Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Boob Dylan

I don't know why I have it out for Bob Dylan.

But I do know that if I were invited to the White House to be honored by the President I think I could bring myself to take off my f-ing sunglasses for 10 minutes.

Is that, like, a big imposition?

But, hey, I'm not a big, important musical genius who rhymes "namin'," "ragin'," "agin'," and "fadin',"  with "a-changin'."

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Camping with Samuel

I'm so sore I could barely walk to my computer to type this.

I took Samuel and his three 8th-grade classmates camping last night in Harriman State Park, about 45 minutes north of NYC.

What looked like a 1.5-mile hike ("maybe an hour") to the camping shelter took 3 hours. The trails were relatively well marked as far as trails go, but it was easy to miss turn-offs, which we did on multiple occasions. We didn't fully account for the steep terrain and subsequent necessary rest stops every 15-20 minutes. We only hiked to the nearest shelter; I can't imagine going farther.

We hoped to make camp with plenty of sunlight left to pitch our tent and make a campfire, but it was 9:15 and completely dark by the time we got there. It had rained all day Thursday, so the ground was damp and so was the firewood. We made a half-assed campfire by burning toilet paper.

We survived on Milky Ways, Hershey bars, graham crackers, marshmallows, cheddar bunnies, and Frosted Flakes.

We pulled about 10 ticks off each other.

Another group of hikers walked past with flashlights at about 10pm, so at least we weren't the biggest idiots.

We all had a good time, and we all smelled by the end of the trip.

I will have to do this again very my next lifetime.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Have a New Kid in 5 Days

This caught my eye at the bookstore. Sounded too good to be true.

Sure enough, there's a big caveat. You don't actually get a new kid in 5 days. You just get to erase the hard drive of one of your existing, dud kids.

For what it's worth, here's my 5-day plan for changing your child's attitude, behavior, and character:

Hug your child. Listen to your child. Tell your child you love him no matter what. Show him by example what's right and wrong, what you value in life, and how you treat other human beings.

Repeat every 5 days for the rest of your life. this book and condense the process into 5 days, saving yourself years of effort and aggravation.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Wistful: When you step over a toy sword left on the living room floor by your 11-year-old son, and you smile thinking about how much fun it's been watching him grow up.

Monday, May 14, 2012


"You need to be happy with who you are. Unless you have a life-threatening condition."

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

I was roused from a deep sleep at 10:15 this morning and informed that we had to hurry to leave for brunch before all of the Upper West Side restaurants had a 2-hour wait. It worked--we only had to wait 15 minutes at Nice Matin.

Then we mercifully allowed the boys to return home while Jen and I shopped for new bedding at Laytner's. This afternoon we went for a long walk through Central Park, followed by dinner at Chipotle Grill. The boys are not in bed yet at 11:26, but we're working on it. I think Jen would tell you that she had a happy Mother's Day.

Meanwhile, we sent my own mom a personalized, animated Mother's Day card:

Saturday, May 12, 2012


They say it's a toddlin' town, but I'll be damned if I know what that means.

I had an overnight trip this week to give a presentation to the Chicago sales team, so that they'll be inspired to sell more advertising, so that we'll generate more revenue, so that I can ask for more investment, so that we'll generate more revenue. And if you repeat that process enough times it's pretty easy to see how we'll all become mega-millionaires. Or at least I'll get to keep my job.

I got into town a day early and drove two hours west to Prophetstown to see my in-laws. My father-in-law had been in the hospital for some tests, so Jennifer had made me promise to hug him for her--which sounds easy when your wife says it but in real life is kinda awkward. I had supper with them at the Prophetstown Diner, then drove two hours back to Chicago. (In the midwest it's supper, not dinner.)

Two hours in Prophetstown, Illinois is just right: like a pleasant dream filled with green grass, American flags, small-town smiles, and the warmth of family--without an iota of boredom or feeling like I need to check my email. Aside from my butt being sore, it was also nice to drive for four hours by myself, just singing songs and listening to classic '70s rock and conservative talk radio. Watching the farmland whiz by at 70 mph, thinking and plotting and pondering life. Being glad I'm not a farmer. Being glad I'm not a regular listener to conservative talk radio.

My presentation to the sales team the next day went well. I got back to NYC in time to kiss my boys goodnight and snuggle up to my wife and remind her what a good husband I am.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Book photo on Amazon

Ethan has been sitting next to me for the past hour or so watching musical numbers from "Avenue Q" on YouTube while I revised and submitted a manuscript ("How to Become a Knight in Ten Easy Lessons"...fingers crossed).

He headed off a few minutes ago to brush his teeth and get ready for bed while I checked Amazon to see if the photo for "Ten Tiny Toes" was up yet--which I do at least twice a day.

Lo and behold.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

"Avenue Q" with Ethan

I took Ethan to "Avenue Q" tonight. I made him close his eyes during some of the raunchiest parts, but since he could still hear all the F words I'm not sure it accomplished anything.

He enjoyed it and said it reminded him of a cross between the Muppets, "Friends," and "a movie that mom would watch on HBO."

The highlights for him were getting an "It Sucks to be Me" t-shirt...

...and getting his (and Mac's) picture taken afterwards with the lead actor, Darren Bluestone.

We had a good time. He's a good kid. He's growing up.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

No chocolate today: the aftermath

It was tough, and I only survived the 10-11pm hour last night by eating some potato chips, which are not exactly health food, but contain neither chocolate nor sugar. I'm up to 36 hours and counting with no chocolate. I'm still alive, as far as I know.

I've decided to go another 24 hours, which is a super-human feat that not even David Blaine would attempt, but I've reinterpreted my rules to allow for moderate-portioned sweets, just not chocolate specifically. I still think I'll come out way ahead on the calorie count unless I lose control and scarf down the Girl Scout Do-Si-Dos and Dulce de Leches that are staring at me from across the desk. But I am strong. I have the willpower of...of Lance Armstrong. And I'm not even on steroids. (I'm ethically opposed to needles. But I digress.)

Let me just put in a plug here for Taco Bell Cinnamon Twists. Were you aware that they're only 170 calories per bag? And that includes licking up the sugar and cinnamon at the bottom.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

No chocolate today

I'm trying to lose 5 pounds because I'm starting to be mistaken on the street for John McCain, and after calculating that chocolate probably accounts for 95.7% of my daily caloric intake, I decided to go completely without chocolate today.

I was going to go without chocolate yesterday, but at 1:30pm someone delivered the four boxes of Girl Scout cookies to my office that I had ordered a couple of months ago. So I ate about ten cookies, five of which were Peanut Butter Patties. Then after dinner I had half a donut, a Dove bar, and a bag of  Hershey Drops that my mother-in-law sent us this week. At some point during the feeding frenzy I realized I had intended to go without chocolate, so I wisely postponed the experiment until today.

Anyway, so far so good. I was tempted after lunch, and I had to jettison the remaining box of Peanut Butter Patties. I'm still staring at the box of Samoas on my desk, but it's unopened, which makes it easier to ignore. I think I'm safe until at least 7:30pm.