Thursday, April 26, 2012

"Breakfast at Tiffany's" townhouse sold for $6 million

Jennifer and I watched "Breakfast at Tiffany's" one Saturday afternoon when we'd first moved to NYC--pre-kids, and pre-Internet. In one scene I caught a glimpse of the numbers on the outside of the townhouse, so I paused the DVD (more likely VHS) and sketched a few images on a sheet of paper, then got up and grabbed my jacket.

Jen said, "What are you doing?"

I said, "I'm going to find that house. I bet I can find it in two hours."

That's the kind of spontaneity one has when one doesn't have kids.

Two hours later I was back.

"I found it! It's on East 71st between 3rd and Lex!"

I explained how I knew the street number was 169, and I figured it was probably on the East Side rather than the West Side, because in 1961 no movie would've been set on the West Side unless it was West Side Story. It was an odd number, so I knew it was on the north side of the block, and it was between 100 and 200, so it was between 3rd and Lex. (I just guessed it would be uptown because it seemed like that's where someone fashionable would live in 1961.) So from there it was just a matter of walking up and down every block on the Upper East Side until I recognized it.

I don't have an obsessive personality, honest. Except for really important things like this.

Here's the link.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

DeLorean weekend

It was supposed to rain this weekend, so we rented a convertible. We knew that if we didn't, it would be sunny just to spite us. 

Sure enough, it was hot and sunny all day Saturday, and we kept the top down until Jen complained about allergies.

Our destination was Hackettstown, NJ, where the DeLorean Mid-Atlantic Club was holding its Spring Social. We arrived fashionably late (five hours) to the tech event and lunch, but it was enough time for Samuel to buy his sixteenth DeLorean shirt and a flux capacitor pin that lights up.

The main event, however, was dinner Saturday night.

The guest speaker was a former studio manager for the company that created "Back to the Future...The Ride" in 1989-91. He showed slides of the production process. It was done pre-computer animation, so everything was shot on a miniature set of Hill Valley 2015.

Samuel got to talk with him afterwards while I was busy playing ball on the floor with some little girls. (We all have our priorities.) We stayed at a hotel with a pool AND whirlpool, had pancakes this morning, and were back in town by noon. It's been raining ever since.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

First peek: "Ten Tiny Toes"

Hurray! I can finally post some visuals of my new book, which is coming out September 4. I got a sneak peek about a month ago but couldn't post anything until Little, Brown released their fall 2012 catalog online. "Ten Tiny Toes" is prominently featured near the front, on page 6. No argument from me. (You know I'm kind of competitive.)

The marketing blurb:

There’s nothing sweeter in the world than a baby’s ten tiny toes. From nuzzling and tickling little toes to watching children take those very first steps, this is a joyous celebration of a young child’s many milestones. Marc Brown’s adorable, heartwarming collage illustrations showcasing babies of every size, shape, and color bring Todd Tarpley’s sweet rhyming text to life. A tender, touching tribute to the babies we cuddle and cherish.

I have a good feeling about this one--I think it's going to do well.

It's up now on Amazon for pre-order, sans cover.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My morning so far

7:30am: Looked in mirror, reminded myself I need to lose 5 pounds. Did I really need two Snickers bars for dessert last night?

8:20am: Late getting the boys out the door for school. They pack their lunches on Wednesdays, which always takes 15 minutes, and we never factor that into the schedule.

8:25am: Had to stop at a deli to get a sandwich for Ethan's lunch. He was frustrated because he's tired of turkey on a bagel and nothing else sounded good, and I was rushing him because we were late. He settled for a chocolate-peanut-butter Balance bar. I thought, "I'll hear about this from Jennifer tonight."

8:30am: We couldn't get a cab. Samuel said, "Here comes a bus!" We started to get on, but I realized I didn't have my MetroCard. Cursed out loud instead of internally.

8:35am: Got a cab and got the boys dropped off one minute before school started.

8:45am: Walked across the park to work. Looked at the sleeve of my newly dry-cleaned suit and realized a bird had crapped on me.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ethan: "I got a girl's Happy Meal toy"

Todd: Sorry. Do you want me to exchange it?

Ethan: Nah. I'll probably just sell it anyway.

Todd: You sell your Happy Meal toys?

Ethan: Well, I haven't made any sales in the past year, but one time I sold a punching skeleton toy to Olivia and Andree for $5.

Todd: You sold a Happy Meal toy for $5?!

Ethan: Uh-huh. I took it out of the wrapper first. That way they couldn't tell it came from McDonalds, so they didn't know how cheap it was.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

An open letter to my left calf

Dear Left Calf Muscle,

I hate to call you out in public like this, but you leave me no choice. I've had many, many private conversations with you, to no avail.

We've been through a lot together. We go way back. Remember the old days? The glory days? Man, we were running 5-minute miles, we were leading the Iowa team in sprints up Wrestler's Hill, we were cutting massive water weight for big tournaments. And you, Left Calf Muscle, rarely cramped up, you recovered quickly, you were everything a person could ask for in a calf. Godspeed, sir.

But, to be blunt, you're not pulling your weight lately. Yeah, I know, we're not spring chickens anymore. Yeah, I know, we can both point fingers at the Knee Joints, and the Right Hamstring, and the Achilles Heels. And I know the extra 5 pounds I've been carrying around since 2008 haven't made it any easier on you. But this is about you.

So here's the deal. I'll promise to stretch you more, and give you occasional ice packs and massages. No more 6-minute miles (unless you feel up to it). We'll even try to do a little more light walking during the day, just to keep the blood flowing and the weight down. And did I mention all the ibuprofen you can eat? I mean it.

And in return? You stop cramping up all the time. A little soreness after a run? No problem. We'll even give you a couple days' rest between runs (unless it's a really sunny day). But, dude, no more 2-week breaks. Seriously. No more acting up on dinky jogs. And no more pulling simply to get my attention while we're walking up subway stairs. That makes me feel like an old man, and we both know that's a ludicrous notion.

Are we clear?


The boys are back

Samuel and Ethan just got home today from a 3-day middle-school trip to the Catskills. It was Samuel's second trip there and Ethan's first. I don't think they've ever both been gone for that long, and I missed them. was kind of nice spending time alone with Jennifer for a couple of nights. Not to mention having access to the laptops, the TV, and the bathroom.

I'm glad they're back. How's that?

Samuel shot some video. Roll tape:

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Monday, April 2, 2012


Jennifer: I've found that you get further in life with honey than vinegar.

Ethan: I've found the opposite.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

1 weekend, 2 trips

We decided to stay at two different hotels this weekend, just to be wild and crazy.

Friday night we stayed at Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos, which is still one of my favorite places on earth. We all love the waterpark, but I also love seeing the little kids bobbing around in the wave pool and screaming as the tipping bucket pours down on them and eating junk food and roaring down the hallways and sprawled out in the lobby playing their Nintendos and iPads and iPhones and Kindle Fires. Pretty soon Samuel and Ethan will be grown, and I'll have to go by myself, and won't that be awkward.

Saturday we crossed four state borders in four hours--Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut--and checked into the Stamford Marriott. The good news is that the hotel has been renovated since we last stayed there. The bad news is that they "renovated" away the whirlpool from the pool area.

Fortunately, the pool was almost 90 degrees, and if you kept your butt pressed up to one of the warm water jets, it kind of seemed like a whirlpool.

We had a late dinner at the local IHOP--we were the last patrons at 9:30pm, so apparently it is NOT a Saturday night hot spot.

This morning the boys and I swam for another hour while Jennifer shopped by herself at Target. Amazing that it took us 22 years of marriage to figure out how to optimize everyone's happiness that way.

Sunday night...back in Manhattan, bloated and exhausted and with no clean laundry, just in time for Monday.