Three people, independently

Another of my many life rules

What do coffee, tea, and chocolate have in common?

      • Coffee comes from relatively tall trees originating from a region called Kaffa in Ethiopia, Africa.
      • Tea, meanwhile, comes from an evergreen shrub in East Asia.
      • Chocolate, finally, comes from the relatively short cacao tree from South/Central America.

They’re really completely different species of vegetation that have absolutely nuthin – nuthin – in common with each other.

Yet, somehow, each plant, completely independently of each other, somehow figured out how to make the below chemical compound as a means of self-protection from animals that might eat it:

(c) Someone else

Caffeine.

I always found that remarkable. That three, completely unrelated organisms (they’re literally on different continents), can come to the same logical conclusion: Creating the chemical compound of caffeine will help it survive – and potentially flourish – somehow.

It musta worked because they all started this potentially millions of years ago, and are still doing it now, to this day.

I developed my own life rule  from this rando bit of knowledge.

Case in point, a little while ago, I was unkind to a fella at the gym I was going to at the time. Three people that I like and respect told me that I was in wrong.

So, I found the guy, sat him down, and apologized for how I treated him and he was pretty receptive to it. We now chat regularly and he actually joined Paxibellum.

Told you repeatedly: I’m not a good person.

It’s one of my many life rules that I keep for myself to similarly survive and, hopefully, flourish:

If three people, independently, tell me something, it must be true.

And the same rule works in the contrapositive:

If something is not true, then three people would not independently tell me about it.

I’ve been doing a lotta self-reflection with my therapist lately and just spoke to her today.

Me: What do you think, in your honest professional opinion? Am I a narcissist?
Her: (thinking) The hallmark of narcissism is a lack of empathy, but I don’t see that at all. You tried to help your father, your wife, your ex, Chad, etc, because you empathize with their struggles.
Me: And the rest? Am I irredeemable for all the things that I’ve done?
Her: I don’t think so. I see someone who went through – and is still going through – a lot of trauma but trying to be better for his son and those around him. I mean, you’re talking to me, after all.  It’s the people that never bother trying to be better that end up staying the same.

Location: earlier today, the Metal Park
Mood: trying
Music: I don’t want to dream about the things that I used to be (Spotify)
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

Wishing for horses

Wins and shady secrets

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

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

It’s less than ideal.

If wishes were horses…

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

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

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

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

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

I’ll take any win I can get

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s madness.

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

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

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

Both jobs have their charms.

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

Location: not Union Square, lemme tell ya that
Mood: busy, busy, busy
Music: I lost my mind trying to fix broken things (Spotify)
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

Tooth Fairy Logan

Achievement unlocked

Was brushing the kid’s teeth the other night when I reached down and noticed that his new teeth were growing behind his baby teeth instead of underneath.

So, late Sunday night, I contacted his dentist and set up an emergency morning procedure.

It was stressful. All this happened on the anniversary of Alison’s passing so I was already rough and this didn’t help.

Still, within 12 hours of finding this out, I had a procedure scheduled. I pride myself on getting shit done.

He was blissfully unaware Monday morning so, when it was around time for us to walk out the door for school, he said, “Why haven’t you started making lunch? It’s almost time to go!”

That’s when I told him we were going to the dentist.

He was sad and upset but only for literally a minute. In some ways, he’s what I always wished I was, like a reed – bending at bad news but then springing right back to normal.

Honestly, the whole experience could not’ve gone better. The dentist was a pro and the kid was a doll. 30 minutes later, it was all over.

Me: You get a burger for lunch and ice cream for dessert tonight.
Him: Yay! Will the Tooth Fairy come?
Me: I think so!
Him: (thinking) Does she come every night to check? How does she know when someone loses a tooth?

This kid’s really too smart for me to handle.

This is him counting his “money” – from the dentist – after everything was over and done with.

Note that he was high as a kite on laughing gas and that’s a story for another day.

Every year Mouse would come spend time with me on the 24th but she’s gone now.

But Chad was kind enough to show up to check in on me. He ended rolling with both me and the kid.

Thank goodness for the good souls, yeah?

The night was interesting.

Spent a solid 15 minutes trying to get into his room without waking him up and finding the teeth under his pillow.*

Once I found them, I bent over to pick up the crisp two dollars I lay on the floor and my knee made this insanely loud popping sound. I froze for a solid 90 seconds as he tossed around.

I would not make for a good burglar.

Anywho, he didn’t wake up and I managed to slip the two dollars near his pillow – didn’t want to chance getting this far and waking him up by slipping the bills underneath his pillow.

Level unlocked: Tooth Fairy.

Like everything else, it was bittersweet. This woulda been something fun and sweet to share it with, instead, it was just me and my bum knee.

OK, and Chad…I get why people look at us funny.

But the boy’s ok, and that’s all that really matters.

Him: (next morning) Papa, papa, the Tooth Fairy came! I got two dollars!
Me: Great! I get 10%.
Him: I thought she didn’t give me anything but I found the dollars next to the bed.
Me: You gotta believe in the system, kid.

*As an aside, whose bright idea was it to have this whole tooth fairy thing UNDER the pillow of a sleeping child?

If I manage to take over the world someday, that’s gonna be one of the things I’ll have to change.

That, world peace, and basic universal healthcare.

Location: earlier this week, my office, of all places
Mood: empty
Music: be okay, be okay, be okay (Spotify)
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

It’s spring in January

It isn’t hell

Speaking of FOMO and not caring, last year I threw Chad and Mouse a joint bday party but this year, Chad just swung by on his actual bday and I just got the two of us a massive amount of Vietnamese food.

Him: Somehow, they knew it was my birthday and gave me two cans of coke.
Me: (puzzled) Yeah – I told them.
Him: Oh…

He only recently started getting a taste for good alcohol so I taught him how to make Hemmingway’s favourite drink, the daiquiri. At least, my version of it.

We pounded about four of them each and just discussed his new hobby, which is a wholly different conversation.

Me: I baked cupcakes.
Him: Thanks!
Me: They’re mainly for the kid, but I saved you one for your born day.
Him: I’ll take it.

Another friend stopped by this week; she was just in the city to train but the gym wasn’t open that day so I invited her to come here to shower and clean up.

Me: Do you want brekkie?
Her: Oh, I couldn’t…
Me: (rolling eyes) You’re a guest, are you hungry?
Her: I could eat.
Me: A heart-attack sandwich it is then.

Like I said, I have no shortage of friends. It’s the shortage of family that weighs on me the most.

Speaking of family, do you know the Roman/Greek myth of the seasons centers around family?

Essentially, the goddess Ceres – from whom we get the word “cereal” – was the goddess of grain and harvest. Her daughter, Proserpina, was kidnapped by Pluto and she refused to allow anything to grow until her child was returned.

Eventually, she was, but Proserpina had eaten six pomegranate seeds and, because of that, had to live in hell for six months out of the year.

During this time, Ceres despaired and so came winter until her child was back and spring could return again.

The boy came home this week – after all this time – and it was spring once again, at least in a tiny UWS apartment.

Me: He’s home!!!
Him: (inspecting the house) The bathroom’s dirty. Grandma’s bathroom is cleaner.
Me: (laughing) Everyone’s a critic. Also, to be fair, no one’s bathroom is as clean as grandma’s…

Ridic easy daquiri
One shot of light rum
1/2 a lime, freshly squeezed
1.5-2 TBS agave
Soda water
ice

Squeeze half a lime into a highball and mix in the agave and shot of rum until it’s thoroughly blended. Fill the highball halfway with ice and then the remainder with soda water. Gently stir to combine. Pound.

Repeat until every person of the opposite sex looks beautiful.

Location: home, without any rum but plus one boy
Mood: tired but content
Music: It’s so cruel what your mind can do (Spotify)
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

The 2020 Christmas Spirit

Bit of a Grinch

Son: But I don’t want to get a shot.
Me: Kid, no one wants to get a shot. But we do what we have to do to keep the people we love safe. Do you want to keep Mouse, Grandma, and Grandpa safe?
Him: (hesitatingly) Yes.
Me: Then you have to get a shot.
Him: (nodding sadly) OK. If you say so.

The kid was due for his annual checkup so Mouse picked me up and we went off to NJ to get him. It was so nice to have him home, if only for a bit.

We even put up the Christmas tree together. This is him putting up the first ornament.

It was the one that Alison I got together all those years ago. We even put it in the same place.

I told him the story of each of the ornaments that Alison and I got for each other. Well, I tried to at least.

Me: And this one…and this one…
Mouse: (gently) Do you want to go to the back room for a second?
Me: Yes.
Her: (turning to the boy) That was a special ornament. Your mom got it for your dad and you because she loved you both so much.

The boy was really brave at the doctor’s office. Impatient, even. I like to think that too was born of love.

Him: I just want my shot now.
Doctor: Oh! (to me) Do you want the shot or nasal spay?
Me: I was unaware the latter was an option. Heck, yeah we’ll take the nasal spray!

The boy was puzzled but – ultimately – thrilled, of course, that he didn’t need a shot. Because he was so ready to take the shot, I still gave him the chocolate I promised him.

Him: But I didn’t get the shot.
Me: You weren’t going to get chocolate because you got a shot, you were going to get chocolate because you were brave. You get points in life for being brave.
Him: Yay!!!

It was hard bringing him back. He’s mine. I want him here with me.

Speaking of thinking that Mouse is great – and catching up with people during the holidays – I also got a chance to catch up with KG Betty.

Me:…and now you’re caught up to everything.
Her: I have to say, I’m on Mouse’s side here.
Me: I can see that.

The boy’s doctor was right by the ABFF’s pad so I rang her but we missed each other. But we made up for it because she swung by with her sister, kids, and a bottle of rum in tow.

They actually sang – and danced to – Feliz Navidad outside my door in their matching jammies.

Me: (laughing) This is how people get arrested in NYC.
Daughter: Do you or Mouse want some candy?
Me: We do! But we won’t take any.
ABFF: Get into the Christmas spirit!

She was right; I suppose I’m a bit of a grinch these days as Christmas makes me feel probably the opposite of what I should be feeling.

Then again, I’m probably not the only one.

Me: Wanna watch the news? See if we still live in a democracy?
Mouse: Hold on, I gotta finish all this bullshit gift shopping first.
Me: Well, if that’s not the 2020 Christmas spirit, I dunno what is.

Location: my empty apartment, doing some bullshit gift shopping of my own
Mood: missing the boy
Music: Take a shot in the rain, one for the pain (Spotify)
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

Grief-Stricken

Chuck and Chad(wick)

Chuck, Cho, Chad, and Mouse came by on Friday to wish Chuck a safe trip back home.

Me: Well, I already spent thousands this month on my apartment and health so I figured, “Why not blow another $150 on a smokeless grill? What difference’s 150 bucks at this point?”
Chad: Makes sense.
Me: We should invite Chuck over for a last BBQ in NYC.
Him: Let’s do it.

For anyone that’s been to my pad before, they know that the air circulation is low-to-nonexistent. No matter what I try to pan-grill, my smoke alarm goes off and it’s a sauna most days of the year.

I’d gotten the grill a while ago and decided to christen it and wish Chuck a farewell at the same time.

We picked up burgers, kielbasa, kraut, cole slaw, roasted veggies, potato pancakes, and drinks around the way, bringing them back and grilling everything up. We were supposed to start around 5:30.

Mouse: (walking in at 7PM) Wait, you haven’t started eating yet?
Me: We started a bit late.
Her: I can see that.

After we were done eating, we watched an episode of a food channel, an episode of hot ones, and then got down to serious matters, like board games.

We started with SpotIt

Chad: My morale’s deflated.
Me: I gotta put that in the blog.

…before moving onto Exploding Kittens

Everyone: How could you have that many defuse cards and still lose, Logan?
Me: It’s a gift, really.

Chuck: I’m going to throw a hairy potato at you. And not one of the cards.

…and finishing up with the classic, Pictionary.

Guess what this is and click it to read the URL of it to see if you’re right (Chuck figured it out)

Note that we were all two-sheets-to-the-wind – except for Cho – because he was the only one driving. Which is why I found the following exchange so amusing:

Mouse: (drawing)
Cho: What is that? An eye?
Her: (nods)
Him: Eye circle?
Her: (shakes head)
Him: Eye globe?
Her: (eyes wild and wide, stabs picture)
Him: Eyeball?
Her: YES! It’s an eyeball! EYE GLOBE?! EYE CIRCLE?! WTF is an EYE GLOBE, CHO?!

Chad was laughing hysterically when he glanced at his phone and suddenly turned sober. “Oh, no!” he said.

Him: Chadwick Boseman died from colon cancer. He was 43.
Me: What? (taking out phone, reading) Um, I need a second, fellas.

I went into the back room, sat down, and just cried. That’s how it works, you see. That’s how grief works.

One minute with you’re with your fave girlie and good friends, and the next minute you’re in the back pulling up pictures of people you know you love and that you’ll never see again and an actor that you never knew.

You never know when life’s gonna hit that grief button. But when it does, holy shit…

I always knew the word, “grief-stricken,” but I never truly appreciated the etymological brilliance of the word until that moment.

It’s actually so perfect with how it works as a word, you are literally stricken – hit, bludgeoned, injured, wounded, struck – with grief.

That’s what grief-stricken means. Grief hits you like a fucking baseball bat, and you’re left gasping for air.

I was literally laughing one moment and trying to cry as quietly as I could the next. That’s what grief-stricken means.

As for Chadwick, that’s a whole different matter that I need to work through.

Chad: (leaning in) I’m sorry, brother, I wasn’t thinking.
Me: (shaking head) Why are you sorry? It wasn’t you that took her from me.

Podcast Version
Location: alone in my apartment
Mood: Friday, grief-stricken
Music: Sooner or later in life, the things you love you lose (Spotify)
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

The beach, a bike ride, friends, and food

Lots and lots of food

I did have a really nice weekend, though. All things considered.

Mouse came by on Saturday and stayed over until Tuesday – for a very NYC reason.

Me: I’m pretty sure you don’t have to move your car until Tuesday.
Her: Are you sure? Double-check.
Me: (later) Yup, you’re good until Tuesday.
Her: Yay! Let’s eat.

I was mainly looking for distractions so, if there’s one thing that girl is good at, it’s distractions.

Her: If the weather’s nice tomorrow do you wanna go to the beach?
Me: Sure, but I think the weather might conspire against us.

It didn’t, so off we went.

She admonished me more than a few times to remember to bring sunscreen. Naturally, that’s the one thing I forgot. So, I ended up walking over an hour looking for some.

Me: (sighing) Finally found some sunscreen. And beer.
Mouse: Did you get lost?
Me: You don’t even wanna know….

Because of Mouse’s health issues, she’s essentially been a vegetarian for more than a half-a-year now? That went away recently so we spent most of the time being gluttons.

Her: I’m eating everything.
Me: Well, I’m still fasting.
Her: I’m eating everything!

We ended up eating, amongst other things, some of Steel’s fish, some Korean bulgogi, several heart-attack sandwiches, and fried chicken. Of course.

The next day, we went down the Hudson River Greenway, me on the electric bike, her on the scooter.

Her: This reminds me of California.
Me: Yeah, that seems like ages ago.
Her: I wanna go to a cafe.
Me: There’s one coming up.

We sat down and she treated me to a diet coke while she had a coffee with what can only be described as a diabetes-inducing amount of sugar.

She left for work on Tuesday and I met up with Chuck and Chad afterward, like I said.

Lviv dropped me a line today too, just to see how I’m doing.

These researchers once did a study about dairy cows and noted that they were happy in the sense that they avoided pain. Pain avoidance and happiness are remarkably similar.

I think that’s true for most animals, us included.

I have to say that avoiding the pain this past weekend made me feel something close to happiness. The company helped, for sure.

And now, I can feel a little bit of relief until the holidays, at least.

Me: Thanks for coming this weekend; you’ve never missed any of these terrible anniversaries and I’m grateful for that. Thank you.
Her: I’m glad I got to spend the weekend with you. Good night, Logan.
Me: Good night, Mouse.

Podcast Version
Location: earlier today, a bike shop and a cable company
Mood: exhausted
Music: Let’s conquer the percentages (Spotify)
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

But wait, there’s more

Good having friends

After the plumbers left, I rang up my neighbor Vic, who’s helped me many times in the past – including when my radiator cracked and Alison was sick – to talk about patching up the massive holes the plumbers left.

The problem is that, while getting him, I got locked out of my apartment. Of course.

More accurately, the lock wouldn’t unlock because the casing around the lock was completely snapped off.

You see, when the firemen came to deal with the gas from Pac, they seriously weakened the housing for my lock, to the point that, when I locked my gate, the screws that kept the lock in place weren’t attached to anything; the metal itself had been crowbared open.

Anywho, I was locked out of my home for close to an hour until I finally managed to get the gate open by repeatedly trying to jiggle the lock back – somewhat – into place.

I couldn’t get in touch with Vic, so I called up another workman around the way.

Me: How much do you think a gate like this would cost to replace?
Workman: Easily a thousand dollars; these are all custom made. Your best bet is to find a welder but even that’ll be expensive with COVID.
Me: You’re fulla good news.
Him: (shrugs)

So, between the flooding, the broken AC, the continued flooding, the fall, the doctor’s visit, the jackhammering, and now the gate, this has been a decidedly annoying and expensive few weeks.

Now, I had been continuing to pay my gym fees during COVID because the owner’s such a good guy and he and his wife have been nuthin but super generous with me.

But, after all of the expenses piling up, I finally had to stop paying.

Me: Hey brother – I’m sorry to do this but I have to stop payments. Got hit with a flood that wiped me out.
Owner: Shit, sorry to hear about the flood! I’ve suspended your membership. Thanks for sticking with us for as long as you have.
Me: Dude, I was hoping to stick with you guys until you reopened. It’s been a rough few weeks.

Of course, my life’s been far, far worse. So, I suppose everything’s relative.

Plus, it’s good having friends like the gym owner and Vic on your side.

Vic: I can do that for you. And I’ll see if I can find a welder for you to try to fix the gate. Maybe a week after next?
Me: Man, you rock. For sure.

Podcast Version
Location: earlier today, seeing Gio at Columbus Circle
Mood: drained (of money)
Music: Please come to save me from myself again (Spotify)
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

The Call of the Void

Marley’s Chains

Co-Worker: I thought you were afraid of heights.
Me: I am. Kinda.
Her: Well, you seem fine.
Me: I hide it well.

I’m afraid of heights.

But not in the way you might imagine. There’s particular type of suicidal thought called the “Call of the Void” where, at a very high height, some people feel an incredible urge to jump, even though they don’t wanna.

It’s part of the original siren’s song.

When I was younger, I avoided open heights on the reg because the urge was so strong. It’s part of why I lived in basements and ground floors for essentially my entire life.

This fella named Rudolf Diesel invented the, well, diesel engine. But, he was so convinced that it would be failure that he killed himself. He jumped from a ship into the sea, unable to resist his siren’s song.

Not soon after he killed himself, his engine became the standard of Europe and of most of the trucks here in the US. If only he ignored the song for just a little bit longer.

I’m not – at all – suicidal right now. But I remember hearing my siren’s song a lot, throughout the years. It was partly Diesel’s story that kept me from jumping.

The idea that, maybe it’ll be somehow  ok if I hold out for just a little bit longer, keeps me going.

I bring this up because I saw a buddy recently and he was in a funk.

Him: It was like the start of a depression. But, not depression.
Me: I call that “bummed.” It’s a feeling of general boredom, sadness, and hopelessness all in one. I feel it too. You have to be careful it doesn’t snowball into a full depression.
Him: Yeah. I feel it.

Funny, I always feel it, like Jacob Marley’s chains.

Link by link, and yard by yard…

Podcast Link
Location: outside, feeling the sun on my face, if just for a bit
Mood: So. Damn. Hot.
Music: It’s like a part of me must love it (Spotify)
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

Familiar unfamiliar territory

Finding me

BrightBea: You were by my place? You could have called.
Me: Honestly, how does anyone find me? I didn’t give you my last name.
Her: A girl’s gotta be careful.

I’ve spent the last several 4ths of July by my lonesome for reasons that aren’t important.

This year may be different but it’s hard to tell at the moment.

I’m in familiar unfamiliar territory, again.

Speaking of people reading my blog.

Lviv: You didn’t tell me that you went to see your ex.
Me: We don’t owe each other anything, yet. (later) Wait, I thought besides me you were seeing an economist and a male stripper something.
Her: Ex male stripper, who’s an ex. The economist wanted to hang out more, but I wasn’t feeling him. I like him as a friend.
Me: I need to start making a list.

Neither of us have plans for the 4th so maybe we’ll randomly run into each other somewhere on the Upper West Side?

Maybe.

On that note,

Mouse: I did quite enjoy that you managed to include in (our conversation) the part about a shipment of toothbrushes.
Me: (laughing) I honestly didn’t think anything of them until you mentioned it. I suppose that’s subconscious?

When I’m single I have more house guests for a variety of reasons, all of which revolve around my being centrally located in Manhattan.

Don’t read too much into it.

Mainly because, a rule I’ve always had is that: If you stay over, you get a toothbrush – with a choice of colour – and some sorta brekkie.

Before I met Alison, I bought three 12-packs of toothbrushes and went through two plus a couple here and there.

It might surprise you that some toothbrush conversations were quite sad, as odd as that sounds.

As for brekkie, that’s just to be polite.

Since we’re talking about food – Pac’s been making food videos. That’s his latest.

Do me a favour and like the video and subscribe? I need one of my friends to hit it big so I can borrow money.

Toothbrushes don’t grow on trees you know.

Podcast Version
Location: Morningside Heights, looking at stuff in the prepared food aisle
Mood: hopeful
Music: Ain’t I the best you had? (Spotify)

Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs