I didn’t even think he was shoplifting. In fact I think the type of person who would think they were being treated like a shoplifter, is a shoplifter. He left and said good night and I said thanks. Strange indeed.

Glad the day is over. And a day off is in the cards for me tomorrow. I’ve got a lot of shoplifting to do!

Huh! Can’t seem to upload pictures! Oh well, use your imagination!

I Don’t Hurt Anymore

Right now at the cigar shop I am playing Elvis Costello & the Attractions, Armed Forces. Hard to believe that album is 31 years old. I remember playing it so much that my brother Brian said that I would soon be tired of it. That wasn’t true, but it was replaced by other music and bands back then.

Every week it seemed there was something new and exciting being released and surely something followed that caught and captured my imagination. Today nothing really captures my imagination and certainly working in the cigar shop having an imagination is a detriment.

Today was working with the possum and the old lady Jerry Vale. They seemed to get along quite well and I suppose Thomas and I make a good opposing team. It hasn’t been too busy but the sales have been quite good. I am thisclose to breaking $2000.00 but if I don’t make it, I will be happy with the sales numbers that I got.

The possum was itself today, glasses free and showing those beady little eyes it has. The old lady just stands around telling tales of yesterday, being a footloose youth in the 1970’s in Manhattan. Seeing this one and that one wherever and whenever.

When not telling tales of yore the old stands around hands clasped in front, or behind and occasionally humming along like an old washerwoman. Sunday’s Best just played and the line ‘Blame it all upon the darkie’ (sang satirically of course) was heard by myself and not the two people of color buying cigars for the evening. She wanted a big cigar and he opted for the thinner, more lady like cigar. whatever works I suppose.

The old lady hums along to Chemistry Class by Elvis and Co and he is certainly way off the naval base with that one. The lovely couple who bought the cigars have just put me over my goal so I am relatively content. No the old lady whistles. Most annoying, hands in pockets and doing her best to gain an inch or two in height.

Hard to believe but I have to work again with these two characters. I can easily understand how some managerial types are fond of the drink, I can see how it gets them through the day. The line between happy drunk and angry drunk is much too narrow and I would more than likely injure someone, if not myself.

I would not mind something bad to befall Christophe Sigmond, extraordinaire trou du cul. His glutes were not kissed the way he prefers and since I would not open up a new box of cigars for him he decided he did not like my attitude. I apologized and that just made him angrier.

I deferred to him totally, making sure he had enough rope but it wasn’t enough. He remarked he didn’t like my intonation to which I replied that intonation was overrated.So perhaps the powers that be will hear of my transgression and I am sure I might eventually hear it from Zack.

The safe was short some money tonight and I know for sure it wasn’t me since the first time I went into the safe was went I went to count at the end of the day. Old lady Jerry Vale certainly did not since he’s just a part timer so it must have been the possum. The possum who’s drawer always comes up short.

Well tonight it was over which explained why the safe was short. He was insinuating a week or so ago that it might be Jerry vale’s fault why his drawer kept coming up short. I think the possum doth protest too much.





I Don’t Have To Be Me ‘Til Monday

I won the Mega Millions the other day. $2.00 which is $2.00 more than I had when I first walked into Hoboken Daily News. Now I just have to get the remaining $999,998 and I should be set. I can wait, but hopefully it won’t be too long.

Today has been a day off. Nice and sunny, it made for a beautiful autumn day. I planned on getting up early, but not as early as it was when I woke up to Bill going through his laundry as I lay sleeping. Who knew folded clothes in a bag could be so noisy?

Bill left wearing clean clothes and kissed me goodbye as I lay trying to go back to sleep. I intended to get up even earlier than I do when I have to work but of course that is not how things turned out. I slept a few minutes later than I usually do. Not that I am complaining, I do enjoy my sleep.

So I got up, made some coffee and showered. I emailed an associate of the do nothing counselor Joe Monaco who Joe arranged a meeting with. I had big plans and I know I could have worked it all out with some hustling but I didn’t need the stress. Plus I had a lot of laundry to do.

After a cuppa I headed to the supermarket to get some items that we were running low on. Not too many people roaming the aisles, no rock stars (Ira!) suggesting I buy organic milk so I was in and out in no time.

Came home and had a nice breakfast and started on the laundry. Three loads altogether, and after it was done I headed out into a beautiful afternoon. A stop at the bibliothèque to pick up two books I requested on impulse. The Letters of Samuel Beckett 1929-1940 and a bilingual edition of Waiting for Godot/En Attendant Godot.

I keep going back every now and then to Samuel Beckett for some reason. He is/was stimulating. I planned on heading into the city to visit Occupy Wall Street, the encampment down on Liberty Street by the World Trade Center. I made plans to meet Jimmy Seltzer there.

On the way to the Path train I stopped by the Guitar Bar and said hello to Mr. Wonderful, Jim Mastro. Jim is on Letterman tonight playing behind Garland Jeffries so I definitely plan on catching that. I stopped off and bought a few pounds of bananas for the Occupy Wall Street crowd.

They’ve been out there for weeks and could use the food, and most everyone likes bananas. And they are good for energy, stave off the blues and help prevent nasty leg cramps in the middle of the night!

The Path train from Hoboken to the World Trade Center is remarkably fast, must faster than it is to Christopher Street and midtown. It being a Friday afternoon, quite a few people were leaving work early, and there were also a lot of tourists as well as hawkers of 9/11 memorabilia.

I called Jimmy Seltzer once I followed the sound of the drums to the demonstration and we met up. He was with a co-worker who split after a few minutes leaving Jimmy and me to walk around and chat. I took a few pictures of the people and their signs.

Jimmy soon headed back to work and I hung about for another hour. I thought I would see someone I knew but didn’t. Once again they must have seen me first. I decided to head uptown and take the bus. In midtown I ran into my old pal Jesse and we talked for a few minutes.

After that I was in the queue at the bus terminal. I nabbed a seat as the bus filled up and once again stared at my smartphone. At one point I looked up, past the heads of people seated in front of me and saw a young woman who looked a lot like Lily Mastro.

I texted her and she eventually scanned the bus and saw me. I waved and decided to get off the bus a few stops after mine and walked her to the Guitar bar where she was meeting up with her father. We hugged once we got on the street, and she’s enjoying college life and majoring in Biology.

After using the loo in the Guitar Bar I left my faux daughter with her real father and headed home. It was a good day off and a great day out spent with some really nice people.


Bag O'chalk











I Don’t Feel Very Receptive Today

Yeah, sometimes rules get bent, sometimes rules get broken. This is one of those times. Calvin in the back with Jimmy Seltzer, I’m up front writing this. Jimmy suggested that I come up with an outline for the story I am considering putting in the pressure cooker.

A month at a writer’s colony would be nice but that ain’t gonna happen. There are a few around, not close by but it would be nice to have some time there to write write write. Yadoo? Had a good talk with my friend last night.

They received the letter I wrote and were not offended. In fact they told me they were proud of the fact that I write at least 500 words a day, a ‘real’ accomplishment. I was flattered by that remark.

I was also watching part one of the George Harrison documentary by Martin Scorsese which was good, had lots of footage I had never seen before. I hope it gets released on DVD since I would like to own it. Who knew George’s older brothers were still around?

And man Dhani Harrison looks just like his dad circa 1966-67. I haven’t watched the whole thing but I do know how it ends.

Today at the cigar shack it was Calvin and Thomas and Me. Not a bad team, Thomas is coming down with something, Angela- our cleaning lady HAD something and with contact day in day out with customers as well as riding mass transit it seems to be only a matter of time before I get something.

And then there is Bill with the contacts that he makes, who knows what we are each bringing home. I am off tomorrow and I am definitely looking forward to it. I have an appointment in Chilltown but I really don’t expect much of it.

Then perhaps a trip into the city to check out Occupy Wall Street and see what is going on down there. Last night white shirted police inspectors were swinging the billy clubs at protesters who jumped the barricades.

I had an interesting chat with Thomas about that, his attitude was that since they jumped the barricade they deserved to have their head split open. Oh to be young and full of myself at age 25. I was that age once but of course I had a more liberal view of things and did not wish to see the police bashing anyone’s head wide open.

If I have the money I will bring the Occupy Wall Street crew a pizza. ABout 50 minutes left here to go, happy to get this done before I get home since I really want to chill out and not write. But I will if I have to and I usually do have to.

Right now we are listening to the Soundtrack from Twin Peaks by Angelo Badalamenti and it’s jazzy and despite that it’s dissonant enough for me to enjoy it. I got a lot of stuff from Angelo Badalamenti the other day and it’s all so cool and groovy.
Homo again!

I Don’t Feel Like Dancing

Well it’s certainly good to be home again. It was a longish day, and I am glad it’s over. It’s still difficult going back to work after a day off and today was just as difficult as ever. Bill had taken the day off to tend to his stage managing for the play which opens on Friday.

We puttered about the apartment trying to stay out of each other’s way. It worked out fine. I was going to work with Calvin and the Possum as well as Thomas. I was not looking forward to the possum or Calvin but Thomas would be in so that made it somewhat bearable.

Bill lugged a heavy amplifier down four flights of stairs to hand off to Tom his buddy who is playing trumpet in the play. I kissed Bill goodbye as we stood on the sidewalk watching Tom load the amplifier into the van with no problem at all.

A walk to Washington Street where I waited for the bus. I resolved not to flag down the bus and I didn’t need to since the bus stopped directly in front of me. No women in tight skirts nearby. The usual uneventful ride, only I don’t stare out the window, I follow my progress on the smartphone.

We made it to the bus terminal, listening to The Pink Room from the Twin Peaks soundtrack on my way to the subway. Back above ground I got my iced coffee and killed time before heading into the shack. While outside I saw Thomas which was relatively reassuring.

It was Thomas, the possum and myself on board today, Calvin at an offsite meeting for a good part of the day. After four hours, I went out to lunch and sat on a bench reading the last week’s issue of the New Yorker. A good issue overall.

I listened to Pandora on the smartphone instead of the iPod. I listened to the Cocteau Twins Radio and Brian Eno Radio which started off with Luther Vandross singing the Bee Gees ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ which was nice to hear and very surprising to hear on the Brian Eno channel.

I also listened to Lightning Flash (Weak Heart Drop) channel, very good roots Reggae. In fact I started out with Lightning Flash channel, moving onto the Cocteau Twins and finally Eno.

I made it back to the cigar shack and saw Calvin was in. He had me make some labels for some new cigars since most everything else to do was done already. It’s been a bit slow lately so most of the time is spent cleaning things over and over.

I was also told that I would have to keep the front door open since people might think we are closed, even though it’s a big glass door and with the lights on and transactions being made and people walking in and out I can definitely see how people might think the cigar shack was closed.

So the door was kept open. Calvin had the door opened the other day and when I mentioned that it was cold in the store with the door open he walked away telling me to stop crying. So with the front door open we got a nearly full exposure to the crazy loud club music from a nearby store for young women who want to look slutty.

It certainly drowned out the horrid jazz that Calvin is so fond of and in doing so made me appreciate the crazy loud club music. There was some head butting between Thomas and the possum this afternoon. I saw the flare up and stayed way out of it.

Of course which side I was on was obvious, though I think the possum had a slight advantage in the fact that all Thomas would have to do was minimize what he was working on and step aside for a few minutes.

Eventually Calvin left followed shortly thereafter by the possum. Thomas and I listened to the crazy loud club music while Thomas tried to play the Elliot Smith Radio on his iPad’s Pandora. Elliot Smith did not stand a chance.

I also had a super hot alpha male to tend to in the humidor, he didn’t buy much but man he reeked of testosterone and knew he was sending out pheromones in all directions. I basked and breathed deeply. Perhaps the hottest man in the cigar shack in months.

While listening to the Elliot Smith club mix we set about making the store shinier than ever since El Grande Queso is expected in tomorrow. For what? I don’t know. I just have to get through tomorrow and it’s a day off on Friday.


RIP Steve Jobs

I Don’t Even Know Myself

Well it’s been a nice day off, and after yesterday’s headache if it was raining cats and dogs it would still be a good day. I came home last night, Bill stayed up to wait for me which was quite nice. We talked or rather Bill listened as I told him my tales of woe.

He went to bed and I stayed up watching The Sorcerer’s Apprentice for some reason. It wasn’t that good but then again it wasn’t that bad. It was a good way to kill some time, to tire the mind and the eyes and prepare one for a good night’s sleep. And it was a good night’s sleep.

Bill was up and out at his usual time, way too early for me, but he once again kissed me goodbye before heading out. Such a nice thing. I eventually got out of bed and started my day. Had nothing planned really, just a day to decompress. I did have to do some grocery shopping and there were shirts to be dropped off at the dry cleaners.

A brief chat with Mona at the cleaners then a walk around the supermarket, pushing the shopping cart and trying to avoid the little old ladies who hog the aisles. I saw my favorite cashier Isis and she was looking good and as usual quite friendly. I came home and had a nice breakfast and after that, set about trying to figure out the smartphone and all the apps that I could get as well as surfing the net and checking emails.

A few weeks ago I got a letter from an old friend. It’s a rare thing to get a letter these days, a handwritten letter. The penmanship took some time to figure out and I felt that I in turn should respond with a letter of my own.

So for the past couple of days, I would sit on a bench by the park and write my letter. I opted to print the words out since my cursive skills seem to have fallen by the wayside. Sure a sentence here or there is relatively legible but a few pages written looks like a first draft by Ted Kaczynski, full of words crossed out and misspelled.

With a final post script I was out the door, enjoying a cigar and wandering around Hoboken eventually winding up at the Frank Sinatra Post Office by Pier A. On the way back home I stopped at the Garden of Eden and got myself a small salad since I noticed my diet had been lacking in green leafy things, to eat.

I ate that at home and soon after that I had a nap. While I slept I dreamed about our neighbor Mike who was moving lots of things in and out while Bill was trying to squeeze past Mike’s cronies to make it up the stairs to me. I set my alarm on the cellphone and also left the cellphone in the TV room while I napped.

I heard it go off and decided a few more minutes wouldn’t be so bad to sleep. It turned out to be 15 extra minutes before I got out of bed. I headed out for what is likely the last time for the day, stopping by Hoboken Daily news and seeing Andy for a few minutes before heading home and making supper for myself.

And now I am here, writing this and trying not to do much of anything else. That’s about it. My friend should get the letter in a day or two since they do live in town. I hope they enjoy it since I already forgot what it is that I wrote.






I Don’t Do Gentle

Oh yes, it was the day from hell. And it started out in the hellish manner before I even left Hoboken. I wait for the bus and nine times out of ten I am the one who flags down the bus. Most of the other people at my bus stop are way too involved with their iPhones and their smartphones.

You would think the bus driver (who I like and just got back from his vacation) would pull up to the person who flagged the bus, but no. He stops the bus wherever there is a young woman standing. It annoyed me enough that I just let everyone else get on the bus before me, including people who don’t know how much the commute is or lack the exact change necessary.

And of course once those people, about ten of them, got on the bus all of the good seats were taken leaving me to sit on top of the wheel well. It was the first of many things that happened. Bill was off today so that he could work the load in for the show that opens later this week. That meant no calling Bill for support or just to hear his voice, letting me know that he is there for me.

I soldiered on, not looking forward to working alongside the Possum. Sure enough there was the Possum on the phone when I walked into the cigar shack. Another scheduling debacle. Calvin was in the office which is where he spends most of his time lately. Jerry Vale was due in later in the day.

It was another slow day, not much business. Calvin mentioned that the sales for last month were lower than the previous year and the way things have been lately, October does not bode well either.

A customer came in today, I recognized him from being in the cigar shack on Sunday. He was returning the $395.00 lighter he bought on Sunday, he wanted a torch lighter after all, and the one he bought was a soft flame. I remember Thomas selling it to this guy.

The possum stepped up and offered to take care of the return and I thanked him and set about helping another customer. When an item is returned, the return falls to the sales associate, in this case it would be Thomas. The Possum made the return mine and on the tally for a good part of the day, I had about 20 sales, but only $9.69 in my column thanks to the refund which should have gone to Thomas. By the time I found out, it was too late to do anything about it.

Another customer came in with a return as well, and I recognized it as my sale. It was a key chain that a forgetful daughter bought for her father’s birthday at the last minute. The mother came in as a favor for her daughter, all the way from Rockland County.

I was going through the motions of the return and asked if the mother had the credit card. She said no, that I should credit her account since she pays the daughter’s credit card bills all the time. I told her we couldn’t do that. So she frantically tried calling her daughter, texting her daughter, all the while nervous about the time left on her parking meter.

She also did not believe me that we can get cellphone signals in the cigar shack. She went outside and came back in, telling me that her daughter just texted her about something unrelated so she was going to text the daughter to call back ASPCA. You read that right. I finished the return and immediately wrote that one down.

The day plodded forward, the Possum stealing a customer from me, I in turn stole a customer from him. I did not ask how he liked them apples, but did hope he would choke on one.