Category Archives: Cool Cold Reality

Where it is and what it came from. The end-all, be-all, and all-for-a-dollar.

Goodbye Stranger

Earlier yesterday, I set my alarm clock for the morning. I checked to hear what song was playing and it was Supertramp, Goodbye Stranger. Last night as I was going to bed and check once again to hear what song is playing and it was Supertramp, Goodbye Stranger. I thought it was odd, but it actually harkens back to a time when you heard a hit record on the radio several times a day, if not several times an hour. And it was a song that I like so that was good. Yes, I do like some Supertramp songs.

I remember seeing the first Superman movie with my sister and when Lois Lane pulls up to a gas station the song we heard was Supertramp with ‘Give a Little Bit’ to which Annemarie and I both nodded knowingly.

Yesterday was a beautiful day finally, and I would say about a thousand people were strolling the waterfront in the afternoon. I sat and smoked a cigar and read Gilbert Hernandez’ Julio’s Day, his latest graphic novel. I am usually more into Jaime Hernandez’ work, though I do love both of Los Bros Hernandez equally. Julio’s Day was touching and brilliant and I have to admit my admiration of Gilbert’s story and how he handles gay men and their sexual relationships.

And the slinging rock job fell through. Apparently the head honcho saw something I wrote on the Crack Fancy blog and did not like it. It portrayed his illicit activities in a bad light. I should not have written that the head honcho was a dwarflike functioning alcoholic but I did and right then and there I was shown the door. It was a nice door, I have to say. Made of wood I believe.

And of course with yesterday being gorgeous it stands to reason that today would be cold and wet once again. And that was fine by me since I was not standing on a corner slinging rock anymore.

For Memorial Day Bill and I watched Saving Private Ryan. Great movie and brutal. I aksed Bill during the movie if he thought he would be able to do those things that Tom Hanks and company do in the movie. We both agreed that neither of us would be able to do all that. Then again we’re using 21st century thinking and if we were drafted into the army back then, like most recruits we would be brainwashed into meat for the war machine, so perhaps we would be able to kill or be killed though we would really rather not.

And today’s ear worm:

People Are Strange

Andy’s mother is sick in the hospital and India. He is understandably stressed out. Andy is an owner of Hoboken Daily News. It was just me and Andy in the store for a few minutes and he was able to unload with tears in his eyes. Other customers aren’t so understanding, whining about not being able to get their scratch off lottery cards in the time that wanted while Andy was on the phone trying to hear what is going on with his mother.

She was in one hospital with some lung problems and on a ventilator. The doctors at the hospital told Andy’s brothers that she only had a few days left. They then moved her to another hospital and things improved somewhat and given a better prognosis. I was glad Andy was able to tell me these things, he obviously needed to talk to someone and that was me.

Other than that, today was a good day. I was up early in the morning and was on the streets at 8:00. Believe me that was a major accomplishment. Wearing a placard and walking up and down the sidewalks between Jersey City and Hoboken promoting the summer on the Hoboken waterfront. I will only have the job when it’s not raining and since today was rain free, I did not mind at all.

Bill is heartbroken, watching the news of the Oklahoma tornados. I came home a little while ago and could tell by the sound of his voice that something was wrong. He needed a hug after watching the never ending news cycle. If I wasn’t busy today promoting events for the summer, chances are I would be engrossed as well. Luckily there is a Mel Brooks documentary on PBS tonight and I think that will be a welcome change from this bad news.

Back to the placards tomorrow. The weather seems cooperative and the looks I get from people when they see me handing out flyers and acting like a shy town crier are charming. I don’t mind. It’s good, honest work. And it isn’t sculpture which is always a plus unless you’re Maya Lin or John Chamberlain or even R.Mutt. My boss tells me if I am good enough with the placards I might be moving up to bunting.

Rest in Peace Ray Manzarek.

Hang in there Oklahoma.
Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief, which helps people affected by disasters such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, wildfires and tornadoes despite Oklahoma Senators Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn, who voted against federal aid for victims of Sandy.

Small Craft Warning

A beautiful day today, it feels like spring. A friend in Colorado mentioned that she had 6 inches of snow which is troublesome. Perhaps it will come this way in the form of rain, we could use the water.

Last night was alright. Bill came home to a hug waiting for him when he walked through the door. We talked a bit about how his cousin and her family probably had the first night of decent sleep in a while. Juan also came over last night. He was stressed over misplacing his keys. He went all the way home to find he did not have his keys.

Bill went to bed early, it had been a long day for him and he was drained physically and emotionally. Juan and I stayed up, Juan being a DJ and played a lot of Best Coast- which I liked. I was also castigated for having Phoenix in my iTunes but never playing it. Phoenix is one of Juan’s favorite bands right now. He also seemed to take offense by my saying that he and Efrain looked alike. Luckily for him he doesn’t get compared to Phillip Seymour Hoffman or Drew Carey.

Tonight I work at Maxwell’s. I have no idea how it will be and will do my darndest to stay until the kitchen closes but if no one is coming in and ordering food then staying there for the long haul is pointless. Juan wants to see Youth Lagoon at Maxwell’s and from what he played for me last night from them, it does sound interesting. I won’t be working that night, I’ll be attending a lecture by Brian Eno. I will probably be out there early enough to see the show, but not early enough to work. So I think I will be able to get Juan into the show anyhow.

I am still sending out resumes, I am still trying to get in the game. And of course I am still being ignored or rejected. My anniversary of being let go from the cigar shack is coming up. Last year on May 1, Zack/Calvin was on a public radio show and Bradley/Possum was ruling the roost. I had a job interview at a place right across the street from the flagship cigar shack on Madison Avenue and using a red herring I wrote how I was interviewing with a cigar manufacturer.

That’s probably where Mike Herklots/Marcus started reading this here blog and hipped Zack/Calvin to it. I later got nasty and wrote about the alcoholism of certain people and the readily available Xanax from that marsupial.

It is still a beautiful day, and it promises to be a nice night.






When You Dance I Can Really Love

For public consumption

Just a low key day. Spent time emailing and messaging folk about this here blog. Probably hit the 500 word quota there.






And now a word from frère François:
“It’s time to pledge to my show.
You’ll get my special 2013 CD premium, “Who Done What? When?”
When you get my new CD premium, it’ll arrive in a special 5×5 inch plastic sleeve.
You can print this downloadable artwork, and you’ll have a perfectly-sized booklet and tray card for a standard CD jewel box.”

I Still Belong to Jesus

So Asteroid 2012 DA14 hurtled right on past planet Earth. It was too much like that movie, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World which I enjoyed somewhat, but it did poorly at the box office. I think it is worth checking out. Other unrelated news was of a meteorite flying through the sky in Siberia and eventually crashing down outside of a town. Luckily everyone in Russia seems to have a dashboard camera so it was properly documented by a lot of people. Between the meteorite and it’s trail of flaming rock and the asteroid it’s been quite a day.

I was out and about today, the weather was quite nice, and as I walked I kept an eye on the sky, looking for errant debris from space. Not that I would be able to do anything about it. Still I wouldn’t want to be taken by surprise. I guess it would really be the best way to go. Everyone goes together. I would prefer to be with Bill if and when it happened, but just like in the movie and in life, things don’t always go as planned.

It more than likely happened already anyway. I am somewhat certain that the general populace would not be told of imminent catastrophe. Like in the movie mentioned above, society would break down very fast, leaving lawlessness and anarchy. It would also show what a sham religion is, since asteroids hitting the planet and destroying all life isn’t mentioned in those oh so holy books. I like being correct but I would not want to have to go to such extreme lengths to prove it.

The latest report is that over 1,000 people have been injured by the debris from the meteorite and the word is there is no connection between the asteroid and the meteorite. This planet just circling the sun and in its path lay space junk, which is constantly bombarding the atmosphere but burning up on impact generally.

As I wandered around Hoboken, I had to go to the closer supermarket. On my way I had to pass the Church Towers complex. There was a police car parked on the sidewalk and a few yards away, some people handling sheets in the wind.

A guy was standing around and watching and as he turned to walk away I asked him what was going on. Apparently someone jumped out the window to their death. The person’s father was there cradling the dead body from what I read. Fortunately I did not see the corpse, just the preparation of the sheet to cover the deceased. It’s all in the timing.

I am in for the night. Last night Bill and I had a very nice dinner at Helmer’s, across the street from Maxwell’s. I had the Hackbraten and Bill had the Black Forest Chicken. We drank Guinness, not even thinking about trying the fine German beers that had available on tap. It was comfy and we had a good time, so much so that we over tipped on the bill, which was mainly covered by a gift certificate we got in 2010. Then a laugh filled walk home. Bill is behind the wheel once again, this time to Mohegan Sun or Foxwoods in Connecticut.

Totally did not know that the Bernie Worrell Orchestra was not playing Maxwell’s last night. Would have been a cool show to check out.
The Lie

I Shall Not Be Moved

No bibliothèque today. No, today I am at the cigar shop. Apparently Shlomo, Israel and Brandon had a meeting. I wasn’t privy to it, but still I was requested to come in. The only one in today was Shlomo and he’s gone already. I expect to be out of here in about 3 and a half hours. That should be fine, and will be fine as long as Shlomo stays away. I know it’s his shop but his lack of communication skills are better served if he is away. Plus there is no reason for the both of us to be here at the same time.

Where yesterday was cold and damp with a lot of rain, today it’s merely cold. But it’s a dry cold. I was thinking about various people that I came across in my life and figure that sooner or later everyone Google’s their name and by writing a little bit about them here, perhaps Google will lead them to this here blog and perhaps open a line of communication. Either that or it is a chance to tweak Norton Reamer’s nipple and that is always fun to do. I write that with the intention of being figurative since I have never tweaked Norton Reamer’s nipples, nor if I am sure if he even has them.

Then there are the two ghosts that don’t seem to exist anymore, or at least very good at avoiding me, Jim Carley and John Nesselt. Two geezers that I went to high school with 30 years ago, and even attended the bloody 20th anniversary reunion with the hope that they would be there. They weren’t and despite intermittent searches on Facebook and whatnot, they seem to have fallen off the planet or at least, very good Luddites. I do hope they are well and happy.

Bill Carson is another name from the past. He is someone I greatly liked, and I was always happy to help him out whenever I could. He tried to get me to where he was when he left the investment bank that was started by Ashish Sanghrajka. It would have been nice but they couldn’t fit it in the budget and it’s just as well since the company he jumped to doesn’t seem to exist anymore. His wife, Laurie’s charity is still up, so that’s a good sign that all is well in Carson land.

Errol Stewart, guitarist for Fetchin’ Bones and the guy who got me into Murdoch Magazines all those years ago. He was a good guy and we even jammed at one point, making a tape called Driving in Arabia. The tape is long gone, eaten by magnets or swept away in Sandy’s wake.

And Darrell Holloway. Well I know what happened to him. He pops up in various emails and there is also a Facebook page featuring his nom de porn. I’ve suggested poses and made a few references to our mutual past which went without a reply which led me to believe that this was not Darrell Holloway at all but a reasonable facsimile thereof.

Look what I got!

Look what I got!

A spy in the apartment of love.

A spy in the apartment of love.

The Beautiful Ones

I See Houses

There’s a reason I take notes, hell there’s a reason anyone takes notes- to remember things. And so yesterday I took notes on what happened between the last posting and today. Since I wasn’t writing yesterday the notes served as a jumping off point instead of just staring at a blank screen on Microsoft Word. And now I have the notes to the right of a blank Microsoft Word screen. I have a poetic license to kill and will use it anytime that I see fit. And that time should be now but then again it is and it isn’t.

Back to the notes, I left the apartment on Saturday night, meeting Rand & Lisa at 7:00 PM at 8th and Park, just a block away from my humble hovel. The plan was to walk up to Chez Chaz since there was no Path train for Hoboken this weekend. I’m one of those guys that like to have a cigar when I walk sometimes and knew that Shlomo was working and he owed me a cigar. So I left the 8 pack of Guinness on a bag on the first floor landing and headed over to the cigar shop.

Of course it’s a little busy when I get there and of course I help out, steering guys to the cigars they might want. Shlomo was busy with other customers and since I had a few minutes I didn’t mind helping. And I got a free cigar for that so I walked out with two cigars, one lit and the other stashed safely away. I walked back home, ran in and got the Guinness from the landing and headed out mere seconds later. I waited for a few minutes, puffing on a stogie when Rand and Lisa came forward.

We headed west, to the elevator up the Palisades. I discreetly kept my cigar out of view on the elevator. It goes up to one level and the disheveled man who ride the elevator didn’t seem to notice. From the elevator, a walk up Congress Street to Central Avenue. And then it was a bit of a hike to the park where we made a right and walked past the park into the neighborhood of Chez Chaz. We were a block away on Beach Street which did not seem beach like at all.

Chaz let us in and we climbed the stairs to his abode. Chaz brother and my former roommate William was there as was Chaz and William’s old friend Andy & their schoolmate Annemarie. I’ve known Andy for about 25 years so I guess he’s my old friend too. We all settled in, eating bowls of vegetarian chili as well as other foodstuffs covering Chaz kitchen table. It was all very adult as other guests arrived, faces seen maybe once a year at Chaz’ parties. We sit, we talk, and we drink. It’s all quite civilized. No standing out on the patio for ciggies this time around, I would have been the only smoker anyhow.

I reconnected with some people I see once a year at Chaz’ soiree. One of them Mary Anne Mistretta has a blog and we had a fun talk. I added her to the blogroll. The talk was about how the last year was and it was pretty bleak for most everyone, though the Hoboken stories were the wettest and most harrowing.

After a few hours of having a good time, it was time to head home. We thought about walking back but we were all pretty much tuckered out so it was all about cabbage back to Hoboken. And it came soon enough, Rand and Lisa in the back, me riding in the front with the driver from Eastern Europe who didn’t seem to like anyone. Still he got us back to Hoboken safe and sound and without seat belts. Rand & Lisa and I got out near my house, which is also near their house. Hugs and kisses and they were on their way and I was on mine.

Saturday Night Live was a repeat and a good one at that, Louis CK was the host and it was pretty funny again. After that I went to bed, Bill was asleep in Atlantic City once again. Surprisingly I slept OK, waking up with Bill getting into bed when he returned. I farted around, not doing much of anything. My friend Lois asked me if I wanted to go to Guitar Bar with her and so I did. It was good to get out and interact with Lois and the day was nice enough to go out and enjoy it.

Lois dropped off her ukulele to have a pick up installed on it and then she tried some other acoustic guitars while I took some pictures. Then it was hopping into various shops so Lois could get whatever it was she needed to get. Finally it was my turn and we walked to the supermarket which was crazy crowded and caused us to turn right around and head out empty handed. We went to another store nearby which wasn’t as cheap but affordable in terms of time and lacking in frustration.

That was it. Lois went home and I went home where I found Bill getting ready to go out. I just situated myself and helped Bill get himself together. Then I just watched TV and surfed the net for the rest of the day. Ho hum indeed but it was worth it.

Lois and a guitar she really, really liked.

Lois and a guitar she really, really liked.

Cracked Actor

I Say A Little Prayer- Aretha Franklin

Third day of the new year. Slept incredibly well, crazy dreams, sexual in nature. Nothing overt but there it was in the undercurrent. Something involving time cards and a punch clock located in belts.

Then in a different dream, I bought a pack of Marlboro while walking around Columbus Circle and 58th St. I had one cigarette, not even a full cigarette and didn’t enjoy it very much. Then I had a dream where I was interviewing, or auditing a hip company, similar to the one my sister mentioned on Facebook yesterday.

White offices and things seemed to be going well until the head honcho in the office turned to me and said’ You know we don’t allow smoking here’. I couldn’t really say I stopped smoking cigarettes since I still had the pack of Marlboro from the previous dream and my breath smelled of cigarettes.

Needless to say I don’t think I got the job, much like the groovy job Annemarie told me about. I answered the questions truthfully and at the end they described their ideal candidate who would happen to be a college graduate which is something I am not. Still I sent forth my info, allowing them to be hopefully dazzled by my stellar personality and my way with words.

Already I have gotten the call from Shlomo, could I open up the cigar shop. Being 23 degrees out, he can’t get his poor old car to move. I had no problem with it, and to my surprise an hour after opening in walks Shlomo.Maybe it is the cold but he seems slower than usual, the slo mo Shlomo.

Now this is the part that gets stuck in my craw. I want to help these guys succeed. And with no smoking allowed in the store I wind up enforcing that ban. The other day a young man bought a cigar and I gave him a book of matches to get his cigar lit. He came back a few seconds later asking to light it indoors. I said no, and took a torch lighter and went outside with him and lit it for him.

Shlomo doesn’t believe in those types of rules and smokes wherever he wants, even if it means the local Board of Health shutting him down. That’s fine with me, I have nothing invested in the shop except for my time. If the place gets shut down I will just find something else to do.

And if it because of one of the owners smoking in the shop, then so be it. I can tell because a few times since I opened I noticed ashes on the floor which meant smoking was going on in the shop. But it’s not my shop and the owners, well they can do anything they want, it is their sandbox after all.

I am merely a nice guy, helping them out, but as the saying goes, I can’t help them unless they help themselves and to my untrained eye, it seems that they don’t want any or need any help, except for this one guy who can be relied upon to open the shop when it is too cold out for their Zionist hoodlum tuchis.
What Does It Take

Newtown, CT

After a week of uneasy sleep, last night I slept really well. It was good and I slept later than usual and woke up refreshed. I puttered about, nothing in the plan for today except maybe a cigar or two. That meant a visit to the cigar shop which I was looking forward to. I watched the repeats of the Daily Show and the Colbert Report and the John Mulaney Comedy Central special before turning on the news at noon.

I was surprised but not surprised when I heard about a shooting in Connecticut. After all it was just the other day when there were reports of a shooting at a mall in Portland, OR and murder by gun is unfortunately commonplace in these United States of America. It was only a few months ago in the summer when a psycho shot up a theater in Aurora CO, and people are murdered by guns every day, several times a day. The initial report was that 3 people were shot, and I callously didn’t think that was so bad.

Shortly, a few minutes later actually, the death report jumped up to 20, including 14 children. 14 children slaughtered in their fucking classroom. Children who did not do anything to anyone. Time slowed considerably for me in Hoboken. The 30 minute news stretched to an hour and change and I didn’t notice. I was stuck in that moment. The final tally was 20 children murdered. Time stopped. Sadness came in. Anger came in. Disgust at the easy access of guns, why automatic weapons are available to people. They’re not used for hunting are they? What is their purpose?

Online the argument of ‘cars kill people, are you going to outlaw cars?’ came into play. And a psycho in China stabbed students a few months ago with a knife and out came ‘are you going to outlaw knives?’ Cars are built for transportation. Knives have other uses besides stabbing. Guns are designed to injure or murder others.

I got a phone call from Julio this afternoon. He was understandably stressed by the shootings, his son Alexander goes to school in Hoboken. Any parent should be worried and outraged by today’s event. You send your kids off to school in the morning, never expecting them to be murdered and returned to you in a body bag. An unbalanced man murdered his mother and stole her gun collection and then shot up a school, slaughtering 20 children and six adults before taking his own life.

The holiday season will be forever ruined for the families who have lost loved ones. The second amendment stays strong, preventing the British from invading our homes. The United States of America in the 21st Century. Sad but true and covered in the blood of innocents. A tragic shame for all concerned.

This was not easy to write today. I considered not writing anything at all, but here it is. I guess some NRA supporter acquaintances don’t read this blog anymore so I don’t expect to hear from them on this, or perhaps ever again. The number one country in the world with regards to death by guns.

Children being evacuated from what should have been a safe space at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown CT.

Children being evacuated from what should have been a safe space at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown CT.

t’is the season.

Suffer Little Children

I Remember- Damien Rice

Well I am back on my own computer and I am happy about it but Bill is happier for sure. When Bill would go to bed, he would allow me to use his laptop. I knew he would rather I didn’t but all I used it for was to check email and Facebook nonsense. Bill thinks otherwise and believes I was looking at prawns. Maybe a glance at the crawfish but other than that, no not really. And like I figured the fans inside the computer were quite dusty and in need of a cleaning, and so they were cleaned.

And now that I know what needs to be done I can simply do it myself and save some money. I had an idea as to what was wrong, but wasn’t too sure. So they had a better idea, ran some tests and it was just like I figured, dust on the fans slowly strangling the circular motion. It’s all so quiet now, it was making an intermittent racket before I brought it in. It got noisy and then suddenly silent, that is when I knew it needed repair. I usually ask Rand and in fact I did ask him but he didn’t get back to me until after I dropped it off.

I spent some time at the old bibliothèque today. No seminars for women and economics today but they were getting a group for a workshop on writing a personal memoir. Something I know nothing about and haven’t the slightest interest in such a thing. I mean, I wouldn’t know where to begin with such a thing. Me? Writing a memoir? An interesting concept to be sure but who would I write it for? What practice or precedent would I have to do such a thing? If only fitness guru and baccarat champion Nick Colas was available for guidance.

I wandered by the smoke shop in Hoboken. Israel and Shlomo seem to be at each other’s throats. Perhaps that is how things go when you are starting a business from scratch. Kevin hovered about doing whatever it is that Kevin does. He is like a throwback to older Kevins in my life and a definite improvement over recent Kevins from the past few years. I mentioned to Bill that though I would like to work there, it seems there are too many cooks and not nearly enough squaws. But I do like these guys, they seem alright I reckon.

Bill is in the city working on a reading. He’s been great lately especially after the head butting last week with both of us wrong, he has really stepped up. He’s also been very busy with this reading. The reading is going on for two nights, one a week- so it’s not going to be that long a run or anything like that. That means that the chances of Bill flaming out and crashing will be greatly reduced. And that works out best for the both of us I think.

And I am happy my computer is back. So many prawns slipped through the net!

Tonight: Casablanca, 8PM on Turner Classic Movies!

Be My Baby
I was invited to see The Who tonight in Newark for free. I said no.

I Really Miss You

It is now the holiday season I believe. It’s a Monday and with Thanksgiving being last Thursday the shopping season started on Friday at midnight in some stores. I don’t go to those stores and if I did you can bet that it wouldn’t be at midnight. I’ve been local of course and that’s how I intend to keep things. It’s cheaper that way. Just stay home and climb the walls. I have been busy though, clearing, doing laundry. You know- the mundane things. And I have been good at not feeding the trolls, well at least for today.

Yesterday I couldn’t help myself, trying to explain things regarding the woman who flipped the finger at a sign in Arlington cemetery but it was a losing battle. These people wanted blood and that is what they got since the woman in question was fired from her job. But the comments were priceless, most of them revolving around ‘Didn’t she know that soldiers died for her freedom?’ Freedom that they are condemning her for. It was humorous but when seeing a wall of the same comment it wasn’t that funny after a while. And of course, now I am a fascist and a member of the Westboro church.

And things have been weird computer wise as well as things that are computer related. The iPod seems to have lost a channel, so everything can only be heard on one side of the ear buds. Driving down to Baltimore I of course thought it was the car, but no, it was my iPod. So I am going to take it into the city this week and see what could be done about it. From what I’ve read online it’s no big thing, a simple repair but it’s the cost I am wary of.

What else is there? I went to the bibliothèque and helped out a bit. No one asked me to do anything and I didn’t even take off my coat. I saw things that needed to be put away and so that is what I did since I was going to be in that particular room. Other patrons didn’t know what to think, seeing me with books and DVD’s all piled up in my hands and putting them away. After that and talking to the librarians about their extended holidays (full timers got paid/part timers got nada) I headed out.

I walked past the smoke shop where I saw Shlomo. He was busy enough and talking in Hebrew on the phone. I made myself scarce and since I was passing through I asked him if there was anything he needed to do since I was there. He said no and I walked out onto the sunny side of the street back home. I came home and didn’t do much of anything except watch my clothes dry. Of course there are things going on that I am not writing about, things that will be revealed soon enough. Good news I would like to think, but not like what you are probably thinking.

the note for 2R

You’ll Never Find (Another Love Like Mine)

Hoboken Post Sandy Part Two

Part Two
Saturday came and I wasn’t so keen on it. Still no electricity and food supplies were running low. The supermarket was open thanks to generators and throughout the neighborhood generators were heard several times on different blocks. We had about four to five feet in the basement which is used by myself and neighbors for storage. I had books and records and some stereo equipment and Bill had an amplifier down there.

Other people on our block and throughout Hoboken had basement apartments and most of them were devastated. Businesses were destroyed. A studio that Jim Mastro owned was ruined. And there he was letting people hang out in the store and play instruments and also organized a gathering for his staff to entertain the people of Hoboken that night in the store. I had lunch and dinner at the Elks Lodge and Bill was off driving, not coming back until Sunday morning. Not a trip to Atlantic City, which was closed but open for business somehow a few days later after the storm.

While at the store we heard of different parts of Hoboken getting their electricity back. I had hope and walked back to my building. Of course hope wasn’t there, things were still dark. I talked with neighbors for about an hour, remembering my things charging up at the store I headed back, taking a slightly different route, I ran into more friends (Mike & Sarah and Michael Hill) and was enjoyably delayed. When I got back to the Guitar Bar Jr. I had to negotiate my body around a drum kit. Jim left everything charging so I had to unplug and pack with no problem at all really, just some of my usual clumsiness.

Finally Jim had something for me to do. People started showing up with bottles and snacks and cups were needed. I walked over to Rite Aid and bought the last dozen plastic cups. It was fairly crowded when I got back and when I got my shoulder bag it felt even more crowded so I went outside. The music was good but my spirits were flagging. I wasn’t feeling as sociable as I had hoped and soon I wanted to go home. And that is what I did, an invisible exit.

I walked down Park Avenue, in the middle of the street smacking my flashlight every now and then when it dimmed. I made it home to a quiet building and called Bill. He was in the Bronx and hearing his voice after spending so much time together the past few nights made me feel even worse. He was doing his best to bolster my spirits when all of a sudden the doorbell rang. I told Bill that on the phone as I walked to the bedroom window and looked down.

There was our neighbor Frank telling me the power was back on. I checked the hallway and there was light. I whooped, I hollered. Bill listened to my emotional rollercoaster, a 180° turn of events. Only some lights were on which meant a trip to the basement to check the circuit breaker. It was off and when I got back upstairs the lights were on.

I went to YouTube and I posted on Facebook New York Groove by Hello and I Got The Power by Snap on Facebook. I was vibrating with positive energy. I didn’t hear my neighbor Deborah calling me on the phone, and when the song ended I saw the voicemail and called right then. I explained I was dancing to I Got the Power and cued up the last line which is the title and when the vocal was done, the power went out again.

I told Deborah I would call her back and then walked to the bedroom window and yelled out, ‘This is not fair!’ I was crestfallen really. I put my sneakers on and walked down to the street. Frank and his wife Mithra came outside too. We talked to neighbors, Rob, Sean and Melissa, as well as Chris who I’ve known for a long time. I flagged down a police cruiser and asked the officer what was going on. Lights on and now this. He said he didn’t know, he lived on the next block and wanted to know too but he thought PSE&G were tweaking the system.

That made me think Meth heads were running the show. A few other police officers passing through said the same thing basically. I didn’t get the voicemail until later from Bill but there was a report of a fire from the power being turned on again so it needed to be turned off. He got it from listening to the Hoboken police scanner in the Bronx.

I was pretty funny talking to the neighbors I thought. Perhaps I could do stand up comedy, but only in a darkened room. After joking and talking on the street with temperatures dropping we all headed back inside. About an hour or so later it was lights on again, to a more subdued reaction. No happy dance, no posting of videos. I called Deborah, I called Bill and went back online soon enough. Saturday Night Live was very funny, hosted by Louis CK.

Sunday was totally different of course. Power was slowly coming to the rest of Hoboken. For a few days before we got our power back, we looked longingly at a few buildings diagonally on the next corner that had power. Now there were probably people in other buildings doing the same to me. I headed out in the afternoon, most people were walking around in a daze, shock really. Though we had interacted the past few days, it really all came home on Sunday.

I walked, thanked some National Guardsmen for helping out and got choked up saying it. More friends on the street, Karyn and Christina, Lois and Fred. It was likely the week’s events and the daylight savings that did my head in, perhaps it was the same for others. Bill had come home in the morning and went to sleep almost immediately. I came home and had a nap. Bill watched Saturday Night Live. Things sort of started going back to something resembling normal.

Today was Monday. Today was the day I had to check out my things in the basement. Going down there on Saturday night didn’t give me much of a chance to see how things were since it was so dark and I was preoccupied with having electricity once more. I went down in the early afternoon and started moving my things to put on top of other things people had thrown out. There were scavengers going about salvaging whatever they thought was salvageable.

I had a lot of books, magazines and of course vinyl in the form of record albums and 12 inch singles. I moved my 45’s up to the apartment a few months ago. And photographs. And super 8 films I made back in the 1980’s as well as videotapes I collected and videos I had shot. I was upset but not too much. Others had lost a lot more than me, plus I had basically ignored these things for years. And anyway you can’t take it with you.

Such there was a pang when I saw Talking Heads- Remain in Light, Sgt. Pepper and White Light White Heat at the curb next to Bill’s amplifier. But I couldn’t dwell and I couldn’t cry. All in all maybe 400-500 records were curbed. I was able to save about 100, and though I haven’t gone through them all, I’m sure that they weren’t the best, especially after naming those three albums above. I saved the first guitar I ever had and it was in a sorry state. Best used for decoration rather than making music, but I couldn’t throw it out.

I walked over to the Guitar Bar on First Street which finally had power and saw Jim. I told him that he could use it for decoration in the store, or he could do what I couldn’t do and throw it out. It was a good talk with Jim, something that I will probably bring up soon enough. Leaving the Guitar Bar I walked up to Washington Street and saw Tariq playing. He usually plays the street at night, but there he was around 3:00 in the afternoon.

Then I ran into Rand and Lisa and walked with them for a little while. I treated myself to a slice of pizza and watched the weather reports of a storm coming in on Wednesday and a 2.2 earthquake in Passaic County this morning. Talked with some more neighbors, including Claire who was cleaning out her part of the basement. And today was all about the election.
Of course I am voting for Obama as is Bill. And we are voting NO on Public Question #2 in Hoboken. But that will be old news since I am making this a two part entry, so you dear reader won’t have to read over four thousand words. I figure two thousand should be enough.

It was a remarkable thing that happened the past week, as well as obviously devastating. One time at the Elks Lodge I ran into a guy named Jake who I used to know back in the fuzzy days of Maxwell’s. He’s an Elk, moderately sized antlers. Also born and raised in Hoboken. He used to hang out at the Elysian which was more of an old Hoboken pub compared to the next corner, where Maxwell’s was representing the new Hoboken.

I told Jake how great it was to see the community coming together. Jake said he was impressed with how old Hoboken and new Hoboken came together. There was some faint animosity over the years , getting dimmer and dimmer with older generations of Hobokeners passing away.

But politics aside mostly, it was people helping people, talking to people I had seen for years, decades and never spoke to before. That includes neighbors and people from Maxwell’s back in the day. Talking to Jim this afternoon, I mentioned a woman who I had seen through the years and always felt she was scowling at me. I thought maybe I had done her wrong, or perhaps disgusted her after leaving the men’s room looking like I had a small powdered donut. Jim just said she was a hard looking woman.

My friend Karyn Kuhl got power here in Hoboken and in Bergen County my niece Meghan and her husband Rob got theirs this afternoon as well. We’re still not out of the woods yet.

Now it is Tuesday, Election Day. Former roommate William got power at his flat in Jersey City this afternoon. More debris piled up outside. After a week full of stress from the storm, today is concentrated with regards to the election. All day long I have been feeling good, feeling that Obama had it in the bag. I still do but I do come in contact with friends who are worried and I try not to let it affect me, but it does. It wears down my optimism bit by bit.

Juan stopped by earlier today, it was his birthday over the weekend and he was up here to see his family. He would have stayed longer but he has to work a double tomorrow. He was here for about two hours and it was fun. He really does have a wicked wit and had me laughing quite a bit. He also turned me onto some music- Bonde Do Role, Mia Diekow, Grimes and even Taylor Swift and a Justin Bieber track which was well produced. Juan is of that generation that doesn’t have categories for his music. For Juan, it’s all good.

And so now tonight will be all about the election. Glad to get the results with Bill by my side.
Tomorrow it’s about the snowstorm that has been predicted. We certainly do live in interesting times, don’t we?

Once again photos are on the Post Sandy Photos page towards the bottom of the column on the right.

This just in- Via Hoboken Patch:
As a result of Tuesday’s elections, municipal elections will be moved to November.
Run-off elections were eliminated and RENT CONTROL UPHELD IN THE CITY OF HOBOKEN!

Hoboken Post Sandy Part One

OK. Must focus. Too distracted. YouTube comments, Facebook updates. What has happened? Where have I been?
It’s been a long, long week.

A week ago, Monday, we were housebound anticipating the storm. Bill and I settled in and soon enough the lights went out. We still had hot water and heat. Bathtub filled with water, fridge stocked with cold cuts and ice. Time slowed down without electricity, and sleeping was easy. Earlier nights of sleep for me, for Bill it was still the same. We spent Monday night listening to the Hoboken police scanner by candlelight.

On Tuesday Bill and I ventured out to see what hath Sandy wrought. No power in town, a few people roaming around like this. People like me with cameras, documenting and uploading. For me, power was dwindling on the smartphone. We walked by Newark and Garden Streets which was badly hit. My friend Lisa lives on that corner and she was stuck indoors due to three feet of water outside her door. We walked around the block to see the Guitar Bar on First Street and it seemed alright. Major damage and flooding just a few feet from the Guitar Bar. There but for the grace of the gods…

We came home around noon and I was exhausted. It was windy at times and the two of us, on the other side of 200 lbs. resembled Marcel Marceau walking into the wind and drizzle. When we got upstairs I took a two hour nap. When I woke up, Bill took a nap. Soon I was feeling antsy and decided to head north while Bill slept. I nudged him to let him know what I was doing. He grunted and I went out.

More damage heading up the avenue. The west was impassable on foot. You could see where cars were lifted by the water, once parked alongside the curb were now on the sidewalk and the street, or jutting out dangerously into the thoroughfare. Not that there was any worry about passing traffic since the only thing that would get by would be a boat. I found the sidewalks to be slick with who knows what and I slid a couple of times, leading me to regret going out without Bill.

I pictured myself falling and breaking a leg or arm or even a hip and being taken to Jersey City Heights and without any way to get in touch with Bill who also had no way to reach me. But since I was out I was determined to find somewhere to go and charge my phone. I looked towards the high school which was supposed to be a shelter but nothing was going on there. Bill and I read the night before the Wallace School shelter was being evacuated and moved to the high school. I decided to head towards the Wallace School.

Hyman Gross lived across the street from the Wallace School and I lived in a basement apartment right next door in the 1980’s. But it was all shut down as I walked by. I continued up past Rite Aid which was closed as was everything on 14th Street. Not many people around and few cars. I walked over to Washington Street which was sparse. A handful of people standing around here and there as I walked by. I eventually ran into Rand and Lisa and we talked for a few minutes. I mentioned how I should have bought a deck of cards so Bill and I could at least play gin rummy.

Lisa said they had a few decks and Rand suggested I go with them to get the cards so we walked over to their place. Cards duly found and with slight arm twisting I decided to have a shot of Woodford Reserve bourbon. Nice. I have a bottle here with a little bit in it. It’s a great bourbon when you’re smoking a cigar. Rand suggested sipping it instead of doing it like a shot so I sipped mine for about five minutes. I wanted to get back home before it got dark out, and I figured Bill would be awake.

Rand and Lisa were invited to dinner at a neighbor’s in their building so we all headed downstairs together. I felt good from the bourbon and walked back to Washington Street. There I ran into Mike and Sarah. They had just gotten back from church. Not for religious reasons which Mike had emphatically stated, but rather for the charging of the smartphones. A quick thank you and soon I was climbing up the stairs to get Bill.

He was awake when I walked in and I told him to get his clothes on and his stuff together, explaining what was going on at Saints Peter and Paul Church at 4th and Hudson. It was quite dark outside and we would probably be able to see the stars if it weren’t so cloudy. Inside the church it was warm and there were pockets of people huddled around outlets and power strips. I met a few nice people there, some regular attendees and others who like Bill and myself, there for the AC/DC.

At one point Bill got up and started playing the church piano. It was a bit muffled due to the cartage blanket still atop the piano. He played hymns of course, he grew up in a church and here he was in a catholic one. Pastor Bob didn’t mind though he mentioned that he didn’t really want anyone playing the piano, since he was worried they would be playing with their elbows. Hoboken PD stopped by with cupcakes which we almost started to eat in the church until Pastor Bob said there was to be no eating in the sanctuary.

So we went outside on the sidewalk and ate Halloween cupcakes, keeping the black cat plastic sticks as an homage to Zed. Walking home, Bill and I stayed close to each other holding flashlights in the darkness. We were juiced up and stayed up for a while posting reports on Facebook and calling friends and family letting them know what was going on and that we were alright. Facebook prived to be most effective throughout all this. Phone service was spotty as were texts via SMS. But if you could get to Facebook messaging was very easy and fast. And there were updates on curfews, emergency services and the general state of Hoboken. Luckily for me and Bill, most of our loved ones are on Facebook and we were able to see how they were doing as well. If you were in New Jersey you were likely screwed.

Bill took the ferry to work on Wednesday which from what I heard was Halloween. The parade in the Village was canceled, wisely so since there was no power in Manhattan south of 34th Street. Bill and I watched a video of the Con Ed plant exploding which helped with their blackout. Bill left early anticipating a crowd at the ferry and it proved wise since it took him a few hours to get to his desk after leaving Hoboken. I walked over to the church again.

I hoped it would be the peaceful scene it was the night before but it was quite the opposite. Word got out and it was crowded, almost like it was Christmas Eve or at least the feast day of Saint Blaise. There was no way I was going to get to an electrical outlet so I left disheartened. I made it back home through lonely streets and was able to get online through the juice left on Bill’s iPad.

I did run into some neighbors who let me sit in their car and charge up the devices, but I didn’t want them to use their gas on me plus I was getting cramped in their car. After an hour of car sitting I headed up to my apartment. Using the juice from the car I was able to see on Facebook (told ya) that Guitar Bar Jr was up and running and Jim Mastro was allowing people to come in and juice up. Now that’s my kind of church.

I was surprised when I got to 11th Street. Up and down the block, people had power strips on their front stoop, letting people sit and charge up. Coffee and snacks were offered. It was heartwarming and I headed inside to the Guitar Bar Jr where Jim’s wife Meghan and their daughter Ruby were getting ready to head out. It was great to see them. Other daughter Lily (my ersatz kid) was safe and sound at college. Various friends and people I had seen throughout the years were passing by, checking in on Jim and the downtown store.

Jim allowed people to pick up a guitar and play if they wanted, and he encouraged me to do so. SO I sat outside and played a song or two with another gent who was charging up. I was lucky, before Meghan left she set me up in a room where I could charge my phone, iPad and MyFi device in private, so I didn’t have to worry about someone walking off with it. On Washington Street restaurants were giving away their food with some requesting a Red Cross donation. The Elks Lodge were setting up for hot meals as well.

I did not partake since we had food at home which was going to have to be eaten since the ice was melting. Bill met me at Guitar Bar Jr and told some of the folks around his tale of heading in and out of Manhattan. Then we walked home once again in the dark. More posting of updates and getting information by candlelight as we watched our batteries dwindle faster than the time passing by. We heard that NJ Transit was going to have buses running which got Bill excited. He went to bed and I soon joined him since I had discovered some wine given as gifts over the years and required no refrigeration at all. It was Halloween.

With a kiss goodbye, Bill was up and out again Thursday, early enough just before the sun rose. I slept soundly for another hour before getting out of bed. Still no power and despite trying to conserve a visit to the Guitar Bar Jr. was on the agenda.

More friends at the store, no Meghan and no Ruby though. Their lives were getting back to normal. Jim Mastro tirelessly proved himself to be a truly great guy. He would not let me help him with anything, not that there was anything to do. Once or twice I was the ‘manager’ while he ran out for just a minute. No one was buying, no one was shopping. Outside the store he set up some speakers playing Bob Dylan, inside people would play banjos or guitars or surf the net while Jim repaired guitars.

I talked with people, reconnected with people and also made new friends and acquaintances. I am sure to forget names but I don’t forget faces so there will be awkward reintroductions in my future. I was going to get a hot meal at the Elks Lodge but ran into Mike and Sarah once again and while talking to them I partook of some snacks the electrical host offered.

Bill came back to the mainland and told more harrowing tales of commuting. This time involved way too many people waiting for the bus back to Hoboken, so instead he took the ferry back once again. The ferry ain’t cheap, $9.00 each way. But Bill being the smart man he is, already bought 10 which was slightly cheaper for him yet still an extravagance for a geezer like myself.

A walk in the dark once again, this time seeing Mark Singleton and his mother Maureen on the sidewalk. Also ran into Lois, almost literally. We heard there was a truck delivering ice downtown and all we had to do was go there and get it. Someone had the idea to take the downtown bus and just then a bus appeared. We rode to the end of the run, then walked over to Observer Highway where the ice was. Too cold and heavy to carry all the way back uptown we caught another bus which was a very good idea. So the items in the refrigerator had some more time before wasting. Lois rode on as Bill and I got off a stop before her.

Re-positioning items in a fridge using flashlights wasn’t easy with 2 bags of ice but we somehow got it done. More update posting, getting info and wine before Bill going to bed followed by me playing the tipsy geezer. I’d like to think I was charming and who’s to say I wasn’t charming in the dark?

Friday was once again spent at the Guitar Bar. Karyn Kuhl stopped by and there was a kid who had been hanging around wanting to learn guitar the past few days. I tried showing him how to play Get Back by the Fabs and Karyn tried showing him No Expectations by the Rolling Stones. I wound up learning the song from Karyn and played along with her as she sang when Jim Mastro jumped in playing a sweet slide guitar lick which made the hair on the back of my neck rise, never having played with Jim before or playing a song that sounded so good.

After playing discussing what was going on in Hoboken and in politics at the store with friends for the rest of the afternoon (and a hot meal at the Elks Lodge), Bill came by once again and we were back to walking home in the dark. This time with a chap named Caesar who knew me from Maxwell’s back in the day and whom I did not recollect at all. He named all the right names so it didn’t seem to be a phony and I made a mental note to contact Steve Fallon and ask him if he remembered Pat Clarke’s former roommate. Steve got back to me, saying it was fuzzy.

Caesar had no heat or hot water or electricity and I felt bad for him. I thought about asking him if he wanted to come home with us, but I didn’t know him at all really and Bill certainly didn’t either, plus the apartment was a shambles. We checked our messages online and Rand and Lisa invited us over for some drinks. Bill and I walked over, flashlights in hand and we stood outside flashing the light into their top floor window to get their attention.

Rand walked down and let us in, there was Mike and Sarah as well as Lois and Fred. We sat and chatted, Lisa providing snacks and dip, Rand pouring the wine. Many laughs were had which were greatly appreciated. Time flew at this point, probably since we were having fun. Bill and I walked Mike and Sarah to their apartment up the block from us. Soon Bill and I were fast asleep.

There are Post Sandy photographs in the PAGES section, lower column on right.

I Need You Tonight- Professor Green

It’s a Monday. I know this to be true since I just started a new job today. I’m happy about it and just got home a little while ago. Gone are the days of having to deal with the passive aggressive tendencies, the meetings at 8:00 in the morning, the meetings after work. Those days are gone and I do not miss them at all. I do have to admit, over the weekend I realized that they probably should not have stopped doing their inventory since someone did tell me of the things they had stolen from the cigar shack.

But that is no longer my problem. The new job allows me to move on and not look ass backwards at the way things turned out. True there are some people I will miss but things are better for me now and I can always meet up with some of these people at a later date, perhaps a later hour. But that is not going to happen anytime soon since I still have to get settled into the task at hand. I am happy where I am now and apparently on Day One, I had done a very good job. Impressive, even.

Yesterday was Sunday since today is Monday. It was the Hoboken Art & Music Festival and the weather was a bit sketchy. Each time I intended to go out, the skies seemed threatening. I did want to see Lenny Kaye playing alongside Jim Mastro who were backing up a singer but it started raining so I opted to stay inside and prepare dinner. Once the food prep was over I decided to go against the odds and head out to see what was what on Washington Street. The festival runs from Observer Highway up to 7th Street.

I walked up 7th Street and hoped I would see some cigar sellers like there were at previous festivals but they were nowhere to be seen or smelled (which is the tip off they were around). The Hoboken Motorcycle Club was in the former cigar maker spot. No worries. I had heard that Rand and Lisa were around somewhere, as was Chaz. So I walked down the middle of Washington Street, dodging baby strollers and dogs, of which there were more than enough. Too much for my liking. There were some interesting crafts for sale but me being rich in spirit yet poor in wallet, I kept walking.

I made it down to the main stage at Observer Highway, some nondescript guys on stage doing something that did not hold my attention in the slightest. I scanned the crowd but did not see anyone I knew so after a couple of songs headed back, this time walking on the sidewalk instead of the middle of the street. I did buy three Harry Potter DVD’s which were 3 for $5.00. All widescreen, not full screen and I got the first, third and fifth movies which were all that was available in widescreen.

I also stopped by the Hoboken Fair Rent Association and talked to a few of the workers there about the upcoming election. Hoboken residents should vote NO on the public question #2. Then it started to drizzle a bit and I headed home. And when I got home I got a text from Rand, saying that he and Lisa were about to head out to the festival. I texted that I had just got back home. I watched some things on the TV, tried to take a nap to no avail. Bill came home a little after that, he had come home earlier then went out to rehearse for a reading coming up in a week or two.

Bill took a nap and at around 8:00 I tried to wake him up but he was unmovable. At 9:00 I tried and again and he stirred, getting up to watch Boardwalk Empire before going back to bed. I watched one of the Harry Potter movies and a little after midnight I could hear Bill making a racket. I stopped watching and walked into the bedroom. Bill was quite distraught. Apparently he had a dream that his mother passed away and he was freaking out.

All I could do was hold him and tell him it was probably a dream. He got out of bed and I got him some water while he called his cousin. His mother was alive and Bill calmed down considerably and went to bed. I soon joined him, a bit anxious since I was about to start a new job, the next day, meaning today.

Need You Tonight

I Need To Hear A Country Song

It must be a Friday since there weren’t that many people out while I was busking this afternoon. The toddlers were kept in a short leash and the infants were just a drive by. No matter, I just practiced my playing, I’ve been focusing on the Beatles so today was I Dig a Pony and I Saw Her Standing There. I figure that most everyone likes the Beatles (it’s odd to meet someone who doesn’t) and their songs are easy and fun to play and recognizable. I’ve been wrestling with Baby’s In Black, it is easy enough with the chords, it’s the waltz timing that I am having trouble with.

Get Back is incredibly easy to play and sing along with and tomorrow I will see if I can get some backing vocals on Twist and Shout. Tomorrow is the party that Rand, Lisa and Lois are having for me, bring a guitar, a musical instrument and some food. Some people have RSVP’d and some have contacted me telling me they can’t make it. That’s too bad but them’s the breaks. Some people have to work, some people have to work around the house. Still it should be a good time with the friends that do arrive.

I texted my former co-worker Thomas today, wishing him and his fiancé a wonderful time at their wedding. Bill and I were invited but we couldn’t afford a gift and a rental car, and since we couldn’t very well show up without a gift we opted out. Thomas did express regret that Bill and I weren’t going to be there, and I bet as soon as the texting stopped he forgot all about it and continued to feed those butterflies in his stomach. As it should be. Thomas is a good guy, good enough to call him his real name, Brian.

I heard from my dear friend Billie from DC a few times this week. Apparently he sent me a birthday card which never arrived. He told me he sent a card to a friend in Baltimore in June and the friend didn’t get her card either. Both cards had cash in them. Someone in the USPS is a thief and stealing cards, or at least what accompanies the cards. Billie was justifiably pissed off and filed a complaint with the post office. Nothing will be done and no money will be recovered.

And Bill has been stressed. His aunt died last week, a week after his cousin was murdered in Puerto Rico. Bill’s mother who is suffering from Alzheimer’s was sharing a room with her late sister at Bill’s cousin’s apartment, and now it seems that Bill’s mother will have to go to a home. Bill’s mother has gotten worse, to the point where she doesn’t recognize her own son anymore. Obviously she can’t be left alone and a rest home seems to be the only way to go. So there is a sadness that is mixed in with the happiness of the week.

I suppose that’s how life is- you have to take the good with the bad. We’ve had some wonderful times this week and of course there is the underlying current of sadness. I am just glad that I can be there for Bill, if only to offer a hug and a shoulder to cry on. My life would be a mess if he wasn’t around and I am certainly glad he is, just as he is glad I am around. You’re riding high on Monday, and you’re shot down on Thursday. But we’ve got each other and that’s enough.

I Need This

Yes it’s that time of year again. Sadness and melancholy fill the air. Memories of what was and how things were, haunt the airwaves. Some television stations go so far as to play their original broadcasts from 11 years ago. Down to the last second. I suppose it’s needed for some people but personally I have no need to relive those events today since it is always in my mind. The fact that the weather is just like it was 11 years ago doesn’t help. It’s a bad, sad day and I guess it will continue to be so for a long time.

10 years ago was the last time I spoke to Derry Gelaney. She and I worked together 12 years ago and I was let go from that position during the summer. When the first anniversary of the tragic events came up, I called Derry to see how she was doing. Her response was along the lines of ‘why are you calling me?’ Not what I expected, since I thought she might have been feeling the way I was feeling since we were at each other’s side then. I had seen her twice since then but never said anything since she didn’t seem to recognize me.

Last night I went out. I walked over to Maxwells to see Mike Cecchini’s band, the Neutron Drivers play. They were very good, cracking power pop. I enjoyed them a lot more than the headliners who were just alright. Rand & Lisa were there as was Sarah who is Mike’s girlfriend.

I had two Corona’s and that was it for me. I just wasn’t feeling the music and if I’m not feeling the music then I generally try to leave. I think Rand was disappointed in my early departure but I didn’t want to spend any more money and wanted to be with Bill.

And there was Bill, so happy to have me back home. And of course soon after I came home Bill went to bed. I stayed up of course watching Harry Potter. After that I too was in bed, sleeping soundly despite having a very nice nap earlier in the day. Apparently though, when Bill’s alarm clock went off I started yelling at Bill to turn it off. I have no recollection of this but Bill told me when he called me this morning. I do remember him kissing me goodbye and I’m sure I was somewhat pleasant.

With all the melancholy in the air today I did make it out busking. A memorial was set for 6:30 this evening so I figured it would be alright to play some songs this afternoon. Tariq made it by and I showed him how to play Can’t Find My Way Home by Blind Faith. I even gave him the chord sheet since I think I know it well enough, but having written that I will probably freeze up and forget all that I had learned. The toddlers did not make it by me today but their younger counterparts, infants did make it and they clapped and swayed in their four seat strollers as they were pushed by.

Not too many people out and about this afternoon. It has gotten cooler and I wore blue jeans instead of shorts. I think next time I will wear a long sleeved shirt as well. I don’t know if I will be busking tomorrow since tomorrow is my birthday and Bill told me to keep tomorrow night free. I may head into the city and check out some art galleries, and of course pick up the latest Mojo and Uncut Magazines.

What Bill has planned, he won’t say. He likes surprising me and so tomorrow I think I will be surprised. Rand, Lisa and Lois have planned a birthday party for me on Saturday at a park I Hoboken so that should be fun. If you’d like to join us, drop me a line and I will give you the info.

Neutron Drivers

07 Love

I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)

Today has been day four out of five. I’ve already hit 40 hours, tomorrow will make it 50. It’s rough, being on your feet 9 hours a day, then trying to find a place to sit down for as long as possible on your lunch hour. Today was no different, though it did start out differently.

I had to go in an hour earlier this morning and watching the local news, traffic and weather I heard that there was an hour delay in getting into the Lincoln Tunnel. With my track record this week, I made the decision to catch the Path train. After getting myself together, I headed down Washington Street to the Path train.

I knew what side of the train to get on this time, but there was a train in the station already and I was able to score a seat. I sat and read Retromania by Simon Reynolds some more as the train barreled down the tracks. At 33rd Street I got off and got on the Q train heading uptown. It dropped me off a few blocks away from the cigar shack but I didn’t mind since I was early. About a half hour early.

I wandered around the area, got my usual iced coffee and sat outside until the proper time. I was working with Zack and Thomas today and it went well. Zack is great to work with on the floor and we had a lot of laughs. He also threw a few sales my way which helped not just me but the cigar shack in general.

Jerry Vale came in around 2:00 since there was a conference call that Thomas and Jerry Vale had to be in on. I have to be in on the call tomorrow morning at 8:00 but I can do that from home, before heading into the cigar shack. The original plan was for me to be at the cigar shack at that accursed hour, but with the 800 number and the link on the page I can do it from where I am sitting right now, perhaps even wearing what I am wearing right now, or even less.

It was a busy enough day at the cigar shack, the conference call lasted almost 2 hours which delayed my usual lunch by an hour. So it was a bit windy and cloudy when I was finally able to go outside. I heard from Pedro who was planning on coming into the city tonight and wanted me to hang out with him. He called me before 2:00 and I really could not talk at that time.

When I called him on my lunch hour, it was too late for him so he was staying in Otisville. I also heard from Rand who inquired if I would be going down to Asbury Park with him and Lisa as well as Lois and Mike Neutron. I begged off since Bill is also off this weekend and we rarely have the same days off. Plus I have a ton of laundry to do and I wasn’t so keen on driving down the shore, which is weird since I do love going down the shore.

Instead, Bill and I might go see the Avengers movie on Saturday night, which is also something we hadn’t done since January 2011, going to a movie together. My friend Sung might be in town on Saturday and if I have a chance, I might meet him for a coffee.

In any event, I am home now, the alarm clock has been set so I can be reasonably coherent for the conference call at 8:00. One more day until the weekend. I’m sure I can do it.

I hope Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Seltzer have a good time in France.

Polyrock – Your Dragging Feet

I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)

Tuesday evening at the cigar shack. It has been a long day. Up pretty early, had another meeting at a cigar shop and I think it well, though the interviewer was a bit foggy due to attendance at the former manager of the cigar shop (Marcus) long delayed Bar Mitzvah. Apparently it was a lot of fun, Marcus hoisted upon chairs and Mazel Tov’s all around.

The meeting was all the way on the east side so that meant a Path ride and then a crosstown bus. The Path wasn’t so bad but I had forgot how much I hated taking the train so early in the morning. Standing around, too many people and I got in on the wrong side of the car. The other side opened first so all the seats were taken when I boarded.

The cigar shop was around where Bill spent his formative years so he had the scoop on what bus to take, where to get off and of course, how to get back. I think I did well. Apparently a lot of people who know me from the cigar shack want to pickle me for my red herring expertise. Was Bismarck a herring?

I was crazy early for work at the cigar shack this morning so that was good. yesterday I was a bit late due to a bus breakdown in the Lincoln Tunnel. Of course nothing was mentioned until I took it upon myself to ask a local bus driver if he saw the 126 bus. He said no, that the Lincoln Tunnel was closed down. I was waiting with 10 people and 5 of them followed me as we walked to the Path train. It wasn’t as crowded at 11:00 in the morning as it is at 9:00.

I haven’t written about the Hoboken ARt & Music festival on Sunday which is a lot more fun than cigar shack tales. Bill and I had dinner with Julio & Stine and Alexander on Friday and I mentioned the festival and Julio of course rolled his eyes. He’s born and raised in Hoboken so it is no thrill for him, just tons of people he tries to avoid and never see again.

To my surprise I got a text from him saying that the 3 of them were at the feast. So instead of my usual plan of showing up at 4PM I was there at 1:30. Julio bellyaching, Stine watching Alexander on the rides. We walked around a bit, Alexander had his Razor scooter so he was having fun. The adults bickered about what to do next. I planned on going back home and resting up.

Now earlier I had spoken to my brother Frank. He was interested in seeing the headliners, the dB’s but when I called he had no idea what was going on. I told him to call me when he had a clue. As I parted ways with Julio, Stine & Alexander I get a phone call from Frank’s wife Elaine. They’re in Hoboken and where was I?

I explained I needed to go home but I would be back. I just wanted to sit down somewhere comfortable. Bill who drove the night before was up from sleeping and heading out, so I basically chilled out for about 45 minutes before joining the fray. SUre enough I get to the stage, there is Frank, and elaine as well as Rand & Lisa and the super wonderful Jane Scarpantoni who I hadn’t seen in quite a long time.

The band was good, catching up was done. Chaz was there as were Karyn Kuhl, ALice Kg, Alirio and a bunch of other people I had last seen in April at Maxwells for Steve Fallon’s return.

Tonight on the way home, I’m walking fast through the terminal trying to make my bus. I see my friend Denise about 30 feet ahead of me, but I’m not yelling. 2 youngish women, drunk and waving their arms are directly in front of me as I’m trying to get past them. Swinging their arms dangerously close to my crotch as they express how surprised they are that ‘Todd was smoking pot!’.

I see Denise when I get on the bus, running past the arm swinging young female alcoholics and sit next to Denise. The drunk girls walk by and I mention to Denise how one of them almost castrated me while she was walking and also said loud enough that ‘Todd was smoking pot’. The young woman turns and gives me a dirty look as she teeters in her heels with the rest of her drunken cabal.

Denise and I have having many laughs and eventutally the drunkettes get off the bus. The ‘intimidating one’ meaning the one who wasn’t slurring her words says ‘You got something to say?’ as she starts heading down the steps. I tell her I will repeat it only if she closes her eyes while descending the steps.

She calls me an asshole. I tell her she’s the front part. Eventually they’ll wind up in a bar spreading chlamydia, amongst other things. I’m sure we’ll cross paths again. I’ll remember them, they probably saw 2 of me so they’ll be looking for twins or Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Drew Carey.

35 Drunk Girls

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 Hold Your Hand In Mine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

06 Lavaux

I Have The Touch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

bus queue

02 Wax And Wane

I Got The Feelin’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Go Wild

Another day at the cigar shack, a longish day at that. Not so bad overall, Bradley on his best behavior, Jerry Vale amiable as ever. I am worried about Bill though. Something might be wrong with my man. I dare not write about it, but I can express my concern.

I certainly hope it is not what I think it may be. I will find out more tonight when he calls from Atlantic City, and tomorrow when I get home from work, a heart to heart will be in order. I slept really well last night and that was good.

It was a long lonely night. The heater was working so that is another feather in the handyman’s cap. About 28 minutes left in the day here. and I am back on tomorrow, due in at 10:30 and out at 7:30. It is also the return of Zack tomorrow.

Most of the day at the cigar shack was spent getting everything shipshape. We’re all understandably nervous about his return since he was at the corporate headquarters. The news could be bad, the news will likely not be good. 5 minutes left here and I am still a bit behind. And now I am home a little over an hour later.

The last couple of customers were a handful. An arrogant Israeli who kept mentioning how his is good friends Marcus. he didn’t bat an eye when Jerry Vale and I both told him that Marcus is now working for another cigar depot somewhere in the city. He kept insisting that he deserved better treatment than he was getting though both Jerry Vale and I deferred to everything he stated and wanted.

And what he wanted were cigars named Fuente. Jerry Vale and I told him the only cigars named Fuente were Arturo Fuente. He kept telling us that we were wrong until he looked up what he wanted on his smartphone and it turned out that he wanted Arturo Fuente. He made some overtures about buying a box but of course he only bought one cigar after having Jerry Vale and I jump through many hoops.

After him came another customer who was pleasant enough that Jerry Vale took care of him and I dealt with a regular customer named Cleon. Cleon usually comes in at 8:58 as the cigar shack is about to close but tonight he was in at around 8:40. He usually gets the same thing each time while fondling each cigar, but tonight he was looking for something different, or rather a throw back to what he used to smoke.

So it was a different cigar that he was fondling. he’s generally a nice guy and I thought he was gay, he’s such a dandy but no, he is straight. Perhaps he is one of those guys who identify as straight but likes to suck dick every now and then.

There are a lot of guys like that. But I will take Cleon at his word and keep my cock in my trousers.

Ooh, dirty! Not writing tomorrow! Have a good Sunday!


1-10 Dead End Street

I Get Lonely Too Jeremih

Day two or perhaps a day too many. It was not as bad as yesterday, Bradley absent, Zack, Thomas and me running the show. Interesting international crowd in the cigar shack today, Zack scoring big time with some guy from Mongolia with his daughters or wives and their interpreter. Zack would point at something and they guy from Mongolia would say yes.

Meanwhile I had a Korean woman who wanted something modern in lighters and whatever I showed her was not modern enough or too much money. Then she asked if she could get a discount and I almost lost it. A discount? For what? All I needed was a reason which was not forthcoming, though even if she did have a reason there would be no discount.

I did sell her a lighter and she asked if she could get a free can of butane. I checked with Zack and he was still buzzing from his four figured sale so he was more than alright with that. It took most of the day for me to catch up with Thomas (who peaked early) and Zack (who had climax after climax) but eventually I hit my goal which was nice.

Now it’s sort of after hours, the cigar shack zone has quieted down considerably, not much going on otherwise. Jimmy Seltzer just came in and just put me in second place, barely ahead of Thomas. Like I said, it was a better day than yesterday, some friction at first, Thomas and Zack had a little chat and according to Thomas it was about how Zack doesn’t seem to trust Thomas and myself, putting all of his stock in his second in command, which is fitting and a bit awkward, especially with me knowing all the shit that Zack has said about number two over the past year.

But that is all water under the bridge I suppose. It is bitterly cold out today, the temperature never reached above 30 degrees and when the wind would blow it cut like Dorothy Parker’s tongue. Just about an hour to go tonight, Thomas is closing which will allow me to wait for the train about 15 minutes earlier. Still it should not be so bad, at least I won’t be walking.

I also saw Deborah my downstairs neighbor who offers hope for the future. I only sampled a bit of the hope, not wanting to be overwhelmed only to be sent dashed upon the rocks. It would be nice but then again, a lot of things would be nice. I just want to get home and get warm. Been sleeping nicely lately, though the other night I sort of hit Bill in the face, or rather the sleep apnea mask.

I was sort of hovering about his body in the dream and when the dream changed, down came my hand. He said something and I apologized profusely, as is my wont. I’ve been careful not to levitate around Bill while we are both sleeping. Takes some work, but it is worth it.

Code of the streets- Instrumental

I Get It In Omarion

It is back to the cigar shack after a week of not much of anything. I did some things around the apartment, cleaning, laundry but not much else. New Years Eve was even mellower, Bill & I going to Arthur’s Tavern for steaks, followed by cigars and then winding up at Rand & Lisa’s for midnight cocktails.

Good crowd there, John Fig and his wife Arianna and their daughter Luna, Lois & Fred, Mike C and his gorgeous girlfriend Sarah. We apparently missed Chaz who stopped by en route to West Paterson to spend midnight with his Aunt Rena.We’ll be seeing him this weekend when he has his holiday party.

Bill and I watched a few movies over the weekend, Love Actually, some Harry Potter and yesterday watched mindlessly an Absolutely Fabulous marathon. For the longest time, the humor Absolutely Fabulous escaped me. I felt I was going to have my ‘gay card’ revoked, but being hungover from the night before must have helped since I did chuckle a few times as did Bill.

He went to bed pretty early last night since he was driving a bus to Washington DC today. I tracked him on my smartphone. Since I can’t be with him, it was good to at least know where he was even though the GPS was dodgy. One minute he is on the Cross Bronx Expressway and next he is crossing the border into Maryland.

Since Maryland turned up more than the Grand Concourse I went with Maryland. It was justified since he did cross into Washington DC eventually. And now, thanks to a paper screw up, he is on his way home, deadheading from Washington DC. He expects to be home by midnight or thereabouts so I will more than likely be awake.

Oh yeah, I just got home a few minutes ago. It was a long day at the cigar shack, I came in and saw Zack talking to Bradley at the counter, Thomas floating around somewhere. As I was taking my coat off, Thomas materialized and asked if I heard about Bradley. I did not so Bradley told me the news.

Bradley is now the assistant manager, which is what I basically told Bradley a few months ago. I harbor no hard feelings, Bradley is good at the job and is born to work in the world of retail. I think Zack was expecting me to be upset since I had been working there longer, but no I was not upset at all. In fact I congratulated Bradley on his promotion, and asked him if he got a raise, which he did.

And since it was a federal holiday today a lot of people had off from work today, making the cigar shack area quite deserted. It was a long day and it seems that Zack does not like the fact that things are slow. He’s been through many January’s before so it really shouldn’t be a surprise. I feel bad for Zack though. It seems like he is being set up for a fall.

The cigar shack probably pays a lot of money in rent and with the slow sales and the sluggish economy it promises to be a brutal year. And on top of that Zack and his wife are expecting a baby so there is that added stress. An interesting thing happened today, 2 customers came into the cigar shack, a couple.

Thomas asked them if they needed help and they said they were just browsing. I came out and asked the same thing as Thomas and I got the same answer. So Thomas and I backed off, letting them browse while keeping our eyes on them. A minute or so later, Zack comes out of the office and asks the couple if there is anything they would like to see and of course they say yes to Zack. So Zack tool care of the couple and made a sale while Thomas and I busied ourselves doing other things.

The couple left with their purchase and Zack then turned to Thomas and myself, about to berate us for not helping the couple. I had to explain to Zack that just because he watches the cameras in the store, it’s not reality necessarily. I explained that both Thomas and myself offered our assistance which they did not want, then he comes out and they do want assistance.

We did not do anything wrong, we weren’t goofing off. I don’t think Zack appreciated my explanation but it was the truth and he went back to the office ostensibly to check the cameras to see if we really did interact with the customers. Apparently, asking a customer if they need help is not the way to go. Asking them if there is anything they would like to see is the proper way to bait the hook.

It’s going to be a long year.

2-02 Take The Cash (K.A.S.H)