It’s not that bad

Running into friends

As I was saying, while Mouse, Chad and I were eating at our usual Vietnamese joint, I locked eyes with this tall fella walking by with a buddy of his that seemed familiar, even though we were both wearing masks.

Him: Logan?
Me: John?

It was actually a buddy of mine from my old judo class out in Queens. The last time we rolled together was just around 9/11. At the time, I was living in the boy’s room, before Abbie. That’s one of the few pics I have of it from back then.

Man, was I a mess before Alison.

In any case, John was in high school then; he now had grey hair.

Me: (turning to Chad) This is actually my coach, Chad. Chad, this is John, he’s a purple belt…
John: I’m a brown, actually. (laughs)
Me: Damn, nice! Sorry.
John: (to Chad) We saw your ears and figured you were a fighter.

The two of them started to chat about our old coach. I stayed out of it since I got it all outta my system but it was interesting to see these two strangers trade very similar notes.

I do remember that I asked my old coach once how he was so ok with his less-than-stellar reputation. He said he was fine with it so I don’t have any compunction telling you.

I wonder what my reputation is like. Like, what do you think of me?

In some ways, I don’t care, in others, I care a great deal. Like my professional life – I care greatly what people say about me and my work product.

Because I don’t advertise at all and I also haven’t had a salary in close to 20 years; it’s always been eating what I kill. And that’s 100% dependent on reputation.

My personal life, I care about my reputation far less so. I’m probably making it all up anyway.

Can’t tell you how many people tell me that I shouldn’t write this blog. But it’s for me. To remember what I want to remember and keep myself honest about what happens in my life.

I suppose I’m rambling again. Anywho, John had to run because he was eating at Playa Betty’s and his table was ready.

Me: Oh, that place is great for kids but the food’s terrible.
Mouse: Why would you say that, Logan?!
Me: (stammering) Uh, uh, well, it’s it’s not that bad…
Everyone: (shakes heads)

Podcast Version
Location: in front of my computer, all day
Mood: busy again
Music: I’m anti-everything, but you (Spotify)
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Pandemics and lifestyle

Going through this very moment

Nick Cordero’s death really shook me. Mainly because I thought he would make it, somehow.

I guess you can relate.

Also, because I know exactly what his young wife with their young child is going through at this very moment. Exactly. It’s heartbreakingly awful.

I wish her whatever she needs to survive this. Making it through to the other side is never guaranteed.

I married Alison for dozens of reasons. One was that she didn’t wear shoes in the house.

This may seem like a stupid thing but changing someone’s lifelong habit is difficult, if not impossible. The key to any relationship – romantic or otherwise – is reducing friction between the two parties. This means a combination of communication and shared interests.

Was thinking of this as it related to this whole COVID-19 insanity.

Did you ever read Guns, Germs, and Steel? It’s a fascinating look at why white Europeans were able to essentially conquer the world both socially and economically.

One thing that Europeans did, that Asians and Native Americans did not do, was live with livestock.

Assuming, arguendo, that these pandemics like:

      • COVID-19 (bats)
      • measles, tuberculosis, and cowpox (cattle)
      • influenza (pigs)

originally came from animals, and European invaders essentially wiped out entire populations of native Americans, it’s interesting to see how something as simple as one’s lifestyle can change the entire course of history.

Having now experienced a pandemic firsthand – again, I don’t recommend it –  it’s morbidly fascinating to realize how much of the world I currently live in is the result of just random chance.

This is all just a long way of me saying, while it’s probably better for the kid’s immune system, I can’t have dogs in my pad.

Which is unfortunate because it seems that every single girl in NYC has a dog.

Me: Oh, it’s 7PM. I thought you had to leave for a date.
AnotherGirlWithADog: I cancelled while we were chatting.
Me: Now why would you do that?
Her: (laughs) Well, you’re more interesting.
Me: You don’t know the half of it, lady. I’d prefer to be a bit less interesting, frankly. (later) Oh, you should be investing. Has anyone ever told you about compound interest?
Her: That kind of stuff is too complex for me.
Me: Don’t put self-limiting beliefs like that out into the aether.

Podcast Version
Location: Home, missing out on a thunderstorm
Mood: stupidly sober
Music: It’s dead steady, there’s falling and flying (Spotify)
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Si vis pacem, para bellum

Seems so easy

BrightBea: You don’t seem scary or violent.
Me: I’m not. Si vis pacem, para bellum.
Her: What does that mean?
Me: If you want peace, prepare for war. All I ever wanted was to be left alone. To become invisible. Easy. I just wanted easy. 

While the price of the antibodies is – for serious – outrageous, it’s now a sunken cost. At least for me. So, I mean to enjoy it.

The city’s opening up again but I don’t think people are fully prepared for what this virus does. Don’t think they fully realize the price that has to be paid.

But I understand the allure of being blissfully ignorant.

Me? I know more than I wanna know.

Her: I’m sorry you didn’t get that.
Me: You and me both, lady. You and me both.

On a related(ish) note, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to – safely – see the boy with more regularity. I’ve got a few ideas that I’m toying with.

Speaking of toys, Mouse sent him and me a gift recently for Father’s Day. She admonished me not to open it until Sunday and I listened.

That’s another of my ten-thousand regrets.

I’m gonna need a bigger list.

LViv: You met your ex for pizza? Are you sure she’s an ex?
Me: Quite. Well, I suppose it’s time to share our sad stories then.

Podcast Version
Location: on line at TJ’s
Mood: hot in the hot-hot heat
Music: the kind of thing I always hoped I’d find (Spotify)
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A litmus test

Under Pressure

Him: I didn’t realize how broken it all made you. You know, you don’t have to be a high-functioning alcoholic.
Me: That’s like saying you don’t have to eat cake. I *want* to eat cake. If nuthin else, I’m a good cautionary tale.
Him: Well, you’ve become something else to me now.
Me: And what’s that?
Him: (thinking) The standard by which I measure another person’s decency. How people treat a guy that lost the person he loved most in the world, his father, and his career all in one shot tells me everything I need to know about him/her. I think you’ve earned some kindness from people.
Me: Great. That’s what I’ve become: (sighing) A cautionary tale and a litmus test. I just need to know that I’ve earned some rum.
Him: At least that. You’ve earned at least that. Fuck everyone else.

Eight years ago, Alison gave me a bottle of Ron Zacapa XO Rum just because.

There was just a little bit left when she got sick and I refused to have any more. When I found the bottle late last year, the cork had deteriorated and I had to transfer it to another bottle. It was one of my most special things.

Before she exited my venn diagram, I asked Mouse to share the last glass with me because I felt she earned it, unlike some weird rando, but she declined. Which is fine.

So, yesterday, a friend stopped by and we had it together in honor of Alison’s birthday, along with a lot more rum.

Speaking of randos, I met someone that also had COVID antibodies at Pier 64 today as I tried to clear my head and sober up for some meetings.

Me: It’s like we have superpowers!
Her: (laughing) Kinda!
Me: Well, since we just met, I suppose we should keep to safe topics like politics and religion, yeah?

I hide my real face well, I think. I work well under pressure.

Fake it till you make it, right?

Podcast Version: A litmus test
Location: my empty apartment, with no rum
Mood: disgustingly sober
Music: Keep coming up with love but it’s so slashed and torn. Why? (Spotify)
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Trading our sad stories

One man’s search continues

I saw my son the other day. I wore a long-sleeve shirt over my shirt, pants over my pants, a hat, and gloves. The only thing exposed were my eyes. I didn’t want to chance getting my in-laws sick.

My sister-in-law picked me up from the train.

Her: You’re being ridiculous, you know.
Me: Nope! If your parents are getting sick, it’ll be causea you, not causea me.

I didn’t tell my son that I was going to see him so it would be a surprise. When I finally saw him, I wouldn’t let him hug me until I got cleaned up. Then I practically tackled him.

It was the first time I touched him in well over a month. After a minute or so, he finally demanded I let him go.

Him: (laughing) Stop! Stop!
Me: Never!

It’s been raining a lot lately so when the sun broke out the other day, I continued my quest for deep-fried chicken. Kinda.

This is what I tool around with, BTW:

I went up Central Park West to West 96th Street and then across the park to 5th Avenue. Normally, there would be crowds in front of the Museum of Natural History but it was completely empty.

Made my way to 103rd Street and  Lexington. The thing is, I was actually heading to the White Castle on West 103rd Street and 1st Avenue.

I know, I know. I need help.

Now, I was going east-bound on a west-bound street when I found myself in front of this store: Texas Chicken & Burgers.

Well, I thought, this is kismet. I should try and stick to my low-carb, high-fat/protein diet anywho.

So, in I went and I bought an assortment of a dozen pieces of fried chix.

Treasure in hand, I went home.

Definitely the worst of the lot compared to KFC and Popeyes.

Good god, I’m now gonna be known as a connoisseur of deep-fried fowl fast food.

Seriously though: Kentucky>Texas.

Not because the Kentucky governor’s a democrat but I’m sure that doesn’t hurt.

Found out that I’ve got the COVID-19 antibodies for sure.

Because of this, I met a grey-eyed writer from Bensonhurst. In some ways, she’s my normal type, in others not so much; I always felt purely artsy people were a bit weird.

But she has potential. I suppose that’s all you can ask for in the world right now.

Her: Do you mind if I ask what happened?
Me: We only just met. (pause) Let’s not trade our sad stories just yet. There’ll be time enough for that. 

Podcast Version: Trading our Sad Stories
Location: my empty apartment, which feels a bit emptier
Mood: can’t look at another piece of fried chicken
Music: Just wanna go home (Spotify)
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Lunch by the river

Noticing things

Me: Yo, what are you up to? I can’t do any more work and I’m going stir crazy here.
Him: Screw it, come on by. Do you have any extra gloves and masks?

I’ve been trying to catch up on work, but it’s hard being here with the sheer emptiness of it all. I miss the boy terribly.

So, like I said in my previous entries, I hopped onto my scooter and zipped down from the UWS to the LES to take Chad out to eat.

Here’s a quickie vid on what it’s like out there.

It was honestly the perfect day to be out and about. It took me twice as long to get there as it should’ve because I kept stopping to take pictures or video. Once I finally got there, we tried to figure out what was for lunch.

As you know, I’m a sucker for a gyro, so that’s what I got.

He got a gyro burger, which makes no sense to me but he’s an adult so…

Me: OK, where we going, man?
Him: It’s a nice day, we can eat by the river.

My lungs are mostly ok but, honestly, walking those few blocks was difficult. Not necessarily bad, but noticeably not normal.

This thing is truly a bear. Being audited while you’re trying not to die is a new experience, lemme tell ya.

And I’ve had a lotta shitty experiences.

We finally got to the river and it was just perfect. More people were out than probably should’ve been but definitely less than the normal crowd. It was nice to be in society again.

And the food was so good that we both agreed not to speak for five minutes as we enjoyed it shoveled it into our pieholes.

Afterward, we chatted for a bit when I locked eyes with one of the most beautiful women I’d ever seen in my life. She was stupid attractive.

Me: Hi there.
Her: (laughs) Hi!

Chad commented that I should have spoken to her more.

Him: Whoa, she was hot and that was a huge smile she gave you, why don’t you talk to her?
Me: (laughing) How do you know she had a huge smile?
Him: (puzzled) What? I saw.
Me: (nodding) OK. Yes, she was beautiful, and, yes, that was a big smile she gave me. But here’s what I noticed….
Him: (afterwards) Oh, that’s really interesting. I never thought about that.
Me: I have my rules. I always have my rules.
Him: (shaking head) I don’t get it but, ok. Man…

It’s a little party trick of mine; noticing little things and trying to make sense of what they mean. Hopefully correctly.

All my senses have been dulled for so long but I feel a little bit of the old me from so long ago.

After a bit, we headed back to his place but stopped off at a local bodega.

Me: Hard seltzer. I’m secure in my manhood. Do it?
Him: (laughing) Sure.
Me: Oooooh, mango…

We kept some good social distancing in his tiny pad.

Honestly, it was good to see and speak to another human being again. I didn’t realize just how cruel and harsh solitary confinement is. And this is nuthin compared to that.

Me: Well, I guess I should go.
Him: Are you ok to get home?
Me:  (getting up) Well, we’re about to find out.

Podcast Version: Lunch by the River
Location: a few days ago, the John V. Lindsay East River Park
Mood: hungry
Music: I notice every single thing, that’s ever happening (Spotify)
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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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