Monday, November 30, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dog Haircuts


Kahlua and Bailey finally went to the groomers. $200 later, they still look like dogs. But better looking dogs.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ethan's Tae Kwon Do psychological warfare

Ethan: I won my sparring bout today. And she was a purple belt, which is pretty good.

At first I felt really scared, and when I'm scared my eyebrows go up like this...


But I didn't want her to see that I was scared of her, so I tried to hold back my expression to make it like this...


And I think that worked pretty good, because then I looked at her and she was shaking.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Writer's workshop weekend


I just got back from my first children's book writer's workshop. It was held at an old hotel on Lake George. It was like "The Shining"--nearly deserted, no cell phone service, socked in by rain and fog.

I had to take a 6-hour train ride, followed by a 20-minute cab ride from a woman who drove in the middle of the road and pointed out that the Novocaine had not yet worn off from her dental appointment.

Here, in a nutshell, is what I learned:

Never submit a manuscript about:

1. Bedtime
2. Monsters acting un-monster-like
3. Cats and kittens or puppies and dogs going on an adventure
4. Going green
5. Visiting grandparents
6. How much I love you
7. Overcoming boredom
8. First day of school
9. Dealing with disabilities
10. Baby bird learning to fly
11. Caterpillar turning into a butterfly
12. Okay to be who you are
13. Anything that rhymes

I learned this right before the book editor critiqued my manuscript, which was a rhyming bedtime story about being loved just the way you are. Fortunately I'd left out the part about the baby bird visiting the caterpillar who overcomes disabilities while visiting his grandparents who are going green.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sesame Street


Today is the 40th birthday of "Sesame Street."

I almost got a job with Sesame Workshop a few years back, and I still wish I had. I would've spent the past few years making digital media for kids instead of digital media for Wall Street traders and trade show exhibitors. (Not that there's anything wrong with that. God knows I'm a big, big fan of employment.)

Frankly, I wouldn't have been a perfect fit for "Sesame Street" personality-wise anyway.

I love toddlers, but in more of a let's-get-all-hyped-up-on-sugar-and-jump-in-a-ball-pit kind of way. Talking about feelings? Not so much.

I would like to have worked on the show in 1969, with Jim Henson. But, alas, I was pretty busy with kindergarten at the time.

In any case, I'm a fan of idealism, and creativity, and innovation, and passion, so I'll always root for "Sesame Street," and I wish them well.

BTW, here's my favorite skit of all time, from the glory days...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween haul


Ethan was "Jason" from "Friday the 13th," and Samuel was a 19th-century Jules Verne-esque "Steampunk" character (I'm not real articulate on the details, but it has something to do with "Back to the Future II").


Jen was a sexy vampiress.


Kahlua was an angel, and Bailey was a devil--he chewed off Kahlua's wings in about 30 seconds.


After trick-or-treating at our building we met up with more friends and terrorized the Upper West Side.

And there were enough princesses, fairies, and baby bunnies to neutralize evil in the world for another year.