Sunday in Greenpoint

Searching for burgers

Her: What about that truck?
Me: (squinting) It looks like they have “respect, compassion, caring, and kindness,” but no burgers.

It was raining cats and dogs for part of the weekend and the other part was cold, so we met up with the Surgeon and Steele to head over to the Ferox Ninja Park in Brooklyn so the kid could get some exercise.

The Firecracker had to level up with some coffee first, though.

As soon as we arrived, I was hungry and started my quest for food.

We thought there was a food truck across from the park but it ended up being a volunteer group’s truck instead.

So, despite my wanting a burger for brekkie, we ended up heading to Compton’s Sandwich Shop instead and ordering a buncha breakfast wraps.

Me: Can you put bacon in them?
Him: Which one?
Me: All of them?

They ended up not doing that so I went back to say something. The manager apologized profusely and comped up like four kombucha drinks, which was nice.

Afterward, the kids spent the next three hours playing like crazy.

I, of course, got hungry again.

Him: Burgers?
Me: I’ve been wanting a burger all day – heck yeah!

We ended up ordering from this joint called Jubilee Marketplace in Greenpoint which is pretty well-known for amazingly good $2.50 burgers.

Think of small shake shack burgers.

Me: How many did you order?
Him: 20?
Me: Good call.

We ate 19 of them on a park bench in the chilly sun.

There was one left after we devoured them, and I took that one home for the kid for dinner.

All in all, not a bad way to spend the day.

Location: a musical with my son this morning by Ajna
Mood: angry
Music: I’m all messed up, I’m so out of line (Spotify)
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Physical education and spite

Oh, yeah

I raise my son like my parents raised me – after all, it’s all I know.

But the one thing that I do differently is to give the boy a sense that physical education is as important as a mental one.

Now, my dad swam every single day for at least 90 minutes a day, for years.

Yet, he never emphasized physical fitness to me, something that I picked up myself after getting beaten up one-too-many times.

On that note, the boy’s really been excelling at his swimming lately.

And he also got his first stripe on his new belt.

Him: Are you proud of me?
Me: Super proud! But more importantly, are you proud of yourself?
Him: Yes!
Me: Good – because that’s really the most important thing.

As for me, I need to work out a lot more because I keep finding myself out and about.

The Frenchman and Bryson swung by my hood the other night, so we hit up my local dive bar and caught each other up on what been going down.

Him: How is deep fried cauliflower any better than French fries?
Me: Because it’s deep-fried cauliflower!
Both of them: (shake their heads)

I also filled in the Frenchman on why I pick my particular types of physical activities.

Frenchman: Wait, is that why you do BJJ?
Me: Yup! Bryson said I was too much a germaphobe to ever do anything like BJJ.
Bryson: So, Logan’s been doing BJJ all these years purely to prove me wrong.
Me: My level of petty spite is pretty spectacular.
Frenchman: And you’re really a germaphobe?
Bryson and me: (nodding) Oh, yeah.

Hey, it works is all I’m say’n…

Location: filming Scenic Fights all day at Paxibellum
Mood: exhausted
Music: I’m just gonna keep on dreaming’ of the way it used to be (Spotify)
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Tough food=tough people?

Still waiting to get my ceiling repaired.

BUT the leaking seems to have stopped so I’ll take that as a win.

The Firecracker accidentally made butter the other day while whipping up heavy cream.

Her: Sorry about that! I thought it was cold enough.
Me: It’s fine – we now have homemade butter!

I’m definitely a fan of homemade stuff, regardless of how it happens.

On that note, a buddy of mine started chewing this jaw strenghtener lately.

Human faces seemed to have been shaped by two major things: (a) violence and (b) the type of food we eat.

The classic angular face for both men and women is innately attractive to us because it’s a sign of vitality and strength so when we meet people with soft faces and jaws, it seems “wrong” to us, but we can’t exactly explain how.

That’s why it’s a compliment is to call a man “square-jawed,” and not “round-jawed.”

(c) Someone else

Unfortunately, as the years go on, more and more people will start having these softer features because we:

    1. avoid violence as a whole, and
    2. eat more-and-more ultra-processed foods and a hallmark of ultra-processed foods are that they’re not gritty – as they take out all the fiber – and not tough.

Think applesauce versus a tough piece of steak or nuts.

Was telling the Firecracker that the danger here is that the baseline level of what is “soft,” should be, say, the level of well-cooked chicken but, because of things like whitebread and applesauce, the floor is much lower.

This, in turn, means that what was once considered “soft” is now considered tough because the curve changed.

I’m always fighting the boy to eat more real food; to wit, minimally processed foods like whole raw nuts and fresh fruit.

No less than four of his friends cannot eat normal – non-ultra processed – foods at all.

I know at least one adult who can’t eat something unless a machine made it.

So far, the boy’s been good about listening to me when it comes to food but I’m worried that his peers will convince him that “normal” means “ultra-processed” while actual real food is strange.

What a world we live in these days.

Parenting means that there’s a never-ending litany of things to be concerned about.

Him: Can I have more cucumbers?
Me: You can have all the cucumbers you want, kid.
Him: But we don’t have that much.
Me: I’ll get more. You can always eat as many vegetables as you want and if we run out, I’ll get more, don’t you worry.

Location: A dive bar with Bryson and the Frenchman, enjoying $5 mixed drinks of questionable quality.
Mood: fatty-fat-fat
Music: I find that old habits don’t die (Spotify)
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Fixing the kid’s cracked tooth

Getting screwed by Biden

While I generally like that the boy takes after me in most regards, there are some things that I wish he wouldn’t.

Just like I did in May of last year, my kid cracked his tooth a while ago in his BJJ class and we went to the dentist for a cleaning and general checkup, but I wasn’t expecting to repair his tooth during this particular visit.

In any case, I had earmarked 15 minutes of buffer to make sure we made his appointment.

What I didn’t factor in was that President Biden was gonna be in the Upper West Side that day.

Holy cow, what a mess.

Gotta think that Biden was crossing at W 79th because we were stuck there for a while before we decided to try out the subway.

Luckily, that was still running.

So, we were late when we arrived.

Unlike the last several times I went to this dentist, they were actually much more well run such that we were seen only 30 minutes after our scheduled time, instead of the usual hour/90-minutes.

This was an improvement.

However, unlike when the kid went to his regular dentist, this one didn’t give him any laughing gas to do his cleaning.

He wasn’t thrilled but he was still a trooper.

But, we weren’t done.

Her: You know your son’s tooth is cracked, yes?
Me: I am aware.
Her: Do you want to fix it?
Me: I dunno. We only scheduled the cleaning. He still has to make his Chinese class.
Her: Oh, you’ll be done in 15 minutes. I would do it because it’s only going to get worse; it won’t get better if we don’t fix it.

We left with only five minutes to spare but this time, the train let us down because it skipped our stop.

So, we had to run to his class and ended up being 20 minutes late.

It was a pretty exhausting day, but I’m glad that the kid’s tooth is taken care of.

Hopefully, we can go another year before he needs to get his teeth looked at again.

Firecracker: You know you’re supposed to go every six months, right?
Me: Nah, we’ll be fine.
Her: Logan Lo!
Me: Fiiine, I’ll consider it.

Location: the kid’s BJJ gym, telling him he has to wear his mouthguard
Mood: beat tired
Music: White teeth teens are up for it (Spotify)
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Music Together

My Son’s First Recital

So many people did so many things for Alison, me, and the kid when she first got sick.

But there’s a story I don’t think I ever told you about which is this small little group called Music Together and this woman named Deanna DeCampos.

My memory is completely fuzzy during this time but she somehow heard about Alison and me and offered for me to take the kid there. I only went a few times because I was busy so with Alison but we had sitters that brought the kid there the whole time that Alison was sick.

It was such a godsend to have some place for him to go and be happy.

And when Alison died, they kept saying the kid should continue to come but, after a while, I felt I was taking advantage of their generosity so I eventually stopped but a huge part of the kid’s insane love of music is because of them.

Now, I’ve only ever shown his face once in this blog, and this is the second time. He’s the munchkin in the front – he was maybe just two years old here.

I honestly think that a major reason why the kid never felt the unbelievable sadness of what was going on with Alison was because of the joy of music that Music Together gave him.

So, if you’re in NYC and want to support a wonderful organization with some amazing instructors and have your kid love music as much as mine does, drop them a line.

I cannot recommend them highly enough.

Speaking of the kid’s love of music, he had his very first recital the other night with his guitar teacher.

He was the only kid that both played an instrument and sang a song at the same time.

I was am super proud.

He def needs to sing louder – but I was still a proud papa.

Afterward, I brought the Firecracker and both kids to that Irish pub because (a) I was in the mood for some good fish and chips and (b) I wanted to thank the bartender for finding my iPad and stuff.

Wrote about the bar a while ago.

He def needs to sing louder – but I was still a proud papa.

Got the kid a burger but the rest of us had some killer fish and chips – beer battered not breaded.

Alison always wanted him to learn the violin and I do my darndest to try to respect her wishes but I couldn’t imagine the thought of years of screeching before he got good.

Then again, he’s been a natural with music thanks to Music Together so maybe it wouldn’tve been that bad.

Him: Did you hear people singing the song when I was singing?!
Me: I did!
Him: That was so cool!
Me: It was. (turning and whispering to the Firecracker) Hopefully, he’ll wanna go to med school or law school, though.
Her: Oh, hush, Lo.

Location: at a swimming pool, writing this and trying not to get splashed.
Mood: proud
Music: Tell me why, ain’t nothin’ but a heartache (Spotify)
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Popping over

A doctor’s visit and a magic show

Took the kid outta school the other day because we had to have his annual physical.

Me: I’m curious if you have an idea how tall he might be.
Her: Hmm, lemme see. (types into her computer) Well, it looks like he’ll be something between 5′ 6″ and 6′.
Me: (laughing) That’s a pretty broad range. His mom was 5′ 2″ or so and I’m 5′ 8″ so I’d be thrilled with 5′ 10″.
Her: (laughing also) It’s not an exact science. Hopefully, he will be.

The kid was pretty nervous about his flu shot but she said he could just do a nasal spray.

Him: Will it hurt?
Her: Nope! It’ll feel like a little water in your nose.
Him: OK!

The kid was thrilled that he didn’t have to have a shot. Well, he was kinda thrilled, at least.

Him: Wait, do I still get my double dessert?
Me: What? No, you didn’t get a shot.
Him: That’s not fair!
Me: Well, we could go and get a COVID booster shot and then you can get your double dessert.
Him: (sighing) Nevermind.
Me: Good choice, kid. Good choice.

So, we’re good for another year, I suppose.

Later on in the week, we got invited to go to the holiday party from the ginormous building next door to ours the other day that we normally do Halloween at, so off we went.

The Firecracker’s kid had never been there for Xmas and was excited to be there – my kid’s always excited to do fun things.

We got there just in time to see the magic act, which was pretty cool, I gotta say. For example, the man took a long, slender ballon about three feet long and swallowed it whole.

Her: Where did it go?!
Me: I honestly don’t think you wanna know.
Her: On no…
Me: (laughing) He’ll probably see it again in like 24 hours. Ideally, we won’t.

Afterward, we had dinner there and chatted with our neighbor friends.

Her: You know, he and his wife always say hi to me when they see me in the neighborhood.
Me: I have a lotta nice neighbors.
Her: So nice!

The kids had a grand time running around like maniacs and then playing with some friends they knew there from Halloween.

We had to leave early because it was still a school night I made sure to thank our hosts.

Me: Thanks for always inviting us!
Me: You’re our neighbors, of course.

Like I always say, thank goodness for the good souls.

Location: in front of 3 East 17th Street, remembering Paul, WM, Heartgirl, and my possible past
Mood: ruminative
Music: If it wasn’t for the good souls, life would not matter (Spotify)
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Proud of the work we do

Korean BBQ at home

My boiler’s been acting up again – I had an emergency appointment the other day because there wasn’t any water in it.

A boiler without water can crack so I shut the whole thing down and called up our old boiler guy, who sent us someone within two hours.

Within three hours, we were back on track.

So, not horrible but not great either.

The Firecracker’s sister and fella live just a few blocks south of us, so we had a kinda pre-thanksgiving get-together with them and their kid.

Because of the Frenchman and his wife’s amazing food the other night, we did our own version of Korean BBQ.

They brought over drinks.

Her: You’re not supposed to eat the cranberries!
Me: (grimacing) Ooooh, waaay too late.

We ate our fill of food and then decided to play a round of Codenames, with couple-vs-couple.

Her: Three [is the clue]. Two words.
Me: (after getting only one word) I’m stumped as to what the second word is. (after the game) OK, which other one was three?
Her: “Trip.”
Me: “Trip?!” Are you on drugs? How is “three” the clue for “trip!?”
Her: “Triple!”
Me: It said “trip,” not “triple.” No one would get that.
BIL: Well, I saw it.
Sister: Yeah, I did too.
Me: (grumble) You’re all clearly insane.

After a few rounds of that, we decided to up the ante a bit with the Firecracker’s BIL and me versus the Firecracker and her sister.

The Firecracker and her sister won both rounds BUT only by a single point.

Me: I’m not sure this is really a huge win. After all, you two have know each other more than 30 years while he and I only met like four months ago.
Her: But we still beat you.
Him: By a much smaller margin than I would have expected.
Sister: But we still won.

It was a fun night.

We’ll most likely do it again.

Oh, the kid got his first new belt in BJJ. I was thrilled.

Him: Are you proud of me?
Me: Of course I am, kid. But more importantly, are you proud of yourself?
Him: Yes. I worked really hard.
Me: Then that’s the most important thing. You gotta be proud of the work you do in life.

Location: Earlier tonight, the Bronx, looking at trains.
Mood: exhausted
Music: gonna twist your game, raise the stakes (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.
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.


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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Date night!

A stellar night

Me: I just realized that the kid has a party tonight from 6:30 to 9PM, do you wanna…
Her: Date night!

A few months ago, I got an email from my kid’s school on a Monday that there was a movie night they were having that week. Figured that I had plenty of time for it so I didn’t bother buying a ticket until Thursday but, by then, everything was already sold out.

Had to scramble and write several parents to see if anyone had a spare tix. After a few hours of trying, managed to snag one from my friend Debbie – told myself that the NEXT time the kid’s school was having a party, I’d buy the ticket immediately.

Well, that happened a coupla weeks ago and I totally forgot that the kid had his school party this past Friday.

Turns out, he did too.

Him: There’s a party tonight? Whose birthday is it?
Me: (laughing) It’s not a birthday party, kid. It’s your school.
Him: Really!? Yay!

I happened to already be dressed up in a suit for work, so I dropped off the kid and met up with the Firecracker at a joint I’d never been to before and not far from the kid’s school.

Told her I was in a suit so she showed up dressed to the nines as well.

Me: Whoa!
Her: You like?
Me: Heck, yeah! You look amazeballs!

We stayed there for a while, playing a game of question and answer, but soon…

Me: I’m hungry.
Her: It’s past your (eating) time (for intermittent fasting).
Me: (shrugging) I’m drinking so I’m already breaking it.

Was really in the mood for sushi so we ended up an Asian restaurant not too far from the first bar.

We got more drinks…

…and I got a plate of deep-fried shrimp.

Afterward, we went together to pick up the kid.

Me: I’m still in the mood for sushi.
Her: You want to stop by a restaurant?
Me: Nah, I’ll just pick up some from [the local supermarket].

So, I did just that and ate even more.

When it comes to parenting, that’s what I’d call a stellar night.



Location: late this afternoon, the Irish Hunger Memorial
Mood: sore
Music: How I hate to spend the evening on my own (Spotify)
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A Birthday and Halloween Party

Plus, another ferry ride

We went out to Brooklyn again the other day – it was raining cats and dogs. We were there for the Surgeon’s kids’ birthday party.

They had it at the Ferox Ninja Park in Brooklyn and it was HUGE.

I was in a pretty foul mood as I didn’t expect to have to walk as far as I did and do as many transfers via train as I did but I already promised the kids that we would do it, so we did.

Once we arrived, I just sat down and shoveled food into my pie hole.

Steele: (putting food in front of us) Here. Eat.
Me: We can’t be the only ones eating, man!
Her: As if that ever stopped you before.
Me: Fair.

The kids had a grand time and were a complete sweaty mess afterward.

We were only scheduled to be there for two hours but since it was so rainy and there wasn’t a party after ours, we ended up staying almost four hours before the staff – very politely – told us we were over time.

So, we all went our separate ways.

Didn’t wanna do all the walking we did to keep transferring trains so, for the second time in a month or so, we all took the ferry back to the city.

Her: It’ll take twice as long.
Me: But no walking and the kids wanna ride the ferry.
Her: OK, that works.

Soon, we found ourselves back on the ferry.

The kid and I got into a tiff because he randomly decided to hop onto my bag, spilling food everywhere.

Me: Jesus Christ, kid! Why did you do that?
Him: I dunno.
Me: I told you before, you better have a good reason for anything you do, because everything you do has consequences. (sighing)

But alls well that ended well.

We got home and both kids crashed pretty hard.

Then we went to the next-door building’s Halloween party.

The building next door has invited the kid and me every year since Alison died and I’m always grateful for their kindness.

This year, I asked the building president if I could invite the Firecracker and her kid.

Him: Of course! The more the merrier.
Me: I just don’t to take advantage.
Him: You’re not! Come on by! The kids’ll have a great time.
Me: Thank you!

We went trick-or-treating with my friends Wendy and Andrew while I chatted up the fella that I met at the other party in the park.

After all the candy and activities, we were ready for a break.

But there’s always something going on in the Big City.

Location: In my head again for a bit
Mood: worn-down
Music: Old habits don’t diе (even though you know deep down you don’t want them to) (Spotify)
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