Sunday, February 23, 2014

What's on Ethan's mind

"Brooke keeps complaining that Ms. E. is too nice, but I wish I had her as a teacher. I mean, how can a teacher be too nice? The only bad thing about having a teacher that's too nice is that maybe you're not prepared for high school.

"But I like to live in the moment."

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Weekend getaway

We rented a car and trekked all the way to East Rutherford, NJ Saturday night for a two-night mini-vacation. We could still see the Empire State Building from our hotel, so it wasn't exactly Tahiti. But we just needed some R&R at a hotel with a warm swimming pool and sauna.

(Pardon the middle-aged nudity.)

Sunday we visited Thomas Edison's lab in West Orange, where Edison created various inventions during the last 45 years of his life. Here is Samuel in the machine shop.

Sunday night we ate pizza at the hotel, at which time Ethan took a too-large gulp of Sprite and did a spit-take all over the table. Hey, it's good to see him laugh for a change; we'll take it any way we can get it.

We slept late this morning, took a final dip in the pool, then indulged Jen by going to a Dollar Tree store.

Jen's exciting deal of the day: two pens for a buck.

Me: wee-pads for Bailey and Kahlua.

Samuel: a cowboy hat and generic Silly String.

Ethan: ninja nunchuks. There's something for everyone.

Then back home to Manhattan by mid-afternoon, in time to get the dogs, do some laundry, and go for a run.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The LEGO Movie (in 3D, no less)

It's probably good that I'm not a strategic adviser to LEGO, because I would've said, "Don't do this. It'll never work. It's an assault on the senses, it's too fast paced for little kids, it's a 90-minute commercial, it's going to be skewered by critics, and it's going to lose millions of dollars."

Luckily for LEGO, they were smart enough not to seek my advice. They've managed to make a blockbuster that apparently every person in America likes, including a 16-year-old boy, his five high school friends, and even his jaded 13-year-old brother.

We were surrounded on all sides by 8-year-olds who squealed in delight at the physical humor, and afterwards by several 4-year-olds having meltdowns in the lobby due to extreme over-stimulation.

Thumbs up, I guess.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Reality bites

Well, it's not the way I wanted Samuel to get a DeLorean for his sixteenth birthday. I wanted to get him a real DeLorean.

I know, I know, that's a crazy idea, given that:

a) We live in NYC--the parking would cost more than the car
b) Samuel doesn't have a driver's license
c) When would we ever drive it, really? It's a two-seater, so it's not like we could go on family outings in it
d) We unfortunately don't have a pot of extra cash lying around waiting to be spent on something really frivolous like a DeLorean

So it was never a serious consideration. I knew that. I've known that all along.


I'm a dreamer. Jennifer constantly pulls me back in the direction of reality, and I constantly pull her in the direction of whimsy, and I think we both appreciate those qualities in one another.

But on this DeLorean thing...

I'm not giving up. Just so you know.

Don't tell Jennifer.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Non-Super Bowl news

How about an update on my hernia surgery, since no one in my family has asked?

It's been almost four weeks. My gut is flabby from lack of exercise, and my face is fat...but I started running again. On Friday I ran a full 3 miles in the park at 7:15 pace and felt okay. Today I decided to push it a bit and wondered why I was so winded in the first mile until I looked at my watch and realized I was running a 6:20 pace. So that's a good sign. No pulled muscles and no groin pain. I think I'm going to survive.

More exciting news...

We actually dragged Samuel and Ethan out of the apartment Saturday night. We went to see a movie in the Village. Their friends Lindsey and Brooke joined us.

Unfortunately we saw "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," which kinda sucked. I wonder if when Ben Stiller saw the final cut, he said, "It looks AMAZING! It's gonna be a blockbuster! I am SO psyched!" Or if he said, "Well, what the heck, it's done."

The other thing I did this weekend was write. My goal this year is to write one new manuscript a month. That means I failed my first deadline. But I'm halfway done with one called "The Ninjas 'fore Christmas." (Don't steal that, okay? It's going to be my perennial holiday seller.)

Okay, time to walk the dogs, then spend 15 more minutes on the manuscript next to Jennifer while she watches "Freaks & Geeks" on Netflix.