what was the date again?

I remember. 28 January. So the fact that one of my roses — specifically the Graham Thomas, a beautiful large yellow rose that blooms all summer long — has a blossom on it is a little odd.

Yes, we live in the mild Pacific Northwest. And yes, it’s been a wet winter. It’s also true that we live within ten minutes walk of the water — Puget Sound — in a protected sort of corner between low hills and the shore. Now add in this fact: fifty miles away to the east, the Mount Baker ski area was closed last week because of too much snow. Right now, this minute, the Mathematician is skiing in six feet of powder, and I’m sitting in my study looking at a newly opened rose.

To somebody who grew up in Chicago, this is all very odd.

lost and found: books, opinions, snark from PW

1. It’s Friday, which means not the end of my workweek, but something even more wonderful: Battlestar Galactica. Which let me say, is outstanding this season.

2. Beth loves my new header.

3. I found a bunch of missing books: Norton’s Critical Edition of The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the D’Urbervilles (I do love Hardy most sincerely), some biographies I had been worried about. My stash of ten copies of Homestead in Chinese (which really, what am I ever going to do with them? I had twelve and gave two away to people who actually speak Chinese, and now here the rest sit.)

4. I’m reading a book that apparently the whole world has read already, but I somehow overlooked: and it’s good. Really good. Year of Wonders (OWC), by Geraldine Brooks. The only thing I don’t like is the review from Publishers Weekly which is very positive, but also manages to dismiss the rest of the historical novelists in the universe with a flick of the superior fingers:

Discriminating readers who view the term historical novel with disdain will find that this debut by praised journalist Brooks (Foreign Correspondence) is to conventional work in the genre as a diamond is to a rhinestone. With an intensely observant eye, a rigorous regard for period detail, and assured, elegant prose, Brooks…

I am indignant not for my own sake (or not much for my own sake) but for A.S. Byatt, Dorothy Dunnett, Barry Unsworth, and all the other novelists who bring such talent and passion to the daunting task of writing stories set in the past. So: a raspberry to PW.

5. This week I have written eight thousand words. Really. Iin five days. Don’t talk to me about this, okay, but that would jinx it and if I can keep up this pace, wow. That would be great. The good people of Greenbriar South Carolina are talking my ear off, Julia and Dodge are talking to each other and letting me in their heads, and words sprudel up like cheap champagne.

6. Stephen King’s new book. Cell: A Novel (OWC) should be in my hands just about the time I finish Year of Wonders. Eclectic is one of my numerous middle names.


Some time ago there was a short discussion here about contemporary use of the word jones as a verb or noun to refer to an addiction, to drugs or anything else. As in: he’s got a basketball jones or I’m jonesing for chocolate.

The Oxford English Dictionary has included this definnition in its most recent edition:

jones, v. intr. To feel an intense craving or desire for something. — OED

Here’s a request. If you happen to run into other references to jones used in this way, could you pass them along to me? What I was really hoping for was to find a quote from Spike Lee in which he defines the term in his own words, but that was a long (and thus far, unprofitable) shot. Hope springs eternal, though, so do yell if you happen to come across something, anything, related.

thanks so much, you’ve been a great audience.


So, no comment? You love it, you hate it, you didn’t notice. This is like getting my hair done and waiting three days for the Girl and the Mathematician to realize that it’s a completely different color.