That’s because I am

Extremely positive thoughts

It’s funny; every time I go through a bad breakup, I feel the need to be social but not serious.

After my last breakup, I always only hung out with women where I knew nothing could happen. Suppose it’s something related to what Caligirl said.

I’m not quite ready to actively date right now, because I know what dating’s like and what I’m like.

Him: Why don’t you turn it on?
Me: When most people turn it on, it’s like trying to drink out of a garden hose. When I turn it on, it’s like trying to drink out of a fire hose. It’s just my nature .
Him: What’s wrong with that?
Me: My rule was always to try and leave people better off having met me than not. That was a lotta people. But not everyone. I don’t like having to tell someone that I’m not their fella. I didn’t like hurting people. Plus, it’s shit out there.

What I’m more interested in is being part of society again: Dinner parties, art exhibits, ridic crazy parties with RE Mike, etc.

To this end, I rang up two women that I just barely knew.

Me: I want you know that I always have two rules for my female social friends: (a) I will never hit on you and (b) I will try to help you out with any dude you’re interested in when we’re out and about. I’ve never broken those two rules, ever.
Faye: Those rules sound great! I am newly single as of a week ago so I just want friends

There was another girl that we’ll call Anne just turned 21 that’s a gym buddy of mine so I took her out for drinks.

We all ended up at Solas with some of my buddies until late at night and then moved to a hooka bar where I refused to have any hooka.

Me: My dad just died from lung cancer so, no. (thinking) Man, I’m a downer out and about. Let’s drink.

While I didn’t hit on either of them, my friends – one in particular – had no such problem.

Him: (hands her his phone) Faye, why don’t you go and punch your number and name into it and I’ll give you a ring one of these days.
Faye: (laughs, does so)

Faye and Anne came back to mine. I offered for Anne to stay over.

Me: Your safe as houses here if you wanna crash. You’d get brekkie and a toothbrush.
Her: You’re great! But I think I can get back ok.
Me: Then I’ll walk you to the subway.

After she left, Faye and I sat on the stoop and chatted as she waited for a car.

Her: Thanks for inviting me out. I had a great time. You and your friends are fun.
Me: Thanks. We try.

I gave her a hug and walked the five steps into my apartment. I remember sitting on that stoop with another girl 20 years ago but that’s a story for another time.

I haven’t really been alone for … well over a decade? Maybe longer than that.

I’m kinda looking forward to being single and social. And being a dad to this awesome kid.

My life’s on repeat, although, there are some nuanced changes.

Somehow, I always survive… even when I don’t wanna.

Which is not to say that there aren’t some unexpected pleasantries here and there.

Her: What are your thoughts on nerdy but hot brunettes?
Me: I have extremely positive thoughts on nerdy but hot brunettes.
Her: Oh, I always thought you were into blondes. My friend thinks you’re cute.
Me: Well, that’s because I am.


On a completely different note, this was in both the Men’s and Women’s bathrooms of where we went.

No one could figure out how this would work.

Location: the DMV…all day
Mood: okay
Music: nobody ever did it like me

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Every dozen years or so

Captain RedStar

I’m always surprised who reads my blog. But I’m realizing that people don’t fully know that these entries tend to lag my real life.

Mouse and I are seeing each other regularly but things are still decidedly complicated.

Which leads to this conversation, as my buddy thought I was upset with her:

Pac: Mouse is coming. Don’t be a b___h.
Me: What am I, nine? It’s fine. Plus, you know I always like to see her.

We were heading out to crash an acquaintance’s birthday party. He had it at the Bohemian Beer Garden – which I last went to almost exactly a dozen years ago with two friends, one of whom I’ll tell you about below.

Bought two pitchers of beer for $40. You don’t get that in Manhattan.

I should go there every dozen years or so. It’s a fun time.

Afterward, we stopped by the SVL Bar for some killer Greek food because we were in Astoria, which is known for it’s Greek food.

Cashier: Do you eat a lot?
Me: Uh, yeah.
Her: Then you should get the party platter.
Me: Done. (later) It’s on me, fellas. Just eat.

Then we went to another bar where Mouse bought drinks for us and we saw the Shevchenko vs Carmouche fight.

It was midnight when we called it.

Me: Are you coming by mine afterward for a drink?
Her: (thinking) Yes.
Me: You know I’m crazy about you and I’m gonna make a pass at you, right?
Her: Yes.
Me: OK.

I met Kirk Akahoshi in real life and on LiveJournal ages ago, when he was still Captain Redstar.

He’s the fella in the black. He’s younger than me. I was…33/34 in that pic?

He moved out to Cali a while ago, started a business, met a nice girlie, and got hitched.

He also got Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. Which is horrifying enough so I’ll stop here, lest I cheapen the whole matter.

But I’ve been following him and another good friend of mine that ALSO has Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer.

Man, cancer hits anyone, anywhere, any age. Don’t think you’re safe, man. You’re not. No one’s safe.

It’s all just shitty luck and tears.

I’ll tell you about my other friend in a bit; still processing it all.

In the meanwhile, if you have a buck to spare, consider shooting it Kirk’s way.

Location: this past weekend, Brighton Beach
Mood: hard to describe
Music: If you make it all wrong, then I’ll make it all right

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A date with her in a blackout

Send me your location

As I mentioned earlier, Mouse and I saw each other over the blackout. We were originally going to get a bite to eat downtown and then hit up Solas again but the trains stopped at Times Square.

Me: Wanna walk to Koreatown?
Mouse: Sure.

The next thing you know, we’re in a private room in restaurant near the gym.

Her: This is so cool!
Me: (nodding) Yeah, but I’m starving.

We ended up getting mostly full there and then heading to the same bar we went to once before with some other friends.

In hindsight, I shoulda taken the opportunity to speak to her about things but I assumed she didn’t want to talk.

Evidently, I’m not good at reading her cues. Working on it.

Fast forward to this past week when she messaged me.

Her: Where are you?
Me: Just got back from the gym, why?
Her: I’m out with coworkers and my boss wants to meet you. Wanna come by?
Me: Right now? (thinking) Send me your location.
Her: Yes. Fraunces Tavern. Downtown.

Less than four minutes later, I was on a downtown train to see her, her co-workers, and her boss.

It was pretty interesting but this is getting long so I’ll tell you about it in the next entry.

In the meantime, here’s a vid I made for her blog but she can’t post videos for some reason so I’m posting it here.

It’s from when we went axe-throwing. She’s pretty good.

Location: earlier today, a children’s library with the kid
Mood: tired
Music: just need the time and place to come through

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A Flying Fisherman in an Aviary in NYC

Nice Surprises


Don’t like surprises. Mine are generally of the type no one wants.

I like knowing things, so surprises are anathema to everything that I’m about.

My birthday’s next week so the Gymgirl decided that the best way to surprise me for it was to take me out beforehand. Way beforehand.

She first told me that she was going to take the boy and me out to eat and that she had two places picked out or I could choose.

Since she and I are still on a diet – and I’m super lazy – I told her I wanted to stay local, so we went to The Flying Fisherman around the way.

I ordered fish and chips just because I felt like carbing it up; the boy was only interested in the fries and, even then, only as a vehicle for the tub of ketchup they gave us.

Me: You can’t just eat ketchup!
Him: (eating just the ketchup) Why not?
Me: Because it’s pure sugar.
Him: But I like it.
Me: (sigh)

It was a nice night and we went back to my place to get the boy ready for bed. But just as we were putting him down, the doorbell rang. I went to get it and was surprised to see my babysitter at the door.

Me: (to her) What are you doing here?
The Gymgirl: (from behind) Surprise! Get dressed, quick! (the sitter laughs)

It turns out that she got us a table at The Aviary at the Mandarin Oriental. So off we went.

Me: You already did enough! This is too much.
Her: I like doing stuff for you.

We ended up having several different types of drinks, including one that looked like a bomb and tasted amazing.

Me: You know, my cousin designed this hotel.
Her: I’m not surprised. (laughs) The people you know…

She slipped the waiter her credit card when I wasn’t looking.

We were actually there over two hours and just talked. And then we walked home. It was my ideal type of evening.

Me: (arriving home) Oh, we forgot to use our headphones to listen to music on the way back.
Her: It’s fine. I liked the conversation.
Me: Thanks for everything tonight, it was perfect.
Her: (beaming) Great! I’m glad. I had a good time too.

Location: 10PM the other day, The Mandarin Oriental
Mood: relaxed
Music: It’s gotta drive you crazy, how you keep it all inside
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Catching up with friends when I can

Plus some Instagram Pics

Empire State Building in clouds
Had a rare bit of downtime and coorporating weather so I saw my friend Claire for dinner the other night and then went out with my friend Bryson to celebrate his wife’s birthday.

Don’t actually get to catch up with people in RL all that often; partly because we’re all busy and partly because FB and other social networks are kinda like “keeping up, lite.” We get the curated highlights that people want to share and, for the most part, that’s often good enough.

But it’s nice seeing people when I can. Claire is staying here in The City from California because of her fella and Bryson is, as always, the same guy I knew back in college but with two kids now.

It’s nice seeing how your friends’ stories unfold.

Shots of liquor

On a different note entirely, I’ve been trying to get more into Instagram.

My main issue with using is that I don’t generally like how pictures from phones come out. But here are the highlights of what I’ve done recently – follow me!

Spring in NYC and Bryant Park.Spring in NYC and Bryant Park.

#Cloudy day in #NYC and autumn leaf bag bear downtown is unhappy. #Cloudy day in #NYC and autumn leaf bag bear downtown is unhappy.

Nighttime falls in the #UWS in #NYC. The #DINKYs and #YUPPIES grow restless. Nighttime falls in the #UWS in #NYC. The #DINKYs and #YUPPIES grow restless.

It's #spring and sunny in #NYC but still cold enough to freeze you solid. It’s #spring and sunny in #NYC but still cold enough to freeze you solid.

NYC is always a work in progress. NYC is always a work in progress.

Location: HomeDepot getting supplies
Mood: excited
Music: If you’re gonna do it, do it right – right?

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They’re always filming something here

They’re shooting Gotham in my neighborhood

Gotham Television Show Shooting in NYC

Since we’re on the topic of talking about the city and real life, there’s always a movie or television shoot going on somewhere.

It does get to be a bit annoying to have a million people milling about and blocking traffic for essentially entertainment purposes when you actually have some place to be.

The other night, an entire block near my house was lit up bright as day in the middle of the night for a scene from Gotham and I had to walk all the way around the other side to just cross the street.

That picture above was taken at maybe midnight but a crane with the brightest light I’d ever seen lit up the whole block.

P1070846

And outside my window this morning there were three scouts laying out shots for something else for what seemed like hour. I finally had to ask them to leave, which they were nice enough to do.

But still I have to admit that I’m always jazzed when I see someplace I recognize on the big or little screen.

Suppose it’s just like everything else in life, you want the results of things without having to put in the effort to have them done.

Me: Fellas, my desk is right there, do you mind keeping it down?
Him: Oh, sorry, sorry, we were working on a shoot.
Me: (laughing) I guessed that part.

Location: Queens, shortly
Mood: busy
Music: Hypocrites. You’re all here for the very same reason.
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Hoping we don’t go back to the good old days

Anyone missing the old NYC didn’t live in the old NYC

Me: Do you want me to slice that for you?
Her: Why?
Me: Cutting bagels are the among the most dangerous household activities.
Her: (getting knife) You’re the clumsiest person I know.
Me: This is true.

Finished up a slate of projects for a client recently and immediately got more work in. There’s no real happy balance with my type of work, it’s either feast or famine.

The professor was in town but we each only had an hour or so, so we caught up in basement of Grand Central.

Me: Y’know, I have no childhood reference for this place. I figured if I came here back then, I’d get shanked.
Him: Yeah.

The people that dream of the good old days of NYC never had to live here back then. I have the feeling they’re the same people that like to rubberneck at car wrecks or watch nature shows when the impala gets killed by the lioness.

Great entertainment if you’re the lioness or the one in a safe car. Not so much if you’re the impala.

Running down my list of friends who were born and raised here, the professor is in Pittsburgh, another buddy is in Hawaii, another one in Cali, another one in Connecticut.

The City takes its toll on you over a lifetime.

I bring this up because I was concerned about our new mayor. The last time we had a mayor like him, the city was a cesspool.

But his recent choice of our old Chief Bratton has allayed my fears, somewhat. Only somewhat.

For me, I can only wait.

Because there really isn’t anywhere like New York.

 

Location: in front of all these computer screens
Mood: tired
Music: I know, I know, I know you ain’t the one to play the game.
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Insomnia and a day of meetings on tap

Another sleepless night

Had a bunch of things I wanted to write about but a particularly bad bout of insomnia this week has made it so that everything’s hazy. A copy of a copy of a copy.

Last night a car alarm kept my entire building awake as well so that was beyond irritating. Wanted to go outside with a sledgehammer.

Now I’ve got to slap myself awake and prep for a day of meetings from 11AM to 7:30PM. No fun.

In some ways, NYC and I are in an abusive relationship. She treats me terribly but her charms are enough that I stay. Some of us are just nighthawks, I suppose.

Apparently Billy Joel feels the same way too; check out this vid with him and a random Vanderbuilt college kid named Michael Pollock that wants to play the piano with him.

Here’s the thing: If you never ask, there’s zero chance you’ll get what you want. The risk one takes by opening the mouth and asking changes everything.

Everything good comes from the asking. Michael Pollock asked to play and Joel said yes.

Guess it’s time for another meeting.

Why yes, I will have another cup of coffee…

Mood: ex-fricken-hausted
Music: so easy livin’ day by day Out of touch with the rhythm and blues
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The guys in your corner

Life’s easier with people on your side

Was doing work when I got a text from my buddy Thor telling me he had a fight the next day. He’s probably the only guy I get to practice my crappy German with so I said yes.

Him: Hey buddy, do you maybe have some time tomorrow to take some pics?
Me: Maybe – where and when?

The next night, was walking down an empty Jerome Avenue looking for a fight ring.

Pretty soon, walked into a Bronx gym that smelled like old sweat and violence.

Found Thor and the coaches and waited around for the other fella – who ended up being a no show. But the guys just ended up looking for another fighter to fight and found one.

The only issue was that he was ranked two levels higher than my buddy (white vs. purple).

But Thor was game so it was on.

Just like all of the other fights, it was a lotta waiting around before they finally got down to scrapping. I stood in his corner with his coaches to film it.

Thor ultimately lost but we were proud that he held his own.

It’s ok, we all lose at some point.

And we all lose our very last fight. It’s our fate.

But along the way, it’s nice to have people in your corner – people on you side.

As for me, if I get to choose which corner to be in, I choose to to be in the one with the people that, when that bell rings – regardless of the what or who they’re up against – take a deep a breath, knuckle-up, and roll.

Him: Thanks for coming. It means a lot to me.
Me: You did great – it was against a purple! That’s something. Get ready for the next one – let’s go...

Mood: proud
Music: on the surface he looks calm and ready to drop bombs
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Our reputations bring us places

Sometimes these places have no rum but endless vodka and ill-thought out plans

Our reputations carry us places – hopefully places we want to go, which is not always the case. And you build a reputation just like you build anything else in your life.

When I was single, had a reputation of never saying no to an invite and that’s served me well; met my wife this way and lots of other interesting people.

Back then, found myself randomly at the Rainbow Room meeting Tina Fey or running repeatedly into a French waitress at Hiro or just ending up on a rooftop somewhere.

After I got married, stopped having that reputation – mainly because it’s tiring and little beats being at home seeing what’s on Netflix with your favourite person.

But I still get the random call from time-to-time. Monday it was from my old buddy, Mas.

Him: There’s a black tie banquet at Cirpriani’s downtown tonight, you’re on the guest list.
Me: Do I have to wear a tie?
Him: It’s supposed to be tuxedo, so please wear tie
Me: Fine, fine – but if I see someone without a tie there, it’s coming off!
Him: Deal

An hour later, I’m having a Double-Cross vodka martini – hold everything but the vodka – and trying to chat with Maya Lin.

It’s vodka, BTW, because of their lack of any aged rums; told the bartender they should consider adding some.

After my buddy and his friends show up, it’s a blur of vodka (now giving up all pretensions and just having it on the rocks), appetizers, speeches, and handshakes.

In the middle of it, get a call from a client.

Her: …12 projects. All due this quarter.
Me (what I wanted to say): All due this quarter?! That’s crazy. There’s only three weeks left and I’ve got eight projects already due by year’s end, which is really December 21st because of Xmas falling on a Tuesday this month. I’m flattered you thought of me, but I can’t possibly.
Me: (what I actually said): Sure.

Finished up the night by thanking my friends for the invite and headed home to the aforementioned favourite person.

Her: How was it?
Me: No good rum but otherwise, really nice. Let me tell you who I met…

Woke up the next day with 250MB of pdf files in my email. My email crashed because of the volume of scans.

Slept 3 hours last night. Off to start project nine of the month.

Goodbye sleep, I’ll see you in January.

Location: off to another meeting
Mood: whoa
Music: down on Delancey, Hey remember that time
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