How was the prom, Carrie?

Dear Faithful Reader Paula:

You will be relieved to hear that it’s 7:40 a.m., meaning I have 50 entire minutes to write you, which is a lot. I’ve fed and peed the Edsel, changed the litter, fed Forest his kitten food that he doesn’t care about, lifted fat Lily to the feeder—which always feels ironic—and given Iris her special stomach food that Milhous will eat as soon as her gray back is turned. Basically, everyone here has their own food and everyone eats everyone else’s food, with the exception of Iris who just gets her food eaten.

Whose idea was it to have this many pets? [looks around accusingly]

So now I’m all ready to begin blogging like it’s 2009 and someone outside is TAPPING something. At 7:42 a.m.! Hang on, I HAVE to see what kind of insensitive ARSE is TAPPING at this hour.

…It’s a guy across the street. It’s only 46 degrees this morning, so he’s out there in a coat and beanie, doing some sort of car repair. This couldn’t wait till 9? Really?

Anyway, hi. I’m alive! I’m like when Carrie pops back out from under the dirt. Carrie at the prom, not Carrie Bradshaw.

All week last week I was either sick or working or sometimes both at once. I had a migraine that stretched days—days!!—and I had a busy workweek too. Today I turned on this laptop with my smile and bee-boo! bee-boo! bee-boo! Eight messages as soon as I opened this computer up, all of them NEW work already for this week. The poor guy who sent them sent them at 11:02 last night, so it sounds like he had a restful weekend.

As for me, that migraine started late last Saturday night/early Sunday morning and didn’t officially stop till Thursday, so I decided I was gonna live this weekend and not work at all, and what kind of society do we live in where deciding not to work on the weekend is an actual decision you have to make? I need to move to Sweden or something, where it’s chill. Literally. I’ll bet I’d stop saying things like “only 46 degrees.”

So here are all the many adventures of Juan, the weekend of September something to something, 2020.

On Friday, I went to actual work but not to work. I took a walk with my old friend Austin, with whom I have now worked for like 7 years or something. I would accuse you all of courgaring him but does a man in his 40s count as cougaring? I don’t know. Anyway we took a walk on our old greenway we used to walk on every day back when there wasn’t a plague. We brought masks but ended up just staying six feet apart. The best part is he had to wear his wife’s sunglasses because he forgot his.

Also, we saw a heron. Isn’t it odd how magenta circles sometimes appear in the wild?

Later, I got on the phone with yet another coworker, fmr. When the pandemic happened, we lost some coworkers and he was one of them, sadly. I always liked that guy. I told people if anyone lost their job due to coronavirus that I’d copy edit their resume, but this guy had not only a resume but a whole portfolio that is clever and hilarious, so we got on the phone and he fixed each page while I read through it. It was actually more fun than it sounds and I saw some stuff I’d helped write so I added it to my OWN portfolio.

On Saturday I had my trainer then did some cleaning and my many beasts helped just like on Snow White. Alternatively, they did this. ^^^

But really. But seriously, folks, a whole week of migraine left the house in what you might call a condition. Pants on the floor, dishes undone, wrappers strewn about like a day after a party at Cardi B’s. That would be rappers, wouldn’t it, not wrappers. Dammit.

Anyway things needed sprucing. And then after that, Eds and I took a drive.

The best part was when he headed to the bakery and got a curbside pupcake, as one does.

Then that night, I had a wedding.

One of my coworkers used to live here but transferred to the New York office and there he met a woman who is lovely and he married her on Saturday. They got married in a Brooklyn bookstore, and all of us, everyone, Zoomed into the wedding. It was really cool because I could see the whole audience, including other coworkers. His family all gave toasts after and they were great, and basically the whole thing was way fun and I think all weddings should be Zoom. No hugging, for one thing.

I got all dressed up with my insulation hair that is a result of 10 months without cutting my hair. Have any of you gone to a salon? Did you die of COVID after?

Also, I should be honest. “All” dressed up isn’t quite accurate.

On Sunday Edsel rolled in something dead, so that was relaxing. I had to bathe him, which by the way hurts my back. If I ever get rich I’m getting one of those special dog bathing areas that people have, where I don’t have to kneel into a bathtub like a washerwoman.

So basically Edsel hated me for an entire morning. He also did not care for the cut of my jib nor did he pick up what I was throwing down. We were estranged.

So I took a long walk without him. Not really because he was mad at me, but because this is a trail where


walk their dogs


and you know how I enjoy people who do that. Yesterday I saw many cute dogs and A LAB PUPPY but none of them were off leash so while Edsel would have called the police and had a Karen video made of himself, he would not have had the option to actually eat another dog so he maybe could’ve gone with me but the thing is you can’t know that till you get there. Anyway, above is a tree I saw on the walk, where apparently people are adding toys and that is sort of charming. Not as charming as an off-leash dog, but close.

So that sums up my weekend and now it is 8:22 and I have to gird loins for the week ahead. You know what I’m bad at? Being surprised by work. Since I KNOW this is a big worky week, it will probably go OK. If I have no clue and then get the OH MY GOD IT’S 5 CAN YOU GET THIS DONE BY 5:01 IT’S 900 PAGES, if I get that, then I panic and get all sweaty and weepy. But I was warned this would be a big week so I am emotionally prepared. I think.

So I’ll wrap it up, but oh! I had a deep thought whilst I was convalescing, and that is this: A thing happened to a friend of mine and I wanted to tell you to not be this guy.

I’ve a friend who leaves town a lot for work, which for me would be my biggest nightmare but that’s irrelevant. She just so happens to be traveling to her niece’s new town next week, so she said, “Hey, Ima call my niece for a get-together while I’m there.” She did and the niece was all, hell yeah.

Cute, right?

Except my friend’s dad found out and said, “I’ll go too!”

Don’t do that. Don’t be that guy.

Let people have their alone time. Let them have their dynamic without you always there. Do you have older kids? When they come home, let them visit gramma without you going along. Let them shop with their aunt, just the two of them.

My uncle lived in Arizona most of my life, but when I was an adult (“adult”) he moved back to my hometown with his second wife. When I’d come back for a visit, sometimes I’d go over there and my uncle would be at work and his wife and I would visit. We’d drink glasses of beer on her screened-in porch and she’d tell me stories from her (fascinating) life. Eventually she whipped out her photos from when she was a




model back in the day.

Would I have ever gleaned this info had anyone else been with me? I doubt it. I’m just saying. If you care about people, let them have their own relationship, without you horning in every minute.

Thank you for coming to my TED talk.


Mrs. Margarineworth

I’ve been in hell.

I’ve never had a migraine last that long, and you know what? The one before this one lasted a full 24 hours, which is also unusual. THIS one lasted almost 72 fekking hours. So that’s been relaxing. Is this going to be my new thing, extra flavor extra fun in my migraines to come?

And of course I went to work. I just missed a whole week of work, I didn’t dare come back only to call in sick.

You know what finally got rid of it? I’ll tell you. First of all, I called my doctor today, who saw me right away. And by “saw” I mean we Jane Jetsoned it with my computer on and her computer on, talking to each other. What I like best about my doctor right now is that she needs regular glasses but then reading glasses on top of them to see the computer screen, so twice now during this plague I’ve met with her online while she’s wearing two pair of glasses, one right on top of the other like it’s normal.

I shall miss her when she dies or quits or fires me.

Anyway, she told me to take another Imitrex, along with 600 mg of ibuprofen, and she also told me she’d write me a note to get me out of work, and that I should double up on my anti-nausea pills and just go to bed. I told her what I just told you, about how I HAD to work cause I was just gone.

So my plan was to do everything she said except the anti-nausea pills, and because I can never abstain from revealing my whole life to everyone, I announced on Facebook that I was on day three of a migraine and did anyone have a guillotine I could borrow. I was half-kidding.

“Stick your feet in hot water and put ice on your neck,” said a kid I went to junior high with. I realize the best part of life is the thinner slice and also that no one calls it junior high anymore, but I’m sorry, when I was in school we called it junior high WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?

And you know what I did? I listened to the dude I went to junior high with.


Sticking my feet in hot water and putting ice on my neck WORKED. I had to redo it after awhile, as the pain crept back, so the second time I did it I also took the ibuprofen, but not the prescription drugs, and I’ll be damned if I’m not almost OK right now.

So there you go.

Meanwhile, you should see my house. Remember Fred Sanford’s? My house, with me doing nothing since Saturday night, is not what you’d call camera-ready. Oh my god. Oh my garsh, as my JUNIOR HIGH teacher used to pronounce it.

There were dishes in the sink, a thing that bothers me greatly in normal, nonsick life. There were opened boxes from my HelloFresh deliveries and Ring doorbell deliveries and so on. There was laundry, all the microfiber towels and that sort of kitchen linen category stuff, just thrown onto the kitchen table because I was lucky I even took anything out of the dryer at all, so ill was I.

I mean, everywhere I looked tonight after work, there was something to tidy.

And I’ve committed myself to so much STUFF this week. I told this guy who got laid off that I’d look at his portfolio. I told someone I’d write her obituary. I have two vet appointments and today I clean forgot about my flu shot at my doctor. I also have one scheduled at work later, so that’s not the end of the world, but it makes me feel icky to have forgotten.

I have a financial advisor tomorrow night, in an attempt to not end up under a bridge for my retirement.

Also I had my trainer last night and again Thursday. Can you believe I went to the trainer yesterday? As crappy as I felt? I mean, I felt rotten. And yet there I was last night, in m’workout pants and my t-shirt, the energy of a thousand suns flowing within me. It must have felt like training Mrs. Butterworth. I took my own sweet time, I can tell you that.

Why do I always opt for Mrs. Butterworth as my example? Surely there was some other odd character from my years spent before the television. Why do I never whip out Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee, or Toucan Sam? The Freakies?

But no. I always go back to the woman who bathed my flapjacks in her sweet slow syrup.

Anyway, so I feel, like, 70% better right now, and tomorrow morning I have to cram both Iris and Forest into the same cat carrier, as I own only one now, thanks to the shelter stealing mine. We have to be at the vet at 8:30, and I plan to just work from there whilst they observe Iris for thyroid and make sure Forest is a boy. I assure you he is a boy, as I have seen his Sherwood Forest. If you’re picking up what I’m cutting down. I have seen the Forest from his tree.

I’d be funnier if I weren’t coming off a migraine. It’s like June, now swathed in cotton.

Ima take all the sheets and wrinkly bedspread off and put on new stuff, as the old stuff is all twisted and I was sickly in it and I want everything to be clean and welcoming. Even when I sleep with a migraine, I am off. I know the whole time I’m asleep that I have one. And usually my teeth hurt the next day cause I’ve been grinding them against the pain.

Migraines. Go get one soon!

A woman I used to work with likes to travel all over yonder, a thing I have never had much passion for. And anyway, she was in, like, Vietnam when she got her first-ever migraine. As she lay there, she thought of all the times I had one and she could never quite understand how a headache could do me in the way it did. Till then. In Vietnam.

Lieutenant Dan, indeed.

I’ll talk to you later, after I’ve taken the cats to the vet and met with my financial advisor who is going to say, “Marry a rich man” and so forth. If you need me before then, stick your feet in hot water.


Maybe I just need a Dristan. You know what I’ve thought a lot about in 30 years? Dristan.

Yesterday was perfect. Sunny, breezy, in the low 70s, and? I missed all of it.

If I believed in emojis I’d add one of those clapping hands one between each of the following words: I [clap] am [clap] so [clap] sick [clap] (you get the gist) of these migraines. I looked at my Facebook memories today and had not one but two memories from various years, complaining of lots of migraines, so I must get them a lot as it’s transitioning to fall.

But also, this time I drank, a thing I rarely do anymore because it (wait for it) often gives me a migraine. So I go along not drinking for long stretches and then fun presents itself and I forget. Conveniently.

I went to a bar on Saturday, because you know how I’m not at all scared of coronavirus and just bust loose all over yonder with my crowds and partayys. But remember back when life was normal, how on Fridays I’d go to dinner with my neighbors? One of the dinner people is moving back to Chicago to be with her family, so we had a little goodbye for her. It was held at the pub across from our restaurant that we go to, a pub that has outdoor seating. I guess it’s more a brewery than a pub. What’s the difference? I guess they brew it there, on site, is the difference, sparky. Anyway, it was also the last weekend of that place.

I have about a million pictures of me at that brewery, on this here blog. I took Lottie there two or three times. It’s where Griff said he’s “just drawn to foreign films about lesbians.” I played Scrabble there, and won with my excellent word: Za. Yes, it IS in the dictionary. Look it up.

Anyway the coronavirus has brought that pub to an end, sadly. So I gathered all my courage and my mask and headed there, and sat outside 6 feet from everyone else. I saw two couples I know who were both there saying goodbye to the place, as well.

One of the women in my dinner group is going through a major life change, so I said to her, “You know what you need? Is a tarot reading,” so we have that set up. By the way, ALL of them should be done for you guys, so please email me here in this blog’s email ( if you did NOT get your reading. Title your email “TAROT.”

Anyway, so I’m glad I got out and did that and I’ll let you know if I die of plague. Remember when plague was like an exaggerated joke? I’m avoiding her like the plague! Hahaha! …yeah.

I went home and went to a Zoom Mary Kay party, a party a few faithful readers attended with me. I took a screen shot of it but no one said I could use the screen shot so I won’t.

Here. Here’s just me at the Mary Kay party. A party of one. I mean I cropped everyone else out. The point is, I had my signature vodka and Powerade Zero during the party, and not only was my skin smoove after but I was too. I was saying yes to Martini and Rossi on the rocks. Say yesssss.

And here’s what I should do. I should just take a migraine pill prophylactically when I drink. Although I feel like I never want to drink again. Because OH MY GOD I was ill yesterday. That migraine lasted 24 hours and I can tell I still have it, really, I’m just medicated.

The only times I got up yesterday was to feed or let out an animal, and when I saw the breezy perfect day I was so depressed. I hate missing out on life because 9 days a month I am ill. It’s insane. I recently went to my doctor about it and she prescribed an antidepressant. She said those sometimes reduce migraines. I don’t know why I agreed to that, as I’ve tried that before and it didn’t work. I think I forgot I’d tried it before or something.

Anyway, I have to go. I know I told you last week that I took the week off and got a big list of stuff I wanted to do and I did everything on the list, most notably my chair. I did my chair. As it were.

^^^It’s done! How does it look?^^^

No. Down HERE it’s done. And I took this photo after the last coat and it hadn’t dried yet so I want you to know it’s not this splotchy in real life.

I don’t know what made me choose purple other than I liked it because it was gaudy, but now I feel like I have to get new cushions for my patio chairs, purple and turquoise cushions, to tie in the turquoise umbrella, turquoise Adirondack chair and now inexplicably purple metal chair. Currently I have magenta cushions and it’s like Frida Kahlo decorated the patio. I just need a monkey and a strong brow and I’m set.

I also screwed up all my courage and went to my favorite vintage store and got a side table. I was all careful and measured the space by my couch, then measured the table itself with a ruler I took with me to the store like I’m a Virgo or something, and it fit the space but you know what I didn’t measure? Height. The table is exactly as tall as my couch and it kind of bugs. I’ll take a photo when I, you know, feel like it.

Anyway now my vacation is over, a vacation that began and ended with a migraine, and in 10 minutes I have to turn on my email and see what horrors await me.


Enter sandman

Whose cockamamie idea was it to paint that metal chair?

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so — actually they seemed right up close like they always do. But yesterday I looked online and Bob Villa told me what to do to get that chair ready for painting. I took everything he told me to get and plunked it all into a Lowe’s order and picked it up curbside. Then I drove to Lowe’s and pulled into the special you’re-a-coward curbside parking, which by the way, when you pull into a spot, the sign reads: Call us to tell us you’re here at

Then after that you can’t see anything. Once you pull up you totally can’t see the sign. It’s too low. Did no one test this out at the fine offices of Lowe’s? Maybe that’s why they call it Lowe’s. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

So I had to stand up in my car like I was the Pope and call so they could bring my my coney dog to my window, along with my paint, primer, methadone, you know the drill.

Then I drove it all home and got it out of my car and got a dropcloth and got started and OH MY GOD.

I was supposed to brush the chair with a metal brush and then sand it smooth. No one would come out and tell me if that meant, “Sand the chair till it’s down to the metal” or what, so I just kept sanding. And sanding.

And sanding.

I was sweating like Whitney Houston. I was Mr. Sandman. I sanded and I sanded and I hope you’re getting the picture. And after like 92 hours of sanding? That damn paint was still all over the chair. I used the metal brush they insisted would work so well, and when it didn’t I put it away and found a brush exactly like it in my everything closet where I put stuff like that.

Anyway, next thing you know it was time for my trainer and you know what I didn’t need yesterday? Exercise. Oh my god they should add Sanding a Metal Chair classes at your local Elaine Powers or wherever. After all that, I had to lunge and plank and lift up my voice and what-all, and I barely made it to bed before I was asleep. I slept from 10:30 till four minutes to 9:00 this morning. I woke up and all four cats were sleeping on the four corners of the bed like the four agreements or the four directions or the four fabs.

I would have admired that longer but Alf, my absurd handyman, was coming at 9 so I was in a bit of a panic. And here’s the problem with Alf. Here’s why he earns his moniker. I stampeded outside with my coffee to prime that


as soon as Alf got there because the directions on the back said to only use the primer when the humidity was less than 65%. When I read that last night, I’d checked and we were at 64% right then but I had the trainer and then after I was exhaust pipe. So I wanted to get out there as soon as I could today because September in the South is not low in the humidity.

I just asked my Google machine and right this minute my personal humidity here is 95%. This is what I’m saying about the urgency of doing it right away this morning. I had not meant to sleep till four minutes to Alf.

“Why are you painting without a mask?” asked Alf, my ridiculous handyman, whose work was supposed to be both in the front yard and also at my sink, which needed caulked.

“If you get that in your hair you’re going to be very sorry.”

“Is that the brush you’re using?”

“Actually, I think it’s pronounced Bob Veee-la.”

“Why did you—“

“ALF,” I screeched, because we have the kind of relationship where we can screech.

So Alf made his way to my front porch, where the stucco on the stoop has a crack. But while he caulked and he cracked and he sealed and he also took down this stupid curtain that had literally been screwed into my kitchen window, during all that, he complained that I splash water too much on my counter. He complained that back behind the toaster, there were crumbs. He complained that I had a fourth cat. He complained about this. He complained about that. He listened in on a phone call and asked why I’d talked about myself. He asked why Edsel stared at him.

Finally I took out my guillotine and sliced Alf’s head clean off and had it jauntily mounted, and when his family comes looking for him—assuming they even do—I need you to cover for me.

Meanwhile, it began to rain on my primed-and-drying metal chair. Alf complained as we dragged it to the snake shed together.

“You’re gonna need to give that a day to dry now, since it’s sitting under a layer of water,” Alf said, and then lectured me on why me finding a handy boyfriend would pale in comparison to continuing to hire him. He mentioned this because I had mentioned it in my phone call, a phone call he shamelessly eavesdropped on, did I mention? Say “mention” one more time.

So that’s where it stands now. My chair, a chair I’ve named Sandy, is drying in the snake shed and I have to wait yet another day to paint it, but at least I’ve crossed fix the stoop, caulk the sink and murder Alf from my list of to-dos.

From “vacation,”

June takes time off from her busy exec life

What was your favorite part of the Labor Day telethon? I think Andrea McArdle really brought it on home singing Tomorrow, but you can’t escape the magic that is Robert Goulet.

I need a life. A life that does not recall Jerry Lewis telethons from 1976.

So how was everyone’s weekend? I hope you went to lots of large parties and gatherings. One of my friends had an Instagram Story that just read, “I’m unfollowing anyone who isn’t socially distancing.” I was all, yeah, man. You tell ’em. Then I didn’t do it myself because I wish for people to like me.

But speaking of distancing, I went out this weekend. Not anywhere crowded, but, for example, to CVS for my drugs, which I did not get because insurance isn’t covering it and it’s $370 and stay tuned for a June Begins With a Very Pissy “Yes…,” call to my pharmacy in a few.

I did other important errands, such as get tacos to go, and that’s the first time I’ve been in a restaurant since I think January. You know when I think the last time was? Whenever Kobe Bryant died. I was at that same taco restaurant, and why so fleshy, and they announced it on the TV, there. I know it’s shocking I even know any athlete at all. I know him because of the cheating scandal and that really great pink ring he got his wife after.

The athletes I know. Let’s list them.

Well, there’s Yvonne Goolagong and her iron-poor blood. Is she a gymnast? I don’t know. Was she in the iron man whatever it is, ironically?

Billie Jean King.

Refrigerator or some other appliance. That guy. Refrigerator-someone.

John Namath.

Um. Is that it?—oh! OJ Simpson! He was an athlete! He was like a volleyball player, or did he do jousting? Maybe he was famous for jousting.

Mark Spitting! Spitter? Spitzer? Something having to do with spitting. Mark Sponge? Mark Spiker?

See? I have a wealth of sports knowledge.

In other news that’s less dull than sports,


Any athlete who has scandal or blood lacking in iron, I know. Also, I am TRYING to type around Forest’s tail, which has chosen to SWISH across this keyboard irritatingly.

ANYWAY, in other news that’s less dull than sports and cats, I took the week off. I took the week off because other than having surgery I have taken no vacation this year. I am cranky and dull-headed and not doing my best work, so I decided to take the week off and do all sorts of work.

I know.

But at least it’s different work. I’ll be taxing a different part of my brain. I think. I have a whole giant list. I already got started. Yesterday I organized my hope chest. I know that is a ludicrous task and who care, but it’s been bugging me. I had a bunch of framed photos in there, with ’90s frames, and I took those all out and got rid of the frames. I had my year-2000 special Monopoly in there, all scattered about, and I got it all put back together and placed it in a drawer for easy access in the case of millennial Monopoly emergencies.

I dragged the area rug out from the computer/kitten room, scrubbed it outside like a washerwoman, then cleaned the whole floor in there. I did the same in the laundry area.

Then I sent thank-you notes to everyone who sent an Iris donation. That took almost two hours. Then I painstakingly went through each donation to look for a note that read, “I’d like a reading” and made a NEW list of people to read. I have 50+ people to do tarot readings for, with donations ranging from $5 to $200, and am doing my best to fit it in where I can. Am hoping to do all of them this week and be done. I told this to my mother who said, “Oh, I’d like a reading.”

So then I went ahead and shot self out back.

Also on my list is to redo my metal chair, which I said I’d talk about last week and never did. When I lived in LA, Marvin and I had a deal where we’d have to agree on purchases of more than $150. I was out one Saturday, probably driving down Ventura. When I first moved to LA we lived in the Valley, a thing I tolerated politely for two-and-a-half years before I found us our most excellent place in much-cooler Silverlake. Anyway, for those first two-and-a-half years I spent a lot of Saturdays driving down Ventura. There was actually a lot to see. Many little shops and so forth. I saw Roger Daltry in his convertible once going down Ventura. Also I saw Kristy McNichol at Marie Callender’s. She wasn’t inside a frozen dinner. It’s an actual restaurant.

It’s too bad I didn’t have a blog then, because I often saw celebrities and it was exciting and then I would forget who I saw and if I had a blog back then, dialing into my AOL, I could have told you and had a sort of record. I mean, Kristy McNichol stays in your mind. But I saw many others.

I saw Cuba Gooding Junior at Rite Aid. And Scotty Baldwin at a fancy outdoor mall over in the rich part of town. Oh, and once we were at a tiny restaurant in our neighborhood and Johnny Cochran walked in and my mother-in-law, fmr., GASPED across the room. Never has anyone gasped more gaspily than my mother-in-law, fmr., at that moment.

Ohmygod anyway. So somewhere in LA I saw this old metal chair, the kind your gramma had, for sale at some old shop. It did NOT cost more than our agreed-upon $150 limit, but whatever the price was I lied to Marvin about it by a good $30, I remember that. I brought it home and put it on our balcony in our Valley apartment. As Valley apartments went, we were on the end, which was cool, and we had two bathrooms, which was the only time we ever did in 16 years of being together.

Eventually, that chair chipped, and if I were a good blogger I’d dig out a photo I can see in my mind, of me in that chair circa 1999, with really dumb hair. I would also find you the photo of Marvin with a can of pink spray paint, painting that chair for me once we lived in North Carolina.

Found it. I guess he was priming it.

The pink paint chipped, so I painted it again, in about 2013.

So now what I have is a chair that’s chipped in pink, blue and turquoise. I kind of like it, actually, but the rust bugs. So I plan to paint it right this week.

I have many, many other tedious tasks to get to this week and I plan to bore you with them all. Two or three are not doable by me, or rather I do not wish to learn how to do them because one involves possibly seeing snakes, so I have texted my ridiculous handyman, Alf, who replied that he could do these “if I manage to remember.”

“That’s extremely professional,” I texted him back. “Did they teach you this communication technique in handyman school?” I have yet to hear back from him re this.

Anyway, further reports as developments—you know.


Black Forest and the feelings

It’s not even really light out yet and I’ve already had chilling adventure. For some reason I woke up early. Like, 5:30 early. Naturally I went out for a long run and did 47 planks. Hah. Yeah.

But I did get up, because what else could I do. And I said hello to Forest, my official cat®, because I was almost out of cats.

I guess I should tell that story first.

See, I found Forest a week and a half ago, see, after I’d said no, all maturelike, to adopting any of Chris and Lilly’s black kittens and after almost adopting an older cat at the shelter whose owner had up and died and left him. But in both cases I said, no. No, I have enough cats. I have MORE than enough cats. I’m good on cats. If my cat amount were one of those big thermometers they have at fundraisers, the red would go all the way to the top on cats.

So then I was out doing my cardio, see, that my trainer says I’m supposed to do, see, and there in front of me’s a little black kitten being abandoned and what was I gonna do, LEAVE him? But he was temporary till I found him a home. Temporary. Temp to perm, as one of you said and that killed me.

So then Faithful Reader Andrea said she’d take him, and she was driving many states to come get him, which seemed like a lot but she said, “Oh, hell yeah, I’ll do it. I’ll come get that ghoul cemetery kitten.” We set it up for today, Friday.

I wrote her early yesterday asking if she was planning to come here still and she didn’t answer all day and I was all, Oh good. Maybe she’s changed her mind and doesn’t know how to tell me.

But then yesterday evening she wrote. “Yes, I’m still coming,” she said.

Crap, I thought.

But then we talked about it, and she said she understood if I’d changed my mind, and then we talked about how happy he seems here, and how we both felt bad about taking him from a home he’s clearly comfortable in after his trauma and in the end I decided to keep him OH MY GOD. Like, I’d wanted to keep him but kept telling myself I couldn’t keep him and then all of a sudden there I was, saying I’d keep him.

So last night I got up in the middle of the night—and by middle of the night I mean, like, 11:00—to wash my face and do all those things, and Forest and I passed each other in the hall outside the bathroom.

“Hey,” I said, picking him up. I took him into the bathroom where the light was good and I could stare into his green-yellow eyes. “Would you like to stay here? Be my cat for real?”

Forest wriggled and fought, and I realized he thought he was getting his arse washed again, as he’d had a cling situation a few days ago that other owners of long-haired cats will feel me on.

So that sums up our official adoption procedure.

Anyway, this morning, since I got up before dawn like I’m Pa Ingalls, I ordered more kitten food online as Pa Ingalls did. I had timed Forest’s temporary food PERFECTLY but no. I also got another big litter box from the Pa Ingalls litter box collection. It looks like a tiny outhouse. Then finally I let Edsel out, and of course the regularly scheduled cats wanted to go out, too. I don’t know why I ordered a second litter box when the adult cats mostly go outside in the garden and is that bad for the garden?

But as you know, from your Big Book of June Events, if you want to call these events anymore, Forest has wanted to go out with the big cats all week. He envies their out-ness. They’re out and proud. And as we all know, he’s been out before, but I wasn’t taking any chances when he wasn’t my cat for real. But this morning I said, “OK. I’ll go out there WITH you and we’ll explore the backyard together.”

I opened the door.

And he SHOT UP the pear tree so fast you could hardly see it happening. Shot right up. Way up. Then,


like he couldn’t believe what he’d done. He couldn’t believe he’d gotten drunk and acted this way. Furthermore, NOW what?


Milhous, who enjoys walking the top ledge of the fence with one leg on the very top and one on the ledge just below—he galumphs the whole perimeter of the yard like a peg-legged pirate. It’s one of his signature moves. Anyway, the Dread Pirate Milhous, over there, ran over from pegging, fascinated. He did the SAME DAMN THING when he was young, as I recall.


So that is how I ended up standing among the rotting pears this morning, 4739404 mosquitoes feasting my cankles, getting a kitten down from a pear tree.


Anyway, that’s that and I have crossed over. I am one of you now, crazy cat people. I know three got me to the edge but four is really crossing the line, in my book.

Oh, but guess what! I hadn’t forgotten about the gravel and the metal chair, which I said I’d mention yesterday and never did. Let’s only talk about the gravel today. I’m very organized.

At the back of my backyard is a tree with, like, stones around it and gravel. There is also a driveway, as the snake shed is technically a garage. It’s where snakes park and also cars. One COULD drive the alley and park back there in or in front of the garage, neither of which I never do. The point is, they have this, like, gravel back there and in the two years I’ve lived here it’s gotten sparse. You can see the black liner they put under the gravel around the tree. And as for the driveway, a bunch of the gravel has scattered outside of the area and onto the grass, probably from Edsel running across it to get Blu.

The question is, do I try to rake it back into shape or does this just happen and every so often you have to replace? And where do you get it? I went to Lowe’s and looked in their garden section from behind my mask, and you nonmaskers aren’t kidding about how you can’t fekking breathe in them, yet with all my anxiety I still wore it because, you know, I’d rather feel anxious than kill someone.


What is the answer? Re the gravel. I really don’t know.

And finally, I had an interesting experience last night. As you know, from your Big Book of—whatever. I have my new tarot cards, and one thing they say to do to get sort of bonded and attuned to your tarot cards is to hold them up in the bathroom while they wriggle.


They say to pull a card a day and then look up that card’s meaning, then write it down and eventually you’ll see patterns and messages from the great beyond or the universe or no one or Satan, depending on your personal beliefs, over there.

Anyway yesterday I pulled the Hermit, which sounds vaguely dirty. “Go within,” said the tarot site I looked up. “And really feel your feelings.”

Now, what, now? Feel my … what, now?

So I tried. The only feelings I ever have are anger and fear. I’ve got those down pat. Those I can do.

OK, I told myself, Lady Madonna, over here, kittens at your feet. Wonder how you’ll manage to make ends meet with FOUR CATS.

OK, I told myself again. Now think. What’s a thing you have a bunch of feelings about?

Ned, I told myself. OK, what do you feel when you think of Ned?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. …Seriously, nothing. That’s not normal, right?

Work? Fear. Yeah, well, that’s your one of two emotions.

Coronavirus. Fear. Hey, there it is again. Hello, fearness, my old friend.

So, in sum, I have little to no feelings. Does everyone else? I remember a therapist asking me to describe my feelings and everything I ever said she’d say that wasn’t a feeling so I dumped her. How’s THAT feel?

This is screwed up, right?

But more important, what do I do about the gravel?


Now don’t be sad, cause two out of four ain’t bad

I have many things I’m going to try to cover today but also you know how I am. Let’s list them all so I can refer back here once I commence to rambling. The topics include: Forest, my tarot cards, my gravel and redoing an old metal chair.

OK, good.

Forest can’t STAND it that the rest of us go into the backyard and he doesn’t. I found him staring at us from the laundry room window the other night and noted it’s where he goes each time we all go out.

This morning I fed him and changed his litter box and was carrying on with slopping the hogs and whatever other animal care I have in the morning, when I heard his little squeak.



Whenever a kitten mews I get a dreadful vision of them hanging from a light fixture or something, so I ran to the sound of the squeaks, and there he was, in his laundry-room window.

“What IS it, kitten?” I asked him, using my kitten voice. But then I looked out the window and saw. Can you see?

He was singing to his friend Milhous, of the mosquito-repellant Milhouses. As you can see, the acorns are starting to fall all over yonder off my oak tree, which is terrible for walking around on but wonderful for the end of summer in the South, which is the worst thing since winter in Michigan.

Anyway, Forest dearly wanted to be with Mil. Is my point.

While I was up getting pictures of the kitten, I remembered I took this one yesterday. It’s a family portrait. Careful readers will note everyone is in this shot. I mean, not me. But I’m the mother always behind the camera.

Tomorrow Forest’s new mom comes to get him, and I like how I keep saying that his new mom gets him Friday and yet on social media I keep getting, “When is his new owner coming?” FRIDAY. She’s coming FRIDAY.

And is it awful to give him up? Yes. Yes, it is. He fit right in here. Mil loves having someone to play with, as opposed to these elderly cats. Do 9 and 10 count as elderly? Middle-aged cats. I don’t think you really get elderly till 13. Like, if one of my gray cats were to drop dead and I said, “She was 10” or “She was 9,” everyone would be all, “That’s so young.” But if I said, “She was 13” people would go, “Ohhhh. Yeah. Aww.”


Also, in that family portrait above, you’ll notice that pink square on the coffee ottoman that Mil has shredded to bits. Or is it a rectangle? A pink rectangle? I never got to geometry.

Whatever shape it is, and also look right there, it’s the shape of a square (name that movie), those are my




My 1987 boyfriend gave me the set I read all your tarot cards with, and also I’ve said this a million times too but if you have NOT gotten your reading, PLEASE ALERT ME HERE. Not anywhere else. Gets too overwhelming, which is in fact how I lost track of who got readings and who did not. “I forgot to say in my donation but I do want a reading,” someone will say in a comment on some picture I put up on Instagram.

I do know I have one obit to write, too. We have to speak on the phone, obit person!

Anyway, I got my tarot cards in 1987, and have used them ever since, which if you never got to geometry means I’ve used them for 33 years. After using them a million and ten times reading your futures, they felt kind of, I don’t know. Gummed up. So I decided, after 33 years, to get new ones.

Also, the box I keep them in? The first weekend I ever invited Marvin to Seattle to visit, 10 years after he’d been my college boyfriend, he arrived with a long wooden box for holding my tarot cards. He wanted a reading and the whole reading, an hour after he’d arrived in town, was telling me, Yeah, you’re going to marry this dude, so I lied so he wouldn’t think I was a freak.

Also I bought blueberry bagels that weekend, not knowing blueberry bagels are the White Zinfandel of bagels if you are a bagel expert, which is an unoffensive way of saying Jewish. I kept offering him a bagel and he kept being all, “No, thanks” and I couldn’t figure out why till finally I married in and his dad was going on a bagel run and I asked for blueberry and his dad said, “I’m not getting blueberry bagels.”

I have moved on to everything bagels. I have no idea where they fall in the Jewish-people-judging-your-bagel category.

See what I mean about the ramble?

Anyway so I looked a long time. Like, Ned long, for just the right tarot cards. I ended up getting them from Greece, as you do, via Etsy. Behold, my new these-are-so-June tarot cards:

RIGHT?? Oh my god, I love them so bad. And yes, the gold on them is shiny. And they have gold — what do you call that? Borders. They are bordered in gold.

I spent last night just looking at every one, which you’re supposed to do anyway to sort of break them in.

So I’ve decided that since I am no longer using the old-boyfriend 1987 tarot, I also don’t want to use the old-husband 1996 box to hold them. I want it all to be stuff I chose. I still haven’t decided on the container for my cards yet but further reports as developments warrant. You want to see the box Marvin got me in 1996 when he came to Seattle for a visit and the cards predicted we’d marry? I also took him to the Space Needle, where they have carnival games, or they did in 1996. He bought one dart to throw at a balloon and when he threw it I thought, “If he actually hits it I will end up marrying him.”

Pop! He broke the balloon. Won me a stuffed animal. And 14 years of marriage.

OK, hang on.

Here it is. The Marvin box. I first thought I’d use a pretty scarf for storage but I think I want something more sturdy. The point is, I want my cards and my card container to have nothing to do with any man I may have been affiliated with at some point.

Anyway now I have to go. I have 5 intense things to copy edit this week that will take awhile but if I work really hard I can do it during work hours. But then last night they sent me something else, and then I remembered I have 5 hours of something ELSE to do as well and now I have the nausea and sweatiness thing again.

And I swear to god as I wrote that I just got a migraine aura. Just POP! there went an aura. That was sort of amazing. And will make copy editing fun!


June talks pretty

I have a friend who’s very funny, and she also happens to be really pretty. Like, amazingly pretty. She had a blog, back in the day when you had blogs. Imagine still having a blog now. Heh. Sad.

Anyway, she was hilarious, so she got a bit of a following. And as was the case back in those heady blogging days of the early 2000s, you didn’t put pictures of yourself up much. She would tell long, funny stories with no pictures. This was back when we all actually thought thoughts and read words and didn’t scroll pictures with our mouths open 9 hours a day. We had attention spans and could read words.

(I worry that the internet is the worst thing that ever happened to any of us, even though I wouldn’t know any of you or even have Edsel if it weren’t for the internet. You know how we’re all hating each other’s guts now about politics? It’s because we spent the first portion of our lives peacefully enjoying confirmation of bias. You hated a politician, all your friends hated that politician, or you assumed they all did because you never brought it up. All was right in your world. Then you get the internet, and social media, and you start hearing from people you’d never have talked to otherwise, like the dude you went to elementary school with who never moved out of your hometown and likely uses the N word on the reg. And THAT guy never knew he’d have to hear “BLM” from the person HE went to elementary school with. It’s caused strife would wouldn’t otherwise have had.)

(Back to my funny friend.)

Eventually, she put up a picture of herself, and?

People got mad.

They got MAD at her for being PRETTY. And she’s not even pretty in a way that —

Do you know what I was going to say? I was going to say she’s not even pretty in a way that makes you mad, which by the way just officially made me as awful as the people who got mad at my friend. What I meant was she doesn’t aggressively pursue attractiveness. She doesn’t wear Amy Winehouse-level makeup or slip on a barely-there Betty Rubble dress or anything. Her BONES are pretty. She just is pretty, she doesn’t try to be.

But I sort of loved and was astonished by that reaction from her audience. I guess her hilarity made her so relatable that when it turns out her looks weren’t, people were disappointed. “You never told us you were pretty,” they said to her, as if she’d deceived them.

We’re starting to change how everything else is unequal, not that we don’t have a long way to go. But we’re pointing out injustices and people are very uncomfortable with it and that’s all a good sign that things will shake up and change. The “all lives matter” people are going to be the “long-haired freaky people need not apply” of the 2020s.

However, with all this change going on, women are still supposed to be perfect-looking. Look at all those Time’s Up women. Is that how they spell it or did they squish it into all one word and camel it? If they did I refuse to follow their lead.

But really. They’re all “women’s empowerment,” “women won’t be treated like this,” “women are — oh, and by the way I still starve myself into a size zero.” THAT part is still very much happening. Women are only as valuable as the way they look.

And I do it too. I’m not woke, over here. I think terrible, just terrible, things about women that I would never think about, say, a person of color or a gay person. Lena Dunham, for example. She’s gained a lot of weight. And I’ll see a photo of her and think, Would you just stop being so fucking fat? Like it’s her job to look good for me. And I think that because in a way, it is. And yet Lena Dunham has entertained me often. I watched that whole show of hers, twice, and early in the pandemic she wrote serial fiction for Vogue that I tuned into every day, rapt.

That should be enough. Her talent should be enough. And yet there I am, feeling like she’s failed me because she got fat.

And let’s take the word fat. Years ago, I called myself fat. Me! I called me fat! And women took great umbrage that I’d even utter the word and they flounced off from here, never to return. That’s how powerful it is. To be fat in this society, or for someone to call herself fat when you weigh more is so wrong, so horrible to even conceive of, that you can’t even talk about it without a strong reaction. The general reaction was, If you’re fat, then what am I? Fatter? Why is that the end of the world? Because it is. In our society, it is. We’re all supposed to be attractive or we don’t count.

So I hope that changes. I hope one day we look back at our movies and TV shows and say, “Look how conventional all the women were. They all looked the same, with their large lips and their tiny bodies and their defined jawlines. And hardly any of them were entertaining, which is what movies and TV were supposed to do.” I hope it seems weird one day that everyone had to be pretty, the way it seems weird that we had a white guy play an Asian.

I mean, we got over minstrel shows. Can’t we get over this?

And don’t even get me started on ageism.

Old, fat and here,

P.S. Ironically, I forgot to talk about my ADD.

Stay pawsi–yeah I can’t actually type that

Oh, hang on. Let me get my phone so I can stimulate you visually.

I drove to Chapel Hill-ish to get my cat yesterday. Technically it was Carrboro, a town I’ve given literally given zero thought to until they became radiation central for me. My point is, I’ve now been there twice and I just love it. Apparently it’s sort of a college town, as in college students live there. But it was bustling with your white liberals and there were little odd shops and you know I enjoy bustling liberals in theory unless I’m at the co-op grocery store where all those slow-moving hippies can bite me. I guess bustling liberals become crawling liberals once they see a hot bar with kale.

Anyway I think I’d like it there, although that whole Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area is getting absurdly popular and expensive and is it a matter of time before the wealthy come ruin Greensboro as well? Go someplace else. Don’t bother me. Or better yet, stop moving places. Just stay rich where you are. Stop ruining it for normal people.

It rained a little on the way there, but only in that way where you constantly debate whether to turn on the wipers for real or just do the as-needed routine. Then I got there and pulled in and called for cat curbside service. It was like A&W only with cats and not coney dogs. “Can I get her on a little tray? Do you have root beer?”

As soon as they brought her to me I immediately got her out of the package, thereby ruining her resale value, and took a photo of us for posterity. And Facebook likes. ‘Tis what I live for.

“I missed her so much!” I screeched to the vet tech who’d brought her out, with “Iris Gardens” typewritten on her carrier. Not that the tech had a carrier. Or Iris Gardens written on her.

“I imagine you did,” said the tech, who had walked out and not been brought to me in a carrier. Was I clear on that? “She’s pretty much perfect.”

She’s not wrong. Other than lacking one or two workable eyeballs, Iris is the perfect cat. Friendly but not a barnacle, she says to the kitten in her face right now.

Anyway, as usual Lily acknowledged the return of Iris—with whom she’s lived for 9 years not counting being in jail together at the shelter—not at all. It’s not that they dislike each other, they are just invisible to each other. Like, once a year one will groom the other. Then it’s back to, “I only gray cat heer. wat you meen?”

Eds was delighted to see our Iris, as Eds is delighted to see any cat. I walked in on this last night as I came back to bed not at all with cookies. Hey, I’m single. I can do what I want.

Anyway, she seems great. She already looks more filled out, Iris does. And she’s not screeching for food constantly as she had been.

Thank you all so much for donating to her radiation treatment. Her life is gonna be so much better now.

As for Forest Lawn, kitten to the stars, he immediately began following Iris about as she wandered sightlessly from room to room. I was convinced she’d rear back and hiss but she kept not doing so. Finally, they came face to face and

there it was. The hiss heard ’round the house.

So that went about how I thought it would, and we are all together, and it’s very cat up in here. I guess this is how you devolve into cat lady. First, you get a pandemic. No, first you get a divorce. Then you age. Then you have a relationship that disappointed you. THEN you get a pandemic. Then? Boom. Cat lady.

Ah, well. There are worse things.

Are there, though?

I have to go, as even though I opened my computer early, I am STILL getting work boops while I write you. WHO ARE YOU EARLY PEOPLE?

I’ll write you tomorrow, as I am wont to do, when maybe I will talk about cats. Really, I was wanting to talk about my ADD and new theories I have on it. I think I’ve had it all along and didn’t know and it’s gotten worse and anyway I will talk about it tomorrow. Unless I forget. Like how I forgot I had my trainer last night. Just clean forgot. It’s because I have ADD. And also because I drove to Carrboro and back and got off my schedge. Which makes me ADD-y.

And with that I bid you adieu.


Bert, convy my message

I’m writing this on Sunday night because I’ll tell you why.

As you know, because you have your finger way in all things June, my f-a-v-o-r-i-t-e cat Iris has been at the vet getting radiated since about aught seven. At least it feels like aught seven. She’s been gone forever. She had to get radiated, then be swept off into in an isolation booth where she can’t hear her husband giving the answers on today’s episode of Tattletales with Bert Convy.

What is wrong with me? Why does my memory …memory so?

Anyway she had to be isolated, Iris did, but as of Monday the 31nsthrd it’s been two weeks, so you could even say it glows except you can’t cause she’s in the clear.

She won’t be radioactive anymore, in case you missed my point, and I can go get her and not die of Hiroshima.

Originally, my plan was to get her Saturday because I already missed two days of work last week having The World’s Awfulest Migraine and I didn’t want to miss more. So I was going to get her Saturday, then isolate her my own self in her Bert Convy isolation booth for two days until she was no longer Karen Silkwood cat.

But then we had this hurricaney weather, see, and everyone said Saturday was going to be awful, see, and my weather app said OHMYGOD RAIN and I woke up Saturday to a very dark, ominous sky, so I called the radiation place, which is 54 miles away, and said, “You know what? I think Ima come Monday instead.”

Then Saturday’s weather was fine. Now there’s a 100% chance of rain Monday.

Everything is stressy lately.

For example, and don’t you hate it when people write, “for example”? Just shut up and tell us. I also hate, “Fast-forward to…”

For example, rewind to Friday afternoon. I was killing myself to finish a deck. A deck is a presentation. I didn’t suddenly become a deck-builder with m’hammer. Anyway, it’s usually a PowerPoint, a deck is, that we present to a client and it needs to be lovely and perfect and also each page usually has about 27,000 tiny words on it and sometimes there are tables with maths.

So I was killing self to get one done Friday, when I got a message. “Oh, by the way, we have a deck we need by end of day.”

It was Friday at 4 p.m. I was already killing self to do a deck, did I mention?

“I’m already killing myself to get a deck done,” I said, getting the sweaty panicky feeling.

So they sent it to me anyway, but told me I could do it Monday if I did it first thing. Before I even peed. So what I did instead was work on it today, Sunday. The time I would have been spending working on it Monday morning is the time I will now be driving to get Iris, the radiated cat.

Also, on Friday, after I killed myself to get that deck done? And it was like 5:45 by the time I got it done. So I turned it in, then went to make dinner, which does not relax me as it does some of you cause it’s too new and the TIMING oh my god. That’s so hard. You can have a pork chop that still oinks if you eat now when the green beans are ready.

After that precision-timing expedition, I read my book on Harry and Meghan which was stupid, and anyway the next time I looked at my phone, I had a message. “Can you copy edit this real quick?”

I didn’t do it that night, but it was haunting me. So I did it first thing Saturday and got it over with, but I couldn’t really relax because I knew I had to work again Sunday so that I could get Iris Monday. And now I’ve done the Sunday work but I just feel like tomorrow’s gonna be awful because I have to drive in the driving rain to drive my point and cat home.

So I’m like one sleeve caught on a doorknob away from having some sort of explosive hissy fit. Is what I’m trying to tell you. I haven’t had that moment where you’re like, Ah. This is the life. Now I’m chill. I haven’t felt like that in, you know, a year. So.

Anyway, I’ve said the days of the week a lot in this post, and now it’s 9:38 on Sunday night, and I have to get to bed so I can arise and hydroplane all the way to Chapel Hill tomorrow. Maybe I’ll wake up and it will be lovely and sunny and the whole drive will be a delight and Iris will have a crown of flowers on her little cat head and she will have gained sight through radioactivity and when I write you again I’ll be all, That was a delight and also, Ah, this is the life.

But I doubt it.


P.S. Till Tuesday! Bah.