1. I am officially an old pro at roasting chickens. Golden, plump, juicy chickens. I’d say I could do it blindfolded, but there’s no need to brag. Plus, I did have to struggle through another potent “I’m joining PETA now” moment when I was holding the bird and patting salt along its back. At once tender and disturbing, it really felt just like burping a baby. But dinner was delicious: roasted chicken, ratatouille, and warm farmers’ market fingerling potatoes with cider vinegar and olive oil and fresh dill and salt. Miam miam.

2. U. S. of A., you’d better be watching the first presidential debates tomorrow evening. I’ll cringe each time George W. opens his little pursed lips, but I’m committed to sticking it out. After all, I learned from the New York Times (“Live from Miami, a Style Showdown,” September 26, 2004) that John Kerry has a “buoyantly vertical hairstyle,” and now I have to see what it can do for him. According to Caroline F. Keating, and professor of psychology at Colgate University, “He has exciting hair, which is . . . quite useful.” Let’s hope so. I don’t take this as lightly as it may seem.

3. I love riding home from work on the bus. I strategically choose my seat so that I’ll be on the sunny side as we head north from downtown, and then I relish the half-hearted battle with sleep that inevitably ensues. I adore sleeping in moving vehicles—only when someone else is doing the driving, of course.

When I was younger and used to ride horses competitively, I spent many late nights sleeping in the front seat of my riding trainer’s pickup truck as we sped across New Mexico or Colorado to a show. Jenny, my trainer, hated the eerie way my head would flop down over my chest; she always wanted to grab my hair and yank me up, make sure I was still breathing. I was indeed, just very relaxed. Years later, I had the misfortune of doing the floppy-head move in the Paris Métro on my way home from school, and I drooled all over the collar of the long and dramatic black wool coat I’d saved up to buy for myself. I was very careful to avoid making eye contact with anyone when I woke up startled and began madly wiping at the wet spot on my cheek. I do love to sleep in moving vehicles.

4. Speaking of vehicles,

I present to you the pickup that was parked next to Margot’s car in the parking lot on Maury Island. Unfortunately, you can’t see the pack of Swisher Sweets on the seat, and the curvature of the glass is not doing flattering things for my waistline. But I know some of you are dying to see my milkmaid / midwife-to-plaster-fetuses-in-rocks outfit. I aim to please.