Where did your son’s name Atlas come from, your love of travel?
Anne woke up one morning and said, “I think his name is Atlas.” I thought, “We are going to get beat up in the press for that!” But I let it sit with me for a couple of days and thought, “You know what? That is a beautiful name.” We call him Attie, and low and behold he’s a great big, block of a dude. He’s not quite 9 months old, but wears clothes for 2-year-olds. He’s a tank. So even if he does get made fun of for his name one day, he’ll be able to take care of himself.
You also call Atlas “Sugar Plumb” because he’s so mellow. Do you have nicknames for Anne and Homer too?
Not really. We call Homer, Homey, and I call Anne, Annie.
Do they have a nickname for you?
Trouble! No, they called me “Lames” for a while, because I sent them an e-mail and it had a typo. I signed it “Lames” instead of “James,” so it stuck.
How would you describe yourself?
I’m a people person and I love being a dad. I’m very hard working. I always thought that hard work was a really big part of being happy. Doing what you love gives you a reason to get up in the morning. I worked as a carpenter for years and that made me happy, and physically it just made my body feel good. I’m also incredibly wise. Make sure to put that in there!
What’s your life motto?
You should always have your heart and head in the same place. It’s easier said than done, because you can be ruled by one or the other. But the best place in life is when both are equally satisfied.
What qualities do you love most in Anne?
She’s just a substantial woman, who’s accomplished amazing things in her life and is a gifted artist. She’s also so much fun to be around. Her favorite expression is, “Well, that’s not un-fun!”
What has becoming a dad brought out in you?
When Atlas was born, I realized I wasn’t the center of the universe anymore — he was. All of my energy is spent making sure my two boys are happy. Anne and I had a day off in New York the other day, and we could have taken a romantic walk through Central Park, taken in a play. What did we do? We went to the best kids’ store we could find, and we spent almost $1,000 on Christmas gifts, and we still have a month of shopping left. That’s where our hearts and minds are. We love being parents.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I like to dance. As a kid, I used to dance to disco. Lame, right? But dancing is a really great way of letting go of things.