Monday, June 27, 2011


I just submitted a revised manuscript to my agent for what I hope will be my third children's book. It's called "Can't Wait." It's about how a baby and her parents each can't wait for her to grow up--to sleep through the night, walk, talk, run, go to school, ride a bike--until the parents realize how fast it's actually happening. Then they don't want her to grow up quite so fast--they want to savor every moment!

I've been working on the revisions all weekend. Tonight, down the home stretch at midnight on Sunday night, I put on my headphones and played some music to try and block out all distractions.

Maybe it's just my mood, but Billy Joel's "Lullaby (Goodnight My Angel)" gets my vote for the most beautiful song ever written...

The best we can aspire to is to leave a little love behind in the hearts of those we've loved most. Of course I say that at 12:40am after I've ignored my wife and kids for most of the weekend and they all went to bed tonight without me.

As for "Can't Wait," it's revised and re-submitted. Cross fingers.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The color of money

Ethan: "I have an idea for a superhero. His name is Money Man."

Todd: "Money Man?"

Ethan: "Uh-huh. His sidekick is The Cash Cow. They have a secret lair called the Money Cave, which is located behind a secret door in an ATM machine."

Todd: "What's Money Man's super power?"

Ethan: "His power is lending people money."

Todd: "How about The Cash Cow? Does he have a super power?"

Ethan: "Yes. He knows how to buy things and sell them for more money. He knows where to invest."

Todd: "So they rid the world of evil?"

Ethan: "Yes. They help people pay less taxes."

Friday, June 24, 2011

Another ones bites the dust

H&H Bagels at 80th & Broadway is closing after 40 years.

It's sad, but their prices were too high and they didn't even put butter or cream cheese on the you were somehow fortunate that they even bothered to open their doors to serve you.

For the record, I also managed to survive the "catastrophic" closures of Tavern on the Green, the Mayflower Hotel, the Barnes & Noble at Lincoln Center, Columbus Bakery, and Cafe La Fortuna, where John & Yoko hung out.

In fact, a lot of great NEW places have opened over the past few years--and not all of them named Starbucks, Chase, or Duane Reade. A sampling...

Ditch Plains, a family-friendly restaurant with a surfer theme, right down the block on 82nd Street...

Granny-Made, on Amsterdam...makes you want to have a few toddlers just to buy clothes for them.

Dean's Pizza on 85th! Big Daddy's on Broadway! 16 Handles on Amsterdam!

And don't forget Shake Shack on cheeseburgers ever!

I'm sorry H&H Bagels is closing, but I think everyone in this picture agrees that if you had to choose between H&H and Shake Shack...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ethan's restaurant idea

"There should be a restaurant that's half in Canada and half in America. The tables would be split down the middle and some people could sit in Canada and the others would sit in America. It would be called Canerica."

Monday, June 20, 2011


Never listen to; it said partly cloudy and high of 80. But it was Father's Day, and I have impulse control issues. So we went anyway--with our wetshirts, just in case.

It was sunny and 85. Ha!

Very short lines--look at all those empty lounge chairs--on Father's Day! Are there no other dads in the tri-state area with impulse-control issues? Maybe they were all at Splish Splash and Hurricane Harbor. Good riddance.

We did the tube rides, the tipping bucket area, and the wave pool. On the way home we stopped off at their neighboring "mountain adventures" attraction, where Ethan rode his first zipline. No line there either.

Great Father's Day.

Sidebar: did anyone notice that Samuel is now the tallest member of the family?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

There is so much suffering and tragedy and evil in the world that sometimes you wonder how joy can even exist.

But it does. All it requires is to be smiled at by a baby.

I have known joy every day since the moment I became a dad. I can't look at a baby without thinking of Samuel and Ethan, and how great the world is because of them.

I believe that joy ultimately triumphs over tragedy. That good ultimately triumphs over evil. And as long as there are babies in the world, I know these things will be true.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My dinner with Samuel

Jennifer and Ethan went to a movie with friends last night, so Samuel and I had a date.

We went to the former EJ's, now known as Amsterdam Diner. It used to be one of our favorite restaurants when the boys were little. It was retro and kitschy. Now it's just old.

Afterwards we went to a new frozen yogurt place called 16 Handles. You make your own concoction from 16 different yogurt flavors and about 30 different toppings. You pay by weight, so of course if you're like me and Samuel, you end up paying $20 for two frozen yogurts.

This was Samuel's creation.

I was secretly pleased when I saw it, knowing that I'd probably get to eat at least half of it. I was right.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

If I were Hugh Hefner...

I'd never want to marry anyone under the age of 40 who would have me as a husband.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Urgent text message from Samuel

"Dad! Ethan might be on E! Entertainment News tonight! He stood behind the person they were interviewing."

Saturday, June 11, 2011

LA's not all bad...

Hey, it was on the way to the airport. I couldn't decide between a glazed and a chocloate glazed, so I did the only logical thing one can do in such situations.

Then I brought three more home for Jen and the boys, which I miraculously avoided eating during the 6-hour flight.

If donuts were protein I would be a bodybuilder.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Welcome to LA

I've been traveling too much. I miss my family. I'm here on business, but last night I at least got to see my huggable niece and nephew.

Driving back to my hotel, I tuned to a radio station where two guys were talking about the possibility of life on other planets, and that there is an earth-like planet about 20 light-years away. Cool, I thought--I'll listen. Then one guy says, "You wonder about a world that is 20 light-years away from the redemption of Jesus Christ." And the other guy says, "Klingons need Jesus just as much as humans do."

This is why I'm glad I live in New York City instead of LA.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Back from Iowa

Glad I went.

I got to reminisce with old teammates at Friday night's get-together for the ex-wrestlers, including Mike "The Hammer" Hruska and Steve "The Brain" Kennevan. Hruska has gone up a couple of weight classes since 1991. Kennevan looks the same, except that he's lost most of his hair and now resembles either Ed Harris or Hume Cronyn, depending on how gracious you want to be. We are old. It's like a scene from "Cocoon."

I got to say hi to Gable and wish him well.

On Saturday morning I had breakfast with my in-laws and nephew at a Cracker Barrel in Davenport. They drove in from Illinios, met me halfway.

On Saturday night I attended Gable's formal retirement party, along with 799 other people.

And this morning I got to see the sun rise over the cornfields as I barreled down I-80 at 5am to catch my flight home. Good trip. A lot of memories rekindled. Happy to be home again.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Go Hawkeyes

I'm in Iowa for Dan Gable's retirement party. Tonight just the wrestlers, tomorrow the general public. I'm in for both!

It's nice to be back. It smells like grass and heat and...Iowa. I had to stop and take a picture of the sign.

On a side note, apparently it is no longer possible to buy a 12-ounce fountain soda in the state of Iowa. The options at Casey's were 32-ounce ($1.09!), 44-ounce ($1.29!), or 54-ounce ($1.49!).