Rosalita

My definition of success

For someone that doesn’t like to be social, lately, I’ve been more social than I intended.

Her: I can stop by with some wine.
Me: I’m not a wine drinker.
Her: But I am. Keep me company.

The gym’s been closed for the past few days to do some construction but on the last day we were open, my buddy Miller and I grabbed a cup of joe afterward.

Me: I think I have PTSD from everything that went down.
Him: (laughing) Dude, you’re the poster child for PTSD.

He told me I should try meditating to try to deal with the insomnia and intrusive thoughts.

It’s hard to quiet my racing mind but I did it because I promised I would, and I always keep my promises.

Besides, it was nice that he cared. Can’t say it was life-changing but I’ll try to keep it up.

Afterward, had dinner with a new friend.

That weekend, met up with a buddy of mine in Chinatown with our kids. We were playing phone tag for a while so it was good we finally got together.

He’s about six-foot-three so his kid, despite being a year younger than mine, was exactly the same height.

Him: What did you expect? You’re not gonna raise a basketball player.
Me: How dare you!

Brought everyone to the same Cantonese BBQ place that Chad and I go to before our Scenic Fights shoots. As always, I thought I ordered too much, but we ended up killing everything.

Him: I’m in contract for a condo on the UES. $3.2 million, plus I gotta cover all the transfer taxes and both attorneys.
Me: Jesus Christ, that’s a lotta scratch. And that was fast too.
Him: (laughing) Been looking for over a decade, figured it was time to just do it. It’s pushing our budget but it had to be done. There are only 80 units in the whole building and they were selling out fast. Oh, they have a pool so you two should come by.
Me: You’ll regret saying that.

Afterward, we brought the kids to get some dessert. It was nice that they got along so well.

We then headed out to see my mom. This is my son running down a hill to see her.

It was sweet.

While he hung out with his cousins, I met up with another buddy of mine who just got a new whip.

Him: I totally overpaid. For what I paid for this, I coulda gotten a BMW last year. Damn supply-chain issues.
Me: Had I known it’d be like this, I woulda kept my ride instead of giving it away.

He was in a mood because his girl’s dad didn’t approve of him because he wasn’t born into wealth, even though he had a great job and loved the dude’s daughter.

I told him about Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) by Bruce Springsteen. The song tells a story about a fella that loves a girl but the family hates him because he’s a musician.

In it, Springsteen sings these, somewhat arrogant but, great lines that go:

I want to be your man
Someday we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny
But now you’re sad, your mama’s mad
And your papa says he knows that I don’t (have any money)
Whoa, your papa says he knows (that I don’t have any money)
Well, tell him this is his last chance to get his daughter in a fine romance
Because the record company, Rosie, just gave me a big advance.

Me: What can you do but live your best life? Years ago, I uploaded this to YouTube because Alison and I talked about what being a success meant. (played the above video for him) That’s pretty much the only thing I’ve ever uploaded to YouTube prior to Scenic Fights. But that’s my definition right there.
Him: I’m not there yet.
Me: You will be. The best revenge is to have a successful, happy life. With his daughter.

Afterward, he drove me back to the kid and my family, but not before I grabbed Burger King for the kids.

I ordered so much food that they needed four people to put it together.

There’s a lot more to that story but nothing you’d be interested in hearing.

The kid was pooped by the time we went home.

Him: Can we do all that again?
Me: Sure. Be the type of person that people want to hang out with, and you’ll always have people asking you to do just that.
Him: (sleepily) OK, papa.

Location: having coffee and tea overlooking Central Park with Vazquez and Crowley at 3PM on a Tuesday afternoon
Mood: busy
Music: Now, I know your mama, she don’t like me (Spotify)
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

Whatever, whenever

No dental, but we’re working on it

We had another all-day shoot for Scenic Fights the other day.

Pez showed up at my pad mad early to help watch the kiddo. The morning was an unmitigated disaster because I left TWO of the shirts we needed for the shoot at the gym. So the three of us piled into a cab heading to Paxibellum.

The cabbie forgot to switch on the meter and started cursing.

I was gonna say something but the kid was there so I just handed the driver $15 and he shut up. Then he drove us down to see Chad at a diner local to him.

Me: (to son) What do you want?
Him: Pancakes!
Me: Big surprise there.
Chad: What are you getting, Logan?
Me: (shrugging) Chili, what else?
Chad: For breakfast?! You’re gonna be running to the bathroom.
Me: Nah, I’m a man. (laughing) Seriously, though. I remember my mom telling me as a kid that she thought it was odd that Americans have food that they only eat at certain times. We grew up eating whatever, whenever.

The shoot itself went pretty well. Hopefully, you’ll see the fruits of that coming up later.

We actually got a sponsor so Chad and I shot our first commercial, which you’ll see in the next few months.

Me: We’re selling out! This is everything our forefathers dreamed of!
Him: (laughing) We need to sell out more.
Me: Yeah, we’re not in this for the mental masturbation, man.

Our Punisher breakdown just came out and – in 12 hours – we hit 10,000 views and 320 comments. Not too shabby.

I rarely put up – in fact, I don’t think I ever have – a picture of myself as the main pic but I liked how this one looks so I figured, eh, screw it.

Her: So, what do you do?
Me: Violence, darling.
Her: (laughing) How’s that?
Me: No dental but we’re working on it.

Location: home all day, doing physical therapy
Mood: back-and-forth
Music: My heart is broken and broken and broken and broken (Spotify)
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

A night on the Virgin Revvel

Alesya Yelisow Alesya Yelisowa

Not the wurst night

RE Mike invited me out to a party on a ship – which is vastly different from a party on a boat – and comped me two extra tix.

I’d always thought that my SIL and Mouse would get along so I invited both of them expecting that one, or both, would demur. Surprisingly, they both said yes and the three of us had a great night.

We were supposed to link up with RE Mike and my buddy from around the way but we only saw them briefly because (a) we got there much earlier than them and (b) there was some scheduling issues.

It was the first time we were hanging out since April of 2019.

But it ended up being fine. We headed first to the restaurant.

Her: We should leave a tip.
Me: It’s all taken care of.
Her: We don’t leave a tip?!
Me: It’s all taken care of. Trust me on this.

Again, I don’t think I ever taken out my wallet a single time for anything that RE Mike’s ever invited me in all these years.

RE Mike and our buddy around the way both showed up to say hi during dinner and they accidentally took my jacket, which led to me hunting them down all night – a harder task when there’s an open bar involved.

Speaking of which, afterward we went to the bar…

…then a club…

…then a show…

…then more bars…

…before ending the night at a diner on the ship.

Her: God, that was the worst sausage ever.
Me: It was definitely the wurst. (no one thought that was funny, but I still entertain myself, no end)

I was thrilled to hang out with both my SIL and Mouse at the same time. It made me think of all my possible pasts – for better or worse – all night.

Told Mouse to be herself that night because of her last entry in her blog.

Always hated when people were cruel to Mouse, although I’m sure she’ll point out that we were cruel to each other.

The last face she makes in the video below is essentially how she looks at me whenever we’re fighting.

Later on at home that night, I had a dream. In it, a woman that I didn’t know called me and told me that an old friend of mine was looking for me.

Me: Why doesn’t he call me himself?
Her: You know him. He said you’d understand and that he needed your help.
Me: (thinking) No, he didn’t.
Her: What do you mean?
Me: Because, he would never say that. Demons in the night know their own.

Location: my childhood home for dinner
Mood: confused
Music: Wasting time and stuck inside a broken dream (Spotify)
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

Not a great 48 hours of parenting

Winter is here

It’s not been a great 48 hours of parenting around these parts.

The snowstorm – and the lack of scaffolding – meant that I was constantly shoveling and adjusting the boiler so that my tenants didn’t freeze or boil. And ensure that the boiler didn’t explode.

But this was the first snow that the boy and I were sharing together, in a meaningful way, so I wanted to go out and enjoy it with him. Luckily, Cappy and his wife dropped off this great snow outfit for him so we could brave the snow. Once we got to the park, however, I realized that we didn’t have a sled and most/all the other kids did.

Him: Do we have a sled?
Me: I’m sorry, kiddo. I totally forgot to get one.
Him: Oh. (sadly) That’s ok. Maybe you can buy one?
Me: I’ll do that as soon as we get home.

Gotta tell you, that ripped me up. He just sat and stared at all the other kids having fun. And I felt like shit.

Tried my best to keep him happy and made him some hot chocolate when we got back, which he enjoyed. Then I called up every store around me trying to get a sled. They were all sold out. So, I bought one via Amazon but the earliest it would arrive was Saturday.

Him: Will the snow be gone by then?
Me: I’m not sure.
Him: Hopefully not.
Me: Yes. Hopefully not.

It was a pretty sleepless night.

The ABFF, though, randomly called me the next day to tell me that she was going out to the park and that she had an innertube.

So my sitter took him so I could catch up on some work and I went to pick him up after dinner.

Him: I was on a sled for the first time today! It’s so much fun!
Me: I bet it was!

While the kids all played, I caught up with the ABFF and her sister.

ABFF: What’s up with you and Mouse?
Me: That’s a whole story right there.
Her: Well, she’s great. You two should figure something out.

It was late when we finally left.

Him: I wish I could stay there. At home, it’s just you and me.
Me: (coughing) I’m sorry it’s just me.
Him: I wish there was someone else.
Me: Someday, maybe?
Him: (sighing) It’s just the two of us. I wish mommy was here.
Me: This is our stop. Let’s go.

Broke my intermittent fasting when I put the kid down and picked up a drink or three.

Like I said, it’s not been a great 48 hours of parenting around these parts.

I don’t want him to be a sad kid. It’s the last thing Alison woulda wanted. Then again, neither of us wanted any of this.

Location: home
Mood: less than ideal
Music: In life, there is lots of grief (Spotify)

Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs

That was REALLY unexpected

Moments of passion

Me: What are you gonna do when I have hot female fans?
Her: What do you mean, “start?”
Me: (laughing) I’ll take the compliment and the one you gave yourself.

In my last entry, I wrote, “By the time you read this entry, I should have 100,000 views on that video,” referring to the video below.

That was five days ago. It was released on September 7, 2019 and I wrote that entry on September 3, 2020, so it took 361 days to hit 100,000 views.

As of today, September 8th, 2020, it hit over half a million – 539,240 views as of this exact moment I’m writing this. That means it somehow got 439,240 additional views in five days.

That’s insane. I honestly don’t have any rhyme or reason for it, but you know me, I’ll take any weekday win I can get.

On a much more mundane note, I spent a good part of Labor Day weekend working but Mouse stayed over for part of it.

I swear my memory is getting worse and worse these days.

Case in point, I tossed a book off the sofa to the floor so she had a place to sit.  No more than 10 minutes later, I asked her if she saw it.

Mouse: It was cast aside in a moment of passion!
Me: What? Really?
Her: No. Are you serious? It’s right there.
Me: Jeez, what is wrong with me?!

While she was here, she asked me for some legal advice, so I gave her my honest opinion.

Her: Oh, you get a kiss for that.
Me: Man, law school was totally worth it.

Actually, we were both pretty busy with work and personal matters but we did manage to head downtown via the Hudson River Greenway again.

Coincidentally, we ended up riding right past Lviv’s place.

Besides that excursion, we didn’t really do much else, although I did cook a ton because she’s been on this new diet for her health.

She’d never seen The Amazing Race so we randomly picked a season and started watching it.

She got really into it, which I expected, since she’s such an adrenaline junkie, which isn’t my thing at all.

I suppose that’s a major reason why we broke up in the first place.

Well, that and things like this conversation.

Her: Whenever I see white suburban moms, I think of you.
Me: I would be offended if that weren’t accurate.

Podcast Version
Location: in front of my computer from dawn to dusk
Mood: busy
Music: I’m such a stalker, a watcher, a psychopath (Spotify)
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs

Weapons invite death

A Faustian bargain

Weapons and grappling are two, very different, forms of violence.

The former is binary – I will die and/or sustain grave bodily injury, or you will die and/or sustain grave bodily injury. There’s no middle ground. It’s useful as a force multiplier in situations like multiple attackers or similarly armed assailants.

The latter, however, has an n-ary relationship, whereby I can control the level of lethality from simple control all the way to death. It is my option. As with weapons work, grappling is also a force multiplier but it’s less useful against armed and/or multiple assailants.

When the police are not allowed to use the latter, their only option is the former. This means going from an n-ary relationship to a binary one of life or death/grave bodily injury. Again, there is no middle ground.

This is because weapons invite death. That is the nature of a weapon.

Mr. Floyd’s murder is a horrific one and one where the murderer deserves the most extreme punishment; at best, he showed a depraved heart, at worst, he’s just a piece of shit. But note that Mr. Floyd is dead precisely because of the option of death; the murderer chose to kill a man.

Just like you could kill someone with a fork, a fork serves many other useful purposes beyond murder – in fact, a fork is a sub-optimal means of killing someone, just as grappling is a sub-optimal means of killing someone. A gun or knife does that far more quickly and efficiently.

Note that, the particular movement used by the murderer – knee on neck – is one I’ve never done and would never do. I’ve never seen it done in real life. I’ve never had it done to me. It’s because it’s not the best tool for the job of restraint.

But to throw out the entirety of the latter – pin controls and restraints – means that the only option NYC is giving the police is the former.

This is Faustian bargain on its face; the very people the law Mayor DeBlasio is claiming to help will be the ones that will have to deal with the consequences of the police having less-lethal options to do their job.

Podcast Version
Location: home, waiting for a plumber
Mood: puzzled
Music: I don’t usually give in to peer pressure (Spotify)
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

Grief can be fatal

The boy’s first picture

If there was a single moment that captured everything about my cleaning out Alison’s closet, it was when I found her Filofax, opened it, and something fluttered out.

For those of you that didn’t know her personally, this was a rarity. Because she was the single most organized and clean person I knew. Nothing fluttered out of anything when she was here because she always put everything away where it belonged.

But what fluttered out was a sonogram of the boy. Our first picture of him.

I remember walking into the room one day and catching her staring at it with a look of such love. Realize now that she musta taken out that sonogram a million times to just stare at her son.

Several friends and acquaintances have recently had babies. While I’m thrilled for them, it reminds me how much we’ve lost.

And I don’t think anyone except a mother could truly understand what must have gone through her mind when she was told she had cancer and would die.

Do you know the very first fucking thing she said to me was? Not about herself or even the cancer. It was,

I won’t see him grow up?

She cried for 24 hours straight after that. I didn’t think a body could cry so much. It was only five days after he was born. Fuck all.

Goddammit. Just typing that hit the pain button full-on and I’m trying not to be a basketcase.

So I put away the photo and try to not think about my most aching possible past.


Just watch the first four minutes. It’s worth it.

I’m putting stuff away cause, unchecked, grief can definitely be fatal. If not for Mouse and the boy, I wouldn’t be here.

In the past 45 days or so, a number of people that have been experiencing grief have reached out to me, exactly as I did to Leigh’s husband when Alison died. And like him, I’ve been trying to help as much as I can.

It’s hard. Cause I gotta dredge up things I’d rather not. But people like Leigh’s husband did that for me so I gotta do my part.

The thing is, you don’t know true grief until you feel it yourself.

And, while I wish you wouldn’t, you will, cause there’s nuthin you love that you won’t lose someday.

If you’re lucky, your grief will only be a small fraction of mine, which – trust me – is a blessing.

In fact one fella I spoke to whose wife died of cancer and left him with two boys told me, “Wow, I wouldn’t think it possible that someone had it worse; but you two’ve had it worse. I’m sorry.”

It’s a shitty achievement we’ve unlocked and one that I wished we didn’t, but, then again, I wish for a lotta things.

In any case, whenever I speak to someone about their grief, I’m reminded of the kid that said that I shoulda moved on after a year. As the video notes, you never move on; you move forward.

Evilly, I used to wish that she’d feel my grief for herself – like I said, I’m not a good person – but I was different then.

Now I just feel pity for her cause she’s just a dumb kid that’s never dealt with it. For better or worse, she will feel it one day, and I don’t think she’s equipped to deal with it.

I barely was. I barely am.

Now, I did promise Alison that I’d be here to take care of her son.

I didn’t mean it then. But I do now. I do. Really. Although there are moments that take your breath away, and not in the good way.

Me: Goodnight, kiddo.
Boy: Mommy’s sick.
Me: What?
Him: She’s sick. She died. She won’t get better.
Me: (dumbstruck)
Him: I love mommy. But she died.
Me: (fuck me) Get some sleep.


As I was writing this, one of the two people I still mentor called me to tell me that he’s worried about cancer with his aunt that raised him.

Man, it really is the emperor of all maladies.

Location: Earlier today, midtown, wishing I had an electric scooter
Mood: thoughtful
Music: in your shirt, the pain it really hurts

Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs

A Flying Fisherman in an Aviary in NYC

Nice Surprises


Don’t like surprises. Mine are generally of the type no one wants.

I like knowing things, so surprises are anathema to everything that I’m about.

My birthday’s next week so the Gymgirl decided that the best way to surprise me for it was to take me out beforehand. Way beforehand.

She first told me that she was going to take the boy and me out to eat and that she had two places picked out or I could choose.

Since she and I are still on a diet – and I’m super lazy – I told her I wanted to stay local, so we went to The Flying Fisherman around the way.

I ordered fish and chips just because I felt like carbing it up; the boy was only interested in the fries and, even then, only as a vehicle for the tub of ketchup they gave us.

Me: You can’t just eat ketchup!
Him: (eating just the ketchup) Why not?
Me: Because it’s pure sugar.
Him: But I like it.
Me: (sigh)

It was a nice night and we went back to my place to get the boy ready for bed. But just as we were putting him down, the doorbell rang. I went to get it and was surprised to see my babysitter at the door.

Me: (to her) What are you doing here?
The Gymgirl: (from behind) Surprise! Get dressed, quick! (the sitter laughs)

It turns out that she got us a table at The Aviary at the Mandarin Oriental. So off we went.

Me: You already did enough! This is too much.
Her: I like doing stuff for you.

We ended up having several different types of drinks, including one that looked like a bomb and tasted amazing.

Me: You know, my cousin designed this hotel.
Her: I’m not surprised. (laughs) The people you know…

She slipped the waiter her credit card when I wasn’t looking.

We were actually there over two hours and just talked. And then we walked home. It was my ideal type of evening.

Me: (arriving home) Oh, we forgot to use our headphones to listen to music on the way back.
Her: It’s fine. I liked the conversation.
Me: Thanks for everything tonight, it was perfect.
Her: (beaming) Great! I’m glad. I had a good time too.

Location: 10PM the other day, The Mandarin Oriental
Mood: relaxed
Music: It’s gotta drive you crazy, how you keep it all inside
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

Non-Starters

That was the plan

Burgers and Fries at Pier I in NYC

Scene: At gym.
Me: (to Pez) You know, you’re the same age as a girl I’m hanging out with.
Chuck: (overhears in distance, laughs) “Hanging out with?” Yeah, you two are going to lectures and coffee.
Me: (to Chuck) We do – we discuss Nietzsche!
Chuck: (walking away) Suuuure.
Me: (whispering to Pez) We don’t discuss Nietzche
Pez: (laughs)

Daisy exited my Venn Diagram, recently.

Been living in the same building for close to 20 years. I’m pretty good friends with the neighboring doormen.

One of them is hinting I should marry one of the female friends/other that swing by the pad. It just makes me laugh.

Larry: Raising a kid, you need a man and woman. You loved Alison, I know. But this doesn’t have to be for love. Think of your son.

I married Alison because we looked at the world the same way. Don’t think I’ll ever find someone that looks at it quite the same way I do again.

Don’t believe in many social constructs but I do believe in marriage.

Both Daisy and Gradgirl do not, which makes them non-starters for me, among other things. Of course, I’m a non-starter for everyone.

Me: I am thinking of my son. I want him to know that if I can survive this, he can survive anything. I’m ok with being by my lonesome. And you’ve known me a long time – if I need company, I’ll find company.
Larry: You’re a father now. It’s not the same anymore, Logan.
Me: Yes. But these are the cards I was dealt, so I play them.

Daisy: Do you imagine if things were different? If I were different?
Me: I always wish everything were different. Everything but the boy.
Her: With us, I mean.
Me: (gently) There is no us, Daisy. None of this is actually real. You’re just getting over something as am I, to different degrees. I don’t want you to be someone that you’re not. That never works out. People shouldn’t have to change themselves to fit into someone else’s world.

Her: He wants to meet up again. (pause) Do you think I should go?
Me: (nodding) That was the plan, right? I was always only supposed to be just a distraction.
Her: Yes. (pause) That was the plan.

Haven’t seen her since. Maybe he’s her person and she, his. We should all be lucky enough to find our person.


Me: So it’s just you and me now. (pause) Are you ok with that? (grinning) You won’t be worried I’ll fall madly in love with you?
Gradgirl: No. I know you’re not available to me. Not like that.
Me: Well, strictly speaking, I’m not available to anyone.
Her: (laughs) I might fall for you, Logan.
Me: This is true. You’ll let me know if it happens? I’ll do the same.
Her: Don’t worry. (thinking) I could never love someone that wasn’t in love with me.
Me: (nodding) That’s how it’s supposed to be.

These are the cards we were dealt. So we play them.

Me: Morning, kid! Ready for the day?!
Son: (yawns, stretches, smiles)
Me: God, I love that face. C’mere you…

Location: with my son in my empty apartment
Mood: wondering
Music: Oh, uh oh, you’re changing your heart

Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs

Logan Music: Ghost of Goodbye

She used to pick out my shirts

Logan and Alison out to dinner

Spend my nights writing, sipping rum, listening to songs that make me cry, and looking through old pictures.

I’ve become such a cliche.

The writing is random, the pictures like the one above and the songs are like She’s Gone covered by the Bird and the Bee, Everyday is a Holiday, and Her Diamonds.

Probably not the healthiest thing to be doing right now but it is what it is.

The song I’ve been listening to the most these days is Ghost of Goodbye, by Ford Turrell, which is about right except I drink rum not whiskey, unless it’s an Old Fashioned.

But yeah, otherwise, it’s about right.

Alison always loved when I wore a simple, pressed, white shirt.

Rings on the table
From the sweat off my glass
Like the trace of a memory
Stained into the past

Whiskey and water
Burns the back of my throat
For a minute it lets me
Let it all go

CHORUS:
Can’t leave it behind me
It haunts my mind
When I try to fall asleep
It’s laying right by my side
There’s no place to hide
From the ghost of goodbye

Grey like morning
Clouds filled with rain
Like everything’s waiting
For something to change

I sip some more coffee
And get dressed for work
Remember when you used
To pick out my shirts

Location: home, alone
Mood: struggling still
Music: There’s no place to hide from the ghost of goodbye

Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs