Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Older Men Face Risk of Fathering Abnormal Children

From the NY Times.

Mounting evidence suggests that as men get older, they face an increased risk of fathering children with abnormalities.

Dismissing the findings, 44-year-old father Todd Tarpley argued that there was absolutely no evidence to support this claim.

Sorority Evictions Raise Issue of Looks and Bias

From today's NY Times.

When a DePauw University poll described the sisters of Delta Gamma as "socially awkward," the sorority responded by jettisoning half of its members.

Wouldn't it be funny if the survey itself was a prank, carried out by a rival sorority?

"They got us again," lamented Delta Gamma president Fawn Lieberwitz. "I guess we sort of over-reacted."

"Like, can you say 'losers'?" laughed Kappa Kappa Gamma president Jenny White (above, center, demonstrating sorority arms-at-sides running technique).

(Pictured above: Kappa Kappa Gamma members flee the Delta Gamma house after an earlier prank in which honey was slathered on the toes of sleeping members and a St. Bernard was unleashed.)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

My Embarrassing Book Story

As I was going out for a run yesterday I saw my neighbor, Lucia Monfried, who is also a children's book editor. She knows I write kids stories, and she recommended a new book called "Clementine." It's from the point of view of an 8-year-old trouble-maker. A female Ethan.

I picked up a copy at Barnes & Noble yesterday evening.

Meanwhile, Samuel had a sleepover last night with his friend, Leah, at our apartment. (Ethan was having a sleepover with Leah's little brother, Aaron, at their apartment.)

Leah's dad picked her up this morning. About an hour later, as Jennifer was leaving to pick up Ethan, she saw "Clementine" sitting on the sofa. She assumed it was Leah's. She promptly "returned" it to Leah's mom.

So now I have to call Leah's mom and tell her that "Clementine" is actually my book. And try to explain why I read books for 8-year-old girls, while she thinks to herself, "I will never let Leah have another sleepover at the Tarpleys'."

P.S. The book is good.

Monday, February 19, 2007

How to Spend a 3-Day Weekend

Day 1: Take kids to see a movie. In our case, "Bridge to Terabithia," a medicore tearjerker that I thought my kids would be bawling their eyes out over. But since I'm unable to not cry at any movie in which a kid dies, I was the only one who shed any tears. Samuel gave it a thumbs up and wants to see it again. Ethan enjoyed the popcorn.

Day 2: Chinese New Year celebration in Chinatown. We tried to make it in time to see advertised fireworks, but arrived 15 minutes late and could tell from the reverse flow of the crowd that we'd missed the whole thing. But we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant anyway, which was worth the trip. Ethan copied Chinese writing from the menu to show his school teacher.

Day 3: Give dog a haircut. We were trying to wait until spring since it is so cold, but poor Kahlua needed a haircut so bad that we broke down. Her fur was so matted that the groomer cut most of it off and admonished us to give her weekly brushings. She is a beautiful dog again.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dear Ethan,

Dear Ethan,

This is a rare serious post. Tonight I looked you in the eye and told you I was disappointed in you. It was not the first time I've ever been mad at you, but it was the first time I've ever told you that.

And now I can't stop thinking about it. I don't know if it's one of those things that you'll still remember 50 years from now as a seminal event in your childhood, which led to a lifetime of misery and suffering and feeling unloved--or whether you've already forgotten all about it, and it's me who won't be able to let it go.

You are full of fun and mischief and humor, and it's part of the wonderfulness of you. How do I teach you how to turn it on and off? What if I squish it right out of you? I don't want to extinguish your creative orneriness. But I'm afraid you're going to get kicked out of school before you reach first grade. And that's not so good.

I want you to be you. The world is such a wonderful place with you in it. My life is wonderful because you're in it. Your creativity, your energy, your devious smile. The world would be so dreary without pinks and purples and aquas, and square pegs that don't want to be squished into round holes, and boys like you who see the world in ways that others don't.

But, as I have learned the hard way, there's a fine line between a mischievious rebel and a narcissistic asshole. There are other people in the world too, and you can't just tromp through other people's picnics on the way to expressing yourself. I gotta help you draw the line, because, you know, you're five. You're too young to be a narcissistic asshole. At least wait until high school, so you can quote Nietzsche and blame everything on religion.

You exasperate me, and you make me laugh, and every now and then you make me cry. Your Grandmother Tarpley would surely just roll her eyes and say it's karma.

You and Samuel are the greatest boys in the history of all boys. I will always be on your team. I will always love you. I just want you to make it through okay.


Saturday, February 10, 2007


Gentle butterfly
Flutters into my gym shorts
My butt says hello

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Blackberry Hacked

I think Samuel has been playing with my Blackberry. One of my bookmarks is sillyrabbit.com.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Dear Jennifer,

My name is Cocoa. I am a Cocker Cavalier. I love you, and I want to come live with you. I will never, ever misbehave. I really, really mean it.

Will you love me too? Please hurry—other people are trying to buy me and I don’t love them. I only love you.

P.S. Todd did not put me up to this. I swear.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

10 Random Thoughts

I'm burned out from too much song writing, so here are 10 random thoughts on a Saturday night:

1. I love Coca-Cola Zero. I can consume nothing but Balance bars and Coca Cola Zero and still have a healthier diet than 90% of the population. We live in a wonderful world.

2. Samuel and Ethan are absolutely out of control tonight. They are bouncing off the walls. They did not go outside today because it's so cold.

3. I'm addicted to this Sudoku puzzle book. It makes me feel like I'm giving my brain a workout, even though it really just keeps me from doing more creative things like writing.

4. I can't get the Christopher Cross song "Think of Laura" out of my head. Don't ask--I have no idea.

5. I'm dismayed about the state of Iowa Wrestling. They've lost their mojo.

6. I went running in Central Park today in shorts instead of long running pants and nearly froze my legs.

7. Ethan and I gave Kahlua a bath. Her ears aren't dry, so Jennifer put a hair clip in them to keep them up so they'll dry. She looks ridiculous. (Kahlua, not Jennifer.)

8. I launched another website at work. We've set an impossible schedule, with no margin for error, and not enough resources, but I like a company that aims high.

9. I have several songs in semi-completed state. I'll finish them soon and add them here. I enjoy having an outlet for my creativity, but I will never be able to apply for a job with Sesame Workshop again, based on my public dissemination of "Buffet Booty." Ernie and Bert will just have to continue their descent into social irrelevance without me.

10. Farrah Fawcett is cancer free, and I don't really care.