Pretty good out there

Being loved by someone like that


RE Mike recently took me out to lunch around the way.

Me: Last time I was here, it was with Alison.
Him: (sadly) I’m sorry, that’ll happen a lot, I think. How’re you holding up?
Me: Better. Kinda. I’ve been drinking a lot less these days. It’s the pharmaceuticals now that’re screwing me up.

Man, we had some fun times back in the day.

He also has work for me to do. So I guess I won’t starve after all – if I get my head on straight. Still trying to accept that my dad’s gone as well.

And my grief over Alison is still so raw.

Me: Spent the first week afterward wondering if I could kill myself without triggering a suicide clause in my life insurance.
Him: Jesus!
Me: (shrugging) Merely a mental exercise. Obviously, I didn’t do it. Someone has to raise the boy. (thinking) Think I’m gonna get the Reuben.

A Reuben was the first thing Alison got herself when she was finally pregnant.

It’s these constant things that keep me from getting my footing.

That she died before she could really spend time with the boy and me as a family guts me still. Suppose it always will.

Him: When I met Alison, I honestly thought, “Wow – She’s beautiful.”
Me: She was. That’s why I think that I do so well when I’m out and about. It’s amazing what being loved by someone like Alison does to your self-confidence.

On that note, he mentioned a doctor friend of his that was single around the way. Redhead.

Him: I can introduce you two – when you’re ready.
Me: Not now. (joking) But I told DC to keep an eye out for investment bankers for me in the future.
Him: (laughs) She’s a doctor, not quite an investment banker but you’d like her.

Told him that I’m not ready to date anyone that might think of me as anything but entertaining company.

Him: Think about it. 
Me: I do OK on my own. I was pretty good out there when we were out and about, no?
Him: You were very good. (laughing) But that was 12 years ago. You’re 12 years older now.
Me: No. (shaking head) I’m 12 years better now.

Location: in my head again
Mood: hard to say
Music: You’re gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow
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Blogarama - Observations Blogs

Dealing with it: Good souls and IM

View of the Paramount building in NYC

Her: We have the strangest luck.
Him: We’re darned.
Her: That’s exactly it!

Yesterday, wake up to several angry emails.

Run out the door, miss every green light and train.

Arrive late to the office and try to explain to a client that the reason why his doc’s late is cause I asked him for information on 5/24, 5/25, and 5/27 and he only sent me the info yesterday at 10:36AM. He hangs up on me.

Woulda thrown my phone against the wall had I not just bought it.

Have another client tell me I’m wrong about something when I’m not. (Which begs the question: Why hire someone to tell you answers if y’already have all the answers?)

Show up late to fencing class where I get repeatedly stabbed.

Instructor: What’s going on with you tonight?
Me: Sorry, my head was elsewhere.
Him: (stabs me again)

Finally, arrive home where I get some horrible news – the kind where you have to steady yourself by the nightstand and then go to the bathroom to splash cold water on your face.

Maybe I’ll tell you about it someday. Right now, trying to sort it all out.

But then I climb into bed with my tablet and a random message pops up from a guy I’ve not spoken to in maybe a decade:

logan lo! sup dude…long time no see…wanted to say hi and that i liked ur book….very original…very entertaining….great job and congrats!

When I read that, realize that I’d been clutching a fist the whole time. Take a deep breath and relax my hand to type out a response.

It reminded me of that last time I had a heartbreaking day and a random old friend dropped me a line.

Thank goodness for the good souls, random acts of kindness, and instant messaging.

Dude – I’ve had one of the worst days of my life today. That’s the best thing I heard all day – thanks!

Location: my apartment, dealing with it
Mood: crushed
Music: When I die, Hallelujah, by and by, I’ll fly away
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That the North Americans speak English

The little things we do have big impact in our lives

View of New York City's City Hall from Chinatown NYC

Him: I’m unemployed and live at home again. How’s this good?
Me: You have a college education, speak English, live in New York City, and were lucky enough to be born here. (gently) You’re doing better than mosta the world.

A quote that’s stayed with me my entire life’s from Otto von Bismark towards the end of his life. He was asked what he felt would be the most significant shaping event of the 20th century.

Rather than replying that it would be electricity, or firepower, or any of that, he said simply, That the North Americans speak English.

Speaking of which, there’s this interesting theory that part of why English, not French, is the world’s dominant language is because of barnacles on ships.

See, the English plated the hulls of their ships with copper, which stopped barnacles from growing. This meant they could move just slightly faster than French ships that had none.

The French lost control of the seas,  England became the a superpower by the 19th century, and I’m more Bugs Bunny than Pepe le Pew.

A fella recently asked me how I get so much done in my life. Thought immediately about the barnacle story. Cause big things happen with slight changes in trajectory. What’s a small change today can make a huge difference later on.

As a fat 13 year-old, decided to drink a cup of water before each meal. A slight change. Lost like 10 pounds that year. Then changed over to skim milk, lost another few pounds. Always tell people that I look young because of a combo of Asian genes and constant maintenance.

Anywho, back to my friend. He wants to know how to get things done. Told him that it’s all about fighting the inertia. He’s super talented but he’s held hostage by the fact he’s good enough. And good enough is enemy of great.

There’s no one huge leap from good enough to great, just lots of little steps – your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to take those little steps.

On that note, it’s a busy week for me. Nuthin big. Just lots of little things. Let’s see what happens.

 

Location: apartment, getting ready for the week
Mood: cheerful
Music: thinking about the good things to come and I believe it could be
YASYCTAI: Do one small thing today. (2 mins/0.5 pts)
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Me, Myself and Irene (and the wife)

NYC Broadway, right before Hurricane Irene

Tenant: Hi! I think I left my window open.
Me: You’re kidding me.

So Hurricane Irene came and went. Cause I live on the ground floor and manage my building, spent almost mosta Friday securing all the vacant apartments, helping clear the roof, checking the terraces, and directing all of the tenants on what to do. Some are brighter than others. Was exhausting.

My pad’s flooded in the past so I was filling out sandbags for my back yard  like I was living in Boise, Idaho. Actually, every place in NYC was outta sandbags but another tenant was throwing out potted plants and there was just enough dirt that I could fill several bags up and block off my door.

In the end, mosta the storm ended up being a whole lotta nuthin around me. Which is not to say it wouldn’t have been a whole lotta nuthin if people didn’t take the precautions they did.

Him: You filled up your bathtub? (smugly) Why don’t you buy bottled water like normal people?
Me: OK, you do realize that pre-1994 toilets require 13 gallons of water to flush and that most post-1994 toilets require six, yes? And that, should we lose clean drinking water, that also means that water likely isn’t clean enough to bathe in. So, while you’re stinky and backed-up, I’ll be fresh smelling and regular.
Him: (laughing) Good point. I only have a shower stall though.

When I was a kid, there was this massive blackout. My dad had candles, batteries, ice, and a tub fulla water. It was back during the Son of Sam days so I think my dad also had a baseball bat. Funny, I was only like four at the time, but I remember it. He told me not to play with the tub water cause we were gonna need it. Made me think that, while emergencies’re never fun, it was nice going through something like it with HG.

Surprised at how many people have a zero ability to properly prepare for stuff. Most times, thing end up fine, like it did this time. But some times it doesn’t. Figure that being prepped for that random chance is a good thing, regardless of outcome.

It’s the stuff that y’don’t see coming that should wreck you; at least there you got an excuse.

Ventured outside for just a bit before the storm. Was weird to see everything so quiet. According to FB, the local Chinese restaurant and Korean nail salon were open. We Asians’re nuthin if not industrious. Mosta the garbage bins had been overturned so they wouldn’t fill up with debris and rainwater. No buses, some taxis and a hand-full of delivery bikes along the roadways. Eerie.

The next day, HG and I woke up and took a walk where we met this chain-smoking blond whose boss said she had to come in and work. Also ran into two people from my church. Made me think of that quote, Fear is forward. No one is afraid of yesterday.

The sun’s out now and the air smells like fall.

Doesn’t matter what befalls the City. She just gets up, dust herself off and gets back to work. People live for predictability, and NYC’s nuthin if not crawling with people, so that makes sense.

 

Location: back at work
Mood: relieved
Music: the sun can come back another day, rain please stay
YASYCTAI: Get back to work. (8 hours/0.5 pt)
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Why I bought the HP Touchpad; Doing the Opposite Thing

HP Touchpad review pictures

Spent the last couple of days trying to land the HP Touchpad. In fact, immediately upon returning from my trip, started the process – that’s how we dorks roll. For those of you that don’t know/have a real life, HP spent $1.8 billion to buy the operating system for the Touchpad, started selling it like three months ago, and then abruptly dropped the whole thing.

Ended up ordering like 18 of them knowing that most would get cancelled, which they did; right now, I’m scheduled to get about three of them and this may change.

The question, of course, is Why would I buy the HP Touchpad when I already have an iPad?

The answer is that, as a $599 iPad competitor, there’s no question that it’s simply not as good and not worth the money. As a $150 colour eBook reader, that’s a completely different story. Since I use my iPad 99.9999% of the time as a PDF and ebook reader, most of it’s functionality is wasted.

So I’m thinking of just selling the iPad and using the HP Touchpad as a stopgap device until the iPad 3, or even the iPad 4, comes out.

The other reason to get it, however, is to hack it to run the Android operating system in a year or so. From everything I’ve read the OS on the tablet (webOS) is excellent. The problem is that there just aren’t enough apps for it. For the next year, the built in Kindle App and Facebook app – the only tablet Facebook app from what I’ve read – coupled with the built in ebook reader and 50GB of cloud storage for life, should make it a worthwhile stopgap device for me for the next 18 and by then, a stable Android os hack should be floating around.

It’s coming in a week or so, so I’ll post details as it comes about.

End unabashed dweeb.

Red plastic down near Canal Street, NYC

Me: OK, I’m ready.
Her: Do you have your swim trunks?
Me: No.
Her: Do you have your hat?
Me: No.
Her: Do you have your sunglasses?
Me: No.
Her: (Shakes head)
Me: I’ll go pack those right now.

Now that the vacation’s over, it’s back to work.

Met up with my old business buddy for some good Irish stout. He owns Cruisedirect.com, which just got listed in the Inc 5000 as one of the fastest growing companies in America. That puts his biz in the top 1% of all businesses in the country.

Did y’know that the Empire State Building was built in the middle of the great depression? There’s this saying that Any company can be good in good times, only great companies can be good in bad times. Sometimes, doing the opposite thing of the rest of the world’s the way to go.

Getting itch to start something up again and I’ve got a few ideas percolating.

We’ll see how it goes.

———-

Just for laughs, Google the words “Intellectual Property NYC” and then click “videos” on the left-hand side.

What do you see where you are?

Location: prepping for some business
Mood: ambitious
Music: don’t you worry, it could be so sweet
YASYCTAI: Be brave when others are wary; wary when others are brave. (lifetime/3 pts)
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Not getting shot by the authorities and seeing old friends

View of Madison Avenue sky, NYC

Her: Are you eating Cheetos at 8AM?!
Me: (Cheetos in mouth) No…?

Yesterday, had a pretty busy day; started at 7AM and didn’t finish until 10:30 PM. On Tuesday nights, walk a few blocks south of my pad to go to my fencing class. Been doing it for maybe six years?

So for the past year or so, some person’s been tossing a bag of dog poop in front of my building. Asked onea the next door doormen to keep and eye out for who it was. Stepping out last night, the doorman points to a woman walking down the street with a dog and then another bag of poop in font of my door.

“That’s her,” he says and without thinking, I give chase.

Catching up to her, she turns to me and I realize three things:

  1. She’s old. And tiny.
  2. I’m carrying a large weapon (for my fencing class).
  3. I’m sweaty, breathless, and angry.

This is how people get shot by passing police officers. Also I realized that yelling at her wouldn’t do any good. So instead:

Me: Hello, my name is Logan. Can I go to your apartment to dry off?
Her: What? No. I don’t know you.
Me: Fair enough. But I know you. You see every week for a year, I pick up a bag of dog poop you toss in front of my building. So I figure that that’s earned me at least the right to go up to your apartment, dry off, and maybe get a cuppa tea, don’t you?

She turned bright red and started to apologize – well, more blamed the city for not putting trashcans everywhere and THEN started to apologize. After a few more words, she came back to my apartment, picked up the poop, apologized again, and said I was a nice young man.

Seriously have no idea how some people’re raised. Animals, they are.

Admit that screaming at her woulda made me feel better; but I think getting what you actually want in life’s more important. Hopefully, that’s the last bag of dog poop I’ll have to pick up in a while.

Plus, did not get shot by the authorities, so a net-net win, I’d say.

———

FemaleFriend1: I know you’re not, but if you did  cross over, who would you want?
FemaleFriend2: Kim Kardashian.
Me: (laguhing) As a dude, I totally respect your dudeness!
FemaleFriend1: What about you?
Me: (thinking) Hmm, Brad Pitt?
FemaleFriend3: Really?
Me: (scoffing) Oh, I could totally get a Brad Pitt.

Met up with a buncha co-workers I’ve not seen in a while. Only have two real comments on that:

  1. Seeing old friends is always good cause not just cause you see people you’ve not seen in a while, you get to hang out with a version of yourself you’ve not seen in a while either.
  2. Traveling 30 mins outta the city, the price of a rum and diet coke drops to a third of what you pay in the city.

Note to self, move outta the city (someday).

Location: waiting for a phone call in the UWS
Mood: still productive!
Music: red is the colour of the sun with my eyes closed
YASYCTAI: Look up land around you; maybe build a house? (days/1 pt)
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Quiet summer weekends in New York City

View of Bryant Park Grill, NYC

Friday had lotsa meetings lined up, onea which was with an old work associate. Ended up being a three hour meeting. In a nutshell, he got screwed. I’d fight hard for any client but even more so when it’s a friend.

As an odd twist, on an unrelated point, his old boss was the CEO of a Fortune 100 company – and a kid that I went to elementary and junior high school with. We both knew each other because we were in the nerd group. It’s like being in the cool group except the complete opposite of everything and no one calls you except to get homework assignments.

Me: Tell him you know Fatlogan.
Him: They really called you that?
Me: (laughing) That or Whaleboy. Ask him and see. He’ll remember me only because I was the second fattest kid in the whole school and always wore the same four shirts.

I wonder if he talks like a kid from Queens.

Afterward, my boss and I grabbed some food and rum over at The Bryant Park Grill. Then more rum at the Cellar Bar. And then more rum at Salute. He thinks I’m good at what I do. It’s nice to hear. Even nicer when there’s rum involved.

Two glasses of water at Bryant Park Grill, NYC

Saturday, HG and I rented a whip and made it out to Staten Island for some family stuff. Spoke to HG’s cousin for a bit.

Her: I think that when people have kids, they’ll be a lot like they were.
Me: Then that means my kids’ll be pantsed a lot.

It was a nice drive there and back. Afterward, the wife and stopped by to get some frozen yoghurt at a new joint down from us called 16 Handles. Afterward, we lumbered home.

Me: It was a nice weekend.
Her: It was. But it’s good to be home.

Glass of rum on the rocks with a thick slice of orange at Salute! NYC

Location: sweating at a wooden desk
Mood: dreading the heat
Music: the future could it be the good old days
YASYCTAI: Keep cool – it’s a scorcher today. (24 hours/1 pt)
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Wedding Celebration 4

 

Entering the Parlour Midtown, NY.

Although HG and I wanted to keep our wedding to a minimum, we threw ourselves a little something out in Manhattan at a place called the Par. So we went from having one small thing with just the two of us and her sister, and another small thing with her parents, and another small thing with my parents to four small things.

Her: I’m so glad this is all going to be over soon. We’re so sick of ourselves!
Me: We really are.

Had set this whole thing up months ago cause it’s in the building that RE Mike owns. But when the head chef didn’t respond to repeated emails, finally called the place.

Me: Is Dave around?
Woman from space: He no longer works here
Me: Oooookay, what about the owner John?
Woman from space: He’s no longer with us either.

Insert mild freakout here.

The thing’s that y’can freak out all you want, so long as y’keep it to yourself.

After a lotta phone calls and a mad dash down there several hours before the event, was reassured that all was good. The prior owner and head chef were both nice guys. The new owner and new head chef were also nice guys. Didn’t let HG know about the snafu until long after the entire event was over.

She, my brother, and a group of friends arrived just before the party started and we all had a grand ole time. Beautiful space, killer food, open bar, all of my people, and my person. Even Metrodad made an appearance. What more could a fella ask outta a night?

Party at the Parlour Midtown, NY

My buddy Ricky and Mattman both made toasts and HG and I each made one as well, which got a laugh or two. Afterward, leaned into Heartgirl and told her that I loved her.

No party is ever over with Rain involved until he leans over to me and says, “Man, I’m so ____up.” With that our wedding celebrations ended.

Drunkenness hides no secrets.

What new adventures this week?

 

Location: not where you’d expect.
Mood: busy
Music: here we go! I’m feeling so real
YASYCTAI: Travel for yourself when you can. (days/3 pts)
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Wedding Celebration 3

Wedding bouquet

Although HG and I wanted to keep our wedding to a minimum, my parents threw us a little something out in Flushing. So we went from having one small thing with just the two of us and her sister, and another small thing with her parents, to three small things.

Dad: Should I make place cards?
Me: I don’t think we need them.
Dad: How do I spell her last name?
Me: OK, you have a pen?
Dad: Yes.
Me: You ready? (pause) Here you go: LO.

My parents had it on Friday evening out near them so we rented a car. While the weather was beautiful, it took us forever to get there; 90 minutes to travel about 14 miles. That’s the thing about the City – anytime there’s beautiful weather, everyone wants out at once, meaning mad gridlock.

UWS to Flushing, NYC

We actually went to my parents so HG could shower and change. My mother made her a bouquet of roses and gave me a boutonniere. After a flurry of activity, we arrived at the restaurant and got settled in. It was almost all my dad’s friends and relatives since my mom’s family is mostly in another state. One of my best friends, Tommy, came by as well, along with my brother and his girlie, who flew in from Cali.

Most of it was very traditional Chinese wedding fare – we brought the red and white wines, which everyone enjoyed. Suppose that a wedding banquet fulla chili and rum options’d be unseemly.

Crabs on a bed of sticky rice

Wish I took more pictures but I was too busy running around meeting and greeting. A Chinese tradition’s to give out red envelopes with money in it, which I find to be eminently practical. More people should take up that practice.

The thing about weddings’s that it’s a chance to see people you’ve known all your life in a happy setting. Some people I’d not seen in over a decade. Think HG was exhausted with all of the handshakes, hugs, and introductions. When it was over, with bellies full, she and I made our way back to the car.

Her: I’m tired.
Me: (laughing) We went from having nothing to having three things.
Her: And there’s more!

Location: home, prepping for a speech
Mood: busy
Music: Didn’t even know That love was so, so Hey
YASYCTAI: Eat some avocados – they’re apparently very good for you. (5 mins/0.5 pt)
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Memorial Day 2011

Logan Lo

Her: It’s days like this that I like living in the city.
Me: What’s there not to like?

Sorry I’ve been posting sporadically; will be busy until about the third week of June. That plus my insomnia’s been rearing it’s ugly head.

Also, my building’s been keeping me on my toes. Not sure if I ever told you but I was my condo president for years and still manage partsa it. For example, I just cleared the roof again. Last night, a tenant got locked out at 1AM and was trying to figure out how to get her in until 2AM – finally managed to get her in.

My neighbor moved out of my building yesterday too. It was kinda sad although with things like FB, people don’t really ever leave your Venn Diagram anymore, they just show up less.

Suppose the more interesting thing’s that he’s the 11th neighbor I’ve had in 15 years. That’s how long I’ve been in this building. Strikes me as all sortsa crazy.

HG and I spent the Memorial Day weekend in the Five Boroughs – mosta the city heads elsewhere but for us, it’s a vacation cause the buildings’re still here, but the people clear out. It’s nice to have some peace and quiet and we both like hearing about the good things the nation does for it’s soldiers. Good new’s always welcome.

Now if I could just get some normal sleep.

Location: home, enjoying the quiet
Mood: beat
Music: Let them say of me I was one who believed
YASYCTAI: Enjoy the quiet if you can. (60 mins/1 pt)
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