Friday, May 30, 2008

Link to Parent Paper

OK, you can go here and look at the cover (which it will default to, page 6 (a little blurb in the bottom right), page 26 and 27 (which is the article that prompted the cover). Enjoy.

Or you can just look at these:

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Parent Paper

So, this afternoon I came home and found an express DHL delivery of the new Parent Paper on my doorstep. You know - the one with me and my son on the cover?

I would post a link to the PP website, but it's not up yet. I guess it will be up on Monday. But as soon as it is, I'll share it for those of you outside Bergen County.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Vacation over

For those of you who don't know, and frankly if I met you in person, I told you, I was left home alone this last weekend while the family went off to D.C.

Before they left, I had visions of self-indulgence. The truth is, about an hour after I was left alone I didn't know what to do.

I was laughing with some friends about how, if I didn't have a kid in tow, I wouldn't have much of a week-day social life. I can hardly go hang with my buddies (all women) at the playground if I don't have a kid with me. That would be all wrong. Similarly, I can hardly go over to a mom's house for a playdate if my kids aren't involved. I mean, how could I justify that?

So, here's my big discovery - my life is so intrinsically tied to my kids' lives that I don't have much of a life anymore. I have lost myself and forgotten what I like to do by myself.

Sure, I could have spent the last three days drunk watching dirty movies and eating lard. I could have gone to Manhattan and bar-crawled through the old 'hood and eaten six bacon-blue-cheeseburgers (although travel was limited, as was excessive expenditure as is usually the case at this time of month.)

So what did I do? The short answer is that I tried to feed my soul.

There was steak involved (on sale at the A&P) along with beer (one six pack of Miller Light over four days.) I watched a few movies, but nothing with excessive nudity (unless you count the naked man fight from "Eastern Promises") and I sat in the back yard and breathed the suburban air. I even managed to get some work done, covering the Memorial Day festivities in A-Town and earning a little greenback.

The biggest plus, and I swear this is no exaggeration, was the eight hours straight I managed to sleep on Sunday night from 10pm through 6am. This is the longest I have slept without tossing and turning since long before Penelope was born five years ago.

And despite the lack of excitement, it was clearly just what I needed. My eyes were opened. I have to get my life back. But also I learned that being intrinsically linked to two kids is not so bad after all. Right now it's a steamy morning with very little prospect of outside play any time today. The house is a shit-tip, thanks to the pile of post-trip bags dumped in the living room after the car was unloaded. I have plenty of work to do, but also two kids to entertain - preferably without the TV. And I'm looking forward to it.

Somewhere, somehow and sometime soon I'll have to remember how to really enjoy myself given the time, but I have a fully-fed soul and some direction back in my life. I'll take that for now.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Silence Of The Rabbit

From the moment we got our cat, I wanted to call him Ninja. We ended up calling him Luigi, an homage to the less-well-known Nintendo plumbing brother.

Luigi is an excellent mouser, and living in the rural suburbs as we do, that's a good thing. In our backyard at any given time one can find mice, squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, rabbits, deer, raccoons, skunks - it's like a zoo, but with only timid, flower-eating animals.

Which brings me to yesterday afternoon...

A friend came over to pick up her daughter who had been on a Wii playdate at my place. We were chatting on the doorstep and she noticed Luigi sitting by an open, but screened-in window, looking out with some menace - like he'd been on the catnip all morning and someone, somewhere was going to get messed up because of it. We chatted, he looked out of the window.

I opened the door to go back inside, and he bolted out, darted past me and jumped down into the garden and on top of a rabbit.

We have rabbits living under our front steps. When we found out, we shrugged. It was rabbits! Who cares? If it had been a skunk family, or even a bloody groundhog (as it has in the past) I would have done everything I could to flush it out. But rabbits? Please.

So, thanks to my lax attitude and my cat's warrior instincts, my friend Amy and I were now watching my cat mauling a rabbit. At least, that's how it looked. Luigi had the rabbit in his mouth and was walking around with it, its eyes bulging, and not sure what to do next. A little like myself. I told Amy to get her girls into the car (5 and 3 and traumatized at this point) and I went to get my shoes so I could pursue the black-and-white feline beast and his dinner-to-be.

I came out again, and before I could slip my Sambas on, Luigi put the rabbit down. And to everyone's surprise (including my kids, who were now watching from the window) - it jumped up and ran away! That's great! Except that Luigi chased after it. I threw my shoes towards the cat to try and stop him, but all that did was left me shoeless. The rabbit ran in circles, then dived back into its burrow. Luigi followed it, then dug into the burrow enough to resurface with the rabbit in his mouth again. We were back where we were minutes earlier.

Amy left, explaining to her kids that Luigi was "playing" with a "mouse" and I retrieved my shoes and went after him, sure I would soon have a blood-soaked cat and a dead bunny on my hands. Again, Luigi put down his catch... and again, the thing jumped up and bounded away. I grabbed the cat and the bunny went on his merry way. Amazing.

I took Ninja (his new name as far as I'm concerned, such is his stealth and guile) back inside and locked him in. He was wired, but clean. I came back outside, and who should I see sitting there, the very definition of "stupid" and "glutton for more near-death experiences" but the bunny. Looking up at me, a mix of "thanks, but kick your bastard cat friend for me, wouldya?" on his face.

Later, I would confront Luigi, but really, what could I say? "Don't be a cat?" We chose him from the shelter clearly because he would be a good mouser. It's like my old family dog, Cindy. She was the loudest, barkiest dog in the pound when we got her. That was the point. She was our burglar alarm. We then spent 10 years telling her to shut up. But, she was a barky dog! And so, we have a rodent-predator cat, and that's that. And it's not a bad thing. I was even able to tell my kids, 100% honestly, that the rabbit was fine and Luigi was just playing with it.

Penny's reaction was priceless: "Daddy, I saw Luigi with the rabbit in his mouth, and I was shocked."

Me too, kiddo.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Yesterday was my birthday. The day before that was so full of stuff, I am still dealing with the trauma (it wasn't all bad, but it was taxing and I'm not ready to blugh it all out yet.)

My birthday began with presents in bed, then breakfast, relaxation time, more presents, then being blindfolded and taken to dinner (disorientated, I had no idea where I was. Turns out I was right in town, and had been paraded, blindfolded, past the our supermarket of choice. I heard at least one "Oh, there's Adam!" as I was led through the parking lot,) before watching Goldmember on TV and passing out in bed before 9 o'clock. It was truly great.

Friday, May 16, 2008


And there I am! And while it's somewhat shorter than my long conversation with the journalist lead me to believe, it's there!

And here's the edited highlights:

"Some fathers, like Adam Keeble of Allendale, N.J., feel they're accepted easily into their town's community of mothers. As the lone stay-at-home dad with a British accent in the local park, he said, so many mothers would say "Hi, Adam" that he had to keep a book to remember names. He also has no trouble, he says, organizing playdates at his house.

Keeble, an aspiring novelist who's been home for five years, says the frustration of the job is similar to that a mother might experience. "It's the best job in the world, except when it isn't," he says. "On a sunny day with the kids playing in the sand, it's great. But then there's the miserable February day when they look at me and say, well, now what? And, well, it's only reruns of Dora."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

About Last Night

8:45 - Daughter finally falls asleep in her bed. I tip-toe into the master bedroom where the wife has fallen asleep with my son, who has been fighting night's sweet embrace. Unsure whether he is fully asleep, I return to my daughter's room and lay there, planning to wait it out.

8:59 - the phone rings. The house stirs. I leap downstairs and answer. While I'm on the phone I get another call coming in. I hurry the first caller off the phone, let the second leave a message. I wait it out downstairs for 10 minutes to ensure everyone is back in REM mode.

9:15 - back upstairs, Son is transferred to his bed, I climb into my bed alongside snoring wife.

12:00 - the phone starts making all kinds of noise - not ringing, just beeping as though it had been lost and we were paging it to find it. I jump out of bed, noting my son is now alongside me (missed that one) and turn the phone off. Turns out the cat had pressed the "transfer call" button. I lay awake for an hour.

2:15 - Daughter comes into our room. Son wakes up. Something about a trip to the bathroom.

3:00 - Wife, now sleeping in son's bed, takes son to bathroom. There is a change of pajamas (can't be good.) Daughter is in our bed.

5:20 - I am in our bed with son. Wife is in son's bed alone. Daughter is in her bed alone. Wife comes into our room, slumps on bed. I leave our bed and come downstairs. My day is underway.

Now, I'm not one to curse, but what the fuck?

Monday, May 12, 2008

On The Rebound

Despite my publishing deal going tits up, I have never been in demand to this crazy extent.

As well as all the relentlessness of organizing the fundraiser this weekend for my kids' pre-school (of which I will be the president of the board starting next month), and appearing on the cover of Parent Paper next month, I just got interviewed for the first time for a feature by an AP journalist about being a stay-at-home dad. Just imagine if my book was still coming out in three weeks time! I would have shifted a bunch! Imagine!

But there's more. I wrote the splash and page three lead of my local paper last week, and will be covering the Memorial Day parade next weekend. I also believe I am going to be featured in the Father's Day issue of the paper too, promoting something very exciting I can't talk about still that I'm doing in June.

Next month will be my fifth anniversary of quitting my job and staying home with the kids (though, of course, at the time it was just the one.) I suppose I must be considered some kind of expert at this point. That said, I wonder what the AP journalist will end up saying about me. I probably should have asked that while she was still on the phone. If her story makes Yahoo news, I'll send a link.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Small... far away... ah, forget it!

Oh, and while I think of it, yesterday my son said I looked like Father Ted. I was one-part happy, one-part poignant, and one-part pissed off.

Meet El Presidente

If not for the fact I am sleeping so, so badly right now I might have found time sooner to mention that I am now President-elect of the board at my kids' preschool.

This is obviously a fun thing, and not one of the things causing me to wake up at 1am and stay awake until 3 or 4am every day this past week. Those not-fun things fueling my insomnia don't bother me so much during daylight hours, but I think it's fair to say I haven't slept this badly, this often since Patrick was a new born.

I am also well aware that my feet are killing me since a particularly vigorous soccer game nearly a month ago. It feels like every bone in both feet has been shaken loose then replaced somewhere close to where they ought to be.

This is also the fifth time in two weeks where The Pre-School's First Lady-elect is going to be super-late home (ie. after 10pm) which is taking its toll on my sanity. A 12-hour day is a cinch. A 14-hour day is a stretch. But when she leaves at 6 and doesn't come back until 11pm - a 17-hour day - it can get a little... much, depending on how easily the kids go to sleep. Mix crippling exhaustion with crippling insomnia, and my face starts to look like Droopy the Dog's/a contour map and the light twinkle in my eyes is dimmed to a birthday candle in an Olympic stadium.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Good Things About Today

1) A Mariano Rivera signed baseball in the mail.

2) Portishead's new CD arrives from Amazon

3) Along with the Tim and Eric DVD

4) Sunny, 75 degrees

5) Two beers in the fridge for the last 24 hours, icy to the touch

6) No nap from either kid today, but plenty of running around. Early nights all round.

7) Seven DVDs sitting on top of the TV waiting to be watched - all of which are too violent for the kids to watch (300 Days of Night, War) or childish... but adult (Balls Of Fury) and no wife around tonight, so I can take my pick.

8) Isn't seven enough?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean...

What? You're still reading this blog, even though the book is kaput?

Well, good for you. Because I have something fun to share.

Last year I wrote a funny article for The Parent Paper. I wasn't paid, but I got a lot of props. If I can be bothered, I'll find the post about it and link it here. It was about Patrick being left-handed, and therefore obviously a sporting legend in the making. I was paid in books and DVDs. It was fair.

The PP editor then asked me if I would submit another article for last year's father's day issue. I did, and it was funny. I don't think I even got the books and DVDs this time, but I didn't care.

This year, I was asked to write a lengthier, more substantial piece - and I would be paid with Yankee dollars. Once again, I did so.

Then, last week, I was asked...


So, yesterday, Patrick, Penelope and I went to a photo shoot and goofed around. Pat and I were wearing the same clothes, right down to the shoes, and we will be on the cover - and throughout the June issue - of the bumper Father's Day edition.

The PP is also interested in more work from me - funny stuff, not stuff about serious medical issues or parenting dilemmas. You know, stuff about Darth Vader being a good role-model for new dads. Yeah, heavy stuff like that.

Now, call me a self-publicist if you will, but: up yours. I couldn't get a book published even after I signed a contract to do so. If this helps me make a living as a writer somewhere down the line, I won't care how it looks to any potential haterz. Fact is, I'm about to be on the cover of a magazine, and you aren't.

And when I get recognized by a stranger at the park and asked to sign her PP, I'll do it. In fact, I'm going to ask for pens for my birthday so I always have one on hand.

Fun, no?