Category Archives: What’s for Dinner?

Standing Still

I am starting to be convinced that people in Hoboken say at least once a week, ‘I’d know them if I saw them’. It happened at the bibliothèque this afternoon and I know I say it often. It’s a small town, Hoboken and you see the same people over and over again and usually by the time you might be introduced to someone after a few years it gets awkward. And if you’re talking to someone about someone else, that is when the line ‘I’d know them if I see them’ comes into play.

It is a bright and sunny and warm day finally. Been out and about. No sign of Juan but Bill has been around. Didn’t do much except some grocery shopping and a stop at the bibliothèque. Tonight it’s work at Maxwell’s. My old pal, Rand is holding a lecture at the bibliothèque but since I have to work, I can’t go. I think it was scheduled for last year, a lecture about the famed comic book artist Jack Kirby, but was postponed because of the storm. Or maybe it was scheduled for earlier this year and postponed because of a snowstorm. I posted a flyer at Maxwell’s, hoping to get more people to attend.

I am still sending out resumes but not at the frequency that I used to send them out. It’s coming up on a year since I was let go from the cigar shack and being told constantly by employers and agencies that you’re not good enough can wear one’s spirit down. I’m still doing it though, a steadier job would be ideal. Until then I keep puttering along doing what I can.

Now it’s the anxiety of going back to work tonight. I really haven’t had much with regards to working at Maxwell’s but it’s been a few days since I last worked there so here it comes again. I’ve eaten and now I am killing time, enjoying a cigar before heading out. I just checked the website, no bands are playing so that means it will probably be a slow night and instead of working until midnight I will likely be out of there by 11:00.

Rand and Lisa stopped by with a friend and I sat them at a good table. Didn’t get much of a chance to talk to them but Rand’s lecture at the bibliothèque went well with about 40 people attending. I worked with Chloe and Jess and Rob was behind the bar. There were one or two schmucks (being kind here) and I was their first point of contact. One was a young man who was in a hurry and hurriedly said that he was in a hurry. I mentioned that it was obvious he was in a hurry and somehow he took some offense to that. Then he stood next to a speaker playing loud music and talked on his phone.

Towards the end, a squeaky wheel came in with three younger wheels. The squeaky wheel asked if they could sit at a table and drink and I said that they couldn’t. Then the squeaky wheel said they were going to eat and who was I to deny them a seat when the restaurant was nearly empty. Why the squeaky wheel said she had been coming to Maxwell’s for 30 years and never was denied a table. I mentioned that I worked there 30 years ago to which she stated her doubts since she had never seen me before.

She had been coming in with her kids for so long and doubted that I had worked there then. I know I had never seen her before, all nouveau riche with a voice that was the equivalent of nails on chalk board. That voice would have been remembered what with dogs cowering due to the shrillness. The timing couldn’t have been better since the squeaky wheel party came in just minutes before I left for the night.
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Happy Go Lucky Me

I Start to Run

Document 35. That was the number assigned to this file in Microsoft Word. Document 35. The point of it being document 35 doesn’t seem random, not at all. It is just the 35th document, perhaps for the year 2013. That is the explanation that makes sense the most. According to Word Press, I have posted 2,476 entries and this will make it the 2,477th. I lost count after the first month, but it was easy back then. It was before I decided taking Sundays off from writing. That was when I was becoming a servant to this blog. Now I am merely a savant.

I came across a cache of some papers, papers that weren’t swept away by Sandy last year. I guess I rescued them, along with the 45’s I had a few months before. I found a couple of versions of a film script I was supposedly writing with Julio in the 1990’s, when Julio was a production assistant on a film that a mutual friend was making. There was creativity in the air and once again my up to then unseen writing skills were brought up and it seemed like a good idea to collaborate with Julio.

It was probably the last time I collaborated with anyone which sucks since I am a very good collaborator. I helped write a script in the early 1990’s with John Bruce, an amazingly creative guy from the Maxwell’s era. He liked what I wrote, so much so that he made it a point to tell me that it made him cry. If he Google’s his name and this comes up, well I am 100% sure that is what he said. No embellishment on my part. It’s one of the things in the 1990’s that is not fuzzy at all. I think the script was called ‘This is My Plus One’

I find it good to have someone to bounce ideas off of, it works for me. And in the 1990’s with Julio I went into it wholeheartedly. Perhaps too much as I took it seriously, feeling that it was my last chance at doing anything. The script is untitled and there are a few drafts of it. I remember writing it on an electric typewriter using the equation of one page being one minute of film. I think the longest draft has about 25 pages and we were aiming for a 10 minute short film.

I think it could be saved somehow. The dialogue is quick and conversational, not quite His Girl Friday or Gilmore Girls. It is snappy though. I’m no Ben Hecht & Charles McArthur nor am I Amy Sherman Palladino and I certainly don’t claim to be. Julio proved to be uninterested in writing the script and I probably came on too strong. He had more important things going on in his life and I had this script. And soon it was put in a drawer, or what is more likely, underneath the dresser.

It’s about 2 characters named Alan and Vincent and their escapades in the 1990’s. I based Alan on myself and Vincent on Julio. The dialogue is almost verbatim, at least snatches of it. Written while living in Weehawken it is based on the time when I was living in a basement apartment in Hoboken. It was right around the time when Julio and I became friends via Maxwell’s. Nowadays Julio has his hands full with his wife Stine and their son Alexander and work as a stage manager as well as being a landlord in Hudson County. And I am going to do is look into seeing what I can do with the script.
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Downtown

I Read A Lot

Sugarplum Fairy Sugarplum Fairy, Dorothy Parker Dorothy Parker. You might be able to tell where my head is at with regards to that opening line, if not- c’est la vie. It’s the day before a holiday which makes it an eve, however unofficial. Newscasters have been calling it Thanksgiving Eve and you know how right they are. It’s a Wednesday and the Nor’Easter that was predicted seems to have been forgotten. I’m grateful for it. People leaving town for the weekend, lots of buses headed in different directions. Since the Path train is still out of service in Hoboken it’s not that crowded down by the terminal.

I’ve been spending time at the smoke scene in Hoboken. To my chagrin I am becoming ‘one of those guys’, hanging out at a cigar store and chatting with the proprietor. Shlomo seems like a nice guy and I’ve just been hanging out as he tries to get his shop off the ground. It’s fairly new you see. He’s been in the business for a long time and this is an attempt to get something of his own in Hoboken. He’s meddled about here and there but now he is staking out his own turf.

Since I’ve been in the Mile Square City for quite a while it figures that I know a number of people. Some are surprised to see me smoking a cigar, others not so much. I’ve introduced Shlomo to a few people and also identified people from old Hoboken, the ones that use certain phrases that no one really uses anymore. Nothing bad, just a friend greeting amongst the natives, calling each other ‘Comp’. I don’t know if it means ‘Compadre’ or ‘Compari’ or even company or companion. Perhaps it is a mixture of all of those in Hoboken.

In any event, hardly anyone uses it so to hear some characters talking like that certainly got my attention. Shlomo was doing well and that’s what really matters. A few guys were buying cigars to smoke after their Thanksgiving dinners tomorrow and asking Shlomo if he, meaning the store, was going to be open. He said yes they would be. I am not too sure what kind of traffic he would have tomorrow since Hoboken on Thanksgiving can be a ghost town of sorts. Parking should be easy and there were quite a few people with luggage getting onto buses.

Bill is driving tonight and might even be back tonight which is a plus. We’re going to dinner tomorrow at Oscar’s, the same bistro where we went with Hyman Gross two years ago and last year decided to make it a regular occurrence in Hyman’s honor. It’s later in the afternoon than usual which I guess is fine. Bill once again set the whole thing up thinking he would be doing an overnight drive somewhere. But now he is not, in fact I can see on Latitude that he is on his way back to the Garden State.

I’m just going to sit and wait. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.




Tariq and Co.





Hot, no?


I Have Everything I Need

I Love You But I Don’t Know What To Say

Last night I slept well. I had a dream about the cigar shack. Don’t know if I had too many of tose in the two months since I was dismissed. No one I recognized in the cigar shack. No Thomas, no Jerry Vale. There was definitely no possum and no one saying exactly every 30 seconds. Just about the only thing I gathered from the dream was that the cigar shack was painted baby blue. It was different but I would safely say it was not an improvement. I have been thinking about various customers, besides Bruce Horowitz, Lou Moreno, Anthony and Vinnie, Allan Brown and Nick Colas. Yesterday I found myself thinking of Brian Buck. Nice guy, I hope he is doing well.

It’s another hot day today, not like last week though. I got myself together and did some busking which was fun. A bit rusty though and the callouses on my fingers had faded somewhat. Still I persevered and was able to play for about two and a half hours. I made $1.50 which was alright. Just a bunch of kids with their mom who gave them each a quarter to throw in the case. I thanked them profusely as they strode off. I also saw Tariq, who I like but is a bit of a scatter brain sometimes.

At first I looked for him when I walked over to the promenade by Pier A but I didn’t see him so I set myself up about 50 yards from where he usually sets himself up. After strumming for about a half an hour he walked by and told me he was going to join me. He had a bag of something from the store and I didn’t ask what it was. He walked off and I resumed strumming. A little while after that he got his stuff together and walked towards the end of the pier.

I just sat where I was and kept playing. Things were OK and I tried to stick to songs that I knew by heart but my head wasn’t in it so I had to refer to chord notes that I kept nearby. A few people sat nearby and a nice guy named Art hung around. He works in the office building close by and was taking a break. He stood and checked his email and mentioned that I should sing when I was playing. I mentioned that I was shy and usually only sing when a friend is nearby.

Art seemed friendly enough so I started singing a bit. He knew some of the songs but not all of them and he told me he liked what he was hearing so that was good. He wished he knew how to play guitar and for some reason I did not tell him anyone could do it. Of course it’s taken me about 30 years to play somewhat decently and in public, and I did not tell him that either. It was a good day for guitar playing though and I am glad I did it.

As I was leaving since I had gotten hungry I started to get my stuff together and noticed Tariq was back at his spot. I walked over and said I was leaving. He asked why and I told him I was hungry. Then he asked if I was coming back and I said no. I live on the top floor of a five story apartment, blah blah blah. He was with a buddy named Barrett and apparently they had a few beers and possibly some weed. I wasn’t interested in hanging out and playing some more despite Tariq telling Barrett that I was a good guitar player. No, it was dinner time and spent enough time already strumming. I did mention that I would likely be out again. Tariq invited me to a barbecue by his studio on Thursday night but I already have two commitments and out of those two I can really only attend one.


this photo raised some eyebrows as well as some other body parts on FB this morning. And this isn’t the full frontal photo.


Falling

I Know There’s Something Going On

I was off today and it’s been a good day so far. I am heading out soon to have dinner with Bill at Julio & Stine’s. I haven’t been to see them since maybe February and I’m sure it’s been longer since Bill had seen them. Today has been alright. Last night Bill and I finally sat down and talked about a lot of things and cleared the air. Things are as they should be.

I slept fairly well last night and woke up close to my usual wake up time this morning. Just as well since construction began on the apartment below soon after I got out of bed. I told Bill that he did not have to make coffee for me this morning, I could do it myself. So after a shower I had some coffee and headed out into the world. It was a warm enough day but lately you never can tell. I headed out to the supermarket and got a few things.

I did see Isis, my favorite cashier. The reason that I hadn’t seen her was because she had accompanied her son to school (sophomore year) and stayed there all day, all week since he was suspended. That was the only way to get around his suspension so that he could continue going to class. A pain in the ass for Isis and humiliation for her son no doubt. She must have had her son while she was still a teenager since she can’t be much into her thirties if you ask me.

After a hearty breakfast I was out and about. I ran into David Cogswell on the street. Now David Cogswell isn’t someone I know very well. He’s been in Hoboken for quite a while, perhaps even longer than me. He used to be a partner in Rogers and Cogswell, a bookstore in Hoboken back in the day. We have many mutual friends but I am quite sure that the two of us never really had a conversation, just a friendly nodding of the head whenever we would pass each other.

Thanks to being friends on Facebook, and admiring each other’s posts and photographs we now speak to each other, or at least started talking to each other this afternoon. Not much beyond small talk but it was nice to speak. He was just in Jordan on some tourist job and his photos were quite nice. He seemed to enjoy himself. I was off to the local record store to see if the latest Mojo and Uncut magazines were in.

They were. The Beach Boys on the cover of Mojo and Paul McCartney on the cover of Uncut. Both look like interesting reads, then again they usually are, which I why I buy them each month. I walked around Hoboken for a spell, overdressed though, in a leather blazer. I am still not sure if I should wear it when I walk up to Julio and Stine’s. Don’t want to be sweating like a horse when I get there. But the temperature will drop once the sun goes down I’m sure.

Well the sun went down and the temperature barely dropped a degree. I met Bill at the cinemas near where Julio & Stine live and there was a short line for the Avengers movie. We went up to their condo, Alexander as adorable as ever. Stine made a big pan of lasagna which despite two gavons like Bill and myself, there was still plenty left over.

Alexander was busy trying to get my attention or any attention from any adult nearby. Most every toy he had was brought out with much rolling of the eyes from Julio & Stine. 2 bottles of wine, some quality talk between Julio & myself like the two old friends we actually are. Stine and Bill were discussing Bill’s audition tomorrow and in doing so realized that if Bill was going to this audition tomorrow morning, we had better leave.

A walk home after very pleasant farewells, Bill & I passing by Hyman Gross’ old apartment. Hyman passed away a year ago this Sunday, so it was nice to pay some sort of respect. Now we’re home, I’m pleasantly buzzed, Bill’s ready for bed and Bill Maher prattles on. Back to the cigar shack tomorrow.

Rest in Peace Adam Yauch/MCA of the Beastie Boys




11 Sure Shot

I Drink Alone

Well today was a day off and after how things went asunder yesterday it turned out to be a good day to have off. The plan to go to upstate New York and visit with Bill’s cousin et al fell by the wayside for reasons to be revealed at a later date.

So we were home a lot earlier than expected and wound up cuddling on the couch watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, followed by Hannah and her Sisters and then Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One. We didn’t watch all of Deathly Hallows Part One sine we were both very tired.

Juan took a chance and texted me to see if we were around but it was mere minutes before we both headed to bed so I had to tell Juan no. I’m sure he understood, or at least I hoped he did. Bill and I slept well and he was awake before I was this morning.

He was busy doing something as I showered and made some coffee before heading out to the grocery store. Since Thanksgiving plans were mislaid Friday plans were now nonexistent, leaving me with nothing to do. I was sort of fine with it but still I would rather have had something or somewhere to go that would be fun and or at least enlightening.

Instead, laundry was done after breakfast. At the supermarket, Isis cashier supreme told me how her plans had gone awry and she too had wound up being home much earlier than she expected. She also mentioned that a few other customers had told her of their holiday plans gone to seed. I guess yesterday was a bit of a fiasco for a few people.

I was soon home, Bill shredding a lot of papers trying to clean the apartment. There is a lot to be done in that regard and I do my bit and he does his bit and still it is a Sysephesian Sisephesian task. It’s just as well that Juan is just about the only person that ever visits and here we were turning him away the night before due to our exhaustion.

I was able to get out and about for a while this afternoon, very sunny and warm in the 60 degree range. Not that crowded on the streets of Hoboken and still plenty of parking due to it being a holiday weekend. There was some texting going back and forth between me and Julio this afternoon culminating in a dinner invite for me and Bill with Julio, Stine & Alexander.

They had gone to Julio’s cousin’s house for dinner and now ere relaxing after a day trip to Bear Mountain this afternoon. Alexander played shy for a few minutes when he came back from the supermarket with his dad and then it was gloves off.

Out came the toys which were just put away an hour before. We had a wonderful spaghetti and meatball dinner with some nice white wine and quite a few laughs and applause when Alexander completed the alphabet. A very nice and enjoyable time followed by a nice walk home with Bill on the quiet streets of Hoboken.

We did not walk down Washington Street so we couldn’t say the bars were crowded but still the few bars we passed on Willow Avenue were not crowded at all. We are both happy to be home nonetheless.


Romantic Me

I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You)

Back to work after a really nice day on Sunday. Sunday was spent sleeping in a little longer and then getting up and going out. Bill was sitting around the apartment as I headed out after a shower and a cuppa. As I was walking down the stairs, I heard some commotion below me and to my delight it was Stine and Alexander.

They were gathering things from their old apartment and I gave my Chewbacca holler to Alexander’s surprise. On the street was Julio waiting for them. We chatted for a while and made tentative plans to meet up later in the day. I left it up to them since they always have things to do.

After a trip to the supermarket I came home as Bill was getting ready to head out for the play he is stage managing. A nice breakfast was had, followed by coffee and emails and whatnot on the internets. Despite having some coffee I was feeling sleepy a few hours later so I thought that closing my eyes for a few minutes would do the trick.

But the coffee had other things in mind so I got out of bed and saw that Julio had phoned and texted wondering where I was. He and Alexander were in the park and were heading back to the building so Julio could collect his bicycle as well as Stine’s bike so the three of them could be a bike riding family. Alexander, 3 years old is already riding a bicycle with training wheels.

I have a key to the basement where the bicycles are so I went down and let Julio in. I recommended putting air in the tires so it would be a little easier to walk them up to their new apartment. That done we walked up the sidewalk Julio walking his bike, me with Stine’s bike and Alexander a few yards ahead on his bike, heeding Julio’s command to stop a few feet before the corner.

Within a little while we were in the garage were we parked the bikes. Then we walked over to a biergarten on 15th Street in Hoboken. I had heard of this place but hadn’t made a visit, mainly since I really don’t drink anymore. We sat and Julio and I had half liters of German beer while Alexander drank some milk.

Maybe it’s because I was out of the habit of drinking, maybe it was the really strong German beer but I was positively buzzing. We walked back to the apartment where Stine had made some lasagna. Stine is an excellent cook so of course I devoured everything on my plate and had seconds, and then with some prodding from Julio, thirds.

Then Alexander entertained us, well mainly me since Julio and Stine have seen his antics time and again. After all that it was time for me to go home and time for Julio and Stine to get Alexander ready for bed. Alexander and Julio walked me out and Stine gave me a care package of yet more lasagna to bring home.

The buzz wore off as I walked home, past Hyman Gross’ last residence. Totally unrecognizable, looked in better shape than it was when Hyman was alive. Then again how many home improvements could an 80 something man on a fixed income make on his own?

Bill was being photographed with Cornell West after a question and answer period after the day’s show so I watched Boardwalk Empire on my own, surprised at how violent this particular episode was. Then it was time to watch Pan Am, a guilty pleasure for sure which Bill walked in on halfway through.

A friend of his was in the show last night so I made a point to record it for him. We had a lot of laughs as we described the action as we triple fast forwarded to the scene where his friend was. It was a good day all around. Today was back at the cigar shack and it wasn’t so bad. Zack and Jerry Vale were in and it went well despite a few glitches in the system.

And with all that in the past, I am quite glad to be home now.

I Don’t Care Fall Out Boy

A Saturday in the city. Not much going on, been an OK day. I certainly did not get the sleep I would have liked to have gotten last night. Some tossing, some turning, some waking up saying ‘What the fuck?’ I’m sure most of you have been there.

I stayed in last night after getting caught in the rain in the afternoon. Had the big ass umbrella from the Wanker Banker days which kept the upper part of the body dry but everything below the knees was very much soggy.

I was able to make it to the bibliotheque yesterday. Gone are the days of me trying to get their audio visual room in order. That’s Pina Lodles department and not mine. I grabbed a Harry Potter title and a couple of CD’s the soundtrack to The Social Network by Mister Nine Inch Nail, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, So Beautiful or So What by Paul Simon and the Gorillaz CD, the live one.

So far I played the Paul Simon CD and I liked it, but did not like it as much after I watched the making of So Beautiful or So What. I would have liked to have watched the making of Surprise, the last CD from Paul Simon, produced with Brian Eno, but that does not exist.

At the cigar shack it was Bradley, Thomas and Jerry Vale. A full staff minus management. It promised to be a scheduling debacle but it actually worked out. These middle eastern diplomats really take a shine to me and buy lot’s of items, then they come back a few days later and buy some more.

Thanks to them I pulled ahead and maintained (and still maintaining) quite a healthy lead. Now it’s pretty much dead in the cigar shack vicinity. It’s a Saturday night. I guess a lot of people are out doing whatever it is they do on Saturday nights.

I used to work at Maxwells on Saturday nights so that limits my knowledge of what goes on, and in any event what went on then is probably totally different than what goes on now. But the again, there is always the possibility it is still the same just with different players.

So now it’s Thomas and myself, finishing up for the day. I am off tomorrow and so is Thomas. I plan on attending the Hoboken Art & Music festival tomorrow, no big names this time, a band that does Sinatra songs in a ska style is headlining. They’re called Skanatra.

I requested the day off before I knew the line up. I can’t say that I regret it, it should be fun and a chance to run into some old friends, at least the old friends that stay in town for the fartin’ mucus festival. Just a matter of minutes before I can go home and chill out once again.

Hopefully Bill will be home, or at least not too long before he returns from rehearsal. Quite a motley crew is in the shack at the moment, so I had better keep an eye on them. Later gators. Bill is home and I am home and I am also off tomorrow!



I Could Die For You

Thank Zeus it’s Thursday! I have off tomorrow which I think is a good thing. I would not have minded having off today after last night’s glass blowing demonstration. That and a few Stella Artois made my head ache a bit this morning. Thomas counted me having 5 bottles, I counted 4.

In either case, Advil was my rescue. The bus showed up like it was supposed to today, and after I got on the bus, a few stops later coming on board was my friend Lois’ husband, Fred. Fred’s a really nice guy, very chatty and he engaged me in a decent chat about his job and my job.

We both work retail you see, though he works in Hoboken and I have to commute every work day into the city whereas Fred can walk. He was off to satisfy his comic book addiction and I was off to find the sky, or rather the subway.

By the time I got into the cigar shack I was fine, headache was minimized. Calvin and Thomas and me today, all recovering from the glass blowing demonstration. I was home around midnight, Thomas made it home around the same time and Calvin, well Calvin did not get home until about 2:00AM. Well at least that’s what Calvin told me.

The cigar shack was not busy at all and here I was working with two money makers. There was work left over from yesterday, work that could not be completed last night since Jerry Vale, Bradley, Thomas and I were due at the glass blowing demonstration and could not be late.

So since Jerry Vale and Bradley were out today, it fell to Thomas to pick up Jerry Vale’s work and I finished what I could not start last night. My work was the general stuff that I’ve been doing for a few months now so I was able to knock it out without much consternation. That freed me up to do some work, interacting with people and I was able to get a few things done that needed to be done.

Lunch was nice, sitting by the park once again and enjoying a cigar while I read the latest New York magazine, a double issue all about 9/11. And reading that certainly brought back memories of that day, and also the days leading up to it, specifically my friend Donna’s birthday the night before at a restaurant at 43rd and 10th Avenue.

Crazy rain storm as Bill and I huddled under my umbrella as we walked to the bus terminal. I was headed to Weehawken and Bill was headed to Stuyvesant Town where he was living with his parents. Looking back those were the last hours of a type of innocence never to be regained.

I returned the library book, Starting Over, all about John & Yoko’s Double Fantasy album. the book was bumming me out since I knew how it would end. Here I am again, reading all about 9/11, remembering that I too, helped out and volunteered at a restaurant on Canal Street, feeding rescue and recovery workers from the World Trade Center site.

I’m too invested in the magazine article to stop reading it now. For those who have the weekend off, I hope you have a good weekend. For those who are working I hope it is profitable and enjoyable. For those in between, whatever.









♫ he’s a lonely little fat and balding man, never could do what I can ♪

I Cannot Sleep

Moody’s Mood for Love by James Moody is playing currently at the cigar shack. I used to listen to the late Frankie Crocker’s show on WBLS back in the day and Frankie always closed his show with this song, which is the first time I heard it. I was smitten at first hearing.

Someone just walked by carrying Music for Mechanic by Los Bros Hernandez. The chap carrying was soaked which leads me to believe it is raining outside. Thomas went out to check. I guess it’s a good thing that I closed the windows before I left the apartment this morning.

Close by shoppers at Whole Foods are regretting the use of paper bags when shopping and heading out into a maelstrom. It’s been an odd day overall and it ain’t over yet. People always seem to cut me off when walking and if they’re not cutting me off, they’re suddenly stopping right in front of me when I walk. It’s somewhat infuriating. Actually it’s more frustrating than infuriating.

Thomas was on fire today sales wise and I wasn’t too shabby either. It makes up for the less than stellar sales that both of us did yesterday. And we certainly left Calvin in the dust with the sales today as well. Not that you would care about such a thing.

I’m very hungry and against my better judgement I ordered food from a nearby place that has messed up my orders lately. Thomas egged me on since he would like to see pop a blood vessel.

Now Waterloo is playing. ABBA, Waterloo. Wasn’t fond of it then, but actually like it now, enough that I bought the Millennium Collection of theirs. I always think of swimming with the late Susan Lucas, a girl I grew up with. Nice pool, WABC always on the transistor radio.

Her passing came as a shock to me, but apparently she was sick a lot of her life when we were growing up. I didn’t know but a mutual friend told me that she was in the hospital frequently back then in the 1970’s.

Hot Stuff by Donna Summer was just on. That reminds me of going to see the NY Cosmos at Giants Stadium in 1979 with Henry Venegas. Hot Stuff just came out and Henry and his girlfriend loved it. Of course they did, they were into disco whereas I was into New Wave which everyone related to as Punk.

And true to form, the food I ordered has not yet arrived and in 3 minutes it will be an hour since I placed the order. The place is only around the corner and of course I can’t leave the cigar shack to pick it up. I can’t say I’m disappointed and I’m certainly not surprised. I will give them a call i 0 minutes if the food hasn’t arrived by then and you can have my word (for what it’s worth) that I will never call them again.

I am hungry though, but I might just wind up saving money. And saving money is what I just did. I cancelled the order, the guy who answered the phone said ‘Sorry man.’ Of course about 5 minutes after I call and cancel, the food shows up. 50 yards from the cigar shack and it takes them over an hour to get here.

Don’t fuck with my food. I had a banana which will hold me over until I get home. Home again, Bill driving to Atlantic City. The edgy day is over I hope. Tomorrow a day off. It’s supposed to rain which is par for the course. Right now The Royal Tenenbaums is on. Such a charming movie.

fungi








I Can’t Take You Anywhere

It’s been a good day off today. A good night’s sleep greatly helped. I slept later than intended to but it wasn’t too late. Bill had off today as well and was out of the apartment before I got out of bed, tending to a play that he is in and opens on Sunday. It’s called Destinations and it is part of the NY Fringe Festival.

It was smooth sailing with regards to early rehearsals but lately, there has been backstage drama. If you’ve been reading this for a while you’ll know that I love Bill dearly, and if you’re just tuning in, well there it is.

It’s funny, he says he’s good with time, but a few times today he would phone at the most inopportune times. Like when I am carrying groceries up four flights of stairs in 90 degree heat. I know I didn’t have to answer it right then and there but it was Bill and I have to be there for my baby. It was nothing earth shattering, nothing that couldn’t wait but I was compelled to answer it.

That’s one of the ways we stay together. One of us will do something that always drives the other crazy, and you have to take a step back and realize that you would probably miss them doing whatever it is, if they weren’t around. It’s not the only thing that keeps our relationship going but it does make for a remarkable adhesive.

It’s been a gorgeous day today, I was outside a few times. I took a bus up to the northern part of Hoboken and as I was boarding I saw Rand & Lisa. But I was on board the bus already after waiting got over a half hour and I don’t think they saw me. I would have liked hanging out with them for a little while.

Stupid New Jersey transit with their incredibly unreliable bus schedules. And they’re planning on raising the cost of the fares again at all Hudson River crossings. They announced it the other day, big hikes a coming but some say that they aimed high and the actual intention is a lower increase. Governor Cuomo of New York has spoken against it, Governor Christie of New Jersey was too busy eating school children at the time to make a comment.

I went to the bibliothèque today, not much going on there. I even put some things away on the shelves since the late afternoon staff was busy doing something and I was going in that direction anyhow. I picked up some CD’s by the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars. Youssou N’Dour, DJ Shadow and Daft Punk. Just some things I’ve read about lately.

I just got the latest Mojo and Uncut Magazines and so far the latest Mojo is ho hum. I blame guest editor Noel Gallagher. I was never a fan of Oasis and I guess now I am not a fan of his magazine editing. Too harsh?






I Can’t Explain

Last day before 3 days off. One would hope, one would think that it would be smooth sailing but in reality (a place I am most unaccustomed to) it’s been a bear of a day and I don’t mean heavy set, hairy hirsute gay men.

No it’s been like fighting a grizzly all day long. I did not sleep well last night mainly because Bill was not around. I simply do not sleep well when he’s driving to Atlantic City. Lots of tossing and turning and of course when I finally was able to acquire something resembling sleep that was when the alarm clock would go off.

I woke up to Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones then hit the snooze button, 10 minutes later it was Fleetwood Mac singing Gypsy. Not the Jules Styne / Stephen Sondheim effort, but Stevie Nicks version. I did get myself together, shower and no breakfast. Not enough milk for cereal AND coffee, so it was coffee only.

That was alright since I planned on getting my customary egg sandwich on the way to the cigar shack. A call from Bill asking me to call Annemarie in Saddle Brook to see if she could pick him up at the garage and drop him off at the train station.

If he didn’t catch the 10:00 train, he would have to wait until 1:00 and that would be no good since he needed to be back at the garage at 7:00 again. So I called and left a voice mail for Annemarie and she called me back a few minutes later. I told her the address but she didn’t know where it was.

I explained to my sister where it was and I guess she figured it out. But she didn’t get there in time for Bill to make the 10:00 train so she wound up driving him back to Hoboken. I knew that since Bill called me and asked what stop was I at. He called as my bus was ascending the ramp at the bus terminal.

I was now in Manhattan. And I always catch the bus at 5th street. I headed out the terminal, not in the best mood due to the lack of sleep and was cut off by a taxi running a red light. I punched the taxi.

I then walked over to Smiler’s for my egg sandwich and that went relatively well. I headed out and up the avenue enjoying a slightly damaged cigar from the shack that was headed for the bin.

Quite a few people walking the streets and some were slow so I avoided them by walking close to the curb. At one point as I walked 2 women were taking their time strolling so I walked curbside again.

Coming towards me and the 2 women was an elderly woman with a shopping cart. She motioned to me to tell me something and I took off the iPod thinking she needed help. She did not need help.

She needed to tell me that how I was walking was wrong that people walking on the right side heading in one direction and other people walk on the left in the other direction.

I was disappointed that she did not need any assistance and when I heard what she had to say, I told her that I had no time for her nonsense. She started squawking about something I yelled at her to shut up. Just another nutter on the street that always happen to find me.

I think from now on no matter what, I will keep my iPod on and ignore just about anyone that crosses my path. It will probably be best for all concerned.



I Am Woman

I just got home from work, and it was a weird day all around. Lots of rain again as I started my way to the bus stop. Different driver, a student driver, showed up early so I got on since I got a text from my neighbor Deborah on the fourth floor on Wednesday saying that the driver did not show up for the 10:30 bus.

I didn’t want to take any chances so I got on board. He was driving under the watchful eye of a supervisor and since he was early, I was early. Had enough time to run an errand or two before heading into the cigar shop.

The brain dead Bradley was behind the counter wheezing and burping as he always does. Calvin was interviewing someone in the man cave for a part time position. It went well apparently since Calvin hired him. He’s supposed to start in June and he’s in his fifties so that will make him the eldest employee in the cigar shack.

I didn’t have a chance to meet him, but if he passed Calvin’s muster then he should be alright. Calvin confided to me that he wasn’t too keen on hiring a previous former employee and seems to harbor some regrets about it.

Since it was constantly raining outside that meant the man cave was filling up by early afternoon. A dry drunk came in and promptly made a corner of the man cave all his own. Legs spread open, moving tables and ashtrays just so he could be comfortable. He was a schmuck but easily ignored, quite like the brain dead Bradley who every time I look at him, it’s getting easier to see right through him.

It was certainly 180° from working with Thomas. That was a pleasure, sharp, funny and easy to get along with. Calvin can see this too. He feels that I am better with people whereas the brain dead Bradley works better with inanimate objects. I suppose most inanimate objects would get along with other inanimate objects.

After the brain dead Bradley left for the night, Calvin set about clearing out Marcus’ stuff and putting the office into order. Tomorrow it’s the brain dead Bradley, Thomas and myself. Thomas will more than likely be the bridge between.

Today, I heard from that company I interviewed with 4 times, they were just letting me know that they’re still interviewing and would let me know soon enough. Their email was rife with typos. I would also like to thank everyone who asked for a copy of the bio I wrote yesterday, I hope you all received the email with the document attached. Feedback is always appreciated.

The guy I wrote it for certainly enjoyed it, he edited it somewhat but overall he was happy with it. A few more drafts should be worked on somewhere down the line. In case the world ends tomorrow as expected by so many Christianists, I am not sure whether or not I will be posting.

I hope to take part in some looting with various Facebook friends. I plan on being at the Apple store since I would really like an iPhone and maybe an iPad. The iPhone has that application which can tell you the name of the song you might be hearing and that could come in handy for me.

And there is also the Eno application, Bliss I believe it is called, some generative music. I played with the Sseyo/Koan program that Eno had/promoted a long time ago and I can only guess that the seeds I planted back then are growing wild somewhere in cyber space.

yes, someone left a cake out in the rain.

I Am The Beat

It’s a Monday and my knee hurts a bit. Going to ice it up in a few. Some dipshit will probably say I’m whining or maybe even faking it since the dipshit knows so much, but you know what? I don’t give a shit what the dipshit thinks, though it does give me a reason to write words and gets me that much closer to the daily tally of at least 500 words so to that dipshit or perhaps dipshits some sort of thanks should be given. Perhaps some time, but not now.

Yesterday was a day off from work as well as a day off from writing though I did post some photos of my mother for Mother’s Day. Technically I don’t think it counts. It was a productive day, laundry done, newspaper and bagels and groceries purchased. So much to do in such little time but I did most everything I planned to do including cleaning the bath tub.

And while doing laundry I noticed that my socks needed to be replaced. I walked over to the light rail and rode the train to the Newport Mall. Made my way through the mall and found the sock store which has the thick and thin, over the calf socks that I really prefer for $3.00 a pair. Nice deal and I bought half a dozen.

Then I remembered I needed some new cereal bowls and hoped that Kohl’s would have them and they did, which made going to Target (and breaking the boycott) unnecessary. A nice walk home from the mall, along the waterfront enjoying a cigar was very enjoyable. I came home a few hours later and made myself a nice supper and prepared to stay in for the evening.

I thought about going out and sitting on the stoop but by that time I had removed my sneakers and had my slippers on. After watching President Barack Obama on 60 Minutes I was planning on watching the Simpsons but instead answered a phone call from Bill. He had a rental car which he used to drive his mother to church yesterday morning and had it until this morning.

Bill also had 150 miles he could use and wanted to know if I wanted to go for a ride. I thought a ride would be nice and out of the ordinary and put the sneakers, then headed down the stairs. I got in the car with Bill and since I was calling the shots, we headed up to Weehawken, driving past Jane Street, my old stomping grounds.

It was a brief drive by and so I suggested heading onto Route 3 to Route 17. We got off the highway in Wood Ridge and drove down Hackensack Avenue to Valley Road to the Boulevard. At the circle we swung around and headed past Wright’s Village, Lodi Lanes towards Felician College.

Bill knew the area somewhat since he sometimes drives a bus around there. We ended Lodi through the ass end and drove up South Main Street, past Immaculate Conception High School for girls, through the heart of Lodi and onto Union Street since I wanted to show Bill where I used to go to church as well as my grammar school, St. Francis de Sales.

Lots of cars in the playground which led me to believe it was bingo night. I also pointed out the fence that I clung to when I was in kindergarten, screaming while nuns were horizontally pulling me from my legs and feet as I wailed and wondered aloud ‘why my mother was leaving me there.’

Off St. Joseph’s Boulevard to Church Street, past the Little League field and onto Main Street again. There used to be a dive bar at the corner of Church and Main Streets but no more. I pointed out where the heavy flooding occurs at what used to be Panama’s a greasy spoon.

Bill was getting hungry and pizza was not an option for once so after heading up Trudy Drive and onto Riverview Avenue, past the old homestead we went down Gunther Avenue and back onto Main Street once again, making a left into Saddle Brook to go to the diner.

It was refurbished once again. Once it was a typical 1950’s diner, rectangular with rounded edges, then into something else in the 1970’s, now it had an interior that resembled Planet Hollywood. I pointed out the VFW Post 3484 across from the diner, showing Bill where I used to play with other children of alcoholic parents and also where I first started smoking, though that may have also been the Lodi Boys Club.

I shouldn’t have been surprised by the fact that most everything on the menu was $2.00 cheaper than Manhattan and about $1.00 cheaper than it is in Hoboken. It was a decent meal and I picked up the tab since Bill was doing all the driving. A nice ride back to Hoboken, rather quick since we weren’t sightseeing my old haunts, instead taking Route 80 to the Turnpike where I also pointed out as we drove by places where I used to have illicit sexual encounters.

We were home soon enough, Bill once again proving himself to be an able driver. Slept really well last night and woke up to today being an alright day. The brain dead Bradley was out and it was Thomas and Calvin and myself running the show.

Time flew very fast and before I knew it, I was on the subway heading back to the bus terminal. The usual bus driver was back from vacation and I was able to explain to the worried driver the latest news with regards to Hyman Gross.

The only celebrity I saw today was the kid who plays ‘Lip’ on Shameless. I didn’t say anything to him. I did have a brief visit from Audra an old friend of Annemarie’s. It was good to see her and she certainly looked good.

That’s about it. Hope you mothers had a good day.







Me & Audra

I Just Can’t Make It By Myself

I just got back from a nice supper with Julio, Stine and Superboy, Alexander. Quite nice, mainly appetizers that Stine made. She’s a great cook, and I eat just about anything she makes including artichoke spread which was super tasty and went well on bread.

Some chickpeas and some meat balls with a nice tomato sauce. And since I was there Alexander was compelled to put on a show and didn’t eat his food. Lots of running around and showing me his latest toys. I asked him how old he was and he told me 3, which I guess is OK since his birthday is next month and there was no reason to split hairs.

It was a nice visit after a day of running around. I paid a visit to see my friend Corey who I used to work with back in the 1990’s when I worked in the music business. Corey worked for a cartage company when I first met him. A cartage company is or was a company that rented out machines or instruments to various studios and sessions.

We hit it off and I eventually left the studio business and he went into the studio business working for Sony Studios with our mutual friend Miriam. And somehow we all wound up working at Arista Records in Suzanne Savage’s A&R Administration department, Corey worked in the legal field and we shared a space.

Now Corey is working for one of the last major labels which could vanish at any moment. I recommend he hang in there since things are still so dire out there in the real world. He’s also a grandfather, at the age of 40. It was a weird tale that he told and he still finds himself scratching his head at what happened. Not my story to tell but he is making the best of an interesting situation.

And then I wandered around midtown Manhattan for a spell, enough time spent to get color in my face which Julio remarked upon when he saw me.

Right now I am a bit distracted by Van Morrison. Specifically Moondance. I was planning on uploading a burned copy of that as well as Tupelo Honey but both come up with no titles, no info just the length of the song. It happens every now and then when I get burned CD’s from Arcata and I obsess over trying to figure out what song is what.

I don’t have that iPhone program (or an iPhone/Smartphone) where you just check a few seconds and with a few minutes you get the info that you might need. I’ve been using Amazon to check the track listing but now I find I can’t put the songs in the order that they were released in.

Still I am grateful for the songs and will figure out what is what eventually. I would probably be more proactive if it weren’t for the bottle of wine that Julio and I finished off. I am so not a drinker these days, it really doesn’t take much which is a good thing. All I want to do now is sleep.

And sleep I will- eventually, with the windows open a bit since the temperature was in the 70 degree range today. Back to work tomorrow and off again on Sunday. The head cheeses aren’t expected in this weekend so chances are I will not see Marcus or Calvin but there is always the outside chance.

I was a bit grumpy yesterday, mainly since it was jazz all day, but still I had the best sales of the staff, including the shark known as Calvin.

A real estate agent's photo.




I came thisclose to wearing the same thing.


Bill is off to Atlantic City, first time driving since January. He was a bit anxious since there has been a few bus accidents in the past week. I did my best to reassure him that he would be alright.

I Only Have Eyes For You

I used to nap in style,
An hour was worth my while,
10 minutes at best
Is my current rest,
And 50 minutes are in denial.

That limerick is true. I just made it up, the first line in my mind when I woke up from the aforementioned nap. I thought I’d have an hour long nap but it didn’t turn out to be that way. No worries, 10 minutes was enough but more would have been nice as well. A cat nap is all I needed I suppose.

I didn’t exert myself much at all today. Been lazy but somewhat productive. Errands were run, groceries were bought. I rarely have Saturdays off these days and was surprised that the price of the Daily News is now a dollar. Threw me for a loop. A buck.

At risk of sounding like an old geezer, but I remember buying the Daily News for five cents, the Night Owl edition at the Saddle Brook Diner. I used to eat a lot at that diner. It was and still is across the street from the Saddle Brook VFW, where I spent a lot of time when I was growing up.

It was where my brother Brian and some other children of drunken veterans were accused of stealing tips by the staff. I also saw a car accident where everything seemed to go into slow motion right outside the diner, and I sort of knew one of the people involved in the accident, one of the Peplowski girls from the other side of Lodi.

Three visits to the dry cleaners today. One was to drop off, one was to pick up and another time later on to pick up Bill’s stuff. The owner’s name is Mona and I like her. Mona and her husband run a cheerful shop and they do good work at a good price.

Not much planned for the evening. Had a headache most of the day and aspirin did not do the job. Woke up with it actually. Figured it was a dehydration headache and hydrated myself as soon as I could but the headache persisted, hence the aspirin.

It seems like the ten minute nap did the job and I feel a whole lot better, but a desire to go out is nonexistent. Anyway, I have to work tomorrow.

I noticed this morning when I was out and about, that the 10:30 bus that never shows up when I need to go to work on a Saturday morning showed up when it was supposed to. I cannot help but take this personally.

Is my reputation that terrible that bus drivers will forgo a time table just to avoid me, at the cost of dozens of riders? And does this have anything to bear on my relationship with my own personal bus driver- Bill, who just so happens to be driving to Atlantic City tonight? It’s certainly most unnerving.

And now I am going to make some dinner, using the sauce that Stine made last week. Since tomorrow is Sunday, I won’t be writing unless there is something extraordinary to write about.

That’s about it, smell ya later.














I Concentrate on You

It’s Monday and I have been off of work today. I slept in later than usual, took a melatonin after watching Time Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and Shameless, the William H Macy show on Showtime. It doesn’t start until January but somehow I found the first episode.

It was pretty good actually, though William H Macy made his first appearance in the last minute. Right now, I am oddly entranced by Claire Danes performance as Temple Grandin in the HBO movie of the same name.

She plays the autistic researcher named Temple Grandin who streamlined the cattle herding industry, which lead to the slaughterhouse (abattoir is a much nicer word). Improvements for the cattle industry, not so much for the cattle themselves.

It’s a very interesting movie, and Claire Danes is unrecognizable as Temple Grandin. It’s a welcome distraction from the day I’ve been having. I’m also watching Temple Grandin instead of the frustration of the news, International, national, local and political.

The day started out alright I guess but the blues did creep in. Just the blues for no reason at all. Perhaps it was because of different things, like books and CD’s I dropped off last week are still listed on my bibliothèque card as being out.

Or going to the dry cleaners as Bill asked to pick up clothes only to find that they couldn’t find them. As I climbed the stairs to the apartment, the dry cleaners phoned to say they found the clothes. They giggled and I grimaced.
.
Just one of those days. The temperature dropped considerably and earlier when I was outside there were snow flurries. I got a text from Roda, who invited me to the Maxwells Holiday party. I’m not going, last year was too awkward and I felt really out of place.

And I was broke last year and could barely afford a pint. This year, I do have some money and could buy myself a pint or two, but I’m really not drinking these days and I do have to go to work tomorrow. Perhaps I will go, if only to drop off a DVD that Kevin Craughn made.

Kevin burned The Radiant Child the documentary about Jean Michael Basquiat that Roda and I had seen a few months ago. But already that feeling has left me and I would be content to stay home. Just stopping by would be impossible since I’m sure a few people I know would be at the party and wouldn’t allow me to leave without having a drink.

I think I prefer to stay home. I have It’s Complicated starring Meryl Streep (an excellent skater btw), Steve Martin & Alec Baldwin. I also have a 2 DVD set of Citizen Kane. Both from the library. I also have Shutter Island from Netflix, so I have choices.

Guess I won’t watch Keith Olbermann tonight. I think I’ll steer clear of frustration, anger and depression. That’s not so bad. At least I don’t think so.

Plenty of things to watch until Bill comes home.

I Believe

I made it to Friday. True, my week sort of started on Tuesday but it was an accomplishment for me. Two more days, Saturday and Sunday and then a day off on Monday. It’s not much but I have to take what I can get.

It’s now 11:19PM and I got home about 20 minutes ago. I wasn’t sure if I would make it home, after hustling down the avenue and climbing the stairs, deciding to forgo the escalator since most people at this time of night just dawdle all over the place, not making room for people like me who are trying to make a bus on time.

As I ascended the staircase, you can imagine my surprise when I saw the length of the line for the 126 bus to Hoboken. I called Bill thinking he was waiting up for me to come home and greet me with a big hug. He reassured me that there would be a bus soon after and if I can’t make the bus I was waiting for, he would wait up for me anyway.

As luck would have it, I was able to not only board the bus, but also able to find a seat. I am almost done with Patti Smith’s Just Kids, her memoir of living in New York City in the late 1960’s, early 1970’s. She just finished her affair with Sam Shepard, and Robert Mapplethorpe just discovered photography. It’s really an enjoyable book, highly recommended.

This morning as I waited for the bus, I got a call from Pedro who expressed surprise at the fact that I was still alive. We used to talk at least once a month, but lately with my situations and him now a union delegate we hardly talk anymore.

It was a fun talk for a few minutes, only shallow things said since he was on his way to work. After that phone call another call, from 212-123-4567. Yes, that’s the number that came up. It was one of the recruiters, calling to make sure I knew that I didn’t get the job, the one I was supposed to start this upcoming Monday.

I expressed my regrets at what I had done and she was understanding, offering to help me get a job once I send her a legitimate resume.

An uneventful bus ride into the city and a train ride uptown. Got to the store and already the backroom was filled with cigar smoking men. It was Calvin and the Bradley today and I was aloof. I only spoke with the Bradley when I had to and I made sure I almost never had to.

Some of the customers have said to me that they don’t like the Bradley very much, if at all and I can see why. He’s just annoying and basically an idiot. He used to ask Don where he could find some good graffiti and Don didn’t know. I know where, but since he never asked me it will remain the great unknown.

Maybe his annoying personality is from his moving up from the Carolina’s to work in a cigar shop, after working 12 years in a cigar shop down there.

One of the customers decided to have food delivered for the store and like a group of peasants getting free milk, they descended on the offerings. Calvin said I could fix myself a plate but I had a big lunch and wasn’t hungry much.

Still under Calvin’s eye I filled a container with pasta and put it in my bag. As I cleaned up I took the rest of the food and put it in other containers to bring home.

But the food wasn’t going to make it home as I gave it to a couple of people going through the trash on my way to the bus terminal.


I Can See Your Future

Yesterday was Sunday, today is Monday. Yesterday I had off, today I worked. Tomorrow I have off again. I loathe this retail scheduling. But that is the nature of the beast. I did laundry yesterday, some grocery shopping, cooked food and walked around Hoboken with my friend Lois.

It was a nice time spent with Lois, went to CVS, Rite Aid and Burlington Coat Factory. Lois bought some trousers for her husband Fred. I tried on a belt which left me to think I lost two inches on my waist rather than the one inch I originally thought I had lost.

I suppose it’s from standing around on my feet for nine hours a day and not eating much these days. I noticed the not eating much on Thanksgiving when the first trip to the buffet proved to be enough, but I would be damned if I wasn’t going to get my money’s worth.

I had envisioned my usual stroll around Hoboken with Lois, walking just north of the Lipton Tea building, along the water’s edge down to Pier A or so. I think Lois had other ideas because after the Burlington Coat Factory, she had wanted to go home.

I enjoy Lois and have been friends with her for almost 30 years, but yesterday it was hard to connect with her. That could be because I hardly ever go out and socialize. I am generally so tired after working that the last thing I want to do is have contact with people.

On Saturday night, while Bill was in Atlantic City he asked if I wanted to have breakfast with him at Stacks on Sunday morning. I would have loved to normally, but I said that it was my day off and I really would rather just stay at home and not deal with crowds of loud and noisy people.

Rand invited me over for a cocktail a few weeks ago and I begged off. It was an open ended invitation, I could come over anytime or so that is what I believed. But I haven’t called or gone over for a drink. After a ten hour shift, I’d really rather just go home.

And just like now, I am home. I get home around 11:00. I hustle on down the street after closing the cigar shop, tonight’s soundtrack was courtesy of Hot Chip, in 13 minutes 28 seconds.

Just 26 days left of this nonsense, 26 days until Jesus’ birthday. 26 days of holiday hours. Granted I won’t be working all of those 26 days, probably 19 of those days I have to work. I am off tomorrow, then it’s 5 days of work, then another day off.

I am looking forward to the day off though. Already I have plans to make, like seeing another recruiter. Right now I am filling out an online application, which is totally pointless since they already have my resume.

But it’s what they want, and who am I to deny them that?

I Need a Situation

Baby, I know you’re wonderin’, why I don’t come over to your place. Cause I’m not too sure about how you feel, so I’d rather go at my own pace. Yes, I just posted a Lisa Lisa & the Cult Jam video on Facebook, and so now the song is in my head.

Today was back at work for me. Back at the cigar shop. Don, Sean & myself. It was the last weekend of a fine team. Don’s last weekend is next week, but Calvin will be with us and that is no fun. Sean came up with the idea of ordering a pizza for this special weekend and so that was nice.

I agreed knowing that I would be likely having pizza with Bill tonight. So a greasy pizza this afternoon, and a coal over pizza tonight with Bill. Both were good and hit the spot. When I was living in Weehawken, pizza was the main staple of my diet, passing Monetti’s Pizza every night.

Now, maybe I have pizza once a week. And today was the exception to that rule.

Last night, instead of seeing Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby I stayed home while Bill tried to explain to his friend Theresa how to operate an iBook. But it was more than that. Theresa needed to be schooled on most of the computer basics, that Ctrl B means BOLD, Ctrl I means Italics and Ctrl U means Underlined. Stuff like that. No underlining on WordPress.

It was an interesting and entertaining evening. I mainly sat in front of my computer as they chatted. I tried watching Bill Maher and the DVD of Inherit the Wind which I have been watching in spurts for the past few days.

The DVD is from the bibliothèque and is due back in a few days. I have off Monday and Tuesday so I should have ample to time to finish that one off. I also have the animated movie, 9, with the voices of Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly and Jennifer Connelly. It’s directed by Shane Acker and produced by Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov.

I just got that off the cover of the DVD. I have no idea who Timur Bekmambetov is. That’s also due back at the bibliothèque soon so I’d better get crackin’ on that.

I am looking forward to tonight’s Saturday Night Live. The guest host is Scarlett Johansson and the musical guests are Arcade Fire. Hopefully there will be funny skits.

And since tomorrow is Sunday, I don’t think I’ll be a postin’. Unless there is something to post about.

What? Oh I still have to write more? How much have I written so far? Only 449? It seemed like more. Felt like it at least. Oh well still have to meet that quota.

Bill mentioned to Theresa that I write every day, at least 500 words. She was impressed. And I hope you are too.

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

All work and no play play, makes Jack a dull boy.

Raymond aka & Don aka


Sean aka


Hyman Gross

I Don’t Want To Know

Well it’s been a day off and it’s been alright. I bought myself a new Timex watch and some new Airwalk sneakers. The last watch lost it’s crown, which is the piece that allows you to adjust the time when you pull it out.

What was left of the crown kept getting snagged on clothes and other things. And the Airwalk sneakers, well after over a year, they’ve been looking ratty. A trip to the mall was in order. The watches were on sale at Kohl’s so I saved about $20.00 on the basic Timex watch.

The co-workers at the cigar shop all have watch fetishes, preferring to spend hundreds of dollars on a watch that does the same thing as my $30.00 Timex. Only it’s not as flashy as a watch that cost several hundred dollars (or more).

On my way home I switched from the old sneakers to the new ones, figuring I was just going to throw them out anyhow. I must have looked a sight sitting on a bench by the Hudson River, in my purple socks, lacing up the new kicks and tossing out the old ones.

I did say good bye to the old sneakers, thanking them for the services they’ve provided. The new pair is basically the same style as the old pair, tan Airwalk kicks. I certainly don’t wear them as much as I used to, mainly on weekends as I truck to and from the bus terminal to the cigar shop.

It was a nice day out too. A little overcast and a little muggy at that. More resumes went out this morning and also communicated with the groups that Don from work had suggested. One of the groups, an LGBT start up had no use for me, but did offer some volunteering work if I’d like.

I thanked them for the volunteering offer, but turned it down. With my schedule I don’t think I would have anytime to do any of that for them. Still no word from the other group Don recommended. And there were other resumes sent out.

Last year the thing from some job listings was a front for continuing education websites like University of Phoenix. You see a job that you feel you are qualified for and send them your resume then you get a response, asking for you to take an IQ test, or a free credit check.

It’s all rather demoralizing and degrading. Demoralizing since you think it’s a good fit and it seems like a scam. Still I continue sending out resumes left and right. No legitimate responses, no words from the cousins.

The mantra is a bit frayed, I’m afraid. If I could have picked up a new mantra with the new watch or sneakers I certainly would have. But no, it wasn’t to be.

Last night or rather this morning I had a very strange dream. I was in an apartment with Brian Eno & David Byrne and a woman. Eno picked up a starter’s pistol and put it to his temple. We told him not to pull the trigger but he did and collapsed.

Blood and water spilled from his head as he lay there. Byrne, the woman and I all tried calling 911 on our cellphones but couldn’t get through. At some point I cradled Eno in my arms and took him outside. When we were out in the daylight, his skin looked like the skin of an avocado, but rather quickly his skin was normal once again and he came to life.

So while it had a happy ending it was disturbing enough that I couldn’t get to sleep again.


I’ll Never Fall In Love Again

Well now it’s Thursday. First off, I was able to take a shower. And it was good. It really is a good way to wake up, and with a cup of coffee, what could be better?

I know there are some things that could be better, but I’m not getting into that right now. Plus it’s been a long while since I woke up in that way that I might not be able to recognize what exactly is going on under the covers.

But this morning wasn’t so bad, and of course I went to work with a feeling of dread. I also caught the earlier bus. I must try for the 10:30 bus. I stood there at the bus stop and felt, ‘Better get it over with’ and got on board. And it was a crowded bus.

So I must make an effort to wait for the next bus next time. I did make it to the bibliothèque before the bus where I picked up some items that were being held for me.

A Big Star compilation that I requested earlier in the summer (actually requested April 21) came in and I am presently uploading it as I write this. It’s a 4 CD set and seems to have quite a lot on it. I also got a copy of Joe Jackson’s first album, Look Sharp since a line from Happy Loving Couples floats through my mind from time to time.

And also got a DVD of Zombieland which looks like it could be fun to watch. From Netflix I got A Single Man, which is Tom Ford’s first directing effort. I heard it was good and I also know that that isn’t going to be that much fun to watch.

I got to the store and it was just me and Calvin for a good part of the day, with Sean joining us when he got out of his classes for the day. I wonder if I was as narcissistic at 20 as Sean is. I doubt it. Then again I came from an intelligent family and had some highly intelligent friends around me.

I had a late lunch at 3:45 which was fine by me. I sat on a bench near the park and happily puffed away on a cigar as the humidity rose since a major storm was on it’s way. I read the New Yorker, finally all caught up on the issues.

Came back and found that Don Birch will be leaving early on Saturday since he’s getting in touch with his Hebraic roots. It’s Yom Kippur and he’s decided to observe it. But I think it’s his girlfriend whispering in his ear telling him to take the day off.

So when I get in, he will be leaving. And it will be just me and Kid Narcissus. It should be a nightmare. But I could be happily wrong and it could work out fine.

Tonight it was just me and Kid Narcissus and although it was awkward at first it ended well. The new schedule is out and as per my request, I have October 2 off which is the date that Rand has set for his birthday party.

Rand”s turning 50 this year and it’s a milestone. I’m looking forward to it. I have to go to work the next day but it shouldn’t be so bad.

And tonight, once again I made it from the cigar shop to the bus terminal courtesy of David Bowie and the Earthling album. The first three tracks lasted 16 minutes and 12 seconds.

It’s probably a good thing that I walk alone since it could be difficult for someone to keep up with me.


I’m Your Villain

And here we are on what other people call a Friday. Heck, I even call it a Friday myself, but it’s the middle of the work week for me in retail land, so it’s a Wednesday. And the mantra continues, ‘At least you have a job’.

Last night was OK, came home a minute after Bill. He picked up some milk for me which was awfully nice. I asked him when he asked me to pick up his laundry this morning. He was soon off to bed leaving me to surf the internet for an hour or two.

Not much to see, no one updating or posting anything really worth writing about. I did enjoy the live stream of Arcade Fire from Madison Square Garden last night.

Soon I was the other lump in the bed. Fell quickly asleep but about 20 minutes into it, Bill coughed loudly waking me up and making it difficult to fall back asleep. So following my own advice I got out of bed and sat in front of the computer for about 20 minutes.

Killed some time before finally being able to go back to sleep which was all about tossing & turning. Bill was up and out as usual, leaving me to get some sleep while avoiding the sun as it tried to creep through the blinds.

Finally I woke up, a little later than usual, remembering to get Bill’s laundry. That is what got me up and out of the apartment, after showering and before having coffee. Mona, the dry cleaning lady was quite nice as she saddled me with all of Bill’s laundry & dry cleaning.

I made it back home and up the four flights of stairs where I then had my coffee and started my day. And I was out the door a little while after that, stopping off at the Bibliothèque where I returned the Duke Ellington biography.

Way too dense for me, who is also way too dense. I did pick up a biography on Leo Castelli which is more to my liking than Duke Ellington. I was on the bus and headed through the tunnel, getting to the cigar shop about a half hour early.

I sat in the lounge before it opened and started the Castelli biography. It was slow enough, me and Don Birch and Sean manning the registers. Marcus was soon out, headed to New Orleans for the big tobacconist convention next week.

The usual customers came in, mostly nice. The crabby ones I avoided like so much pubic lice. My friend my friend came in and said hello and quietly remarked that he had read this here blog. And apparently it didn’t put him off too much. It was encouraging to hear.

There was an event that Raymond had a big hand in putting together so he came in towards the end of the day. Air Bender cigars, Kung Fu movies, whiskey and Chinese food.

Since it was payday I already had a plan to get a burger and fries and a chocolate shake from Good Burger around the corner which made my co-workers think I was being holier than thou.

I explained to them that since I didn’t pay $70.00 to participate in the event it didn’t seem right to eat the food, plus I let them in on a secret. I’m not that fond of Chinese food. I mean I will eat it if it’s in front of me, but it’s really not my cuisine of choice.

I did my best ringing up over $1000.00 in sales, really doing my best to get that 3% commission. The co-workers stayed, making overtime and working the event. I was out a few minutes after 9:00 after closing up my drawer.

A nice walk on a lovely evening to the bus terminal, in 17.8 minutes. From Love Will tear Us Apart by Joy Division to Slip Into Something by Kinobe. Not a bad day overall. Two more days, my personal Thursday and Friday, brought on a Saturday and Sunday.

At least I have a job.

I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris

It’s another late day, or rather late night. Not much to write about. So I’m doing a recap of previous July 31’s. Deal with it yo.

July 2006. I was working at Wolff Olins (McMann & Tate) and my final attempt at returning to Putnam Lovell NBF (Wanker Banker) was ending. Helen Angelakos put the kibosh on the situation which actually turned out to be a good thing.

It would have been too weird to go back anyhow. I suppose lifting the pox on the house of Angelakos should be lifted but I’m tired and it’s quite a heavy pox. It was a Monday and I think I spent the previous day at the beach with Julio & Stine.

July 31, 2007 was a Tuesday. I rode the bus with a woman who had dragon breath. I wanted to tell her but I didn’t. I guess there was no one in her world that was close enough to tell her that her breath was certain dead.

I heard from my Rasta pal, Marcus just catching up. It was probably the last time I heard from him. I hope he’s doing well.

I wrote about hanging out with Marcus at some West Indian ballroom somewhere on Church Avenue in Brooklyn as well as a brief history of hanging out with Marcus, Jesse and late Poncho.

July 31, 2008 was a Thursday since I guess that 2008 was a leap year. Stine and Alexander were in Denmark, tentative plans to go to the beach with Julio were in the works. I was working at Bio-IB, rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Sweating a lot. I wrote about crossing paths with a rolypoly guy who mirrored my every step. Trying to side step him, I wound up fingering his flabby gut. Not a nice feeling. The wonderful Andres Duque gave me advice via a comment about how you don’t look into the eyes of the person you’re trying to step around.

Useful information which I use to this day and the mirror effect of trying to sidestep someone rarely happens anymore thanks to Andres. Blabbeando indeed!

Last year’s July 31, involved my dear friend Billie getting his car stolen (later recovered I believe, and trashed).

I met an online friend named Tom at the Cigar Inn on Second Avenue. Nice guy, just a chat and a smoke and no funny business. His birthday was just the other day and I wished him a happy bidet.

I was just finishing my first month of being out of work and I guess it still really hadn’t set in. It really wouldn’t until the holidays when there was no work at Farfetched to be had since there was no more Farfetched.

I still had hope that work would be around the corner, I just hadn’t realized how long the block was that I was traveling and the corner would still be about 10 months away.

And now here I am in 2010 and the possibility of a new job looms on the horizon. Just a possibility of course, but hope remains.

John Ozed, July 31, 2007

Still taking Sundays off. No post tomorrow!

I’m Stone In Love With You

It was a busy day and a difficult day. It didn’t start out difficult. It started out OK I guess. No running errands before work. In fact I took my time mostly.

I neglected to write about how I was interview by the Wall Street Journal yesterday. Or rather possibly. I don’t know if my quote will make it to the printed page. Publish and be damned says I, I publish my own damnation.

Some columnist named Evan Newmark was walking to the Wall Street Journal offices in the News Corpse building, walking down the Upper West Side and stopping at various landmarks like Zabar’s and stopped by the cigar shop.

He was inquiring in each store and stop, whether or not we felt the economy was on the rebound. I said that I thought it was, albeit slowly and people (mainly men) are still buying cigars. He asked if it was mainly monied businessmen, the captains of industry stereotype and I did my best to disprove that image, telling him bus drivers and garbage men as well as other walks of life come in and purchase their cigars.

It was a brief interview and I asked him to contact me if it were to be published. Evan Newmark wasn’t sure if it would make it to press. That was yesterday.

There was an article in today’s journal that had a brief interview with one of our customers at another cigar shop across town though and it wasn’t by Evan Newmark, but by someone else.

The Journal is a Murdoch paper and therefore anathema to me. But of course if I’m in it, I’ll buy it.

Today went alright. Some stress between Calvin & Raymond but that seemed to have been squashed by the end of the day.

Raymond is quite the gossip and whispering in my ear about how Calvin likes to have a couple of drinks after he has his lunch which usually runs over an hour and a half. I suppose it’s true since Calvin gets more chatty after lunch.

I had him going on about how he likes jazz and his opinion on who the most important jazz figure was in the twentieth century. Louis Armstrong it turned out to be. Made sense to me, since Louis Armstrong was a giant in popular culture back then.

He was also a major pot head, which could explain his smiling and laughing all the time.

My own lunch was spent outside the park on a bench, reading The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore. He was on the Colbert Report a month ago and also came into the shop a week or so ago. Nice guy, and meeting him inspired me to take the book out of the bibliothèque.

Once again, I closed the store which seems to be my designated role. It went well but there was a discrepancy which was all my fault, ringing up a credit card purchase as both credit and cash. But since it’s been identified and accounted for it shouldn’t be too much of a problem to clear up.

At least I hope so. I would have liked to have seen the Guitar Bar All Stars by the river at Sinatra Park tonight like I have previous years but this is how things are these days.

Yes, smoking yet another cigar.