Saturday, November 29, 2008

10 Things to do Over Thanksgiving Weekend

1. Get invited to a party on 77th Street overlooking the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons on Wednesday night. Vow to write a children's book called Stinksgiving Day Parade.

2. Take the train to Princeton Junction, New Jersey and spend Thanksgiving Day with relatives. Make toilet-humor-filled family video that Jen won't allow on YouTube. Remember how great babies smell and how much fun it is to make them laugh by kissing their necks.

3. Photoshop Ethan onto an album cover...just because.

4. Follow Iowa Wrestling on the Internet.

5. Help Ethan sell a book he wrote for 50 cents on the sidewalk at Amsterdam and 82nd. (Yes, he was successful.)

6. Go "ice skating" on the synthetic rink at the Museum of Natural History. (The hot chocolate costs $3.25, and the fake ice is like skating on linoleum sprayed with Pam. But kinda fun nonetheless.)

7. Order cheap Mexican food and eat in.

8. Take Kahlua for a walk in Central Park with the boys after 9pm. Let her run around without her leash.

9. Complain about everything that could be better.

10. Be thankful for everything that could be worse.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Purple Belt

Ethan is scheduled to get his purple belt next month. His instructors feel he's not ready for the more advanced class. They suggested giving him a purple-and-orange-stripe belt instead and keeping him in the orange-belt class.

You would think that after working with kids every day that they'd know not to say to him, "The purple belt class is going to have a lot of older kids who are more advanced. It will be a lot tougher, and I'm not sure you're ready for that. Are you?"

Because if you're a 7-year-old boy, you will say, "Yes. I definitely am."

So they had to bring out their big gun: the 6'4" male instructor, who spoke with Ethan man-to-man and told him he'd get his purple belt but that he'd stay in the same class, "to be a role model to the younger kids."

The crisis was averted, Ethan will get his belt, and all will be right with the world.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Obnoxious Song Lyrics of the 60s, 70s, and 80s

The Search is Over, by Survivor

“So if you ever loved me, show me that you give a damn
You'll know for certain the man I really am.”

This is what I said to Jennifer right before she whacked me with that brick.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Walking With Ethan

Ethan: I want to live in a house.

Todd: Instead of an apartment?

Ethan: Uh-huh.

Todd: What do you like about a house?

Ethan: It would have stairs. And I would get a spy toy that can climb stairs and go into different rooms and spy on people.

Todd: We'd have to move out of the city. You'd have to change schools.

Ethan: Who cares? I don't like school anyway.

Todd: And I would have to quit my lucrative job that I love oh so much.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Breakfast With Samuel

Samuel puts extra sugar on his cinnamon toast. He is meticulous about it, covering both sides and all corners. He uses a total of 6 sugar packets. He has a tiny bit left at the end, which he pours into his chocolate milk. He will not start eating until the full routine is completed. He got this from Jennifer's side of the family; I'm almost done by the time he takes his first bite.

What's happening in Samuel's life these days:

He gets along well with John, Lindsey, Ben, Halle, and Leah. He likes his teacher, Mr. Williams. Leah calls Mr. Williams "Darth Williams," but Mr. Williams says he prefers not to be called that.

He wants to build a hover board. He saw a video on You Tube called "How to make hover shoes." John suggested they do it with an old skateboard instead of shoes. So Samuel has a list of things to buy, including large magnets. He wonders where we can buy some large magnets.

He likes "Ben 10 Alien Force" and "Total Drama Island" on Cartoon Network. He also likes the video for "Trapped in the Drive-Thru" by Weird Al. He recites the full lyrics for me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Past

In celebration of my angry youth, here's a rare look back at the pre-toddler-loving, profanity-spouting, under-employed Todd Tarpley. Roll tape.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Future

A lot of people start out with optimistic idealism, and as they grow older they become pessimistic and cynical. For reasons unknown, I started out pessimistic and cynical, and as I've gotten older I've become optimistic and idealistic. Go figure.

For starters, I lowered my expectations of other people, and raised my own. More important, I had kids, which fundamentally redefined the way I looked at the world. I have seen two little babies be born and grow into beautiful boys, and as a result I know first-hand that the world contains love and hope and joy.

I didn't think I would be particularly moved by this election, but I'm moved in large part by seeing how much others are moved by it. I'm optimistic for our country, and optimistic for Samuel and Ethan's future, and optimistic that the world really can change.

The world will always be a mixture of wonderful and horrible, and the best we can do is appreciate and nurture and align ourselves with the things that are wonderful, and little by little, maybe we really will make the world a teeny bit better by having been here.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Obnoxious Song Lyrics of the 60s, 70s and 80s

Time of the Season, by The Zombies

What’s your name?
Who’s your daddy?
Is he rich like me?

Good pick-up line. Telegraphs right from the start that you're a pompous a-hole without even referencing the big letter L on your forehead.


Our building has a party in the lobby every year, and all the kids go trick-or-treating in the building. Because most of the grown-ups are down in the lobby, they just leave giant bowls of candy outside their doors for the kids to get.

At the end of the evening Ethan had about four times as much candy as Samuel.

Ethan has also become more sophisticated in the past year. I used to just be able to take stuff out of his bag the day after Halloween and he wouldn't even notice. This year he's done a complete inventory and is now auctioning off his overstock of Milky Ways and Butterfingers. So far I've paid 48 cents for 5 "fun size" candy bars and a loose Sweet Tart. I still have $4.38 in change sitting next to me, so the auction continues.

Just bought another Milky Way for 10 cents.