Monthly Archives: March 2012

I Hope

Fast break. I just caught some of the NCAA Final Four in the Man Cave so I am somewhat familiar with the basketball lingo. It’s a damp and cold and windy Saturday night. Things have quieted down somewhat. It has been a busy day, working alongside with Zack & Bradley and we all got along quite nicely.

That is a nice change of pace considering I left in such a state on Thursday evening, a mood that only got worse as I headed home. No, it’s been alright today. I suppose it is the company one keeps, though of course I have no say regarding who I am working with. Sales have been pretty good today, I hit my goal and then some and just a few hundred behind Bradley in sales. A decent end to March.

Right now, the Clash, Sandinista is playing. Specifically The Crooked Beat which is the name of a wonderful mixtape I made in the 1990’s. That mixtape got me about a month of free Guinness at a spot that Julio & I used to hang out at. Then I told my friend Pedro about it and it became Pedro’s spot, with Pedro going a lot more than I ever did.

Bradley just split for the evening, leaving me alone in the cigar shack. I don’t mind the solitude. I had a friend named Kevin McBean who loved the Crooked Beat mixtape, so much so that he told me all the time, over and over.

Kevin McBean stopped being my friend when I told him in 2002 that Bill had gotten me a ring for my birthday, that I was in a committed relationship. You see, Kevin McBean never knew I was gay until that moment and he didn’t like it very much. So I guess the old adage is true, he probably wasn’t your friend to begin with.

I should never have re-written his resume when he somehow got into Right Track looking for a job and handed in a resume that looked like it was written on tissue paper. I felt bad for him so I fixed it up. He never got the job but we did become friends. Then I came out and he moved to another planet as far as I am concerned.

Bill is driving to Atlantic City again tonight. He drove last night. I saw him for a few minutes this morning as I was getting ready to leave and as he was getting ready to go to sleep. Not much is planned for me after work tonight (is there ever anything planned?). I am working tomorrow with Jerry Vale and Thomas and off again on Monday.

Bradley and Zack saw the schedule change that Thomas mentioned in the voice mail and both of them agreed that it would not be a good idea for me to work 5 days straight. And it would have actually been 6 days if it weren’t for Bradley revamping the schedule. I guess I hear about Thomas’ take on it tomorrow.





05 My Wife and My Dead Wife

I Honor U

OK. Last night I was really bitter when I wrote what I wrote. No regrets. In fact I even went so far as to title the entry as ‘Bitter’. And I went to bed bitter. I woke up depressed. Filled with despair. After a shower and some coffee I went to drop off some shirts at the dry cleaners and then a trip to the supermarket where my favorite cashier, Isis was grouchy and unavailable.

There is a new manager in the supermarket and she might have forced Isis to close her lane early, leading to Isis being very much a sourpuss. I came home, had some breakfast and did some laundry. Still the day was edged with the blues, very dark blues.

During one of the laundry cycles my phone rang and saw it was the cigar shack, the source of my depression. I did not take the call and it went to voice mail. Then I made the mistake of checking the voice mail.

Once again, a day off that was scheduled is going to be rescinded since ‘someone’ has to work while Bradley & Thomas host an event at a nearby overpriced steakhouse, paired with cigars at the shack. It was upsetting. I didn’t do anything, I didn’t call back. I will deal with it tomorrow when I return to the cigar shack. I’ll be working with Zack and Bradley who will have come back after having 5 days off. I will wait for whomever to bring it up.

The dismal sunny day continued and I finally gave in and had a Xanax. It’s been months since I last took one it did the job. Taking the edge off of everything and leaving everything dull and sleepy. I walked around Hoboken, looking for a new watch band.

The old one that I got with my Timex a while ago was leather and finally falling apart through wear and tear. It was being held together by rubber bands I was starting to find that unsightly. I remembered a store on First Street in Hoboken and walked over there only to find they moved a block and a half away.

They rented space in a building that used to be warehouse, now it’s mainly where some friends and artists and craftspeople have their studios and workspaces. I asked if they had watch bands and had to explain what I meant. They showed me what they had which was quite meager at best.

Since I was down by the Path train I opted to head into the city, just a quick jaunt. I notice that a lot of shoe repair places also have watch bands and will even put them on the watch which seemed unlikely from the store in Hoboken. I found one near where my friend Jesse works and got my old watch band replaced after saying a hearty hello to Jesse.

Then I just hopped on the bus back to Hoboken, spending more time traveling in and out of the city than actually being in the city.

Came home and took a nap which seemed to have put me right, leaving me to think I should have just taken a nap after waking up this morning.


07 Uneasy Sunny Day Hotsy Totsy

I Honestly Love You

Bitter!

Now I am home. It’s a Thursday evening and it has been a long day. Up at 7:30, at the bus stop at 8:30 and in the cigar shack at 9:30. I got through alright, after a few decisions on how to get through the day. Some Facebook friends were dropped.

Didn’t need to deal with their shit anymore since I usually have to deal with their shit face to face. Now it’s only face to face, no phoniness. Its more ‘professional’ wouldn’t you say? The day was slow enough and also had an empty promise that was repeated from yesterday.

I didn’t believe it then and I didn’t believe it today. I have also decided not to give any sales away, even after I hit my personal goal. I used to do it but since no one else does it, so why should I? From now on it will be all mine. I couldn’t really expect others to do what I do.

That would be impossible I guess and unfair to them. It’s a burden, such a burden, oh what a burden to be so relied upon. You can thank Brian Eno for that line, or rather, I can thank Brian Eno.

I was aloof most of the day, while friendly and sociable. I guess I am that way right now. Bill is sitting behind me watching Lawn hors d’œuvre on his iPad and I sit here in front of the computer with my back to him. He offered to turn on the TV but he’s in the middle of his show and whatever I wanted to watch is being recorded so I can watch it anytime.

So the only sound is Sam Waterson & Carey Lowell talking about a case. A deal is struck, the ominous closing music is playing as Waterson & Lowell close the show. Bill probably has another episode on schedule I’m sure. He just turned on 30 Rock and I just turned down the volume instead of listening to the last 6 minutes.

Yeah I’m ambivalent tonight. Tomorrow is a day off and you know what? I really don’t care. Pathetic isn’t it? And it has been quite a struggle to write this much so far. Nothing to write about really. Not that there ever is.

I’ve slowly started looking for a new job again. Nothing major, just an email to useless staffing agencies. One out of three responded to my email. I try to send an email every couple of weeks but I am sure I have been binned.

No response makes me feel like I am a hopeless case. The longer I am out of the office environment means it will be more difficult to get back into that situation. In June I will have been at the cigar shack for 2 years. Nothing to be proud of I’m afraid.

Yes it’s a job and yes I am grateful to have a job but it is stressful. Sell sell sell all the time. No sitting down, which more than likely accounts for the weight I have lost. I haven’t needed to unfasten my trousers when I take them off in about a year. I remove my braces and can easily slide right out of them. What an accomplishment!

That’s it. I hit over 500 words for today. No mas.




08 No Clocks

I Hold Your Hand In Mine

Right now, Turning Japanese by the Vapors is playing. A 1980 hit, right before graduation if I recall correctly. Great song, I still don’t think it’s about masturbation but I do get the references. I don’t think one of my favorite songs of all times, Another Girl Another Planet by the Only Ones is about heroin but that’s what the word in the shooting galleries is, from what I’ve heard. Do they still have shooting galleries? Not that I want to know, I am just wondering.

The world spun on it’s axis and a new day started. Last night when I came home Bill was fast asleep. I woke him like he asked me to and we chatted for a while, he was getting pissed off at George Zimmerman’s friend Joe Oliver on Lawrence O’Donnell.

Lawrence O’Donnell and Charles Blow from the New York Times tore his story apart. It was found out last night that he’s not such a good friend of murderer of Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman, just a co-worker who hadn’t spoken to him in over a month. It seemed like he was trying to get as much of his 15 minutes of fame as possible, and Bill agreed.

Bill went to bed soon after, and I followed an hour later. A decent hour, I got about 8 hours but it wasn’t restful. I had a dream where I was in a car with former friend Derry Pedovitch. We were talking to each other. I saw a picture of him online a few weeks ago, and time hadn’t been that kind to him. In the dream he was about to take off his baseball cap and I urged him not to.

I woke up, Bill still asleep. He was still ill and took the day off from work. I muddled about with my things and kissed Bill good bye. He was startled to see me hovering over him and wished me well on my day as I headed out.

Uneventful bus ride once again. I helped a blind woman cross Eighth Avenue since the people standing around her weren’t about to. Then a walk up the avenue where I started work. Zack and Jerry Vale once again. Much better than yesterday.

Zack is a great boss (and I write that hesitantly knowing that once I write it, things generally go awry), very generous with jerry Vale and myself, so much so that we both did good on sales today, Jerry Vale taking a decent lead with me not so far behind.

I am dreading tomorrow, having to open up again. I do get out early though and since I am off on Friday my mind is trying to think that it’s like having a day and a half off.

Now the Stranglers are on in the shop, Hanging Around is the song. Is it about Jesus? There is a Christ reference and his mother, after all. It’s my WPIX Playlist, songs from 1978-80 and some more recent things that could have fit in back then as well.

Just 28 minutes left. 28 long minutes and I get to start it all over again tomorrow morning.



06 Lavaux

I Hold On

And now I am home, earlier than usual because I went in earlier than usual. I had to open the cigar shack. It was not easy getting out of bed and starting to move, but of course I did. A different crowd again on the bus, these early morning people are a trip.

I’m sure if I more accustomed to getting up early and going to work it wouldn’t be such a surprise. I mean, I did do that for a number of years, that now elusive Monday through Friday job. Now I go in later and it’s no longer a Monday through Friday situation.

Yesterday I was in at 10:30, today, 9:30, tomorrow 11:30 and once I close Wednesday night, I will be opening on Thursday morning. Not easy but I do get the job done. At the cigar shack it was Thomas and Jerry Vale and me. Zack was a chaperone on his kid’s class trip so he was out today. And it was slow going at the cigar shack.

Thomas and I butted heads this afternoon. It was bound to happen, he’s been in such a mood lately and I know yesterday I gave him a break, saying he had a lot on his plate. This afternoon he could have shoved that plate up his ass for all I cared.

Things got better once we talked or rather, argued but it wasn’t 100% easy after that. He bitched about a few things, about me, about Jerry Vale. I give Jerry Vale some slack since he’s going through some difficult times himself and if he needs to take a couple of minutes for a quick snack, I say let him. I have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich during the day and it certainly helps me a lot.

I tell you, that Thomas is no Juan, no Corinne. No, he’s a very old 25 year old. Such an old man, he’s older than me & Jerry Vale and we’re the oldest employees at the cigar shack. I don’t know how that works, or how it will work when he gets older.

As my day ended I started to crash. So tired despite having a banana for energy. I thought about walking to the bus terminal tonight, but was too tired so I opted for the subway. I got to the terminal in no time and found myself at the end of a queue. We moved along eventually.

There was a woman about four or five heads ahead of me, struggling with two rolling suitcases. The four or five heads in between me and the woman just stared. I looked and saw no one else ahead of the suitcase woman so I asked one of the people staring if they minded if I helped her out. They didn’t mind so I took one suitcase and we ascended the stairs. I then helped her on the bus and took a seat.

Michael Hill, super nice guy, sat next to me. He’s a friend from Maxwells and we chatted about a documentary he saw last night, How to Survive a Plague. It’s about ACT UP, a group that I supported and protested with outside of St. Patrick’s Cathedral a number of times. Michael was moved by the documentary and Bill and I hope to see it when it gets a release later this year.

ACT UP was the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. Silence = Death. We were loud and disruptive since our friends, families and lovers were dying. Wouldn’t you do the same after having to change your friend’s diaper as he lay in his own waste while the nurses stood in the hallway making jokes and rude comments on the ill patient dying a few feet away?

It’s been one of those days, I guess.


the queue for the bus


13 Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3

I Heart You

Monday again. How did that happen? It doesn’t matter really how it happened. It’s almost over after all. A little over 2 hours left actually. Where did it go? How did it get here? This is not my beautiful house! This is not my beautiful wife! Anyway, here I am home from work.

I was in an hour earlier today. The schedule to prevent Thomas from whining is in effect. Yesterday was a nothing kind of day. Did do much, didn’t go anywhere. I did go to the record store after I joked with Annemarie on the phone about applying for a job there.

On the door was a help wanted sign, full & part time. I dare not apply since I have butted heads with them a few times, basically about how when CD’s are used in listening posts, the CD should be labeled as used, not sold as ‘new’. It’s a sticking point and I’m sure most record collectors would be on my side. Despite all that, I wandered around looking at stuff and left empty handed. I generally buy my Mojo & Uncut magazines there, that’s it.

Something like Kindness, a band from the UK that I bought last week, I bought on iTunes. This just reminded me, that I need to make a CD of it as a backup of sorts.

Bill was fast asleep when I headed out around 3PM, a vanilla sky overhead and me on the phone with Annemarie. I came home and Bill was still asleep. I don’t recall what I was watching on TV, I was watching Philip Glass on PBS, a performance of Satyagraha. I wasn’t watching it, just listening to the music which of course, sounded like Philip Glass. It’s a good thing I like Philip Glass.

Bill woke up and I decided to take a nap. It wasn’t that relaxing since Bill was talking to the TV and I have no idea what he was watching. I did ask him to wake me up in about an hour, which he did, then I asked for another half hour which was granted though I only slept about 10 minutes more, giving up and calling it fruitless.

We watched 60 Minutes, then The Simpsons, then Bob’s Burgers which I really like. It was all leading up to the season premiere of Mad Men which I allowed myself to be swept up in all the hype. I enjoyed it somewhat, as did Bill but he went to bed halfway through and I stayed up keeping one eye on the computer and another on the TV, making me look a little like Marty Feldman.

I started watching Capote which Bill and I saw in the cinema when it came out and yes it was still very good. Philip Seymour Hoffman was outstanding as Truman Capote, certainly deserving of the Academy Award. Midway through I went to bed.

Not a good night’s sleep like the other night, but enough to get through the day. And it was a nice day at the cigar shack. Zack and Thomas and myself. I have to admit that I was hesitant about working with Thomas. He’s got a lot on his plate and it’s been wobbly as of late. Today he was fine and no need to be hesitant.

Zack was cool as usual. I had a nice salad for lunch and as I was eating I got a call from Zack, asking me to visit the other cigar shack nearby and pick up some cigars for the store as a swap. Since I did the leg work, I got the sale, so I was happy about that.

Now I am home, got out an hour early. I walked down to the bus terminal, listening to Led Zeppelin, once again figuring they would provide the best soundtrack as I stomped my way down the avenue. And they did the job.


the Moon with Venus...?


07 O-o-h Child

I Heart NY

Well last night was somewhat different from my usual routine. I got out early since I opened up the cigar shack and avoided the theater crowds by taking the subway to the bus terminal. Then after climbing a few escalators I thought I would catch the bus, but 3 scheduled buses did not appear making the one bus that actually did show up extremely crowded.

I rode past my usual stop and got something to eat. Since I usually get home too late to eat a full meal, I was afforded enough time to have something substantial. I watched Bill Maher where I enjoyed Charles Blow’s interview with Bill Maher regarding the Trayvon Martin tragedy. After that it was all downhill. I once again dislike Andrew Sullivan. Fred Armisen was entertaining but why do they have him on besides to remind people that Bill Maher is ‘funny’.

I watched the news and spoke to Bill who made it to Atlantic City. Around midnight I was fading fast and thought it was time to turn in. I wasn’t sure if I would actually be able to fall asleep an hour earlier than usual, and I found out 8.5 hours later that I was able to fall asleep.

Been a while since I had 8.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep and even though I usually don’t sleep well when Bill is not in bed, I was able to sleep quite soundly. Waking up refreshed I was ready for work. Bill came home a few minutes before I headed out and it was nice to spend some fleeting minutes with him before he went to bed and I was able to head to the cigar shack. He’s driving to Atlantic City again tonight.

At the cigar shack there was Bradley and Jerry Vale. Things were going well, still selling the unveiled cigar from the other night as well as a few other choice cigars. Mainly the numbers were for all cigars, no big ticket items. For lunch I was able to have some Shepherd’s Pie once again.

I was going to enjoy a cigar in the man cave but it was too crowded so I opted to roam the streets which had gotten considerably cooler than the near 80 degree weather that’s been occurring lately. The day was alright, nothing special. I wrote another blog entry for the cigar shack’s blog, including some decent photos.

Of course things were going so smoothly that there was bound to be some head butting and sure enough Bradley and Jerry Vale were at it. Nothing major, a miscommunication, a misunderstanding with some hurt feelings. It was odd to be witnessing it, usually I am one of the participants.

Whether or not they resolved it, I couldn’t say. I doubt that they did. The hatchet is buried somewhere though. Now it’s a Saturday night at the cigar shack, things are slowing down considerably, 33 minutes to go which won’t pass fast enough.

Not that I have any say in the matter.

a failed escape





Comical Israelites


03 Picture Book (mono)

I Heard You Say

I can’t go on. I’ll go on. It’s been an out of the ordinary 24 hours for me. Obviously I didn’t post last night. Got home too late and was not into it. I know, sometimes you just have to do it, but after a dental appointment followed by a cigar event that I had to attend it was a long drawn out day and the hours of not being home were about the same as if I was at work.

I left the apartment yesterday around 1:30pm for a 3:00 appointment. And it went well, a good cleaning and a check up to see how the last procedure was doing. The hygienist was really nice. Her birthday is September 11 and mine is September 12 so she figured that was why we were getting along so well. I left with a CARE package, a toothbrush, some floss, some toothpaste.

After that it was a walk to the cigar shack. Zack was in top form, entertaining 2 head cheeses that were in town for the cigar event. Bradley, Thomas and Jerry Vale were there as well. I was off yesterday but Zack mentioned a week or so ago that it would be a good idea to go to the event and take photographs for the cigar shack blog that I write.

I figured I could do that for a few hours and then slip out and go home. Of course that was not to be. I rode in a cab with Zack and Bradley to the Top of the Sixes and watched some guys in suits, some handsome- most not so handsome smoking cigars and doing whatever it is that they do. In Bradley’s words though it was a case of too many chiefs.

Zack and 2 other cigar shack management types were there, each with their own idea of what to do. Soon I was taking the cellophane from the cigars and placing them on trays. Trays which I held along with two other guys and as various guests arrived we made sure they got a free cigar.

They deserved a free cigar since the guests did pay close to $300.00 for a chance to smoke cigars with a geezer who’s name is on the box. It was the geezer’s 86th birthday and the occasion for the release of a new cigar in the geezer’s name. Appropriately enough, the cigar is called ‘The Geezer’.

After I gave out my cigars I was able to roam around a very smoky room and take some very smoky pictures. After some smoky pictures I helped some buxom young women take more cellophane off of more cigars which the buxom young women distributed. Something about zaftig women and cigars drives most heterosexual men ka-razy.

Thomas and Jerry vale joined the festivities, thinking it would be a party but they too were put to work. I was hoping to be out of there by 8:30 but did not actually leave until 10:30. I wasn’t happy about it but I was getting paid. I had to open the store today so I wanted to be home earlier but wound up getting home closer to midnight.

I went to bed a little after that, Bill fast asleep. He offered to stay up until 10:30 but by 9:00 I knew I wasn’t getting out of there anytime soon so I called and let him off the hook. Bill was up and out after a goodbye kiss and some passionate words and I got out of bed shortly thereafter. I shuffled about and was soon on the bus headed into the city.

Jerry Vale and I were opening, Thomas (who posted how hung over he was on Facebook) and Zack were coming in later. Thomas was grumpy again. I didn’t say anything since I was so morose the other day and Thomas seemed genuinely concerned. Still it was a long day. I was able to enjoy a cigar on a bench near the park at lunchtime, a couple of hours earlier than usual.

But the last hours crawled. The store did well, everyone had high numbers. I left a few minutes later than expected and took the subway, avoiding the mistake I made last week of walking to the bus terminal as the theater crowds started rolling in for Broadway. It did not matter since the bus did not show up on time.

In fact 3 buses that were scheduled did not show up at all. And once again I had disdain for most of my fellow commuters. But I made it back to Hoboken and just had some dinner. Now I am tired and did not really expect to write over 800 words tonight, but there you have it.

I did see Harpy today so that was quite nice. It was brief though. He’s as sexy as ever.

spot the geezer





1 – Up, Up and Away

I Heard You

This has been one of the most morose days. It shouldn’t have been but then again I woke up feeling morose and it colored my day through and through. Perhaps it was a continuance from yesterday. Last night was nothing special, except for seeing Bill for an hour before he went to bed.

After that it was me alone in front of the computer watching what gets posted on Facebook. Some good things, some informative things, and of course, some crap. I slept quite deeply, enough so that waking up was difficult. I did not want to get out of bed no matter how Eddie Money was telling me that he had two tickets to paradise, saying that I should pack my bags and we’ll leave tonight.

No, I’d rather have stayed in bed. And I should have really. Work has been one monstrosity after another. I find myself annoyed with so many things, so many people. Once again the comfort level has slipped through my fingers, making a mess on the floor which I of course will have to clean up. Bill has been excellent though. Always there with a hug and ears to listen.

Tomorrow I am not sure if I will write. I am off from work but then again I will have to work. I am attending an event for the unveiling of a new cigar and they geezer who’s name is on the cigar is celebrating his 86th birthday. I have to go and take photographs which shouldn’t be so bad, but overall I would rather be home.

I have a dental appointment in the afternoon and then after that will head to the cigar shack, and then to the Top of the Sixes where the event will be held. A lot of people are looking forward to it, so I guess I have no idea what to expect. Then again I have such low expectations that anything really could be a surprise.

Jimmy Seltzer is sitting in the man cave and Thomas just went back there to have a chat with him. Jazz has been playing for the past few hours and that likely has fouled my mood somewhat. Man I dislike jazz.

So not for me, too self indulgent, too virtuoso-esque. I’m not one for virtuosity, I like the concept that anyone can do it, hence my affection for punk and new wave. I don’t mind hearing it live most of the time, though when I took Bill to see Herbie Hancock at the Blue Note for Christmas a few years ago I was put off by the meandering and the fact that in 90 minutes only 3 songs were played.

And I do like and respect Herbie Hancock, just not that night. Just 18 minutes left of this jazz nonsense then I will be home. Not much to do tonight or tomorrow, just the dentist and the cigar event. Still it could be worse I suppose. My hair could catch fire and that would be a drag.

Now I am home. Feeling a bit better. Played Revolution Earth by the B-52’s on the bus and Vogue by Madge on the walk home. Both helped.






Nessun dorma

I Heard Love Is Blind

Another day at the cigar shack. How many times have I written that as the lead in? Today it’s a Tuesday. I guess I didn’t scream in the middle of the night like I did the night before as Bill told me I did from Sunday into Monday. I don’t recall that at all, but then again I was asleep.

He said it might have happened around 1:30 and since I don’t go to bed until 1:00 in the morning I doubt if I fell fast asleep enough to yell. Perhaps it was Bill having a dream. I did have a dream last night that involved Amazons. I think it had something to Trayvon Martin.

I’ve been reading a lot about the murder of 17 year old Trayvon Martin and posting on Facebook. In this information age, I am surprised by the fact that a number of people I know, Bill included, are completely unaware of this tragedy. I had tried to avoid hearing the 911 phone call and last night I heard it. Truly heartbreaking.

The lout of a community watchman slurring into the phone and not listening to the police officer on the other end, telling him not to follow Trayvon Martin. But he did, and frightened Trayvon Martin enough that Trayvon tried to get away but was cornered and on the tape you can hear the 17 year old boy screaming for his life, then you hear a gunshot and then nothing.

The murderer whose father is a lawyer with ties to the Sanford, FL police department, was not tested for drugs or alcohol and not arrested for the murder of Trayvon Martin. In fact neighbors who had given the police their accounts of what happened, were steered by the police, saying the screams were of the shooter, 250 pounds versus 140 pounds. A tragedy for all concerned. And for me, another reason to not go to Florida.

At the cigar shack it’s been weird. For a good part of the day I felt like an outsider, which I guess I am but it was compounded for some reason. I did excellent sales wise today, my first sale was a lot of money. My high tide raised all boats. And then my second sale wasn’t exactly small potatoes. Thomas wasn’t in today but I know that if he were in today he would be quite jealous and would let me know how upset he was. But he wasn’t.

Of course in the back of my mind, there is a calendar countdown. The customers have 14 days to return the items and make me eat the sale. So I still have some breathing space I guess.

Today is the first day of spring and the temperature was most definitely springlike. Quite nice at lunchtime and I was able to enjoy a cigar as I sat on the bench near the park and read about David Bowie recording Ziggy Stardust and Lee Renaldo talk about Sonic Youth with a picture of everyone’s friend Bob Bert from that long ago time of the 1980’s.

Now it’s the last hour at the cigar shack, things have quieted down considerably. I just want to go home now. Still have an hour to go.

Now, I am home.






15 Voices Inside My Head

I Heard It Through The Grapevine The Slits

Yes it was back to work for me today, after 2 days off. Saturday was spent doing laundry and strolling around Hoboken. No corned beef and cabbage for me. I never had it and don’t recall my mother making it. Maybe she did and I just never ate it, which is odd since my mother was not running a diner and you ate was put in front of you.

So like I wrote, I went to Maxwells. I had a pint in the apartment before I left and was soon on my way to have a pint with my dear friend Lois. Bill was driving to Atlantic City so I went solo. No iPod so I listened to the sounds of the streets, a very John Cage thing to do. I was not impressed with what I heard but maybe the whole thing is about not passing judgement.

Lois was there with a bag of socks for me. She’s been hanging onto them for a few months and our schedules finally coincided enough that Saturday was the night. She also had some women’s socks and tights which she gave to our lovely bartender. She was a cutie and quite nice.

Lois had about 2 pints and a plate of artichoke hearts. I had about 5 or 6 pints and felt fine. Spoke with Bill once he got to Atlantic City. Took the call on the sidewalk so I could have a quick smoke away from the noise inside. I didn’t recall it being so loud when I worked at Maxwells in the last century, but then again they did not have Bose speakers above the bar.

Much time was spent asking each other to repeat what was just said. Lois is great though, so creative and very supportive of other artists and musicians. She loves my photographs, how I seem to see things that other people just don’t see. She did confess that she doesn’t read this here blog that often which was perfectly alright by me.

After the pints and the gossip and talking about our respective mates, I walked Lois home with a paper bag and a dozen socks. Some water and a quick check of email once I got upp the four flights of stairs before I turned in.

The next morning, some more water to tend to my headache. I didn’t feel drunk, just politely buzzed but it was enough to remind me why I don’t really drink these days. The next day is so wasted.

Bill was home and quite energetic. He went to the gym as I licked my wounds. I did make it out and went to the store. I almost talked myself out of it but persevered. Once I was home I merely watched the TV until Bill returned. I did not feel like cooking and instead ordered in from Johnny Rockets. I had a hankering for a big ol’ greasy burger and they delivered.

Now it’s a day later. It was a weird day at work. I did resent Thomas asking me to switch days with him in a few weeks. It certainly could have waited until today but hearing it on Friday planted a seed that started to sprout in the back of my mind all weekend.

And it was not so busy but the store did alright I guess. Zack was back in the game contacting his deep pocketed clients. My clients wear speedos it seems. I did post the blog for the store once again. I usually write on Thursdays and Saturdays but since I was out on Saturday, I wasn’t about to write for the cigar shack.

I saw Mike Cecchini on the way home, he was strolling the avenues with his lovely girlfriend Sarah. That was nice and brief. They invited me to join them but I wanted to be home with Bill.







Trayvon Martin


01 If I Didn’t Care

01 If I Didn’t Care

I Heard It Through The Grapevine Creedence Clearwater Revival

A happy St. Patrick’s Day to all. It’s a Saturday this year and the weather was most cooperative. I’ve been through St. Patrick’s Day in the cold, in the rain, but today was very agreeable. Not pleasant enough to motivate me to head into the city to see the parade. Those days are long gone. No more hoping on a NJ Transit bus with my brother Brian, or with Paul Hanley who I went to high school with for two years.

No, today was spent in Hoboken. I slept enough and woke up, made some coffee and showered. Bill came home a little after that, Kelly green tam-o-shanter and an Ireland scarf with one of my green ties. He looked so cute and so tired. Almost immediately Bill was in bed, sleep apnea mask in place and sleeping soundly, as soon as his head hits the pillow.

I did some laundry and posted a slew of Irish musicians on YouTube to my Facebook page. Boomtown Rats, Rory Gallagher, Thin Lizzy, the Undertones, the Pogues, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, stuff like that. The Kate & Anna McGarrigle was also for my sister who had gone to Mendocino last weekend.

I also posted John & Yoko singing the Luck of the Irish on the Mike Douglas Show and Macca’s Give Ireland Back to the Irish. I don’t think George or Ringo had any Irish/Ireland themed songs. And I threw in Public Image Limited, Rise. The line May the Road Rise with You is the chorus lifted from an old Irish blessing which we have here hanging on the wall of our apartment.

Bill slept and after the laundry died I was out and about. A trip to the dry cleaners and then the bibliothèque where I picked up a book of Kurt Vonnegut from American Classics. I never read Kurt Vonnegut before but I had seen him enough times when I used to drive for HBJ and he was living on 48th Street.

And he was also one of the speakers at the Evening of American Satire that Bill and I attended in 2005 at the Society for Ethical Culture. He is the reason I eschew semi-colons. And it was soon after that evening that I decided to start this hear blog. So perhaps blame could be laid at the feet of Kurt Vonnegut. Or Art Buchwald, Barry Crimmins, Paul Krassner or the more than likely culprit from that satirical rogues gallery, Lewis Lapham.

While walking around Hoboken I did run into my friend Lois who was returning from the veterinarian with her cat. She looked great with her new pair of glasses which are similar to mine. She has some socks for me from a job she worked on and we made plans to meet up for a pint at Maxwells later on.

She mentioned that Maxwells was hosting a Shamrock & Roll karaoke in the back room, which is free and seemed most interested in going to that. That wasn’t in my plans but after a pint or two who knows?






♫ when Puerto Rican eyes are smiling ♪


07 Nothing Happened Today

I Heard It Through The Grapevine Gladys Knight and The Pips

Oh what a long strange day it’s been. It started out earlier than usual, with Bill kissing me goodbye in the morning around 6:30. He’s so sweet and gentle and I am just a wolf in bed. An hour later I got out of bed and got myself together. Not enough milk for cereal so it was just coffee and I was out the door.

I do not like the crowds at all and when it is so early in the morning I like them even less. One good thing is the fact that there are a lot more buses and the bus lane is open so I was at the bus terminal in no time at all. It did give me enough time to get an egg sandwich which was not as good as it is on weekends.

Each time I go in there they seem to be trying out a new short order cook. I can’t complain though since the egg sandwich was 25 cents cheaper than it usually is.

I got to the cigar shack which was dark and that meant that Zack wasn’t in yet. I started work almost immediately on getting the cigars back on the shelves now that the painters are done with their work. They did a good job though. Zack did make it in and the two of us were able to get most of the cigars back on the shelves, leaving the rest for myself, Thomas and Bradley to restock the shelves.

And Thomas and Bradley did come in, leaving Bradley to tell me that he wanted Thomas and me to do the rest of the work. We got it done, thanks to some regular customers. I had to run an errand at lunch time which coincided with an errand that needed to be done for the cigar shack.

Some keys needed to be made, and there seemed to be only one locksmith in Manhattan who would be able to do the job. Very special keys that are made in Germany. So I was able to do that, get my own errand done and I came back from lunch about 20 minutes later than usual, but it was excusable since it was cigar shack business.

I came back from lunch, Thomas was then headed to his lunch while Zack and Bradley were sequestered in the office having a very long meeting. The meeting it turned out was about a whole new bunch of rules which was sent out a short time before I was leaving and I was too busy giving Jerry Vale my sales since I achieved my own personal goal.

And I will not read the rules until Monday since I am off both Saturday and Sunday. No I do not do work related things on my time. You’re gonna have to pay me to do such things.

I asked Zack if I could leave at 7:00 instead of 7:30 and when he asked why, all I could say was my body clock is screwed up. It wasn’t good enough of an excuse so I stayed for a very long half hour, giving more sales to Jerry Vale. And right before I left there was Thomas getting a very serious call which made the atmosphere even more bleak than it was earlier.

He needs me to switch a day in April so he could attend some family thing. The catch was I would have to work a five day shift which is killer and no one wants to work a five day shift. I’m sure if I was able to sit in an office most of the day it would be no problem, but I am on my feet for 9 hours a day, so that would make it 45 hours of standing around selling cigars and whatnot.

Still, it is over, I am home and surprised I was able to write this much. Time to chill. Bill is driving to Atlantic City tonight and tomorrow, but at least I will be able to see him tomorrow morning at my leisure and not so wolf like.





01 Feeling Good

I Heard It Through The Grapevine Marvin Gaye

Home again. Another long day. Not all of them are long days, but this one started early. I had to be in the cigar shack by 10:30, a whole hour earlier than usual. I know, right? I was on time as usual. It was me and Zack for the first hour.

We were putting things back on the shelves that were removed last night so some painters could do some work in the walk in humidor. Things were slow most of the day, so far march has not proven to be as successful sales wise as it was in February. The cigar shack isn’t doing so bad but the numbers in February were much more impressive. Still we are meeting our quotas.

Thomas came in at 11:30 as expected and was not hung over like he was the day before. He was pretty funny sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. We were having a discussion on hate crimes and freedom of speech and I wasn’t quite in the mood for it, but Thomas being 25 years old and full of vim and vigor was in the mood.

While a person does have the right to yell fire in a crowded movie theater, that doesn’t mean that they should. Oh it was such a stupid discussion, but I had to laugh when Thomas mentioned that he was called a honky. I’m 25 years older than him and have lived through the times when honky was actually thrown about and never once was I called a honky.

In fact the only times I heard that word was on television, in the 1970’s and it was on Good Times. I don’t think Thomas grew up in some projects in Chicago in the 1970’s. Connecticut in the 1990’s is not the same thing as far as I know.

Thomas did great on sales today but Zack took the largest sales of all. I struggled in third place since no one I dealt with was looking for a humidor. Still, selling $2000 worth of cigars is not such a bad thing and breaking $2000 dollars satisfied my personal goal. Since I stayed later last night, Thomas stayed late tonight.

We took the cigars off the shelves again so the painters could finish their job tonight. I left at 8:30 tonight, leaving Jimmy Seltzer in the man cave with Jerry Vale who once again is doing the overnight shift. I walked down to the bus terminal like I used to, saved a couple of dollars and time which would have been spent waiting on the subway platform.

I figure once the weather gets warmer I will get back to doing that. Not breaking any records like I did last year, though it did take less than 19 minutes to get from point A to point B. I missed Bill at the bus terminal by a few minutes. He texted me from the bus he was on when I was a block away. Still it wasn’t so bad.

Now I am home. Picked out my suit for tomorrow as well as a green and black tie and my shamrock cufflinks. I won’t be working this weekend which is cool with me, and I won’t be heading into Manhattan for St. Patrick’s day, so I figure I will do my green Irish thing tomorrow.

Opening the store tomorrow and leaving earlier, a nice start to the weekend.



03 Move on

I Hear You Now

I woke up this morning with Bill hovering over me and kissing me goodbye as he was off to the gym. He took off from work again to clean up his stuff in the apartment again. I went back to sleep for a little while, getting out after hitting the snooze bar twice, before the third hit.

I shuffled about getting my own shit together. A bowl of cereal after a shower and a shave and soon I suited up and headed to the bus stop. Once again I find myself comfortable in my role at the cigar shack and once again something happens which basically is a ‘Not so fast Kowalski’ moment from Mad Magazine in the 1960’s.

I know about that since my brother Frank had it hanging on his bedroom wall for a long time when I was growing up. I met Bill at the bus stop after he was done with the gym and I was waiting. It was the highpoint of my day, being able to spend fleeting, quality time with Bill.

After a kiss I got on the bus as Bill said hello to Shirley, the surly bus driver who seemed a bit nicer after seeing Bill & I kiss. At the next stop was neighbor Deborah and we chatted about the usual things with me adding the fact that I am somewhat comfortable at the cigar shack, and how my writing a blog for the cigar shack seems to be progressing nicely.

A beautiful spring in winter morning as I walked up to the cigar shack, right on time as usual. Everything seemed alright most of the day, it was Zack, Bradley, Thomas and myself. Some work is being done overnight so Jerry Vale was coming in later to stay the night and over see the workers doing whatever it is they are scheduled to do.

Zack mentioned that Thomas and I might have to stay late, which of course we were willing to do albeit reluctantly. Some eye rolling was done which upset Zack greatly. Of course in his time, he would have gladly done whatever was asked of him, as would Thomas and myself. Sure we might bitch but the job will get done regardless.

So there was bad feelings this afternoon which fulfilled my feeling that things would get weird at some point today. Things cleared up but it did leave a bad feeling in my mouth. Zack felt we were taking advantage of Jerry Vale, since he is the new guy, or maybe newish. Funny, he doesn’t look newish. But we’re not taking advantage.

Jerry Vale needs the money, he just moved to a new apartment and mentioned to me, and perhaps anyone else who would listen that he will be working for the rest of the year, no vacation plans in the immediate future. I just talked about it with Jerry Vale and he mentioned that he brought it up and volunteered for the overnight shift.

So no, no one is taking advantage of Jerry Vale.

Don’t get too comfortable.

Shepard's Pi 3.14159265




Angels and Devils

I Hear You Knocking

Another day another what? It’s Tuesday and the weather is spectacular. It’s March and it was 72 degrees when I had lunch. It was in the upper 50 degree range when I woke up this morning and it wasn’t easy getting out of bed. Some difficulty falling asleep last night you see.

Bill was up and out as I lay in bed, I have no idea what time that was. I lay sleeping with one hand hovering above the alarm clock, ready to strike when the alarm went off. I did get out of bed eventually and got myself together. Always a hard thing to do especially after having a day off that was as nice as it was yesterday.

I played guitar last night after being inspired by young Tim. The other day I was playing Black & Blue by the Rolling Stones. I don’t think I ever played it all the way through from start to finish, it really is a good record. So I spent some time figuring out how to play Hand of Fate. I think I got it.

I also tried to figure out how to play Outlaw Blues by Bob Dylan which I heard young Tim play yesterday, but by then it was too late, Bill came home and we were watching Game Change, the HBO movie about Sarah Palin and her candidacy with John McCain.

There are moments were she does come off as sympathetic. It certainly is not a hatchet job. Julianne Moore certainly looked like her, as did Ed Harris as McCain and Woody Harrelson was excellent as Steve Schmidt, McCain’s campaign manager. Of course it was all a fiasco and though that team lost, it wasn’t a happy ending since it was the rise of Sarah Palin that lent credence to the tea bagger movement.

I had some hesitation about going to work. Not depression, no apprehension, just a weird feeling overall. The uneventful bus ride thanks to Shirley the grumpy ass bus driver. I did see my second favorite bus driver the other night and he said he will be back on the route in April so I definitely look forward to that.

At the cigar shack it was Zack, Bradley, Jerry Vale and me. A decent team. Yesterday was Zack’s birthday and he’s sliding towards 40. I wished him a happy birthday yesterday via text and today I shook his hand. Apparently I had a few customers looking for me.

One of them, a renowned broadcaster sent his regards, another was calling in from Central NJ and another was in from DC and wanted to see me. I did what I could to fulfill their cigar needs and it was a pleasure to meet the guy from DC, someone I had only communicated with via email. A handsome chap in a very nice suit.

And it was such a nice day that I was able to have my lunch on a bench near the park. A brilliant afternoon was spent smoking a cigar and reading about Johnny Cash by Sylvie Simmons and Barney Hoskyns in the latest Mojo.

The afternoon went by with Bradley feeling a bit unwell. he left at 6:00, Zack left around 7:00 leaving Jerry Vale and myself to run things. It went well, Jerry Vale filling me in with regards to a run in with Thomas last week when I was out. Zack read the blog I wrote for the cigar shack and he really liked it and encouraged me to write some more. I have to admit I was a bit worried that he wouldn’t like it. Thomas read some of it, mainly the second entry and sniffed that some things should be taken out. I left them in and I seemed to have cut the mustard.

Now I am home, Bill fast asleep in bed. I was hoping to talk to him when I got home and I figure I could still do that, only he wouldn’t be paying much attention. C’est la vie.






snoop-dogg-sensual-seduction-instrumental

I Hear Voices

Well yesterday was a Sunday and it wasn’t so bad. I worked of course. Bill was coming back from Atlantic City so there was no seeing him until last night. Work wasn’t so bad though it was a bit slow. I managed to grab the lion’s share from Thomas who basically ruled the roost the previous 2 days.

Thomas’ fiancée stopped by for a visit towards the end of the day, she’s nice and definitely makes Thomas a better man. I made it home earlier than usual since Thomas was closing. I lucked out with a train pulling into the station once I got to the platform, then a short wait for the bus.

And walking up the stairs, there was Bill waiting for me in the open doorway. He was happy to see me and I was happy to see him. He was watching Hot in Cleveland on his laptop and after the Simpsons/Bob’s Burgers (which I think is really funny) I threw Beginners in the DVD player. Beginners is the movie starring Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor and the movie that won Christopher Plummer the Academy Award.

It was a good movie, just a bit too slow for tired ol’ Bill to stay awake for. I’m glad I did though. It was an interesting film to see Plummer & McGregor interact as father and son as well as watching McGregor & Mélanie Laurent try to figure out where their relationship is headed. Both stories were compelling and show the flaws in relationships as well as the strengths. And the dog was cute.

I didn’t watch anything in particular after that, just surfed the net as the TV droned on and on. I did go to bed eventually and slept quite well, perhaps making up for the hour lost when the clocks moved an hour ahead for daylight savings. And I slept so well that I slept later than I expected to. Still, it was alright since I had nothing planned for today.

Laundry was done the other day so all I had to really do was go to the supermarket. And once again it was fairly empty and once again I had Isis as my cashier. A brief chat while checking out, she was saying how tired she was, probably from the daylight savings thing. I recommended a nap and she planned on it between getting out of work and picking up her son after school.

I came home and cleaned up a bit. It was a gorgeous day so I headed out in the afternoon. I walked down Washington Street where I ran into Rand & Lisa coming back from lunch. Lisa had a surgical pin removed from her toe. Apparently she smashed it up and it was badly broken. Bill saw the toe a few weeks ago and was grossed out. I only saw the pictures of the surgical pin being removed with needle nosed pliers.

We chatted outside of Hoboken Daily News and were joined by Mike Cecchini and his pal Ahmet. They were all walking uptown and I was headed downtown, taking a walk along the river. It was nice by the river and I figured I would see somebody I knew and there was Tim, a teenaged guitarist that played with Lily a few years ago as the Street Corner Mourners.

The Street Corner Mourners (Tim & Lily) played the party that Bill & I had at Maxwells in July 2010. Tim was singing ‘A Friend of the Devil’ and doing a good job. He mentioned he needed a pick since his hand was getting bloody from strumming. I walked over to the Guitar Bar where I saw Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro and got some picks for myself as well as for Tim.

Tim was making some good money playing there, much better than what I did when I was busking almost every day. He does keep his guitar case open in front of him where I would keep my guitar case to the side due to an embarrassment of sorts. I sat and listened to Tim play and took some snapshots as well as shooting a video.

It was a pretty good day and I am glad I went out and saw some friends. I should really do that more often.





Tim


3rd & Washington



02 Most of the Time [Alternate Versi 1

I Hear A Symphony

I slept really well last night despite the fact that Bill was not in bed next to me. I don’t usually sleep that well when he is away but I guess since I did not sleep that well the night before, my body made up for it. My good friend Lois was working retail in Hoboken today and had a quandary as to what to play while she was working.

I asked if she had an iPod but she didn’t. On the way to the bus stop this morning I figured that since I have an extra iPod I would lend her the extra. I was listening to Hot Chip as I waited in the sun across the street from the bus stop. I decided to make a playlist from one of the tracks when all of a sudden my iPod up and died. Or actually went into a coma.

Being in the sun I couldn’t read the message on the device. I tried to reset it a few times to no avail and did not look forward to the music choices that Bradley or Thomas might present. I know they’re good guys and generally have good taste in music but I used to be a DJ and I guess I like to control the music at the cigar shack.

I think my co-workers recognize that if I can pick the music then I am happy and I think they like to make me happy. Or maybe it’s simply a case of ‘letting the baby have it’s bottle’.

No iPod meant I had to listen to people on the bus, in the bus terminal and in the street as I walked to the cigar shack. I was determined though, to find out whether or not I could reset the iPod once I had access to a computer. As luck would have it as soon as I plugged the iPod in the AC outlet it came back to life. Who knows? Maybe when I unplug it it will go back to being Karen Ann Quinlan.

The day at the cigar shack was slow enough for me to write another blog entry for the cigar shack. http://cigarshackasaurus.com It was an easy write as it usually is. Just show me what to write and I will write it Wow 13 minutes left. I just sold a lime green pen case to a woman named Lynn somewhere in Michigan. Poor thing sounded like she had a behemoth of a head cold.

I just want to go home now. Thomas kicked ass all day, definitely getting the lion’s share and then some in sales. I came in second, happy to have put Bradley in third place. Now the Feelies are playing and I can hear the great Stan Demeski on drums loud and clear. Dave Weckerman’s percussion too.

Crazy wiring on the speakers here. I can here the percussion and drum and the bass and guitar sound far away. On the whole, I’d rather be in Haledon. Not really. First we’ll take Hoboken.

The iPod did work on the bus ride home and I listened to Another Day on Earth by Brian Eno. I don’t think I had heard it on the iPod with the ear buds in but it really is a beautiful piece of work. Jeez I love that Eno so much, I even downloaded an app for Oblique Strategies. I’m pretty sure it’s not official but it’s light hearted entertainment, all the same.

Tomorrow is Sunday so that means I won’t be writing. Why don’t you do some writing? Perhaps leave a comment here, or write your own blog.




01 This

I Haven’t Seen Her In Ages

It’s Friday and it’s a day off. It hasn’t been that bad, though I did have some difficulty sleeping last night and wound up sleeping an hour later than I wanted to. That’s the price of giving the alarm clock the day off I suppose. I managed to get through the day but as for being productive, that’s another story.

I guess it’s safe to say I wasn’t too productive. But I wasn’t planning on being productive anyhow so I guess it evens out somewhat. Bill stayed up for me when I came home last night and went to sleep a little while later. He’s been sleeping soundly since altering his diet. And more often than not I do too, but not last night. I did follow my own advice and got out of bed around 3:30 and surfed the net for about 15 minutes before finally getting some real sleep.

I barely remember Bill’s farewell kiss, but I do remember asking him if he was driving to Atlantic City tonight. He is, and as of right now he is on the road, or at least 15 minutes ago, he was in Union Township.

I did the usual morning shuffle today, a shower, some coffee and a trip to the supermarket where I waited on a line to have Isis as my cashier. The other register had less people but I think most people like Isis at the Hoboken A&P. Last time I saw Isis was the other day and didn’t realize that I had toothpaste on my lips until I got home.

A nice and subdued breakfast once I was back at the apartment and some more sitting in front of the computer. I’ve been getting plenty of ideas lately but have yet to put the pen to paper so to speak. After a while I went outside. It certainly wasn’t 70 degrees out like it was yesterday. I stopped by the bibliothèque on my journey, returning the DVD of Thor. It wasn’t that bad I think.

I wasn’t paying too much attention to it when it was on. Thor was a favorite superhero of mine when I was growing up. I remember playing with my friends and throwing a sledge hammer around playing Thor. Of course the sledge hammer never went far and did not hurt anyone since it was too heavy to throw any distance. It was more like throwing a hammer and then whoever picked it up would have their turn at being Thor.

Good times indeed.

We usually played Marvel comics characters rather than DC. Marvel’s superheroes were easier to imitate rather than running around with our arms outstretched saying that we were Superman. And Batman back then meant Adam West and no one wanted to be him.

My brother Brian is quite the lucky chap tonight. He won 2 tickets to see Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band at the Apollo Theater tonight and he is taking his son. He’s been uploading pics and comments and they seem to be having a great time though I would be watching the show rather than commenting. Who am I kidding? I would be probably doing both just like Brian.

So it’s a quiet night in Hoboken, especially with Bill on the road. I expect I will be hearing from him once he gets to Atlantic City. I’ll be tracking him via Google Latitude while sitting in front of the computer. I’d rather he be here with me, but that’s how it goes.

I’ll see him tomorrow, probably as I am heading off to work at the cigar shack. He’ll be getting off the bus as I’ll be getting on more than likely. A fleeting kiss will be better than no kiss at all.










10 Friday

I Have You To Thank

Back at the cigar shack once again. Today’s contestants are Zack and Jerry Vale, Bradley and Thomas will be participating in tomorrow’s episode whereas I will not since I am off in most every way of the word.

It’s another gorgeous day weather wise, for March 8 the temperature hit 70 degrees, quite nice with cool breezes every now and then. The cigar shack has been somewhat busy today. I think the routine of getting cigars on Thursday for the weekend is coming around again. It usually happens during the warmer seasons with guys leaving town or having Fridays off.

I am off tomorrow and I am quite happy about that. I would hope the weather be what it was today but I’m not so sure about that. Still a day off is a day off. The other day on Facebook Harpy and I had a comment throw off (what else could it be called) and Harpy wrote something that I read as ‘everyone knows’.

That made me look onto YouTube where I found a clip of Leonard Cohen singing in London, 2008 ‘Everybody Knows’. Whomever posted it had the lyrics which were quite good and I found myself haunted by Leonard Cohen’s words, so much so that I was able to find his songs online which I loaded into my iPod.

So this morning while waiting for the bus I listed to Leonard Cohen on the bus. I didn’t get too far since neighbor Deborah joined me on the commute but I did leave it playing so when we parted ways I did hear Leonard Cohen once again, but I was in the midtown mindset and needed to put my game face on, meaning something snappy & peppy, which unfortunately can’t describe Leonard Cohen’s work.

It is now almost 8:00 right now, me and Jerry Vale manning the boards. A neighbor customer sits in the man cave enjoying a cigar. I will be sitting back there counting money as he smokes since Jerry Vale is leaving at 8:30 and it needs to be done before he leaves for the day. Now the counting of the money is finished.

The neighbor was done smoking his cigar and my friend my friend Bruce stopped by for a quick chat. He offered me a dollar if I turned off the Leonard Cohen stuff that I was playing. I said no and anyway I couldn’t chat too long since Jerry Vale is heading out in about 12 minutes and I needed to get my end of things straightened out, relatively speaking.

Bill said he will be staying up, waiting for me to come home before he goes to bed. I told him there was no need. It is always nice when he is up and waiting for me but I would totally understand if he is fast asleep when I walk through the door. No garden of Gethsemane references needed.

Jerry Vale is stressing since he is about to move to a new apartment and as everyone knows, moving is nothing but stress. I checked the weather forecast at Jerry Vale’s request and the weather is supposed to be 50 degrees tomorrow which is nice, hopefully. Unfortunately Leonard Cohen proved to be way too heavy so I switched to Chuck Berry which you have to admit is more fun. Unless you’re a woman trying to use the loo.

This is actually the second blog I have written today. I wrote another entry for the cigar shack, photos included. Whether or not it gets read is another story. I’m not sure if even Zack knows about the latest entries. I think they’re funny and somewhat informative which to some people are complete opposites.

One can be funny or informative but very rarely do the two co-exist.

Jeez, I just had this fat sweaty closet case with a waxed moustache that pointed up to his eyes. He really looked like an idiot who spent way too much time waxing his moustache. I don’t think women would be into it, perhaps some men would be but not this man. He kept bugging me for a free cigar since he was buying three. He got nothing from me despite his attempts to intimidate me with his tales of selling spices. Sorry Spice Gurl- No freebies for you.

And there was Bill waiting for me as I walked through the door. So nice.





Moonlight Lover

I Have The Touch

Finally back at home after a long day. I suppose the long day started last night when I was going to bed. As I was getting into the bed, a small voice in the back of my head said ‘you should check to see if you are opening the cigar shack tomorrow’. I didn’t pay any attention to it and soon was fast asleep.

Bill was above me a few hours later giving me a kiss goodbye and I went back to sleep. The alarm was set for 8:00 and I figured that it was a normal day with me headed in to the cigar shack at the usual time of 11:30. But the small voice was a bit larger this morning and I was compelled to listen to it, so I got out of bed, walked over to computer and pulled up the schedule.

It turned out that I was opening the cigar shack this morning after all, meaning I had to be there by 9:30 to open at 10:00. I got myself together, quick shower and shave, fast bowl of cereal, one cup of really good coffee that Bill made and after putting on a suit & tie with shoes & socks I was out the door, headed down the stairs.

Much to my surprise there was a line of people waiting for the bus. The 9:15 bus. I knew I wasn’t going to make it at 9:30 and hoped I would be there by 10:00. The bus filled up and we flew through the tunnel, a slight delay underground, someone tapped someone else’s bumper. Nothing major but slowed things down enough for me to send a text to Zack that I was stuck in the tunnel.

The schedule said he was going to be in as well so I wasn’t worried as I hustled through the bus terminal and out on the street. I wisely decided to hoof it up to the cigar shack since the subway is so undependable and I did not need that stress. I made it to the cigar shack at 9:55 which wasn’t that bad. A regular customer was waiting outside and I let him in, glad to have some company.

Zack phoned a bit frantic. Apparently he was not coming in at his usual time, he was at the doctor’s office and worried that I was going to be very late. I reassured him that it was all good, no worries and set about starting and opening the cigar shack and counting the registers.

Bradley soon made it in about an hour later and like I’d written before, he’s been alright now that he is the assistant manager and he was pretty funny once again. Thomas came in a little while after that and he wasn’t too happy. He had gone out the night before with a customer, had a few drinks and was feeling angry since his commission check wasn’t all that he had hoped it would be.

I was satisfied with mine but then again I did have top sales in February. He didn’t do so bad either and I did remind him that the numbers he adds up in his head aren’t necessarily the numbers they crunch at the headquarters. The day was busy enough, Zack eventually made it in and was hidden away in his office.

The man cave was bustling as usual. It was a nice day, warm enough to sit on a bench near the park and enjoy life going by as I enjoyed a small cigar. I was back at the shack and made it through the day unscathed. Glad to be home and happy to know that my hours will be back to normal tomorrow.





bus queue


02 Wax And Wane

I Have Seen The Rain

Today has been a good day. I was off and I didn’t over sleep too much. 15 minutes was about all I needed and 15 minutes was about all I got. Bill was up and out hours before I got out of bed, leaving me with a farewell kiss and a pot of coffee to remember him by. He makes the best coffee. There were no real plans today except for laundry, a trip to the supermarket and the dry cleaners as well as a visit to the bibliothèque. It all went well I am happy to report.

A walk around Hoboken after the library included a stop at the local record store where I got the latest Mojo & Uncut Magazines from a very indifferent guy behind the counter who was more interested in labeling the latest used dubstep cds than being helpful. On the way out I saw Bill Ryan who used to run the late great record store Pier Platters. It was a brief ‘hello how are you doing’ said in passing. Good to see him though, I see him maybe once a year rather than almost every day like it was all those years ago.

The building that was on fire a couple of weeks ago is now down to two floors left. It’s been a steady demolition and the streets around the building are still closed to traffic. I think the benefit that was held this past Friday went well and clothing and other items are still being donated via the Rotary Club.

It was a beautiful day on Hoboken, the sun was shining on a clear blue sky but it was also quite cold. It was good to get out this afternoon. I was going to stop by the Guitar bar and say hello to Mr. Wonderful, but it was after school so the place would be busy with kids taking lessons or parents waiting to pick up their kids. I did make it back home and watched some TV which I eventually turned off and opted to hear music instead.

There was a plan to meet with my friend Lois tonight and pick up some socks that she has. But once I got home I was pretty much settled in and luckily able to meet with her on Friday instead. Now Bill is home and I can’t type for shit. No really. It’s taken me quite a while to get this far. So many typos which you won’t see since I will correct them all before it goes online. It’s so much easier to surf the net or read friends postings on Facebook than it is to write.

Once again Dorothy Parker’s axiom rings true, ‘I hate writing but love having written’. And that applies right now to a project that I am going to be involved with. I have the ingredients but need to get started on it. And the five ideas I have are subject to change as are the subjects themselves. I know I can do it, I have done it already. Some tightening up, some clear headedness and of course time is the main requirement.

No distractions. Bill and I watched a Spalding Gray DVD the other night and Spalding spoke of being in a writers colony, the McDowell Colony, where he was afforded the time and space to work on his project. Of course I do not have the access to such an environment but it would be nice. But right now the artist colony is where I am at, right in front of the computer. It’s not where you’re from it’s where you’re at.






I Have Friends in Holy Spaces

Well I am home. I expected to get home later since a staph meeting was scheduled much to the dismay of Thomas and myself. I also had to go to work an hour earlier than usual which did not make me happy at all. I did sleep really well last night but that did not help with waking up in the morning. After a valiant struggle I was able to get out of bed and do my usual routine before heading out into the cold.

And it was quite cold this morning as I waited on Bloomfield Street for that 12 bus to Manhattan. Indifferent crowd on the bus an hour earlier. No one I knew so I just stared out the window, alternating with the smartphone. The cigar shack was dead yesterday and today promised to be the same only with a staph meeting being the cherry on top.

So for the first hour it was Zack and myself. Zack was ensconced on his office doing things and after a while he came out and told me that he had a lot of work on his hands and the staph meeting isn’t going to happen after all. I must have had a shit eating grin on my face as I explained to Zack that I didn’t mind about that. I told him that I understood that he is at the cigar shack all the time (except for weekends) and that I was not looking forward to getting into work at 10:30AM and not leaving until possibly 10:30PM.

Things picked up somewhat, proving that Mondays are not necessarily Sundays. Thomas came in and we clashed a few times. I do have to take a step back sometimes and realize that Thomas is only 25 and has so much more to learn about life and things. On the other end of the spectrum, Bradley and Jerry Vale were in today as well, in jeans and definitely not in a suit & tie like Thomas, Zack & myself.

They were working in the stock room cleaning things up so no need for fancy clothes. The day went along in an alright manner. I had a nice lunch at the diner, a Ma & Pa special and read the New Yorker. Back at the shack an hour later, actually a little bit earlier than an hour since Thomas was complaining about how hungry he was and how he didn’t want to have lunch at 5:00. I was about 10 minutes early so he was able to head out himself and saving me from hearing his whining about how late it was. It made a difference.

Bradley and Jerry Vale were done with their project and helped out with the unpacking of boxes. I found a nearly full box of cigars nestled in the area were we keep our empty cigar boxes. It was the second time that happened. Apparently someone has been putting boxes of cigars hidden among the empty boxes, perhaps hoping to steal them. Zack was surprised at this and I asked Bradley and Jerry Vale about it and they had no idea so that means whenever we give away our empty cigar boxes we have to make sure the boxes that get picked are truly empty.

With no staph meeting that meant I was able to leave early tonight, I was in early and Thomas was closing. Zack asked that I stay in case it gets busy but since it was not busy at all I left at around 8:45, roughly a half hour earlier than usual.

Uneventful bus ride home, and I listened to James, a band from the UK from the 1990’s that Eno produced. I never heard this particular album, Wah Wah but it’s very good.

Who cares if I am 15 years too late?


05. [Say Something]

I Have A Dream

A Saturday in the cigar shack and I am happy to be here thank you very much. It’s also Fake Patrick’s Day in Hoboken. I believe I was at one of the first Fake Patrick’s Day parades in Hoboken in 1991,but headed down to Manahawkin instead. That was a trip in itself.

Each year in Hoboken it has been getting worse. Drunken twenty somethings roaming the streets going to bars and pubs and house parties and peeing or vomiting on the streets. This year since it had gotten so out of hand, the powers that be decided to cancel the parade hoping that it would curtail the drunken behavior.

Well that caused a bit of a to do, some people (idiot clergy included) saying it was defaming to the Irish, how unfair it all seemed to be. So Mayor Dawn Zimmer decided to host an Irish Heritage day on Pier A, which I have no idea what that meant. Still it should have kept her political enemies quiet, but no it didn’t quite work that way.

Mayor Zimmer’s enemies have stopped short of blaming the fire at 3rd and Washington on City Hall, since the fire department had a few trucks helping a fight a fire in Jersey City. The fire was put out but the firestorm towards Dawn Zimmer raged on.

A gathering was held last night at a local bar to help the victims of the fire, and even that was under attack from the old school Hoboken politicos, saying that the money was going into the pockets of the organizers and not the people who were the victims. Even with the Rotary Club involved they still spewed their nonsense.

In any event, I am happy to be out of Hoboken today, though I am anticipating some difficulty getting home. I do hope I am wrong. While waiting for the bus this morning I saw groups of young people carrying cases and six packs of beer and funnels heading to house parties.

Julio took it upon himself to text me about how disgusted he was with these young drunkards. Of course he is disgusted. He has a kid now and does not want Alexander to see adults behaving badly. Julio could not help but compare us to the youth of today, annoyed with the youth going to pubs at 10 in the morning dressed in green. I reminded him that we were ourselves, probably green back in the day and leaving Maxwells at 10 in the morning. He didn’t respond to that text which leads me to believe that I might have hit it too close to home.

Thomas is antsy to get out of here. He came in at 10:30 this morning which means he leaves at 8:30 and now it is 8:27. And now it is 8:30 and Thomas has flown the coop, leaving me as a solo. Not a good idea since I just had 2 guys in the humidor and 2 other people came in to look at some pricey items.

I couldn’t leave the guys in the humidor since everything is within reach and fits into pockets too nicely. So the people looking at the big ticket items were ignored and left, leaving me with the 2 guys who just bought individual cigars. That’s the nature of the beats I suppose.

Now I am back in Hoboken. A 15 minute wait for the bus back to Hoboken wasn’t so bad. I killed the time playing solitaire on my smartphone. The ride was uneventful until we got to Hoboken where the drunk girls got on, dressed in green and looking a bit green around the gills.

I got off the bus at a stop early so as to avoid the pub near my usual stop. It’s a rowdy pub most days and on Fake Patrick’s Day night it promised to be even rowdier. So I got off at 8th Street and of course there was a belligerent drunk outside the 8th Street Tavern, some kid drunk off his ass looking for a fight. Any fight with anyone.

Sirens were approaching so the drunk kid vanished with his friends who were doing a terrible job staying out of trouble. I’m home now after stepping around a few puddles of puke, none the worse for wear. Glad to be here and also glad I’m not in my 20’s anymore.



02 African Night Flight

I Hate This Part

Well it’s been a day off and a lazy day off at that. I slept later than expected, waking up at 10:00. I didn’t mind, things were just a bit slower than usual. And it’s been lazy lazy lazy all day. I shuffled on over to the supermarket as usual, got some things, chatted with Isis and then came home to a nice breakfast. That’s really about all I did today.

I’m content. Laundry can wait, it’s not going anywhere. Not much happening on the net.

Jon Bon Jovi turned 50 today. And today would have been Karen Carpenter’s birthday as well. She would have been 62 today. I’ve always loved her voice. And it is also Lou Reed’s birthday today. Laurie Anderson’s husband is 70 years old today. I like his songs and sometimes I like his voice too. I worked with him in the 1990’s and to put it mildly, he is a handful.

And today is Theodor Geisel’s birthday. Dr. Seuss would have been 104 years old. I guess with the exception of Jon Bon Jovi (who I met in the 1990’s- a nice guy really), Karen Carpenter, Lou Reed and Dr. Seuss have all had some kind of influence on my life. But then again, I do believe everyone you meet in your life has some sort of influence so I guess Jon Bon Jovi too has had some sort of influence.

Yes, I think that with every little encounter that one has with various human beings or even animal I suppose, they contribute something to your person, your being. Then when you are dying, you are finally complete and fully yourself. We’re all works in progress. Tomorrow might have a different philosophy but I’ll stick with that one for now.

I haven’t done this in a while so I figured I will do it now. In February I had 1,084 visits to this here blog.
The top ten are:
New York
Eureka
Hoboken
Los Angeles
Apopka
Chicago
Philadelphia
London
(not set)
San Francisco

I guess not set means smartphones or laptops or iPads. I’m impressed with the numbers though.

The bottom ten are:
Gillette
Barcelona
Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh
Belgrade
Sombor
Aiud
Zary
Maringa
Maua
Sao Goncalo

I don’t know what I can do to get more readers in Aiud. I don’t even know where Aiud is. Ha! I just looked it up and apparently it is located in Transylvania, Romania. 801 of those visitors were new to the blog, and 283 were returning masochists. 40 of them visited via iPads, 27 were using iPhones and the majority were on Samsung Droids. The rest were desktop surfers.

Chrome browsers led the pack followed by Internet Explorers and Firefoxes, Safaris and Android Browsers. 17 visits from Brazil and Australia, 12 in India, 2 in Russia and 1 in China. It’s certainly interesting, to me at least to know that this is read all over the world. More than I anticipated since I was content with Annemarie and Harpy being the main 2 visitors.

Now I have to rethink that. Just not now.

the demolition at 3rd and Washington




Donald Fagen – New Frontier