To my daughter,
Your old man just turned 40. Although you are starting to understand what a birthday is, you don't understand the significance of this milestone. Well, I would like to share with you some of the things I have learned during my 4 decades of exist and some things that will make my remaining time peaceful and happy. I love you very much. But not as much when you poop your pants. Here is the list.
40) Do not kick your grandmother in the behind, no matter how inviting that rump might be.
39) Do not smell a Tic Tac too hard. It will go up your nose.
38) Do not be a Mets fan. I think too highly of you. Add the Jets to that as well.
37) The figure four leg lock is one heck of a submission hold.
36) You can like both Star Trek and Star Wars.
35) Ask your mother anything science related. She's incredibly knowledgeable. Just don't entrust her with anything that can be broken, like a light saber or an iPad.
34) If you listen to hip hop, listen to old school.
33) Don't do drugs. Seriously.
32) If you have a child, please let them call me Grandpa or Granddad. Not a fan of any of those other names.
31) Make sure the bench doesn't have a wet paint sign before sitting down.
30) Learn how to drive. It can't just be your mother driving me around.
29) Read Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and Franz Kafka. They are amazing.
28) Don't be a bystander. Be vocal. Don't let things go.
27) Genre shows can be entertaining, but they don't always know how to end (i.e. Lost and The X-Files). By the way, if they ever reboot The X-Files without the involvement of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, you better not support that.
26) Take your old man to Comic Con at some point.
25) Raylan Givens and Ron Swanson are two of the greatest television characters in history.
24) Trust Joss Whedon.
23) Don't trust Michael Bay.
22) Sports are amazing outlet and a way to learn not only about yourself, but also how to be a teammate.
21) Try to play one of these sports: soccer, field hockey, basketball, tennis, lacrosse, volleyball, and track. Just like those more.
20) For your mother's sake, don't be a Yankee fan. Or cheer for Duke Men's Basketball. But by all means, apply and attend Duke if given the chance. It is an exactly school.
19) Don't do Tavistock.
18) Seriously, don't do Tavistock
17) The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.
16) More importantly, education is essential.
15) You won't want to tell me everything. That is o.k. But, know I will always have your best interests at heart.
14) Don't buy a Young MC cd. You can just borrow your mother's.
13) My sense of humor is dry and often deadpan.
12) Don't watch modern day sitcoms that tell you when to laugh.
11) Come up with a clear definition of friendship and hold your friends to those standards.
10) Don't believe that rule that the second film in a trilogy is always the best. Two examples that ruin that rule: The Hangover Part II and Robocop 2.
9) Continue to love the music of The Police. Fingers crossed they go on tour again.
8) Love the beauty, diversity, convenience, and frustration that your hometown, New York City, provides.
7) Be proud of your heritage and learn as much about it as you can.
6) Loving family is not always easy.
5) Although you can like both Marvel and DC, Marvel is definitely a better brand. But, DC's Batman might just be the greatest comic book character ever created.
4) Embrace and enjoy technology, but understand that there is a world that certainly exists without it. Read Ray Bradbury. He'll help.
3) I don't care if you are gay or straight, you are my child, and you have my support and love.
2) Although your first president might have been Barack Obama, it doesn't mean racism is finished. You will unfortunately have to deal with ignorance and hatred. In fact, there will be some who don't approve of your mom and dad's union. But you are a creation of love. And you are loved.
1) Follow your heart and don't let anyone hold you back from your dream. Not even me. Unless it's not legal, of course.
There you have it. Hope these help and provide some guidance. I look forward to sharing the next ten in a decade.