Random acts

Do you find your dog crunching things all the time and you have no idea what they're eating and you just pray to God it's not glass or an ornament hook or a cat's leg? Or is that just me?

Anyway. I hope everybody's back and done NOT READING ME now. This was a dismal weekend for reader numbers. Stupid holidays.

All of our family members are now back in their respective homes and it's just Marvin and me again. Marvin went to Costco last night to buy enormous containers of things in an attempt to save money, and all this has led me to do is make fun of our groceries. "Do we have any ketchup?" I'll ask, holding a bottle of ketchup that's taller than me.

"Hey, is there any apple juice?" I'll ask, leaning into the fridge, where there are 7,000 bottles of apple juice.

How fun must it be to live with me?

Today I must proof proof proofread that statistics book, as I am about 60 pages behind where I wanted to be with that thing. I was entertaining, you know. And I don't just mean I was asking about ketchup bottles.

Is there anyone out there who's done with their Christmas shopping? Because the rest of us would like to hate you.

Oh! But that reminds me! I have an idea for Christmas!

I have a lot of friends. I am not just saying that so you'll envy me, with my friends and my clock radio and the clock in my car. I know. I have it all. The REASON I mention I have a lot of friends is I could end up spending $10,000 at Christmas if I exchanged gifts with everyone. So a few years ago, instead of exchanging that shitty candle one more year, we all decided to exchange good deeds instead.

For example, one of my friends put a quarter in every parking meter down one street, so no one parking would run out of time. Once I paid for the bagels for the threesome behind me in line. I don't mean they were having a threesome in line. You know what I mean.

Any kind gesture will work. You could tell someone she looks pretty even though she never really does. You could open the door for someone schlepping a baby stroller through a door. Whatever.

What I am proposing is we have kindness exchange right here on this blog. Let's say you are Faithful Reader Culpepper. Culpepper comments here and says "I'm in!" and then the next person says, "Okay, Culpepper, I'm in with you!" and the two of you exchange a good deed. You each write back here and tell me what your good deed was by December 25.

Does that make sense? Tell me you're in and note the person before you to exchange with, and I will make a little list here on my blog.

Are you in?

***UPDATE****

Please don't leave any more "I'm in!" comments here. Go to my lastest post and tell me there, so I can match you with someone.

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Expecting. To smell everything.

My friend Renee is pregnant again.

Renee is my LA friend, but right when Marvin and I moved to North Carolina, she and her husband moved to Maui.

Yes, Maui.

Yes, I hate her too. And now she's knocked up on Maui.

I met Renee in 2000, when she and I were both training for a marathon. We were in the slow group, which is also how I met my high school best friend; we were in the slow group in gym. My lack of athletic ability has garnered me many similarly uncoordinated friends.

At any rate, those of us training for this marathon met in the park every Saturday morning. Each week we'd run one mile farther than the week before. Because we were the slowest runners on planet Earth, we were sometimes there, you know, four or five hours at a time. You can imagine how you kind of get to know a person this way.

In fact it was funny, because our running group, our slowest-runners-on-planet-Earth running group, noticed a trend in our running conversation, so to speak. For the first eight miles of the run? We'd find ourselves talking about food. "Man, doesn't a Big Mac sound delicious," one of us would say, or, "I had the best lasagna last night." "Oooo! Tell us about it."

Food food food. Those were the first eight miles.

Mile nine? Sex. I am not even kidding you. I do not know what physiological changes occurred in our bodies, but someone would say something crude and I'd go, "Wait, was that mile 9 back there? Yep. Here we go."

Anyway, by the time we ran the marathon, Renee and I had sweated, chafed, bled, cried, gotten nauseated, cramped, and giggled together every weekend for six months. I remember running one morning, the sun barely up, and I announced, "I had to pull a dry cleaner bag out of Francis' butt this morning."

It was true. I did. I was getting dressed in the dark, putting Glide on my important parts so I'd chafe less, when I heard, "swish swish swish." Poor Francis, who loves him some plastic, had eaten and passed a dry cleaner bag, and it was sticking out the other end. I didn't know you are ABSOLUTELY NOT supposed to just pull it out, because you could pull out random intestine parts, but pull it out I did.

I told this story and Renee had to stop running, she was so bent over in hysterics about poor Francis and his dry cleaner butt. Right then I knew we'd be friends forever.

The part where she's pregnant again is exciting and also melancholy, because I am responsible for her first pregnancy. You know, sort of. In that I bought her a pregnancy test. Otherwise she'd have been one of those women who go to the bathroom one day and come out with a baby.

In 2005 Renee and I were going to go to the movies, so I drove to her house to pick her up. She was in the backyard, putting dog toys outside. "The dog's toys smelled so bad!" she said, gingerly tossing a bone. 

Reneeandme 
A picture from the day we found out Renee was pregnant.

When we were in line for the movie, I said, "You wanna split one of those big bags of M&Ms?" She said no and I told her not to be so LA. "No," Renee explained. "I want to eat one of those big things of M&Ms all by myself."

And you know she did? Before Alfie was even done with his first girlfriend. Yes, we went to see Alfie, the Jude Law remake. That's how good of a friend she is, letting me drag her to that thing.

Now, if you are delicate? This next part is a trifle crude, and I am sorry, but this is what happened, so you can skip this paragraph and stampede to the buying of the test if you want. But after the movie? We went to a popular candle store, let's just say, and all the candles had a certain…odor…to Renee. "What is this one, Vagina Oyster Stew?" she bellowed across the store, holding it out at me. And why do people want you to come over and smell something bad WITH them? "Is this Vanilla Vulva? Blueberry Butt-ass?" I mean, she was obsessed.

"Come on, Renee," I told her. "Let's get to the drug store." And even though she was married and in her 30s, she made ME buy the test. Like they were gonna talk about her after she left or something. Like the people at Yankee Candle Store weren't already abuzz about her.

At any rate, her daughter Charlotte is four now, and about to have a new baby sister. Yes, I know that Renee is having a girl, even though she's like a month and a half pregnant. I told you I am good at this stuff.

Renee said she was SO MAD that she had to go into the drug store herself over there in Maui, and she purchased a pregnancy test and some stickers–STICKERS!–to throw the cashier off, there.

What did it was she recently entered a house and it smelled like cat pee, butt, mold, and cheese. And she said the SMELL has STAYED in her NOSE HOLES until this very second. And it's making her sick and all she wants is Perrier and Bubble Yum, which is all she wanted last time.

I really do not see what is so alluring about being pregnant. Blech.

Anyway, please join me in congratulating my slow-running, candle-scent-announcing, living-on-Maui friend Renee. I think June is a lovely girl's name.

Old paint

Candles

Okay. That holiday’s over.


Hellooooooo, Christmas!


Tree

Totally made my Jewish mother-in-law help me decorate today. I know I have sent her straight to Jewish hell or wherever. I don’t even know if Jewish people have hell. Do they? Nice knowledge of my husband’s religion.


Obviously, as you can see from the hot mess in front of said tree, I am not done decorating. We put in a good two or three hours but then my mother-in-law wanted to shop. Plus there was that whole going-to-hell thing.


Papersxmas Marvin’s grading papers in his new Christmassy dining room. I like how he has his collar up like it’s 1982. Did you layer an Izod under that shirt, Jake Ryan?


Anyway, my mother-in-law wanted to go to Ulta, which yeah. Okay. I can stand to go to Ulta. Then she wondered if I might want this bag.


Bag Okay, hi. It’s PINK and it’s SPARKLY. Yes. I think I’d be okay with this bag.


Then she showed me what was inside the bag.


Hello Hi. I’m physically aroused. LOOK AT ALL THE MAKEUP! You all need to go to Ulta and get all this makeup. Maybe every day next week I will put a bunch of it on and do a new look for my blog. Won’t that be exciting? Slutty June. Nude-colors June. Smokey-eyed June. Smokey Bear June. Grizzly Adams June. I won’t Nair.


Anyway, all I want to do is sit around and put on makeup, but all the relatives are coming back over in 19 minutes. We’re eating leftovers. I know, right? I know how to entertain.


Did you shop today? Did you abstain? Are you trying to shop locally this year? I am. I am trying to support Greensboro, is what I’m trying to do. And I will do so painted up like a two-bit floozie.

My Thanksgiving, by June Gardens Gardensalad GonnaEatThat Cutoff Cash. Oh, just say June.

I hope y’all are satisfated. Which is a combo of satisfied and sated. I know I am. In fact, I could drift right off. I promise we are not about to have a dream sequence.

Cleanitupbitch
I did a lot of cleaning before the family got here. Henry supervised. He was a tough critic. As someone who bathes his harble with his own disgusting tongue, I think he has his nerve.

Fam Finally, everyone arrived, and quickly messed up everything I spent 250 hours cleaning. From left is my stepfather Harry, Marvin, my father-in-law and my mother-in-law. They have names, but I call them mother-in-law and father-in-law. Marvin made them watch some movie which started out with a sex scene involving all of us having to see Phillip Seymour Hoffman naked. Which really, really, reminded one of a raw turkey a little too much.

Momscookin

Technically, I was supposed to be making the dinner. Here’s mom, making the dinner.

Someonesinthekitchenwithlula

Oh look, here’s everyone else making the dinner. Hunh. Look, I was PHOTOGRAPHING. For POSTERITY. Note Lula bein’ all helpful. You have never seen such shameless begging.

Minebone

Finally, I gave Tallulah the enormous bone I bought for her, so she’d obsessively chew it and leave us the Sam Hill alone. It worked for several hours. Every time I came near her to photograph her, she was all, “GET HELL AWAY FROM LU! MINE BONE!” Like I’d want that spitty bone.

Closetedfran Our less social animals spent Thanksgiving in the back of the closet. Come out of the closet, Fran. Your family is here for you. Let me pet your–ow!

Henrythanksgiving If you’re gonna have Thanksgiving with me, you just have to accept the fact that a cat’s gonna sit on me at the table. Look how happy everyone is to be associated with me.

Zzzzz
Afterward, Henry slept it off.

Lulahelpits420 Since it was 4:20, everyone rushed right out to smoke a doob. You know how they are. This just left Lula and me to clean up. “Lula help? With her lips?”

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

The girls

Remember yesterday? When I said I was swamped and couldn't post?

I lied.

I mean, I really do have people coming today and I have cleaning and cooking and proofreading to do, but that's not why I didn't post. I didn't post because I was busy being nervous.

Listen to this.

Last year I got my first mammogram ever. I waited three years past when you're supposed to because I was scared. My cousin Maureen, who was an aerobics instructor, really thin, didn't drink, didn't smoke, died of breast cancer at age 44. But last year I sucked it up and got a mammogram.

And they found something. I blogged about it last year. I am so freaked out by it still that I can't even make myself go back to those pages and look at them again to give you a link. It was November 24, 2008, I think.

What they found sounded really bad and really serious. My doctor told me to prepare for the worst. Those three days–the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Thanksgiving–from the time I got the initial call saying, "We need you to come back in" until I finally got seen again? Three worst days of my life. Without a doubt. I have never been so scared.

So then when I went back for the second test, the day before Thanksgiving last year, the doctor said, "Oh, you're fine!" and he said I had to come back in six months.

Well.

There was a 2% chance that when I went back in six months that I'd really have something wrong with me. Two percent! Guess who spent those entire six months concentrating on the 2%? I Googled, I went on Mayoclinic.com, I read horror stories.

And then when I went back? I was still fine. But guess what? I was so freaked out by then that I was convinced they had missed something, and when I went back THIS year for my regular mammogram that they'd tell me oh, darn. There really WAS something wrong with you.

So last week I went back again. For my regular mammogram. They told me if anything was wrong they'd call me Monday. You can imagine how slightly…keyed up…I was on Monday. I shopped for Thanksgiving and called home 750 times to see if they'd called. All day I thought about it.

Finally, at 4:00, I figured I was in the clear. I was watching Francis bathe Henry, and I was smiling, and feeling peaceful. And the phone rang.

It was the mammogram place. They found something…ON THE OTHER SIDE.

All year I have been obsessed about what they found on the left, and now they had something on the right?

They told me I could come in next week, but I insisted they get me in sooner. So today? Just like last year? I had a day-before-Thanksgiving appointment for a diagnostic mammogram. I mean, really? Again? Seriously?

But here's the story. I'm fine! I'm really fine this time. I am a Birad 2 and not a Birad 3, as I was last year, which means I don't have to get rechecked in six months. They are 100% sure it was nothing.

When the doctor came in to tell me, after I burst into tears, I had so many questions for her, she asked, "What is your background? In what field of healthcare do you work?"

"I am a hypochondriac," I told her. I guess I'm really good at it. I've been given a lot of fodder for it this year.

So, happy Thanksgiving, y'all. I for one will be even more grateful than I was LAST year.

Wouldn't it be hilarious if I choke to death on the wishbone now?

‘N

Halleluiahenry

I have several odds and ends to clear up today, both on this blog and in real life. Or odds 'n ends, cause you know how I like that. Especially how the apostrophe goes just at the front, like it is short for "an." Or "in." Like "and" is such a big word, you have to abbreviate it in the first place.

Have I already told you about how I used to work for a newspaper, and I wrote up all the wedding announcements? While I was 22 and had NO POTENTIAL FOR MARRIAGE in sight? I didn't even WANT to get married when I was 22, but every girl in my hometown was giddily rushing in to that paper to turn in her announcement, and you just know they felt sorry for me for being single single single, and they probably blamed it on the spiral perm.

The POINT of my story is someone once wrote "mother-n-law" and "father-n-law," etc. throughout the entire little announcement. You have no idea how badly I wanted to call her fiance and talk him out of that marriage.

So, first of all, Faithful Reader Leah is the comment of the week. Yeah, I KNOW I usually award it on Saturday. Shut up. Go click on This Week's Special if you want to see it.

Also, WHAT are we gonna read for book club? When we pick a book, should we set our meeting date for the first week in January, lest people be overwhelmed with holiday-related things?

Okay, I know there was something else I was gonna tell you, but Henry is driving me BERSERK and I have to leave this room before I snap his little kitten neck. I got him a dangly toy and he is obsessed with it. When we are not dangling and leaping, it has to go in the closet so Lula won't eat it. So Henry is in that closet right now, chirping and trying to climb to his toy. Poor Henry.

If I think of whatever I was gonna say, I will come in and update this. I have to go to the grocery store and get all the Thanksgiving food now.

Hey, how do you cook a turkey?
 

Mr. Potter

Yesterday, I schlepped out to a pottery festival because my friend-since-seventh-grade, Peppy Whitemore, told me to meet him there.

Peppyatpottery

Peppy Whitemore? In 1980? Told me to look at a girl from our high school when she was in the shower after gym? I had to report back to him every detail.

And I did it. For free. So you can see the odd hold my friend-since-seventh-grade Peppy Whitemore has over me.

Peppy lives sort of close to me now, and this pottery festival was a good meeting point. Plus also, he has a girlfriend I wanted to meet.

Coolpurse
His girlfriend is a purse. Isn't that sad?

No. As usual, I went out with someone who didn't want to be photographed. But she let me take a picture of her cool purse, and apparently she collects these. This purse is encrusted with gems, can you tell that? Oh, it rocked.

Anyway, hearted the girlfriend. I think this is the first time I have met a girlfriend of Peppy's, because normally he just hit on all my friends for his dating needs.

Peppy and his purse wanted to find a butter dish, and seeing as there were 9295750210385759394.05 pieces of pottery spread out over 900 miles of tents, one might assume you'd find a slew of butter dishes.

Pottery
But could my pal Peppy Whitemore have been any more fussy about which butter dish would suit his highfalutin' I-can't-believe-it's-not-the-right-butter-dish butter needs? This one was too weird. This one was too small. He was like Goldilocks.

I would like to point out that my mother is breaking out in hives thinking of Peppy at a pottery show. Peppy Whitemore broke ev.ry.thing. in our house from 1979-1984, although to his credit, he fixed all of it. I know my mother thinks he is still…energetic…but I assure you, mom, Peppy did not break one single thing. Including the bank, since he never did find a butter dish.

Mewpottery
I told this potter I'd link to her website if she let me pose. So click here!

The best part was that they had pottery painting in the back, which if you think about it is just like going to Color Me Mimes or whatever those pottery-painting stores are that I have never gone to. Nevertheless, it was exciting. Peppy's girlfriend The Purse and I each painted some pottery.

Painting
See how I am using purple paint, there? Yeah. I painted that whole ding-dang thing that color and it came out white. I hate everything.

Were they also having a pickup truck convention?

And by the way, it was like 50 degrees out. Who has become light in her loafers about remotely cold weather? You'd think I didn't grow up in Michigan.

So that's my story of what happened yesterday. It's not the first time I've been around a lot of the pot with Peppy.

Oh. Hi, mom.

Romeo and Juliet. Except for the part where they like each other.

Marvin and I are meeting a friend at 10:00, so I asked him to set the alarm at 8:00 so I could get my bouffant in working order and such. When the alarm came on, Marvin made every song into something about the dog, who he was holding, and who kept looking at me with pleading eyes.

HimomFirst he sang, "I'm alive! And my dog shines on me today. I'm alive!"

Then, "I will follow Lu if she'll follow me, all the days and nights that she knows will be…"

I got up during, "I never wanted, I never wanted to love a dog, the way that I want to love you."

Marvin tends to set the alarm to radio stations he doesn't want to listen to, so he'll have the impetus to get up. His ridiculous love of the dog is all I needed to bolt out of bed.

And speaking of the animals, which I'm sorry to tell you is probably all I'll ever do now that I am home with them and they are my coworkers, we had animal drama last night.

As you know, I am proofreading a statistics textbook, and I have so far worked on it for 6.25 hours and have not even read page 1. Or page i, for that matter. So I'm sitting on my pink chaise lounge, which by the way was originally owned by Loni Anderson, and I know you are impressed by my access to the big stars, and this sentence is the longest sentence in the history of time.

When I work on my pink lounge chair, Francis ALWAYS sits on it with me. That's just the way it is, Walter Cronkite, and 13 years of us doing that is not going to change just because some dreaded DOG now loves me too.

I have not really worked in that pink chair since we got Lula, so she was not abreast of the situation, see.

So I'm proofreading, Francis is on my legs, and Tallulah walks in.

Tallulah and Francis are not what you'd call pals. They are Hatfield and McCoy. They are Sarah Palin and Obama. They are Captain Kangaroo and the ping-pong balls. Remember how Bunny Rabbit would make those ping-pong balls fall from the sky? And they really went to town naming THAT character, by the way. Bunny Rabbit.

So they hate each other. Is what I'm telling you. When Lu was a puppy, Francis let that poor creature know, in VERY POINTED TERMS, that she was not to mess with Francis. Tallulah goes to great pains to look at everything in the room except Francis, just to avoid a confrontation.

But there I was, hour after hour, sitting there with that…that…enemy, and Tallulah couldn't stand it. She wouldn't come up near the top of my chair to let me pet her. She was too afraid. So instead she did this:

"Rrrrrrrrrroooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmmmrrrrrrrrrr"

for about an hour and 15 minutes. And every time she started a new "Rrrrrooooo," Francis would say, "Hsssssssssssssssssss! GrrrrrrOOOOOOOOORRRRrrrrrr" back.

So that was relaxing, and not at all like I was trying to proofread during an est seminar. I really have no idea if people chanted during est meetings. I kind of just wanted to say est.

Anyway, finally Tallulah's deep and abiding love for me, and also her jealousy, overrode her fear of the Fran. Which is saying something, because even I am a little afraid of the Fran. But she slowly, and not all all distractingly (which is certainly a word), got on my lap.

Drama
Looks comfy, doesn't it? And so easy to read around! And I wasn't at all nervous that there'd be a dog/cat fight eight centimeters from my face.

Believe it or not, we all worked like this for at least an hour. I worked on statistics, and Fran and Lu worked on who was coming out on top in this eternal struggle.

Okay, I am leaving now. Am done talking about my pets.

Shiny
I'm too shiny to talk about.

Wicked dog

So, tomorrow I am getting a textbook to proofread, which is wonderful and everything, but of COURSE I am getting a huge, difficult TEXTBOOK on STATISTICS to proofread right before Thanksgiving, in which 394858 of my relatives are coming.

Okay, four. Four of my relatives are coming. Still.

So I have to think about cleaning this house, cooking Thanksgiving dinner–and y'all know I am Chef Tell, over here–and getting a HUGE textbook proofed, all this week.

Oh! And a friend from LA is coming to NC, and she is driving 90 miles to see me on Tuesday. So now I have to clean the house, plan for Thanksgiving dinner, and read a huge, difficult textbook MINUS ONE DAY.

I decided to gather my proofreading supplies so that I can be all ready tomorrow. So maybe I can spend, like, 10 hours working and get ahead of myself.

When I'm proofreading, I need my giant mother dictionary; the Chicago Manual of Style (heretofore known as the CMOS); my pens; a notebook so I can record any anomalies I see; the APA style guide; and my copious checklist that I have, reminding me of everything I need to do when I proofread these books.

(For example? First? I have to look at every.single.page. to make sure the pages are all there. Then I have to look at every.single.page. again to make sure none of the pictures are missing. Then I have to look at every.single.page. again to make sure the chapter headings are correct. And no, you can't do those things all at once. You're liable to miss something.)

Next time you say, "Oh, I love to read! Maybe I could be a proofreader!" please see the above paragraph. Because that's about 10% of what you have to do to proof a ding-dang book.

At any rate, I commenced to gathering, and I found everything I needed. I even found that checklist of stuff, which was miraculous, because I haven't worked for this company in a year and a half.

The only thing missing? Was the CMOS. And, you know, the CMOS is the style guide we use to proofread these books. It's kind of, oh, I don't know, INDISPENSABLE!

You know how I color coordinated my books last year, and the CMOS is red. I carefully perused each red book. Then I looked over at the orange books.

Shelf Shelf2 These pictures were taken with my old camera last year, and let's pause and appreciate how we do not have to tolerate blurry photos anymore.

Anyway. The stupid book was NOT on the shelf. I started looking in other rooms, in closets, in chests, in the ATTIC. By the time Marvin got home, I was livid.

"Don't even TALK to me," I said, throwing 8,459 music-related things out of a drawer. Cause you guys. Marvin has an illness. Really. He CRAMS every drawer with crap. And carp. Seriously! 

Marvin helped me look, because he knows he makes it difficult to find things, with his stuff-in-every-crevice habit.

And girl, we did not find that ding ding ding and also dang CMOS.

I even called Tank to see if I'd loaned it to him. He seemed to feel just awful that I hadn't.

Finally I said "FINE, then. I am going to Barnes and %$#%& Noble." Marvin went with me. Because what's more fun than traipsing in the rain with your furious wife when she's going to buy a style manual she KNOWS SHE ALREADY HAS?

I stomped in there, and you guys. There was some sort of Wicked convention for children at the Barnes and $^#$% Noble. I am not even making this up. There were easily 45 million children there, half of them dressed like witches, and they were CHANTING in UNISON on a stage. The entire place was packed. And not one person working there could help me find my stupid CMOS, because they were busy with the devil worship or whatever was going on over there.

FINALLY, in the very smallest corner of the store, I found the CMOfrickingS. It was FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!! FIFTY-FIVE! Oh, I was mad. Then we got into the world's longest line, like we were standing to get onto the teacup ride at Disneyland, because EVERY CHILD IN THE CITY OF GREENSBORO was purchasing Wicked-related objects.

I was gonna have a stroke.

After spending every dime I had and saving the bag so I could beg with it tomorrow, we just pulled into our driveway when I said, "Hey. Didn't Tallulah eat the Chicago Manual of Style?"

"Why does that sound familiar?" Marvin asked.

I stampeded to my blog.

Cmos

December 4, 2008. Sighhhh.
 

Cute. And also humpy.

Am I a bad cat parent because I photographed our male cat getting humped by our female dog, rather than rescuing said male cat?

Pushpushinthebush
Look at the resigned expression Winston has. Another day, another violation.

And let’s talk about how much I like Tallulah’s new collar, courtesy of Faithful Reader Tanya. It really complements this erotic moment.

Since I am home now, I have all the time in the world to witness the ludicrous behavior of my animal companions.

Bite

Yeah. That would be Winston chomping the white butt of poor Henry. Who leaped on and baited Winston for about an hour and a half before this scene.

Henfight See?

And speaking of animal pictures, I read an absolutely fascinating article in Vanity Fair this month. Does anybody else read Vanity Fair? Anyway, it was this whole theory on why we are a culture of cute all of a sudden.

In Japan, they have been into the cute for many, many years–it’s called kawaii–and they theorize it’s a response to WWII. And since 9/11, we have gotten into it too. The Mini Cooper is wildly popular, as is the Volkswagon Bug (which I own). The most popular websites are those cute animal sites, like Lolcats. And even animated movies meant for kids, like Up, are getting made a lot more frequently, because so many adults go to them. And you don’t need to tell me how grownups are into the Hello Kitty.

The article even pointed out how when someone dies, people now leave teddy bears and balloons at the site. 

Isn’t that interesting? We really are getting all cute obsessed.

Can you think of other examples? I am riveted by stuff like this.

At any rate, my good news is I am going to get a book to proofread tomorrow. So you’ll be able to hear me complain about that soon. In a cute way.

Today is a birthday. They’re smoking cigars.

Whenever Marvin gets ahold of my iPod, which sounds like it might be dirty but isn't, he puts the following song on:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tf79oyWWtkQ

In case you are at work and can't jam out to my tune, there, some of the lyrics are:

I am drowning
There is no sign of land
You are coming down with me
Hand in unlovable hand
And I hope you die
I hope we both die

You know, I read other women's blogs and they talk about how romantic their husbands are.

Yeah.

At any rate, 43 years ago today Marvin was born. His grandmother used to tell me that they brought him out and he looked right at her with his blue eyes and it was love at first sight. She told me that 2390583060294 times, and now here I am telling all of you.

But that's kind of how I felt the first time I saw Marvin, except he wasn't pooping himself.

As far as I know.

When Marvin and I first started dating, he was 29. Well, that's not true. When Marvin and I first FIRST started dating, he was 19. But you know what I mean. Unless this is your first time reading this blog, in which case you probably hate me by now and you're all, "Who's Marvin?"

For Marv's 40th birthday, we had a Mt. Everest theme party, because he always said he'd climb Mt. Everest by the time he was 40. He…didn't.

I hung up a Tibetan flag, not knowing we'd be the proud owners of a part Tibetan spaniel some day, and I also found icicle decorations and fake snow, and I served Swiss Miss, Mountain Dew, Arrowhead water, and a big cake shaped like a mountain, that my friend Renee made. Oh, and snow cones. Heavens, I loved myself.

Oh! And in the back yard, because it was LA so it was hot out, we had a tent with Mt. Everest documentaries playing inside (where'd we get those?), and also a dummy lying face down dressed in climbing clothes. Because do you have any idea how many dead climbers you have to schlep around when you climb Mt. Everest?

This year I am making a big dinner in honor of this special day–because you know what a chef I am–but that's what Marvin wanted me to do so I am. See, if you go around not cooking all the time, then you can get away with turning cooking into someone's birthday gift.

So, happy birthday, Marvin! I am happy to spend another birthday with you. I don't hope you die. I don't hope we both die. You still look young, and I am totally Barbara Bush, over here.

You blue-eyed bastard.

 

 

You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog. With gas.

I would have slept in later, but Tallulah had gas. You know how they sell those alarm clocks that just flash brighter and brighter light at you? They could totally make a Tallulah-ate-part-of-my-barbecue-last-night alarm.

So I never did get any work yesterday, which naturally makes me think I will NEVER get any work and we will die impoverished and have to eat the cats. Someone I am Facebook friends with asked me to proof some of her stuff and then balked when I actually wanted to charge her for it. "Oh, no, that's okay. I can just do it."

I mean really, what are people thinking? Oh, she's jobless now! She has time to take her 12 years of experience and work for me for free!

At any rate, I did take my 12 years of experience and head on out to the Old Time Pottery yesterday, which if you live in the Greensboro area you MUST go, and I got me some apothecary jars for my eggsaladgere shelf in the bathroom. And no. I am not taking pictures of it. Because you know what? This may come as a shock, but once 67 people start commenting on all your stuff? It gets kind of irritating.

I got FOUR jars for $20. Heart me. I put soap in one, QTips in the other, and I forget what's in the other two but it's cute cute cute. Faithful Reader KW in Atlanta was the one who suggested it. What would we all do without Faithful Reader KW in Atlanta?

Then finally, I ended my day in an Elvis way. Every night when I'd drive home from work, I'd pass this little bar-and-grill-looking place:

Brightwood
Places like this are right up my alley. You can tell it's old and been there forever and probably has characters in it. I always wanted to stop in one day after work but was kind of nervous about being a woman alone at what could be just a bar. I didn't want to end up like Jodi Foster on the pinball machine.

Fortunately, one of my coworkers was curious about the place too, and she told me Elvis had eaten there once, in 1954! Well, then I was obsessed. I HAD to go there. The coworker and I planned three different times to meet up there after work and every time our plans got screwy. So finally last night, even though we no longer work together, we met there.

Junewelvis
You know how I have that friend, the other June, and she hates to be photographed? So does THIS friend, and I know you think I go out and do this stuff by myself and I just pay waitresses to take my picture.

But get this. Our waitress last night? WAS THE WAITRESS WHO SERVED ELVIS IN 1954! Seriously! She has worked there for FIFTY-NINE years! And I know I am capping all the time but COME ON! She works there seven days a week, 12 hours a day. I am not making this up.

Elvis
Here is the booth where Elvis sat. He ordered a hamburger with lettuce and tomato and a glass of milk. He also ordered an orange cat.

And everyone I've told so far says, "He didn't order a drink?" but you know, Elvis wasn't a big drinker. He was just a pill person.

Anyway, I'm glad we had this talk. If you're ever in the Greensboro area, after you go to Old Time Pottery, get over to the Brightwood Inn because it is way cool. I mean, knotty pine! Elvis! Milk! What more do you need?

Maybe I should start blogging for the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce.

At last

Wouldn’t it be hilarious if I called in sick to my old job right now?


So, here I am. Day one of being unemployed. If anyone DOES send me work today, I won’t get it until at least 11:00, because that’s 8:00 in Los Angeles. So, sigh.


The first thing that happened was I heard Marvin getting ready, which usually means my alarm will go off any second, but today I burrowed further into the blankets and Tallulah flapped her lips across my calf a little more and we both went, “Hmmmmmmmmmmm.”


Then I slept in…till 7:30! I know, right!?


After I got up from that long sleep, I shot off a terse email to ITT Tech. First of all, how much do you want to bet that one of the Ts in ITT already stands for “tech”? It’s probably the Institute of Technological Technology Tech, right? But that is not why I wrote them. I WROTE them because I saw a commercial this weekend where one of their graduates says “theirselves.”


Theirselves!


They are an EDUCATIONAL institution and they have someone saying THEIRSELVES in their ad?


You can imagine how this set me off.


You know I never hear from any of these companies that I email. They just see a bitter old school marm somewhere alone with 17 cats. In other words, they totally picture me. And they do not take me seriously. I DID hear from the Vermont Country Store when I wrote them because they said they were open “everyday.”


Yes, I did tell them “I wear my everyday clothes every day.” When DON’T I say that?


Anyway, they wrote me back and for that I will be forever grateful. They have not changed that “everyday,” however.


My other big plan for today is to do something with our new shelf in the bathroom. It is called an etagere, and do Marvin and I go to great lengths to mispronounce it at all? The “ate a girl,” the “Etta James,” the “Edmund Fitzgerald.” Who needs a hobby? Is it Marvin and me?


Anyway, here is what Marvin did to the shelf so far.


Etta 
Yeah, hi. When they call it the library, they don’t really mean it, Marvin. Plus, are we going to plant geraniums?


Shelf Fortunately, I have this ridiculous shelf of stuff that I can transfer to the edamame shelf. I was thinking I could just put pretty things in the shelf. Like that attractive bottle of eyeglass cleaner.


The Polydent is to clean my sexy night guard. I know someone’s gonna stare at all this stuff and ask. I remember when I showed you my fridge.


Anyway, that’s what I’ve got planned for today. Yoga is on FitTV at 8:30, so namaste.

Don’t be tardy for Tank’s party

Last night my friend Tank, the miracle angel baby, had a party. It was his birthday. So I guess you could say he had a birthday party.

See how I can put two and two together, there?

Tankpartay

Here is me and my cleavage on the way to Tank's party. Why didn't Marvin tell me I was flashing the girls so much? And I'd like to thank him for shooting me at this angle, so you can enjoy my lack of jawline.

Anyway, the invitation said no gifts, but I ignored that. However, this bag is from Anthroplogie, and I assure you I did not get Tank a frilly blouse or perfume from Anthropologie. His gift was totally from Target.

At any rate, Tank has many interesting friends and a really cute dog named Shug and we had a good time. Except for the part where Marvin gets sleepy at around 9:30. I made him stay until 11:11. That's what time it said in my car clock.

I just wanted to brag that I had a car clock. I know you can't even stand how advanced I am.

Did I ever tell you the story about when my father was on the painkiller? We were both living in LA and he called me to say he wasn't feeling right and he dashed down to the ER. Which, you know, I go to the ER like four times a year, but for him it was really a thing.

I can't even remember what was wrong with him now, but it was not serious enough that they kept him, but they'd given him a strong painkiller and they said he had to leave his car there and I had to drive him home.

"I'm FINE," my father insisted, and he did live like a quarter of a mile from the hospital. But I said let's just do what the medical professionals say, and we could get his car later. "This is ridiculous," he grumbled. "I'm perfectly okay."

We got him checked out and into my car, and in my car is a temperature thingie and the clock.

"OH MY GOD! It's 840 degrees out!" said my father, who was getting in the car at 8:40 p.m.

Fortunately, I did not leave Tank's house in that particular state of mind, and I knew it was 11:11 and not 1,111 degrees outside.

Oh, but before I go, how on earth am I going to award a comment of the week after everyone made me pee my own self with their "Hulk married his mom" comments? So, this week's special (go click on it at right, there) is a compilation of all the beautiful things we had to say to Hulk. About marrying his mom. Cause we're all nice that way.

Gone. At 10, 2, and 3.

Well, now I'm kind of sad. Turns out? A lot of people really liked me at that job. Even the woman whose first-edition signed book was eaten by Tallulah? Came to my going-away lunch and came back again on my last day.

I walked with a group of people at that job, every day at 10 and 3. Kind of like the old Dr Pepper logo. Is anyone old enough to remember it?

Dr%20Pepper%2010%202%204

Do you know what the 10, 2, and 4 stood for? It was time people most frequently drank Dr Pepper, according to their research. I have never been one of those soda-in-the-morning people. But there's always time for Dr Pepper, in my book.

Do you like how I cannot possibly remain on the topic at hand? Which was my walking group? You can imagine the joy they got dealing with my ADD twice a day.

Anyway, I told my fellow walkers that they had to call me if any kittens showed up again at work, and certainly next year when the baby geese are born, I need to find some way to sneak back there. Oh, how I loved working at a place that had geese.

They told me I had to walk every day at 10 and 3, and I will ask Tallulah how she feels about that schedule.

Believe it or not, I tried to keep working right up till 5, but people kept coming in to say farewell, which was nice. I worked with 432 people, and I  sincerely liked almost all of them.

When I left, people offered to help me carry stuff out, but I had been packing for a month and all that was left was my framed picture of dogs playing poker. Because nothing says Take Me Seriously like a framed picture of the dogs playing poker in your office. (I gave back my gigantic Wicked Queen mirror to its rightful owner. Y'all are obsessed with that mirror.)

As I was putting the picture in my trunk, a huge formation of geese flew overhead, honking their goodbyes.

Whose stupid idea was it to quit my job, anyway?

Hon
 

You guys don't ask for obligatory Henry pictures anymore, now that he's a catten. When he was a teensy thing you clamored for shots of him all the time. And look down there–there's Frannie's head. Aw. Poor Fran.

Also too, that horrid mess on the table back there? It was all our bathroom stuff because we're redoing the bathroom. Messes like that? Make me very tense. Marvin does not feel keyed up about stuff like that, so you can imagine how well we get along.

And what a stellar idea, to redo the bathroom when I'm quitting my job during the worst economy ever.

Speaking of my job, today is my last day. I feel bad, because yesterday I got a bunch of emails from people where they told me how much they like me. But maybe it's like when someone's dead and you only think about the good times.

We had my goodbye lunch–my celebrity roast, as someone at work called it. I got chicken fried chicken again. Why the high cholesterol?

Then when I got back to the office, I started deleting any un-worky emails, which Marvin says they can still see anyway. Whatever. At any rate, I went through my Sent file and even though I usually had no context, I deleted things that clearly hadn't been word-related. And I have to tell you I cracked myself up.

I wrote things like, "That Bible! It's full of the quotes!" Okay, WHAT had I been talking about? I also liked, "I'd write you back but I'm missing a finger."

Hunh.

Then I really cracked myself up with, "I had no idea I was in a probationary period. I'd have stopped bringing my gun."

Really, it's kind of a miracle I lasted at that job for as long as I did.

I must go get ready to look super cute for my last day, so everyone regrets that  hottie like me is leaving that place, but before I go I have to tell you something about Hulk.

Faithful Reader Hulk's mom got married yesterday. I know it was a Thursday. It was a low-key affair at the courthouse. Hulk took a few hours off work to witness.

When he returned, he emailed me. He had to sign the paper saying yes, I really saw this person get married she is not lying, but unfortunately? He signed the wrong line. And now kind of technically? Hulk is married to his mom.

Oh, how this slays me. This is one of those times you should be glad you're not friends with me in real life, because oh, how I'm not gonna let this drop. 

So let's all congratulate Hulk on his wedded bliss, shall we?

Okay, talk to you when I'm jobless.

Dr. Dreee

The other day, I went on Facebook–and what is the world coming to, that people are BLOGGING about what they say in FACEBOOK? It's like when talk-show hosts interview each other.

Anyway, I announced to the world of Facebook that I think Dr. Drew is hot. I thought I was alone in this, but it turns out I am not. I always think the things I think are my thoughts alone, except for the part where I thought everyone's mouth got hurty and numb when they ate grapefruit, and then it turns out no. It only happens to people who are allergic to grapefruit.

At any rate, people were validating my feelings on Dr. Drew and it was marvelous, until my annoying cousin Katie got on and wrote, "Who's Dr. Drew?"

Don't you hate people who don't watch TV? That old boyfriend who wrote I Dated June here a few weeks ago, and I am too lazy to link to it because I have things to do, also does not watch TV. Once I told him I was getting a pedicure at the same place Courtney Love gets her pedicures and he said, "I have no idea what any of that sentence meant."

Oh shut up and stop being so intellectual.

Anyway, I don't watch a lot of TV, but I watch enough to know who fricking Dr. Drew is. Which is what I told my mother when I was relaying this pertinent story, and she said, "I don't know who he is, either."

Is my entire family Amish? Geez. So I tell her how he's probably late 40s, gray hair, bookish, yet with these broad shoulders, and he seems very sensitive, like he'd sit around and listen to your crap all day.

My mother says, "That doesn't sound like most rappers."

…..!

She thought Dr. Drew was a rapper. And then even better, she said, "Oh, no, that's that Dr. Dreeee, isn't it?" She pronounced it "Dreee" with a long 'e.' I'd like to remind you that last year she said "Caney" West, as well.

I told her I had to blog about this and she said she wasn't going to talk to me any more if all I did was make fun of her on my blog. But sometimes you just have to ruin family relationships for things like this. If my people would just watch TV like everyone else on the planet none of this would happen.

And in summation. You may not have noticed that yesterday evening I linked to a blog so you could watch dogs greeting their soldier owners, and if you didn't notice it, scroll down to the next post. Cause busy. Have things to do. But on that same site I found a fascinating link to another site.

This man took a photo of himself every day starting in 1979 up until the day he died in 1997. He dies of a brain tumor, I think. But the whole thing is interesting, really. Just to look at his friends and his New York apartment and his life. So cool!

Here's his website with all his photos. And here is more info on him. (And if my cousin Katie reads this, those blue words are where you click to see the sites, hon. Y'all think I'm being patronizing, but I had to tell her this one other time. The whole media thing is not her bag, apparently. But she used to snowshoe to work.)

Because it’s Veterans Day, and because there are dogs involved

Go look at this blog. It's video after video of dogs greeting their owners, who are returning soldiers. You will weep.

And really? Not one cat was happy to see their owner? Yeah. Probably not. See the dramatic video of a cat giving a soldier the silent treatment for a week.

Wherein June uses the F word twice

It is raining like the Dickens here, whatever that means. I can't see a ding-dang thing when I drive in the rain. Would everyone like to come along on my drive to work?

And YES, since 6,000 of you have asked, this IS my last week of work. Faithful Reader Hulk asked if I was incorporating the phrase "f*** yeah" into as many things I proofread as possible this week. But you know what? I am still over there looking desperately for errors. Why? If I miss any, I'll be gone and I won't get into trouble. Yet I am doing my usual bending over the page sweatily all day.

Also too, tomorrow they are taking me to lunch. It seems like you really don't deserve to be taken to lunch if you quit a job. "You're abandoning us! Here's some free food!" I got to pick the place, so naturally we're all going to the place where they have Coke in teeny glass bottles. Nothing but the fanciest for me.

I have a statistics textbook to read in a week or two, so that's good. If anyone else needs anything proofread, you know where to find me!

That's pretty much all I have to say about that. Except f*** yeah.