Too little is better than too much

We know our own

We had a gas scare in the area that meant we were waiting for an all-clear for a while so I brought him with me to the supermarket.

I dunno why I’m unable to talk to him like he’s a kid. I just…can’t. I’ve never been around kids before.

Him: What does it mean that a banana’s not ripe?
Me: An unripe banana has large molecules called oligosaccharides which are too big to digest. When a banana ripens, those oligosaccharides break down into simpler glucose molecules that you can digest, which manifest as the brown dots on the skin, which – as you can see – are not there.
Him: What happens if you eat something that’s not ripe?
Me: Bad things, kiddo. Bad stomach things.
Him: Oh. Ok, papa.

As I write this out, all I can think is, “Hopefully, he’ll have friends.” Then again, I didn’t growing up and I turned out fine.

Fine(ish).

Mostly fine.

Alison thought I was great, albeit with a giant, giant head.

Speaking of friends, I’ve been helping a buddy with a new hobby; something that I used to do years ago but just stopped doing for a variety of reasons. But he loves it. He gave me a buzz today.

Him: I met one of our kind today.
Me: Get outta here. How?
Him: At the gym. I was just making small talk and I mentioned what I do in my spare time.
Me: And what did he say?
Him: (laughing) He said demons know their own.

On that note, my only friend in that life’s been MIA since COVID. Wanna know the crazy thing? I don’t even know his real name after 20 years.

How’s that for a kick in the head?

Finally, a girl I’ll call Curls is going to start teaching the kid to fight. I’ve been chatting with a ton of people – including two of the highest ranking people in kali – about how to train this boy to be safe.

And the grand poo-bah told me: Remember too little training is better than too much at that age.

He’s the main man so I took his word to heart. Plus, I think the kid’ll have more fun with Curls and Chad than me.

Between the friends and family, I wonder if I’m better with people around or not.

After all, men go crazy in congregations,…

Location: home, making steak for my son, who’d rather have a bologna sandwich
Mood: tired
Music: …they only get better one by one. (Spotify)
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Simple is anything but

Some good reason

Boy: It was unexpectedly warm today.
Me: Man, do I talk like that?

I’m not sure how five-year olds talk but my son looks like a five-year old Chinese kid but acts like a 65 year-old Italian man.

Him: Do you want to listen to Linda Ronstadt or Neil Diamond?
Me: Uh…

I forgot to mention that, when I went to pick him up last time, Mouse was nice enough bring the whip to get him. But we first stopped off in NJ to meet up with Pac and his girl for some Korean food.

I look way too excited to get some food into me in this pic.

The restaurant we went to was actually a branch of the place we normally hit up.

Me: (to Pac’s girlfriend) So, in the Queens place, there’s a sign that says 90+ people eat for half off and 100+ people eat for free. When Mouse and Chad turn 90, we’re going to make them regret that choice.
Her: That’s some long term planning.
Me: Gotta have goals in life.

And in the middle of dinner, someone had a birthday party there. Man, I miss indoor dining and birthday parties – can’t remember the last time anything memorable happened for mine.

Pac: When are you gonna move outta your Upper West Side basement apartment and into NJ?
Me: I will stab you in your eye, man.

Speaking of the Upper West Side, Lviv’s back in town. She was away for a spell and hit me up the moment she walked in her pad.

She’s been thinking about new living arrangements and asked about my building.

Her: I doubt I’d move to UWS unless there was some good reason to.

I was gonna tell her that it’s the Upper Best Side but my life is needlessly complicated as it is.

And trying to simplify it is anything but…

Location: home, making ribs
Mood: hard to say
Music: you don’t know it all (Spotify)
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Re-Assembling Things

Projects I didn’t want

After over 10 months, my son finally played with someone his own age the other day; a young girl named Izzy he met at the park.

It was sweet and unexpected; unexpected because he was scheduled to meet up with the ABFF’s kids over the weekend, and I assumed they’d be first. But, I suppose, like father, like son.

I wrote the ABFF before we left.

Me: What’s the food and alcohol situation like?
Her: Pizza. Corona Lite, Sweet Action, white vino.
Me: I’m down. We may be a bit after six but order me a slice or two as well.

One of the very last things that Alison and I did together was build the kid’s nursery.

She was super pregnant but so excited to welcome this kid into the world and have everything be just perfect. I did most of the building but she cleaned and assembled smaller things.

It’s one of the reasons that I was so reluctant to paint.

Alison bought this really great dresser that she spent days researching to make sure it fit just right and got good ratings. Unfortunately, the part that keeps the drawer from shooting out snapped just after everything went to hell.

I vaguely recall calling their customer service to buy that plastic part and the woman I spoke to said that I needed to buy the entire side of the dresser.

Me: So lemme get this straight, instead of being able to buy a dollar’s worth of plastic and metal, I need to buy an entire other side of the dresser, dismantle my entire dresser, and replace the side – which is fine – just to keep the drawer from flying out?
Her: Yes.
Me: Well, that sounds ridiculous. Would you do that?
Her: (laughing) No sir, I would not.

It was fine. This was during the craziness of Alison’s cancer so I was just careful. But, because the kid’s been away so long, I forgot about the drawer and pulled it too hard, causing the drawer to fly out and almost hit me. He was eating brekkie so he was fine but I decided to buy a new one that day.

I ended up just picking out a wider dresser that was the same height. Now, the day that the kid and I were supposed to see the ABFF, the new dresser arrived. Of course.

Unlike last time, I was going to have to put this together myself. I figured I’d head up to the ABFF’s, chill with them for a bit, and then come down and spend the remainder of the night putting it together.

But on the way out the door, Chad gave me a ring.

Him: Hey, I’m in your area and wanted to see if you wanted to get some food.
Me: Dude, I will buy you dinner if you’re willing to help me put together a dresser.
Him: Works for me.

I told the ABFF that I wouldn’t be staying, said hello to all the girls, and then dashed down where Chad and spent the next four hours trying to decipher some seriously bad directions.

It was pretty late so I told him to just go and I’d wrap things up – together, we did a solid 80% of everything that needed to get done so I just did the last 20% myself until late in the evening and then the rest the next day. It took most of the second day to put everything in place and clean the joint up.

The last thing I did was attach the dresser to the wall. Because Alison asked me to make the place childproof.

Her: Promise me that you’ll always keep him safe.
Me: Of course. And you know I never break a promise.
Her: I know, that why I married you and that’s why I asked.

And that’s also why it had to be the same height, so I could use the same mounting bracket to attach it to the wall.

It was super sad. Everything changes on me when I wish I could just have some stability and sense in the world.

On that note, my mother-in-law keeps telling me to take apart the crib and put it away but I’ve been resisting it.

Alison took a picture of me building it on September 13, 2015, at 6:35PM.

Somehow, in my head, I kept thinking that maybe I’d be able to give the kid a baby sister or brother somehow but that seems unlikely. So, I guess that’s my next project.

Soon. Really.

Location: home, sitting in the front room staring at all the changes
Mood: reluctantly accepting
Music: he tried to reassemble it (Spotify)
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It’s spring in January

It isn’t hell

Speaking of FOMO and not caring, last year I threw Chad and Mouse a joint bday party but this year, Chad just swung by on his actual bday and I just got the two of us a massive amount of Vietnamese food.

Him: Somehow, they knew it was my birthday and gave me two cans of coke.
Me: (puzzled) Yeah – I told them.
Him: Oh…

He only recently started getting a taste for good alcohol so I taught him how to make Hemmingway’s favourite drink, the daiquiri. At least, my version of it.

We pounded about four of them each and just discussed his new hobby, which is a wholly different conversation.

Me: I baked cupcakes.
Him: Thanks!
Me: They’re mainly for the kid, but I saved you one for your born day.
Him: I’ll take it.

Another friend stopped by this week; she was just in the city to train but the gym wasn’t open that day so I invited her to come here to shower and clean up.

Me: Do you want brekkie?
Her: Oh, I couldn’t…
Me: (rolling eyes) You’re a guest, are you hungry?
Her: I could eat.
Me: A heart-attack sandwich it is then.

Like I said, I have no shortage of friends. It’s the shortage of family that weighs on me the most.

Speaking of family, do you know the Roman/Greek myth of the seasons centers around family?

Essentially, the goddess Ceres – from whom we get the word “cereal” – was the goddess of grain and harvest. Her daughter, Proserpina, was kidnapped by Pluto and she refused to allow anything to grow until her child was returned.

Eventually, she was, but Proserpina had eaten six pomegranate seeds and, because of that, had to live in hell for six months out of the year.

During this time, Ceres despaired and so came winter until her child was back and spring could return again.

The boy came home this week – after all this time – and it was spring once again, at least in a tiny UWS apartment.

Me: He’s home!!!
Him: (inspecting the house) The bathroom’s dirty. Grandma’s bathroom is cleaner.
Me: (laughing) Everyone’s a critic. Also, to be fair, no one’s bathroom is as clean as grandma’s…

Ridic easy daquiri
One shot of light rum
1/2 a lime, freshly squeezed
1.5-2 TBS agave
Soda water
ice

Squeeze half a lime into a highball and mix in the agave and shot of rum until it’s thoroughly blended. Fill the highball halfway with ice and then the remainder with soda water. Gently stir to combine. Pound.

Repeat until every person of the opposite sex looks beautiful.

Location: home, without any rum but plus one boy
Mood: tired but content
Music: It’s so cruel what your mind can do (Spotify)
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I’d be ok with that

We know our own

This is a video of my son on Xmas morning. He was a bit excited.

Cappy came by with his wife and two kids, like he said,  to drop off a ridic amount of clothes and toys for the boy.

Cappy: Heads up! Planning on stopping by your place Saturday enroute upstate so we can drop off some more clothes and books.
Me: Thanks for thinking of us!

It was nice seeing them, even if it was just for a moment. We’ve known each other since we were 16.

On that note, I had dinner with a friend the other night. He told me that when 2020 started, he was worried about his future. But, in many ways, 2020 was one of the best years – if not the best year – of his life.

Him: I feel like I’m seeing the world for the first time, on my own terms.
Me: Picture Athens. And other parts of Greece. There are statues everywhere. What colour are they?
Him: White?
Me: They’re white now. But when people were contemporaries of them, they were all coloured. We see what they look like now, not what they were originally. That’s the thing: People will look at you and think this is how you’ve always been, when it’s what you made yourself.

It’s like that story I told you about the colour of the sun.

We don’t see the full picture of what someone or something is. Only what makes it through to us.

I told him that the person he knows now as Logan, wasn’t the person that Alison knew. It wasn’t the person that my other friends knew. I’d changed so much throughout the years.

Or, rather, the years changed me so much. In some ways for the better, in some ways not. Not at all.

Every once in a while, I remember who I used to be, the life I used to lead. Before Alison. With Alison.

I’ve been thinking of an old friend of mine who’s not on any social media and he just disappeared after 2019.

He was someone that saw me and helped me change. I suppose I wonder where he is because certain people bring out certain things in us that only they can bring out.

He remembers me when I was…colourful. I miss being colourful, at times. This is what I looked like when we met.

Minus the colour.

Him: Most people live their lives of quiet desperation, Logan.
Me: And you?
Him: I live my life without anything or anyone controlling me. I could leave in an hour and be in a tuk-tuk in Cambodia tomorrow and no one and nothing would stop me.
Me: The girl I’m seeing…
Him: (laughs) Heartgirl?
Me: (nodding) Heartgirl. I’d go where ever she was.
Him: What happened to Dresden and Berlin, Logan? I know you. You’d never be happy with just one girl.
Me: I would be. With the right girl I’d be happy. I’d give everything up for my person. Dresden and Berlin are just cities. She could be my person.
Him: She would control you. Love controls people. The moment someone controls you, you wouldn’t be safe.
Me: I’d be okay with that.

He was right about not being safe.

I suppose demons know their own.

Location: home, with daiquiris
Mood: very drunk
Music: my past now, like my house, was always made of glass (Spotify)
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Meant to be

You should have picked 7

Me: That’s me in Germany.
Him: You look exactly the same. What are you a vampire?!
Me: (laughing) Here, take this belt, it’s too big for me.
Him: I think I like that (mustard) colour.
Me: Good. Basic black is for basic bitches.

I’ve got a small group of people that I mentor. I remember being young and not knowing a thing about anything, really.

My first seismic shift happened when I met my first real girlfriend. As a poor kid from Queens, she was the daughter of a connected restaurateur. Our first date, she brought me to a restaurant at Rockefeller Center where a burger was $20 (a fortune at the time).

She also gave me a Fendi automatic watch for Xmas when I was 17. She basically taught me how to dress. She was pure evil, but she changed me for the better in many regards.

Then, when I was college, I met Buckley who first me taught me about computer and networks. That was life-altering. I just wished him a happy birthday tonight.

Him: Thanks! It’s the end of my 48th trip around the sun. I’m thankful that we’re still on this ride together
Me: Jesus Christ. I met you when we were teenagers. Welp, the world is definitely better with you in it, homie.

Cappy made sure I had a place to live and helped me make life-long friends that I still consider my safe-harbor. He just called me too.

Him: We’ll stop by on the 26th with clothes for the boy.
Me: I’ll be here.

I also met Joe who let me crash in his pad off Times Square for $300 a month. Yup, you read that right. We were roomies for years after college and he taught me how real New Yorkers lived in Manhattan. A woman I met and chat with regularly last year is best friends with his ex-wife. What a small world.

While in Manhattan, I met Bobby, Johnny, and the Devil, who introduced me to the clubs and the colorful side of NYC life.  They also taught me how to dress and walk into an expensive restaurant and not feel out of place. All three are gone for my life now. I only miss one of them and hope he’s still alive.

I dated the doctor, who got me into this building, and worked with me to buy it – along with her mom. We all actually still talk because we’re part of the same tribe.

I met my old boss at CNET, Kirk, who taught me sales and tech and why a naturally aspirated straight-6 engine is so cool. I also met Jim there, who threw me into the legal tech fire and got me meeting with CEOs and fighting fortune 100 companies (I won).

After everything went down with Alison, he sent me on a trip to Bermuda.

My boss, whom I just chatted with today as well, taught me how to be a better lawyer, far beyond anything I learned in law school. He also sued my biggest frenemy for me ages ago. We won that too.

Paul and Will helped me end up with Alison. I just saw Paul today.

Me: Man, that hair’s still wild.
Him: Yeah, I gotta see a barber somehow.

And, of course, there was Alison herself. All the blog entries from her first appearance to this one was her influencing my life. She still does; she reminds me what I’m worth.

People try to convince me that I’m not worth all that much, but she thought I was just tops.

On that note, a touchstone of my life has always been to leave people better off having met me than not. Those people left me better off; most by coming into it, some by coming in and leaving.

The hope is that I can help some people figure out who they were meant to be.

And then maybe I can take my lessons and help the one I love most in the world become who he’s meant to be.

Him: I picked 11.
Me: You shoulda picked 7. Because that’s the most likely number with two dice.
Him: Can I go now?
Me: (laughs) Sure.

Location: home, dreaming of family
Mood: hopeful
Music: They say through time I’ll find some healing but the clock goes slow (Spotify)
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The 2020 Christmas Spirit

Bit of a Grinch

Son: But I don’t want to get a shot.
Me: Kid, no one wants to get a shot. But we do what we have to do to keep the people we love safe. Do you want to keep Mouse, Grandma, and Grandpa safe?
Him: (hesitatingly) Yes.
Me: Then you have to get a shot.
Him: (nodding sadly) OK. If you say so.

The kid was due for his annual checkup so Mouse picked me up and we went off to NJ to get him. It was so nice to have him home, if only for a bit.

We even put up the Christmas tree together. This is him putting up the first ornament.

It was the one that Alison I got together all those years ago. We even put it in the same place.

I told him the story of each of the ornaments that Alison and I got for each other. Well, I tried to at least.

Me: And this one…and this one…
Mouse: (gently) Do you want to go to the back room for a second?
Me: Yes.
Her: (turning to the boy) That was a special ornament. Your mom got it for your dad and you because she loved you both so much.

The boy was really brave at the doctor’s office. Impatient, even. I like to think that too was born of love.

Him: I just want my shot now.
Doctor: Oh! (to me) Do you want the shot or nasal spay?
Me: I was unaware the latter was an option. Heck, yeah we’ll take the nasal spray!

The boy was puzzled but – ultimately – thrilled, of course, that he didn’t need a shot. Because he was so ready to take the shot, I still gave him the chocolate I promised him.

Him: But I didn’t get the shot.
Me: You weren’t going to get chocolate because you got a shot, you were going to get chocolate because you were brave. You get points in life for being brave.
Him: Yay!!!

It was hard bringing him back. He’s mine. I want him here with me.

Speaking of thinking that Mouse is great – and catching up with people during the holidays – I also got a chance to catch up with KG Betty.

Me:…and now you’re caught up to everything.
Her: I have to say, I’m on Mouse’s side here.
Me: I can see that.

The boy’s doctor was right by the ABFF’s pad so I rang her but we missed each other. But we made up for it because she swung by with her sister, kids, and a bottle of rum in tow.

They actually sang – and danced to – Feliz Navidad outside my door in their matching jammies.

Me: (laughing) This is how people get arrested in NYC.
Daughter: Do you or Mouse want some candy?
Me: We do! But we won’t take any.
ABFF: Get into the Christmas spirit!

She was right; I suppose I’m a bit of a grinch these days as Christmas makes me feel probably the opposite of what I should be feeling.

Then again, I’m probably not the only one.

Me: Wanna watch the news? See if we still live in a democracy?
Mouse: Hold on, I gotta finish all this bullshit gift shopping first.
Me: Well, if that’s not the 2020 Christmas spirit, I dunno what is.

Location: my empty apartment, doing some bullshit gift shopping of my own
Mood: missing the boy
Music: Take a shot in the rain, one for the pain (Spotify)
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Why are you always naked?!

Settlers of Hawaiian Pizza

Me: Your two favourite Lo’s will be there.
Mouse: To be fair, she’s my favourite one.

Before Alison got sick, for the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, I would get dressed up in my best suits and go to two-to-five parties a week.

It’s how I’d meet new clients for the coming year and also catch up with old clients and friends.

I still can’t get into the mindset of working full-time again – especially since the kid’ll be back permanently in the next few weeks, but I did try to take some time to catch up with people.

Like I said, I saw my cousin earlier last month:

Ras: People should eat what they want. Leave the Hawaiian pizza alone.
Me: Great, now I want a Hawaiian pizza.
Her: We’re already eating!
Me: It’s early, yet.

Oh, she passed her test, btw. This is good because it means I can probably borrow money from her at some point.

I also tried to see some of my college friends but we weren’t able to make it happen.

Duck: Hey, Logan. SJ bailed. I’m running around too. Let’s reschedule when we’re all available?
Me: OK, for sure.

Saw my buddy from around the way for some Vietnamese food. Not sure about his opinion as to Hawaiian pizza.

Him: What do you suggest?
Me: Pretty much everything. The sandwiches are killer.
Him: I just had a sandwich for lunch.
Me: Noodles it is then.

Hadn’t spoken to Chad in a bit so I rang him up. On video. Need to rethink doing that.

Chad: Logan, you can’t just video chat me outta the blue. I need a heads up.
Me: Why are you always naked, Chad?!
Him: I’m a free spirit, Logan!

Although, he should just decline the call, honestly.

He ended up stopping by for a round of Settlers of Catan with Mouse and me. He came close to winning but Mouse took the trophy in the end.

Me: I did not plan this out well.
Her: That’s what happens when you don’t pay attention.

I gotta start paying attention to things again.

Location: my empty apartment, taking care of a patient
Mood: fulla pro- and pre-biotics
Music: one more ride, baby, here we go (Spotify)
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The Comedian, The Criminal, and The Clown

Any good would come

I met up with the pastor from Vision Church recently for some coffee.

Him: I got you a gift.
Me: Oh, you shouldn’t have, really.
Him: It’ll give us something to talk about the next time we meet up.

It was a recently published comic that’s been getting a lotta press recently, called The Three Jokers.

Essentially, it’s about the three different types of Jokers that Batman’s faced throughout the years:

      1. The Comedian
      2. The Criminal
      3. The Clown

I’ll leave the rest there but it’s interesting in that I do think that we all have our three lives: Public, Private, and Secret.

My three lives have all been keeping me on my toes in their own ways, lately. Just dunno how to explain them to you in a way you might understand.

On that note, and returning to The Pastor, we had an compelling discussion before we left about defriending people and who we choose to have in our lives.

Him: People are complex. For example, there might be horribly racist people that you would trust with your son, but also people that wouldn’t dream of being racist, but you would never leave with alone with your son.
Me: Give me an example.
Him: Well, some Asian grandparents are horrible racists, but you’d trust them with your son in a heartbeat, wouldn’t you?
Me: (laughing) I suppose that’s true.
Him: So, I keep people around that I disagree with. Because they see the world differently than I do – and it’s good to see the world differently.
Me: I agree to some extent. But there are some people with I have no nexus and want none. I don’t want to see the world the way do.
Him: Why not?
Me: (shaking head) Because…I don’t feel any good could come of it.

Location: still home
Mood: still happier
Music: friends with tired eyes (Spotify)
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Whipping around Red Hook

This was a mistake

Me: We have a car!
Her: (laughing) It’s your car! You’ve always had it.

I’ve had a car for the last 35 years. Dunno if I ever told you that. Normally, that’s not a big deal but I live in Manhattan.

I had two beaten up BMWs and a brand-spanking new (at that time) Honda Accord that I loved and I kept in a local garage in Manhattan.

But in 2007, after the theft and a buncha other crazy things, I gave up the parking spot and brought the car out to Queens to stay at my mom’s house, where it’s stayed for the past 13 years.

Alison gave up her beloved Civic because the idea was that we’d just use my car when the time came for us to leave the city and get a place in the burbs. Of course, none of that ever happened.

So this car I loved sat at my mom’s place all this time with 56,000 miles on it – that’s 3,733 miles a year.

When I saw my mother-in-law the other day – after Mouse dropped me off for the umpteenth time – and I mentioned the car to her, the first thing she said was, “Why don’t you just give Mouse the car?”

My mom had said something similar, despite her and/or my sister using it on occasion all this time (and paying for the insurance and upkeep all this time).

I told my mom and she immediately cleaned it out and handed me the keys and the title. Mouse refused to accept it as a gift though and offered to pay me a little something for it, which I appreciated.

Then she promptly drove me to NJ, and then back to the city, yet again. But that’s another story for another time.

After we picked up my whip, though, we were driving around Brooklyn when I suggested that – since we had a ride – we should celebrate. We rang up Cho, who suggested that we hit up the Red Hook Lobster Pound, which we did.

Her: (after eating everything) I’m still hungry.
Me: I have a rack of ribs at home.
Her: Sold. Let’s go.

We ended up heading home and eating another half rack-of-ribs between the two of us.

I would say that it’s brought us closer together but that’s not entirely true.

Me: Oh, this is a good song (on the radio).
Her: I see we’re listening to the oldies station.
Me: Clearly, this was a mistake.

Location: home – like, really home
Mood: happier
Music: we can swim far away from the wreck we made (Spotify)
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