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?


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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Comings and goings

Bad idea to be friends

The insomnia lasted three days. Which, let’s face it, is better than having a whole month of it, like August.

A buddy of mine sent me this article, probably because she thinks it’s a bad idea for me to try to be friends with the Gymgirl.

I get that. I’m actually not friends – on social media or otherwise – with anyone I’ve dated seriously. (Anyone else, rather). After all, we ended for a reason and the negatives of staying friends probably outweighs the positives.

Having said that, I am friends with about 1/3 of the people I dated (very) casually.

Plus, I’ve got a number of people I’ve met throughout the years that are of the opposite sex and we just kept in touch for one reason or another.

I recently reconnected with my old LJ friend Seemore and we caught up the other day. Pretty crazy how our lives unfolded.

And I just found out that the 18 year-old Italian I met on an airplane is getting married. It makes me happier than you might imagine that she found me and stayed friends.

Finally, just recently at a train station, I ran into the other Italian that I went with to Roosevelt Island all those years ago.

Her: Logan!
Me: (turning) Hey, what are you doing here? I thought you moved away for school?
Her: I did – I’m back.
Me: Do you live in the Upper West Side now?
Her: Yup, we’re neighbors! If you’re going downtown right now, let’s catch up.

Funny, who stays and who leaves your venn diagram. And who shows up again.

Turning back to the topic of dating, one of my biggest hangups is that I assume I’m just just going to end up meeting one laco-ovo-vegetarian after another, no matter what I do.

Him: How many laco-ovo-vegetarians did you date?
Me: Put it this way: If you put me in a room with 100 single women, I’ll end up with either the only 23 year-old laco-ovo-vegetarian or the lesbian from the group.

When I was dating the Gymgirl, I picked up two people, just to see if I could. Told her about it.

In hindsight, I’m kicking myself for not asking if they were laco-ovo-vegetarians or not.

Him: (laughing) Why does that matter?
Me: (joking) I wanna know what’s in store for me after all these years. God, if I keep meeting 23 year-olds again, I’m gonna shoot myself.

Location: this weekend, in an Italian restaurant with my favourite two people. Italians are a recurring theme in my life, evidently.
Mood: thinking
Music: each morning I get up, I die a little
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Sometimes the quiet darkness is your friend

Day 1 of the insomnia again

I shattered glass all over my kitchen and dropped two plates today because I got less than two hours sleep last night.

My insomnia stretches have no rhyme or reason.

I could be happy or sad and they happen. Successful or failing and they happen. Have a late night or early night and they happen.

But I did notice that a few weeks ago, when I stopped drinking coffee altogether, I slept for two days in a row without any of the hard meds I usually need.

Less than a  week ago, started drinking regular coffee again and last night, I slept for about two hours.

I also realized that No 6 and I started getting into our insane insomnia-fueled fights after we got an espresso machine.

Wrote someplace else a dozen years ago about our coffee ritual of my making us two cups of coffee before she went to work. That’s neither here nor there.

Now, I usually stop all caffeine by 4PM; the average person takes up to six hours to process caffeine.

Recall stopping coffee several times in my past with no effect on my sleep, or lack thereof. But my brother once said something like this:

The thing is, I only have, at most, two cups of coffee. But perhaps it’s related now. Maybe that and all those possible pasts that I’ve gathered in my head alla these years means that the insomnia is stronger than it’s ever been.

I used to have a ritual to help me sleep but that’s gone now for reasons I’m sure you can figure out.

Wonder sometimes if Sleepy Logan is the real me or am I just the fake him? I don’t remember so much of my pasts but he does. Dunno which one of us is the lucky one.

But we both love the boy. So I suppose it doesn’t really matter which one of us is here.

Him: Papa!
Me: What?
Him: Open the door, just a little bit.
Me: No – sometimes the quiet darkness is your friend. For example, it helps you sleep.
Him: Go to sleep, too.
Me: I would love to. If only I could.

Location: the edge of insomniaville again
Mood: clear-headed and addled at the same time
Music: Wonder how I ever made it through. And there are children to think of
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