I’m as tired as anyone of people talking about how freaked out/cosmically grateful they are that it was 60 degrees this afternoon in New York City, and I don’t really want to contribute to that particular conversation, but, well, I can’t stop myself.

How in the world was it 60 degrees in New York today?

Yesterday, I stepped out for lunch and didn’t take my coat with me.  Today, I showed up to a meeting and was asked, “Can I take your coat?” And my reply was, “I didn’t wear one!”  I didn’t even have a coat!

This is not the place where I’m going to wonder about how little time the Adelie Penguins have left, or wish that it wasn’t so easy to see just how dramatic the Arctic sea ice downward trend is this year, or explain how I lie awake with worry about the High Elevation White Pines.  Should we be taking Kishmish and Pista to the Maldive Islands and to the glaciers of Alaska before both are impossible? Or should we be avoiding air travel completely? What is their world going to look like in 50 years — or even in 5 years?

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I grew up in The South, but we didn’t do Southern things. Some of it was a little silly: no grits; no saying “y’all”; no boiled peanuts.  Some things were more profound: no calling middle-aged African-American women by their first names.* Read More

My husband and I are lucky to have jobs that allow us to work from home from time to time. On a few of those work-from-home days we are actually at home together, while the girls are at school.  It’s like we are in college!  Sitting on the couch, tapping on our laptops, taking calls on our little gadgety phones.  Doing office work at home is far from perfect, but it is a welcome break, especially if one of us has had a particularly hectic time of it getting the girls dressed and off to school.

We used to use these occasional work-from-home days to grab a nice lunch in the neighborhood, but we quickly realized that — at least in Jackson Heights — there is an inverse relationship between the quality of the meal and the time spent getting it.  Sure, you can go to Sapori d’Ischia for what might be the best and most reasonable priced lunch anywhere, but then you probably won’t get any more work done for the rest of the day. Which kind of takes you from “working from home” to ‘taking a holiday.”

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Right now, Ankur is on a 10-day trip to India, and I am staying with Kishmish and Pista to brave the end of summer, the start of their 1st grade year, and — oh! — the 10th anniversary of 9/11.  Which, I totally had forgotten, had to be commemorated on the second day of school. Which means they had to be taught about it at school.  I was caught off guard, having planned to avoid conversations about 9/11 at least for a few more months.

In a way, I have it easy: I can talk about 9/11 with them in terms of my own experience, and leave the politics out of the description for now. I can’t stand simplifying, much less oversimplifying, and this is problematic when it comes to explaining, well, everything to 5-year-olds.  Since I was working in Chinatown and living in Brooklyn on 9/11/01, I saw the attacks, witnessed the collapse of both buildings, and walked home to Brooklyn with my colleagues.  It was scary and unexpected, but I learned things. We can kind of leave it there.

At any rate, I was glad when Pista built this bivouac in the play room and suggested we eat dinner there.

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