A fall day in the burbs

Confusing me

Her: I think we’re confusing everyone by hanging out all the time.
Me: You’re confusing me by us hanging out all the time!

Mouse told me to keep a day open for her this weekend because she wanted to bring me somewhere.

Her: And make sure to bring your camera.

So, early on Saturday, she picked me up and off we went to, what ended up being just eight minutes from my mom and sister’s house: The Fall Escape at Queens County Farm Museum.

It was just a thing for us to walk around and take pictures.

While there, we met two young ladies and we offered to take pictures of them if they took pictures of us.

The pictures they took weren’t great, but – like the waitress – they were very nice and tried their best.

Having said that, it was nice being out in the burbs with Mouse early on a fall weekend.

Me: I wish the boy was here with us.
Her: We’ll come back with him; now that we know how to get here, we can come anytime.

Afterward, I wanted to stop by to see my family but, as luck would have it, it was one of the few times I’ve ever left home without my phone so, when I stopped by to see them afterward, no one was there and I couldn’t reach them.

I really wanted to see my mom and was disappointed that I didn’t.

But by then we were starving and headed off to the same all-you-can-eat place that we’d been to a few times previously.

Walking out, I took the pic below and told Mouse, “If this is still here in 60 years, I’m coming here at 107 with you and Chad and we’re gonna make them regret this.”

Later that night, I called my mom.

Mom: We talked for over an hour!
Me: I know. I missed you.
Her: I miss you too.

Location: home, trying – and failing at – an arm-triangle
Mood: hard-to-say
Music: I know I’m someone to you (Spotify)

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I want to have an argument

We’re about to find out

Her: How spicy is Sundubu-jjigae?
Me: We’re about to find out.

We’d just left the studio and she was ok but I was still really hungry. Since she’s on a mostly meat-diet, we ended up heading over to a Korean joint in Billyburg.

As for the answer to her question above, it turns out – at least for her – pretty spicy. Luckily, we also got some sashimi and some Korean tacos in honor of Pac.

We asked the waitress to take a picture of us and she tried her best. This is the best shot of the lot that she took.

At least she was very nice.

Afterward, we headed home. As we pulled up in front of my pad, she asked me if we could have an argument.

Me: OK.
Her: Look, I’m ok with things not being defined but I’m impressed how long you can be with things not being defined.
Me: Like you said, we seem to get along better when we’re not together.

It was raining so hard in NYC that night that we got a tornado warning. Which kinda matched what was going on inside her whip.

But, all-in-all, it was nice actually, chatting arguing with her under the stormy rain.

Sometimes you need a little rain to clear things up.

Afterward, I thanked her for the ride and all the company.

Me: It’s getting late, you should head home.
Her: Yeah.
Me: So, where are we now?
Her: I guess I’ll just see you later on this week.
Me: That’d be nice. See you then.

And then I went home and sat on my white couch thinking about all my possible pasts again.

It was actually wasn’t just my conversation with Mouse that got me thinking, but also a conversation Chad and I had in between shoots.

It reminded me of something I wrote just before Alison got sick.

Me: You know…my life is nuthin at all like what I thought it would five years ago. Or ever. Everything’s such a mess. It’s hard not to think about what could have been.
Him: I know this isn’t what you wanted, but you’re doing the best you can. If nothing else, your son will think he’s got a cool dad.
Me: I hope so. That’s one of the main reasons I’m doing this. I hope you’re right.

Location: home, waiting out the storm
Mood: hopeful
Music: I know, somewhere deep in my soul, that love never lasts (Spotify)

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Weekend Scenic Fights Video Shoot Pt 2

I think I do

Mouse couldn’t join us for the first shooting day but she agreed to wake up early, pick me up from my pad, and then Chad from his pad, to take us out to Brooklyn.

Well, that was the plan anywho.

Her: Couldn’t find my wallet so I ran late. Can you cab it to Chad and I’ll pay for it?
Me: Shoot. I’ll take subway to Chambers street. Pick me up there? Leaving now. Chambers and West Broadway.

While on the train, a fella wasn’t wearing a mask and listening to music on his phone. Crappy music. After a bit, I politely asked him.

Me: Hey man, can you turn that down?
Him: You gonna make me?
Me: I’d rather not. But seriously, I don’t wanna listen to your music the whole way down.
Him: You wanna start something?
Me: I think I do.

After a lotta posturing, he backed off. And I left at 14th Street because that was closer to Mouse. Plus, I didn’t want to start my day either in the hospital or sending someone to the hospital.

Mouse picked up Chad first and then me and we high-tailed it out to Brooklyn where we shot all day.

It was funny because her car door broke when she picked up Chad at the last shoot – it was already messed up but he and I yanked it and destroyed it.

Her: Don’t touch that…!
Chad: (alarms go off) Oh shoot, I forgot.
Me: Oh man, they’re gonna kill us if we get into a car crash.

We managed to make it there in one piece AND also managed to Skype the kid in the middle of the day.

Chad: Hey, papi!
Him: Where are you all!?
Me: We’re at a studio. In Brooklyn.
Him: Near Mouse?
Her: (laughing) No, kiddo. Brooklyn’s pretty big.
Him: Oh! The sign behind you says, “No Smoking!”
Her: That’s right. Don’t worry, we’re not.

That was only for a few minutes. We were so busy shooting all day that we ended up not getting lunch until 4PM, at which point we were starving.

Me: What on earth are you guys doing (in the picture below)?

Headed over to the lunch truck from the day before, we ordered a whole mess of tacos.

The lights kept going out in the truck so they ended up cooking in the dark.

I kept asking the guy to write down our order but he ignored me. When we brought the food back, he left out J’s order completely.

Me: I knew it. I hate when people don’t write things down.
J: It’s fine, I won’t eat.
Me: It’s not fine. Here’s take half of our food. Mouse and I’ll just grab something to eat later.

Once the shoot was over, she and I went to a nearby Korean joint and had food there.

I realize that most of my blog entries are about us being ravenously hungry and never managing to get full.

But this is getting long so I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.

Location: this morning, a much quieter subway ride
Mood: better
Music: I was whole
Where did you go?
(Spotify)

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You bet your sweet…

I’ll always come back

After my son’s birthday, I headed back home to my pad, leaving him with my in-laws once again.

Him: Will you come back?
Me: I’m legally required to come back for you for another 13 years.
Him: I’ll miss you. You’ll come back, right?
Me: I’ll always come back for you, kid. You’re my 宝贝.

It was an unpleasant trip home for personal reasons I’m sure you can guess. It got worse once I got home.

You see, my internet was down when we left that morning and Time Warner/Spectrum said that it was an area outage type thing but I got a text on my phone that it was resolved that afternoon.

It wasn’t.

So, once I got back, I rang Spectrum at 11:30 at night. The fella I spoke to said my connection was fine, it was an issue with my Linksys router. So I gave them a call. The lady from Linksys said the my router and modem weren’t talking.

I decided to conference call both Spectrum and Linksys and they told me to hook up the modem directly to my computer.

Me: The only computer I have with an ethernet port is like 10 feet away and my longest ethernet cable is six feet.
Linksys: Well, you’ll have to call us both back when you can get an ethernet cable that can reach.
Me: Wait, I can crimp one myself. Can you two wait like 10 minutes?
Spectrum: I’m sorry, what do you mean crimp a cable together yourself? You’re going to make an ethernet cable?
Me: You bet your sweet ass, man. Can you hold on?
Both: Yes?

When Buckley and I first moved into this place 20-something years ago, he and I wired the whole place with Cat5 cable. Because I’d converted most of my wiring to Cat5E cable back on day 7 of the pandemic, I knew I still had some Cat5 attached to my bedroom wall.

So at 12:30AM, I tore it off my bedroom baseboard and cut both ends of it. Then I dug up my old Ethernet crimper and two RJ45 connectors and made myself a 15ft ethernet cable. Give or take.

Me: I’m back, I’m done. It’s plugged in.
Spectrum: You just crimped your own ethernet cable? Right now?
Me: Yup. Can you see my computer?
Him: Hold on…yes. I think you’re the first person I’ve ever spoken to that crimped his own ethernet cable while on the phone with us.
Me: That’s how I roll, man. Linksys, can I let this guy go and you and I fix this problem then?
Her: Sure.

By 1:30AM, I had internet again. Exhausted, I went to bed and woke up to find out that Biden won the election.

It’s been a weird and sad week. And there was more to come.

Podcast Version
Location: home, with working internet
Mood: bummed
Music: So many birthdays that I missed (Spotify)

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You realize it’s my birthday

We’ve got a ticket to ride

While I didn’t get to do any of the things I’d planned with him, it was nice to have the boy home for a few days.

But, after being away for over seven months, he’d forgotten a lotta things about our home so he spent the first hour or so reacquainting himself with the pad.

And, at the end of the night, he was a bit worried about sleeping in his room again.

Me: Why?
Son: I don’t want be alone.
Me: Kid, we live in a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan; I’m never more than 18 feet from you at all times. Go to bed.
Him: OK. See you in the morning.

It was both weird and nice to have him home. I spent the remainder of the evening cleaning up after our day before I went to bed myself.

I’d only been sleeping a few hours a night because of work and the building issues but my son woke me up early the next day.

I wasn’t fully awake so as I turned away to try to get a few more minutes of sleep, he stood there quietly for a moment.

Him: Papa?
Me: (sleepily) Yes?
Him: You realize it’s my birthday today, yes?

And I was instantly awake and gave him the biggest hug.

He’s such a good and clever kid. I keep thinking that Alison woulda been so happy with and proud of her little boy.

I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time as I’d wanted with him but it was better than nuthin. Brought him back to my in laws and we celebrated his birthday properly out there.

Because of everything going on with the building and my son, I didn’t vote for the first time in over 16 years. Even when Alison was sick, I voted.

But, in the end, I got what I wanted.

My cousin Roz came by after Biden won and we chatted about the election.

Her: I thought you were a conservative.
Me: I am. But he’s not a conservative, he’s just a crook.
Her: So you’re a democrat now?
Me: I’m for the best person for the job, that’s the only thing that should matter.

Yet, it’s not.

Podcast Version
Location: home, reading up on COVID
Mood: pensive
Music: don’t know why she’s ridin’ so high (Spotify)

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Right. Our home.

It’s our home

Like the rest of you, I’m glued to my computer/phone/television checking to see if we have four more years of imbecility or something normal.

Suppose I’ll comment on that at some later date.


I’ve not posted because November’s a rough month for me; it was the beginning of the end of my life as I knew it. That’s when Alison first collapsed.

That’s all I’ll say about that.

I also ended up hurting my back doing jits, recently.

Mouse: You’re old.
Me: I am but I look great. Everything hurts, but still. (laughs)
Her: You keep laughing like that, you’re gonna hurt something else.

The plan was for me to head out to NJ to spend Halloween with my son but before that happened, we had a cold snap here in NYC and my boiler wouldn’t start.

Turns out the computer had fried so I scrambled all day Friday to try to get a replacement computer.

Me: How much for a new one?
Representative: $5,000…
Me: Jesus Christ.
Him: …plus tax.
Me: Well, you gotta give me time to knock over a bank first.

I eventually found a distributer in deep Brooklyn for a little more than half that and went there with a friend to pick it up.

Afterward, Mouse drove me back because she was heading into the city. She led a conference call while I drove and it was impressive to say the least.

Me: Thanks for dropping everything for me. As usual.
Her: I try and help.

Finally got the computer back home and hired a guy to install it. That was another adventure of the stripe no one wants but that’s another matter entirely.

Then I dashed off to see my son in NJ for Halloween. Even though we couldn’t go out to trick-or-treat, my mother-in-law had a great idea to have Halloween indoors.

Essentially, each of us took a room and hid candy in it; the boy knocked on the door for each room and went on the hunt. He seemed to have a good time. The hope is that he doesn’t realize what he’s missing out on, which I suspect he doesn’t.

In some ways, I wonder if blissful ignorance is better. I know too much that I don’t wanna know.

Afterward, the plan was for him to come home with me for a few days for the first time in over half a year. But, it wasn’t at all what I’d hoped it would be.

I find certain things more cutting than I should, perhaps.

Me: Are you going to be ok away from your grandparents?
Him: I’m going to miss them a lot, but I’ll be happy to be in your home.
Me: No, it’s our home.
Him: Right. Our home.

Everything’s fucked up and not at all how it should be.

But it’s late, so I’ll tell you that part next week.

Podcast Version
Location: our home – his and mine
Mood: shitty
Music: I can’t believe she’s gone (Spotify)

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The Shot Queen

It all started with a war

Well over a decade ago, my cousin, Ras, just graduated college and was wondering what to do with herself.

I remember telling her that most people don’t think about lifestyle but, for me, that’s the most important thing: How do you want your life to be? Do you want to wake up early or late? Be in an office or work from home? Work a little seven days a week or do a hard five and have your weekends?

I just had that same conversation with Chad today, in fact, but that’s a story for another time.

My cousin, however, took my advice and took on a profession related to mine, which meant a ton of tests over the years. She just took the latest one just a few days ago.

Since she’d helped me with a project recently, I told her to hit Mouse and me up when she finished.

Ras: That was sooooo stressful! Meet you at your place?
Me: Come on up!

Can’t speak for the rest of Manhattan but my hood’s definitely waking up from COVID; the three of us waited around for over half-an-hour to get some food around the way.

Did I ever tell you that it was Ras that introduced Mouse and me? That’s neither here nor there but I figured I should mention it.

I suspect that she had no idea that we’d ever get together. Then again, Mouse and I had no idea either.

In any case, we finally got seated, served, and started shoveling food into our pie holes.

And drink.

Me: There’s something about day drinking that I love.
Mouse: Who doesn’t love day drinking?
Ras: I can’t finish my food, do one of you…
Me: (takes food starts eating)
Ras: I guess you want it, Logan.

Afterward, we went to a Japanese restaurant where I bought them all three rounds of drinks and some oysters.

We  had the whole joint to ourselves.

And I told them some stories.

Me: You know, Uncle Jay told me stories about our family. Did you know for hundreds of years, no Lo was allowed to marry anyone with the last name Wei?
Ras: Really? Why?
Me: OK, it all started with a war and we chose the wrong side…

The bartender was impressed enough by how much we were pounding that he bought us a round of shots.

Me: It doesn’t feel right if there isn’t a round of shots when Ras is around.
Ras: Well, I am the Shot Queen.

Actually, I dunno if the bartender realized that it was the second time he bought me a round of drinks.

After that, we were all two sheets to the wind. Yet, Ras somehow made it home across the river and then met up with more of her friends that night for dinner.

Mouse: I don’t know how that girl does it. I’ve gotta take a nap.
Me: These are good life choices we’re making.
Her: Shhhh. Sleep.

Podcast Version
Location: early this morning, injuring my back in LIC
Mood: injured
Music: You put your hand on top of my hand (Spotify)

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All the Wrong Ghosts

Keys

Johnny called me the other day. I didn’t pick up.

I called the Devil the other day. He didn’t pick up.

All the wrong ghosts haunt me.

Movie: “You have 212 more supplicants to see you.”
Me: (to wife) That’s why we have judges – they act on the king’s behalf because the king couldn’t possib…
Alison: I have to write down everything you tell me while watching movies and television and call it, Stuff my husband tells me during movies and television.

Did you ever wonder why “movie trailers,” are called that, even though they come before the movie?

Or why the Three Musketeers candy bar is called that, when it’s one single bar?

The former is because the trailer used to trail the main film but no one stuck around to watch them, so they switched it.

The latter’s because it used to be three different candy bars – chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry – until just after WWII when it cost too much to make all three flavours.

The thing is that these things just stick around, long after they make any sense to anyone.

In this post, I wrote about putting up a key holder for Alison and me. I never put up a picture of it because I was worried about someone being able to duplicate our keys from the picture so I never did.

But, after the gate incident with Pac, I replaced my locks, so it’s a moot point.

I took that picture up above with Alison on June 6, 2014 and told her that her spot would always be the first hook.

She hung up her keys at the end of October, 2015 and never took them down again. They’re still there now. If you ever come over, those are her keys.

I never touch them.

I always tell myself that this is the year I’ll take them down but I can’t bring myself to do it. Which makes no sense, I know.

But, neither do trailers or single chocolate bars called Three Musketeers.

It’ll be November soon. I’ll be drinking again then.

Who am I kidding? I’ve already started. Because.

Podcast Version
Location: this fucking house
Mood: not good
Music: Tell me you love me, come back and haunt me (Spotify)

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A Kettle of Hawks

Predators versus Prey

The last time I went to see the boy, there were these huge birds of prey in the back yard picking at the carcass of a deer.

Mother-in-law: City boy, you should go out and take a look.

So, off I went with my son.

I told the boy to be quiet so as not to scare off the kettle of hawks that were all around it. He obliged, in a manner of speaking – he was silent but also ran about like a madman so the birds flew off to nearby branches.

Presently, I brought the boy back in and went in for a closer look. I managed to see a bit more but they flew off nonetheless. It smelled like death.

When I went back in, my sister-in-law asked me if I saw anything.

Me: Not really, I think I scared them off.
Her: I wonder if they thought you were were hunting them.
Me: Probably, I have the eyes of a predator.
Her: What does that mean?
Me: All humans do. Our eyes are in front of us, so we can pinpoint things and hunt them down. Prey – deer, rabbits, etc – they have their eyes on the side of the heads so they can see animals like us coming.

Part of the reason I never mentioned the knife stuff – beyond calling it “fencing,” all this time, which isn’t strictly incorrect – was because most people are far removed from what we actually are: Animals.

Clothed animals, but animals nonetheless.

We’re predators. We’re meant to stalk and hunt things. That’s what we were created for. It’s neither a good nor a bad thing, it’s merely a thing.

Just like where our eyes are. We don’t think about it much – you probably never have – it’s just where they are.

Me: Guard up, boy.
Son: Do I have to?
Me: Yes.
Him: Why?
Me: Because this is what we do. Guard up.

And yet, I wonder what would happen if we had to be predators again? Some of us would do fine, I think. Most of us would struggle.

Although, truth be told, I honestly don’t know know how I would do if I had to fend completely for myself, for myriad reasons.

Me: Ouch!
Mouse: You stubbed your toe again?!
Me: (nodding in pain)
Her: Man, when you’re a klutz, you get hurt. When I’m a klutz, you get hurt…
Me: Still…can’t…talk…

Speaking of knife stuff, here’s the latest episode of Scenic Fights, Fight Scene Breakdown – the duel scene from The Man from Nowhere.

Podcast Version
Location: staying away from my damnable coffee table that’s trying to kill me
Mood: only ok
Music: just send me that ambulance (Spotify)

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Overcorrecting

If you say so

Of course, on the day I went to see my son, the teacher was reading the class a story about a fish looking for his mom. Because, of course.

It’s the first video I’m posting with his voice, if you’re interested in hearing it.

Boy: Can I have a pretzel?
Me: What have you done to earn a pretzel?
Him: I dunno. (thinking) I love you?
Me: (reaching for pretzels) Man, I am so easily manipulated.
Him: Manipulated!

When I first learned to drive, and now when I wrestle, I tended to overcorrect. Things that need to go, say, 5 degrees to the left, I go 15.

Do you remember the Minority Report with Tom Cruise?

There’s a scene where Cruise’s character sits in the dark by himself and watches videos of his son and his wife. He no longer had them, you see.

I remember watching that scene and feeling so sad about it. Enough that 18 years later I recall it, having recalled little else about the film.

I told you that I don’t have too many videos of Alison; almost none, in fact. She hated being recorded.

Of course, I have videos of her immediately after she got sick. One in particular I’ve never seen and don’t think I ever will. I wouldn’t survive it, I don’t think.

But that’s a memory for me and my lonely nights.

In any case, she asked that I try not to put pictures or videos up of her on this blog so I didn’t. I wish I did.

I wish I took so many more pictures and videos of her. God, she was beautiful.

I probably take too many pictures of the boy and people I care about these days. I’m definitely overcorrecting. But I don’t care.

As the years go on, these little bits of digital ink are all I have left of some people and moments. I’ll take them.

Him: I miss mommy.
Me: I do too. All the time. She was my best friend.

Just got back from seeing him. The hope is that he can safely go back to school part-time next semester and that this country’ll have an actual plan of trying to deal with this goddamn virus.

He still gets sad whenever I leave and I tell myself that this is a good thing but it’s hard. Everything’s harder than it should be.

Him: I could wave to you from the front door.
Me: It’s too dark. You wouldn’t see me. Stay here.
Him: (sadly) If you say so, papa.
Me: I do. I’ll be back soon. I promise
Him: (nods, cries)
Me: Really. I promise.

Podcast Version
Location: home, looking at pictures of people I’ll always love
Mood: lonely
Music: Don’t come and go like you do. (Spotify)

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