Owing a debt

Mother is the name of God

Podcast Version

Him: Why do you stay in contact with her and people like him?
Me: I owe them a debt. Anyone that shows a kindness to my family, I owe a debt.

My head’s quiet again.

That’s more than I can say about the state of the nation, what with a pandemic, murder hornets, cannibal rats, state-sponsored murder, and now race riots.

The thing is: I get it. As my buddy from my gym said, you never get over the anger. And what’s the anger all about? Inequity.

It’s bullshit that Alison died so young, so close to her dream of finally – finally – getting a family. Bullshit.

I said earlier that I couldn’t watch the whole video. I stopped when Floyd cried out for his mother.

That broke my heart. As a regular, run-of-the-mill-normal human being, it broke my heart. That someone could die for no fucking reason whatsoever.

And what crushed it to powder was the thought that in the darkest moments of his life, my son will cry out for me. Because he didn’t know Alison.

And I’m half the person she was. You see, Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of children.

Except for mine, that is. Fuckballs.

I counted the days. Alison lived exactly 13,893 days. HALF of what she was promised. What we were promised. The inequity makes my blood boil.

Alison and George are gone now, for no good reason whatsoever. So, I understand the rage.

But there’s another facet to the rage. And that’s the debt.

In 1847 – after the Trail of Tears – the Choctaw heard about the starving Irish during their potato famine and somehow, managed to scrape together and send $170 (about $5,000 today) to help these people strangers.

For every bit of inequity – where one isn’t given what one’s owed – there’s a flip side. There’s grace; that’s when you’re given something you didn’t earn.

When Alison was sick, the grace I saw, humbled me. To those people that helped us, my family owes them a debt. That’s it.

We owe them a debt.

The Choctaw owed the Irish no debt but they paid a value to someone in need. And 173 years later, the descendants of those with the debt paid back some of it.

I think I hold a special place of contempt in my heart for those in mixed-race relationships – particularly white male and Asian female relationships – where the white male doesn’t realize the debt he owes the African-American community.

Like the the officer that murdered Mr. Floyd, who is married to a Laotian woman.

That officer doesn’t realize the debt his family owes to the black community, that was regularly lynched for just looking at a white woman, and had to go to court to gain us all the right to marry any one of any race we wanted.

I was able to legally marry Alison because a white man named Loving – of all things – wanted to marry a black woman, named Mildred. My family would not exist but for Mildred and Loving. The debt every interracial couple owes to them cannot be overstated.

If you’re white and in a mixed-race relationship and you don’t feel any rage over what happened to Mr. Floyd and don’t recognize the debt you owe to that community then I gotta point it out to you now.

You owe them a debt.

But rage against inequity works both ways.

Chauvin’s wife just announced that she was divorcing him.

Podcast Version
Location: 95th and Broadway
Mood: angry
Music: so sick of being so lonely; miss all my family (Spotify)
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Mixed Signals

Don’t give up your back

Just a little distraction from the state of affairs in the world right now.

(Earlier in May)

Him: Where are you right now?
Me: In my head again.
Him: Past, present, or future?
Me: Past. Like always.
Him: You’ve gotta shake that off, Logan. Life is forward.
Me: Fear is forward.

I didn’t drink at all for the past few days. Mainly because I’ve been taking painkillers like popcorn causea my foot and now knee (long story).

But, it’s allowed me to think a lot more clearly. Plus, I’ve had some help from some old, and unexpected, friends.

One was the Sexologist/Jill McDevitt who posted this picture recently.

Life’s been giving me a lotta mixed-signals lately and her pic helped me decide which one to listen to. It helped that I saw it after the 24th.

Oh, if you were ever wondering, she got hitched to a really nice fella and they moved on over to sunny California.

At a time when she was struggling, Jill still managed to send Alison and me a little something to help us back when Alison was sick.

Anyone that was kind to my family, I owe a debt to.

Jill’s always been one of the kindest people I’ve had the good fortune to meet. You can keep up with her here.

The other is an old, but younger, friend of mine, who found out a few things about me recently.

Me: I could teach you stuff but it’ll make you different. People don’t like different. So, you have to learn to hide a lotta things.
Him: I already see how different everything is now. Things make more sense. I want to understand.
Me: (nodding) Then I’ll help you understand. But be careful. Understanding things doesn’t always make things better, it can make some things worse. Ignorance does have it’s benefits. But I’ll show you, if you really want. And if, one day, you find out something terrible about me, I hope you remember that I told you that I’d done terrible things before and forgive me. (sighing) Everyone wants to be forgiven for the shitty things they’ve done.

The last was the old friend from above.

Him: What is it you always say, Logan? “Don’t give up your back?” If you’re in the past, what are you doing but giving up your back?
Me: It’s the same old story. Trying to figure out what’s signal and what’s noise.

Podcast Version
Location: home, icing my knee
Mood: hungry
Music: here we are and we’re still counting stars (Spotify)
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Cleaning the darkness around us

Magic Soap

Her: Did…did you just wash the fruit with hand soap?
Me: Yeah. It’s fine.
Her: It’s not! You can’t do that!

People are often horrified when they see me wash fruits and vegetables – all fruits and vegetables – with my foaming hand soap. What they don’t know is that I use castile soap, which is made from vegetables and safe to use on pretty much everything.

If you’ve ever been out at a store, you’ve probably seen the most famous one, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap. I tend to buy the peppermint one.

Bronner had an interesting and tragic life.

He was a jew born in Germany and, when the Nazis took power, he implored his family to leave with him to America. But his parents felt they were German – Jewish Germans but still Germans. They refused to believe that they were in danger in their own home country so he left alone.

The last he heard from them was a single postcard from his father that simply read:

You were right. – Your loving father.

His parents were murdered by a country they loved that didn’t love them back.

What a terrible thing, to realize that a country – or anything – you love, not only doesn’t love you back, instead, wishes you and your family harm.

I’ve always been fascinated by bright things that emerge, directly or indirectly, from dark origins. The hope is always that some good can come from something awful and tragic.

It’s the hope, at least.

Random thought for a random day.

I hope you all stay safe. And I hope you’re all loved by someone or something that you love.

Me: Honestly, it’s fine. You gotta trust me on this.

Podcast Version
Location: my kitchen, popping painkillers
Mood: contemplative
Music: tell me if you love me or not (Spotify)
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What’s the difference between 3rd Degree Murder and Involuntary Manslaughter?

Murder vs. Manslaughter

While writing this, they just announced a curfew for NYC. This is yet another first for me in a year of firsts.

Madness.

The subject of George Floyd is one that I write about carefully and respectfully. A man was killed for absolutely no rational reason. That’s all I’ll say on the matter.

That, and I couldn’t watch more than a few seconds of the video as it made me too sick. It literally sickened me.

Instead, I pause my usual talk of nuthin and nonsense to provide you with some legal definitions; none of which should be considered legal advice. OK…

Murder
There are four types of murder. The classifications of “degrees” varies across jurisdictions, but generally speaking:

1. First Degree Murder
This is intentional killing with premeditation and usually involves things like poisoning, stalking and trapping, lying in wait, etc.
Example: Someone sits down and decides that he’s gonna kill his old boss on Thursday and he does just that.

2. Second Degree Murder
This can be called, “Intent to inflict serious bodily harm” murder
Example: I just wanted to break your legs with this here baseball bat but you up and died.

3. Third degree murder
When I took the bar, I thought of this as the “I don’t give a shit,” murder. It’s hallmarks are “a wanton indifference to human life,” coupled with, “an unreasonable risk to human life.” The old legal term of this is “depraved-heart” murder, which I always secretly liked as a name because it really captures the essence of what it is – it requires a depraved heart. Note that some jurisdictions call this second degree murder – so it goes back-and-forth.
Example: Idiot teenagers throwing frozen turkeys off an overpass, killing a woman. This is an insane, but true, example.

4. Felony murder
This is first-degree murder under federal law and varies under local law. I actually explained this a while ago in another entry.
If you’re looking for something to do during lockdown, watch Heat because it’s frequently brought up in law schools as one of the best examples of felony murder.

Involuntary Manslaughter
This is the negligent and unintentional killing of another person.

The *classic* bar examination question – it literally shows up every single year – is a fact pattern where the test-taker has to make a judgement call if something is Third Degree/Depraved-Heart Murder or Involuntary Manslaughter.

(Seriously, every year – if you’re a law student reading this, you gotta know this and be able to distinguish between the two, cold.)

In both third-degree/depraved-heart murder and involuntary manslaughter, there is an unintentional killing.

The distinction is that the former requires recklessness; the latter requires negligence. It’s a question of degrees and needs an arbiter of facts. The difference between recklessness and negligence is a whole other topic.

Feel free to send this people posting nonsense about murder, versus manslaughter, versus whatnot.

/PSA

Back to the usual nuthin and nonsense tomorrow.

Podcast Version
Location: in the sun again
Mood: sober and not-too-bad
Music: You’re such a fool, but so am I (Spotify)
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Damaged people are dangerous

They know they can survive

Well, my neighbors are back. So much for the afternoon screaming.

Years ago, I was casually talking to someone at my gym and I mentioned that I grew up poor.

A fella there overheard and scoffed.

Him: Nonea y’all know what it’s like to be poor.
Me: What do you mean by that?
Him: (shaking head) You’re not poor unless you’re black and’ve gone hungry.
Me: Well, one of those two applies to me. I’ve had sleep for dinner plenty of times.

I grew up before the microwave. Or, at least, before the microwave was affordable.

Both my parents worked, so I’d come home, alone, and unlock the door to our tiny apartment and go to the sink.

I’d go to the sink for two reasons: (1) To wash my hands, and (2) because my mom would always put two unopened cans of Chef Boyardee in a pot with hot water trickling out of the faucet to warm them up.

Ideally beef ravioli but, really, whatever was on sale; cheese ravioli was always such a disappointment.

Then again, I grew up wearing homemade clothes. My grandma knit those hats my brother and I are wearing in the pic above.

Anywho, my mom always left a note that said something like:

Please try to save some for your sister – I love you!

It was then that I realized that “serving size” was a joke. That was dinner. She wanted me to put it in a bowl but that just meant something else for me to do so I’d just eat it outta the can and tell her I washed the dish.

In hindsight, the canned spaghetti and meatballs were the worst.

I mean, I still ate it, but, yeah…

Watching the news these days, I’m reminded of things like that. People waiting in lines for food at the food banks.

I remember all the goddamn lines we stood on, growing up.

One fall day, my mom bundled my sister and me (my brother was away) in our warmest clothes and we stood in line for hours for something. I complained the entire time. Finally, she grabbed me by the shoulders and said:

They’re giving away free vaccine shots and we can’t afford to get you two shots any other way. If you want to eat tonight, you’ll wait.

And then she turned away and tried to hide the fact that she was crying.

Man, I felt awful at that moment.

I was 12? I’m 47 now and, while I don’t remember how the shot felt, I remember how making my mom feel inadequate felt.

As a parent now, I feel it all the more. I do what I can. They did what they could.

Realize it’s a luxury that I don’t have to worry about my next meal any more. If I want a party pack of tacos, I buy myself a goddamn party pack of tacos.

I have sleep for dinner these days outta choice, not necessity.

This lady named Josephine Hart once said something like: Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.

This pandemic is filling my head with such sad thoughts, I cannot even begin to tell you. But, perhaps that’s for the best.

Cause, I know I’m damaged.

If nuthin else, I survive shit, even when I don’t really wanna.

Podcast Version: Damaged People are Dangerous
Location: my empty apartment, now with lots of cheesecake
Mood: can’t look at another piece of cheesecake
Music: Man, I was dealt these cards and I played dem out (Spotify)
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Doubling-Down, Pt 2 – Baseline

Histrionic Personality Disorder

This is a long entry because I just wanna get this off my chest and be done with it.

I saw Chad the other day, which is another entry.  We were talking about this whole crazy situation when somehow our old coach came up, and this is actually why I returned to this topic.

Him: I want you to know for sure; he told me that he was kicking you out because Mouse was dating you.
Me: Oh my god, thank you for telling me. There was always a part of me wondering if I was crazy or not.

Continuing with my last post, on the three steps of an apology, our old coach always did Step 3, like offering free classes or taking people out to eat, but he never did Steps 1 or 2.

One day, a huge newbie came to the gym and we were doing take-downs. My coach asked me to work with the noob and the first thing he did was tackle me at full-speed, completely tearing my ACL.

My coach told me that he wouldn’t charge me for classes and also did fundraisers for Alison when she got sick, both of which I appreciated. But note that both are only Step 3.

He not only never did Step 1 – apologize for setting me up with a newbie without properly instructing him on what to do – like the acquaintance from my last entry, he doubled-down on 2.

You really should’ve just gone with it, Logan.

Meaning, I caused myself to tear my ACL and not the 200-pound newbie, who tackled me, and my coach’s poor supervision.

My coach wasn’t even looking at us when it happened. Trust me when I tell you, I went with it.

That was it. Eight years later, nuthin. He just left it with Step 3 and the double-down.

Actually, I finally hit the red line with him when he triple-downed with me with his weird attraction to Mouse and started me thinking deeply about what his damage was. It’s just creepy and weird all around.

Did you know that you need a physical injury for cancer? You can’t mentally will someone to get cancer, you have to have something actually injure you – a virus (HPV), a particle (asbestos, coal), a physical action (tick bite), something.

Well, when you hurt someone, without early intervention, that injury metastasizes like cancer.

You wanna stop cancer? You gotta get it early, Stage 1. If you do nothing? The worst outcome happens.

That’s why they’re so lonely. Because they not only don’t try to stop it at Stage 1, they double and triple-down, to ensure that there’s no relationship.

I remember bringing the three steps up with the acquaintance and he just scoffed and essentially said, That’s just you, most people don’t need that. That’s demonstrably false, especially since he’s destroyed every relationship that mattered to him, ever.

That’s like saying, you don’t need medical intervention to cure cancer, just drink lemon juice.

Dude, your naked belief doesn’t change something factually true. The truth is that the best bet for curing cancer – and it’s a shitshow, lemme tell ya – is to throw every scientifically valid thing against it.

You screwed up and you wanna save a relationship? The starting point for everyone on the planet is the three steps. Everyone. That’s baseline.

If I’m honest with myself, I never got over that my coach destroyed my physical body and just moved on with his life. I can’t, I don’t have that luxury.

For the rest of my life, when I wake up, my knee reminds me of his failure as a coach and – frankly – as a basic, decent human being.

Our mutual friend asked me to forgive him and I told him honestly: No. He’s never done the baseline of what forgiveness requires. Not for any of us: Me, Chad, Pac, Robinson, just off the top of my head.

He injured us all in some way and went about his life and those injuries metastasized. What could’ve been an easy fix – I’m sorry, I had a bad day, I’ll make it up to you – is now insurmountable because of the doubling/tripling-down.

It’s your fault.

And that’s why these people are the loneliest people I know: Their 14-year-old selves were somehow taught that you never apologize for things (properly – all three steps). Their adult-selves, and others, pay the price.

They share more with Trump than they can admit. And Trump is a lonely soul.

Interestingly, all the people I mentioned – Trump, Michael Scott from the office, my acquaintance, and my old coach – all seem to suffer from Histrionic Personality Disorder.

They have weird relationships with the opposite sex (they can only have opposite-sex relationships that have some sexual component to it), are attention-seeking, and have poor impulse-control, among other things.

The two people I know personally definitely had traumatic childhoods, and I do pity them. But I also accept that they will never change because they don’t want to. They make the conscious choice to not change and to double- and triple-down, every single time.

That’s not healthy for anyone. I don’t wish them any ill; I just don’t want to risk getting injured again.

None of these people are bad people. Like everyone, they’re capable of good and bad actions. But if they can’t accept responsibility when they factually hurt other people, it overwhelms whatever good they possess.

At least for me.

Look, I get what happened to me was eight years ago. But what’s changed besides time? Time not only doesn’t replace the three steps, time makes the three steps even harder – for everyone.

Halsey wrote a song called, You Should Be Sad for her ex. She was basically saying that she wanted the relationship to work but it didn’t. She was sad over what was lost but, at least according to the song, he didn’t even give her that: Grief over losing the relationship, Step 2.

I get it. Cause that’s baseline, man. I’m sorry. I feel bad. What can I do to fix this? That’s baseline.

Podcast Version: Doubling-Down, Pt 2 – Baseline
Location: my empty apartment, which is fulla carbs
Mood: thoughtful
Music: I tried to help you, it just made you mad (Spotify)
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Stupid attractive

My best friend

One of the last conversations I had before COVID-19 hit was with a lawyer.

I’d gone to his office and one of his co-workers was stupid attractive. We walked out together.

Me: Hard to believe someone could be that attractive and that successful.
Him: She kind of annoys me, actually. She’s always dressing way too inappropriately for work.
Me: (stopping) Wait, you just a had a kid, yeah?
Him: Yeah, why?
Me: Well, there’s a weird quirk in relationships where couples in secure, happy relationships get turned off by third parties like attractive people, because they view it as a threat to what they consider the most valuable thing they have, the relationship.
Him: Whoa, that’s it exactly.

Think that’s why I never came close to cheating on anyone I’ve ever dated. I just never had an interest.

My buddy swears he saw me kissing someone at Mouse’s birthday party. But that’s just not in my nature. Other people are fine with it but then again, they reap what they sow, I suppose.

I may be a womanizer but, when it comes to an actual relationship, I’m all in.

Alison’s best friend was this guy named Shawn. She cut him off completely when he said something rude about me. I remember being so flattered and she just thought it was weird that I made such a big deal about it.

Me: He was your best friend.
Her: (rolls eyes) You’re my best friend, Logan.

Full disclosure, when Alison got sick, Shawn somehow found out about it and still sent her a large check to try and help. It’s hard to dislike someone that is nice to someone you love.

To know her was to love her.

On a related matter, I got a really sweet email the other day from one of Alison’s grad school buddies.

ABFF: Oh, her? I’m surprised because I recall that she was in love with a guy that was in love with Alison.
Me: (laughing) Alison never told me that and this girl certainly didn’t mention it.
Her: Yeah, she was jealous and maybe even had a fight with Alison over this guy? Because everyone always had some sort of real or hidden crush on Alison and so she was jelly
Me: I believe it.

My son was once going to be named Jack.

But this guy Jack kept asking her out, even when she said she and I were dating so that ruined the name for both of us. She told him to knock it off at this Halloween party with the ABFF; Alison actually shoved him against the wall.

I remember thinking I wanted to yell, “Yeah that’s right, she’s with me!” But I figured that would be too douchey.

I always liked the name Jack. I named one of the main characters in my book Jack because I liked it so much.

Spoke to Rain recently as well.

Him: You need to find someone that thinks you’re great. Like, I look at my wife and worry that I’m in a dream and I’ll wake up and find out it’s all imaginary.
Me: You know how you know this is real? I’m in it. And you hate me.
Him: (laughs)
Me: I don’t think people are lucky enough to find someone that thinks you’re made of awesome twice in life. I know I’m not the greatest thing on the planet; it’s just nice when someone thinks you are. We both married up.
Him: (nodding) Definitely. We definitely did.

It’s selfish, I know, but I miss having someone (not so) secretly on my side.

Really, though, I should just try and meet someone that thinks my son is the greatest thing on the planet.

Now, how hard could that be?

Podcast Version: Stupid Attractive
Location: my empty apartment, with the last jar of peanut butter
Mood: accepting that I’m not the one
Music: Why do you have to go and make things so complicated (Spotify)
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Isolation Day 11: Plans and recipes

Three (or more) ingredient cookies

Before we get to today’s nonsense, I suppose now’s as good a time as any to inform you that I make a cut from anything you buy on Amazon that’s linked here; you pay the same as everyone else and I get some extra rum money.

For example, here is a link to some powered wheatgrass.

To put your mind at ease, know that I will absolutely blow any money I receive on alcohol, you have my word on that.

Prior to my diagnosis of an ear infection – which is pretty much exactly the same because I’m literally getting the drops everywhere but into my ear – I did two things:

      1. Checked my temperature to make sure I didn’t have either the flu or COVID-19, and
      2. Checked my blood oxygen saturation levels with an oximeter that’s built into my heart rate monitor. These are super cheap and you should have one about if you do end up getting a fever because COVID-19 specifically targets the lungs.

Your normal oxygen levels should be between 95 and 100%; if you’re dropping below 90%, get to a doctor, ASAP because something’s definitely not right.

It’s a quick and dirty way to differentiate the flu from COVID-19. YMMV when it comes to accuracy.

Actually, if you end up buying a fingertip pulse oximeter, you should also pick up some of that aforementioned powered wheatgrass.

It’s particularly high in macro-and-micro-nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber. It works out to be a few cents per serving and is shelf-stable versus a salad which is neither of those two things.

I mix with juice and it’s pretty good, if not a bit gritty. Who knows how long we’re gonna be stuck indoors? You gotta stay healthy and avoid making dozens of trips to the supermarket.

Speaking of staying healthy, I made some low-carb biscuits and chicken wings yesterday and today I made some some Thai penang goat curry. More on those in another entry, I suppose.

The reason I’m cooking so much is, since I can’t get to the gym anymore, I’m trying, as much as possible, to stick to my low-carb lifestyle, along with intermittent fasting, during this time.

I’ve lost three pounds since this whole thing started 11 days ago.

Anywho, I made a three ingredient cookie I found somewhere; the recipe’s way down below.

Above is what it looks like with just three ingredients, however, I modified and doubled it to make a carb-friendly version, which is also down below.

Baked it on two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Tried to do the traditional peanut butter crosshatch pattern – see the first three on the upper right-hand corner of the above pic – but it was too sticky.

Instead, I just wet my – incredibly clean and sanitized – thumb and just flattened them out, which are the rest of them.

Came out with a consistency like a grainy fudge. Really good with a cup of almond/oat/regular milk or coffee, alla which I had on hand for various reasons.

Here’s the thing about the carb-friendly version of the cookie – it’s got all three macronutrients: Protein, fat, and carbs.

In fact, peanut butter’s mostly fat: 72% of calories come from fat, 15% from protein and only 13% from carbohydrates. It’s perfect if you want to lose weight and not be hungry.

It also has fiber, both insoluble and soluble versions, which isn’t a macronutrient but is still super important.

While the protein of peanut butter isn’t perfect – it’s low in one called methionine – either version compensate for that with the addition of the eggs, which are rich in methionine.

What I’m saying is, should the world end tomorrow, you should:

      1. Have a shitton of peanut butter because of alla the above and because it’s shelf-stable, plus
      2. Make these cookies.

Cause it’s ridic easy and they delish, yo. Get that wheatgrass too.

Gradgirl: (when we first met and watching me eat tablespoons of peanut butter) I read your blog. Man, if people only knew how much peanut butter you actually ate.
Me: I’m pretty sure I’m mostly peanut butter now by weight, if not volume.

Original recipe
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 large egg

Carb-friendly version
2 cups peanut butter
1 cup erythritol (you could also skip the next five italicized ingredients and just add a second cup of erythritol, which will give you a more cookie-like cookie)
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup coconut crystals
1/4 cup honey
9 drops stevia
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla (also optional)

For both versions, 350 degrees for 11 minutes.

If you put in molasses, it should look exactly the same colour as pumpkin pie, the filling at least.

You could also do straight erythritol instead of alla the other sugars but note that there’s a sizable chunk of humanity that have GI issues with it. I’m not one of them but you have been warned.

Location: you guessed it – a still almost empty UWS apartment building
Mood: inebriated and fulla goat curry
Music: something ’bout you that’s got me dazed and confused (Spotify)
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Sorry, Wrong Meeting

What wins I can get

Been working for and with startups since I was in my late teens. Some of them became huge entities, others pretty big deals. Most, however, fizzled out with little-to-nothing to show for themselves.

Many of them paid me in stock options or some form of equities. You see, I remember reading about Robert X. Cringley as a kid and was determined not to make the same mistake he did – passing up the opportunity to be on the ground floor of a major world player.

Although, I kinda did that when I turned down being an early employee of Cnet to go to law school. But that’s neither here nor there.

In any case, a legal client of mine just got acquired by a public entity which means that I actually have stock in a company that’s worth something. It’s nothing huge, at all.

Still, it’s something new and a win. I’ll take any weekday wins I can get.

Her: What does this mean?
Me: It means that I can get that monthly Metrocard I’ve been saving up for.

Speaking of lawyers, been talking to a whole slew of them lately, for a variety of reasons.

Him: Nope, he’s still a republican, despite everything. He’s been one for 30 years, he’s not changing now.
Me: Do you know what the definition of “stubborn” is?
Him: I think so?
Me: It’s, “Not changing course despite good arguments or reasons to do so.” That’s the difference between [your client] and us [lawyers]. We don’t waste our time on a losing issue. 
Him: (joking) Unless they pay full-freight, which he kinda does. And all lawyers are grey. That’s why people hate us.
Me: (nodding) I’m nuthin if not the grey man. Speaking of hate, did you ever watch The Jeffersons when you were a kid? 
Him: I know of it, never really watched it, though.
Me: There was an episode called Sorry, Wrong Meeting. George is at a meeting fulla white racists and one of them gets a heart attack. George hates them but decides he can’t let the guy die so he gives the guy CPR and saves his life. When the guy comes to and realizes that it was a black person that saved his life, he tells his son: “You should have let me die.” Whenever I hear the word ‘stubborn,’ I think of that. They’ll die before they just let their petty nonsense go and have a peaceful life. Your client’s no different from the farmers going bankrupt but continuing to vote for Trump.
Him: Thank god for that! We’d starve if not for people like them. (laughing) You know, the animal most closely associated with stubbornness is an ass?
Me: (nodding) Maybe that’s why they sit where they sit and we sit where we sit.

Was planning to surprise Gradgirl this past weekend in Paris when I realized neither of us are the people we once were, which is probably a good thing, all things considered.

Need to listen to that voice in my head more often.

Location: home, asking her how the boy did today
Mood: ambitious
Music: I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you

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Adding a pail to the buckets

3.5 buckets

Him: I think I had an anxiety attack today.
Me: Over what?
Him: My future.

Been chatting with two people almost daily now for the past few weeks – both are younger than me, wending their way through life.

Remember when I told you how friendships are made? Well, I find that happening to me more often than one might expect for a misanthrope like myself.

Was chatting with this one fella that I met years ago but we never really talked. We recently got thrown in together for a project – which is exploding in the most spectacular way, but that’s another story for another day – and have now been chatting on the reg.

Him: Even though this went to hell, I feel like we connected. Shoot the s__t?
Me: Cool. Lemme know when you wanna try some rum.
Him: Oh, there’re lots of questions I have to ask you.
Me: Clearly, I have no idea WTF I’m doing. You should ask someone else.
Him: LMAO – I meant about you, homie.
Me: What’s there to know? I like rum and gyros. I love my kid and my family. I never lie because I suck at it. I enjoy pickup and building s__t. I’ve never opened my vault. I’m into kind women that are hot. You can’t get more simple than a fella like me.

I said dozens of times that alla your problems can fall into three categories; well, I’ve edited that somewhat. Every action we perform can be categorized into furthering one of 3.5 pursuits – I call them buckets just because I like the imagery:

        • Health
        • Wealth
        • Relationships
          • Pleasure, or avoidance of pain (this is more a pail than a bucket)

The first three are additive. Focusing on them adds, at a minimum, to that bucket and your overall life.

If you focus on health, you’re that much stronger – health-wise – after whatever activity you did to focus on it.  You might also get a bump up in wealth and relationships if you chose the right one.

Ditto for the other two buckets.

Pleasure is simply that, pleasure. Note that the avoidance of pain is a type of pleasure – that’s why it’s so easy to procrastinate.

The last one is a pail versus a bucket because it’s not truly additive and, oftentimes, subtracts from the other two: It gives you momentary happiness at the cost of health, wealth, and relationships.

Which is not to say you shouldn’t do it. But it’s like dessert or a small reward after a hard day. They should be used sparingly.

It’s mental masturbation.

I’m not against masturbation or anything pleasurable done purely for pleasure’s sake. But every minute you spend on pleasure, is a minute you’re not spending pushing the ball forward on the other three.

Moreover, if you spend too much time on personal pleasure, it’s a turnoff for people around you. Because we gravitate to useful people and the more you push the ball forward in each of the three main buckets, the more useful you become to the world.

Anywho, I mentioned this to the first fella, recently.

Me: Anxiety is the fear of the hypothetical. So allay your fears: Run through the list. Are you where you wanna be with the three buckets? And are you overdoing it on the pleasure-pail?

We did it together as an exercise.

        • Health – yes. Dude’s in phenomenal shape and works out, easily, three hours a day.
        • Relationships – yes. Good friends and family support. Is there when you need him and others are there for him when he needs them. As it pertains to the opposite sex…well, he’s killing it.
        • Wealth – could be better, but he’s on the right track and getting better each day.

Him: Thanks, that’s useful.
Me: I’m nuthin if not useful.
Him: I want you know I really appreciate your…
Me: (interrupting) We’re friends. Friendship is symbiotic. Trust me, I’ll need your help one day. Probably soon. And it’s gonna involve a crapton of rum.
..

Location: 11:30AM, talking with a buncha lawyers, doing lawyer stuff
Mood: productive
Music: how do you always seem to know just when to call?

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