Forty.

Okay, okay, I know. This birthday’s significance depends entirely on our use of the decimal system. Still, a quirk of natural selection (ten fingers) has lent a certain conventional weight to the passage of decades, and I won’t pretend complete indifference at turning forty in a couple of days.

Furthermore, I intend to use this opportunity :-).

A few people have asked me recently what I want in the way of gifts. Thank you! I’m touched… but some clich├ęs are clich├ęs because they’re simply the best way to say it, and that’s certainly true in this case: my friends and family are already the greatest gift I could ask for, and nothing else is necessary. Besides, I live in a small New York apartment; where would I put presents?

But I do know some places that could use a gift right now. And just to be clear, when I say gift, I mean ca$h money. Below are some charities I support; if you really want to give a gift, please give to one of them, or to a charity that you feel does good work:

(Yes, I run a non-profit too — but it would be tacky to suggest donations to that on my own birthday, so please consider donating to it the other 364 days.)

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