Survival is not pretty

Ned Stark was an awful father

Ned: You want me to serve the woman who murdered my king, who butchered my men, who crippled my son?!
Varys: I want you to serve the realm! Tell the Queen you will confess your vile treason, tell your son to lay down his sword and proclaim Joffrey as the true heir! Cersei knows you as a man of honour; if you give her the peace she needs, and promise to carry her secret to your grave, I believe she will allow you to take the black and live out your days on the Wall, with your brother and your bastard son.
Ned: (laughs) You think my life is some precious thing to me? That I would trade my honour for a few more years of…of what?! You grew up with actors; you learned their craft and you learnt it well. But I grew up with soldiers. I learned how to die a long time ago.
Varys: Pity. Such a pity. (Varys moves to leave, but turns back for one last word) What of your daughter’s life, my lord? Is that a precious thing to you? (Spoiler: Ned chose his honor over his own fucking daughter, who ended up getting raped and tortured repeatedly)

Years ago, I wrote a letter to my son, telling him about our family motto, “Survive.”

I had a number of people tell me how much that entry spoke to them but, in my head, I knew they didn’t really understand what I was saying.

Because they looked at it as some noble, honorable thing, when it was the exact opposite of that.

One guy I knew thought it was such a deep entry, but we clashed years ago about – of all things – Ned on Game of Thrones.

He’s the same guy who, like most people, completely doesn’t understand what “Survival of the fittest,” means

You see, I think Ned Stark was an awful father. Let’s run through the list:

      • Robb Stark – Murdered after he executed Rickard Karstark and the Karstarks abandon his army
      • Sansa Stark – see above. She suffered until she learned to be cold and survive.
      • Arya Stark – Survives because she’s precisely the opposite of what Ned hoped her to be.
      • Bran Stark – crippled but survives because he’s 10 when Ned dies
      • Rickon Stark – Killed
      • Theon Greyjoy (ward/foster son) – Hoo-boy, you don’t wanna know
      • Jon Snow (foster son) – Survives but only because he dies first

This dude was so upset that I said Ned was a bad father – note that he’s not a father himself – that he kicked me. That was the one of the last times I ever saw him.

A grown-ass 50 year-old man kicked me over a fictional guy. Jesus Christ. That tells you everything you need to know about him and why he and his business are struggling.

But, on a deeper level, it goes to a fundamental misunderstanding of what I wrote and mean.

Survival is not – at all – pretty.

Think about what survives things: Rats, roaches, weeds.

These aren’t pretty, glorious, honorable things. These are the things that don’t care about anything but surviving.

When I killed that rat last week ago, I felt nothing. He was huge and bit the shit outta what I was using to drown him.

If the roles were reversed, there wouldn’t be a moment’s hesitation of that rat trying to end me to survive. I respected that it fought to live, but it was it or me.

Ned taught his kids honor, duty, pride, politeness, etc.

That’s all fine and good, but if it’s a choice between my honor and my kid, fuck honor every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

You want me to bend the knee so my kid is ok? Which knee do you want?

Ned died – as did his wife, and two of his kids, while the rest suffered immensely –  because he did the noble thing, rather than the right thing.

The right thing woulda been to survive, protect his family, his sons and daughters, and – as Varys noted – the people of the realm.

How many people died in his family and throughout the kingdom(s) because of his honor, whatever the fuck that means? Based on his conversation with Varys, it sounds more like his pride at work.

I survive things, even when I don’t wanna. Because I’m this kid’s guard. That’s the reason why I’m here.

My buddy and his bullshit 14 year-old ideas of parenting and honor can go pound sand.

Friend: If we go to war with China or Russia, I’m finding you.
Me: (laughing) Why ?
Him: Because, out of everyone I know, you’re the one most likely to survive.
Me: OK. First things first, we get the fuck off the island and make it to NJ. Then we head west.

Location: earlier today, W 18th Street, having a beer with an almost relative
Mood: amused
Music: I spent so many nights just thinking how you’d done me wrong (Spotify)
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Logan dines and dashes (almost)

Memories with old friends

I’d just thought of Rain the other day because I met up with someone for coffee right outside his old pad. It was fine and we had a good time sitting outside chatting when we just casually got up and walked away.

Later on that night, I got hit with my usual insomnia and thought that I did a dine-and-dash.

The joint opened at 6AM so I called them as soon as I woke up and spoke to the waitress – who was the same one that was there when Rain was there – to try to pay the bill over the phone.

Her: What are you asking me?
Me: Did I pay the bill?
Her: Yeah. Don’t worry. (later) You’re Rain’s friend, right? Tell him we hope he’s happy.

For some reason, that whole interaction made me happy all day.

A few days later, I got a mass email from Rain. Like always, I looked at it like kismet.

The thing that always bums me out is the futility and meaningless of life.

But, every once in a while, I wonder if all might mean something.

It’s weird, how old friends seem to hit you up at just the right time.

I’ve hung out with more waitresses than you could possibly imagine. Alison and Mouse were both waitresses once – although not when I met them – as were any number of the women I hung out with like Daisy, Artistgirl, HEI, just off the top of my head.

Was trying to figure a place to meet up with someone downtown when I remembered a joint on St. Marks that Rain loved called Stingy Lulus.

It was cheap diner food that was good, not great, but plentiful. Our buddy Larry would always order the cheese fries with chili after 1AM.

The waitresses there were all drag queens but it was New York so it wasn’t a good or bad thing, merely a thing.

I remembered that I met up with Rain one night there because I needed to kill some time before meeting up some other college friends at this place nearby called Village Yokocho. I was dating a doctor, on-and-off, at the time.

She moved to Cali so the two of us could really try to give the breakup a go.

Rain told me that that night that, while he liked the doctor, he didn’t see the two of us together. And then he left and I headed to Yokocho afterward where I ended up chatting up a waitress there and going on a couple of dates with her.

It was cold on one of them so I gave her my favourite scarf. Never got it back because we both ghosted each other.

We’re actually FB friends now but I figure that scarf is long gone. Besides she’s married with kids and it’d be weird to hit her up outta the blue to ask for my old scarf back.

I’m rambling.

I feel like I don’t remember much of my life before 2015.

But rando memories are rushing up to greet me now. I’d completely forgotten about everything I told you – Stingy Lulu’s, late nights with Rain and company, Yokocho, etc – and it all hit me at once.

I’ve lived so many different lives in 17,500 days. I was someone very different, once. Not better or worse, merely different.

Actually, I was definitely someone worse – even more vain, argumentative, and shallow than I am now – but I was also someone with some great friends and a really cool wool scarf.

Man, I miss that scarf.

Me: I’m not sure you woulda liked the person I once was.
Her: How different could you be?
Me: So different. I guess I keep reinventing myself, hoping that this time, I’ll be who I’m supposed to be with the life I’m supposed to have. (thinking) I think that maybe I was only who I was supposed to be once in all this time.
Her: What happened?
Me: It’s too early to trade our sad stories, darling. Hey, have you ever dined-and-dashed?

photo: joannaepley’s flickr

Location: in my head
Mood: nostalgic
Music: I’m no good at goodbyes (Spotify)
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All that matters is that we can do it

Contracts, computers, and coffee

Her: Of course I remember you. How are you?
Me: Less crazy. (pause) Slightly less crazy.
Her: (laughing)

I’m doing some wild things these days, alla which I may be able to tell you in due time. There are legal and personal reasons I can’t.

It’s a bit rough, not having anyone I can share these parts of my life with. I can’t tell anyone about them. I have no reeds.

All of these new people I’ve been meeting lately are a little too new to share the kinda stuff I do.

They’re not ready to see me without my mask.

I’ve also been chatting with a few people from my past like HEI and Lviv but I can’t share with them either because that’s not the role we play in each other’s lives.

So, I keep these secrets to my lonely. After all, secrets are lonely things.

In fact, there’s really only one person that will listen and won’t put me into jeopardy, legal or otherwise.

Me: …but I’m meeting them for dinner and we’ll decide what do next.
Him: Can I come?
Me: I think you’ll find it boring.
Him: I can play with my tablet and I’ll wear my headset.
Me: Why do you even want to come if it’s boring?
Him: Because you’re my papa!

Speaking of lonely things, the loneliest people in the world are the ones that can’t accept the truth of the world, they can only accept the world as they see it.

I’ve been teaching a friend of mine a particular skill I have but he’s realizing that education is expensive. Knowledge comes at a cost.

Me: You’ll have to hide what you’re able to do now. People will be jealous and try to tear you down for seeing the world as it really is. Or they’ll call you a liar and say none of it’s true.
Him: It’s already happening. I showed my buddy what we do and he got upset. So, I just stopped bringing it up.
Me: (nodding) It’s easier to hate people than to try and understand them. I keep things to myself so I’m not hated quite as much. Now you have to do the same. (shrugging) In the end, it doesn’t matter if people believe we can do what we can do. All that matters is that we can do it. The fewer people like us there are, the better it is for people like us.

I’m making some changes in my life, I think hope for the better.

Somena once told me that the hardest part of life is figuring out how much of your past to bring with you to your future.

She was right then and’s still right now.

Location: my current apartment, surrounded by contracts, computers, and coffee
Mood: exhausted
Music: take your chances as they come (Spotify)
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Chad Vazquez BJJ

What are you?

Chad: Can I run something by you?
Me: Sure.
Him: (later) I don’t think I’m ready.
Me: (shaking head) No one’s ever ready for their lives to change. The saying isn’t, “Take your chances when you’re ready.” The saying’s, “Take your chances as they come.” This is your chance to ball. You can be a basic bitch, or you can ball.

Chad and I have a buddy, Brando, that sent Chad information on a space to take over so Chad could have his own gym. The wild thing is that Brando owns a gym himself.

That’s what an amazeballs human being he is – even though he ran his own gym, he still sent Chad information so Chad could open his own. What a class act.

In any case, Chad turned it down. But then, last week, he gave me and alla those handsome devils you see in the pic above, a buzz to meet up to see if we would help if he did eventually open his own space.

Without hesitation, we all agreed and everyone met up at my fave Chinese joint around the way with less than 48 hours notice. And these are some busy and powerful people. Why?

Miller: We all believe in you, Chad.
Me: (interjecting) Well, I’m helping him.
Chung: We all believe in you, Chad.
Me: (grumble)

Over some soup dumplings, Szechuan beef noodle soup, and beer, we banged out a jaw-dropping amount of details in just about 90 minutes.

Then I spent the rest of the weekend building out spreadsheets, writing up legal papers, and dealing with all sorts of random issues.

All of this while juggling stuff with my own building and alla these new people I’ve been meeting in the world, but that’s a story for some other time.

Chad’s helped me with a lotta things and this is my way to pay it forward with him.

Besides, this is what I think he’s meant to do.

Me: When I was kid in Queens, there was a saying I rather liked. It went: Bitch-ass motherfuckers get what they can. Hard-ass motherfuckers get what they want. I know what I am. What are you? Or, rather, what do you *want* to be?
Him: The latter.
Me: (nodding) Then take your chances as they come, brother.

It’s early yet, but you heard it here first: Chad Vazquez is gonna try and open his own gym.

The hardest thing about doing anything, is the deciding. Everything else is just details.

Maybe you’ll come by and watch Chad do his Chad thing?

I might do some stabby-slashy-stabby there whenever he he finds a place and opens but this is gonna be his little slice of the world.

I’ll keep you posted.

Location: around the way, having an Old Fashioned
Mood: so goddamn excited
Music: been working so the both of us can ball (Spotify)
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I should go now

I should always order the steak

It’s been a busy week, least of all because I was always unsure if I had allergies – I never had any as a kid – but now I can definitively say that I do.

Was a coughing mess because of tree allergies and walked around sounding like Don Corleone.

Because it rained the entire holiday weekend, alla my bigger plans got reduced drastically to several one-on-one meetups, including with my boss.

As well as just random friends here and there.

A wealthy guy I know got divorced relatively recently so we went to Koreatown as I’ve been doing lately. He surprised me by asking me a question.

Me: I’ll answer that by asking you a question: We’ve known each other for close to two decades. Would I have ever cheated on Alison?
Him: (sighs) I’m sorry, I…
Me: That’s not the question you shoulda asked.

Him: What is?
Me: Did she ever proposition me? I think you know the answer to that one too. Even if I was capable of cheating on Alison – and I don’t mess with marriage, mine or anyone else’s – I’m always loyal to my friends.
Him: What did you tell her and why didn’t you ever tell me?
Me: I told her, “I should go now,” and left. Didn’t tell you cause I was hoping it was a one-off. But you can go fuck yourself. If I wanted your wife, I woulda taken your wife.

I regret not ordering the bigger steak platter.

Oddly enough, a similar, but different, situation came up in discussion while driving home with some other friends the following night.

Me: They each asked me on separate occasions but I told them, “I think I should go now,” and just left.
Her: [Both women] were unhappy in their relationships. So I believe that.

It’s weird, I’ve gone from being the most important person in the world to one person to being just a shady secret to rando women in NYC.

Perhaps even weirder, I’ve reached a point in life that I have a go-to phrase for MBA women.

On a much more positive note, did manage to end the weekend with the sun and my college friends.

We’d talked for ages about our kids hanging out and it never happened because I was so messed up in my head all these years.

But we all got together in a biergarten in Brooklyn on the only sunny day of the holiday.

Her: Your son’s so cute!
Me: Well, I’m required by law to keep him for the next 11 years but his being cute definitely helps.

The boy had a blast hanging out with all of their kids.

This is him having a slice of pizza sitting under the table to avoid the sun. He’s such my kid.

As is typically the case when I see groups of friends these days, I’m the only single one. So, the setup questions happened at the end, several drinks in.

Her: You’d like my best friend, she’s an investment banker.
Me: You should know better than to set her up with a fella like me. For one thing, I’m a high-functioning alcoholic.
Her: (waves hand) Let’s not mention that part. She’s super wealthy, if you want to be a kept man.
Me: (laughing) Do you think I look the way I look to not be a kept man? But really, if she’s your best friend…
Her: What else are you looking for – besides being a kept man, that is?
Me: Hot, busty, smart, Caucasian, 30-39. I don’t think you fully appreciate how shallow and vain I am. Kindness is a plus, though.

Must be giving off a single vibe.

Katsmw: That waiter was totally hitting on you.
Me: I could tell when the kid gave him our address and he mentioned that he lived near us. All the boy needs to do now is to give him my PIN number for my bank accounts.
Her: (laughing) Man, you can really flirt with anyone.
Me: (shrugging) It’s 2021. I do a lot for free drinks…

Location: Yesterday, Park Slope, Brooklyn
Mood: coffee/coughy
Music: I’m sick of being sad. Ooh, I could be happy (Spotify)
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PSA: Talk to Someone

Mental Health Awareness Month 2021

May’s almost over, thank goodness, as it’s an awful month for me for reasons you probably already know.

Having said that, May’s also Mental Health Awareness Month and I wanted to get in this entry before the month was over.

This Thursday, I’m seeing a therapist again for the first time in over a decade-and-a-half. My buddy Miller’s been really supportive and encouraging for me to just talk to someone.

Should note that I’m actually not in a bad place right now, all things considered. But the insomnia’s  always just one poor food choice or one argument away. And that’s not a good thing, because my insomnia’s always a trigger to bigger problems.

With the kid and my age, I’ve gotta be extra vigilant to be ok.

That means brushing my teeth three times a day, exercising regularly, watching out for carbs, avoiding zombies, keeping up with the people important to me, and making sure that I’m on top of my mental health.

If you’re not making sure your health – mental and physical – is where it needs to be, you’re setting yourself up for a difficult time down the road.

Broken people become broken people over time.

After all, alla your life’s problems can be divided up into health, wealth, and relationships. So you should be spending a little bit of time on all three every day.

Being a gym rat, I meet tons of people that are also very attentive as to their physical health but I wonder if they’re equally watchful of their mental health.

The thing is, you gotta take care of your mental and physical health because when you’re not ok, it’s the people you love that pay the price.

Someone’s gotta pay for you to be alright, and it should be you and not them.

May’s almost over but attention as to your overall health never ends.

Him: Why do you go to the gym so much?
Me: So I can stay healthy and stay with you a long, long time.
Him: Will you go away?
Me: Someday. But not for a while.
Him: Not for a hundred thousand years?
Me: If I could stay with you until the end of the world, I would.
Him: That’s a long time!
Me: Not long enough, kiddo. When it comes to the people you love, there’s not enough time. There’s never enough time.

Location: Chinatown, eyeing the carbs
Mood: healthy
Music: It’s easy when you’re not around (Spotify)
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Trust is the coin of the realm

Are you Logan?

While walking the other day…

Him: Hey, are you Logan?
Me: Who wants to know?
Him: Hey man, I’m just a ScenicFights fan.
Me: Get outta town!

Interestingly, it happened pretty much exactly where someone else recognized me for 72nd to Canal, about fourteen years ago(!).

And, in a decade, I’ve gone from being a corporate lawyer lecturing in front of the Paris Bar to being known as the guy explaining why you can’t unzip another human being with a hammer.

Wonder what Alison and my dad woulda thought of alla this.

It’s pretty wild but if you go to the last Scenic Fights video that went up, you’ll see that Chad made a cool little (improvised) call-to-action, where he basically tells the audience that, for their entertainment, he will put me in a triangle choke, essentially by putting his crotch in my face.

In less than a week, we increased our subscribers by 6,000+ to 116,000, and garnered close to 1,300 comments, the vast majority of which were sending me condolences.

To paraphrase our producer, if there was ever a masterclass given for calls-to-action, Chad would be mentioned for his.

Check out the comments, cause some of them are hilarious.

Decided that I wasn’t going to accept any more setups because they’ve always been a disaster. Always. Since I was a kid.

Me: I could give you the line that it’s not you, it’s me, but I feel that’s unnecessary.
Her: Yeah, it’s you.
Me: (nodding) Fair.

A friend of mine asked me how I met so many women in my life so I told him. Now, he’s on a tear like I’ve never seen – you would not believe it if I told you.

Actually, maybe you would…

One thing I did ask him, though, was to stick with some of my rules; the second of which is brutal honesty and the first of which is: Leave people better off having met us than not.

In other words, we’re not trying to hurt anyone. But I think I’m breaking that rule myself.

For example, the girl I went on that date with last week stayed on my mind all week but it’s a lot more complex than that.

So, I need to figure some things out before I start involving other people in the mess I call my life.

Speaking of messes and brutal honesty, the kid lied twice recently.

Once about practicing his instrument and once about scribbling on the walls. Regarding the latter, it was obvs it was him because I’m 48 and my scribbling on the wall days are long past. He denied both at first but then admitted to them.

Me: I’d rather you tell the truth, even if it’s something bad.
Him: Why? You’ll be mad.
Me: Having someone mad at you is ok as long as you’re honest. “Trust is the coin of the realm. Everything else is details.” (George Shultz.)
Him: What does that mean?
Me: It means that if you’re someone that people trust, people will always accept you. Everyone wants to be with people they can trust.

I have a packed schedule all week. I’m:

      • training two groups of corporate people in self-defense/kali
      • having two private training sessions
      • helping a buddy work on his audition reel
      • trying to find some time to head to the law firm
      • childrearing as per use
      • helping a buddy with his business idea
      • trying to see about a girl

All of that stems from people trusting me to get the job done.

On the plus side, it’s nice that so many people want me to help them with things. On the negative side, there are only so many hours in the day.

Me: Lies are complex. Truth is simple. All things being equal, the more you lie, the more complex your life becomes. The more you tell the truth, the simpler your life becomes.
Him: I’ll won’t lie again.
Me: (laughing) You will. It’s the nature of people and we’re people. But, if you do lie about something, make sure it’s worth the cost of the lie and the subsequent complexity you’ve introduced into your life.
Him: I don’t understand.
Me: You will. I’ll make sure you understand.

Location: in front of a stack of weapons. A stack.
Mood: violent and busy
Music: I can wait for you (if you want me to) (Spotify)
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A little déjà vu

An unexpected night at the gym

Pez was helping out again with the boy and the two of them randomly decided to go to the High Line together.

She sent me some hilarious pics but I can’t post most of them.

They came back for dinner and afterward, she said, “I’m thinking of heading to class tonight.”

Me: Whoa, wait, are you driving?
Her: Depending on traffic, probably.
Me: Can you bring the kid and me?
Her: Sure, do you have a car seat?
Me: (puzzled) I’m a parent. I have a car seat.

I got clearance from the gym owners and Chad, the instructor, to bring him.

It was the first time that I’d ever brought him to the gym and both he and the people there were great. I gave explicit instructions for him not to leave the bench for any reason and he didn’t.

Because Chad and most of the upper belts knew him, they all made sure he was fine. Mouse was there too and he spent several minutes trying to get her attention. In the end, they caught up and it was sweet to see. For a moment, I forgot.

Afterward, Pez gave us a lift back. But not without some more entertainment.

Him: That was fun. Can we go again?
Me: It’s like two hours after your bedtime. I think that’s the real reason you want to go again.
Him: (sleepily) No…

If my birthday was the most I’ve been insulted in recent memory, then the past few days have been some of the most ego-boosting.

A girl I dated a while ago rang me to hang out recently; I hadn’t seen her in ages. So, we met up around her new pad. I told her about some of the conversations I had recently.

Her: Kinks? I seem to only really like guys that graduated from Stuyvesant High School.
Me: That’s a weird kink.
Her: (continuing) There’s you and X and Y. That’s three. You’re all smart and cute.

Her: So, you and Mouse are finally done?
Me: Looks that way.
Her: Good. I met the perfect girl for you.
Me: (shaking head) Nope, nope, nope. No more setups. Do you know how many setups I’ve had in the past month? Actually, my whole life?
Her: (shaking her head) They don’t know you like I know you. This girl’s exactly your type. 33, blond, busty, green eyes, super smart, and a boss. Wants a family.
Me: OK, I need a picture. (hands me her phone) Whoa, ok. What’s wrong with her?
Her: (shrugging) I don’t know if she’s good enough for you yet.
Me: First of all, super flattering. Second of all, you just said…
Her: You deserve the best. I told her all about you, so we’ll see.
Me: Hopefully not everything. I like to surprise people with some of the things I can do.

Honestly, the biggest turn-on – my biggest kink, if you will – is kind people. There’s something about someone that goes out of their way to make your life better.

Conversely, there’s something so ugly about people when they’re cruel and hurtful. It’s the biggest turn-off.

Anywho, she and I didn’t work out for reasons we don’t need to get into here. But she was beyond sweet and I told her that.

Thank goodness for the good souls.

Her: I started seeing this guy I really like so I’m not gonna invite you back to my place.
Me: Good choice, we’ve got alcohol and you’re being incredibly sweet so that’s a dangerous combo for me.
Her: I thought you didn’t make out with your friends.
Me: (laughing) I never said we were friends, darling.
Her: (smiling) It’s good seeing you again, Logan. I’ve missed you.
Me: Same, Lviv. Good luck with your fella.

Saying goodbye to her was reminiscent of Daisy and Gradgirl because they, like her, belong to someone else.

But, I suppose we all have our roles to play and I guess I’ve finally accepted mine as the other guy, which is precisely what a woman once told me ages ago.

See, she wanted to fix me up with her kid but she didn’t know how old I was so I politely declined.

And she got upset and said I only seem to seek out people that can’t be in relationships because I enjoyed the game. I told her that wasn’t true, I was looking for my biggest fan.

But, that was then. Maybe – now – she’s right. After all, I was the love of someone’s life once and that should be enough.

Boy: You’re home!
Me: I am.
Him: How was your friend?
Me: Very sweet.
Him: I wanted to meet her.
Me: (laughing) I think you’ve met enough of papa’s friends. Come on, let’s go play.

Location: Upper east side
Mood: flattered
Music: This is feeling a little déjà vu (Spotify)
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Aposematism

Red and Yellow

Me: I think you’re off starting next Monday
Him: I’m off starting this Monday, papa.
Me: Well…that’s suboptimal.

Thought the boy’s Spring break began April 5th. I was incorrect.

Annnnd…shitballs. Here’s Pez watching the kiddo because I was in a pinch.

Her: You have the cutest kid!
Me: Thank you – you’re the best!

Earlier this week, I did some legal work that beat 96% odds.

Him: You did good work, Logan.
Me: No, I didn’t do good work. I won with 4% odds, that’s not good; that’s fucking fantastic. I did fucking fantastic work. They weren’t ready for me.

Because the kid was off, we went up to Connecticut to see a buddy of mine so the boy could have a playdate with his daughter.

While I was there, I took a picture of myself looking very out of place in my usual red leather jacket and the woods.

I always had this bright yellow/orange jacket – that picture below was taken by the Green-Eyed Schoolteacher back in 2007 – but when Alison got first got pregnant in 2011, I had my tailor make me a bright red leather jacket as a celebration.

It took a few months to get to me and, by then, we already lost that child. That was the start of our hell, which only ended six years later when she died. It was complete bullshit.

I never wore it while she was here and only rarely wore the other jacket during that whole time. Instead, I wore my beat up dark red leather jacket – that’s me when I was in Prague twenty-five years ago – and my other rando stuff.

I told a buddy of mine that most of the world lives an unexamined life. If anything, I examine the world around me a little too closely.

Why do I think the way I do?
Why do I dress the way I do?
Why does this matter to me?
What does this mean?

When Alison died, I wore only black for the first six months. I wore only black because I saw only black.

And then I realized that I had to reenter the world, as much as I didn’t want to. But after that, I put on my red leather jacket and wore it out for the first time. It’s pretty much my daily driver now, although I do break out the yellow/orange jacket on occasion.

There’s this thing called “aposematism,” which comes from the Greek ἀπό apo “away” and σῆμα sēma “sign.”

Aposematism, then, is “a sign to stay away.”

Basically, dangerous things are often brightly coloured, with the most dangerous things either red or yellow/orange against black.

      • Black Widow (red against black)
      • Yellowjacket (yellow/orange against black)
      • Murder Hornets (yellow/orange against black)
      • Monarch butterflies (orange against black)
      • Pitohui (red against black)
      • Poison Dart Frogs (blue, red, and/or black)

Just to name a few.

I wear bright red and yellow against black because I’m a lawyer with two decades of experience that teaches knife fighting in his spare time.

There are other reasons but that’s all I wanna share right now.

Most people, subconsciously, get that a guy doesn’t wear a bright yellow/orange or red leather jacket unless he can.

Although not everyone uses the sense god gave them. On the way to one Scenic Fights shoot, I had this conversation:

Him: You want to start some shit?
Me: I think I do, homie.

Subtlety only gets you so far sometimes.

Although, to be fair, I also paid extra to have a paisley print put into the red jacket and artwork to line my yellow/orange one.

I thought it made them look prettier. 

Location: home
Mood: pretty
Music: Ooh-ooh-ooh, that’s my violet (Spotify)

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Blogarama - Observations Blogs

Memories of a chocolate teapot

Seeing the world but once

Me: What’s wrong?
Him: Annie doesn’t want to play with me. Can we go?
Me: OK, let’s go to another playground.

I’ve noticed something interesting about the kids that my son is closest to – they’re all hapas like him.

Dunno if this is some subconscious thing or because there are so many hapas running around the Upper West Side.

This lady named Louise Glueck once said, “We look at the world once, in childhood. The rest is memory.”

I couldn’t agree with that statement more. I think that, by the time we’re 14 or so, we know the broad contours of what we like and we don’t like.

For example, there was this little girl named Christine that I used to hang out with all the time growing up. We were both maybe six or seven, way before any real rational emotion was possible, but all I knew was that I loved hanging out with her.

She was blond with coloured eyes. Just like Alison.

I tell my friends to always be careful that they aren’t controlled by their 14 year-old impulses. But sometimes, you can’t help it – I’m no different.

In any case, the way I look at it, I have nine years to shape this kid’s perception of the world and I feel I’m already running outta time.

As much as possible, I try to have him the see the world for what it is – both the good and the bad – rather than what someone else wants him to see, what’s for sale.

The things he values now, he’ll value the rest of his life so I try for him to value things that are innately valuable. Those things that cannot be taken from you, like skills and kindness.

Because, in some way, we’re all prisoners of our 14 year-old selves.

Him: Isn’t that cool?
Me: It’s about as useful as a chocolate teapot.
Him: (laughing) What does that mean?
Me: Think about it, kid. It’ll come to you.

Then again, he may just be fine.

After all, he’s not just my kid, he’s Alison’s too. And maybe he won’t be quite as lonely as I was, growing up.

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

Location: earlier today, watching some scooters by some stone elephants
Mood: hopeful
Music: All you got to do is blink your eyes and the years go by like that (Spotify)
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