Monthly Archives: February 2012

I Hate Seagulls

Last night was a bad night of sleeping. I went to bed with the best intentions of getting a good night’s sleep and woke up several times. The overhead light went on, a trip to the bathroom, and the need for some ibuprofen after all that.

There was the plan to go to the Eagle last night in Chelsea for cigar night and to drum up business for the cigar shack. With the tooth extraction and not smoking cigars yesterday it seemed like a better idea to just go home. I did make arrangements to come in late today since I had that plan but I decided to proceed as normal.

So as I groggily wandered around the apartment, having coffee and cereal after a shower I wandered out into the drizzle and waited for the bus. Uneventful ride of course and neighbor Deborah is nowhere to be seen. I just stared out the window and minded my own business. It is leap day, Sadie Hawkins day or whatever it is that you want to call it which could explain why things are a bit weird today.

And Davy Jones died today which is sad. I liked the Monkees and didn’t care that they were the PreFab Four. I enjoyed their music a lot, great hit singles and I also enjoyed their TV show. I didn’t catch the show the first time around but in the 1970’s I caught it in reruns on Channel 9, it seemed to be on everyday after school.

I did see Mickey Dolenz a few years ago when he played the Art & Music Festival in Hoboken and he put on a good job. A friend of mine does PR for Mickey Dolenz and told me that the last reunion tour ended abruptly and bitterly, but wouldn’t name names as to who did what. Lot’s of friends are posting Monkees videos on Facebook as a tribute to Davy Jones.

Overall it’s a bummer for a lot of people, those that grew up with the Monkees the first time around. I guess David Bowie can now go back to his original name, David Jones.

Now, at the cigar shack I am trying to kick someone out of the man cave which has been closed for the past half hour. He’s hemming and hawing and chatting with Angela who barely speaks English in an attempt to not leave. And Thomas has had a tide that once again lifted all boats.

The lucky stiff had a customer who came in a dropped a lot of cash on a sale in just under a minute. It almost repeated itself a minute later when the same customer came in to see what else was on sale. Then I guess reason entered the picture and he changed his mind and walked out the door.

I just got back from telling the customer that he had a half an hour longer than most people to finish his cigar and now he must go. I do not like this guy but apparently he must be tolerated since he does attend several of the big ticket events in the cigar shack world in Manhattan.

Just don’t mistake my kindness for weakness.

Spring is in the ground




15. A Little Bit Me A Little Bit You

I Hate Myself For Loving You

Back at the cigar shack. Thomas is playing his tunes on his iPad. I was usurped by a customer who always asks if he could play his iPod, always all over the place from Esperanza Spaulding to some Latin jazz to Earth Wind & Fire.

The customer knows I am not too keen on playing his stuff since I do spend my own time when I am home making play lists, tailored to the tastes of the customers or the staff. Of course Zack’s tastes take preference over anyone else’s since he is the manager.

I suppose that is a holdover from DJing at Maxwells. Knowing what bands were playing, I would try to bring records in that reflected what type of music the audience would be into or where the band was coming from music wise. It worked 99% of the time, but the last time I DJ’d it really didn’t work.

A year or so ago, I DJ’d a benefit for a local musician with Parkinson’s Disease, and had fallen in love with Shakin’ All Over by the Yardbirds earlier that week so I think I might have played that one too many times. No one said anything and it wasn’t until a day or so later when I realized that I probably should not have played that particular track, more than once.

I used to do the same when I carried my tape deck on the bus with me to school, always trying to play songs that my fellow students would be into. I didn’t really play Black Sabbath, mainly a little bit of Led Zeppelin and quite a few Stones songs, mainly from Some Girls which was hot at that point. Definitely could not play any ‘Punk’ or New Wave stuff since that would have caused a whole bunch of trouble for me.

When I started working and before I had a car I would troop up Rochelle Avenue to the Garden State Plaza to buy records at Sam Goody and then cross the cloverleaf at Routes 4 & 17 to go to Alexanders to buy records for $4.99, all the time with a boom box resting in the crook of my arm. I later found out I was known to people in Rochelle Park as ‘that guy with the boom box’. So music has always been a major part of my life.

If I go to a gay bar & I do not like the music I generally don’t enjoy myself. If I hear something I like or know I really light up. But I am not really hearing it right now. Actually I am since Thomas is playing The Postal Service so that’s nice.

A little under 40 minutes to go. It certainly was a weird day here in the cigar shack. Nothing too bad but was there really a need to have Bradley, Thomas, Jerry Vale & myself on all day today? Bad planning on someones part (hey Bradley). I just want to go home and chill out.

The ibuprofen that was given to me has done the job. 2 more tablets to go. The tooth or at least the space where the tooth was seems to be feeling okay & healing nicely. a couple of 100 years ago I would have my teeth pulled & my haircut by the same guy in the same chair.

I also saw Bill this afternoon for a few minutes it was quite nice. Inspired by the photograph of the Marine coming home and giving his partner a great big kiss, I gave Bill a great big kiss outside the cigar shack.

And my friend my friend Bruce stopped by and asked me to include him in tonight’s entry so here it is. Hello Bruce.





07 Aikea-Guinea

I Hate Myself And Want To Die

It’s been a day off and I am pretty much tired. A haircut in the morning and a visit to the dentist in the evening. I didn’t want to ‘do’ the dentist in the morning, and called up yesterday to try to move the appointment to later in the day. I really crave my sleep you see. But it was a Sunday when I called and the office was closed so I didn’t really know whether or not my appointment was changeable.

In hindsight I should have kept the original appointment since I was up waiting to hear whether or not the appointment could be moved. Instead I had an afternoon filled with the usual anxiety regarding going to the dentist.

I was able to get a haircut though. My barber Tony was available when I walked by with bags full of shirt hangers. When we have a lot of hangers in the apartment I usually get them together and drop them off at the dry cleaners.

So there was Tony, his left arm in an elbow brace. He’s not going to have the surgery done since it wasn’t guaranteed to make him move his arm any better since falling from the ladder a while back. Tony of course did his good job of making me look good, nice trim on my head of hair as well as my goatee, and ear hair, eye brows and nose hair.

Then it was a walk to the dry cleaners with the hangers, then to the supermarket. My favorite cashier Isis was at her register but there was a customer laden with many items and I just wanted to go home so I went to the other cashier who I thought at first was slow, but she’s more than likely simply dotty.

I came home and had a decent breakfast and then nothing. I should have kept the dentist appointment the way it was, and perhaps get the haircut later in the day. But no, that’s not how it works out. I cleaned the apartment a little bit, took a nap and checked emails for a few hours before heading into Manhattan at the beginning of rush hour.

The bus was not crowded at all and midway through the ride, I got a phone call from Bill. It was official, Bill has diabetes. Not the end of the world, it’s manageable and Bill has already taken steps in the right direction. Instead of going to the gym in the morning and binging when he got home at night, he’s going to the gym in the morning and that’s it. No carbs, no sugars and he is learning how to drink water. He never had a problem drinking water, he just didn’t like it.

Of course the bus I was on had a novice bus driver who got in the wrong lane in the tunnel and instead of making a left and going 100 feet once we were on the New York side of the tunnel, he was forced to make a right and going several blocks away from the bus terminal. Other buses in the same situation were letting their passengers get off their buses, but not mine.

It was me and an elderly lady who wanted off and the driver threatened to make me stay on the bus since I was ‘talking slick’. The elderly lady wasn’t having it and promptly chewed the driver out causing him to open the door so we could depart. Then a walk from 35th street to 57th street which was faster than waiting in traffic for the bus driver to make up his mind.

My broken tooth was removed and I have another appointment in 3 weeks for a follow up. I am pretty much beat. I should sleep well tomorrow. The Oscars were ‘meh’.

And just a reminder, the title of tonight’s entry is merely a song title from a list that I use. Sometimes it is in sync with what I write about, sometimes I bend the rules but tonight it has nothing to do with anything besides being a song by Kurt Cobain.

In the tunnel


going AWAY from the bus terminal



What is and What Should Never Be

I Hate Men

Another day at the cigar shack. The three days on, three days off shift continues. Tomorrow is Sunday then I am off on Monday. Zack returns from wherever he has been tomorrow. It should be alright, the numbers have been very good, the cigar shack is clean, the humidor has been worked on.

It has been a very windy day outside, so much so that I found myself being pushed along by strong winds and I weigh close to 200 pounds. Well maybe a hair under 200.

Last night I apparently talked Bill in off the ledge. He was understandably stressed with the borderline diabetes diagnosis. All I did was reason with him and let him know that he was getting stressed about things that he didn’t know about and had no control over. The doctor will talk to him on Monday and that’s when we now.

He was worried about his cousin’s sons, a 14 year old and an 11 year old. I told him that more than likely if he was in the room they would be concerned about him, but being a pre-teen and a teenager it’s out of sight, out of mind. Anyway, Bill thanked me for talking him in off the ledge. I didn’t know that was what I was doing, I was just talking to him the way Julio used to talk to me.

Also telling him to get out of his work clothes might have helped. When I get home the first thing I do is get out of the clothes I’ve been wearing all day. Helps to create a distance between my life and my work. Bill usually just wears the same thing he’s been wearing all day until he’s ready for bed. That would not work for me, unless I had no choice.

Saturday night and the area around the cigar shack is quiet and dwindling. Tomorrow night is the Oscars so that should be exciting. I am glad Eddie Murphy is not hosting it. I suppose Billy Crystal will do his shtick and it should work. I just want to get home, get out of these clothes and have a nice cigar and watch some Saturday Night Live.

Other than that it’s been an alright day. It started out to be annoying but as the day got better so did most everything. Lot’s of gay couples walking around. That’s nice to see.

Now I am back home. Bill is in the city. It has gotten colder out and the wind cuts like a cliche. I have walked through the door and changed my clothes, now I sit in tracky bottoms and a denim shirt. The last 15 minutes of The Grapes of Wrath is on TCM. Never saw the whole thing but once again I caught Tom Joad’s speech.

I wonder if Jane Fonda ever said those words to Henry Fonda. We do know that peter Fonda has gone off the deep end, training his grand kids to be armed militia men to fight the traitor, President Obama. More acid, Peter? Do you really know what it’s like to be dead? We know your career knows. Someday you’ll find out.

My Boo






09 53 Miles West Of Venus
One more day of work tomorrow, not posting. Be nice to each other.

I Hate Everything About You

Back from work after a day off yesterday. It was quite a busy day, I hit the ground running. Thomas was in the midst of a big sale which caused his tide to lift all of the other boats. It took a few hours for the sale to be completed for Thomas which put things in a weird situation. Was this guy going to come back or was he going to leave Thomas in the lurch.

I busied myself with the usual mundane things. It was Bradley and Thomas and myself today and we all got along quite well. Some interesting discussions were had, especially one which was about the different types of gay bars. That came about since I mentioned that I might be going to cigar night at the Eagle, a leather bar in Chelsea, to drum up business for the cigar shack.

It was a funny chat which turned into a chat about ‘pride’. Why was there a gay pride parade? Why is Black pride so important? Why is there no white pride? Why is there no heterosexual pride days? I explained that every friggin’ day was white, heterosexual pride day and to his credit, Bradley explained that whites have not been marginalized like gays and blacks have been.

And also the concept of ‘white pride’ has some awfully nasty white supremacist connotations. It was a fun and interesting talk which actually does happen from time to time until a customer walks in.

On the home front, last night I had a funny phone call with my former roommate Kevin. I hadn’t laughed like that in quite a while. He’s always been a funny guy with a humorous view of things. And he is quite a gossip too. He always has been. After an hour I had to get off the phone though since Bill was off his conference call.

Today Bill had an appointment with his doctor and the word is that he is a borderline diabetic. I am concerned and not that surprised since he makes me look like a top shelf nutritionist when compared to what he eats. So he has to revamp his life, change his diet. He has always hated drinking water and now that is going to have to become his main staple as far as liquids go.

I do wonder can a diabetic or a borderline diabetic still enjoy a pint of Guinness every now and then? I guess we will find out soon enough. Bill will get the results from his blood test on Monday so we should find out more. He just went to bed with my prodding.

He’s understandably nervous and stayed up till I came home so he can unload. I listened and reassured him that whatever happens we will manage. We have good people around us, our friends and family who would be more than willing to share advice with us on matters such as this. We’re not in it alone.

I guess it does take a village, not just to raise a child but to get through life. Unless you’re a hermit or a recluse, in which case you turn your back on the village and go it alone which I guess is cool for some people. On the other hand, we will take whatever we can get.




05 The Great Pretender

I Hate Everything

It has been a nice day off and it was as I expected, pleasant and productive. Bill was still getting out of bed, several times during the night. I was up late watching All The President’s Men. I originally saw that with my parents at the dollar movies in 1976.

My brother Frank saw it first and told me that the movie starts off with a drunk and suicidal Robert Redford as Bob Woodward, drinking with a rifle nearby when the phone rings. The caller telling him of a break in at the Watergate Hotel. Of course that is not how the movie starts but I have to admit it was a good start.

I was a precocious 13 year old and my parents who both voted for Nixon took me to see it. I admit a lot went over my head then but I think it did inspire me to write. So last night had some memories but since the movie is over 2 hours long I couldn’t stay up to watch the whole thing, but I did save it on the DVR. Nixon emerges unscathed, right?

Bill and I had an interesting chat while he was taking a break from his bathroom break. He ran into Bobby Risotto the other day and Bobby told him about how he felt bad that I didn’t get the job that he offered me. It was nice to know and I guess hearing it from Bill was good.

Basically it was a temp to perm position and that if I left the cigar shack job for the new position, I could be dismissed at any time for any reason and that would more than likely jeopardize any unemployment benefits that I might need. I didn’t know it was temp to perm but I did know it more than likely had a probationary position.

After that chat Bill went off to bed in between pee breaks. I woke up, Bill was gone for the day- to work and more visits to the urologist and other doctors. After a couple of cups of coffee I headed off to the dry cleaners and the supermarket. When I got back home I was eating breakfast and then doing laundry.

The plan to meet up with my niece Corinne was delayed about an hour. She decided to drive to Hoboken instead of taking the train and ran into traffic on Route 3. I was waiting at the train station when I found out she was driving, and was a little upset. Still, when I saw her that was all forgotten.

We rode the Path to 14th Street and had a nice adult chat about relationships. We waited for a few minutes on the line to see the Doug Wheeler show (which closes on Saturday) before deciding to check out other galleries rather than stand on line. Hard to believe it was less crowded the week after it was written up in the New York Times than it was a few weeks later with a queue outside with each attempted visit.

We did see a few other shows which were good but not necessarily overwhelming. It was great to hang out with Corinne though. She enjoys my company and I enjoy hers. It was something different for her, for both of us really. Just walking around the city on a really nice, 60 degree afternoon and seeing the work of various artists. I explained some art works to her, telling Corinne who Keith Haring and Jean Michel Basquiat were. I think she enjoyed it.

We were back in Hoboken after a stop at Payless where I was able to finally get a pair of Airwalks. Slim choices but I bought a pair just like the sneakers I had on. I was worried for Corinne’s car since parking in Hoboken can be difficult and did not want her to get a ticket, or worse, a boot or a tow.

The car was alright though and we had a late lunch or early supper at the Malibu Diner where we enjoyed each other’s company some more before she headed back to the suburbs. We made plans to meet up again when our schedules permit. She’s a good kid and a smart and pretty woman.

after the fire










t'is Herself


Squeeze – Black Coffee In Bed

I Hate Boys

Another day another doofus but today is different, filled with considerable worry. Bill’s been ill still and this afternoon while working in the cigar shack, in the walk in humidor, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face was playing and I started to get really bummed out. More than usual since I am not that fond of the song, but it really hit a chord this afternoon. Made me think about the unthinkable.

I am prone to worrying and I worry about Bill a lot. What else am I supposed to do? He is my partner, my spouse and that is what spouses are supposed to do. Look out for and look after each other. I don’t mind doing it for him, and I really can’t stand it when Bill worries about me.

Last night when I came home, Bill was fast asleep. I gave him a kiss once I changed my clothes which woke him up and I reassured him that there was no need to stay awake. Just a kiss to let him know I was home. Apparently I was too adorable this morning when he was leaving, not sure if he tried to wake me up but I did get a kiss.

I called him as I headed to the temporary bus stop and he sounded weary from the lack of sleep. I didn’t stay too long on the phone with Bill since I would be calling him again in the upcoming hour. The bus ride was uneventful, a tour of Bloomfield Street up to Eleventh Street, past Rand & Lisa’s building. Washington Street is still closed to buses until the tear down the burnt out building at Third and Washington.

The cigar shack wasn’t exactly hopping and I thought that may have been from it being Ash Wednesday or as I like to call it Memento Mori day. I mean I think about it almost every day so I don’t need to walk around with a dirty forehead to remind myself of that.

A little more than a half hour left in the day at the cigar shack. Tomorrow is a day off and the plan is to attempt for the last time a visit to the Doug Wheeler exhibition in Chelsea with my niece Corinne. The plan is to get going around noon and hopefully we’ll get in this time and if not there will be plenty of other art galleries to visit.

I am not so sure that Corinne has ever done anything like this so it should be fun. I have the latest New Yorker so I will have to check to see if anything is going on. A Warhol exhibition would be a lot of fun. And it will be fun just bopping around Manhattan with Corinne anyhow. I certainly hope that the weather will be good. That is all I can ask for. The forecast is calling for evening showers and that is fine with me since I am sure that both Corinne and I will be back in our homes by then.

Amy Goodman just walked by. Thomas who was filling like he had a cold was starting to get snippy so I got out of the shack as soon as I could. Then I ran into him on the subway platform and he was fine.

I am glad to be home. Bill is fast asleep and whether or not he’s been getting out of bed to go to the bathroom remains to be seen. I hope he gets a good night of sleep and I hope I get a good night of sleep. Busy day tomorrow.

3 Days later, the announcement is made.




Cornelius Bros And Sister Rose – Too Late To Turn Back Now

I Had To Say It

I start this at home, 1:08AM. Iam not tired so I figured I would stya up a while and watch TV. I heard a lot of good things about Downton Abbey and see that it on PBS. As the show opened at Christmas in 1919, presents are handed out to the servants as well family of Downton Abbey. Unfortunately, now is the time for the Emergency Broadcast System to make their monthly announcement and test. So perhaps it’s just as well that I should go to bed. It made me laugh though.

Now, hours later- I put up with the noise from the Emergency Broadcast System, while grateful that there was no ‘real’ emergency to worry about. And after a short time, the audio for Downton Abbey was restored and I found myself engrossed slightly. I mean, Maggie Smith is in it, and a blast from the past, Elizabeth McGovern playing an American married to a member of the British aristocracy. But by the time 1:45 rolled around I knew I was in over my head and needed to go to sleep.

Bill had gone to bed an hour or two previous and had gotten out of bed twice by my count. When I eventually got to bed myself he got out of bed one more time before I faded into relative obscurity. He was up and out around 7:30 as I lay sleeping. He was feeling a little bit better, lending him a pair of my boxer briefs might have helped. Still he did not get nearly enough sleep as he needed and I expect him to be asleep when I get home in an hour or two.

It was fairly busy at the cigar shack, Zack and Bradley and Jerry Vale on board today which made for fierce competition for a handful of sales. Lunch was a waste of time though for the second day in a row I was able to get some Shepherd’s Pie which was wonderful and filling. I always think of Hyman Gross when I have Shepherd’s Pie. He was the one who recommended it to me, telling me that the overpriced supermarket nearby has it at a reasonable price.

I stayed close to the cigar shack during lunch, stopping into 2 nearby stores where friends work, only to find when I arrived that neither friend was available when I stopped by. It wasn’t terribly upsetting but did leave me in the lurch as to what to do for the rest of my rapidly decreasing lunch hour.

I just wandered around outdoors and got a shoeshine which wasn’t nearly enough to kill time. I wound up getting back to work earlier which was a bit of a drag. Still it wasn’t the end of the world and I would have had a quick cigar in the man cave if it weren’t for a certain troll that I have nothing but disdain for. Just too much of a lump to ignore so I avoided him.








03 help!

I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues

It is President’s Day today and a lot of people have off and most students in this area have off for the week. Not sure about college students but then again I am never sure about college students. It’s been a busy day at the cigar shack and now I am in the three days on, one day off mode.

My next day off is Thursday and I will attempt to take my niece Corinne to see the Doug Wheeler show, starting off nice and early, like maybe getting there at noon. If it doesn’t work out, well there will be plenty of other galleries to check out.

Yesterday was quite an interesting day. Bill did not sleep too well the night before. He’s been having some problems lately and they all came to a head, so to speak over the weekend. It was intense enough that I considered canceling our plans for Sunday afternoon. Bill wasn’t having it and after trying to catch up on his sleep with the out of the ordinary interruptions.

We headed into Manhattan on the Path train. The plan was to see a friend of mine that I used to work with back in Wanker Banker days, Janelle Rintrona having a show at the Duplex on Sheridan Square. She had been posting invites about her shows for sometime and since I had off I figured it would be nice to see. And it was.

It was fairly crowded and I remembered why I don’t do this sort of thing anymore. It’s expensive. 4 Coronas, 2 apiece for Bill and myself were $30.00, 2 drink minimum you see and a $15.00 cover charge per person. It was my treat since Bill is always treating me to things and I didn’t mind the cost since it was fun and I did have the money.

I just love hanging out with Bill and yesterday was no different, plus since he’s been unwell I was able to keep a close eye on him. I didn’t know many of the songs that Janelle sang but it was enjoyable nonetheless. I would have not have gotten the cup of mixed nuts since it was $2.00 but it was Bill’s request.

A walk back to the Path train and a quick ride to Hoboken. We walked down Washington Street, passing 3rd and Washington Street around 6:45 and at 7:00 the building on the corner caught fire and burned throughout the night, and restarted this morning causing all the residents to be homeless.

The building will have to be razed, including the fruit stand on the street level. Already a benefit is planned for the residents the first weekend in March. Hoboken is good like that. The same thing happened earlier in January. Another fire, another benefit.

Bill called in sick today and saw the doctor who told him what was more than likely happening. Almost biblical. I suppose it was a good thing that Dr. Fioretti did what he did when I was newly born.

Janelle Rintrona and Bassist




Washington Street shut down



16 Madman Across the Water

I Guess It’s American

A Saturday in the cigar shack. Not a bad day as far as I am concerned. Thanks to a Chilean Sea Bass I’ve done quite good as did the store. There was a bit of a “to do” today. A customer bought a humidor that was marked down and asked if he could pick it up later in the week.

Bradley who had done the sale said ‘Sure, no problem’ and it wasn’t a problem since we had done this for various customers in the past. The customer came in today to pick it up and Bradley and I went crazy looking for the humidor. The customer decided to go home and would pick it up some other time.

Bradley and I kept looking but let’s face it, the cigar shack isn’t that large and one of us would have found it eventually. Thomas and Zack had been working in the cigar shack’s walk in humidor yesterday and that’s where the purchased humidor was last seen, where Bradley had left it, in a shopping bag. I suggested he call Zack and Thomas to see if they knew, perhaps they had moved it without telling anyone.

So Bradley did text them and Thomas replied that he had no idea. No word from Zack. Bradley had the idea to check the video tape and sure enough, there was Bradley placing the humidor in the walk in humidor. He checked the following days and there was a morning, Zack was the only one in the store, and it was a bit busy.

A well dressed guy walks around and goes into the humidor by himself while Zack was helping customers in the front of the shack. The well dressed guy looks around the walk in humidor and also checks to see Zack being busy with other people. The guy checks the bag, not really seeing what it was and seeing that Zack was still quite busy, picks up the bag and walks right out of the store, right under Zack’s nose.

Bradley and I couldn’t believe it. So brazen, this guy just walks in, looks around and just steals a humidor. The customer that it was sold to was understanding and the whole thing needs to be resolved on Monday, a refund or another humidor. That will be decided by Zack and the customer. I was infuriated as was Bradley and Jerry Vale.

I don’t recall seeing the well dressed guy before, but with a closer look, he could be someone that someone had seen before. Really douche bag behavior. It put a damper on the day but I do have to say that Bradley, Jerry Vale and myself were glad that it did not happen on any of our shifts.

There will be some tightening up I am sure, perhaps there will be no more ‘one guy working solo until the afternoon shift comes in’, since this did happen with Zack working solo, waiting for me to come in. I’m off tomorrow so I won’t have to deal with it until Monday.


"what's taters Precious?"



03 Shoplifters Of The World Unite

I Guess I’ll Miss The Man

It’s been a weird day. Interesting and a little bit entertaining but overall generally on the weird side. I can’t really say why exactly, perhaps it was the melatonin I took last night as a sleep aid. Not easy going to sleep and definitely not easy waking up. Bill was supposed to do his volunteer work for Felipe Luciano this morning, meaning that he needed to be out of bed at 3:30 this morning.

At 7:45 he was kissing me goodbye. Didn’t quite make it. Too many interruptions in the night. So he has to be back on whatever medication he needed to be on. He’s not driving tonight so I am happy that he will be home when I get home. I love coming home when he is home. He is so exuberant and genuinely happy to see me, much like I am when he comes home and I am the one who is waiting.

The cigar shack has been doing alright. Today was Zack, Bradley, Thomas and myself. And I was mainly off the floor counting items and putting away new stock. My numbers are down a bit but Thomas and Bradley keep mentioning that I am way above what I was expected to make, so I have a cushion of sorts and get no sympathy from either Thomas or Bradley.

It was warm enough or so I thought when I went to lunch, so I got myself a nice cigar and sat on a bench near the park like I usually do when it is warm out. Of course my timing was off and after 15 minutes of sitting in the sun, the sun moved further west, creating shadows that made the temperature drop considerably.

So reluctantly I went to the man cave to finish my cigar. I sat there reading Uncut and listening to a playlist I created modelled on songs that I initially heard on WPIX-FM in the late 1970’s as well as other songs that would fit. I ended with Blindness by the Fall which is actually a song I first heard on a car commercial. I suppose Mark E Smith got paid.

A little over an hour left in the shack. Thomas and Bradley are long gone, leaving Zack and myself. Jerry Vale came in after his other job to sit and have a cigar. I had such a good time last Friday with Bill at the Fab Faux birthday party that I couldn’t help but look back and wish now was then. It doesn’t happen that way, I know but still I was wistful.

Jimmy Seltzer stopped by the cigar shack with an interesting proposal of which I am game. It was said in passing but when hear more about it I will more than likely do something about it. So hungry right now. Should have had more for lunch than a crappy hot dog but no, I wanted to sit by the park. I will live, I have food at home. I just have to make it home.

Now I am home and Bill isn’t. I was hoping he would be here. Oh well. Looks like I will be the one with open arms waiting for him when he walks through that door. Still, I am glad to be home.

And yes, the fat fuck himself, Chris Christie vetoed the state legislature that approved same sex marriage. Coward.



What is Love

I Grieve

Yeah it’s another day at the cigar shack and another crappy day at that. The weather coincides with the atmosphere inside the cigar shack. I am so ambivalent I have not checked the numbers since last night. The man cave usually gets cleared out at 7:00PM, but not tonight. Zack has been getting his smoke on.

And the music today has been provided by Pandora, the scourge of DJ’s everywhere. And it has been Thomas’ choosing to play Pandora, so we’ve had a smattering of Arcade Fire (who I really can’t bear to listen to anymore), some Beatles and Postal Service and a host of emo type things.

Thomas has been quite antagonistic today so I figured it would be best to stay out of his way and just stay within the confines of my own mind and body. If I said Black, Thomas would say White. I say left and he would say right. So it was probably for the best I feel. He just asked if I would be this way all night and since there is less than 90 minutes I don’t think it would really matter one way or another.

Plus I have had no reason to get into it or out of it or whatever position it would seem to be. He hasn’t been engaging like he usually is and now seems miffed at my reaction to his antagonism. Oh it could go on all right. I just attempted a conversation but apparently Thomas was not having it. That train has left the station. Pandora shut off about 20 minutes ago and he is not doing anything about it.

I hate selling pens and I hate selling pen refills. And I really hate doing repairs. And the last customers I’ve had were all about pens and lighters. The lighter needed to be repaired and so I did the proper paperwork and set it up to go out tomorrow with the mail. It’s just been added to some other items I had shipped out in the past few months, including a lighter of my own that the companies they were sent to have been quite lax in returning.

One company sent a lighter back with a cost of 68.00 despite my writing on the work order to phone with an estimate. So I needed to contact the customer who seemed remarkably non-plussed which was a relief since I was anticipating a justifiably irate customer.

Things have gotten better between Thomas and myself. All that was needed was explanations as to how each of us were feeling. He was feeling shitty and I was feeling crappy or vice versa.

On a nicer note, Zack’s wife stopped by the cigar shack and she was looking quite nice. She is a few months pregnant, due in June. They make a nice couple and it’s clear that Zack adores her. Now there is less than 30 minutes left at the cigar shack and I am glad Thomas is closing tonight. He offered to do it yesterday and I took him up on the offer so I wouldn’t have to close four days in a row.

Still I have to close tomorrow and Saturday but it’s OK. Shouldn’t be too bad and having written that I have more than likely jinxed myself. Home again, drizzly outside. Bill was able to exchange the melted Godiva chocolates from Valentine’s Day so that is really nice. To come home to a sweet man with a sweet heart shaped box of chocolates is great. I wish everyone could have that experience but you’ll have to get your own guy.

And NJ has passed same sex marriage which will likely be vetoed by our rotund governor.






Romantic-Me

I Gotta Know

And so it was back to work for me today after a day off which was quite productive, or at least somewhat productive. Today there was some difficulty waking up more than likely from the fact that it was raining outside and who really wants to get out of bed on a rainy day?

Bill had off today, he had an audition for a TV show this afternoon and also wanted to continue on his progress with regards to cleaning the apartment. SO Bill and his buddy are doing just that, cleaning the apartment. Bill said it would be all Spic & Span when I get home. I do have my reservations though.

My day at the cigar shack started in the red though. Last week I sold a few items totaling over $700.00. It was a good sale, the customer was nice and I enjoyed helping her. Unfortunately between that day and this morning, she found the same items online at a considerably lower price.

So she returned them for a refund and I can’t blame her for that but that put me in the hole. I spent the day trying to get out of the hole, bit by bit, cigar by cigar. A little over an hour ago, I was finally out of the hole and content to be in the low 3 figures. Back in Black should have been the theme song.

Slowly my numbers increased and soon I was hovering around $500.00. In the past 45 minutes thanks to 2 customers from far away lands I am now over 4 figures. I am happy about that and so is Zack. It’s been a busy kind of day, Zack, Bradley and Thomas and myself. Bradley and Thomas have done stellar work today.

There was an event that no one really wanted to have a part of. The cigar shack rarely has sales but the head cheeses insisted so we had no choice but to do what the head cheeses ordered. Food was ordered, whiskey distributor arrived, but unfortunately no one who said they were coming, came.

There was disappointment from the manager and the assistant manager but when the time came for them to leave, they left with whiskey on the breath.

This afternoon as I was coming back from lunch, before I headed into the cigar shack I was outside having a smoke. I saw this gent standing outside the cigar shack on the sidewalk holding up a pamphlet titled ‘TRY THIS!!!’. I figured he was handing out samples of something so I asked the gent what it was he wanted people to try.

It turned out he was looking for work as a personal assistant. His name is L. Jay Walker and he thinks of possibilities and getting them done as well as trying to find a cure for snoring. He claims to be big, strong, smart, compassionate as well as being a humorous guy with a calm and peaceful demeanor.

He can guarantee your safety and he’s quite handy as well as a great listener. So if you are looking for a personal assistant or know of someone who is, send an email to ljaywalker54@gmail.com. I figure it wouldn’t take much of anything for me to post his info and it would sure beat handing out pamphlets outside of a shopping area. He seemed like a nice guy anyhow.


Photo by 'Thomas'




Christine's house of LOVE


Groove Is In The Heart

I Gotta Get to You

Well after having the past Saturday and Sunday off, it was back to work for me on Monday and now a day later I am off of work again. I’m not complaining. I am looking down the road of a four day stretch at the cigar shack and that shouldn’t be so bad. Still I have my reservations since whenever I think I have a grip on things at work, something goes awry and I realize my grip is not so firm after all.

Today has been an alright day, Bill was up and out at the craziest time of 4:30AM. He was driving a bunch of people from a non-profit theater group up to Albany NY for a rally regarding arts funding. Last night we exchanged Valentine’s gifts, I gave Bill a gift certificate for the Dramatist’s Book Shop and a card with cars on it that light up and flash underneath the statement, You Drive Me Crazy.

He gave me a heart shaped box of chocolates from Godiva. When I opened the box I found all the chocolates melted and fused together. I was surprised and Bill was greatly disappointed. I wasn’t upset but Bill certainly was and will return the heart shaped box with misshapen chocolates tomorrow.

He went to bed soon after that since he had to get up so early in the morning. I stayed up and watched nothing in particular since there was nothing on anyhow. I slept quite soundly and was awoken briefly by Bill kissing me goodbye and wishing me a happy Valentine’s Day and I mumbled in return for Bill to be careful.

I wanted to sleep later than I did and I guess a half an hour of extra sleep was good enough for my body. I was up and out at the supermarket, thanks to Bill making another pot of coffee before he left. I did not need too much just some milk and rolls.

I had a tentative plan to attempt once again a visit to the Doug Wheeler installation with RoDa but I had too much to do today and that would have done me in. I texted RoDa about it and he was OK with it. I also suggested that he should go alone and that perhaps that might improve his chances. Since I had seen it in January the installation would not have the same effect.

I think he thought it was a good idea though I am not sure if he had gotten it together to go. I had laundry to do and I also wanted to head into the city. I decided to go once again to get some under garments as well a water filter for the pitcher that Bill and I have in the fridge. Last week I blanked on the type of pitcher we have but this time I was quite sure what kind it was.

So I got the under garments and the filters and since it was a nice afternoon, I walked up the avenue to the bus terminal, enjoying a cigar. I would not have been able to squeeze in the visit to the art gallery and do all these things.

Now I am home again, did not watch much TV, instead watched quite a few Al Green videos on YouTube and posted most of them on Facebook. I also posted some Otis Redding, Elvis Costello and ABC with their song Valentine’s Day.

It was a productive day somewhat and now I sit waiting for Bill to come home. He’s made it back to Wally World so it should only be a short time.

Happy Valentine’s day y’all.




11 – Love Letters Ketty Lester

I Gotta Feelin’

Another day, another dingus. It’s a Monday and I am back at the cigar shack after 2 days off. Hard to say whether or not they went fast or slow since I can’t be objective about it. I last wrote on Saturday and it was announced that Whitney Houston is dead. She is still dead, it’s not an internet rumor.

The latest word is that she had some Xanax and some booze and maybe some other prescription medication, then took a bath where she may have fallen asleep, head going under the water as he legs rose against the wall. It was a shock but no surprise to some.

When I first started working in the music industry, one of the first projects going on was the Bodyguard soundtrack. Not the Whitney stuff mind you, but Curtis Stigers recording Nick Lowe’s (What So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding. I heard that over and over again. The studio received a platinum disc for their efforts.

A few years later as I was ending my ‘career’ in the music business working at Arista under the watchful gaze of Suzanne Savage and her flying coffee mugs. My job was to deliver a $100,000.00 check to Whitney’s people each time she was to go into the recording studio. It was quite a carrot on a stack.

So the news on Sunday was mainly all about Whitney with a little bit about massacres in Syria and the fact that Athens was burning. I went with Bill out to Wallington NJ so Bill could collect his pay from the bus company. It was only a few minutes spent in Wally World, and I took some pictures of Bill behind the wheel of his favorite bus.

Then it was a ride up South Main Street through Lodi, past Felician College and Immaculate Conception High School. It really is a part of Lodi that I don’t know too much about since I am from the northern part of Lodi, closer to Rochelle Park and Sadde Brook than I was to the rest of Lodi.

We took a turn on Route 46 and probably would have stopped off at Hank’s Franks if they were open but it was a Sunday and they were closed. I was surprised to see that the once great airplane manufacturing plant, Bendix was razed. Nothing left but bricks and dirt. A drive past the used car dealers and porno shops on Route 46 as we headed to the New Jersey Turnpike.

From there is was smooth sailing to Hoboken. Bill suggested going to Arthur’s for steaks but I figured it would be too cold and already I was envisioning myself in slippers and tracky bottoms not doing much of anything. Bill had places to go and I did not and I was fine with that. We did watch the Grammy’s together which I don’t recall ever doing before.

We were impressed by Bruno Mars, the little cutie with a great band, great moves and a good voice. Adele swept everything as expected. Macca was on twice, and Ringo was to be there as well but he has pneumonia. And the reunited Beach Boys with Brian looking the same and me not hating Mike Love for a few minutes. I guess they realized that if they wanted to make some money in a last hurrah there should be no funny business.

Bruce was pretty good opening up the show, but I do have to ask if it absolutely necessary to have 4 guitars on stage, I mean aren’t Nils and Steve enough besides Bruce? No offense but does Patti have to be there too? Maybe give her a tambourine or a triangle? I’m just sayin’…


my very own Ralph Kramden




2 – Spooky

I Got A Feeling

Well it’s been an interesting 24 hours, and I was too busy to write. Today has been a day off, a Saturday and I have off again tomorrow, thanks to my planning with a schedule request. It was a busy enough day yesterday at the cigar shack and much to my surprise it was yet a nother good sale day for me. I had to open the store and that meant getting up an hour earlier and getting to work, two hours earlier.

It was fairly quiet in the cigar shack for about an hour, no one really coming in. Then things picked up right before Thomas arrived. I hit it off with the customers mainly which was the most likely reason my numbers were so good, no need for Saudi royalty.

Being the first one in meant that I would have to take an early lunch, so I went to the diner which certainly more packed that it usually is when I get there around 3:00. For a change of pace I had pancakes and coffee, which seemed like a good idea at the time but a few hours later I was hungry once again. I had a banana as well as a sample of the 5 Hour Energy Drink that I got the other day and that on an empty stomach made me feel like Ricochet Rabbit.

The plan was the since I was getting out at 7:00, Bill was going to meet me at the cigar shack where we would then walk down to Times Square enjoying cigars. I hardly ever have my phone on me while working and sure enough, Bill left a message. He was in Hoboken after running around after work and when I had finally gotten in touch with him a little after 7:00 he was then at 34th Street in midtown.

He was going to come up but since I was vibrating and off the clock as well as anxious to get out of the cigar shack, I told him I would meet him at the club where the party was. A co-worker of Bill’s was having a surprise party at BB King’s nightclub, the co-worker’s husband put it all together, including music by the Fab Faux, a group of New York City’s top session men performing Beatles songs note for note.

I started walking down the avenue when Bill called. He was at 53rd and Broadway and would meet me there, and from there we would still walk down to BB King’s and smoke our cigars. It was awfully nice but I was tired and hungry and still vibrating. It was very crowded on the streets leading into Times Square so we walked over a block where it wasn’t as populated.

We finished our cigars outside of BB Kings and after we checked our coats, we found a place where I could sit for the first time in hours. Bill was ready for a Guinness which they didn’t have so he settled for a Corona. I just had a diet Pepsi since I hadn’t eaten.

There were a lot of people and there were some appetizers making the rounds, but they never quite made it to us. So we decided to go to the appetizers and promptly stuffed ourselves which cleared the way for some Corona action. The Fab Faux came on and were just as good as I thought they would be, deviating from the set list and going all over the place with the Beatles catalog.

The co-worker was dancing up a storm along with most everyone else. It really was a fun time and Bill really enjoyed it too, especially when he knew the songs like Come Together and Revolution. We left as they finished Get back and walked over to the bus terminal where we were soon on a bus headed back to Hoboken.

A busy day at work and a fun night with Bill. It was great. We both slept quite soundly and I woke up at 8:30, then closing my eyes for five more minutes which turned out to be 90 minutes. I padded through the apartment, making coffee and jumping into the shower. Outside it was snowing but it was not sticking.

After a cuppa I got my coat on to head out to the supermarket, kissing good bye to Bill as he slept and berating him when his eyes opened for not making me coffee. The supermarket was not crowded at all and I was soon climbing the stairs with dry cleaning and groceries. Bill was up by then and I checked my phone were there was a text from RoDa.

Today was Saturday and we did have a plan to make it into the city to see the Doug Wheeler installation. We figured that if we went early there wouldn’t be too long of a wait. RoDa and I made plans to meet on Washington Street and head over on the Path once again. Bill and I headed out a little before 1:00 and met up with RoDa and his son Logan.

We walked to the Path train, with me making a very quick stop at the record store to get the latest Mojo and Uncut magazines. Once in Manhattan we hopped on the bus to 18th Street and 12th Avenue, walking around the block to the Don Zwimmer Galleries.

And this time the line was on the sidewalk , in the cold and damp. We took our place and while waiting a gallery employee came out and told all of us in line that the wait would be 45 minutes to an hour, and then there is another line inside. If the weather was more comfortable we probably would have stayed but we were all pretty much cold and damp and then there was Logan who is only 7 years old and we all knew that he would not really have the patience for such a wait.

It was decided that we would bail once again. Bill had other plans anyhow to work on a script he has been cultivating so he was going to his office in midtown. RoDa, Logan and I opted to take the Path back to Hoboken. It’s been a full day though nothing really was accomplished though I guess getting the four of us together, Bill, RoDa, Logan and myself was an accomplishment in itself.

Not writing tomorrow, a day off, unless there is something really worth writing about and I hope there isn’t. Like Dorothy Parker said, ‘I hate having to write, but I love having written.’

Some of the Fab Faux



Bill, RoDa and Logan


18 – The Only Ones – Another Girl, Another Planet
Wow, it’s being reported that Whitney Houston is dead.

I Gotcha

Amoreena by Elton John is playing. It’s from Tumbleweed Connection, his second US album. It’s a very good album. A Britisher’s take on the old west and the south, Bernie Taupin’s lyrics and Elton John’s music. 40 years later it still sounds great. I bought the album at Bamberger’s back in the 1970’s in the basement next to the cookware department.

I probably paid too much for it but I was in thrall to the musical charms of Elton John at the time. My sister had the original edition, with a lyric book included whereas I only got the gatefold sleeve. For the longest time Burn Down the Mission, the last song on the album was my favorite. I played over and over for a long time, even making drawings to accompany the song.

Those of course have fallen by the wayside and rightfully so. I really don’t draw much these days though I am sure that I still can. I can definitely draw a Don Martin face, courtesy of copying my oldest brother’s method. But of course there is not much call for that these days.

Now Paul Simon is singing ‘How Can You Live in the Northeast’ from his album ‘Surprise’ which was produced by Brian Eno, or co-produced. It’s alright, definitely some Eno influences and I have to give Paul Simon credit for having Eno come on board. His newst one ‘So Beautiful or So What’ seemed to have an Eno influence at first listen, but I haven’t really heard it lately.

Now it’s Joni Mitchell singing ‘Help Me’ which brings me back to Paramus NJ, driving in my sister’s Volkswagen Bug, the red one. We had just picked up a volley ball/badminton set which was a present for my confirmation. It’s funny how songs can bring me back to such specific times and places.

I didn’t know much about Joni Mitchell then and Improbably know a little bit more. Some friends of mine really love her, but I can only admit to liking a few songs. I could easily see how Prince was influenced by her. For me the 1970’s were loaded with great songs.

Now it’s Bob Dylan singing Workingman’s Blues from Modern Times, an album which I bought as a hard copy and a download and oddly enough don’t really care for it. It has it’s moments but it’s just not as good as Time Out of Mind or Love and Theft. His voice is in fine form though on this and the production is very good but overall it leaves me wanting.

It’s been that kind of day in the cigar shack. Tomorrow I open up and leave early and not sure if I will be posting. Bill and I are attending a surprise birthday party for one of his co-workers at BB King’s nightclub and the music is supposed to be the Fab Faux. I am excited to see them as is Bill.

And Bill is also excited since he heard there is a dance floor. I will be staying out of his way since he is all over the place when he dances.

And now I have just gotten home, about 45 minutes later than usual. Bradley and I had been joking all day about who will get the most sales for the day, when in walks a member of the House of Saud. And they were my customer. It really put me and the store over the top. Everything the royal wanted, he bought, adding up to about a five figure closing for me.

I could not have completed the sale if it weren’t for Bradley and Jerry Vale. Bradley did most of the work and I offered to split the sale with him but he wasn’t having it, so the next time I work with him, I will have to buy him some hot dogs with ketchup and mustard.

Snow on the top of the bus stop






22 – Ode to Billie Joe

I Got You Babe

Well today it was back to the cigar shack for me and today has been a ‘meh’ kind of day overall. I did not sleep too well last night and when I finally started getting that coveted REM sleep (not the Berry/Buck/Mills/Stipe kind either) it was time to wake up. Bill of course was up and out with no problem, and I lay there in bed after he kissed me farewell for the day.

I knew I would have to get out of bed and reluctantly, I did just that. A shower, a shave, some coffee and some cereal is how I once again started the day. I was on the street once more, walking on the sunny side of the street, enjoying a small cigar outside of Hoboken Daily News. I chatted briefly with Bill who is such a font of positivity, that sometimes it can be off-putting. He truly is the yin to my yang.

I got on the bus and at the next stop neighbor Deborah was on board. She is having work done in er apartment and let the repairmen in before she went to work. Major work needed to be done and after some cajoling the landlord relented and sent his boys her way. We parted ways at the bs terminal and I walked up the avenue once again in an attempt to save me some dosh.

I came in and I thought I would be working with Thomas and Zack but it turned out to be Bradley and Zach. A change of plans but not so bad. The day progressed quite slowly, yet sales were steady. I did have to scratch my head at the way Zack sees things. I ordered FedEx supplies for the cigar shack and they came in.

But the wrong kind were ordered and Zack was a little upset since ‘these supplies cost us money’. I told him they didn’t, that they were free but he insisted. So I made arrangements to have the incorrect supplies returned and while I spoke with the FedEx customer service person on the phone, I asked them if there was a charge for supplies and they confirmed what I had known, that there is no charge for supplies.

Zack still insisted that he saw a charge for supplies on the bill and I did not know what to say about that so I merely walked away to start another project in this tobacco filled fish bowl. Lunch was nonchalant and now we are in the end of the day when things really slow down to a crawl in the realm of the cigar shack.

I took Jimmy Seltzer’s suggestion and got a PG Wodehouse book from the bibliotheque. Now I just have to pick it up. I need to read some fiction since all I have read for the past number of years has been non fiction and Jimmy Seltzer is good with his suggestions. As is my friend my friend Bruce. A little over an hour to go at the cigar shack. Bradley is helping a customer in between bites of a pizza.

Now I am home and it is snowing outside. Not much, a dusting and it looks nice.




03 – I’m Not In Love

I Got You (I Feel Good)

Today was a day off and it was a decent day. After last night and my godforsaken mood it was bound to be good. My cooler head prevailed and I edited my original posting after a rethink. I felt better after having something to eat and I stayed up watching TV for a while.

Bill was fast asleep when I came home and soon I found my place beside him in our bed, falling asleep sooner rather than later. Bill was up and out quite early, he was doing some volunteer work for WBAI and their pledge drive. I used to do that for WFMU when they were broadcasting from East Orange and my faux alma mater, Upsala College.

A sweet kiss goodbye was what he gave me as I lay there half-awake before he headed out into the world. I got up a while after that and puttered about doing my thing. A trip to the supermarket was in order and so after a cup of coffee from the morning pot that Bill made for me (he loves making me coffee in the coffee maker he gave me as a Valentine gift a few years ago, though he doesn’t drink the stuff).

It was a nice morning and I got my items and found Isis at her register. I was ahead of an elderly woman with a shopping cart filled with items so I helped her unload it and placed her items on the conveyor belt, for which she thanked me, as did Isis who usually does that sort of thing. A stop at the dry cleaners to drop off my shirts as well as Bill’s and soon I was home having a nice breakfast that I made for myself.

There was a tentative plan once again to see the Doug Wheeler installation with RoDa this afternoon and RoDa texted me asking if we could go around 2:00. That would be fine with me, except an hour later he texted me asking to move meeting up to after 3:00. I texted back saying I hoped we could go earlier, but since he has kids as well as an ailing mother that wasn’t going to happen.

So we put it off once again, with the hope that we could get it together this Saturday, and he can join Bill and me and RoDa could even bring his son Logan. So now the plan is to go Saturday afternoon at 1:00. I am fortunate to have both Saturday AND Sunday off this weekend, like most other working stiffs.

I had decided to head into the city, not to go to the gallery but to see if the new issues of Mojo and Uncut were on the shelves. I rode the Path train where I ran into my old friend and neighbor Claire. She was heading into the city for her own personal business and we had a nice chat en route. I got off at Christopher Street and she continued on her way. I stopped into Rebel Rebel on Bleecker Street and found they did not have the latest issue, the bloke behind the counter telling me it might be in by the week’s end.

I continued on my way, up to Sixth Avenue. I stopped into Old Navy where I thought I would buy myself a nice pair of trouser since I did get a gift card from my sister, but once in the store I checked my wallet only to find I left the gift card at home. Still I didn’t mind. I walked to TJ Maxx and hoped to buy some micro-fiber boxer briefs and after getting a few pair, I walked to the registers and found an unbelievably long line.

I just dropped off the boxer briefs and walked out the door. It was a nice day so I then decided to just walk up to the bus terminal where I got a ride back to Hoboken. I stopped by the Guitar Bar and spoke with Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro for a few minutes before heading home. All that walking made me tired and I tried to take a nap for an hour but lasted about 20 minutes. Now Bill is home, watching Lawn hors d’œuvre on his laptop. Harry Potter is on the telly and that’s about it for me.



06 We All Fall In Love Sometimes
Also quite happy to congratulate the state of California on the overturning of Prop8. NJ soon come!

I Got You Leona Lewis

Fuck this shit, Or rather FTS. That is what I posted on my Facebook page. In the past 48 hours I have spent roughly 24 hours at the cigar shack. Last night was the super bowl event which was totally boring to me and very uninteresting. I did not care one bit if one team beat another.

The super bowl event at the man cave at the cigar shack was attended by 9 customers and they were attended to by Jerry Vale and myself. The food was lousy but the customers got 3 cigars for their $75.00 fee. The food which was delivered had to be microwaved since it was cold when it was delivered.

A general waste of time and money if you ask me. Thankfully as soon as the super bowl was over the customers left, leaving Jerry vale and myself to clean up which was not so bad since Jerry vale and I took care of the cleaning throughout the super bowl. I did not get home until 13 hours after I originally left.

Zack and Bradley had the day off so they did not have to worry about anything. They had to get ready for the staph meeting tonight. So at the cigar shack we had a full staph which meant sales were down for everyone, except for Zack who sold tickets for another event somewhere in the future at $300.00 a pop. He grabbed the lion’s share, four figures where everyone else was in the low three figure sum.

The staph meeting started around 9:20 when I was done closing the register again for yet another day. I was toast, the 24 hours were bearing down on me. The staph meeting started with Zack telling Bradley, Thomas, Jerry Vale and myself that January was a good month and February is starting out to be very good as well.

I sat in the corner, outside the circle of the other four and did not say much. I was too tired. After Zack spoke then it was Bradley’s turn to speak. It was his first time to speak as an assistant manager and he did alright. Though I had things to say when Zack spoke, by the time the baton was passed to Bradley I had nothing.

I listened, stared with dead eyes and wanted to go home. I like Jerry Vale but he never shuts up sometimes. He can go on and on and if he is talking about skiing or the sporting goods store where he used to work, then he will go on forever. And sure enough he did.

Thomas noticed my vacant stare and chuckled to himself which probably made Zack and Bradley think we had something up our sleeves. The only thing up my sleeve was my watch which I couldn’t help but look at as the time passed. Bradley had the idea for Thomas, Jerry Vale and myself to think outside of the box. Now I have to find a box.





full moon rise


02 Breaking Glass

I Got You Train

A Saturday at the cigar shack and it’s been alright. Working with Bradley and Jerry Vale today and it’s been interesting to say the least. Bradley accidentally took a sale from me when I was out yesterday. A sale that I set up on Thursday, ready to go. Bradley did the right thing and gave me most of the sales to make up for the $600.00 differential.

And then on top of that I had another big sale and I also sold an item that I have been trying to sell for the past couple of weeks. Funny the people who obviously have money hemmed and hawed and always said they would think about it. The guy who doesn’t look like he has much is the one who bought it.

A sweet deal, a nice lighter and an very stylish cutter all packaged in a traveling humidor. All together the items would total about $450.00. I sold it at half price to a nice guy who saw me at the Path train last month. He saw me and waved and I had no idea who he was. I mean, I see a lot of people all week and everyone blends into a blob of DNA eventually.

He was nice and understood that evening that I was toast and couldn’t even recognize myself much less a guy who comes into the cigar shack once a month. But apparently I made a good impression on him so that was nice. And he’s quite a handsome dude so it’s odd that I wouldn’t recognize him. Now of course I recognize him ass crack that showed when he bent over.

So tomorrow is the big day, Super Bowl Sunday. The NY Giants vs the New England Patriots I think. Guys are every excited, women are very excited and I will be working the event. It shouldn’t be too taxing, in fact the main drawback is the fact that I will be getting home a lot later than usual, but I have been granted permission to take a car service home so I might just do that and start the arduous process of being reimbursed on Monday.

I already told assistant manager Bradley that I might be late on Monday morning, depending on how late the cigar shack closes after the Super Bowl. He was antagonistic of course, as if he could be any other way.

Bill drove to Atlantic City last night and expected to drive again tonight but they decided to give the job to a full timer which he understands and has no problem with. I am happy since he will be home when I come home. So I suppose we will stay up and watch Saturday Night Live together which is nice. I’m not too hungry at the moment but after I write this mess, I think I will have a banana. Good for energy, good to fight the blues.

And Harpy made an all too brief appearance at the cigar shack en route to the opera. And I forgot the banana.






11 – Since I Fell for You

I Got You Split Enz

It has been a nice day off. Last night when I came home I was very tired and feeling a bit under the weather. Bill did his very best to make sure I was alright, to see if there was anything I needed. Basically he did all the things that I do for him when he is feeling unwell. I certainly appreciated it.

He stayed up for a little while making sure I was alright and I was, just a little out of it. I went to bed earlier than usual and was still a bit stuffy when my head hit the pillow. Bill of course was fast asleep and I soon joined him in the arms of Morpheus.

Last night before Bill went to bed he got all of his things together since he was driving to Atlantic City tonight and didn’t want to run around this morning. He leaned over and gave me a nice kiss as he headed off to work. I slept a little bit longer before I too got out of bed and started my day.

The only thing I had planned was a trip to the supermarket and some laundry. The supermarket was a brief visit which included seeing my girl, Isis. After that I was home and eating a nice breakfast in my slippers. I actually did go out a few times today, a trip to the bibliothèque where I ran into Mike Cecchini. He had a lot of books checked out and I was only there to pick up a CD.

And it wasn’t the CD I had hoped it would be. In the 1980’s Lou Reed took part in a salute to Kurt Weill, called Lost in the Stars. Lou sang a great version of September Song, arranged by Hal Willner I think, possibly one of the best things Lou Reed had ever done in my opinion. I had the original on vinyl after hearing it time and again on the jukebox at Maxwells back in the day.

But after moving several times and shedding a few pounds of vinyl as well as a turntable I no longer had the track available to me. After searching online I saw that Lou Reed singing September Song was available on a different compilation, a different salute to Kurt Weill. Alas, it was not the same version, this one was slower really dragging and not to my liking.

Apparently this was a new version and lacked the snappiness of the original cover version. Despite being disappointed I still listened to the whole thing and it’s not half bad, it’s just not what I wanted. I plan on dropping it off at the bibliothèque tomorrow morning when I walk to the bus stop again.

And after a day of feeling alright most of the day, the stuffiness returns to my head, though not nearly as bad as it was yesterday. I am definitely doing the right thing (and did the right thing) by doing most everything on a low flame today. I must save my resources for the upcoming weekend at the cigar shack.





16 It Doesn’t Matter Anymore

I Got You Thompson Square

Well I slept fairly well last night but I woke up feeling rather crappy. Head stuffed with snot and mucous. At least a quadrant of my skull felt that way. It took me by surprise as I lay in bed, reaching for the box of tissues nearby so I could blow my nose. I wasn’t sure if it was allergies or a head cold and I am still not sure.

I am dragging ass today that much I know. I got it together and headed out of the apartment as usual, wishing I could have taken the day off. By the time I got to the street I realized I left my hat upstairs and rather than climb four flights back up, I opted to walk to the bus stop. It was colder than I anticipated and I regretted not having a hat.

A quiet bus ride into the city, me sitting in the last seat on the bus. I was tired enough to fall asleep but I didn’t. A walk up the avenue , avoiding the subway to save some money left me cold and sweaty and quite out of it by the time I got to the cigar shack. Zack and Thomas were in the cigar shack when I got in.

I hadn’t seen Zack in a few days and he was ready to shake hands but I opted for a fist bump since I was feeling a bit ill. The day progressed nicely with Thomas grabbing big numbers and Zack behind, with me carrying up the rear. It had nothing to do with how I was feeling, it had more to do with connecting with customers and Thomas had connected with his and Zack’s people always get in touch with Zack.

Me, I took the laid back approach and obviously that was not the way to get big numbers on the board today. Throughout the day I’ve been feeling crappy and sometimes feeling alright. Not 100% but in 90% range. I had a decent lunch and felt OK after that. I even went to a few shops to buy a hat but all they had were baseball caps and the shop has a few of those as promotional items so I wasn’t about to spend $20.00 on one of those.

When I came back after lunch I was feeling alright but that didn’t last. I am pretty sure I will sleep well tonight though. And tomorrow being a day off will likely be spent in bed. No plans on going anywhere or doing anything. Probably best that I stay in and get my rest, especially since Sunday promises to be a long day what with the super bowl, more than 12 hours that day and then Monday which will be the usual day followed by a staff meeting.

Bill is in full nurse mode, getting everything ready for me when I come home so I will not have to do much of anything. All I have to do is get on the bus and then walk home. Thomas is closing the cigar shack so that gives me a 10 minute head start. And now I am home. Bill is worried about me of course which I find unnerving.

I am usually the one who worries and I am not used to being worried about though I am sure it happens from time to time with people I know and love. A blessedly uneventful ride home on the bus, listening to Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians. I climbed the four flights and there was Bill greeting me at the door. I changed out of my suit into my tracky bottoms and relaxed. Now I look forward to doing nothing at all.

Rest in peace Linda Wolfe.




03 Acid Bird

I Got The Feelin’

A day back at the cigar shack. Not a bad day. I told Thomas last night that I would work the super bowl with Jerry Vale which frees him up to spend time with his fiancee on Sunday night. He was so grateful he threw a major order in my direction and he and his fiancee made me some corn bread which I will enjoy when I get home.

It’s been an alright day overall. It was Thomas and Bradley and myself and since Zack was off today that put Bradley in a good mood once again. I did hear from Zack via text today. He first asked if I had a passport and I replied that I did.

Then he asked if I would be interested in going to Honduras. Apparently a cigar manufacturer has tours of their fields and factory in Honduras and Zack was supposed to go but he wasn’t really feeling it, having just gotten back from two weeks of being out of town away from his family.

It would be all expenses paid and I would just have to pay for my flight which would be reimbursed by the cigar shack headquarters. I mentioned it to Bill and he looked up flight information. It was supposed to be from March 12th to the 15th, but after Bill’s research he found the best deal would mean my leaving on March 11 and coming back on March 16 and would not involve a layover that is 20 hours overnight.

Eventually we figured out that it would not be affordable. That means that Bradley might have to go. I would like to go but realistically it’s not feasible. And I would rather travel with Bill. He’s great, he loves to plan trips and all I have to do is show up. Cars, flights, hotel rooms all taken care of. I suppose I am spoiled by Bill when it comes to matters like this. It’s OK, I certainly don’t mind and neither does Bill.

The weather today has been outstanding, 60 degrees when I went on break at 3:15 this afternoon, nice enough to spend most of the break time, outdoors in the cool air. There were plenty of other people who had the same idea. So tomorrow is another day on, then another day off. And there is more laundry to do, laundry that didn’t quite make the cut the other day.

The plan is to get up early enough to get a start on that and then figure out the rest of the day. Of course by then it can all go pear shaped. Last night I watched Gosford Park again. It’s such a good movie, great script, great cast. Bill watched some of it before he went into shredding mode, meaning he sat at the kitchen table, shredding some documents and spending way too much time reading other documents.

Bjork was on the Colbert Report last night and she was very good of course. I plan on buying her new CD but as far as I know it’s only available as an app from iTunes. It could be available somewhere, somehow and I intend on finding it one way or another.

Thomas mentioned that I look like that I lost too much weight and that my suits all hang on me.I guess he is right since I can’t tell. And Jimmy Seltzer made an appearance, telling me that I should get it together and write my book. I really should, shouldn’t I?






10 Where Do I Begin
Thanks for the ride, Don Cornelius.