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Quick Takes, early February

A few notes, and things I wanted to mark down:

Went down to Davidson last night for the annual Conarroe lecture, whose guest speaker this year was the author Lorrie Moore. It was nice to see Joel again–looking well and dapper as always–and to hear his infamous introductions. Plus, got to see good Davidson friends. As is my custom, I picked up a couple of books for autographs–this time for Annie, whose entries on the celebrated autograph bookshelf are only getting started. Moore wrote a funny inscription to her, but Don DeLillo’s is still in the lead for funniest, I think.

Mary’s brother, Jerry, passed away following a brief illness. Losing her younger sibling has been difficult.

Dad has upgraded the exhaust system for his ‘Vette, and I was able to get behind the wheel for the first time last weekend. It certainly boogies.

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no trespassing sign

I Talked to Conservatives about the #MuslimBan. You Should, Too.



I’ll bet you didn’t think you’d spend the weekend talking about immigration policy.

In the wake of President Trump’s executive order banning immigrants and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries, the national political conversation has exploded among two camps: those who believe we are veering toward 1930s Germany, and those who think we finally have a leader willing to stick up for American security interests.

I happen to disagree strongly with this action, but in my zen-like quest to quit engaging these issues using anger as my sole vehicle, I figured there was no time like now to get started on peaceful conversations.

So last night on Facebook, I asked for some help from my conservative friends:

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white house

On the Exhaustion of Rage, and Rhythm



I’m making my world a little smaller on purpose.

My new job is going well and keeping me busy–the entire week last week was essentially booked wall to wall with meetings and appointments, all good–so my workday is more or less a blur between the hours of morning and evening. Because of the typical workday hours at Mitchell, and because of preschool hours, I am often the last person in the office and the last person out at the end of the day. Wohali, one of the college’s security team, stops by to lock up the house, and I have to ask him to come back later.

Once home, I try to keep the office out of the couple of hours I’ll get to see the kiddos before bed. The 3.6 mile commute between my driveway and my office is a big deal in that regard–I can work right up until dinner time, squeezing in a few extra things before supper.

The funny thing is that my commute isn’t entirely a new route–it’s just a trip up Broad Street, basically, and I’ve been making the same trip anyway to drop the kids off at preschool for years. (Also incredible: preschool is now across the street from work.) Even so, these days I’m seeing things differently.

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