Saturday, October 29, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I get more excited at birthday parties than my kids

I had a great time playing with a four-year-old this evening.

All you have to do is look them in the eyes and listen, and make a surprised face after everything they say, and the world is a great place.

Hanging out with adults is vastly overrated.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Important things I learned at social media conference today

Brands are starting to measure success not simply by impressions but by expressions...

It's important to reach not just users but influencers...

I wonder how many rock'n'roll songs I could list that consist solely of a person's name...

The new key metrics are reach, frequency, and interaction...

Peggy Sue...Maybelline...Long Tall Sally...Donna...


Suzie Q...Rhiannon...Roseanna...Gloria...Jenny (867-5309)...

Sometimes I get the nagging suspicion that I have a limited attention span.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Portal gun update

Samuel stayed up until 1am on Friday and Saturday nights--and is still up at 11pm tonight--working on his portal gun.

He shaved down and shaped the Styrofoam shell, which he'll cover with paper mache, Bondo, and white paint. He also painted the barrel black, and added the central lighting core, which he built out of a clear acrylic plunger handle surrounded by a clear plastic tube. He'll light it with 22 tiny LED lights--11 orange, 11 blue.

He hopes to finish it in time for his Monster Mash party at school on Wednesday.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Buddy Holly's apartment is for sale!!

Man, if I had any money I would be psychotically dangerous.

I'm reading a book about Buddy Holly, and it mentioned that he and his wife Maria lived at 11 Fifth Avenue, apartment 4H, from the fall of 1958 through early 1959, when Buddy was killed in a plane crash while on tour. He recorded several songs here on an old Ampex tape recorder, which have been released in various forms over the years.

So like any normal person would do, I Googled "11 Fifth Avenue 4H" to see what would come up, and--holy crap--it's for sale!

Here's the listing from Brown Harris Stevens. It doesn't mention Buddy Holly, or even that it's apartment 4H. (It came up on a multiple listings site, StreetEasy, as 4H.)

I feel like I need to run out and alert someone. Everyone else in the Tarpley household is strangely uninterested. Doesn't anyone else find this completely cool??

This is like when I told my dermatologist how cool it was that her office was located in the building where Bill Haley and the Comets recorded "Rock Around the Clock" in 1954, and she looked at me like I was insane.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My declining physical prowess

At age 28, when I was still competing in amateur wrestling, I could run three 5-minute miles in a row. For context, that means I could've kept pace with the leaders of the NYC Marathon for three miles before dropping out, exhausted, while they continued on at the same pace for an additional 23 miles. Still, it's faster than most people ever run, and I was proud of that.

By age 38 I could still run three 6-minute miles in a row--or one 5-minute mile, but only if I didn't have to walk the following day. My feeling was, that's still pretty good for an old person, and I was happy with that.

Now, at age 48, I have achilles tendonitis, hamstrings and calves that pull if I move too suddenly, and the first five minutes of every run are spent mumbling, "Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch" until the adrenaline kicks in.

So I'm almost giddy to report that I ran three miles at 6:27 pace last week, and a 5:57 mile yesterday. Frankly, it doesn't even seem all that fast when I'm doing it, but it's like driving an old sports car at 65 mph--you know it probably could go faster, but why tempt fate?

By my calculations, in ten years I will be writing a blog entry saying how excited I am to have run a 7-minute mile. That will be perfectly fine with me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


"They should make a soup called Cannibal's Soup and the noodles would be shaped like people."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weekend update

Samuel got his Scooby Snacks recipe published in "Creative Kids" magazine. He submitted it last year, and he's grown so much in the meantime that his photo looks nothing like him.

At the moment he's busy building a portal gun on the living room floor.

Ethan is making a movie called "Fast as a Phoenix," a comedy about life inside a package-shipping company.

Jen and I are finishing up laundry, filling out high school applications for Samuel, and using our psychic powers to will the boys to get their pajamas on and put themselves to bed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Limelight IHOP

IHOP is opening a restaurant in the old church that housed Limelight.

For those of you who are not as culturally hip as I am, Limelight was a disco in NYC in the 1980s--the successor to Studio 54.

I went to Limelight exactly once, in 1983, when I was at NYU. I balked at the $20 cover charge ("Man, we could've just bought wine coolers and partied at the dorm"), but I was out-voted.

It was too loud to talk, and too crowded to do anything except shuffle along and hope you came face-to-face with some hot chicks.

I met my first tranvestite that night.

Good times.

In retrospect it was worth the $20 just to be able to write this blog entry. But Samuel and I are more excited about the new IHOP than I ever was about Limelight.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pumpkin picking

Today we learned that pumpkin picking, while mildly diverting, doesn't hold the same magic for 10- and 13-year-olds as it does for younger kids.

No oohing and ahhing over the hayride. No insistence on feeding the farm animals. They picked out their pumpkins in about 15 seconds, then Samuel wanted to go to Home Depot to get some materials to build something called a portal gun, and Ethan wanted to go home so he could draw comics without being bothered by flies and bees.

Exciting moments of the day:

1) Inadvertently stopping at a teeny pumpkin farm with a similar-sounding name half a mile before the real one. (I said, "Hmm, it didn't look like this on Google Maps.")

2) Blizzards at Dairy Queen.

3) Getting a flat tire from running over the curb trying to get to Dairy Queen.

4) Getting the tire changed at Lexus of Greenwich--the only car service shop still open--for no charge. (Perhaps they were dazzled by seeing a Ford Focus.)

5) Making it back to Manhattan on the spare tire only 45 minutes late, then letting the dogs ride in the car back to the rental drop-off.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


I don't think a rabbit's foot is so lucky. I mean, the rabbit had it first, and look what happened to him.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Robert Wagner's hacked cell phone call

Robert: Wagner residence.

Morty: Bob, it's Morty. Your agent.

Robert: Wow.

Morty: Yeah, I know, it's been awhile. But listen, great news! I've got a gig for you!

Robert: Movie?

Morty: No.

Robert: Network TV series?

Morty: Commercial.

Robert: Okay. Luxury car? Premium liquor?

Morty: Even better, Bob. Reverse mortgages.

Robert: What's that?

Morty: You convince financially strapped old people to sell their homes in return for a monthly payment from a company that hopes they die soon so the company can make a profit.

Robert: Hmmm.

Morty: It's this or the dinner theater gig in Boca Raton.

Robert: I'm an actor. I can do this.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Late one dark and stormy night
Through thunderous noise and wondrous fright
You toddled softly to my bed
To chase the monsters from your head
You crawled inside and snuggled deep
Then warm and safe fell fast asleep
You held me tight ’til break of day
And chased our monsters all away.

Monday, October 3, 2011

20 Bears in 25 Minutes

I went to a creativity workshop tonight. Interesting exercise: create 20 of anything in 25 minutes using any materials you can find. It forces you to work fast and not be a perfectionist.

Important note: If you decide to try this at home, please do not confuse it with 20 Beers in 25 Minutes, which is a completely different creative exercise.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Weekend Update

Friday: I weaseled my way into the front window of Granny-Made, the children's shop around the corner. They're probably not gonna sell a lot of books, but I really like the idea of walking by nonchalantly with friends, waiting until they spot my book, then pretending I knew nothing about it.

Saturday: dog haircuts. They look like cyborgs in the photo, because the flash of the camera bounces off the inside of their brains, and since there is nothing in there, it just reflects back. But they look good in real life.

Sunday: Renaissance Fair. Samuel and Ethan were not particularly interested this year. That's probably a good thing. As we passed one of the food vendors, Ethan said, "What the heck is Ye Olde Lemonade"?

Now: Jen is cleaing up the kitchen and listening to Richard Marx's greatest hits. Ethan is watching videos on a laptop and asking Jennifer if she'll turn off Richard Marx. Samuel is studying for something called the ISEE test, so that he can attend high school instead of going straight to work in a coal mine.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

"I don't like my haircut."

Todd: "It looks good."

Ethan: "It's too short. But it was for medical reasons."

Todd: "Really? I didn't know about that. What medical reasons?"

Ethan: "It was in my eyes."