My PG-13 life

At least I get to live it


The Gymgirl gave me an (unintentional) black eye the other day in my gym class.

Gymgirl: Do you need ice?
Me: God, yes.

In a nutshell, her foot went into my eye and nose. It was decidedly unpleasant.

Gym owner: You’re fine. You’re not even bleeding…wait, nevermind, you’re bleeding.
Me: Oh, good, that’s a relief.

I’m literally getting my ass kicked by all the women I know in life.

Which leads me to believe that Life itself is a woman because, I’m definitely getting my ass kicked by her.

The nurse that Alison liked the most during IVF called me the other day.

Nurse: It literally took me a week to get up the nerve to call you.
Me: I’m so glad you did. Alison adored you.
Her: (exhales) Thank you. I wasn’t sure how you’d be speaking to me.
Me: Yeah, I get it.

It was mostly admin stuff. But I was glad to hear her voice.

She left me a voicemail before but my voicemail transcribes messages to me so the last time I actually heard her voice, I was with Alison. And we were happy. Then everything went to shit.

Dunno why I always remind you of that. I should assume you know already.

Anywho, I often wonder if it’s fair to the Gymgirl that she’s with someone like me. I come with so much baggage.

Like my friend Somena once said, the key to a good relationship is to find someone whose baggage matches yours.

But I’m not sure I could bear knowing anyone with baggage that matches mine. And I’m grateful that the Gymgirl doesn’t have matching baggage. Suppose she is too.

Another group of friends were talking about television and movies the other day and I told them that I’m not sure I can handle anything beyond PG-13 these days.

Had to have a talk with another friend that didn’t understand why I was so upset by something he said. Casual things that people say mean different things to people like me.

Cause everything reminds me of something I don’t wanna be reminded of.

Wish everything were easier. But life itself isn’t easy so I’m SOL.

Then again, I get the chance to live it so I shouldn’t complain.

Me: Oh man, I missed you so much!
Son: I want a cookie.
Me: (nodding) You have your priorities.
Him: I missed you. I want a cookie.
Me: (nodding)

Location: bhavachakra
Mood: Groundhog-dayed
Music: I’ll let you in on something big. I am not a white teeth teen
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Heading north

I want to be wherever


The best thing about having this here blog is seeing the changes that’ve happened across all this time.

I don’t always use pictures that relate to the entry I’m writing about. For example, this entry is when I met a waitress that looked just like Natalie Portman, but the picture is one I took when I met a girl named Alice.

I don’t mention every person I meet in this blog for a number of reasons, least of which so many people I meet stay in my venn diagram. Natalie didn’t but Alice did.

Alice and I’d not seen each other in years; as I said, before Alison got sick, we stopped being social and in the world because Alison and I lost so many pregnancies. And then the fucking cancer came.

Been gingerly stepping back into the world here and there. When I was young and single, had a rule that served me well: Never turn down an invite.

It’s how I met both Alison and the Gymgirl. And a lotta others.

Anywho, Alice invited me to her birthday party the other day and I decided to go with the Gymgirl to this bar called The Churchill.

Cause I’d decided to stay here in this world so I might as well take part in it. From time-to-time, at least.

Alice: Logan! (hugs me tightly) You came. I haven’t seen you in…
Me: It’s been a while.
Her: (hesitatingly) How have you been?
Me: (shrugging) You know…it’s been a lotta rock bottom. But, maybe I’m heading north.

 

My brother wrote a song once about a girl named Alice – not this Alice – that I’ve always liked.

I seem to like women whose name begin with “Al.”

Location: Not north yet
Mood: pensive
Music: I want to be wherever Alice is
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Just a touch

Just one thing?


Came back from some work the other day and I found the below note from the Gymgirl.

She’s not the typical girly-girl, that’s for sure.

Me: (amused) There’s something wrong with you.
Her: (laughing) Just one thing?

Still haven’t done my taxes. Alison used to always do them so I find myself putting it off until the last minute for a variety of causes, least of which is that she did them for a reason: I used to tell her that I personally combat the stereotype that all Asians are good at math.

I’d earmarked today to do them but there was an unexpected snow day – despite a clear lack of snow – here in the big city.

Then, on top of that, he’s been complaining of pains enough that I’ve been concerned so I scheduled a last minute appointment with his doc today.

Him: (excited) Are we going to the park?
Me: (upbeat) We’re going to see the doctor really quickly.
Him: No! I don’t don’t wanna see her! No! No!

Ended up being mostly fine, which I’m grateful for considering he was in the ER just a few months ago.

Me: (after visit) That wasn’t so bad, right?
Him: I like lollipops.
Me: Yes, (nodding) always focus on the positive, kid.

On a different matter altogether, been working again like I used to and I feel – for better or worse – a little glimmer of who I used to be before everything went to shit.

It’s just a touch. Dunno if it’ll be more or less as time goes on.

Not even really sure which one is better.

Location: alone in my Mouse-free home
Mood: relieved
Music: Can we go back? This is the moment
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Trying not to fake it

Went out to eat again

Gymgirl: We’re both human. People make mistakes
Me: Some more than others.
Her: Like when you trusted Pac to watch the place?

Went out to eat with my cousin and her fella, along with the Gymgirl and my buddy, Pac – that’s him making some congee above.

We went to another hot pot joint, this time Spring Shabu Shabu in Flushing.

Me: The wait’s over 30 minutes? Why don’t we go someplace else?
Him: This place has all you can eat sides, veggies, and ice cream.
Me: Sold.

We stuffed ourselves silly. Being on this diet, it takes a long time to feel full – and this time I felt full, finally.

I had a good time. I feel like I’m faking it a lot but there are moments when I think I’m not.

Hopefully, in time, that feeling’ll go away.

Me: I want to have some ice cream but…
Gymgirl: (stopping eating) Say it! Say it!
Me: (confused) …I wish I had some peanut butter.
Her: (reaches into bag and triumphantly takes out a package and hands it to me) Here.

The company helps.

Location: Still at home with a mouse
Mood: still discomforted
Music: I feel like like there might be something that I’ll miss
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Burnt Bacon = Shattered Dreams

Dieting around town

Because of the Gymgirl’s hardcore diet, we’ve been cooking a ton. Mostly bacon, which I cook now because she wrecked her first batch.

Her: This place smells like burnt bacon.
Me: It’s what shattered dreams smell like.

She didn’t even break her diet when we saw ABFF for her kid’s birthday party. And they had cupcakes. Harry Potter cupcakes.

Me: I’m super impressed.
Her: I need more food.

The Gymgirl has two brothers and we met up with them and their respective wives for dinner the other night at her younger brother’s pad in NJ.

She brought some fish and asparagus that I made for her so she wouldn’t have to break her diet.

Me: Would you mind if I just ate what they have?
Her: Sure! You can eat whatever you want. Have a cheat day.
Me: Sweeeeeeet.

I brought a bottle of whiskey for them, since I had it…

Her Older Brother: Why do you two smell like alcohol?

…which I seemed to have spilled all over the interior of my bag on the way there. Evidently, I have the worst luck on NJ trains vis-a-vis my bags.

It was fine though, as they had plenty of food and drink. Ended up eating everything there.

And then some.

Other Brother: Do you want dessert? We have cookie dough ice cream and vanilla ice cream.
Me: Yes.
Him: Which one do you want?
Me: Both? (thinking) And do you have peanut butter?

They did, and I almost ate all of it.

We brought some board games to play and had a nice time before her other brother’s wife had to go because she was pregnant and getting tired.

They gave us a lift back to the City and dropped us off downtown so we walked around a bit before heading back home.

Her: Did you have a good time?
Me: Yeah. It was fun.

It’s still weird being back in the world. And yet, here I am.

Location: same planet as you
Mood: super busy
Music: ‪What do you do when a chapter ends?‬
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Salvaging broken things

The Gymgirl did my family a kindness

Me: What are you doing?
Her: Nothing…

The weather’s been absolutely brutal here in the City. It’s made my injury, which was (kinda) getting better, excruciating.

I was out today because I put in a bid for a portfolio of work that I wasn’t expecting to win and yet I did. So, suddenly, I find myself working again as if nothing’s happened in the past three years. And yet, so much has.

On that note, the boy accidentally broke the little grey ceramic owl from this entry, and crushed a little part of me at the same time.

But you can’t get mad at a toddler for being a toddler.

Still, I remember when Alison bought them for his room, before he was born. I teased her about her obsession with owls.

In any case, I was so busy that day that I didn’t have time to mourn the loss of it, though it stayed in the back of my mind.

The Gymgirl was here when the owl broke and she swept up the pieces. I assumed that she threw them away but I found out that she saved them.

When I came home the other night, I found her sitting at the table with some epoxy and all the pieces trying to glue them all together.

Ultimately, she did and put the grey owl back where it belonged in the boy’s room.

I loved those owls because Alison got them for the boy – because she loved him even before he was born. And now also because the Gymgirl did something so kind for us.

I once said that kindness is valuable because it’s so rare. I value kindness above all other traits because it’s such an attractive quality. It’s why I loved Alison so.

As for the Gymgirl, she has an uncanny knack for salvaging broken things. A boy could fall for a girl like her.

Because, like I said, all good relationships have these secret kindnesses that keep people together.

Me: Thank you. (thinking) That means a lot to me.
Her: It’s no big deal. (shrugging) It’s not perfect but I think it’s good.
Me: No, it’s perfect. Thank you.

Location: Antartica, I think
Mood: freezing but happy with my owls
Music: When they say only fools rush in, then I may be foolish
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You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here

5PM, right?

It was a long weekend, this past weekend, so I brought the boy to my in-laws and stayed for lunch.

MIL: Do you want a sandwich?
Me: Yes, please.
Her: (later) Do you want some pizza?
Me: Yes, please.
Her: One or two slices?
Me: Yes, please.

Because my son was away this past weekend, the Gymgirl and I celebrated her birthday.

Oh, and also because it was her birthday.

I tried to throw a surprise birthday party for her but my coach – god love him – kinda threw a wrench in our plans.

Him: (coming over to the Gymgirl and me) How are you two doing with today’s lesson?
Me: Good, we’re just practicing.
Him: Great! Oh, and for tomorrow’s game night, it’s at 5PM right?
Me:  …
Him: (looking puzzled, turns to Gymgirl) It’s 5PM right?
Gymgirl: (laughing) Yes. 5PM (he leaves) So…game night is at 5PM?
Me: (laughing) Yes. 5PM.

Now that the cat was outta the bag, she helped me clean up the joint that day and we ordered pizzas for everyone.

Me: Should I order two or three pizzas?
Her: Well, the coach and you will be here, so that’s two pizzas right there.
Me: Three pizzas it is.

Lots of people from our old and new gym stopped by for pizza and board games. We actually ended up playing games, including some Jackbox games, for about six hours.

The time really flew. It was 11PM before we knew it.

Coach: Should we start wrapping up?
Me: Well, you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.

Location: home, fixing the window
Mood: coooooold
Music: one of us gets too drunk and calls about a hundred times
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A gross weekend

Dinner with my BJJ Coach


This past weekend was pretty gross.

It turns out that the Gymgirl got sick with the Norovirus and the kid got it from her and I got it from him. She was away this weekend so he and I were home together since Wednesday night with him being a mess and, later, me being a mess.

Him: (softly) I don’t feel so well.
Me: (weakly) Neither does papa. And good use of the word, “well” as an adverb describing a verb versus an adjective describing a…
Him: (interrupting) I don’t feel so well, Papa.
Me: I’ll stop talking and get us some juice.

Essentially, we did next to nuthin all weekend except try to not be quite as sick as we both were. He ended up getting a fever as well.

It was shame because I really wanted to start the year off right and hit the gym hard as well try to increase what little work I’d done since Alison passed.

On the former, I did manage to carve out some time to go with my gym buddies to head over to the Hofbrauhaus here in NYC to celebrate my coach’s birthday.

You can watch him in action – and sign up for his Instagram account – here.

Coach: What should we order?
Me: What are you thoughts of ordering this entire section? (points at half the menu)
Him: (puts menu down) That works for me.

On the latter, I just gave an updated GDPR presentation to a buncha lawyers, which seemed to go really well.

But this Saturday night I was just a sick dad with a sick kid trying my best to keep us from being too sick.

Me: Do you want to read something?
Him: No. I want to go to bed.
Me: Oh, thank god. Let’s all go to bed.

Gotta say, as gross as it is sometimes, still the best job I’ve ever had.

Location: two nights ago, my bathroom floor, waiting…waiting…
Mood: gross
Music: Oh, I just don’t know where to begin
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Travelogue: Los Angeles 2018, Days 5 & 6

It’s good to be home


We grabbed some food and coffee around the Avalon Hotel for Christmas eve right before checkout.

Her: The coffee was free!
Me: Why?
Her: (shrugging) Christmas?

And then had some traditional Christmas Persian food.

But we got in one last swim pool before we got ready to go.

The Gymgirl has an odd way to sunbathe:

Afterward, we met up with my brother and his girl for dinner at a Chinese joint near him.

Him: I think we ordered too much food.
Me: I don’t think so. The Gymgirl and I eat a lot.
Him: Why don’t we see if the food we already ordered is enough.
Me: (30 minutes later) I think we need more food.
The Gymgirl: We need more food.
Me: See?

The owner gave us a calendar for the new year.

The rest of the night was them singing karaoke. Everyone else had a good singing voice so I just let them sing while I enjoyed it.

Me: Sing for me, you singing monkeys!
Brother: (laughing) Why would you say such a thing?

The next day was Christmas. We woke up super late and the Gymgirl and I exchanged presents.

Me: Do you like it?
Her: I love it! No on has ever bought me anything like this.
Me: (laughing) Good. I like to be first.

Her gift to me was at home as it arrived late but she got me some Firefly-related things to tide me over.

My brother’s girl also got us a gift; a tiny waffle maker.

Girlfriend: It’s just a little something.
Me: It’s the perfect size for the kid. Thanks! Shoot, we didn’t get you anything…

Later, the Gymgirl and I went for a walk to do some reconnaissance and see what was open for dinner. We decided on some Thai food, followed by some coffee.

The rest of the night, we all played board games, like Midnight Taboo, which kinda made me realize how much The Gymgirl and I thought alike.

Me: Our friend V is covered in…
The Gymgirl: Tatoos!
Me: Yes!
Brother: What the heck?!

We woke up the next morning and stopped by Lucky Boy, the greasy spoon I went to the last time I was in town, for some brekkie before heading to the airport.

Unlike the trip there, the trip back went completely smoothly. When we landed, we took a cab home that was only five days old.

Me: This is the nicest cab I’ve ever been in. And I’m a native New Yorker. Can I take a picture of it?
Driver: But of course!

We got home and I sighed yet again.

The last time I went to California, Alison ran out to greet me when I returned by shouting, “He’s home, Logan’s home!

This time, as it was so late, it was completely quiet when we got back.

So I turned to the Gymgirl and said, “We’re home.”

“Yes,” she said, nodding, and putting down her bag, “it’s good to be home.”

Location: in front of screens all day
Mood: super busy
Music: Just tell me if you wanna go home
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Travelogue: Los Angeles 2018, Day 3b

A night out in LA

It took a bit longer than we expected to get back to our hotel – and it was probably twice the price of taking a regular Uber cab back, but worth it, in terms of fun.

We napped for a bit and then got dressed to meet up with some friends.

Her: What’s the dress code? (puts on a bracelet)
Me: You look nice with your bling and all.
Her: (laughs) Thanks. Where’s your bling?
Me: You are my bling.

We then tried to figure out how to sneak in one more meal before we met up with everyone.

Me: Let’s go to Philippe’s – it’s right by where we need to be.
Her: What’s “Philippe’s?”
Me: They invented the French Dip Sandwich.
Her: What’s a French Dip Sandwich?

So I told her the story while we went there and also pulled up this video for her.

Me: They have sawdust on the floor – that’s a sign of quality in my book.

On the ride there, I put on an audiobook I read before but she hadn’t – Blink by Malcom Gladwell.

Me: What do you think of it?
Her: I like it!

We got to the restaurant and immediately inhaled a lamb sandwich.

We then put in an order for: A bowl of chili – of course – a bowl of cream of brocoli soup, some pickled eggs, a diet coke, and a mug of hot chocolate.

Server: Do you want whipped cream on that?
Me: Do I! (server was confused) That means, yes. Yes, I would like some whipped cream on that.

We were still pretty stuffed from all the chix we had earlier but we don’t mess around when it comes to food.

Afterword, we walked over to see my friend Paul.

I remember that, the last time I saw him, after we parted, I went to bed thinking of Alison and the California sun

I sighed a lot in California when people couldn’t hear me.

We met him at a joint called General Lee in Chinatown.

Me: You can’t miss us – I’m wearing a red leather jacket and she’s wearing a yellow leather jacket.
Paul: So I’ll look for Power Rangers.
Me: That’s the look we’re going for.

He and the Gymgirl really hit it off, which I would have expected since they’re both just great people.

Him: (to Gymgirl) I’m glad to meet you. (thinking) I could tell that he was better after he met you.
Her: Thank you, that’s really nice.
Me: Yeah, I was pretty messed up.

We had a few more drinks before heading over to a party where our mutual LJ friend Lexxy-Pie was.

Me: Cm’here you handsome devil, I haven’t seen you in ages.

This is how I look with too many drinks

Paul – who’s in the liquor trade and just came out with his top shelf Nankai Shochu (which is really a rum in my book) – told me that the hottest bartender in LA was slinging drinks.

He got us a constantly rotating variety of rum drinks all night.

Met some really interesting people and had a lotta conversations but those stories are mostly other people’s so we’ll end this entry here.

Me: Did you have a good time?
Her: Yes. Paul and your friends are really nice. Did you?

Gotta say that I felt a little guilty having such a nice time in LA with the Gymgirl and without Alison and without the boy.

It makes no logical sense, I know, and yet I felt it. But then I reminded myself that no one is promised tomorrow.

Me: (shrugging) Of course. I was with you.

Location: in front of a powerpoint presentation I need to finish
Mood: full
Music: no, we’re not promised tomorrow
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