Charles Stross' book Glasshouse, which is, among other things, about how sane people go insane when forced to live by the norms of the early 21st century, particularly if they're trying to be housewives, and I can see it. I actually have been a housewife once or twice in my long and checkered career and I believe I was kind of insane. On the other hand I suppose you could say that of most of my life, so the housewifing thing might not be the cause. Oh well! Some kinds of craziness are way underrated.
It turns out that the dogs, when left to their own devices all day with an obliging human to open the back door whenever necessary, have a nice sane schedule. About once an hour they are seized by the need to run frantically out the door and around the yard on a squirrel patrol. Then they come back in, bounce for a couple minutes and settle into comfortable naps for an hour before the possibility of a treacherous squirrel perimeter break or, heaven forbid, someone walking a dog down the street (an insult not to be borne) sends them back outside to bark and go berserk for half an hour. This goes on all day - it's actually not at all unlike the average American workplace.
In other news, I got Annie an aquarium for Christmas. I was planning to set the whole thing up at my house and carry it over to her house, ready to go, but that turned out to be a completely insane idea. Aquariums are sort of fixed points in the domestic universe: they do not move easy. So we took it over there on Christmas day and filled it up and left it for 24 hours without fish, which we were worried would be difficult for her to grasp, but she got it fine. She said that once she had the fish she would take them into the bathtub with her, too, but we're all going to overlook that part. It's logistically unlikely, after all, even if the comment did almost make lasagne come out Audrey's nose. I called her on Saturday and she was ready for her fish, so off we went to the Asheville Aquarium, which is a strange and wonderful place that not only has the fish and stuff in tanks you would expect, but also couches and a coffee bar. Annie was thrilled. I foresee many more visits and, thanks to a really nice, really knowledgeable guy, there are now some neon tetras and orange fish whose name I forget swimming happily about in a tank with a plant, a light and all those good fishy things.