Dooce envy · June's stupid life · My pets · Television

A tail of Henri

The thing is, I'm never gonna care about Ugly Betty. I've seen it a few times, and after every episode I've seen, I always go, hunh. It just doesn't do anything for me. And yet on my Google home page they are always giving me articles about Ugly Betty and that American Ferrari or whoever and I don't care.

I feel the same way about The Office, and I get a lot of references to The Office in my comments and I am sorry to tell y'all I never have any idea what you guys mean when you talk about The Office.

I guess I don't like to watch shows about people who have a bad time at work, because I can get up the next day and do that for free.

Speaking of which, I must go. But I wanted to throw in a photo of Henry, since there was much protest and general unrest and talk of another tea party when I didn't put in a picture of Henry yesterday.


Henry has kind of a baboon butt, I am sorry to tell you, and I wanted to share it with the world.

I just thought of something I should have done. I totally should have taken profile shots of myself in the days leading up to me adopting a kitten, like Dooce is doing in the weeks of her pregnancy. You could have seen my completely unchanged abdomen day after day. It would've been fascinating.

Okay. Off to be told everything I edit is wrong.

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

I’m free. Freelancing.



I got a new coffee mug at the farmer's market Saturday. It's exciting.

So, yesterday I noticed Marvin had on a pair of pants I'd never seen before. They weren't big wide clown pants or long stripy pants that came with stilts or anything, they were just normal sort of brown pants, but I'd never seen him wearing them. So I said, "Where'd you get those pants?" And he said, "Pants store."

Marvin is on a roll lately, folks. A question-answering roll.

Other than that I have nothing to tell you. Oh, but you know what I wish? I wish I could freelance again. Oh, I wish it so bad.

I am finding this handle on my new mug kind of hard to grip. It's sort of dramatically high.

Anyway, I freelanced for years. Years. And it seems like that whole time was just happiness and wine and roses and butterflies and light, which I'm sure it wasn't. I know I worked ALL THE TIME, because when you work out of your home clients take that to mean you are available all the time–10 p.m., Sunday afternoons–and I had trouble turning down work at first.

But, oh, how lovely it was to not have to rush anywhere or sit in an office with no work to do, being unable to go home because QUITTING TIME IS AT 5! Who cares if there is absolutely no work! We go home at 5, you hear me!?

And how lovely it was to have cats as coworkers. Francis sat on my lap at least eight hours a day. Everything I proofread was around the body of that cat. When I got a real job again it felt weird to not have him on me.

And my across-the-street neighbor got home around 3 each day, so if I saw her sometimes I'd go over there and we'd have coffee at her dining room table. Right there in the middle of the day like that. And it was coffee with real caffeine, cause who cared when I fell asleep? Oh, that was the life.

I am going to start hoping that I get to freelance and maybe it will come true. DO YOU HEAR THAT, PLACES I USED TO WORK FOR IN LOS ANGELES?

Carp. I have to rush to work now. And yes, I said carp on purpose.

June's stupid life · Marvin · Money · Photo essays

Ding ding ding dingding DING ding (that’s me singing Ice Ice Baby)

So last night I asked Marvin, "Do we have ice cream?" and he said, "We have ice."

Okay. Is that the most depressing answer you have ever gotten to that question?

Do we have any candy bars? No, but you can take the bar exam over on the next block.

We have ice. Whatever with Marvin.

At any rate, as you may or may not know, which was a stupid way to start that sentence, because that could pretty much cover everything in the world, I was planning to take a trip to New York with my friend Sleeping Beauty in May. I saved up $1600 to go on my trip, and oh, I was looking forward to it. But given the pretty economy and the state of both Marvin's and my job and the fact that we have ice, I am too nervous to spend my precious $1600 on a trip. So in May Sleeping Beauty is coming here to visit.

This means that I can spend a teensy bit of my money (like $100, folks) on curtains for the living room. Because currently we have the sad Hi, we're renters plastic blinds that came with the house:


What I enjoy most about myself is my ability to center things in a picture. Did I mention my father is a professional photographer?

Anyway, if you can skew your vision enough, does anyone have any good curtain ideas? Keep in mind I like gramma's house in 1946 as my decorating technique.

In our old house in LA we had these blinds with scalloped bottoms that I really liked. I would get those again but they cost 11 million dollars apiece. And nobody suggest I MAKE my own curtains, because have you met me?

Do you like Marvin's cooler over there, like he brings heart transplants to work every day? Maybe I should have removed that before I took this impromptu, centered pic.

I have to go shower, but I also took photos of things blooming in my yard so I will slap those in here now.


This tree has blossoms coming out of the loggy part of the tree. That's the official scientific term. The loggy part.


I have these blooming all over my yard, but whoever planted them had no concept of what colors clash. So there's coral next to red next to pink and it IRKS ME.


Still, they're flowers. You can't complain that much. It's better than big towers of poo growing next to your house.


Did you really think I could go one whole post sans Henry?

June's stupid life · My pets

And IIIIIIIIEEEEIIIIIII Will Always Love Youuuuuuuu…


Yeah, I gots a Pit Bull mix for a bodyguard. I'm cool.

Tomorrow morning I will actually talk about something else. I took pictures of things blooming in my yard, plus not to mention incidentally I need curtain help. I am trying not to take advantage of my close personal relationship with The Nester. Instead I will take advantage of the rest of you.

I am berserk · June's stupid life

Should I hyphenate my last name as Gardens-Topamax or just be June Topamax?

My coworker just told me that she saw a young guy checking me out as I walked across the parking lot after lunch (clearly he has a strange hair fetish, but still). I can see my wedding to Topamax now: our names spelled out in flower Kleenexes above the wedding table: June and Topamax, or maybe his formal name, Topiramate. It'll be nice to be the one who isn't a pill in this relationship.

June's stupid life · My pets · Photo essays

Commento of the Weeko. You didn’t know about my fine bilingual abilities, did you?

Those of you who couldn't care less about pets will be delighted to hear that I am going to a big Farmer's Market (which probably doesn't need to be capitalized and I am kind of irking myself) with my friend the other June today, so there may ACTUALLY BE PHOTOS of something other than this kitten's every move.


Yes, that is a Jan Karon book being used as a step for him to get in and out of the box. Sue me.

This week's comment of the week is really more of a comment of the weeks, because I was out of town last weekend and didn't get to it. However, I awarded the oh-s0-coveted thing to the same person. I am sorry, but she was dang funny for a fortnight. What do you want from me? Facts are facts.

Oh! And Suburban Correspondent? That isn't true! I do not try to make my hair straight! I use curl-enhancing shampoo, curl balm after, and let it dry naturally without combing because I read that Curly Girl book, and still I get the Prince Valiant look.

Yes, I understand that I just burst into that tangent out of nowhere while you are all on the edge of your seat holding onto your lottery tickets to see if you won. Sorry.

This week's and last week's award goes to Paula from New York, Dammit, who was funny about Earth Day and her dress size on her Amazon wish list. Go look on Special of the Week and you will see I had little choice but to award her both times.


Tallulah has taken it upon herself to monitor Henry's every move without a camera. I think she worries the other cats are gonna kick Henry's teeny arse to the moon, something that is on all of our minds, actually. Except Henry's. When the other cats come around, Lula literally stands over the kitten and growls menacingly at the cats. In two days, she has gone from being a goofy, overgrown puppy to a concerned maternal figure. And yes, they are hanging in the bathroom. I do not know why.


I'm glad Henry has one ally in this house of hisses, though.

Ask June · Hair · June's stupid life · My pets

Ask Henry and June. Hey, wasn’t that a dirty book by Anais Nin?


One of us has the cute hair. I will not name names. One of us has hair shaped like Prince Valiant. I do not know what to tell you.

Let's valiantly page June and see what questions she'll answer for us this Friday, shall we?

Carrie queries, "When my mom and I talk about you, we refer to you always, as Our Friend June, as in, 'Hey, you know Our Friend June? Well, today she had a great tip for cooking rutabaga,' and such.

"We have an creepy amount of things in common: I have an Aunt Mary that makes jewelry, my mom's nickname is Pitty Pat (making her Aunt Pitty Pat to my cousins), I have incredibly big hair, love sparkly things, and incessantly stated that crows would like said sparkly things about anything shiny I came across. Now these are just similarities, of course, but do you think that somewhere in the word, you have a doppelganger?"

What Carrie and I also have in common is that it takes us an hour and a half to get to the point. Which makes me think we must at least be related, if not doppelgangers. And Carrie, I'd hate to think someone else out there got this hair AND this bulbous nose AND this pointy-ass chin. So I am going to say probably not. Because nature can't be that cruel twice. Can it?

Jenene, whose name is fun to type because there are all those Es, says, "Okay, I'm giving in and asking you a grammar question. When I use parentheses at the end of a sentence, do periods and question marks go inside or outside? I can never figure it out, and it drives me nuts!"

Jenene, is the period or question mark part of the entire sentence or is it just part of the stuff you put in the parentheses? That's how you figure it out. Here's an example.

She went to the store (and why does she keep going?).

Now, see? The question is part of the parenthetical stuff only, so it goes inside the parentheses. Here is another one.

Why does she go to the store (and get toilet paper 75 times a week)?

See?  The whole sentence is a question, so the question mark goes on the outside. Now, as for a period, usually the period would not go on the inside of the parentheses, unless the entire sentence was a parentheses.

My kitten won't stop meowing (and he is driving me nuts).

(Marvin wishes I had not gotten a kitten.)

(That isn't true, by the way. He loves the kitty.)

So, I hope that helps, Jenenenenene.

I must exit, because this kitten is in fact meowing endlessly and I do not know what his issue is other than his brain is the size of an olive.


He's lucky he's cute.

June's stupid life · My pets

Brief update

Am at work, doing that fancy thing where I can email a post. I just wanted to tell you that apparently I have gotten a kitten for my dog, because Tallulah loves that little kitty. It is like that old cartoon with that huge dog Marc Anthony and the teensy kitten. Anyway, they are currently separated because I am here at work and resentlful that there is no kitten maternity program and I just did not trust that suddenly enormous-looking dog not to step on that tiny bite of a thing, and when I left they were on either side of the bedroom door whining at each other. One time Lula got too rambunctious and Henry hauled off and smacked her in the snout, and she was all, "Oh! Sorry!" so I think that two-ounce baby will be leading the pack in no time.

June's stupid life · My pets · Photo essays


There is someone I'd like you all to meet.


This is Henry. He is six weeks old. Of course I got him. Have you met me?

Henry does not yet weigh two pounds. He's a brute, is what he is. He is so purry and affectionate! We just had a nap, and I feel maybe a trifle allergic to his fuzzy self. I am ignoring it.

Henry did not have a mom. He and his six siblings were found on a roof. Which tempted me to name him Rufus, but I went with the whole red hair/Henry VIII thing.

Sniff What's with the silver shoes, new mom?

So far I have introduced him to Tallulah, who started shaking, and Winston, who actually hissed for the first time in his life. But he only hissed once and didn't growl or anything. Henry is in the guest room for now and we will try more introductions later.


Francis has no clue there is even a kitten here. Because he never gets up from his old man chair, is why. And no, Cher did not call and want her sheets back.


Gee, do you think Marvin gave him enough food? The bowl is larger than the kitten is.

Up Okay, seriously? We need to do the suspended in the air pose? Because my day hasn't been traumatic enough. Thanks.

I am berserk · June's stupid life


Last night I hauled myself all the way out to Chapel Hill to the animal shelter there. (It's a higher-kill shelter, and I thought I should go to those to rescue.) Right when I got there, a litter of seven six-week-old kittens was arriving. There was one orange-and-white male who caught my eye. Not literally, cause, ow. So I filled out the paperwork and I can get him tonight but believe it or not I am hesitating. My cat Francis is gonna be so mad. Winston will be delighted, though, as he is four and bored with crotchety old Fran. What should I do?! Help me, Loveyheart. I am desperate.

Current Affairs · June's stupid life


Let's stir up a little controversy today. What do you all think of Miss California's statements about gay marriage? If you don't know what I mean, go Google it and come back. My opinion? Whereas I do not agree with Miss California's feelings on the issue because I do believe that all men are created equal and should have equal rights, I also feel SHE has every right to have her own opinion, and Perez Hilton was less than gracious about her reply.

June's stupid life · My pets

Silent treatment

Tallulah is NOT SPEAKING TO US. I got her from day care, and she had not seen me for four days, so I figured she'd be as excited to see me as I was to see her.


She sauntered out of the day care room and didn't even look at me. "Well, hello, Tallulah!" I said brightly, hoping she'd, you know, catch my enthusiasm. She calmly let me put the leash on her.

The whole way home she just looked out the window, and when we got home she went to the bedroom. Usually she sleeps on the end of the couch while I read or watch TV, or if I come in here she'll drag her blond arse up and sleep under this chair while I type. Nope. In the bedroom all night.

When we went to bed she stayed in the guest bed, and was Marvin obsessed? "Tallulah! We're in here! Good night Tallulah doggie (pat pat pat on the bed). In here, doggie! We're in here!"

"She isn't speaking to us," I told him. "Give it up."

Every few minutes he'd jolt me awake by saying "Lula!!" sort of weakly. Finally after an hour he just got up and slept in the guest bed with her.

Let's review.

My spouse left me to sleep alone so he could join the dog in her bed of choice.

Let's re-review.

My husband picked the dog over me.

This morning she seems a little cheerier, probably because she now realizes she has the power to break up a marriage, but I am kind of worried about her getting mad at me when I take her back to day care in half an hour.

Why, when I was plucking puppies off the curb, didn't I pluck a normal puppy?

Family · June's stupid life · Photo essays

Home is where I wanna be, but I guess I’m already there

I'm back. I'm better than ever. I went to Michigan. Saw things that irked me.


No. Really. They're UNIFORMS. How can they be unique? The point of a UNIFORM is to LOOK LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. Because it's a UNIFORM.

But otherwise it was a fine time. I saw the fam…


Okay, seriously? I know how y'all are. If I just put this photo up, you'll all write in and say, "Who are the people in this picture?" I know you will. So okay. In the back, from the left, is my stepfather Harry, the one who always warns my mother it's April Fool's Day and who also makes me listen to Prairie Home Companion when it's on, which is about as cruel of a thing as you can do to me. Wouldn't it be dreadful if I gave you this much background on each person in the picture? Wouldn't you just want to find me and kick my arse all the way to Tibet?

All right. To Harry's right is Marvin's uncle, who always does our taxes. In the front row from the left is squinty Marvin, then his aunt whose name is identical to mine so if you know my real name and Google me you'll find a ton of stuff about her, then my mother is holding the flowers, and finally the bat-mitzvah girl is on the right. And I hope she won't get mad at whoever called her the old-bat mitzvah girl in the comments, cause that was freaking hilarious.

Also in attendance for this shindig were my nieces, who came in from Chicago. They belong to Marvin's sister, Faithful Reader Sis-in-Law.

BeThis one is incredibly athletic and is not afraid of the soccer ball. I know this because I asked her, "Aren't you afraid when the soccer ball comes hurling at your head?" and she said no, but right there you can see what a good mother I'd be, not planting my own fears into my kid or anything.


This particular niece is a professional muffin. Look how cute. And muffin-y. She must have driven the car from Chicago, seeing as she has the key, there.


And I do not know why I only have half a shot of my oldest niece with her dad. I was in the hospital the night she was born, although she had the nerve to arrive at like 5 a.m. or something so to tell you the truth I was totally in REM when it happened and Marvin had to wake me up. Anyway, she is brilliant, my niece. They are all really good kids.

The bat mitzvah was lovely, and I had to participate by opening the ark, and if you don't know what that is, neither did I. I figured it out when I got there, though, and managed to not screw it up, so that was a plus.

Oh! But listen to this! I bought a new jacket for this event, and when I put it on I realized they'd NEGLECTED TO REMOVE THE SHOPLIFTING TAG from the dang thing.


Believe it or not, Marvin got the thing off. That's because he's a professional shoplifter.

Afterward, I did go with my stepfather to my hometown and see my Uncle Jim. He was worn out from his treatments, but I'm glad I got to see him. All his coworkers (he's a cop) made a big poster of themselves for him, and they're all holding coffee cups, because my uncle loves him the coffee. He has it hanging up in his room. It seems like the whole town is rallying for him–everyone is willing to help out. It's a little like Ferris Bueller's Day Off, really, so popular is Uncle Jim.

My stepfather and I shot back to town just in time to get to the big evening party (but not before catching the first half-hour of the Prairie Home Companion that I like so much! Wooo!).


Here's Marvin's mom, all decked out for the party. She has good clothes. I don't know why I photographed everyone at the steps. I promise you Marvin's family does not live in a studio apartment or anything.

So, we got there and there were a couple people there who read my blog. One woman pulled Marvin aside while I was standing there and said, "I keep telling your wife she needs to write a book. I love her blog."

"I have told her the same thing," Marvin said.

"I mean, your wife has a voice, you know?" she said.

"Yes. I know that all too well," Marvin said, "I hear it often."

Whatever with Marvin. And I don't know how to write a book. I don't know why people think I could write a book just because I write a blog telling you the stupid details of my life.

Anyway, I am glad to be home. Tallulah is still at the day care, because they are closed now, so it's just us and the cats. The cats are splitting a bottle of champagne and having a ticker-tape parade, they are so pleased. I think they think we dumped Lula off in a field or something.

Oh! I forgot to throw in this picture of me from this weekend that Marvin's uncle took. I had a migraine. Big surprise.


I can always tell I have a migraine in pictures, but maybe that's because I knew I had one when the picture was being taken, you know what I mean? I hate stupid migraines. And yes, I take Topamax to have fewer, and I do. But I still get three or four a month, and that day was one of them. Fun!

So that was my weekend. I hope yours was fun. I know I have to do Ask June and Comment of the Week. I am always behind on those things now, aren't I? Whatever with me.

June's stupid life · My pets · Uncle Jim

Some say she’s from Mars, or one of the seven stars that shine after 3:30 in the morning

I am listening to Tallulah crunch her food. It is such a festive sound, because she is so happy while she's eating. Crunch crunch crunch! I hope Marvin reads this and knows I fed the dog. Since he is on spring break he isn't up when I am and the other day we fed her twice, which she did not have the decency to correct him about. Her tags jingle merrily while she eats, too. Tingaloo, tingaloo, tingaloo!

LuWe aren't going to see this ridiculous creature for four days, which is the longest we have ever gone without seeing her. Marvin and I are headed to Michigan this afternoon for his aunt's bat mitzvah and Tallulah is staying at dog day care for four days.

She hasn't been to dog day care in a week (Tallulah, not Marvin's aunt), because I had last Friday off and Marvin was here all week, and you know the part where I thought maybe she had matured? Yeah. Okay, she has matured a LITTLE, but yesterday she ate those little flip-flops they give you at the pedicure place. Not that I was wanting to treasure those flip-flops forever, I am just saying the jerkiness is still in her if she gets bored enough.

Yesterday we started talking about the dog day care, and did they know she just got her rabies update, and did we have her food ready to go to dog day care, and I looked down and that poor creature had her head tilted way over and she was looking back and forth at us like we were playing tennis. She totally knows the phrase "dog day care" and she must have been thinking this week, "Why the Sam Hill haven't they been taking me there? Making me stay here with these cats all week."

Perhaps you're tilting your head and thinking, "That June certainly gads off to Michigan a lot lately" and I say, really? You go around thinking "gads off"? And yes, it certainly seems like I do.  And if you are up on your Jewish things, you may be wondering why Marvin's aunt is 13, if she's having a bat mitzvah. WELL, SHE ISN'T! (That's only funny if you like the song Planet Claire.)

When Marvin's aunt was 13, girls didn't get to be bat mitzvahed, only boys got to be bar mitzvahed, so she is doing it now as an adult, which I think is cool.

Also, while I am in Michigan, my cousin and I are going to drive to my hometown and see my Uncle Jim for an hour or so. He actually leaves the hospital today, they think, so I'll get to visit him at home. I will tell him you all said hello.

I am berserk · June's stupid life

Wish list has begun

June Gardens has started a wish list on Amazon. You just go on Amazon and at the top it says "wish lists" and you type in June Gardens and there is the beginning of my deepest wishes. I mean, really, what if some rich person reads me every day and is just dying to get me those $9,000 earrings? You never know.

June's stupid life

Really, a post about nothing

Do you know what I've noticed? I've noticed that sometimes I get more comments on posts where I've written two sentences when I'm at work, such as yesterday's, than when I sit here and write hours worth of entertaining paragraphs.  Hunh.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? I am not one of those take-a-long-time people. My father has always been proud that he could be a fireman. His whole showering-and-leaving part takes him five minutes. And he actually has hair and stuff.

For me, my alarm goes off at 6:15 but I lie there and listen to my talk radio guys argue politics with the callers (they are liberal and the callers are usually conservative) until 6:34. I do not know why, but it is almost always 6:34 when I walk into the bathroom.

Anyway, ideally Tallulah and I should be in the car at 7:20 but we are always screaming into the car about 7:28. So somewhere between 6:34 and 7:28 I am getting ready, including blog time as I am doing now.

I am sorry to tell you that I often put on my makeup at work, because almost no one is there when I get there and I have a giant mirror in my office, which given my narcissism score from the other day is probably an enormous shock for you. Really, you should see that mirror. It is like the mirror the Wicked Queen had in Snow White.

In my office at work, I have two big windows that face a parking lot, which sounds depressing, but my windows also face a lot of wildlife and I cannot BELIEVE I forgot to tell you there is a bird's nest outside my window, which you can imagine has not put me beside myself or anything. Anyway, one guy comes in to talk to me and spends our entire conversation looking past me out the windows to see who is coming or going.

CUT IT OUT! Who cares who's coming or going? Are you the security guard? Why even put up the ruse of talking to me? Why not just walk behind me and physically sit on my window sill like a cat so you can watch all day? Irks me. 

But speaking of getting ready, I must dress so I can be panicked and rush in to the car. Tallulah doesn't have day care this week, because Marvin is on spring break. All week he has had bikini-clad women here and he had made pyramids out of beer cans. He is wild on Greensboro.

So tell me how long it takes you to get ready. Do you actually blow-dry your hair? Really? Do you curl it with a curling iron? Oh, you do not. Tell all.