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2003-12-25 | 12:57 p.m.

On the vast scale of things I know it counts for nothing; even on the vast scale of my life, nary a blip. But this morning when I contemplated the day, I started crying. The not-in-laws are coming, aka Our Benevolent Landlords, and between the still far too messy house and the dog they have forbidden outright, I know there will be words. They will not be happy. I want everybody to be happy, including me. Thus the dog. ďYou really are a dog person,Ē Barbara said with some surprise when she saw me playing with Rusty.

Yes, I really am.

But it was hard to keep crying with so much to do, and Duff cooing in my ear, and a warm dog with soft fur nuzzling my neck and biting my knuckles. A warm dog who wants to make everybody happy, too, only he canít because heís also an overgrown puppy who chews up household objects and shits on the rug.

Up last night until 4:45 a.m. wrapping presents, and didnít even finish. No time to write any more. Iíll post pictures later. Merry Christmas everybody. Youíre the best.

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