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personal

Turning 50 at the Downtown Association

Maybe. Someday.

Her: Wow, this place is beautiful.
Me: (nodding) Yeah. (thinking) This is the first time I’ve been back in like 13 years.

The surgeon turned 50 the other night so the kid, the Firecracker, and I all got dressed up and headed south to the Downtown Association to celebrate.

It was raining cats and dogs when we left the house.

I was actually a member there briefly in 2011 and I mentioned it in passing before.

Then things started going off the rails with me and Alison so that was just one of a million things that changed in my life.

Walking back in, I was shocked how little it had changed in all this time; I suppose that’s part of the allure of places like that.

The Boy: This bathroom is bigger than our apartment!
Me: You’re not wrong, kid.

He’s not wrong.

The party was mostly relatives and close friends so I was touched that I was included in the count.

The Firecracker had a good time as well, chatting with someone else in her profession.

Her: She knew she wanted to work internationally early on. I thought about it, myself.
Me: Maybe we’ll do that someday.
Her: Maybe. Someday.

One of the people I knew there has known the Surgeon for 44 years.

Me: When did you meet him?
Him: (laughing) When I was seven!
Me: (shaking head in amazement) Man, the oldest friend I have, I’ve known since I was 16 (the Professor).

The kid had a blast as he’s been hanging with Steele and the Surgeon’s kids for years now.

The Surgeon hired a magician and the kids were enthralled.

The Boy: How did he do that?! I was looking right at it.
Me: (laughing) You got me…

Of course, the kid was pretty interested in the food as well, because he’s my kid.

Then again, I was pretty interested in the food as well.

Me: OK, I gotta ask you something. At your wedding, I overate all the appetizers – after all, you had an entire table of lobsters – so, should I…?
Steele: (laughing) The [passed hors d’overs] are the appetizers and the main courses are [over there].
Me: Oh man, glad I asked.

The open bar was a nice touch as well.

There’s more but this entry’s getting long so I’ll write more tomorrow.

Location: Earlier today, two different guitar stores, trying to fix a broken Fender knockoff for the kid
Mood: exhausted
Music: Everyone tells me I’m crazy. Well maybe, well maybe I am (Spotify)
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A Birthday Dinner in Columbus Circle

Amusing our bouches

The Firecracker and I had a low-key St. Valentine’s Day because the NFL Player and I were planning on taking Thor out to dinner at a fancy restaurant later on in the week to celebrate Thor’s birthday.

We were late getting out the door but made it there right on time.

Thor was there first and waved us over and I introduced them the two of them.

Him: (to Firecracker) So great to finally meet you!
Her: Same!
Me: I’m here too, you know.

We ordered some drinks but then the NFL Player and his wife showed up.

NFL: The Maitre’d and I are old friends. They’re moving us to a better spot.
His Wife: We eat here a lot.
Thor: Nice to have that kinda pull.

Shoulda taken a pic of where we were seated – it was grand – but I was too busy enjoying my drink(s).

It was a really nice time. Everyone was super cool.

We got to talking about our old gym and how disappointed we were with everything there.

Chad’s definitely a better teacher and better fit for the three of us.

The waiter brought over an amuse-bouche, courtesy of the Maitre’d.

But I was starving so the Firecracker and I shared the tomahawk steak you see above – she’d never had one before.

Her: That thing is huge!
Me: That’s what she said.
Her: (rolls her eyes)

While the Firecracker was away, everyone at the table told me I should lock down her down.

NFL Player’s Wife: She seems really lovely.
Me: Wait, I’m a pretty good catch too!
Table: (laughs)
Me: (grumble)

After dinner, we surprised Thor with some cakes.

But Thor and I wanted something different for dessert.

Me: Welp, if I’m having carbs, I want more onion rings.
Her: For dessert?!
Me: You do you, and I’ll do me.
Thor: It’s fine, I’m gonna have some bone marrow and wine.
Me: See?

We stayed out a lot longer than we should have but it was a nice mid-week adventure.

Me: (on the walk home) I’m gonna be having salads and oatmeal all week to make up for what just happened.
Her: (nodding) Oh, yeah, same…

Location: On top of my refrigerator, looking at a huge crack and some mold
Mood: so hungry
Music: tell me it’s gonna be fine I need a little luck tonight (Spotify)
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Valentine’s Day 2024 with the Firecracker

Deserving the full

Took the Firecracker out for a St. Valentine’s Day dinner the other night.

We went to the same place that Thor and The NFL Player and I went the other night because we were actually gonna meet up with the two of them again later on in the week at a fancy restaurant but that’s another entry.

Me: The bartender makes the most amazing drinks.
Her: OK, I’ll try the basil gimlet.

But the waiter heard her wrong and gave her a double Basil Hayden instead.

That was pretty funny – but the bartender quickly fixed that.

It’s the green drink in the picture below.

Now, I actually ordered the exact same food.

Which makes sense, because I like what I like.

And I like the Firecracker.

She likes me too, evidently.

Me: Why specifically?
Her: (thinking) I think because you pay attention to things.

…although she does have plenty of reason not to.

Me: Yeah, I’m always aware of the little things. Because the little things matter. And I’ll do [that thing I’ve been promising to do for you].
Her: (smiles) I’m not in a rush. I know I can depend on you.
Me: I just don’t like to do things half-assed. You deserve full ass.
Her: (laughs) Thanks?
Me: Yeah. (nodding) Full-ass or nuthin for you.

Location: earlier today, waiting between Newark and Journal Square for the train to move
Mood: stuffed
Music: We go together like a party in summer (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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Centrally located

I’m the guy

Her: I am a little sassy.
Me: Well, that I could do with out.
Her: (laughs)

Because the Firecracker grew up with green grass and shade, while she likes living in the big city, if she had her druthers, she’d rather live in the suburbs than the Upper Best Side.

I get the appeal.

But being centrally located has its definite perks.

For example, met up with the Pastor the other day for a cuppa joe.

Him: Confirming 11 today?
Me: Yup! The usual place, still?
Him: Yes. see you soon!

It was easy – he popped by my local cafe, we met up and chatted for a bit and then I went back to do some kali with someone over zoom.

You can’t do stuff like that in suburbs quite as easily, I don’t think.

Well, the zoom stuff yes but you get my point.

Also met up with the NFL Player and my buddy Thor for a drink and some food in the area.

One of my favourite joints in the area, Friedman’s, moved just a block east and I’d not yet gone there.

Both of them had shoulder surgery not too long ago so we just caught up.

Me: Are you two sure you don’t need a lazy but brilliant attorney who will never show up to work? Because I know a guy.
Him: We’re all set there.
Me: It’s me. The guy is me. I’m the guy.
Both: (laugh)

Like I said, it’s nice being centrally located.

Me: That was really good food and excellent drinks.
Him: Not the wine though, the wine was terrible.
Me: Wouldn’t know; not a wine drinker.
Him: Next time, we’ll get the girls out.
Me: For sure.

Location: my bedroom, getting a trim from the Firecracker
Mood: cough-y
Music: Don’t listen to a word I say (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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Slurping a norovirus

Three things

The kid’s been loving swimming lately – he just started doing the backstroke and it’s become his fave.

Probably because he can keep his face above water.

But, about a month ago, we had to skip his class – which we almost never do – because he got (what I thought was) food poisoning.

Long story short, had to buy him a completely new mattress and ran my washing machine three or four times before I finally crashed after 2AM on a school night.

Woulda been an all-nighter if not for the Firecracker’s help.

Fast-forward to this past weekend when I was supposed to do alla these things but ended up just staying in bed because I thought I ate something bad.

Me: I shouldn’tve had that can of Dr. Pepper.
Her: I don’t think Dr. Pepper’s gonna make you sick.
Me: Well, it had to have been something.

But I was only sick for about 35 hours. Now the Firecracker’s feeling rough.

Mentioned this to my mother-in-law.

MIL: Oh, it was probably the norovirus.
Me: Norovirus? What makes you think that?
Her: It’s all over the place here and popping up in NYC too.

Turns out, she’s not wrong.

The Firecracker’s still recovering, but after my – pretty gross – 36 hours, I really wanted to have some carbs.

Her: What do you want?
Me: Either pho or ramen.
Her: Oooh, I’d go for some ramen.

Because of my need to avoid carbs, the last time I had ramen in a restaurant was with my brother out in California – although I did make some myself a few years back.

So, we went to a joint that we’d walked by a few times but never went in – Zurutto.

I ordered some ramen for us, plus some dumplings for the kid.

While the kid was practicing his chopsticks…

Son: (growing frustrated with his chopsticks) This is impossible!
Me: Nonsense. Billions of people use chopsticks every day. You just gotta practice.

…the Firecracker and I just chatted.

Her: Ooooh, look those two are on a date.
Me: (whistling) Whoa, hopefully not their first date. Ramen’s tough as a first date spot.
Her: Oh, I know – I went on a first date at a ramen shop once.
Me: How’d it go?
Her: I spent the whole time trying not to slurp. But, of course, you kinda had to.

Found out later that zurutto means to slurp.

There, now you’ve learned three things:

  1. Zurutto means to slurp
  2. My son can do the backstroke
  3. The East Cost is lousy with norovirus

And you thought this was a blog about nuthin.


Location: getting the Firecracker some flowers and some Dr. Pepper on Broadway
Mood: well(ish)
Music: Things are easy when you’re big in Japan (Spotify)
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His First Concert

We’ll see

There’s a band that my kid likes called Kidz Bop – really, it’s just random kids that sing clean covers of current and older pop songs.

While walking past the Beacon Theatre the other day, the kid noticed that they were gonna play in town this month.

Him: Can we go, can we go?!
Me: Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know.
Him: PLEASE!?
Me: We’ll see.

 

I figured that I’d let the Firecracker be the deciding vote. If she and her kid didn’t wanna go, I wasn’t gonna go – the tickets were at least $120 each so it was a pricey gift for them.

Her: I’m not sure [my kid] will wanna go, BUT we can try.
Me: Really?
Her: Sure! This will be the first concert for both of them.

Considering how much fun they had on the Disney cruise – including the live music – I figured we’d be ok.

Once we made it into the theatre, the kid bounded up the steps. He was so excited.

We settled into our seats and I figured that we would have room to stretch out.

Her: Oh, no – this whole thing was sold out pretty quickly.
Me: You’re kidding me.
Her: Nope. Some people really love their kids.
Me: Seems that way.

She was right; the whole joint was packed – there wasn’t an empty seat in the house, including on the main Orchestra level, which I think was going for at least $400 a ticket.

Nuts.

Well, my kid was thrilled; her kid was pretty bored by the whole thing. He’s not really into music but he was definitely a good sport about it all.

But my kid was dancing and singing in the aisles – that’s him in the middle singing his little heart out.

Me? I was a little less enthused.

But, at the end of the day, he had a blast. And I think the Firecracker’s son, while not nearly as interested, enjoyed the next experience.

Him: Aw, why does it have to end?
Me: All good things must end.
Him: Is that true?
Me: Unfortunately, yes. But that’s a good thing, because it makes you value these kinda things.
Him: I guess. (thinking) Can we go again next year?
Me: We’ll see, kid. We’ll see.

Location: My kitchen, making turkey stock
Mood: busy
Music: Last Friday night, yeah, we danced on tabletops (Spotify)
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