A Story, on the West Side

Seeing the blue sky again

It’s been a super busy week with work and life.

This past weekend, the kid had his first “school party” without me.

Basically, the PTA threw a party where the parents dropped off their kids so the kids could spend three hours running around the school, playing games and dancing and such.

The kid was so thrilled, I was excited for him. But he’s growing up way too fast.

Him: You’ll really let me go?
Me: Of course.
Him: You’re the best dad, ever!
Me: You’re not wrong.

The Firecracker and I took the opportunity to grab a drink around the way at a local bar called Jake’s Dilemma.

Her: You got carded! The night’s already off to a good start. (later) Look at us, out at a bar without the kids.
Me: It definitely feels weird.

Because we were both actively dating when we met, she and I chat about dating in NYC in general and our recent history.

Me: …so, that was the end of that.
Her: Well, compared to my last date, you’re definitely an upgrade.
Me: (laughing) I would hope so.
Her: Oh yeah, it’s like moving up from a Pinto to a Ferrari.

If nuthin else, she’s good for my ego.

The next day, the kid went to a Holi festival at the Seaport and I grabbed him over at Lincoln Center before heading back downtown.

Me: See that brown building over there? This entire place used to be fulla buildings exactly like that. But you can actually see exactly what it used to look like before it became Lincoln Center.
Her: Where?
Me: The original West Side Story. It was shot when this was all residential walk-up housing. They literally bulldozed the entire neighborhood the day after shooting stopped.

The kid and I met up with the Firecracker and her kid to come with me to the Surgeon’s place for a little party after his Holi party.

Me: They live in a converted department store. The ceilings are like 15 feet tall.
Her: I can’t wait to see it!

She was impressed.

The surgeon made rum cocktails while I cooked up some Korean pork dishes that I got from H Mart near the gym.

Her kid was a huge hit with the Surgeon’s daughters. It was nice that everyone got along well.

His brother, Steel, had another engagement but everyone there was really cool. We met the most interesting fella who worked at Google…

His Wife: (proudly) He invented Chrome.
Me: Wait, for real?!
Him: (sheepishly) Yeah. I led the team that wrote Firefox and Google hired me to write Chrome for them.
Me: Oh man, I have so many questions. (later) BTW, lemme tell you about this hack that happened to me because of Chrome…

It was super late when we all left.

The next day, we all met up with the ABFF and her kids as well and everyone seemed to get along well there too.

Her: Shoot, I don’t have any alcohol.
Me: It’s like you don’t even know me.

I feel like my life’s been on hold for years now.

I either didn’t go out or went to things solo. It’s nice to have a companion that wants to do things with me.

You know, the scaffolding on my block came down and I can see the blue sky again.

The last time I saw the blue sky around my pad, Alison was still alive and we were waiting for the boy to come.

I’ve been in shadow ever since.

So, it’s nice to see the sun and sky again.

It’s been so long that I’d forgotten what it looked like.

Location: yesterday, looking at the sun from my son’s room
Mood: ruminating
Music: I can see the bright blue skies now (Spotify)
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

The one with the singing

Still loading

Her: (finishes singing a song and turns to look at me) Do you think I’m weird?
Me: (nodding) Oh, yeah. Totally.
Her: Oh…
Me: (laughing) You’re adorkable!

This past weekend, I had a few things really stop me in my tracks. None were what you might call, “good,” but neither were they “terrible.”

They were, however, things that made me radically reassess my life and look at things very differently.

All three are gonna mean that my life is gonna change drastically and I’m not sure how it’ll all shake out.

The smallest of the three – and the only one I can really tell you about – is that the Firecracker and I got into our first real big fight but it was really about nuthin.

Honestly though, most fights are about nuthin, if you think about it in the grand scheme of things.

In any case, my takeaway, though, was her style of fighting. It worked well with my style of fighting such that the whole things – while arduous – was over and done by the evening. That’s a net positive.

I suppose, in life, you gotta take all the net positives you can.

The other two events I’m still sorting it all out in my head. But really big changes are ahead for the Lo family, lemme tell ya.

Ultimately, though, I’m trying to go back to my old mindset from a decade ago and accepting the world as it is, not as I wish it to be.

It’s funny, suppose I started upgrading my OS ages ago but it got interrupted with alla the tragedies.

It never stopped loading into my brain, though.

It’s still loading now, I think.

At least there was lots of music all weekend, between the Firecracker and my son singing.

This is his latest – Emily, another parent from his school, thinks he would rock the talent show. He says he’s too shy.

I dunno, I think he’d be pretty good.

Him: (sadly) Do I have to do it?
Me: Only if you want, kid.
Him: Oh. OK. I don’t want to. Too many people.
Me: Maybe someday.
Him: (nodding) Maybe.

Location: tonight, almost having a homemade apple pie in a bed that wasn’t mine
Mood: accepting
Music: You were only waiting for this moment to be free (Spotify)
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

The one where Logan learns to throw a knife

Happy Pi Day!

It was a pretty packed weekend.

It started off relatively sedate – nuthin crazy but the kid, the Firecracker, and I all went out to grab some Chinese food around the way.

The kid’s so chill – the Firecracker suddenly appears in his life and he’s just like, “New friend!”

And that’s pretty much all he needs to know.

The last time we were there, the NFL player taught him how to play Hangman and he’s loved it ever since.

Boy: Do you want to play Hangman?
Her: OK! (draws something) It’s a country that borders us.
Him: (thinking) Mexico?
Her: Mexico doesn’t end in an “a.”
Him: Canada!

Afterward, we went back to my place to watch Harry Potter.

I’d actually never seen it before and the kid’s never really seen any movie end-to-end but the Firecracker’s so upbeat that she managed to keep the kid’s interest for the whole film.

Pretty impressive, I gotta say.

On Sunday, however, it was just a full day of shooting. Pez – god bless that gal – came over to watch the boy while I went to do my shoot.

Pak, Chad, and I rotate who does the heavy lifting for each shoot weekend. Both Pak and Chad did their heavy shoots, so now it was my turn.

One of my scenes involved some serious knife throwing so this fella they call the Great Throwdini came by as a guest for the show. He was super cool and actually taught me how to throw a knife.

Both my first and second throws were spot on.

Was pretty proud, I gotta say.

The Firecracker came by and met everyone for the first time, as well. The fellas were all really cool with her, which I really appreciated.

She couldn’t stay long but we were given 30 mins to get something to eat so we left, and I ordered a salad while she ran out and bought a $7 coffee.

Her: $7! Can you believe that?
Me: Did you get a massage with that or was it just the coffee?
Her: Just the coffee, Lo.

Unfortunately, she didn’t get a chance to enjoy the coffee and I didn’t get a chance to enjoy the salad because our producer couldn’t find the Scream mask we needed for the shoot.

But he knew I had one at home because he had ordered me one a while back.

Him: Can you go home and find it?
Me: I have no idea where it is.
Him: Can you try?

So, the Firecracker and I high tailed it back to my pad where I tore the place apart looking for it – all while Pez was amused at my frantic running about.

After some 15 minutes, I gave up and sat down to (finally) have my salad.

Me: I give up. It’s not here.
Firecracker: What about the third closet?
Me: (shaking head) It wouldn’t be in there, I just keep…
Her: Found it!
Me: Get outta here!

So, the Firecracker went home, Pez went back to taking care of the kid, and I went back down by my lonely to finish my shoot.

I actually finished alla my work ahead of schedule so I got to head home early to crash.

I was gonna end this entry differently, but the Firecracker hit me up late tonight as I was writing it.

Her: A delivery person is heading to your place now.
Me: What? Don’t spend the money!
Her: Too late.

She sent me a pie because it’s Pi Day – March 14th.

And it’s pecan to boot.

Man, a fella could fall for a girl like that…

Location: earlier today, trying to corral two kids that didn’t want to wear their jackets on a snowy day, down Amsterdam Ave
Mood: exhausted
Music: she loves to keep you in suspense (Spotify)
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

What you got till it’s gone

Last three decades

Meant to put up a video of the kid doing a takedown in BJJ in my last entry but I didn’t have the video edited for that so here it is now:

In any case, after the party, we hightailed it to New Jersey to see the in-laws – my MIL ended up making meatloaf and she and I ended up chatting about the time that Alison and she both made the ATK meatloaf.

Her: That one turned out really well.
Me: After all these years, I still remember it.

Sorry. I get lost in my head and my memories sometimes.

Left that night to get home and get some work done. On the way home, I heard someone call out my name.

It turned out to be the ABFF’s sister, who just happened to be heading back into the city on the exact same train as me.

Honestly dunno how I keep running into people that either know me IRL or via Scenic Fights.

NYC is really a small town sometimes.

One of the things I had to do here while the boy’s away is check out apartments.

Essentially, I never seriously thought about moving – at least not without Alison – in the past but with this massive real estate tax rise, I have to figure out my other options.

This is one of the reasons that the Firecracker and I went to that open house the other day.

Although, honestly, checking out other pads makes me realize how much I like my own pad.

It’s like that old Joni Mitchell song: Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone?

And I’m worried that I might have to leave the only home I’ve ever known for the past three decades.

Man, that blows my mind.

Location: this afternoon, my apartment, happy that I don’t have to go to Detroit tonight
Mood: concerned
Music: I don’t wanna give it, why you wanna give it? (Spotify)
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

I certainly think so

A Superbowl party

The NFL player invited me over to his pad for a Super Bowl party.

Me: Can I bring two dates? One you’ve met – he’s in grammar school and likes to sing – the other is a young blonde I’ve been seeing lately. Not sure if she’s free but I’ll ask?
Him: Sure – I hope she is smoking!
Me: Well, I certainly think so.

Like I said, it’s nice to be social and have company. Honestly, it’s nice having someone to (finally) invite to come with me to alla these things I get invited to all the time – and I literally get 2-4 invites to something every week, despite being so clumsy.

Still, it’s been years since I’ve been able to just add someone to a guest list so it does take a little getting used to.

She was great though, although my son was slightly confused…

Him: Wait, [the Firecracker]’s coming?
Me: Yep.
Him: (shrugs) OK.

…but not terribly so.

He really does roll with the punches very well, I gotta say.

Since everyone lived local, we got there a bit early and had the gorgeous food spread all to ourselves.

Me: Should we wait until the other guests arrive?
Housekeeper: No – eat, eat.
Me: (sitting down) No need to tell me twice, lady.

The Firecracker had never been in this building, although she’d seen it and walked by it a few times.

Me: I think Bono and Steve Martin also live here.
Her: No kidding!
Me:  Maybe we’ll run into one of them?

Everyone was just great, and the night was a lotta fun – although the kid was mainly just interested in the food and his tablet.

Him: Can I have dessert?
Me: ONE thing.
Him: Yay! I want the football cookie.

The Firecracker had to leave early because she had another event to go to, and then the kid and I had to leave because he had school the next day.

Me: Did you have a good time?
Him: Yes. I like [the Firecracker and the NFL Player].
Me: Good. Maybe we’ll keep them around for a bit.

Location: this morning, a cherry red Tesla on Broadway just off 72nd Street
Mood: surprised
Music: Trouble and worry, I’m gonna leave behind. I’m coming back – Lord, it’s been a while (Spotify)
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

The 90s-Themed Party

Dinner with my college friends

Her: Logan! (shakes head, sighs) What’s the opposite of a cougar?
Me: I dunno.
Her: Logan Lo…

It’s been super busy lately, sorry for the lack of updates.

I suppose the two things that are taking up the most of my time are: the tax increase (boo!) and the Firecracker (yay!).

I’ve not been social with too many of my old friends for reasons I’ve told you about before, but lately, that’s been changing.

For example, I’ve always wanted to introduce someone to my college friends but either no one I was dating reached that level of comfort or the people that did wouldn’t have appreciated it or them.

The last person I introduced my college friends to was Alison and that was over a decade ago.

But my friends were celebrating two of our groups birthdays and I asked if the Firecracker wanted to come along.

Me: The thing is, there might be a theme.
Her: What’s the theme?
Me: The 90s.
Her: I love it! We gotta do it.

So, we got dressed up and headed downtown to Kimika to meet everyone.

Honestly, one of the best things about her is her positivity. I didn’t realize how much negativity I’d been harbouring in my life for the past few years.

She loved Clueless as a kid so dressed somewhat similarly to Cher/Alicia Silverstone while I channeled my inner Will Ferrel from Night at the Roxbury, combined with the Rock from the 90s.

The fella over my shoulder’s Gar, whose home I went to over the summer to swim.

It was a ton of fun. The food was ridic good and I cannot tell you how many bottles of wines and glasses of rum I went through.

Although, I should comment that we were all talking about us all getting older and I had a glass of red wine in my hand and I literally snapped it in half for some inexplicable reason.

Table: LOGAN! What happened?
Her: Did you just snap that in half?
Me: Yes?
Her: Why did you do that?
Me: I didn’t do it intentionally!

I really didn’t. Suppose I’m really, really not mentally ready to turn 50.

That woulda been the end of that…had I not spilled another glass of water a few minutes later.

Table: (groans)
Me: (to Firecracker) This may explain why I don’t get invited out a lot.

For some reason, they didn’t tell me to leave. In fact, they invited us out to drinks afterward at another friend’s bar, Ms. Yoo.

Along the way, I ended up chatting with Gar’s wife, Wynn.

Her: So, I’m just watching some things on YouTube and you know what shows up?
Me: No idea.
Her: You! I get this suggested video from Scenic Fights and there’s your face!
Me: Sweeeeeeet. You’re welcome.

The bar was pretty packed with people but it was still great.

LT: Here are some cards for comped drinks.
Me: Thanks! I promise to try and not spill anything.

I really am ridic clumsy.

One of the girls there knew my cousin Ras and we commented (a) how young everyone looked and (b) how small the world was.

By that point, it was late so the Firecracker and I broke out and headed back home.

Her: Your friends are nice.
Me: I like to think so. Did you have a nice night?
Her: (nods) Yeah, I did.


Location: running into another kalista in a playground on the UWS
Mood: flirty
Music: Dreams are hopeless aspirations in hopes of comin’ true (Spotify)
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

More bonus I didn’t want

Having a home cooked meal at home

Me: With every tragedy, you get bonus tragedies.
Her: What are bonus tragedies?
Me: (shaking head) All the other shit that comes with your initial tragedy. Like, I assume after a divorce, there’s all this stupid paperwork you have to do. And you have to move. And you have to explain what happened to people. It’s all bullshit bonus. I’m sorry.

Getting the kid a passport is different for me than most parents. I know this because my sister just got passports for her kids.

Both parents have to sign off on getting a kid a passport so that one parent can’t secretly do it, receive the passport, and abscond with the child.

But when you’re a widower, you have to bring in proof that you’re a widower. Which means that I have to dig up both my marriage license and Alison’s fucking death certificate.

Lemme tell you – because I hope it’s a lifetime before you have to do such a thing – looking for, finding, and then touching something like a death certificate for someone you loved deeply is about emotionally equivalent to touching a hot pan repeatedly.

It’s not gonna kill you but fuck all if it doesn’t hurt like hell.

Like I said, it’s all bullshit bonus for shit you didn’t want in the first place.

Clerk: Here’s his picture! I do this a lot but, wow, your son’s super cute.
Me: Thanks. He…he takes after his mom.

The Firecracker wanted to cook dinner for me the other day, so she stopped by and took over the kitchen.

The last time someone cooked dinner for me in my own apartment was years ago.

Gotta say, it was nice. More than nice.

Me: I was gonna say that I was worried it would be dry since you didn’t brine it, but these came out great. Did you use a thermometer?
Her: (shaking head) No, just practice.

She found this bobby pin in my room and I could tell it bothered her.

Me: It’s definitely old. I have no idea who left it here.
Her: But why is it out?
Me: The kid probably put it there.
Her: But why do you even have it?
Me: (shrugging) I hate throwing things away. It seems wasteful. Just a poor kid’s mentality. (joking) I should really have a lost and found for all the rando jewelry and stuff that people leave here.
Her: (glares)
Me: This is probably a good time for me to stop talking. I should probably shut up. I’ll shut up now. (pause) I don’t know why I’m still talking.
Her: (nodding) Yeah…

If anyone’s looking for my foot, I found it in my mouth.

Her: It’s fine. We’ve only known each other four weeks.
Me: In my defense, you said, “Let’s not give this a name.”
Her: I know what I said, Lo. I’m allowed to change my mind.
Me: (nodding) Yes, yes you are.

Location: running into friends around Staples, asking how they were doing
Mood: pensive
Music: All of my demons keep me wide awake (Spotify)
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

Not getting a passport in Queens

Not win-win

It was a pretty insanely cold weekend this past weekend.

6 degrees was the low on both Friday and Saturday with Sunday having a high of 48 degrees, which was all pretty absurd.

Oddly, the gym was bursting at the seams on the coldest day of the week.

Didn’t expect that at all.

Sunday, I found out that my buddy, Grace, was holding a passport registration thingy in Flushing so I decided to (a) support her and (b) take care of getting the kid a passport.

Figured it’d be win-win. I was wrong.

First of all, the 7 train, which we use to get out there, wasn’t running so we had to transfer a few times to get to where it was.

Then when we showed up, the line was around the block. Literally.

We stood there for a solid hour.

The kid tried to entertain himself as best he could.

Ultimately, it didn’t move so we ended up just bailing.

I’m seeing my college friends this weekend for a 90s-themed dinner, so I decided to get a cheap haircut while we were in Flushing and also see my fam.

The kid was a riot over at the hair salon – the following was all in my crappy Chinese.

Her: He said, “thank you,” in Chinese!
Me: That’s about all he can say.
Her: It’s a start. Can I give him a piece of candy?
Me: Sure! He’ll love that.
Her: It’s doesn’t matter what kind of kid it is, they all love sweets, don’t they?
Me: Looks that way. But he does like to eat.

Afterward, I went to see my mom and sister.

They both cooked and I ate until I was beyond stuffed.

Like I said, feel I should see my family more.

I had the saddest thought recently, that there’ll come a time when I’ll wanna see my mom and I won’t be able to.

Shit, just writing that hurt my heart.

Me: Thanks for dinner, mom! (pause) I love you.
Her: You’re welcome! And I love you too!

Think my sister may be the only person that regularly bakes more than me for his/her kids.

Like me, she bakes high fiber, low-carb, delicious things. Tonight was a chocolate swirl cheesecake that was killer.

When I went for my second slice, we had the following exchange:

Her: Hey, do you want some tea?
Me: Do I!
Her: Decaf?
Me: Great!
Her: Heavy cream ok?
Me: Yes, please.
Her: Here you go. (hands me cup, sits down) So…tell me about the Firecracker.
Me: (laughs)

Location: this afternoon, showing the kid where I grew up
Mood: thoughtful
Music: If it’s alright, I’d like to stay (Spotify)
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

Daydreaming of more

The CRKT Knife Kit

Me: Well, Firecracker, don’t you look nice.
Her: (laughing) Oh, I love the way you talk, Logan Lo.

Forgot to mention that I headed out to my mom and sister for Lunar New Year.

It was good seeing family. Gotta remember to do that more often and more regularly.

Like always, the hours drag but the years sprint away.

Met up with the Firecracker for an early morning burger the other day as well, after I dropped the kid off at school.

Me: This used to be a joint called The Royal Canadian Pancake House that sold pancakes as big as [a trashcan lid].
Her: That sounds ridiculous.
Me: (nodding) Totally was.

Like I said, there’s something incredibly convenient about seeing someone from the hood.

The fact that she’s sweet, smart, and hot doesn’t hurt.

Her: Let’s not give this thing a name, Lo. I like things how they are.
Me: (nodding) That’s fine. I take direction well.

Later that week, I brought her a salad because she was working from home and was down for company.

We’re finding that, with the exception of a couple bright-line differences, we seem to live similar lives.

Me: I also brought you some bread.
Her: (shaking head) You’re sweet but I don’t generally eat carbs. Usually just a protein and veggies.
Me: OMG, that’s exactly like me.

She makes me laugh because she only ever calls me by my full name, “Logan Lo,” or just “Lo.”

She reminds me of the kids in Peanuts that call Charlie Brown by his full name, or Calvin and Hobbes calling Susie Derkins, “Susie Derkins.”

I only ever call her the Firecracker because I know three people with the exact same name as her.

Plus, I think it’s apropos to her personality.

We’re breaking all our rules around each other for some reason. For example, she introduced me to both her dad and sister, as well as her kid, something that she doesn’t normally do.

I break rules for her too but that’s something I’ll just keep to myself.


Part of being a single-father is finding things that the kid and I can both do together.

I got him this wooden knife kit just to have something to do with him and was excited to put it together with him and talk about things like knife safety and such.

Unfortunately, he didn’t really understand that it was supposed to be a him-and-me thingy and he gave it to his sitter to put together with him.

Tried my best to hide my disappointment – after all, it was my fault that I didn’t tell him that it was a him-and-me thing – but I was still bummed that we couldn’t do it.

Still, I like this little life he and I have together.

But I daydream of more.

I wonder if “more” is in the cards for a fella like me.

Me: Thanks.
Her: For what?
Me: (shrugging) It’s nice having someone to daydream about. It’s been a long time since I could daydream about anyone without it hurting.
Her: (nodding) Yeah…

Location: earlier tonight, being told some bad news in NJ
Mood: so mad
Music: In my scarecrow dreams, when they smash my heart into smithereens (Spotify)
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

Chinese New Year with Annabel

My first friend

The boy and I high-tailed it to the East side for a Lunar New Year Party.

Do you remember when I told you about the lovely nurse Annabel that cooked for Alison and us every Wednesday when we were trying to save her?

She’s the one that invited me to her wedding, which I’m sure she regretted as I was a sobbing mess at the time.

Anywho, it appears that she never learned her lesson as – without fail – every year, she invites me to numerous events. She invited me to a Lunar New Year event that was that night.

My life’s been frozen for quite some time now, I think. But I decided I needed to go; the last time she saw the kid, he was 18 months or so.

Me: Hi there, stranger! Can I bring [the boy]?
Her: Yes absolutely! There will be other kids around his age, so should be fun.

So, we headed to Grand Central, near my office – but only after we stopped to watch some breakdancers – and soon found ourselves in a room packed to the gills with nice people, nonstop, fresh handmade dumplings, and the best smells you can imagine as a secretly fatty-fat-fat Chinese boy.

The boy was shy at first but then quickly made friends.

I was tickled when two mothers pulled me aside.

Her: I just want you to know, you have the nicest son! He introduced himself to every kid.
Me: Oh, that’s awesome! I’m legally required to keep him another 10 years or so, but that certainly helps.

Didn’t actually get to speak to Annabel’s fella much at the wedding, I did this night. Turns out that he’s a professor of tax law over at NYU Law.

Him: Do you still practice the law?
Me: I’m still on the masthead at my firm so, yes? But I have the luxury of only taking on things that interest me.

He was super interesting and a marathon runner. We both agreed that, had things been different, he and Alison would go running together and Annabel and I would stay behind and drink while waiting for them.

In any case, I’m great at parties because you can really just cut me loose and I’ll make friends.

Her: You’re funny, you should have a YouTube channel.
Me: Actually, I do…in a manner of speaking. Google “Scenic Fights.”
Her: (she does) Whoa! You have 6.9 million views on one of your videos.
Me: To be fair, I’m pretty sure my mom is 6.8 million of those views.

At the end of the night, a very pretty teenage blond girl sat next to the boy. He turned to her and looked at her admiringly.

I had mentioned to my brother the other day that my earliest memory was our pretty blond neighbor, Jennifer. So, he shot me the picture below.

I really do think so much of what shapes our lives are guided by little things from our childhood.

It might explain why I have a weakness for certain types of people.

Him: Did you see the older girl that sat next to me, papa?
Me: (smiling and nodding) I did.
Him: She was nice.
Me: She seemed it. (later) Did you have a good time today?
Him: Yes! We did so much!
Me: Yeah, we did. Who knows, maybe we’ll see some of these people again, someday.

Location: earlier tonight, picking up dog food on 79th Street in the rain while explaining who John Danaher is
Mood: soaked to the bone
Music: I know we’re moving fast, too good to let it pass (Spotify)
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

%d bloggers like this: