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So many good books

3 by friends:
The Herbalist, Niamh Boyce, which is winning all sorts of prizes in Ireland
The Crooked Mirror: A memoir of Polish-Jewish reconciliation, Louise Steinman, which should win some attention here
Disease Proof: The remarkable truth about what makes us well, by Dr David Katz & my old colleague  Read More 
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A friend objected when I called her kids "privileged" because they go to private school. There's more diversity at their school, she said, than at the local public school, and many students get financial aid. Perhaps I should have said "lucky" or "fortunate" or "blessed." Perhaps "privilege" implies that one's advantages come at the expense of others.

I myself feel extremely privileged, given that I have a low rent and my times is, for the most part, my own. That's not most people's definition of privilege, it seems: They value money over time. I live in a hovel, so in their eyes my claiming to be privileged is eccentric.

It's a little dicier when someone has  Read More 
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Snow jitters

My friend Steve, who lives in Spartanburg, SC, loves weather, snow in particular— something that's rare in the Piedmont area of the state where he lives; he's been known to drop everything & take off for the mountains in the hopes of getting snowed in. Steve spends a lot of time on arcane weather sites discussing weather patterns. He probably knows as much about meterology (not the study of meteors, oddly enough) as people with a degree in the subject.

Years ago, when he first got a phone after living in the woods  Read More 
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This little fir reindeer makes me happy too
A juicy Fuji apple
Back to class, painfree, ankle strong
Laundry done
Work done
Winter snow on the way
Found two warm gloves to bike in (the fingerless ones don't cut it)
Two babies a'coming in the family
A favorite cousin coming to the city
Books books books
A loving cat
I could go on Read More 
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Almost sleeping

For some reason, Johnny doesn't like to be awakened by me taking his picture.
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Marriage equality

Seeing them happy. Knowing they're protected: she can visit her wife in the hospital, if need be. They can inherit. Love. Getting to go to twice as many weddings. No longer feeling privileged; now that they have a right, my privilege has been normalized. Happy.
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Half a century ago

Me, I was in grade school. When I came back from lunch, some girls told the strict teacher who had playground duty, and I knew it had to be true: No one would tell Mrs. Wootten a lie.

My mother was running errands, heard on the car radio, & threw up her hands in shock—almost crashing into another car, whose driver gave her a dirty look. What I love is my mother as an anonymous player in someone else's story. If she's still alive, that woman is telling the story yet again today.  Read More 
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Our house is a very, very fine house

I love being at home, now that I threw out half my belongings, bought a comforter, & turned on the string of holiday lights.

There's one cat too.

Many years ago I was telling my cousin that I lived in the best apartment in my building. And this was the best building on the block. And ours was the best block in the neighborhood. And the East Village was the best neighborhood in the city. And New York is the best city in the—holy cow! It dawned on me: I live in the best apartment in the world!

Well, El, he said in his soft Oklahoma drawl, I'm not sure everyone agrees with you about that.

Oh. Right.  Read More 
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Johnny's useful advice

Johnny once said that if you want people to leave a party, put Marty Robbins on the stereo.

I tried that once, & in 10 minutes the room had cleared out

And I like Marty Robbins.
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Dicks of New York

The B Cup
My friend Heli & I were having breakfast at a nice neighborhood joint, the B Cup on Ave B & 13th St. A young man walked in, dropped two large suitcases on the table right next to ours, & turned to the counter to order.

Ugh! Heli politely told him it was dirty & disgusting to put bags off the floor on a table where people eat. Politely, really: I'm summarizing.

With a patronizing smile, he said, "Welcome to New York." She sputtered, I fumed. "Hope the rest of your day is better," he male-priviliged further at us. It will be, with you out of our lives, Pencil Dick.

"He shouldn't even be allowed in here," Heli said.

"Yeah. And I bet he didn't tip."

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