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Eating the kids’ food at Chelsea Piers

Imposing

Of course, we’re not the only people with an active social life.

Almost exactly three years ago, my son was spending alla his time with this older girl named Annie that told him one day that she didn’t want to play with him any more.

Of course, I was worried about him.

Me: Are you ok that Annie didn’t want to play with you?
Him: (nodding) I’ll meet someone else. (later) This is Sandy, papa, she lives on West 74th.
Me: (laughing) Hello Sandy who lives on West 74th. Why don’t you two play and I’ll watch your scooters?

Welp, Sandy turned nine the other day and, just like last year, celebrated at Chelsea Piers.

Think it’s sweet that the two have remained friends all these years, even though they don’t have many friends in common and go to different schools.

Then again, perhaps he’ll always be this socially ok and will always be able to meet new people while keeping old friends.

Ended up chatting with several people I’ve met before at other events.

Friend: I feel bad because I’m eating all the kids’ food.
Me: Wait, there’s more food?
Him: Yeah, over there. (points) That’s for the adults.
Me: I say we stick here and eat the kids’ food. It’s better.
Him: (laughs, nods)
Me: But the drinks are definitely adult.

Sandy’s uncle had to run back to our hood to pick up some forgotten goodies for the other kiddos so I offered to go with him.

Now, Sandy’s mom teased that I shoulda brought the Firecracker.

Me: I didn’t wanna impose.
Her: I put you down party of four to include her and her kid! You should have brought her.
Me: Clearly, I don’t pay attention to stuff.

So, I asked the Firecracker if she could stop by their building and grab the stuff from their doormen and she did.

Before we knew it, we were all hanging out at Chelsea Piers.

When I came back, I searched for my son and someone laughed and pointed at the floor of one of the bowling lanes.

In the middle of all the cacophony was my son, sitting in the middle of everything, eating some cake.

That’s my boy.

Him: Where were you?!
Me: I had to help Sandy’s family with something.
Him: You didn’t tell me.
Me: I figured you were in good hands and wouldn’t even notice that I left for a few minutes.
Him: Next time, you have to tell me when you leave.
Me: Will do, kiddo.

I love him so.

Location: a dive bar, having $1 wings and $5 well drinks. It was glorious.
Mood: sotted
Music: Wе can chill, it could still be dynamite (Spotify)
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A Birthday Dinner in Columbus Circle

Amusing our bouches

The Firecracker and I had a low-key St. Valentine’s Day because the NFL Player and I were planning on taking Thor out to dinner at a fancy restaurant later on in the week to celebrate Thor’s birthday.

We were late getting out the door but made it there right on time.

Thor was there first and waved us over and I introduced them the two of them.

Him: (to Firecracker) So great to finally meet you!
Her: Same!
Me: I’m here too, you know.

We ordered some drinks but then the NFL Player and his wife showed up.

NFL: The Maitre’d and I are old friends. They’re moving us to a better spot.
His Wife: We eat here a lot.
Thor: Nice to have that kinda pull.

Shoulda taken a pic of where we were seated – it was grand – but I was too busy enjoying my drink(s).

It was a really nice time. Everyone was super cool.

We got to talking about our old gym and how disappointed we were with everything there.

Chad’s definitely a better teacher and better fit for the three of us.

The waiter brought over an amuse-bouche, courtesy of the Maitre’d.

But I was starving so the Firecracker and I shared the tomahawk steak you see above – she’d never had one before.

Her: That thing is huge!
Me: That’s what she said.
Her: (rolls her eyes)

While the Firecracker was away, everyone at the table told me I should lock down her down.

NFL Player’s Wife: She seems really lovely.
Me: Wait, I’m a pretty good catch too!
Table: (laughs)
Me: (grumble)

After dinner, we surprised Thor with some cakes.

But Thor and I wanted something different for dessert.

Me: Welp, if I’m having carbs, I want more onion rings.
Her: For dessert?!
Me: You do you, and I’ll do me.
Thor: It’s fine, I’m gonna have some bone marrow and wine.
Me: See?

We stayed out a lot longer than we should have but it was a nice mid-week adventure.

Me: (on the walk home) I’m gonna be having salads and oatmeal all week to make up for what just happened.
Her: (nodding) Oh, yeah, same…

Location: On top of my refrigerator, looking at a huge crack and some mold
Mood: so hungry
Music: tell me it’s gonna be fine I need a little luck tonight (Spotify)
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Chinese New Year 2024

A year later

Me: (to Firecracker) Can I fight him?
Her: Don’t. It’s not worth it.
Me: OK. But if I have to, I’m gonna have to hurt him.

The Firecracker’s kid was away with her ex so I invited her to join my kid and me to Annabel and her husband John’s annual Chinese New Year party.

Her: Should I wear red?
Me: You don’t have to but a lotta people do.
Her: I swear, Logan Lo, if I’m the only person there not wearing red…
Me: *I’m* not wearing red…well, except for the leather jacket.
Her: I swear…

She reminded me that our kids met the year before on Chinese New Year; she remembered because I told her I wouldn’t be around that night as I was heading to Annabel’s.

Always find relationships so interesting – and how time changes things.

We took the train to Penn Station and then hopped a cross town bus to see them.

Again, being centrally located has its perks.

As soon as we walked in, there was a crowd of people making dumplings, so we washed our hands and joined them to make some for everyone.

That is, until the first batch came out to eat.

That was when I stopped the production component of the evening and switched over to the consumption component.

There was also a ton of traditional Chinese veggies, which I appreciated.

Think I mighta eaten half of the pickled bamboo shoots which are the the white things in the small bowl below, between the black wood ears and the wine bottles.

Afterwards, the parents gave out red envelopes and we were told to sit down for the kids to come up to us and wish us a Happy New Year.

One British boy walked right up to me and put his face less than an inch from mine, which was a bit startling and his dad yelled out, with a proper British accent, “Personal space! Give him some personal space!”

It was pretty funny. You had to be there.

The kid collected like $38 dollars or something.

Me: Great! I get 10%
Him: Dad!
Me: (shrugging) I don’t make the rules, kid.

I actually handed out $2 bills, including to the Firecracker’s kid and niece on other days.

The Firecracker’s BIL commented that they would be more impressive if kids were used to seeing other bills.

That actually didn’t occur to me: the fact that $2 bills are no more/less special than any other bill because people just don’t use that much cash anymore.

Afterward, we took the train home.

On the way back, I almost came to blows with this loudmouth, but everyone’s a tough guy until it’s time to actually be a tough guy.

But that’s a story for another time.

Location: off to dinner with the Firecracker
Mood: hangry
Music: knew I’d figure it out some day (Spotify)
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Centrally located

I’m the guy

Her: I am a little sassy.
Me: Well, that I could do with out.
Her: (laughs)

Because the Firecracker grew up with green grass and shade, while she likes living in the big city, if she had her druthers, she’d rather live in the suburbs than the Upper Best Side.

I get the appeal.

But being centrally located has its definite perks.

For example, met up with the Pastor the other day for a cuppa joe.

Him: Confirming 11 today?
Me: Yup! The usual place, still?
Him: Yes. see you soon!

It was easy – he popped by my local cafe, we met up and chatted for a bit and then I went back to do some kali with someone over zoom.

You can’t do stuff like that in suburbs quite as easily, I don’t think.

Well, the zoom stuff yes but you get my point.

Also met up with the NFL Player and my buddy Thor for a drink and some food in the area.

One of my favourite joints in the area, Friedman’s, moved just a block east and I’d not yet gone there.

Both of them had shoulder surgery not too long ago so we just caught up.

Me: Are you two sure you don’t need a lazy but brilliant attorney who will never show up to work? Because I know a guy.
Him: We’re all set there.
Me: It’s me. The guy is me. I’m the guy.
Both: (laugh)

Like I said, it’s nice being centrally located.

Me: That was really good food and excellent drinks.
Him: Not the wine though, the wine was terrible.
Me: Wouldn’t know; not a wine drinker.
Him: Next time, we’ll get the girls out.
Me: For sure.

Location: my bedroom, getting a trim from the Firecracker
Mood: cough-y
Music: Don’t listen to a word I say (Spotify)
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Trampolining in Brooklyn

Zero nutritional value

The Surgeon dropped me a line the other day. He was bringing his kids to an Urban Air in Brooklyn.

So, bright and early this past weekend, the Firecracker and I, plus both kids, woke up early and headed out to meet up with them.

Because we were up so early, the subway as a whole was pretty empty.

It took a solid 90 minutes from the pad to the place because of alla the subway delays et al.

When we finally arrived, the joint was pretty empty as well.

Took one look at the food options and offered to make a food run since I saw alla these delicious looking delis and bodegas everywhere.

Stepping into one, I ordered a buncha breakfast burritos – the Firecracker wanted bacon in hers but the resta us wanted chorizo.

Him: Why chorizo instead of bacon?
Me: (shrugging) I’m a man.

The kids played for hours.

Legit, hours. From 11:30 to 3:30.

By the time it was 1PM, the joint was packed.

The kids got hungry so some of the other parents ended up picking up food for them.

Me: There’s like zero nutritional value here, kid.
Him: That’s ok.
Me: Is it?

We were there enough that I had time to make another food run for ourselves.

Me: How about a Cuban?
Him: I won’t say no to a Cuban.
Me: Who would really?

Turns out the Firecracker as she’s not a fan of pickles.

Me: What are you, a communist?

One of the kids started saying they wanted to head home so the Surgeon pulled out the big guns.

Him: How about some dipping dots?

That bought us another 30 mins or so.

But only 30 mins or so.

It’s fine. Everyone got their fill of food and fun and we took the train home.

Later on that night, the kid and just had fruit and yoghurt for dinner because we ate so poorly all day.

Let’s see what next weekend brings.

Location: an hour ago, a bar on the UWS with Thor and the NFL Player having an Old Fashioned
Mood: sotted
Music: everywhere we go shout it loud with the crowd everybody knows (Spotify)
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Benjamin, Olly, and Scarlett

Ithaca is Gorges

The Firecracker has met a lotta my good friends, but not alla them.

RE Mike and her just never seemed to be able to cross paths but he hit me up outta the blue to tell me about a kid event in Chelsea and I checked if the Firecracker was free.

Her: Oh, I finally get to meet RE Mike?
Me: Looks that way!

So, on the one nice day this past weekend, we headed downtown to see them.

The event was at a place called Olly Olly downtown, which I’d never heard of.

Essentially, they had two huge bouncy houses there and costumed characters.

The kid was just happy to be able to bounce around; he and Mike’s kid got along swimmingly.

Mike was ever the charmer…

Him: Are you aging backward? You look younger every time I see you.
Me: It’s all the drugs and alcohol. I’m like Benjamin Button.
Him: (to the Firecracker) You know you look like Scarlett, right?
Her: Why thank you! I have heard that, yes.
Him: It’s not a bad thing.

The kid got hungry, so I ended up just getting him a quesadilla, which he ate completely by himself.

This kid is eating me outta house and home.

Afterward, we went to – of all places – the Jacob Javits Center to check out a travel show.

Him: You used to be in this industry.
Me: Ages ago. Man, we’ve known each other a long time.

His wife is a doctor, and her practice is just a few doors down from the gym.

Her: Why did you open a gym down there?
Me: (shrugging) Everyone liked the space.

Mike’s also a lawyer, when he’s not doing all his other businesses. We both talked about our taking the bar there.

Him: (to the girls) Can you imagine this place with rows and rows of nothing but desks and chairs with people taking an exam?
Me: And it was dead silent. Not a single sound except pencils on paper.

We went to the Japan exhibit…

…and then to the Taiwan exhibit where the kid did a high five with someone in a bear costume…

…and then listened to the orchestra – of course…

…before we ended up at the Ithaca exhibit, of all places.

Me: I went to Cornell!
Guy at booth: You did? I have something for you!

He slipped behind the display and rummaged about…

…before reappearing with this.

Me: Awesome – thank you!

Before we left, the kid walked by the Florida exhibit and the guy there proceeded to put an urchin, a starfish, and a snail on his hand.

Him: This is so weird!

Which kinda encapsulates life with RE Mike:

You never know if you’re gonna end up at some ritzy private event with celebs, a private concert, a Broadway show, or a travel exhibit with someone putting sea animals on your kid’s arm.

Wouldn’t want it any other way.

Me: So, you finally met RE Mike.
Her: I did! So, have I met everyone?
Me: Nah, there’s Bryson, Paul, The Professor, Bridget, Nadi, Paul, CoB…

Location: West 71st, chatting up a fella who’s girlfriend just handed me a Macbook
Mood: getting over this damn cold
Music: with a shade of scarlet, running fast to better days, I’m on it (Spotify)
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A night at hot pot, the Library, pizza, Criff Dogs, and (almost) a Speakeasy.

And we ran into another friend, too

The Firecracker needed to get some legal work done but it was outta my wheelhouse, so I asked my buddy Reed to take a look at it for us, which he did.

So, as a mini-thanks for the help, the Firecracker and I took him out to eat hot pot and get some drinks.

We started off at Hou Hot Pot; the Firecracker and I arrived first, and he came just a few minutes later and had on a pearl necklace, like the Firecracker.

Her: Hey, we’re both wearing pearls!
Him: Yes, yes, we are.
Me: Dammit, left out again.

We ordered a ton of food and just caught up.

Afterward, we went to the Library of Distilled Spirits

….where we chatted with the bartender, who also starred in Drunk Shakespeare.

Me: Is it always the same person drunk each time?
Him: Nah, we take turns.
Me: Seems sensible.

Reed ordered a Paper Plane variation, while I had my old standby, the Old Fashioned…

…and a rum drink that I’ve never had before.

Bartender: Have you ever had an Old Cuban?
Me: Nope, but I’ll have one now.

It was honestly, pretty good – but nuthin could beat that first Old Fashioned.

We got pretty lit there and I got snacky, as I’m usually wont to do.

So, we got some pizza.

Her: Whenever Logan drinks, his “no carbs” rule goes out the window.
Me: You sold me out!
Her: But it’s true!
Me: That’s not the point!

It wasn’t enough.

Reed: Let’s go to Crif Dogs and get cheap beer and some dogs.
Me: Sold!
Him: We can also check out the speakeasy there that’s hidden behind the phone booth.
Her: What? Wait, is this Please Don’t Tell?

It was.

But the line was waaaaay too long so we just got dogs and beer.

Turns out the guy running the front desk grew up in Ithaca, where I went to college.

Him: My family owned Rogan’s.
Me: For serious? Man, I haven’t had that in ages.

We just ended up chatting the night away.

Him: Oh, I was engaged once.
Me: No kidding?
Him: We’re still friends. Her daughter visited the city not too long ago and I showed her around.
Me: You’re such a mensch!

It was late when we headed back, and we ran into my buddy Lau who had just finished up a private show.

A lot more happened, but I suppose this is all I wanted to tell you.

Location: in bed almost all day
Mood: sick, send soup
Music: Lethal poison for the system (Spotify)
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SF Loop Dreams

Shooting in a dot-com

Didn’t have much time to decompress after our trip because I pretty much immediately had to get ready for a two-day Scenic Fights shoot.

The last time I checked, we were closing in on 585,000 subscribers, which itself is pretty nuts.

But getting – and keeping – alla these subscribers means that we gotta keep cranking out good content.

So, the other day, we tried shooting in my buddy’s dot com.

It’s weird, I know alla these serious movers and shakers these days, and I often marvel how I ended up knowing any of them.

Case-in-point, a buddy of mine sold one of his many companies to Facebook a little while back.

I’d never been to his offices before but he mentioned that he had a studio in one of them.

Me: Whoa! Can we shoot at it? We’re always looking for new places to shoot Scenic Fights.
Him: Sure – have your producers reach out to me to set it up.

And they did.

Honestly, I don’t have the words to tell you how gorgeous these offices were.

Like, they had two bars/kitchen areas in them.

And we took full advantage of them – I almost made myself sick eating all the snacks there. I did my best to not have too much of the alcohol since we were filming.

There were snacks and drinks everywhere, but I – of course – didn’t have any because that would just be gauche.

It’s been a long time since I’ve worked for a dot-com, but being there reminded me of onea my possible pasts from decades ago.

I often wonder what my life woulda been like if I’d stayed.

Then again, I suppose I like how my life is now, horrors notwithstanding.

Even though it’s nuthin like I’d expected it to be all those years ago.

Location: freezing getting from A to B anywhere right now
Mood: so gauche
Music: Dear me, you’ll be older one day. I’m writing from the future and you’re doing ok (Spotify)
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A traditional Chinese-American Christmas meal of Mexican food

Something different for everyone

The neighborhood’s been in full holiday swing this past month.

There were some carolers that were singing outside one of my usual supermarkets, which was a cool little things for the neighborhood.

The Firecracker’s sister and brother-in-law were supposed by with their kid again for a pre-Christmas dinner so we did a lotta planning, including for me to really spend some time in our local (tiny) Japanese food mart around the way.

Unfortunately, her brother-in-law got sick.

Firecracker: On no, now their kid’s sick.
Me: Oh man, that stinks. We should cancel getting together otherwise, everyone’s gonna have a miserable Christmas.
Her: Yeah, she thinks the same.

So, we ended up having some pretty quiet Christmas plans; the Firecracker really wanted to see some Christmas lights but I was beat and so were the kids.

She was definitely a good sport about not going but I convinced the boys and myself to rally and head out with her to see some lights in Lincoln Center that was activated by noise.

The kids liked it because they had a good reason to scream on the top of their lungs in the middle of Manhattan. And the Firecracker liked it because she just wanted to do something festive with alla us.

Afterwards, we decided to walk along Columbus home trying to figure out what to do.

We ultimately found a cozy little Mexican restaurant that had margaritas so we went there.

Me: Nothing like a traditional Chinese-American Christmas meal of Mexican food.

But, honestly, it was better than anything we coulda planned.

Afterward, because we all had other obligations for Christmas Day, we all exchanged gifts that night.

It was something different for everyone, which makes sense, because this whole thing is something different for everyone.

Location: a Christmas market
Mood: proud
Music: Next year all our troubles, will be out of sight (Spotify)
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Sorry I’m late, what’s the topic of conversation?

Two Christmas Office Parties

This Christmas season’s been different from the past few years.

For one thing, I’m just a longer way away from 2017, which is when everything went to hell.

But the Firecracker’s also been really good about pulling me out into the world this season.

She actually had her holiday office party in the neighborhood and dropped me a line.

Her: At the Dakota Bar.
Me: I could swing by to say “hi” for a second after I drop the kid off if you’re still there?
Her: Yes, please.

This was a different group of people than I met in the past, so it was interesting meeting these different people that she worked with.

Me: Sorry I’m late, what’s the topic of conversation?
Someone at table: We’re just talking shit about people we know.
Me: I’m a guest here so I’ll talk shit about anyone you’d like. Fuck those guys. Hi, I’m Logan.

One of her coworkers ended up buying me two drinks, so that was pretty nice.

One young lady was pretty dedicated to her job but you could tell it was draining her.

Me: What’s the biggest issue?
Her: (waving hand) What do you see here?
Me: (puzzled) Your hand?
Her: Yup, my hand. No ring, no guy, just the job. It’s exhausting.
Me: Oh, there’s someone out there for you; I believe there’s a lid for every pot.

Afterward, I went to get the kid and headed home.

A few days later, I got invited to my own law firm party at Capital Grille at the Chrysler Center – we’d been there a few times before.

On the way there, I ran into the Grinch on a powered tricycle.

Swear to god, it does NOT sound like she’s saying, “pumpkin pie,” in this video.

I was late to my own office party because I had to drop off the kid with his Chinese class, so I came in while everyone was already settled.

Me: Sorry I’m late, what’s the topic of conversation?

I ordered my usual Old Fashioned – it’s my go-to when I know they don’t have fine aged rum.

They already ordered a ton of appetizers and I ordered what was essentially a surf and turf.

The Firecracker had, evidently, called me a number of times.

Her: You need to answer your phone. They won’t release [your kid] to me.
Me: I’m so sorry, it was in my jacket.
Her: [It’s fine], I have him.

The firm hired a new lawyer that practiced the same area of the law as me and this was the first time we got to talking outside of work.

Me: I assume you met your girl the traditional way of some app?
Him: (laughing) Yup.
Me: Honestly, I like it. You can’t just walk into a bar and ask any rando you meet for a head shot and a writing sample.
Co-Worker: The writing sample’s so important.
Me: SO important.

Everyone else left so it was just the boss and me drinking in the end.

There’s a lot more to that part of the story but I’ll just end that part here.

Location: home, doing word problems with the kid who was losing his patience
Mood: chilly willy
Music: Later we’ll have some PUMPKIN pie and we’ll do some caroling (Spotify)
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