You don’t know what you don’t know

Volkwagen Part 199.398.500.A

Went to the doctor’s. Again. Seriously.

Me: Another finger’s infected. He’s never seen anything like this.
Pac: You’re kidding me.
Me: He thinks that I’m washing my hands too much – like twice an hour, on the hour.
Him: Now that I believe.

Way back in 1997, I mentioned to a lawyer that lived in my building that I was thinking of buying stock in either International Paper or Iomega, the maker of the zip disk.

He rolled his eyes and said sarcastically, Paper. Yeah, real forward thinking, Logan. That’s gonna be a money-maker for sure.

One of my rules I have  in life is that if someone says something sarcastically, they’re probably hiding either a complete lack of knowledge on a subject or, at the very least, aren’t very well versed in it.

But this guy was a pretty smart lawyer so I was conflicted. In the end, I decided to stick to my rule and assume that he was, in fact, an idiot.

He was. Iomega’s bankrupt now. While I did buy some, I also bought a lot of International Paper and did well with it.

You see, the lawyer scoffed because – to him – paper meant letters and newspapers, two things that the internet was crushing.

But to me, paper meant cardboard boxes, packaging, and coffee cups – all of which were rising, rapidly, in demand, due to the internet.

OK, maybe not coffee cups, but you get my drift.

Anywho, the lawyer’s problem was that he couldn’t see things for what they really were, only what he thought them to be.

Now, if I asked you what Volkswagen sold the most of for the past 45 years, you’d probably say, cars. Or trucks.

But those aren’t its number one selling product.

Volkswagon’s number one selling product is a sausage. Specifically Volkswagen part number 199.398.500.A – Currywurst sausage.

In 2017, it sold 6.8 million currywursts, significantly more than number of cars or trucks it sold during that same time.

The point of all this is that you don’t know, what you don’t know, until you know, that you don’t know it.

Like, I didn’t know that over-washing my hands might lead to infections. Now I do.

Past Contestant: You’re not exactly my regular type, Logan.
Me: And what’s your regular type?
Her: (laughing) Well, not a 47 year old widowed Chinese guy with a kid.
Me: And how’s that worked out for you so far? All I’m saying is that if you keep doing what you do, you keep getting what you get. Besides, you’ve never met a fella like me before. Shoes off, please. 

On that note, think I’m gonna take a little break from dating.

It’s all the disappointing and disappointments I told you about before.

Podcast Version
Location: the doctor’s office, seriously
Mood: busy again
Music: I think it’s all in my mind (Spotify)
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Goodnight, Luciano

I don’t understand why

Haven’t heard from the Devil in months. That worries me because he’s one of the few people in the world I think of as a friend.

How odd, to have a friend you call the Devil.

We’re friends because we see the world in the same way.

Me: Why me?
Him: (shrugging) Because you can separate signal from noise.
Me: So?
Him: As you get older, you’ll realize that most people can’t.

On July 14th, I felt compelled to reach out to this fella named Luciano Anthony.

What a name. Picture a super-built, really good-looking guy that was brilliant and you’d be picturing Luciano. He looked like a dude named Luciano Anthony.

(I also just found out that he went by Luciano Bianco as well – I only ever knew him as Luciano Anthony).

We were never close but he always said hi to me at the gym and was never anything but the nicest fella. He was covered in tats so I immediately made some judgments about him. All wrong.

He had a masters degree in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins and worked as a science engineer. He did woodwork on the side.

Quiet and thoughtful, he was a beast on the mats. I remembered that I liked rolling with him because he always kept his gear clean.

Anywho, Luciano posted something random that night. It seemed out of sorts for what I knew of him.

I’m so fucking clever, you see.

So, I wrote him. I was probably drinking.

He was struggling with some demons. As a friend of the Devil, I know demons. In fact, I knew these particular demons he was struggling with. They’re old hated companions of mine as well.

Him:  (afterwards) Sorry if that’s too straightforward. Don’t have much family or friends so I tend to word vomit.
Me: No. That’s fine. When I say I understand, I really do. And more.

The last thing I said to him was, “I get it. If you’re in heed [sic] of someone to vent to, lemme know.”

That was it. Even though I knew something was wrong, I thought, I did my part. I reached out. I patted myself on the back. And I went back to my life. And I didn’t reach out to him again.

He killed himself exactly a week later. I didn’t know until today.

In ironies of ironies, I just wrote about depression and suicide in my last entry.

In the past four years, I’ve known six – now seven – people that died; I loved two of them completely. Luciano was the only one that took his own life.

I knew there was something wrong but I didn’t follow-up.

I get it. What could I have done? With him, with Alison? But what’s the point of hearing signal if nothing changes, if it doesn’t make a fucking difference anyway?

His mom posted that he died on Facebook. That’s how I found out. Fucking hell. No parent should have to do anything like that.

Like I said, a mother’s love for her child is like nothing else.

I think the same thing I always think whenever I hear about someone as good and as talented as Luciano dying – doubly so when it’s suicide – why?

For all my cleverness, I’ll never understand why. I suppose I don’t really want to. He was only 29. To me, that’s just a kid. What a fucking waste of a good soul.

Goodnight, Luciano. I’m so sorry you suffered and felt like you had to go.

I hope you found your peace.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish.
1-800-273-8255

Podcast Link
Location: Pier 84, talking about Luciano with Chad
Mood: not good
Music: Didn’t get to sleep that night till the morning came (Spotify)
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About Naya

Being a feminist

I’m pausing my usual nuthin to talk about a celebrity.

The last celebrity death I wrote about was George Michael. Today, it’s about Naya Rivera, who died earlier this month.

I’m writing because I assume that not everyone who reads this blog keeps up with television actresses – or 80s pop singers for that matter.

But Rivera deserves a mention for reasons you’ll soon understand.

All evidence seems to point to the fact that she and her son went swimming on an unmoored boat. Rivera probably realized that the boat was slipping away from her and made a choice – a mother’s choice.

She swam after that boat, carrying her son. She musta used all her strength to (a) get to the boat, and (b) get her wet, exhausted four-year old son onto it.

My kid’s four-years old. He’s heavy as it is; I can’t imagine how heavy he’d be wet and tired.

Yet, this lady got her son back onto the boat. It’s apparent that she used the last of her strength to get him to safety because, according to her son, he saw her disappear under the surface of the water.

Think about that.

She was close enough to him that he could see her die. There’s no way she wanted that but she had no strength left.

Alison and I used to watch Glee from time-to-time, but I don’t know anything about Miss Rivera except how she died. I gotta say, that’s enough. She died saving someone she loved more than herself.

That tells me everything I need to know about her. She died her child’s guard. There is no greater love than that.

I said it before, A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things, and crushes down, remorselessly, all that stands in its path.

Since we’re on the topic, I was asked once if I considered myself a feminist. I never thought about it, really.

I’m definitely not chivalrous because that’s just a bullshit way to say that (a) you’re gonna treat someone differently because they do or do not have a particular organ, and (b) that women are weak and need a man’s help. Fuck that.

Alison was the toughest person – man, woman, or child – I have ever met.

You would not believe the shit that Alison went through to stay with her son. And she did so with complete and utter stoicism.

I find Trump supporters particularly distasteful because they support such a weak, whiny, shadow of a man. Like, shut the fuck up you big whiny crybaby. Jesus Christ, don’t you ever get tired of whining?

Alison’s pinky was tougher than Captain Bone-Spurs entire corpulent gross body. And Alison’s mom and then my mom are the second and third toughest people – not women, people – I know. Mouse is up there too.

Women give birth. Women suffer unbelievably for their family and children. For a man to have anything but a profound respect for women, celebrity or otherwise, is to just admit that they are weak, fragile, bone-spur nothings.

If that means I’m a feminist, sure. If nuthin else, this blog is all about me being a fan of women, which I find ridiculous that I even need to point out.

But we’re living in a time when stupid is full-on run amok, so there you go.

Anywho, I wanted you to know that Rivera died, not as a celebrity, but as mother trying – and succeeding – to save her child.

That’s a life worth remembering. That lady was tough as shit, actress, celebrity, or whatever. Tough. As. Shit.

OK, back to the usual nonsense next week.

Podcast Version
Location: my slightly less-hot apartment
Mood: humbled
Music: She is the best thing that’s ever been mine (Spotify)
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Heartgirl was Queen of my Heart

Except in reverse

Speaking of sad stories, I finally told Lviv mine before she went home for a bit.

Her: Can I ask what happened yet?
Me: I suppose you earned my sad stories. I’ll need some rum. (deep breath)
Her: (later) I’m sorry, Logan.
Me: Yeah, so am I.
Her: (wipes eyes) Man, I need a drink now.
Me: Yeah.
Her: I’m glad she had you.
Me: Yeah. (sighing) Lucky her. She was Queen of my Heart and I was her guard.

Lviv’s heart is in NYC but her home’s somewhere else.

I understand that all too well, except in reverse.

I took that pic of Alison/Heartgirl the second night I ever met her. Told her that, if she was my Ship in the Night Girl, I’d marry her someday. I never said that to anyone.

She laughed. But she was.

She had the most beautiful green eyes and happy laugh.

There’s no sin I wouldn’t commit to see and hear them again.

Podcast Version
Location: my hot, hot, home
Mood: drunk
Music: Your love is a secret I’m hoping, dreaming, dying to keep (Spotify)
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Clinically or…?

Bike Mechanics, fight commentators, and rum drinkers

Me: (shrugging) Everyone’s got their front-runners and back-burners. If I’m your back-burner, I’m fine with that. Kinda prefer it right now, actually.
BrightBea: God, who says that? Are you insane?!
Me: You mean clinically or…?

Chad came by the other day to help me assemble a bicycle. It’s a ridiculously long story that I’ll summarize as follows:

      • I bought a used Dahon Matrix – also in Brooklyn – to install an iMortor (sic) 3.0 electric wheel. It didn’t fit.
      • After dremeling it and widening the fork, the fork broke.
      • So we got another fork. No love; still didn’t fit.
      • During this whole time, Chad’s discovering he likes biking. To wit, I sell him the Dahon Matrix and buy a used Dahon Espresso that he picked up for me from Staten Island.
      • Because that bike had v-brakes and not disc brakes, the electric wheel fit perfectly.
      • But then we had to install brand new brakes to make it work.
      • And then a bike rack to hold the kid, which is why I started this process in the first place.
      • Plus safety lights and stuff.
      • This whole adventure took a few months. And we’re not done yet. But, we’re close. When I finally get it completed, I’ll take some pics and show you.

I’m thinking that, if this goes well, we should make business cards that read:

Logan and Chad: Bike mechanics, fight commentators, and rum drinkers

Only two of those three statements are functionally accurate.

Her: Why do you prefer it?
Me: People aren’t ready for me and what I can do.
Her: What can you do?
Me: Oooh, you haven’t earned that. Yet. You might.
Her: (laughs)

Speaking of rum, two tenants moved out today and gave me a bottle of rum. They’re probably two of my favourite ones. The tenants, that is.

But I get it; no point in paying Manhattan rents if you’re working from home alla time.

Me: Wow, I’m touched. Man, I’m so sad you two are moving out. We have to keep in touch!

The crazy thing is that I dropped the glass bottle coming down the steps and it BOUNCED on two concrete steps before it landed in an extremely gross and putrid city puddle.

But, it survived relatively unscathed.

There’s a life lesson there, somewhere. The power of rum, perhaps?

Podcast Version
Location: 48th Street and Riverside Park
Mood: curious
Music: you freeze up like winter season in June (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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There’re only two types of people in the world

Hoi polloi

Podcast Version

Assuming, arguendo, that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, who are you spending your 27,000 days with?

If that’s too complex a question, then who are you spending quarantine with?

Are they wildly successful, dangerous, hyper-intelligent people? Or the regular hoi polloi? There’s nuthin wrong with average people, per se, except that average people tend to just make you average.

Who you spend time with is why you sit where you sit and someone else sits where they sit.

Ideally, you want to be able to sit at any table you want.

Years ago, I realized that I was hanging out with people that weren’t going anywhere with their lives. Most were fine, they were looking to get into some middle-level white collar job, make six-figures in some name-brand firm, and provide a good life for themselves and their kids.

Nuthin wrong with that.

But, at the time, I wanted to be amazing. And I took a hard look at the people that I spent the most amount of time with. I wanted:

      • friends that were wildly successful, physically (Health)
      • friends that were wildly successful, financially (Wealth)
      • friends that were wildly successful, socially (Relationships)

So, I got rid of the dead weight and added on people that could help me be who I knew I could be.

The thing is, I genuinely like and appreciate alla these friends. But, you gotta care about someone, why not have it be someone that’s at the top of their game?

Pac joked once that I have a need to be a mentor and that’s not wholly accurate. What I have is an internal desire for equity; to wit, I feel a need to pay it forward.

Chad’s been coming by lately and teaching me BJJ; in return for a much lower hourly rate, I help him understand finances.

Me: …and that’s compound investing.
Him: (quiet) Wow. I never knew that. I’m blown away.
Me: (nodding) To paraphrase Denzel: There’re only two types of people in the world. The trained and the untrained. Be trained.

I met someone else, who lives in the middle of nowhere Brooklyn, recently whom I teach more general things about relationships and health.

Me: Try to eat mainly protein, fat, and fiber and stay outta the sun.
Her: Why?
Me: Do you know Shaquille O’Neal?
Her: Of course, why?
Me: He’s one year older than I am. I’m 47.
Her: (surprised)
Me: (nodding) Try to eat mainly protein, fat, and fiber and stay outta the sun. Here’s a vocabulary book I read as a kid. It’ll help you with your career when the world starts again.

Podcast Version
Location: Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn
Mood: ambitious
Music: Don’t want to sing mad songs anymore (Spotify)
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Iceland has no mosquitoes

Organizing knives

Me: HOLY SHIT!
Him: Hey, hey, easy, easy, it’s just me.

Iceland’s the only developed place on the planet with no mosquitoes. It’s a quirk of time, luck, fate, and position that brought them to that unique distinction.

In a lotta ways, we’re no different. I tell people that we’re only given about 27,000 days total here. It’s not enough time. What we do with those days makes us who we are – slowly, inexorably, irreversibly.

Minute changes in our life make us who we are until we’re calcified, one way or another.

This was a long and strange weekend, which I’m still trying to sort out in my head. But, by the time you read this, it’ll be June. So, my head’s a lot clearer.

I don’t feel as rough as I have lately, but I also don’t really feel like myself. I’m changing again. I feel it. And I have some new old friends to come with.

On that note, for the second time in less than a year, I opened a door to find someone sitting on my white couch, waiting for me.

This time, though, I’d actually given him the key back when I had COVID. In fact, I went through alla the people that have access to my apartment and got rid of everyone who shouldn’t have a key and kept those that should.

You’d be surprised at how many people I trust with this – and who.

(years ago)
Alison: Logan! Why did I find a knife taped to the back of the toilet?!
Me: Oh, I have, uh, knives hidden everywhere in the house?
Her: What. Is. Wrong with you?
Me: Ok, take a seat. It all started when I brought a yoghurt to kindergarten and Sister Mary…

One thing that I did this past weekend was finally find all the knives I’ve always had hidden around the house.

This was kismet.

Me: (putting on a shirt) Dude, you’re lucky I reorganized alla my knives. Did you shut the door immediately when you came in? I’ve got two mosquitoes somewhere in the house.
Him: Oh man, then I’m screwed, they love me.
Me: So, what happened last night that brought you here today?
Him: Oh man, it was a crazy night. So…
Me: Wait, let’s get some coffee first. You know where that is.

On a slightly more serious note, another one of my buddies is concerned about looters because they hit just a block from his pad.

That whole situation is something else that I’m trying to sort out in my head.  Everything.

As for my buddy, he and wife are both trained and armed, though.

So, I’m not quite as worried for him.

 

Note: If you and your child have been to my house, they were always hidden no lower than my chest, so your kids were never in harm’s way.

Podcast Version
Location: my room, surrounded by sharp instruments
Mood: sober since the 25th; until he showed up, that is…
Music: no one listens to me (Spotify)
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Travelogue: Museum miles

You’re my main company

Me: You should bring her to the Museum of Natural History. I once took a girl there on a five-hour date. Oh, wait…

Someone I know met a girl several women recently and was trying to figure out where to take them (FWIW, he has the antibodies too). Told him that I loved museums before I remembered they’re a no go. 

But I got nostalgic and, after one really sleepless night, I hopped the scooter to go around town. There weren’t as many people out.

Any really.

Went to the Natural History first. Was last there in September 2018 when Gradgirl was in town but she didn’t want me to mention it for reasons I finally understand.

After the AMNH, went across the park…

…to 97th Street and then down Museum Mile past the Cooper Hewitt…

…to the Guggenheim…

…through the trees of the Met…

…past the Met…

…down Fifth Avenue, which was still pretty deserted at this time,…

…and then across the park again.

The Whitney Museum moved, which is probably for the best for my mental health.

Made it back home and fell asleep, dreaming of the other side again.

This lockdown is  a once in a lifetime thing and you and my demons are my main company so I figure I’d just show you what I see here.

That girl I went on a five-hour date with wasn’t my person and I wasn’t hers. She’s happily married with two beautiful kids. I’m happy for her.

Family’s everything.

(Earlier…)

Him: Are you gonna be ok there by yourself?
Me: Define, “ok.”
Him: Logan, stop fucking around.
Me: Don’t worry. I’d never leave the boy in this shitty world alone. I just need to sleep it off. I’ll be better tomorrow.

Location: my empty apartment, post shawarmas
Mood: under pressure and hating this fucking month
Music: Why can’t we give love that one more chance? (Spotify)
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I got Covid-19, Pt 2

Would. Not. Recommend.

Sunday 04.05 – 101.7
I’m essentially non-functional this day. I do little but eat and try to sit upright. I start wearing a neck pillow to keep my head from slamming into the back wall  because I can’t keep my head up.

Before I do, however, I sit there, head back, looking up. I think, absentmindedly, “If I survive this, gonna have to dust the ceiling fan.”

Manage to make it the eight feet to my kitchen and eat half a box of donuts with six tablespoons of peanut butter and wash it all down with coconut milk from the carton. I sit down on the kitchen floor because I’m too tired to make it to the sofa. Use the carton as a pillow for my head along with the neck brace.

Pull out my phone to send an electronic key to my brother so he can unlock my doors from LA if he doesn’t hear from me and I need paramedics. I pass out, hoping to see Alison. I don’t.

Note that I’m still not really coughing so I think that there’s a chance it’s not Covid. But I clearly can’t taste or smell a damn thing.

My kitchen floor’s filthy. Alison would not be happy.

Monday 04.06 – 101.2
Can’t stand any more, at all. The first thing I do when I wake – because I want to be as clear-headed as possible – is to write my existing clients letting them know that, should I die, the work I did will be emailed to them before I pass and any unused funds would be returned to them.

They write back hoping I’ll be ok. Don’t respond. The hunger’s still off the charts and I order two dinner-sized noodle dishes for myself and finish it all off that day. Save some soup for the other days.

Note that this whole time, I’d also been monitoring my SpO2 levels, which are consistently between 96 and 99, so my brother tells me not to go to the hospital yet.

I’ve also not listened to any music this whole time. My head is angry and noisy and tells me I’m better off dead.

Me: Why do you hate me so much?
Me: Because, you’re a piece of shit. You let her die.
Me: (nodding) Yeah. Makes sense. I wonder if it’ll hurt?

Tuesday 04.07 – 101.9
This is the worst day yet. Still can’t stand longer than a minute. Finally start having slight breathing/chest issues. It might be anxiety or just in my head. Or I could be dying. Dunno. It’s also the first time my hunger slips. Feel nauseated and vomit. Lots of coughing but it’s not dry. O2 levels drop to 92, massive chills.

I decide that if I die, I want to die at home. And then I worry that the boy will be alone in the world and force myself to eat some goldfish crackers and pretzels. The daytime hallucinations have stopped. I’m disappointed.

Me: Alison? Alison? (sighing) Well, shit…

My SIL sends me a care package with a note saying she hoped I wasn’t dead. I struggle to get it into my apartment. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Daisy also wrote hoping I wasn’t dead. It’s nice, that people hope that I’m not dead.

Read that Chris Cuomo cracked his teeth, chattering, and mine are chattering non-stop so I put in a mouthguard from BJJ so it doesn’t happen to me. Go to bed and wake up freezing cold but absolutely drenched in sweat. Move from my side of the bed to the other side because everything is wet and gross.

I’d been avoiding Tyelnol to keep track of my temps but my brother tells me to take some to try and get some sleep. I do so, and crash hard. Alison visits me and we take the boy to a local playground.

Wednesday 04.08 – 101.3 but drops to 100.5 at night.
My hunger is replaced by nausea in the morning but I still eat. I dry retch a few times and get to my sofa. I pass out.

A few hours later, I wake up and make myself some coffee. I smell it for the first time at 3:30, I think. Not sure. If it’s real, it’s the first thing I can remember smelling since the 03.29.

Thursday 04.09 – 99.2
Wake up late. It’s the first time since Sunday, the 29th that I woke up later than 7AM. It’s 10:45 when I wake.

I’m tired but not exhausted.

Write my clients and apologize for scaring them. I cancel the checks and delete the files. End up staying out of bed past 7:30PM; it’s actually midnight when I go to bed. My brother’s happy.

Friday 04.10 – 98.8

Want protein again; can’t eat another carb. So I order some fish with lemons and a gyro for myself. Again, a splurge.

Speaking of lemons, you’re better off taking a cheese grater to your forearm, liberally salting said forearm afterwards, and finishing it with a twist of lemon than getting the coronavirus.

Would. Not. Recommend.

Dusted the ceiling fan today. Tomorrow, I’ll mop the kitchen.

I’m alone again.

Well, that’s not completely true; Harold’s here.

Location: my empty and dusty apartment
Mood: tired
Music: I could use somebody (Spotify)
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