Sunday, January 30, 2011


#11 Iowa just beat #1 Penn State at Penn State!

I know that this interests absolutely no one who isn't already jumping up and down right now like I am, making it difficult for their kids to watch Spongebob, and annoying their spouse, who sorted the laundry about two hours ago and is wondering why it hasn't been taken down to the laundry room yet.

So, okay, I'll continue.

Iowa came into this match with a 72-meet unbeaten streak, but Penn State was favored to win 7 of the 10 matches. So Penn State was licking its chops. It had a sold-out arena in State College to watch the mighty Nittany Lions take it to the Hawkeyes.

7,000 Penn State fans were awfully quiet at the end of that one.

I've stopped jumping up and down long enough to post this blog entry, but it's a big day in the Tarpley household.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


"There should be a charity where animals can donate their antlers to animals who don't have any."

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

More gutter balls than strikes

But if we were good at bowling it would indicate that something more serious was wrong with us.

We rented a car on Saturday, crossed the border into the wilds of suburban New Jersey, and crammed every imaginable activity into the next 14 hours: breakfast at IHOP (Samuel's request), shopping at Target (Jennifer's request), arcade games in East Brunswick, a visit to a real-life mall (Ethan's request, as he was getting car sick), dinner at a Sonic Drive-In (um, that may have been my request), and finally late-night bowling with the DeLorean Mid-Atlantic Club.

Home at 1:30am. Two exhausted boys.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Geriatric Relativity

My antique wall clock always seems to need winding, and I always think, "Didn't I just wind that the other day?"

Then I realize it was probably two weeks ago that I last wound it, but it only seems like a few days because times goes faster as you get older. It's the same law of physics that predicts the presence of 10-year-old candy in grandparents' candy dishes.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Book news

The editor at Little, Brown emailed to say she has "paginated" the manuscript for my second book and is sending it to illustrator Marc Brown to begin his work. The wheels of publishing move slowly, but it's nice to get little emails like this to allow me to pretend that we're all zipping down the publishing highway with the wind in our hair.

Meanwhile, my Google Alerts notified me that Knox County, TN purchased and received 9 copies of "How About a Kiss for Me?" for its library system. I would not have guessed that Knox County, TN even has nine library branches, but...God bless the great state of Tennessee, and I guess this means no more red state jokes for awhile.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Peter Gutmann slide show

We were happy to be invited again this year to award-winning photographer Peter Guttman's annual slide show, which chronicles his travels and photography over the past twelve months. I took Samuel for the first time.

The twist is that the slide show takes place in his small apartment. The photography is spectacular, and Peter provides running commentary while his wife Lori and son Chase provide music and sound effects. The show is so popular that it's been written up by the New York Times.

As to the social dynamic, I will only say that it's a good thing he's never invited a fire warden to the event. And for a fidgety guy like me, having to sit in one position for two hours without being able to move is kinda like flying from New York to Chicago in economy class in a middle seat between two 300-pound strangers.

But with really good in-flight entertainment.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tucson girl

One of the victims of the shooting in Tucson yesterday was a nine-year-old girl.

Like Ethan, she was born in 2001. In fact, she was born on 9/11 and, according to her mom, "it lent a grace note of hope to that terrible day."

I felt the same way about 2001: it was a horrible time, a very stressful time for just about everyone, including us. But it was also one of the best years of my life, because we had this beautiful baby boy.

So I think about this poor little girl's family, and of course I think about Ethan.

Hug the ones you love, and feel blessed.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Where NYC Christmas trees retire


The big news this weekend is that Samuel found his first geocache. I read about geocaching at about a month ago and shared the article with Samuel. Ever since then he's been anxious to try it.

You use a GPS app on your smartphone or iPad to locate hidden "caches" around the city (or world, wherever you happen to be). You start by going to and finding the coordinates to a geocache near you. We opted to search for one in Central Park near 100th Street. Then you simply follow the GPS coordinates until you're within a 30-foot radius, and start looking. There are one or two helpful clues for each one.

The "cache" is simply a small box containing a piece of paper with the names and dates of everyone who had previously found it, along with a small trinket. You're allowed to take the trinket if you replace it with something of similar value, which we did--a tiny ninja figure donated by Ethan.

So there you have it...yet another time-wasting location-based social media app designed to further isolate old people from society. Woo-hoo! Thumbs up!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

5 worst jobs of 2011

5. Encyclopedia salesperson

4. Newspaper classified ad seller

3. Las Vegas realtor

2. Blockbuster clerk

1. Cast or crew of "Spider-Man" on Broadway