Mae West and my friends

A busy but nice weekend

Her: I’ll watch that.
Me: What?
Her: That film you just mentioned, “Hans Solo?”
Me: HAN! It’s HAN Solo. He’s not Swedish.
Her: Han? Well, that’s a dumb name.

It was an oddly busy weekend. The Gymgirl and I stayed in and watched a film on Friday and my buddies Bryson and Steele were both supposed to come by early Saturday morning but Bryson was stuck in DC.

Him: It’s the grand opening of our DC restaurant and we’re running into issues so I’m gonna be stuck here.
Me: These are the types of things one can’t make up.

So Steele, his wife, and his kid came by and met the Gymgirl and also got to know my kid now that he’s talking.

Steele: (laughing) And you were worried he’d never speak.
Me: Well, that’s long gone now.
Him: I brought a greek lasagne with a bechamel sauce.
Me: You had me at lasagne.

Afterward, the Gymgirl and I went to the gym for a few hours. While we were out, I had a roast going in the sous vide machine that Steele gave me a while ago, which was a lucky thing because my cousin and my comfortable pants buddy came by after dinner.

Him: Your girlfriend invited me to your home for dinner. Be prepared.
Me: I’ll put a stop to that. Serving at 5:30PM. Don’t bring more carbs.

We ended up playing Pictionary and the Gymgirl and I were doing ok when the Gymgirl started drawing that picture you see above…

Me: (five seconds in) Mae West?
Her: How did you get Mae West!? How did you possibly get that?!
Him: He only knows that because she was probably popular when you were a kid.

Then the very next day, went with the boy and the Gymgirl to my friend’s Bagman’s house in Westchester this past weekend where we were served a ton of amazing food.

And there was also some stupid human tricks, which really made the trip.

All-in-all it was a great weekend with family and friends.

Wouldn’t mind a few more of those if I could get them.

Location: around my dining room table, attacking ants
Mood: rested
Music: Bet on the winners, worst of you’s born to lose
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J.B. Penn and wearing the life

Friends and incredibly comfortable pants

Me: I ate too much. Do you have any fat pants for me to wear?
Him: Logan! You don’t go to someone’s house and ask to wear their clothes!
His girlfriend: Ignore him. I’ll get you a pair.
Me: (5 minutes later) God, I’m so comfortable right now.

Went to watch the fights over at a buddy’s place the other day. Think that the past three years, the people I’ve spent the most time with are from my gym.

Initially, it was because they were the only people I saw since I only ever was at my pad, the hospital, or the gym. Unless one of my buddies showed up at one of those places, didn’t see them, even if they were just around the way.

Now, it’s just because they’re part of the landscape of my life these days.

In some sense, I’m a tabula rasa to them. A guy mentioned off-handily, Who knew you were a womanizer? which made me laugh.

Another person was surprised to hear I was a lawyer, let alone gave lectures in front of the Paris Bar and around the world.

Me: Don’t get it twisted, I wasn’t very good.
Him: Is that true?
Me: No. (shaking head) I was excellent.

So much of who I once was is gone. Don’t think of that as a good thing or a bad thing. It’s just a thing, I suppose.

I suspect that to most of the guys at my gym that I’m just this old widower with a kid that hangs out with the Gymgirl, eats everything in sight, and washes his hands like a madman.

You know, I’ve got two closets with about 15 suits, an untold number of shirts and ties that I never wear but I wear the same five or six athletic clothes over-and-over again. Literally never wear anything from my old life.

Which makes sense, I suppose, since I never wear that life anymore either.

I am wearing some incredibly comfortable borrowed pants in this pic below, though. That’s a borrowed dog too.

A dear friend called me recently.

Her: Are you ever free for lunch? There’s some business we could do.
Me: I dunnno, I’m pretty busy with the kid.
Her: XXX is involved. You know how much money he’s made in the past for our guys. There’s a lotta money to be made, Logan. One lunch.
Me: I’d love to see you. But I’m not that guy any more.

This book called Captains Courageous had a character named Penn. Penn was once this fella named Jacob Boller that watched his entire family die before his eyes and his mind snapped. He stopped being Jacob Boller and became Penn, a completely different person – although, every once in a while, Jacob would come out.

Don’t think I’m anywhere near that degree but right now, I’m so different from the person I used to be.

I’ve gone from being this ruthless capitalist husband to being a 1950s house-wife.

It is not I.

And that’s fine with me. So little matters to me anymore. Pretty much just the kid and the Gymgirl.

Me: (dropping plate of food)
Son: (running in) Are you ok?
Me: Yes. (thinking) You know, your momma used to ask why I was always dropping things.
Him: Momma? She’s in Queens.
Me: (shocked, slowly shaking head) No, boy. No she’s not in Queens. She’s…away. But she misses you, that I know. (smiling) Cm’on, I’ll make you another sandwich.
Him: Peanut butter!
Me: But, of course!

Location: earlier today, the park
Mood: twisted
Music: It seems a heavy choice to make
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Tourists in our own city

A weekend of more face-stuffing

The Gymgirl is remarkably slim – remarkably because she somehow manages to keep up with me eating-wise.

Even my most voraciously hungry friends are surprised at just how much I can put away. This is germane to the below.

After our Boston trip, we decided to be tourists in our own city. So she took me out for oysters the other day while the kid was away.

Bartender: We only serve them by the half-dozen.
Me: OK, can we get four dozen to start?
Him: To start?! (looks at the two of us) Are you expecting anyone else?
Gymgirl: Oh, that’s just for me.
Me: (an hour later) Wanna get a burger?
Her: Absolutely.

We got two. Shoulda gotten four.

And this past weekend, we rented two Citibikes and headed down to Chinatown from the UWS for dim sum again.  It reminded me of when Alison and I did something similar so long ago.

Me: I’m not full. Do you wanna go get Vietnamese?
Gymgirl: Yes!
Me: (an hour later) Wanna get coffee and some buns?
Her: Yes!

We finally made it back home and I ended up making some cod with white wine and capers, modeled after Alton Brown’s Pan-Fried Fish.

Me: I was thinking we’d have leftovers.
Her: No way, we’re finishing this. (later, after finishing everything) I want some soup.

Actually ended up making her some miso soup that she killed.

All-in-all, a nice and quiet weekend. Although, it wasn’t perfect.

Her: Thanks for dinner, boo-boo.
Me: Did you just call me, boo-boo?
Her: Yes.
Me: Stop that.
Her: No.

Location: all over Manhattan
Mood: exhausted
Music: It isn’t easy for me to let it go
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Boston 2018: Purgatory and jerks

Face planting and stuffing, all in one day


We actually made it to the Purgatory Chasm Trail. Within the first ten minutes, I totally – embarrassingly – face-planted.

Her: This is a children’s trail!
Me: (standing up) My leg gave out from under me! (turning to shocked family behind me with a child and baby) I meant to do that.

In my defense, it was my bad knee but it was still ridiculous. Still, it was fun and I liked being out and about in nature. There’s a ton of evidence that being in nature is a good thing for mind and body and I’m going to try to do it more when I can.

After all, it’s not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.

Her: Look (pointing) Turkey Tail Mushrooms.

I had told the Gymgirl a while ago about them; I gave them to Alison constantly when she was sick as they are a first-line defense against cancer in Japan, with strong clinical evidence behind them.

I was touched that she recognized them, somehow.

We ended up making it through the trail without my taking another really bad fall. Or her.

Her: I’m pretty sure I could make it up that wall.
Me: How ’bout we just say you did it and you don’t?

We finally hit the road to go home but we had one more side trip to make.

Her: I’m starving.
Me: Me too. What’s the closest thing to us?
Her: What do you want to do?
Me: Soul food?

She found this place called Carl’s BBQ & Jerk, a Jamaican joint that was truly a hole-in-the-wall. We had to do an illegal u-turn to squeeze into the small parking lot right off the road.

And, man, was it killer. We polished off pretty much everything you see in that pic and then had two additional Jamaican beef patties that you don’t see in the pics above.

Her: This is amazing.
Me: (mouth full) Don’t talk to me, I’m eating.

Then, we finally made it home. It was a great road trip.

Me: We’re home.
Her: Yes – you’re fun to road-trip with.
Me: I’ll take that as a compliment. (thinking) We’re still not dating right?
Her: (laughing) Nope.
Me: OK, just wanted to be sure.

Location: a few hours ago, at the gym
Mood: tired
Music: I feel like giving up, but I just can’t
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Boston 2018: The Freedom Trail and more eating

Drinking and knowing things

Waiter: Are you sure you want to order this many sweets?
Gymgirl: Um, yeah.

We woke up the next morning and took a through the Boston South End train station where we saw pigeons, ostensibly waiting for their ride.

We were walking to this place called Masa for their Latin brunch. Normally, I try not to have too many carbs but, once again, figured I was traveling…

Me: I downloaded an audio tour of the Freedom Trail.
Her: Of course you did.
Me: You wanna do it?
Her: Sure!

We started up at the Massachusetts State House, went to King’s Chapel, and the Old Corner Bookstore – which is now a Chipotle – The Old Statehouse, and ended up at the site of the Boston Massacre where we saw some guys selling oysters on the street.

Her: Well, if we get sick, it’ll be a good story to tell.
Me: I’m sold.

Her: That guy was super happy to see me until he saw I was with you.
Me: Great, I’m totally gonna get sick now.

We took a little detour to sit on a swing and people watch…

…and met a little old lady who was impressed that I knew what a glass harmonica was and who invented it…

Little Old Lady: Are you a historian?
Me: No, just a friendless nerd. (shrugging) I drink and I know things.

…and finished up by seeing the Boston Skinny Spite House before heading back.

Her: Do you want to take the metro to…
Me: God, yes.

Soon we were back in our hotel and getting ready to go back home.

Me: That was a quick little trip, and we’ll get home early.
Her: What do you think about going on a hike before we head back?
Me: Hmmm, it depends. What’s it called?
Her: Purgatory Chasm Trail.
Me: Well, that sounds terrible.
Her: It’s rated for kids!
Me: (grunts)

So this very uninteresting saga continues.

Location: at the dining room table with a friend
Mood: not bad, actually
Music: Don’t you worry, it could be so sweet
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Boston 2018: We pretty much just ate the first night

Walking with the Gymgirl around Boston Commons


It was a bit later than either of us expected once we got to Boston. The cheesesteak and wings from earlier in the day didn’t really last us that long.

Me: We could do reservations at Legal Seafood…
Her: OK.
Me: …or we could get some food from their takeout and eat it on the way to a sushi joint.
Her: Oooh, let’s do that.

We ended up having some clam chowder at Copley Square near the Khalil Gibran Memorial. One of the these days, I’ll tell you about the poem that my brother sent to me once about parenthood. It’s stayed with me my entire life.

We ended up at a place called Wabora a few blocks away and ordered all the food.

It was probably too much but we were both hungry and I think that food on a trip doesn’t act in your body the same way as food at home.

We decided to walk off what we could and ended up going past a wall of sewing machines and I thought of Rain again.

Then we went into Boston Commons.

Her: I remember coming here during the wintertime over a layover. Everything was covered in snow. I was here by myself.
Me: That’s not the case this time.
Her:  (laughs) No, no it’s not. It’s nice to have company.

Location: a black desk again, no bourbon
Mood: thoughtful
Music: been walking for a long time. I still don’t know where it goes
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Boston 2018: Stopping in Connecticut for Philly’s and a Waterfall

A lucky pitstop


The boy’s back home. There’s a lot more but I’ve written enough about hospitals for several lifetimes.

He’s ok. That’s all that really matters.

Him: Pappa, I wanna go home.
Me: You and me both, kid. You and me both.

My confusing relationship with the Gymgirl continues in it’s confusing-ness.

Her: I need to use up vacation days and hotel points. Do you want to do something?
Me: Roadtrip?
Her: Sure. Boston?

So, while the kid was with my mother-in-law, we hopped in her whip and went.

We had gotten outta the city when my hunger got the better of me so the Gymgirl pulled up the closest thing she could find that sounded interesting: Philly’s A Taste of Philadelphia…in Connecticut.

Like good ole Tony, I love simple delicious foods so off we went.

We got there just before it opened up and two fellas were there waiting for it to open as well. We asked if they would take a picture of us.

Him: Sure! (later) Hey, if you’re not around here, you should go two blocks that way. (points) There’s a huge waterfall that you gotta see.
Me: No kidding?
Him: Yeah, you gotta see it.

The Gymgirl and I went in and ordered a sandwich and some wings. For $2.25, you could get extra steak, a bargain in my book.

While we were waiting, I was disappointed to see that coulda gotten a buncha wings for free.

That’s actually not true; I can eat a lotta quantity but not a lotta heat.

We inhaled the food after it arrived. It didn’t disappoint.

Her: God, that was so good. Hey, do you wanna go check out that waterfall that guy told us about?
Me: Sure.

It was exactly two blocks away and called Yantic Falls Indian Leap.

Her: This is so cool!
Me: Yeah, and we’re not even anywhere close to Boston yet.

We ended up taking a two hour detour for lunch but life is all about these serendipitous detours, when they come about.

 Her: That was awesome.
Me: Totally worth it. (pause) And the waterfall wasn’t bad either.

Location: a black desk, with a glass of bourbon, of all things
Mood: relieved
Music: I can see you through the curtains of the waterfall
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Alison saved the day

Nothing is ever as it should be

Went to Boston this past weekend on a last minute, 48-hour trip with the Gymgirl. (I’m as confused as you are.)

Had a great time and was gonna write about it but the kid got sick while visiting Alison’s mom in NJ. They’re in the ER right now. I think he’ll be ok but I’m waiting.

I’m a wreck. Alison once said that the day before you become a parent is the last day you’re not worried. She’s right. Even more so with me. For obvious reasons.

In any case, here’s a something I was working on last week that’s much happier so I post it instead as I wait.

I hate the waiting so.

The kid started going to a five-day-a-week school recently.

When I arrived to pick him up, the teacher wanted to talk to me.

It seems they took his thermos out of his lunchbox, and – for some inexplicable reason – thought it was some other kid’s thermos and wrote that kid’s name on it.

It was annoying but an honest mistake and they felt terrible about it.

I was gonna buy him a new one when I remembered that when Alison moved in here, she bought a multipack of these things called Magic Erasers (that’s what the cap’s sitting on in the pic above) and scrubbed both bathrooms methodically until they sparkled.

She was so proud. She said that Magic Erasers were her favourite cleaning product ever.

I spent a solid 20 minutes going through the entire utility closet and found a single Magic Eraser tucked into the corner and used that to clean his thermos – you can’t even see it.

That made me happier than you might imagine because I know that if she were here, and this happened, she would have done exactly that.

Alison saved the day.

Location: 24 hours ago, Boston Commons
Mood: anxious like you couldn’t believe
Music: Miniature disasters and minor catastrophes bring me to my knees
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Intent versus skill

Life is 80% intent

I went to my old haunt Solas again this past weekend. It was for a buddy’s 30th birthday party.

Funny thing was I that I remember turning 30 there also. I think. I don’t have any pics but that pic above is from another buddy’s birthday 19 years ago. Been going there a really long time.

Now, on the way there, my buddy asked to see me do some pickup.

Him: I’ll pay you $5 for each girl you pick up.
Me: (shaking head) It doesn’t work like that.

This knife fighter named William Fairbairn once said that fighting is 80% intent and 20% skill.

Now, I’d go further than that: I submit that most things are 80% intent and 20% skill.

The Gymgirl beats me about 40% of the time in the the gym when we fight, despite my outweighing her by a solid 35 pounds.

The main difference between us is intent: She hates to lose while I don’t need to win – I just wanna get in a workout and go home with all my parts intact.

Getting back to the other night, the reason I can’t just turn on pickup is that the intent isn’t there; the intent would be to show off, not to meet someone.

Don’t think people really understand how important intent is in shaping our individual worlds and the world around us.

If you look up from your computer/phone right now and look around; everything you see that isn’t biological was built by intent. Someone dreamed up whatever you’re looking at and made it into the world. Shoes, computers, desks, everything.

That’s what intent does; it makes things happen and the greater the intent, the greater the result. The only reason I was any good at pickup at all was because of the level of my intent.

After all, Man is made by his belief.

Without it, I’m just like anyone else. It was the intent that made me so good. I wanted to meet someone when I was out-and-about.

On a somewhat related note, I realized that the last time I was at that bar, I got to know the Gymgirl there almost exactly a year ago.

My intentions as to my fate at the time were pretty dark, but I remember that they weren’t quite as much with her.

An old buddy called me for the first time in months.

Rain: Hey, what’s going on with you and Gymgirl?
Me: I dunno. She doesn’t know either. At least we’re on the same page.

Location: home
Mood: hungry
Music: classy girls don’t kiss in bars, you fool
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It’s been over a year, no?

Maudlin

Begin rant, with apologies to my friend Jaerik.

Someone mentioned that they found my blog maudlin.

That made me chuckle to myself. Maudlin means unduly self-pitying often with alcohol. That’s probably apropos. God knows I should probably drink less.

Still, I wonder how they expect someone – who just lost his wife and father and almost his best friend via suicide all in the same year and just over a year ago – should act?

I dunno enough about them to make a comment about their lives but I do hope they don’t have to watch the people they love die up close and personal, slowly and in fucking agony.

Cancer and suicide are nuthin if not death in slow motion.

That’s my hope for them. That they continue in their blissful, ignorant – and hopefully cancer, suicide, and death free – lives where someone can go through everything I’ve gone through and not be a little fucking maudlin.

After all, it’s been over a year, no? That’s gotta be enough time for someone to be normal again in their estimation.

I don’t think so, though.

Dunno what they’re made of but I don’t think most people would survive what I’ve survived, let alone function or raise a kid that’s – from all outward appearances – not a train wreck.

It’s hard figuring out the best way to end a rant but I always think that the way the girl with the Blue Jean Eyes used to do it was, and remains, pretty good:

Go fuck yourselves.

Me: Is he…is he happy?
Teacher: Oh yes, he’s always laughing. I mean, it’s a little rough for a minute or two when you drop him off, but then he’s fine.
Me: Good. (thinking) I worry.
Her: (gently) He’s doing well, Logan.
Me: (nodding) Thank you.

Location: In bed
Mood: sick with a fever
Music: What are you made up of?
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