Finding comedy when you can

Caught a cold

Empty NYC #2 subway car, 2014
I’m sick.

Was on the edge of a cold for a few days but the body decided to just take it all the way there yesterday.

It’s probably just as well, I need to just spend a few days resting the shoulder, which is still wonky.

Unfortunately, had to wake up this morning an cancel meetings I had lined up for the rest of the week.

As a byproduct of my being 41, a number of my clients these days were originally friends of mine. This leads to some interesting conversations.

Me: Can we reschedule for next Monday, 10AM?
Him: Can’t that’s prime bathroom time.
Me: (laughing) I’ve never had to reschedule a meeting because of … prime bathroom time.
Him: …that you know about!
Me: Can I use this in my blog?
Him: Sure, just don’t use my name.
Me: OK, Jon (not his real name…or is it?)

The key to life, I think, is to take the comedy you come across in life and enjoy it.

Which seems harder and harder these days, seeing as there seems to be so much unspeakable evil in the world.

Location: should be the bed
Mood: sick
Music: cradle your head in your hands and breathe, just breathe
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A night out with some college buddies

Met up with some friends I’ve known for 23 years

Signs at Jongro BBQ in NYC
Last night I said goodbye to an old friend, which is a post for next week maybe. And then said hello to eight college buddies for our semi-regular meetup.

We met up at Korean restaurant called Jongro BBQ that I’d not been to before.

We picked the coldest night of the week to do it but it turned out for the best since most of the joint was empty.

Brrrrr

It’s fashioned like an old time Korean village complete with signposts and a bike that we all debated if we should try to ride.

Bicycle

Gar: Well, let’s order first. Should we get some steak or ribs? Or maybe some steak tartare?
Me: Yes.

Steak at Jongro BBQ in NYC
We also had some unaged, unfiltered rice wine that looked like soymilk and served in chilled metal bowls. Delicious.

Drinks at Jongro BBQ in NYC

Ox: What do you think?
Me: I like any alcohol I can get in a plastic bottle.
SJ: And with a twist-off cap!

Afterwards, we ended up playing something they called credit card roulette. We all put our credit cards into a bag and the waiter picked out four of them; the four he picked didn’t have to pay while the other four picked up the tab. I was on the losing side.

Credit Card Roulette

Me: Dammit!
Ox: Looks like all the lawyers have to pick up the tab.
Me: Nobody likes lawyers.
SJ: At least you’re not Cappy, he had to pick up the tab himself last time.

Steak at Jongro BBQ in NYC

Afterward we caught some drinks over at a nearby bar.

Me: (to waiter) Seven Old Fashions with rye and a martini. Do you need to write it down?
SJ: (laughing) Yeah, Logan, he needs to write down, “Seven Old Fashions with rye and a martini.”

Old Fashioned

After the drinks came, we settled into more more conversations. We’d all known each other 23 some odd years, which boggles my mind.

Ox: You know, my wife and I read your blog on occasion.
Duck: Yeah, I read it too sometimes.
Me: Ah, thanks. I always wonder if anyone reads it.
Gar: Man, you have some opinions!
Me: I am nothing if not opinionated. Then again, what do I know?

I had an early morning phone conference so one of the guys and I headed over to the west side to catch the train uptown.

Jeffe: It was good seeing everyone. We should do it more often.
Me: More than every six years at least. Good seeing you man, get home safe.

Location: in front of computer screens
Mood: chilly
Music: I’m a part of your circle of friends
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Survival of the strongest

Most people misunderstand the phrase, Survival of the fittest

Fishes off Bermuda Docks

Been meaning to post this for a while.

My coach just forwarded an article by a Ph.D named Dr. Rhadi Ferguson about who would win in a fight between Superman and Batman. You can hear the author read it in his own words here.

Now I agree with almost everything the doctor says with one major exception. He says:

In battles the strongest guy does not [always] (sic) win, nor (does) the fittest, but the one that has those qualities and is the smartest.

With all due respect to Dr. Ferguson, he gets what everyone gets wrong about the term “Survival of the fittest.”

If I say to you the words, “Survival of the fittest,” what do you hear?

Dr. Ferguson – and most people – invariably people hear, “Survival of the strongest.” They define fittest as being physically fit.

But this is an issue of logical equivocation: The meaning of “fit” in this phrase doesn’t mean physically fit, but appropriate to the situation.

In that sense, then, the actual meaning is the opposite of what most people think.

The phrase: Survival of the fittest, means: Survival of the most appropriate.

If you were locked in a smoke-filled room having a 3-foot window with a small girl, a strongman, and a billionaire, while the girl is the weakest, the poorest, and the most inexperienced, she will most likely survive because she is the most fit – the most appropriate – for survival in that situation.

I think that’s why I have so many interests; I wanna have the broadest skill set possible for any situation that arises. One of my goals for 2015 is to dust off some skills I had that were once pretty good and sharpen then up.

Tank in Staten Island

Speaking of 2015 and having skills, I started the year, as usual, by making a huge pot of chili and by fixing some technology around the house.

We were originally planning on heading out for dinner but the weekend was rainy and my shoulder was killing me.

Her: (canceling a dinner reservation) Open Table will be so mad at me for canceling that reservation.
Me: You know that OpenTable isn’t sentient, right?

 

2015. Maybe this will be our year.

Homemade Chili

One more nerdy pet peeve of mine; people seem to think that Darwin coined the phrase, but he didn’t.

A fella named Herb Spencer, who read Darwin’s work, came up with the term. Darwin used the term himself five years after On Species came out.

OK, now I’m done.

Location: at my desk again
Mood: hopeful
Music: You can get along if you try to be strong
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A long and strange day

Doctors appointments, holiday parties, and violence

Scrubs at the doc's

Saw three doctors yesterday.

My day started at 5:30AM with a colonoscopy scheduled for 9AM. This meant a night of disgustingness the night before and then more of the same that morning.

Once I arrived, got right to work.

Doctor: I’m going to give you some anesthesia. It’ll feel like you had some wine. Do you want red or white?
Me: White. I’m more of a rum runner though.
Him: Rum we don’t have. See you in a little bit, Mr. Lo.

Woke up feeling pretty groggy. Got a Starburst afterward so there was that.

After I got home, got dressed and headed over to a completely different doctor’s office for an MRI for my shoulder. Turns out I have a torn infraspinatus in my left shoulder.

Doctor: Do you have any other questions?
Me: About life?
Her: (laughing) I don’t know if I’m qualified to answer all questions on life.

There was another doctor I saw but that’s a different matter. Then it was off to my office for our holiday party.

Having not eaten much in the last few days, devoured my weight in kosher sushi and pasta – an odd mix but perfect for a guy like me.

Co-Worker: You’re here? After seeing the doctor?
Me: THREE doctors. But I never miss a workday when there’s food involved.

Finally, headed out to teach my fencing class. Didn’t make it to bed until about midnight.

All-in-all a long and weird day that I’m glad is over.

Hope you have a much quieter, less eventful, and doctor-free next few days, folks.

Welcome to Greenwich Village NYC 2014

Location: home, resting
Mood: hungry
Music: Could we have kippers for breakfast?
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Orange is the new Jello

It’s a sad day in the city

New Yorker Sign

Some nutcase shot two cops to death this past weekend in my city. There’s not much for me to say on the matter except it’s sad.

The holidays are right around the corner and two families have to prepare for funerals instead of celebrations.

It’s hard to make sense of the senseless.

———-

On another topic entirely, looks like there was a pretty quick outcome to the case I was involved in.

Not allowed to get into specifics but my client asked me to work with him on another case, so that’s good.

It’s like that Alexandre Dumas quote, Nothing succeeds like success.

Oysters at Cafe Espanol, NYC

Had a long night on Friday; went to two events – one for a client and the other for my old friend Johnny.

Went to Johnny’s first, at Cafe Espanol downtown. It was the first time I had Spanish food since I went to Spain and it was just one plate of deliciousness after another coupled with pitchers of mojitos. May have had an entire pitcher myself.

Had some killer seafood and far too much of a 10-person sized portion of paella.

Him: Are you full?
Me: Stuffed.
Him: Do you want more?
Me: Yes.

By the time I arrived at the client event, most people were already fairly snockered so I made my rounds and headed home.

Orange is the new Jello

I have a colonoscopy scheduled for tomorrow. So that means today nuthin but orange jello and clear liquids.

At least I did a lot of eating this past week.

Wife: Sorry you have to do this, I know how much you like to eat.
Me: I love to eat! This is gonna be rough.

Location: desk, hungry
Mood: hangry
Music: you’ve worn me down, worn me down like a road
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I’m falling apart

But getting older is better than the alternative

Edison Lights at an office party

I try never to miss a Monday post but my site completely crashed the other day. Spent days trying to get it to work again.

Which is pretty much what’s going on with myself these days; I have a new injury – tore my rotator cuff in my fencing class and then, stupidly, went to my wrasslin class the next day.

Been icing it going on three weeks now. Actually wrote my coach to ask him to suspend my account because it doesn’t look like I’ll be going for a while.

Also, saw the doc for an annual checkup and now have a colonoscopy scheduled because I’m 41.

Finally, I picked up my first pair of glasses in maybe 20 years last week.

I’m getting older and I don’t like it.

Then again, to quote French actor Maurice Chevalier, Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative.

Friend: Remember, if it happens in an alleyway and the dr gives YOU money afterwards, it’s not a colonoscopy!
Me: Lemme Google that.
Him: Image search is best.

Bicycle hanging on a pole in NYC

On a positive note, wrapped up all my major projects for the year. Have the regular day-to-day client work but nothing major.

So I had time to go to three different holiday parties where I ate my body-weight in various forms of carbohydrates and have at least two more scheduled.

Was going to spend the week going to the gym to balance out those items but it looks like it’s just going to be me and my icepack for the forseeable future.

On some positive notes, I did see a bike strapped to a pole and toilet bowl in the middle of the street, though.

I’m clearly grasping at this point.

Toilet in middle of 8th Avenue, NYC

Location: desk, with ice pack
Mood: deflated
Music: They are the hunters, We are the rabbits

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Stretches of boredom and high anxiety

Was a busy week last week

Protests in NYC near Rockefeller Center 2014.12.03

It seems that the closer I get to the finish line, the farther away it gets. Thought I’d be done this Wednesday with everything but some new things just cropped up.

Last week, though, was a whirlwind of work. Had to stay later in the office than I wanted to to talk to a new client. Caught the bus home.

At least I started to, but then protestors surrounded us and filled the streets so we couldn’t move. Ended up leaving that bus you see up there and finding another way back to the pad.

Federal Court in Brooklyn

Friday I was in Brooklyn Federal Court. I’m rarely in court and even more rarely in Federal court.

The difference between State Court and Federal Court is like the difference between a burger and prime rib; they’re both good, but one is usually more impressive.

Really got into it with the opposing lawyer.

Him: You said it was noon when in fact it was after noon.
Me: That’s a distinction without a difference. It has zero bearing on the issue at hand. The fact it’s important to you, doesn’t mean it’s actually important.

Oddly, though, he thanked me afterward for being courteous. The way I look at it, I don’t need to be a douchebag if I’m right. And I was right.

If I can sum up court, it would be as follows: long stretches of boredom with periods of high – extremely high – anxiety.

At least I got to break for lunch and have a spinach pie at Siggy’s.

Camden Plaza

The weekend was markedly better.

Saw my brother and also celebrated my friend’s birthday with the wife. Really nice group of people. Had a killer steak (speaking of steaks…) and some top shelf booze.

Him: What did you order?
Me: An old fashioned with rye. (turning to waitress) Make that two.

Have some food pics, of course, but I figure I’ll post that some other time.

Back Room at Tessa, NYC UWS

Birthday Cake

Location: close, so close, to the finish
Mood: anxious
Music: It’s been awhile since I’ve been stylin’ in just my jacket and my jeans

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The eating before the eating

Scheduling in food

Steak Sandwich at Gin Mill

Him: It’s closed! Logan, you didn’t check to make sure it was open?
Me: Dammit, sorry. First round’s on me.

There’s been a lot of people that I’ve not seen because of my work, but I finished up with a set of projects this week and last, so I’ve been catching up with people here and there.

One person I see a lot but don’t actually get to spend enough time with is my wife. She had an early morning one day and came back with some baked goods.

Coffee Cake from Bouchon Bakery

Her: No scones, though.
Me: That’s fine, I’m not really a scone person anyway.

Tater Tots at Gin Mill

Also got to see another buddy around the way for some steak sandwiches and tater tots at Gin Mill, the local dive bar.

Him: Are you full? Want to order just a basket of tater tots and more drinks?
Me: Yes. And yes.

Finally, just got back now from seeing some other friends of mine. We were supposed to head over to Little Town for oysters and beer but I didn’t realize that they weren’t open for lunch.

So we went over to Pete’s Tavern instead and just got the regular burger.
Burgers at Pete's Tavern NYC

Me: I’m in the mood for a hard apple cider.
Waitress: We don’t have that.
Buddy: I’ll have the Stella Artois Cidre.
Waitress: OK.
Me: Wait, that’s a cider.
Waitress: Do you want that?

Now I’m back home with just two more projects left for the week. Looking forward to turkey day with the family.

Him: Do you always think about food?
Me: Always.

Location: someplace without oysters
Mood: fatty fat fat
Music: It’s cold outside and she hands me my raincoat
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Your most valuable asset

Folk you, compound interest

Dive 75 in UWS Manhattan

The past few weeks have been a series of 15-hour days. Was supposed to go to see Alton Brown – who was in my neighborhood for a show –  some college buddies, and a few other events but ended up working through them all.

No fun.

There’s this story that Einstein was asked what the most powerful force in the universe was and he quipped, Compound interest.

Regardless of whether or not he really said it, I often tell it in tandem with a Brian Tracy quote: Your most valuable asset is your earning ability. It’s your ability to apply your knowledge and skills in a timely fashion in order to get the results for which others will pay.

I’ve reached a point in my life where people randomly call me and say they say they want to hire me for this or that.

Because I have less time left for compound interest, I invariably say yes.

A few days later, a check arrives in the mail from people I’ve never met. And then I get to work. This happens more often as the year comes to a close.

Now, when it comes to feast or famine, I’d much rather have feast. Just wish it was a little more evenly spaced-out.

At least I have a few minutes each day for thoughtful discourse with the wife:

Me: I’m surprised at how much you like country music.
Her: It’s not country music, it’s folk music! There’s a difference.
Me: Folk you!
Her: (laughing) I can’t even be mad at you for that.

 

Location: my desk
Mood: tired
Music: as long as you are with me, there’s no place I’d rather be
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And for dessert

I’m a sucker for unhealthy food

Barbershop in Downtown NYC

One of the most difficult things about what I do is that I have to give an estimate of how much a project will cost.

The last thing you want to do is say something will cost $1,000 and then have to revise that figure up to, say, $3,000. As a rule of thumb, I almost never revise my estimates.

Having said that, I radically under-bid on some projects and spent far too much time over the last two weeks buried in work. This weekend was two back-to-back 16-hour days.

Before that, though, did manage to sneak out for a haircut and meet up with my buddy Cuba to get some really bad-for-you fast food.

White Castle in NYC

Cuba probably walks around with a single-digit bodyfat index – something I wish I could boast but can’t.

Yet he and a small group of my friends, all of whom I would classify as athletes, have a soft-spot for junk food once in a while.

Now, I try to have fish at least once a week, veggies or fruit with every meal, a copious amount of water and fiber throughout the day, etc.

But every so often, I give in to temptation and order, say, 10 White Castle burgers, 20 Chicken Rings, a sack of fries and two Diet Cokes to split with a buddy.

It’s the Diet Coke makes it all ok.

And for dessert?

Me: What’re your thoughts regarding pizza for dessert?
Him: It’s a good thought. Let’s do it.

Running to the gym right now.

2 Bros Pizza

Location: behind tons and tons of paper
Mood: overworked.
Music: We drink away the days with a take-away pizza
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