After I went to see my grandfather last night, I went to Carmine’s for dinner. Somehow, in the past nine years I’ve totally forgotten how enormously huge their portions are. A single portion of pasta there, for instance, is served on a plate you would normally reserve for a whole Thanksgiving turkey. I got a side order of eggplant parmesan, and it was the size of three regular portions. Completely insane. But I love that place, and I really needed it last night. The colors of aged wood and firelight, the enormous room filled with huge round tables, the comforting liquid sound of happy human beings playing with each other, being together in such a lovely way. Not to mention really cute waiters who like to flirt. But the sound was the main thing, the noise was so soothing. And there’s something about going to a nice restaurant, about being cared for and fed.

Someone once described my family as “living in each other’s pockets.” So I guess maybe it’s not so weird that even though I’m all grown up now, I get a little anxious when my parents are out of the country. I mean, not whack-job nervous, just a niggling little thing in the back of my brain. So first Mom was in Russia and France and such, and now she’s in California and Tateh is in Israel. Lots of adventures and all, but I’ll be glad when they’re home again.

So, switching tangents completely, my brother is really, really cool. I’ve said that before, but it’s worth repeating. I love arguing with my brother and my best friend, but they both argue things so differently. Jay’s like me, confrontational and tough, quick to jump in with an opinion. Sometimes with him, I’ll take a position I don’t necessarily agree with, just to push him to defend his position, and we love ripping apart each other’s arguments and butting heads in a friendly way, almost like verbally mock-wrestling, playful and joyous.

Uri, on the other hand, doesn’t rush into things. He sits back and listens, gathers data from a lot of sources, and tends to come at things from a different angle, very calm and asking questions like, “Why does it matter? Why is our attention being directed here? Is this constructive? How much of what you’re saying is generalized or exaggerated? How do you know what you know?” It’s less a straight-up debate and more a meta-argument, opening my brain in new ways.

I am so freaking lucky for the people in my life, both the ones that I’ve chosen and the ones I’m more randomly blessed with. I say that a lot, but I still think I don’t say it nearly enough.


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