Wondering about the burbs

Maybe someday I’ll move from here

Statue of couple in Riverside Park NYC
Last week was a bevy of activity because a tenant in my building found bedbugs in his unit.

Because I still manage the building, I was involved with the process every step of the way. That was annoying and a massive time suckage for me. So, despite having a number of meetings with clients and the usual workload, I kept having to run back home to handle hysterical owners and irritated tenants.

It’s enough to make me think of moving to the burbs – in fact, I dropped an email to my old college buddy who bought into the building with me years ago, but later moved out of the city.

He says he has no regrets.

Thankfully, the building’s bedbug situation was resolved fairly quickly so I was back in a New York (City) state of mind.

Still, we do talk about it, the wife and I. Maybe someday leaving the concrete jungle for some green grass and shade. But then we’d probably find ourselves with just each other. Which might not be a bad thing.

Me: Don’t be silly, I love everything about you.
Wife: Tell the truth.
Me: I love most things about you.
Her: There you go.

Location: a building without bedbugs
Mood: relieved
Music: folks like to get away, take a holiday from the neighborhood

Neufchâtel 2

Another entry on our possible pasts

Ship on the Hudson River

Her: What are you eating on that?
Me: Cream cheese. Kinda.
Her: What does that mean?
Me: Well, it all started years ago…
Her: Oh no…

Just had a bagel with cream cheese.

Check that, I just had a bagel with light cream cheese.

Well, that’s not totally true either – I had a bagel with a cheese called Neufchâtel, which I mentioned in passing once before.

Here’s the story: A fella named Bill tried to recreate a French cheese called Neufchâtel here in the states. But, because of the differences in milk, climate, cows, etc., it wasn’t quite right. So he added cream to it to make it more appealing, resulting in what we call cream cheese now.

English: French Neufchâtel is a cheese labelle...

Decades later, with improved technology, companies were able to better mimic Neufchâtel without the cream. As an added bonus, they realized that, without the added cream, it was naturally lighter in calories and fat.

But, because now everyone was more familiar with the name Cream Cheese over Neufchâtel, they simply called it Light Cream Cheese.

If you read this blog, you’ll see that one of the themes I have is how location influences things – sometimes for the better and sometimes not

My last entry was about accents changing as people move around. Or delicious oranges turning bitter somewhere else. Industrial waste turning to delicious rum after an ocean voyage.

I wonder what my life would have been like if we never came here? Suppose it’s a strange obsession I have with knowing my possible pasts.

Me:…and that’s the story of Light Cream Cheese.
Her: (silence)

Location: a building with bedbugs on the top floor
Mood: annoyed
Music: it’s still an obsession

The Past and the Virginia Tidewater Accent

Why is it the Top 40?


Did you ever wonder why the music countdown was always the Top 40? Why not the top 30, or 50?

The reason is because early jukeboxes could only hold 40 songs. So, decades later, we’re still constrained by figures and things that are no longer relevant.

I think about that a good deal: Why things are the way they are.

As I teach my fencing art and continue to wrassle, I’m ever vigilant to wonder if things are done for a good reason or if that’s just how things have always been done – and if the latter, why.

The core of the fulfilled life is the life that wonders why. And I think we all – in our own way – wonder about our purpose.

On a related note, I found the video above fascinating because you can hear how accents changed over time – how a UK accent can become an American Southern accent over time.

It’s a great commentary on how environment and time affects things to make the so different from what they once were that they’re no longer recognizable as what they once were.

On the flip side, though, I probably lie awake too long at wondering.

Lie Awake

Location: a building with someone that is starkers
Mood: irritated
Music: It’s simple and eternal, the sum of where we’re made
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There’s a food situation

Dinner at STK Downtown

Drinks at STK, Downtown
Got an invite to go to STK with my buddy Bridget and her husband so we met up with them downtown.

Me: I’ll need to prepare my stomach for all the meat it will be eating.
Bridget: I’m very excited for food!

Starters at STK, Downtown

The wife and I each had our own ideas on how to get to the restaurant after exiting the subway. We took my way, but the city gets crazy in the Meatpacking District and the streets make zero sense so we got turned around.

Me: Shoot, you were right, I should have listened to you.
Wife: You should always listen to the person wearing heels!

Bread at STK, Downtown

It actually ended up being perfect timing as we ran into Bridget and her husband right at the door to the restaurant.

Bridget: I have a gift for you too. (hands me a bottle of fine aged rum)
Me: Man, it’s like it’s my birthday!

Tuna at STK, Downtown

I told them about the last time I’d been in that part of the city. I was with Gio after he won a huge chunk of change in Atlantic City and we went to Blue Ribbon afterwards.

Me: Back when I was single, my friends knew that I never turned down an invitation. Especially one with a food situation.

Scallops at STK, Downtown

Bridget’s Husband: Do you gamble also?
Me: No, I just like there’s a food situation.

Poterhouse Steak at STK, Downtown

Ice Cream at STK

Location: my desk
Mood: stuffed
Music: Underneath the copper wires and the floorboards that creek
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First thing you do, buy yourself a whoopee cushion…

The Lighthouse and the Whaler

Bryant Park, NYC in Summertime
Met up with my boss and my buddy Johnny at The William the other night. We had some business to discuss.

Me: We’ve known each other 20 years. This may be the first time we’re working together.
Johnny: You’re the only person left I trust. I couldn’t let money come between us.
Me: That’s the thing. Money’s not my primary purpose. I’m interested in things money can’t buy.
Him: Wait two years. I gotta settle a few things.
Me: I know. It’s been 20 years. I can wait two more.


The weekend was hot so my computer kept crashing.

So I put on some tunes – like Venice by The Lighthouse and the Whaler – pulled it apart, and isolated the problem to a faulty fan.

While I was in there, attempted to swap out the CPU but that didn’t work because I didn’t have the right parts.

Still, was pretty proud that I still knew how to troubleshoot technology; I used to build networks and computer professionally before I became a lawyer.

Me: (to wife) I figure if everything goes to hell, I could always go back and be a computer guy. The only question would be how to start getting rid of my most annoying clients.
Her: First thing you do, buy yourself a whoopee cushion…

Location: Fall in NYC, I think
Mood: ambitious
Music: I have seen all the feeling and the rains
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The worst day I’ve had in a while

Google will replace a cracked Nexus 5 screen for free

Cracked Nexus 5 Screen

Was out in Brooklyn meeting a client in the summer heat two days ago. Got mixed up and ended up being 20 minutes late – and I’m rarely late. Not a good start to a rough meeting.

Grabbed a bus to avoid walking in the heat and, when it lurched, heard a crack in my back pocket. My less-than-six-months-old Google Nexus 5 just bit the dust.

Then I got home and got confirmation that I lost my biggest and oldest client; they hired an in-house counsel. All-in-all, a rough day.

But then I saw more headlines for ISIS and the poor fella that they killed.

And my friend – who works for a non-profit – told me that he just received an email.

It seems that, because of the ebola epidemic, prices for food and other staple items are skyrocketing. The people he works with in Sierra Leone  – who are a very, very proud people – were asking for a slight and temporary stipend to be able to afford food to feed their family.

How much were they asking for?

$20 extra. For the month.

Suddenly, I felt really ridiculous about my worst day.

It got even more ridiculous as I found out that, 17 hours prior to my cracking my Nexus phone, Reddit just released that Google Play would replace any cracked Nexus phone purchased through them for free.

20 minutes after I called Google, got an email that a new phone would be shipped to me free of charge in a week.

I’ve said a few times now that all emotional pain comes when your expectation of reality doesn’t match reality.

I’ve also said that I’ve got no complaints. I’ve got my people, my pad, my poison, and my person.

Couldn’t really wish for much more.

Google Red Nexus 5 replacement

While writing this, UPS came by with my replacement phone. In less than 24 hours. Amazing.

———–

The following are charities that work in Ebola-afflicted countries and all have three or four stars from Charity Navigator. Skip your morning coffee, send them a fivver, and feel good about the rest of your day.

Location: NYC, where there’s no ebola
Mood: so grateful
Music: Hold on, hold on, we’ve got the lights dear
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Still waiting for my real life to begin

More funny, more smart

Me: I think I’m the more funny one.
Her: “More funny?” Well, you’re certainly not the “more smart” one of the two of us.

It’s been one of the coolest summers I can recall – which is a blessing for a guy like me.

But at the tail end, the heat decided to return and rear its ugly head. I’ve been moving at quarter speed since Friday.

Speaking of which, it was a holiday, hence my not posting the other day. Didn’t do much except for catch up on some personal reading and some work here and there.

I have friends that are constantly doing…stuff. They’re traveling places, seeing shows, having parties – doing stuff.

In the summer, even the cool one we just had, find it hard to motivate myself to be as active.

Suppose that’s why I can’t wait for fall to come, because I think I’m my real self. My year begins in September.

Which reminds me of something I wrote years ago; I’m 41 and still waiting for my real life to begin.

I wonder if one ever feels like it actually has.

Or will I wake up and old(er) man, blink, and realize I’ve missed it all?

Angel at Columbus Circle, NYC

Location: middle of my life
Mood: hopeful
Music: On a clear day I can see, see for a long way
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Guest Post: Jess C. Scott

Some Thoughts on Writing by Jess C. Scott

Building Facade UWS

Hello Logan Readers!
I came across Logan’s website through a couple of blog posts which he wrote:

I always like reading about different cultures and interracial relationships, so I could really relate to the first link!

With regard to Logan’s second, I had a recent similar experience with one of these websites charging a high fee for a book review provided by a “professional.”

It’s one thing to allow people to share their own opinions. It’s another thing to pay people who purport themselves to be “professional reviewers” and end up providing subjective opinions instead of objective criticism.

The first thing I noticed about my review was that it contained a factual error, which undermined how objective or thorough the reviewer was with their critique. I didn’t feel that I got what I paid for with that particular transaction, which is why I requested a refund through my credit card company. The credit card honored my request after I wrote a couple of emails with supporting evidence to back up my case.

So:
Logan and Jess: 2
Kirkus: 0

Thankfully, I’ve had much better experiences with other writing and publishing endeavors.One was at the 2012 Singapore Writers Festival where I met several poets and writers who were extremely talented but refreshingly down-to-earth. I had a little luck in the romance/relationships department as well, with a sequence of events that certainly outdid my imagination… (Logan edit: more info!)

Meeting those artists was very important. It reminded me of the reason(s) I like to write, and that writers who love to write respect the craft of writing. It has also inspired me to raise the bar for myself, so that I don’t get stuck in a writing rut.

Everyone has their own reasons for writing and it’s important for a writer to be aware of those reasons.I hope other writers relish the unique ups and downs of their own publishing journey too. You never know who you’ll meet or get to know, who you’ll inspire or be inspired by, as a result of something you happened to write, whether it’s published online on a blog or through other means.

Isn’t that what makes life all the more interesting? :)

SHORT BIO:

JESS C SCOTT has work appearing or forthcoming in Word RiotBards & Sages QuarterlyOpEdNews, Akashic Books (Thursdaze series), and The Maine Review. San Francisco Book Review describes her novel Playmates as “a psychological thriller at its best.” Jess participated in a literary debate at the 2012 Singapore Writers Festival. Her website is http://www.jessINK.com. and her blog is at: http://jesscscott.wordpress.com/

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Mussels at Bistro Citron

Taking off our comfortable selves for a night

Bistro Citron in the UWS

Her: We should go on a date.
Me: OK.

It’s funny, when two people are actually dating, there’s some excitement as we prep that version of ourselves. But after you get married, you both see less and less of that version of the other person. That’s just how it goes.

So every once in a while, you have to make plans to dust off that version of yourself.

Me: (looking at wife) Whoa, hello there pretty lady…
Her: It feels nice to get dressed up once in a while.

Burger at Bistro Citron in the UWS

We went to a place called Bistro Citron around the way that got great Yelp reviews. We ordered the mussels, a medium rare burger for me, and a Frisée Salad with Lardons and Poached Eggs for her.

We got the mussels first and, I’m no slouch when it comes to eating, but the mussels did me in. The serving size was ginormous.

Me: I don’t know if I can finish that.
Her: Really?!

We tend to eat early to have the joint to ourselves. It was like we were dating again.

A few drinks later and we were on our way home and back in our comfortable faces and our comfortable clothes within the hour.

Her: We need to do this more often.
Me: I would go back tomorrow.

Mussels at Bistro Citron in the UWS

Location: off to wrassle
Mood: nostalgic
Music: These old wings just gotta be good for something
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Don’t want to download the Facebook Messaging App?

How to avoid the Facebook Messaging App

3

This isn’t part of my usual nuthin.

Facebook has been annoying me because of it’s insistence that I download the messaging app. So I got rid of both apps on my phone.

The downside of doing it this way is that you no longer get notices when people write you on Facebook; the upside is that you’ll have zero data/battery sucking apps from Facebook.

Note that you can have the best of both worlds by keeping the original Facebook app on your phone just so you’ll get notices but you’ll be interacting with Facebook via your browser.

How to do it in 5 easy steps

This works for Android/Chrome but I’m sure there’s a way to do this via iPhone and other browsers.

  1. Pull up Facebook on the Chrome web browser on your phone.
  2. Press the three vertical dots on the upper left hand side.

1

3. Select “Add to homescreen.”

2

4. Give it a title.

3

5. Enjoy your Facebook Messaging free phone.

4

Off to be a lawyer.

Back to the usual nonsense tomorrow.

Location: Desk, looking a CoSs
Mood: annoyed with FB
Music: you just want the attention – I’m not your toy
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The musings of an insomnia-plagued writer in the city that never sleeps.

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