June Gardens, foster mother

When I was a kid, there were two girls down the street who’d been adopted. Their names were Didi and Barbie, and I don’t know if they were acquired from the Michigan Orphanage o’Future Strippers or what with those names.

The point is, I desperately wanted to be adopted as a result. It sounded so dramatic. Also, they had been foster children, and I thought that sounded pretty cool, too.

“Can I be a foster child?” “I want to be adopted.” I would say harangue my parents endlessly.

This prompted my father, who never should have been given a child to fuck with, the idea of telling me that he kept a foster child in his tripod case. “I take her on my trips with me,” he would tell me.

My father was a photographer, and was forever going on these business trips to exciting places like Cleveland, and he always took with him a tripod case that was about the same height I was.

I kind of knew he was fucking with me, and that he had zero coveted foster children anywhere, but I also slightly believed him. When he wasn’t looking, I used to kick that tripod case, just in case that foster bitch was in there.

The point of my story is that I have my own little tripod case now. Last week, on one of my days off, I went to the animal shelter because I am an idiot who does things like go to the animal shelter for fun.

They needed volunteers to foster their puppies and kittens, and we all know how well it goes when I bring home a puppy, but I figured I could bring home a kitten or 12.

This is Jodie Foster. She is my first foster child. It occurs to me now I should have named her Didi or Barbie.

She is a little boop.

I got her at the animal shelter first thing this morning, before they even officially opened, and I was so excited to get her home that I failed to ask many questions. I know she was a stray, but I don’t know what her backstory is.

She’s too young to really be adopted, and she needed a nice home to stay in rather than the stressful shelter.

Here is what I know about her so far. She has pretty much not sit still since I put her in this room. I have to keep her separate from my regularly scheduled cats, so she will be in my main bedroom with the huge walk-in closet. There are tons of places to climb, and warm place to sleep, and these are the two warmest rooms in the house for some reason.

None of my other animals have even noticed there’s a new pet here.

Jodie Foster caught her reflection in the mirror in here and got all puffy. That was hilarious. And while she still isn’t sitting still, she is spending a lot of time cuddling with me.

Here are the things I know you were going to say: June, you are not going to be able to return this cat. You are going to adopt her.

But I know I’m not. I have enough animals. I really can’t afford another one. And I really don’t want to be the person with four fucking cats. This is just something I wanted to do because it’s a nice thing, and I love getting some kitten strange.

I have a lot of freelance work to do today, and some Christmas shopping to get done, which I guess I’m going to be doing online in this room.

This is actually a great excuse to isolate. Go, me!

In a whole circle of life thing, NedKitty did meet her maker last night. I went over to Ned’s house, and was there while it happened. She died on Ned’s lap.

Here’s another thing I know you’re going to say: Ned will take this kitten. He won’t. In a million years, he won’t. He so isn’t ready.

But I say, one’s always ready for some kitten strange.

When Grape-Up Becomes a Thing

I wish more things could hurt on my body today. Stupid Pure Barre. Also? It turns out? When you get up at 5:20 and you’re used to around, oh, 7:00-ish, you feel really tired all day. Just a little news flash for ye.

“Ye.” Because suddenly I’m in biblical times.

Anyway, Bathsheba, before I forget because you know how I am, let’s delve into my boss, fmr.’s, wardrobe.

My boss, fmr., has an office right outside my open, exposed, raw desk in the open, exposed, raw floor plan that stresses me out on the daily.

“Oh, look, you’re here!”

“Going to lunch?”

“What’s that you’re snacking on?”

“Why you taking antibiotics?”

I’ve no idea who thought making us sit in a huge room with no privacy whatsoever eight hours a day was a stellar idea, an idea that would “inspire” us, because man, do copy editors ever seek inspiration. They don’t at all seek quiet and a place to concentrate. Anyway, whoever thought of it has an office, I guarantee you that.

The point is, my boss, fmr., has an office that she’s never in that’s right next to my exposed-innards desk. I know she’s never there because about 97 times a day, someone says, “Do you know where boss, fmr., is?”

She’s a good boss. She’s the kind who actually answers your emails and takes time out for you and so on, so she’s probably out doing just that, or at meetings, because meetings. There are always the meetings.

Once a month, her Stitch Fix–or is it StitchFix–box comes to work, and as she’s pawing through it, I always take the liberty of stampeding in there to veto her choices. I don’t recall her ever asking me to do that, but let’s face it: she’s in an office. I get like 30 seconds where I’m not exposed, I’ll take it.

This is also why I pee 11 times a day.

Anyway, now a committee of women assault her in this manner when her Stitch Fix–or is it StitchFix–box comes, and that is when I was inspired, in an office and not an inspirational open floor plan, mind you, to

BOSS MY BOSS, FMR.

“What if, every month, you try on all your choices and my readers help you pick?” I asked. And she was all, okay yeah.

Here is her box for this month, wherein she has already decided what to keep and what to get rid of. Ready? Brace yourself. Grab onto the person sitting seven inches from you in your open floor plan.

IMG_E2617.JPGShe is KEEPING the spotty dress!

IMG_E2620.JPGShe said YES to the skirt!!

IMG_E2621.JPGShe is RETURNING the ’80s Forenza-looking sweater with gold thread.

Also, she immediately played up to the camera. For a relatively quiet, unassuming person, it was surprising that you get a camera on her and she’s Princess Diana all of a sudden.

IMG_E2622.JPGSee. This is where we can boss the boss, fmr. next month. Because I wanted her to keep the Blondie Bumstead shirt, totally, for sure, and she returned it.

IMG_E2624.JPGThese boots are cute, but $110. My coworker Poochie, who has 8 million pairs of expensive shoes, was encouraging her to keep them, but I burst in and said, DON’T LISTEN TO POOCHIE. SHE SPENDS 8 MILLION DOLLARS ON SHOES EVERY WEEK.

So that’s a little preview, and next month we’ll actually get to vote. Oooo, ooooo! I can do another SURVEY! We can do a survey for each piece! Is that the best way, do you think? If someone has organizational skillz and can think of a better idea, let me know. LMK, as the kids say. The inarticulate kids.

IMG_E2666.JPGI meant to show you a photo of today’s Clinique Chubby Stick, but instead I uploaded a photo of my coworker’s dog. I took this photo yesterday, as said dog ate A WHOLE BOWL of chocolates, wrapper and all, so my coworker brought him in so she could make sure he didn’t die. If he had, I’d have lead with that.

IMG_2668.jpgHERE we are. This is Graped-Up, and first of all, what does that even mean, and second, it looks like I have no lip color on at all. We have one more boring day of nude-ish colors, then we stampede into some exciting pinks. So.

And speaking of exciting, come back here tomorrow afternoon I MEAN IT. There will be photos of something very exciting. No, not my boobs. Perv.

Before I go, I mentioned this in the comments yesterday but perhaps you didn’t see them, as you were busy asking your coworker who she just called, seeing as she was four inches from you and you heard every word and you KNOW that wasn’t her husband.

My point is, at 6 p.m. today, NedKitty is going to be put to sleep. The vet with the pink hair is going to Ned’s to do the deed. She really isn’t eating anymore–NedKitty, not the vet–and she’s had kidney disease for more than a year.

And yes, I’m going over there while it is happening. And would you like to know what I’m not in the mood for? Opinions re this or anything having to do with Ned. It’s a sad time. And even though we were broken up, when Tallulah died, I called him at 11 p.m. crying so hard he couldn’t understand me and was literally here in less than five minutes. So. I’m going over there for this.

IMG_0716.JPGThis is the very first picture of NedKitty I ever took, in 2012. She gave me that look for about three years before she decided she liked me. Now I’m the only person who’s allowed to pick her up.

Godspeed, NedKitty. May there be paper bags to wear on your head, and much hair to chew in the kitty afterlife.IMG_2585.JPGIMG_1791.JPGIMG_5479IMG_2140.JPGimg_4335.jpg

Drivin’ all the old men crazy.

A good part about how they’ve put me on multiple accounts at work is that I’ve gotten to know more coworkers who aren’t Griff. Also, I’ve gotten to know people I’ve worked with all these years, but rarely talked to because we weren’t on the same account.

It can get (ready?) siloed at work.

One of those corporate terms I love.

What they mean is everyone’s working on their own shit so you don’t talk. But they changed that up now, and I’m on three or four accounts at any given time, and yes, everything DOES come to me all at once and everyone needs everything immediately, but that’s not important right now.

What’s important is I’ve gotten to know people I didn’t know before, including a coworker who I will call

Oh my god.

I just ran her through the Random Name Generator, and they want me to call her Lottie Blanco, which I know is slightly confusing given that I had a dog named Lottie,

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She was delicious

but it’s such a marvelous name that I can’t help but use it.

So, my coworker, Lottie Blanco, is married to a woman with the same name. The Lottie Blanco I work with is a very down-to-earth-seeming person, at least compared to me, which does not set the bar high. Miss Piggy is more down-to-earth than me. But really, Lottie Blanco is the type who wanders over calmly and says, “Welp. I got 26 articles for you to read by 5:00” and then stands there emotionlessly, whereas I would deliver this news with a shaking hanky and a paper bag to breathe into.

The point is, she hates snakes. ALERT, FAITHFUL READER TEE. ALERT. SNAKE STORY.

Lottie Blanco and her wife Lottie Blanco live near some woods, and for awhile they had mice, despite having two very cute cats. I mean, really, they are extraordinarily cute–both blonde, one fluffier than the other. The fluffy one was wandering around skinny and homeless and looking like Ren when they got her. The point is, eventually the mice went away, and they were all, hunh. Well, good.

One afternoon my coworker Lottie Blanco was up in the attic, taking a box down for a yard sale they were gonna have, and when she lifted the box

A

GIANT

RAT

SNAKE

was curled up under it. According to my coworker Lottie Blanco, she actually managed to step on her wife Lottie Blanco’s HEAD while screaming and screeching out of the attic like a screaming screeching person.

And this is why I like working on different accounts.

The point is, and yes there is a point besides that stellar story, is yesterday Lottie Blanco The Snake Hater asked me to join a little team celebration at a downtown bar/arcade called Boxcar.

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June downtown. Driving all the old men crazy.

Everyone raves on about that place, but I never went, because what do I care about an arcade?

IMG_2627.JPGExcept nobody told me THERE WERE PINBALL MACHINES.

When I was a kid, we HAD a pinball machine. It was called Skipper, and my father bought it somewhere or other. Maybe at sea. Maybe from Gilligan. I just don’t know.

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This is a terrible picture of Skipper. Let me Google fucking it some more.

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It’s for identification only. It’s NOT part of the kit! I have no idea what that means.

The point is, I spent approximately 11,000 youthful hours in my basement, playing Skipper, and what I wouldn’t give to have that particular game back. Pinball machines were simpler then, as was life, other than that racism and sexism and homophobia stuff that has SO CLEARLY gone away now. Thank god that’s been cleared up.

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Photo credit: Lottie Blanco

Despite the fact that today’s pinball machine is now really dark and you can’t see where the goddamn ball is anymore, I took my complimentary tokens and played me some pinball for, oh, an hour and a half. Oh, how I love it.

And it all came back to me. I’d say “like riding a bike” except I don’t know how to ride a bike. But I won two free games, and I got the highest score of the week on one machine, and got to put m’name in!

I also summarily beat Lottie Blanco at air hockey. I did this by slipping into a snake costume when she wasn’t expecting it.

Hey, June, say “Lottie Blanco” one more time.

IMG_2632.jpgimg_2631.jpgI left downtown, as all the old men had been reported as 5150s, and on over to The Other Copy Editor’s bed and breakfast, where she was having her regular Wine Wednesday event, this time with a band that was apparently quite popular, seeing as I had to park on the corner of Rape and Mug and walk 200 miles. No one bothered me because I still had on m’snake suit.

IMG_E2647.JPGIt was my coworker Molly’s idea to go there, and of course she’s one of those people like my grandfather who knows every single person in town, which begs the question why can’t she think of one nice man to set me up with? Not that my grandfather was any help in that department, either.

IMG_2648.jpgAnyway, the band really was good, but I hadda go, because I needed to get up at 5:20.

You what? Great Lottie Blancos in the morning.

I promised my stupid friend TinaDoris that I’d meet her at stupid Pure Barre at a stupid 6 a.m. stupid class. When the alarm went off, I rolled over and said, “Edsel.”

Oh my god, did that poor dog ever startle awake. gud graby, it 7:00 alreddee?

The cats are always lined up along the hallway when I open the bedroom door, but this morning there was nary a cat in sight.

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eyeriss can’t eben wif dis time of day. she TRYING to eben, but she can’t eben.

In case you don’t have one in your town or something, and you know what I hate? Is when people say, “If you’ve been living under a rock…”

Oh, hohohohoho!!! God, that’s original. Lemme stitch m’sides.

Anyway.

In case you don’t know what Pure Barre is, it’s a one-hour exercise program designed to make you wish for your own swift death right there at a ballet barre.

Holy shit.

TinaDoris goes six days a week. TinaDoris looks magnificent. TinaDoris can suck it.

I came home at 7:03 (silver lining: Pure Barre is stupidly close to my house) and ate all the toast. There is no toast anywhere in the country.

“Hey, where’s the toast?”

“Pure Junne ate it.”

So that’s been my last 24 hours, and try to cram some activity in, Juan. But despite my run-aroundy life of music and pinball and allegedly burning calories that get replaced immediately by toast, I did NOT forget our lipstick pact. Today we try Whole Lotta Honey.

IMG_E2620.JPGAlso, before I forget, we’re going to have an exciting new feature here at Book of Pies. My boss, fmr., is going to show us her Stitch Fix box every month, and we get to vote on what she should keep and what she should return! She already decided on this month’s shipment, which I will feature for you tomorrow, so you’ve got that to live for.

And listen. If you do anything, check in with me Saturday this week. I have something SO STUPIDLY EXCITING to show you then.

Meanwhile, Whole Lotta Honey…

IMG_2663.jpgHunh. Yeah, okay. Whole lotta eh.

Wet-harriedly,

June

June does her makeup and talks to you. Yes, again.

It will be 11 years Friday that I’ve done this dang…website. Other than June’s Live Sex Tape, I’ve pretty much done it all on this thing.

[Considers June’s Live Sex Tape.] [Step one: Get sex life.]

Photo on 12-13-17 at 8.18 AM.jpgWhen we left each other yesterday, dabbing at our eyes the annoying way the Real Housewives do: dab, dab dab–check Kleenex, we said every day we’d try a new lip color from my exciting Clinique set of 20 lip colors that I needfully bought. Because if there’s anything anyone needs, it’s 20 Chubby Sticks.

Step one: Get one chubby stick.

Hey, mom. [Sees mom in her head. Sees mom’s pursed lips. You know what would unpurse them? A Chubby Stick, by Clinique!]

Photo on 12-13-17 at 8.21 AMSince we all know this exciting post is going to end in me showing you today’s color: Fuller Fig (as opposed to yesterday’s color: Richer Raisin), I thought we’d put on our makeup altogether together.

Oh, June. With the play on words.

So I started up there with my grocery-store-purchased Revlon Brow Fantasy, and if you’re really having fantasies about eyebrows, consult your nearest medical professional.

I am using Light Brown, or as the fancy people call it, Brun Clair. Why is my eyebrow pencil also French? Do a lot of your French folk schlep to the grocery store for their cosmetic needs?

In real life, when I have the dollars, I prefer the Anastasia brow products called DIPBROW™. Look at me, even adding the TM.

Photo on 12-13-17 at 8.27 AM #4Laura Gellar Baked Balance-n-Brighten, because you know how much I love anything with “n” instead of “and” in the title. My Aunt Mary, whose initials are QVC, sent me my first compact of this in 2015 and I’ve been using it ever since. It’s easy and it works.

Also, since I moved my computer in my quest to photograph anything OTHER THAN THE RAYS OF THE SCREAMING SUN, please note my poor succulent back there. It seems to be drooping. As you can see, it’s not like it’s NOT GETTING ANY SUN, so does anyone have succulent advice? I know to not water it often; that’s why I HAVE a succulent. Have you met my attentive nature?

Photo on 12-13-17 at 8.32 AM #2Laura Mercier Secret Concealer for Undereye. It’s not a secret anymore.

I wonder if Laura Gellar and Laura Mercier duke it out in my cosmetics bag?

Photo on 12-13-17 at 8.34 AM #2I really meant to go to the store last night and get root touchup. GodDAMMIT. Anyway, Bobbi Brown eye shadow in Gray. Because it’s my prerogative.

Do I make that joke every time? What do you want from me? I’m an old woman. Also, note my gray eye shadow and my gray roots do not match. Apparently there really are 50 shades of gray.

Photo on 12-13-17 at 8.38 AM.jpgI like how my blog about me is showing pictures of me with a reflection of me in the background. Also, carry on, my wayward sun. Jesus, with that sun. So to speak. Talk about your father, sun and holy shit it’s bright back here.

Anyway, Revlon ColorStay eye pencil in Black/Brown, or as they also like to call it, Noir/Brun. Okay, Revlon. Get over your not-French self.

Followed by DiorShow Blackout mascara, and the color is apparently 099. That’s warm and personal.

Ninety-nine. I’ve been waiiiting so long. Oh, 99, where did we go wrong. Oh, 99.

We need to hear more from Toto. Whatever happened to them? We cast aside our musical heroes so fast. Toss ’em aside and call them 099.

Incidentally, while I’m writing to you and doing my makeup, what I know for sure is that eating six Jeno’s Pizza Rolls for breakfast is not good for you.

That is why I’m having six Totino’s Pizza Rolls.

IMG_2616.jpgTAAA-DAAAAA!! FULLER FIG, which I just typed as “Fuller GIF.” Again, it’s not bad. I don’t wanna marry it, be June Fig. But it’s okay.

What’s not okay: gray fucking roots.

So there it is: A simple makeup routine that, if you also blog about it and photograph it and eat pizza rolls during it, takes a mere hour and a half.

IMG_E2612.JPGI leave you with this portrait of ennui that I took last night. Apparently there was a staff meeting no one told me about. Perhaps they’re planning a takeover.

Fine with me. I hate being in charge around here. Let THEM figure out how to afford flea meds for four.

Talk to you tomorrow, when we shall delve into the exciting world of Clinique’s Whole Lotta Honey.

WAYYYYYYY down inside. WOman. Youuuuu neeeed.

LOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV….

XO,
June Fig

Gettin’ above my richer raisin

If I spent as much time trying to cure world hunger as I did looking for tweezers, we’d all be trying to lose a few. The whole world. A worldwide, literal Whole 30.

Jesus.

And reading glasses. I’ll go into a room, and all that will be lying around will be real glasses. I don’t NEED real glasses. Already got in my contacts. I just need to see UP CLOSE GOD IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK.

Then the moment I need real glasses, all I’ll be able to find will be readers.

Also too? I have three pill bottles in my purse: m’Ritalin [heart emoji], my migraine meds, and my little-used nausea pills for when I have a bad migraine. Every day–EVERY DAY–I reach in there for the Ritalin and pull out the nausea meds. Every fucking day.

Last week, when I had the moan-aloud migraine, I hunched over nauseatedly to my purse to get out the nausea pills, and?

Pulled out the Ritalin.

There are a lot of goddammits in my house.

In other news, I called my old coworker TinaDoris, because she is forever posting on Instagram how she’s getting up at god’s half acre to work out at Pure Barre, and I realize “god’s half acre” doesn’t mean that. What are you, new here? And since no one sees me naked anymore, I have less incentive to work out, and all of a sudden I look like Ruth Buzzy. Who if I’m not mistaken was sort of thin. But I just mean I look old and like the meat is falling off the bone.

I figured if I worked out with someone, I might show up out of obligation.

After she got over the part where her phone actually rang (Dear Millennials: Get over it. It’s a phone. You spend $700 on a phone. It’s supposed to ring.), she told me the beginner classes were on Sunday morning and Thursdays at god’s half acre o’clock.

IMG_2587.jpg
behold.

So, Saturday night I went to bed early, and set the alarm for acre time, and whomever the asshole was who said, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” never had Netflix when season two of The Crown was premiering.

But I actually got up, slipped on some sexy workout clothes with all m’hips, and crunched hippily out to the car.

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This is not me. It’s another hip-blessed female in this house.

It snowed here for more than 24 hours from Friday to Saturday, but then it melted, but then it froze up again Saturday night. This is why, as I grabbed my car’s door handle, nothing happened.

Nothing.

I mean, frozen motherfucker did not budge. “Oh, come ON,” I told myself. “Try harder.” I tugged and I pulled and I pulled and I tugged, and now my door handle and I are in a committed relationship, but I could not get into my car.

Goddammit,” I said, as I stomped back into the house. Then I had to call poor TinaDoris, who probably had her phone disconnected, what with all the jarring ringing it did that week.

But since I already had on a sports bra and everything, I ended up doing my Callanetics video, with that phony Call A Pickaxe or whatever her name is. Oh my god, that workout is hard. As opposed to the boilin’ bag of gravy that is my ass.

Remember boiling bags? My mother used to get them for me when I was in high school. They were fairly disgusting, but I ate them. You could get, like, chipped beef. Boil the whole bag, dump it out.

chippedbeef1.jpgI love how I’d eat that after school and THEN have dinner, and I weighed 110. Probably because I was so active then.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Anyway, further reports as developments warrant re Pure and its Barre. Maybe TinaDoris and I could just get up early and go to a bar.

In my hometown, back when everyone worked at the factory, and that factory was open 24 hours a day, the bars stayed open, too. So you could get off third shift at 7 a.m. and head to the bar.

Nice.

I have to go. I got assigned something at 10:30 last night, and a person I feel bad for is our traffic person, who assigns everybody everything. Anyway, the work looks pretty interesting, but lengthy. Like my dick.

I leave you with the following exciting news.

IMG_E2398

As you know, because you follow my every move (except for no one ever remembering that I do, in fact, have a face in my tree. A face I nailed in myself. And covered ad nauseum on this not blog. But then every time I show a photo of that tree, I get, “I see a face, JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO–blargh.” That was when I shot the person)…

Anyway, as you know, since you follow my every move, I spent $50 on a tray full of chubby sticks, like my dick, and what I thought we would DO, because we are so whimsical here at house of Jooooooblargh, is I’d try on a new lipstick for you every day.

I KNOW!

Let’s try them from left to right.

Photo on 12-12-17 at 9.03 AM #2.jpgI took about 11 photos hoping my gray roots wouldn’t show and it turns out, hips don’t lie. Neither do cameras. Anyway, this is Richer Raisin, and I don’t like raisins, but this color isn’t bad. It doesn’t give me a chubby stick, but it’s okay.

Stay tuned for Fuller Fig tomorrow!!!!

Oh, Jooooo. How dull you are.

Noon June

It’s Monday at lunch, and I tried to write you all this morning, but stuff kept happening and I never got around to it. But here I am! The one that you love! Asking for another dayyyyy.

In case you were gone this weekend, or trying heroin or the FedEx delivery man, I wrote about my trip to TinyTown this weekend. It’s the post below this one. I also just linked to it. So you won’t have to be all, What happened in TinyTown, JOOOOOOOOOON??? Why didn’t you write about TinyTown, JOOOOOOONN. In my head, the more I write “JOOOOON,” the harsher you sound saying it.

Other than that, here is what else I’ve been up to…

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Oh my god, June, NO ONE CARES.

I headed out yonder to visit my friends Chris and Lilly, who are 100% over me but have to tolerate me because they’re nice people.

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“Is she gone yet? Don’t look over there. …Did she go?”

They made a nice plate of snacks, which I was indulging in despite my clean diet.

HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Anyway, there I was, indulging, when we all…smelled something.

“So you smell that?” asked Chris, and they probably worried about the contents of my adult diaper, so old am I compared to them. In the grand scheme of things, I’m Ruth Gordon to their Mia Farrow. Try the mouse.

“It’s just me!” announced their child, Z, from the hallway. She leaned into the room. “I just wanted a little company!”

IMG_E2467.JPGTurns out Z felt the…call of nature, so she brought her…call of nature chair into the hallway, right outside of the living room, to, you know. Answer nature. It was more a social event than a private event, for her. It was the social event of the season, really.

Also, I got my hair cut. I go to a regular hairdresser who colors and cuts my hair, but she doesn’t do the Deva cuts, which is a specific cut for curly hair that you have to get a certificate in and so on.

I could see my hair wasn’t…bouncing as it can, and the curls were getting heavy, so I Googled the closest place that does Deva cuts, made an appointment, and walked in this week…

…to an African American salon.

Okay. So.

I guess I never thought about it before, but once I walked into that place, the only BETTY WHITE in there, the only person who was BEYOND THE PALE, it dawned on me. I saw the light, and it was my skin. Maybe there are salons specifically for women of color, and maybe I just walked into one.

White girl walks into a salon.

But here’s the thing. A, they didn’t kick me out, and 2, they were really nice to me and 12, here’s my new hair:

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June. Stop.

No, really, HERE is my new hair:

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Right?

Here it is on another day:IMG_2458.jpgRight right? She did a great job! As Faithful Reader Fay says, I have gone black and I will not go back. I’ll still go to my color person, ironically, for color. But I’m sticking with this hairdresser for cuts.

Then finally yesterday, I tried getting back on Facebook after a few-week hiatus, but almost instantly, people started messaging me, which of course is why I got off Facebook.

(Just to catch you up, in case this was your season to try heroin, or the FedEx delivery man, a person kept sending me messages on Facebook, messages to do with Ned, and when I blocked her, she created a new profile and messaged me again. This gave me the PTSD any time my message indicator came on Facebook.

I wrote here, and on Facebook, and on the page Facebook of June, asking for people to not send me personal messages, but it kept happening. So, knowing I can’t change anyone, I just got off there. I was hoping when I got back on that I just wouldn’t get many messages, but I did, and they made me anxious again, so I left. Again.) (And shutting off messenger doesn’t help. It still tells you you have messages.)

So that was a long stint back on there. Hey, 12 hours!

And finally. In summation. To wrap up. You will note on the side of this page (if you’re on your desktop computer) or at the bottom of this page (if you’re on your phone) that there is a new feature here. It’s called From the Beginning, and it will eventually list all my categories in chronological order.

I have all kinds of stupid categories from this blog: Ned, my pets, my health, Tracy Quartermaine. But if you wanted to just sit down and read about a particular topic, you’d have to read from the present day and scroll down. Read backwards, as it were.

This annoyed me, which is saying a lot because we all know what a long fuse I have. But there’s a woman named Elizabeth who works for WordPress, who offered me her services when I came over here, and she has been magnificent, and I asked her, “Is there a way we can show some stuff in order, and not backwards?”

So she made the little From the Beginning section, and we started with the …friend/Ned category, dating back from January of 2012 when I met his ass, and ending with whenever I last wrote about him.

As I learn how the hell to add the other categories, I will add them. She did this one for me, because did I mention magnificent?

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You rilly sort of dullist person on erf.
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do not bor furthir

So that SORT of sums things up, although I have other things to tell you, but I will save them up. Savor them. Build the anticipation.

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mom blawg. fale.

Talk to you soon, from the warm supportive bosom of my pet family.

Jooooooon

TinyTown, revisited

In August of 2007, my then-spouse, Marvin, and I moved from Los Angeles to Wadesboro, North Carolina. We went from a population of 3 million to a population of 3,000. It didn’t occur to me that this might take some adjustment.

But this is what I DO in life. I plow through it, never thinking anything through, then being stunned by the struggle because I didn’t think things through. I wish for you to put this on my tombstone, along with the 40 other things I’ve asked you to put on my tombstone, which at this point is something of a scroll. A stone scroll. That you can somehow pull out to read all the epitaphs I’ve written.

“You wanna visit June’s grave today?”

“Ugh, no. I can’t even deal with unrolling her stone scroll.”

Anyway. So instead of sitting, oh, still, and letting myself be charmed by TinyTown, I immediately commenced to finding ways to leave. This is why, on February 27, 2008, I was driving to Raleigh for a job interview, when I passed a little dog on the side of a busy road.

IMG_2509(I just took this yesterday, and was stunned by just HOW busy that road was. Tallulah was less than 3 months old when I found her, and you guys, she was past that gutter. It gives me chills. She was probably moments from being in that road.)

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 4.38.35 PMI never made it to the interview, because as we all know by now, I made the best U-turn of my life and swooped that little puppy up and into my car. My initial plan had been to knock on the trailer doors, there, to say, “Here’s your dog,” but when I saw all the yards weren’t fenced, and that she was so very skinny, and once I saw the sun glint through her gold eyelashes, I instead shut my car door and put her in the passenger seat. And right then I knew, I had myself a Tallulah dog.

I’ve never known something so certainly, and never loved someone so fast. It was her gold eyelashes that did me in. Those gold eyelashes assured her spot as my passenger that day.

100_1312She was the best passenger I ever had, for 8 years.

This week would have been her 10th birthday, and I decided it was time to scatter her ashes all the places she loved. That included her first home, where I found her; the house we had in TinyTown; my yard here; the dog park; and any other places I can think of where she was happy, i.e., anywhere Edsel wasn’t.

(She was never a fan. Don’t tell Edsel. He was nothing BUT a fan of that dog.)

So yesterday I took the day off work to drive back to TinyTown and to where I found her, which by the way is precisely nowhere–it’s not even a town. Tallulah was a small-town girl. Livin’ in a LONELY world. She took the midnight train going an-y-where.

Also on June’s scroll: She burst into bad ’70s music when no one wanted her to.

The problem was, yesterday was our first snowstorm of the year. Go, June! Wait, did you just plow through something without thinking it through? Hunh.

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Checking out the first flakes, which you can’t see, but trust me.

Just as soon as I got out to the car, it started to snow. It was so pretty, and I was all, Oh, it won’t stick.

Oh, June.

IMG_2476.jpgSo, once again, my favorite passenger and I got into the car and headed on down the road a piece.

I took the country roads to take me home, because it’s a really pretty drive, and normally I’d have stopped to take photos for you, but as the grandmother I’m turning into would say, it was pouring the rain. It wasn’t far out of Greensboro that the snow turned to rain, but man, we’re talking rain. Much rain. It rained longer than Queen Elizabeth.

Oh, June. You’re not funny.

IMG_2502IMG_2499Whenever I return to TinyTown, I am charmed by the people and the beautiful old houses and I think, Why the hell did I ever leave TinyTown? I wonder if I’d have gotten divorced if I’d left. I wonder if I’d have ever met Ned. I’d never have had a Steely Dan, or known a single Alex.

But left it I did, which means I missed the news that my friend Lucy died earlier this year. She was a woman I met through the Episcopal church, where I was the best church secretary the world has ever known.

My stepbrother-in-law Bill once told me about a guy he knew who chucked it all to become a mushroom farmer. He wanted a simpler life. Turns out, being a mushroom farmer is really hard, and you have to constantly keep up with the heat and the moisture and the soil and your mushrooms and LIFE WAS NOT SIMPLER.

IMG_2495.jpgThis sums up my experience of going from being a proofreader at an ad agency in Los Angeles to being a church secretary in a town of 3,000. IT WAS THE HARDEST JOB I EVER HAD.

But man, did I love the people there. I saw the church and the steeple, then I opened the door and saw all the people, and they were fabulous.

It’s funny–when we first moved to TinyTown, we had one car, a car Marvin would take to work. So my only entertainment was walking, and right outside our door was the world’s steepest hill, so every day in the August heat, I’d climb that hill. This church, the Episcopal church, was at the very top, and I’d sit on the wall and spit up blood while I caught my breath. I would admire the architecture every day. At night, the steeple would be surrounded by barn swallows, but I didn’t know what they were yet.

I’ve learned a lot of things living in the South: To be, not to seem. What a barn swallow is. To enjoy conversation. A ham biscuit. And that not everyone automatically believes in evolution.

I didn’t know I’d end up working at that church, is my point.

Anyway, when I learned my favorite parishioner Lucy died, I called her husband, Dr. Whit, and we made plans to get together yesterday.

IMG_2480.jpgWhen I pulled up to his house, he ran out for me with an umbrella, and does anyone want to join me in wondering why I left TinyTown? He’d made a cozy fire in the living room, and we had lunch and talked about just everything. That’s the thing about the people there: They all have the gift of gab. They make an afternoon fly by, because they actually know how to have conversations. No one checks a phone, no one dominates the talk. It’s a skill everyone there seems to have.

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The good doctor

IMG_2481.jpgI was stunned to see they still have their mean cat, Dixie, named because she was found out behind a Winn-Dixie 14 years ago. “Has she gotten any nicer?” I asked hopefully. “Can I pet her yet?”

“Oh, no, don’t do that,” Dr. Whit warned. “Don’t ever do that.”

IMG_E2486.JPGOf course, we talked about Lucy, and he even gave me some of her ashes, and I got my nerve up and asked, and YES, she got to be buried in her Tiffany box after all. I really almost cried when I found out. I so wanted her to get her Tiffany box.

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I think we both had a really good afternoon.

After our visit, I stopped at the church and scattered a little Lu around the back door. I used to work every day from 8–12, and she’d be in her crate during that time. If I ever had to return for more pressing church secretary duties, I’d take her back to work with me for the afternoon where Dear People of TinyTown: Occasionally she’d poop in the nave maybe a bit. I am sorry. SHE WAS JUST A PUP. It was just a little puppy poop.

I remember her little excited puppy self clamoring to the back door of the church, trying to get up those big stone steps. And I remember Father Mike very tolerantly saying, “Hello, Tallulah” when he’d see us together in the office. He was the kind of guy who kept dogs for hunting, so you have to hand it to him that he didn’t fire me on the spot.

IMG_2490.jpgI also drove through the bustling downtown that continues to be adorable, then over to my old rental house, which doesn’t look good. They cut down some greenery, somehow. I want to look at old photos to compare the difference, but it looks barer now.

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Depressing.

Nevertheless, since no one was home, I sneaked to the back yard like a common criminal and scattered Lu where I stood with her for countless hours in the cold, holding her leash, saying, Go potty go potty go potty go potty until we’d give up and go inside, where she’d poop on the floor as soon as we got in.

“Lu really prefer to poop in nave.”

Then I popped in on some other friends I made in TinyTown, Jerry and Rachel. They are the very definition of gracious. They served me hot cider and chewy almond cookies on a silver tray. Also on my tombstone: She never had elegant silver trays.

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More elegance in one strand of my elegant hair than June will ever have.
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I concur.

Careful readers will note this is the couple who had me over a few Christmas Eves since I moved to Greensboro. Their house was built in the ’20s, and they are the second people to ever own it. It has built-in cabinets, and one of those fireplaces with the wood columns and the mirror built in over it and OH MY GOD THAT HOUSE Y’ALL.

IMG_2491.jpgI forget how happy the people of TinyTown make me. And when I left their house, Jerry walked me to my car with an umbrella over me.

Hey, why’d I leave TinyTown?

Anyway, the weather was not letting up, and I basically hydroplaned my way to Tallulah’s old homestead. I saw a kid playing in the yard of one of the trailers, and I was tempted to ask, “Did anyone steal a puppy from you when you were just a wee child?” but I did not. Instead, I very casually walked around the grass, scattering Lu out in the driving rain, looking, I’m sure, not remotely berserk in my suede fringe boots and fur-collared retro coat.

IMG_2503.jpgThe closer I got to home, the snowier it got, and while hydroplaning was not relaxing, neither was slipping on the ice. Despite my concrete shoulders, I took time out of sliding on the road to open the gift Jerry and Rachel had given me, a big tin of peanuts, and what better time to delve into a tin of peanuts than when you’re on an icy road, with cars spun out every few miles and ambulances everywhere? It’s a moment that cries out for a peanut break.

Tip for readers: Some tins of peanuts have very sturdy foil tops. These foil tops will SLICE YOUR FINGER TO RIBBONS should you choose to, oh, eat peanuts and drive.

You have no idea how badly I cut my own self. Turns out, bleeding and driving don’t mix. Oh my god, I was Nicole Brown Simpson. I was Sunday Bloody Sunday. I was bloody, Mary.

The peanuts were delicious.

I made it home alive and Dr. Whit even called today to make sure I did.

IMG_2514.jpgIt didn’t even snow that much–although it’s still snowing as we speak. But it’s that kind with the icy top layer, like a creme brûlée. And today I was supposed to go do something exciting that I was gonna tell you about, but now that’s been put off.

But that is probably good, since I have droned on forever about my day in TinyTown, and talk about your gift for gab.

Not as gabby as my tombstone is gonna be, but you know what I mean.

Chattily,

June. Of TinyTown, fmr.

June Heads Back

I meant to get here earlier, but I was on the phone all morning.

Recently, I discovered I had 5.5 days left of vacation time that I did not take this year, and while I can roll three of them over, I also took today and tomorrow off. Ima Christmas shop today, and then tomorrow I planned to scatter Tallulah’s ashes.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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you wut?

Tuesday was what would have been Lu’s 10th birthday, and it dawned on me that I should scatter some of her ashes where I found her, near TinyTown, and then maybe at our old house in TinyTown if I don’t get arrested, and then some in my backyard, and then I found a store on Etsy that sort of bakes in some ashes with metal and then you have a necklace. Also, say “and then” one more time.

il_570xN.921029745_svxuSo that’s what’s going to become of Talu. She was an outdoor girl; she wouldn’t have wanted to be in that stereo speaker on my shelf forever.

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And by the way, I did not find Lu in TinyTown, proper. Hey, I wonder if my haters think I made up finding her, too. Anyway, I FOUND her on a busy two-lane road when I was driving to Raleigh for a job interview. And girl, once I got this idea, you have no CLUE how long it took for me to figure out just exactly where I found her. But I did it!!

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Here it is! Here is the busy corner! This shot was taken November of 2007, and since she was just a pup when I found her, the vet estimated she was born December 5, 2007. I COMBED this shot for a pregnant dog, because HOW WONDERFUL would that have been to see in this photo? A Beagle or a Pit, all heavy with Lu child. Maybe Lu’s mom was inside, with her new pups already. What if I get there tomorrow and one of Lu’s siblings is there?? GUESS WHO I WILL BE BRINGING HOME.

So, I guess it was maybe because I was planning this, but today I had a bad feeling, a weird feeling, and I Googled my friend Lucy, from TinyTown.

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She and I got up with each other a few years ago–we went to the museum in Charlotte, and had ourselves maybe a bit of wine in the museum cafeteria. So cultured!

I found out that she died in her sleep this year. I wish someone from TTown had told me. I’d have stampeded back there for her funeral.

Lucy was one of the women who belonged to the Episcopal church, where I was a stunning and effective church secretary. I really liked all the women there, I really did, but she was special  to me. She was beautiful, first of all, which is important to me, because spiritual and deep. Also, she had this low, sexy voice, and was ready to be sarcastic at the turn of a dime. She’s everything I wish I was, had I been born Southern.

I dearly loved her.

So, I called her husband, Dr. Whit. He’d been the TinyTown doctor forever. Pretty much delivered every resident. Lucy agreed to marry him after I think three weeks. She told me she didn’t want anyone else to get him.

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“Hello, June,” he said, as he picked up the phone.

“How’d you know it was me?” My number AND my last name have changed since we last spoke.

“My TV told me,” he said.

Dang. Things got fancy in TinyTown. Also, I love how everyone there still has a real phone. Anyway, we had ourselves a nice talk about Lucy, whom it turns out we were both pretty fond of and

OH MY GOD! CRAP! I just remembered! Out of all the hilarious memories I have of her, I remember she said she wanted to be cremated, and then she wanted to be put in a cardboard box, so she could be ashes to ashes ASAP.

But she wanted to be in a TIFFANY box. And I, idiot that I am, CALLED TIFFANY to ask if they’d just send me a box. Then I told them why.

News flash: They did not send me a box.

DAMMIT. I wonder if she got her Tiffany box. Oh, this all makes me want to cry. I WISH I had known she was so ill.

The point is, I’m not only headed to TinyTown tomorrow to scatter Lu, but also Ima have lunch with the good doctor. Then Ima pop over, drive all the way across town, as it were, to see the Johnson-Johnstons, a couple I also liked from the church. Her maiden name was Johnson, and she married a Johnston. Or vice versa. Anyway, I have thought of them often because they, too, moved out of their house, then back in, and hung pictures right back up where they’d been, and when I moved back here after my year abroad I thought of that a lot.

They did it for a job, though. Not a tumultuous relationship. So.

In all, I am v v excited about tomorrow, and I will fill you in on all the deets as soon as I can. I’m so glad I got to live in TinyTown for as long as I did. I heart those people.

And I really hope Lucy got her Tiffany box, after all.

Kelsy Preeze

This sums up my current online-dating situation: I just read a profile where the person wrote, “I really enjoy a battle of Whits.”

Oh, honey. I have already won that battle.

I am writing to you on Tuesday night, because my coworker Ryan asked me to pick him up tomorrow morning at the oil change place and drive him into work. He wants to meet at 8:15, and because I am a magnificent person, I did not tell him that I usually get to work at 9:00.

So now I will not only be doing a good deed for a fellow coworker, but also coming to work early. Smell me.

I didn’t go to work today, although I ended up working. I have been in a long streak of migraines. I think today is day 10. It sucks. My doctor put me on a new medication that I will start tomorrow morning.

I woke up last night at about 1:44 AM. Do you like how I said “about,” and then I list a ludicrously specific time? I woke up last night at approximately 1:44:16 AM.

Anyway, did I ever have a migraine. Oh, it was a bad one. It was the kind where I was moaning out loud. And not in the good way.

Edsel, of course, was worried sick and just wanted to lie in the bed with me. I let him, and then at some point in the night, because I never really slept again all night, Steely Dan started meowing at the door.

I lock him out of the bedroom at night because of course he eats all the clothes. As cats are wont to do. Wait, you mean all cats are not wont to do that? Are you saying I have one of the weird cats? Kelsey Preez.

Goddamnit phone. Kelso Preez. Oh for god’s sake. “What a surprise,” is what I was trying to say, in French. I guess you can’t speak French into this phone.

My point is, SD was pretty OK sleeping with me, except he is a headbutting cat. And he gets his stupid wet nose on your sick face. Sometime around dawn, he started gleefully pouncing on my stomach, and that is when I threw his solid-gray ass out the door.

Anyway, people kept sending me work all day, so eventually I got up in all my glory and drove to work and did a little bit of work. Say work one more time.

I told work (hah) that I was only counting this as half a sick day.

A weird thing happened, though. I was in so much agony, that at some point in the middle of the night I started praying. Sometimes I do that when I’m completely desperate. I’m sure God is not sick of me or anything. “Oh look, thy be Karen, asking for thou help when thou be desperate.”

Come back soon for more God speak.

Anyway, I was asking for relief from my agony, which I didn’t really get, but then all of a sudden, Ned’s cousin popped into my head. I’m not really speaking to Ned, but I know his cousin has been very sick for a few years now. Does anyone remember when Ned and I went to a going away party for a bladder? That was his cousin. He had bladder cancer.

Anyway, in the middle of the night last night I asked God to relieve Ned’s cousin’s suffering, because I was thinking about how sure, a migraine fucking hurts, but at least I don’t have cancer.

Then? Ned emailed me that his cousin died early this morning.

So.

But none of this is why I gathered you here today. I gathered you here today to tell you about how I discovered that I am pretty much an asshole. Kelsey Preez.

Goddammit. QUEL SUPRISE, you fucking phone. This fucking phone is a moron. This fucking phone on a date that guy who wants to have a battle of Whits.

Remember that time one of us got so mad, because we saw someone on Facebook offering kudos, but she spelled it koodles?

Oh my god anyway. The other night, I was walking Edsel, and it was like dog-in-the-yard fest in my neighborhood or something. There were so many goddamn loose dogs. It was a lovely night, and I guess people thought, “I guess I’ll take m’dog, Kelsey Preez, out in the yard with me. Yeehaw.”

It was ridiculous. And I kept getting sweaty thinking of some dog meandering out of its yard and over to us, where Edsel would summarily kill it. At one point, I was on the corner in Winslow Arizona, and there was literally nowhere for me to go that I would not pass a dog free in the yard. I was so fucking pissed off by the time I got home.

So that is when I angrily got online and looked up the leash laws for Greensboro, North Carolina.

I was so going to look up those laws, and then get on my next-door app and give people a piece of my mind. That’s what I was going to do, dammit. Boy, would they be sorry.

So, very smugly, I looked up the laws, only to discover that letting your cats loose in Greensboro is against the law.

Oops.

Then I discovered that dogs can be off leash in their own yard. What the fuck?

THEN, I discovered that if any dog has bitten a dog or human, that dog can be taken away from you. So, basically, that night Edsel slipped out of his collar and went over and bit that poor old dog? Those people could’ve called the police and had Edsel taken to jail. He would’ve had a happy new year, in jail.

And that is when I stopped looking at that website. Stupid laws.

Ima go, and lie here with my migraine hangover, and talk at you later.

Love, Kelsy