Naked cupcakes, peanut butter, ribs, and wings

When you’re 41, you can eat naked cupcakes and peanut butter out of the jar

Jar of peanut butter next to bed

Her: What are you having for breakfast?
Me: A naked cupcake.
Her: I knew this would happen after you got your results!

Went to the doc’s the other day for my annual checkup. Got a clean bill of health – cholesterol is less than 200, low blood sugar, low resting heart rate, etc – and this conversation:

Him: Do you eat fish every day?
Me: No. Maybe once a week, why?
Him: The last time I saw triglycerides this low, it was on a fisherman.
Me: Well, I do drink a lot of rum, so in that sense, I’m like a guy at sea.
Him: (laughing) I don’t think that’s it.

So I immediately went home and slow baked a dozen chicken wings and a rack of Alton Brown’s Who Loves Ya Baby-back Ribs. I shoulda taken a pic.

In a few more days, I’ll probably go back to eating a lot of beans and downing wheat-grass shakes but if I’m gonna be 41, I’m going to try and enjoy it as best I can.

Her: Is that a jar of peanut butter next to the bed?
Me: … No?

Location: in front of some more deadlines
Mood: pensive
Music: It’s so unright, it’s so unright, it’s a technical, accept it
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We handle life as we do bad weather

Someday we’ll know

Sunset at sea

Her: I don’t think of you as 41…
Me: Thanks, that really…
Her: …mainly because you act so immature.

For my birthday last week, Paul and his fiancee took me and the wife out for sushi around the way; they recounted their first date with us, which I’d not heard before. The funny thing about first dates is that you never know if that first date will lead to something more or less in the future.

Speaking of the future, been thinking about it more and more these days as I (slowly) accept that I’m 41. I’m nine years away from 50. I’m solidly middle-aged. And, when I fill out forms, I’m in a totally new age bracket.

But, it’s better than the alternative.

This Austrian named Alfred Polgar once said, “Too often man handles life as he does the bad weather. He whiles away the time as he waits for it to stop.”

So I try make these moments worth something, if only to myself.

Suppose someday we’ll know if it was worth something to anyone else.

Location: the middle of my life
Mood: pensive
Music: bought a ticket to the end of the rainbow
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Logan’s 41

The 1s are a little different

Me with Abe
Tomorrow I turn 41.

There’s something about the “1s” that really hit you. Turning 40, 30, and even 20 is a shock, but turning 41, 31, and 21 is more of a: “Well, I guess I should get used to this,” type of feeling.

Because I have to see the rents tomorrow, the wife brought me out to catch the Captain America flick in a red leather recliner, and then dinner at Five Napkin Burger on the UWS the other night.

My seventh birthday was roughly the same except I went to see Superman II and had Burger King.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Speakinga staying the same, wish me a Happy Birthday, alla you bastards that read me and never say anything.

Hearts from www.stockfreeimages.com

Just to change it up a little bit, I’m actually going to give something to you instead of the other way around a week from today so check back then?

Location: off to the gym
Mood: 41-ish
Music: I’d go black and blue, I’d go crawling down the avenue.

Staten Island, Ferries, Pigeons, and Horse heads.

My home’s a strange town, but it’s home

Relaxing on a summer day in Central Park
Went to Staten Island to meet up with a client. Was the first time on the ferry since the turn of the century.

As I left the terminal, a pigeon was on his way in.
Pigeon in St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island

Stopped to snap some pics of artwork.

Painted egg artwork in George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island

It’s peaceful there. Whenever people talk about New York City, they usually just mean Manhattan.

But New York City isn’t just Manhattan, it’s also The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.

Heading back into Manhattan from Staten Island on the ferry

Headed back in to Manhattan and finished up the work week.

Over the weekend, the wife and I went to Central Park where we saw a woman in a suit wearing heels and a horse head while playing an accordion.

Her: Is that a woman in a suit wearing heels and a horse head while playing an accordion?
Me: I think so.
Her: Well, that’s something new.

A woman in Central Park wearing a suit, heels and a horsehead playing the guitar.

Location: home
Mood: good
Music: I’d go black and blue, I’d go crawling down the avenue.
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The disappearing watercooler

Emerging from winter

Sushi on the UWS
The weather’s been slowly getting better so I’ve been emerging from my winter shell.

Met up some college buddies for sushi around the way the other day and, yesterday night, headed over to my local tailor with my buddy Paul to get some clothes fixed.

Regrettably stopped off at Grey’s Papaya after dinner to get a dessert of two hot dogs.

Her: TWO hot dogs? After you had a dinner of ribs and potatoes?
Me: I’m not proud.

Rum on the UWS
The post I wrote about the HIMYM finale seems to have struck a chord with people because I received several emails and a few mentions by others in social media.

It’s interesting because an opinion just came out in the NYTimes where the author notes that the water cooler is disappearing, both literally and figuratively.

It’s disappearing on the figurative front because there are just so many shows to watch and we all have such divergent interests.

So to find something that so many of us can actually discuss is rare.

On that note, I’m finding that more and more people are reading this blog, but less and less are leaving comments here – when you do comment, it’s either to an email to me, a comment on FB or somewhere else, or no comment at all.

I miss the old LiveJournal account mainly for that reason; because people were such active commenters there.

Leave a comment below from time-to-time!

Location: Staten Island
Mood: rested
Music: all right, I got no time for private consultation
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How I met your mother in a refrigerator

This is why you’re bothered by the HIMYM finale

How I met your mother
Wasn’t planning on writing two back-to-back opinion posts but these things have been bothering me enough to say something.

[SPOILERS AHEAD]

If you’ve watched the finale, you know that the mother was a red herring the entire time. The story really was, and is, about how Ted and Robin end up together after years of orbiting around each other.

But if it left a distaste in your mouth and you can’t figure out why, let me tell you about the Women in Refrigerators issue in comic books.

The term comes from a 1994 story where a superhero returns to find that his girlfriend has been killed and stuffed into his refrigerator.

It’s a plot device, whereby a female character is killed or maimed in a male-centered story purely to make stuff happen for that male character. And it happens enough to have a name.

Turning back to HIMYM, we essentially meet the mother in a refrigerator in that we met her when she was already dead six years.

The purpose of the refrigerator in comic books is to shock and horrify; ditto for the reveal in HIMYM.

Green Lantern Kyle Radner finds his girlfriend in a refrigeratorThat’s why the finale bothered me. Because this character was ostensibly there purely to provide story impetus – and offspring – for Ted and then is conveniently killed off to make room for the person he’s loved all this time, Robin.

The entire last season, which could have been a look into the mother’s life – let’s call her Tracy, because characters of meaning deserve names -  was instead just about Robin’s marriage, which itself was a red herring.

And Robin’s life is essentially a waiting game for Ted. So both females lives are disposable and there to serve the protagonist of the story, that is all.

We’re not even told how Tracy died or why, that’s how marginal her death actually is.

Of course, does this happen in real life? Sure. Girlfriends and wives are killed every day, spurring the men in their lives to take action. But men are killed as well and this isn’t a major trope in writing.

Ultimately, to devote close to a decade of storyline to characters only to do a fake out seems cheap and easy.

I’m no hardcore feminist, but this is so glaringly distasteful that it’s difficult not to notice it.

End rant. Back to nuthin later on this week.

 

Location: apartment on a rainy Monday morning
Mood: still irritated
Music: Girlfriend in a coma, I know, I know – it’s serious
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Asians as the wrong type of minority

Don’t overstep your station in life

Wooden American Indian in NYC
An article came out recently about Asians in specialized schools whereby our current mayor Bill de Blasio and his Schools Chancellor  want to change the rules for specialized schools here in NYC so that not as many Asians will be there.

They have a problem, it seems, with the fact that there are 75% Asian students in these specialized schools, which only allow admission based on a passing score on a test.

“We must do more to reflect the diversity of our city in our top-tier schools — and we are committed to doing just that,” the Schools Chancellor said.

The article notes, however, that neither the mayor nor Schools Chancellor have a problem when it’s 75% White, 25% everyone else, or 75% Black, 25% everyone else, or 75% Latino, 25% everyone else.

Only when it’s 75% Asian is governmental intervention required.

I never really think of myself so much as Asian, as I do of myself as a creaky old man.

But every once in a while, I’m reminded by well-intentioned, liberal, white men that I need their help to succeed in life, but to please not  overdo it.

I cannot stand people like Bill de Blasio.

Location: apparently 1950s America
Mood: irritated
Music: we are all missing something I don’t got
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Caught a fight between two middle-aged men

The body should serve the mind

Men at Work Sign
My AMA on Reddit went pretty well.

There were some good questions and interest in The Men Made of Stone; if you’re curious about some of the backstory behind the rise and fall of organized crime between 1980 and 1993, you can check the AMA for details.

Speaking of writing, I’m working on a a quick little thing about online dating profiles that I’ll probably either just give away or sell inexpensively.

Been fitting in a few lines here and there between work; hopefully, I can finish it up this week.

About 11 years ago, this relatively unknown fighter named Eddie Bravo fought one of the most well-respected fighters on the planet named Royler Gracie and won. Many people thought it was a fluke.

After all this time, a rematch was arranged over the weekend between the two so I went in the rain to my gym on Saturday night after fencing class to watch it with my coach.

The interesting thing about these two fighters is that one is 43 and the other 48. Don’t think there’s ever been so much excitement over two very middle-aged men fighting.

And yet, they aren’t what one would think of when one thinks of a typical 43 year-old and 48 year-old. Probably because they don’t more or act like most others.

The body always says, “Quit” before the mind does.

Because – for most people – the mind is subservient to the body, when the body quits, the mind quickly follows.

But there are those for whom the body serves the mind. The body only quits when the mind allows it. Like these two men.

If being a fat kid ever taught me anything, it’s that that is the way it should be: The body should serve the mind. For as long as possible, I’d like to be that way.

On that note, I’m going to be 41 next month. I can’t really believe it.

Wife: You should just tell everyone you’re 37. People would believe that.
Me: That’s not a bad idea.

Location: before my tax papers
Mood: focused
Music: Don’t stop, no, I’ll never give up
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Looking forward to my AMA tomorrow

Books on Scribd

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 10.32.01 AMJust found out that my books are on Scribd.com – if you have a subscription, you can read  them for free.

Speaking of books, I’ve got my Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit Books tomorrow night at 5PM EST.

If you have some time to drop by and say hello and ask a question or two, that would be great – I’ll be putting a link up for it tomorrow.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with it, The Men Made of Stone is a fictionalized story of late 80s and early 90s in NYC’s Chinatown, when there were regular shootouts and murder in the streets.

Most of the bloodiness happened because of several new upstart gangs butting up against the established criminal structure already present there.

As a kid, I was always pretty terrified to go to Chinatown. As a stereotypical Asian nerd, it was a wholly different world than I was used to. Now I find myself there with regularity and it’s nothing like it once was.

The funny thing is that, most – if not all – of the violence was contained to the community so outsiders and tourists probably never noticed the difference between then and now.

That’s why I’m always irritated when people not from here talk about the good old days of gritty NYC. Of course they do – they didn’t have to live here.

In any case, there’s always some other story to the one on the surface. Those are the ones that have always interested me.

It might interest you too; I dropped the price down to $0.99 for the AMA if you wanted to check it out.

See you tomorrow?

Location: Near a window, listening to sparrows
Mood: hopeful
Music: So many things I’d say if only I were able
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Painting oneself into a corner

The new Old World Order


This whole Ukraine/Russia world event is interesting to me as someone that grew up in the 70s and 80s.

As a kid, the “commies” were the bad guys. They were what we taunted each other with in the playground, what adults discussed in hushed tones

The Berlin Wall fell and then the Soviet Union followed.

Suddenly, these guys that we’ve been hating all this time just up and disappeared. But on the flip side, we’re still the same. We’re still the Americans. We still have the Republicans and Democrats (for better or worse). And that rhetoric is still there.

For the Russians, there’s an element of their own success at painting us out to be their enemy. Decades of it, plus the fact that the West triumphed in the Cold War, plus our own self-inflicted stupidity and arrogance, means that it’s easy for us to remain their boogeyman while they’re no longer ours.

They’re victims of their own propaganda success.

As for me, I try as much as I can to be even-keeled. Because I never know when the situation may change. On a related note, spoke to an old friend the other day and was reminded why we stopped speaking in the first place.

He’s 42 and still angry, still suspicious, still sure that conspiracies abound. He’s 42 but really still 18.

At 18 his convictions were hills from which he looked; at 42 they’re caves where he hides. The world’s changed around him but he hasn’t.

RedditFor the  Reddit Ask Me Anything this Thursday, I dropped the the price for The Men Made of Stone to $0.99 and A Great First Date to $2.99, so pick up a copy!

Here are some details about the novel.

Location: the weekend, the local diner getting a Cobb Salad
Mood: good
Music: everybody’s gotta get there somehow
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The musings of an insomnia-plagued writer in the city that never sleeps.

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