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It’s lovely out and the birds are singing, which I enjoy, but which is driving Paul out of his mind. He stands under the lemon tree and stares manically into the foliage, then turns and looks at me as if to say DO YOU SEE WHAT THEY’RE DOING? AND THEY’RE DOING IT SO BRAZENLY.

(They are existing.)

(With an admittedly in-your-face joie de vivre.)

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I finally found some Meyer lemons (look, I wasn’t trying hard, but it has been a couple of years, and I never saw them anywhere and then I bought eight), and am going to make this Shaker Lemon Pie. I am more excited about this than is practical or becoming. The lemon slices are macerating as we speak.

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I recently read Siri Hustvedt‘s novel The Blazing World, and I want to talk to someone about it. (Could it be you?) She does a brilliant job creating a character who embodies the double-edged sword being of a strong woman in a masculine environment: which is to say, a character whose brazenness (just like those damn birds!) is both admirable and occasionally grating. A character who pities herself because of objectively obnoxious circumstances, but nonetheless sometimes falls prey to her own self-pity and self-regard. Anyway. It’s complicated. Let’s chat.