Stay, Gold

Stay Gold

Gold Statue
My dad told me a story once of a man who had a block of gold. He buried it in his yard and would dig it up periodically to admire it before burying it again.

One day, someone stole it and the man was inconsolable. But his friends told him to paint a rock gold and look at that. Because he didn’t use the gold, there really wasn’t a difference between a piece of gold and rock painted gold.

The moral of the story was that money has value only when it’s used properly. But I always thought it a weird story – the man knew what was real gold and what was paint.

Ended up bringing my wife to the emergency room again this past week. Was hoping to avoid it but we didn’t have a choice.

I’ll simply say that this time, I didn’t collapse to my knees but it was still pretty horrible. Waiting to find out more information and the waiting is excruciating.

I’m a lawyer, amongst other things. Not a doctor nor a nurse. I’m not qualified to do much of what I’m actively doing now. But I’m also an auto-didactic.

And the thing I need to figure out is how to save my family. Amazingly, Alison is not the only person in my life with a life-threatening aggressive cancer. In fact, there are three people I love in my life with life-threatening illnesses.

All of which seem to be reaching their nadir at once.

I think I’m of above-average intelligence. Figure most people think the same about themselves.

Yet, what’s the point of all the intelligence in the world if I cannot use to save my family? It’s like that guy with the piece of gold – all my intelligence is useless if I can’t use for the only thing that I care about in this rotten world.

Ever read The Outsiders? There was a kid there named Ponyboy that read a poem called Nothing Gold Can Stay.

So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

His friend Johnny implored him to “stay gold” in a world that’ll hollow out anything of value in you.

In my tin life, my family is only thing of any real value and they are all suffering. The only thing I want is for them to somehow stay.

I have to figure out a way to make that happen.

 

\’

Location: heading to the east side
Mood: weak
Music: I want it real. Run away with me now

Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

Wish I had time for just one more bowl of chili

It’s been pretty cold here

Wish I had time for just one more bowl of chili.Photo credit: leitesculinaria.com

I’m writing this as I wait for a plumber to come and look at a pipe in my building. It’s so cold here that there’s a chunk of ice in an insulated pipe here in my apartment.

Supposed to be at a meeting at 11AM but instead, I’m sitting here as the temperature in the house slowly drops.

Tried to stay indoors as much as possible this past week or so but I had to head out for a number of things. During one of those things yesterday, I smashed my cell phone.

Again.

This time, though, there’s not gonna be a replacement. So irritated with myself.

Things just keep on breaking around me. Don’t think that electronics and I were meant to get along.

In any case, do you know just how cold is it here? It’s so cold that I’ve run through all the chili that was supposed to last me until March.

There’s a myth that gunfighter Kit Carson’s last words were: Wish I had time for just one more bowl of chili. They weren’t, it was actually, Goodbye, friends. Adios, compadres.

But regardless, I can appreciate the sentiment.

While walking around in sub-zero temperatures yesterday, all I could think was, I’d rather be home with the wife and a hot bowl of red.

And if this plumber doesn’t show up soon, those may be my last thoughts as well.

Brrrrrrrrrrr!

Location: in my apartment, waiting
Mood: turning into an icicle
Music: Cold is the color of crystal the snow light
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

A long and strange day

Doctors appointments, holiday parties, and violence

Scrubs at the doc's

Saw three doctors yesterday.

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

Once I arrived, got right to work.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome to Greenwich Village NYC 2014

Location: home, resting
Mood: hungry
Music: Could we have kippers for breakfast?

Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

Going down memory lane

William Street Subway Station NYC

Because I have all these deadlines, been all over the city the past few weeks again.

Similarly, my brother, who’s in town, has been driving around a few miles north of the city for a bit.

He actually managed to stop by where we grew up and took a buncha photos while he was up there, all of which took my breath away. Haven’t seen these places in 30+ years.

One picture stands out in my mind though, this one here. It’s panoramic so you can see what my street was like.

Here’s why it sticks out; that building is new but I still recognize the street and the entrance towards it. And I remember it clearly because my parents – who had no money for anything – would bring us there for our recreation.

To me, it was the the most exciting place on the planet for a six year old. I think I would go nuts at the prospect of going.

We would sit and read for hours. I suspect my mom left us there for a while because she figured no one would wanna kidnap two Chinese nerds.

But that was fine by me.

I wonder how much those years influenced my life. The sitting by my lonesome and just reading. My brother is the same way.

I’m looking forward to finishing up this spate of work for a number reasons – like to spend time with my wife and friends.

But I also want to sit by my lonesome and finish up a book I’ve been reading for a while now.

The more things change, yeah?

Location: my desk for now
Mood: nostalgic
Music: I may find myself delayed on the road to New Orleans

Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

The story of Tyre, Alexander, and the Elvis Barbershop

The Siege of Tyre and things that matter

Screen Shot of the Elvis Barbershop
Somewhere across the world, there’s a barbershop in Lebanon called the Elvis Barbershop. It’s located at the red marker you see above.

There’s nothing particularly interesting about the Elvis Barbershop except that I like its name – who names a barbershop “Elvis?”

It’s located in the city of Tyre, which is a peninsula off of the mainland.

Siege of Tyre.
Siege of Tyre. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But it wasn’t always a peninsula. It was an island for probably millions of years when Alexander the Great came by in 332 BC.

Alexander (Al, to his friends) had taken over much of the area and this was the last bit to be conquered. But the inhabitants of Tyre refused to surrender because they were an island fort with 200 ft (60 meter) walls.

And they were so arrogant that they tossed Alexander’s ambassadors over the walls to their deaths.

So Al filled in the land between the mainland and the island, pulled his weapons over, and laid siege to the island – now peninsula – for 70  days.

Afterward, he conquered the city-fortress and destroyed everything.

Fast-forward 2,400 years and there’s a fella in the world – presumably named Elvis – that has a barbershop on the ground that Alexander laid. An act only ancillary to Al’s main goal still affects the world to this day.

I’ve mentioned Alexander the Great in this blog and buncha times, mainly because he had such a profound effect on the world and how I look it.

Thought about all this because someone contacted me and said that something I wrote affected his life.

I think we all hope that the things we do have some lasting good effect far beyond ourselves.

The hope that somewhere in our wicked, wicked childhoods, we must have done something good that means something to someone.

Location: off to wrassle
Mood: thrilled
Music: nothing comes from nothing
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

Playing Hooky

A cancelled appointment means ducking into a theatre

Under Manhattan Bridge

Was downtown the other day on a nice spring day. Ended up walking under the Manhattan Bridge.

It was pretty deserted where I was so I had some time to my thoughts.

Ended up walking past a model shoot and thought that they must be burning up as the midday sun hit high noon.

66th Street AMC Theatre

A client cancelled a meeting on me the other day so I was trying to figure out what I should put in its place: Another meeting? Catch up on some reading? Organize some files?

But then I thought, I’d not seen a movie as a matinee in ages so I decided to play hooky and catch a flick. Hoofed it over a local theatre and caught X-Men: Days of Future Past.

It was glorious.

AMC Theatre

There were only three other people in the entire theatre, the air conditioning was no joke, and the film was pretty good.

As I thought when I was downtown, there’s something luxurious about solitude in the big city. It’s hard finding room to be left alone.

Afterward, went home feeling like a billionaire. That is, until I got the chime that told me to get back to work.

Him: Where were you?
Me: Important meeting. Couldn’t wait. So, I reviewed your papers…

AMC Theatre

Location: Midtown, shortly
Mood: relaxed
Music: Finding new ways to be awed each minute
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

The one with the barber brainteaser and Nighthawks

And I’m selling my Edward Hopper: Nighthawks


There this old joke/brainteaster I heard once where a stranger arrives at a small town and needs a haircut. There are only two barbers in town so he visits both of them.

The first one he goes to has a terrible haircut and looks like a mess. The second one has a perfect head of hair. The man immediately turns around and goes back to the first barber who had the terrible haircut – why?

While you’re thinking about that, I’ve been sick and have been fighting a lot of insomnia. I got up the other day to bake some cookies.

Was awake enough so that it was me and not Sleepy Logan.

Back to the brainteaser – it’s not that hard; if there are only two barbers there, the first barber must have gotten his hair cut at the second barber and vice versa. So the first barber’s terrible haircut is because of the skill of the second barber.

There are tons of logical issues with that but if you have a kid, it’s a good one to ask.

Which brings me to the picture above. The wife and I decided a while ago to buy each other one ornament a year for Christmas. That’s what she bought me.

She tends to buy me fun, homey-type ornaments while I buy her elegant classy ones. And the reason is the same – I tend to think of her as very classic and proper while I’m a lot more casual.

She bought it from Carolyn’s Christmas at the Columbus Circle Holiday Market. Their ornaments are made in the Andes Mountains “using age-old methods of sculpting bread dough.” So it’s an ornament made of food, which I find kinda appropriate for me.

Apparently, they were super nice and spent a good amount of time getting the wording (“The Lo’s!”) just right so I thought they deserved a little mention here.

On a different matter entirely, I’m selling my Nighthawks painting by Edward Hopper; it’s a framed poster print in a dark brown hardwood frame. It measures 44″ x 32″ and I paid $300 for it a few years ago (and it’s in perfect condition since it just hung there) but can sell it for half that.

Here’s an entry on it that I wrote back in the day; I still love the painting but it’s a little dark for our living room now.

If anyone in NYC’s interested, lemme know.

OK, off to drink some more hot liquids and have a cookie.

Location: desk, wrapping up for the deal
Mood: sick
Music: Lately I’m obsessed and I need the rest. I hope that you’re impressed
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Remembering the Northeast Blackout of 2003

10 years since the East Coast Blackout

Me: Today’s the 10 year anniversary of the 2003 East Coast Blackout.
Her: Really? Wow. 10 years. Time goes by so fast.

I remember what I was doing that day/night well since it happened just under a year since the 9/11 attacks.

Was actually in a real estate closing when I realized that I was missing a check. So I made a mad dash to my office to get it.

On the train ride back to the meeting, the train got stuck in the tunnel. Was already panicked as this was only my third real estate closing so I remember that when the AC shut off in the subway car, I was already a sweaty mess. I also remember the subway car windows steaming up because of the humidity.

Hours later, the car doors opened in the middle of the tunnel and we worked our way in the dark to the station – we used our mobile phones for light. When I finally got out, I was a mile or so from the closing so I ran there with the check.

Was so absorbed in getting to the meeting that I barely noticed that there were no lights.

Arriving, I banged the door repeatedly when the building manager finally came and opened the door. “I’m…here…for the closing. Checks.” I said, breathlessly.

People walking in New York City during the bla...
People walking in New York City during the blackout (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Closing?” he said, “There’s a ___ing blackout. There’s no closing.” And the slammed the door in my face. Only then did I look up and think, Well, that’s weird.

Eventually, I made it over to Rain’s apartment where we ended up BBQing on his roof since his fridge was stocked. I remember sitting on his roof ledge in a rumpled suit, dirty from my tunnel run.

Hours later in the dark, finally managed to grab a $80 cab ride back to my pad. We went at like three miles an hour up to the Upper West Side because of all the pedestrians and lack of light.

When I got home, found my sister waiting for me since she couldn’t make it to her home. Back then I had a car so I lent it to a buddy to go check up on his mom in Philly. End up eating everything out of my fridge for a late dinner.

Two things happened that day:

  1. I have a checklist for closings now so I never forget another check.
  2. Got this here story to tell people now.

All education’s expensive. Some, though, come with worthwhile memories.

Location: enjoying the strangely cool August weather at my desk
Mood: nostalgic
Music: It’s been a long night in New York City
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Vlog: Where I tell two stories about pizza

A Homemade Pizza and a Spinach Pizza

No time to do a proper entry so I just posted a video above.

Below is a pizza from my pop to my mom on Mother’s Day. Clearly, I am this man’s son.

Let me know if you think I should vlog more, I know i have the energy for it, I’ve always been interested in making money on youtube.

In other news, I’m going to be posting at around 3PM Mondays and Wednesdays for a bit. New work schedule coming up.

 

Location: Courtroom
Mood: amused
Music: Tom, your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Ship of Thesus Paradox

Are we really who we think we are?

Group of bikes chained together at 59th Street, Columbus Circle
There’s this philosophical puzzle that I like to tell people called the Theseus Paradox and it goes like this:

The Greek hero Theseus returned from Crete with new planks on his ship. It turns out that, while Theseus was away, he replaced bits and pieces of his ship all along. The philosopher Plutarch wondered, after hearing this, whether or not it would be the same ship if in fact every piece of that ship was replaced.

In other words, if that were the case, is it the same ship or a completely different ship?

Turning to myself, I know that I am a completely different person than I was when I was in my early 20s. Again different in my late 20s to early 30s. And I think my last major shift in personality and temperament came in my mid-30s. That’s my mental state.

Physiologically, there’s the old adage is that every single one of our cells are replaced every 10 years.

It turns out not to be entirely true, as some brain cells are always ever the same. But even if that is the case, the question remains: how much of us can be replaced so that we are still who we think we are? If 99.87% of us is wholly different than the person we were 10 years ago, are we the same person?

I say this as I look down on my swollen leg. It has the ACL of a dead man now. That fact is neither scary or sad to me, just interesting.

Said it before that Sleepy Logan and Younger Logan have both screwed and helped me in my life.

Met someone recently who proudly said that she was the exact same person with the exact same beliefs she had in her late 30s as she did in her teens.

Me: There are those that would say that you’ve wasted the last 20-some odd years of your life, then. You’ve learned nothing from those versions of yourself.
She: Would you say that?
Me: I would say that the 18-year old you should not hold hostage the destiny of a 38 year-old adult. But I’m here to drink and really, what do I know?

Because, maybe it’s just a cop-out. It’s a way for me not to take responsibility for being a truly terrible person in my possible pasts.

———-

Him: …two weeks, in the Bronx.
Me: I can’t do it. Not with my leg.

It turns out that if you live an eat-what-you-kill life and can’t physically get out the door to do work, your clients get disappointed. Disappointed clients are never good.

Turned down my third gig already this month.

Worried that this injury will be far more costly than I first imagined.

———-

Posting my follow-up to 10 Tips on how to write a good Match, OK Cupid, or POF dating profile: Part 1 on Friday after noon.

You’ll like it, I think.

Location: a chair, finally
Mood: concerned
Music: really want to go out, I really want to go outside
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.