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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Music: I quit. I give up (Spotify) Subscribe! Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
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.
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.
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.
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) Subscribe! Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
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.
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.
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
Music: you do not need to speak (Spotify) Subscribe! Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
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?
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.
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.