It’s amazing how much I love being home. We’re currently taking care of Nicole’s dog Apollo. No, not “taking care of him” like the mafia would “take care of him,” but rather, keep him company, feed him, give him a place to stay. One of these days Apollo’s going to get his butt off the couch and get a job, but you know, I suppose it’s tough to find a suitable career for someone in his position.

So, Nicole and I are also taking care of Doc’s dogs while Doc O’Connor is away in Africa. Every evening, they get a walk. On one of these walks, we look at the window and notice Apollo looking at us from on top the table. Not only is this a no-no typically, but this time, he managed to eat the half a stick of butter that was sitting on the butter bowl on the table.

He wasn’t a very happy dog that night. We weren’t very happy people having to clean up after a not very happy dog that night.

But all in all, Apollo has been a great joy. Somehow, having a pet around makes a house feel more like a home. Vomit not included.

Oh, and P.S., The Format has a new album out. It’s called (appropriately enough) “Dog Problems” and it is FRELLING FANTASTIC! They’re first album, “Interventions + Lullabies” was really good, but this album takes their pop formula and adds a weight that is very odd to find in pop rockers of this day. Check out their website here.

We stared across the plains.

Our trip was wonderful. I’ve never seen such amazing country, and the greatest part about it was how different every town in America really is. It’s easy to tell the difference between Roswell, NM, Amarillo, TX, and Wayton, AR. Of course, those are three very different towns, but the entire country seems to be like that: the tones and chords of the countryside resonating through the fabric I’m made of.

We stayed twelve days at my grandparent’s house in Wayton, Arkansas, in the middle of the Ozark National Forest. It’s green, really green. And there’s this species of tree frog that sounds nothing like frogs I’m used to. They sound like you’re in the middle of an insect, as if the entire Ozarks are built on the back of a bumblebee, and the sounds surround.

All in all, it was a fantastic trip. And my first day back at work was great, but exhausting. And now, I’m up almost an hour after Nicole’s gone to sleep, and I think I should toss myself in bed.

So, I’m alive. Blissfully alive. And I’ve got the bug bites to prove it.