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personal

Just wear a hat

That doesn’t make any real sense

The mayor office announced congestion pricing the other day.

There were more cops than protestors but I suppose that’s a good thing.

At least everyone was dressed warmly – it’s been brick around here, lately.

If I told you that I opened up a can of coke and was shocked that no soda came out anywhere but the hole on top, you would think I was just being strange.

Obviously, if I opened a can of soda, the only place any soda would come out of would be the hole I created when I opened the can, yeah?

Conversely, if I didn’t open the can of soda, no soda would come out.

All this seems elementary, no?

But what if I said to you something like, “You should wear a hat because most of your body heat comes from your head?”

To me, it sounds precisely the same as if I said, “Most soda comes outta the can from the hole you made.”

Do you know why most of your body heat comes off your head when your head’s not covered?

Because: Your head’s not covered and the rest of your body is.

Like, if you go out into a wintery day, fully dressed, including gloves and boots – guess where most of your body heat would escape?

That’s right: Your head. Because it’s not covered and the rest of your body is.

So, it’s technically true that, “Most of your body heat comes from your head.”

But that’s super misleading.

It has the air of truth but only a little bit of actual truth to it.

It’s more accurate to say, “Heat’s gonna escape from your head because that’s the part of your body that’s not covered up.”

This has driven me mad for decades.

DECADES!

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

Location: next door, having my third plate of shrimp and checking out heavy machinery
Mood: warm
Music: Baby, you can steal my sheets (Spotify)
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A Hidden Find

The Irish Hunger Memorial

Me: (hobbling home after a workout and groaning the whole time)
Her: You’re really selling this, “Look at me, I’m so young for 50” thing.
Me: I need a nap.

The Firecracker and I were trying to figure what we could do to entertain both kids when we decided to take a long bike/scooter ride down the West Side Greenway to Battery Park City.

We ended up at the Rockefeller Park Playground for a few hours where the kids had fun…

Me: (watching him start playing with some new kids) Man, this kid can be friends with anyone.
Her: That is impressive.

…and the Firecracker and I continued with some stupid human tricks.

Her: I want a cuppa coffee. Do you want some?
Me: It’s getting late. Can I just get some of yours?
Her: Fiiine.

Afterward, I ended up going to the coffee shop myself to use their restroom when I passed the Irish Hunger Memorial.

I’d read about it in Times a little while back and saw a quick little video on CBS Sunday Morning on it.

This isn’t it but you get the point.

I thought about Alison, who was fiercely proud of being both Irish and Italian, as well as the time I went to Boston and saw the Irish famine artwork there.

It was a quiet and peaceful place and, weirdly, it really does make you feel like you’re somewhere else. Now, I’ve never been to Ireland before but I can picture it looking similar.

Took this with my phone and it’s way overexposed. Sorry.

Sometimes, I wonder how Chinese and how American this kid will be. And will he have any interest in the Irish and Italian sides of himself?

I’d love for him to be able to speak Chinese, though. Unfortunately, my Chinese is so crappy, I avoid speaking Chinese to him but maybe I should just do it.

Although, at the end of the day, he’ll be whomever he’s supposed to be, I suppose.

Me: Are you listening to the Backstreet Boys?
Him: (stops singing) Yeah, I like this song.
Me: Where on earth do you find these songs?
Him: (shrugging) I dunno. (starts singing again)
Me: (shrugging also and join him)

 

Location: Two different supermarkets, trying to bake some pumpkin pies
Mood: fat
Music: Looking back on the things I’ve done, I was trying to be someone (Spotify)
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Purple (Potato) Eater

Unlimited food and Listerine

Me: 10 mins to next train!
Her: Boo!

Been on a different quest lately, this time to find purple sweet potatoes – that is to say, purple fleshed sweet potatoes, versus just purple skinned sweet potatoes.

I’d been searching for it for a while now, including at various green markets throughout the city, but it’s almost always the purple skinned but white fleshed variety.

With that said, after leaving the gym this past Saturday, it was a 10-minute wait until the next train, so I decided to look around for paw-paws.

No paw-paws were to be found BUT I came across this tiny little sign on a small table with purple potatoes and grabbed a few pounds of it.

With that in hand, I decided to continue looking for the paw-paws when I came across some Adirondak Blue potatoes from Cornell University.

Me: Are these sweet potatoes or just regular potatoes?
Him: Just regular ones. (long pause) Except they’re purple.
Me: Noted.

These I’d never heard of, so I picked up some of these as well.

Him: I dunno. One out of ten?
Me: (shaking head) No, man. It’s one outta three.
Him: GTFOH.
Me: (shaking head) For real, man.

Alison’s sickness has had a profound effect on me as a parent.

The reason why I’ve been searching for things like purple sweet potatoes is their amazing health benefits – particularly because those that eat it as a staple carbohydrate often life to 100.

I cannot tell you how many times during a week that I meet people that think that I live a particularly rigorous life, when it comes to diet and exercise but what is now normal for most Americans.

But the normal American diet and lifestyle means that one outta three people will get cancer in their lifetime.

That’s just insane. That means, outta a group of a dozen friends FOUR will get cancer in their life.

So, I do what I can so that the kid’s lifestyle is as anti-cancer as I can make it.

Nuthin’s guaranteed in life but I’m trying to do whatever I can to make this kid’s life better.

He’s my treasure, after all.

Hopefully, his seeing me drink predominately green tea and eat things like purple sweet potatoes and head to the gym four times a week will have a lasting effect on his own choices.

That is, of course, if they actually like it.

Me: What do you think?
Him: (makes a face) I don’t like it.
Me: (to Firecracker) What about you? What do you think?
Her: I dunno. It has an aftertaste of…Listerine?
Me: Wha?! I don’t taste that all. You’re crazy. (much later) OK, I taste it now.
Her: See! I told you! Listerine!
Me: (grumble) Lemme think about this…

The kid(s) have been talking about going on another cruise non-stop.

Honestly, I kinda wanna retire completely just so I can go on cruises indefinitely.

Great views, unlimited food, exotic locales, unlimited food, instant vacations, unlimited food…

Really, what more could one ask for?

Location: this evening, sitting on at playground, hearing a teacher at a French school talk about the wild horses in Chincoteague, Virginia
Mood: sore
Music: It’s a hunger that never ends, it’s an urge you can’t comprehend (Spotify)
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In Search of PawPaws

I cannot oversell them

Her: Wait, you wrote two entries but didn’t write what you were searching for? Man, you know how to draw out the suspense.
Me: (laughing) It’s not that, I just felt it deserved its own entry.

So, I never told you what the goal of my quest the other day was.

The asimina triloba plant is related to the sweetsop or cherimoya fruit plants, which are pretty popular in Australia and Asia and are essentially tropical fruit.

But the asimina triloba – or paw-paw/pawpaw/paw paw (there’s no official spelling) – is super unique in that it’s essentially a tropical fruit that can only grow in cold climates, including in New York.

AND it’s the largest the largest edible fruit indigenous to the United States.

My quest was to get my hands on some paw-paw fruit.

For years decades, I’ve been dreaming about having some – evidently, they grow wild all over the joint BUT they’re (a) extremely hard to cultivate for mass market and (b) extremely hard to transport.

And the reason for both is that they don’t ripen very well off the tree, so you have to get them while they’re ripe but once they’re ripe, they’re super soft and easy to bruise/destroy.

Found this out myself the hard way but first, lemme back up a bit.

See, I was randomly doomscrolling on IG the other day when I came across this post from a fella in New Paltz:

Decided that it was worth the trip, and the day, to finally try some out.

When I got there, it was a decidedly underwhelming experience in that it was just a lone – but very nice – fella just standing in front of an empty lot with a plastic table and boxes of fruit.

Me: Can I get these four?
Him: Sure, just put them on the scale…3.5 pounds, at $12 a pound, that’s $42, please?
Me: OK!

These were the biggest, nicest ones I could find.

I’ve never spent $42 on four pieces of fruit in my life, but I figured that I’d been waiting to try these for decades, so it was worth it.

Now, I resisted the urge to eat them right then and there – a group of young men did not and happily chomped down right then and there – and brought them home in my bag, along with everything else, to try them there.

I was gutted when I opened my bag and found one completely smashed opened.

Like I said, that’s why you almost never find them for sale; they’re super difficult to transport without destroying them.

Since they were like $10 each, I salvaged what I could and ate that one first.

It was…amazeballs.

This was the smashed one that I cleaned up the best I could and ate as soon as I got home.

Alla the talk about them being creamy and custardy and a combo of banana and mango with more banana-like texture was spot on.

Her: Wow, that’s really good.
Me: Yeah, I’m gonna have to find a way to get more.

For the rest of the week, I ate the rest, about half at a time.

The kid – thankfully – thought they were good but preferred strawberries.

Me: More for me then!

And since they were all fulla seeds, I’m gonna see if I can grow some trees from them and maybe get them to my sister or mom to grow in their yard in Queens.

These were just amazing. I cannot oversell them.

If you manage to get your hands on some – ideally for less than $12 a pound – you totally should.

I’ll let you know how the tree-growing goes.

Location: another quest for $5 beer and a shot of whiskey with the Firecracker in Hell’s Kitchen
Mood: super beat or still coming down with something
Music: I’m holding on to this hope that I have (Spotify)

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personal

Bone Spurs up the Wazoo

5 Columbus Circle

After I saw the musical with the Firecracker, we had this talk.

Her: Do you ever want to start new somewhere, Lo? Like sell this apartment and move someplace completely new.
Me: (thinking) Sometimes. But I can’t because of the kid.
Her: But you’re always running into old ghosts.
Me: I am. But sometimes – most times, really – it’s nice. Visiting my possible pasts.


Almost exactly 11 years ago, I went to an office at 5 Columbus Circle, where I met a doctor and asked him if he was a betting man.

It was my first time in that building.

It wasn’t my last because when I met that doc, he and I weren’t sure if I tore my ACL. During my second visit, he confirmed I did.

Went there a few more times for the ACL and then didn’t go for years.


That is, until about 2013 – I’d stopped writing the blog then because Alison and I kept losing pregnancies – when I’d gone there with Alison to see another doc for fertility issues.

That was harder than for the ACL.

And then I went there again for another specialist when Alison got sick, a couple of years after that.

Those days were the hardest of my life. Still are.

This time around, the Firecracker was concerned because my fingers have been so messed up – I can barely type some days – that she insisted that I get them checked out.

Didn’t realize where I was going until I arrived.

So, I stood outside for a few minutes, just to regain my composure and went up.

This time, not only was I in the same building again, I was in the same office – but with a different doc.

Long story short, the new doc came out, took one look at my x-rays, and whistled.

Me: So, what’s the prognosis, doc?
Him: Well, you’ve got bone spurs up the wazoo!
Me: (amused) Is that the medical term?
Him: (laughing) Not exactly…but, yeah.

He pulled up a normal looking hand and then my hand and pointed out all the differences.

Him: Now, this is what a normal hand looks like. (switches screens) This is yours. You see that there’s essentially no gap here, here, here, here…actually, just let me show you where there is a gap…
Me: OK, what am I looking at?
Him: Well, those gaps are cartilige. You’re supposed to have them between your joints. And you…don’t. And these things here (pointing at mini-horns on my fingers) these are what bone spurs are. You’ve got them everywhere. Do you know how this all happened?
Me: (sighing) Yeah, I do. A lifetime of poor life choices.

Left the doctor’s office with my head swirling.

He said that there was nuthin to do and it would only get worse as the years went on.

Him: When the pain becomes too much, we can talk about surgery. But until then, just try to wrap it often and take it easy.

What’s promised me is a future of mild-to-worsening pain.

But I suppose that’s better than the alternative.

In any case, I still think that – most times – visiting my possible pasts is a good thing.

Not always, though. Not always.

Location: early today, waking up with a hangover from a night out with the NFL Player
Mood: hard to say
Music: Acting out our old parts, let’s perform our favourite little scene (Spotify)

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personal

Critical thinking isn’t the most important thing

It’s issue spotting

Me: Hello, hot blonde.
Her: Hello, handsome old Chinese man.
Me: The “old” was really not necessary.
Her: But accurate!

I’ve said repeatedly that my major goal for the boy is teaching him critical thinking.

Unfortunately, the recent (massive) hurricanes and flooding happening here in the US – and abroad – around has made me reassess the contours of that.

I recently decided that critical thinking is secondary to a more basic skill: Issue spotting – which is determining if there’s even a problem in the first place.

Came to this realization seeing how many people I know in life that deny climate change.

As an aside, all self-identify as Republicans and many have a religious bent, which makes me feel all the more foolish for ever voting republican and ever being religious at all.

In any case, back in law school, I remember that everyone is taught two basic skills:

      1. Issue spotting, and then
      2. issue solving.

It’s always in that order because all law school exams – especially the bar exam – essentially tests on both whereby, if you’re unable to spot the issue in the first place, your chance of correctly answering the question is nil.

This is where I’m finding we are as a society; half of the people are concerned about answering the issue, whereas the other half denies that an issue even exists, often pointing to one lone dissenter and ending the argument there for them.

There’s no ability to critically think about a solution because people can’t even see that there’s a problem that needs solving.

This is terrifying, on so many levels.

And it’s happening everywhere and all at once.

Me: You don’t think it’s an issue that you’re 35 years old and have nothing saved for retirement?
Him: (puzzled) Retirement is like 30 years away; I have plenty of time.
Me: JFC…sit down. I need to explain a lotta things to you.

Location: my stoop, chatting with a friend that stopped by to check up on me
Mood: beyond busy
Music: don’t overthink it – like all my problems, I don’t have one (Spotify)
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Lions don’t have the keys

A ruthless capitalist with a sentimental streak.

I went to college in Cornell, which has some of the most Asians of any school, about 1 outta 5.

Anywho, my college girlfriend was Korean but went to a different college entirely.

One day, I was walking home when I saw a young woman that had her very distinct gait and I swore it was her.

As I got closer, it turns out it was her – she’d left school early to come up to my college to surprise me.

There’s a software company I’ve been following for the past year because it has a rather unique business model; its software aggregates data and then makes predictions based on the data it’s gathered.

Since the Ukraine war has happened, Palantir has been offering its services to Ukraine and I believe it’s Palantir and the western armaments – versus just the weaponry itself – which is why Ukraine has been punching above its weight so consistently.

This is not at all to take away from the sheer bravery and discipline of the Ukrainians.

But it tracks with what I’ve always believed: The most dangerous people/things are not always the strongest but the ones with the most intelligence.

If that were not the case, it’d be people in zoo cages and lions walking free with the keys instead of the other way around.

In any case, the software has access to 306 commercial satellites that can see as close as 11 feet from the ground.

With this data, Palantir can figure out which are enemy movements – to such specificity as which platoon and commander – and can predict what these enemy troops are most likely to do and offer the Ukrainians the most likely scenario that will happen.

The Ukrainians can then act accordingly.

In that way, Palantir can recognize enemy troop movements similar to how I could tell from a vast distance that it was my then girlfriend and not some other person.

The data I collected – the visual recognition of her particular gait – allowed me to realize that my then-girlfriend was visiting me, without her telling me she was there.

Similarly, Palantir takes what it knows about people/troops and figures out who they are by their unique traits – like a gait.

With that, they make warfare akin to a deadly recipe except that if you do steps 1-16 correctly you’ll end up with mass enemy casualties instead of a soufflé.

I’m conflicted on this point.

Obviously, the Russians are the aggressors here and for everyone not a Republican, clearly the bad guys here.

But we are teaching an AI program how to perform warfare at its most brutally efficient way.

As a child of the original Terminator films and the rebooted Battlestar Galactica, it makes me uneasy how very good Palantir is at what it does.

On the flip side, it’s trading at $16.42 today, off its three-year high of $35.18.

I’m nothing if not a ruthless capitalist – with a sentimental streak.

On a much lighter note, with both of our kids away, the Firecracker and I are doing basic couple things like grabbing drinks around the way and watching reality TV and cooking shows.

Although I suspect that, while we’re both watching the same program, we’re experiencing them differently.

Her: (watching TV) Serves you right, lady! Your hubris went…pluberis.
Me: (shakes head)
Her: (turning to me, apologetically) I tried to abort halfway through but I was already committed to it.
Me: This has got to go into the blog. You brought this onto yourself.

Location: my basement, trying to figure out why the lights won’t turn on. The circuit breaker tripped
Mood: recovering
Music: This world can be so cold (Spotify)
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Smoke from a Distant Fire

Canadian wildfires in NYC

Dentist: (70 minutes late) Sorry to keep you waiting. What’s going on?
Me: I still have a lot of pain in that tooth you repaired last week.
Her: Let me see. (peers closely, runs some tests) The problem is that the crack was so close to your nerve. Let me drill down the tooth a bit and see if that helps. (40 seconds later) Bite down and tell me how that feels.
Me: (complies) No pain!
Her: (laughs) OK, you’re all done then.

So, repairing my tooth took two visits, $120 of copay, almost six hours of total time, and 40 seconds to fix the initial repair.

That seems on brand for me.

Her: My hair smells like smoke now. Yuck!
Me: Well, you are “The Firecracker.”
Her: (laughs) Please use that in the blog.

If you’re not from NYC, then you may or may not know that there are these MASSIVE wildfires – 150 to be exact – burning in Canada, with their smoke hitting NYC and hard.

Yesterday, the boy’s school had a pizza party in the school yard when the boy started screaming something and pointing at the sky; right after he started, the rest of his friends joined in.

What were they pointing at, at 6PM? The sun, which looked like an orange fireball.

This picture really doesn’t do it justice.

Everything was normal until about then, when he started coughing and I did as well and a thick smog came down on top of us with the whole yard smelling like a campfire.

We quickly left and went home – this is what it looked like at 6:48 last night.

The next morning, this is what it looked like in the Upper West Side.

Made the kid wear two masks to school while I wore an N95 mask.

I’m heading away with the Firecracker and the kid this week so I figured I should hit up the gym while I could, so off I went.

When I got there, I was already breathing heavily. This is what it looked like when I arrived.

Chad had, smartly, kept the windows and doors shut and the ACs running so we were able to get in a good workout.

But after just three rolls, I was completely spent and left.

Union Square looked like the first or second circle of hell – this is it at 1:49PM.

Hightailed it home to grab the kid from school.

Normally, I try to spend at least an hour outside with him so he gets some fresh air and exercise but there was no fresh air to be had.

I – like almost all of the other parents – quickly grabbed the kid and headed home.

Kept him indoors until it was time for his afterschool, took the bus there (we usually walk), took the train back alone, then did the same thing again 90 minutes later when his class was done.

Both he and I felt pretty run-down the entire day. I had an itchy throat and eyes while he kept complaining his chest and stomach hurt.

Hopefully, by the time you read this, things are much better.

Location: my pad, wondering if tomorrow will be better or worse
Mood: cough-y
Music: your eyes had a mist from the smoke of a distant fire (Spotify)
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Six tips for aging more slowly

Being comfortable being uncomfortable

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

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

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

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

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

So, the other 75% is up to you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sharing secrets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The kicker is that she beat them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After all, secrets are special things shared between people.


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

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

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