Tag Archives: Cigars

I Smell A Rat

It has been day two and it went fine I suppose. I didn’t do much of anything except some research on reselling DVD’s which was to no set purpose. Basically the DVD’s I was looking into reselling are business training DVD’s. Not much of an audience for that type of viewing. Resellers are more interested in entertainment, Hollywood movies, not IT project manager videos. But I did what was asked of me which was basically looking at websites for mostly disreputable companies. And not one of them was interested in any non-entertainment DVD’s regarding how to be a better project manager.

I also sat and looked at videos on the DVDs and an online catalog of the programs and classes that this company has to offer. Last week I looked at the hard copy catalog, for the past two days I looked at the catalog online. The office hummed all around me, but no one really talks to me. I overheard some talk about a pool for the Super Bowl, but I wasn’t asked to join which is a good thing since I don’t care for football and I especially don’t care for the Super Bowl. I don’t even know who is playing this year actually.

I also changed the bottle of water in the kitchen twice. I came in this morning and after I filled my bottle of water I noticed it was empty. I did not want to hear how that new guy did not change the bottle of water so I did it myself. I’ve been drinking a lot of water at this job and later in the afternoon I refilled my bottle once more. And once more, the bottle was empty. So I did the whole thing over again and when I was done I noticed a guy standing there.

He thanked me for changing the bottle of water and I joked, ‘Jump in, the water’s warm’. I didn’t stick around to see if he got the joke or thought I was just that new guy who says the strangest things. After that it was back to looking at descriptions of what is offered to the up and coming project manager and videos. And I fell off the wagon, smoking cigarettes again. I know, I know. I don’t like it like I used to and I don’t think it will last. I did sneak out for a quick puff and smoked so fast I was really buzzed from it.

I emailed the person who asked me to research the reselling of the DVD’s. I wrote the email this morning once I was done with the research but didn’t send it until this afternoon. An hour later I walked by their desk and asked them if they had gotten my email. They asked when I sent it and I told them about an hour ago. They checked their email queue and there it was, unread. And still unread as far as I knew when I left the office for the day.

I came home and there was Bill willing to lend an ear and a hug. I needed both. I explained a lot more than I wrote here and Bill suggested that I talk to someone about it tomorrow. The line I could sell ‘Ice cubes to an Eskimo’ was something I brought up during the second interview. You see, I did have two (three actually) interviews last week. For the same company.

The first interview was on the phone and went really well. It was for a support position and it set me up for the second interview. The second interview did not go so well and it was for the person I was hoping to support. During the interview my sales experience came up and that is when I brought up the Eskimo thing. I should have mentioned that yes, I could sell ice cubes to an Eskimo, if ice cubes were cigars. But they’re not and I find myself looking at an online catalog. I like cigars, been smoking them for a couple of decades so I know my stuff.

That set the antenna on the second interviewer and then I met this afternoon’s email recipient. And that interview went well and they thought ‘Sales! This guy is a salesman!’ I should have inserted the caveat that it would have to be something I am interested in and doing for about 25 years.

This is a temp to perm job, but I think it is just a temp job. I am grateful to Francois.
Cheese and Onions

I Sing the Body Electric

Well I just got home from the first day of a temp to perm assignment. I duly bought some Lilt and permed my hair over the weekend. It’s not bad but there is that Chia resemblance I was really hoping to avoid. The first day of the assignment was of course preceded by a day full of anxiety. Things got better after an Alprazolam. I don’t take them often, just when I am freaking out which you might be surprised to read, does not happen that often. And the hug from Bill last night certainly helped, and I am glad I asked for it.

I went to bed earlier than usual and I slept soundly thanks to the Alprazolam. I woke up with Bill kissing me good bye, so happy to see that I had something real to go to. The cigar shop antics were really pissing him off, so much so that he swore he would never set foot in there again. I slept some more after Bill headed off in the early morning light before the voice in the back of my mind and the alarm clock did another duet of ‘Get the Fuck out of Bed Now!’

I shuffled along, made some coffee and stepped into the shower. A shave after that, some coffee and cereal and there was also a sandwich to be made for lunch. Then I got my clothes together, a suit and tie combo and headed out. It had been a while since I waited for the bus in the morning and to my surprise found an orderly line. And it being so early, there were plenty of buses to ride. But the driver named Chief was nowhere to be around. I found a seat on the bus and hoped to sleep but that wasn’t going to happen.

I was due to be in the office at 8:30 and of course I was there at 8:28. Not many people were in and I was set up in a cubicle and I waited. Francois was the one I was waiting for. I was still fuzzy with the Alprazolam which turned out to be a good thing since the anxiety was nonexistent. Francois made it in, and handed me some paperwork to fill out. I do like Francois, he’s a nice guy and a friend of a friend which made it that much more special.

Basically I spent the day looking at a computer learning package all day, and taking notes on various aspects of it. I worked alongside two nice guys David and Graham. They mainly kept to themselves but were handy to have around if and when I had some questions. I also drank a lot of water today. For lunch I ate my sandwich and went for a walk around what used to be my area from the Wanker Banker days. Most of the spots where I could get a cheap meal have been replaced by rug sellers and housewares stores. I walked along looking into windows.

After work, I walked the same route that I used to take to the Path train. I enjoyed a cigar as I walked and listened to a David Bowie playlist. As I crossed Vanderbilt and 42nd Street a woman tapped me on the shoulder. I took out the ear buds to hear her say how much she enjoyed the smell of my cigar and that it reminded her of her father. I said I was glad to provide a good memory and wished her a good night. She wished me the same and was on her way.
It Don’t Come Easy

I Should Be Allowed to Think

It is fucking cold out today. I know its January and this is how it’s supposed to be. It was 19 degrees most of the day, perhaps hitting 22 degrees which actually felt nice. Then the wind blows in off of the river and there is nothing you can do but quicken your pace. Now it is 18 degrees and I am not going out again. And like when it is very hot outside and the brain fries and poor decisions and answers are forthcoming, it’s very much the same when it’s below freezing. No time to talk, just get the hell out of my way. I decided not to go to the supermarket and picked up some Chinese food.

I rarely eat Chinese food, but I know it’s a hot meal and at a good price. Of course I got the chicken and broccoli and forgot to request brown rice until it was too late. So white it is, or was. I hurried on home and found neighbor Frank from the second floor moving recyclables. They had really piled up and it seems like our handyman Robert is missing or not doing that job anymore. I helped Frank as much as I could and wound up putting my dinner in with the recyclables.

It took a second or two before I realized I was not holding my food anymore. Like I wrote, it’s so cold that I can’t think straight (though I never really could anyhow). I found my food and after moving and kicking a few things to the curb I bid Frank a good night and climbed the stairs to the fifth floor. It was dark in the apartment, Bill is not home yet. I got the layers of clothes off and put the food in a bowl once I got settled in. And then I promptly devoured the chicken and broccoli and white rice.

The day was spent at the cigar shop. I was running low on cigars and Shlomo did ask yesterday if I could come in for a little while. I had no problem with that, but did not anticipate sitting in the cigar shop next to a mostly ineffective space heater and still wearing my coat, over a suit jacket, over a turtleneck sweater. Shlomo was there as well, spending most of the day in the cellar with a shady guy named Moishe. He had two eyes by the way, though an eye patch would have made a difference somehow.

I chatted with Juan online. He’s going to a wedding with his boyfriend and was asking questions about these trousers going with that jacket. I did what I could and tried to steer him in the right direction. I think it worked. He wants to look nice, it’s his roommate’s brother’s wedding. I finally got myself a haircut from my barber Tony. I did that last night. Glad I did though I asked for a trim and he went way beyond a trim. I really felt the lack of hair today whenever the wind would blow in my direction.
1.22.2013 Hoboken Sky 001
1.22.2013 Hoboken Sky 002
Time Is On My Side

I Shot The Sheriff- Bob Marley & the Wailers

Monday Monday, can’t trust that day. And you know what? You really can’t. Monday’s are nothing but trouble. Unless you have Monday off, then it’s perfectly alright. Today I find myself at the cigar shop. Another urgent text from Shlomo, begging me to come in and sit for a few hours. I don’t mind. He worked all weekend, including hanging out with that football player who shot himself in the leg a few years ago at a New York City nightclub. No gunshots were fired or heard so I guess it went well, and there was no chalk mark’s outlining a body either.

It’s a federal holiday for Martin Luther King’s birthday and today is also the second inauguration of President Barack Hussein Obama. The reich wing GOP did their best to make sure Obama would be a one term president, they stated that as their game plan in 2008 and with that they failed spectacularly. What might be egg covered their faces, but with their greasy hands it could be something wholly other than egg. In fact sometimes it’s paired with an occasional egg and the product of that joining proves to be quite a fetish for that GOP.

I think the first inauguration that I paid attention to was in 1993, with Bill Clinton being sworn in and Maya Angelou saying her inaugural poem. I was working with a woman named Terry Eigenlaub at Skyline Studios, she was the bookkeeper and I was going through the files in the lounge outside of Terry’s office as Maya Angelou’s poetic voice filled the room as Terry yammered on in her office. Maya Angelou’s poem certainly struck a chord and is memorable decades later, more memorable than whatever it was that Terry was complaining about that cold January morning in 1993.

I don’t remember much about the next inauguration in 1997. I might have been working at Right Track Recording and dealing with Eric Andrew Simmons and he was none too pleased with a democratic president being re elected. I do remember Eric Andrew Simmons being thrilled that Newt Gingrich and his ‘contract with America’ was passed some time later, with Eric Andrews Simmons sporting wood to go with his hair plugs and pregnant lactating women porn. I do have to wonder whatever happened to that rat dog he grew tired of and abandoned, Sammy I think it’s name was.

Of course there was no celebrating George Bush’s inauguration. Not at all. Best forgotten, that. In 2009 when Obama was being sworn in, I was working at the BIO-IB gig. It was an exciting time and let the people in the office that I would be out of the office, watching the swearing in on a big screen in Rockefeller Center. I bought a couple of cigars and cheered loudly with everyone else when the final words of the oath of office were said. A woman stood nearby me and commented on the cigar I was smoking.

I was anticipating some stress but she mentioned that she enjoyed the aroma, that it reminded her of her grandfather. Then it was back to being an office manager, rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. One of the companies that was subletting space from BIO-IB, a company that was profiting from bad mortgages, had nothing but bad things to say about the new President. I told them to shut up. One of them later killed someone while drunkenly motorboating by the Statue of Liberty.

It’s been fairly busy today, I guess it’s from a few people having off for Martin Luther King’s holiday. A few people came in after waiting online for the Cake Boss and wanted a couple of sticks for the ride home to wherever it was that they came from. Bill is off today and he is just so super great and I of course am a morning behemoth. I am a lucky guy to have a guy like him to turn a blind eye to my morning crabbiness. Not such a bad day after all I think.

I Shall Be Released- Tom Robinson Band

Oh Shlomo is having his frozen scrotum attacks once again. Another text, another request to come in and help out. I’m saving money that I would be spending on cigars by helping them out. Sometimes it’s good and fun and then there are times that Shlomo is in. He’s not much in the communication game. He shows up, says one or two things, goes out and is never seen again for hours. Doesn’t ask if I need anything or if the shop needs anything. I’ve been helping them out so much lately that people think I am the owner of this disorganization.

Today Shlomo comes in followed by two friends a man and a woman who immediately start speaking Hebrew, though the woman apologized for talking Hebrew in front of me, saying that it’s rude. She said that in English then went back to talking Hebrew. Shlomo gives them cigars which they immediately cut and light up. I tell them they can’t smoke here and Shlomo tells me it’s alright, despite me standing next to a No Smoking sign. This is one of the reasons why people think I am the owner and not Larry, Moe and Shemp. I enforce the rules, they allow the rules to be broken.

Hey, it’s not my shop and if they get shut down due to infractions by the city of Hoboken’s department of health then I lose nothing and would go back to ordering cigars online. It would be a shame though to see the three of them losing their business, their investments due to their negligence and basic lack of communication. So Shlomo and his Zionist hoodlums went to the cellar and puffed away there, smokers candles lit and air purifiers plugged in and running. After about 90 minutes they had left.

I had to go downstairs and found their smoker’s candle burning brightly. I suppose the adage of never leave a candle or flame unattended was never translated into Hebrew since it was left to me to extinguish the flame. But hey, who ever heard of a cigar shop going up in flames anyhow? I do have to admit I was very glad they left and I am on my own once again. It gets harder to look the other way, but the promise of free cigars for my problem is a welcome excuse.

And over the weekend I heard from a couple of former co-workers. They texted me individually about how they missed working with me. I replied, wondering what brought this on and it turned out they were listening to music, music they knew I would have something funny to say about. Then a photo was sent to me, of a Crosby, Stills and Nash playlist.

I remarked how I wouldn’t play that hippie crap to which they replied that that was the response they had been missing. Laughs on all 3 ends of the smartphones I reckon. I was glad I could help them get out of their Sunday morning doldrums since Davy & Goliath doesn’t get broadcast anymore these days.

I Shall Be Ever Maiden

Last night was very quiet, almost dull but that is how I wanted it so I am not complaining. Bill was driving to Atlantic City and if he were around it would have been perfect. But someone has to make the donuts and Bill enjoys driving a bus so I guess it will work out. I watched It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World and it was just as silly as I remembered. When it was originally broadcast on TV when I was growing up it was always an event, a 3 hour event at least for boys around my age.

I watched with one eye on the TV and another eye on the computer, reading about the making of It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World and I almost looked like the illegitimate offspring of Sandy Duncan and Marty Feldman. I also was able to pick out a few cameos, like Don Knotts and Buster Keaton and to my surprise, Joe. E. Brown. I say surprise since I don’t believe I had ever seen Joe.E.Brown in anything except for maybe a Drew Friedman cartoon. Joe E. Brown plays the union organizer outside the hotel slated for demolition.

I’ve been on Facebook lately. I know, how unusual. I am never on Facebook. I’ve reconnected with some old friends from back in the day and saw some other friends and almost reconnected but thought, it’s been 20 years. Do we have anything in common? It’s a crap shoot I guess. You might be able to find a common ground, or you might not. They might have become an ultra conservative and a gun fetishist where as I am not. That was directed at someone in particular that I hold dear but who has been pissing me off a lot lately.

And now I find myself at the cigar shop. Shlomo has a bar mitzvah he needed to attend in the Bronx and begged me to sit in the shop. I suppose it’s easier for me with the setup we have than to find someone they can trust, someone who knows cigars and could sell cigars, and also someone with a key to the cigar shop. Oh and not paying me is a plus for them too. Bartering for cigars works fine for both of us and maintains the legality of the whole schmear. And since I know the River Street crowd fairly well it’s a win win.

Of course it’s a slow start to the day. And when I finally have a cash sale,there is no change in the till. That means a walk to my bank since banks just won’t give you a roll of quarters if you don’t do you business at their bank. I’ve written it before, I like Shlomo, Brandon and even the invisible Semite Israel but they do not communicate with each other, much less me and though it’s their business it seems like they do not know how to run it. I guess it’s a good thing I am here.

It was alright working at the cigar shop. Certainly more busy on weekends than during the week. I guess nannies and au pairs aren’t smoking many cigars these days. I did run into Liz Gall a former Maxwell’s employee. It was funny to run into her. I was outside the cigar shop having a quick puff and I saw her walking by. I wasn’t sure if it was her so I said ‘Liz’ in a quiet voice. She stopped and from then it was hugs and kisses. She was off to dinner with mutual friends and I had to get back into the shop. We made plans for a coffee at some date in the future.

Now I’m home, Bill is driving again. Not much going on, but I’m glad I could help out my Hebrew friends at the cigar shop. And the AVO’s aren’t as bitter as I remembered.

Shlomo and Israel's fave Kosher cigar

Shlomo and Israel’s fave Kosher cigar

Strawberry Letter 23

I See Love

Well today has been spent in the cigar shop. All day and a lot longer than I expected. Last night, an urgent text from Shlomo came in, asking me to stop by the cigar shop. Since I had nothing on the agenda today I told him that I would stop by. I had a feeling that once again it would be ‘can you sit in the shop for an hour or two’. I was partially correct and glad I brought a lunch with me. Sure enough it was that but instead of an hour or two it was about four hours.

It keeps me out of trouble and off the streets and stocked with cigars so I am not complaining. I have my iPod cranking out Blondie, The New Yorker and my tablet so I am set. It’s fairly quiet in the cigar shop, the January doldrums in the retail world. I remember it well from Farfetched as well as other establishments I have frequented. I still miss Farfetched. It was this time of year in 2009 that that ship was slowly sinking due to unwanted pressure from that neighboring idiotic goth store. I still can’t believe they’re in business.

Last night Bill came home full of ideas for his one man show. It should be good, I had some ideas for him. He was getting so far ahead of himself and I felt he needed to be reminded to reel it in somewhat. Bill was taken aback slightly but once I made my case he seemed to understand it. He wants to shoot a video as part of the show and since I did a bang up job on Christmas Day out in Wally World, I will be recording this next installment. He’s been storyboarding what he wants which should help.

Of course between now and then anything could happen. He told me on Christmas Day what he wanted then left me in the cold as he jockeyed buses to and fro in that Arctic parking lot by the former National’s Department store. By the time Bill was ready I had a new idea which worked just fine. He posted it on Facebook so some of you have seen it, for everyone else you should friend Bill. I forgot how good I am behind the camera, it had been a while despite having over 150 videos on YouTube of myself.

But those of course are mainly still shots of me smoking a cigar. Sure some guys in Taiwan enjoyed looking at my over the calf socks and let me know how much they enjoyed my socks and how they wished that they were 6 inches tall so I could step on them to their sexual gratification. I was more than happy to oblige since they are all the way on the other side of the world and actual shrinkage to 6 inches is impossible for even me, thereby disproving the Irish curse once again.

“I love destroying myths”, said the spouse of a size queen.

The Madonna singer was wearing lipstick today (not pictured)

The Madonna singer was wearing lipstick today (not pictured)

McD's renovation on store, food remains the same.

McD’s renovation on store, food remains the same.

Rock On

I Say A Little Prayer- Aretha Franklin

Third day of the new year. Slept incredibly well, crazy dreams, sexual in nature. Nothing overt but there it was in the undercurrent. Something involving time cards and a punch clock located in belts.

Then in a different dream, I bought a pack of Marlboro while walking around Columbus Circle and 58th St. I had one cigarette, not even a full cigarette and didn’t enjoy it very much. Then I had a dream where I was interviewing, or auditing a hip company, similar to the one my sister mentioned on Facebook yesterday.

White offices and things seemed to be going well until the head honcho in the office turned to me and said’ You know we don’t allow smoking here’. I couldn’t really say I stopped smoking cigarettes since I still had the pack of Marlboro from the previous dream and my breath smelled of cigarettes.

Needless to say I don’t think I got the job, much like the groovy job Annemarie told me about. I answered the questions truthfully and at the end they described their ideal candidate who would happen to be a college graduate which is something I am not. Still I sent forth my info, allowing them to be hopefully dazzled by my stellar personality and my way with words.

Already I have gotten the call from Shlomo, could I open up the cigar shop. Being 23 degrees out, he can’t get his poor old car to move. I had no problem with it, and to my surprise an hour after opening in walks Shlomo.Maybe it is the cold but he seems slower than usual, the slo mo Shlomo.

Now this is the part that gets stuck in my craw. I want to help these guys succeed. And with no smoking allowed in the store I wind up enforcing that ban. The other day a young man bought a cigar and I gave him a book of matches to get his cigar lit. He came back a few seconds later asking to light it indoors. I said no, and took a torch lighter and went outside with him and lit it for him.

Shlomo doesn’t believe in those types of rules and smokes wherever he wants, even if it means the local Board of Health shutting him down. That’s fine with me, I have nothing invested in the shop except for my time. If the place gets shut down I will just find something else to do.

And if it because of one of the owners smoking in the shop, then so be it. I can tell because a few times since I opened I noticed ashes on the floor which meant smoking was going on in the shop. But it’s not my shop and the owners, well they can do anything they want, it is their sandbox after all.

I am merely a nice guy, helping them out, but as the saying goes, I can’t help them unless they help themselves and to my untrained eye, it seems that they don’t want any or need any help, except for this one guy who can be relied upon to open the shop when it is too cold out for their Zionist hoodlum tuchis.
What Does It Take

I Say A Little Prayer- Dionne Warwick

Well I haven’t been here since last year and what a time that was. Wow seems like only yesterday or at least a few days previous since I last saw you all. How was your New Year celebration? Did you have one or were you in bed early and under the covers when neighbors started clanging pots and pans? I’ve done that once before, in the early 1980’s while apartment sitting in Inwood. That was an adventure in itself. Didn’t do much of anything then and was in bed a little bit before midnight. That must have been 1982 I think.

On Sunday I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with my niece Corinne. We had a great time, opting to drive in, instead of relying on public transportation. It was too cold, and I have to admit I was a bit cranky. Corinne cheered me up and we enjoyed the Regarding Warhol exhibition. It was crazy crowded since it was about to end it’s run. I was able to explain the stories behind some of the art work and I think Corinne enjoyed herself. We made it back to Hoboken and had a late lunch at the Malibu Diner. A mellow night in was in the cards for me. Bill was home and was not driving to Atlantic City.

On New Year’s Eve I got a phone call from Shlomo. It’s getting to be a habit with him. Cheap labor, paid in cigars and I am dependable and trustworthy and they probably won’t find anyone like me to work for them at such a low rate. I headed to the cigar shop and as I told Shlomo a week earlier, it will probably be crazy on New Year’s Eve. And it was. I called it. I knew groups of guys would be coming in to buy cigars for the night and I knew they wouldn’t know what they wanted.

It was busy and the time flew and I was glad for that. Cigars are generally mild, medium or full bodied. I like full bodied cigars myself, but I’ve been smoking cigars since the 1990’s. An occasional medium might come my way as well as that mild cigar, so I know what I am talking about when describing cigars to the newcomers. Sure enough within about 5 hours most of the mild cigars were sold. I explained that to the customers and would steer them to the medium cigars, something not too overwhelming. Sometimes they would understand what I was saying.

And when you smoke a cigar, like a medium cigar, it would start out medium but as you puffed further and further it might start to get full bodied. They knew what they were getting and by the time they would light them up while being well lit themselves I would be long gone and probably forgotten. Brandon came in on time and I was explaining to him what the deal was. Shlomo was around and seemed pissed that I didn’t replenish what was sold, and I explained that I couldn’t find the cigars to refill. At that point I walked out with a bit of a chip on my shoulder.

Shlomo looked for the cigars to replenish and couldn’t find them either. I came home and there was Bill happy to see me. The usual plan was to go to dinner at Arthur’s Steakhouse at around 8:00, I had somethings to take care of and hoped for a nap but hope was all I got. Bill was busy doing his thing, music, headshots and stuff like that. I did my best to get in the mood. We headed to Arthur’s at 8:00 and ordered our usual steaks and Guinness, followed by chocolate mousse cake. We’re so predictable. We got an Arthur’s gift certificate for Christmas and put it to good use, thanks to the Garfield relatives.

After dinner we walked home, puffing on cigars. We relaxed once home and chilled out until it was time to go. I baked some cookies, bought some Guinness, got my Bass together and some photographs I had printed out for Rand and Lisa and Lois and Fred. Mike from down the street was going to be there so I printed a picture for him and his girlfriend Sarah. I used a gig bag for the bass as we walked to Rand and Lisa’s around 11:00. I forgot the reason why I don’t use the gig bag. I goes on your back and it’s really constricting. Plus it adds a few inches to your height and me being 6’2”, I got snagged in a tree branch once or twice.

A young woman saw me getting snagged and expressed concern if I was OK when she saw it happen. I wasn’t happy about it but I trotted onward with Bill and thanked the young woman for her concern and Bill and I wished her a Happy New Year. We got to Rand and Lisa’s and met Rand outside his apartment. We walked in and saw everyone I mentioned, plus Chaz but no Sarah. The group was all watching a Godzilla movie since that was the theme of the night.

After unloading my stuff I plopped down on a couch next to Chaz and not seeing the window ledge jutting out, leaned back rather quickly and hit my head loudly on the windowsill which caused everyone to stop and watch me. We checked for blood a few times but it wasn’t bleeding. Just a dull pain and anticipation of a bump or a knot. It’s a good thing I have a thick skull having hit my head several times throughout my life and needing stiches on three separate occasions.

I announced that I had giving up smoking cigarettes which didn’t get the reaction I had hoped. I got ‘but you’re still smoking cigars’ instead. Lois was more impressed when I told her at Maxwell’s the week before but no one was more impressed than my sister Annemarie who stated that I didn’t need to get her anything for Christmas, my no more cigarettes was enough. And I am sticking by her edict.

Midnight came, Mike left before that so he can ring in the year with Sarah who was home sick with a bug she picked up while visiting her family in England. Champagne, pots and pans and kisses for Bill and everyone else was in order and then that was over. Rand had set up a keyboard so Bill could play it. I brought the bass, Lois was on Rand’s guitar, Rand on trombone and Lisa on shakers. Fred and Chaz were not into it at all and watched TV in the next room.

It was a sloppy jam but it was fun. I played what I knew on bass, which was Talking Heads Warning Sign and Psycho Killer, Liquid Liquid’s ‘Cavern’ and something that I think I based on How many More Times by Led Zeppelin and something that could have been by Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn from Booker T & the MG’s. Bill played some Stevie Wonder, I Wish, Sir Duke and a few other songs, but we were all politely buzzed and kept messing up the words.

We had a great time but I was tired though and very sweaty and Bill and I left around 2:00AM. I was wary about having a concussion so I stayed up a bit later once we got home after Bill went to bed. Slept really well that night and woke up feeling OK. New Year’s Day is a nothing day really, at least for us. We were invited to parties, but neither one of us wanted to do anything or go anywhere, so we stayed in all day.

We had enough food and if we wanted Guinness we had that too. But we stayed with the food, saving the Guinness for another time, perhaps Chaz’ party this upcoming weekend. Bill napped while I watched a marathon of Bunheads. Bill woke up by the time the marathon was almost over and I explained how similar Bunheads was to Gilmore Girls.

After that we decided to not watch the bad news and watched ‘The Music Never Stopped’ which I wrote about before. Guy with brain tumor comes alive from a catatonic state when he hears music from the 1960’s. His dad reconnects with him after not speaking to each other for decades.

We also watched Prick Up Your Ears, the Joe Orton movie with Gary Oldham, Alfred Molina and Vanessa Redgrave. Good and brutal but still enjoyable. I saw that in the theater when it came out and I think I wrote about that last week or last year. I hit my head last night and today. I think I will wear a hard hat for the rest of the year, just to be safe.

Overall, despite head injuries it was a good New Year’s Eve, spent with good friends.

And I love Bill so much, it just keeps getting better all the time.

I’m a lucky guy.

Corinne with Warhol's Cow wallpaper.

Corinne with Warhol’s Cow wallpaper.

Corinne with a Picasso

Corinne with a Picasso

Oxidation painting!

Oxidation painting!

New Year's Eve panorama

New Year’s Eve panorama

Winding down with Chaz

Winding down with Chaz

Every day this guy walks up and down Washington Street singing Madonna at the top of his lungs like he's walking a catwalk.

Every day this guy walks up and down Washington Street singing Madonna at the top of his lungs like he’s walking a catwalk.

09 My Lover’s Prayer

I Remember Now

Tuesday afternoon, 2:00. This is not a drill, nor is it a dream. It just is. Temperature has dropped considerably, back to December weather after another warmish day. I am at the bibliotheque once again, not in the Marquis de Sade chair, no this one is more suited for Stephen Hawking. Whatever event they had planned in the bibliotheque today has been cancelled. In the distance I can hear the women at the circulation desk doing their thing with an occasional giggle as the carts full of CD’s and DVD’s wind their way back to the audio visual room.

Bill and I watched In Bruges the other night, a British movie starring Brendan Gleeson, Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes. I had watched it once before, not paying much attention and didn’t much care for it. This time with Bill on Sunday night, nothing else was on and we both enjoyed it a lot. It’s definitely dark humor, I won’t give it away and a bit violent. Definitely haunting though as Bill and I both found ourselves thinking of it separately the next day. I would recommend it for certain people, but not for everyone since it does get a little bit bloody throughout the film.

I’ve been making an effort to listen to more music and watch less TV. So far it’s been working out nicely. Last night when Bill came home from a staged reading he is directing I was in the middle of a playlist I made called ‘Lazy Day’ with the Seekers and Spanky and Our Gang. Music that usually gets sneered at but for me it’s all sunshine and lollipops. Basically it was a Top 40 sampler from the 1960’s to the late 1970’s. I know I enjoyed it. And of course there is Port St. Willow.

I can’t stop playing Port St. Willow, especially since it is properly loaded into my iPod, so it goes with me everywhere. I had to contact Bandcamp with regards to a problem I had with the download and in doing so I also had a question to ask. Is it Port Saint Willow, or Port Street Willow. They didn’t know and recommended that I contact Port St. Willow also known as Nick Principe. And so I did. Nick Principe answered my question soon enough with an initial ‘Ha’. I don’t think he anticipated the question but he answered that it is Port SAINT Willow.

I also asked if he was playing Maxwells anytime soon, or did I miss the boat. It turns out that they did have a gig at Maxwells but it was canceled. He could see a show coming up in the early part of next year and that info will be posted on the band’s page on Tumblr. With that, he wished me well and I did the same. I was tickled to get a response so soon and with the answers I was looking for. I will be at the Maxwells show if and when it happens.

Now I am home. Bill swing by the bibliotheque to say hello. He’s now in bed, fast asleep and it’s not even 7:00. He was that tired. ANd I am a bit tired myself since I haven’t slept well the past two nights. I do have to thank Casey Chasm for the vinyl copy of Stop Making Sense. Heart in the right place for the Casey Chasm. I wish he would have asked if I had it, since I now have three copies, two vinyl and the CD, four if you count the DVD.

Now all I need is a turntable.

No I don’t.

Dedicated to the One I Love

I Remember Me

Last dream of the night & day. Visiting Annemarie who is somewhere in New Hampshire or Northern California. She works in, or near a big building filled with many companies that are under one big umbrella. I had interviewed there before and this time I am getting the run around. It also resembles a Valley Fair supermarket. In one part of the dream I walk into a men’s room where I see the paws of a dog, a kangaroo and could hear the cries of an infant. When I bend down to see what was going on, the dog, a large pit bull comes after me, but I fake it out and move aside.

The infant’s guardians- two older women come into the rest room eyeing me suspiciously, as if having a kangaroo and pit bull watch an infant is the most normal thing. I walk out and as I walk I run into a former coworker from Skyline Studios, Brian Daniels. He tells me so and so wants to see me and to bring my cable box. I have the box and head to the elevators which are not working so I have to take the stairs. And the stairs are tricky, sometimes leading nowhere, sometimes ending suddenly leading to a fall over a cliff.

Stairs that open up to no floors, and you have to position yourself and the doorframe just right in order to get out and stay alive and uninjured.

I see a woman who I interviewed with walk past me, she was in a hurry to get somewhere. I start to follow her but she is going to a very large holiday party to which I was not invited. There are a few people I know there, people I worked with in the past.

Just then Annemarie shows up telling me to get into her car. I do and we drive off. I ‘recognize’ some spots, log cabins with neon signs stating what buildings they are as we drive past but we just keep driving. I finally ask where we are going and she is taking me to Earl’s apartment since I was too disruptive in the office building supermarket. Hopefully Earl would be there. I am a little annoyed that I only brought one joint with me and it’s basically smoked, then I realize where I am going and become somewhat hopeful.

I am on line on a stair case at a bucolic campus, everyone younger than me. I am standing behind a big jock. Finally once at the top of the stairs I look for apartment 1428 but can’t find it and feel that if I asked the students I would be mocked for not knowing where it is. Annemarie has driven off by then and I wander the campus looking at doors and index cards for 1428, to no avail.
Yeah that was from yesterday. I got 475 words out of that dream, standing in front on my computer groggy, no coffee and no shower. Later that day I got a phone call from Shlomo. He asked if I could sit in the cigar shop as he ran around to do some Hanukkah shopping. I had no problem with that since I wasn’t really doing anything anyway. Plus I was running low on cigars so I was able to help Shlomo and replenish my stock.

As I sat there, a customer from that other place in that mall stopped by. It was good to see Nick and there were many laughs had. Some catching up was done and time flew by, before I knew it Shlomo was back with a flaming menorah and I was headed home after exchanging numbers with Nick.

That’s all folks. So it goes.

Blurry State champions of something.

Port St. Willow – Amawalk (Live) from dreambear on Vimeo.

Thank you Casey Chasm.

I Remember (with YANG YO SEOP 방용국)

Tuesday Tuesday, where would I be without you? Possibly in a Monday or Wednesday, I don’t know. I slept well last night. I am sure that you were all wondering about that. Well enough that waking up this morning was somewhat difficult despite Bill’s words of encouragement and farewell kiss. I rallied, showered and ate and then I found myself thinking of what to do. I didn’t have to think that much since I got a phone call from Shlomo. He needed to run some errands and asked if I could sit in the cigar store for an hour or so.

The promise of a couple of free cigars did the trick. It was a fair barter. Hard to believe it had been a while since I had the La Trompeta by Avo. Back in March I had to attend the unveiling of the Trompeta at a exclusive cigar club at the former Top of the Sixes restaurant. Now it’s a pricey cigar club, with nouveau riche and those that aspire to be. It was fun to watch silly men with ‘money’ getting very excited over scantily clad girls handing out free cigars. As Mark E. Smith said, ‘it was like peasants getting free milk!”

It was my day off and I was required to attend this event and my job was to take photos which I did.. Food was promised and also scarce by the time my co-workers and I were able to eat and what we were fed was an expensive version of a White Castle slider. It was a cash bar for the underlings like myself and I couldn’t get out of there soon enough, it was funny watching some supervisors and underlings nodding off drunk. I have seen junkies with more stamina. The reason I write about that is because I found the text I wrote for a blog I was writing for some group earlier this year.The blog is dead and gone but I still have the photos and the text

Last night Bill and I did not watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Instead we watched The Late Show with David Letterman. We don’t usually watch it but I wanted to see Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones. They didn’t perform, the three of them sat and chatted with Dave for the first 20 minutes. I enjoyed it and also enjoyed Bill’s questions regarding Led Zeppelin. Actually he was asking about me and how I would feel should I meet them on the street like when I met Mick Jones from the Clash on the street.

It wouldn’t be like meeting Mick Jones, I told Bill. Mick Jones was more of a personal thing, whereas Led Zeppelin was something that I didn’t always like. I explained that when I was growing up, the ‘bad’ kids listened to led Zeppelin and I was a goody goody kid into pop music. I didn’t mention that Jimmy Page had such a power over budding guitarists when I was starting to be interested in playing guitar that most kids figured out how to play Stairway to Heaven.

I didn’t see the point in learning the songs I didn’t much care for back then. Nowadays, thanks to Ultimate Guitar or the Led Zeppelin songbook I own, I could play their songs (or a reasonable facsimile thereof), but still I could not play Stairway. We did enjoy the show and Bill went to sleep soon after Led Zeppelin and I stayed up and watched the rest of the show. It’s been one of those nights I suppose.

One of these Nights

I Remember- Yeasayer

Well today has been a long day, following a night of restless sleep. Right now I am pretty tired, but OK. I just had some supper so the energy should be kicking in soon enough. Yesterday was Sunday and that meant I didn’t write. What I did do was hang out with Kevin at the smoke shop. Kevin is a nice guy and it was fun to hang out with him. I can’t help but feel like one of the background characters in Wayne Wang’s Smoke. The guys who hang out in Augie’s shop. Augie was played by Harvey Keitel.

It’s a decent movie but not one of my favorites. The best scene I think is the closing, where Augie returns a wallet that was dropped by a shoplifter he was chasing. And the scene has the Tom Waits song, ‘Innocent When You Dream’. Augie returns the wallet to the shoplifter’s mother who is blind and all alone. It’s really sweet and touching and very much the best thing in the movie. The clip is on YouTube and it beats having to sit through the movie to get to the last five minutes. Just writing about it, my bladder moves closer to my eyes.

I had fun with Kevin and his friend Brandon and Brandon’s girlfriend Marie. Things did get a little but heated once theology was brought into the conversation. I of course played the loyal opposition, in favor of the big bang and evolution whereas Brandon asked how could evolution exist when not much has changed in the past 200 years. That threw me for a loop and I realized Brandon wasn’t playing with a full deck. I said time was relative and he denied it was relative, despite my efforts to explain how such a theory works.

Today has been a long day, yes, it’s what I wrote earlier and it was also 60 degrees out which is not very seasonable to say the least. I am not complaining, even though I was overdressed this morning and evening. Midway through the day it was quite agreeable. It will all be different next week I’m sure. In a few days it will got back to be how it’s supposed to be, at least that is what they mentioned during the weather portion of the morning shows. Rare is the attention I give to the morning shows lately.

I did have to go to the supermarket today and that was a disappointment. Not much on sale and the supermarket is really taking advantage of the fact that presently they are the only game in town. The really big supermarket might open in February, so until then it will be time to pay through the nose. I did run into my neighbor Chris as he was returning from taking the light rail to Jersey City to do his grocery shopping there. SInce the Path train is still out of commission, the light rail is free from Hoboken to Newport in Jersey City.

That is something I should do, if and when I have the time. It was ridiculous walking through the aisles of the nearby supermarket, things that are usually marked down, aren’t. And of course certain items I wished to buy were now unavailable. But now I am home, that is behind me. Still tired and I bet it has everything to do with not being able to get a good night’s sleep last night. If I can hold onto this tired feeling until later, I should have no problem sleeping tonight. And having written that, I am bound to have problems sleeping tonight. The atheist jinx!

Saturday Leftovers

I Remember- Deadmau5

Well today has been an interesting day. Bill made it home safely this morning. Once again, since he wasn’t home I did not sleep so well. I am usually awake by the time he gets home but this morning I was sleeping quite well. I didn’t exactly wake up refreshed but I wasn’t dragging ass either. Bill made coffee and brought home some bagels so that was good. I showered and proceeded to start my day. I decided to make some eggs for breakfast and in between the refrigerator and the stove, gravity played a trick on my and snatched an egg from out of my hands.

It was an auspicious start to the day but nothing too terrible. A sweep and a clean and I still had other eggs to fry. Once that was done the day lay ahead. My sister in law Elaine contacted me the other night. She and her daughter Corinne were planning on coming to Hoboken to do some shopping, throw some cash into the local economy. I was ready for them, though they were running a bit later than they hoped. Corinne went to see the Dave Matthews band last night so that was a factor.

They got to Hoboken a little later than planned but that was alright. Hoboken had a plan, you spend $20.00 at a local merchant, and you can park for free in one of the garages. I told Elaine that as Corinne was driving and met them soon after by Church Square Park. They had Corinne’s friend Felicia with them and Felicia remembered me, but I drew a blank. Elaine specifically wanted to go to Guitar Bar so that was our first destination. A few Snark tuners that I recommended and some other odds and ends and Elaine’s purchase made the parking free.

Then we went to City Hall were an Arts and Crafts thing was going on. Some nice things but I only bought a button and a card. Felicia and Elaine bought some items and soon we were back on the chilly Washington Street. We walked by the smoke shop were Israel looked fairly busy, which was good. Hunger came to us all at once so we wound up eating at Qdoba, a Mexican restaurant. My former favorite Mexican restaurant has been closed for weeks, possibly from the storm, possibly from the food being bland after new management took over earlier this year.

We walked around some more before walking back to the parking garage. I got a ride from Corinne and we drove to the gate where we showed the receipt to the attendant. She said she was going to keep the receipt and I told her she couldn’t do that, since the items on the receipt might have to be returned. She said the receipt would go to City hall and that didn’t make a difference at all. Cars were honking behind us, so Corinne wound up paying the $8.00 charge.

I came home after they dropped me off and I went online to the Hoboken Facebook page and complained, saying it was bogus. They replied that the attendant had it wrong, the receipt gets stamped and they were informing the attendants to let them know. Of course this was information that was useless since at this point, Elaine, Corinne and Felicia were headed back to Bergen County. It was the only drag really today. Bill is driving once again to Atlantic City, I am staying home.

Last night I watched Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. It wasn’t bad, there was a certain charm to it. It’s not a great picture but it was enjoyable. I also watched My Week with Marilyn the other day and that was very good. Michelle Williams was excellent.

Corinne and Felicia

A Super Hero bar crawl…

Waiting For Your Taxi

I Remember- Keyshia Cole

Well it’s Friday today and that’s good I guess. I am sure most of you made it through the week safely with no squabbles. It was a bit bumpy here but things have gotten better. It’s was that time, when Bill gets so tired and not much fun to be around. Nothing bad on his part, he just over does it and stretches himself too thin. And sometimes no matter how good the news is, or how happy someone is to see you, you’re just not in the mood and generally cranky. It happens to me and it happened to Bill.

But things are better, like I wrote. Hurt feelings don’t last mostly and there is no point in hanging onto them, they do not do anyone any good. Bill is off to Atlantic City once again and I am tracking him to give myself some peace of mind. Already he is at the border of Lodi and Hackensack. I guess he is picking up in Bergen County before heading south. I will hear from him once he gets to Atlantic City. Hard to believe but it was only a month ago that Atlantic City was almost under water. Nothing will prevent people from gambling I guess.

Today has been alright. I slept fairly well, waking up to Bill’s farewell kiss before he headed out. I got out of bed a little while after that. I had a dream that seemed to take place down the shore at a house that my family rented. My siblings were all there and at one point I decided to go to the beach and walking in the direction of the ocean I found myself at the intersection on Route 36 where Highlands borders with Rumson. That was about as far as I got before turning around in the dream.

Then I got back to the house and found that in order to get to one room, you had to climb a ladder and move a curtain so that a door could be opened. No one seemed to mind despite the fact that it was an odd way to go from one room to another. The dreams seem to have gotten very interesting, enough that I can actually remember them when I usually forget them once I am awake and starting my day.

I saw Shlomo today and talked with him for a bit while enjoying a cigar he blessed me with. I mentioned that he should get one of the Shop Local/Rebuild Hoboken signs that most stores have in their windows. I knew Jim Mastro created them so I had an actual reason to go to the Guitar Bar. And there was Mr. Wonderful himself and he did have a few of the signs. So I got one from Jim (who also loaned me a Bee Gees CD- Spicks & Specks) and headed back to the cigar shop where I gave it to Shlomo.

He set about putting it in the window and I headed out, picking up Raspberries for Bill since he asked me to get him some. Now I am home again, about to make some dinner. Nothing planned for tonight. I was invited to join the people who voted to save rent control at a nearby pub, but I reckon I will just be staying at home and saving some money. Next Friday, Bill and I are going to see Sinbad at the Apollo Theater.

It was my birthday present to Bill back in June, and now the date is here. Bill’s never been to the Apollo, where I have been a few times. It should be fun, we have good seats. It will be interesting since Bill loves Sinbad and has been reluctant to see live comedy since Bill has quite a rambunctious laugh, the type that could possibly draw the attention of the comic. So we shall see how that works out. It’s next Friday so there’s plenty of time to think about that.

Guitar Bar

Feels So Good

I Remember- Fay Victor

Well it is considerably colder outside. It was quite a cold day today and right now it is 60 degrees in the bedroom. I was out most of the afternoon. Not outdoors but actually at the smoke shop here in Hoboken. At around noon I received a message from Shlomo, asking if I could come in and sit in the store while he ran errands. I didn’t mind doing that since I was planning on paying them a visit this afternoon anyhow. I got myself together and headed over there about 30 minutes after I got the initial message.

There was Shlomo with a few other people. Apparently he had something to attend to and I didn’t know how long he would be gone for. I’ve offered my services, free of charge should he need someone at the store. So if he wants to throw me a free cigar, why not? No harm done and it keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. Laundry could wait for a few hours I guessed. About five minutes after I got there Shlomo and company were in the Shlomo mobile and headed up Washington Street.

I was smart and took the book about Yo La Tengo with me so I could have something to read. There were a few errors that I read and I knew they were errors since I was at a few of those events. I guess I should be glad that I wasn’t in the book. I had no idea that things were so difficult with Ira and Georgia and the quest for a steady, permanent bass player. I remember getting a cassette from Ira asking me if I wanted to play guitar with them, but my self-confidence was even worse than that it is these days.

I’m still on good terms with them and when we see each other on the street there is usually a warm and friendly greeting going back and forth. I last saw Ira a few months ago and I mentioned the rent control benefit at Maxwell’s. He told me they would be out of town and when I mentioned that I was going to be playing he joked that he was disappointed that he wasn’t going to see that. We had a laugh about that, then he was off on his way and I was off on mine.

Now I am back home. Between the last paragraph and this sentence I remembered Bill asked me to pick up his dry cleaning so it was on with the sneakers and a run down the stairs before they closed. I was worried they closed at 7:00 but when I called I was told it was 7:30. It was good to know and I will probably forget it. And now I have finished hanging the laundry on the racks as well on hangers in the bathroom.

For some reason Cabaret was playing in my head the past few days so that is what I am listening to right now. It’s too bad they never recorded the Alan Cumming/Natasha Richardson version. I’d love to see it. I did see it with Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh, but on the soundtrack it is Natasha Richardson, so that is the one I am most used to. It’s also helpful that it is the version I own.

13 Tonight

I Really Miss You

It is now the holiday season I believe. It’s a Monday and with Thanksgiving being last Thursday the shopping season started on Friday at midnight in some stores. I don’t go to those stores and if I did you can bet that it wouldn’t be at midnight. I’ve been local of course and that’s how I intend to keep things. It’s cheaper that way. Just stay home and climb the walls. I have been busy though, clearing, doing laundry. You know- the mundane things. And I have been good at not feeding the trolls, well at least for today.

Yesterday I couldn’t help myself, trying to explain things regarding the woman who flipped the finger at a sign in Arlington cemetery but it was a losing battle. These people wanted blood and that is what they got since the woman in question was fired from her job. But the comments were priceless, most of them revolving around ‘Didn’t she know that soldiers died for her freedom?’ Freedom that they are condemning her for. It was humorous but when seeing a wall of the same comment it wasn’t that funny after a while. And of course, now I am a fascist and a member of the Westboro church.

And things have been weird computer wise as well as things that are computer related. The iPod seems to have lost a channel, so everything can only be heard on one side of the ear buds. Driving down to Baltimore I of course thought it was the car, but no, it was my iPod. So I am going to take it into the city this week and see what could be done about it. From what I’ve read online it’s no big thing, a simple repair but it’s the cost I am wary of.

What else is there? I went to the bibliothèque and helped out a bit. No one asked me to do anything and I didn’t even take off my coat. I saw things that needed to be put away and so that is what I did since I was going to be in that particular room. Other patrons didn’t know what to think, seeing me with books and DVD’s all piled up in my hands and putting them away. After that and talking to the librarians about their extended holidays (full timers got paid/part timers got nada) I headed out.

I walked past the smoke shop where I saw Shlomo. He was busy enough and talking in Hebrew on the phone. I made myself scarce and since I was passing through I asked him if there was anything he needed to do since I was there. He said no and I walked out onto the sunny side of the street back home. I came home and didn’t do much of anything except watch my clothes dry. Of course there are things going on that I am not writing about, things that will be revealed soon enough. Good news I would like to think, but not like what you are probably thinking.

the note for 2R

You’ll Never Find (Another Love Like Mine)

I Read A Lot

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tariq and Co.

Hot, no?

I Have Everything I Need

I Quit! I Quit! I Quit!

This has been a strange day, perhaps a strange couple of days. It’s a Monday so that’s a start. Mondays are generally strange to begin with. But the strangeness started the other day I suppose. A Facebook friend that I’ve known all my life requested that I remove certain pictures. Pictures that they were in as well as other friends. The other friends were not complaining so I merely untagged the photos that this person wanted removed. I went so far as to untag any photos I had with them in it. Seemed to work out fine as far as I knew.

For the past hour today, I have been getting requests from this Facebook friend to confirm tags that they want on the photos. Photos that I untagged. Fine, I confirmed all the photos that they were in, but what really gets my goat is the fact that now they want to be tagged in photos they are not in at all. True certain concessions are to be made since they’re connected in some ways to certain photos but it is pissing me off quite a bit. I’ve ignored the other requests that have been made and confirmed only those photos they are in.

I have been visiting the cigar shop in town, nice guys it seems. I keep getting blessed which is always a nice carrot at the end of the stick. Talking to Raymond was good the other night. I told him of how Zack had a layout in a magazine in September, (no not that type of magazine) and all Zack did was take a photo of the layout and post it to the cigar shack Facebook page. It was a little blurry and you could not read all the wonderful things about Zack nor the tips that he offered regarding cigar smoking.

So feeling sad for poor old Zack, I went to the original website and found the link to the layout and pasted it in the comment box underneath Zack’s attempt. It was there for some time and having spoken to Raymond the other day, I thought I would visit the page. There was the blurry layout with 5 comments listed but only 4 comments shown. My largesse was discarded, no more link to the article saying what an awesome guy Zack is. It was fine by me and showed how pathetic things are back in that shack or at least in that closet like office.

Time to move on I know. Seeing Raymond was good the other night and his friendship (as well as a few other people’s) is what I will keep. The rest will fall by the wayside. I was correct about so many things about that cigar shack, from gauges on cigars to what the word ‘ligero’ means, to discover someone attempting to steal cigars by putting boxes of them in with the empty boxes. It’s a good thing they don’t have the annual inventory anymore since the head Swiss cheeses would be dismayed to find out how much of the inventory is walking out the door.

It’s his fiefdom and he will be happy working in a place that will eventually be shuttered soon enough. Call me Cassandra if you will. And with someone like the possum as his lieutenant who will stab him in the back (I stab in the front) at the first opportunity, I can only hope the cleaning lady doesn’t have too much of a mess to clean up. I think this will be the last I will ever write of that godforsaken cigar shack but I will always remember what GZA said about matters such as this and also remember to tip my hat to Freud, for after all why else would Zack send me an email alerting me to what was about to happen back in May? For that I am grateful Zack is no friend of Bill W.

See? I am such a nice guy that I still don’t post the real names, no threats involved.

Painting by Tim Daly

I met Joe Biden Sunday night

And now for something completely different.

I Feel Mysterious Today

I’ll Bass You (Club Mix)

Well today has been a sociable day for me. Started out nicely with Bill getting home before I woke up and a good morning kiss was sweet. I got out of bed as Bill saw getting his stuff together so he would be all ready to go when the time came. I had a nice breakfast after showering and talked with Bill before he went to sleep for a few hours. It was nice, he is great. A trip to the supermarket was in order, needed to buy milk. No 2% available so I went totally skim which is good I suppose, just not enough body for a decent cup of coffee.

After a few hours of reading and posting some very funny things on Facebook I headed out. I stopped by the new cigar shop in town, nice guys, good staff, and a decent selection. I was blessed yesterday by a cigar salesman. Being blessed is cigar shack lingo from back in the day, primarily what Raymond used to say, meaning a cigar salesman just gave you a free cigar. It does have a certain ring to it and lacks the pretense that exists in certain circles I guess.

I chatted with the fellows who run the shop and had a nice robusto. They told me that Raymond was going to be around, he was in his way to Hoboken. They knew I knew Raymond since I last saw Raymond at another local cigar shop in May soon after my dismissal from the cigar shack. It was for an event in Hoboken and to my surprise as well as Raymond there were a number of cigar shack customers there all bitching and moaning about how the cigar shack is terrible since a phogna bologna like Zack is running the show.

I couldn’t stay though, I needed to get home and make sure Bill was up and ready to go driving again and there was also the weekend call to California, almost every Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 PM. I was walking home, picking up Bill’s laundry and taking to Annemarie on the phone when Raymond phoned. I couldn’t take the call since I was talking to my sister but I did get the voicemail. I came home, there was Bill running around. A kiss goodbye and then I asked where his glasses were. Oh yeah, he needs those when driving.

He made it down a flight of stairs before I heard him coming back. He left his phones behind. I got them for him and he was finally on his way, promising to use his latitude. I called Raymond and soon I was headed back to Washington Street. It was considerably cooler out since the sun had gone down, but I was fine. I had a cigar in my pocket from earlier and met up with Raymond. Good talk, he seems to be doing well. I seem to be doing well so we were both happy with our respective states.

Of course we discussed the cigar shack, how Marcus informed Zack about this here blog. How Zack told Raymond that I was bad mouthing the cigar shack. I just went back and read the entries from earlier in May and yeah I did make a comment about Zack is a great manager when he is sober. Perhaps it was the fear that I would say such a thing to the inhuman resource manager who was coming in to review Zack’s managerial performance so far.

Well that was then, this is now. I won’t grace the cigar shack with the bottom of my shoe. I’ve moved on, I just keep glancing in the rear view mirror as they shrink in the distance. Funny how the lack of an ego can turn out to be quite a large ego, but still that large ego shrinks like George Costanza coming out of the ocean.

Dopestyle – I’ll Bass You (Club Mix)

I Need To Be In Love

It’s Thursday and it’s the day after my birthday. I got lots of good wishes from many friends and it was all very nice and groovy. I did not do any busking yesterday, instead just laid back. Of course resumes went out and of course no responses came in. I went to bed later than usual the night before and that made me sleep later than usual but it was alright. I forgot that Chaz was stopping by, but within the space of an hour I was relatively awake and caffeinated enough to have Chaz come over. No scanning, just coffee.

Chaz got me four Andy Warhol cans of Campbell’s Tomato Soup from Target as well as a nice Andy Warhol coffee mug. I drank from my usual cup and let Chaz have the first sips from the new mug. We talked for a while then walked over to the record store where I picked up the latest Mojo and Uncut Magazines. I thought about heading into the city to get them but Chaz said they were in stock in Hoboken and that made my life a little bit easier. I was going into the city anyhow, but did not have to rush around.

Chaz split and I busied myself thanking so many people on Facebook for their birthday greetings. I’m a lucky guy to have so many friends and family. Bill had something planned and wasn’t letting me know what it was. The plan was to meet him in front of his office building and from there we would go wherever it was that he had set up. I was on time, actually a little bit early and he was running late so I found a place to sit and enjoy a cigar. I sat on a chair on Broadway at 41st and waited while listening to the iPod.

Bill showed up, calling first and looking for me. Once we found each other we walked up a few blocks to John’s Pizza which is an occasional thing we do for birthdays when we’re in the theater district. Not much of a wait and the food came quickly. I sat next to an electrical outlet and was able to charge up my smartphone which was good. Bill had a ginger ale and I had a diet Pepsi and soon enough we were on the street walking towards Eighth Avenue.

We passed a mounted policeman and I stroked the horse’s face as I walked by. I never did that before and the policeman didn’t seem to mind, neither did the horse. Bill still was not letting on where we were going. I mentioned Jersey Boys and he said no. I also mentioned Rock of Ages but Bill knew better than that. Once we passed 54th Street I was stumped. I couldn’t think of anymore theaters in the area and Bill remained tight lipped. I thought Carnegie Club but thankfully that wasn’t it either and I did not mention it.

As we got closer to the cigar shack environs I joked about how weak I was feeling, like Superman with kryptonite. But we merely walked by without me seeing anyone I knew. I did get a call from Jerry vale who called with birthday greetings earlier, but he was off work at the cigar shack. I thought we might be going to a movie but Bill said why would we go up this far to see a movie when there are quite a number of screens on 42nd Street that we could have checked out. I remained baffled as we continued walking, enjoying cigars.

Finally we made it. We were going to see War Horse. We were both blown away when we saw some of it on the Tony Awards and Bill remembered that. We had gotten there at the right time and settled in our seats, eventually having to get up to accommodate 8 people who came in just as the lights were dimming. I sat next to a guy with a cowboy hat who was breathing quite heavily and seemed to focus on the fact that Bill and I were holding hands during the play, rather than watching the story unfold on stage.

At intermission I asked the guy with the cowboy hat if he was in fact a cowboy but he wasn’t. He did ask where Bill & I thought he was from and we both answered at the same time, ‘Texas’ which is where he was from. An amazing play, the puppeteers were phenomenal, it was like watching a real horse on stage and I did ask Bill if my stroking the horse’s face back in Times Square threw him for a loop. It didn’t, in fact he didn’t put it together until I brought it up.

Bill and I were the only ones in a full house standing up and applauding at the end of the show and we thought that was odd. I think War Horse is ending its run soon having been running for about two years. Back on the street outside the theater we opted to have another cigar and take our time, walking back to the bus terminal. A lovely evening and a short wait for the bus. We found some good seats and Bill was able to stretch out his leg which was acting up since we had done a lot of walking.

At one point both Bill and I were staring at our smartphones and we heard someone comment that they hoped Bill & I weren’t texting each other. We weren’t and that someone turned out to be our neighbor Kevin who lives with Deborah on the fourth floor. We had a nice chat as we walked to our building, leaving Kevin on the fourth floor as Bill and I continued up one flight. By then it was almost midnight and too late to write. I mean, I could have but was too tuckered out after such a busy evening.

And that was it basically. Bill once again outdid himself and I was blown away. A easy day today, resumes out, busking in the afternoon, mainly Get Back and Twist and Shout. The toddlers came by, but the second time as they were walking back, they were so thrilled to see me, they ran from their minders and were taken back to the day care without any stopping to dance and clap hands.

The infants in the four seat strollers did come by and they of course shook in their seats and clapped hands as much as they could. I headed home after about two hours of playing, running into young Tim who was setting up with some friends of his. Tim had his banjo and his buddies had a saxophone and an acoustic guitar, ready to do some Dixieland thing.

I invited them and I am inviting you to join the party that Rand, Lisa and Lois are throwing me in Elysian Park on Saturday afternoon from 3:00 to 6:00. Bring food, bring an instrument. Have fun and celebrate my half century.

former Farfetched customer Ray, who made it a point to stop by and say hello.

Me and the one I love.

03 Oh Babe, What Would You Say_

I Hate Men

Another day at the cigar shack. The three days on, three days off shift continues. Tomorrow is Sunday then I am off on Monday. Zack returns from wherever he has been tomorrow. It should be alright, the numbers have been very good, the cigar shack is clean, the humidor has been worked on.

It has been a very windy day outside, so much so that I found myself being pushed along by strong winds and I weigh close to 200 pounds. Well maybe a hair under 200.

Last night I apparently talked Bill in off the ledge. He was understandably stressed with the borderline diabetes diagnosis. All I did was reason with him and let him know that he was getting stressed about things that he didn’t know about and had no control over. The doctor will talk to him on Monday and that’s when we now.

He was worried about his cousin’s sons, a 14 year old and an 11 year old. I told him that more than likely if he was in the room they would be concerned about him, but being a pre-teen and a teenager it’s out of sight, out of mind. Anyway, Bill thanked me for talking him in off the ledge. I didn’t know that was what I was doing, I was just talking to him the way Julio used to talk to me.

Also telling him to get out of his work clothes might have helped. When I get home the first thing I do is get out of the clothes I’ve been wearing all day. Helps to create a distance between my life and my work. Bill usually just wears the same thing he’s been wearing all day until he’s ready for bed. That would not work for me, unless I had no choice.

Saturday night and the area around the cigar shack is quiet and dwindling. Tomorrow night is the Oscars so that should be exciting. I am glad Eddie Murphy is not hosting it. I suppose Billy Crystal will do his shtick and it should work. I just want to get home, get out of these clothes and have a nice cigar and watch some Saturday Night Live.

Other than that it’s been an alright day. It started out to be annoying but as the day got better so did most everything. Lot’s of gay couples walking around. That’s nice to see.

Now I am back home. Bill is in the city. It has gotten colder out and the wind cuts like a cliche. I have walked through the door and changed my clothes, now I sit in tracky bottoms and a denim shirt. The last 15 minutes of The Grapes of Wrath is on TCM. Never saw the whole thing but once again I caught Tom Joad’s speech.

I wonder if Jane Fonda ever said those words to Henry Fonda. We do know that peter Fonda has gone off the deep end, training his grand kids to be armed militia men to fight the traitor, President Obama. More acid, Peter? Do you really know what it’s like to be dead? We know your career knows. Someday you’ll find out.

My Boo

09 53 Miles West Of Venus
One more day of work tomorrow, not posting. Be nice to each other.

I Like the Sunrise

Just got home from day one of a four day stint working in the cigar shop. It was an interesting day to say the least. First thing, which happens to be the latest thing, Keith Olbermann’s last show was tonight. All of a sudden, at the end of the show he announced that it is no more.

I found out when I checked my email a few minutes ago from the LA Times and the New York Times. No explanation given. Perhaps over the weekend, or at least next week, if ever. It will be explained at some point, that’s for sure.

Back at the cigar shop, all seemed well. Today was payday and Calvin was extra nice, wanting for me to buy a box of cigars and ship them to Hoboken. He would like to buy some cigars and ship them with mine.

So he buttered me up, I relented and made him pay for shipping. It’s cheaper to buy cigars in New York and ship them to New Jersey since interstate commerce cannot be taxed. I save a ton of money doing so.

After getting all that together, I received a phone call from the guy who called me earlier in the week. An interview has been set up for next Tuesday. There’s an online application I have to fill out which I haven’t checked yet and I will once I am done writing this here blog entry tonight. I’m trying to not let my hope get out of control.

The day proceeded as it often does, slowly and the man cave back room was filled with smoke. Calvin had his two hour lunch and I manned the front of the store while he smoked in the back room. I don’t mind Calvin taking a two hour lunch. He usually comes back happy and he’s out of my hair during that time.

Another phone call, from someone who had come across my resume online. The called, named Mike noted that I had sales experience on the resume, 7.5 months of sales experience selling cigars. Mike asked if I was interested in becoming a stock broker and I told him that I was not interested. That call ended quite quickly.

I had a good lunch at what is becoming my favorite diner, the Moon Rock, next to what used to be A&R Studios, then Le Bar Bat and now it’s Providence. The food is good, they seat me in a booth where I can sit and read and there is hardly anyone there when I am there.

After that it was a 15 minute visit at the internet computer bank nestled in the back of Universal News. The new guy, Fred was in when I returned from lunch and he was helping Calvin unpack boxes that had just come in. A long day finally came to an end. Fred left a few minutes early so he could catch a train home and I closed up the shop.

Uneventful rides home, and now here I sit, Bill a few feet behind me and Bill Maher and company (including Rachel Maddow who has no idea what happened with Keith Olbermann) pour forth from the television. Another day of work tomorrow, day 2.

I Concentrate on You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plenty of things to watch until Bill comes home.

I Need a Situation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

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

Raymond aka & Don aka

Sean aka

Hyman Gross