When $5 is more than $5

Cleaning things out

This is my last week without the boy for a while. Once school starts, he’ll be with me until December, because of the stupid Delta variant.

So, I’ve been working on getting my life on track the past month, like cleaning up his room so that it’s more functional for a young boy and not a baby.

It also includes cleaning out the last bits of Alison’s things.

It’s hard getting rid of things. Everything matters to me in some manner or another.

But the flooding was a good push for me to do what I knew I had to do.

Alison was never overly sentimental; she would rather have a clean and functional home than one packed to the rafters with unused things.

Her daily driver for outerwear was a simple black puffer coat. Of course, I don’t have a single fucking picture of her wearing it.

I gave it away yesterday to someone special, but I went through the pockets of it first. There were exactly two things there: A very neatly folded five-dollar bill and a Metrocard that expired November 30, 2015.

It was the first time I cried in 2021, I think.

I put them both away. It’s weird, I deal with value on a regular basis.

There’s a tenuous connection between value and emotions/nostalgia. Consider a cheap $0.25 pen. Now imagine it was your favourite actor that used that pen for years and then finally tossed it. Is it worth $0.25?

Or far more, because he used it? Or far less because it’s broken?

I always found that whole thing silly and amusing.

Until lately, I guess. Now, $5 is worth a lot more than $5, as is a used, expired Metrocard. At least to me.

Ah, I’m doing it again, aren’t I?

On a funnier note, I had the ABFF’s cleaner come by to give the pad a solid clean – usually it’s just me, I’m the people –  but, before she came, I wanted to give things a once-over, because I’m weird like that.

On top of one of my cabinets, I found yet another knife. That made me laugh.

I have issues.

I will say that I’ve enjoyed being able to meet up with people willy-nilly and whenever I wanted these past few weeks.

Me: Are you in the mood for wings?
Her: Depends.
Me: Goodness, on what? Even bad wings are still ok wings.

Me: Do you want to get a drink?
Her: Sure.

Her: I could go for some pie.
Me: I was just telling someone that pies are superior to cake.
Her: Let’s not go that far.

Him: I got shots. Tequila and pickle-juice.
Me: I’m pre-emptively throwing up inside.

Location: my disaster of an apartment
Mood: busy!
Music: No more waiting, I’m taking the chance (Spotify)
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Hanging with Ida and Steve, Pt 2

Dealing with the loss

I literally chugged the negroni I ordered, grabbed my stuff from coat check, and walked out to … just, a whirlwind of rain.

I’d literally never seen rain like this before. It was almost as if I was in a shower going full blast.

This is a video I made on the way to the concert. The rain on the way outta the concert was significantly worse. Significantly.

Made it to the yellow line station in Koreatown where I got onto a train that crawled into Time Square.

What normally would be a two-minute ride took closer to 15.

And when I left the train to transfer to my regular line, the signs were all flashing “delayed.”

Looking down onto the tracks, there was just a sea of humanity waiting for the next train.

I made a game-time decision to leave the station and try to get a taxi or Uber. Turns out that it was good that I did because RE Mike later told me that he ended up having to walk home in the rain from 38th to the village. Nuts.

As for my Uber, it was a whopping $59 for an uber ride that normally costs $15 but I grabbed it.

Presently, an older fella picked me up. Man, he was driving insanely slow. The buses and trucks around us were moving faster.

Me: Could you drive a little faster?
Him: (pointing out the window) There’s a rainstorm.
Me: I am aware.

He finally started moving a bit faster but it still took 20 minutes to get home, for what is typically a five minute ride.

As soon as I saw my building, I dashed out the door of the whip and went to the basement. A tenant was already bailing water when I arrived.

There wasn’t much else to do but start doing the same.

So, very drunk, for the next two hours, I was bailing water and tossing yet more of the kid and Alison’s stuff.

What I got rid of is mostly stuff that is personal to me and not worth discussing. Except for my Xmas tree.

I told you when Alison and I bought the tree almost a decade ago. I have such fond memories of it. It gutted me to get rid of it. It was a good little plastic Xmas tree.

Because it was our first year, we didn’t have any ornaments for it yet.

Below’s a picture of our first Xmas dinner together. The tree would be on your left if you’re reading this. I made Coq au Vin, and she made a salad of goat cheese and pears.

Shit, fuck me.

For a moment, I was trying to think of a way of salvaging it when I realized that Alison woulda just tossed it versus allowing something that might make the kiddo sick into the house. So I did. But it was difficult.

The next day, I took inventory of everything I lost from this latest round of flooding. Speaking to my therapist, we discussed it.

Her: You talk a lot about loss and losing things. That seems to be a theme in your life.
Me: Not by choice, doc. Definitely, not by choice. Nothing gold ever stays.

Location: my damp apartment
Mood: exhausted
Music: You’ve got to know that you are good as gold (Spotify)
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Hanging with Ida and Steve, Pt 1

Why, certainly

Him: You wanna go to a Steve Aoki convert with me and RE Mike tonight?
Me: Potentially – I’m a bit worried about flooding in my apartment.
RE Mike: That’s a yes.

My buddy around the way, RE Mike, and I used to randomly call each other up whenever we got leads on parties.

Met Sue through them at onea those events. But that’s neither here nor there.

Can’t count how many times I’d show up at some fancy event with celebrities and one of those two would float me in.

Was in the middle of rolling around with Chad and my buddy Miller when they hit me up.

Hurricane Ida was supposed to hit but it didn’t look so bad so I left Paxi a bit early and headed there in the rain.

It had just started getting bad when I left the gym. But I figured it would be ok.

Always figure things will be ok. I never learn.

In any case, think out of maybe 50-70 parties with those two, don’t think I ever paid for a drink or a cover.

Tonight was no different. RE Mike met me out side of the venue and handed me a bracelet. No questions asked, they just let me in.

Should note that – because I wasn’t prepared to go out to a private concert and I was coming from the gym, I was crazy armed.

Like…psycho-level armed, for reasons we don’t need to get into but they were all valid and non-psycho. Honest.

Had about three real knives, a pair of pliers, two pens, a razor blade and at least four trainer knives.

Bouncer: Come right in. Will you check you bag though, sir?
Me: Why, certainly.

Stepping into the joint was like every other thing the two invited me to; open bar, beautiful people, and wall-to-wall food.

Him: There’s sushi and oysters being passed around.
Me: I expect nuthin less with you two.

Think the only time I had more oysters was that time with Mouse when we had four dozen. Came close, though. Demolished that tray below.

The main attraction was Steve Aoki and, man, does that dude know how to put on a show.

And, because it was an open bar, I had myself:

      • An Old-Fashioned with Rye
      • A Negroni
      • And an Amaretto on the rocks

Her: You just want Amaretto on the rocks?
Me: Yes, darling. If it’s bad, I’ll just blame you.
Her: (laughs) Hey!

It was shaping up to be a pretty good night but, my luck is ever true and I got a call from someone in my building.

Her: Water’s coming in.
Me: Dammit.

And so I ran out the door.

It’s late. I just spent the night bailing water so I’ll finish this up tomorrow.

Location: my flooded apartment
Mood: livid
Music: Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh oh, ‪if it all goes wrong, darling just hold on (Spotify)
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These unknown versions of me

Maybe I was always awful

We had a soft launch of our gym this past Thursday and Friday with just an evening class on Thursday, an afternoon class on Friday, a nighttime open mat, and then a party afterward.

Before that, Chad and I were putting in full days, leaving most nights after midnight. It was busy but not terrible. We basically just focused on the task at hand each day.

In the end, the gym was mostly how we wanted it to look; I’ll have to go in and take some proper pics soon but not until after some more artwork comes in.

A buddy I met in the city some 20+ years ago was there there on Friday for the open mat. He showed me pictures of his kid.

Him: (proudly)
Me: She’s adorbs! We need to have a playdate.

I remember him applying to be on the force all those years ago. He’s about to retire. Crazy how long I’ve known some people.

I pride myself on keeping good souls around.

After the open mat, everyone waited patiently to shower – man, having showers is a godsend after spending years at a gym without a shower – and then I started making a half-dozen trips downstairs to get food and drink for everyone.

We had a platter of sushi, two platters of wraps, one tray of wings, a huge fruit bowl, and countless bottles of alcohol.

Hawk brought a bottle of bourbon, Curt brought more beer, someone else brought some tequila, and Mouse bought a bottle of Chad and my favourite rum.

Speaking of Mouse, we spoke for a bit after the party and she told me things I didn’t realize before.

Me: You’ve never said any of this.
Her: (rolling eyes) I’ve said this to you a dozen times.
Me: I don’t think you were ever this specific. Are you ever gonna not be mad at me?
Her: I don’t know.

Speaking of keeping good souls around, I used to pride myself on the fact that women I dated prior to Alison still liked me after the fact and wanted to be friends with me.

Evidently, I’ve just become an awful person. Or maybe I was always awful and never noticed.

I don’t remember these versions of me.

Chad hit me up on Saturday, he was sick with a cold – but not COVID as per a rapid test – and our first official day of the gym is tomorrow.

Because of that, I went down on Saturday to clean up some after the Friday night party. When I got back, I realized I left my wallet there.

So, I immediately headed back downtown to retrieve it.

Welp, my luck’s running true to form. I suppose there’s something to be said for consistency.

Location: Union Square, where else?
Mood: having rum in my coffee
Music: such a bummer, there must be more behind the summer (Spotify)
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Spending it all

Paxibellum is open

We had our first class today at Paxibellum and it was insanely fun. We even had someone sign up off the street.

My buddy Arin was there and injured so she and I made up the crippled portion of the roll.

Afterward, I had some unexpectedly deep conversations.

Him: You seem to have a lot of anger in you.
Me: You would too if you the people you loved kept dying or leaving you.
Him: They did, Logan. (tells me)
Me: Shit! You can’t just drop something like that on someone!

That’s his story to tell, so I’ll stop it here.

Afterward, some of the investors and I met up for drinks afterward.

I’m pretty lit so I won’t say much. When I drink I’m me, just more me, somehow.

Him: How did it go?
Me: (puzzled) She gave me her number, of course.
Him: (laughing) Of course. I saw her in the neighborhood before.
Me: Sure, she works next door to us.

Evidently, Chad is more Chad too.

Me: That table of four women were checking you out.
Him: I know, Logan.
Me: (laughing) What have I done?

We are who are we are; time and chance just reveals us to everyone else.

Another investor and his son gave me a lift home.

Me: If I may, in life, you always chose between time and money. I can’t take that job because I value my time more than I do money. You’re 22. So you should chose money. But when you get to be your dad’s age – and mine – you have to chose time. Whatever you chose, though, pick carefully who you spend it all on.

Location: Union Square, all goddamn day
Mood: hella lit
Music: if I’d known, if I’d known, if I’d known (Spotify)
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Wishing for horses

Wins and shady secrets

My father died exactly four years ago. It feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago.

I talk a lot with older male friends about what it’s like being a father, I think – in part – because I can’t talk to my dad.

It’s less than ideal.

If wishes were horses…

The boy’s been away for a few weeks and will be for a few weeks more.

While I miss him terribly, it’s good because I’ve been coming home at midnight most nights because Chad and I are setting up this new gym.

I’ll tell you more about it once it’s all set up.

Last Saturday, NYC had the most rain it’s ever had in a single hour and I’m happy to say that my apartment did NOT flood, although it came pretty close a few times there.

It was super stressful, but now I know that the things I did to help the situation worked.

I’ll take any win I can get

I’ve become a shady secret again, this time to four different women – not all of them romantic interests, but all have their own reasons for wanting me not to mention them.

Which is a shame because some of the stuff they say is truly amusing. Here are some rando convos, completely out of context.

Her: (to waiter) Do you have something like a Corona Light?
Me: (to her, after) Wait, why didn’t you just ask for a Corona Light?
Her: I’ve been disappointed too many times in the past.

Her: How’s the gym going?
Me: We’re moving at lightning speed so I’m exhausted.
Her: You’re the knife instructor?
Me: Technically, I’m the backup knife instructor.
Her: Oh, you should tell people that you’re a substitute knife instructor.

Me: How’s online dating going?
Her: I like to think of it as, Meeting-strangers-online-to-waste-three-weeks-of-my-life-with-at-a-time.
Me: Accurate.

Remember when I told you that the Heiress had the same type of cancer as Alison? Welp, I was just introduced to yet another woman with this fucking cancer.

She’s asking me for help/advice and – while I don’t want to relive the past – I have to help, I feel. And so, I do.

Again, this type of cancer mainly affect older, white, males. This woman is the third young white female I’ve met that had it.

It’s madness.

Then again, I’m finding that either madness tends to find me, or I tend to find it. Not sure which one is which.

Had lunch with a business associate of mine as well as dinner with another friend of mine.

They each offered me a job in two radically different fields of work. One was a high six-figure a year job, the other a very low five-figure a year job.

Both jobs have their charms.

Him: What are you gonna do?
Me: (shrugging) Not sure. In the end, I suppose all I really want is to raise my son and have a family.
Him: You can’t have it all?
Me: Have it all? (sighing) Clearly, not. If wishes were horses…
Him: …beggars would ride.
Me: (nodding)

Location: not Union Square, lemme tell ya that
Mood: busy, busy, busy
Music: I lost my mind trying to fix broken things (Spotify)
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Catching Ms. Wong

My first show in 13 years

The last show I saw was on a ship when I went to Bermuda. Before that, it was other shows on ships but that’s not quite the same thing as someone picking up tickets to catch a show with you.

Mouse said she bought us tickets to Ali Wong last year but then the pandemic hit and we never got a chance to go.

So the last time I was actually asked to see a show with someone that wanted to go to a show with me was the Coldplay concert I went to with Alison.

That was 13 years ago.

Anywho, although I never got to go Ali Wong the first time around, she ended up doing her show just a few blocks south of my pad (that’s a relevant fact in a moment) and Pac’s girl bought him tickets.

So I posted on FB:

Completely unrelated to that post, a friend of mine hit me up to ask me if I wanted to see the show with her.

There were some technical issues…

Her: Can you go into Ticketmaster and log into my account and print out the tickets? Having all sorts of printer issues.
Me: Sure thing. Just send me the info.
Her: I have new printer but crappy tech skills.
Me: (a minute later) I judge you.

The next thing you know, we were grabbing dinner around the way…

Her: Am I supposed to eat this salad with chopsticks?
Me: Yes, we’re in a Japanese restaurant.
Her: Watch out then. Cause my chopstick skills are a .5 out of 10. There’s gonna be tomatoes flying everywhere.
Me: I’ll get you a fork.
Her: Hey! On a white person scale, that’s a 3 out of 10!
Me: (to waitress) She’s gonna need a fork.

…before heading off to see the show.

Now, while it wasn’t super hot, it was humid as blazes.

So, stumbling outta the restaurant after a few drinks, we first waited for the subway to bring us to the theatre.

Her: Well, it’s only a minute between the two trains.
Me: I can do math, lady!

When we arrived, the person managing the line said, “To speed things up, please have out your tickets, ID, and vaccination card.”

Me: Shoot! I don’t have that with me. Do you?
Her: I have it on my phone.
Me: Dammit! I gotta run home and find it.

And I literally ran.

Like I said, the theatre’s in my hood.

So, in the hot mugginess of the night, I dashed home and tore my entire apartment to shreds looking for that damnable card.

And I found it.

Running back, the line was gone. Most people were seated. Well, maybe not most…

Luckily, I made it in just in time to catch the opening act, who was hilarious. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch his name.

Him: My parents came here to a foreign country, not speaking the language, not knowing anyone, just so their son could have a better life. And then I became a stand up comedian.

Then Ali came on and she killed. It was a bit more risque than I personally like but I still found myself laughing wildly.

Interestingly, she didn’t make a single joke about COVID, which I kinda appreciated.

She did make a lotta jokes about wanting to cheat on her husband, which made me uncomfortable, especially since I just told you about that conversation with an ex I had.

But, in the end, she said she never would because, “A good husband is harder to find than a great wife.”

That, and another line I’ll keep to myself, really made me think.

Afterward, we hit up a local bar and called it a night.

Making it home, I almost drunk dialed someone but decided to try and leave my possible pasts in the past.

Although I got my own drunken text at 3AM, which was pretty random.

All-in-all it was nice to finally catch a show again.

And now I’ve got a gym to finish up.

I just spoke to my son.

Him: I just saw the craziest thing on television. It was so intense!

That made me LOL.

Location: in front of my computer, running credit cards for the biz
Mood: productive
Music: I wanna get to, get to, get to, get to know you like that (Spotify)
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Why an umbrella?

A sad little broken umbrella

Me: Do you have an umbrella for it?
Bartender: (thinking) Wait, I do. You want it just in the can?
Me: Heck, yeah, lady!

Ever since I started this blog, I’ve been writing about my affection for umbrellas in my drinks.

My friends always make fun of me for it; it’s not something that I’ve ever hidden.

I always liked going to Bermuda was because I knew I could always get an umbrella in my drink.

Got a sad little broken one tonight – in a can, of all things – but I was thrilled to get it. They’re much rarer these days around New York.

Part of the reason, admittedly, was so I could say, The night is young and we have umbrellas in our drinks.

I never told anyone the bigger reason though. No one ever asked and it never occurred to me to tell them.

But I’ll tell you.

My father owned one of the first Japanese restaurants in Westchester when I was kid.

I didn’t see much of him at home; I only have a handful of memories of him not in the restaurant. But I was always so excited when I went to see him there. He was my dad, after all.

Think all dads are gods to little boys.

Whenever my brother and I would come in, he would make a big show of his “important guests” and have us sit at the bar. And he’d make each of us a Shirley Temple.

He always topped it off with a maraschino cherry. And a small umbrella.

I remember feeling so cool. And so loved.

We only got one each visit, so I saved them. Lost them all when we moved back to New York City after the restaurant failed.

When the people you love die, you’re left with just these random memories. I never told my dad because I always forgot to bring it up. Another of my 10,000 regrets.

I wanted to call my dad and tell him that I finally got an umbrella tonight. They’re hard to come by, like I said.

And then I remembered that I couldn’t. Fucking cancer.

Wonder what random memories my son will have of me when I’m gone. In some ways, I’m excited for the gym to open just so he’ll have memories of the two of us being there.

I miss my dad. I miss my family. It was a sad little broken umbrella but I thought it was fitting.

Her: …and it was cancer. (pausing) Wait, is this ok to talk about?
Me: (shaking head and pulling out umbrella to take the picture above) It’s fine. When I drink, I’m always 50/50 for breaking down at any minute. Anywho…go on.

Location: my local dive bar, listening to Eric Clapton
Mood: drunk and sad
Music: what have I done? (Spotify)
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I was right. Yay.

What do you expect?

The boy’s been away for a bit so I could concentrate on the gym and some things I’ve let slide since the theft.

Did manage to see my buddy Jonny for dinner along with Chad. He’s a fun fella and also a partner in the gym.

That’s us at the same place that Gymgirl/Mouse took me to when she graduated and my buddies and I went to before everything went to shit.

In any case, the three of us spent the day doing manual labour. Interestingly, Jonny solved a problem that’s been vexing Chad and me for a while now; it wasn’t as thorny as the sacrifice rod, but still…vexing.

Him: See, you shoulda called me immediately, what with my greater intellect.
Me: That was our first mistake. But what do you expect? We’re Americans. Trump was our president for the last four years.

Also managed to speak to another woman I dated a while ago. She was one of the women that broke the trust covenant with me.

Her: I could never trust you again.
Me: Why is that?
Her: (shrugging) Because I would never know if you were with me because you wanted to be with me or if you wanted to get back at me.

The thing is that I knew this. In fact, I told you about this ten years ago.

It’s weird but it’s part of why I want the boy to read, because, when you read –  unlike when do things like watch TV or videos – you get layers of understanding and complexities you’d never get in a million years otherwise.

There’s this scene in The Godfather book that’s not in the film – dunno why the director kept cutting out these important scenes.

Michael kills his brother-in-law, Carlo, and his wife Kay secretly leaves him. Mike’s brother tries to stop her but she says she can’t stay because she can’t be with a man that can’t forgive.

Mike’s brother says something like, even if Michael truly, truly forgave Carlo, Carlo still “had to be killed. Because treachery can’t be forgiven. Michael could have forgiven it, but people never forgive themselves and so they would always be dangerous….[Michael] loves his sister. But he would be shirking his duty to you and his children, to his whole family, to me and my family, if he let…Carlo go free. They would have been a danger to us all, all our lives.”

And that’s when I truly  understood everything: I forgave her for what she did, but she never forgave herself and could never believe that I forgave her.

She would always think I was plotting to hurt her out of revenge.

It’s why treachery is the ninth and last circle of hell: It destroys things so utterly and completely.

In other words, I was right. Yay.

Cancer and other fucked up shit like that notwithstanding, we all live the lives we create for ourselves and each other.

And here we are.


The boy’s away and won’t be back for a few weeks. This is him in my kali class. It’s funny, but he’s reminiscent of my friend’s dog, dontcha think?

Albeit much cuter, IMHO.

Location: earlier today, being told to buy solvent from a movie star
Mood: hungry
Music: Stops counting the crimes and lays down its pride (Spotify)
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You’re Welcome!

For sure, I’ll be ok

The Heiress is gone from this blog. The details are unimportant but the fact that she had the same cancer as Alison really messed with my head.

She showed me a picture of herself in front of a MRI machine and that sent me for a loop, although I think I hid it well.

I most definitely cannot deal with anything like that ever again.

Like I said, I only have the type of luck people don’t want.

It’s a shame though. She was the first billionaire I met although I wonder if this other fella in our gym is also one as well.

I think I’d like to meet another just for the conversations.

Me: What happened with your ex?
Her: He was going through some things so I bought him a building in Greenpoint so he could recuperate.
Me: Well, if you’re giving away buildings, the kid and I could use a townhouse in Hoboken at some point. Nuthin fancy, but central air would be nice. Oh, and one that doesn’t flood.

I’m really not that picky, considering that I live in a place where a rat swam up the toilet and it flooded, all within two weeks.

Interestingly, the Skinny House in Boston is for sale again; I visited it back in 2018. Boston seems fun but it looks like I’ll be in NYC for at least the next five years, what with the new gym et al.

On that note, Chad and I are both running on fumes trying to get this thing off the ground. As you might expect, it’s all the unexpected stuff that’s slowing us down.

Him: Uh, is that supposed to move like that?
Me: Jesus Christ.

Also, other things in the city seem to be falling apart as well.

My apartment almost flooded again earlier this week so I had plumbers come in today yet again.

And cops were all over the place the other day.

Still, I suppose, though, I am lucky in some ways.

Him: When did mommy die?
Me: (sighing) 2017.
Him: Oh man! That’s was a long time ago. (looking at me) You’ll be ok, papa. I’m here.
Me: (smiling) Then, for sure, I’ll be ok. Thank you.
Him: You’re welcome!

Location: earlier today, ducking out with the kid from some thunderstorms
Mood: exhausted
Music: Summer’s only ending if you let it, babe (Don’t let it) (Spotify)
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