Nights out and Friendsgiving

In it, but not part of it

The Gymgirl and I went out to one of her co-worker’s birthday parties.

Girl there: I think you’re the same age as my dad.
Me: He must be awesome.

It was at this Italian joint in Little Italy called Pugliao, which I’d been to twice before. Super loud music and average food but it was fun enough.

A little while after that, my eating group went over to Pac’s place in Queens for a Friendsigiving celebration. Spak managed to turn off the gas at his own pad and also cook some killer food.

I made some traditional Chinese Thanksgiving guacamole while my friend Halfman made some mac n cheese and cornbread but these pics are all from Pac:

Him: If you’re gonna post this in your blog, gratuitously mentioning that I’m single would be dope.
Me: Done. Also, do people still use the word, “dope?”

I’ve been trying to balance my nights at home and out-and-about.

The weather’s getting cold and dark and I don’t want to do much but stay home and do stuff around the house. Try to sleep.

But the holidays are when people invite you places and I’ve got a full social card again.

Work’s picking up again, too. Like before.

My friends the Halfmen drove me and the kid home. He put on Uptight and kid sang most of the song.

When he got to the line that goes, She says, “Baby, everything is alright,” I broke down a little but recovered quickly enough that I don’t think the kid or the others saw.

I feel like I’m faking so much; being involved in the world but only enough to get by.

I’m in it, but not part of it.

Well, not part of the things that don’t really matter, at least.

Me: We’re home!
Boy: I like being home.
Me: There’s no place like it, right kid?
Him: (laughs, sings)

Location: home with the boy
Mood: full
Music: Blow all my friendships to sit in hell with you
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You sold me out, kid!

Happy places


Went out to Queens twice this past weekend. The first time was with the boy and the Gymgirl when we stopped by a Chinese joint in Flushing.

Waitress: Does he speak Chinese?
Me: About as well as I do.

Then, on Sunday, my buddy Pac took the Gymgirl, my cousin, her fella, and me out to Korean restaurant out in Queens. (Eating’s a big thing for my friends and me.)

Her: There’s a great place in Murray Hill, Mapo.
Me: That’s one block from my childhood home!

The Gymgirl and I got there a little early so I walked her to my home and showed her my old digs.

Me: Alison was the last person I brought here over a decade ago.
Her: I’m sorry.

I looked where we were heading and saw the train tracks from my youth and crossed the street. Was gonna mention why to the Gymgirl but decided that was too dark for the day. Not that we didn’t veer dark.

Me: I can show you pretty much every place I got beat up.
Cousin: You remember that?!
Cousin’s fella: We never forget getting beat up.

That’s mostly true. We all have our scars. It’s always sad, that we have no scar to show for happiness.

In any case, we ate a ton of food…

Cousin: You’re ordering more food?
Me: You’re a Lo; you’re supposed to be able to eat.

So afterward, my cousin got us some shave ice – I can only think, as penance for her inability to keep up with the rest of us.

While there’s no scar for happiness, it is still nice when your mind wanders to some happy place; as I write this, I’m reminded of when the Gymgirl taught the kid how to put on his own shirt:

Gymgirl: (suspicious) Did papa help you?
Him: Yes!
Me: Wha?!
Gymgirl: Was papa supposed to help you?
Him: Noooooo.
Me: You sold me out, kid!

Location: In Queens, picking up my son
Mood: wistful
Music: the only living boy in New York
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Mae West and my friends

A busy but nice weekend

Her: I’ll watch that.
Me: What?
Her: That film you just mentioned, “Hans Solo?”
Me: HAN! It’s HAN Solo. He’s not Swedish.
Her: Han? Well, that’s a dumb name.

It was an oddly busy weekend. The Gymgirl and I stayed in and watched a film on Friday and my buddies Bryson and Steele were both supposed to come by early Saturday morning but Bryson was stuck in DC.

Him: It’s the grand opening of our DC restaurant and we’re running into issues so I’m gonna be stuck here.
Me: These are the types of things one can’t make up.

So Steele, his wife, and his kid came by and met the Gymgirl and also got to know my kid now that he’s talking.

Steele: (laughing) And you were worried he’d never speak.
Me: Well, that’s long gone now.
Him: I brought a greek lasagne with a bechamel sauce.
Me: You had me at lasagne.

Afterward, the Gymgirl and I went to the gym for a few hours. While we were out, I had a roast going in the sous vide machine that Steele gave me a while ago, which was a lucky thing because my cousin and my comfortable pants buddy came by after dinner.

Him: Your girlfriend invited me to your home for dinner. Be prepared.
Me: I’ll put a stop to that. Serving at 5:30PM. Don’t bring more carbs.

We ended up playing Pictionary and the Gymgirl and I were doing ok when the Gymgirl started drawing that picture you see above…

Me: (five seconds in) Mae West?
Her: How did you get Mae West!? How did you possibly get that?!
Him: He only knows that because she was probably popular when he was kid.

Then the very next day, went with the boy and the Gymgirl to my friend’s Bagman’s house in Westchester this past weekend where we were served a ton of amazing food.

And there was also some stupid human tricks, which really made the trip.

All-in-all it was a great weekend with family and friends.

Wouldn’t mind a few more of those if I could get them.

Location: around my dining room table, attacking ants
Mood: rested
Music: Bet on the winners, worst of you’s born to lose
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J.B. Penn and wearing the life

Friends and incredibly comfortable pants

Me: I ate too much. Do you have any fat pants for me to wear?
Him: Logan! You don’t go to someone’s house and ask to wear their clothes!
His girlfriend: Ignore him. I’ll get you a pair.
Me: (5 minutes later) God, I’m so comfortable right now.

Went to watch the fights over at a buddy’s place the other day. Think that the past three years, the people I’ve spent the most time with are from my gym.

Initially, it was because they were the only people I saw since I only ever was at my pad, the hospital, or the gym. Unless one of my buddies showed up at one of those places, didn’t see them, even if they were just around the way.

Now, it’s just because they’re part of the landscape of my life these days.

In some sense, I’m a tabula rasa to them. A guy mentioned off-handily, Who knew you were a womanizer? which made me laugh.

Another person was surprised to hear I was a lawyer, let alone gave lectures in front of the Paris Bar and around the world.

Me: Don’t get it twisted, I wasn’t very good.
Him: Is that true?
Me: No. (shaking head) I was excellent.

So much of who I once was is gone. Don’t think of that as a good thing or a bad thing. It’s just a thing, I suppose.

I suspect that to most of the guys at my gym that I’m just this old widower with a kid that hangs out with the Gymgirl, eats everything in sight, and washes his hands like a madman.

You know, I’ve got two closets with about 15 suits, an untold number of shirts and ties that I never wear but I wear the same five or six athletic clothes over-and-over again. Literally never wear anything from my old life.

Which makes sense, I suppose, since I never wear that life anymore either.

I am wearing some incredibly comfortable borrowed pants in this pic below, though. That’s a borrowed dog too.

A dear friend called me recently.

Her: Are you ever free for lunch? There’s some business we could do.
Me: I dunnno, I’m pretty busy with the kid.
Her: XXX is involved. You know how much money he’s made in the past for our guys. There’s a lotta money to be made, Logan. One lunch.
Me: I’d love to see you. But I’m not that guy any more.

This book called Captains Courageous had a character named Penn. Penn was once this fella named Jacob Boller that watched his entire family die before his eyes and his mind snapped. He stopped being Jacob Boller and became Penn, a completely different person – although, every once in a while, Jacob would come out.

Don’t think I’m anywhere near that degree but right now, I’m so different from the person I used to be.

I’ve gone from being this ruthless capitalist husband to being a 1950s house-wife.

It is not I.

And that’s fine with me. So little matters to me anymore. Pretty much just the kid and the Gymgirl.

Me: (dropping plate of food)
Son: (running in) Are you ok?
Me: Yes. (thinking) You know, your momma used to ask why I was always dropping things.
Him: Momma? She’s in Queens.
Me: (shocked, slowly shaking head) No, boy. No she’s not in Queens. She’s…away. But she misses you, that I know. (smiling) Cm’on, I’ll make you another sandwich.
Him: Peanut butter!
Me: But, of course!

Location: earlier today, the park
Mood: twisted
Music: It seems a heavy choice to make
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Alison saved the day

Nothing is ever as it should be

Went to Boston this past weekend on a last minute, 48-hour trip with the Gymgirl. (I’m as confused as you are.)

Had a great time and was gonna write about it but the kid got sick while visiting Alison’s mom in NJ. They’re in the ER right now. I think he’ll be ok but I’m waiting.

I’m a wreck. Alison once said that the day before you become a parent is the last day you’re not worried. She’s right. Even more so with me. For obvious reasons.

In any case, here’s a something I was working on last week that’s much happier so I post it instead as I wait.

I hate the waiting so.

The kid started going to a five-day-a-week school recently.

When I arrived to pick him up, the teacher wanted to talk to me.

It seems they took his thermos out of his lunchbox, and – for some inexplicable reason – thought it was some other kid’s thermos and wrote that kid’s name on it.

It was annoying but an honest mistake and they felt terrible about it.

I was gonna buy him a new one when I remembered that when Alison moved in here, she bought a multipack of these things called Magic Erasers (that’s what the cap’s sitting on in the pic above) and scrubbed both bathrooms methodically until they sparkled.

She was so proud. She said that Magic Erasers were her favourite cleaning product ever.

I spent a solid 20 minutes going through the entire utility closet and found a single Magic Eraser tucked into the corner and used that to clean his thermos – you can’t even see it.

That made me happier than you might imagine because I know that if she were here, and this happened, she would have done exactly that.

Alison saved the day.

Location: 24 hours ago, Boston Commons
Mood: anxious like you couldn’t believe
Music: Miniature disasters and minor catastrophes bring me to my knees
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Intent versus skill

Life is 80% intent

I went to my old haunt Solas again this past weekend. It was for a buddy’s 30th birthday party.

Funny thing was I that I remember turning 30 there also. I think. I don’t have any pics but that pic above is from another buddy’s birthday 19 years ago. Been going there a really long time.

Now, on the way there, my buddy asked to see me do some pickup.

Him: I’ll pay you $5 for each girl you pick up.
Me: (shaking head) It doesn’t work like that.

This knife fighter named William Fairbairn once said that fighting is 80% intent and 20% skill.

Now, I’d go further than that: I submit that most things are 80% intent and 20% skill.

The Gymgirl beats me about 40% of the time in the the gym when we fight, despite my outweighing her by a solid 35 pounds.

The main difference between us is intent: She hates to lose while I don’t need to win – I just wanna get in a workout and go home with all my parts intact.

Getting back to the other night, the reason I can’t just turn on pickup is that the intent isn’t there; the intent would be to show off, not to meet someone.

Don’t think people really understand how important intent is in shaping our individual worlds and the world around us.

If you look up from your computer/phone right now and look around; everything you see that isn’t biological was built by intent. Someone dreamed up whatever you’re looking at and made it into the world. Shoes, computers, desks, everything.

That’s what intent does; it makes things happen and the greater the intent, the greater the result. The only reason I was any good at pickup at all was because of the level of my intent.

After all, Man is made by his belief.

Without it, I’m just like anyone else. It was the intent that made me so good. I wanted to meet someone when I was out-and-about.

On a somewhat related note, I realized that the last time I was at that bar, I got to know the Gymgirl there almost exactly a year ago.

My intentions as to my fate at the time were pretty dark, but I remember that they weren’t quite as much with her.

An old buddy called me for the first time in months.

Rain: Hey, what’s going on with you and Gymgirl?
Me: I dunno. She doesn’t know either. At least we’re on the same page.

Location: home
Mood: hungry
Music: classy girls don’t kiss in bars, you fool
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Comings and goings

Bad idea to be friends

The insomnia lasted three days. Which, let’s face it, is better than having a whole month of it, like August.


A buddy of mine sent me this article, probably because she thinks it’s a bad idea for me to try to be friends with the Gymgirl.

I get that. I’m actually not friends – on social media or otherwise – with anyone I’ve dated seriously. (Anyone else, rather). After all, we ended for a reason and the negatives of staying friends probably outweighs the positives.

Having said that, I am friends with about 1/3 of the people I dated (very) casually.

Plus, I’ve got a number of people I’ve met throughout the years that are of the opposite sex and we just kept in touch for one reason or another.

I recently reconnected with my old LJ friend Seemore and we caught up the other day. Pretty crazy how our lives unfolded.

And I just found out that the 18 year-old Italian I met on an airplane is getting married. It makes me happier than you might imagine that she found me and stayed friends.

Finally, just recently at a train station, I ran into the other Italian that I went with to Roosevelt Island all those years ago.

Her: Logan!
Me: (turning) Hey, what are you doing here? I thought you moved away for school?
Her: I did – I’m back.
Me: Do you live in the Upper West Side now?
Her: Yup, we’re neighbors! If you’re going downtown right now, let’s catch up.

Funny, who stays and who leaves your venn diagram. And who shows up again.

Turning back to the topic of dating, one of my biggest hangups is that I assume I’m just just going to end up meeting one laco-ovo-vegetarian after another, no matter what I do.

Him: How many laco-ovo-vegetarians did you date?
Me: Put it this way: If you put me in a room with 100 single women, I’ll end up with either the only 23 year-old laco-ovo-vegetarian or the lesbian from the group.

When I was dating the Gymgirl, I picked up two people, just to see if I could. Told her about it.

In hindsight, I’m kicking myself for not asking if they were laco-ovo-vegetarians or not.

Him: (laughing) Why does that matter?
Me: (joking) I wanna know what’s in store for me after all these years. God, if I keep meeting 23 year-olds again, I’m gonna shoot myself.

Location: this weekend, in an Italian restaurant with my favourite two people. Italians are a recurring theme in my life, evidently.
Mood: thinking
Music: each morning I get up, I die a little
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The deadliest hotdog stand in the world

Neither a rapist nor a hypocrite

The Pentagon was built like the old Bastion forts in Europe where the center  was the most protected area.

During the cold war, the Russians focused a tremendous amount of time, money, and manpower to try to get access to the building in the center of the Pentagon.

What the Russians didn’t know was that the building in the middle of the Pentagon was a hot dog stand. The reason it was in the middle of the Pentagon is because of (a) pure dumb luck and (b) the fact that the world was different – the Pentagon looked like a Bastion fort but wasn’t a Bastion fort, it just looked like one.

I think we spend our lives looking at information and trying to sort out what it all means. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we get it wrong.

After this post, got a call from a friend-of-a-friend telling me about his dating life.

Him: …and that was it. Two years together, gone like that. (sighs) I moved in with my cousin last week.
Me: (joking) If this is it, I kinda need a new roommate. (thinking) Oh wait, you have dogs…
Him: (correcting) I have *a* dog. She has the other one.
Me: That’s *a* dog too many. (sighing) Sorry, man. People tell you what they’re all about if you listen.

On that note, the Gymgirl and I were in the gym (hence, the moniker) together the other day. Traditionally, she was my partner for most things and this day, she just ended up next to me and we were partners again, just like before.

Some of my buddies asked me if I thought that something else might be going on.

Me: (thinking) The thing is, I’m not a rapist nor a hypocrite.
Him: What does that mean?
Me: A lotta guys – too many – hear “no” from women and think: She doesn’t really mean that. Then, in the best case scenario, they hope and hang around, like a stalker. In the worst case scenario, they’re rapists. I’m neither of those things.  Like I said, it’s always better to be the dumpee than the dumper:  You grab your shoes, say, Thanks for the lovely evening, and bounce. I’ve been in her position before: Where I really like someone but there’s something missing. I can’t be a hypocrite and fault her for wanting me around but not wanting something more.
Him: That’s too bad, I liked you two together.
Me: Oh, I did too. We’re having brunch together on Saturday.
Him: (laughs) I don’t understand you two.
Me: (shrugging) I’m 45. I’m constantly shocked how little I understand about anything. Especially women.

Maybe I’m looking at a hotdog stand or maybe I’m looking at the most dangerous building in the world.

Who knows what it is? We’ll have to wait and see what happens.


The boy goes to school for the first time this week. I’m beyond excited.

Location: getting a speeding ticket in midtown, yesterday
Mood: significantly poorer, man, tickets are expensive
Music: How can you say, “It doesn’t matter much to me”
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The only thing that’s changed

My Labor Day 2018


The weekend was strange. But nice. Nicer than August, for the most part.

Friday, made the trip down to Alison’s family’s home in Jerz to drop the kid off. I was actually fine for most of it.

“Fine” is a relative term.

But I took a wrong turn and somehow ended up right in front of one of the hospitals she had to go to. Then, to leave, passed the very last hotel we stayed at.

God, she was so happy then. She almost glowed.

I cursed for 15 minutes straight. So much so that’d I’d lost my voice.

OK, that wasn’t the nice part.

Me: Do you wanna go to the diner around the way?
Her: I love diners.

On a slightly more upbeat note, the Gymgirl stopped by twice this holiday weekend. If you asked me why she did, I couldn’t tell you. And if you asked me why I saw her, the same.

Gymgirl: Have you seen your big plant?! When was the last time you watered it?!
Me: What day is today?
Her: Friday.
Me: I dunno why I asked what day it was. I have no idea when I did anything beyond taking care of the boy.

We ended up watching the latest Mission Impossible flick and drinking.

In fact, this weekend, I went on a bender of rum that I’ve not done in a while. She did it with me; I may have converted her to be a rum drinker.

Her: I’m going to sleep in the front room.
Me: Sure.

The second time we met up was when I woke up – mostly sober – and was in the mood for some sushi so I put up a random note that if anyone was free they should come join me.

Gymgirl said yes and we had lunch together along with another friend of ours.

I can’t explain that to you either. Not much makes sense.

Me: (puzzled) Did you just give me a bro-shake?
Her: Yes?
Me: Ok then…

My life is on repeat.

Mentioned to some of my friends that I saw her.

Him: I figure you to be more of the: Are we doing this thing? Cause if not, I’m moving on to the next thing, kinda guy.
Me: I usually am. But here, I’m just doing whatever. I’m not asking her for anything and she’s not asking me for anything.
Him: (laughing) So…you’ve officially started 6th grade again.
Me: (sighing)This is so true.

I’d be lying to you if I said it wasn’t was a nice surprise seeing her.

But the only real thing that’s changed is time. And that’s not enough for either of us.

There’s more that happened, both with and without her, but I need to sort it out, like everything else.

She said she missed the boy and I told her that he missed her too. He starts school next week, which is yet another entry I have to sort out in my head.

Only realized after she left that she cleaned the bathroom, made coffee, and folded the clothes. And she watered Harold and all the other plants.

Gotta remind myself that the only thing that’s changed is time.

Location: home, running outta rum again.
Mood: cloudy
Music: Don’t wanna wait until she finally decides to feel it
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No place to go

Loss and threat of loss

ABFF: I read about the breakup and your insomnia, are you ok?
Me: Strictly, speaking, I haven’t been ok since November 8, 2015. But I’ll survive. After all, that’s what I do, right?

Wrote once that anxiety is fear of the hypothetical. But if you look at it from the fear side of the equation, there are really only two types of anxiety:

  1. Fear of loss
  2. Fear of the threat of loss

I’ve dealt with the horrible realization of some of the worst fears any human being can imagine. Repeatedly. And whenever I thought no horror could top what I was experiencing, life was like: Not done with you yet, man.

On a smaller scale, some fears regarding the Gymgirl were realized recently. As I said, everyone’s grief is grief to them, even when they’ve dealt with the worst-of-the-worst for so long.

After all, I adored the girl.

This blogger named Jamie Anderson wrote:

Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.

The start of my insomnia was actually because the father of one of my oldest and dearest friends just passed away, in a similarly horrifying and grotesque way. I actually fell to my knees when I heard. Literally, my knees buckled. Because I knew everything he was feeling and felt it with him.

What happened with the Gymgirl happened the very next day and just added fuel to the fire.

Agony plus grief is, well, just a lotta f__king grief.

I sent my buddy the quote above in the hopes that understanding grief would make it a little more bearable. It did for me. Kindasortamaybe.

The plus side of this type of grief is clarity, i.e., the disappearance of anxiety. My buddy, I hope, has some peace cause the hypothetical becomes concrete.

Although, I’m sure he, like I, wish it were all concrete in the opposite direction. Then again, I wish for a lotta things. Like I wish I sold my bitcoin back at 20K.

For me, I now know all this information that I never knew before about my relationship with the Gymgirl. She knew, I didn’t, rather.

If nothing else, this new info allows me to see things in a different light, and that’s somehow better. Somehow.

Her: I’m sorry, Logan. You don’t have time for this.
Me: (dismissively) Don’t worry about me, I’ve been through this, so many times, before. Sometimes you’re the dumper, sometimes you’re the dumpee. I’ve always said that I prefer being the dumpee if given the choice.
Her: Why?
Me: (shrugging) Cause there’s nothing for me to do but take my ball and go home. Now she and I both know what’s in the other person’s head. It’s too bad we weren’t listening to each other this whole time.

Him: [The Gymgirl] sounded great. Can’t you two work it out?
Me: (rolling eyes) How do I do that? Make a 15-slide powerpoint presentation that starts: Reason 1 that the kid and I should be enough…? That’s not how it works. She’s an adult, I gotta respect the choices she makes. But there is an upshot to alla this.
Him: What’s that?
Me: (thinking) I now know that I can feel something for someone again that’s not Alison. That’s eye-opening. Was always worried that it would just be a parade of randos that I’d have to somehow explain to the boy.
Him: (amused) So, no parade of randos?
Me: Well, I didn’t say that. The boy has his own room, I could always…
Him: (laughing, interrupting) I’ve seen your powerpoint presentations. You should consider that first, Logan.

Gradgirl once told me: I could never love someone that wasn’t in love with me.

That was good advice.

I joke about the parade of randos but some people leave a deeper mark on my life than I care to admit.

Location: on a white couch with the boy
Mood: okay
Music: we are fools. Throw our lives away, for one happy day
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