Starting a diet

Filling up the holes in our souls

This pic is from the Chinatown in LA but I liked how it looked.

The Gymgirl and I have been talking about starting a new diet for various health reasons and, because of this, we went out to Chinatown for dim sum the next day because the diet we were thinking about wouldn’t allow us to eat rice.

We went to Golden Unicorn, one of the more well-known dim sum joints in the city, but they weren’t serving dim sum at that time so we tossed down a few bucks, walked down the street to Dim Sum Go-Go, and had six plates of food.

Her: I want more food.
Me: OK, how about some dumplings?

So we walked over in the freezing cold to a dive dumpling place and had another plate of food.

Her: I want more food.
Me: OK, how about some Vietnamese food?

So we walked over in the freezing cold to a Vietnamese joint and had a bowl of soup with noodles and some rolls.

Her: I want more food.
Me: OK, how about some more noodles?

So we ordered more noodles and ate that before heading home.

I should note that it was so frigid that this is what I saw the entire way home: The Gymgirl running in heels, trying to get out of the cold.

She’s actually running in the below pic.

We eat a lot.

Her: There’s a hole in my soul that I’m filling up with food.
Me: I understand that. (thinking) Remind me to put that in the blog.

Location: home, fixing a window
Mood: coooooold
Music: Standin’ on canal and Bowery. She’d be standin’ next to me

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Travelogue: Los Angeles 2018, Day 4

The girl on the flying trapeze

I didn’t feel great when I woke up that day but we had lots of things to do.

We headed to the Santa Monica pier where we immediately went to the local Micky D’s because I felt pretty rough.

Me: Oooooh.
Her: You ok?
Me: Nope. I’m surprised because usually I have a cast iron stomach.

There was a trapeze class that she wanted to take at 2:15 and it was noon so we decided to rent electric scooters again and head down to Muscle Beach per my friend Lorin’s suggestion.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to make it down to see anything because we only realized after we started the trip down that we were in a “slow zone” – this meant that the scooters went super slow.

One jogger was keeping pace with us for a solid part of the ride.

Me: Man, we’re finally ahead of her.
Gymgirl: I think that’s only because she stopped to tie her shoe.

While we were going, a guy on a bike started filming us and saying some rude things but sped away before we could say anything back.

Me: Everyone’s so brave from a distance. You could kill that guy.

She made it back in time to do her trapeze lesson. She did great in the beginning but when it came time for her first catch…

…she didn’t make it. But then she made all the others, every single one.

I was super proud.

Instructor: (to me) You don’t wanna do it?
Me: Nah. A fella could get hurt.

The truth was that I was still feeling a bit wonky but by the time she was done, I was starving. We ended up going for a walk on the Promenade and ate not once,  not twice, but thrice.

We first went to a Mexican place for drinks, burritos, and tacos…

…but that wasn’t enough so we took a scooter to a Jack-in-The-Box.

Me:: Have you ever had a Jack-in-The-Box taco? It’s the first taco I ever had as a kid.
Her: No. Is it any good?
Me: Nope. I’m gonna get one.

But that wasn’t enough so we also went to get Wendy’s.

We have eating issues.

Afterward, we both went swimming in the hotel pool by ourselves.

This story’ll end soon, promise.

There’s just so much I want to tell you.


Location: earlier today, in the gym on the mats
Mood: busy
Music: caught between a dream and a movie scene

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Boston 2018: We pretty much just ate the first night

Walking with the Gymgirl around Boston Commons

It was a bit later than either of us expected once we got to Boston. The cheesesteak and wings from earlier in the day didn’t really last us that long.

Me: We could do reservations at Legal Seafood…
Her: OK.
Me: …or we could get some food from their takeout and eat it on the way to a sushi joint.
Her: Oooh, let’s do that.

We ended up having some clam chowder at Copley Square near the Khalil Gibran Memorial. One of the these days, I’ll tell you about the poem that my brother sent to me once about parenthood. It’s stayed with me my entire life.

We ended up at a place called Wabora a few blocks away and ordered all the food.

It was probably too much but we were both hungry and I think that food on a trip doesn’t act in your body the same way as food at home.

We decided to walk off what we could and ended up going past a wall of sewing machines and I thought of Rain again.

Then we went into Boston Commons.

Her: I remember coming here during the wintertime over a layover. Everything was covered in snow. I was here by myself.
Me: That’s not the case this time.
Her:  (laughs) No, no it’s not. It’s nice to have company.

Location: a black desk again, no bourbon
Mood: thoughtful
Music: been walking for a long time. I still don’t know where it goes
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It’s only Wednesday but it’s been a good week so far

Her: I’ve changed a lot as I’ve gotten older. Before, I used to procrastinate all the time, now I just want unpleasant things over with as soon as possible.
Me: (laughing) Like marrying me?
Her: Well, that goes without saying.

Was supposed to go to Washington DC again this morning but the trip was cancelled last minute. Just as well, got slammed with more work.

Did have some downtime earlier on in the week so I caught up with Skinny, who just got back from Japan after all these years, PB, and Cain. Was supposed to be a quick get together but, as these things go, turned into a four-pitcher-of-beer night.

No rum just because I’m trying to switch it up, but that’s another story.

The very next day, met up with Johnny who didn’t punch me this time. He was in town to close a major deal in midtown and wanted to take me out for lunch; he showed up in a tee shirt, shorts, and flip-flops.

Me: You’re dressed like a kid!
Him: (shrugging) I’m the boss so I can dress how I want. Also, I’m a kid at heart, Logan.

Ended up a Japanese joint that made fresh soba noodles. When I got back to my desk, found out a client finally sent in a check.

It’s only Wednesday but it’s been pretty good so far.

The fact it’s not 108 degrees in the shade helps, also.

Location: getting ready to get to the bank
Mood: upbeat
Music: take advantage of tonight, cause tomorrow I’m off to do battle


My old crockpot

Old Rival Crock Pot

Thanks for the birthday wishes.

Decided to make some braised brisket in red wine the other night so I whipped out my old crock-pot. It’s been in my family since I can remember – maybe 25-30 years? My mom used to make this killer spaghetti sauce she learned from my Italian neighbor Dot. It’s also where she made chili from a Mexican neighbor and how I made a lotta my chili too.

When I moved outta my family home, my mom asked me what I wanted and I asked for that.

Her: This old thing? Why don’t you buy a new one?
Me: Cause I want that one.

Anywho, put it on the counter top and noticed the back had cracked and a leg had fallen off. Managed to prop it up on a stacka bank checks to make the brisket but it was clear it was it’s last dish.

They’re cheap. Like $40 for a good one. And this one’s got flowers and lotsa stains on it; doesn’t match my clean white kitchen. But it was my bita home in my apartment and I’m sad to see it gone.

You don’t love a picture causesa the paper it’s printed on, y’love a picture because of what it represents.

Man, I loved that broken old thing.

Ha – suppose someone’ll say that about me some day. One would hope, anywho…

Braised beef with herbed carrots and coconus

Location: taking CLE on the computer
Mood: nostalgic
Music: The only way to really know is to really let it go
YASYCTAI: Buy a new slow cooker. (10 mins/0.5 pt)


A weekend in food

Me: You wanna…?
Her: Sure.
Me: (five minutes later) Actually, I feel like a fatty-fat-fat.
Her: Yeah, I’m beat. (laughing) We are so married.

Friday night, came home to a Spanish Dinner that Heartgirl picked up; it’s good to mix it up some. We were getting a bit tired of the usual Chinese/Italian/American we’ve been eating for a while. Wish I had pix but we were so voraciously hungry that we just tore into it.

Menu: Pan Tomaca, Bravas, Empanadas Argentinas, Brochetas De Pollo, and Chorizo A La Parrilla.

Saturday, went out to Brooklyn for work in the AM. Coincidentally, an employee of the client was in the same train car as me all of way there but we both didn’t really recognize each other. When I walked into the client’s he started shouting and laughing, “Man, I knew I knew you!”

When I got back, HG and I walked over to the Whitney Museum across town to check out the Edward Hopper exhibit. Kinda underwhleming – they didn’t have Nighthawks and wouldn’t lemme take pics but they did have Sunday Morning. Afterward, went out for Japanese at our local sushi joint before staying in and watching The Next Three Days.

Menu: Ramen, Dragon Roll, California Roll, Chicken Teriyaki.

Sunday, was supposed to stay in but a buddy a mine had the building nexta his apartment catch on fire so at 9AM, I’m in a taxi to Times Square to check out the fire damage. It was pretty bad. Walking up 5th Avenue, the guy at the local halal cart recognized me at and asked me if I wanted some. Breakfasta champions.

Went downtown again Sunday to pick up a new camera; more on that some other time. Syd was so long ago.

Menu: Rice, meat, and grease.

Was a lot busier a weekend than I wanted it to be but still good. S’funny how stuffing our faces’s so basic and complex a parta our lives.

So, that was my weekend. Hope yours was good.

Location: staying in today to finish some work
Mood: optimistic
Music: and so it goes, this soldier knows
YASYCTAI: Pick an artist to like. I like Hopper cause he’s NYC. (time/1 pt)

business personal

Owning up to mistakes

Her: …I liked Capture the Flag.
Me: “Capture the Flag?” Never heard of it.
Her: Really? Well, there’re two teams and you run after the other and when you tap…
Me: That sounds terribly violent.
Her: (shakes head)

Been thinking a lot about having a kid. Like to be a dad but dunno what’s in store for us. Suppose the only thing to do is to keep the head down and clock those dollars while we wait for him or her.

Speakinga clocking dollars, got screamed at by one of my newest ones cause of a rookie mistake I made; been doing what I do for over a decade and I’ve never made this mistake but the client wanted a rush job so I rushed and screwed something up. So the client tore inna me.

While I wouldn’tve made this mistake had I not been rushed, it was still my fault. I should have either turned down the gig or done it right. Since neither happened, it was ultimately on me. It was a stupid, embarrassing mistake so I let him finish yelling at me, apologized, and said, “Lemme make this right.” Spent the resta the day trying to make it right.

The thing with being in the service industry’s that, even if you’ve had a client for a decade and’ve never screwed up, you just need one mistake and you’re gone. Just the way it goes.

Mistakes happen, not much you can do but apologize, learn from them, and move on.

On a brighter note, over the weekend, went out for dinner with the wife. We don’t go out much any more so it was like going on a date; we laughed about our old lives. We’re gonna try and do that more often.

Also, got a letter from Gshok. Opening up the mailbox and pulling out something that’s not a bill or ad’s rare for me. I think I’ll do the same for her today.

It’s a rainy Monday but good weekends usually carry me through to about Tuesday.

Location: chair, listening to the rain outside
Mood: tired
Music: In this world, it’s hard to get it right
YASYCTAI: Incorporate the words “big pimping” into a sentence with someone today. (10 secs/1 pt)


Don’t really know

What’s the point of it all?

Cloudy day in NYC

Her: What was that sound!?
Me: Was working on something and the live power cable hit the fan.
Her: Logan! You’re going to kill yourself some day. (laughing) And your fly’s open.
Me: (slowly) Yes.

If something did happen to me, someone’d find that I’m 20% peanut butter (by weight, not volume). The remainder being rum.

Did y’have a nice Turkey Day? This year was different. Paul and WM hung up their club shoes to play board games by mine. Very Waltons.

The Professor wasn’t in town but I did see Johnny. With the exception of the Devil, he’s the onea the most dangerous men I know. That says a lot. And he brought his daughter over.

Her: I like you. You’re funny.
Me: I’ll take that as a compliment. Listen, keep your dad from punching me. He scares me.
Her: He scares me too!

This 25 year-old kid named Luis Armando Pena Soltren hijacked this plane from NY to Puerto Rico on 19681124 and went to Cuba where he spent the next 40 years in working as a day labourer.

At some point, he musta thought, What the #$@# did I do with my life?

So he came back an old man and’s sitting at some jail cell knowing that he’s thrown his life away on yet another thing that had the air of truth to it, but no real truth to it.

Him: 10 Million.
Me: Just this year?
Him: Yeah. (pause) Woulda made more if it wasn’t for this economy. Gotta fly back to China in three weeks.
Me: Why dontcha just sell it all? The factories, the buildings, all of it? Y’can spend time with your family, hang out with me. Start up that school y’always say you wanna do.
Him: (shakes head)
Me: Why not? You make more money than the pope but you’re miserable. What’s the pointa all that green if y’don’t get to see your family and I’m the only person in the world y’trust?
Him: Don’t really know.

Nietzxche was right, your convictions’re dangerous things.
The choices remain the same: Change your map; Change your reality; or Keep crying.

Better work out. Next year, doubt I’ll have his daughter there to protect me.

Location: a grey, half-sofa
Mood: cheerful
Music: come with me we’ll travel to infinity
YASYCTAI: Have you considered fencing? (90 mins/2 pts)


DC Fat Darrell


Skip the first 30 seconds.

Weird thing was that I wrote a short story about a decade ago about a fairy godmother that I swear I told him about. But his version and mine’re vastly different.

Lemme know whatcha think.

Subway metro in Washington DC

Got a call at 1AM the other night from the girlie that I chatted to on a Gramercy stoop. She said I was one of the only people she trusted not to screw her over. Took that to heart and stayed awake to talk to her.

Her: So what do I do about him?
Me: Look, we all got this map of the world in our heads. And emotional pain happens when your reality doesn’t match your map. It’s like if you expect Broadway to be somewhere cause the map says so, but it’s not. So you’re thinking, WTH?
Her: So what do I do?
Me: (sighing) Y’only got three choices: change your map, change your reality or keep crying.
Downtown skyline

Question: What’s the only mammal that can’t jump?

Went to a house party on a roof the other night. Something about the NYC skyline y’can’t get elsewhere. But went to DC afterward anyway.

DC was nice. Hot. Very hot. Spent mosta the time in the museums: Natural History and American History. Place was packed; kinda gives y’hope about the future if the museums’re packed, yeah?

Managed to score a suite at the GWU Inn; had a view of Watergate. Ugly as sin.

The room was a suite cause it had a stove and fridge, meaning that we loaded up at the Trader’s Joe around the way. Then, on the way back, stopped off at Rutgers to get a Fat Darrell.

View from room to Watergate

Felt like a tubster so wrestled today. If one’s 36 with a broken middle finger, injured neck, and tennis elbow, you’d think one’d not wrestle with 20-year olds at 99% humidity.

Then again, making good choices isn’t my thing.

Anywho, a client finally called me today. Heading upstate tomorrow to try to make some scratch.

Oh, and…elephant.

Rutgers Fat Darrell


Location: 12:00, getting pinned on 27th
Mood: hot
Music: let’s get rich and buy our parents homes in the south of France


More Spring

Location: in my jammies, working from home
Mood: hopeful
Music: It’s alright, baby’s coming back (make it easy on yourself)

Her: How can I help you?

Me: What’s the biggest burger you have?

Her: Um…I guess the triple Whopper with cheese.

Me: Huh. Can you add another patty on and I’ll pay for that?

Her: You want a quadruple whopper? We don’t…I don’t have a button for that. I could charge you for another Whopper and you could stack that on top.

Me: Well that’s just silly. The triple Whopper is $5 and the regular is $3:50. How about this, why don’t you throw on two chicken patties and I’ll pay for that.

Her: OK, so you want a Triple Whopper with Cheese and two Chicken sandwiches but just the meat stuffed into the Triple Whopper.

Me: Yes…and a diet coke.

Her: (bursts out laughing) I take it you didn’t have breakfast.

Me: Oh no, I did. (pause) Why?

My birthday’s coming up. You should all chip in and buy me a defibrillator.

On a positive note, may be close to settling with the IRS. Still need to come up with some coin but nothing near the $25,674 they initially said. Wanna see it in writing before I’ll believe it.

Could use some win.

Getting hit on a lot again – don’t think it’s so much me as because it’s spring. If not for spring, I think there’d be a lot more single people in the big city.