Monthly Archives: April 2012

I Know A Little

Well today was a day off. Yesterday wasn’t. Yesterday was working with Thomas and Jerry Vale. Thomas and I finally had our talk, about how upset I was when he stole a customer from me. According to Bill when I am upset with someone I freeze them out, or in Bill’s words I send them to Siberia.

I got that from my father. Not the best way to handle a situation, but it beats biting someone’s head off. But the talk was had and Thomas seemed contrite, saying that if he ever does that to me again to let him know and he would rectify the situation. It made for an easy afternoon.

Jerry Vale was out of sorts though. He messed up a shipping order earlier in the week and still has difficulty on the cash registers. So after all this time, he still needs to be watched closely. I came home last night, closing my register and leaving Jerry Vale in the shop. He’s been hiding out there avoiding his roommate until it is time to go home.

I had a cigar and walked down the avenue to the bus stop. It was a great feeling knowing that I had a single day off which is better than no day off. On Saturday the sales were very good and warranted an email from Zack telling us what a good job we had performed. Yesterday the sales were not as good therefore no email was forthcoming. I had top sales both days by the way which was nice.

I got home, Bill fast asleep. I chatted with him as he slept and grumbled, eventually watching Nurse Jackie which was very good thanks to the appearance of Rosie Perez. The Big C was also very good as well, once again with guest stars Susan Saradon and Victor Gerber.

I saw John Benjamin Hickey on the street the other day, he plays Laura Linney’s brother. Being in New York I didn’t say anything or make a scene. I think I saw Rupert Murdoch the other day as I was heading into work. He had a big bodyguard as he left the overpriced supermarket nearby. I didn’t say anything to him though I did meet him twice before. I shook his hand which felt like I was squeezing mashed potatoes and thanked him for the great party that I was attending.

I watched Mad Men which was good but not as good as the week before which had Roger’s trip on LSD as the centerpiece. I stayed up for a while watching the news and whatnot, Bill had gotten out of bed for a little while before heading back.

This morning I had a telephone interview which went well. Whether or not anything comes of it remains to be seen. I can’t afford to invest hope in these matters since my spirit gets crushed each and every time. So ambivalence is the way to go.

I called Bill as I do most mornings and tried to tell him about the interview that I just had but he wasn’t much interested since I had so many of these things the past few years. I should try apathy next time he goes up for an audition. I won’t but the devil on my shoulder insists.

I also heard from Pedro who I had no contact with for the past few months. He wrote that he hates my Trayvon Martin Facebook hoodie profile picture, labeling it white guilt. He’s getting to be more of a reactionary conservative (probably because of the lack of contact between us, me offering the liberal voice of things which usually opens his mind somewhat).

For me there was no white guilt involved, it had more to do with a sense of injustice. Of course I didn’t tell Pedro that, the guy who was so upset when Radio Raheem gets killed by the police in Do The Right Thing.

My how we’ve grown since 1989.

there is a hawk in this photo

10 Five Years

I Know

Delta 5 are playing Mind Your Own Business right now. One of those post punk bands from the UK, playing agit pop, noble attempts at funk but not quite getting there, but in so doing created something fun and totally different.

Yeah, I am at the cigar shack once again, doing whatever it is that I do. I decided that my socialist technique of doing things and letting my co-workers get the sales was not helping me out at all, and you know my co-workers weren’t doing the same for me. So yeah, I guess today was my first day of being a shark again.

And it has paid off considerably, but then again one has to take into account that it is the luck of the draw. I don’t have the luxury that Bradley has with the cigar lounge calling and specifically asking for him and therefore getting a triple digit or quadruple digit sale. But I did have the chance to sell a thousdand dollar lighter to someone who didn’t like his father smoking, so of course the thing to do is to buy the old man (56 years old by the way) a lighter.

It’s quite similar to someone like Julio who would travel and say ‘I think you should quit smoking, so I got you an ashtray.’ Of course I accepted the ashtray and flicked my cigarette or whatver into it. Today was spent with Jerry Vale and Bradley and where most of the day I was sullen since my numbers weren’t quite up to snuff, I am feeling much better now and now Jerry Vale is feeling sullen.

And now the Records are playing Starry Eyes, an old power pop favorite from the days of WPIX FM. Jerry Vale is vacuuming now so the Records are drowned out by the hoover. Cheap Trick is playing Surrender and I am more than willing to surrender.

Once again it’s a Saturday night, the cigar shack area is quiet once again, a few stragglers in winter coats and scarves walk by. That means it’s cold out. It was cold and sunny this morning as I waited for the bus this morning, warming up when talking to Annemarie on the phone (but that might be because she is such a warm person) and now it’s dropping. Oh climate change, you keep us guessing and throw anything resembeling fashion sense right out the slightly open window.

So instead of me claning things up, it fell to Jerry Vale since I used to insist on doing it myself and when my co-workers wouldn’t lift a finger to help but just rang up sales, I complained to Jerry Vale and he mentioned that I always insisted. So today it fell to him. To tell the truth as good a job that he did, I do a much better job at it.

Now the Imates are singing Dirty Water, a remake of the Standells Dirty Water, moving the River Charles to the River Thames. A little more than a half our to go for me. Just want out.

the man I love, seeing me off

two Israelites preaching hate..

09 Venus as a Boy

I Knew I Loved You

Ceremony by New Order is playing. I originally had Joy Division on but once again I realized I don’t really like too many Joy Division songs. Probably because of Ian Curtis’ voice. I like maybe 5 Joy Division songs. A sacrilege to some I am sure. Love Will Tear Us Apart, Transmission, She’s Lost Control…and that’s all I can think of. Atmosphere is way too much of a dirge for my liking. Good friends of mine love them still but I don’t get it. Too depressing which my friends don’t see or hear.

It’s back at the cigar shack again. I thought it would be Zack, Bradley and Jerry Vale with myself, but there was no Jerry Vale today. That’s a bit a of a disappointment. Nick, someone from McMann & Tate just walked in. He remembers me and I always think of his as Scott which is not his name, but could be the pseudonym that I gave him 6 years ago. NIce guy, I think he has a thing for me.

So the cigar shack did quite well today. I had a nice chat with Bradley about me and Thomas which helped me sweep the bad feelings under the rug. And Thomas came in for a few minutes. It’s his birthday weekend and he has a few buddies from Connecticut in town for drinks and carousing. 26 years old now, and still incorrigible.

A little over 30 minutes left in today at the cigar shack and I am working both Saturday and Sunday. I did arrange to have off on May 6 so I could attend the Fartin’ Mucous Festival in Hoboken and also took off May 12th and 13th to perhaps go down the shore with Rand and Lisa. In order to do that I have to work a 5 day stretch which is murder, but those 2 days off at the end of the week is a pot of gold of sorts.

ANd Bill is driving tomorrow, not tonight. Of course when I come home tonight he will be out cold. I will speak to him as he sleeps and he will mutter incomprehensible things back to me. WHat it means I don’t know.

Last night, I did not sleep that well, woke up with New Order’s Temptation in my head which is never played on WCBS-FM so it was in my head and stayed there. I shouldn’t have watched that 1981 Live from the Ukrainian Home video last night. And I had a dream. I was back in Lodi on Riverview Avenue to deliver a message to old neighbor from around the block, Jeffrey Telep about his dog Tramp.

Tramp was alive and well in the dream though more than likely dead for about 30 years. As I walked through the neighborhood, I saw the Merlino’s house, the Serpone’s house all with new, yet invisible residents. The Bello’s house, now owned by the horrible Debbie Natale was like a clearing house filled with kitchen appliances, all tagged and ready for sale.

Debbie was berating an employee, making them cry and I threw the message for Jeffrey Telep away, deciding to go back home to my parents.


I Kissed A Girl Jill Sobule

And now today was back at the cigar shack. Oddly enough, no dread, no anxiety and no pharmaceuticals. Just a general ambivalence I suppose. Bill has been phenomenal. Last night we watched Veep, starring Julia Louis Dreyfuss. Very good, very funny.

It is hard to write with Thomas standing two feet away from me, just itching to see what it is I am writing. But now he is gone and I maintain the flow. Bill went to bed after Veep and I of course stayed up watching anything but the news.

I can’t take it anymore really. So much bad stuff and that is just MSNBC and the three shows, The Ed Show, Rachel Maddow and the Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. Thomas has returned and is telling me how easy it is to make a pot roast. Such enthusiasm.

I watched the Colbert Report, followed by 30 Rock I think but I’m not sure. I don’t think 30 Rock holds up after repeated viewings. So waking up was no big deal, Bill was up and out at 5:30 and off to the gym with 2 hours on the treadmill. His farewell kiss to me was sweeter than ever and I of course rolled over after he split.

3 more hours for slumbering me suits me just fine. I was at the bus stop at my usual time, staying away from the other commuters as I smoked a cigar. My bus came and quickly filled up.

I saw a guy I used to work with in the cigar shack, I keep running into him from time to time, each time he is closer to the bus terminal. This morning he was right across the street from the depot. No time for chit chat, just a flashed peace sign and I was on my way.

I was listening to the English Beat. Someone uploaded the entire Dance Craze movie from the 1980’s and I have been enraptured by it. I saw it at the Eighth Street Playhouse back in the day with my dear late friend Jet Watley. Dancing in the aisles was encouraged. So I have Two Tone on my brain lately.

I got to the cigar shack on time once again and set about doing the things no one asks of me, but since no one else will do them I do them myself. It’s been fairly slow in the cigar shack so I try to find things to do since I am not one to stare at women’s breasts and asses as they stroll by the shack.

A lot of the time that means sales go to my co-workers, today they were Thomas and Jerry Vale. Jerry Vale has been doing quite well lately saleswise. Zack has been throwing sales mainly to Thomas, perhaps a show of favoritism.

I have no problem saying that since it happened quite often today, in fact one time he was giving some leads to Thomas but Thomas was going to lunch so he wound up giving them to Jerry Vale and myself, 7 leads in total. That’s the nature of the beast I reckon. And interestingly enough, my boss didn’t even ask how my excursion to the Eagle on Tuesday night went.

Exactly what team do I play for? I mean is there a team if the coach plays favorites? It’s what was written on my status report, I should be a better team player. Give me a team worth playing for and I am there.

Less than 30 minutes to go. A few guys are in the man cave watching the Rangers play someone. Stanley Cup playoffs or something like that. Lots of yelling and screaming going on. I wouldn’t mind getting away from that.

Save it For Later

I Kissed A Girl Katy Perry

Well today had been a day off and I was somewhat busy. But first last night. I left the cigar shack about a half hour earlier, had some cigars in my pocket, some business cards and I was on my way. Bill recommended taking the M11 bus down Ninth Avenue to get near the Eagle. I thought the Eagle was on 27th Street, but it’s actually on 28th Street, just a block and a half from where the bus dropped me off.

On the way I was listening to Nirvana, Nevermind. I hadn’t been since October of 2010 and it was different from when I was last there. Last time I had to check my shoulder bag on the first floor, but not last night. The first floor was closed and there was a bloke sitting on a chair in the stairway on the second floor. He said I could just walk on up so that is exactly what I did, to the third floor.

There was an outdoor rooftop lounge, about a couple of dozen guys standing around smoking cigars. The guys all had some kind of leather on, jackets, pants or a full outfit. There was I in my wool overcoat over a suit & tie. I was out of my element but then again I’m not really into leather anyhow so no matter what I was wearing I would have been a bit out of place.

Still I put on a brave face and ordered a Corona and lit up a cigar. The guys were mainly in groups, talking amongst themselves and I just wandered back and forth. I did make some small talk with guys that were wandering around and handed out some business cards for the cigar shack. I met a guy named Mark, from Bordentown NJ who I was friends with online.

He’s a lot bigger than his thumbnail photo and took it upon himself to say hello to me which was good since I didn’t recognize him at all. I had another Corona before they closed the bar on the roof deck, it was still too cold on an April night. Some more giving out cards before I finished the second Corona before I finished my cigar and headed out.

I caught a cab and took it to Sixth Avenue and got to the Path station just in time to see the Hoboken train pulling out. It was only a 15 minute wait until the next one so I bided my time and walked in circles on the platform.

The next train pulled up and I sat and read more of Retromania by Simon Reynolds. A lot more scholarly than I hoped and in my buzzed state I sat and read, and soon I was in Hoboken running up the stairs to the train station to use the men’s room since I had to get rid of the Coronas as soon as possible.

There was a bus headed up Washington Street and since I really didn’t want to walk I got on board. Bill was fast asleep in bed once again and I stayed up for a while, watching the television. Woke up later than usual since it was a day off and took my time getting things done.

Emails sent out, rejections accepted, dates postponed all before a trip to the supermarket. And there was no mighty Isis at the supermarket today which was a drag. Home again, breakfast and whatnot before heading out to the bibliothèque and the dry cleaners. It was an OK day, nothing spectacular. Tomorrow is back to work at the cigar shack. That’s it.

Really nothing to write home about though that is what I just did.

Powder Finger

I Keep On Lovin’ You

Back at the cigar shack and writing on the fly. Tonight I go to where eagles dare. Specifically I am going to the Eagle to drum up business for the cigar shack vis a vis the gay community. Hello bears, hey there leathermen, come with me to the man cave in midtown. It should make for an interesting night.

The weather seems better than predicted so it shouldn’t be so bad. I am able to leave the cigar shack a half hour early since the goddamned aerie is not easily accessible to public transportation. One part of me suggests taking a cab from 111th Ave to the nest and other part of me says take the train down to Chelsea and perhaps catch a crosstown bus.

Already I am planning my escape route, a cabbage from the Eagle to the Path train. That’s what I did last time and it seemed to have worked out fine, so why shouldn’t it tonight?

Today was also the day that Zack wanted my progress report back. They were handed out at the staph meeting and we were told to look them over and make some comments or suggestions on how we can improve ourselves. Well the thing is I agreed with the majority of what Zack had to say and decided on a more aggressive response.

My faux Zen outlook hasn’t served me well so I suppose being a cutthroat like my coworkers might be the way to go. So far it has served me somewhat well. Things seem to be getting back to what passes for normal both here and in the outside world.

Thomas is hovering around like a gnat from time to time, watching what it is that I write, or what websites I visit. Usually when that happens I shut everything down, clear the history cache and move away from the computer so that he can send yet another email to his girlfriend.

Keeping in mind that he is a mere 25 I can only make sure he has enough rope. It promises to be a swinging party.

On the bus this morning I listened to Charles Trenet singing La Mer. AT work shortly after I came in it was Michael Buble singing Beyond the Sea. Right now near the cigar shack, Time Magazine and it’s 100 Influential Doorknobs is going on. Cardinal Dolan is expected. Will his presence bring about a ‘sic semper tyrannis’ moment? One could hope.

I am leavbing in less than an hour. Did not expect to be able to write all this but here I did it. Close to 500, not the usual 600 as I’ve been doing lately. Thomas returns, the hovering will start so an abrupt end is expected.

Talking Heads Naked is playing. Didn’t care for it much when it came out, but after seeing Buena Vista Soical Club and developing a taste for Latin Rhythms, I finally got it, once again too late really. heading out soon enough. Weather permitting.

Back home now. Was it worthwhile? Hard to say, only time will tell.

back to the PATH

01 Pop Muzik
Persona non grata, that’s me!

I Keep Forgettin’ (Everytime You’re Near)

Well yesterday turned out to be a washout. It started with me sleeping in bed, Bill hovering over me at 6:45 telling me we were going to have to get a move on. I told him my alarm clock was set for 7AM and to leave me alone for the next 15 minutes. I was able to get another few minutes of slumber in before I trudged through the apartment and into the shower.

Bill had the cereal all set up for me as well as some coffee brewing. I showered and got myself together and threw on a pair of jeans. Outside it was gray skies all around. Soon we were waiting for the bus under threatening skies. Bill had butterflies in his stomach, I had coffee and raisin bran. We walked over to the subway once we got off the bus and out of the terminal.

A 7 train was waiting for us and soon we were en route to Flushing. People getting on and off as we sat there staring out the window. We got off at Willets Point/CitiField, with no one else getting off there. We walked to the Gil Hodges entrance after a few cursory photographs, and were told that we had to wait until we heard from the guy who Bill has been communicating with.

We waited, it drizzled. Bill talked to his cousin Carmen on the phone and I looked around the empty parking lot. Finally Bill got in touch with the guy and we were finally allowed in at around 9:45. We were escorted to the Guest Room and Bill did his warm ups and I read the New Yorker. I also had a cup of coffee thanks to Bill who had to take a walk just to get out of the claustrophobic room.

The guy Bill had been dealing with reappeared and it was time for the sound check. Bill did great in the sound check, sang the National Anthem and God Bless America. They threw God Bless America at Bill at the last minute and Bill was up for the task. It’s a lousy song by the way and I much prefer This Land Is Your Land by Woody Guthrie, written in response to Irving Berlin’s God Bless America.

I did record the sound check and tried to upload it to Facebook and the internet but it didn’t take, in fact I lost everything. My smartphone has been acting up lately much to my dismay and I was upset at the loss. About 45 minutes later with a knock on the door we were told that the game had been called due to rain.

So it was back outside to the subway, past hundreds of fans trying to get their Tom Seaver bobble head dolls. We were both disappointed but not surprised. All week long the forecast had been for rain and now it was raining. A bus ride home, and some bagels were bought once we were back in Hoboken. I ate breakfast and Bill relaxed.

He was fine most of the day, even going so far as to be ME in dealing with my phone service. It turned out I had a corrupted SD Card which we replaced after a walk to Radio Shack. Bill handles the customer service reps better than me. I seem to come down with Tourette’s Syndrome when I have to deal with these people. The day ended with some Grimaldi’s Pizza. It was good to spend the day with Bill but overall we would have preferred to have heard him sing in front of thousands of Mets fans.

02 – Dancing Barefoot

I Keep Faith

Listening to Elvis Costello, My Aim Is True at the cigar shack. That really could sum up a lot of things. How I feel about work mainly. I’m not spending all my time in a vanity factory like old Declan. No I am standing in a cigar shack, working with dunderheads and I can’t think of any other word that could describe these boys.

Boys. That’s it. That is the phrase that pays. They are boys who spend so many minutes of the day staring out the window, passing comment on the women that stroll by. How this one likes Asian chicks, or Latin chicks, how that one likes women in work out gear, specifically yoga pants. And they are fixated on a woman they call Little Italy for some reason.

True I stare out the window at men sometimes but certainly not with the frequency that these boys do. Occasionally I might say woof when a hot man walks by and that gets their attention then they realize that I am woofing at a man and they make disgruntled comments.

This is the second blog I am writing today. The first was the official blog for the cigar shack, an attempt to get people (guys) to attend a cigar breakfast next week. Meet up at the nearby restaurant, have breakfast and then retire to the cigar shack man cave for cigars, all for $75.00.

This event has been promoted and mentioned throughout the past month or so and there has been very little interest in it, and some people who have expressed interest in it, decided they weren’t that much interested in it after all. So instead of cutting our losses and perhaps rescheduling, it’s a full court press on people who were not interested in the first place.

‘Shit rolls downhill’ as Bradley mentioned today, and since he is number two, the shit is rolling from Zack to him and now from him to Jerry Vale and myself today, and who knows if Thomas will get shat on tomorrow. I doubt it myself. I’m sure I will find out more on Monday since I am off tomorrow.

And tomorrow does not promise to be an easy low key day. Bill is singing the national anthem at CitiField before the NY Mets/San Francisco Giants game at 1:15. Soundcheck is at 10:00 which means we have to be out of the apartment at 8:00 and get on a train to Flushing. So no sleeping in, in fact I am getting up earlier than I would like. Earlier than I would if I had to go to work.

Oh the things we do for love.

Meanwhile, back at the cigar shack, once again I was off the floor, cleaning up the back room not making any sales. I am safely under my goal and at this moment it doesn’t seem likely that I will reach it. I work with some really shitty co-workers. No recognition for helping out with a sale, that $170.00 cigar case that I showed to a customer that Bradley was helping went to Bradley, not the guy who got the whole thing together.

I have to either get out of this hell hole of retail or get a stronger prescription of Xanax. And thanks to Bradley’s lack of foresight, I had to stay at the cigar shack, an hour later. And I will be standing in front of the fan on Monday when they bring in the shit to throw at said fan.

Forewarned is forearmed isn’t it? Better wear a raincoat.

That is it, I am done with this day. No post tomorrow.

the loneliest Israelite

807 Cloudbusting

I Just Want To Celebrate

Back home after a day back at the cigar shack. On board today were Zack, Bradley and Thomas as well as myself. It was a long day, and not because of the cigar shack. I went to bed earlier than usual last night and did not sleep well. At 1:30 I was up again at the computer just to get out of bed since trying to get to a deep sleep was proving to be impossible.

I took a melatonin but it did not do what I hoped it would do. About 30 minutes later I was back in bed, tossing and turning and having vaguely violent dreams. Luckily I did not hit Bill. But I kept waking up every hour and tossed and turned again. Kept thinking about the cigar shack and kept thinking about two phone interviews that I had earlier in the day.

Nothing was guaranteed but I could not help but think about the combination of jobs and job offers and it didn’t exactly make me relax. I had to get up early in the morning and start my day with a meeting in midtown. A familiar neighborhood with unfamiliar faces. It went well though nice space, nice people and now it’s all wait and see.

Of course in the back of my mind it’s all ‘you’re in over your head here’ even though it is all about things that I had done before and did them quite well. Will Google (oops!) call me back? Who knows? It would be nice though. The hours promise to be a bit crazy but manageable.

And throughout the day I kept getting phone calls from the really cool company with the ping pong tables in Newark. I’m not taking them too seriously since I am way cool enough and they’ve been stringing me along for a number of months already. The whispering tones of Jerry Vale waft through the air, singing ‘you may not like it here, but you do have it good here’. I will ask him to elaborate more on that tomorrow when I work with him again.

Today was pretty good at the cigar shack. I did get top sales though Bradley did grab the official title since he had the big money account from a rinky dink cigar lounge a few blocks away. The rinky dink cigar lounge orders several times a week, dealing mainly with Bradley. Scott Raspberry runs the rinky dink cigar shack and when he calls he asks for his ‘boyfriend’ Bradley.

And the guy who works at the rinky dink cigar lounge and picks up from the cigar shack occasionally makes ‘fag’ comments when he talks to Bradley. For these two reasons I don’t have anything to do with the rinky dink cigar lounge and won’t set foot in there ever again.

I did have my going away party at the rinky dink cigar lounge when I was leaving Wanker Banker but never knew of the goings on behind the scenes, like how the the guy who picks up the cigars for each order can procure young women for sex if a customer wants one. Apparently you can get in a limo and cruise the streets and get a blow job in the back seat as the driver makes his way through the streets. No, it’s not my scene.

Now I am home and happy to be here. Bill is asleep once again and Bill Maher prattles on the television behind me. Back to work tomorrow and hopefully Sunday Bill will be singing the national anthem at CitiField, if the weather permits.

I asked the LaRouche people why Obama has a Charlie Chaplin mustache,..

...they said it was because Obama makes funny films like Chaplin.


some other guy

20 Dream A Little Dream Of Me

Happy 420 everyone

I Just Want To Be Your Everything

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down. Yes, that song has been playing in my head since I got home this afternoon. Earlier it was Half Breed by Cher. Cher is still alive as I write this, but Levon Helm passed away this afternoon after a battle with cancer which he seemed to be winning but apparently did not.

Today was out of the ordinary for me. I slept later than I had in a while, waking up at 10:00. No worries, everything was alright. Just slept a really good sleep and had no need to rush out of bed. Nothing scheduled really, perhaps a bike ride with Rand which was brought up a few days ago.

A trip to the supermarket was in order so after a cuppa I was on my way. Did not run into anyone I knew at the grocery store, no almighty Isis either. The woman she was training was at the register and she took quite a while to get things done. The new cashier is an older woman and a bit overwhelmed by the buttons and the scanning of items that needed to be done. And the person on front of me was an older woman as well who was having her groceries delivered so that added some extra time.

But I was in no hurry and looked at my smartphone. The woman behind me knew the woman in front of me so I was caught in the crossfire of chit chat. I walked home with my canvas bag full of groceries and saw the older woman from the line wobbling down the street. I asked her if she needed help but she didn’t so I continued on my way.

More coffee and breakfast awaited me once I got home and I set about eating that and listening to the television in the next room. I did get a phone call from an agency from a while ago. They’ve been stringing me along with a prospect at a ‘really cool company that has a ping pong table in their offices’ based in Newark. Prior to the phone call I got an instant message from Rand with regards to bicycling this afternoon, and I suggested we roll at around 1:30. It proved to be a good time for the both of us.

I told the agency that I would be available for a phone interview until 1:30, and then I should be back around 4:00. They told me the really cool company with the ping pong table would be calling me this afternoon. At 1:25 I was done inflating my tires and on the sidewalk with Rand when the agency called, confirming I was still available. I mentioned that I was and told Rand that we might have to pull over so I could take this call and Rand was OK with it of course.

But they never called until about 3:15 by which time Rand and I were at Liberty State Park, on the Hudson River where it was mighty windy, so windy I did not hear the phone call. I did get the voice mail from a guy from the really cool company with the ping pong table and told Rand we should probably head back so I could call this guy without the wind blowing so hard.

I hadn’t been bike riding since Memorial Day weekend in 2010, and that was with Rand as well. He’s a great bicycling companion. We headed back through the streets of Jersey City, not backtracking along the river which is how we got to where we were. I was apprehensive about bike riding, getting scared in my old age I suppose. But it went well and I could still find enough balance to ride with no hands on occasion.

Rand went back home and I climbed the four flights of steps to the apartment. I called the guy at the really cool company with the ping pong table and left a voicemail. It was now around 4:30 and figured they had gone for the day, but he called back a minute or so later and had a short interview. The job is in Newark and I have no idea where exactly it is, though Google Maps was able to chart my course should I have to go there for a face to face interview.

I also got a phone call from a company that I emailed my resume to through Craigslist. I have had some luck with Craigslist, some good, some bad and didn’t give it much of a thought. But here they were calling me for a phone interview. I think this went well. They’re located in Manhattan which is a heck of a lot easier to get to than Newark. I hope to meet with them soon.

Tomorrow it’s back to the cigar shack where I will have a meeting with Zack with regards to a performance review for January to March 2012. I already told him I agreed with most of what he had written about me, I am my own worst critic after all. I think he was expecting a confrontation with me, but how could I confront him when I agree with a lot of what he said?

I do have to say, thank you to Rand for getting me out of my apartment, out of my own way. Too much time has been spent on my days off in despair and today, though not as warm as it has been lately, was perfect enough for a ride with one of my oldest and dearest friends. And I’m pretty sure he enjoyed my company as much as I enjoyed his. The two of us being big overgrown kids at heart, and you now that can’t be bad.

Paulus Hook, Jersey City

Rand & his shadow

Rand & Lady Liberty

Rand Running Up That Hill

I Just Want To Be Your Everything

I Just Wanna Party

Well today was quite a long day. Zack and Bradley and Thomas all on deck. And it has not been easy for anyone doing sales, despite the new limited edition whatchamacallit cigar that was just released. We all emailed our clients letting them know that the best thing since sliced bread is out, the second coming of second hand smoke has been set out into the world.

Zack of course, with 7 or 8 years of building a client base easily makes his sales, Bradley with a lifetime of working in retail makes his sales, Thomas does well with his people and my emails get ignored. Out of 30 emails, three responded, two were sales, another was a question that went answered but went no farther than that. And I just checked my work email again and it is still the same. No responses. I’m not sweating it, at least not until Friday since I am off tomorrow.

No Jimmy Seltzer sighting this week. He usually comes in on Thursday and since tomorrow is Thursday and I won’t be in, chances are I won’t be seeing him until next week, which is too bad since I do enjoy the fleeting chats I do have with Jimmy Seltzer. He offers insight that I am usually blind to, such as yes I do have a job that I am none too fond of, but still I do go in day after day and generally do a good job.

On Friday, Zack and I have a tentative plan to review my performance review. I agreed with most of the things he wrote on the report, but do I tell him that my heart isn’t in it? That I have grown disheartened as the second anniversary approaches much to rapidly for my tastes? No, it will be best to keep it to myself and just say ‘yes sir’ or ‘no sir’ as he goes down the list of my faults. Best not to mention the disdain that I have for most of the customers. No I leave it to him to express his disdain, his name calling and his curiosity that some of these customers are more than likely closet cases.

I did have a good bus ride into the city this morning. I ran into neighbor Deborah, been a week or so since I last saw her. I neglected to wish her a happy birthday on her Facebook page but she didn’t mind. She almost had a good day if not for an argument with her boyfriend which could not be good. An argument on your birthday is not a good thing.

It’s so odd to come home and not find Bill fast asleep in bed like he has been for the past couple of days. He is scheduled to sing before the Mets game on Sunday and I’ve made arrangements to have the day off to videotape him once again, but the forecast for Sunday is rain which would be a drag. I guess we’ll find out on Saturday, whether or not Sunday at CitiField will come to pass. I hope it does, he’s been practicing frequently lately. But if it does not, I hope a reschedule could be worked out. And I hope I can rearrange a day off so I could attend.

Rocket Man

I Just Wanna Live

Another day another dingus. Yes it’s Tuesday and after a nice day like yesterday today was bound to be a bit of a let down. I did sleep fairly well last night. Bill came home from his readings last night and I of course greeted him at the door with a nice kiss, helping him with his backpack as well as removing his hat. He looked great and he’s been losing weight since he’s taking more care in what he eats as well as a lot more exercise than he’s been used to.

Bill ran into Thomas on the train last night. He didn’t know it was Thomas, whom I work with, he thought it might have been an actor that he worked with, or perhaps someone from his office. A manly hug was exchanged. Bill came home and asked me what Bradley looked like. I described him as best as I could without having to crawl around on my belly. My impersonation of Thomas thankfully did not involve a steel rod up my ass. But it was a good imitation of Thomas and Bill got it almost right away.

I woke up on time as usual this morning, had my coffee brewed by Bill once again. I poured a bowl of cereal and jumped in the shower. I hadn’t shaved in a few days so that was a requirement today. I was out the door at the usual time, walking to the bus stop, enjoying a cigar and waiting in the quite warm weather. No coat needed and I had my tie neatly folded away in my shoulder bag.

I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive about going to work, as I usually am when I have a day off. Not knowing what to expect, except for the pressure to sell sell sell. But no one is coming in in in. It’s very slow in the cigar shack area. All the store around us are slow. Things might pick up by Father’s Day in June, but the pressure is on Zack and then onto us since shit does roll downhill.

Bradley and Jerry Vale were my cohorts most of the day, Zack out of the office at a meeting somewhere. Lunch was nice, spent once again on a bench by the park where I started reading Retromania by Simon Reynolds. More academic than I anticipated but I muddled through. The footnotes were a welcome distraction, a timeline with how pop culture is fixated on the past, not looking forward the way it used to be.

Now we are listening to Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Live Rust. That got a lot of airplay on WPIX at the end of the 1970’s. This weekend the news about about Robin Gibb being in a coma. Colon cancer, liver cancer and now pneumonia. Robin seems to be headed out. Today I heard my brother Brian (as well as Harpy) that Levon Helm is on his way out. Both seem to have only a few days left, if at that.

Thank you for the music, Robin & Levon.

09 – Our Day Will Come

I Just Threw Out The Love Of My Dreams

This has been an out of the ordinary day. Yesterday was fairly ordinary though. It was a day working alongside Jerry Vale and Thomas. Thomas was doing his best to get on my good side after a week or two of estrangement and it worked. I had forgotten that carrying a grudge could be a burden. SO there was a thawing out of the frosty relations between the two of us. Jerry Vale and I get along just fine.

Still I did get a bit upset with the two of them. On weekends it usually falls to me to clean up the man cave once it is closed to the public. It takes about a half hour generally and for that half hour I am off the floor, not taking sales. The front of the cigar shack needs a cleaning as well and yesterday since the two of them were just staring out the window ogling women walking by, I put the vacuum cleaner between the two of them, saying it was up for grabs.

Twenty minutes later, the vacuum cleaner was still there and I got upset with the two for them. I told Jerry Vale why I was upset and he said he didn’t vacuum since Thomas NEVER vacuums, so why should he? As if that was a viable excuse. So it was left to me to vacuum after I told Jerry Vale off, Thomas in the bathroom dealing with his irritable bowel syndrome.

After that I took the trash to the loading dock and figured that I would give myself a nice break and sat outside the cigar shack on the street watching life go by on a beautiful spring evening. I suppose it was similar to how my mother would ask my brother Brian and me to do something and neither of us would, at least not in the time frame that she had hoped it would get done. Instead Brian and I would fight about it, with Brian usually winning since he was bigger than me.

I came back to the cigar shack, and a little while after that Thomas left early with his IBS, leaving Jerry Vale and myself to close the cigar shack. Jerry Vale and I walked downtown a bit, I was headed to the bus terminal and he was off to who knows where.

I came home to a note on my computer from Bill, asking me to wake him up at 9:30, which I did. I watched Bob’s Burgers, then Nurse Jackie and the Big C followed by Mad Men. Bill was awake for a little while, telling me right in the middle of Mad Men what his past two days were like. He was at an acting seminar and it went well I suppose.

Then he went to bed and luckily I paused the DVR as Bill told his tale, and I was able to watch what was on hold while he talked. I watched the news up to the weather, me not caring much about the sports news that followed. Some more TV before I too went to bed. I had to have some blood work done this morning so I didn’t eat for about nine hours.

I woke up this morning, took a shower and without coffee went out into the world. I ran into my barber Tony, who told me more of his nerve problems, this time not in his left arm but from his neck to between his shoulder blades. It was a brief chat and then I was off to the bibliothèque where I chatted with Diane the librarian about her problems with her apartment.

I picked up Retromania by Simon Reynolds and Live Rust by Neil Young & Crazy Horse. I had a brief chat with Bill on the phone before I went into the local lab where I had four or five vials of blood drawn from my arm. That took about 10 minutes, paperwork included.

Then I left and ran into Jason Stasium who was with his adorable daughter Sophia. I worked with Jason in the last century at Right Track Recording. I didn’t recognize him at first when he started talking to me, thinking he was possibly a cigar shack customer. These things happen without coffee and interacting with humanity. He’s doing well, still an audio engineer and ready to work on whatever projects come his way. He and Sophia walked with me for a while then I was in the supermarket.

As I gathered my provisions I saw Clara, yet another person I worked within the last century. She just got her hair done a few days ago and looked great. She was most appreciative of my earnest compliment. We were both on the line for Isis and the three of us had a few chuckles, as Isis rang up our items. I was surprised at how civil I could be without my coffee, just a few beats behind everything.

I was only gone an hour but obviously a lot had happened in that hour. Finally I was home and able to have breakfast and some coffee that Bill had brewed for me before he left for work. I put away my clothes after breakfast and chatted online with friends. I texted Rand to see if he was around and he responded that he was up for a bike ride. But it was getting close to 90 degrees and I decided to head to the river with a cigar. No bike ride for me today. We may go on Thursday if the weather permits.

I sat by the water and read an interview with Jack White in Uncut Magazine Then I turned the page to an article on the late Alex Chilton, with a photograph taken quite near to where I was sitting by the river, from twenty years ago. It wasn’t exactly a happy article, it was more about Alex Chilton’s downward spiral in the 1970’s.

I walked around a bit after that. There have been advertisements around Hoboken for the Windmill, a Jersey shore fast food place. They were opening a store in Hoboken and I decided to check it out for lunch. I found it, near the Path station and it was still under construction. That was disappointing. Earlier I had gone to Ben & Jerry’s and wanted to treat myself to a Chocolate Therapy milkshake and just like two weeks ago, they were out of Chocolate Therapy.

I walked home, down Washington Street and as I walked past a hardware store I remembered I needed a light bulb. Not just any light bulb, a certain kind of light bulb. And since I didn’t know exactly what kind of light bulb I needed I kept on walking. And as I walked past another hardware store (there are two hardware stores in Hoboken) I overheard a woman telling her son that they needed to get a light bulb.

I came home and took a nap, set the alarm for an hour and woke up after twenty minutes. It’s been an odd day, for me at least. And I didn’t even mention the fact that I helped a few elderly and infirm people in the past 24 hours. Dinnertime!

It’s back to the cigar shack for me tomorrow. Who knows what fresh hell awaits me?

yesterday's sun

10 Kid About It

I Just Love You More

Well I was going to attempt something thinking I had the time to do so, but now it seems unlikely so I won’t. Oh well. I guess later. Can’t forget the Bill texting/laptop thing this morning. Or the gay events that the cigar shack has planned.

That was from the other day. Never got around to writing the rest, made up something else instead. The Bill texting/laptop thing was a bit of an annoyance. Bill texted me three times that morning, telling me he forgot his laptop and could I bring it into the city, to his office. Normally I would not have minded, but I had the volume down on my phone so I didn’t get the texts until I was on the street headed to the bus stop.

So for me it was climbing up four flights of stairs in my suit & tie to get the laptop. Bill was annoyed and worried since he didn’t hear from me until just then. Of course I didn’t mind, and hoped he would have at least called, I would have heard the phone vibrate. It was a minor thing and I did meet up with Bill at the bus terminal where I made the handoff and a kiss farewell, Bill off to his office and me off to the cigar shack.

It was brought up at the cigar shack that I should spearhead a connection to gay cigar smokers. So it’s been planned that at the end of the onth I will be going to the Eagle on Cigar NIght, handing out cards and letting the guys know there is a gay friendly spot in midtown where they can meet up before going out for the evening and enjoy a cigar and each other’s company.

How it will go over, I can’t say. I suppose I will find out at the end of the month. I luckily have the day off the next day so I might be able to enjoy myself somewhat. Then again it won’t be an all night affair since the bloody Eagle is so damn far away from any modes of transportation. We’ll see how that all turns out, won’t we?

Today at the cigar shack, it was Bradley & Jerry Vale and myself. Not a bad group though Bradley was quite moody for the first half. Methinks the xanax wore off and he was back to his ‘normal’ self. He gave me one of his Xanax a while back and it was like an industrial sized horse pill. I write this not knowing whether or not it’s true, it is mere speculation.

A half hour left for me tonight and another day tomorrow. And tomorrow’s cast will be me & Jerry Vale and little miss bourgeois herself, Thomas. That’s what I figured out this morning, Thomas is so bourgeois. It’s not a word I use often, if at all, but if the label fits, use it girl! So there won’t be any post tomorrow and I am off on Monday so that makes me somewhat happy. Just have to make it there.

I Just Fall In Love Again

Home again. A long day but wasn’t so bad. I did have to take a Xanax such was my anxiety. I was working with Zack and Thomas and Zack has been alright, and Thomas is becoming easier to ignore, but I am sure the Xanax helped. Yesterday Thomas told me of a very fine pineapple upside down Vegan cake which was good. Then he told me again about 2 hours later, and I reminded him that he had told me about it already. He seemed put off but though I do like repetition in music and art, in conversation I do not like it at all.

The same goes for religion. When I was growing up I couldn’t stand the fact that they told the same old stories over and over again. It seemed so pointless and stupid though it did point the way out of the hole that religion is to me. I did have bouts of religious fervor growing up, but not enough. In Fifth grade, when the priests came to my class trying to recruit altar boys, all the boys raised their hands but me.

I had two older brothers who were altar boys and seeing the schedules that they had, having to get up dreadfully early on Sundays did not make sense to me. Plus the fact that my mother would toil in the basement making sure their cassocks where cleaned and pressed did not appeal to me in the slightest.

Getting a few dollars for standing next to a priest for weddings for funerals wasn’t worth it for me, so I opted out. My classmates who did raise their hands asked why didn’t I join them and I explained that I like to sleep in on weekends. I don’t know how many made it through the year and frankly, I didn’t care.

In the 1970’s my father saw the Exorcist and forbade anyone in the family from seeing it. A few years later he saw The Omen and that seemed to be alright. I was too young to get into an R rated movie, but I did sneak in once after another movie, and saw Lee Remick take a tumble off a balcony at the top of the stairs thanks to her devil child on a tricycle.

I did read the book and was captivated and terrified. One Saturday evening I was so taken by the book I convinced my mother that we needed to go to confession as soon as possible.

We hopped in the car and drove to Sacred Heart church in Rochelle Park and got in line for confession. I went first and said my usual, ‘Bless me father, I have lied and I and have sinned and I swore’. Same reasons every time. I did my penance, Holy Mary’s, Our Fathers and whatever else and waited for my mother.

Apparently she told the priest in the confessional that it was my idea to go to confession which got the priest all excited as well as my mother. Perhaps they thought I would be a priest. On the way home my mother asked me what made me want to go to confession so badly and I told her about The Omen book which was a big letdown for her.

She must have thought I received the call to the priesthood and here I was in the grip of a Hollywood adaptation of a second rate novel. No priesthood for me, the call went unanswered and went straight to voicemail. Still haven’t checked it, but why bother? I changed that number ages ago.

she took my picture so I took hers

Last Goodbye

I Just Can’t Stop Loving You

“Are they REALLY like that Mommy? All of Them?” the little girl asked her mother. Her mother responded, “Yes Lisa. They are ALL idiots” Just a conversation I heard on the way in to work a while back. Little did I know how often Lisa’s mother’s response would have an effect on how things are seen and unseen throughout the day, throughout the week and even throughout the month.

I don’t know how a conversation I overheard last year plays into this, but I did write it down on the moleskine that dear old Jimmy Seltzer gave me, around the same time as the little girl and her mother had that little chat. I have to admit hearing the chat did bring a smile to my face.

Glad to be home, it’s been a long day. Four guys on the floor makes for a feeding frenzy. I sidestepped it and decided to take care of my section of the humidor as well as polishing up some very expensive pens that looked like shit.

I had a customer the other day who was looking at the pens and I have to admit I was embarrassed at how they looked. A bit tarnished and covered with fingerprints. So elbow grease was my initial method of cleaning and I thought I had done a good job.

Sales went on behind me, Jerry Vale and Thomas getting the sales mainly. Bradley lurked in the background, doing his very best to be the guy in charge. I was the guy polishing. A few customers had come in and mainly hung out by the registers chatting with whomever was behind the counter. If I wasn’t on the floor polishing pens, I would be in the humidor, stocking the shelves, making sure all the cigar labels were facing the correct way.

For some reason, no one told Thomas that his zipper was open and it was open for about an hour. He’s usually so careful about how he looks, the fact that he overlooked this one very small detail brought a few giggles among the customers. I don’t think anyone told him anything and I don’t think he brought it up, but after leaving the bathroom things were as they should be, relatively speaking.

Jerry Vale has been great lately. Personable as ever, the customers have taken a shine to him and he engages them in very long conversations most of the time. I can only guess that Jerry Vale talks about cigars mainly since he usually winds up selling them the very cigars that were talked about.

For me, today it was another day back at the cigar shack. No more Mister Nice Guy. If I hit my goal and a co-worker is struggling, that’s just too damn bad. I never minded helping out my co-workers in the past, but that has passed. It seems my kindness was mistaken for weakness. That isn’t going to happen anymore.

Yesterday was basking in the afterglow of the wonderful Maxwells trip. And a trip it was, at least tales told of tripping occurred. How psilocybin was all over the place one night in the 1980’s. How Martin was behind the bar with a choice stem in his mouth, how Ben was flying that night while working the door. Though I had the supply I was not indulging, just allowing everyone else to get their fill.

1-02 It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Diffe

I Just Can’t Help Believing

Ah, I just had a nap. Nothing spectacular, just a nap for about an hour. A few miles away from here, the meadowlands are on fire. There hasn’t been much rain in this region lately so brush fires have been happening for the past week or so. Hoboken doesn’t seem to be in any danger.

Yesterday was a work day, after a day off on Monday. It was full staff which made for some difficulty sales wise. I came in second behind Jerry Vale so that wasn’t so bad. It was a long day, made longer by a staff meeting which promised to be short, but really wasn’t.

Many things were covered in the staff meeting led by Zack and Bradley. And also performance reviews were handed out. I can’t speak for anyone else but of course it was mentioned there was room for improvement. My emotions do get in the way and affect the atmosphere of the store which is true. I have to do better at concealing how I feel. I suppose that is where Xanax would come in. But since I don’t use that too often I generally wing it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

I was a bit anxious anyhow since the great and wonderful Steve Fallon was in town and I did not want to miss him. A whole slew of old faces promised to make an appearance to wish Steve a happy birthday and good old Rand kept me abreast of what’s what and who was there.

After the meeting I hot footed it to the subway and caught a train to the bus terminal. And since it was after 10:00, I had to catch a bus on the third floor. It wasn’t so bad, only a short wait of about 10 minutes.

The bus ride was fast enough and I got off at 12th Street after listening to See No Evil by Television. I walked into Maxwells where See No Evil was playing on the jukebox. I saw Rand and Lisa, Mike Cecchini and Sarah Baker (so that’s her last name!). I was offered a drink but wanted to eat something since I hadn’t eaten since 3:00 in the afternoon and now it was past 11:00.

I nabbed a seat by the jukebox where Rand was entertaining with his gimlets. I ordered a bar pie and had a pint of Stella. I ran into Christine and Alirio who were quite happy. Alirio is a sweetheart and also went to Maxwells a lot in the past, but never really spoke to anyone. Now thanks to Facebook he is known to everyone and quite chatty.

Also in attendance was Chaz who had his birthday last week, as well as Butch who I totally forgot about from back in the day. Sure enough up walked Steve Fallon, a bit grayer than he used to be with some longer hair than he used to have. He was great as usual and we had a nice hug and kiss. All these years later he still looks out for me somewhat and will always have my eternal gratitude and friendship. Steve’s partner Arnold was also there and I hadn’t seen him since the 1990’s. Great to see him as well.

It was one of those nights where every time you turned around you saw someone you hadn’t seen in years.

Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley, Emily Hubley, Glenn Morrow, Michael Hill , Christine Repella, the lovely Suzanne, Julie Panebianco, were all spotted and kissed and hugged. I found myself talking to someone then excusing myself for a moment to say hello to yet another friend passing by. Quick catching up, and then it was back to whomever it was I was talking to.

Sadly I was too late to see Patti Quinn. She left a few minutes before I got there, had to go home and deal with her kids which is totally understandable. Rand did send me a picture of Patti and Lisa which was quite nice and both women looked great in the photo, which was in 3D, though only visible in 3D on Rand’s camera.

Drinks were had by everyone and none of the nonsense that occurred in the past seemed to be going on which was quite nice. I said hello to Mike Mills and clinked pint glasses with him since he was standing next to where I was sitting. Peter Buck was there as well and I didn’t see Steve Wynn, but Suzanne told me they covered a Dream Syndicate song in the back room, Tell Me When It’s Over. I think Rand, Lisa and I left Maxwells around 1:30, walking home and being a bit noisy.

Rand insisted on walking me to the corner near my house which was awfully kind, even though Lisa did have to work today. He was three sheets to the wind and Lisa wasn’t so I can only guess it wasn’t that difficult for her to start her day. I was invited to visit Steve and Arnold at their house and certainly hope to work something out somehow. It really was great to see all these old friends and faces and it was special seeing Steve, and seeing the love that so many people have for him.

Some people didn’t know Steve was going to be in town even though he did announce it on Facebook which made for a lot of interest. I came home and posted the pictures I had taken and put on Facebook which when I woke up had many likes and comments on all of them. All the good parties have to end and last night ended on quite a nice note.

I slept fairly well, I wasn’t drunk just buzzed. Bill kissed me goodbye once again and I slept until 9:00 this morning when the workers in the apartment below ours started hammering and drilling. Not the way I wanted to wake up but still it wasn’t so bad. A shower and some coffee and a trip to the supermarket was in order. I did see Isis and asked about how she was doing, and she was doing fine.

I walked around Hoboken and stopped by the Guitar Bar where I gave Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro a tin of Winston Churchill Spitfires. A mini cigar, and a way for saying thanks for accepting my packages. He was most appreciative and told me he was taking daughter Ruby to see Pulp at Radio City Music Hall. He was also at Maxwells last night but oddly enough we didn’t see each other. He was in the back room where I was mainly in the front room.

It was a cool day in Hoboken so I didn’t stay out too long. Came home and chatted with some friends online and posted comments to friends’ comments with regards to my pictures. Then I had a nice nap which brings me to where I began at the top of this entry.

Mike and Rand

Rand, Lisa & Sarah

Georgia & Ira and Karl the bartender


Arnold & Butch

Georgia, Steve & Emily

Me & my dear friend, Steve Fallon

Rand and tree stump outside Christine's house.

Lisa & Patti Quinn

05 Brushfire In Hoboken
A lot of love was had by all.

I Just Came Back From A War

Yesterday was Sunday and today is Monday. Yesterday was Easter and today isn’t. Yesterday was work and today is a day off. It was a long and slow day at the cigar shack and not much money was made. I would go so far as to say more money was spent paying salaries for Zack, Jerry Vale & myself than what came in. Maybe, it was a stab in the dark.

It wasn’t too bad. I wrote the cigar shack blog yesterday and added the photographs of David and Joseph and me in the humidor, as well as some other photographs. Zack usually makes some editorial suggestions and I follow them, but there wasn’t much in the suggestion department, just an idea to remove something that was a joke. Once I told Zack it was a joke he didn’t bring it up again. He thinks I am a good writer and I accept his praise. He’s published a book of poetry a few years ago so he certainly has a leg up on me.

The day did crawl and Jerry Vale nabbed the lion’s share of sales. I walked down to the bus terminal after work, 19 minutes, 49 seconds is what it took. From Modern English’ Life in the Gladhouse to Echo & the Bunnymen’s Heaven Up Here, I blazed a trail, avoiding tourists (tons of them) and walking in the street to avoid them.

The usual problem with my fellow commuters, on weekends courtesy is thrown out the window. People don’t seem to realize that schedules are kept and missing a bus could happen by mere seconds. It was a long day like I wrote and I had no patience for my fellow riders. And my antipathy was palpable. I sat by myself and ignored the people that pissed me off. I probably pissed them off as well anyhow.

Bill was fast asleep when I was home by 8:00 last night and I just let him sleep. He needed the rest and he wound up sleeping throughout the night, about 9.5 hours. I watched Bob’s Burgers which is one of the funniest shows on TV, then the season premiere of Nurse Jackie which blew me away. No spoilers here, but Bobby Canavale was on it and I would watch him in anything.

After that I watched The Big C which I totally missed last season and I enjoyed its return last night. It was good but not as good as I remembered. Still I was happy to watch it. After that was Mad Men which was very good and intense at parts. I did guess one thing right, though I did have to rewind the DVR to make sure I saw what I thought I saw.

Today was mellow. Bill was up and out as I lay sleeping, giving me the customary good bye kiss. I got up got some things together and headed out after a few cups of coffee, getting a hair cut from my barber Tony. His arm isn’t getting better and I fear the opportunities to get groomed by him will be running out soon. He was cheerful as he cut and cleaned me. Trimmed down my goatee, which was laden with white hair.

Then a trip to the supermarket. My favorite cashier, Isis was training someone so I got on a different line which took forever, but I didn’t mind. I came home to a nice breakfast before a stroll around Hoboken. I went in a different direction this time, heading north and winding up above 14th Street. A walk back home, then followed by a nap.

I woke up a little while after that and decided to head out. People coming home, walking up Washington Street from the Path train, me walking in the opposite direction. I picked up last week’s New Yorker since it wasn’t delivered to me and did some window shopping. A meatball hero purchase was the goal which I got and brought home for dinner instead of cooking.

Back to work tomorrow with a staph meeting at the end, followed by a visit to Maxwells to say hello to Steve Fallon. I am more excited about seeing Steve than anything else. Will I write? Will I have time to write? I do try to get a few words in while at work, but with a full staph and Thomas lurking about it seems unlikely.

No guarantees.

05 Computer Love

I Just Called To Say I Love You

I did the smart thing today. I took a Xanax before coming in. I knew I was working with Bradley and Thomas and Bradley is becoming more and more human lately whereas Thomas has been getting on my wick. I didn’t need any stress and Thomas has been the typhoid Mary of stress lately. He’s also a shark.

I knew that from the beginning when he came on board at the cigar shack and he’s been tolerable with regards to that. But today, he swiped two customers from me, unknowingly he claimed but still the deed was done. I helped out a customer and took a second to make sure I had the correct item to write up. By that time, the customer was at the register being rung up by Thomas under Thomas name. The customer was so kind as to thank me personally for helping him, in front of Thomas, but it did not seem to register.

Then just a few minutes agoo, a customer walked in, me chatting with him, headed to the humidor when Thomas strikes up a conversation about Ralph Lauren and proceeds to escort the customer into the humidor. I threw my hands up in exasperation and decided I would sit the rest of the time that Thomas would be working, away from Thomas, and sit in the man cave.

He’s a dick, he’s a shark, he’s an only child, he’s Thomas. And if I have to listen to the pearls of wisdom that fall from his lips regarding South Park or Family Guy I might just lose it. Whatever ‘it’ is, it maybe lost. He alsomtold me how he wasn’t looking forward to tomorrow. Tomorrow is the day I had off but switched so he could have off with his family. I told him at least he wasn’t working, and he replied, ‘Oh yeah. Thanks for switching.’

But he’s gone now and here I am, eating a banana on the sly as stragglers walk by the cigar shack, occasionally looking in the window, occasionally looking at Magilla Gorilla.

Brian Eno is singing how he would come running to tie my shoes which is a sweet sentiment. I would run to Bill to tie his shoes and I know he would do the same for me. The last 17 minutes on a Saturday in a holiday weekend truly makes this area like a cemetery.

I did have two online friends from a cigar group come in. Joseph and David, up from Delaware to visit the auto show at the Javits Center. Big burly guys, and quite nice. We’ve chatted online a few times and made the arrangements. A handsome couple they are.

I hooked them up with some cigars and set them up in the man cave. The two of them sitting in arm chairs while the usual suspects eyed them somewhat warily from the table, wondering why they were getting such care and attention from me, care and attention to such a degree that the usual suspects would never ever get from me.

Familiarity does breed contempt and I am quite familiar with these guys.

Tomorrow is Easter, and here is my Easter joke.

Easter is when Jesus emerges from his tomb and if he sees his shadow it’s six more weeks of lent.

It’s my joke, a joke a made years ago. Happy Spring!

Black Israelites, yelling & being ignored

Cigarmen David & Joseph with me in between

Have a Cigar

I Just Call You Mine

It’s Good Friday but for me it’s been mediocre. A lot of people have had off today, the jobs that I used to have, all had the day off. If the stock market was closed then so were we. But I am not there anymore and some of the companies aren’t around anymore and beleive it or not I am trying not to live in the past

It isn’t easy though. At the cigar shack a good number of our clientele work in the financial world, and they weren’t in. Some of the regulars were in, including a loud mouth know it all who is all of 20 years old, goes to the nearby college and has opinions on everything under the sun. He is so disliked this kid, that most of the regulars leave within minutes of the kid’s arrival on the scene.

I don’t like the kid either obviously, after sitting in the man cave with him and his sycophants and listening to them bad mouth the cigar shack. I kept my mouth shut as he trashed the place and kept a note that this kid was rotten.

On a more pleasant note, I ran into Amy Allison as I was headed back to the cigar shack after lunch. I hadn’t seen her since the night Farfetched closed. That would make it January 2009. We both chatted and caught up as much as we could in a short time. We both miss Farfetched a lot, but we were sure we don’t miss it as much as Susan and Lois miss it.

So it being a holiday weekend, the area around the cigar shack has quieted down quite a bit. Not much going on. Perhaps it’s because of the Easter season, maybe because it’s from Passover. I often wondered if modern day Israelites smeared lamb’s blood on their doorway. I’ve never seen it myself, but figured if you’re going to follow the story you should follow it all the way. After all, who wouldn’t want a then hunky, now dead John Derek as Joshuapissing off Edward G. Robinson?

I used to anticipate the sky turning black and opening up at 3 PM, the hour that I was taught that Jesus died. It never did happen, but man how I wished it would. I needed some proof to the stories I was brought up believing. It never happened and at 3:15 I more than likely moved onto something else, waiting for the final installment of The Robe, or King of Kings during Holy Week at the 4:30 Movie on ABC TV.

A little over a half hour left in the night at the cigar shack. I am on Saturday and Sunday which shouldn’t be so bad. Not expecting much. No Robert Hall for suburban moms taking their kids to buy new suits for Easter. Another ritual from my past that I hated. I never really cared much for Easter. My least favorite holiday growing up and I never liked ham either which my mother used to make for the holiday.

Now I am home, enjoyed a walk under a full moon. Bill is driving to Atlantic City. he didn’t have a good day either and I hope he’s OK. I’m sure he is, still- I worry.

06 We All Fall In Love Sometimes

I Invented Sex

Yes, today has been a day off. And it’s been alright. No need for pharmaceuticals since there was no despair at hand. I had a doctor’s appointment this morning and I wasn’t stressing it. It was merely a physical, a check up. This doctor is so much better than the one I had been seeing.

I held back on commenting on the old doctor when the new doctor asked who I had been seeing. When I mentioned the old doctor’s name, the new doctor mentioned that he was a friend. But it wasn’t really since the old doctor was a twin who shared his practice with his identical brother. I mentioned that it was Michael, not Joseph I had been seeing and the new doctor mentioned that all these years he had never met Joseph’s brother.

It was all very Dead Ringers by David Cronenberg. I was glad they were not gynecologists.

I was surprised my weight hadn’t gone down but I am trimmer. I guess the fat is turning to muscle. No, I still don’t have a six pack abdomen, and I don’t look like I swallowed a keg. My blood pressure is still low, 110 over 60 which isn’t that bad.

And the rest of the exam went well. I do have to go get some blood work done. Apparently the law dictates that general practitioners cannot take blood and leave it in the boxes outside their offices. Also the new doctor mentioned that kids had a habit of breaking into the boxes and throwing the contents onto the street, causing a lot of money in clean up.

Since I work in the city, I could get the blood extracted from Duane Reade which is a bit scary but since I trust the new doctor I will more than likely do it in the next few days.

After the doctor’s visit I was off running errands in the early afternoon of a spring day. It was bright and cool outside and I ran into RoDa as I wandered around. We chatted for awhile, talking about how we are both getting older as we stood on the street corner.

I’ve known RoDa for over 20 years and here we were in our 40’s talking about ailments and aging. He went his way and I went mine, home to some more coffee before returning two PG Wodehouse books to the bibliothèque.

Jimmy Seltzer had recommended reading Wodehouse and I did take them out, but since I was distracted by Mojo & Uncut magazines, as well as the New Yorker and my smartphone as well as the internets. Yes, the internets- where I saw a clip of Kurt Vonnegut talking about the firebombing of Dresden which got me interested enough in getting some Vonnegut from the American Classics selection via the bibliothèque.

Yes, I am reading Slaughterhouse Five. So it goes. And I did pick up the latest Mojo & Uncut magazines today. Have to schedule my reading habits so I can keep reading Vonnegut while reading about Steve Marriott & Jack White. Still haven’t gotten the latest New Yorker so I guess I will be calling the subscription department on Monday. So it goes.

06 Looking For Clues

I Hung My Head

Now- Ooh La by the Kooks is playing. A good song. I initially thought it was Phoenix. I don’t think the Kooks are French though.

I did have one thing right today. Yesterday was such a good day, a fun day at work that I knew that today would not be like that at all. And it wasn’t. It certainly was a long arduous day.

Last night was alright, I got home and spent some time with Bill who was tired, but stayed awake for me to come home. It was greatly appreciated, and he was soon fast asleep. I stayed up, watched Colbert, followed by 30 Rock and then The Office before bed. I had forgotten how The Office was a bit mean spirited when it first broadcast.

Now Rufus Wainwright is singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. I watched a video of Rufus’ latest song which features Helena Bonham Carter and I have come to the conclusion that maybe Rufus is better heard rather than seen. Also hearing about he might have been escorted from a party in West Hollywood in handcuffs a few weeks ago left me thinking how he should really get his act together and stop molesting go go boys.

Of course it’s all hearsay since I wasn’t there but a Facebook friend was, and you know that they don’t lie. A dear truthful Facebook friend, someone I know has gotten in touch with me. Steve Fallon will be in Hoboken last week so that gives me hope. he’s such a great guy, I couldn’t resist a chance to see him. He’s coming up for The Baseball Project, a group of known and semi known names, but I bet the majority of people will be there to see Steve.

I also got an invite from Steve to visit him in Rehoboth soon. I must make arrangements to do so. I figure I’d be going without Bill though with Bill would be ideal. I also have to figure out how to get to there from here. I’m quite sure NJ Transit does not make trips to DE. It would probably be an overnight trip I guess.

I am home now. Bill is asleep with a headache. He asked me to wake him when I came home and I shook his foot and announced I was home. He mumbled something, then I gave him a kiss which roused him a bit from slumber. Not enough though. He said he needed to get up but it’s probably best to let him sleep.

Tomorrow I have a physical scheduled with a doctor I hadn’t seen since 2004. I’d been seeing a doctor I have little respect for and finally decided to go back to Dr. 2004. Nothing major happening but since I am approaching 50, it’s probably for the best to see exactly what is under the hood. I am not stressed out about this at all since nothing seems wrong. I am happy that if there is any blood work to be done, he will extract the blood in his office rather than send me to Journal Square in Jersey City.

That’s it, I’m tired and hungry.

a friend's band, playing Maxwells 4.6.2012

04 – Yes – I’ve Seen All Good People_Your Move

I Hope You Dance

Tuesday Afternoon by the Moody Blues is playing. It’s probably the only Moody Blues song I like, or at the very least, the one I like the most. I heard it constantly growing up in the 1970’s, on WNEW-FM. I eventually worked with Justin Hayward on something in the 1990’s (maybe it was a Moody Blues thing) and though I never got too close to him, engineers told me the guy was basically toast.

Back at the cigar shack today, no despair happening. A good day with Bradley and Jerry Vale with Zack buried in the office under a mountain of paperwork. Sales were fair, nothing great. It’s only the third of the month and we’re on par with last year, though I think the home chateau might be hoping for higher numbers.

It’s been quite a nice spring day outside, I was able to enjoy a slightly damaged cigar and read some more Kurt Vonnegut during my lunch hour. Bill has been super phenomenal lately. He’s singing the national anthem again before the Mets game at CitiField on April 22. I’ve already put in my request for a day off. I am hoping it does not rain. Still any time spent with Bill is time well spent.

I had some good customers today. Sometimes you get some really good ones, others are not so good. Some are pleasant and some are dicks. Today it was all pleasant. It is early yet, a little over an hour left, leaving the dicks, plenty of time to make their uncircumcised appearances. Jimmy Seltzer is here, playing the role of my favorite customer. He remarked on the good mood I am in. ‘Just riding that manic high’ was my explanation.

Even some customers who get on my wick didn’t bother me that much today, some even going so far as to be somewhat pleasant. Now ‘Take The Long Way Home’ by Supertramp is playing. A guilty pleasure for me. I loved Even in The Quietest Moments’ and Breakfast in America’. Jerry Vale just mentioned seeing them at the Garden for the Breakfast in America tour. I mentioned that they broke up soon after the tour, right after they reached the top.

In some ways it’s like Harper Lee. I watched a documentary on her and Margaret Mitchell last night on PBS. I like the Harper Lee documentary more, having read To Kill a Mockingbird and seen the movie countless times. Miss Harper Lee only wrote that one classic book. Never came out with anything else.

Not that she had to, but anything that she would have done would be compared to Mockingbird, and that would near impossible to duplicate. So I guess she did the right thing, cutting out at the right time, much like Supertramp. Is that a stretch or what?

Now there is a little over a half hour left in the cigar shack. the Eagles are playing ‘One of These Nights’ yes I am going down memory lane and dragging Jimmy Seltzer and Jerry Vale with me. I guess I am lucky since they’re not complaining.

Now I am home, still in a good mood. Bill of course is almost always in a good mood, and stayed up for me to come home. Now he’s in bed and I am in front of the computer. Maybe it was the multivitimin. Or the Shepherd’s Pie I had for lunch. Or spring fever. Anyway, I’m running with it. Or walking briskly.

Anti Samsung protest near cigar shack. Photo taken with a Samsung smartphone

Stevie Wonder – Outside My Window

I Hope They Get To Me In Time

A Monday and a day off. Quite nice, overall though there was a bout of despair, earlier in the day. I don’t understand it, I enjoy having a day off but the past 2 times I had a day off I was miserably depressed. Last week I took a Xanax to deal with it, this time I merely got out and walked around.

Last night wasn’t so bad, I was tired enough to go to bed about an hour earlier, like a little before midnight. At 12:20 I was out of bed and surfing the net. I did fall asleep but I was awoken by my own snoring. At the usual time that I go to bed, 1:00 I was able to fall asleep. I slept alright and woke up this morning feeling somewhat rested.

I went out with some shirts for the dry cleaners and a visit to the supermarket, where I saw the mighty Isis on my way out. Coming back home and after breakfast is when the despair crept in. But it was a beautiful day, a bit windy but alright to go out and run the errand I needed to run.

A while back I bought a Timex watch with a leather strap and after wear and tear over time, the leather strap started to fall apart. I held it together with a rubber band but it looked unsightly. Last Friday I was in midtown and stopped by a shoe maker and had the band replaced with a metal band, sort of like a Speidel watch band, but it wasn’t.

I liked it and that was all that mattered. On Saturday while working at the cigar shack, I looked at my watch and saw that the watch band was hanging together by a metal thread. All it took was for me to touch it when it fell apart. I guess I was fortunate that I was standing still and not walking on the street or something like that.

I tried but I could not get it together, unable to connect one part to another since a piece was missing. That meant I spent several moments looking at my wrist and wondering what time it was. Waking up was difficult since I wear the watch to bed and usually check the watch to see what time it is, rather than actually lifting myself from the bed to look at the alarm clock.

So much easier to lay there, one eye open with my trusty Timex watch one inch from my eye so that I could see its face, so blind am I without my glasses.

I anticipated some difficulty with the shoe maker since it was a cash transaction and no receipt was given or asked for. So I took the bus into Manhattan on my day off and walked over to 39th Street, off of Sixth Avenue. I walked in and they seemed busy, but the guy behind the counter sort of remembered me. Must have been the codpiece I was wearing.

I explained what happened and he took the watch and opened up a box filled with metal watch bands. Finding one that best suited my machismo, he set about taking off the old watch band and putting on the new one. It took about all of five minutes and I was soon back on the street where I ran into my old Rasta pal, Jesse.

After a brief chat it was a walk to the Path train which I rode reading Kurt Vonnegut and listening to Carole King on the iPod. It was a beautiful, yet breezy afternoon and I am glad I was able to get out and enjoy it, if only for a short while.

technical ecstasy, what?

04 In Dark Trees