A three-COVID day

Current situation: I’m in my Frida robe, and thanks, autocorrect, for calling it a “Friday robe.”

My lawn guy, Victor, is here, along with his family, and they are mowing and trimming and edging my lawn and I feel like the Rich White Lady of Millhouse Mansion, in here, celebrating Frida in all her Hispanic glory and yet being all, “You guys do my lawn out in the sticky heat.”

Am conflicted.

The important thing is that Victor does not fear snakes and I do, so I am basically paying him to encounter them. I have given him strict instructions to not murder snakes, as that makes me sad. They’re just over there living their snake lives. They shouldn’t be killed for lounging in bushes or gardens, doing no harm. Other than scaring me to death.

Meanwhile, the ferals and I are emotionally readying ourselves for a trip to the shelter, where they are getting their shots. I put off this trip as long as I safely could because I did not know how I was gonna lure Fitz into a carrier if I couldn’t even LOOK at him without him grabbing his hair by the roots and screaming for the police. However, he now lets me pet him when the moon is right and the feelin’s right, so I have a plan to put a little baby food way back in the carrier if I have to, then shutting the door faster than you can say, “Heyyyy. Why Fitz…heyyyyy.”

Hissy, meanwhile, is 100% a normal kitten, almost, which makes it not 100% but whatev. She runs to the door when I walk in here, she leaps up here on the chair and sits with me. Yesterday she even climbed on my lap and slept.

Now someone just needs to adopt them.

Not only do I have to go get COVID at the shelter, I also have to swing on over to (Arby’s Arby’s—does anyone remember that commercial?) the vet and get Edsel’s arthritis medicine. Plus also too I am CLEAN OUT of canned kitten food, so if I forget to ask for some at the shelter (what’s the over/under that I will forget?) I also have to get COVID at the grocery store. It’s a three-COVID day.

Meanwhile I had a dream about Ned that affected my mood. Do you ever get those? Among other things, he had painted his nails silver and I was over there in the dream thinking, In a million years I did not think Ned would paint his nails silver. Unless it was for Halloween. He’s one of those Halloween people.

Anyway, it bothered me, and I hate setbacks like that.

Fortunately I will soon be battling coronavirus, what with my gadding about all day today, so that will distract me.


A hainting post

The other day, my personal trainer sent a text to everyone she, you know, personally trains, to say her rates were going up for the first time in 17 years. Men would’ve raised the rates annually. Anyway, because people are stupid, she spelled out what that meant for everyone.

“So, if you work out in a group, it’s $Blah.”

(There are people who work out in groups?)

“If you buy a package of 10 one-hour workouts, it’s $Blah.”

(I can never afford the package, even though you get a discount. I have to pay as I go.)

“If you buy the 30-minute workout, it’s—“


I discussed it with her last night, as we met up, and by met up I mean I dragged the laptop into the kitchen and pushed the table back and she sat in her backyard and told me what to do with my goddamn resistance band. It’s forever protesting. We’re going to meet three times a week now and for just a half-hour at a time, and I am responsible for doing my own cardio. Oh, dear.

So last night after our half-hour workout, I took a walk in my neighborhood. Any walk I’ve ever taken in my neighborhood results in something occurring. It’s never a nonevent.

This is one of the houses on Snob Hill, part of the very fancy two-story houses on the next block. Also, all of the streets in my hood are named after trees, and THIS street used to be Peach but then they changed it to Joey Jo Jo Junior Shabadoo or something stupid and unpretty like that. Anyway I like the houses over on Snob Hill.

(I’ve had to move my legs up onto this chair just now because kittens are playing across my feet like I don’t have nerve endings.)

Anyway, as my walk was drawing to a close, I saw my neighbor. “Did you see how I power washed this house?” he asked me, pointing to a regular one-story home on my street of not-rich millhouses.

It did shine. “Looks nice,” I said. “…You have a power washer?”

And that is how my neighbor came to power wash my house yesterday evening. I hadn’t meant to watch him for a bit but it was riveting. I’d love to power wash houses for a living. So satisfying.

When he was done, he knocked on my door. “I finished everything, but I can’t get the ceiling of your porch done,” he said. “If a power wash won’t fix it, you know it’s bad. It looks raggedy.”

I stared up at the top of my front porch. Man, it DID look sorta raggedy. I have a ceiling fan out there, and I wonder if it sort of blows dirt to the top or something.

“I’ll paint it for you,” he said. “No charge.”

“You will?”

“Yeah,” he said. “It won’t take long and it looks bad. You have the cutest house on this block. The porch should look cute too.”

“Now, if you had a boyfriend, that’d be a different story,” he said. “He could do it.”

I thought of a story Ned, my ex—NedEx—told me. The first night he ever spent at my house, he looked up at the ceiling and saw the peeling paint up there. The ceilings in my old house peeled like a mother all the time. He lay there knowing that if this went on, he’d one day be painting that ceiling.

And you know he did? It was really awful, too. He had to scrape and sand and prime.

I mentioned this next part last night on Facebook so now you’re bored if you follow me on (Face)Book of June. But I’ve always, since I moved to the South, wanted a porch that’s haint blue. And I know you know how I get when I start thinking about paint colors. So that’s my newest obsession, which haint blue Ima buy.

This website has good info, and they provided the lovely colors above. Oooo, I’m so excited to have haint blue up! It’s not only supposed to help with all the ghosts and spirits, of which I seem to have none despite this house being 88 years old, it also helps with wasps, and I really have a lot of those. If one more Protestant knocks on this door…

That’s all I have to say about that.

That isn’t true. I’ll probably have a million more things to say about that. This might be a good time to take a June break, truthfully.


Silent June and her blank page

I woke up at 7:00 and then an hour and 20 minutes just flew by, and I don’t even know how. I mean, I know what I just did: animal care. I’m a regular farm girl, if cats and one fey dog counted as farm animals. I don’t know why two small kittens are so much work, but man, they are. Also, in case you wanted my opinion on the matter, I do not care for people calling kittens “smol.”

The holiday weekend is over and I, for one, am glad. I never have anything to do on holidays even when there isn’t a plague, and it’s relatively depressing. Although I do have to say one thing. Well, I mean, I don’t have to say anything. I could remain silent as the grave. But what a dull blog that would be. I could call it Silent June, and every day there’d be a blank page. Tune in tomorrow!

Nevertheless Nessman, I’m going to say one thing. When I first moved in here, the guy who used to own this house also owned the house next door. I think he was sort of trying to control who lived around him, and I kind of can’t blame him now that I’ve been here 2 years and seen what life has to offer over here in the milltown.

The point is he had a lovely woman living next door who was tidy and pleasant and a delight. I remember the former owner saying, “Now, she is a black lady” and I always adore sentences like that. As I recall I just stared at that message, my face a blank, the sentence hovering there like a germ. What the hell kind of thing is that to say?

Her name was CeeCee and it probably still is. However the guy sold the house, and I was worried he’d do that. And then I was all Oh, lort. Who the hell gonna move in next door?

It turned out to be a woman maybe 10 years younger than me who has two almost-grown sons who come and go. She had one cattle dog who is a DOLLY FACE DOLL DOLL (oh, but “smol” offends me) and the fence between us was this bendy wire thing, and that is when I said, “I gotta get a real fence” and here I am paying back my mother two dollars at a time for a tall wooden fence that I am glad I have, because the son got a pitty pit bull puppy snickerdoodley-doo (Oh, but smol) and OH MY GOD I loved that puppy so bad. She is fawn-colored and SHE IS LOVELY and stocky and huge. I remember the day I looked back there and saw her. Oh, with the squeeing.

She is also a barker, a FawnBob Barker, and she taught that angel of a cattle dog to bark, and any time I left my yard to, say, go to the trash can or use the hose, if they were out they’d barkbarkcalltheircongressmenbark.

So I devised a plan, and that was to always have treats on me so that when I saw them I’d pop a treat in their barky mouths. (I’d asked the woman next door if that was okay.)

So now Cinnamon (the pit) and the other one whose name I don’t know (the cattle dog) LIVE for my appearances, and sometimes I’ll be at my sink, I’ll be at my disposal


and I’ll see them just staring over at my part of the house. “Every time I let them out they run right for your side of the fence, looking for you,” the woman next door tells me.

So we got a thing going on, me and Mrs., Mrs. Bones, over there.

The point is, on July 4 I was making chicken, as I am suddenly wont to do now that I get HelloFresh, and I saw Cinnamon and Other looking my way.

I went out there with treats (another neighbor drives a truck, and I am sorry to tell you that anything he trucks he maybe …doesn’t always deliver 100% of, and it is just my luck that he transports dog treats, and while I claim to be morally opposed to stealing, let’s just say I am rich in dog treats right now) and my neighbor was grilling out, and while she and I always stay six feet apart we often find ourselves taking over the fence like it’s 1950, except now it’s 1950 with distance, and anyway, we had a distant drink together on July 4, so in a word, or 700 of them, you could say I sort of celebrated the 4th.

Wow, that was a lot of words I hadn’t planned on saying. I like her, the woman next door. She also has at least one cat, who stares balefully out at Milhous and me each week during ride-the-trash-can time. He’s black and white but not a tuxedo. More like a splotchy black and white. I think he finds us appalling.

Anyway that’s all I have to say to you, and I suppose I should throw in a photo of this long endless weekend of staying in while other people go to beaches and lakes and barbecues and oh, you’re welcome! Yeah, I’ll just stay here the rest of my fucking life so you can have fun. No problem.

There. There’s a nice shot of The Needy Committee, now with Bunny!

Don’t let me forget to tell you that I got myself a bush trimmer for my birthday, and the first person to make some sort of 7th-grade joke about that gets banned for eternity, like that wingnut Kelly who keeps getting new names so she can leave mean comments. Way to have a real life, Wingnut Kelly. Say, why don’t you attend a crowded party? It’s all the rage.


Wherein mom pimps me out to the AT&T guy

You know how in movies someone will be lost in the forest and then they find a cabin with an old hermit living in it? You know how the old hermit always wordlessly serves the visitor gruel and remains silent the entire time?

Suddenly that seems unrealistic. If you’re stuck with NO VISITORS for AGES, wouldn’t you chatter at one like a magpie?

At least that was my story yesterday with the AT&T guy. As you know, from your now-giant tome of June Events, my internet broke to bits and it was wreaking havoc on m’work, which is, you know, internet-based now that we’re all home. I have to say, I called AT&T and they answered right away, and they scheduled me for the next day, and the guy got here right on time. It’s sad that that’s now our standard for good customer service. “They did the bare minimum! Hooray!!”

Speaking of which, a card came in the mail yesterday and I assumed it was a birthday card from one of my more organized relatives such as my Aunt Kathy, who is a Virgo. Sending a card 15 days early? Of course! You gotta make sure it GETS there!

Anyway, it wasn’t. It was a birthday card, for Edsel, on his actual birthday, FROM CHEWY. If you aren’t getting your pet supplies from Chewy I can’t imagine why not. They send (most of) Edsel’s meds on a regular schedule (I was on the fence about his arthritis meds so I haven’t set it up yet) at a discount, they send food the same way, and they send flea meds each month too, FOR CHEAPER. Oh, and litter! Do you know how nice it is to only lug in litter from the front door to the back room as opposed to across the store, at the checkout, to the car, from the car to home?

DO YOU? Litter boxes have this hard terrible narrow strap that digs into your hand and visits your bones. It’s awful. With Chewy, my bones are visited less often!

I know I sound like a Chewy ad, but seriously.

Anyway what was I talking about? [scrolls up]

Oh, yes, AT&T.

The guy came on time, and he was masked, and I was masked, and masked-edly we went into the kitten room where my modem is and the modem was dead. No one tipped it over or ruined it, it just died of natural causes like Carl Reiner. So he gave me a new one and we had to sit there awhile while it did whatever and he told me about his three dogs.

He has a German shepherd, an Australian shepherd—apparently he needs a lot of things herded—and some sort of poodle/shih tzu mix.

“Is that last one the selection of some woman?” I asked. You’ll be stunned to hear it was. And then he told me they’d broken up and she’d left all three dogs with him. So here’s this big country guy with some teensy shitty white dog. He seemed to really like the shitty little dog, though, and when I asked who the alpha was he said she was. So that was interesting.

“Why can’t you date him?” asked my mother, who spent all the other days of my life telling me you don’t need a man.

“Well, first of all, he was like 25,” I said.

“So?” said Gloria Steinem, over there with her fish and a bicycle.

This may sound very snobbish to you but I could never date a man with a tiny dog.

I have to go copy edit something. Don’t let me forget to tell you that Chris and Lilly have even MORE kittens now—it’s a whole thing. And they did invite me over to meet the other kittens and I said, “Oh, I can’t this day and that day” and then we never did set up a day.

I had my trainer. In case you’re all, But June is a hermit with gruel. Why couldn’t she zip over there ANY day?

Okay, seriously, I’m really going. I have something due at noon I’m scared I won’t finish by noon.

Meanwhile, the gruel is over there in a pot by the fire. WTF is gruel?


How come there’s a Mercury car but not a Venus car?

Mercury is retrograde, and you can roll your eyes at me or roll them down the sidewalk, but I always get nervous when Mercury is retrograde.

In case you’re like, all science-y and logical and you don’t BELIEVE in astrology, which, pfft, when Mercury is retrograde, communication is screwy.

As a result, and that is officially why, my INTERNET is down, and all yesterday I had to work using my phone as a hotspot, which I am also doing today and I have convinced myself it is costing, although I don’t actually know what my phone plan’s rules are re this, and I dare not look it up because Mercury is retrograde and I’ll never find the rules.

You should see what happens when Mercury is Gatorade.

Anyway, hi.

I’m in the kitten room, as I am all day now, and I really fear that Fitz is a lost cause. I’ve touched him, like, twice, and now I know how my 10th-grade boyfriend felt. Seriously, though, he hates me. And let me tell you what. It gets pretty aggravating to wake up, let your dog out, feed two cats, feed the other cat who gets her own sick-lady food then the healthy cat eats it anyway, pill your dog 3x and feed him and THEN

come into this kitten room, change the litter, change the water, straighten everything that kittens have knocked over, FEED them, ALL BEFORE YOU’VE PEED OR HAD COFFEE

and then have one of the recipients of all that run like you’re the devil.

Anyway I don’t know what’s gonna happen or how to get him to unhate me. Does anyone have feral experience? I expect to hear from Will Feral’s wife now. I actually know someone who knows her. He lived in an apartment building across the hall from her, and they were friends, and then she moved and a few years later they were at the same party and she’s all, “I’d like you to meet my husband, Will fucking Feral.” Then she went on to talk about the good old days in that building and my friend was like, Yeah, I’m the loser who still lives in that building while you went on to, oh, marry Will Feral. Is that even how you spell his name?

Meanwhile, it’s Edsel Z. Pretzel’s 10th birthday today, and he got to have a treat after breakfast, which never happens and he was looking at the time and not believing his luck. Milhous, who already ate his own breakfast and the rest of Iris’s AND got to ride the trash cans this morning, also got a treat, because his life isn’t grand enough.

Anyway, 10. I’ve never had a dog who’s 10. Tallulah was just barely 8 when she died, and let’s pause again to reflect on how unfair that was. But here’s old Eds, livin’ it up at 10. Just a little stiffness in his bones and a touch of the congestive heart failure, but otherwise he’s livin’ large. Good old Eds.

Yesterday I put on a brassiere and everything and headed to the doctor for my I-don’t-have-a-spleen shot. I had to drive down there, CALL them from the car, strap on a delightful mask that “Faithful Reader” Fay sent me (I air quoted that because any time I allude to my blog she has no clue what I mean and then stampedes to said post and acts like she was there first thing) and walked in. It was hot out, and I had to climb stairs to get to the office, and I was nervous anyway and as much as I 100% abhor the guts of those people who say, “Oh, wearing a mask makes me panic so I just don’t,” like wearing a ventilator won’t make you panic, I did feel them right then. Because to be hot and out of breath and then MASKED was a little panic-inducing.

And then I was walking into a doctor’s office so there was no ripping it off, you know? But despite my fear and heart-racing and smothering, I soldiered on and got my shot and got to leave and then I had a migraine. The end.

I’d better go, as typing this might COST, I don’t know. Why the heck has my internet gone out? It’s really put a damper on watching that Phyllis Schlafly show I was watching. I dug out an old book I read back in 1990 and reread that, but this time the book annoyed me. I’ve moved that book from Michigan to Seattle to Los Angeles to TinyTown to here, moving multiple times in each city, and then the book up and annoys me.

Talk to you later. Fitz is out playing with his pet rat and he’s so cute and I can’t touch him and once again we’re back to my 10th-grade boyfriend.


Peace out

All the things I like to do best involve sitting still, really: reading, drinking coffee, blogging, sitting in a dark bar, lying at the beach, sex.

Lately I’ve been going outside 15–20 minutes a day because I read somewhere that if you get coronavirus, low Vitamin D gives you trouble, somehow. Something about for best results use Vitamin D and shake well before using or something. It’s probably part of that huge worldwide scam that is coronavirus. Probably the Vitamin D makers are in on it too.

Naturally, I sent off for some Vitamin D gummies on the Amazon, there, and I follow it up with the 15–20 minutes a day of sun. Edsel always goes with me and splats onto the grass like he’s dead.

I used to spend entire summers doing this, which explains why I have the complexion of Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies today.

I remember, though, those summer days on a beach or at a pool or just in our yard with the reflective blanket (see above ref to Granny complex).

What I can remember about those days is the smell of orange Ban de Soliel

[by day. by night. by Saginaw.]

and my AM radio playing Magnet and Steel.

But I also remember my mind.

As far back as I can recall, I’ve had a racing mind. I’ve always been an anxious person, and why? What have I got to be anxious about? And people seem hostile to anxious people, like I can help it.

The best thing I’ve known to do about my anxiety is make fun of it.

A long time ago on this here blog, I had a sidebar that read Disease du Jour, where I listed what horrid disease I thought I had that day. Making my scary thoughts seem absurd was my way of minimizing it.

Once I was at a party that my in-laws had, I forget why. One of their friends said to me, “I was reading your blog for awhile, but once you put up disease du jour, you lost me.” I took it down. That was back when I gave two shits about what people thought.

I remember all sorts of times I should’ve been serene and happy but my mind was racing with upset instead: at the beach with friends for a weekend, at a spa with friends for the weekend—maybe I should stop doing things with friends for the weekend.

It’s been something I hate about myself and I’ve felt powerless to stop it. I tried antidepressants and therapy and meditation and I don’t know what all, but if you get me still for longer than 8 seconds, I get thoughts, usually about men. Does he still love me? Is he cheating on me during this weekend while I’m with friends?

Or if I’m single: Will I meet a man soon? What if I never do?

Ugh. I’m smarter than this, y’all.

Sometimes I’d be anxious about something other than men, but whatever it was, it would swirl around in me nonstop, driving me NUTS, and I’d get no peace. What I came to notice is anything that involved me sitting quietly meant I’d get the swirls and would leave me terribly upset. And please note most of my favorite things involve sitting quietly. So mostly I’d be swirling.

It’s been a horrendous way to have one’s brain work and it’s happened for years.

I remember one beautiful morning at this cottage my mother had in northern Michigan. I was having a—wait for it—weekend with friends, and my ex-best-friend and I were out on my mother’s little boat, on this little lake. A heron flew over us, white and huge across the early morning sky.

“Maybe it’s some sort of sign,” I said.

“I hope it brings me peace,” said my ex-best-friend. That’s what had brought us together: we both had the roiling mind and we had no idea how to stop it.

Last night I headed to my backyard to watch my fireflies. It’s a ritual I started this month, after all my work is done. If I’m going to be stuck at my house till god knows when, I’ve devised this little routine for myself where I write down all the things I want to get done that day, so I won’t find myself having done nothing at all. Once I’ve done them all I head out to the fireflies.

So last night I was out there, watching fireflies and admiring Edsel. There was a breeze, and also a bird chirping what sounded like the opening notes to Beethoven’s fifth. Chirp chirp chirp CHIRRRRRpppp. He did that over and over. Chirp chirp chirp CHIRRRRRpppp.

Does he know he’s doing that? I wondered. Is this where Beethoven got the idea? Wait, no, Beethoven was deaf. What the heck, then?

I was thinking this when I heard a noise and Edsel ran to the fence. There was my neighbor. She’s young and she’s confided in me she’s in a turbulent relationship. She was walking to her door, fast, and I could see she was about to cry. I didn’t mean to be looking, but our eyes locked.

“Are you okay?” I asked. Geez, I sounded so kind. Kind is not my go-to but it came right out of me like a regular functioning human. She shook her head yes as she raced inside but I knew the answer was really no. I found myself wishing she’d tell me what was wrong. She could have sat six feet from me in the backyard; I’ve already measured it out if ever I get a visitor.

But then it dawned on me.

My mind hadn’t been racing. I’d been sitting here for half an hour, just watching fireflies, thinking, well, nothing, really. Just thinking about what was going on in front of me. There were no dark thoughts, there was no swirl. The neighbor’s swirl reminded me I was lacking my own.

I’d been sitting there in peace. The heron had flown over.

I wonder how long I’ve been doing that.

June keeps her sunny side down

I already hate everything today and you know what else I hate? Positivity.

First, Edsel couldn’t jump up on my bed this morning. He was splayed there helplessly, with just his front legs up on the bar, as it were, and I had to scooch him up. Then also, everyone else in the neighborhood has seen a fox except me. “Oh, she walks right down the street,” everyone tells me. Once she was even seen carrying a fox baby. You should’ve SEEN me yesterday, taking my work to my front porch, tryina get a fox sighting. I want to watch fox, for once.

Before you decide you’re an animal expert, no, they don’t eat cats and no, they aren’t rabid when they’re seen during the day. I wanna FEED her. Is that crazy? Maybe invite him to dinner? I guess she’s a her if she’s carrying babies. No man would walk around carrying babies. I say this like I spent my formative years nurturing children.

Also, as soon as I entered the kitten room this morning, Milhous RAN in there to scare everyone and eat their food and clomp around mightily and then he climbed into their tent—I got a new tent and then this morning the SAME zipper problem happened that happened with the LAST one. IRRITATED.

Finally I fished Mil out of the dang tent and threw him out into the hall when


I hadn’t refreshed the kittens’ water, so there was time 39493949 I left this room today and all I wanted to do was get to the part where I could sit here and blog and drink coffee. Anyway, when I left the kitten room (by the way I am now 100% out of grocery bags for cleaning litter boxes, so PLEASE send me some, Jan), Milhous was at the big water dish, SPLASHING AROUND in it, which he likes to do and which creates a terrible mess.

So now I abhor Milhous, who by the way as I write this is mowing outside the kitten room. Why he gotta be so ornery? He’s seriously both the most ornery and most affectionate cat all at once. Look how Edsel is absorbing all the abhor. It must be hard to dog.

Oh! And I hated yesterday too. I seem to always have drama around my trashcans these days. It’s like I’m Oscar the Grouch’s ex-wife. Yesterday was trash day, so I rolled out the barrels—and that never gets old—and as I was wedging them back into their place—whoever made the little pea-gravel spot where the trash cans go made it the tiniest, no-room-for-error spot, with a fence on one side and an air-conditioning thingie on the other—there are a lot of dashes in this sentence let’s start over.

I rolled the trash cans back to their minuscule spot and as I was cramming the second one in its place, which is always tougher just like when you shove that last mixing beater into the mixer,


I got PUSHED BACK into the stick-outy handle thing on the fence. That thing is long, it’s metal, and it’s angry. And it dug itself deep into my kidney. Or liver. Some organ you treasure.

Brace yourself, Faithful Reader Tee. You have a lot of blooping over to do here.

“FUCK!” I yelled, grabbing my back like I was in a Doan’s Pills ad.

FUCK,” I repeated, as the pain increased. I limped back into my house like Fred Sanford, holding my back and “fuck”ing, KNOWING every neighbor was watching me. This is the watching-est neighborhood.

The thing is, it’s on my back so I can’t see if I have, like, a 40-foot bruise or what have you. I just have to wait for kidney failure to know it’s bad.

So things are going well, and I’m feeling upbeat, and if I weren’t worried about The Virus I’d go around ripping down inspirational posters throughout the land.


June Goodall forgets the point

Here we all are again, in the kitten room, me sitting here like Jane Goodall, observing my wild creatures from the depths of my vintage leather chair. And by vintage I mean it was scratched when I got it.

I will take a photo of whatever is happening right now. Hang on.

Hissy, examining the drawer, and Fitz, running in terror because I raised my arm. SEE, people who keep insisting that your entertainment is more important than their adjustment? Stop asking for photos. They leap at sudden movement.

I took that drawer out of the desk because Fitz kept hiding behind it. He’d climb up in the desk and I could hear him clanking behind the drawer. So now he hides behind that hope chest you can see at the back of the picture, but fortunately he’s getting too big to wedge back there.

The goal is to get him used to me, and if he can hide in the bowels of things he won’t. We did have a playpen and the zipper on it broke so he was able to escape and bowel again.

Hissy is doing well and even Fitz is actually progressing, maddeningly slowly. Now he runs to his hiding place but half the time doesn’t go all the way back there. He just stands NEAR the hope chest and peers at me. I’ve not gotten to pet him again since my last very scientific report.

And that’s the wild report by June Goodall.

Meanwhile, life continues on while I hunker here and avoid The Virus. Remember my neighbor a few weeks back coming by and then complaining of coughs and body aches and a fever? Remember how I inwardly Munch The Screamed when she said that?

I’ve felt fine but have had this nagging cough for the last four or five or seven who knows they’re all the same days. Not, like, it affects my life kind of cough but maybe four times a day I stand here and cough. What is that? I’m I be-virused? Nothing else seems wrong. No fever or aches or anything.

Work is kicking my ass, and I know I say that every day, but it is. Afterward, I now have all these mouths to feed and arses to clean up after, and then I cook my FreshPot or FreshMouth or BabyFishMouth–what the hell are those groceries called that I’m getting in boxes each week?

HelloFresh! That’s it, thank god. Anyway, I cook that and clean everything up and then there’s just enough time each night to go out and admire fireflies before the sun sets. Here’s last night’s fireflies, complemented by cicadas.

Then I make sure everyone is situated and go to bed. That sums it up.

What do you miss most, assuming you aren’t an ASSHOLE who’s gone back to everything while the rest of us get sick and die. I mean, I know I am more stay-at-home than most people. Right? But assuming you’re on some sort of abbreviated life schedule, what do you wish you could do?

I long for my old movie theater. You know how often I went there, and it’s coming up on what would have been the summer festival. Remember those, how I’d go to, like, 13 movies in 15 days? I’d spend the peak of summer in a dark movie theater watching old movies. Oh, hell, yeah.

I just thought about something. When I was an adolescent, and let’s talk about what a pretty, not-at-all-bushy-haired-or-manly adolescent I was. Anyway, when I was one, we lived in an old house that had been turned into apartments, and from our second-floor place I could see down the street to—wait for it—and old movie theater.

My mother had to work, so during summer vacation she’d leave me a couple dollars each day to do what I wanted. Some days I’d head across the street to the convenience store and get a Tiger Beat, a burrito and a Vernor’s. They had a microwave right there on site and microwaving my burrito seemed like the ultimate luxury. It was my version of fine Corinthian leather.

Is there anything better than catching up on what Barry Gibb was up to while eating a microwave burrito? I’m here to tell you there is not.

Other days I’d walk way down to the soda fountain at a drug store, sit at the counter, there, and have THEM microwave me, like, a cheeseburger or something. They had one of those round wire displays that had paperback books on it, and I recall buying books off that thing, including the very dirty book Wifey, which I did not know was gonna be dirty because it was written by Judy Blume who up till that point had given me God and Margaret and scoliosis.


Other days—in my memory, most days—I’d head to the old movie theater. They had dollar movies during the day, and they’d show the same film for weeks at a time. This bothered me not at all, and as a result I saw the Sting I don’t know how many times, and I saw the original Rocky even more. Both more than 20 times apiece, I think.

Truth be told, you really need to see The Sting 109 times because everyone’s scamming everyone and it takes awhile to catch on to the finer points.

Who do you think is cuter: Paul Newman or Robert Redford?

My mother also signed me up for drama classes over at the local theater, and as you can see the drama classes really stuck. Most days we’d all go down to the green room, which was in the basement of the theater and was nice and cool. We learned how to balance by looking at one spot. We also learned to relax by lying on the floor and tensing each part of ourselves. That’s all I remember learning.

I don’t know how I’ve segued into the memories of summers ’77 through ’79, but there you have them. Oh! I know! My old movie theater. I guess that’s why I love going to it, is because it reminds me of the lime Kissing Potion, ELO, Ban De Soliel summers of my youth.

You know what? That poor Valley Girl actress up there was totally trying to Farrah Fawcett some June hair. It takes one to sausage-curl one.

Give your lips a taste of something delicious,

P.S. I was able to sneak this 4-second Jane Goodall video just now…

Cheeseburger in pandemic-dice

Last night, I made Gouda cheeseburgers with onion and tomato jam. I know! Who even am I? I also roasted sliced potatoes and dipped them in this sauce made from, among other things, sour cream and mayonnaise. Ima weigh 750 pounds.

But I’ve also been working out a lot. My trainer is moving this week and she’s all behind and overwhelmed so we can’t meet till Saturday, so I’ve whipped out my good friend, fmr., Tracy Anderson. It’s funny, I’d kind of forgotten but then immediately knew the stuff she was gonna say. Her instructions make no sense.

“Don’t just stop where you point your toe. There needs to be an energy behind it.”


“I don’t want anything to be dead. Use a lot of power, here, in this movement.”


This is similarly why I don’t like yoga videos. “Lift from your heart chakra and push your soul through your pelvis.”

Use words please. Words that make sense. You California twit.

Anyway I’ve been doing her, and also eating Gouda cheeseburgers, so in the end I will look exactly the same. But at least I made an hour go by in this, my year of being at home.

I have good news on the Fitz front: Today he came to the bowl when I fed them, and he let me pet him while he ate. Hissy’s fur is soft and full, and his is thin and brittle. I feel so bad for him. He just needs the love of a good woman. I can change him.

Anyway he even purred for a bit when I petted him. So I have faith and I’m pulling my chakras from my solar plexus.

Really, I love him so. I can’t stand it that he’s a scared kitten, and it’s so hard to not try to swoop him up and kiss his orange head and pet his fur till it gets soft. But if I tried that he would die of 15 heart attacks. So I keep doing what I’m doing, which is sitting in here all day and giving off an “I’m no threat” vibe.

Also, I’ve pulled that damn health-filled Hissy off the food a little. I hold her and pet her and she preens and smiles and waves to the crowd. I think she’s bogarting the food, man. Don’t be a bogart. God, junior high was a stupid time.

Did you smoke the gange in high school or junior high? I did, but just to seem cool [Disclaimer: She never seemed cool] and I never, to this day, liked the feeling of being high. My ex-best friend used to say I got dumb when I smoked it, and that she’d whip out old jokes and I’d give her the blank look.

Who wants to seem dumb and be out of it?

That said, I do enjoy the feeling of a Xanax. I have so many drugs here: opiates from my surgery, Ritalin and Adderall, Xanax from that Fall of Cancer anxiety that I had. And do I take any of them? No. They’re just sitting here gathering dust while I look at fireflies. I need to get with the program. I could get into dolls, man.

[Disclaimer: She still does not look cool.]

Who’s cool at 54? Anyone? I guess that one Iris lady, not my cat but that old lady with the giant glasses who has all the fun fashions. She’s cool. Anyone else?

Barack Obama is cool. In his 50s. You gotta give him credit for overcoming a name like Barack.

That’s all I can — oh, Clint Eastwood. He’s cool. He’s like 179.

Other than that we’re just old. And invisible. Which is a shame, cause if anyone saw me, they could have a Gouda cheeseburger.


P.S. Does anyone local have any old grocery bags? I am plumb out from cleaning litter boxes 400 times a day. Let me know and we’ll find a safe way to exchange, or alternatively we can cough on each other. Thanks.

P.P.S. Oh! I forgot to tell you! I ordered a meat thermometer after I cooked chicken the other night, ate almost all of it, then saw pink and prepared to die. Anyway it came and OHMYGOD, not only does it work easily, it has a built-in bottle opener AND…


a magnet so you can keep it on the fridge!

I need to get out more.

Keep your sunny side eggs up

I’m over here trying to think of good parts of this pandemic, because otherwise I’ll just walk around all bored and hangdog with a face like Huckleberry Hound, thinking about how long I’m stuck in this house. I wish they’d call me and ask if I would volunteer for a vaccine. I’d so do it. At least I could go somewhere!

Anyway, fast food. I’m not eating any fast food. There’s a plus. And I never get annoyed at other drivers anymore. I’m saving on gas, which, when your commute is six minutes isn’t that big a deal anyway.

I feel like, whenever I see a group of people on social media now, leaving a comment that goes something like, “Thanks. Glad you had that graduation party. That’s another month I’m stuck at home.”

Anyway, how are you? Me? I’ve been a bit of a homebody.

As I type you, I’m sitting once again in the kitten room, and right there is another plus for pandemic. I sit in this room as much as I can, which on workdays is 8 hours a day, so these little evil ferals get used to me.


Oh, she’s getting tamed.

She starts when I walk in, and runs to hide occasionally, but the hide is just for show. She runs, like, under the desk and then prances around when I say hi. Oh, she purrs and she simpers and she’s all but achieved, basically. The day she runs UP to me instead of away I’ll know I’ve won with her.


Well, that’s another story altogether. This photo here is like that one blurry one they have of Bigfoot. A rarity. He hides nearly all the time, still, but as I type this he’s right in the middle of the room, play-fighting with Hissy. So I have faith he’ll get there. I’ve now touched him twice: Day one, when I moved him from the carrier to the tent, and the other day, when I stretched one finger out tentatively and petted him while he ate. He purred right away, then ran to his new hiding spot, behind the hope chest.

Anyway I love them and I apologize to anyone who reads me and isn’t that crazy about cats cause that was just a lot.

My birthday is coming up, and I’m not, like, a member of the Red Hat Society or anything that will ensure a big parade of folks drives past my house or anything, which I assume most of you didn’t get on your pandemic bday. So, what sorts of things can I do for fun that won’t kill me? I’m nixing my plans of a kissing booth downtown.

I’d better go. It takes a lot longer to get everything done in the morning when you have four regularly scheduled pets and then two feral kittens to care for each day. Whenever I have ferals, I feel quite like Laura Ingalls, getting up and doing chores so early. I do wish I had a baby cow to lead to grass or something, because I need more to do.

But anyway, I’ve done all my caring-for-others chores already, but I haven’t washed my face or put on clothes or made my bed or any of that, and I like to get all that done before work starts. Work has been SO BUSY and I know I keep saying that but oh my god. It’s gotten to the point that I no longer panic about it, and now I’ve just jinxed myself and I’ll have panic day.

I thought about it, and my panic comes from disappointing someone. A project manager or an editor. But if I’m going as fast as I can, what else can I do? I don’t have to panic about someone not liking me if they don’t like me after doing my best.

See how philosophical I’ve become in isolation?

So I’ll go. Oh, but one more thing!

I dyed my roots. I know it’s hard to see in the light like this but I did. Actually, in the light here it doesn’t look all that … covered, the roots, I mean, but in most light it looks fine. I wanted to like the white but I didn’t. My body, my choice, man.

Okay, really going.