Just-ever-so-slightly

Controlling the effects

Saw my mom and sis this past weekend. They were happy to see us, I think.

The cat, less so…

Also saw the surgeon, his brother, and their families this past weekend at another dinner party.

Surgeon’s wife: You really should ask out French Dancer. Except, she’s really young.
Me: Yeah, really young. I’m busy enough as it is, anywho.
Her: Oh! What’s the latest?
Me: Where to begin?

A couple that I didn’t know was there and the wife commented that I was probably 34 vis-a-vis something else entirely.

Me: Well, you get a hug for that.
Her: Wait, how old are you?
Me: Almost 50.
Her: How is that possible?!
Me: (shrugging) Same as everyone else: 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For 49 years.

I often marvel at how many really good souls I’ve met in my life.

While my luck – broadly speaking – is of the stripe most people don’t want, in that small regard, I consider myself lucky.

On a related point, there were about five women that I met after Alison died. They all had a hand in helping me pull myself outta my crazy and depression, to varying degrees.

Unfortunately, I was probably the worst version of myself so it’s no surprise that none of them are really on speaking terms with me. I get that.

It’s one of my 10,000 regrets.

On that point, Lviv rang me today. After everything that went down between us, I’m touched that she still finds the time to check in on me.

I told her, honestly, that I was grateful.

Me: Before you left, you said, very simply, “Love shouldn’t be this hard,” [about a messy situationship I was in]. I appreciate that and you. Thanks for that.
Her: Aww it’s good to hear, I just want you to be happy.

She didn’t realize what a profound effect her throwaway line had on me. In fact, it’s probably the main reason everything in my life has been so different – and better – these past several months.

Of course, she’s part of my possible pasts. I wonder what woulda happened between us if things were different.

I wonder about so many things that were just-ever-so-slightly outside of my control.

Boy: Why’s he so mean?
Me: I dunno, kid. Here’s the thing, though: You can’t control other people and how they treat you. But you can control how you let things affect you. Pretty soon, you won’t care. So, you can start not caring right now.
Him: OK. I’ll try.

Location: earlier today, chatting up a tall singer named Izzy in a park
Mood: hopeful
Music: I’m out of my mind but I’m feeling just fine (Spotify)
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Questionable and Complex

Palsgraf

Her: I showed my friend your picture and told her that you’re almost 49. She said, “He looks 32!” And she’s Asian!
Me: Whoa, now that’s a compliment.
Her: I’ll send it to you so you can frame it in your room.
Me: God, yes please…

I’m turning 49 in a week. On the one hand, I realize that not everyone gets to celebrate turning a year older so I’m lucky to have the chance.

On the other hand, every passing year gives me anxiety, not so much that I’ll die – although there is that – so much as I feel I’m running out of time to give the boy the tools I think he’ll need to navigate this world.

In some way, this blog itself is a tool for him.

I try to write as honestly as I can so that he can get what knowledge he can about why I am as I am and how I think.

Suppose time will tell if this is a good or terrible idea.

Her: You’re not worried about all the stuff you write about?
Me: No. Because I write about life and life itself is questionable and complex. If nothing else, he’ll read this blog and know that Alison and I loved him and I loved her. That works for me.

Her: I’m just visiting a few different schools. Wait, you’re the knife guy!
Me: What? (laughs) I’ve never had anyone call me that before.
Her: Really? But you are the knife guy, yeah?
Me: So it would seem.

There’s a place called the Summer Palace (頤和園; Yíhéyuán) that was the pinnacle of luxury and glory back in the days of Imperial China.

The legend goes – and this might just be pure sexism against someone that was actually awful but also happened to be a woman – that the Empress Dowager Cixi embezzled funds from the Chinese Navy to pay for work with it.

At the time, the Chinese navy was supposed to be the strongest navy in all of Asia. But when the Japanese invaded and the navy was totally trounced, the truth was uncovered – all of their technological and personnel advancements were just fluff.

Regardless if it was the Dowager or someone/something else embezzling the money, the money that was supposed to get to the military, never made it there.

Here, we’re seeing the same thing in Russia versus Ukraine. Just like China was supposed to easily beat Japan, Russia was supposed to easily beat Ukraine. But how does a politician like Putin own things like $700 million yachts?

I suspect the same way the Dowager could afford a second palace.

In 2022, China is still struggling to be the equal of the west, because of this national theft.

Think that that 2122’s Russia – provided we didn’t annihilate the world via nukes by then – will still be struggling with cascading consequences of what’s happening right now.

Who the fuck needs a second palace or a $700 million yacht?

There’s a name that instantly pulls every lawyer in America back to their first year of law school: Palsgraf.

It’s a long story, but it too is a story of unforeseen, cascading consequences.

The last time I said that name was close to a quarter century ago.

Her: How would you prove the chain of causation in that?
Me: Well, this is first time in my life, I’ve been on a date and the phrase, “Chain of causation” was used. Have you ever dated a lawyer before, Counselor?
Her: God, no.
Me: Yeah, I never fished off the company pier before. Oh wait, you’re gonna make me say it…
Her: What?
Me: Palsgraf.
Her: Oh, no! You said it! (laughs)

Location: A park, trying to get out of a conversation with a different pretty girl because she was freaking me out
Mood: more conflicted than ever, but for totally different reasons
Music: Any way you want it, that’s the way you need it (Spotify)
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The Mouse that Roared

Punching above our weight classes

My son’s eczema seems to be getting progressively worse and it’s alarming.

I’ve, unfortunately, had a lotta experience in watching someone I care about suffer from it. Watching my son trying to deal with it is just awful.

It was originally just a small patch on his back but now it covers large amounts of his body and he’s always asking me to scratch him.

Him: Stop, stop!
Me: Why?
Him: I have to scratch. (does so) I’m sorry I keep stopping.
Me: (shaking head) Don’t apologize for that. I’m sorry you’re uncomfortable.

I’ve now spent a small fortune on ointments, creams, and bath additions as well reading up on any number of things that are supposed to ameliorate things, with limited effectiveness.

Oddly, oatmeal seems to help matters, at least according to what I’ve been reading and what I know.

So, in addition to giving this kid regular oatmeal baths, which he tends to enjoy save for his annoyance with taking baths in general, I’ve been baking him oatmeal cookies and feeding him bowls of oatmeal like there’s no tomorrow.

The hope is that, once summer arrives, he’ll do much better.

In the meantime, I’m spending waaaay too much time reading up on the matter and feeling for everyone that has to deal with this nonsense.

On an unrelated point, and very separate from the horrors that we’re watching unfold in Ukraine, I’ve been thinking a lot about the novel, The Mouse That Roared.

I last read it when I was in grade school, maybe, so I’m sure I’ll get some of the details wrong, but it’s essentially the satirical story of a tiny nation that decides to start a war with the US in the hopes of losing and having the US rebuild them, stronger and better.

The kicker, however, is that they win and have no idea what to do after they’ve won.

It’s a bit like the Joker’s speech in The Dark Knight where Joker tells Two-Face that he’s just a dog chasing cars.

I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it.

Just like the British were unprepared for America winning the Revolutionary War, the Soviets were beaten by the Finns in WWII – fighting on skis of all things – the Koreans thrashed the Japanese Empire in 1592, and modern America was essentially beaten by Vietnam, I wonder if Ukraine has a chance to not just claw back its original territory from Russia but also regain Crimea and any other regions that Russia annexed.

If I’ve learned anything in my life, it’s that it’s difficult to adequately gauge the effects of (a) motivation, (b) home court advantage, and (c) luck on expected outcomes.

Let’s hope the Ukrainians continue to punch (way) above their weight.

And FWIW, I’m pretty sure the Ukrainians can figure out what to do if they do get back what’s rightfully theirs.

On a completely unrelated matter, we finally have a new Scenic Fights video up, this time regarding Atomic Blonde.

Give it a go?

I’m not sure what I’m doing in that still above…

Location: 7PM, the kitchen, making duck confit for a six-year old that wants McDonalds
Mood: irritated that I have to compete against McDonalds
Music: Remedy, running through the red lights (Spotify)
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Love is the eye of the storm

That’s why I asked

It’s been busy lately, for a number of reasons.

Red: I should tell you I’m married.
Me: That would have been useful information to have prior to this.
Her: We have an open relationship.
Me: I’m glad you found your person. Unfortunately, that’s not my bag.
Her:  I’ve never [had someone just say no].
Me: Life is nothing if not unexpected. I’m a terrible person, to be sure. But I don’t fuck with marriage.

Blue: Do you really want to know?
Me: That’s why I asked.
Her: Both my parents died and I was 16. So it was either leave school or be homeless. I made a choice. That’s probably why I’m [so successful now].
Me: That’s called a “Hobson’s Choice,” because you really had no choice at all. And I’m sorry.
Her: Don’t be. You didn’t do anything. And everything worked out.
Me: (shrugging) I’m sorry because I’m human. And some people’s human experience is much worse than others.
Her: I appreciate that, after all you’ve been through, you still have empathy for others.
Me: (laughing) How could I not? 

Green/White: I was married. Twice. Are you sure you want to hear about it?
Me: That’s why I asked.
Her: (shrugging) The first one, I was just a kid and it ended early. But the second one just ended right before the pandemic. He had his own trauma and the deal was that he would go to therapy after we got married.
Me: I assume he didn’t.
Her: (bitterly) No. You can tell I’m still angry about it. Sorry.
Me: Don’t apologize for your genuine emotions. You earned them. So, you’re entitled to them.


White: There wasn’t a straw in my drink.
Me: OK. (thinking) Ah, you think I put something into it.
Her: Well…
Me: (taking a sip of her drink) If I end up passing out because someone – not me – roofied your drink, just make sure I get into a cab toward the upper west side?

Black: It’s like a job. Once or twice a week, I wake up, switch on an app, answer a few dozen stupid/boring questions from a buncha stupid/boring guys, and then go on with my week.
Me: Ah, modern romance. Where do I stack up?
Her: (laughing) Are you sure you want to know?
Me: That’s why I asked.
Her: Charming. Handsome.  But shallow. Unable to commit.
Me: (nodding) Seems accurate.

Me: Well, I don’t mean this sound overly romantic, but if you’ll allow me to be maudlin and sentimental…
Her: Let’s hear it.
Me: (nodding) The universe, all of reality, is a storm. Love is the eye of that storm; the one bit of peace in an otherwise cruel and dispassionate world that doesn’t give a shit if we live or die. We’re born naked and confused, without claws, teeth, or fur. Nothing. We only survived because someone loved us enough to make sure we did. I don’t get why someone would want less than that. It’s like someone turning down a billion dollars. Yet, they throw away love for stupid shit as if it isn’t the most rare and valuable thing in existence. And that, Counselor, is what I want. Something I had once and was taken from me.

Location: Solas, of course
Mood: exhausted
Music: Put your arms ’round my neck, and your heart on my chest (Spotify)
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Doubling-Down Pt 3

Being rude

Her: Did you all meet at [your old gym]?
Him: We don’t say that name.

The words that jump out at me with this whole Ukraine madness is “doubling-down.”

These are just the first five articles. There are dozens. And it’s maddening to me.

To me, the whole concept of doubling-down is an extension of mental masturbation; it literally accomplishes nothing except emotionally gratifying the person doing it.

Unlike actual masturbation, where the result is nothing, this mental masturbation is assuredly something – something horrible, evil, and sad.

Unborn babies and pregnant mothers are getting killed. Cities are being bombed to oblivion.

3.6 million 3,600,000 people have lost their friends, homes, livelihoods, and familiar lives, just because one guy can’t stop mentally masturbating and doubling- and tripling-down – despite all evidence that all he’s doing is hurting others and himself.

There’s no positive here for anyone. The only thing that might possibly happen is that Russia withdraws and then what? It’ll take decades to rebuild Ukraine, physically, and Russia’s goodwill, metaphysically.

Doubling-down is such a stupid fucking concept that I wrote about it before – twice in fact.

An old friend of ours, Hawk, stopped by the gym today.

A solid chunk of the people in our gym either knew us or heard about us from our old gym and left there to come to us or went somewhere else.

While I’m happy that our gym’s doing well, I’m still filled with a sense of pity for our old coach. At any point, in all the years of us being there, he could have just listened and corrected his course.

I actually sighed writing that.

Man, to make so many people miserable and destroy one’s own life for some childish dream because one won’t – or can’t – just open one’s mouth and communicate is just the height of absurdity and sadness.

But he not only didn’t, he doubled-down every chance he got. Rumor has it that, after downsizing, he’s struggling to fill up even that smaller space.

And like I said, if you keep doing what you do, you keep getting what you get.

Doubling-down is such a foreign concept to me, I suppose because, even when I was a kid, I was an old man inside; just didn’t see the upside of hurting myself and others for some weird mental pride thing.

I’ve just never seen such destructive stubbornness played out on such a grand – and horrifying – scale before.

In the end, I wonder if we’re at the cusp of World War 3, just because of one man’s stubbornness and pathological need to mentally masturbate.

None of the people that are my success models do anything like that and I’ve never known anyone doubling-down on anything that came to any good.

What a waste in every sense of the word.

Her: Why do you carry that around?!
Me: Oh, I…wait, to be clear, I would never hurt you. That’d just be…rude.
Her: (laughs)

Location: 14th Street, wondering I should also get a taco
Mood: resigned
Music: if we get it wrong, we can’t blame no one (Spotify)
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Then let’s go

Who knows about tomorrow?

One thing that the kid takes after me is that he runs hot. He often doesn’t wear a jacket out and I see parents looking at me as if I’m crazy.

But, I figure, he knows when he’s uncomfortable so I’m gonna respect that.

On that note, I’ve been wrestling with bringing my son to jits these days because of his eczema.

But, from everything I’ve been researching, most kids grow out of it so I’m hoping that this is just because our apartment is obscenely dry.

Hoping that the summer will be much better for him.

My very first girlfriend came from this very wealthy family. In 1990, her weekly allowance was $100, which is about $215 in 2022 purchasing power.

Mine was $20, I think?

At that time, I thought McDonalds was eating out, but she took me to places like Tavern on the Green and the restaurant at Rockefeller Center.

For our one-month “anniversary,” I bought her a pair of cheap gold-plated earrings; she got me a limited edition automatic Fendi watch. It was strange and different.

I think that the people that we let into our lives leave pieces of themselves with you – again, that whole you’re the average of the five people thing I always talk about.

She was not the nicest person and, because she was my first girlfriend, she left a lot of her good and bad traits and outlooks with me. How I look at dating, women, relationships, etc.

I think that, even some three decades later, I’m still trying to rid myself of bad traits people leave with me, including hers.

On the flip side, after Alison died, I left most of my old friends – who probably represent some of the best parts of me – because they were a constant reminder of her to me but, enough time has passed that it’s not that sharp anymore, which is one of the reasons I’m seeing them more these days.

One person I see somewhat regularly is her best friend. We actually don’t talk about Alison all that much but she’s a constant presence in our conversations, regardless.

It’s nice because I still feel connected to Alison in these small ways as I disconnect with others.

It’s strange. I feel like the past six years, my life was lived by someone else, someone I feel sorry for. He suffered, Alison suffered. It was all just shit.

Over a decade ago, I wrote about St. Augustine and how he ran into a prostitute that he used to visit before he became St. Augustine. The story goes that she tried to get his attention and when he walked past her, she said, Augustine, it is I.

And he replied without stopping, Yes, but it is not I. Because he wasn’t that guy any more. He looked like him but was not him.

That’s kind of how I feel again. I remember the horror and sadness, but I almost feel detached from it. It was me but not me.

Suppose it’s a survival mechanism but I do need to survive after all, so it makes sense.

Anywho, it was actually the second time I wrote about St. Augustine because, five years prior to that, I felt the same way.

Honestly, I don’t remember either guy at all – neither the 2006 version of me, nor the 2011 version of me.

If there is anything I have of value, for better or worse, it is the ability to survive and forget. Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better even of their blunders.

I remember seeking the Golden Mean in 2006, again in 2011, and again now. It’s not ideal but it’s better than the alternative, I suppose.

Her: Are you ok?
Me: (shrugging) I am today. Who knows about tomorrow?

On that note, I limit myself to only a few articles a day about what’s happening in Ukraine. I feel my blood boil and the emotions rise again when I read about pregnant women being attacked in a hospital for, really, nothing but money.

This article about a man losing his entire family set me off for a while before I put it away in head.

His wife was 43, his son Mykyta was 18 and daughter Alisa was nine, when they were murdered this past Sunday.

All I could think was that, if it was me, I would burn the entire world down and wouldn’t stop until someone killed me. Hardly a healthy mental state.

And this fucked up world is the world I’m bringing this kid up in.

I wonder if my buddy was right about the ethics of having a kid. But it’s too late, regardless, I’m in it. We’re in it.

I’ve gotta make sure he’s ready.

Him: Are we going to jiu-jitsu?
Me: Do you want to go?
Him: Yes!
Me: (laughing) Then let’s go.

Location: earlier today, watching him do an armbar for the first time
Mood: affectionate
Music: you ain’t coming home. I am your family tree (Spotify)
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Taking it apart

My pretty but dead dreams

I built that crib with Alison on September 13th, 2015. She was in her last trimester at the time and insisted that she help but I had her just direct for the most part.

Seven years later, I finally took it apart.

Well, not me, a fella from my gym that helps us out with stuff. I couldn’t do it.

Just like when my friends came by to paint it at the height of COVID two years ago, it was just something that I kept putting off.

Alison took that picture above, almost as a joke. I didn’t know she had brain cancer at that moment.

Put it off for two things, really.

One was Alison, of course. She was a part of that crib, just like she was a part of how that room used to look. The other was that I think I was hoping that maybe Mouse and I might have a kid of our own.

But they’re both gone now and the kid deserves to have a bed that matches his age instead of me clinging onto all my pretty, but dead, dreams.

When my buddy left, I sat down to finish the bottle of rum I’ve had sitting on my countertop.

I always have a bottle of fine aged rum on my countertop.

But, I decided against it and put it back. Had a cup of tea instead.

Baby steps, yeah?

Do you see the little boy’s outfit hanging on the closet knob in the background?

For a while now, I’ve been giving a lot of the kid’s clothes to Mouse to send off to her relative in the Ukraine.

The kid last wore that in December of 2019, when we went to that Christening in NJ. I always thought the kid looked adorbs in it.

That was something that I’d been meaning to give her for some time now, along with some other stuff for them, but I just hadn’t gotten around to it.

The thought that there’s some little boy running around in Ukraine, scared and confused, younger than my own kid, wearing my kid’s clothes, bothers me in a way I can’t fully express except to say that it’s fucking bullshit.

He’d be the same age as my kid was in that pic above.

It’s bullshit that some innocent kid has to pay for a billionaire’s greed for more fucking money.

I wonder if he’s dressed in one of my son’s outfits now. It bothers me because – but for time and tide – that couldn’ve been my kid.

Well, I guess I could express it, after all…

Doesn’t make it any less bullshit. Maybe I should have that drink after all.

 

Her: Why didn’t you tell me you were in LA? I would have seen you.
Me: I know. I had a lot going on. Have.
Her: What’s new? You’ll see me next time, though, yes?
Me: Of course, darling. Promise.
Her: (laughing) You and your promises.

Location: earlier today, waiting for the pool shower
Mood: trying to stay in the golden mean
Music: I don’t really feel bad news anymore (Spotify)
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The Floater

Rising rapidly in the rankings

Friend: Please, you seek out [rich and successful] people.
Me: That’s not exactly true.

It’s been a strange few weeks.

Some important people in my life left, some came back, and some seem to have just arrived.

Still trying to make sense of it all.

Saw some college friends – along with their kids – this past weekend.

Never told you this but the head surgeon at one of the major hospitals is a buddy of mine.

When Alison had one of her billion surgeries, she was super weak and couldn’t make the return trip to remove the staples in her skull. So, he made a house call, came over, and removed them for us. No questions asked.

It was a super kind gesture for a dude that is ridonk high-ranking in NYC. He never saw her again.

It hurt me to write that.

Dunno why I feel compelled to tell you that.

We met again at the party in NJ from a few years back. And this past weekend, I brought the boy to his (ginormous!) apartment in Chelsea after the kid and I met his brother and nephew for dim sum in Chinatown.

It was bittersweet. The boy, however, had a blast.

Him: Do we have to go?
Me: ‘Fraid so, kiddo.
Him: Awwwww…

Speaking of doctors, got fixed up with one recently. Totally my type BUT just zero chemistry.

Me: If you were trapped on a desert island, what would be the one thing you’d want to have?
Her: Why would I be trapped on a desert island?

That’s how the entire evening was. It was like pulling teeth. God, I hate dating.

Although, we did discuss just that.

Her: Well, there is this one guy. He’ll never commit but it’s hard to just stop things with him.
Me: Ah, a floater. I had a floater of my own for a while, once. So, I get it. But ultimately, it’s all just a waste of everyone’s time.

While I was chatting with her, a smoking hot lawyer that I met recently hit me up.

She actually WAS a law professor while I only wished to be one.

Her: It’s been an extreeeeeeeemely [long day]. And it’s not looking like it’s wrapping up anytime soon. What are you up to?
Me: I’m writing you on a date if that means anything. I’m an awful person but I’m bored to tears at the moment.
Her: Do you need an emergency work call? Just say the word.
Me: I would but I’m trying to wrap this up naturally.

It’s funny, you kinda realize what you want more when presented with a better option.

So, I took it.

Me: (exiting) Another date-to-nowhere, over.
Her: Ugh, those are the worst. I’m at least marginally more fun.

Thought about what my friend said about my seeking out rich and successful people. There’s some truth to that but it’s along the same lines as, “I married Alison for her money.”

It’s not that I want to be friends with them because they’re wealthy and wildly successful, it’s that they made them themselves wealthy and wildly successful. That ambition and drive is what attracts me.

Told you once that you’re the average of the five people that you hang out with the most.

When you have a relationship with someone, you don’t just have a relationship with them, you have a relationship with the five people they hang out with the most, and the five people that each one of those five hang out with and so on.

And if they’re all lame with zero ambition, that rubs off on them, and – ultimately – on you.

A buddy once told me that he hung out with me so much that he became me. But, I realized that he actually became the person he was crushing on since high school because that’s who he spends the most time floating around and aspiring to be.

The thing is that I stopped hanging out with his crush – who’s, honestly, quite nice but just so…lame; she’s not particularly bad, but she’s also not particularly anything, really.

And I realized that I continued hanging out with him, the lameness of his crush would glom onto me and I couldn’t have that.

It probably sounds elitist to you, but there are 7.753 billion people in the world and you can’t hang out with all of them.

Why not have your five be wildly successful versus just meh?

Besides, now that I’ve got the kid, gotta be very careful who I let into his life. Because they’ll leave a bit of themselves with me, and I’ll – in turn – leave them with him.

Which, depending on the person, might not be a bad thing.

Her: Actually, the case I’m working on is in the papers right now. Google, [my client] and you can read up on where we are right now.
Me: (minutes later) Holy shitballs, Counselor! (later) I’m super turned on right now. You’re rising rapidly in the rankings
Her: (laughing) Does first place get a gold star?
Me: (scoffing) Please, I’m the prize! What woman wouldn’t want a neurotic and clumsy, but somewhat charming, non-practicing Ivy-League-educated lawyer that fights and cooks?
Her: (continues laughing)

Location: earlier today, showing Chad now to remove a flapper
Mood: stupidly optimistic
Music: Got some brand new wings. No, we won’t go back. (Spotify)
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PSA: The seed and the soil

That’s on you

Him: Oh, have you met Logan? He runs a gym downtown.
Me: Technically, I’m still a lawyer and part-owner of a gym downtown.
Her: How did that happen?
Me: Very quickly, actually.

The hits just keep coming. My buddy Mark – a fellow Cornell grad – just had kidney surgery to remove a cancerous growth. While digging around, they found another cancerous growth on the other kidney.

That’s three people I know with life-threatening illnesses.

People think it’s strange that I’m in the gym four days a week but I know people there even more.

And these are *highly* successful people, including a world-famous actor, a billionaire, and a former NFL player/Fortune 500 CEO, amongst others.

Curt is someone else that’s in the gym six days a week and he’s a personal trainer that told me the following:

Logan, you have to lift weights now because if you don’t, you’ll have to lift weights later.

It’s true. I missed PT for personal reasons today but now, I’m in it. Cannot wait for summer.

Some lady’s gonna have a fine summer, lemme tell ya…

Her: I’m better looking as a woman than you are as a man.
Me: (laughing) You think so?
Her: With this chest and this booty?
Me: Fair. I suppose we’ll see.

On that note, like I’ve said repeatedly, alla your life’s problems can be divided up into health, wealth, and relationships.

Outta those three, health is the one that gets the most short-shrift.

But if this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s something that I know all too well: Life is nasty, brutish, and short.

So, if the best bulwark against cancer, age, and injury is good diet and exercise, dunno why everyone doesn’t do it. It’s the fountain of youth.

I should know.

Her: You’re semi-retired? How old are you?!
Me: Oh, we’re playing the game. How old do you think I am?
Her: 32?
Me: (laughing)
Her: No? 38?
Me: (laughing more)

Did you know that Taco Bell has a Taco Lover’s Pass? It’s 30 days of free tacos for $10. Of course I bought one the day it came out. I’ve literally eaten 2-10 tacos a day for two weeks straight now.

But I balance it out with: (a) nuts, oatmeal, salads, or fish for my other meals and, (b) a lotta home-cooked meals, and (c) a ton of time at my gym, Paxibellum.

Look you’re gonna have to pay the price for the things you do at some point. I’d rather pay it now on my terms, than later on someone/something else’s terms.

The basic concept of cancer can be summed up in one phrase: The seed and the soil.

We ALL have cancer cells in our bodies – that’s the seed with our bodies being the soil.

      • If you take strong seeds and toss them onto rocky sand, they probably won’t sprout.
      • If you take crappy seeds and toss them into the most fertile land, ditto.

Your goal in health should be reduce the health of the seeds while making your body as inhospitable to those seeds as possible.

Luckily diet and exercise takes care of both.

Note that shitty luck has a hand in this. Alison had a superb diet and was an athlete all her life, which is part of why it was so gut-wrenching for me to watch her suffer and die.

But, in the end, that’s the one thing you can’t do anything about. You might as well affect what you can, when you can.

You need to reduce the amount of cancer cells in your body as much as possible and that’s done via diet and exercise.

Some turmeric spiced pork loin I made with some homemade veggie soup to balance out the month of Taco Bell.

Gonna leave this kinda heavy post with something funny my son said today as we headed to my gym; note that he’s just in first grade, which makes this all the more funny.

Me: We’re late!
Him: I’m already ready! That’s on you!

That made me laugh like you wouldn’t believe.

God, I love that rug rat.

Location: today, getting stabbed on W 18th Street
Mood: frick’n freezing, yo!
Music: What a thing, to be human (Spotify)
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And I pay it

The keys to the kingdom

My son’s memory is pretty insane. My SIL and I once went to a parking deck and I thought we parked the car on the fourth floor, my SIL on the 3rd, and my son thought we parked on the second.

Me: There’s no way [it’s on the second floor].
Him: It was the second.
Her: That’s impossible.
Him: (10 minutes later) I tooooooold you!
Her: How is that possible?
Me: I have no idea. He’s ridic.

This past Friday, I completely forgot that he was due for his second shot but got an email reminder. I quickly had to cancel a bunch of plans and reschedule things to make this appointment.

Her: How could you forget your son’s appointment?
Me: Lady, you wouldn’t believe the stuff I’m forgetting these days. I’ll make it up to you.

Picked the boy up from school and, after his music lesson, sat him down and put my hands gently on his shoulders:

Me: OK, kid. I have good news and bad news. The good news is that we’re having dinner together and you can have anything you wan…
Him: McDonalds!!
Me: (laughing) OK, a deal’s a deal. We’ll get McDonalds. (deep breath) OK, the bad news is…
Him: More bad news? I’m already getting a shot!
Me: Wait, how did you know that?
Him: It’s the 3rd. I’m getting it at 6PM tonight.
Me: Whoa…that’s…whoa…

Legit, he remembered something that was mentioned in passing by the nurse, after he’d gotten both the flu and COVID shots. Crazy.

He didn’t even wince when he got stuck, let alone cry.

Me: Are you ok? Did it hurt?
Him: (shrugging) Not really. Can I have candy?
Me: Heck, yeah!

This is not to say that alla my conversations this weekend were easy. A buddy of mine asked to meet up.

Him: We need to talk.
Me: Do I need to be armed for this conversation?
Him: I hope not.
Me: Fair. (taking a seat) What’s going on?

It was unpleasant but not altogether bad. It was half about me and half about another buddy of ours.

Me: People like him never understood the power of these tools. [Our buddy] who mocked [the three-step apology] thinks it’s a joke, but you see its power now.
Him: It’s gold. It’s amazing.
Me: (nodding) And that’s why he’ll never be as good as you, in health, wealth, or relationships. None of them will. Because they think all these things I do are an inconsequential joke. But you know – you’ve seen – that these are the keys to the kingdom.
Him: I know I owe you a debt for these things.
Me: (shaking head) That’s where you’re wrong. You don’t owe me a debt; I’m repaying a debt I owe you. You gave me something I wasn’t entitled to, that put me in your debt. And I pay it.
Him: I appreciate that. (later) I see your rage and I’m sorry because I know where it comes from. But…
Me: (interrupting) I know. I’m well-aware…

The next day, I had a young new sitter come by to take care of the kid while I ran a seminar at Paxibellum given by the big man in my system, Tuhon Bill McGrath of Pekiti Tirsia International.

It was the first of what I had hoped would be regular guest seminars at the gym. We were packed to the seams with attendees, which was impressive…

Attendee 1: I remember reading, “Logan Lo,” and I thought, where do I know that name from? And then I remembered: You’re the Scenic Fights guy! I’ve seen every video!
Me: (laughing) That’s great. Thanks for the support.
Him: How long have you been doing this for?
Me: 17 years?
Him: What? How old are you!?
Me: Ah, we’re playing the game…

…but, Chad and I are making more moves with the gym that we didn’t anticipate – some annoying but some really quite cool and unexpected.

I’ll tell you all about them when and if they happen.

Attendee 2: I just want to say that I’m a big fan of Scenic Fights.
Attendee 3: (overhearing) Me too!
Me: And here I thought it was all just my mom leaving comments. Thanks, fellas.

Afterward, Bill and I took a walk back to his car.

Me: I never got a chance to say, “Thank you,” for all the kindness and support you’ve all shown me after everything went down.
Him: We’re old school, Logan. We try to take care of each other.
Me: I appreciate that, sir. I really do. Thank you.

Location: earlier tonight, looking for ice for my wrist
Mood: grateful
Music: yeah, that’s my kid / did I leave a better life for the rest? (Spotify)
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