Here is another reason I love to live in California -- a photo of the northeastern United States taken from space this week:
It's my favorite temp here right now: coolish but not cold, sunny days, nippy evenings. Southern California in the wintertime is very, very nice.
The papers soldier on: I've almost finished the one for Jewish Thought, after which Midrash, Prophets, and History lie in wait for me. It's hard not to pause over some new and wonderful idea, and JT has been full of those. I never thought that Kabbalah would be either interesting or useful -- everything I'd read about it, and the current pop-culture popularity-- had turned me off. It seemed to me that it was a body of text that allowed for cherry-picking for colorful texts, and a bunch of mystical-sounding stuff useful to charlatans, and not much else, whatever it might have been in the past.
Well, I was wrong. I am seeing possibilities in the theological model of the sefirot (I'm not even going to try to give you a link to explain that phrase) for dealing with everything from the problem of evil to more mundane issues, like why it is that the road to hell is so often paved with good intentions.
Back to work.