June's stupid life · OooooooWEEEEEooooooo!!!

Get Your Freak On with June

As I said the other day, and why don't you pay attention to me when I'm talking, on Fridays, I will report for you a freaky story told to me by a reader. Several have rolled in, and here's the first one. I read this LATE AT NIGHT when I was ALONE and thanks a lot, Faithful Reader Donna.

If you have any freaky stories for me–unexplained sightings, near-death experiences, haunty-ass houses, times you were psychic–send them to me at byebyepieblog@gmail.com. And title it Freaky Friday.

Here's the story.

We live in a 99 year-old house. Since we moved here, one of our dogs has a room that he will not go in. He just stands in the doorway and whines or sometimes growls a little while looking forlornly into it. Except for one time when I could hear him from upstairs, I came running down and he was lying in the middle of the room, crying inexplicably.

There were other unusual occurrences, doors slamming when no windows were open, lights on in rooms where you could swear you had turned them off, and a feeling that something has brushed just past you and when you looked down thinking you were going to pet one of the dogs, nothing was there. My daughter swears someone (thing?) is always turning off her curling iron. We joked that we had a ghost, a seemingly benevolent one, and randomly began calling him Walter.

One summer evening we noticed some people standing on the sidewalk looking up at our house. Our son recognized the man as one of the teachers at school. We had heard that he had lived in our house several years before, so we walked out and introduced ourselves. We chatted for a bit until the couple asked us if we had met “the ghost.” Of course we asked them to tell us more about it. Basically, they described the exact same situations we had been experiencing with one exception, almost all of their encounters (including an incident with a wall that wouldn’t take paint-creepy eh?) had occurred in the pantry instead of in the dining room/front room.

Unusually, another one of my son’s teachers had also lived in our house. I guess a house doesn’t get to be almost 100 years old in a college town without going through quite a few tenants. She too asked my son if we had met “the ghost,” described similar occurrences and reiterated the couple’s assertion that he lived in the pantry.

We continued co-existing peacefully with Walter, even taking to greeting him when we walked in the door. After we had been here a few years, my son and I went to the historical society to do some research on our house. We found out two things…

-The house had gone through several remodels, and the room that now torments our poor sweet black lab, used the be the pantry!

-While reviewing resident registries from the 1940s, I ran across a listing for a man named Walter Phillips at our address. When I saw it, I tapped my son on the arm and pointed to the listing, he read it and we both just sat there, feeling kinda freaky. We couldn’t explain why we had decided to call our ghost Walter any more than we could explain the things that were happening that we credited him with.

I did a bunch of research trying to find out more about him, see if perhaps he had died here. So far I’ve not been able to come up with anything. So for now, he remains the mysterious soul occasionally messing with our family, but mostly the dog.

June's stupid life · My pets

Yes, Hulk, I talk about this every year. Say, how ’bout you grab a ladder and get over it?

Six years ago today, I was living in TinyTown, North Carolina, and I was headed to Raleigh for a job interview, just like Barney Fife. Remember when Barney and Andy would go there and they'd play the big-city music? It's at 2:33, below.

 

Perhaps as I tell this story you can have that tune in your mind.

Anyway, there I was, six years ago today, being all 42 and headed to Raleigh (big-city music) because I had a job interview in order so's I could get out of TinyTown. I probably shouldn't have been so fired up about leaving TinyTown, because now in retrospect it seems charming there, but that's easy for me to say over here in the bustling metropolis that is Greensboro.

My point is, I was about 40 minutes away from TinyTown when I passed a small yellow dog just standing on the side of a busy two-lane road. She was all by herself! "Was that a…? Oh, no!" I said, doing a U-turn back to the dog. She turned out to be a little puppy, and she wriggled happily right up to my car to say hello.

Some stranger pulls up to our house now, and that puppy would gleefully rip a stranger's neck out, but that's beside the point.

The puppy? Was Tallulah.

Pinkleash_2She was just a teensy thing, and her little tail flapped on my interview clothes when I bent to pick her up. She probably lived in one of the trailers I could see over yonder, but none of the trailers had a fence around it. Which explained why she was on the road. There was no explaining why she was so skinny, though.

I lifted her up high and our eyes met. I looked through her gold eyelashes. And I knew right then I had a dog.

LucouchYes, I stole her. I did. Sue me. I took her right to the vet, missing my job interview, and found out she had worms, ticks, malnutrition and Lasa Fever. Okay, she didn't remotely have Lasa Fever. I just wanted to be dramatic about it. I have always felt that whoever owned her originally just didn't have the means to care for her properly, but they likely loved her, because she was a happy dog and didn't seem to have any fears. Except of the microwave. Get that microwave the hell away from her. (She just saw this and said to tell you she just doesn't approve of microwaves, is all. They offend her raw-food ideals, and incidentally, do anyone haff baby rabbit?)

HenryluTallulah has tolerated eight different cats, and by "tolerated" I generally mean "humped." She has adjusted to a new house and city, she has accepted that her dad moved away, and most of all, she has

6a00e54f9367fb8834017d4107410b970c-800wihad to live with Edsel. No matter what life throws at her, she remains my calm, dignified Lu. (Just don't turn on that damn microwave.)

Effyuuulu getteeng piss, mom. she NOT AFRAYED OF MIKE RO WAVE. (do NOT get one, tho, mom. Just do not.)

MenlugreennbluWhen I wake up, she's the first thing I see, because she's always next to me on the other pillow. When I walk into the room, she wags her tail. Even if she's half asleep, she'll flump flump flump her tail on the mattress, a tired but sincere greeting.

RunnyluShe's the fastest runner at the dog park, and for the first three years, she was champing at the bit to get out the front door and run free like a HUGE DICK every chance she got. In 2011, she got out the door and ran right into the road, and I watched as a VW Bug came at her. The sound of Tallulah getting hit was one of the worst things I've ever heard, right up there with when McKenzie Phillips sang "I've Got the Music in Me" on One Day at a Time.

Tallulah was gone for three horrible days, and came home at 4:00 in the morning, smelling of moss and sleeping for 20 hours. Since then, though, you can leave my front door wide open and she won't venture out even for a small dog dressed like a steak. I have since then offered my number-one Dog Training Tip from June, because as you can imagine people are forever asking me, "How are your dogs so well-trained?" My tip is, if your dog likes to run away, hit her gently with the car. Works like a charm.

ShopppyluFor six years, Talu has been my companion, my blog fodder, my best sleeping partner ever (sorry, Ned), my protector, dance partner

and even my inspiration. I'd love to be as dignified as my dog. I'd love to show my fangs and scare people who annoy me. I'd love to march chestily into a room and automatically everyone knows I'm in charge, here. I'd love to look the world over and say, "Hooo care?"

LeefluSo, once again, happy anniversary of the day I stole you like a common criminal, Tallulah. You are the light of my life. And I promise, no microwaves. Ever.

Health · June's stupid life

lowercase. and points.

I'm glad you liked yesterday's post about my coworker Bill's near-death experience. It has inspired to me feature a New Thing here on this blog: Freaky Fridays. I know. How did you ever think of such an original name, June? When you have a mind like this…

I'll explain Freaky Fridays in a minute, but the part where I just capitalized "New Thing" to be stupid reminds me of something I've been meaning to say. There is a person I am friends with on Facebook, who seems to think Status Updates Need to be Capitalized, as Though They are Titles.

Dear FB friend who does this: They don't. And you are killing me, verily you are.

She'll write: Great Day Today! Or Friday is Here, So Happy. Or Peoples is Funny.

STOP IT! STOP WITH THE CAPITALIZATION WHERE IT ISN'T NEEDED! Do you recall third grade, when we learned that capital letters go at the BEGINNING of the sentence and nowhere else unless you mention, you know, Kraft or your Aunt Harriet?

Jesus.

Or if you mention Jesus, which she sometimes will, and I'm just waiting for her to lowercase THAT, get all ee cummings on Jesus's ass.

Okay, I'm better now. I just had to tell someone, because it was going to be the death of me.

Back to Freaky Friday. Original! Maybe I'll name it something else, because even I am irked by me at this point. THE CONCEPT, however, is that if you have any sort of weird spirit-y story like Bill's near-death story, or a haunty house, or anything you can't explain, email me (Oh, Lord, is my email even visible on my blog anymore? I have no idea. It's byebyepieblog@gmail.com) and tell me the story, and I'll either print your story verbatim, edit it because you have no Idea when to Capitalize anyThing, or I will email you back with more Qs.

What say you? And then if there is a story to tell on Friday, I will tell it. Won't that be cool?

In other news, I AM SO HUNGRY. ALL CAPS. Well, that's not precisely true. I am just never full, that's all. Like, sometimes I'll go to Ned's and he'll say, "Would you like a peanut?" (he has a lot of peanuts, Ned does. Peanuts he roasts himself. Have you been enjoying Ned's monocle? It's his cane and white gloves that really get me hot) and I used to be able to say, "No. I'm not really hungry." Now if he offered me a peanut I'd eat the SHIT out of it then stampede to my damn Weight Watchers app to see if that counted as a point.

WHICH IT ALWAYS DOES. My oatmeal–OATMEAL!!!–is three effing points. My Amy's Organic Chili was SIX POINTS!!

"Well, what do you expect?" asked Ned, who is smug because he wears a top hat at all times. "What I do, is I bring an apple, an orange and a banana to work every day and eat them when I get hungry."

Honestly, the day I punch that man clean in his shell face, will any of you blame me?

Things should improve on the WW front, though, because the thing is, when I started this diet this week, I had $19 till payday, so I had to live on the food I already had in the house. But I just got paid by Google Ads (thank you, readers, for reading me) so now I can get food that has fewer points and I won't have to eat an Amy's Organic Chili then nothing for the next seven hours lest I run out of

FUCKING POINTS,

which is all I ever think about these days.

Okay, I have to get ready for work. And when I get there, I can have a bagel thin (3 points) and the teensiest trace of cream cheese you have ever seen in your life. It's like HINT of cream cheese. Is what it is.

Goddammit I better have lost weight.

June. Shrinking out.

June's stupid life

June’s coworker dies. Tells us about it. I KNOW, dude.

Not that long ago, a bunch of us here at work went to lunch together, as we are wont to do, and one of my coworkers, Bill, told us the story of his near-death experience and I.was.riveted. So I asked him to tell it to all y'all, and here it is.

Fridays are my favorite day of the week. Most of the time, they lead to something better on the weekend: payday, concerts, outings with friends — a quiet weekend with the family comes following Friday. Almost always.

One Friday I will forever remember, and so will my family — and it wasn’t because of some fun upcoming excursion on Saturday. No siree, this Friday was July 26, 2008 and even though I went to work as usual, things quickly took a turn.

After about a half hour at work following a stressful week, there suddenly came this pain and tension in my neck. Not your ordinary “I’ve been looking at something sideways too long” type of pain, but something much more intense and unrelenting than even stress would deliver. Around 8:30, the pain became familiar (I had my first heart attack in 2002), moving into my arm and across my chest.

Deciding I needed to head to the emergency room, I went to HR and told them I was going to the hospital, since I thought I was having a heart attack. It was 8:35 when I left the parking lot.

There were orange cones blocking all the parking places in the ER parking lot. After a couple of circles around the drop-off area, a driver for one of the ambulances asked if they could help, and I said, “Where do you park if you’re having a heart attack?” I think this was the right question, because he told me to put the car in park and give him the keys and he would see that my car got parked, but not before he escorted me into the triage/welcome area of the ER. The time was around 8:42.

Never getting the opportunity to sit down, the nurse got my ID and info, then put a wristband on me and walked me back to a bed in the active part of the ER. Within 10 minutes I was told I was in the middle of a heart attack. They asked if I had contacted anyone. I’d already called my wife, so they rolled me on down the long, brick-lined hallways on the way to the cath lab. Lying in the bed and rolling toward my potential date with destiny, I was thinking how much I did not like fluorescent lights and how artificial and cold they felt.

It was around 60° in the lab. I looked at the clock and it was 8:55. The ceilings were high (15 feet or so, I was told), which made the room feel even colder. When they helped me onto the cath table, it was frigid, and the cath technician told me that the machines like it cold, so they keep it that way. This was one specific time that I really didn’t like the backless gowns they provide at the hospital. They gave me a couple of blankets to keep me warm(er), and slid me onto the cath table. Damn, it was cold.

Lying my head back, they told me to relax and as I did, I was suddenly without explanation floating upward, toward the ceiling. As the ceiling got closer, I felt as though I was travelling faster, and upon passing through that oh-so-high ceiling, I was accelerating, much like in the movie for Star Trek where they’re jumping into warp drive. The sensation was amazing — like nothing I could have ever imagined, like a newfound freedom and I was on my way. Really on my way.

Until I got zapped. Suddenly, I felt like I had fallen 20 feet or so into a rude awakening. I saw a couple of the cath technicians and nurses with their little green hats and surgical masks looking at me intently. One of them informed me that “You had a near-fatal arrhythmia and we had to shock you.” Okay.

So I laid my head back down and as I did, I started floating upward again, but before I could even get to the ceiling, one of them said “We’re going to have to shock you again.” And they did. This time it hurt, really hurt. Bad enough that I sat straight up on the table, and they told me that I had to lie back down so they could finish putting my stent in. And unlike the TV shows where they put the paddles both on the front and hit the button, they had a pad on front and one on back, which kicked my butt into sitting position — pronto. Don’t think I have ever moved so suddenly and so quickly. Once they got me back lying down, they administered something into my IV and it was all over but the shouting.

If you have ever had children, there is a moment at birth when they make their grand appearance and you first lay eyes on them — a moment forever frozen in my memory. A moment when you’re overcome with a physical and mental wash of unconditional love for that child that (hopefully) carries on forever. When I was “on my way” it felt as though someone loved me like that. I did not see relatives or stay gone long enough to get to heaven, but it left me absolutely no doubt regarding the afterlife and where I will be when my actual time comes. Death holds no fear for me, particularly now.

I woke up with my wife at my side, holding my hand and thanking God that he had kept me around. When she asked me if I was upset that they had brought me back, I told her no, that God has plans for me and I am still needed. I ultimately got two stents out of this adventure, one on Friday and one on Monday (they don’t do two at a time), and have been working to stay around without future visits to the hospital.

Meanwhile, I’m living my life like there’s no tomorrow, cherishing the things that are valuable, truly valuable and trying to let go of the unimportant stuff. My advice to my friends and family is to hold on to what is dear to you, loving every chance you get and forgiving as often as you can. I also recommend spending time getting to know and love Jesus. There is tremendous peace in that, a peace that will carry you far beyond this world.

Fridays are still my favorite day of the week.

I hate everything · June's stupid life · There's an Arlo & Janis website?

I am feeling blue

What do you do when you feel awful? Do you just carry on and smile and act like a huge phony or do you fall over and moan like Rosie on The Jetsons?

I was just trying to find that episode–do you remember it? When Rosie bends over in despair, imitating Judy, and says, "Ahhh-ohhh. Ahhh-ohhh." Am I crazy? The point is. I found an Arlo & Janis website.

AN ARLO & JANIS WEBSITE? Seriously?

Arlo & Janis. Who is stampeding over to this site? I really want to know. And there are COMMENTS. Someone cares enough about Arlo & Janis to read AND leave a comment. Good god.

That's all I have to say about that. Other than that I feel rotten. Tell me how you carry on in the face of rotversity.

I am high-maintenance · June's stupid life

When Junes attack

As one of Ned's gifts for Christmas, I got him a Sunday delivery of The New York Times, which in case you think is cheap is not. Like everything in New York, it is expensive and ridic. My father once said that eating in New York is like when you try to eat at the airport. "How is this sandwich $37?"

Nevertheless, it was going to be exciting to spend Sunday mornings reading a really good newspaper, and I am always with Ned on Sundays, so I'd be, you know, taking advantage of it too. And it's not like we'd fight over the sections: I'd look at the style and living sections and the magazine, and Ned would look at the boring parts of the newspaper that have news in them.

The problem is, it's been five weeks since I presented him with this gift (we exchanged presents in January), and the paper has come…

once.

Once! Before I even ordered the paper for Ned, I called the rather unfriendly manager of his building to see where it'd be delivered and would it be stolen, did she think. Oh, absolutely not, she said in as un-warm a voice as one can have and not get bitch-slapped. But after the fourth week of not getting the paper, I called the similarly warm, friendly people at The New York Times customer service number, and said, "Just start sending the goddamn thing to my house so it won't get stolen."

"Apartment number?" they asked me. Jesus Christ.

This is what I abhor about customer service. People who don't listen. Did I not just say send it to my house? My house. Houses don't HAVE apartment numbers, you moronic heifer. Are you playing Angry Birds or something while we're speaking? Jesus.

My point is, no paper today. NO PAPER TODAY AT MY HOUSE, and I do not have to tell you I was in a lather when I called that damn customer service, which should really rename itself the customer indifference department. Jesus.

How many paragraphs can I end with "Jesus"?

"Yes," I said, because I always have to start my phone calls to these people with "yes," like they've proposed or something. "I've ordered The New York Times to come on Sundays, and one time–ONE TIME!–out of the last five weeks I've received the paper. I keep calling and you keep crediting my account, but week after week, no paper. Does the Greensboro delivery person need to be fired? What is going on?"

"Name," said the friendly customer service representative.

"June Gardens, which you should already know because you already asked for my account number before you gave me to a person," I said, getting clammy.

"Account number," droned the extra-helpful customer service representative.

I hate everything.

She was so unhelpful, and so unable to tell me anything, that eventually I just blew up. "YOU GUYS TELL ME THE SAME THINGS EACH WEEK, BUT WHAT YOU DON'T TELL ME IS WHY I'M GETTING ZERO PAPER. WHAT IS HAPPENING? IS IT JUST NOT GETTING DELIVERED? I JUST WANT THE FUCKING PAPER!"

Lather. Did I mention the lather? And do they not TRAIN these people to, you know, calm people down? Because all this person did was make me madder.

"What number can my supervisor call you at," asked old Employee of the Year, there, with the enthusiasm of Hulk headed to a Sex and the City marathon. I gave her my number, glad that at least someone was going to help me. "She'll call in one to two days," said the customer rankle expert.

"ONE TO TWO DAYS? THAT'S IT? THAT'S ALL I GET? NO PAPER TODAY AND A CALL IN TWO DAYS? SERIOUSLY?"

I told her to forget it, that I just wanted my money back, and at this point Edsel was cowering in the spare bedroom. He hates my lathers. The customer surly operator told me that was "extremely unlikely."

"How many months have you been getting the paper?" she asked.

Oh my god. She was not listening to me. SHE.WAS.NOT.LISTENING.TO.ME.

I do not even want to tell you the diatribe I went into at that point, but I DID point out to her that I'd been friendly and patient the OTHER THREE TIMES I'd called about this. I may have even threatened to talk about this on my blog, which I described as being "read by thousands of people."

Note: This blog is not read by thousands of people.

Eventually I said I'd wait for her supervisor to call and I may or may not have hung up on her. Then, shaking, I called back. I got a new customer service rep, which I knew I would.

"Yes," I said (see above). "I was just talking to a VERY unhelpful person, and I'm hoping someone else might be able to help me." I started describing what was going on, and how at this point I just wanted my money back and that I would not be accepting the "extremely unlikely" possibility that I could not get a full refund seeing as I'd gotten the paper ONCE, and as I was telling her I just wanted to forget the NYT ever existed and put this all behind me after telling my millions of readers about it, I walked outside so Edsel would not have to hear me and pee his leg, which he looked dangerously close to doing.

As I paced my driveway, I saw…something blue in the yard. Something that looked, um, suspiciously like a paper wrapped in blue plastic. Tangled up in blue.

"Oh, dear," I said to the poor customer service girl. "Oh, dear. I…yep. I have the paper here. Oh, dear. I am so sorry. I thought it'd be on the porch," I said to her, and went in to give Edsel a Valium. "I'm just glad you got your paper, ma'am, and I can have them deliver it to the porch from now on," said the poor beleaguered thing on the phone.

So. That's, you know, that story. Yeah. Huh.

I gotta go. I have to read the paper.

Health · I am high-maintenance · June's stupid life

June. Making the rockin’ world go ’round since 2006.

So we had our first official Weight Watchers meeting at work yesterday. I had a harrowing–HARROWING!!–week at work, so all I was able to do was weigh in and leave. And lemme tell you, that was enough. The sumo wrestlers called. Said once I drop a few pounds they'd like me on their league.

Do sumo wrestlers have a "league," per se?

I got all the WW literature, and I'll have to look at it all at some point today, I suppose, so I can track my points and so on. I'm looking at it right now and it reads Weight Watchers 360, which is about what I weigh.

I called Ned afterward to tell him about my weigh-in. "I'm just calling to THANK you for ever having sex with me. How do you do it?"

"…I mean, do you want me to draw you a diagram? How much do you, weigh, anyway?"

Ned is forever wondering what size I am and how much I weigh, and I see no reason to ever divulge this information. It'll just make him depressed.

The good news is that I guess Ned must be a chubby chaser or something, and for that I am eternally grateful. The thing is, I've been doing Tracy Anderson like a demon this past month, because ever since I sprained my ankle I was able to do nothing and I could tell I was turning into a marsupial. "Maybe your weight was high because you've gained muscle," said one of the Alexes at work, who is more than likely a size 2T. That's a toddler size. I just had to Google "toddler sizes." Because of course I can't even correctly identify a toddler ("Your toddler is adorable." "She's on her way to prom.") much less size one. But what I'm saying is Alex #2828338 at work is more Jack Sprat than his wife. She looks magnificent, if you want to know the truth, and is always eating a chicken breast for lunch, and by "chicken breast" I don't mean one from Chik-Fil-A.

God, doesn't Chik-Fil-A sound delicious.

My point is, she may be right. Because last night I was getting ready to see Ned and I pulled down the first pair of jeans I saw and holy shit, they were tight. Who was I, Tom Jones, with those jeans? So this pussycat took 'em off (whoaa whoaa whoaaa) and I noted they were the jeans I don't even know why I keep, because I haven't buttoned them since Monika Lewinsky. But please note the part where I DID button them yesterday. So yes, I outweigh Mama Cass at the moment, but some of that may be muscle and not all ham sandwich.

Oh, and my coworker and friend in real life TinaDoris came into the kitchen while I was having this not-at-all-self-involved powow with Alex #2828338, and I told her I needed some kind of incentive, something to put the fear of God into me if I don't lose this weight. TinaDoris said, "If you don't reach your goal weight by August 21, you have to go four months without dyeing your hair."

Perfect! So that's my challenge. "Can I call and thank TinaDoris for this?" asked Ned, who is supposed to love me even with five feet of white roots.

So that's where I am currently. I have to work today, and maybe I did not emphasize enough how harrowing my week was. I realized once I got started on this work that I need Post-It notes to make suggestions but not write on the pages I'm proofreading, and all I have are Post-Its that relatives and friends have sent me. So each page of my work for work will have Post-Its that read "Princess of Everything" or "Drama Queen" and how's that down-to-earth reputation going, June?

Anyway, professional. Is my point.

I'll alert you if I wake up thin tomorrow. Or if I wake up thinking of nothing but food, kind of like Tallulah. Hullo, blog peeple. You gots treet? Maybe that will be me tomorrow.

June, out. Of a healthy BMI.

Health · Hulk's sex life · June's stupid life

Found a peanut. Ate it.

I had the most uncomfortable dream just before I woke up, and don't you hate people who tell you about their dreams? I was back in LA, and it was New Year's Eve, and I was alone on a crowded street. And that's depressing. You go back to the place you lived for more than 10 years and you're alone on New Year's Eve? Okay, loser.

I ran into my friend Beth, and if you click that link it will further everyone's theory that I don't know any ugly people. Anyway, she was all, "Heyyyy!" and that right there is ridiculous. We were pretty good friends when I lived in LA, and we lived within walking distance of each other. Do you remember a few years back when that faithful reader was nice enough to send me to LA, and then because I'd been unemployed at that point for eight months, I didn't even have enough money to board the dogs and have spending cash, so I didn't go? Well, anyway, Beth is who I was staying with in LA.

So if she'd just RUN INTO ME on the STREET and I hadn't told her I was coming to town, I feel like it'd be less, "Heyyyy!" and more, "What the fuck? How are you here and you didn't tell me? Are you screwing my husband or something?"

But that is not what happened. Then we ran into this guy I'd worked with and really liked, and for the life of me I could not remember his name. "Oh, no," I thought. "I've been gone so long, and now I can't remember this funny gay guy's name and shit." So I pretended to choke on a peanut so I wouldn't have to introduce them, because you know the traditional New Year's Eve walking-on-a-street-in-LA snack is peanuts.

When I woke up I realized the gay guy in the dream was Anthony from Designing Women.

So that's what's new with me. What's new with you? Oh, and speaking of peanuts, today is day one of my Weight Watchers diet, and won't you watch my weight with me?

Photo on 2-21-14 at 7.29 AM #3Here. I just got up and crossed the room in my nice pajama bottoms and tank, for my "before" picture. Who am I, JLo? My ass and I would like to thank the Academy. "Big through the hips? Roomy, Clarice?"

Wait, let me take a frontal shot so you can enjoy my roomy hips.

Photo on 2-21-14 at 7.33 AMSexayyy.

How much do you think I weigh? I am 5'6". I do not know, as I have no scale. The scale at the doctor's seems to be about 35 pounds off. I don't know how they get away with such an inaccurate tool. Anyway my goal weight is 8 pounds six ounces, which is what I weighed at birth. I've done it before, so we all know I can get there.

Speaking of health and physical fitness, our friend Hulk has lost 30 pounds! Does anyone recall last year when he went on a date and instead of ordering mashed potatoes and a choice of vegetable, he got double mashed potatoes?

It is possible that Hulk is my soulmate.

Anyway, yeah. So now at work, when people say, "You losing weight?" he says to them, "Yeah. I have a tumor."

It is possible that Hulk is my soulmate.

So, now my mashed-potato soulmate is running a 5k. He wrote me:

I have already figured out how this 5K is going to play out:
 
·       1st half-mile: “Hey, this isn’t so bad.”

·       1st mile: “Holy shit. How much farther do we have to go?”

·       1.5 miles: “Eff you, kid!”

·       2 miles: “Dude, would you squeeze my hand? I can’t feel anything on my left side.”

·       2.5 miles: “Excuse me. Sir? Are you seeing dead relatives too?”

·       3 miles: “To my dearest daughter NotChloe, I bequeath all my worldly possessions.  DON’T SELL MY ARCHIE GRIFFIN JERSEY!”

·       3.2 miles: “NotChloe, can you drive a stick?”

Do you enjoy my Hulk-green Hulk font?

Is there anyone reading this, like mom for example, who can attend said 5k and take photos for us? We'd all like photographic evidence of Hulk's last few minutes on earth.

So I'll keep you posted on the Progression of the New Thin Hulk and June. I feel like maybe my next post will go like this:

I am so fucking hungry.

Love, June

...friend/Ned · Books · Friends · June's stupid life

The somnolent powers of Ned

I finally slept last night, thank GOD. You have no idea how grateful you can be for the mere act of sleeping, if you haven't slept. Or maybe you do. I note a lot of middle-of-the-night-I'm-not-sleeping posts on Facebook. Is this a getting-old thing?

When I was a kid, I spent every Friday night at my grandmother's, and even though she had four bedrooms and five beds, I slept with her in her bed whenever I was there. I remember barely waking up to see her get out of bed 45 times a night. Or sometimes I'd wake up and see just the light of her cigarette ash in the living room while she sat in the dark. Being, you know, six, I'd drift right back off after.

Anyway, it'd been three nights in a row I've slept badly, and I was wondering how long till it actually kills you to not sleep, and why did my coworkers have horse's heads yesterday, and then to top it all off I had my BookUp yesterday.

IMG_3041Here are my friends Jo and Kit at the BookUp. We were originally going last week but it got postponed due to snow and ice and also snow. And ice. Anyway, a BookUp is a thing invented by Jo, where you all get together and read. We met at the new local bookstore, that also serves wine and coffee and food, and I did not even notice what Jo got last night but in the cold light of day it looks effing delicious.

Jo had a gift for me, because she's the kind of person who has gifts for you sometimes. I am never that kind of person. I am so not a girl.

IMG_3046Say, middle age! How're your eyes treating you? I enjoy having to play the trombone every time I attempt to read something without my reading glasses, which if you notice are right next to me anyway. Hey, middle age, how's your mind treating you? Also, you can see better the pretty ring Ned bought me for Christmas/our anniversary of dating. I like Ned.

IMG_3048Is the anticipation killing you? And when did I get those three bacon-looking lines around my mouth? We could file papers in there.

IMG_3051She got me a new Venus razor! A few weeks ago I blogged about my harrowing experience buying a Rite Aid razor. Anyway, thanks, Jo. You're the fire of my desire.

And note my heels. I decided this week that my ankle was strong enough to get back to heels, because apparently I'm Carrie Bradshaw without the svelte. On my way in to the bookstore, there was a large group of hoodlums at a convenience store right next door, and they all complimented me on my heels. Naturally I took time out to tell each Crip about my sprained ankle and my return to heels, and maybe they were Crips Light or the Light in the Loafers gang, but they listened to the whole diatribe and even seemed interested. I have no idea where my ATM card is.

IMG_3042
My point is, Ned was there, at the BookUp, I mean, not hanging with the hoodlums. Also, 1950 called. Wants its slang for "ruffians" back. Hey, middle age.

Anyway, look how cute. I love Ned. He always looks like he abhors me in every picture I ever take. Maybe he does, and I'm so completely delusional that I have no idea. "Would you please stop following me. I just want to read my book and possibly hit on Jo or Kit." And I'm all, "Ned loves me!!"

Despite hating me, Ned asked if I'd like him to make dinner for me afterward, and even though I'd had a tortilla with cheese, avocado and grape tomatoes before I got there, I said yes. Please see above reference to Carrie Bradshaw. And what I am saying to you, is while he was cooking, I watched him, and just like sometimes when I'm eating something and Tallulah focuses on me and her eyes droop at the same time, because what she'd really like to do is sleep and eat simultaneously, I pretty much passed out before dinner was served.

So I was asleep by 10:30, and do not remember waking up even once. And I could go right back to bed and sleep another eight hours, I promise you, but now I must go to work like a grownup.

Oh, but by the way, my ankle is not happy with me today. I think I may have pushed it with the heels thing. When I got out of bed, my ankle was yelling, and I have no idea why my ankle would sound like Mickey from Rocky–remember? His old grizzled coach?–but that's how it sounded. "Hey what's the idea? Whattaya doin' to me, with the heels? I oughta… WIN, ROCK. WIN!"

June. Limping out.

I am high-maintenance · I hate everything · June's stupid life

pingpingchingpongpongpingchingchong

Remember yesterday when I told you that I woke up in the middle of the night and my thoughts went pingpingchingpongpongpingchingchong? I know that sounded vaguely Asian, and my thoughts did not go Asian. You know what I mean. They pinged around.

All day I was exhaust, as Tallulah would say. I even thought about napping at lunch, but I had to run errands and I saw this ridiculous salon:

IMG_3039Here's a…freeze frame of the salon.

June's blog. Come for the complaints about sleeping. Stay for the hilarious '80s band refs. Stay longer for words like "refs."

My point is, exhaust. It was all I could do to drag myself to the store to buy my week's worth of processed food, and then squat in front of the refrigerator eating everything like I was having a 9 1/2 Weeks moment with myself. Eventually, Ned called. He had to work late because his office is preparing for a huge, fancy meeting today, so what we had on the line, there, were two sparkplugs.

"What time is it?" I asked him eventually. "…It's 9:30," he got out, with the enthusiasm of a tree sloth. "Is it socially acceptable now for me to go to bed?" I asked. So I did, and I got all comfy, as comfy as you can get when your 45-pound dog is already spread across both pillows with her stubborn, unyielding, liable-to-go-Pit-on-you-should-you-disturb-her-too-much self. I was just drifting off when

"SON OF A BITCH." I'd forgotten to write that week's Purple Clover. My deadlines are Mondays. So I had to GET UP, go WRITE SOMETHING, then go back to bed. When you read next week's article on migraines, you'll know the mood I was in when I did it.

I don't even remember lying back down, but what I DO remember is WAKING UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AGAIN. With my thoughts going pingpingchingpongpongpingchingchong.

Goddammit.

So I'm running late once more, but before I go, in case you're not my Facebook friend, I show you this, of which I am OBSESSED.

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 8.01.11 AMBarbie boob necklaces, y'all. HOW COOL IS THAT? The artist makes all kinds of Barbie jewelry, and I LOVE ALL OF IT.

Ned and I were out to dinner Sunday (here he is looking at the menu, for a change)

IMG_3038when I saw on Facebook (because I'd selected what I was eating 26 minutes previous to this shot and was bored) that Faithful Reader Paula had put said Barbie necklace up. I expressed my, you know, delight. "Send it to me," said Ned, and I was all excited that he might get it for me. Then I saw the necklace is

TWO HUNDRED THIRTY DOLLARS.

$230!!!

"Is there a mastectomy Barbie necklace, maybe, that we could get half off?" Ned wondered. I guess Ima have to save my own pennies. I also love that pink oval necklace with the eyeball on her Etsy site. See. This is one of those things I'd have been better off not knowing about, because unnecessary lust.

I must go, and man do I feel fantastic and not at all exhaust, and I have to stop talking like Tallulah. Maybe all day at work I should just communicate in Lu speak. "June, we need this by 10 a.m." "Hooo care?"

P.S. Your my-idea-of-hell comments yesterday were farking hilarious. Laff till exhaust.

P.P.S. Confidential to my Real Houswives intellectual readers. Kyle's screensaver thing freaked me out.

I am berserk · June's stupid life

Because jazz is like the inside of my head, that’s why.

I did that thing where I woke up in the middle of the night and my brain went

 

for an hour. FYI: I abhor jazz. Would you like to torment me? Play me some jazz. Jazzzzzz. Good Lord.

So now I am late, but my mention of jazz (jazzzzzz) (good Lord) reminds me of a question I've been wanting to ask you for quite some time: What would be your idea of hell?

Mine would be something along the lines of having throw-uppy nausea while in a loud frenetic-jazz club with everyone talking on their cell phones and taking time out to tap me on the arm. Once I felt better, the only food choices would be shrimp cilantro or raisins. With sweet tea.

And everywhere you turned would be a tarantula.

You?

...friend/Ned · Hair · June's stupid life

Shazbot. Nothing’s wrong, I just felt like saying “shazbot.”

I hope all y'all all had good Valentine's Days; I had a lovely time. Because it's my holiday. And I am the gross kind of in love. And all that.

IMG_3023Ned sent me beautiful red tulips, and I wonder if he thought of the Sylvia Plath poem about red tulips when he sent them. Heaven knows I'd think of Sylvia Plath if I were dating me. Up there looking all perky behind my flowers is my coworker Deb Downer, the one whose licence plate reads TargetHeartRate or something equally healthy. The one who gets only gum from the vending machine. The one who brings water–WATER!–to birthdays so she isn't tempted to eat cake.

Water. I mean, if you're trying to get me off cake, you better bring a large glass of vodka and some Ben Wa balls or something. My point is, Deb looks really good, like 20-years-younger-than-she-is good. Also, I have never really experienced Ben Wa balls. But I look forward to the several pervs Googling them and finding this blog page in the future. Hi, pervs!

Oh my god, I have no idea how I went from Ned's beautiful flowers to this rather distasteful topic.

IMG_3026After work, I took special care with my appearance and got over to Ned's. My hair was extra curly because I'd dried it carefully. I wore my high-heeled boots for the first time in three months, since my ankle injury. "You look great," said Ned, who is always careful to compliment me. "What'd you do to your hair? Did you get a Jeri Curl or something?"

A Jeri Curl.

Ned gave me a large box of chocolates, and unlike my friend Deb I did not drink water to avoid the temptation. Pretty much the rest of the evening was me talking around whatever chew was in my mouth at the moment. Because, sexayy?

IMG_3028Ned also made dinner for us, and I'm the one who got him that cookbook, which he uses all the time. Am excellent girlfriend. Mostly because I am creative with a Ben Wa ball.

I had planned to bake something for Ned for his V-Day gift, but because I could literally not get out of my driveway due to snow and ice and ice, I instead cut up a bunch of strips of paper and filled a bag with reasons I love Ned. Once I got started there was no stopping me. "Good kisser." "Opens doors for me." "Pretends to love Edsel." The list went on and on.

We went to a happy Eugene O'Neil play after, because what says romance more than that life-affirming dude? It was a good play, though, and I cannot complain about my Valentine's Day.

This morning I had to scream out of bed and dash to the hairdresser, to fix my roots that did not really get covered last time. I can tell my hairdresser hated me and kind of thought I was trying to get free root touchup, but really. Did you guys not see how they were showing? I showed you right after it happened. Wait.

Photo on 1-25-14 at 4.38 PM #5Here. This was the day I got them done. Do you not see a little snow on the rooftop, or am I delusional?

Anyway, she did it, and I felt guilty, but there you have it. As she was washing my hair resentfully, I noticed how pretty the space is where my hairdresser is, and I also noticed it, like all the buildings downtown, has exposed pipes and so on. Why is this a thing now? I mean, I like it, but since when did it become cool? Why don't we just rip a little of our walls out, expose the insulation while we're at it? Maybe later we could start exposing our own organs. "Oh, she's really cool. She has hardwood floors and an exposed small intestine!"

After my hair, I was effing starved, so I called Ned and we had lunch at this pub/restaurant place near his house that has exposed pipes. I forgot people go there to watch sports, and apparently there was a sport on, because the damn place was packed. We found a spot, and a few minutes later this man came in with a baby. He set the baby on a bar stool, and immediately I turned into my grandmother.

"Oh dear god, that baby's gonna fall right off that stool," I said, watching the carrier thing rock back and forth. "Somewhere there's a woman out there who'd be having FORTY FITS if she saw her baby right now." Where WAS the mom? Was she having a day off? If so, did she know her spouse was going to be schlepping the baby to the nearest bar? To balance precariously on a stool?

Not long after, this couple came and joined old Father of the Year and Rock-a-Bye-Baby. The woman was immediately enamored of said baby. Her male companion was all, "Oh hey. Hi, baby." But the woman did that thing people do, where she opened her mouth and eyes really wide, and stared into that carrier like that baby had a tablet showing David Beckham disrobing or something.

IMG_3030I'm sorry to tell you I may have sneaked a photo in, and I know you are STUNNED to see that Ned got a side salad.

Anyway, eventually the woman's martini came, and I always wished I were the kind of person to be able to drink a martini. Not at 1:00 in the afternoon, but still. The idea of drinking when it's light out makes me sad, somehow. My point is, that woman paid NO ATTENTION to her martini. None. So enamored was she of that child.

Eventually she lifted it out of its thing, there, whatever you call it, and I do have to tell you that was one damn cute baby. It was one of those chubby-cheeked rosy big-eyed babies, and I know you're thinking, That's every baby, June, but you and I both know there are some riby, lemony, plug-ugly babies in the world, and people plaster them up on Facebook like you want to see them. You're all scrolling down your page when

EEEEEEEE!

someone's lemony baby appears, and you have burnt sockets for eyes.

Anyway, it really was a very cute thing, and I am not so creepy that I took a photo of someone's baby and put it up here, but my POINT is, alcohol abuse. She was letting that martini get room temperature, and there are sober people in India.

"Is there something wrong with us?" I asked Ned, who was similarly baffled at someone being so happy to look at a baby that she'd let her drink go to waste. "No, I…well, probably," said Ned, and I cannot wait till some 30-year-old chippie steals Ned from me and I run into him with five toddlers at the Home Depot or whatever. I mean, when you're a 48-year-old man, that possibility still exists. Look at David Letterman. Or Tony Randall, which who even knew he liked him the ladies?

Anyway, that was my last 24 hours, and I'm glad we had this time together. Now, go to the right thing. Don't let your martinis get warm.

Maternally,

June

June's stupid life · My pets

Officially over the word “snowpacalypse”

IMG_2999So, hey, it snowed here. If you're Facebook friends with anyone from the South, you probably already know that. You probably know that a LOT.

One woman brought her child to work yesterday, a child who was about 18 months to 11 years old. She sat at one of the desks and drew and read and was way quieter and more mature than the rest of us. Anyway, Molly, this woman at work who isn't named Alex so right there it makes her rare and marvelous, got the idea that we should all say what time we thought the snow should start, and that the child would hold on to our times and yell out when she saw the first flake. I forget what the winner got because the winner was not me, as per usual.

How can a loser ever win?

Molly is one of those people who's good with kids. I would have been all, Hey, do you know anything about proofreading? How about making coffee? I am the reason child labor laws were invented. Anyway, the snow started around lunchtime, when I was out being humiliated at the grocery store, or "food store," as one of the Alexes at work called it. "I ought to go to the food store and stock up if it's gonna snow." Yes, English IS her first language.

IMG_2998 2

Anyway, my store humiliation. Do you remember the other day, when I got a blueberry pie on sale at the store and when I got to the checkout I had -$7 available so I was unable to buy pie? Yesterday at lunch, I and four hundred billion other people went to the store to get food because soon we'd be snowed in and everything would be shut down except Gray's Tavern, which is this bar downtown that never ever seems to close.

My point is, I said screw it. I'm gettin' a blueberry pie again, and I added a rotisserie chicken, some blue corn chips and also chili. It was a comprehensive list that met all my needs. I KNEW FOR A FACT I had money this time, and when I got to the checkout? Card. Declined.

"&##@%," I said, storming out of the store. Oh, I was mad. I screamed home, got online and YES. I HAD MONEY. What the foxtrot. So I called the damn bank.

"Hi. This is your bank. If you're calling because your card was declined, we sent you a new one a month ago, because everyone got scammed using their ATM cards at Target and you know you go to Target 90 times a month, so activate your new card and you're all set, there, Sparky. Also, nice waiting for a month to activate. Para español, oprima dos."

"@#%@&," I said. That ATM card had been on my bathroom sink for ages, because I like to get the mail, come in and get right on the pot. My hot friend Dan even remarked on it. "You…know you have an ATM card on your sink, right?" Dan is probably one of those people who always has books of stamps.

I found the damn card, called to activate it, screamed back to the damn food store and bought everything. On the way out, I spilled the entire chicken juice contents on my sweater.

 

I slay myself every time I throw that in.

Anyway, I got back to work and within an hour they sent us home, because it went from being a normal gray wintery day to being Santa's wonderland that fast. I live three miles from work and it took me 20 minutes, because people just…stop when there's a storm. They just put on their warning lights and come to a complete stop in the middle of the road. Later last night there was a news story about this woman being stuck, and they showed the half inch of snow some Good Samaritan shoveled out from under her tire. One scoop and you could see road.

However. I have to tell you. This was real snow. And real effing ice. We got seven? Nine? A lot of fricking inches of snow, and unlike Michigan where it's magically melted thanks to nine billion ice trucks, here it just remains. The snow remains the same.

Ned and I had plans to go to the movies last night, and he was the last person to leave his office yesterday. "Is anyone else there?" I'd asked him when I got home. "All the women have left," he started, and when I asked what THAT was supposed to mean, he said testosterone made you drive better. I said, "I have three words for you: My. Uncle.Leo."

Anyway, the damn theater was closed and I told Ned it was too scary to get on the road, so we decided to just talk on the phone later. About 8 p.m. I called him, all sad and missing Ned-ish.

1921123_712837275415423_1287647391_oA friend of his had put this picture on Facebook. Look at young hot Ned, with his daisy and his cigarette. It just makes me want to make out with him in 1990, is what it does. All handsome and broody. Even the ducks are all, "Heyyyyy."

"I'm driving over," I said. "I'm not scared." "Really?" said Ned, who grew up in the South.

Dudes. That was the scariest effing drive in the history of time. The only people on the road were a UPS driver going 10 with his hazards on, a news truck and a plow. And my sturdy VW Bug. When I got to Ned's I was shaking like Camilla Parker Bowles during a hay shortage.

"You should have forbidden me to make this drive," I groused, pulling off my snow-encrusted boots. "That was awful." The good news is, Ned fed me and we even watched an episode of Sex and the City to calm me down. I got to pick the episode, so I picked I Heart NY, which is my favorite one.

IMG_2966Afterward, we took a walk in his deserted neighborhood. Everything was so quiet, and the snow was still falling.

IMG_2972Say, can we get a table outside?

Outside Ned's apartment, we saw his cat in the window. Ned threw a snowball and she turned and looked out at us, being all Rapunzel or Juliet or whatever.

IMG_2960wat hell wrong wif yuu 2? it cold and icee. nedkittee stay in. haff brayne in hed. ass hoe ells.

At the end of the night, Ned said, "What I've taken away from this evening is I get to forbid you to do things. I never even knew I had that kind of power."

One worries what sort of Pandora's box I have opened, here.

IMG_3017They canceled work today and then told us we had to work from home, so I ended up probably doing more work than I normally would at work, really. But in between my DAMN EMAIL pinging EVERY EIGHT SECONDS, I went outside with the dogs, who with each step would have to crunch through the layer of ice on top, so what they looked is elegant. Is what they looked.

IMG_2996hooo care, mom. it totlee fun out heer.

Iris went out, too, and threw herself on her back and rolled on the surface of the ice. I have no idea why she likes snow so much.

Lily stayed in. A trifle judgmentally, if you ask me.

That picture up there with both dogs makes me think of Ned's niece, who is 14. She watched her younger brother and sister playing in her front yard yesterday and sighed. "They're ruining our snow look," she said. My dogs so totally ruined my snow look, too.

Anyway, we don't have work till 10:00 tomorrow, and it's VALENTNE'S DAY, my favorite holiday, so I will report back later with my hundreds of Valentines.

Frostily, June

Hulk's sex life · June's stupid life

In which June says “six to ten inches” and tries to stay mature

Every morning here is the same. The stupid annoying alarm goes off and Edsel LEAPS off the bed and runs out, as though someone is ringing shots into the bedroom. Tallulah stays where she is, with her head on the other pillow, sleeping through each time I hit snooze, which is 394994293 times.

Occasionally she'll flap her snout up in my hair and sighhhhhhhh on my neck. Siiiiiiiiiyyy. Finally, after snooze hit number 394994293, I say to her, "Are you ready to get up? Have breakfast?" And she always acts like this is a completely fantastic idea I'd never come up with before.

IMG_2943"wy no one eber theenk of that? dat be a grate idea! let lu stretsch 80 feet long and yawn for 60 minnit, then we get up and have brekbast."

What I'm saying to you is I love Tallulah.

That picture up there is from the other day, when I'd just made the bed, then came in four seconds later to find Talu getting everything just the way she likes it: All fucked up. And yes, those sheet ARE wrinkly. I used to iron the sheets, but then I got a life.

Anyway. We're expecting a big snowstorm here–I mean, big for the South. Six to 10 inches! Hooooo-haaaaaa. Which, pfft. Six to 10 inches in Michigan is just another day.

That's what Hulk said.

It's all very exciting here. Everyone at work is creating if-I-can't-make-it-in-due-to-these-four-inches-of-snow or whatever plans, and the grocery store was ludicrous and while others got bread and milk I got popcorn and lemonade and a jar of Parmesan cheese. Everyone has their priorities. I feel like Pa Ingalls getting ready for The Long Winter.

Now, see, THAT was a storm. A storm that lasted five months and blocked the trains from coming in to deliver food because the snow was taller than trains. That is what you'd call a storm. When you have to grind wheat and make depressing bread as your entire meal plan for a whole season. That whole family musta been carbed out. "Soon as this storm clears, Ma, we're all going on Atkins."

I should make the Little House books required reading for this blog.

Anyway, that is what's going on in my world. The snow is set to begin at 9 a.m., and we will all rush to the windows like we're eight years old at work, I promise you. After the first inch or two we'll all get told we can go home if we need to. The South cracks me up.

So I'll talk at you from under all this dramatic snow. Maybe I will include pictures of snow cat Iris, who last time picked it up with her paws, shook it off and picked more up with her paws again. She was riveted. For a minute. eyeriss able to kill this? this good to eet? then forget.

June, frigid. And out.

Dooce envy · June's stupid life

Bye-bye, pie

Dooce did a juice cleanse for several days and feels great. I tried to buy an almost-expired blueberry pie on sale at the store last night, but my ATM card was rejected. So I came home and ate Kraft Macaroni and Cheese that I already had on hand.

That about sums us up.

So what's new with everybody? Doesn't blueberry pie sound delicious? In unrelated news, did I tell you all I joined Weight Watchers at work? We had the introductory meeting last week, and this Friday we officially start. When I was getting ready to go over to the meeting, I told a few people in my department so they'd know where I was. I kept hoping someone would say, "Oh, June. That's ridiculous. Why are you going to a Weight Watchers meeting? You'll waste away!"

No one did.

Anyway, if anyone has experience with this program and can recommend to me anything good I can eat that's worth negative five points on the Weight Watchers' plan, please alert me forthwith. Fortunately I still have three days in which to eat like a sailor on leave. A carb-addicted sailor on leave.

Tonight I'm going to one of my friend Jo's BookUps, which is where she invites everyone to come to some public place and read a book. She got sick and tired of people saying they didn't have time to read, so she set up a night a month where that's what we do. Tonight we're meeting at the new local bookstore, which sells coffee and wine and black pretentious beer and has tables and so on.

Two years ago exactly I went to Jo's BookUp at a restaurant right across the street from Ned's house, and then afterward Jo and I walked across the street to have coffee right next to Ned's apartment. I was nervous as a cat the whole time that he'd see me and think I was stalking him, so I remember emailing him to tell him these were the things I was doing and not to think I was, you know, stalking him.

"Oh, not at all, don't worry," wrote Ned.

"Great, great, what a relief," I wrote. "And when I'm outside your second-story window in a cherry picker, I'm not stalking you then, either."

I didn't hear from him the rest of that day, I remember. How I managed to snag Ned is beyond me.

By the next month's BookUp, things were heating up between Ned and me, and he met me at that month's BookUp across from his house. We barely looked at our books. Instead we laughed and talked as a huge thunderstorm boomed outside.

2012-03-20 18.42.42Jo took this picture, and it's the first picture I have of Ned and me, and it continues to be my favorite. Mostly I'm glad someone caught me talking. It's like a shot of the Loch Ness Monster or something. You don't see that every day.

I remember we went back to his apartment after this and made out for about 47 hours. Hi, mom.

At any rate, we've been to several BookUps together since, and tonight Ned had tickets to a riveting basketball game, but he's coming with me to the BookUp instead of going to said sporting event. I love Ned.

I'm going to be bringing the book I'm just about finished with, One Foot in Eden by Ron Rash. We all read Ron Rash here on this blog, when we had a book club. We read Serena. Remember? I read that book in one weekend, and I'd have read Ron Rash's book in one weekend had there been time. As it is, I'll finish it tonight and I only started it on Saturday. I think I like Ron Rash. Way more than, say, a heat rash.

I have to get ready for work now, and try not to think of blueberry pie, which I'd be eating the shit out of had I not had -$7.12 in checking. Damn you, bank balance. Damn you, lack of blueberry deliciousness. Violet, you're turning Violet.

June, rolling out.

June's stupid life · Times I Amused My Own Self

Almost parRODise

Am certain you are champing at bit to hear the rest of my shower curtain rod story, which I began yesterday. I'd hate to leave you HANGING. Get it? Do you?

Ned and I went to Target to return the damn rod he'd bought me to replace the one I'd thrown out my front door. Ned once told me that when we were first dating, I'd mentioned my temper to him and he was relieved, because he is exactly the same way, and at least when he threw a remote across the room I'd be less appalled. The good news is, we've managed to not throw anything AT each other, so far.

Anyway, off we went, and we were stuck in line behind some kind of super couponer, who literally had a three-ring binder filled with coupons, her beleaguered husband at her side. Each time the staff at Target rang up another coupon, she'd say, "Now, wait, isn't there supposed to be…" "Shouldn't I also be getting 5% off additionally…" and she'd page through her binder. I cannot wait for the day this sort of activity becomes illegal.

Her husband looked like he wanted to take his savings and invest in a nice prostitute. Maybe his wife has a coupon for one!

Finally, it was our turn, and I tossed the now-in-40-pieces shower curtain rod on the table along with Ned's receipt. "I'd like to return this, please," I said, which was probably obvious, but there you go, and you can't tell me I was more annoying than old Mrs. Moneypenny, there, who's been in line before me.

"Certainly," said the poor sales girl, and I smiled at her, and that is when I noticed her name. Which was Paradise.

It is Marvin's fault that I look at name tags. Marvin is obsessed with funny names, and if you ask him who waited on us at the Queen Mary on October 11, 1997, which happened to be our year anniversary of dating, which is why we were at the Queen Mary, he'd tell you Purvis did. Purvis brought us our food. Because that's what Marvin does.

I remember he was thrilled when, during the Nicole Brown Simpson debaucle, we learned that OJ Simpson saw Nicole having sex with Keith Zlomsowitch.

"Keith ZLOMSLOWITCH," Marvin kept saying. "That's who she decided to have sex with. Keith ZLOMSOWITCH." Sometimes he'd just say the word, from out of nowhere, "Zlomsowitch."

Recently I was at the movies, and my ticket-taker's name was Kweesy. You can imagine my immediate text to Marvin.

At any rate, Paradise took time out from knockin' on heaven's door to refund Ned's money.

 

No, really, any time. You're welcome.

After Ned got his $16 back from Paradise, we headed into the store to buy YET ANOTHER GODDAMN SHOWER CURTAIN ROD. I was already desperately in love with myself. "I remember when–"

I started to laugh.

"What?" asked Ned. I tried again.

"I remember when–" This time I laughed so hard at myself I had to bend over. I grabbed Ned's arm for support. "I–" was all I could squeak. People turned to see if I was dying. Which I was. Because, hilarious?

"What?" asked Ned, looking pained. Did I mention Ned is more reserved than I am? Rip Taylor is more reserved than I am.

"I remember when our salesgirl was lost," I finally managed to get out, tears coming from my eyes.

"What?"

"Our salesgirl. Paradise. I remember when she was lost."

"Our salesgirl's name was Paradise?"

Sighhh.

The point is, the new rod is up. IMG_2954
Let's hope it stays up. Because that would be…paradise.

I hate everything · June's stupid life

My rod and my wrath

On Friday night, Ned and I were having a night in, as part of our fiscal responsibility plan. I was making salmon the way I like it (coated in brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and pretentious brown mustard), new potatoes and a big salad with dressing just the way I like it (grapeseed oil, apple cider vinegar and garlic powder).

June's cooking blog. Come for the recipes. Stay for the angry rod story.

Ned, of course, wanted to work out first, which gave me plenty of time to do important things like read Allure. Finally, it was time for my shower so I'd be all sanitary to greet Ned, then I'd start the potatoes.

When I walked into the goddamn shower, the goddamn shower curtain rod had collapsed. Again.

A few weeks back, I walked into my roomy bathroom (you get more square footage on a plane. There isn't even enough room in that bathroom to change your mind. I can't even get fluffy toilet paper, it takes up too much space. We're talking not a large bathroom.) and my damn shower curtain had fallen. I'd twisted it this way and that and was about to go get a new one when Ned came over and did something decided and manly and the rod went right back up.

And now here it was again, lying drunkenly in my tub, the shower curtain getting all bendy.

"@%%&#," I said, as I tried to emulate Ned's decided and manly pull on the rod. So to speak. "&&#%$!!" I added, as it once again fell down. I must have spent 15 minutes standing there trying to move that thing, and of course it kept hitting all the walls of that spacious room, which knocked things over and eventually broke my shaving cream can, and in all I was in a mood.

I ended up taking a shower out in the open, with no curtain, like I was in one of those movies where people clean themselves under a waterfall, except for the part where they don't have to get out and wipe every surface of their giant bathroom.

It turns out, bad shower experiences make me decidedly crabby. I also get really furious when there's no hot water. I mean, all I'm asking for is a nice shower. I'm not asking for the world. I'm not asking for a pink diamond and a designer dress and Sarah Jessica Parker's new shoes. Okay, of course I'm asking for all that. But I'm also just asking for a decent shower. Just eight minutes of hot water that stays put in the general vacinity of the tub. Is that a lot to ask? Is it?

Did I ever tell you about that time after I ran that marathon in 2000? There was a big party after, for everyone who'd run it, and they stupidly had said party on the second level of some restaurant, so every attendee had to crabwalk sideways to get up the steps into the party. YOU try running 26.2 miles, see if you're not a tad stiff after.

My point is, this guy at the party said, "Oh, god, it was so good to get back to my hotel and shower after that run. That's the second-most refreshing shower I've ever had."

….! You guys. Why, why did I not ask him what the first-most refreshing shower was? Because 14 years later that still haunts me. What could he possibly have done that resulted in a more satisfying shower than one taken after RUNNING TWENTY-SIX POINT TWO MILES? What? It obsesses me.

Anyway, after wiping down the Niagara Falls that was my bathroom, I answered the phone. "Hello." I said.

One thing Ned has learned in his two delightful years with me is how to gauge the Many Moods of June. The many moods of June, most of them dour. "Uh-oh," said Ned.

"I'm crabby," I told him, and explained my story and clearly was being paid by the F word. "Well, I was calling to see if you needed me to bring anything, and I guess a shower rod, right?" he asked. "What size rod?"

"I do not KNOW what size rod, and I cannot TELL you what size rod, because the artist formerly known as my shower curtain rod is now out on my front lawn, where I threw it," I told him darkly.

It wasn't long before Ned appeared at my door, new rod in hand. So to speak. He looked back at the rod on my monkey grass. "You don't know what I would have given to be across the street watching you throw that thing," he said.

Ned commenced to pull the FORT KNOX plastic off my new shower curtain rod, and I have no idea why they make plastic so hard to remove nowadays. Remember when we all actually bought CDs, how hard those fucking plastic containers were to pull apart? You'd be in your car tearing at it like some kind of banshee, because you just effing wanted to hear Edie Brickell on the drive home. Goddammit.

Forty-nine minutes later, the plastic was off the new rod, and Ned fitted it to my wall.

Boom.

It fell.

He tried again.

Boom.

"Well, maybe it's…" said Ned, as he pulled the rod this way and that. So to speak. He put it up again.

Boom.

"@$$#&*@!!" said Ned, as he took the rod down and yanked at it.

And that's when the new shower curtain rod fell into a million and sixty pieces, and Ned's mood turned even darker than mine, and why I'm going to join the Y just so I can shower.

Ask June · June's stupid life

June manages her lunch.

This morning, I alerted you that I was running late, for a change, because I embrace the morning, and I asked you what I should write about when I come home at lunch. I was expecting more: "Write about THIS topic, Joooon" and I got really sort of more, "Here are some Qs we have for you, Joooon." So let me bang this mother out as best I can by answering the questions I see before me.

PJ wondered what accomplishment makes me the most proud, and I've answered before that running ("running." hah!) a marathon is number one for me. Because, you know, it was a marathon. I really enjoyed it when people asked, "One of those 26-mile ones?"

Sigh.

PJ also wonders about the oldest piece of clothing I have, and let's all pause to consider what a freak PJ is. I still have my wedding veil, and oh! A yellow Izod sweater I bought in 1988. I still wear it. It's a yellow V-neck.

PJ ALSO wonders if I ever lost a job due to quirkiness, and not technically, but I did have a boss who did not like me. She hired me because I am an extrovert and she thought it'd balance her introversion but really what happened is I just irked the shit out of her. Unfortunately I heard her saying this, so I talked to her about it and we tried to work though it but eventually I quit that job because working for someone who finds you awful is sort of agony.

Maryanne asks what the worst job is I ever had, and please see this fine Purple Clover article detailing just that.

PJ, who I am starting to think needs a hobby, wondered how to act if she saw me in a restaurant. One option she listed was could she squee and scream, "IT'S JUNE!" and that's the one I like. Who WOULDN'T want someone to squee because they'd been sighted? I mean, unless I was headed in to Hal's House of STD Treatments or something.

Jeanie wanted to know if Edsel is still training for a half-marathon, as he was my running partner when I was training. He is currently curled up on the floor next to me right now, fast asleep, but if you offered him a 13-mile run, I feel like he would take it and never slow down. As for me? Nope. I will not run ever again. My ankle is STILL effed up.

Talu, by the way, is sitting on the other side of me, and I would like to state right now that her smell is not good. I am thinking a Talu bath may be on the agenda this weekend.

TX Peach and some other readers wanted to hear about last night's pool hall extravaganza. It went like this. Ned got his hair cut, then came to my house right after and we screamed on over to said pool hall, where my coworkers were already half in the bag. No one but Ned wanted to play pool and I offered to take lessons to please him, and he rolled his eyes at me because apparently there's no such thing as pool lessons. Then at about 8:00, he took me home. The end.

Amish Annie wanted a story about my lifelong friend Pal from MA. Once it was Pal's birthday, she was turning five. She and I wore pink dresses and headed to Bill Knapp's, which is this wonderful restaurant chain that is now gone and I hate everything. They give you a whole chocolate cake for your birthday and Bing Crosby sings on the overhead and there's a candle shaped like your age.

My point is, Pal gets her cake and her song and we all clap and some yahoo comes to the table and looks at Pal and me in our pink dresses. "Aren't they cute," she said. Pal announced it was her bday, because attention whore. The woman again exclaims how cute we are and asks, "Are they twins?"

Even at age four and five, we totally rolled our eyes at each other. Really, if you wanted to sum up our 45 years of friendship, it could be summed up in, "They rolled their eyes at each other."

Are they twins. What a maroon.

Amish A also noted that Ned seems so well-adjusted and wonders why. I agree that he is, and I also know of times he's told himself, "I'm going to stop being [insert neurotic or bad trait here]" and he's actually stuck with it. This is one of the things I love about Ned. I have great admiration for Ned, really. Anyway, I wrote and told him about AA's comment and he wrote back that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. So maybe on the inside Ned is a screeching screaming nutbar.

So that sums up what you asked me. There were other Qs but I addressed them in the comments of the last post. One reader said she's ready for a Tallulah guest post, and I just told her and here's her response.

Photo on 2-7-14 at 12.55 PMlu delite

I have no idea why I look so red in that photo. I don't in real life. But I like how there's a photo in back of me embracing Talu, with me embracing Talu in the foreground.

Photo on 2-7-14 at 1.00 PM #5I took a photo with Eds to see if I look red in that picture, and I do. Why so red?

Blushingly,

June