There’s truly no better thing to be than an American mother. There are so many great activities, so much fun stuff to do. At a birthday party today, a 7-year-old girl comes up to me. “Klara’s mom, you look pretty!” The kids are giggling, running around, having their unclouded American childhoods.

Coldest on Record

China’s Northern city of Mohe is experiencing its coldest temperature ever on record: -53°C (-63F). Of course, compared to this winter’s cold weather in Russia – -73°C in one lucky region – this is practically tropical warmth.

Remember, people, this is evidence of global warming because absolutely any weather event is evidence of global warming.

I share these weather-related tidbits here because weather used to be a great item for small talk but now you can’t bring it up without some sour puss making a pious face at you and giving a mini-lecture about global warming.

Doesn’t Bode Well

I have been elected to the Executive Board of a professional organization. In the two communications I have had with the board members so far, they have addressed me as “Khalida” and “Professor Slocum.” There is no Khalida Slocum on the organization rolls, I checked. Neither Khalida nor Slocum are remotely similar to anything in my first and last names. The closest I got phonetically to these names is that I’m from Kharkiv.

I understand that these are people in the field of foreign languages but I thought there was a general understanding that names don’t get translated.