Category Archives: Iron my Shirt

I Don’t Want To Be

At work right now, been a longish day at the cigar shack. Last night was alright, Bill Maher with Bill and then he was off to bed. I stayed up a little while longer. I looked up an old friend, no longer a friend online.

He hasn’t aged well judging by the picture but he was the number one employee at a Jewish nursing home in Bergen County. I was happy to see he was doing alright. My brother Brian into him a few years ago and to my surprise he was asking about me. Brian relayed the message and I in turn told Brian all about the falling out between us.

Basically this guy was the first person I ever came out to regarding my sexuality. What prompted the coming out was his then girlfriend asking me if I thought this guy was gay. I didn’t know but decided to broach the subject one night in the 1980’s when driving around and smoking pot.

He wasn’t gay but I told him I was and since we were working together in that book warehouse in Saddle Brook NJ, and with my mother working in the office I asked this guy not to say anything about my sexuality. Well he told his dotty girlfriend who also worked in the warehouse and she told two friends and so on and so on.

The next day I went to work half the people I was friends with were no longer my friends. My secret was out and it was then I discovered who my real friends were. As far as I know my mother was kept from this truth until it fell to me to tell her and the rest of my family the truth.

My sister did ask once in the late 1970’s if I was gay, since I had no girlfriends and my first instinct was to lie lie lie. I was going to an all boy’s high school and a regional high school at that, so no friends from school male or female were in my vicinity.

There was Paul Slavin who lived in the next town a few blocks away but I never hung out with him since he was so snobby. There was also a gay cruising area between, my house and Paul’s house and whenever I said I was going to Paul’s house I would usually be waylaid and laid on the way.

A few years later, my father had time on his hands due to retirement and while wandering through his house and into my room, discovered some gay porn. I thought it was alright since my brothers had Playboy and Penthouse in their rooms but who was I kidding besides myself?

I neglected to mention the night of my first anxiety attack. I was going to see the Who with my brother Frank and while waiting for him to pick me up in 1979, I got into a fight with my constant nemesis Brian. Brian dropped the bomb on me, telling me he was going to tell our parents about the magazines under my bed and that I was a pervert.

Frank couldn’t arrive to pick me up fast enough (then again he never could) and the ride was mainly me sitting in the passenger seat as he smoked weed and I maintained my silent nervous breakdown. Brian never brought it up again.

So eventually my dad found the mags and he told my mom, who told Frank, who told Annemarie who told Brian and when it came to me I had no choice to own the truth. Yes I am gay, and I have to leave. I didn’t have to leave but I did if I was going to live my life the way I wanted to.

Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy 12 Inch Version

I Don’t Love Nobody

Another day at work. I have a swiss cheese schedule this week. Off tomorrow, on Wednesday and off Thursday. Then two days on and one day off. It’s a job and yes I am happy to have one. Yesterday was also a work day. It was Zack and Jerry Vale.

I struggled to get out of the apartment in time to catch the 9:00 bus since last time, the 9:30 bus didn’t show up until 9:55 making me late for work. I would rather be early than late so I did my best to hustle without enough sleep. I was still groggy as I headed out, Bill telling me he loved me and I grumbled my way down the stairs. I wish I could have been more animated for him but he knows I am not a morning person.

I made it to the bus stop and a few minutes later the 9:00 bus showed up. It was fairly crowded and at the next stop, RoDa and his son Logan got on board. They didn’t see me since I was in the back of the bus and of course, most everyone in Hoboken who is someone knows RoDa. So he situated Logan in the seat and chatted with a few people around him.

I sent a text, ‘Hello from three rows behind you’. He turned around and gave me a great big smile and a wave and we planned on meeting t the bus terminal. It turned out Logan and RoDa were headed in the same direction as I was, plus they were walking. So we walked up the avenue together, me making a pit stop to get my egg sandwich. We parted ways, RoDa and Logan to get tickets for the New York Comic Convention and me off to work.

When I got to the cigar shack it was 10:00, I was a half hour early. I expected to be able to chill out on my own for a little while before Zack and Jerry Vale appeared, but to my surprise they were there already, smoking cigars. I sat and ate my egg sandwich and once I punched in set about starting the store while Zack and Jerry Vale smoked.

Money counted, both drawers counted, petty cash counted. Everything was in order. It was an easy day and I once again grabbed top sales. I walked down to the bus terminal after work, leaving Zack to close the shack. I hadn’t walked down to the bus terminal since earlier in the year, and a few things changed. New restaurants, new buildings were noticed as I strolled down the avenue enjoying a cigar.

A short wait for the bus and a standing room only ride back to Hoboken. There was Bill waiting for me and ordering a pizza from Grimaldi’s. Love and pizza, two of the finer things in life. We watched Boardwalk Empire which is getting better and better each week, more complex, more characters and more depth.

After that was Pan Am which is a decent soap opera and usually fun to watch. Bill went to bed after that and I stayed up for a little while after that. A good nights sleep was had and it was off to do the same thing again. Thomas and Bradley and I working shoulder to shoulder and it was an OK day. Things were slow but still numbers were posted.

I had volunteered to work the Monday Night Football event despite my aversion to most things athletic. Yesterday Zack told me that Bradley would be working the event and not me. In an email sent earlier Zack wrote that Thomas and I would both have to work a Monday Night Football and since I was off tomorrow it seemed OK for me to do it.

But no, it went to Bradley and it was fine with me. Why it went that way, I don’t know. Perhaps Zack took my concept of the West Side Story update, instead of Jets vs. Sharks it would be Jets vs. Dolphins. I made that joke a few times and got a few good laughs, but perhaps Zack thought I would actually do a few songs from West Side Story at halftime. I did rehearse One Hand, One Heart just in case the halftime show wasn’t cutting it.

In any event, I was out of there at 9:05 instead of 12:30AM and that was fine by me. There was also drama happening amongst the staff, drama that I witnessed and was not part of which was odd for once. I happily rode the bus home and chatted with an old Maxwells friend, Ally on the way back, talking about Bob Mould and Steve Fallon.

Now I am home and extremely happy to be here.

I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me

It’s Friday and for that I am somewhat thankful. It’s been a long day. Last night was busy enough with the hand off to Rand and meeting up with Lois in front of Rand’s apartment. Then I went home and finished the post and saw that most of everything on the hard drive was transferred to my computer.

Some things did not make the cut but oh well. i did get a lot of pics, some of which will be turned into holiday presents, they’re just that good. Stayed up later than I wanted to but it was not so bad. Not a full night’s sleep. Lots of thunder and lightning which kept me up for a short time in the middle of the night.

Bill slept through it all of course. He was up and out at 6:30 this morning, his usual wonderful goodbye kiss was an early wake up. If only my alarm clock was so warm and inviting. I eventually got up after failed negotiations with my snooze button.

Cereal in bowl, coffee brewing in the pot and me in the shower. I was out and checking my email and getting dressed in no time and before you knew it I was on the street headed to the bus stop. A call to Bill of course, him trying to cheer me up and me not fully grasping his kind words of support.

He’s so great and lovely and doesn’t let up until he can hear a smile on my face. I sat at the stop, enjoying a cigar and waiting for the 10:30 bus. At the next stop Deborah the neighbor got on and it was the usual chit chat before she headed her way in the bus terminal and I headed in my opposite direction.

Subway uptown followed by a stop at the magazine store, disappointed in the fact that the latest Mojo and Uncut magazines still have not hit the shelves in this shop. Looks like a trip to the local record store to get in locally and pay the god damned tax. A small price to pay.

The Bob Mould autobiography is proceeding nicely, I already ran into a slew of names of people that I know. Quite surprising. I know I won’t make the cut and I am somewhat relieved.

At the shack it was fairly busy, Thomas and Jerry Vale with me and Zack. Zack did alright today, me a close second. Thomas bringing up the rear, behind Jerry Vale. At least that was the score when I last checked. I am looking forward to going home and just relaxing instead of changing clothes and roaming the streets of Hoboken with a hard drive in my pants.

Bill is working on his play again so I will be home before him. I am closing the shack tonight so if everything goes right and the numbers match up I should be on the bus that I want, heading home. Not much to ask for is it?

And now I am home. Happy to be here. Where you are, I don’t know.

I Do, Don’t You

So happy it’s Thursday is one of my favorite acronyms as of late. And it’s Thursday and I am somewhat happy. It’s been a busy day too which was good. The day started out once again, Bill kissing me goodbye. I roused myself from slumber after trying to bargain with the alarm clock. The clock always wins.

After breakfast and getting dressed I walked over to the dry cleaners and saw Mona. I dropped off two of my shirts and two of Bill’s then headed to the bus stop. I chatted with Bill on the phone as I walked.

Overcast and muggy was the weather and since there was nothing I could do about it, I just sat on the bench, smoking a cigar that I actually started last night and listened to the iPod. Specifically a singer named Res which I bought back in 2001. Her songs have popped up on the iPod and has been the subject of some discussion.

It was a fun listen, I remembered being in HMV on 42nd Street and hearing it and asking the DJ who was playing, then I went and bought it. It’s a really good record and nary a word has been heard from her in 10 years.

Today I worked with Thomas and Bradley with Calvin once again sequestered in his office. It wasn’t as busy or containing the financial windfall I helped cause yesterday but still it wasn’t half bad, perhaps it was something I could write home about, or at the very least, write about here.

Still quite a few diplomats and their entourages in the vicinity, women buying gifts for their men in the form of cigars. Jimmy Seltzer made it in, earlier than usual and paid me a very nice compliment about how something that I recently wrote was good enough to perhaps expand into a book.

A very nice thing to hear rather than read what the spammed mastorhaters write, almost always wrong but hey even they have their chance to write though it never gets published, at least not by me. Perhaps Greg, Peter and Bobby Brady have a blog somewhere, or a favorite bathroom wall they write on, I really couldn’t tell you.

Jimmy Seltzer is a prince though and his compliment helped carry me through the day. And ‘My Friend, My Friend’ also made an appearance which was nice, good to see him since I see him so infrequently these days.

Tomorrow promises to be a busy day, I hope to get up early enough to get chores done, laundry, groceries and a stop at the bibliotheque. That should make the day packed with enough things to do.

Now there’s less than fifteen minutes left in my day, work wise. It’s a been a good one, Thomas is a pleasure to work with. Very sharp, a bit witty and a snappy dresser. I write this knowing full well that he won’t be reading this.

He’s a good man and will make his fiance quite happy, he is devoted to her 500%.

I Did It

Another splendid day in the cigar shack. Things are certainly looking ‘up’. The day started out quite nicely as well. My ‘roommate’ gave me a nice kiss goodbye. He was probably going to one of his many jobs, or doing church work or working on his performance hobby. I have to love that roommate. He’s so dedicated to what he does.More people should be like him and not so lazy. But that’s how it goes I suppose.

Some people can do things and some people can sit back and break out the Vaseline and spew forth on their keyboards since that seems to be what they’re so good at. The cigar shack did crazy good today, all of the staff hitting high numbers, myself in the lead much to Calvin’s dismay.

Thomas of course was a very close second and Bradley came in third, nearly tied with the big C. Lot’s of cigar smokers coming in from the rain and sitting in the man cave, smoking and drinking. No one got too rowdy though there was great potential for it.

Of course they were all super aroused when a woman sat in the back with her beau and lit up a small cigar. That always gets the menfolk going. Draw your own conclusions on that. Thomas and Bradley were their usual funny selves and Calvin seemed to be a bit on the moody side.

Hard to say why, but he was. So many reasons on why that may be but it’s not my story. Feel free to speculate. A nearby bookstore is closing down which has brought a lot of customers to the area, customers who never knew of the cigar shack.

A few of them mentioned that they walked by eight million times but didn’t know we were here. They promised to come back and I certainly believe they will, especially since quite a few of them stayed all afternoon, sending emissaries to the book store while they sat in the man cave puffing away on some expensive cigars.

Most of them were my customers so that is what inflated my numbers quite nicely. One of the customers ordered a couple of pizzas which made lunch easier. No need to go out for something to eat and made the sandwich that I made for lunch an early evening snack. All in all it has been a very easy going kind of day.

Lot’s of love all around within the staff and the customers. It really was a sight to be seen and experienced. Tomorrow promises to be even nicer though Calvin will be out most of the day, expected to return in the afternoon. I am sure Thomas, Bradley and myself will be able to make the most of it.

In fact Thomas and myself have been setting things up the past hour or so making sure that all things should run smoothly tomorrow, no locomotive accidents to be had which will probably disappointed those masturhators out there. They know who they are. Let’s hope they wipe their chins before kissing their roommates.

I Can’t Wait #3

And it’s back to work for me today after 2 magically nice days off. With the play, ‘Destinations’ at Le Poisson Rouge on Sunday, seeing Bill and a very good cast onstage and the trip to Sandy Hook with Bill and Corinne, it was certainly bound to be a disappointment to have to go back to work today.

I tell you a Xanax certainly helped. No despair though it was there when I was putting my eyeglasses on this morning. No, a wait at the bus stop was quite pleasant as I sat there finishing up a cigar. The bus ride was OK enough, a nice chat with Deborah my neighbor about nothing in particular.

The subway was the same as it ever was. People asleep, junkies on the nod and me staring into space. A walk around the block while talking to Bill on the phone was in order since I was quite early, too early to actually head into the cigar shack. And the cigar shack was alright, though that might be the Xanax writing.

It was Thomas and Calvin and that made it alright. Calvin seems to be stressing out from becoming the head cheese in the cigar shack. A friend suggested I help him out with the scheduling which would free him up to concentrate on the additional tasks he’s taken on. I mentioned it to him and he seemed to think it was a good idea and then he went and did the new employee schedule.

I was talking to Thomas and we both agreed that Bradley wants to be the assistant manager under Calvin. That’s fine by me, I just wanted to lighten Calvin’s load, but of course there could be a problem if Bradley tries to tell me what to do.

It circles back to a conversation I had with Jerry Vale the other night. Jerry Vale is a part timer and Calvin’s been talking to him about being full time. But the store can’t carry 4 full timers so someone would have to go and I reckon that someone would be me.

Especially if Bradley is chomping at the bit for an assistant manager position and with my lack of ambition and relying on merely wanting to help out there’s no other way I can see it. Thomas is an ace at sales, Jerry Vale is learning the ropes and can be molded into something that I’m not and Bradley when not punching walls, shows phenomenal skills when he deals with inanimate projects.

I could be wrong, I could be right, I could be prepared for whatever happens. I’m not bitter, but that could be the Xanax again. The friend who suggested I help out the scheduling for Calvin is a sometimes regular customer from the Bay Area. He thinks I should move to the Bay Area.

He’s a talented entrepreneur trying to sell a lesson guide for children to learn about money management. Something I could have definitely have learned when I was growing up instead of being taught that money was a mystery and a magical thing that would be exploited once I got my grubby hands on it.


I Can’t Outrun You

Less than an hour to go here at the cigar shack. Been a good day, mainly it was me and Calvin and we get along just fine. No need to worry for the future of the cigar shack, things are going just nicely. Of course having written that, this atheist who is superstitious feels that he jinxed himself.

I am working with Thomas and Bradley tomorrow so who knows how that will go. It was a good day sales wise at the cigar shack. Not too busy and despite that we’ve done OK. Of course I would rather be down the shore, but since it’s raining I might as well be here. The food guy from a local news station came in, so North Jersey, a dese, dem dose kind of guy, Mister Slick. Marcus loved hanging out with this guy but then again Marcus was always a bit of a star fucker or so I’ve been told.

There are not enough people wearing Hollister gear these days. And not nearly enough people getting tattoos. I am of the age when if you got a tattoo that meant you’re a tough guy. These days, just about anyone and their Aunt Tilly get tattoos. No rebellion required, conformity will do just fine thank you.

Now at the cigar shack it’s me and Jerry Vale who is somewhat more sociable than he’s been for the past couple of weeks. This past Sunday while at the rifle range I handed out enough of my business cards, trying to build a client base as well as drumming up business for the cigar shack.

To my dismay no one has requested anything. I am sure there is still time, after all I did tell the card recipients that I would be back on Wednesday.

Still there is money to be counted so I guess I will finish this at home where it belongs to be finished. Still the desire to write at least seventy five more words is strong. Can I hold off? Can I hold out? What exactly is it that I am doing now? Who am fooling? Could it be the one who reads this blog everyday? Is it possible to fool someone so omnipotent? I don’t know, I guess I will find out.

Nineteen more words could be the deciding factor. Then again it could always spill over into something else, something bigger than you or me, but mainly bigger than you.

And now I am home. It’s a drizzly night, but not a steady drizzle, one of those rains that falls lightly sideways. Michael Eric Dyson is on the Ed Show, a welcome relief from Al Sharpton who stumbles over lines on the teleprompter. The fact that Michael Eric Dyson is not Al Sharpton is a plus in my book.

Bill is off rehearsing for ‘Destinations’ which opens on August 14. I will be there. It’s an early show, 12:30PM, and it’s part of the Fringe Festival. Got to represent!

I Can Transform

Well my hope was delivered. The fourth of July is over and now we are in the fifth of July. Things did not improve really, just more people that are miserable. I myself am quite despondent.

Went to bed that way and woke up that way. Actually woke up a little bit pissed off since Bill decided to kiss me good bye for the morning since he was off to take his mother to the doctor. While kissing me good bye he decided to tell me how much he loved me, how beautiful he thought I was.

I can barely contain my resentment for being woken up an hour before I needed to. But hey, it’s not like I can get a good night’s sleep. I didn’t last night. So I woke up depressed.

And I keep sinking deeper into despair, and it could be from looking for a better job for the past 2 years to no avail. Or it could be from working 5 days in a row, 10 hour shifts, except for yesterday where I only had to work an 8 hour shift, a federal holiday concession.

Bill stopped by to see me at work and it helped matters though I am wallowing and conscious of it. Last night we did not go see the fireworks. We heard them, sounded like being in Beirut in the 1980’s, Bill asked if I wanted to go and I said no, I didn’t. I didn’t want to be around people and I certainly did not want to partake in whatever it was that people are doing.

We sat and watched Law & Order while the explosions shook the area around us. I started to feel somewhat better after an hour of the Batman movie from 1966. Bill had never seen it before and so it was all new to him. I used to own it on VHS when VHS was the way to go. Lately for me VHS is the way to collect dust.

Now I am home. Bill stopped by the cigar shack, to offer support. It was good to see him. He finally met Thomas, and as usual the Bradley was indifferent. Thomas mentioned that he was happy to have finally met Bill, the Bradley probably was upset that there is no one around that loves him the way Thomas and his fiancé get along or the way Bill and I get along. A snort of Xanax will probably do him well since it usually does.

After the Bradley left for the day, Thomas and I had a good heart to heart about relationships and communication. The day was winding down, my 5 day shifts on my feet were coming to a close. I did ask Calvin months ago to not schedule me for 5 days in a row and he was good about it, but since he’s on vacation and I am taking a few days off in a few days, amends had to be made and so I worked for 5 days in a row.

Off tomorrow which is nice, going to be busy, doing as much as I could in one day that most people can do on weekends.

While I am off from work, I am beginning to think that I won’t be posting for those days. Take some time off from this. I’ve written over 2000 entries and a break would be nice.

I Can See Your Spirit

Here it is a Saturday on a holiday weekend. It’s been an alright day, working with Jerry Vale and Bradley. Bradley has been pretty funny and Jerry Vale is still learning the ropes. A few glitches here and there but nothing overwhelming.

Many laughs were had today, some at my expense but I wisely laughed along. Of course now that it is the end of the day the computers are freaking out. And by freaking out, I mean acting quite slow and so far having difficulty contacting the home planet and that is something I will definitely have to do before I close.

It’s me and Jerry Vale right now, Bradley left for the day. Things are quiet and we are listening to the Supremes. I always equate the Supremes with Richie K who lived in my neighborhood when I was growing up. He was quite swish and probably still is.

He seemed to worship Diana Ross and the Supremes which made them off limits, sort of gay by association. Despite my avoidance I still turned out gay.

Last night was more fun than I expected. Juan stopped by late in the evening and we hung out, drinking Three Philosophers beer which was quite potent. Rather than kick Juan out when I wanted to go to bed, I invited him to stay over and since Bill was down in Atlantic City I thought it best that he sleep over.

He was up for a day trip to a water park somewhere with his sister and friends. I am not sure if he made it, but I am sure he left behind his Blackberry charger which he asked me to mail to him. I just need his address and his will be done.

Bill came home this morning just as Juan was heading out the door. I left a few minutes after that since I had to go to work, and work was alright like I said. I was able to get an egg sandwich on my way and was early enough to enjoy it instead of wolfing it down.

Pedro made an appearance and though he wanted to go to a bar and have drinks on my lunch hour I insisted on sitting on my bench near the park where we talked and enjoyed cigars. He definitely wanted to check out the NY Mets vs. Yankees game somewhere so I sent him to a bar nearby where he was put off by the patrons on Ninth Avenue.

He stopped by again after running into his brother in law and nephew and now I believe they are all at Hooters where you will more than likely never find me.

I myself am home now and happy to be here. No Juan in sight and hopefully Pedro will get home alright. Bill is en route once again to Atlantic City.

And its official, Julio, Stine & Alexander have moved out of the building. Much to Julio’s chagrin he is now in debt, possibly for the first time. He’s good with money. I rarely saw them when they were two floors down from me, but now I will hardly ever see them, now that they are quite a number of blocks away from here.

Jerry Vale's balancing act

found sunglasses

Bradley as Pitbull

My man Pedro

1 + 2 ?

I Almost Told You That I Loved You

That’s the sound of the men working on the chain gang. In this case it’s the sound of the men working in the cigar shack. And in that case, it’s the sound of the man (me) working in the cigar shack.

Thomas and I are closing and the brain dead Bradley has headed home. It’s been a long day and I guess I can safely say the bloom is off the rose. The Good will and good feeling that I had from last Sunday (Ian Hunter/Hyman Gross) to Bill singing the national Anthem at CitiField before the NY Mets/San Francisco Giants game on Tuesday has all but dissipated.

Mainly it was from dealing with the weekend bus riders this morning, truly a misbegotten class. I was dissed twice today by a customer who shook both Thomas’ and the brain dead Bradley’s hands but not mine.

He did the same thing a few hours later when leaving the man cave in the cigar shack. Shook two customers hands there, Dexter and Sherman and once again did not offer his hand and to tell you the truth I didn’t offer mine either. Don’t really care for that Luke character.

And judging by the way he treated his pregnant wife, he’s probably a tiny terror at home as well. Not my problem but I do look forward to when it’s just me manning the fort one night and he will come in all full of himself and I will be standing there with a pin to prick the overinflated ego of the little prick.

Tomorrow is Sunday and so I will not be writing which is nice I think. Looking forward to Saturday Night Live tonight, to see how they will handle the whole Osama Bin Laden thing.

Laundry tomorrow, which I may start tonight when I get home. That actually seems doubtful since I will just finishing writing this and then watching the telly. Though my intentions are good, my follow through is crap. That’s the story of my life, so far at least.

Now I am home after quite a long day. Thomas and I had a few laughs, he is proving himself to be a good comic foil. He does have a good sense of humor and he gets along with the brain dead Bradley and me.

I’ve been training him on closing so perhaps one day down the line, he will be actually closing and I will be able to leave the cigar shack at 9:00 which would be very nice. He did well tonight, a lot better than I did when I was closing.

Perhaps I am a better teacher than I thought, at least better than the teachers I had when I was being trained. The bus ride home was fine until we got to Hoboken, young good looking twenty somethings getting on board the 126 heading to downtown Hoboken and hitting the bars.

Good looking yes, but really dumb. I do not like most of the riders of the bus on the weekends, or anytime really. But that’s behind me now, now that I am home. That’s it for me. No writing tomorrow. Not doing laundry tonight. Cheers.

that's my Bill

weekend weakend bus riders

I Will Be True

Another day in the cigar shack. After 2 days off it surprisingly isn’t so bad. Pleasant and a few laughs have been had so far. Today’s contestants are the Bradley and Thomas. And like a few Saturdays previous, they’ve been quite funny.

Each of us riffing and busting each other. It also helps that Calvin is off today and Marcus was out of the cigar shack within minutes of my arrival. I am starting to think that Marcus isn’t so bad and can’t help but feel that he’s been looking out for me. It helped I suppose that I was a customer when he was just starting out at another cigar shop across town.

Bill took off from work today, so many things on his mind and I am pretty sure a break from work and all that that entails is a good thing. Last night I watched Tropic Thunder which was funnier the first time around. It was still enjoyable to watch.

With the TV still out of walkabout, I threw in the DVD of Citizen Kane which is still fantastic. That is something I can probably watch over and over and I probably have. It used to be shown regularly on the Million Dollar Movie on WOR TV, Channel 9 to tri-state area folk.

It kept me up later than I expected but it was well worth it. Of course today being the day I go back to work the weather has been beautiful. The past two days, being the days I have off from work meant rain rain rain, or else a general dampness all around.

Still, at lunch I was able to wander over to the park bench where I usually go in warm weather and enjoy a cigar while I read the latest MOJO with the Bruddas on the cover, the Bruddas being the Ramones.

Great article about the recording of End of the Century, produced by famed murderer Phil Spector. I’ve been listening to the Ramones a lot lately. I regret only seeing them a few times, I would have liked to have seen them back in the day but I was too cowardly living in the suburbs and believing all the stories about how horrible New York City was.

It wasn’t until I started hanging out with Laszlo Papp and seeing things for myself that I found things to not be as bad as I was told. I mean I did go into the city on Easter Saturday in 1977 on my own and intentionally sought out the seedy side of Times Square.

When I came home I was smacked around by my brother Brian for not buying flowers with the money I had, instead buying a round trip ticket into Manhattan which I made sure that Brian never knew about.

I was 14 years old at the time and felt it was my duty to partake in the sexual revolution that was going on. All the places I was warned about were the places where I had carnal fun. Still I am quite lucky to be here today.

Today I also saw Sean outside and had a cigarette with him. As I smoked with him outside, up walks another former employee of the cigar shack, Der Fred, once again saying ‘I can’t believe you’re still here.’

A variation on his former standard of ‘I don’t know how you do this job day in and day out.’ It was good to see Sean though. He’s cuter than ever. I never really noticed it before. Sure he can be a pain in the ass, or was a pain in the ass, but sometimes being cute overcomes all that.

I just got the result from my ultrasound last week, all good. Nothing out of the ordinary. Good news indeed.

I Met Her Today

It was a relatively OK day today. Slept well last night, as did the non-snoring Bill. I can’t say I am getting used to this stay until 9:30 nonsense, but I’m getting paid and it is not saving the cigar shack owners any money so that’s fine with me.

I had an interesting dream last night which featured my dear friend RoDa, but I don’t really recall what it was about over 12 hours later but the dream probably came about since he was interviewed online for the latest AOL venture, Hoboken Patch.

Basically any town in the US can have an AOL Patch page so it’s really no big thing but obviously it registered in my unconscious mind. Hail Xenu indeed! I did not want to get out of bed as usual but I got it together. Bill was gone a few hours already, his back improved over the previous 24 hours.

I did catch the Daily Show this morning, its part of my routine lately. I watch the Colbert Report at 11:30 and catch the Daily Show in the morning so I could watch the 11:00 bad news. I paddled around the apartment, shower, coffee, breakfast then it was out on the street.

I walked to the bus stop, initially listening to Joy Division which I found too heavy so I decided for some lighter fare, and played Squeeze instead. Squeeze were such a great band and fun to sing along with. Rand & I could do a good impersonation of Difford and Tilbrook, Rand covering Glenn Tilbrook and me handling Chris Difford, much like Difford & Tilbrook sounded a bit like Lennon & McCartney. Just like them!

I stopped into Hoboken Daily News where Andy & his brother were quite happy. Andy shook my hand telling me that the 7 Eleven directly across the street from the newsstand was going out of business in six weeks.

I replied I was happy for them but still it wasn’t good to see people lose their jobs, to which Andy pointed to the ceiling and said it was all because of the guy upstairs. I guess the guy who rents an apartment above the Hoboken Daily News has a say in matters such as this.

I waited for the bus listening to Squeeze when suddenly I got a pat on the back, more like a shove. I was ready to throw down when I saw it was Rand. Very good to see my old pal. Been a few weeks. He was looking good and looked like he lost weight. He said he didn’t but I think ol’ Rand was being modest.

We had a nice talk while I waited for the bus and puffed on a cigar. Soon though the bus arrived and I had to get on board though I would have rather spent more time with Rand.

I called Bill once I was in the vicinity of the cigar shack and killed sometime hanging around outside, before heading in with a minute to spare. Calvin phoned in sick so Marcus was there running things while Thomas was trying to be busy.

With Calvin out, that meant that both Thomas and I would be stuck in the cigar shack all day. Every silver lining has its cloud I guess. It wasn’t that bad, and I had a nice cigar on my lunch hour. It wasn’t as peaceful and quiet as I would have hoped but still it was relatively enjoyable.

I’m currently reading A Freewheelin’ Time by Suze Rotolo and it’s a fun read. Suze just passed away a few weeks ago but she does have some interesting things to say about her time with Bob Dylan. Have to return it to the bibliothèque soon.

not my bus

I like this one. Rand does not. Says his eyes are magnified with his spectacles on.

His choice.

I Didn’t Make It On Playing Guitar

So now we find ourselves at Friday. How did we get here, and why now you might ask? I have no idea. I’m just here. And today was back to work for me after being off yesterday. And yesterday was the day I was going to call my friends, Connie and Jane.

Jane is upstate near Woodstock and Connie is down the Jersey Shore. Both made it to the party in July but I haven’t seen either since then. I don’t recall even speaking with either of them on the phone. I know I should call. And I was going to do it yesterday. Now I am looking at Monday, or maybe Tuesday.

And the chance that if I call that I would actually speak with Connie or Jane is 50/50. Connie is sometimes ill, too ill to answer the phone and Jane, well she’s in Woodstock and it’s all in the timing. It’s all in the timing with both of them.

Today it was back to work and it wasn’t any big thing. Am I settling into the job? Am I getting used to it? I haven’t had the anxiety that I usually do, sometimes prompting me to pop a Xanax before I head in and occasionally a Xanax the night before is in order. But lately there has been no need which probably brings a sigh of relief to some of you out there.

This morning started with Bill lovingly kissing me goodbye for the day and me lying in bed trying to remain asleep. It worked up to a point, and then I realized that I needed to get out of bed and get to work. Shower, shave, breakfast and coffee, checking email as I got suited up and eventually heading out the door.

A bright and sunny day on the cold side was what I faced when I headed outside, passing the third floor and hearing Alexander and a playmate running wild while Stine and her guest laughed. I was tempted to knock on the door and play but no, the adult world awaited me.

A walk to the bus stop as I enjoyed a cigar, early enough to see the 10:15 bus go on by. The 10:30 bus showed up as it should have and I rode watching the bus fill up with commuters. A quick walk through the bus terminal to the subway where I heard voices singing, the same crew listed in the latest issue of New York as being one of the best groups underground in the MTA. They were unseen on another platform and I recognized them from the plucking of an upright bass.

Eventually I was outside the building which houses the cigar shack. A brief call with Bill filled with laughs and soon I was inside the shop. It was Calvin and Thomas today and we made for a pretty good team. A few laughs made the time go by faster, no question about that.

It was fairly busy as well which definitely moved the hands on the clock. After 10 hours, I was back on the subway, walking through the bus terminal once again. Ran into Hyman Gross and opted to take the later bus and wait with Hyman. It was good to see him again.

Lately when neither Bill nor I see Hyman we always worry. But Hyman was in good spirits, talking about his Lasik surgery to deal with the gout. It seemed to have worked according to Hyman but left him with tinnitus.

He was worried about that and I did my best to reassure him, telling him that sometimes I too get that ringing in the ears, more than likely from going to so many rock and roll shows and not using protection for the ears.

I Wanna Be Around

And now we find ourselves in Tuesday, or rather I find myself in Tuesday. Where and when you are I really couldn’t say. Some readers are in New Zealand, others are in Bala Cynwyd (who actually came in second place of ‘readers’ for the first week in February.

It’s peculiar but then I suppose some people in Bala Cynwyd are peculiar. Not the active writing comments type, just the wallflower types, standing on the sidelines and letting life pass them by. Maybe that is the thing to do in Bala Cynwyd, nothing.

My day (as well as last night) was fraught with anxiety. I was going to be working with Calvin after last seeing him on Thursday last. He was slurry and I couldn’t wait to get out of there. So last night I was edgy.

Bill was home fast asleep and I could not talk to him about it. A Xanax was nearby which took the anxiety level down somewhat. After that it was relatively smooth sailing. Slept fairly well too which was needed.

Bill was up and out at 6:00AM and I slept some more until about 8:00, waking up to the Eagles singing Take it To the Limit which was a song I grew up with. Brought me back to a class trip in the 1970’s to Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts.

A day trip which came back a few hours late, filling the parking lot with nervous parents. If it happened today, the parents would have been on the news worrying frantically about their lost babies. Nowadays, it’s my classmates from back then who would be on the TV screaming about their missing, tardy children.

I got out of bed and shuffled about, breakfast, coffee, and shower. I needed to leave earlier since I needed to drop off a suit at the dry cleaners as well as a few shirts that belong to Bill and myself. Then a drop off at the bibliothèque.

I had picked up Herbie Hancock’s CD, Gershwin’s World since Bill and I heard a clip of Joni Mitchell with Herbie singing Summertime. Bill loved it immediately and unbeknownst to me, had downloaded it almost instantly. I arranged for it to be at the bibliothèque. So I burned a copy to no avail. It was alright though, I didn’t mind and got a few laughs out of Bill saying the he did not love me anymore since he went and downloaded it while I sweated and slaved over a CD burner.

Waited for the bus while chatting with Bill on the phone. I tell you, I would be so lost without Bill. He is the guy I can depend on if just for an ear, his good advice and his overall warm and loving spirit. Soon I was on the bus, then walking through the terminal and onto the subway.

Another call to Bill since we have to maintain radio silence while I am working and I don’t want to overload my man with my drama and whatever it is that is happening. I walked into the cigar shack (which is what Bill calls it) and there was Calvin.

The Bradley was also on board and we actually spoke since he wasn’t too happy with Calvin’s behavior. It was certainly an odd thing as I helped the Bradley straighten out the humidor which was Sean’s (Ryan ‘Krispy’ Ramos) domain. The day progressed, I had a late lunch and came back in time for the Bradley to be headed home, leaving me to close with Calvin.

That was what I dreaded but it wasn’t as bad as I anticipated. A half a bottle of beer on Calvin’s office desk and me on Xanax made for a tranquil evening, though we both did a lot of avoiding each other in any event.

A customer came in and was smoking a cigar in the back, so he was a nice buffer. The customer saw Prince again after seeing him at Madison Square Garden a few weeks ago and regaled me with highlights from the show. I headed home after closing the store by myself, getting on a downtown train to the bus terminal.

I called Hyman Gross who missed me last night. I didn’t think he would be out and about again but he was and hoped to see me on the 9:42 bus. But I was on the 9:26 bus. He asked to give him a call tonight and if I spoke to him I would have waited for him, but I got his voice mail and took the earlier bus home.

With all the dry cleaning I brought this morning, I had forgotten to wear a hat and the temperature dropped considerably. I won’t be forgetting to wear a hat again until the spring.

And that’s the name of that tune.

I Love Paris

A day off. And it’s been a productive day again. Slept fairly well last night, had dreams that I remember. One dream featured my mother and it was a nice feeling to see her again. That dream either involved or preceded a dream that involved a varsity jacket that had NUTS written on the back.

I’m not sure if that meant a scrotum or in fact something to do with the state of mind. Then at some point after that I had an itchy palm which to superstitious folk (which I am sometimes) means that I will be coming into some money.

I eventually woke up around the usual time to the sound of Barry White singing ‘You’re My First, My Last, My Everything’ which I took to be a good omen since Barry White and I were both born on September 12.

Bill took the day off since he was feeling exhausted and in need of a rest. I puttered about as usual making some coffee, pouring some cereal and showering and shaving. I had time to get myself ready to head out, and Bill eventually got out of bed to offer his support once again.

I got it together and though I couldn’t find the suit that I wanted to wear (superstition again) I did find another suit that did the job just as well. I wore a belt instead of the braces I usually wear. I thought the braces would have been a bit much, a bit overreaching for a job interview, even though it was for an investment institution.

I thought it would be best to dress like I was in an office support position rather than dressing like an investment banker. Braces make people think ‘stock broker’ or ‘investment banker’ so for an administrative position a belt was in order.

There was a slight snow storm outside as I walked to the Path train, heading to the World Trade Center stop. Of course I was crazy early so I decided to stop by Century 21 and looked at some clothes to kill some time. I still was early after that, but only five minutes early.

I made it to the building and checked in with security. A phone call was made to the woman I was supposed to meet, Shirley. Unfortunately Shirley was unavailable and her voice mail was reached. I of course panicked a bit, but thankfully, having had half a tablet of Xanax it wasn’t so bad.

I hung around for a few minutes until the security guard called me back, Shirley contacted him and I was granted access to the 14th floor. On the 14th floor was a security guard who escorted me to the 12th floor, where I was shown to a conference room overlooking the Hudson River.

It was an impressive sight, a snowstorm was going on and I saw various boats and tug boats going up and down the river. I was tempted to take a photograph of the view but decided against it. This was a serious job I was after and no artsy shenanigans were to be had.

Shirley came in and we seemed to hit it off quite nicely. They need to fill this job which is basically a job that I have done for the past 10 years and did an exceptional job I might add. After a few minutes with Shirley, I met Nelson, who if I get the job, I would be working with.

All around it was a 45 minute interview. Thanks to the Xanax I don’t think I had any scent of desperation on me. Shirley and I talked some more, she showed me the offices as she walked me to the door. I think it was a good sign, for why would they show someone the office to someone who had no chance for the position?

It had basically stopped snowing as I headed back to the Path train, and I stopped in Century 21 and picked up some nice cufflinks as a present for Bill. Back in Hoboken, the Path from Hoboken to the World Trade Center is about a 15 minute ride.

I stopped by the Guitar Bar and picked up some cigars that I had shipped last week. Calvin had something in the order which made me think that was why he was being relatively kind for the past few days.

When I give Calvin the cigars tomorrow when I return, I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes back to being a dick again. But that’s then and not now so as far as I’m concerned the cigar shop simply does not exist for me. It would be nice to get a Monday through Friday job again. I liked the people I met today and I hope they liked me.

Also talked with Harpy for a bit as well as a nice talk with my dear friend Billie in DC today. Billie’s still looking for a job, he’s been out of work longer than I have. I wish him the very best in the world, he’s my chocolate sister and I love him very much.

I Don’t Stand A Ghost Of A Chance With You

New day, new documents. Using Google Docs at the moment. Got burned by Microsoft Word last night and after 3 or 4 burns, decided to use good old Google. I thought I would have the whole Microsoft Office thing in the new computer, I am using Windows 7 now, no longer an XP kind of guy.

Maybe I do, I just have to find it, and who has the time when there are pictures of who knows what being sent to me continuously in my email.

It was back to work for me today and it wasn’t half bad. Perhaps the good feeling of the holidays are still upon us, good will and all that. It was me and Calvin most of the day with Sean coming in followed by the one known now as Fred.

I like Fred, he’s a nice guy but man can he talk your ear off. It’s OK though, it’s certainly better than the moody shenanigans that the Bradley played a few months ago. It wasn’t too busy and I was able to actually sit in the back room and enjoy a cigar after having something to eat for lunch.

It was a good cigar but stronger than I remembered when I last smoked it over the summer. It made me a bit woozy afterwards but I soon recovered. Calvin was having a discussion with a screenwriter when I finished lunch and he introduced me as a writer as well before Calvin went off to do something else.

The screenwriter bloke and I hit it off somewhat well, discussing various methods of writing. I explained how I write at least 500 words a day and though some of it might not be worthwhile, I still have a decent collection of writing and in that collection there are probably a few choice lines or phrases that I could use at anytime.

I also explained that I was good at dialogue, mentioning how 20 years ago I collaborated on a script with John Bruce who called me a few days later, telling me that my writing made him cry, it was that good.

Perhaps I am rose tinting the past, but that’s how I remember it, getting a phone call from Mr. Bruce at the video store where I worked at the time, or maybe Mr. Bruce showed up to tell me.

It was back to the earlier schedule tonight, closing the store at 9:00. I didn’t rush down to the bus terminal, it was too messy streets filled with cold slush and it’s quite slippery out too. No Hyman Gross either.

Last night Bill called me. he had gotten off the bus a few stops earlier than usual, he was worried about Hyman Gross. Neither of us had heard from or seen Hyman in a while so Bill decided to knock on his door.

When he got off the bus he saw a Hoboken Emergency Services Unit nearby and thought it best if he told them what was up. They drove Bill to Hyman’s apartment where a neighbor mentioned that they hadn’t seen Hyman in a while.

The Emergency Services person did some detective work and found out that Hyman was in Massachusetts near his family, in a hospital. We still don’t know where exactly, or what put him in the hospital but the Emergency Services person took Bill’s information and told Bill they would be in touch with him if there hear anything else.

That is just one reason why I love Bill. Doing something like that, in the cold, checking in on a senior citizen who just happens to be a friend.

Two more days of work for me, then two days off. A weekend. On a weekend. Who would have thought?

I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby

And it’s Friday and I’m tired. Been a long day. Did not sleep well. I repeat, Did not sleep well. My pillows did their best to make for an uneasy night of sleep and when I woke when Bill was kissing me goodbye, I couldn’t really go back to sleep since my shoulder was troubling me.

It’s fine now, but at some point during the night the pillows decided to do whatever they wanted to do and what they wanted to do was make my sleep uncomfortable. They succeeded and I eventually surrendered the bed to them.

I shuffled about, cold once again, but not as cold as it’s been. Today was in the 30 degree area so that made it somewhat warmer. Still it was cold as I waited for the bus into the city. I missed the 11:15 bus which I’ve been taking instead of avoiding since it’s been so damn cold outside.

The 11:30 bus came rolling up in it’s own time and we rolled towards the tunnel. Once inside the tunnel we sat and waited for a few minutes, an absolute standstill. After that it was smooth sailing about one hundred yards into the bus terminal where I made my way down to the post office dropping off some Christmas cards and Shutter Island off to Netflix land. Shutter Island, a big ‘meh’.

I was on time at the cigar shop and immediately went to work. I found out the computers crashed for about 3 hours yesterday, putting a major dent in holiday sales. Well we have some cheap, old computers that when the sales process is going slow, I remark to the customer, apologizing and saying that we bought the computers at the Soviet Union garage sale a few years back. That usually gets a chuckle.

The day was topsy turvy. I couldn’t get a grip on some customers despite my trying to connect. Two times I would be working with customers who didn’t know what they wanted and as I tried to steer them to a product they might like they just didn’t get it.

A co-worker nearby would see what was going on and essentially repeat whatever it was that I said and the co-worker would make the connection. I’d still get the sale but for some reason they would not hear what I was saying, but they would hear the Bradley or Sean. It was frustrating and I decided not to talk to any customers from there on in.

I made it to the bus terminal from the cigar shop in 18 minutes, 10 seconds. Puffing on a cigar and listening to I Am the Walrus, Baby You’re a Rich Man, Flying, Dear Prudence and Revolution 1. Not my usual stomping, getting the hell out of my way music, but it was enjoyable regardless and I was able to catch the 10:30 bus.

Sorry I did not take Harpy’s call as I was trying to close the store but I can’t afford any distractions in that last half hour of closing. Harpy was the one who hipped me to the surprise news that Captain Beefheart aka Don Van Vliet passed away after a long battle with multiple sclerosis.

Captain Beefheart, Don Van Vliet

Oh I might not write tomorrow since I am going to see Prince at Madison Square Garden. Sunday I will write. I promise I will.

I Believe I’m Gonna Love You

Back after a 10 hour shift. It’s 11:11 right now. Been home about 15 minutes. Just have to get through one more day then I can have a break, a day off. Today was a long day. I was up around 9:00 this morning and had to thank Bill for going to the supermarket last night and picking up some 2% milk for my coffee and cereal. Made life a little bit easier and cooler.

Soon after that, I was at the bus stop with Bill waiting for the 11:15 126 bus into Manhattan. I learned my lesson last week after the 11:30 bus did not show up. Tomorrow I have to catch the 8:00 bus since there is no 8:30 bus and I have to open the shop at 9:30, thanks to the magic of Calvin’s management skills and schedule making.

Today I worked with Sean and the Bradley and let’s face it- the Bradley is an incredible asshole. We have very little in common and since Don who served as a bridge of sorts between is no longer working at the cigar shop the bridge is over.

He’s a terrible phony and I only communicate with him when I have to. He doesn’t pick up after himself and rarely, if ever, cleans up the backroom. He’ll sit in the tiny pantry on a folding chair eating his lunch and not put the folding chair away and doesn’t throw out his trash.

In warmer times between the 2 of us, we had once discussed Xanax. His prescription is a stronger dose than mine and he recommended snorting the Xanax, like Nurse Jackie. I don’t do that and I won’t do that. Xanax chills me out considerably and doesn’t seem to have that effect on the Bradley.

He’s quite hyper, banging away on the counter top like he’s playing congas. I have to wonder, why did he leave South Carolina to take a job at a cigar shop in midtown Manhattan? Did someone or something make him leave? A Crystal Meth habit perhaps?

Yes I know it’s all speculation, but it’s a fun speculation.

I let the Bradley handle the music for the store since I am tired of customers complaining about some of the music choices I play. The other day I played some of Phil Spector’s Christmas album as well as The Roches’ We Three Kings. The Roches made me think of happier times for all at Farfetched.

Some of the customers complained about too much Christmas music. And that even includes the Mix Mas CD that Harpy burned for me a few years ago. So instead of all that, we heard Sheryl Crow, which is really not my cup of tea.

After the customers left the backroom tonight I played Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Yes, I’ve forgiven Reg. No one was around to complain and if they did I really wouldn’t care.

The Bradley left, a bit freaked out over his drawer being short $3.00. He brushed aside my suggestion that he could take the money from petty cash to maintain the balance and asked which drawer I would use to open tomorrow morning. Since his register was short $3.00, I figured I would use the same drawer I used today.

Now Saturday Night Live is starting and I am tired and really not typing all that well tonight. Oh well. No posting tomorrow, unless there is something worthwhile to post and I’m really hoping there isn’t. I’m working with Sean and the Bradley again so who knows?

What’s Up With That?!?

Chaz Bono?


In My Time of Dyin’

Now it’s a different day and I am in a nervous mood. I was told by the recruiter yesterday that I had gotten the job. Now there are a few things a few things I have to fill out. Some paperwork authorizing a credit check, which should provide a few laughs.

I also had to find a pay stub from the last job to prove they actually existed at some point because they certainly don’t exist anymore. Now that’s where my nervousness comes in. You see after having to answer why did I leave McMann & Tate after 9 months over and over again, I decided to edit it out and moved up the start date for the last job to fill the void.

It seemed to work and it has gotten me this far, but I am terribly worried about them finding the omission. A few friends as well as Bill told me not to worry about it, that I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill. And I have accepted this, knowing there is no turning back.

If they find it, they find it. If they don’t well, then I am off the hook. And if they find it, I still have the cigar shop job. And so I’m not going to give my notice until I am absolutely sure I have the new job lined up. Which makes sense.

It does put me in a weird position. I was hoping to give my two weeks notice which will be a disappointment to Marcus and Calvin. Now it looks like I might give one weeks notice which would be even more disappointing to them.

But I was going to offer them my services on any Saturday or Sunday to help them out during the holiday season. Who knows? I may still be there through the season. Oh what a predicament I’m in, or think I’m in.

Today wasn’t all stress though. Bill Moyers stopped by the shop to get some cigars, and asked if I got the copy of the speech that he made a few weeks ago. I told him I did, that I was out the day he dropped it off for me.

I still haven’t had the chance to read it things have been so mental with me today. He’s a really nice guy and I am happy to have made his acquaintance. He was actually the first person I wished a Happy Thanksgiving to, which I started doing today.

A lot of people have taken off next week since most everyone has both Thursday and Friday off, so I figure it would be nice to start the holiday nonsense. Plus the area surrounding the mall has gone into full Christmas spirit, with holiday songs playing quite loudly and lights changing colors.

I remember when I had an interview in the area last year, that I found myself taken by the holiday decorations. Now that I’m going to be seeing them, perhaps almost everyday for the next month, I’m no longer taken by them at all.

Ah… who cares?

Kitty in the window

I’ll Cry Alone

It’s now Monday. It’s been a good 24 hours mostly. There was some difficulty getting back to Hoboken last night. One bus is late and that creates a backlog. I hustled to get from the cigar shop to the bus terminal and made it in good time, but I was surprised to find a line snaking around the corner on the second floor.

It wasn’t that bad, actually. The line moved rather fast and when I got onto the bus, I was annoyed by the fact that some choice seating was taken up by a young woman with one of those suitcases that you drag around.

The suitcase was a little bit larger than the young woman. And across from the young woman with the suitcase was a larger woman, larger than the suitcase. It made for an interesting scene, with the Inmates cover of Dirty Water playing in my head.

Came home where Bill greeted me at the door like he has for the past few days. We watched Boardwalk Empire and Bored to Death. Boardwalk Empire was good as usual, gets better with each episode and Bored to Death was charmingly funny as it usually is.

Bill went to bed after that and I stayed up not watching anything in particular. I went to bed a little after midnight. Slept alright and woke up a little later than usual. Went to the cleaners, the supermarket and the bagel shop all before noon.

Spoke with Bill who was working today. I sent Connie a birthday card and walked around Hoboken this afternoon, stopping by the Guitar Bar and chatting with Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro. He just played a few dates with Ian Hunter.

He asked if I saw Richard Barone at Maxwells this weekend and I told him I hadn’t. I’m simply not interested in seeing Richard Barone anymore. I would have rather seen Ian Hunter in any event, but I had to work.

I walked around the waterfront, nobody I knew there except for the usual panhandlers who don’t get anything from me these days. They seem resentful. I walked onto the latest pier in Hoboken, one that was supposed to be open during the summer. Better late than never I guess.

I enjoyed a cigar as I walked around. Bill mentioned that he had some shirts that needed to go to the cleaners so it was a return trip back there. He’s off to an awards show in the New York State Office Building on 125th Street tonight.

While I was on the pier, I received the number 212-123-4567. I recognized the number as the number that comes up when the last staffing agency that I signed up with calls. I decided not to take the call and a few minutes later I was notified on a voice mail.

Apparently the last position I interviewed for was back in play and the company wanted to meet with me. I called back the agency and now I have an interview tomorrow at 10:00. I was told by the recruiter that the interview might last 2 hours, and I might meet more than one person.

I got off the phone with the recruiter and called Bill and told him. I had forgotten the fact that the position was for the 5:30PM until 1:00AM shift. That’s doable, it will take an adjustment, but it can be done. More importantly it’s for a little more money and it is a Monday through Friday job.

I told Bill that it was funny, I become settled in the job that I have at the cigar shop and decide to stop looking for a new position until next year and I get a call with regards to a new job. I also told Bill that I was feeling a bit guilty, thinking of leaving the cigar shop right before the holidays, and also thinking of Don who is leaving this weekend.

Once again I am getting ahead of myself, not knowing what tomorrow will hold, as usual.

There is a new Girl Talk release, available for free at . It might take a while since it’s quite popular.

Tonight I am going to put a cover on Hyman Gross’ air conditioner. He’s been after me for a while. I told him that 8:30 would be the cut off for me to come over. Quite an arbitrary time, but I do have to do some research for the interview tomorrow morning.

Girl Talk

I Live For You

Oh my it’s been a long day. I am home now and glad to be here. A bit tired. I’d rather not write but here I am doing just that. All for you people, all for you. You had better be grateful you bastards. That’s right, I called you bastards.

Whether or not that is an apt description, I don’t know. Only Harpy, Anne and Sung post on this here blog. The majority of you do not. And I know there’s a few of you, searching for some investment group’s office manager and receptionist.

Yes you Mickey and Maura and the Crazy Peggy Guggenheim partners. In other blog related news, this entry is number 1,803. Yes, the other day I hit 1800 entries. I of course did all the work, all you did was read it.

On an iPad, or a smart phone or a lap top or whatever you use to access the world wide web. I sweated, typed callously with callouses. You hit the page up, page down buttons, scrolled using your mouses.

I ran the risk of Martini Basher’s wrath, made myself more visible on the Internets, and incurred the incredulity of Sally Maurice and their Cafe Press calendars and coffee mugs as well as the well heeled citizenry of Bala Cynwyd.

Oh Susquehanna Investment Group, why hast thou forsaken me?

At work, it was a long day. But warm enough somewhat that for the first time in a few weeks, I was able to go outside and enjoy some part of the day. It was nice to be able to leave the store for about an hour. I started reading the latest Uncut magazine with the Kinks on the cover, or maybe I should write Kinks Kover.

As I headed back to the cigar shop, I heard the sound of a drum kit nearby and decided to wander by. I saw it was a one man band, a bloke with a drum kit, a drumstick taped to his leg and 2 bass drums, an amplified acoustic guitar and a microphone.

The bloke was quite good and highly enjoyable. I love wandering around and finding some busker who blows me away. This young man certainly earned a dollar from me, as well as a dollar from quite a few other people. I wrote my email address in his notebook and hopefully I will hear from him soon. His picture is below.

Other than that, work was an arduous task. It was Calvin, Don and Bradley. Today I didn’t care much for Bradley. I’m convinced he’s a former special needs child. This is what happens when they grow up. Their hair turns prematurely gray, they possess an all consuming need to pound a counter top like it was a set of bongos, and are subjects to bouts of Tourette’s Syndrome.

I anticipate difficulty working with Bradley once Don splits the scene. I could be wrong, it’s happened before. Just a premonition of sorts I suppose.

Last night I finally caught the new Conan O’Brien show on TBS last night, in time to catch the musical act, Fistful of Mercy, featuring Ben Harper, Joseph Arthur and Dhani Harrison. They sounded great, Dhani sounding and looking like his dad. You can catch the full episode on the official Conan O’Brien website.

that one man band

aka Don

I Got You, Babe

Well today wasn’t so bad. Better than yesterday and I had off yesterday. Haven’t had a Xanax since Saturday night. Yesterday I was feeling sorry for myself and during my weekend phone call with Annemarie I brushed off her suggestion to go out and walk around. ‘But I don’t wanna walk around by myself’, I whined.

Eventually I did walk around Hoboken by myself. From one end of town to another and back down Washington Street. Passed a few places that I filled out applications and dropped off resumes at. Came home and sat on the steps of my building smoking a cigar before heading in. 3

Didn’t do much after that. I did pick up 2 box sets of The Office which I watched, killing time until Boardwalk Empire came on. I also watched Groundhog Day. I really needed a laugh and yesterday I finally connected with the movie.

After a shaky start it’s really coming together somewhat. Last week and this week both had excellent performances. Fascinating stuff, Steve Buscemi is excellent in the roll of Nucky and the rest of the cast is very good as well.

After that was the season finale of Mad Men, which after all these seasons, I’ve finally gotten into it, as has Bill. Bill came home midway through Boardwalk Empire and we both devoured a Napoli’s pizza. Mad Men was very good. I have to watch the previous seasons now. Have to log onto the bibliothèque website and see what I could get.

After that I went and joined Bill in Slumber land. I slept better than he did. He was off around 6:30 this morning, kissing me goodbye and leaving me with good thoughts. I was up and active about 2 hours later.

After showering, eating breakfast, and emailing resumes out, I headed down the stairs. I heard some stirrings on the third floor landing. I let out my Chewbacca growl and as I turned the corner there was Alexander and Stine, Alexander with a great big smile on his face.

They were headed out and the 3 of us walked out together. Alexander speaking in English, complete sentences. When we got out to the sidewalk I asked for and received a ‘gimme five’ from Alexander. Then I asked for a kiss and got a cheek which I kissed.

He doesn’t kiss anymore, instead wanting to be kissed which is so much like his father. Though I’ve never kissed his father.

As they walked in the opposite direction I yelled out ‘I love you!’. After a few seconds, Alexander yelled back, “I love you, John!”. Oh that was definitely the high point of my day, if not my week, if not the month. I walked to the bus stop on a cloud.

It was an uneventful bus ride into the city and an uneventful ride on the subway. Got to the shop, Marcus at his desk, Don behind the counter and Bradley being Bradley which is yet to be determined.

After trying valiantly to befriend Bradley on Saturday and each attempt being rebuffed, I decided to drop the attempts and maintain a strictly work based relationship. I didn’t speak to him unless I absolutely had to, and if he asked anything of me I would respond as briefly as possible.

The day was fine. My friend Sung and his partner Ray stopped by. Sung was going to bring me coffee but I asked that he get me a banana instead. Sung and Ray showed up with a bunch of bananas.

They’re traveling abroad to Taipei and China in a day or two. I couldn’t chat long with them since I was at work but it was good to see them. And Marcus was in a good mood thanking Don and myself for the work we’ve done in the past month. That was good to hear.

I went out for a coffee and in the coffee shop I Got You Babe was on the radio, provoking memories of Groundhog Day. At lunch I sat on a bench near the park, enjoying a cigar and reading the New Yorker. Finally all caught up. Bring on the next issue!

As the store closed and I was counting the money, Bradley was ready to leave but before he left he had a question to ask me, ‘Are you mad at me?’. I explained everything he did on Saturday, including me asking him if he played any musical instruments.

He answered, ‘Yes’ and started to walk away. Anyone else, if they played an instrument would likely tell you the instrument. Not Bradley.

He explained that he’s a moody guy, I answered him saying that he didn’t seem so moody when Sean and Don came in, only when he was with me. I told him, I had no scheme, I wasn’t out to get him, I did not want to get into his pants, I only wanted to help him. And each time I was rebuffed. So, I gave up.

I then told him that I was trying to close the store and I was counting money. Maybe we can be friends again, but not right then. Made it to the bus, meeting up with Hyman Gross and surprisingly, Bill as well.

We three sat together opposite a woman who was definitely enjoying the repartee between us three. She got off at the same stop as Bill and I, and she remarked that Bill and I were adorable.

What a way to start and end the day.


Happy birthday big brother Frank. Much love.

I Throw My Toys Around

So tired again. Been a long day but not such a bad day. Calvin was out and that made all the difference. He wasn’t missed. Not by me, not by Don and not by Sean.

Things went smoothly and I did not have to listen to his crap jazz all day long. I did not have to listen to his nervous laugh after almost every goddamned thing he says. Oh how a punch in the throat is called for when that nervous laugh is heard.

And it didn’t rain today. I had a nice breakfast, some coffee and as part of my morning routine, sent out resumes. Macy’s? Unloading trucks for the holidays? Sure, why not? Selling books at Borders? OK! I also went back on my rule not to use Craigslist to look for jobs.

The job that I left after 2 days in February despite Sally Maurice’s freakout, well they’re still looking to fill that position. Makes me feel good to know that I left a bad job at the right time, before I signed anything.

Perhaps it’s a good thing that I’m working a shitty job, since when I started this shitty job I was out of work for so long that I wasn’t prepared mentally, at least not 100%, to go back to work. Now, I feel like I’m ready for anything.

Bill has been incredibly supportive. I can only hope I can be the same for him if and when he needs support.

Still I am tired. As the work day wound down I found myself getting despondent with the fact that I’ll be working with Calvin the next two days, in fact it will be just me and him on one of those days.

Lately I close the store by myself. I have my system, my flow. When Calvin is around I can’t do those things, like put the receipts in an envelope. That has to be done at 9:00, not 8:50 as I sometimes do.

Doesn’t make sense since if there is another sale in those 10 minutes, the other receipts will be put in the envelope anyhow. It’s ridiculous.

But I did contact some cousins of mine with regards to finding new employment. Cousins from both sides of the family. I’ve never asked any family for help in getting a job but times are different and it’s best to throw everything at the proverbial wall and see if anything sticks.

And so the family wall is also brought in.

Even applying to see if I can find work with the USO, but nothing is in the NYC area. Plenty of volunteer opportunities, but I need to get paid. Something has to give. Plenty of resumes out there. Holiday season approaches.

I know I’m not alone in all of this. Lot’s of people are out of work still. If I can find something different, I’d gladly let those unemployed people take my job at the cigar shop, but I would give them a word of advice beforehand.

Like don’t trust Calvin. At all.

from where I sit

I’ve Seen the Saucers

Man I really don’t want to write tonight. Not much to write about. Work, blah blah blah. Bill sleeps in the next room. The TV is on, Keith Olbermann bellowing. Sent a few more resumes out today.

Was able to leave the cigar shop and have an hour to myself, sitting on a bench by the park. It’s always the same isn’t it? Right now I sit, listening and posting videos from Scritti Politti on Facebook.

Occasionally my day focused on the job I used to have at Putnam Lovell as well as Bio-IB. Putnam Lovell because it was really a good job before it went south. I inadvertently got out of there at the right time.

They were trying to get rid of me, but I actually left and wound up at Wolff Olins for 9 months. In those 9 months at Wolff Olins, I did get to see Scritti Politti live at the Bowery Ballroom.

That was splendid and foolish me, I should have stayed a little while longer at the show to shake Green Garstide’s hand. Or at least polish Rhodri Marsden’s eyeglasses. But I had too much too drink, too much of that black beer. Still however skewed my memories might be, I do recall having a good time.

Thinking about Bio-IB was mainly since the United Nations is in session and all the figureheads are in town on the east side. That was generally a good time, hectic with streets blocked off but interesting and somewhat exciting all the same.

I did get in touch with Greg Stevens a week or so ago, asking if he had any employment leads. He didn’t but told me Vivek had started working at a new company I sent Vivek a text message wishing him well and fishing for a job offer. No response from him.

I guess the scheme of selling boxes preloaded with movies to Asian Indian hotel and motel owners along the east coast fell by the wayside. Haven’t heard from Harpy lately. I blew up at him when I was feeling vulnerable and the next day apologized for it.

Oh well, perhaps he’s doing his William Holden imitation. Where is his Stephanie Powers when he needs her? Maybe he’s doing a Marie Provost act instead since William Holden was too butch and Harpy could have probably filled Marie Provost’s shoes better.

Oh how the past haunts me. Much more than the present I might add.

I received $100.00 from Google as a way of saying thanks for using Ad Sense on this here blog. But I don’t use Ad Sense so the $100.00 card is worthless, unless I am in dire need of a bookmark. Actually it’s no good since it expired on September 3rd.

So a bookmark it is. It was supposed to help me attract more of the visitors that I really want: loyal visitors who keep coming back. And according to Google Analytics, I do have some loyal visitors. Mainly in New York but on the other side of the country as well.

They keep coming back for some reason. They never write though. They’re just numbers I guess. That’s right, you are just a number. Don’t take it personally, even though it might be odd.

I and I

I neglected to mention that while working at the cigar shop what may have been an apparition of Rand & Lisa appeared while I was in the humidor. I saw them just for a second and when I finally emerged from the humidor they were gone.

I also spoke to Bill as I ambled my way down to the Path train and enjoying a cigar. He was planning on stopping by the cigar shop to surprise me. The surprise would have been on him since I would have been gone, having left Calvin to close up the shop.

It was a good thing I called and thwarted his surprise visit.

Last night we watched Broadcast News we started to watch This is England which is a good movie, a bit disturbing though. It was too heavy after the wit and banter of Broadcast News. We wound up watching a repeat of Laura Linney in the Big C, then Bill went to bed and I stayed up a little while longer.

Had an interesting dream which concerned me being on Route 875 (which does not exist). Also in the dream was a Nicholas Lattanzio who I once worked with and with the benefit of 32 years of hindsight, turns out I had a little crush on him.

I vaguely knew him when he was in a grade above me in elementary school, and it turned out we both started work on the same day at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, in the college book department.

He was taken under the wing of Dave Manzo, professional Newport smoker and failed bowler and became fast friends with John Carroll who was quite a funny and intelligent guy who thought I was an idiot. Guess he wasn’t so intelligent after all.

It was a strange dream. No Maria Scarano, Debbie Pless or Paul Rigby sightings in the dream either.

Slept really well and woke up refreshed somewhat. Occasionally the pit in my stomach flares up, bringing back memories of having to go back to school. Perhaps it’s because there’s a school on the corner from my building which brings back that feeling of dread, but it’s more than likely because it is September.

Bill kissed me goodbye once again and I soon roused myself and got into the shower after setting up a bowl of cereal and making some coffee. I usually wait for the 10:30 bus but I caught the earlier bus because it stopped and I didn’t flag it down.

It was the 10:30 driver anyhow and I got on the bus. I was early again for work and sat in the shadow of a skyscraper and killed time. Talked to Bill on the phone for a quick minute before I headed into the cigar shop.

Calvin, Don Birch and Raymond were my co-workers for the day, Marcus making yet another hasty exit. Calvin made a joke or two about my attitude yesterday, mentioning that it was because I had to work on a holiday when it was actually because I had to wake up so goddamned early.

The day progressed nicely mainly because it was a good staff to work with. A quick walk down from the cigar shop to the bus terminal, sans earphones.

I left them at home this morning and though it wasn’t so bad I’d still rather hear Devo ‘Q: Are We Not Men? A: We are Devo!’ than listen to the inanities of people. But even that wasn’t so bad. I did make sure that I will have the headphones tomorrow.

Not going through that again. That sinking feeling.