Three people, independently

Another of my many life rules

What do coffee, tea, and chocolate have in common?

      • Coffee comes from relatively tall trees originating from a region called Kaffa in Ethiopia, Africa.
      • Tea, meanwhile, comes from an evergreen shrub in East Asia.
      • Chocolate, finally, comes from the relatively short cacao tree from South/Central America.

They’re really completely different species of vegetation that have absolutely nuthin – nuthin – in common with each other.

Yet, somehow, each plant, completely independently of each other, somehow figured out how to make the below chemical compound as a means of self-protection from animals that might eat it:

(c) Someone else

Caffeine.

I always found that remarkable. That three, completely unrelated organisms (they’re literally on different continents), can come to the same logical conclusion: Creating the chemical compound of caffeine will help it survive – and potentially flourish – somehow.

It musta worked because they all started this potentially millions of years ago, and are still doing it now, to this day.

I developed my own life rule  from this rando bit of knowledge.

Case in point, a little while ago, I was unkind to a fella at the gym I was going to at the time. Three people that I like and respect told me that I was in wrong.

So, I found the guy, sat him down, and apologized for how I treated him and he was pretty receptive to it. We now chat regularly and he actually joined Paxibellum.

Told you repeatedly: I’m not a good person.

It’s one of my many life rules that I keep for myself to similarly survive and, hopefully, flourish:

If three people, independently, tell me something, it must be true.

And the same rule works in the contrapositive:

If something is not true, then three people would not independently tell me about it.

I’ve been doing a lotta self-reflection with my therapist lately and just spoke to her today.

Me: What do you think, in your honest professional opinion? Am I a narcissist?
Her: (thinking) The hallmark of narcissism is a lack of empathy, but I don’t see that at all. You tried to help your father, your wife, your ex, Chad, etc, because you empathize with their struggles.
Me: And the rest? Am I irredeemable for all the things that I’ve done?
Her: I don’t think so. I see someone who went through – and is still going through – a lot of trauma but trying to be better for his son and those around him. I mean, you’re talking to me, after all.  It’s the people that never bother trying to be better that end up staying the same.

Location: earlier today, the Metal Park
Mood: trying
Music: I don’t want to dream about the things that I used to be (Spotify)
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Trying to be better

The kid is in first grade

It’s weird having the kid back in school again. I feel as if no time has passed this summer but so much has.

And yet, here we are, in a new grade, with new classmates and teachers. Picking him up the first day, I met his teacher for the first time.

Me: So how did he do?
Her: Well, you obviously know how social he is. He made a lot of new friends pretty quickly.
Me: Yup, that sounds like him.

He does have some social anxiety when we first show up to anything, but I encourage him to feel whatever he feels.

Him: I’m sorry I’m scared, Papa.
Me: (shaking head) No. Don’t ever apologize for your honest feelings. You’re always entitled to your true feelings, kid, and no one – not even me – is allowed to tell you that you can or cannot feel something that you honestly feel.

This actress named Charlotte Cushman once said, To try to be better is to be better.

Suppose I tell the kid these kinda things in the hopes that he’ll try to be ok and, maybe, that will be enough to make him ok.

I just want him to be ok.


Alla that sounds very sensible but the truth is that I question my own feelings about any number of things.

And yet, I try my best to not get down on myself for feeling what I feel.

And what I don’t feel.

Her: Why?
Me: I don’t know. I just know I’m not your guy.
Her: Well, thanks for telling me, I guess. (later) I didn’t even want dessert.

It’s still a work in progress. I’m trying.

Looking back at women I’ve dated, there are at least three women that I know that married the very next guy they dated after me.

That’s just off the top of my head.

Suppose, after me, it became very clear what they did and didn’t want in their life, for better or worse.

Writing that made me laugh. Perhaps I’m just so awful that some people needed to marry the very next person to get me outta their systems.

Maybe trying to be better isn’t enough after all.

Someone just rang my doorbell from my building. He found a crowbar on the floor in the hallway and it’s pretty clear, someone was trying to break into one of the units here.

I should really move to the burbs.

Location: in my apartment building
Mood: exhausted
Music: been feeling lazy, I’ve been going crazy (Spotify)
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I was right. Yay.

What do you expect?

The boy’s been away for a bit so I could concentrate on the gym and some things I’ve let slide since the theft.

Did manage to see my buddy Jonny for dinner along with Chad. He’s a fun fella and also a partner in the gym.

That’s us at the same place that Gymgirl/Mouse took me to when she graduated and my buddies and I went to before everything went to shit.

In any case, the three of us spent the day doing manual labour. Interestingly, Jonny solved a problem that’s been vexing Chad and me for a while now; it wasn’t as thorny as the sacrifice rod, but still…vexing.

Him: See, you shoulda called me immediately, what with my greater intellect.
Me: That was our first mistake. But what do you expect? We’re Americans. Trump was our president for the last four years.

Also managed to speak to another woman I dated a while ago. She was one of the women that broke the trust covenant with me.

Her: I could never trust you again.
Me: Why is that?
Her: (shrugging) Because I would never know if you were with me because you wanted to be with me or if you wanted to get back at me.

The thing is that I knew this. In fact, I told you about this ten years ago.

It’s weird but it’s part of why I want the boy to read, because, when you read –  unlike when do things like watch TV or videos – you get layers of understanding and complexities you’d never get in a million years otherwise.

There’s this scene in The Godfather book that’s not in the film – dunno why the director kept cutting out these important scenes.

Michael kills his brother-in-law, Carlo, and his wife Kay secretly leaves him. Mike’s brother tries to stop her but she says she can’t stay because she can’t be with a man that can’t forgive.

Mike’s brother says something like, even if Michael truly, truly forgave Carlo, Carlo still “had to be killed. Because treachery can’t be forgiven. Michael could have forgiven it, but people never forgive themselves and so they would always be dangerous….[Michael] loves his sister. But he would be shirking his duty to you and his children, to his whole family, to me and my family, if he let…Carlo go free. They would have been a danger to us all, all our lives.”

And that’s when I truly  understood everything: I forgave her for what she did, but she never forgave herself and could never believe that I forgave her.

She would always think I was plotting to hurt her out of revenge.

It’s why treachery is the ninth and last circle of hell: It destroys things so utterly and completely.

In other words, I was right. Yay.

Cancer and other fucked up shit like that notwithstanding, we all live the lives we create for ourselves and each other.

And here we are.


The boy’s away and won’t be back for a few weeks. This is him in my kali class. It’s funny, but he’s reminiscent of my friend’s dog, dontcha think?

Albeit much cuter, IMHO.

Location: earlier today, being told to buy solvent from a movie star
Mood: hungry
Music: Stops counting the crimes and lays down its pride (Spotify)
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PSA: Change your Sacrifice Rods

Protect what’s valuable

Her: How do you know all these things, Logan?
Me: I don’t get out much.

Alison bailed on our first date. Dunno if I ever fully pointed that out.

So, because I was a womanizer, I literally walked out my door and went on an instant date with a grey-eyed accountant and then with the PCD.

Alison: (irritated) Because I didn’t meet you for a date, you go pick up two other women?!
Me: Technically three. But the PCD was the only one willing to let me write about her. (shrugging) If I wasn’t your fella, I wasn’t going to sit around waiting for something that was never gonna happen.
Her: My hot water tank burst!
Me: Oh. Did you – or your landlord – ever change the sacrifice rod in it?
Her: What?

Water corrodes. That’s what water does. When you have a hot water tank – and, if you live in a house, you definitely have one – that tank is made of metal.

After a few years, no matter what, some part of that metal tank will corrode to the point that the tank bursts. Unless you’ve prepared for the corrosion.

That’s why tanks on top of roofs here in NYC are almost always made of wood.

So what to do?

Well, every hot water tank has something called a sacrificial anode – aka, a sacrifice rod – whose sole purpose is to be more attractive to the electrons in water compared to the tank itself.

In other words, the purpose of the rod – which is made of a highly corrosive metal like magnesium or aluminum – is to die/corrode so that the metal of the tank will not.

From https://sharpe-ers.com.au/2017/03/hot-water-sacrificial-anodes/

Learned this while fixing my parents hot water tank years ago. But it’s useless unless you change it every 1-3 years.

I bring this up for two reasons:

    1. Life is a tragedy fulla joy. So prepare for the coming tragedies. Water corrodes, it’s what it does. Life corrodes us, it’s what it does. So I’ve spent my life separating what is valuable that I have to protect and what is not that can be discarded/sacrificed.
      • I’ll admit that I’ve never expected life to be quite this difficult and I wasn’t prepared for the things I’ve lost.
    2. The first thing I noticed about the new gym was that the hot water tank’s sacrifice rod was corroded shut in the tank. This is never a good thing. After X number of weeks – and a lotta effort by the two of us and every single workman we could ask – Chad and I finally got it out today. That’s how corroded it was. Well, more to the point, one of the Cary, Carey, Kari’s got it out for us.

Me: Honest-to-God, I’ve never seen a sacrifice rod that…gone before.
Chad: Well, it’s done. Cary said that it should be fine.
Me: God, I love that guy. One of has to sleep with him now.
Him: OK, we’ll have to figure out which one of us later.

Change. Your. Sacrifice. Rod.

And figure out what you keep in your life and what you discard.

People around you, situations, will break you down from the inside out. You cannot allow it to change the core of who you are. Things can change and corrode, but never the core of who you are.

I say this as someone who survives, even when I don’t wanna.

Location: earlier today, at Union Square, doing more manual labour
Mood: worried
Music: I needed a friend when I was at the end of myself (Spotify)
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Chasing the Dragon

I am the people

Chad’s been teaching in Brooklyn the past few months at Kings Williamsburg – great bunch of folks so if you’re in the area, you should definitely give them a go.

Pez gave the boy and me a lift there twice this week; I needed to go because it’s Chad’s last week there teaching so he can focus on getting his own gym up so that means at least a month-to-two-months of not rolling.

The fella sitting behind Chad giving the bunny ears in the main picture above is my buddy Robinson and he’s taking over the BJJ program at Williamsburg.

My son was super cute because he kept asking everyone where Mouse was.

Him: Did you see her?
Curt: Don’t worry, buddy, she’ll come.

I’ve been helping Chad with things in his gym when I can. And it’s interesting because you can see there’s a clear difference between how the wealthy look at the world and how people like me look at it.

Heiress: You’re there doing manual labor? Don’t you have people for that?
Me: Lady, I am the people.

There’s a saying called, “Chasing the Dragon,” which has multiple drug-related meanings but the one I find the most interesting is this one: The very first time someone tries a new drug, it produces this amazeballs high that they’ve never felt before.

Addicts then spend the rest of their lives trying to feel that insanely good first hit: They chase the dragon.

Now, I’ve never done any hard drugs in my life but I have been in love before and it’s the most indescribable and intoxicating feeling when it’s real.

It’s how I know the difference between love, something-a-lot-like-love and just killing time.

And when it’s gone, man, the crash is something else.

Causea that, I feel that these adventures I’ve been having lately is just me chasing the dragon. I can’t shake the feeling that something-a-lot-like-love and just killing time – but not love itself-  is in my cards.

The question is if it’s even worth the bother. Like I said, I’m le tired.

Having said that, at least I’m being entertained and some people are more entertaining than others.

After all, if you can’t have love, you might as well be entertained, yeah?

Her: I have my Hermes bike for [recreation].
Me: You have a bike…from Hermes? They make bikes?
Her: Yep.
Me: That’s wild.
Her: LOL. It’s at the beach house. If you weren’t always so busy and have the kid and took some time off you would see it!

Location: jits with The Chad in Billlyburg one last time
Mood: resigned
Music: Been steering clear of your face (Spotify)
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Stay outta the sun and be born Asian

Demolition time

My son was away for a good part of the week and weekend so I spent some of it saying hello and goodbye to a buncha people all over the place.

I’ll tell you more about that some other time. Maybe. I’m le tired.

The resta the time, worked on Chad’s new gym.

Surprisingly, or perhaps not that surprisingly, Mouse’s brother helped us out with some of the demolition that needed to be done.

And then Chad, myself, and several friends took down two walls with a crowbar and several power drills.

This is us pretending we’re in a boy band. I don’t know what I’m doing.

Afterwards, Chad wanted to bring us all out to eat.

Panda: I want all-you-can-eat.
Me: Everything is all you can eat if you spend enough money.
Hef: I’m down for Korean food.
Shawn: I’ve never actually had Korean BBQ.
Me: It’s great and keto friendly(ish) so that’ll work for me and Chad. We have a Scenic Fights shoot coming up this week.

We rolled up to Koreatown and essentially ordered five of the below. I stuffed myself silly. Think we all did.

There are worse ways than finishing the day with a cold beer and hot Korean BBQ. I should know.

Speaking of Scenic Fights, the producers are about the same age as Chad.

Him: It’s hard finding time to work out.
Me: I’m 48 with a kid, find time.
Him: If I look like you look at 48, I’d be thrilled.
Me: It’s easy – just (a) stay outta the sun and (b) be born Asian.
Him: Well, I already screwed up one of those.
Me: That was your first mistake.

I recently read that men and women age about the same until age 50 – and then women’s faces age three times faster.

Someone once commented that she thought I was a great feminist but I don’t think of myself like that at all.

Just think women get the short end of the stick with a lotta things and are still emotionally tougher than most men.

Don’t like unfair things and all that seems terribly unfair.

Location: 1PM, Union Square, with power tools and out of the sun
Mood: productive
Music: ride or die, two rebels, you and I (Spotify)
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Survival is not pretty

Ned Stark was an awful father

Ned: You want me to serve the woman who murdered my king, who butchered my men, who crippled my son?!
Varys: I want you to serve the realm! Tell the Queen you will confess your vile treason, tell your son to lay down his sword and proclaim Joffrey as the true heir! Cersei knows you as a man of honour; if you give her the peace she needs, and promise to carry her secret to your grave, I believe she will allow you to take the black and live out your days on the Wall, with your brother and your bastard son.
Ned: (laughs) You think my life is some precious thing to me? That I would trade my honour for a few more years of…of what?! You grew up with actors; you learned their craft and you learnt it well. But I grew up with soldiers. I learned how to die a long time ago.
Varys: Pity. Such a pity. (Varys moves to leave, but turns back for one last word) What of your daughter’s life, my lord? Is that a precious thing to you? (Spoiler: Ned chose his honor over his own fucking daughter, who ended up getting raped and tortured repeatedly)

Years ago, I wrote a letter to my son, telling him about our family motto, “Survive.”

I had a number of people tell me how much that entry spoke to them but, in my head, I knew they didn’t really understand what I was saying.

Because they looked at it as some noble, honorable thing, when it was the exact opposite of that.

One guy I knew thought it was such a deep entry, but we clashed years ago about – of all things – Ned on Game of Thrones.

He’s the same guy who, like most people, completely doesn’t understand what “Survival of the fittest,” means

You see, I think Ned Stark was an awful father. Let’s run through the list:

      • Robb Stark – Murdered after he executed Rickard Karstark and the Karstarks abandon his army
      • Sansa Stark – see above. She suffered until she learned to be cold and survive.
      • Arya Stark – Survives because she’s precisely the opposite of what Ned hoped her to be.
      • Bran Stark – crippled but survives because he’s 10 when Ned dies
      • Rickon Stark – Killed
      • Theon Greyjoy (ward/foster son) – Hoo-boy, you don’t wanna know
      • Jon Snow (foster son) – Survives but only because he dies first

This dude was so upset that I said Ned was a bad father – note that he’s not a father himself – that he kicked me. That was the one of the last times I ever saw him.

A grown-ass 50 year-old man kicked me over a fictional guy. Jesus Christ. That tells you everything you need to know about him and why he and his business are struggling.

But, on a deeper level, it goes to a fundamental misunderstanding of what I wrote and mean.

Survival is not – at all – pretty.

Think about what survives things: Rats, roaches, weeds.

These aren’t pretty, glorious, honorable things. These are the things that don’t care about anything but surviving.

When I killed that rat last week ago, I felt nothing. He was huge and bit the shit outta what I was using to drown him.

If the roles were reversed, there wouldn’t be a moment’s hesitation of that rat trying to end me to survive. I respected that it fought to live, but it was it or me.

Ned taught his kids honor, duty, pride, politeness, etc.

That’s all fine and good, but if it’s a choice between my honor and my kid, fuck honor every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

You want me to bend the knee so my kid is ok? Which knee do you want?

Ned died – as did his wife, and two of his kids, while the rest suffered immensely –  because he did the noble thing, rather than the right thing.

The right thing woulda been to survive, protect his family, his sons and daughters, and – as Varys noted – the people of the realm.

How many people died in his family and throughout the kingdom(s) because of his honor, whatever the fuck that means? Based on his conversation with Varys, it sounds more like his pride at work.

I survive things, even when I don’t wanna. Because I’m this kid’s guard. That’s the reason why I’m here.

My buddy and his bullshit 14 year-old ideas of parenting and honor can go pound sand.

Friend: If we go to war with China or Russia, I’m finding you.
Me: (laughing) Why ?
Him: Because, out of everyone I know, you’re the one most likely to survive.
Me: OK. First things first, we get the fuck off the island and make it to NJ. Then we head west.

Location: earlier today, W 18th Street, having a beer with an almost relative
Mood: amused
Music: I spent so many nights just thinking how you’d done me wrong (Spotify)
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Trapped in a Spider’s Web

Sometimes, you gotta say…

Him: This is what you do, Logan. You survive things.
Me: I’m tired of surviving things, man. I wanna live. I’ve been a shell of myself for the past seven years. I wanna live.
Him: You will. You’re the strongest guy I know.
Me: But I don’t want to be. I’m tired of being the strongest guy people know. I just wanna be a normal dude with a family and a boring fucking life. Why is that so much to ask?

In my life, I’ve had a number of horrors. Some turned out to be fine, like when I thought I had testicular cancer but I didn’t.

The first real horror was when a family friend stole my life’s savings at 34. Six-figures. At that moment, I thought I had hit rock bottom. Was too young to realize that there’s always more room for down.

My father dying was a horror as well. But, we all understood that he lived a good long life.

Of course, we all wished he lived longer and died more peacefully. But wishes are for children. And I stopped being a child decades ago.

Alison dying was the most horrific thing that has ever happened to me up to this point. It still gives me nightmares. It always will.

But two weeks ago, someone stole my phone number – not my phone, my phone number – and that was the start of a horror that was nowhere as near as bad as Alison and my dad dying but far worse than losing my life’s savings at 34.

So much worse. You have no fucking idea.

I’ve spent the last two weeks trying to fix everything but it felt like being trapped in a spider’s web. I could move, but I knew it was just a matter of time before the inevitable.

Just like when I was 34, it’ll be years before I return to the level I lost and I feel, some new horror is waiting for me.

The thing that kept me up the most was that I had no one to help.

While friends like Chad and Miller were constantly checking on me…

Him: I’m at the beach, homie. Just checking in.
Me: I’ve got ok moments and awful moments. I still can’t wrap my head around how much I lost. It’s mind boggling.

…it’s not the same as a partner in life.

Don’t think I’ve ever felt as alone as I have in the last two weeks. It made me realize exactly where I am in life with many things.

I guess I’ve been sleepwalking longer than I care to admit. But, if nothing else, I’m awake now.

The thing that hurt the most was that the boy had his “graduation” the week everything went down and, even though I was physically there, mentally, I missed the whole thing.

He’s been away so I’ve the time to clean up my life and this here blog. If you click a link and find it broken, it’s probably due to this thing.

(c) Associated Press

But then I read the news this morning that they’ve been finding children’s bodies in the rubble in Florida and I realized that this was nothing compared to the grief these families were dealing with.

There’s always more room for down, so I’m grateful for what I have; the friends and family I have, among other things.

Years ago, when I thought I hit rock bottom – which seems laughable in hindsight – Bryson put both of his hands on my shoulders and said, as gently and as seriously as possible, “Logan, sometimes, you just gotta say, ‘Fuck it.’ Fuck this shit, man.”

Some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten. Still is.

Fuck it. It is what it is. I survive shit. Even when I don’t wanna survive shit, I do. I eat grief every fucking day and have for the past decade. A little more won’t change shit.

That’s all I’ll say on the matter.

Back to the usual nuthin soon.

Location: home, looking for some papers and a goddamn mosquito because, of course, there’s a goddamn mosquito here
Mood: fuck it
Music: Sorry, I’m not home right now (Spotify)
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All that matters is that we can do it

Contracts, computers, and coffee

Her: Of course I remember you. How are you?
Me: Less crazy. (pause) Slightly less crazy.
Her: (laughing)

I’m doing some wild things these days, alla which I may be able to tell you in due time. There are legal and personal reasons I can’t.

It’s a bit rough, not having anyone I can share these parts of my life with. I can’t tell anyone about them. I have no reeds.

All of these new people I’ve been meeting lately are a little too new to share the kinda stuff I do.

They’re not ready to see me without my mask.

I’ve also been chatting with a few people from my past like HEI and Lviv but I can’t share with them either because that’s not the role we play in each other’s lives.

So, I keep these secrets to my lonely. After all, secrets are lonely things.

In fact, there’s really only one person that will listen and won’t put me into jeopardy, legal or otherwise.

Me: …but I’m meeting them for dinner and we’ll decide what do next.
Him: Can I come?
Me: I think you’ll find it boring.
Him: I can play with my tablet and I’ll wear my headset.
Me: Why do you even want to come if it’s boring?
Him: Because you’re my papa!

Speaking of lonely things, the loneliest people in the world are the ones that can’t accept the truth of the world, they can only accept the world as they see it.

I’ve been teaching a friend of mine a particular skill I have but he’s realizing that education is expensive. Knowledge comes at a cost.

Me: You’ll have to hide what you’re able to do now. People will be jealous and try to tear you down for seeing the world as it really is. Or they’ll call you a liar and say none of it’s true.
Him: It’s already happening. I showed my buddy what we do and he got upset. So, I just stopped bringing it up.
Me: (nodding) It’s easier to hate people than to try and understand them. I keep things to myself so I’m not hated quite as much. Now you have to do the same. (shrugging) In the end, it doesn’t matter if people believe we can do what we can do. All that matters is that we can do it. The fewer people like us there are, the better it is for people like us.

I’m making some changes in my life, I think hope for the better.

Somena once told me that the hardest part of life is figuring out how much of your past to bring with you to your future.

She was right then and’s still right now.

Location: my current apartment, surrounded by contracts, computers, and coffee
Mood: exhausted
Music: take your chances as they come (Spotify)
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Chad Vazquez BJJ

What are you?

Chad: Can I run something by you?
Me: Sure.
Him: (later) I don’t think I’m ready.
Me: (shaking head) No one’s ever ready for their lives to change. The saying isn’t, “Take your chances when you’re ready.” The saying’s, “Take your chances as they come.” This is your chance to ball. You can be a basic bitch, or you can ball.

Chad and I have a buddy, Brando, that sent Chad information on a space to take over so Chad could have his own gym. The wild thing is that Brando owns a gym himself.

That’s what an amazeballs human being he is – even though he ran his own gym, he still sent Chad information so Chad could open his own. What a class act.

In any case, Chad turned it down. But then, last week, he gave me and alla those handsome devils you see in the pic above, a buzz to meet up to see if we would help if he did eventually open his own space.

Without hesitation, we all agreed and everyone met up at my fave Chinese joint around the way with less than 48 hours notice. And these are some busy and powerful people. Why?

Miller: We all believe in you, Chad.
Me: (interjecting) Well, I’m helping him.
Chung: We all believe in you, Chad.
Me: (grumble)

Over some soup dumplings, Szechuan beef noodle soup, and beer, we banged out a jaw-dropping amount of details in just about 90 minutes.

Then I spent the rest of the weekend building out spreadsheets, writing up legal papers, and dealing with all sorts of random issues.

All of this while juggling stuff with my own building and alla these new people I’ve been meeting in the world, but that’s a story for some other time.

Chad’s helped me with a lotta things and this is my way to pay it forward with him.

Besides, this is what I think he’s meant to do.

Me: When I was kid in Queens, there was a saying I rather liked. It went: Bitch-ass motherfuckers get what they can. Hard-ass motherfuckers get what they want. I know what I am. What are you? Or, rather, what do you *want* to be?
Him: The latter.
Me: (nodding) Then take your chances as they come, brother.

It’s early yet, but you heard it here first: Chad Vazquez is gonna try and open his own gym.

The hardest thing about doing anything, is the deciding. Everything else is just details.

Maybe you’ll come by and watch Chad do his Chad thing?

I might do some stabby-slashy-stabby there whenever he he finds a place and opens but this is gonna be his little slice of the world.

I’ll keep you posted.

Location: around the way, having an Old Fashioned
Mood: so goddamn excited
Music: been working so the both of us can ball (Spotify)
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