Colorado Nickerson

I didn’t write earlier today because I was expecting — not a child, because this isn’t the Bible and I’m not Ruth expecting Baby Ruth. Or wait. Was it Sarah who had a baby when she was old? Someone did. Some chick of old. It’s been a long time since I was in parochial school.

Anyway I didn’t write earlier because I was expecting work. And I wanted to get started on it early, so I IGNORED this blog and went straight to work but then the work wasn’t there and it wasn’t there and it wasn’t there and I was like Sarah Ruth expecting that baby and getting on my donkey and heading to Ye Olde CVF for pregnancy tests.

Remember how old printing presses used to use Fs for Ss? That was the joke, there. Like it was the CVS of biblical times.

Headed to CVF for a Last Response Pregnancy Test. Cause they weren’t that good back then, see.

I should just give up.

My point is, I did all sorts of other work today to clear out my schedule for the thing I was expecting and now that I am not getting what I was expecting, the afternoon

YAWNS

before me, so here I am writing my blog.

Yesterday I got up and wore clothes and got in the car and did all sorts of before-times things that I don’t normally do.

My laptop, generously provided to me by the good folks at my job, was wearing out. First of all, the A key was all faded, and I don’t know why the A. Am I The Fonz? Do I type a lot of aaaaaaaaaa? I don’t know. But that’s the key that suffered.

This was no big deal. But what WAS a big deal were the keys themselves, particularly my shift key, wasn’t working, so lots of what I would type would be in lowercase and I thought it wasn’t a big deal but it turns out that’s a sign your laptop is wearing out so I brought mine in to work and IT transferred everything to this here new-ish laptop that I have today.

Edsel didn’t even know what to make of me leaving the house without him. Now that we’ve been together this much, I was 99% certain he understood me when I said I’d be back in an hour or two.

Then I drove to work and got a good spot in the parking lot, and right there’s your silver lining. I walked into the dark room that is my workplace. I opened the door and didn’t see all the people.

My office is an old mill, so it’s got huge open rooms and several floors, and yesterday there was no one on my floor at all. On my way to my desk I heard “squeak!!” and I know it was a mouse. You can’t blame him. I’d be hanging out there, too.

My calendar still read February. I toyed with taking it down but I figure it’ll be more dramatic to do so when I return for real. I sprayed on some of my perfume I have at my desk. Then I headed upstairs to where IT is.

There was just one IT guy there, and he put on his mask as soon as he saw me. We had to work together for a bit so he could get all the info off my old laptop and put it on the newer one. But then there was going to be 45 minutes where everything was Manhattan Transferring. “You can hang out if you want,” he said, but clearly he does not know me.

“I’ll just come back,” I said, and headed to the mailroom to get my package. I’d accidentally ordered something to come to work.

As I made my way to the mailroom, I thought, “This is why you got so fucking fat.” Because seriously, my workplace is giant, and we have three floors you have to traverse via stairs, and usually during the workday I’d do that all the time. It’s easier to just run upstairs to ask someone something rather than send a dumb email.

But now for the past year, all I’ve done is sit in this 999-square-foot house where I only get up to let the dog out or what have you. I guess this explains my appearance, which can only be described as squishy.

Speaking of which, since I was out, I decided to stop off and see the fine people of Sonic. It’s near work and I never get there anymore as that would require getting up off this chair. As you know, from your Big Book of June Events, I enjoy the Sonic chili cheese dog. And here’s my problem. I mean, beyond my cholesterol.

My problem is they never add the onion or mustard. Which, why? So yesterday I said, “Yes. I’d like the chili cheese dog with onion and mustard, please.”

As I was paying, I got a message from IT that my laptop was ready. So I screamed back there as soon as I could.

“Now, can you log in and…” began the IT guy.

“Do we have to do this together?” I asked. First of all, COVID, and second, I had a chili cheese dog.

“Oh! I don’t want to stand in the way of you and your chili cheese dog!” he said. “No; you can do this at home!”

So I screamed to my car, screamed home, brought in my purse/keys/laptop/draaaank/bag of fries/chili cheese dog/box from mailroom OH MY GOD but I was finally inside without dropping anything.

I was so dying to get to the chili cheese dog, and I ripped open the packaging like it was a bodice and I was Mandingo, and?

No chili. They gave me a hot dog with mustard and onion.

WHY DID THEY THINK THAT’S WHAT I WANTED? OH MY GOD.

So that was severely disappointing.

At the end of the day, and I’m not one of those dreadful people who is using that term to mean, “ultimately.” I mean literally my workday was done. And at the end of it, Ned called.

Ned bought a 2008 Mustang at the end of last year, and I refused to ride in it until two weeks had passed because he’d test driven and done paperwork with some car dealer and I didn’t want to hold him in my armchair so I could feel his disease. But finally the two weeks were up and Ned wondered if I wanted to ride in his car with him. So I said yes to the man. (Name that movie.)

You shoulda heard old Ned roaring up to my house. Good gravy. I got in his car and saw my neighbor, so I waved.

“I wonder if the neighbors think some new dude is squiring me about town, what with this new car and all.”

“They think I’m a whole new man. I’m going to introduce myself as someone cooler. Colorado Nickerson. ‘No, I’m not Ned Nickerson. I’m Colorado. Colorado Nickerson.'”

Colorado and I drove around this loop that takes you all around the city, and you know I’m indifferent to cars, so I didn’t ask that many questions about it. What I did ask was, “Can we go to CVS? (Not CVF.) I have GERD from my non-chili, non-cheese chili cheese dog.”

So we roared into CVS so I could get Prilosec, and I’m sure everyone was impressed with how cool we were. Look at the indigestion on that cool duo!

Finally, we got back to my house, and Colorado Nickerson dropped me off. He was in a hurry because some stupid basketball game was on and I’m so glad to not have any testosterone. I mean, I guess I have some, right? But like one teensy speck of it that comes out when people type apart when they mean a part.

When I got inside I was finally able to take off my pants, pants I’d been wearing all day, and frankly I can’t believe I went so many decades just … wearing pants. They’re so cumbersome and awful. I guess this is why Edsel gets that dreamy look when I scritch him under his collar. Like, you don’t even know you’re uncomfortable till you find something more comfortable and say, Wow, that was awful and I didn’t know it.

So that sums up yesterday and for me it was pretty people-y. Now I gotta sit here and wait for symptoms.

Relaxedly,
New Hampshire Gardens

June has to put on pants

I feel sort of itchy in my nose and also kind of sneezy, as in I sneezed once, so inevitably this is it. I’m Rona Barrett. The fact that I have not spoken face to face with another human since December 25 is beside the point.

I have to go to work today, actually, so I hope I don’t spread this faux ‘rona. For a month now, my keyboard isn’t exactly working, and I have to press the Shift key about a hundred and nine times to get it to make capital letters. Everything I type looks like I’m e.e. cummings. Or his very inclusive sister cc cummings.

Finally, I alerted IT, which always scares me because by the time I’m (argh. That “I’m” took me 50 tries) done at IT I feel like a bumbling old lady. They always ask some questions that you couldn’t possibly know the answer to like, “Are you wired?”

“Well, I’m a little wound up, but.”

So I have to take it in to the actual office from noon to 2:00, so I guess this means today I have to put on pants and stuff.

Elizabeth Gilbert said if you work at home you should make your bed and get dressed every day. So I’ve done that, although I’ll stretch that, “It’s still morning” robe look till 11:00 sometimes. But when I get dressed it has been leggings and a t-shirt or, in winter, a sweatshirt. I even bought two pairs of shorts this summer. I haven’t worn shorts since we all enjoyed the Reuben Kincaid hair shift commercial on Nick at Night.

So that will be weird. Pants, I mean. And going to the office, I mean.

IT has been going to work this whole time. I think they’ve done it in shifts, like one goes in one day or something. I plan to run in there, drop off my laptop, and scream out. Then I’ll go down to my floor and get my picture frame.

For Christmas, my mother sent me the original recipe card of one of Grammy’s cookie recipes, a cookie I eat every Christmas and really why so filled out. Why the leggings.

I got the brilliant idea to frame said recipe and get it out as a Christmas decoration each year. I found a black-and-red-plaid picture frame on sale, then got the “YOUR ORDER HAS ARRIVED” notice (that all-caps just took 109 tries) and then I saw the shipping address was work.

Also my boss got me something ridiculous in her travels and left it on my desk so I have three—three!!!—reasons to go in. Threeee! Ah ah ah.

I’d better go. I promised marketing I’d copy edit some stuff for them and I don’t want to screw that up by not having my computer for two hours today. Also I have to shower and try to squeeze self into pants. I know I’ve gained at least 10 pounds and that depressed me so much I didn’t weigh myself again, but then I wanted to know how much Forest weighs, so I bit the bullet, not literally, and turned on the scale but mercifully the battery had died, and it takes this weird nub of a battery I don’t own.

I made him get on that kitchen scale I use for the foster kittens and he was most perturbed so the best I can tell you is more than 9. He weighs more than 9. I think maybe he weighs 10 pounds. He’s 10 months. Further reports as developments warrant.

And for all I know I weigh 415 and I’m tryina get into my regular chubby June pants. I’m not getting on the kitten scale to find out. This whole plague has ticked me off.

OK, talk at you.

June

The woman who tried to steal Marvin

Somewhere or other I mentioned this woman awhile back and people have asked about her since. I know I’ve told this story before but obviously everyone hasn’t heard it, so here it is.

Marvin is my ex-husband and the person who suggested I start blogging in 2006. I am certain he is chagrined that I’m still doing it. In any event, I’d known Marvin in college, we dated three terrible months (I was an anxious attacher and he was a love avoidant at the time. Seeing as I didn’t know about this dynamic I just felt constantly nervous about if he’d call and he rarely did and that sums up those three months. I remember calling him on my birthday just so I wouldn’t spend my birthday worrying if he’d call).

Ten years later, Marvin lived in Los Angeles and I lived in Seattle. We’d stayed in touch, sporadically, and I always liked him. I invited him for a visit on the spur of the moment because you know how I’m not impulsive or anything. He immediately said yes and visited a few weeks later and the rest is history but then again so is the holocaust.

The visit went well and we got married. I mean, not that weekend but I’m trying to move the story along.

Fortunately, by that point Marvin was more of a secure attacher and as an anxious attacher dating a secure attacher I said, “Wow, this feels so different. I don’t have to feel terrible and wonder if he’ll show up or disappear or what have you.” So then I became a secure attacher and all was well.

In my studying about attachment theory they say the cure for anxious attachment is to find you a secure attacher and I can say it really does work. Then we got divorced and I stampeded for another love avoidant and follow me for more healthy choices.

I trusted Marvin. I never looked through his desk or computer history (we didn’t have phones to look through but I wouldn’t have looked through that either) or any of the old tricks I’d normally pull as an anxious person in a relationship.

Ten years into the marriage and four years into blogging, this woman started leaving comments on my blog. As was the custom back then, she also had a blog. She was hilarious and really smart. I think she had a PhD, if memory serves. This was back when maybe four people would leave a comment all day, and I’d end up emailing back and forth with those commentors. So we really got to know each other.

I have since figured out I choose two kinds of friends: the charismatic unreliable and the old faithful. I am always, always drawn to smart, funny, charismatic women (and men) who inevitably let me down. For example, one friend in LA, who wrote screenplays for a living and left you ON THE FLOOR with his hilarity, said no to my wedding invitation because, “I thought about your wedding and said to myself, ‘Am I really gonna have fun?'” So he didn’t go.

I always want those people as friends and they always fail me. I end up staying friends with people who are quieter and more sensible than me. My friend Sandy. Dottie. The Other Copy Editor. You see the trend.

The point is, this woman was 100% a charismatic unreliable, and oh, I was enamored with her. She lived in New York, which seemed so glamorous to me. We got on the phone and MapQuested each other’s addresses, or maybe it was Google Maps by then, who knows. The point is, we could see each other’s dwellings and it seemed super cool and futuristic and she couldn’t believe I didn’t have a sidewalk.

She was unlucky in love, and I gave her advice, the sage advice of a married woman.

I can’t remember how she and Marvin started playing Scrabble online and maybe it wasn’t even Scrabble but it was some game. I must have set it up, and there you go. Then he’d be telling me her latest woe and we were both friends with this funny, smart person in New York.

As I said, I trusted Marvin, maybe too much. We once met this young, pretty woman we liked at the dog park and they both wanted to see some band play and I said, “Why don’t you go together?” and they did and in retrospect I think I was kind of setting him up to fail a bit.

Anyway, over MLK weekend, the New York woman sent us cookies with a funny card, and I wrote her to thank her and she didn’t write back. We talked all the time so that was odd.

I wrote her again and? Nothing.

After a week I really started to worry. What had I done? Was she OK?

And I can’t remember all the ins and outs now, so to speak, but I know in my worrying I found her secret blog she had or something. I don’t think I found this in her regular blog. Anyway, it was a whole post written over MLK weekend about how “the affair had been memorable” but she’d decided to end it without another word.

I mean.

It couldn’t have been an affair affair, as we were hundreds of miles apart.

“Did you have a cyber affair with Charismatic Unreliable?” I asked Marvin.

“What? No!”

It was the first time I’d ever had any sort of anxiety like that the whole time I was married. I didn’t believe anything had happened at all, but then I feared something did, and now 12 years later I don’t know what to think.

I mean, Marvin left one year later, almost exactly. So maybe he needed someone to talk to, and she was lonely, so maybe they got close and she got excited about it and Marvin didn’t see it the way she saw it.

Anyway, it’s water under the bridge and I never talked to that woman again but that’s the story of how Marvin was almost stolen by Scrabble. How many points for the word harlot?

Love,
Charismatic unreliable June

Tutu chubby but whatever

When we left each other last week, I was preparing to be buried in the Snowstorm of the South. Let’s just say I sure am glad I stocked up on — yeah, I didn’t need to stock up on anything.

Really, that dog WAS happy about the snow, but he’s always happy unless he decides to Letter C, which he just ups and does sometimes. I feel like he must remember some time in the past when he was an asshole or something.

{lottie}

Also, I know most of you have seen the below on the social medias, but here it is for the 4 people who refuse to join modern society. Get down off your one-wheeled bicycle and look at Forest’s reaction to snow.

Unicycle. I guess it’s called a unicycle, not a one-wheeled bicycle, as that literally makes no sense.

It bugs me that two years into living here I apparently already have to paint these back steps. Just because 20 feet go up and down it 70 times a day.

Also also, that turquoise thing is the table umbrella. I just laid it against the house for winter, rather than store it in the shed, because if I left it in the shed I’d be scared snakes would just pop out of it when I opened it in spring. I realize the best part of life is the thinner slice and

Dear June: Please stop quoting that line from the fine people at Air Supply.

I realize I need to get over going into the shed but I cannot. My snake shed is practically useless now, as it is a snake shed.

To sum, the snow never really even covered the grass, so I am holding out for a hero, and also for another more substantial snowstorm later this year. LAST year, all we got was one snowstorm the day after my surgery so I don’t really remember it. So it’s been two years since we’ve had a really good snow that I could enjoy.

The other thing I did this weekend was try to take ballet. A few weeks ago, my Instagram ads—ads that know my very soul—had an ad for online classes from the International Ballet Academy in New York. Ooooo, I wanted those. Naturally, they HOSED YOU OFF by not telling you ANYTHING until you entered all sorts of information, but finally I learned classes were

$197 a month

and I said yeah, no. That’s less than I was paying for my trainer by the way, but still. So on Friday afternoon I got a call from a woman from the International House of Balletcakes, wondering why I didn’t seal the deal.

“Oh, the cost was too prohibitive,” I said to her. You should hear me on the phone with these kinds of people. Once I get past my breakthrough “Yes,” at the beginning, I talk like I have a PhD in phone conversations.

“We’re offering a special of $50 a month and you can cancel anytime,” she said.

When Marvin and I used to go out to eat, he’d ask for the special and if it contained anything with a lemon or honey or chicken, Marvin would say, “Sold!” to the waitperson. This sort of grandpa talk always humiliated me to my core, despite the fact that later in the dinner I would inevitably balance the spoon on my nose. My nose has now gotten so huge that I can’t even do that any longer. Plus the last time I was at a restaurant was the day Kobe Bryant died. It was on the TV at the restaurant.

The point is, I so wanted to say, “SOLD!” to the fine woman at the International Ballet Academy. Or maybe, “Take my money.”

The first live class was Saturday at 12:45 p.m. You can watch it after that any time, but I really wanted to take it live. I have ballet shoes from when a coworker was going through a divorce so he took ballet and I said I’d go to classes with him to be supportive and then bought shoes and never went. Follow me for this kind of support.

Before class my mother called. I recognized her ring. I don’t have ring tones for people. I just knew, when the phone rang, who it would be.

“You’re not taking beginning lessons, are you? You’re not a beginner!”

…!

“Yes. I suppose I should’ve mentioned my years at Ann Herzberg dance studio in Bridgeport, Michigan from 1972 to 1975. Geez. I hope I don’t blow the instructor out of the water.”

In the end, I couldn’t get on Zoom. I mean, I could, but first I tested to see if I could and once it looked like I was for sure getting on, I hung up, cause it was like 20 minutes early and I didn’t want to seem overeager. Then I tried to call back right before the class like

ELEVENTY HUNDRED TIMES

and I think Zoom thought I was some sort of scammer, or Antifa. I never could dial back in. So I took a ballet class on YouTube for free just because I had on the shoes and I felt like this:

Nevertheless, I am persisting because $50 a month, man. That’s 1/8 of a Botox.

I gotta go. I have to get to work and my commute is a nightmare. Harrrrr. All those years in Los Angeles I wished for a better commute and NOW LOOK AT ME.

I leave you with this image of God watching Democrats and Republicans.

1.2

Years ago, one of you said that someone you knew thought mammogram was pronounced “mammy-o-gram,” and I’ve really never been able to call it anything else and thanks for ruining my life.

Yesterday was my scheduled mammy-o-gram, and if I could actually arrange for Scarlett O’Hara’s mammy to just come feel me up and give me the OK and then harangue me about Ashley, I’d do it.

Of course I had my annual mammy-o-gram freakout and terror and obsessive Googling that comes before, and then the morning I was to get it, aka yesterday, I got an email from my regular doctor, who has not yet quit or died. She emailed all her patients to let us know she is still going with the pronouns she and her (which, why?), and also to let us know that coronavirus cases have doubled in our area in the last 10 days and to please limit our movement.

Oh, I’ve limited my movement. You should see me over here. What was that big blob thing in Star Wars?

“Terrifying Mammy-o-grams. May I help you?”

“Yes,” I said. Of course I said “yes,” the mating call of all my phone calls to professional places. “I need to postpone my mammy-o-gram.”

So now it’s in April, and the receptionist said she didn’t blame me, and we bonded over “this whole thing” and then no sooner did I do that then I got a call saying my migraine doctor appointment is next week.

GOD

DAMMIT.

And he’s holding me hostage; I can’t get more of these anti-seizure pills unless I go. There is no earthly reason a migraine doctor can’t have telehealth calls. All you DO is tell him what’s going on. They don’t weigh you or measure you or look at your tongue or any of that nonsense. That nonsense like your vitals.

So I ran from the Raiders of the Lost Ark boulder that is ‘rona this week, only to have to face it again next week.

Also, as soon as work was done I got another call last night from that goddamn Mario from that goddamn Apple Care. What they do, see, is a recording calls you first, see, asking if you’ll take the call, and if you can’t, press 2. I had worked right up till 6 and the call came at like 6 and .0001 seconds, so I pressed fucking 2 as hard as possible. I have grown officially tired of my issue and no longer even wish to fix it.

How long have I been working on this? At least a month. I’ll bet I’ve put 30 hours into fixing this thing. Hooo care at this point. Can’t they just send me a new computer?

In other news, we are under a “winter storm warning” here and I want you to brace your loins or whatever but we are expecting

AN INCH POINT TWO.

of snow.

I hope we’ll all make it and your thoughts and prayers are welcome at this snowy juncture.

The thing is, they promised us it’d start happening overnight and that I’d wake up to an amazing frosty oasis of one inch of snow, and I told Forest about it and figured he’d like it, since once it’s anywhere below 40 that cat is clinging to the door, MEEPING to be outside to place his bits on cold rocks and cold ice and cold drinks and cold compresses, his fur blowing about like he’s waiting for Poldark.

But we got up this morning and dashed to the door to frolic, and?

Dull. Dull day. Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day. Fritter and waste the Blu in an offhand way.

I realize Blu is disgusting. A dog plays with it. Whattaya want from Blu? Occasionally I will clean Blu but it gets dirty again like two seconds later, as a dog plays with it. So.

Anyway, NOW they’re claiming it will begin to snow this afternoon, and they are still calling it a winter storm warning, and we are all hunkering down to be pelleted by an

INCH POINT TWO.

of snow.

I have tied a rope from the house to the shed so I can feed the snakes tonight and make it back in without losing my way due to snowblindness.

I had better go. First of all, my choice of pants was stupid and I feel way too breezy and I need to put on something warmer like maybe bearskin chaps. Secondly, it was slow slow slow at the beginning of the week, and now work is crashing my way and I fear I will not get it all done and that someone will give me the pursed-lips look from behind their laptop if I say, “This is going to be late.”

[disclaimer: I am never late. Instead I give myself migraines and bite my cuticles and don’t sleep. But I do not turn in work late, even if I get zero work on MTW, and then 47 hours of work on Th.]

Not that fondly,
June

June reaches her limit

I woke up before the alarm went off and I thought, “Wow! I slept all night without waking up, even after all the crap that happened yesterday! I don’t usually do that after a good day!”

I rolled over to shut off the alarm so I wouldn’t have to hear it, and it was 11:20 p.m.

I’d been asleep 20 minutes.

So.

Anyway, that was jarring. Yesterday, I mean. It was jarring and upsetting, and here’s the thing.

I really have no patience for anyone who’s going to try to tell me, “Oh, that was just a protest like all the Black Lives Matter protests.” or “That wasn’t us who stormed the Capitol. That was ANTIFA!”

I even saw someone who had the nerve to say, “Those people were DEMOCRATS with MAGA hats on!”

If you’ve read me for awhile, and who here hasn’t, really, you know for nearly 15 years now I’ve said, OK, let’s not be hysterical about “the other side.” After presidential elections, I always have us write comments where you have to say something good about the political side opposite yours, and snide remarks get deleted. I deleted an 86-year-old liberal—repeatedly—because she couldn’t play by the rules.

But if you still think what Donald Trump led people to do yesterday was “just a protest” or if you’ve now backed off and said, “Oh, that wasn’t us,” go away.

I mean it. Go away. I don’t want you on here. I don’t want you commenting. I don’t want to know you in real life.

You are a terrible person and I’ve had it. Go rethink your life choices.

I get that you’re angry. I get that you feel unheard. But you’ve taken a bad path.

If you’re a Republican who understands that Donald Trump is a dangerous person but you’re still conservative and proud of it, I’m absolutely fine with you being here. I welcome you here. I’m not only fine with people having opinions that differ from mine, I think it’s important that we all have different beliefs. If I don’t listen to other reasonable thoughts, how the hell am I going to learn anything?

But I’m not fine with people who are willfully ignorant and violent. What happened yesterday was un-American, and truthfully all that “I’m an American” stuff never meant that much to me except on September 11, 2001. But it’s become a hell of a lot more clear to me now just how important it is that we respect the electoral process and hey, here’s a thought. How about we act like grownups?

So, in the end, I didn’t sleep well last night. But I did decide that much. If you were OK with yesterday, my tolerance ends here. And while my tolerance for dumb, easily Google-able questions and advice has always been limited, my tolerance for other opinions and beliefs has always been a point of pride for me. I’ve always detested the vilification of people who differ from me. It’s always seemed absurd and shortsighted.

But this? This I won’t tolerate.

[shuffles papers, leaves dais]

Emotional coin

I’m writing to you from the kitchen today; it looks so pretty that I just decided to be in here. I know I have to iron the ding-dang tablecloth. I keep thinking it and then thinking about other things that are more fun than dragging out the ironing board.

Also, I am sick of these cats. Who decided to get all these cats? [looks behind her accusingly]

First, Iris had to get special food for her stomach that costs $479 a bag. And everyone wanted to eat it. I fed her in a separate room, here in the kitchen on the little shelf in here. But every time I looked over there, someone was munching her kibble, which sounded dirtier than it is.

Finally, they were all so obsessed with her food that I just called the beleaguered vet.

“Would it be OK if that was just everyone’s food?” I asked him.

“Oh, sure! It’s just for easy digestion! But you need to keep Forest on his canned kitten food till he’s 1.”

So now that I’m spending 9 million dollars a day on special digestion cat food, what do you think everyone wants now? Is it the canned effing kitten food? All I’m ever doing is PULLING everyone BACK, like they’re fans at a Beatles concert, over that canned kitten food. Meanwhile,

Here’s Forest over at Iris’s food.

So that’s relaxing.

March. Forest will be a year old in March. Then we’re all eating that special stomach food, even me.

While I was typing this, I heard all sorts of barking and realized Edsel was still outside for his morning constitutional and the woman next door had let HER dog, Cinnamon, out. This led Edsel to lose his mind and bark at the fence, really low. I don’t mean his voice was really low like Barry White. I mean his SNOUT was really low and he was carrying on like a crazy person and meanwhile Cinnamon remained unimpressed on her side of the fence.

You should’ve seen it. It was like two sides of an emotional coin over there. Which just made a ton of sense. But maybe they were like those drama masks, only the masks were insane and stoic. It’s kind of like when the Tasmanian Devil is having a fit and Bugs Bunny just stands there.

Cinnamon is a large unflappable light-brown pit bull who likes me because I give her treats. She could not care LESS about Edsel, who considers Cinnamon the great enemy.

In general, I’d like to speak to the manager of these pets. Honestly, where IS the person in charge here?

Also, I’m running into the same problem every morning. I write this stupid blog from about 7:30 to 8:30. I mean, it doesn’t always take the whole hour, but that is the general time frame. And lately, every day I’m getting all sorts of texts and messages at that time.

I’ve gotten to the point where I’m just not answering them till 8:30. I tried the whole: “Talk to you at 8:30!” ploy and it seems to make no difference, so now I’m just pretending those messages aren’t there. Honestly if you give people an inch.

I JUST WANT MY TIME TO WRITE. And I know you’re gonna be all, “You can turn those off, JOOOON” but it’s a pain to turn it on and off all the time and my big fear is I’ll forget to turn it back on. As opposed to my charm, which I can’t seem to turn off.

And I know people just want to write while it’s on their mind but then I get that urgency feeling. It NAGS at me, that little message there. I’m tryina write you and yet my mind is telling me, Someone needs something. Someone NEEDS something!!!

Computers just made a lot of things worse. When my grandmother, the one I turned into, wrote her angry letters on her typewriter, it was just her and her typewriter. She had this special typewriter font that looked like cursive. If you got a typed letter in the mail on her special cursive font you were always filled with a kind of dread only a Grammy letter could produce.

Anyway, my point is, nowhere on the typewriter did she have any red 1s letting her know SOMEONE WANTS SOMETHING. DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION HERE.

I gotta go. It’s two minutes till it’s 8:30 and I’ve ignored 10 messages since 7:30 and I’m filled with angst.

Distractedly and barking at an indifferent Cinnamon,
June

When did I get passe?

I did not sleeeeeep. Did you ever do that thing where you keep waking up every dang hour? Why? And then at 7:00 when my alarm went off I was sleeping the deep sleep of the knee-deep knee-highs.

And yet, here I am. I couldn’t very well call into work tired. I feel like such a trouper. I feel like Olivia Walton, wanly peeling my hundredth potato, because for no discernible reason I found myself unable to resist John Walton and his long johns (not a euphemism) at least 7 times, which is why there is a need for 100 damn potatoes at lunch.

Speaking of my current references, I’ve come to realize I’ve lost touch with fashion. This is something I hadn’t counted on.

When I was in my 20s, there was nothing more important to me, and I used to judge people who weren’t atop all that is fashionable, people such as, say, Olivia Walton, who was atop John Walton at least 7 times.

Do you remember when we used to believe that? That our parents only did it the number of times that we had siblings? They hit the jackpot those three times then they gave it up forever!

Anyway.

Over Christmas, I showed my holiday decorations on the Facebook and admitted I have no visual skills. “If you see anything that needs moving, please tell me,” I said. What I meant by that was if anyone saw anything that needed moving, to tell me. See. Is what I meant. What I got instead was a lot of comment on what I’d chosen for decoration.

By the way, WORLD, the words “critique” and “criticize” are not interchangeable.

Anyway, while people were feeling free to criticize my decorations, I got a lot of, “Oh my god, why do you have tinsel?” “Take down the tinsel.”

Why do I have tinsel? My blood type is tinsel! I adore tinsel! Tinsel, to me, is shiny and retro!

But then I started looking around at other people’s decorations, like designer people, and realized, wow, no one has tinsel. Even regular people don’t have tinsel. Fekking no one has tinsel but me. I remember buying that tinsel with Alicia, my cleaning lady, fmr., during Christmas 2000-ish.

Anyway when it came time to put away decorations, I threw away my tinsel, despondent.

Then that night I watched an Instagram live of a very hip San Francisco person and she totally had tinsel twined up her staircase of her midcentury home. Ding-dang it.

And now vanities. I have my great-aunt’s vanity and I adore it. I really don’t use it; I do store socks on it but that’s about it. I put a sock in it, literally. Anyway then I saw a person on social media somewhere, and right there is my problem, saying how old vanities never sell anymore and I was all, reallllly? The same way my Uncle Leo says it when you tell him you spent more than $20 on a dress.

People don’t want vanities anymore?

So now I have a choice. I can have one of those old lady homes where everything is stuck in time, and when I die my house will go viral for being so old-fashioned. Or I can embrace the now and have one of those blank Ikea-looking homes everyone’s so crazy about.

I don’t really like either option.

I suppose my whole lewk is dated and I should be on one of those makeover shows and I hope it’s Queer Eye. I’m really less Jonathan and more Karamo. I’m sure this stuns you. That would be a great episode. “Did you see the one where that lady keeps trying to climb on Karaomo’s long johns?”

Anyway I don’t know how this happened, except that reading Glamor stopped appealing to me in about 2002. Is there even Glamor magazine anymore? I used to live for it, along with Elle. Oh, also, I got fat. So even if I wanted to stay on top of looking fashionable, it’d have to be the way Kate on This is Us is fashionable. Like, you put yourself in a swingy top and hope for the best.

I guess there’s also the whole part about who gives a shit? Why can’t I just have stuff I like and if I’m the old lady with the bun who owns Tweety Bird, who am I harming? But I just assumed I’d be less Tweety Bird’s mom and more Iris Apfel. And yet, here I am, saying, “No one uses TINSEL anymore?”

So.

I gotta go. My work’s Teams messaging center is all over the place with the exchanging of work and of vows and I hope of sausage if I play my cards right. See above re swingy top and calling it a day.

A la mode,
June

Tanning booth ferry

The holidays are over, unless you don’t count it till Washington’s birthday or something. And now we must return to the nonstop rush of working from our living rooms.

Have you ever seen that Progressive commercial where the woman is trying to watch TV and her boyfriend wants her to feel his forearms because he thinks they got bigger from twirling his sign? Then he picks up the giant sign and twirls it right in front of her face, and the whole time she’s trying to watch her TV show?

See, that there is why I will never NOT live alone, but also, that there is me every morning when I’m typing at you. Because Forest has a routine. And also a delicious poutine he wants to give you the recipe for.

I don’t know what it is, but the moment I open this laptop, he leaps up here and floops between me and the screen, and he never alights, so I’m constantly moving my head back and forth to SEE, and also he has no control of his CLAWNS yet, and yes I called them clawns. So he gleefully purr-paws just anywhere on me, purr-paws with abandon, cramming his razor kitten clawns on my arteries or eye sockets or fingertips or he doesn’t give a shit. He’s just so HAPPY.

Anyway, hi. How was everyone’s Christmas if you’re into Christmas, and new year, which you have to be into, I don’t care how unique you want to be. “Oh, I’m a vegan pagan who can smell numbers. We don’t have a new year.”

As I said I would, because as we all know I stick to my word like it’s glue, for NYE I did get a pupcake for Edsel and pie for me (lemon custard) at a place that closed at 5, a thing they didn’t tell me till like 2 minutes to 5:00. I’d placed the order to pick up later. 5:00 was one of the choices. They had all day to tell me.

Anyway, I made it, five minutes late but they were there anyway.

Then I watched the Laura Ingalls Wilder special on the PBS.

Back before the internet, when our lives were normal and we looked at each other during dinner, there was this weekly paper in Seattle called The Stranger. It’s probably still there. Anyway, in the back was a dating … I don’t even know what you’d call it. The personal ads? Like in the pina colada song?

I met several men using The Stranger’s dating … area, as men who advertised in there were my type. It never occurred to me to place my own ad, but it didn’t really deem itself necessary as I always had great luck just answering them.

I can no longer remember where I was going with this.

Oh! Yes I can. I remember one guy’s ad said that, in profile, he looked just like the “P” in the PBS logo.

That made me giggle for six hours, and I didn’t answer his ad, I forget why. He probably said he was a vegan pagan who tasted months, but now here I am an old woman who shall wear purple and I still giggle at that and I think we can all agree he was clearly my soulmate, if I believed such a disgusting thing existed.

It was all so exciting then. In my late 20s/early 30s. It felt like any day you could just leave the house and meet some dude, and many times I did. In my Seattle days, I met men all sorts of ways. Once on the ferry when some ferry worker was charmed by my wiles.

Once in a bar when I ripped the label off my beer, wrote my phone number on it, walked up to a man and handed it to him and walked out.

Once when a man came to have his taxes done at the accounting firm where I answered phones, and I told him fun places to go, as he was new in town. The next day he sent two (2) bouquets of flowers and an invitation to go to the places I’d suggested.

Once I was at a bar with my women friends, and hadn’t planned to go out at all that night so I’d put in little effort, and someone came in selling roses and a — he was cute now that I think about it — man bought one and had it sent over to me from across the room.

I did not give the time of day to any of these men except for the beer label one, as I had picked him out myself. In retrospect, they were probably all better fits than beer label guy, whom I dated for two years and had little in common with. He was the type of person who got the orange drink at McDonald’s.

Oh, except for that guy on the ferry. He was an even worse fit. He WORKED on the ferry, and they probably had rules about picking up women at work, but All This, who can resist. Anyway, I had at the time the latest accoutrements on my phone that most people didn’t: caller ID, call waiting, conference calling. I had these things because I made $22,500 a year answering phones at that accounting firm, so why not?

Anyway, that ferry guy called me to firm up our plans, but what he did not know is that I could tell he was calling me from a tanning place.

A tanning place. And I don’t mean he had some hides he needed to take care of.

So. He was not for me. Old George Hamilton ferry worker, over there.

I have no idea how I went from spinning Geico signs to missed romance from the ’90s, but these are the rides you take when you climb aboard old June, here.

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? I did not. I figure it’s enough just to muddle through this whole … time until things get better. I don’t also need to learn inner peace and acceptance of men who go to tanning salons.

Oh, and speaking of inner peace, I did something stupid. I read online about this new year tarot reading you could give yourself, and it made itself seem like it wasn’t a “here’s what’s gonna happen this year” reading. It made itself seem like more of a “here is some guidance about the last year and what will help you in the year ahead” type of deal. Because I know myself and if I get any bad news it will ruin the whole year.

There were categories, and I was humming along beautifully. It said I felt trapped last year, like I was stuck. HAHAHAHAHA. Thanks. Funny. Then it said it was my own mind trapping me and not any outward things. HAHAHAHAHAHA. News flash. Anyway, it LURED me into the category of “health and well-being” and I

SHOULDA SKIPPED IT

because I know how I am. But I got the six of wands in reverse, which means some condition I thought was gone might rear its head this year.

Then I spent the entire night in a cold panic.

OK. First of all, they’re tarot cards. They’re supposed to be sort of fun and you sort of half don’t believe them at all. At least that’s how I see them. When they DO come true, you go, Holy shit, really?

Then also, have I ever had anything scary or serious? I have not. I have THOUGHT that I have had things that are scary or serious and they were not. So what could come back? Migraines. Plantar fasciitis. Maybe that thing I had. What was it? That thing that hurts that you get after chicken pox. Skillets or skittles or what the hell is it called?

You know, my hypochondria used to be this charming little quirk I had, but now it’s getting on my nerves and takes up about 70% of my thoughts. Like, now it really actually scares me. I find it annoying and wish I had something more entertaining to think about.

In summation, I wish I hadn’t read that card. Because I already ruined 2021. Only 361 more days to go.

I’d better go start complaining about the part where I have no work to do yet today. The thing about my job is I’m at the end, and this is very much the beginning, so I’m not surprised. And yet? I have to have something on my time sheet for right now, so you can see my conundrum.

Focusedly,
Juan

2020 hindsight. OH, that’s original.

I just looked at my Facebook memories, and last year on this day I wrote, “Bring on 2020.”

That aged well.

I have to work today. I was convinced we had today off. Earlier in the week my coworker, Frapdorp, sent me something that’s “due to the client at noon Thursday” and in my MIND I was all smug. “We can’t SEND it Thursday because we won’t BE here Thursday.”

And then I thought back to the other nine New Year’s Eves I’ve worked at this place, and how I’ve always been, you know, at work, and right then I knew. Of course we had work on Thursday.

So the thing he sent me is done, really, but I just wanted to read through it one more time this morning before I sent it back to him, as I felt tired by the time I was done with it yesterday.

If I end up getting zero other work to do today I’ll just use my one remaining vacation day to use up my hours on my time sheet. Normally I could take that unused day and drag it over to next year, but as of next year, or as we say in my country, tomorrow, I get four weeks of vacation and what the heck do I need with four weeks and one day of vacation time? You know how I love travel.

Anyway, once my workday is done, whatever I end up doing with it, I have big plans to watch that Laura Ingalls Wilder special on PBS for my New Year’s rockin’ Eve. I think I can stream it, although I’m not positive because last night I tried to get it all set up but to do so would’ve required getting up off the couch and downloading the PBS app and there was no way that herculean effort was happening.

Right after work yesterday, I had Mario from Apple Care again, because yes, the thing that was broken about my computer that kept me from being able to just smoothly present you with an end-of-year slideshow is STILL BROKEN, and the engineers are having Mario and me do screen recordings of different scenarios, then we send those off to the engineers, then they say, “Hunh” and then have us record another scenario.

Meanwhile, I know all about Mario’s Christmas and his New Year’s plans and also what his girlfriend does for a living and so on.

Mario has the kind of taste in movies you’d expect from a young computer guy.

Anyway, I was drained last night, is my point, and did not want to get up to get my phone and download another goddamn app to see if in fact I can watch that Laura Ingalls Wilder special on PBS, which is a scenario Laura Ingalls Wilder herself faced often with grit and pioneering spirit. But if I can watch that special tonight I will never be sad again.

You know, she wrote for, like, her local paper or something and didn’t achieve real fame until she was 65. She wrote recipes and talked about how to raise chickens. Maybe complained about Almanzo and who can blame her. When she was 55 like me, she was just basically a paper blogger.

Also tonight, I am going to make a big pot of tea in the teapot my Aunt Mary got me and oooo, maybe I’ll go to the bakery here and get something really bad for me to eat as well. They have curbside service and they also have pupcakes. In all, I’m pretty delighted with these plans and now so is the Eds.

Usually at Christmas I go to Chris and Lilly’s, and on New Year’s Eve I go to The Other Copy Editor’s bed and breakfast for their big party. It’s a quieter year this year but I am OK with it for one year. If I’m still doing this at the end of 2021 Ima be in a mood.

I hope you all have delightful 2121s or whatever the next year is going to be. I’d love to keep talking but Forest has now plopped himself between me and the laptop and I can’t see anything but smokey fur and a smug black nose. It’s both cute and terrifically irritating.

Talk to you next year, or as they say in my country, cucumber.