Seasons have changed again

There is a thing people say that never fails to infuriate me: ‘Oh, California, they don’t have seasons there.’ It seems to have become a running joke with people around me, who greatly enjoy trying to wind me up and trigger the seasons rant, and I must admit that it’s become old, tiresome, and irritating, […]

Equal Night

I’ve been thinking lately about the etymology of ‘equinox,’ because these are the kinds of things I do late at night when I am trying to convince myself to go to sleep and yet my brain seems to come up with a million other things to do instead. Thinking about etymology is perhaps not the […]


When I was a child, I was fascinated by globes — my fascination lingers, although I no longer experience a compulsion to reach out and touch every single one I pass. I loved the globes in stands that could be tilted around in all different sorts of directions, although I was continually hung up on […]

Equal, Dual, and Otherwise

I’ve been thinking a great deal lately about words with dual meanings. Not those double entendres that make life so deliciously naughty so much of the time, but those adorable, frustrating, ravaging, delightful English words that for some quixotic reason have decided that they need to have two meanings, or sometimes three or four, just […]


Living above the train tracks as I do, much of my time during the tourist season is marked by the sound of the train going back and forth from town. I know the heavy sound of the diesel engine rumbling along the tracks and the sound of the steam train, whistling mournfully, bell clanging as […]