of the many good reasons to look at dogs, the most recently notable is that they tend to mirror my reactions to new york city. a six-pound yorkie echoed my take on the shoe department at barney's yesterday: yeah, the beady look said, i don't really get this scene either. there's a beautiful, pudgy, stoic bulldog named petunia who gets walked around sixth avenue on my lunch breaks during the week. she and i stare at each other so regularly that she plops down at my table when her owner passes me on the sidewalk. i like that.

meeting #2 with also lauren, now a lit grad student and shepherdess of disaffected freshman writing students, was a success. i'm glad we established that she's not in cambodia any more - she sent me a marvelous e-mail about concerts in brooklyn that involve cages and roller skating. a good woman, that one.

sonic proselytization track list.

name that tune!

I realize we kept piling up these presents because it was as good as free advertising for the firms involved, but I couldn't be cynical. I got such a kick out of all those free gifts showering on to us. For a long time afterward I hid them away, but later, when I was all right again, I brought them out, and I still have them around the house. I use the lipsticks now and then, and last week I cut the plastic starfish off the sunglasses case for the baby to play with.

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