Ask June, and her little dog, too

SleepyHoly mackerel, Friday came and went and I forgot all about Ask June. I blame Patrick Swayze.

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. πŸ™‚

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.

45 thoughts on “Ask June, and her little dog, too

  1. I’m not really a hippie, but sort of one of those people who has never left my early twenties, even though I’m 45, now, so I’m all about hanging out with my teenage kids, listening to their music, and generally being annoying that way. Fortunately, Yankee is more the wearing the cardigan and calling them Kitten sort of parent. Maybe they’ll turn out okay.

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  2. Aww! I love your perfect day! Also, don’t get down about that picture of yourself. The first thing I thought when I saw it was, “Wow, June must be having a good day, her hair looks all flat-like.”

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  3. June,
    I love your perfect day. I felt my blood pressure dip and my entire body relax just imagining it. Truly beautiful.

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  4. I love your perfect day! Sometimes when I least expect anything special to happen, and nothing especially special actually happens, I end the day with a sigh of pleasure and say, “what a perfect day!” Usually these days involve grandma’s lap, dolphins, and meteor showers. πŸ™‚

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  5. The dolphin in the lake made me spit my tuna fish sandwich all over the place. (And as I was proofreading this post I realized how HYSTERICAL – to me anyway- it is that I was cracking up over a dolphin comment whilst eating tuna)
    I actually prayed for Winston. Nuff said.
    Where are we supposed to post our Ask June questions? And does that qualify as an Ask June? And that? It’s the question that goes on and on, my friends. Some people started asking it not knowing what it was and they’ll continue asking it forever just because this is the question that never ends….
    Does anyone else ever open June’s blog and begin singing to themselves…”Bye Bye Miss American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry……” ??

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  6. That is the perfect day! I was imagining you letting out a long sigh after that day as you stared out the window looking out at the moon’s reflection on the lake. Your imagery was wonderful. πŸ™‚

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  7. June! You were cracking me up and then like a good book, BAM!!! You got all sweet and sentimental and almost made me cry with all of the sitting your grandma’s lap even though your 43 stuff. A rollercoaster of emotions, this post, a rollercoaster.
    I remember all of the conversations my husband and I had in the car, holding hands and trying to gaze at each other even though one of us was driving. Fast forward to the here and now… Long care ride = uninterrupted reading time. From what I hear, if looks could rip someones beating heart out, light it on fire and throw it out the window of moving vehicle, preferably off a TALL, TALL bridge, then that is exactly the type of look I give my husband if her interrupts my long car ride reading moments.

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  8. June,
    As soon as i win the Lottery we’ll get you that pointy little nose you’ve been dreamin’ of. You just have to promise that after you get it you won’t start hanging around with Mimsy and all of her friends at the Club.
    You mentioned that books were your first drug of choice but, what about sarcasm? It’s so much easier since you have to reach for a book.
    And again you brought up the Zoo, to which i say….don’t “Badger” me!

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  9. June,
    As soon as i win the Lottery we’ll get you that pointy little nose you’ve been dreamin’ of. You just have to promise that after you get it you won’t start hanging around with Mimsy and all of her friends at the Club.
    You mentioned that books were your first drug of choice but, what about sarcasm? It’s so much easier since you have to reach for a book.
    And again you brought up the Zoo, to which i say….don’t “Badger” me!

    Like

  10. June,
    As soon as i win the Lottery we’ll get you that pointy little nose you’ve been dreamin’ of. You just have to promise that after you get it you won’t start hanging around with Mimsy and all of her friends at the Club.
    You mentioned that books were your first drug of choice but, what about sarcasm? It’s so much easier since you have to reach for a book.
    And again you brought up the Zoo, to which i say….don’t “Badger” me!

    Like

  11. Love the perfect day. It makes me want to imagine one for me. How sad is that? I don’t know even what it would be like. I do know that if I saw my Great Grandmother again even for a minute it would qualify the whole day. Maybe I wouldn’t even step on her toes like I used to do all the time accidentally (I was only 4 or 5). –and I just thought you were really looking svelte when I saw that picture of you.

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  12. “Palate,” not “palette.” Shame on you!
    And, no, no one has elected me English Usage Queen of the Blogosphere (actually, I think that’s your job). It’s just that it is such an everyday thing for you to get worked up into a lather over misused words, so I am feeling a tad triumphant. (Did you like how I slipped “everyday” in there? Clever, huh?) It is as if I had caught Ms. Manners eating her soup using a dessert spoon.
    Go, me!

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  13. Oh, have you checked out Mary Alice’s blog yet? She was raised by hippie parents also. My favorite story about her dad was that he used to embarrass her by wearing a T-shirt that said, “No One Knows I’m A Lesbian.”
    Oh, and I loved your post, by the way (when I wasn’t busy gloating over your gaffe).

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  14. I love your perfect day.
    I think my perfect day would be 924 hours long and 900 of those hours would be spend sleeping. The rest would be eating.
    And could that dog BE any cuter? She looks like she needs a book to eat.

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  15. June, I am amazed at all of the sweet comments about your perfect day. People were smiling, crying, sighing and every other sloppy sweet adjective that I can think of…while I was killing myself laughing and the thought of the meteor show and sitting on your grandmother’s lap just about threw me out of the chair with he-haws… Am I just not a feely person? I thought I was, but I didn’t get mushy feeling,…I got hysterical enough for my husband to come running to see what was going on. Laughter is good for the sole, but I have never even seen a fish smile.

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  16. I am completely ashamed of myself in the light of day. I totally did not even make a sappy comment on your sentimental perfect day answer. I, too,was nearly moved to tears and actually caught myself sort of nodding, half grinning and “hmmmm”-ing. I think I even had my hand over my heart and mumbled “Bless her, Lord” as I read it.
    And I think you look HOT in that picture. Smokin, June. SMO.KIN.

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  17. can we consider this an English class and get a credit, or maybe a blue chip stamp? most of the time I`m afraid to comment. I picture you reading this and asking yourself if you have died and gone to English hell. hey, born and raised in the O.C. thats my excuse and I`m sticking to it. school, what school, did I go????

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  18. I love to read and read just about anything and everything. I just finished a cute little book about being 40 and single. I am not 40 and I’m not single but I could totally identify with the whole wanting a pony thing she wrote about.
    That being said my day would have to incorporate a pony in it.

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  19. I know this really beongs under the last post but, i didn’t know if anyone would still be reading the replies anymore.
    Let’s hear it for Miss Rumor Tumor Bloomer Willis.
    Tonight she will FINALLY be Miss Golden Globes after a year long wait.
    Every year the Golden Globes selects a second generation actress to carry out the awards and escort the winner off stage. In a crushing blow last year Miss Willis was not able to live out her dream when the writer’s strike ended up having the show down graded to basically a press conference.
    So let us all wish the lovely Demi-Bruce spawn all the luck tonight. Maybe she could do a twirl like Vanna when the announce her name. Go Rumor!

    Like

  20. I know this really beongs under the last post but, i didn’t know if anyone would still be reading the replies anymore.
    Let’s hear it for Miss Rumor Tumor Bloomer Willis.
    Tonight she will FINALLY be Miss Golden Globes after a year long wait.
    Every year the Golden Globes selects a second generation actress to carry out the awards and escort the winner off stage. In a crushing blow last year Miss Willis was not able to live out her dream when the writer’s strike ended up having the show down graded to basically a press conference.
    So let us all wish the lovely Demi-Bruce spawn all the luck tonight. Maybe she could do a twirl like Vanna when the announce her name. Go Rumor!

    Like

  21. I know this really beongs under the last post but, i didn’t know if anyone would still be reading the replies anymore.
    Let’s hear it for Miss Rumor Tumor Bloomer Willis.
    Tonight she will FINALLY be Miss Golden Globes after a year long wait.
    Every year the Golden Globes selects a second generation actress to carry out the awards and escort the winner off stage. In a crushing blow last year Miss Willis was not able to live out her dream when the writer’s strike ended up having the show down graded to basically a press conference.
    So let us all wish the lovely Demi-Bruce spawn all the luck tonight. Maybe she could do a twirl like Vanna when the announce her name. Go Rumor!

    Like

  22. Have you noticed how Joan And Melissa Rivers have systematicaly been dumped by every network that does red carpet coverage during the awards season?
    Rumor(pun intended) has is that they are camped out in a McDonalds parking lot on Santa Monica Blvd. They are hoping to snag any celebrity that might be going through the drive-thru in their Limo. Melissa records the video on her cell phone while Joan conducts the interview. Classy!

    Like

  23. Have you noticed how Joan And Melissa Rivers have systematicaly been dumped by every network that does red carpet coverage during the awards season?
    Rumor(pun intended) has is that they are camped out in a McDonalds parking lot on Santa Monica Blvd. They are hoping to snag any celebrity that might be going through the drive-thru in their Limo. Melissa records the video on her cell phone while Joan conducts the interview. Classy!

    Like

  24. Have you noticed how Joan And Melissa Rivers have systematicaly been dumped by every network that does red carpet coverage during the awards season?
    Rumor(pun intended) has is that they are camped out in a McDonalds parking lot on Santa Monica Blvd. They are hoping to snag any celebrity that might be going through the drive-thru in their Limo. Melissa records the video on her cell phone while Joan conducts the interview. Classy!

    Like

  25. Dee from Tennessee
    Love the Mitford series too…wish she had continued the series. I seriously miss Uncle Billy and Miss Rose.

    Like

  26. OK, after posting my comment I reread it and it could come across as me implying you are dog-like, but my intention was to say you are youthful and lovely and Lula is daughter-like as opposed to dog-like. Does that make sense?

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  27. I agree. Mopping with a mop and a bucket and icky water is gross. Just. Plain. Gross. What’s the point in washing the floors with dirty water? I used to have to rinse the mop in the sink, too. I’ve even been known to mop the floor with a rag (by hand) but I had the “solution” bowl, and a “rinse” bowl because I refused to put the dirty rag in the clean solution bowl.
    But, then? Miracle of miracles? Pledge invented the [angels singing] Swiffer Wet Jet [/angels singing]. You should try it. It’s awesome. Especially since you have to risk your life and your cardiovascular health just to clean the floors!
    If my house was on fire, I’d probably grab the SWJ first. :o)

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  28. Lovely. You actually brought a tear to my eyes with the grandmothers lap comment. What I would not give to see my grandmother and sit in her lap.

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  29. “Cleansing the palate” is perfect for reading a wafty little nothingness in between slogging through books that are “good for you.” I’m totally stealing that as an excuse for my next chick lit. (Or young adult vampire series. Ahem. WHAT?)
    Have you read Outlander? (Consider that underlined, I can’t figure out how to do it.)
    I don’t mop until the kids start to stick to the floor.

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  30. Mr. Steady says “Your perfect day sounds wonderful but you might want to reconsider the meteor shower. I tried that once and the plumber charged me an arm and a leg to unplug the shower head.”

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  31. Loved your perfect day, June! Lovely lovely.
    Mine would be quite similar except I’d be on a boat on the ocean!
    Picture of you with Lula is priceless. And, you don’t look bad in that photo at all! Quite the contrary!
    Love ya, June!

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  32. You need to read A Dangerous Fortune by Ken Follett. My husband reads his books and always told me I should read this one so I did and he is right … it is a great book. Lots of characters, in the late 1800s in London, little bit sexy. Good book, I have a hard time putting it down.

    Like

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