Category Archives: the day after yesterday

So It Goes

I still can’t believe it. Life goes on, for sure and everything seems the same as it ever was. Then I think about the reality TV showman becoming the President of the United States and I am taken aback. It’s been two days and today was better than yesterday. And yesterday was all about being in shock. The night before was stupid and weird and that’s even before the election started being reported. Just a misunderstanding that had us in our respective corners. Bill on the couch and me three feet away in front of the computer.

Things thawed out enough and Bill settled in for watching the returns, I wasn’t able to deal with that, so I watched a Michael Palin documentary on Andrew Wyeth. That was so great to watch and my mind was not on the election. It was only 58 minutes so I did have to jump into the election pool. It didn’t look good at all and I could not hide my dismay. I watched another Michael Palin documentary on a Danish artist, Vilhelm Hammershøi. It was good, but not good enough to keep me away from the car crash unfolding on the television.

I gave up on Michael Palin through, with the intention to watch at a later date. It’s on YouTube so I won’t have a problem finding it again. I was jazzy throughout the evening and enjoyed some edibles. Still it wasn’t enough. The car crash went on. Bill went to bed since he needed to get up at 4:30. I stayed up with the sound down. I was hoping to catch Van Jones on CNN but he was never on when I was watching.

At work the next day I was going through the motions. Which was fine I suppose. No one to share in the misery really. The day couldn’t end fast enough but I did end up at home. Bill came home soon after, in a state of shock and depression since it was also the date of his mother’s passing and he was so overtaken by the reality TV showman becoming the President of the United States that he had almost forgotten that sad anniversary.

But right now, two days later I watch MSNBC and watching the reality TV showman becoming the President of the United States and its visit to Washington DC, a visit to the White House and Congress and I have the sinking feeling that we are fucked.

Whatever progress that Obama made over the past eight years now seems likely to be overturned. Obama had his flaws but I liked him a lot. More than any other sitting president in my life. I certainly never volunteered for another candidate.

Obamacare, Climate Change reforms all slated to disappear. Probably whatever solar panels on the White House roof will be taken down, much like what evil Reagan did when he assumed the oval office.

It’s a sad day in America. At least for me and mine. Throughout the country the opposite is happening. Muslims are being attacked. Latin people are hearing chants of ‘build the wall’. A gay man was attacked in California by supporters of the reality TV showman becoming the President of the United States.

The Koch brothers are dancing. The Supreme Court may just swing to the right, an authoritarian move. Roe Vs Wade, The Obergefell v. Hodges decision could be overturned. They gutted the Voting Rights Act already to disastrous effect.

I said it before to friends and it seems I didn’t heed my own words. I remember seeing after Brexit, a commentator on the BBC was explaining why the people had voted to leave the European Union. My take on what he said (since I almost always get it wrong) was that while things had gotten better for some, things have not gotten better for many. Change was coming slowly after being promised it for so long by politicians.

Along comes an outsider with a loud mouth who claims that they’ll get the job done. They’re loud, and brash and speaking the words that go to their heart with promises of eventual fat wallets. They’ll do things differently, after all, they’re outsiders!

The politicians repeat their standard lines about continuing the status quo were falling on deaf ears. Once slow, change now had an air of immediacy. And so the misinformed voters who felt taken for granted went into an unforeseen direction by the polls and pundits and voted in what could possibly be against not only their best interests but the way of the world around them.
All empires end eventually.

Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch(2011)
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…

Going Out Of My Head

The Next Day

Yesterday was all about rain and wind and I only left the apartment once. Today has been somewhat better and I’ve been out a few times. Listening to the new David Bowie album, The Next Day and I am loving it. It’s good to hear him again and the songs are first rate of course. Presently Where Are We Now is playing and that was the first track that was released. The whole thing is great and listening to it on the iPod has been an adventure. Of course I highly recommend it.

So they’ve got a new pope. Just as ass backwards as the other ones, against same sex marriage, contraception, sex education. This new guy might have been a little too close to the military junta that ruled Argentina, but sighs of relief were heard that it was not a former Nazi.

I ran into my Rasta friend Jesse today. He asked how my job search was going and I answered that it was going too slowly. Jesse has a few kids and he’s freaking out over how they’re all plugged into their smartphones and computers. He wonders what kind of world they will have when they grow up. I wonder about the world I am in now, never mind later on.

We have water again. It was shut off earlier today so repairs could be made on the 140 year old pipes could be fixed or replaced. It was supposed to be back at 4:00 but I think it was worse than was imagined.

Whether they’ll be doing it again tomorrow I couldn’t say. I’m sure they will, though right now they are putting things away, filling up holes and smoking cigars and rolling up hoses while a policeman makes a pizza delivery.

We were notified that the water would be shut off so that helped a bit. I had tremendous difficulty sleeping last night and knew that if I wanted to take a shower this morning I had better do it before they shut the water off. I don’t think I’ve adjusted to moving the clocks ahead an hour on Sunday morning. So when my usual 1:00 bedtime comes up on my watch my body is thinking that it’s midnight.

And also my body clock was really screwed up by the infernal schedule from the last job and I haven’t gotten that back either.

Bill was so nice this morning as he was heading out and all I could do was grumble ‘leave me alone, I’m trying to sleep’. I’ll make it up to him somehow.










I Stand Alone

Another Saturday night and I ain’t got nobody. Well I do got somebody and that would be Bill but of course once again he is off driving to Atlantic City. He came home this morning, slept for a few hours and then after telling me about the general rudeness he gets from certain riders from certain quarters, he was packed up and ready to go. For me it’s been too cold to go out and do anything so I just mainly stayed in, sending out resumes and doing various things. I did go to the supermarket which wasn’t too traumatic like it has been.

It’s February, it’s the day after my brother in law Rex’s birthday as well as my neighbor Christine. On cable there has been a marathon showing of Bill Murray in Groundhog Day so that’s been on. It ends at 8:00 tonight so I guess I would have to find something else on to watch. In between all that there has been the resumes being sent out again and again. I do have a good feeling something good is going to happen so I just have to hang in there. Right now the 2 Tone movie Dance Craze is playing on YouTube.

I saw that at the Eighth Street Cinema back in the day with Jet. I of course was totally enraptured with it. Jet and I both liked it a lot but there was no dancing in the aisles like we had heard and I was too self-conscious to get up and start skanking with Jet. We both agreed that Dave Wakeling from the (English) Beat was very handsome, something I never really thought about with regards to any musician. I have maintained my 2 Tone roots through the years, listening to all that music and culminating in the faux Specials reunion in 2010.

I’m sure I wrote about it before but I remember the day I was in EJ Korvettes I bought the Specials first album, the same day I picked up the first Pretenders LP as well as a Stiff USA compilation of Wreckless Eric. Waiting at the Bergen Mall for the 44 bus to take me back to Lodi I struck a conversation with an elderly woman who inquired about the records I had purchased. She had never heard of any of the bands which came as no surprise. Those 3 records still loom large in my musical history, obviously if I am writing about over 30 years later.

So now Dance Craze is on audio wise and Groundhog Day is on with the volume off. I posted the YouTube Dance Craze linkage on my Facebook page and a few of my MiMB friends have expressed their pleasure with the 2 Tone thing. I can easily trace my later infatuation with reggae in the 1990’s to the 2 Tone days in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I read earlier today that The Selecter will be coming to the US this year and of course I will be there.

I saw an incarnation of The Selecter in the 1990’s but it did not have Pauline Black in their ranks at that time. Now she is back and I will definitely be there this time. Of course I hold out hope that the Specials would tour at the same time, perhaps sharing the bill but that could be too much chalice in the palace on my part if you know what I mean. An aging pseudo rude boy from the wrong side of the pond could dream can’t he?

I doubt if I’ll be wearing the shark skin suit like I did for the Specials reunion in 2010. That was something I had planned on doing since the beginning and having done it once there’s no need to do that again.
Man At C & A

I Saw the Light- Johnny Cash

It’s a Friday from what I gathered. Bill is driving to Atlantic City so that is a sure sign that the weekend is here. It’s been an interesting day overall. I had a dream that my front teeth were knocked out which was distressing enough to wake me up and check to see if my teeth were still in place. They were and it was a relief. I slept later than usual, I kept hitting the snooze button and each time the radio came on, it was the DJ and I did not want to hear her, I’d rather it were music.

I got out of bed, had some coffee after a shower and headed out. I stopped by Mona’s and dropped off Bill’s shirts and then headed to the supermarket. I saw the mighty Isis, it had been a while and the last time I saw her she was in a parade celebrating the Hoboken High School football team winning the state championship. She was good and seemed happy. It was good to see her and I was soon on the way home with assorted foodstuffs. I did get Bill his almonds but I forgot to buy coffee which I will have to get tomorrow. I think I have enough for one more day.

I saw Shlomo, he seemed alright a little more feeble than usual but he seemed to recover from his diabetic incident with nary a scratch. I also headed to the Guitar Bar where Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro was busy with a guitar sale and students going in and out. Jim gave me part of a package that was sent to Guitar Bar from an Ian Hunter/Mott the Hoople fan that I friended on Facebook, nice food and snacks. I picked up some photos at CVS and ran an errand for Jim, a trip to the post office. It was a decent day out, felt warm at 39 degrees which is an improvement over the past few days.

I headed into the city and did some running around there too. I ran into my friend Jessie who was glad to see me and just Bill by thismuch. He was off to Wally World and I was off to Hoboken, two ships passing in the afternoon. I got in the queue at the bus terminal and when I got to the gate I saw the bus was jam packed and decided to wait for the next bus. NJ Transit seems to have recovered from Hurricane Sandy, at least with the #126 bus to and from Hoboken.

I certainly did not think I would be waiting for 50 minutes though. I was now first in line and had no idea how long the line stretched and I was not about to give up my spot to find out. Everyone on their devices and people were looking at me trying to gauge my reaction to see if a bus was coming. Eventually they gave up. 50 minutes in a dispatcher shows up to tell us the wait would be 90 minutes. That was when I raised my voice.

I told the dispatcher that some of us had been waiting for nearly an hour and now he was telling us it would be another 90 minutes? He didn’t seem to know how long we had been waiting and walked off, coming back a few minutes later and used his position to commandeer another bus to take us to Hoboken.

It was odd, yesterday while at the cigar shop I saw a few 126 buses going by from Manhattan one after another. Today there wasn’t even one. My NJ Transit bad luck still carries forth and I do regret not thanking the dispassionate dispatcher as I got on the bus but I was tired and in no mood and I really had to pee.

and now they're getting ready for Valentine's day

and now they’re getting ready for Valentine’s day

Only The Stones Remain

I Pity The Poor Immigrant

A Thursday, and it’s been a good day. Yesterday after the adventure on Tuesday, I had the usual blues. A good time was had and for me depression sets in. It was nothing crippling, nothing a banana couldn’t change but still it happens. It’s been happening all of my life. I certainly appreciate the good times, the good days spent with Bill and friends and family. It’s just like the next day I feel like Wile E. Coyote treading air as I stepped off the cliff chasing the Roadrunner. There’s no descent, just a simple about face and all is well.

Last night was cool and mellow, just me and Bill hanging out watching the television. After the Ed Show we watched Modern Family just so we could have something to laugh about and then we watched Suburgatory which was alright, a Thanksgiving episode. And Thanksgiving is a mere week away.

Bill was up and out before the sun rise this morning, leaving a farewell kiss to me. I stayed in bed waiting for the sun to rise but fell asleep once again, only waking until after the fact. No one seemed to mind, let alone me.

I went out and about once again. More debris has been crated off only to be replaced by more debris. The bibliothèque has reopened and the staff was there, grumbling since the person in charge had left already. They’re all full timers so they got paid even though they couldn’t make it in. They all seemed to have been safe while the waters rose and receded. And there was quite a back log of books and other items to be returned and audited before going back on the shelves. I returned Naked Lunch, a movie I had seen with William Charas at the Galaxy Theater 20 years ago.

A movie I only needed to see once. It’s good and I remembered that it got my creative juices flowing back then, nowadays I just saw it as a valiant attempt to film the unfilmable. Peter Weller did do a great job of channeling el hombre invisible, William S. Burroughs. Adaptation is another movie like that. Of course both movies are related to the writing process, as is the Shining when you get down to it. I prefer not to think of myself as a dull, dull boy but ultimately that would be up to you to decide.

On my excursion I swung by the Guitar Bar, and there was Jim Mastro moving amplifiers around and not letting me help him. I did pester him enough that I might be able to help him out on Sunday, that is if his lovely wife Meghan is unable to help. I’m not looking to get paid, I just want to help him out since he helped me and so many others out a couple of weeks ago. After that I walked to the new cigar store and chatted with those guys. Got a freebie which was nice.

I was looking over something I wrote last month regarding Zack and his lack of response to my email. Still no response at this date which I suppose I should have expected. That ‘Caesar’ should be fine with a ‘Brutus’ at his side. No one will tell him the marsupial keeps his shiv in his pouch. Of course those that don’t know history are doomed to repeat it, and I am sure I will hear about whatever happens somehow.

Customers are chatty and my lines of communication with them are still open. Still no new point of sale system from what they tell me, the music sucks there without me and I am sure the employees still aren’t a part of the TransitChek system despite overtures and promises from the inhuman resources director. Don’t worry, Zack is not one to make waves.

It’s a good thing they don’t know about the Bizarro cigar shack blog that was created shortly after my departure. Names, faces and the kitchen sink I tell ya!

goodbye tree

Sign in the now gutted liquor store window.

05 The Great Pretender

I Predict A Riot

The guy who lives across the street from me and Bill had a 1957 Corvette convertible in the basement garage, just below street level. I found out today that the car was ruined by flooding. I also heard that the guy has a 1956 convertible at his house down the shoe, but as it turned out that was destroyed by the flooding down there. This was all told to me second hand by neighbor Chris from next door. He still doesn’t have power. The liquor store on the corner is still out, doing business by generator until nightfall.

And now it’s nightfall, a little past 5:30. I’ve been to the supermarket, the only one around these parts, and found it swamped with people. I only needed to buy coffee for tomorrow, I’m using the instant coffee I bought last week as emergency provisions. Of course we are much more prepared for a major storm now than we were. We were OK, but didn’t expect an electrical outage for 5 days. We anticipated running out of food and water, so that we stocked up on. He had heat as well. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. I am grateful we had what we had.

It’s hard to believe that last Saturday was when the power came back on.

I walked around town today, stopped by the Guitar Bar on Newark Street where I saw Jim Mastro. I try to make it a point to see if he needed anything. I offered my services if he ever needed something dropped off at the bank or even if he needed to get something from Guitar Bar to Guitar Bar Jr. on 11th Street. He didn’t need anything and hardly ever asks for anything, but one day he will and I am hopeful to be there if and when he does. That includes getting plastic cups.

I am in for the night once again. Not even 6:00. I did not sleep well at all last night. Kept waking up and when I finally had some deep sleep, I wound up waking up shortly thereafter. Bill was not around and that is what I would attribute the fitful sleep to. I have been wary about getting those leg cramps and figured I should eat more bananas. I had a banana yesterday and this morning around 6:00 I had a leg cramp. Not a good way to wake up even if I wasn’t that fully asleep anyway.

Last night I had a phone call from a former co-worker. It was a lot of fun she kept me informed about what was going on, how so and so is up to her usual shady tricks. It proved to me that there were certain aspects of this particular job which I can look back fondly upon, but overall I am quite happy not to be there anymore. The mere mention of certain names made my stomach curdle. I am still trying to improve my lot in life, trying to get to a better station if you will. Time is on my side.

Sts. Peter & Paul Church, where we charged up last week.

Bryan Ferry – Slave To Love 12 Inch Mix

I Only Wear Blue

Well, all that anxiety and nervousness for nothing. I mean I was all worked up with playing guitar last night, nerves of Jello I would say and it was all over in under 20 minutes. I enjoyed it somewhat though on the clips posted last night that could be disputed. A glitch or two during a couple of songs but recovered nicely I would say. We would have liked to have stayed at Maxwell’s but Bill was getting hungry and he needed to get to the supermarket. I’m still waiting for news on how the rest of the evening went.

The word is that it was a wild success!

Once again Bill is off to Atlantic City tonight and I am actually going out myself. Into Manhattan no less. I may be going solo, I don’t know but my friend Jane is playing and it’s been too long since I’d seen her. It’s on the lower east side and I am already plotting which way I should go. Weather-wise it’s yet another cloudy day, looking like rain and also the looming threat of the Frankenstorm crawling up the eastern seaboard which killed 29 in the Caribbean in the past 48 hours. The hype is that it will be worse than Hurricane Irene.

And that was last year in 2011, most everything was shut down, public transportation was not running and the cigar shack staff was told not to come in (even though we were unable to) and we did not get paid for the day. If we were in Florida where the cigar shack chalet was located and shut down due to a hurricane we would have gotten paid, but in the glass walled canyons of Manhattan- no dice. No notices have been posted yet about what will be open, what will not be running or whether Halloween will be canceled again.

Hoboken is getting prepared though, shelters being set up in schools, flood area residents being told to park their cars in garages. It’s all supposed to go down Sunday evening I believe so there should be plenty of time for hoarding whatever items one might need when hunkering down for a storm. Of course this storm has nothing to do with climate change, it is more than likely the fault of a woman’s right to choose as well as the perils of same sex marriage. I think Bill and I will be alright and should ride out the storm with no problem, knock wood.

According to the news online, Bloomberg is being cautious with regards to the approaching storm, allowing unused 32 ounce cups to be used as buckets should the need arise. Exterior construction is being halted at 5:00 PM today and people are being advised to stay out of the parks come Sunday afternoon. High tide, a full moon and a big storm approaching does not bode well. Subway work has been canceled.

I watched True Grit by Joel and Ethan Coen. Oh it was quite good, so much better than the John Wayne version. Then again I haven’t seen the John Wayne version in decades but still this version was great, top notch acting and story. I highly recommend it. The girl, Hailee Steinfeld was incredible as were Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon. And Josh Brolin too. Apparently this version of True Grit is closer to the original novel than the John Wayne version. Not that I am about to find out, I have enough to read.

I have to admit my dismay with some Facebook friends, (some that I know in person and some that I grew up with) that are throwing their support behind Willard Romney. These friends say they support the relationship that Bill and I have and do support same sex marriage, yet on the other hand are behind Willard Romney who is against same sex marriage and pledges to fight against it with a constitutional amendment.

From playwright Doug Wright: I wish my moderate Republican friends would simply be honest. They all say they’re voting for Romney because of his economic policies (tenuous and ill-formed as they are), and that they disagree with him on gay rights. Fine. Then look me in the eye, speak with a level clear voice, and say,” My taxes and take-home pay mean more than your fundamental civil rights, the sanctity of your marriage, your right to visit an ailing spouse in the hospital, your dignity as a citizen of this country, your healthcare, your right to inherit, the mental welfare and emotional well-being of your youth, and your very personhood.” It’s like voting for George Wallace during the Civil Rights movements, and apologizing for his racism. You’re still complicit. You’re still perpetuating anti-gay legislation and cultural homophobia. You don’t get to walk away clean, because you say you “disagree” with your candidate on these issues.

I wholeheartedly agree.

Projected path of Hurricane Sandy as of 5:15PM 10.26.2012

01 Heart Of Glass

I Need You Tonight- Peter Wolf

Today is October 4, which is my friend Ulysses birthday, my friend Jane’s birthday and my mother’s birthday. My mother was born in 1926, the only girl amongst 5 sons in the Bronx. I only recently got a grip on my mother’s era, she loved movies and I guess she was about 13 when she saw Gone With The Wind when it came out in 1939. I think it was one of her favorite movies, as it was for a lot of people. She was only 7 when King Kong when it first came out, and 5 when both Frankenstein and Dracula were released.

I don’t think she much cared for those movies, but I didn’t know better. I remember when I was growing up, asking my mother if she remembered seeing King Kong climb the Empire State Building. I had problems differentiating between fantasy and reality. Some people might say I still do. My mother more than likely gave me the look of ‘what am I going to do with you’. I was the last born to Francis and Mary, and I am certain I wasn’t planned. There are 3 years between my siblings but between me and Brian there are 5 years.

There were a couple of kids that didn’t make it, Kevin and Mary Margaret are the two that I recall, visiting their headstones in Calgary Cemetery in Queens. There is another child in Valhalla up in Westchester but I forgot their name. I don’t think the plan was to have 7 kids, and if Kevin, Mary Margaret or the other one lived, it’s possible that Brian or myself would not be. Of course that is all speculation on my part since I have no idea what they were thinking, especially that January night 50 years ago.

My mother was definitely a product of her time and like others of her generation, had to face the times that were changing after World War 2. 4 kids that didn’t get into trouble (or at least weren’t caught) where other kids, neighbors and relatives did have scandalous moments. Not us, though that could be attributed to the fact that we were certainly afraid of what our father would say or do if we crossed that line. I remember walking home with my mother from my brother Frank’s apartment a few blocks away, my mother making me swear on her mother’s grave that I wouldn’t do drugs.

I did swear at the time, but eventually I dabbled to say the least. She asked me a few years later if I was smoking pot and I answered that I was, saying that I preferred it to alcohol. She was disappointed, probably heart broken, then surprised when I offered her a chance to smoke with me. Of course she declined, but I saw no reason to lie. She knew from me coming home, red eyed and ravenous. Was she hoping I would lie? I have no idea.

It’s possible she was hoping I would lie to spare her feelings and her fears. I do know she was upset when I came out (and my coming out was not voluntary) and might have gone to her grave in 1991 thinking that I was just going through a phase despite my sister telling her that it was for real. Her passing blindsided us all and sent my life in a direction unforeseen. But that’s life. She almost passed away when she was pregnant with me, having a heart attack. I guess it caught up with her 29 years later.

She is missed to this day and I hope she is enjoying whatever and wherever she might be in this universe.

07 Dreadlock Holiday

I Need U Bad

Another weird weather day. Up earlier than usual and out later than that, I was intending to do some busking. It was quite cool out and there were plenty of dark clouds threatening rain. I ran some errands including a stop at Solid Threads, a T-Shirt shop in Hoboken. Rand and Lisa got me a Jersey Fresh T-Shirt for my birthday and it seemed to be a size too small. I had a gift receipt which allowed for a hassle free transaction. There were other shirts I could have chosen from but I stuck with the original Jersey fresh plan.

From there I walked up First Street and walked over to the river. No buskers around, all quiet on the waterfront. I sat and read the Village Voice since I had nothing else to read. There was an interesting article about Fracking and how big business is doing whatever it wants, including fucking up the environment with polluted water and land. And then there is the nasty problem of natural gas being released through water lines, so if you turn on your faucet and no water comes out but gas does a simple spark can blow your house as well as your neighborhood to bits.

Why they don’t research solar power or wind power is beyond me. An inexhaustible supply is there ready to be used. It’s clean and would provide a lot of jobs, but instead we just concentrate on getting more oil from the ground and polluting the air with emissions. This is where a mash up of The Road Warrior and Koyaanisqatsi would make a lot of sense. Living on the top floor of a five story building I can tell you, there is a lot of wind out there. And some of you reading this can probably say there is a lot of wind here.

Back indoors I was surprised to see a friend from Murdoch daze on Facebook. Ulysses Sankitts, my old friend who saved my ass a few times has made it online. I will never forget the first time I met Ulysses, I started working for Murdoch Magazines a day before him. A friend from Maxwells was getting married that weekend and I was asked to DJ. Alas I had no equipment and the wedding day was just a few days away. I didn’t know what to do but I did know Ulysses and his brother Tony were also DJ’s.

So I asked this relative stranger if I could borrow his equipment, I would even give him my fee in exchange for the use of his turntables and PA. To my delight (and surprise) he said yes. That Sunday Ulysses and Tony arrived and delivered their gear and even set it up since I didn’t not know how to do that. It must have been 1987 since I remember playing Prince’s ‘It’ a few times at the reception. Twenty five years ago and here we are friends again thanks to Facebook.

We always were friends though, it’s not like I never saw him again. We became good friends, I crashed at his house out in Queens, partied with him at several clubs and he made a few appearances at parties that I had thrown, including the infamous basement party that must have had fifty people there, with party crashers. He seemed to get a kick out of my friends as did his brother Tony. Anyway he seemed just as happy to find me on Facebook as I was to find him. That Queens posse of Excer, Ray, Pedro and Ulysses is still around. Tony unfortunately passed away early in the century.

It wasn’t all grey…

Runaway Boys

I Need Air

Well timing is everything and time is relative. I was just sitting by the river, reading a book and enjoying a cigar. The weather was pleasant after a few hours of dark clouds and rain. Bill was supposed to sing at Randall’s Island for an event this morning but it was cancelled on account of rain. The rest of my reading a book and sitting by the river enjoying a cigar was also cancelled by the rain. I sat there and the wind started and I turned around to look westward. There it was- a major storm approaching my way.

I packed up my things and headed home. Lots of people had the same idea, though they were running. I just walked fast and plotted my course with the least amount of trees on the path I was taking. It was getting windy and the trees were swaying. There were some buskers (Pat and Benny) who were probably cocktailing and oblivious to the oncoming storm. I told them about it and they turned around and started packing up their gear. The storm mainly passed, only some rain nothing torrential coming down. But it certainly looked quite ominous, enough to hurry home.

It was certainly bad out by Breezy Point in Queens where a tornado touched down. There is video out there on the interwebs should you care to look for it. I don’t think anyone was hurt which is good. Last night Bill and I watched the news where it was reported that a grandfather was watching his grandson practice football and was struck by lightning out of a clear blue sky. I guess that you never can tell, blue skies, cloudy skies- when you’re number is up, that’s it-time to go. A bunch of kids saw the old man get zapped.

Bill came home a bit damp on the clothes and more damp in the spirit. He was in no mood for anything and went back to bed. After that I headed out to read by the river. Which was the beginning of this here blog entry. I meant to post the other day that Bill and I watched the Black Swan last weekend. It was quite good and very intense. We were both impressed with the whole thing. I myself re-watched the last episodes of True Blood which ended the season last Sunday. The last two episodes of the season were the best of the season.

Now Bill and I are watching The Apartment which Bill had never seen before. Jack Lemmon’s character CC Baxter lives on west 67th Street off the park his rent was $85.00 a month. He was making $95.00 a week which was quite a princely sum back then. Bill is amazed at the pacing and plotting of the movie. It really is a great movie, one of Billy Wilder’s best. Bill is totally engrossed in the movie and I am enjoying watching Bill see it for the first time. It’s like a window into the past watching The Apartment.

13 Dirty Water

I Must Be High

It’s a Monday and it’s been a weird weekend. There was the play Bill was stage managing on Saturday evening during which I nodded off about a half dozen times. Then there was an associate of Bill’s that wanted me to write a review which I did and it turned out to be quite nasty, so nasty that I assigned yet another pen name to it. I wasn’t even done with the review when Bill read it and loved it and sent it off to his friend. The next day was even weirder than anyone had anticipated and it was bad.

It turned out one of Bill’s cousins in Puerto Rico was murdered. No information besides that bad news. Bill was planning on going to the funeral which meant flying down to Puerto Rico for the day, but with the timing and the hurricane weather he couldn’t do it. Plus, he is singing the national anthem and Zeus Bless America on Saturday before the Staten Island Yankees game on Saturday night. I reassured Bill that his family in Puerto Rico are sure to understand, but Bill is understandably upset with what happened. And for Bill that is simply not enough.

He came home after an audition yesterday afternoon followed by some wandering around Central Park. I sat by the river and smoked a cigar and read the Carole King memoir. Bill came home midway through the True Blood season finale and I paused it, eventually stopping it all together so Bill can get things off his chest and perhaps cry on my shoulder. I was glad I could be there for him. He came down to earth just in time to watch the season finale of the newsroom which we both enjoyed very much. After the news Bill went to bed and I of course stayed up.

Bill took off from work today to visit his family in Manhattan and I did some grocery shopping before a major rain storm. Thanks to some rare good thinking on my part, I brought an umbrella and was home just a few minutes before the skies opened up and it started coming down in sheets. No busking for me today but I wasn’t too keen on staying inside, so once it stopped and the sky was blue again, I headed out to read some more Carole King by the river, on the way running into a lovely couple, Karyn and Christine.

I sat and read and enjoyed a cigar. I got to the part where Carole King was an abused wife. Really bad, punched in the face by her boyfriend (not Gerry Goffin). It was a bit harrowing told in Carole’s voice, how she never could understand why women stay in abusive relationships and then all of a sudden she was an abused wife. The guy eventually died of a cocaine overdose, found in a shooting gallery in Los Angeles. I met Carole King once and thought she was very nice and humble and proud of her daughter Louise who I had seen perform a few nights earlier.

Now it’s later, the sun is going down in a grey sky. Learning some new songs on the guitar, this time I am trying to figure out Jeepster by T. Rex. Easy enough but the chord changes are tricky.

How do I get to Carnegie Hall?

I Miss You- Randy Newman

You must be happy it’s a Friday. After all, you are probably in that Monday through Friday mindset and having worked those five days, you are ready for the weekend. I can’t say I am ready for the weekend since all the days seem to blur into one another. I could tell it is the weekend in Hoboken since there are plenty of parking spaces to be had. Those spaces will likely be taken up by the party people coming to town to get down and do whatever it is party people do these days. I don’t party anymore so I wouldn’t know.

Last night I was pretty tired after having walked around midtown yesterday afternoon. I just chilled out at home, Bill came home from the play he is stage managing. They ditched the director and the lighting designer so it will hopefully be smooth sailing for the remaining shows. But of course since it’s the Fringe festival with stringent rules, there was not a lot of time for Bill to figure out the light board and so there were a few glitches that Bill had to work through. Two thirds in, he figured it out so that was good.

I went to sleep a bit later than the night before and fell asleep for an hour. Then I woke up again and tried falling asleep, with some difficulty. This occurred several times through the night and when Bill kissed me goodbye this morning, instead of some reaction from me, apparently I could not be roused despite three attempts. I slept through it and when I started to wake up, I had no recollection of Bill kissing me goodbye and feared he was out cold on the floor in the next room. I always assume the worst. Happily I was wrong.

It’s been another gorgeous day, and I was psyched for some busking this afternoon. It had been a number of days when I last strummed the guitar by the river and I was somewhat eager to give it a go. After lunch I got my gear together and headed out. Still working on Can’t Find My Way Home as well as I Want to Hold Your Hand, which still has some problems, but overall it has improved. It being a Friday, not too many people were out but the toddlers were. They love me, they scream, they squeal and dance up and down while some of the kids put leaves and twigs in my guitar case.

One of their handlers was kind enough to throw a buck into the case as I was requested to sing the ‘Get on the Rope’ song. It’s just a few chords and the lyrics are ‘Get on the rope/get on the rope’. The kids all walk together holding onto a rope under the watchful eyes of their handlers. I think they like that song more than I Want to Hold Your Hand so in their eyes I have a leg up on Lennon and McCartney. After two and a half hours I had enough playing, the kids were gone for the weekend.

plus ça change

this guy is always eyeballing me…

04 Missing

I Luv That

So now it’s Tuesday. It’s been a laundry day, a grocery shopping day and a busking day. So I’ve been busy. Nothing too major, I did things at my own pace. I was surprised to hear from Jerry Vale who seems to be doing alright, working with a marsupial doesn’t seem to be his thing but he does the job as I did, keep your head low and just do the work. He mentioned Tony Garnier was in today and Jerry Vale helped him out. I would have liked to have met Tony Garnier.

A few years ago I met two friends of Tony Garnier and they mentioned what a great guy he was. I happen to think he’s a cute guy and also a very good bass player. It also helps that he is Bob Dylan’s bandleader and has been so for a number of years on Bob’s Never Ending Tour.

Yeah I reckon it’s not much fun working in the cigar shack these days. Zack is down south at a tobacconist retailer convention where he can mingle with the waistcoat turncoat Marcus. Both of them can have their drinks, Marcus slurring his words and Zack generally nodding off as usual.

There are a few customers that pop into my head from time to time and I had to contact one of them today to see if I can get Luis Bunuel’s autobiography, ‘My Last Sigh’ returned. I had copies of it before and lent them out and never saw them again.

Now I am tired of getting new copies and figure if I can get Lou Moreno to return it, I mean I would go wherever he is to pick up the book then it should be all good. Now I just have to wait for Lou Moreno’s reply.

I did some busking once again this afternoon. I don’t think it will be possible tomorrow since Mumford and Sons are playing on Pier A in Hoboken and it is sold out. About 15,000 tickets sold and there won’t be any room for buskers like myself.

I did see Tariq who showed up with his guitar but didn’t take it out. He just sat there, bumming smokes off me and talking on his cellphone. I did not have to consult my notebooks much at all today. Usually all it takes is a glance at the chord progressions and I am fine.

I do plan on hearing Mumford and Sons tomorrow night as are a couple of thousand of other people who could not or would not pay the $55.00 for a ticket. I suppose we will see how close we can get. I do know a few other Hoboken residents as well as the daughters of some former Hoboken residents who will be doing the same thing. I did see a few of them at the Farmer’s Market this afternoon and I will likely cross paths with them at some point tomorrow night.

Other than that, not much but it has been a fun day so I will just leave it at that.

06 Ask Me Why

I Love You- Avril Lavigne

Yes once again it’s a Samuel Beckett kind of day. I can’t go on. I’ll go on. Nothing bad is happening, just an overcast day. Major storms broke out last night and it’s just as well I did not go to the really big supermarket since a little while after I finished the posting, I checked a local blog and there were pictures of flooded streets surrounding the really big supermarket. I did make it to the store today and there were signs of flooding. I spotted a woman headed in that direction about 40 feet in front of me, making a U turn with her stroller.

She walked past me and I asked her if the street was flooded and she said, ‘Yeah, I think so’ and scampered off. I thought something was a bit off about her response and proceeded to see for myself. Sure enough, there was no water, some mud, some sludge but that’s about it. I guess she did not know what a flood was and seemed to hurry off to the smaller supermarket. I admit it would have been a drag if I was unable to shop where I was, after walking all the way there.

I do love Hoboken and I am nostalgic for the time when a young family had a child and soon left town to raise their kid somewhere else. Nowadays they stay and clog the streets with their strollers. I must have passed a half a dozen strollers in a block and a half, opting to walk in the street rather than get hit by an oncoming mother pushing her kid in my direction. I suppose it’s nice that Hoboken is more child friendly but since I don’t have kids I really could care less. Off to the suburbs with them!

Another visit to the bibliothèque this afternoon, I picked up The Life Aquatic, deciding to give it another chance after seeing Moonrise Kingdom with Annemarie the other day. I do like the soundtrack, but after seeing The Royal Tenenbaums and absolutely loving it, whatever followed was bound to be a letdown at least for me. So another chance it is then. I do love the soundtrack. David Bowie songs sung in Portuguese by Brazilian actor/singer Seu Jorge. Bowie reportedly loved it as well. Too bad no one has heard anything from the Dame since his heart problem in 2005.

Today I sat by the river and read the latest Mojo, finished up reading about John Lydon and Public Image Limited as well as an interesting cover story on Brian Jones. John Lydon, easier to get along with sort of, Brian Jones, great musician, lousy human being. Almost got into the record reviews but held off for another day. I came home as it started to rain a bit and that’s about it for my day so far. Resumes still going out, job listings still being perused, emails and contacts resent and reestablished. Same old same old one would reckon.

So it goes.

Before the feast

05 The Great Pretender

I Lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper

Saturday night, after I wrote I walked over to the river and enjoyed a cigar and sat reading Maggie the Mechanic, a Love & Rockets compilation by Jaime Hernandez. I started reading Love & Rockets soon after it came out in the mid-1980’s and loved it. It initially reminded me of a punk rock version of Archie Comics but I soon found it was a lot more than that. I really identified with the many stories written and drawn by Jamie and his brother Beto. Jamie’s stories took place in Dairy Town and Beto’s stories took place somewhere under the border in Palomar.

I think I wrote last week that I initially was drawn to Jaime’s stories a little bit more than I was to Beto’s. Jaime’s compilations ate softcover trade paperbacks whereas Beto’s is quite a heavy tome. But reading Beto’s stories I felt how he put so much heart into his work, so much so that I would just look at a page and then the next thing I knew an hour or so had passed. The same thing happened with Jaime and the Maggie the Mechanic stories. I know Harpy understands what I am talking about. And the stories, reread 25 years later were all so very familiar. Just sitting by the river reading reminded me how I used to envision the music and art scene in Hoboken back then as very similar to what was going on in Dairy Town with the Hoppers.

And as I sat and read, I started to think that it still resembles the Love & Rockets stories somewhat, only all the characters in Hoboken, myself included are just a little bit older and perhaps a little bit heavier. Children that I saw back then are now adults and some of those former kids have children now. It’s the nature of things and it can be unnerving a bit. One kid I used to babysit for in the 1990’s is now a young man with a website for his musical endeavors. He’s quite talented and a good singer. It also helps that this young man is quite a handsome man and the ladies just love him.

Yesterday was Gay Pride day and it was good. I didn’t make it to the parade, I stayed in the apartment waiting for Bill and once he got home I waited for him to wake up. Rand wanted to explore a bike path to Newark but I decided not to go, just staying local, and staying online. I posted a ton of videos of gay and lesbian musicians, starting out of course with the Tom Robinson Band’s Glad to Be Gay. Bill was up a few hours after sleeping and had an errand to run in Harlem. I stayed home and eventually took a nice nap. There is nothing like a Sunday afternoon nap.

We did make plans to see the fireworks on then Hudson for Gay Pride like we do every year. We watched News Radio and an episode of WKRP in Cincinnati on some cable channel that plays old TV shows like that. The WKRP episode was all about the fateful Who concert in Cincinnati where 11 kids were crushed to death outside the arena. Bill had a vague recollection of what happened but being a rock and roll fan I remember it vividly. In fact the next week’s issue of Time Magazine had the Who on the cover asking them what happened as if they had any idea.
It was a fun night out once we turned off the television and went outside. It seemed there were a lot more people out for the fireworks this year than previous years. I told Bill a few stories and as I was telling him I realized that most of my stories finish off with ‘And then we all wound up at Maxwells.’ The fireworks were nice but ended rather anticlimactically. Usually there’s a big finish but this year it merely seemed to peter out.

We made it home a few minutes before it started to rain. Bill went to sleep after that and I stayed up watching the west coast broadcast of True Blood and Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom. True Blood was good, since it was only the second episode of the season I can hope things will really kick in. The Newsroom was clever, Jeff Daniels playing a Keith Olbermann type, not that likeable. I enjoyed it the way I used to enjoy watching Lou Grant after the Mary Tyler Moore show ended. That was the first episode so I hope things will get better, though I did enjoy it.


Saturday night

07 Cherish

I Like Dreamin’

This is the sixth hour of a Mary Tyler Moore marathon. It’s been on that long and I still get a chuckle out of every episode. Saturday nights, 9:00PM, Channel 2, after All in the Family & The Jeffersons and before the Bob Newhart Show (tomorrow’s marathon) and the Carol Burnett Show.

A quieter day than the previous few and more humid it seems. There is plenty of parking available in Hoboken this weekend. It’s the unofficial start of summer so a lot of the locals have left town. The supermarket was fairly empty this morning though the streets were busy this afternoon.

Last night I went to Maxwells to see RoDa. I walked up around 8:30, had a pint of Stella Artois when I got there, chatted with RoDa for a spell and then headed home. I was home at 10:00 since it started getting busy and RoDa was running around. I didn’t know anyone there except for Handsome Dick Manitoba who was headlining in the back room last night. The one pint of Stella really got me buzzing and I probably could have stayed for another but opted to come home instead.

I came home and watched TV as the Stella buzz faded. I eventually went to bed at my usual time and about a half hour later I was sitting in front of the computer since I couldn’t sleep. Bill was driving to Atlantic City and I never sleep that well when he is away. He was due home this morning at 9:30 and remarked that I would probably be asleep when he came home. I told him I doubted that, but having taken 2 melatonin tablets I wound up being asleep when he walked through the door. I did get up when he went to bed and did the usual morning routine, only a bit slower.

I was able to find for a notebook of song chords that I used when I was busking frequently and for the past couple of days couldn’t find it though I did start throwing crap out as I looked. Now I have to sort the real crap from the questionable crap. Luckily Bill has a very good shredder so that made things a lot easier.

I was going to take the guitar out and play by the river but the clouds overhead seemed about to burst so whatever strumming I did, I did indoors. Some songs were easy to fall back into and others took some time to figure out again. If Rand and I are going to reactivate the Art Hams again, we’re going to need some songs. I have my suggestions, songs that I can play without difficulty and I am sure Rand has his songs, plus there are a few songs from back in the day, during one of the three times we actually played out.

Tonight I am going to Hoboken Cigars and will see Raymond my former cigar shack co-worker. I used to beg off attending his events since I was working at the cigar shack. Now that I am not, I have no excuse really.

And now I’m back. I do enjoy these early evening jaunts. I walked over to Hoboken Cigars through the hummus laden streets of Hoboken. It is so humid out, despite dousing my head with cold water before heading out I was sweating once again when I hit the streets.

I saw Raymond and it was good. He seems to have a Saturday night gig here and he introduced me to the owner. We talked about the cigar shack and how things were then and now. I’m almost tempted to write about the rumor that has Calvin heading off to work with the former genital massager but I’ve decided not to. A few cigar shack customers were there and that was all they wanted to talk about, as if I had any idea what goes on in Calvin’s mind.

A nice night out in Hoboken and I’m glad I made it out once again. Bill is driving down to Atlantic City once again and the Mary Tyler Moore marathon continues.

07 Rapture

I Know You Well

OK, the less said about Saturday, the better. May 12 hasn’t been a good day or me for about 20 years. I will say though that Bill and I did find time and went to the movies for some pure escapism and by escapism I mean, we went to see The AVengers in 3D. It was a lot of a fun and provided some good laughs for the both of us. I know the stories (though there was no Ant Man or Wasp) but Bill didn’t and he had a real good time. After that was a trip to Shop Rite where he had never been before so that was an adventure for him.

We came home, watched some TV before heading off to bed. His mom was feeling well enough for Bill to take her to church, her old church, not the progressive church where he currently goes to from time to time. No the old church is still virulently anti-gay and his mother is comfortable with that, though with Alzheimer’s it’s hard to say what really makes her comfortable.

I finished up a ton of laundry and walked around Hoboken for a spell, reading and enjoying a cigar on the crowded Hudson River walkway. I came home after a while and didn’t do much but watch the clothes dry on the racks throughout the apartment. On his way home, Bill called from the Holland Tunnel. He rented a car and still had some time with it and asked if I wanted to go joyriding with him. Being a late Sunday afternoon, I couldn’t really say no.

I met him outside the building and soon we were headed west with no particular place to go. We rode to the Lodi/Maywood border on Route 17 and drove around, past the Bergen Mall as I told Bill stories of my youth. How Annemarie used to work at the A&P which is no more, funeral homes and hair salons. We wound up in Paramus, on Century Road, driving past the George Washington Cemetery, making a right on Paramus Road where I showed Bill my old high school. He asked if I wanted to drive through it, but I adamantly said no.

I had plenty of stories to tall so we drove through Fair Lawn to Saddle Brook where I told Bill how I was shipped off to other families for a week at a time, usually hosted by alcoholic adults and their wayward children. Billy & Eileen Hayes, Bud and Trinka Oberele, Pat & Vinny Crowley, Marge Mudrack. ALl names that meant nothing to Bill and even less for e these days, but still are part of my history.

SInce we were in the neighborhood and since it was Mother’s Day, a visit to St. Mary’s Cemetery was in order. It took a few minutes to find the headstone but we found it sure enough. I introduced Bill to the patch of grass under which my parents decompose.

Bill was hungry so it was off to the Saddle Brook Diner for some good food, a few dollars cheaper than it is in Manhattan. Homeward bound, hitting traffic once we approached the Lincoln Tunnel so it was a tour through Union City and Jersey City.

Indeed quality time was spent with Bill. So lovely. We really love each other and deserve each other and maintain a balance which isn’t always easy but we get by.

And it was back to the cigar shack for me which I’d rather not write about since it was so piss poor the first half, but Thomas proved himself to be quite generous since I couldn’t get on base at all. And now I find myself indebted to his largesse.

Rest in peace Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn.

Collapsing New People

I Know U Like It

Waiting at the bus stop with the usual despair. Still I remain hopeful for some reason.
Had a dream about my eyeglasses being broken & needing a screw.

Just now I was thinking about a sequel for To Kill a Mockingbird, Revenge of the Mockingbird where Atticus wrestles several rabid dogs to the death, Boo Radley avenges Tom Robinson’s lynching by marrying Lula Mae and Jeb & Scout take up kung fu. Lot’s of shoot outs and car chases.

Today was all about being back at the cigar shack. The usual apprehension. I was working with the possum and Jerry Vale once again. Thomas relayed his unhappiness with regards to whom he worked with and today I got half of that. The possum is back to his old tricks, open mouth coughing, and phony camaraderie.

I waited for the bus, no sign of Bill since he was on Staten Island audition for the Staten Island Yankees and the National Anthem. Apparently it went well and wasn’t the cattle call we were anticipating. An uneventful ride for which I was grateful. Lately there’s been some traffic mayhem happening and I did not want to get further on the bad side of the possum.

I trooped up the avenue, listening to some Beastie Boys. As I neared the store I saw or felt a familiar vibe. I walked by a woman and felt I should turn around. I did and came face to face with someone I hadn’t seen in 36 years. Andrea, a woman I went to grammar school with at ST. Francis de Sales.

She immediately recognized me as I did recognize her. Hugs and kisses all around, she was with her fiance and her son. It was all to brief as I was off to work. It was great to see her and also a mind blower. It really was a fun event on my way to work.

The ventilation system is working so the regulars were back, same as it ever was. The possum coughed a lot and limped a lot since he has sciatica. Turned down my offer of Motrin. Now it’s a Saturday night, the cigar shack area is quiet once again. I hit my goal and not top sales but I am satisfied with it. The possum and Zack wouldn’t be but that’s not my concern. I did what I could. If it’s not good enough then oh well, tough shit.

The Velvet Underground are singing Sweet Jane. It was decreed that the Beastie Boys would be too much for the delicate men that smoke here. Ann Boyles would call them Jazz Queers and she meant it with some affection. I lack Ann Boyles affections. Tomorrow is a day off and also the Hoboken Art & Music Festival. Should be fun, the weather seems promising. The dB’s are headlining so that should be entertaining.

Now it’s Buzzcocks with Ever Fallen in Love. I met Pete Shelley once, and it was a blatant kiss ass from my end. I told him his latest single was great when it wasn’t, but I just wanted him to feel good and whether or not I did, I’ll never know.

11 Precious and Few

I Kissed A Girl Katy Perry

Well today had been a day off and I was somewhat busy. But first last night. I left the cigar shack about a half hour earlier, had some cigars in my pocket, some business cards and I was on my way. Bill recommended taking the M11 bus down Ninth Avenue to get near the Eagle. I thought the Eagle was on 27th Street, but it’s actually on 28th Street, just a block and a half from where the bus dropped me off.

On the way I was listening to Nirvana, Nevermind. I hadn’t been since October of 2010 and it was different from when I was last there. Last time I had to check my shoulder bag on the first floor, but not last night. The first floor was closed and there was a bloke sitting on a chair in the stairway on the second floor. He said I could just walk on up so that is exactly what I did, to the third floor.

There was an outdoor rooftop lounge, about a couple of dozen guys standing around smoking cigars. The guys all had some kind of leather on, jackets, pants or a full outfit. There was I in my wool overcoat over a suit & tie. I was out of my element but then again I’m not really into leather anyhow so no matter what I was wearing I would have been a bit out of place.

Still I put on a brave face and ordered a Corona and lit up a cigar. The guys were mainly in groups, talking amongst themselves and I just wandered back and forth. I did make some small talk with guys that were wandering around and handed out some business cards for the cigar shack. I met a guy named Mark, from Bordentown NJ who I was friends with online.

He’s a lot bigger than his thumbnail photo and took it upon himself to say hello to me which was good since I didn’t recognize him at all. I had another Corona before they closed the bar on the roof deck, it was still too cold on an April night. Some more giving out cards before I finished the second Corona before I finished my cigar and headed out.

I caught a cab and took it to Sixth Avenue and got to the Path station just in time to see the Hoboken train pulling out. It was only a 15 minute wait until the next one so I bided my time and walked in circles on the platform.

The next train pulled up and I sat and read more of Retromania by Simon Reynolds. A lot more scholarly than I hoped and in my buzzed state I sat and read, and soon I was in Hoboken running up the stairs to the train station to use the men’s room since I had to get rid of the Coronas as soon as possible.

There was a bus headed up Washington Street and since I really didn’t want to walk I got on board. Bill was fast asleep in bed once again and I stayed up for a while, watching the television. Woke up later than usual since it was a day off and took my time getting things done.

Emails sent out, rejections accepted, dates postponed all before a trip to the supermarket. And there was no mighty Isis at the supermarket today which was a drag. Home again, breakfast and whatnot before heading out to the bibliothèque and the dry cleaners. It was an OK day, nothing spectacular. Tomorrow is back to work at the cigar shack. That’s it.

Really nothing to write home about though that is what I just did.

Powder Finger

I Just Came Back From A War

Yesterday was Sunday and today is Monday. Yesterday was Easter and today isn’t. Yesterday was work and today is a day off. It was a long and slow day at the cigar shack and not much money was made. I would go so far as to say more money was spent paying salaries for Zack, Jerry Vale & myself than what came in. Maybe, it was a stab in the dark.

It wasn’t too bad. I wrote the cigar shack blog yesterday and added the photographs of David and Joseph and me in the humidor, as well as some other photographs. Zack usually makes some editorial suggestions and I follow them, but there wasn’t much in the suggestion department, just an idea to remove something that was a joke. Once I told Zack it was a joke he didn’t bring it up again. He thinks I am a good writer and I accept his praise. He’s published a book of poetry a few years ago so he certainly has a leg up on me.

The day did crawl and Jerry Vale nabbed the lion’s share of sales. I walked down to the bus terminal after work, 19 minutes, 49 seconds is what it took. From Modern English’ Life in the Gladhouse to Echo & the Bunnymen’s Heaven Up Here, I blazed a trail, avoiding tourists (tons of them) and walking in the street to avoid them.

The usual problem with my fellow commuters, on weekends courtesy is thrown out the window. People don’t seem to realize that schedules are kept and missing a bus could happen by mere seconds. It was a long day like I wrote and I had no patience for my fellow riders. And my antipathy was palpable. I sat by myself and ignored the people that pissed me off. I probably pissed them off as well anyhow.

Bill was fast asleep when I was home by 8:00 last night and I just let him sleep. He needed the rest and he wound up sleeping throughout the night, about 9.5 hours. I watched Bob’s Burgers which is one of the funniest shows on TV, then the season premiere of Nurse Jackie which blew me away. No spoilers here, but Bobby Canavale was on it and I would watch him in anything.

After that I watched The Big C which I totally missed last season and I enjoyed its return last night. It was good but not as good as I remembered. Still I was happy to watch it. After that was Mad Men which was very good and intense at parts. I did guess one thing right, though I did have to rewind the DVR to make sure I saw what I thought I saw.

Today was mellow. Bill was up and out as I lay sleeping, giving me the customary good bye kiss. I got up got some things together and headed out after a few cups of coffee, getting a hair cut from my barber Tony. His arm isn’t getting better and I fear the opportunities to get groomed by him will be running out soon. He was cheerful as he cut and cleaned me. Trimmed down my goatee, which was laden with white hair.

Then a trip to the supermarket. My favorite cashier, Isis was training someone so I got on a different line which took forever, but I didn’t mind. I came home to a nice breakfast before a stroll around Hoboken. I went in a different direction this time, heading north and winding up above 14th Street. A walk back home, then followed by a nap.

I woke up a little while after that and decided to head out. People coming home, walking up Washington Street from the Path train, me walking in the opposite direction. I picked up last week’s New Yorker since it wasn’t delivered to me and did some window shopping. A meatball hero purchase was the goal which I got and brought home for dinner instead of cooking.

Back to work tomorrow with a staph meeting at the end, followed by a visit to Maxwells to say hello to Steve Fallon. I am more excited about seeing Steve than anything else. Will I write? Will I have time to write? I do try to get a few words in while at work, but with a full staph and Thomas lurking about it seems unlikely.

No guarantees.

05 Computer Love

I Hope

Fast break. I just caught some of the NCAA Final Four in the Man Cave so I am somewhat familiar with the basketball lingo. It’s a damp and cold and windy Saturday night. Things have quieted down somewhat. It has been a busy day, working alongside with Zack & Bradley and we all got along quite nicely.

That is a nice change of pace considering I left in such a state on Thursday evening, a mood that only got worse as I headed home. No, it’s been alright today. I suppose it is the company one keeps, though of course I have no say regarding who I am working with. Sales have been pretty good today, I hit my goal and then some and just a few hundred behind Bradley in sales. A decent end to March.

Right now, the Clash, Sandinista is playing. Specifically The Crooked Beat which is the name of a wonderful mixtape I made in the 1990’s. That mixtape got me about a month of free Guinness at a spot that Julio & I used to hang out at. Then I told my friend Pedro about it and it became Pedro’s spot, with Pedro going a lot more than I ever did.

Bradley just split for the evening, leaving me alone in the cigar shack. I don’t mind the solitude. I had a friend named Kevin McBean who loved the Crooked Beat mixtape, so much so that he told me all the time, over and over.

Kevin McBean stopped being my friend when I told him in 2002 that Bill had gotten me a ring for my birthday, that I was in a committed relationship. You see, Kevin McBean never knew I was gay until that moment and he didn’t like it very much. So I guess the old adage is true, he probably wasn’t your friend to begin with.

I should never have re-written his resume when he somehow got into Right Track looking for a job and handed in a resume that looked like it was written on tissue paper. I felt bad for him so I fixed it up. He never got the job but we did become friends. Then I came out and he moved to another planet as far as I am concerned.

Bill is driving to Atlantic City again tonight. He drove last night. I saw him for a few minutes this morning as I was getting ready to leave and as he was getting ready to go to sleep. Not much is planned for me after work tonight (is there ever anything planned?). I am working tomorrow with Jerry Vale and Thomas and off again on Monday.

Bradley and Zack saw the schedule change that Thomas mentioned in the voice mail and both of them agreed that it would not be a good idea for me to work 5 days straight. And it would have actually been 6 days if it weren’t for Bradley revamping the schedule. I guess I hear about Thomas’ take on it tomorrow.

05 My Wife and My Dead Wife

I Heard It Through The Grapevine Marvin Gaye

Home again. Another long day. Not all of them are long days, but this one started early. I had to be in the cigar shack by 10:30, a whole hour earlier than usual. I know, right? I was on time as usual. It was me and Zack for the first hour.

We were putting things back on the shelves that were removed last night so some painters could do some work in the walk in humidor. Things were slow most of the day, so far march has not proven to be as successful sales wise as it was in February. The cigar shack isn’t doing so bad but the numbers in February were much more impressive. Still we are meeting our quotas.

Thomas came in at 11:30 as expected and was not hung over like he was the day before. He was pretty funny sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. We were having a discussion on hate crimes and freedom of speech and I wasn’t quite in the mood for it, but Thomas being 25 years old and full of vim and vigor was in the mood.

While a person does have the right to yell fire in a crowded movie theater, that doesn’t mean that they should. Oh it was such a stupid discussion, but I had to laugh when Thomas mentioned that he was called a honky. I’m 25 years older than him and have lived through the times when honky was actually thrown about and never once was I called a honky.

In fact the only times I heard that word was on television, in the 1970’s and it was on Good Times. I don’t think Thomas grew up in some projects in Chicago in the 1970’s. Connecticut in the 1990’s is not the same thing as far as I know.

Thomas did great on sales today but Zack took the largest sales of all. I struggled in third place since no one I dealt with was looking for a humidor. Still, selling $2000 worth of cigars is not such a bad thing and breaking $2000 dollars satisfied my personal goal. Since I stayed later last night, Thomas stayed late tonight.

We took the cigars off the shelves again so the painters could finish their job tonight. I left at 8:30 tonight, leaving Jimmy Seltzer in the man cave with Jerry Vale who once again is doing the overnight shift. I walked down to the bus terminal like I used to, saved a couple of dollars and time which would have been spent waiting on the subway platform.

I figure once the weather gets warmer I will get back to doing that. Not breaking any records like I did last year, though it did take less than 19 minutes to get from point A to point B. I missed Bill at the bus terminal by a few minutes. He texted me from the bus he was on when I was a block away. Still it wasn’t so bad.

Now I am home. Picked out my suit for tomorrow as well as a green and black tie and my shamrock cufflinks. I won’t be working this weekend which is cool with me, and I won’t be heading into Manhattan for St. Patrick’s day, so I figure I will do my green Irish thing tomorrow.

Opening the store tomorrow and leaving earlier, a nice start to the weekend.

03 Move on