Sunday, July 26, 2015

Picnic in the park


I'm glad one of our friends suggested it; otherwise the highlight of my Sunday would've been doing six loads of laundry and taking a cardboard box down to the basement that the cat peed in.

It's nice to see faces of friends. You take them for granted--I do. It's nice to be outside in the sunshine, at the Turtle Pond, in Central Park, in New York City, on a summer Sunday afternoon, surrounded by people playing Frisbee and softball and having picnics and hanging out.

I took the dogs around to visit the babies and toddlers who wanted to pet them. We met a 9-month-old who started crawling toward us the moment she saw us. Her mom said it was the first time she'd ever petted a dog.

We said goodbye and moved on. Then, twenty feet away, I looked back, and the baby was trying to crawl after us. We went back, of course.

Monday, July 20, 2015

"Can we go home now?"


This is just Ethan's shtick for photos, you understand. 

He really loves hanging out at the beach with his middle-aged parents.

Samuel is the obedient son. He'd rather be home too, but he pretends to like being with us. He will get the inheritance.

Our weekend planning goes like this: 

Jen: I'd really like to do something this weekend. It's going to be hot and sunny.

Todd: We can't torture them with Hurricane Harbor again.

Jen: I'd like to go overnight somewhere. But they won't want to be gone that long. 

Todd: We could do a short day trip to a beach.

Jen: Where's the closest one?

We spent a total of 90 minutes at Jones Beach. Jen and I had fun.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Hammerstein: the forgotten existential years


[Scene: Living room of Oscar Hammerstein. He stares out the window, an empty glass and overflowing ashtray on the piano next to him. Richard Rogers enters.]

Rogers: Hey, Buddy, how are the lyrics coming?

Hammerstein: You mean to the Nazi Nun?

Rogers: We're going to call it "The Sound of Music," remember?

Hammerstein: Right. An uplifting musical about death and fascism.

Rogers: It's about good overcoming evil.

Hammerstein: Whatever.

Rogers: What did you think of the music for the Do-Re-Mi song? Did you start on the lyrics yet?

Hammerstein: Yeah, I'm done.

Rogers: Really? You've been so depressed lately.

[They sit at the piano.]

Hammerstein: Dough...a pile...of cold hard cash. Ray...a gun that shoots you dead. Me...the only thing I love. Fatawa, a bullet to your head.

Rogers: Fatwa? I don't even know what that--

Hammerstein: --I don't quite have the metric there yet.

Rogers: ...It's awfully cynical.

Hammerstein: It's set in Nazi Austria.

Rogers: Listen, I thought we discussed this. No more Nietzsche. Not even Camus. It just puts you in this weird funk.

Hammerstein: The next part is lighter.

Rogers: Okay, go ahead.

Hammerstein: So...a word that means who cares? La...the start of la-ti-da. Tee...a shirt my grandpa wears. Back to Doh and blah, blah, blah.

Rogers: Get your swimsuit. I'm taking you to a water park.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Trump is what??


I was surprised to learn today that Donald Trump is running second in the field of Republican presidential nominees. Partisan politics aside, I assumed everyone else in America also considered him a--what's the term? Bombastic doofus.

Apparently I've spent too much time in my Upper West Side cocoon.

A look at the entire field:



#1 Bush (17%): Name makes juvenile males laugh.

#2 Trump (10.8%): Played Biff in "Back to the Future" trilogy.

#3 Walker (9.4%): Named after a geriatric device.

#4 Rubio (7.8%): The offspring of Rubik's Cube and Polio.

#5 Carson (7.6%): He was a neurosurgeon, so becoming President was a natural next...wait...what?



#6 Huckabee (6.8%): Dim-witted but beloved farmhand on Green Acres.

#7 Paul (6.6%): Former Beatle.



#8 Cruz (5.2%): Only candidate that gives Trump a run for his money as world's biggest windbag.

#9 Christie (2.8%): Oops, I take back what I said about Cruz. Bonus: has girl's name.

#10 Perry (2.8%): Former lead singer of Journey.

#11 Santorum (1.8%): If presidential bid doesn't work out, can start really cool heavy-metal band.

#12 Fiorina (1.6%): Failed CEO, followed by failed Senate candidate. Going for the Triple Crown.

#13 Jindal (1.4%): Played Kenneth the page in Bollywood production of "30 Rock."



Monday, July 13, 2015

Hurricane Harbor is still there


While the rest of the world grapples with the Greek economic crisis, which terrorist group currently controls the Middle East, and the future of the Miss Universe pageant, it's left to me to address more urgent questions like:
  1. Have we been to a water park yet this summer?
  2. Do we still like to go Six Flags Hurricane Harbor?
  3. Do they still have that stupid Welch's Grape Fruit Snacks logo plastered all over their wave pool?
  4. Who is the girl on the left in that photo and what happened to Ethan? Did he do a Caitlyn Jenner thing?
  5. How does Six Flags Hurricane Harbor reflect the broader state of American culture, and how does that make me feel?
My answers:

  1. Yes. We finally managed to visit a water park this summer.
  2. Yes. We have season passes to Six Flags this year. Last year it was Camelbeach, and we Tarpleys like variety.
  3. Yes. They've added two more, as if Welch's said, "You know, the outdoor sponsorship isn't working for us," and the VP Biz Dev at Six Flags said, "Wait--we'll throw in more giant logos!"
  4. That's Elyse, who filled in for Ethan, who now hates water parks due to over-exposure as a child.
  5. I'd say it's a pretty good representation of American culture. Unlike in Greece, my credit card worked. Unlike in the Middle East, nobody got blown up for wearing a bikini. I can live with a few Welch's logos.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The weekend


We rented the only car left in the tri-state area (in Hoboken) and booked a room at the nicest available hotel with an indoor/outdoor pool (Doral Arrowwood in Westchester). Forecast said possible rain, so I wanted to cover our bases.

Good call. Nothing like cool water on your body on a summer day. Lots of little kids with water wings.

Saturday night fireworks in Ridgefield, Connecticut. If I didn't live in NYC I might live in Ridgefield. Quintessential Connecticut town: 4-block Main Street, historic homes, low stone walls lining the roads, and lots of little kids. 


It occurs to me that we didn't take a single picture the entire weekend, which is why my Ridgefield fireworks pic is from 2012. (I have no idea who these people are, but I condone sparklers and ice cream.)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Hand-me-downs


I'm very excited. These shoes are my first hand-me-downs since probably 1977, when I got my brother's velour shirts or flare-leg jeans or something.

They were Ethan's shoes, and he got new ones, but instead of throwing the old ones out, he just left them in the foyer. I noticed them one night last week when I was taking the dogs out. I've been wearing them every day since.

Yesterday the doorman said, "Hey, nice shoes. Are those Van's?"

I said, "I have no idea. I don't know what Van's are." (It turns out they are.) So apparently I'm making a fashion statement in addition to getting free shoes.

Last night it was raining lightly, and I noticed my right heel was wet. Then I realized why Ethan got new ones--there's a small hole in the right heel. So I may retire these sooner rather than later.

But there's something comforting about wearing them. I think it's my psychological way of not letting go of Ethan.