What a day. If there was a day to run into friends it would be today. But no one is around it seems. It started with a phone call from someone I used to work with, Dave who reminded me of someone I used to work around, Rocky. Dave is in the cigar business and was calling to shoot the shit as it were. As he talked about his adventures and misadventures I was walking to the bibliothèque. He knows Shlomo and Israel from the other cigar store and dished the dirt on them.
I had to get off the phone and told Dave that he should call me over the weekend, when my calling plan is not as restrictive as it is during the week. In fact anyone calling me would have the best chance of getting me on the weekends and that means you too Mr. Chasm.
I got home and found some emails from Bill and his former boss. It’s a mishegas to say the least and I replied that ‘Yeah what happened was uncool but Moe was a dick and karma’s a bitch.’ And just like when you close that door, that moment that you realize you just locked yourself out with the keys on the other side of the door, I realized after I hit the send button, the email went to Moe and not Bill, followed by a manic cackle from me that was tempered by regret at this fumble.
Moe responded soon enough, stating that he did not deserve to be called that and I said I was sorry. But it did weigh heavily on my conscience. All afternoon it weighed me down. So after roaming around Hoboken heavy hearted, I wrote once again to Moe, stating that what I wrote was not intended for him to read but once something is seen it can’t be unseen. Moe should understand that since he had been known to reply to ‘all’ on emails (throughout the company) that should only have been sent to the original recipient.
I closed with my sincere regret and sorrow that things ended the way they did. He replied that he was sorry they ended that way too. Where things stand, I don’t know. I do know that I won’t be seeing Moe at the Mets game tomorrow, now that this has happened. Then again, I wasn’t really planning on seeing him anyway. It would have been too awkward for all concerned and now it is really awkward.
Other than that, it is back to Maxwell’s for me again tonight. RoDa is working as well and I have something in mind that he might be interested in. Not going to say what it is right now, but it is something that came to me last night when I went to bed. Something that was so compelling that I got out of bed and wrote it down, sketched it down really, a germ of an idea. I just have to convince RoDa to use Google Drive, which is a great program that everyone should use.
Rocky & Fumble (with friends) from Los Bros Hernandez- Love & Rockets
Filmmaker Sari Gilman explores the lives of America’s senior citizens, focusing on their desire to live independently yet still be part of a community.
Sari Gilman, Jedd Wider, Todd Wider
This was listed in the New York Times TV Grid today. I don’t think it is the actual Sucker Punch movie.
Last night I took a trip up to Harlem to watch a staged reading of War of the Roses by William Shakespeare. When I left Hoboken it was raining, and when I got to 125th Street it was snowing. It was in a converted firehouse and they did a good job. They only rehearsed for a week and it wasn’t a table reading, this involved walking around and mock swordfights while the actors held onto their scripts and said the words on the page.
Some actors were better than others of course and once or twice an actor would lose their place in the reading which slowed things down for a moment. I don’t know why they picked War of the Roses, perhaps since it isn’t as well known as the other plays by the Bard. Unfortunately I did not eat and midway through my spirits started flagging.
I spent parts of the day in bed feeling crappy and today I realized that I was more than likely hung over from the four cans of Guinness I had on St. Patrick’s Day. I wasn’t pounding them down and it took me about 3 hours to drink the four cans. Back in the day that would be no problem and if I was hung over the next day, well then that was a reason to drink some more. The hair of the dog.
There was a cocktail party, a meet and greet after the show but I was fading fast and it was still snowing out. I told Bill he should stay at the theater but that I was going home. In hindsight I should have just ran around the block and gotten a Subway sandwich and gone back but my mood was just plummeting. I did make it back to Hoboken and got a slice of pizza on the way home. Bill came home an hour or so later, telling me I should have stayed and that people were asking for me.
Next time I suppose. Today was spent cleaning up the apartment and while I was doing that I heard some pounding in the building. I figured some work was going on somewhere in the building and didn’t pay it much attention. I was in the loo as the pounding increased in volume to the point where it was on the door to the apartment.
As I was zipping up I asked who it was and heard ‘NYPD’. I opened the door as I continued zipping and tucking my shirt in. They asked if I was Mike and I said I wasn’t. They were looking for my neighbor Mike who now lives with his girlfriend and their dog on the first floor in Claire’s apartment. Crazy cross subletting in this building.
I convinced them that I was not Mike, pulling out my cock and saying ‘Does Mike have a cock like THIS?’ They apologized for taking my time as well as taking photos of my member and headed off saying that Mike is not in trouble and not as well hung as yours truly.
It’s been one of those days wouldn’t you say?
Now that I look at both writings side by side, it seems that they are eerily similar somewhat…
Yes, today is the day. The pope resigned and I am taking a break. I will probably keep writing while ensconced in my Italian villa conveniently located in the back of my mind. I just won’t be posting every day. I’ve done that since October 2005, at least 500 words a day though lately it has been about 600 words. I’m sure you all do similar writing exercises. The other day at the bibliothèque, Richard- a guy I see around town told me when I told him about the 500 words thing was ‘Big deal, that’s about half a page’.
Richard then shut up when I asked him how much he writes a day. I like Richard but he can be a bit cantankerous on occasion. He’s a good guitar player and a good guy so he gets a pass. No need to go to the bibliothèque today. Everything has been returned that needed to be, and nothing that has been requested has come in yet. It’s been a warmish day and I was able to go out and about while enjoying the fair weather. Not much sun and the threat of rain loomed high in the sky but so far it’s been dry.
So, why am I taking a break from this here blog? I think it’s time to step back. Random House didn’t come a knocking nor did Gothamist or Gawker. I really didn’t expect Gothamist or Gawker anyhow, what I have been writing doesn’t fit into their scheme of things. No, I decided to take a break. It could be for a few days or a few weeks or for a few months. It could even be for a few hours as well, depending if something out of the ordinary just happened to happen.
I might post some photos, or a few lines, maybe a poem or merely forwarding something that I found online. I remember reading back in the 1980’s how Adrian Belew would take time off from playing his guitar and come back to it sometime later with a new, fresher approach. That might work for me. At least it does when I play guitar and I will perhaps apply that technique (or lack thereof) to this here blog.
I do have people to thank, like the lawyer whose name is long forgotten in email accounts no longer used.
He was the friend in Los Angeles who advised me way back when I was starting up this here blog in October 2005 to change the names of coworkers and employers if that was who I would be writing about. That came in handy for a number of years and I figured someone would put it all together and figure out what it was I was doing.
Thanks to Michael Herklots once known in these pages as something besides Michael Herklots. It wasn’t Mickey Blue Eyes that’s for sure. That is what the one named Raymond would call him. Just like Zack was called Hot Sauce by Raymond, enabling Raymond etc. to talk about Zack behind his back while standing right in front of him.
Yes, it was Michael Herklots finding the link on my Twitter page, something I use oh so rarely and telling Zack about it. Look back at the few weeks before it being found out, I was angry and bitter but once I had written about it, I was done with it and ready to be angry and bitter about it all over again.
Yeah, I did insinuate that Zack was an alcoholic and Zack to his sober credit sent me the email telling me to check my mailbox and see what I had written, how it was funnier than what I was writing for the cigar shack while attempting to quote a member of the Wu Tang Clan. I am very sure that he did not intend to send me the email, it was due to go to the marsupial.
You might think after the Martini Basher encounter awhile back where the blog was discussed right in front of Zack, that he would put it together, but nope.
It did get me released from the cigar shack and I would probably still be there otherwise. And unhappy and pissed off that I would have to get up too goddamned early for a physical inventory which the staff was told that we wouldn’t have to do again. In all this time of writing and posting that was the only intersection between what I wrote and reality. Not bad for a six year run I suppose.
You can always post comments and I will get them sure enough, though I am basically writing that for the 2 people who actually leave comments.
So it is not the end, just a transition.
A change will do you good, I always knew that it would.
It’s a Tarp!
Getting ready for Hoboken’s Fake Patrick’s Day on Saturday!
It has been day two and it went fine I suppose. I didn’t do much of anything except some research on reselling DVD’s which was to no set purpose. Basically the DVD’s I was looking into reselling are business training DVD’s. Not much of an audience for that type of viewing. Resellers are more interested in entertainment, Hollywood movies, not IT project manager videos. But I did what was asked of me which was basically looking at websites for mostly disreputable companies. And not one of them was interested in any non-entertainment DVD’s regarding how to be a better project manager.
I also sat and looked at videos on the DVDs and an online catalog of the programs and classes that this company has to offer. Last week I looked at the hard copy catalog, for the past two days I looked at the catalog online. The office hummed all around me, but no one really talks to me. I overheard some talk about a pool for the Super Bowl, but I wasn’t asked to join which is a good thing since I don’t care for football and I especially don’t care for the Super Bowl. I don’t even know who is playing this year actually.
I also changed the bottle of water in the kitchen twice. I came in this morning and after I filled my bottle of water I noticed it was empty. I did not want to hear how that new guy did not change the bottle of water so I did it myself. I’ve been drinking a lot of water at this job and later in the afternoon I refilled my bottle once more. And once more, the bottle was empty. So I did the whole thing over again and when I was done I noticed a guy standing there.
He thanked me for changing the bottle of water and I joked, ‘Jump in, the water’s warm’. I didn’t stick around to see if he got the joke or thought I was just that new guy who says the strangest things. After that it was back to looking at descriptions of what is offered to the up and coming project manager and videos. And I fell off the wagon, smoking cigarettes again. I know, I know. I don’t like it like I used to and I don’t think it will last. I did sneak out for a quick puff and smoked so fast I was really buzzed from it.
I emailed the person who asked me to research the reselling of the DVD’s. I wrote the email this morning once I was done with the research but didn’t send it until this afternoon. An hour later I walked by their desk and asked them if they had gotten my email. They asked when I sent it and I told them about an hour ago. They checked their email queue and there it was, unread. And still unread as far as I knew when I left the office for the day.
I came home and there was Bill willing to lend an ear and a hug. I needed both. I explained a lot more than I wrote here and Bill suggested that I talk to someone about it tomorrow. The line I could sell ‘Ice cubes to an Eskimo’ was something I brought up during the second interview. You see, I did have two (three actually) interviews last week. For the same company.
The first interview was on the phone and went really well. It was for a support position and it set me up for the second interview. The second interview did not go so well and it was for the person I was hoping to support. During the interview my sales experience came up and that is when I brought up the Eskimo thing. I should have mentioned that yes, I could sell ice cubes to an Eskimo, if ice cubes were cigars. But they’re not and I find myself looking at an online catalog. I like cigars, been smoking them for a couple of decades so I know my stuff.
That set the antenna on the second interviewer and then I met this afternoon’s email recipient. And that interview went well and they thought ‘Sales! This guy is a salesman!’ I should have inserted the caveat that it would have to be something I am interested in and doing for about 25 years.
This is a temp to perm job, but I think it is just a temp job. I am grateful to Francois. Cheese and Onions
Well I haven’t been here since last year and what a time that was. Wow seems like only yesterday or at least a few days previous since I last saw you all. How was your New Year celebration? Did you have one or were you in bed early and under the covers when neighbors started clanging pots and pans? I’ve done that once before, in the early 1980’s while apartment sitting in Inwood. That was an adventure in itself. Didn’t do much of anything then and was in bed a little bit before midnight. That must have been 1982 I think.
On Sunday I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with my niece Corinne. We had a great time, opting to drive in, instead of relying on public transportation. It was too cold, and I have to admit I was a bit cranky. Corinne cheered me up and we enjoyed the Regarding Warhol exhibition. It was crazy crowded since it was about to end it’s run. I was able to explain the stories behind some of the art work and I think Corinne enjoyed herself. We made it back to Hoboken and had a late lunch at the Malibu Diner. A mellow night in was in the cards for me. Bill was home and was not driving to Atlantic City.
On New Year’s Eve I got a phone call from Shlomo. It’s getting to be a habit with him. Cheap labor, paid in cigars and I am dependable and trustworthy and they probably won’t find anyone like me to work for them at such a low rate. I headed to the cigar shop and as I told Shlomo a week earlier, it will probably be crazy on New Year’s Eve. And it was. I called it. I knew groups of guys would be coming in to buy cigars for the night and I knew they wouldn’t know what they wanted.
It was busy and the time flew and I was glad for that. Cigars are generally mild, medium or full bodied. I like full bodied cigars myself, but I’ve been smoking cigars since the 1990’s. An occasional medium might come my way as well as that mild cigar, so I know what I am talking about when describing cigars to the newcomers. Sure enough within about 5 hours most of the mild cigars were sold. I explained that to the customers and would steer them to the medium cigars, something not too overwhelming. Sometimes they would understand what I was saying.
And when you smoke a cigar, like a medium cigar, it would start out medium but as you puffed further and further it might start to get full bodied. They knew what they were getting and by the time they would light them up while being well lit themselves I would be long gone and probably forgotten. Brandon came in on time and I was explaining to him what the deal was. Shlomo was around and seemed pissed that I didn’t replenish what was sold, and I explained that I couldn’t find the cigars to refill. At that point I walked out with a bit of a chip on my shoulder.
Shlomo looked for the cigars to replenish and couldn’t find them either. I came home and there was Bill happy to see me. The usual plan was to go to dinner at Arthur’s Steakhouse at around 8:00, I had somethings to take care of and hoped for a nap but hope was all I got. Bill was busy doing his thing, music, headshots and stuff like that. I did my best to get in the mood. We headed to Arthur’s at 8:00 and ordered our usual steaks and Guinness, followed by chocolate mousse cake. We’re so predictable. We got an Arthur’s gift certificate for Christmas and put it to good use, thanks to the Garfield relatives.
After dinner we walked home, puffing on cigars. We relaxed once home and chilled out until it was time to go. I baked some cookies, bought some Guinness, got my Bass together and some photographs I had printed out for Rand and Lisa and Lois and Fred. Mike from down the street was going to be there so I printed a picture for him and his girlfriend Sarah. I used a gig bag for the bass as we walked to Rand and Lisa’s around 11:00. I forgot the reason why I don’t use the gig bag. I goes on your back and it’s really constricting. Plus it adds a few inches to your height and me being 6’2”, I got snagged in a tree branch once or twice.
A young woman saw me getting snagged and expressed concern if I was OK when she saw it happen. I wasn’t happy about it but I trotted onward with Bill and thanked the young woman for her concern and Bill and I wished her a Happy New Year. We got to Rand and Lisa’s and met Rand outside his apartment. We walked in and saw everyone I mentioned, plus Chaz but no Sarah. The group was all watching a Godzilla movie since that was the theme of the night.
After unloading my stuff I plopped down on a couch next to Chaz and not seeing the window ledge jutting out, leaned back rather quickly and hit my head loudly on the windowsill which caused everyone to stop and watch me. We checked for blood a few times but it wasn’t bleeding. Just a dull pain and anticipation of a bump or a knot. It’s a good thing I have a thick skull having hit my head several times throughout my life and needing stiches on three separate occasions.
I announced that I had giving up smoking cigarettes which didn’t get the reaction I had hoped. I got ‘but you’re still smoking cigars’ instead. Lois was more impressed when I told her at Maxwell’s the week before but no one was more impressed than my sister Annemarie who stated that I didn’t need to get her anything for Christmas, my no more cigarettes was enough. And I am sticking by her edict.
Midnight came, Mike left before that so he can ring in the year with Sarah who was home sick with a bug she picked up while visiting her family in England. Champagne, pots and pans and kisses for Bill and everyone else was in order and then that was over. Rand had set up a keyboard so Bill could play it. I brought the bass, Lois was on Rand’s guitar, Rand on trombone and Lisa on shakers. Fred and Chaz were not into it at all and watched TV in the next room.
It was a sloppy jam but it was fun. I played what I knew on bass, which was Talking Heads Warning Sign and Psycho Killer, Liquid Liquid’s ‘Cavern’ and something that I think I based on How many More Times by Led Zeppelin and something that could have been by Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn from Booker T & the MG’s. Bill played some Stevie Wonder, I Wish, Sir Duke and a few other songs, but we were all politely buzzed and kept messing up the words.
We had a great time but I was tired though and very sweaty and Bill and I left around 2:00AM. I was wary about having a concussion so I stayed up a bit later once we got home after Bill went to bed. Slept really well that night and woke up feeling OK. New Year’s Day is a nothing day really, at least for us. We were invited to parties, but neither one of us wanted to do anything or go anywhere, so we stayed in all day.
We had enough food and if we wanted Guinness we had that too. But we stayed with the food, saving the Guinness for another time, perhaps Chaz’ party this upcoming weekend. Bill napped while I watched a marathon of Bunheads. Bill woke up by the time the marathon was almost over and I explained how similar Bunheads was to Gilmore Girls.
After that we decided to not watch the bad news and watched ‘The Music Never Stopped’ which I wrote about before. Guy with brain tumor comes alive from a catatonic state when he hears music from the 1960’s. His dad reconnects with him after not speaking to each other for decades.
We also watched Prick Up Your Ears, the Joe Orton movie with Gary Oldham, Alfred Molina and Vanessa Redgrave. Good and brutal but still enjoyable. I saw that in the theater when it came out and I think I wrote about that last week or last year. I hit my head last night and today. I think I will wear a hard hat for the rest of the year, just to be safe.
Overall, despite head injuries it was a good New Year’s Eve, spent with good friends.
And I love Bill so much, it just keeps getting better all the time.
I’m a lucky guy.
Corinne with Warhol’s Cow wallpaper.
Corinne with a Picasso
New Year’s Eve panorama
Winding down with Chaz
Every day this guy walks up and down Washington Street singing Madonna at the top of his lungs like he’s walking a catwalk.
I like Shlomo, he seems like a nice guy. Somewhat intelligent, but he occasionally suffers from a frozen scrotum, causing his nuts to become numb. Late night text request to come in and open this morning which I responded to positively. Not a problem and a stop at the bibliotheque was in order as well. Just a drop off and exchange and soon I was in the cigar shop with a coffee and a bagel. After about an hour the phone rings, a guy telling me that he asked me about a certain cigar, the Zino Platinum Chubby Especial something or other.
I tell the caller that I was not the one he was talking to, but I would see what I could do. The caller mentioned that whomever he spoke to would be checking his other store. I remarked that I didn’t think there was another store, in fact I asked if he was calling the correct cigar store. He said he was and mentioned the store by name which was easy to do since I answered the phone stating the cigar store’s name. I didn’t know what else to tell the guy and let the phone call peter out.
About a half hour Shlomo calls telling me that someone will be calling about the Zino Platinum Chubby Especial thing. I tell Shlomo that someone did call and I told him we didn’t have what he was asking for. It turned out Shlomo was the guy who was spoken to and Shlomo did tell the guy he would look at the other store, a store I had no idea existed. And Shlomo seems annoyed by the fact that I answered truthfully to the inquisitive caller. I eventually found the phone number of the caller and texted Shlomo, also suggesting that he might want to leave a note, or a text message or a phone message so I might know what a caller is actually calling about.
Shlomo is a bit slo-mo when it comes to communication. I attribute it to the frozen scroto.
Whether or not he got the text I won’t know since I responded to a request and sent some photos that he asked that I take of some items in the cigar shop. Three days later he says he still did not get them despite my emailing them as well as texting. I’m sure he received them, it’s just that his scrotum has gotten so cold. I will find out eventually one of these days.
Now I am listening to the Strokes, just got off the phone with a recruiter named Cesar who just kept whispering and calling me a bitch. I protested to no avail and felt compelled to respond to every whisper.
I look out the window at passerby and usually catching them staring right at me. I return the stare which makes them very uncomfortable and they generally quicken their pace.
Last night, I was up later that I had hoped, watching Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula. Stylish and gruesome and I know why they had Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder in the leads, but I wish they hadn’t.
I also watched Double Indemnity baby. Yeah it was good, real good. I didn’t expect to see Fred MacMurray playing such a heel but there he was opposite Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G Robinson baby. Everyone smoking up a storm and not trusting anyone else. Barbara Stanwyck made a lot of movies and they’re always on TCM baby. That’s about all I got for you baby. Sure baby, sure. Yeah, I love you too baby.
The last day of summer, that would be today. It’s been an interesting day, best one of the week as far as I can tell. I could look back at what I had written previously this week but I know it was just overall rather blasé. But where I was subject to the weather, today I was out and about and actually saw a few friends. Like I said, it’s the last day of summer, autumn starts tomorrow morning at around 10:45 I think. I’m not too happy about summer going away but what can I do? Not much at all.
Bill was at the Yankee game last night, came back happy that they one. He went with a classmate that he reconnected with at his reunion. I of course stayed home. Seeing a Yankee game isn’t really for me, a lesson learned a few years ago when I went to a game with Bill and found myself really bored. We were sitting with the bleacher creatures so a lack of back support probably added to my discomfort. I also wore an old pair of glasses which while they looked good on my face, did nothing for focusing on the game at hand.
And now Bill is driving to Atlantic City once again. It’s a good thing he loves to drive a bus. Still I worry, I worry about other drivers doing something stupid, I worry about the passengers doing something stupid. I know Bill won’t do anything stupid, and it’s the other things that are a concern. I expect the usual phone call at around 11:00, letting me know that he has dropped off his passengers and is headed to the depot so he can catch some shut eye. And I will be following him via Google Latitude just to be sure.
The weather was most cooperative today, so much so that I went busking for the first time since last week. I was in contact with my former roommate William on and off through the week, he has been itching to see me playing by the river. I sat and strummed for a while and William showed up. Once he showed up it was more conversation and not too much busking. The toddlers from day care made an appearance and William was going to take some pictures but the minders put a stop to that and I also told him, no pictures.
We hung out for a couple of hours before he hopped on his bike back to Jersey City and I packed up my stuff and headed home. It was great spending time with William.
Walking through Church Square Park, I saw someone with a scarf who looked like Julio’s wife Stine and it just so happened to be Stine. She was with Julio’s sister Maria and cousins Anna and Adela. They all had kids and were wrapping things up, heading to Anna’s house to get some dinner. I headed on home after chatting for a few minutes and got my own dinner.
I texted Julio about who I just saw and he knew already. He asked me if I wanted to grab a beer but I was too hungry and needed to eat. I treated myself to some pizza and now I am just chillin’. It was a good day, a mellow end to the summer. And I hope Annemarie made it to Florida. No news otherwise so I can guess that all went well. I am sure her arms are tired. Not much else to do, not much else to write so I guess I will just end everything right about now. 14 Used To
I read somewhere online that someone posted that they were of the age were a happy hour means a nice nap. I just had a nice happy hour. The way I feel now, I could probably sleep all night, but it’s not even 6:30PM and I would probably wake up early and not be able to go back to sleep in the middle of the night. So here I am, slowly coming out of the fog of sleep. I guess I needed it though I do feel I had a pretty good and solid night of sleep last night.
Bill is in Puerto Rico. Yes, he went for the funeral this morning and will be back tomorrow. Obviously I had no say in the matter, it was a matter of familial concern obviously, a concern that did not include my input in the slightest. When he told me last night after venting about his bus ride for ten minutes last I was upset, but kept it inward with my mouth shut. And like I said it’s a family thing and if I were in his position I would likely be doing the same. No one in the New York area can go so it fell to Bill.
He made arrangements last night for a car rental in San Juan and since he used his mileage points from a credit card it did not cost him the grand it was originally quoted as. He left this morning, early to take a train to Secaucus and then a train to Newark Penn Station and finally to Newark Airport. He landed in San Juan safe and sound around 1:00 this afternoon. I am certain his family appreciates him being there, more than likely taken aback by the fact that he made the trip.
Today in Hoboken not much has changed. A few errands to do today meant no busking for me and since the toddlers were not around yesterday I couldn’t be sure if they would be around today. Tomorrow I’ll be back busking with a new song hopefully under my belt. It’s been a gorgeous day yet again. People are making noise about how the summer is ending but I will remain true to the fact that summer ends September 21 and not Labor Day weekend. Sure summer businesses close around Labor Day but overall there is still a few weeks left.
With Bill off the continent it’s sure to be a low key evening. I doubt I will be watching the Republicunt convention. I tried watching it last night and found it nauseating. The rumor that there will be a Reagan hologram much like the Tupac Shakur hologram at Coachella earlier this year does seem interesting enough to have be give it a look see, hopefully someone on Facebook will post when and if it is actually happening. I might take a walk after this is posted to see the soccer match that is being broadcast on Pier A this evening.
Today has been an absolutely beautiful day. Perfect weather, blue skies, cool breezes. It’s been lovely all over and I think the local kids are off for the summer from school. It’s a lot quieter around 3:00 in the afternoon. The streets of Hoboken should have plenty of parking this weekend, with a lot of people heading down the shore once again. The supermarket was fairly empty. I’ve been going to a supermarket that isn’t around the block, it’s about 20 minutes away by foot and larger and has more stuff and it is cheaper. It’s been an exciting week.
Last Friday was my father’s birthday. He would have been 90 years old. I didn’t post anything about him on Facebook or here and neither did anyone else, meaning my siblings or their families. Nobody misses Poppy. Sad I suppose but he wasn’t especially nice to his children, but he did love his grandchildren. I should correct that, he was nice to his friends and their families. To me it seemed his own family was never as good as his friends’ children. But that was then and this is now and he’s been gone since 1999. On Mother’s Day Bill and I did stop by the cemetery.
Now cemeteries don’t mean much to me. The people buried there are decomposing under the ground and basically taking up space. I’ve been going to cemeteries most of my life and it’s just a marble slab with some information on them. And sometimes there is not enough information. My parent’s headstone has no mention of any children, which is how he wanted it anyhow. I always thought that my father saw his own children as competition for my mother’s affection, and with the headstone there is no competition anymore, there are no kids to compete with.
I didn’t speak with him for a number of years before he died. After my mother passed away in 1991, my living situation was not so great and my life had turned upside down when she died. I thought it might be a good idea to live with my father since he was in such a sorry state and I thought it was a chance to rebuild a bridge to each other. My siblings tried talking me out of it as did a few friends, but I went ahead in a fog, thinking that he had changed, since I had changed.
Nope. I was wrong. After a few weeks he was back to his nasty self, saying heinous things to me. It was not easy living with him and I wound up drinking a lot. I would sit in my brother’s bedroom since mine had turned into a storage area and watch TV. If I had to pee, I would open the window instead of going downstairs to the bathroom opposite his bedroom. It was while I was living with my father that I heard about the apartment in Weehawken where I would live from 1991 to 2002. It was the light at the end of the tunnel and I knew I wouldn’t have to deal with him again, not for a while at least.
In between his birthday and Father’s day was the cause of our first falling out. I had decided to combine his birthday and Father’s day and he didn’t like that one bit. So much so that when I called him for his birthday he asked loudly where his present was. When I explained what I was going to do he explained his displeasure at that. So he wound up not getting anything and I didn’t speak to him for about a year until that time in 1991.
It’s sad, that looking back at my history with my father, all I can remember is the bad times, since there were so many as opposed to the good times. A few good times were had as a family when he wasn’t around, when we could be ourselves with our guards down. I remember while living with my father for those few months, going to the dry cleaners. My family had been going to Onyx Cleaners for years and when I went the woman behind the counter expressed her sorrow at my father passing away. The look on her face when I corrected her, telling her it was my mother that passed, said volumes.
He did his best I suppose and he did the bare minimum. And as bad as I think it was, there were certainly other families in my neighborhood that had it worse, and going through life, I have found that some friends had even worse fathers in general. It would have been nice to have a father to toss a ball with (my mother taught my brothers and I how to throw) or be supportive, but what can you do?
You don’t get to choose your parents, and they don’t get to choose you. Sometimes it’s win/win, sometimes it’s lose/lose and sometimes it’s win/lose. And sometimes it is a totally different thing. You have to move on. 02 No Thanks
Another day at the cigar shack. The three days on, three days off shift continues. Tomorrow is Sunday then I am off on Monday. Zack returns from wherever he has been tomorrow. It should be alright, the numbers have been very good, the cigar shack is clean, the humidor has been worked on.
It has been a very windy day outside, so much so that I found myself being pushed along by strong winds and I weigh close to 200 pounds. Well maybe a hair under 200.
Last night I apparently talked Bill in off the ledge. He was understandably stressed with the borderline diabetes diagnosis. All I did was reason with him and let him know that he was getting stressed about things that he didn’t know about and had no control over. The doctor will talk to him on Monday and that’s when we now.
He was worried about his cousin’s sons, a 14 year old and an 11 year old. I told him that more than likely if he was in the room they would be concerned about him, but being a pre-teen and a teenager it’s out of sight, out of mind. Anyway, Bill thanked me for talking him in off the ledge. I didn’t know that was what I was doing, I was just talking to him the way Julio used to talk to me.
Also telling him to get out of his work clothes might have helped. When I get home the first thing I do is get out of the clothes I’ve been wearing all day. Helps to create a distance between my life and my work. Bill usually just wears the same thing he’s been wearing all day until he’s ready for bed. That would not work for me, unless I had no choice.
Saturday night and the area around the cigar shack is quiet and dwindling. Tomorrow night is the Oscars so that should be exciting. I am glad Eddie Murphy is not hosting it. I suppose Billy Crystal will do his shtick and it should work. I just want to get home, get out of these clothes and have a nice cigar and watch some Saturday Night Live.
Other than that it’s been an alright day. It started out to be annoying but as the day got better so did most everything. Lot’s of gay couples walking around. That’s nice to see.
Now I am back home. Bill is in the city. It has gotten colder out and the wind cuts like a cliche. I have walked through the door and changed my clothes, now I sit in tracky bottoms and a denim shirt. The last 15 minutes of The Grapes of Wrath is on TCM. Never saw the whole thing but once again I caught Tom Joad’s speech.
I wonder if Jane Fonda ever said those words to Henry Fonda. We do know that peter Fonda has gone off the deep end, training his grand kids to be armed militia men to fight the traitor, President Obama. More acid, Peter? Do you really know what it’s like to be dead? We know your career knows. Someday you’ll find out.
It is President’s Day today and a lot of people have off and most students in this area have off for the week. Not sure about college students but then again I am never sure about college students. It’s been a busy day at the cigar shack and now I am in the three days on, one day off mode.
My next day off is Thursday and I will attempt to take my niece Corinne to see the Doug Wheeler show, starting off nice and early, like maybe getting there at noon. If it doesn’t work out, well there will be plenty of other galleries to check out.
Yesterday was quite an interesting day. Bill did not sleep too well the night before. He’s been having some problems lately and they all came to a head, so to speak over the weekend. It was intense enough that I considered canceling our plans for Sunday afternoon. Bill wasn’t having it and after trying to catch up on his sleep with the out of the ordinary interruptions.
We headed into Manhattan on the Path train. The plan was to see a friend of mine that I used to work with back in Wanker Banker days, Janelle Rintrona having a show at the Duplex on Sheridan Square. She had been posting invites about her shows for sometime and since I had off I figured it would be nice to see. And it was.
It was fairly crowded and I remembered why I don’t do this sort of thing anymore. It’s expensive. 4 Coronas, 2 apiece for Bill and myself were $30.00, 2 drink minimum you see and a $15.00 cover charge per person. It was my treat since Bill is always treating me to things and I didn’t mind the cost since it was fun and I did have the money.
I just love hanging out with Bill and yesterday was no different, plus since he’s been unwell I was able to keep a close eye on him. I didn’t know many of the songs that Janelle sang but it was enjoyable nonetheless. I would have not have gotten the cup of mixed nuts since it was $2.00 but it was Bill’s request.
A walk back to the Path train and a quick ride to Hoboken. We walked down Washington Street, passing 3rd and Washington Street around 6:45 and at 7:00 the building on the corner caught fire and burned throughout the night, and restarted this morning causing all the residents to be homeless.
The building will have to be razed, including the fruit stand on the street level. Already a benefit is planned for the residents the first weekend in March. Hoboken is good like that. The same thing happened earlier in January. Another fire, another benefit.
Bill called in sick today and saw the doctor who told him what was more than likely happening. Almost biblical. I suppose it was a good thing that Dr. Fioretti did what he did when I was newly born.
Not sure if I will be able to write tonight so I am attempting to write earlier than usual. Tonight is a glass blowing demonstration so getting home will more than likely be later. Now contrary to what you may have heard or thought, I have never blown glass. So it should be an interesting evening all around.
I had to get up earlier than usual, a run to the supermarket as well as the dry cleaners. A cup of coffee was what got me out the door. Then I had to get dressed for work, trying to look extra special for the glass blowing demonstration. Yesterday I was on time, let the usual buses go by as I waited for my 10:30 bus, which did not show up.
I wound up walking to the Path train and rode in. I had Bill’s Verizon card which is what we’ve been using at home since Hurricane Irene did some damage to Cablevision’s service. No broadcast channels, no premium channels and no Internet access. Bill asked me to drop it off at his office but since my bus did not show, I would be running late so Bill made it a point to stop by the shack on his lunch hour.
This morning was the same thing and I caught a bus, the first one I saw actually. Didn’t want to gamble with the 10:30. Oddly enough the earlier bus dropped me off at nearly the same time as the 10:30 bus, due to traffic. I was able to walk over to Bill’s office where I met him on the street.
He was stressed last night and I was stressed this morning, from having to hustle so much earlier than I was used to. But it’s a job and it’s the job that I have. Plus it helps that I enjoy cigars so working in a cigar shack isn’t so bad despite what you gather from reading this here blog.
From the Schmuck Master regarding yesterday’s asshole: I can’t imagine anyone else in the shack handling the situation as poorly. Obviously you are the only sales person disgruntled enough to ignore the basic tenant of sales, the customer is always right. No wonder you lag behind your peers in terms of sales and never made an effort to up sell or even be the least bit helpful to a customer.
Wow, the bitch nailed me perfectly with a bubble and a feather. Can the Schmuck Master get any stupider? Does she really think I am such a bad employee that I would drag the store down? That Calvin is so daft to put up with such nonsense? That management is really that inept? Obviously it seems to think that way.
And I’m not a landlord so yes I do ignore most tenants. Tenets are wholly another thing.
No matter though, whatever comments it feels like posting won’t make the blog anymore, though of course I might use it for my own entertainment. It is more than likely a customer at the cigar shack, emasculated enough that they don’t have the balls to say whatever they want to say to my face. Just as well, can’t expect too much from punk ass bitches such as this.
I just got home about 20 minutes ago from the glass blowing demonstration. I’ve blown and been blown but never have I seen such craftsmanship with what I had seen tonight. Why I’m sure a vaginal discharge named Jon Rosin could not have been happier to put their lips around a long shaft. After a few Stella Artois and a few questions that I had asked, I was awarded (with everyone else) a nice package to bring home. Who knew the Lebanese blond was so easily obtainable? Glad I did the smart thing.
Schmuck Master has been rendered as Spam, so whatever that thing had to say will not be seen by my eyes (nor yours) and life will go on happily without it’s hemmoroidal outbursts.
Another other day another doofus. That was my Facebook status in the beginning of the day. Woke up feeling hungover, but not from alcohol since I did not have a drink. More of an angry hangover and that anger met with despair this morning.
Last night was the staph meeting and it went relatively well, the only problem was the fact that someone (more than likely Jerry Vale) threw out my bottled water. I didn’t get home until after midnight which did not make me very happy.
Bill once again kissed me goodbye, telling me he loved me that I was beautiful and I said in return that I loved him too and asked him to be careful. I walked to the bus stop and sat waiting for my bus, smoking a cigar that I started last night and feeling such depression. Nothing happening job wise, no responses from real people or companies, just bull shit from Career Builders and the ilk.
I was so trapped in my own head as I stared out the window. My neighbor Deborah got on the bus and talking with her certainly helped me out. I was avoiding talking to Bill, not calling him while waiting for the bus though I did call him once I was near the cigar shack. He noticed the despondency in my voice and I did my best to lie and just say everything was awesome. Word to the wise, if you ask me how I am and I say ‘awesome’ I am more than likely not awesome.
I of course had to bury my feeling and my state of mind when I started work which may have convinced Calvin that I was OK but Thomas knew. Of course Thomas knew. I confide in him and hope he is trustworthy. He is a gentleman. Or at least his blog states that he is.
As the day progressed my spirits had gotten somewhat better. I spoke with Bill again and also with Pedro. And made plans for a beach trip with my niece on Monday. Something to look forward to. On Sunday I am scheduled to go to Millbrook NY and represent the cigar shack at some event that to my dismay does not involve LSD.
I volunteered for it thinking that it would be nice to get out of town and since I am off Monday and Tuesday it seemed like a near perfect getaway.
At last I am home once again. And once again I am, if not down in the dumps, in the vicinity of them. At the cigar shack, the area around the cigar shack was shut down due to a suspicious package found nearby. No evacuation, just a lot of people walking past, a lot more than usual and drivers and pedestrians yelling at each other.
I ordered food since I was hungry and hadn’t eaten since 2:30 in the afternoon. Of course the delivery was late and the order was incomplete. I have to remember to not order from Good Burger anymore. They always fuck up my order.
A day off tomorrow and my only plan is to see the Guitar Bar All Stars as they play by the Hudson River. It will be good to see the funniest woman alive once again as well as her husband Mr. Wonderful and their kids. And I get to sleep later than usual tomorrow morning.
Today seems to be a big nothing kind of day. Not much is going on, slow at the cigar shack. I’m ambivalent about most things including music. And sales. Can’t say I am hustling since there is really no one to hustle to. The Bradley is playing Aimee Mann so you know what that sounds like.
I slept really well last night and not getting out of bed until just before 9:00 which is cutting it close in my book. In fact that was probably the only time I have hustled today.
Been thinking about some names from my past, Danielle Perry Cruz, Felicia Tennis Court, MaryAnn Molloy, Cotton Wright, Benedict Whatsisface, Derry Pedovitch. Just thinking about the names not the actual people. You know that at least one of them will do a Google search eventually and this is what will pop up.
It’s a beautiful day weather-wise ad once again I sat on a bench near the park, enjoying a cigar and reading ‘Our Band Could Be Your Life’ Started reading about The Replacements. I just finished the chapters on Husker Du and Minor Threat.
I had no idea how much crap these bands went through but they certainly paid their dues. I just never got into hardcore. Too angry and violent. The Replacements I saw a few times, sometimes great sometimes a shambles. Always at Maxwells too. Rita was closer to them than I was, though she did introduce me to Paul Westerberg.
Today is Bill’s mother’s birthday and it is also Julio’s birthday. Tomorrow is Bill’s birthday. The plan is to go to dinner with him at Arthurs and then when he goes home, I go to Maxwells and meet up with my brother Frank at the benefit for Danny Amis. Should be some old faces there.
Ha! Fucked up a bit. Sold some cigars to a cigar bar and neglected to include the receipt. So I took it upon myself to go to the cigar bar and drop it off. Usually they offer me a beer, but I don’t really drink anymore. I will probably have a pint with Bill tomorrow night for his birthday but that should be about it.
So many people offer me drinks and since I’m not drinking much these days I am thinking a polite way to say no thanks is to tell them I’m an alcoholic, which I’m not, but should end all offers for a drink. Not a friend of ‘Bill’ but rather his partner.
Now in the cigar shack it’s me and Thomas. When I went out to lunch earlier I took my iPod with me which basically turned out to be my giving up choosing music for the shack. So since then we heard Aimee Mann, Ben Folds, John Legend, Thelonius Monk’s son playing Thelonius Monk songs and now we are hearing the blues.
It turns out that I dislike the blues as much as I dislike jazz. Does that make me a bad person? No, I don’t think so. I find them both equally boring and uninspiring. I don’t begrudge anyone liking those genres but I would rather not listen to them at all. But what’s fair is fair.
I’m sure a lot of the music I like is not liked by others, but I would rather hear Hold On, I’m Coming by Sam & Dave rather than BB King & Eric Clapton. Oh how I loathe Eric Clapton.
Former co-worker Harold is also Sylvester Randolph who is doing porn. He can be Googled. And I also found out something today at work about the register, something I should have known before.
Everyone else seemed to know about it but me. A felt like a bit of a doofus, but didn’t say anything else after I mentioned it to the Bradley.
Home again. A little depressed and physically tired.
The rain poured down quite heavily this morning as I was sleeping, it was raining hard enough that I wondered if there was to be flooding when I headed out to work. It stopped for a while when I walked to the bus stop and held off as I made my way to the cigar shack.
Things are improving at the cigar shack, the new regime isn’t fully installed yet but I assured Calvin that I was up for the task of working underneath him. I don’t want to see him fail and will do my utmost to support him.
The day started out easily enough despite working with everyone’s favorite cipher the brain dead Bradley. Calvin was in a meeting with Marcus in the man cave as I set about starting up my duties. I spoke with Bill a few times and was surprised to get his call about an hour later.
He had some sad news. Our friend Hyman gross had passed away. The information was sketchy, gather from Hyman’s nephew. Apparently Hyman died either en route to the Jewish Home in East Harlem where Hyman was going for rehab for his broken ankle, or once he was actually placed in the home. It was a shock, though we knew it was going to happen sooner or later.
Hyman was about 84 years old, his heart was broken since his companion Joan died in 2009 and he was very lonely. Bill and I could only fill that void so much, and the moments when Hyman was alone, waking up almost every night at 3AM. He told me sometimes he felt so alone that he would call the suicide hotline. He never went that far, but I’m sure the idea was there.
I feel bad, and wish I could have done more for him. I also wish he didn’t hit my buttons so much that I would tell him how upset he was making me.
I am glad that I was able to see him in the hospital and bring him the New York Times. I am also glad that he was able to see Bill perform in 2 plays. And I am happy to have been able to take him to what turned out to be his last Thanksgiving dinner at the Waldorf Astoria with Bill.
I tried to get Hyman to write his life story down, he had quite a few tales to tell. Being cruised by Rex Harrison was just one of the stories.
At the end of the night a vendor came to the cigar shack with a bottle of champagne to toast Calvin and his promotion. I was asked to sit in and I gladly did, enjoying a cigar and a flute of the bubbly. Calvin turned to me and asked how I was doing since I told him about Hyman’s passing.
I told him I regretted not being able to say good bye and Calvin understood. I then asked if I could make a toast to the memory of Hyman and Calvin and the vendor and I clinked glasses in Hyman’s memory. It was nice. Calvin was able to get a ride home with the vendor and I closed the store, making my way to the subway.
I couldn’t stop thinking about Hyman, how he was surprised that I would walk from the cigar shack to the bus terminal in minutes (before my knee got jacked up of course) and be able to catch that 9:42 Willow Avenue bus with him.
He always brightened up when he saw me and I was usually tired and grouchy by then. Still I would sit and talk with him. The bus drivers knew Hyman and tonight when I told the bus driver what happened to Hyman, he was visibly saddened.
I am sad to see him go, and I hope he is happy somewhere out there in the universe, hopefully with Joan. Rest in peace, Hyman Gross.
Here I am again at the cigar shack. Where yesterday flew by, today was a day of the crawl. Calvin just left which is giving me this opportunity to get some writing started.
Yesterday I took a Xanax before I came in and today should have been the day for that. But I persevered and it all worked out. It was the brain dead Bradley and Calvin and myself today. It has been an edgy day nonetheless.
Calvin had an idea, right before I went to lunch to do something about the non-communication between the brain dead Bradley and myself. That ruined my lunch somewhat, distracting me from enjoying Keith Richards life.
And I am almost done with Keef’s autobiography and it’s been an enjoyable read which I highly recommend.
Lately I’ve been wrestling with myself and coming to terms with the fact that I am an artist. I’ve always been which could explain why I’m usually out of step with most of the human race. I play guitar, I write, I take photographs, I’ve also shot movies, acted and written poetry.
I guess I wear many hats. I am avoiding the jack of all trades line as well as the Renaissance man label.
But like I said, it’s been a long day and now a customer has just walked in, so guess who gets my attention dear reader. Sorry but it isn’t you. I mean you do get my attention in the space of writing (no not really, I just go into writing mode and ignore most everything with the exception of Bill).
The customer is now gone, he was just browsing. At least he wasn’t tire kicking, which is when a customer asks to see something and then they hem and haw and use the line that I myself had given to sales associates all over the place. ‘I’ll be back’.
I reckon 300 words is a nice enough cut off point until I finish this at home.
And now I am home. Had to close the store you see and also finish a damaged cigar that was in the damaged bin. No one wants to buy a cigar that is unraveling at the foot.
I was out of the shop and waiting on the platform. Caught an express train which got me to the bus terminal rather quickly, but not quick enough to catch an earlier bus. I waited for the 126 bus that I usually catch with Hyman Gross.
The bus driver was quite interested in how Hyman was doing, and seemed sincere. Tonight when I got on the bus and asked the bus driver how he was doing, he merely grunted.
I thought I had a connection of sorts with the driver but apparently I didn’t. Tomorrow night, if and when I get the bus I will try to get an earlier bus and will probably continue to do so until Hyman starts riding the bus again.
Monosyllabic drivers are so passé.
Bill is fast asleep in bed, sleeping soundly and quietly thanks to the new sleep apnea mask. All is well.
I thought this guy was a junkie, turns out he was thoroughly engrossed with his iPhone/Blackberry
Back in the shack full of cigars. Been another alright day. Working with the brain dead Bradley is getting easier and easier. Not that he is making an effort, on the contrary, he is getting easier to ignore.
I don’t think I had more than twenty words to say to him all day. And it gives me a nice enough distance to realize that the ‘man’ is a fucking idiot. I harbored suspicions previously but now it’s confirmed. And he’s a dirty little get over perhaps, or maybe it’s his idiocy.
This morning, as I slept, Bill was kissing my face over and over saying goodbye. I foolishly said to stop and let me go back to sleep, I mean, I still had two hours to sleep before I needed to get out of bed.
I regretted it later of course, like so many things that I do or say when it comes to Bill. But Bill knows that I am not a morning person and it’s a bit risky to tease this wolf before it’s had its coffee. I got up and did my thing, showered, cereal and of course coffee.
Reading emails and checking Facebook I was saddened to read that Poly Styrene from X Ray Spex died after a battle with cancer. Then later on I found out that Phoebe Snow died as well. Not a good day for singers with the initials of P.S. today. Patti Smith better beware.
Other than that the day was not at all impressive. Weather wise it was beautiful but here I was, inside, working with the brain dead Bradley. I was able to take a peek outside as well as seeing the red carpet laid out for Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Doorknobs near the cigar shack.
The sky was blue, the temperature was close to, if not actually 80 degrees and the paparazzi was all lined up, waiting for those influential doorknobs.
The cigar shack’s cleaning woman just found a portfolio, containing legal documents that some customer left behind after they left the man cave. I looked into the portfolio to see if there was a recognizable name but there wasn’t. Some gruesome photographs though of what might have been a botched robbery attempt.
I saw Julio last night which was good. He’s off to Denmark on Friday. I got my new shoes from him after having them delivered this place of work. He and Stine may be moving soon, maybe staying in town.
It was a matter of time. They couldn’t keep the baby in a pen much longer, he will need room to grow and who knows if they have another baby on the way? It will be strange when they move out, but I already made my excuses not to help him move.
And Juan stopped by last night. Turned me onto yet some more good tunes which I will have to get somehow if someone will show me how to get torrents. It was good to see him again, he was up from South Jersey since his step grandfather died last week and it was wake last night, funeral this morning.
That’s it for now. Have to call Hyman when I get home and will have to see him tomorrow.
And I called Hyman, now that I am home. He is scheduled to have surgery on his foot or leg tomorrow and doesn’t want me to show up when he is in surgery. This is what he worries about the night before surgery.
And a touch of OCD visited upon me tonight. I always think that I didn’t lock the door when I leave the cigar shack and tonight it was the same thing. I almost got off the train to get on another train to go back to the shack to find out. But I always lock it and I always check.
I used to think the same thing about Farfetched. I would think I left a cigarette burning even though there was no smoking in the store. I tell you, if Bill had a car I would ask him to drive me to the cigar shack to check.
The day starts, sleeping as much as I could since Bill was not snoring last night. My knee seemed a bit better tonight, not so much a pronounced limp, more like a slight limp as I was getting around the apartment.
Bill was up and active already, he was headed into his office to catch up on work that he hadn’t done, or wasn’t able to do during the week. He told me I was beautiful and he kissed me goodbye as I was heading into the shower. Tears welled in his eyes. I told him he was crazy and saw him out the door. I love him so.
I got myself together and headed to the bus stop about an hour later. Descending down the four flights of stairs didn’t mess up my knee that much but it didn’t help matters either. I walked to Washington Street a half hour early since the Saturday schedule is not reliable at all, plus the extra time meant I wouldn’t have to hustle.
Chatted with Bill who by this time was in his office. I boarded the bus, uneventful ride into the city while reading the latest Mojo with the End of The Century Ramones on the cover. Taking the escalators, elevators and handicapped ramps in an effort to avoid stair cases. I made it up to the cigar shack area and called Bill once again.
The ace bandage I wrapped around my knee had come undone and was trailing behind me. I cursed it while talking to Bill on the phone and Bill tried to be positive whereas I was all negativity. I think he was fed up at this point and made a hurry to get off the phone.
He seemed busier at work with no one around than he is with everyone around like during the work week. I went to Duane Reade and got a new Ace bandage, self-adhesive since the old school method was no good. Those clips fall off at the most inopportune moments.
Made it to the cigar shack after picking up a coffee and dealt with my first customers, a young Japanese couple who spoke little English. While completing the transaction the phone started ringing.
I’m working with the Bradley today and he was unavailable. I answered the phone while helping the Japanese couple. The caller asked “Am I the one in charge of the Fancy Schmancy pens”. The cigar shack sells some fancy schmancy pens which I am loathe to advertise. I ask the caller, who he meant by in charge.
He replied, “I live on West 88th Street and we obviously speak a different form of English up here.” I say that I was just trying to clarify what he said, it could have meant whether or not I was in charge of ordering the fancy schmancy bullshit.
He mentions that he will be coming by the store after he swings by the United Nations to pick up a translator for me. He wants a gold fancy schmancy pen, which I see we don’t have. I give the phone to the now visible Bradley and let him handle the call. The Bradley tells the caller that I was actually helping out other customers and also eventually tells him that we do not have what he is looking for. I do expect the idiot scumbag customer to come in and make some more trouble for me.
Last night while I was counting money, Calvin suggested that I start coming earlier than my shift so I could relax and have a cigar in the man cave before my shift starts. I almost told him that I value my time away from the cigar shack than I do while in the cigar shack.
But I held my tongue, realizing that that is something he might prefer to do but it is definitely not for me.
Now I am at home. That’s it for me. Been a very long day and it’s over. Have to get up crazy early to be at the cigar shack at 7:00AM.
Bill’s not home yet, still at work. I will stay up and wait for him as long as I can. Took the recommended dosage of Naproxen, so a little out of it. Not writing tomorrow, a day off, but with inventory I might have something to write about. But I hope not.
Today is Tuesday which means yesterday was Monday and tomorrow is Wednesday. And it was another day off for me. The next day off will be Sunday and the following Sunday I will be expected at the cigar shack to work inventory at the unholy hour of 7:00AM. But that’s then and not now so I am trying not to think about that.
Lately I have been getting messages from former customers at the cigar shack, asking me how I’m doing. They’re not coming to the cigar shack anymore, instead going to different cigar shops in Manhattan that have lounges. When I had that slurred meeting with Marcus & Calvin, I mentioned the name of one of the cigar shops, calling them our competition.
Marcus was adamant in saying that such and such a place was not our competition. No of course it wouldn’t be if you consider yourself the tobacco equivalent of Hermes or Louis Vuitton. Of course those are actual stores not a boutique that is shoe horned in between a pricey store to buy boots and belts and an eyeglass shop.
Today was a decent day, I did some laundry, ran some errands. A trip to the bibliothèque was in order, returning DVD’s. Last night I watched Annie Hall. I saw that in the cinema, at the Century Theater with my sister.
We made it a point back then to see Woody Allen movies together, starting with Sleeper, Love and Death, Annie Hall, Interiors and Manhattan. Manhattan we saw at the dollar theaters, possibly in Ridgefield Park or Leonia.
We’d travel for a cheap movie. I remember getting weepy at the end of Manhattan when Mariel Hemingway was telling Woody Allen to remember she was only going away for 6 months.
Annie Hall was great to watch last night and I was glad they included the subtitles, showing what Annie and Alvy were thinking when they were having wine on the terrace of Annie’s overpriced ($400.00!) apartment in midtown. With a terrace.
Harpy called in the last 20 minutes so the Los Angeles scenes were not seen, no Alvy crashing his car in the parking lot, no driving through plutonium and no play based on Annie and Alvy’s relationship. Still it was good to hear from Harpy, he calls so infrequently these days.
Bill came home from his writer’s workshop and he helped me out with my leg which had been causing me some discomfort the past couple of days. He helped me stretch it out somewhat as I lay on the floor, Bill holding my foot as my leg was fully extended and helped pull it back to me. It helped quite a bit, and so did the ibuprofen.
I slept really well last night and woke up early enough this morning to catch the Today show which I turned on before stepping into the shower. I need a shave, haven’t shaved since last week and the hair that is popping up is white. If I don’t do something I run the risk of looking like that idiot John Bolton.
The resumes continue going out and I received a call back an hour or so ago while I was in the supermarket. I completed the call once outside with the sounds of buses and other traffic going by. It seemed to have gone well and a meeting is scheduled on Friday morning.
I should be attending that before heading into the cigar shop that day. I also spoke with Casey Chasm who commented last night, mentioning that his phone was destroyed in training. It was a nice brief chat, Mrs. Chasm is due to deliver another child in May and then Casey is off to Afghanistan. I’m sure he’ll be alright. New Order – Fine Time
It’s now Tuesday. I did not get fired from work. Instead Sean who can now be called Ryan Ramos got the axe. Ryan was a good guy, but 20 years old and full of piss and vinegar and shit and testosterone and puppy dogs tails.
They caught him on camera being off the floor for almost two hours in the past week. He was getting paid of course and that is what upset Calvin and Marcus.
Calvin took me aside and asked how I was doing. I answered truthfully that I was burned out, retail is a drag. He was surprised to hear that and I also told him that most days I come to work I can’t help but feel that it was going to be my last day.
Apparently I was not the only who felt this way, a general malaise had settled on the staff at the shop. I felt better getting that off my chest and the day did not seem so bad after that. I knew Ryan was getting the ax and when Ryan called before he came in, asking me if I knew what was going on, I had to lie.
I knew and could not say a thing. A life lesson had to be learned and I was no student teacher like Karen Valentine in Room 222. The rest of the day went at a steady and strange pace, strange since someone had just gotten fired.
Marcus is a sommelier and had scheduled a class in the back room, after the man cave had been cleared out and the regulars sent elsewhere. Marcus had also taken me aside, asking me what I was doing after work on Thursday night.
I told him I had no plans and he mentioned he wanted me to stay and have a cigar and some scotch with him and Calvin and talk. He expressed concern since he felt he was responsible for my working at the cigar shop.
Apparently he remembered that I had sent him my resume in February of last year and he had finally offered me a job in May. I didn’t apply for the job, but he made the offer. It was nice to know and I agreed to stay for a cigar and some scotch on Thursday night which was fine since I am off on Friday, as well as being off tomorrow.
And tonight a major storm approaches from the west, what is being touted as an ice storm, six inches have been predicted. That will be my day off, and I guess it will be mainly spent indoors.
Another thing that I told Calvin was the fact that the days off here and there are getting to me, to have two days off in a row is so much desirable. A schedule like most of the working stiffs would be ideal.
I can’t expect to get Saturday and Sunday off but perhaps something can be done like a Tuesday and Wednesday off, at least that’s the impression that I got from Calvin.
Strange days indeed. Most peculiar mama, whoa!
I accidentally deleted Kat Charas’ subscription to this blog and was surprised that after all these years, her email doesn’t exist anymore. Come in Kat Charas, your time is up.
Man, after being off yesterday, it’s tough to go back to work. And it wasn’t anything major, just one day off, but still, if I had a job I liked, a Monday through Friday job, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be feeling the way I am feeling.
Of course, my mind goes back to Wanker Banker, which was a pretty good job. It doesn’t exist anymore and the company has changed so much that it’s probably unrecognizable. For some reason I always flash back to that job.
Last night Bill and I worked on the resume and this morning I sent it out to a few recruiters and positions I found online. Anything could happen. I sent it to the two women who were instrumental in getting the position that I was offered and rejected from last month. They said when I get my resume together, an honest resume at that, they would help me out.
Whether or not they were talking through their hats is not my concern. They responded they will do what they can, if something pops up. I’m sure it’s in their email trash bin. I certainly can’t blame them, since I did burn them. Shorted them of any commission they might have gotten from the sure thing I was in November.
It’s only the beginning of the month, the beginning of the year and I may have a long way to go, but I’ve taken the first steps.
I didn’t sleep to well last night, woke up a few times. And tried sleeping later than usual but Neil Diamond woke me up when Cherry Cherry was played on the oldies station. Not a bad song overall but alarming enough to make me get out of bed.
I shuffled about, dragging ass, not wanting to go to work. Let’s face it. I don’t like work. I’d rather be financially independent, able to support myself as well as Bill and still have money to help out family and friends should they need it.
I did not win the 300 million dollar jackpot in the Mega Millions lottery the other night. 2 people did and are splitting the pot. Now the amount is down to 12 million dollars, which I will gladly receive once I get those lucky numbers.
I made it to work, unwillingly. And I was early, which I could not help. Marcus was hidden in his office, Calvin sniffling in the humidor and the brain dead Bradley was late. Calvin & Bradley are both sick and think that taking a whole bunch of supplements like Echinacea after they have the virus will help.
I don’t think it will help. Once you got the bug all you can do is let it run its course. I was wary about working with either of them, though Calvin was in better shape, not groaning all day long. I probably groan too when I’m sick, but to hear brain dead Bradley do it, is most annoying.
I made it through the day though, brain dead Bradley left early. My register was off by $0.30 and I had to go through the day’s transactions to figure out what went wrong. It turned out I over charged a customer $0.30 and had to void the transaction and refund the money to the customer’s credit card.
I thought I would be late and have to miss my bus. It’s been so cold and slushy out that I’ve been taking the train to the bus terminal. As luck would have it, there was an express train at the station and the doors closed as soon as I entered. Karma at work, I’d like to think.
Back at work today. Woke up to a maelstrom outside my window. Definitely a day to sleep in and how I would have loved to have done that. But no, some misguided sense of duty called and I just had to answer that call.
I granted myself about 15 extra minutes of sleep which eventually amounted to about 10 minutes. What I bargained with for those extra minutes I have no idea but something would come up eventually no doubt.
Last night I should have gone to see Lois DiLivio performing in a shop window on Washington Street, one of the few shops I did not apply to. I thought about going, and thought about not going but once I was settled in at home, it was extremely doubtful that I would head out again. My loss, truly.
Just one picture from Lisa Rigoux Hoppe’s camera made me realize that I should have at least made an appearance. Regardless, home is where I stayed, waiting for Bill to come home from the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe, a celebration for Miguel Algarin.
By the time he came home I fell into the comfortable rabbit hole of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Yes, I own the super deluxe version but this was so comfortable and familiar that I opted to watch it.
Bill walked in, tired and happy to be home. He did some computer stuff on his iPad or Mac Book or possibly both before he went to bed. I stayed up and watched the Simpsons before I went to bed. I should have taken a melatonin like I did the other day and like I did a few months ago.
Things were going well for a while but lately I’ve been stressed and my sleeping has been a bit fitful, so a melatonin tablet is on the menu.
Got a text from my brother Brian this morning as I was getting ready to go to work. He was 2 blocks away. I would have loved to have met up with him, but no, it wasn’t in the cards. He did warn me about the maelstrom and told me to be careful and I told him the same.
I walked up to Washington Street, to the bus stop and called Bill as I waited. He was his usual effervescent self and I was the usual grouchy baby on the other end. After getting off the phone with Bill I decided to call my brother Frank to see how he was.
It ended badly once again with Frank last week and figured I might catch him at a moment when songs from Sweeney Todd weren’t being sung. The songs weren’t being sung, but he had no time as he was heading out the door for an appointment.
He did mention that he was worried about me and I told him I knew that. I didn’t say it was from Annemarie telling me.
Soon I was at the cigar shop working alongside the Bradley. Let’s face it, there is no love lost between us. It was sort of fun working at the cigar shop when Raymond and Don were working there, but they’re no longer around and the only fun comes from Sean who works part time.
It was a long day and there was the Big Smoke event going on a few blocks away this evening. The Big Smoke to-do is a show where cigar makers as well as scotch makers hand out free cigars and samplings of scotch all for the admission of $250.00 in advance, $265.00 at the door. Some cigar makers did stop by the cigar shop and blessed the staff with free cigars which was quite nice.
Marcus hung around the cigar shop most of the afternoon making things a bit uptight. He eventually left, leaving Sean and the Bradley and myself to man the shop. And it’s been not as busy as it’s been the past few weeks.
The Bradley left later than usual hanging out with David Dexterport, a fairly regular customer. I have to admit, I enjoyed chatting with David Dexterport in the past but now I’ve been superseded by the Bradley. That’s the way things turn out I suppose.
As I got my ducks lined up to close the store and make that 10:30 bus the cigar shop door opened and I thought to myself, ‘Wow, that guy looks just like Marcus.’ It was Marcus. He was coming back from the Big Smoke event with yet another cigar maker who blessed Sean and myself with cigars once again.
I flew down to the bus terminal, a few steps removed from my closing the store since Marcus was there to finish what I could not do since he was staying behind. Made it to the bus terminal, next to last passenger before the doors closed.
And now here I am, at home in Hoboken on the mainland.
It’s a Monday and it feels like a Sunday. Sunday was actually nice. It was Halloween which in Hoboken gave an excuse for grown ups to party in costume on Saturday night and for kids to do the same the next day.
The kids in Hoboken don’t knock on doors, they just go to the various stores and hit up shop owners for candy. Eventually the stores run out of candy and post signs on doors and windows saying just that. I went out in the middle of the afternoon, Washington Street crowded with kids and adults.
I missed the Ragamuffin parade, but still there were large groups in costume, going to parties or wherever. It was amusing to watch and I took some snapshots. Most of the action was on the boulevard so after walking to the post office, I opted to swing round back via the river.
I walked out onto Pier A, it was chilly but sunny as I enjoyed a cigar. Ahead of me were two teenage girls, one of whom turned out to be Ruby, Jim and Meghan’s daughter. She was having Halloween hijinks, the two of them dressed up like characters from Pokemon. After my time, for sure.
Came back home and just chilled out. Bill was headed to the gym and I made myself a nice dinner. Bill and I watched Bill Hicks Live, a compilation of some of his live shows. I totally missed the boat on Bill Hicks when he was alive, and only in the past few years have I ever really heard of him.
And that was from reading about him or seeing ads for a DVD or CD release in Mojo or Uncut magazines. The UK certainly took him to heart. Bill who loves watching stand up comedy hadn’t really seen Hicks’ act before but really liked it a lot.
Enough so that he went online to look up Bill Hicks on Wikipedia. Bill Hicks died at 32 from pancreatic cancer in 1994, in his parent’s home. Bill sussed out that my dislike for Denis Leary is because Leary stole bits of Bill Hicks’ act, sometimes word for word. My antipathy for Denis Leary seems validated.
Boardwalk Empire was on after Bill Hicks and after that Bill went to bed. I stayed up for a while, started watching Poltergeist when midway through I quit and went to bed.
I tried watching that Walking Dead show on AMC, but after the high intensity of Dead Set, this one seemed to be a bit plodding. Maybe it was a zombie script, and a zombie director. Perhaps this is post-Lost television, the hope that the series lasts a few years and they could have an unfolding plot.
It hasn’t really caught on, in fact besides Lost, all the other attempts for an episodic series have failed thus far.
Tonight feels like a Sunday night, feels like I have school tomorrow and homework to be done. Just thinking about work at the cigar shop is unnerving. I always have the feeling I’ve done something wrong.
I usually haven’t, but still I feel like the other shoe is about to drop. It usually gets better once I’m there. It’s all the scenarios in my head that run through my mind beforehand is what can be a real spoiler. Perhaps it’s just an unease about tomorrow, and it being election day. Don’t forget to VOTE people!
Juan is supposed to be in the area. I haven’t seen him since July, at Maxwells and then Rand & Lisa’s. He said he might stop by around 9:00 which could mean 10:00. He’s having dinner with his family, who he hasn’t seen since July as well. It will be nice to see him.
Well here we are. It’s a new day, a new week. Actually the day is almost over. It’s 7:15PM. It’s been a long day. I slept late, not getting out of bed until 9:45 this morning.
I tried to stay in bed, but it was too cold. The disadvantages of a top floor apartment, it gets cold fast. Took out the air conditioner last night which made things somewhat less breezy, but without the heater on, it was pretty cold.
It was a long day yesterday and having had such a good time on Saturday at Rand’s party made for a slightly hungover day Sunday. Which of course, added to my despair and despondency.
I checked my schedule and today is my only day off until next Tuesday, giving me seven days of work, nonstop. I so want to get out of the cigar shop. Part of me says to buck up I can take it and I’m sure I can.
I’m just dreading next Monday when I am expected to partake in a Monday Night Football thing in the back room of the cigar shop. It’s a multi faceted problem. I hate football. It’s not going to end until around midnight and yeah, I’ll be paid for it.
But I probably not get home until close to 2AM. I’ll have to clean the shop and prepare it for the next day. Oh, and I hate football.
In all the years Monday Night Football has been on the air, I have never watched a game. In fact the closest I probably ever got to seeing a game was when Howard Cosell announced that John Lennon was murdered in Manhattan on December 8, 1980, and my mother yelled up to my bedroom what had just been reported.
Today I decided to do something. I went to Flash Tech, a computer store in Hoboken. I also applied at Yes I Do (a card shop, stationery store), Panera Bread, T-Mobile, Tunes, The First Provident Bank, Sears and Macy’s as well as Godiva in the Newport Mall. All through pounding the pavement in the rain.
Some of those places merely referred me to their websites to fill out forms online. Macy’s was a 9 person group interview. I think it went well, and hope it will offer me something besides angst.
I don’t know what’s worse, having no hope, or having hope. The hope thing is all I have left.
The job offer from that guy Ian in August seems to have faded away. I did contact him on the last day in September since he said I should hear something by middle or late September. He proffered a few more weeks since they hadn’t moved into their Manhattan offices yet.
I contacted Kerry, my late cousin Jackie’s daughter asking her if she knew of anything. Also sent a letter to my cousin Joe. He’s a vice-president at a big bank and I merely asked for something low level, in the mail room hopefully.
Kerry responded almost immediately since it was via Facebook messages, saying she’s keep her ears open. Joe hasn’t replied at all. Perhaps it’s because I contacted him via snail mail. So there’s my hope.
And I suppose there is more hope with what I applied for on the street and also online. Other than that, I guess I have to grow a pair and make the best of the situation I find myself in.
I have also been asked to come up with a concept with the shaving company near the cigar shop. Buy a box of cigars and get a free shave. Pay for a shave and get a few premium cigars? I don’t know.
I’m open to suggestions.
I’d be willing to split the 1/3 of 1% commission.
Just received a rejection from T-Mobile minutes ago. As soon as I can, I am dropping them as my cellphone carrier.