Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mail call from Ethan

"Dad, you got a new magazine in the mail--Old People Making Things Out of Wood."

Sunday, August 28, 2011

We survived!

We awoke this morning to find our apartment and neighborhood still intact. There are a few leaves and twigs on the sidewalk, and some puddles in the street, but we're far enough from the water to have avoided any major effects.

The biggest damage: dog turds and puddles of pee in the boys' room this morning. That's kinda par for the course anyway. Also, Ethan fell off the sofa last night, where he was sleeping.

Jennifer and Samuel are still asleep. Ethan is sitting next to me playing a game on his laptop while watching "iCarly." Kahlua is lying on the floor next to us. Bailey is probably peeing in the boys' room.

Happy thoughts and good wishes from NYC.

Live blogging for Hurricane Irene

Sat, 4pm: Devastation everywhere...papers, books, and dirty clothes strewn about...junk piled high on every surface...and that's just the inside of our apartment. Storm has not yet begun.

Sat, 6pm: Panic beginning to set in. Who is going to deliver our food to us during the hurricane? What if we want sushi but all we can get is pizza?

Sat, 8pm: Just ordered sushi from restaurant on Amsterdam. Crisis averted for now.

Sat, midnight: Jennifer just asked me if I'd be willing to run to the deli and get her a dozen eggs so she can make a fritada. Jennifer, are you insane?? It's midnight and there's a raging hurricane outside!

Sun, 12:05am: Deli man says hi to everyone on the Internet and reiterates that they are located at 82nd and Amsterdam and will try to stay open tomorrow if they can.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

You know you have city kids when...

...they refer to telephone poles as "those tall wooden things they have in the country."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane preparations

We're taking this Hurricane Irene thing very seriously.

As my panicky neighbors were busy stockpiling canned goods and bottled water, I slipped out of work today at 12:45 and drove the boys to Mountain Creek waterpark as fast as our little rental car would go.

I'll be damned if I'm going to miss a late summer waterpark day when we may all be dead by Sunday.

P.S. Aside from the wave pool being closed, it was good.

"It's Never Polite to Fart on Your Dad"

I figured this manuscript would either be a runaway best seller or never see the light of day. Judging by the fact that my agent didn't even reply to my email, I'm guessing it falls into the latter category.

It’s not a big deal
To throw sand at your brother
Frown at your sister
Spit up on your mother

It’s perfectly fine
To be naughty and bad
But it’s never polite
To fart on your dad!

It’s okay to get angry
And pull the dog’s tail
Trust me, you’ll never get
Hauled off to jail

But don’t toot your tushy
I’m warning you, lad
It’s never polite
To fart on your dad!

The noses of daddies
Are sensitive things
They can’t stand the scent
Of a bottom, it seems

They’re never around
When a diaper needs changing
They’re suddenly shaving
Or sock rearranging

So don’t eke one out
It’ll just make him mad
It’s never polite
To fart on your dad!

It’s the smell of a grill
That a dad’s nose prefers
He’ll run from the room
When a blowout occurs

The thought of a stinkbomb
Will fill him with gloom
He’ll hide under covers
When smells fill the room

It’s perfectly fine
To be bossy and rude
Gross and obnoxious
Or saucy and crude

It’s okay to throw tantrums
When you’re really mad
But it’s never polite
To fart on your dad!

When you are a father
And have a small child
You may think it’s funny
When Junior runs wild

You may think it’s cute
When he wakes from his nap
And toddles right over
To sit on your lap

But if you hear sounds
Like a loud thunder clap
Hold your nose now
You’ve been caught in a trap

So take my advice
From one kid to another
If you must toot
Do it close to your mother

She won’t mind at all
She’ll just lift you and sniff you
And if she sees nothing
Well, it’s a non-issue

But on your own father?
That’s badder than bad!
It’s never polite
To fart on your dad!

Please don’t sneak a stinky
Not even a tad
It’s never polite
To fart on your dad!

(Hey!...don’t even think about it.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Aw, fitch!"

Ethan has been running around for the past month yelling, "Aw, fitch!" He said it sounds like it should be a curse word.

So I bought him this t-shirt.

He was excited.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Ethan: "This is Mac. Don't call him a puppet. He doesn't like that. Mom and I made him out of material. The first time I made him out of a paper bag, but it was starting to disintegrate a little bit, so we decided to re-make him out of material, which is better."

Jennifer: "We had to turn an old Build-a-Bear inside-out to figure out how to sew it. It took two straight days."

Ethan: "I got the idea from 'Victorious' on Nickelodeon."

Jennifer: "He looks pretty good, but I wouldn't want to sew puppets for a living."

Mac: "Don't call me a puppet."

Saturday, August 20, 2011

DeLorean adventure

The boys and I went on a little adventure today to a place out on Long Island that sells and services DeLoreans. Jen didn't go because she's not into that sort of thing, so it was just us men.

An hour-and-a-half on the Long Island Railroad and a 25-minute walk later, we arrived to find the place closed. So we wandered around and looked through the chain-link fences and peered into the windows of the shop, and spotted 26 DeLoreans in all. They were in various states of disrepair, several obviously living out their final days as parts cars.

Then a 25-minute walk back to the Sayville train station, and another hour-and-a-half train ride back to Manhattan.

Samuel still wants a DeLorean for his 16th birthday, and I'm still determined to figure out how to make that dream come true. I just can't stand to see the universe out of whack.


"If you put sunglasses over a movie camera, would the people watching the movie be protected from the sun?"


Cross a big one off the summer bucket list.

The boys have been wanting to go to Universal Studios Orlando for several years, having out-grown Disney World sometime during the Bush administration. 2012's not looking all that great for Obama, so we didn't want to risk crossing an entire presidency without accomplishing this one simple task.

We stayed at the Hilton, which had a very large pool, a big, twisty slide, and an actual lazy river.

We opted for the 3-day Universal Studios passes, which unfortunately means the boys aren't going to college.

Harry Potter Land, or whatever it's called, was a big hit. We didn't care for the butter beer, which was jinxed by the name before we even tasted it. But we liked Hogwarts, and the roller coaster, which we rode five times, and the $30 wands that are mass produced for 50 cents by Chinese prison laborers, then packaged in fancy boxes and marked up accordingly.

Final bonus: indoor skydiving.

Four thumbs up!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Robert Frost: The Lost Poems, part 1

Whose woods these are I've no idea.
My poor old horse has diarrhea.
A year from now
These woods will be
A parking lot for some Ikea.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rock'n'Roll Confessions

I think Bob Dylan is a self-absorbed doofus.

I've never understood the appeal of The Grateful Dead.

I think Paul McCartney was the most talented Beatle, and that John and Yoko's "Double Fantasy" album sucked.

There. I said it. Huge weight lifted.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

What do Jerry Seinfeld and Fidel Castro have in common?

A.) They both had hit TV series--"Seinfeld" on NBC, and Castro's short-lived "Havana Montana" on the WB Network.

B.) They were both members of teen pop band Menudo in the 1980s.

C.) They have probably both looked in the windows of our apartment.

If you answered C, you are correct. Castro's brother-in-law was a tenant at 155 West 82nd Street, a few doors down from our apartment building, when Castro married his first wife, Mirta, in the fall of 1948. Castro and Mirta lived there for several weeks during their honeymoon.

Jerry Seinfeld bought the brownstone in 2005 to house staff and guests--he lives down the block at the Beresford, on Central Park West, and houses his collection of Porsches one block over, on West 83rd Street. Despite the fact that we are practically next-door neighbors, he has never come over to borrow a cup of sugar, nor even to offer to let me drive a Porsche.

The brownstone is now for sale for $4.5 mil. Why is Seinfeld selling? I suspect it has something to do with the loud barking dogs and unruly kids that live a few doors down.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Celebrity sex addiction treatment center: Day 1

Good morning, gentlemen. Welcome to the Center for the Treatment of Sexual Addiction. I'm Doctor Tarpley.

Let me first say that sex addiction is a medical condition. Just like psoriasis or gall stones. You didn't ask for it. You bear no responsibility for tweeting a photo of your privates to someone you don't know. Or fathering a child with your housekeeper.

The important thing to realize is that you're a victim. And the purpose of your rehab is to make other people realize that too.

I applaud you for your courage.

Now, if you'll just pass me your credit card, I'll swipe it and we'll get started.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday in the park

Splashdown Beach!

The line at Avis was out the door when I went to pick up the rental car this morning. Summer weekends are peak season for car rentals in Manhattan, so not only do the cars cost $200 a day, they're over-booked. But eventually I secured a car, a powder blue monstrosity called a Ford Crown Victoria. (Every time someone blames gay marriage for what's wrong with America, I will silently hold up a picture of the Ford Crown Victoria.)

We picked up chocolate croissants, then hit the West Side Highway toward Fishkill, 75 miles north of NYC.

It was cloudy and only 80 degrees, which meant the lines at Splashdown were reasonably short. We hadn't been there in a couple of years, so we braved some bigger rides: the Humunga Half-Pipe, the Bullet Bowl ("the toilet bowl ride"), and a couple other fast slides. That's one advantage of your kids getting bigger, even as you're wistfully eyeing the pirate ship kiddie area as you walk past.

Splashdown Beach is a relatively small waterpark--I referred to the wave pool as the Barbie wave pool--but that's part of its charm. It's not overrun with high-school and college-age kids, which makes it a kinder, gentler waterpark than most.

Ethan got his first bee sting, which was traumatic for 5 minutes but now seems to be a source of pride.

Afterwards we stopped at Taco Bell for the kids, then at Wal-Mart for Jen.

Adding up the $200 rental car, $120 waterpark passes, $40 gas, $100 meals, and $200 Wal-Mart excursion, we could've bought a small house in Oklahoma. But it was worth it.

P.S. We're counting the $200 at Wal-Mart as a $100 credit, since it would've been more expensive elsewhere. That's a little accounting trick I learned from Jennifer.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

How Not to Succeed in Business

I'm writing a blog for a talent agency called The Hired Guns. I hate career advice columns, so I decided to write a column for people who want to know how to suck.

Link: www.thehiredguns.com/blogs/tag/how-not-to-succeed

Friday, August 5, 2011


I'm walking through the park and I see a little girl walking with her dad. She suddenly points to a dog and says, "DAD! LOOK! A BULLDOG!"

Like it's the only one on the planet.

That's what's so cool about kids.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


"I don't get why they teach estimation in math. I mean, if the answer is 100, a math professional wouldn't say 99 and everyone else would go, 'Okay, close enough.'"

Monday, August 1, 2011

There exists a parallel universe...

...known as the Upper East Side.

Samuel and Ethan and I decided to have dinner at the EJ's on East 73rd, since the EJ's on the Upper West Side closed.

What we discovered is that, in addition to EJ's, there is a parallel-universe Brother Jimmy's, a parallel-universe Haru, a parallel-universe Citarella, and even a parallel-universe Gristides.

It's just like the Upper West Side except that instead of families in jeans and t-shirts, it's populated by old, overly tan people in Polo shirts. Creepy.