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2005-07-04 | 1:25 a.m.

This is the finest week of my year, when all the other people who live in the house are gone and it is just me and the dogs. And, you know, the rest of them--the rats, the bunny, the chickens, and the fish. Oh hell, I forgot the cat. Don't worry, Rufus is the still the king.

It's been a month of Sundays since I last updated my diary, so I thought I'd go find a new template and come back all fresh and sparkly new. But after an hour of template-browsing, I think I give up. I just don't have enough in common with the template designers, it seems. Such as youth. I'm old, really old, and even if I weren't my sensibility is entirely different. I don't identify with movie stars or cartoon characters or anime heroines in titillating short skirts. And I'm vain enough to think that what I've written shouldn't have to compete with pop-song lyrics in flowery fonts.

So. The new template will have to wait.

But I am posting, for what it's worth. Is anybody still out there? It's kind of like shouting into a cave, this. Listening to my own voice echo back.

I'll try to put some pictures up, too. I have to show off the new puppy, Darla. My little black-eyed tornado of love. First she makes me bleed, and then she licks my wounds.

I'll try to keep writing. I'm out of the habit. It really is a habit, if not a vice.

I see it's the Fourth of July now. Every year I drag myself to two parades, even if the rest of the family is out of town. And every year I forget to put on sunscreen and come home with a burn. But not this year! This year, I'm celebrating my curmudgeonly impulses and staying in. I need to be with the dogs, to see them through the trauma of fireworks. Also just feel like lazing around.

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