Family · I am berserk · June's stupid life

Juuuuuuuune scares you

Bii!

I meant to type "Boo!" Bii. Who annoys her own self? What migraine meds making me loopy? Bii. Were you terrified when I said bii? Did I startle you?

Anyway, I am at lunch, speaking of scaring people–and by people you know I mean Tee, the nervousist Nellie there ever was. I figured since it was Halloween I would tell you my I-lived-with-a-ghost story from my childhood. Since you know everything there is to know about my facial hair, digestive upsets, brain tumors and hippie parents, I cannot believe I have yet to touch on the subject of the scary ghost house I lived in.

This story is true, and if you have to be alone tonight I am telling you what, go out and pick you up a hitchhiker to come stay with you, cause you will be better off. It is creepy.

And you know what? It wasn't that creepy at the time. I think like many things in life, it is only later, when you get perspective, you look back and say, how in the world did I just put up with all that? You know, like we all did with AM radio, Hummel figurines and tall bangs.

Okay, so when I was 12 my parents got divorced and my mother and I moved in with my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Leo. And by the way, I HEARTILY recommend going through a parental divorce right when you're 12. Cause you feel so comfy anyway. Certainly no major changes are ALREADY going on. Although I don't know who I'm kidding. When I was 12, I looked like Flat Stanley.

At any rate, Aunt Kathy and Uncle Leo lived in a big, old house, in which some guy named Monsignor Forbes' father had lived and died. I do not know what a monsignor is, other than I know it's an important person in the Catholic church, right? My entire family is kicking my arse till Tuesday right now, as they are all Catholic and I am not and they are all looking for my pitchfork and horns. I'm SORRY.

So, we move in. There is no shower in the one bathroom, only a bathtub. My mother mentioned that when she bent over the tub to wash her hair, she always felt a little creeped out, like someone was watching her.

We had a guest over, and she went upstairs to go to the bathroom, and she RAN back down. She said, "I didn't even finish going. I had to get out of that bathroom. It creeped me out."

One day, my aunt was having a party. She put a new bars of soap out in the bathroom. She was the only person home, yet minutes later, the bar had been used.

But this was not the ghost of toilets past, oh no. My aunt and I were downstairs one day, she was in the kitchen and I was in the living room. I could hear her talking, and she came into the living room and said, "What did you want?" I said, "What do you mean? I heard you talking to me."

Neither one of us had been talking.

My aunt and uncle were in bed one night and heard women talking downstairs, as well. My uncle went down to investigate, and of course found nothing. He went back upstairs, and minutes later, the huge light fixture in the kitchen crashed to the floor.

Then it got weirder.

My aunt came home with groceries one day, and over the top of the bag, she saw my uncle. He said hi, then turned around and left the room. She was annoyed that he didn't help, so she set down the groceries and followed him, but guess what? He was upstairs in the bathtub. He hadn't been downstairs at all.

Another time, my grandmother called in a snit. She said, "Leo, what is wrong with you? I was knocking and knocking on the door and there you were, clear as day, just standing in the middle of the living room, not answering the door."

He hadn't been home.

I was home one day with an ear infection and I went to the kitchen for something, and I just saw a man slip past the kitchen door and go down the basement steps. All I saw were his green work pants. I was too scared to look further, but he certainly couldn't be heard walking down the steps.

Then one night, my aunt woke up, and someone was holding her hand. It was a man's hand, and it had callouses, like a man who had done a lot of work. A few times, Aunt Kathy's bed and dresser would shake.

Aunt Kathy finally went to Monsignor Forbes and asked him to bless the house, but for whatever reason, he didn't do it.

Then, the biggest thing of all happened.

Everyone was at my aunt's house to celebrate her birthday, including my charming, well-endowed, 12-year-old self.  I had a friend over, and we were upstairs off the master bedroom, on a balcony that looked out over the back yard.

The railing, which my uncle had been balancing on the day before to paint the house, completely gave way, and I fell off the balcony.

I really know how to dampen a party. I broke both my wrists, ruptured my spleen, and basically made the day all about me. I'm not saying a ghost pushed me off a balcony, but it was a little odd.

My mother and I moved out of that house and got our own place, but other things happened there, including my cousin, who was a toddler, coming downstairs announcing that she had just been playing with "that man who's always upstairs." And you know what? Eventually Monsignor Forbes did come over and bless the house right before my aunt and uncle moved somewhere normal.

Years later they went to a rummage sale back at that house, and they spoke to the new owners, "I know this seems like a weird question, but has anything…odd ever happened here?"

"No," the new owners said. "Not a thing."

Bii!

I am berserk · June's stupid life · Proofreading/Copy editing

Tanks, Tank!

All day today I wore my sweater inside-out. Someone at Fat Club finally pointed it out to me tonight. This means I chatted with coworkers, went into my boss's boss's office to discuss his fish tank, had lunch with a coworker, and generally lived my life all day with my sweater innards hanging out for all the world to see until 5:30 today.

I know I should not call Weight Watchers Fat Club. But hey, I lost another pound and a half! Go, June! Go, inside-out sweaters!

I will tell you why I am wearing my clothing going the wrong way, it is because I am too ding and also dang dang dang dang busy, that's why. I leave the house at 7:15 (okay. 7:18. My carpool meets at "7:20" every day, but do I squeal out of my driveway at 7:18 no matter what I do? Do I run over 17 squirrels and neighbors on the way? And am I HELD UP by the same STUPID light at the corner of Benjamin and I-Hate-June every single day and does that light stay red for two minutes and 23 seconds and do I get to the carpool site every day at 7:24? Yes. And do I continue to blame the light when really it is my fault for leaving at 7:18 every day?), and I get home at 6:00. Then I proofread at home for two hours. Then I go to bed at 10.

This leaves me such a generous amount of time to notice my dog and my cats and my roots and my laundry and my friends and my blog and my exercise and skin-care regime and my house and my dinner and oh, my spouse. Somehow those two hours per day are not cuttin' it.

And R, who lives in Tiny Town? I know you sent me the cutest post card ever and that I totally owe you a letter, and just as soon as I am unbusy enough to turn my sweater the right way, you are at the top of my list, hon.

I am also rocking out with my piping out because I am on this new medication for my migraines, and one of the side effects is it makes you feel loopy. Supposedly this goes away, although my stepfather, who is, you know, a medical doctor, says don't count on it. So basically I feel like Go Ask Alice When She's 10 Feet Tall right now. For a while when I looked down? All my limbs looked really, really long. I kind of had a Gumby look going. And also? Cokes taste wrong. They taste flat and like there is a faulty bubble-to-syrup ratio. Which is good, cause who really needs Coke, right?

Then today? I was in the shower? And I know you are totally turned on now. So anyway, I washed my hair, but then I stood there in front of the shower rack, looking at all the stuff, thinking, now what? I was honestly baffled by what to do next. I mean, step two: apply conditioner. I wasn't in there splittin' the atom. So the meds are making me a little slow. Which is probably enormously comforting to the two companies hiring me to edit their publications right now.

Which is why I quit my freelance job today. I am going to finish my book with them, then guess what? Tank, my carpool pal, is gonna take over for me. God help him. But he has a kid starting college in the fall, so…

I can't wait to see what he wears backwards.

Family · June's stupid life · Music

Oooo, I also hate “Tusk”

I don't have any time to talk to you, because I want to get done with my stupid stupid stupid stupid statistics proofreading for the night and then I have to zip over to the grocery store because it is so my turn to buy coffee at work because I am the least teamy team player EVER, and there is no I in team or in coffee, then I want to watch a movie that we got on Netflix.

But I did want to pop in and say that I feel bad that we spent all day talking about my grandmother when in fact it is my OTHER grandmother's birthday today. Well, it would be her birthday if she weren't, you know, dead. She'd be 86.

Grammy_001

She looks good for 86, doesn't she? Actually, my guess is she'd be in her early 20s, there. I will not tell you a million stories about her like I did the other gramma. Do you think I look like her? Particularly the part where she looks like she's gonna say something sarcastic?

Gramiam

Anyway, I will leave you with this important topic. Following are songs I detest. What are yours? Is there any reason why? I have no reason why, other than I am a giant crab.

Mine are:

  • Kokomo
  • I Got the Music in Me
  • Spinning Wheel
  • Cupid, Draw Back Your Bow
  • Margaritaville
  • Sultans of Swing

And finally, Culpepper, you cannot just begin an email conversation about Betsy Ross like that and leave me hanging. (June) most inconvenienced.

Family · June's stupid life

A post about my grandmother, and I don’t know why

I forgot to tell you that I also like cigarette smoke, which can probably be explained by the fact that my grandmother spent every second of her life with a cigarette hanging out her mouth. She could do anything with a cigarette hanging: sing a lullaby, peel a potato, nap. I have nothing but happy memories of my grandmother and her Benson & Hedges, so when I walk past a group of those poor people relegated to some little group smoking outside somewhere, it is always a happy smell for me.

Once my grandmother was washing dishes and eating a banana, and she held the banana in her mouth while she rinsed a dish. When she took the banana out, she exhaled out of habit. Now see? There's something I just wouldn't have told anybody, right there. Then again, I did tell all of you my gas story and I didn't have to.

My grandmother had the best bathroom ever. First of all, the toilet seat was squishy. I have never before or since sat on a squishy toilet seat, and man, was that comfy. Her bathroom smelled of Prell, Dove, and of course cigarette smoke. She had this knitted Southern belle doll on the back of the toilet, and under the belle's knitted skirt was another roll of toilet paper. And it was always good toilet paper, too. Charmin. None of that cheap stuff.

Of course, eventually I'd have to leave the bathroom and my uncle Jim would leap out from the dark hallway and scare the pee out of me, but it was still fun in there until that terror.

My grandmother used to say "I don't care what you kids play with, just don't play with my teeth." So, what do you think is the one thing in that four-bedroom, multi-closeted house we just had to play with? For some reason she had a spare pair in the medicine cabinet in said bathroom, and my cousin Katy and I were up there once doing a Poly-Grip commercial. Katy was smooshing that Poly-Grip all over those teeth, then she put the teeth on.

"What are you girls doing up there?" my grandmother called. She started up the steps.

"Take the teeth out! TAKE THE TEETH OUT!" I whisper screamed to poor Katy.

"You better not be playing with my teeth," Gramma said. She had arthritis, and it was hard for her to get up the steps. BOOM. She'd hit one step. BOOM!

Gramma had 650 Real Romance magazines up there. My Uncle Jim's drums were up there. My aunt Kathy's shoes and clothes were up there. The PRELL was up there. How in the Sam Hill did she home in on the fact that we had the teeth?

And do you think Katy could get those teeth out her mouth? I don't know if the Poly-Grip really worked that fast, or if it was that Gramma's teeth were just so big for Katy's 8-year-old mouth, but those things were JAMMED in there. She had this, you know, terrible grin on her face, and we were giggling and panicking at the same time as we tried to pry those uppers out.

We must've gotten away with it, because I don't remember the rest of the story, although my grandmother was not what you'd call a strict disciplinarian. Basically you could get away with anything if you were her grandchild.

I have no idea how I got on the subject of Gramma, but I will leave you with one charming Gramma story. So touching. So grandmotherly.

All the other cousins were over, which frankly wore me out. I was an only child, and an only grandchild on the other side. When all those cousins were over it was overwhelming. I was totally ready to mix a martini after they had gone. So I was slumped on Gramma's couch while she stomped around the house, muttering.

"Where  in the WORLD is that thing? I can't have nothin' NICE. You kids take all I got. Lord, give me strength…"

Gramma had this phone book thing — did I ever tell you this nice story before? It was brown, it was rectangular, and it was an address book thingamajig. Let me see if I can find a picture. Yeah, crap, I can't.

Well, it was this metal address book, about a foot long, and it had a metal tab down the side, so if you wanted to find someone's phone number whose last name started with S, you'd slide the tab to S, push the bar at the bottom, and the whole thing would pop open to the S page. This was the "I can't have nothin' nice" thing that my grandmother couldn't find. We must have been playing house and put it somewhere stupid.

So she looked and she looked and finally she found it. Somewhere stupid. She sweetly said to me, "June honey, come here to Gramma. Come here and bend over."

This didn't sound good. So I asked why.

"So I can stick it up your ASS so I know where it is next time I need it."

Yep. My Gramma.

How I miss that woman.

June's stupid life · Times I Amused My Own Self

Smells mysterious

I just voted. Go, whoever my candidate is! Do you like how close-mouthed and private I am? I am Mona Lisa, is what I am.

Actually, the voting machine acted funny, and now I'm afraid my vote didn't count. I worry that my mysterious, I-wonder-who-she's-voting-for candidate will lose by one vote, and it'll be because my machine acted funny. It kind of jumped around and asked if I wanted to review my vote first and I said yes, and then it looked kind of worried, so I said oh, forget it, and hit "Vote" and it said, thanks for the vote, and I don't know. What if it didn't work? What if I am not part of the electoral process?

There was quite a line for early voting, by the way. It was like we were all waiting to see Jaws, or for bread, or to get in to see Bop (Harvey). Bop (Harvey) was a really popular band when I was in college. I have no recollection of anything they played, nor why they needed to be in parentheses. But I'd wait outside in six-degree weather, in flats with no socks, to see them.

I met a very nice woman in line. To vote, I mean, not to see Bop (Harvey). I am so changing my name to (June). It will make me seem very incidental. People will think I have low self-esteem, when really I am just being deep and underground. And no one will know who I voted for. Especially because my machine got worried and broke.

Anyway, she works at Time-Warner cable, the person I stood in line with, and she is going to go to nursing school in the spring. I do not know how anyone could ever be a nurse. Just the thought of veins makes me want to hurl. Or (hurl).

But none of this is the point of why I am sitting here at the computer with Winston on my lap and my coat still on because it is 47 below zero in this house because Marvin never wants me to be warm. Seriously, Rocky Balboa is in the other room punching a side of beef. Somebody just came by looking for their base camp. A polar bear just borrowed my slipper socks. We're talking cold.

Win

(Look, you can sort of see my "I voted early and saw Bop [Harvey]" sticker.)

I am writing today because faithful reader and my bank teller Erin and I were talking today about smells. (She is not really my bank teller. I was being funny. Read my Saturday post. My Saturday evening post. See. There I was. Being funny again. Will the hilarity ever stop?)

Erin was saying she loves the smells of the fair, except for the animal parts, and I said I grew up near the fairgrounds, and consequently even love the smells of the animals. Which I know just made it sound like my mother was the bearded lady or something, but we lived like two blocks from our local fairgrounds. At night I could hear the music at the fair, and the people screaming on the rides, and during the day I'd go over and see the elephants and such. One time I saw an elephant poop, and that's just something you never forget. An elephant never forgets, and I never forget an elephant's poop.

My Pal from MA points out that I manage to mention poop about 78 times a day. I guess that is becoming more and more evident in this blog.

Anyway. So, I like the hay and the hooves and the general animal smell of the fair, which most people probably do not.

I told Erin that I also like the smell of photo-developing chemicals, because my father was a photographer when I was growing up, and he always came home smelling of that stuff, and sometimes at night I'd go back to work with him and he'd develop pictures in the darkroom, and if you think it wasn't fun to watch a blank piece of paper turn into a picture. So those smells are pleasant to me too.

Erin said her dad is a fireman, so she likes that ashy, burny smell. I hope she doesn't mind me reiterating our entire email conversation like this. Then she said she had to go, cause she was planning to knock over a bank and escape to Albuquerque.

What smells do you like that other people usually don't like? Why?

June's stupid life · Photo essays

Fair thee well

Today Marvin and I went to the state fair.

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Yeah, I KNOW I have a statistics textbook due.  But today was the last day of the fair!

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Apparently, this fact was lost on no one. What people? I particularly enjoyed the part where someone ran over my foot with a stroller. I got everyone's permission to put their photo on this blog.

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We walked 15 feet past the entrance gate and someone had to get hooves and snouts with onions, and some fries. Plus sweet tea, because tea is an antioxidant. With 857 pounds of sugar in it.

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I abstained from food at that particular moment. By the way, Marvin is wearing a shirt that reads "I'm with stupid" written in Spanish. Who amores himself?

Squid

Marvin is good at winning prizes at fairs. On our first date, we went to some sort of carnival, and he did that dart-breaking-the-balloon thing. He bought one dart. I thought, "If he breaks that stupid balloon, he'll marry me." He broke the stupid balloon.

So we saw a guy carrying on about how he'll guess your weight, age or month you were born. How does he know what month you were born? Does he know what a Capricorn looks like?

Guess

Anyway, Marvin looks like a zygote, so we knew we would have this guy snowed, as long as he didn't look at old Barbara Bush, over here. I tried to be quiet and act like maybe I could be Marvin's mom or nanny or something while he surmised Marvin's age.

Here's what he guessed:

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Hah! Marvin will be 42 in three weeks.

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So, I won a leopard. I am 43 and a half.

We saw many animals, all of whom I wanted to either kiss or take home, or both.

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These pretty little chickens have a funny name, and do you think I can remember it now, seven hours and fifty million fat grams later? They are called something like Hazel Harlots or Maple Maneaters or Ginger Jezebels. Something to do with their color and the fact that they apparently butter the biscuits of every man in town. Is anyone 4-H-y?

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ObSESSed with the baby pigs. Obsessed. Totally annoyed that children wanted to come up and look at them and get in my way. Hearted the baby pigs. Will never eat chili cheese dog at Sonic ever, ever again. Took 9 hundred thousand photographs of the baby pigs. Want to kiss and hug and own a baby pig. Want to be Fern in Charlotte's Web. Have always wanted to be Fern, but feeling even Fernier now.

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Similarly obsessed with the cows, and similarly sorry about the chili cheese dog thing. Was enjoying the cows until Marvin had to point out the big signs above each cow's pen:

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Harris Teeter is a grocery store, in case you didn't know. I do not think I have to spell out for you what Neese and her sausage do. This can't be good.

Dscf1351

This led me to pursue a lovely lunch of fried green tomatoes and lemonade. I have to tell you it was effin' delicious. There is no other way to describe it. We sat by a different "guess my weight" guy and tried to see if we could outguess him. Turns out? I have no idea what men weigh.

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Finally, I dragged Marvin through all the flower/craft/historical stuff, where every single man looks miserable and dragged. Look at the guy out the window. Dragged.

Purple

But look, I say, virtually dragging my male readers through the flower part. They had a landscaping contest, and look at the pretty purple! Look at her yin/yang done with rocks! Oooo!

And big pumpkins! How can you be bored by big pumpkins?

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…Hello? Male readers?

Okay, fine. I will leave you with two annoying proofreader issues found at the state fair.

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Really? Will the "mums" be sold on the 27th? "Will" they? Why are they "mums" the first time you mention them and not the second time? Are you trying to drive me "batty"?

Mill

And it wouldn't be a day unless someone screwed up the everyday thing. Every day. "Every" day. I won't even get into the fact that fresh pressed needed a hyphen. Oh, and that apple cider didn't need to be capped.

My obsessive disorder aside, it was a fine day at the fair.

Dscf1361

June's stupid life · My pets

You light up my dog sweater

Does anyone else get positively skeeved out when their dog touches them with their wet, disgusting nose? Am I the worst "animal companion" mother on earth for thinking my dog's nose is disgusting? It's just so COLD. Blugh. (I hate the phrase animal companion. In LA, they were starting to say feline- and canine-American. No, I am not kidding.)

So, faithful reader Kira won the diet book; congratulations, Kira. Actually, I have no idea if she's a faithful reader or not. It could have been the first time she ever came here. I guess I just call everyone "faithful reader." Which is really weird when I'm at the bank.

Speaking of the bank, I have to take Tallulah and her disgusting nose to the groomer to day for a bath and also mani/pedi. I like how I just wrote "to day" like it's 1674. Next I'll start writing all my Ss as Fs. I'm ferious. I abfolutely will.

Lu

Tallulah's gettin' that Howard Hughes look again, where her nails are lengthy and she's saving her urine in jars. If you are wondering why I don't just toss her in the bathtub and wash her my own self, why I am such a princess diva Zsa Zsa Gabor type who has to take her dog to the groomer like I'm Mariah Carey or Caney West or something, I will have you know that I usually DO wash my own dog, but one time I cut her nails and one of them bled uncontrollably and it traumatized me, as well as her, and I have never come at her with clippers again.

Plus also too I am still proofreading that HIDEOUS statistics textbook so I have no time, girl. You should see this Sanford and Son house. It's like one of those houses your local news comes and does an expose about.

And my ROOTS. Alex Haley is suing me for plagiarism. I look like Shirley McClain when Deborah Winger is dying. These roots. It's like someone frosted my head.

I hate being this busy.

That's why I've been blogging from work, actually. I get home, kiss the animal companions, and sit right down and commence to proofin'. I do not know why I just became Jed Clampett, there. Welllllll, doggie!

And I'm only HALFWAY DONE! I had to get a week's extension on this horrid book!  Crap.

Oh, but my POINT in all this was that overzealous dog walker said I have to get Tallulah a sweater, which may leave you wondering, how could all of that above possibly be coming around to the point that her dog needs a sweater? I mean, she did say, "welllll, doggie," but still.

What I was originally going to tell you was that when I went to the groomer to take Tallulah for her bath/mani/pedi/hot stone massage, I would also look there for a sweater.

And, speaking of Maria Carey, I cannot begin to tell you how ridiculous I am finding it that I am purchasing an article of CLOTHING for an ANIMAL. I am not one of those people who finds monkeys dressed up like people to be remotely amusing; I am just not that person.

(And when I say mani/pedi, by the way, I do not mean that I am getting the dog's nails painted, although just between you and me I would actually LOVE to do that but Marvin would snap my neck like a pencil and poop down my throat if I did anything that fey to his dog. Every once in a while you can totally tell he's a solid Midwestern Michigan boy. Once I went to Malibu to get a past life reading. Oh! It was fun. When I came back, Marvin said, "I'll give you a past life reading. An hour ago, you had a hundred more dollars than you do now." He is kind of no-nonsense about these things. I, decidedly, am not. Except about dog sweaters. I draw the line, there.)

Overzealous dog walker says short-haired dogs get cold in the cold weather, and sweaters are actually necessary. Which begs the question, how did they live for the past 11 zillion years without them, but okay. You know that if someone is telling me that my dog is suffering and chilly, that I am not going to just ignore it. Plus also, ODW walks my dog every day. So every day she will be judging me as my dog shivers in the cold. Crap.

Therefore, my goal is to get this dog the absolute worst, most ugly sweater imaginable. I am hoping to find a holiday theme. And a stupid holiday theme, like Columbus Day or something. She is totally gettin' a Cosby sweater, or one with pom-pons, or one that lights up. Oooo! One that lights up! Yes.

Do you think they make any really slutty ones, with Madonna cone breasts or something? I totally want to bring all the studs to the yard with Lula's dogshakes. Ooo, maybe they have camouflage, and I can totally bring her to work and no one would know! Or do they have sweaters that look like other dogs? Yes, this is my Irish setter. She IS a little short. It's a new breed: Irish settee.

Maybe I can also get an enormous bag and start trying to lug Lula around like Paris Hilton does with her dog. I mean, yeah, her dog weighs 7 ounces and mine weighs 50 pounds, but the dog-to-person ratio between what Paris Hilton and I weigh is the same. Maybe I can find a Kate Spayed bag or something.

Wow.  One wonders what I did with all the money my mother gave me for comedy school, doesn't one? I fpent it on dog fweaterf.

Faithful Readers · June's stupid life · Marvin · Times I Amused My Own Self

Manly yes, but I like it, too.

Wasn't that fun, all of you telling me where you are from? I thought it was fun. I heard from nearly all the states except the detached ones, and also the Dakotas. Why? Why are the Dakotas too cool for June? Hmmm?

Thank you all for participating in my Miss America contest, which really turned out to be Miss America and beyond. Miss America and also Canada, Australia, Asia and not to mention Kuwait. Oh, and Europe. I told my reader from England that I am like the Beatles, in reverse.

Also, the reader in Ireland ended up YouTube-ing an old Irish Spring commercial because she had no idea why I pictured her over there cutting soap. Turns out? People in Ireland do not even HAVE Irish Spring, much less sit around cutting it with their paring knives.

Why DID the guy in the Irish Spring commercial cut his soap with his paring knife? What was he trying to show us? There's so much of that hollow soap going around. Thank goodness that Irish Spring is full of the stripy green solid soapyness.

Irish reader took issue with the accents in said '70s commercial, BTW.

Oh, and why am I big in Missouri, the Show-Me state? I could totally have a concert there, at a, you know, dressing room at TJ Maxx or something. They should change their motto to the Show Me June's Blog State. Write your congressman.

In other news, at work I am supposed to be proofreading about physics, which, please kill me now. I keep coming across this funny-looking u-like letter, which I don't even know what it is, so how can I proof it? I am still stuck on the onion, and you want me to proof a funny u?

μ

There it is.

Oh great. And now look. My FONT got bigger. Crap.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you all. How exciting! Oh. And one more thing. Marvin and I amuse each other. 

Yesterday Tallulah's collar slipped off, and I said to her, "Why'd your collar fall off? Have you lost weight? Are you on South Bitch?"

Marvin started to giggle. "South Bitch," he said. He giggled more. Then 10 minutes later, he giggled again. "South Bitch." Then later? "South Bitch. Heeeee."

That night, Marvin was already in bed with all the lights out–and thanks, cause I'm not BLIND or anything–so after I took out my contacts I groped my way to bed, and was feeling around for where he and Talulah were. I ended up groping his entire face. He started singing:

Hello? Is it me you're looking for?

Okay, who was TOTALLY BEING that poor girl in the Hello video? I was so sculpting a bad bust of Lionel Richie in that moment. I woke up 47 times in the night to giggle.

Next I will cut Marvin's likeness out of Irish Spring.

Faithful Readers · June's stupid life

Where you at?

Faithful reader Clowdermama, who apparently is mother to much clowder, has come up with a brilliant idea.

Where are you?

Write in and tell me. I am hoping to hear from someone in every state, including the state of anxiety where I can usually be found, and also various and sundry continents. Is it redundant to say various and sundry? I think it is.

(And by the way, I think it should have been "..and all I can taste are onions." Because onions is plural. [ARE plural? Oh, crap.])

If you do not know how to leave me a comment, email me. You can email me by clicking over there on the right, where it says "email me." If that doesn’t work, go on your email and type in manpolly@gmail.com.

If that doesn’t work, just call me, mom.

Okay, tell me now! Where you be? Wherefore art thou? Which actually means "why are you," but whatever. You can also tell me why are you, if you want.

June's stupid life · Photo essays · Proofreading/Copy editing

Re-view

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You can keep putting your name in to win that diet book. I am just posting again today anyway because I am trying to avoid proofreading one more word of that dinglity danglity statistics textbook.

If this is the first time you have ever read this blog, you must be weeping with confusion by now.

Okay. Earlier today, at 3 in the morning, to be exact, I posted a review of a diet book and I said I would give it away, and if you wanted it, just say the word and I would enter you in the drawing and reveal the big winner on Friday. So go to my earlier today at 3 in the morning post.

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And by the way, I wrote the diet book review at a decent hour last night, I just set it up to post at 3 a.m. because I promised the book people I would do the giveaway today, and 3 in the morning my time was officially "today" everywhere in America exept those really detached Obama and Palin states and WOW did Tallulah ever just have gas. She may have just pooed herself. Wow.

But I digress.

And to FURTHER explain myself, dear just-got-to-your-blog-and-I-am-weeping-what-on-earth-is-going-on-first-time-reader, I spend all day proofreading documents, and because I HATE myself, I also agreed to then come home and proofread a dinglity danglity statistics textbook, as well. In my spare time. Because I'm not gone 11 hours a day or anything. And I don't have a puppy or anything to take care of, or anything. Who apparently has a problem with something that CRAWLED up her and DIED and whose ghost is trying to ESCAPE in gas FORM. Man.

Do you think Grace Kelly's blog would be a lot like this?

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Speaking of Grace Kelly, my good friend The Nester mentioned me in her blog today. She went to some sort of how-to-blog seminar this weekend, where she learned, among other things, that you should have a lot of photos in your blog. What she said about me was that my blog was interesting even though I don't have a lot of pictures. Which was nice, but now I feel like I should have more pictures.

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I am going to go into my "pictures" file and click on the first picture I see. Does this make my blog more interesting? Does the picture of Tallulah with the mustache offend? I think it's sort of offensive.

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I got my annual review at work today, even though I've been there six months. They said my first six months I was absent a lot, but these last six months were better. Ba haaa! Really, though, it was a pretty good review. I offered to take an editing class, because I have proofread for 11 years, but edited for about 11 minutes. They said that'd be a good idea.

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I think they were impressed with my whatever you'd call it. Incentive? What would you call that? Initiative! That's it. Wow. They were also impressed with my vocabulary.

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I have got to go to bed. I will NEVER. NEVER. make my next-Monday deadline for that statistics textbook. I am so burnt out on profreading. Oh, and I got superior marks on proofreading and attention to detail and meeting deadlines and ability to enjoy Quincy at my review too.

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Y'all have a pleasant tomorrow. And don't forget to suck up to me to win that diet book. I am enjoying our scientific research into why Canadians are thinner. Wouldn't you all have to add a layer to stay warm? It's fascinating to me that you're thinner than we are.

Giveaway · June's stupid life

So, I’m giving away this diet book

A few months back, this promotional company asked if I'd read a diet book and review it, then give one away. They didn't offer me any money or anything but I said okay, sure. Because apparently I am affable like that.

Then the deadline for posting my review got moved, which is good because I was right in the middle of thinking I was dying of a brain tumor, and you certainly would have gotten an informative and fun review right there. "Go ahead and enjoy this book! I won't be around to watch you enjoy it, but…"

Anyway, I got the book, Dear God Let Me Lose Fat Amen (and I just noticed the cover doesn't have punctuation, so I didn't punctuate either), and it strikes me that it's less of a book and more of a handbook. It's paperback, and tall, and technically you could cut out each page and display it somewhere, because each page is its own little subject. (And each side is actually perforated, for your cutting pleasure.)

For example, page 17 tells you all about how calories are created. Page 37 lists little exercises you can do during the day, like running in place for six minutes, or doing push-ups against the wall for eight minutes. Page 31 reminds you that if you skip just three bites of a 1,000-calorie meal, you lose 150 calories right there.

And I guess the fact that this information on losing weight is given to the reader in increments is the point of this book. If you take this information one piece at a time, maybe it will sink in. And you really could maybe take the pages that resonated with you the most, and actually put them up somewhere, like on your mirror with a little scotch tape. Unless your family will make fun of you for that, in which case you need to get your own apartment, because if your family is making fun of you while you try to do something good for yourself, they can just live without you. Is what I say.

What I liked about this book is that it encourages losing weight very slowly, making tiny changes in your life. I mean, you're reading a person who ate a Sonic chili cheese dog today for lunch. Again. But it seems to me that making small changes is a lot more effective than trying to wake up one Monday and saying okay, that's it. Starting this week, no more dairy. Or something similarly dramatic. I mean, saying okay, today I will eat three fewer bites seems a lot more reasonable.

So, do you want this book? According to the back of it, it is a $25.99 value in the U.S. and it's worth like 4 million dollars in Canada. Why does everything cost so much more in Canada? Are people even overweight in Canada?

The company sent me one copy to read myself and one copy to give away, but I have to tell you I have paged through both because I kept misplacing them. I am the least organized person you have ever met in your life. But neither copy is dog-eared or anything, Felix Unger. Calm down.

Write in, if you want it, and I will let you know on Friday who gets it. I will also send you apartment rental info and some scotch tape.

June's stupid life

Because this is supposed to be a health blog. Remember?

I have a guest poster today. A few months ago, I was asked to read a diet book by this author, below, who has written a book called Dear God, Let Me Lose Fat, Amen. I agreed to read it because the title cracked me up.

So without further ado, whatever ado is, here is my guest poster, Dr. J.R. Paine:

By Dr. J. R, Paine, D.Sc., CEO
Zero Obesity America Research Institute
“Dear God, Let Me Lose Fat, Amen” at www.amazon.com

·        In 2009, I will regain my lost health and body size by losing one ounce of fat per day on nature’s timetable.  Nature has speed limits on her highways.  When humans can make a baby in 9 weeks instead of 9 months, we can lose 9 pounds of fat in 9 days.  See “Dear God, Let Me Lose Fat, Amen” for the fail-proof roadmap to losing 30 pounds a year in fat and fluids by losing just ONE OUNCE of weight every day.  No dieting, please.

I will fire all diets, diet pills, hormonal injections, liposuctions, surgical procedures and stop wasting thousands of hard-earned dollars on diets each year.

I will no longer emulate friends and relatives who have been dieting for 10 years or more.  Today, each and every one of them weighs 10-50 pounds more. 

Looking around, any dummy can see that every form of dieting that uses the mouth to transport fat-loss foods, pills, fluids etc., into the body are actually “health torpedoes” in disguise.  All of them cause people to lose health, not weight.

In 2009, I will let my brain be my health gain and weight loss coach.  I will get my copy of “Dear God, Let Me Lose Fat, Amen” at amazon.com to program my brain with the know-how it needs to make decisions to protect and defend my precious health and weight.

I will not allow food to hypnotize me.   In 2009, I will not remain in the company of the 100 million obese and overweight Americans due to a lack of  vital knowledge that causes my brain to make bad eating decisions.

I now know that obesity is not a beauty issue.  OBCT is as destructive as:
1.      Smoking four packs of cigarettes a day.
2.      Drinking two bottles of whiskey a day.
3.      Drinking a gallon of beer a day.

I will free myself from obesity in 2009 by following the scientific formula:
An adult female, to be slim and healthy, should  consume 22-25  calories per day per inch of her height.
An adult male, to be slim and healthy, should consume 30-35 calories per day per inch of his height.

·         In 2009, I will stop eating for two – me and my invisible twin!
·         I will not punish my body with crash diets.
·         I will listen to the words spoken and written by learned people who have deep insight into the secrets of health and weight issues. Some quotes I will program into my brain are:

"A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses." Hippocrates, Regimen in Health, Greek physician (460 BC – 377 BC)

"In general, nine-tenths of our happiness depends upon health alone. With health, everything is a source of pleasure; without it, nothing else, whatever it may be, is enjoyable; even the other personal blessings– a great mind, a happy temperament–are degraded and dwarfed for want of it." Arthur Schopenhauer

"Look to your health; and if you have it, praise God and value it next to conscience; for health is the second blessing that we mortals are capable of, a blessing money can’t buy." Izaak Walton

"As I see it, every day you do one of two things: build health or produce disease in yourself."  Adelle Davis   
                                                                                                            
"Health is not valued till sickness comes." Dr. Thomas Fuller, British physician (1654 – 1734)

"Obesity is slow suicide by overdose of food."  Dr. J. R. Paine, co-Author of Dear God, Let Me Lose Fat, Amen.

Hair · June's stupid life · My pets

Hey aqua long

Look.

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My hair looks kinda long today. Isn't it funny how one day your hair just turns a corner and looks different from then on? I guess I am growing it out. I had cut it all off in order to grow out the gray, cause I was tired of dealing with dyeing it, but then once the gray actually started growing in I was so mortified that I dyed it back up again.

I don't know why I look so disapproving in this photo. It's not like I surprised myself with the camera.

And hey, is anyone else having trouble with their spellcheck on Typepad? When I try to check spelling, it underlines every single word. Which is annoying. I'm not THAT bad of a speller.

Tallulah and I went to the dog park today. I guess it'd be kind of silly to have gone there without her. Although in LA, before I had a dog, I'd go to the dog park all the time and just lust. Sometimes people would say, "Which one is yours?" and I'd have to admit I was just there stalking. Sitting on a park bench. Eyeing little dogs with bad intent.

Anyway. There was a boxer there who seemed kind of angry. He barked a lot, in this frightening way, while he chased the other dogs. At one point he turned his attention to Tallulah, who enjoys being chased by anyone, but I think that bark started to get to her, because eventually she ran over and hid behind me. The boxer left, and I turned around to ask Lula if she was okay, only to see her barf hugely.

Poor Lula. It was just like that scene in Animal House when they're all getting expelled and Bluto throws up in the dean's office. I think she was just scared.

Zero point zero, Tallulah. Zero. Point. Zero.

But none of this is why I asked you all to meet me here today. I had an epiphany today, and I wonder if you all are like me or once again I am completely alone in my thinking.

(I am allergic to grapefruit, but I didn't know it till I had an allergy test. Every time I ate grapefruit my lips would hurt, and I just figured EVERYONE'S lips hurt when they ate grapefruit. Cause of the acidity. Yeah. I am alone in most of the things that I think.)

Here is my epiphany. I have always just assumed that I am smart. I have even assumed that I am above average in my intelligence. And today I thought, wow.

Maybe I'm not.

I mean, it's just something I've always felt to be true, but how do I know? I haven't split the atom or invented anything.

(Although I did invent, in my mind, the Lean Cuisine vending machine. Why don't they have those so all the women don't have to schlep them to work and risk botulism while it defrosts in the car? It could even cook your Lean Cuisine for you.)

(I also invented individual servings of salad dressing. Again, in my mind. So you don't have to put a whole bottle in your lunch or get one of those tiny Rubbermaid containers for salad dressing. Why are all my inventions food-related?)

Other than my brilliant inventions, there is no real reason to think I am smart. I guess I always thought I was because my parents said I was, but what do they know? Every crow thinks hers is the blackest, as my grandmother used to say when she wasn't saying "lo and behold."

And just because I have good diction it doesn't mean I'm smart. Necessarily.

I had a boyfriend who went to U of M, which is a good school, and he said he pictured us married, living in Chicago, and he had himself at some impressive career and he saw me working the cosmetic counter at Carson Pirie Scott. That always bothered me. Why was that the best I could do? And I mean no disrespect to anyone who works the makeup counter at Carson Pirie Scott, because I would actually love to work at a makeup counter. I'm just saying at the time I was working toward a degree in English. If this guy was coming up with our dream scenario, why wan't I a Pulitzer prize winner or something?

I'll tell you why. Because he didn't think I was very intelligent. And as I recall, he mispronounced "Jung" once. I wonder whatever happened to that idiot. I hope he got fired from the MAC counter somewhere.

Is there anything you have always thought about yourself that turned out not to be true? Have you always assumed you were hot till you caught a glimpse of yourself in a store window one day and realized you are 107 and it's over? Did you always think you were wimpy till something challenging happened to you and it turns out you're quite strong?

Do tell.

I am berserk · June's stupid life

I am so making Mr. Blackwell’s worst-dressed list this year

Well, that was tough. It took me 15 minutes to trap Mr. Blackwell, the other feral kitten.

I got to work at 2:15, after spending a stimulating morning proofreading an index at home. I set the trap, and retired to my office. I brought my freelance work with me, because really, who can put down an index once you get going? Wooo!

At 2:30 I thought, why am I getting up and checking so soon? This is dumb. And man Polly, quit cryin! Was I wrong! Mr. Blackwell done already been caught!

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Who you?!?! Why you trap me! Blackwell most inconvenienced!

Mr. Blackwell is what you might call a bit…fiestier than his gray brother. Yeesch! He was sticking his kitten arms out of the trap, flailing around, panicking. He was not pleased.

Before I went to work to trap him into marrying me or whatever, I went to Pet Smart to get a can of cat food in order to entice him. I am a canned-food temptress, is what I am. Anyway, my point is that it was Cat Adoption Day at PetSmart, and I can tell you unequivocally that there is nothing I like better than window shopping for cats.

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Blackwell not terrified. Blackwell resent, that's all. I in control; eyes not bugging. What you mean?

I will be glad when my dog walker gets here and takes his scared arse to his brother. They will be glad to have each other, I think.

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I get you for this, someday, strange girl. Why you wear bad clothes?

Dooce envy · I am berserk · June's stupid life

Here’s the story, of a little kitty…

Okay, so I will re-tell the story for anyone just tuning in, or for anyone who doesn't hang on my every word and read every single post.

I work sort of out in the country, on a large what they annoyingly call a campus even though it isn't a school. There is a lot of land where I work, and many buildings.

So, one day I was walking back from the nurse's office, because I am a total hypochondriac and having an on-staff  nurse is as good as it gets for me, other than having a full team of physicians and medical equpiment with me at all times, and trust me I have tried to figure out how I could afford that.

Right near my building, I saw some movement down in the gutter, and do you know, lo and behold, as my grandmother would say, there were two bitty baby kittens in that gutter. A gray one and a black one! Oh! I was thrilled.

These kittens were of course feral, and were scared to death of all humans, and who could blame them. Turns out a ton of people at work had already seem said kittens, three of them altogether, and also they saw a large black cat, who we assume is the mom, or else one of the kittens has an Ashton Kutcher/Demi Moore relationship going on.

For the past month or so I have been trying to trap these kittens, in order to get them fixed, get their shots, and one hopes get them socialized so they can be adopted. This is not always possible with feral cats.

You can't touch or pick up feral cats. First of all, they'd rather eat rocks than let you near them and they can run fast. Second, they could be full of all sorts of hideous diseases, including rabies, and 147th, if you do manage to get one, they bite and thrash around like a really angry, moving cacti. They can really hurt you. Feral kittens are like baby racoons or Amy Winehouse. They are not socially adept.

At any rate, in the month I have been trying to get them, one died. Now just the gray and the black are left. And mom/Demi Moore, who I have never seen but who everyone else claims is out and about. Mom cat is kind of like Snufalupagus and all my coworkers are Big Bird.

Finally, FINALLY today the kittens were fat enough to make their trap actually work (I've been feeding them) and I got the gray one. Here he is. I could not, obviously, take him out of the trap to photograph him. I'd never get him back in.

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I little and scared. I hate girl who took me. I look like I in frozen food section at grocery store, but I not.

Don't you just want to smack me with my cat-language captions?

My overzealous dog walker, who walks Tallulah every day, is a member of every cat rescue organization on planet Earth, and some on Pluto, and she and I arranged this ahead of time. I took Earl Grey (I somehow decided he was a boy. I was not going to add insult to injury and try to go check.) over to her house, where she has a giant dog crate all set up with food, blankets, a litter box, and toys over in a quiet part of her house. She will get Earl Grey all his shots and get him fixed. If he can't be socialized, he will go to this feral cat sanctuary.

Of course, now I am obsessed with trapping Mr. Blackwell, the black kitten who I have also decided was a boy, and his mom/Dinah Shore older love interest. So who is going back to work tomorrow even though she has a statistics textbook to proofread this weekend? Who is ridiculous?

It is cold and rainy tonight. I am so glad Earl Grey is snug in his crate, even though he is probably scared. I can't stand thinking of Mr. Blackwell, even though I know there are plenty of buildings at work he goes into and also he has his whole underground tunnels he hangs in. Not to mention he may be with mom/Hulk Hogan's ex-wife, there, snuggling.

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Why you bug Earl Grey with camera? Dooce not take such blurry pictures. Why Dooce not rescue Earl Grey? How many readers girl even have, anyway?

So. That is my kitten rescue story thus far. I hope to have annoyed black kitten shots for you soon!

June's stupid life · Money · Proofreading/Copy editing

What are the statistical probabilities I’ll get my Mallow Cup?

Remember in June, when I read a statistics textbook in my oh-so-abundant spare time? Remember how it liked to kill me? Remember how I said I'd never do that to myself again?

Guess who has her another statistics textbook to proofread? I am going to be rare around here for the next two weeks. I will be like a unicorn sighting. I will be rarer than…

than…

Somebody give me a funny "rarer than" line that is not that tired snowball in hell, which is the only one I can think of at 7:20 in the a.m.

Folks, they begged. They flattered. They gave me a longer deadline. In fact, they let me SET my deadline. So what did I do? Gave them a short deadline to impress them. Why do I hate myself so?

And I never told you what I did with the thousand bucks I got last time I proofed a fascinating statistics book. You know what I did? I put it in the credit union at work.

The credit union is great, because you have to call the one person who works there and you have to tell her you need money. So then you feel obligated to explain to her why you're breaking into your savings, and you know she just wants to get back to listening to AM talk radio, but the whole thing is so humiliating that you rarely get money out.

Works for me.

Except yesterday I went over there and got out a hundred bucks, which is neither here nor there, nor is it here in my wallet or there in anywhere useful anymore, but anyway my POINT is that the credit union? Right next to the vending machine where Joe lives. And who do you think sauntered over to that vending machine while she was up?

I perused my choices and then I said, "GASP!" I didn't literally say 'gasp,' cause that would be stupid, but I said something gaspy, because right there, behind a boring old 3 Musketeers, was…

A MALLOW CUP!

I would sell my mother to the gypsies for a Mallow Cup. (Is it racist to say you'd sell anyone to the gypsies? If so, I apologize to all my gypsian and/or gypsian-sympathetic readers.)

When I was a kid, I had a baby-sitter, and every day at 4 we had to go get her husband, Herman, and drive him to work at the hospital. On the way to St. Luke's, which is the hospital where Herman worked and also where I left my spleen in 1977 which continues to be not at all germane to the story, we'd stop at Duduwicz's Drug Store and every day my baby-sitter would buy me a Mallow Cup. Oh, how I love them.

So I paid the 80 cents to get that 3 Musketeers out my way. Then I put in my next 80 cents, hit F5, and zzzzzzzrrrrrrrrrt. The thing spun? But it DID NOT DROP MY MALLOW CUP! AND ALL I HAD ON ME WAS A CHECK FOR A HUNDRED DOLLARS AND A FEW PENNYS!

I hate everything.

How's that diet going?