Category Archives: NARTH

I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am

One day left before I break. It’s been a low key day. No recruiters on the phone, no emails sent. I sent a few emails out yesterday to a core staff member that was somewhat optimistic last year, but with no response to my email I can only guess that they have shed their mortal coil, or perhaps got a real job. Is not hearing anything better than having something suggested then withdrawn? No. It is not better. There is that glimmer of hope that came along with the suggestion, something sustainable. And when it is revoked I can’t help but feel like Wile E. Coyote at the edge of a cliff.

I am hopeful though, something will turn up eventually. Bill saw a sign in a window at a jewelry store here in Hoboken. I was not too enthusiastic about it, just as I am not enthusiastic about jewelry in general. Bill was disappointed in that, but I mentioned that retail is what I am trying to avoid. We plan to talk about it further when he gets home. It reminded me of a liquor store help wanted sign that I told Bill about. He stated he didn’t want me working in a liquor store.

Perhaps it was because on all the cop shows he watched, it’s almost always a liquor store that gets held up. Or perhaps he thought I would become an alcoholic if I worked there. Now a marijuana dispensery would be problematic I am sure but there aren’t any in this area anyway. Not that any of that mattered since when I asked the liquor store proprietor, I was told that they wanted someone young. That hurt. A few months later, same store, same sign. But no inquiry from me. In fact I won’t even buy beer from them ever again. Their loss, not mine.

There were no little old ladies to walk home today. It’s just a grey day, overcast and constantly looking like rain. I did go to the nearby supermarket, cruising up and down the aisles looking for septuagenarians with too many groceries but there were none to be found.

Last night Bill and I watched The Stunt Man. We seem to be on a Peter O’Toole kick. I have Lawrence of Arabia somewhere around here so one night we may invest 3 hours to watch the whole thing. But last night was The Stunt Man, which is a movie about movie making. Things unfold and keep unfolding in the movie while Peter O’Toole plays a god like director, Steve Railsback plays the stunt man and Barbara Hershey plays the lead actress. O’Toole certainly looked good in 1980.

Bill liked it but it ultimately required too much concentration which neither of us fully afforded it. I do plan on watching the documentary on YouTube at some point to see the how it was made. Tonight there are no plans as far as I know. A low key mellow evening once more, and I am fine with that.

I did get in contact with a friend from grammar and high school on Facebook. He seems to be a right wing crank now living in sunny Pennsylvania now, but I saw a photograph taken by someone whom I thought was the friend’s brother. I looked at the mutual friends list and also the high school friends list. He was friends with someone I was once friends with.

That friendship ended in 1980 soon after graduation and I was glad to see this person still alive. He went into the navy after high school and married after that. I look back and remember and regret.
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Papa Gene’s Blues

I Sing the Body Electric

Well I just got home from the first day of a temp to perm assignment. I duly bought some Lilt and permed my hair over the weekend. It’s not bad but there is that Chia resemblance I was really hoping to avoid. The first day of the assignment was of course preceded by a day full of anxiety. Things got better after an Alprazolam. I don’t take them often, just when I am freaking out which you might be surprised to read, does not happen that often. And the hug from Bill last night certainly helped, and I am glad I asked for it.

I went to bed earlier than usual and I slept soundly thanks to the Alprazolam. I woke up with Bill kissing me good bye, so happy to see that I had something real to go to. The cigar shop antics were really pissing him off, so much so that he swore he would never set foot in there again. I slept some more after Bill headed off in the early morning light before the voice in the back of my mind and the alarm clock did another duet of ‘Get the Fuck out of Bed Now!’

I shuffled along, made some coffee and stepped into the shower. A shave after that, some coffee and cereal and there was also a sandwich to be made for lunch. Then I got my clothes together, a suit and tie combo and headed out. It had been a while since I waited for the bus in the morning and to my surprise found an orderly line. And it being so early, there were plenty of buses to ride. But the driver named Chief was nowhere to be around. I found a seat on the bus and hoped to sleep but that wasn’t going to happen.

I was due to be in the office at 8:30 and of course I was there at 8:28. Not many people were in and I was set up in a cubicle and I waited. Francois was the one I was waiting for. I was still fuzzy with the Alprazolam which turned out to be a good thing since the anxiety was nonexistent. Francois made it in, and handed me some paperwork to fill out. I do like Francois, he’s a nice guy and a friend of a friend which made it that much more special.

Basically I spent the day looking at a computer learning package all day, and taking notes on various aspects of it. I worked alongside two nice guys David and Graham. They mainly kept to themselves but were handy to have around if and when I had some questions. I also drank a lot of water today. For lunch I ate my sandwich and went for a walk around what used to be my area from the Wanker Banker days. Most of the spots where I could get a cheap meal have been replaced by rug sellers and housewares stores. I walked along looking into windows.

After work, I walked the same route that I used to take to the Path train. I enjoyed a cigar as I walked and listened to a David Bowie playlist. As I crossed Vanderbilt and 42nd Street a woman tapped me on the shoulder. I took out the ear buds to hear her say how much she enjoyed the smell of my cigar and that it reminded her of her father. I said I was glad to provide a good memory and wished her a good night. She wished me the same and was on her way.
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It Don’t Come Easy

I Remember Now

Tuesday afternoon, 2:00. This is not a drill, nor is it a dream. It just is. Temperature has dropped considerably, back to December weather after another warmish day. I am at the bibliotheque once again, not in the Marquis de Sade chair, no this one is more suited for Stephen Hawking. Whatever event they had planned in the bibliotheque today has been cancelled. In the distance I can hear the women at the circulation desk doing their thing with an occasional giggle as the carts full of CD’s and DVD’s wind their way back to the audio visual room.

Bill and I watched In Bruges the other night, a British movie starring Brendan Gleeson, Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes. I had watched it once before, not paying much attention and didn’t much care for it. This time with Bill on Sunday night, nothing else was on and we both enjoyed it a lot. It’s definitely dark humor, I won’t give it away and a bit violent. Definitely haunting though as Bill and I both found ourselves thinking of it separately the next day. I would recommend it for certain people, but not for everyone since it does get a little bit bloody throughout the film.

I’ve been making an effort to listen to more music and watch less TV. So far it’s been working out nicely. Last night when Bill came home from a staged reading he is directing I was in the middle of a playlist I made called ‘Lazy Day’ with the Seekers and Spanky and Our Gang. Music that usually gets sneered at but for me it’s all sunshine and lollipops. Basically it was a Top 40 sampler from the 1960’s to the late 1970’s. I know I enjoyed it. And of course there is Port St. Willow.

I can’t stop playing Port St. Willow, especially since it is properly loaded into my iPod, so it goes with me everywhere. I had to contact Bandcamp with regards to a problem I had with the download and in doing so I also had a question to ask. Is it Port Saint Willow, or Port Street Willow. They didn’t know and recommended that I contact Port St. Willow also known as Nick Principe. And so I did. Nick Principe answered my question soon enough with an initial ‘Ha’. I don’t think he anticipated the question but he answered that it is Port SAINT Willow.

I also asked if he was playing Maxwells anytime soon, or did I miss the boat. It turns out that they did have a gig at Maxwells but it was canceled. He could see a show coming up in the early part of next year and that info will be posted on the band’s page on Tumblr. With that, he wished me well and I did the same. I was tickled to get a response so soon and with the answers I was looking for. I will be at the Maxwells show if and when it happens.

Now I am home. Bill swing by the bibliotheque to say hello. He’s now in bed, fast asleep and it’s not even 7:00. He was that tired. ANd I am a bit tired myself since I haven’t slept well the past two nights. I do have to thank Casey Chasm for the vinyl copy of Stop Making Sense. Heart in the right place for the Casey Chasm. I wish he would have asked if I had it, since I now have three copies, two vinyl and the CD, four if you count the DVD.

Now all I need is a turntable.

No I don’t.










Dedicated to the One I Love

I Remember- Fay Victor

Well it is considerably colder outside. It was quite a cold day today and right now it is 60 degrees in the bedroom. I was out most of the afternoon. Not outdoors but actually at the smoke shop here in Hoboken. At around noon I received a message from Shlomo, asking if I could come in and sit in the store while he ran errands. I didn’t mind doing that since I was planning on paying them a visit this afternoon anyhow. I got myself together and headed over there about 30 minutes after I got the initial message.

There was Shlomo with a few other people. Apparently he had something to attend to and I didn’t know how long he would be gone for. I’ve offered my services, free of charge should he need someone at the store. So if he wants to throw me a free cigar, why not? No harm done and it keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. Laundry could wait for a few hours I guessed. About five minutes after I got there Shlomo and company were in the Shlomo mobile and headed up Washington Street.

I was smart and took the book about Yo La Tengo with me so I could have something to read. There were a few errors that I read and I knew they were errors since I was at a few of those events. I guess I should be glad that I wasn’t in the book. I had no idea that things were so difficult with Ira and Georgia and the quest for a steady, permanent bass player. I remember getting a cassette from Ira asking me if I wanted to play guitar with them, but my self-confidence was even worse than that it is these days.

I’m still on good terms with them and when we see each other on the street there is usually a warm and friendly greeting going back and forth. I last saw Ira a few months ago and I mentioned the rent control benefit at Maxwell’s. He told me they would be out of town and when I mentioned that I was going to be playing he joked that he was disappointed that he wasn’t going to see that. We had a laugh about that, then he was off on his way and I was off on mine.

Now I am back home. Between the last paragraph and this sentence I remembered Bill asked me to pick up his dry cleaning so it was on with the sneakers and a run down the stairs before they closed. I was worried they closed at 7:00 but when I called I was told it was 7:30. It was good to know and I will probably forget it. And now I have finished hanging the laundry on the racks as well on hangers in the bathroom.

For some reason Cabaret was playing in my head the past few days so that is what I am listening to right now. It’s too bad they never recorded the Alan Cumming/Natasha Richardson version. I’d love to see it. I did see it with Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh, but on the soundtrack it is Natasha Richardson, so that is the one I am most used to. It’s also helpful that it is the version I own.


13 Tonight

I Need You Tonight- ZZ Top

It’s a rainy Tuesday. I can’t really say what kind of day it is since I haven’t really done anything. I slept really well last night, I did not remember Bill kissing me goodbye this morning even though he said I was very chatty. I woke up with the alarm clock, actually after hitting the snooze button a few times. I did eventually get out of bed and started the routine once again. Made coffee, poured cereal, jumped into the shower. About an hour after that, after cereal and 2 cups of coffee I found I was quite tired.

So I went back to bed. Normally the coffee would have prevented that, but it didn’t this time. I didn’t have to be at the new job until 3:00 so I set the online alarm clock for 1:30 figuring that would be enough. Apparently all I needed was a half hor. I did sleep a deep sleep, awoken by students at the nearby school applauding something. Then I heard it start to rain so I got out of bed to make sure the windows were closed. All the time I left the TV on as a way of not drifting off too far to sleep.

I did get back into bed once again intending to get some more sleep but it seemed I had enough. I walked through the apartment, and watched the rain fall steadily upon Hoboken. And the rain still falls an hour later. The new job is a good job. It’s similar to the first job I ever had in some ways, at least elementally. I do hope the schedule is set soon though. I would like to see Bill in the staged reading of 8, a play by Dustin Lance Black about the Proposition 8 trial (same sex marriage in California) on October 11.

I don’t know what’s what with regard to that and Bill is somewhat resigned to the fact that I might not be there. I think it would be the first time (or the first time in a long time) that I won’t be able to see Bill onstage. I will definitely have to put in a request to have December 7 off since that is the date that Bill and I are going to see Sinbad at the Apollo Theater. It’s what I got Bill for his birthday. But I am still in a probationary period so who knows?

Despite my efforts to not look backwards, I do have to say that if it weren’t for this here blog being found out by Michael Herklots, who in turn informed Zack/Calvin/Hot Sauce/Whatever who got his feeling hurt, I would likely still be toiling away at the cigar shack having to put up with a marsupial and his snortish ways. Sure I was prepared to jump, just waiting for the right time. But too much time was spent on the plank and so instead of jumping off, I was pushed. And I don’t regret it, since if I was still there I would likely be filled with regret and despair.

The cloud did have a silver lining. I still have some anxiety about the new gig, but that should be expected since I am about to start my second day. And the second day went well. Trying my best to do things correctly, to show I have a handle on things and perhaps I am trying to hard. Then again there are the inner demons and doubts that occur from time to time, more often than not, when I am alone. At home with Bill I am fine, at work I am fine. It’s the in between moments that do my head in. I guess this happens to everyone at some point, doesn’t it?




John Riley

I Need You- The Beatles

A lovely Saturday. For the first day of autumn it isn’t so bad. Quite agreeable actually. Last night was mellow and quiet with Bill driving down to Atlantic City. I stayed home of course, watched Bill Maher and had two pints of Guinness. They’ve been in the fridge since early thi year and for some reason I had a hankerin’ for it. Took me a couple of hours to finish them. It’s not like hanging out with friends when they go down like water. A limited supply means to hold back on drinking in a hurry I suppose. And that’s what I did.

Probably because of the Guinness I slept quite soundly and since I only had 2 pints there was no hangover this morning. I was grateful for that. There was a certain reluctance to get out of bed, but I managed. Coffee was made and I stepped into the shower. Bill arrived as I was lathering up and soon he was going to bed. Driving back down to Atlantic City you see. He was fast asleep and I had some breakfast and after that the running of the errands to the nearby supermarket. Soon I was home in front of the computer again.

While in front of the computer I sent an email to my former boss, the one I had written about as Zack. I had a request to ask of him. When I go on interviews they always ask what happened to my job at the cigar shack. I tell them that I was let go due to slow sales. I heard from some customers that when they asked about me, they were told I went off to do office type things which is fine. The truth is too muddled (though a very good story I found).

My request was that if some calls about my employment at the cigar shack were made, would it be possible for Zack to tell them I was let go because of slow sales. I sent that out earlier this afternoon and I hadn’t heard anything from Zack yet. I would hope he does this for me, it’s a simple, yet minor request. I was sincere in telling him that I hoped all was well with his wife and kids and I also mentioned that how on the Facebook page for the cigar shack I posted the text to the spread about Zack being a black entrepreneur, underneath his photos.

I was surprised no one else had done that. After that I just chilled out around the apartment while Bill slept. I was feeling antsy and decided to take the guitar out and do some busking. It was more productive than yesterday and I won over a toddler who tried mimicking my playing. The boy’s dad gave him a dollar to put in the guitar case. There were a lot more people out and there was also a scavenger hunt going on. I sold a guitar pick for a dollar to a group of guys following a list.

I Love You More Today Than Yesterday

I Love You This Big

Saturday evening, Bill is off in Philadelphia once again for some acting seminar thing and I am in the swamps of Jersey. Hoboken actually was partially a swamp when Henry Hudson came through all those years ago. I think Bill and I are situated somewhere between the former swamp and the solid ground. And when it rains it really rains, especially in the swampy part. Sewers back up, gutters flood and the city has pumps which pump the water somewhere else, perhaps into the Hudson River. Today it threatened to rain, then it rained and now it’s nothing but hummus.

Last night Bill and I were part of the global village, watching the opening ceremonies on NBC and listening to the incessant prattle of Bob Costas and Matt Lauer. Costas I can usually bear, with Lauer it’s less and less with each syllable that falls from his smarmy thin lipped mouth. It was a nice spectacle produced by Danny Boyle. No zombies involved, no 28 Months Later. I was surprised while listening to the years of British rock and pop there was no Elton John involved. Perhaps Danny Boyle isn’t a fan of Elton John. I did post Elton being MIA on Facebook.

A Facebook friend, Hugo- posted that there was already one old queen at the event. I thought it was pretty funny and I bet Reg Dwight would have had a chuckle at that. Arctic Monkeys did make it on, playing two songs though only one made it to the American broadcast. Their big UK hit, ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor’ was cut but they did show the cover of Come Together which had a strange spoken word bit by Bob Costas over the singing and playing of the earnest young band from Sheffield.

I did not see the Beijing opening ceremonies in 2008, having been down on Long Beach Island at the time with my brother Frank and his wife Elaine. I do remember talking to Bill on the phone after that event and he was blown away by the precision of the whole ceremony. So all I had to compare between last night in London and Beijing was Bill’s four year old enthusiasm which in four years had waned somewhat. He didn’t bring it up, perhaps because he loved watching the Queen jumping from a helicopter with Daniel Craig as James Bond.

It was nice spending time together watching a fun spectacle. Bill was off to bed after Paul McCartney sang Hey Jude. Paul sounded a bit shaky at first on the vocals, maybe its age or maybe he was overcome with emotion. I think Macca’s publicist explained it was emotion. I stayed up and watched the news and soon headed off to bed in the air conditioned bedroom. Bill was up and active before I was this morning. He made coffee which was nice since he hadn’t done that in a while. I walked him to the bus stop, holding hands from time to time.

A nice couple of hours and a great way to start the day with the one I love.

expensive crap I used to sell



04 Talk Of The Town

I Love It

Another hot day and it’s a Saturday so that means there are a few more people than usual on the sidewalks while there is more parking than usual on the street. Bill was up and out once again, driving a bus load of young Turks around the metropolitan area. And he will be sleeping in a hotel out by Hofstra University tonight since he has to drive the young Turks around again tomorrow. He asked me if I could bring his trousers and a shirt to his office building tomorrow just in case he can’t make it back home tomorrow.

I got up early this morning and was soon running around Hoboken. I had some things to get done and wanted to do them before it got too hot. This time I was on the street before high noon so it wasn’t that bad. A trip to the exotic Shop Rite to get some on sale items that the nearer supermarket charges way too much for. I decided once I got home, to cook dinner since it would be way too hot to do it later in the afternoon. A smart idea, all I would have to do is reheat the penne and chicken with the pesto. Yes, I fell back to that recipe which I hadn’t had in a while.

I started cooking it last week and it was so good I figured, why not have it again this weekend? So that’s been taken care of and I ate it about a half hour ago. I was out by the river reading again this afternoon, finally finished Maggie the Mechanic and now I have Perla La Loca to read. I also have another collection of later Love and Rockets stories and the Palomar tome. And I still feel like Hoboken is a bit like Dairytown. Lots of faux hawks and mohawks worn by young people around town. It doesn’t mean they are punk or anything like it. They’re not Travis Bickle disciples. They’re merely trendy.

And not enough people have tattoos. Of course I am being facetious. There are way too many tattoos these days. It’s a turn off. I can understand one or two discreet tattoos, but covering the whole arm, or leg, or chest or back. Not my thing, to each their own. Will they be regretted as the wearer gets older? Is it time for me to look into a career in laser tattoo removal? Is there a school or course I could take? And will I get to bring the laser home and do crazy things with it? I don’t know exactly what I could do with a laser but I did read enough comic books when I was a lad to get some ideas.

Last night, coming home from Maxwells with Bill after dinner I got a phone call from Julio. Stine and Alexander are in Denmark so Julio is feeling lonely. He wanted me to take him out for a birthday drink but when I explained I was with Bill for his birthday, he remembered. I told him we could do something tonight but I haven’t heard from him yet. It’s still early, the sun is still out, it’s the longest day of the year according to Neil DeGrasse Tyson and the ‘leap second’ which passed about a half hour ago.

The call could still come through, and if so I bet that Julio wants to go to the Biergarten near his place. Convenient to him, a bit out of the way for me. It’s been a while since we hung out like that so that could still happen. If not I will be content to stay home and just chill out. I am going out tomorrow night anyhow, seeing the Feelies with my brother Brian at Maxwells, thanks to their great drummer Stan with his pen, getting me in with a plus one.

Hello Nick Colas and Hello Bruce Horowitz. Hope you are both doing well. I am fine, you should drop a line, let me know how you guys are doing. Either or…








15 Foolish Pride

I Just Wanna Live

Another day another dingus. Yes it’s Tuesday and after a nice day like yesterday today was bound to be a bit of a let down. I did sleep fairly well last night. Bill came home from his readings last night and I of course greeted him at the door with a nice kiss, helping him with his backpack as well as removing his hat. He looked great and he’s been losing weight since he’s taking more care in what he eats as well as a lot more exercise than he’s been used to.

Bill ran into Thomas on the train last night. He didn’t know it was Thomas, whom I work with, he thought it might have been an actor that he worked with, or perhaps someone from his office. A manly hug was exchanged. Bill came home and asked me what Bradley looked like. I described him as best as I could without having to crawl around on my belly. My impersonation of Thomas thankfully did not involve a steel rod up my ass. But it was a good imitation of Thomas and Bill got it almost right away.

I woke up on time as usual this morning, had my coffee brewed by Bill once again. I poured a bowl of cereal and jumped in the shower. I hadn’t shaved in a few days so that was a requirement today. I was out the door at the usual time, walking to the bus stop, enjoying a cigar and waiting in the quite warm weather. No coat needed and I had my tie neatly folded away in my shoulder bag.

I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive about going to work, as I usually am when I have a day off. Not knowing what to expect, except for the pressure to sell sell sell. But no one is coming in in in. It’s very slow in the cigar shack area. All the store around us are slow. Things might pick up by Father’s Day in June, but the pressure is on Zack and then onto us since shit does roll downhill.

Bradley and Jerry Vale were my cohorts most of the day, Zack out of the office at a meeting somewhere. Lunch was nice, spent once again on a bench by the park where I started reading Retromania by Simon Reynolds. More academic than I anticipated but I muddled through. The footnotes were a welcome distraction, a timeline with how pop culture is fixated on the past, not looking forward the way it used to be.

Now we are listening to Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Live Rust. That got a lot of airplay on WPIX at the end of the 1970’s. This weekend the news about about Robin Gibb being in a coma. Colon cancer, liver cancer and now pneumonia. Robin seems to be headed out. Today I heard my brother Brian (as well as Harpy) that Levon Helm is on his way out. Both seem to have only a few days left, if at that.

Thank you for the music, Robin & Levon.









09 – Our Day Will Come

I Got Soul

Another Saturday night at the cigar shack, me & Thomas. It’s been a good day, working with Thomas and Bradley. Not bad at all. Bradley has certainly stepped up to the plate since he became the assistant manager. He has a grip on things and is able to communicate extremely well, especially when compared to how he was just a month or so ago.

He was a nightmare to work with a lot of the time but lately he’s been great. It really makes a difference. Communicate early and often like my ex-boss Bobby Risotto was fond of saying. A problem pops up, you discuss it and hopefully it gets solved almost immediately. None of this subterfuge, the gossip that occurs from time to time.

I have come thisclose several times today with regards to humidor sales today. It would have been nice to close the deal but it’s not up to me of course, it is up to the customer. And the customers I’ve dealt with needed to think about it which is totally understandable. Bill is driving to Atlantic City tonight. He’s been doing OK with that.

A few weeks ago there was some problems that caused him to stop at every rest stop to relieve himself. It was worrisome to say the least but it was actually from his using aspartame a lot. He doesn’t drink water so he was using crystal light in his water for flavor which caused the problem.

I have cut aspartame from my diet a few years ago after having some intense headaches. I figured that was the cause and after I heard about how Donald Rumsfeld pushed aspartame onto the market without it being properly tested I knew it was the right thing to do.

And now I am home. Thomas offered to close since he would rather leave a little bit earlier tomorrow which is his sixth day of working. I have no problem with that since tomorrow we do close at 7:00 and that means I get to leave two hours earlier anyhow, so 15 minutes is really no big deal.

My numbers were actually pretty good today, especially after one of my customers came in and bought a couple of hundred dollars worth of cigars. He’s a nice guy who ran a record label after I left that label and we initially connected on that. Now he’s in Los Angeles a lot of the time, still a player in the music business and now on one of those TV shows where people sing and try to advance to some level without really paying any dues.

Of course I was glad I could get my numbers up, and though they were good, it really pales in comparison to the numbers Thomas posted yesterday, selling two humidors, totalling $9000.00. Good for Thomas and good for the store.

So now I am home, Bill is on the road, nothing on TV tonight. Saturday Night Live is a repeat and I don’t think I will watch it again, but then again I more than likely watch some of it after the 11:00 News.

Not posting tomorrow so I hope you all have a very nice day.








11. [Laid]

I Don’t Want You Now

Yesterday was day five, ten hour shifts and I was toast before I even headed in. I saw Bill only for about five minutes before I headed out the door and I was so stressed. Near the cigar shack the same six holiday songs, done in a New Orleans Dixieland style are played loudly and endlessly on a loop, as if it was the sounds of the holiday signaling the oncoming apocalypse.

Ahead of me lay a long day, a Saturday with a staph meeting at the end. I was not sure about what the staph meeting would entail or the length. Last time there was pizza and beer as well as a free cigar of our choice and if that was to be the case then it was probably going to be a long dazed journey into night.

As per usual I took the bus into the city and walked up the avenue, getting my egg sandwich and arriving at the cigar shack earlier than I needed to. Zack was opening so that meant I would have to enjoy my sandwich standing up in the pantry next to the garbage can instead of being able to sit in the office before signing in for the day.

Thomas and Frank Burns were in, with Jerry Vale expected later in the day after he gets out of his other job. I was alright thanks to a Xanax, but still could sense despair on the edges of my outlook. The ritual 3:00 phone call with my sister had her alarmed by my bleak vision.

In hindsight it was probably the darkest part of the day for me, more than likely from not having eaten lunch yet. After a burger deluxe and a chocolate shake I did call her back to let her know that I was feeling better. If I don’t eat, I crash- mentally, physically and spiritually. The day went on as it was supposed to, ending with Thomas and myself nabbing the top two spots in sales respectively.

Still the staph meeting was scheduled and neither Thomas or myself knew what was in store. Were we going to be chewed out? Was Frank Burns going to be the anointed assistant manager? It turned out to be quite a mild meeting, Zack reading aloud from notes, as the rest of us dutifully followed.

Questions were asked and answered and the whole thing was over and we were out of the shack by 10:30, leaving Zack to finish his cigar alone. I lucked out, getting on the subway platform just as an express train was heading downtown.

I was wary about a long line and wait like last Saturday but there was no need. Things were going as they should, the Path was running so there wasn’t hundreds of other people waiting for the Hoboken bus. I was home by 11:00 and watched Saturday Night Live before heading to bed.

Bill phoned from Atlantic City, lovingly concerned about my wellbeing. I reassured him that I was home and doing alright.




If 6 was 9

I Don’t Want To Talk About It

“Excuse me, I have a question. What is that bullet shaped gadget?” The bullet shaped gadget is a cigar punch. “Oh that is excellent” It’s been a big nothing kind of day. Not much interesting, not much going on, not much of anything.

I slept incredibly well, and I think Bill did too even though I had to tell him as he slept that he was snoring. Through the sleep apnea mask again. He is now officially scheduled to spend the night at a sleep clinic in a week or two.

I feel bad for him since it is a problem and the mask does not seem to be doing it’s job, but then again some weight loss might help. I don’t have the healthiest diet and I feel a bit hypocritical telling him that he should eat better, but I also do not want to come across as a nag.

Bill woke up later than he had hoped and kissed me goodbye as I lay there sleeping the sleep of what felt like someone who just smoked a tremendous joint. Not a bad way to start the day despite feeling sluggish. I shuffled about the apartment, turning things on, turning things off.

Coffee and cereal were my morning companions as I heard all about Occupy Wall Street and their plans to take over the world. Last night on the TV Bill and I watched some cointelpro yelling about how he was going to toss a Molotov cocktail into Macy’s.

Today was spent working with Frank Burns and he was in his element. Complaining of his bad back and how he was going to have to go to a cigar lounge somewhere and hang out since his boy toy is hosting it. No sign of Zack lately.

In the land of the cigar shack, no information on what is going on downtown. Just the usual customers sitting around talking shit which they do so well. And it’s definitely the luck of the draw today, Jerry Vale is kicking ass leaving Frank Burns and myself in the ashtray.

It’s pretty funny, I have some guy dripping in gold, nice suit and shoes and he buys the least expensive. Neck bone walks in looking like crap and proceeds to drop hundreds of dollars. I mean there is really nothing I can do about it, but I have never in all my life decided to kill some time browsing in a cigar shack and not buy anything like the fucktard that just came in while Jerry Vale sells ice cubes to Eskimos.

Less than an hour to go and it certainly cannot end fast enough for me. Just a dreadful day, cold and rainy and just dismal overall. Still both Jerry Vale and I are glad that Frank Burns is not here. He could be anywhere but we know he is at a cigar lounge with his boy toy.

So it’s win win for all concerned. Some Eire fan just came in and bought 2 cigars and paid in Sacajewea dollars which will be fun to count tonight and even more fun to deliver to the bank tomorrow for a deposit.






I Can Only Imagine

Home again, a Monday for me and a Monday for most everyone. The thing is, most everyone has Saturday and Sunday off, whereas I merely had Sunday off. That means cramming everything that most people have 2 days to deal with into 1 day. Not much fun, or at least not much time for fun.

So laundry was done, grocery shopping and errands were completed. Bill came home in the morning and though on the phone from Atlantic City on Saturday night he said it might be good to check out the Pride parade in New York City yesterday, I knew he would be too tired and I decided not to head into the city on my day off.

Bill slept most of the day as I washed clothes and went to the supermarket. It was fine by me. I did have a chance to go to the post office and on my way passed the Guitar Bar where I saw Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro. His eldest daughter Lily just graduated high school and he was quite proud of her as he should be.

I made my way to the post office and then decided to walk along the waterfront where I ran into my old busking friend Tariq. He was taking a break from strumming and handed me the guitar as I sat next to him. I played some Beatles songs and once again ignored by all passerby, except for my old friend Roger.

It was good to see Roger and since Tariq was headed into the city I took a little stroll around Hoboken with Roger who was looking for either a good slice of pizza or a falafel. He decided to buy a falafel and offered to buy me one, but I headed home and tried to wake up Bill who was still fast asleep.

He wouldn’t wake up so I let him sleep and sat in front of the computer where I argued with trolls online (I always seem to find them, though 1 seems to find me here) about same sex marriage. Me against the defenders of the catholic faith. How the protectors of child molesting priests should be able to decide that the marriage equality of 2 same sex consenting adults is valid or not. I wasn’t alone in my online troll battle and my allies had equally if not better points to prove our points.

Bill eventually woke up and we wound up on Pier A in Hoboken where we watched the fireworks following the New York City’s Gay Pride parade. It was nice, the 2 of us sitting and watching the explosions in the sky while we smoked cigars. With little prompting he also sang a quiet version of the Star Spangled Banner, really stretching out the high note at the end.

That was basically the high point (or high note) of the day since Bill and I rarely do anything outside the apartment together. He went back to bed soon after we got home and I chatted with online friends. I slept fairly well, waking up and getting my act together.

I decided to take a Xanax before I left and by the time I got to the cigar shack I was quite mellow. Too mellow perhaps since it wouldn’t take much to put me to sleep. But I persevered with the help of some Iced Coffees and eventually made it through the day.

I worked with Calvin and Thomas and overall though it wasn’t a blockbuster day we did alright. And now I am home, the Xanax has all but worn off after 12 hours. I shouldn’t have any trouble sleeping tonight.

And neither should you after reading all this.


I Believe Frankie Laine

It’s been another Saturday at the cigar shack. Not a bad day despite it being the Saturday in a holiday weekend. The shack has done well today despite a lot of people not being around. Most of the regulars came in yesterday to buy cigars for the weekend.

Better selections in Manhattan than in the Hamptons or wherever it is that they go. The day started out quite nice, I slept incredibly well and woke up in a good mood. Bill was en route from Atlantic City.

First off a stop at his gym since he thinks he may have left his iPhone at the gym. They didn’t have it, and if they had it, it might be in the gym’s safe since the manager would have locked it up in there and the manager won’t be back until Tuesday. At least that is what they told Bill.

I saw Bill for just a few minutes this morning, he was coming in as I was soon going out. Better than nothing I reckon. I caught an early bus which afforded me a nice cushion of time, enough for me to walk up the avenue and getting an egg sandwich on the way to the shack.

I got to the shack about 15 minutes early and immediately went to work alongside Calvin. Bradley was on his way in and tit was fairly busy throughout the day. 82 degrees when I went out for lunch, sitting on a bench near the park where I enjoyed a nice cigar.

Got back to the shack and the day progressed nicely. I was manning the music controls and it was alright, I was hitting all the right buttons. Right now Morrissey is playing, his first singles collection, Bona Drag. I believe he now has about 9 collections of his singles and greatest hits out there.

Probably more collections than actual albums. I think he’s a better singles artist than an LP artist, but I’m sure most Moz fans would disagree.

Bradley and I are closing, and now it’s dead in the shopping area. After 7:00 things really slow down and of course during a holiday weekend it’s really slow.

I bought a box of cigars for myself and had them shipped to Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro. He was supposed to drop them off at a bar near his shop last night but he didn’t. He did it this morning so that means I have to stop by the bar and pick them up.

Hopefully the doorman won’t have any problems with me doing just that. We shall see I suppose. I guess I will give you all the low down when I finish writing this at home later.

And now I am at home and it went well. There was no doorman and the bartender at Mulligans was pretty funny when he said it would be $10.50 since he went and got the box of cigars that Jim dropped off. I laughed and skedaddled out of there.

I am happy to be home, happy to have my cigars. Tomorrow is Sunday and I am working but I won’t be writing.

Smell ya later.





I Need Your Love Tonight

Letting the days go by. Today is Saturday. Once again, I find myself at the cigar shack, working with Thomas and The Bradley. Both are quite humorous, intentionally so. It’s a clear cold spring day.

I waited for the bus for about 35 minutes this morning, leaving the apartment early to catch the formerly reliable 10:15 bus. It was a no show, leaving me and a few others to wait in the cold for the soon to be standing room only 10:30 bus.

Hyman Gross got on at the next stop, having taken a taxi from his apartment to the bus stop. We sat next to each other and chatted a bit. I had planned to walk up the avenue so I could get something to eat, but as time became shorter and shorter and with the bus getting more and more crowded it was best that I take the subway.

I left Hyman on the bus as I descended the stairs. I listened to Public Image Limited, Album which I guess should be renamed Download since the cassette was called Cassette and the CD was called Compact Disc.

No one is on top of that one, but then again the label that had released the original versions is more than likely nonexistent. Goodbye, Virgin.

It brought me back to 1986, hearing the album in Jersey City when Steve Saporito lived above Chaz Charas with my former roommate William Charas. Late night after Maxwells. I have no idea how I got home after that but I do recall listening to the record. John Lydon with Ginger Baker and Steve Vai.

I’ve been here in the cigar shack for 90 minutes and it seems a lot longer. Bill is driving to Atlantic City tonight, Hyman’s worried since a lot of buses are being pulled over after a string of bus accidents in the past 2 weeks.

I reassured Hyman that Bill’s paperwork was in order and that Bill inspects the bus before it leave the depot, from top to bottom and if there was anything wrong with the bus, then Bill would likely balk at driving that particular bus. I’m going to lunch in a few minutes.

It’s almost 3:30. Already did my usual Saturday afternoon phone call with Annemarie at 3:00. And there was a flurry of activity in the store sales wise.

And one of the former regulars, the one they call Nelson (to his face) stopped by more than likely to report how poorly things are since someone like him doesn’t come here anymore. I didn’t even notice when he left, cipher that he is.

And the day is now over and I am home. Bill is in Hell’s Kitchen as of one minute ago. I could have sworn he was driving to Atlantic City. When I last checked he was in Clifton. I’m sure I will find out eventually.

The rest of the day at work wasn’t so bad. In fact there were a lot of laughs at everyone’s expense. How smoothly everything goes when the meddlesome management isn’t around.

That’s about it. I’m tired. Tried some stretching that my sister recommended since the past few days I’ve been having a problem with the back of my leg. I also took some Ibuprofen which helped with the inflammation.

One more day of work tomorrow (mit Calvin) and then off two days in a row. And tomorrow is a shorter day and also a day off from writing so I guess I will see you all on Monday.

Hopefully there will be something to write about. But who knows, really?

Cheers.

Hyman Gross



I Love You

Well there was a snow storm when I left the apartment this morning and there is a snow storm right now, 12 hours later. I enjoyed it more in the evening and hope that a million inches of snow falls. And two million inches of snow to fall upon Bala Cynwyd since they seem to be lacking in cheerfulness and snow angels, among other things.

In between snow storms it rained, it sleeted and snowed a bit with high whipping winds and slush everywhere. Still no word from the Susquehanna Investment Group, wanker bankers they seem to be, but their phallus fallacies are not my immediate concern.

Slept OK last night, no great shakes. Bill was up and out around 5:30, hitting the gym and all that. I stayed in bed until 8:15, finally getting out of bed, making coffee, cereal and jumping into the shower. I neglected to mention yesterday how I had gotten a phone call from an agency that I’ve been signed up with for about five years.

They had an offer, to start on Thursday, a temp to perm job for a hedge fund. I mentioned that I was working already but in retail and looking to get out. The woman who called, named Emily understood my reluctance to leave something permanent (and hellish) to go to something that was merely a temporary job.

And I gave the line that I wanted to give some sort of notice to Marcus and Calvin since they’re just so bitchin’. Of course, if I was offered really good gig, I would leave the cigar shop in an instant and never return unlike Raymond who was at the shop again. I mentioned to him that I see him more now than I did when he was working there.

It was a sluggish day today, not much in sales although Calvin had done a few thousand more than me, and I didn’t even reach a thousand. Oh boo hoo. I went to the Moon Rock Diner again for lunch and finished last week’s New Yorker and started this week’s issue.

Then a walk to the internet café where I checked email and updated my Facebook status. Not much to report on either front but that was alright.

It was Calvin and Sean for the second half of the day, Calvin being out tomorrow made it seem like a vacation of sorts. Nature does not abhor this vacuum. And it continues to snow outside, crazy winds whipping about.

It would be nice to have a snow day tomorrow but it seems to be unlikely. Plus with Calvin being out tomorrow who really cares? It should be an easy day. Marcus was in Florida on Monday and Tuesday and has been having difficulty getting back to the New York metropolitan area and with all the snow falling now, who knows if he’ll make it in tomorrow? He could still be in Bimini.

Both Jersey City and Union City are hidden by the snow storm and that’s how I like it, at least right now I do.

A million inches. That’s all I ask for. Perhaps in a million years.






And Bill is feeling a bit under the weather.

I Can Read Between the Lines

And it was back to work again. Had to open the store so that meant early t bed and early to rise. Not so happy, relatively healthy and my being wise is debatable as it ever was. Actually I am pretty happy. Things could be better but overall I am happy, and happiest when I am with Bill.

And Bill is nearby right now, doing his thing as I am doing mine. His is theater and mine is not. At least not yet. Or is it all theater? I know I tend to wallow in drama and I’m sure the Bala Cynwyd occupants are prone to agree.

Waking up at 7:00 was a chore this morning. I know, most of you get up around that time, or perhaps even earlier. Not me lately. Been sleeping until 9:00 then hustling to get out at 11:00. This morning was not that at all. And it was cold too.

Been bitter cold lately and doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. I got on a cozy coach bus which by the time it reached 14th Street it had filled up considerably. A quick ride uptown and soon I was at the cigar shop, 20 minutes early. I didn’t mind, no one else was in yet.

I did a lot of work before I even punched in and soon Marcus was in as well. It was odd since I hadn’t worked alongside Marcus in a few months, but it was manageable. Since he is the head honcho it was easy to defer to his judgment with regards to different matters. ‘Marcus said this, Marcus said that’ was a refrain I repeated a few times throughout the day, and most everyone would shut up after that.

And by most everyone, I mean Calvin and the Bradley who came in just before Marcus headed out for the day. It wasn’t that bad a day, except for the hours that is. Harpy even made an appearance, blessing me with a burn of mash ups with a holiday theme, Rudolph (you don’t have to put on the red light), to the tune of Roxanne by the Police.

It’s pretty good though it is not 100% safe to play at the cigar shop. I tried to buy a nice little 3D poster I saw for sale a week ago at a nearby store, The Beatles in Yellow Submarine that I was going to buy for Alexander, but unfortunately it was sold out. I may hit a similar store on Thursday when I am off.
Or maybe even tomorrow night when I get out of work early. Earlier than 10:30.

Right now I am wearing a sweater and track pants, socks and worn out slippers and listening to Double Fantasy Stripped Down by John & Yoko. Hopefully sleep won’t be a problem tonight and hopefully waking up won’t be a problem tomorrow morning.

The schedule is playing havoc with my body clock, but I guess I’ll be able to reset it on Thursday, my next day off.

I.G.Y.

Well this is how it’s going to be until after Jesus’ birthday. I went into work today a little later than usual. That’s my new schedule for the holidays, 12:30 to 10:30PM. And it seems that having 2 days off in a row is not going to happen either.

A day off here, two or three days on and then another day off. Oddly enough that doesn’t bother me. Having two days off in a row lately makes it difficult to go back to work, at least willingly. Today was different since I would have liked to have had off today, the day after Thanksgiving when most everyone has the day off.

I was glad to have slept in late, late meaning to 9:00. Bill was worried that I wasn’t going in and I told him the itinerary. I had coffee and cereal before I headed out. Bill decided to wait for the bus with me. It was a nice time waiting and I really didn’t want to go, but I really didn’t have a choice.

Bill went to have his breakfast at Stacks as I headed into the city on the bus, once again staring out the window, looking at the top of the Palisades, thinking about Weehawken, and 11 years spent there. Soon we were hurtling through the tunnel and I was walking through the bus terminal in no time.

Not as crowded as it was on Wednesday, and the trains seemed to be running on a weekend schedule. I paid my fare already so all I could do is wait. Had to hop on a local train, I thought I was running late and didn’t want to risk the train on the express track to foul up.

I had a few minutes before I went into the cigar shop so I called up Bill as he was finishing his pancake breakfast. Just a quick ‘I love you’ before I headed in. And in the shop were Marcus and Bradley. Marcus in his office and Bradley manning the counter.

Bradley does many things that I used to do years ago, and eventually gave up. Still he can be somewhat humorous which makes it easier to get through the day. And it was a long day. Everywhere else where there was shopping it was Black Friday, lot’s of people, sales that run for only a few hours.

Unfortunately where the cigar shop is, it was dullsville. Neither Bradley or I did the sales we did on Wednesday. Really slow. Few regular customers came in and the ones that did come in were generally not my favorite people.

There were one or two that made the cut but the rest were mainly paste. It took a while for the closing hour to arrive, Bradley left 2 hours previously. I sat in the back and smoked a small cigar, music off so I could hear the door open.

Working with Calvin tomorrow and closing with Sean so that should make closing that much more enjoyable. He’s been very agreeable since he’s been inducted into the fraternity he pledged to.

Surprisingly I was able to make the bus earlier than the one I expected to catch. I waited at gate 323, something like the twentieth on line when a guy come up behind me. I was playing music so I didn’t hear what he said, so removed one of the earphones and asked him what he said.

He asked if I was waiting for the 323. I said I was waiting at gate 323 for the 126 bus. That turned out to be what he meant. I placed the earphone back in, but heard him say something else so I turned and said ‘Sorry?’.

He looked at me and said ‘deleted’. Different crowd for the after 10:00PM buses. Not my type of crowd.


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I Just Love You More

I went back to work today. A hot shower made all the difference. The water heater came in last night and I was the one who stayed while Peter’s handyman Robert installed it. He did a better job than expected, everything was hooked up within an hour.

I was kind enough to help Robert bring the old heater down four flights of stairs. It was bulky but not too heavy since Julio helped us empty the old, defunct heater the night before. It was the least I could do.

It took about an hour for the water to become heated again, and despite that, I decided to wait until this morning to take a shower. And it was a good shower, steamy too. It wasn’t raining out this morning and I was glad for that.

The usual uneventful ride into the city on the bus, an uneventful subway ride to the cigar shop. There was a pastor’s assistant in my car, preaching about how his god was a good god if you worshiped and praised it as much as possible. It sounded like a needy god to me. Luckily the pastor’s assistant had no words for me. I didn’t mind.

I got to the cigar shop, Marcus asked how I was feeling. I told him I was somewhat better and embellished my story with how I wound up wearing some of my vomit, I was also soaking wet (true) and came home and slept for 6 hours (1/3 true, actually 2 hours).

Other than that it was an easy day. Marcus split after a few hours leaving Calvin and Don and myself to run the shop. Things went smoothly, no stepping on toes, all relatively calm.

Calvin left at 7:30 leaving Don and myself. It made closing a lot easier, 2 of us counting the money and sorting things out. We got out of there in about 5 minutes which is 10 minutes faster than I usually manage.

A walk down to the bus terminal listening to A Tribe Called Quest. Been years but I still know most of the words and can bob my head with the best of them.

Ran into Hyman Gross once again. Bill and I decided to have Thanksgiving dinner with him. He’s an old man and his dinner partner for Thanksgiving passed away last year. So rather than him being alone for the upcoming holiday, we decided to start something new with Hyman.

We’re having dinner at Oscar’s Brasserie in the city. We made a reservation for 2:30PM on that Thursday. We were aiming for 3:00PM. I asked Bill to make the reservation earlier in the week and he didn’t so we had to take the 2:30 slot which is fine for Bill and myself.

I think Hyman might have a problem with it though. I guess we’ll find out on Monday when either Bill sees Hyman in the morning or I see Hyman in the evening.

It’s been a long day. I’m tired somewhat. That’s all for now. Over and out.

I Can’t Stand It

Right now, I’m home. Bill is driving to Atlantic City. The temperature has dropped considerably, it’s gotten chilly out. Today was a blustery day. Bill Maher is on TV, leaving trails of smarm wherever he goes.

Actually tonight he’s alright, Lawrence O’Donnell and 2 republicunts are on the panel, some blonde and some bald Asian Indian guy. The Asian Indian guy is quite obnoxious as is the blonde, who laughs incessantly when called out on the shit that republicunts get away with.

Just what I needed to come home to. I know I could always change the channel, but let’s face it, I’m hooked into the current political scene. Now Zach Galifanakis is on and he’s being somewhat funny.

It was a long day today. Slept later than usual which made the day a few steps behind everything else. I shuffled around getting my act together and was soon on the street heading for the bus stop. An overcast day mainly, made for a chilly wind.

Uneventful bus ride once again and uneventful subway ride. Actually as I was headed to the subway, 2 guys come up to me and ask where they could catch a bus. I simply pointed upwards and said, ‘On the street’. They then thanked me and headed up the stairs.

I listened to the B-52’s first album, still thrilled by Ricky Wilson’s guitar on Rock Lobster. Yes, I’ve heard Rock Lobster like a million times, but his guitar break still gets me every time. What a cool sound.

Work was with Calvin and Bradley, with Marcus making a late morning, early afternoon appearance. Yesterday Marcus and Calvin gave me a very nice lighter, by Lamborghini. Yes they make cars and lighters. Awfully nice of Marcus & Calvin.

It sort of reminded me of when I was living in Lodi and planning on moving out, when my parents bought me a new bed. ‘Thanks for the gift, but I do have my eye on the door which I hope to be walking through any day now.’ Calvin took me aside and told me I did not set the alarm when I left the shop last night. He didn’t tell Marcus, but if it happens again, he will have to write me up.

Terror Alert in NYC today. Heard about it a little, police presence in the mid afternoon near the cigar shop, flashing lights, heavy duty trucks. People went on with their business. It was too cold to go out and have a cigar on the bench by the park.

Perhaps yesterday was the last day, at least the last pleasant day, with the crazy guy with his bike screaming at the top of his lungs, how great Elton John was, specifically Captain Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy.

Then he would scream the names of names of his siblings and where they were when he last saw them. It went on for a while, alternating singing Someone Saved my Life Tonight and saying that he last saw his sister Crystal about 8 years ago, and that Crystal’s boy was trouble.

Oh, if only he took after his uncle.

I did play the Cramps tonight at the cigar shop after Calvin had left for the day. I trotted to the bus terminal from the cigar store in about 16 minutes, 25 seconds, listening to the first 5 songs from Staring at the Sea, the first greatest hits collection of the Cure.

Thought about Stan B and wondered how he was doing. Note to myself: I should call Kevin C. I owe him a phone call.



Hyman Gross & 2 other passengers

If You Gotta Go, Go Now (Or Else You Got To Stay All Night)

Well a little after 8:00 last night I got a phone call. It was Jane. Who surprisingly sounded like my friend Jane. And that made me post on Facebook, wondering if all women named Jane sounded the same on the phone.

Are they the same Jane or am I insane? Anyway it was Jane the recruiter, reminding me to sell myself, and to ask questions. She mentioned that if you don’t ask questions during an interview you’re basically disqualified. Even ask questions that have already been answered.

I took down all her suggestions, including bringing a fresh resume and hung up the phone a few minutes later feeling incredibly anxious. Bill came home and alleviated my anxiety and it didn’t take long to realize that this job was nothing I hadn’t done before and also had done quite well.

Bill was soon off to bed and I stayed up watching Community, 30 Rock and The Office. Community was great, I had the heads up regarding Abed’s storyline which was like watching 2 shows in one. 30 Rock was OK, but the Office was great. It involved Andy Bernard acting in a local production of Sweeney Todd and it was hilarious overall.

I watched them on the free broadcast channel on cable. You miss your shows from NBC and ABC and you can watch them a day later for free. No need to DVR it. I was still a little bit anxious when I went to bed but slept really well.

Woke up before the alarm clock and was out waiting for the bus earlier than I usually do. I had an interview at 9:30 and of course, I did not want to be late. As I rod on the bus I went through my things and realized that I did not have the updated resume on me.

I texted and called Bill and arranged for him to print out some new copies. The resume had to have changes on it, from Office Manager to Office Services. I’m going after the office service position, not the office manager position. You have to tailor your resume to what they want, you see.

So I met up with Bill for a few minutes and then found myself on the N train. I got off at Fifth Avenue and still had 20 minutes to kill. I went up a few minutes after that and soon met with Mark. He seemed like a nice guy and I think we hit it off.

He thought I had another appointment and when I said that I didn’t he asked me to wait to meet with Margaret. So it turned into 2 interviews in which I think I did very well.

After that I was back on the street, talked with Bill who was quite happy with my report on the interview. I also called Greg Stevens, Vinnie and Brenda all from the Wanker Banker scene which is actually around the block from where the interview was.

Greg, Vinnie and Brenda gave me their consent to put them down as references. I had to explain that the position was for office services and not office manager so they could get their stories straight. I also called Babs Kaye and left a message. She called me back later on also giving me her consent.

Walked back to the bus terminal, stopping by Bill’s office so I could sign some paperwork with regards to being the beneficiary of his retirement funds should something awful happen. And I certainly hope that doesn’t happen.

Wrote some thank you emails which I had to run by the recruiters. I copied mine from suggestions online. They took that and reworded it somewhat and I sent them off to Mark and Margaret, on Mark’s were the references which weren’t asked for but decided to send anyhow.

I hope that wasn’t the wrong thing. Before I left the interview, Mark and Margaret said they had other people to see. I mentioned that to Bill and he said that was the standard line. Perhaps they do have other people to see, perhaps I was the only one they saw.

A decision will be made and I hope I get the job. It’s a temp to perm job which is fine by me. Close enough to my old stomping grounds. The hours are the crazy part. 7:00AM to 4:00PM or so. Maybe some extra time if needed. I explained that I had no problem with that and I really don’t.

It will take some adjusting should it come through, but it’s doable. And it’s Monday through Friday which is what I really want. And paying 12k more than what I’m making working retail, well that truly is the brass ring.

But I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch and also sent the revised resume to my cousin Joe.

Anything could happen, and it probably will.

Guess who I saw today?


The Interviewed

This has been post 1,777. How about that?

I Heard It Through The Grapevine

Today it’s Friday. It wasn’t such a bad day, at least not as bad as yesterday. Yesterday I wrote over 800 words, today I feel it will be a struggle to reach 500 words. But here I go again, once more into the breach.

The day started with Bill running around, upset that he wasn’t able to burn a disc on his mac. He needed to have a few discs burned for the show he is working in tonight at the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe. It’s also the rare show that he is in that I am unable to see since I am working the horrid hours of retail.

Bill was out later than usual this morning and I was up and out of bed soon after he left. Woke up to the sounds of Eddie Money, Baby Hold onto Me. That song is always on the radio, or at least the oldies station.
I did my thing, breakfast, shower, coffee and emails and got dressed early enough. I was planning on being late today, since I would be working with Calvin I thought I’d let him open the register and therefore have to close the register.

Don and Bradley had the early shift leaving Calvin, Sean and myself to close. But as usual, as late as I try to be, I generally wind up being on time. Not a bad thing I know, but it never works out that I can be fifteen minutes late.

So I made it in, and still I had to open the register, Calvin lurking about nowhere near the register. It was a full staff what with Bradley filling in Raymond’s vacant position.

I was prepared in case the Susie Essman damaged clone made it in today or someone of her ilk came in. I brought my digital voice recorder in to the shop today to record any heinous conversations that I might be privy to.

But there was no need for it. Most of the conversations were nonchalant and not worth recording in any event. I had a nice lunch on a bench by the park, enjoying a cigar and reading the biography of Paul McCartney that Julio gave me as a Christmas present last year. I’m enjoying it more now than I did when I originally tried reading it earlier this year.

Back to the shop, more boredom, but Calvin was out of the way, enjoying his two hour lunch, supplemented with alcohol and cigars. My co-workers used to get upset about his long lunches until I reminded them that he’s out of the picture for two hours at least.

Don and Bradley left at 7:30 leaving Calvin, Sean and myself to close the shop for another long 90 minutes. I spent a good part of the 90 minutes in the humidor with Sean while Calvin chatted with a customer who though being a very nice guy, won’t shut up.

Finally I got them out of the shop and I closed the store by myself in about 11 minutes. I prepared beforehand behind Calvin’s back.

I made it from the shop to the bus terminal in 15 minutes, 41 seconds. Hot Chip, Gladys Knight & the Pips, the Heptones and ESG guiding my feet through the clogged sidewalks of the avenue.

I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun

It’s now Friday and lucky me, I have off Saturday and Sunday. Maybe now I will see what all the fuss is about. It’s been a while I think that I’ve had Saturday and Sunday off. This was arranged a few weeks ago when I requested to have August 22nd off to see the Specials at Summerstage.

Then to my dismay, the State Department wouldn’t give the band visas. So the show was canceled but I still have 2 days off. Instead of a free show to see the Specials, I am going to Joe’s Pub tomorrow night to see Adele Bertei, backed by the Raybeats with Gail Ann Dorsey from David Bowie’s band on bass.

It’s so unlike me and I’m going alone. There may be tickets still available so feel free to join me. It’s only $20.00. I felt I should see some music over the weekend.

And though I’ve seen the Raybeats several times back in the eighties, and I’ve met Gail Ann Dorsey, I’ve never seen Adele Bertei, having missed the Contortions and the Bloods back in the day.

I had to set reminders to let me know about the show, so rarely do I go out these days.

I even thought about checking out some galleries tomorrow, perhaps an early start. Some things to do about the apartment, laundry, general cleaning up so an early start should occur. I wrote that with a straight face.

Straight meaning, not laughing.

Today was a pretty good day at the cigar shop. Pretty busy and money was made. I did almost $2000.00 worth of sales. Still I was in third place. I do like working at the cigar shop, the staff is alright to work with and the customers are mainly OK.

My Friend, My Friend hasn’t been in the shop the past couple of days, I hope he is well. He’s an intelligent bloke and is good for smart conversation.

I suppose reinventing oneself for a job goes on everywhere, but it’s not a total reinvention, more like the tweaking around the edges. I thought I would have to do a complete overhaul but obviously it wasn’t to be.

Some people know me as one person, others know me as someone else and my co-workers know me as someone entirely different. Or am I. It’s all in perception I guess. We all see things differently.

It’s all like Rashomon, but where and who is the ghost?

I treated myself to a Good Burger dinner tonight. I ate at the shop in the back and figured I would work it off as well as walk it off, which I hope I did when I walked from the cigar shop to the bus terminal.

Tonight’s musical journey was courtesy of the Pretenders first album, called Pretenders. 16 minute, 57 seconds, from Precious (not based on the book Push by Sapphire) to Space Invaders.

Funnily enough, I think I bought the Pretenders first album at EJ Korvettes in Paramus, the same day I bought the Specials first album.

Ah, 1979. A pretty good year for music.

I’ve Been Lonely (For So Long)

Well here I am again and it’s Friday for most, and I guess it’s Thursday for me since I have Sunday off. Then it’s 5 days, Monday through Friday with next weekend off.

I arranged to have August 22 off to see the Specials at Summerstage but they were denied visas to get into the US. They’re touring Canada but not here. Boo State Department, Boo!

So now there is a tentative plan to see the Warhol exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum with Harpy next weekend, now that Harpy is off the mainland and back on one of the islands off the coast of North America.

Today was back at the cigar shop. The mantra continues. It was a decent team, Calvin, Don Birch and Raymond. Marcus is at the tobacconist convention and will be back on Monday. It was a beautiful day that’s for sure. Q

uite nice, almost spring like, or maybe even closer to autumnal. I listened to Pylon, Hits when I went into work. Great way to start the day. They were such nice people, and it’s sad that Randy passed away last year and Pylon will be no more.

One of the best bands from Athens GA in my book. I first saw them opening up for Talking Heads in 1980 at the Dr. Pepper Festival at the Wollman Rink and didn’t quite get them.

Fast forward a few years later, I’m shopping in Free Being, the late lamented record store on Second Avenue and I see a Tyrannosaurus Rex on an album cover with a curved edge. That was enough to get my attention, enough to make me buy it, and I fell in love with them for the first time.

It was their second album and I was smitten. I was lucky enough to see them at Maxwells a few times and also able to DJ for them when they played. And they enjoyed the songs I played and even told me so.

This morning, I was early enough to relax in the backroom before I started my 10 hour shift. An excellent way to lose weight I might add. Standing around for 9 hours will slim the waist quite nicely.

My Friend My Friend came into the shop showing me a photocopy of a saucy picture of him and his family for their holiday card from the past. Quite funny and My Friend My Friend would give Divine a run for the money.

Al Sharpton even made an appearance this afternoon, didn’t say anything as he was talking into his Blackberry. I wondered aloud after he left if he put his hair in curlers when he went to bed at night. Other than that, not much else to write about.

But I have to write more as there are only 463 words written so far. Well a little bit more than that actually. The number is actually closer to 480. A number that I am comfortable with but I’m sure the number crunching word counting reader or readers would beg to differ.

Filthy beggars.