The Madison and Jollibee

A nice girl

Opened my door early morning on Valentine’s Day to find that Mouse had dropped off some fried chicken for me and the boy. She just wrote, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Logan Lo.” I thought that was nice.

She knows me so well.

Speaking of the boy, spent the day running around with him and met up with his teacher for parent/teacher conference. He scored the highest academics for his class, which I kinda expected. What made me much happier, however, was what she told me after:

Me: I’m more concerned about him socially. I didn’t have many friends growing up. (pause) Any, really…
Her: Oh, he’s very popular! Other kids seek him out. Because, he’s kind.
Me: Aren’t all kids nice?
Her: (laughs) No, not at all. He doesn’t seem to have a mean bone in his body.

I loved him so at that moment.

I thought, “Alison would be so proud.” It’s what we always wanted from him. Kindness floats, after all. It is it’s own armor.

My brother was in town with his girl, Q, who met the boy for the first time.

Her: He’s a great kid!
Me: I’m legally required to keep him for another 12 years.
Her: (laughing) Then you’re one lucky person!

The next day, we went to see ABFF for her kid’s birthday party. Despite having a full brekkie and lunch, he still managed to eat a slice of pizza and a full bag of gummi somethings.

Him: I want more!
Me: God, you’re so my kid.

Then the next day, we went to The Madison along with the SIL.

I told you once that Alison brought me there early in our relationship. While eating, I saw two old co-workers – each walking separately – that ended up getting hitched with each other. I remember waving to Anita who didn’t seem to recognize me but is such a nice gal that she waved back at us.

Alison said, “That’s nice of her – to wave at someone that she doesn’t think she knows.” She always thought the best of people. We said we’d meet up with them one of these days but never got the chance.

That was a nice day. Fuck.

I called the entry where first ate there, Batter Up, because Alison told me that the first baseball game ever was played right there. What’s funny is that the SIL told me the exact same thing.

Ended up getting a salad for myself as I’ve been cheating on my diet all week.

Didn’t help because I ended up eating half the SIL’s food AND half of the kid’s.

Plus I had a White Russian and a Bloody Mary as well.

Think I’ve developed a thing for white Russians.

Afterward, we were supposed to go skiing at American Dream  but decided that the kid would enjoy Uban Air in NJ; actually, a friend of Mouse’s had mentioned going there during her birthday party but they didn’t have room for him in the car and I was sick so I figured I’d make it up to him.

Man, did the kid have a good time.

Me: We have to go.
Him: Noooooo! One more minute! Please!?

It was really nice hanging out with the SIL and the boy.

He ended up staying with my SIL overnight and I went home and slept for thirteen hours. 13. Hours.

If you’re a parent, you know that’s like the equivalent of winning the lottery.

It was the afternoon when I woke and I dashed off to see my mom, who was just discharged, and family for dinner.

Me: How do you feel?
Her: Good. Tired. (wistfully) I wish you’d meet a nice girl like your brother.
Me: Stop calling him a nice girl, mom.
Her: What?

There’s more, but it’s getting late and I have a night of tossing and turning to start.

Location: four hours ago, my childhood room, looking for some chocolate
Mood: seriously full
Music: I don’t want it at all if I can’t have it all

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Another day, another hospital

Making it out unscathed

My mom just had spinal surgery. tl;dr: She’s fine. Went through it with flying colours.

It’s been on everyone’s mind for a while and we’ve all just been waiting for the day of the operation to roll around.

My brother flew in to make sure everything ran smoothly. It pays to have a doctor and lawyer in the family.

The day of, she was recuperating longer that expected so I didn’t even get to see her because I had to pick up the boy.

The next day, woke up early to make sure I saw her. She was tired but happy it was all over. My sister was there when I arrived.

Me: How do you feel?
Mom: Pretty good. Everything went well. (later) You look old.
Sister: Mom!
Me: I’m 46, I am old.
Her: You should do something about that.
Me: What can I do about time, mom?!

Speaking of time, I could only stay for 15 minutes. I told them that it was because I had a meeting, which was kinda true. But the real truth is that I can’t be in hospital rooms and be sane.

I could feel it: The sadness and cold self-hatred I used to feel alla time. Every second I was there, I could feel it spreading, like cold paint over a rusted wreck.

I’m nuthin if not a rusted wreck. Stopped off at a bathroom before I left and dry retched.

So that was my Wednesday. Good times.

Took the bus back because the hospital is so far from the subways. Gave me a lotta time to think. Had an awful night the night before; didn’t sleep for a number of reasons that are unimportant.

I’ve seen things, horrors you can’t imagine. You don’t wanna. Hope you never see them. Me? I can’t unsee them.

If there is one thing I’m proud of in my otherwise unremarkable and shitty life, it’s that I spared her parents what I saw. I’d do it again for them, but I’d drink first. A lot.

Was busy the entire day with meetings and kid so I didn’t really have time to check social media when I found out that yet another friend I spoke to a number of times died. He was always supportive and positive regarding my dad and Alison. He always made time to talk to me. Until he ran outta time.

Cancer’s a fucking beast. No one makes it out unscathed.

I’m sorry, Don. I thought you’d make it.

Anywho, speaking of shitty…

Him: How are you?
Me: Tired. I’m tired of feeling shitty, of being told by people that I’m shitty. (exhaling) It’s so lame but…I miss having someone that thinks that I’m made of awesome, even when I’m not.
Him: You’ve been through enough and helped enough people, I think, to say you are. Or, are at least close.
Me: That may be just you.
Him: No. Really. (later) I bet the kid thinks you’re made of awesome.
Me: (laughing) To be fair, if you showed up with a ripe banana and an open jar of peanut butter, he’d be your biggest fan.

Her: What’re you two doing for Valentine’s Day?
Me: If you mean me and the kid, probably just watching some Daniel Tiger and having some rum? He likes rum and I like Daniel Tiger.
Her: (laughs) What happened? (later) You once said that there’s no relationship if there’s no work and no forgiveness.
Me: Yeah. I forgot so much of who I once was before everything went to hell.

Location: yesterday, another fucking hospital
Mood: tired
Music: it’s such a shame that we don’t talk

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Late Late

Tequila is still not my friend

Two buddies from college have birthdays around the same time and we all use these birthdays as an excuse to get together. I’ve been MIA for the past several years: Before Alison got sick with cancer, we kept losing babies and we both didn’t want to be social at all.

The very last time I attended one of these, Alison had recently lost another one but she insisted I go out and have a good time. I tried. She was diagnosed later that year.

Fuck. This is why I drink.

My college friends were some of the first people I called when I re-entered the world. Every single one of them came out.

In any case, I actually couldn’t make dinner because of a prior engagement but I showed up afterward for drinks. Walked into the middle of a funny debate:

Her: …I think most of the cool kids dated in high school. Did any of you not?
Me: Do you know the nerds that the jocks and cool kids beat up? Well, I was the guy that those nerds beat up.

I actually did date two girls in high school. Both ended disastrously, as most high school things go, although I do have fond memories of one of them. But that’s besides the point.

On the topic of dating, one of the guys, Anthony, recently became single.

Me: It’s tough for me to do something like online dating because (a) I’m older and (b) I have a kid, so I kinda have to do real life pickup. Luckily, I have little to no shame.
Her: What do you say to people?
Me: “My name’s Logan. I’m looking to make some friends. You look nice.”
Her: (laughs) Does that work?
Me: (shrugging) The truth is a powerful thing.

Ended up buying Anthony some bourbon and he bought the table some shots. Tequila shots.

Honest to god, I’ve lost two hats in my life and both were when I had tequila. Tequila is still not my friend.


We all ended leaving east of midnight and Anthony and I were headed the same way. We kept chatting about dating and being single.

As we approached 14th Street, I looked up and locked eyes with a beautiful girl.

Me: Hello, darling. You look nice. How’s your evening been?
Her:  (laughs) Good. (pause) That’s a cool jacket.
Me: Thank you. So, what’s your name?
Her: (smiles) Serena.
Me: How very nice to meet you, Serena. My name’s Logan. Now, have you met my friend, Anthony yet? (turning to Anthony) Anthony, this is Serena. (turning to Serena) Serena, this is Anthony. You two should talk. This is my stop. Have a lovely evening.

Now, I actually had two more adventures that night that I’ll keep to myself for the time being, but ended up drunkenly calling someone after 2AM, which is yet another story in and of itself.

Her: Are you…are you drunk dialing me? I think this is my first drunk dial.
Me: What luck. Mine as well. It’s good to be first.

I woke up late the next day when I got a buzz on my phone.

Life is nothing if not entertaining.

Location: the basement of my brain, again
Mood: disappointed
Music: Say something

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Finding a good therapist is like dating

Ironic

Me: I met someone who knew us when, in a manner of speaking…
Him: (laughing) I read your blog, you know. You really make a big deal out of everything.
Me: I’m dull, what can I say?

Been having Had another stretch of insomnia; the past weekend’s late night outing, plus subsequent cold, really threw me for a loop.

But I recently had some really, really, amazeballs sleep, for no real rhyme or reason.

Her: I’ve never seen you this awake – who are you!?
Me: (laughing) I got sleep! This is what I’m like when I actually get some rest.

Prior to this, as always, whenever I’m super rough, I start looking into everything: Meds, gadgets, holistic remedies, etc.

And therapists.

The last major girlfriend before Alison asked me to go to a couple’s therapist with her. I flatly said, no. Dunno know why I did. I suppose, in my heart, I knew that I was wrong about a lotta things and didn’t want confirmation of that.

Also, guess I knew she wasn’t my person and vice versa.

The ironic thing was that, after we broke up, I started seeing several therapists, alla which were helpful, to varying degrees.

Had a good therapist years ago – the one that used to give me those PHQ-9 tests – but she no longer works in the area nor takes my insurance any longer.

Man, I had no idea what real heartache was back then. Wish I didn’t know now, actually.

Anywho, finding a good therapist is a lot like dating: You’ve gotta go through a bunch to find one you like, isn’t hella far away, is smart and nice, listens to you, and doesn’t think everything you do is terrible.

Suppose the main difference is that, unlike dating, you’re not looking for your biggest fan, just someone that takes your insurance.

I actually remember only dating women in my area due to sheer laziness, then constantly running into them and then never dating anyone again north of W 42nd Street and west of 5th Avenue. I think GES was the last one of that bunch.

In any case, my insomnia’s back under control and I have clarity in my life again, as it were, so the urge to find a good therapist is gone again.

Ironic, yeah?

Felt good enough to get back to the gym with regularity.

Curt: You got nuthin, you can’t hurt me.
Me: (trapping him in a guard) Yeah? Well, now I’m gonna talk to you about my relationship problems.
Him: (thrashing) God, no! Get off of me.
Me: Nope! (holding him down) So, this is what’s going on with me right now…

Maybe I should talk to a professional after all.

Location: yesterday, the gym, getting passed
Mood: sleepless once again
Music: I can’t get enough. You’re the medicine and the pain

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Hacking it

Seeking efficiencies

Been sick for the past week or so. Damn, that party really took it all out of me – prob more the setup than the actual party, TBH.

Coughed so hard that I blew out a blood vessel in my eye the other day.

But it’s also given me time to think.

When I was a kid – 11, maybe? – there was a store we all called Angie’s that sold these flying saucer type toy guns for, say, $2.00. But they were always sold out of them.

One day, found a store that sold them for $1. Figured I’d sell them for $1.50, a 50% markup but still 25% less than Angie.

So I took all of my savings, bought every gun I get my hands on, and brought them back to Queens.

Took me a while, but I ultimately sold alla them. My dad asked me where I got all the scratch I had and I sheepishly told him.

Afterward, he smiled, reached into his pocket and gave me double the amount I made.

Him: You made an honest dollar and you helped people. You get rewarded for doing things like that.

That was my very first business deal and I remember it to this day.

I bring it up for two reasons. The first is that I was chatting with my buddy Cable. He asked me about my past.

Him: Is it true?
Me: You really wanna know?
Him: Yeah, tell me.
Me: OK, make yourself comfortable. (15 minutes later) …and I did what any good Chinese boy would do; I sunk it all into real estate.
Him: I’ve always wondered about that. That explains so much.

I call it hacking: I hack my life.

Another example: The program that I use the most is something called Dropbox – my buddy Rick told me about it…10 years ago?

It’s free for 2GB of space; the next step up is $120 a year.

I did the math and figured out that if I used the free referral link they had, I could buy ad space on Google to advertise my referral code. Some rando would get an extra 500mb, I would get an extra 500mb, and Dropbox would get a new customer. Win-win-win.

Even cooler, I had a $100 credit for Google cost-per-click buys, so I used that, and netted…well, check out below:

So, for $0 across a decade, I’ve had 28.2GB of Dropbox space. The max is actually 16GB, but I hacked that too. That’s another story.

I’m not so much bragging – ok, I am, but it takes me 10-35 years for me to brag/talk about stuff – so much as I’m trying to explain what fascinates and drives me.

In The Godfather, Vito saw the world as two groups: pezzonovante or puppets.

Don Corleone: … I refused to be a fool dancing on the strings held by all of those big shots. That’s my life, I don’t apologize for that. But I always thought that when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the strings. Senator Corleone, Governor Corleone, something.
Michael: Another pezzonovante.

But I’ve always felt there was a third option: Someone in the margins of society, exploiting inefficiencies while maybe making life a little better.

Those are my people: The Devil. Rain. Sheridan. We’re the hustlers that eat-what-we-kill. There’re few of us left. The grey men.

This is all prelude to the second reason I’m walking down nostalgia lane with you: A business associate recently presented me with a problem for which I think I have an elegant solution. It’s a gamble. But I believe in my power to hack things. So does she.

In some ways, it was that belief that crushed my soul the past few years; I think I felt the weight of Alison and my father’s death even more heavily because I felt I should have figured it out.

“It” being cancer. How fucking arrogant is that?

That’s what I’ve prided myself on my entire life; seeing things that other people didn’t see. I consumed every medical article I could get my hands on to try to hack that fucking thing.

In the end, I bought Alison and my dad a few more months/years, but at such a cost. Yet another bit of guilt for my soul to enjoy.

Him: You can’t hold yourself responsible for them dying of cancer.
Me: (drunk) Yeah? (laughing) Watch me…

And I hated myself so much for being able to figure out alla these meaningless bullshit things like Dropbox and toy guns, but not figure out the things that might have saved the people I loved.

I’m only now able to take solace in the fact that it was a fool’s errand, but at least it was borne of love. And I’m nuthin if not an arrogant fool for love…

In any case, I have a new puzzle to fill my otherwise dull and vicious life.

The stakes are more than toy guns but less than cancer. If I figure it out, I’ll tell you all about it.

In about 10-30 years.

Me: There’s actually a lot more. But that’s enough for today. Every day, we choose the life we’re gonna live. I choose to set myself apart. In my head, I’m in the world, but separate from it.

Location: bed
Mood: coffee/cough-y
Music: Staying in my play pretend, where the fun ain’t got no end

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Chad and Mouse turn 30, Pt 2

They deserve it

Random Girl: You threw her a birthday party? You’re such a good guy!
Me: (shaking head) Nah, it’s a less the quality of my character, and much more the quality of hers. Anywho, that’s her story, not yours. What’s your name again?

We all stayed for a bit longer but I ended up trying to avoid several people that night, for various reasons.

Which, let’s be honest, sounds about right.

Him: Logan! You gotta stop drinking, or you’re going to do something you’re going to regret.
Me: With them? (shaking head) They’re not the women you should be worried about with me.
Him: All the more reason to stop. (stepping away) I’m getting you some water.
Me: Yeah. (nodding, sliding into seat) That’s probably a good idea. Yeah…

There was one woman I spoke to that night who wasn’t a rando, though, and it was the most interesting conversation I had that night.

She was actually the wife of a friend and she asked me some questions about my past; turns out that she (kinda) knew me before I became the me you know

You see, she knew me when I drank with the Devil. But that’s a story for another time.

Her: Holy s__t! I was there that night! I must have met you!
Me: (laughing) I was the grey man. Very few people actually knew or met me, which is how I liked it.
Her: (later) Do you remember B? And C? Man, I had such a crush on B!
Me: (laughing) Haven’t heard that name in decades. C called his group, Jade after a chick – well, Jade was my girlfriend. But she was a lifetime ago. It was all a lifetime ago. (shaking head) I’m not that person anymore. Not even a little bit. (looking around club) OK, maybe a little bit…

That couple went home – but not before handing me some red envelopes – and I sat down at our tables with my thoughts about all my possible pasts.

Shoot, I also need to thank my cousin Ras and her husband Kit – they gave me a red envelope for my son as well. More on that in a future entry.

Anywho, everyone slowly left, one-by-one.

Him: I gotta go. You should go home, too.
Me: Can’t.
Him: Why not?
Me: (shrugging) Because I won’t leave Mouse alone on her birthday if she wants to keep hanging out.
Him: We’re all too old for this. She’s too old for this, now.
Me: (laughing) Well, me for sure. Look, I gotta make sure she gets home ok.
Him: She’s not your responsibility.
Me: (shrugging) She is tonight.

Afterward, Mouse and a handful of friends went to the hookah bar next door. The one with the weird bathrooms.

Her: We are at hooks place.

Hadn’t done anything like that since my dad passed of lung cancer, but I knew she enjoyed it so I went.

I made the waiter laugh and told him it was her birthday so he comped us a plate of fries.

Him: You’re funny.
Me: My life’s nuthin if not one tremendous f_____g joke, man. I’m gonna need some water. And some complex carbohydrates.

It was well past 2AM when we finally left. It was just Mouse and me at the end.

Mouse: Thanks for doing that. Everything. Even the hooka bar; I know how against that you are what with your dad and all.
Me: Of course. It was your night. You get anything you want, if it’s in my ability. You deserve it.
Her: My friends were impressed.
Me: Well, win for me, then. So, what now?

There’s more but that’s between her and me.

I did everything I intended to do and more – both for her and Chad. That felt good.

The night went exactly as I had hoped it would. Better even, actually. They both left for home with huge smiles on their faces.

Like I said, if anyone deserved it, it was the two of them. Each for their own special reasons. We pick the people we choose to care about, for reasons none of us can fully articulate, but that we all innately understand.

Chad and I spoke the next day.

Him: I just wanted to say thanks for doing that. I had a great time.
Me: Good. That’s all I wanted.

My reward for alla this? Slept like the dead for 13 glorious, uninterrupted hours.

For someone that doesn’t sleep well but dreams a lot, that’s a win too.

Unrelated to everything, did you see the Star Wars Fight Scene breakdown Chad and I did?

Can you do us a solid and subscribe? Evidently, good things happen when we get about 10,000 subscribers so only 9,100 more to go…

Location: bed, glorious bed
Mood: sick
Music: I’ll wait for somethin’ more

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Chad and Mouse turn 30, Pt 1

Can’t be trusted

Friend: You’re throwing her a birthday party? Why?
Me: Because everyone deserves a kick-ass 30th birthday party, especially her.

Haven’t really seen nor spoken to Mouse since we got back from the Bahamas for a variety of unimportant reasons.

But she just turned 30 recently and I tried to throw her a surprise birthday party. Basically sent a bevy of out-of-the-blue messages to her friends and family asking them to get me in touch with everyone she knew.

The whole not seeing nor talking to each other didn’t help.

Didn’t matter – what mattered was pulling this off for her.

For me, this was bordering on stalking, but I figured that she’d be ok with it and everyone she knew already intensely disliked me so…sunken cost, if you will.

Besides, I did it because, even when she was super mad at me and we weren’t speaking, she always came through to help me, and keep me company – even when I didn’t expect or want her to. Think she knew that I needed her, despite my protestations to the contrary.

Plus, she did the same for me.

Unfortunately, she found out, which wasn’t ideal but still ok, as you’ll see.

It was actually a combo party with her and my coach, Chad, who also turned 30 a bit earlier.

Me: Are you ok with a combo?
Him: With my schedule, I kinda prefer it, actually.

Her co-worker Drea was a big help and picked up all the party favours and also two huge balloons that said: 3-0.

We started out at the same restaurant where we celebrated his getting a black belt.** It was all you could eat – both hot pot and BBQ.

After a while, two full tables couldn’t eat anymore while three people – me, Curt, and Chad – were still, somehow, eating.

Felt bad that everyone was waiting on us to finish so I asked them if we should wrap it up.

Chad: (waving his hand under his chin): Yeah, I’m done. I’m tapping out.
Me: I’ve never been so disappointed in you.
Curt: I’m not done!
Me: No one cares about you, Curt!
Curt: Shut up, Logan!
Me: You shut up!

So, Curt and I cleaned off the second-to-last plate. While everyone else got organized, I went over to Solas to make sure everything was ok with our reservations.

Mouse’s friend was there with his date when I walked in so I sat with them as the waitress walked over. He was supposed to bring her to dinner but because she found out – and he’s a vegetarian – I’d told him to just meet us there.

Her: Hi, I’m Janet and I’ll be your waitress tonight.
Me: Hi Janet – that’s Cha and his girl Jane. I’m Logan. (moving over) Take a seat and tell us about yourself.
Her: (laughs, shrugs, and sits down)

The rest of the the party meandered in and the whole party spent most of the night there as a number of people cycled in and out.

Now, this next bit’ll only make sense if I tell you that I took a hit to my mouth that looked like a cold sore.

Vazquez: (walking up to me) Were you making out with that girl in the corner?
Me: (shaking head) We were just talking – I left cause she was being handsy. What am I, an a_____e? I’m gonna make out with someone else at Mouse’s 30th? Plus, you think I’m insane? Mouse’d kill her, and then kill me – I gotta raise my kid and jail’s no place for her. Plus, I have this (pointing at lip). No, I’m just chatting up randos because I’m doing everything I can to avoid Mouse.
Him: Why, is everything ok?
Me: (takes him by the shoulders, incredulous) Have you seen her tonight?!? On a normal night, Mouse has my number. She’s insanely hot right now. I need you to stay until I leave cause I can’t be trusted around her. Full stop.

He did not stay.

Here’s a blurry shot of Mouse and Chad because this is mostly a family-friendly blog.

I’d like to say I made it blurry on purpose but really, it was because I was two sheets to the wind by the time I took it.

I’ll finish this up tomorrow or something.

Gotta find out where I left my liver. Wonder if there’s a lost-and-found box fulla livers.

Mine’d be one stinking of rum.

** Yes, I know I wrote that a co-worker got a promotion in this entry when really it was about Chad getting his black belt – I try to stay as truthful as possible in this blog without hurting other people. The latter bit’s why I lied.

See, our old coach was/is such a jealous nutcase that  we all knew he’d flip out if he knew we were hanging out without him.

Which he did, of course. It’s a major reason why we’re all not there anymore.

Location: our home
Mood: accomplished
Music: when you look at me like that, I don’t know how I feel

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Frenemies

(ish)

I have a group of people that I can only call my frenemies. The Devil’s one although, that’s…in flux, for a variety of reasons.

Another is the guy in this entry. I sued him and won(ish) – we settled but mainly on my terms.

For the next seven years or so, we became friendly(ish).

I’d stop by over every few months or so and trade stories with him over coffee. We had our flareups but he knew what I was capable of and I knew the same for him.  So, we were kinda like Russia and the US; in a polite, Cold War type of existence.

He ended up retiring and the guy that took over and I went almost started a hot war over something recently. But a mutual party stepped in yesterday morning.

Friend: You should meet him. He wants to talk.
Me: Sorry you’re in the middle of this. Let’s see where this goes.

I don’t like meeting people in their environment. It gives them too much advantage. But he needed me more than I needed him so off I went.

Him: What can we do to work this out? My guys mean well.
Me: They mean well to you, because you pay them. They don’t mean s__t to me. Here’s what I want…
Him: (after) I can do that. (takes out papers) Now, here’s what I want…
Me: (after) I can do that. (thinking) I’m starting to like you. Your predecessor was a frenemy of mine and I miss having coffee with him. Are you down to have a fella like me as a frenemy?
Him: (laughs) I’d love it. (holds out hand)
Me: (takes it) I’ll give you my official response on Friday but I’ll tell you now that I’ll let you do this thing. Ask your predecessor, my word is all you need.
Him: Good. You know my daughter’s a lawyer too? I’m surrounded by them.
Me:  So am I. Hell-of-a-thing. That means we’ll continue to be polite to each other, yeah? Lawsuits are expensive. Coffee’s cheaper. I’ll come by in a month with the latter. You can tell me then how you take it.

I find that the people that give me trouble make me better at what I do. Lincoln was known to surround himself with rivals. I don’t go that far.

But I do collect valuable people. His predecessor was one, as is he.

It’s better to have valuable open adversaries than useless disloyal friends.

Location: earlier today, a new office
Mood: dull and vicious
Music: feel it really…sinking in

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Sorry, Wrong Meeting

What wins I can get

Been working for and with startups since I was in my late teens. Some of them became huge entities, others pretty big deals. Most, however, fizzled out with little-to-nothing to show for themselves.

Many of them paid me in stock options or some form of equities. You see, I remember reading about Robert X. Cringley as a kid and was determined not to make the same mistake he did – passing up the opportunity to be on the ground floor of a major world player.

Although, I kinda did that when I turned down being an early employee of Cnet to go to law school. But that’s neither here nor there.

In any case, a legal client of mine just got acquired by a public entity which means that I actually have stock in a company that’s worth something. It’s nothing huge, at all.

Still, it’s something new and a win. I’ll take any weekday wins I can get.

Her: What does this mean?
Me: It means that I can get that monthly Metrocard I’ve been saving up for.

Speaking of lawyers, been talking to a whole slew of them lately, for a variety of reasons.

Him: Nope, he’s still a republican, despite everything. He’s been one for 30 years, he’s not changing now.
Me: Do you know what the definition of “stubborn” is?
Him: I think so?
Me: It’s, “Not changing course despite good arguments or reasons to do so.” That’s the difference between [your client] and us [lawyers]. We don’t waste our time on a losing issue. 
Him: (joking) Unless they pay full-freight, which he kinda does. And all lawyers are grey. That’s why people hate us.
Me: (nodding) I’m nuthin if not the grey man. Speaking of hate, did you ever watch The Jeffersons when you were a kid? 
Him: I know of it, never really watched it, though.
Me: There was an episode called Sorry, Wrong Meeting. George is at a meeting fulla white racists and one of them gets a heart attack. George hates them but decides he can’t let the guy die so he gives the guy CPR and saves his life. When the guy comes to and realizes that it was a black person that saved his life, he tells his son: “You should have let me die.” Whenever I hear the word ‘stubborn,’ I think of that. They’ll die before they just let their petty nonsense go and have a peaceful life. Your client’s no different from the farmers going bankrupt but continuing to vote for Trump.
Him: Thank god for that! We’d starve if not for people like them. (laughing) You know, the animal most closely associated with stubbornness is an ass?
Me: (nodding) Maybe that’s why they sit where they sit and we sit where we sit.

Was planning to surprise Gradgirl this past weekend in Paris when I realized neither of us are the people we once were, which is probably a good thing, all things considered.

Need to listen to that voice in my head more often.

Location: home, asking her how the boy did today
Mood: ambitious
Music: I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you

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Adding a pail to the buckets

3.5 buckets

Him: I think I had an anxiety attack today.
Me: Over what?
Him: My future.

Been chatting with two people almost daily now for the past few weeks – both are younger than me, wending their way through life.

Remember when I told you how friendships are made? Well, I find that happening to me more often than one might expect for a misanthrope like myself.

Was chatting with this one fella that I met years ago but we never really talked. We recently got thrown in together for a project – which is exploding in the most spectacular way, but that’s another story for another day – and have now been chatting on the reg.

Him: Even though this went to hell, I feel like we connected. Shoot the s__t?
Me: Cool. Lemme know when you wanna try some rum.
Him: Oh, there’re lots of questions I have to ask you.
Me: Clearly, I have no idea WTF I’m doing. You should ask someone else.
Him: LMAO – I meant about you, homie.
Me: What’s there to know? I like rum and gyros. I love my kid and my family. I never lie because I suck at it. I enjoy pickup and building s__t. I’ve never opened my vault. I’m into kind women that are hot. You can’t get more simple than a fella like me.

I said dozens of times that alla your problems can fall into three categories; well, I’ve edited that somewhat. Every action we perform can be categorized into furthering one of 3.5 pursuits – I call them buckets just because I like the imagery:

        • Health
        • Wealth
        • Relationships
          • Pleasure, or avoidance of pain (this is more a pail than a bucket)

The first three are additive. Focusing on them adds, at a minimum, to that bucket and your overall life.

If you focus on health, you’re that much stronger – health-wise – after whatever activity you did to focus on it.  You might also get a bump up in wealth and relationships if you chose the right one.

Ditto for the other two buckets.

Pleasure is simply that, pleasure. Note that the avoidance of pain is a type of pleasure – that’s why it’s so easy to procrastinate.

The last one is a pail versus a bucket because it’s not truly additive and, oftentimes, subtracts from the other two: It gives you momentary happiness at the cost of health, wealth, and relationships.

Which is not to say you shouldn’t do it. But it’s like dessert or a small reward after a hard day. They should be used sparingly.

It’s mental masturbation.

I’m not against masturbation or anything pleasurable done purely for pleasure’s sake. But every minute you spend on pleasure, is a minute you’re not spending pushing the ball forward on the other three.

Moreover, if you spend too much time on personal pleasure, it’s a turnoff for people around you. Because we gravitate to useful people and the more you push the ball forward in each of the three main buckets, the more useful you become to the world.

Anywho, I mentioned this to the first fella, recently.

Me: Anxiety is the fear of the hypothetical. So allay your fears: Run through the list. Are you where you wanna be with the three buckets? And are you overdoing it on the pleasure-pail?

We did it together as an exercise.

        • Health – yes. Dude’s in phenomenal shape and works out, easily, three hours a day.
        • Relationships – yes. Good friends and family support. Is there when you need him and others are there for him when he needs them. As it pertains to the opposite sex…well, he’s killing it.
        • Wealth – could be better, but he’s on the right track and getting better each day.

Him: Thanks, that’s useful.
Me: I’m nuthin if not useful.
Him: I want you know I really appreciate your…
Me: (interrupting) We’re friends. Friendship is symbiotic. Trust me, I’ll need your help one day. Probably soon. And it’s gonna involve a crapton of rum.
..

Location: 11:30AM, talking with a buncha lawyers, doing lawyer stuff
Mood: productive
Music: how do you always seem to know just when to call?

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