Who am I?

SLBs

BrightBea’s 15 years younger than me. She’s at a cross-roads in her life.

Me: That makes sense. You reassess everything when you turn 30. You’ll do it again when you turn 40.
Her: So, it’s every 10 years?
Me: Well, you’re biologically a different person every 10 years. Have you ever heard about the Ship of Thesus?

I wrote once about it. Essentially, almost every single cell in your body is replaced every 10 years. Such that you’re literally and figuratively, not the same person you were 10 years ago.

Now, what if you changed your mindset too? Got rid of every negative habit and embraced only positive habits? Who would you be then?

For an added layer of complexity, it turns out that people are actually only 43% human. The other 57%? Not human.

All that, coupled with the potentiality of an influx of life-changing ideas and interactions means that we have the ability to reinvent ourselves better than ever, each and every day.

The reasons why people don’t improve?

I think the main things that hold us back are Self-Limiting Beliefs. Beliefs we think and believe to be true that shackle us, regardless of whether or not they are – actually – true.

I realized recently that the past five years have been a series of SLBs born of the awful experiences I had. I was letting them control me for far too long, and forgetting who I am and what I’m capable of.

Her: Whatever happened to your ex?
Me: Why do you care?
Her: (shrugging) Making conversation.
Me: (sighing) In a nutshell, we were always either taking our weapons out or our clothes off. We were always too busy looking for higher ground to find middle ground.
Her: (smiles) I like how you talk. And?
Me: There’s no “and.” You’re here for a reason. Besides, that’s her story, not yours.
Her: (laughing) What’s my story?
Me: I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.

Podcast Version
Location: my empty apartment, after Chad and She came by for dinner
Mood: hopeful, still
Music: love ain’t simple (Spotify)
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Familiar unfamiliar territory

Finding me

BrightBea: You were by my place? You could have called.
Me: Honestly, how does anyone find me? I didn’t give you my last name.
Her: A girl’s gotta be careful.

I’ve spent the last several 4ths of July by my lonesome for reasons that aren’t important.

This year may be different but it’s hard to tell at the moment.

I’m in familiar unfamiliar territory, again.

Speaking of people reading my blog.

Lviv: You didn’t tell me that you went to see your ex.
Me: We don’t owe each other anything, yet. (later) Wait, I thought besides me you were seeing an economist and a male stripper something.
Her: Ex male stripper, who’s an ex. The economist wanted to hang out more, but I wasn’t feeling him. I like him as a friend.
Me: I need to start making a list.

Neither of us have plans for the 4th so maybe we’ll randomly run into each other somewhere on the Upper West Side?

Maybe.

On that note,

Mouse: I did quite enjoy that you managed to include in (our conversation) the part about a shipment of toothbrushes.
Me: (laughing) I honestly didn’t think anything of them until you mentioned it. I suppose that’s subconscious?

When I’m single I have more house guests for a variety of reasons, all of which revolve around my being centrally located in Manhattan.

Don’t read too much into it.

Mainly because, a rule I’ve always had is that: If you stay over, you get a toothbrush – with a choice of colour – and some sorta brekkie.

Before I met Alison, I bought three 12-packs of toothbrushes and went through two plus a couple here and there.

It might surprise you that some toothbrush conversations were quite sad, as odd as that sounds.

As for brekkie, that’s just to be polite.

Since we’re talking about food – Pac’s been making food videos. That’s his latest.

Do me a favour and like the video and subscribe? I need one of my friends to hit it big so I can borrow money.

Toothbrushes don’t grow on trees you know.

Podcast Version
Location: Morningside Heights, looking at stuff in the prepared food aisle
Mood: hopeful
Music: Ain’t I the best you had? (Spotify)

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Blogarama - Observations Blogs

Cutting it Close

Dreaming of family

Finally got a replacement car-rental service and woke up early on Monday to see my mom for the first time in months.

I’d rented a cheap Civic but because of a whole mess of issues, they gave me a BMW instead. While that was nice, there were even more issues with the BMW so I ended up leaving an hour later than I wanted to.

Made an executive decision to see my son first. Chatted a bit with Lviv on the way there.

Me: I have to keep you safe from COVID.
Lviv: What do you mean?
Me: Well, I figure I can’t make out with anyone for three days before I see you.
Her: (laughing) I appreciate it. You’re sacrificing a lot.
Me: It’s cause I care.

My mother-in-law told my son to keep an eye out for “workmen,” so he kept a watchful eye on the front windows. When he saw me, he started screaming, “Papa! Papa!”

It was really something. I can’t explain it to you unless you’re a parent.

After a quick lunch, helped my in-laws set up a new router that I brought over because their old one was giving them spotty service.

MIL: How much do we owe you for the router?
Me: I think I owe you more for childcare.
Her: (laughing) Grandparents don’t charge for childcare, Logan.
Me: And I don’t charge for tech help, mom.

The kid and I spent the day together, including going for a drive around town. He sang the Rolling Stones the entire time. He’s not a fan of Paint It Black.

Every time I leave, it seems to get harder and harder.

Him: I wish you could stay.
Me: Just a little bit longer. Promise. Once you come back, you’ll get sick of me and miss your grandparents.
Him: (nods)

Then I dashed off to see my mom and my sister and her family.

Because of the rain – and because I wasn’t feeling all that great – only saw them for 15 minutes. No hugging or anything. Goddamn COVID.

Mom: Here’s some money.
Me: What? (laughing) You don’t need to give me anything.
Her: It’s for your birthday. Buy something nice for yourself. And here are some 粽子.
Me: Man, so many carbs.
Her: It’s tradition!

I took the Belt Parkway to get home because I wanted to check in on Mouse. Her family’s dealing with stuff that I’ll let you read about yourself.

Me: Your dad ok?
Her: He wasn’t getting better and we had to get lawyers involved.
Me: Shoot, I’m sorry.

We only got to chat for a little bit, which was interrupted by fireworks going off literally 10 feet behind us and people knocking on our windows.

Stranger: Bring her to a hotel!
Me: (puzzled) We’re just talking.

She and I almost slipped into an argument before we checked ourselves. It was nice seeing her.

It was late when I headed home. Drove by BrightBea’s pad but we don’t know each other well enough for me to just show up unannounced.

Besides, I was cutting it close, returning the car.

A lotta people don’t know, but NYC’s traffic lights are timed at 25 miles an hour, which makes sense since that’s our speed limit.

Here’s me hitting every green light around Park Slope.

Got back to the garage in the nick of time and then picked up some packages from the doormen next door before calling it a night.

Him: I’m glad you finally got to see your family.
Me: You and me both, man.

Podcast Version
Location: home, cleaning and still dreaming of family
Mood: homesick
Music: I can’t resist (Spotify)
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Rolling around the city

Picnics and eating out

Forgot to mention that last week, my law firm met up over at Carl Schurz Park at East End Avenue and 84th street to have a picnic and catch up.

Him: How have you been?
Me: Immune. You?

It was good to see everyone. As an aside, I’m meeting a lot of people from a particular European nation these days.

Her: I’m from there.
Me: Well, of course you are.

My buddy handed me a bottled negroni, which was delicious. Probably shouldn’t have drank the whole thing.

Him: Are you ok to get home?
Me: We’re about to find out.

And then today, I met up with my buddy Robinson to roll for the first time in ages.

While I’m immune, the others have their own stories.

Him: How did you do?
Me: I didn’t die, so…well?

It was fun and exhausting rolling for the first time in ages.

Afterward, I wanted Vietnamese food but the restaurant was in the sun. So we just went to an American joint.

I got a salad. I regret my life’s choices. But we also got a crapton of alcohol.

Me: I think this is the first time another human being has served me food with utensils in months.
Everyone: Me too.

The salad was clearly not enough so I ordered more food.

Afterward, the waiter came and did shots with us.

Him: It’s not good tequila, but it’s free.
Me: If it’s free tequila, homie, it’s good tequila.

I was supposed to meet someone for a walk tonight but she’s a back-burner so I bailed.

Her: Wait, you just drank a lot and now aren’t coming?
Me: In my defense, I did tell you that I’m an awful person. But I’m an *honest*, awful person.

She did not find that amusing.

So, I went home and spoke to some people before crashing early and calling it a day/night.

It was a good one. A really good one. I don’t think I can say that very often.

Being hung up on and blocked by someone, notwithstanding…

Location: Queens, ordering more food
Mood: good?
Music: The house don’t fall when the bones are good (Spotify)
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Clinically or…?

Bike Mechanics, fight commentators, and rum drinkers

Me: (shrugging) Everyone’s got their front-runners and back-burners. If I’m your back-burner, I’m fine with that. Kinda prefer it right now, actually.
BrightBea: God, who says that? Are you insane?!
Me: You mean clinically or…?

Chad came by the other day to help me assemble a bicycle. It’s a ridiculously long story that I’ll summarize as follows:

      • I bought a used Dahon Matrix – also in Brooklyn – to install an iMortor (sic) 3.0 electric wheel. It didn’t fit.
      • After dremeling it and widening the fork, the fork broke.
      • So we got another fork. No love; still didn’t fit.
      • During this whole time, Chad’s discovering he likes biking. To wit, I sell him the Dahon Matrix and buy a used Dahon Espresso that he picked up for me from Staten Island.
      • Because that bike had v-brakes and not disc brakes, the electric wheel fit perfectly.
      • But then we had to install brand new brakes to make it work.
      • And then a bike rack to hold the kid, which is why I started this process in the first place.
      • Plus safety lights and stuff.
      • This whole adventure took a few months. And we’re not done yet. But, we’re close. When I finally get it completed, I’ll take some pics and show you.

I’m thinking that, if this goes well, we should make business cards that read:

Logan and Chad: Bike mechanics, fight commentators, and rum drinkers

Only two of those three statements are functionally accurate.

Her: Why do you prefer it?
Me: People aren’t ready for me and what I can do.
Her: What can you do?
Me: Oooh, you haven’t earned that. Yet. You might.
Her: (laughs)

Speaking of rum, two tenants moved out today and gave me a bottle of rum. They’re probably two of my favourite ones. The tenants, that is.

But I get it; no point in paying Manhattan rents if you’re working from home alla time.

Me: Wow, I’m touched. Man, I’m so sad you two are moving out. We have to keep in touch!

The crazy thing is that I dropped the glass bottle coming down the steps and it BOUNCED on two concrete steps before it landed in an extremely gross and putrid city puddle.

But, it survived relatively unscathed.

There’s a life lesson there, somewhere. The power of rum, perhaps?

Podcast Version
Location: 48th Street and Riverside Park
Mood: curious
Music: you freeze up like winter season in June (Spotify)
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Si vis pacem, para bellum

Seems so easy

BrightBea: You don’t seem scary or violent.
Me: I’m not. Si vis pacem, para bellum.
Her: What does that mean?
Me: If you want peace, prepare for war. All I ever wanted was to be left alone. To become invisible. Easy. I just wanted easy. 

While the price of the antibodies is – for serious – outrageous, it’s now a sunken cost. At least for me. So, I mean to enjoy it.

The city’s opening up again but I don’t think people are fully prepared for what this virus does. Don’t think they fully realize the price that has to be paid.

But I understand the allure of being blissfully ignorant.

Me? I know more than I wanna know.

Her: I’m sorry you didn’t get that.
Me: You and me both, lady. You and me both.

On a related(ish) note, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to – safely – see the boy with more regularity. I’ve got a few ideas that I’m toying with.

Speaking of toys, Mouse sent him and me a gift recently for Father’s Day. She admonished me not to open it until Sunday and I listened.

That’s another of my ten-thousand regrets.

I’m gonna need a bigger list.

LViv: You met your ex for pizza? Are you sure she’s an ex?
Me: Quite. Well, I suppose it’s time to share our sad stories then.

Podcast Version
Location: on line at TJ’s
Mood: hot in the hot-hot heat
Music: the kind of thing I always hoped I’d find (Spotify)
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My Father and My Son

Same old story

I can’t think of a single holiday I like now. They all remind me of awful things. Father’s Day is no different. Although, it does have its moments.

Son: I made you a card. Do you like it?
Me: I love it, thank you!

There are certain songs that I avoid. Cat Stevens’ Father and Son is one of them. But on Father’s Day – two other days a year – I’ll listen to it once, cry, and wait until it’s time to hear it again.

Ever heard it before? I hadn’t until Alison played it once to me.

It’s about an old man trying to tell his hot-headed son to slow down and enjoy the simple things of life and a young man who thinks his dad is just trying to tell him how to life his life like he always does.

I suppose it’s a story that would resonate as much two thousand years ago as it would two thousand years from now.

Father
It’s not time to make a change
Just relax, take it easy
You’re still young, that’s your fault
There’s so much you have to know
Find a girl, settle down
If you want you can marry
Look at me, I am old, but I’m happy
I was once like you are now, and I know that it’s not easy
To be calm when you’ve found something going on
But take your time, think a lot
Why, think of everything you’ve got
For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not

Son
How can I try to explain? ‘Cause when I do he turns away again
It’s always been the same, same old story
From the moment I could talk I was ordered to listen
Now there’s a way and I know that I have to go away
I know I have to go

Father
It’s not time to make a change
Just sit down, take it slowly
You’re still young, that’s your fault
There’s so much you have to go through
Find a girl, settle down
If you want you can marry
Look at me, I am old, but I’m happy

Son
All the times that I cried, keeping all the things I knew inside
It’s hard, but it’s harder to ignore it
If they were right, I’d agree, but it’s them they know not me
Now there’s a way and I know that I have to go away
I know I have to go

I miss my dad as much as you would miss yours if you loved and lost him.

I miss my family. I miss the boy.

But, I suppose, you knew that.

Alison: It’s a conversation, between a father and son.
Me: Is it good?
Her: I think you’ll like it.
Me: (later) That was so good! Thank you for that.

Location: adrift
Mood: longing
Music: There’s so much you have to know (Spotify)
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Sticks and stones

Impromptu

Son: I wanna come home.
Me: When?
Him: Today.
Me: If you come home today, you won’t be able to see your grandparents for a long time.
Him: I want to come home.

Do you ever wonder why you see dead, or dying, animals on the side of the road, rather than the middle, for the most part?

It’s because, when an animal’s injured, it instinctively heads for safety and tries to go home.

When it makes it to the side of the road, it probably thinks, in some way, I need to get home, but let me rest first.

It knows that the middle of the road isn’t safe and that the safest place is home.

While we’re not anywhere near the middle of the road, my son and I aren’t truly home, either. He’s away, and without him here, I suppose I am also. Both of us are adrift, in familiar places that we love but are  not – in fact – home.

I had probably the most brutal video chat I’ve had in recent memory with the boy.

My bringing him to his grandparents was a spur-of-the-moment thing that turned out to be the best thing for him as I got COVID not soon afterward.

He’s been enjoying his time with his grandparents but I think he’s realizing that he’s been away from home far longer than he expected.

I spent the day in a haze. Gutted by this conversation and others.

Man, whoever came up with the line about “sticks and stones” didn’t know shit…

But, I did end up having a nice, impromptu, evening because Mouse was in town and dropped me a line.

Her: I’ll be in your area. I was thinking about getting pizza.
Me: I’m having such a rotten day, get me three plain slices, please. I have beer.

Podcast Version
Location: home, as it were…
Mood: heartbroken
Music: Oh, I miss you, you know (Spotify)
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Travelogue: Washington Rock State Park

Revisiting

Him: Will you come see me soon?

Took a train to surprise my son at my in-laws this past weekend

Several trains, actually.

Once I got there, tried to surreptitiously dash to the kitchen but he saw and ran to me.

Him: Papa!
Me: You caught me!

We had lunch together – yoghurt for him and six tacos for me (been eating a lotta tacos lately) – before my SIL suggested that the three of us go to Washington Rock State Park.

Alison last took me there years ago.

She asked that I not post a lot of things about us so I didn’t. I wish I did so I could remember it and link to it. I don’t have any pictures either.

I’ll add that to my list of ten thousand regrets.

When we got back, I gave him a gift that Mouse gave him a while back but I thought it flew so I wanted to give him when we were in green grass and shade. I was mistaken.

Him: Is she coming too?
Me: No. Sorry, but I’ll tell her you liked it.

We had dinner there and then my SIL and I started to get ready to leave.

Him: I wish you could stay. You always go away.
Me: I know. I’m sorry. Things are gonna get easier, I promise


In the middle of the day, I randomly got a text from someone, which made me laugh.

LViv: I’m going to a state park.
Me: I just came back from a state park.

My life’s fulla funny coincidences.

That is, when it’s not replete with awful luck.

Location: with the boy
Mood: alone
Music: know that you’re with me (Spotify)
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Batman, rabbits, deer…

…and bright red leather jackets

Chuck: Nice (bright red leather) jacket.
Me: Oh, thanks. I had it made years ago. Finally started wearing it again.
Him: Do they make it for men?
Me: Evidently not!

Batman was once asked why he wore a bright yellow bat on his chest.

The lawyer in me knows it was done for trademark reasons but the writers came up with a rather ingenious reason; because criminals would aim for his protected chest rather than his unprotected head.

That’s something straight outta nature.

If you look at some rabbits and deer, they have bright, white tails. So, when they’re chased by predators, they’re easily seen and chased.

That is, until they turn. Then the pursuer loses sight of the bright white tracker and, by extension, the prey.

Told a buddy of mine recently that a large part of life is separating signal from noise. What’s important and what’s merely misdirection?

I think I’ve been paying attention to distractions more than anything for the past while.

But, since I’ve recovered from COVID, it’s like someone turned up the volume and brightness on my life again because I see things so much more clearly than before.

On the flip side, as I see things more clearly, I miss the boy all that much more.

Oh, he graduated this week from Pre4K! It was far more emotional for me than I’d expected.

Which, I suppose, I should’ve expected.

Son: Will you come see me? I miss you.
Me: Then I’ll see you soon. I just can’t rent a car right now.
Him: You could take a train. Or get a ride with Auntie. I know! You could take a bus.
Me: (laughing) Don’t worry, I’ll get to you. Papa’ll find a way.

Oh, Chad and I have a new Scenic Fights Video up – this time, Chad’s breaking down the Jiu Jitsu in Donnie Yen’s Special ID.

Podcast Version
Location: home, looking up train schedules
Mood: homesick
Music: doesn’t matter how you get to me, just get to me (Spotify)
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