Goodnight, Gracie

It's the end of the year, and time for my annual here's-everything-that-happened-this-year veeedeo. I hope you like it. I only tormented everyone with it 7,2394,t95945,#(49403 times. "Do you like this version?" "How 'bout this one?" "Is this song good?" And by "everyone" I mean Ned.

Happy new year, y'all! Thanks for spending 2012 with me.


Bourbon Tango Foxtrot

For some reason, Ned and I were in a deep discussion about Evil Knievel today. He asked if I'd ever seen his SON, who apparently does the same asinine leap-over-big-things crap that Evil Knievel did. "So I was watching this show, and there's Stan Knievel or whatever…" Ned began.

"Wait. His son didn't go for some dumb stage name like 'Evil'? He just stuck with Stan?"

"I don't think his name is really Stan," ruminated Ned. "But I know he just has a normal name. …What'd you want him to call himself? SeeNo?"

SeeNo Knievel. Who adores his own self? Is it SeeNoFunnyness Ned?

In other news, I'm making cookies today and need to get ahold of some bourbon. As you do. My boss at fake work heard about bacon bourbon chocolate chip cookies, and I thought he was gonna DIE of happiness, so thrilled was he that such a thing had been invented, so TinaDoris and I are making some for him and suprising him tomorrow, even though I took the day off.

Dear Boss at Fake Work, In case you're reading my blog, SURPRISE!!!

My POINT is, I was supposed to get several of the ingredients, and the stupid liquor store is closed on Sunday because we're in the goddamn Bible's stupid-ass belt. Am I going to hell for saying that?

"I didn't get liquor," I called TinaDoris. "I forgot the Sunday thing." We decided to call some of our drunk friends to see if they had any. We only need two teaspoons of it. I called Peg, my next-door neighbor, who is not what you'd call a giant souse of a person. I rarely have to roll her inside late at night while she's singing Wild Irish Rose or anything. But when she has parties there are a lot of liquor bottles available along with barf germs.

Guess who will never forgive Peg?

My point is, I called and after a few rings the phone hung up. I called again, and this time it picked up and STAYED picked up, but no one said anything. "Hello? …Hello?" I could hear talking, and realized with a start that PEG WAS AT CHURCH, and her CHOIR ROBE must've started ringing, and in a panic she probably just picked it up and hit "Talk" so her robe would stop ringing in front of God and Presbyterians. "I NEED BOURBON!" I yelled into the phone.

Okay, I didn't. But that woulda been funny. Looking forward to Peg's yelly call to me in a bit. And in case you were concerned, TinaDoris found a bourbon friend. Yay! Liquor!

We're making said alcohol-laden cookies at TinaDoris', because even though she is 27 or whatever, she has a fully equipped kitchen that doesn't have roach carcasses on the seldom-used cookie sheets. And by the way, last night poor Ned came over to help me cram my giant white tree into the tree bag, then lug it up the attic steps, which was fun and relaxing, and then I said, "Oh, can you get the dead cockroach out my Tupperware drawer?"

Which, you know. I have NO FOOD in my kitchen. Why ANY cockroaches even VENTURE to my kitchen is beyond me. I think they're all suicidal. Anyway, Ned got that dreadful thing out, and I THREW AWAY all the containers in there, which, don't have a fit. They're all just leftover butter things and lunch meat holders and crap like that. Mostly Marvin used them when he made his lunch. I just COULD NOT ABIDE the thought that that, you know, COCKROACH had been crawling over my stuff. See? Itching now. Ugh.

My POINT is, that was fun enough, and when I went to take all that stuff to the garbage, I saw the stupid idiot dogs had TORN APART an already scheduled garbage bag that I stupidly put on the deck to throw away later when it wasn't raining. So then in the wind and cold and dark of night, Ned helped me gather trash strewn all over my yard.

You know what's fun? Coming to my house.

Afterward, Ned and I went out to eat and he had a salad. Everything is so topsy-turvy and unusual in my world.

I also began the arduous task of putting away my Christmas decorations. You know what I lack at Christmas? Sparkle.

I think my favorite thing I put up are these photos of my dogs visiting Santa. There's Talu, tall and proud.

100_2367edzul pee on santa

Could those pictures be more them? Talu's all, whatever. And Edsel is dying a thousand horrified deaths.

I only got 42 cards this year, and to those people who never send me cards, I say fuck you. Merry Christmas! Really, though. It irks me. Every year I sit here like an IDIOT, and get HAND CRAMPS, and write out 39495939939 cards, and you can't even be BOTHERED to send one little card back? I mean, throw me a BONE, folks.

I say that, and yet 750 of you sent me Christmas gifts and I didn't get any for you. I think this was the first year I got more Christmas gifts from blog readers than I did actual people I know. It's kind of weird when your blog about your life sort of BECOMES your life.

One faithful reader not only sent ME a gift, and my PETS gifts, she also sent NED a gift. She got him a WTF stamp that he can, you know, stamp on things. Last night we put it together using these crystal-clear instructions.

Then Ned whiskey tango foxtrotted 2012, a year in which he met me, so now I'm sort of pissed. Anyway, Ned said to be sure to tell the faithful reader thank you, and that was very nice of you, and so on. I have mailed thank-you notes to all y'all, so I hope you get them.

I had better go get my apron on and commence to cookie-making. If you've heard me sign off that way once…

Talk at you. What should my new year's resolution be, do you think?

Yes, my head still hurts. Thanks. In other news, full of hate and rage.

Would you like to know what did not go down smoothly?

100_2363Mustaches on the dogs. That's what.

I have to go. I gotta take down my Christmas decorations, go to work and fax something to the IRS (stupid Polish work. Don't do any work for Poland. I'm just telling you now), get groceries and then I have a hot date with Ned. Have I ever mentioned that I like Ned?

We've been debating what counts as our one-year anniversary. I started emailing with him on January 5, but we didn't have a date till January 19. I say our anniversary is 1/5, because I pretty much knew THAT DAY that I liked him and that I was doomed. He says 1/19 counts because before that we weren't, you know, dating.

What say you?

I'll talk at you tomorrow. Before I go, let's all look at my pal Not Wes.

IMG_3087Not Wes, Ned and I had lunch yesterday, at the lesbian taco place. I was once again unable to order the tuna taco due to my huge maturity. I still CRAVE the tuna taco, and someone please insert softball joke here.

IMG_3085Also, this is Ned's apartment building, but not Ned's apartment, because his place does not quite overwhelm you with its Christmas cheer. He has precisely one wreath on his door, and he only has that cause his mom got it for him. My point is, I admire this person's star and wonder where he or she got it. Not that I have anyplace as perfect and cute for a star like that. Still.

Okay, off to do my things. And in case you were worried sick, I got ANOTHER GODDAMN MIGRAINE last night. Also, thanks to all of you, but I have already tried Zomig, Imitrex, Maxalt, chiropractors, acupuncture, biofeedback, and I am a regular Botoxer, although I think they shoot it different places for migraine. Wouldn't it be great if I could get my Botox covered by insurance?

Anyway, the point is, I've tried it all. Yes, I tried nerve block shots and beta blockers and transcendental meditation and changing my diet and also jabbing forks in my temple. I hate everything. Except tuna tacos.

Insert Ellen Degeneres joke here.

Okay. Mature June. Out.

The post where we all become Mike Stivic.

For those of you who have fluffy cats, this morning Iris had The Problem under her tail. Y'all know what I mean. If you DON'T have a fluffy cat, consider yourself lucky. I had to chase her all over the place with scissors and Kleenex. Now she's huffily cleaning herself under the table.

Cats. They aren't just for tennis rackets anymore. But I wish they were.

I am going in to fake work late today, because I've had six migraines since Saturday.


It's been a bad week. I picked a bad week to stick hot fire pokers in my head repeatedly.

I get six migraine meds in one packet when I buy them. They are these little rockets you shoot up your nose. For some reason, when I opened the package LAST THURSDAY, there were only five in there, but if you'll recall I was not charged for these meds for some mysterious reason, so I didn't complain. Plus, there are occasions when stupid insurance won't fill the prescription, and in those events the pharmacist takes pity on me and gives me one little rocket to take home. I'm guessing that's why I got five this time.

At any rate, many migraines this week.

Last night, my book club had our annual fancy dinner at a highfalutin' restaurant. I got a small appetizer, because I be po', but it contained, you know, cheese. Which, hello migraine trigger.

At our annual fancy dinner, everyone brings small gifts for the crowd, and yesterday I brought the gift of a lifetime.

IMG_3066I brought mustaches.

IMG_3069How bad does my book club hate me, do you think?

6a00e54f9367fb8834017d3f422cf0970c-800wiI even made Sheldon, who already HAS a mustache, wear a mustache.

IMG_3065I gotta get to the waxer.

IMG_3063So that was fun, and a good time was had by me and my facial hair, and as I drove home I said, Oh CRAP. Another migraine. I mean, HOW MANY MIGRAINES does a person have to have?

And at this point, I've taken so many meds in one week that I'm not supposed to take more. I'm just supposed to TOUGH IT OUT and let it pass, because doctors are sadists. So I TRIED that, until about 9:30, when I would have liked to die, and then?



I WAS OUT. I WAS OUT OF MEDS. Oh, I was like a heroin addict, searching for meds in that house. Although technically I've never SEEN a heroin addict, but I have watched a lot of Dragnet or whatever where they're searching about for their fix in a desperate fashion.

I remember when my mother smoked, and she'd be out of cigarettes, searching the ash tray for any butt that was smoke-able. I was like that.

Finally I remembered that I keep a spare little rocket at Ned's. It was our brilliant idea after I woke up there with a migraine and he had to mincingly drive me home while I died in the passenger seat. So I called Ned.

No answer.

"@##&$," I said. I texted him, hoping to disturb him on whatever date he was on. For the record, I knew Ned would not really be on a date. But when you're sick and desperate and your ONE ANSWER isn't home, you think the worst. "I need my migraine med," I texted. He called less than a minute later. Poor Ned was having dinner with his father, and I KNEW he was doing that, but in my misery I forgot.

"June! I'm at [insert fancy restaurant name here]. I'll go right home and drive it over!"

Well, then I felt like a dick.

"No, no," I said, dickily. "I'll…be okay. Enjoy your dinner." I had no idea what I was gonna do without that rocket going up my nose STAT. And yes, I just said stat.

"I don't care WHAT you say, June. I'll call you when I'm on my way to your house."

I like Ned.

I lay there miserably with one of those packs you put in a cooler pressed to my throbbing head, and I want you to know all four pets were in the bed with me, which technically is sweet but I really wanted room to splay out and moan. Talu was lying with her head on my waist. Well, let's be technical. Talu was lying on the place where a waist should be, and Iris was lying behind me, and all of a sudden Lu stretched over and snapped at poor Iris.

Talu is a dick. Even bigger of a dick than me, forcing Ned to rush home during his dinner.

The phone rang, which at that point may as well have been a foghorn or a siren or one of those airy things people squawk at sporting events, so loud and painful was it.

rustle rustle rustle. bang clang clang. "I can't find it. Are you sure it's in my coffee table?" rustle rustle. "GodDAMMIT," said Ned.

Apparently I'd already used the emergency rocket supply. "What can I do?" asked Ned. "Well, first, you can stop making that rustling noise," I said. Good gravy that was loud. We decided to hang up, and if it got really bad I'd go to the ER with Ned, because if you are desperate, they shoot you up with something or other that's supposed to be marvelous. I've never had it. Once I was desperate enough to GO to the ER, by myself cause God knows where Marvin was that day. He was probably out getting engaged. Anyway, that was in LA and the wait was interminable, and once a kid barfed in the ash tray I left.

So that was my evening. I got through it with no meds, but it's still HAUNTING me a little so Ima go to bed and hope to wake up perfect. Which, you know, I am so close to that as it is. No problem.

I mustache you to be quiet while I recover.

In which June brings up whist. And Talu brings up everything else.

Wow. Is it ever busy at fake work. Hope I can get everything done.

So far I've had coffee, I've done my makeup, took all that off and did kabuki makeup, took that all off and painted myself silver like C3Po, discussed plastic surgery with Debb who hates margaritas, looked at my checking account, painted myself sad, and then finally remembered that I forgot to blog today so here I am.

I mean, why is the office even open, except yay, free coffee!

At any rate, I didn't blog this morning because I slept till 8:12. I have to be here at 8:30. So that I can stampede to all the work that needs doing this week, clearly. My point is, you can imagine how pretty I am right now, but at least my sad silver kabuki makeup looks good now.

I went to bed at 10:30 last night, and when I was doing so, I was all, This is great. Ima be so well-rested tomorrow. And then Talu was cuddled up against me, and the sun was making the bed warm, and apparently I hit snooze 258 times before I opened my eyes and tossed that dog clear across the room in my panic.

She doesn't feel well, Talu doesn't. Sometimes when they board at dog daycare, their stomachs are not what you'd call so fresh when they get home. The vet told me it's all the excitement. I mean, it's constant "other dogz! Lu see other dogz! der is NOTHER dog! dis gud." for two days straight. I imagine it's how my innards would feel after two days of Barry Gibb.

So last night I left hard-hitting busy fake work (my boss's boss, who is very cool and is riveted to the part where I have a blog and y'all send me presents and wants to totally get in on that action, came over and said, "June, you can knock off early. There's really nothing to do." "You…realize it's 4:56, right?" "Oh, crap. Is it? Well, enjoy those four minutes off!") and got the dogs, and man I was sleepy. So I fed everyone and climbed into bed for a little catnap, as my grandmother would call it. I was juuuuuust drifting off when


Talu barfed all over the bedroom floor. You know what's relaxing? That. That is.

When I left her today she was back in bed with her head on the pillow, but before you go feeling too bad for her, a faithful reader sent plush toys to both dogs, and whenever Talu saw Edsel trot by with his new toy, she managed to drag herself up to take it from him, so I think old Pitiful Pit, there, will be up and about and fully evil again in no time.

In the meantime, go look at this. This couple took a picture in front of their Christmas tree for 40 years.

I an only find eight of their photos online, which bugs cause you KNOW I wanna see ALL of them. This sort of thing is right up my alley. Am riveted by said couple and know I would have liked them. We could have all hung and played whist or something. Tiddlywinks. What'd 1912 couples DO? Did people even HAVE keys for key parties? Maybe the men went outside and looked at each other's horses while the women compared petticoats or something.

"My, that's some corset, Annabelle."

"Thank you! It's only made me faint four times this month!"

I think I need more coffee.

So, okay. I'll go. Everyone say things to keep me amused today. I've a feeling it's gonna be a long eight hours.

P.S. Just Googled it. C3Po is gold.


June Page

I just screamed home for lunch, so I will fill you in on as much "A Very Special Christmas: Bye Bye, Pie" as I can before I have to scream back. I just want you to know I am eating at my computer, sort of multitasking if you will, and Iris is standing with her delightful claws dug into my leg, trying to get to my food. A Very Special Iris Goes to the Pound.

IMG_3054she do NOT. to cut owt, mom.

Seriously. Doing something with that floor THIS MONTH.

On Christmas Eve, Ned and I went to Wilmington to spend the night at his mother's. Wilmington is a beach town and it's very cool, so that was exciting. I mean, more so than if Ned's mother lived in Cleveland or something.

A Very Special June Repulses Cleveland Readers.

IMG_3046Ned's mom on the beach. She said I could only put flattering photos of her on this blog, so am hoping she approves of this one.

IMG_3045This series of on-the-beach shots seem like we're all in an Ingmar Bergman film or something. I swear we were laughing and having fun.

IMG_3049See? My Panama Canal forehead wrinkle had a marvelous time at the beach. A Very Special June Needs Botox.

IMG_3052That night, Ned's mother made a pork loin and all sorts of side dishes I could never create, and YES, mom, I offered to help. I peeled an orange and helped set the table. Honestly, dinner would not have happened without me.

IMG_3053We opened presents and went to a movie on Christmas day–it was some movie with "Silver Lining" in the title, and it had Bradley Cooper, who I like. I recommend it. Go see…whatever it's called. The best part was this family that was arguing in the parking lot after the movie. Naturally Ned and I slowed down to catch as much of that as we could. We were all, "Christmas is over at THAT house."

On the way back to Greensboro, we had to stop at Ned's brother's house, because one of the kids had left his gift at Ned's mom's. It's a boomerang, and I said, "Maybe he DID take it home, but it came back here."

I am my own Christmas miracle.

If you were signing my yearbook, you'd be all, "To a sweet girl from third hour. Have a great summer, and good luck with yourself."

We also stopped at Ned's best friend's house, as she was having a little party and so forth. So what I'm saying to you is it took us seven hundred fifty hours to get home. But once we were at my house, Ned and I exchanged gifts with each other. He got me some perfume I forgot I asked for, and a REALLY COOL Eiffel Tower dish to hold rings, and a book and some earrings and oh! Faithful Reader Jo emailed him and convinced him I needed a Betty Page wig, because FR Jo is an oddball.

Photo on 12-25-12 at 8.31 PMRockin' out with my not-at-all-looking-like-Betty-Page-self out.

Afterward, we went out to eat, and we were all, What's gonna be open on Christmas? I said, "Oh, I know what's open! That pub where Tall Boy and his hot girlfriend had their first date one year ago today!" Yes, their first date was Christmas night. So Ned and I went there and who walked in but Tall Boy and Hot Tall Boy Girlfriend?

So Ned and I totally usurped their anniversary celebration by joining them and making them talk to us and so on. It was so cool to see them! I didn't have my DANG phone with me, so you're just gonna have to trust me that this really happened and I did not invent it as I do.

It's time for me to head back to work. I know everyone else on God's planet has the day off, but as a freelancer I don't work? I don't get paid. And I gotta keep myself in wigs. Apparently.

Merry Christmas, y'all! Aren't you secretly glad it's over?

Your good deeds revealed

It's Christmas. Kill me now.

Guess who is not in the Christmas spirit? Is it June?

Nevertheless, I asked all y'all to go out and do good deeds as you saw fit, and here they are. As for mine, I passed a Salvation Army bucket in front of the store, and despite my grave need for speed and also cash, I got money out my wallet and gave to the bucket. The sad part was that as soon as I did, a whole gaggle of people started singing Hark the Harold Angels Sing. Holy cats. It was like I put money in a very bad juke box.

Okay anyway. Here are your deeds.

Bought Starbuck's for the person behind me in drive-up twice.

At store the other day, paid for my $60 purchase with $100 cash. The harried clerk was interrupted during the transaction by her manager about break time. She handed me back $80 in change. I didn't notice until I went into Subway to get lunch. I took the money back and made sure the girl didn't get fired for shorting her drawer.

My coworker said her brother was bummed due to stupid ex-wife antics regarding the Christmas tree/ornaments and then saying to the children, "Isn't it a shame you don't have a tree at your dad's house?" Well, you may hate me for this if you want, but I get REALLY ticked when I hear of women who play the ass in a divorce for any reason (but she instigated it to live with her secret boyfriend), so I impulsively said – hey! I have a HUGE, impressive tree. He can have it. So I gave him my Christmas tree. He was thrilled.

MY RAoK was to donate to the Hoboken Shelter after Hurricane Sandy.

I was in line at Target and the woman behind me had two children who were not exactly "happy" to be in line! I let her go ahead of me as I remember those days well…God bless her!

My RAOK was donating to our neighborhood outreach program which is providing Christmas presents to two families this year. I also helped get the word out to all the neighbors so they could participate.

So far my RAoKs have been to re-adopt the family of 7 girls we gifted last year. Who needs help at Christmas time more than the grandparents who adopted these girls? I snagged a really cute IKEA bunkbed from a friend to give them. And my husband researched and found a great deal on a computer for them, as well. I will do the usual new socks, underwear, pajamas and a few family board games.

I did buy gifts for the orphanage our church supports. And one of the elderly ladies at our church was complaining that she wasn't able to read her Bible anymore so I found one with the biggest print I could find and had it given to her annonymously so she is happy about that. And the best part is that she is just beside herself trying to figure out who did that for her and it is a little bit of excitement in her life.

Moved a shopping cart, that someone left smack dab behind a truck, all the way back to the cart rack.

Dropped some money at the VA's donation table in the mall AND danced while I did it. The donation dude said I made his day.

Helped the lady that had a seizure in the Walmart parking lot – details on the Pie on the Face page.

Gave a customer at Tiger Direct our $10 off coupon because we couldn't use it.

 I don't know if this counts but my sister and I decorated our Dad's house and put up a tree for him yesterday. He was so pleased. I don't have my tree up yet, but this was better.

I prevented a woman from leaving a public restroom with her skirt jammed in the back of her pantyhose.

We live on a military installation in Germany. My daughter and I took homemade Christmas candy and fudge to the guards at the gate who stand out in all sorts of weather keeping us safe. They were happy!

My RAoK was to make cookies for my ungrateful, whiny coworkers.

I paid for the car toll for a guy behind me.

I went to the open space near my home and picked up trash obnoxious hikers dropped.

I have a GYN appointment today and I took a shower.

Due to our awful temporary work spaces due to our office renovations, I have one of our receptionists in a cube about 5 feet behind me (which is not at all annoying when I'm trying to concentrate to hear her answering 500 calls every minute and repeating every page 4 times because they always repeat pages twice but we are all split up in two parts of the building so they have separate intercom systems). Anyway, she hurt her knee last week and is on crutches so I offered to carry anything she needs carried or help her in any way I can. She hasn't actually asked me to do anything, but is it enough that I've offered? Also, I haven't choked one of my bosses who is annoying me today. And I made address labels for one of my other bosses and his wife for the Christmas cards so he won't have to hand address them.

I donated to the Salvation Army bucket at the Walmart. I think that might be the only time since I'm avoiding that place. I was nice to my mother this morning even though she was in a very horrible mood.

My RAoK was to adopt a child from our church's angel tree. I specifically chose a teenager because no one picks them. I got her everything she asked for and then I wrote her a letter telling her what a pleasure it was to shop for her and that we were certain God had big plans for her in life.

Opened my home to two students who have no place to go over the semester break. I can't really call this random, because I have known for years I wanted to do this, but didn't until now find myself able to do such a thing.

On the plus side, it made me look back 40 years and call the woman who acted as my "other mother" to thank her for being there for me when I needed her back then. It was a wonderful conversation, with tears on both sides.

I live near Toronto, Ontario and there was a cat found in a carrier last week outside a McDonald's crying. The poor baby had had her back broken. They found a shelter to take her in and found she had suffered other (healed)injuries along with her lower-limb paralysis. They were looking for some donations so she can have surgery. I won $100 recently so I donated all of it.

For our family RAoK, we're sending gifts for the kids of a family member who has struggled this year. Looking to do it anonymously, but that might be tough. We generally adopt a family through work, but decided to keep it closer to home this year.

A woman at work (who everyone despises) had a toilet paper tail. Normally I would have just let that walk on by, but not today! Today I stopped her and said "um… You got a little something…". Yay me!

Was in drive-thru at McDonalds. Paid for the car behind me. Man, I could see the girl's huge smile all the way from the end of the parking lot. I think the cashier got a kick out of it too.

I bought some maternity clothes for a young woman in an alcohol/drug addiction recovery program, and I'm going to tuck in a little something for the impending baby, too.

My RAoK was to the Salvation Army Angel Tree – purchased clothes and toys for a 3-yr-old boy.

This was not a random act of kindness but a conscious intentional disciplined one. I was given 3 different pieces of erroneous information by 3 different entities I am working with which cost me half a day in time as I'm working on getting benefits and insurance for my mother. It is 2 weeks before Christmas, I am stressed as hell with this Executrix stuff, I am a month behind on holiday stuff, my mother is a widow of 3 weeks and I was on edge, I tell you, on edge. (scary font) But I thought that the people I was on the phone with might be on edge, too, and you never know what is going on in their lives, too, so I was extra nice and patient reassuring that everybody makes mistakes (bitch), and I hope they have a good day.

I made up some gallon ziplocks with those tiny Wisp toothbrushes with toothpaste inside, chapstick, fancy-grade moist towelettes, plastic spoons, pudding snacks, nuts, cookies, and crackers, and gave them out to the panhandlers at my local highway intersections this week. Not very random, I guess, but it was my act of kindness this week.

I went to a restaurant by myself for lunch because Mr. Garden Girl was leading a hike for the day. Sat and watched the families and thought about christmas. Ate my angel hair pasta and diet coke and left a $20 tip with a note that said "Merry Christmas" and beat it out of there before the nice college age server could catch me.

I was running to Walmart quickly while my daughter was getting a haircut. When I was jumping out of the car a guy asked me to give his car a boost because he had a dead battery. I said sure, why not. He was quite chatty and wasn't in any hurry. I didn't make it to Walmart, but was happy to help someone. It could have easily been me in his shoes.

To cheer my hospitalized grandmother, I picked up some travel sized toiletries, slipper sox, magazines and a Christmas cactus. On the way to the check-out line, I realized that her roommate might also need some cheer so I turned around and picked up another set of the items. Turns out the roommate has no family so my little RAoK attempt made her day.

When one of my neighbors who had signed up to host the Christmas dinner for our women's group, but then had major plumbing issues and there was no way she could host it, I volunteered to host it for her. This decision spurred me into putting up the Christmas tree and decorations (which I don't always do) and clean, clean, clean like a crazy woman (which I don't always do), roast a turkey and host sixteen women for our potluck Christmas dinner. I realize that other than helping out a neighbor, I am the clear winner. A clean and decorated house. A delicious dinner with good friends. Yay, me.

We gave up our Thanksgiving dinner and put the $250 we would have spent aside in order to donate to various Stupid Storm Sandy relief efforts. So far we have distributed $100 worth of goods from Costco to a young man who was collecting in honor of his mother who passed away a week after the storm. We also bought about $50 worth of games/toys to distribute to some secret santa/giving trees. We think we are going to give the rest of the $ to our county food bank.

the woman in line in from of me was approx. $9.00 short of having enough money to pay her grocery bill. she was starting to pick out stuff to put back, so i just gave her ten bucks. she got all flustered and didn't want to take it, but the cashier ooohed and aaahed and eventually the woman took it. she offered me the change but i told her to keep it. when i got checked out, she was outside telling the salvation army bell-ringer about it. i had to go meet him and yes, i dumped the change from the bottom of my purse in his kettle.

I drove 5 hours yesterday to visit with a cousin who has been in a nursing home for the past year and he's only 50. So partial good deed and partial family responsibility. I've also sent a monetary donation to St Jude Children's Hospital and purchased a gift card for a family in need.

My RAoK was buying a pair of shoes for one of my students whose soles were flapping. I put them in the office and had them call him down so he didn't know it was me.

Donated to Salvation Army buckets. Offered a gentleman with only two items to go ahead of me at the grocery store checkout line.

While I was at the airport, I sat by a woman's stuff so that she could supervise taking her 2 boys to the washroom. If she would've stopped her texting & paid attention to them, they would've been good as gold. Guess my 2nd RAOK is that I didn't share this nugget of wisdom with her.

Unloaded groceries into the car of a very old woman and then helped her get into the car.

Gave someone "my" outlet for their computer. You have no idea how outlets are fought over in my work. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy.

My RAOK this weekend was to hand out Macy's coupons to people who needed them. I knew I had to walk through Macy's to get where I needed to go – so just took the coupons with me and passed them out. Nothing big. But it did make people smile.

RAOK #1 – bought breakfast for the person behind me at Chik-fil-a drive through.
RAOK #2 – split my swim lane with a woman at the Y today so she could get started on her workout. She has had hip surgery (twice!) and it is such an effort for her to get into the pool. As she got on the bottom step, some young kid dove in from the other end and took the empty lane. So I told her that I would take one end of the pool and she the other so we could both work out at the same time.

I will share one from the other day while my husband and I were out shopping. Okay, I had nothing to do with it. But it made me feel good watching him help some lady get her belt put on her van. She had it on but not all the way. So he fixed it so it wouldn't shred on her way home. He's a good guy!

My RAOK was providing and delivering a basket of fruit and pastries to my neighbor's family for their breakfast after the devastating loss of his parents. Another was an additional donation to Salvation Army and a third was donating toys to the Toys For Tots collection box. I was the recipient of two RAOKs. One of our neighbors cleaned off our driveway while we were running errands and a gentleman let me go ahead of him at the checkout line at the local market.

As I was passing the wrapping station I noticed the volunteers were from The Humane Society so I asked them to wrap a book I had bought and put a $20 in their coffers which made them deliriously happy.

RAoK – We heard about a single mother who was struggling and a group of us have purchased gift cards to be given to her anonymously today. I've had a tough time the past couple months (my sister in law passed away and we had to put our precious border collie Brady down as he had cancer…) and I wanted to give back as everyone has been so kind and thoughtful to me and my family.

This woman in my neighborhood got custody of her grandson, but she can't afford Christmas this year, so I bought a gift, wrapped it, and left it on her doorstep.

I donated $10 at my grocery store's Food for Families program. The store matches the donation and so far has delivered over 3 million pounds of food to needy families. I saw an elderly (as I am!) woman struggling to remove her walker from the trunk of her car and got out of my car to remove it for her. I moved a shopping cart out of a parking spot so someone could park closer to the store. I've donated money to several animal organizations.

Yesterday I was sitting at a red light. From the car next to me I could year whooping and yelling and I could see peripherally that the whole car/SUV was rocking. Clearly attention was being wanted. I looked over and there were 4 teenage boys yelling something and rocking back and forth hard enough to rock that SUV, hard. The windows were down on my side of their car. I rolled down my window which was quite clearly what they wanted, as the commotion increased. I smiled at them and yelled, "It makes me so happy to see you so happy!" I wish I had a video of what happened next. These four boys trying so hard to be BAD stopped in their tracks. One of them said, "Thank you, Ma'am. We're on break." Apparently school had just gotten out and that was the beginning of Christmas break. All four of them now looked like happy children instead of big BAD boys. We exchanged a few happy words about the joy of 11 days of break time, and the light turned green. They tried to go back to their whooping and rocking but all they could do was smile. They're probably still trying to figure out who that old woman was and if she's a friend of their grandmother's or something. It made us all happy. (and maybe prevented a stupid-teenage accident a mile up the road) When I saw them so happy I thought of Sandy Hook. Because I taught for so any years when I see a teenager I often see the 7 or 8 year old they used to be. That is what had happened in this case. I saw first graders who had grown up to be beautiful and healthy and happy. My expression of joy to them was genuine. They felt it.

Last year I started getting my elderly neighbor's newspaper and putting it on her porch because she was worried about slipping and falling. That has morphed into us (either me, my husband, or one of my boys) cutting her grass, raking her leaves, and shoveling her sidewalks when it snows. Now when her kids come to visit they can actually visit and not do chores.

Yesterday morning I woke up and couldn't stop crying. Tired of all the doo-doo I am still struggling through with my father's estate and feeling extra lonely (missing my doggie), and my beautiful 24 year old Godchild came over with her dog and a jar of molasses and while I played with Ezra Pound Puppy (now 2) in the backyard, she baked me spicy molasses cookies and then left my kitchen spotless. A morning of fun sharing our favorite funny blog spots, gossip about The Pie, doggie-love, her glorious face and heart, and the smell of spicy molasses cookies chased the tears away. It was a wonderful act of kindness for the cost of a few hours and a jar of molasses.

I returned two shopping charts (buggies if you are southern) to inside the Wal-Mart this morning in the freezing weather and wind. People leave their carts abandoned in the middle of the parking lot.

RAOK #1 – Donated several times to Salvation Army. RAOK #2 – Donated to Old Newsboys. RAOK#3 Purchased Christmas for needy family.

The other day, as I was getting gas, I went inside and bought hot chocolate to give to the truck driver standing next to the tanker that was putting gas into the ground. He seemed really happy, and it made my day.

every time i go to Aldi's I leave the quarter in the cart when i return it… does that count?

I have been thinking about all these RAoK, things that I would have done anyway, and after reading about Ann Curry's call to #26Acts, I came up with an idea that I am going to try to keep all year long. Those little angels who died were at the perfect Santa age. They believed in that magic. My own almost 12-year old daughter just told me that she 'knows' all about Santa. I told her that I hear the bells because I believe that Santa is in all of us. So I came up with a concept I am calling Operation S.A.N.T.A. – Simple Acts of Niceness To All. I am keeping track of them on a page of my blog. If you want to know more, or would like to grab the button I created for your blog, check out the post here:
Last night my daughter and I made 26 snowflakes to be sent to the Sandy Hook school via the CT PTSA group, gave my favorite coffee shop girl a big tip today, I am working on a simple necklace design that will have the message "You are Loved" to be given to the local women's shelter, and I am making a mother's necklace for a coworker who doesn't have a lot of money to treat herself, but two gorgeous young children. Enjoy the day! Erin

I donated to Olympic Animal Sanctuary. I know there are tons of worthy pet programs out there, but these guys are the tops. They save dogs that would otherwise be put down because they've been labeled as biters or vicious. Well, you can read about the Sanctuary yourselves at

Yesterday I was at our local 7-11 buying a Slurpee for my youngest I paid for the Slurpee of the special needs man in line behind me. I don't know who was happier, the man, the store clerk, or me.

A friend of mine from work let a lady move in front of her in line at Kohl's (a store in the Cincinnati area…don't know where else Kohl's stores are)
Every day, a lucky customer gets all their purchases free….yep, you guessed it, the move ahead of her lady got all her purchases free. And people spend big buckaroos there getting all their Christmasy gifts and so on. Sad for my friend who bought lots of gifts and had to pay for them herself, while the other woman didn't even acknowledge her or say thanks, or anything after all the hoopla.

Our RAoK is to foster a dog from the local Humane Society while we spend a month in Kauai. We picked her up on Sunday and are completely smitten with her. We are working on potty skills and basiic commands, and socializing her with men. She is an affectionate and loving companion. Our hope is to find her a forever home before we return to the mainland. I can send photos and more info if anyone can help with her placement. She is 3.5 yo, spayed, 10 pound "Poi" dog (mixed breed, probably Dachsund, Chihuauhua, and maybe a little mini-pin.)

I don't know if this is an RAoK or a giant step towards the downward spiral of animal hoarding, but my husband and I are taking in 2 horses whose owner no longer has the money to feed adequately. This brings our animal count up to….21? It's mostly healthy indoor/outdoor cats, y'all, so don't go calling the SPCA or anything. And we do know a little about horses, seeing as we already have 2 that came with the farmhouse (i.e were abandoned by previous owner, much to our surprise.) All our pets are rescues, we can't help ourselves.

I was sitting in doc office with my son and I jumped up and held the door open for a poor old soul who was struggling with the door and her walker. I have also made an extra effort, due to the emotional stress that I'm going through (divorce), to be kinder and more patient with everyone I come in contact with. I TRY to smile when I really don't feel like it…

Such a small thing, but I paid for the people behind me in the Starbucks drive-up line yesterday. I also gave up a close-in parking space in the insanely busy Target shopping center yesterday and parked in the boondocks.

Is it okay if you feel a little sad over your RAoK? We talked about going to DC to spend Christmas but ding dang work wants me to make an appearance Christmas evening. Which really means working into the wee hours of the morning of Christmas. So, we decided not to go. Well, low and behold some friends of ours who we have spent Christmas with several times over the years, and have had a blast, extended an invite for this year. I encouraged Lloyd to go. He really could use a nice break from what has been work that has been very stressful as of late. Put on my happy face and kissed him as he was leaving for the airport Friday evening. (Once the decision had been made that he'd go to DC he also signed up for a chess tournament that was held yesterday in the DC Metro area) He'll return on Wednesday morning. So, yes, a bit sad at being alone for Christmas, but at least he'll be back. My sadness for my selfishness pales in comparison to the pain I feel for my brothers family this holiday and all families that have suffered a loss of a loved one.

I have some sweet neighbors who are wonderful parents to a developmentally delayed 5 year old boy. A few days ago they welcomed a new daughter and she is not doing well. Her arrival into the world was very tenuous. They've been spending all their time at the hospital and so tonight I finally noticed their car in the driveway and I raced over with a home cooked dinner. They were super appreciative.

I know not if it’s dark outside or lights

Yesterday was a busildy kind of a day and then I got a migraine, and yay!

I got up with Dick Whitman yesterday so we could exchange gifts, and then he wanted to go to–are you ready?–the outdoor MALL to pick something up. Fortunately he was the only person in America to think of shopping yesterday, so it was unbusy and not at all hectic.

Wait, WHY'D I get a migraine??

IMG_3029I got Whitman a Hank Williams CD and a some-black-blues-guy-from-the-'40s CD. I went on DW's Facebook "Like"s and chose accordingly. Facebook. Making it possible to think even less about stuff.

IMG_3030I felt kind of bad when DW pulled out this enormous box for me.

IMG_3031Look! He got me this cool bowl! I'm still debating about where Ima put it. Suggestions? Cause I want to display it cause it's pretty.

After our gift exchange and inevitable Christmas sex, we headed to the dang outdoor mall, where DW said, "I feel like I'm cutting this purchase kind of close." Ya THINK? The only good thing I can tell you is we found TV parking at the store. You know, the kind of parking you get that's unrealistically right outside the place you're going? Like, Jonathan and Jennifer Hart always found a spot–IN LA–right in front of everywhere they needed to be, such as the man's-pajama-bottoms-women's-pajama-top store. Do you remember they'd always wear pajamas like that? She'd wear his top and he'd be all manly with his Jonathan Hart shirtless self?

How did I get off on this tangent?

The point is, good parking. But busy shopping mall. SURPRISE!

After, we decided to go to a restaurant IN THE OUTDOOR MALL, and I hope you're sitting down, but there was an hour wait for a table. So we went to the Thai restaurant in my neighborhood.

And, that, folks, is where I think I got my migraine. Because, Asian food? And the MSG? Basically the whole day was about smart, well-thought-out decisions.

As soon as DW and I were done and after the inevitable post-Thai sex, he left and I called Ned. There was a party he wanted to go to in Raleigh, to see all kinds of friends he hasn't seen in ages, and he was really looking forward to it and so was I. I like to meet Ned's people. He has good taste in people.

First we were gonna take pictures of the Christmas lights, WHICH I SPECIFICALLY DID FOR YOU GUYS and you're welcome.

They do this thing here where they make ball lights and hang 'em from the trees, and I've had them in my yard myself in years previous but last year I was separated and lights never got hung.

THIS year, Ned said he'd help me and then he never did. This does not make Ned a bad person, although he DID just say, "You don't have outdoor lights and it's my fault, isn't it?" And I was all, yeah.

At any rate, there's one neighborhood that has a canopy of trees all down the street, and EVERYONE participates in the ball lights, and I can't even begin to describe to you how beautiful it is when you drive down that neighborhood. And that is why I wanted my fine photography skillz to capture it for you.

100_2347Say, June, remind me again when your photography seminar is.

100_2349I mean, it's impossible to capture how breathtaking it is. Maybe it's just impossible for ME to capture.

100_2359Well, trust me, okay? It's really pretty.

100_2354The point is, as we were driving there, I said, "I have a migraine, by the way, but I'll feel better soon. I took my meds."

And here is where Ned redeems himself for not putting up my outdoor lights–which by the way, why is HE responsible for my house and its lights anyway?–because he INSISTED I get my migraine meds just Friday. I was out and didn't want to spend the money, and he even said HE'D buy them, but then I went to the pharmacy and inexplicably there was no charge this time. Which, yay!

And thank heavens I HAD my meds, because this migraine? It stuck. We went back to my house and I put ice on my head, and then I even slept for awhile, but when I woke up? Still there. Without my medication, this woulda been a really bad one.

"Go to the party withOUT me," I said. "Save yourself!" But he wouldn't go. I mean, I get 90 migraines a month. I wish he'd have gone without me. Instead I splayed on the couch and watched Wizard of Oz with Ned, and he got texts from the party with people wondering where he was, and he looked SO SAD and I felt like a dick.

I feel better today! Guess who probably wants to stick a tong through my head. Why a tong? No idea.

So that sums it up. I have to get ready now, as we're going to see Hitchcock, which has nothing to do with the fact that Ned would fry up and eat his own tongue for a chance to stare at Scarlett Johanssen. That explains why he was drawn to me. We're practically twins.

Everyone have a good Christmas, unless you don't celebrate Christmas due to your Jewishness and Communism or whatever. I for one will be glad when this whole thing is over and I can stop feigning happiness and go back to my regularly scheduled bitch mode.



P.S. I just looked, and today is the one-year anniversary of when I picked out Iris. I'm so glad I got her, even if she DID have that pee-everywhere-in-the-house thing. She doesn't do that anymore THANKS TO THE FAITHFUL READER who got her a kitty condo. Thank you again, faithful reader. Iris thanks you too.

Lenny Bruce is not afraid.

Like I could really NOT put this song up today. Like every yahoo on God's going-out-of-business planet isn't putting this up on their blog or Facebook or your fancy modern Twitter.

Are you still there? Did the world end yet?

I've been spending my last morning looking for my goddamn slipper. Guess whose last morning it is no matter WHAT happens today?

IMG_3027it could tote be catz, mom. mom discrimnate.

Don't even talk to me about that FLOOR. This floor drives me berserk. I KNOW!

In other news, Debb at work wore the worst necklace ever invented yesterday.

IMG_3015I should have gotten a side view so you could see how long his snout sticks out. She could impale someone with that thing.

IMG_3017Also, while we're on the subject of Christmas, and what's Christmassy-er than marrow, Faithful Reader Letha sent gifts for the pets and me.

IMG_3025From the second I got out this stocking filled with cat toys, Iris has been OBSESSED. There are these feathers? With bells on the end? She has removed EACH ONE and dashed off to her lair in the cat condo. Then she decided that wasn't safe enough, so she hid some behind the wing-back chair in the back room, as well.

My poor cats get to keep toys for about a day before the dogs take them, so I'm glad she thought this through.

Anyway, thanks FR Letha, and also thanks to my pal Dot who sent fudge, and readers who sent cards and so on.

I am trying to stay Christmassy, but it's hard this year. I am so ding and also dang broke and it's really getting to me. I mean, every time I get any work, it goes into the HOLE that's been created by being unemployed all year. And two pets having surgery this year. And ME having surgery this year. And did I mention the engine malfunction light is on in my car? It feels like I'll never get out of this. Plus, I never intended to be paying this mortgage by myself. And I'm upside-down on this house, as is everyone on the planet.

Fortunately, the world is going to end today, so.

And yeah, when IS that, because do I have to get ready for fake work, or how does that go?

I really should go get ready so I can be pretty when the sun explodes, but I wanted to tell you first that last night Ned took me to see A Christmas Story, which I've never seen before, and which he likes, and oh! That was cute! I figured I'd like it. No one ever told me the mom from Close Encounters was on it.

Look right there, it's the shape of a square!

You're welcome.

Hey, are we still here? World end yet?

Darn, that's the end.

P.S. Look! It's not the end yet! I wanted to remind you that if you did a good deed, be sure to post it in my comments on this post.