Inspired by Topography again

Hey, MyTopography.com–who I would link to but I’m at work and can’t get on Typepad–did a whole day-in-the-life photo essay on her blog (her baby is so cute it makes you want to scream) and I am gonna do it tomorrow, too. Who’s with me!? Who wants to capture their whole day on film and in prose? How fancy am I with my use of “prose”? Come on, do it with me! Not say “prose,” I mean do the whole taking pictures of your day tomorrow and putting it on your blog! You know Saturdays suck and no one reads you anyway! Leave a comment if you’re gonna do it too, making sure to link to your blog.

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Ask June who?

Hentongue
(Obligatory Henry photo. So you'll leave me alone.) (Wow, look. I must have spilled coffee on that cupboard door, which you can't see in real life because I am never staring down at it like this. Now I have to go clean it. This is why Marvin hates coffee. Don't tell him about this.)

What cracks me up about all y'all is I never know what will make you comment. I never in a million years thought the Bob Seger/Monty Python combo would elicit 9,321,092.45 comments.

The Nester taught me to say "all y'all." Isn't it awful? And yet I can't help myself.

Oh, and speaking of how annoying I am, if I forget to tell you that Gladys is comment of the week for ONE MORE DAY, well, it'll be time for the NEXT comment of the week, is what it will be.

Look. I'm linky again. I'm Linky Tuscadero.

And you know what else I forget all the time now? Ask June. I have forgotten to do Ask June on Friday for the last 78 weeks. You can see I made a fine secretary. And also a stellar waitress. Oh, I was a terrible waitress. Cause scattered? Not me!

I used to work at Jacobson's restaurant in college. Jacobson's was a high-falutin' department store, and the restaurant served what-were-high-falutin'-at-the-time salads and sandwiches. Like chicken salad. Trust me. There was a time chicken salad was considered classy, as were radishes.

The restaurant also served drinks, and what was fun for me to watch were these 79-year-old women, dressed to the nines and sometimes tens, ordering the crab salad and three Manhattans. Which also used to be classy. I think Manhattans are whiskey and vermouth and that's it. But there they were, these women, gettin' toasted at 11:30, and YOU COULDN'T EVEN TELL.

I had such fun there. I worked lunch, so I had to be there at 10:30 and I was done by 3:00 at the very latest. The only drawback was it cut into tanning hours, but that's why God invented tanning booths. What malignant melanoma any day now?

I got a free lunch, so there was a lot of chicken salad in my life, and I worked with a group of gay guys who made me laugh so hard that I couldn't go out there to badly wait tables sometimes. When the old ladies would be cranky, we'd serve them decaf when they wanted real coffee.

And right in front of the building was the bus stop, and that bus took me right to my aerobics class. Oh, it was perfect.

I made about $100 a week in tips, which sounds sad now, but it was just enough to cover drinks and tanning lotion, which were my requirements for living. What wrinkles?

During the summer, they served a special salad that came inside half a cored-out pineapple. There were three scoops of mayonnaise-based salads in that pineapple. Or maybe one of the scoops was sherbet. I forget.

What I do remember is after I served those, every single time I would pick up the empty half-pineapple, dance into the kitchen with it on my head, and do a Carmen Miranda impression. With my polyester waitress uniform and nude hose. And perm. Mmm!

Okay, seriously, how did I get off on that tangent? Now I must shut up. And guess what I forgot to do again?

Ask June why she is such a numskull.

I Bob in your general direction

Last night, as Marvin and I were trying to go to sleep–which was not possible because a BUNNY had the nerve to be IN THE FRONT YARD and Tallulah needed to let us know repeatedly. Tallulah kind of acts like my poor grandmother did when she got the dementia; she'll tell you something 48 times in one conversation.

ARABBIT'SINTHEYARD! RABBIT! RABBIT! RABBIT IN THE YARD, DID I TELL YOU I GREW UP IN A GAS STATION? And hey, there's a RRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrABBIT!

(Okay. The gas station part was something my grandmother used to tell us, not Tallulah. I threw it in for dramatic effect. Did it work? She did grow up there, as my great-grandfather owned the town gas station and all the men hung out there and played checkers and such. I think it sounds ideal, but she could not get out of there fast enough. Moved to DC. But that's a whole 'nother post.)

With the relaxing Tallulah news brief in the background as we lay there, I said to Marvin, "I just have to come out and say this. I like Bob Seger."

And I do. I am sorry. I know it's not cool, okay? And that my Michigan is showing. Because Bob Seger is from Michigan, and if you are FROM Michigan you can just kind of tell old Bob is one of your people.

One of my friends who is a little older than me had Bob Seger's band play at his prom. Now, who gets to say that? I have no IDEA who played at my prom, except I know it wasn't any Bob Seger.

Marvin took this information in stride. "I guess I do, too, as long as it's not DOdododododododo. DOdododododododo." he said.

"JUST TAKE THOSE OLD RECORDS OFF THE SHELF!" I screamed. Why is it that when someone tells you they hate a song you feel compelled to sing the whole thing?

Tallulah and I were a duo at that point.

"I'll sit and listen to 'em by myself! [rrrrrrabbit! rabbit rabbit!]"

Anyway, I hate that song too. And the Katmandu one. But I like all other Bob Seger songs. Sue me.

And you know what I hate? And I don't want to hear it, but I know I will.

I hate Monty Python. Do you have any idea how nauseating it is to be the only person in the world who hates Monty Python? Someone once told me I showed a lack of intelligence because I hate Monty ridiculous Python. Okay, I laughed at The Canterbury Tales (tee hee, quod she), but I'm an idiot because I hate Monty and his pythons.

And people CAN'T let this go. They can't just accept it. "You don't even think it's funny when they…?"

No.

Not even the time they…?

NO!

I had an old boyfriend who constantly whipped out Monty Python videos. "Just watch this one part with me," he'd say. Then he'd LOOK at me during the "funny" parts to see if I was laughing. THAT'S conducive to hilarity, thanks. No pressure. Not making me self-conscious.

Now, whatever you do, please leave 850 Monty Python quotes in my comments. Because that's the other annoying part about MP. People are forever putting on a high-pitched, terrible British accent and saying three words and we're all supposed to know the context, and WHOO! Let me slap my knee.

"I'm not dead yet!"

I can help you with that.

Roll me away.

Down under

It is 10 o'clock at night and I just barely got here, mister. That's what Marvin's students used to say to him when he substitute taught back in LA. He'd say, "Okay, everyone get out your books" and the students would be mad that he wanted to start with the learning, you know, right away. "I just barely got here, mister!"

But really I did just barely get here. I met up with the other June–or got up with her, as they say here in the South. "I'll get up with you next week, over yonder! I just barely got here!"

Anyway, the other June and I went to a class in Australian wine today. They made us drink upside down. BAH! Cause, see, Australia is on the other side of the earth? And the toilet water swirls the other way? Cause it's on the other side? On the other side of the mountain? Did you ever see that depressing movie, The Other Side of the Mountain? Sad. I have never skied because of that movie. Well, that and I don't care for careening down icy vertical pieces of land.

But, really. There is all sorts of fancy wine in Australia and apparently they wanted to serve us 92,000 sips of it. I eventually asked for a thingamabob to toss out some of my wine, because they were giving us so much and I had to drive home, for heaven's sake. And go to work. And not make out with the other June and lift my shirt to get beads and such. Crones Gone Wild!

So when I got here, I sat down at the computer, as I am wont to do, and I noticed I couldn't access the web cam. Y'all know how I can love me the web cam if the mood is right. So I called to poor Marvin, "WHERE'S THE WEB CAM?" Of course, he had no idea. So I fishwifed him in here and made him locate the dang thing, then I realized I really didn't NEED the web cam, but now I felt like I had to use it or lose it. And by "it" I mean my front gumline, seeing as Marvin hauled himself in here and looked at 8493048459038585 doo-dads on our computer.

Justjack

Hey! Hi! Its me! With Jimmy Page's hair!

Then I decided it'd be more interesting to take pictures of me and the pets. Junesie and the pussycats, as it were.

Henme Hen stare at you. Hen hate life with Jimmy Page. Please come get Hen.

Winnieme DOOOooo go on, mother. Tell me everything. Once you get your cornea out of my eyebrow whisker, I mean.

Meandlu Heyyy! Lula not pussycat! Why I here in web cam?

There is nothing better than kissing Tallulah's velvety ear. You must trust me on this. Also too, when I dropped Tallulah off at dog day care this morning, there were THIRTY-SIX Jack Russell terriers there! They have been rescued and all need adopting!! How cute was it to walk in on THIRTY-SIX Jack Russells? Of course Marvin said no. Have you met his stone heart?

I'd link you to dog daycare's web cam again, but Marvin said tonight all the dogs were gone, gettin' fixed. Gettin' some snippage. My sack's barely got here, mister!

Horrifiedfran
Okay, really? You thought I was gonna pick up all 260 pounds of Francis and bring him into the room where the evil DOG is and take his picture with the web cam? I appreciate my aorta, thank you. Did not want it dug out by cat claws. But look how happy Fran looks to pose with me! Not at all terrified and bleak about life!

Okay, I must rest. I'm just barely getting there, REM stage!

In which I blog about all the things you told me to blog about yesterday, and change my name to Fuquay Varina

So, I asked you guys what I should blog about, and you told me, so here you go. I will divide up your requests with little asterisks. Don't you hate it when people pronounce it "astericks"?

First of all, holy cats! I am SO not delving into why Marvin and I hated each other in year seven. Geez Louise.

I know I tell you everything, but I don't tell you EVERYTHING everything. Besides, it wouldn't just be my thing, but Marvin's super-secret secrets, too. Like, it'd be totally rude of me to tell you how he DROVE AWAY and LEFT me in downtown LA during the LA marathon, with no money, phone, purse, or coat during year seven. It'd be terrible of me to mention that.

**************************************************************************************

So let me see. What else did you want me to blog about when I asked earlier? Oh, yeah. Annieology wanted me to say she was awesome and Mary wanted me to say she has good cards.

**************************************************************************************

Garp wanted me to talk about Garp. Garp is Marvin's aunt's dog. He is a beagle. He is berserk, but he's cute. When Marvin's aunt had a party earlier this year, Marvin and I went to the room where poor Garp was cloistered and we learned that he certainly knows what you mean when you say "peanut butter." Naturally this drove Marvin to say "peanut butter!?" 470 times, and that dog was whipping his fool head side to side like that woman used to do at the end of Hee-Haw when she said, "That's all!"

Have you noticed I am entirely too well-versed in Hee-Haw?

***************************************************************************************

I am enjoying my little stars. My "astericks."

Someone else wanted me to blog about Tallulah. I love her. She got a bath this weekend. She was not pleased. Let's put in a picture of Tallulah.

Bday 

This was last year, on my birthday. (Before Topamax. Wow.) It was at my mother's place in northern Michigan. Also in this picture, in case you noticed that Tallulah was not alone, are me and my bra strap, my friend Gertrude, her dog Buster who appears to have no facial features, and her child Emma. The one who can hula-hoop. And by the way, I have been trying to buy a hula-hoop for a week and can't find one. I went to Target and Toys-R-Us. I refuse to go to Walmart. I want to get a hula for Tallulah. I want to teach her to jump through it. Because I am a sad, sad little man.

**************************************************************************************

Someone else wanted to know if Marvin had any active blogs but he said no. Also, Lynn wanted to know where I saw Marvin and me in 10 years, and I hope not at Walmart. Marvin says he sees us in 2019.

***************************************************************************************

Oh, and a couple people asked me about TV shows and as you know I am not that up in the TV viewing. But we are obSESSed. Ob.sessed. with Mad Men. We are caught up on the first two seasons and are dying dying dying for season three to start.

And as for books? I am not reading those vampire-y books everyone is reading, but Olive Kitterage was really good. Go read it.

***************************************************************************************

Oh! And what I would consider a day of pampering? A day where THE PHONE DID NOT RING ALL DAY.

***************************************************************************************

Also requested, of course, was that I put up a picture of Henry. Here.

Hen

Seriously, he is gigantic. Tallulah is apparently doing her Monet impression.

*************************************************************************************

And Jan, re your request, my father didn't put my childhood cat Shadow to sleep on my birthday, which makes it hard for me to tell the story of him putting her to sleep on my birthday. But that would have been awful. Like, leaving-someone-at-the-marathon awful. No, he put her to sleep on some RANDOM day when I was six, and I am permanently scarred. She was a beautiful kitty, all black with long hair. She had some illness, but that was NO EXCUSE if you ask me.

************************************************************************************

And finally, I don't remember the first thing about The War of the Roses except it looked a lot like our year seven.

Okay! Thanks for telling me what to blog about! This wasn't disjointed at all!

Tonight, tonight

I will be here till next week, trying to catch up to my hideous deadlines. Did I mention this is our busy time at work? At any rate, when I finally DO get home tonight, what do you want me to blog about?

**UPDATE**

It is 10:12. I am tired. I wrote tomorrow's post based on all the things you told me to write about today. I figure it's too late to post today. I do not know why that would make any sense. Have I mentioned I'm tired? Anyway, anything anyone told me to blog about after this will be moot. And mute. And moooo.

My life/my life in my head

Marvin and I have been outside all morning, tidying up our yard like the middle-aged homeowners that we are. A thing I sort of refuse to accept. I was pulling weeds yet also thinking, "How can I be out here robustly yanking ivy at 10 a.m.? Shouldn't I be exhausted from my night of doing blow with Courtney Love and the Rolling Stones?"

See? Even my fantasy drug friends are old and tired. I couldn't even come up with anyone under 45 to do drugs with IN MY MIND. Depressing.

So, if I'm not gonna be the Edie Sedgwick of my time, I am at least gonna have a tidy yard. Which stems from my German heritage and also from growing up in Michigan, which is kind of a redundant thing to say. Everyone in Michigan is German. And I do not want to hear dissent from the two Scotch-Irish people there.

People in Michigan have the tidiest yards of anyone in America. I am not making that up. I do not know why it is. Perhaps it is because they only have actual yards for three months out of the year; the rest of the time their yards are covered in snow. So they celebrate it while they've got it. Like my drug supply with my good friend Court.

In other news, I went to the museum yesterday with my friend Lucy from TinyTown.

Lucy

We all wish we were one-eighth as cool as Lucy is. I'll bet she partayys with every famous rapper you can think of–which for me is not many, because did I menti0n I have become middle-aged?–yet she'd be too gracious to brag about it.

We had a stellar time. The museum had lots of, you know, ART, but then it also had an exhibit of dresses from all the fancy designers–Dior, Valentino, Gucci. Lucy and I had a long discussion about how it was a shame that Versace's sister was such a butterface (everything looks good on her but her face), and other deep artistic topics.

There was another museum we wanted to go to, but my GPS wouldn't recognize the address, which was annoying. So (are you sitting down?) Lucy got out a MAP and LOOKED AT IT, then told me where to drive. And we got right there. I do not understand people with this skill.

After, we had a good lunch involving sandwiches consisting of turkey, brie, and green apples. We discussed how our sandwiches at home were boring. Then Lucy told me how to make green beans with fatback and it took me a long time to realize she meant real green beans that you, you know, snap. In my mind, all beans come out of a can.

I eat them with Keith Richards all the time when we have the munchies.

Obligatory Henry shots, back and better than ever

I am going to a museum today, with one of my TinyTown friends. If you are just tuning in, that made no sense. In a nutshell? Marvin and I lived in Los Angeles. Then one of us said, "Hey! Let's move to North Carolina, to a town of three thousand people! That won't be jarring!"

It was. We lived there eight months before we caved and moved to Greensboro. And now we go, "TinyTown was kind of fun. Why'd we move?" I do not know what to tell you about Marvin and me.

Anyway, since I will not be here today I thought I'd regale you with some Obligatory Henrys, because you are all complaining that you haven't seen him. Honestly, with you people and the kvetching.

Henface

I took this one by accident but I like it. He was on my lap.

Hentude 
There's our boy! And who's getting a big-cat snarky attitude? Is it our Hen Hen Hen? And yes, that is a 3-D book of Hollywood nudes. I do not know what makes them Hollywood nudes, as opposed to other nudes. I have never looked in that book. We have it because Marvin is a perv. In every dimension.

Bigboy

Okay, I know I should not talk about my own cat child, but he's a little awkward right now, with those child-bearing hips and tiny pinched head. He's got a bit of a bowling pin look going. But I'm sure he'll be stunning again in no time.

And in case anyone's on Team Winston…

Madwin
You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Then who the hell else you talkin' to?

I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you read my blog anyway.

Hey, remember in June and July when all I did was torment you about voting for me in that ding-dang Funniest Blogger contest? Well, yesterday they officially announced the winners! And I wasn't one of them!

So, there you go. I did not win. My blog sucks. If you want to write in and tell me I was robbed, go right ahead. However, don't say anything bad about any of the other contestants, because I have made friends with some of them, and I know one of my friends won Funniest Blogger, and her blog totally rocks.

But THANK YOU SO MUCH for voting for me! I was excited to get into the top five! You guys should win an award for best faithful readers and voters, is what I say.

In other news, since it was just recently my wedding anniversary with the charming and not-at-all-obsessed-with-Gatorade Marvin Blueberry Gardens, I added yet another picture to our Anniversary Memory Book and decided to share my photos with you. The lucky reader. Of a loser blog. Good job!

Someone got us this Anniversary Memory Book for a wedding gift, and it has been the gift that keeps on giving. Every year, you add a current picture, and on the other side of the page you write where you lived and how much rent you paid, where you worked, things that happened that year, etc.

We have made a point of taking our photo exactly on our anniversary each year, and you will see that Marvin has been equally faithful to his shirt choices each year. Because no one gets a charge out himself more than Marvin.

Wedding

Okay, he never repeats this outfit. Seeing as he rented it. This would be our wedding day, Sherlock. I am sorry to tell you that I have recently begun looking at our wedding photos and thinking, "My God, we look young." I think I kind of have alcohol face here. I drank a lot more than I do now, and to me I look bloaty. And what was with the whole Where the Red Fern Grows action around our cake, there? I never noticed all that…growth until this second.

YEAR ONE

Yearone 001

Hey, look! Alcohol face has a beer! What you may enjoy about these photos is my consistency of hair color. I do not know why I keep thinking that red will be a good idea. I am seldom correct on this. Anyway, in case you were curious, we took an antique train ride for our anniversary. It was cool.

(As an aside? All day today I have been smelling Agree shampoo. It comes and goes. Why do I keep SMELLING it?)

YEAR TWO

Twoyears 001

Ah, now see, during THIS year I was training for a marathon. Look how slim and bloaty-free my face was. Note Marvin's shirt from year one to two. Also? I made him stop wearing those Tom Sawyer shorts shortly after this. (We had moved into that cool apartment I told you about. The one with the annoying Italian guy upstairs. Look at the corner cabinet! How I loved it there.)

YEAR THREE

Three 001

I look all curvaceous. And a little jowly. At least Marvin has changed his shirt. I remember that the annoying Italian took this picture.

YEAR FOUR

Four 001

Ah! The return of the shirt. Yes. Also, what's more flattering than the we-are-taking-this-photo-ourselves double chin action that Marvin's got going? I guess we hated the Italian enough at this point that we couldn't ask him to snap us.

YEAR FIVE

Five 001

Our cleaning lady took this picture, in her living room. She lived across the street. We eventually became really good friends, which did not bode well for her cleaning my house, because she felt perfectly justified in yelling at me about what a slob I was. At least I change my shirt.

YEAR SIX

Six 001

See what we did there? We had ME put on the shirt. Why does Marvin look terrified? Look at how much light we got in that apartment. Did I mention it was my favorite place, ever? Did I mention the Italian ruined my life?

YEAR SEVEN

Seven 001

Okay, truthfully? We HATED EACH OTHER for most of year seven. I'm not sure why. We moved, as is probably evident from the modern look of the room behind us, to a house in Burbank. This was the spare room, and it was the room where I started blogging. Good times. I mean, other than the part where we hated each other. (I would like to point out that although the stripy shirt is gone, Marvin has pulled out year three's shirt.)

YEAR EIGHT

Eight 001

And he pulled it out again. So to speak. I love love love my hair in this shot. We still live in Burbank, and if you look carefully, you can see the mountains in Griffith Park behind us.

YEAR NINE

Nine 001

So, yeah. This was the year we didn't spend any money. When some of you got to know me via Bye Bye Buy, my first blog. LOOK HOW BAD MY HAIR LOOKS because I am no longer gettin' those $300 haircuts and 9 million dollar color jobs. This was some red from a box of L'Oreal. Not a good advertisement for them. Now I miss that house in Burbank.

YEAR TEN

10years

We went back to the place we got married. I am cracking up, because I just noticed Marvin's shirt in year 10…

YEAR ELEVEN

Weareold

And this year's shirt. I know he didn't even mean to do it this time. Oh, that's funny.

Well, that sums us up. Eleven years. One of them crappy. But not as crappy as this blog, apparently.

My pretty teen years

Before I delve into my pretty teen years, my friend "Gertrude" asked if I'd put up a photo of her kid hula-hooping (and I am kissing my own self for putting Gertrude's name in quote marks like that, but it's not her real name, see, and I was kind of trying to let you know, but instead I became "one" of those irritating "people" who "quote" things that weren't said. Or "said."). 

When I was in Michigan this weekend, Emma was hula-hooping as though she came out of the womb doing it, which, ow. And I think "Gertrude" asked me to put a photo up here because then she'd actually see my photo.

Emma 001

Seriously, have you ever watched Jimi Hendrix play guitar, and it looks like his hands are barely moving? Having watched 848303858 documentaries on him, I certainly have. That is what it looks like when Emma hula-hoops. She barely moves, yet she keeps that thing going like a champ. Then she gets exasperated that the rest of us can't do it. We're OLD, Emma. Old. There is no hula left in our hoops.

But speaking of my pretty teen years, which I know I haven't yet, y'all know I am obsessed with My Topography's blog. Today she talked about what she was like as a teenager, and then asked all of us what WE were like. So I told her I was gonna steal the idea for my blog.

When My Topography was a teen, she was deep and beautiful and went around reading Dostoevsky. I was shallow and frizzy and went around reading Real Romance magazines in my grandmother's bathroom.

16 001

This pretty much encapsulates me as a teen. Basically? If you were a parent? You did not want your kid anywhere near me. I was a terrible influence on everyone. My best friend in high school was a very, very nice person. Her poor unsuspecting parents used to go to their cottage all summer, and they'd always tell her, "Honey, we'd feel better if June stayed with you while we're gone."

Okay. Had she stayed by herself? She'd have listened to show tunes and maybe canned a few tomatoes. She was 78 when we were 15. But with me there? There were boys waiting on the corner for her parents to leave, with 85 cases of beer and maybe some illegal substances, as well. (Like 85 cases of beer is so legal when you're in high school.)

I always had a boyfriend, although the actual person playing the part of my boyfriend varied. All my relationships ended dramatically and terribly. Then two weeks later I'd be all up in someone else.

Other than my best friend, most of my friends were boys. So most nights (and I did go out as many nights as I could, although I was CONSTANTLY GROUNDED for some infraction or another) it was my sensible best friend, ridiculous me, boyfriend du jour, and three or four guys. I know that makes me sound like a slutuanian, but really most of my male friends really were just friends.

I got terrible grades in high school. Really atrocious. Nevertheless, I was on the yearbook staff and was an editor for our newspaper, and I was on student government and managed the boys' swim team. I really enjoyed being busy, a thing I detest now.

I was voted class clown in senior year. Oh, and I absolutely loved high school. Despite all the terrible and dramatic breakups and getting a failing grade in money management class–a thing Marvin brings up often, seeing as he pawed through my stuff once at my mother's and took my failing-grade-in-money-management report card HOME and put it on our fridge.

So, yeah. That sums me up. A few people who read this blog knew me in high school, including one of my 3294304727494 boyfriends, so if anyone has anything to add, feel free.

Okay, now tell me what you were like when you were a teen. Would you want to relive it? I'd like my 16-year-old butt back, but that's about it.

Tallulah Blueberry Gardens. Mixed breed genius.

I told Tallulah she is going to dog day care today, and she is standing here beside herself.

Talu

I did not know that dogs really understood so much of what you say. I thought people were just imagining it when they said their dogs knew words.

Now, if I try to discuss quantum physics with Talu? She is lost. Mostly because I don't know what quantum physics are. Or is. But if I say, "You're going to dog day care today!" she tilts her head and acts the fool until we leave.

She also knows "walk," of course; "go outside;" "dog park;" and "Obama." I do not know why she knows "Obama," but she tilts her head when we say it. Maybe Obama took her for a walk once and I didn't notice.

How bad do you think Obama wants to just go walk a mutt, with no one bothering him except that pesky Pugle who always barks at us? I'll bet he'd just like a DAY with no 59 Secret Servicemen and no 930 cameras.

Other than the nod to the president, did you notice all the other phrases she knows seem to somehow benefit her? Why doesn't she understand, "Sew mom an evening gown" or "Go pick up my prescription at Target"?

Tallulah used to go to dog day care every day, in case you are keeping close track. But with Marvin's…abbreviated…summer salary, we have had to pare it down. Still, she is abstaining from eating my books and shoes when she is here during the day, so we must be sending her enough. Or perhaps it's the four-month-old kitten that keeps her amused.

Oh! You know what I haven't done in awhile? I haven't linked you to the web camera so you can watch dog day care. Last time I did this, it was a big hit. If you're lucky you'll see poor Oscar, the dog in a wheelchair. I have told Lu to be nice to Oscar and play with him sometimes. I do not want to raise an insensitive dog.

I will sign off now and take this creature to her fancy resort. Remind me to tell you about the time I took my cat to the psychic. I do not know what to tell you about my weird animal things.

You haul 16 tons of hair, and what do you get?

So now it's a normal day and I have to go to work. Carp.

I forgot to take my digital camera to Michigan, so I had to buy a disposable in a rest stop somewhere in West Virginia. Naturally I stampeded to Target last night to get my pictures developed, I thing I don't think I've done since 1948.

I got this picture back. I mean, among others. I didn't just take one photo and then get it developed. Because that would be sad. At any rate, here it is.

Fam 001

That's my Aunt Kathy on the left, me and my hair in the middle, and of course mom, over there. Aunt Kathy got me that necklace and earrings, and as you can see she bought some for herself, which is kind of what she does when she buys a gift. But here is the point of showing you this photo, other than that we can marvel over mom's sparkly "group therapy" apron with the wine glasses.

What I am trying to point out to you is, you guys, I am not that tan. Seriously, when am I gonna get tan? Not to mention my fear of melanoma. I mean, I work full time, which is more than I can say for Whitey and Vampira, up there. HOW PALE ARE THOSE TWO? I look like I just got back from a cruise to Boca. Which, I don't know how you'd cruise from Greensboro to Boca.

Plus, are we the trio of fake smiles, or what?

That's all I have to say about that.

Also, do you like how I said I was gonna put an Ask June question in every one of my posts last week and then I never did it once? That's me. Reliable June. My word is gold.

All right. I have to go to WORK now. Have I said carp already? Oh! But before I go, it is important I impart this valuable piece of information to you. When I was on the road, I experienced the Nilla Wafer Cakester. Have you had one yet? Oh, mother of pearl, they are good. I would imagine the Oreo Cakester is just as ridiculous. Go get one now. They're good and good for you.

Okay, bye. I missed everyone's blogs for the last five days. Does anyone have any good gossip I should go look at?

Eleven! Eleven! Eleven. (Only Marvin will get that. And I will be really annoyed if he doesn’t read my blog today.)

Before I forget? Because you know I will? Comment of the week goes to Sharone. Do you think she pronounces her name "Sharon" and the "e" is silent, or is it pronounced Share-OWN? Things like this burn in my brain.

I am in my mother's basement. Everyone has a basement in Michigan; when I moved away from Michigan I realized basements are not commonplace everywhere else. Which makes me wonder where the rest of you made out with your boyfriends in high school. Cause it was where we all gravitated without hesitation.

I just remembered something funny about my friend Iain, the one who is moving to North Carolina soon. He and I were always friends in junior high and high school, and he would regularly come over and break things in our house. He was just kind of…gallumpy and accident-prone. My mother liked him anyway, and he always fixed what he broke.

The point is, we were in the basement one day and my mother shouted to me that we had to go. Or maybe she even did the "We're eating now, Iain" thing she would do to oh-so-subtly indicate he had to go home. Sometimes he ate with us, but he was on the swim team and therefore ate, like, 75 whole chickens by himself, and I think sometimes my mother simply hadn't done the enough-for-an-army cooking that Iain required.

Anyway. Iain shouted up to my mother, "Pam, give us a break. We're down here talking about my sex life." And my mother said, "Oh. Well, good. It won't take long, then."

Really one of her best comebacks.

So, I saw my Uncle Jim and I am glad I did. He and my Aunt Sue and several other family members came for dinner. Also, I got birthday presents, among them the lawn edger I asked for, because I am turning into my uncle, who is similarly obsessed with his yard looking perfect. He gave me some keeping-your-yard-perfect tips and now I want to drive home immediately and commence to edging. I do not know when I became this person.

Oh! And the other thing I forgot to mention yesterday, because I was so swept up in being in Akron, is that you know on my birthday? How I was just stuck in the car for nine hours, just me and my GPS? You know how I really had nothing to do in there? I FORGOT TO LISTEN FOR THE CLICK AT 4:52! HOWWWWWW could I forget? I was a CAPTIVE in my car!

Crap.

I will sign off now, because no one else can enter the basement due to my hair taking up the entire square footage, but I did want to say happy 11th anniversary to Marvin. This is the first anniversary we have spent apart. He did send the prettiest pink flowers you ever saw, which officially makes up for the whole ants-in-the-bed incident the other night.

So, thanks for marrying me, Marvin! You are a braver man than most! And hey, is that an ant on you?

Who knows what tomorrow brings

I'm in Akron! I know! And it's JUST like how they show it in the movies and on post cards. I have dreamed of seeing Akron for so long.

Now everyone who is reading this in Akron hates me. Really, though, Akron people, I am on my way to Saginaw, Michigan, which is equally as glamorous as Akron. Do you wonder if I'm being paid by the Akron today?

The reason I am on the road without Jack Kerouac is because I decided I wanted to see my Uncle Jim for my birthday. Of course, there's the part where I live TWELVE AND A HALF HOURS from my Uncle Jim. So I kill kill killed myself to get all my work done yesterday, and I left work at noon and started driving.

I wanted to take my GPS system up to the room with me and make out with it. That thing ROCKS! And Marvin set it up so it talks like a British man, so it's like I'm driving with Barry Gibb. My father said having a GPS is like being on a road trip with someone who only talks when it's important, and they always know what they're talking about.

Every time Barry speaks, though, it startles me. I forget he's in the car. But because he's British, he says "motorway." "In 800 yards, bear left, then take the motorway." Oh, it's lovely.

My goal was to drive straight to Saginaw, but hi. After nine hours, I started to get a little logy. Even though I kept calling my friend David and singing bad songs from the radio into his voice mail. I sang "Love Lifts Us Up Where We Belong" and also "Saved the Best for Last" by Vanessa whats-her-name. The Miss America who was naked.

So here I am, in a business center at Holiday Inn, typing all of you. And how nice was it to check my email and get 9,835,021 happy birthday wishes when I'd spent my night alone in a Holiday Inn? Well, alone with my GPS. If you know what I mean.

And let's discuss this Mary Todd Lincoln computer. Really, computer, slow down. Enjoy life. Cause I don't have to GET ON THE ROAD or anything.

So you'll probably get this post on 2015. I had better get driving again. Thank you all for the comments yesterday! Special mention to Faithful Readers Lee and Jan, who stalked me on White Pages.com and called me at home! You two kill me. Well, not literally. Yet.

Okay, be talking to you from my mother's equally fast computer.

Sing with me now, this is 40 (four)!

I think I used that stupid title on one of my other birthdays. What can I tell you? I lack originality.

So. Yeah. I'm 44 today. FORTY-FOUR! At least it's one of those repetitive-digit years. I think those are cool. It was cool when I was 11, it's cool today.

Marvin surprised me with some extra gifts today.

Arf

Who hearts himself? He got a particular charge out of the "Clarence Clemons: His new knees ROCK" headline.

He also got me More, the magazine for women over 40. I will be really annoyed if I end up liking it.

I once made fun of my friend Stacy for reading Oprah magazine, and then as soon as I opened it up, I just loved it. Seriously, do you read that magazine? You know how you read those decorating magazines or gardening magazines, and you feel a sort of desperate need to revamp your entire living space? Or you read a beauty magazine and you want to spend $80,000 on plastic surgery THAT AFTERNOON? When you read Oprah, you just feel like, oh. Everything's great in the world! It's a rewarding periodical, I am not kidding you.

At any rate. I will not be officially 44 until 4:52 p.m. Because that's when I was born. And you know I kind of get perky right around then? When I freelanced, my most productive time was 5 to 9 p.m. I came up with a theory that people born in the morning are morning people, and vice versa. Don't you hate it when people say "vice-a versa"?

My grandmother once told me that if you're really quiet right at the time you were born, you can hear the number clicking over in your head. In retrospect, I think she said that so I'd shut the hell up and stop screaming around my birthday party. But do you know I can never remember to listen for the click? I always think, Crap. It's 6 p.m. I forgot the click.

It's also Ginger Rogers' birthday today. I'm certain we'll call each other.

I guess that's all I have to say about my birthday.

But he’s got highhh hopes, he’s got…

Marvin has been up since 5:00, but the second he heard my alarm, he DASHED into the bathroom, and now I am sitting here in great discomfort typing you. Remember when I thought it'd be charming to live in an elderly house, even though it had only one bathroom? Yeah.

And while we're on the subject of Marvin, last night Tallulah and I crawled into bed first, because it's important for Marvin to putter around the house needlessly for several minutes after he's announced he's going to do something like (a) leave or (b) go to bed. So, Lula was pawing at her face, and I found an ant on her just as Marvin walked into the room. "How'd she get an ANT on her?" he asked, appalled. "Well, she just came in from outside. I assume one got on her there," I said.

For the next half-hour, was Marvin having Vietnam flashbacks at all, with the slapping imaginary ants and leaping out of bed and throwing back the sheets and turning on the lights because he thought there were ants?

 "I can HEAR them," he said. "Can't you HEAR them?"

"I hear Henry purring."

"No, there's a WHIRRING sound. You can't hear that whirring sound?" he asked. "Those are CICADAS," I insisted. But no. Marvin said it was a different whirring. That the ants were communicating that it was okay to get in our bed.

I eventually got up and slept in the guest bed. After a few minutes, Tallulah joined me. We slept marvelously. There's a rubber-tree plant in the other bed this morning. Don't know why.

At any rate.

I know I have brought you pain. I know I have brought you tears. I know I have brought you earth-shattering ennui and that slight twitch in your left eye, but now? I bring you buttons. Courtesy of DCRMom.

Before Marvin got panicked by ants, he sat here last night and did code-y things for each button. He said you copy that code to put these on your blog. Or on your bog, if you have one. Or even on your clog.

All's I'm saying is don't come crying to me to ask how to put these up, as you know I have no idea. Is there anyone smart out there who can leave directions for others who hate computers as I do? Thanks.

Team-june

href=”http://byebyepie.typepad.com/”><img src=”http://byebyepie.typepad.com/photos/buttons/team-june.jpg”>

Team-fran 

href=”http://byebyepie.typepad.com/”><img src=”http://byebyepie.typepad.com/photos/buttons/team-fran.jpg”>

Team-henry

href=”http://byebyepie.typepad.com/”><img src=”http://byebyepie.typepad.com/photos/buttons/team-henry.jpg”>

 

Team-winston

href=”http://byebyepie.typepad.com/”><img src=”http://byebyepie.typepad.com/photos/buttons/team-winston.jpg”>

Team-lula 

href=”http://byebyepie.typepad.com/”><img src=”http://byebyepie.typepad.com/photos/buttons/team-lula.jpg”>

Team-marvin 

href=”http://byebyepie.typepad.com/”><img src=”http://byebyepie.typepad.com/photos/buttons/team-marvin.jpg”>

Methuselah checks in.

Someone at work today said, "Oh, it's your birthday this week? Forty-six, right?"

He was not kidding. He is a really nice guy. I hate everything.

Also, I went to the fridge today, because I actually GO to the fridge now that Topamax is in my past, and maybe by "Forty-six, right?" that guy at work meant my pants size. Anyway I saw this:

Thirsty

And also this:

Hydrate

Note the special Christmas mayo peeking over the edge to say hi. But that is not the point. The POINT is, do you think Marvin is staying hydrated? I mean, is he SPRINTING to his summer delivery boy job? Is his office in Africa? Is he making special deliveries to the Sahara? Which I guess is in Africa–right?–so that joke was kind of redundant.

What I also enjoy is the variety Marvin brings to his life. The vast abundance of Gatorade flavors he's selected is really something to savor and behold. Did I ever mention to you Marvin prefers a plain doughnut? And his favorite ice cream? Vanilla.

This does not say much for the exotic goddess that is me, does it? I am the plain, 46-year-old-looking vanilla doughnut in the display case of Marvin's life.

When I was a kid, there were times that my Aunt Mary babysat me, which in retrospect is kind of frightening because although she SEEMED like a grownup at the time, in reality she would have been about 19 and fully in charge of me. Which, you know, so was my mother, seeing as she was a ripe old 18 when I was born. The fact that I did not eat a dry cleaner bag by the time I was 1 is a miracle.

At any rate, Aunt Mary and I used to head down to Dawn Doughnuts and get us some doughnuts, which is probably shocking information, and a little smackerel to drink, too. Then we'd head to the park that turned out to be right across from where I got married, but of course I did not know that at the time, seeing as I was four and not into dating three-year-old Marvin just yet.

My POINT is two things. Which was a really poor sentence. The first point is I would always, ALWAYS pick the holiday doughnut right in the front display case. Like, if it was near Easter, I'd take the doughnut they'd decorated with pink and green jelly beans and little plastic bunnies on a stick and so forth. Or the 4th of July one with red-white-and-blue frosting. Whichever doughnut was the gaudiest, most drag queen, Liberace-thinks-it's-too-over-the-top-looking doughnut, that was my selection.

I really have not changed much at all. Cause I am so gettin' the Hello Kitty fried cake or whatever.

The other thing is that when it came to selecting my drink, I often went to the cooler, there, at Dawn Doughnuts. And do you remember those drinks they used to sell in those opaque plastic containers, and you peeled the tin foil top off, and when you drank from the top of the container it kind of cut your lips?

I got one of those drinks once, and when we got to the park and I'd peeled off the top, I took a drink and announced to my Aunt Mary, "This tastes like armpits and wires."

My Aunt Mary thought this was hilarious, and she told my mother later, who similarly thought it was a hoot, and the crux of this story is that I peaked at four. That was it for me. I bowled them over in 1969, at the Objibway Island park, there. It was my Budokan. My "I see dead people." My Come On, Eileen.

Oh, well. I may have dried up, but I have plenty of Gatorade.

I will not make some tired joke about hanging chads.

In case you were worried sick about who decided to be on what team, I have the results as of this writing.

Koda06[1]

Team Marvin = Six votes. I would be on Team Marvin because he just gave me a GPS for my birthday. Because I am going to be forty-effing-four this week.

I'd go to my car and use it, but I keep getting lost before I get to the driveway. BAH!

Mylu

Team Tallulah = Nine votes. It is not possible for me to love anything as much as I love this doggie. Look, she even has a Panama Canal forehead wrinkle like I do.

Roofus

Team Winston = Twelve votes. He is shouting it from the rooftops. I like how the sun glints off his whiskers. It's not as cute when it happens to me.

Hen

Team Henry = Twelve votes. You do not need to notice all the pet fur on the floor. Also, I think if Tallulah got a vote, she'd be on Team Henry, too. You think?

Fracies[1]

Team Francis= A shocking 18 votes. Here's what he thinks of his teammates. This picture is probably six years old. Before he found his fighting weight.

Me 001

Team June = Twenty votes.

Yay. I beat Francis. Which is kind of a dubious distinction. And truthfully? I would walk around with silver garland on me all the time if I could get away with it. Also? I totally remember that nightgown.

You can keep voting if you want. The only thing you get is the comfort of being on a team, and a button, once DCRmom makes them.

I certainly hope no one expects me to tell them how to put said button on their page. Because, hah!