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2008-12-12 - 12:22 p.m.

A list, because I like Fridays (especially, for some reason, cold and clear ones), so pregnant with possibility:

1. I like that the New York Times, on second reference to a person, uses the Mr. or Mrs. titles. Specifically, in reading the review of Clint Eastwood's new movie, the director and star is referred to as "Mr. Eastwood." Something pretty great about that.

2. I like that the dog is feeling better. We were very worried a few nights ago. We were a half-second away from taking him to the vet, but he's rebounded. He wasn't eating and was having trouble going up or down stairs. Sluggish and all of that. And while he's still slow, he's ninety-one percent better. Wagging his tail, curious about your sandwich, pissed at the FedEx truck.

3. And what was gone for a few days there was my girlfriend's laugh. Now that the dog is better, though, she is, too (and so am I). She's got a bunch of laughs. She likes to laugh. She's good at it.

4. I like writing short things. I'm working on a little article thing about the great cooking adventure my friends took on this past weekend. I like being concise and pungent.

5. I like crisp winter days. Blue skies, leaves dried up and underfoot, making their oh-I'll-be-back sounds, their sounds that will never go away because some things are forever. I like that smell, too, when it's going to snow. What is it about that smell? My hunch is that everyone likes that electric smell, that 32-degrees smell, everything gray but shot through with electricity, cold-but-not-real-cold, that sense that something is coming, that something is about to happen, that the world is holding its breath and looking up to the sky.

6. Everything about the idea of the short story that appears every week in the New Yorker. I don't always like the story (of course I won't like every one) but I like enough of them, especially lately. They do tend to run a lot of the same kinds of stories, I think, but I like that, every week, there are six or seven pages devoted to this made-up world, one person's perfect little idea of how the world really works, that one writer's intricate, geared take on one woman or one teenaged boy or two people on an airplane. The craft of it, the squared edges and the sanded and stained surfaces, it thrills me and makes me want to swallow it whole.

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