Hi folks. Don't fear — I don't intend to become one of those people who starts a blog with a burst of fanfare only to see it dissipate in a cloud of good intentions, increasingly infrequent postings, indifferent followers, and poor writing. True, based on the my initial reviews I have been chary of using this space as a mere diary, which prevented me from offering the odd paragraph from time to time during the past couple months, but really the main reason for my silence is simply that I just put to bed what I hope will be — frankly, what must be — the most intense period of work I'll ever endure. You know it was dire when I didn't even blog about the Jayhawks show that Brent and I saw in KC ...
In early December, my co-author John and I submitted the final (well, goes-to-copy editing) version of our little book on Minnesota's 1933 mortgage foreclosure moratorium and the resulting 1934 Supreme Court decision that upheld this moratorium — and subsequently weakened the US Constitution's Contract Clause. [This is just a tease to keep you waiting for the pre-order e-mail.] Then just a few weeks later — after my last all-nighter ever? — I submitted the final post-copy edit changes to the granddaddy of them all, my forthcoming book on the history of US population debates. Of course this task should not have been very time consuming, but, needless to say for those who know me well, I had way more changes than I should have. Then during the next ten days my incredibly kindhearted copy editor and I went back and forth until we finally got the book ready to go to "page proofs" — which, in this day and age, is essentially the point at which the press charges you for changes. (By the way, the book still won't exist in paper and glue until the fall.) Actually, I should write an entire entry on the experience of having a copy editor. In some ways copy editors are like therapists ... they see intimate nooks and crannies of one's life — in my case, footnotes dating back to my dissertation that no human being had ever read.
Jeanine and I spent DC in Christmas. No need to write much here. It was wonderful to see all of our families, Mom and I even enjoyed the very rare mother-son movie and musuem visit, and Owen and Milo continue to be the smartest nephews in the world. But just for the record, we are suing these folks because they made a movie about us without compensation:
We're back in Salt Lake. Jeanine had an action-packed New Year's, culminating by standing outside a police station at 2 a.m. in the distant suburbs of Paris unable to hail a cab. On New Year's eve I got in my first XC ski of the year and my first race — at the same time, due to Utah's horrible snow drought. (I don't advise this race strategy; I was slower than molasses and getting slower). Mercifully I have one more week in Salt Lake before my semester starts. Unmercifully, Jeanine's already has.