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Still ever the skillest and killest, Pt 3

An awful gift

It’s funny, when I first met Mouse, she was arm-wrestling a girl in yet another bar. At least, that’s one of the earliest entries where I introduced her to you for the first time.

In any case, she ended up arm-wrestling another girl at Pac’s bday at Solas as well. She won.

After I had my little outdoor escapade with the woman from the bar, I went back to Solas but when I returned, mosta my friends had left.

Since I knew the bouncers, they just waved me and I quickly – well, as quickly as I could considering how snockered I was – went up to where we were all sitting because I remembered I left my camera at the table in our room.

Shockingly, it was still there.

New York’ll still surprise you from time-to-time, I think.

I’d just left and wanted to eat so I wandered around looking for food. This worked out because I ran into Mouse outside on the street.

She was stone cold sober because she was driving the old whip.

Asked her if she’d be willing to give me a lift to the station cause it was super late and she – hesitatingly – obliged.

Figure she could tell I was two sheets to the wind. She’s one of the few that can since I don’t turn red and I don’t act much different to most people.

It was nice being in the whip again; I thought of her and my dad and tried to remember if they met. They didn’t.

It was a short drive – just from 9th and 2nd to 14th and 7th. But along the way, she asked me something that sobered me up right fast.

Her: When we were together, you wanted to die. You were suicidal. But then…you said that you would stay for the boy. (pause) I didn’t understand why you wouldn’t live for me.

Our past conversations were always arguments, always. Lots of yelling and finger-pointing. And anger.

So much anger, from both of us.

This time, though, the way she said it – simply and plainly, no anger, no bitterness, just…simply and resigned – cut through my intoxicated brain.

If I had a space to crawl into to hide, man, I woulda.

Me: (struggling) I don’t know. I was really messed up then. (sighing) I’m so sorry for everything.

She countered – calmly again – that she was often in physical and  emotional pain when we were together. Yet she still helped me – and the kid – despite her own pain. Instead of doing the same and helping her, I was trying to think of ways to kill myself.

The bad thing about being able to forget things is that when you remember them, it’s like you’re experiencing it for the first time. I saw exactly the moment she brought up, as if I was watching it unfold for the first time.

Like Athena in Zeus’s head, that memory grew and, like Zeus, if I coulda, I woulda grabbed a hammer to bash it out.

Honestly, I woulda much preferred she screamed at me. Much.

She pulled up to the station, I stepped out, and she drove away.

Wish I could tell you I said something terribly charming or clever before I left. But I didn’t. For someone never at a loss for words, there I was.

It’s been four years since we were together. I was sleepwalking through life when I met her. Wish I found a way to wake up before she left.

Then again, I wish a lotta things.

I’m still ever the skillest and killest with my deadly weapons and I’m always armed and dangerous.

It’s a truly awful gift.

Him: (out of the blue) I wish I had a sibling.
Me: What?! (deep breath) I’m sorry, kid. I…
Him: It’s ok, papa. I just wish…
Me: (interrupting) I know. We wish a lotta things. I wish that too.

Location: on 79th Street, trying to explain why to him
Mood:
Music: you want nothing in return, I feel guilty (Spotify)
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Still ever the skillest and killest, Pt 2

It’s my life that’s funny

It was Pac’s birthday the other night and he wanted to have something at Solas, as our usual tradition, so I set it up.

Coincidentally, the following picture showed up on my feed on FB the same day.

Again, there’s been a ton of weird coincidences around me lately, although, really, it was for his birthday four years ago, so it wasn’t entirely unexpected.

Mouse was going to be there this year as well. We’ve not communicated in a while. It’s funny because she and I were two totally different people when that picture was taken.

The moment I arrived, shots were being passed around. The joint was packed – even Tom from Scenic Fights and Katrina showed up.

Pac was having a grand time from the moment he arrived to the moment he stumbled out the door home.

Early on, was able to take some clear pics…

…but, as the night went on, my pics got worse and worse because there was alcohol everywhere…

…so my pics started ending up like this.

Seriously, everywhere.

Met a woman named Jenna at the bar who wanted to come into Pac’s (private) party but I felt that would be rude to Mouse so I told her she couldn’t.

Besides…

Her: …26. You?
Me: (laughing)
Her: (laughing as well) What’s so funny?
Me: My life, darling. Lovely meeting you, reallly.

But there was also a dude that was pestering me all night – I tried to hint that I wasn’t gay – but he kept randomly showing up until Mouse brought him over to sit with us, so I had to leave.

This is Katrina, who is NOT the girl I’m talking about below – and whoever took this shot was way drunker than I.

A lotta of the night was blur. At one point I was outside with another drunk woman who had to pee. Like, right then and there.

Me: We can go back to Solas, you know.
Her: I’m going right here, between the cars.
Me: Wait, what?! (she does so) Welp, this is a new level I’ve unlocked. (later) I’ll join you. Stand in front of me…

In my defense, she had lovely eyes, I had a lot to drink, and she was very convincing.

There’s more but this is getting long and I’m writing it on a train pulling into Penn Station, so I’ll continue it later on this week.

Location: on a train just outside Plainfield, NJ, writing this and tomorrow’s entry
Mood: guilty
Music: should have fallen out of love with you by now (Spotify)
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Old lions

Parenting’s hard

Before I went out with RE Mike, I picked up the kid from school and he wasn’t his usual indefatigably happy self because of his black eye.

Him: Some of the kids were making fun of me. (sadly) They called me hamburger face. I didn’t like that. I asked them to stop but they didn’t. (sighs)
Me: You can’t control what other kids do or say, but you can control how you react to these things. Do you know their names?
Him: No.
Me: People that you don’t know that are mean shouldn’t matter to you. Don’t care so much about people and things that don’t matter. Now, go play.
Her: (woman overhearing my conversation after he ran off) That was really good advice.
Me: Thanks. Parenting’s hard, isn’t it?
Her (nodding) So hard.

If you don’t have a kid, it’s difficult to explain how much it wears on a parent to have a sad kid; and this kid is rarely sad.

But when he is, I’m bummed all day.

While I was out with RE Mike, I mentioned the fact that I studied weapons fighting for just about as long as we’ve known each other.

He was totally shocked because I never once mentioned it.

It’s funny, people think that because I have a blog, my life’s an open book. In many ways, it is. But I also keep a lotta secrets.

There’s so much of my life I’ve not told you and I don’t think you’d believe if I told you anywho.

After all, some secrets are (quite) good and some are (quite) bad, but all are special things.

The next morning, he texted me the following – the link is to Scenic Fights:

Anywho, after I picked the boy up late from RE Mike’s pad, we took the long walk to the west side to grab the train home.

Him: I’m scared.
Me: Why?
Him: It’s so dark and people are so loud.
Me: It’s fine, you’re with me and I won’t let anything or anyone hurt you.
Him: You’re not scared?
Me: Everyone’s scared sometimes. But I’m not right now. Because these people are all like sheep, or – at most – like wolves, and papa’s neither.
Him: What are you then?
Me: (laughing) Uncle Pac thinks papa’s an old lion. That sounds about right. And lions – even old ones – aren’t afraid of sheep or wolves.

Although, to be fair, I’m like a weird old lion…

Location: West 77th and Columbus on a conference call trying to sound cavalier
Mood: parental
Music: devil’s on my shoulder stirring up trouble (Spotify)
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A Bohemian Biergarten Bday

Great skin

The thing about Scenic Fights is that I actually like alla the people involved in its production.

And there are a lotta people involved in it; I think you’d be surprised if you actually saw the entire crew. I suppose that’s why it looks so polished.

In any case, Tom is the main cameraman and he turned 30 this past weekend so, after the gym one night, I went to Astoria to the oldest biergarten in New York to celebrate.

The last one I’d gone to was with my college friends but I actually came to this one with other friends from my gym a while back. This time, I went with my friend, Katrina, from my current gym.

Me: (at the gym) Wait, what on earth is in your bag, lady?!
Her: Broccoli. What?! I needed to get groceries.
Me: OK, you’ll need to stay 10 feet behind me at all times.
Her: Are you serious?
Me: Kinda.

The train took forever to get there so we just chatted. One thing I learned about her is that she has 200,597 unread emails.

Me: How is that even possible?
Her: Well, a lot of them are junk mail and…
Me: (interrupting) Jesus Christ, I don’t even know where to start. First of all…

Getting back to her groceries, once we got to the joint, the guy at the door wouldn’t let us in.

Him: No outside food.
Me: It’s groceries, man.
Him: No outside food.
Me: It’s raw broccoli! Trust me, we’re not gonna be whipping this out to eat in a bar.

He was grumpy but ultimately let us in.

I would totally whip that out and eat it in a bar.

Immediately bumped into Tom’s best friend, who works for Scenic Fights as well, as soon as I walked in.

Me: Which group is ours?
Him: This whole section is ours; all of these tables are for Tom.
Me: Whoa, we own this joint.

I was starving so the first order of business was buying some fries and a kielbasa plus drinks for me and Katrina.

In terms of just the food, this is what $19 will buy you in NYC.

For serious.

For some reason, I was in the mood for a cranberry vodka but she wanted the hard seltzer.

Me: Can I try that?
Her: Sure.
Me: Oh, that’s pretty good. I’ll have that later.

After we had gotten some food into us, we started to relax and socialize.

Tom’s super tall so I always joke for him to not be taller than me. He obliged, as the good friend he is.

Him: Honestly, there are a lot of drawbacks to being tall.
Me: Oh, yes, tell the old, short Chinese man how awful it is to be 30, white, and tall in America.

Also met his girlfriend and another buddy’s wife. After a while, they started offering to set me up with their friends, which I found both funny and flattering.

Girl1: What about her? (shows me her phone)
Me: Super cute. How old is she?
Girl1: 27.
Me: Oh, man…
Girl2: Wait, here’s my best friend. You’d love her.
Me: Also super cute. How old is she?
Girl3: Younger! 26.
Me: Wait, [that’s the wrong direction] how old do you think I am?
Girl2: I dunno. 33?!
Me: (to friend) MARRY THIS GIRL! (to her) You are my favourite person at this table. The rest of you can go pound sand.

Tom’s girlfriend and another girl took my phone because they wanted to give me suggestions on my dating profile.

Me: Anything you don’t like?
Her: Honestly, that’s a really good profile and good picture choices. And you’re lawyer? I thought you were a martial arts teacher.
Me: Ivy-league educated lawyer. And you should see me cook, lady.

Tom sat at another table with some other people, and motioned me over.

Him: Come meet some of your fans, Logan.
Me: Wait, my mom’s here?

The people at the table also thought I was about 33 and when I told them how old I was, two women immediately asked me what my skin care regime was.

Me: I dunno. I stay outta the sun and eat mostly protein, fat, and fiber.
Her: You don’t moisturize?
Me: No. I’m a dude.

Now that I think about it, women that find out my age generally ask me my skin care regime. I should have a better answer.

In any case, Katrina and I stayed out pretty late. There’s a funny(ish) silent dance party video I need to dig up to show you.

Now, I have an app that tells me when the next train is and it turned out that that one was coming in 5 mins and the next one was gonna be 23 minutes later so we made a mad dash for the station.

Me: (running, then stopping) Dammit, I dropped your broccoli. Again, who buys…
Her: (running) NOT NOW, LOGAN! LET’S GO!

It was a fun night and nice group of people. But the kid’s back soon, so I’ll be back to daddy duty this week.

Which is fine, cause I miss him like crazy.

Location: Penn Station, yesterday, off to go get my treasure
Mood: happy
Music: I’m starting to forget all of the ridges of your spine (Spotify)
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The time I went to all-you-can-eat seafood

A night at the Crab House

Been wanting to head to Crab House here in NYC for ages but haven’t been able to because you need a minimum of four people for a reservation there.

It’s always tough organizing other people’s schedule – plus, I have such little patience for that.

It was almost exactly two years ago that I had this much seafood.

But, I was finally able to get three other people’s schedule – Thor, Pac, and Panda – aligned for us to make it happen so earlier this week, I finally got some unlimited seafood action.

It was pretty glorious.

Pac did most of the ordering because he’d been there a few times before.

Everything was pretty killer.

Gotta admit that I was, shockingly, the first one to tap out.

Him: You’re so weak!
Me: I am, I am…

Although, I do feel I ate as much as everyone else, I just shoveled more food into my pie hole earlier and stopped earlier.

That’s what I’m telling myself anywho.

Me: Do your mai tais come with an umbrella?
Waitress: No, I’m sorry.
Me: Shame. I really need to start carrying some around with me.

Panda went home first so the rest of us stopped by a bar for some more drinks.

Me: Do you make a good old fashioned?
Her: (laughing) I make a great old fashioned. How do you want it?
Me: With rye, not terribly sweet, please.

Pac left next so Thor and I just stayed and chatted a bit more

The bartender was a sweetheart and comped us both some whiskey as well.

All-in-all, not a bad way to start the week.

Location: earlier today, meeting a lawyer who thought I was handsome
Mood: hungry
Music: No one has to know where we go (Spotify)
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The boy and the dragonfly

On my Street

My buddy Wall-E helps out a ton at the gym with various maintenance tasks that are beyond abilities of Chad or myself – either due to skill, time, or both.

One thing we’ve been meaning to do for a while is to replace several of the lightbulbs in the gym because the ceilings are pretty high up.

After one Saturday class, I gave Wall-E my keys to the gym so he could stop by before class one morning and swap out alla the light bulbs for us.

So, I handed them to him and then headed home. Turns out that I gave him my house keys and not the keys to the gym.

I called both him and Chad to apologize for the mix-up – after I managed to get back into my pad.

Me: Dude, I’m an idiot – I just swapped my house and gym keys yesterday and forgot I did that. I’m so, so, so sorry about that.
Him: Hey lucky enough I’m on the upper west side right now.
Me: WTF?
Him: In fact I think I’m in front of your apt.

 There are approximately 8,000 miles of streets in NYC – or enough to go from NYC to LA, back to LA, and back to NYC again. And outta all those streets, he was on the same street as my apartment.

In fact, he was literally across the street.

Me: Jesus Christ, what are the chances?!

I once told Alison that we were darned, not dammed. That turned out not to be true.

However, in this instance, it was. Because while I messed up the keys, he ended up across the street from me, but…

Me: Did you manage to change the lights?
Him: They didn’t fit.
Me: Dammit!

In another weird coincidence, at the end of the year, the kid had to pick one animal/insect/fish/something to study and I suggested the dragonfly.

Him: Why?
Me: They’re the greatest hunters on the planet.
Him: Cool!

And so, he picked that and wrote an entire report on it plus made the cool little sculpture you see above.

Well, we stepped outta our pad last week and right on the sidewalk of our street a huge – and I mean HUGE – dragonfly settled directly in front of the kid.

The last time I saw a dragonfly in NYC was also in front of my building, but way back in October of 2008.

That week, Alison called me her boyfriend for the first time and I was on cloud nine.

Haven’t been on cloud nine in ages. Or anyone’s boyfriend for that matter.

But, at least the kid doesn’t need much to be on cloud nine.

Him: IT’S A REAL DRAGONFLY!!
Me: (laughing) Yes, yes it is, kid.

Thought of a song that mentioned dragonflies and that got me going down a rabbit-hole of memories. Bad ones.

Plus, Mouse’s family is dealing with a litany of serious medical issues with her family – she wrote about it on IG so I don’t think I’m giving away any confidences away – which is also reminding me of things, for better or worse.

She’s a super tough chick and refuses any support, especially from me, but she’s helped me and the kid so much in the past that I’m trying to find a way to return the favour, somehow.

Her: It’s fine. I’m in admin mode.
Me: They’re lucky to have you.

Location: earlier tonight, around the way ordering the zero-sugar black raspberry cocktail while trying to look interested
Mood: complex and fulla zero-sugar black raspberry cocktails
Music: They had a pet dragonfly (Spotify)
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Movie Premier Pt 2: Jang Hyuk’s The Killer

Assassins next door

Because I knew that I was going to the film’s East Coast premier, I’d not seen the film before, so I was looking forward to it.

The last time I was in a movie theatre seems like a lifetime ago. I think it was Battle Angel Alita or Avengers: Endgame, both in 2019.

The Killer was part of the 20th Anniversary New York Asian Film Festival, that ran from July 15-31, 2022.

I vaguely remember going to another such festival years ago.

Anywho, like I said in my last entry, I sat next to the owner of Midnight Pulp, where we chatted about life and our families.

That’s all I’ll say there. Nice fella.

The movie itself was quite cool, although I do wonder how many more of the assassin-next-door types of films are possible.

This was an interesting take on the genre because it revolved around the idea of family and protecting family.

That was what stuck with me, anywho.

Afterwards, there was a brief discussion of the film and some question-and-answer.

It was pretty packed and I was beat – and pretty lit – so I just wanted to head back.

Midway off the block, though, Joong hit me up.

Him: Hi Logan, still around? We can get a photo for you with Jang Hyuk.

So, I high-tailed it back where I met up with him and the StruggleNation peeps again.

I chatted with Jang Hyuk for a bit, by way of Joong. Very cool and down to earth guy, actually.

We, briefly, discussed martial arts and violence in general. Surprisingly, his background was JKD and not kali, per se.

Chatted with a few more people before I made it out the door and took a long walk home.

I’ve been super social lately and it’s been tiring and, oddly, very sad.

But I suppose that’s another discussion for another time.

Location: yesterday, searching for a lottery place with the kid and getting caught in the rain.
Mood: sad
Music: I get carried away, carried away, from you (Spotify)
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Movie Premier Pt 1: Jang Hyuk’s The Killer

No dental

The East Coast premier of Jang Hyuk’s latest flick, The Killer: A Girl Who Deserves to Die, was in my neighborhood, just a block from my old law school.

Him: Can you make it?
Me: It’s technically walking distance from me so how could I not?

Since it was at Lincoln Center, I was thinking of inviting French Dancer or Acrobat – who are both super artsy – but I decided against it.

The last time I invited someone to a special event, it left such a bad taste in my mouth that I pretty much solo these types of things.

Shame, though. It was definitely a cool event.

Started off with a top-shelf open bar at Lincoln Ristorante.

Me: Can I get the Pyrat aged rum in a low-ball with a thick slice of orange.
Bartender: Of course!

Sweeeeeeet – it’s rare that a bar carries one of my preferred aged rums. So, the night was off to a good start.

The fella coordinating the night’s event was a guy named Joong;

Me: Oh, thanks for inviting us.
Him: No problem – actually, I’ve been a fan of Scenic Fights since you guys first came out.
Me: Get outta town!

I actually met a ton of people that said they’d seen our work. Who knows if that’s true but hope springs eternal.

He ended up introducing me to the fellas that run StruggleNation, who were also fans.

Him: Wait, you’re Logan from Scenic Fights?
Me: (laughing) Yeah. I look different when I’m wearing my lawyer clothes.
Him: You’re a lawyer?!
Me: That’s what the piece of paper on my wall says. But, to be fair, I printed it myself on a inkjet printer.

I was also introduced to the film’s distributor, his wife, and the CEO of Midnight Pulp, who ended up sitting next to me at the movie itself.

Oddly, we spent most the time talking about our kids and family.

Me: How do I know if I’m doing a good job?
Her: The fact that you question if you’re doing a good job at all, probably means you’re doing better than most.

Although it did veer off into unexpected territory.

Another Woman: I actually see you being someone like that. You could be an assassin, and no one would know.
Me: Sure, but you gotta figure there’s no dental and the hours are probably awful.
Her: (laughs) Benefits are important.
Me: Don’t I know it, lady.

After a spell, we all made our way to the theater to catch the film. Joong and his girlfriend had seen it before. Multiple times.

Her: This is actually the fourth time we’re seeing it.
Me: No kidding?
Him: Yup. Part of the job. But you’ll like it.

And he was right.

I’ll tell you about the rest tomorrow or something. I’ve been stuck in the basement of my brain for a bit.

Here’s some of the film with the Scenic Fights fellas and me.

Location: surrounded by papers, wondering where to start
Mood: remorseful
Music: Oh, don’t you put me on the back burner (Spotify)
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Sending unsolicited duck pics

Don’t it always seem…?

My insomnia has been back with a vengeance these days.

The boy’s been away for three weeks now but, because he’s coming back soon, I met up with who I could while he was away.

On that note, I went to my office for the first time in a while. A lotta new (young) faces.

We went to the Campbell and I had some drinks with my boss before I struck up conversation with a pair of blue eyes.

I meet people every day but, just like years ago, meeting people is never the issue. It’s connecting with people of my tribe that’s the hard part.

Friend: What’s the problem? Meet someone, stick it in. It’s not rocket science.
Me: (dryly) Glad to see romance isn’t dead in 2022.

We had another Scenic Fight shoot this past weekend. It was mostly Chad and Pac because my knee’s been so jacked.

But I was busy dealing with legal issues for them, so I’ve been busy enough as it is.

My shoot was only about 2.5 hours; those guys were there from early morning to late night.

But I was running on fumes anywho, what with my knee and lack of sleep.

Pac wanted to eat, drink, and talk, though. Everyone’s got their own demons to fight.

We went to my favourite dive bar around the way. Alla the food joints near me were closed so we ordered DoorDash to bring over Korean wings.

Me: $72 for wings? That’s insane.
Him: (shrugging) Dude, I’m tired and lazy. I’m doing it.
Me: Fiiiiine…

I got a lotta ducks shirts – either ones people buy me or I buy myself – because of my tendency to send women unsolicited duck pics.

Dunno what the big deal is, frankly. Ducks are so damn cute.

Anywho, I was wearing once such shirt at this bar and the bartender and I were chatting for a bit when he says, “Hold on…” and hands me this little rubber ducky that matched my shirt perfectly.

Him: (laughing) It matches your shirt!
Me: My kid’s gonna love this, thanks!

Found it far more amusing than Pac did.

Anywho, he filled me in on his life and filled me in on some data I was missing with other things.

Him: I wanted to know your point of view.
Me: That was interesting. But, not at all, how I saw it. Here’s how I saw it…

That’s the thing with life, there’s my side, the other side, and the truth.

And that’s always the case, irrespective of what we believe.

Man, don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone?

Location: earlier tonight, 16th Street, wondering if he was gonna take out a gun and shoot
Mood: mopey
Music: Why do you want me? (Spotify)
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The Poster Child for Lame

D-List celebrity

After two days of being unexpectedly social, I was planning to stay home to drink my sorrows away alone in my pad when NC rang me up and up invited me to go out drinking with her and her friends.

Her: I’m going to Astoria tonight with Robyn and a few friends, if you want to join us!
Me: If it’s casual, I’m in.

I remembered my old rule of never turning down an invitation.

When I only know one or two people there, all the more so because it forces me to get outta my head and be chatty.

And that’s how I found myself in Queens in the middle of night having drinks with NC, Robyn, and their friends until past midnight.

Me: It’s been a strange and sad few years, Robyn.
Her: I know. I read your blog. I know about your wife. I’m sorry.
Me: (nodding) Yeah, me too.

NC and Robyn both said they’d stop by the gym, which is sweet. The gym could use a few more cool, tough chicks.

Saturday, I was determined to stay home. My therapist said that I had a tendency to ignore painful things and busy myself so as not to deal with things.

But, I decided to hit up the gym first which ended up being a bad idea because that knee injury got worse.

Afterward, I got coffee with another friend, who I just found out is an expert fencer.

She and I were in the middle of chatting about weapons fighting when the fella sitting next to us started talking to me.

Him: I don’t mean to eavesdrop but do you shoot short videos about fighting?
Me: Yes! Scenic Fights?
Him: I’m a subscriber!

It’s, honestly, super wild to me that people recognize me from it as often as they do.

Felt compelled to stay home for the rest of the weekend but then I got a call from someone inviting me the beach.

Her: Come out! Don’t be lame.
Me: Have you met me? I’m the poster child for lame.
Her: You should swing by.
Me: (laughing) One doesn’t just swing by the southern tip of Brooklyn.
Her: People do it all the time, Logan.

Later on that week, I went to see PT Steve at his PT shop to get my knee checked out.

Me: Well?
Him: You tore your meniscus. But it doesn’t seem all that bad. Just do the exercises you did before and rest.

Sounds pretty on-brand for me.

In any case, when I don’t wanna be social, I end up being way more social than I expect. When I wanna be social, it’s crickets.

Honestly, though, I need to rest up because we have another Scenic Fights shoot happening this Sunday.

Pac and I were going over our notes, plus trying to figure out how to get to an opening night movie showing that we all got invited to the following week.

It’s weird being a D-list celebrity. All I ever wanted to be known for is writing and being a good husband and father. If wishes were horses…

Me: We should be fine, three good-looking fellas like ourselves…
Him: (interrupting) Well, two of us are good looking.
Me: You rat bastard…

Location: earlier tonight, 14th Street, wondering if I should call.
Mood: pensive
Music: Surrounded by many alone in this crowd (Spotify)
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