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)
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OK, Boomer Logan

Yatzee

Her: Do you know what I wanna do right now?
Me: Yatzee?
Her: (laughs) I wanna watch Scenic Fights!

The Firecracker actually has a son slightly older than my own kid. While this was a bit surprising, it wasn’t really an issue for me.

Her: Am I your first MILF?
Me: (thinking) I think so?

Previously, I’d never entertained the thought of dating anyone with a kid just because I’d never done anything like that before.

But my buddy Miller extolled the virtues of it.

Him: Are you kidding? That’s the best. You have a built in playdate!
Me: I dunno.
Him: Expand your horizons! You have a kid, why shouldn’t she?

Only two people I’ve ever dated met the kid.

Personally, I think that the more good souls the kid meets, the better, but I understand her point of view, which is that she doesn’t want her kid to get super attached to a fella only to have him disappear.

She dated a few people before me but no one ever met her kid.

But my own kid and I had a weekend class thingy just a few blocks from her house.

Me: Do you have any interest in randomly running into me and my son on Saturday at 2:45 in the park?
Her: Maybe?
Me: Works for me.

Already had a full morning with the kid, and then the gym, and then this kid’s party thingy, and then a party with some other friends of mine so I was already packed to the gills.

What was one more wrinkle?

The gym was fun…for the most part.

Me: (bluffing) You got nuthin!
Him: OK, Boomer!
Me: (mock offended)  I’m GenX!
Him: (laughing) OK, Boomer!
Me: I’m gonna kill you!

After the gym, we were running late so I brought the kid to the local McD’s around the corner.

Me: I’ve failed as a parent.  (later) We’ll be at [the park] by 2:30 but I’m sure we’ll message beforehand.
Her: I’m positive you’ll message me before then.
Me: Don’t be so sure! You think I like you *that* much?
Her: Yup.

30 minutes later, I’m in the park and I see her come in with her son. She sits down and we “introduce” ourselves. After a little while, our kids start to interact.

It’s really quite cool, I must say.

We were out there in freezing cold for a solid two hours – I think some of the other parents were wondering what was going on.

Afterward, the kid and I walked them halfway home before heading to our last destination of the day.

Me: (holding out hand) It was lovely meeting you, Ms. Firecracker, and you too Little Firecracker.
Her: (taking hand) Nice meeting you Logan Lo, and you as well.

And then the boy and I went on our final adventure for the day but I’ll tell you about that tomorrow or something.

My normal modus operandi when I meet someone I really like is to immediately find 2-5 other people to date, if I’m not already seeing anyone else, so that I’m not obsessing over one person.

That’s served me well for decades. After all, I’m aware of how a lotta things work, particularly myself.

But I’m still upgrading my OS and trying to do things differently.

In fact, for the first time, I went the other way around, in a manner of speaking.

Like always, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Location: earlier today, reading the NY Times with the Firecracker
Mood: curious
Music: can’t help but fall right in, I don’t even stand a chance (Spotify)
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Another (almost) trip to the ER

It’s a date

On the night I taught the class, I took a heel to my forehead from one of the guys and saw stars.

The guy was apologetic – it was an accident, after all – but he’s been pretty wild before. I did manage to get the tap after we resumed so there’s that.

Fast forward a few days and I woke up with some eye irritation and a lot of floaters so my doctor brother strongly suggested that I get that looked at.

Didn’t wanna go back to the ER for the millionth time so I called a buncha places with no luck but then I found a place just a few blocks south of my pad on W 79th. They closed in 40 mins.

Receptionist: When can you get here?
Me: 20 mins? Less, maybe.
Her: Run!

So, I did.

Before I knew it, I was on the ground floor of a beautiful townhouse and getting stuff pointed and sprayed into my eye.

Honestly, I’m thrilled that I managed to find him versus having to head to the ER. And within walking running distance to boot.

Some 40 minutes later, I was being checked out. I was the last patient of the day so the doc and I got to talking.

Turns out that we had a lot in common as I shared what happened with my dad and Alison.

Him: You’ll be fine. No detached retina. The floaters will be a problem for a while but not much to do there.
Me: That’s a relief.
Him: I’m glad we met. Come back for a checkup in 4-6 weeks and we’ll chat some more.
Me: Sure thing, doc.

He dilated my pupils so getting home was an adventure in itself.

Almost got hit by a car more than once. It was like walking outside and staring right at the sun. Had something similar happen before I started writing this blog.

Maybe I’ll tell you about it sometime.

Driver: WTF is wrong with you?! Are you @#$@# blind?
Me: Well, yeah, actually…

Speaking of beautiful things in my neighborhood, there’s this effervescent blonde from my neighborhood that I met recently.

She found something familiar about me and I, her.

Her: You really are so easy on the eyes.
Me: My mom thinks I’m dreamy.
Her: She has good taste.

After the GES all those years ago – and the fact that I had to avoid my fave bar for a few years because I kept running into women I dated there – I had a rule to not date women in my area.

GES was the last one, and that was 16 years ago.

edit: Actually, the Aerialist was the last one but that was so quick that I forgot about it.

But I’m trying some new things these days. Plus, her particular charms helped encourage me to break my rule(s).

The kicker was that she lived steps from the doc.

Her: I can meet you for a drink [that] evening. We can keep it local since it’s convenient for both of us.
Me: Perfect. Let’s do that. We’ll work out details today/tomorrow but it’s a date.
Her: Those are three magical words: “It’s a date.” So full of possibilities.

Location: earlier today, W 77th and Broadway, making plans
Mood: good
Music: a chance, it’s worth taking (Spotify)
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Violence and Mexican with the fellas

You’re always hungry

Sorry, more out of order entries.

Been insanely busy these days, mainly with my slowly stirring social life, which itself is an entire entry.

On that note, the Frenchman and Bryson – who both know each other – stopped by my gym the other day.

It’s been ages since Bryson was at my pad last. I’m 33 in that pic in that entry.

I miss that leather jacket.

It was cool to see the Frenchman roll because a number of the gym members knew him as only as a beginning kali student and definitely not as a seasoned BJJ black belt.

I rolled with both Bryson (a brown belt) – who missed the entire class but ended up catching the sparring part – and the Frenchman. I was surprised to see that I survived as long as I did.

They both wrecked me. It was glorious.

Did manage to catch Chad in an omaplata (!!) in one of our rolls, which is the second time I’ve tapped him in 14 years. Pure luck.

So, I’m averaging one tap on him every seven years, which is actually far better than I woulda expected, lemme tell ya.

Unfortunately, the Frenchman, like me, had a number of injuries and he definitely tweaked it again rolling with Chad, who I’m sure, was happy to be on the mats with two high-level fellas like them.

Him: Rolling after 40 is a different thing.
Me: Preaching to the converted, man.

Afterward, the three of us left with the kid to head back to my place to drink and catch up.

Me: Heya! Are we still on for tonight?
Her: I mean, I’m still testing positive for covid…

The reason I had the kid with me was the same reason that we had to shut down the gym the other day; his sitter was supposed to watch him so I could hang out with them but she ended up getting COVID. Ditto for his guitar instructor.

But I was happy he got to meet Bryson. I consider him one of my oldest and dearest friends, even though we rarely see each other.

Kinda think that’s just how it is these days.

The kid’s been on a taco kick lately; this is what I made for him earlier in the week…

But there’s this killer taco truck one block away from my pad and we left the gym late. Like, really late.

Me: You guys should get something here. The food is outstanding.
Frenchman: You don’t want anything? It’s on me.
Me: Nah, I’m still single so I gotta try and look good. But I’m sure the kid’ll want something.
Boy: YESH!

It was great catching up with them. The kid liked having a full house. And the late-night Mexican.

Me: Why are you always hungry?!
Boy: YOU’RE ALWAYS HUNGRY.
Me: (scowling because I was just bested by a seven-year-old)

They gave me a ton of gossip about all the other schools and the goings-on there. We also talked a lot about child-rearing.

Me: As the only one of us without a daughter, I’m just gonna say I’m guessing that’s even more stressful.
Bryson: No way, boys are a terror. Terror!

It was pretty fun night that we said we’d do again.

The next day, I brought the kid out to my in-laws and then came back.

Also met up with another single-serving girlie, which is all that really needs to be said. Another date to nowhere.

It was a short little innocuous meetup.

Her: You’re a little too charming for my tastes. My spider-sense goes off when someone’s too charming.
Me: Give it time, darling. I’ll be sure to disappoint you, somehow.

Had a few more dates lined up this week too but an unexpected trip to the doctor for a medical emergency and a blue-eyed blonde firecracker messed up those plans.

But that’s for another entry.

Her: You’re the first guy I’ve ever googled and actually found something besides their LinkedIn.
Me: You’re welcome?

Location: this morning, getting an early morning Reuben with a new friend and not getting to eat it.
Mood: super tired
Music: never get old (Spotify)
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All my gods are gone

Poof

Me: I have to be careful with what I say and do around him.
Him: Of course, you’re his father.
Me: (shaking head) More than that. He’s a little kid. I’m god to him. I provide him love, a home, food, everything he knows about the world. I’m his god and I have to be careful because of it. All parents are god to little boys and girls.

Before Alison got sick and died, I went to church most Sundays. I believed in God and Christianity, most likely because my mom did. If she was Muslim, I’m sure I woulda believed in Allah. But that’s how it goes.

Then Alison started losing babies and I quietly clung on to the hope that there was a merciful god and he would show her/us some mercy. And then she got sick and died in May of 2017.

Exactly 90 days later, my father died in August of 2017.

This whole time, another relative of mine was sick that I never mentioned because I was asked not to mention it.

There’s so much I tell you about; imagine if you knew alla the things I don’t tell you about. But we all have our three lives: Public, private, and secret.

All three losses were devastating to me. Imagine if your spouse, father, and close cousin all died within a few weeks of each other, how would you fare?

In all of this, I also lost my career that I spent 20 years building. An entire portfolio of clients gone – poof. Because I didn’t give a shit about it anymore.

Me: (to a different woman) What happened to your last fella?
Her: (shrugging) His family wanted a nice Catholic girl and I’m … definitely not that. What are you?
Me: Oh, I’m a devout atheist. If there is god, he can go fuck himself.

In the New Testament, when Jesus is on the cross, he cries out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” He’s in pain, dying on some wood, and his father is nowhere to be seen or heard. And that’s when the son just gives up.

He says, “I’m thirsty. I’m done. Take it.” And he dies.

Because imagine if you’re dying and your dad knows this and you call him.

He picks up and says, “I know you’re dying, I know you’re in pain, but it doesn’t matter, I’ll never speak to you again, you’ll never see me again.” And then silence. Pure silence.

Now that’s pain. I’d give up too.

But that’s what happened to me. Times four.

Now, this fella named William Makepeace Thackeray once said, Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children.

But the kid never knew her. So that leaves me and me alone.

Still, with all due respect to Mr. Thackeray, my dad was my god as a little boy because I think it’s fairer to say that parents are gods to their little children. He and my mom were mine.

As an adult, my god was the god of my church and Alison – there was no sin I would not commit to keep her alive.

My minor god, but something I worshipped nonetheless, was my career. I think most people, if they were honest, would say that the thing that bring them income and security, they worship, to some degree.

But in 2017, I was hollowed out because I lost all my gods – everything I ever fucking believed in – all between the months of May and August. Alison, my dad, my religion, my job.

Poof. Gone.

And I filled those gaping holes with rage, women, and varying forms of pharmaceuticals. Not a single woman from that period speaks to me.

Because I was just rage and sadness and they were all unfortunate enough to be swept up in it all, hoping that I could possibly be normal.

I’m just starting to feel normal now, five years after the fact.

My buddy Jaerik commented in 2007 that I was never angry. Cause I always felt anger was the most useless of all emotions and I was pretty anti-emotion as a whole.

During NYE, one of the sisters remarked that there must be some part of me that believes in the Christian god somewhere and that’s when I realized why I was so fucked up for so long. Because this whole time, I thought I was grieving the loss of my wife and my dad, and – to lesser extent – the death of my old life and career.

That’s when I realized that I lost my religion as well.

Man, I lost all my gods at once. Losing one would be enough to drive anyone starkers. I lost everything that I felt made me…me.

To answer my friend’s question: The god I knew and believed in is as dead and gone as Alison and my dad is. The only thing with any spark of life is my career and even that takes a massive backseat to raising the kid.

Somehow, realizing that that night was the missing piece in my head and I felt my head quiet in ways I’ve not felt in over a dozen years – not since at least November of 2011.

Glad they asked me out for a drink, I gotta say…

And that’s why I decided to upgrade my OS. Or rather, replace it altogether.

It was originally built on ideas, people, and things that no longer exist, save for things about Schopenhauer that I still believe to be true.

But I’m tired of the anger and the rage. I miss being the quiet grey man no one knew could fight or knew experienced the devastating losses I did.

Then again, I wish alotta fucking things and I’m tired of wishing for shit that’ll never happen, people I’ll never see again, gods that never existed.

I just want things quiet again. In my head. In my life. I want it quiet, peaceful, and calm.

I think I’m at like 5% now in the upgrade process.

Him: Papa, I got a golf game. Do you want to play golf with me?
Me: I’ve never played…sure, kid. Lemme finish this email while you set it up, ok?
Him: OK! There’s a blue ball, a yellow ball, a green ball, and a red ball. Pick two.
Me: Red and yellow? (thinking) No, wait. Blue and green, please.
Him: OK, I’ll be red and yellow. I’ll get it ready. Hurry up with your email and let’s play!
Me: You got it, kid. I’ll be right out.

Location: earlier today, on 18th, drilling again like I did before everything went to shit
Mood: quiet
Music: I can do without sorrow, there’s a day after tomorrow, so I’m leaving it behind (Spotify)
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Upgrading my OS

I like it when we play 1950

Her: I’m sorry about your wife.
Me: So am I. All my gods look like her.
Her: What does that mean?
Me: Nuthin. (brightening) Let’s play a game…

It’s the first day of 2023.

I’m writing this on a computer that I first built when Alison was still alive and upgraded repeatedly, such that there’s nuthin left of the original computer, just like I talked about in my Ship of Theseus.

One thing that I did after the hack was to upgrade the operating system of that computer from Windows 10 to Windows 11, something I did with great reluctance.

Still working through the pros and cons of that, but I note that I went through Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 on this machine before finally arriving here.

Just like the philosophical exercise of the Ship of Theseus, the question remains if there’s anything left of the original computer that I originally built all those years ago.

Speaking of philsophy, this blog has, more than anything, been my own personal repository of how I see the world, kinda like Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations.

Suppose my operating system has always been based on German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, who was introduced to me in my 20s by the Devil.

One of my earliest blog entries spoke about a quote that served me well my entire life: With increased intelligence comes increased capacity for pain.

When Alison, my dad, and another relative got sick – all at the same time – and I essentially gave up my career(s) to try (and fail) to save them, then lost Gradgirl and Mouse, I think that the truth of that statement is why I’m here writing you now.

Schopenhauer’s worldview was that life is, at its core, suffering.

Life swings like a pendulum backward and forward between pain and boredom. – Arthur Schopenhauer

At no point in this blog – through all the highs and lows – did my baseline OS change; it was always run on some variant of Schopenhauer.

And you know my feeling about those who’s worldview never changes. I can’t be a hypocrite.

All this, despite the fact that some baseline beliefs of his contradicted directly with my own heart’s desire.

For example, I’ve always wanted family and family, by definition, requires children. Yet Schopenhauer, like my billionaire buddy, feels that “Bearing children into this world is like carrying wood into a burning house.”

Schopenhauer, as the base operating system of my life, was ill-equipped to deal with the overwhelming sadness and despair of it all, for various reasons.

For example, Schopenhauer’s world view of Wille zum Leben respected love like one respects a dangerous animal, but it doesn’t deal with love, which I both respect and submit to.

To Schopenhauer, love is an illogical means to an important end: The extension of our very species.

I understand that but, having loved and lost in the profound ways I have, I think it’s an idealized version of what humans are actually capable of.

While it’d be nice to live a life purely pragmatically, the way humans are designed, it’s not practical. Because emotions exist and aren’t going away.

I need an OS that reflects that reality.

The Devil’s gone from my life and, while I appreciate all that he’s shown me in the world, the OS he helped build for me doesn’t work with who I am now, especially given all that’s happened.

Moreover, I want more for my son. Assuming that Schopenhauer was correct, and our universe is only what we experience through our mental facilities – our operating system – then I plan on giving my son the best one I can.

After close to 30 years of working on myself, I think that answer lies in Stoicism. Not “stoicism” with a lower-case “s,” rather the full philosophy of Zeno, Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca.

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts. – Marcus Aurelius

I don’t think, at all, that Schopenhauer was wrong, or that the last three decades of my life were wasted. Rather, I think that it’s served its purpose for what I needed for that time and that version of me. Now, I have a new purpose – the boy – and that requires a new way of thinking.

We suffer more often in imagination than in reality. – Seneca

It’s still early yet in all this. Just like it’s early in the new year.

But I spent the last month reexamining my life and need to discard the things that aren’t working for me anymore, if they ever did, and find things that do work.

Don’t think you’ll notice any drastic changes here, per se. Just little things for myself as I try to give myself and – by extension, the boy – the tools I’ll need to be the best version of myself.

Man conquers the world by conquering himself. – Zeno

I’m still me, but I wonder how much of who and what I am/was is still there or if I’m a completely new being altogether, just like this computer I type alla this out on.

On that note, let’s start the new year off with a song.

This is by a young woman named King Princess that my brother introduced to me a little while ago.

Can’t put my finger on it, but it always makes me dream that my life might be better than it is.

Maybe it’s the line that goes, “I will keep on waiting for your love,” which goes directly against Schopenhauer’s distant respect of the concept of love.

Because love’s not only something I respect, but also something I want – to both give and receive – so it’s worthy of patience and time.

Even if it never comes my way again.

Here’s to 2023 and changing for the better.

Her: (surprised) Why did you do that?
Me: (shrugging) Seemed like the right thing to do at the time.
Her: (laughing) OK. (pause) You can do it again.

Location: in the first hours of 2023, on W 97, wondering if we should sell our apartments and move to NJ
Mood: new(ish)
Music: I love it when you try to save me
(Spotify)
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The new office

A holiday dinner

Went out to eat with my office the other night over at Benjamin Steakhouse again.

They just moved offices so it was the first time seeing the new space.

The building it’s in is actually connected to Grand Central itself so I literally didn’t even leave the station to get to the office.

Which is probably for the best because winter’s here in full force these days.

I wonder if this is my last move with them.

Boss: Bloomberg News wants to talk to you about the blog entry you wrote for the company website.
Me: Get outta town!
Him: (laughing) No, seriously. We can talk about it more after dinner.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to ring them until a few days later and, by then, they’d already spoken to another IP lawyer on the matter.

Her: Logan, you’ve got to be the most interesting person I know.
Me: I wouldn’t mind it being a little less interesting, honestly.

It’s funny, before everything started going to hell in 2014, I woulda killed to be interviewed in a national press like Bloomberg News and I woulda called that night if I coulda.

It’s part of the reason why I was able to lecture in Paris and Malaga – I got in touch with people right away.

Nowadays, though, all that seems to be less important to me. Other things occupy my mind.

Me: I’m so sorry I have to run. I gotta get the kid.
Her: Oh, we all understand. He’s so cute!
Me: (nodding) I’m legally required to watch over him until he’s 16 but his being cute helps.
Her: Oh Logan, you’re all talk.
Me: Yeah, the day he moves out, I’m gonna be a wreck.

Him: Papa! You look nice again!
Me: (laughing) Glad to see you’re always surprised by this, kiddo.

Location: five hours ago, outside Alison’s apartment, remembering
Mood: conflicted
Music: you call my name and it feels like home (Spotify)
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Christmas 2022

The one with the nut in the cookie

Friday was a weird day.

It had a high in the mid 50s but then a low of 7 degrees. It was so cold that we contemplated closing the gym but decided to just keep it open.

Speaking of gyms, the kid was great all week – he got another stripe on his BJJ belt to boot – that I relented when he asked if I could get him a Happy Meal before we went to the gym.

Damn, that company knows how to work kids.

In any case, it was good that we kept the gym open because it was 19 degrees outside that night but inside was pretty comfortable.

I had these ideas to improve the R-values of our insulation and it was nice to see that what we implemented did the trick.

Me: Considering that we’re all not wearing shirts, I’d say this was a success.
Him: Or, we’re right by the showers.
Me: Don’t take this from me. It’s the holidays.

Speaking of the holidays, I’d been meaning to spend time with my mom but I didn’t like the thought of Alison’s parents spending it with just the two of them, so we made the trek out there.

It was so cold, not even the pidgins wanted to be outside.

Son: Will you stay overnight?
Me: Do you really want me to stay?
Him: Of course! You’re my papa.

Usually, we have a pretty nice meat dish – like a prime rib or something – but this year we had homemade meatballs and baked ziti.

I wasn’t complaining.

Plus, when my MIL picked me up from the station, she brought this:

Me: God, you know me so well. Thanks!
Her: If it’s ok, I wouldn’t mind having a chicken breast.
Me: I’ll consider it.

Although, the kid’s dessert had more iron than we were expecting.

Me: I think it’s a nut – and not the kind you eat!
Her: How did that get in there?
Me: You’re asking me?

Luckily, the kid was fine and didn’t break a tooth like I did on that olive pit all those years ago.

There were a buncha things I’d been meaning to read/watch, including this one documentary called Fish & Men, which I found interesting.

Read the kid a book that my sister-in-law bought us years ago with a single dad and his son. Gotta say, it almost made me cry.

But I was surprised when the boy started to cry.

Me: Why are you crying?
Him: I don’t know…I miss mommy.
Me: (nodding) We can stop. How about a hug?
Him: (nodding)
Me: Sweeeeeet, cm’ere you…

I woulda stayed over longer but the heat stopped in my building and I’m the only one that understands how to work the boiler.

Me: OK, with the data you now know: There’s no heat in the downstairs units, but heat in the upstairs units, what can you conclude from this data, kid?
Him: (thinking) The heat is stuck on the top and can’t come down.
Me: (laughing) That’s not bad, actually. It’s something like that.

It’s weird, up until a month ago, the kid and I were the only males in the building; a fella just moved into one of the units but the rest of the building is all X-chromosomes who were decidedly cold.

So, I left a lot earlier than I planned because (a) I didn’t want them freezing in the single digits but (b) I also didn’t want my pipes freezing.

Because heat and pressure are closely linked, I had to increase the temp of everything to increase the pressure enough to force all the accumulated cold water in the radiators down the pipes but not so much that the whole thing…explodes.

Dying wasn’t high on my list of to-dos this holiday season (this time) so I kept a pretty close eye on the pressure gagues.

In the end, managed to fix it in just a couple of hours, so that was good and rewarded myself with some Korean soju that I had in the house.

All-in-all, it was a pretty nice Xmas, as my Xmases go.

Hopefully yours involved less fixing boilers and metal shards in your food and more time with your loved ones.

Him: I wish you could stay.
Me: People need me to help them. We always try to help if we can, right?
Him: I guess.
Me: I’ll see you again before you know it, kid.

Location: earlier in the boiler room, with a portable speaker, a glass of soju, and a rubber mallet. I didn’t use one of those things.
Mood: frigid
Music: I can live off of your body heat, yeah baby (Spotify)
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Mind. Blown.

Super impressed

Starting from 1996, my busiest times were always the period between Thanksgiving and the day after New Year’s.

Before 2015, it was always the happiest time for me. Conversely, after Alison got sick and then died, it was the worst time.

Like I said, it’s still not great but not quite as bad as it’s been.

Before 2015, I would literally go to 4-5 parties a week to get food, drink, and meet new potential clients/women for the upcoming year.

Alla that stopped hard in 2015 and it’s been quiet since then.

This year, though, I’ve had an unexpectedly full social card for reasons totally unrelated to my doing anything.

Trying to figure out which ones I should tell you about.

After alla the tragedy, hacking attempts, and random people mad at me with social media everywhere these days, I’m trying to be more cautious about what I post and what I keep to myself.

Because of how the space was laid out, people gathered at either end of the office but not in the middle.

Having said that, I will say that I went to another party over at Recalibrate PT, which is owned by a buddy of mine, and a member of my gym.

Went to a party there over the summer that I told you about.

Her: (laughing) You’re funny. You should write.
Him: He does, in a manner of speaking. He has a blog.
Me: I do. But no one reads it.
Him: I read it. Sometimes.
Me: So, yeah, one.

Suppose the main reason I’m telling you about it is because my buddy’s sister is a professional magician and did a show for us and, man, my mind was blown.

Her: As you know, a deck of cards has 52 cards…
Me: I do now!

She goes by the name Lau and she had one pretty impressive magic trick after the other.

Right before she took the stage, she asked me to think of my favourite city and write it on a piece of paper that I was to put in my pocket.

I did exactly that; she never saw what I wrote – although my handwriting is so atrocious that, even if she did, I doubt she coulda read it.

Told no one any of this.

 

Later, when she got to my part of the show – and in front of everyone – she asked me three or four questions before scribbling the above on a pad of paper and showing everyone.

Me: GTFOH!

It was super impressive, but not as impressive as what she did with the next guy.

See, she asked who he’d go on a trip with and she asked him another handful of questions.

Then, she drew a picture of a trees and showed it to him.

He politely shook his head, confused. But she had a picture of a guy next to the trees and wrote the word, “lumber” next to the trees.

After a few moments, my buddy’s eyes grew wide as Lau continued:

Her: Wait, lumber..lumber…jack? Jack?
Him: (mouth agape) Get the fuck outta here!

By that time, he and I killed a solid 1/3 of a bottle of vodka (there wasn’t any rum), and we were pretty impressed and highly intoxicated.

But then she did a hypnotism trick that blew everyone’s mind, essentially having one of our buddies, Dave doing things that none of us could figure out was possible.

Anhywho, I don’t wanna give away too much, but if you ever get a chance to catch a show by her, it’ll be worth it.

It was pretty late when I staggered home, me deep in thought and two sheets to the wind.

Thought I saw someone that I knew as I left but I think it was just the alcohol.

 

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LAU (@lau4magic) • Instagram photos and videos

Location: earlier today, finding out that she doesn’t own her apartment, she owns the entire building
Mood: anxious
Music: tell me why my gods look like you (Spotify)
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Ur famous bruh

Massive Imposter Syndrome

 

About two Fridays ago, the short below had about 92,000 views, which was pretty good already.

The very next day, that number somehow jumped to 1.5 million. Two days later it was three million on Sunday and four million on Monday. It’s now our best performing video with 6.1 million views.

And we have zero idea why.

The internet’s a strange place.

Him: Well, your face is covered in that one.
Me: Thanks, Pac.


Speaking of Pac and the internet being a strange place, he went out to Seattle for a business meeting and was chatting with a higher up there when my name got brought up.

But just my first name.

Evidently, there’re not a lotta Logans in New York City.

It turns out that she was going through her own tragedy a while back and, through Googling, came across my blog. She and her sister kept up with me and Alison while Alison was sick.

She told Pac that it gave her some comfort.

To say that made my day is like saying that the sun is hot.

Years ago, I met Ray Liotta and I told him I was looking forward to seeing Killing Them Softly. He seemed really pleased that I knew about it.

Read somewhere that actors get tired of talking about the films that they’re famous for – in his case, Goodfellas – but are happier talking about their latest project.

In this sample size of one, I’d say that’s true.

I bring this up because, as cool as Scenic Fights is – and it’s hella cool – it’s never what I wanted to be known for.

The fact I could fight was something I kept to myself for 30 years. It was just my own personal little joy.

I only did Scenic Fights as a favour to one of the producers and, while I’m glad I did, I do miss the anonymity of being just a grey man from time-to-time.

I’d have been happy to have died an old man keeping that a secret, amongst all my other secrets.

Having said that, I’ve always wanted to be known as a good writer. Unlike fighting or cooking or the law anything else, it’s the one thing where I don’t feel massive impostor syndrome.

I feel I can actually write well, and my hope is always that I can connect with someone through time and space through these squiggly lines.

Pac went further though.

He told me that a group of people overheard the conversation and asked about me.

Before Pac could respond, the woman – whom I never met – turned and told them the story of how Alison and I met, got married, and how she got sick, and ultimately, how she died.

Pac was surprised that she knew so much about me without having known me.

Him: (laughing) Crazy, complete strangers from the other side of the country know you. Man, your ego must be HUGE right now.
Me: It’s always huge but…it’s more than that. Alison’s biggest fear was that she’d be forgotten. The fact that people remember her and think fondly of her, even after all these years, means the world to me.
Him: Well, your blog did that. And she’s definitely not going to be forgotten by you or anyone else that’s read it.
Me: Well then, it’s worth every moment I put into it then. She deserves to be remembered. Even though, I’d like to forget things.

I’m remembering things. This is both good and bad.

I’ll tell you about it, when I sort it all out.

Location: home, chatting with a friend about the people we loved
Mood: flattered
Music: Lets build a big little life. All we need is each other (Spotify)
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