Category Archives: moldies but moodies

Scratchy Collapsy

Well here we are again, May 12. Not my favorite day, even though it’s a beautiful day, I would rather the date itself be different. But it’s Mother’s Day today just like it was 22 years ago. There’s been a twist added the past couple of years. The cigar shack of course plays a part. In 2011 the manager of the store announced he was leaving which threw me for a loop. I did congratulate him as he was leaving and also his reluctant successor also got some praise. I explained sometime later to the departing manager why May 12 loomed large in my legend.

Last year around the date and on Mother’s Day he sent me a tweet saying he was thinking of me knowing that this time of year ain’t so good for me. I thought that was nice. On my Twitter account was a link to this here blog (it’s still there) and I guess my former manager had the time to follow the link. He read what I had written and in turn contacted my then current manager, the reluctant one- and told him about this here blog.

The reluctant manager was out in NJ at some Giants football cigar to do and more than likely had a few in him, so when he sent an email thinking it was going to his underling, it was actually sent to me. So I knew the score, the reluctant manager’s cover was blown and less than a week later I was released, shown the door and told that my services were no longer required. I haven’t been back since and I do miss chatting with my former co-workers, but then again we do touch base via Facebook.

It was not as devastating as 1991 I can tell you. So today has been nice, mellow. A phone call with Annemarie, with posting and seeing posts on Facebook from family and friends, emails from Irene Grant from where I grew up, wishing the best and filling me in on her mother’s condition (frail). But I’m not gloomy, nor am I resentful.

The past two nights at Maxwell’s have been slow. Friday night was busier than Saturday night and that’s not saying much. At least on Friday I worked the whole shift, last night I went home at 11:00. Bad scheduling I would say. Friday had five bands, the first one had the largest audience, mainly family members and their friends. Saturday, two bands, first one on at 8:00, headliner on at 9:00 and it was basically all over by 10:00.

And unnervingly the first band (or one guy) Johnny Nicholson sounded a bit like Port St. Willow, whom I’ve been championing on this here blog. At least Johnny Nicholson did when I checked out some of his opening slot. I went to far as to email Nick Principe aka Port St. Willow asking if he had heard of Johnny Nicholson. I was tempted to ask Johnny Nicholson if he heard Port St. Willow but I let the moment pass instead. The headliner Trixie Whitley was a little too twee for me to see more than I did.
Bill is off visiting his mother at the home she is currently residing in, up in Washington Heights/Inwood. I’m watching Ian Dury and the Blockheads videos since today is also Ian Dury’s birthday. That’s about all this is going on, on this end of this here blog.

And we hope Mr. Peabody is on the mend.
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My Mom and me.

My Mom and me.

The Perfectly Blended

The past two nights at work- observed.
Last night, a scary looking grandmother came in. Saturday nights seem to be the night for moms and dads and their babies in strollers. This grandmother was having some trouble with getting the stroller in so I held the door and said to the infant in the stroller, ‘Hey little person.’ Something friendly I thought, but the grandmother asked in a nasty manner- ‘What did you say?’ I repeated what I said and realized that grandma was going to be weird.

All I want is a glass of wine and some appetizers. I set her up nearby, the baby chewing on a fork while grandma got her drink on. Then she realized the kid was hungry and should probably eat something, besides the French Onion soup which was spicy enough for grandma, but too spicy for an infant.

The current look for men these days is closed cropped hair on the side and slicked back or gelled hair, carefully quaffed and parted. And the tattoos. Nerds with tattoos still seems to be the way to go. I dislike tattoos and yearn for the days when having a tattoo meant you were tough. Now it means something that is not tough at all. The hip girls at work all wore their hair up in a bun, even when they’re not working.

The bar is crowded on the left side, the right side a few unoccupied bar stools. People come in and stand around the left side, not noticing empty bar stools on the other side. The service would be the same, if not better with less competition for beverages but these people are sheep like and go with the crowd.

A few drunks came in. So drunk they could barely stand but when they find they are cut off from drinking anymore they somehow find some sort of resolve to stand up and show their indignation. One drunk had friends who seemed to call the drunk’s parents who were nearby and collected him, carrying him into the back seat of their SUV while Mom sat in the front passenger side.

The bands that played were unknown to me but had enough people waiting to see them, sometimes even trying to get into the sound check. I did my best to prevent it, but realized that I had my own job to do and the door guys should handle it. They tried. The guy who checks ID’s suddenly quit on Friday and didn’t come in. It was up to me to prevent people from leaving with drinks. That was not easy and a few did get by, leaving me to collect empty cans of the worst beer, Pabst Blue Ribbon.

I think David Lynch is responsible for the resurgence of Pabst Blue Ribbon thanks to the Frank Booth character played by Dennis Hooper in Blue Velvet. It might have been ironic in the late 1980’s but nowadays it strikes me as dumb. But hey, it pays the bills and the tatted up hipsters in skinny jeans and slicked back hair drink it and the bartenders are happy to take their cash.

Last night I bummed a cigarette off a guy standing outside. For some reason he thought I was a singer and asked me to harmonize with him, and since I felt indebted to him I did. he suggested Silent Night of all songs and I proceeded to sing, quite ably from what I was told. After that we tried Cecilia by Simon and Garfunkel which didn’t go so well. We also did a bit of California Dreaming by the Mama’s and the Papa’s. I’m sure if we figured out who was Cass and who was Denny it would have sounded better. It was good to sing with someone and I found it somewhat spiritual.

I just remembered I got hit on twice by the same guy. The first time, as I was walking by him said into my ear that I smelled nice. A little while that he told me that I was a sharp looking man. He wasn’t bad looking either and I’m definitely not mad at him though it did take me by surprise…
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The Wait

A grey day. It started out that way, even before the sun came up. I didn’t sleep so well since Bill was in some pain due to his back problems. I did what I could to help him out, and of course, every moan I heard made me wake up to check how he was doing. He does have some meds, but the prescription calls for no more than 3 every 24 hours and at 3:30 last night, he was half way through the first go round. I told him about some tricks that I use, sleeping on my back, a pillow between the knees.

I think I got about 4 hours of sleep. I also worked at Maxwell’s last night, off at 11:00 since it had slowed down considerably. Back on Friday and Saturday nights, with Friday being a double header, 2 different sets with 2 different bands. So many rumors going on around Maxwell’s- Is it closing? Is it moving? No one knows anything. I certainly don’t know anything about it yet I still get asked. Various friends have their take on it and they proceed to tell me which does not help me out at all.

Today was busy once I got myself started. I heard from Juan as well. After feeling on the outs with him last week, today I found myself ironing his khakis and his shirt since he was running late and about to start a new job at a restaurant in Hoboken. It’s obviously not Maxwell’s since pressed clothes were required. He also went to Mr. L’s for a quick haircut since he felt he needed one. I know he wanted to make a good impression at the new gig and I was happy to help him out.

Now it is cold and rainy and I’ve got nothing to do. I just made some penne, pesto and chicken and that was good. Bill is running around Manhattan taking care of his mother and doing things to further his career. Good night for TV. I did watch the first episode of Hannibal, but decided not to watch it any more. Too gruesome and without the style and finesse from Silence of the Lambs. I’ll aim for comedies that are on tonight.

And I will hear all about how Juan’s evening went since his clothes are here and he’ll need to pick up his skinny jeans with his skinny genes.
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I Surrender

It’s the last Monday in February. It is also John Doe from X and George Harrison of the Beatles birthdays. It’s been an interesting day. Bill was up and out and I slept a little bit more, waking up and saying ‘Ma?’ as if my mother was in the next room. She wasn’t and if she was I would be very surprised and more than a little bit terrified. I got out of bed and shuffled along on slippered feet. A shower and a plan of action was set for the day. I actually started planning last night while watching the Academy Awards.

Bill stayed up and watched the whole show with me. We both enjoyed Lincoln and Argo and were happy to see some awards go their way. We also watched Silver Linings Playbook which Bill liked more than I did, though I did think that Jennifer Lawrence was the best thing in it. Jackie Weaver was very good in Silver Linings Playbook though she was better in Animal Kingdom which was one of the most intense movies I had ever seen. Bill and I both figured that Daniel Day Lewis would win best actor since he was the best actor.

We also guessed that Argo would win best picture. Neither of us watched Les Misérables or Django Unchained. We have Les Misérables on DVD and we will probably wait for Django Unchained to be released. We both enjoyed the Oscar telecast last night. We are not Seth McFarlane fans but we thought he was funny and handled his hosting duties admirably. We also liked it when Letterman hosted years ago, as well as Jon Stewart but the best was Chris Rock. All the hosts we liked seemed to get the thumbs down from the general public and critics.

We do agree with those who thought James Franco and Anne Hathaway were not that good at all. And now with all the hoopla over and done with, Turner Classic Movies is going back to its usual schedule so I guess we can expect to see at least two Barbara Stanwyck movies a day. It’s a good thing she was a good actress and we enjoy her movies. Bill went to bed right after the broadcast and I of course stayed up a little bit longer before I too went to bed. I slept fairly well.

Today was crazy. A phone call from an agency, something that I would be good for, and could I do an interview this afternoon. I answered that I could and was told I would hear more at noon. At 12:30 I got a phone call, it would probably be tomorrow which was fine. That was followed by another phone call, the interview was back on, 3:00. I got suited up and headed out around 1:30. I definitely did not want to be late and when I saw the bus schedule I knew the Path train was the way to go.

I was in the city a little after 2:00 and proceeded to walk up Sixth Avenue when I got a phone call. The interview was rescheduled again to tomorrow. It was disappointed but I didn’t mind. More time to freak out I suppose. I was able to see Bill for a few minutes outside his office building. He printed up a few copies of my resume and we had a good chat. Then a walk back to the bus terminal and a short wait before I was back in Hoboken, losing to the tablet computer in Dominoes a few times on the bus, I won a few rounds but the robot won the game.
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POCKETFUL OF RAINBOWS _ ポケットが虹でいっぱ

I Should Have Known Better- Wire

It is 26 degrees out right now, and it feels like springtime. Only it’s dark out, the sun set a few hours ago. There is a full moon though. It’s the rare occasion that Bill is home on a Saturday night and I can attest to this since he is merely two feet away from me as I write this. Most of the day was spent indoors, save for a quick trip to the nearby supermarket. A sale on a certain item made sure that my usual budget of keeping it under $30.00 would fall by the wayside. And it did. Who knew that Muselix would be so expensive? I should have stayed with the Super Sugar Pops.

Last night Bill was out working. A bus was involved and it was all official but instead of driving to Atlantic City, he was cast as a bus driving extra on Lawn hors d’œuvre SUV. Of course he was quite happy and thrilled to be part of that and I was happy that he was happy. Win win basically. I stayed home as usual and since it was snowing played the role of DJ or VJ or Va Jay Jay, posting songs on Facebook that had something to do with snow, cold or freezing.

Quite a few friends seemed to enjoy it, it know I had fun finding the songs and posting them. I did make a mental note to make a video for a song by the Fall which I can’t seem to find on YouTube. Once that ended and after watching Bill Maher, I watched New York Stories which I hadn’t seen since I saw it in the cinema when it first came out. It’s the 3 films in one, one by Martin Scorsese, one by Francis Ford Coppola and one by Woody Allen. And I felt the same last night that I felt in the late 1980’s.

The Scorsese one was good and every time I hear A Whiter Shade of Pale I think of that part of the movie. It gets played often enough. The Coppola one was a bore and the Woody Allen one was the best one, it’s slight but compared to the other two parts it was the most entertaining. I fell asleep after that and did not wake up until Bill returned this morning. I slept much later than I expected to. Then it was the trip to the supermarket. It’s been that kind of a day.

Since Bill was home, once he woke up we watched the screener of Lincoln, courtesy of the Film Actors Group. I was hesitant at first but settled in. It was incredible. Sally Field was great. Tony Kushner’s screenplay was great as was Steven Spielberg’s directing. But overall Daniel Day Lewis was incredible as Abraham Lincoln. I read a lot about Lincoln when growing up so I sort of knew where things were going with regards to certain dates, which gave me some insight. It was so well done, with certain moments leaving both Bill and myself a little bit choked up. We hope it wins all the awards.
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Full moon

Full moon


Drowning In The Sea Of Love

I Second That Emotion

Oh I have the blues. It could be from it being January and the holidays are over. I don’t know. I’ve been prickly lately. That much I do know. I was out and about for a short while and did some grocery shopping and a visit to the bibliothèque. Leaving the supermarket I stopped to tie my shoe and a guy who is always asking for spare change came up to me saying that I told him I would give him change to get a cup of coffee. I didn’t say anything like that, in fact I didn’t speak to the guy at all.

He did remind me that I needed coffee so it was a trip back into the store and another wait on a long line for one item. This guy who always asks for spare change always catches me at the worst possible moment. I have snapped at him in the past but this time I held my tongue. When I was leaving the store he was gone but I did spot him on the corner talking to a construction worker who was going to give him money for coffee. I don’t think this guy drinks coffee at all.

Tonight is Chaz party. Bill can’t join us since he is driving to Atlantic City tonight. I am meeting up with Rand and Lisa and we are going to walk to the party. Previously Bill would rent a Zip Car and we would go that way, or take the Path train to Journal Square. Well there are no Path trains in Hoboken this weekend. We would have to get to the Newport Mall in Jersey City to get the train to Journal Square. Since Rand and Lisa have done the walk before, that will be the way to go tonight.

I know it will be a good time at Chaz’ party, good friends, good food. I am bringing the rest of the Guinness that I bought last week. I bought two eight packs of Guinness and brought one to Rand and Lisa’s. It’s already packed and ready to go. Of course I am not ready to go despite me running around getting ready to go. Running down the clock I guess. I just heard from Bill, some nonsense about having to swap buses as he’s travelling. He doesn’t mind and called to tell me his call later on tonight will be later than either of us expected.

I should be leaving in a little while. I am stopping by the cigar shop to pick up a cigar or two to enjoy on the walk there and back. Perhaps we will pool our money and take a taxi back to Hoboken. Perhaps we will just walk back. I don’t know. I am somewhat ambivalent, but that is probably from being inside a lot today and being alone too much. Once I am outside I should have a better frame of mind. At least that is what I am hoping for.
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Voodoo Ray

I Only Have Eyes For You

October 24, 2012- A cold and clammy day today. Not much to write about I’m afraid. I would open myself up for suggestions but the only people who would post anything are Anne and Harpy and both of them won’t read this until I post this and of course by that time, it will be long over with. And still minutes later I have no idea as to what to write. For some of you, or perhaps most of you, there is the nodding of the head, the face slap of what else is new. I am of a similar mind as you of course.

6:30 and it is now dark out. Not much going on today, a nap was had nonetheless. In order to fill my word count requirement I’m afraid I have to resort to the basest of tactics, the flashback. I’ll understand if you stop reading now.

October 24, 2005- Separated from Bill I find a meet up on Fifth Avenue. Someone named Robert who walked very fast. Nothing happened, just an exchange of phone numbers and I have no recollection of any of this. My entry is cryptic and I have no idea of what is going on. Still working at Wanker Banker and not having a clue as to what would happen next.

October 24, 2006- I find myself at McMann and Tate, and also being seduced by the guy at the fruit stand (no pun intended) each morning. Felicia bought some tree branches for the front office. I organized a library. I also went to the dentist so there was no after work cigar for me that day. I also declared my love for Bill once again.

October 24, 2007- A rainy Wednesday. Seems to be a regular occurrence. I went to a sales pitch at the Hotel Pennsylvania for Canon copiers. Free lunch. I was the office manager for that Biotechnology Investment Bank. Things to be going well, full steam ahead. I helped an old man named Hugo who had Parkisnon’s disease get to the post office.

October 24, 2008- I was quite sick with a temperature of 100.5. I do remember this and I don’t think I was as sick as this in a long time, and haven’t been since then. A wicked bug got me and messed me up for about a week or so.

October 24, 2009- All about the damp and rain, is what I wrote on this day back then. Bill and I were getting in each other’s way, my computer was being fixed at Rand’s and Bill was none too happy about letting me use his Mac. I didn’t like the newest Facebook layout and Bill and I were going to watch Go Tell It On The Mountain on DVD from the bibliothèque. Annemarie was in Ashland OR.

October 24, 2010- I was working at the cigar shack at the time, not sure of working on the exact date since it was a Sunday and I had stopped writing on Sundays.

October 24, 2011- Back to work after a nice Sunday off, the Sunday spent running into Julio and Stine with Alexander in the hallway as they were removing things from their old apartment and having a pint at the biergarten in Hoboken on Sunday afternoon. Bill met Cornell West and we watched a friend of Bill’s on the canceled TV show Pan Am. And at the cigar shack I worked with Zack and Jerry Vale and it wasn’t so bad.

That is about all I can offer from past October 24’s. You can always go back and read the entries yourself if you were that enticed by my brief synopses here.



12 I Only Have Eyes For You

I Need A Girl

I guess most everyone has gone back to their routines now that summer is unofficially over. And I guess it is somewhat fitting that it’s been a grey day overall, with periods of rain. It’s supposed to be like this until Thursday, at least that is what the forecast said. I was intending to go busking and tempt the weather but after a trip to the supermarket it started to rain so busking wasn’t going to happen. I practiced inside instead. It went well, keeping the callouses intact which makes playing chords that much easier. Still it would have been nice to go and play.

A trip to the bibliothèque was also in order. A DVD I had taken out was never put on my card. When I returned it, that’s when it went on the card. I walked to the bibliothèque and spoke to an elderly woman behind the counter. I don’t think she is that computer savvy so I’ve been checking the library card on the BCCLS website which still has the DVD on my library card. I did contact BCCLS about it when I got back home and they suggested doing what I had already done, talk to my bibliothèque.

That’s about all for now so here is a flashback to previous September 4’s over the years.

September 4, 2006 was Labor Day and Bill and I just got a California King sized bed. It was difficult to carry up four flights of steps, difficult until Julio helped us. We watched Syriana on DVD, Julio, Bill and I and also drank some beers on the front stoop, at least Julio and I did. Personally I think my writing has improved since 2006 but then again, what do I know?

September 4, 2007 was a Tuesday and it was 80 degrees. Bill was with his mother who was beginning to suffer from Alzheimer’s. I was working for that Biotechnology Investment Bank (BIO-IB), everyone back from their holiday weekend including Greg Stevens who was in the Hamptons for two weeks. Everything seemed to be going nicely in 2007.

September 4, 2008 was a scorcher and a Thursday. The place where I used to get my lunch on Thursdays was closed. I was still working for the BIO-IB. Bill and I watched the right wing convention and collection of idiots and morons. Also got into a flame war with some trolls. My how times have changed.

September 4, 2009 was a Friday and I was unemployed after the BIO-IB went under. Not my fault! Some Maxwells people were heard from via casual encounters on the street. I wrote about how the state of Texas murdered an innocent man ignoring scientific evidence and instead believeing in superstitious ways. God will welcome the innocent I suppose but would this god condemn those who had the innocent man’s blood on their hands? Silly gods and stupid believers. Bill got ready for driving the bus again. plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

September 4, 2010 working at the cigar shack on a Saturday. The one I wrote about as Raymond was still working there even though he was caught with his hand in the till on the store camera. It’s a good thing Raymond did not take to writing about his day or else they would have fired his ass ASAP. A bomb scare had the cigar shack evacuated with the rest of the area. A fire at the sanitation terminal made for a smoky and smelly lunch hour. Drinks with Rand and Lisa and Lois at Maxwells.

September 4, 2011 was a Sunday and therefore I did not write. Aren’t you lucky?


Enjoy the Silence 12 Inch Mix

I Miss You- Bjork

It’s been quite an interesting day. First off I went to bed earlier and slept later than I intended. It was alright, I didn’t miss anything really. Bill had off to deal with the play from heck this afternoon and he also had to go to the department of motor vehicles since his wallet was stolen while in Philadelphia and needed to get a new license. He kissed me good bye and I stayed in bed, trying to hide from the sun for a few minutes longer. It worked for a little while then my body asked, ‘Who was I kidding?’

So I got out of bed and showered, made some coffee and had some cereal. No plans for busking today since I was going to be on the other side of the Hudson River. I don’t think I am good enough to play on the streets of Manhattan, I don’t even think I am good enough to play on the streets of Hoboken which is why I usually stick to the waterfront promenade. Less money, less guts, more stamina. No I had people to see in Manhattan and I also wanted to pick up some good cigars while I was there.

I took the Path train since I had my foot path all planned out. And NJ Transit bus schedules between rush hours are screwed up. You show up for the scheduled 1:15 bus and finally a bus shows up at 1:50. No point in asking the driver since they are generally ignorant and more often than not they are the ones who are late and don’t want to be reminded of that fact. Believe me I have asked and got no definite answer in return just the general patented belligerence of most NJ Transit drivers, except for Chief.

I walked down Washington Street to the Path train, not seeing anyone I knew. Found a nice seat on the train, nice and air conditioned and not crowded at all. I read some more of the James Wolcott book and soon enough I was in Herald Square. From there I called my friend Jesse who was unavailable so I walked over to JR Cigar on Fifth Avenue. Found some very good and nicely priced cigars and snagged a few. As I exited the store Jesse called and I met up with him for a few minutes before jetting further uptown.

Yes, Columbus Circle was my destination. The scene of the crime as it were. A few weeks before I was emancipated from the cigar shack courtesy of the bruised ego of Zack, the manager who professed to be so spiritual as to not have an ego, I lent a customer my copy of Luis Bunuel’s memoir, My Last Sigh. I’ve had a few copies of the book and lent them to friends or even gave them to friends and since this was the last copy I had and unable to get it again since it is out of print, I wanted it back.

So with some schedule coordination I was able to meet ace customer Lou Moreno who handed the book over. Lou is busy running a theater company and was juggling phone calls. He apologized for being unavailable to hang out and I totally understood. Lou went his way and I started to go mine when I ran into Jerrode, a former cigar shack employee who still works in the area. He was interested in hanging out so I happily obliged. We had a good talk. He’s turning 47 next week and new management at the store where he works is making a once happy work environment a bit hellish.

As we sat and talked outside the cigar shack area, another former employee of the cigar shack popped up. It was Sean who was interested in talking to me so once Jerrode went back to work, I met up with Sean. We walked over to the salad bar where I used to eat and had a nice lunch. Sean got married and has a baby on the way. He swore he told me he was getting married but I’m quite sure he didn’t. I congratulated him between bites of salad.

We swapped tales of the cigar shack. It turns out something I didn’t believe about him was true. He owned up to it and he regrets it, but what’s done is done. Steve Gray was right apparently (posted for those cigar shack employees who might read this). He also told me that I had been replaced by a nice guy, a former customer named Ryan who is now working part time. Ryan looks like I used to look like if I was a few inches shorter and about 50 pounds heavier minus 25 years. It was good to see Sean cleaning up his act. He is happy and doing well and living with his wife in Brooklyn. Sean went back to work and I started to head towards the bus terminal. But I had to pee.

I remembered that I did tell some neighbors of the cigar shack that I wouldn’t be back unless I had to use the bathroom and sure enough that is what I did. It’s a public restroom and to my chagrin it was definitely cruise central. I recognized the vibe from 30 years ago, a bunch of guys standing around waiting for the odd man out (me) to leave so they could get back into whatever it was they were doing before I relieved myself.

After washing my hands and making my way through about 6 guys standing around, I headed out to the street, walking what felt like being a floor above the cigar shack. It was a nice day and after stopping by Boots and Belts, a nearby S&M store I was out on the street, relighting a cigar that I had let extinguish earlier. I was glad to have made the jaunt to the area and saw some good people. Too bad the cigar shack puts out a strange vibe, but that could have been because Zack and or the Possum might have been working. I was happy not to see either one of them.

Still Looking for song lists readers…help a blogga out!

According to Stephen N via Twitter and Facebook, Songfacts are having difficulty. Maybe they’re under attack, rendering them as ‘unsafe’.
And at 8:05PM, Stephen N commented that Songfacts is/are up and running. Thank you Stephen N, whomever you are!


“what fresh hell is this?” Dorothy Parker


Flashback!


07 I Miss You

I Love Your Smile

It’s a Monday. I hope you all had a good Sunday. Mine was alright, nothing too special. Just another day, yet a day when I went to town on my fingernails. I’ve had a nail biting habit for most of my life and finally got it under control until yesterday. Fingernails in mouth. I didn’t bite my fingernails but I did clip them pretty low. I don’t know why, a nervous habit perhaps. Luckily I still had some Mavala, a nail polish that is designed to stop one from biting their nails. It’s a bad habit and once I got home I was able to apply it to my fingers.

It’s a nasty habit and I’m hopeful it’s behind me once again. Perhaps it was spurred on from playting the guitar and needing to trim my nails. I usually have a nail file or a clipper nearby but still there are moments when it wasn’t enough. I wish I knew why I felt the way I did so I could avoid situations like that. But I don’t and they’re growing back as they should. I always felt there should be a support group for nail biters, a Nail Biters Anonymous perhaps.

A group of people sitting on chairs in a circle or however those anonymous groups do their meetings. “Hello my name is mumble mumble” “What? Speak up. We can’t understand you. Take your fingers from your mouth!” That’s as far as I have gotten in my plan for a support group for nail biters. A good routine maybe for somewhere down the line.

I walked around the waterfront again, strolling the promenade. Dark clouds seemed to follow my every step but I had hope that they would roll on by. I sat under a tree on a bench and read some more from the Love & Rockets collection, The Education of Hopey Glass. It wasn’t all about Hopey and it was once again stories I had read years ago. I read about Ray Dominguez and his regret for splitting up with Maggie Chascarillio, the mechanic. It’s bittersweet, how romances fade all set with a punk rock and comic books backdrop.

As I sat and read I looked out on the Hudson River and saw a rain storm, a wall of rain steadily approaching. It came and since I was under a tree I kept relatively dry. I knew it wasn’t going to last, staying dry, so I got out my umbrella and put my books away and stood there for about 20 minutes waiting for the heavy downpour to let up somewhat. I was hungry and determined to get a slice of pizza so I walked over to the boulevard and stood in a bus shelter for the rain to stop.

It did and I was able to get my slice and bring it home without getting wet. And that was it for yesterday, just watched TV after that and went to bed a little after Bill turned in. This morning was a beautiful morning and I did some grocery shopping. Then I was back on the waterfront, strumming my guitar. I’m having a better time busking lately than I did in previous attempts. Tariq made an appearance, then stepping off saying he’d be back.

He did come back with a sketchy character friend. Tariq didn’t play guitar, seemed to be nodding off before walking with his sketchy friend to find some food. I told him I would be leaving around 4:30 and he said he would be back so we could play together. I left at 4:45 with no Tariq in sight. I did enjoy playing for the toddlers again, who get so excited hearing music and seeing a guitar that they do a little up and down dance while squealing with delight and constantly saying hello.

It really makes my day.

here comes the rain








I love your smile

I Just Can’t Stop Loving You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




1-02 It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Diffe

I Had To Say It

I start this at home, 1:08AM. Iam not tired so I figured I would stya up a while and watch TV. I heard a lot of good things about Downton Abbey and see that it on PBS. As the show opened at Christmas in 1919, presents are handed out to the servants as well family of Downton Abbey. Unfortunately, now is the time for the Emergency Broadcast System to make their monthly announcement and test. So perhaps it’s just as well that I should go to bed. It made me laugh though.

Now, hours later- I put up with the noise from the Emergency Broadcast System, while grateful that there was no ‘real’ emergency to worry about. And after a short time, the audio for Downton Abbey was restored and I found myself engrossed slightly. I mean, Maggie Smith is in it, and a blast from the past, Elizabeth McGovern playing an American married to a member of the British aristocracy. But by the time 1:45 rolled around I knew I was in over my head and needed to go to sleep.

Bill had gone to bed an hour or two previous and had gotten out of bed twice by my count. When I eventually got to bed myself he got out of bed one more time before I faded into relative obscurity. He was up and out around 7:30 as I lay sleeping. He was feeling a little bit better, lending him a pair of my boxer briefs might have helped. Still he did not get nearly enough sleep as he needed and I expect him to be asleep when I get home in an hour or two.

It was fairly busy at the cigar shack, Zack and Bradley and Jerry Vale on board today which made for fierce competition for a handful of sales. Lunch was a waste of time though for the second day in a row I was able to get some Shepherd’s Pie which was wonderful and filling. I always think of Hyman Gross when I have Shepherd’s Pie. He was the one who recommended it to me, telling me that the overpriced supermarket nearby has it at a reasonable price.

I stayed close to the cigar shack during lunch, stopping into 2 nearby stores where friends work, only to find when I arrived that neither friend was available when I stopped by. It wasn’t terribly upsetting but did leave me in the lurch as to what to do for the rest of my rapidly decreasing lunch hour.

I just wandered around outdoors and got a shoeshine which wasn’t nearly enough to kill time. I wound up getting back to work earlier which was a bit of a drag. Still it wasn’t the end of the world and I would have had a quick cigar in the man cave if it weren’t for a certain troll that I have nothing but disdain for. Just too much of a lump to ignore so I avoided him.








03 help!

I Grieve

Yeah it’s another day at the cigar shack and another crappy day at that. The weather coincides with the atmosphere inside the cigar shack. I am so ambivalent I have not checked the numbers since last night. The man cave usually gets cleared out at 7:00PM, but not tonight. Zack has been getting his smoke on.

And the music today has been provided by Pandora, the scourge of DJ’s everywhere. And it has been Thomas’ choosing to play Pandora, so we’ve had a smattering of Arcade Fire (who I really can’t bear to listen to anymore), some Beatles and Postal Service and a host of emo type things.

Thomas has been quite antagonistic today so I figured it would be best to stay out of his way and just stay within the confines of my own mind and body. If I said Black, Thomas would say White. I say left and he would say right. So it was probably for the best I feel. He just asked if I would be this way all night and since there is less than 90 minutes I don’t think it would really matter one way or another.

Plus I have had no reason to get into it or out of it or whatever position it would seem to be. He hasn’t been engaging like he usually is and now seems miffed at my reaction to his antagonism. Oh it could go on all right. I just attempted a conversation but apparently Thomas was not having it. That train has left the station. Pandora shut off about 20 minutes ago and he is not doing anything about it.

I hate selling pens and I hate selling pen refills. And I really hate doing repairs. And the last customers I’ve had were all about pens and lighters. The lighter needed to be repaired and so I did the proper paperwork and set it up to go out tomorrow with the mail. It’s just been added to some other items I had shipped out in the past few months, including a lighter of my own that the companies they were sent to have been quite lax in returning.

One company sent a lighter back with a cost of 68.00 despite my writing on the work order to phone with an estimate. So I needed to contact the customer who seemed remarkably non-plussed which was a relief since I was anticipating a justifiably irate customer.

Things have gotten better between Thomas and myself. All that was needed was explanations as to how each of us were feeling. He was feeling shitty and I was feeling crappy or vice versa.

On a nicer note, Zack’s wife stopped by the cigar shack and she was looking quite nice. She is a few months pregnant, due in June. They make a nice couple and it’s clear that Zack adores her. Now there is less than 30 minutes left at the cigar shack and I am glad Thomas is closing tonight. He offered to do it yesterday and I took him up on the offer so I wouldn’t have to close four days in a row.

Still I have to close tomorrow and Saturday but it’s OK. Shouldn’t be too bad and having written that I have more than likely jinxed myself. Home again, drizzly outside. Bill was able to exchange the melted Godiva chocolates from Valentine’s Day so that is really nice. To come home to a sweet man with a sweet heart shaped box of chocolates is great. I wish everyone could have that experience but you’ll have to get your own guy.

And NJ has passed same sex marriage which will likely be vetoed by our rotund governor.






Romantic-Me

I Go to Rio

Oh how I did not sleep well last night. I mean, I was pretty tired when I turned in at 1:00, and at 2:00 I followed my advice and got out of bed and surfed the net a bit. Then went back to the bed about 20 minutes after that, but still I could not fall asleep. I simply could not shut my brain off.

Too many thoughts coming in from all directions on all different subjects. Finally I guess around 3:00 I did fall asleep somewhat, but still it was not enough. I probably had that mad eye look when Bill was leaning over me, kissing me goodbye as he headed off to work. I tried to get some more sleep but the sun was coming in and I eventually had to get up and get out.

I had shown Bill how to make coffee the other day so I had a nice pot waiting for me, one less thing to do in the morning. Somehow I remained awake in the shower and cleaned myself up, washing whatever sleep there was from out of my eyes. A couple of cups of coffee and after checking email and whatnot I was on the way to the bus stop.

I was several feet behind myself though, and it was like that throughout the day. I felt stoned, like I had taken a massive hit off a joint and left to fend for myself among the natives and tourists of Manhattan. I’ve been saving some money by walking to the cigar shack instead of taking the train but it didn’t help much.

I mean money wise it did, but still I was groggy. And it was Bradley and Jerry Vale in the cigar shack today and of course that meant that Bradley was calling the shots much like the Frank Burns he used to be and sometimes still is. I was doing well in sales though and for most of the day I had a several hundred dollar lead.

Then I went to lunch and an order that both Jerry Vale and I worked on, well all the credit went to Bradley who was quite a fucking bitch about the whole thing. I explained the reason my initials and Jerry Vale’s initials were on the work slip, to which Bradley stated that he could not figure out what the initials JV were for.

I was pretty upset about the whole thing with regards to Bradley being a dick but things got better since I just surpassed him in sales and I didn’t have to steal credit for it. About 20 minutes left in the cigar shack for the day and of course it is taking it’s sweet ass time in getting here.

Cat Stevens is singing Father and Son and Jerry Vale just related a story about how he played the song for his son, who hated the line ‘you are young and it’s all your fault’. I just want to go to bed.

lucky penny?






2 – Downtown

I Go Crazy Queen

Last night I stayed up later than expected and this morning, I slept later than expected, more than likely from the melatonin I took before going to bed. I did not help me to fall asleep faster but it did make me sleep quite deeply, making waking up delayed.

Bill got up before me and I eventually followed maybe 15 minutes later. I slowly got myself together in anticipation of going to the supermarket but there was no need. Bill having been up a little longer than me was already dressed and heading to the store anyhow. I settled in in front of the computer with a cuppa and checked email and Facebook.

Bill came home laden with groceries and foodstuffs and after helping him unload I had myself a nice breakfast. For some reason I had actually thought I would be up and out before noon, but in reality it was closer to 1:00. I made it outdoors and stopped by the local music store to see if the newest copies of Mojo and Uncut were out but they weren’t. The store was certainly crowded though.

I walked to the Path train and got on, happy not to see the former friend that I wrote about in September, the guy with the drinking problem like I did last week. I did see Kathe Charas who is back in town for a few days. She was looking good but couldn’t chat too long since she was off to have lunch with Chaz and I had a train waiting on the platform.

I hopped on a train and soon I was getting off the train at Christopher Street. My former roommate William told me of a store on Hudson Street that sold the kind of holiday lights we used to use in Weehawken, the colored lights fade in and out type. I walked over to the store where William said they had them but they had a lot of different lights but not the kind I was looking for.

‘Oh well’ I sighed, saving some money I headed back onto the street and walked down Bleecker to Carmine to see if the Anti-Imperialist Bookstore had any calendars. They used to have lots of calendars but not this time. From there I walked up Sixth Avenue and as I walked I saw another friend from the past, Teo.

Teo used to live in the building next to mine with his parents when I was living in a basement apartment in the 1980’s. I last saw him when I considered moving in with him in Jersey City when 10 years of living with William was wearing me down, but seeing where and how Teo lived made me reconsider and cool my jets with regards to moving.

He eventually hit rock bottom from drug use and moved to Toronto where he did not know anyone and from what he said today, lived in the woods for some time. After going to rehab he was clean and looked good. He was a very good artist and still is. And today I saw him selling his paintings on the street along with other sellers of art and whatnot. He’s living in Inwood now and it was good to see him.

I did walk up to Barnes and Noble on Eighth Street and found 2 calendars, a John Lennon drawings calendar and for Bill a New York Yankees calendar. It was a nice day so I decided to just continue listening to the Modern Lovers on the iPod as I walked up to the bus terminal. Of course there was a line at the gate for the 126 bus but I didn’t really mind. It was a good day and I am glad I made it out.



smartphone in hand, fast asleep




03 Picture Book (mono)

I Feel Home

Well today was an interesting day. Last night was as well. The bus ride home with neighbor Deborah was filled with insight. She offered some wisdom that I imparted years ago to a dear friend of mine that I have written about before. Basically don’t pay attention to the angry, lonely crank. Instead, pay attention to those that are positive and support you.

There’s so much negativity in the world, who needs it from some unknown thing? It is almost word for word, what I told that dear friend back in the early days of the Internet. So many positive and supportive things were said, but all it took was one crank to be such a douche bag that my dear friend was upset despite my dear friend’s wife and I told him, to focus on the positive.

That is the angle I am working and so far so good. No pestilence in my life today. Today was started off with my dear love Bill kissing me goodbye and me sleepy eyed telling him I loved him so. Such a wonderful way to start the day. I soon got out of bed, did my thing.

The coffee, the cereal, the shower and then after checking some email, I felt tired. I still had an hour to get the bus so I decided to take a quick nap. Man did that do the trick. Reset my body clock it did. I should do that more often. I was refreshed and energized and ready to face the world.

Cobwebs blown away, I headed to the bus stop where I finished a cigar and waited for my second favorite bus driver. And he was on time as usual. The bus wasn’t too crowded and soon I found myself traipsing through the bus terminal, headed to the subway. That was where the wait was, on the platform.

No performers, the a capella group that usually does so well were absent as was the over emoting female singer who sings along to a CD, doing her best Whitney/Mariah imitations. I was a half hour early so I chatted with Bill for a few minutes before I headed in.

The day progressed nicely and sales were very good. Zack wound up babysitting for a group of jewelry makers who had reserved the man cave for an hour. They sat and drank and talked diamonds for a while. Then they left, Zack went home and another group of men came in, talking computers. It was all arranged by Zack and it fell to me to babysit this crew.

They were a nice bunch from upstate New York, a bit catty with each other and respectful to me. They stayed for an hour before they all departed to catch their MetroNorth trains home. I cleaned up the man cave while Thomas manned the front of the store. All in all it was a good time, I got to sit and smoke a cigar while watching the crew.

Thomas was understandably antsy since he is flying to the Virgin Islands tomorrow. At the stroke of 10:00 Thomas was out the door. I finished up, closed everything and headed to the subway. My beloved was in midtown and said that he would be taking the Path train home.

I told him if the train that gets me to the bus terminal shows up first, then that is the train I will take. If the other train that goes to the Path train shows up, then I will be on that one. I had hoped to ride home with my love but he was not on the train. Still I sat and read Uncut magazine.

The train took about the same amount of time as the bus would have so it really made no difference. It would have been nice to ride with my Bill again but he just boarded the Path train so he should be home soon enough. I hope you had a good day today, I know I did.






Butthole Surfers – 03 – American Women

I Am the Law

Well here I am again, standing behind the counter at the cigar shack. Thomas is pounding out a rhythm, totally flat and off beat, his titanium ring hitting the wood of the counter and making quite a noise. No charm in that.

It’s been a better day than yesterday, time is flying by- not like the other day when it really zoomed but faster than yesterday. I finally finished the Keith Richards autobiography and I enjoyed it very much.

He explained how he fell off the ladder in his library as well as falling out of a tree in Fiji. He says he did not snort his father’s ashes and I believe him. That story came after his brain surgery and the doctor told him, ‘No more bumps’ which means no more cocaine.

And the story went that Keef mixed up his father’s ashes with some blow. His relationship with Mick is like 2 brothers, bitchy and forever intertwined. I can relate to that somehow.

Now perhaps I can get back to the New Yorker where I am reading about Jane Fonda and I have not even cracked open Mojo or Uncut yet. I’ve been carrying it around in my bag since I bought it a few weeks ago.

Listening to Bob Dylan’s Love & Theft in the store right now. It could be my favorite Dylan album. Bob is going to be 70 in a few weeks. I saw him in the 1990’s but did not stay for the whole show.

At the time I was more interested in seeing Patti Smith who just came out of exile after Fred Smith passed away. Bob was nice enough to offer her the opening slot on the tour and she wisely took it.

I went with my Weehawken roommate William. It was odd being in the lobby of the Beacon Theater and seeing familiar faces of people that I had assumed that had died a while ago. The look of shock on my face was more than likely noticeable.

Patti Smith was enjoyable and since I was not so much into Dylan at the time, we left midway through his set. I didn’t get it and I think he was doing Alabama Getaway when William and I made a hasty exit. Not into the Grateful Dead at all you see.

Right now I am downloading the Roches self-titled debut album. I’ve always liked them and was fortunate to see them twice, once at Town Hall as the Roches and once at the Bottom Line as the Caroling Carolers.

When I worked at Farfetched I would play Keep on Doing, the Roches third album often and almost every time I would play it, someone would ask if they were hearing the Roches and when I would answer affirmatively they would almost always go on about how much they loved them.

I also have to confess that I had a crush on Margaret A. Roche for the longest time, nothing sexual just a sheer admiration since she wrote some of their most beautiful songs. I have their debut on vinyl somewhere but I felt I needed to have The Hammond Song on mp3 and on my iPod.

And of course the Roches tie into the Wainwright family thanks to Loudon’s wandering eye. I expect to be playing it at the cigar shack tomorrow. That should raise a few eyebrows. Hey, if you’re in the neighborhood, stop on by and say hello. Just don’t be a douche.

Now I am home and quite happy to be here. Bill is awake, first time in days that he’s been awake when I walked through the door. It’s nice to see him in a vertical position.

I Fell in Love with a Dead Boy

Oh I slept well enough last night. The Xanax certainly helped. I was getting a bit anxious about going back to work again, one day off followed by seven straight days of work. The medication helped my mood getting up this morning.

Bill had kissed me goodbye an hour earlier as I slept, wishing me well and me mumbling for him to be careful. I wandered into the shower and glad I still had hot water. Some breakfast, coffee and checking of emails. No nibbles after pounding the pavement yesterday. Still I got over it, not much I could do.

I got the suit on, deciding to wear the same suit I wore yesterday while walking the streets. I rarely wear the same suit 2 days in a row, but I didn’t care. It’s not like anyone I work with saw me yesterday anyway. A walk to the bus stop, after getting 2 quick picks for the Mega Millions, feeling lucky I guess.

Spoke to Bill briefly before getting on the bus. He was his usually jubilant self, though of course when I call his boss always enters the picture. I sussed that it’s his way of saying he doesn’t want to talk on the phone anymore. Fine with me.

I rode into the city, walked through the bus terminal and headed into the subway, way ahead of the people I rode the bus with. Why they take the crowded route is beyond me and I do occasionally get strange stares from the people that were sitting behind me when they walk down the subway stairs and see me waiting for the bus.

I did see someone unexpected. It was a friend of Marcus, a guy who sounds like Principal Blackman from Strangers With Candy. The friend’s name is Walton and he’s an obnoxious friend of Marcus, as if Marcus would have any other type of friend.

He saw me standing there waiting for the train and asked ‘What, are you waiting for the train?’. I said yes, and seeing him with a cup of coffee, I asked, ‘What, are you drinking a cup of coffee?’ He said he was escorting his nephew back to Michigan. I remarked that I didn’t know the train went that far.

Just then another train pulled in, allowing me to make a hasty exit, saying goodbye and wishing his nephew best of luck. Got off the train, still in a good mood.

I knew I would be working with Calvin and I forgot I would be working with the new guy, Bradley. Calvin was in a good mood and Bradley was eager. I didn’t have the heart or feel it was my place to tell Bradley what a mistake he made taking this job. But he needs work and perhaps he’s better suited for this job than I am, since he’s spent 11 years working in a cigar shop somewhere else.

It was a fast day though, perhaps it was due to having fresh blood in the fish tank. Bradley did a good job and Calvin kept to himself a lot of the time.

I did point out to Bradley something that wasn’t pointed out to me until a month after I started, about having your name put on a sale on the computer so you get credit for it, and thereby earning that 1/3 of 1% commission.

The day ended, leaving me to close the store solo. While I worked I took my suit jacket off and missed a call. It was my cousin Joe who I finally reached out to, thanks to Annemarie’s prodding. Man, can she prod.

He gave me his email address and sounded like he was willing to help. I’m looking for something low level, and hopefully a Monday through Friday job. I just emailed hm a few minutes ago.

Made some jokes in the email about spam and my mother saying that I was dependable, polished and professional. I read it to Bill and he suggested taking those jokes out since it is an ‘official’ email. So I listened to Bill. For the first time in what seems like weeks, after I got Joe’s voice mail, I felt hope.

This was written with crossed fingers.

I Almost Had A Weakness

Here is a recap of sorts. Had off yesterday, Sunday. Had a dream before waking up, where I was in Lodi, in the house that I grew up in, or more likely in the backyard with the family dog, Bojo. Bojo was not really himself.

Looked like the beagle terrier mutt that he was but he was happy and without of of the neuroses that the actual Bojo had. He was pleasant to be around, like a dog you see on TV. That’s how I woke up.

Yesterday was the day off. Laundry done and not much else. Just farted around. I went out for a bit but it was drizzly and decided to come home after returning The Lovely Bones DVD to the bibliothèque. It was not the laugh riot that I expected.

Actually I was not expecting any laughs, I knew what was going to happen and I wasn’t much in the mood for child rape and murder. Call me old fashioned. I actually rented it since the score was by Brian Eno but most of the songs were songs that I already had.

From what I gathered, the last song in the movie was a piece from 1973 and updated for the movie, but I didn’t get that far and figured the movie would be on cable eventually. I watched Boardwalk Empire but feel I enjoy it more when Bill is watching it with me, and he wasn’t home.

He was home in time to watch Mad Men, but didn’t see the whole thing, going to bed midway through. I eventually joined him around 12:30 and tossed and turned for an hour. Couldn’t fall asleep.

Couldn’t help but think of other jobs that I had. When I go on interviews, no matter what I usually freeze at the end, when they ask me if I have any questions for them. ‘Do I look fat in this?’, turns out to be not such a good question.

Nor is asking if their gender reassignment was an easy process to go through. I did come up with some valid questions, such as, ‘How many people are in the firm?’ ‘How many people will I be supporting?’ And my favorite, ‘What’s for lunch?’

Bill was out again this morning earlier than I was. It was pouring rain outside, which made for good sleeping in weather. I bargained with myself and got 15 extra minutes. Got up listening to Ben E. King singing ‘Stand By Me’.

I took that to be a good sign as I walked to the shower after making some coffee and pouring out a bowl of cereal. When I walked back in the bedroom, the Fabs were singing All You Need is Love. Another good sign I hoped.

Soon I was out the door, happy that it wasn’t raining just then. Everything was wet. Onto the bus and out into the terminal, down the stairs and onto the subway platform where a guy was playing I Me Mine. Not your every day Beatles song you hear busking.

I gave him a buck and hopped onto the train. When I got off at my stop, it was pouring out. No place to hang around before heading in, so I went in. The usual characters, the usual paranoia.

And since it was raining I had to spend my time indoors, in the cigar shop, which wasn’t so bad after all. I had my nose buried in a book but was drawn into a conversation about the state of pop music today.

It was agreed that hip hop doesn’t have much of a shelf life.

yesterday's me

I’m Looking Through You

Trying to write, computer keeps shutting down from being too hot. Maybe it’s what I am writing that is too hot. Maybe it’s the email attachments that are too hot. Maybe it’s Chris Murtagh. Or Mark Walden. Or Keith Moh.

Maybe it’s a lot of things. But in any event, I should write as much as I can before the computer crashes. That means you should ignore or overlook all errors, both spelling and grammatical.

I asked Bill is his Mac was working and he bought a new cable for it a few weeks ago, just never got around to hooking it up. He tried to tell me where the cable was for the Mac but it wasn’t where he said it was.

He did say he was taking half a day from work and would hook it up so I could use it tonight. Well he did come home, the mail was here and there are four boxes of Crystal Light precariously set on the edge of a table.

Plus there is a plastic supermarket bag in the middle of the floor filled with garbage which wasn’t there when I left the apartment this morning. And there is no cable hooked up to the Mac.

Right now I have a fan blowing full blast into the now uncovered computer tower on the floor. Seems to be doing the job. Plus it’s not the 90 something degree heat that was going on all day.

Today I went back to work. My Monday, your Wednesday. I didn’t want to go to work but really didn’t have much of a choice. The mantra continues. Sometimes the mantra is an albatross, sometimes it actually makes sense. Tonight it made sense.

It was just Calvin and Sean and myself tonight, after Don Birch left at 7PM. I write with what seems like the grim computer reaper standing behind me. The computer could shut down at any moment. Must continue writing.

Work was a bore.

It’s now September 1. Some kids are going back to school. Occasionally the feeling of despair that I felt when I was but a child comes into my frame of reference. How I hated school.

From day one. I think the only good time I had in school was actually 8th grade, 1976. I couldn’t wait to get out of school. The idea of college which I did hold as a possibility was dropped when in Junior year of high school when Sister Reginald told us that we were there in her class because we had to be there.

When we went to college, no one was going to make us go. It suddenly became clear. If I don’t want to do something, chances are that I won’t do it. If I don’t have to go to class, then I won’t. That would be a total waste of money.

Plus, my parents did not pay for my brothers and sister to go to college, so they weren’t about to pay for me. And they made just enough money that I wouldn’t qualify for student loans, and forget about scholarships.

I hated school, and education so much, all I could do was try to not fail ( and risk a beating by my father). I did so well in not failing that I didn’t really learn anything.

Luckily for me I knew some very intelligent people and learned all I could from them, as well as accumulating as many life experiences as I could. Like do not put a metal snap from your pajamas up your nose.

There.

I’ve written. The computer did not crash yet.

I’ve Found Someone

Another day. This one was a bear. And not the heavy set hirsute gay male kind. No this was a bear, and difficult to bear. Nothing bad mind you but just a bit of a funk. And my co-workers seemed to be feeling quite the same way.

It wasn’t so bad, since I slept well while Bill was doing his best Ralph Kramden imitation in Atlantic City. I was the dutiful Alice at home.

I made coffee and actually went to the supermarket to get cereal which I had run out of and since it was on sale I was able to get 2 boxes for $3.00 which is a deal indeed. Then picking up some of my dry cleaning before heading home for a breakfast of cereal and coffee, in tandem, not together.

Out of a desire not to watch First Look NY on TV I went out and caught the bus. A nicely paced walk up Ninth Avenue, buying some organic cookies which I shared with some of my co-workers. But I saved most of the cookies for myself instead of giving them all away like I’ve been doing.

It was a beautiful day outside once again. A Spring/Autumn like day, sun shining, a nice cool breeze. Lot’s of people out of town and a lot of people from out of town took their place. The area was really not too crowded, at least inside.

Perhaps there were a lot of bedbugs as an infestation has been reported nearby.

It was certainly slow at the cigar shop. The usual playful bitchiness was going on between myself, Raymond, Don Birch & Sean. By this time Bill had made it home and was sleeping the sleep of bus drivers.

I went out for lunch and had a nice phone chat with Annemarie telling me the latest tales of the Humboldt County scene. After the phone call with Annemarie I sat on a bench near the park and read Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol which I had ordered through the BCCLS system.

I had to return the Leo Castelli biography (just as he had gotten to Manhattan after World War II) since it was due back on Monday and not renewable. Andy Warhol is a fun read and yet it has nothing that I hadn’t read before. Just the same sentences & names in a different order.

Made it back to the shop where headaches both real and imagined ensued. Nothing insurmountable but it did include one instance of me telling Raymond that I resented him for something that he had said. A misunderstanding on his part but a misunderstanding that got under my skin and laid eggs.

It took a while for things to clear up and I had to put him in his place. Like I wrote, the day was a bear and this was the most bearish part. I don’t feel like writing about it in detail but I will say I was right and Raymond was wrong.

There was a sweet moment in the day. A woman came into the cigar shop, en route to a party. She was an attractive woman and needed to buy some cigars for a birthday present for a friend of hers. I made a recommendation and she went for it.

I offered to wrap the gift and we chatted. She was single and tired of looking for Mr. Right. I told her to stop looking and she said that she had. I suggested that she consciously stop looking and he might appear. She looked pretty good, in a nice dress as I told her of the civil union Bill and I had a few months ago and the celebration last month.

She enjoyed the story and really enjoyed me telling her that she was wearing a really nice dress (and she was). I also told her my old adage that straight men will undress a woman with their eyes, whereas a gay man will dress them with their eyes.

She laughed as I finished wrapping her gift and I wished her a good night and a happy birthday since she was turning 40 in 4 days. I also told her this could be her year. I think I helped make her night that much better and I really enjoyed doing so.

Now I am home, writing this. I have a day off tomorrow and then 5 days of work. I won’t be writing tomorrow unless there is something extraordinary to write about, and I certainly hope there won’t be.

It’s my day off goddammit.

For Christ Sake

A rainy day and I’m not bitter. I was bitter yesterday and a tad resentful but time heals most wounds and I’m feeling alright. Definitely did not go out and play guitar today, and definitely did not respond to any acting/singing/monologue improvisation suggestions.

Today with the weather and the melatonin, made for getting out of bed quite difficult. I remember Bill leaning over me, kissing me goodbye and telling me how good I looked and then back to sleep, eventually waking up to the sounds of the Electric Light Orchestra singing Telephone Line.

That brought me back to 1976, being in a car with a kid, Paul Gaulvin, who lived a block or so away from me in Rochelle Park. I didn’t know Paul Gaulvin at all and was sort of forced into being his friend by my father who worked with Paul’s father in some capacity.

Paul’s mother was driving us somewhere when Telephone Line came on the radio. The mother was the boss of that household, the father your basic milquetoast. I believe there was an older sister in Paul’s life and they fit the nuclear template quite well, Paul and his sister fighting like cats and dogs.

Ultimately Paul and I never had much in common. We experimented with cigarettes when we were 14 years old and I remember Paul buying a pack of Camels saying that they were good because they had hashish in them.

Though Paul and I went to the same high school, we really didn’t hang out with each other, he was in a smarter class and I wasn’t. I also remember the last time I hung out with Paul, at his graduation party 29 years ago, where I got so drunk that I fell flat on my back.

There I was talking to someone and next thing I knew, I was looking up at the sky. Paul’s mother made sure I got home safely, having Paul and maybe someone else walk me home over the Route 80 overpass. Last night Bill came home just in time to catch the 11:00 news.

He asked me if I had heard from my brother Frank and I said I hadn’t. I fell into the old family trap of ‘I’m always calling him. Why should I call again?’ That in turn prompted a discussion of my family, how things were different for Frank being the oldest and me being the youngest.

Basically, by the time I came of age my parents were tired of raising kids and I was left pretty much to myself. Of course I was also living a double life, a life that my family still doesn’t know about. And that’s probably how it should be.

Somethings are better off unknown.

I do recall telling Frank about some aspect of my growing up and living a secret life and that flipped him out quite a bit. That was then, this is now and I live a quiet life, content to stay at home and watch TV.

And tonight I will be watching the penultimate episode of Lost which will hopefully be an improvement on last week’s episode.

In the hallway

In the hallway


in the rain

in the rain

Keep A Knockin’

Just woke up from a nap. I know, I know, you don’t have a chance to nap and here I am writing about taking a nap. Life just isn’t fair. But you’re probably working (at least when I write this) and I’m not. And taking a nap is an excellent way to not spend money.

Lately I’ve had the blues. It happens from time to time. This time for me it’s a two pronged blues, or perhaps a two chord blues. Partly because from the approach of Mother’s Day. You’d think 19 years would give some relief and maybe it has, but there’s a pang of remorse involved.

Emails and commercials telling me to honor Mom this weekend. Each year around this time my life is tinged with blue.

I took the guitar out and played by the river. At a different spot than usual. Closer to 4th Street then 1st Street and Pier A where I usually play. It was quieter up to a point. Then they started doing some construction on the new pier that is being built and I wound up walking down towards Pier A.

I haven’t seen Tariq lately. Don’t know if he’s in NY or if his girlfriend kicked him out. Last time I saw him he mentioned that he and Francine had been arguing.

I was going to take a walk over by the Hoboken/Jersey City border to see if I could see the baby seal that’s been spotted but opted not to.

I did play Ohio by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young since today is the 40th anniversary of when the Ohio State National Guard opened fire on students at Kent State who were protesting Nixon’s incursion into Cambodia. 4 students killed, 9 wounded, one paralyzed.

Kent_State_massacre

And of course those National Guardsmen are probably muffin tops, having a beer with their families. Who knows what they’re thinking, if they’re thinking at all. I’m not sure anyone recognized the chords I was playing and I probably would have sung ‘Ohio’ if there was some accompaniment.

I haven’t heard anything about it being the 40th anniversary on the TV today. I was 7 years old at the time so I really don’t remember anything about it except for Walter Cronkite reporting it on the 7:00 News.

It wasn’t all sturm und drang since I also played ‘Hi Hi Hi’ by Paul McCartney. I played guitar for about 90 minutes before I gave up and came home.

It’s a good thing I don’t depend on people throwing change into my guitar case since I’d be in big trouble. I don’t mind since I’m not in it for the money, though it would be nice. I still have the three dollar bills that someone threw into my case a month or so ago in my song bag.

Symbolism mixed in between song sheets.

Then I came home and didn’t do much at all. My timing was good since it started to rain a bit, a little while after I came home. And that is when I decided to take a nap.

Now I’m here, looking at the rooftops of Hoboken. Looking forward to Lost tonight. Three episodes left, which is really two episodes since the last episode is going to be a two hour extravaganza.

Still sending out resumes, still not hearing anything in return. Sent a thank you email to the people who met with me last Wednesday, but no response from them either.

Take It In

Another Friday. What else is new? Pretty tired. It’s been a somewhat productive day. Laundry mainly. That’s productive. Laundry isn’t about to clean itself. Last night was low key. Just TV basically, as usual.

It being a Thursday night I did not watch Keith Olbermann and still neglecting Rachel Maddow. By the time Rachel comes on I’ve had just about enough. So I watched Community which was very funny. I think the Indian dude, Abed (whom I thought was called Op-Ed) is the best thing on it.

Parks and Recreation was also funny, John Larroquette playing the old flame of Amy Poehler’s mother, played by Pamela Reed was silly. The Office was the best with Kathy Bates playing the southern owner of Sabre, the printer company that has taken over Dunder Mifflin.

It was a return to form for the Office, with the past couple of weeks being sub par at best. 30 Rock was also very good. Not too much Tracy Morgan which is a very good thing.

Tracy Morgan is probably the luckiest guy in television. His best routine on Saturday Night Live was Brian Fellows I think and that wore thin rather quickly. Elizabeth Banks played Alec Baldwin’s love interest and she was great as usual. And the hallucination after Liz Lemon had dental work done was tops. Jon Bon Jovi was actually good as well.

Bill came home in time to watch the 10:00 broadcast of Keith Olbermann but since he decided to clean up around his computer, I opted to play music instead of listening to Keith Olbermann. Bill had his laptop repaired by TekServe so after finally throwing out a lot of crap that piled up around his Mac, he started working on his laptop which needed to be reloaded with just about everything.

He was up until 1:30 doing that. He’s driving to Atlantic City tonight and tomorrow so I won’t be seeing him until Sunday, and most of Sunday will probably be spent sleeping in bed. The Winter Olympics start tonight. I’m fairly ambivalent about them. I may watch the opening ceremony though.

Nothing else seems to be on. But that won’t probably happen until later so I might as well catch Keith Olbermann. This afternoon while walking around town I ran into Chris Repella and her daughter about to go to lunch at Cafe Karma, or Karma Cafe.

Chris was talking to Eileen Lynch who I hadn’t seen in a few years. I think she might have moved but now she seems to be back. Also ran into Thaler Pekar who is a real sweetheart. She was looking good in her winter wear. Thaler and I talked for a while, she’s taking an improv class and I told her of my improv class story.

It seems to work for her, but I could never get past the most important rule of improv. Don’t say ‘No’. If you say no it ends the sketch you’re working on. If you say yes the sketch can continue in many directions. And my first reaction all those years ago was no.

Not too wordy tonight, so I will just end it right here.

To all the visitors who visit this blog and wonder ‘what the fuck is this?’, sometimes I have things to write about, sometimes I don’t. The thing was back in the day, I established a goal of writing at least 500 words a day. I was thinking of John Hughes, and felt I had to explain, and no, not that John Hughes.

Rand suggested putting it up on a blog so he created johnozed.com for me. Since I really didn’t have anything to write about today, I still felt compelled to write the daily allotment. And here we are with now over 600 words.

I guess I was wordier than I expected. Cheers!

Be Stiff

Yes it’s a Friday again. Nothing special on this end. Would have been the end of my first work if I stayed at the place I wasn’t too comfortable in. I know I did the smart thing though. Feeling better today than I would have if I stayed, despite what someone in Bala Cynwyd thinks.

Some people call him ‘Maurice’, cause it speaks for the pompatus of the working stiffs. But it wasn’t the Maurice that I knew and loved though. I did hear from him, I guess he’s still happily married in Portland.

Facebook suggested getting in touch with him a week or so ago, and since I do just about everything that Facebook suggests I sent him a message. He replied in kind, with his phone number so I might just call him up and check in this weekend.

Today was spent doing laundry, cleaning up and buying groceries. Big snowstorm expected. Bill was supposed to drive to Atlantic City tonight but all trips were canceled since down in South Jersey they’re expecting about a foot of snow. He was disappointed in this, but I was glad I didn’t have to spend the night worrying.

A while back at the old job, the real one that I enjoyed working at, I received a gift certificate for a restaurant group in Manhattan. Nice pricey gift card too. I called to check to see if it was still valid and was told that they didn’t expire.

So since next weekend is Valentine’s Day I thought taking Bill out for a nice dinner would be cool. Get dressed up, have some good food and just enjoy a night out. I asked Bill if he would be available but since he’s not driving this weekend, he’s looking forward to driving a bus next weekend, leaving me to play the role of Alice Kramden in Hoboken.

Valentine’s day has been a varying thing each year. The first couple of years it was all good, but then there was a year that Bill was complaining about all the hype and the crass commercialism of Valentine’s day.

The next year he was in the swing of it and has been for the past few years. Last year Bill won a contest at his company cafeteria and had a very nice lunch for us. It’s not your average cafeteria, and we had poached salmon and some nice wine, followed by a nice dessert.

He also gave me a Cuisinart coffee maker last year too which I use every day. He doesn’t use it since he doesn’t drink coffee. Let’s face it, I’m a bus widower. Still it could be worse.

Tickets for The Specials in April went on sale for Terminal 5 today. Cheap too, $30.00 but not in this weeks budget. I could scrimp and save next week if they’re still on sale. Even though Jerry Dammers isn’t in the band these days, (he was the founder you know) the original band is still intact.

I just hope there is a ticket available on Wednesday. Other than that, just looking forward to the big snow, or any snow. I’ll go out and take pictures if and when I can. Other than that, I do have some DVD’s from the library (there I go suckling at the teat of the government, thanks Mo).

I have the Led Zeppelin collection that came out a few years ago, 2 disc set mastered by Jimmy Page, Zack & Miri Make a Porno- which looks very silly, directed by Kevin Smith, My Dinner with Andre- which I had never seen, directed by Louis Malle. That’s a 2 disc set as well, and in the player is Up, the Pixar flick that came out last year and is supposed to be very good.

It’s in the DVD player so I can surprise Bill later and just turn on the machine and it should start playing. Thanks BCCLS!

And just so you don’t think I only take DVD’s out from the library, I have a biography of Robert Mapplethorpe ready to be read.