Category Archives: What are you looking at?

The Bitch is Back

Well here it is a Tuesday and most of the day has been spent with Juan. Juan is still here, sitting three feet away. He has been using the apartment as a base for errands and interviews. I don’t mind and I love the company. I think it’s great that Juan is around and I think Bill feels the same. Takes the pressure off of him, the pressure of being the only point of contact for little old me. So having Juan around is a win win win situation. I am presupposing the win from Juan’s point of view I suppose.

And since Juan is here I’m not going to write much.

I had a fun phone chat with Jerry Vale yesterday. I instigated it when I joked about the dinner at the Grand Havana Room on Thursday night. I did that last year, I had to attend even though it was a day off. Jerry told me the tribulations regarding his place of employment and I remarked that it was probably a good thing I wasn’t working alongside him. It truly sounded like a farce. I joked about showing up at the dinner but really I couldn’t be arsed.

Juan and I are currently bickering. He wants to watch Bad Girls Club and I wanted to watch MSNBC. But Juan called it, we did watch a lot of the news regarding the supreme court and Prop 8. Tomorrow is DOMA day so it will continue till then. Perhaps low brow television is a good thing, something to clear the palate. Like a cheap bitch sorbet. See? Almost every other word out of their mouths is ‘bitch’ and already it’s rubbing off on me, bitch. And right now Juan is a little bitch threatening to kick me in the back of my head since I have been mocking him the way he mocks me.

He is me.
It is most unnerving.




my last visit to DC

my last visit to DC

I Stand Corrected

Yes I am listening to My Bloody Valentine right now. I just had an early supper since I skipped lunch and my spirits were flagging somewhat. They seem revitalized now so hopefully that will last. It’s been a cold and snowy day and a visit to the bibliothèque was in order since there were some things that should have been returned yesterday but weren’t. DVD’s you see and the late fine is not cheap. Not too expensive either but a considerable amount more than the fee charged when a book is overdue. And while there I was chatting with the staff.

They are very excited by the fact that the other supermarket will be opening in a matter of days, but also saying they won’t go the first day since they expected it to be a madhouse. I can’t say I will stay away on day one, there is a matter of curiosity and wanting to see what was done and what has been changed. And of course I heard about the trouble one of the women is having with her 14 year old son, such trouble and being unruly, she is at her wit’s end. She also said she wished I worked there but they aren’t hiring full timers so I am out.

Resumes have gone out once again today which was leaving me with a feeling of something resembling hope. Whether or not there will be a reply is not up to me. Just looking for something behind the scenes, support staff, things like that is what I am after. The day has been edged with the blues a bit, just from looking backwards. It started last night once Bill went to bed and I was alone with my thoughts. And then there is the tumult of thoughts after the lights go out and before I drift off to sleep.

Last night Bill and I watched My Left Foot. Bill and I watched it once before but he thinks he fell asleep before it ended so he didn’t remember the car chase and the shootout with Christy Brown and his family. It certainly wasn’t as bloody as I remembered. But seriously, looking up Christy Brown in Wikipedia, the movie ended with a Hollywood ending. According to what I read, the nurse named Mary was not that nice and may have abused Christy Brown physically after they had gotten married.

After that we started to watch a documentary on Public Television which had Bill’s attention but reality ticked away on his wrist and he needed to go to bed. Of course once he went to bed things got really interesting. They were talking about Latino programming in New York City for WNET and I was smiling quite a bit when they were talking about the Electric Company. The Electric Company was after my time, but I still remembered it and got a kick watching Rita Moreno and Morgan Freeman doing their educational skits in the 1970’s.

Bill is on his way home now and I am looking forward to seeing him once again. I get into so much trouble when he’s not around. Bill did say while watching My Left Foot last night that he didn’t mind watching it again with me and that he enjoys the movies that I pick out that he should see to help him with his thespian ways. Not much else to report on this end. Cold, snow and things like that are what is going on outside, but since I am presently inside I am not paying any attention to it at all.

Howling dog in the window

Howling dog in the window

How do you keep that robe so white?

How do you keep that robe so white?

I See You- Mika

It’s been one of those days again. It’s ten days into this new year and already I’ve had a few of those days. Last night I wound up closing the cigar shop, I was there for 12 hours and I will be getting a nice box of Davidoff cigars for my trouble. I just hope those cigars aren’t as bitter as I have heard them to be. Time will tell I suppose. I have a feeling they won’t be Davidoff per se, but rather the AVO Special Toro which I think will suit me just fine. AVO is owned by Davidoff, for those wandering the shopping mall.

I am glad I was able to help them out, they needed someone they could trust on such short notice and it turned out that that someone was me. And once again since I had nothing else to do I didn’t mind. I wish I had known it would be so long but it worked out. Today I got a text from Shlomo, asking once again. Of course I asked if he had the promised cigars and Shlomo said they were on their way. Not from Davidoff but from another distributor from Pennsylvania.

So as Shlomo requested I went in again. He wasn’t around but I figured out why he needed me there. Apparently he ordered a fish tank and he was not going to be around to sign for it. And neither Israel nor Brandon would be available. It fell to me to sign for it and it’s a good thing I stayed up all night practicing my signature. Sure I could have signed anything, I could have even written an ‘X’ next to the X on the page but no, I wanted my name to be legible, I mean what would the GZA have to say about that?

And it was a fairly large tank, thankfully not filled with water, but rather Styrofoam peanuts which are annoying as hell. So I signed and directed them to where the fish tank should go. I’m not sure if they will keep the fish tank in the cigar shop or not. I guess they will or else they would have had it delivered to wherever it is that it is supposed to go. Then again as much as I like Shlomo, Israel and Brandon, communication is not their strong point. Maybe it is in Hebrew or Yiddish but English- not so much.

Shlomo showed up soon after the delivery which made me think he was sitting in his BMW watching the whole thing take place. I thought I would be there by myself for the day but Shlomo came and sat and watched Homeland on his computer while I watched Bob’s Burgers on my tablet. After an hour or so it seemed that Shlomo wasn’t going anywhere and I realized there was no need for me to be there. So I split and did some spelunking on the Palisades.

Looking for an answer, trying to find a sign. Then I saw those city lights, and honey I was blind.
Karma Police

I Saw the Light- Todd Rundgren

A snowy and rainy day in Hoboken. And it’s been a lazy day. Last night I was active for a bit, I actually went out and walked the streets of Hoboken. It was a good night for it, much better than now. Last night I walked up to Maxwell’s. I wanted to see RoDa and give him a photograph and CD I had burned for him. I would have stayed at Maxwell’s but it was crazy crowded with a sold out show by Deer Tick. In total I was probably at Maxwell’s for about five minutes before hitting the streets once more.

I was home about an hour after leaving. Not much going on and since I didn’t want to deal with the crowds at Maxwell’s and there was no one that I knew besides RoDa I went home. RoDa was quite busy with the crowd. I did run into Tariq on the street, busking in 32 degree weather. Once again he tried to get me to play his guitar and once again I begged off. I did sing Can’t Find My Way Home by Blind Faith, a song that I taught Tariq earlier in the summer and for which he is most grateful.

Can’t say my singing caused any dollars to drop into Tariq’s guitar case, but I could say that money was not taken out of the case. Then again it was too cold for anyone to stand around and appreciate Tariq’s playing or my warbling. I made it home safe and sound and sweaty. That’s a problem with me lately. I sweat a lot. By the time I get to where I am going I am usually wearing a t-shirt drenched in sweat and for that I try to have an extra under shirt to change into if I get the chance, and a bag to carry the sweaty under shirt.

Not much happening at home, just watching the TV or at least having it on for background noise. I picked up a few movies, for Bill’s viewing mainly. I picked up The Music Never Stopped, which Bill and I discussed a few weeks ago about how music can get through to people who have had some sort of brain injury or brain attack. I had picked that up from the bibliothèque before and also picked up a DVD I requested, Prick Up Your Ears, a movie that I saw with Steve Saporito back in the days when I carried a torch for Steve Saporito.

It’s about Joe Orton and his boyfriend Kenneth Halliwell. I knew it was directed by Stephen Frears but didn’t know it was written by Alan Bennett who also wrote The History Boys and The Madness of George III (which had to be called The Madness of King George in the US since audiences might wonder if this was the third part and wondered if there was a Part I & II). I watched a bit of The History Boys on cable yesterday, remembering how much fun it is, how clever and ultimately bittersweet it ends.

Tonight Bill is driving once again to Atlantic City. He didn’t quite make it last night with his bus breaking down on the Garden State Parkway, the passengers transferred to another bus. Bill of course had to stay with his broken bus and wound up back in Wally World. Tonight, another broken down bus. This time it was before the parkway and on the cold, wet streets of Bergen County. I’ll be receiving updates throughout the night so I won’t worry too much. Still some worrying will be involved.

No posting tomorrow on Sunday and once again with New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day I might not post until Wednesday, but we’ll see about that.

So Happy New Year! 2013 should be an improvement I hope!

Tariq on the street busking, 32° weather, 8:30PM

Tariq on the street busking, 32° weather, 8:30PM

Rusty box o'tools

Rusty box o’tools

That moon

That moon

♫ If I was a sculptor, but then again- NO! ♪

♫ If I was a sculptor, but then again- NO! ♪

Rolling Stones – Happy

I Saw The Light- Hank Williams

Well Samuel Beckett won last night’s battle, taking down Dorothy Parker in 2 out of 3 steel death cage matches. Poor Dorothy did not see it coming. And it’s onto the next round if only someone could come up with a formidable opponent. I’m drawing a blank here (possible opponent) but Laurence Sterne just popped into my head waving around a dog eared copy of Tristam Shandy. And now I am giggling at a post on Facebook regarding a bloke who is having difficulty removing his too tight Prince Albert. He must be desperate if his posting on the Facebook.

No I don’t have one and no I’ve never had any contact with one and yes I think they’re incredibly stupid. I also think tattoos are incredibly stupid and generally ugly and when I am looking at pictures of men online, tattoos ruin the image for me. Hey anyone could do whatever it is with their body, but I don’t have to like it. My former roommate Kevin did the smart thing and designed his own tattoo. But overall it’s a waste of time. I did come thisclose to getting one about 13 years ago with Pedro but I chickened out much to his dismay.

Today I was at both the bibliothèque and the cigar shop. Bibliothèque was in and out though I did move things to their proper shelf as I was looking for something. The cigar shop, well Shlomo is not in very good shape, borderline diabetic who doesn’t eat and winds up passed out on the floor of a Quick Chek in Elizabeth NJ, waking up in an emergency room. An urgent rushed text from Israel who begged me to go in which I did out of the kindness of my heart and my love of cigars.

Of course there was not a whole lot of information and of course people were calling up for Shlomo and of course I had little or no information to give out. It was slow slow slow in the cigar shop. No smoking allowed which meant that someone was smoking in the shop the night before since there was a cigar butt in the ashtray. I don’t know how much longer this will go on. I do try to advise them on what to do, but my words they go unheard. When I was there before the holiday I was able to talk Shlomo out of ordering any more crap Davidoff cigars.

And he didn’t order them which was good but then again he turned around and ordered different crap, cigars with what looks like a child soldier in Angola on the box. Who wants that? No one I knew heard of the cigar which leads us to believe that Shlomo got the cigars since he thought the box was cool. Too little too late a customer said and I had to agree with him. The holiday rush was over and there is no need to order more. Unfortunately Shlomo didn’t get the memo.

I Met Him On A Sunday (Ronde Ronde)

Well it’s been an interesting 24 hours I think. Last night I wound up DJ’ing at local tavern Louise and Jerry’s for about 4 hours. It went fast. It was a reggae thing in celebration of Jamaica’s independence 50 years ago. That enabled me to go back to my reggae roots in the 1990s and get down to it. Rand joined me and we ‘spun’ records with the bartender Brian. Of course I wasn’t there, it was all done via the internet. My choices as well as Rand’s were queued up with Brian and it was all playing live at the tavern.

Bill enjoyed it but went to bed really early due to exhaustion. I picked tracks from around 6:30 until 11:00. Both Rand & I quit at the same time, which means we might have left Brian high and dry. I did hear the Easy Star All Stars version of With a Little Help from my Friends and Radiohead’s Karma Police which was a real treat. So much of a treat that I snagged both the Sgt. Pepper and Radiohead dub versions. Very cool I think. At 11:00 came the news and of course it was mainly all bad.

I slept fairly well, under a sheet with the air conditioner on. Bill was out cold of course by the time I joined him in bed and I had to make sure he was alive since his skin felt a bit cold. But he lives and I was greatly relieved. Once again he kissed me goodbye in the morning, leaving me with a smile on my lips and words of encouragement in my ears. I of course was grouchy. I made up for it hopefully by getting Bill his unsweetened Almond soy milk which isn’t cheap by the way. Plus Bill knows I am not a morning person.

The Airwalks I bought a while ago have finally bitten the dust. At least I could feel the dust through the hole in my sneakers. I guess I wear them often enough and they served me well. The only place that sells Airwalks these days is Payless and luckily there is a store in the Newport Mall about a mile or so away. I was going to go yesterday but decided not to, so it had to be today. I walked over to the mall around 11:00 this morning after sending out the resumes once again.

I listened to the Easy Star All Stars on the iPod and picked up a few cigars at Hoboken Cigars by the Path train. It was a lovely morning as I walked and inside the mall it was not crowded at all. I was the only customer in Payless and picked out my new Airwalks and after I bought them, I put them on, throwing out the older pair in the garbage bin. They served me well. Some window shopping before heading back to Hoboken on a lovely afternoon.

I came home and had some lunch before heading out for some busking. I walked over to the promenade and saw Tariq with another dude. Tariq’s guitar was in his gig bag and I set up next to the other dude’s bicycle. Tariq is fond of playing songs that all the other buskers play, I am not. He’ll see a kid in a stroller and play for them Guns and Roses, Sweet Child of Mine. I play Roadrunner by the Modern Lovers.

Some toddlers made their way and I dutifully played for them. They were soon on their way and I decided to pack up my stuff and move to a location where I could be alone. I didn’t want to infringe on Tariq’s space since he was there. And some of Tariq’s friends came by with a guitar and a conga and a fifth of vodka which was passed around.

I declined and started to make my way. Tariq and the others said I didn’t have to go but I lied and said I needed to practice. The guy with the vodka said there’s no rule that says I had to move to practice, and I said I know and I don’t play by the rules anyhow and headed farther away. I don’t think it went over well but why would I care what a bunch of drunks think?

I walked away from Pier A to Pier C and found it sufficient enough to play there. And I made some money while playing so I was happy. It is a nice thing to make a couple of bucks and seeing people enjoying my playing. I think my time spent with Tariq is dwindling. I don’t like the crowd he hangs out with. I certainly enjoyed my playing and I think I will spend more time at my new spot rather than the spot where the other buskers usually play. Perhaps I will play on Washington Street eventually.


02. With A Little Help From My Friends

I Love New York

Yes having the air conditioner working at night while Bill and I sleep makes a difference. It was cool enough that we didn’t sweat. That’s about it. It wasn’t cold, it was just right. Bill was fast asleep once more as I got into bed. And soon I too was fats asleep. It’s a good thing having the AC going, but on the other hand with the windows closed I won’t be hearing my mockingbird friend singing me to sleep with its birdsongs. Tomorrow is supposed to be the highpoint of this heat wave we’re sweating through and after that it is supposed to cool down so maybe the windows will be open once more if that happens.

Today was busy once again. No feeding of the cats since Lois & Fred returned from their sojourn. Some running around Hoboken was in place. I stopped by Hoboken Daily News where my friend Andy told me that it was true, Delite Market is going full scale liquor store and maybe be expanding into the Subway sandwich shop next door. That would be distressing for Bill since he eats Subway food a lot and has been putting the guys in the shops children through school.

A few years ago, Julio’s wife Stine gave Bill and I some curtains for our four room rail road apartment. There is a door that separates the apartment leaving two compartments on each side of the door. The bedroom is on the street and for the longest time the air conditioner would do its best to cool off two rooms even though it’s a small air conditioner unit best suited for one room. So I decided to finally after all these years to get that curtain up. No it’s not an iron curtain thankfully. It’s not even a Jane Curtain.

I knew I would need a drill and I asked Julio if he had one I could borrow. I also asked him last year if I could borrow one but he seemed to blow me off. This year I asked and felt my chances would be better for some reason. I texted him and he was working but answered that he could lend me one. He seemed skeptical since he knows that I am absolutely inept at doing things like that. If there are tools involved it is usually for the best that I am not around.

I was always the gopher when helping out my father around the house growing up, my father being the king of unfinished projects. He had the regal title for a number of years when I was growing up when there was no electricity on the second floor of our Cape Cod styled house. Any electricity was supplied via extension cords snaking up the stairs to where me and my brothers Frank and Brian slept. The thought of it being a fire hazard never entered his mind. Finally after thirty years he finally got a friend to hook up the second floor.

By then both Frank and Brian married their wives and moved out of the house and I would soon be out of there a year or so later. As I was sweating and trying to figure out what to do, it became a comedy of errors. All I had was a ladder from the hallway and an estimation on where to screw in the screws. Things were dropped and nearly lost but I persevered. An hour later I was done. Of course if Julio did it, it would be done in about twenty minutes with no blood spilled. I certainly hope it cools off the room, I will find out tonight. Tomorrow promises to be an interesting day which you might read about then.


Free Man In Paris

I Like- Keri Hilson

It’s been an interesting day, though certainly not as interesting as yesterday. Today was comparatively stress free. I was able to sleep in which was nice. I did have an appointment this morning and I am pretty sure it went well. I woke up and started my day in a similar way to the previous days. A shower, a shave, some coffee and some cereal. I had a nice suit all set to go, fresh from the dry cleaners so it didn’t smell like cigar smoke.

The appointment was in the early afternoon and I am glad I was able to move it. It was originally in the morning and I did make arrangements with the powers that be at the cigar shack, but now that I am no longer in the employ of the cigar shack I was able to move the appointment to later in the day. I headed out into a nice clear morning around the usual time and decided to take the bus to the Path rain rather than walking.

It was quite muggy out and to my surprise (as well as hers) I ran into downstairs neighbor Deborah once again and she too was taking the bus downtown instead of uptown. We had a nice talk about the past 24 hours. She couldn’t understand the reason why I was dismissed, not that I had any ‘real’ reason. They told me I was no longer employed since this here blog reflects poorly on the image of the cigar shack and all that they aspire to be. They asked for and I gave them my keys. That was it and I was out.

Funny how in this day and age how fast word gets around on the internets. Former co-workers and customers all chimed in with words of support and encouragement so that was heartening. I guess it was mainly via Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter that word got out. Some customers even sent me copies of things they sent to the headquarters regarding how they thought management was at the cigar shack. It shouldn’t have been a surprise on their take regarding Zack and Bradley, but it was.

I was tempted to post their ‘thing’ here but it wasn’t my story. I did have a feeling regarding what was going to happen after I got the email sent to me and a carbon copy sent to Bradley to check the cigar shack email. I did have the foresight to exchange email addresses with some customers who have been reading this here blog for a while and it gave me the opportunity to say good bye. A lot of responses came almost immediately with talk of meeting up for a drink and a cigar somewhere down the line.

And it was just former co-workers and customers that I heard from today. I heard from Zack who quite formally (in legalese) requested the password for the blog that I was writing on behalf of the cigar shack. I tried to delete my admin powers and install Zack as the admin, but it couldn’t be done so I deleted the whole thing. It does not exist anymore, anywhere.

That’s fine with me. Zack was right when he also wrote in the email that he sent to Bradley and myself that the cigar shack blog was not as witty as this here blog. It was hack writing overall. I filled a void with the simplest words and terms and also promoted their events. It was done via Blogger through Google and incredibly easy to set up, so they should have no problem starting it up again in whatever manner and format they choose. It’s not like trying to learn an Excel program, it is a lot easier.

I just want my last paycheck, my commission check and a definite reason as to why I was dismissed. Very simple and after that I am gone from their lives and vice versa. I’m not looking for a fight, I’m ready to move on and put it all behind me.

Outside Langone Medical Center

I did get a chance to see the Hoboken Memorial Day Parade which I would have missed...

Moby Grape – Moby Grape – 06 – Omaha

I Know

Delta 5 are playing Mind Your Own Business right now. One of those post punk bands from the UK, playing agit pop, noble attempts at funk but not quite getting there, but in so doing created something fun and totally different.

Yeah, I am at the cigar shack once again, doing whatever it is that I do. I decided that my socialist technique of doing things and letting my co-workers get the sales was not helping me out at all, and you know my co-workers weren’t doing the same for me. So yeah, I guess today was my first day of being a shark again.

And it has paid off considerably, but then again one has to take into account that it is the luck of the draw. I don’t have the luxury that Bradley has with the cigar lounge calling and specifically asking for him and therefore getting a triple digit or quadruple digit sale. But I did have the chance to sell a thousdand dollar lighter to someone who didn’t like his father smoking, so of course the thing to do is to buy the old man (56 years old by the way) a lighter.

It’s quite similar to someone like Julio who would travel and say ‘I think you should quit smoking, so I got you an ashtray.’ Of course I accepted the ashtray and flicked my cigarette or whatver into it. Today was spent with Jerry Vale and Bradley and where most of the day I was sullen since my numbers weren’t quite up to snuff, I am feeling much better now and now Jerry Vale is feeling sullen.

And now the Records are playing Starry Eyes, an old power pop favorite from the days of WPIX FM. Jerry Vale is vacuuming now so the Records are drowned out by the hoover. Cheap Trick is playing Surrender and I am more than willing to surrender.

Once again it’s a Saturday night, the cigar shack area is quiet once again, a few stragglers in winter coats and scarves walk by. That means it’s cold out. It was cold and sunny this morning as I waited for the bus this morning, warming up when talking to Annemarie on the phone (but that might be because she is such a warm person) and now it’s dropping. Oh climate change, you keep us guessing and throw anything resembeling fashion sense right out the slightly open window.

So instead of me claning things up, it fell to Jerry Vale since I used to insist on doing it myself and when my co-workers wouldn’t lift a finger to help but just rang up sales, I complained to Jerry Vale and he mentioned that I always insisted. So today it fell to him. To tell the truth as good a job that he did, I do a much better job at it.

Now the Imates are singing Dirty Water, a remake of the Standells Dirty Water, moving the River Charles to the River Thames. A little more than a half our to go for me. Just want out.

the man I love, seeing me off

two Israelites preaching hate..

09 Venus as a Boy

I Just Call You Mine

It’s Good Friday but for me it’s been mediocre. A lot of people have had off today, the jobs that I used to have, all had the day off. If the stock market was closed then so were we. But I am not there anymore and some of the companies aren’t around anymore and beleive it or not I am trying not to live in the past

It isn’t easy though. At the cigar shack a good number of our clientele work in the financial world, and they weren’t in. Some of the regulars were in, including a loud mouth know it all who is all of 20 years old, goes to the nearby college and has opinions on everything under the sun. He is so disliked this kid, that most of the regulars leave within minutes of the kid’s arrival on the scene.

I don’t like the kid either obviously, after sitting in the man cave with him and his sycophants and listening to them bad mouth the cigar shack. I kept my mouth shut as he trashed the place and kept a note that this kid was rotten.

On a more pleasant note, I ran into Amy Allison as I was headed back to the cigar shack after lunch. I hadn’t seen her since the night Farfetched closed. That would make it January 2009. We both chatted and caught up as much as we could in a short time. We both miss Farfetched a lot, but we were sure we don’t miss it as much as Susan and Lois miss it.

So it being a holiday weekend, the area around the cigar shack has quieted down quite a bit. Not much going on. Perhaps it’s because of the Easter season, maybe because it’s from Passover. I often wondered if modern day Israelites smeared lamb’s blood on their doorway. I’ve never seen it myself, but figured if you’re going to follow the story you should follow it all the way. After all, who wouldn’t want a then hunky, now dead John Derek as Joshuapissing off Edward G. Robinson?

I used to anticipate the sky turning black and opening up at 3 PM, the hour that I was taught that Jesus died. It never did happen, but man how I wished it would. I needed some proof to the stories I was brought up believing. It never happened and at 3:15 I more than likely moved onto something else, waiting for the final installment of The Robe, or King of Kings during Holy Week at the 4:30 Movie on ABC TV.

A little over a half hour left in the night at the cigar shack. I am on Saturday and Sunday which shouldn’t be so bad. Not expecting much. No Robert Hall for suburban moms taking their kids to buy new suits for Easter. Another ritual from my past that I hated. I never really cared much for Easter. My least favorite holiday growing up and I never liked ham either which my mother used to make for the holiday.

Now I am home, enjoyed a walk under a full moon. Bill is driving to Atlantic City. he didn’t have a good day either and I hope he’s OK. I’m sure he is, still- I worry.

06 We All Fall In Love Sometimes

I Heard It Through The Grapevine Creedence Clearwater Revival

A happy St. Patrick’s Day to all. It’s a Saturday this year and the weather was most cooperative. I’ve been through St. Patrick’s Day in the cold, in the rain, but today was very agreeable. Not pleasant enough to motivate me to head into the city to see the parade. Those days are long gone. No more hoping on a NJ Transit bus with my brother Brian, or with Paul Hanley who I went to high school with for two years.

No, today was spent in Hoboken. I slept enough and woke up, made some coffee and showered. Bill came home a little after that, Kelly green tam-o-shanter and an Ireland scarf with one of my green ties. He looked so cute and so tired. Almost immediately Bill was in bed, sleep apnea mask in place and sleeping soundly, as soon as his head hits the pillow.

I did some laundry and posted a slew of Irish musicians on YouTube to my Facebook page. Boomtown Rats, Rory Gallagher, Thin Lizzy, the Undertones, the Pogues, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, stuff like that. The Kate & Anna McGarrigle was also for my sister who had gone to Mendocino last weekend.

I also posted John & Yoko singing the Luck of the Irish on the Mike Douglas Show and Macca’s Give Ireland Back to the Irish. I don’t think George or Ringo had any Irish/Ireland themed songs. And I threw in Public Image Limited, Rise. The line May the Road Rise with You is the chorus lifted from an old Irish blessing which we have here hanging on the wall of our apartment.

Bill slept and after the laundry died I was out and about. A trip to the dry cleaners and then the bibliothèque where I picked up a book of Kurt Vonnegut from American Classics. I never read Kurt Vonnegut before but I had seen him enough times when I used to drive for HBJ and he was living on 48th Street.

And he was also one of the speakers at the Evening of American Satire that Bill and I attended in 2005 at the Society for Ethical Culture. He is the reason I eschew semi-colons. And it was soon after that evening that I decided to start this hear blog. So perhaps blame could be laid at the feet of Kurt Vonnegut. Or Art Buchwald, Barry Crimmins, Paul Krassner or the more than likely culprit from that satirical rogues gallery, Lewis Lapham.

While walking around Hoboken I did run into my friend Lois who was returning from the veterinarian with her cat. She looked great with her new pair of glasses which are similar to mine. She has some socks for me from a job she worked on and we made plans to meet up for a pint at Maxwells later on.

She mentioned that Maxwells was hosting a Shamrock & Roll karaoke in the back room, which is free and seemed most interested in going to that. That wasn’t in my plans but after a pint or two who knows?

♫ when Puerto Rican eyes are smiling ♪

07 Nothing Happened Today

I Got You Train

A Saturday at the cigar shack and it’s been alright. Working with Bradley and Jerry Vale today and it’s been interesting to say the least. Bradley accidentally took a sale from me when I was out yesterday. A sale that I set up on Thursday, ready to go. Bradley did the right thing and gave me most of the sales to make up for the $600.00 differential.

And then on top of that I had another big sale and I also sold an item that I have been trying to sell for the past couple of weeks. Funny the people who obviously have money hemmed and hawed and always said they would think about it. The guy who doesn’t look like he has much is the one who bought it.

A sweet deal, a nice lighter and an very stylish cutter all packaged in a traveling humidor. All together the items would total about $450.00. I sold it at half price to a nice guy who saw me at the Path train last month. He saw me and waved and I had no idea who he was. I mean, I see a lot of people all week and everyone blends into a blob of DNA eventually.

He was nice and understood that evening that I was toast and couldn’t even recognize myself much less a guy who comes into the cigar shack once a month. But apparently I made a good impression on him so that was nice. And he’s quite a handsome dude so it’s odd that I wouldn’t recognize him. Now of course I recognize him ass crack that showed when he bent over.

So tomorrow is the big day, Super Bowl Sunday. The NY Giants vs the New England Patriots I think. Guys are every excited, women are very excited and I will be working the event. It shouldn’t be too taxing, in fact the main drawback is the fact that I will be getting home a lot later than usual, but I have been granted permission to take a car service home so I might just do that and start the arduous process of being reimbursed on Monday.

I already told assistant manager Bradley that I might be late on Monday morning, depending on how late the cigar shack closes after the Super Bowl. He was antagonistic of course, as if he could be any other way.

Bill drove to Atlantic City last night and expected to drive again tonight but they decided to give the job to a full timer which he understands and has no problem with. I am happy since he will be home when I come home. So I suppose we will stay up and watch Saturday Night Live together which is nice. I’m not too hungry at the moment but after I write this mess, I think I will have a banana. Good for energy, good to fight the blues.

And Harpy made an all too brief appearance at the cigar shack en route to the opera. And I forgot the banana.

11 – Since I Fell for You

I Forgive You

Well it’s certainly been a long day. Zack and Bradley are hootin’ and hollerin’ in the office, I am manning the front of the store, Who knows what is so funny? Not my concern. I just want to go home. Day one of four eleven hour days. Tomorrow it will be Zack and Thomas.

Last night was definitely a lot of fun. I made it into Manhattan to Bill’s office holiday party. Nice people, good food and a few Amstels for me thank you very much. The combo, Smooth N’ Fusion did an excellent job and I shot video for every song they did. I haven’t had much of a chance to upload them to YouTube but I will soon enough, when I have the time.

Just now an elderly Eastern European woman came in after having a problem with a local pricey supermarket. Covering her mouth as she spoke I could barely figure out what was being said through her thick accent.

I recommended she talk to an auxiliary police officer in the area and she said they weren’t around, so I poked my head in the office where Zack and Bradley are laughing at spread sheets and told them I was escorting her to the auxiliary cop who was as usual quite nearby..

They barely noticed as I walked out, so engrossed in Excel. SO back to the party, food and drinks and excellent songs performed by Bill and company, starting with I Wish by Stevie Wonder with a charming gaffe on Bill’s part.

Bill had also rented a Zip Car to take some equipment back to where he stage managed last month and then we drove Kirk the flautist and a woman from the cultural center up to the Bronx. I hadn’t been to the Bronx in years and driving up the Grand Concourse was a trip in itself. Not as run down or burnt out as I heard or previously seen, some truly grand buildings with holiday lights.

I know it looks different during the day but last night the Grand Concourse was looking magical. After dropping off our passengers it was a trip to figure out how to get back and my GPS on the smartphone was near dead but still we figured if we get wet, we would be in the Harlem River and more than likely had gone too far.

But that didn’t happen as we drove on the Martha part of the George Washington Bridge. Bill had a great laugh when I suggested we take the Martha, having never heard that before whereas I thought that is what everyone called the lower level of the bridge. Home later than expected but with not a care in the world, just driving around with my beloved spouse after seeing him play his keyboards and swinging and singing and getting merry like Christmas made for a wonderful evening.

Now I just want to get home, 25 minutes left. Zack not in any rush to get home to his expectant wife and daughter and Bradley just being Bradley with no particular place to go. I made haste and got out of there as Bradley farted around trying to figure out what a boy from North Carolina could do in midtown Manhattan. I was all set to go when he asked me to wait up and wait up is what I did just so he could skip away, perhaps into the headlines of the New York Post.

As I rode the bus, Julio texted me, Stine and Alexander are in Denmark and he was looking to go out for a pint. If I had a normal Monday through Friday job it would be no problem, but since tomorrow will be day two out of four eleven hour shift days, it’s not going to happen.

Welcome to the future.

22 – Ode to Billie Joe

I Feel Better

This morning I saw Donald Faison (Turk from Scrubs) and Wayne Knight (Newman!) walking together and the guy who played Carmela’s father on the Sopranos as well as Kelly the woman who maintained the flora when I worked at Staffmark.

I got a big kick after seeing Kelly. We cross paths intermittently in Manhattan throughout the years. She looked good, had some dental work done. She’s a sweetheart. She always pops up when and where she is least expected. It was a very long day for me at the cigar shack, 11 hours.

It was rough but bearable. Zack was in and he opened with Jerry Vale. I was in next at 11:30 followed by Thomas coming in at 12:30. Zack and Jerry Vale were in good spirits, Thomas and I- not so much. I was not into working the very long shift but there I was rolling up my sleeves.

It was quite a busy day at the cigar shack, I sold a few expensive pens as well as a humidor and Thomas did the same but despite all that neither of us could catch up with Zack and Jerry Vale, which could account for the very good moods they were in.

The man cave was occupied most of the day, including a certain subset that was there from opening until a half an hour before the man cave was closed. Then the subset went across town to yet another cigar shack. It was enough for Zack to call them sad.

Bill of course was great throughout the day. Always supportive, he is a fantastic spouse. A few phone calls filled with laughter and love filled the lines as the day progressed. Now he sits behind me with his headphones on trying to figure out a horn part from Stevie Wonder’s ‘I Wish’ which he and Tom and Kirk and a bass player (hopefully) will be playing at Bill’s company holiday party.

I love writing ‘holiday party’, it’s so much more inclusive rather than drab old ‘Christmas party’ which is so old hat. At the end of the day at the cigar shack I apologized to Thomas for being a pain in the ass and he responded by apologizing for being such a bitch. It’s nice that we can make amends before the day ends. He’s a good man that Thomas.

Thomas closed the cigar shack and I made my way to the subway where a train pulled up within a minute of my arrival. Crediting that to some karmic retribution I rode to the bus terminal and climbed four flights of stairs. Upon getting to the upper level I saw a very long line which did not seem promising.

I saw my old friend Lois on line and gave her a kiss as I passed. She was awfully kind telling me I looked beautiful which was a nice way to end the work day. I did not cut in line and took my place at the end of the line. Soon I saw Denise Foster, another sweetheart from my past. I said hello to her and she stood next to me as the line started moving.

I was surprised that there was enough room for me and Denise and let Denise sit down near Lois where I introduced them to each other. Lois started to stand up to let me sit, but I wouldn’t have it. Besides being an artist I am also a gentleman.

I stood in the well of the rear exit and each time the bus stopped I had to get off and let people disembark. Soon I started acting like a stewardess, thanking them for riding New Jersey Transit and saying ‘buh bye’.

That got a few laughs from Lois, Denise and some of the other passengers. A nice end to a hectic day.


02 Come Down In Time

Rest in peace, George ‘Jet’ Watley, Alphonso Portillo, John Iserra and others who have fallen.

I Don’t Want To Change The World

Well today has been somewhat productive and even better, sociable. Having off today afforded me some more relaxation time. That’s what I’d call it since I basically woke up at the same time as when I have to go to work. So I got out of bed and made some coffee. A trip to the supermarket was once again in order since after this pot of coffee there was no more coffee to be had.

So after a couple of cups I headed out, with the shopping bag filled with shirts and trousers to be cleaned. I walked by Mr. L’s, my barber and did not see anyone in Tony’s chair. Once I stepped in I saw that Tony wasn’t their either. His son Nick told me that Tony was at the market getting milk for the coffee. I set down the canvas bag and told Nick I would be right back, and went out to vote.

The precinct is only a few doors down and I was in and out in less than five minutes. When I got back to Mr. L’s, Tony was back and waiting for me, even though by this time there were two other guys waiting for a haircut. Maybe they were waiting for Nick and didn’t care much for Tony’s methods, but in any event I walked over to Tony, shook his hand and sat in his chair.

He asked how the cigar business was, telling me that he had gone to a wedding with his wife and at the reception there was a man rolling cigars. I like Tony’s work, he goes so far as to trim nose hair, eye brows and ear hair, and takes extraordinary measures to get as much white hair out of my goatee, so I don’t wind up barba blanca.

Then it was off to Cary’s Dry Cleaners where I dropped off my shirts as well as Bill’s stuff. Then a trip to the supermarket which was not very crowded but I felt like either I was stalking or being stalked. I would go to an aisle and there would be the same woman each and everytime, eyeballing me.

Perhaps I was being cruised but as usual I had no clue. Came home and texted with Mike Cecchini who lives up the block. I saw him on Sunday at Maxwells and told him then I had a few CD’s from Mojo and Uncut to lend him. He was coming over as I started the laundry so I gather 33 CD’s and put them in a bag and walked them down to the street.

The apartment was a bit of a mess to have him come up and it was a beautiful day outside anyhow. I never even opened some of the CD’s and told him he could hang onto them for as long as he’d like. I did upload some of them but the majority of them have been unheard by me, and it’s mainly since I was not so interested in the genre, be it Heavy Metal or the dreaded Americana. Metal I am almost always ambivalent about and Americana is best served in small doses.

I was out and about in the afternoon and enjoying a cigar as I walked up Washington Street I ran into the always wonderful Thaler Pekar, a very smart and brilliant woman. And despite her saying that she was feeling so tired, she looked great. Her husband Tom is a lucky guy and I’m sure he knows it. He’s a nice guy too. Maxwells people keep popping up.

She was off to the Farmer’s Market which I believe is it’s last day today for the year and I was heading back home. So that’s about it, been a nice day, saw friends, did laundry and now Bill is home too so it’s all good.

Rest in Peace Joe Frazier and Heavy D.

Bobbi Martin – For the Love of Him – 1970

I Don’t Love You Conway Twitty

A day off and despite the prediction of rain, it did not happen. It was a nice October day, a little cool but comfortable in the sun. I woke up at my usual time and puttered about the apartment starting up my day without the pressure of having to get ready for work.

A trip to the supermarket was in order and a stop at the dry cleaners to drop off some of Bill’s shirts as well as my shirts and a suit which needed cleaning. The supermarket was full of the little old ladies doing their shopping and me. I bought my items on got on line where my favorite cashier, the mighty Isis was working.

She was in an accident a few months ago and is constantly in pain. Still she persevered and was looking forward to getting off of work around noon which was only a few hours away. I walked home and had a nice breakfast.

I have to return the Bob Mould autobiography, See A Little Light, tomorrow so I resolved to go through it as much as possible today. More names from my past (and Bob Mould’s past as well) kept appearing. I remember being friends with his boyfriend at the time Kevin O’Neill when they lived down the street from Maxwells.

Specifically I remember going to their apartment with Kevin where he played the then latest CD from Ultra Vivid Scene. That must have been 1989, when Bob and Kevin first started going out. The book is a good read, definitely a good look into the indie scene in the 1980’s, being in a successful band and dealing with the drugs, the booze and the fame.

I liked Husker Du, but overall preferred the Minutemen. Another three piece band from San Pedro, CA. The Minutemen where so much better live, a great band and a bit funky rather than the sheets of noise from the boys Minneapolis. And my favorite Husker Du song happens to be a cover song. I had angst but I was nowhere near as angsty as what Bob Mould and Grant Hart were singing about.

But it was fun to turn the page and read this about John Bruce, or that about Sandra Lee Phipps. The mention of staying in Arcata raised an eyebrow…

I am almost done with the book and I have to confess I skimmed over the years when he was working in professional wrestling. Not very much interested in that part, nor did I want to read about Bob juicing.

Bob is happy now, has a partner and content to DJ every couple of months around the country with Rich Morel, running Blow Off for the bears into club music. It’s funny that there is a picture in the book of Bob DJ’ing at the Highline Ballroom in 2009.

That could have been the night that Juan, Bill and I went for a night of dancing and clubbing and I wound up lasting about 15 minutes before realizing that dancing and clubbing simply was not my thing. It’s Juan’s thing and that’s alright. I don’t begrudge anyone a good time but as I have been saying for years I prefer to DJ and maybe get people dancing rather than dancing myself.

And like I told my old Maxwells friend Ally last night, I don’t have a social life anymore. What with work and the cost of going out, I’m usually too tired to go out and have a good time. I am more than content to spend my time just with Bill and anyone who cares to come over. But going out? No, I’ve done enough of that. If I’m not feeling the music then I would rather not be there at all.

I also bought an artwork from a former boyfriend of Bob Mould’s in the 1980’s. I gave it to my brother and his wife, what I thought was an investment. They still have it, a colored pencil drawing of a rocket ship about to hit the Earth. I think his name was Mike Covington.

Tu sabe?

October 17, 2011

I Don’t Know How To Love Him

Well today has been a day off. And an out of the ordinary day, though certainly not extraordinary. I went to bed later than I hoped. After going to bed at a decent time the night before, my good intention fell by the wayside. I slept soundly and as I slept Bill kissed me goodbye around 6:30.

I stayed in bed until about 8:15, then got out and got myself ready for the day. I had an appointment last week to meet with Misha, an associate or possibly Joe Monaco’s supervisor. I decided to visit Occupy Wall Street last Friday, and Misha rescheduled the meeting to today, this morning at 10:30AM.

Not an ungodly hour but still an hour I would rather have been pushed back until later in the day. I had the idea of taking the light rail over to the meeting in Jersey City and walking back to Hoboken. I was not expecting much of anything at all.

I had visited Joe Monaco’s office in 2009 almost 2 years to the day and this time I had the advantage of having a good idea on where the office was. Last time I wasn’t sure and had a panicked call to Bill to find out the exact location.

This time I had the smartphone and was able to pinpoint it exactly, though they hadn’t moved and the building was still there. I made it to the office about 15 minutes early, filled out an application and added some more info and detracted some info from the paperwork from 2 years ago.

I started to read Bob Mould’s autobiography as I waited in the reception area but not too much since I was told to go into a side office to wait for Joe Monaco. A few minutes later in comes Joe Monaco. I forgot what he looked like but did remember that he was cute.

We sat and chatted for about 10 minutes, me explaining that I am basically looking for a Monday to Friday job, that I’d even settle for janitorial work. The retail experience has been humbling enough and after dealing with the wanker last night I would rather deal with trash instead of trash masquerading as people.

I headed out after the meeting, Joe Monaco telling me he would get back to me should something pop up. I was not holding my breath as I exited. Outside it was a nice enough day and I changed my mind, instead of walking back to Hoboken I took the light rail back.

A 10 minute ride instead of an hour long walk proved to be the right idea and I was back in my apartment by 11:30. Finally was able to have the type of breakfast I like to have on my day off and I ate and read the paper. I changed out of my suit and made the usual errands and talked with Bill on the phone.

A whole lot of nothing going on for me today but I was OK with that.

Happy birthday Rand! And thanks for updating and fixing the no pix bug!

I Can’t Stand It

Another decent day at the cigar shack. Does this mean tomorrow won’t be? I can’t say. It’s been fun working with Thomas once again. We bust each other’s chops all day long. Tomorrow Bradley will be in the mix therefore changing whatever chemistry exists between Thomas and myself. Maybe. It’s all speculation.

It’s been a long day nonetheless. I slept really well last night and have been getting up earlier than I had been. Slept too late earlier in the week and had to rush around, which I would rather not do. 15 minutes makes all the difference. Thomas has headed home for the day, after getting his craft beer.

Now it’s me and Jerry Vale doing his Maria Eftimiades imitation. Actually he isn’t. I just wanted to throw her name in the mix since it popped into my head the other day. She was an editor at People magazine when I worked there in the late 1990’s. She playfully smacked me on the arm when she overheard me talking to Pedro on the phone, talking about chicks.

She was shocked to hear that. She is probably in deep shock now that the word chicks is being used everywhere, even by women. When she playfully smacked me, I told her to consider the alternatives. No harm was intended by the use of the word and of course, no chicks were harmed in the writing of such a line.

It’s a summer evening on a Friday, the area of the cigar shack is quiet now. Not much foot traffic. Not much of anything actually. One hour to go for me, then I’ll go home, sleep for a few hours and then come back for some more. It’s OK. It’s a job, not an adventure.

Jimmy Seltzer graciously invited me and Bill out to the Hamptons. It doesn’t seem likely with our schedules being all over the place. I told that to Jimmy and he said it would be fine if I went out there by myself on a weekday.Mr & Mrs Seltzer wouldn’t be there and I could have the place to myself. That is an extremely gracious offer from Jimmy Seltzer and I would love to take him up on it. I’ve never been out to the Hamptons anyhow.

Less than an hour to go now. I might as well do something rather than stare at the few stragglers passing by the cigar shack. And now I’m home again, back on the mainland. It was a fast hour at the shop, Jerry Vale regaling me with stories about seeing Led Zeppelin in Chicago in the 1970’s. He’s only 7 years older than I am and seems much older.

He’s trying to keep his head above water while working part time in the cigar shack. He doesn’t know how to deal with Thomas and myself and since Bradley acts like he’s the boss, Jerry Vale falls in line with whatever it is Bradley has to say.

I am just glad to be home. One more day until a day off. Hooray for me.

I Been to Georgia on a Fast Train

Two days off from work, one day back and once again I cannot stand people. I can’t say I fear for the future since we’re already doomed. Luckily there is plenty of blame to go around, more than enough so I don’t have to write about it here. I don’t have to write about people that are so involved with whatever mechanisms are in their hand they don’t know how to respond to an ‘excuse me’ as you try to pass them on an escalator.

It was certainly a strange day today. Temperatures in the 80° range and it’s not even the unofficial start of summer yet. I was early enough to see Thomas walk right past me, all slick in a dark suit and wearing killer shades.

I walked into the cigar shack just a minute after he did. He asked if he could close tonight, which eventually means I will close tomorrow. No big deal. Six in one, a half dozen in the other if you ask me. Alvin was flitting about, seemingly stressed. He made a remark about how I had such a nice day off yesterday and he sounded resentful.

Some big wigs were expected to be in the shack today. One showed up about 30 minutes after I got in, a nice guy who made a bee line to Calvin. He also blessed Thomas and myself with some free cigars so that was nice. The afternoon progressed as expected, a few customers coming in and out.

Since today was Miles Davis birthday, Calvin insisted on playing nothing but Miles Davis today. Ho hum. The afternoon crawled quite a bit thanks to the jazz. Calvin had an appointment so that meant he was going to have to leave early, like around 4:00.

At about 3:55, more big wigs arrived, about 5 of them altogether, examining the computers. Not that they were in a hurry to replace the Soviet garage sale computers the cigar shack uses, from what someone told me, they were probably making sure that Marcus doesn’t steal files or customers from the cigar shack, moving them to a cigar hut a few blocks south.

The someone who told me, mentioned that Marcus probably did that already, a little each day. Whether or not that is true, I couldn’t tell you. The truth is Marcus will be gone from the cigar shack, come June 1. And Calvin is stepping up to the plate, already taking somethings over, and a little bit anxious and nervous as well. He’ll be fine I’m sure, some bad habits seem to have ended or at least put to the side by just about all concerned.

I heard from my cousin who said they’ll be in touch with me next week and I heard from Joe Monaco, a recruiter I met with about 2 years ago. I used to send Joe Monaco emails every Monday, letting him know I was still looking. Eventually that fell by the wayside and here he was calling me to tell me about a position that maybe just right for me. And it may be local too.

I don’t have any expectations with regards to Joe Monaco. Despite my excellent scoring on the tests back then, he has not done a thing for me. OK, offering me a job in Livingston NJ was something he did, but really, how the hell am I supposed to get out to Livingston?

In any event, I am home now, and quite happy to be here. Bill is here too, telling me he loves me and that I am wonderful. It is nice to hear, sometimes hard to believe, the latter, not the former.

I Am the Sword

It’s one of those Mondays, rainy but not really. More drizzly, sideways winds blowing spray to & fro. Perfect weather for the chronically malcontent as well as the regular (& irregular) snippy people.

Of course I leave out the most important piece of the equation, the shallow and lazy people, also known as the weepies. I would include them but I wiped my feet on the doormat.

It’s been another interesting day today. Thomas and Calvin and myself, getting along famously. It wasn’t an easy start for me today though. The rain certainly lent itself to wanting to stay in bed and sleep as much as possible. Of course that didn’t happen.

I got out of bed, Bill sleeping in having a day off since he’s been on the ill side of things the past few days. He drove to Atlantic City on Friday and wasn’t feeling 100%. Thankfully he made it there and back safely.

He came home on Saturday and went right to bed as I headed off to work. He was awake when I came home but not for long. I stayed up and watched Saturday Night Live turning in before the end.

Yesterday was basically a blasé day, went out in the morning and out again in the afternoon to return Punk: Attitude to Netflix. Turned out I had seen it before. Still good, sad to see young Ari Up and remember she passed away not too long ago. Same with Poly Styrene.

My timing turned out to be good. I sat by the river for a few minutes and then headed home since I was bored and a bit depressed. 5 minutes after I walked through the door the skies opened up and it poured quite a bit.

Bill had made it out, headed into the city for an acting interview class. He also learned a song, Family, from Dreamgirls. Once again, I initially thought it was corny but by the time he finished it I was quite moved.

I felt he was singing it for me. I was in such a state that I really couldn’t hear it any other way. It really hit me. It was similar to years ago when Bill & I first started going out and I surprised him at his church one Sunday afternoon.

He was playing their baby grand and singing a song that I thought was just too corny. I Believe in You & Me by the Four Tops. I knew the Tops version and I knew Whitty Hutton’s version but hearing Bill sing it and play it on the piano was amazing and had me sobbing by the end.

I didn’t sob last night but I did get a lump in my throat.

So much for being chronically malcontent. I would probably be more of a malcontent, lurking underneath bridges probably in or around Central New Jersey with being my IP Address. But since it is not I am not.

I’m quite content. I have friends and family and a very good man that loves me. I guess that some people don’t have that. I count my blessings from time to time. Not often enough but I know that they’re there.

Ol’ whatshername is now having it’s comments go directly in the spam folder. Not worth my trouble and not worth ruining your eyesight with its rants. I have a life and you can read about a portion or a slice of it on this here blog.

Surprisingly, some haters can read too, their comments are sometimes monitored, sometimes sent to spam. That’s the way the teat leaks I suppose.

My boo, not looking ill, but he was.

I Am Mine

Monday Monday, Can’t trust that day. And here I am on a Monday and it hasn’t been so undeserving of trust. Yesterday was quite an interesting day, much more so than today.

For one thing, it was a Sunday and it was a day off. I requested it earlier at the beginning of April. I had plans to visit Hyman Gross in the hospital, first visit post-surgery. His bone density was enough that the surgeon felt setting a pin in his leg/foot/ankle would suffice.

I only expected to be there for an hour but it turned into 2 hours. Hyman had an ultrasound on Friday pre-surgery and while he was waiting there was an alarm in the hospital causing most of the staff to abandon Hyman on a gurney in the hallway, leaving him to holler in vain as he heard the scurrying of mice around the wheels of the gurney.

I hung in there with Hyman, and even offered to move the gurney back to his room so I could get moving along myself, but it was advised to have an orderly do it. I figured it was no big deal since 20 years ago I carried dear Harpy from one floor to another when he was in the hospital.

Luckily Harpy weighed less than the 98 pounds he usually weighs and carried him in my arms down a flight of steps. It all went well with Hyman and I was able to head to the Hoboken Art & Music Festival, a little later than I expected but really it was no big deal.

My main goal was to see Ian Hunter and the Rant Band playing featuring Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro. And with Jim involved that meant it was more than likely that Lily, Ruby & the funniest girl alive, Meghan would be there. And they were. As was Chaz!

I met Ivan Julian who I have seen on stage a few times. Ivan played with Richard Hell & the Voidoids as well as the Outsets. He looked great then and hasn’t aged one bit, looking as sexy as ever these days. Steve Fallon was around as were several other people from the Maxwells days. I kept mainly to myself though, after saying hello to Steve.

I missed the Steve Wynn & Peter Buck thing, the Baseball Project but I didn’t really know they were playing until about an hour or two before I left the apartment. It was great to see Meghan and the girls, Lily off to Bard, Ruby to be a sophomore next semester and Meghan maintaining her reign as funniest girl alive.

Ian Hunter took the stage, opening with All the Way from Memphis, and doing Mott the Hoople and solo hits, Cleveland Rocks, Once Bitten Twice Shy among others like Somewhere from West Side Story, finishing off with a sing along of All the Young Dudes.

It had gotten cooler and after saying my goodbyes to Meghan and Lily & Ruby and the Jack of Hearts I started for home. Ran into Rand & Lisa, and then the three of us ran into RoDa & Elly with Logan and Autumn in tow.

RoDa, born & raised in Hoboken knows everyone and we lost track of him. Rand & Lisa walked me to the corner of my block before they headed to their home. I came upstairs, quite slowly since once again I was standing on concrete for a few hours, though wearing Airwalks helped.

I turned on the TV and noticed there was no audio. Instead I watched a DVD via Netflix. An Australian movie, Animal Kingdom. I heard it was like the Australian version of Goodfellas and this was way more intense than how I remember Goodfellas to be.

It was so good, nicely paced and so intense that at one point I thought about turning off the movie, it had gotten that far under my skin. Jacki Weaver who plays the matriarch was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar, but went home empty handed. This movie was bound to give her more notice, worldwide if not the States.

Bill came home in the last 20 minutes of the movie and I told him about the cable audio being out so he called the cable company as I watched the extras on the DVD. The woman on the other end of the line instructed Bill who instructed me to unplug the cable box and plug it in again so the box would reboot.

Fair enough. But before that I had turned on the TV to show Bill how it was not working when we saw the Osama Bin Laden had been killed. Big news indeed and here we were without any TV News.

The NY Times website had the info and Bill relayed the news to the woman on the phone who was understandably excited. We eventually got the audio back and watched the news being repeated eventually deciding on the BBC and waiting for President Obama to make the announcement regarding Osama Bin Laden being killed.

Bill went to bed after a little while, I stayed up late watching and not getting anything but the basic information. Tomorrow I have off from work. Bill is taking a half day since he is singing the National Anthem at CitiField before the NY Mets/ San Francisco Giants game tomorrow night. Very exciting and we are understandably nervous.

Bill more so than I am, but still I will probably catch up eventually.

Ian Hunter's Back!

Ian Hunter & Jim Mastro

Baby, It WAS You

I Can’t Stop Loving You

Writing on a full stomach and much earlier than usual. A day off today for me and it’s been somewhat busy and cold. Last night, came home and wrote what could be the dullest entry ever. It was just going through the motions mainly. Today, or hopefully tonight will be different. No guarantees.

Can’t type for shit though. By the time you get to read this it’s been cleaned up and edited, but vowels and consonants are not making the transition from the brain to the fingers. In fact almost every sentence has had at least one typo in it. What’s the dealie yo?

So last night I just wrote while the Ed Show went on behind me. Bill was in bed, still not feeling 100% and with the last few performances of Ankhst going on the next three days (Sunday might not go on), he wanted to get as much rest as possible which meant that he was in bed watching movies on his iPad.

I typed and typed and listened to the news from Wisconsin and Libya. Bill eventually came out and kissed me good night before turning in. I stayed up. The night before I watched Date Night starring Steve Carrell and Tina Fey. It was alright. The outtakes at the end of the movie were funnier than the whole thing. It did have its moments though but I would hold off on recommending it, unless there was absolutely nothing else on.

I was soon fast asleep next to Bill last night. He’s been doing well in not snoring and I’m grateful. He’s been wearing a mouth guard and he was wearing it the other night when he started snoring. I nudged him to let him know he was rattling the windows and he grunted and put on his sleep apnea mask.

It was easier to do that than it would be to make adjustments to the mouth guard. This morning Bill was kissing me goodbye while I slept, telling me that I looked adorable. I just grunted and wanted to keep on sleeping. Of course I appreciate it now, 12 hours later.

I got up and got myself together on my own time. Went out for the paper and some bagels as well as some grocery shopping. After breakfast I decided to do what I planned to do, which was go to Chelsea and check out some galleries.

Before I headed out, Bill called, worried since I didn’t call him while waiting for the bus or before heading into the cigar shack. He didn’t know I had the day off and was relieved to hear that nothing was the matter and everything was alright.

I walked over to the Path train and rode to 14th Street. A brisk walk to Chelsea, through the meat packing district where they don’t pack meat anymore. The main reason I went to Chelsea was to check out a show on 19th Street but I figured it was too late and it was. The show had closed a week or so ago.

It was a lackluster day for art. Nothing inspiring, nothing fun really. It wasn’t that crowded though and I did not mind that. I wound up walking from 14th Street to the bus terminal at 42nd Street. As long as I kept moving I didn’t get cold.

A ride on the bus back to Hoboken and soon I was home making myself a dinner. Bill is in the play again tonight and I have nothing much to do. I don’t really mind. It’s back to work for me tomorrow and I’m not sweating it.

I Asked the Lord

Writing earlier than usual tonight. I have plans to go out to Maxwells to have a pint or two with Rand and maybe Lisa too. Been awhile since I hung out with them, been a while since I’ve been to Maxwells. Been a while since I also had two days in a row.

It’s been a nice day off, some blues almost crept in. Bill and I have been getting on each other’s nerves lately. That happens with everyone in a relationship. The toothpaste cap never put on, the coat on the chair, the back pack on top of the slippers.

It’s not the end of the world, just a yellow card that gets pulled out. Things are slowly getting back on track. He’s fighting off a cold and has a show the next four days, Ankhst once more. So I guess with Ankhst on stage, there is bound to be angst off stage as well.

I kept myself somewhat busy, watched the Daily Show with the war criminal Donald Rumsfeld on. I have to admit I wasn’t paying much attention to it and from what I watched Rumsfeld got off easy. Last night I started to watch the Ian Dury bio-pic, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll.

It was good, Andy Serkis was excellent as Ian. I don’t know how they pulled off the withered left side of Ian, but it was distressing in some shots to see. The band playing the Blockheads were quite good and the actual Blockheads backed up Andy Serkis on the soundtrack. Everyone except for the late Charlie Charles of course, one of the best drummers ever.

It focused quite a bit on Ian’s relationship with his son Baxter, as well as the ups and downs of pop stardom. Sex & drugs & rock & roll indeed. I recommend it nonetheless and it’s available on Netflix.

One caveat, there is an outdoor scene where Ian and entourage move from Catshit Mansions to a nice house in Kent, and the vocals gets dodgy. Lots of echo which caused confusion leaving me to believe that these rock & roll party scenes were set up that way, audio wise. But I have my doubts.

I streamed it through Netflix and also moved the DVD to the top of my queue. I’ll watch it again, and with subtitles hopefully. The cockney was a bit thick you see.

Right now I’m catching up on Big Love. Still a good show, but I lost track. Chloe Sevigny sure can play a mean Can’t Understand Normal Thinking type. Oh she’s just so rotten.

Inbetweenies of Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll and Big Love, I was out on the streets of Hoboken, a visit to the Guitar Bar and talking with Mister Wonderful Jim Mastro again, then a walk to CVS where I needed to get two new Carbon Monoxide detectors since the ones we had kept going off leaving Bill & myself to think that we were going to die in our sleep.

But it wasn’t because of Carbon Monoxide, rather it was because they had gotten so old they kept beeping to let us know it’s time to get new detectors.

I just had a nice supper, pasta, chicken and pesto. Yes I know, the same old, same old. But it’s cheap and it keeps for a few days, and what’s it to you anyway?

♫ Home improvement expert Harold Hill of Harold Hill/of do it yourself dexterity and double blazing skill/came home to find another gentleman’s kippers in the grill/ he sanded off his winkle with a Black & Decker drill…♪

I Never Knew

It’s Friday night! I’m happy about it, thrilled actually. I am off tomorrow and I think the last time I was off on a Saturday was Christmas day. And what am I going to do tonight? Nothing at all. I am home after yet another 10 hour shift.

Last night I came home, Bill was meeting up with his friend Fred who used to go out with not just Margaret but also Lisa, Rand’s wife. We found that juicy tidbit out in July when Lisa was surprised and perhaps even horrified to see Fred.

Bill and I never got to the bottom of that, getting Lisa’s side of the story, nor have we heard Fred’s side. But that was almost 20 years ago so who really cares anyway? So Bill was out, I came home and had time to myself which involved some navel gazing and of course I was quite sullen.

Nothing to do with much of anything really, just quiet and morose. Bill came home and tried to cheer me up but there I was playing the ‘saddo’ role. He went to bed and I stayed up a little while watching Spartacus on cable.

Not the Kubrick movie but the cable show. I don’t think I have ever seen anything as violent as that. And a quite stylized violence at that. One of the customers told me about the show and since he’s a decent bloke I thought it would be alright to see.

And it was not just over the top, it was off with his head. In slow motion and blood, lots of blood. And Romans telling each other to eat shit a lot. I couldn’t be arsed to watch the whole thing and I’m sure I didn’t miss much at all, though it was nice to see Lucy Lawless working again.

Slept ok and it was off to work again this morning. Calvin was in today and did not bring up the emails I sent. Marcus was interviewing a woman for a full time position at the cigar shop leading me to think my days are numbered.

I was thinking that anyhow when Calvin mentioned that I had come in last place with my sales over the holiday season, my 50k sales. It really wouldn’t bother me too much if I was let go, it would free me up to go on interviews if and when they arrive.

That is if the interview I had this past week comes in. It would be nice but not holding my breath. Got to keep on, keepin’ on. Apparently the official line is they’re going to get rid of Fred the part timer. He doesn’t really need the job, he’s a manager of sorts at a big Manhattan hotel and only works at the shop for a discount on cigars.

That’s the official line to which I was not privy to. I still have my suspicions mixed with a despairing hope. Bill just came back from rehearsal and smarmy Bill Maher is on TV.

That’s about all I have to say right now. If I have more to say later I will write, but for now, that’s it.

I Keep/Still Here

Well this day was a wash out in most senses of the word. Right now, Peter’s handyman Robert is here installing a General Electric 40 Gallon water heater. I just got off the phone with Julio who seemed quite annoyed with the fact that Peter did not heed Julio’s advice and get a Rheem water heater, the kind of water heater that lasts 15-20 years.

The one that went kaput last night lasted 2 years. I suppose General Electric makes disposable water heaters nowadays. Bill told Peter a few times- Julio’s advice so it’s not like nothing was said. But Home Depot has the deals so that is where Peter goes.

Lot’s of rain today. Bill took off from work so that the water heater could be delivered. I had an interview this morning at 10:00. Last night I shaved with some warm water on the stove. No chance in taking a hot shower this morning.

I puttered about, had some coffee after getting up an hour earlier than I usually do. That made me groggier and without a shower my energy levels were near depletion. I headed into the city, crowded bus, people without exact fare, or not having the money ready or not even knowing how much the fare was.

My aggravation with these people is what energized me. I got off the bus and headed to the recruiter’s office. I thought I would be late but it didn’t turn out to be. But I did call and let them know I might be late. I was on time and headed up to the office.

They gave me paperwork to fill out which they then took back once I told them that I was there last month. They set me up with a typing test on which it was determined that I can type 44 words per minute. That was down from 45 words per minute a few years ago. I also took a grammar test on which I scored 100%.

I met with 2 recruiters, both of them nice older women. I was out of there in about 20 minutes and haven’t heard anything from them since. I was wearing a sock with little elastic which meant it drooped down to my ankle.

That was driving me crazy and I was going to go to Brooks Brothers to buy some sock garters. I have a pair at home and didn’t think of wearing them until I got to the street when I left the apartment. On the way to Brooks Brothers I called up Bill to see if anything had happened.

Nothing going on in Hoboken. Bill mentioned that he had hoped to take a half day and head to work this afternoon. I decided to call in sick so I could go home and relieve Bill of his waiting around for a water heater duties.

I called up the cigar shop and spoke to Marcus, telling him that I had fallen ill, and threw up. Marcus joking asked if it came out clear or soupy or chunky. I was grossed out by his humor and said chunky. I felt bad about calling in sick but felt it was the right thing to do.

I made my way to the bus terminal in time for the 11:20 bus back to Hoboken, which did not arrive until 11:40. A bickering couple with their screaming baby took most of the attention of everyone in the queue for the bus.

I made it home a little while before the new hot water heater arrived. Robert, his assistant and Peter’s wife dropped off the new heater.

I took a nap for a few hours while Bill watched a painting program on TV, then I was awake and Bill took a nap while I watched Weeds. And now Robert is here, installing the new water heater. Bill went to an AFTRA meeting in the city. I look forward to taking a shower tomorrow.