Thanks for all your concerned e-mails (especially from my Seoul sister Kimchi Mamas.) I guess BossLady's comment in the last post led some of you to believe that I'd been hospitalized again. Actually, for the past three weeks, Mt. Sinai has become my little habitrail laboratory. I've been poked, prodded, scanned, and scrutinized by an entire phalanx of doctors. The good news? My heart seems to be in perfect condition. The bad news? They don't seem to know exactly what was causing my chest pains.
Anyway, when I'm not hooked up to a treadmill like the Bionic Woman, here's what's been happening lately...
A SPIKE LEE MOMENT
Every afternoon, I take Peanut to the playground where we chase each
other on the jungle gym, run through the sprinklers, and try to catch
pigeons. Naturally, the Peanut never wants to leave. However, every
night, one of the local park custodians informs everyone
that the park is about to close. That's when I turn to Peanut and say,
"If The Man says we've got to go, then we got to go."
Last night, Peanut and I were walking hand-in-hand together around the neighborhood. Suddenly, she sees a guy wearing the same sanitation outfit as the park custodian. Immediately, she runs up to him and says, "Hey, you da MAN!"
Without missing a beat, the man looks down at the Peanut and replies, "No, YOU da man!"
Before I know it, Peanut and the custodian are laughing hysterically, pointing at one another, and screaming, "YOU da man!" to one another. Needless to say, the crowd of people around us on lower Broadway thought this was quite possibly the funniest thing they'd ever seen. I'd have to concur.
I can't wait until the Peanut and I run into Radio Rahim.
WHAT'S SO FUNNY ABOUT PEAS, GLOVES & THUNDER STANDING?
Recently, we went to a fundraiser for the local elementary school that the Peanut will be attending in a few years (unless of course by that time, they've managed to cut out math and science along with music and art. Don't even get me started. My firm belief in public education is sorely getting diminished with each passing newspaper headline. I'm starting to feel like a horny monk losing faith in his religion!)
Anyway, did you know elementary school fundraisers often have live
music these days? I certainly didn't. Do you know that they sometimes hire Elvis Costello cover bands to perform said music? Do you know that toddlers and little kids don't like Elvis Costello? Have I told you about my love for Elvis Costello?
Back in 1986, Elvis Costello played 5 nights at the Broadway Theater. I saw him perform on 4 of those nights and it was one of my favorite concert experiences of all time. Every night, he played with different musicians (Tom Waits, David Johannsen, Pen & Teller.) It was the same tour that featured the Spectacular Spinning Songbook (a spinning wheel that would determine which songs would be played that night.)
I'd forgotten how much I used to love Elvis Costello. So of course I immediately came home and downloaded every single album off itunes. Naturally, I feel like I'm 17 again. If you see me anytime soon, I'll be the guy with spiked hair, a sleeveless Ramones t-shirt, and checkered Vans, pogoing with a giant-sized Sony Walkman.
Ha! Hipster Dad, indeed.
5 THINGS I FOUND WHILE CLEANING OUT MY DESK DRAWER
1. A seemingly lifetime supply of dental floss.
2. Vitamins with an expiration date that passed 5 years ago.
3. Some "funny money" from Scores Gentlemen's Club.
4. A box filled with blank mini-discs
5. My Filofax from 1998 (which might be deserving of its own post.)
It's like a time machine in there. I left one drawer completely untouched. I'm hoping to look in it next week and find a Missing Persons t-shirt, some Pop Rocks, and a glo-stick!
NON SEQUITUR RAMBLINGS OF A 2.5 YEAR-OLD
1. Peanut and I were walking the dog together this morning. For some reason, she thought it would be fun to put the doggie bags over her hands like mittens. Whenever she lagged behind me, I yelled out, "C'mon, Edward Poopiehands. Let's go!" Apparently, this pissed her off because she emphatically ran up to me and said, "No, Daddy. Poop has no hands."
2. The other day, Peanut found a box of sanitary napkins. When she asked me what they were, I told her they were "sticker hats." Immediately I realized my mistake. If there are two things that the Peanut loves more than anything right now, it's stickers and hats. Thankfully she's only two, which means she has the attention span of a flea and is easily distracted by things like her thumbs. However, a few hours later, I heard her going around to people and saying, "I want sticker hats. You have sticker hats?" Naturally, I just kept my mouth closed.
21 JUMP STREET FOR THE TODDLER SET
My greatest joy as a parent (thus far) has been having conversations with the Peanut. BossLady and I LOVE talking to the Peanut. Getting to this point feels like the moment we've been waiting for since her birth. There's only one problem though.
The Peanut is a freaking narc.
Whatever I do or say somehow ALWAYS gets back to the BossLady. Ironically, Peanut never narcs on the BossLady. Just me. Must be some kind of female bond. However, here are some of her most recent undercover reports back to the BossLady.
1. "Daddy gave me donuts."
2. "Mommy crazy?"
3. "Daddy tooted on my hand."
4. "Daddy drink all my juice at the playground."
5. "I had ice cream for dinner, mommy!"
I was trying to give her a bath yesterday but she kept running away from me. I think it's because she was wearing a wire. Damn! Nobody likes a snitch.
PARENTING JOKE OF THE DAY (SENT BY MD READER BRENT)
A guy goes to the supermarket and notices an attractive woman waving at him.
She says hello.
He's rather taken aback because he doesn't recognize her. So he says, "Do you know me?"
To which she replies, "I think you're the father of one of my kids."
Now his mind travels back to the only time he has ever been unfaithful to his wife and says, "My God, are you the stripper from my bachelor party that I made love to on the pool table with all my buddies watching while your partner whipped my butt with wet celery???"
She looks into his eyes and says calmly, "No, I'm your son's teacher."
SUMMER READING LIST
Am I the only book geek who has make-believe friendships with some of my
favorite writers? I think I've mentioned this before but now that it's summer, I'm constantly making plans with them
for various activities. The summer calendar of my imagination is getting filled up quickly!
With Martin Amis, it's usually a few sets of tennis and cocktails at the club. With Norman Mailer, the two of us like to go to boxing matches in Vegas. Nora Ephron and I love having tea at The Carlyle. Jhumpa Lahiri and I often cruise East 6th Street looking for new Indian restaurants. Chang-Rae Lee is my Seoul brother/golf buddy. He and I always shoot a round in Jersey and then go out for some kalbi. Marisha Pessl is always up for a cool concert or book reading. During the summer, I'll head out to Brooklyn to grab a few beers with Jonathan Safron Foer. Sometimes, Jonathan Franzen joins us.
The only thing in common that I always do with my imaginary writer
friends is discuss what books they're reading now.
So imagine how pysched I was to see this week's NY Times Book Review asking a handful of writers what books they’ve enjoyed most over the last few months. Their choices — from best sellers to poetry collections to a philosophy of science — are idiosyncratic, instructive, and very cool. Check out the article here.
As for me, here's my summer reading list...
Falling Man (Don DeLillo)
On Chesil Beach (Ian McEwan)
The Yiddish Policeman's Union (Michael Chabon)
A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini)
What's everybody else reading?