10,000 Outliers

Location: 15:00 yest, a law firm off Grand Central
Mood: quixotic
Music: Heartgirl singing in Spanish

The moon against the blue sky in New York City

As I said, just finished reading Outliers. One very interesting point is that to be truly, truly skilled at something, you have to do something for 10,000 hours. Not cause someone makes you, but cause you wanna. 20 hours a week, say 50 weeks in a year, that’s about ten years.

Started this blog for a number of reasons. Onea which is to just write every day for public consumption. Cause when you write for public consumption, your writing’s gotta to be better. Least it should be (see: Twitter/Facebook).

Not saying my writing is actually good but it’s the process. Been distracted from the process for the past year or so causa the theft and my business. But now maybe I’m back on track.

Me: I’m calling to say, Thank you. For letting me out of the lease. I’m just curious as to why you did. Last time, had to go to court and it was painful.
Him: (shrugging) Figured that with the market being like it is, you’d call me eventually. But you could have withheld rent or whatever, but you didn’t. And you always kept your word – you don’t know how many people tell me the check’s in the mail and it never is. Your checks were. (pause) Plus I know about what happened to you. You deserved better than having that bitch screw you. So…I’m cutting you a break.
Me: (nodding) Thanks. I do appreciate it.
Him: No problem, Logan. I’ll send some business your way when I can. You’re a good guy. (holds out his hand) Good luck.

I’m finally out. I’m free. Took me less than the 36 months I thought it would. Broke, but free.

Deep breath. 10,000 hours. I’ll be 46. OK, I’m game…

———-

…and I finished my thesis

…and I has new toof.

YASYCTAI: 10,000 hours. That’s what it takes to be the best at something. Whaddya wanna be the best at? (600,000 mins/100 pts)

The pits

Location: my apartment, all day
Mood: ouch!
Music: well pick me up with golden hand

A tribeca apartment stoop

Me
: I think I need to go to the emergency room.
Her: OK.
  • When you make a salad, do not put in olives that have pits in them.
  • If you do make a salad that has olives with pits in them, do not serve at a dinner party.
  • If you do make a salad that has olives with pits in them, and must serve said salad at a dinner party, let your guests know about the aforementioned pits.

You can say:

a) The salad has olives that have pits in them.
b) There’re olives with pits in the salad.
c) Be careful eating this salad as the olives aren’t pitted.

Won’t belabour the point but y’know what happens when you don’t?

One bleeding guest, one shattered tooth, four tabs of vicodin, one shot of some painful painkiller, 500mg of naproxen, three shots of lidocaine, three shots of novocaine, four tabs of sleeping pills, $3,000 of tooth damage and Teeth whitening, two visits to the dentist (with another nine to go), one root canal, and more drugs.

Lots and lots of drugs. And lots of oatmeal. In fact, all the oatmeal one could eat.

In short, it was…wait for it…the pits.

However, Heartgirl did get to meet my mother and speak to my brother – although the circumstances were less than ideal. So that was my weekend, how was yours?

Me: (drugged out) On the way here, I was thinking two things: (a) man, I’m in pain, and (b) wonder if that halal food cart is still serving food this late.
Her: (shakes head) You know, I was just thinking this morning that I should get all your medical information. You have the worst luck.
Me: It’s more stupid luck. than anything. (later) Hey, thanks for staying.
Her: (laughing) Where else was I going to go?

YASYCTAI: If you get a feeling that a something is going to end badly, go with your gut. (10 mins/1 pt)

Down from your fences

Location: 19:14 yest, 462 Amsterdam Ave
Mood: pensive
Music: ain’t gettin no younger Your pain and your hunger, they’re drivin you

A metro station in Washington DC

Heartgirl
: (bursts out laughing) Those old ladies back there said, There’s a sexy Asian guy!
Me: I am! (turning to her) Kidding – it’s only cause I’ve got such a lovely accessory…
Her: (beams)
Me: …my cool leather jacket.
Her: (laughs again) Yes, you’re really popular with the cougars.
Don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without a single client calling me. Man, it’s like death out there. Gotta tap into my last little bit of emergency coin but suppose this is emergency time.

Been keeping busy trying to get some some things settled, though. The thesis, paperwork, continuing education. Lotsa stuff. Personal stuff too – saw my cousins last night. We never hang out. No reason, just don’t. People think I eat a lot. These guys, these guys can pound. And they’re all normal looking.

Talked about our grandmother. They said, without trying to make me feel bad, that I should have seen her. Least said goodbye. Told them I couldn’t. They said my mom sat all by her lonesome at the funeral.

Somehow, knew that without them telling me that. Guess cause I do that too, sometimes.

Told them that I’m closer to 40 than I am to 30. And I’m still waiting for my real life to begin.

Man, how silly’s that?

YASYCTAI: See someone for dinner that you’ve been meaning to. (90 mins/2 pts)

Mental Health Break

Location: 17:00 yest, finding parking on CPW
Mood: hyper
Music: blinked my eyes and you were in flight But I did not move, I just watched you fly away

Logan Lo in front of the Washington Monument

Onea the things we saw in DC was a section on bomb shelters. Submit that my parents could outlast yours in a nuclear disaster. No snub against your rents, rather a testament to the hoarding abilities of my, curiously small, forbears.

Know this cause I stayed over the other night and woke up hungry so poked around their pantry. That alone should give you an idea of what we’re talking about; who has an actual pantry these days?

Lemme tell you who – my parents.

Let’s just talk about the 100 packages of ramen there: at 536 calories each, comprised of mainly fat, white flour, and sugar, that’s 53,600 calories, or enough to keep them each alive for 22 days. That’s just the ramen. There’s also the 10 pounds of instant oatmeal, the two 50-pound bags of rice, and the two dozen boxes of spaghetti – they don’t even eat spaghetti!

They also have three, count em, three refrigerators. Three.

Some people hoard gold. Some fine art. My parents? Complex carbohydrates. God love em. Did I mention the three iceboxes?

Though y’didn’t ask, ended up cooking a frozen pepperoni pizza for four and killed it myself. Before you judge, also had an orange. Don’t tell Heartgirl as she’s ill prepared for how I eat.

In other news, after the tease of a weekend in DC, decided to blow what little coin I’ve left on a vacation in some warmer latitude. First one in over a year.

Perhaps not the most fiscally sound decision, but then again, I’m down six-figures and have a belly fulla processed cheese, so the heck with it.

Let’s call it a mental health break, yeah?

Contrail

YASYCTAI: Plan a mental health break of your own. (120 mins/1 pt)

Home

We start, and sometimes end, our journeys with our feet facing home

Statue in front of NYC Museum of Natural History

 

You ever watch The Warriors? That old school film from the 70s where that freaky dude goes, Warriors, come out and plaaaaay…. It was actually loosely based on one of my favorite historical stories. Lemme tell it to you:

Long time ago, about 10,000 Greeks fought on the wrong side of a Persian Civil war. Mercenaries. The winning side said they’d spare their lives if their leaders got together, which they did (idiots) – course they were slaughtered.

So now, the men are leaderless and hopeless. So they just decided to die.

But one mercenary, Xenophon, stepped up and said, Remember who we are. We’re warriors. If we’re gonna die, we’re gonna die like Greek soldiers – on our feet. And our feet’ll be pointing home.

So they organized and started the 2,000 mile walk home – that’s like walking from Maine to Florida. In sandals. In enemy territory. Madness.

But along the way, they went from sloppy, stupid mercenaries to disciplined Greek soldiers again. Relentless and brutal, they killed anyone in their way. Cause they were gonna get home or die trying. It was all about the trying.

10,000 men started the trip, 6,000 saw home again. The 4,000 that didn’t make it died with their feet pointing home.

That’s why I love history so. Cause it shows us where we should be going.

You know, I’m not actually Chinese per se; I’m part of this ethnic group called the Guest People. “Guests” cause we had no home – like the Greeks, we always picked the losing side in a war, far from home. All our stories, all our poems, have something to do with finding home.

2006, 2007, mosta 2008…it’s like I was in foreign places, doing foreign things. Feel like I ran about madly, trying to find my way back. To what? I dunno.

Also dunno what 2009’s gonna be like. Or what’ll happen to me or any of that. It’s all just time and tide, yeah?

But partly cause I’m clear outta scratch, partly cause I feel my teeth again, partly cause a boy can only drink so much red, red rum, and partly mostly because of Heartgirl/SING, I feel like I’m back on my feet. Or at least they’re pointed home.

Spent way too much time the past three years on my knees. Is it: My fear is my only courage; my feet are my only carriage? Doesn’t matter, it works both ways.

Hello, 2009 – been waiting for you.

 

Location: 10024
Mood: ready
Music: I’ve been up and down the highway In all kinds of foreign lands
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Thanksgiving 2008/Your dumb luck

Colin: American girls would seriously dig me with my cute British accent.
Tony: You don’t have a cute British accent.
Colin: Yes I do! I’m going to America!
Tony: Colin, you’re a lonely, ugly, _____. You must accept it.

If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’ve got running water. You might even have a water softener. And, despite the countless articles that note that tap water’s probably cleaner and better for the environment than bottled water, you’ve probably got somea that too. Little more than half the world has tap water.

While we’re on the topic of the world, the axiom’s that 1% of the world has a college education. Dunno if that’s true (in the US, it’s about 27%). And you probably got a mobile phone, a fridge, and a tv. Hold that thought.

On a distantly related note, I got ill, viscerally ill, hearing about the 13-year old girl in Somlia that was recently raped by five-men. And cause she reported the incident, she was buried alive up to her head in a stadium of 1,000 men per Islamic law. She screamed for her life as she was slowly stoned to death. They dug her up when they thought she was dead. But she lived. So they finished her with more rocks.

As if that wasn’t ______up enough, an eight year-old boy that tried to save her was shot to death. The kicker’s that the men that raped her were not arrested.

Lemme get to the point: the world is horribly, ridiculously unfair. You’d agree with me, yeah?

But – and hear me out – I submit that the world is ridiculously unfair in our favor. Can’t speak for you so lemme talk about me:

That’s all just in the last two years.

Someone wrote me once, how do you not be broken? After two months, I think the answer comes in two-steps:

  1. Be grateful. The kinda grateful you are if someone paid your tab just cause they could. Cause, that, in essence, is what you got. You got to live in a place where you got enough time to read the random musing of a nobody like me. And water’s a twist of a faucet away. Where life, most likely, has value.
  2. Pay it back. You owe the aether something for your largess. Something. What that is, I dunno. As for how? Dunno that either. Sorry. I’m not that bright and get by mostly on fading looks and charm. But I suspect God’s given you some gift. Start there, I guess.

Now you might think this is some sorta pinko commie, holiday post. It’s not. The first step above is so you’re not onea those miserable people that bitch about everything all of time. So annoying. The second step above is so you’re not onea those miserable people that are happy for nothing all of time. Almost as annoying.

This isn’t so you can save the world, though that’d be nice. Rather – and I know this sounds strange coming from a barely sober nobody holding a tumbler fulla rum as I write this – it’s to save yourself.

Cause I read/know some of you. And I hear how angry and sad some (not all) of you are and, just cause you read me, figured I’d pay some of it back this way.

The saying goes that Wisdom is seeing things as they are. I disagree. Wisdom is the seeing things for what they can be.

Don’t accept when people tell you that everything sucks. They’re lying to you. Things suck, yeah, but you don’t gotta accept it.

Andy Warhol once said that They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. That sounds about right.

And I’m not saying don’t stuff yourself silly over the holiday, and enjoy it. I know I will. Quite the opposite; enjoy it more knowing that you’re among the lucky. The blessed. Your dumb luck. Said it before, God gave me everything. The thing is that I know it. And that’s why I’m not broken.

After you’ve had your holiday, try and make it a little less unfair. Ideally, yeah, do it cause the world’s broken and you got a moral obligation to pay somea the extra you were given back. But if not for nothing else, if for no one else, do it for yourself – to make yourself a little less broken.

Cause, maybe if you do that, you can see things for what they can be.

Colin: Never. I am Colin. God of sex. I’m just on the wrong continent, that’s all.

Location: in my black chair, staring at this screen
Mood: hopeful
Music: I’ll give you anything you need
YASYCTAI: Somehow return of that luck you have to the aether. (Lifetime / 4 pts – 5 if you let us know what you did)

You are a soul

You can’t sell your soul, you are a soul

Me: I’m sorry, come again? How old’re you?
Her: 18.
Me: (turning to WM) Yeah, I’m leaving.

Spent Friday out with Gio and WM around the UES. Not my scene.

Saturday morning, spoke with Heartgirl; that’s a post for some other time. Saturday night, saw PCD. She did NOT heed my advice and was hung over so we spent a very nice quiet night in the UWS.

Unfortunately, while writing this, I just found out that my grandma’s in the hospital. Was supposed to see her when that woman stole all my money.

You know when someone talks about selling your soul, or whatnot? That irritates me. Cause you’re not a body with a soul. You are a soul. You just happen to have a body.

My grandmother is┬áno dainty grandma; she’s tougher than DeNiro and smokes more than he does.

But her body is betraying her and there’s nuthin I can do about it. She gave me my eyes.

I wanna hit something.

Location: in front of three computers
Mood: worried
Music: No need to say goodbye You’ll come back
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Oh…cm’on!

Location: My office, wishing I were outside
Mood: wistful
Music: Our hands are covered in cake But I swear we didn’t have any

Seriously, someone somewhere really just hates me. Hates me.

Realized as I went through records that I may be the oldest person in my entire condo building.

Still, although it’s served with a big slice of lemon, at least my blue sky’s back.

———-

Heartgirl dropped me a line recently. Isn’t weird how the more you don’t want to think about someone, the more you do?

HEI’s going through some rough times but I told her that rough times are when you find out what you’re made of. Rough times cut away the fat of your life to see the muscle underneath. On a related note, while we’re both attracted to each other, we’re solidly in friends camp for our own reasons. Hopefully we stay in each other’s Venn Diagram.

BEG is off on vacation so I don’t think I’ll be seeing her any time soon.

Finally, PCD and I saw each other recently. In addition to being a cake decorator, she also has an anthropology degree so we’ve some interesting conversations.

Her: Today I made an onion – tomorrow I’m making asparagus.
Me: (laughing) You’re so non sequitur.

Her: I’m totally sequitur!

Me: It’s ok, I like non-sequitur.

Her: So one physical marker of an Asian is the shovel shaped incisors – the insides of your incisors are scooped.

Me: (feeling the inside of my teeth with my tongue) Well, look at that. (pause) Cm’re, lemme check out yours – for purely scientific purposes, I assure you…


Doing it for the Crackers

There’s always something waiting around the corner

Remember that deal that Sheridan wanted to know if I wanted in on? He closed it with RE Mike and it was just reported in the NY Post. I’m super happy for him but…damn, damn, damn, damn, damn.

It’s the third deal that Sheridian and I didn’t do together. The first, I made bank but he missed; the second we both missed. This one? $15.85 million. Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn.

Hate being this poor. Hate always worrying about scratch. Was about to have a pity party when I read that Ruslana Korshunova jumped outta her Manhattan building in a suicide. Stopped me cold. She was wealthy, beautiful, successful…and 20.

What troubles would be so big at 20 that you’d swan dive off a 9th floor building when, externally, you got it all? I dunno. Hate suicide stories.

Something’s always waiting round the corner. True, sometimes it’s fail, but sometimes it’s win. Regardless, you hope and you hope. Cause, statistically speaking, 10 outta 10 of us are gonna get our tickets punched – so why’d you ever wanna rush the matter? It’ll come sooner than you know it.

Admittedly, it’s hard to go from caviar and crackers to just crackers. But really, I got no complaints; don’t have enough fingers to count all my blessings.

Plus, when a girlie says she wants to spend some time these days, I’m (fairly) confident she does it for the company.

I mean, she’s certainly not doing it for the crackers, yeah?

800.SUICIDE / 800.784.2433

Location: 21:44 yest, getting whacked w/a stick in the UWS
Mood: sad
Music: and it breaks my heart, it breaks my heart

No troubles

Location: in my office, looking at the rain and thinking
Mood: grateful
Music: I regret every single thing I ever said, I said those things too softly

Met a girlie last week.

Her: I think I have you beat.
Me: I doubt that.

Her: (deep breath) Well, when I was in high school, my prom date raped me, got me pregnant, and, causa my dad, I got married causa it. Then I had a miscarriage so I was a divorcee before I went to college. He divorced me – can you believe that? Moved here, became a model. Now I throw up at least once a day so I can pay my rent and I hate, hate, hate men of every type. Can you beat that?

Me: (shaking head, pause, lean in and give her a kiss on the cheek)

Her: Why did you do that?

Me: I dunno…thought you deserved it. (she laughed, then frowned and nodded)

Didn’t give her my number or ask for her’s, and paid for her drink, which I never do.

There’s this comedian that says that children are a man’s receipt; children are the canceled check that proves that we were here.

The stuff you hear about happening in China is horrifying, isn’t it? 22,000 to 50,000 dead with 169,000 injured. But it’s actually even worse than that. With the PRC’s One Child Policy, bloodlines and family lose everything. For those that lose their one child and they’re too old to have kids again, they’ve no safety net to take care of them in their old age. Their history ends with them; they’ve no connection to the future. They’ve no child to love. Can’t imagine how that must feel.

My father once said that he loved us all before we were born. That didn’t make sense back then.

I’m getting sued (again). I’m working 12 hour days for negative returns. There’s stuff I don’t tell you about. But really, I got no problems. I got my life, my family, my rum, and the occasional girlie for company.

It’s raining here, but in my head, there’re blue skies. Told you before, yeah? God gave me everything.

Hope you have an amazing weekend.