A Beautiful Teacher, Johnny, Ian, and The Cover Band

Hi, Beautiful!

Him: We had a substitute teacher today, papa. You know what I said to her?
Me: (distracted) Hmmm? What’d you say?
Him: I said, “Hi, beautiful!”
Me: What? Why did you say that?
Him: (puzzled) Because she was.
Me: (nodding) The truth is a powerful thing. You’re definitely my kid.

He and I went to see my sister-in-law the other day for lunch. We had originally planned to go to something at the pier in Hoboken but they cancelled it due to rain.

It did not rain. But they cancelled it anywho.

So, we went over to Jonny Rockets; it was the same one that Alison brought me to all those years ago. It hurt walking in the door, as you might expect.

But the kid was so happy to be there that he pulled me back to earth.

Him: I want a hamburger!
Me: No kidding.

The jukeboxes on the tables no longer worked. Another victim of everyone having mobile phones where an app is much more convenient.

But he still got to pick some tunes.

Classic rock for this kid.

Afterward, we went by this shop I’d driven past a dozen times but never went inside before to get him a pumpkin.

She and he carved it up without me.

The reason I wasn’t around was because it was my buddy’s Ian’s birthday and I’d missed out on the other major birthday party the gym was having because of my accident.

Earlier that week, his girl wrote us all and told us to politely decline if he invited us out to drink, which many of us did.

In the background, though, she was hard at work organizing stuff. I’ve only ever thrown two surprise parties for people and, lemme tell you, it’s a bear.

Never doing that again solo unless I get help. And for other reasons we don’t need to get into.

In any case, Ian’s girlfriend rang me and I gave her some suggestions. She ended up choosing the one closest to my pad, which I was thrilled about because I literally lived just three blocks away.

A good deal of the gym showed up, including my buddy Bill, who was there waiting 30 minutes for me for because of a mix-up.

But once everything got settled, everyone had a grand time.

Ian: Man, I asked three people to hang out and no one said yes. I was super bummed.
Me: You didn’t ask me.
Him: I didn’t want a fourth no.
Me: Fair. I woulda had to have said no.

I ate four slices of pizza – huge slices – and felt disgusted by myself.

There was also a copious amount of alcohol and pharmaceuticals so a lotta the night was a blur.

Yes, I’m sitting on Chad’s lap. Like I said, there was a lotta self-medication going on.

Her: What’s your name?
Me: Does it matter? I’ll just be the story you tell your friends about on Monday. Speaking of stories, Voltaire once told this joke about the Holy Roman Empire…

The next morning, my sitter brought back my son and we went out for a walk, where we saw a classic rock cover band.

So, we sat there in the bright cold and he sang every word to every song and was the hit of the crowd.

Him: Thank you.
Me: For what?
Him: For sitting with me.
Me: Where else am I gonna go, kid? I go where you go.

He pulls me back to earth without ever knowing it.

Location: earlier today, choking someone on Union Square
Mood: empty
Music: I don’t need to be forgiven (Spotify)
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We got an award!

YouTube Creators Silver Award

Chad: What facts about the world did you learn?
J: Facts?
Chad: You were hanging out with Logan Lo for three hours; you definitely learned a fact.
J: (laughs) Well, we did discuss a lot about depression.
Chad: (to me) Are you doing ok?

Don’t get many visitors just because I like my privacy – this is in contrast to the kid, who has visitors come by alla time.

Having said that, Chad told me he was going to be in the area on Friday on a date so I told him to stop by afterward to meet up with our Scenic Fights producer, J.

Before J, showed up, though, I got a call from my friends Kathy and Ricky. They were in the area with their son so they popped by first.

Kathy: Can I sit down on the stoop?
Me: Sure – I spent many a years sitting on this stoop watching the world go by.

We caught up for a spell, along with my son, before they left.

Afterward, J stopped by. We were supposed to go over notes for a SF shoot later on this week but Chad was out of pocket until late. We didn’t want to disturb him so J and I just chatted a bit.

Him: This is actually the first time I’ve been social in a while.
Me: Besides Chad and randos, I don’t get many visits from people I actually wanna see.

J brought over a YouTube Silver Creator Plaque, which Scenic Fights got because we hit 100,000 subscribers – the crazy thing is that we’re actually at 144,000 subscribers now.

Chad showed up late and starving so I cooked everyone some food before we cracked open the package.

This is us when we finally opened it – I was so tempted to open it myself but I’m glad we waited for him to stop by.

Oddly, Chad was in my neighborhood the very next day for another social thingy.

But I’ll tell you all about that tomorrow.

I’m not sleeping again.

Location: earlier today, on 78th, watching the Meetles
Mood: confused
Music: I really want to know: Who are you? (Spotify)
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It was supposed to be bonus

Forgetting

Was looking for another babysitter for extra coverage today and I realized that Alison set up an account for us at UrbanSitter.

This is the picture she chose:

Don’t remember us setting it up because I’m purposely forgetting things.

A dozen years ago, I told you about a throwaway line from A Study in Scarlett where Sherlock Holmes said to Watson that the mind’s like an attic – you can only have so much crap in it before you run outta room.

That was really the start of my realizing that all we are are the sum of our memories. It’s a theme that comes up repeatedly in this blog, like in my Ship of Thesus Paradox entry.

So, after this entry, I decided to teach myself how to forget. And I did.

My reasons were rather mundane: Just wanted to clear my attic so I could put in more valuable things.

But now it’s more a question of survival. I need to forget things to make it to the other side.

You see, I remember how excited she and I were that the kid would be born in fall. Because that meant that our most joyous moments wouldn’t start in Thanksgiving – Thanksgiving, Xmas, and New Year’s – but a month earlier in October (Halloween, Kid’s Birthday, Thanksgiving, Xmas, and New Year’s).

Told you once that all emotional pain and joy happens in that gap between what you hope for and what you actually get.

      • If you expect to make $20,000 a year and you make $100,000, that $80,000 gap is joy.
      • If you expect to make $100,000 a year and you make $20,000, that $80,000 gap is pain.

We expected so much joy this season: The boy finally understands what Halloween and his birthday is all about.

It was all supposed to be bonus. These extra days of celebration were all supposed to be fucking bonus. Instead, it’s all hell.

Alla that joy and hope’s turned to misery and dread. And I can’t bear it.

I wanna forget everything except that I love this kid.

Like I said, Survival isn’t pretty. But, I gotta be ok for this kid.

And I won’t be ok remembering everything I remember.

There’s more, but I’ll tell you the rest later.

Location: I forget
Mood: I forgot
Music: I was wishing we could go back to how it was (Spotify)
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It is what it is

Some bright spots

Her: What do you mean, “You’re good at it?” How is one good at dating?
Me: There’re steps to dating: Meeting someone, building enough comfort with them that they’ll meet you again, and then want to see you again. Etc. I think I’m pretty good at each step.
Her: (dismissively) You mean like everyone in NY.
Me: If you say so, darling.

It’s been a rough week. Been in my head a ton, which is why I’ve been trying to go the gym as much as possible, despite my injuries.

RE Mike sent me an invite to yet another one of his ridonk parties and I was going to go but I feel like I’m being too social these days instead of focusing on the boy.

Plus, it’s a lot more exhausting than it was back in the day. Besides, the last one left a decidedly bad taste in my mouth for a variety of reasons, unrelated to him.

Man, RE Mike never slows down. Dunno how he does it.

As for me, heading to the gym instead was the right choice, despite my injuries. Been really careful with whom I decide to work with so I’ve managed not to make anything worse.

But I think it’s more the emotional turmoil that’s keeping me up. Well, no less than the whiplash and messed up knee and wrists.

Note to self: Slamming sticks together several times a week with an injured wrist is probably not a good idea.

Maybe that’s why I’m not that guy anymore. It was never easy to cut someone loose, but it’s even harder now.

But there are some bright spots here and there, with some old and dear friends.

Professor: I remember your dad and his cooking up a storm. A huge plate of tofu and giant prawns.
Me: Thanks. (sighing) It’s sweet that so many people remember him fondly.
Him: To be honest I’d rather trade places with you in terms of dads – then and now – poignant memories of a loving deceased dad is far better than miserable memories of a distant alive dad who I’ve heard nothing from for years. On the other hand there are dads way worse than mine, so there’s that.
Me: Yeah.
Him: Whatever – we’re almost 50 and theoretically should be past this kinda stuff – but emotions are what they are. Is what it is.

Yeah, it is what it is. Just wish it wasn’t so shitty.

Location: Earlier today, 14th and 6th, looking for carbs with my favourite tiny human
Mood: pensive
Music: been dreaming of you to come wake me up (Spotify)
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He would have been 83

More than all the gold in the world

Saw a buncha kids around my son the other day cause he was telling them a story.

Laughed to myself as I approached them because I find him so amusingly social.

But then I heard him what he was saying.

Him: She died when I was a baby. I was only a few days old.
Boy: Were you sad?
Him: (nods)
Girl: How did she die?

That’s when I had to turn back. This is not how it’s supposed to fucking be. Shit. Piss. Fuck.

He’s in fucking first grade. This is not what a first grader should be talking about.

Speaking of painful, my dad woulda been 83 this week.

It hurts that my son will never know him. That he’ll never know Alison.

My dad took us back to Taiwan when his dad, my grandfather, died. I was the same age as the kid in the photo above, about two?

So, I have no recollection. Suppose I turned out fine but I realize how much this must have hurt my dad because I feel the loss myself now.

Whenever we would talk, he would want to cook me something. I suppose that was his love language: Food.

When I was doing keto/Atkins, he made it a point to keep steaks in the freezer so he could make me a steak with broccoli on the side. I eventually got tired of steak – a wild thing to say, I realize – but I never said anything because I knew he bought an army’s worth of steak for me to have.

If you have both parents and all grandparents, consider yourself very lucky in that regard. I never knew my dad’s dad, just like my son won’t know his dad’s dad.

Him: You miss your daddy? Because he died?
Me: (slowly) Yes. I miss my daddy.
Him: I’m sorry, papa.
Me: Thanks, kiddo. You’re my favourite, you know?
Him: Even mommy?
Me: (thinking) We both loved you more than anything else in the world.
Him: More than anything?
Me: (nodding) More than anything. More than all the gold in the world.

Location: this fucking place
Mood: heartbroken
Music: the beautiful thing You’re doing is making new things out of ruins (Spotify)
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Had an accident

She keeps trying, though

Her: Do you want to do this again?
Me: I’m not sure.
Her: YOU’RE NOT SURE?!
Me: Strike and withdraw. Allow me to rephrase…
Her: It’s fine. I was just trying to be nice.
Me: But, of course, darling.

Last week, I was heading back from yet another date-to-nowhere on my scooter when I went flying at 25 miles an hour head-first into a concrete divider.

Somehow, made it to another medemerge but as soon as they saw me…

Nurse: Sir, you need to get to the ER, now. We can call you an ambulance.
Me: Can I be seen here?
Her: No, you have head trauma, we can’t see you here.
Me: I’m not going back to the ER.
Her: You could have brain swelling.
Me: I’m very familiar with brain swelling, but I’m not going back to the ER, lady. If you won’t see me here, I’m going home.
Her: Let me get the doctor. (gets him)
Him: Dude, we can an ambulance here in five minutes.
Me: No.

I have never had that much blood on me, ever. And we all know I’m clumsy as heck.

This is me AFTER I cleaned myself off. The shirt I was wearing was soaked in blood, so I get that I musta looked like a freakshow beforehand.

Spoke to my brother. Turns out that I lied to him and Chad when I told them that I didn’t hit my head. I completely forgot. Not a good sign.

But my helmet reminded me the next day that I did and that’s when I remembered that I snapped my head back.

Like way back.

Later on, my buddy Thor and I spoke.

Him: You know, if you hadn’t been doing jits all these year, you probably would be paralyzed right now.
Me: Jesus Christ, I didn’t even think of that.
Him: (cheerfully) But you didn’t!
Me: Blargh.

It was a pretty sleepless night until I gave in and starting taking Alison’s old painkillers. Two cracked teeth, whiplash, and cuts all over my face and body.

Then I slept like death. Luckily, it wasn’t actually death and I woke up.

The next day, a friend of mine was supposed to pick up my son from Queens but she never called, so I pulled myself together and went out there to get him myself.

Before I left, Chad called me to check and see how I was doing.

Him: Wait, you can’t go out there yourself.
Me: Got no choice. He has school tomorrow.
Him: I’m heading to you.
Me: I gotta go.
Him: I’m leaving now. Do not leave without me.

Ended up passing out on my couch when he came over. The two of us headed out to Queens to get him.

In hindsight, I was super grateful to have Chad come because I was clearly messed up. Plus, Tosh was pretty freaked out to see me the way I was but Chad’s always been great with him.

Chad: Hey, Papi!
Him: Papa, what happened to your face?!
Chad: You daddy had a little accident but he’s fine.
Him: He doesn’t look fine.

Lemme just say that painkillers are magical. I can see why people get addicted to them. I took them both out to eat I felt so good.

But the withdrawal, dude…is no joke.

Ran out a week later and I was in agony. But that’s a different story.

It’s been about a week and my neck and knee are still doing pretty poorly but I felt good enough to head to the gym and just drill for a bit. One fella there and I had an interesting exchange.

Him: You have seven left.
Me: Seven what?
Him: (laughing) Lives. Life can’t seem to kill you.
Me: She keeps trying, though.

It was pretty eye-opening to see who checked in on me and who didn’t. Deleted a handful of new people from my phonebook and blocked one altogether.

Although the Heiress did give me a buzz for wholly unrelated matters.

Her: Hi!
Me: Hi! I’m glad you called. Please, go fuck yourself.
Her: What?!
Me: I’m pretty sure you heard me. I’m sorry you have cancer, but, honestly, it doesn’t matter how much money you have if you act like you were raised by pigs. Do us both a favour, lose my number, and fuck off. (hanging up)

My body feels like shit but, man, mentally, I’m better than I’ve been in years.

May not be a billionaire – I’m barely a thousandaire –  but I have people in my life that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Location: Painkillerville
Mood: fuzzy
Music: yesterday, you lied. Promises of what I seemed to be (Spotify)
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Three people, independently

Another of my many life rules

What do coffee, tea, and chocolate have in common?

      • Coffee comes from relatively tall trees originating from a region called Kaffa in Ethiopia, Africa.
      • Tea, meanwhile, comes from an evergreen shrub in East Asia.
      • Chocolate, finally, comes from the relatively short cacao tree from South/Central America.

They’re really completely different species of vegetation that have absolutely nuthin – nuthin – in common with each other.

Yet, somehow, each plant, completely independently of each other, somehow figured out how to make the below chemical compound as a means of self-protection from animals that might eat it:

(c) Someone else

Caffeine.

I always found that remarkable. That three, completely unrelated organisms (they’re literally on different continents), can come to the same logical conclusion: Creating the chemical compound of caffeine will help it survive – and potentially flourish – somehow.

It musta worked because they all started this potentially millions of years ago, and are still doing it now, to this day.

I developed my own life rule  from this rando bit of knowledge.

Case in point, a little while ago, I was unkind to a fella at the gym I was going to at the time. Three people that I like and respect told me that I was in wrong.

So, I found the guy, sat him down, and apologized for how I treated him and he was pretty receptive to it. We now chat regularly and he actually joined Paxibellum.

Told you repeatedly: I’m not a good person.

It’s one of my many life rules that I keep for myself to similarly survive and, hopefully, flourish:

If three people, independently, tell me something, it must be true.

And the same rule works in the contrapositive:

If something is not true, then three people would not independently tell me about it.

I’ve been doing a lotta self-reflection with my therapist lately and just spoke to her today.

Me: What do you think, in your honest professional opinion? Am I a narcissist?
Her: (thinking) The hallmark of narcissism is a lack of empathy, but I don’t see that at all. You tried to help your father, your wife, your ex, Chad, etc, because you empathize with their struggles.
Me: And the rest? Am I irredeemable for all the things that I’ve done?
Her: I don’t think so. I see someone who went through – and is still going through – a lot of trauma but trying to be better for his son and those around him. I mean, you’re talking to me, after all.  It’s the people that never bother trying to be better that end up staying the same.

Location: earlier today, the Metal Park
Mood: trying
Music: I don’t want to dream about the things that I used to be (Spotify)
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A night on the Virgin Revvel

Alesya Yelisow Alesya Yelisowa

Not the wurst night

RE Mike invited me out to a party on a ship – which is vastly different from a party on a boat – and comped me two extra tix.

I’d always thought that my SIL and Mouse would get along so I invited both of them expecting that one, or both, would demur. Surprisingly, they both said yes and the three of us had a great night.

We were supposed to link up with RE Mike and my buddy from around the way but we only saw them briefly because (a) we got there much earlier than them and (b) there was some scheduling issues.

It was the first time we were hanging out since April of 2019.

But it ended up being fine. We headed first to the restaurant.

Her: We should leave a tip.
Me: It’s all taken care of.
Her: We don’t leave a tip?!
Me: It’s all taken care of. Trust me on this.

Again, I don’t think I ever taken out my wallet a single time for anything that RE Mike’s ever invited me in all these years.

RE Mike and our buddy around the way both showed up to say hi during dinner and they accidentally took my jacket, which led to me hunting them down all night – a harder task when there’s an open bar involved.

Speaking of which, afterward we went to the bar…

…then a club…

…then a show…

…then more bars…

…before ending the night at a diner on the ship.

Her: God, that was the worst sausage ever.
Me: It was definitely the wurst. (no one thought that was funny, but I still entertain myself, no end)

I was thrilled to hang out with both my SIL and Mouse at the same time. It made me think of all my possible pasts – for better or worse – all night.

Told Mouse to be herself that night because of her last entry in her blog.

Always hated when people were cruel to Mouse, although I’m sure she’ll point out that we were cruel to each other.

The last face she makes in the video below is essentially how she looks at me whenever we’re fighting.

Later on at home that night, I had a dream. In it, a woman that I didn’t know called me and told me that an old friend of mine was looking for me.

Me: Why doesn’t he call me himself?
Her: You know him. He said you’d understand and that he needed your help.
Me: (thinking) No, he didn’t.
Her: What do you mean?
Me: Because, he would never say that. Demons in the night know their own.

Location: my childhood home for dinner
Mood: confused
Music: Wasting time and stuck inside a broken dream (Spotify)
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Trying to be better

The kid is in first grade

It’s weird having the kid back in school again. I feel as if no time has passed this summer but so much has.

And yet, here we are, in a new grade, with new classmates and teachers. Picking him up the first day, I met his teacher for the first time.

Me: So how did he do?
Her: Well, you obviously know how social he is. He made a lot of new friends pretty quickly.
Me: Yup, that sounds like him.

He does have some social anxiety when we first show up to anything, but I encourage him to feel whatever he feels.

Him: I’m sorry I’m scared, Papa.
Me: (shaking head) No. Don’t ever apologize for your honest feelings. You’re always entitled to your true feelings, kid, and no one – not even me – is allowed to tell you that you can or cannot feel something that you honestly feel.

This actress named Charlotte Cushman once said, To try to be better is to be better.

Suppose I tell the kid these kinda things in the hopes that he’ll try to be ok and, maybe, that will be enough to make him ok.

I just want him to be ok.


Alla that sounds very sensible but the truth is that I question my own feelings about any number of things.

And yet, I try my best to not get down on myself for feeling what I feel.

And what I don’t feel.

Her: Why?
Me: I don’t know. I just know I’m not your guy.
Her: Well, thanks for telling me, I guess. (later) I didn’t even want dessert.

It’s still a work in progress. I’m trying.

Looking back at women I’ve dated, there are at least three women that I know that married the very next guy they dated after me.

That’s just off the top of my head.

Suppose, after me, it became very clear what they did and didn’t want in their life, for better or worse.

Writing that made me laugh. Perhaps I’m just so awful that some people needed to marry the very next person to get me outta their systems.

Maybe trying to be better isn’t enough after all.

Someone just rang my doorbell from my building. He found a crowbar on the floor in the hallway and it’s pretty clear, someone was trying to break into one of the units here.

I should really move to the burbs.

Location: in my apartment building
Mood: exhausted
Music: been feeling lazy, I’ve been going crazy (Spotify)
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Rooting for you

I could get used to this

Between the normal work I have to do and trying to get the gym off the ground, it’s been an insanely busy month but I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Mouse came by one night where she did us a huge favor (and also got injured) so I took her out to eat.

It was nice and familiar. She told me about her dating life:

      • It’s awful to be single and male in NYC.
      • It’s awful to be single and female in NYC.
      • It’s awful to be single in NYC.
      • It’s awful to be single.

We hadn’t really spoken in ages so it was nice to catch up.

That’s not entirely true. We occasionally video chat, but that usually involves her scaring the bejeezus outta me with alla the filters she has.

My son also came back today for school. I missed him terribly.

We immediately went to a friend’s birthday party…

…and then another party, where he sat with a girl he’s known since he was 18 months old.

Her mom, Emely, has always been super sweet to me, for completely undeserved reasons.

Her: I saw your latest video with the ice knife. And you opened a gym too?!
Me: I get how crazy a lotta what I say is.
Her: (laughing) There are a lot of people that are rooting for you, Logan.

…and then went for a long bike ride down Manhattan’s Hudson River Greenway, before heading out for dinner.

There’s a small cafe around me that has been at least a half-dozen iterations of cafes since I moved into the hood decades ago.

This was the latest one, which is a combo cafe and bodega. I got a salad and some sweet potato fries. He got a pizza burger. We sat down to eat surrounded by kitty litter and cat food.

Him: Liver cat food…gross.
Me: I think if you were a cat, you’d rather like that.
Him: Yuck!

One of the first things, however, that we did alone together was that we played our favourite songs for each other. I played for him Shotgun by George Ezra, as covered by Us the Duo.

Him?

I’ll let you listen for yourself. I’m not the best parent – not the worst, either – but, yeah, not the best.

Location: home
Mood: happy
Music: If you need me you know where I’ll be (Spotify)
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