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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A Lucky Gold Star

Things change

I met up with my SIL in Hoboken with the kid for dinner. I wanted to go to Benny Tudinos.

Her: Why do you want to go there? There are so many better options!
Me: I thought the kid might like it.

Alison brought me there years ago, after I told her about Koronet Pizza here in the UWS – a place known for having absurdly large pizza slices.

She then told me to meet her in Hoboken where she brought me to Benny’s, which has something similar.

Walking there was the longest time I spent in Alison’s part of Hoboken since she died.

It was surreal and sad, and I’ll leave it at that.

In any case, I told the kid that the pizza was bigger than him and he was (somewhat) impressed when he saw it.

Her: (to him) Is it good?
Me: It’s pizza, of course it’s good to him.
Boy: (nods enthusiastically while eating)

I ordered a pitcher of sangria for us but she could only have a glass because she was driving so I finished the rest.

Ended up crashing early that night because of all the alcohol while the boy stayed over with her.

Just as well; it got me ready for Daylight Savings.

The next night, the buddy that I told you about in this entry was in my nabe and stopped by for dinner.

Me: Do you remember the two of us meeting?
Him: (thinking) I’m sorry, I don’t.
Me: (laughing) That’s fine. Mouse remembered the other guy I was with when we met and not me. That’s kinda how I like it – to blend into the background and not be seen unless I wanna be seen.
Him: Well, you accomplished that with both of us then!

When I was a kid, the thing I wanted the most of all was a ColecoVision. Similarly, my sister wanted their other insanely popular toy, the Cabbage Patch Kid.

We didn’t have much money so we got neither – but that’s neither here nor there.

When I got older, I found out that they were called Coleco because they were once the Connecticut Leather Company.

In a similar vein, when I was working for a Fortune 500 company, my boss gave me two jewels to manage: Samsung and LG. At they time, they were big but not the behemoths they are now.

When I went to the meeting with LG, I called them Lucky Goldstar a few times because that was their original name and what I knew them as, as a kid.

That’s when one of them stopped me in mid-sales pitch to tell me:

Him: We’re just LG. We stopped being Lucky Goldstar years ago. Please stop calling us that.

I was…mortified.

Eventually, everything got smoothed out but that and the ColecoVision story stayed with me all these years decades because it reminds me that things and people are more complex than we think and that reinvention is a lot more common than we think as well.

My buddy lost some friends because he’s changing and they don’t like that but that’s what people and things do.

When I was Hoboken, I wasn’t sure what bothered me more: The things that didn’t change and were exactly like they was when Alison and I were there or the things that had changed so very much.

The boy’s growing up quickly. He’s outgrown most of the clothes that I feel I just got for him.

And while I was writing this entry, Gio hit me up; he’s selling his apartment and moving upstate for more space for his family.

I was his attorney for that purchase, which happened way back in 2013. Seems like yesterday.

Everything keep changing on me but I have to remember that it’s usually good for them that they change, even though I want some things to stay the same.

I wish so many things stayed the same. Then again, I wish for a lotta things.

Him: When will I be a teenager?
Me: I suppose when you’re thirteen. That’s eight years from now.
Him: That’s a long time from now.
Me: Tomorrow always comes a day too soon. For now, just stay my little boy, ok?
Him: Ok, papa. (thinking) Eight years…wow…

Location: freezing on West 70th today
Mood: nostalgic
Music: the winds are always changing, and the clouds are rearranging (Spotify)
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Goldfish are limited to the size of their bowl 2

Be Better

Close to a decade ago, I wrote this entry about how goldfish are only small because of the bowls we put them in. Without being in a small bowl, they can grow up to enormous sizes.

Case in point, just the other day, a nine-pound goldfish was found in a lake. They figured that someone didn’t wanna keep it anymore but also couldn’t just flush it down the toilet so they tossed it into Oak Grove Lake in Greenville, South Carolina. Without any constraints, it just grew to a massive size.

I was talking to a buddy of mine the other night and he told me that cut out a raft of friends. Mainly because they didn’t like the fact that he was changing.

As he was telling me this, I remembered Johnny and alla the other friends that I cut loose throughout the years. That same time that I cut him loose, I cut a mutual friend of ours loose too.

He had accused me of trying to ruin his business but I told him that I was a seasoned lawyer; if I wanted him shut down, he’d be shut down.

Me: I found it insulting that he thought I would try to shut him down and fail versus actually have him shut down.
Him: (laughing) That’s funny. What happened next?
Me: I told him the truth –  that his punishment was that he didn’t get to hang out with me. That’s punishment enough.

They were all holding me back in one way or another and I couldn’t have that. I couldn’t allow that.

Life limits you enough; you don’t need those around you holding you down too.

My friend’s bummed that he had to cut them out but I think we both knew he had to.

After all, we’re the average of the five people that we spend the most time with and these people – all good guys – just didn’t see the world the way he did. It’s as simple and complex as that, because your friends mirror you.

Your friends have to grow with you or you’re left with only two unpleasant options:

      1. Not grow.
      2. Outgrow them.

He picked the latter.

The ending of any relationship is sad, the more meaningful the relationships are, the sadder the ending is. I should know.

Me: You ok?
Him: I think so. I feel free, I don’t want to go back to the way I was.
Me: And you shouldn’t want to. Trying to be better than you were yesterday isn’t something you should ever be ashamed of.

Location: today, being threatened with a linguini
Mood: better
Music: tell myself to be better and I just can’t help but hope (Spotify)
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