I just read in Sunday's paper that Martin Amis recently declared religious belief to be "without reason and without dignity, and its record is near-universally dreadful." By an amazing coincidence, I too am unreasonable and undignified, and my own record is near-universally dreadful. It is well, then, that I became a Christian.

graceness tells me that she and her husband attended a buck and doe party over the weekend. It seems like this Northern mating ritual is something Canadians are doing all the time, and involves conveying money to couples engaged to be wed. I picture something like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, with lumberjack-sized men vaulting fences and stomping the floor with their boots in time with the fiddler and washboard player, while the women dance a reel with their gingham skirts all a-swirl.

Angela and I went out on Saturday night with her father and half-sisters, and her half-sisters' boyfriends. Sarah's returned from studying in Manchester to finish up at UCSD, and brought her English boyfriend J.P. (who reminds me a bit of panamaus) back with her for the summer. Janis is being all entreprenurial in Long Beach -- I think she's making skirts now and selling them to clothing shops, in addition to her design work -- and has hooked up with a musician who looks like a young Tim Robbins and sounds like Christian Slater. We went for Mexican food and then to Farrell's for ice cream. J.P. was astounded -- he'd assumed that American movies were just making up places like Farrell's, where they bang drums and crank sirens as they announce that a diner has just finished a Pig Trough Sundae all by himself.

My father-in-law Ron gave me a Barnes and Noble gift card as a belated birthday present so on Sunday I bicycled over and picked up the CD I, Jonathan by Jonathan Richman and a nice B&N Classics hardcover edition of The Three Musketeers. I love the CD and I feel a great weight lifted from my shoulders now that I've finally replaced my old, dirty, depressing hideous paperback edition of the Dumas novel with this swanky new volume.