The Shot Queen

It all started with a war

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And drink.

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

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

We  had the whole joint to ourselves.

And I told them some stories.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Blogarama - Observations Blogs

He’s ambulatory

Seafood in the rain

Chad ended up fracturing his foot in two places the other day. Since he’s as much eat-what-you-kill as me, this was not good news.

Him: According to PT Steve, I’m looking at six weeks at a minimum. Most likely six months before I get full mobility back.
Me: Well, that’s not good news.

Our buddy Cho was nice enough to chauffer him around the place.

Chad: Do you wanna grab some food with us?
Me: I just made lunch so…
Him: We’re going to Queens for seafood.
Me: Heck, yeah!

But first we Skyped with my son, who decided to do math problems for them by adding three sets of three digit numbers.

Chad: Is that right?
Me: How would I know?
Cho: Do all four-year-olds know how to do that?
Me: I don’t think so. He takes after his mom.

Somehow, we all decided to pick up Mouse as well so – after a snack of some homemade ribs and collard greens, we went off to Brooklyn to pick her up.

Her: Where in Brooklyn are we going?
Cho: We’re going to Queens.
Me: An hour from here.
Her: What?! Why would we do that?
Me: Because Cho’s the driver and that’s where he wants to go.
Her: OK, I’m sold.

Because of Mouse’s diet, she’s super limited as to what she can eat. But she can go to town on seafood. Which worked out perfectly because Cho was hankering for some of that.

Chad: I’m not a big fan of seafood.
Mouse: (correcting him) You’re not a big fan of fish. That’s different from seafood. You’ll like seafood.

Just to hedge our bets, we got him some wings and an arepa from the food cart on the street. Because of the lockdown, we sat in a rainstorm on the street under a tent. It was pretty fun, actually.

Cho and Mouse then proceeded to show Chad how to eat lobster, snow crab, raw oysters, and the like.

Mouse: What do you think?
Him: Pretty good, actually.
Me: Mouse and I used to eat 48 oysters at a time.
Chad: Get outta here.
Her: It’s true. They’d give us like six forks each and we’d say, “We just need one.”

I ended up having two pina coladas, Chad’s lemon drop – it was Alison’s go to shot drink and he wanted to try it (he wasn’t a fan) – and a beer so I was pretty lit by the time we headed home.

Cho, who didn’t drink, wanted to drop everyone off – me uptown, Chad downtown, Mouse in the middle-of-nowhere Brooklyn, and himself in deep Queens – so Mouse insisted on paying for everyone’s dinner.

Me: I’ll cover half, at least.
Her: Nah, I just got a promotion. It’s fine.
Me: Are you sure?
Her: I had good company, good drink, good food, and good music. I’m sure.

While heading home, our buddy Robinson wrote me…

Him: Have you talked to Chad? Is he ambulatory?
Me: Yup!

…and I sent him this picture.

I generally don’t like last minute anything but they do have their moments.

Especially when they involve good company, good drink, good food, and good music.

Podcast Version
Location: yesterday night, eating in Jackson Heights
Mood: busy
Music: I’ve got friends that will fly once called  (Spotify)
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It’s not ideal but it’s something

A Man from Nowhere

Headed out to Queens early in the morning a few times last week to go to a friend’s place and roll.

I’ve been maintaining my weight and such by eating right and doing a little exercise when I can at home but it’s not easy. It’s tough to go from being in the gym four-to-six hours a week to…nuthin.

So, the alarm goes off at 6 in the morning, I straggle to the train station, and head out to roll around with some buddies, including one I’ve known a dozen years.

Him: Lo-lo! Good seeing you, you’re the first one here.
Me: Blargh.

It’s not ideal, but it’s something. Which, I suppose, is the situation for most people in this pandemic.

Speaking of working out and such, Chad and I have a new Scenic Fights, Fight Scene Breakdown – this time, featuring, The Man from Nowhere.

If you’ve never seen it, it’s supposedly one of the inspirations behind John Wick – and I think it supersedes it in many regards. One of the best action flicks I’ve ever seen – on Pac’s recommendation.

Him: Dude, it’s got a karambit in it!

Subscribe, like, and repost please. I need to get some passive income and stop working all together.

Speaking of working, met up with Mouse and RE Mike. Needed his help on a project and wanted to pick his brain on a few things.

Me: I’ll take you out to eat.
Him: You don’t need to do that.
Me: Sure I do. Besides, I gotta eat too.

Because of Mouse’s diet, we went to this place that was pretty paleo friendly. We all really enjoyed our dishes and even had a nice malbec too.

It’s not ideal, but it’s something.

Podcast Version
Location: an hour ago, stabbing two guys in the park – they’re fine
Mood: productive
Music: I’ll be outside, I’ve been cooped up (Spotify)
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In the gutter

My little human needs me

For reasons we don’t need to get into, I had to head to midtown just before 8PM the other night.

So, I hopped onto my scooter and zipped down 9th Avenue to the Penn Station area. I did what I had to do and then headed home.

Was going down West 33rd Street when there was a slight dip in the road, which I hit it perfectly.

And by perfectly, I mean that I went flying through the air – I was literally weightless for a moment. I crashed down into the street gutter, right next to a cop car.

I swear the two cops in the car both looked at me as if I had just messed up their drink order. It was a combination of puzzlement and wonder. They never left the car, and instead just turned away from me and waited for the light to change.

I got up and did a quick visual and mental check of myself. Most of my left side stung; nothing insanely painful but still pain.

I put myself back together again and started to head home as the cops slowly pulled away. I’m guessing they figured I woulda motioned to them in some manner if I was hurt?

It was late enough that I didn’t have to worry too much about a car hitting me. If it was before COVID, I woulda had to worry about a second impact.

When I got home, I realized that my bag was ripped, a chunk of my thigh was scraped open, as were my shoulder, and a solid part of my left palm (click here if you wanna see my hand – which is how my leg looked as well). The rest of my body looked like my elbow, above.

I think nuthin really bad happened because I was wearing a helmet and managed to breakfall correctly.

The thing that bothered me the most was thinking that if I got hurt, the kid would be left alone in the world. That, and my stinging palm, kept me up for a while.

Need to be more mindful of things. My little human needs me.

Podcast Version
Location: at Verdi Square, ranting to a man of God
Mood: still ouch
Music: Maybe it’s in the gutter? (Spotify)
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Where to begin?

Streaks of bad luck

It’s been a trying few weeks. Where to begin?

I’d been feeling off for a while. Cloudy headed, disoriented, etc. I thought maybe it was just allergies or I was getting a cold but no sneezing or coughing so I just chalked it up to my regular insomnia.

I met with some clients for the first time in a long while.

Him: How have you been?
Me: This is my first time wearing pants in months.

It was short, which was for the best because, as it turns out, after four sets of plumbers, the flooding issue was not fixed, so I didn’t have time to really focus on much beyond that.

After my last entry, it rained again and so I was out on a rickety wooden ladder furiously trying to pump water out of my patio beyond a retaining wall. I’m essentially about six feet off the ground, wearing shorts and boots, when the pressure from the pump knocks me down all six feet onto the brick floor.

I felt that I, for sure, either broke or sprained two fingers. I went about my day as normal but a few days later, the pain just kept increasing.

Mouse – who’s dealing with her own streak of bad luck – hit me up and insisted that I go see a doctor.

Her: Go to CityMD.
Me: I think it’s just a sprain. Gonna give it a day.
Her: Why bother with a day? Just take care of now. Go to the doc and avoid other problems.
Me: Fiiine. I’ll eat and then go.

Next thing you know, I’m back there.

Doc: (looking at fingers) These aren’t broken or sprained. Both are infected. Pretty seriously, actually. From the looks of them, they’ve been infected for at least four days now.
Me: Wait, what? So, it has nothing to do with the fall?
Her: Not if it happened just a day or two ago. I need to open them up.
Me: (sighing) Of course you do.
Her: I have to say, I’ve been doing this for 20 years. I’ve never seen anyone with the exact same infection on two separate hands in two separate places.
Me: I like to go for the superlative.

Relax, it’s mostly iodine. Mostly.

It was painful and hard, but mainly because it brought back a flood of memories of Alison.

She endured what I endured but for every single day for years. That girl was tough as nails. I spent the rest of the day remembering stuff I didn’t wanna.

There’s more, but my fingers and soul are killing me. I’ll tell you the rest tomorrow.

Podcast Version
Location: in front of a bottle of antibiotics
Mood: drained (literally!)
Music: I heard you fell off after a couple bad nights (Spotify)
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Travelogue: COVID-NYC

The Sweet Caress

Had a completely sleepless night. This always worries me because I dunno if it’s a one-off thing or it’s the start of the madness.

A buddy of mine stopped by a couple of times; we kept social distancing.

Some time this week, either I injured myself rolling with Chad recently or I have insect/spider bite on my foot. This is part of why I had a sleepless night.

Regardless, I can’t walk because my foot looks like a sausage.

Doesn’t matter much, I suppose. I lent Chad my scooter for the week so I’m stuck at home regardless.

But I did manage to head downtown for a bit before that to be a tourist in my own city again so here are some pics.

And now I try and figure out if I should lie in bed all day to heal my foot, or get up in the hopes that I’ll sleep tonight.

Her: What are your plans for the day?
Me: (shrugging)The usual, emotional and physical pain, soothed by the sweet caress of rum. You?

It’s fine.

I got likes from strangers and love on the internet

Location: my empty apartment, surrounded by painkillers
Mood: less sober
Music: I can’t get out my head. It’s all because, all because (Spotify)
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Travelogue: Museum miles

You’re my main company

Me: You should bring her to the Museum of Natural History. I once took a girl there on a five-hour date. Oh, wait…

Someone I know met a girl several women recently and was trying to figure out where to take them (FWIW, he has the antibodies too). Told him that I loved museums before I remembered they’re a no go. 

But I got nostalgic and, after one really sleepless night, I hopped the scooter to go around town. There weren’t as many people out.

Any really.

Went to the Natural History first. Was last there in September 2018 when Gradgirl was in town but she didn’t want me to mention it for reasons I finally understand.

After the AMNH, went across the park…

…to 97th Street and then down Museum Mile past the Cooper Hewitt…

…to the Guggenheim…

…through the trees of the Met…

…past the Met…

…down Fifth Avenue, which was still pretty deserted at this time,…

…and then across the park again.

The Whitney Museum moved, which is probably for the best for my mental health.

Made it back home and fell asleep, dreaming of the other side again.

This lockdown is  a once in a lifetime thing and you and my demons are my main company so I figure I’d just show you what I see here.

That girl I went on a five-hour date with wasn’t my person and I wasn’t hers. She’s happily married with two beautiful kids. I’m happy for her.

Family’s everything.

(Earlier…)

Him: Are you gonna be ok there by yourself?
Me: Define, “ok.”
Him: Logan, stop fucking around.
Me: Don’t worry. I’d never leave the boy in this shitty world alone. I just need to sleep it off. I’ll be better tomorrow.

Location: my empty apartment, post shawarmas
Mood: under pressure and hating this fucking month
Music: Why can’t we give love that one more chance? (Spotify)
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Giving me a chance

I hate May

Me: Man, it’s been ages. I gotta ask, so are you gay or bisexual now?
Jaerik: (laughing) Gay. I told you this about six years ago, it wasn’t a long conversation, but I told you.
Me: Sorry, my memory is so bad these days after everything that’s happened. The last I remember is your female ex? I have no recollection of you coming out.
Him: Ah, yeah, I told you. It’s fine. You’ve been through a lot.
Me: You know what my first thought when I found out? It was: “Thank god. The last thing I need as competition in life is a single, attractive former male model that’s making bank as a lead programmer for Amazon. As a straight man, thank you for being gay and giving guys like me a chance.”
Him: (laughs)

Now that I’ve gotten the coronavirus under control, I’ve been catching up with people I’ve not spoken to in ages.

I’ve also been meeting a lot of new people for reasons that aren’t really important. Although, honestly, being a guy with antibodies during a lockdown is…interesting.

On that note, the grey-eyed writer has a dog. I can’t do dogs in my apartment. It’s one of my rules.

And that’s why I hate dating in NYC. The disappointment is one thing but disappointing other human beings is another.

Then again, some disappointments are things you don’t even see coming.

Me: Are you here for the COVID test? I just got it.
Girl in a green mask: Really? How long was the wait?
Me: 30 minutes from where you are to the door, then 30 mins inside, and 15 minutes in the exam room?
Her: Oh, that’s great. Did you find out yet?
Me: Yup, just last night. I’m positive for the antibodies. It’s weird getting a medical exam and being excited for a positive result.
Her: (laughs, pulls down mask) You’re funny, what’s your name?
Me: Logan. And you?
Her: Alison.
Me: (nodding slowly) Of course it is. (stepping back) Well, it was lovely meeting you, Alison. I hope everything goes your way.
Her: Oh…
Me: As an aside, you have a lovely name. I think that “Alison” is just about the prettiest name there is. I wish you every good thing.


It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday.

Then it’s my Alison’s birthday.

And then it’s the shittiest day of the year.

I hate May. I hate May more than I can express.

Podcast Version: Giving me a Chance
Location: my empty apartment, now with tons of pizza
Mood: fulla pizza but still very empty
Music: I try, I really do (Spotify)
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Isolation Days 9-10: Seeing the doc

First human interaction

As I said in my last entry, went to sleep on night 8 with a massive headache and an aching jaw.

When I woke up the next morning, Day 9, I had a terrible earache, which was oddly comforting as I was worried it was something else, like COVID-19, or Sleepy Logan was doing stuff again.

Rang my brother to ask him what I should do. I’ve never had an earache in my entire life.

Him: Normally, I’d tell you to go to the medemerge but this is a unique situation.
Me: Lemme call them and see how busy they are.

Turns out they were completely empty. Took me less than three minutes to see the doc.

Her: Well, you definitely have an infection in your ear. Nothing a few drops can’t help. Can someone help you put them in?
Me: Nope, you’re the first meaningful human interaction I’ve had in days.
Her:  Oh, I’m sorry.
Me; Yeah, me too.

Funny thing’s that I put up a pic of me on Instagram and people thought it was my eye, when I was just rolling my eyes at the ridiculousness of it all.

My eye was much worse a few weeks ago: click here if you’re not squeamish. If you are, absolutely do not.

Went to my local pharmacy to pick up the script but they were closed so I went to pick up the peanut butter I needed for later. My local supermarket’s now selling paper bags cause plastic bags are outlawed here in NY, these days.

When I went back to the pharmacy, waited behind a barrier of tape to get my meds.

The woman at the counter was just about to hand me my bag when the pharmacist in the back – who’d been speaking in increasingly strident tones – started yelling into the phone: “No! Do NOT come in. Wait outside. Sir. Sir! SIR! Do not come in! We’re locking the door now.”

With that, he sprang from the rear of the drugstore to the front and started yelling at the guys in the front to shut everything down.

This whole time, the cashier is continuing to hold my bag, despite my asking for it a dozen times.

Me: (leans over barrier and grabs bag from cashier’s hand) I’ll be leaving now.
Her: Hey! That was rude.
Me: (walking away) So was making me wait for no reason when – clearly – stuff’s about to go down, miss.

As I walked to the front, a crowd had gathered outside because they locked the door. They opened the door to let me out. Everyone outside was at least 70 years old.

Me: (exiting) Did they tell you what’s going on?
Old lady: No. They just locked the door.
Me: (walking away from crowd) They locked the door for a reason. I wouldn’t be standing around here or going in for at least the next hour, if I were you. Jus’ say’n…

And just like that, they all scattered.

Been having drinks with friends, online. My nightly drink card’s pretty full but not everyone’s willing to let me put up pics.

Still, you’ve met my buddy, Bryson, before.

Me: Good god, look at that beard.
Him: (laughing) I hate it but the girls (his daughters and wife) love it.
Me: You’re black and Asian; black don’t crack and Asian don’t raisin. You’re doing it all wrong, you look like your age. (later) Hey, can you send me a pic of this for my blog?
Him: Sure
Me: (later) Jesus Christ, look at the size of my head!
Him: (laughs)

Had to make that pic smaller so my enormous noggin didn’t take up your entire screen. Also drank with my buddy, Paolo, whom you see in the pic above.

Him: What are you drinking?
Me: Grapefruit beer.
Him: Not rum? Wait, that sounds like you.
Me: I got it for Mouse but she’s not around so I’m drinking it. Man, that hair is weirding me out.
Him: Can’t get to a barber, what with the kid and this lockdown.
Me: Got it. Suppose I’ll be rocking that look myself, soon enough.

Speaking of Mouse, one of her friends, whom I’ve only ever met once, reached out to me to see if I – and the kid – was ok. It was really rather sweet.

Alison always believed that the key to anyone’s heart is through their kids and she was totally right.

On that note, two other women from my past also contacted me just to see how I was. Combining the three convos so this entry doesn’t drag on forever.

Her: How is your little trouble maker? I’m sure he also misses you terribly.
Me: He’s great! We Skype like this, daily.
Her: I’m sorry about what happened with your wife. If nothing else, she was lucky to have you as a husband.
Me: I wonder about that sometimes.
Her: Trust me, it’s awful out there. I’m seeing someone that…(trails off) Well, now’s not the time to be alone, Logan. (looking around, laughing) Which I am.
Me: (nodding) You and me both, lady. At least you have a dog.

Location: a still almost empty UWS apartment building
Mood: inebriated and fulla cookies
Music: If we have each other then we’ll both be fine (Spotify)
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Isolation Days 7-8: Keeping busy

Nobody believes it, or Mr. Gray

Been waking up late – after 9AM most mornings – but also going to bed late. Mainly working on projects that I’ve been meaning to do but haven’t been able to because of time and the kid.

That’s what I tell people, at least.

Closer to the truth is what I told you about years ago: Everybody knows they’re going to die, but nobody believes it.

I do what most people do when Death makes himself known – keep myself busy and try to ignore him as best I can.

Household stuff

      • Did my taxes – right before it was announced that we had until July 15th. Just as well.
      • Filled out the census.
      • Patched, sanded, and repainted a hole in my bathroom.
      • Assembled some new dining room chairs and tossed the old one – the one, above, on the left is the old one, the one on the right is new. Need to fix the bottom of the new ones.
      • Assembled a new entryway seat and tossed the old one.
      • Collected all my knives I had hidden around the apartment (more on that in another entry).
      • Practiced doing what I do with said knives.
      • Cleaned my oven and then baked a ton of low-carb cookies for myself (more on that tomorrow)
      • Dusted. Oh, the dusting…

I think the reason it took so long to toss out the chairs and benches was because I remember Alison and I putting them together, together. Now I did it alone. It made it harder than it should have, for a multitude of reasons.

But one thing that she firmly believed in was that things had to be useful.

If they weren’t, she insisted that they be tossed. If not for her, I’m certain that I would be (a worse) hoarder. So, I did take solace in that.

Still, it was…difficult.

Technology stuff

      • Converted my wired network from a hodgepodge of Cat4, Cat5, and Cat5e cable to pure Cat5e. No, I didn’t have any Cat6 and I find it too rigid to work with.
        • Used to know how to terminate ethernet cable from memory but I knew I’d forget, so that printout you see above I made 20 years ago at my old job at CNET. Kept it all this time.
      • Upgraded my mixed powerline network from 100mb to gigabit (!).
      • Laid a mesh network over my current 801.11ac network, backhauling upstream data through the aforementioned Cat5e network.
        • As a sidenote, my internal speeds went from a laughable 10-17MB/s to consistently above 100MB/s. I’ve never seen that ever before, ever.

Went to sleep on night 8 with a massive headache and an aching jaw. I felt like exactly what I was afraid of might happen, was happening – I was getting sick by myself.

I’ll tell you about more about that tomorrow.

For now, I will say that I had to go out because: (1) I needed to see a doctor and (2) I was out of peanut butter.

Hard to say which one was the priority.

Ended up buying five pounds of peanut butter, which should last me the week. The quarter and rum are there for size comparison.

Had both the peanut butter and the rum for dinner tonight.

I wrote this watching the CBS weekend news. In the segment on Italy, the magnitude of what this virus does didn’t really hit me until he said the following at minute 1:17:

The cases that don’t make it end up here, with the morgues overflowing…Every person died alone. Without family or friends.

It’s that gaping yaw of existential loneliness that I told you about earlier. Everybody knows they’re going to die, yeah?

I wonder if I’ll die alone.

Man, I miss having a family. My own, that is.

The boy sent me that image over Skype. If you’re with family, you’re lucky. Because I have to love someone through a television screen.

Not gonna lie, I’m jealous. I used to have my own family, you see. For all of five days.

And now, during this historically crazy moment in time, I find myself completely alone with just Harold, five pounds of peanut butter, and 3/4 of a liter of rum.

Well, it’s not altogether  bad, I suppose.

Location: an empty UWS apartment building but with killer network speeds
Mood: inebriated
Music: you’ve been on my mind, honey (Spotify)
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