I've been rediscovering the joys of making piles of stuff go away and/or go into boxes. I keep forgetting about that. Actually, I've rediscovered the joys of going to the gym and cross-trainering myself into endorphin euphoria, too. And the associated joy of reading a great big pile of trashy comic books while on the machine. This weekend it was the Essential Dr. Strange collection (all the Lee/Ditko stories, followed by the rest of his run in Strange Tales--I'd forgotten that EXACTLY THE SAME THING HAPPENED EVERY MONTH in the Lee/Ditko stories until they hit the Dormammu bit, at which point things perked up a lot--and I'd also forgotten that we didn't get a good solid look at that "Greenwich Village townhouse" with the best skylight of all time until the series had been running for a while); today it was JLA: Incarnations, a mini-series with the fatal flaw that it can only have emotional resonance for people who've been reading JLA for 20 years or so (that would be, cough, me). Tomorrow it's probably the first batch of issues of the new Doom Patrol series, for which I don't have high hopes: following Grant Morrison on that book is like following Alan Moore on Swamp Thing or Frank Miller on Daredevil--you have to either imitate him or write against him, both of which are fairly doomed approaches. I could be wrong. (Though there's also apparently a new hardcover collection of the earliest Doom Patrol stories from My Greatest Adventure in the early '60s--I've seen some of those, and I love their understated attitude.)

Another Hoof & Mouth practice today--we joked about renaming it "Chandra Levy and the Shark Attacks." I seem to have worn my voice out singing a bunch of songs in the place of people who weren't there. That really tricky Mohammed Rafi song seems to be under control now, though. It reminds me how much I love playing in a band--I need to figure out how I can do that again after next weekend.

I'm also starting to think that it'd be a good idea to be in a band that'd operate from a formal manifesto. (Is Dogma a good band name? I sort of think so.) Some internal rules that other bands have had, and that seem like a good idea:

• All songs written within the band, no matter who comes up with part or all of them, are credited equally to all band members. (The R.E.M. rule.)

• At every live show, play one original song and one cover for the first time. (The Naked City rule.)

• Not everybody has to be playing all the time. If it makes sense to sit out part or all of a song, do. (The Lambchop rule, I guess.)

• Groove music is great, but it can be very slow as well as very fast, and is improved by unusual instrumentation. (The Ravi Harris & the Prophets rule.)

• All rules like the above are not absolutes, and in fact they can be broken any time you feel like it: but they, and not the ordinary way of doing things, are the basic assumptions.

There have to be more useful rules (or guidelines). What are they?