Sunday, April 19, 2015

Dog haircut day

They won't sit still, and unlike a professional groomer I have no way to hold them down. So I have to chase them around the apartment with the electric razor like Edward Scissorhands and get a few snips in before they wriggle out of my grasp and run to another room.

We collected an entire trash bag of dog fur, and I was so proud of my grooming skills until I took them outside and saw them in the sunlight. Ethan said that Kaluha looked like she'd been mauled by a bear. I didn't do her back very evenly, so it had streaks and splotches.

The important thing is, it's done. For another three months or so.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring is finally here

went to a movie Friday night with Jen. "Insurgent"? "Divergent"? It was a Sci-Fi thriller that seemed very much like the past three Sci-Fi thrillers I've seen, whose titles I'm now blanking.

Still trying to get used to the theater at Broadway & 84th Street with the reclining seats. I do like them, but you walk in and everyone has their shoes off, and blankets, and...I feel like I'm walking into someone's family room. Just weird.

Samuel and I stayed up until 3 AM on Friday night. Jen neglected to tell us that I had to take Samuel for an informational tour at NYU on Saturday morning. We both staggered through it. It was fun to see the dorm where I ate my meals. I hadn't been inside since 1984, when it looked like a regular dorm cafeteria. Now it looks like a gourmet market.

Today was the perfect day for running in the park--mid-60s and sunshine. The playground was full of kids. Runners and bikes everywhere.

I felt good. Not too fast. I'm going to ease my way into spring without pulling any muscles. Best running day of 2015 so far.

I celebrated by having a cheeseburger and milkshake from brgr for dinner.

Spring is finally here.

Monday, April 6, 2015

I thought nothing exciting happened this weekend

Then I remembered, oh, yeah, the karaoke club.

Friday night we were invited to celebrate an old friend's birthday at a karaoke club. It was on 35th Street, up a dingy flight of stairs that could just as easily have led to a massage parlor. As we trudged up the stairs the thought actually occurred to me, "Is 'karaoke club' a euphemism? Should we make a run for it?"

Inside were a series of private rooms, and inside each room was a group of people singing karaoke at the tops of their lungs.

Our room looked like the inside of a Winnebago.

A waitress brought us drinks, and we proceeded to thumb through a phonebook-sized catalog of karaoke songs, which then played on a large, electronic karaoke machine that looked like a prop from "Spinal Tap."

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it was very high-tech in 1991.

Was it fun?

Yeah, it was nice to be with old friends.

Samuel and Ethan were pleased that we allowed them to play a song by Cee Lo Green containing the F word. Jennifer was pleased that she got to sing a duet of "Barracuda."

And I don't think it's bragging to say that the highlight of the evening was my rendition of "Folsom Prison Blues," which broke the long monotony of Katy Perry and Pink songs.

Yeah, it was fun.

Would I do it again?

You know...probably not this year.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

More Ninja Grandma

This was my fourth straight book-reading weekend--this time at McNally Jackson Bookstore in SoHo, a block away from the Dean & Deluca where Felicity worked. If you know what that means you're a child of the '90s. 


I hate making little kids sit still, because God knows I can't, so at the end of the reading I asked if anyone knew any ninja moves. A little boy raised his hand and said he wanted to do a ninja flip. I said, "Really? An actual flip?" He said, "Uh-huh." So I helped him do a slow-motion flip, to the delight of the audience.

At which point a little girl raised her hand--she also wanted to do a ninja flip. So we did. Then several other kids raised their hands. At which point I had to cut it off for fear of increasing the book store's insurance premiums.

I'm guessing Jamie Lee Curtis and Julie Andrews don't have interactive ninja flipping at their book readings.

Later Jen and I went out for dinner and stopped by B&N for coffee and dessert (and secretly to see if my book was out on the New Releases table or hidden spine-out in the A-Z shelves).

Okay--on the table. Good. Not flagged as a Top Pick, but, you know, let's not get greedy. I graciously accept my plot of table real estate with my neighbors, Rex Finds an Egg! Egg! Egg! and Cat & Bunny. We are small but happy cogs in the competitive ecosystem known as children's books.

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Ethan got accepted off the wait list to his first-choice high school. It's called Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School--LREI for short. It's private.

Ethan also got accepted to his first-choice public high school.

So Jen and I had a conversation about it. Should he get a perfectly good education for free? Or should we go further into debt for the next four years so that Ethan can go to his dream school? And what about college for Samuel in a year-and-a-half? What about college for Ethan in four years?

Our conversation went like this:

"He really loves LREI."

"I know."



Jennifer anchors me to Earth. If not for Jennifer, I would have ten kids and six dogs and be three times bankrupt. She has been a stabilizing force for me. In return, I have been a de-stabilizing force for her. This has proven to be very good for both of us.

I'm a big believer in logic and reason, but I'm an even bigger believer in heart, because life is short, dammit, and if you wait for everything to make sense, you'll find yourself at the end of the road having never taken a chance, never having your heart broken, never having done something impulsive and crazy that later you either say, "Damn, that was stupid," or, "Damn, I'm glad I did that."

So Ethan's going to LREI. And that's just that.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Weekend in New Jersey

I could probably write a good Barry Manilow parody with that title, but no one under 50 would get it.

We did spend the weekend in New Jersey, and it was a nice mini-vacation.

I had a Saturday morning book reading at Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, a great little book store in a great little town. About a dozen kids showed up, including an enthusiastic 4-year-old boy with a Spider-man sweatshirt who luckily was also into ninjas.

Two little girls who used to go to Ethan's school also came. After the reading we went to their house for a snowball fight and snowman building while Ethan played games on his phone and ignored us. Samuel and I are over-sized kids. Ethan? He's a teenager; he has out-matured us both and is simply biding his time until college.

In fact, when we got back to the hotel and went to the pool, Ethan waded in halfway, then said, "You know, swimming pools were more exciting before smartphones were invented."

But we got to spend some quality time together, have a sushi dinner last night, sleep late this morning, and have brunch at a real Jersey diner before heading back home to Manhattan in time for a Sunday afternoon run.