Brooklynite.

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The first thing I ate this year was a slice of cake I'd made myself. The first time I left my house this year was to go swimming in the Atlantic Ocean with Casey.

The year is off to a good start.
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Yesterday on the subway I started to put a tie on, and realized I didn't know quite how.

The problem wasn't the knot, thankfully, but the length -- I went to adjust the two ends, and discovered that I wasn't quite sure how short the short one was supposed to be. It was like going to sign my name and discovering that I couldn't remember what the middle name was supposed to look like.

When I thought about it, I realized what was going on -- I hadn't put on a tie in years. Literally several years. I never acquired the habit of wearing one while teaching, I've long since moved to the open-collar-and-jacket look for public speaking engagements, and I haven't been to a wedding or funeral in this decade.

(After a few seconds of puttering around, yanking on the two ends of the thing like Emelio Estevez with his hood string in Breakfast Club, it came back to me, by the way.)

So why the tie yesterday?

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So I was reading to Casey from an American Girl book about a turn-of-the-century immigrant kid the night before last, and we got to the chapter where one of the girl's friends died of cholera.

Casey was a little upset, and she started asking me questions, and I knew the answers to some of them but not all of them, so we went in the living room and started looking stuff up online.

To make a long story short, she's decided to donate a bunch of her allowance money to cholera relief in Africa, and she's told her first grade teacher that she wants to work for Doctors Without Borders when she grows up.

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Hi all. Long time no see.

I'm thinking about making the archives of this blog friends-only by default, just so that I can link to new stuff (or, I guess, selected old stuff) from elsewhere without having to spend any energy wondering about what else I'm pointing them toward. Anybody know whether there's a simple easy way to do that?

More to say, but the perfect post is the enemy of the posted post, and all that. Back soon, I promise.
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Elvis, whining: Me not want those tights. Me want purple tights.
Me: Are you crying about it?
Elvis, not whining: Me not crying. Me talking. Me want purple tights.
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In the fall of 1964 the leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee made a visit to West Africa. At the time SNCC was one of the most prominent civil rights organizations in the United States, and its leaders were among the country's most capable black activists.

Traveling to Africa from Jim Crow America was a shock for these young people. At one point on the trip, as the group boarded an airplane, SNCC communications director Julian Bond noticed that the pilot was black. He turned to a friend and, only half joking, said "I hope this guy knows what he's doing."

Forty-four years ago one of America's most vocal advocates of racial equality wasn't quite sure that he trusted a black man to fly a plane. This morning, just before noon, a black man will be sworn in as president of the United States of America.

How quickly did this happen? How fast did we move from then to now?

Here's how quickly. Here's how fast.

When Julian Bond stepped onto that airplane, America's first black president was three years old.
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Six years ago right now, two midwives were conferring. Today Casey is sitting in kindergarten, peeking at her watch, waiting for it to read 9:30.
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Just now, right after breakfast, Elvis toddled over to my bed, and hoisted one of her dolls up before climbing in herself. "Place. Eat. Baby." she said.

"This is the place for your baby to eat?" I asked. "Very cool. Come on up."

She settled in, held the baby in front of her, and lifted it to her mouth.

"Eat fingers." she said. "Eat eyes."

And then she did.

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