Subject line says it all: Michael Sears, Joe Gannon, and me at KGB in NYC. 85 E 4th St, 7pm, vodka to warm you, crime fiction to chill you. See you there!
Mongolian New Year, that would be. Like anyone else, Mongolians celebrate holidays with food. I haven’t been in Mongolia for Tsaagan Sar, but we did do a lot of eating this last trip. Here’s our guide, Alma, and our drivers, Naara and Ogi, setting up the kitchen:
And here’s one of many memorable meals:
Happy Tsaagan Sar!
A dozen seagulls
Float calmly on glass water
Pecking at breakfast.
Three Brant geese fly by,
Shadows splayed on river’s blue,
Disappear at pier.
Single mallard swims.
Female left with another.
An old, sad story.
Sky’s furrowed cloud bank
Echoing river’s ripples.
Water’s white and blue.
Ghostly half-moon hangs,
High over far shore’s towers.
Seagull tips his wings,
Floats low over piling field,
Circles in to perch.
I don’t usually repost news stories, but there’s a lot of primo stuff in the Times today.
First, this: a piece about what happened to journalist Jane Mayer when she investigated the Koch brothers. I’m pleased to say I used to babysit for Jane Mayer back in the Jurassic and I’ve followed her career. Jane, you’ve made me proud!
Then this amazing story, about gay marriage in China. A same-sex couple is suing for the right to wed. In China!
And finally, this. is it for real, or just an enormous pr joke? Beat it, I say.
Plumbers in and out for days. Latino guys, one speaks a little English, one almost none. I speak just enough Spanish to follow along. Little-English guy explains to no-English guy what he wants to do, in Spanish of course. Gets a confused look. Re-explains, and to check that no-English guy gets it, he asks him, “Capice?”
“Capice?” I ask.
“Sí, like the Mafia, I ask him does he capice.” Little-English guy presses his finger to the side of his nose.
No-English guy presses his finger to the side of his nose, too, nods solemnly.
I do the same.
I love New York.
I have spent four days — FOUR DAYS — working out the family tree of Lydia Chin’s Mississippi relations. Its importance to the story means it has to be right but gack it has driven me nuts. I think I’ve finally got it. In its reduced form (a number of branches that don’t make it into the story have been left out) here it is. Now I can get back to writing the damn thing.
Went out this morning early, in the bright sun. Lots of dogs and photogs: the day was absolutely gorgeous.