Bermuda 2018, Pt 3

Heading home

Me: I need to get a frozen pina colada while we’re here.
Her: Why?
Me: It’s something I always did with Alison and I want to do it here again.
Her: OK.

We went to Horseshoe Bay right before we were going to leave.

It was fun being back – especially with my cousin, her guy, and the Gymgirl – but I did think about the other times I was there.

Everything is bittersweet.

The rest of the trip was more my speed.

We pretty much just ate…

…and watched shows…

…and ate…

…and played board games like Codenames, Settlers of Catan, and Good Cop, Bad Cop:

Cousin: Bang, @#$@#!
Gymgirl: I’m on your side!
Cousin: Oh. Sorry.

The best thing about this type of cruising is that there’s no jet lag.

Which is not to say that we didn’t have sleeping problems once we were home.

Her: (in the dark) I miss the rocking of the boat.
Me: It’s a ship, not a boat. (reaching over to the nightstand) And do you want a melatonin?
Her: Sure. (pause) You’re putting it up my nose.

Some crazy stuff happened once we got back, but that’s a story for another time.

Location: still at home
Mood: thoughtful
Music: Come home. ‘Cause I’ve been waiting for you for so long
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Bermuda 2018, Pt 2

You’re cliff-diving?

Gymgirl: Wait, you’re using the picture of me cliffdiving? I thought you were so against that.
Me: (shrugging) It’s still a cool pic.

In all the times I’ve been to Bermuda, never went snorkeling. It was just something that Alison and I never had an interest in doing.

But my cousin, her fella, and the Gymgirl all wanted to, so I booked us on a catamaran where we headed out to a quiet place to snorkel.

It was actually really cool; the Gymgirl’s a licensed scuba diver so it was old hat for her but new for me. Don’t think I ever did it before anywhere, actually.

Turns out that I was allergic to the snorkling mask and my entire face looked like a nervous teenager’s the day after. Which is just as well…

Gymgirl: I’m going with your cousin to cliff dive. Do you two want to come?
Cousin’s Boyfriend: No. / Me: God, no.

So I spent the rest of that day in the cabin and did what I would have done in the past – read and write.

There’s a story I told you about over a decade ago about how friends and family bring something out of you that only they can do.

In a weird way, I wish the Gymgirl knew me better when Alison was still here. I was different with Alison, just like I’m different with the Gymgirl.

Which is neither a good nor a bad thing.

It’s just a thing, I suppose. Everything’s just a thing now, and I’m just dulled to it all.

Well, that’s not completely true.

Me: Did you survive?
Gymgirl: Barely! We had to hitchhike back to the ship, and…
Me: Hold on. (getting up) I’ll need more food for this.

There’s more, but I’ll tell you tomorrow or something.

Location: still at home
Mood: thoughtful
Music: She got my heart in a chokehold
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Bermuda 2018, Pt 1

Trying to go back

Me: I never thought of you as a nervous traveler.
Gymgirl: I’m a control freak and I have no idea what’s going on.

Went on my first vacation in over four years thanks to my friends over at CruiseDirect.com, who are just amazing.

Went to the exact same place I went all the other times before: Bermuda.

You see, I always wanted a place that I just went to regularly. Lots of my friends, including the Gymgirl, want to explore new things and new places all the time. Not me. I like familiar.

In a way, Bermuda was the perfect place to go: Familiar, close, easy, affordable. And, for the most part, this return trip was just great.

This was the first time I’d gone with the Gymgirl but also the first time I went with another couple: My cousin Ras and her fella. It was also the first time I’d left out of New Jersey and not New York.

Me: We’ll see you guys at the park in Herald Square and head out to NJ from there.
Ras: See ya.

Before we knew it, we were on a ship heading out to pink beaches.

Gymgirl: I’ve never been in the middle of the ocean on a ship before.
Me: What do you think?
Her: It’s like my worst nightmare.

The Gymgirl was the only one of us that had never been on a cruise before, so she had to get used to it a bit. She was much more of an adventure-seeking traveler.

Her: You’re not an adrenaline junkie?
Me: I went to the ER 17 times in a year. I’ve had enough adrenaline in my life.

Which is not to say I didn’t have my heart-racing moments. This is cause I neglected to consider that it might not be a good idea to go to someplace that I’d gone to so many times with Alison.

One stormy night, the Gymgirl and I were at sea. She was impressed and scared at the violence of the waves. So was I, for different reasons.

The word sirens comes from Greek mythology where these sea creatures had beautiful voices that tempted sailors to either shipwreck against rocky shores or leap to their deaths in stormy seas.

There were moments when, looking out at the rough waves, gotta admit that I heard them.

A fleeting thought for a fleeting moment. But that’s the thing with those types of thoughts. All it needs is one moment to take over.

Her: We should go back in.
Me: Yeah. That’s a good idea.

I’ll tell you some nicer parts of the trip soon, if you’re interested.

Location: home again
Mood: rest(ish)
Music: Pretending that it’s all fine
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Comic Con NYC 2017

Good and irritating things

Been dealing with a lotta admin stuff for myself and the kid. None of it fun or interesting. So I’ve been lax with my updates.

But Halloween’s coming up, which reminds me that I went to Comic Con this past month.

It was just like the last time I went, all those years ago: I got a message one Sunday morning; my cousin and a mutual friend of ours had an extra tix to Comic Con.

So off I went.

Alison was alive the last time I was there. Everything reminds me of her, of course.

When I got there, the place was a madhouse; it took a while to find everyone in our group.

We immediately stopped by a booth where I promptly got flanked and choked.

Couldn’t stay long because I had to pick up the kid.

But it was nice to be outta house and at something fun, if only for a short while.

Back to the irritation.

Me: Ma’am, you’re telling me that my infant son and I are both losing our insurance this month?
Her: (long pause) Yes. Unless I could speak to your wife.
Me: Ma’am, if anyone could speak to my wife again, it’d be me and I’d never let her stop talking. (sighing) Get comfortable. This’ll take a bit to explain…

Location: in front of mountains – mountains – of paper
Mood: irritated
Music: I don’t wanna be me anymore
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Dreaming of a Holiday in Spain

Surgery seven

Admission Ticket for The Met
She went to the ER for the eleventh time last week and has been there ever since.

Yesterday, she had a surgery to replace the titanium mesh that was put on way back in Dec to replace her skull. Essentially, it was failing, causing her to have a lot of nausea and more weight loss.

The mesh was always supposed to be temporary; when Alison collapsed, she was only an hour from death. They had to remove her skull to keep the pressure from killing her. The mesh was put in place so that she didn’t have to have the further indignity of having to wear a helmet all the time.

But she didn’t look like her. It looked as if someone had taken a swing at her with a baseball bat. In time, we all got used to it but I did think that, if nothing else, after this surgery, it would be nice to see more of the old her.

Couldn’t handle the thought of her going through yet another surgery so I walked outta the hospital and ended up at the Met.

The last time I was there, was single, childless, and not sleeping. Now, I’m married, with a kid, and not sleeping.

And the last museum I went to was with Alison.

Sighed, shelled out a few bucks for a ticket, and kinda just walked around in a daze.

Arms and Armor at the Met

Ended up at the Arms and Armor section. Never told you exactly what type of fencing I do, did I?

It’s Filipino fencing with a dash of Spanish rapier and dagger. Thought about our last trip to Spain. We always said that we’d take a trip to Toledo in Spain, the home of Spain’s greatest swordsmiths.

As you see, everything reminded me of her so I left and walked back. Didn’t get a call about the operation so I assumed that no news was good news.

Suit of Armor at the Met

When I got back, they told me that the operation was a success although that old blood issue has cropped up again with another new issue.

They’re going to keep her for a while to make sure that everything is ok. Of course, this means that I can’t do any of the experimental cancer treatments we’ve been doing.

So we wait. Like always.

And I dream of a holiday in Spain with her and my son.

\’

Location: not Spain
Mood: worried
Music: we could simply pack our bags and catch a plane to Barcelona ’cause this city’s a drag
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Staten Island, Ferries, Pigeons, and Horse heads.

My home’s a strange town, but it’s home

Relaxing on a summer day in Central Park
Went to Staten Island to meet up with a client. Was the first time on the ferry since the turn of the century.

As I left the terminal, a pigeon was on his way in.
Pigeon in St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island

Stopped to snap some pics of artwork.

Painted egg artwork in George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island

It’s peaceful there. Whenever people talk about New York City, they usually just mean Manhattan.

But New York City isn’t just Manhattan, it’s also The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.

Heading back into Manhattan from Staten Island on the ferry

Headed back in to Manhattan and finished up the work week.

Over the weekend, the wife and I went to Central Park where we saw a woman in a suit wearing heels and a horse head while playing an accordion.

Her: Is that a woman in a suit wearing heels and a horse head while playing an accordion?
Me: I think so.
Her: Well, that’s something new.

A woman in Central Park wearing a suit, heels and a horsehead playing the guitar.

Location: home
Mood: good
Music: I’d go black and blue, I’d go crawling down the avenue.
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A Trip to the New York Historical Society

Paying a Personal Space Fee

Me: Do you want to go to the New York Historical Society today?
Her: Sure.

I’ve lived in my neighborhood for almost two decades and, despite the museum being only a few blocks south of me, never went. Tickets were $18 a person, which for a museum, is a bit much. But there’s a benefit to it.

Me: Man, there’s no one here. It’s like we own the joint.
Her: This is great.

That’s the thing about NYC, no matter what you do or where you go, there’s always someone talking next to you, bumping into you, eating something, something.

I’m always surprised when I hear that the murder rate’s going down and not up.

Said it years ago; personal space in NYC is next to nuthin. But at this museum, there were times we didn’t even see another person.

If anything, the admission price was a personal space fee.

And the elevator was bigger than our kitchen.

As for the exhibits, they had lots of knickknacks from NYC excavations, which were admittedly cool. But, I did expect to see more pictures of old NY.

Her: Look down there.
Me: (looking) Hey, a bottle of rum!

There was an exhibit with a Picasso sculpture, and some works by Matisse and Monet as well. Pretty varied.

Afterward, we did our traditional meal of a slice of pizza and diet coke.

Not a bad way to spend a weekend.

Location: home working on my book
Mood: ambitious
Music: Wouldn’t you love to love her?
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Travelogue: Comic Con New York City 2013 Pt. 2

More pictures of cosplayers – now with beer

My Twitter post from last night at 3AM:

“Are you sure it’s decaf?” I asked the waitress.
“Yes,” she replied.
#liars #insomniastinks #hate #rage #chili

Continuing from my Comic Con post yesterday, after walking around for a few hours, we decided to try to get some food.

Him: Check out the Korean food stand over there. Ever since I came back from teaching in Korea, I have been craving so much Korean food, I love Korean food.
Me: Me too. (thinking) Actually, I love food in general.

Me: There’s a German food joint about 10 blocks up.
Him: 10 blocks? That’s a walk, man.
Me: We can work off the beer we’ll be drinking.
Him: Good point.

When we get to the exits, the escalators are broken.

Cosplayer: You all have to turn back, the escalators are broken.
Me: (irritated) Escalators don’t break! They become stairs! (see video below)


After two sets of broken escalators, we eventually, we make it out and head over to Hallo Berlin.

Him: What’s good?
Me: What are your thoughts on fish?
Him: I like fish.
Me: Maybe an order of sausages and an order of fish?
Him: We’ll need more food than that.

Me: Wanna try a Berliner Weisse flavoured beer? It’s a little girly but who’s gonna know?
Him: Sure.

Me: Hey, that was cool. Thanks a lot, man.
Him: No problem.

Mitch Hedberg: An escalator can never break, it can only become stairs.

 

Location: in front of coffee #6
Mood: so tired
Music: You conform to what society says and I conform to me
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Travelogue: Comic Con New York City 2013 Pt. 1

The one where my buddy and I see a lot of cosplayers

Him: Interested in going to NYC comic con next weekend, I have an extra ticket.
Me: I’m in. (later) Do you mind if I bring my obnoxiously large camera?
Him: No.

After a really long week, a gym buddy of mine and I headed to ComicCon in NYC over the weekend.


Evidently there were 130,000 attendees there. That sounds about right.

Him: I never take pictures. I should.
Me: Luckily for you I do and have little to no shame.

Him: Man, think about how much time they spend on these costumes.
Me: Well, everyone’s got a thing.

Him: Let’s go find Hulk Hogan.
Me: I don’t want my childhood memories to be tarnished.
Him: He’s like 60-something. They’re gonna be.

We didn’t find Hulk Hogan but saw Julie Benz from Dexter, Angel, and No Ordinary Family. She seems very nice.


We probably could have stayed a bit longer but we’re both fatty-fat-fats and our stomachs got the better of us.

Me: I’m ready to go. Food is trumping everything else.
Him: I could eat.

Turns out my cousin was there too – here’s a pic of her from io9 where she had a rating of one of the best costumes there – you’ll have to guess which one she is:

More tomorrow (or Friday).

Location: home, having chili for breakfast
Mood: hungry
Music: I went from zero, to my own hero
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California 2012 Travelogue: Day 3

A broken chair, ramen, and home

Jet Blue airplane in Burbank

Her: Morning!
Me: Morning – I need coffee and Mexican food.
Her: We have lots of leftover pizza.
Me: OK.

Wake up early. Damn insomnia. Sit down to chat with my brother’s girlfriend fiancee in the morning. As we’re talking about me falling down the stairs yesterday, my chair breaks and I come crashing down on that same knee.

Man, I swear I’m darned.

Broken chair in LA

After icing it for a bit more, putter around the house. Wanna keep it low-key so I give my buddy Lorin a call – we’ve not seen each other in years. He drives over and we go to a local coffee shop to catch up.

I tell him of the troubles and he tells me of his.

Him: …and then I got remarried.
Me: Good, I’m glad. You happier now?
Her: Much happier. You?
Me: Much.

Coffee Shop in Pasadena

We don’t stay long and soon I’m back at my brother’s pad. After trying to get some writing done – and hitting some really bad writer’s block – my brother, his girl, and I head out to the local Ramen joint. It’s closed.

Him: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

…but we find another joint around the way. Pretty good. Scarfed down the whole thing with a plate of fried tofu.

Bob Hope Airport, Burbank

I’m too beat to walk around so we head back early. Finally manage to get five hours sleep. We wake up the next morning and he drives me to Bob Hope airport.

Him: Thanks for the surprise.
Me: Ditto!

Pretty quiet trip. I walk out into the NYC summer heat, make it home, and call the wife.

Me: I’m home.
Her: Logan’s home!

It’s good to be home.

———-

Logan Lo and his brother in NYC in the 70s

For those of you that’ve read this blog for years, you might recall when I wrote the difference between Grace and Mercy:

  • Grace is when you get the good things you don’t deserve.
  • Mercy is when you don’t get the bad things you do deserve.

Anywho, I always think of my brother and sister when I think of that. Could use some of both these days for reasons we’ll get into some other time.

Even as a child, I’m stuffing my face. No wonder I broke that chair…

Location: my bed, writing this
Mood: anxious
Music: two American kids growing up in the heartland
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