Tag Archives: La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero 700

About A Boy

Well it’s later in the day right now. I am home from work. It was an interesting day.

The guy who got fired the other day, the guy I was being groomed to replace, Harold, showed up today. But stayed only in the doorway, like a vampire waiting to be invited in. He’s persona non grata in the cigar shop.

The word from the corporate office in New England, he can’t be banned from the shop. The shop is in a public space and apparently the law says he can go where he pleases. Why someone who had a nasty falling out from his place of employment want to hang out there escapes me.

I just got home a little while ago from working the late shift. It wasn’t so bad. I worked with Raymond who is fun to work with and has the scoop on how things are run. We closed the shop together and he let me count the money and smoke a small cigar (which was very good) in the cigar lounge.

I am drifting away from smoking the larger ring gauge cigars and going back to smaller gauges. The fact that that I’ve been ridiculed about the La Flor Dominicana cigars I’ve enjoyed might have a factor in that decision.

La Flor Dominicana is the third most popular brand in the US, but according to my co-workers, it’s like smoking cardboard. And I have to agree since I’ve been turned onto other, more expensive cigars and they really are better.

The clientele was nicer than yesterday, fun guys who come in and hang out. One of them is a photographer and he just put out such a good vibe. He didn’t smoke any cigars, just hung out in the front with Calvin, Raymond and myself.

Just got a call from Bill, he’s safely arrived in Atlantic City which is one less thing to worry about. He’s doing the trip again tomorrow night, so that means I won’t see him until Sunday, since I’m working the late shift again tomorrow.

Closing with Calvin so I don’t think I’ll be able to smoke a small cigar and count money, like I did this evening with Raymond.

I also stopped by the supermarket this evening before I came home. Had to buy some bread and milk and other foodstuffs. It truly is the supermarket of the damned. Nothing that I bought was on sale which was a drag.

Tomorrow and Sunday rain is expected. I usually get a cigar from the store at lunch and then go out and sit by the park and give a review when I get back. It actually helps when novice cigar smokers come in and I am able to tell the customer about what I smoked previously and how good it was.

Since it might rain I might just smoke it in the cigar lounge with the customers. But wait! The weather report was just on and they said it will probably not rain. In fact it will only rain on Sunday.

Sunday, which is my day off.

I wrote this on Friday night so I won’t be writing on Saturday, but I will be posting it then.

Woke up to Love Shack on the radio. Nice.

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

Hold On Tight

It’s been a busy day somewhat for me today. Not as busy as yesterday and not as much fun either. Today was an interview. Didn’t get too worked up about it and was able to prepare for it at a casual pace. Got my resumes, my references and my photo ID together.

Dropped off a suit on Monday to get pressed and patched up as well as a shirt that needed a patch. Well the patch on the shirt was a bad idea, not because of the tear in the shirt, but rather because it’s a French cuff shirt and the cuff was frayed somewhat.

A letdown of sorts but luckily for me I have a few other shirts to wear. I had hoped to print out a few copies of my resume and references on Bill’s computer but it wasn’t working at all. This turns out to be the reason why Bill punched his computer a few weeks ago.

It was completely not working today. I had a Plan B lined up though. After getting suited up and polishing my shoes I headed up to Washington Street and walked to a store called The Office. Computer access and printing can be done there.

I re-did the references on Google Documents so all I would have to do was log in at The Office. I was assigned the third computer on the right and since there were 5 computers on the right I picked the one in the middle which made sense.

Logged into Google and into Documents and tried to print out a few copies. Nothing came out, not even the window for printing. It was about 1:50 and my interview was at 3:00. I walked up to the counter where I couldn’t find any help.

Finally the guy who assigned the computer to me came in after loading the parking meter with quarters. He had me log onto the computer at the counter which I did and explained to him I only needed 5 copies. What color? What paper stock? Black & white and plain paper.

Tried to use the copier in the store to make some copies of my resume as well. Now you need to purchase a card to use the copier and my dollar bill kept getting rejected. They made the copies behind the counter and altogether it cost me $1.40, but cost me more in aggravation.

I mentioned my experience with The Office with Rand who invited me to come over and do the stuff at his apartment but it was too late. Rand knew all about the way the Office is set up.

I did give myself enough time to be early for the interview and was soon on a Path train to the World Trade Center station at 2:25. Luckily for me the office where I was interviewing was a block away from the station.

The security desk in the street lobby gave me my pass as well as his story about how is ankle was all fucked up. All the security guys have fucked up ankles from working in the lobby of the former AT&T building.

I waited upstairs and Joan eventually came out. It was a good interview with Joan. Nice woman, told me about her father’s passing a few months ago. He had Alzheimer’s. After about 20 minutes with Joan I was introduced to Elaine.

The three of us sat in the interview room and I think I answered all the questions correctly, telling them the truth and what they wanted to hear, which turned out to be the truth. I think the interview went well. Maybe even a home run.

Of course they have other people they have to meet. I shook their hands and told them I hope to hear from them.

Walked around downtown for a little while, bought a La Flor Dominicana cigar at Barclay Rex and talked to a couple of other cigar smokers.

Then a short walk back to the Path train. I think the whole afternoon went well.

Game face.

Game face.

Darlin’

Well it certainly has been an interesting 24 hours. I’ve been busy. I made it up to the Park Theater, riding with the proletariat in the mass transportation system here, this time using a bus. Got to Union City with enough time to treat myself to a Hamburger Deluxe and a chocolate milk shake at the Four Star Diner.

Had enough time for a cigar before the show. Hanging around outside the Park Theater on 32nd street. Meghan and Ruby were in traffic en route. I few sidelong glances from some father’s walking by wondering who this bloke was, smoking a cigar outside the theater.

I was glad I didn’t wear my raincoat. Humming Aqualung might have been a mistake though. Meghan and Ruby and 2 of Ruby’s friends showed up soon enough and we all headed into the theater. Meghan knew the sidelong glancing fathers and introduced me to them, causing them some relief.

They in turn whistled Locomotive Breath.

We found some good seats and soon Jim Mastro as well as Frank Giannini and his son sitting behind us. The Street Corner Mourners were as excellent as I had hoped, Tim having a mandolin strap malfunction seemed like it was all part of the show.

Six songs were their set, all covers, all nicely played. Lily has an incredible voice. If she keeps it up, in ten years she will sound amazing. The Street Corner Mourners are so inspiring. After their set Meghan, Ruby and the friends saw Frank Giannini and his son off and went across the street to the Four Start Diner.

I had a coffee and a slice of cake while everyone else had entrees. It was a fun group, we were served by Mo, short for Maureen who looked a it like Shirley Stoller. They all went back to the theater, I decided to walk back home to Hoboken.

I enjoyed a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero 700 and listened to The Beatles, Revolver on the iPod. I walked down Palisade Avenue past Jane Street where I used to live. It was an enjoyable walk. I timed the cigar walk perfectly and finished it by the time I had gotten to my building in Hoboken.

I came upstairs and set about uploading the videos I had shot. It wasn’t exactly happening on my PC so I did the work on Bill’s Mac. I checked my Facebook messages and there was a message from Ruby.

Little did I know that after the show, Tim, the ace guitarist/Banjo & mandolin player was hit by a car outside the theater. Some driver had run a red light. Tim had done a flip over the car. The driver stopped, the police came and shut down that section of 32nd Street and it was decided that Tim go to the hospital in an ambulance.

They ran an MRI and had him overnight in the hospital to be on the safe side. Some short term memory loss but other than that he’s fine. Apparently 16 year old boys can bounce back like that. I hope he can still play his instruments.

All that walking from Union City to Hoboken had me tired but I think that last cup of coffee with Meghan and the girls kept me up while I tried to sleep. It wasn’t easy but I eventually did fall asleep.

Bill was soon in bed after coming home from Pecong, the play he’s been working on. He has a mouth apparatus which he wears with the sleep apnea mask. Still he snores and I wake him to let him know he’s snoring.

He says ‘Well you snore too you know. How do you know it isn’t you?’ I groggily try to explain that the sound was coming from his side of the bed.

I was up and out around 9:30, bagels and the paper. I got bagels for Stine & Alexander. Julio answered the door with Alexander on his shoulder as Julio was singing a lullaby to the baby. It was yet another beautiful day, the temperature was up to 73 degrees.

I walked around Hoboken a few times this afternoon, even taking my guitar out and playing along the river walk. I had seen Tariq earlier, playing a drum alongside an older hippie guy playing Melissa by the Allman Brothers.

I definitely could not get into it so later when I brought my guitar out I was about a quarter mile up the river walk. They were making some money but I didn’t feel up for that, not as confident as I was last summer and this being the first time out for me this year, I just played with the guitar case closed and didn’t do much singing.

I played for about 90 minutes until my right arm locked up a bit. I tried shaking it out but decided I had played long enough. I played Please Please Me, She’s A Woman, Love Shack, Surrender, Wild Horses, Maybe I’m Amazed and Kansas City among a few other songs.

Then I came home and finished an animation I had also been working on this afternoon.

I wrote over 800 words, shot and uploaded 6 video clips, created an animation and played guitar in public for 90 minutes. It’s been a creative day, and a good day at that.



Eastern Standard

A rainy Sunday. It’s in the 40’s, or so they say. I was outside earlier when It wasn’t raining and when it wasn’t too cold. But from the constant downpour it just looks like it’s too wet to go outside. But outside I must go, later on around 5:00, for tonight is the night I will be DJing at McSwells for the first time in about 15 years.

I’m a bit apprehensive, a bit anxious. Not so much since it’s been 15 years, but more like it’s from I don’t want to upset anyone with what I play. I have an idea of what I’ll play. And it will probably the first time that I’ve DJ’d at McSwells where I didn’t get fucked up.

There’s 10 bands playing, one or two dropped off the original line up which is too bad since I always enjoy seeing Karen Kuhl. From the looks of the schedule, I should be selecting songs to play for 10 minutes between each act, but things being what they are and this being a rock and roll situation, who can really tell?

I ‘m sure it will be a good time. Starts at 6PM and should go to 11PM but you know these Rock & Rollers…

Last night was a good time for sure. My former boss Risotto and his partner GFunk threw a nicely sophisticated party at their place in Newport. It was a pleasant walk over to Newport from Hoboken, Bill hadn’t walked on the walkway that was opened a few months ago connecting Hoboken to the Newport area of Jersey City.

Bought a bottle of wine since it’s good form not to show up with one arm longer than the other. Had the wine in my shoulder bag as Bill and I strolled over enjoying cigars and made it to the 21st floor apartment.

Very nice space and as Risotto does things, a place for everything and for everything a place. It was the first time I had met Gregoire and he seemed like a nice enough fellow. Quite a mix of friends, all pleasant and interesting.

I had a few glasses of wine and Bill and I mingled. The food was excellent as was the wine. The view from Risotto’s apartment was interesting enough to look across and see other people in their apartments. Some parties going on, some other things going on as well.

It was a bit like Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock, with me playing the Thelma Ritter role instead of James Stewart or Grace Kelly. Unfortunately after a few hours we needed to leave since Bill had to get up mighty early to drive a bus once again to Atlantic City.

But we had a good time with Risotto and GFunk and their guests and wished them all a happy and healthy holiday. Bill and I had another leisurely stroll back to Hoboken, where the bars were packed once again.

Bill was soon ready for bed, I stayed up and watched Saturday Night Live, not really paying much attention but from what I did pay attention it was merely OK. They are doing good by not letting the sketches run too long.

Bill was gone by the time I woke up and got the paper and some things for breakfast. And so far most of the day has been spent on the phone with Annemarie, my brother Frank and brave Ulysses. Ulysses called to see if I heard from Pedro who flew down to Puerto Rico last night for his father’s funeral. I hadn’t and didn’t expect to.

Annemarie was calling just to check in on a Sunday like we do, Frank called and told me he more than likely wasn’t going to show up at McSwells tonight.

Too much of a hassle with the rain and parking. I don’t expect my brother Brian to show either since the band he wants to see, Dennis Diken & the Bell Sound is only going to play for 20 minutes or so. He could always show up but with the weather is I doubt it.

I think the main thing that is making me nervous is the fact that I’ll be using iPods instead of vinyl or CD’s. Hopefully it will work out since I followed Carson the sound guy’s instructions and bought the cables he suggested.

So my fingers are crossed and I hope it will be a successful evening for Terry Karydes.

Due to the outing of Risotto, the pictures have been renamed and made even sexier since Risotto’s parole officers are freaking out. You should have come out earlier Risotto, But to each in their own time.

Ahh what the fuck.
bill 2

jot 4

bill 3

jot 5

12.12.09 essence of ridiculousness

Bill called and told me to break a leg with regards to my DJing tonight. He says I’ll be stupendous and that was nice to hear. Annemarie and Frank said the same, so I guess I had better be on top of my game!

Flip Flop and Fly

Oh so tired, but it’s a good tired. Only have an hour or so to rest before Bill and I head over to Newport in Jersey City for Risotto’s Christmas Party. We were invited a month or so ago and now the time has come. It should be a nice time.

Hadn’t seen Risotto in years and never met his partner. It’s also within walking distance. It starts at 7:00 but we can’t stay too late since Bill has to drive tomorrow morning. We’re both looking forward to attending the party, it promises to be a good time.

Another cannabis free dream last night, involving a trip to New England. Could have been Vermont, or New Hampshire. It involved Bill, my mother, Julio, my brother Brian and my sister in law Elaine. One part of the dream involved me walking up a river, knee deep to catch up with the others.

In some bushes on the shore, there might have been my former roommate Jimmy Lee whom I asked if he had figured out a song for me. I tried to get the people in the dream to move from the bed and breakfast we seemed to be meeting at to a local cigar establishment.

Then I woke up with Don’t Rain on My Parade in my head. It was endlessly repeating. Almost maddening.

What got me out of bed was the fact that I had a plan to visit the Man Ray exhibition in Manhattan at the Jewish Museum. If you recall, I was going to go last week, but it was too cold and rainy. Today it was mainly cold. I showered, made coffee and headed out to get the paper and some bagels.

Came home, had a hearty breakfast as Bill sat and watched Lawn Hors d’œuvre . No time for Bill to watch the Closer which is his Saturday morning routine. He was off to see his mom and run around Manhattan.

About an hour later I too was headed into the city, taking the Path train to 14th Street and walking over to Union Square to catch an uptown train. On the way to the Path I stopped by the Guitar Bar and wished Jim a belated birthday and also said hello to his daughter (and mine) Lily who was working at the store for the afternoon.

Throughout Hoboken there were Santas everywhere, all participating in a Santa clad pub crawl. Walking down the stairs at the Path station there were a few Santas dressed up obviously off to participate in drunken shenanigans.

The train was crowded as was the 4 train uptown from Union Square. What was an express train, turned local once it went to Grand Central. I rode up to 96th street and thought the Jewish Museum was at 96th Street but it was at 92nd Street.

Went into the museum, was searched, as was my bag which I had to check. I walked into the galleries and took off my coat and held it over my folded arms. A few minutes later a security guard came up to me and told me I had to either check the coat or wear it.

No carrying coats at this museum. I blame Tony Shafrazi. He was the former art adviser to the Shah of Iran and his Peacock Throne, that all around Iranian ghoul who spray painted Picasso’s Guernica. Or maybe it was because it was the Jewish Museum. It was a minor hassle nonetheless.

Great pieces of art, with me having a laugh at a few pieces, like Rrose Sélavy created by Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp after they both fled Ridgefield NJ to Paris. Rrose Sélavy is a ‘person’ portrayed by Duchamp and photographed by Man Ray and it’s a play on Eros, C’est La Vie.

Hilarious I thought and chuckled. The other patrons merely sniffed. So much fun to be found, especially in the letter to Tristan Tzara where Man Ray writes “dada cannot live in New York. All New York is dada, and will not tolerate a rival.” Still rings true almost 100 years later.

After than, a cigar and a stroll down Fifth Avenue, taking pictures at whatever I deemed art and whatever screamed loudly enough for me to take it’s photograph. I’ll more than likely go back again to the exhibition, I just won’t wear such a heavy coat.

I walked from 92nd Street and Fifth Avenue to 33rd Street and Sixth Avenue. That’s about it.

Here’s some pictures.

man ray kiki

man ray le cadeau 1921

Tristan Tzara photographed by Man Ray

Tristan Tzara photographed by Man Ray

My self portrait inspired by Man Ray

My self portrait inspired by Man Ray

12.12.09 NYC post Man Ray 002

12.12.09 NYC post Man Ray 003

12.12.09 NYC post Man Ray 004

12.12.09 NYC post Man Ray 005

12.12.09 NYC post Man Ray 006

12.12.09 NYC post Man Ray 007

12.12.09 NYC post Man Ray 008

12.12.09 NYC post Man Ray 009