Fool’s Paradise

I'm sitting here in my new pink rain boots, trying to put off taking Tallulah on her walk. It is COLD out. And also rainy. Why would you even WANT to go out there if you were naked except for a pink leopard collar? And yet that is how I am going to walk her. No, no.

Tallulah is alternating between looking at me with her head tilted and her eyebrows going up and also attacking the cat. How do dogs perfect that sad eyebrow thing so early in life?

And in case you were going to call Animal Services, I have taken her out for the bathroom portion of her midday, so she is not out there crossing her legs or anything. It is just the big walk part that has her checking her dog Blackberry. Her Dingleberry, as it were. "Let's see. Hmm, no, I'm not wrong. We haven't had the brisk walk yet. Sigh. Guess I'll bite Winston again."

"Meaaaaa. Meaaaaaa. MeaaarrrOWOOWOWO!"

So this is relaxing.

But I did want to check in and say hello and mention that my favorite holiday is tomorrow and I am really taking a chance mentioning it, but truthfully most people who actually know me in real life do not read my blog. I think the novelty of my personality wore off for them a long time ago, and they see no reason to revisit me in written form when they are stuck with the real me.

So this is why I can pretty safely tell you this. And everyone who knows me is girding their loins or else blissfully unaware, and it is the unawaresters I hope to catch tomorrow.

I began liking April Fool's Day as a kid, but I was pretty low-key about it. We'd call my gramma, tell her we won the lottery, say "April fool!" and that'd be the end of it. Now, it takes me about 12 hours of my day, as I try to get people first thing in the morning, and I know many people in various time zones.

You gotta get them early, before (a) they see a calendar and (b) my stupid OTHER friends and family remember to call and warn them. I hate people who do that. Once I called a friend in Finland to tell him his girlfriend (my friend Donna) was having an affair. With me. I figured Finland, I'm TOTALLY safe there. They probably don't even HAVE April Fool's Day there.

So I told him I had terrible news, and he said in his Finnish way, "June. I know it is April the first. Donna already told me you would call."

Now see? Crap.

The best April Fool's I have had to date is 1985. I managed to get my father AND my mother in the same year. I told my mother that my stepsister, who was in 7th grade, wanted to get married.

Now, my stepsister is really, really smart, went to the gifted and talented special school and in 7th grade she was, like, nine. Yet somehow I managed to convince my mother of this ridiculous idea. (See? THAT's the fun. You make someone believe something SO outlandish, like you've dyed your hair to match the cat's, or you're gonna appear on The Tonight Show or something.)

After I listened to my mother say, "Oh, honey, I'm sick. I'm just sick" 705 times and I got to say April fool and giggle, I called my father and told him I joined the army.

His classic reply: "You can't even play badminton. Why do you think you'll make it in the ARMY?" I kept telling him they were gonna send me to Europe, and I had already dropped out of college. Oh! The hilarity.

I do not plan these things ahead of time. Whatever inspires me on that day is what I'll do. And I alternate who I call, and sometimes people will call at the end of the day to say they were disappointed I didn't call them.

I got my mother-in-law like nine years in a row (the best year was when I told her the makeup artist Kevin Aucion was going to come do our makeup for my wedding! Teee!) but she has finally caught on. But for nine good years, after I'd say April fool, it was so much fun to hear her say, "Oh, you little witch" before I hung up the phone.

And by the way? Do not even TRY to fool me. It is my day. They should just change it to June is a Fool Day. I am sure my loved ones would gladly spearhead the campaign to call it that.

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The Scarlet Assistant

Remember the other day? When I was at work redoing this Sunday's bulletin 14,000 times to get it just right? And I stopped production on the thing to get the bishop's title perfect? Yeah.

So, today the bishop came to church, and he spent the first five minutes of his sermon talking about how he was the AssisTANT bishop, not the AssisTING, which is what I had written.

I had written assisTING because that is how he is identified on the cover of our bulletin every week — a cover that was created way before I got there — and it is what we call him in the prayer list every single dingity-dangity week, and because WHY ARE THERE ASSISTANT AND ASSISTING BISHOPS ANYWAY? Who invented such a convoluted system of titling people? Why does God hate me?

At least this job has taught me how to be humiliated in public every week. Seriously, the witches of Salem had less humiliation than I did. Monica Lewinsky has less scorn thrown her way. The Scarlet Letter chick? Has it easy in her town.

Then after, I had lunch with the bishop, and he was very nice about the whole thing.

Let's talk about what the church ladies made for lunch. Let's talk about my health blog. Nester told me yesterday that me screwing up in my health blog is way more entertaining than if I were doing a good job, so y'all must be screaming with entertainment at this point. I am the Blue Streak in the amusement park of blogs, for you.

Okay, the Blue Streak? Was the fastest roller coaster at Cedar Point in like, 1978. I think that is the last time I ever went to an amusement park, and I am certain that anyone who is remotely familiar with rides is getting a big hoot over my antiquated example of a ride. I might as well talk about Moon Pies and sassafras while I am up. Have you tried tiddlywinks? It's a GREAT new game.

So, I had me some ham, and some fried chicken, and also two or seven deviled eggs, and some famous mac and cheese that the rector has told me about for eight months and I finally got to try, and mashed potatoes and also a green salad. Because I'm eatin' healthy this year. Oh, and lemonade. It's a fruit.

The whole thing was delicious and now I want to go door to door asking the church ladies if they have any leftovers up in there. MAN.

And by the way? There is not one single fat person in my church. How is that possible? How can they all eat like this and remain slender? Is there a famous Episcopal vomitorium that no one tells me about?

To get themselves going, all they do is imagine I was going to stay and secretary another year. Lunch, revisited!

The Nester and June Finally Meet. An Historic Occasion.

Today was my lunch with Nester, who reads my blog, and I hers. She lives maybe an hour from me, so we decided to throw caution and calories to the wind and meet at The Cheesecake Factory in Charlotte.

Okay, first of all, I have never been to that part of Charlotte, and child, it was fancy. And also pants. It was fancy pants. Big giant houses, beautiful yards, and everything was named Sardis. Do not ask me why. I was on Sardis Street and yet all the side streets were similarly named Sardis, and then there was Sardis park, school, church, a whole line of Sardis underwear, people were changing their names to Sardis, eatin' cans of sardis, the whole thing was over the top.

And what I did not know was this Cheesecake Factory? Was attached to the world's fanciest mall. It was NOT named Sardis, believe it or not. But it had a Tiffany's, a Neiman Marcus, a Bebe, all the things a richer person who is shopping could want.

Anyway, I walked in and spotted the Nester right away and thank goodness she looked normal. Nester is cute, folks. And she has long, silky hair. You know how I get the envy about long, silky hair. I kept wanting to pet it, but do you think that would have freaked her out?

I have never been one of those touchy friends. I had a friend who always wanted to lay her head on my lap or braid my hair and all I wanted to do was jump out of my skin. Plus, she always ended phone calls with "I love you!" Okay, no you don't. We've been friends for eight minutes and all we've done is eat grilled cheese together on our lunch hour. Whenever she said she loved me I'd say, "Mmmm. Okay. Well, bye!"

So I didn't pet the Nester's hair.

Anyway, we had a wonderful lunch and The Cheesecake Factory continues to be good and we even got to-go cheesecake for our husbands, which was her idea because remember I'd leave my husband to drown on the Titanic. (And Sister Honey Bunch? We had like 1/8th of a second of silence for you. We're GIRLS, what do you want?)

But even more exciting is she gave me one of her tassels, which I took a very bad picture of, below.

Nest

If I were her I'd ask for it back, because this photo does not capture the cuteness of this tassel, with its little nest.

And she packaged it so well, too, which I am glad to tell you you will eventually see on her blog, because she took a photo of me holding the package. The bag was filled with beautiful brown, red and pale blue ribbon and it was so lovely.

I came home and took the ribbon off to show Marvin Gardensalad my new tassel, and seriously TWO SECONDS LATER I look over and find this:

Pull

Ridiculous Tallulah had already torn that ribbon apart! Whyyyyyyy, as Nancy Kerrigan would say. Whhhyyyyy?

Anyway, it was a fun day and I hope she liked me as much as I liked her. Nester rocks. Tallulah doesn't.

Ribbon

Near. Far. Wherever you are. I know that I’ll save myself first.

Last night, Marvin Gardensalad and I watched a Titanic movie. Not the movie where Leonardo DiCaprio is heimliching Kate Winslett or measuring her waistline or whatever, but an old, black-and-white version of the Titanic.

Pretty much had the same plot.

Anyway, in the movie, they kept telling women and children to get on the boat first. And by the way, when did our culture decide that men are less important than women and children? Who made up THAT rule? I know I shouldn't argue it, as I come out the winner in this scenario, but if you look at it objectively, it is odd.

If it were up to me, I would have said put people in the boats in order of attractiveness or something. Which of course would not bode well for The Unsinkable Molly Brown. She was no looker. We'd all be calling her Mollie Brown Who Had to Drown or something.

At any rate, throughout the movie, they had scene after scene of women saying, "No! I won't leave my husband! We'll die together first!" and between you, me, and the 400 other people reading this, I kept thinking, "Dang. I would so be high-tailing it for a lifeboat." And yes, I think "dang" to myself.

Then I felt guilty that I was not one of these noble women who stuck by their man.

Hours later, we were going to bed, and the lights went out and all was quiet for a minute. Then Marvin said, "I want you to know. That if we had been on the Titanic? I'd have stepped on your head to get onto a boat."

Oh, I was so relieved he is as awful of a person as I am.

Do you like how in that story I had the lights going out as though we have hired a stagehand to turn them off for us?

I just got back from Charlotte and boy are my roots tired. I had to be there at 9:30, which means I had to leave Tiny Town at 4 a.m. or something. Okay, it was 7:50 when I left the house, but still. At any rate, my roots look good and don't even ask for a picture cause I am too tired to look for the camera. There is a nap in my future. I may even just fall off this chair and join Lula in her bed, right here.

But I did want to mention, my health? Remember how this blog was supposed to be a health blog? Well, guess what? My health SUCKS lately. I have been so busy with that book (which is GONE and in the hands of FedEx and I never, ever want to see it or The Chicago Manual of Style again) that I have not run. And today? On the way to Charlotte? Stopped at Bojangles for a ham biscuit. Then on the way home? Stopped at A&W for a coney dog.

Mmmm. Healthy. Guess I wouldn't be making it onto the lifeboat using my own system, would I?

So, despite the fact that The Nester and I are going to The Cheesecake Factory tomorrow, I am going to go back to attempting health all over again.

Cheesecake counts as dairy, right?

The Right Nester

I am writing you from work. I know that is not exactly good, but (a) I am leaving, so what are they gonna do, fire me? and (z) it is noon, and I officially am supposed to be done working at noon. But I am staying because bulletins are still printing, which is entirely my fault.

First, I forgot to put everyone's birthdays in the bulletin, and two of my very favorite people have birthdays this week. If it were people I hated, I'd have said, oh deal with it. No, no.

So I had to stop printing and add the birthdays and start again.

Then, as I was printing again, I noticed I called the bishop the "Right" Reverend. Now, every time I see it anywhere, they always write "Rt." Reverend. So then I was all, it "right" even correct? What if it's "rite" or something? Or maybe "Rt." stands for another word altogether, like "relent" or "relevant" or something. I know The Relent Reverend makes no sense. But still.

My biggest fear is that that bishop will be in the middle of the service on Sunday and throw the bulletin to the ground and say, "Who MADE this horrid thing?"

So I made it Rt. Reverend and started AGAIN. What waste of paper?

And this is why I sit here typing you while I am at work. Poor Tallulah is in her crate, looking at her dog watch. Did I mention to you that she put herself to bed the other night? I came out of the bathroom to put her to bed and she was already curled up in her crate.

I made it sound like I just hang out in the bathroom, don't I? If you could see that thing, you'd know that isn't true. You know airplane bathrooms? Roomy compared to ours.

Anyway, today I am working on that statistics book because I am a masochist and also because it is due, and then tomorrow? I go to Charlotte to get my roots done. And this is good because Pepe LePew is suing me for impersonating him. You should see how I make out with cats. And I say, "Oh, cheri, mwwmm! mwwmm! mwwmm!" every time I do.

I made sure to get my roots done this week because on the weekend I'm gonna see The Nester! She doesn't live that far from me and since I'm leaving we decided to get on it. This is the first person I have met because of my blog.

We toyed with the idea of bringing our laptops to our date, and just emailing each other, since we have never actually spoken before. She said, "What if we hate each other?" but I figure anyone who thinks that dismally is someone I can't help but like.

Anyway, I am trying to look cute for her, even though I read her writeup on Chic Critique today and found out she weighs 20 pounds less than me.

Maybe I WILL hate her.

I wish I had some work. Really.

In case anyone is worried sick, I am on page 174 of that 205-page statistics book. I know to a normal person that sounds like I have half an hour left on it. HAH! More like four hours.

Plus, the bishop is coming this weekend, and I do not mean that I am playing chess. The fancy bishop, who in some way is more important than my boss, is coming to our church. So do you think this means I can screw up the bulletin in any remote way?

Oh. And I forgot to tell you that on Easter Sunday, as hundreds of people were in the church, the rector started the service by saying, "There are two very obvious typos in the bulletin, and I will point them out right now." Okay, THANKS.

In retrospect? These were errors that I could not have known were errors, as I am not a regular churchgoer or a priest. But I actually stood there and cried. I knew I wouldn't get through Holy Week without tears. It was so humiliating.

But the happy news is, my poor boss has to say "beanie-weenies" in front of the bishop this weekend. There is a charity we donate to, and they need beanie-weenies this month. I looked it up. It is not slang. There is actually a canned bean product called Beanie-Weenies. In fact, I should have capped it all along, here, but I do not give two rat's patoots at this point. I just spent an hour making "semi-structured" one word everywhere in a 205-page book.

Speaking of work, I am going to give you a little photo essay of one of the many things I will miss about Tiny Town. The first thing I will miss is my commute to work. It is 45 seconds long.

Drive_3

First, I drive up my hill. Is that bird poop on my windshield?

Atwork

Then at the very top of that Vesuvius is work. I remember when I first moved here, I used to walk to the top of the hill and rest on the stone wall, there. Isn't it a pretty church? These pictures look so wintry, and in fact it is very springy now.

Bailey

When I get out of my car, I see the house for sale across the street. I know it needs work, but I like it.  It is kind of like the house George Bailey wouldn't live in as a ghost that he ends up living in. It is for sale for $139,900 if anyone wants to snatch it up.

Nest

Here is the nest in the dogwood tree. I know it is an out-of-focus picture, but I was late for work at this point cause I kept taking pictures of my 45-second commute.

Door

Seriously? I think it's pretty every single day when I walk in.

Dreamapt

I have to walk all the way around the church, because everyone on earth has a key and the only key left was the low-self-esteem back door, but I love to look over at this place. It is a four-plex, and it is kind of my dream apartment. I once told that to the guy who lives on the ground floor, and I had the feeling he totally thought I was Peeping Tom-ing him.

Key

Okay. I am finally here. And my hands are sanitary.

Crap. Now I have to work. Stop FOLLOWING me. Freak.

Take it to the bridge

I know I haven't written since 1912, but I do not have time to talk to you, girl.

First of all, there is the statistics textbook. With Marvin home all week and the puppy home all the time? I finally went into the attic and proofread up there like the Little Match Girl for TEN HOURS yesterday. I'd estimate I still have about 20 more hours to go on it this week. Daaaaannng.

Then I have the legal place I proofread for, and if he sends me one more cheerful "Here's another one!" email with a giant file attached, I will drive to his place of business and slap him with a pan.

Finally, there is the whole new job thing. I officially accepted it and I start April 21.

And here I go again, tooting my own horn, but I wrote about eyelash curlers on Chic Critique today. At least I think dcrmom put it up, too busy to check it.  Hit that Chic Critique button to your right if you want to read the uplifting tale. Get it? Bah!

You know what? Maybe dcrmom posts my stuff on Wednesday. I am so overwhelmed right now that I can't remember. Go to Chic Critique anyway. Someone's criticizing something, I promise. It is kind of like Susan Sarandon has a blog or something.

Oh, and yeah. I guess we, you know, bought a house in Greensboro. I mean, I know a million things could fall through before it happens, but so far we did the "we'll pay THIS much" and the "oh no you won't you'll pay THIS much" thing with the owner, we finally all agreed and made out, and now they are doing our finances, which doesn't involve 86 million hundred pieces of paper or anything.

It is a 1950s little white house, with a fenced-in back yard and three bedrooms and hardwood floors  and a formal dining room and crystal doorknobs, and y'all know how I am about crystal doorknobs. It has only been owned by two other people, the last person who lived there 15 years, and then this old couple, and I know they were old because all the documents have their cute spidery writing on it.

You know we are going to become obsessed with the old people, when we can breathe and eat and sleep and not speak without screaming at each other again. Cause stress? Man.

The back of my neck feels like it's gonna snap off.

So I am back to my legal documents and then off to the attic again, like a bat. But I have a few things I keep wanting to tell you.

First of all, recently Marvin overheard two women talking about me. One of them was a nice woman we know, and the other was what you might call a little older. Here is what he heard:

809-year-old woman: Oh, I know her. She works out to the car dealership, doesn't she?

Woman we know: No, she's a secretary at my church. You'd know if you met her. She's quite a character. She has a blog.

809-year-old: Oh, that's too bad.

So, some old lady out there feels really sorry for the girl from California who moved here and has a blog. Is there any cure?

Also, last night I was at the mailbox in town (yes, THE mailbox) and a guy was speed walking past, and I remarked on the weather. He stopped and in an Italian accent asked, "Do you have a daughter? I am looking for a wife."

Okay, HOW DEPRESSING. He was at least 30, and yet he thinks I am old enough to have, whatever, a 22-year-old daughter that I would marry off just so he could live in style in Tiny Town. And, okay, I AM old enough to have a 22-year-old daughter, but still. And smooth approach, there, Chef Boyardee.

Okay, goodbye. Neck hurts. Ow. And I am not being James Brown.

“Gallumping” is a good word

Easterfront_2

Yesterday Marvin, Tallulah and I went to Greensboro. You know what? People notice you if you have a puppy. Why didn't anyone tell me this before?

Mostly I got the attention of teenage girls, which isn't really a demographic I am trying to lure. But if you're some sort of perv, there's your tip for the day. Get a puppy.

We looked at many places and it turns out I like Greensboro. There was stuff there! Like day spas and book stores. And nobody told me there was an historic district!

Also? Tallulah met a Great Dane. Now, poor Tallulah. She is scared of other dogs, and I don't blame her, because all she ever meets are dogs who bark at her when we walk past, or dogs who dwarf her already dwarfy self.

Last weekend, Marvin took her to meet Gunther, a Bernese Mountain dog that his friend owns. Gunther is still a puppy, if you consider a dog with tree-trunk legs remotely a puppy. He came GALLUMPING out of his house to meet Lula, and her reaction was to stick her head under a shed and pee.

So what could be more soothing after that than to meet a Great Dane?

We were looking at a DARLING apartment, and it was darling even though I know that made me sound like Zsa Zsa Gabor just now, and the owner of the place has two Great Danes.

Now, I love love love love me a Great Dane. I want one. I had a friend whose Dane used to sit in my lap, which was not at all awkward. So you can't tell me there is a Great Dane behind the door and expect me to act adult-y.

I waxed on so much that she finally sighed, "You want to meet Toby?" Believe it or not, I was responsible enough to make sure Toby was not a puppy eater, and then I was all bring the dog!

Well.

Imagine you are one foot tall, and a pony comes out. Or imagine you are you, and a Redwood suddenly wants to sniff your butt. I mean, this dog was calm, but Lula could not have glued herself to the back of my leg any more firmly.

I am proud to tell you that by the end of the encounter, she had actually crawled out and was wagging her tail a little, even though she was basically the size of one of Toby's doodies.

And in case anyone (a) is keeping track or (b) cares, my back is getting better. Whoever told me to get those heat strips is a miracle worker. Seriously. You might as well have spelled w-a-t-e-r in my hand, for the aid that thing brought me. I am NOT gonna run today, though. Why push my luck? Plus, we are going to a fancy Easter dinner. Yes, Marvin the Jew is going with me to eat ham on Easter. So getting struck down.

Did you ever see Annie Hall, my favorite movie, where Woody Allen eats Easter ham? I am gonna think of that scene all dinner.

Actually, speaking of liberal Jewish commie Marvin, he SHOT A GUN this weekend. I am not making this up. He went on a man date with a guy here and they shot Cheerwine cans with a Magnum P.I. or something. And he loved it.

Welcome to the South.

I’m Marvin, and I’m so not an alcoholic. Hi, Marvin.

So, we're gonna try to go to Greensboro tomorrow, right in the middle of me having more proofreading work than one person should ever have. I am back to wishing I were a spider, with eleven sets of eyes or however many they have.

I am sure my science friend Lisa will write in with really boring specific information on how many eyes spiders have. Don't make friends with science people. I mean, I met her when we were two, and no one warned me she'd turn into science person, or I wouldn't have let myself get attached.

In the meantime, then, I have a huge workday ahead of me, and who has played with Tallulah and emailed dcrmom until eleven in the morning, here? Nice.

And also? Marvin Gardensalad? Home on spring break. He is in the other room making pyramids out of beer cans and putting the cats in wet tshirts.

Actually, let me tell you about Marvin and his hard-partyin' ways. Marvin is not what you'd call a drinker. Like once a year he gets a drink, and it is usually something embarrassing like a cosmopolitan. Which only works for girls and that really snooty guy on Project Runway.

So, it being spring break, Marvin bought a six pack of some horrid bottled drink, like Mike's Hard Lemonade or something. Okay. First he tried to buy two bottles and the store wouldn't let him.

Anyway, that six-pack sat in our fridge for a week. Then last night? He cracked one open with dinner. Many hours later I saw him walking around with a half-empty bottle and I thought wow, he's hittin' the booze. But when I looked in the fridge? It was the SAME bottle from DINNER like four hours before!

Woo! He is Kid Rock, over there.

I couldn't think of any hard-partying person other than Kid Rock. Sad.

Anyway, he is under strict instructions to be quiet, because I am so busy emailing dcrmom, and so far he has managed to keep the TV blaring while he's UPSTAIRS playing his guitar.

This is why I didn't have kids.

So now I am going. Going to proofread about statistics. I wonder if there's any of that Mike's Hard Lemonade left over. Like the remaining five bottles won't be there next year.

Blooming Town

So, of course, now that I'm leaving, this seems like the most idyllic little town ever.

All the daffodils, forsythia, wild violets and hyacinth are bloomed, and there are these white blossoming trees called pear something, but they don't actually grow pears. Also today I saw someone's tulips were up. Oh! And wild pansies. Did you ever?

I had to take Tallulah to work with me, as it was take-your-canine-daughter-to-work day (actually it was more like I-am-printing-80-million-bulletins-and-poor-Lula-needs-to-go-out-so-we'll-walk-to-church day), and we walked around many neighborhoods. Everything was so springy and pretty.

In the meantime, my new company, should I choose to accept my mission, sent me an offer letter and said they understand I'll need to think it over, so please respond by March 31. Man! That's a long time to ponder! So I think Marvin and I will go to Greensboro this weekend to make sure we don't hate it.

Also too, I have REALLY done something bad to my back. I did do some downward dogs, as someone here suggested. I think I will go back to Fit TV and yoga myself today. Man, it hurts.

I told the rector that I was offered another job. I was going to wait and not worry his pretty head until after holy week, but I figured someone from town would read my blog and say, "I hear June's leaving."

He told me he was going to put a curse on me, but then 30 minutes later he brought me some leftover quiche from the lunch service the other day, so he can't hate me THAT much. Maybe it's not good when a priest puts a curse on you during holy week. Ya think?

At any rate, thank you all for your help. I did try to meditate on it. I was nervous about trying something new, but not that I-don't-want-to-work-at-this-place feeling. I have had that gut feeling about workplaces before and I know from it. I wasn't dying to get out of there during the interview or anything, and like I said when they called, I though, "Oh, yeah, they are so likable."

Someone wrote a comment and said you may just have fear, not an aversion to this job, and I thought, yeah. I think I do. I hate hate hate hate hate new things. I do not know how I ever learned to walk and talk, as I would think I'd have just decided, "You know, I'm good just gurgling here and pooping in this diaper." I can't believe I ever made such major changes at such a young age.

For weeks, I threw up every morning before kindergarten. Then after I was done with that, I just cried the whole way to school. Change? Not so much. And y'all saw how I didn't plummet into a giant depression moving here or anything.

Yesterday when I talked to my father about this, he asked how big Greensboro was, and I told him about 225,000 people. He said, "Wow! They may actually have TWO McDonald's there! You are moving up!" Then he asked how long he'd have to hear about how much I miss Tiny Town and why did I ever leave.

And you know he's absolutely right. That is exactly what I'll do.

I do have to pass a drug test and background check before I am officially hired. I hope those eight balls don't show up. I have no idea what an eight ball actually is, other than a pool ball. Oh, geez, will my stupid ticket show up? They will know I am an illegal U-turner.

I must go and continue proofreading my textbook. So that you feel sorry for me, I will tell you I have already spent eight hours on it, and have not yet started actually reading the book. The index? Proofread. The table of contents? Done. Made sure the page numbers were correct? Yep. Made sure each chapter title was the right font size? Done. But actually READING it? Not yet. Say, you want a career in proofreading? It is fast paced, man. FAST.

Never a dull moment

They offered me the job. When I talked to them, I remembered how nice they were. You know that horrid I-can't-possibly-act-real-I-have-to-be-professional thing? Yeah, they don't have that. They're down to earth and kind.

They are sending me an official offer email right now and I think I'm gonna say yes. I told them I couldn't start for 30 days. I think this is the right thing to do! Am upcited, as my cousin would say!

Buried in work, must go. Have somehow thrown out back a little, as well. Eeek.

The Bell of the Church

Today was the best of times and the worst of times at my church secretary job.

First of all, I dropped a hymnal on my foot. Now, if that isn't the most church secretary-y thing to do, I don't know what is. That thing landed on its point right up at the top of my foot, and of course I was wearing ballet flats so my entire foot was exposed, as opposed to all those days I am wearing my Doc Martins or my shoes made of molybdenum or whatever.

Oh, did it hurt. And today being Holy Tuesday, we were having a noon service at the church with a luncheon after. All the church women were already there, scurrying around the kitchen. Which actually gave me a golden opportunity to limp in there dramatically and ask for ice.

The church women felt so bad for me that I got to eat a macaroon right then and there.

So that sucked. The hymnal on my foot, I mean. The macaroon part was pretty ding-dang good.

After that, though, the men who were gonna be ushers today came in and said, "Is that all the bulletins there are?" You can imagine how I liked to hear this 45 minutes before a service. So I rushed out 50 more copies and when I took them to the entryway, I looked up and I said to the men, "Some day I am gonna ring that bell up there."

In the entryway of the church, over in one corner, is a huge piece of rope that goes temptingly up into the ceiling. Do you have any idea how bad I want to pull that thing each and every time I go in that little room?

Well, today was my day. Mr. G., the usher, said, "Pull it today, then!"

You would have thought I was suddenly asked to play they lead in "Cats" on Broadway or something, the way I panicked. (I do not know from the theater. I know "Cats" is the '80s-ist example ever. I have made up two words today: secretary-y and '80s-ist.) "What do I DO?" I flustered. "How many times do I ring it? How do I know when it's time?"

Mr. G., who has probably rung that bell every month of his life, thought I was fairly ridiculous, I could tell, but he showed me what to do. Then I ran/hobbled to the kitchen to tell all the church women I would ring the bell today, and as they were trying to get out enough quiche to serve 110 people, they probably all wanted to ring my bell.

When the time came, Mr. G. wouldn't let me hobble down the aisle doing a Quasimodo impression first (oh yes I did ask), but when I pulled that rope? MAN! Is that hard to pull! How does anyone DO it? I actually have rope burns, and I think it rang so quietly no one heard me. But it was fun anyway. Scratched that itch, as it were.

Other than church, I do have to tell you that I had to run to Marvin's school this morning, as he forgot something and I had to bring it. When I entered the classroom, one of the kids said, "I thought your wife was that other woman who visits you."

Okay, what?

Then the kid said, "That one woman. With the long, red hair."

Oh. Right. That'd be me. One hairstyle ago. At least I think he meant me. How awkward for Marvin, his tete-a-tete revealed by a fifth-grader.

And that place hasn't called me yet, although they are checking my references, people tell me. Which you know means it is just a matter of time before they call me.

Puppy Love

Thanks, everybody.

I agree that meditating on this job is a good idea. I AM supposed to be meditating this month, remember? I picked a bad month to do a slow-down thing. I picked a bad week to stop sniffing glue.

So, I got the Holy Tuesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday bulletins printed! Just 150 Easter bulletins and I am good! Wooo! Woo!

Also? I am proud to tell you I just got done running four miles. Sweaty much? Right now I'm looking a bit like Elvis in concert in 1977. If you'd like, I could throw you one of my silk scarves.

My Aunt Sue has one of Elvis' silk scarves. She practically knocked another woman out to get it. You don't want to mess with my Aunt Sue. Really. You don't.

Now that I have filled you in on my workout, my work, my potential work and Aunt Sue's prowess, I must touch on a subject that is …delicate. If you are related to Marvin or me, you might want to bleep over the next paragraph, as it could eek you out.

How do you have sex when your puppy watches every move you make all the time? You guys! It is so disconCERTing! She watches and jumps up and down and makes puppy noises. I felt like we were having three-way with Chewbaca.

I guess we are going to have to do it in the guest room for the next year. Oh, sorry, relatives. I told you to only skip over one paragraph. Oops.

Oh, man, Intervention's on. Gotta go. LOVE me the cable.

Also? Is anyone else just getting downright MAD at Miss Doxie for disappearing like this?

How are you enjoying seeing the top of my head bent over something that needs proofreading? That is all anyone who lives with me sees lately, my head and my nice gray roots. Mmmm. Alluring.

Great googely-moogley, I'm busy.

Holy Week is here, and I went to church today and WORKED during the service. Nice.

This week, instead of, you know, five volunteers who are going to usher or read or whatever, we have about 25. So I sat in my office and wrote reminder post cards, then handed them to people as they left church. I thought that was sort of brilliant. I also created the Maundy Thursday bulletin and put it on the rector's chair today, so he has no choice but to see it and review it right away.

Also too, I have two huge legal documents I am proofreading and I am pleased to report I finished one yesterday and got an extension on the deadline for the next one. I pleaded Holy Week and I think Mr. Fancy Legal Guy felt too intimidated by God and his week to say no, you have to get my work done right away.

Not to MENTION, I am proofreading a giant statistics book again, and yesterday something that I thought would take about five hours took 12. It didn't help that we had a stupid tornado yesterday, so we had to gather our Noah's Ark of pets into the basement and wait for the house to blow away and land in Emerald City. Which it didn't.

At any rate, late last night I flumped onto the couch to see my new cable that I've barely been able to pay attention to, and do you know what I found? The FITNESS CHANNEL!! Now, why didn't anybody tell me there was such a thing?

They were doing yoga, and if that wasn't just what I needed to relax my worky bones. I love the Fitness Channel!

Today, according to my Jeff Galloway running schedule, I am supposed to run four miles again, not 4.5, as I had thought. It is an exciting break, but I do not even know if I can fit it in. If not, I will run four miles tomorrow night. But you have to be sure and call me on it.

And, you guys, we have a big dilemma. Big. I was trying not to tell you, but I had me anOTHer job interview last week. Remember how I said no more interviews? Well, this was for a job I applied for February 6th. It is to be a proofreader for a cool company up near the Greensboro/Winston-Salem area.

So, if you ask me, I think I will be offered the job. Here is the dilemma. DO I TAKE IT OR NOT?

Here is why I maybe should:

  • I already know what it pays and it is the most money I have been offered in North Carolina so far. Plus, it has benefits and profit sharing and all that stuff.
  • It would be interesting work, and many people who work there have been there 10, 20, even 30 years.
  • I get an office, which may sound diva-ish to you, but really, having an office when you proofread is really important and most companies don't understand that.
  • Finally, we really, really need the money. I am making a FIFTH of what I made in LA. We are poor. We are sometimes-we-have-to-charge-groceries poor.

Here is why I maybe I shouldn't:

  • I would have to move away. This job is two and a half hours from here. So I would have to live separately from Marvin until June.
  • The dog. I would either have to take her with me and put her in doggie day care, or she'd stay with Marvin and be alone all day here. If you think this town has doggie day care, when it does not even have a movie theater, you are smokin' the ganj.
  • When Marvin DOES join me in June, he'd have to find a job. Probably not too hard to do, tho, as they need male teachers here a lot.
  • We'd have to find an apartment there that takes a dog and cats, or we'd have to scramble and buy a house, like, right now.

So, what do I do? Keep in mind I have found legitimate proofreading jobs a total of maybe four times in the seven months we've lived here, so saying "another job will come along!" isn't necessarily realistic. Especially one that pays what this one does.

Mostly I feel bad about Tallulah. Here I plucked her from the streets only to move away and/or ignore her 8 hours a day. I kind of want to stay poor for a year and raise her up right, THEN get a job. Is that crazy?

I had better go proofread something. For a change. Thanks for your advice. I may ignore it, but thanks anyway.

XO,

June

Hi, Hi, Pi

Somebody just emailed me and pointed out that it's officially pi day, 3/14. So I figured as tired as I am, I couldn't go without blogging on pi day.

Really, what IS pi? I mean, I know it's that number that starts with 3.14 and goes on forever, but what is the point? Have I mentioned I majored in English?

Anyway, I am busy. I have work up my arse. Talk about your paper cut.

In the meantime, I continue to have a menagerie of pets. I know it has been 15 minutes since I put up a picture of Tallulah, so here you go.

Lulahippo

She loves that freakin' hippo. You cannot see it, but that look? She is staring at Winston. Poor Winston. We may see cute stripes and spots, but when she looks at that cat she sees a smorgasbord.

In other news, I have NOT run ONE TIME this week since I ran on Sunday. And diet? Oh, dear. It is not pretty. Today for dinner I had Subway. And not one of those healthy Jerrod choices. Marvin and I each had a cold cut combo. Hello. Oscar Meyer called. Wants its nitrates back.

Monday I weigh in for my Weight Watchers. Mmmm. Sexy. I'm bringin' it back.Winzzz

Okay, so tired. We are all tired.

It kind of looks like Winston is sleeping on a bed of milk, doesn't it?Luzzz

Good night. Good night, nurse. Good night, hippo.

American, but not idle.

It occurs to me that I am probably getting even more exercise than I think because I am now walking that dog 75 times a day. Well, I am not walking her right now. You know what I mean. Don't be smug.

Wouldn't I look silly, walking a dog and typing on a laptop at the same time?

At any rate, busy much? Easter is coming right up, and starting this Sunday — Palm Sunday, for those of you who do not work at a church and/or are indifferent to holidays — the church will be open Sunday, Monday night, Tuesday noon and Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday all day until Friday afternoon, Saturday afternoon and then Easter. I could have just said "all seven days" but I wanted to be dramatic.

You can imagine this does not present much of a workload for me, not to mention the rector, who added it up and will conduct something like 14 church services in a week.

And of course, I have received 85 million trillion things to proofread. All last week I had nothing to proofread. Why does life work this way?

I was rushing out of work today, in fact, trying to get home so the poor dog could go out, and there was one post card I had to mail to someone. Each Wednesday and Sunday, different people volunteer for various church duties, and I mail them post cards saying, HEY! Time to come to church! (I put it a little more professionally, usually.)

Anyway, I got home, took poor Tallulah out and realized I needed to go to Wal-Mart, because I live in a small Southern town and suddenly I am going to Wal-Mart like it's normal.

I have two things to tell you about said trip to the mart of walls. First of all, I opened the car door and Lula JUMPED IN! I say this in all caps because every single day before this she has stood sadly in front of the car, drooping her head and trying not to let me pick her up. She hated the car. Which is why I forced her into it every day. And today? She's all, Okay! and leaped in like it was fun in there.

Not to mention she actually got out of the way when I climbed in, as opposed to her normal routine of standing on my seat so I have to sit on her to get her to move.

The second thing I have to tell you is when I got to Wal-Mart, I looked in my purse to see if I actually had any money, and there was that church post card, staring angrily at me. "Why didn't you mail me?" it yelled in a tiny post card voice. "Crap." I said to it, hoping I'd remember to mail it on the way home.

Well, I got in the store, and guess what? The woman whose post card it was? This week's volunteer? Standing right there cute as you please at the Wal-Mart. I took that post card out of my purse and handed it right to her. She must think I'm very dedicated to that secretarial job.

Anyway, if you do not hear from me it is probably not because I am dead but rather because I am Holy Weekin'. Fret not.

Oh, before I go, dcrmom wanted me to tell y'all that we are taking guest posters for Chic Critique, which I am too lazy to link to. Just click on the logo at right. The one that reads "Chic Critique." There you go. I wrote about lip gloss yesterday. Anyway, if you have any beauty product or hair implement or fashion item you like or hate, write about it and we will maybe put it up on our site! We reserve the right to edit it, as we are anal.

Okay. Bye.

Seven really boring facts about me

Three a.m. designs, which is not how the blog is spelled but I couldn't stand to begin a sentence with a number, has tagged me to write seven random facts about myself. But really, how random can they be? I have to sit here and think 'em up first.

1. Today, just as I came home from work, I sneezed and peed myself a little. This is a sign to me that I am getting really, pathetically old. I am 42 years, seven months and 25 days old. I changed my clothes, by the way.

Ruby

2. This is my cat, Ruby DeLuna. She is the eldest of my four pets. Well, five pets. We have a fish who lives in our blender, named Smoothie. Ruby is 11 years, eight months and 11 days old. Ooo! In a few days she'll be 11, 11, 11! Anyway. I got her when she was a kitten.

Rubykit_2 

Here she is, being a kitten, sitting near the dog's dish. We lived with a Sheltie then, which could be why she is relatively okay with our puppy now. She has lived with me in three different states. She knew me when I was a single, slutty gal. Okay, I had one boyfriend, and then Marvin Gardensalad, during her lifetime. Woo! What a Jezebel.

3. Marvin Gardensalad and I dated in college for three hideous months. They were hideous because I liked him about 75,000 times more than he liked me. We broke up. For 10 years.

Rd

Here is what he looked like when I met him in 1985. Oh, I adored him. And his indifferent self. That phone is probably ringing during the picture. I am calling again.

We kept in touch, for no apparent reason. I have generally stayed in touch with all my ex-boyfriends, though.

Anyway, he came to visit me in Seattle and we hadn't seen each other at all in that 10 years. Four months later, I moved to LA to live with him. A year and a half after that, we got married.

Married

Nice acrylic nails.

4. Supposedly, my great-great grandfather was the first person to walk over Niagara Falls on a tightrope. He is mentioned on a Trivial Pursuit card. The "supposedly" part is the part where I am not convinced this guy was actually a relative. It could just be my family trying to get above our raisin.

5. I have no spleen. It was removed during a bad accident I was in at age 12. I do not miss it. But I have to get shots so I don't get pneumonia.

6. When I was a kid, I used to model for my father's company. He was a photographer. I was the national [insert really famous flower company name here] flower girl when I was five or six. Then, two years ago, I worked for a competing flower company. But not as a model.

They used me as a model because believe it or not, I was really quiet and shy, so they could sit me under hot lights for hours and make me do horrid things like make me drink milk and I would not act up.

7. Marvin Gardensalad and I collect pictures of people we don't know. Below is a picture of a couple who started our obsession. Tons of their photo albums were for sale at a junk store, so we bought them, then set to work learning all about these people. We found where they were buried, and used to visit their grave on Mother's Day and the like.

We now own a ton of other albums and loose photos of strangers, and we also have framed photos up of strangers, too. So when people come over they always have to say, "Now, is that your grandmother or a stranger?"

Anyway, due to this strange hobby, a guy is making a documentary film about us. He has filmed us a bunch of times. I have no idea when the movie will be done.

Nv

Okay, so I am supposed to tag seven people, but I will let you pick yourselves. Tell me seven things about you either in my comments or on your own blogs. But let me know you did so and direct me to your blog. Take me to your leader.

Over the hump

Shhh. Don't make any sudden sounds. As of this minute, for the first time ever, all my pets are in one room, sleeping.

Ruby and nutty Francis are on the bed, Winston is on the pink chair and Lula is on the floor, doing the "I'm gonna sleep now" sighing thing dogs do.

I guess to say that Francis is "sleeping" is kind of stretching it a bit. Rather, he is sitting sort of irkedly, staring that that enemy dog with big saucer eyes. Hang on. I'll take a photo.

Saucer

I'm hate dog.

Anyway. It is an exciting milestone, and I'm glad you could all be here to enjoy it.

Tallulah and I went visiting today. I adore the women who go to our church. I really do. Some days no one comes in at all, and some days you'll get six or seven women in one day. I particularly like it when they all congregate in the room next to me, which is the parish hall. Sometimes I just sit in my office and shut my eyes and listen to their accents. Southern voices are so pretty.

One of the women, who I will cleverly refer to as "R," told me to come on over today when I was giving Lula her walk. So we parked way far away and took a big stroll over to R's, in the hopes that she would poop before we got there. The dog. Not R.

Marvin and I have noticed that the only thing he and I talk about anymore is our dog's bodily functions. I guess this is why people grow apart when they have kids. And now here I am telling YOU, the blog audience, about Lula's functions as well. I hope you all don't divorce me.

At any rate, Lula was very well-behaved on our visit and just as we were leaving, "B" drove by (another church woman. It is a shame none of these women were given anything but initials at birth) and said, bring that lovely dog over to my house. So I did.

Well. B has a terrier, and God may love a terrier, but Lula did not. The terrier is adorable, and he tried to hump Lula, and between you and me, I don't see why she didn't go for it. Seriously, he is cute. But Lula was appalled. So B invited us in to escape old Humpy outside, and I am sorry to tell you that Lula immediately went to that amorous dog's dish and ate all his food. Then she sat on my lap and licked the breakfast table.

As we were leaving, B gave us a baggie of her terrier's food, seeing as Lula liked it so much, and also this enormous hippo toy that her dog eschewed. It was kind of like when you'd go to visit your grandmother; you always left with a ton of stuff.

Do you know Lula inSISted on carrying that huge hippo in all the way back to the car? It was not a short walk, and I assure you she could not see in front of her, but she wouldn't give it up. When we got home, she grabbed it again and dragged that hippo thru the dirt to the front door. She loves that dang thing.

Then? When she got inside? She humped Winston. Just like she had been humped. So Lula learned something new today.

Oh look! Now Marvin is home and everyone on earth is in this one room.

Daddy

Hump me again and you'll be missing a few parts. Dog.

Zzzzzzzzz…

Who wants to go to sleep RIGHT NOW? Don't you hate stupid daylight savings? Did you know the official name for it is Daylight-Saving Time, with the hyphen and the singular like that? Doesn't that bug you?

Doesn't it similarly bug you when you get your driver's license renewed and while you are there all the paperwork refers to it as the "Driver License" place? Why don't they just change their name? Everyone on earth calls it "driver's" except them.

Hey, I never thanked you for all the comments you made on what things plummet you and what cheers you up from the other day. I loved them! Did you notice how much we are all affected by various lights? What did people in the olden days get depressed by? Probably the fact that they had to wear 18 layers in summertime and that they had no air conditioning.

But really, it was probably moonlight and stars and those things we never see because we have all those electric lights that affect our moods so.

There was a study done once about what smells remind you of your childhood. People from the '30s and '40s remembered hay and grass and so forth. People from my generation, the '60s and '70s, have memories of Play-Doh and crayons — so basically all my childhood smells are chemicals. Nice.

Anyway, I have nothing health-related to tell you other than Lula and I took a long walk and my allergies acted up so my eyes kept weeping like a miraculous Virgin Mary statue in Guatemala or wherever and also we saw a deer. The deer was beautiful and Lula stood as still and straight as I have ever seen her. Neither of us moved a muscle for five minutes.

She points, did I tell you that? It is so cute. Perhaps she is not pointing and is doing a Cher impression. Either way, cute.

One nice reader of this blog was on a business trip the other day and she actually stopped her car and took a picture of a street named Lula Belle, which just between you and me is what I keep wanting to call Tallulah. I also want to call her Meadow.

Winlu_3

Wait. I can eat that gray thing, right?

And finally, we got our cable today. With HBO. And everything. Marvin Gardensalad has been doing nothing but looking at the TV for four hours. It is like it is 1950 and we got our first set. We are gonna watch the test pattern all night. Anyway, thanks Dad! Who never reads this blog and will never know I thanked him.