Capital Grille and Woolworths

Reinventing ourselves

My particular area of the law has been busy lately so I met up with my boss to just talk shop.

He had reservations for us at Capital Grille; I’d never been before.

The ribeye was calling out to me…

…along with a drink…

…or two.

Can’t really discuss what we talked about due to the nature of the work but I suppose I could tell you story instead.

Him: Let me bring you back 15 years, Logan…
Me: Oh, sweet! Storytime!

(c) Francis Gaffney

When I was a kid, there was a Woolworth’s in Flushing Queens that I used to go to alla time.

It was one of the bigger ones out there, so it had the full diner inside, complete with the classic counter stools. Think I ate there a few times, when I had a couple of bucks.

It wasn’t bad but it definitely wasn’t no Capital Grille, lemme tell ya…

In the basement was a petstore, with some of the most ratty and messed up animals you’d ever see.

I remembered that there was once a one-eyed parakeet for sale, and I remember thinking, who on earth would want that?

Turns out, no one did, which is why they’re not around anymore.

It closed in 1997.

Actually, that’s not true.

Woolworths is still around, if you know where to look. In fact, you might have been in one recently.

See, the company is still around, they just changed their name to: Foot Locker.

It’s funny.

Woolworth started in 1879, bought Kinny Shoes in 1963, and created Foot Locker outta that in 1974, and then – because it was its only division doing gangbusters – just decided to change their name from Woolworth to Foot Locker.

That’s kinda how I feel.

I assume you know me because of this blog I’ve had for close to 20 years, so maybe you think of me first as a writer.

And my former clients and coworkers know me as a pretty good lawyer.

But 423,000 people know me as the guy that teaches people how to fight with weapons on Scenic Fights.

And I’m alla those things and more.

After all, we reinvent ourselves over and over again.

But, I like to think that the core of who we are is consistent.

Boss: …anyway, that’s what I thinking. So, how’s your son?
Me: (big smile) He’s…great. So great. We’re a family of two. It’s not what I planned but he makes it all worthwhile.

Location: being pulled out of a bar on Amsterdam by the Firecracker because someone was asking to see what I could do
Mood: complex
Music: Had me at hello, 你好 (Spotify)
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Losing my phone

And then finding it

Me: Shoot…
Her: What?
Me: I can’t find my phone!

The Firecracker cooked me dinner the other night…

…and I wanted to return the favour so, later on that week, I took her out for some drinks and food around the way at a place called Dark Bullet.

I told you about the place few times, like when I went with the mothers I met early on when the kid had just started going to school, and also when I went with my cousin.

It was like I was seeing it for the first time, though.

The first time I’d been there, I was a basket case. The second time, was over COVID and it was a ghost town and, thus, very different.

This time, I was closer to normal – whatever that means – than I’d been in years, and the place was normal again too.

Of course, normal for me means that I’m ever forgetful and clumsy.

You see, after The Dark Bullet, we went to another bar that she liked, called The Dead Poet where she had a stout and I had a light beer.

While there, I realized that I left my phone at Dark Bullet – she called them and they said they found it and I could go back any time to get it.

So, we just slowly enjoyed our drinks, I walked her home, and then headed back to Dark Bullet to claim my phone.

Bartender: What can I…oh, you were here earlier.
Me: Yup, I left my phone here?
Him: Ah, yes, hold on, lemme get it for you.

Honestly, New York City is such a great little town sometimes.

I need to ring up the ladies from the mother’s group to see how they’re doing.

Location: hanging out with the ABFF and her fam, plus the Firecracker and the kid, to wish Alison had the best birthday somewhere in the multiverse
Mood: tipsy
Music: I know I always come and go but it’s out of my control (Spotify)
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Six tips for aging more slowly

Being comfortable being uncomfortable

New Guy: (torques my arm)
Me: (yelps) Dude! Relax, I’m 50. I’m all about tapping.
Him: (laughs, answers in thick southern accent) Hey now, I’m not at fault here. You can’t come onto the mats looking younger than me and expect me to know you’re 50!
Me: (laughing) Fair. My go-to joke is that Asians don’t have height, but we have eternal youth.

Had a few people reach out to me to wish me a Happy Birthday and two of them commented on my blog entry about it.

Him: You know what woulda been a better entry? Five tips on staying young.
Me: Oh, I can give you two right now: (1) Stay outta the sun, and (2) Be born Asian. You’re kinda screwed on one of those…
Him: Dude, I’m kinda screwed on botha those!

I’m only semi-kidding about the first two. I stay outta the sun for the most part, and always have. It’s one of the benefits of never being invited to anything as a kid; I literally just stayed in my basement for years at a time.

As for being Chinese, genetics only account for 25% of your age/health, at least according to the April 2023 issue of Men’s Health:

So, the other 75% is up to you.

This anti-aging researcher named David Sinclair just gave his own four tips for reversing aging in an article that came out this week, headlined: Harvard researcher says he reversed his aging with these 4 steps.

Now, you can read them yourself, but I’ve actually been doing his four steps for years now. They are:

1. Run three times per week
What he really means is just exercise. It’s literally the fountain of youth. I’ve been going to the gym 6-10 hours a week for the last 30 years.

And that’s why it was the second tip I gave in my birthday entry.

2. Intermittent fasting
I’ve been doing this since Alison got sick, mainly because it’s highly anti-cancer, since fasting can trigger a biological state called autophagy, where the body seeks out low-performing/weird cells when there isn’t enough food present.

While the body can’t tell a cell is cancerous, it can tell if it’s low-performing/weird and will kill it to save nutrients for the higher-performing/normal cells.

That’s why I do it. BUT, it’s also linked to youth.

And the reason why can best be summed up in a question: What if your body tells the passage of time by the amount of calories it consumes?

It’s an interesting hypothesis but really, the exact mechanism probably isn’t all that important. What is actually important is that limiting when and how much you eat will probably mean that (a) you’ll live longer and (b) you’ll look younger.

Instead of spending thousands of dollars on face lifts and creams, skip brekkie.

Her: You like feeling hungry?
Me: I like feeling hungry. It reminds me that I’m alive and makes eating all that more fun.
Her: I don’t like being uncomfortable.
Me: The highest-performing people, I think, are the ones that are comfortable being uncomfortable.

3. Drink green matcha tea twice a day
I’ve been drinking a lot more than two cups of green tea a day since Alison got sick, again, because it’s highly anti-cancer.

Green tea, unlike other kinds of tea, has a compound called ECGC which has been linked in double-blind Japanese studies where they found that drinking five-cups of green tea a day, not only resulted in a statistically significant reduction in cancer across the board, it led to a statistically significant reduction in … death.

In other words, if you drink five cups of green tea a day, you’re less likely to die, period. That’s wild.

Why every person on the planet isn’t drinking green tea like it was going outta style is beyond me.

BUT, just last year, a study came out that found that people that had too much green tea had liver failure. Still, it seems that the people that had liver issues took supplements along with green tea, moreover, it doesn’t say if they had underlying health issues to begin with.

As for me, green tea (it doesn’t need to be matcha) makes up most of my liquid sustenance, with coffee and water making up the rest.

4. Reduce stress and avoid “idiots”
I’m gonna say that this is the same as my bonus tip in my second birthday entry: Sometimes, you gotta say, “Fuck it, I’m out.”

Early this year, I cut out about three people from my life, one person literally went outta her way to make me feel like shit about everything, including how I was raising my son.

And one of my closest friends was a fella named Johnny who I cut out just after Alison died along with my old coach for the same reasons – I outgrew them and their petty grievances, against me and the world.

I’ve got 8,250 days left on the planet and I plan to spend alla them with people that want to make themselves and people around them better, not worse.


Lemme add two of my own tips for looking and staying young:

5. Squat every day
Asians tend to live long and better when they’re in Asia and less so when they’re not. Why is that?

Well, there’s a large group of people that feel this is because many Asians in Asia still use squat toilets. This means, at least once a day, a huge amount of the population does these very deep squats which have massive health benefits, least of which are good knees and a strong core.

I squat daily – both with and without weights. You should try it.

6. Learn something. Anything. But learn it deeply
A good friend of mine, who is Caucasian, just decided one day to learn Chinese and I’ve been chatting with her about it. She said that she feels her brain working in ways that she hasn’t felt since she was a kid.

A sharp mind is a hallmark of youth. Older people are slower in every regard, including how they think.

Constantly learning new things – ideas, facts, languages, etc – is stretching out your mind as much as your body.

Me: I have a personal indicator that will tell me when I’m old.
Her: What is it?
Me: Ever since I was a little kid, I would bound – not walk, *bound* – up the stairs two at a time. I still do that and I can’t help myself. I think that the day I can’t easily do that is the day that I will truly be old.

Location: earlier tonight, asking my son to keep it down on West 77th.
Mood: healthy
Music: Got a pulse and I’m breathing, one life make it vivi (Spotify)
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The dead girl that beat the Nazis

Sharing secrets

A young girl: [Your son] says you’re a fighter.
Me: Heavens! Now, do I look like a fighter, little miss?
Her: (laughs) Noooo!
Me: Well, there you go. I’m just a lawyer. And his dad.
Son: (afterward, annoyed) Why didn’t you say you’re a fighter?!
Me: Because I’m not, I’m someone that can fight but I’m not a fighter. There’s a difference.
Him: Papa!
Me: (shrugging) Besides, no one needs to know what we do in our private lives, kid. I want you to learn something here: People don’t look like they really are inside. Our insides don’t often match our outsides, for better for worse. The less people know about what you can do, the better.
Him: Then why do you spend so much time [learning how to fight]?
Me: Because…sometimes you have to show people what you can do.

This girl named Betty was running to catch a train about a 100 years ago when her science teacher saw her.

The science teacher was also the running coach of the school and never saw anyone run that fast – and he was the coach!

So, he convinced her to run for him and soon, she found herself in the 1928 Olympics at just 16 years old, breaking a whole buncha records.

Almost 100 years later, she remains the youngest athlete to win an Olympic 100-meter gold.

That’s not the most remarkable thing about her, though.

Just three years later, in 1931, she was in a plane crash where she was so messed up that they were sure she was dead. They didn’t send her to the hospital, they sent her to the morgue.

Luckily the undertaker realized she was alive and she, somehow, survived.

Unfortunately, the doctors said she’d never walk again, let alone race again. She spent six months in a wheelchair and didn’t walk normally for two whole years.

But she somehow did walk again and then run again – and she actually ran in the 1946 summer Olympics against the heavily-favoured Germans in the relay race.

The kicker is that she beat them.

Not my pic, obvs. Click here for more info. Man, look how happy this kid is.

The thing is, if you pull up a picture of Betty Robinson, she just looks like any other chick from that time.

You’d never know she was a beast in her lane.

I’ve met so many people in my half-century here. But the ones I always value the most, are the ones with their secret lives that no one would ever suspect.

I’ve met beasts that you wouldn’t believe.

Suppose I hope this for my son, for him to have secrets that keep him safe and happy until and unless he has to show the world what he can do.

Son: So, you do fight, right, papa?
Me: Not if I can help it, kid. Remember that, too.

Speaking of meeting up with people, I met up with the Firecracker for drinks the other day at a place that a buddy from my gym told me he loves that’s all decked out as if it were still the Victorian age.

Super cool and ornate, plus it’s right around the gym.

I’d been walking past it for months without realizing what was inside.

Just like with people, the City has alla these hidden secrets that I like finding out about.

Then again, I usually tell you about them when I find about them, so we can share the secret, yeah?

After all, secrets are special things shared between people.

Oh, silly little editorial note, but in this entry about the Firecracker’s bday, I was supposed to have this picture in the entry.

I only realized today that I wasn’t up. These types of mistakes annoy me more than I can express.

Location: in my apartment all day, upset about a broken picture I loved
Mood: complex
Music: I’ve been on the brink, so tell me what you wanna hear (Spotify)
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That sounds like fun

Making plans

One thing that I’m learning as a parent is that summer stuff needs to be planned super early.

I’ve already got a surprise trip planned for the kid as well as a few weeks of things here and there but trying to fill up an entire summer is daunting, lemme tell ya.

Hopefully, we’ll have some stories to tell you after the summer’s over.

Boy: Will you come to Germany with me?
Me: Sure! I love Germany. That sounds like fun.

Met up with the Firecracker and her sister the other day for an early dinner.

Conveniently, her sister also lives in the Upper Best Side, so that made things easy and we just met up at a local bar around us.

I’ve been really into fish and chips lately, plus this place had sweet potato fries, so that made things even better.

She just had a burger, which I always approve of.

Her: Look, they branded the burger with their initials!
Me: Ooooh, fancy!

Her sister speaks Japanese, which was pretty cool.

I’d just bought a new camera (I’ll tell you about that later) and she was actually looking at the one I was seriously considering before I ended up choosing something else entirely.

In any case, my brother, sister, and I, plus my cousins were all talking about a summer 2024 trip back to Taiwan and I asked them if they would be interested in coming along as well.

Firecracker: That sounds like fun!
Sister: I’ve never been but it’s on my list of places to visit.
Me: Sweet, we’ll plan something out.

It feels weird planning things for the future with the kid. Weirder with the Firecracker.

There’s something inherently hopeful about planning for the future.

The last decade has seriously fucked with my head when it comes to being hopeful.

Even before everything went to shit, I was always cautious about being too hopeful about anything.

After all, the more you hope for things, the harder you crash if they fall apart.

Then again, what is life if not somewhat hopeful?

Her: The kids are away that week, do you want to go somewhere?
Me: (long pause) Sure. That sounds like fun.

Holy cow, one of my videos has 10 MILLON views on it.

It’s yet another thing that’s kinda hard for me to wrap my head around.

Location: the alley next to my pad, looking for the kid’s lost AT keychain.
Mood: hopeful
Music: All these lights turning from red to green (Spotify)
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Logan’s 50: Five of my best life tips, Pt. 2

Just the particulars

Me: What if one day you get new glasses and realize how old I am?
Firecracker: I don’t think so. Maybe I’m just more into antiques than I thought I was.

1973 – 0 Years old

4. You can reinvent yourself again and again

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote Alison’s favorite book, The Great Gatsby; I loved that girl as much as I hated that book.

Fitzgerald had a famous quote that went, There are no second acts in American lives, which is about as wrong as someone can possibly be.

It’s onea those things that have the air of truth to it but no actual truth to it at all.

When I was in college, I spoke four languages and was certain that I’d end up working for the Foreign Service.

Then I changed my mind and wanted to be a writer – ended up writing for several national publications including one of the first major articles on Windows NT versus Novell for Computer Shopper, and some travel articles for the New York Sun.

While doing this, I worked in the club industry and made a name for myself, which a few people still recognize me for.

1983 – 10 Years Old (and starting to get fat, hoo-boy, did I get even bigger)

Then I decided I wanted to build networks and ended up building a 100-seat computer network for a Fortune 600 company on Madison Avenue.

Then I went to law school to become a lawyer. Then I went to CNET and became their first International Sale Manager. Then I went back to being a lawyer.

Then I bought my building with some friends and became a building manager.

Then I got another degree and became one of only 350 people in the New York State with that degree while still working on my legal career. Somehow found myself lecturing on the law all over including Europe and New York. Even won an award.

I also started teaching kali on the sly just a block from my pad and started up a private jet company.

After Alison got sick, I gave up everything and became a cancer researcher, a caretaker, and then a father.

Somehow, in my late 40s, I also became a YouTuber and a gym owner.

Look, my point is that Fitzgerald was fulla shit.

You can be anything you want to be. You get to decide and no one else does.

I decided at 14 that I didn’t wanna be fat so I stopped being fat. It was as simple and as difficult as that.

Few things in life are actually difficult; the most difficult thing you’ll ever do is to decide to do something.

Everything else after that decision are just the particulars.

1993 – 20 Years old – My brother edited out the people next to me in this pic – in fact, he did all these pics. He’s crazy talented, that boy.

5. You’re the average of the five people you hang out with the most

This is dangerous – I speak from both personal experience and as a new father.

My greatest fear is that kid’ll meet some knuckleheads that get him into trouble.

Look, you choose your friends because they mirror some quality you have or desire. I don’t have any close friends that are, say, massive gamblers, because I’m not a massive gambler.

You don’t get to chose your family but you do get to choose your tribe. So, if the people that you hang out with are a buncha people that cheat on their partners alla time, you’re gonna become someone that chats on your partner.

If you’re the most successful person in your group, this is probably a bad thing, too. You need a better group.

This is one major reason why I didn’t want to continue some romantic relationships I was involved in; because, while they were usually fine, their friends weren’t the type of friends I wanted in my life.

Or my kid’s life.

Him: (a long time ago) I heard you two broke up, I’m sorry.
Me: It’s fine. There’s no tragedy that doesn’t have some positive bonus and the bonus here is that I literally never have to pretend to enjoy hanging out with her lame friends again.

This is why I’ve cut so many people outta my life – because I want to be around people that point me in the direction I want to go.

Speaking of bonuses, here’s a bonus tip.

2003 – 30 years old

Bonus: Sometimes, Logan, you gotta say, “Fuck it, I’m out.”

If you are the average of the five people you hang out with the most, then I’m grateful that Bryson’s one of my oldest and dearest friends – for a whole host of reasons.

He’s dangerous; he boxed with Dolph Lundgren, is a brown belt in BJJ under Fabio Clemete, is a black belt in shorin ryu karate, and is also a skilled Japanese fencer.

But, he’s also a great father and cook, married to a beautiful doctor, and helped build a buncha businesses that you’ve probably visited.

Most importantly, though, he’s a great human being. He’s the kinda guy I wanna be, so I try to hang out with him whenever I can.

And I want the boy to hang out with him too.

Years ago, I visited him and his then girlfriend (now wife) out in San Francisco and I was probably depressed when I met them.

I was struggling with whether or not to quit my job and also leave the girl I was seeing.

For the former, it was a great job but I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue being involved with it. The latter? Well, kinda the same thing.

I had all the mixed feelings of duty, loyalty, guilt, etc.

Him, his wife, their roomie, and I, somehow ended up on a boat in the middle of a lake where we got into a water gun fight with some group of people on another boat.

I got onto that boat confused and depressed and left it feeling..pretty good.

And it was because I started telling him alla these issues I had with the girl and that job and he listened, politely, and then simply said, Sometimes, Logan, you gotta say, “Fuck it.”

I added on the “I’m out” over the years.

The number of times I’ve said, Fuck it, I’m out, since that day has gotta be at least in the hundreds, if not thousands.

It’s an incredibly powerful statement and one that you can whip out at any time, in any situation.

Bad job? Bad relationship? Bad habits?

Fuck it, I’m out, is a perfect answer that leads directly to Tip 4, which is reinventing yourself.

But be careful, because it is so powerful. Use it with caution.

2013 – 40 years old

Once told you about this snippet of a Batman cartoon I watched when I was younger.

In it, a villain was trying to convince Bruce Wayne that Bruce was mad but Bruce/Batman fought back and won.

When his friend asked Bruce why he was so sure that he (Bruce) wasn’t crazy, he answered simply that the voices called him “Bruce.”

But that’s not what he called himself.

I’ve been many things I’ve been proud of. I think that, by the time you read this, Scenic Fights will either be at exactly 400,000 subscribers or close to it.

And I’ve got some big things happening in my life that I may or may not tell you about in the future.

But none of that matters, really. In my head, I’m the kid’s father. Full-stop.

If that ends up being the only thing that I’m known for, I’m ok with that.

Substitute teacher: And you are?
Me: (pointing at the kid) His father.
Her: (brightly) Oh! He’s a wonderful child! When I said that I was a substitute, he came up to me afterward and said that if I forgot anyone’s name, to ask him because he would tell me. He was my helper all day.
Me: (laughing) That’s awesome.
Her: He’s awesome!
Me: You’re not wrong, lady. You’re not wrong. (sighing) He takes after his mom.
Her: You two are lucky.
Me: (nodding) Yeah. Lucky us.

I’ve been alive for exactly 18,250 days.

I’ve only got 8,250 days left, if I’m…lucky.

Hopefully, I’ll keep writing and you’ll keep reading, yeah?

2023 – This is me on Saturday during our shoot, two days before I’m 50.

Location: earlier today, buying a $12 ice cream cone on Amsterdam for my favourite tiny human
Mood: ambitious
Music: Don’t wait, don’t hesitate, now. Don’t stop and watch the clock (Spotify)
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Logan’s 50: Five of my best life tips, Pt. 1

I like to kick, stretch, and kick!

Today is the oldest I’ve ever been.

That’s a joke, of course. But I did just turn 50 this past week, so it’s not quite as funny as it’s been in the past.

The pic above is of me when I was a few days old.

Man, it’s a kick in the head to get my mind around that I was once that infant in the picture above some 50 years ago.

Realize that I probably don’t look 50 to you, which is fine because I don’t look 50 to me.

In fact, when I think of 50, I think of Molly Shannon’s Sally O’Malley (who’s actually 58 in the clip below):

It’s funny because a lotta my friends tell me that they use me as an example of what 50 might be like for them.

This is my friend Hawk, who – like a lotta my friends – only texts me on my bday, but that’s fine, I’m always thrilled to hear from them.

Spent a lotta time wondering what I would write about to commemorate this momentous occasion and the best thing I could come up with was the five concepts that changed my life the most.

1. Invest in the S&P 500

One of my summer jobs in college was helping two accountants do paperwork for a company called Ziff-Davis, where I ended up working at after college. They asked me to come in on the weekend and said they’d buy lunch. As a poor college kid, that was enough, so I did.

While I was there, we got to talking about investing and they told me to just dump every spare cent I ever made into the S&P 500.

Basically, “S&P” is “Standard and Poor,” think of them like the New York Times, except they only report about companies. And one thing they do is list the 500 biggest companies – in terms of how much they’re worth –  at any given time.

When, say, Company 498 becomes Company 502, it’s kicked out, and some other company becomes 498.

A fella named John Bogle figured out that if you invested money evenly into each of the 500 companies, you’d end up making about 11.8% annually.

If you invested $1,000 a year for 50 years, you woulda “spent” $50,000 but you would end up with $2,505,311.97, or $2,455,311.97 profit.

There are hundreds of funds that track the S&P 500 for little or no money. 

Started doing that 30 years ago, when I was 20. My life woulda been radically different if I never took that weekend gig. 

Think they got me turkey club both days.

In any case, you should probably start investing ASAP, if you haven’t done it yet.

2. Do pushups – or something – every morning

I was a pretty fat kid from 10 to 14 – when I was 14, I was 5 foot 3 inches and 185 pounds with a 44-inch waist.

I went on a fast for four months – legit stopped eating, cold – and dropped down to 120 pounds and a 28-inch waist.

I’m now 50 years old with a 28-inch waist.

It all started when I stopped eating completely to reset my brain and started working out. When I first did it, I could barely do two pushups.

By the time I was 18, I was doing 100 pushups without issue. I just banged out 79 pushups in 60 seconds a few weeks ago.

Look, I don’t really do pushups anymore because I kept needing more. I’m in the gym like 10 hours a week these days.

You don’t gotta do pushups, you can do situps, you can run, you can walk for 30 minutes. Whatever.

But you gotta do something.

Otherwise, you’ll definitely look your age.

3. Learn to cook and stop eating stuff made by machines

OK, I admit that I eat quite a lotta things made by machines, like protein bars and stuff.

But I make sure that at least three out of every four meals I eat, I’ve made most of it myself.

This way, you know what you’re putting into your body.

When I was growing up, my main source of cooking knowledge was a fella called The Frugal Gourmetthis is the very video I saw to learn how to make chili.

But he turned out to be a pedophile – really – so alla his stuff disappeared and I turned to Alton Brown’s Good Eats and America’s Test Kitchen.

As an aside, the bulk of my diet is beans and nuts, mainly peanut butter, honestly.

I found out that they sold five-pound jars of peanut butter but I’m more than half-way though one jar and it’s only been less than two weeks.

So, I bought another jar.

But that’s really neither here nor there…

I still have two more things to tell you, but I’ll do that tomorrow because it’s getting late and I don’t wanna mess up my sleep schedule any more than it already is.

And because it’s never too late to be better.

I’m trying to be better, even now.

We should all try to be better than we were yesterday.

Man, I could go for a turkey club right now…

Location: same place I’ve been for the past 18,250 days, here in NYC
Mood: hopeful
Music: I’m still me, who I was, who I’ve been, who I’ll always be
Since I was young
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Having all the parts

On the regular

The last few people I’ve dated, including the Firecracker, have been on the shorter side, which I find amusing.

Me: Man, you’re tiny. You’re like half a person.
Her: No, I’m not! I’m a whole person – I have all the parts.

I have most of my parts, but I’ve been worried about how some of them have been functioning lately – mainly my eyes.

My eyesight has been getting progressively worse since I got kicked in the head the night I covered class.

Rang up the doc that I saw a few weeks back and he told me to stop by his office again this past weekend.

One thing that I really like about him is that he runs a tight ship. Within 30 minutes of my arriving he, was already wrapping up the visit.

Him: Everything looks good, your retina is solid, and you just have a touch of cataracts.
Me: So why does everything look blurry?
Him: Ah, well, you’re developing monovision. That’s when one eye sees distance and one eye sees up close. Your right eye is now essentially for reading while your left eye is for seeing things far away.
Me: Whoa, that’s wild. Because I got kicked in the head?
Him: (nodding) But it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Most people have to have surgery to get that, but you now have it naturally. I have it naturally myself and it’s why I don’t need glasses.

All-in-all, it was a relief.

It’s still weird to walk around and have things so blurry alla time. But he says that I have to practice looking at things far away with my right eye and reading with my left eye.

How hard can that be?

One thing that I found interesting was that, when I first met the doctor, I barely knew the Firecracker.

Now, I’d spent the last two months seeing/chatting with her on the regular.

Funny how life works.

Location: a small room, watching her eat an apple pie in her bed
Mood: wondering if I should eat an apple pie in my bed
Music: I’ve lost more than a heart could take (Spotify)
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Getting Old is a Privilege

My theme songs

Me: Look, we just have to make this work for…
Simultaneously: 40 years
Her: Jinx! You owe me a coke.
Me: What? That’s not a thing.
Her: Yes, it is grandpa…

The Firecracker likes to poke fun at our age difference but I don’t really mind at all.

See, I wear it like a badge of honor.

Cause the ability to get old is a privilege. Not everyone gets that chance so I’m grateful to get to be an old man.

Years ago, I asked you what your theme song would be.

I think our lives go through a series of thematic changes.

Back when I was young and stupid in my early thirties, I thought that my debilitating insomnia and my breakup with the Reporter was the worst thing that coulda happened to me.

Looking back, I’m shocked how naïve I was.

During that time, my life was a dramady – some comedy mixed with some minor drama.

During that time, my theme song was Overkill by Colin Hayes.

Speaking of Colin Hay, when I met Alison, I think that my life was still a dramady but definitely more drama than comedy, as we felt the weight of life as a young married couple.

We had our ups-and-downs but we were just trying to figure out how to have a life together. With a fatty of our own, somehow.

Always felt that, once we got the kid, our real lives would begin, that any minute now, our ship would come in.

But it never did.

It never occurred to me that I was living my real life until it was too late.

See, every day was a holiday with her…

…until it wasn’t.

Until it all turned to shit.

During Alison’s sickness, Lorde was huge because it was the only album I had on my phone and I was so busy trying to save her and our life that I didn’t have time to change it.

Still never listen to Lorde because it brings back such vivid memories.

Think I would throw up if I heard Pure Heroine again.

Jesus, I musta heard that album easily 200 times during the first four months.

I was so busy that I literally didn’t have a moment to download any new songs and it was waaaaay before Spotify.

Anywho, in the song, Buzzcut Season, there’s a line that goes, “It kissed your scalp and caressed your brain.”

Remember hearing that line and thinking that, even with Alison bald and stick thin, I still thought she was beautiful and I was so lucky to have met her.

When she was sick, suppose that my life was probably best summed up by Chaos Chaos’s Do You Feel It?

Some days I’m built of metal, I can’t be broken
But not when I’m with you
You love me real, we have it all
Can’t leave me now
I love the way, you are today
Run away with me now

Kept hoping it was all a bad dream, I’d wake up, and she I could run away somewhere with the boy and live the life we were supposed to live.

The years afterward were gutting for so many reasons that I’ll just keep my theme song during that time to myself, if you don’t mind.

But right now, at this moment, honestly don’t know if my life’s gonna be a dramady again, another tragedy, or something altogether new.

There’s a song by a fella named Mike Blume, who released his latest song under the name Whatever Mike for some reason, called In-Between.

The chorus goes:

I’m inbetween
Right here where I want it
Right here where I want it
I′m inbetween

Dunno if the rest of the song is really super appropriate to my life right now but those few lines perfectly encapsulate how I look at my life right now.

I’m in-between alla these memories and hopes, life and death, happiness and sadness.

All of it. I’m in between all of it.

Somehow, it’s ok because it’s better to be in-between than toward the end. Nowadays, at least.

Nothing is as I wanted it to be, but I’m happy where I am right now.

Which makes me anxious because happiness is so rare for me. Then again, what is life, if not a tragedy fulla joy?

I think our theme songs changes with the years, so I suppose we’ll revisit this topic again from time-to-time.

What about you?

What’s your theme song?

Me: Why do you hurt me?
Her: (laughing) If I don’t have old jokes, I have nothing here, Logan. Nothing!

Location: this afternoon, walking in the sun with Firecracker down Broadway
Mood: introspective
Music: I’m between, right here where I want it (Spotify)
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Never have I ever…

Finding the things we look for

Forgot to mention that, while I was at my in-laws last week, we got onto the topic of how many pushups I could do in one minute.

I’d never tried to figure it out before so I cranked out about 60 in 45 seconds, but those last 15 seconds were agonizing. Agonizing.

I could only get out 19 more; try as I might, I could NOT get to 80 before my muscles gave out.

Which they did and I collapsed onto the floor. My son – god love him – was disappointed:

Him: For god’s sake, get up!
Me: (breathing heavily) Everyone’s a critic…

That’s my boy, folks.

During one of our late-night outings with copious amounts of legal pharmaceuticals, the Firecracker and I started playing a game of “Never have I ever.”

Gotta say, dating someone from the south is entertaining on so many levels.

Her: You’ve never been to a field party?
Me: I don’t even know what that is.
Her: It’s a party. In a field. With a bonfire.
Me: I figured out the first part on my own.
Her: My favorite one was on Moo Cow Lane.
Me: That’s not a real place.
Her: (laughing) Yes, it is!

So many levels.

On a different, but related, note. There are also lots of unexpected perks to dating another parent.

For example, she and her son came by the other day for a playdate. They’re close in age so they get along well.

Unfortunately, in the middle of it, my kid tapped me on the shoulder and said that he didn’t feel well. I figured he was just tired but then he said he had a sore throat so I gave him some Tylenol.

Her: Take his temperature.
Me: Not a bad idea, ok, hold on. (later) Shoot. 103.
Her: OK, we should go.

It was impressive, I gotta say, how her maternal instincts kicked in.

Tthought about that woman I briefly dated that said that she didn’t mind that I had a kid.

That woman and I got along great for the few times we saw each other but once she said that, I lost all interest.

Chatted with a buddy about it a few days after I ended it.

Him: Your kid’s so great, I’m sure she woulda come around.
Me: (shaking head) I couldn’t take that chance. My kid’s made of awesome; anyone who wouldn’t want someone like him in her life, I wouldn’t want in mine.
Him: (shrugging) Well, hopefully you’ll meet someone you like.
Me: I will. We all find the things we look for, good or bad, one way or another.

Location: this evening, running into two of the kid’s teachers from when he was a kid just off Broadway
Mood: potentially sick
Music: always been the weird one out, fucking up that little town (Spotify)
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