Cramer's Got Squawk Box Envy

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It's 2:30 a.m. and I can't sleep, so I have come to the keyboard as I always seem to do these days. Done searching the Net for interesting things, knocked off the 25 email replies that have come since I went to bed, and I'm trying to figure out what's making me so pumped, so ready for the next day already.

I think it's Squawk envy. Today was supposed to be my day when I co-host Squawk with

Mark Haines

. Every other Wednesday I shoot for. But this week, with Berko in the Islands, I couldn't do it. I could not take the time off from work. Squawk kills the day because of the four hours it takes to drive over to Jersey from the office, have my three-eggwhite omelette at the Red Oak diner next store, get made-up and wired, go on, and then drive back to the office. The 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. lost to my partners can't be justified if the other chief money-maker is in Puerto Rico.

That said, it is my most fun four hours away from my family that I have. The unscripted energy of that show is amazing. The hitters who come on it. The pace of it. The net-less nature of the program versus the other television that's out there. Now that I have become a TV hound, I can tell you that nothing's as much as a rush as sitting next to Mark Haines and watching the people who make the prices of their stocks defend their lives.

And what a day to be on!

Microsoft

preannounces to the upside, the

Dow

threatens to hit 9000, the oil move stalls out, the

Justice Department's

attacking the arbs.

3Com

reports one of those half-full half-empty quarters that so define the controversy of this market. It doesn't get any more exciting than this.

Which is the problem. In the end, I am a fund manager first, a

Street.com

writer second. I am a fund manager first, a market commentator third. I am a fund manager who allows himself to do Squawk and to write pieces for the site, because I love to write. But these are hobbies, like my college newspaper was to me versus my regular coursework. Can't do the extracurricular unless you get the regular stuff boxed and stacked.

So, for those of you wondering where I am on

CNBC

today, and to those who think that I am the most vicious showboat since

Elmo Wright

did his end-zone dance in the 1972 Merry Christmas AFL playoff game, remember, I can't quit or compromise my day job. It's what I do for a living. It's what puts me in a position to be able to comment, and comment clearly on what's going on. But I have to do it right first in order to have that luxury. And doing it right does not include running over to Fort Lee while

Jeff Berkowitz

is on vakay. Doing it right means minding the store myself.

So enjoy this co-host on Squawk, but remember, like

Arnold

, I'll be back.

*****

Random musings:

Dropped over to

TheStreet.com's

offices last night, to give a tour to a couple of terrific

Jupiter

guys. Thrilled to see people hard at work, although it is always daunting to remember how much older I am than the average journalist... I don't go over very much, preferring a no-fraternization policy. In fact, the other two times I have been over in the last year were to show the wife the joint. (They are about six blocks from me.) Never forget that first trip over when she was cursing all the expensive furniture. Glad to see that gone. Nevertheless, it is a mighty impressive newsroom, and if the rest of the financial press didn't wish we would disappear, which we are not going to do, it would be an interesting story to spend time in a true cyber-newsroom...Can't resist: Jeff, stay on vacation. I may have this tech thing down!!!

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-chairman of TheStreet.com. At time of publication his fund is long Microsoft and 3Com. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Mr. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he welcomes your feedback, emailed to

Jjc@thestreet.com.