Some encouraging emails

Every once in a while, I think I’m on a good track

2013-04-21 20.23.23

Got two bits of reader mail last month – one from England, no less – for my dating books, both from women, which I find interesting since I was worried that most of my readers would be men.

Really made my day.

————

Hey Logan,

I read both of your books, A Great Online Dating Profile and A Great First Date in the beginning of the year. In taking into consideration some of the suggestions, I tinkered with the online profile and reduced content where it made sense.

It seems that the quality of guys in contact have gone up, and while I can’t say there is a happily ever after (Logan: Yet!), I’m definitely enjoying the attention that’s come my way!

Thanks for putting yourself out there – please know your efforts in writing have changed some of our lives for the better! Happy Holidays!

All the best,
Josephine
A Great First Date, early 2014

Mr. Lo;

[After going through your tips] I have avoided all the usual ghastly intro lines, which on Match is the first bit you see when you scroll through the list of profiles, but I know it could be better.

After one week’s membership I have four dates arranged for next week, have been favourited 40 times, and messaged, and (been) visited countless times.

Thanks for writing your books, I bought both!

Cheers!

Alexandra

How to write a great online dating profile

A Great Online Dating Profile is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the Apple store for $0.99.

A Great First Date is also available on AmazonBN.com, and the Apple Store.

Location: 8AM, hardware store
Mood: proud
Music: the story needs some mending and a better happy ending, cause I don’t want the next best thing
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Finding comedy when you can

Caught a cold

Empty NYC #2 subway car, 2014
I’m sick.

Was on the edge of a cold for a few days but the body decided to just take it all the way there yesterday.

It’s probably just as well, I need to just spend a few days resting the shoulder, which is still wonky.

Unfortunately, had to wake up this morning an cancel meetings I had lined up for the rest of the week.

As a byproduct of my being 41, a number of my clients these days were originally friends of mine. This leads to some interesting conversations.

Me: Can we reschedule for next Monday, 10AM?
Him: Can’t that’s prime bathroom time.
Me: (laughing) I’ve never had to reschedule a meeting because of … prime bathroom time.
Him: …that you know about!
Me: Can I use this in my blog?
Him: Sure, just don’t use my name.
Me: OK, Jon (not his real name…or is it?)

The key to life, I think, is to take the comedy you come across in life and enjoy it.

Which seems harder and harder these days, seeing as there seems to be so much unspeakable evil in the world.

Location: should be the bed
Mood: sick
Music: cradle your head in your hands and breathe, just breathe
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A piece of home

Even dirt means something if it comes from home

Harold

When the Revolutionary War was over, George Washington vowed never to set foot again on British soil.

But by 1924, we were allies and a statue was given by us to the UK. To honor George’s request, the City of London put Virginia soil down where the statue stands so that he kept his promise.

Similarly, when Lafayette died in 1834, he was buried in Paris, but under US soil.

And here in New York City, one of the two main highways that encircle the island is built on debris from Bristol, England after the Nazi’s bombed that place.

There’s something about taking a bit of the landscape of some other land that was part of home. Even if it’s only dirt or rubble.

As I said in my last post, I said goodbye to an old friend. It’s a joke. Kinda.

See, I gave my plant Harold to my buddy Brandon that owns Evolution Muay Thai here in the city.

Harold came from a cutting of a plant that my mom brought decades ago from Taiwan to here. I took a cutting of that plant to my first apartment in NYC just off of Times Square.

Everywhere I moved, he came with me. And with every move, he got a little bigger.

But he just got too big for my small apartment. Brandon, who practically has his own nursery of plants, agreed to take him.

So in 9 degree weather, I bundled Harold up for the last time and brought him downtown.

Brandon: Man, the pictures didn’t do him justice.
Me: He’s a big boy.

He’s just a plant, I understand. But he’s a bit of my hometown and my parents’ hometown. I found myself more sentimental than I might’ve imagined I’d be as I took him on his last subway ride.

A short time later, I asked another buddy that works there,

Me: How’s Harold doing?
Cary: What is up with you and Harold!?
Me: He was my roommate for over 20 years.

Like I said, there’s something about having a piece of the place you call home.

But then again, we just need a little piece.

And so I took something from Harold before I sent him out into the world.

Harold Jr. (Jr.)

As a bit of comic relief, here’s the owner showing how to defend the jab – pay special attention to the quip he gives at 1:07, which is simultaneously brilliant, rude, and hilarious.

Location: in front of Harold Jr. (Jr.)
Mood: cold
Music: The earth that is the space between
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A night out with some college buddies

Met up with some friends I’ve known for 23 years

Signs at Jongro BBQ in NYC
Last night I said goodbye to an old friend, which is a post for next week maybe. And then said hello to eight college buddies for our semi-regular meetup.

We met up at Korean restaurant called Jongro BBQ that I’d not been to before.

We picked the coldest night of the week to do it but it turned out for the best since most of the joint was empty.

Brrrrr

It’s fashioned like an old time Korean village complete with signposts and a bike that we all debated if we should try to ride.

Bicycle

Gar: Well, let’s order first. Should we get some steak or ribs? Or maybe some steak tartare?
Me: Yes.

Steak at Jongro BBQ in NYC
We also had some unaged, unfiltered rice wine that looked like soymilk and served in chilled metal bowls. Delicious.

Drinks at Jongro BBQ in NYC

Ox: What do you think?
Me: I like any alcohol I can get in a plastic bottle.
SJ: And with a twist-off cap!

Afterwards, we ended up playing something they called credit card roulette. We all put our credit cards into a bag and the waiter picked out four of them; the four he picked didn’t have to pay while the other four picked up the tab. I was on the losing side.

Credit Card Roulette

Me: Dammit!
Ox: Looks like all the lawyers have to pick up the tab.
Me: Nobody likes lawyers.
SJ: At least you’re not Cappy, he had to pick up the tab himself last time.

Steak at Jongro BBQ in NYC

Afterward we caught some drinks over at a nearby bar.

Me: (to waiter) Seven Old Fashions with rye and a martini. Do you need to write it down?
SJ: (laughing) Yeah, Logan, he needs to write down, “Seven Old Fashions with rye and a martini.”

Old Fashioned

After the drinks came, we settled into more more conversations. We’d all known each other 23 some odd years, which boggles my mind.

Ox: You know, my wife and I read your blog on occasion.
Duck: Yeah, I read it too sometimes.
Me: Ah, thanks. I always wonder if anyone reads it.
Gar: Man, you have some opinions!
Me: I am nothing if not opinionated. Then again, what do I know?

I had an early morning phone conference so one of the guys and I headed over to the west side to catch the train uptown.

Jeffe: It was good seeing everyone. We should do it more often.
Me: More than every six years at least. Good seeing you man, get home safe.

Location: in front of computer screens
Mood: chilly
Music: I’m a part of your circle of friends
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We were given treasure

People don’t realize what they have

Vases in a Window Display

I have a problem with people’s ingratitude.

That’s probably why I get so irritated with people who’ve never lived in NYC in the 70s-90s and miss the “gritter days.”

It’s easy for them to miss something they romanticize in their heads.

Me? I look at the ability to walk down the street and not be concerned about getting shanked a gift.

Speaking of gifts, after 9/11, people around the world sent their condolences and … stuff. Nations flew their flags at half-mast, dignitaries cried. What one might expect.

But a small tribe of Masai warriors in remote Kenya also heard about 9/11. Most had not even seen a plane before and couldn’t fathom buildings that tall. But they understood the magnitude of what had happened.

And so these incredibly poor people – “poor” in our economic understanding of the word – sent the United States 14 cows.

For the Masai people, cows are everything. They are, in fact, the single symbol of wealth as their entire culture revolves around cattle.

In any case, these 14 cows were accepted by the US but cared for in Africa – along with a reverse donation from the US of scholarships for the children there.

They’re still there, now numbering 35 or so.

I can only assume that the American ambassador that was given these animals realized that he was given treasure. Things that these people had worked for their whole lives.

Wonder what would’ve happened if the Ambassador didn’t realize what he’d been given and instead thought he was just being given a random buncha dirty animals.

It bothers me when people are given treasure and do nothing but complain about how it’s not good enough.

A 30 year-old man here in NYC just allegedly killed his father because he wanted more allowance.

People don’t see what they have – often through sheer dumb luck – they only see what they think the don’t have.

They possess treasure but no understanding that they do.

Exhibit at a Museum in NYC

I wrote this entry before I turned on news today.

Gunmen broke into an office building in Paris and executed a number of people including a wounded police officer.

It’s a scary world we live in today.

Location: in front of a large cuppa joe
Mood: sad
Music: I guess we thought that’s just what humans do
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Survival of the strongest

Most people misunderstand the phrase, Survival of the fittest

Fishes off Bermuda Docks

Been meaning to post this for a while.

My coach just forwarded an article by a Ph.D named Dr. Rhadi Ferguson about who would win in a fight between Superman and Batman. You can hear the author read it in his own words here.

Now I agree with almost everything the doctor says with one major exception. He says:

In battles the strongest guy does not [always] (sic) win, nor (does) the fittest, but the one that has those qualities and is the smartest.

With all due respect to Dr. Ferguson, he gets what everyone gets wrong about the term “Survival of the fittest.”

If I say to you the words, “Survival of the fittest,” what do you hear?

Dr. Ferguson – and most people – invariably people hear, “Survival of the strongest.” They define fittest as being physically fit.

But this is an issue of logical equivocation: The meaning of “fit” in this phrase doesn’t mean physically fit, but appropriate to the situation.

In that sense, then, the actual meaning is the opposite of what most people think.

The phrase: Survival of the fittest, means: Survival of the most appropriate.

If you were locked in a smoke-filled room having a 3-foot window with a small girl, a strongman, and a billionaire, while the girl is the weakest, the poorest, and the most inexperienced, she will most likely survive because she is the most fit – the most appropriate – for survival in that situation.

I think that’s why I have so many interests; I wanna have the broadest skill set possible for any situation that arises. One of my goals for 2015 is to dust off some skills I had that were once pretty good and sharpen then up.

Tank in Staten Island

Speaking of 2015 and having skills, I started the year, as usual, by making a huge pot of chili and by fixing some technology around the house.

We were originally planning on heading out for dinner but the weekend was rainy and my shoulder was killing me.

Her: (canceling a dinner reservation) Open Table will be so mad at me for canceling that reservation.
Me: You know that OpenTable isn’t sentient, right?

 

2015. Maybe this will be our year.

Homemade Chili

One more nerdy pet peeve of mine; people seem to think that Darwin coined the phrase, but he didn’t.

A fella named Herb Spencer, who read Darwin’s work, came up with the term. Darwin used the term himself five years after On Species came out.

OK, now I’m done.

Location: at my desk again
Mood: hopeful
Music: You can get along if you try to be strong
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2014 YEAR IN REVIEW / Changing my trajectory

The accumulative choices we make in life shapes us the most

Man on Pier in Bermuda

FB’s been showing me my stupid mug for over a week now trying to get me to spam you with my Year in Review.

Joke’s on them: I do my own year in review.

Sunset at sea

This author named Charlie Jones said that You are the same today that you’ll be five years from now except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.

I disagree. Every little thing we do throughout the year makes subtle changes in our lives that alter its trajectory and make us more broken or more bendy. Some a little, some a lot.

Here are all the little things that I did in 2014 that changed that trajectory, even if only a little bit. I:

Nothing major – at least nothing I can talk about.

Because there are private joys and pain that we all go though and the internet is rarely a good place to put either, I think.

I am really grateful, though, for my family and friends who makes the rough patches not quite so rough. Most of all for my wife.

Her: Did we say, “Until death do us part?”
Me: I think we said death or seven years, whichever comes first.
It’s like Hemingway said, Gradually then suddenly.
Now it’s suddenly almost 2015. Like always, I hope that its good for all of us.

Graffiti covered wall NYC 2013

Under Manhattan Bridge

Central Park in Spring NYC 2014

Logan Lo and Paolo Brion

Location: home
Mood: hopeful
Music: there’s a thousand little things to rub the dust from off my wings
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Three changes in life

I think people go through three major changes in life

Water Towers in NYC

When I first started blogging years ago, I wrote on LiveJournal and met a number of people I still keep in touch with.

I actually like Facebook for what it is: A way to keep up with the lives of people you know (kinda) without having to interact with them unless you actually choose to.

But, on the flip side, I miss good long-form writing. Twitter, FB, and the like are good for quick quips or pithy observations but not for thoughtful prose.

In any case, when I was on LJ, I met a number of young married people. Off the top of my head, I can count ten.

All of them ended up getting divorced except for one young lady, who called me out of the blue this weekend asking for some advice on how to get a divorce.

As an odd by-product of that period of time when I was actively dating, I’ve developed a good ability to sense when a couple is headed for a break-up or divorce. It’s not 100%, but it’s pretty good.

I think that people go through three major changes in their life. People try out a personality in their late teens and early 20s – usually becoming a genre of a person – but often become someone different in their late 20s, then again in their middle 30s.

I think that I’ve settled into who I’m supposed to be at this point in my life although some people think that more change is ahead.

The thing about young people getting married young is that you’ve got two people that probably did see the world the same way in that first period but don’t last through the second and third.

Years ago, people did – my parents did, and so did yours, I suppose – but with the world getting smaller, it’s a lot easier to try and find someone that sees life the way you do rather than try and convince someone to see it your way.

Anywho, breakups are hard, regardless of the reasons why.

Me: Is it really over?
Friend: Yes, I think so.
Me: I’m sorry to hear it. OK, here’s what you have to do…

Location: home
Mood: thoughtful
Music: been all around the world, marching to the beat of a different drum
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A long and strange day

Doctors appointments, holiday parties, and violence

Scrubs at the doc's

Saw three doctors yesterday.

My day started at 5:30AM with a colonoscopy scheduled for 9AM. This meant a night of disgustingness the night before and then more of the same that morning.

Once I arrived, got right to work.

Doctor: I’m going to give you some anesthesia. It’ll feel like you had some wine. Do you want red or white?
Me: White. I’m more of a rum runner though.
Him: Rum we don’t have. See you in a little bit, Mr. Lo.

Woke up feeling pretty groggy. Got a Starburst afterward so there was that.

After I got home, got dressed and headed over to a completely different doctor’s office for an MRI for my shoulder. Turns out I have a torn infraspinatus in my left shoulder.

Doctor: Do you have any other questions?
Me: About life?
Her: (laughing) I don’t know if I’m qualified to answer all questions on life.

There was another doctor I saw but that’s a different matter. Then it was off to my office for our holiday party.

Having not eaten much in the last few days, devoured my weight in kosher sushi and pasta – an odd mix but perfect for a guy like me.

Co-Worker: You’re here? After seeing the doctor?
Me: THREE doctors. But I never miss a workday when there’s food involved.

Finally, headed out to teach my fencing class. Didn’t make it to bed until about midnight.

All-in-all a long and weird day that I’m glad is over.

Hope you have a much quieter, less eventful, and doctor-free next few days, folks.

Welcome to Greenwich Village NYC 2014

Location: home, resting
Mood: hungry
Music: Could we have kippers for breakfast?
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Orange is the new Jello

It’s a sad day in the city

New Yorker Sign

Some nutcase shot two cops to death this past weekend in my city. There’s not much for me to say on the matter except it’s sad.

The holidays are right around the corner and two families have to prepare for funerals instead of celebrations.

It’s hard to make sense of the senseless.

———-

On another topic entirely, looks like there was a pretty quick outcome to the case I was involved in.

Not allowed to get into specifics but my client asked me to work with him on another case, so that’s good.

It’s like that Alexandre Dumas quote, Nothing succeeds like success.

Oysters at Cafe Espanol, NYC

Had a long night on Friday; went to two events – one for a client and the other for my old friend Johnny.

Went to Johnny’s first, at Cafe Espanol downtown. It was the first time I had Spanish food since I went to Spain and it was just one plate of deliciousness after another coupled with pitchers of mojitos. May have had an entire pitcher myself.

Had some killer seafood and far too much of a 10-person sized portion of paella.

Him: Are you full?
Me: Stuffed.
Him: Do you want more?
Me: Yes.

By the time I arrived at the client event, most people were already fairly snockered so I made my rounds and headed home.

Orange is the new Jello

I have a colonoscopy scheduled for tomorrow. So that means today nuthin but orange jello and clear liquids.

At least I did a lot of eating this past week.

Wife: Sorry you have to do this, I know how much you like to eat.
Me: I love to eat! This is gonna be rough.

Location: desk, hungry
Mood: hangry
Music: you’ve worn me down, worn me down like a road
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