Category Archives: Abstract Absurdist Otherness

Read it and weep! I’ve published and now, I be damned! There are some diamonds in this coal. Proceed with cautious carelessness.



And upon the heather the beauty has faded
and the knives that were out are no longer serrated.
But it will rob with a face that resembles R.Mutt creation
For a day that started awkwardly now ends in noble elation.


I Still Believe- Frank Turner

I just got back from outside. It’s been a busy day and after yesterday it has certainly been a good day. Yesterday was just soul crushing and unrelenting. Today was merely unrelenting. I went to bed around midnight last night and slept fairly well. Insomnia has not been the problem it was last week. I woke up somewhat refreshed and started the day with a shower, followed by breakfast and coffee. No big deal I know. The clothes I washed were finally fully dry and I was happy to be able to fold them and put them away once again.

I did need to go to the supermarket and decided today would be the day I go to the really big supermarket that reopened last Saturday. That meant a walk out of my way rather than a trip around the block to the lesser, grouchier supermarket. I didn’t mind and as I walked over I talked to Bill on the phone. Apparently he couldn’t sleep last night and got up around 3:00 in the morning and stayed up long enough to just head out to work. No attempt to go back to sleep like some people do. He’s been going to bed early lately.

That means I see him for maybe an hour a day when he comes home from work and before he heads off to sleep. He stayed up and worked on his script and also chatted with his west coast friends. He remarked on my mood when he came home and that he decided not to ask what was going on since my initial answer would be ‘nothing’. Of course I had to remind him that even if I did reply to the question of ‘what’s going on’ with a ‘nothing’, 15 minutes later I would be spilling my guts.

That was something that used to occur when we started out together 12 years ago. He was somewhat jealous of my relationships with Julio and Pedro, how close I was to them. Now Julio is busy with his wife and child and Pedro is busy with his insane job and contact with either one of them is few and far between, and now it is Bill, 100% seven days a week. I guess he should have been careful with what he wished for. I am home all the time, not going out and if there is contact with anyone it’s usually online or via text.

He offered to talk about this tonight but I am feeling better and what’s done is done. I’m not about to revisit the depression I was going through yesterday, when Bill gets home. The supermarket is great, I missed it so. A box of cereal at the nearby supermarket is $4.99, 15 minutes away it is $3.50. Everything is cheaper and in abundance. I didn’t need that much but I am glad I went, if only to break the sidewalk paths I’ve been taking as of late.

I came home and did some more things before heading out once again. This time I was heading into the city. Port St. Willow is playing next Friday on the 22nd at Mercury Lounge and it could be the only show I will see this year, judging by the fact that I see fewer and fewer shows each year. And it’s a cheap ticket, $10.00 so that made it that much sweeter. And it’s an early show. So I hopped on the Path train and walked to Houston and Ludlow to the box office. I passed a couple of spots that I used to go see shows at or hang out at with friends like Julio and Pedro (though rarely together since they don’t seem to like each other very much).

I figured I would listen to My Bloody Valentine on the iPod as I walked, but the iPod started acting strangely. It would play 2 songs then stop. I would reboot it and then it would come back to life, then it would stop again. Infuriating and I cursed the iPod as I put it in my pocket. Still I kept trying before giving up after about 5 times. It was a pleasant enough day that I just walked from Ludlow and Houston up to the bus terminal. I was glad to be out and about.

I did see my first ashy forehead and duly made a wish.



Long, Long, Long

I Shall Be Released- Tom Robinson Band

Oh Shlomo is having his frozen scrotum attacks once again. Another text, another request to come in and help out. I’m saving money that I would be spending on cigars by helping them out. Sometimes it’s good and fun and then there are times that Shlomo is in. He’s not much in the communication game. He shows up, says one or two things, goes out and is never seen again for hours. Doesn’t ask if I need anything or if the shop needs anything. I’ve been helping them out so much lately that people think I am the owner of this disorganization.

Today Shlomo comes in followed by two friends a man and a woman who immediately start speaking Hebrew, though the woman apologized for talking Hebrew in front of me, saying that it’s rude. She said that in English then went back to talking Hebrew. Shlomo gives them cigars which they immediately cut and light up. I tell them they can’t smoke here and Shlomo tells me it’s alright, despite me standing next to a No Smoking sign. This is one of the reasons why people think I am the owner and not Larry, Moe and Shemp. I enforce the rules, they allow the rules to be broken.

Hey, it’s not my shop and if they get shut down due to infractions by the city of Hoboken’s department of health then I lose nothing and would go back to ordering cigars online. It would be a shame though to see the three of them losing their business, their investments due to their negligence and basic lack of communication. So Shlomo and his Zionist hoodlums went to the cellar and puffed away there, smokers candles lit and air purifiers plugged in and running. After about 90 minutes they had left.

I had to go downstairs and found their smoker’s candle burning brightly. I suppose the adage of never leave a candle or flame unattended was never translated into Hebrew since it was left to me to extinguish the flame. But hey, who ever heard of a cigar shop going up in flames anyhow? I do have to admit I was very glad they left and I am on my own once again. It gets harder to look the other way, but the promise of free cigars for my problem is a welcome excuse.

And over the weekend I heard from a couple of former co-workers. They texted me individually about how they missed working with me. I replied, wondering what brought this on and it turned out they were listening to music, music they knew I would have something funny to say about. Then a photo was sent to me, of a Crosby, Stills and Nash playlist.

I remarked how I wouldn’t play that hippie crap to which they replied that that was the response they had been missing. Laughs on all 3 ends of the smartphones I reckon. I was glad I could help them get out of their Sunday morning doldrums since Davy & Goliath doesn’t get broadcast anymore these days.

I Run to You

Another day spent helping out Shlomo at the cigar shop. I thought Hanukkah was over but for Shlomo it’s all holidays, not just Chanukah. I don’t mind, a free cigar and someplace warm with a view of the street is all I need right now. I am happy,they are happy so everyone is happy, at least in the square footage in which I sit. And isn’t that what is most important at the end of a fiscal quarter when working retail? Israel just popped in looking for Shlomo who seems to have escaped from his electronic ankle bracelet.

A friend asked me the other day if I was going to the Maxwell’s Christmas party which was last night. I wasn’t invited and I was fine with that. I have a history there but it’s really not my scene anymore. I don’t know anyone that works there except for RoDa and Todd and neither of them invited me. It’s not like the Steve Fallon days where it was an open bar and filled with White Castle burgers. I did go a few years ago and tried several times to leave early but was stopped by various friends and acquaintances. I eventually did leave and wandered the streets of Hoboken for a few hours with RoDa.

Last night I was glad to be home. Bill had a lot on his chest that he needed to unload and it was my turn to listen. In fact I had to remind myself to just listen, not suggest anything, let him vent. I was happy to be there and gave a hearty ‘pshaw’ when Bill apologized for venting, I had to remind Bill that he listens to me vent often enough he should be certified for HVAC work or at least a listing as a casual therapist.

I do have a modest complaint. Some friends have taken to complaining about their bonuses this year. I am usually silent as they complain, waiting for my moment when I can remind them that they are complaining about their bonuses to someone who is currently out of work. Sometimes they understand, sometimes I get ‘Yeah I know but…’ In my years of working I have gone without bonuses more often than I had actually received them. There was that last Christmas at Wanker Banker where they were so desperate to get rid of me, they surprisingly screwed me over.

My assistant Ms. Miro and I discussed what we had gotten and she had gotten double what I had received. Then came the memo from good ol’ John Griff who said we weren’t allowed to discuss our bonuses with our co-workers. Once again a day late and a dollar short for that pretty polly John Griff. My co-workers and most of the people I supported heard about my being screwed and rallied enough to pass the hat making for a nice Christmas bonus despite what the useless and spineless Maggie Alexandre and her human be-in cabal had to say on the matter.

Today has been an interesting day otherwise. Leaving the building this morning on one cup of coffee I waved to people I did not immediately recognize, Julio & his father in law. Julio could tell I didn’t know it was him at first and of course mocked me for it. Later I ran into Tom, Mike and Juan at separate intervals. Good to see everyone, and everyone seemed to be in the holiday spirit. Now I am home, just had some dinner and not planning on doing much of anything tonight. That could all change once Bill eventually gets home.
Make The World Go Away

I Remember- Julee Cruise

Hope you all had a decent hump day. It was alright on this end. I was busy and I was also out and about. I did not go to the smoke shop though I walked by it and gave Shlomo a wave of the hand. Whether or not Shlomo responded in kind, I couldn’t say. It was fairly cold outside and I merely kept on walking. I would likely be walking past later on so I paid it no mind. I was on my way to the bus terminal. With the Path train still out of commission, the bus is the best way to get into the city.

There is the ferry but that’s a bit more money. Even the $5.00 each way at rush hour is a bit steep and I wasn’t going at rush hour so the cost was a few dollars more. It was a good idea to head over to the bus terminal since the buses usually are full by the time they get to my favored stop, or at the very least, standing room only. So I nabbed a seat and read some of that Yo La Tengo book. Ira Kaplan, cub reporter so far.

I got off the bus and bought a round trip ticket at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. I wasn’t planning on using the bus to get back. The plan was to get to TekServe on 23rd St and 6th Avenue to have my iPod looked at. And since there is the Path train right there I decided I would be taking the train to Newport and walking back to Hoboken. Not that far a walk, maybe 20 minutes from the Path station in Jersey City to the Hoboken Train Station. I walked down 6th Avenue and ran into my old Rasta pals. They said to tell you they said ‘Hello’.

I didn’t linger, too cold. I strolled down the Avenue of the Americas and in no time I was at 23rd St. I had to take a number once inside TekServe and was told it would be a 15-20 wait. I didn’t mind. I was good to get in from the cold and I was able to sit and read while I waited. About 20 minutes later my number was called and I walked over to Timothy. Nice guy, asked if I was related to some British actor which was odd since Trevor Howard is so rarely remembered these days.

Timothy was British so that was probably why he asked. I told him what was wrong with the iPod and he said it happens every so often with the iPod classic. He was able to fix it for a nominal fee ad I was happy with the cost as long as I got my iPod back. I do have some priorities you see. I decided to walk up to the Path station at 33rd Street rather than getting on at 23rd St. I wanted a seat and my chances would be better at 33rd St.

Nose in the Yo La Tengo book once again, reading about Georgia and her growing up on the upper west side. I was at the Newport Station soon enough, listening to Richard Hawley on the iPod and headed for Hoboken. And like I planned I walked by the smoke shop again and waved to Shlomo who was looking at his laptop and not out the window. A stop at the bibliothèque to pick up a book I requested but couldn’t remember why I requested it. An experiment in time perhaps is what I think. And I think I am right. You’ll see.

And I’m really happy my iPod is back and fully functional.

I Never Lost My Praise

A dream was had where I found myself working for the cigar shack again, only this time it was in an office setting. Many rooms shut off from me as I tried to track down Zack/Calvin/Hot Sauce to tell him that I shouldn’t be there, that I no longer work there. Then I was in a room with my father of all people, who asked me how my dentist visit was. I admitted that I lied, that I wasn’t off to see the dentist, I was actually looking for my mother which seemed to upset him somewhat.

Yesterday was a very good day. It was a Sunday and Bill came home in the morning after driving from Atlantic City. After giving me a bagel he went to take a nap. The plan was to head out to Saddle Brook to celebrate my brother Frank’s birthday. Frank turned 61 on Friday. Bill rented a Zip Car for the occasion and that definitely made it easy to get out there. On the ride we played a game, I picked out songs on the iPod and he tried to guess the artist. He did well, though got hung up on a Carpenters song.

We got to Meghan and Rob’s house and settled in. There was some catching up to do since I hadn’t seen Meghan or Rob since July. My sister in law Elaine was there and soon Frank showed up with his daughter Corinne, followed by Brian and Karen. Brian and Karen’s kids were busy so it was mainly a grown up gathering. Corinne had her ankle wrapped up in an Ace Bandage since she was out the night before at a Bachelorette party in heels. Bill, Brian and Frank were downstairs watching the football game and I sat upstairs with my sisters in law, Elaine & Karen.

Soon dinner was had and then we had cake. It was all very nice and good to see everyone, well mostly everyone once again. Then it was time to come home. Goodbyes were made, kisses and hugs exchanged. No guess the artists game on the way home, just an easy ride, avoiding the Sunday night tunnel traffic. We were home by 7:00. A wonderful afternoon was had.

Bill and I settled in, watching Boardwalk Empire before he was off to bed. I stayed up watching Night of Too Many Stars, the autism telethon on Comedy Central which was very funny. And touching, watching an autistic girl onstage playing piano and accompanying Katy Perry on the song Fireworks. I stayed up and watched the first half since I missed it during Boardwalk Empire, which was also good.

I slept fairly well, waking up to Bill kissing me goodbye for the day once again. I got out of bed after that and started my day anew. After showering and breakfast I sat with a cup of coffee in front of the computer. One of the first things I saw had me gutted. It seemed a friend from a Facebook group passed away the night before. A nice guy named Jeff Lunger. I never met Jeff though he lived in Jersey City, but we had many chats online and enjoyed posting videos of different performers and songs. He was good friends with Galt McDermott and from what I understand was working on a documentary about him.

It really floored me to hear of his dying. He hadn’t been online in a while but I just assumed he was busy. Death was the last thing I expected. I posted on his wall my condolences and posted in the mutual Facebook group some videos. I had hoped to meet him at some point, at a show or at Maxwells but now that isn’t going to happen.

Rest in peace Jeff Lunger.

I Must Be Dreaming

Yes indeed, this has been a strange day. It started out normally enough, waking up before the alarm clock. I slept fairly well despite Bill not being around. I was up and shuffling around doing my usual morning routine, shower, coffee & breakfast before heading out to deal with the world. A trip to CVS where I ran into Martin Kelly again. He was working and very funny as he usually is. Good to see him. Then it was off to the nearby supermarket and on the way I ran into Julio outside of his workplace. He was funny as well.

We texted each other last night and mentioned that Stine wants to have me over for dinner again. Julio of course joked that I eat all their food and drink all their wine. I remarked that I show up with a bottle of wine which Julio called rat poison. Still he drank the rat poison and it wasn’t so bad after all it seems. He went back to work and I ran in and out of the supermarket. No Isis to be seen. I haven’t seen her the past few times I’d been there so I guess she is on vacation.

More resumes sent out, revamped resumes. I decided to go with details rather than bullet points. I have a feeling that the detailed resume would go over better rather than the bullet points which require a quick scan before it goes into the circular file. Of course my detailed resume resembles something on par with James Joyce’s Ulysses. If there are no responses then perhaps I will hybridize the two and come up with something closely resembling a Brion Gysin cut up. If I put it to music it could sound like an outtake from David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs.

I decided to go busking this afternoon since I hadn’t since Tuesday. I was all set to go and had the guitar case and my shoulder bag as well as a bag of garbage. I eyed the keys hanging on the hook as I walked through the door and as soon as the door closed I realized I had locked myself out. I knocked on the neighbor’s door on the fifth floor, with the hope I can go through her window and into my apartment via the fire escape. But there was no one home. On the fourth floor I knocked again.

No one there either, nor on the third floor or the second floor and I knew no one was on the first floor. Apparently I am the only one home. I went outside and effectively locked myself out of my building. I texted Julio since I have a copy of his keys from the third floor apartment and he has a copy of ours. He knew he had a key but didn’t know where it was. He contacted Stine and instead of me standing around I started to walk to the waterfront to do my busking. I also tried calling Stine myself but there was no answer.

I walked past Tariq who was on his cellphone and set myself up about 20 yards away. I started tuning my guitar when my phone rang. It was Stine and I missed the call but got back to her right away. She was by Julio’s workplace and since I wasn’t around she was going to leave the keys with Julio. So I packed up and headed towards Julio’s place of work. Sure enough, there was Julio full of wisecracks about me getting old and forgetting my keys. We’ve been calling it ‘going Hawaii Five Oh’ since that will be my age soon enough.

I had the keys to the building and my apartment and climbed the stairs once more, putting away the guitar since it didn’t seem like busking would be part of my afternoon activities today. I did some practicing at home instead and dropped some change at my feet for effect.

Bill is back on the mainland, winding up at Dulles Airport and taking a train from Union Station to Penn Station. I was planning on seeing my friend Alice play tonight but I think I will stay in and wait for Bill to come home from his 24 hour journey.

And there is a chance I might go to the beach tomorrow. My niece Meghan and her husband Rob are going to Sandy Hook and I’ve been asked. They plan on going early and that’s fine by me. Meghan mentioned a while back that if they were going down the shore and if I wanted to go it would be easier for me to go out to them via public transportation rather than have them come to Hoboken. I don’t know if that’s the same plan. I would have a chair and a beach umbrella to bring with me and it could be cumbersome.

But it’s not that big a deal and I am sure I can make the most of it if I have to.

And now I have a key in my wallet.

This just in: there will be no beach for me tomorrow.

Julio’s workplace

2 – Downtown

I Like What You’re Doing To Me

Another overcast day, productive though I would say. Laundry basically and a trip to the supermarket. That’s how my day has been. Haven’t played much guitar since Sunday’s event. And with the cloudy skies there really hasn’t been much of a reason to go out and play, especially if seems like it is going to rain. Perhaps when the weather improves I will be out there strumming again, with the guitar case open should anyone have any extra change they would like to get rid of. Until then, the guitar will stay where it is and I will likely stay where I am.

Last night was a very nice night. Bill came home and like a dutiful spouse I greeted him at the door with a kiss and a smile. It was great to have him home. He needed to get to bed early since he was distracted and has not been going to the gym as much as he had hoped to. We watched Michael Eric Dyson subbing for Ed Shultz on MSNBC and then after that I changed the channel to The Social Network. I had seen it before and recognized it for being a very good movie indeed, but felt that watching it more than once was enough.

Watching it for a second time I realized that it does bear a repeat viewing. Great script by Aaron Sorkin, great cast and of excellent direction by David Fincher. Jesse Eisenberg is great as a reasonable facsimile of Mark Zuckerberg. I still think that if a movie of Yo La Tengo is ever made, Eisenberg would be great as Ira Kaplan. And I mean that with utmost sincerity since I do consider Ira to be a friend, though I do not take his helpful dairy suggestions with much consideration.

I had a few texts with my brother Brian the other night. Brian wants to see the Feelies all of a sudden. He mentioned wanting to see them at Maxwells on June 29, but that is Bill’s birthday so it will be unlikely that I will be going that night. Unfortunately it might be the only night Brian is available since the following Saturday and Sunday are somewhat booked. I told him to remind me as the date approaches, maybe I could work something out. I wouldn’t mind seeing Stan or Andy at the show, and perhaps they can put Brian on the list, with a plus one.

Brian never expressed any interest in the Feelies before so it did strike me as odd. In any event it would be good to see Brian again and hang out at a show for a few hours. I know I’ll be seeing enough of him in July when Annemarie arrives. Apparently there is a lot of interest in joining Annemarie and myself for our escapes down the shore. It’s fine by me, and I am sure it is fine by Annemarie. I am certainly looking forward to just sitting under an umbrella on the beach and staring out at the ocean, which is one of my favorite things to do in the world actually. And though you can see New York City from the beach, I am sure there won’t be any of that queasiness like previous years when looking in that direction.

I do occasionally think of some customers that I used to have at the cigar shack, I wonder how they’re doing. Despite the strife there were a few guys that I enjoyed interacting with, sitting in the man cave and chatting with them as I counted the money, or just taking a load off of my feet for a few minutes. Whether or not I ever hear from them, or even see them again remains to be seen. I know I won’t be setting foot in the cigar shack ever again, but I wouldn’t be averse to meeting up somewhere for a cigar and a chat.


another day in Hoboken

13 Crazy (Original)
01 I Got A Man

I Follow Rivers

Well it’s a day off and I am killing time before heading into the city to visit Bill’s office party. It’s been a weird day to say the least. First off I burned my finger trying to get the heater to work properly. It’s blistered and I am relying on the present day old wives tales and remedies, in other words, I am using the internet.

Finger running under cold water. Aloe, actually sunblock lotion- as well as apple cider vinegar and now it is under a bandage. It’s not as painful as it was earlier. Initially it wasn’t painful at all but within minutes I started to feel it. Luckily I’m not playing guitar in Bill’s combo, just shooting video.

According to Bill’s Facebook update, he is readying himself and his ensemble SmoothnFusion for their first gig. It promises to be a fun evening, and instead of cutting out to let Bill have his fun with his work mates, I will be hanging and eating and perhaps drinking. It’s likely to be the only holiday work party that I will be attending since you can bet that the cigar shack won’t be having anything like that.

In fact, I made the mistake of opening an email from the cigar shack. Apparently numbers are down and the new head cheese is unhappy with that fact. In turn he is coming down on Zack and Zack is coming down on Bradley, Thomas and Jerry Vale as well as myself.

Of course the head cheese whizzes do not seem to take into consideration that sales are down nearly everywhere, and in a store such as the cigar shack, a lot of people that had the money to buy pricey items in the previous months and years don’t have it this year.

Thomas, Bradley and myself have spent hours emailing our customers reminding them that we are still in business and ready to sell and ship cigars and accessories whenever they would like, but the cigar shack offers no sales, no two for one deals, no discounts. It’s merely business as usual.

And since it is business as usual people have been buying the cigars and accessories elsewhere at other cigar stores in the city or online where it is even cheaper. All over the country, bricks and mortar stores are in difficult positions due to it being cheaper to buy cigars online. And reading the email I am reminded once again that shit truly runs downhill.

Can’t sell a $5,000 humidor every day, which I proved the next day when my sales as well as Bradley and Jerry Vale’s sales all took a nosedive. My problem is that I should not have read that email on my day off, my own time.

So tomorrow when I return I will send even more emails to my customers who if they don’t ignore the email, could likely be sending them to their spam folders. I myself get plenty of cigar offers from various cigar distributors, back from when I used to work at the cigar shack, and I do take a cursory look before deleting them, so I can’t really fault any of my customers for doing the same.

I guess I will also have to change my tactics and stop treating people the way I like to be treated when I go shopping or rather when I used to go shopping. I too, shop online you see. When I would go to a store where there were sales people on the floor (bookstores and record stores generally leave you alone) I wasn’t too keen on having a sales person hover around me, or in my face pushing high end items that I couldn’t afford nor was I much interested in.

That will have to change and I will have to be all over them like white on rice. I’ll just do the opposite of how I like to be treated when I shop.

And now, enough of that infernal place. Time to get ready for Bill’s office party. I am looking forward to it totally and I know Bill is as well. It is going to be a fun time for all concerned and you know what? I deserve a fun time I think.

Dave Stewart – Its My Party

I Am A Cider Drinker

Another day in the cigar shack. It’s been a long day, but it’s been a productive day and my sales, while in the third place are still pretty good, four figure range. It’s Calvin and Thomas and myself once again.

Tomorrow I am off as I requested at the beginning of April so I could attend the Hoboken Art & Music Festival on Washington Street. I am really looking forward to seeing Ian Hunter and I believe Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro is playing with Ian Hunter. Hopefully that means Meghan and Lily and Ruby will also be in town and it is always very good to see them.

I spoke with Hyman Gross earlier in the day and apparently his bone density is good enough that a pin may have been inserted and not needing him to wear a cast and be incapacitated for 12 weeks.

That would not be good for Hyman since he thrives on getting around and having him housebound would not be a good thing at all. Bill and I plan on seeing him tomorrow in the hospital and all three of us are looking forward to it.

I had lunch with Raymond, aka Dave who used to work alongside me in the cigar shack. We didn’t eat, we smoked cigars on a bench near the park. I ate before heading out. It was good to see him, I hadn’t seen him in a while.

Bill is driving once again to Atlantic City. I did not see him at all this morning, he missed the train he usually takes and had to catch a 10:00 train which is when I was headed to the bus stop. I gambled and hoped that a 10:30 bus would show up and much to my surprise it did.

So it’s been a busy and relatively fun day in the cigar shack.

Now the fire alarm is going off. We are on alert. There was no need for alarm and there was no need for the alarm. It turns out some kids pulled the fire alarm then ran. I suppose a false alarm is better than an actual alarm, that is unless there was a need for the fire department elsewhere.

No, I didn’t do it. I was too busy taking pride in my job, you know, me and millions of other people not complaining or whining about having to stand on concrete floors for 9 hours a day. Because we are all exactly the same, we are all in the same situations.

The knee seems to be getting better, new shoes helped but at the end of the day I look forward to an ice pack on my knee the same way a businessman looks forward to a martini or whatever when they come home from work.

And of course climbing up subway stairs as well as four flights of stairs doesn’t really help the knee but instead of sounding like I am whining, I might as well just stop writing right now.
UA-9199038-1 from Toms River?

Raymond aka Dave

I Ain’t Thru

A quick one while he’s away. Calvin presently sitting in the man cave finishing up a cigar he started a few hours ago. It’s all good. He was interrupted a few times so it’s not like its owl stretching time. It’s been an alright day working with Calvin and the Braindead Bradley.

As Bill was kissing me goodbye this morning I had to ask him if I was working today, so deep in sleep I was. Bill told me I was and I had no reason to doubt him. I kept hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock, finally getting out to the sound of Herb Alpert’s Rise which I took to be a sign to get out of bed and to start the day.

Last night I watched I’m Not There, the pseudo bio-pic about Bob Dylan starring Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, Marcus Carl Franklin, Ben Wishshaw, Christian Bale and Richard Gere, each playing a facet of Dylan’s persona. I had seen it before and just picked it up from the bibliothèque.

Since it was due back today I thought I should watch it. I’m pretty much sure I enjoyed it more the second time around, but decided not to try for the Fourth Time Around. Did not watch much of anything else after that, Bill had gone to sleep by that point.

I am reminded of Jimmy Seltzer, fab customer who comes in and hangs out in the man cave after hours. He asked me last week how many jobs have I worked and I came up with the number of 18.

Harcourt Brace & Jovanovich, 1330 Corp, EnRoute messengers, Friedman Alpren & Green, San Loco, Murdoch Magazines, Take One Video, Rizzoli, Skyline Studios, Right Track Recording, Deniz Productions, Arista Records, People Magazine, The Lodge, Staffmark, Adecco, Vanguard Staffing, Putnam Lovell NBF, Wolff Olins, Legend Staffing, Bio-IB, and now the cigar shack.

22 jobs actually. Forgot about a few when I was originally asked, and there maybe be some that I’ve forgotten. Does Farfetched count? It was part time and OTB. I’m sure Jimmy Seltzer had less of a job list than me. Then again, he’s a professional and I’m just a leaf in the wind.

Jimmy Seltzer and I also talked about most played songs on our iPods. I guessed correctly that the most played song on my iPod would be Tomorrow Never Knows by the Beatles. Now when I just checked, it is Just Be Good to Me by the SOS Band.

But having just played Tomorrow Never Knows twice, it is once again the most played song on my iPod. Sorry SOS Band, but I’m sure Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis would understand. After SOS Band, the third most played song on my iPod is I Only Have Eyes for You by the Platters.

I just saw Julio and picked up some shoes that I ordered and shipped to his place of work. I could have picked them up over the weekend but after having to deal with people all day long at the cigar shack, I am too wiped out to even stop by one of my dearest friends’ apartments for a beer and a chat. Another drawback to this job, standing on my feet in dress shoes for nine hours a day.

Yes I am complaining and yes I am trying to better myself in the face of bitterness. Even ambivalent to meeting a friend of mine and Harpy’s whom we haven’t seen in quite a long time. She’s in town until the end of the month and the only time to see her is when I would be off and heading into the city on a day off really isn’t something that I do these days.

Hyman Gross is in the hospital. Hyman broke his leg getting into a taxi on Saturday. Surgery will have to be done. I saw him for about an hour yesterday, he was fading in and out of consciousness due to the heavy painkillers he is on. It was good to see him nonetheless and I hope he pulls through with no trouble.

an interesting bird I saw this morning

I Like It

And now I find myself on a Saturday night. Some friends are probably seeing Tiny Lights somewhere on Ludlow Street, other friends are doing who knows what. For me it’s been a long day and after having to deal with people all day, the last thing I want to do is actually be around people.

Bill is about all I can handle and he’s 3 feet behind me watching something on PBS with the volume louder than usual. I sit and type, my back to Bill listening to Brian Eno and J. Peter Schwalm on my computer with the headphones on, though I can still hear the TV behind me despite the fact that the volume is all the way up on the computer and headphones.

Last night was an interesting night somewhat, at least it was to me. Had a talk with Bill on the phone while he was in Atlantic City, and then a talk with Annemarie. Both conversations were concerning the job which I interviewed for and was told I would start on December 6.

Now at this moment in time it seems like that is unrealistic. I don’t have the paperwork they require for the background check and even if I did the fudging of the start date on the resume would seem certain to derail any offer. Live and learn I suppose.

Today at the cigar shop, it was Don’s last day. He’s leaving to work for a start up internet company. So the cigar shop is in the lurch with Don’s departure and if I left, it would more than likely cripple them. Yeah I have problems sometimes with working at the cigar shop, but more often than not, it’s manageable.

And I am loyal, loyal enough that today when Calvin asked me if I could work, dangling the prospect of overtime to entice me into such a situation. I said I would work half a day if needed, since he was trying to convince Marcus into coming in to fill in.

Calvin is driving to Ohio with his wife and kid at 4:00AM Sunday morning, taking his first vacation in a year, or so he said. Now at home, the news is on and the volume is a little bit lower, making it bearable, though the news is still generally bad.

Calvin said a few minutes later that I would not have to come in, an employee from another cigar shop will be coming in to help out Bradley. I also spoke with Bradley when he called to ask about the alarm when he comes into the shop.

I told him to call me if he had any problems while he worked. Now with Ron gone, I’m the senior employee. Of course there is no extra money in the new title.

After dealing with people all day long the last thing I want to do after work if deal with idiots. Unfortunately I missed the 9:35 bus by 1 minute and had to wait for the 9:55 bus which idled at the gate for 10 minutes. And this bus seemed to be filled with inconsiderate self centered people all headed to Hoboken.

That’s it. I’m done. Over and out.

Not posting tomorrow.

I’ll Cry Instead

The Beatles. John Lennon. Me. That’s what I hoped to write about today. I thought today was going to be an easy day. I did everything right, everything else was wrong. Last night I asked Bill to make sure I was up by 8:30 when he was supposed to be heading out.

I woke up before Bill did. No matter. I did my thing, shower, breakfast, coffee, email. Bill was super supportive before heading out, kissing me goodbye, telling me I am adorable and smart and things like that.

A few minutes later I headed out around 9:20. My barber Tony is back for a few days and I had hoped to see him for a haircut. But as I walked by someone was in his chair so I kept walking and picked up some dry cleaning instead.

Came back home and got dressed for work. Saw the 10:15 bus go by but had no worries since I was going for the 10:30 bus. A bus arrived at 10:55 and I asked the driver if this was the 10:30 bus. He said it wasn’t, they were late and it was behind the 10:50 bus.

Of course with one bus being late that meant the bus would be very crowded and it was. Luckily I phoned in and said I was going to be late. Don answered the phone and suggested that I take the train.

As if the trains run normally on weekends. In fact last night on the news they said all trains running this weekend will be running on a service schedule. Oh and they’re raising the fares to $2.50.

I made it to the shop a half hour late. No one minded. They were playing the Allman Brothers for some idiotic reason. The only reason to play the Allman Brothers in my book is a reason of idiocy.

The day proceeded without incident but the new guy, Bradley is really trying too hard to make friends with everyone and tried showing off his ‘dark humor’ by making jokes about John Lennon’s murder. Truly that is how to score points with me.

I did have a nice phone call with Annemarie for a few minutes. She seemed to be having a good day, so that was nice. After lunch, the usual jerk offs and vaginal slang came in today and I did my best ti minimize contact.

I was able to play selections by John Lennon and the Beatles which was nice. Some people complained and I did want to plug into the celebration of John Lennon’s life. I had wanted to see the documentary they were showing for free in Central Park and I had hoped that I would be able to attend, but working the joyous hours of retail made it impossible.

I left the store on time, after closing up the shop and made it to the terminal only to find a long line waiting for the bus. I was the absolute last person allowed on the 60 person capacity bus, unable to stand behind the white line, I hung on for dear life while the driver sped through the Lincoln Tunnel.

People eventually got off and other people got on the bus but hardly anyone made room for myself and the new people hanging on by a thread. Now I’m home, feeling beaten.

Happy 70th Birthday John Lennon.

I’m a Wicked One

Walking to the Path train Tuesday night after work, I walked through Times Square. I know it’s a tourist trap but I’m usually plugged into my iPod and smoking a cigar so people generally stay away from me.

And it’s the quickest route to the Path train, what with the pedestrian plazas that have been created in Times Square. The plazas north and south of Times Square are generally empty and people stay on the sidewalk.

I came up with a completely off the top of my head statistic, that for every 20 tourists, there are 4 to 5 people trying to convince them to head over to the comedy clubs. I don’t know the success rate of getting out of towners into these places to pay a cover charge with a 2 drink minimum.

The people who are trying to get the tourists in are usually young comics performing this duty so that they could get a spot in the evening’s show.

I also noticed a few young American women in head scarves. They are what I guess to be, recent converts to Islam. Why would a woman what to commit to a life of subjugation? I also realized that it was my awakening to Islam, that convinced me that religion, all religion is truly absurd.

I knew of a woman years ago, a friend of a friend who converted to Judaism. And her name wasn’t Judy so that really didn’t make sense. Why do such intelligent people decide to believe in an iron age sky god?

True, it is their lives to live and not my business and I usually keep my thoughts to myself, but I decided to take this opportunity to state my case.

I myself was raised catholic and thought I’d see god in a sun beam peering through the clouds, not really thinking it was just a sun beam peering through the clouds. In Paramus Catholic, my high school we had to do research and write a paper about different religions.

I was given Lutheranism to research and found myself agreeing with what Martin Luther had to say. That started my drift away from catholicism. I eventually became an agnostic, doubting the existence of a god.

Then when 9/11 occurred, that sealed it. I was an atheist. The crime, the violence done in some idiot god’s name, by the even more idiotic followers was just disgusting and I realized that religion just drags down the human race, and prevents it’s growth.

Growing up, basic questions that I asked could not be answered. Questions like, ‘if a group of people live good lives and treat each other well, why would they go to hell if they didn’t do anything wrong and never heard about Jesus or Mohammad or whatever?’

It’s such a racket and Karl Marx was right when he wrote, ‘Religion is the opiate of the masses’. In the 1980’s I amended that in a fanzine that I used to contribute to, and wrote, ‘Mass is the opiate of religion’.

Perhaps someone else wrote that before I did, but I don’t know or didn’t know about it.


Well I am better today. Still a little bit nervous about tomorrow and the return to school. Last night was a bit of a low until I took half a Xanax and then things got mellow. The melancholy edge was gone but it still didn’t help me enjoy (500) Days of Summer.

It simply wasn’t as good as I had hoped it would be and I do like both Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon Levitt. I just didn’t care for it, the story or the characters. I watched the news after that then a repeat of the last episode of last season’s True Blood. Now that was good.

After that I was off to bed where I slept quite soundly. I don’t recall any specific dreams from last night but the night before I did have a dream involving the family dog, Bojo, from when I was growing up.

Bojo was quite a neurotic dog and the only person in my family that he actually liked was my mother. That was because she was the one who fed him all the time. In the dream he was quite a friendly dog and living with Bill and I in the apartment and he would slip and slide on the tile floors.

I made a note of it, waking up and writing it down in the notebook I keep next to the bed.

I woke up this morning with Bill walking into the bedroom after returning home from yet another bus driving gig to and from Atlantic City. He was checking in on me since I seemed so morose when we last talked.

I woke up and showered as Bill sat on the couch and watched Wacky Races in the Cartoon Network. I woke up in my usual crabby mood, but still it was better than last night. Bill went to bed and I was out on the street after a couple of cups of coffee to get some milk for my cereal.

On my way down I saw the door to Julio & Stine’s apartment slightly ajar. I knocked and Stine came out and told me Julio and Alexander were at the park. I headed there and talked to Julio and pushed Alexander on a swing which is something I always wanted to do, push Alexander on a swing and talk to Julio. Or vice versa.

Got the milk and the paper and came home and had a nice breakfast. For some, the Memorial Day weekend is the start of summer, for me it’s like the end of summer and I’m going back to school tomorrow. And by school I mean work.

Bill woke up a few hours later when I had Zoolander on. Bill had never seen it before and loved it. Really loved it, so much that he was howling. It is a silly movie and enjoyable. I suggested we take a walk around Hoboken which is something we should do more often.

I gave Roda a call since he mentioned he was having a cookout today and he invited us over. Lot’s of people and family there and we were most welcome. I had two and a half spiked punches and was feeling a nice buzz.

After an hour or so we said our goodbyes to Roda and his family and had a nice dinner at Arthur’s. We would have eaten at the cookout but Bill wasn’t particularly hungry at that time. After walking around Hoboken some more he was hungry.

It rained a bit while we were in the restaurant but had stopped after we ate so we continued our walk around Hoboken, on Pier A. I spotted the dreaded Mister Softee and had to express my feelings somehow. It seemed most apt.

Now we’re home. Lawn Hors d’œuvre Criminal Malcontent is on so Bill is happy. Me? I’m anxious about tomorrow and the new job. Perhaps a cigar will be relaxing.

Your Eyes

I’m pretty tired. Pounding the pavement today. It actually went well. Walked from the Path train to 40 Wall Street, where I took the elevators to the Third and Fourth Floors.

It wasn’t the dank hole I expected it to be and I didn’t see any dank holes like I expected to see. I don’t know why the Susquehanna Investment Group has such a bad reputation.

You might think that a privately held global investment, trading and technology firm servicing securities markets worldwide would have their slack cut for them but apparently that’s not so.

Arthur Dantchik, Jeff Yass, Steve Bloom, Eric Brooks, Andrew Frost and Joel Greenberg all sent their warmest greetings and regards. Yass and Dantchik are a pair of regular jokers, with the knock knock jokes and other Pennsylvania humor.

They seemed like good guys though behind closed doors, the refrain of ‘watch the teeth, watch the teeth’ did raise some eyebrows. I didn’t stay too long, just long enough to make my presence known. Susquehanna Investment Group certainly gets it’s name in the news often enough, oddly though it doesn’t involve insider trading, at least not yet.

Soon I was on my way to Broad Street, to Barclay Rex. Nice situation, Wall Street area, good looking men in their suits and ties. I’d be happy to be one of them should the need arise. I had a good meeting with the manager and the assistant manager.

Never had a meeting before where I was offered a cigar. Of course I said yes and sat there smoking a cigar and answering questions. I answered honestly and truthfully and that seemed to be what they wanted to hear.

No trying to figure out what that might be, just saying it and them looking a bit amazed at my responses. After about an hour our meeting was over. They said I could sit there and finish the cigar so that’s what I did.

Walked over to the train and headed uptown. Saw David Allen Grier on the street as I made my way to see Bill. Also took a look at a spot where Tariq said he sometimes plays for the tourist dollar but the only people besides tourists were sketch artists.

It was good to see Bill. He’s so supportive, saying things about how good I looked and really happy to hear that the meeting went so well. I was certainly glad to be able to tell him some good news for a change, especially after me being a bit gloomy the past couple of days.

We walked over to Godiva where Bill bought a bag of dark chocolate truffles for me. They were almost as sweet as Bill. Walked over to Macy’s after that. They’re having a sale on eyeglasses so I checked them out. Of course the frames on sale were crap, and not my style.

I did see some nice ones that were more expensive and maybe the insurance will cover them somewhat. Despite all the care I put into the eyeglasses I have now, somehow they’ve wound up scratched. And I rarely used paper to clean the lenses, always used the special cloths that were recommended.

Maybe I’m paranoid but one of the last times I was at Cohen’s Optical and had them fix a screw, I could swear they were given back to me more scratched than they were originally. Another meeting is scheduled for next week and Bill suggests I wear the exact same thing for my ‘call back’. Seems like a novel idea.

In that case, I had better get the shirt and tie to the cleaners forthwith!


That's my Bill

That's my Bill

Me, smoking 'their' cigar

Me, smoking 'their' cigar

No New Tale to Tell

Wednesday. For some it’s hump day. However, for a lot of people it’s just Wednesday. It’s been an alright day. Not too cold, not too warm. Of course it could always be better.

Not much to write about I’m afraid. Is there ever much to write about? Is it all just gathering threads and trying to join them up, sew them together and make a nice fabric out of it? Is it the fabric that matters? Or is it the sewing?

These are the matters that spring from my mind and travel to my fingertips.

Listening to an interview with Brian Eno, something from about 20 years ago I think, rebroadcast on a Minnesota radio station on a show called Speaking of Music. It’s about a 2 hour interview, basically reviewing Brian Eno’s work and life up to that point.

Eno has a nice voice to listen to and since it’s an old tape that was digitized and playing on my Frankenstein computer occasionally a glitch pops up and Eno goes ‘Hmm Hmm Hmm Hmm’ for a few extra seconds.

It seems to be recorded live in an auditorium before an audience of Eno-philes, laughing at just about everything Eno has to say.

I’ve taken to listening to podcasts while I eat dinner instead of the news. Usually I watch the Ed Show at 6:00 but since the Olympics are on, I’ve listened to discussions. It’s a nice change of space.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Eno when I worked at Skyline Studios. I remember reading an interview with Eno in Trouser Press, and the wrote about how Eno would tear off the filter of his cigarettes and smoke the unfiltered bits, and there it was, an ashtray with torn off filters.

He was working with Laurie Anderson at the time and both were incredibly nice. Both of them signed records that I asked them to sign and occasionally when money is tight, I look at the Eno records and wonder how much money I could get for them.

I’m sure he wouldn’t mind and definitely would understand the situation that I would find myself in. But I haven’t gone so far as to look into eBay and seeing what I could find there. Perhaps one of these days.

I’ve also caught some Oprah lately. Yesterday I watched people getting makeovers, helped by Carson Kressley from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. I never could understand how people get surprised when they open the door and there is Carson Kressley.

My main problem is the fact that the people are filmed from inside their homes, a camera man a few feet behind them. Do these people have camera men in their living rooms all the time? Wouldn’t they think that something was up, I mean, why is there a cameraman breathing down their necks?

It was the same thing when after the Super Bowl, Bill and I watched a TV show about the CEO of a company working down in the ranks, with the people that inhabit the bottom end of the totem pole. This one guy we watched, worked for a week at different parts of his company.

And all the time, he was followed around by a camera crew. Now if someone was a new person at a company, wouldn’t you think something was up when the newbie would be tailed by a camera crew?

Aren’t any eyebrows raised?
No yellow cards?

It’s easy to overlook the camera crews for most, but obviously not for me.

Today on Oprah was the son of Jim Jones, named Jim Jones Jr. He was in Guyana when the People’s Temple were killed or committed mass suicide.

He would have been in Jonestown when it all went down, but was instead in Georgetown playing basketball which in effect saved his life, but made him feel guilty and never played basketball until years later when his son was on a school team.

The other guest was the sister of John Wayne Gacy. She of course had her own tale to tell, about how she didn’t believe that her brother killed 33 men and boys up to a point, but eventually had to admit it to herself.

I’m just grateful that my nearest and dearest aren’t sociopaths.

Hello to Sao Paulo, Mission Viejo, Warwick, Chiang Mai, Eureka, Petaling Jaya and of course Bala Cynwyd.

Just A Minute

It is back to work for you lot. But not for me though. Once again on the outs with employment. It’s a Monday. Things got better between Bill and myself which I wrote about yesterday.

He was upset that the full time bus drivers pulled rank over the part time drivers. I can’t really blame the full timers. If I was in their position I would more than likely be trying for some overtime.

Occasionally I flashback to when I worked at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, my first job. Dave Manzo, my comically inept supervisor would ask around 4:00 if anyone wanted to work overtime. I usually raised my hand.

Things in the warehouse would be quieter and calmer. Sometimes I would work until 6:00, other times until 7:15. And yes, I would work on Saturdays as well, from 8:00 to 1:00. Most everyone would leave at 4:15 in the afternoon, and at 4:30 there would be a 15 minute break.

It was a decent job, though I have no contact with anyone from those days. I worked there from 1978 to 1984. Both my brothers also worked there as well as my mother. My brothers and I didn’t work together though, not during the same time period.

I used to dream about going back to the warehouse but I haven’t lately. I suppose my time of working there was part of my formative years. High racks of books and materials, 100 feet high. A very rough estimate since I can’t really tell how high things are, especially from 25 years ago.

I do think it was one of my better jobs (maybe I’m just being naive, and it was a different time) and I left while the leaving was good.

Last night I had 2 dreams related to being a DJ. The first dream concerned me spinning records at McSwells again, but this time in the front room, and not just in the front room, but alongside in the cafe area. Not enough room actually for my records or whatever I was using as turntables.

I was set up in the front room despite the fact that there was a poetry group going on at the same time. They weren’t too happy about it. Chaz and Andy the sound man were involved with the dream, as well as the angry poets.

I think Bill had kissed me goodbye which was an intermission of sorts regarding the dreams. After Bill left for work, I carried on dreaming, this time, being a DJ in Lodi, in my parents house, with the DJ set up in my parents bedroom.

In the dream I spent a lot of time on our back porch looking for a Grace Jones record as well as being on the phone with Pedro who was bemoaning the fact that he was looking for a job. I told him I had a job for him, nudge nudge wink wink, but he wasn’t at all into that sort of thing, just like in real life.

I remember these dreams since I’ve taken to having a notebook next to the bed so I can write these things down.

Right now I am watching disc 2 of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, all about the effects which were so well done you couldn’t really tell that they were using special effects, or more precisely, CG effects.

I watched it again last night with Bill and once again I was choked up at the end. Bill was surprised by that and said it was reminiscent of how choked up I was at the end of final episode of Six Feet Under. And I can definitely understand that.

If you saw the finale of Six Feet Under you would probably understand by what that meant.


Gonna ramble. Here goes. And there I go. Just an aimless sort. Stream of consciousness stuff. Haven’t done it in a while. A good way to clear the decks. If you’re not into it, you might as well stop right here.

Or Here.

Who do I wrote for? Me or you? Hard to say since the rules keep changing, the margins keep moving. Things appear and disappear.

Saw Eddie Rodriquez in the supermarket. He and his wife and his Alzheimer’s afflicted mother. I saw the mother in a wheel chair just staring into space and when I asked if she needed help she just stared. I asked again before I gave up.

I didn’t see Eddie down the aisle with his wife and he came up and said hi. He too is unemployed as is his wife. She’s been out of work since October 2008, and he’s been out since January 2009.

Makes me feel like a newbie since I’ve only been out of work since July of last year. I feel like a schmuck bemoaning my fate, when people like Eddie and his wife, and yes, even Harpy have been out of work even longer than me. But they’re in their world and here am I, in mine. Most of us have the same stories, except for Harpy of course.

Saw on TV a former friend, in the NY Gilbert & Sullivan players commercial. Actually I didn’t notice the former friend until Rand pointed it out. Hail hail the gang’s all here indeed. I used to shoot video for this former friend.

The friend became former since he was quite underhanded to a mutual friend who was sharing his bed. The friend didn’t think sharing the bed would be THAT way but the former friend has designs that where heretofore unknown, hence the falling out and my siding with the friend. I was out of the McSwells scene in 1996 by then anyhow.

And the former friend was forced out for being a douche bag to Steve Fallon, exiled to Jersey City. Now he pops up on TV.

Today was a walk around Hoboken to the supermarket. Not the one around the block but the one farther away. Did not get what I expected, thought that there was a sale but there wasn’t. Somehow I misread the info.

Presently uploading Bob Dylan: The ‘Royal Albert Hall’ Concert from 1966. I bought it when it came out as Volume 4 of the Bootleg Series. I think I was working at Arista Records then and drove some of my coworkers crazy by playing it.

I think sometimes people don’t ‘get’ Bob Dylan at first. I know it took me a while. Now I really appreciate him and truly love his latest stuff. The 1970’s things I generally ignore at the moment. I have Blood on the Tracks but I rarely play it.

I like the 1960’s and 1990’s stuff and of course the 8th volume of the Bootleg Series, Tell Tale Signs is one of my favorites from last year and that’s a collection from the late 1980’s to the last decade, which may or may not be known as the ‘naughts’.

Just stood up from the computer and looked out the kitchen window where much to my surprise I could see directly into a neighbor’s window. Luckily I’m not the type to see what other people are doing since I don’t want other people to see whatever it is I’m doing, which right now is sitting in front of a computer writing.


Tramp The Dirt Down

Last night was an interesting night for lack of a better word. As furious as Juan was when he came over, he calmed down enough to be hilarious. Actually I think both of us were hilarious. Sometimes the hilarity subsided when he had a phone call from some family member.

Juan was kind enough to go into the bathroom and talk on the phone but as his anger returned his voice got louder and the acoustics in the bathroom accentuated his ire creating more of a noise than it would have been if he was sitting right next to me.

Plus the neighbors probably heard everything perfectly. At least they would probably have something to talk about since things are generally pretty quiet here with Bill and myself. I had to go knock on the door and tell him to take the call in the bedroom which was a bit quieter for the residents of the 5th floor.

He was soon back on Earth and settled on the couch where we watched episodes of The Office which I had saved for moments like this, when Juan was over. Also posted one or two other new links to the blogroll regarding Hoboken blogs.

Blogga please!

Juan was on yet another call (for which he was ultimately apologetic for) in the bedroom when Bill came home. Bill was happy to be home and showed me his New Jersey Driver’s License which establishes his new residency as one of those who live on the mainland. Nice picture too.

He had his Subway sandwich and Juan sat next to him on the couch and we watched Elvis Costello Presents Spectacle. It was the first episode of the new season, last night’s guests were Bono and The Edge from U2.

It was enjoyable, Bono was as usual talking most of the time. Elvis and the Imposters played Mysterious Ways by U2 and at the end both Bono and The Edge did a duet with Elvis singing a medley of Pump It Up/Get on Your Boots with a little bit of Subterranean Homesick Blues thrown in for good measure.

Juan then checked his 7000 emails from school and I sat on the couch reading about Tom Petty in Mojo which did not publish my letter about the Specials this month. The Simpsons came on, the Lord of the Flies episode which was not as good as most of them despite the promise. I had to send Juan home after that. I was tired and needed my sleep.

Last night’s cannabis free dream was a Zombie dream that took place at a besieged 13 Riverview Avenue, the house where I grew up. I was grateful it wasn’t Zoombies but rather the slow walking Zombies.

It was a relatively quiet day. I walked around Hoboken a bit and found that I like startling people by saying ‘Good morning’ or ‘Hello’ when I pass them and catching them looking at me.

Old people are usually pleasantly surprised when they hear it and usually reply in kind. Younger folk have no idea what to say.

Spent a lot of time in front of the computer, probably too much. Got tipped by Jeremy at Good As You about some geezer on his front porch, smoking a butt and dispensing his views on gay marriage. After watching the video on YouTube, I had to unleash the sock puppet.

The geezer was upset by what the sock puppet had to say and then posted an even more heinous video wishing death to queers, homosexuals and lesbians, despite saying in an earlier video that he loved his late epileptic bisexual brother.

The sock puppet reminded him that he was in effect wising his brother dead if his brother was still alive, since he felt that the granting of a civil right to gays and lesbians would infringe upon his rights.

That’s the point that is so stupid.

Well, that point as well as the point they try to make that being gay is a choice.

The sock puppet had to ask when did he decide to be straight?

I mean if sexuality is a choice, isn’t it a choice for everyone? Or was he like Larry Craig, who felt that the louder he protested against gays, the less likely people would think he enjoyed performing oral sex on men in public rest rooms.

Oh he short circuited and shut down. It was a fun way to spend this afternoon, tramping down the dirt on some red neck geezer from South Jersey.

Let It Down

Woke up with a cannabis hangover though I haven’t smoked it in a week now. Perhaps it’s leaving my body, leaving me, well, just leaving me I guess with vivid dreams.

Last night was about someone, maybe Bill switching the tables on me, taking my table which this computer is on and giving me a table I used to have back in Riverview Avenue. It was maybe 2 feet tall and a lot smaller. Don’t know what that is supposed to represent if it’s supposed to represent anything.

I had to get up earlier than I’ve been since I scheduled a visit from PSE&G for this morning between 8:00AM and 12:00PM. I made some coffee and did my usual routine. Online I got an instant message from Vinnie, who I used to work with in the Wanker Banker days.

He asked that I call him as soon as possible and so I did. I contacted Vinnie the other day regarding putting him down as a reference. I was apprehensive since his mother has been sick and in the hospital and I hoped my timing wouldn’t be awful. It wasn’t his mother just came home yesterday.

He was surprised that I’ve been out of work since July and he’d be more than happy to be a reference. We had a good talk and he had a suggestion that I should look into taking a real estate license test, figuring I would be good at that.

Vinnie said if he was going to buy some real estate, he’d buy it from someone like me. The funny thing is, yesterday while ambling around Hoboken where there is a real estate office on almost every block I passed by an office with a sign in their window suggesting a change of career, try real estate.

I thought I might do good in that so it’s actually something I was considering and Vinnie saying the same thing seemed fortuitous. He’s really a good guy and I am glad to have him in my corner. I even sent an email to a friend of Julio’s who did the same thing, got her broker license and now works in real estate.

Who knows? It seems like a good idea right now. I wished Vinnie and his wife and kids a Happy Thanksgiving and made tentative plans to meet up for a coffee down the line.

Walked around a bit today and stopped by a stationary store that had a help wanted sign in their window. I went in and asked if it was an off the books job and it wasn’t. They gave me an application and I started to fill it out, then I said that I was running late and would fill out the application at home and bring it back.

I’m not going to bring it back. I was hoping for a situation like Farfetched but obviously that wasn’t in the cards, so to speak.

Ran out of Stevia and so it was off to the A&P where I ran into Clara a girl I used to work with at that video store almost 20 years ago. She lives around the block and I see her every couple of months. She’s a happily married mom now with 2 kids.

We were close at one point but as it happened we drifted apart after I got fired from the video store after being caught doing something I shouldn’t have been doing while in the downward spiral I was in in the months following my mother’s passing.

It was good to see her though, she’s still a sweet heart though time and rumors widened the chasm between us. It was a day where former co-workers from my past popped up.

And then there’s Harpy. He pops up like clockwork. While I’m writing, or eating dinner, Harpy invariably calls. I don’t mind since I love Harpy and I know he loves me.

Had a good talk with my brother Brian last night. He’s a good guy and I love him a lot. We went though a lot of shit together and being the brother closest to me in age, a lot of fighting which he almost always won.

But that was then, here we are now and I consider him not just a brother but a very dear friend. I’m sure he doesn’t understand things about me but I know he’s there for me and I am there for him, lending an ear whenever possible.

Played guitar today as well, learning some Paul Simon songs since if I’m going to be busking, it’s good to play songs that people know, rather than going for songs that maybe be cool to me, but unknown to most.

I mean, I’d love to play All Tomorrows Parties by the Velvet Underground and singing it like Nico would, but really, would the people walking by the riverside know what I was singing? More than likely not, so I’ll play Me & Julio by the Schoolyard or Kodachrome and be happy with that and hopefully get some greenbacks in my guitar case.

And with that, I will wish you all, or the both of you, a very Happy Thanksgiving. Don’t know when I’ll be posting, we’re heading upstate and if we don’t catch the 6:00 train getting into Hoboken around 9:00, we’ll catch the 9:00 train, getting into Hoboken around midnight.

So Happy Thanksgiving from me.

The Lumberjack Song

Back in the 1970’s on Sunday nights, my sister and I would watch Monty Python’s Flying Circus at 10:30 on Channel 13 on a small black & white TV in my parent’s bedroom.

My parents were watching something on the color TV in the living room so we had no other choice but to watch it in black & white. That was fine.

I remember before we started watching the show, asking Annemarie what Monty Python’s Flying Circus was, having seen it in the TV Guide listings. She didn’t have much of an idea but suggested we watch it.

So we started watching what would soon be a Sunday night ritual. I remember howling with laughter at Sam Peckinpah’s ‘Salad Days’. Who knew dismemberment and wide scale bloodletting would be so hilarious?

My parents probably thought we were insane with the peals of laughter. It was then I became a Python devotee. Not many people knew about Python then, and I’m sure it had a definite influence on my view of life.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail was when a lot of my friends caught up. Routines of yelling ‘Ni’ at each other. Mock battles between imaginary knights, killer rabbits were the rage for a time in the playground across the street from my house.

Annemarie & I did see Jabberwocky at the Bergen Mall movie theater but that went over our heads somewhat. Probably was an accurate depiction of life in the middle ages, but for the 2 of us, we just didn’t get it. It’s probably worth a look see again.

Never saw them live, but I did see the movies. I had the Live at City Center album, which was enjoyable, but nothing compared to the TV show.

Lately there is a series on the IFC about Monty Python. An authorized biography. I DVR’d it last night since I was in the midst of writing 1880 words. I looked forward to watching it when I was done writing and about an hour after, I watched it.

It seemed a bit odd, and I thought it was a surrealist gag. The sound was a few seconds behind the video and I hoped it would clear itself up. It didn’t. In fact there were some gaps in the program where the screen went dark.

Very disappointing.

I wound up reading while it was on since it was so annoying to try to watch it. It felt like a radio documentary while reading. I did eventually watch it at midnight and the IFC situation seemed to have cleared up.

I also posted on the IFC website but I don’t think anyone else had the same problem as I did. It was informative. Some footage of The Goon Show with Spike Mulligan and Peter Sellers as well as Beyond the Fringe with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett and Jonathan Miller.

And I just placed both Jabberwocky and Beyond the Fringe in my Netflix queue. Once I view Gran Casino by Luis Bunuel I’ll be able to see Beyond the Fringe.

Had that one for a few weeks but haven’t found the time or frame of mind to sit down and watch the surrealist master.

Funnily enough, it’s because of Monty Python that I first heard of Luis Bunuel. Back in the day when I used to read Rolling Stine and take it seriously, there was an obituary of Luis Bunuel, written by Eric Idle in the pages.

Eric Idle basically said, or from what I can remember that if it wasn’t for Luis Bunuel, Monty Python probably wouldn’t have existed.

That was high praise indeed for me and soon after that I traveled to the Public Theater, when they used to show films and watched my first Bunuel film, El Bruto with Stan Bogdansky.

I think a documentary on Luis Bunuel is way over due and I’m sure the Pythons would agree.

A very happy birthday to my brother Frank!

Wind in the Lonely Fences

It’s 9/11 in case you didn’t know. Still a sad say, but as with time passing the sadness diminishes for some people and for others it’s compounded.

I will never forget what happened that day and I really don’t think anyone who was aware of what was going on that day will ever forget either. I wonder if there are a lot of forgetful people out there that need to be reminded.

For me, it was a beautiful day, with a deep blue sky. It was the day before my birthday so of course I was rather happy about that.

I was working for a staffing agency called Staff Mark on 40th Street in Manhattan on the 20th Floor. From the office you could see the Empire State Building and beyond that, the World Trade Center.

I was manning the front desk when the FedEx guy came by saying that he had heard of a plane hitting one of the twin towers. I was surprised and didn’t really believe him anyway.

If it was a plane I thought it was a small plane, a Cessna, a Piper Cub. I turned the corner and looked downtown where I saw smoke rising and a big chunk missing. Went back to my desk thinking ‘how fucked up is that?’

A few minutes after that, I hear screams from the office with the downtown view. The second plane hit the south tower. Everything went numb after that. I guess I was in shock.

A co-worker had his brother working in the World Trade Center. He was never seen again. Neither were a lot of people. People that had gone to work on that sunny day, perhaps ignoring the emergency intercoms advising people to stay where they were and trying to get out were murdered.

So much misinformation was around that day. Reports that planes were attacking the White House, the Washington Mall between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial was under attack. There was no clear information and the people on TV with the news knew just as much as the guy on the street.

Though the internet was around, it wasn’t as much as it is today. Watching footage on YouTube, you see people on the street where it happened fleeing the toxic cloud of chemicals, office materials and flesh and blood.

Today I watched an hour long video about one of the people who jumped from one of the towers. Hard to watch and I thought about those people who jumped from the towers that day.

What was going through their minds? Was it the survival instinct, to get away from the heat and the smoke and the only way out was through the window? Were they thinking clearly? Was it just instinct or was it desperation?

Staff Mark had a grief counselor come in and I asked him those questions, not that he would know the answers, nor would anyone else.

The footage of the second plane hitting the South Tower is chilling. Sinister looking. I think of those people on the planes and the people that were left behind. 8 years later it still is a terrible day, and terrible is not that strong an adjective to describe that day in September.

Razor Face

Nothing much happened today. Did some laundry. That’s about it. I may have another Susquehanna Investment Groups job coming up from another refugee from the jungle where I used to work. That remains to be seen.

I do have a job on Saturday, hanging some pictures in an office. That should take about an hour.

Tomorrow will be the trip to the Metropolitan Museum with Harpy. Then Hurricane Danny might hit here this weekend, making it an indoor weekend which is no fun. But I won’t know until I get there.

I hope it doesn’t happen. My friend Excer is supposed to play the Central Park band shell on Sunday afternoon and I would like to check that out. So fingers are crossed (which makes for difficult typing) for Sunday.

Time for you to roll your eyes since I’m about to write about the iPod shuffle.

Smalltown Boy- Bronski Beat
This came out in 1984. Jimmy Somerville’s falsetto. Patrick Morrissey and Alphonso Portillo’s apartment at 201 Madison Street. Crashed my last car in the afternoon, Patrick took me in and made me dinner. He and Alphonso lived on a floor below. Meat Loaf with cream cheese inside. And white wine. A good way to end a terrible day. A song about coming out and leaving home. It was a hit in the UK and got some airplay here on New Wave stations.

Towers of Dub- The Orb
A 10:24 track on a CD that Bill gave me as well as giving me an iPod one Christmas years ago. Fun trippy dance oriented stuff. Sounds great on headphones. Maybe in a club as well. But I’m not clubbing anymore, Blow Off was more than enough for me. I’ll be in the chill out room if you need to find me. Actually this would work better in the chill out room.

Filthy/Gorgeous- Scissor Sisters
From their first and best album. They are a fun group. Juan had a crush on Baby Daddy. Baby Daddy would probably have a crush on Juan if he ever met him. This album reminds me of being with Annemarie and Earl driving from the Saddle Brook A&P.

99 Problems- Jay Z & Danger Mouse
Most everyone knows who Jay Z is. Danger Mouse is a producer who is also one half of Gnarls Barkley. This is from the Gray Album which was Jay Z’s Black Album, mixed with the Beatles White Album. In this track, it’s Jay Z rapping over Helter Skelter. Of course it’s a totally illegal release, but it was everywhere a few years ago, and could be bought on Canal Street for $5.00.

Change- Killing Joke
Killing Joke was a band that a few people told me I would like since I liked Gang of Four so much. I couldn’t get into them. This is the only song of theirs that I like. Youth who was in Killing Joke is one half of the Fireman with Paul McCartney. I think it’s the right half since Macca is a lefty.

1/2- Brian Eno
From Music for Airports. Definitely a chill out track. I think the first time I heard this was when my brother Frank had a cassette of quiet songs to help with his wife Elaine’s delivery of their first daughter Meghan. I don’t think it was played since Elaine wound up having a caesarian section. I think it was played at La Guardia Airport for a time to help passengers relax.

Robber Dub- The Clash
I know the first time I heard this was when Laszlo Papp bought the 45 when it first came out at St. Mark Sounds. Then we traipsed over to some friend of his apartment and played our latest purchases. My purchase was Private Idaho by the B-52’s. Summer of 1980 it was. I was learning the truth at 17.

Get on the Good Foot (Pt 1) – James Brown
I never really heard James Brown when growing up. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that I really discovered him and that was mainly through the use of his beats and the sampling that went on in Hip Hop. I did go to see him once or twice at outdoor concerts. But I was so far away I couldn’t see him, only hear him. Would have loved to have seen him at the Apollo in the 1960’s though.

Be Here- Raphael Saadiq
I love Raphael Saadiq. He has one of the best voices out there and his music these days is very soulful, like in a 1970’s vibe. This also features D’Angelo who used to be the sexiest man in music 10 years ago. They also sang ‘She’s Always in my Hair’ by Prince together. Raphael Saadiq is always worth checking out if given the chance, especially if you like soul music.

Coal to Diamonds- The Gossip
From a collection of songs that Juan made for me when we first started hanging out. The Gossip are fronted by Beth Ditto and she’s a sensation in the UK. Here she wouldn’t get arrested, much like Scissor Sisters. I can easily picture Juan singing this song onstage. He’s be a good performer I think. Does he think so?

That’s it. Nothing more to see. Move on.

August Day

Well today is Saturday, I figured that out by myself. Bill is here and we’ve been cooped up all day. It’s been raining on and off but I was able to get out for an hour or so.

So I walked by the river and sat, reading the New Yorker and enjoying a cigar. Deep sea diving without scuba apparatus is not on my list of things to do. That was one of the articles I read.

The other was a pretty funny piece by David Sedaris about going to Australia as well as about living with his father when he was growing up and singing a song about the Kookaburra bird with his sister Amy.

It was funny until he was smacked with a fraternity paddle by his father after being told to go to bed 3 times. Ah memories.

Not much of anything going on today, just waiting for the next rainstorm I guess. The cicadas are still doing their thing and it’s quite humid out.

I have some DVD’s from Netflix that Bill and I are planning on watching tonight. One is the Luis Bunuel directed version of Robinson Crusoe.

The other is John Huston’s production of Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood, but I think Bill would be more interested in the third DVD, The Panic in Needle Park.

My Uncle Joseph lived in the Bronx for a time and called basically any NYC playground Needle Park. When visiting we would sometimes go play in Needle Park, or what he said was Needle Park.

It didn’t sound charming but it was somewhere to go while the adults kibbutzed. I’ve never seen the movie before but it should be an interesting period piece of Manhattan starring a young Al Pacino.

Right now we’re watching the end of The Fugitive, starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. I pointed out former Chicago politician, now US Senator Roland Burris in the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

I’m just waiting for the Janitor from Scrubs to make his appearance as the cop on the train. They even mentioned it in an episode of Scrubs a few years ago.

Today is also my sister’s birthday! Happy birthday to Annemarie! Tried calling at my usual weekend time but there was now answer so Bill & I left a nice happy birthday greeting accompanied by Altered Images singing Happy Birthday.

I’ll be giving a call later so hopefully Bill and I can sing live rather than committing to tape. That’s what I think would be preferable, don’t you?

No other plans for the evening and what I do tomorrow would depend on the weather as well. I’m hoping for a nice day. I guess a trip to Central Park would be nice.

Now Harpy is on the phone, bemoaning the fact that it’s so humid. As if it wasn’t humid here in the swamplands of Hoboken. But it’s an outlet for him and I’m glad to oblige. It gives him a cooler head somewhat which is good for him and the rest of Washington Heights I suppose.