And I pay it

The keys to the kingdom

My son’s memory is pretty insane. My SIL and I once went to a parking deck and I thought we parked the car on the fourth floor, my SIL on the 3rd, and my son thought we parked on the second.

Me: There’s no way [it’s on the second floor].
Him: It was the second.
Her: That’s impossible.
Him: (10 minutes later) I tooooooold you!
Her: How is that possible?
Me: I have no idea. He’s ridic.

This past Friday, I completely forgot that he was due for his second shot but got an email reminder. I quickly had to cancel a bunch of plans and reschedule things to make this appointment.

Her: How could you forget your son’s appointment?
Me: Lady, you wouldn’t believe the stuff I’m forgetting these days. I’ll make it up to you.

Picked the boy up from school and, after his music lesson, sat him down and put my hands gently on his shoulders:

Me: OK, kid. I have good news and bad news. The good news is that we’re having dinner together and you can have anything you wan…
Him: McDonalds!!
Me: (laughing) OK, a deal’s a deal. We’ll get McDonalds. (deep breath) OK, the bad news is…
Him: More bad news? I’m already getting a shot!
Me: Wait, how did you know that?
Him: It’s the 3rd. I’m getting it at 6PM tonight.
Me: Whoa…that’s…whoa…

Legit, he remembered something that was mentioned in passing by the nurse, after he’d gotten both the flu and COVID shots. Crazy.

He didn’t even wince when he got stuck, let alone cry.

Me: Are you ok? Did it hurt?
Him: (shrugging) Not really. Can I have candy?
Me: Heck, yeah!

This is not to say that alla my conversations this weekend were easy. A buddy of mine asked to meet up.

Him: We need to talk.
Me: Do I need to be armed for this conversation?
Him: I hope not.
Me: Fair. (taking a seat) What’s going on?

It was unpleasant but not altogether bad. It was half about me and half about another buddy of ours.

Me: People like him never understood the power of these tools. [Our buddy] who mocked [the three-step apology] thinks it’s a joke, but you see its power now.
Him: It’s gold. It’s amazing.
Me: (nodding) And that’s why he’ll never be as good as you, in health, wealth, or relationships. None of them will. Because they think all these things I do are an inconsequential joke. But you know – you’ve seen – that these are the keys to the kingdom.
Him: I know I owe you a debt for these things.
Me: (shaking head) That’s where you’re wrong. You don’t owe me a debt; I’m repaying a debt I owe you. You gave me something I wasn’t entitled to, that put me in your debt. And I pay it.
Him: I appreciate that. (later) I see your rage and I’m sorry because I know where it comes from. But…
Me: (interrupting) I know. I’m well-aware…

The next day, I had a young new sitter come by to take care of the kid while I ran a seminar at Paxibellum given by the big man in my system, Tuhon Bill McGrath of Pekiti Tirsia International.

It was the first of what I had hoped would be regular guest seminars at the gym. We were packed to the seams with attendees, which was impressive…

Attendee 1: I remember reading, “Logan Lo,” and I thought, where do I know that name from? And then I remembered: You’re the Scenic Fights guy! I’ve seen every video!
Me: (laughing) That’s great. Thanks for the support.
Him: How long have you been doing this for?
Me: 17 years?
Him: What? How old are you!?
Me: Ah, we’re playing the game…

…but, Chad and I are making more moves with the gym that we didn’t anticipate – some annoying but some really quite cool and unexpected.

I’ll tell you all about them when and if they happen.

Attendee 2: I just want to say that I’m a big fan of Scenic Fights.
Attendee 3: (overhearing) Me too!
Me: And here I thought it was all just my mom leaving comments. Thanks, fellas.

Afterward, Bill and I took a walk back to his car.

Me: I never got a chance to say, “Thank you,” for all the kindness and support you’ve all shown me after everything went down.
Him: We’re old school, Logan. We try to take care of each other.
Me: I appreciate that, sir. I really do. Thank you.

Location: earlier tonight, looking for ice for my wrist
Mood: grateful
Music: yeah, that’s my kid / did I leave a better life for the rest? (Spotify)
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Same as everyone else

My addictive personality

Me: I’ve lived here close to 30 years.
Him: How’s that possible?
Me: Did it the same way as everyone else: At a rate of 60 minutes an hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That’s how.

My friends around the way have the nicest apartment I’ve ever been to – on the Upper West Side or otherwise.

But, recently, I met up with a fella from my gym that has a pad along Central Park with some jaw-dropping views. My friends around the way still have the nicer pad but…man, it’s close.

Some other people stopped by and we all chatted for a bit.

It’s weird, I never have a problem meeting new people but who stays and who leaves my Venn Diagram is always a surprise to me.

While my friends make fun of me for my rules, I do think that it’s why so many people are willing to enter my Venn Diagram.

Because they know that I have standards I hold myself to. And those around me.

For example, there’s a reason why I’ve never done any hard drugs or have a strict three-date maximum rule: Because I have an addictive personality.

I, very easily, get addicted to things, ideas, people. Knew this since I was a kid and it was part of why I was a fat kid – I was addicted to food.

And, while it’s almost always a negative, it can be a positive: To wit, I got addicted to losing weight at 14, to the point that I went from 183 pounds to 123 pounds in six months. I lost 10 pounds a month, 2.5 pounds a week.

I got addicted to that number: 2.5. I had to lose 2.5 pounds a week. It wasn’t until a girl named Julia went up to me and said, “I’m worried about you. You don’t look well” that I realized that I was doing it again.

      • I made it a goal to read every book one side of a library once. I did that.
      • I wanted to teach myself German to high-intermediate. I did that.
      • I wanted to know how to fix a car so I built one.

Never had a drop of alcohol or drugs in college. Didn’t eat fast food for 13 years. Never cursed either. Because of my rules. Shockingly, I still managed to have friends. Dear ones.

In fact, I didn’t curse for 28 years. I started again the day she died.

Fuck.

Anywho, the friend I was chatting with about this dealt with his own demons in his life and they cost him a great deal. He was married to two models and both marriages disintegrated.

He’s very wealthy but that matters less to him than his own peace of mind, so he lives a pretty simple life.

As for me, after she died, my demons old gods all came calling and I was happy to see them. They, Gradgirl, and Daisy kept me company for a while.

Oh, my friend that I was just talking about has the third nicest apartment I’ve ever been in.

I need to up my game.

Him: Would you be willing to date someone that makes more money that you? I mean…a lot more money?
Me: Willing? That’s a weird question. Do you think my parents raised a moron? That’s the dream. (pointing at self) These looks aren’t gonna last forever, man.

Location: earlier tonight, being told I don’t look my age
Mood: so…cold…
Music: Love me when I’m gone (Spotify)
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PSA: Change your Sacrifice Rods

Protect what’s valuable

Her: How do you know all these things, Logan?
Me: I don’t get out much.

Alison bailed on our first date. Dunno if I ever fully pointed that out.

So, because I was a womanizer, I literally walked out my door and went on an instant date with a grey-eyed accountant and then with the PCD.

Alison: (irritated) Because I didn’t meet you for a date, you go pick up two other women?!
Me: Technically three. But the PCD was the only one willing to let me write about her. (shrugging) If I wasn’t your fella, I wasn’t going to sit around waiting for something that was never gonna happen.
Her: My hot water tank burst!
Me: Oh. Did you – or your landlord – ever change the sacrifice rod in it?
Her: What?

Water corrodes. That’s what water does. When you have a hot water tank – and, if you live in a house, you definitely have one – that tank is made of metal.

After a few years, no matter what, some part of that metal tank will corrode to the point that the tank bursts. Unless you’ve prepared for the corrosion.

That’s why tanks on top of roofs here in NYC are almost always made of wood.

So what to do?

Well, every hot water tank has something called a sacrificial anode – aka, a sacrifice rod – whose sole purpose is to be more attractive to the electrons in water compared to the tank itself.

In other words, the purpose of the rod – which is made of a highly corrosive metal like magnesium or aluminum – is to die/corrode so that the metal of the tank will not.

From https://sharpe-ers.com.au/2017/03/hot-water-sacrificial-anodes/

Learned this while fixing my parents hot water tank years ago. But it’s useless unless you change it every 1-3 years.

I bring this up for two reasons:

    1. Life is a tragedy fulla joy. So prepare for the coming tragedies. Water corrodes, it’s what it does. Life corrodes us, it’s what it does. So I’ve spent my life separating what is valuable that I have to protect and what is not that can be discarded/sacrificed.
      • I’ll admit that I’ve never expected life to be quite this difficult and I wasn’t prepared for the things I’ve lost.
    2. The first thing I noticed about the new gym was that the hot water tank’s sacrifice rod was corroded shut in the tank. This is never a good thing. After X number of weeks – and a lotta effort by the two of us and every single workman we could ask – Chad and I finally got it out today. That’s how corroded it was. Well, more to the point, one of the Cary, Carey, Kari’s got it out for us.

Me: Honest-to-God, I’ve never seen a sacrifice rod that…gone before.
Chad: Well, it’s done. Cary said that it should be fine.
Me: God, I love that guy. One of has to sleep with him now.
Him: OK, we’ll have to figure out which one of us later.

Change. Your. Sacrifice. Rod.

And figure out what you keep in your life and what you discard.

People around you, situations, will break you down from the inside out. You cannot allow it to change the core of who you are. Things can change and corrode, but never the core of who you are.

I say this as someone who survives, even when I don’t wanna.

Location: earlier today, at Union Square, doing more manual labour
Mood: worried
Music: I needed a friend when I was at the end of myself (Spotify)
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Stay outta the sun and be born Asian

Demolition time

My son was away for a good part of the week and weekend so I spent some of it saying hello and goodbye to a buncha people all over the place.

I’ll tell you more about that some other time. Maybe. I’m le tired.

The resta the time, worked on Chad’s new gym.

Surprisingly, or perhaps not that surprisingly, Mouse’s brother helped us out with some of the demolition that needed to be done.

And then Chad, myself, and several friends took down two walls with a crowbar and several power drills.

This is us pretending we’re in a boy band. I don’t know what I’m doing.

Afterwards, Chad wanted to bring us all out to eat.

Panda: I want all-you-can-eat.
Me: Everything is all you can eat if you spend enough money.
Hef: I’m down for Korean food.
Shawn: I’ve never actually had Korean BBQ.
Me: It’s great and keto friendly(ish) so that’ll work for me and Chad. We have a Scenic Fights shoot coming up this week.

We rolled up to Koreatown and essentially ordered five of the below. I stuffed myself silly. Think we all did.

There are worse ways than finishing the day with a cold beer and hot Korean BBQ. I should know.

Speaking of Scenic Fights, the producers are about the same age as Chad.

Him: It’s hard finding time to work out.
Me: I’m 48 with a kid, find time.
Him: If I look like you look at 48, I’d be thrilled.
Me: It’s easy – just (a) stay outta the sun and (b) be born Asian.
Him: Well, I already screwed up one of those.
Me: That was your first mistake.

I recently read that men and women age about the same until age 50 – and then women’s faces age three times faster.

Someone once commented that she thought I was a great feminist but I don’t think of myself like that at all.

Just think women get the short end of the stick with a lotta things and are still emotionally tougher than most men.

Don’t like unfair things and all that seems terribly unfair.

Location: 1PM, Union Square, with power tools and out of the sun
Mood: productive
Music: ride or die, two rebels, you and I (Spotify)
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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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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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How can Chauvin be guilty of three things?

Falling Back

Her: I don’t understand people that want to see that video.
Me: I still haven’t gotten through more than two minutes of it. I never will. That’s some sick stuff. And that’s the world I’m raising this kid in.

Once again, we pause the usual nuthin to discuss world events.

The professor and other friends dropped me a line to ask a very sensible question:

How can Derek Chauvin be guilty of three things for one murder/manslaughter?

I’ll start with an illustration: Assume, arguendo, you rob a bank. During that bank robbery, someone with a weak heart dies of a heart attack. At the same time, you also decide to get frisky with the attractive teller. Then you get arrested.

You are charged with:

      1. Bank robbery
      2. Felony murder
      3. Sexual assault

These are three separate charges requiring three separate sets of things the prosecution has to prove. If the prosecution proves all three, then you’ll be convicted of all three charges.

Let’s go over to the Chauvin case.

He was convicted of:

      1. Second-degree unintentional murder (facing potentially 40 years)
      2. Third-degree murder (25 years)
      3. Second-degree manslaughter (10 years)

For an overview of these charges, check out my award-winning entry about Murder vs. Involuntary Manslaughter.

Why all three? Because the prosecution had enough evidence to prove all three and the judge allowed them to try and prove all three.

Second-degree unintentional/Felony murder

Question: Did Chauvin want to hurt Floyd and end up killing him instead?
Answer: Clearly, fuck yes. You don’t put your knee on another human being’s goddamn neck unless you want to hurt him. Oh, he died? That’s murder. The prosecution proved every element of this charge.

Third-degree/Depraved-Heart/I don’t give a fuck murder

Question: Did Chauvin not give a fuck that he might accidentally kill Floyd?
Answer: Again, clearly, yes. The man was gasping for air and begging for his life and Chauvin ignored all of these pleas for mercy from the assault that Chauvin himself was inflicting. The prosecution proved every element of this charge as well, so guess what, asshole, you’re guilty of this too.

Second-degree manslaughter

Question: Did Chauvin create a situation where a reasonable person would think, “Oh shit, if I do this, I might end up killing the man,” and proceed anyway?
Answer: Same. Any reasonable person would know that, if you put your knee on someone’s neck that person might die. So, once again, the prosecution proved every element of that crime.

So, what about double-jeopardy? How can you be convicted three times of essentially the same murder?

The reason why is because, even though he was convicted on all three charges, he’ll probably only face the most serious charge of second-degree murder, which is potentially 30 years of jail time and 10 years of parole.

And there’s a tactical reason for this: Because if the jury wasn’t convinced of the most serious charge, the other two are fallback positions – basically, they’re contingency plans, which you know I love.

And this is important because, right this very second as I write this, there’s – I shit you notanother Minnesota’s third-degree murder conviction of an officer (this one is an equally charming prince of a fella) that’s being challenged before the Supreme Court.

Note to self: Never leave Manhattan.

Assume Chauvin only got convicted of the third-degree murder and not the other two. If the Supreme Court decides to find for officer in the other case, Chauvin goes home.

So, this is belt and suspenders on the part of the prosecution. If they didn’t get the top two charges to stick, the hope was that the third would stick.

But the evidence, and Chauvin’s own douchebaggery, was so overwhelming that they landed all three charges.

You wanna know how amazing this was? Since 2005 – 16 years – only seven officers IN THE USA have been convicted of murder. Seven. In 16 years.

So, yeah, thank god for video tape evidence.

Finally, for the numbnuts bitching that the bystanders did nothing but videotape, those bystanders made this happen.

Shut the fuck up, Rambo and sit the fuck down.

/rant

More nonsense tomorrow this week soon(ish).

Sigh, I wanted to be a law professor once. Instead, I’m just a high-functioning alcoholic womanizer.

Eh, I’m ok with that.

 

Location: Hudson Yards versus Brighton Beach
Mood: determined
Music: I’m selfish I always made your problems ’bout me (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

Adjusting to the world

Oh, and I have gout

Well, I’ve hit a new middle-aged milestone: I have gout.

Essentially, for almost every meal, I have cabbage, avocados, or spinach and beef, lamb, or sardines every single day.

In fact, I just made the ABFF and the kids some corned beef and cabbage for St. Patty’s this AM.

Never really thought much of this until I woke up in ridonk pain at 4PM the other day.

I needed to see a doc but I wasn’t comfortable bringing the kid to the medemerge – which I saw exactly a year earlier and got COVID.

Not knowing what else to do, I gave Chad a ring.

Him: I’m already on my way.

Now that’s a friend.

On that note, here he is breaking down Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

I hobbled to the doctor’s and, after a buncha questions, x-rays, and whatnot, gout was the conclusion.

Oddly, the reason for it may have more to do with my intermittent fasting per a video my buddy Aric sent me.

All in all, it was not a great day.

The few days before that weren’t any great shakes either.

Me: You did what?!
Son: Are you mad?
Me: I don’t think the word “mad” fully captures the range of emotions I’m feeling right now, boy.

Some people think I push the kid too hard; others, not hard enough. I figure that this means I’m probably doing ok. But we do have these types of convos:

Him: I don’t need to know how to do that, you’ll do it for me.
Me: For now. But you need to learn how to do it yourself.
Him: Why?
Me: People are valued for their skills; the more skills you have, the more valuable you are. The less skills you have, the less valuable the world considers you.

If being a parent has taught me anything, it’s a profound respect for my own parents.

I realize now, how difficult it must have been for them as two very young foreigners (20something and 30something) in a foreign land raising three children while being immigrant poor.

I have one kid and live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and I still feel like I’m struggling.

Yet it’s still some of the most interesting work I’ve ever done. It forces me to question whether or not I truly understand the world as it is.

Him: Why is fire hot?
Me: I never thought about it. Let’s look it up.

On a deeper level, what I see lacking the most in the world is critical thinking, which is analyzing a given set of facts and making sense of them.

The pitfalls are:

    • Poor data
    • Poor analysis
    • Poor conclusions
      • Poor actions based on the conclusion

I see people mess up at least one, sometimes all four, at least once a day.

And the biggest problem with people is that they think that the world adjusts to their level of skill, rather than the adjusting their level of skill to the world.

My parents wanted us to get accolades – A+s and Ivy Leagues – and I get that. But what I want for the boy is much more modest, I want him to have general life skills coupled with an ability to critically think.

The most unsuccessful, lonely people, are those that expect certain things of the world and are angry that the world doesn’t match their expectations.

I get that, more than most.

But, at the end of the day, the world doesn’t care what we want or hope, only how we respond to it.

Him: Why do I have to learn this?
Me: Because the world doesn’t adjust to your level of skill. So you have to do it the other way around. 

Location: earlier today, by the ABFF’s
Mood: discomforted
Music: I’m the same kid – so why’s the mirror say I’m not? (Spotify)
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