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personal

The time I went to all-you-can-eat seafood

A night at the Crab House

Been wanting to head to Crab House here in NYC for ages but haven’t been able to because you need a minimum of four people for a reservation there.

It’s always tough organizing other people’s schedule – plus, I have such little patience for that.

It was almost exactly two years ago that I had this much seafood.

But, I was finally able to get three other people’s schedule – Thor, Pac, and Panda – aligned for us to make it happen so earlier this week, I finally got some unlimited seafood action.

It was pretty glorious.

Pac did most of the ordering because he’d been there a few times before.

Everything was pretty killer.

Gotta admit that I was, shockingly, the first one to tap out.

Him: You’re so weak!
Me: I am, I am…

Although, I do feel I ate as much as everyone else, I just shoveled more food into my pie hole earlier and stopped earlier.

That’s what I’m telling myself anywho.

Me: Do your mai tais come with an umbrella?
Waitress: No, I’m sorry.
Me: Shame. I really need to start carrying some around with me.

Panda went home first so the rest of us stopped by a bar for some more drinks.

Me: Do you make a good old fashioned?
Her: (laughing) I make a great old fashioned. How do you want it?
Me: With rye, not terribly sweet, please.

Pac left next so Thor and I just stayed and chatted a bit more

The bartender was a sweetheart and comped us both some whiskey as well.

All-in-all, not a bad way to start the week.

Location: earlier today, meeting a lawyer who thought I was handsome
Mood: hungry
Music: No one has to know where we go (Spotify)
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personal

Falling even more in love

My 宝贝

Found myself back a few years, recently.

I think women people from my past contact me because they know I’ll be happy to hear how they’ve been doing.

It’s nice when people stop by and visit an old, shared Venn Diagram because I’m always quietly rooting for them.

Her: All the paperwork’s done, so I’m a single woman again!
Me: Congrats – I’ll drink to that!
Her: (pause) I’d love to meet your son.
Me: I don’t think that’s too good an idea.
Her: Why?

Alison once said that she was looking forward to seeing me with the kid. I asked her why and she said, “I think that, when you see someone you love, love your kid, you fall even more in love with them.”

Of course, she was right about that, although I’ll fine-tune it to say that if you see someone you really like, love your kid, you may fall in love with them, or at least feel something a-lot-like-love.

That’s probably why I fell for Mouse versus anyone else I was seeing at the time; she was the only one that met him. She was a different person with him and they’re among my favourite memories I have from that insane time.

And outta everyone I’d been hanging out as of late, the Counselor was the only one that met the boy, albeit totally by accident.

Him: You’re papa’s friend from his phone, [The Counselor]!
Her: (laughs) I am, hi there!
Him: HI!!

Of course, she was just lovely with him. That’s probably part of why she made it further than any other contestant.

It also works in reverse, though; when I see someone being dismissive of him, I feel cold, icy, hatred.

So, I’m super careful who gets to interact with him.

It’s funny, after realizing the commonality between Mouse and the Counselor, I’m not so much worried about him meeting people that step in-and-out of my Venn Diagram – frankly, the more kind and good people he meets, the better – as I am about myself.

Me: I’m sorry. I’m just not that guy anymore and you’re not that girl. (laughing) There was once a time, I woulda killed to hear that you wanted to see me.
Her: What changed?
Me: Same thing I told you all those years ago, Caligirl. Time and tide. It changes everything. As much as I’d wish it wouldn’t.

Alison only knew a handful of Mandarin words but one she loved immediately was, “宝贝,” which is prounounced “bao bei,” and means “treasure.”

She would call the boy that when he was still in her womb. I wonder if he heard.

In any case, he was her 宝贝 and mine. Now, he’s solely mine, which isn’t at all what I hoped for.

On the one hand, I guard him jealously for many reasons, least of all, because I know how hard I’d fall for anyone that loves him.

On the other hand, it’s like I have this wonderful gift all to myself and I wish I had someone to share him with.

After all, it’s near impossible not to love this kid.

Him: I know that word, I know that word! I KNOW A JOKE WITH THAT WORD!!
Me: (laughing) OK, kid. Let’s hear it.
Him: (hurriedly) What do you call a fake noodle?
Me: I dunno.
Him: An Im-Pasta! Get it?! IMPASTA!!!!!
Me: (laughing) I get it. Man, your mom woulda gotten such a kick outta you, kid.

Location: heading home alone
Mood: careful
Music: I’ll be the greatest fan of your life (Spotify)
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business personal

So, what’s your deal here, anyway?

My rusty gears

My son was in his day camp the other day, trying to squeeze between a pipe and a column. He ended up getting wedged between the two when his leg went through the wall.

Evidently, he was hysterically crying and they couldn’t extricate his leg so they had to call the super to cut the drywall around his leg. That made him even more upset because he started telling them he didn’t want them to cut his leg off.

Ultimately, they cut him out and he was fine.

The end.


Her: So…what’s your deal here, anyway?
Me: (shrugging) Brilliant but lazy lawyer. I show up when there’s food to be eaten or pictures to be taken.

I’ve not been regularly practicing the law in over five years. I stopped after Alison lost the third baby figuring I’d come back when things got better. You know how that turned out.

Was just trying to save my family so billing hours, giving lectures, and writing memos seemed…silly.

All the more so when I failed in saving my family.

But, through it all, my boss would send me a random legal question or just simply straight-up check in on me. When we did chat, I could feel the rusty gears of my legal brain start to move again.

Him: Do you still remember it?
Me: Yes. It’s somewhere in my head. I just have to wake it up.

A new legal assistant at the firm wrote me asking me to schedule myself for updated firm pictures.

Gotta say, getting the email was touching. It’s funny being valued for something when you question your value all the time.

In any case, I went and was greeted by all these new and old faces.

Regarding the former, the new lawyers in the firm were curious about me because I suppose they never really discussed me.

Why would they? I’m a depressing story.

Her: Wait, how are you semi-retired?! How old are you?
Me: Ah, we’re playing the game. You have to guess.
Her: 33?
Me: (laughing) Well, that’s encouraging.

Afterward, my boss brought me and another attorney out to eat at Benjamin Steakhouse Prime, where I had an Old Fashioned and some food.

Me: …for example, in the Simpsons, there’s a product called Duff Beer. In Australia, someone produced an actual line of Duff Beer. What does the property holder have as an action? It’s not copyright, as it’s not possible to copyright two words. It’s not trademark because there’s no real-world product related to it by the Simpons’ owners. It’s not trade dress, not trade secrets, not patent. That leaves licensing. So, the legal question is: Does an IP holder have a cause of action for licensing when no previous licensing matter existed. Last I looked, the answer was no.
Him: (grinning and turning to the other attorney) One drink and the old Logan returns with ideas. Go on.
Me: Well, regarding the search for Alex Jones’s phone, there’s a legal question if a cell phone should be thought of as…

I felt the most like my old self than I had in a while. It was as if the last six years went away.

Like I always say, thank goodness for the good souls.

I also saw my mother-in-law the other day with the kid for a quick visit and return.

She made us some strip steak…

…amongst other things.

Thank goodness for the good souls bearing steak and drinks.

Location: earlier today, having a burger with my favourite little human in Union Square
Mood: happy
Music: Lately I’ve been thinking about things I shouldn’t (Spotify)
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personal

Cascading consequences

Schadenfreude

Me: You’re not thinking of the cascading consequences.
Her: What are they?
Me: Let’s say you meet someone today. You chat, etc. You meet up in, say, September. Figure like six months of casual dating and you two lock it down, it’s now March 2023. You’re 35 then. You guys date for two years before you decide you’re right for each other, it’s now 2025, and you’re 37. You get engaged for a year, you’re now 38. You want to be a young married couple for a year without kids, making you 39. Then you decide you wants kids and try. Figure the first year isn’t great, and then you get pregnant, you’re now 41 with a kid. That’s even assuming the guy wants a kid in the first place.
Her: Well, now I’m stressed out even more!
Me: Sorry. All I’m saying is that you obviously still love him and he loves you. Just have him join my gym and that COVID weight will come right off. 15 pounds isn’t the end of the world.
Her: You just like him because he’s rich.
Me: See – I think of the cascading consequences. Have him join the gym. Shame he doesn’t have a sister.

Trump’s in alla this legal trouble right now, least of which is because of the FBI raid on his house.

I think most people would say that he’s in a quandary of his own making, and that’s true, but not in the way most people think.

See, he and the other GOPers have always needed a boogeyman to rail against and they picked Hillary and Biden to play that role.

For her part, Hillary was supposed to have mishandled classified information/documents. So, when Trump was president in 2018, he signed into law a bill that made mishandling and keeping classified information a felony.

I suspect he did this to have the chance to actually “lock her up,” without fully thinking of the cascading consequences of his actions, knowing that he was a sloppy and relatively stupid man.

Check that, knowing himself, he didn’t even fully think of the direct consequences of his actions.

Add this action to McCarthy refusing to have GOP members on the Jan6th committee and we see a group of people that barely consider the direct consequences of their actions, let alone the cascading ones.

It’s with more than a little schadenfreude that I sit back and watch alla this unfold.

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving fella.

Location: in front of a portfolio of work. What have I done?
Mood: busy
Music: Relax, relax, relapse, it’s a new day (Spotify)
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Hook me up!

Circle

Like I said, people are always trying to fix me up with someone. I usually agree just to be polite and, besides, you never know.

Maybe I’ll be set up with Mary Jane Watson, who Peter kept avoiding for months. This is what MJ said when they finally met:

A mom from my kid’s class has been running me through all her friends because she’s just a sweetheart.

And, because I figure, compared to what’s out there, I’m a catch – the bar’s pretty low, lemme tell ya.

She actually got me in touch with a producer from NBC for a segment called, Hoda and Jenna: Hook me Up!

I had a nice talk with the producer but I decided it wasn’t for me. I did tell them to keep me in mind for anything in the future.

Anywho, the segment I woulda been on ran today.

The woman, Michelle, seems like a nice lady, just not my type, so it’s good I said no.

I’ll let you know if I show up on it ever.

Speaking of dating, the Counselor gone but the Acrobat’s still (kinda) around. It’s all complex.

It’s a shame because the Counselor was cool, pretty, and smart as a whip.

On the flip side, I’ve been chatting with this one woman who seems lovely but super lonely.

Her: I don’t know. I just never connected with anyone. Not anyone worth connecting with, I guess.
Me: I get that.

I’m always surprised at just how many lonely people there are in the world.

In some ways, I feel a little lucky that I didn’t have friends growing up because it’s kinda like that old Edie Brickell song that goes:

Being alone is the
Is the best way to be
When I’m by myself
It’s the best way to be
When I’m all alone
It’s the best way to be
When I’m by myself
Nobody else can say goodbye

Legit. I believe that.

An old friend of mine just completely disappeared. Like Will Hunting at the end of Good Will Hunting.

Except I doubt it was to see about a girl.

And I’m a bit jealous. Part of me wants to do that.

Maybe someday.

Location: earlier today, being shown a broken wall where my son had to be cut out of on the Upper West Side. He was fine.
Mood: pensive
Music: I quit. I give up (Spotify)
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Memorto Mori

Remember that you have to die

One of the three books I feel everyone should read is The Godfather. The movies are great, but the book is worlds better because both the Godfather and Michael are good men in the books but monsters in the films.

Michael essentially agrees to run a mafia family in The Godfather to keep his own (real) family safe. But in The Godfather II film, he seems to forget why he agreed to run the mafia family – something he hated, originally – in the first place and ended up losing his wife and killing both his brother-in-law and his own brother for “the Family.”

He killed his real family for his fake family.

The tragedy of the Godfather films is that Michael forgot why he was there in the first place.

I’m telling you all this because I told someone from my past that I forgot that I loved her, which is why I was so awful to her.

Granted, there was a lotta craziness in my life when I met her, but it’s not very comforting to her or me.

The question she had, though, was obvious: “How is that possible? How do you forget you love someone?”

I ask myself that all the time.

And my answer is just like Michael did with Kay and Fredo. Just like men and women do when they cheat – emotionally or physically – on their spouse.

On normal days, people forget important – crazy important – things all the time. People forget to pick up their kids, forget to show up for some super important meeting, etc.

They forget what they really wanted in the first place, mistaking the noise for signal.

People even forget – all the time – that they’re going to die. That’s why the saying, memorto mori even exists. People forget to make the most of their time because we’re all not here long. But we forget that.

Everybody knows they’re going to die, but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently.

For her, she forgot that I was everything she had hoped her whole life for a date with a guy that she forgot she loved (not me, it’s complicated) who ended up marrying someone else.

And I forgot that I loved her, which, itself, is the most ridiculous thing ever.

Cancer and awful luck notwithstanding, I suppose we all live the lives we earn for ourselves.

Location: learning about officiating weddings in NJ
Mood: resigned
Music: you didn’t notice (Spotify)
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The boy and the dragonfly

On my Street

My buddy Wall-E helps out a ton at the gym with various maintenance tasks that are beyond abilities of Chad or myself – either due to skill, time, or both.

One thing we’ve been meaning to do for a while is to replace several of the lightbulbs in the gym because the ceilings are pretty high up.

After one Saturday class, I gave Wall-E my keys to the gym so he could stop by before class one morning and swap out alla the light bulbs for us.

So, I handed them to him and then headed home. Turns out that I gave him my house keys and not the keys to the gym.

I called both him and Chad to apologize for the mix-up – after I managed to get back into my pad.

Me: Dude, I’m an idiot – I just swapped my house and gym keys yesterday and forgot I did that. I’m so, so, so sorry about that.
Him: Hey lucky enough I’m on the upper west side right now.
Me: WTF?
Him: In fact I think I’m in front of your apt.

 There are approximately 8,000 miles of streets in NYC – or enough to go from NYC to LA, back to LA, and back to NYC again. And outta all those streets, he was on the same street as my apartment.

In fact, he was literally across the street.

Me: Jesus Christ, what are the chances?!

I once told Alison that we were darned, not dammed. That turned out not to be true.

However, in this instance, it was. Because while I messed up the keys, he ended up across the street from me, but…

Me: Did you manage to change the lights?
Him: They didn’t fit.
Me: Dammit!

In another weird coincidence, at the end of the year, the kid had to pick one animal/insect/fish/something to study and I suggested the dragonfly.

Him: Why?
Me: They’re the greatest hunters on the planet.
Him: Cool!

And so, he picked that and wrote an entire report on it plus made the cool little sculpture you see above.

Well, we stepped outta our pad last week and right on the sidewalk of our street a huge – and I mean HUGE – dragonfly settled directly in front of the kid.

The last time I saw a dragonfly in NYC was also in front of my building, but way back in October of 2008.

That week, Alison called me her boyfriend for the first time and I was on cloud nine.

Haven’t been on cloud nine in ages. Or anyone’s boyfriend for that matter.

But, at least the kid doesn’t need much to be on cloud nine.

Him: IT’S A REAL DRAGONFLY!!
Me: (laughing) Yes, yes it is, kid.

Thought of a song that mentioned dragonflies and that got me going down a rabbit-hole of memories. Bad ones.

Plus, Mouse’s family is dealing with a litany of serious medical issues with her family – she wrote about it on IG so I don’t think I’m giving away any confidences away – which is also reminding me of things, for better or worse.

She’s a super tough chick and refuses any support, especially from me, but she’s helped me and the kid so much in the past that I’m trying to find a way to return the favour, somehow.

Her: It’s fine. I’m in admin mode.
Me: They’re lucky to have you.

Location: earlier tonight, around the way ordering the zero-sugar black raspberry cocktail while trying to look interested
Mood: complex and fulla zero-sugar black raspberry cocktails
Music: They had a pet dragonfly (Spotify)
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Still speaking Martian, Pt 2

Lovely imposter syndrome

It was Rain’s birthday recently, so if you see him, wish him a good one?

Years ago, he told me about this comedy skit where there’s this guy that has a speech impediment where he can only speak in a sarcastic voice, which makes his life totally miserable and lonely.

Rain told me about it and then I told you about it.

Finally found it, if you’re interested.

It’s not like I didn’t want to have friends.

I just talked like a weird 49-year-old Chinese-American man with a Queens accent…when I was 13. That was my speech impediment.

Met a pretty girl once in 7th Grade. Told her she looked lovely. And she and her friends called me a weirdo and worse.

As an aside, I say lovely all the goddamn time now.

In junior high, the closest I had to friends were a girl named Julia and a guy named Phil. I’ll tell you about them someday but, not for a while because I wasn’t exactly kind to them.

And the reason was because I started making friends here and there.

I did this by reading books like How to Win Friends and Influence People and Think and Grow Rich.

Books are really amazing things. But I digress.

By the time I got to high school, I (kinda) started figuring out how to talk like everyone else. I always had a Queens accent but used words like lovely and idiosyncratic all the time – studying for the SATs didn’t help matters.

In many ways, I always felt the weight of imposter syndrome – as if someone people would figure out that I was super mechanical at being social.

Step 1: Introduce yourself by looking someone in the eye.
Step 2: Shake their hand.
Step 3: Repeat their name.
Step 4: Smile.

And so on.

Yet, for the most part, people didn’t figure out that I was a ghost in a machine, pretending to be human.

The girl I called “lovely” was named Stella.

She wrote in my junior high school yearbook that I shoulda asked her to the JHS prom. She went with a guy named Edwin instead. It was junior high school where I slimed down and started dressing better.

It was also then I learned that if you look good, people will talk to you, even if you talk like a weird 49-year-old Chinese-American man with a thick Queens accent.

Hence my being unkind to Julia and Phil. That is one of the earliest of my 10,000 regrets.

A much smaller regret was that, for years afterward, I wished that (a) I didn’t tell Stella she was “lovely,” and (b) I asked her out to the JHS prom.

Didn’t realize that I was speaking Martian while everyone else was speaking English.

I wanted desperately to be understood, like that guy in the video above, but I didn’t know how.

I’m bringing alla this up because the two arguments I had recently have been on my mind.

Both were with people that mattered to me in some way and in both, I couldn’t make myself understood. And I suppose the same was true in reverse.

35 years after Stella, they were speaking English and I was speaking Martian. Or vice versa.

One ended with me being told to leave in the rain, the other, being told to get out at a desolate intersection after midnight.

Everything I said was construed in the worst possible way and there was no way I could make myself understood.

I always say that we’re the prisoners of our 14-year-old selves. In both arguments, I felt like I was telling Stella she was lovely and all she heard was that I was weird.

Every so often, we feel the weight of the chains we forge for ourselves as kids.

I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. 

This is where I sat, waiting for the library to open.

In the end, the question really is, how much do we want to be understood and how much do we want to understand someone else.

These days, for me, most people aren’t worth the effort. I’d rather just be with my (e)books again.

But some people are worth the effort, even if you realize it too late.

Spoke to one of the women that helped me survive 2017 recently.

It wasn’t – at all – what you would call a “good” talk.

But she also didn’t tell me to go fuck myself, so I suppose that’s a net positive.

Location: West 79th Street, giving the boy a hug and telling him I’d see him soon
Mood: mute
Music: you do not need to speak (Spotify)
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personal

Still speaking Martian, Pt 1

With a Queens accent

Him: I don’t wanna go to camp!
Me: I wish I had camp as a kid! (annoyed) For goodness sakes, why not?!
Him: (sadly) I don’t want to be away from you, Papa!

Well, I’m a jerk.

Just got back from a 12-hour Scenic Fights shoot. Pac, Chad, and the resta the crew are still there shooting.

I suppose that I’ll tell you more about the shoot some other time but Pac was there along with the producer, who – like Pac and me – grew up in Queens.

Pac: (insert very questionable language here)
Me: It’s funny. I spent years trying to hide my Queens accent and speech patterns and you highlight it.
Him: Why would you do that?
Me: (shrugging) Long story. You know, I stopped cursing when I was 18 and started up again just a few years ago?

Told you once that I read the entire side of a library once. But never told you why.

What were your summers like as a kid? Camp? Parties? Just hanging out with friends in a basement?

Mine were nuthin like that at all.

Like I said, I grew up poor. Really poor. Air conditioning was essentially non-existent.

But the local library had air conditioning and both my parents worked full time.

So, every summer from third to roughly seventh grade was about the same: I would wake up, eat, and walk to the library – either by myself or with my mom – and sit at the entrance of the library and wait for it to open.

Here’s what it looks like, same as it did when I was nine years old.

I knew the librarian there so well. She wore a red sweater no matter what the temperature was outside because, man, that AC inside was kicking.

I was always the only kid sitting outside, waiting for the library to open, unless my brother or sister were with me. Then I/we would go in and read.

I read until they kicked me out. They literally kicked me out every night. Although I did head home in the middle of the day for lunch.

This lady named Susan Wiggs once said that, “You’re never alone when you’re reading a book.” And that makes sense to me because those books were my friends.

I read entire series of books – every single one of the Little House books, all the Narnia ones (The Horse and His Boy was always my fave – The Silver Chair sucked.), all the Great Brain books, all the Sherlock Holmes books, all the Tom Brown books, the entirety of the World Book Encyclopedia – for serious – all of Bullfinch’s Mythology, etc.

By the time I was 15, I was reading 750 words a minute. I still read about 650-750 words a minute.

I read the entire fucking wall. It took me four summers. But I read that whole goddamn wall.

These were my friends. My only friends, for most of my childhood.

It doesn’t make one well socialized. At least, not for a long while.

Ultimately, though, you either change, the world changes, or a little bit of both.

Him: Cursing is fucking great.
Me: (nodding) It’s fucking great.

I told the Counselor about my summers not that long ago. She found it both sad and endearing, which was really sweet of her.

There’s a point to alla this, though.

But it’s super late and my brain’s feels heavy, so I’ll tell you the rest tomorrow.

EDIT: Day after tomorrow. Got injured at the gym being dumb. Again.

Location: 8:42PM, just catching the train before having to wait 12 minutes for the next one, on 14th Street
Mood: nostalgic
Music: Every day’s another day to have the best day with you (Spotify)
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Movie Premier Pt 2: Jang Hyuk’s The Killer

Assassins next door

Because I knew that I was going to the film’s East Coast premier, I’d not seen the film before, so I was looking forward to it.

The last time I was in a movie theatre seems like a lifetime ago. I think it was Battle Angel Alita or Avengers: Endgame, both in 2019.

The Killer was part of the 20th Anniversary New York Asian Film Festival, that ran from July 15-31, 2022.

I vaguely remember going to another such festival years ago.

Anywho, like I said in my last entry, I sat next to the owner of Midnight Pulp, where we chatted about life and our families.

That’s all I’ll say there. Nice fella.

The movie itself was quite cool, although I do wonder how many more of the assassin-next-door types of films are possible.

This was an interesting take on the genre because it revolved around the idea of family and protecting family.

That was what stuck with me, anywho.

Afterwards, there was a brief discussion of the film and some question-and-answer.

It was pretty packed and I was beat – and pretty lit – so I just wanted to head back.

Midway off the block, though, Joong hit me up.

Him: Hi Logan, still around? We can get a photo for you with Jang Hyuk.

So, I high-tailed it back where I met up with him and the StruggleNation peeps again.

I chatted with Jang Hyuk for a bit, by way of Joong. Very cool and down to earth guy, actually.

We, briefly, discussed martial arts and violence in general. Surprisingly, his background was JKD and not kali, per se.

Chatted with a few more people before I made it out the door and took a long walk home.

I’ve been super social lately and it’s been tiring and, oddly, very sad.

But I suppose that’s another discussion for another time.

Location: yesterday, searching for a lottery place with the kid and getting caught in the rain.
Mood: sad
Music: I get carried away, carried away, from you (Spotify)
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