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personal

Everyone’s a tough guy

You never know

So, this fella was sitting across from the kid and vaping so I asked him, politely, if he would stop.

He said a few rude things to me at which point I asked the Firecracker if she’d be ok with my fighting him.

After more of the guy mouthing off, the kid started crying.

Me: Stop crying.
Him: What if you get hurt?
Me: I told you before, we don’t ever start fights. But if someone else wants to fight, sometimes we gotta. You can’t just let people hurt you without trying to protect yourself.

As we got off, this older lady took my hand.

Her: Be careful. I know people like that. You could get hurt.
Me: Thanks, ma’am. But I think I’ll be ok.
Her: You never know.
Me: (laughing) Yeah. You never know. One of us will have a bad day. But I don’t think it’ll be me.

Of course, the guy disappeared.

Like I said, everyone’s a tough guy until it’s time to actually be tough.

But the Firecracker and I were out to eat the other night for St. Valentine’s Day and she told me that she and the kid talked after the whole thing.

The kid: I was so mad at him for almost getting in a fight. I already don’t have a mom and he coulda made it so I don’t have a dad.
Her: Do you think your papa would do anything to put himself at risk?
Him: Well, it was stupid. All over some dumb guy. It was all so dumb.
Her: You dad loves you. He’s gonna make sure he’s around a long time.

Felt awful.

Her: (later with just me) You know, it’s not just you anymore. You’ve got to think about him.
Me: I think about him alla time. (thinking) But you’re right.
Her: It’s done. Just remember that he needs you here.
Me: Will do.

The irony of the whole thing is that I so rarely get into these types of situations on my own. I always tell people to walk away from rando confrontations.

Still, when it involves the kid (or the Firecracker) I get overly protective, I suppose.

But he’s right; he’s lost enough in the world.

I’ll try and do better for him.

Location: off to dinner with the Firecracker, Thor, and the NFL Player
Mood: peckish
Music: wherever, doesn’t matter, I follow you anywhere you go (Spotify)
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Chinese New Year 2024

A year later

Me: (to Firecracker) Can I fight him?
Her: Don’t. It’s not worth it.
Me: OK. But if I have to, I’m gonna have to hurt him.

The Firecracker’s kid was away with her ex so I invited her to join my kid and me to Annabel and her husband John’s annual Chinese New Year party.

Her: Should I wear red?
Me: You don’t have to but a lotta people do.
Her: I swear, Logan Lo, if I’m the only person there not wearing red…
Me: *I’m* not wearing red…well, except for the leather jacket.
Her: I swear…

She reminded me that our kids met the year before on Chinese New Year; she remembered because I told her I wouldn’t be around that night as I was heading to Annabel’s.

Always find relationships so interesting – and how time changes things.

We took the train to Penn Station and then hopped a cross town bus to see them.

Again, being centrally located has its perks.

As soon as we walked in, there was a crowd of people making dumplings, so we washed our hands and joined them to make some for everyone.

That is, until the first batch came out to eat.

That was when I stopped the production component of the evening and switched over to the consumption component.

There was also a ton of traditional Chinese veggies, which I appreciated.

Think I mighta eaten half of the pickled bamboo shoots which are the the white things in the small bowl below, between the black wood ears and the wine bottles.

Afterwards, the parents gave out red envelopes and we were told to sit down for the kids to come up to us and wish us a Happy New Year.

One British boy walked right up to me and put his face less than an inch from mine, which was a bit startling and his dad yelled out, with a proper British accent, “Personal space! Give him some personal space!”

It was pretty funny. You had to be there.

The kid collected like $38 dollars or something.

Me: Great! I get 10%
Him: Dad!
Me: (shrugging) I don’t make the rules, kid.

I actually handed out $2 bills, including to the Firecracker’s kid and niece on other days.

The Firecracker’s BIL commented that they would be more impressive if kids were used to seeing other bills.

That actually didn’t occur to me: the fact that $2 bills are no more/less special than any other bill because people just don’t use that much cash anymore.

Afterward, we took the train home.

On the way back, I almost came to blows with this loudmouth, but everyone’s a tough guy until it’s time to actually be a tough guy.

But that’s a story for another time.

Location: off to dinner with the Firecracker
Mood: hangry
Music: knew I’d figure it out some day (Spotify)
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A night at hot pot, the Library, pizza, Criff Dogs, and (almost) a Speakeasy.

And we ran into another friend, too

The Firecracker needed to get some legal work done but it was outta my wheelhouse, so I asked my buddy Reed to take a look at it for us, which he did.

So, as a mini-thanks for the help, the Firecracker and I took him out to eat hot pot and get some drinks.

We started off at Hou Hot Pot; the Firecracker and I arrived first, and he came just a few minutes later and had on a pearl necklace, like the Firecracker.

Her: Hey, we’re both wearing pearls!
Him: Yes, yes, we are.
Me: Dammit, left out again.

We ordered a ton of food and just caught up.

Afterward, we went to the Library of Distilled Spirits

….where we chatted with the bartender, who also starred in Drunk Shakespeare.

Me: Is it always the same person drunk each time?
Him: Nah, we take turns.
Me: Seems sensible.

Reed ordered a Paper Plane variation, while I had my old standby, the Old Fashioned…

…and a rum drink that I’ve never had before.

Bartender: Have you ever had an Old Cuban?
Me: Nope, but I’ll have one now.

It was honestly, pretty good – but nuthin could beat that first Old Fashioned.

We got pretty lit there and I got snacky, as I’m usually wont to do.

So, we got some pizza.

Her: Whenever Logan drinks, his “no carbs” rule goes out the window.
Me: You sold me out!
Her: But it’s true!
Me: That’s not the point!

It wasn’t enough.

Reed: Let’s go to Crif Dogs and get cheap beer and some dogs.
Me: Sold!
Him: We can also check out the speakeasy there that’s hidden behind the phone booth.
Her: What? Wait, is this Please Don’t Tell?

It was.

But the line was waaaaay too long so we just got dogs and beer.

Turns out the guy running the front desk grew up in Ithaca, where I went to college.

Him: My family owned Rogan’s.
Me: For serious? Man, I haven’t had that in ages.

We just ended up chatting the night away.

Him: Oh, I was engaged once.
Me: No kidding?
Him: We’re still friends. Her daughter visited the city not too long ago and I showed her around.
Me: You’re such a mensch!

It was late when we headed back, and we ran into my buddy Lau who had just finished up a private show.

A lot more happened, but I suppose this is all I wanted to tell you.

Location: in bed almost all day
Mood: sick, send soup
Music: Lethal poison for the system (Spotify)
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Sorry I’m late, what’s the topic of conversation?

Two Christmas Office Parties

This Christmas season’s been different from the past few years.

For one thing, I’m just a longer way away from 2017, which is when everything went to hell.

But the Firecracker’s also been really good about pulling me out into the world this season.

She actually had her holiday office party in the neighborhood and dropped me a line.

Her: At the Dakota Bar.
Me: I could swing by to say “hi” for a second after I drop the kid off if you’re still there?
Her: Yes, please.

This was a different group of people than I met in the past, so it was interesting meeting these different people that she worked with.

Me: Sorry I’m late, what’s the topic of conversation?
Someone at table: We’re just talking shit about people we know.
Me: I’m a guest here so I’ll talk shit about anyone you’d like. Fuck those guys. Hi, I’m Logan.

One of her coworkers ended up buying me two drinks, so that was pretty nice.

One young lady was pretty dedicated to her job but you could tell it was draining her.

Me: What’s the biggest issue?
Her: (waving hand) What do you see here?
Me: (puzzled) Your hand?
Her: Yup, my hand. No ring, no guy, just the job. It’s exhausting.
Me: Oh, there’s someone out there for you; I believe there’s a lid for every pot.

Afterward, I went to get the kid and headed home.

A few days later, I got invited to my own law firm party at Capital Grille at the Chrysler Center – we’d been there a few times before.

On the way there, I ran into the Grinch on a powered tricycle.

Swear to god, it does NOT sound like she’s saying, “pumpkin pie,” in this video.

I was late to my own office party because I had to drop off the kid with his Chinese class, so I came in while everyone was already settled.

Me: Sorry I’m late, what’s the topic of conversation?

I ordered my usual Old Fashioned – it’s my go-to when I know they don’t have fine aged rum.

They already ordered a ton of appetizers and I ordered what was essentially a surf and turf.

The Firecracker had, evidently, called me a number of times.

Her: You need to answer your phone. They won’t release [your kid] to me.
Me: I’m so sorry, it was in my jacket.
Her: [It’s fine], I have him.

The firm hired a new lawyer that practiced the same area of the law as me and this was the first time we got to talking outside of work.

Me: I assume you met your girl the traditional way of some app?
Him: (laughing) Yup.
Me: Honestly, I like it. You can’t just walk into a bar and ask any rando you meet for a head shot and a writing sample.
Co-Worker: The writing sample’s so important.
Me: SO important.

Everyone else left so it was just the boss and me drinking in the end.

There’s a lot more to that part of the story but I’ll just end that part here.

Location: home, doing word problems with the kid who was losing his patience
Mood: chilly willy
Music: Later we’ll have some PUMPKIN pie and we’ll do some caroling (Spotify)
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Four events in one night

Tiny Tim was behind it all

Found myself going to three different places in one night the other night – four if you count one where I dropped the kid off.

It all started at Chelsea Piers; in NYC, if you’re pretty well-heeled, you can throw your kid a party there.

Now, there was a time when I mighta been onea those parents but life, being what it is, I’m definitely not anymore.

Having said that, the kid’s friends with a lotta people that are, so we went to our latest party there the other day.

Now, we’ve been to the gymnasium part, the ice-skating part, and the bowling part…

…but this was the first time that we got invited to the Lazer Tag part.

Well, the kid went to the Lazer Tag part, I just stayed at the bar.

Now, I brought my iPad because I figured I’d just duck out and catch up with some reading – which, let’s face it, is my idea of a good time.

But the other parents were cool and interesting, plus there was an open bar so I ended up just staying the whole time, eating…

…and chatting…

Him: Wait, you went to Stuyvesant and Cornell?
Me: I’m as surprised as you are.

…as well as drinking. Did I mention the open bar? I had two Moscow Mules and a beer.

The kid had a coke and a grand time. We both really enjoyed ourselves as well BUT we had to duck out because the kid had another party to go to – and so did I.

So, I brought him to a school event where he had MORE pizza and watched The Grinch while I dashed off to meet the Firecracker at an office party of hers that was, wildly, less than a block from my pad.

Me: Are you sure you didn’t have anything to do with the location of this party?
Her: Nope! Someone else picked the place and here we are.

This too was an open bar, and I was already three drinks in but opted for a fourth, this time a cider.

I ended up meeting one of her new co-workers who just picked up her marriage license and swung by with her fella.

Me: So, where are you from?
Him: China.
Me: My parents were from Taiwan so I’m guessing we’ll have to step outside and fight. I’ll need another drink first, though.

They were on their way to see a Chrismas Carol and he never saw it so the Firecracker and I teased him for a bit.

Me: OK, pro tip, there are a lotta explosions at the end.
Her: Oh, yes. Just plug your ears when the ghosts start appearing.
Me: It’s crazy when you find out that Tiny Tim was the mastermind behind the whole thing.

He was a really good sport and everyone was super nice.

They all left but the Firecracker and I had to get the kids.

Me: Well, we still have 30 minutes. Wanna grab another drink?
Her: With you? Sure!

So, we made our way to the Emerald Inn, which I told you about once before..

We ended up have some more drinks there before we had to leave to get our kids.

Somewhere along the line, I left my bag and iPad somewhere and that was a pain-in-the-neck adventure I’ll tell you all about next time.

Location: the Dakota Bar, having a drink at the Firecracker’s office party
Mood: tipsy
Music: Feeling Christmas all around and I’m trying to play it cool (Spotify)
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A night of stupid human tricks

Silver and Gold

Forgot to put up pictures of the cooked purple sweet potatoes (on the left) and the regular purple potatoes (on the right); the sweet potatoes tasted a bit mediciney while the purple regular potato tasted exactly like a regular potato.

I bought a bunch so I’ll keep messing around to see what I might be able to do with them.

The Frenchman invited us to his pad the other night for hot pot.

Me: We’re in! What should we bring?
Him: Awesome. Food-wise, I’m covered.
Me: I can bring an assortment of sticks and knives?

The Firecracker and I brought our respective kids as well, so it was a full house.

The Firecracker never had hot pot until this past summer with my college friends, so I told her that this was a Japanese version of it, which she was excited to try.

Now, the Frenchman is half Japanese so he did a bang-up job with everything, making a hot pot version of Chanko Nabe, which is a special type of Japanese soup that was designed for sumo wrestlers to gain weight.

Her: Wow, that looks so great!
Me: I’m particularly excited for alla the mushrooms.
Her: Me too!

The cool thing that no one realized was that it was the Frenchman’s birthday just a few days later so his wife Tess ended up turning it into a surprise birthday party – the Firecracker and I felt honored that we were invited.

Afterwards, we got to know some of his other guests – some of them, he’s known for over 25 years, which is pretty impressive.

Like that old poem: Make new friends, but keep the old; Those are silver, these are gold.

They’re both in finance so their apartment’s view was full-on gorgeous.

The food was so amazing that we stuffed ourselves silly. At the very least, I did.

Now, I brought a six-pack of beer to go with dinner and the Firecracker brought a bottle of rose. However, considering that I drank five bottles of the six-pack and the Firecracker drank several glasses of wine, we essentially showed up with drinks for ourselves.

It also meant that, after several hours of eating and drinking, I started doing some stupid human tricks.

Now, the Frenchman is super athletic – we met in our gym, after all – and I mentioned that the ability to sit and stand without the use of one’s hands is an indicator of overall health and strength.

Well, we went one step further and did this drill I did in my 20s, which is sitting down, hugging your knees, shooting a foot out, holding that foot/ankle with your hand, and then standing up with one single leg, all while never allowing your held foot to touch the ground.

I had eaten – and drank – waaaaaay too much that night and kept falling down.

Me: Welp, honey, looks like this may be the first and last time we’re ever invited over.
Her: (laughs)

But the very next day, in the park with the Firecracker and our kids, I tried it again and was able to do it every single time – AND I have video proof of it.

I’m sure I’ll find ways to embarrass the boy even more as he gets older.

But more on that in another entry.

 

Location: earlier today, my kid’s gym, watching him get his first coloured belt
Mood: tired
Music: probably with that blonde girl who always made me doubt (Spotify)
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A Week of Birthdays, Pt 4: Tasting like regret

A last birthday and street party

The Firecracker and I thanked Fattah and his friends for the hospitality and got up to leave when two guys recognized me from Scenic Fights and insisted on buying us drinks.

The drinks turned out to be a round of shots.

Me: I think I had…(counting) four drinks? Five?
Her: Same, I think.

It was a gorgeous night, so we took the long walk to train station more suitable for getting home.

She stopped a few times along the way to admire some stores and such.

We just barely managed to catch one train uptown – the next train wasn’t scheduled to arrive until 26 more minutes.

Getting outta the station in the UWS…

Me: What are your thoughts on 1AM pizza?
Her: Yes! Let’s do it.
Me: Dammit, I shoulda had those churros.
Her: Food always tastes better after midnight.
Me: Yes, but in the morning, it tastes like regret.

There was a bottle for ranch that I wanted to put on my pizza but it was empty. I figured it was fate telling me to not go overboard but then the fella behind the counter insisted that I take a new bottle and I ended up dousing my slice with ranch dressing.

Me: I didn’t even know that was an option!

We both crashed pretty hard – I don’t think I woke up until after noon the next day.

Her: I went out, ran, and went shopping. I was gonna break into your room if I didn’t hear from you after I was done shopping.
Me: Blargh. I hate myself.
Her: (laughs)

It was actually her sister’s birthday that day, so I grabbed her sister my favourite bottle of rum, and we went down to go see her.

Along the way, we walked past another street fair but I was still digesting the pizza from the previous night.

Me: God, that was such good pizza.
Her: Nah, you were just drunk. Everything tastes better when you’ve been drinking.

There were actually a couple more birthdays after that, but those stories all belong to someone else.

So here are just some more rando photos of the street fair.

Location: all over NYC and Brooklyn in search of pawpaws
Mood: exhausted
Music: Burning bright in a dark sky (Spotify)

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personal

A Week of Birthdays, Pt 3: The Night of Churros

My old college house and old haunts

The Firecracker had met my college friends a few times before but cappy only once because he couldn’t make several of the last get-togethers.

He and I actually met before we started college – totally randomly – at a party out in Queens when we were seniors in college. Otherwise, there wasn’t really anything interesting that they told Firecracker about me back in the day.

Later, Cappy and Rick told her all about our college house setup.

Her: How many guys were in the house?
Cap: (thinking) 10?
Ricky: We gave Logan the closet.
Me: This is true. And, besides the 10 people that lived in the house, there was always someone in the living room – regardless of time or day – for some strange reason.

She also had a good story to tell him.

Her: I found his stash of snacks the other day.
Him: What?
Her: Logan keeps a box fulla snacks under his bed.
Me: In my defense, they were the backup to my emergency snacks…which she ate!
Her: You shouldn’t have left them with me!

Cappy, and architect and interior designer by trade, took my pen and sketched out our ground floor layout from memory.

It was weird seeing him draw it because I found myself remembering things about living there that I’d not thought of in some 31+ years.

Because I’d had a full basket of bread at the restaurant earlier that evening, I decided to get myself a couplea sweet mixed cocktails.

Her: You can get yourself a girlie drink.
Me: God, I do love myself a girlie drink. Doubt they have any umbrellas.

I did manage some self-control, though. Cappy ordered a ton of churros and other desserts and, as much as I wanted some, I didn’t have any.

Since my kid and the Firecracker’s kid were away, we decided to head downtown to see my buddy Fattah, who’s now a member of our Scenic Fights team.

Along the way, we came across a store that seemed to only sell churros.

Me: Dammit. I shoulda had a churro.
Her: We’ll get something later.

He was working at Verlaine and Pac had literally just ran into him that same night so I decided to see him as well just for a little fun.

Him: LOGAN!
Me: Hey man, how are you?

It was nice seeing him outside of our work. I’d been to Verlaine a few times decades ago with Rain and company. This was the first time I’d been there in at least 20 years, I gotta think.

Fattah got us a killer table and comped us two drinks.

Our waiter, Brian, was a nice young fella with two black eyes and bruises all over his face.

Me: Dude, what did the other guy look like?
Fattah: Guy(s) – he got jumped.

I’m guessing he got beat up purely because of what he was – which is a young gay man. It just boggles the mind that such a thing can happen in this day and age in NYC.

Then again, I suppose there will always be assholes around, regardless of time or geography.

There’s more but this is getting long so I’ll wrap it up in the next entry.

Location: just now, dislocating another finger on my keyboard. I’m a menace to myself.
Mood: menacing
Music: Let’s get rich and build our house on a mountain (Spotify)

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personal

My idea of a perfect night

Met up with her cousin

Her: Do you wanna meet her?
Me: Sure! What about Chinese food in Chinatown?

The Firecracker’s cousin was in town for a few days so we decided to meet up with her.

Ever since the cruise, I’ve been wanting nuthin but Asian food. Don’t get me wrong – unlimited gyros and shrimp will always be a winner for me, but I just can’t go that long without having some real Asian food.

So, she agreed to meet us downtown at Golden Unicorn.

Firecracker: Should Logan just order?
Cousin: Sure, I’ll eat anything.
Me: Sweeet! OK, where to begin…

Ended up ordering all the classics, including Beef with Broccoli, which is not at all an authentic Chinese dish but it’s still something that I love.

Afterward, we headed to Whiskey Tavern for a drink but it was packed and super loud.

Me: I know – there’s a new bar south of us that I’ve been dying to try out: The Wallace Lounge.
Firecracker: Oh yeah! Let’s do that.
Cousin: I’m down for anything.

Before we knew it, we were in the oak-walled bar when the singer walked by in a slinky red dress.

Me: I think I know her.

It turns out, it was my friend Isabel, whom I’ve seen all up and down the Upper West Side.

Her cousin seemed to really enjoy being out and about in a laid-back kinda joint. We ended up just chatting for the rest of the evening before calling it a night.

Her: Did you have a good time?
Me: Sure! You cousin was nice and now we’re back at a reasonable hour.
Her: You’re so old, Lo.
Me: A nice night out with nice people, good food, great drinks, a live singer, and in bed and asleep before 11PM? That’s my idea of a perfect night.

Location: the gym for the first time in a few days
Mood: busy waiting for the new school year
Music: It’s so good to see you, you look very nice (Spotify)
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Four bars, one night, and a free TV

Using useless information

I’m really behind in alla my posts, sorry.

But I’m trying to catch up.

The Firecracker’s kid and my kid were away, plus she was in the middle of moving, so I ended up helping her schlepp her stuff here and there.

Her: We have to bring this TV to my new place so I can give it away.
Me: What?! That’s ridiculous. It’s gonna rain soon. Just slap a sign on it that it’s a free TV and someone’ll take it.
Her: Are you sure? I’d hate for it to end up in a landfill.
Me: Trust me.

It was gone in a few hours.

After a full day of that and a million other errands, we decided to treat ourselves afterwards to a drink at a local bar.

We got some appetizers…

…and drinks.

But the night seemed super early yet.

Me: Do you wanna go someplace else?
Her: With you? Sure!

We soon found ourselves at my old bar Malachy’s – which just had a major face-lift – where we had some rum and diet coke.

But I was, of course, still hungry.

Her: I know a place near my old apartment with board games and $6 burgers.
Me: You had me at $6 burgers.

She was looking for the perfect game and found a trivia one called, I should have known that!

Her: Who wrote Robinson Crusoe?
Me: Daniel Defoe. Hey, did you know that it was based on a real person named Alexander Selkirk? Just before he died, he dreamt of being back on his island.
Her: You know a lotta useless information, Lo.
Me: We’re using it right now!

Of course, I ended up spilling hot sauce all over the cards.

Her: LOGAN! I can’t bring you anywhere.
Me: (sighing) Evidently not. I’ll get some paper.

After several drinks and food, we walked outta the bar.

Me: I want more food.
Her: We can get some chicken sandwiches and a pina colada over at Tiki Chick.
Me: Sold!

While the Firecracker went to the restroom, I chatted with the manager.

Me: Where in Africa are you from?
Him: Sengal.
Me: Oh. I loved a girl once that worked in Dakar.
Him: Really? That’s so great. Was that her?
Me: (shaking head) No. No, that’s my girlfriend. The girl from Dakar was…someone else. She…got sick.
Him: Oh. (gently) Your girlfriend is very pretty.
Me: (nodding) I think so too. Thanks.

Location: earlier tonight, walking all over LIC so the Firecracker could see the fireworks for the first time.
Mood: full and tired
Music: Come along, baby, we better make a start (Spotify)
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