Red hot pot and pink cold glass

Chinese hot pot in Chinatown, NYC

Waitress: …and here’s your drink.
Friend: Is your drink pink?
Me: Yes. I’m ok with that. (to waitress) I don’t get an umbrella?

Was supposed to go out Saturday a groupa friends for hot pot but that fell through so met up with my buddy Steel and his brother in Chinatown instead.

For those of you that don’t know what that is, it’s essentially a Chinese fondue with broth insteada cheese. We ordered some lamb, beef, calamari, bamboo shoots, amongst other things; we devoured it all and then washed it down with beer. His brother ended up treating us to dinner.

Me: We should hang out with more doctors.
Him: I know!

Afterward, took a walk to the LES where we had some more drinks. Steel and I both love to cook so we ended up discussing how America’s Test Kitchen is more like Good Eats now.

Me: I made their margarita mix – it was great.
Him: I’ll send you their recipe for a Chocolate Blackout cake; I used powered buttermilk in it and it was a hit.

Ordered a hard cider with berries that ended up being pink. My friends just shook their heads and then we all parted ways.

Thompson LES hotel, NYC

Headed over to a friends bday party, which ended up moved. There was a young blond woman asking for directions with a familiar accent.

Me: (in German) ‘Scuse me, where do you want to go?
Her: (confused in English) You speak German?
Me: (in German) Don’t be silly, I’m Chinese. Why would I speak German? Now where do you want to go?

She invited me to go with her to a party but I told her that I was meeting my wife and some friends and went on my way.

Finally met up with my other buddy and his lady friend at a hotel room in the Thompson LES. Felt like a third wheel so I bounced home. The next morning, found an email with a recipe for Chocolate Blackout cake.

I forget oftentimes that I still live in the same city as when I was single.

View from the Thompson LES hotel, NYC

Location: about to run to the post office
Mood: hopeful
Music: if you’re free to make a choice, just look towards the west


Friendships and getting the invite

Late night in a bar in downtown NYC

Having some issues with some friends lately.

The problem with dealing with friends is that on one hand, y’can’t expect them to act as you do – they have their own life experiences and values – but on the other hand, there’s a baseline mirroring required for them to be your friend.

For the first friend, his basic understanding of what friendship is differs greatly from my understanding.

  • His definition is: I have something you don’t want or need, but it is of value to me; here you go.
  • My definition is: I have something you want or need, despite it being of value to me; here you go.

It’s been a historically one-sided friendship and I’m thinking that cutting my losses would be the smart way to go.

For my other friend, he’s a genuinely good fella. The issue’s that he hangs out with a buncha douchebags – usually of the female persuasion. In fact, he seems to be drawn to them.

Some of their recent escapades include: breaking a mutual friend’s funiture and then trying to hide it, getting drunk and sick at a house party then leaving without a thanks or offering to clean up, and thinking racist jokes are hysterical.

It’s that mirroring again. He doesn’t realize that people’re starting to think he’s a douchebag because he keeps company with douchebags.

When I was single, had a rule to never turn down an invite. But to follow that rule, y’gotta first get an invite.

When people think that you come with douchebag, those invites are far less likely to come in.

Location: desk
Mood: disappointed
Music: crossed the sea to find a brother


There’s nothing you love you won’t lose some day

Art at the Grand Street Station in NYC

Been really busy with work, my overactive insomnia, and my pet projects but still managed to find some time for some mindless distractions. And, despite all of the bad press it’s gotten lately, there’s little better for mindless entertainment than Netflix.

One film we watched recently was this film called The Ramen Girl, which we had pretty low expectations for, which meant that it turned out to be better than we thought it would.

Always liked Brittney Murphy and I recalled reading somewhere that her husband died of a broken heart. It’s called the widower effect, but I don’t think that it’s only for marriage or that it’s even only a human trait.

Just found out yesterday that Joe Paterno died as well. Cancer they said. But I’d think it was something related.

It’s a sobering when y’realize that there’s nuthin you love you will not lose one day – either because he/she/it leaves or you leave. Everything goes away.

Find it odd that growing up, you’re taught how to read and write, and how to brush your teeth, but not how to survive the blows.

Then again, all education’s expensive.

Some far more than others.

Location: rainy NYC
Mood: tired
Music: didn’t want the train to come, now it’s departed. I’m brokenhearted.


2012 Project 1 – MMA in NYS


The above is onea my pet projects.

Did y’know that in Utah, drinks can be served but not seen until the customers get them. This means, no joke, that alcohol must be poured behind a curtain in a bar so the buyer can’t see the alcohol being poured.

Is that pure idiocy or what?

It’s onea those laws I like to call: laws cause someone’s got an opinion. Supposedly, it’s because it’s protecting someone. But really, it’s making a value judgement as to how Person A was brought up against how Person B was brought up.

Mixed-Martial Arts is something I enjoy as a spectator. It’s simultaneously one of the oldest and newest sports in the world and available on BROADCAST television, meaning you can turn on any old set in America and catch a match.

But you can’t go to a live event in NYS. In fact, if you hold or participate in a live event, you can go to jail. All this cause one guy thinks it’s wrong.

Lemme put it another way: someone could go to jail because someone else has an opinion on something that is totally legal in 45 other states. If you cross the river to New Jersey you’re an athlete; if you don’t, you’re a criminal. Moreover, each of the sports that make up MMA is totally legal in NYS but if you combine them, it becomes illegal.

Does any of that sound right to you?

It doesn’t sound right to me. It makes me want to ask what’s real and what’s for sale. In a time of dire economic striats, should even a penny be lost to another man’s opinion?

As a rule, I don’t suffer bullies well. But bullies, coupled with idiocy is beyond the pale. It’s offensive to me. It should be offensive to you too.

Sign our petition and say something.

Location: about to have breakfast with the wife
Mood: offended
Music: Don’t give me that do goody good bull____


Life limits you enough, why do it to yourself?

Jack Dempsey Corner sign in NYC

Him: About two hours.
Me: So it takes you two hours every day to get to and from work but you won’t spend 30 minutes to go out and maybe meet someone?
Him: There’s no point. Women are looking for someone with money and education. I got neither. There’s no point.
Me: There’s no point?! Look, I’m old, balding, and short. And I talk a lot with my hands. But I don’t care. I think I’m somebody. The world limits you enough, Paulie. Why do it to yourself?

Ran into guy that works in onea the local shops where I live. He and I’ve always been friendly and we got onto the topic of my getting hitched. Found out that he’s onea those guys that shoots himself down before life gets a chance to do it for him.

There’s this line in the Bhagavad Gita that goes, Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is. He’s already a nobody in his head and he looks for proof that this hypothesis’s true.

That’s the thing about looking for something. You usually end up finding it.

Me, I find that most people are on one end of the extreme or another. Either they think they’re nobody and think the world owes them nuthin, or they think they’re somebody, and the world owes them everything.

Y’get far in life, being the middle.


Him: She was just kinda mean. Like she’d see someone walking down the street and immediately point out all the things wrong
Me: Well, good thing you didn’t sleep with her.
Him: Oh I did that too.

Met up with another friend of mine at my local dive bar. He’s getting married to someone he’s been dating for a while. He’s one of the guys I used to hang out with when I was single. Don’t know much about the girlie he’s marrying but I suppose as long as he knows, that’s the important thing.

Always hope that my friends find their person.

Location: about to have breakfast with the wife
Mood: freezing
Music: The breath that carried me, the sigh that blew me forward

business personal

How putting on a presentation is like learning a language

No stopping sign in NYC

Me: (to chairwoman) Gotta be honest, at about the half-way mark, I mentally checked out and started planning my vacation.
Her: (laughing) No problem, I do that all the time.

As parta my real life, am a member of a number of committees. Mosta them are fine – can usually sit back and enjoy some simple carbohydrates and write in my head while people talk – but one committee I’ve been working with has a big presentation to do.

The thing is, they’re all experts in their field, which’s great, but this doesn’t make them experts at putting together a presentation.

We’ve all sat through a terrible presentation before, yeah? The presentations that ramble on and on without a clear agenda or salient point. My personal feeling’s that putting on a presentation’s like learning a language.

The way language should be taught’s by teaching a grammatical structure first. Once the basic outline of a sentence construct’s done, you can just swap out vocabulary.

English: The more I ______ the more _________I am.
German: Je mehr ich _______ desto mehr ________ich.
Chinese: 我越____我越___.

English: The more I eat, the more fat I am.
German: Je mehr ich esse, desto mehr Fett ich.
Chinese: 我越吃我越胖。

Basically, if you want a good presentation, y’gotta have the clear topic/point first, then a clear structure, then everything else. In this committee everyone started talking about all the big name people they could get to speak without figuring out how it was going to be structured.

This actor named Herbert Beerbohm Tree once said that A committee should consist of three men, two of whom are absent.

So I made myself absent going somewhere else in my head.


Him: So I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you have no cavities.
Me: Oh that’s great. I brush my teeth four times a day.
Him: Well, that’s the bad news, you’re brushing way too much. Can’t remember the last time I said that to someone.

My dentist’s trying to get me to wear braces – he says that since I have pretty straight teeth, it would only be for a few months to make them perfect. Don’t know if most people need perfect teeth. Good enough is good enough, I’m thinking.

Well, I suppose it’s something else to put on my list of self-improvement.

Location: in fronta the manuscript
Mood: excited
Music: don’t believe in anything but myself


No Stopping Anytime

No stopping sign in NYC

Me: (in bed at 12:01AM) Happy New Year!
Her: (turning around) Happy new year – g’night.

Well, it’s 2012. But you already knew that.

S’funny, when you’re younger, you want to stay up till midnight; when you’re older, you try to make make it to midnight. Was thinking that this was the year I’d stop writing the blog but it’s still like my bed of reeds, the place to tell things.

Been tweaking the manuscript with the help of an editor and she’s been great. Hopefully, when she’s done, it’ll be solid and ready to roll. If you’re interested in an advanced read, lemme know.

Every time I finish one project, got another one waiting. There’s some weird thing in me where I can’t just let things well enough alone. Suppose it’s some innate need to always be busy.

One project is that I’m trying to get done is buy out my buddy that owns my pad with me. In Manhattan, the average price per square foot of an apartment is $1,238 so my friend and I took a chance about a decade ago and bought our pad together.

He’s moved out to the burbs with his wife and kid so I’m trying to make some things happen. It’s even more stressful than it was back then cause so much more is on the line now. Plus, got the cursea age and knowledge now – two things I didn’t have the first time around.

Me: Think I took a lot more chances when I was younger.
Him: Think we all did.

There’s a point where y’stop doing things and taking those chances. And study after study shows that the sooner you stop, the sooner you die.

So, I’m off to work on some contracts, wrassle, eat some chili, work some more, tweak the manuscript, eat…it goes on.

There really is no stopping anytime.


Admin note: For 2012, one resolution will be to regularly update this blog every Monday at 9AM, and most Wednesdays at 9AM. Just FYI…

Location: back in fronta the desk, ready to get stuff done.
Mood: anxious
Music: sometimes I find myself reeling, twisting, and rolling in a plastic sea