Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Mein Buch wurde ins Deutsche übersetzt

Wie Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche und Albert Camus, habe ich eine deutschsprachige philosophische Abhandlung geschrieben, die die Landschaft des menschlichen Geistes auswirken wird.

Einige Leute werden sagen, dass Otto und seine Oma verkörpern Nietzsches Mann/Übermensch. Otto's menschliche Schwäche wird von seiner Großmutter Ninja Befugnisse überschritten.

Andere Leute werden sagen, dass Otto's wiederkehrenden  entleert Fußbälle besser exemplifiy der absurden ewigen Kampf des Sisyphos.

Ich werde die Debatte zu Gelehrten verlassen.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Back to Mars

We have a running joke in our family that whenever someone suggests going out to eat, Samuel or I say, "Let's go to Mars 2112!"

It was Samuel's favorite restaurant when he was ten, and even though it closed in 2012, we like to pretend it still exists. I like to pretend that he's still ten, and maybe he does too sometimes.

I asked him a few weeks ago what he wanted to do for his 18th birthday. He said, "Mars 2112!"

I joked, "We should call the owners of that building and plead with them to let us tour the gutted space. It's your birthday, damn it."

Fast forward.

Before and After: the main dining room:

Before and After: main dining room, looking the other direction:

Before and After: the game room:

Before and After: passage from the spaceship to the restaurant:

Before and After: the hostess station, upper level:

I don't want to make this all about me. But once in a blue moon, to be able to pull off something audacious and stupid like this, it makes me feel like a good dad.

Happy birthday, Mr. Samuel. You are loved.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

I'm in a pretty good place

So I've just been kind of rolling with it and breathing.

Bear with me; I'll lead you through it.

For the past 18 months I've been at a "start-up." I use the term in quotes because a start-up is supposed to mean a young, fast-growth company that one might join at a low salary in order to make money on the equity when it gets acquired or goes public.

In my case, however, it was apparent within a few months that my equity was likely to remain worthless, leaving me with only the low salary, assuming we made payroll. Oh, and a condescending, narcissistic CEO.

I was counting on "Beep! Beep!" selling well and leading to maybe figuring out how to actually make a living doing that. And that didn't happen.

Then, over the past six weeks, the following things happened:

  • Samuel got accepted to Lafayette College, his first choice. It's a small, Liberal Arts college with a computer engineering program, not too far from home.
  • I got a new job, at a large media company, with a really nice, really smart boss who knows what she's doing and isn't obnoxious. It's not the most money I've ever made, but it pays 50% more than I was making seven weeks ago.
  • As I've noted previously in this blog and across all other forms of social media, "Beep! Beep!" was named a 2016 Notable Book. (Repeating because it was a big deal for me, and just felt...redeeming.)
  • We went to a theatrical performance at Ethan's high school in celebration of the Lunar New Year (ah, Manhattan), and it just seemed that he is finally--everything is going to turn out fine.
  • Samuel turned 18. Jesus. 18. And he's still the sweetest boy in the universe.
  • Not to delve too deeply into our financial situation, but we just secured a line of credit that provides a safety net beyond our $200 savings account, if push comes to shove. And it probably means we can send Samuel to Lafayette. (I joked to Jennifer as we left the signing, "I'll see you at home. I'm taking Samuel to buy a DeLorean." Then we both kind of realized I might not be joking.)
Things aren't perfect (I need to sell another manuscript), but I'm not going to complain (I need to sell another manuscript).

I'm going to chill out and kiss Jennifer and write a YA novel and lose eight pounds and...sigh...just...f-ing...breathe.

Sunday, February 7, 2016


My new office overlooks the World Trade Center.

I had not seen the memorial, but I do remember when the towers fell. Samuel was three years old, and Ethan was an infant. I was in midtown watching on TV with everyone else in my office. Jen and the boys were at school on West 95th.

The subways were shut down, and it was surreal walking home and seeing some people covered in soot and ash. There were thousands of us walking, and it was quiet. For days there were roadblocks at each end of our block--a police precinct block. For weeks we saw vehicles carrying rubble from the site. There was a metallic stench of smoke and death that lasted for probably a month.

I walked through Ground Zero last week and looked at the reflecting pools and the names of lives lost etched in granite around the perimeter. It struck me that one of the noble things about human beings is that they honor their dead. 

It is ironic that it is counter-balanced by the propensity to kill each other in the name of God.