Wednesday, September 29, 2010


"I can't believe there are people smart enough to make virtual worlds like Second Life but dumb enough to do it for free."

Ethan Tarpley

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Least Romantic Love Song Lyrics of All Time (Part 2)

"Torn Between Two Lovers" (Mary MacGregor)

You mustn't think you've failed me
Just because there's someone else
You were the first real love I ever had
And all the things I ever said
I swear they still are true
For no one else can have the part of me I gave to you

Thanks for reassuring me, because, yeah, when you just told me that you're in love with both me and someone else, my first thought was, "Oh, I failed you."

"Your Song" (Elton John)

So excuse me forgetting but these things I do
You see I've forgotten if they're green or they're blue
Anyway the thing is what I really mean
Yours are the sweetest eyes I've ever seen

They're blue, a--hole.

"I Will" (The Beatles)

For if I ever saw you
I didn't catch your name
But it never really mattered
I will always feel the same

No need to tell me your name either, 'cause I see it right there on your psychiatric patient ID badge.

"That Old Song" (Ray Parker Jr.)

I shouldn't be tellin you this
I know that I'm out of place
But when I love another woman
I can still see your face, baby

Um, yeah, Ray, you probably shouldn't be tellin her that.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


"It would be easy to do abstract art. All you'd have to do is paint a few random colors, and everyone would say, 'Oh, yeah, that's great.'"
--Ethan Tarpley

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Serendipitous Roadtrip

I picked up Samuel, Ethan, and their friends Maya and Zoe from school today. We had planned on going to Mars 2112 to celebrate Maya's 10th birthday since we'd missed her party this summer, but it was closed.

So we decided to ride the tram to Roosevelt Island instead, but when we got there we discovered it had been closed since March.


We ended up at Serendipity 3, where we stuffed ourselves with hot fudge sundaes and frozen hot chocolates.

We worked off our calories by walking all the way back to the Upper West Side via Central Park.

If you were to ask me why I love New York City, I would say, "This."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Least Romantic Love Song Lyrics of All Time (Part 1)

"The First Cut is the Deepest" (Cat Stevens/Rod Stewart/Sheryl Crow)

I still want you by my side
Just to help me dry the tears that I've cried
And I'm sure gonna give you a try
If you want I'll try to love again
Baby, I'll try to love again, but I know
The first cut is the deepest

Thanks, but really, don't knock yourself out just for me.

"Every Step You Take" (The Police)

Every breath you take
And every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take, I'll be watching you

Hold that thought, okay? I'll be right back. I just need to call my travel agent about going on a teensy little trip. To Bolivia.

"God Only Knows" (The Beach Boys)

I may not always love you
But long as there are stars above you
You never need to doubt it
I'll make you so sure about it

Wait, what?

"Sometimes When We Touch" (Dan Hill)

You ask me if I love you
And I choke on my reply
I'd rather hurt you honestly
Than mislead you with a lie

Thanks, I got the answer I needed. Waiter? Check, please.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy 20th Anniversary

We met at the University of Iowa. She was 22, smart, beautiful, and the magnet to which the compass of sweetness pointed. I was 25, cynical, self-absorbed, and trying to prolong my youth via grad school and amateur wrestling.

When my family met her, they warned me that if we ever broke up they were going to continue to invite her to family gatherings. I took the hint. I asked her to marry me. She said yes.

We had two babies, the most beautiful babies ever born, who grew into the most wonderful boys in the history of the universe.

Over the years, I've made Jennifer 5% more spontaneous. She has made me 5% more thoughtful. So we are both now pretty much perfect. Through it all, she has been my best friend. I would definitely marry her again.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

First day of school

Guys, come on. Brush your teeth and get your shoes on. Did anyone feed the dogs?

Got your backpacks? Metro cards?

8:05am (bus stop, Amsterdam & 81st Street):

Two cross-town buses in a row but no uptown buses. Maybe you guys should go to school on the Upper East Side. We'd be there already.

(Samuel: No, then the uptown buses would come and not the crosstown buses.)

8:14am (Dunkin Donuts, Amsterdam & 93rd Street):

Samuel: I want a marble frosted donut and a Nesquick.
Ethan: Hmmm...maybe a pink, maybe a chocolate frosted with, maybe a...

One block to go.

We made it!

Bye, Samuel. Have a great day. I love you.

Bye, Ethan. Have a great day. I love you...behave yourself.

2 reasons a person with no head can't talk

Ethan: Can you name two reasons a person with no head can’t talk?

Todd: They don’t have a mouth.

Ethan: Correct. That’s one reason.

Todd: They don’t have a larynx.

Ethan: No.

Todd: I give up.

Ethan: They’re dead.

Monday, September 13, 2010


"If you say 'bottle' really slowly and at a low pitch it sounds like a bad word."
--Ethan Tarpley

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Samuel's "Back to the Future" Ride

Samuel spent the past six weeks constructing a simulator ride in our living room, which he finally unveiled to the public this weekend.

Visitors watched a pre-ride video in the waiting area.

Then they were ushered into the ride, an 8-passenger DeLorean...

...complete with Flux Capacitor...

...time circuit keypad...


...plutonium gauges...

...Mr. Fusion...

...and all four of the Tarpley family's laptops, synced up to provide music & sound effects, Biff's in-car monitor, the time circuits, and the main ride video (projected onto the wall).

Seatbelts fastened...


...lights out and the ride begins!

Afterwards, riders snacked on popcorn and admired details of the vehicle.

Thanks for riding. And remember, the future is what you make it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


"Dad, can you believe this whole entire bag is only 99 cents? They should give these to poor people."

Monday, September 6, 2010

End of Summer

All good things must come to an end.

We had a good summer. Samuel grew another inch and got to see the real DeLorean from "Back to the Future." Ethan wrote about 20 picture books and sold them on the sidewalk. Jennifer got to see her family in Illinois. My first book came out and I sold my second.

We went to 3 water parks, 4 municipal pools, 3 beaches, 2 amusement parks, numerous playgrounds, 1 rowboat outing, and 1 river rafting outing.

Of course I think of all the fun things that we didn't do. I always want summer to last forever.

But I know that it doesn't, and that you can either hang onto the past like that guy in "American Graffiti"...

Or you can create the best memories you can and embrace the future.


Full speed ahead.

Labor Day

Does anyone else find it odd that there's an entire day devoted to celebrating work, and we take that day off?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Rafting the Delaware said mid-70s, but it was the final weekend of summer, so we decided to brave the elements. We even suckered Aunt Donna and Uncle Larry into joining us so that we'd all shiver through the day together.

We arrived at 9:30am to beat the crowd and we were the only ones there. A bad omen. But no line for the bus.

By the time we hit the water it was high 70s, and within an hour it was 80 and sunshine.

Better yet, the water was as warm as bathwater.

Not even a line at the hot dog stand.

Nice way to end the summer.