Category Archives: Whats for lunch?

$2.00 Off

Well today has been an improvement over yesterday. My niece and her husband returned to New Jersey safe and sound after the Boston Marathon. They were safe yesterday and I would like to think they are safer at home. The whole family is relieved and also saddened by what happened.

My niece posted a photograph of herself and two running friends, right past the finish line. It was hard to believe that within a few minutes after that the bombs went off. Their friends all made it safely home as far as I know, and that is by judging by what their Facebook pages said.

I slept fairly well last night and woke up in good spirits. Bill was up and doing his thing and soon after I showered and had my coffee a text from Juan came through, asking if he could stop by. Of course he could stop by. Bill didn’t mind and neither did I.

I did have some errands to run beforehand so Juan would have to accompany me on my rounds. It wasn’t so bad. One was a trip to the grocery store and the rest were on Washington Street.

I ran into Julio yesterday before all the shit went down and he asked me if I still had his pocket sized bicycle pump. We had a good talk. He’s a new guy, more mature. Good to see him one on one since when it with the wife and kid they all vie for my attention. I can take them all one at a time, but three on one can be overwhelming, sometimes joyfully so.

And Juan was pretty funny this afternoon. Where he gets his cutting remarks from, I don’t know. He did grumble when I asked him to hold a cigar when I ran into a store. I reassured him that it would only make him look ‘butch’.

We came back home, Bill getting ready to head out while Juan and I watched Archer which we had on the DVR. And then just like that, my two favorite guys headed out. Juan to go get some lunch and Bill off to Manhattan.

I was fine with it, not that I had any say in the matter. Julio was also in Manhattan so I didn’t see him today. Still I have the bicycle pump should he call or text me again. I’ll be around.
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Kashmir

I Stay Away

It is cold and it is snowing out. I went outside exactly once today and it was more than enough. Apparently I did the smart thing and stocked up yesterday. It’s slippery on the sidewalks and after hours of frozen rain and snow, now it is all snow and strong winds. I was walking down Washington Street with my umbrella and the wind wound up pushing me a few feet. I am over 200 lbs. and this was daunting to me. It was easier to get around without the umbrella and somewhat safer. And now I am home, been inside for a few hours and not planning on going out there until tomorrow.

Bill should be on his way home, all trips to Atlantic City have been canceled, much to Bill’s dismay. Getting out of the city probably isn’t easy to do tonight either. Manhattan cannot be seen and Jersey City and Union City, nestled atop the Palisades have been blanked out by the snow and wind. From this perch on the fifth floor I would say there are about two or three inches on the surrounding rooftops. According to some friends in Delaware, they had rain for about seven hours and since it’s colder up here it will likely turn to snow.

So it’s the rare Friday night that Bill will be home. What will we watch? I have a few movies, he saw Argo and I haven’t seen that yet so perhaps that’s what we will watch. I also have Moonrise Kingdom, which Bill hadn’t seen yet, and I also have The Fighter with Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, and Everything Must Go with Will Ferrell. We are set in the entertainment department as long as the power is still on. Overhead wires laden with wet and heavy snow could collapse or be brought down by tree branches that fall under the weight and from the wind.

New York has declared a state of emergency as well as other New England states. I’ not sure if Governor Chris Christie has done the same for New Jersey, after Sandy in November I can’t see why or how he wouldn’t. It’s not the first big snowstorm I’ve been through and it certainly wouldn’t be the last. I won’t be sledding down Gunther Avenue though. Those days are gone and I’m not sure if there is any sledding towards Main Street traffic.

I do like to go out into the snow at night and take a few photos, but I have my doubts about doing that tonight. I’m not saying no, but it does seem unlikely. I’m warm and comfortable inside and it’s too much the opposite outside. The sun has gone down and the snow continues to fall but traces of Jersey City and Union City are now visible. Is it over? Is it a lull? I’m not planning on finding out right now, and I will wait for Bill’s on the spot weather report. It’s the one I trust the most.
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Making Plans for Nigel

I Shall Be Released- The Band

Well here I am at the cigar shop again. Apparently Shlomo’s father has fallen ill and I got the request last night to open up the shop. I didn’t mind since I had nothing else to do. It’s been a warm day too. A bit overcast with the nearby thermometer stating that it is almost 60 degrees outside. In January. That’s not right but that is how it is. Not much foot traffic. The nannies and the au pairs remain steadfast in their refusal to buy or smoke cigars. Which is not how the nannies and au pairs that I had were when I was growing up.

I was just out in front of the cigar shop having a puff when an old friend from back in the Maxwell’s days came up. Mark Zoltak, nice guy, really friendly. He used to DJ at Maxwell’s from time to time and also spent a lot of time at the competition, The Beat N’ Path where he would also promote shows and DJ. He’s also good friends with Chaz and a few other people. We chatted for a while on the sidewalk, so long that I had to relight my cigar 3 times, not that I minded.

Mark and I have similar tales to tell, about Hoboken, Maxwell’s, music in general, various people and various drugs. I didn’t know about his problems with some drugs and he didn’t know about mine. We both came to the conclusion separately that Rick James was right. Cocaine is a hell of a drug and since we both did our time playing with that shit neither of us have any need to go back and revisit that ever again.

Some names were mentioned people who had done Mark wrong. Some of those names I knew quite well and they’d never done anything bad to me, but that’s probably because I was never in business with them. And some of the musicians he dealt with were pretty crummy to begin with and they were people I didn’t really like very much anyhow. Too much ego, too much baggage or they were on the wrong drugs which brought out the worst in them.

Mark is still a nice guy though. Grey in the hair nowadays and he’s not the type to dye it for a ‘younger’ look or an attempt to look younger. I brought up a David Bowie story, one that I might not have written about here before and if I did, it was a long time ago.

It was when I was working at Right Track Recording when Bowie was in. We had been hitting it off and David felt confident in my opinion. He knew I was a DJ and asked who I thought should remix a single from the Earthling album. I drew a blank and when I had the chance, I called Rand who was more into the remix world than I was and picked his brain. Rand suggested a few names, only one sticks out, Josh Wink.

I mention the names to David and I recall he did not particularly care for Josh Wink. I felt I did the best I could do and left it at that. It wasn’t until after the fact, after David Bowie had moved on, that I probably could have suggested myself to remix the song. Not that I had any experience doing such a thing, but still I guess David would have given me a shot if I asked. And probably offered to do it for nothing.

But as you well know, I didn’t suggest myself and that is why I am selling cigars, bartering my time for cigars on Washington Street. No regrets though nowadays I just shake my head at the opportunity that slipped through my fingers.

Armoire anyone?

Armoire anyone?


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I Rep That West

Late night text from Israel, he of the cigar shop, asking if I could come in this week. Israel anticipates last minute shoppers since we are now in what can be called the homestretch for Christmas. And with nothing better to do, I agreed. My cigar supply has been low so here was an opportunity to do something about that, plus help out these Zionist hoodlums I am friendly with. I’ve taken to calling Israel and Shlomo that even though neither one is a Zionist nor a hoodlum. It’s always guaranteed a chuckle when I call them that as they curse me in Hebrew.

Unfortunately it’s quite cold and very damp outside so not much foot traffic is occurring. I’m sure if they were in a shopping mall in midtown Manhattan there might be foot traffic but that might not be the case. So I’ve been keeping myself busy, like a threatening Kevin from a previous life somewhere used to say exactly, ‘If you’re leanin’ you ain’t cleanin’’. Quite the wordsmith he was, I wonder whatever happened to his screenwriting career? I busied myself cleaning, running some quick errands and mopping. No cleaning lady here, it’s all hands on deck.

Bill was off to Boston or to be exact, Framingham on Saturday and Sunday. I went up to Framingham a few times when growing up, my father had a buddy from World War II and we used to visit his family. It was like visiting another world, they had stores called Stop & Shop up there, so exotic. I learned how to shoot a bow and arrow and was gifted one when we headed back to NJ. I fancied myself a huntsman and set up a target with an old mattress and some bullseyes drawn by me in the guise of monsters.

Our neighbor John B was quite good with a bow and arrow, shooting his targets from the opposite end on his driveway. Me, I could barely hit the mattress from 10 feet away in my backyard. It was fun while it lasted but ultimately a solitary sport and I would rather hang out with my friends. Bill did have a good time while in Framingham and was back last night full of tales of New England to tell. Bill delicately chewed my ear off and I didn’t mind in the slightest. It was good to have him home again.

I did go out myself on Saturday night, Julio picking me up and we headed to his place. No trip to Denmark for Him and Stine and Alexander this season. Her family are coming to Hoboken. Alexander stayed up waiting for me, past his bedtime and he was the funny little guy he always is, hiding from me when I first got there and Julio and Stine acting like they had no idea where he was. Soon he was asleep as the grown ups drank wine and chatted. Good time, good people and good wine. Is that too much to ask for?

I had some encounters with some Hoboken bloggers, I’m not naming names one I removed from the blogroll and the other is still there. I was surprised to find that one of the bloggers had President Obama as Heath Ledger’s Joker on his page, no irony involved. We have similar political affiliations here in the mile square city, but I guess nationally for him it’s ‘time to get yer guns’ I was chatting with him and a mutual friend on the mutual friend’s Facebook wall when I was alarmed by his pro-gun stance and once I knew who it was, had to remove him from the blogroll.

The other blogger came into the cigar shop while I was sitting there for Shlomo one afternoon. He was taking photographs and asking questions. I answered the questions that get asked several times a day, ‘a cigar lounge will be in the basement soon enough’. Well answering that question got the attention of the health department who visited and insisted that they told ME weeks ago that a cigar lounge couldn’t be done.

I can tell you that even though it was a night like this, 10 years ago I never hitched a ride with the truck driving woman from City Hall, nor have I ever spoken with her. Israel is a bit upset that city hall read the blog which is where they got their information on the cigar shop.

Oh me and the blogs. Whatever will happen next?
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Go Now

I Really Taught Me To Watusi

Yes I did not post yesterday. It was a friggin’ holiday and I decided to not write, which in turn gave you all (both of you) the opportunity to not read. A ‘win win’ situation wouldn’t you say? I know I would. Yesterday was very much a mellow day, Bill was home the night before after driving to Massachusetts and back. Sleep came fairly easy, dreams somewhat disturbing. I was up earlier than expected thanks to some neighbors taking advantage of rebuilding after the storm to remodel their apartments without building permits and it sounded like a basketball game was in progress.

I’m sure there are a few people in town avoiding the building permit scene and doing whatever remodeling they could do. Some people are definitely in need of rebuilding but in my building a tenant is merely trying to make room for his wife moving back in. So being up early allowed me to go to the supermarket nearby to get a few things before the Thanksgiving last minute rush kicked in. I got a few things and then headed home where I had a nice breakfast. Bill was still asleep when I came back and of course I let him sleep.

He eventually got up and got himself together. The plan was the same as last year, dinner at Oscar’s Brasserie in the Waldorf Astoria. We started going there two years ago with Hyman Gross. He used to go with his lady friend and since she passed away we decided to treat Hyman. I was working then so it was doable. Then Hyman passed away and we went to honor Hyman. I don’t know if we’ll go again next year. We get dressed up to find no one else is dressed up. The food is great though.

After dinner a walk across town back to the bus terminal as we smoked our cigars. Someone blessed me with a few Cubans so it was especially enjoyable. Not too long of a wait for the bus and not too many people. A couple of hours after we left Hoboken for dinner, we were back in Hoboken, sated. Not much on the television so we watched a Harry Potter marathon which Bill seemed to enjoy. I of course told him to pay attention at certain points just so he would know who was who and what was what. It helped somewhat.

Soon it was bedtime for the Bonzos. Bill slumbered off first and I joined him shortly thereafter. This morning Bill was up first and out and about. I woke up to an empty apartment. I knew Bill was driving tonight and had no idea where he was. He soon came home, after spending some time talking with the neighbors. I showered and had some coffee that Bill made. He came home with more groceries and things he was going to need for the drive tonight. We spent some good time together before he headed out leaving me in solitude.

I unfortunately couldn’t help but feed the trolls. It seems a woman was photographed at Arlington Cemetery giving the finger to a sign that requested silence and respect. Yes, she flipped the bird to a sign. This of course cost her her job because she was disrespecting the dead, soldiers and veterans all at the same time by flipping off an inanimate sign. Oh she has stalkers after her, true ‘patriots’ screaming that she should go to Iran. You can just smell the tea and semen on their chins as they type.

And me being me, went to this woman’s defense. Yes it was a stupid joke, but ultimately it was harmless. ‘I have 37.5 relatives in national cemeteries and blah blah blah.’ Truly pathetic. I was slandered as well for pointing out the hypocrisy of terrible spellers. Pedro felt obliged to intervene and request that I stop feeding these trolls, and eventually I did.

I am quite glad there was no internet when I visited Ford’s Theater with my family in the 1960′s.

I also saw Shlomo at the smoke scene. He was hanging out with some guy named MJ. I just gave Shlomo a book that I’ve had for the past couple of years about cigars and tobacco, a handbook of sorts for tobacconists. I wasn’t using it as anything besides a doorstop and figured Shlomo would be better off with it than me. I think he figured I was angling for a free cigar but with the Cuban bounty that washed up on our doorstep, I could afford to walk off with a simple handshake. I don’t think Shlomo is used to someone like me, just being kind for no particular reason.





I’m The Urban Spaceman

I Like It Like That- Hot Chelle Rae

Well it is a Saturday night and a bit early. I am a bit buzzed after spending time with Pedro and Connie in the Village. A few beers a few shots and once back in Hoboken and now I am at home for a spell. II am expected to go back out in a little while. I needed something to eat so now that’s worked out. Having written that, and being home it doesn’t seem likely that I will be going out again. Though that is the plan and a worthwhile plan at that, but with each word I write it seems unlikely.

I had made tentative plans to head out and meet up with Pedro this afternoon and when he did call I was still a little hesitant. Bit a plan is a plan and since I hadn’t seen Pedro in such a long time I couldn’t resist. Bill was up and about when I decided to head out. Bill came home and I was still asleep, not knowing what day it was I asked if he was going to work. He told me it was Saturday and yes he was going to work, after he had gotten some sleep.

So after getting his sleep, Bill was up and about and I was on my way out. Pedro and Connie were in Soho when I last was in contact with him so I figured that was where I would meet up. I walked to the Path train after saying goodbye to Bill and headed that way. A block away from the Path train he texted me asking where I was. I let him know that I would be there in about a half hour. And it turned out that I was in the city within 30 minutes, meeting Pedro at Christopher and Greenwich Streets.

A big hug and a kiss from Pedro and then a walk up Greenwich Street to a Tapas bar where Connie was waiting. More hugs and kisses before sitting down for a few beers and a couple of shots of chilled Patron. It wasn’t my choice but Pedro can be so persuasive. Connie being the designated driver passed. Catching up was done followed by tales untold, mainly what happened to my gig at the cigar shack. IT was time well spent with an invite to me to come up and visit Pedro and Connie for a midweek visit, which was fine by me.

We walked for a while after that and I was able to introduce Pedro to my friend Teo who sells his artwork on the street. Pedro liked what he saw but it was too small for what he envisioned and requested a piece by Teo that might be a bit larger than what was on display. It could be done and all it needs is Teo to get it together so that he might have a nice sale from his art work. I won’t make anything from this, just the satisfaction that two friends could get it together in a way that is beneficial for both parties.

Now I have written my 500 word allotment and I am more than comfortable to stay home and just chill out, let the alcohol buzz fade away.

I did intend to go out again and meet up at Hoboken Cigars once again, but I got held up in an online argument, me defending Bob Mould, Blow Off and bears in general. I must have made my point since the guy I was debating, the one who called me ‘bitch’, deleted his posts and left the Facebook group where this all took place. Still I was ready to go out again, but now having written that, and being home, I asked myself do I really want to go out again. The answer is no.

I am home, happy to be here and more than willing to stay in, which is what I am apparently doing.

Me & Pedro


He doesn't smoke, really.


Dave Alicea at Hoboken Cigars


Black Sheep – The Choice Is Yours

I Heart NY

Well last night was somewhat different from my usual routine. I got out early since I opened up the cigar shack and avoided the theater crowds by taking the subway to the bus terminal. Then after climbing a few escalators I thought I would catch the bus, but 3 scheduled buses did not appear making the one bus that actually did show up extremely crowded.

I rode past my usual stop and got something to eat. Since I usually get home too late to eat a full meal, I was afforded enough time to have something substantial. I watched Bill Maher where I enjoyed Charles Blow’s interview with Bill Maher regarding the Trayvon Martin tragedy. After that it was all downhill. I once again dislike Andrew Sullivan. Fred Armisen was entertaining but why do they have him on besides to remind people that Bill Maher is ‘funny’.

I watched the news and spoke to Bill who made it to Atlantic City. Around midnight I was fading fast and thought it was time to turn in. I wasn’t sure if I would actually be able to fall asleep an hour earlier than usual, and I found out 8.5 hours later that I was able to fall asleep.

Been a while since I had 8.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep and even though I usually don’t sleep well when Bill is not in bed, I was able to sleep quite soundly. Waking up refreshed I was ready for work. Bill came home a few minutes before I headed out and it was nice to spend some fleeting minutes with him before he went to bed and I was able to head to the cigar shack. He’s driving to Atlantic City again tonight.

At the cigar shack there was Bradley and Jerry Vale. Things were going well, still selling the unveiled cigar from the other night as well as a few other choice cigars. Mainly the numbers were for all cigars, no big ticket items. For lunch I was able to have some Shepherd’s Pie once again.

I was going to enjoy a cigar in the man cave but it was too crowded so I opted to roam the streets which had gotten considerably cooler than the near 80 degree weather that’s been occurring lately. The day was alright, nothing special. I wrote another blog entry for the cigar shack’s blog, including some decent photos.

Of course things were going so smoothly that there was bound to be some head butting and sure enough Bradley and Jerry Vale were at it. Nothing major, a miscommunication, a misunderstanding with some hurt feelings. It was odd to be witnessing it, usually I am one of the participants.

Whether or not they resolved it, I couldn’t say. I doubt that they did. The hatchet is buried somewhere though. Now it’s a Saturday night at the cigar shack, things are slowing down considerably, 33 minutes to go which won’t pass fast enough.

Not that I have any say in the matter.

a failed escape





Comical Israelites


03 Picture Book (mono)

I Hate The Way

A Thursday at the cigar shack. It’s me and Zack right now, Jerry Vale was in earlier but went off to represent at a cigar function somewhere in midtown. It’s been a slow day, not many customers coming in. Certainly no Saudi royalty, at least not yet.

I’ve been busy doing extracurricular things, taking photographs and doing some writing on behalf of the cigar shack. I am the official blogger for the cigar shack and will be maintaining a blog for the shack as well as photographing events all while selling cigars and accessories.

I just achieved my daily bread, I mean daily goal, so that’s a relief. With Zack in the cigar lounge, having a smoke I’ve decided to play some reggae in honor of Mr. Winston Rodney’s birthday, that’s Burning Spear for those playing at home.

I’m sure I’ve seen Burning Spear somewhere, but with red eyes back then, the memories today are somewhat cloudy. One specific memory I do have involved Burning SPear at the late, lamented Wetlands, a club in Tribeca. My friend Miriam and I along with her friend Andre went to see Burning Spear and we got there early enough to be 2 feet from the stage.

It was perfect, none of us had been that close to see a reggae legend like that before. Unfortunately Andre got himself smoked out causing us to abandon the show before it even began since homeboy couldn’t hang.

So we went from being thisclose to the stage to being out on the street making sure Andre had something to eat. Now Black Uhuru is playing and I certainly remember an excellent show with Black Uhuru and King Sunny Ade at the Dr. Pepper Festival on the Pier at 42nd Street, in the shadow of the USS Intrepid.

That show seemed to go on forever, maybe 3 or 4 hours, with quite a few friends hanging out and sharing things that get passed around. It is a little blurry, the memory that is, but I do recall being there with Andrew Feldman and Rand Hoppe and possibly the one and only Jose Blackorby as well as other friends I am sure.

Now there is 45 minutes left in the day and I am off tomorrow and that makes me happy. Bill was up early, doing his volunteer work for WBAI, getting up at 4AM. I could not be roused when he left, he told me he tried kissing me a few times but I would not be moved. I did sleep a lot better than I did the night before so it was probably me making up for lost sleep the night before.

So I am off tomorrow and I have no plans whatsoever. Maybe some laundry but that could wait until next week. No art galleries to go to and the weather might be crappy so staying in might be the thing to do. I do have the movie Beginners which won Christopher Plummer the Academy Award last week, so that might be the highlight of the day.

And the last customer of the cigar shack this evening dropped quite a pretty penny, causing my high tide to lift all boats. Nice start for the month of March.



Burning Spear – The Sun

I Gotta Know

And so it was back to work for me today after a day off which was quite productive, or at least somewhat productive. Today there was some difficulty waking up more than likely from the fact that it was raining outside and who really wants to get out of bed on a rainy day?

Bill had off today, he had an audition for a TV show this afternoon and also wanted to continue on his progress with regards to cleaning the apartment. SO Bill and his buddy are doing just that, cleaning the apartment. Bill said it would be all Spic & Span when I get home. I do have my reservations though.

My day at the cigar shack started in the red though. Last week I sold a few items totaling over $700.00. It was a good sale, the customer was nice and I enjoyed helping her. Unfortunately between that day and this morning, she found the same items online at a considerably lower price.

So she returned them for a refund and I can’t blame her for that but that put me in the hole. I spent the day trying to get out of the hole, bit by bit, cigar by cigar. A little over an hour ago, I was finally out of the hole and content to be in the low 3 figures. Back in Black should have been the theme song.

Slowly my numbers increased and soon I was hovering around $500.00. In the past 45 minutes thanks to 2 customers from far away lands I am now over 4 figures. I am happy about that and so is Zack. It’s been a busy kind of day, Zack, Bradley and Thomas and myself. Bradley and Thomas have done stellar work today.

There was an event that no one really wanted to have a part of. The cigar shack rarely has sales but the head cheeses insisted so we had no choice but to do what the head cheeses ordered. Food was ordered, whiskey distributor arrived, but unfortunately no one who said they were coming, came.

There was disappointment from the manager and the assistant manager but when the time came for them to leave, they left with whiskey on the breath.

This afternoon as I was coming back from lunch, before I headed into the cigar shack I was outside having a smoke. I saw this gent standing outside the cigar shack on the sidewalk holding up a pamphlet titled ‘TRY THIS!!!’. I figured he was handing out samples of something so I asked the gent what it was he wanted people to try.

It turned out he was looking for work as a personal assistant. His name is L. Jay Walker and he thinks of possibilities and getting them done as well as trying to find a cure for snoring. He claims to be big, strong, smart, compassionate as well as being a humorous guy with a calm and peaceful demeanor.

He can guarantee your safety and he’s quite handy as well as a great listener. So if you are looking for a personal assistant or know of someone who is, send an email to ljaywalker54@gmail.com. I figure it wouldn’t take much of anything for me to post his info and it would sure beat handing out pamphlets outside of a shopping area. He seemed like a nice guy anyhow.


Photo by 'Thomas'




Christine's house of LOVE


Groove Is In The Heart

I Got Mine

OK, the other day my day started (and ended) with Melody of Love by Bobby Vinton in my head. That made me think of Bob Dylan covering Dean Martin’s ‘Return to Me’ from the Sopranos soundtrack. Probably because of Bobby Vinton’s refrain, ‘Return to me, and always be, my melody of love’ before he breaks out into a Polish singalong.

In 1975 while attending St. Francis de Sales grammar school, we had to learn that song and then trooped over to a convent by Felician College to sing the song to a group of old Polish nuns. And here I am later, over 30 years later still thinkng about that song.

Another song from 1975 that popped into my head via Wikipedia was Please Mr Postman by the Carpenters. This time in 1975 it was the number one song and I remember being in the Boy Scouts at Camp No-Be-Bosco in the winter listening to this song on Music Radio 77 WABC. I always liked the Carpenters, well I always liked Karen Carpenter’s voice. I still do. I find it to be quite warm and rich.

Lucky Thomas, he just picked up the phone for a nice order. He’s done well today whereas Bradley and myself were nickle and dime’ing up the numbers. No hard feelings but I am harboring feelings of resentment and have doubts about throwing him some sales in the future whenever I hit my personal goal.

The customer just phoned in an order, sending his daughter to pick up the cigars, so things might change. Not expecting it to happen though. Thomas was in a weird mood in the beginning of the day though he did get better and not bitter. It’s after 7:00 so things have gotten considerably slower in the cigar shack area.

Not expecting sales to improve, in fact after Thomas’ sale that will probably be it. I did have some nice sales today, though not enough to get to my personal goal. It is so friggin dead here I almost expect George Romero to remake Dawn of the Dead in this area.

That brings me back to 1980 where after I saw the Exorcist with Henry Venegas and his girlfriend, we drove to the Paramus Drive In where we caught some of Dawn of the Dead on the sly, using the AM radio to pick up the audio broadcast at 2:00 in the morning. Life sure was simpler then.

Like most of my high school classmates I never saw Henry Venegas after 1980. And don’t even get me started on my fumbled seduction regarding Henry. And attempting to seduce a straight classmate was not the smartest idea anyhow. I was 17 and knew as much about seduction as I do now. What was I thinking? I know what I was thinking about. He was a good guy that Henry Venegas was. I wonder if he ever married his girlfriend?

About 30 minutes left in the cigar shack today. 30 long minutes no doubt. Rand and Lisa stopped by this evening. It was wonderful to see them. They were celebrating Lisa’s birthday and went to the movies and had some dinner out. Lisa of course looked fabulous and Rand was quite the fashion plate himself. They were just passing through, headed back to the bus terminal. I’ve known Rand 30 years and happy to be his friend, as well as Lisa’s friend.

Thomas, it turned out, was closing the store allowing me to leave a few minutes early. I hoped I would catch Rand and Lisa on the bus but they didn’t make it. But it was wonderful to see them nonetheless, as it made my day.






Is THIS your card?


11 Crosseyed and Painless

I Don’t Deserve You

A wet Saturday and it wasn’t so bad. Of course I to work but at least that got me out of the apartment. I watched Bill Maher last night, Bill was rehearsing with his buddy Tom who is playing trumpet in the production that Bill is managing so Bill did not get home until after midnight.

I greeted him at the door and he immediately rested his head on my shoulder, he was so tired. I helped him take off his backpack, so heavy it felt like it was filled with rocks. We talked for a while then Bill went to bed and I stayed up for a little while after that.

Then it was bedtime for me, and I fell asleep almost immediately then was startled when I thought I felt something crawl across my shoulder. That kept me up for a short time before I went to sleep again only to wake up an hour later with an extremely itchy foot.

It drove me crazy, enough so that I had to get out of bed and do something about it. All I could think of was Purell and that seemed to do the trick. I was able to sleep soundly after that and woke up a few hours later. The temperature had dropped considerably making me not want to get out of bed to paddle across the cold ceramic tile that constitutes the floor of the apartment.

Bill was gone by the time I had breakfast, doing office work that he wasn’t able to do during the week. I headed out to the bus stop and was soon walking up an avenue to the cigar shack. It was the weekend so that meant an egg sandwich. Different guy behind the counter and he charged me a different price.

It was only a quarter and I think the cashier was trying to get some more out of me asking if I had one or two eggs. It was one but still he gave me the hairy eyeball. I really couldn’t say how many eggs since the fry cook has all the eggs in a pitcher and when he needs to make a product with eggs he just pours some out of the pitcher onto the grill.

It was Bradley, Thomas, Jerry Vale and me working today, another sign of scheduling ineptitude. No need for a full staff on the weekend and no one did that well in sales today, though Thomas got the top spot and I was a close second.

The possum Bradley (a name given to him by Thomas) and Jerry Vale came in third and fourth place respectively. Surprisingly enough the possum was in a decent mood, actually communicating and making jokes.

The day took it’s time getting to the end, Thomas and me manning the boards. We had a good talk about art, I didn’t know that Thomas was artistically inclined. We also talked about age, Thomas figuring out how old I was and saying that I didn’t seem like I was almost 50. It didn’t seem like I was almost 40 either. It was a nice thing to say I think, so I took it as a compliment.

Tomorrow is Sunday, so no posting. You can do what you want.




I Can’t Wake Up

Another day, another doofus again. I am the doofus, the day is the same yet somehow different. I am cigar shack bound, yesterday flew by- today not so much. Still somehow I did better than I expected sales wise. I was dragging ass, not through anything of my own doing, circumstances dictated how things went.

I had a customer and was walking into the humidor when it turned out to be an old customer of Calvin’s so that meant the customer went with him. I was fine with that, content to do half of what I did yesterday. But things being what they are, and leaving just Jerry Vale and myself in the shack, somehow I caught up on things. A flurry of customers helped as well as an out of state shipment.

Just had a nice chat with my favorite customer, (or one of them (sorry my friend my friend- you’re still top ranking) Jimmy Seltzer who said that I was a good writer which made me blush and flustered. Still a good thing to hear. As I was writing about my friend my friend, my friend came in, back from Southern California. Not a good trip, close relative passed away.

Good to see him, and though he and his close relative weren’t THAT close, I still offered my condolences. It can’t be easy even if there is distance between 2 people.

Now I am home again, Bill is at Le Poisson Rouge in Destinations tonight. That means he won’t be getting home until late, and then he has to wake up and go to work again. He’s done it before so we know it can be done, but sometimes he does it so often, perhaps too often that he has a physical breakdown and winds up crashing and having to spend a day or two in bed.

The other night as we were driving home, we drove past one of Hyman Gross’ haunts and I mentioned to Bill that I missed Hyman. Bill agreed and said he did too. Tonight as I waited at the gate at the bus terminal I found myself missing him. And now with Patrick Morrissey possibly dead as well, well I suppose that this is how the future will be.

Remember so & so? Well they’re dead. And wakes become social events. I wrote the other night how seeing a flamboyant bird like Patrick walking down Washington Street unmolested made me decide that Hoboken was the place for me.

About a year after that, I was a living on the floor above Patrick and his then boyfriend Alphonso Portillo. I had a car at the time and in early 1985 or 1986 I was driving home on a winter evening and slid on black ice through a stop, hitting a car driving up Adams Street. I hit my head, and my car conked out.

I restarted the car and a huge flame shot out from under the hood. I got out of the car and ran to the fire station a block away. It was all within sight of my apartment building, two blocks away. The firemen put out the fire and of course the police arrived on the scene.

My paper work was a mess. My license, my registration and my insurance had three different addresses on each one. The police officer started giving me a hard time until Patrick showed up. Patrick told the officer to knock it off, to leave me alone.

The cop turned and said, ‘He’s a friend of yours Patty?’ And Patrick said I was. The cop backed off and Patrick walked me home after my car (my last car) was towed away to the junk heap. Patrick invited me down for dinner, meat loaf with a cream cheese filling (the only time I ever had that) as well as possibly the first time I had white wine. It was certainly a bonding experience.

Patrick and I had further adventures and escapades which I will write about some other time. If the news is the worst about Patrick, I certainly hope he is at peace. If not, I hope to see him again. I figure if someone living in Peru can read about Hyman Gross on this here blog, then someone in this world might be reading about Patrick Morrissey.




I Believe I Can Fly

Well where do I start? Yesterday was Sunday and I was off. Decided to ignore the spam US Beef sent. Or was it the beef that US Spam sent? It doesn’t matter since it wasn’t real but it was worth a laugh, as well as a reaction from Central NJ that proved hilarious.

Yesterday was busy enough, laundry, some cleaning, and some grocery shopping. Things needed to be done. Bill slept most of the day, I went to the river, enjoyed a cigar and sat reading Mojo Magazine for about an hour before it started getting too cool for me so I headed back home.

Ran into Deborah from the fourth floor of my building and we talked for a few minutes, she was off for a pedicure and I was heading home.

There really isn’t anything on TV lately so I’ve been watching repeats of True Blood. I am looking forward to the new season beginning in a matter of weeks.

Came to the cigar shack today, the Bradley quite ill, ill enough that we sent him home at noon. There was no way he could have done anything except cough and feel miserable. That’s no way to sell cigars and accessories.

It was Thomas and myself, Calvin out for some judicial business. Apparently I missed out on seeing Marcus who came and picked up his gear before heading to the cigar hut, his new place of employment. And it was a very slow start today once Bradley had split.

So, it was just Thomas & me today. When it got closer to lunch time, it picked up and got busy. I ran out and got some lunch and came back, sitting in the office eating. Thomas had a customer and another came in which meant I had to quickly swallow my lunch and jump on the floor to assist a potential customer.

Sometimes there was an actual sale, sometimes it was just tire kicking. My lunch hour lasted about 20 minutes. Thomas had an even shorter lunch hour. We were able to make both hours up later on, both interrupted by commerce.

I neglected to mention that on Saturday I was interviewed by some Turkish fellows on the street. They asked me about social media and how it is used in demonstrations and protests. I mentioned that I have taken part in protests and demonstrations via Facebook in New York City as well as Hoboken..

True, I could have just sat at home and be miserable, posting snarky comments on the blogs and other mediums, but I would much rather march in the street showing my dissatisfaction and anger.

The Turkish fellows asked about how social media plays in the Middle East, specifically in Syria. I told them what I knew about Syria, that 13 year old boy, brutalized and murdered by Syrian political goons.

I also mentioned the Syrian security forces shooting into crowds the day before and killing 28 people. The guy who was interviewing me then told me that he had asked a few people about Syria and the Middle East and that I was the only one that knew anything about what was going on there.

I was surprised to hear that actually, but I shouldn’t have been. It’s so much easier to be ignorant.

These things have been flying off lately. Not this one though...








I Wonder, I Wonder, I Wonder

Just got home. Lately I’ve been starting this here blog, each entry at the cigar shack during some down time, which isn’t really down time, just a quick moment here and there that I can stand and spew out as many words as possible.

Today I worked with Calvin so there was not much of a chance to do such a thing. Which I suppose is fine, but I do like to get a head start on these types of things. It was a busy day though, Calvin did over $3000 worth of business and I did more than $2000.

There was no Thomas and the Bradley was out as well. Marcus made an appearance despite phoning in sick before I got in. It was busy enough that time flew by fast enough.

I also saw Lovely Rita this afternoon. She was in the area, heading home after some dog grooming. It was wonderful to see her, certainly a thrill. She looked great as we caught up about each other, our partners and our friends.

It was on my lunch hour that kept being interrupted by customers (I did not mind at all seeing Lovely Rita on my lunch hour). That always happens. I take lunch and lots of people come streaming in. It’s similar to the occurrence of me having a day off and it almost always rains, or is mainly cold and overcast.

I take a bite, chew and swallow then I sell some cigars as my once warm food gets cooler and cooler. I’m used to it. It used to happen at Wanker Banker, at Wolff Olins and at BIO-IB. At least at those jobs I was able to sit comfortably throughout the day.

Nowadays I spend about 9 hours on my feet, in dress shoes, standing on concrete. The left knee has slowly gotten better but standing around all day certainly can’t help the matter. Bill suggested looking into Worker’s Compensation which I plan to investigate as soon as I can.

Right now I’m pretty much tired. Working tomorrow and Sunday. Tomorrow it’s me and the Bradley and Sunday is back with Calvin. It shouldn’t be so bad and it will involve wearing business casual clothes.

Now I am home, Bill on the couch, Bill Maher on the TV. Yes, the TV has come back with some strange hickeys on its tube. No idea where it’s been and I’m not one to ask. Though we’ve been together for a few years, somethings are better left unsaid.

I saw Hyman Gross on the bus tonight on the way home and he said hello. Calvin was gracious enough to allow me to leave 5 minutes early which got me to the gate in time to be home before 10:00. Everything evened out and reconciling the sales was a breeze tonight.

I would have left 5 minutes early if Calvin wasn’t there anyhow. Hopefully I will be sleeping well tonight. I did last night and once again there was difficulty waking up. Still not a morning person despite Bill’s finest efforts.

Good night.


I Know I’m Losing You

Maybe I go looking for trouble. But when I see something that seems fishy I will speak up. Now it seems inconsequential to most, but to a music fan on a tight budget it seems strange. It’s a problem that happened a number of years ago when I bought a birthday present for Julio, The Name of This Band is Talking Heads.

I bought it at the local record shop, Tunes and it was in a plastic envelope, not factory sealed like most new products are. As I was wrapping it I heard something rattling inside. The jewel case was broken. It could have scratched the CD.

They had no answer except the robotic line that just because we played it in the store doesn’t mean it’s been used, it’s still new. So today after hearing about the stripped down version of Double Fantasy I felt I had to get it. A treat, a reward for a pretty good day for me.

Before I left the apartment I called to see if they had it in stock. They said they did so I went before doing some errands. Stopped by Mr. L’s where I saw Tony the barber. He cleaned me up nicely this morning.

I walked over to Tunes and sure enough there was one copy, in a plastic envelope, next to Milk & Honey, Walls & Bridges, Mind Games, Imagine etc, all factory sealed. I asked why Double Fantasy wasn’t sealed like the others and was told because it was in the listening post.

I asked wouldn’t that make it used? No, that’s how we do it here. I decided to push it along a bit and said, if it was played wouldn’t that make it used? No, that’s how we do it here.

Once more, I asked the girl behind the counter, clearly annoyed with my question what’s the difference between something being taken home and played and something for sale that was played in the store, to which she replied, that’s how we do it here.

I made the purchase anyway but couldn’t let it go. I called the other Tunes store in NJ and asked for the manager who I figured would be the owner. The one whom I had the almost exact same chat a few years ago.

The girl who answered the phone couldn’t handle my question after a few minutes and then some guy came on the line. He asked what was the problem and I repeated it. He too had the same answer as the robot girl, “No, that’s how we do it here.”

Then he mentioned they had a shrink wrap machine in the back and sometimes they repackage used items which seems dodgy to me.

He said he was sorry I felt the way I did and I said I accepted his apology which greatly upset him, causing him to say that he wasn’t apologizing to me exactly.

I did mention that I do try to support bricks and mortar record stores but I wouldn’t have this problem with Amazon or iTunes. ‘Well, we’re not Amazon’ said the manager. ‘What is the point of this call’ he asked and I said I just wanted an answer to why used items are sold as new.

I also mentioned that I was writing this for an article (this here article). ‘Why did I buy the CD then?’ he asked and I mentioned that I bought it because I wanted the package. I could have just as easily gone to the bibliothèque and gotten it from there and burned it. I’ve already burned the two discs (one stripped down John & Yoko, the other the originally released 1980 version).

According to the receipt, If I still have the original packaging and the receipt I can get a full cash refund within 14 days. I might just do that. The CD is back in the plastic envelope and the receipts are intact.

What do YOU think about this ‘issue’? I’d really like to know.

It was a good day regardless. I had two interviews scheduled, one asked for a reschedule and the other went as planned. And it went well. Really well. Well enough that I have an interview with the client tomorrow.

Things seem to be moving fast. It’s similar to 8 years ago, when I first moved back to Hoboken, almost to the date. I was between jobs and the first night (or close to it) I plugged in and went online searching for a job.

The next day, Matt Semegram from ATS called and asked to see me regarding the position. I scheduled an interview with Matt the next day. He said I was a good fit and they would probably like me. He emailed me some tests which I completed and sent back after I finished it at home.

Matt called the next morning and said that they wanted to meet with me that afternoon. I went in the middle of a monsoon and spoke with Bobby Risotto. I started the job the next day.

Today while filling out the forms at the staffing agency, and after I met with Angela and her supervisor Lorraine I came home after seeing Bill for a few minutes and dashed off a thank you email. I wrote I would be able to start October 18.

About two hours ago, I got a call. The client wants to see me tomorrow morning at 9:30. They will be calling me tonight to confirm and let me know where to go. Fingers crossed.

Do not call me between 8:00 and 10:00PM tonight. You know who you are.

That's him. That's my Bill. Over there.


After a shave and a visit to Tony the barber at Mr. L's.

I Confess

It’s a Thursday and I went back to work today. I didn’t mind, it’s something to do and the mantra continues, ‘At least I have a job’. It was a relatively easy day, bottle of water nearby, flask of bourbon hidden in my bag.

I made it to the bus stop and saw the 10:15 bus loading but I didn’t take it. I waited for the 10:30 bus. That’s the bus I like. It wasn’t too crowded and the tooth wasn’t bothering me too much. Water did the trick as usual and I made it to the shop early once again.

It was Marcus and Don Birch today, Sean scheduled to come in later. Marcus was busy rearranging things on the shelves before he headed out for the day. Calvin had off for the day. I was sent an email yesterday telling me that the protocol is to call and leave a voice mail message rather than an email.

I suppose they like to analyze the voice on the recording to make sure I am who I say I am, in the state that I say I’m in. Protocol is never revealed until the line is crossed. Marcus never brought it up and the email was from Calvin.

I had a dental appointment this afternoon and instead of lunch that is where I was. It was actually Bill’s dentist that I saw and since Bill has such a winning smile I figured he could do some periodontal magic on my teeth.

I got there on time and was in the dental chair almost immediately. The dental hygienist took the x-rays regarding the lower left quadrant of my mouth. Apparently I had a cavity under my filling which is what was causing me some extreme discomfort.

Rock & roll radio was playing as the dentist worked on my numbed mouth as he sang along to Billy Idol’s White Wedding and Blondie’s One Way or Another. ‘Roger never sang while he worked on my teeth’ I thought to myself like I was in a Roy Lichtenstein painting.

A root canal was in order and I’ve had so many of them it seemed, that it was not much at all. The good doctor completed 75% of the work, with plans to finish the other 25% next month. And a cleaning and more x-rays at the end of this month.

I am going to have to check in with the insurance and the doctor’s office to see what will be covered under Bill’s dental plan. In any event I was soon out of the office and headed back to the shop a changed man, the thorn had been somewhat removed from my paw, or in this case the pain in my tooth was removed.

I was certainly in a good mood, better than it was when I left. Also increased my sales which were pretty much lackluster before then.

Tonight thanks to Soft Cell’s Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go, The English Beat’s I Confess and Erykah Badu’s Tyrone, I made it from the shop to the bus terminal in 17 minutes, 24 seconds.

Across the Universe

It’s been an up and down kind of 24 hours. Like I may have written earlier in the past week, when I am on my own I find myself in despair. And once again it happened last night, a little after midnight. Just crunching some numbers and found myself a bit upset.

I chatted with an online friend who like my other friends and family was extremely supportive. I also sent out a few applications for work, a little closer to home. Still I went to bed with a heavy heart.

I thought about doing something dishonest and then decided not to, which was good. The dishonest thing would have the potential to bite me on the ass. The reward for being honest was the fact that I wouldn’t be looking over my shoulder all the time.

Bill was asleep while I was going crazy and I soon joined him in our air conditioned bedroom. Surprisingly I slept well.

I woke up and still had the blues and while I showered Bill came in to use the loo. When I came out we talked. I explained the way I was feeling, the fear that I have. I am making less money than before, and that stressed me out.

It’s more money than unemployment but once again I find myself gazing longingly at the past, thinking that at such and such a job, I was making this much. Bill, my rock, reminded me that I will be making a commission which if I play the game right, will help make up for the lower pay.

It’s all about the hustle.

Why is it that other people believe in me a lot more than I believe in me? I am so fucking lucky to have family and friends who are there for me. Some people don’t have that.

Bill sat there and listened as I talked, as I cried. I would love to have a Monday through Friday job, a 9 to 5 job which is what I’ve had for the past 20 years but it’s not that world anymore. And I have to wrap myself around that fact.

I also have to stop looking backwards. My life is not the same as it once was. I won’t be able to take a week off when my sister is in town like I have all the previous years when she came to visit, and now that I can’t I get upset thinking about it.

I was lucky to be able to get 3 days off at least. And that first day Bill arranged for me to take photographs of his band when they rehearse. And also it’s the day before the party so there will be all that running around. It will be catered, pasta and salad. Cash bar.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Bill was great, so understanding, so supportive. A great big hug and his reassurance that he’s here for me. He asked if I wanted to go out for breakfast and I said we could get some bagels and come home but he wouldn’t hear of it. I also expressed that I was upset that our neighbors Mike & Nicole had to move away. I know they had to do it, it’s all for the best, but there’s been so much change in my life this week.

I couldn’t even buy the paper this morning as a way to avoid the bad news that keeps coming through.

So we walked over to Stacks Pancake House and had a very nice breakfast. It was good timing since when we were leaving there was quite a line for breakfast. After that we walked to the supermarket where I bought food for lunch at work.

Got to save money and bring my own lunch in, but more importantly, I have to bring the lunch with me when I head off to work and not leave it behind.

Tonight I am off to the Theater for the New City to see Bill in a play. He plays a child molester. Very creepy and I’m glad he’s not a method actor. I wanted to talk to him about what has been going on in my head after the play, but he wouldn’t hear of it.

I don’t know if I could have lasted that long anyhow. Once I talk about what is going on in my head, it starts the process. I suppose it’s true, admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. Like I said it’s been a rough 24 hours but I have to take things day by day, if not hour by hour, minute by minute.

And I am so grateful that Bill is there for me. I love him so very much.
A halfhearted smile, but a smile nonetheless.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to deal with the retail world, and working for a commission, I would really like to hear about it.

I work in one of these buildings.

For No One

Well it’s been a special day for me. I am quite glad. Susquehanna here I come, right back where I started from! Yes indeed. Broad Street, where the broads are is in the future. Not my future perhaps. But the future nonetheless.

I was offered a job and I took it. Leaving Sally in the alley. I’m quite happy. Not so much for the money but the incentives and whatnot should make up for it.

Suckling at the teat of the United States, though refreshing and I admit a bit kinky, hasn’t been the roll in the hay as they might say in Bala Cynwyd.

I’m sure to know all about Bala Cynwyd down the line once Susquehanna Investment Group shows me it’s spread sheets, at which I excel.

It was a comedy today. I decided to take the subway rather than sweat my was to the offices and found a rest room to freshen up in since I was early enough.

I decided to use some paper towels to mop myself up and in so doing cut my hand. I didn’t think it was so bad but then it started to bleed. I was trying to tie my tie and in so doing the back of my hand rubbed against my shirt leaving smears of blood.

That couldn’t look good. And the tie was a mess and needed to be tied. There I was in the mens room muttering ‘fucking hell’ loud enough for the stall set to hear. I didn’t care, I was bleedin bleeding.

So I wound up using water to rinse out the blood stains and eventually did tie my tie. In the interview, we sat, we talked, me with suit buttoned up to cover the blood.

I was offered the position we talked about last week and I played coy.

Actually I played Koi, doing my bit of the interview like a fish, my hands flapping on the side of my face, gill like, and my mouth making ‘O’ shapes, resembling a fish. They loved it and I believe my jumping into the pond is what set me apart from the other applicants.

A nice walk to Times Square was in order where I saw Bill who was positively ecstatic about the job offer. So ecstatic that we walked over to Godiva and he bought me a bag of dark chocolate truffles. Yum.

Not exactly fish food but celebratory in any event. Rode back to Hoboken on the Path train and getting off in the Hoboken station, who do I see heading into the city, but Tariq. Twice in two days.

He was off to Washington Square and I was headed to the rest room. I wished him good luck busking in the park and I continued on my way.

Stopped by the Guitar Bar where I told Jim Mastro and he too was quite happy on the job offer. Texted Brian, Julio, Harpy and Pedro. They responded in order, Great news!, Great!, Hooray and ‘LOVE IT! You’re the man Son Son.

I don’t know why, but Pedro always calls me Son Son despite the fact that I’m a few years older than him.

So all in all it’s been a good day, the weather has been gorgeous. Already I’ve gotten the ‘welcome to the family’ email from the Susquehanna Sallies. It’s been a good day, wouldn’t you say?

That's my Bill

That's my Bill


10.20.10 555JOT 003

Keep Marchin’

It’s a Sunday. It’s May 2nd. It was 90 degrees this afternoon. It was the day of the Hoboken Art & Music Festival or as some snarky types are fond of calling it, the Fart & Mucous Festival. I usually attend with Rand but this time Rand is in Lucerne doing things in the name of Jack Kirby.

Last night was quite warm. I sat around and sweated in my underwear. Too damn hot for me, too damn hot for May 1st. But what can I do?

Bill was driving to Atlantic City and when I tracked him on Google Latitude, it had him in East Orange, then headed to San Antonio, and then finally over the border into Mexico. Somehow he wound back on the Garden State Parkway, headed to Atlantic City again.

At least he wasn’t in Times Square where a park car, loaded with propane tanks, fireworks and gasoline started to go up in flames but thanks to the attentions of a T-Shirt vendor it did not blow up. I found out about in around 11:00PM, a few hours after the whole thing started.

I was watching the Philadelphia Story on PBS, Funny that I wrote about High Society a week or so ago and how much I prefer The Philadelphia Story to the Cole Porter musical. I still feel that way.

Opted not to watch a repeat of Saturday Night Live instead watched a repeat of Lost which in retrospect is quite interesting since there’s only 3 or 4 more weeks left in that series.

The Death of Charlie was one of the stories and the other episode filled me in somewhat on how it will end. Jack will assume Jacob’s role and Locke will remain the Smoke Monster. That’s what I think.

Thanks to melatonin I slept really well. Woke up later than expected, but still had enough time to go out and participate in something the New York Times was promoting, basically a snapshot at 11:00AM.

All over the world at 1500 hours Greenwich Time they asked people to take a picture of something and send it in. I walked over to 5th and Washington and took 20 photos, 5 each for North, East, West and South.

Then I came home and uploaded them, deciding to send one pic of a northern view to the website. Or maybe it was the southern view. Eastern? Western? I don’t remember. It was good that today was the street festival, enabling me to stand in the middle of the boulevard and take pictures in all directions.

Bill came home and immediately went to bed and I made myself a nice breakfast. An hour or so later Roger Johansen posted onto Facebook that Jack Skuller was playing and worth checking out. So I headed out with my camera again, walking on the sidewalks since walking on the street had gotten way too crowded and let’s face it, some people cannot walk.

Not the ones in wheelchairs and other mobile things, but simply walking one foot in front of another was a near impossible chore. And the temperature was going up (now it’s 83°) and I was getting sweaty.

Jack Skuller is a 16 year old rock and roller 14 year old rock and roller and it’s good that he’s up there doing things like that, playing guitar and singing. My sister called which got me away from the stage area and found a not so quiet spot to converse with her.

When I was through talking to Annemarie, Jack Skuller was off the stage. I did run into Mike Carlucci who I actually wrote about yesterday. I even told him I wrote about him giving me guitar lessons. Roger sauntered up with his friend Tim.

Mike had just done some recording and I introduced Mike to Roger who now runs a mastering studio. Hopefully they will connect. Hopefully the DNA Cup will be out of the picture. It was good to see Mike again. He’s a nice guy and an excellent guitarist.

I headed over to the river which was even more crowded than usual, people like me trying to avoid the throngs on Washington Street. I enjoyed a cigar and read the New Yorker. Way too crowded to bring out the guitar even though I probably could have made some money. At least some pocket change.

Came home, Bill slowly stirring. I just sat around and listened to Carole King, Tapestry. Don’t know why, seemed most apt for a day like today. Bill was soon up and out the door headed to a rehearsal.

I tried to cool myself off and eventually headed out to see Fountains of Wayne who were headlining the festival. I stayed for a few songs, ultimately realizing that I don’t know any Fountains of Wayne songs and the ones I was hearing weren’t exactly enticing me to stay.

Walked back through the crowds which had thinned somewhat. Perhaps it was the La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero I was smoking. I passed by the Hoboken Smoke Shop stand which is the worst cigar shop in Hudson County. Even pricier cigars than in Manhattan with less of a tax rate.

So I walked back through the crowds and came home yet again.
5.2.10 Fartin Music Fest 009
5.2.10 Fartin Music Fest 020
5.2.10 Fartin Music Fest 029
5.2.10 Fartin Music Fest 048
5.2.10 Fartin Music Fest 052
5.2.10 Fartin Music Fest 076
5.2.10 Fartin Music Fest 105
5.2.10 Fartin Music Fest 104

Jack Skuller live

Jack Skuller live


Possibly the photo I sent to the New York Times

Possibly the photo I sent to the New York Times

Hair

It’s Fat Tuesday! It’s Mardi Gras! It just stopped snowing an hour ago. It wasn’t a fun snow either. It was wet and windy. I ventured out into the wet and windy wilderness.

I had an appointment to visit a beauty school on Bergenline Avenue in West New York. I originally thought it was at 2:00 but it’s a good thing I checked and saw it was actually at 1:00. I bundled up and headed over to the train station to catch the light rail.

I could have easily walked over to the Ninth Street station but didn’t. The thing about the light rail is that you have to buy a ticket and then have it validated next to the ticket vending machine. I saw the Tonnelle Avenue train waiting to go but the machine wasn’t giving me any tickets.

When I moved over to another machine and had the ticket stamped and validated the train was gone and I was standing out there in the cold. I thought I was going to be late, and called Bill who got the phone number for me, and called the school who didn’t seem to mind and appreciated my calling.

A few minutes later another light rail came in and I hopped on it. No one checks the tickets. No conductor walking through the cars. I have only seen a ticket check once, and that involved police asking to see tickets once people disembark.

I’ve often thought about just hopping on the train and taking my chances, but it would be a $300.00 fine and I’m a chicken.

The school was only a few blocks away from the Bergenline station and it was an easy walk with some side steps to avoid the ponds and lakes on the street corners. I hadn’t been up in this Bergenline area in years.

I used to come up here occasionally when I lived in Weehawken. Some good shopping deals and plenty of eye candy for me.

I made it into the school and filled out a form and sat. Definitely not as hectic as the other school last week. Where they had over 200 people running around, this place had maybe 50 at best.

I met with Carlos who seemed nice. Definitely looked like someone who’s been cutting hair for 23 years. Nice guy though. He had some things to say about the school I visited last week.

He said the city school gets money from the government to get mainly women from the homeless shelters to train as beauticians and sometimes the police would be called 3 times a day due to fights breaking out. Not my type of place at all.

Carlos said that because I was unemployed I would instantly qualify for financial aid, as well as a Pell grant and they would help me with all of that, including student loans if need be. It was a brief meeting but it went well I think.

I was definitely more comfortable there than I was at the other place which just seemed like a mill. And I didn’t have a cumbersome book to lug around afterward. The commute isn’t so bad and the smaller classes is a plus.

1600 hours versus 1200, an 8 month course against a 6 month course.

I haven’t made my mind up yet, but I am leaning in staying local. Walked back to the apartment, caked with snow. Not going out again, staying in. Lost is on tonight after all.

There is something for the unemployed of Hoboken going on at McSwells tonight. It seemed like a good thing, but it’s $10.00 cover was a bit off putting. I could see $5.00 as a reasonable cover, but not $10.00.

the view from the Light Rail station

the view from the Light Rail station

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A Lunar Module

A Lunar Module

An Astronaut

An Astronaut

A Stegosaurus ?

A Stegosaurus ?

T Rex claw

T Rex claw

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Gamma Rays

Here we are on Tuesday. Been a somewhat busy day. Last night wasn’t so bad either. Watched Heroes which was finally entertaining and it was the season finale. It was interesting to see Sylar become a hero. I hope he remains that way.

Yes I know what a pointless thing to write about.

Bill came home from stage managing the one man show Monk last night. Better turn out than the previous week, meaning, people showed up. Not a full house, but last week no one showed up. They decided to make it a tech rehearsal.

We watched Big Love which of course was very good. Even though I knew they were republicans it was odd to see Bill and Barb having a 1980′s Reagan party. Sissy Spacek was great as usual and I could have sworn Annette Bening made a very cameo appearance. She didn’t come up in the credits though.

Bill’s knees were messed up so he iced them for about 40 minutes before heading off to bed. I stayed up watching some Craig Ferguson before heading off to bed myself. Bill was off before I was this morning.

I got up and got myself together, donning a suit and tie before heading into the city for my appointment at the beauty school. Yes, I will have to attend beauty school since there are no barber schools anymore, except for Atlas on Third Avenue. But Atlas does not provide financial aid so that crossed them off the list.

I left the apartment at 10:00, arriving early for my appointment at 11:00. I went up the stairs to the second floor where I found myself in the middle of a very busy lobby. A lot of women signing up for the beauty school and today was also orientation day.

I sat on a bench to the side and waited until a woman named Haley came out and took me in the back. She was very nice, quite outgoing. She set me up in the back so I could fill out a brief questionnaire about why I was there and what I was planning on doing. I wrote down ‘barber/stylist’ since it seemed most appropriate.

Haley came back a few minutes later and I sat with her in her cubicle and she gave me the whole she bang about why this school would be the best. She also mentioned a few times that while being a barber was all nice, it would cut off half of the potential revenue, meaning cutting and styling women’s hair.

That means coloring and dyeing, rinses and perms and sets. Things like that. I can see the point even though it was something I wasn’t looking to get into.

A tour of the school was next and I was escorted past long lines of mainly women most of them checking me out, wondering who the hell was this guy in a suit and tie. Out of a couple of hundred women I saw about 4 or 5 guys.

Guys seemed more apt to use rather than men. They checked me out too.

There was a lot going on and soon Haley and I wound up back at her cube, where I made crazy love to her. It was odd to see a cube without a computer in it.

Haley told me that if I took the class in New York I would get a New York State license for hair. I wasn’t looking to work in New York though, thinking more of New Jersey. Luckily they have a NJ school in Jersey City, accessible via the Path train.

So that is something I would consider. All together the training would cost about $12,000 which could hopefully be covered by financial aid and/or a student loan. It was a good meeting and I left with a big rather large book about 2 feet by 1.5 feet.

A bit cumbersome but luckily I keep a bag in my shoulder bag for when I buy groceries. I made my way uptown through Grand Central where I saw a partial exhibit advertising the Prado in Madrid.

I had plans to meet up with Brenda for coffee. I called Greg Stevens and hoped to meet up with him as well, but he would only be available until 1:00 which was the time I was going to see Brenda. Couldn’t do both so I went with Brenda.

It was good to see her and we went to a nearby public atrium where Brenda treated me to a Starbucks coffee and splitting a brownie. I explained the story of the past month, the phone calls the interviews, moving Greg Stevens’ office and the job that was the wrong job.

She sort of understood but got very excited when I told her of my plans to become a barber. It turns out her spouse has 2 brothers who are barber stylists and Brenda thinks that I would be very good at it. It was a fun lunch and I soon made my way back down to the Path train and eventually back home.

I was planning to stop by Mr. L’s and talk to Tony and his son about the visit to the beauty school, but they were both busy with customers and I didn’t feel like waiting.

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W*O*R*K*

Well today was the day that I was looking forward to, anxious about and also dreading a little. Yes it was back to work for me. I guess it went well as I am expected in tomorrow. There are certainly things that I miss about not working.

No, don’t get me wrong, I do like to work, and I do like to get paid. But there is the whole staying up late, and waking up late that was nice. Last night I watched the Grammy’s which ran about a half hour long. Bill came home midway through and since the show ended later the 11:00 news and I kept thinking while watching the news that it wasn’t even 11:30 yet.

Bill asked what time I was going to bed and when I looked at the actual time, I saw it was close to midnight and therefore, time for me to go to bed. And I slept OK. Bill stayed up since he was off of work today.

I woke up at 6:30, the alarm clock waking up Bill before waking me up. I said I was sleeping 5 more minutes and hit the snooze button. I got up before the alarm went off again. Made coffee, cereal and jumped in the shower. That seemed familiar, eating breakfast before the sun was up.

I put on the gray pinstriped wool suit that I picked out last night, white shirt, tab collar and silver/gray checked tie, gray thick and thin over the calf socks and black cap toed shoes. By the time I hit the street, a little after 7:30, the sun was up and various worker drones were headed in the direction of their jobs.

I joined them, stopped by Mr. L’s to try to get my barber’s attention. He was awfully excited about me going on an interview last month. But this morning he was reading the paper and I didn’t have time to pop in and say hello.

I walked over to the Path train. No seats, just stood by the door. I was listening to Talking Heads, Fear of Music. It seemed most apt for some reason. Made it to the office building in a about 10 minutes, walking from the Path.

I was in before most anyone and found myself standing in the hall ringing a door bell. Someone eventually came out and asked if I needed help. I explained that I was there to start working there and sat in reception waiting for the receptionist who was going to train me.

She came in around 8:45. Immediately we went to work or she started showing me what it is that I will be doing. Such menial tasks. I know I should be grateful and I am, but I was an office manager at my last job, as well as an executive assistant.

Here it seems I will be answering the phone and dealing with all sorts of people. The morning went by with me taking notes of most everything Barbara Ellen was talking about. Then came lunch and we’re only afforded a half hour.

That sucks.

Though I used to eat lunch at my desk in 20 minutes, never really going anywhere except running errands, I did have the option for a longer lunch when needed.

The afternoon came and I spent the last hour answering the phone with Barbara Ellen sitting close by to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes. It was an OK first day.

A step down for sure from previous jobs and a step up from unemployment. So I’m in a limbo of sorts I guess.

I keep hoping for a call from Greg Stevens, offering to take me on. I would work at the same salary I am making now, just to work with someone I know and like. But it was the first day, and I hopefully have many more days ahead.

One day under my belt or rather, braces.

Ruby, My Dear

Thank goodness it’s Friday. Been a while since I’ve written that. I’ve worked 4 days this week, and with 3 days last week I have a total of 24 hours under my belt. Already it’s more than an unemployment benefit.

Oddly enough, I’m not as tired as I’ve been the past couple of days. Pretty much awake. Last night was quiet mostly. Bill was off to see a rock and roll guitarist friend of his friend Tom, at the Bitter End. I was asked to go, but it was at 10:30 and I didn’t want to go.

If I couldn’t get it together to see Karen Kuhl last week with Alice Genese, I’m going to get it together to see somebody I don’t know? At the Bitter End? Oh I think not. I was more than content to stay home. Bill came home, then went out again which is more than I would do. Generally, once I’m home, I’m home.

I just watched TV and actually went to bed before midnight. It was something definitely out of the ordinary. Haven’t been to bed before midnight in months, at least not when I’ve been out of work. It was all good since I had to be at Greg Stevens office at 10:00 this morning.

I was out of bed before 8:00 this morning, got it together and was out headed to the bus stop at 9:00. It was 16 degrees out and I put on some thermal underwear under my blue jeans, thick socks, a long sleeved cotton shirt and a sweater on top of that. And a wool hat, my pea coat, gloves and work boots. Once again, affecting the longshoreman look.

Comfortable on the bus, reading the last issue of 2009 of the New Yorker and started on the January 4, 2010 issue. Nice to be in the same month and the same year. I’m catching up. Sat in the back of the bus where there’s more room and more comfortable.

On the bus my cellphone rings. It’s my old Rasta pal Jesse. He hasn’t heard from me in a while and was just checking in. At least that’s what I thought he was saying. With his patois and the noise of the bus I couldn’t really hear him so I told him I would call him back in 10 minutes when I was off the bus.

When a Rasta calls so early in the morning, I felt he couldn’t have good news. I thought, someone must have died. I hung out with a group of Rastas in the day with my friend Miriam and thought I was going to have to call her with bad news.

When I got off the bus I got back to Jesse, who like I initially heard, was just checking in. No bad news. He was wondering how I was doing. I said I was fine and would try to see him after I get through with my project today.

I hustled through Grand Central Station, using it as a short cut to get in from the cold. As I walked up Third Avenue, my phone rings. It’s 10:05 and it’s Greg Stevens wondering where I am. I was a block away and was in his office in 5 minutes.

Alex, an IT guy was there helping Greg with his computer. Or rather was setting Greg’s computer up, with Greg just standing there. Greg doesn’t know computers at all, in fact the other day I had to explain over the phone what a lap top was.

I set about unpacking the moving boxes and Greg made himself scarce. After an hour or so, Greg was en route to the Hamptons and Alex was done doing as much as he could. He’ll do more next week when the Los Angeles branch of Greg’s company is in, after being out this week.

I had a break and wandered over to Cohen’s Fashion Optical where I got my glasses a year or so ago. A few months ago, my glasses fell apart. One of the screws became loose and fell out rendering them useless.

I did my best, took a screw from an older pair of glasses and somehow, without wearing glasses was able to get a screw back in. But it wasn’t the right size screw and left my glasses a bit lopsided. So I went back to the store and explained what had happened and low and behold a few minutes later they fixed the glasses and they were as tight was they were 2 years ago.

Still a bit scratched even though I’ve used special cloths to clean them. While they were fixing the glasses they asked if there were any frames I would like to see and so I looked around. The woman behind the counter was helpful but came up short when I explained that I didn’t want any brand names on the side of my glasses.

No branding for me, thanks. I left the store with coupons for a free eye exam and a 20% discount on my next frames.

I did some more work at Greg’s office and submitted my hours. Also decided to send an email to a recruiter that I was in contact with a few months ago. Cathy Cline.

Cathy was the recruiter who was disappointed in me when I went behind her back and contacted the employer since I thought Cathy was bullshitting me.

She called me the next day and chewed me out, mentioning that she knew how hard it was out there to get a job, even her son was unemployed. Presumably still unemployed since his mother wasn’t getting him a job. I did try to remain in contact with her, wishing her a happy holiday and also mentioning that I was still looking for a job.

She never responded to me.

I sent an email that was written like it was a form letter, thanking her for all that she had done for me and that I had a new job that I would be starting next week and should I need staffing, and I would be in the position to choose staffers (a lie) I would keep her in mind.

Almost immediately she responded. Not to reply in kind to any holiday greetings, or any encouraging words regards to job searches. Just congratulations. I had to laugh.

I left Greg’s office around 3:00 leaving it looking like an office rather than a collection of moving boxes. On my way out, I talked with Eric who was sitting at the front desk. He works for a company called Regal which rents out office suites to small companies that can’t afford expensive Manhattan office rents, which is where Greg Stevens is now located.

I told him I had a friend who was starting a job with a company called Executive Suites, one of their competitors. Eric said he’d rather work at Executive Suites. I asked him why and he said he was the only guy in an office surrounded by women and their drama. He also didn’t like the artwork on the walls of the office. I didn’t think it was so bad. A Hopper print in the kitchen area, a Miro print in the hallway.

I guess I’ll find out about Executive Suites on Monday, when I start.

Back out in the cold I walked my old route to the Path train. Now I’m home, feet are still cold despite wearing socks and slippers, and waiting for Bill to come home.

It was a good day overall.

Many Rivers to Cross

Well last night was cool. Mellowness abounds. Bill came home early and was in bed by 10:00. Juan came by about a half hour later, heeding my request not to show up empty handed. He came with 2 six packs of Heineken. The perfect choice it was.

Good to see Juan. It was only a month I think since I last saw him, but seemed longer than that. In the interim he had flown out to California and spent time with his uncle in Berkeley. We just drank beer and watched Almost Famous which I had gotten on loan from the library.

I do love that movie and think Patrick Fugit is adorable in the movie and Kate Hudson is beautiful. Juan says she has horrible teeth. Juan had seen it on a flight years ago and oddly enough the only scene he remembered was the scene where the plane looked like it was going to crash.

Of all scenes to watch on a plane, that wouldn’t be the one I would want to see. He was off to his sisters house in Bayonne via the light rail so he was out of here by 1:00. I can only guess he made it in time since I didn’t get a phone call.

And we didn’t finish off the beer, there are still a few cans in the fridge. Still, Bill was surprised by the amount of empty cans in the recycling bag.

Bill was up and active around 8:00. I slept until 8:30, when I couldn’t sleep anymore and didn’t want anymore dreams that took place in Iraq. The dream I had involved me in a situation like The Hurt Locker. Not very pleasant. Oh these cannabis free dreams, so unnerving.

Bill had gone and got the bagels and the papers, even getting a bagel for Stine. He also was able to practice the Danish phrases that the people who stayed in Julio & Stine’s apartment when they were in Denmark over the holidays. Alexander was playing with his Thomas the Tank Engine train set and didn’t speak much to Bill except to say ‘bye bye’ when he left.

Bill was off to the gym and I went to the supermarket to get some items on sale. More chicken. More pasta. Some pesto. Some juice.

Bill was taking a nap when I came back. I also stopped at the library and returned Almost Famous and picked up The Land of the Lost starring Will Farrell and also a Real World compilation, Peter Gabriel’s label, called Big Blue World.

I think I will burn it for my brother in law’s birthday in a couple of weeks. Bill was up and getting ready for his bus driving gig to Atlantic City. It was a nice day, 40 degrees or so. Felt like spring.

I walked around a bit, stopped by the Guitar Bar and returned a book, Redemption Song, about Joe Strummer, that Ruby Mastro lent me. I had it for a couple of months and didn’t want to hang onto it since I have so many other things to read.

I guess I might be able to get that through the library when the time is right. Also got a haircut for any job interviews that might be on the horizon. Gotta look sharp and my hair wasn’t growing long, it was getting thick and unmanageable. Makes a difference.

My head doesn’t resemble the Irish blockhead, now it looks oval. Which I think is an improvement.

Tony the barber at Mr. L’s told me about how he had to have dental surgery which cost him $1710.00. No insurance for the removal of wisdom teeth. He was surprised at the cost. Luckily for him it was no problem which leads me to think there’s money to be made in cutting hair.

Is there a barber college in my future? I do watch Tabatha’s Salon Takeover and sometimes think that that might be a good gig.

After I get something to eat, I’m going over to Rands for some cocktails.

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The Green Manalishi

From last night as promised to both my anxious readers.

Been a while since I wrote in this notebook. Over a month actually. Presently sitting in 273 Bowery at the Gotham Writers Workshop. I received a free invitation to sit in on a class for non fiction writing so I thought I would check it out.

It’s quite cold on the street. I killed time by walking around, spending a few minutes in a bookstore on Carmine Street. As I walked towards Houston Street I got a phone call from Publishers Service. Apparently Publishers Service liked something that I did, so much so that that they are awarding me with a gift certificate for a $1000.00 online shopping spree.

The guy who called me as I walked around asked if I would be interested in a subscription to ESPN Magazine, Rolling Stone or Men’s Journal to name a few.

As I stood by the bus stop at Sixth Avenue and Houston Street, I played along waiting for ‘the catch’.

It seemed there was one forthcoming. I told the guy there were only 2 magazines I would be interested in subscribing to and they were from the UK. I don’t think the guy knew what UK stood for.

The class is slowly filling up.

The guy on the phone asked if whatever deal he was talking about sounded good. I said ‘yes it sounded good but sounding good doesn’t necessarily mean it actually IS good.’

The class is labeled Non Fiction Writing with Pauline Millard.

Back to the phone call, I could hear other telemarketers in the background. I told the guy that before I commit to anything I would like to see it in writing rather than make a decision standing out in the cold and talking to someone out of the blue on the phone.

I don’t think it was something he wanted to hear. I maybe getting ESPN Magazine in 3 to 5 days, a subscription that lasts either 16 months or 60 months.

I also signed up for a fiction class which may be tomorrow. I thought tonight was fiction but the organizers said otherwise. I still think I am right, but when I got home and checked, they were the ones who were right.

Pauline Millard sits at her table, reading a magazine (possibly from Publishers Service), waiting for 7:00 so the class could begin.

It’s funny, I haven’t been downtown in months. It seems a lot cleaner.

*****************************************************************
The door closes and the class begins. Pauline says she has one contact lens in so half the class is blurry to her. My half.

There is money to be made in non fiction writing. She brings up Huffington Post as an example.

It’s a 6 week class, covering Memoir writing, Personal Essay and Op Ed features, as wells as Profiles, Travel, Reviews and Business. Pauline says she makes you read and write a lot, and you can’t write unless you read.

We’re going to start with a short memoir exercise on Why you came to New York, or Why are you still here.

THE 5 MINUTE ESSAY- WHY I CAME TO NEW YORK. Well I got as far as Hoboken actually. I am a music lover and would come into Manhattan to see bands playing at various venues. Manhattan was a bit too pricey so I opted for Hoboken, which is directly across the river.

I actually grew up in North Jersey and could see Manhattan or rather the Empire State Building and from the town I grew up in. I do like to maintain a distance, perhaps an arms length with the river between me and the city. I like the ability to relax, to let my guard down so to speak.

I do work, or rather, did work in a variety of Manhattan jobs. The music business, magazine publishing and the corporate world which are all situated in Manhattan. 5 MINUTES ARE UP.

Pauline says you don’t have to write everyday and on that count, she is no Lewis Lapham. Some tips for non fiction writing, go online and look up writing prompts. She says the prompts might be geared towards 7th graders.

Short sentences are good. Simple language. Pauline recommends reading Stephen King, On Writing.

A memoir is a portion of your life, a slice on her pie chart.
‘Write down every year you’ve been alive’ with different events becoming writing prompts.

Memoirs have a beginning, a middle and an end. Journals, not so much. Nothing is said about blogging.

ANOTHER 5 MINUTE EXERCISE this time, ‘Somebody you can’t stand’

Oh how I disliked Howard’s wife Leslie. Short, loud and obnoxious with a mouth on her. She tried to ingratiate herself into the rock and roll scene I was a part of. Out of kindness I tolerated her I suppose. Others went further but to me she was a gnat and I called her that.

Not to her face of course but behind her back. Somehow she got others to believe in her and actually became business partners with 2 friends of mine. Not me though, none of my business. Surprisingly my feelings about her became manifest.

She wound up suing the 2 friends to get out of the business agreement. It’s been years since I even thought about her.

Last I heard she and Howard divorced, Howard was a cipher but could easily have done better than having a gnat for a wife.

Do I wonder where she is now? No, not really. She popped into my mind a few weeks ago when I saw a business card from that ill fated venture, scanned onto a Facebook page

I actually that aloud to the class.

More non fiction advice from Pauline: Start with Action. Timeliness/Topical issues. Trendiness.

She also mentions that she worked for the Associated Press, now she writes for the Huffington Post and is in the Columbia Masters program.

3 people have gotten up and walked out of the class.

Pauline says writing is hard, but it depends on the circumstances or what you’re on. She has also brought up the TV show ‘Lost’ 2 times already.

“Sometimes it flows, sometimes it doesn’t.”

She quotes Dorothy Parker, ‘I hate writing but love having written’.
Pauline advises ‘Don’t expect too much of yourself’.

An exercise in coming up with ideas- What’s interesting about your hometown, your neighborhood. I write-
Friends.
The Fact that it is Hoboken,
Everything is within walking distance.
Sinatra.
Baseball.
Musicians.
Artists.
Old Italian Ladies dressed in black.
Maxwells.
Major transportation hub.
The view of Manhattan that you can’t see if you’re in Manhattan.
The Mile Square City.
Blogging battles.

I misunderstood and made a list instead of a short essay.

Pauline mentions how she sneaked into a book publishing party and got there early. Later on at the party she met a guy who she asked who he was, did he write fiction or non fiction?

It was Jonathan Letham but she didn’t know who he was much to Jonathan Letham’s annoyance.

A woman asks about ‘her piece’ but the way she says ‘her piece’ sounds like she’s talking about herpes.
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And that was what I did last night. Walked from Bowery and Houston Street to 14th and Sixth, smoking a cigar.

Stopped by what was Farfetched. It was closed and instead of the lightness of the space, it’s dark with a gargoyle that confronts you right by the entrance.

Tonight I attend a class on fiction writing, so expect more of the same tomorrow. Maybe.

Last nights dreams involved fighting with Samuel Jackson. And also a reunion of the Replacements with Ann Boyles, Steve Fallon & Bill Ryan passing through.

Pity & sympathy for Haiti.

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