Category Archives: Mood Mambo

My Conversation

I was sending out more resumes today, even sending one to Bill’s old firm. I once applied there when Bill was working there but since we were a couple I couldn’t get hired. I also applied for a position that I was thisclose to getting but did not get due to my sin of omission on my resume, leaving out a position that last three months. I left because I had a job offer that paid a lot more money. Ah those were the days. I had listed that job that paid more money on the questionnaire that was attached and filled in the name of the managing director.

And that would be Ashish Sanghrajka. I wrote about him last week, when I sent him a text saying ‘Namaste’ and his reply of ‘How did I know? I just got back from India yesterday!’ Then when Ashish Sanghrajka figured out it was me, all communication was cut off. I contacted him when I came across a memo to ‘Roger’ about how well the company was doing then and plans to go to Australia were in the works before the good ship did not properly negotiate the ice bergs nor did they expect to be sued by one of their own when “Beth Jacobs” was dismissed.

As far as I know, no trip to Australia ever materialized, nor did Ashish raise $10-15mm for their fund. I do not think the BIOIB fund turn out to be what Ashish hoped it would appear to be and soon it was women and children first. Actually they jettisoned one woman and held the door as another left. I should have heeded the advice given to me about Ashish (incompetent/do nothing) but being an optimist I hoped for the best. Not very pragmatic at all it turned out to be. Even some of his partners tried to give me advice but thanks to some misguided sense of loyalty, it caused me to ignore just what it was they were whispering in my ear.

And it’s back to Maxwell’s tonight. I’ll be working with RoDa so that should go well. And more of the same this weekend as it was last weekend. Tonight only has two bands playing and it’s not sold out so it might be a long night. Of course anything is possible and I won’t know anything until I get there. I also got an email from on high from Maxwell’s. No one knows anything about whether or not Maxwell’s is moving or closing. I do have some insight on what’s going on but I’m not going to post about that until I see some of the other pieces of the puzzle.

The Art & Music festival is on Sunday but I will be busy for most of it and by the time I will be available the bands that I was interested in seeing will be packing up. I might go see the headliner, Mike Dougherty but I really can’t say right now. It is supposed to be a nice weekend anyhow and I am seeing Brian Eno on Monday night.



Stage Fright

“It’s my 30th birthday…” said Rachel, the sister in law of the bartender. Rachel is from Charlotte, South Carolina. “Happy birthday Rachel.” “thank you. It feels different being 30 and all…”
“30’s nothing” I tell her and ask her and her friend to guess my age.
“42”. That was nice to hear and their faces dropped when I told them that I was 50. They didn’t ask for proof so they could think I was putting them on, they were tipsy and celebratory.

I am old enough to be the father of several of these twenty somethings. It’s humorous.
They’re not like Juan though. Juan does his own thing and doesn’t care what other people think mostly.
I wrote ‘mostly’, since no matter what, people do care what others think of them.
Juan doesn’t even give a shit about what I think of him. Off to Leonardo and the Principal Crawfish for him it is.

I worked Saturday night and Rand came by and RoDa was managing so that made for a good night. It was busy enough and as usual the stage fright or anxiety I get before going to work dissipated. It was a good staff and fairly crowded. At one point as I was winding my way through the crowd (I mangled the nail on my left hand and needed to get nail clippers from my bag) I tried to maneuver my way around a short woman. She was trying to maneuver out of my way and I wound up grabbing her breast.

I immediately apologized and she accepted the apology, knowing that it was purely an accident. I’m sure I blushed and when I returned to my spot on the floor, I mentioned to RoDa and Rand that I just grabbed a woman’s breast and that it felt like a bag of sand. Rand got the joke immediately and explained to RoDa that it was a line from the 40 Year Old Virgin. For me it was the first and probably last time I’ve ever touched a woman’s breast. I’m pretty sure I was bottle fed when I was a baby so I didn’t even see my mother’s breasts at feeding time.

I worked the whole shift and came home and tried watching Saturday Night Live with Melissa McCarthy as the host. It looked funny and decided to hold off from watching it so I could see it with Bill and or, Juan. Once again I slept really well and woke up refreshed. Bill was driving from Atlantic City and after that headed to check in on his mother. My anxiety kicked in again as the day progressed, I ran a few errands but mainly stayed indoors until it was time to go.

I was scheduled to work at 6:00 so I had dinner around 5:00. I walked up Washington Street and started seating people almost immediately after getting to Maxwell’s. There is a Sunday evening special which goes from 5:00 to 8:00 and there were a few families taking advantage of the three course meal plan. Bands were scheduled in the back room and the restaurant was busy but not excessively busy. Allie stopped by for dinner with his friend Kevin. Allie is an old friend from Maxwell’s and it was good to see him, albeit worrisome since he was walking with a cane.

And Allie was let go from his job last week as well. He’s older than Bill and myself, but has a steadier head on his shoulders so he’s probably prepared for this type of thing. Bob Bert also came in for dinner and it was cool to have a few words with him. I actually had a dream that had Bob Bert on a beach, a few feet away from Brian Jones and Keith Richards. I told Bob about that and he said it would have been cool if it were true. But Brian Jones died in 1969 and Bob being a couple of years older than me would have been an adolescent then. Of course I am reading too much into that.

Bob left and soon Allie and Kevin did too. I made friends with a German couple who were there to see some American rock and roll. Nice couple, they were headed to Florida for the rest of their holiday and enjoyed Maxwell’s very much. I consider myself the cruise director onboard the SS Maxwell’s, perhaps from watching Love Boat too many times when I was growing up- but I feel so Lauren Tewes when I am at the door.

Today was the day that spring finally arrived and after doing laundry, I took a walk around Hoboken, winding up by the river where I sat and continued reading ‘Across the Great Divide’, Barney Hoskyns book about the Band. I don’t really care for the band, I just enjoy Barney’s writing. It has gotten me to listen to their music, primarily their well-known songs, which is better than nothing I suppose.





I Swear

It’s a race between me and the pope with regards to ending at the end of the month. He’s quitting and I’m just taking a break. I also do not have a child molestation scandal, nor was I ever a member of the Hitler Youth. He’s getting more press that is for sure, but I will probably live longer so I win. And in the extra credit category I am butcher (meaning more butch) than old lady Benedict, with points to me for not wearing taffeta or Prada shoes. And let’s face it- I am much better looking than it is.

Today was a letdown. Where yesterday I had an interview scheduled, only to have it canceled and rescheduled for today, today turned out to be a wash out. Bobby Bennett from Bellview Consultants set the whole thing up and then dismantled it right before my eyes. Bobby Bennett is a bit of a flake and quite possibly a big fat liar. But since he is supposedly in my corner I will give him the benefit of the doubt. It was a good gig dangling in front of me and exactly what I was looking for.

Working in the Health Department for New York City, specifically in the air department. It seems my time at the cigar shack had paid off and though I never wrote about my extracurricular work with the bankers next door it did look good on the resume. T’is a pity that the cigar shack never asked my opinion as to who to talk to in the bank, I could have saved them some problems. The reason I write about this now is since this is flat lining on Thursday, what do I have to lose? Of course it could all be a lie but not a threat.

Today I was out and about- the staff at the bibliothèque were pulling for me with regards to the interview that never happened. A walk to the nearby supermarket put me in contact with a 78 year old woman named Sylvia. We talked about how the other supermarket was better but this one was closer. She had a few items and no grocery cart and since I was right behind her on the line I offered to help her bring her groceries home. She lived a few blocks away and I live just around the block but I did not mind.

I had nothing else to do really. I had my groceries and helped carry hers. We had a nice talk, about Sandy of course. She almost took an apartment on the first floor and thought better of it, and it proved to be the correct decision since when the storm surge hit, the first floor was inundated with water and she would have lost everything. It was a nice walk and I was quite happy to be able to help out a neighbor who needed some assistance. I actually do it often but I rarely write about it.
Trayvon martin hoodie JPEG
She’s a Lady

I Should Have Known It

Today is just an ugly day. It started out cold with snow, then cold with damp and now cold with rain. I was outside exactly one time, no need to go out again. IT’s been an antsy day, watching the laundry dry on the racks, not letting it pile up into a mountain, but instead having a little hill instead, which was much easier to manage. And the weather suits my state of mind. All my outdoor activities were a trip to the bibliothèque, to the dry cleaners to drop off hangers and the supermarket where people were generally inconsiderate and vacant. I did run into people I know, which was good.

It was the times when no one was around that I found myself muttering under my breath as I walked the streets. No more texts from Shlomo and his gang of cigar store Zionists. It was nice of Israel to give me that can of kerosene and a box of wooden matches that night at the bridge. The bibliothèque was quite a shelter for those coming in from the rain and snow and cold. From there it was to drop off the coat hangers and then to the supermarket which with each passing day gets more annoyingly mismanaged.

Last night Bill came home after spending the day with his mother. She’s not doing so well and Bill tries to go see her every chance he gets. Since he only drove the bus on Friday, he was free on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday we watched Lincoln and Sunday he watched his mother. I was out and about for a little while yesterday but mainly stayed indoors. Bill came home in time to watch an awards program that he voted in and of course every time someone he voted for won, a cheerful yell was heard in the apartment.

He went to bed soon after that, around 10:00 and I of course stayed up watching the news before I too went to bed. Slept soundly I think and woke up with anxiousness in my mind. With each passing minute the anxiety made itself known and that is why muttering under my breath when outside seemed to help, and I was able to control it when talking to friends that I saw. It was those moments alone when the butterflies in my stomach made their presence known in my gut and in my mind which I sometimes confuse.

I’m sure everything will be alright, can’t do nothing about the past and tomorrow isn’t here yet and I am sure there are things I can better fill the present with than anxiety. Bill just came home and I can focus on him instead. I have Kindle on my tablet and finished reading Diane Keaton’s memoir, titled Then Again. It’s about Diane Keaton and it’s also about her mother, going through her mother’s papers and writing after she had passed away. It was a good read and if you like Diane Keaton you will probably like it a lot.

I did use Google Analytics again. It’s been awhile and I was able to see that one person from Bayside was online reading stories that seemed to involved a certain friend of mine from the recording studio days. It was addictive as I read what they were reading for a few minutes and tried to figure out what it was they were looking for. I enjoyed it, for a few minutes I watching someone else read what I wrote. Sort of like looking over their shoulder as they read. And when they stopped reading, so did I.

I Remember Again

It’s a long day and it’s a little more than halfway. I am currently at the bibliotheque using their computers since my computer crapped out last night. The fan inside the computer stopped working and I think it was because there was so much dust in there that it overwhelmed the poor fan. I dropped off this morning at a repair store and waiting for the estimate. I don’t think it would be too much, just a simple vacuuming should do the trick, but then again I am not a computer guy so it could be something else despite the warning on the screen last night saying the CPU Fan has malfunctioned.

It’s nice and quiet here, it being a bibliotheque, what else would it be. There is a lecture going on soon regarding women and economics and I will probably be able to hear it from where I sit. The temperature has dropped considerably from last night to now and despite the heat being on here in the bibliotheque, the high ceilings make sure the heat stays away from those of us hunkered at tables in front of public computers. I’m not complaining, I dressed accordingly. But you can hear the wind whistling down the streets of Hoboken.

The bibliotheque is bustling today. Lot’s of people checking in and out of circulation, and you can hear the staff chuckle and tell jokes as they work through their day. I helped put away some books and DVD’s earlier before settling in on a vacant computer. They were happy to see me and I was happy to see them. They’re good people, the staff- and I am sometimes privy to their jokes and comments which usually leave me with a chuckle. I can now see why this particular computer was vacant.

After a few hours I feel like I am turning into a hunchback. The chair seems designed by the Marquis de Sade and requires stepping away from it for a few minutes, like now. I haven’t dressed appropriately for this weather and I am starting to think, chaps and a jock strap was not the way to go. Then again I am just a quick hop across Church Square Park so if anything there will be shrinkage, accompanied by high beams when I power walk my way home. ANd if that isn’t an invitation to molest me, then I don’t know what is.

I can hear holiday music from the circulation desk, and I think I have heard Feliz Navidad a dozen times already. It beats working in a mall with Mannheim Steamroller playing constantly at levels that defy the standards of the Geneva Convention. I have my own respite from that, I play the Phil Spector Christmas Album, the Beatles Christmas Messages, The Roches and various other collections including a very good one from Mojo Magazine a few years ago. And then there are the Waitresses with Christmas Wrapping and a find from a year or so ago, Regina Spektor with My Dear Acquaintance.

No pics, no music tonight. Sorry.

I Remember- Keyshia Cole

Well it’s Friday today and that’s good I guess. I am sure most of you made it through the week safely with no squabbles. It was a bit bumpy here but things have gotten better. It’s was that time, when Bill gets so tired and not much fun to be around. Nothing bad on his part, he just over does it and stretches himself too thin. And sometimes no matter how good the news is, or how happy someone is to see you, you’re just not in the mood and generally cranky. It happens to me and it happened to Bill.

But things are better, like I wrote. Hurt feelings don’t last mostly and there is no point in hanging onto them, they do not do anyone any good. Bill is off to Atlantic City once again and I am tracking him to give myself some peace of mind. Already he is at the border of Lodi and Hackensack. I guess he is picking up in Bergen County before heading south. I will hear from him once he gets to Atlantic City. Hard to believe but it was only a month ago that Atlantic City was almost under water. Nothing will prevent people from gambling I guess.

Today has been alright. I slept fairly well, waking up to Bill’s farewell kiss before he headed out. I got out of bed a little while after that. I had a dream that seemed to take place down the shore at a house that my family rented. My siblings were all there and at one point I decided to go to the beach and walking in the direction of the ocean I found myself at the intersection on Route 36 where Highlands borders with Rumson. That was about as far as I got before turning around in the dream.

Then I got back to the house and found that in order to get to one room, you had to climb a ladder and move a curtain so that a door could be opened. No one seemed to mind despite the fact that it was an odd way to go from one room to another. The dreams seem to have gotten very interesting, enough that I can actually remember them when I usually forget them once I am awake and starting my day.

I saw Shlomo today and talked with him for a bit while enjoying a cigar he blessed me with. I mentioned that he should get one of the Shop Local/Rebuild Hoboken signs that most stores have in their windows. I knew Jim Mastro created them so I had an actual reason to go to the Guitar Bar. And there was Mr. Wonderful himself and he did have a few of the signs. So I got one from Jim (who also loaned me a Bee Gees CD- Spicks & Specks) and headed back to the cigar shop where I gave it to Shlomo.

He set about putting it in the window and I headed out, picking up Raspberries for Bill since he asked me to get him some. Now I am home again, about to make some dinner. Nothing planned for tonight. I was invited to join the people who voted to save rent control at a nearby pub, but I reckon I will just be staying at home and saving some money. Next Friday, Bill and I are going to see Sinbad at the Apollo Theater.

It was my birthday present to Bill back in June, and now the date is here. Bill’s never been to the Apollo, where I have been a few times. It should be fun, we have good seats. It will be interesting since Bill loves Sinbad and has been reluctant to see live comedy since Bill has quite a rambunctious laugh, the type that could possibly draw the attention of the comic. So we shall see how that works out. It’s next Friday so there’s plenty of time to think about that.

Guitar Bar

Feels So Good

I Never Will Marry

Yesterday and last night was a snow storm, today bright and sunny. More flooding though not as severe as it was last week. Still debris covers a lot of sidewalks in Hoboken, basements emptied of all contents. Beds, dressers and of course personal belongings piled up. I think the basement in my building has been cleaned out. I haven’t been down there since I threw out my stuff. Perhaps tomorrow I will go again. It does take its toll, just walking around the street and seeing people trying to put on a brave face while their lives and possessions are ruined.

When I tell people I lost a couple of hundred records (maybe 500), they’re sympathetic. All I need to do is just look a few doors down and see I got off easy. A friend online was almost bemoaning the fact that he can’t get from Jersey City to Brooklyn tonight to see a concert due to the lingering consequences of the Sandy storm last week. He realizes that his whining is stupid because of the fact that it is a minor inconvenience especially compared to others in this area. He does hope its better next week since there is a better show he wants to attend.

It’s hard for me to believe but I have not left Hoboken in almost two weeks. Usually I would jump into the city for something but I’ve been in town since the storm. Strangers still chat with one another as they walk past each other, wishing each other the best. I saw Jim Mastro and he’s still recovering from the storm. I’m not writing a lot about what he’s going through but I hope it works out. He lost a recording studio with some expensive, vintage equipment in it. Perhaps FEMA could help him out.

And despite when snow falls things generally look pretty, when it falls on debris it just looks terribly sad. I guess things are slowly getting back to something resembling normal in most of Hoboken. The bibliothèque is closed, been closed since last week. The majority of the employees are probably getting paid since they’re full time, but of course the part timers aren’t going to get paid. That’s just how things are. I do hope they open soon though since I do have items that need to be returned and the drop off boxes are filled to capacity.

And the Republican Party are licking their wounds, trying to figure out how they lost the election. Now that they’re number one job of making Barack Obama a one term President has failed will they cooperate? Will they help pass a jobs bill? Will both parties do something about climate change? Something has to be done. AIDS prevention, education, the crumbling infrastructure are all things that need to be taken care of as soon as possible. Also closing Guantanamo, getting the troops out of Afghanistan are on the list. I want the President to start kicking ass and not let them off the hook.

Have You Been Making Out OK

I Never Play Basketball Now

Well it finally feels like autumn. Temperatures drop down to the 30 degree range at night and the afternoon, when sunny is cool and crisp. Leaves and twigs crunch underfoot when walking on sidewalks. I don’t mind it, though I do prefer the summer. When I was a suit & tie wearing guy it was somewhat reversed. I preferred the autumn since the suits were just fine, no need for an overcoat- I could just go in the suit and tie. Now that that isn’t happening much these days I find myself comfortable in whatever it is I seem to be wearing.

I spent time at the bibliothèque today, volunteering. I told them that I was going to be doing that and they were extremely grateful that I was there. They were swamped with returns and requests and having me there enabled them to get whatever needed to be done, completed. They told me they appreciated me being there and I certainly appreciate them so it was a win win situation. I’ll put in some more time tomorrow as well as a few days this week. Good guy Mike Cecchini does the same thing so I will at least have good company.

It turned out Bill was not at the Yankee game last night, he was at work watching the game there. He knows I’m not a sports fan, definitely not a Yankee fan and spared me the overpriced testosterone showboating. Normally I don’t mind looking at the slabs of beef in tight fitting uniforms but my disdain for the Yankees prevents me from seeing anything remotely sexual from those Bronx bombers. As long as Bill is happy, I am happy. Tonight he is going to the game with a friend since it is game one of a pennant race or something like that.

No plans here for me tonight, just laying low once again. Practice the guitar a bit, watch some TV, some DVD’s. I have True Grit with Jeff Bridges, Carnage, Drive and We Bought A Zoo. The last one is the latest Cameron Crowe movie and I am hoping for the best. And I still have the New Yorker, Mojo and Uncut as well as a few books to read so my input is good at least. And then there is the beast which is the internet forever demanding of my time. Something clever needs to be posted!

Well Bill has a bit of an upset stomach, he is waiting for a friend to join him before heading up to the Bronx. Then he has to get back at a reasonable hour since he is driving a charter somewhere tomorrow. I wouldn’t have a problem if Bill wanted to watch the game here at home, he watches just about everything I put on so one good turn deserves another. But then again there is nothing quite like going to a baseball game and watching it in the stands, or even the bleachers.

Even if it is the dreaded Yankees.

Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard

I Need You To Love Me

Another day, another grey day. Even less sun it seemed. Just a lazy Saturday. I slept in much later than usual, so much so that I was still in bed when Bill came home. And when he got into bed, I got out and started my day. Which wasn’t much to begin with. Drying clothes hanging on racks and in the bathroom. I did some tidying up yesterday which was mainly shredding documents. Nothing much going on today. Bill was asleep most of the day and I went out briefly for some foodstuffs. I thought about posting the thing I wrote the other day, but it is so bitter and nasty yet funny and vindictive.

Maybe someday, but not today. So here’s a look back.

September 29, 2006- Working for McMann and Tate. Company party at a club in the meat packing district. I neglected to write that when I went to Felicia’s apartment beforehand she buzzed me in while a walking around her apartment naked. She did offer me some powder which I ingested and set the tone for the rest of the evening. Partying with a group of Britishers made me realize that I was no match for them and proceeded to get quite pissed. I almost crashed in a client’s hotel but wound up paying for a taxi at 2:30 in the morning, back to Hoboken.

September 29, 2007- A Saturday and a day off, spent cleaning the apartment and posting a list of songs via the iPod shuffle. I was working at the Biotechnology Investment Bank.

September 29, 2008- Still at the Biotechnology Investment Bank and it was a Monday. Did banking for Greg Stevens, taking his money out of one bank and moving it to another. The stock market plunged and working in finance showed an atmosphere of stress and fear, much more than usual. I also included a list via JoeMyGod of the top ten bank collapses, all during republican administrations and which still did not equal the amount of money lost by Washington Mutual.

September 29, 2009- Bill and I still recovering from a previous argument. Heard from Julio twice in one day and also ran into Stine with Alexander. I watched Ripley’s Game and Hedwig and the Angry Inch, also Curb your Enthusiasm and the Colbert Report. Unemployed.

September 29, 2010- Working at the cigar shack and really hating that jazz crap. In the midst of going on interviews, hating the cigar shack so much that I was willing to unload trucks for Macy’s during the holidays. Thankfully Macy’s did not appreciate my willingness. Some cousins were contacted with regards to getting a new job, some replied other didn’t. I already stopped trusting Calvin (who later had a name change to Zack, exactly). Though unhappy I still went to work and did a decent job, though I was always on the lookout to better my station.

September 29, 2011- Still cigar shacking it. A day off though, sending cards and gifts to friends and a nephew who was born on the 30th. I just got a smartphone and then, like now, I am still trying to figure it out.

A lackluster entry for a lackluster day.

“Exactly, hur hur hur…”


I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me

I was just thinking about my mother. I remember growing up, not knowing how old she was or even really where she lived, asking her if she saw the Hindenburg go down in flames, or if she remembered seeing King Kong on top of the Empire State Building. I was the type that thought King Kong was a documentary.

I know my mother loved movies and born in 1927 1926, she probably saw at least some of the classics, like Gone with the Wind which came out in 1939. She would have been 12 and I guess that she probably had a chance to go out and see it. I think it was probably a stolen moment since she was the only daughter with 5 brothers and more than likely had to help out her mother with the chores and household tasks.

It couldn’t have been that easy growing up during the depression, 5 brothers, and an abusive father to deal with. And not just abusive but from what I can remember- a drinker. Late in his life and early in my own, we had him in our house for Thanksgiving. To me he was just an old man with white hair and black horn rimmed glasses.

After Thanksgiving dinner, it was just me and him awake, seemingly everyone else all had naps or went over to friends’ houses. I offered to make him some coffee and I got him a cup. On the dining room table where he sat was an unopened bottle of whiskey. He asked me to get some milk from the kitchen and for just that short amount of time, half the bottle of whiskey disappeared.

It was looked on humorously when my family slowly started to awake from their post dinner naps. My grandfather died a few weeks after that, sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I consoled myself by listening to the original Broadway soundtrack of Godspell. I was mourning, not for my grandfather but rather for my mother being unhappy.

The wake was somewhere in the Bronx and one of the last times my mother and her brothers were all in the same room at the same time. Their mother died not too long after my birth and I did not know her at all. I heard she was nice though. Her name was Helen I believe.

Soon my uncles started dropping off. First was my Uncle John. Didn’t know much about him but loved his children, they were pretty much very close to the ages of my brothers and sister. After that I guess Uncle Richard died. From what I heard he had a steel plate in his head and sweat and grease seeped under the steel plate and slowly drove him off the deep end.

Then came Uncle Harry who was my Uncle John’s twin. I barely knew him but knew him more than my Uncle Richard (who was talked about in joking yet hushed tones). Uncle Tommy was next to go, an unhappy marriage and with a brood of children who didn’t like him very much. He might have been a drunken terror at home, but I really couldn’t say.

My mother passed away on Mother’s Day 1991, all of a sudden from a heart attack, doing the Sunday Times crossword puzzle. And finally my Uncle Joseph, the baby of the family, who after a fight with diabetes and who knows what else, died a few years ago.

I am mainly still in touch with my Uncle John’s kids via Facebook. They’re all nice people. The other cousins, Uncle Tommy’s progeny- I have no idea who or where they are. I can pass them on the street and wouldn’t recognize them. Joseph’s son, looks like his mother only bald and I last saw him at his father’s wake.

I guess me and my sibllings were the cream of the crop. Though if any cousins are reading this, I am more than happy to discuss this with them. We can compare our wounds- physical, mental and emotional.

Powers to the people!

2 – Downtown

I Hope They Get To Me In Time

A Monday and a day off. Quite nice, overall though there was a bout of despair, earlier in the day. I don’t understand it, I enjoy having a day off but the past 2 times I had a day off I was miserably depressed. Last week I took a Xanax to deal with it, this time I merely got out and walked around.

Last night wasn’t so bad, I was tired enough to go to bed about an hour earlier, like a little before midnight. At 12:20 I was out of bed and surfing the net. I did fall asleep but I was awoken by my own snoring. At the usual time that I go to bed, 1:00 I was able to fall asleep. I slept alright and woke up this morning feeling somewhat rested.

I went out with some shirts for the dry cleaners and a visit to the supermarket, where I saw the mighty Isis on my way out. Coming back home and after breakfast is when the despair crept in. But it was a beautiful day, a bit windy but alright to go out and run the errand I needed to run.

A while back I bought a Timex watch with a leather strap and after wear and tear over time, the leather strap started to fall apart. I held it together with a rubber band but it looked unsightly. Last Friday I was in midtown and stopped by a shoe maker and had the band replaced with a metal band, sort of like a Speidel watch band, but it wasn’t.

I liked it and that was all that mattered. On Saturday while working at the cigar shack, I looked at my watch and saw that the watch band was hanging together by a metal thread. All it took was for me to touch it when it fell apart. I guess I was fortunate that I was standing still and not walking on the street or something like that.

I tried but I could not get it together, unable to connect one part to another since a piece was missing. That meant I spent several moments looking at my wrist and wondering what time it was. Waking up was difficult since I wear the watch to bed and usually check the watch to see what time it is, rather than actually lifting myself from the bed to look at the alarm clock.

So much easier to lay there, one eye open with my trusty Timex watch one inch from my eye so that I could see its face, so blind am I without my glasses.

I anticipated some difficulty with the shoe maker since it was a cash transaction and no receipt was given or asked for. So I took the bus into Manhattan on my day off and walked over to 39th Street, off of Sixth Avenue. I walked in and they seemed busy, but the guy behind the counter sort of remembered me. Must have been the codpiece I was wearing.

I explained what happened and he took the watch and opened up a box filled with metal watch bands. Finding one that best suited my machismo, he set about taking off the old watch band and putting on the new one. It took about all of five minutes and I was soon back on the street where I ran into my old Rasta pal, Jesse.

After a brief chat it was a walk to the Path train which I rode reading Kurt Vonnegut and listening to Carole King on the iPod. It was a beautiful, yet breezy afternoon and I am glad I was able to get out and enjoy it, if only for a short while.

technical ecstasy, what?

04 In Dark Trees

I Found A Love

Well it was back to work for me again today. Back to the cigar shack. Yesterday could have been better but what can you do? Being anti-social, I do not call any friends and I am somewhat relieved when they don’t call me as promised. No hard feelings.

Sean, the former co-worker from the cigar shack is trying to become a corrections officer and I told him I would try to get him in touch with Pedro. But Pedro doesn’t return my calls and Sean never called me like he said. Same thing with Mike C, when I saw him the other day doing volunteer work at the library he mentioned giving me a call, to go over to his place and hang out and listen to music.

No call, no worries. It’s nothing new, I don’t want to see anyone, I don’t want to hang out with anyone, and I don’t want to chat online with anyone most especially. I do not like the fact that my chat room window opens up on Facebook when I prefer it closed.

I don’t have the time to buy frames or photo albums for the pictures I had developed by CVS so I will mail them out next week when I do have the time. The left coast wing knows this already, the east coast wing will find out when I show up empty handed on Saturday night.

I thought I would make some nice gifts from some photos from over the years and I could swear last year when I did the same thing, it did not take that long for them to be shipped. I had them shipped to the CVS near the cigar shack instead of Hoboken so maybe that is the problem. In any event, nothing from this relative until next week.

There’s a picture of my sister in law Elaine with her daughters Meghan and Corinne and I am not sure if I gave them the same picture last year. Bill of course is so supportive and tells me they will see how much I care, how I captured the moment and presented it to them. Nice sentiment, but it doesn’t stop me from looking like a fool if they get the exact same photo that they got the year before.

And speaking of presents, totally out of the blue, the ultra kind and thoughtful Jimmy Seltzer bought me a present. He really did not have to and it was not expected but it should come in handy should I get drafted into the Swiss Army.

It’s been a very long day today and tomorrow promises to be just like today, another eleven hour day, Zack asked if I could come in at 11:30 instead of 12:30 and of course I could not say no. So tomorrow will be long and busy and of course Saturday will be even more insane. I will be closing tomorrow night and opening on Saturday morning.

For me, Christmas is just a day off. I’ll give myself some wiggle room and say that is at least how I feel right now. And I have all those wonderful tracks that Pandora picks out to listen to at work since the playlist of over 200 holiday songs seems to have fallen out of favor. What do I know? I only used to be a DJ. Let some computer faraway decide what to play. Sort of like Clear Channel Communications if you ask me.

You know what? I am not so fond of the holidays anymore, though it does give me an opportunity to see most of my family, if only for a few hours. And hey, I do have Sunday off.

Once again, Julio asked me out for one drink before he flies off to Denmark tomorrow and of course I had to turn him down. C’est la vie.

Nessun dorma

I Dreamed A Dream

I just got home a few minutes ago. Bill is up in Buffalo, and is expected back tomorrow. It’s been a long day. Last night I had the strangest dream which seemed to go on forever, but in reality probably lasted about a minute.

In the dream I was working in an office (perhaps a omen) yet still working for Cigar Shack Incorporated. A phone was ringing and I answered it. On the other end was Benjamin Netanyahu. He was friendly enough, perhaps too friendly.

He was asking me about some cigars that I sold him on the east side of town. I told him I worked on the west side of town but he was insistent and being a customer, always right. He basically told me he liked the cigars and in a roundabout way, was asking me out for some cocktails.

I don’t remember much after that since I woke up. The day started out as a drag and continued to be so and it went on. I was out on the street waiting for the bus and watching the rain clouds roll in. I don’t think I slept too well and was a bit anxious about work.

I had no idea what was in store at the cigar shack but a redeeming value was the fact that Frank Burns would not be in. It was to be Zack and Thomas. The bus was crowded and late. There were quite a few people leaving town with luggage. At the next stop Deborah got on board and it was nice to see her though both of us were dragging.

I tried not to think about past jobs where the office would close at a half day and a four day weekend happily loomed. No, that was not for me. I had a long full day ahead. Looking backwards was not going to help me at all. Since my bus was late that meant I was late but I wasn’t too worried.

After the train ride uptown I walked into the cigar shack where Zack was behind the counter next to Thomas who was counting money. Zack was ringing up for a customer and I said good morning as I walked in. A glare from Thomas did not seem promising. He was just tired.

I got myself together and punched in and soon started selling cigars and whatnot. The man cave once again open for smoking was getting crowded and in the afternoon would be filled with some slightly tipsy customers pontificating and egging each other on while others merely rolled their eyes.

For lunch I headed out, took a train downtown and walked back just to have something to do. I was back in time as Thomas was due to have lunch next. He had nowhere to go and wound up spending his time looking for a place to roost. Zack left early leaving Thomas and myself.

The tipsy customers left wishing Thomas and myself a happy Thanksgiving and once or twice I actually wished customers a happy Halloween.

Now I am home and happy to be here. I might not write tomorrow, it is a holiday and Bill has things planned. So we shall see.


05 That’s Love, That It Is

very boring entry, no?

I Don’t Want to Grow Up

It’s a Thursday night in the cigar shack. It’s been a busy day which has kept me occupied and it’s been good since I woke up twice in the middle of the night with headaches due from dehydration. The first time I woke up it must have been around 4:00 and Bill was awake and getting ready for work.

He’s been getting to his office around 5:30 to get a jump on cleaning up his desk. His boss has been running him ragged and now that the baseball season is over things have slowed down considerably. So my time with Bill has usually been in the dark, laying in bed listening to the sleep apnea machine forcing air into his face.

The second time I woke up I was a bit wiser and took some Advil which helped greatly. And Bill was gone for a few hours before I got up and got myself ready for the day. I was fairly ambivalent about the day ahead. I waited for the bus in the cool autumn air, the sun was shining and I of course waited for my 10:30 bus.

It was a bit crowded when I boarded and sat in the back next to the wheel well. The bus filled up rather quickly, no downstairs Deborah, no Alice G, just me and I spent most of the ride looking at my smartphone like so many other commuters. I was in the bus terminal, trying to get to the subway, this entrance blocked off, that exit closed.

Eventually I did make it and did not have to wait too long for a train which was nice. Got to the shack just a minute late which I thought would be worse since there were a few checkpoints at the Lincoln Tunnel causing some delay in the commute. The shack had Zack and Bradley as well as Jerry Vale.

I busied myself cleaning yet again and was dragging in sales throughout most of the day. But as things happen it’s the luck of the draw or in my case, whomever answers the phone. I got a big sale much to my surprise and knocked it out the box. Now it’s quiet again, me and Bradley (yes a name change yet again) and he’s playing some music that he performed himself and to my surprise it wasn’t that bad.

With some polish he probably could have sold it to 4AD, but he says that those days are behind him. This newfound respect for Bradley surprises me. Why isn’t he nice all the time instead of being standoffish? It was possibly the first time in a year, since Bradley started working at the cigar shack that we actually got along fine.

I wound up closing the cigar shack letting Bradley get a head start on getting home and closed it relatively quickly. Two more days to go for me then it’s two days off in a row. I’m looking forward to it and though I have no plans, I am open for some good ideas or suggestions on what to do.

01 come together

I Can’t Be Satisfied

Strange. Sometimes Google docs works at the cigar shack and sometimes it doesn’t. It is working now which is most peculiar. I have to make it through today and tomorrow and then I will have 5 days off in a row, the last 2 days being vacation days. Of course as I write that, Google Docs gets all kablooey. Best to quit while I am ahead I’m sure.

But here I am again. Calvin is in a meeting across town, leaving the cigar shack to the Bradley and myself. It hasn’t been especially crazy or busy but I keep myself occupied. The usual knobs are passing by outside the shack, no one I know or recognize.

The regulars are huddled in the man cave, the Bradley using his ferret like eyes and watching them as he chews his Mexican food in a room full of cigar smoke.Calvin was expected to be here around 1:00, then 2:00. A salesman just stopped by to see him and bailed when he realized that Calvin won’t be around for a while.

On the home front, resumes keep going out. Phone calls are sometimes made, sometimes received. Someone suggested looking into getting a medical technician degree or something, and I looked into it online and mistakenly gave my phone number.

So everyday I get a phone call asking me if I would like more information regarding courses and when I tell them I was interested in a medical technician class they always tell me they don’t offer those though their website begs to differ. I think I am approaching the midpoint of my day. A little over 6 hours to go.

I’m supposed to take lunch at 3PM but I guess I will wait until Calvin actually makes an appearance before heading out. I sure as hell don’t want to spend my lunch hour here in the cigar shack. Even if it is 100 ° outside I would rather go out than stay in.

Technically there are about 16 hours to get through before having 5 days off in a row. No word about William’s health or status in the hospital. Julio & I texted each other last night, he was very concerned. I just assume everything will be alright. He is in a hospital after all. I suppose when you have a child you start to see life differently, how fragile it is, how fleeting.

You can be here one minute and then gone the next. I am not sure whether or not William had insurance, I think Chaz mentioned that he didn’t. But the hospital took him in as a hard ship case so that has to be better than nothing.

Yesterday in the middle of laundry and whatnot, I had JFK on, the movie by Oliver Stone. I remember seeing that at the Galaxy with William when it came out. We missed the first 5 minutes entering when the woman who was thrown from the car was in the hospital bed yelling about the assassination plot. Talk about a spoiler!

Now I am home, one day down, another to go. There was an odd moment at the cigar shack this afternoon. Calvin was talking to a customer and jokingly referred to himself as Calvin. His name isn’t Calvin in real life, just a pseudonym that I created for this here blog. I wonder if he reads this.

The president of the cigar shack llc came in today and told me that he is very happy with the cigar shack and it’s staff. He said it in the man cave, with other customers around and they all chimed in. It was good to hear.

After tomorrow I think I will be taking 5 days off. Then on for 3 and then off 3 more. So that’s that.

No luck

I Can Dream About You

Well this has been quite a day from hell. Once again it started last night, not a good night of sleep which carried over into today. I was pretty tried and when I went to bed, Bill still wasn’t home.

A melatonin helped a bit and by the time I started drifting off to sleep Bill had come home. It wasn’t easy falling asleep after that despite some tossing and turning. Some sleep was had but not nearly enough.

I was hoping that Bill would have been home when I arrived since I wanted to share the rare good mood I happened to be in. It seems I just get really messed up in the head when I am alone. And last night I was alone for too long.

Bill apparently met up with his friend Fred after bringing his mother back from the beauty parlor. Fred gave Bill a brandy warmer shaped like a skier to give to me, as well as a snifter.

I suppose it would be nice if I drank brandy, or drank anything really. Perhaps life would be so much better if I was an alcoholic. They seem to have all the fun and some of them turned out to be pretty good writers, up to a point.

It was a day where I would have preferred to have been left alone on my lunch hour but no, the odd customer finds me and proceeds to talk to me about U2 living in his building.

He was also impressed to see me reading a book, telling me he was donating about 250 books to the United Nations. I was hoping that he would not offer me any books. And he didn’t so that worked out well.

I started reading ‘Our Band Can Be Your Life’ by Michael Azerrad. It’s all about the underground indie scene in the 1980’s. It was definitely what I needed to read to jump start my day, only a few hours late which by the way is so punk.

I also made the mistake of playing music that I wanted to hear since Calvin was out. It’s just Bradley and Thomas and I today so I played Sandinista which turned out to be too much for the lunk heads in the man cave.

The lunk heads were vocal enough to complain so I gave the controls to Bradley who proceeded to play only the very best narcoleptic jazz music. When I came back from my lunch hour it was still playing and I realized that jazz is the silliest music around, at least in the cigar shack.

And even though I was reading about how Greg Ginn enjoyed jazz (as well as thinking the Grateful Dead were the best band ever) it still leaves me quite cold. I should have gotten it by now, but it just alienates me more and more when I hear it.

Right now, I am just looking forward to going home and seeing Bill and having a day off tomorrow. And it’s off to the bibliothèque for me tomorrow.

Glad to be home, Bill is making noise a few feet behind me. It’s been a long day and a few times I stared into the abyss. Bill was great, listening to me on the phone and greeting me when I walked through the door with a great big hug.

I am so happy to be off tomorrow. This retail world is grinding me down. You might think that after a year it would get better, but it hasn’t. Still I hang in there. There are people that don’t have a job and there are people with worse jobs than mine.

Tons of spam subscribers every day, a good portion spent deleting each and every name. Are you one of them?

I Am the Spider

Getting started somewhat. At work in the cigar shack, the shake up continues. No shakedown though. Calvin seems apprehensive about the future, worried about there being a drop in sales when he assumes control.

I tried to reassure him that it shouldn’t happen that way, but also to keep in mind that the summer is coming up and that is usually a slow slow time for us in the cigar business as well as retail in most places except for air conditioner sales and pools.

He just left to head home to the wife and kid leaving Thomas and me to run things. Thomas is as straight as Six O’clock and it seems that a few guys find him to be eye candy.

Like right now, this gent in a red Stanford windbreaker seems to be devouring him with his eyes. He seems to be a born salesman that Thomas is, so whatever it takes to close the deal he will more than likely do.

A few old customers came in today and hung out for a few hours. Was not expecting that, we (Calvin & I) figured that they were boycotting the cigar shack and wouldn’t be around anymore.

Then yesterday a fairly famous cigar magazine released the news that Marcus was leaving the cigar shack for a cigar hut. That news brought out congratulations from a lot of customers (but still not the brain dead Bradley) and the news also seemed to finish off whatever boycott might have been in the works.

So there is a change in the air and with the wind blowing for the next couple of days, maybe weeks, we won’t see how things are settled until then.

Well now I’ve written almost 300 words so I guess I will stop here and finish when I get home. Hopefully Bill will be awake and feeling better. He came home this morning, looking like and feeling like crap. He went right to bed as I would have done if I was in his shoes.

Now I am home, Bill is awake and watching stand up comedy on TV. His old friend and former crush sent him a postcard which to Bill is cool. I merely carried it up four flights of stairs, didn’t read it since it was not addressed to me. I’m sure the postman read it.

Last night I watched ‘Something Wild’ which I hadn’t seen in a while. It’s a good movie, not great though it is funny to see the Feelies playing the high school reunion band. I bunch of people from Maxwells went to see it when it first came out.

Somebody had to work at Maxwells that night so I didn’t go. I remember that I was working at Friedman, Alpren & Green at the time and an elderly secretary saw it the first weekend and expressed her disappointment with the violence that comes out in the second half of the movie, when Ray Liotta make his appearance. He was scarier in that than he was in Goodfellas.

That’s about all that I have to write about tonight. Off tomorrow, not writing. Have a good one, smell ya later.

Greg, all of your comments go directly into the spam folder. Weep no more, you ‘control’. Good luck getting things straight.

I Gotta Know

Back to work for me today and I was reprimanded soon after I came in. Thanks to the inept management and with my less than satisfactory training I messed up. I could not reconcile the credit card machine and the register.

I did try a few times but I eventually gave up due to mental fatigue. They also did not appreciate the fact that I’ve been leaving the cigar shack at 9:15 instead of 9:30. Hundreds of times I’ve closed the registers and reconciled both machine and register with no problems, but once or twice and I get into big trouble.

They claim they have scheduled me to work until 9:30 ‘to execute proper and accurate closing procedure. The extra ½ hr. is meant to give you enough time to close the cash drawer and accurately count the night’s deposit.’

So even though 99% of the time it goes smoothly and I have completed the day’s work by 9:10 now I will have to stay there for another 20 minutes and do what? Clean the glass and windows that have been cleaned throughout the day over and over, and then cleaned again by the cleaning woman?

Apparently I will have to find something to do. So no more bus riding with Hyman Gross on the way home. And leave it to me, I left tonight at 9:15 out of habit. Totally forgot the reprimand and the memo. Everything matched up anyhow. I might hear something about it tomorrow, or somewhere down the line.

Marcus and Calvin are two of a kind, with Marcus holding the leash and Calvin barking when commanded. A situation like this could have been handled in a much better manner, that is if there were competent managers running the show, but there isn’t. It’s just Calvin & Marcus. Marcus & Calvin.

I guess despite Calvin behaving like he’s a friend, he’s not. Despite him always asking if I think is this one gay. Is that one gay? Do I think Mike is gay? How about Jason? Nelson? Or any of the former regular customers who no longer frequent the cigar shack?

For a married man with a kid Calvin focuses more on gay life than I do and I’m gay. That’s why it doesn’t bother me that much (it does but I have to get over it) when Calvin poaches customers, or any other underhanded tactics he uses. He’s married with a kid and has a family to support on the hourly wages of a cigar sales clerk.

It can’t be easy. It’s not easy for me, but I do not have the same onus, and also I have Bill who keeps telling me he has my back and I know that he does.

So yeah, this is the place where a week or so ago, I erroneously wrote that I felt I was fitting in, accepting the situation that I find in from of me.

And like the conversation with Lovely Rita on the phone some time back, ‘You work retail, you really start to really hate people. And it’s not just the customers that you hate. It’s the people you work with, it’s the people you work for, it’s the people you see on the street, the people you ride the subway with, and the people you ride the bus with.’

I used to think of myself as a people person. Not so much these days.

It reminds me of that Arianna Sabatoni or known back then as Felicia of the McMann & Tate company, when Calvin and Marcus drunkenly told me how disappointed they were when they found out I was not the same person they interviewed in May of last year, Arianna said the same thing a week or so after I started.

Of course, a chick prone to riding the rails, a boozer that sneaks drinks and a dandy in love with himself aren’t really the best people to judge other people’s lives, wouldn’t you say?

I Don’t Know What to Do with My Life

Well here it is Tuesday forme, Wednesday for you. Not much I can do about it. Not much I can do about anything. I’m in the same boat as a lot of people and as far as I can tell, we are all pretty much miserable.

At least I have Xanax to get me through the day. Others use booze, heroin, whatever may be handy.

The latest twist in the saga of working retail, is that next month, I’ll probably have to participate in Monday Night Football. Not playing it, not watching it, just having to be in the store while the game goes on.

And if there is any one sport that I don’t like, it’s football. I already plan on having a good book to read and I’ll likely be writing at the cigar shop and posting it when I get home, which should be sometime around 2:00 in the morning.

I certainly wasn’t asked, but the new schedule is out and one of those games is on my late shift. I’m not happy about but who the fuck cares? I have a job don’t I? So shut up and stop complaining.

Still I continue to look elsewhere for work, hopefully getting out before the holiday rush, but no one is hiring. No word from CVS, Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. And no word from that guy Ian who offered me a job last month.

Perhaps he’s a flake. He did say I should hear something mid- September or by the end of the month and that is rapidly approaching.

Work was the usual stupid nonsense. Redundant? Perhaps. The ride to work was more of the banal. Sat there at the bus stop as the 10:15AM rolled past me, opting for the 10:30 bis instead. It wasn’t a crowded bus, still some familiar faces got on.

No Angie Baby, but the tattooed guy from the summer walked on board. His birth date is tattooed in a digital manner and it surprisingly matched the small tea cup saucers embedded in his earlobes.

I got off the subway with about 25 minutes to spare and just sat on a bench across from the cigar shop. The Xanax had kicked in so I didn’t really care much. It was Marcus, Calvin and Don with Sean coming in after school.

Some of the regulars floated in and out of the cigar shop and stationed themselves in the back room. Since Don was on the shift, I was able to leave the shop for my lunch hour for the first time in days. It really made a difference, to be able just to go outside instead of looking at the same four walls I would be stuck with for ten hours.

I wandered over to yet another bench by the park, had a cigar and read some of the New Yorker. I miss having a camera. I have a cellphone camera, but it’s definitely not the same thing.

I left the shop, around 9:13 tonight and to my surprise it was pouring out. I never see the weather outside. Still I plugged in the second half of the Buzzcocks, A Different Kind of Tension. Mainly heard I Don’t Know What to Do with My Life, Money, Hollow Inside, and A Different Kind of Tension.

By the time I got to the bus terminal, I Believe came on and since that is a 7 minute song, I’ll round the time to 17 minutes and 15 seconds. Probably would have been shorter, but it was raining after all.

That’s about all I have to write about. Bill is sore after training with a physical trainer.

If Dogs Run Free

Well it’s a Friday night and here I am in the cigar shop. Thought I would be leaving early tonight but it seems like that is not going to happen. We’re not playing with a full deck, understaffed as it were. Raymond got the ax this morning.

Apparently the complaint from a customer about being rude was all about him. According to Calvin, Raymond tried to throw me under a bus. But with all the video cameras here in the shop, Marcus and Calvin deduced that that I was the one actually helping the customer and it was Raymond who came off badly with the customer.

The customer who thought he was treated badly did not mail a letter to headquarters in New England but instead wrote a letter to the ultimate headquarters in Geneva. Now with Raymond being on probation since June, this was the final straw. The straw that broke the camel’s back.

Raymond did help throw together an evening of classic boxing and since he’s no longer here I am taking his place which is quite funny since I know barely nothing about boxing that isn’t considered homoerotic. Joyce Carol Oates knows more about boxing than I do.

So I’m just standing around while the guys smoke and drink in the back. Outside the shop it’s Fashion Week and it sounds like a disco. Loud music and girls in fuck me pumps, looking like harlots. Which happens to be the shoes that harlots wear so it works out quite nicely for them I suppose.

I’m rushing through this, trying to get 500 words under my belt. It sucks what happened to Raymond, but what really sucks if what Calvin said is true that Raymond tried to get me fired. I can’t believe it, but right now, What Is Love playing,outside which I always associate with Saturday Night Live.

I did see Mos Def walking through trying to look invisible. It looks like I won’t get home until after midnight, since I also have to clean up this mess after the boxing match. It shouldn’t be too bad since there aren’t that many guys.

Most of the guys who said they were coming were Raymond’s Friends and now that he’s gone, he probably called up and said not to go. C’est la vie. Less mess.

I did over $2500.00 in sales, Calvin did $2300.00. Not bad, but it was very busy for us two.

I have less than 100 words to write. It’s loud outside the shop, sounds like 2 competing DJ’s going at it. Heard Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order and a bunch of other stuff thrown on top of that.

My second cousin Kerry is into fashion night and I suggested stopping by the store if she’s in the area but she’s downtown I believe and in any event I might be in the back of the store smoking a cigar if she shows up. I won’t be able to hear her above the din.

And that’’s over 500 words. Watched two halves of a Sugar Ray Leonard boxing match. One with Tommy Hearns and the other with Kulale from Uganda. After that, Calvin said I can get the food cleaned up and I could go home. Quite happy about that, for now I am home.

Writing this on Bill’s Mac since my computer is behaving quite strangely.
Now I’m back on my computer.

My new hair style

I’m Gonna Make It Better

Man it’s hummus out. Been hummus all day. Goddamn chick peas. And where’s the pita, huh? I ordered pita! Where it be? It was back to work at the cigar shop. Things moving slowly on the other front. I am resigning myself to the fact that I may be at the cigar shop longer than I had anticipated.

It’s not bad, I still have my mantra, which is “I still have a job’.After 2 days off I find it difficult to get back to work. Was it always this way? Maybe. I don’t remember. I slept a deep sleep last night and there was difficulty in waking up this morning.

No melatonin involved, just no desire to leave a barely air conditioned bedroom. I decided to catch the 10:30 bus instead of the 10:15 bus. No need to hustle, too hummus. Once again my white shirt was translucent by the time I got to the bus stop.

I did finish a cigar that I started last night while I waited for the bus but couldn’t take my usual seat since there was a stay at home dad with his infant sitting there. See? I am considerate.

But the guy is a moron and never pays attention when the bus he needs to take shows up and usually scrambles to get it together and get on the bus with a baby strapped to his chest.

The ride through the tunnel was uneventful as was the subway uptown. I was early enough and it was warm enough outside that I went in earlier than usual and put on my t-shirt and sat in the back room cooling off.

One of the usual customers who everyone seems to think is a drug dealer came in with Spanish food from Washington Heights for everyone. I did not partake since I had my own lunch.

It was Calvin and myself for a few hours since Raymond’s grandmother died last night and they wouldn’t let him leave early, instead allowing him to come in late. Since he’s still on a probation of sorts, they’re not allowing him any time off to go to Florida and grieve with his relatives.

And no breaks either. But there are no breaks for anyone even when working a 10 hour shift. One must sneak away, to get coffee, have a cigarette or get bananas for about 5 minutes.

According to Raymond, that’s how Marcus and Calvin came up through the ranks and so the cycle continues. Treat your employees badly, talk about them behind their backs and then stand back and let the buffalo chips fall where they may.

Calvin did tell me of his passion for writing poetry. Apparently he used to frequent the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe and participate in readings there, as well as having a book of his poetry published under the pen name Dushon, which is his middle name I think.

I have to say I was impressed with that.

Raymond came in, understandably gloomy. Nothing can be done and he wasn’t exactly able to fly down to Florida even if he had the chance. I did get word that Marcus was upset with my interview with a reporter from the Wall Street Journal.

I didn’t want to do it, but Calvin passed on the opportunity. You’d think that since he was the manager he would be the person to speak but instead gave it to the new guy, me. I’m sure Marcus will say something to me when I see him tomorrow.

Other than that, it was a long boring day. I didn’t hustle getting from the shop to the bus terminal while listening to David Bowie, Lodger. Still sweaty, still hummus.

One step forward with regards to Same sex Equality. Thank you Judge Walker.

(I’m) Stranded

Late news breaking, late news breaking. Not really news, just the usual blah blah blah from me. Just got back from a late snack with Julio. He with his hummus and pita and me with a burger. And some Stella Artois to accompany the meals.

A good time, a nice talk. He’s still a good guy and a good friend.

It was quite a hot day today, 90 degree range, closer to 100 degrees than I would have hoped. Quite humid out, so much so that by the time I got to the office I was drenched with sweat.

I don’t take the subway on weekends since the service really falls off on Saturday and Sunday. I did stop by the Farmer’s Market and picked up some cookies for the co-workers again. Just a little something nice, something sweet to glue the team together.

No Richard III auditions today. But there was a different type of royalty that visited the cigar shop this afternoon. Specifically the Prince of Morocco. Really.

There were a number of Middle Eastern guys standing outside the shop for an hour or so this afternoon, no one paying them much mind. Then a few of them came in and checked things out, followed by a handsome man in an emerald green polo shirt.

He checked out a few cigar punches and almost didn’t buy them until I demonstrated how they are used best with a large ring gauge cigar, which just so happens to be the ring gauge I prefer. He bought 2 cigar punches.

Then he asked to see some lighters and I showed them to him. He picked out 5 different lights and then left, leaving someone else to pay the $1500.00 bill.

It was my sale and I couldn’t have completed it without the help of Raymond, Don Birch and Sean, so I treated them to some milk chocolate covered pretzels from Godiva. They were surprised by my gratitude, so unaccustomed to behavior like this.

Luckily for me the pretzels were on sale, 3 boxes for $10.00.

It was the highlight of my day. The Prince also stopped by the leather goods shop next door where he dropped $20,000. It was more low key after the visit from Moroccan royalty. The 4 of us just passing the time, Don Birch waiting until he can leave at 7:30.

Sean, Raymond and I hung I there until 9:00. Sean and Raymond split after that, I stayed behind to close up the shop as that is my duty.

I hustled down to the bus terminal in 15.9 minutes, from Something About England to The Crooked Beat from the Clash’s Sandinista.

It being the weekend people in the terminal didn’t know of escalator protocol, instead of staying to the right if you’re not climbing the stairs on the escalator. I opted to climb the stairs next to the escalator, taking 2 at a time to make my bus.

I was doing well, listening to the Clash until I got to the top step where I tripped and landed on my hands and knees. It must have made for a sight for the escalator clots.

I gathered whatever it was that I dropped and quickened my pace to my gate where I found the bus had departed. In front of me was an Asian dude who started talking to me about how hot it was. As It got more crowded and I inched toward him I could smell the booze coming out of his pores.

I was glad to make it to Hoboken and glad to have a late meal with Julio who couldn’t stop laughing when I told him of my fall at the top of the stairs. I knew he would get a giggle out of it.

Still quite hot and Bill’s in Atlantic City.

Ace of Spades

So tired, but it’s a good tired if there is such a thing. I wrote this last night as a start, a way to remember what to write about. “Raymond likes the Beatles.” That’s as far as I got. But it’s true.

Raymond likes the Beatles. He reminds me of Rocky, the guy who used to run the loading dock at Wanker Banker, only without the lying and the cocaine abuse. When the store quieted down, after Calvin left we played Rubber Soul and he insisted on hearing In My Life twice. I didn’t mind.

Yesterday I also sent an email to Greg Stevens, from the old job. I just wrote that if he had any cigar smoking clients, to send them my way. He called back and wished me well, then had a question for me. It seems his printer was out of paper and he didn’t know how to load the paper in.

I told him, most printers have a tray and he looked but couldn’t find it. I asked him what model it was, thinking I could look it up online and figure it out, but he didn’t know that either, having tried to find an instruction manual and failing at that.

Poor Greg, so lost.

He was going to have to wait until his wife’s assistant came in today to put paper in his printer. Last night I worked the late shift which is why I posted yesterday morning. I came home and Bill was waiting for me.

It was awfully hot in the apartment and that was because the windows weren’t open. Bill was comfortable in the warmth, I was distressed. He claims because he’s Puerto Rican warm temperatures are no big thing. I just walked to each window, opening them and saying, ‘Oh my god it’s so hot in here’.

He went to bed a little while after that and I was in bed by 11:45. I’m pretty sure I was asleep by midnight. Woke up Bill was gone. He kissed me goodbye but I don’t remember it. An Eskimo kiss was involved as well. I more than likely growled.

Made my way onto the bus, stuck in traffic outside the Lincoln Tunnel next to a guy who kept trying to look at photographs in the New Yorker I was reading. I did not oblige. Subway ride uptown, not enough time to chill out in the shade of a skyscraper.

I was opening the store with Marcus. It went well. I am officially in the computer system. Counted monies and then had a quick cigarillo with Marcus in the back room. Slow start of the day and around 11:30 Don rolled in.

He was described to me once as Lurch and I can see why. He’s really an introvert. Raymond called him a hippie the other night but I don’t see it. I did meet Don’s girlfriend the other night when we closed. Seemed to me like she was in the 60, but maybe I was just tired.

Anyway I’ll call the one that Calvin calls Lurch, Don Birch. A pun if you will about either the John Birch Society (of which our Don is not a member of) or being as stiff as a tree. It’s up to you.

It was mentioned that I should spend my lunch hour in the back room with the customers and have a cigar with them. I’m reluctant to do that. I work a 10 hour day and have an hour for lunch. I would like to spend that 1 hour away from the cigar shop rather than spend the entire 10 hours within the same four walls.

I did spend some time with the customers yesterday, and some of them were surprised to see me. I explained once again that I do enjoy being outside in the world on occasion, whereas they choose to spend their time away from the world, secluded in the back room smoking cigars.

I like sitting on a bench by Central Park, smoking cigars.

Bill had Grimaldi’s pizza waiting for me when I came home. Nice.


Updated @ 11:00PM
Puttering around. Late shift today. First time. I doubt if I would be able to write enough and still get a good night’s sleep so I am going at it right now.

Before 9:00 AM. I will be working from 11:30 to 9:30 today. And I guess I would probably be getting home around 11:00 tonight. I just checked an email, I forgot I signed up for tickets for the Colbert Report tomorrow and I regretfully had to cancel.

And tomorrow I am working the 9:30 to 7:30 shift. It would have been fun to do but oh well. I am employed now.

Last night I saw Bill in a play at Theater for the New City, Tiger Tiger. I took the Path train in and got off at 14th Street.

I wasn’t sure if the theater was on First or Second Avenue so I called Google 411. It’s an automated service which was useless. They could not understand the word ‘theater’, but then again a lot of people can’t either.

I gave up and used T-Mobile’s service which had a human being who told me it was on First Avenue. I walked down Fourth Avenue and strolled by where Farfetched used to be.

Still a dark hole of a store which is the intention for the goth set. I guess they’re doing well. It was a trip of sorts walking through the East Village since I hadn’t been there in a while. It was energizing.

I had a bag of clothes that Bill had forgotten, as well as some of his head shots. I made my way to the back of the theater where I met the rest of the cast, Bill and five women.

The play was a bit unnerving. It was an almost full house and the subject matter involved Bill being a child molester. Sufficiently creepy.

Some of the audience thought it was funny though I really don’t see how it would be intended to be humorous. The acting was well done though, with some tech things overpowering the lines being said.

After the show I helped Bill get his things together and carried them home while Bill went to the cast party. Took the Path train from Ninth Street and after a wait of a quarter hour I was headed back to Hoboken.

Deserted streets at 10:30 on a Sunday night. Home by 11:00, Bill was home about 45 minutes later. We talked about the play and soon he was in bed, I stayed up a little while later, exchanging messages with a Facebook friend is Los Angeles, whom I’ve never met but reminded me that I am more than my job.

He has a few other friends that are rejoining the workforce and that it’s difficult for them too. Touching that someone who I only know online is concerned for my well being. How fortunate am I to have people like this in my life, both physically and online?

Now it’s getting close to the time I should start moving. It’s cool enough for me to take Bill’s suggestion and go to work, wearing the suit, with a towel and some extra t-shirts.

Have a good day.

Todays guests at the shop, Al Sharpton, A skank with boobs falling out complaining about how cigars smell and then asking for a job, a Mama’s boy, 2 Rwandan diplomats.

The guy I was supposed to be replacing by August was fired today. That speeds up whatever processes I might have been involved in (which could be a good thing).

For Once In My Life

You’d think that since I got my OB/GYN license and will start my practice next month I would be in a good mood. And I was in a good mood for most of yesterday. Pretty much happy, texting with friends and generally living in the moment.

I sat on the front steps, smoking a cigar and reading Uncut magazine with Kate Bush on the cover. Saw Rob La Rosa walking by and chatted with him. Talked to Julio on the phone before I came upstairs to watch some comedy on NBC.

Community was good, but not as good as the Paintball episode. Parks and Recreation was OK, merely OK. The Office was good, mainly because of Kathy Bates. That was also when Bill came home. Sitting on the couch he remarked how that woman reminded him of Kathy Bates.

Then came 30 Rock which was pretty funny, perhaps the best of the four. Had the classic line, ‘I’m suing you, I’m suing Vagisil and I’m suing this baby.’.

I saw that there was a documentary on Tito Puente at 10:00 so I changed the channel so Bill would enjoy that. He did. It was his father’s era, and apparently his father grew up on the same street as Cuban Pete who it was said was the greatest dancer back then.

Bill went to bed after that, I stayed up and watched whatever was on. A little before 1:00 I decided to go to bed after taking a melatonin.

It was quite warm and with my thick hair, (hair, not head) it wasn’t easy to fall asleep. Bill was feeling cuddly last night for the first time in a while and after a half hour I got back out of bed, argued with some Libertarian online and took another melatonin.

When I finally did fall asleep it wasn’t restful. In fact I had some awfully violent dreams. Too gruesome to write about, I’d rather forget them.

In the morning, as he left for work, Bill was a prince, kissing me goodbye and telling me how happy he was that I found a job as an OB/GYN.

Eventually I got out of bed and started my day, but a melancholia settled in and I found myself terribly depressed.

I decided to head into the city and check out some art, specifically the ‘Remember the Upstairs Lounge’ at the No Longer Empty art space on 447 w 16th street, next to the Highline Ballroom where Bill, Juan and myself had that ‘ecstatic’ night last summer. Or rather Juan and I had the ecstatic night and Bill chaperoned.

Remember the Upstairs Lounge was based on a fire at a second floor gay bar in New Orleans in 1973. 37 people died in the fire. Gasoline was in the air, leaving people to think it was arson but the New Orleans Police didn’t care enough to pursue any detective work and the case went cold.

The exhibition was a recreation of the Upstairs Lounge, photographs of some of the patrons and some 1973 beefcake photos of Burt Reynolds and Mark Spitz.

Since it was 1973 and gay liberation hadn’t really caught on besides NY, San Francisco and Los Angeles, no identification was found on the bodies since the victims were more than likely closeted.

Another sad fact was that the Catholic diocese absolutely would not allow any church services for the victims. Scumbag motherfuckers they were and still are. Actually that’s not right, they’re not motherfuckers, they’re child fuckers.

The Reverend Troy Perry of Bill’s former church, the Metropolitan Community Church stepped up and performed whatever religious requirements the community need. Bill and I met Troy Perry a few years ago.

Nice guy, has to travel with bodyguards since an out gay man ministering to the LGBT community might as well have a target on his back, even though I think he might be retired now.

I definitely did the right thing, heading into the city and seeing some awesome (in the truest sense of the word) art.

It was a beautiful day and not too many people around. And I’m feeling a lot better.
5.21.10 Chelsea Galleries 001
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Fortune (cookies) on the go

Fortune (cookies) on the go