Before I begin, let me thank those of you writing in to ask about Francis, particularly my mother-in-law, who seems to think asking 4,935,095 times will somehow make me answer faster. He still seems to be in a lot of pain, although it comes and goes. I am loading him up with drugs, which he is taking easily and whoever invented those pet pill pockets is a genius.
You can see Tallulah is worried sick about the whole thing. And I know I look dreadful in this photo, but I was actually up with the screaming cat and didn't get any rest or a shower, so sue Ask June. Let's move to our queries.
Paula from NY asks: What type of reader are you (now and then vs always have your nose in a book) and what are your favorite genres?
Paula, I certainly wish I could put this nose in a book and leave the house without it. Oh, how I hate my round, bulby nose. I would like a sharp little squared-off nose, is what I would like. I'd even like a haughty Meryl Streep type nose if I could get one.
And bulby is a fine word.
When I was a kid, the only words you could get out of me were, "Let me just finish this chapter." My parents would put a book under my pillow at night, so that in the morning when I woke up early, I would have something to do before they got up. I was allowed to read whatever was in the house, nothing was too adult or off limits. You could say books were my first drug of choice.
I read a lot in college, because I was an English major. I can't remember the exact number anymore, but I know in a 10-week term I read some shocking number of books, like 36 in 10 weeks or something.
When I commuted by bus in Seattle, I read a book in one or two days, because I read on the way to work, at lunch, on the way home and if I didn't have a date, at night. Or sometimes if I did have a date. Like that guy who wore huaraches and ordered a peach wine cooler? Totally think I got a chapter in during that one.
My reading has slowed down now that I proofread for a living. I like fiction, and I like pretty girly books; no science fiction or fantasy or anything like that. If it is huge, involves multiple characters and takes place in the past, I am probably all over it. That said, I am kind of snobby about what I read, except when I am proofing something really hard, I read Steven King or Danielle Steele. It is kind of like eating sherbet between courses. It cleanses my palate somehow.
I like the Little House series, of course; anything by Thomas Hardy, Hemingway, Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, and then I do love those Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard and I also really like the Mitford Series. Oh! And I love Fannie Flagg and Carrie Fisher and Nora Ephron. And if Oprah likes it, I usually do, too. So I'm not THAT snobby.
I cannot read Dave Barry in public because I laugh too hysterically and look like a crazy person.
Mary Ellen from Napa put down her glass to type: So, June, what was it like growing up with hippie parents? How come they didn't name you Thunder, or Rainbow, or Feather? Did they drag you to political rallies and make you hold a sign. Did you have to eat To-furky for Thanksgiving?
I know this is actually four, four, four questions in one (made me think of two-click-two-click-two mints in one) (what IS retsyn?), but since I addressed the whole my-name thing last week, I figured we could bleep over that one. Sparkly Rose Blossom is SO much cooler than Feather. Anyway, yes, they DID drag me to political rallies, both locally and in Ann Arbor. I do not remember specifically having to hold a sign, but I remember being in crowds, and that some kids were naked, which annoyed me. Even then I was more conservative than my parents. I'm five and I'm all, "Put some clothes on. Geez."
You'll be shocked to hear that I was often allowed to bring a book to said events, so I was pretty okay with it.
As for having hippie parents in general, it didn't take me long to figure out that no one else had hippie parents, except for the other kids my parents were friends with. There was a part of me that wished my dad wore cardigans and called me Kitten, but on the other hand, my parents were very cool and approachable. Everybody marveled at it.
I remember going to my friend Tammy Thompson's house and talking to her dad, who was lying on the couch watching TV. Afterward, she said, "No one ever just walks up and talks to my dad. They're always too scared." I didn't understand why you would be. My parents were just so happy and mellow. And I swear they didn't smoke pot–they didn't even DRINK until they got divorced. So in all, I think it was a positive experience. And provides tons of blog fodder.
Shannon asks June, Is it eventhough or even though? Is it eachother or each other?
Fun question: What do you want for Christmas from Marvin?
Heavenly days, woman, are you trying to give Ask June a stroke? Two words! Twooooo woorrrrddssss! Each other. Even though. Always two words.
Now, this is coming from someone who didn't know England was an island until she got there, Shannon, so I do not know where I get off pestering you.
And you know, Shannon, I had no dream gift that I wanted from Marvin, but I think he hit the nail on the head with that zoo sign from my childhood. That was a good one.
Shannon, but I think it's a different Shannon from Shannon above, wonders, What's your least favourite household chore? Pet related doesn't count. 🙂
I am thinking it's a different Shannon because she spelled it "favourite," leading me to believe she is from Canada or England or Australia or somewhere fancy like that, where they put Us everywheure we doun't and make thiungs loouk fancier.
And I'll tell you, other Shannon, that I am a slob, and the only person slobbier than me is that Marvin. So I really hate ALL chores, but let me see.
I guess mopping the floors, because you know why? You have to get that ding-dang pail, which I don't know about you, but for me it's behind the litter box, and not only is it behind the litter box, it is also FILLED with brooms, mops, Swiffers, and other tall, gangly things that must be REMOVED from the pail before I can eve get to it. Then I have to contort myself over the disgusting litter box and risk E. coli to GET the pail. And then I am ALLERGIC to ALL cleaning agents, parTICularly Pine-Sol, Mop-n-Glo, and all that crap, so the entire time I am mopping my throat is closing up and I am weeping. Plus, I always seem to forget that I need access to the sink to rinse the thing out, and I have always washed the floor by the sink and can't get to it.
Aren't you glad you asked, fancy Shannon with the Us?
Bonnie ponders, What is your idea of a perfect day?
Bonnie, it was just this question that led Marvin to propose to me in the way he did. We asked each other that question during a long car ride back when we were dating and did things like have conversations in the car, and he secretly wrote down all my answers and gave me my perfect day, culminating in a marriage proposal. That was 12 years ago, so my perfect day would be different now. Let's see.
I would be on a lake somewhere. Not an ocean. I grew up in Michigan, so lakes seem like the proper body of water. So I'd be in some really good old lake house where you could hear the water when you woke up. There would be french roast coffee ready as soon as I woke up. There would also be croissants and crispy hash browns with little onions in them.
I would eat these things down by the water, where I would be undisturbed by flies and thoughts of melanoma. After getting to read the paper for as long as I wanted, I would go to a dock and throw sticks into the water and Tallulah would retrieve them, which would never happen in real life.
At noon, I would head to the house where several of my good friends and Marvin would have made a stunning lunch involving a salad with strawberries; my favorite salmon marinated in brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and brown mustard; and some sort of very sharp cheese.
Then, grabbing several bottles of cold white wine, all of us would go on a wonderful boat ride in which no one would get seasick and no animals would be disturbed by our wake or the gas and we would see a dolphin even though we were in a lake. We'd get off somewhere and go to an antique store, where I'd find the coolest little thing and buy it.
When we returned, all of my grandparents would be alive and my whole family would be there, and we'd have one of those long dinners where everyone laughs hysterically and talks at once, followed by a bonfire and a meteor shower.
Before we went to bed, everyone would have to watch Arthur with me. I'd get to sit on my grandmother's lap in her rocking chair, even though I am 43 years old.
That would be my perfect day.