Everything is obvious once you accept the answer

A bar in Midtown NYC

This lawyer from Spain came by with her fella the other day for a three week holiday in the States. Man, those Europeans know how to take a vacation. Brought them over to onea my fave hidden spots in the UWS, which is a bistro that’s hidden on the second floor of a supermarket. They loved it.

We were gonna meet up earlier in the week but HG got sick. Not doing that hot myself cause my old injuries’re flaring up again. Something about the humidity amps up the pain.

Went to wrestle the other day despite the pain. This new girl was there and I was tasked to roll with her. The coach told her before we wrestled, Don’t touch his neck, he’s got a really bad neck. And I reminded her of this. Three minutes inna rolling, where I’m treating her with kid gloves, of course she goes straight for my neck.

She’s not a bad kid, it’s just that she wants “win,” whatever that means. It’s a signa youth, to wanna win at all costs. She didn’t learn a thing and “won” but left me sitting with a bucket of ice for the weekend. It’s just stupid.

Speakinga learning things, that buddy of mine learned the exact same lesson as another buddy of ours, which is that when a relationship’s damaged, it just needs time to heal. And the only way someone can get that time is by erasing one’s map.

Both times with both friends, the stories played out exactly as I said they would, not cause I’m particularly bright, but cause I’d seen this movie before. Many, many times. And it always ends the same way cause no one wants that which clings.

There’s this book on my reading list called Everything Is Obvious: Once You Know the Answer; think that’s kinda true but in relationships it’s more “Everything is obvious once you accept the answer.”

D’you remember that cop from the OJ Simpson trial, Mark Fuhrman? He’s that cop that apparently said “N_____r” a buncha times and was a general tool.

He wrote this book called Murder in Greenwich where he figured out this decades old murder. Took a while for people to pay attention to him but the fact that he’s a racist tool has nuthin to do with the fact that he was also a good detective.

Think that’s the problem when I give friends advice, they look at me and just think, Oh that’s just Logan, what does he know?

But I’m not giving advice advice on baseball, derivatives, or Iranian politics – issues I know nuthin about – I’m giving advice on relationships.

On that topic, I know a few things. Moreover, got an unfair advantage cause I already know the ending.

People wanna win, no matter what, but what’s really winning? That girl I rolled with won, but not with any skill and I’m injured now. My buddies got a few extra (miserable) weeks with women the loved but those relationships’re in tatters.

What’s winning?

I’d rather be better.


Never told you that Rain and I had a falling out a few years back. Stupid stuff as these things go. Plus few can be as vicious with the mouth as me cause I’m the skillest with my sharp objects, The killest with my blunt instruments.

I’ll add that to my list of ten thousand regrets.

Be seeing him this Tuesday. If I end up floating in the East River, you’ll know who to blame.

Location: sitting with an ice pack
Mood: in pain
Music: kept my distance so you would be free
YASYCTAI: RICE: Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate (5 days/1 pt)

15 Things Every Man Should Know

Things a guy needs to know to be a man

Me: Do we have any crazy glue?
Her: I think so, why?
Me: Sliced open my finger.
Her: Do you need stitches?!
Me: That’s what the crazy glue’s for.

My boss recently commented that, cause I don’t watch or play any sports, I’m missing something in the manhood realm. Thought that was pretty funny. Cause I got my own lista of what a man should know/be able to do and sports’s nowhere in it. Suppose we all do.

Here’s mine in no particular order – a man has to be able to:

  1. Cook something.
    • At least one thing very well without consulting a recipe. For me it’s chili – it can be any type of food but you gotta know it well.
  2. Tell a story well
    • Can pretty much assure you, it’s the difference between a good night or a great night. Basic rule: if it adds nuthin to the story, leave it out. Eg, if you mention that he’s wearing a white paisley belt, it’d better be crucial to the story. You have to be funny and engaging enough so that a girlie touches you on your shoulder or arm three times in a row. BTW, if that happens, you must kiss her. Unless you’re married or otherwise involved, at which point you smile and politely leave.
  3. Throw a punch and take a punch
    • I like the good old fashioned cross, but that’s just me. You gotta know how to throw it, pull it back, and throw it again. As for taking it, try not to do it often. Ducking’s a good secondary skill to possess. As a corollary, if you’re defending your pride and have a mortgage, a wife, or a kid, walk away. If you’re defending the cause of your mortgage, your wife, or your kid, keep moving forward.
  4. Do 50 push-ups
    • If you can’t, you’re an old man. The thing is, most fellas don’t have to be old men for a while.
  5. Know that what people think of him is none of his business
  6. Be loyal
  7. Know how to keep a secret
    • This is important. If you’re known as a guy that can be discreet, you will make more money and have more respect than the guy that can’t. Plain and simple.
  8. Use the right tools for the job
    • Traditional: Hammer, screwdriver, wrench (monkey, adjustable, and combo), etc.
    • Modern: Google operators, Ping, POP/IMAP, etc.
  9. Quote something that actually means something to him
  10. Have some female friends and not try to bang them.
  11. Know that his parents did they best they could
    • Or didn’t, whatever, you’re a man, let it go. They were probably kids when they had you and had no idea what they were doing.
    • Extra credit if you realize you were no prize either.
  12. Know when to use F__ and when not to use it
    • It’s like salt, a little goes a long way and too mucha it ruins a lotta hard work.
  13. Give and take a compliment
    • For the former: The occasional and honest Nice XXX with a quick nod works wonders.
    • For the latter: Yeah? Thanks, is appropriate for just about everything.
  14. Control the fear
    • It’s always there. If you’re not afraid, you’re nuts, stupid, or grossly underestimating the gravity of a given situation. Unclench your fists, breathe in deeply through your nose, out through the mouth – imagine you’re filling up your lungs from the bottom up, like a glass of water. Then think. Quickly.
  15. Stop bleeding
    • Minor wounds – pressure, hydrogen peroxide, crazy glue or bandages with lotsa changes.
    • Major wounds – pressure, call a professional, more pressure
    • Also, studies have shown, saying positive things to a gravely injured person increases their chance of survival. No, don’t have a quote, wish I did.

There are more things one should know how to do but aren’t specific to men, maybe people in general. That’s for some other time.

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Location: surrounded by papers (they’re going to kill me)
Mood: good, except I need to fix my car, I’m DIY so The Car Starter is for me.
Music: sweet woman and my two grown up sons
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Just cause I don’t like to fight, doesn’t mean I won’t

Me: (turning to face him) I gotta punch him.
Her: Don’t.
Me: Fine.

Went to have dinner to celebrate my buddy’s 30th. On the way there, this guy said something mildly racist – which I don’t actually ever hear any more in this day and age. Felt a strong urge to do the fella grave bodily injury and said as much but then I was reminded that I’m a 37 year-old lawyer fulla injuries. So I decided to get to the party and focus on some pernil asado, which was probably a better choice.

This’s all comedic cause I’m about the opposite of pugilistic. Unless you step up to my girl. Or if you’re a side of delicious Cuban roast pork.

At which point, I’d watch myself.

Wrestling coach: (in middle of class) Wait, you never saw Alien?
Me: No. (pause) Scary movies scare me.
Coach: (shakes and drops forehead into hand)

Location: Renting another car
Mood: productive
Music: call out the KKK, they’re wild after me
YASYCTAI: Know what you are. (60 minutes/1 pt)

Procrastination and the planning fallacy

The pool at the Parker Meridien  in NYC

Last week, had to go to the courts downtown for some personal business. Very different from all the other times I’ve had to go to court.

I’ll tell you about it in a bit.


Just walked in the door for some physical therapy; an old sports injury’s been bothering me more and more as the years’ve gone by so figured I’d take care of it before got much worse. PT’s a funny thing where you walk in, meet someone, shake hands, and a complete stranger then puts their hands all over your body. Interesting.

S’funny how quickly time rushes by; have a tendency to keep putting things off. Shoulda taken care of this years ago but I didn’t. Luckily, the lady said I should be ok but it’d take a few years.

This scientist named Jon Elster has this thing he calls the “planning fall ofcy” where they can’t estimate how long something’ll take to do cause they don’t accurately remember how long it took them to do it in the past and don’t take into account hiccups along the way.

Figured that I’d be much better at things and my life in general by now but I’ve got to get a move on things.

Speakinga which, on the last part of manuscript. Gonna publish in 2011 or die trying.

Gonna publish in 2011, hopefully.

Location: lying on a vinyl table in the UWS and told to relax
Mood: relaxed
Music: But there’s more to this journey than is apparent to the eye
YASYCTAI: Set up the appointments you’ve been meaning to go to. (10 mins/1 pt)

Getting the annual physical

42nd Street and Fifth Avenue sign
Her: I found a coat I like!
Me: (laughing) Imagine, by this time next year, you’ll have both a new coat and a new husband.
Her: Yes. (pause) But I’ll have a new coat!

Went to the doc’s and got stuck with a lotta needles; funny thing was that another nurse stopped by the house earlier that day to draw some blood. Also got the flu shot too just for kicks. Don’t really have a problem with needles but the pinprick they gave me to run some tests “hurt like the dickens.”

Nurse: No one’s ever said that to me.
Me: (rubbing finger) Really? Cause it does…

Afterward, treated myself to a donut. Didn’t have whole wheat so just got a blueberry with a large cuppa coffee.

The doc’s not a fan of my continuing to do what I do, but he says that as long as I don’t actually compete – where someone is trying to do me grevious bodily harm – should be ok. He does want to me to get a buncha x-rays, which he says’s justa precaution.

Man, want another donut now…

Location: yest, opening up and saying “ahhhh” on Amsterdam
Mood: rushed
Music: was counting on you but now I know you’re just a first class fool
YASYCTAI: Time for that annual physical. (120 mins/1.5 pts)

My three islands

59th Street Bridge from the tram


Interviewer: Rampage, where do you see yourself in 2 years?,
Rampage: Well, right now I’m 23, so in two years, I see myself, 25.

Bryson met up with me to take some pics for him on the tram. Was cloudy and overcast but I took them anyway. Was born on the island east of this bridge. Live on the island west of it. Yet, I’ve never taken the tram to the island between them until today.

Afterward, we had lunch at Johnny Rockets. Never been there either. Thought of my grandma; cause you always think there’ll be time enough to do things. Then one day, you find you’ve done run outta time.

He’s having a kid. His wife, a doctor, agreed to let him teach her how to roll. Should mention that’s he one of the best architects in his field and part of the teams in charge of giving the tram a facelift.

Me: Look at us, we’re two old, ivy-league educated, white-collar guys. I know why I do it, why do you do it?
Him: It’s just like running or something. It’s not about beating the other guy, it’s about beating yourself. (Fighting in the ring’s) different than brawling; to paraphrase Rampage Jackson, if you get into a fight with someone in a club, eventually, someone’s gonna have their feelings hurt.

Those three lives I told y’about. We all got them. Realized 90 minutes ago, that I’ve spent 90% of my life on these two islands, doing two very different things, living two very different lives.


Before his rematch against Chuck Liddell:

Interviewer: Chuck said in his pre-fight interview it’s gonna be a first round knockout. What do you have to say about that?

Rampage: If he plans on getting knocked out in the first round that’s his business.

Location: 14:00 yest, taking these pics
Mood: geeky
Music: Slow down, you move too fast
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What to do?

Location: 18:00 yest, getting my hair cut
Mood: anxious
Music: I could have been a sailor, could have been a cook

A metro station in Washington DC

: Sorry, I just started taking piano lessons, so I have to play these scales.
Me: (laughing) S’your house…

At the rents. Mom’s 60-something and learning to play the piano. My older brother just picked up the drums and base – he already plays the piano and guitar. We’re all geeky.

Music? Got a tin ear. But, been thinking of learning another language and/or study for the Zertifikat Deutsch exams. I should work on my Chinese but, let’s be honest: (a) my Chinese sucks and (b) it’d take a long time to learn to be literate. Think I could teach myself French in about a year and I could probably pass the German exams in about six-eight months. For some reason my tongue works well in German. Chinese and French? Not so much.

But, I’ve still gotta finish that damn thesis and also get my manuscript published. Plus I wanna wrestle again. It’s strange; sleeping better than I have in years but doing half the things.

The grass is always greener / das Gras ist immer grüner / 老婆是别人的靓; lǎo pó shì bié rén de liàng.

Yes, I had to look up the Chinese – see comment (a), supra.

Damn stupid grass.


Me: I’m not cold.
Her: Use this blanket.
Me: I’m not cold!
Her: (puts blanket on me) Use it!
Me: Mom, I’m not cold, I’m 36 this year, and I’m trying to balance spreadsheets for my 2008 business tax returns – do you mind?
Her: (sniffs) Whatever! I’m going to sleep.

Me: (ten minutes later – thinking) This is an awfully nice blanket…


If you roll, swing on by. I’m not good enough to compete – yet another thing I should be working on – but I’m gonna be there to help set up: http://www.nycsubshootout.com.

A metro station in Washington DC

YASYCTAI: Learn a language. Proficiency is 3,000 words. You can do that. (12 months/5 pts)

Wish I never was

Location: my pad
Mood: sotted
Music: wanna hear those sugar bells ring Wish me, love, a wishing well

NYC Times Square

Paul just left. We were in our fencing class and he stopped by for some rum. He just became friends with an ex of mine on Facebook; hadn’t thought about her in a while. Mainly cause I remember what a lout I was to her and what she did to get back at me. Probably deserved a lotta it, if not all.

My hands don’t shake as much these days. In fact, can’t remember when they last shook cause I get more sleep these days.

My sister came by the other night while I was making a ton of food (chili, of course) and slept right through the racket I was making. There’s this saying that a clear conscience’s the best pillow. It’s a silly thing to be jealous of but I am.

Do you think I write all of this cause I’m vain? Doesn’t really matter, I guess. But parta why I write is cause I’ve made made some dreadful mistakes and wouldn’t want anyone to repeat them.

Y’ever see Le Retour de Martin Guerre or Sommersby? It’s about a guy that’d rather be hung as a criminal than ever be the man he once was. It’s based on a true story. I get it.

Cause a sound night’s sleep’s the reward for good people that do good things. And people like me? Man, we just lie awake with our terrible things, wishing we did things differently.

Him: Nah. You can’t wish that.
Me: Why not? Never wanna be that guy again.
Him: Cause you woulda never been the guy you are now, if you weren’t the guy you once were.

YASYCTAI: You should say you’re sorry. If only for yourself. (10 mins/2 pts)


Location: the rents for the holiday
Mood: ready
Music: My city or mountains Stay with me

Caribbean beach

It’s 20090125. My vacation’s over. Got some rest. Happy Chinese New Year.

Chicken crossing the road in the Caribbean

It’s 20090124. Pulled into port early. Too tired and dead to walk so I hop a cab to my pad with enough rum to supply a navy. It’s 22 degrees. Water Harold. Say Hi to George. They’re silent but I think they missed me. 212 emails. Damn email. Wrestle. Stumble to a party at Gio’s where I meet a 22 year old French girl. No lie, ask Paul. But I’ve the girlie I want most so smile politely and stumble home. Just before I go, see a buddy get her digits. Someone’s always playing the game.

It’s 20090122/23. Spend two days at sea. Which sounds like a chore but there’s this German saying that goes, Gutes Gespraech kuerzt den Weg. Season 1 of Dexter doesn’t hurt either.

Chicken crossing the road in the Caribbean

It’s 20090121. Arrive in Tortola. It’s 84 degrees. Not much to see so after 45 minutes, walk back. Another day, another sandy beach, but learned why the chicken crossed the road, and almost bought this. Didn’t. Got some sun on a deck before we headed home. Over dinner, Heartgirl and I discuss religion. Wanted to tell her that Blaise Pascal once said that Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. Didn’t get the chance. But it’s true and a good quote, so I’m telling you.

Piña colada and Rum Punch in the Caribbean

It’s 20090120. Arrive in St. Martin to go SNUBA-ing. Didn’t cause the diver said visibility sucked; cool dude – most guys woulda taken our dough and taken us for a ride. So we had three rum drinks, a Clara and an argument instead. No little umbrellas, though. Crashed the Hilton beach by the sea where I got crashed into some rocks by the sea.

It’s 20090118. Arrive in Antigua. Not much to see, so after 15 minutes, walk back. If I ever did drugs, this would be my place. But I don’t; I do rum. Note to self: See a rum factory. Another day, another sandy beach. Got a new camera a while ago. Sorry. Meant to introduce her: Clara. Learned to play 500 Rummy and taught Heartgirl how to play ChoDaiDi.

NCL Gem in St. Thomas Caribbean

It’s 20090117. Arrive in St. Thomas. It’s 76 degrees. The waters are a blue that you can only imagine. They’ve mobile service there so I ring up my brother who’s trying to figure out his love life. Someone’s always playing the game. 37 emails. Damn email. Sit by the salty sea and watch the elusive NJ Hoochie Mama perform her mating dance. The target NJ Guido isn’t impressed and takes flight.

It’s 20090115/16. Spend two days at sea. We wake up every morning at 6AM, have breakfast (carbs), work out, and eat a second breakfast (protein). There’s this saying that goes: Good conversation shortens the travel. Sounds better in German. Found out today that, round where we left yesterday, a pilot landed a plane on the water. Good. NYC deserves some win.

Deck of the cruise ship leaving the UWS docks

It’s 20090114. Water Harold. Say Bye to George. They’re silent but I think they’ll miss me. Zero out my emails. Damn email. Too awake and alive to take a cab so I walk to the docks on the UWS with my bags in tow, dreaming of rum drinks with little umbrellas. It’s 17 degrees.

It’s 20090113. My vacation begins tomorrow. Hope I get some rest.

Sunset over Hobboken

YASYCTAI: Couldn’t read anyone’s posts while I was gone. Tell me what I missed. (10 mins/0.5 pts)

Glory Days

I know something you don’t know

Inigo Montoya: I admit it, you are better than I am.
Man in Black: Then why are you smiling?
Inigo Montoya: Because I know something you don’t know.

When you get beat up as often as I did as a kid, you either get all decked out in black and go Columbine, or you just learn how to fight. And for those of you that know me, I never do anything half-assed.

Bryson’s one of my best friends and was a striker like me. He outweighed me by 20-40 pounds but I was fast and flexible. We were always toe-to-toe. Until he started grappling. So I started too.

Then, a little after 9/11, I got injured. A kimura gone horribly wrong. Doc said I could either get surgery and lose 10% of my range of motion or rehab it and lose as little as 2%. Chose the latter. He said it’d take up to four years. It took seven. Stopped watching NHB stuff cause it made me sad. Didn’t wanna be one of those guys that spent his time talking about his glory days.

During those seven years, Bryson worked to the point that he’s a Pan-American Bronze Medalist. And he knew something his opponents didn’t – that as good as he was on the ground, he was even better on his feet. I knew that. My jaw knew that. Me? I stopped. Got fat. Settled down with a girlie.

The only place I’m still better than Bryson’s with a sword. But even then, he’s almost my match. We both know he’s better than me, he’s just too polite to ever say it. Some days, forget that I’m 35. Then my body reminds me. The last time I felt good about my right lead was in the mid-90s.

We spoke recently and he told me that he just got a similar injury. He finds out next week if he can roll again. I understood. Told him that he got seven years on me and he agreed. Small comfort, I know.

After we got off the phone, sat back and remembered when we weren’t old men. Instead, we’re in the muddy backyard of my college house. He’d swing on by, we’d laugh. Then we’d knuckle up and roll.

Man in Black: And what is that?
Inigo Montoya: I…am not left-handed.

Location: my parent’s living room
Mood: nostalgic
Music: hope when I get old I don’t sit around thinking about it