Caught a fight between two middle-aged men

The body should serve the mind

Men at Work Sign
My AMA on Reddit went pretty well.

There were some good questions and interest in The Men Made of Stone; if you’re curious about some of the backstory behind the rise and fall of organized crime between 1980 and 1993, you can check the AMA for details.

Speaking of writing, I’m working on a a quick little thing about online dating profiles that I’ll probably either just give away or sell inexpensively.

Been fitting in a few lines here and there between work; hopefully, I can finish it up this week.

About 11 years ago, this relatively unknown fighter named Eddie Bravo fought one of the most well-respected fighters on the planet named Royler Gracie and won. Many people thought it was a fluke.

After all this time, a rematch was arranged over the weekend between the two so I went in the rain to my gym on Saturday night after fencing class to watch it with my coach.

The interesting thing about these two fighters is that one is 43 and the other 48. Don’t think there’s ever been so much excitement over two very middle-aged men fighting.

And yet, they aren’t what one would think of when one thinks of a typical 43 year-old and 48 year-old. Probably because they don’t more or act like most others.

The body always says, “Quit” before the mind does.

Because – for most people – the mind is subservient to the body, when the body quits, the mind quickly follows.

But there are those for whom the body serves the mind. The body only quits when the mind allows it. Like these two men.

If being a fat kid ever taught me anything, it’s that that is the way it should be: The body should serve the mind. For as long as possible, I’d like to be that way.

On that note, I’m going to be 41 next month. I can’t really believe it.

Wife: You should just tell everyone you’re 37. People would believe that.
Me: That’s not a bad idea.

Location: before my tax papers
Mood: focused
Music: Don’t stop, no, I’ll never give up
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Looking forward to my AMA tomorrow

Books on Scribd

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 10.32.01 AMJust found out that my books are on – if you have a subscription, you can read  them for free.

Speaking of books, I’ve got my Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit Books tomorrow night at 5PM EST.

If you have some time to drop by and say hello and ask a question or two, that would be great – I’ll be putting a link up for it tomorrow.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with it, The Men Made of Stone is a fictionalized story of late 80s and early 90s in NYC’s Chinatown, when there were regular shootouts and murder in the streets.

Most of the bloodiness happened because of several new upstart gangs butting up against the established criminal structure already present there.

As a kid, I was always pretty terrified to go to Chinatown. As a stereotypical Asian nerd, it was a wholly different world than I was used to. Now I find myself there with regularity and it’s nothing like it once was.

The funny thing is that, most – if not all – of the violence was contained to the community so outsiders and tourists probably never noticed the difference between then and now.

That’s why I’m always irritated when people not from here talk about the good old days of gritty NYC. Of course they do – they didn’t have to live here.

In any case, there’s always some other story to the one on the surface. Those are the ones that have always interested me.

It might interest you too; I dropped the price down to $0.99 for the AMA if you wanted to check it out.

See you tomorrow?

Location: Near a window, listening to sparrows
Mood: hopeful
Music: So many things I’d say if only I were able
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Painting oneself into a corner

The new Old World Order

This whole Ukraine/Russia world event is interesting to me as someone that grew up in the 70s and 80s.

As a kid, the “commies” were the bad guys. They were what we taunted each other with in the playground, what adults discussed in hushed tones

The Berlin Wall fell and then the Soviet Union followed.

Suddenly, these guys that we’ve been hating all this time just up and disappeared. But on the flip side, we’re still the same. We’re still the Americans. We still have the Republicans and Democrats (for better or worse). And that rhetoric is still there.

For the Russians, there’s an element of their own success at painting us out to be their enemy. Decades of it, plus the fact that the West triumphed in the Cold War, plus our own self-inflicted stupidity and arrogance, means that it’s easy for us to remain their boogeyman while they’re no longer ours.

They’re victims of their own propaganda success.

As for me, I try as much as I can to be even-keeled. Because I never know when the situation may change. On a related note, spoke to an old friend the other day and was reminded why we stopped speaking in the first place.

He’s 42 and still angry, still suspicious, still sure that conspiracies abound. He’s 42 but really still 18.

At 18 his convictions were hills from which he looked; at 42 they’re caves where he hides. The world’s changed around him but he hasn’t.

RedditFor the  Reddit Ask Me Anything this Thursday, I dropped the the price for The Men Made of Stone to $0.99 and A Great First Date to $2.99, so pick up a copy!

Here are some details about the novel.

Location: the weekend, the local diner getting a Cobb Salad
Mood: good
Music: everybody’s gotta get there somehow
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/r/books AMA for The Men Made of Stone, Thursday March 27th at 5PM

Get The Men Made of Stone for $0.99 this week

The Men Made of StoneLife being what it is, one dreams of revenge.
– Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

I’m having a Reddit AMA as “logan607” on The Men Made of Stone, a book on Asian gangs in the 1990s that I wrote.

The story takes place in New York City’s Chinatown during the 1990s and follows two young men as they rise in the criminal gangland – one on the side of the street gangs and one on the side of the tongs that control them.

The gangster – a man known only as “C” – turns his small street gang into a formidable underworld player. With his friends Danny the Priest, who kills with impunity, but never on a Sunday, and the equally violent Trigger, C seeks freedom from the tongs, the criminal syndicates that control the street gangs.

The other man is Jack, an ambitious new tong associate who also rises to a position of power. On opposite sides of the battle for control of Chinatown, it seems inevitable that the two men’s destinies will collide.

But nothing in Chinatown is ever as it seems.

The book is based on real events, many of which Martin Scorsese and Andrew Lau are using for their new film, Revenge of the Green Dragons.

It’s usually $3.99 but in honor of the /r/books AMA for it this Thursday March 27th at 5PM, it’s $0.99 on Amazon and Smashwords right now –  potentially everywhere but other retailers take time adjusting pricing.

And if you have a Scrib account, you can actually read the book for free!

During the AMA, you can learn about the real world events that appear in this (very) fictionalized account of the 1980s and 90s Chinatown gangs.

Read the first 30% right now online for free or click below for the right link for your reader:

The Men Made of Stone - Logan Lo

RedditHope to see you on Thursday!

Categorized as personal

Some…ok one…foods never expire

Expiration dates results in tons of wasted food

There’s one food that never expires. What is it?


Went out to see the rents yesterday because I was in their area and stayed for dinner.

Suppose it’s a by-product of growing up poor but there’s very little I won’t eat. Probably also a cultural thing; the Chinese have a history of mass starvation so we’ve never been really picky with food – that’s a picture I took walking around downtown of a Chinese restaurant called Taco Tortillas King that sells both Mexican and Chinese food. Sounds like my kinda joint.

In any case, with the exception of about one nasty bout of food poisoning every decade or so, it’s never really been an issue.

The thing is that since I’ve gotten married, I’ve been more conscious of what might be considered less-than-entirely safe food safety standards.

Wife: Are you going to eat that?
Me: Sure, why not?
Her: It expired two years ago.
Me: I’m sure it’s fine.

But the reality is that most food expiration dates only results in us wasting tons (literally) of food.

I came across an article that noted that honey never expires – in fact, they found jars of honey thousands of years old that were still edible. It’s the only food that is ready to eat when you find it, whenever you find it; dried rice also lasts forever but you have to cook it first to make it edible.

I’m fairly certain that this can of emergency chili I recently found is still good, despite the 2012 expiration date. An article that just came out today says that I can still eat it.

What’s the worst that could happen?

RedditJust FYI, for next week’s Reddit Ask Me Anything, I’ll be dropping the prices for both The Men Made of Stone and A Great First Date on Monday so pick up a copy!

Location: last night, kitchen making more chili
Mood: good
Music: Wheels are turning in the bed you make
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It’s the Ides of March again (and again)

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

My brother’s in town again so he stayed over the other night.

For over 15 years, he’s been reading Will Durant’s The Story of Civilization – he’s finally on the very last volume of the series (11). The author spent his entire adult life writing the series from 1935 to 1975; he died in 1981.

We both like history because it’s fascinating just how much it repeats itself. You could take the news about the latest scandal on cheating, double-dealing, and influence from the Roman Senate and change it to the DC Senate and no one would notice.

We’re such predictable creatures. There are the occasional surprises, though.

Right about now are the Ides of March so it was 2,058 years ago that Brutus killed Caesar.

Roman historians like Plutarch commonly note that most people – including Brutus himself – thought that Caesar was Brutus’ father.

So Brutus wasn’t just killing a politician, he was killing his father. It makes Caesar’s last words all the more pitiful, “Even you, Brutus?”

Was pretty young when I learned this and found it completely unbelievable that something as mundane as politics would drive someone to kill his own father.

But just recently an article called I lost my dad to Fox News, which talks about how politics split a father and son. It’s not really so unbelievable now.

As for me, I’m reading about the 1683 Battle of Vienna and the struggle between Muslims and the west.

There’s this French saying that goes, Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose – the more things change, the more things stay the same.

There’s something comically  tragic about that.

Me: What are you going to read after you’re finally done with the series?
Brother: I have no idea.

RedditOn a different point entirely, next Thursday, I’m doing a Reddit Ask Me Anything on the first book I wrote about gangs in the 1990s, The Men Made of Stone.

If you’re a Reddit user and/or have read the book, stop on by here and support!

Location: last night, kitchen making more chili
Mood: good
Music: Wheels are turning in the bed you make
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When you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you

Demons and Darth Vader on the Washington National Cathedral

Been sick so the insomnia’s been pretty bad.

Have you ever heard the saying, When you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you?

It’s from Friedrich Nietzsche’s “Beyond Good and Evil,” and the full quote goes:

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.

In a nutshell, the idea is that, as you fight demons, you have to be careful not to let the demons affect you so much that you’re consumed by them. And potentially even become one of them.

We see it all the time in literature and movies: Oedipus, Macbeth,  Darth Vader, etc.

It’s an explanation as to why narcotics cops can become dealers and defense lawyers become criminals themselves. It’s why we have to always be on our guard.

But lately, at night when I’m awake, the demons come and sit beside me and tell me that it won’t be ok.

And there’s always a possibility they’re right. So I listen to them.

For now, at least, they seem to be wrong and I hold out hope.

Him: I’ve got some good news!
Me: Man, I could use some. What is it?

A lot of people don’t realize that there is a grotesque of Darth Vader carved into the Washington National Cathedral in Washington DC.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? To have our modern devils beside our historic ones?

Location: an hour ago, still in bed sick
Mood: still sick, but less anxious
Music: I can’t wait, I can’t wait, I can’t wait
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There’s a difference between Possible and Probable

Some people I know can’t tell the difference

I’m sick again. Spent the weekend essentially lying around my pad. My buddy Gio and one of my wrassln coaches came by before I hit bottom.

B the time my brother came by from California again, couldn’t get out of the house to hang with him.

Did manage to get some work done and also follow up with some friends via email. What I’m noticing about people as they get older is that they’re having a harder and harder time distinguishing the difference between possible and probable.

I learned it early on with my geeky love of all things Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of the Four when he said, [W]hen you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

Unfortunately, people I know mix up probability and possibility all the time.

  • A woman whose property I manage is concerned that her microwave is irradiating her.
  • A friend refuses to just explain something via email because … “hackers.”
  • An acquaintance is certain that there is a global conspiracy by America to take over the world.

It goes on. All are possible, but hardly probable.

There was a time when I’d argue for ages for people to see the difference but at some point, these beliefs become so ingrained that they’re impossible to change.

We always think when they’re young, Oh he’ll grow outta that. But that’s rarely true. Young, broken people grow up to be old, broken people.

The thing is, I’ve known these people for years and have seen them go farther and farther off.

At this point, it’s best to let them stay in their world and I stay in mine.

Location: sick in bed
Mood: sick
Music: I can hear the sounds of violins, long before it begins
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Dating advice from someone that doesn’t look like you?

Doing a Reddit AMA for The Men Made of Stone

Me: I never even thought of that.
Him: Well, why would you have?

After I put up that video on A Great First Date, something interesting happened: My sales essentially froze.

Now I first thought this was perhaps due to something I said or some way I came off, but my very talented marketing friend said simply, “I don’t think people expected you to be Chinese.”

It never occurred to me that might be an issue. But then I realized that all my popular dating posts had no mention of my ethnicity nor a picture of me; there was no reason for it.

JK Rowling was never actually called “JK” in her life. She made up that name because her publishers weren’t sure anyone would buy a book about a boy wizard from a woman.

That may have been a good move on their part. We’ll never know.

In hindsight, perhaps I should have written it under a pseudonym. But I suppose we’ll never know that either.

Being Asian has never been a problem or plus for me as an adult, it was just a fact of my life. No more or less.

Suppose time will tell how this all plays out.

On a related matter, I’m actually going to be doing an AMA on Reddit Books (/r/books) on the other book I wrote, called The Men Made of Stone, which is completely different from A Great First Date. It’s a full length novel on Asian gangs in NYC during the 1990s.

People that read that book first and then read the dating book are probably a bit surprised, and vice-versa.

In any case, I’ll tell you more about it as we get closer to the date – which is supposed to be March 27th at 5PM EST. So stop by and ask me anything!

And thanks to the guys at Flow Athletics for encouraging me to go do the AMA.

Location: yesterday, home, waiting for a sofa
Mood: chagrined
Music: no, I’ll never give up and I’ll never look back
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A lot to fit into one week

An anniversary and a funeral

Him: Hey, do you remember Jim? He came all the way from Virginia!
Jim: Hi.
Him: And that’s Logan. He came all the way from…midtown.
Me: In this weather, that’s a trip!

Went to another funeral this past weekend. A buddy’s mom, whom I’ve known for over 20 years.

The sad thing about all funerals is how similar they all are. Grief is a universal constant, I suppose. It’s also sad how familiar I am with the process now.

Afterward, took a long cold walk to the train station and stopped by a local dive to get some dumplings, which were great on a cold winter’s day.

Two Chinese women sat next to me talking about their Caucasian husbands. Part of me wanted to join the conversation but I decided against it.

When I got home, called my wife to meet me at the door and toss salt over me before I crossed the threshold.

My dad used to have me do it when he came back from a funeral. I would stand outside with a handful of salt and throw it high into the air so it landed on his head and shoulders. And then he’d trudge in, sadder than when he left.

And so I do the same, not really understanding why, but doing it because that’s what he does.

Me: Thanks hon.
Her: Sure.

We did manage to go out to celebrate our three year anniversary though and went to a local joint around the way.

It struck me that I had so many milestones all grouped up recently; a birth, a death, and an anniversary.

Me: Hard to believe it’s been three years already.
Her: Three years? It feels like a lifetime.
Me: …hey!

Location: at my desk again
Mood: pensive
Music: when we were young things seemed so perfect, you know?
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