Falling to the level of our training

Defining things

Me: Can you pack stuff for a picnic and I’ll meet you in the park? It’s beautiful today.
The Gymgirl: Pier?
Me: Perfect. I was also thinking of getting us half a roast duck.
Her: Woo-hoo!

I had run down to Chinatown for a haircut and some food but the weather was so nice that we made last minute lunch plans.

We’d not been out in a few days because we both got sick with a stomach bug so it was nice getting out.

We’d also not been able to get to the gym, which we both wanted to do.

This fella named Archilochus once said that, We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.

In a way, at our gym, we’re both training for something that will hopefully never happen. But I thought about that quote for a different reason.

You see, if not for this blog, I’m not really sure how much I would have remembered about our meeting.

Don’t remember much from the last several years. My mother-in-law thinks it’s because I slept so little and sleep is when your memories are set.

This is probably a good thing. There are horrors I experienced with Alison that I don’t wanna remember. But there are things I wish I did remember. About Alison. About the boy. About the Gymgirl.

All I know is that, after Alison died, I could barely function. So I just did that which I trained myself to do – after all, you are what you constantly do and after years of womanizing,* that’s what I defaulted to.

Well, that and drink to excess.

And as the fog of all the alcohol, craziness, and misery slowly faded, the Gymgirl came into focus and what I thought initially as another disposable relationship became anything but.

My life and luck has been – admittedly – complete s__t. But she and the boy are welcome outliers to my otherwise execrable existence.

Me: I wanted to say thank you. For everything. For all the things you do around here. With me, with the kid.
Her: Of course. (laughing) It’s not a big deal. But what brought this on?
Me: (shrugging) No reason. Life. Just…thanks.
Her: You’re welcome, Logan.

*Alison hated when I used that word: Womanizing.

But I don’t know a more appropriate word. I don’t think what I did/do really falls squarely in the realm of dating, or pick-up, or what have you – for reasons that are my own. They’re different things to me.

And once I met Alison, I stopped so I never spent any time thinking of a different word.

And once again, I’ve stopped. So it remains the most appropriate word I have.

Location: noon, yesterday, Pier I in NYC
Mood: grateful
Music: we’ll never know when, when we’ll run out of time
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Red hot pot and pink cold glass

Chinese hot pot in Chinatown, NYC

Waitress: …and here’s your drink.
Friend: Is your drink pink?
Me: Yes. I’m ok with that. (to waitress) I don’t get an umbrella?

Was supposed to go out Saturday a groupa friends for hot pot but that fell through so met up with my buddy Steel and his brother in Chinatown instead.

For those of you that don’t know what that is, it’s essentially a Chinese fondue with broth insteada cheese. We ordered some lamb, beef, calamari, bamboo shoots, amongst other things; we devoured it all and then washed it down with beer. His brother ended up treating us to dinner.

Me: We should hang out with more doctors.
Him: I know!

Afterward, took a walk to the LES where we had some more drinks. Steel and I both love to cook so we ended up discussing how America’s Test Kitchen is more like Good Eats now.

Me: I made their margarita mix – it was great.
Him: I’ll send you their recipe for a¬†Chocolate Blackout cake; I used powered buttermilk in it and it was a hit.

Ordered a hard cider with berries that ended up being pink. My friends just shook their heads and then we all parted ways.

Thompson LES hotel, NYC

Headed over to a friends bday party, which ended up moved. There was a young blond woman asking for directions with a familiar accent.

Me: (in German) ‘Scuse me, where do you want to go?
Her: (confused in English) You speak German?
Me: (in German) Don’t be silly, I’m Chinese. Why would I speak German? Now where do you want to go?

She invited me to go with her to a party but I told her that I was meeting my wife and some friends and went on my way.

Finally met up with my other buddy and his lady friend at a hotel room in the Thompson LES. Felt like a third wheel so I bounced home. The next morning, found an email with a recipe for Chocolate Blackout cake.

I forget oftentimes that I still live in the same city as when I was single.

View from the Thompson LES hotel, NYC

Location: about to run to the post office
Mood: hopeful
Music: if you’re free to make a choice, just look towards the west

Glutton for punishment

Lobster and oysters on the half-shell in downtown New York City NYC

Went out with a buddy to a banquet with lobster and oysters on the half-shell. For some reason, tend to drink Old Fashions there insteada my usual rum. Got raunchily ill the next day and through the weekend; felt like my innards were doing somersaults. Did manage to head over to the gym to wrestle but not without rushing to the restroom in the middle of the class.

Speakinga wrestling, WM came by to practice some fencing and then we hopped into his whip to head over to the boogie-down Bronx to check out my buddy’s first MMA match. He did phenomenally, dominating the guy at every position from every point – despite the guy outweighing him. It’s parta why I enjoy my class so much: we emphasize skill overcoming violence versus violence for violence’s sake.

In other news, work’s gotten busy again, in contrast to the usual summer slowdown, so that means hustling all over the map.

Finally feel well enough to have some coffee. Wish me luck.

Grappling bout in the Bronx NYC

Location: staring at a cuppa joe, wondering if I should drink it
Mood: weak
Music: Doesn’t everybody deserve to have the good life?
YASYCTAI: Set up a doctor’s appointment for a check up. (15 mins/0.5 pts)

A Lecture then Drinks in the Down Town Association

Outside of the DTA in NYC

Gave a long presentation on an aspect of the law called Trademark Dilution last night. The actual speaking went fine – the problem was the forum (a) didn’t have a clock and (b) didn’t have a referee. So I had no idea how much time I had until some guy popped up and mouthed “five minutes.”

Looked down and I still had six slides to go through with the real meat of the lecture. So ran through that the best I could. The thing with letting go of control of something is that y’gotta have faith that the people that’re then in charge of that thing¬† do what they need to on their end. It was good, not great.

Afterward, met up with two of my friends at this place called the Down Town Association. It’s a oak paneled club that members get to show up at and relax in old leather chairs and glasses of whiskey.

The thing about NYC’s that every nice place, you’re shoulder-to-shoulder with another 1,000 people cause it’s a nice place. So that’s why it occasionally worth it to join things like the DTA – to get some civilization and some space.

No aged rum though, so I had an Old Fashioned. Two actually – before dashing off to my fencing class late.

There’s nuthin like waving around sharp objects with cheese and alcohol in your belly and annoyance in your soul.

Inside of the Down Town Association in NYC

Location: back to work
Mood: mildly annoyed
Music: 3 versions of this story: mine and yours and then the truth
YASYCTAI: Get ready for that next big thing. (time/1.0 pts)

Just because it doesn’t matter to you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter.

Madison Park in Summer, NYC

Me: Suppose you’re hiding $1,000 in your shoe. You know it’s there, no one else knows it’s there. Now, how would you – knowing this information – treat that shoe? Now how would I? Just cause it doesn’t matter to you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter.
Him: Ah, that makes sense now.

So my presentation went pretty well; they asked me to come on again, which is always a good sign. Been thinking about doing more public speaking at some point soon – just need to find more topics to talk about. You’ll be kept in the loop, as always.

In other news, finally caught up on sleep. It’s been good lately in the sense that when I do have my bouts of insomnia, they’re relatively short – 2-3 days versus 3-8 days. Still, it’s unfun. Would prefer that portion of my life to be gone with entirely.

My newly single buddy dropped by for a spell last night. He’s been out and about as he’s dealing with his awful things. He’s meeting people just randomly and some of them have significant others, who are decidedly not happy about it all.

On this point, he’s not interested in these women and doesn’t understand why these guys’re getting so upset. Told him that the way he saw the world’s really only just his opinion of the world.


Been getting into a lot of arguments with people lately. Find it interesting that there are some people that will continually hammer at the issue at hand; that’s fine – feel I’ve learned a lot from these exchanges and I value knowledge above all else.

There’re others that immediately launch into explicative-filled, ad hominem attacks (“you @#$@$ @#$@#$!”), which only closes me off to their arguments.

Worse, long after they’ve forgotten it, I remember it. That’ll never lead to a good thing.

Speaking of arguments, there’s an accountant for a business I work with that argues with me constantly over everything. She called me and asked me for help. Found this odd cause we’re always yelling at each other. She’s taking the bar exam this summer – she had gone to law school years ago and this was the year. She thought she couldn’t pass it so here I am with this woman that’s caused me nuthin but misery for the past two years. For a second, wanted to tell her that she’d never pass and to go to hell. But that whole grace and mercy thing popped into my head and I took a seat.

Me: (taking a deep breath) OK, here’s what I did to take the bar…

Location: desk, trying to clear the cobwebs
Mood: tired
Music: My peace and quiet was stolen from me When I was looking with calm affection
YASYCTAI: Try arguing the issues rather than attacking the person. (10 mins/1 pt)

Playing the Settlers of Catan Without Umbrellas

Turns out I didn’t make a mistake with that client; took a long hard look at what I did and realized that I was, in fact, right. But the damage’s already done and calling up a client and saying, “I told you so,” is rarely good form.


Me: (putting on white paisley belt) I’ll wear my wedding ring to keep the women at bay.
Wife: I’m sure that white belt will be more effective.

Went out to see some of my old buddies including Paul and WM; we usedta go out and pick up women with umbrellas in our drinks. Now we meet up for board games – the Settlers of Catan. Which’s fine, cause we’re all secretly a little geeky.

Was supposed to only be out for a few hours but I lost the first round and I hate losing so we played one more round until about midnight (which I won).

For me, it was kinda the perfect night: chicken wings, rum, board games, and, when I got home, got to climb in bed with a beautiful woman.

Me: Hey, I’m back. (sheepishly) Had a lota wings and rum.
Her: (sleepily smiling) I can tell. G’night…


Location: Brooklyn
Mood: ambitious
Music: I’ve got to let it go And just enjoy the show
YASYCTAI: Buy some boardgame; everyone should have one. (15 mins/1 pt)