KGB Bar, Sat., Feb 13, so come on down!

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!

Happy Tsaagan Sar!

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:

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And here’s one of many memorable meals:

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Happy Tsaagan Sar!

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Best to all in this Year of the Monkey. Took this photo in Singapore, when a monkey family swung through the trees beside us as we strolled a path.

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Sixth Saturday

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.

Fifth Saturday

Sky’s furrowed cloud bank
Echoing river’s ripples.
Water’s white and blue.

Ghostly half-moon hangs,
High over far shore’s towers.
Foreign planetscape.

Seagull tips his wings,
Floats low over piling field,
Circles in to perch.

I love New York

Best sight on the subway today. The rings, the bling, the hat, the shades, and the Rubik’s Cube. He didn’t put it down all the way uptown. I love New York.

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Today’s NY Times

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.

I love New York

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.

Family tree

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.

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Snowzilla, the aftermath

Went out this morning early, in the bright sun. Lots of dogs and photogs: the day was absolutely gorgeous.

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Steps

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Car waits to be dug out

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Wheeling the bike back into the garage (after she flopped into the snow to flatten a path)

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Another bike to come back for

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Be a while before this pile melts

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Down by the river (Carlos Dews, this one’s for you)

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This isn’t usually a pool, it’s a small inlet with a bridge over it about three feet above the water

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Scrollwork on the back of my bench

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Why I couldn’t sit on my bench this morning

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Car, somewhere in there

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Snow on low wall, against high wall

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Grace is everywhere