Tag Archives: New Years Eve

I Say A Little Prayer- Dionne Warwick

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m a lucky guy.

Corinne with Warhol's Cow wallpaper.

Corinne with Warhol’s Cow wallpaper.

Corinne with a Picasso

Corinne with a Picasso

Oxidation painting!

Oxidation painting!

New Year's Eve panorama

New Year’s Eve panorama

Winding down with Chaz

Winding down with Chaz

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

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

09 My Lover’s Prayer

I Get It In Omarion

It is back to the cigar shack after a week of not much of anything. I did some things around the apartment, cleaning, laundry but not much else. New Years Eve was even mellower, Bill & I going to Arthur’s Tavern for steaks, followed by cigars and then winding up at Rand & Lisa’s for midnight cocktails.

Good crowd there, John Fig and his wife Arianna and their daughter Luna, Lois & Fred, Mike C and his gorgeous girlfriend Sarah. We apparently missed Chaz who stopped by en route to West Paterson to spend midnight with his Aunt Rena.We’ll be seeing him this weekend when he has his holiday party.

Bill and I watched a few movies over the weekend, Love Actually, some Harry Potter and yesterday watched mindlessly an Absolutely Fabulous marathon. For the longest time, the humor Absolutely Fabulous escaped me. I felt I was going to have my ‘gay card’ revoked, but being hungover from the night before must have helped since I did chuckle a few times as did Bill.

He went to bed pretty early last night since he was driving a bus to Washington DC today. I tracked him on my smartphone. Since I can’t be with him, it was good to at least know where he was even though the GPS was dodgy. One minute he is on the Cross Bronx Expressway and next he is crossing the border into Maryland.

Since Maryland turned up more than the Grand Concourse I went with Maryland. It was justified since he did cross into Washington DC eventually. And now, thanks to a paper screw up, he is on his way home, deadheading from Washington DC. He expects to be home by midnight or thereabouts so I will more than likely be awake.

Oh yeah, I just got home a few minutes ago. It was a long day at the cigar shack, I came in and saw Zack talking to Bradley at the counter, Thomas floating around somewhere. As I was taking my coat off, Thomas materialized and asked if I heard about Bradley. I did not so Bradley told me the news.

Bradley is now the assistant manager, which is what I basically told Bradley a few months ago. I harbor no hard feelings, Bradley is good at the job and is born to work in the world of retail. I think Zack was expecting me to be upset since I had been working there longer, but no I was not upset at all. In fact I congratulated Bradley on his promotion, and asked him if he got a raise, which he did.

And since it was a federal holiday today a lot of people had off from work today, making the cigar shack area quite deserted. It was a long day and it seems that Zack does not like the fact that things are slow. He’s been through many January’s before so it really shouldn’t be a surprise. I feel bad for Zack though. It seems like he is being set up for a fall.

The cigar shack probably pays a lot of money in rent and with the slow sales and the sluggish economy it promises to be a brutal year. And on top of that Zack and his wife are expecting a baby so there is that added stress. An interesting thing happened today, 2 customers came into the cigar shack, a couple.

Thomas asked them if they needed help and they said they were just browsing. I came out and asked the same thing as Thomas and I got the same answer. So Thomas and I backed off, letting them browse while keeping our eyes on them. A minute or so later, Zack comes out of the office and asks the couple if there is anything they would like to see and of course they say yes to Zack. So Zack tool care of the couple and made a sale while Thomas and I busied ourselves doing other things.

The couple left with their purchase and Zack then turned to Thomas and myself, about to berate us for not helping the couple. I had to explain to Zack that just because he watches the cameras in the store, it’s not reality necessarily. I explained that both Thomas and myself offered our assistance which they did not want, then he comes out and they do want assistance.

We did not do anything wrong, we weren’t goofing off. I don’t think Zack appreciated my explanation but it was the truth and he went back to the office ostensibly to check the cameras to see if we really did interact with the customers. Apparently, asking a customer if they need help is not the way to go. Asking them if there is anything they would like to see is the proper way to bait the hook.

It’s going to be a long year.

2-02 Take The Cash (K.A.S.H)