Your most valuable asset

Folk you, compound interest

Dive 75 in UWS Manhattan

The past few weeks have been a series of 15-hour days. Was supposed to go to see Alton Brown – who was in my neighborhood for a show –  some college buddies, and a few other events but ended up working through them all.

No fun.

There’s this story that Einstein was asked what the most powerful force in the universe was and he quipped, Compound interest.

Regardless of whether or not he really said it, I often tell it in tandem with a Brian Tracy quote: Your most valuable asset is your earning ability. It’s your ability to apply your knowledge and skills in a timely fashion in order to get the results for which others will pay.

I’ve reached a point in my life where people randomly call me and say they say they want to hire me for this or that.

Because I have less time left for compound interest, I invariably say yes.

A few days later, a check arrives in the mail from people I’ve never met. And then I get to work. This happens more often as the year comes to a close.

Now, when it comes to feast or famine, I’d much rather have feast. Just wish it was a little more evenly spaced-out.

At least I have a few minutes each day for thoughtful discourse with the wife:

Me: I’m surprised at how much you like country music.
Her: It’s not country music, it’s folk music! There’s a difference.
Me: Folk you!
Her: (laughing) I can’t even be mad at you for that.

 

Location: my desk
Mood: tired
Music: as long as you are with me, there’s no place I’d rather be
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Repetition is the Mother of Skill

Perfect practice makes perfect

First ice cream of spring 2013!

Hope you had a nice holiday if you celebrated anything.

Saturday was beautiful so the wife and took a walk around the hood; it was warm enough for some ice cream. Spent Sunday contemplating my religion.

Saturday night, though, went to teach my fencing class.

A long time ago, there was this fella that had been taking the class for a lot longer than me but I would regularly beat. It was because he was always interested in learning the latest esoteric move and some secret technique while I just worked on the basics.

And the reason was simple: Repetition is the mother of skill –  I had fewer tools to work with but the tools I had I knew well and practiced regularly. He never spent enough time on the basics to really get good at them.

To which I have to clarify the following: That saying that Practice makes perfect is yet another one of those sayings that are only partially true. The actual saying is Perfect practice makes perfect.

Thought about that on Saturday when my old instructor came back to lead the class and reminded me how much of a student I still am. I think he landed four strikes for every one of mine.

And so went home afterward and surely annoyed my wife as I waved a stick around in the middle of the night, going: One, two, three…

Location: in a Monday
Mood: pensive
Music: Too late for the young gun I said This is the year of the knife
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Yoked together with unbelievers

Church downtown NYC

Having a conflict of religion.

There’s this line in the bible that goes, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.”

Many read that to mean Christians should only marry other Christians. Here’s my issue with that – if that were the case, I’d not be here as one parent is a Christian and one is not.

But the line actually reads, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers” – don’t think my parents were ever unequals – and wasn’t referring to marriage.

The issue’s that the bible’s fulla things I agree and disagree with, consider that women are not permitted to speak in church, and this is from the same guy that wrote about the previous statement.

Am accused of cherry picking the verses in the bible to obey, but isn’t that what we all do? For example, the Koran specifically says Muslims should grant safe-passage to anyone that requests it. And yet the radicals ignore that line for one that suits their purposes.

Stand, once again, accused of being a bad Christian but, to paraphrase someone, an ant on a hilltop is no closer to the sun than an ant on the ground.

The lack of grace never ceases to surprise me.

HG does not read the same book as me. This is not a (huge) issue for me but some people feel it should be.

  • Republicans don’t want me cause I’m too liberal and think Palin and O’Donnell are idiots
  • Democrats don’t want me cause I’m too conservative and don’t think a nanny state is what we need.
  • Christians don’t want me cause evidently womanizing and rum shooting aren’t approved activities.
  • Atheists/agnostics don’t want me cause I’m one of those religious nuts.

We’re always looking for home, hoping someone says, “Cm’on in,” instead of shutting the door in our face.

Disappointed. No one ever sees the invisible man.

Location: the world
Mood: disappointed
Music: here I am but why do I feel like the invisible man?
YASYCTAI: Be gracious. (always/2 pts)
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What we do

Location: 9AM, getting choked on 27th
Mood: Certain
Music: there’s no cover for you, no prize when you’ve won

Less a political post, more a legal one regarding the mosque at ground zero here in NYC.

They have the legal right to have a build one there. People may not like it, but that’s the law and religious tolerance is what the country was built on – New York in particular.

Pardon the poor sound, super busy today…
YASYCTAI: Think about what it is we actually do. (60 mins/1 pt)

Rivers

Location: back at my pad
Mood: pensive
Music: washed up for years And I merely survive because of my pride

The Hoboken Pier from the W Hotel

Me: What do guys say to you that you hate most?
Her: That’s easy: A pretty girl like you should smile. Swear, another guy says that when I’m trying to catch the train, I’m going to deck them.

Had quite the weekend. Still sorting out details but it’s a doozy. Spent it at the W Hotel in Hoboken, cause it’s nice to get away from the basecamp on occasion, even if it’s just across a river.

Went across another river yesterday to see the rents in Queens yesterday. Ate at an all-you-can-eat buffet, which, for a secret fatty like meself, is just this side of awesome. Spent mosta the day yesterday trying not to crawl under my desk and take a nap.

Lotsa birthdays this week; went to my buddy Kung’s, which was a lot more sedate than two years ago.

My bro turns 39 this week. I turned 37 earlier this year, which made me think that he had to go through his first two years without me.

He musta been so bored those first two years.

Random thoughts; random day. We’ve got many rivers to cross.

YASYCTAI: Go through that pilea papers. (60 mins/1 pt)

Anniversary II

I thought she was too tough to ever go away

Clock on 73rd and Broadway

This conversation happened around 1982.

Me: Is it dead?
Her: (taking cigarette out) Nah. (exhaling smoke and looking up) I think it just fell outta it’s nest.
Me: We have to help it, we have to get it back!
Her: Fine, fine. Hold on. (leaning over to pick up the robin in one hand and with her cigarette in the other, climbs up tree, deposits bird, climbs back down) There – y’happy?
Me: (beaming) Yes, grandma.
Her: (smiling then putting cigarette back in mouth) Good. Cm’on kid, your mom’s waiting.

We all thought y’were too tough to ever go away.

It’s raining here, which sounds about right

Location: my hot room
Mood: only ok
Music: And rain will make the flowers grow

Something better than average

Location: back at my desk
Mood: thirsty
Music: we’ve got the movement that bends us to break

Snow on the 72nd Street Pier in NYC

Her: It’s too hot to grill. It’s too hot to do anything.
Me: (panting) In fact it’s so hot that all we can do is sit here and talk about how hot it is.

Severala my friends find themselves newly single at this point, which explains all of the dating related entries again these days. It’s like old times.

Him: My date last night said she doesn’t want a guy that treats dating like an occupation.
Me: That makes zero sense to me. Think about how much work y’put into a getting a good job. Meeting someone that you love should deserves at least that much dedication and care.
Him: Where’s the romance in that?
Me: What’s more romantic: Telling someone that y’love her because she had the locker next to yours in high school or telling someone that you’ve met the world and she’s the best thing in it? Telling someone you’ve set her apart. Romantic is: I will bust my ass to make this work cause you’re my favourite.
Him: She’s just looking for someone who dates…normal.
Me: Normal means average. Average means just like everyone else. Normal here means that most marriages end in divorce 66% of the time, dude. Even if she wants average, y’should want something more for yourself. Be honest with yourself and her – tell her the truth.
Him: And what’s the truth?
Me: That you’re looking for someone, something more. Something y’can’t put inna words.

Y’should want something more than the reality that, if you get married, chances are over 2-to-1 that you’ll also get a side of divorce to go with your fancy wedding.

Goodness, people, y’should want something more than just average.

———-

For anyone taking the bar exam, you’re probably already sitting and writing like mad. But good luck anywho.

YASYCTAI: Treat it at least as importantly as you would your occupation. (1 minute/1 pt)

Disappointment

It’s really the disappointment that wears you down

Sitting on a street curb in NYC

 

Me: You don’t care at all about that? It’s part of what makes a woman attractive.
Him: (laughing) Some like the attic, some like the basement. I’m a basement man, you’re an attic man.
Me: Well, that’s certainly a colourful way of putting it.
Him: (sighing) I still love her, y’know. Even though she’s evil.
Me: She’s pure evil. (patting him on shoulder) But I know. It’ll get better.

Take a lot of classes. Classes for wrasslin, fencing, law, etc.

Was talking to one of my instructors the other day, who’s been doing his thing for 20 years. We’ve known each other maybe seven/eight years. Told me outta the blue that he’s gonna be calling it quits soon.

This surprised me.

Me: Why?
Him: I can’t take the disappointment any more.
Me: (confused) The disappointment of your students quitting? Or the disappointment of them not practicing? Or of them not caring?
Him: (nodding) Yes.

It’s sad but true. My friends don’t wanna date cause it’s really the disappointment that gets you. Others have stopped looking for work. Still others have stopped trying to take those chances.

It’s bound to happen some time. He’s in his late 50s so maybe it’s time.

Still, it kept me up the other night. Something about teachers requires that they hope that someone listens, someone cares – no matter how many times they’re disappointed. It’s a hard and often thankless job.

So, climbed outta bed and practiced quietly in the dark. 1, 2, 3…

Location: in the back room
Mood: pensive
Music: It’s too late – much too late, too late for the young gun
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Iron intelligence

As Iron Sharpens Iron

Small leak in my ceiling

Me: (discussing the triathlon) If there’s a competition in three parts where the first part is solving a computer problem, the second part is fencing, and the third part is cooking, I’d totally rock that.
Her: (laughing) You would totally rock that.

With the exception of maybe Jaerik, don’t think mosta you read when I wrote my favourite quote in the world from this dude named Schopenhauer that goes, With increased intelligence, comes increased capacity for pain.

Him: She left. Think I need to be by myself for a bit.
Me: Sorry to hear that, man. But I think that that’s not the way to do it – get out there and date.
Him: I don’t wanna get back out there.
Me: You gotta. Interacting with a buncha new people’s the best way to learn about yourself – as iron sharpens iron so does one person sharpen another. Plus it’s self-correcting: Say you do it for six months. In six months, let’s say you finally meet a great girl. You’re golden. Say your ex comes back. After six months of dating other women, you’ve learned that much more about yourself. You’re golden. Let’s say neither after six months. You’re still out there getting better and meeting women. So you’re still golden.
Him: I shouldn’t have lied to her.
Me: No, you shouldn’t have. But you did. And you can’t plead, argue, logic or beg someone to care. All you can do it take the pain and deal with it. Leave her alone – she’ll either come back or won’t. Either way, handle yourself first.

Speakinga Jaerik – since it’s now public knowledge – congrats for your company selling Islandlife.

The offer for manservant’s still open.

In other news, got a small leak in my kitchen ceiling.

Location: Still sweating at my pad
Mood: Still hot
Music: One fine day You’re gonna want me

Writer’s Block

Location: her room all day, working
Mood: excited
Music: no music, readers – keyhole saw drilling into my kitchen ceiling

Manhattan from Roosevelt Island
Me: (standing at edge of stairs) …so that’s what I did today.
Her: (taking my arm) Be careful of those stairs, you make me nervous. You’re so clumsy you’ll just fall down them and break something.
Me: I’d be offended if that wasn’t true.

Just figured out how to kill someone that makes sense.

Easy there, it’s a character that needed to go in my manuscript. For the past 53 days, this @#$@#$@#! guy was just taunting me.

Writers hit these logical issues that they either try to work around or just ignore. When y’work around it, y’get great story-telling. When you don’t and just hope folks don’t notice, y’get all the post-Unbreakable crap that M. Night Shyamalan’s been putting out.

(Really dude, an alien race that can be killed by water invades a planet that’s 70.9%+ water?!?! Oh, how I hate you…)

Anywho, writing up a storm since resolving this logical issue. Have even treated myself to some low-carb ice cream.

Yesterday was a fine day.

YASYCTAI: Get past that problem. (53 days/2 pts)
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