The Quarantimes Week 30: An update on 5 ¾

October 7th, 2020

We have been experimenting with playing the game “20 Questions” on the way to school in the morning. We take turns thinking of something, then the others guess.

I am thinking of a school bus.

“It is bigger than you?”


“Is it alive?”


“What color is it?”


“A tomato!”

They don’t totally get the hang of it yet.

Another thing we’re dabbling in: the idea of the tooth fairy. They haven’t lost any teeth yet, but they are starting to hear about the tooth fairy from friends at school. Eliza picked a piece of whitish food out of her teeth the other day — basically plaque — and asked me if she could put it under her pillow. I said it doesn’t work that way. Nevertheless, she must have done it because the next morning, when I was asleep in her bed (yup) she came in from MY bed and asked me to move over so she could check under her pillow.

They’re learning.

This morning as we got ready for school Eliza chose a mask and then said, “Uh oh! Someone is going to get sick!” Her mask had a tiny rip in it. I took a mental note that she was not worried about getting sick herself, and silently patted myself on the back for the message I have managed to impart: WE WEAR MASKS TO PROTECT EVERYONE.

A friend’s uncle was murdered in upstate New York last week. An octogenarian, he was knocked off a bar stool for confronting another customer who wasn’t wearing a mask. Blunt force trauma to the head for reminding another patron to follow the rules of the bar.

It’s no secret how I feel about The Unmentionable in Office. His behavior this week was appalling, but I wouldn’t have expected anything different. My main objective in life is to raise my daughters to be the opposite kinds of people: people who care about other people, and in particular, people who look different than them.

My other main objective in life is to vote, and get others to vote, too. I signed up for this thing: Vote Forward. You print out templates of letters, scribble a personal note, and send them to people in communities of endangered or lackluster voters. I highly recommend volunteering yourself if you need to feel less helpless. They’ve already sent out 10M letters. I am going to add at least 20 letters to that total.

I plan to write my letters on Sunday, if you want to join me for a virtual letter-writing party, you are welcome!!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

What I’m reading:

The Forgotten F-Word in the Pandemic: Monica Lewinsky wonders if these times demand a prominent mental health czar in Vanity Fair.

Sometimes It’s Not Just Shyness — Apparently “selective mutism” is a real thing and my kids definitely have it, as any of my friends who have tried to say hello to them have discovered. 

The Virus Sent Droves to a Small Town in the New York Times, about nearby sweetheart of a town Winhall

What I’m listening to:

Two of my favorite musicians: Rhiannon Giddens + Yo-Yo Ma “Build A House

A year ago last August I saw the Avett Brothers perform “No Hard Feelings” at the Greek Theater in Berkeley. I did not make this video, but I was standing in the second row right about where this was filmed:

What I’m watching:

Jordan Firstman is quite crude, but he really makes me laugh sometimes.

What I’m eating:

I'll miss you so, tomato garden

I’ll miss you so, tomato garden

What I’m working on:

Schneider Electric innovates the energy industry on a digital backbone for Box


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