Leveling up

Of course

Him: Hey
Me: Hola! How are you?
Him: Doing well! I’m in the city now. Thought you might have time.

I got a text the other day from a friend-of-a-friend and was without the boy so the next thing you know, I’m downtown near my buddy Pac’s place and getting some Vietnamese food and discussing some business.

Me: Do you want to get a drink?
Him: Sure.

We go next door to Whiskey Tavern, an old haunt of mine where I met one of the schoolteachers, and it’s packed so we head over to Pier A instead.

Struck up a conversation with the girlie sitting next to me.

Me: Sorry, are you Asian?
Her: I’m half. My last name’s Godwin.
Me: (later) I have to ask, how old are you?
Her: 23.
Me: Of course you are.
Her: How old are you?
Me: You’ll have to guess,.
Her: 29?
Me: I’m so not. But it was a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Godwin.

We bounced up to Ferns in the East Village where we met up with several of his co-workers.

Him: How do I only work a couple of days a week?
Me: (shrugging) Have the people you love die and leave you money. Trust me, I’d rather be in your shoes than mine. (shaking head) Sorry, that went dark. I should go.

I politely made my leave with my buddy and his friends.

Me: It was a pleasure meeting you all. (put on my red leather jacket)
Her: Whoa, Logan – you just seriously leveled up!
Me: (laughing) Wait, you haven’t seen the lining yet.

I bought the jacket when Alison got pregnant with the boy and we were close to giving birth. It was a present to myself; custom made with a custom lining.

Never wore it until six months after my dad passed. By then, I was so tired of black.

In any case, I left because I wanted to see someone.

Me: How about the hooka place near Solas?
Her: OK.

The waiter there recognized me immediately – a red leather jacket does come in handy – and we had a few drinks.

Afterwards, we headed over to a local Japanese udon shop, Udon West.

Me: Hungry?
Her: Starving! But I’m a pescatarian.
Me: (nodding) Of course you are.

It was late by the time she and I headed over to my place.

Her: We’re just friends, you know.
Me: Heavens, of course.

There’s more but that’s all I wanted to tell you for now.

The thing about living in Manhattan is that there always seems to be something to distract you from everything, right around the corner.

I could use some distractions.

Location: earlier today, playing volleyball with a balloon and the boy
Mood: thoughtful
Music: you’re the only reason I go downtown on the weekend

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Logan. Logan? Logan!

A bright girl

Before Rain moved out into the middle of nowhere, we had a convo about a decade ago that went something like this:

Me: Got a job offer; six-figures, cushy work work times, assistant, the whole nine. 
Rain: You and I are like the only ones left here that eat-what-we-kill. We survive because of our reputations and our work. You take that job, and you’re just like every other working stiff in this city.
Me: Maybe I should take it. Grow up.
Him: And take a 9-to-5? Man, that kinda stuff kills people like us. We’re not cut out for that.

Didn’t take it. In hindsight, I made the right decision.

Both Rain and I worked with the old Guilani-before-he-lost-his-goddamn-mind credo: Under-promise and over-deliver.

In the past five weeks, booked the equivalent of half-a-year’s salary of work. It’s part of why I kept getting sick; been working non-stop every single day, when I’m not rolling or taking care of the kid.

I feel honored, in a way, that I’m trusted with the level of work required of me. I’m just a dude that works mainly from home – heading into the office or court only when there’s no way for me to avoid it.

But, for the most part, my clients just shoot me an email – or even a text – tell me what they want, I tell them a price, and a few days later, money appears in my bank account.

This is the link for Renaissance Technologies. If you click it, you’ll get to their really boring and drab website. Looks kinda like the thing some college kid woulda cooked up in 1999 for a website.

The thing is, Renaissance Technologies is a hedge fund that essentially figured out how to beat the market – way back in 1982. Since then – after working out some kinks – every dollar you put in, returned you $0.66. Year-in, year-out. For the past 38 years.

Put it this way, if you put in $1,000 in 1988, you’d have $6,658,106,371.09 today. That’s $6 billion from a $1,000 investment.

Pretty insane for a shitty little website like that, yeah?  No, you can’t open an account there; it’s been closed to new investors since 1993.

I like that Renaissance looks so crappy. Like I said, there are people that have known me decades that don’t know much about me. There are things I’ve not told you yet about my life, which is why it’s so interesting when I meet someone from a possible past.

At the end of the day, all we are are our reputations and our work product. No matter what it is we do.

Although it’s probably best if you keep your personal reputation and your professional one separate.

Her: OK, I’ve been waiting for the right time to tell you this. The client…she’s…she’s insanely hot.
Me: Wait, what?
Her: (sighing) She’s insanely hot. (facing me) Listen, Logan. Do NOT do…what you do…with the client.
Me: (dismissively) What are you talking about? I’m a professional. Don’t be ridiculous. (door opens, client walks in)
Her: (to client) Hello! This is my associate…
Me: (interrupting, holding out hand) Logan.
Her: Logan!
Client: (laughs, takes hand) Logan?
Me: (nodding) Logan. So nice to finally meet you. I like your white nail polish. Now, let’s talk about this problem you’re having – how can I help?

All of that’s just fun and games.

Real life is much more pedestrian: The boy’s been away so I’ve been catching up on sleep, cleaning, and going to the gym – sometimes twice in one day, for no real reason.

Her: What are you doing here? Don’t you usually come in the daytime?
Me: Usually. But the boy’s away so I thought I’d come at night too.
Her: Why?
Me: (shrugging) You’re a bright girl. I’m sure you can figure it out. Grab a drink?
Her:  (laughing) This is a bad idea.
Me: (nodding) For sure.

OK, maybe it’s not completely pedestrian.

Location: another gym, trying not to get stabbed
Mood: rested
Music: don’t let go of me

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Late Late

Tequila is still not my friend

Two buddies from college have birthdays around the same time and we all use these birthdays as an excuse to get together. I’ve been MIA for the past several years: Before Alison got sick with cancer, we kept losing babies and we both didn’t want to be social at all.

The very last time I attended one of these, Alison had recently lost another one but she insisted I go out and have a good time. I tried. She was diagnosed later that year.

Fuck. This is why I drink.

My college friends were some of the first people I called when I re-entered the world. Every single one of them came out.

In any case, I actually couldn’t make dinner because of a prior engagement but I showed up afterward for drinks. Walked into the middle of a funny debate:

Her: …I think most of the cool kids dated in high school. Did any of you not?
Me: Do you know the nerds that the jocks and cool kids beat up? Well, I was the guy that those nerds beat up.

I actually did date two girls in high school. Both ended disastrously, as most high school things go, although I do have fond memories of one of them. But that’s besides the point.

On the topic of dating, one of the guys, Anthony, recently became single.

Me: It’s tough for me to do something like online dating because (a) I’m older and (b) I have a kid, so I kinda have to do real life pickup. Luckily, I have little to no shame.
Her: What do you say to people?
Me: “My name’s Logan. I’m looking to make some friends. You look nice.”
Her: (laughs) Does that work?
Me: (shrugging) The truth is a powerful thing.

Ended up buying Anthony some bourbon and he bought the table some shots. Tequila shots.

Honest to god, I’ve lost two hats in my life and both were when I had tequila. Tequila is still not my friend.


We all ended leaving east of midnight and Anthony and I were headed the same way. We kept chatting about dating and being single.

As we approached 14th Street, I looked up and locked eyes with a beautiful girl.

Me: Hello, darling. You look nice. How’s your evening been?
Her:  (laughs) Good. (pause) That’s a cool jacket.
Me: Thank you. So, what’s your name?
Her: (smiles) Serena.
Me: How very nice to meet you, Serena. My name’s Logan. Now, have you met my friend, Anthony yet? (turning to Anthony) Anthony, this is Serena. (turning to Serena) Serena, this is Anthony. You two should talk. This is my stop. Have a lovely evening.

Now, I actually had two more adventures that night that I’ll keep to myself for the time being, but ended up drunkenly calling someone after 2AM, which is yet another story in and of itself.

Her: Are you…are you drunk dialing me? I think this is my first drunk dial.
Me: What luck. Mine as well. It’s good to be first.

I woke up late the next day when I got a buzz on my phone.

Life is nothing if not entertaining.

Location: the basement of my brain, again
Mood: disappointed
Music: Say something

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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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Die Berlingirl 1

A story within a story

I’m posting a ton because I’ve been awake for days. You’re welcome.


The rest of the weekend was pretty busy too. Saw some other old friends, including a woman I last saw 12 years ago.

Berlingirl: Do you remember exactly how we met?
Me: (nodding) Yes.
Her: Tell me about it. It was so long ago.

I met Berlingirl years ago at a club around the way.

I was actually there to meet someone for a date and I thought that Berlingirl was her. So I walked up to Berlingirl and randomly started chatting with her.

After a while, I realized she had an accent that I’d heard before whereas the girl I was supposed to meet was definitely American.

Me: Schuldigung…sind Sie Deutscherin, oder?
Her: (überrascht) Ja, und Sie?
Me: Nein, ich bin amerikaner…naja, chinesisch amerikaner. Sind Sie Jennifer?
Her: (lachend) Nein! Ich bin Berlingirl.

We hung out that night and for the rest of the week before she went home to…Berlin.

Berlingirl, Caligirl, and Gradgirl, all crossed my mind recently for related, but different, reasons.

For one, all three were/are unavailable to me – also for different reasons. In fact Caligirl, once chided me about only spending time with unavailable women years ago in this sad little blog.

She was wrong at the time; I was looking for Alison. However, if she said something similar now, I’d find it hard to argue with her.

Caligirl, if you’re reading this, we’re good.

And I recently had a dream about Gradgirl; we weren’t …us. I mean, we were, but not. It’s hard to explain.

If things were different, well, I’m sure you can guess. But time and chance and alla that.

Which brings us back to Berlingirl.

This was taken 12 years ago.

Doorbell rings.
Boy: (opening door, yells) It’s your friend!!
Her:  (to boy) Hello there! (smiling) Hello, Logan.
Me: (laughing, walking to the door) Hello, Berlingirl. You’ve met the boy, of course. (later) Can I interest you in a walk with us?
Her: Yes!

Berlingirl crossed my mind because she came to town with her family – and boyfriend – the other day. She stopped by to see the kid and me.

Me: To be clear, you told your boyfriend you were coming to see me, right? Sorry, I’ve all these rules. Plus, I’ve been on the other side where a girlfriend snuck around on me and it was humiliating. I’d hate to do that to anyone.
Her: Of course! You’re so…good.
Me: (laughing) Sheyah. Now, how’d you convince him to take time out of your vacation to see a guy you dated?
Her: (shrugging) I told him the truth – that you were nice. The real nice, not the “nice” Americans say when they want to be mean. I told him you were…a good guy.
Me: (laughing) I’ll take it.

This entry’s getting super long, so I’ll finish it later on this week.

Back to dreaming of sleep and my possible pasts.

Location: dreamland, still
Mood: exhausted
Music: she won’t believe me; it was only just a dream

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I have my rules

Whatever works for you, bud

Her: Hey!
Me: Hey!

Ran into a girl from my gym today while I was walking with the boy.  Like I said a million times before, NYC’s a small town sometimes.

Turns out that she babysits in my area. I’m literally collecting babysitters like other people collect Pokemon.

Speaking of babysitters, I was chatting with someone the other day on the train that mentioned that she babysat. As the Germangirl used to say, I’m a talker/glattzüngig.

Her: Your son’s so cute!
Me: Thanks! I have to keep him regardless, but the cute helps. (later) Oh, you’re right by my gym. You should join us, it’ll change your life.
Her: (laughing) Sure. Let me know when you’re around.

She’s super young but seems like a sweetheart. She has a blog as well. I miss having a group of blogger friends.

Speaking of the gym, I legit thought I’d have to change gyms this week for a number of reasons. I even called up a new one in my area to find out details to switch.

I swear, I have PTSD from my old gym.

Him: You’re fine.
Me: I was actually more anxious about this than I woulda imagined.

Speaking of friends, spoke to another young lady I knew from waaay back but never made it into this here blog.

She’s going through a breakup too, as is a friend of hers. We said we’d all get together at some point. She also wrote me something very nice about her friend and me.

Speaking of friends getting together, saw Curt a few more times. He and I have radically different ideas of what it’s like to be out and about in the city. Radically.

Her: 23.
Me: (laughing) Of course your are. Let’s play a game: How old does my friend look? (pointing at Curt)
Her: 25?
Me: OK, and me?
Her: A bit older. 27?
Me: I’m older than that, but thanks for making my night! Enjoy your evening, ladies.
Curt: (later) See, you care about things like that. The moment they told you their age, I saw you check out. And she’s the best looking person here.
Me: (shrugging) Still not my type; just seeing if I’m still me. Besides, I have my rules.
Him: (shaking head) You and your rules. I honestly don’t get you at all.
Me: (getting up to leave) It’s simple, man. She’s not the prize. (pointing at self) I’m the prize.
Him: (shaking head) You’re nuts.
Me: No, I’m Harvard. See, anyone can apply. Not everyone makes it in. Besides, I’m just killing time. I know what I want.
Him: (laughing, rolling eyes) Whatever works for you, bud.

Location: out and about
Mood: thoughtful
Music: makes me feel like nobody else, nobody else

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Serving singles and single servings

Put up the Christmas tree, finally


Put up my Christmas tree the other day. It was a lot better and a lot worse than I imagined it would be. Taking out all the ornaments was the most difficult part.

The one Alison and I loved most is one of me, her, and the kid. That’s the one I couldn’t bear to see.

Me: We were supposed to buy each other an ornament once a year. We only did it from 2013 to 2017. And never again.
Gymgirl: I’m sorry, Logan.
Me: Can you hang them for me? Is that ok?
Her: Of course. (takes them) I’ll be careful.

I keep them under my bed. Because if I have to run out of the house for some reason, I can easily grab them. They’re the most valuable things I own, you see.

The thing with having dated so much is that I run into old ghosts all the time. It’s an occupational hazard.

Saw a woman I met years ago while going downtown the other day. She’s tall and beautiful so she’s hard to miss.

We spent an entire evening chatting and telling each other volumes of our lives and never exchanged numbers. Don’t remember her name.

All I remember was that she was unbearably sad and that I entertained her all night. I think we didn’t exchange anything because we both knew we weren’t each others person but we had that night.

I’ve had lots of single serving relationships in my life.

If I had the energy, I wish I could tell her that I understood now that you never really overcome the blow. You just keep trying to.

She disappeared onto the N train heading downtown and I took the R train to where I needed to be. When I got there, I  heard about another young lady that took her life.

Sometimes, you overcome the blow and sometimes the blow overcomes you.

God, I hate the holidays so.

Location: in front of the tree
Mood: sad
Music: We were young, we were beautiful

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Mentally checked out, but home

The other part of the weekend


Been chatting friends and strangers a lot lately. The friends are people checking in on me.

The strangers are just me trying to remember who I was before Alison.

Some people are better with conversations at bars and clubs, others are better out and about. I’m the latter.

Me: I feel the need to tell you that I’m not following you.
Her: (surprised) What?
Me: We got onto the train at the same time, got off the same stop, crossed the street at the same time. I just didn’t want you think that I’m following you. (pointing) I live over there.
Her: (laughs) Oh, ok. Thank you.
Me: (holding out hand) Logan.
Her: (takes hand) Gabrielle.
Me: Hello, Gabrielle. Nice to meet you. You’re French, I take it?
Her: (laughs) Yes.
Me: Lovely. (turning away) I’m…I’m just gonna keep walking this way. (turning back) But maybe I’ll see you around the neighborhood?
Her: (smiles) Maybe.
Me: Goodbye, Gabrielle.
Her: Goodbye, Logan.

After I met up with Kung and Nadi, met up with other friends, all of whom already have nicknames courtesy of my gym. Kong, Panda, Mouse, etc…

Me: Man, I’m already lit.
Him: Logan, you are way too old to talk like that. Way, way, way too old.
Me: Why do you hurt me so?
Him: Because you’re old.
Me: That doesn’t even make sense!

Somehow, Mouse and another girl end up arm-wrestling on the floor of the bar, which is a story in itself. Mouse won. She was one of the people that ran for Alison.

Stumbled home just after 1AM. Took forever to fall asleep.

Met up with someone we’ll call Artistgirl for lunch. She’s going through a breakup.

Her: My thing is obviously a lot different.
Me: (shrugging) Everybody’s grief is grief to them. On that note, I should tell you that I will probably randomly start to cry.
Her: We’ll sit in the back.

Ended up going to a total of three bars across several hours with her. That’s also a story for another time, I suppose.

Stopped drinking so much last week. Because I have to start being OK with reality again.

Also because everything is just a copy of a copy of a copy again. And I’m just trying to clear my head somehow.

Her: Are you home?
Me: I’m home. I’m mentally checked out, but I’m home.

Location: same
Mood: same
Music: Feels like love is a losing game, that you can’t dodge the pain

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Stuff around the hood

There’s a lot going on this summer in the UWS

Filming TV Show Gotham in UWS

It appears that I may have injured myself a lot more than I thought. A week after I first got hurt, my injury hasn’t gotten better. So I – reluctantly – called up the doc today.

Receptionist: Have you been here before.
Me: Oh yeah. I know the doc as a betting man.

Punch Card for Parties

Prior to getting injured though, stopped by this gathering near my home of some friends where I had a really bad, cloyingly-sweet pina colada.

Her: How is it?
Me: Terrible. Do you want to try some?

The fun thing about this group of friends is that they’re incredibly organized with their gatherings, complete with save-the-date announcements, back-up plans, directions, AND a punch card.

I’ve only been invited once. I may not be invited again.

Me: …and that’s what I think about that.
Him: (silence)
Me: I like to meet new people by discussing religion and politics.
Him: You should add calculus to that.
Me: I’ll consider it.

Japanese Food at TenZan

It’s been too hot to cook so the wife and I went over to the local sushi joint. There are two other shows being shot around us right now in addition to Gotham so we’re constantly trying to get past crowds of people. A picture I took made it into the local blog, West Side Rag.

Filming TV Show Gotham in NYC

And then we worked our way home.

Her: I can’t get full.
Me: I can’t either. Let me see what’s in the fridge.

Location: home again, with an ice pack again
Mood: old again
Music: see what these old broken things What these old wings can do
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Log Cabin Waiting Room

Waiting in rooms

Waiting room in doctor's office

Nurse: Take off your shirt and the doctor will be with you shortly.
Me: Ok.
Female Doctor: (enters the room later) Mr. Lo?
Me: Yup. I like to be shirtless when I meet people for the first time in office settings.
Her: And I like to make first meetings as awkward as possible.
Me: So, we both got what we wanted.

Had to visit another doc yesterday, nothing serious like last time – I hope.

The weird thing about this office was the decor. It was styled like a log cabin in the middle of Manhattan.

Just realized now that my doctor is a hipster.

Afterward, walked back as slowly as possible because of the heat.

As a whole, summer is a slower time for me; judges are away, clients are away, etc.

This summer’s very different. Not that I’m really complaining since the eat-what-you-kill lifestyle means you stay busy when you can.

It’s better to be busy than to be waiting around for work, I suppose. Off to another meeting.

Him: Great news, we’re finally ready to move on …
Me: (interrupting) Sorry, I’m completely booked up.

Location: in front of my desk, editing
Mood: heated
Music: Kiss them for me, I may find myself delayed
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