Category Archives: Happy?

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So now it’s Wednesday. It’s been a while since I had a Monday through Friday routine. Slinging rock on the street corner isn’t the best job but it pays the bills and it’s a Monday through Friday gig. And looking the way I do means the police do not look at me twice. I could use a lunch hour but you get what you get and it’s never a good idea to leave the street corner unattended and if I need to pee, well emptying my bladder into an empty Orangina bottle while wearing a pinstriped suit and tie brings the occasional relief.

I came home from all that and started to make dinner. Bill had gotten home before me and we butted heads while making dinner. I make my dinner he makes his own. The timing was awful since we tried to work around each other and wound up with hurt feelings. It was bullshit anyway. I make my dinner in one pot, pasta, chicken & pesto. Bill uses a pan to boil his pasta and a pot to make his sauce. He always burns his sauce since he says he likes it burnt. The head butting was over the colander.

It did not get ugly, it just stopped. He sat and watched TV and ate, I sat in the kitchen and ate while reading. I wound up washing all the pots and pans since I do a better job of that and I do not make it a project. He soon went to bed while it was still light out since he had to be up at 2:30 this morning. I did make it a point to give him a good night kiss before he went into deep sleep.

I watched Men in Black 3 even though I never saw Part One or Two. Michael Stuhlbarg was in it and I think he’s a really good actor, even though this was a flimsy role compared to Arnold Rothstein from Boardwalk Empire or the lead in the Coen Brothers ‘A Serious Man’. It was an alright movie overall, mindless fluff with some laughs and good special effects.

After the news and some 30 Rock (!) I was soon sweating in bed. At 2:30 Bill was up and active and I told him to be careful as he kissed me goodbye and headed off to work. No air conditioner yet, I try to hold off until it is absolutely needed. It was not an easy night of sleep, first in a while, even after arranging my sleep schedule, in bed a lot earlier and definitely up a lot earlier.

I woke up tired and cranky but I rallied and was soon out the door headed to the corner when I realized I left my phone back in the apartment so I turned around and climbed the four flights again, suited and carrying bags of rock. I was only 5 minutes late for the corner and within minutes the customers started appearing from out of nowhere.

I enjoy having a routine again.

These two songs were in my head all day. Perhaps it is from today being an anniversary of sorts, my dismissal from that cigar shack in Columbus Circle.

This blew those songs away, so much so that I played it a few times on my iPod this afternoon.

Peaches

Peaches Romero was having a difficult day. It started out alright but then she woke up. She regretted doing that but once she was awake, going back to sleep was not an option. She shuffled around her house in her fuzzy slippers and had a cup of coffee while staring out the window at the back yard. The neighbor’s kids were in school and knowing that the school year was closing a pit of anxiety formed in her belly. It’s not that she didn’t like the kids next door, but they were a bit too rambunctious for her sensitive nerves.

With her car in the shop, Peaches decided to walk around her town today. She hadn’t done that in quite a while, driving was the usual mode of transportation. There were no sidewalks in Peaches’ neighborhood so she carefully walked alongside the curb wearing her running shoes and a flattering track suit. Approaching the main street she found a sidewalk and was able to walk on that. She passed the candle shop and waved to someone she thought she knew but actually didn’t. She was almost upset that the person she thought she was waving to didn’t wave back, but she kept walking.

The supermarket had a few cars in its parking lot but Peaches did not need to do any grocery shopping. She walked into the nearby park and sat on a bench overlooking a pond. There were ducks and geese around, not that she saw any but she did see what they had left behind which Peaches found disgusting. Behind her as she sat, various people ran or power walked, elderly couples walked by slowly. Occasionally Peaches wished she had someone to walk with but this was not one of those moments. She relished the fact that she was alone and just sat there, taking it all in.

As the sun progressed overhead, sitting in the sun turned into sitting into shade and then back into sun again. She did apply a thick layer of sun block to her exposed skin like she always did before leaving the house and the track suit also provided ample protection. As Peaches sat there someone she used to know approached. She saw the person in the corner of her eye and anticipated saying the briefest ‘hello’ but the other person did not seem to notice Peaches and when they passed she let go a sigh of relief.

Children started to appear at the other end of the pond and Peaches figured it was time to go home. She didn’t mind the kids but the number of them in the park would increase and whatever peace and solitude she had would likely disappear. So Peaches got up and walked around the pond a few times and by the time she finished her second turn she noticed the older, louder kids turning up and so she she just continued out of the park.

Peaches hated backtracking and so she took a different way home, which was merely walking down a less busy parallel street. Soon she was back walking alongside the curb, heading home from the opposite direction. The kids next door were playing in their backyard and when they saw Peaches they shouted a hearty hello to which Peaches nodded her head as she climbed the stairs to get back to her house. She fixed herself a cocktail and sat in her overstuffed chair and watched her shows. She was quite happy as she settled in, running shoes off- fuzzy slippers in place. For Peaches it was a very good day after all.

Not the Sporting News

Just got back to Hoboken with Bill after his performance of the National Anthem at CitiField before the New York Mets/Philadelphia Phillies game. Bill of course did an excellent job, he even had to compete with a jet taking off from nearby LaGuardia airport while singing the ‘o’er the land of the freeee’ part. He did well, but the jet’s engine had more power behind it. The crowd acknowledged Bill’s greatness and Bill shook the hands of soldiers and police officers as he left the field. I had hoped to record it, but the camera decided that the time was right to not being able to record.

I did have the foresight to record the sound check with the tablet but Bill and I thought the camera would work best. We were proven wrong but happy enough to have the sound check which did not have a competing jet flying overhead. And there will be a DVD from the New York Mets organization in a few weeks. That would be the one that was on the big screen which I was trying to feature along with Bill singing in the foreground. That was recorded in my head and you can’t go there. Sorry.

The sound check video is on Facebook and has been well received. At the game were a lot of Bill’s friends including his former co-workers and good old Moe (whom I always picture as looking like Gabe Pressman even though he doesn’t look like him at all) his former boss, the one I had exchanged emails with yesterday. We both ignored each other as my brother Frank with sister in law Elaine and their friends plus my niece Corinne and her beau Vic. All nice and pleasant. We weren’t sitting near them though so pleasantries were brief.

Our seats were by Bill’s dentist and his crew. Same level- nose bleeds. Last time I was that high up at a stadium was when I went on a day trip to Shea Stadium for a Mets/Pirates game. The only thing I remember is Willie Stargell’s bat breaking in half when he swing and hit the ball, the top half of the bat going flying into the stand and hitting someone. We were safe from where we were sitting, safe from bats and fly balls. I wasn’t so sure then about the jets flying a few hundred feet of the heads of members of the Lodi Boys Club.

We didn’t stay too long, despite it being a beautiful day today, it got cold once the sun went down. I almost ran around Hoboken with Juan but I had too much to do already and that was a smart choice. It was really just a swell day with a very easy ride home on public transportation. A bad night for the New York Mets with a 4-0 shut out from the Philadelphia Phillies. That was just on the 11:00 news. You know better than to come here looking for sports information.
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Daft Punk – Get Lucky
This is a great song.

A Secret Life

Juan and Pedro. The day ended with one and started with another. Mainly texting or online. Who knows where it goes. I admit a mistake I made with Juan, expressing displeasure with his on again off again boyfriend. I should have realized that doing so would only reinforce his feelings for this principal player and with Juan’s feelings of being unloved and alone while getting messages from this principal who treated him like shit and then does an about face and claims that he misses Juan. I told Juan that if he went back then he could count me out of our friendship.

You see, I got a phone call from Juan a month ago, frantic and in tears along with some very incriminating photos. Of course I was worried and did what I could to make him feel better, but there was something missing from his life and it was either the principal player or some absence of chemicals in his system. Perhaps it was both. I was disappointed and he picked up on that via text. So Juan may be out. Who knows if I will see him again? Who knows if he will stay in Leonardo with Principal Mike and Tina Crawfish or live in Hudson County and commute? I don’t. I can’t care, I have my own problems.

And then there is Pedro. Pedro I have known since Juan was just a sperm and an egg. I posted a petition online against something that President Obama was going to do and Pedro jumped on it, ‘surprised’ that I was against Obama’s plan. You would think that knowing me for decades he would figure out that I do speak up and out on issues that concern me and the people I care for as well as what I think is best for the country. But no, he seemed to have forgotten that aspect of my personality.

It seemed he was gloating albeit half assed gloating. While he was too busy sniffing Boehner’s scrotum he doesn’t seem to know that that scrotum and the party behind it has done nothing at all while Obama has been in the oval office. And if he does know, he seems fine with it. If it’s attacking or blocking Obama then he’s good with it. He fully supported Bush and his policies including invading sovereign nations. Like most pseudo tea baggers he can’t see much further than behind his nose.

I don’t know. To me it doesn’t seem to be a good idea to alienate the one who holds the secrets. And I do hold their secrets. Juan is ambivalent to the secrets and Pedro seems to be ignorant or forgetful of those secrets. I’m not giving them up though. Not without a reason.

Other than that it was an exceptional day, summer like temperatures around 80º . Pleasant enough to go out and finish an issue of the New Yorker and continuing to read the Barney Hoskyns book about the Band. So that’s what I did while smoking a cigar.
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A Secret Life

And Richard Klatt is dead.
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Crawling from the Wreckage

It’s another cold spring day. It was nice and spring like the other day, but the past few days it’s still feeling like winter. Bill is out and about today and I am killing time before going to work tonight. And of course that involves stage fright. I already had lunch so the feelings of despair from low blood sugar are not in effect right now. And I plan to head up to work with a banana and maybe a chocolate bar with raspberries. Banana for energy, chocolate raspberry bar as a treat or a reward.

Last night Juan came over and we watched things I had recorded, mainly Kristen Schall’s stand up show from Comedy Central, which to my eyes was reminiscent of an Andy Kaufman or Steve Martin routine from the last 1970’s, leaving the audience hanging and confused for a spell. I enjoy a challenge like that and from watching Andy Kaufman or Steve Martin back then, I think some of my sense of humor derives from that sort of thing. Maybe it was performance art, before such a label existed. Anyway- it was OK, not mind blowing and probably not worth seeing more than once.

Juan requested to watch Archer which I recorded and I was about to show it when Bill came home, full of energy and excitement after a production meeting with some directors. He was going on about the reading he just had and how things are going to have to be trimmed down to a more suitable running time than what they had last night. I am supportive and do my best to reel him in when he talks about some elaborate plans. Last night I told him that one of the ideas would be good for the video rather than the stage.

That took Bill aback somewhat and I explained like how Spaulding Grey had his videos come from his stage performances, he could do the same when and if a video or movie is made from his own one man show. Just thinking ahead in a positive manner. After a while we watched Archer and then it was time for Juan to go home before the Cliffside elevator shut down for the night. Yeah, I will explain that some other time.

Juan split, Bill went to bed and I took half an alprazolam so I could get a decent night’s sleep. And I did sleep well. Bill was already up and dressed by the time I wandered through the apartment.

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The Plateau of Mirror

The first day of spring and it still feels like winter. That was to be expected. I mean crocuses aren’t about to erupt alongside tulips and proclaim that they ‘are here!’. I’ve been out and about today which was good. I also sent out more resumes and attempted to reconnect with people I worked with in the 1980’s after seeing something that was posted on Facebook. Juan actually hipped me to it, and not being sure if he told me for me, or for his own sake and went ahead and cast my bread upon the water.

I have just finished dinner and it’s not even 6:00. I figured I was hungry and rather than have a snack to tide me over I should just go ahead and have dinner. It had been about 5 hours since I had last eaten anything so I am sure I did the right thing. And to my surprise Bill came home early. He had an audition so he left work early to attend to that. It was a pleasant surprise to see him walking through the doorway.

I’ve been digging the new David Bowie album, The Next day and I think my favorite song on it at this moment would be Dancing Out In Space. I’m not listening to it now, I am instead listening to some classical music. I’ve been listening to classical music as I make dinner since it’s generally relaxing and there is a lot that I don’t know.

And speaking of not knowing, I had a good talk with Bill about my bloody ignorance. Now some friends think I an intelligent and I sometimes do fit the bill. But there are times where I do not know what the hell I am talking about and wind up being a dick, however inadvertent. An example that I told Bill of was regarding a friend named Rae Guay. Her real name, not making it up. I knew Rae through my roommate William and one night we were hanging out in a pub in midtown Manhattan. A few drinks, a few chemicals and I turned to Rae and said she was vapid, without really knowing what the word meant.

Well Rae knew what the word meant and perhaps she was thinking that she herself was vapid (she really isn’t/wasn’t) but me being a fucked up stupid person that I was and could still be ruined a decent friendship over my mistaken use of a word.

Sure, now I know what vapid means and irony of ironies it could certainly be applied to me. And though I tried to apologize, she wouldn’t have it and I haven’t spoken to her or seen her since that night, which was too bad since she was a fun person to be around. She reminded me of Annette Bening and that’s not so bad, is it? She would not believe that I was stupid as the words fell from my mouth.

The thing that brought up the talk with Bill was that we were watching The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which we both enjoyed more than we expected to. Sure it’s a bit formulaic but the cast is top notch and they made it enjoyable. The trigger was the use of the word ‘Sodding’ in the movie. A word that I know now means ‘fucking’ as in ‘You sodding arse’ or like ‘You drunken fuck’.

Back in the 1970’s at Christmas time I was sitting at a table, Annemarie about to go out with a friend for the night to a party or what not. Alcohol being consumed before heading out, Irish Coffees or White Russians, Annemarie and her friend (Judy?Audra?) having a laugh at the table, Dad floating around. Not knowing what the word meant, I said to Annemarie that she was a drunken sod.

That prompted a very fast and strong reacquaintance with the back of my father’s hand (in front of Annemarie’s friend- then again it was the 1970’s and child abuse was alright then) who yelled at me to never say that to my sister again.

No explanation, just good old familial violence from dear old drunken dad during the holiday season. I didn’t find out till years later what it actually meant and if I knew what it meant I would never have said it. So I am not as intelligent as people would make me out to be, but then again- at least I know that much.
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Dad On Fire

From there to here

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Today is/are the Ides of March. Here is what I wrote for the cigar shack’s blog last year, names and certain items have been changed to protect the idiots and not to promote things that I have no affinity for, nor affection towards.
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And a good morning to you, or perhaps it’s a good afternoon or a good evening. No matter where you are, greetings to you and yours from the Cigar Shack at Magellan Trapezoid. Here we are at yet another entry and I have to admit I am glad to have made it to my fifth entry. So far so good I suppose. I got a good and encouraging review from Calvin Exactly, our fearless leader and general manager of our Magellan Trapezoid store.

He enjoyed the previous entries and since I seem to write on Thursdays and Saturdays (and since it is Thursday) here I am writing once again. The Shopping Mall at Magellan Trapezoid is slowly coming to life, stores are getting busy, our cigar lounge is filling up nicely. Two of my favorite customers, Tony & Vinnie are in as is the legendary Glenzel. Not his real name but a name by which he is known.

And some new gents that I had never seen before, maybe since I am in earlier than usual today or it could be the fact that they usually go to our redheaded stepsister store on Madison Street. Tony & Vinnie are enjoying the Tauaje Unico, a fine cigar. The whole Tatuaje line is one of my go to cigar lines. Always good, always dependable with a great flavor and smooth smoke.

Rabbi Manes Koganovonovich who usually goes to the Fort Greene store is enjoying a Padron 5000 natural, one of the cigars I started out smoking all those years ago. A great smoke at a great price.

Adam Syllabus is having the creme de la creme, a Threatening Maduro Toro and you know that can’t be bad.
The legendary Glenzel is enjoying a La Flor Dominicana Digger, natural. He expects to be here for a few hours. It’s a good cigar, on the large end and definitely requires a time commitment. Glenzel declined to be photographed today since he is in his leisurewear.

Yesterday would have been the day when he was dressed to the nines. And Andrew the K is enjoying an LFD Churchill Oscuro as he helps Glenzel out with his laptop.

It’s a good group of guys in the lounge right now, as there usually is. Of course you are more than welcome to join them, join us here at Magellan Trapezoid. We are on the first floor, street level- next to Bidets-R-Us, across from BeBe’s Kids & L’Oreal. Lounge hours are 1AM to 11:59PM, Monday through Saturday, Sundays from 1AM to 11:55PM. Cigar Shack at Magellan Trapezoid is open Monday through Saturday 12AM to 11:59PM, Sundays 11:59PM to 11:58PM.
Enjoy a cigar, enjoy the company, enjoy yourself. Once again a reminder that March is AVO Month, special deals are going on so hurry on down.

And a quick mention of the Stupid Selection #72. A favorite of one of my favorite customers, Jimmy Seltzer. He greatly enjoys his little smokes and could usually be found once a week in the lounge at the end of the day, reading and happily puffing away. The Stupid Selection starts off medium and ends up full bodied with what some say a roast turkey flavor, or perhaps a little paprika. Of course it’s all subjective and I invite you to give it a go and let me know what you think.

See you soon! Beware the Ides of March!
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Not bad. Perhaps Calvin ‘Zack’ Exactly was right when he said this here blog, johnozed.com was much funnier than the Cigar Shack blog. More people read this than that anyhow, or they did before I killed the other blog.

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Four of the chaps I wrote about:
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You’ve Made Me So Very Happy

Time is really relative.

It’s been a weird couple of days. My Timex stopped working and I figured I would do without a wrist watch. Of course it was not a good idea but I tried to persevere and overcome the feeling of nudity without the wrist watch. It didn’t take and I wound up wearing the broken watch for some semblance of normalcy in my life. Still there are clocks everywhere, the cable box, the TV screen, the smartphone and various clocks in the apartment, on the wall and one on Bill’s side of the bed and one on my side.

And not wearing a watch to bed was uncomfortable since I usually have my wrist an inch away from my eye in the morning so I know what time it is without having to get out of a comfortable position to see the digital readout on the alarm clock. I mentioned to Bill my plan of not wearing a watch and he thought it was not a good idea. In November we had no electricity so most of those clocks were useless. And of course maintaining a charged up phone was inconvenient at best.

And I really did want a new watch. A new Timex, this time without the date on the face since it was a pain in the tuchis almost every month. I was going to go to the mall yesterday and asked Rand if he wanted to go and he politely declined. Then the Credo bullshit occurred and I was in no mood to go, so once again I stayed within the Hoboken borders.

Juan was in town and was planning on coming over last night. I had been in communication with him the past few days and his situation was dire. Bill and I offered our futon to crash on if he needed to, but he was staying with his family nearby. Juan came over and Bill went to bed. And Juan did have a harrowing story to tell, harrowing enough that I yelled at him. It didn’t help but it was my first reaction and I resolved to just shut up and listen.

Words were flying fast and furious from his mouth and I for one am glad he is out of that most unprincipled situation. Juan’s sister came by to drive him home a couple of hours later and a plan to hang out today was set. I slept fairly well or so I thought. Bill told me I was talking in my sleep, coherently but he didn’t remember what it was that I said, and that I also was punching the bed, two things I have no recollection of.

I woke up after Bill had left me with a good bye kiss, telling me it was 6:00. I looked at my wrist some time later and then looked at the clock. I roused myself and started my day. I had the talk with Bill about watches at this point, and following Bill’s advice, headed to the mall.

A major storm is approaching and the river was very choppy. The winds were strong enough to push this guy on the wrong side of 200 pounds around on the sidewalk and pier. I made it to the mall and found what I was looking for, on sale in Kohl’s. I went there since my friend Lois works in Kohl’s out in the wilds of NJ. It’s a nice Timex. Not flashy, quite understated with military hours as well, so when someone says 20-oh hundred hours, I’ll know they mean 8PM.

When I was in Kohl’s Bill called. His friend Tom is getting divorced and needs a place to crash. Since Juan turned down our offer, the futon is Tom’s if he needs it. Thing is, Tom might need to crash for a few weeks, so that should be interesting. Already there has been a slight head bump between Bill and I on this matter and I am sure we will talk further about it when he gets home.

That’s it. More words, this time I had something to say, relatively speaking. And I am getting my Credo bills mailed to me rather than using their online service since apparently their online service is fucked up. I will pay by check.
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I Still Call Australia Home

Saturday night’s alright for something. I am trying to figure it out, just what it’s alright for. Fighting? Smiling? Making love? Going to parties? Writing a blog? I am pretty sure it’s the last one and I am now doing that. After this here thing gets posted what will I do? I am always content to stay home but I was invited to a party tonight and the last time I went to a party thrown by these people I had a good time. I was talked into going by Rand & Lisa and we wound up dancing and having a really good time.

Old friends were there then and I don’t know if it would be the same this time. Some of those old friends are no longer friends and they might be there and that is a reason I might not go. I asked Rand & Lisa and also asked RoDa if they wanted to go with me but they seem uncommitted. If they were going I would have no problem if I ran into that badly drawn woman and her consort the former drunkard. I heard they were in a civil union nowadays so they would likely be a pair.

The former drunkard was sober at the last party a few years ago and he was with his then wife, before he kicked her and before she licked him out of her life. The badly drawn woman was there by herself (the former drunkard did not profess his eternal love for her yet since he was still married to the mother of his children). The badly drawn woman was being hit on by a wallflower coming into bloom and she being totally non-confrontational allowed the wallflower to harass her until I spoke up and put him in his place.

This happened right in front of badly drawn woman, and not hearsay from a few years before regurgitated like a drunk after a three day bender. The thought of seeing the badly drawn woman with her fingers in her mouth and the idiot former drunkard by her side, chin jutting out attempting to be clever is off-putting enough to make me just stay home which would be too bad, but then again the hosts are mutual friends to both parties. Absence is hardly ever noticed at parties, the hosts are too busy attending to the people who are there not the people who aren’t.

RoDa has backed out and Rand & Lisa are unsure and don’t know and won’t know until after they have supper. So it is still up in the air.

Last night I watched Drive starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan with Albert Brooks. I heard it was good but did not realize how good it as until about 10 minutes in. I enjoyed it but it had about 85% of my attention. That was fine since I do plan on watching it again with Bill and I will be able to see all that I might have missed or overlooked. I highly recommend it though it is a bit violent.

I just had dinner myself and now I am writing this. One down, two to go and that should probably decide what I will do tonight. I am in my slippers though and that is something that I should consider.

I did hear from a friend I used to work with. She has big plans to get out of the place where she is at, some place free from marsupials she hopes. Apparently there is an infestation of the marsupials currently on the upper west side having migrated from North Carolina.

PS- I went to the party and had a good time.
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96 Tears

I Shall Overcome

Friday finally. At least I think it’s Friday. Wait, I am pretty sure that it’s a Friday. It was a busy enough day without a visit to the bibliothèque or the cigar shop. A lot of running around today. A trip to the supermarket, to the cleaners, to CVS, and to the optician. Yes I finally got my new eyeglasses. If you’re on Facebook or Google +, then you’ve seen them and you’ve loved them. At least 11 people liked them enough and I’m sure if Facebook had a ‘love’ button it would be worn out with love for this former stripper.

So here I am once again on a Friday evening, the rebroadcast of the Daily Show is on which was preceded by the Colbert Report. I caught the latter and now watching the former. Or do I have that backwards. I don’t know- it’s Friday. Let me breathe, let me put balm on where the tassels used to be.

Back to the eyeglasses- I like them and after a couple of weeks of not seeing very well through scratched lenses, it took some getting used to. And having progressive lenses to match my political outlook, it also takes some time for full appreciation.

Things are a bit curvy at the bottom of the lenses which makes a simple walk down the street feeling like the edges were done by Salvador Dali playing with a fish eye lens. The clocks do seem to be melting a bit more than usual. I always forget persistence. And they are transition lenses which get darker in the sunlight, though when I am wearing them I can never tell and find myself trying to catch my reflection in store windows or passing cars. And the glasses are not branded, though they do have Ernest Hemingway’s name on the inside.

Which means if Ernest Hemingway ever turns up and asks for his glasses back, all he would have to say is that his name is on them and I wouldn’t be able to deny that. Then he would punch me in the mouth before taking the eyeglasses away.

I’ve been wearing eyeglasses since the 5th grade. Everyone in my family wears eyeglasses and despite being told I was adopted most of my life, I guess nurture usurped nature and through a strange osmosis my eyes needed corrective lenses as well. I was seen squinting a few times at the blackboard in class and was able to use that excuse for lousy grades, ‘I couldn’t read the black board’.

With the proper lenses I was able to see better and my grades stayed the same, fair to middling and always room for improvement if I just applied myself. I was only supposed to wear them when reading but wound up wearing them all the time which did not make my eyes any better. My eyes gradually got worse and every year or so new glasses would be in order.

But you won’t find me wearing Dolce & Gabanna or Burberry or Tom Ford eyeglasses, not unless they were paying me to wear their products, paying me to advertise them. Since that is unlikely to happen, their eyeglasses won’t be adorning my face anytime soon.
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Happiness

I Remember (with YANG YO SEOP 방용국)

Tuesday Tuesday, where would I be without you? Possibly in a Monday or Wednesday, I don’t know. I slept well last night. I am sure that you were all wondering about that. Well enough that waking up this morning was somewhat difficult despite Bill’s words of encouragement and farewell kiss. I rallied, showered and ate and then I found myself thinking of what to do. I didn’t have to think that much since I got a phone call from Shlomo. He needed to run some errands and asked if I could sit in the cigar store for an hour or so.

The promise of a couple of free cigars did the trick. It was a fair barter. Hard to believe it had been a while since I had the La Trompeta by Avo. Back in March I had to attend the unveiling of the Trompeta at a exclusive cigar club at the former Top of the Sixes restaurant. Now it’s a pricey cigar club, with nouveau riche and those that aspire to be. It was fun to watch silly men with ‘money’ getting very excited over scantily clad girls handing out free cigars. As Mark E. Smith said, ‘it was like peasants getting free milk!”

It was my day off and I was required to attend this event and my job was to take photos which I did.. Food was promised and also scarce by the time my co-workers and I were able to eat and what we were fed was an expensive version of a White Castle slider. It was a cash bar for the underlings like myself and I couldn’t get out of there soon enough, it was funny watching some supervisors and underlings nodding off drunk. I have seen junkies with more stamina. The reason I write about that is because I found the text I wrote for a blog I was writing for some group earlier this year.The blog is dead and gone but I still have the photos and the text

Last night Bill and I did not watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Instead we watched The Late Show with David Letterman. We don’t usually watch it but I wanted to see Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones. They didn’t perform, the three of them sat and chatted with Dave for the first 20 minutes. I enjoyed it and also enjoyed Bill’s questions regarding Led Zeppelin. Actually he was asking about me and how I would feel should I meet them on the street like when I met Mick Jones from the Clash on the street.

It wouldn’t be like meeting Mick Jones, I told Bill. Mick Jones was more of a personal thing, whereas Led Zeppelin was something that I didn’t always like. I explained that when I was growing up, the ‘bad’ kids listened to led Zeppelin and I was a goody goody kid into pop music. I didn’t mention that Jimmy Page had such a power over budding guitarists when I was starting to be interested in playing guitar that most kids figured out how to play Stairway to Heaven.

I didn’t see the point in learning the songs I didn’t much care for back then. Nowadays, thanks to Ultimate Guitar or the Led Zeppelin songbook I own, I could play their songs (or a reasonable facsimile thereof), but still I could not play Stairway. We did enjoy the show and Bill went to sleep soon after Led Zeppelin and I stayed up and watched the rest of the show. It’s been one of those nights I suppose.




One of these Nights

I’ll Bass You (Club Mix)

Well today has been a sociable day for me. Started out nicely with Bill getting home before I woke up and a good morning kiss was sweet. I got out of bed as Bill saw getting his stuff together so he would be all ready to go when the time came. I had a nice breakfast after showering and talked with Bill before he went to sleep for a few hours. It was nice, he is great. A trip to the supermarket was in order, needed to buy milk. No 2% available so I went totally skim which is good I suppose, just not enough body for a decent cup of coffee.

After a few hours of reading and posting some very funny things on Facebook I headed out. I stopped by the new cigar shop in town, nice guys, good staff, and a decent selection. I was blessed yesterday by a cigar salesman. Being blessed is cigar shack lingo from back in the day, primarily what Raymond used to say, meaning a cigar salesman just gave you a free cigar. It does have a certain ring to it and lacks the pretense that exists in certain circles I guess.

I chatted with the fellows who run the shop and had a nice robusto. They told me that Raymond was going to be around, he was in his way to Hoboken. They knew I knew Raymond since I last saw Raymond at another local cigar shop in May soon after my dismissal from the cigar shack. It was for an event in Hoboken and to my surprise as well as Raymond there were a number of cigar shack customers there all bitching and moaning about how the cigar shack is terrible since a phogna bologna like Zack is running the show.

I couldn’t stay though, I needed to get home and make sure Bill was up and ready to go driving again and there was also the weekend call to California, almost every Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 PM. I was walking home, picking up Bill’s laundry and taking to Annemarie on the phone when Raymond phoned. I couldn’t take the call since I was talking to my sister but I did get the voicemail. I came home, there was Bill running around. A kiss goodbye and then I asked where his glasses were. Oh yeah, he needs those when driving.

He made it down a flight of stairs before I heard him coming back. He left his phones behind. I got them for him and he was finally on his way, promising to use his latitude. I called Raymond and soon I was headed back to Washington Street. It was considerably cooler out since the sun had gone down, but I was fine. I had a cigar in my pocket from earlier and met up with Raymond. Good talk, he seems to be doing well. I seem to be doing well so we were both happy with our respective states.

Of course we discussed the cigar shack, how Marcus informed Zack about this here blog. How Zack told Raymond that I was bad mouthing the cigar shack. I just went back and read the entries from earlier in May and yeah I did make a comment about Zack is a great manager when he is sober. Perhaps it was the fear that I would say such a thing to the inhuman resource manager who was coming in to review Zack’s managerial performance so far.

Well that was then, this is now. I won’t grace the cigar shack with the bottom of my shoe. I’ve moved on, I just keep glancing in the rear view mirror as they shrink in the distance. Funny how the lack of an ego can turn out to be quite a large ego, but still that large ego shrinks like George Costanza coming out of the ocean.




Dopestyle – I’ll Bass You (Club Mix)

I Never Told You

I just got back from 5 hours of volunteering at the local bibliothèque. I enjoy working with them, the ladies. They enjoy me working there, and being a male they seem to feel safer having a guy around. In this case, I am the guy or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof. And today it was all about doing whatever they wanted me to do. And so that meant putting a lot of items today. Notin the nonfiction department though. That resembles the office set from Being John Malkovich, a very low ceiling with only an inch between my head and the ceiling.

A good part of the time was in the Audio Visual room which is a mess. DVD’s and CD’s are kept in a very loose alphabetical sense. A through Z basically. Breaking it down further is near impossible since it is probably the most popular room and to maintain order someone would have to stay in there the whole time. But there isn’t anyone there the whole time and things fall out of order constantly. Then there are the people who hide DVD’s or CD’s to pick up later. They don’t get very far, at least not on my watch.

It was fairly busy, I worked with two women, Diane and Pat. Diane has seniority over Pat. I like them both very much. Diane was pulling for me to get in good with the library which I am doing with my volunteering. The last part of my time today was placing the items on hold for library patrons on the shrinking shelves. There is simply not enough room for all the books on hold and so some items have to be placed on the shelves an inch or two above the floor. And of course every time I situated myself on the floor, I had to get up since Pat or Diane needed to get by.

Finally at one point I was able to stand up as a patron walked in. She walked up to the counter and asked for an item that was on hold. I just said ‘Yay!’ and Diane and Pat lost it. Really laughing so hard for the next 20 minutes and in so doing the remaining time flew by. Apparently they just don’t have someone like me helping out. I am just glad I was able to help out and add some laughter to their day.

Now I am home, with Bill and waiting for the second debate. I hope it goes well for Obama, none of the narcolepsy that affected him during the last debate while Romney lied, lied and lied some more. And he got away with it since Obama did not point out his lies and backtracking and contradictory statements. Bill has been under the weather the past two days so to have him up and about is a good thing. Once again he worked really hard for about three weeks, driving, the day job and preparing for the reading last week, and also the Yankee game.

He was destined to crash as he usually does when he works for weeks on end. So his day was spent in bed today. I was out and about earlier, made the trip to the really big supermarket where I ran into my dear friend Ro Da. We talked for quite a while, his tales of woe, my tales of woe. Despite that it was great to see him as it always is. I’ve known him for almost 30 years which is a mind blower. He is a sweetheart and I certainly wish him on the very best.



Reminiscing

I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)

Last night I slept really well and had a dream where I had an electric guitar, a Les Paul at that, and I don’t think I was supposed to be playing it but I was. In the dream I had to hide while the guitar was still humming and I was in a cloakroom fiddling around with the pickup switch. Strange dream, especially when I take into consideration that I prefer Fender guitars to Gibson. But, if someone was going to give me a Gibson guitar, I would gladly accept it and perhaps (definitely) name it after my benefactor.

It’s been an interesting day, lazy, overcast again. There is a benefit at Maxwells for the Hoboken Fair Rent Association, and I am DJing the event as well as playing a couple of songs. I think I will be playing solo. I asked some people if they wanted to join me, but so far have not heard anything definite. I did ask someone on Facebook whom I admire if they would send me the chords to a song I am planning on covering and they said they would so that’s something to look forward to.

After playing the guitar almost every day during the summer, I admit I haven’t been playing much lately. That’s been a good thing I think since it allows me to take a different approach sometimes. The other day when I was feeling quite down, I did pick up the Fender F-210 and played for a while and it definitely helped lift my spirits considerably. So with so and so sending me the chords to their song, I’ll be able to learn something that is not a Beatle song.

Of course I will probably play a Fab song or two since it is in my DNA. I have no idea what to expect. I am getting a phone call later on from the bloke who is organizing the event so I should know a little bit more. And already I am thinking of things to play when I DJ. Of course I do that most every minute of my life, usually every 3:43.

I’m watching Almost Famous on TV right now, such a sweet movie. I fell in love with it when I first saw it with Julio and our mutual friend, Claire. I loved it and related to it a lot more than either one of them. It’s a movie I can watch over and over and I always hope that Cameron Crowe makes a movie as great as this one is.

I am feeling pretty good, the previous couple of days of gloom and doom have lifted. I definitely look forward to Bill coming home. He’s not driving to Atlantic City tonight and Friday nights together are so infrequent these days. He was so good in the reading last night, it was good to see the respect that his fellow readers/actors gave him. He was quite passionate and according to Bill having me there helped, especially since I was who he focused on.

I forgot that it’s going to be a while since he is at the Yankees game. Silly me.





Call Me

I Need You Baby (Mona)

Another day, another day with a very good chance of rain. Well it has come and gone and will come again. Yesterday was a lot of fun with Rand, wandering around the Lower East Side and the East Village, finally coming back to Hoboken for a few pints. All out of the ordinary things that I used to do frequently. And tomorrow should be an interesting adventure as well, at least that’s how it reads now. Last night was an easy write, thanks to the pints. I was buzzing along quite nicely and knocked off quite a number of words, surpassing my daily quota.

And now this, this is actually the second thing I have written today. I wrote another entry which I will hold in reserve, waiting to see how things turn out. More than likely it will be posted on Saturday, which will make it a week since something was done. I know, cryptic, right? Well what I wrote proved to be so easy and a bit accusatory, so I am being generous towards a certain party, giving them enough time to reply- yea or nay. I even have an idea which should be interesting should I act upon it.

Today has been relatively OK. Not much going on in Hoboken as usual. Got some nice compliments from some cigar aficionados about something I posted. It was good for the ego I guess. Of course it only works when you’re in front of the computer screen reading their kind words. The photos of me smoking a cigar in front of Jack Kirby’s birthplace went over well. And these cigar aficionados are concerned about my job search, they’re hoping that I get back in the cigar world, but that is not going to happen. I am happy to buy my cigars online.

Another nail in the coffin for those bricks and mortar stores, or those glass walled establishments. Even while working at the cigar shack, I would occasionally order my cigars online, for a few dollars more than the discount I was getting. I knew that the future of that business would soon be an online experience and when I said so I felt a bit like Billy Mitchell (1920’s version of GZA). Yes, there was a bit of Cassandra in my wording and I guess I was ignored out of fear rather than anyone taking the appropriate steps in meeting the challenge head on.

Forewarned should be forearmed but in that situation I spoke to limbless trees. And I do not mean to denigrate trees in any way. I guess I never did thank the marsupial for supplying me with Xanax from time to time, I mean- he did suggest that the dosage he was giving me was higher than I usually took, saying he didn’t want me nodding off in the humidor. Thanks!

A phone call and now there is drama with regards to photos I posted from either my birthday picnic or in the scanned photos I posted for Chaz. Someone wrote something rude about someone in the photos and Chaz just called me with concern about it. I didn’t see anything and Chaz does not have easy access to the computer. He’ll check tomorrow for things that I may have overlooked a minute ago. I suppose there is always some kind of drama going on, sometimes I am in the thick of it, sometimes I am waiting in the wings and sometimes I am merely sitting in the audience.

I also have to post how excited I get when I see musicians and writers I like and admire, post comments on my Facebook things. Really groovy man…

ecce homo





Are you there Kevin? It’s me, God.


96 Tears

I Must be Saved

Today has been something special. Just really a good day. I slept well and the back ache that I did not write about yesterday has subsided somewhat. I must have slept funny because yesterday I felt bruised. But I wasn’t bruised, just achy. Today, not so much. And it’s been a gorgeous day overall. I just got back from a few hours of busking and it went really well. The toddlers were in good form and they love dancing around when I play, one kid has his eye on my guitar picks, another kid loves to see what is in the guitar case.

The minders are on top of it, especially when the kid started playing with a dollar bill in the guitar case. And of course, if you high five one of the kids, you have to high five all of them. And now the kids all want a turn strumming my guitar. Of course they’re not delicate, they hit- rather than stroke the strings but I usually take care of the situation and lift the guitar just out of reach. No crybabies, just fascinated kids. And there were a few toddlers besides the day care kids and they enjoyed themselves.

When I got to my spot by Pier A in Hoboken, a bloke walked up and admired my guitar, my Fender F-210. I had just gotten there and he sat a few feet away as I started to warm up. He asked if I could pick the strings when I play and I admitted that I rarely do that, except for my mutant version of Tracks of My Tears picking is difficult. I would love to play Dear Prudence or at least play Blackbird as well as Julio’s wife Stine does. The only song she claims to know and it’s difficult and intimidating to me.

The bloke, Randy- showed me a song to play finger picking, Edelweiss. Beautiful song from the Sound of Music, and I tried watching his fingers but couldn’t quite get it. He went back to work and I did my repertoire. After a few hours of that I packed up, but the thought of the song stayed with me, so I looked up the chords online via my smartphone and found myself strumming along, very easy to play. Not quite up to finger picking but still a very nice song to practice with.

So much so that a big guy sat down and listened to me play it for about twenty minutes. Then he walked away and I kept playing it, getting better I think, strum by strum. I was pretty hungry and decided to head home for dinner. And that is where I am now. I also just listened to Christopher Plummer singing Edelweiss which reminds me I should slow down the strumming and not make it a hard core version. Soft and sweet if the way to go if I’m going to do it right. It also helped that Bill & I watched a documentary about Oscar Hammerstein II on PBS a few weeks ago and it was repeated the other night.
That’s about it for today. I am hungry.

Old pics




I Might

Apparently it’s hump day. That’s the word on the street. I am still hamstrung by what a friend said to me back in May. I was trying to do something that was out of the ordinary and thought I was doing well with it, until I got the phone call. The friend was annoying and perplexed and irate and wouldn’t listen to my explanation, instead telling me how they would do things which were opposite the direction that I was going in. It did my head in and the train of thought was derailed, enough so that I have not been able to get back to what I wanted to do.

I think if I didn’t take the phone call I would probably be in a better writing place right now, further ahead than I had ever been before. Thinks would be progressing quite nicely. Or perhaps I would have derailed myself eventually. But in any event, the concept is still in the back of my mind, quite a distance from my fingers on the keyboard. Why they didn’t just write their comments in the comment section instead of calling me and stopping the train is beyond me. I am resentful.

So that’s my hump. Today was a laundry day, lots of t-shirts and underwear and socks. And shorts since it’s been months since I’ve worn pants. And also months since I wore a suit & tie. The job listings are slim. I get emails about jobs in Hoboken and when I check, they’re in Rumson or Princeton or Roseland. Any place besides Hoboken. The resumes dutifully go out, nothing biting, no responses. I can understand why certain people would be reluctant to suggest me for a job at their companies since they read this here blog and figure I would write about their job.

So it goes.

After the laundry I headed out to do some busking. I was a bit anxious about running into Tariq and the drunkard set and it was unwarranted since they weren’t around. I did figure out how to play Can’t Find My Way Home by Blind Faith and I played that for a while, even doing my best to approximate singing like Steve Winwood. It really is a beautiful song, beautiful enough to make me forget that the dreaded Eric Clapton is in on it. I prefer to ignore that fact and concentrate on Steve Winwood.

The first time I heard Can’t Find My Way Home, was on a stellar episode of the long forgotten television show Homicide: Life on the Street. The way it was used was brilliant and obviously it struck a chord with me. It wasn’t until last night that I figured out what those chords were. And don’t forget I did meet Steve Winwood while working at the cigar shack in 2010. Nice guy, a day off a tour and did not want his photo taken which I was cool about. I did shake his hand though and I do have the memory.

I did see the toddlers again. They get so excited to see me, they clap and jump and attempt to dance to whatever upbeat things I play. It really is a highpoint to my busking afternoons. The women who watch over the kids seem to like it as well. But once the kids settle down and sit on the curb to listen then it is time for them to go. The idea of being out and about is to keep moving, not to sit down. They always wave and yell ‘Bye bye’ when they are heading back to day care.

A few adults watch it and are generally amused and for me I’ve been timing my busking to coincide with the toddlers outing. I was hungry when I finished and decided to treat myself to Mamoun’s Falafel on the way home. I hadn’t been there since Annemarie left the east coast and I am glad I went. I sat inside and read James Wolcott last book, ‘Lucking Out: My Life Getting Down and Semi-Dirty in Seventies New York’.

Now I am home, probably in for the night and it’s not even 7:00. Not much to do and no one to do it with. Bill will probably be home soon, so that will be nice. That’s it for my plans.

So it goes.



Can’t Find My Way Home

I Love That Man

This has been the best Monday in a long time. It started out with me getting up with the alarm clock again, about an hour after Bill left for the day. The goodbye kiss and Bill telling me to have a good day at the beach with Annemarie was a very nice send off. I got up, made some coffee and poured a bowl of cereal and stepped into the shower. After the shower and the cereal and the coffee I was applying sun block that expired last year. I didn’t think anything of it as I checked the emails.

I met Annemarie on the street as she pulled up and after an errand or two we were on the road to Sandy Hook once again. I hadn’t seen Annemarie in a year and since she came in yesterday we talked a few times in the past 24 hours. It was just us two going to the beach, we wanted some time alone, time to catch up. I was fine with that. No music on the way down the shore, just us talking. A short stop at Foodtown on Route 36 and soon we were looking at the majestic ocean.

We asked at the entrance to Gateway National Park if there was a pass we could buy for the week and the park ranger said no. Annemarie mentioned that we would be fine with the daily pass (which went up $5.00 from last year) since she was on vacation from California. The park ranger then waved us through without having to pay which was awfully nice of him. As usual we drove to the farthest beach from everything. Less people basically means easier parking. We unloaded everything and carried it as we strolled towards the sands, finding a spot between life guard stations.

We settled in under an umbrella and ate some food before jumping into the water. It was warmish at first, the temperatures posted were between 75 and 78 degrees which made it very comforting. After that it was more lounging under the umbrella just having a real good time. I told Annemarie that I was a lucky guy. I have got good friends and a loving family and some people do not have that. I am humbled and grateful by my family and my friends. And I am fortunate to have a good friend as well as family in my sister Annemarie.

She really is the best and my favorite sister. It’s safe to say that since Annemarie is my only sister. After a few hours at the beach and another dip in the ocean we headed back to civilization. We drove to Rumson and went to Crazee’s Ice Cream Parlor and enjoyed ice cream cones before jumping onto the Garden State Parkway and then the Turnpike. We had dinner in Hoboken at Mamoun’s Falafel followed by a stroll through Hoboken. Now she is back in Saddle Brook, I am in Hoboken with my loving spouse, Bill. Back to the beach tomorrow!




"then she jumped on a Caterpillar bulldozer, causing mayhem in Hoboken...!"


Lazy Day

I Love My Dog

Happy Interdependence Day. Got the Interdependence thing from Keith Strickland of the B-52’s. It seemed apt for July 4, 2012. And once again it is a scorcher. Quite hot out, but not much in the hummus department. And it feels like a holiday. Last night was calm and quiet, Bill came home from work early and stayed awake, enough to watch The News Room by Aaron Sorkin. Once again it was the second viewing for me and the first for Bill. He loves it, though I felt the second episode was not as compelling as the first episode. Still it is very good.

Bill went to bed around midnight and I stayed up for a bit after that. I was still involved with the Facebook thread but not as much as I was previously. Harpy even made an appearance, noting that there were over 400 comments on the thread at that point. Now it has 535 comments. I haven’t seen the latest comment so I might just make it 536. And I just did by adding Public Image Ltd after Maggie and Terre Roche. A perfect segue if you ask me. I did wake up this morning and added an extended version of Prince, The Future from the Batman record.

And I just added High Water (for Charley Patton) by Bob Dylan following a post of The Tide is High by Blondie. So inadvertently clever this group seems to be. Let’s hear it for cleverness! Things have been on a low flame today in a futile attempt to keep things cool. In the distance fireworks go off. I walked over to Lois & Fred’s apartment to feed their invisible cat. There were quite a few people out and about and almost all of them walking on the shady side of the street.

Texts went back and forth between Julio and myself trying to suss out what the other one was doing. Bill went to his cousin’s place in Stuyvesant Town to wish his aunt a happy birthday, a Yankee Doodle dandy at 95 years old. Julio was going to get some breakfast where I had just finished my own. I busied myself (if busy could actually be applied here) posting a number of 4th of July themed music. Some Aaron Copeland, some Bruce singing This Land Is Your Land, the Beatles with a video of Revolution that I had never seen before, among other videos.

Now Bill and I are just sitting around. He ate, I ate. John Addams is on HBO, marathon session. We enjoyed it when it was originally broadcast and it’s on today, mainly as background noise. We plan on going out to see the fireworks over the Hudson. It’s a big change from last year where I had a meltdown after working in the cigar shack, the possum in a suit & tie, me in guyabera and trousers and Jerry Vale somewhere in between. Not much going on there, and then having to deal with a lot of people going to Hoboken the same time I was trying to get home.

It was so bad I got off the bus eight blocks earlier just so I wouldn’t have to deal with people. Now I am ready to deal with people. No meltdown occurring. There are probably a lot of people coming to Hoboken for the display, up and down the waterfront on both sides of the Hudson River. The campus at Steven’s Tech is closed off to all except for students and staff. We will be on the street with the hoi polloi, looking skyward at explosions in the July 4th night.


02 Yo-Yo

I Love A Rainy Night

Hump day for some, Wednesday for others. I suppose I am one of the others. It’s been a nice day today and I’ve been busy cleaning up the apartment some more. Now don’t get any ideas, it’s not the Jetsons, it’s not even the Honeymooners. I can’t think of anything that the apartment looks like, well maybe I can. It sometimes resembles the set of Sanford and Son. And I am trying to change that. Bill and I have singlehandedly destroyed the general concept of gay men being neat and fastidious. Those words can not be used to describe us.

I know I’m not the neatest guy around but living for 11 years with William in Weehawken I did my best to keep things relatively tidy. And I thought I could do the same here in Hoboken but try as I might, I had to contend with Bill’s method. And eventually I was overwhelmed with Bill’s method and was engulfed by all that he brings. I succumbed and things started to get sloppy around here. So for the past couple of days I have done something about it and each time Bill comes home, the apartment is a little bit neater.

A few bags of garbage, some old clothes now used as rags. A lot of sweeping has been going on as well. And I have also been trying to clean the tiles on the floor, the accursed white tiles that are throughout the apartment. White tiles which shows the state of the floor. It usually isn’t very pretty but I am making an effort. And it’s been great, keeping myself busy and improving the situation here in the apartment. There is still more that I would like to do, more to do tomorrow since Bill is off on Friday.

I can do what I need to do tomorrow and also tie up whatever loose ends that might be around. And since Friday is also Bill’s birthday it will be nice to have it all relatively clean. It should make for a nice present I think. And it would actually be a gift for both of us. Once it’s clean it’s easier to maintain and I will hold up my end, and probably hold up Bill’s end rather than take the approach of ‘well it’s his and not mine so I ain’t going to do anything about it, so pass the scissors for I would like to cut off my nose to spite my face”.

I don’t mind at all. I have the time to do it so I’ve been doing it. And I don’t have the TV on as I do the cleaning, I’ve been shuffling songs on my iTunes. It helps and it brings up some surprises, songs that I didn’t know I had popped up. I went out for a little while today and brought the iPod and did the same thing. Walking around listening to Koyaanisqatsi was an enjoyable experience and reminded me about how much I like Phillip Glass.





B52s – Detour Through Your Mind

I Live On A Battlefield

It’s been another nice day though a bit on the cool side. Last night was the same. The sun did not burn away the clouds by noon like it was forecast the night before. No, the sun hid behind the clouds until later in the afternoon. I did get it together finally and headed outside as Bill went back to sleep. His back had been bothering him when he got home from driving to Atlantic City and he immediately went to bed. Then he woke up for a little while before going back to sleep and waking up a few hours later.

We watched Nurse Jackie and The Big C then he went back to bed and slept the rest of the night. I forgot that True Blood was on and watched the midnight west coast broadcast. Then I watched Girls. I wasn’t interested in it when it started a few weeks ago, then after talking last week to my brother Frank about the show, I thought I would give it a look see. It was better than I expected and now I am trying to watch it when it is on. I just had to get over that Williamsburg vibe I suppose.

I also watched Crazy Stupid Love the other night and found it to be quite clever. It’s not a perfect movie but once again it was better than I expected. That Ryan Gosling is quite the hottie and in some scenes he reminded me of former co-worker Thomas. Not that Thomas is a lothario but there is a scene between Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling which was very funny when they are buying a new wardrobe for Carell’s character and that is what reminded me of Thomas and his being a clothes horse. I’d recommend it with no reservations.

I haven’t been sleeping well lately and last night was no different. I even took 2 melatonin tablets which don’t help trying to sleep but they’re decent at staying asleep, making waking up a bit difficult. And it was difficult waking up this morning. Bill was up and out at his usual early time, kissing me goodbye as I lay there sleeping. I slept later than I wanted to and when I did wake up I got it together making a pot of coffee before jumping in the shower and then shaving. No bread meant a trip to the supermarket.

The schools seem to be done for the semester so there were a lot of kids out and about. That great feeling of being out of school for the summer is one of the best feelings in life I think. The supermarket wasn’t that crowded, then again it wasn’t the supermarket around the block, it was the larger supermarket so it’s easy to look empty with such a large space. And I saved a few dollars going there rather than to the usual grocery store, so that was good. It’s only a few minutes out of the way and it wasn’t raining.

I walked over to the river and played the guitar again today. Didn’t even break out the song chords, I just played songs I had committed to memory. I also stayed away from any populated areas, just stayed to myself and strummed for about an hour, and then I read the New Yorker for a spell. It was still on the cool side weather wise so after that I just went home, stopping off at the bibliothèque and dropped off Retromania by Simon Reynolds which I had finally finished over the weekend. Now I have a collection of books by Los Bros Hernandez.

I just felt like reading some Love and Rockets. I usually prefer the Jaime Hernandez stories, but Beto Hernandez’ Palomar stories really have an emotional core which I never really noticed before. Of course the Jaime books are paperbacks and the Beto book is a hard covered tome which doesn’t lend itself to being carried around since it’s so heavy.





2-01 Birthday
Happy birthday Macca!

I Like It Like That- Pete Rodriguez

I had difficulty sometimes knowing what day of the week it was while I was working retail with an erratic schedule. Now being out of work, all semblance of organized time has been thrown out the window. Well actually not 100% true. I can tell by the fewer amounts of people on the street or more often what is on TV. Nurse Jackie, The Big C and Mad Men were on last night so that makes it Sunday, dunnit? I wrote the first two lines last night and the rest just a few minutes ago. It’s been a lazy day after a night of some not very good sleep.

Looking at Saturday night’s entry, wow. I was quite drunk. Each word was a struggle and the fact that I was able to do it, albeit badly, has to say something. Not one of my best and better off ignored. I did have a good time and once I settled in at home I soon sobered up and eventually went to sleep. Waking up wasn’t so bad on Sunday. I slept in later than I expected, just as Bill was going to bed after returning from yet another drive to Atlantic City.

It was a fairly busy day, but each time I decided to go out and play the guitar by the river, (not actually busking since I am too intimidated to have an open guitar case in front of me) it looked like the skies were about to open up. And it did rain hard a couple of times. After an hour or two of that and with seeing the sun come out, I headed to the river and just played whatever songs I could figure out from memory. That meant Shame Shame Shame, All My Loving, Please Please Me, Kansas City/For You Blue and a variation of Take Me to the River.

Rand was practicing with Lois, the three of us will be playing together next Sunday as part of the Sounds of Hoboken thing. I had hoped to be playing around where I was strumming yesterday, but it seems we will be at the mews uptown around 14th Street. I think I am going on around 3:15 with Rand. Rand is also performing with Lois as Trombolele, and then Lois doing something called ‘Stump Granny’ where the object is to stump Granny (Lois) with song requests and win prizes or something.

I walked over to the river and set myself up and di what I did. The skies did ipen up and I was under a tree so I had some shelter. I also looked around for something better than some leaves on a tree, but after walking around to nowhere in particular I realized that my original spot was the best so I went back, opened an umbrella and waited it out for a few minutes. And I was right, the storm passed, leaving a rainbow over Manhattan. I could see about two thirds of the actual arc and a few minutes after that, a second rainbow appeared.

It was a nice sight to see and I played my guitar, wishing I knew the chords to She’s A Rainbow by the Rolling Stones. After an hour of strumming it was time to go home since darker clouds were gathering in the west.

I came home, Bill was off to a wedding that I was supposed to attend, but I requested the time off from the cigar shack and the RSVP was needed by a certain date which had passed by the time of my dismissal. So Bill took his dear friend Theresa who needed to go out and have a good time more than I did. They had a good time and sent me a nice video from the reception where they told me that they loved me and they were having a great time indeed.

It’s getting better all the time.








04 Getting Better

I Like- Guy

It’s Tuesday, and a super Tuesday at that. It started out a bit awry, a bit drizzly as I walked to the bus stop. I listened to Robert Owens ‘I’ll be Your Friend’ a club song from back in the day. I heard it in a porno the other day and sought it out, and uploaded it. It mixed well with the Dopestyle cut, “I’ll Bass You”. I know I heard it in the East Village and it may have been at the Pyramid or the World. Classic cut. Can’t find Dopestyle anywhere though (I just did). As I waited for the bus, I ran into Richard Castro once again. He was headed home and waiting for his bus. We chatted for a while until my bus showed up, with Chief behind the wheel.

At the next stop, downstairs neighbor Deborah got on board the bus and I filled her in on what’s been going on the past week or so with regards to the cigar shack. It was several giggles worth as we headed into the tunnel where we were quite delayed by a major traffic accident. If it weren’t for each other’s company we probably would have been climbing the walls. We discussed this here blog, how I followed a lawyer friend’s advice seven years ago when I started. To protect myself then as well as now, the job is never mentioned by name or address and the names have been changed to protect the idiots.

Deborah thought that was good advice. I know Bill thinks so as well since he has discussed this with his boss, a pro bono lawyer at one of Manhattan’s largest law firms. So my ass is covered by the first amendment. As I walked up to the cigar shack I played a David Bowie playlist. I’ve been playing it a lot lately. So many great songs by David, I ended with Repetition from the Lodger album, which was actually the first Bowie album I ever bought for myself. I always had access to my brother’s and sister’s albums but this one was mine and it wasn’t the Bowie they had remembered.

I made it into the cigar shack later than expected but I did have the foresight to inform Bradley about the accident and my being tardy. He replied ‘No worries’ and I figured that was that. It was Thomas and Bradley today, Zack was off and Jerry Vale was out as well. Since the cigar lounge, man cave has been shut down things have crawled considerably. Not much foot traffic at all coming through the door and it reflected in the sales.

Most of the regulars have stopped coming in, they stopped coming in before the man cave shut down. They’re visiting other cigar places throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and even Hoboken. Perhaps word got out about how Zack talks shit about them, how Zack says that the cigar shack doesn’t need their business.

That’s how Zack does it. He talks shit about everyone. Which makes it all the more surprising that when shit gets spoken about him he doesn’t necessarily handle it well. And the customers do talk shit about Zack as well. I just paid witness to it, occasionally stepping in to defend Zack but overall I would let them spew forth. No harm no foul, like GZA would say.

I had lunch and a free cigar that a salesman gave me when stopping by earlier in the day. I came back and it was Thomas’ turn to go. I kept myself busy once again, heeding Zack’s axiom- ‘If you’re leaning, you ain’t cleaning’. So witty and yet so clichéd.

To my surprise Zack came in, looking so damn hot in his cigar shack polo shirt. Woof! And then after Zack made his appearance, the next walk in was the inhumane resources person Aaron Burr. Aaron Burr busied himself while in the cigar shack by calling the cigar shack, not realizing he was in the cigar shack it seemed.

A trip to the loo was in order for me and in the loo I could hear the man cave doors opening and closing. I came out and Bradley mentioned that Zack and Aaron Burr wanted to see me in the man cave. I knew a three way wasn’t in order, especially since I used the condoms I usually carry with me on Ruben and Albert Ross last week. I walked in and Aaron Burr stood up while Zack sat there looking fly in his cigar shack polo shirt.

Thanks to former genital massager Marcus telling Zack about this here blog, and sexy Zack with his betrayed ego informed the inhumane resources person- Aaron Burr. Aaron Burr said words to the effect that my blog reflected poorly on the cigar shack and they weren’t having it. They couldn’t very well tell me not to write it, especially since the actual company name has never been used since I started doing time at the cigar shack and the names had been changed to protect the idiots. I actually thought they might have been talking about the other cigar shack blog that I write, that Zack felt wasn’t as witty as this here blog.

So Zack and Aaron Burr asked for the keys to the cigar shack, the drawers. Not a problem. I removed them and handed them over. I was dismissed after getting told I would be paid for the rest of the day. I wonder if my commission will be sent with my final paycheck, since I technically did not do anything wrong so I suppose I will have to wait and see. I saw Thomas and told him goodbye. He was shocked but also had an idea. Bradley once again did his best possum imitation, hiding in plain sight. I shook Thomas’ hand and said ‘cheers’ to everyone else and walked out the door shoulders back, head held high.

I called Bill and told him the news. Chatted with Annemarie and told her the news. Posted on Facebook, and immediately messages of support and dismay came pouring in from friends, family and cigar shack customers. Most everyone knew how unhappy I was working at the cigar shack. And I was unhappy, yet willing to give Zack my support. I remember May 12, 2011 when it was announced that Zack was going to be the manager. I congratulated him and wished him well and shaking his hand while the possum turned beet red and did nothing of the sort.

I also prevented a couple of attempts at what may have been an inside job of someone trying to steal boxes of cigars that were placed with the empty cigar boxes that we give away. Perhaps I told the wrong person, perhaps the person I told was the person who was attempting to steal the cigars following in the former genital massager’s pigeon toed footsteps. I mean, there was no investigation and since I told the manager, you would think they would actively look into who is attempting to steal from the cigar shack. It couldn’t have been a customer since we are on them like white on rice.

True- I wrote things here, but once I would write them I would move on since I had gotten it out of my system. Among the customers, Mr. Seltzer was saddened, Mr. Arbus was shocked and former co-workers Sean and Raymond were surprised. Haven’t heard from Don but I’m sure I will soon enough. Cigar shack neighbor, Mr. Partant wasn’t that surprised at all though. He’s seen them come and go.

And by the way, I was asked at last Friday’s training charade- I was asked what the Spanish word ‘Ligero’ meant, I said it meant ‘light’ and was told I was wrong. Guess who wasn’t wrong?

It was great walking down the avenue with the sun out, and with the bus waiting at the gate I was home in no time. A nice meal after work was had which was a big change from the past two years. Bill is home, proud of me, reminding me of where he works and how the guy he works for despises smoking. I don’t think I will need assistance since once again like I wrote- I did not do anything wrong. It’s not like I was working drunk or giving out Xanax, or stealing cigars etc. like Zack told me how the former genital massager had.

I am also quite happy I do not have to be at the cigar shack at 8AM tomorrow for the ‘new manager assimilation overview’ which sounds like something from the Borg. They want honesty and candor and I was more than willing to lie on Zack’s behalf, but now I don’t have to. There were a lot of things that I had done that weren’t asked of me, and somethings that were set up, will be delivered soon enough. Ah it’s not my thing anymore, I’m sure someone will figure it all out. Someday?

I can sleep in! A new day, a new beginning and already a new lead.

May 22, 2012 was not such a bad day after all.


this will probably the last of this series of this image.


1-02 That’s Him Over There