Happy Father’s Day 2024

It’s been seven years

I was just born in this picture. My kid wore what I was wearing here as well. Maybe someday, I’ll show it to you.

Mom: Your dad’s been gone seven years. Can you believe it?
Me: Not really. It feels like it was just a couple of years ago.
Her: (repeating) Seven years. Not easy, is it?
Me: No. He woulda loved seeing [the kid].
Her: Yes. That’s your dad.
Me: (nodding)

Location: at a school performance, waiting for the kid to arrive
Mood: impressed
Music: Where are all the gods? (Spotify)
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Why she said it

Cleaning up the hard drive

Firecracker: Is that a black bagel?
Me: Yeah, it’s pumpernickel.
Her: Oh, I’ve never had it before.
Me: You’ve never had it before?!
Her: You know, you do that all the time: I tell you that I’ve not had or done X and you immediately say, “You’ve never had X?!” No, Logan, I haven’t. THAT’S WHY I SAID IT!
Me: Noted. (under breath) You didn’t have to yell…

My buddy Annabel swung by my pad the other day and dropped off some gifts for the kid.

I’m always touched when someone goes out of their way to help us out or do something nice for us.

Thank goodness for the good souls.

The main problem with having such easy access to a good camera these days – after all, even the cheapest cell phone still takes pretty good shots – is that you end up with hundreds if not thousands of pictures that you really should go and clean up.

I keep having to upgrade my harddrives because I have so many pictures.

So, the other day, I started deleting pictures that either aren’t good or that I just don’t care for.

Been coming across some cool ones though.

Like the woman above obviously shooting a model shot.

Or this one below of people jumping onto the tracks to save someone.

Think he just fell in, and those two fellas jumped in to rescue him.

Again, thank goodness for the good souls, right?

Finally, the below conversation between the Firecracker and her sister made me laugh…

Location: late evening, picking up my son late from school. There’s a lot to do at the end of the year.
Mood: sleepy
Music: Christ, I’m out of my mind (Spotify)
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New, for my collection

The annoying one

Have a new injury to add to my collection; messed up my wrist the other day, not even 100% sure how, which was annoying and alarming.

Annoying for obvious reasons but also alarming because I know four people that have all had to get wrist surgery because of serious damage to their wrists from BJJ and kali.

On an unrelated point, had no idea my laptop was so dusty.

Because I’m injured, not only can I not work out, I also can’t cook.

So, my waistline has been suffering.

Although the kid’s thrilled.

Luckily, two small but glorious things happened in my area the past few weeks.

The first is that this famous Mexican food truck, called the Birria-Landia Tacos Truck, started operating at the southwest corner of West 72nd Street and Broadway.

It was given two stars from The New York Times.

We went during opening day/week, and it honestly deserves every accolade given it.

The second big opening in my area is H Mart, which is the largest Asian-American supermarket in America.

Previously, I had to travel north to 110th Street or south to 32nd Street – or even Chinatown – to get some quality Asian fare but this made it a little closer for me.

Just like with the Mex truck, I went there opening day as well.

Bought some prepared chicken, which was killer, and had that with some Korean beef I made myself with Rain’s grass-fed beef.

Snagged myself some cool wooden chopsticks as an opening day gift to boot.

Me: Thanks! Lemme take a quick picture of it.
Firecracker: Logan Lo, there are people waiting on line.
Me: Oh, I’m the annoying one here, aren’t I?
Her: (nods)

Probably wasn’t the best idea to cook with my bum wrist but I couldn’t keep eating out; plus it was like half-cooking since the chicken was basically prepared, I just needed to cook it.

The kid was a fan.

Him: This is so good!
Me: Which do you like better, the beef or the chicken?
Him: Which one is which?
Me: The beef is the darker one, the chicken is lighter and red.
Him: The beef!
Me: Sweeeeeeet, thanks!

My wrist is about 90% back to normal.

Gonna give it another couple of days and then get back to rolling around with it next week.

Location: a train, chatting with a chef about Louis Vuitton’s Taiga line
Mood: injured but less so
Music: How am I gonna be an optimist about this? (Spotify)
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The ladies group

Laughably large

After the kid’s recital, a classmate of the kid, the other kid’s family, the Firecracker, and my MIL all went to get dinner at Jacob’s Pickles, which I mentioned in passing to you over a decade ago.

I’d gone there twice before, this time marking my third time.

Me: I can really only come here every five years because it’s so carby and the portions are so large.
Him: How large?
Me: Laughably. You’ll see.

Now, I can pack away a lotta protein, fat, and fiber but something about carbs really fills me up fast.

Because he just did his recital, told the kid he could get anything he wanted so he asked for the chicken and pancakes, which are ginormous.

We split that and hardly made a dent in it.

Also, I ordered the 32 oz hard apple cider – all for my lonesome – which was a mistake.

Me: We have to walk home.
Her: Why?
Me: We gotta work off alla this food.

Now, the Mother’s Group – whom I’ve not seen in years just because one member moved to Taiwan and the others had kids that went to different schools – were meeting up at the pier by the Hudson River so we went there next.

I find it funny – and kinda sweet – that when the ladies write everyone, including me, they just write, “Ladies…”

Look, I’m just happy to be included.

By the time the kid, the Firecracker, and I finally arrived, they’d been there for hours.

But I was able to catch up with everyone.

Me: You spent COVID in Taiwan? How was it?
Her: It was awesome! Totally normal.
Me: Oh man, that was not my experience at all.

It was super late when we all got home.

Firecracker: Your friends are all really nice.
Me: I like to think so.

The kid had his school party, the recital, the dinner, and this last get together all on the same day, so he crashed hard.

I hope he’s creating good memories for himself.

Think that’s all any parent really hopes for outta this kinda stuff.

Location: my gym, testing out my wrist
Mood: less(ish) injured
Music: Maybe he’ll see a little better set of days (Spotify)
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Living his best life

A busy weekend

Last weekend, the kid was living his best life.

Friday night, he caught a school musical at his school.

Saturday, we were out in Brooklyn where he was at yet another trampoline park

…while the Firecracker and I snuck off to have some coffee and some killer Yemeni food.

Me: I kinda want a gyro.
Her: You always kinda want a gyro.
Me: This is true.

The next day was at a school fair, where I took alla these pictures of him at a nearby sprinkler while we were waiting.

My MIL came into town to surprise him and attend the next thing, which was…

…a recital uptown where he played 7 Years again, but this time as a duet with his music teacher.

Not only did his grandmother come out to surprise him, so did his babysitter, whom he’d not seen in months.

The Firecracker also came, which was super nice of her.

We then all went out for dinner afterward but since this is getting long, I’ll just finish it up in the next entry.

Location: earlier today, her kid’s art show in the 80s
Mood: still injured
Music: I ain’t perfect but I’ll do the best that I can (Spotify)
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The right to be nobody

Just because I can

Him: But it fits!
Me: Kinda. You’re definitely Brittney Spearsing it here.

Clothes that I just bought for the kid last year are already not fitting him.

I remember that, as a kid, I loved this yellow shirt with a red V on it. Wore it until my bellybutton was constantly out, all Britney Spears like.

Think my parents were just happy that I didn’t ask for new clothes, but I always think that Alison woulda wanted him to be put together so I try my best.

My best being a sliding scale.

(c) Getty Images

Him: Why don’t you ever show my face?
Me: Because I don’t have that right. At least, I shouldn’t have that right.

Been enjoying my new gym – it’s interesting rolling with people from a completely new gym because no one knows my game and I know no one else’s game, so each roll feels very different than at my old gym.

Recently rolled with a very talented but smaller female. While I could have easily beat her, that wasn’t why I was there; I was there to get better.

Just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.

In a way, that’s why I don’t put up pictures of my kid where you can clearly see his face.

See, I grew up in a time where you could grow up in relative anonymity.

Never realized what a gift that was until YouTube because – MAN – did I do some jaw-droppingly bone-headed things when I was younger.

Legit, thank god everyone didn’t walk around with a video camera because I would most likely be hated by the world writ large.

In that sense, I feel that it’s not fair or right that I – as someone much bigger and much older than my kid – have the right to take away my son’s chance to be anonymous.

Just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.

He’s a little kid right now but little kids grow up to be adults.

When he is one, he might resent not being able to tell his own story his own way.

If you think about it, the thing that probably pisses you off the most is when someone else tells your story.

Janet? She’s such a slut. Did you hear last Friday, she…

Tom? He’s a loser. When we were kids…

That guy? Lemme tell you about him…

But I have to balance that with the fact that I’m proud of him – so proud of him – and what he can do so I wanna show him off.

And that’s really what it is with parents, isn’t it?

They want to show their kids off, not for their kids sake, but for their own. And that’s not right, I don’t think.

Just because they can, doesn’t mean they should.

So, my concession is that I blur or hide his face and name so that when/if he does want to have a public face/name, that’s his choice to make when he’s old enough to make that choice.

For now, I realize that, just because I could put up anything I want about him, I shouldn’t.

Me: One day, you’ll be old enough to decide who you are and how you want the world to see you. You and your friends are gonna be some of the first kids on the planet that’s lost that right to be a nobody.
Him: (thinking) What if I wanna be someone?
Me: That’s your choice to make. I’ve lived my life. I don’t have the right to live your life as well. You get to decide who and what you want to be. (pause) For what it’s worth, you’re always someone to me. You’re my most important someone.

Location: a pier with four lovely ladies – including the Firecracker – the boy, and a bottle of white
Mood: so. full.
Music: I just wanna be someone. Well, doesn’t everyone? (Spotify)
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Tearing away all but the things that cannot be torn

Forgetting I’m not 17

Her: Can you imagine what George Washington would say right now?
Me: “What an asshole?”
Her: Exactly.

A good buddy of mine hurt his leg the other day doing a harai goshi and sent me a video of it.

Fast-forward to earlier this week and the kid tried the same throw and almost broke his leg.

Him: Why are you mad at me?!
Me: I’m not mad at you, kid. I’m worried you’re gonna break your leg!

By Gotcha2 – Own work, Public Domain,

Both the body and mind grow through adversity.

This fella named Arthur Golden once said, Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.

Wanna give the boy enough stress to make him better, but not so much so as to make him worse.

On that note, I just went to my local urgent care office – again – because I thought I fractured my wrist in jits the other day.

Doctor: What happened?
Me: Essentially, I forgot that I’m 51 and not 17.
Him: (nodding) Ah…we get that a lot here.
Me: Yup.

Turns out that I didn’t have any broken bones, just a particularly bad strain.

The weirdest part was that no “event” happened – I just walked off the mat at the end and could barely move my wrist.

Not much to do but rest it up and hope it heals quickly.

I still have a small handful of kali students that I train over Zoom.

One of them is a doctor from Pittsburg that was in town the other day visiting his sister, who just happens to also live on the UWS.

So, we met up for a really brief bit to have a cuppa joe.

Me: It’s crazy when I think about it. My great grandmother was so poor that she sold her only child – my grandmother – to another family because she couldn’t afford to support her. She died not soon afterward. And here I am, an ivy league educated lawyer living in Manhattan. Nuts.
Him: Surprising how much similar history [we have] being second generation children of immigrants.
Me: Yeah. I wish my dad was still alive so I could tell him that I’m so sorry for being such an asshole when I was a teenager.

Location: yesterday, the waiting room of my local urgent care office
Mood: discomforted
Music: Sticks and stones won’t break our bones (Spotify)
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Memorial Day 2024

New Traditions

For the third year in a row, went to see my college buddies out in Long Island for a Memorial Day BBQ at Gar and Wynn’s.

Like I’ve been saying lately, really do appreciate all of these new traditions that the boy and I have these days.

So, the Firecracker, her kid, my kid, and I, all headed out to see everyone.

The trip was uneventful but it was nice having both kids come for the first time.

We ran into my buddy Cappy and his family on the train when we got out and, within 30 minutes, alla the kids were living their best lives in the pool.

My kid and the Firecracker’s kid were having a blast as well.

But I was mainly focused on the food…

…which was seriously plentiful, as always.

Pretty much ate nonstop the whole time I was there.

Him: We also ordered a three-foot sub.
Me: Sweeeeeet! What’s everyone else gonna eat?

For my birthday, my buddy Thor got me a killer bottle of Clase Azul Reposado Tequila.

Now, I’m not normally a tequila drinker but, damn if it wasn’t the smoothest tequila I’d ever had in my life.

So, I ended up buy a few bottles as gifts because it’s such a pretty bottle and brought one of them with me.

Her: Are we shooting these?
Me: Absolutely not! It’s too good to shoot!

For her part, the Firecracker took some Patron and made Palomas for everyone.

It seemed as soon as we finished one course of food, a new course of stuff came out.

Of course, the kids stuck to the classics.

There was even a crawfish boil but, by then, I was pretty stuffed.

Him: Damn, Logan, where do you put it all?
Me: It’s all about believing in yourself.

Like the past couplea years, Cappy brought dessert – a killer apple pie…

…and a matcha cream pie that I’d never had before but enjoyed so much that I ate the entire slice myself.

Now, the weather the day before and the day after was just the pits but that day, the weather was just perfect.

But the kids were getting tired, so we finally left, along with Cappy and his family as well.

Some 12 hours after we first left the pad, we walked back into the pad.

Him: I’m so tired, do I have to take a shower?
Me: (gently) Yeah, kid. But you’ll sleep like a brick tonight.
Him: (tired) OK, if you say so…

He really did.

Like I said, I really appreciate these new traditions we have.

Here’s hoping the kid appreciates it too.

As an aside, we took the 10-Story Escalator – the largest in the MTA system in NYC right now – at Grand Central.

Man, even sped up 10X, this thing was crazy long.

Location: 5:55 PM tonight – a playground with my laughing kid
Mood: injured
Music: Swimming in our clothes when the beach was closed (Spotify)
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Alison’s been gone seven years

How is that even possible?

New York’s a strange place.

The kid and I were walking up Broadway the other day and someone dropped an entire jar of pickles on the ground and no one batted an eye.

Everywhere I look, things are a mess or broken.

Everything is chaos and atrophy.

Or, at least, I’m noticing it more these days.

Probably because I’m a broken mess and my mind is all chaos and atrophy.

Alison died exactly seven years ago.

How is that even fucking possible?

Me: I realized something the other day: I may live another 40, 50 years. All that time without Alison.
Therapist: And how does that make you feel?
Me: (thinking) Pretty empty. Then again, these past seven years seemed to dash by.
Her: (at the end of the session) Are you ok?
Me: Yeah. It’s fine. I cry all the time.
Her: This is the first time you’ve cried in one of our sessions.
Me: Is that right? Well, I cry all the time. (shaking head) These years have gone by so fast.

Suppose life will be over before I know it.

It’s hurts to know that I’m gonna end up being an old man one day, and she never got that chance.

I’ve always wished it was me and not her.

Think I always will.

Editor note: I’ll be taking a mental health day for Sunday/Monday, so I’ll post again on Tuesday night.

Location: Stuck in my head again
Mood: heartbroken
Music: It was a big-big world, but we thought we were bigger (Spotify)
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Date night in Chinatown

An early dinner at Nom Wah

The kids were away and, like I said, I’ve been hankering for Chinese, Japanese, and Greek food lately.

Me: We may end up going to Big Wong. I’ll figure it out once I get there.
Her: Soup dumplings are always a good idea
Me: (in Chinatown) There’s zero line at Nom Wah!

For those of you not from NYC, Nom Wah Tea Parlor is one of the very first Chinese dim sum restaurants in America, opened in 1920.

The children of the last generation of owners decided to update the marketing to include social media but not update much else and it’s worked; there are tons of videos about it like this one from Bon Appetit:

Or this one from Munchies:

Or this one from PBS:

Alla this attention means that there’s always a line going around the block.

I’ve been in this little town for 45 years and I’ve never gone in, actually.

But the other day we lucked out and there was zero line and we got superstar seating.

Her: This is what happens when you eat like an old man at 5:30PM.
Me: But…no line!

We were both starving so we ordered a ton of food…

…really, so much food.

We managed to eat almost everything – so good.

Afterward, we had some wine and beer that we slowly enjoyed while chatting when a waiter came up to us and said that there were lots of people waiting; sure enough, there was a long line that went to the neighboring street.

So, we left and, because the kids were away, we headed to a speakeasy that was hidden behind a coke machine called The Basement.

Since it was still early, we easily got a seat…

…and ordered some drinks, which were excellent but…

…she was mainly interested in the kettle corn they gave us.

Her: Ask for more.
Me: Me? Why don’t you ask for more?
Her: Oh, I will.

She’s wasn’t lying.

Her: Do you wanna play some beer pong?
Me: I’m beat, I just wanna sit.
Her: You’re no fun.
Me: Accurate.

Her: We’ll be home and in bed by 10PM.
Me: I know. It’s glorious.

It really was.

Location: earlier today, coughing up a pollen-infused lung on 77th
Mood: hopeful
Music: deep down in my heart, there’s a hole (Spotify)
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