Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Candy sales soar

Yes, I'm responsible. I'm doing my part to help resurrect the economy. You're all welcome.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Kids Choice Awards

Tonight was Nickelodeon night. Samuel watched at his friend Daniel's apartment. Jennifer and I watched here with Ethan.

Ethan was very excited when "Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book" was nominated for Best Book...

...but disappointed when it didn't win.

Jennifer was struck by how badly the Jonas Brothers sang. "Didn't they do a sound check beforehand? It brings back memories of seeing Laura Branigan sing 'Gloria' on 'Saturay Night Live.'"

Samuel said that he and his friends booed when "High School Musical 3" won Best Movie, and when Jonas Brothers won Best Musical Act. He said they were hoping the Jonas Brothers would do a swan dive into the audience and no one would catch them.

Friday, March 27, 2009


A few minutes ago I walked outside from my office to mail a bill and get some air. I'd been inside all day, didn't get a chance to have lunch. On my way back I decided, since it was 60 degrees, to take a "long cut" and go down a block I'd never been down before.

I discovered an ice cream shop that I never knew was there, and out front was a little Cavalier puppy, who was happy to be petted and even hoped that I would share my cone with him.

Every now and then I am struck by the serendipitous joy that is all around us, in little nooks and crannies, that peeks its head out amidst the monotony of life.

The scary thing is that my mental state is inching precariously close to the 90-year-old who finds joy in a well-pruned shrub.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

First Mr. Softee truck of 2009?

Maybe it's wishful thinking. A mirage of spring. But I'm like a truffle pig when it comes to ice cream. Look closely. Look very closely.

Spring is here. Summer is coming. Don't worry. Be happy.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hawks win NCAAs

It wasn't pretty. 0 Iowa champs. Only 1 Iowa finalist, who was shockingly upset in the finals. 6 of 9 Iowa wrestlers finished below their seed. They lost their final 3 matches.

But they won. Barely. Luckily. With a whimper rather than with a bang. Not the way they wanted to win. Not the way I wanted to see them to win.

There were highlights. If you were within a 1-block radius when Iowa's #7 seeded heavyweight pinned Iowa State's #1 seeded heavyweight this morning, you would've heard me whooping it up. That was one of Iowa's few upsets, and it moved the team into first place, where they stayed.

I guarantee that no one on the Iowa team or coaching staff is happy. And that's why they're Iowa.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Got back into NYC at 1am yesterday morning. Was too tired to even look out the airplane window to check for flocks of geese.

This morning Jennifer and I had a meeting at the school. Apparently Ethan has been doing some inappropriate things. (See illustration above.) I'm hoping this will be one of those little incidents that we look back on in 20 years and chuckle fondly, rather than shake our heads sadly and say, "That was the turning point."

It was definitely uncomfortable sitting in the meeting next to Jennifer, both of us knowing full well that she never did anything like this in her childhood.

Right now I'm putting Ethan to bed; he's asleep next to me. Right before he fell asleep he asked me to put my arm around him. He is a sweet, vulnerable rebel. He'll turn out just fine.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


This is, like, day 17 of my 5-day business trip to Vegas.

One note about the Venetian hotel. You should not stay here unless you really, really like the song "Sherry" by the Four Seasons. It is played in an endless loop in every elevator, casino, pool area, and public corridor in promotion of "Jersey Boys."

If you stay at the Venetian AND actually see the show "Jersey Boys," not only will you never get the song "Sherry" out of your head, your kids and grandkids will never get the song "Sherry" out of their heads. Just a word to the wise.

Apparently I've missed some big excitement at home. Kahlua twisted the cap off of a bottle of children's Pepto Bismal and consumed unknown quantities. Jennifer gave her some sort of potion to make her throw up. Which she did, in four different places.

And an administrator from the school called me to schedule a time to come in next week "to talk about Ethan."

So there you have it. One more day of trade show excitement in Vegas, and I'll be back in NYC around 1am tonight.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Welcome to Vegas

11pm Vegas time
The Venetian is a hell of a nice hotel. Giant room on the 39th floor overlooking the strip.

I went for a swim in the pool, then joined some colleagues for dinner and a show: "Jersey Boys." Median age of the crowd was 75. It was either a standing ovation at the end, or a lot of people were getting up at the same time to find their walkers. An unexpectedly good show either way.

Sweet little Samuel sent me two text messages today. It is nice to love and be loved.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Layover in Charlotte

The Charlotte airport has rocking chairs--a whole row of them in the main concourse. I think this was the nefarious work of the North Carolina Department of Tourism. Unfortunately, they didn't take into account that people look stupid in rocking chairs at an airport. It's like people getting massages at malls.

Taking off from Charlotte. Do they even have geese in Charlotte? I think they only have chickens and crows down here. In any event, danger averted once again. Safely aloft.

Vegas flight

Takeoff from LaGuardia. Hoping for no geese. None seen.

Geese should be outlawed. They should re-purpose Guantanamo Bay for detention of geese. They should force geese into labor camps and make them stimulate the economy...process driver's licenses, work on auto assembly lines, restructure bad debt for banks. Geese are at least as smart as the people at Chase.

They should send geese to Afghanistan to down Taliban planes. Or, if the Taliban don't have planes, fly into the faces of their camels and try to blind them. At minimum, crap on the Taliban just to annoy them.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Alright. I'm off to Vegas tomorow morning for a, gulp, 5-day business trip. It's a trade show for merchandise wholesalers. Suffice it to say my career has taken an odd turn.

I'm going to miss my little family.

Samuel was sick yesterday. According to Ethan, he was barfing last night and when he woke up this morning he said his breath smelled like barf and Gatorade.

Ethan was also telling me about the latest form of school lunch torture: veggie burgers made entirely from black beans. "They were horrible. I didn't eat any because they were BLACK. They are trying to TORTURE us." I agree. Kids need real food, like cheeseburgers and soda and Twinkies.

And can I just complain for a second about Weather.com? What the f--- is "weather related to home improvement"? Jeeze, just give me the g-------- weather forecast.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


My body and mind are both failing.

Last night I accidentally kissed a sweatshirt goodnight. It was dark. I didn't have my contacts in.

Today I was walking past an NYU residence hall near my office during lunch hour. I hadn't been by there since 1984, and I instinctively started to look in the cafeteria window to see if any of my friends were there.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Busy Weekend

Too much to remember it all, but I'll try.

Friday afternoon: Another Tae Kwon Do graduation for Ethan. Purple striped belt. Dinner at a very slow Italian restaurant with Ethan's friend Zoe and her family. Tomato sauce stain on the Tae Kwon Do uniform. Tired boys. Home late.

Saturday: Brunch with Samuel at diner on Roosevelt Island. Just the two of us; rode the tramway. Laundry. Cleaned apartment for Ethan's birthday party. Went for run in Central Park. Ordered in: Planet Sushi. Ethan new computer game. Set clocks ahead. Late to bed.

Sunday: Ethan's birthday party. Pizza, donuts, soda. Apartment full of kids. Treasure hunt. Party over. Cleaned up. Ethan unwrapped gifts; favorite was "Martian Matter Alien Maker Spaceship." Got haircut. Went for run in Central Park. Big-10 wrestling tourney results on Internet (go, Iowa). Dinner at Good Enough to Eat. Tired boys. Tired Jen. Tired Todd. Tired Kahlua. Late to bed.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Happy birthday, Ethan

Our little baby boy (#2) was born one hour ago. He doesn't have a name yet. He came two months early. He weighs 4 pounds,9 ounces. We haven't talked to the pediatrician yet, but the doctors in the delivery room were optimistic. They said he looks about as good as a 31-week-old can look.

Dear Ethan,
I love so many things about you that it is difficult to know where to begin. I love the fact that you draw fantastic turtles. I love the fact that you hum when you are happy, and sometimes you don't even realize it. I love the fact that you make up entire songs. I love the fact that you are joyous and creative and full of energy and very smart. I love the fact that you are nice to other people. I love the fact that you are determined to earn new Tae Kwon Do belt colors.

I love to wrestle with you. I love to hear you laugh. I love to hold you at night when you get scared. I love to see you get excited about something. I love to see you learning. I love to listen to you talk about what you did today, and how much you hate school and your evil teacher and the horrible things they make you eat for lunch just to torture you.

I have always loved you, and I will always love you, forever and ever, no matter what.

I hope that someday you take those 2 extra months of life that you were given when you were born early, and do something wonderful for the world with them. You have already made my life more wonderful than anyone deserves a life to be.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Ethan finally got a haircut. The good news: he no longer looks like Nelson.

The bad news: he now looks like Jodi Foster.

Still, a big improvement.