Tag Archives: Work

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 Think of You

Dreary Friday, but a day off so it’s not so bad. My mind keeps going back to last night, the tête à tête with Marcus and Calvin. I had about 2 glasses in what I presumed to be nice scotch. 2 glasses (and not rocks glasses, about ¼ of a cordial glass) and I was feeling somewhat loopy.

The third glass set me straight so to speak. One of the things that I remembered this afternoon was the fact that Marcus and Calvin saw how passionate I was in my defense and attributed it to the scotch. They were both further gone than I was and mentioned that it might be a good idea if I came into work after having a drink.

An interesting scenario and one that I have no intention of pursuing. I’m not even sure if I should mention the fact that my riding on Karma Transit, got me home about 30 minutes after I left them in the man cave.

I do have to have a new game plan if I am to play the game and I will not be dealing with Marcus until Monday and I won’t be dealing with Calvin until Tuesday. I have to admit that while I was anxious to attend this tête à tête, I didn’t know what would be brought up.

I still have no idea what cigar it was that they had given me to smoke, all I can remember was that it was mediocre. I’m pretty sure I do not share the mindset of Mickey Blue Eyes and Hot Sauce as Raymond was fond of calling them.

The concept of someone enjoying a cigar differently than the way they enjoy their cigars is totally anathema to them, even though they seem to acknowledge, or at least Calvin acknowledges that no two people see the same thing the same way. In that case for them the movie Rashomon would be a letdown since it had too many conflicting points of view.

But play the game I must, and when someone asks me how things are I will simply accentuate the positive and just lie lie lie. Overall though it was a good meeting, much needed and something that probably should have done last summer or early fall.

The guilt trip was excellent I might add. Never had I been on the receiving end in an employment situation. So today was just getting through all that. Most everything I watched on TV was lackluster from the Daily Show and Colbert Report to Community and the Office.

I had hoped for something funny to laugh at but everything seemed to be off the mark, or it could have likely been me that was wide of the mark. I have been out and about today, mailed a package to dear Billie in Washington DC who finally landed a job after being out of work for such a long time. He was unemployed before I was and was still searching after I started selling cigars and fine writing instruments.

I’m more than likely in for the evening but having written that, I am reminded I have shirts to pick up at the dry cleaners. Sigh.

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 Don’t Know What to Do with My Life

Well here it is Tuesday forme, Wednesday for you. Not much I can do about it. Not much I can do about anything. I’m in the same boat as a lot of people and as far as I can tell, we are all pretty much miserable.

At least I have Xanax to get me through the day. Others use booze, heroin, whatever may be handy.

The latest twist in the saga of working retail, is that next month, I’ll probably have to participate in Monday Night Football. Not playing it, not watching it, just having to be in the store while the game goes on.

And if there is any one sport that I don’t like, it’s football. I already plan on having a good book to read and I’ll likely be writing at the cigar shop and posting it when I get home, which should be sometime around 2:00 in the morning.

I certainly wasn’t asked, but the new schedule is out and one of those games is on my late shift. I’m not happy about but who the fuck cares? I have a job don’t I? So shut up and stop complaining.

Still I continue to look elsewhere for work, hopefully getting out before the holiday rush, but no one is hiring. No word from CVS, Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. And no word from that guy Ian who offered me a job last month.

Perhaps he’s a flake. He did say I should hear something mid- September or by the end of the month and that is rapidly approaching.

Work was the usual stupid nonsense. Redundant? Perhaps. The ride to work was more of the banal. Sat there at the bus stop as the 10:15AM rolled past me, opting for the 10:30 bis instead. It wasn’t a crowded bus, still some familiar faces got on.

No Angie Baby, but the tattooed guy from the summer walked on board. His birth date is tattooed in a digital manner and it surprisingly matched the small tea cup saucers embedded in his earlobes.

I got off the subway with about 25 minutes to spare and just sat on a bench across from the cigar shop. The Xanax had kicked in so I didn’t really care much. It was Marcus, Calvin and Don with Sean coming in after school.

Some of the regulars floated in and out of the cigar shop and stationed themselves in the back room. Since Don was on the shift, I was able to leave the shop for my lunch hour for the first time in days. It really made a difference, to be able just to go outside instead of looking at the same four walls I would be stuck with for ten hours.

I wandered over to yet another bench by the park, had a cigar and read some of the New Yorker. I miss having a camera. I have a cellphone camera, but it’s definitely not the same thing.

I left the shop, around 9:13 tonight and to my surprise it was pouring out. I never see the weather outside. Still I plugged in the second half of the Buzzcocks, A Different Kind of Tension. Mainly heard I Don’t Know What to Do with My Life, Money, Hollow Inside, and A Different Kind of Tension.

By the time I got to the bus terminal, I Believe came on and since that is a 7 minute song, I’ll round the time to 17 minutes and 15 seconds. Probably would have been shorter, but it was raining after all.

That’s about all I have to write about. Bill is sore after training with a physical trainer.

I Am the Cosmos

Written at work. 25 minutes to go. Xanax seems to help. Had to increase the dosage from half a tab to a whole tab. I’m working solo. Just counted the safe surreptitiously.

Usually one person mans the front and whomever counts the safe is safely hidden in the back. Well being the only person I did the counting with an ear for the chime that rings whenever someone breaks through the electric eye.

Last night I had a talk with Ray, a friend of Pedro’s I’ve known Ray for a while and though we’re not as close as he and Pedro, we do look out for each other.

Now written back in Hoboken.

Ray was a bit of a runaround back in the day but lately he’s been posting very positive messages on his Facebook page. Probably since he’s settled down since he now has a daughter that he may have seen some light causing the philosophical change of life.

I sent him a message the other day, asking him about his job. Turns out he’s been working at a boutique hotel in midtown. We spoke last night at midnight. He mentioned that there was a management takeover and some heads rolled.

He got my hopes up saying that there maybe a front desk position or a position taking reservations. It was a good talk and I hung up and went to bed feeling somewhat optimistic. Slept rather well too. No dreams that I can remember, but I haven’t had cannabis freed reams in a while.

Ahh the joys of self medicating. Bill was up and out by 6:00AM, leaving me to sleep until 8:30 when I eventually stirred. It wasn’t the usual 8:00 today and it hasn’t been for a week or so. I try to get as much sleep for myself lately.

Nice breakfast, the usual- coffee and cereal after a nice shower. Some time spent checking emails, drinking coffee and finishing up a cigar that I had started last night. It was so good that I even smoked it walking to the bus stop.

And since I wasn’t done with it, I let the early bus go by and waited for the second bus. I’ve written before that I haven’t been reading much at all on the bus headed into the city and I just zone out, staring out the window wondering how long Troy Towers will be precariously located on the side of the Palisades.

A trip through the Lincoln Tunnel, depositing me at the bus terminal where I walked through to the subway, taking routes that irrational people take. To my luck whether good or bad, the train was approaching the station as I stepped onto the platform and soon enough I was back in front of the store.

It was Marcus, Calvin and myself. I would be working with Calvin, effectively making me a prisoner of the store for an entire 10 hours. Due to their ineptitude I am not able to leave for my hour to myself. So I sat in the backroom, trying to bury my nose in a book.

Unfortunately the closet case opera singer came in with some of his buddies (who don’t know that the chubby old money dowager empress is in the closet) swishing his way about despite a false front of machismo. He has a son, he can’t be in the closet!

Still it’s not my place to out someone from their ample sized walk in closet. The day mainly passed by without incident. Calvin split at 7:30 and I was there, solo until 9-ish. My friend My friend stopped by and it was good to see him.

Perhaps the only bright spot in a dismal day.

I Like It Like That

It’s been an intense 48 hours. And I had off from work but still work, or the concept of work, specifically the cigar shop crept into my life. As you may read what I have written in the past, I’m not happy working at the cigar shop.

It’s certainly taken it’s toll. I know, you’re reading this and probably thinking, ‘what a whiner’. And maybe it is whining. But I’m despondent. Despairing even.

At the cocktail party at Rand and Lisa’s where I of course explained how unhappy I’ve been working at the cigar shop, telling them about the bomb scares, how I feel I am working in a target zone, they were sympathetic.

I even discussed with Lois’ husband Fred, working at the supermarket.. He makes even less than I do now, and feels the spot is managed by assholes. So basically it was not suggested that I work there. Lisa works at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken and told me she would keep an eye out for me if something popped up.

A few vodka tonics and everything was fine. Came home and went to sleep. But when I woke up, the last dreams I had were concerning work, leaving me to wake up feeling there was no escape from the cigar shop, even when I am sleeping.

It certainly tainted the rest of my day.

Things did get a little better later on when I was in the supermarket buying milk. I heard a voice behind me telling me that I should buy the organic milk. I ignored the voice at first and when it was repeated I turned around and saw it was Ira Kaplan.

It was good to see him. I hadn’t seen him since before the holidays last year. I asked him how Yo La Tengo were doing and he mentioned that they were about to go on a tour of South America. I asked if they needed a roadie and he said they didn’t, and in any event it would involve a lot of hard work.

But, it was good to see Ira. I asked about Georgia and he said she was doing well. I always liked Ira, I never had any problems with him. Plus he always got my jokes, no matter how obscure they might have been.

Singing ‘Papa John Creach’ to the tune of Madonna’s Papa Don’t Preach is what springs to mind. We were having such a nice chat that I even followed him to the check out even though I wasn’t done with my shopping.

I came home and did some job searching which caused more despair. Bill was napping and before he napped I suggested that maybe we could take a walk around Hoboken when he woke up. He said maybe and when he woke up he told me he had to go to a meeting in the city, so no walk for us.

That left me with the blues. I watched Zombieland which was alright. It had a few surprises, and some pretty stupid plot points. I still think Jesse Eisenberg reminds me of a younger Ira Kaplan, but that may be residue from Adventureland which Yo La Tengo did the music for.

I made myself a nice dinner for the first time in weeks, penne, pesto and chicken again and enjoyed it greatly. Even posted it on Facebook which some friends liked.

After dinner, as I wallowed in my blues and despair, I got a phone call from Bill. He was on the bus and asked if I needed anything from the store. I told him if he was going to the store sure, but no special trips for me.

He asked if I wanted a pizza and I said I just ate. It turned out that he ordered one already. It was funny since when I was growing up, on Sundays my family would have dinner at 2PM on a Sunday afternoon, then in the evening we’d have pizza, and I was thinking about that earlier in the day.

I told Bill, that I would more than likely find room for some pizza. And I certainly did when he came home and the delivery arrived shortly thereafter.

I took half a Xanax before Bill called and after that phone call, came the call from hell. Really. It was Harpy.

“Why do you always have penne, pesto and chicken? Why do you think you work in a target zone? LADY CAPS LOCK said you wrote ‘Fuck retail’ on your Linked In status. Why do you sound so bitter?”

Oh my gods. Here was one of the most bitter cantankerous people on the planet complaining about me being bitter. I couldn’t take it. Any good feeling I had from talking with Bill on the phone had dissipated listening to Harpy who didn’t even sound like he was half in the bag, not even two sheets to the wind.

I couldn’t take it and let him know. I usually just let him prattle on, but here was the second person in a few days not being very sympathetic when I really needed some sympathy. It was almost like my father used to say- ‘If you’re looking for sympathy, it’s in the dictionary next to syphilis.’

I got off the phone with Harpy after angrily telling him to go fuck himself. Then I went to Linked In and saw my status saying ‘Between jobs, between worlds’ something I wrote soon after I lost the last job. I couldn’t resist and called Harpy up saying that “LADY CAPS LOCK is a fucking idiot and so are you for believing her!”

Of course I don’t think they’re idiots, but I was hurt and felt kicked and picked on when I was really at a low point. The other half of Xanax was then inserted into my mouth. But it couldn’t act fast enough, since I watched Boardwalk Empire and could not get into it because of the anger I was feeling.

Totally forgot about Mad Men (perhaps too close to home since I was still quite mad) and we watched Freaks and Geeks. Bill was off to bed and I stayed up stewing until the other half a tab kicked in. I went to sleep, telling Bill in his sleep apnea mask that I loved him so much.

And I do.

He’s been there for me lately when it seems no one else is. And that is one aspect of love, that I love. My mantra is shot to hell by the way. Saying ‘at least you have a job’ really means nothing when death sometimes seems like the only viable option.

And no I wouldn’t do that. It’s a selfish act and I am not selfish. Nor would I hurt those people in my life that really and truly care for me. I’ll keep running for the shelter of mother’s little helper.

Today was a bit better. I woke up to find a message on my computer screen- “Happy 10th Anniversary Baby!! I love you very very much! Ya d’oh!” Yes, today is our 10th anniversary. I thought it was tomorrow, but tomorrow is the anniversary of my father’s death.

I sent Bill a message in return, “I love you, oh yes I do. From the morning to the evening, Oh I do, so love you. Happy 10TH Anniversary my Sweetheart. Ya big!”

I did see Stine with Alexander briefly. They were coming in as I was going out. He’s been playing ‘shy’ with just about everyone and he did it with me. I asked Alexander for a kiss and he turned his cheek to me. Stine says that he doesn’t kiss anyone lately, but will turn his face for a peck on the cheek. He’s so much like his father in that regard.

I ran some errands and cooked some eggs for breakfast and read the paper. Dropped off the Big Star compilation at the bibliothèque as well as Zombieland. I did pound the pavement in Hoboken. Went to CVS, Rite Aid, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, applying for work in each store. Of course, each store told me to go online and fill out the application.

I feel if I’m going to be miserable working retail, I might as well be miserable close to home. The 40k salary that I was pursuing is fading fast from view, so working for 8 or 9 dollars an hour seems the way to go.

And I did get a haircut today. My barber, Tony is still out with a broken arms and I had his replacement Dora cut my hair. She cut a mole on the back of my neck, didn’t trim my eyebrows, nose or ear hair nor did she try to cut the gray hairs out of my goatee.

She did find the time midway through cutting my hair to reply to a message on her blackberry. And it was about a 20 minute haircut, where Tony would have me in his chair for 45 minutes.

I won’t be seeing her again and intend to tell Tony’s son Nick about it. Guys on death row would probably avoid having their last hair cuts from her as well. She was horrible and I would have preferred getting my hair cut from Benjamin Barker.

I want to live with Bill, surrounded by Morning Glories.

Appel Indirect

Getting ready to work the late shift again. Had some interesting dreams last night, specifically a dream where I was in Manhattan, around 57th Street.

I was at a bar which resembled the Carnegie Club, but it was a gay bar and instead of being behind Carnegie Hall it was right next door. I had some books or magazines and needed to get home but something kept me where I was.

I left and walked towards 6th Avenue, and soon I found myself in a taxi driven by a chatty and obliging driver who dropped me off near the bar I mentioned before. I got out of the cab and walked around a bit, when I realized I left the flip flops I was wearing in the cab.

I went to a store across the street from the bar and found some European merchants who sold me a pair for $3.99. Then I headed to the bar but I couldn’t find the entrance since there was a lot of scaffolding erected.

That’s when I woke up to the sound of Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran. Not my favorite song or band, but it certainly got me out of bed. Overcast day. I watched True Blood last night.

So much happening. A very fast hour. Nice butt on Eric. But I’m not an ass man, man. In started to watch Treme afterward when my old friend and former roommate Kevin called.

It was a fun talk almost 90 minutes. A wide range of subjects were touched on, friends, alcoholism, drugs, family, movies, Maxwells, bad choices and of course, art. Kevin is one of the best artists I know and it’s good to see he is still at it out there in Pennsylvania.

I am now friends with him on Facebook (which he recently reluctantly joined) and MySpace. My MySpace page was covered in cobwebs since I hardly ever go there. It was funny to find he’s friends with my sister in law Elaine’s nephew, John.

I made two new play lists for the store, one of Maria Callas with a smattering of Kiri Te Kanawa and another list of Django Reinhardt. Last week when I played the very long play list, when some opera came up Marcus was greatly impressed with it and I tried to find some more.

Unfortunately I had maybe two other songs which went into Malcolm McLaren’s Madam Butterfly. Last week I also raised some eyebrows when The Bird & the Bee’s song, Fucking Boyfriend came up.

You’d think that a room full of men smoking cigars wouldn’t have any problem with Inara George singing, ‘would you be my fucking boyfriend’, but they did. No one complained outright but a few comments were made so in order not to ruffle these sensitive feathers, I deleted it.

That as well as Bodies by the Sex Pistols.

It’s an overcast, muggy day and they’ve been saying that it might rain later on. For once they may be right. I’m wearing a suit that I don’t think I’ve worn in about 6 years. I wonder why that is.

I’m sure I’ll find out. I’ll be working later on and notice a tear or something that will remind me, just why this suit has been hanging in the closet. Better the suit than me I suppose.

Have a good day. I hope to.

Action Time Vision

Well I’ve been home now for abut 45 minutes. I think I’ve turned a corner. Not as morose or as despairing as I had been the previous couple of days. It wasn’t an easy transition but I think it’s nearly over.

The weather has been very cooperative and today was the second day in a row where I wore my suit to work, not scrambling to find a place to change from street clothes into a suit. I hope it lasts but I know, summer is around the corner.

The guys I work with are good guys it seems, though the guy I was replacing was fired yesterday. He was supposed to be working until the first of August. But apparently when he was supposed to be working the weekend and Calvin wasn’t going to be around, he would call in sick, or have something come up.

That took it’s toll on his co-workers and Marcus and Calvin decided to do something about it. They asked him to resign but he wouldn’t so they fired him. I liked Harold. He was a good looking guy with washboard abs, but he also liked himself a lot.

Too much ego said Calvin. Calvin also mentioned that he thought Harold had a few sugar daddies on the side. A handsome muscular model living in Chelsea is bound to have a few sugar daddies if he so desired.

So that leaves a core group of 5 workers. Calvin, Raymond, Don, Ryan and me with Marcus managing the two Manhattan stores. I actually prefer this store to the store I frequented which was around the corner from Wanker Banker.

Calvin allows me to pick the music and the co-workers seem to like my choices. Some Latin jazz, some Woody Allen music. Today I opened the store with a Brian Eno playlist which was about an hour’s worth of music.

Not so much ambient stuff but some of his more interesting fare. James Brown was in the mix today as was The Bird & the Bee. And Raphael Saddiq. I sort of took over the music choices on the second day. The day started with just me and Don.

It takes a while for Don to warm up, at least to me. For about 2 hours it was the two of us and hardly anything was said. That made for a slow 2 hours, but he liked the Eno stuff I was playing, saying that it sounded like Pink Floyd.

No, I didn’t throttle him.

Calvin showed up at 11:30, scheduled to work the late shift. I worked the late shift yesterday with Calvin and found that working the late shift one night and opening the next day is no easy task, at least not yet.

Once Calvin showed up things got easier, and it being lunch time it meant customers started drifting in. For lunch, a turkey sandwich at what seems to be my usual spot near the park. And of course Calvin recommended a cigar, a Tatuaje robusto which was really good.

It’s great to spend time outside in the open air, just looking at people. I did have a good chat with Don, who said I shouldn’t be overwhelmed by the situation of starting a new job. It was good to hear, and also good to see that Don eventually thaws out.

I’ve been having some problems with sending photos from my cellphone. The pics are usually sent to Facebook but haven’t been showing up there. I thought it was a Facebook problem but it is actually a T-Mobile problem so a visit to the local T-Mobile store is in order tomorrow, my day off.

Have a few things planned for tomorrow, and the number one plan is sleeping late. It’s actually number one on my list.

a lunch time view

I also had gotten tickets for the Colbert Report tonight, but had to give them up since I’m working!

It So Easy

I am quite a lucky guy. So lucky. No sarcasm intended. Sincerity. I have a good man who loves me so much. Bill is my rock. As much as I bitch sometimes about him, he is there for me, supporting in me and believing in me.

He is so happy that I am employed again, thrilled that I am working at a cigar shop. I can depend on him for anything. True, sometimes in my petulant moments I whine about him driving me crazy but I take a step back and see how miserable my life would be if he wasn’t in it.

The people in my life, Annemarie, my brothers, my sisters in law, Julio, Roda, even Roda’s mother are happy that I’m working again and sometimes they’re thrilled that I am working again. I am happy to be working again.


The times that I’m not are when I am not at the job. I like the people I work with. It’s going to and coming from the job, where I find myself looking back at my life is when I wind up taking big gulps from the well of despair.

And it’s not my life per se, it’s the jobs that I had. Working at Wanker Banker, and Bio-ID. I left the Wankers at the right time inadvertently and Bio-ID collapsed from the economic climate and the lawsuit following the dismissal of a managing partner.

I know I’m not alone in this situation. Thousands, millions of other people are out of work.

I have a job and like I said when I am there I am fine. I am busy or trying to be busy. I like my co-workers and they seem to like me. The customers like me as well. I’ve been introduced to dozens and almost immediately have forgotten most of their names.

I have a lot to learn besides names though. I have to push the product and be very knowledgeable about the cigars. Try to form relationships with new customers and steer them to the brand of the store. It’s a good brand, internationally known.

And there are many cigars with the brand name on it, from mild to medium to full bodied. I have to know what they taste like, whether it has a spicy flavor, a creamy taste, things like that. Calvin, the assistant manager has been showing me these things but I am a bit overwhelmed.

At some points during the day he asks me what do I know so far and I generally draw a blank. Yesterday being my first day I didn’t know much but did my best. I was given a DVD about the founder of the company and had to watch it last night.

Now I have other homework to do, which is visit the company website and learn some more. Unfortunately I am toast right now. And I was toast when Calvin decided to see what I knew with regards to the brand’s cigars.

I drew a blank despite taking notes about what he was talking about earlier in the day and even read those notes eating a sandwich on a park bench at lunchtime. I was good with the customers, steered them to the brand, encouraged them to give it a try as I chatted with them in the humidor.

But at 6:30 when Calvin asked I came up short.

I also took the smart move and brought my suit and shirt and tie in a garment bag and changed when I got to the shop. I could have dressed better but chose black jeans and a dark shirt for some reason.

But I got through day 2 and will return for more. And I love my family and I love my friends and I love Bill Vila so much.

It’s Like That

Wow. I am home from my first day back at work and I am watching a DVD about the founder of De La Concha as was suggested by Zach the assistant manager of the store.

I like Zach. He’s a nice guy. Seems to like me. We got along great during our meetings, I feel very much at ease with him around.

The day didn’t start off with ease. No, not at all. In fact I woke up and wanted to throw up. That’s how nervous I was. I showered, I shaved, I made coffee and had a bowl of cereal.

Last night I had my clothes all laid out, good to go. One less thing to worry about. Even though the forecast was some showers in the afternoon and the temperature headed for the 80 degree area, I wore the suit and tie.

Actually had the tie in my bag. I had to be at the shop at 9:30 and caught a bus around 8:15. Arriving at the bus terminal I headed down to the subway and caught the train uptown. I was about 20 minutes early and decided to head to the men’s room and put on my tie and also to change my t-shirt.

I had the dress shirt cleaned and pressed last week and when I tried to button the button on the tab collar half the button was missing and not making it easy to button. It could be done only after I muttered ‘fucking hell’ and stamping my right foot.

Perhaps if I stamped my left foot it wouldn’t have happened. In any event I was in the shop at 9:30 as planned. It was a slow start and for the first hour I was in the humidor, looking at all the different cigars. It seemed like I was in there longer than an hour but no, it was just about 60 minutes.

I was working with Don, another salesman and Zach. Harold also came in a little while later. They seem like good people and me being the low man on the totem pole I was in for a good ribbing.

They asked what kind of cigar I liked and I said La Flor Dominicana. That was the joke of the day. Not a good cigar in their eyes, like smoking cardboard they said. I spent a lot of time after that looking at and polishing various desk top humidors and other high end products.

Lunch came around 1:30 and at first I visited the market nearby but that was crazy crowded. I opted for Subway which was close and had a tuna sandwich which was like eating paste. I ate near the park and then wandered into the park, looking for a spot to sit down and relax.

Found a bench on with no one nearby and enjoyed a Avo cigar. Nice cigar, expensive too. I can see why they were mocking me at the store. I definitely have to get back into the swing of things, develop a routine again.

I worked until 7:00. It was supposed to be 7:30 but Zach said I could leave early since it was my first day. I left around 7:15 and walked down to the Path train. I dislike waiting on the lines for the bus. Walking is so much better than standing around.

I got home around 8:30, a zombie. I peeled off my suit and got another suit together for tomorrow. The plan for tomorrow is to carry the suit, shirt and tie into a garment bag and change when I get to the shop. That means I’ll have to get there earlier, but at least I will be comfortable and not too sweaty.

Yesterday's me.

Path to Wisdom

Well today was day two. It didn’t go well. I did well but I was so terribly unhappy. The workload was more than I could handle. The area of phones I did well in, but overall I was feeling overwhelmed. I know, it’s only day two.

But I just kept finding more things that I didn’t like about the job. I was being thrown into the deep end so suddenly and found myself grasping at and gasping for air. I knew it wasn’t going to work out. I was on a 3 month probation and a much lower salary than I used to have.

Greg Stevens advised me a few weeks ago not to take the first job offered to me but that is exactly what I did. I should have learned the lesson from McMann and Tate a few years ago, getting a job through a Craigslist advertisement isn’t the best method.

I know I could find something out there. I feel that way. One of the interviewers I met with couple of weeks ago told me when I told her about this job that I was definitely worth more than what these guys were paying me.

Am I disappointed? Yes. Have I disappointed other people? Yes. Perhaps even you reading this, feel some disappointment towards me. I just didn’t feel like it was a good fit. The people were generally nice but walking to the office felt like I was walking to the gallows.

Just such a feeling of melancholy. I know there is something else out there. But this wasn’t it. I shouldn’t have settled. That was a big mistake. I texted Greg Stevens this morning while waiting in reception at 8:30 for the woman who was training me.

I wrote, that I was still willing to be his assistant more than ever. I didn’t get a reply. On my half hour lunch break I was at wits end. I called up Bill who was home. His back and knees were messed up. He was reassuring and as supportive as ever.

I went through the rest of the days routine, eating bananas since that was all I had time to eat. The half hour lunch break allowed me to get to an ATM and the first machine wouldn’t read my card so I had to get online and try for another machine.

The whole time I was on the phone with Bill, who was searching my email for the phone number of the woman who interviewed me a few weeks ago. He got it and once I got off the phone with Bill, I called the woman and left a voice mail. She hasn’t gotten back to me yet, but I will try again tomorrow. And I will sign up with other staffing agencies.

I had to lie. I called up the company and left a voice mail saying I found a message when I got home and decided to take a job with better pay. I’m sure they would understand. They weren’t paying me that much and the workload promised to be more than I originally anticipated. In fact it didn’t even resemble the job that was listed on Craigslist.

“Office Business Center Operator in Manhattan seeks experienced bright self-starter to join our Front Desk team to greet guests, service incoming customer calls and existing customers in full service office centers. Must have strong PC skills & switchboard experience and be able to multitask. We offer competitive salary and a full package of benefits.”

I do have these qualities and can multitask but the competitive salary was not competitive at all. Even if I kept working there while looking for other jobs, the half hour lunch break would definitely hamstring my job search.

I feel I’ve done the right thing and moved while it was still early and while the company could still go with the number two person they had considered. I didn’t fill out any forms or paperwork so that shouldn’t leave me with any strings attached.

I know I can do better and I know I can get a better job. I think this is for the best. Sorry if you’re disappointed, but I am sure that this wasn’t the job for me. I think I know what I’m doing.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That sucks.

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

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

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

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

One day under my belt or rather, braces.

Shapes of Things

It’s another hot day today, but not as hot as it was yesterday. Last night after writing I went for a Hoboken stroll with Julio. He certainly talks a lot, no getting words in edgewise for me.

I suppose that what friends are for, providing a forum just to listen. And that’s what I did. He has many things on his mind and can’t wait to hug Alexander again.

It will be about 2 weeks until he gets to do that again when Julio flies off to Copenhagen to reunite with Stine and Alexander, then it’s off to Spain for a week. Perhaps this weekend Julio and I will be able to make it the the beach.

Last week was a wash out, plus he had to attend a wake. Hopefully the weather will be cooperative and there won’t be any viewings to attend.

Came home Bill was watching I don’t know what on TV. It wasn’t Lawn Hors d’œuvre that much I know. He’s accused me on monopolizing the TV which I guess I do since I’m here more than he is, and I tend to watch other things besides Lawn Hors d’œuvre.

So to avoid the stepping on of toes I asked if we could watch Weeds & Nurse Jackie. He was fine with it and how could he not be? He watches and enjoys the shows as well.

Weeds was good, Andy was great as usual. It’s getting weird though and the bodies keep piling up in Nancy’s wake. Of course things were given away when they showed the preview for next week.

Nurse Jackie was good, but how long can she keep those plates spinning in the air? 2 shows about women with double lives and how they affect their families. Both top shelf, totally engrossing. Perfect for a summer night’s television viewing.

After the news and the Simpsons we watched a documentary on NYC in the summer of 1977. Son of Sam! Studio 54! Hip Hop in the Boogie down Bronx and punk rock at CBGB’s! I went to bed midway through, waking up an hour later to find Bill still awake and watching it.

I slept in today, waking up around 10:00. It was nice. I checked my voice mail, Greg Stevens was wondering where I was. I called him and told him I would stop by around 1:30.

I figured I would be later than that but of course I was early. There is nothing for me to do in the office anymore. Viveka who replaced me is handling things.

Not in a good way either. She’s overwhelmed, Vivek is losing his mind. I asked him how his wife was doing and he said it was a nightmare. She’s due to drop a baby any day now. He’ll be out of the office for a few weeks.

Viveka has a Sunday job working retail and she goes back to school in September. Who knows how that will work out? She doesn’t, I asked.

I’m going to help Greg out with a project that should take a few hours. I told him I will be in tomorrow, early so as to avoid Vivek. Greg said he would pay me for my time so that’s nice.

Sing the Changes

Right now, everything is good. It’s been a weird kind of day. Slept in since my 10 hours of work were completed yesterday. I did get a call from Viveka about a marble mouse that Vivek was looking for.

I had it here, so I planned on bringing it in. I was also hoping to get my allotment of Hot Wheels cars but since yesterday was Vivek’s birthday, Sanjay and Abby and the birthday father to be went out gallivanting, rendering Vivek incapacitated and unable to come in.

Yeah, it sucked. But it wasn’t the end of the world and I know I will get paid eventually.

I hope sooner rather than later of course. I came home and decided to take random pictures of people on the streets. It was a nice day after all. Not one drop of rain and nary a cloud in the sky.

On the walk across midtown I was pleasantly surprised to catch a few whiffs in different areas of some pungent aromas. It was almost like it was twenty years ago. In broad daylight, some brave folk out for a toke.

I had almost forgotten that it can be done. Hell, I used to do it all the time. That was when I had cojones. Nowadays, not so much.

Came home and farted around. Returned some library books and walked around a bit. I saw Jim Mastro inside the Frozen Monkey Cafe so I walked in to say hello when Lily and Ruby Mastro walk up. Lily was drumming for some kids who take lessons at the Guitar Bar.

The girls told me Meghan was on the way. I stuck around and had some fun with Meghan who might have an extra pass for All Points West on Saturday if Jim couldn’t make it. She said she was going to let me know by tomorrow.

My Bloody Valentine and Arctic Monkeys are on the bill. There are other acts on the bill, but those are the two I would like to see.

I would have stayed at the Frozen Monkey Cafe but I was actually planning on food shopping. Plus it wasn’t Lily’s band, she was only filling in and the guys in the band really liked Guns & Roses and as annoying as that band used to be, hearing Sweet Child of Mine played by a 15 year old was more than I needed to hear.

I also made tentative plans with Meghan to hop on a train one day soon and just spend some time out in Glen Ridge. Been meaning to do that for a while now and since I’m not working, as Meghan pointed out, now would be as good a time as any.

And by now she meant next week. Now it a quiet evening, a breeze wafts through the open window. Haven’t hooked up the air conditioner. The fans have been good when Bill and I sleep.

It’s only when the sun is out, that’s when I would like to have an air conditioner on. Or to be in an air conditioned office, working.

7.30.09 RMNY 001
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7.30.09 RMNY 101

I Need to Know

OK, slept good last night, didn’t have a headache when I woke up. Carefully positioned the fans so they weren’t blowing directly on me.

Didn’t fall asleep that easily though. I keep ignoring my own advice, which is- if you can’t fall asleep, get out of bed. Don’t just lay there tossing and turning. Yet tossing and turning is what I do.

Last night was definitely nothing special. I watched some of the smarmy Bill Maher, watched some of O & RM, watched the news and watched the Simpsons. That’s about it.

My Bill was feeling better with regards to his leg so that was good. I woke up this morning and got myself together, headed out to the bus.

Mostly uneventful, the usual carbon based life forms exhaling CO2. Listened to The Fireman on the walk across town.

Nice morning walk. Got to the office, things were in disarray which is how things usually are when I’m out. But this disarray was from the intern Viveka.

Yes, as I expected they’re working her to the bone. In at 10AM out around 9PM if she’s lucky. Patriarchal system. She doesn’t complain.

I doubt that she’s getting paid a decent wage since she told me she was looking to get a retail job on weekends. She’s 20 something so she’ll have the stamina for that.

7 days of work. Not much of a social life though, but she feels she doesn’t have one now.

Viveka has been taking over my job so when I came to work today, there was very little for me to do which makes me think that the collection of chocolate mousse cakes will be ending soon enough.

That doesn’t make me happy, but I should have known that it wasn’t going to last too long anyhow. I was annoyed by this and a little bit depressed.

Enough so that I almost left 2 hours after coming in. I shouldn’t have been surprised since I’ve been showing her the different tasks that I have been doing for the past years. But obviously I didn’t think the change would be so soon.

I’m not giving up yet, and I’ll use the suggestion that my sister had at the Paul McCartney concert. Stay there until they ask you to move.

At least I should get some hamburger deluxe & a shake for the 10 hours I put in this week so far, and maybe for 5 more hours tomorrow.

Tonight I may head into Weehawken. There’s a band called the Revelators who I downloaded a few months ago. R&B group playing 1960’s-70’s type of soul music.

Just debating whether or not to ride my bike or walk or even take the light rail. I might just take the light rail there and walk home. It’s my only plan for the night.

Still have some time to make up my mind.

Just had a nice pesto/pasta/chicken dinner. Followed my sister’s advice (again) and cooked the chicken yesterday so all I have to do is reheat it in the sauce. Why didn’t I think of that before?

Infinite Circle

Well it’s a Wednesday and it’s been a stressful Wednesday at that.

Not much fun today. Last night was no great shakes. I did watch True Blood and that was excellent. One or two sight gags that made me wonder what the acronym on the baseball hats meant.

With regards to work, I’m glad it’s behind me and tonight is a family visit which is fraught with nerves as well. No one seems to communicate and I fear that my family is at risk of turning into my father’s family.

A bunch of grudge holders that didn’t communicate that often. My ex-boss Robert used to say Communicate early and often. I used to make fun of Robert for that but since then I found his adage to be true.

If you communicate most problems can be solved or avoided. If you don’t communicate it all turns to shit.

I feel bad for my sister who has a stressful enough life, what with her husband having a bum ticker and is in pain quite often and a teenage son who behaves very much like a teenager, meaning he has an awesome capacity for being a pain in the ass.

Not that he’s a pain in the ass to me, but rather how a teenager behaves with his mother. We’ve all been there with one parent or another or even both parents.

But like when I wrote about my brother Brian’s travails, it’s not my story and it’s certainly not my place to write about it here. My role, it seems is to be a pillar of support for Annemarie and I hope I can be that.

On top of that, there is the stress of my unemployment and the stress of having to justify the collection of Susquehanna Investment Groups.

I was upset when I left the office this afternoon. Even though I strolled across midtown to the bus terminal, enjoying a cigar and listening to a collection of Simple Minds songs I couldn’t shake the chip on my shoulder.

On my way there was a guy, handsomely dressed and obviously ogling a woman talking on her cellphone. I noticed it and wound up staring at him like he was a piece of meat which made him feel greatly uncomfortable.

Whether or not he was able to figure out what was being done to him was what he was doing to that woman, I don’t know. But being handsomely dressed helped make it easier to stare directly at his crotch.

And then as I was waiting on line inside the gate with the other drones, one wanker carrying a big bouquet of flowers for perhaps his loved one, he bypasses the line and stands outside the gate just so he could be the first on the bus.

I could only hope the fragrance of the flowers were replaced by the fumes of diesel exhaust from the buses. He also received a hard look but it was nothing overt.

Then as the bus travels down Washington Street, the bus driver gets into a yelling match with some idiot who was double parked and refused to move his car.

Could it be the metropolitan area is under a cloud of stupidity, so much so that even I couldn’t help but take a big gulp of it?

Yesterday, When I Was Young

Well last night I was so tired and Word Press was misbehaving that somehow I lost what I originally wrote. Between the lost entry and the one I eventually posted,

I wrote over 1000 words in under an hour. The second one was easier, just reconnecting the threads in my mind of what I had just written. Tonight I am not as tired and will limit myself to over 500 words but under 1000 words.

I slept really well last night, due to playing Frisbee with Annemarie on the beach, some swimming and the stress of trying to get to Bill’s show last night at Joe’s Pub. Of course, I could have used another hour of sleep but that didn’t happen.

Bill was up and at ’em this morning, I was dragging ass. I did get it together and was out the door, making it to work before 9:00.

There were things that should have been done last week, and the intern didn’t know what to do with the mail despite me telling her that the mail has to be delivered to the proper companies when it comes in.

Some of these companies are financial firms and the mail they get is sometimes time sensitive. There was a fiasco of sorts with the conference rooms today and it happened when I was out.

Really arrogant people, forcing someone to move their catered meeting in progress to another room. Incredible! It made me angry that the intern allowed this to happen.

Here’s the scenario: One party by the name of Seth asked me to book the conference room last week for today, from 12:30 to 3:00 and I did.

Today one of the neo-cons booked the same room at 2:00 even though the room was already booked. It’s a scenic room, windows overlooking Third Avenue. The neo-con goes into the room and tells Seth that he has to move.

Seth, being a very nice guy and also new to the office got it all together and moved with his guests. The neo-con’s meeting was an internal meeting, meaning no guests. He could have had that meeting in his office or in one of the other conference rooms, but no, stupid ass wanted the scenic room.

I was very upset, Seth didn’t mind. For me it was the principle and also the fact that the intern didn’t do anything about it, nor did she call me.

I think it all boiled down to the fact that what I call the Large Conference Room is what the neo-cons consider the boardroom.

There is another large conference room which I call the End Conference Room since it’s at the end of a hall and the neo-con when he wrote in his reservation called it the Boardroom which in his mind made it correct when it wasn’t.

There is also another conference room called either the Small Conference Room or the Round Table Room since it has a round table in it. I know this sounds petty to you, the reader but this is what I was hired to do, to maintain the booking of the rooms.

I have no problem kicking people out when it’s time for them to move on and obviously the intern does have a problem with doing anything like that. It more than likely comes from having to get people out of McSwells when it was closing time.

And of course, I thought I would be leaving today at 1:00 or 2:00 but actually left at 4:00.

I know, it’s good for the Susquehanna Investment Group, but still my hours are supposed to be limited and I don’t want any trouble when the time sheet is submitted for some fresh Cafe Press T-Shirts.

Anyway, here are some pictures from yesterday’s adventures.

The view from the beach

The view from the beach

Anne on the beach

Anne on the beach

Me on the beach

Me on the beach

Crazy close up

Crazy close up

the view from under the umbrella

the view from under the umbrella

a Speedo butt

a Speedo butt

the car of an idiot who was texting & driving

the car of an idiot who was texting & driving

Bill Comes Alive

Bill Comes Alive

Bill Live at the Hollywood Bowl

Bill Live at the Hollywood Bowl

Bill at Budokan

Bill at Budokan

Bill: Take No Prisoners

Bill: Take No Prisoners

Dancing Machine

Well it was a strange day basically. Did I work? Sort of. I went to the office and did things. Did I work a full day? No. I was in at 9:00 and out by 1:30. Will it be the same tomorrow and other days? Yes I think so.

It will get even stranger when my sister comes to town. The plan for then is, to come in earlier and leaving earlier. I’m looking at being in around 8:00 and out by 11:30 or 12:00. And I don’t even know if I will be working 4 or 5 days a week.

I did not see Vivek at all during the hours I was in today. I asked the intern if she had heard from Vivek and she didn’t but one of the neo-cons piped up and said that Vivek had a meeting at 3:00. It was a good reminder of the bullshit of non-communication that Vivek excels at.

Someone who has nothing to do with Vivek knows more about his schedule than the people that support him.

I did get a green light from New York State and that’s a good sign. I was a bit worried about that. I do have a phone call to make on Wednesday to complete that process. I was fairly busy today and it was weird to be leaving in the middle of the day.

But it was a beautiful day and I got over it soon enough. There is still a mellow sense in Hoboken, like a pleasant hangover from the past weekend. The weekend was a three day holiday, but oddly enough it felt longer than that.

I came home and changed out of my work clothes and into the summer wear of shorts and a t-shirt. Fiddled around at home and then realized that I needed to get some food for dinner.

It was an nice enough day so I walked over to Shop Rite which is further away than the supermarket around the block from my apartment. It’s cheaper at Shop Rite and the employees aren’t as surly. Of course I walk through the door and forget what it was I was there for.

I recovered and picked up some pesto and a few other items. On the way home I walk by where Roda’s mother lives and I see Roda having a BBQ.

I hung out with Roda and his mom and his cousin Tony. Roda’s kids, Logan and Autumn were there of course as well as a few other friends and family members. They invited me to stay for dinner but I had a bag full of groceries.

It was tempting but I came home and made myself my usual weekend fare of pesto, chicken and pasta. It was good and I’m satisfied. I’m going to try and use Rand’s method of eating.

No food after 6:00 for him, but for me it will be 7:00 since I didn’t get started until after 6:00 so some adjustments had to be made.

Roda and Autumn
Roda and Autumn

ps- I heard a club music version of Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ this afternoon. It chilled me to the core.


Well here I am again, writing an entry on Bill’s Mac. I can’t seem to get a connection on my computer and since Bill’s was available here I am.

Let’s see, last night was a late night posting, saw In The Heights, on Broadway and it is highly recommended. Also posted pictures from last night, going so far as to take a picture inside the theater, but it was during the curtain call and not during the performance.

Today I woke up early, around 6:30. Got out of bed, Bill was on his way out, off to work. I knew Greg Stevens had his boss from Los Angeles coming in and Greg had thought it might be a good idea to meet him so that Greg might entice him to get me on the payroll.

That meant it would be good if I got in the office before Greg. I showered and was out the door before 8:00, making it into the office before 9:00.

On the way to the office I saw Tom Chin, but since I got a haircut yesterday he didn’t recognize me and I was ok with that since I didn’t want to see Tom Chin at all, at least not getting paid to see Tom Chin.

I thought today might have been my last day and technically it was. Greg Stevens gave me a going away card saying they would miss me being in the office. Vivek came in, very tired and looking like hell.

Actually looking like he had too much fun on Gay Pride weekend, but that isn’t the case since the guy is as straight as 6:00.

I finally was able to sit with the intern, Neela who is very nice and can’t stand Abby either. She’s going to be doing the things that I was doing with the movie boxes whereas I will just run the rest of the office.

The plan is to pay me in Cafe Press T-Shirts, come in for a few hours during the week and get paid in cash. It’s a decent plan I think, if it comes to fruition. We’ll have to see about that.

I did put out the word that today could be my last day and my brother, good old Brian suggested eating a burger in front of Vivek as a possible affront to Vivek’s Hindu sensibilities.

But things seem to be working out ok, but like I said, we’ll see about that. It certainly felt like a weight off my shoulders knowing at least that the movie box days are over.

I will file for unemployment tomorrow, making it certain that my days of official work are over with the end of June. It’s an interesting and a little unnerving but then again a lot of things are.

On a different note, I did mention to Rand a few weeks ago that I should get a new computer. He agreed.
I don’t know if that meant a new ‘New’ computer or if he had a refurbished one lying around. Now that unemployment is looming on the horizon money is certainly tight.

I could scrimp and save I suppose and get a decent Dell but of course I hold Rand in such high esteem that I would like to pick his brain regarding whatever suggestions he might have.

Bill’s Mac sure is fast though. Maybe I could just use this until then…..


Ahh, it’s Friday. This five day work week, it’s something I haven’t done in a while. Of course, Vivek calls me up this morning around 9:30. He needs to speak with me. Says he’ll be in an hour.

He shows up around noon.

Oh so cute that Indian Standard Time. We talked, my last day is June 30. Actually July 1, since Greg Stevens would need my help both days. It’s ok, I like Greg.

Michael Jackson is playing everywhere, though I expected to hear it on WCBS FM Oldies last night when I went to bed, instead I heard Hotel California by the Eagles.

Maybe it was a commentary, saying that Michael Jackson could check out anytime he’d like but he could never leave the Hotel California.

I’m stressed of course. At work I was extra busy. Planned on leaving at 2:00, left at 4:30. Damned Indian Standard Time!

There are people moving in on Monday and since I will be out and Vivek is inept, I had to make all the necessary arrangements, reserve freight elevator, prepare and send off the certificate of insurance.

And Vivek being Vivek was not forthcoming with the information making me double back and send off the needed paperwork a few times. Then he left with Abby, someone he says he can’t stand.

Vivek did have a plan for me to come in for a day or two during the week to make sure things are running and in stock. I am supposed to be paid in slightly used underwear the which is fine. It would be nice to have some supplemental cash. Forget about the flat screen TV he supposedly offered me a few weeks ago.

I have been bringing home some things for the past few weeks and also filled a beach bag with some stuff.

Tonight is the night that Juan, Bill and myself are going to Blow Off. Juan was good at getting me psyched the other night and Bill is into it. Disco naps are in order since we won’t be going out until later.

I’m stressed from earlier today so a nap should help me out. I know Bill is planning on napping as well. Juan is having dinner with his dad and also bringing a bottle of Absinthe afterwards.

That should be interesting. Never had that before. Bill will be dancing and taking pictures and looking after Juan and myself (I Hope). Thats in case Juan and I get crazy, Bill will have his feet on the ground.

I just need to psych myself up. And last night I bought from iTunes, the Essential Michael Jackson, a 2 disc set (download) of his big hits, including the Jackson 5 and the Jacksons as well as a duet with Paul McCartney.

No State of Shock with Mick Jagger or Scream with his sister Janet though. They just announced on the news that the few record stores that are left have sold out of most of Michael Jackson’s stuff, except for his Metal Machine Music.

No wait, that was Lou Reed. I always get the two confused. Lou Reed was the one that sang, ‘I Want to be Black’, not Michael Jackson

It still is a bit of a shock that he’s dead. Michael Jackson that is. Rumors are out that it was a shot of Demerol which did him in.

Also rumored is that Michael Jackson’s share of the Beatles catalog will go back to Macca. That would be incredibly generous.

Where would Yoko fit in on this? Would Paul share with her? Sony/ATV has the other half of the catalog so that would be a battle since they wouldn’t give it up that easy.

Time for my disco nap.

Right now it’s dark out. Thunderstorm approaching, and it’s supposed to be gone by 8:00 which is good. The line for Blow Off stretches around the block and who wants to stand in the rain?

pics of the Names Project/AIDS Quilt 2009

Names Project 2009 1
Names Project 2009 2
Names Project 2009 3
Names Project 2009 4
Names Project 2009 5
Names Project 2009 6

Bring on the Lucie

It’s another Tuesday. No big deal. Another day of the clock crawling at work. Not much for me to do. Well the things I did today was open and distribute some mail, give Greg Stevens my own key card to get in and out since he left his at the airport last week, so I go in through the back door.

Also I answer the door bell and occasionally try to find whomever ordered food, even if it’s in the middle of my lunch.

I gave up after yelling ‘Who ordered Chinese food?’ and dialing the phone number on the bill which gave me voice mail. Since no one answered my phone call or responded to my yelling I sent the guy away only to find the food was ordered by one of the conservative doofai.

If it was a test to see if I could work with these idiots, then I probably failed.

There is just very little to do for me lately, Greg Stevens mentioned a fear of his that Vivek is going to fly the coop leaving Greg without an office space. I doubt if that will happen but Greg does know Vivek better than I do.

Vivek and Sanjay have hired an intern and she does more than I do. I guess my time is running out. Still the answers lay on the other side of the world.

Last night I got a call from Juan. Someone saw the picture below on his Facebook page and remarked that he saw Juan at Folsom East with some cigar smoking daddy. That would be me. Well to Juan’s friend’s credit it was Fathers Day, but me? I’m no daddy though I do enjoy cigars every now and then.

Weeds was good once again, a few twists and Justin Kirk still rules. No spoilers here. Nurse Jackie was also very good. Where is it going though?

We will have to wait and see. Anyway, Edie Falco is great in the show as is the rest of the cast. Bonus points for shooting in New York City.

I slept really well last night and the last dream I had before waking up this morning involved my late cat Zed. In the dream I had cloned Zed several times so there were a few black cats running around.

It was a sweet dream and I did not want to wake up from it though I obviously did.

Tomorrow night I think I am going to see Ian Hunter do a free show by Battery Park. Mr. Wonderful, Jim Mastro is playing with Ian Hunter so that means I’ll probably see Meghan and the girls.

Jim plays with Ian on tour a lot so it should be a fun show, especially since I’ve been somewhat interested in Mott the Hoople lately.

There is also a show on Thursday, sans Ian Hunter in Hoboken. Jim and Fred Smith (of Television) own the Guitar Bar and every year for the summer concerts in Hoboken they put on a themed show featuring the Guitar Bar All Stars.

Last year it was for the video game, Rock Band, or Guitar Hero. The year before that was the British Invasion with no Beatles or Rolling Stones songs allowed.

I don’t know what the theme will be this year but it does promise to be a lot of fun.

Just have to get through another agonizing day or two of clock crawling in the office.

Juan flashing Felician gang signs

Juan flashing Felician gang signs

Cigar Smoking Daddy not pictured

Limbo Rock

It’s a Tuesday. It was rather cool this morning and thought I’d wear a suit. No tie, casual. I listened to some 2 Tone on the way to the office which made me feel like an extra from the movie, Snatch. Or maybe a ‘Westie’.

Bill often mentions that I could pass for a ‘Westie’. For those playing at home, the Westies were an Irish gang on the west side on Manhattan who often ran afoul of the police and organized crime.

They’re generally romanticized on TV and in movies, but they were gangsters and killers who may have loved their mothers, but would have no problem killing yours.

I suppose I could have passed for one. A spring in my step, Madness, the Selecter and The Specials playing on the iPod. I probably could have gotten the part, if I only applied myself.

Oh, how many times was that written on my report cards, ‘If only he’d apply himself’. Unfortunately, after reading the report card, my father would apply the back of his hand to my head which drove me further away from any applications of the sort.

And also drove me further away from my father.

Last night was a good night once again. Bill came home and there was no Lawn Hors d’œuvre to watch so before we watched Weeds and Nurse Jackie, we watched Kathy Griffin instead.

She was alright, sometimes funny, sometimes annoying. Reminds me of Susan Shed somewhat. Bette Midler was her guest and that was OK.

Bette Midler is a little old lady. Raunchy on stage, but a short grouch off stage. She’s really tiny. I know I met her when she recorded Bette of Roses at a studio I worked at. I had to monitor her daughter Sophie while Bette recorded, making sure Sophie didn’t play in the elevator.

Bill & I watched Weeds which was good, and Nurse Jackie which was excellent.

On Weeds it seems Nancy is figuring out that she may have gotten in too deep, she keeps pissing off the wrong people. On Nurse Jackie, she’s maintaining a balance of self medicating but whoops, something did go slightly awry with that.

Today at work a few people asked how the interview went. I explained it was a meet and greet and they suggested that I wear a suit just in case they sent me out for an interview. It was all a lie of course but they seemed to believe it.

At least I didn’t have to kill off a dead grandparent.

My situation changes daily. Perhaps one of the sublets will take me on, perhaps paying me in mad scrotums while I oscillate wildly.

In any event, if I am somehow still working, I will need some time off to spend with Annemarie and Earl when they fly east in a few weeks.

I am getting away from the movie box/ hotel deal. Vivek says he’ll make up his mind on July 4 and odds are he’s leaving that job too.

And when I left today it seemed like I’ll be gone by the end of June. Then again that could all change tomorrow. I

t’s a fucked up situation and all I can do is just wait it out. And I’m not stressed about it. At least not right now.

In an hour or so who knows? I may have a sip from the well of despair, but right now I’m fine thanks.

Roll With It

Last night was hum drum, ho hum. Came home, struggled with last night’s blog entry. Yes, it was a struggle. Not easy making this relatively interesting. You might think writing 500 words is a walk in the park, and sometimes it is, but last night was not one of those times.

I got through it though.

I watched the recordings of the Daily Show and the Colbert Report and both left me underwhelmed. And that was after watching Keith Olbermann. Didn’t watch Rachel Maddow. Just not in the mood.

Bill came home a little after 10:00, just in time to watch a show on PBS about Muslim comics in the US. It was a good show, the comics were generally funny, trying to present a more positive image of Muslims, to prove that they’re not terrorists and that they have a sense of humor.

Watched the news after that, then turned on the Simpsons, at which point I went to bed leaving Bill to do whatever it was that he does when I’m asleep.

I had to get up earlier than usual since people were coming in to check out the office space. I guess it’s for when the company I work for moves out when the lease is up in February of next year.

The people were supposed to show up at 8:45. I was there at 8:30. At 9:30 I called the guy who called me yesterday to set this up and found out that the guy had been emailing Vivek and they decided that it would be best for them to come in at 10:00.

Why is that?

Because Vivek told the guy that I wouldn’t be in until 9:30. The guy was apologetic saying that he should have called me. I said no, he didn’t need to call me. It was more that Vivek who sits 20 feet away from me should have told me.

They came in and wandered around, sitting in a closed door meeting with Vivek, once again leaving me in the dark.

After I went out and ran some errands, Vivek called me into his office for a talk. I sat down on the leather couch as he sat at his desk. Basically he told me that I should start looking for another job. I’ve been doing that on and off for the past couple of weeks and there’s nothing out there.

Apparently, Vivek is disenchanted with the movie box deal. He has a wife who’s having a baby and things on the movie box front are not working out as well as he had hoped. So he’s throwing in the towel and he’s been offered another job.

He said he’d speak with the other directors of the companies that share our space but that doesn’t seem like anything will come of it.

But you never know.

I asked Greg Stevens if he was looking for an assistant and he does need one since I have been acting as his assistant for the past few months. But they can’t afford one.

I called Bill and told him what was going on. Oddly enough I felt somewhat relieved since now at least I know what is going on. The fact that nothing is going on is troublesome.

I have to work out some unemployment facts, The original company that hired me in 2007 went belly up in March and I shifted over to this misbegotten new company. I need to see if I could collect from the original company.

The bookkeeper gave me a phone number of an employment lawyer she knows that owes her a favor and I’ll be giving him a call soon enough.

And on the plus size side, Chastity Bono is getting a sex change.

Mo’ Onions

Last night before I came home I hung out with Casey Chasm and his friend Moishe. Last minute, spur of the moment thing. Mrs, Chasm was out of town so it was sort of hang out with the guys. Casey’s always a good guy to hang out with, Moishe- I couldn’t say. I’ve only met Moishe twice and he seemed alright.

It was an interesting hour or so. I would have stayed for dinner, but the groceries I bought over the weekend needed to be eaten before they went bad. I did stay for some scintillating conversation and a few Bass Ales. I left feeling rather buzzed, listening to Lou Reed singing about New Sensations on the iPod.

Nothing going on around here and that was fine by me. Watched O & RM again. Back to my old habits. Didn’t pay much attention though. Nothing much on TV. Not one to watch Dancing with the Armenian Idols, I just talked with Harpy on the phone.

Bill came home when I was almost finished playing the guitar. Just playing to some Smiths songs, but hampered by the Dm7 chord. Bill was rambunctious as ever, with lots of silliness. I love him. He really bolsters my spirits and he’s relentless in his bolstering.

After RM we wound up watching The Soup on the E Channel. We like Joel McHale. Then it off to bed for Bill, wrestling with the sleep apnea mask. I eventually joined him, sans mask.

Woke up more tired than I was when I went to sleep. Not enough milk for cereal, just enough for coffee. Not the best way to start off the day. But I got through it.

Caught a bus that was more crowded than I hoped and sat in the very last seat. An overweight guy sitting next to me, almost on top of me. He was apologetic and I did my best to get over it and focus on the New Yorker.

The walk across town was pleasant and uneventful. No errant mice fleeing a swarm of sparrows and starlings.

The office was quiet again, I settled in moments after a phone call from Vivek. He had a few things for me to do. He was home after driving his wife to the airport at 5:00 in the morning and was trying to get some sleep. I could have used some more sleep myself.

I got whatever it was he wanted done. I always get whatever anyone asks of me done. He was going to be out of the office for the rest of the week.

He also set up a conference call, Vivek in bed, me in the office and some French guy from Spain on the phone in Florida. Apparently he has a lot of hotels under his belt so all I could do was take as many notes as possible, hopefully writing things down so they would make sense later on.

I was busy enough, but not enough that the day flew by. In fact it was a bit on the slow side. I had my usual salad for lunch, with a low fat balsamic vinaigrette.

Vivek did make an appearance which surprised me. He needed me to print out some boarding passes which I did and then saw him off into a cab headed to LaGuardia Airport, headed to Atlanta. He did ask how I felt about the ‘new’ job.

I told him that things were getting better, and that I wanted to do good, not just for the company but for myself. He mentioned that he did introduce me to the French Spaniard as their first employee.

I almost mentioned that I wasn’t fond of staying late, but decided we could talk about that next week when he gets back.

I smoked a Saint Luis Rey cigar and I did enjoy a compilation of 2 Tone bands, The Specials, The Selecter, Madness and the English Beat mainly on my walk back to the bus terminal.

Stay Hungry

And it’s Friday again and it’s been a bear of a day. I’m back to a four day work week, this week at least, but somehow I was in the office five days. It’s a fucked up situation and these Indians are driving me crazy with their careless disregard of other people’s time.

Since I’m not working for the company that hired me three years ago and as of three weeks ago I’m working for another company, my payroll wasn’t done in time, missing this term. Vivek had to come in and cut me a ‘live’ check.

He said he’d be in at 11:30, he was in at 12:30. Said he’d cut the check in 5 minutes, an hour later I got the check. Then I tried cashing the check at the bank it was drawn on, but my official NJ State ID was not in their book of recognized identifications.

This was after getting a spiel about how much I would benefit opening an account with Chase Bank. A total waste of my time.

Then I schlepped across town to find my branch. I was trying to do this before 3:00, you know, banking hours. What a friggin’ hassle it was. Still I was able to deposit the check and my head is somewhat above water, at least for today.

Getting my check today was only one reason I went into the office. The other reason was to help out Greg Stevens. He’s also working for a new company and his IT person came in from Los Angeles to help him out.

Help him out with things that were done by our former IT guy last month, but he didn’t tell anyone. That IT guy, and perhaps most IT guys have bad communication skills.

I explained to the new IT person that I’m not an IT guy, that I only know a little bit more than Greg Stevens, who then said that I knew a LOT more than he does.

It’s something like 75 degrees out, quite nice and sunny. I have been home so far for about a half hour.

It’s funny, when you’re growing up, they hint at the pressures of life, but when you’re actually an adult, that is when you feel the pressure. Still I am home, decompressing.

Tonight Bill and I are off to the movies. Bill bought tickets to see Star Trek and it does look exciting. Bill is a Trekkie, I am not. He loves all that. I did enjoy Star Trek: The Next Generation somewhat but never watched it religiously.

I also enjoyed the occasional episode of Deep Space Nine and Voyager, and the Star Trek movies that I had seen. Never went out of my way to watch these shows though.

I saw some of the Star Trek movies, but not all of them. So while it’s nice to be home and relaxing, I will be headed back into the city in a little over an hour.

I’ll bring a book and I’ll have my iPod since I anticipate sitting in traffic outside the Lincoln Tunnel.

I just got a phone call from Abby. We shipped a TV set and a Movie box out yesterday via FedEx.

Before I left the office, I checked the tracking on the two boxes. Both were delivered at 10:04AM this morning to the Ramada Inn in North Brunswick. The guy who was supposed to get them said he only received the TV. I told Abby, reassuring him and talking him in off the ledge that both boxes were delivered at the time I mentioned.

It is nice to have some time home. I’m writing this and doing laundry while the news spews forth more news of Swine Flu. My hackles are raised with every strangers cough or sneeze that I hear. I pass by holding my breath and exhaling with force in hope that the virus passes me by.

Makes sitting in a dark theater with a hundred other people that much more exciting.

Happy Birthday to Brian Eno! 61 years old today.