Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Matt Rosenthal is this month's winner! Congratulations!
Winner stuff plus more!

And Rafflecopter did the choosing, so I'm sorry if you didn't win this time, but THE NEXT MONTH GIVEAWAYS!!! Yes, TWO!!  Stay tuned!

We're at CigarFest right now--well, we're in the vicinity--in Bethlehem right now.  But very very soon, we will turn into CigarNuts!!
Where we're going.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Where we won't be--but you should definitely go! (And where we'll be!)

Falling in love isn’t hard, especially if you go to Habanos Cigar Lounge, Pawtucket, RI on Thursday, April 30 from 7:00-10:00. From the moment you walk in and set eyes on the event’s superstars, you’ll surely fall for DRAM Cigars. And, like in the real world, there’s a perfect match for everyone (mostly).

A dram typically refers to a pour of alcohol; the four DRAM Cigar blends fully complement a variety of whiskeys, based on the strengths and flavor profiles of both smoke and beverage. At this event, the lovely Habanos bartenders will pour complimentary whiskeys for tasting, and DRAM’s very cool Andrew Estop will help you find your true-love smoke, to create the perfect palate partnership.
Nathalie, one of your lovely Habanos bartenders!
You can fall in love with her too, whicle you're there.
Everyone else does!
The cigar offerings, available in a number of sizes:

Dram Cask No. 1 Connecticut Shade wrapper.  Mild to medium strength. Creamy profile.  Perfect complement to whiskeys with a citrus and woody profile.

Dram Cask No. 2 Corojo wrapper.  Medium strength cigar with a complex profile.  Pairs with whiskeys showcasing a spicy and woody profile.
Dram Cask No. 3 Habano wrapper.  Medium plus strength and a spicy profile.  Whiskeys with a spicy and woody profile partner best with this cigar.
Dram Cask No. 4 Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.  Medium to full strength and a spicy profile.  Best accompanied by whiskeys with a smoky and woody profile.


What's that? You want to know why we won't be there? Oh, we'll be at this little old thing called...
 ...with Caballero #2 and Pal of Cabellero #2 (POC)--Hi Mike!

The man, the myth, the legend...
Caballero #2, smoking a Joel Sherman.

Naturally, we'll keep you updated with all the CigarFest shenanigans. Of course, this may or may not occur in the same calendar year. But, you know, that's how I roll!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

I'm feeling iRobusto! (Yes, the sparkles* outweigh the actual blog post in this one.)

You can too! Go here and check out my latest column--this time on shipping cigars/bombing** friends.
Click on this logo for a ride to the whole website.

What's that? You missed the other columns?***  You should go here.****

Sparkle time (below)!

*That's what we call all these crazy asterisks.

**Too soon? (Okay, yes, they just convicted the Boston Marathon bomber, who just happened to attend the university where I teach and just happened to be widely known on several local campuses as the leading drug dealer. Last I heard, he was still technically enrolled in the school. Hahaha.) <--Edited so as to ensure I'm not breaking any federal laws (FERPA).

***Okay, technically, this is the second one. But there will be more! So, maybe a bookmark on your desktop?
No, not this kind of bookmark. Nobody likes a wiseguy.*****

****Mom, you should bookmark this, in case you ever start to doubt my genius. As if that were possible.

*****Untrue for all kinds of wiseguys, especially these:
  1. Funny and snarky=immediate BFF
  2. How can you not adore a 1980s Stephen J. Cannell TV series starring Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci, Ken Wahl, and Jonathan Banks?  (Follow the link for a great Variety article on the Wiseguy series.) 
  3. Who doesn't love a good mob guy, especially Henry Hill, featured in the Nicholas Pileggi****** book Wiseguy, which Martin Scorsese turned into that awesomely awesome film Goodfellas.
  4. Great deli in Providence, RI.
******Nicholas Pileggi, one of my all-time favorite writers, was married to another of my all time favorite writers, Nora Ephron, who died in 2012. (THAT made me have the sad.)

Friday, April 17, 2015

King of Kings (and lord of lords)*

We've been seeing these beauties for a couple of months and wondering how in the heck we were going to lay our hands--and mouths--on some.  And then the mighty mighty internets came to the rescue.

Twitter BFF** offered us up some and you know we love to try new things.***

After letting them rest for as little time as possible, we couldn't wait anymore and this happened...

The Kings Arapiraca 

Poor Valentino. He doesn't spend nearly enough time on Twitter.**** So he hadn't heard of the Kings Arapiraca or Kings Cigars, which are "guaranteed to be flawless, from the cutting of the cap to your final draw. Our cigars are manufactured in our factories in the Dominican Republic in the Yaque Valley near Santiago and in Estelí, Nicaragua." [source]

When he first lit this King of Kings, with a Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, Ecuadorian Habano binder, and Dominican Republic filler, he said, "This reminds me of unsweetened iced tea." And yes, it actually tasted that way for me as well, in all my second-hand smoking glory.

Our pals at said in their review, "Personally, I had no preconceived notions about what the cigar would be like. Pre-light aromas were very nice, draw darn near perfect, excellent construction. Even burn with the slight shoulder at the edge of the ash that speaks of aged tobacco. I got black tea flavors, along with dark caramel/molasses flavors without any cloying sweetness, rich earthiness and slightly woody essences. Flavor and body consistent, deepening and shifting as the smoke progressed. I had it pegged as high-quality Nicaraguan leaf, so I missed that. This has to be one of the nicest Dominican-filler cigars I’ve ever had." 

The Kings website touts the cigar as "[m]edium to full-bodied...crafted for a rich taste that is smooth and  unique with a little bit of spice that enhances the robust flavors and awakens your palate.

"Made with the highly coveted Brazilian flavorful Arapiraca leaf, which is grown in central/eastern Brazil. It is often referred to as a Brazilian Maduro, although a bit less sweet and a little more light and earthy than a 'standard Maduro.'”

If you're all about the twitter, like one of us is, you can follow Kings Cigars. Follow as in Twitter-follow, not stalker-follow.

If you'd like to try the Kings Cigars, you can order this sampler on their website:
Kings Cigars Assorted Sampler
Baron Robusto 5 x 52
Conde Robusto 5 x 52
King of Kings 6 x 64 Soft Press
Kings Gran Torpedo 6 5/8 x 60
Conde Churchill 7 x 52

And you definitely should! Get one! Try them out! Let us know what you think! Or just leave us a comment to say "Hello!"

*You're welcome for the earworm.

**You can also find them here:

***If you didn't know, we love trying new things, cigars specifically, in this context. Hi, Mom!

****He disagrees and says he spends just the right amount of time--none.

Where we'll be: Habanos will show you some Cuban love—and some Mi Amor from La Aroma de Cuba

Qué bolá? You probably wont have a chance to travel to Cuba any time soon, even though it’s now legal. But! You’re in luck, because your friends at Ashton are bringing a bit of Cuba to Habanos Cigar Lounge.

On Thursday, April 23, 6-10 pm, Ashton Sales Representative Jon Murphy will host the La Aroma de Cuba Grand Tasting and Celebration. (Ashton is the parent company of La Aroma de Cuba cigars.)

Don your Panama hat and guayabera or playero shirt and join us. And if you’re dressed in all your Cuban-finery (which, luckily, is also incredibly comfortable), you could win a fabulous prize.

Guests will receive a Mi Amor and a Mi Amor Reserva cigar, which will allow you to fall in love with them, if you haven't already. We encourage you to apply the $10 event ticket cost to any Ashton Cigars purchase.  Luckily, you can then take advantage of the following discounts during the event:

   Buy 4 and receive an additional cigar.

   Buy 10  and receive a 3-pack of cigars + a La Aroma De Cuba Lighter.

   Buy a box (at a 20% discount) and receive a 3-pack of cigars a La Aroma de Cuba lighter, and t-shirt.

Stop by Habanos Cigar Lounge, 1438 Newport Avenue in Pawtucket to secure passage into this Cuban celebration. Event tickets are expected to sell out, so reserve your spot as soon as possible!

"We are profiling two exquisite blends from our La Aroma de Cuba portfolio, Mi Amor and Mi Amor Reserva," said Murphy. "Both are handcrafted in Estelí, Nicaragua by the masterful, Jose 'Pepin' Garcia." At the event, "We will highlight the remarkable nuances present in each cigar and savor their exceptional distinctions; results achieved only through Pepin Garcias decades of expertise in aging, fermenting and blending the finest tobaccos to a pinnacle standard."

About the cigars:

The La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor features:
Strength:Medium to Full
Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Tasting Notes: Crisp Spices, Rich Cocoa, Creamy Almonds & Sweet Espresso

 The La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Reserva features:
Strength: Full
Wrapper: San Andres Oscuro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Tasting Notes: Peppery Caramel, Hickory, Dark Chocolate & Succulent Spices

From the Ashton website: An old Cuban brand from the late 1800s, La Aroma de Cuba was abandoned and off the market for more than 100 years.  In 2002, courtesy of Ashton, La Aroma de Cuba is reborn into the modern era of cigars.  The original artwork was recovered and salvaged to preserve the brand's rich history and vintage Cuban motif.

Come early and have a bite to eat; check out our menu here. This full menu is available starting at 5:00 p.m, with limited selections available before then.

For more information about Habanos, and to check out upcoming events, please visit our website at  or call 401-729-5620.



Thursday, April 16, 2015

Where to find more words from Penny World

And! I took a really cool picture for the story!
All by myself!

What's that? You don't think you're getting enough of my magical and wonderful word arrangements?

Then you should go here and check out the first of my weekly columns for!*

*Valentino would surely like me to tell you** that he's my awesome editor and calls "Bullshit!" when I'm coasting through a writing project rather than giving it my all.

**He's off fishing with Caballero #2 in a state I'd be hard-pressed to find on a map, so he doesn't get the chance to speak for himself for the next week. Wheeee!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

You need to know about the Julia Cekala Charitable Foundation

Recently, we got to do something fun and nice and helpful and fun.*

Was it cigar-related? In a roundabout way, yes. But this story isn't so much about the cigars themselves as it is about the cigar culture, the community of cigar smokers. 

So for those people with pinched faces who look at cigar smokers with disdain and superiority, this one's for you.

You know (if you lived in Penny World for any amount of time) that our home-base is Habanos Lounge in Pawtucket RI. We've made some super fun friends there--including Caballero #2--folks we are proud to call our friends.**

Chris and Will the Travelling Owl

Our friend Chris, who we met at Habanos, and his family created and run The Julia Cekala Charitable Foundation, in honor of Chris' sister Julia, who on May 23, 2003 "passed away at Boston's Children's Hospital. Julia bravely fought every health obstacle put in her way. Julia battled autism, renal failure, and a seizure disorder just to name a few, and finally Julia succumbed to hemorrhagic pancreatitis after celebrating her 9th birthday in the ICU at Children's Hospital. It had been our home for the last 9 months of her life."

On March 27 we--Valentino and me, as well as a stable of our Habanos friends--attended the Julia's Garden Charity Wine Gala, held at the Mansfield Holiday Inn in Mansfield, MA.

From the Julia's Garden website, which you must check out: "Julia loved playing outside in nature, visiting playgrounds and zoos.  We often visited the North Attleboro Zoo at World War I Memorial Park.  It is the perfect community park – it has a quiet location that has lots of rocks to climb on and many trees to hide behind and sit under. There are many quaint picnic spots and multiple little zoo animal friends to visit and to feed apples and carrots.   So, when we had made the decision to build a memorial garden and park for Julia, the World War I Memorial Park was the perfect and most natural choice." 

"Julia brought great love to our family and she inspired us in so many ways. Thank you for lettings us celebrate Julia with our community."
Lynda and Wally Cekala, most awesome people.
With Will. Who thinks he's awesome.
Please visit the Julia Cekala Charitable Foundation website, learn more about the foundation, and sign up for the Butterfly 5K, happening on Sunday, August 23. See you there--with all our cigar-smoking friends!

*Valentino would like to point out that I'm being repetitive. I like to call it unnecessary wordiness. Or liking the sound of my own voice. Er, typing. 

**And the court said we can call them that. As long as we keep a distance of 500 feet away from them.

Where we'll be: 12 Reasons Why you should come to this event (apologies to Jay Asher for bastardizing his title.*)

On Friday, April 10, at 6:30!
(obviously, we're very excited!)
Jim with our hero

Reasons you should go:

1. We'll be there. Obviously, you don't need another reason, but if you're being stubborn, here are some more:

2. Delicious food from Roma, on Federal Hill!

3. Two for one specials! 

4. Raffle for $500 worth of cigars and humidor!

5. Did we mention we'll be there?

6. Other cool people will be there! You want to meet and hang with Bobby and John and the folks who hang at Broadway Cigars.

Photo stolen shamelessly from the Broadway Cigars Facebook page.
Mr. Cool and the Gang

7. From our experience, any Island Jim event--or any event at Broadway Cigars--is always a good time.

8. Will the Travelling Owl will be there. (P.S. Please go like his Facebook page so he'll shut the eff up about us not promoting his "awesomeness" enough. Thank you.)
Jim and Will go waaaay back. Obvs they're BFFs.

9. You get to meet Jim Robinson, Mr. Island Jim himself. Trust us--you will love him. (And that's IF Will isn't bogarting all Jim's time. Will can be an asshole, as we all know.)

10. If you haven't had a Leaf by Oscar or an Island Jim cigar, this is your chance to swoon and meet their maker, simultaneously.


11. Foods. Yummy, yummy foods.

12. We'll be there.

*If you have not read 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, you should. And you should do it soon.  I can't believe you've gone this long without reading it! Or at least listen to it!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Words of wisdom #74

". . . for the man, or woman, who works in tobacco,
a cigar is a gift in the form of a skillfully created roll of the plant
he has struggled to cultivate and produce."
-Roger Ralphs, Purofina Cigars

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Words of Wisdom #73

"I love going to the factories of La Plata, or Little Havana
 and seeing them roll cigars.
I get excited.
To me it is more beautiful than a topless club"

Ripped from the headlines!

...of Twitter.

Which is really all headlines, come to think of it. 

So there I was, mindlessly flipping through Twitter posts, as one is wont to do when one is not wonting* to work. 

This photo by Jason Jackson, who wins the internet with his Twitter handle @OB1theStogie, made me say "Oooh. Pretty."  In public. Of course too loudly. Because I am so very subtle about not working when I'm not working but supposed to be working.

*I thought this was funnier than proper grammar. 

#thecrew only <--If you don't know what that means, then this isn't for you.

How happy you'll be when you win!*

This giveaway is just for you, #thecrew guys, so don't go sharing it!

NOTE: If you found this because I've messed something up and you aren't part of the group, please don't enter. I know who is on the master list. Thanks a million.

I've (hopefully) hidden this so (hopefully) no one else will see it. (Hopefully.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Benny is my most favoritest of all the favorite The Lego Movie characters.

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