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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Travelogue Malaga Day 4 & 5

Food and drink on a balcony on the AC Hotel overlooking, Malaga, Spain

That was a non-alcoholic beer. No, I have no explanation for it.

2012.04.16

Me: Your batteries are low. You should always be charging something.
Her: If you had an autobiography, you should call it that.
Me: What was the other I said that you said would be a good title for me?
Her: “I’m full of ham and other late night confessions.”

We wake up later than we thought we would but this is because, after four days, I finally get six uninterrupted hours of sleep. I wake up and see that my hands are steady once again.

We walk out the door and head over to the cathedral, which is on the next block.

The tours are closed so we pay for a viewing of their replica of the Shroud of Turin. Yes, it’s a replica. But it was the only way to see the inside of the church.

They tell us not to take pictures and I say that I won’t take pictures of the exhibit. And I don’t take pictures of the exhibit.

The cathedral in Malaga, Spain

We end up going to another tapas place.

Her: OK, this is nice.
Me: (looking up) I’ll stand guard for birds.

We order almost exactly what we had the other day but this time, it was without bird poop.

The tapas, it turns out, are much better without bird poop. Good advice for life in general.

Street scene in Malaga, Spain

2012.04.17
We wake up early and pick up food at the local bakery again. It’s so early that they don’t have much prepared so I wait for them to make me a sandwich.

A few hours later, we’re in a cab to the airport, and soon on a flight back to Dublin. We get off and I’m starving so we pick up some food at the food court.

Airport in Malaga, Spain

More accurately, I pick up some food at the food court but soon regret my, admittedly, random choices.

Me: Perhaps having a burger, fries, yoghurt, dates, coffee, and an errant cashew right before a transatlantic flight wasn’t the best idea.
Her: You think?

We eventually make it onto our flight home and I spend a little time writing these entries.

It’s late when the plane lands at JFK. We forget that customs is always a bear. But eventually that’s over and a really nice hack gets us home relatively fast.

Some 18 hours after we begin our trip home, we get home.

Her: We’re home!
Me: Sweet! Let me check on Harold.

Harold is obviously upset we went away as he says nothing and he gives me the silent treatment even now.

Still, that aside, it’s good to be home. And now, work.

Woman on balcony in Malaga, Spain
Horses and carriages in Malaga, Spain
Logan Lo, in Malaga, Spain

Location: home, getting dressed for the office
Mood: busy
Music: took what they offered me To set me free
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Travelogue Malaga Day 3 / All food, all the time

Two cups of Café con leche and a pain au chocolat in Malaga, Spain

2012.04.15

We both wake up just in time for a tour of the Picasso museum. Rather, once again, she wakes up and I get up.

The museum is very interesting, actually. No pics though. As we wend our way around these beautiful objects, I’m reminded of something Lorne Michaels once said, Sadly, talent and character do not often reside in the same person.

Afterward, we go out to eat where we order a traditional meal of tapas. In Malaga, they always give you a basket of bread but never any butter or oil to go with it. Find this a bit odd but HG is less concerned. Things are going fairly well until a bird decides to poop on the table in front of HG; in the pic below the crime happens between the bread and the wine.

She is displeased. Thus ends lunch.

Beer, bread, and wine in Malaga, Spain

We go back to the hotel and I actually get some sleep for once. When we wake up, we head out and explore the city a bit. As the rain begins to fall, we end up at a traditional market where people look at me funny cause I’m taking pics of where they pick up their dinner.

Ducking into a café when the rain picks up, we have two café con leche and split a pan du de chocolate as an old man asks us if we want lottery tickets. In light of our recent luck with them, we decline and like the man yesterday, he exclaims, Such a shame!

Eventually, we walk over to try and see the cathedral, but it’s already closed. So we take cover in a doorway and keep our eyes out for birds.

When the weather lets up, we make our ways to the ruins of the Moorish castle, Alcazaba and then the 2300 year old ruins of the Roman arena I saw yesterday.

Her: It’s pretty amazing that people in Europe get to have things like this all over the place.
Me: It really is.

Wine and a mojito in Malaga, Spain

We then we head over and get some libations: she orders a glass of white wine, I order a Mojito.

Her: I can’t believe you’re eating all the mint.
Me: It’s like a drink and a salad all at once.

Soon, we find our way to a restaurant for a proper dinner. I decide on something called a Migas and ask HG to ask the waiter what it is.

Him: Um, maybe he should pick something else.
Her: Why, what is it? (the waiter begins to explain when HG thinks and says) Actually, it doesn’t matter. He’ll eat anything.

It’s pretty good, if not very greasy. She orders the paella and can’t finish that so I eat that as well.

A Migas meal in Malaga, Spain

We take a walk back to the hotel and end up watching “500 Days of Summer” – a film we’ve both been avoiding for a while.

Turned out to be pretty realistic; people, especially men, have been told by Hollywood what love is all about. And real love’s nuthin like what you see in moving pictures. We enjoy it.

We then try to sleep but the noise outside on a Saturday night is indescribably loud.

As I get up and head to the bathroom, I steady myself against the sink. The hand shaking continues.

It’s been a while since my insomnia’s been so bad and for a moment, I despair a bit, thinking maybe it’s back again as it was.

But then remind myself that I’m traveling. Running my hands under the cold water, I look up and see a terribly old-looking man staring back at me.

A butcher in the market of Malaga, Spain
A church in Malaga, Spain

Location: my apartment, looking for more food
Mood: busy
Music: night after night my heartbeat shows the fear
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Travelogue Malaga Day 2

Malaga, Spain

2012.04.14

We wake up an hour before the conference starts. More accurately, HG wakes up and I get up.

She runs out and grabs us two cups of joe, some bread, and a sandwich for me while I get dressed and quickly go over my presentation. Wolf it all down before dashing out the door.

Sandwich in Malaga, Spain

I hoof it over to the Picasso Museum but promptly get lost. An Australian bartender sets me on my way.

Him: It’s over there, between those two buildings.
Me: The alley?
Him: (laughs) That’s a street, mate; alleys you can barely squeeze into here.

A few stressful minutes later,  run into several people that heard me speak last year before I settle into an orange chair in the rear.

Her: Mr. Lo! How are you? (later) Hopefully it’s not as exciting as it was last year when that woman yelled at you.
Me: It wasn’t so bad; at least everyone remembers me.

Cause of technical difficulties, we break for coffee early. During the intermission, a reporter asks if she can interview me. After I nod, she asks about my presentation.

Me: Technology has changed so much recently, especially since I was a kid, and probably the same for most people. For example, how old are you?
Her: um, 21.
Me: Well, I don’t have any examples for you then.

After several other presentations, it’s finally my turn.

Me: The First Amendment – Freedom of Speech – is what Americans are known for. Well, that and McDonalds.

Silence. Complete and utter silence.Then five seconds later, laughter.

I forget that they’re translating what I say into French and Spanish. Relieved, I continue and my jokes elicit the polite laughter I’m expecting. Soon, I smile and finish on time. No one screams at me.

Afterward, we’re at lunch where I end up sitting with some Germans.

Her: You taught yourself German because you couldn’t sleep? Why?
Me: Why not?

Food in Malaga, Spain

Waiters come with small sandwiches and olives. The olives are terribly bitter so I have a sandwich. It’s great – Spanish ham and a soft cheese.

So I have another. It’s blue cheese and tuna. I almost gag so I put it off to the side. Taking a bite of another, it’s different fish and cheese sandwich. Again, I almost gag.

Server: Beer?
Me: Please!

Soon, I have a pile of half-eaten sandwiches on my plate and decide that bitter olives aren’t so bad after all. We Americans are so spoiled when it comes to food.

Bellies full, we head back to the conference but not before I realize that we were just noshing about 100 feet from a 2,000 year old Roman Theater.

The Roman Theater in Malaga, Spain

Back inside, stay for the other American to finish her speech as a sign of solidarity but then I can’t stay awake for the second half of the presentations so I head back to the hotel to rest.

End up working on a few things instead of resting before I run back to the conference hall for drinks.

Outside, several wine tables are set up and I have a glass of white. Then a glass of red. Then a glass of a dessert wine.

Sommelier: What do you normally drink?
Me: Rum.
Him: Such a shame; we have none.
Me: That really is a shame.

Afterward, take a meandering walk back to the hotel as I take in the sights. There’s something beautiful everywhere.

Sculpture in Malaga, Spain

The Spanish have this habit of having dinner at 10PM so they invite HG and me out to eat. Tell them it’s too late for us but, as luck would have it, I run across them as I head home. They insist I come in for a bite but I tell them I can’t as I give them a rueful nod.

After a pleasant night, have an agonizing night as I don’t sleep for more than an hour.

When I wake up, I look down at my hands and notice they’re shaking again.

Dammit.

Malaga, Spain

Location: getting ready for work at home
Mood: groggy
Music: Get sucked in and stuck in late nights
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Logan’s 39 / Travelogue Malaga Day 1

Malaga, Spain

It’s my birthday.

And like always, say something, all of you bastards that read me but never say anything.

Logan Lo at the AC Hotel in Malaga, Spain

2012.04.13

Me: Did we check the stove was off?
Her: Go check.
Me: I put on my shoes already.
Her: (shakes head and slips off shoes)

HG and I go on our first airplane trip together. As i did in Paris last year, I’m speaking about intellectual property issues and video games in Malaga, Spain.

We’re out the door, on the AirTrain, and in the airport in less than an hour. Except for one minor hiccup, we make it to the plane without issue.

Me: Shoot, I can’t find my ticket or passport.
TSA Agent: Sir, you just put them into your back pocket.
Me: I knew that.

Soon we’re in our chairs in the sky and I start taking things from HG’s bag of snacks.

Her: Didn’t you say we didn’t need to bring that? And now you’re going to eat it all in the beginning of our trip.
Me: If you weren’t here, I would strap this on my face like a feed bag.

Six hours and one tiny can of Diet Coke later, we arrive in Ireland for a two-hour layover at around midnight. We have the airport to ourselves.

Airport in Dublin, Ireland

Announcement: last call for Amsterdam.
Me: We should blow this thing and go to Amsterdam. (thinking) We could smoke pot.
Her: You’ve never smoked pot before.
Me: I’m away. I’d smoke a pot.
Her: (laughing) The fact you just said “a pot” makes me think it’s not for you.

Ended up heading to Malaga anyway.

We finally get to board our connecting flight. As I can never sleep, read the entirety of Digital Wars during the layover and half the flight to Spain.

About 18 hours we walk outta our door in NYC, we walk into our door in Malaga.

We drop off our bags and we notice that we have a balcony so I get a beer from the mini-bar and look over the city.

Overlooking Malaga, Spain

We both try to crash for a bit but I don’t get much rest. It’s only 1PM there so four hours later, we get up in search of food and a SIM card and we find both on the same block.

The organizer of the event meets us for a chat in the hotel lobby but we’re fading fast so we politely make it short.

Unfortunately, it’s a sleepless night cause Spaniards have dinner at 10PM and we’re essentially in the Times Square of Malaga.

It’s been almost 30 hours and I’ve gotten five hours of sleep.

The conference’s tomorrow.

Overlooking Malaga, Spain
Having a beer on a balcony in Malaga, Spain

Location: finally back home
Mood: another year older
Music: Just give me credit, I’m just sitting on the shelf
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