Sunday, May 20, 2018

Wouldn't it be nice?

A year ago I was posting Stevie Nicks break-up songs. Today I'm gonna go with something lighter.



Sunday, May 6, 2018

Yale class reunion


We jumped in our hot, red, rented convertible and cruised up the Merritt to New Haven, arriving fashionably late for the picnic lunch.



We took our seats at a table of older people, and I introduced her to my classmates.

According to Jo, I'm the hottest guy in my class. FYI.

After lunch we roamed the halls of the business school, noting that every classroom, lounge, and hallway is named for a donor. I suggested that we make a donation in return for naming rights to a room. 

Jo suggested the Todd Tarpley Comfort Station (gift of Todd Tarpley, class of '93).



Here's Jo at the lectern.



"You. In the fifth row. What is the answer?"

"What is the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act."

"Correct. You don't need to phrase it in the form of a question."

We walked around the campus, bought a cap at the bookstore, then hopped in our convertible and headed back to NYC.





Okay, one more shot. Then and Now. Eerie sitting there feeling like I was just sitting in that same spot a few years ago, then pondering all that's happened over the past 25 years.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The 3-day weekend to get the club chair

About a month ago I bought an Art Deco club chair on eBay. 



It was pick-up only, in Pennsylvania. What a great excuse to rent a truck, stay overnight, and get the chair on the way home.

I suggested an indoor waterpark resort (duh). But it was $600/night on the weekends, and Ethan didn't really want to go, so Jo and I decided to go on a Sunday night--just us--and take a vacation day on Monday.

Here is our 3-day extravaganza:

Saturday (pre-trip rest day):

We explored Roosevelt Island in the sunshine...




...followed by dinner with Ethan at "Good Enough to Eat"...


...followed by a late night at Chelsea Piers. Jo had never golfed before, but Ethan and I tied for worst shot of the night: we each hit a ball that ricocheted off the front of the deck and ended up behind us. 


Sunday:

En route to Pennsylvania, we decided to take a detour to Chester, NJ, where I lived for a year when I was ten.

We stopped at Taylor's Ice Cream (still there 45 years later)...



...went to the athletic field, where I demonstrated my fifth-grade football form...



...then to my elementary school...


...and the woods behind my old house, where my brother Brad and I had a motorcycle accident in the summer of '73. Jo and I helpfully recreated the event.


We visited my old house... 


...even knocked on the door, took a tour of the inside, and posed on the porch.

Here's me and Brad in '73, for context:


Eventually we made our way to Camelback Lodge, where we were the oldest kids at the waterpark.




Monday:

A few more water slides, then we packed up and headed out to pick up the chair, stopping for lunch at a place called Mission BBQ, which had a big military truck out front.


We picked up the chair, which BARELY fit into the back of our SUV, and headed back to Manhattan.

Exhausted. 

But look! Mission Accomplished!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Fulfill your calling


I'm not a religious man. This is as spiritual as I get. 

But I believe we each have a calling, whether it's pursuing our dream to be a ballet dancer, climbing Mt. Everest, or volunteering in a pediatric cancer ward.

The sooner we find it, the sooner our lives will have meaning and the world will be better.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

My trip to the Chinese market

Jo took me shopping for fresh seafood at a neighborhood in Queens called Elmhurst.

Everything was fresh off the boat, including live crabs, clams, mussels, and shrimp.



I almost backed into the vat of live snakes without looking. Jo assured me they're not snakes, simply fish that look like snakes. I said, "That qualifies as snakes."


We settled on salmon and live shrimp, which were still wriggling around when we got home.


Guess what? It was great.


Ethan joined us for dinner but opted for mac and cheese.


Monday, April 2, 2018

Hello Spring!


Now that winter is over and spring is here....

Seriously, it was like 60 yesterday. Jo and I had Easter brunch at an outdoor cafe, bought a new picture book for Samuel, and traipsed all over Jersey City until our feet were sore.



But while we're here, let's say goodbye to March with a few highlights:

1. We made more than one visit to The Donut Pub last month. It's cheaper than opioids, but with the same effects. Here I am with Jo and Ethan. (Yes, Ethan got a haircut.) (Yes, Jo and I are both thinking, "I have to stop going to Donut Pub.")



2. I lend all of my picture books to my neighbor, Ollie, and I let him feed dog treats to Bailey. Whenever he sees me he points and says "Dog?" One evening we hung out in the lobby playing ball with Bailey and neighbor dog Pogo. A reminder that one can never have too many kids or dogs.




3. And--how did I forget to post this pic? This is one of my favorite people in the world, celebrating 17 years on Planet Earth. A reminder that they grow up fast. 



And now, I'm going to Cayman for the rest of the week, where the forecast is 83 and sunny. I'm going to work hard, run on the beach, make some money, and write some manuscripts.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Dear Samuel and Ethan

For the record, you have my full, unwavering support to pursue your dreams.

Be as impractical and ridiculous as you want. You can be a VR engineer or a screenwriter or a podiatrist, I don't care, as long as it's what you want to do and you're not a jerk to other people.

If you need to come back and live at home when you're 35 (even if there's a toddler in your bedroom), we'll work it out.

I will never tell you you can't pursue the job you want, marry the person you love, or be who you are meant to be.

Just stating it publicly so you can call me on it.

Love, Dad

Sunday, March 25, 2018

I'm going to tell you everything about her

She's smart. She's bilingual. She's a VP at an investment bank. She analyzes risk for a living. She's rational and analytical, but with a streak of impetuousness, like me.

She's clever and sharp, with an eye for detail. She said when we started dating she noted that my apartment was clean. She noted that my fingernails were trimmed.

She's funny. When she smiles it makes me smile. When she laughs it makes me laugh.

She's naturally pretty. She has soft brown eyes, a gentle smile, smooth skin. She looks like she's 29. She wears almost no make-up, and only one piece of jewelry at a time--earrings or a necklace, but never both. She dresses professionally for work, but looks just as elegant when she wears jeans and a sweater. She has no pretensions. 


She likes to stay fit, likes to eat healthy. She doesn't smoke. She drinks in moderation, a glass of wine or shares a beer with me.

Then there are the deeper things.

She is family oriented. She loves her parents and her brother, wants them to be happy. She likes and respects Samuel and Ethan. She'd like to have a family of her own.

She has a kind heart. She cares about other people. She volunteers with her church. She is humble, gracious, devout.

She is joyful and adventurous. Her exuberance is childlike. She jumps up and down when she bowls a strike. When she hasn't seen me for two days she kisses me like she hasn't seen me in a month. When she asked me to join her on a business trip to Miami, she said, "And maybe for the weekend, maybe we could go to Orlando and...you know, maybe go to Disney World or something? Only if you want to."

(We held hands while we watched the fireworks over the Magic Kingdom.) 

She likes dogs and convertibles and camping and beaches and BBQ and pecan pie.

She loves me for who I am.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I'm happy, and I want to talk about her, and I think she's wonderful.

Because we both deserve this. We've both been blown a bit by the gales of life. Neither of us is where we thought we'd be at the end of Act 2. But we've been given another chance to write Act 3. And it's going to be a love story, damn it.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Ten Tiny Toes: the board book


I'm going to make this a long entry, so bear with me.

The board book version of Ten Tiny Toes came out this week. I'm happy.

It will probably always be the book that means the most to me, because it's about watching Samuel and Ethan grow up. That has been the best thing about my life. I would have a hard time coming up with a #2.

We watch life go by so quickly--crap, am I really 55? Nothing has changed me like fatherhood. Nothing has made me take a deep breath and feel not so frightened by growing old and dying. When you become a parent you're no longer the center of the universe.

That's very freeing.

Did you know that the water we drink is the same water that the dinosaurs drank? It's just been recycled from generation to generation. I think love is like that. You don't own it, you don't use it up. You just let it flow through you and pass it down from one generation to the next, and it keeps the world spinning.

Many things in my life have changed since I wrote this book.

My conception of love hasn't changed.

We all grow old and die. That's life on Planet Earth. If we're really, really lucky, we receive love from those who raised us, and we pass love along to those we raise. All of our angst and self-absorption over personal accomplishments, wealth, or eternal youth are just rearranging deck chairs. It's not really about us at all. We're just the conduits for DNA and love.

That's the moral of Ten Tiny Toes.


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Samuel is home :)

I heard his voice late Friday night, and suddenly there he was in my bedroom! Home for a week-long Spring Break. What a nice surprise.

Saturday night we went to Mighty Quinn for BBQ, followed by donuts at The Donut Pub.



There is nothing like BBQ, donuts, and love.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Dear Samuel and Ethan

Love is good.

Don't give up on it.

Don't be cynical about it.

Don't worry about getting hurt.

Embrace it.

Work at it.

Be grateful for it.

Pass it on.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Cayman!

I've already posted five pics of my trip on Facebook. Everyone is like, yeah, we get it, you went to Cayman.

Oh, but I have more.














Everything you need to know:

1. The sand is powdery.

2. The water is calm and clear.

3. My traveling companion is kind, silly, and adventurous.

4. Cars drive on the wrong side of the road, my steering wheel is on the wrong side of my car, and I keep accidentally turning on my windshield wipers every time I try to use my turn signal.

5. I still have to work on weekdays. I just don't take pics of that.

6. I've been happy in my life, and I've been sad. Happy is better.

7. Ethan and Bailey do not miss me. (But I miss them.)

8. Yes, I am the man.