God, moving is awful.
Talk amongst yourselves.
In the meantime, I was perusing all the stupid photos I've taken with this computer through the years. Self-involved much?
But on to the next thing!
God, moving is awful.
Talk amongst yourselves.
In the meantime, I was perusing all the stupid photos I've taken with this computer through the years. Self-involved much?
But on to the next thing!
My nails are a mess and all the emery boards have been packed away, I have a bruise on my shin now, and my left calf is not working. Yesterday was the hardest of all the damn moving days, so far.
I painted the front door–it's green on the outside and white inside. Then I touched up chips on door frames and so on. Then? I weeded.
Oh dear god.
I weeded for hours. Who knew I had this many damn weeds? And everything still looks weedy, if you ask me. But I give up at this point.
NedKitty is similarly enjoying her boxes, having no idea she will be sharing boxes with The Enemy in a few days. Ned, who is obsessed with that cat, went to the vet and got her some composure pills and a pheromone collar, both of which she's been taking for a week now and she seems much more outgoing as a result. "NedKitty feel great! Not no wy. We got any Doreetoes?"
"You know how my cats are going to handle this move?" I asked him. "They're gonna suck it up and take it like men." Composure pills. Jesus. Ned pointed out she is literally taking a chill pill.
I had to go to Target yesterday, because you can't move anywhere without going to Target 49 times a day, and next door is a PetSmart, where they were having dog adoption day, and who with the eleventy things she had to do took time out to look at dogs, do you think? There was a yellow puppy there, aka my type, and he was just little and his PAWSES WERE GIANT! Oh, it was cute. Every step he took, flop flop flop with those big feets. Naturally I adopted him and he's here now. You don't think Ned will notice, do yo?
Back when I was married to Marvin, I'd often head to that shopping center on weekends, and they were pretty much always having pet adoptions on weekends. Inevitably, I'd call him from the PetSmart. He'd pick up the phone with, "No," before I even got started. Whatever with Marvin.
I notice that Ned keeps saying, "I even love Edsel." He always says it that way. "I love ALL your pets. Even Edsel." As if Edsel needs an "even." Geez. I saw my next-door neighbor Paul (not to be confused with my ancient neighbor Paul, who I have not seen yet to say goodbye) and he said, "I thought you might be moving, with all the stuff going on over here lately. I'll miss you, but I won't miss Edsel."
Edsel tends to bark. All the time. I hope our new neighbors don't abhor us.
I had better get ready for work. It hurts to type. Did I also mention I burned my thumb? I have these stupid tiny square lights in the hall, and they're encased in metal, and of course the two middle lights burned out for the first time in six and a half years. Of course. I'd been in the attic, and when I shut the attic door, I noticed the two middle lights not working, and grabbed one.
It was like that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, where that guy gets the medallion burned into his hand. I hate everything.
Oh, and here's my Purple Clover for the week. It's about how I'm sick and tired of introverts. Aaaaand hateful comments start now.
We were a lot cuter when the day began. I brought the dogs on the porch for a last portrait in front of the house. Ever since Talu had her incident, you have to bribe her with treats or cat intestines or the head of Peg to get her to come out anymore.
It's amazing how frazzled my hair can get when I am frazzled. My boss has been out of the office for two weeks, and I've had to do a lot more work, and even though all I'm doing is staring intensely at papers and screens all day, by the end of a busy day my hair stands all on end, like I've seen a mouse.
The reason my hair looks like that one heroin-addicted chick from Orange is the New Black today is because I've been working like a demon. I really thought I had the packing thing under control, because certainly you haven't heard me talk about packing for the last 9,000 days or anything. But once you start really trying to eliminate every last thing, it turns out you aren't remotely in control. Of anything. Ever.
And is there much worse than opening a drawer or cupboard and SON OF A BITCH, you haven't cleaned that out yet? God DAMMIT.
Speaking of Peg, today I called her to ask if I could use her recycle bin, because you can imagine how not-at-all-full mine is. "Oh, sure, but mine's pretty full," she told me. She told me she's been feeling poorly again, and the doctors can't figure it out, and she's not been well enough to take the trash cans to the curb.
"Why don't I come roll those out for you, Peg," I said, because I am a magnificent person. You guys. Her trash and recycle bin were so completely full that I could barely move them. And they're on wheels! She hasn't been able to roll those things for weeks. I feel terrible for her. Poor Peg. Now I feel bad that I'm leaving her.
Also, because God frowns upon me, the wheel to my picket fence leading to the back yard fell off, so with all my spare time, Ned and I had to schlep to not one but two home repair stores, which by the way always make me feel sick. I honestly cannot tell you what it is. Maybe it's seeing people preparing to work hard. I don't know. But whenever I go into one of those places I feel dizzy and nauseated.
They gave us this, like, cone of free popcorn when we walked in, and once we'd wolfed that down I did a Madonna-with-a-mastectomy impression, and then a unicorn, and then pretended I had a cone-shaped penis because we were in such a manly store. I held it in front of me and talked in a low, manly voice. You'd never have known I wasn't a dude.
Ned seemed to walk several paces in front of me.
Then I wanted to look at drawer pulls, because there were so many pretty ones, but Ned dragged me over to the nails and that's when I got all giggly about the dirty things.
Anyway, we fixed the damn thing, and then I spent all day hauling and packing and cleaning and hauling and shoving and grunting and hating the world. Oh, and I bought weed killer, and look, I'd judge me, too. I have never bought weed killer, because I'm a green screw, but I am desperate because renters coming.
Having never bought any, I asked the sales boy at Target who just this morning became a fertilized cell. When I spoke to him he'd just developed ear buds, so that was a plus.
"Do you know where I can find weed killer?" I asked, feeling like someone who burns styrofoam. Oh, the guilt.
"Is that a video game?"
I swear to you. That's what he said. Is that a video game. Jesus.
Anyway, now I am headed to Ned's, who if you can believe this wants to go out tonight, because it's his last weekend living downtown. Driving all the old men crazy. So it'd behoove me to shower, because am currently disgusting.
Pretty soon I'll have to pack this computer, so when I go dark don't freak out like you do. Joooon! Are you dead JOOOOOON?!
I have gotten a few Freaky Friday submissions since Peter's chilling tale. Here's one from Jeanne.
My mother used to tell a story about me: When I about four, I found my mother weeping and asked her why. She told me it was my late grandmother’s birthday and that she missed her mother. I left the room and came back about ten minutes later holding my hand in the air. When my mother asked what I was doing, I said that I had brought my grandmother to visit. I don’t remember having my hand in the air— I do remember walking from my mother’s bedroom to mine, and stopping in the doorway because even though the room was empty, I felt like there was someone there. And then I remember being picked up.
Twenty years later, I was at a friend’s house and told her the story. She asked if I’d ever had that sensation again, as if there was someone in what seemed to be an empty room. When I said that I occasionally had that feeling, she asked if I’d felt it in her house. Without thinking, I pointed to the next room and said, “Well, there’s something by the dining room window.”
The next day she told her neighbor what I’d said and the neighbor got a weird look on her face. She told my friend that the previous occupant of the house had been a sickly old man who sat for hours looking out that window every day for the last ten years of his life.
OooooWEEEEEOoooooo! Jeanne freaks me out.
I leave you now with something I found while I was (WAIT FOR IT!) (WAAAAAAIT!) packing. When my mother turned 60, she asked Marvin to write a song for her. So he did. You'll never guess what my mom's name is after you hear it.
I hope you can click on it and play. Kills me. Marvin was funny. Okay, I'm out. Have a fine weekend and please give me words of cheer because all I will be doing is schlepping and cleaning, cleaning and schlepping.
Well, I'm ALMOST packed. I know it's taking forever, but I'm going through a whole house and shed and attic and Marvin's stuff and besides, I usually get bored after an hour.
That bag is one final (maybe final?) bag of clothes to go to Goodwill, who I actually have not donated to that much, because what happened to all their drop boxes? I keep donating to this yellow drop box, and I have no idea what charity I'm helping. The Charity to Help Kill Baby Gorillas. Hey! Here are more clothes! Good luck with that!
The Ashley Wilkes is Hot Foundation
Friends of Gwynneth Paltrow
The Barfing, Yay! Group
Okay, I'm done.
Shelves in hallway.
Shelf above stove. When I was packing, I grabbed this old tin of hot chocolate from up there to throw it away, and it rattled. In 1812, Marvin put spare keys in there, and the cats' ID tags. This would have been good to know, say, four years ago.
You can tell what's important to me: salt, pepper and coffee. I like to add both to my coffee. Mmm-mmmm! I can describe this chicken in two words: mmm-mmmmm!
Faithful Reader and Friend in Real Life Lilly came by yesterday and left me "some boxes" on my porch. When I came home for lunch, there were 39449393 boxes, neatly lying there. I wrote to thank her, and asked her, "If my dogs are home all day, why can't they pack? They're pack animals."
I loved myself so much for that line, I repeated it to the editor who sits next to me. "They'll only pack for you if they're Boxers," he said.
Really, we'll be here all week.
Ned is pretty much recovered from his illness, and we went out last night and got more newspapers so he and I could pack dishes. Somehow we got on the subject of that horrible song, The Boys Are Back in Town by Thin Lizzy. I hate that song.
"What boys?" I groused.
"The boys," said Ned. "They're back in town."
"Remember that time over at Janet's place?" I asked Ned, who said if his two moods are starving and I-may-have-eaten-too-much, my mood is I love myself. "Well, this chick got up and she slapped Janet's face."
"It's Johnny's place. Not Janet. …Janet." Ned was all disgusted with me.
"It's Johnny? Seriously? My whole life I pictured a cat fight between two kind of trashy women." I Googled the lyrics with my phone. What the hell did we ever do before we could whip out our phones and Google everything? Did we all just keep arguing?
"Hunh. It's Johnny."
You go your whole life thinking something…
I'd better go to work.
He emailed me midmorning yesterday. "I am home from work. I have aches, chills, I feel awful." I asked if he needed anything. "Yes. A chicken sandwich from the Iron Hen, and some sauteed okra. I.am.starving."
I got him his sick-boy food and schlepped over there at lunchtime. Ned hobbled to the gate to let me in. "Ohhhhhh," he said, looking peaked. "Do you have a fever?" I asked. Once I asked a doctor if I had a temperature, and he rather shortly said, "Everyone has a temperature, June." That was probably just before he quit. So now I'm careful to say "fever" so no doctor pops out of the earth and yells at me.
"I don't think so." It turns out Ned has never, ever owned a thermometer. "What kind of hypochondriac are you?" I asked him.
I sat with Ned while he splayed on the couch and moaned and tried to eat. He ate only half his sandwich, which is not like him. Ned has two moods: starving and I-may-have-eaten-too-much.
"Ohhhhhh," said Ned. "I think you have a flu of some kind," I told him as I handed him my medical degree. "This came on so suddenly."
"I think it's Ebola. No, it can't be, it feels worse than Ebola," said Ned, and that is when I left to go to work with normal people.
After work, I tended to my dogs and (wait for it) packed and threw out some things, then I headed to Ned's. He was supposed to be catsitting for his aunt and uncle, and I said I'd do it. I had to go get the key, and instructions. Ned hobbled to the gate, and when he wasn't "ohhhhh"ing, he told me how much to feed each cat ("feed each cat half of the one bag, and each cat half of the other bag…" Why is it never easy to animal-sit for anyone?) and I listened to everything and got in the car.
That is when I realized I didn't know how to get there. I called Ned. "Just tell me the street name, and I will Siri it. I'll know their house when I see it." I've been over there probably 11 times, but you know how I am with directions.
Sadly, every time I tried to Siri the street name, effing Siri would say, "There is nobody in your contacts with that name." "IT'S A STREET," I kept yelling at her. "A STREET." Some day, someone is going to snap and kill Siri.
I finally found the place, and to tell you the truth it was nice to get a little strange. Ned's aunt and uncle have three cats, two of whom might need to go to Lily's fat camp for a week or two, and they were lonely so they let me pet them endlessly. Oh, they were all three so cute.
Then Ned asked me to get him some chicken and wild rice soup, and I spent the next fourteen hours crouched in front of the soup aisle. Why does soup come in every kind of chicken? There was chicken with regular rice. Chicken with noodles. Chicken with its head cut off. There was what are ya chicken, you afraid your mom will find out. There was chicken with barley. There was barely legal chicken.
You get my drift.
Anyway, I found it, and brought it to Ned, and cooked it and everything, because domestic. Ned sat next to me on the couch and with the heat emanating from him, I could have made s'mores.
I suggested Ned take aspirin, because he was achy, in case he hadn't mentioned it. Ned went to his cupboard. "Does aspirin expire?" he wondered. Recently he found gum in a coat pocket that had expired in 2005.
"I'm sure it does. Let me look." I turned the aspirin bottle this way and that. It had expired in 2012. "I have Advil, too," he said. Then he added an "ohhhhhh," in case you were missing it. "How many do I take?"
I put down my medical degree to look at the bottle. "It says adults and children, one tablet every four to six hours."
"Then why don't they just say 'people'? What's left after adults and children?" Ned grumpily opened the bottle.
I don't want you to worry yourself into a lather, so I will tell you he feels less achy today, and what I'm looking forward to is getting this flu. At least you know I'll be stoic about it.
Ned and I have been dating for two years, eight months and four days, but who's counting. At some point, we've developed a little routine. This is mostly because Ned is a very routine-y person, whereas we all consider ourselves lucky if I remember to wake up and go to work each day. The point is, we see each other on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the week, and then all weekend–Friday night through Sunday night. I guess it'd have been easier to say we generally don't see each other Mondays and Wednesdays.
"Next Wednesday you're going to have to see me, because that's the day we'll be moving in together," I pointed out to him.
I guess we'll have to change our routine. I've lived alone again, naturally, for three and a half years exactly, and I've liked living alone quite a bit. But I like Ned better.
In the meantime, back at this blog, on Sunday I was discussing many important things with Ned, including how when we were adolescents, we each got ahold of a copy of The Joy of Sex. "Oh my god, that was great," said Ned, who has been a perv since day one, thank god.
"Oh, I looked at the whole thing thoroughly," I told him, "don't get me wrong. But even back then I was all, These people could stand a little grooming." Did you ever peruse that book? There were line drawings, and they were very early-70s-looking. No one in that book was anyone you'd want to have the joy of sex with.
God, I miss the '70s, when the answer to everything was a shag hairdo.
I have no idea how I got off on this tangent. So to speak. Oh! I remember. So, we segued from The Joy of Sex line drawings to penis size, and don't even ask me how Ned and I converse. You have two people who talk a lot, and it gets ugly sometimes.
The point is, THAT is when I got on my phone and emailed this blog asking if penis size really matters, and several hours later, I looked at my phone, and no comments. "Hunh," I said, and went to my blog, and no post. Sometimes when I email a post, it doesn't show up, which is extra-efficient.
Then yesterday, more than 24 hours later, the damn post appears on my blog. I was at work, and started getting, "Yes, it DOES matter!" comments, which made no sense, so I looked at my blog and there it was. "Oh, dammit," I said, and took it down, because I'd written that 47-foot-long post about my weekend and didn't want a whole NEW post to detract from ALL THE FREAKING WORK I'd done on the large one. So to speak.
And here's what I like: When this blog takes on a life of its own. Last night I saw on Pie on the Face (a Facebook group for this blog, if you did not know), and you guys were all, "June took the penis post down, but it'll be back up tomorrow." So to speak.
I NEVER SAID I was going to put that post back up. And then there were more comments on my blog. "Where's the penis post? Oh, well, I guess I'll read it tomorrow."
It seems like I had other things to tell you, naturally, but now I've of course forgotten them. I have to remember to tell the post office to forward my mail to my new place, and I have to tell the garbage people that next week will be extra garbage-y. I hate being busy with things.
Talk at you tomorrow, when I'm sure I'll remember everything I was gonna talk about and this will be very linear and organized.
It's Sunday night and it's raining, which I knew would happen anyway because my hair predicted it. I inevitably get a small but unmistakable curl right in the middle of my forehead–yes, when she was bad she was horrid–before it rains. It is a reliable barometer.
Anyway, this is the second-to-last weekend that I will ever have my sad goodbye-to-Ned Sunday night feeling. I hate that feeling; it's second only to that school-is-tomorrow-Wonderful-World-of-Disney-is-on feeling. Fortunately, in two weeks, we'll be in the same damn house. In preparation for this move, this weekend was busildy, so I will try to recap it for you without driving you berserk.
On Friday, Ned and I packed at our respective houses for quite a while, then I went over to his house and we watched that PBS series they're having right now on the Roosevelts. Are you watching it?
You know what I'm not? Rich as a Roosevelt. And who knew Teddy Roosevelt was hot in his youth?
Like, what made him go from being all intense-eyed Mr. Smokin' to a walrus? Because that didn't take long.
Anyway, the point is, here I am at Ned's the night we watched this show, looking slightly berserk and like someone who might try to seduce your teenage almost-walrus son.
On Saturday, Ned and I schlepped 47 million hundred cans of paint and other hazardous waste right on over to this drive-thru Haz-Mat place, and I was super disappointed you couldn't go through the drive-thru to drop off your stuff AND get McDonald's. I mean, it's all hazardous. Did I hear right, that McDonald's is serving breakfast anytime now? I'd like pancakes in the Renaissance.
(c) Steven Wright.
After that, you'll be stunned to hear Ned and I went to our respective homes and threw shit out and put crap in boxes and oh my GOD why'd I have to go and fall in love with Ned? I coulda lived without romance and stayed home.
The good news is, I found a home for my gutted, makes-no-noise piano. I put an ad on Craigslist for anonymous gay sex and also for my piano, and I really did use the line, "If you're a mime, this is the piano for you."
Don't you know with me, I'm born again.
The good news is my piano is going to be part of the theater! Or theatre, if you want to be insufferable. A barber shop quartet is using it to play the fake piano when they're on stage. Three of the four, or 75% if you want to be mathy, came over to GET said Silent Bob piano, and were they hilarious. Oh my god I loved them. Not as much as I love me, but still.
"Just shove it onto the truck!" one of them said. "Pretend it's a job. Take this job and shove it!" There was also an "if this truck is a-rockin' don't come a-knockin'" joke. They stayed after and had bottles of water. We made it into a whole party. And, I'm going to their next performance, in which my piano will be featured.
I loved that piano. I bought it for Marvin, whole and playable, back when we were first married. Eventually, Marvin gutted the thing and made it into a CD holder. Remind me to tell you the story of the guy who delivered that piano to me. It was his last piano delivery, ever, and he hated me. I told the story to Ned and he was in the stitches, Ned was. Or maybe he kind of smiled. Whichever.
Fortunately, we DID get to have fun on Saturday night. Just like the Bay City Rollers. Ned and I went to a goodbye party for a bladder, and I am not making that up. Someone Ned knows, someone just wonderful, has bladder cancer, and his surgery is coming right up, so his friends had a party way out yonder to say goodbye to that pesky, troublesome thing.
Look how cute Ned is. Hey, nice ass.
The party was in the country, and there were dogs and cats and chickens and roosters and guinea hens and ponies and basically it was my dream life, out there. Plus, there was barbecue and banana pudding. God, I love the South. Why haven't I always lived here?
There was also jalapeno macaroni and cheese, and Ned gasped. "It's like you and I had a child!" he said, knowing how deeply I feel about macaroni and cheese, and how he is about freaking jalapenos. And in case you wondered? YES. It.was.delicious.
There were two dogs there, and one of them walked right up to Ned, started staring at him, and never ever left his side after that. If I tried to pet that dog–and of course I did, 400 times–it would ignore me. Then she'd go back to mooning over Ned.
Anyway, once it got dark and we watched bats fly overhead (I freaking love bats), we headed back, because we'd both KILLED ourselves moving and packing all day. "You mind if we go to one of the bars near my house?" Ned asked, because there was this whole party thing going on downtown last night, and in fact for days they've been projecting animated cool images on the side of his building for some reason or another and it's cool as shit. Which if you think about it is a dumb swear, because shit is not that cool.
"Are you serious?" I asked, because frankly it was all I could do to shower, dress and look decent for the party we DID go to. But Ned took that personality test I made you all take awhile ago, and he's a Generalist, and his big fear is that he'll miss out on something. Ned would never be the guy to travel for work, check into a hotel and get room service. He'd absolutely HAVE to go explore the town. Explore-the-town people make my ass hurt.
But because I am an EXCELLENT not-at-all-fussy girlfriend, I hauled myself out for even MORE socializing, and five minutes in I was so busy looking at people that I forgot I hated Ned.
Fortunately we got to go home soon after, where we watched another Roosevelt episode and fell asleep on the couch. At least in this episode we finally got to Eleanor, who you know I love. I wonder if she'd have liked me? I feel like Eleanor Roosevelt would be so over me in the first 15 minutes of knowing me. At least I love me, as does Billy Preston and of course Syreeta.
I want you to call me Syreeta from now on. Remember when I made you call me Dimebag Wasabi for awhile?
Anyway, that wraps up my weekend, except for today when I pulled weeds and saw a movie with Ned. Then we packed. Son of a bitch. Have I mentioned all I can think about is where to get more boxes? I have boxes on the brain more than Michael Douglas.
I'm going, but oh! Don't let me forget to talk about The Joy of Sex and those ridiculous, so-needing-to-scream-to-the-waxer '70s line drawings, and also the nudist colony magazine I found when I was packing.
I leave you with my latest Purple Clover, which at least does not mention packing.
Just broke the news of my move to my neighbor Peg, of the norovirus Pegs. Despite breaking my 30-year no-barf streak, she's been a good neighbor. She made dinner for me and brought it over the day Marvin left. She had a Kate and William wedding party at 5:00 in the morning. She painted my dining room.
Wait. Let me get more dramatic.
P.S. Wait'll I tell the Nipplering children. GOODBYE LALUULAH! GOODBYE ETHEL!
I just heard that stupid Jewel song, from the '90s, where she wishes she could tell the whole world, "We're all okay." She also wishes to tell the world not to worry, because worrying's wasteful and something not good something.
Is there anything more annoying than some 21-year-old twit thinking she can tell the rest of us she's figured it out and here's what you do? Alanis Morrisette did it, too. She had the nerve to give us all advice to bite off more than we could chew and get your heart broken and to add insult to stupidity, had as the chorus, "You live, you learn."
YOU'VE LIVED FOR 28 MINUTES, YOU ASS.
My point is, this Jewel song not only made me cranky, but reminded me that the other day, TinaDoris asked me what I thought the best song of the '90s was. "Good blog topic!" I told her, because I am annoying.
So, what do you think the best song of the '90s was? What about the '80s? The '70s?
I'm going to have to resort to using the word redonkulous to describe yesterday's workday, and I wouldn't like me, either. I was so busy, without looking up, ever, and then last night I dreamed the thing I was working on ended up being done in Comic Sans, which is a dreadful font, and I hadn't even noticed.
Not everyone will get the Comic Sans thing, but for those of you who do, you'll be all, "Oh, June. Wow." right now. I feel like Comic Sans is so hated that eventually it'll make an ironic comeback, like carnations and gay people calling themselves queer.
Anyway, as soon as work was done I stampeded to dinner with the Tall Boy.
Ned is not a jealous person and I hate that about him, but just to be a dick, whenever I see the Tall Boy, Ned says, "ReaLLLLLLLy…" in this ridiculous (redonkulous) the-plot-thickens kind of way. Whatever with him.
Anyway, his car is being fixed, the Tall Boy's is–so it can't have baby cars–so I picked him up and took him over to my new house. Unfortunately, with my fine sense of direction, the only way I know how to go to my new house is to pretend I'm going to work, then go to my house from there.
"Didn't you say your new place was on Hoodee-Hoo?" asked Tall Boy, and I picked that house because I so wanted to live on Hoodee-Hoo. It's a very desirable street, in the neighborhood of Ho-De-Ho-De-Ho-De-Oh.
"Yes, but I only know how to get here this way."
"June, we could have been there 10 minutes ago. You should have asked me." So I took On Top of Old Smug-ee to my new place, and he again reiterated that he'd help us move, and I must have been excellent in the sack thre years ago, and anyway we rounded the corner and I said, "So if you know directions so well, how do I get to the restaurant from here?"
"Oh. Well, you should have gone the other direction in front of your house."
So I turned around, and then we started talking, and it turns out Tall Boy is one of those people who are supposed to be giving you directions, but who instead say, "Oh, you should have turned at that last corner." Of course, people who interrupt me to say, "Turn at that next corner" ALSO bug me, so really with me there's no winning.
Four and half centuries later, we got to the restaurant and had to remove our breastplates and codpieces because we were dressed for the wrong time.
Anyway, we had a lovely dinner, and at one point in the deep conversation we decided they should just go ahead and remove the "g" from "highfalutin'," because no one ever uses the g, and to do so would be…highfalutin'. I plan to contact the language people about that forthwith. We also discussed my upcoming party that I am having at my house, in which the theme will be Dress as a Character From a Song. I plan to go as the candy-colored clown they call the Sandman.
Okay, I have to go to work. I hope it's another relaxing, Comic Sans day.
The other night, Ned and I headed to his house in separate cars. We do that so if one of us dies the entire monarchy won't go to hell. When we get near his house, I always turn on February 1 Street–and yes, there really is a street here called February 1. He likes to go all the way up to the traffic circle where they have a statue of the guy who they named this town after, Nathanael Greene, who I like to call Mr. Greensboro. When we got to his house, Ned was smug. "You definitely took the wrong way." There's a college near him that mostly consists of black students, and apparently their football team was out for an evening run. Shirtless. "I had to wait for 40 athletic black men to run past me in the rain," Ned said.
Son of a bitch.
Also, I just totally invented the number 40. I have no idea how many people are on a football team. Ned probably gave me a number, but I was distracted.
In other news, I had to get dog food after work last night, because I was completely out–you know how I am. If Ida come home last night with no food, the dogs woulda turned on me. I'd be writing you with no skin today. But as soon as I got in my car, I could see huge lightening flashes and not because I was having an aneurysm, which is always my first thought when I think I see lightening, and won't you come to my brain? It is super-relaxing in here.
Then WOOOSH! It went from nothing to one of those downpours where you can see nothing. So I turned in to the nearest drug store, and I don't mean I am now a big drug store with the ability to type. I got out of my car and there was a river in the parking lot. Seriously.
"SERIOUSLY?" this sort of chubby, adorably dressed girl said, from her car. "I absolutely LOVE these shoes." So she took them off and waded through the river. I kept my shoes on and minced, but I was completely soaked when I got in there.
I found some dog food, thank god, and yes, I DID just go to the drug store for cat food the other day and why don't you shut up? I'm a single mom. Tryin' to make a livin' and doin' the best I can. Which involves drug store cat food. Now I've got Rhinestone Cowboy in my head. LIKE SOME DRUG STORE CAT FOOD! TRYIN' TO MAKE A LIVIN' AND DOIN' THE BEST I CAN!
See what I did there? Are you CERTAIN you do not want to be in here in my head?
While I was there, I remembered I needed light bulbs, and also I saw they had Ned's brand of wine on sale, two dollars off! Yes, they sell wine at my drug store. It's a drug store. Alcohol is a drug.
So I got to the counter with light bulbs, dog food and some pinot noir. "This is how I have my own party," I said to the clerk, one of those black women with blonde hair, and I realize I'm one to talk about being natural, but blonde hair on a black person fools no one. Anyway, I like her, and she tolerates me. "Whatever works for you," she said, putting it all in one bag. I hate it when they give you 98 bags for four purchases. Thanks. Let me just get out m'goddess arms so I can carry all these.
Anyway, since I was already in that strip mall, I decided to mosey on over to the Chinese food place, and by mosey I mean walk though a Silkwood-shower monsoon. I tried to stay under the awnings but basically by the time I got there I was a Navy SEAL.
I have no idea why I said that. Do Navy SEALs even get wet?
So finally, I burst into the door at home, dripping wet and carrying light bulbs and huge bags of dog food and pork with broccoli and pinot noir. When Ned and I were in Michigan last month, we went to the wine store because Ned wanted to get a thank-you bottle of wine for his uncle for watching the cat. The three girls who watched MY cat got bupkis. The point is, the clerk was recommending a wine and in her Michigan accent called it "peee no new war." Ned could not look at me, because he knew I was dying to imitate that enunciation.
Peee no new war.
Not that I didn't talk exactly like that for the first 27 years of my life. I still sometimes do. I just got a "You're not from around here" the other day, in fact.
Anyway, I get home, set down my bags, take off my soaked shoes, and
HOW did she get to it? She would have had to grab the metal handle with her teeth, then figure out the flaps, and really nothing gets between Lu and her pork with broccoli. Asshole. Who RAISED this dog?
Okay, I gotta go. Having dinner with the Tall Boy tonight. "Is this kind of his last shot to get you before you move in with someone?" asked Ned. Yes. Because All This is in demand. Alternatively, we'll talk about what's new and I'll rope him into helping us move. So. Further reports as developments warrant.
I had a dream that Ned and I offed Julia Roberts last night, but mostly that is because we saw the movie Rope in that old theater we like. But also because Julia Roberts.
Dear FBI: I do not wish to actually murder anybody, even annoying Julia Roberts. Please do not come arrest me. Or Ned.
In un-Rope-related news, I got out my camera just now to show you that my Q-Tips–or whatever off brand I bought, my R-Tips–has a bizarre photo on it.
Q-Tips are excellent for poking at your baby annoyingly. I like places that still tell you that you need to type "www." Modern. Is that person in the next photo going to clean the whole tub with a Q-Tip? Is she undergoing some sort of initiation? I like how Q-Tips are always prominently in the foreground.
So far I've pissed off Q-Tips and Julia Roberts' people.
Anyway, so busy was I with that baby-Q-Tip-poking photograph, and then Talu came in and it occurred to me if you look in your mind for the word "dog," is she not pretty much the picture you conjure? She is just such a dog.
So, that's my deep thought for today. For sure. Have you met my thoughts?
Speaking of which, yesterday I had to work like a demon, still, all day, and then I had to scream home after work and pay all my bills because hello, 15th. After that I put on a barrel and wrote my Purple Clover column for next week. Then I slapped on some makeup and headed to the theater.
Geez Louise. Relaxing.
Rope is a good Hitchcock movie, though, and we ran into Poochie and her husband, so after we all went to a pub and split fries with malt vinegar, sweet potato chips and hummus with pita bread. Speaking of hummus, this past weekend I got a desperate text from my pal Hulk, who as you recall was such an adventurous eater when I took him to an Indian wedding (he thought the hummus was literally made from some chick's pee).
At a party and they're serving Brie and hummus. You might as well just go buy stock in Taco Bell right now.
What I like about Hulk is how for him, Brie and hummus are what monkey brains would be for you and me. What IS this foreign, weird dish?
However, Taco Bell sounds delicious right now.
Okay, I have to go, and as you can see my thoughts are quite linear and organized today. Am certain I will be indispensable at work. It seems like there were other crucial things I was going to tell you, but of course they've fallen through the cracks.
I want you to know that as I type this to you, I am also touching up my white roots. June Gardens, multitasker. June Gardens, white-haired old geez. I guess "old geez" is redundant. You'll have to accommodate me. I'm ancient. I'm like that great aunt who says incredibly racist things that you have to just let go by.
I don't want to cheat you out of a post about my weekend like I'm some kind of gypsy, so I will begin with Friday, a night in which Ned came over right after work to start helping me with m'damn house. Again. My goal for the weekend was to wash all the outside windows, which in case you were not expecting this was a PAIN in the ASS.
The good news is, I discovered the living room and back room windows open in, all modern-y. Yes, I HAVE lived here six and a half years. What?
So by the time Ned got here, I'd cleaned all those windows, at least. "Oh, let's blow the rest of this off till tomorrow," I told him, because work ethic. So we packed a few more boxes and headed to Tex & Shirley's, a ridiculous restaurant he hates, that consists of all white-haired people and Ned. See what I did, there? Because white hair, right here. White hair and work ethic.
That was one poor old guy who was brought to you by the letter C. He was completely hunched over. I whispered to Ned, "I am really not kidding you, Is that C-shaped guy dead?" Dudes, he was just hunched lifelessly over his applesauce. But then he creaked a little, and we were all, Whew.
I do not know why I was in the mood to go there, but I was, and Ned had already said we could go wherever I wanted, so he was stuck with that and a bill of $15 for dinner, so.
As usual, we drove past our new house, like obsessive lovers, saying, "GET OUT" to the current tenants as we drove by. Seriously, would they get out already? We've already decorated the whole place in our minds. As we passed it and did our Amityville Horror impresh, I said, "Let's go to the dive bar!" There's a dive bar right near our new house that we've been wanting to try, to see if it's filled with sad old men on their way to becoming letter Cs or annoying hipsters or what.
We walked in, as opposed to dancing in as we sometimes do to make an entrance, and the bartender was very friendly. He asked what brought us in, and when we told him we're moving to the neighborhood, a bunch of people said. "WELCOME TO OUR NEIGHBORHOOD!" and they had pretentious beer like Ned likes and it was a great bar, is what I'm telling you.
On Saturday morning we had to get up early, which I just love. Man, am I a morning person. There's nothing better, except for maybe a shrimp cilantro dish while watching a frenetic jazz band.
Anyway, I had to get my eyes checked, and $104 later they are exactly the same prescription as last year. Then Ned drove my PUPILS HELLO PUPILS home and a handyman came. I needed him to fix some damn light fixtures and fix the fact that the electric outlet in my bathroom hasn't worked in more than three years and I've been drying my hair in the computer room, and I needed him to fix the squeaky dryer, too.
In the meantime, Ned started cleaning out my shed, which I attempted to help him with, but after four times of screeching directly into his ear because BUG!!!!, he said, "Why don't you just leave this to me." So for a change I packed some more, till I ran out of damn boxes, and then I cut weeds, which is also delightful and relaxing. At this point back there I have actual weed TREES, that I was trying to pull up, and every time I was pulling hard I'd hear my Uncle Jim say, "Put your weight behind it, Tina." My Uncle Jim had a horrific theory that all women named Tina have a weight problem.
June's blog. Driving away readers named Tina since 2014. Look, I didn't say it. I can't help who pops into my head while I'm pulling a weed. God, Tina.
My point is, and there is a point, that handyman did everything on my list and then some, and he's coming back next weekend because the dryer needs more done, and after FOUR HOURS of being here and doing everything, how much do you think that man charged me? How much?
FIFTY DOLLARS. Y'all, if you're local (and he will travel all over yonder, so you don't have to be THAT local), his name is Keith and his phone is 336.362.6011. He is amazing. Tell him you read it on a blog–he'll have no CLUE who June Gardens is.
After encountering 3949493 bugs and a mouse nest (SCREEEEEEEECH!), Ned got that shed looking pristine. Seriously, I wish Ida taken a before and after. "I'd like to SLEEP in here some night," said Ned, who can quickly forget that he was exposed to the hantavirus because he's normal.
Ned and I rallied enough to go to lesbian taco on Saturday night, which was delicious and full of your cute lesbians.
Then on Sunday we finally did those goddamn windows. You see that drawing of the guy falling off the ladder? He had a better time than we did. Oh my good god on a Tuesday. Each damn window had two damn storm windows, and a screen, and do you think any of those windows said, "Oh, yes! Hi! Please pinch my pinchy parts and we'll pop right up and down! We're flexible!" Do you think that happened? Because it did not. I broke two nails (Ned did a whole I'm disgusted jig each time I broke a nail, that once again I wish I'd captured on film) and had to use W-D 40 and also swear. What does the W-D stand for? Will Do 40? Washer Dryer 40? Willem Dafoe 40?
We cleaned windows for I think 17 hours. Or maybe three. Somewhere in there. But man, do they look nice now. I can't believe I have to move out of this house.
Last night, at like 8:30 because hello calm weekend, I went to bed and Ned was getting ready to leave, and I noticed you could see the reflection of us in my vanity mirror, over on the clean window. I'm talking clean.
So that sums everything up and now I have to go to work and write another Purple Clover column and teach my student, followed by coming home and packing and could you just kill me now?
I haven't done any Freaky Friday tales lately because as far as I know, I'm out of them. If you sent me one and I never published it, tell me in an email and I will look for it. Do you have any idea how many emails I get a day? They get lost, man. Lost. I guess I could make folders.
But I digress. I digress into folders, which is always riveting. So let me stop digressing and take you to Faithful Reader and Sender of Dog Flowers Peter's Freaky Friday story. You ready?
PETER'S FREAKY FRIDAY STORY
The first thing you need to know is that this story is true. I heard it first from my father many years ago at the dinner table. He was relating a tale he had been told by one of his closest family friends, a staunch Catholic who managed a large department store in the nearest city. But this was during the late 1960s. I was in my teens, jaded by the Vietnam War and questioning authority. I didn’t believe it, so I spoke to one of the participants, the man’s son. We had been friends since boyhood, and I have never known him to lie. Even now, when we get together and reminisce, I ask him if this possibly could have happened. He nods his head and says, “Yes, it did. But don’t ask me to explain it.”
It was a summer in New England. The Beach Boys were filling the air on AM radio with their surfing tunes. On the highways, everyone wanted to be behind the wheel of a Mustang. The Red Sox had yet to find their Impossible Dream season, but Curt Gowdy could still make the games interesting from his radio perch at Fenway Park.
My friend and his twin brother were in their mid-teens. They earned spending money from cutting lawns and doing odd chores for neighbors. As it happened, at the beginning of the summer an elderly woman moved into the house across the street. The lawn surrounding her house had not been cut in some time, so the boys’ mother suggested they go across the street and offer to cut it. They did, and the elderly woman was only too happy to agree. When they had finished, drenched in sweat and covered with grass clippings, she asked what she owed them.
“Nothing,” they said.
Though she insisted, they refused to be paid. She had no choice but to simply express her deepest thanks. Standing on her front porch, she watched them push the lawn mower back across the street, and a smile filled her aged face.
As the summer progressed, they returned each week to cut the woman’s lawn. There were other jobs to be done around her house, and they tackled those with the same spirit. But they continued to refuse any payment for their work. They told her that they were happy to help a neighbor, and they wouldn’t think of accepting money for doing so.
One Thursday morning, towards summer’s end, their father was walking the aisles of the department store. It was still a couple of hours before noon, and the store was not particularly crowded. He saw his elderly neighbor approaching him from the opposite end of the aisle, and they met somewhere in the middle. She was wearing a yellow rain slicker, which struck him as odd because there was no rain in the forecast. “Good morning,” he said in greeting.
She smiled. “I just wanted to come down to thank you and tell you how much I appreciate everything your boys have done for me,” she said in reply. “They could not have been nicer.”
“Thank you,” he said. “They’ve been happy to help. But you certainly didn’t have to come all the way in here to tell me that. Is there anything I can assist you with in the store?” he asked.
“No,” she answered. “I just wanted to make sure I had a chance to tell you how I felt.” And she turned and walked away.
He didn’t give their meeting another thought. On Saturday morning, he saw the woman’s son, a man he knew, entering her house and removing some of her items. He crossed the street and asked if she was all right.
“Oh,” the son replied. “You haven’t heard. She passed away on Thursday morning.”
“That’s impossible,” he replied. “She came into the department store on Thursday morning. I spoke to her. She seemed fine.”
The son shook his head. “You must have your days confused. She wasn’t feeling well that morning. My wife and I came over about 8 o’clock to take her to the hospital. She died around ten.”
“That’s just about when I saw her. She was in the store wearing a yellow rain slicker.”
The son took a step backward and stood there for a moment, unable to speak. “When we got to the house that morning,” he began, “my mother said she was cold. We were in a rush and couldn’t find her a sweater, so we put her in that rain slicker. She was wearing it when she died.
I came into work yesterday morning, and it turns out a lot of people had been there till 1:30 the night before. The good news is there were doughnuts AND leftover pizza, as well. Honestly, I think the dryer is working TOO well. Shrinks m’clothes.
I ended up having a pumpkin doughnut, which I did not even know was a thing, but of COURSE it’s a thing because the world is pumpkin in the fall. I am relatively indifferent to pumpkin, but Ned fricking loves it. So I sent him this photo. “What I would have done, is I would have cut that doughnut in half,” said Ned, and that is when I shot him.
Ned’s love for pumpkin is only surpassed by his jalapeno obsession. I have considered bursting into the room dressed as a pumpkin or a jalapeno, to literally spice things up in the bedroom.
Not that it needs spicing. Hey, mom. But, you know, soon we’ll be cohabiting and maybe the jalapeno outfit will be necessary.
My point is, it was busy yesterday at work and my boss was planning another late night again when I left. I offered to stay but he wouldn’t hear of it. Maybe they were getting something really delicious for dinner. I felt bad but I left, and finished packing the dining room. All that’s left in there is the furniture, and I have to get rid of the empty piano. How the hell am I gonna sell an empty piano on Craigslist? Sing us a Song, You’re the–Oh, You Can’t.
I’ll figure it out. Am professional writer. Pfft.
Oh, and I was gonna tell you about those goddamn dogs, who are headed to the pound today and maybe I can turn in that piano there, as well. Are You a Mime? This Piano is For You! Oh my god, done. That is so my ad.
For years–YEARS!–the dog food and cat food are in big bags in the pantry. The dogs have never once bothered those bags, as they are shut and all, but the other day I heard a…rustling, and what you never want is to hear any rustling sound if you have animals. It means they’ve brought in a live alligator or they’ve cornered a furious rat or something else you’ll be sad you came upon.
So I headed into the kitchen with pumpkin-flavored trepidation, and there was Eds, his head in the cat food bag–FOOD I JUST BOUGHT–like he was a horse.
“EDSEL!“ As soon as I said it, he hung his head like a Border Collie, all low and ashamed. The bad news for me is Tallulah saw the whole thing go down. You know, this isn’t the first time Edsel has blazed a trail: He also was the first one to figure out how to open the screen door. I hate it when his German shepherd pops out for the eight bright seconds a year that it does.
I folded the bag back down and left grousily. Don’t you remember the other day when I told you the cats were out of food and had to have tuna for breakfast, not that they were complaining? That night, after work, I was exhausted, and instead of going to the grocery store, I just went to the drug store near my house. Then I had a whole thing with the pet supplies not being in the pet-supply aisle, and going crankily to the front, where the clerk said, “They aren’t?” and being helped instead by a woman shopping there, who I know as a waitress at this restaurant Ned and I go to all the time. I was all, “How do I know you?”
We were waited on by that same woman on Sunday, and she said, “I was just there to buy some of that new fuzzy nail polish (a 15-minute fuzzy-nail-polish conversation ensued after that, and once we got Ned down from his noose she said), and you looked like you just wanted to get your cat food and go home.”
Oh my god, I SO DID. But this is god’s punishment for buying Cat Chow from the drug store instead of the pretentious brand I usually buy. Which I think is actually…pretentious Cat Chow.
THE POINT IS, the next day I was packing, for a change, and heard the telltale rustling, and sure enough, Lu had remembered the code to get to the cat food, and there SHE was like a horse, and when I shouted, “LU!” she didn’t even flinch.
Didn’t.even.flinch. God, that dog is an asshole.
So now I gotta put the cat food somewhere else. I mean, once I get another bag. Tuna’s ready!
Why do you guys even let me go to Ned's? You know it makes me show up here late. In three weeks, is EVERY post gonna be late because THERE Ned will be, distracting me?
On top of that, so to speak, due to things that happened in the world yesterday, my job is going to be super extra ungodly busy today, and it will be insane. Have girded loins. Am ready. But I'd better go try to get there a little early, or at least on time for once.
So remind me to tell you how BOTH dogs broke into the cat food, with assy Edsel leading the trail, and how Lu is lying under this chair right now all bloated and satisfied like Templeton at the end of the fair, but that is a whole story complete with dog facial expressions that must be told about in breathless detail, and I have no time for that today.
What I DO have time for is to ask you a Q, and thanks for the book recommendations yesterday. Today my question is this. The other day someone or other commented, "You rarely seem depressed, but when you are, what do you do about it?"
(Poor Lily just came in and stood right next to Lu's gassy self. She was INCHES from Lu's haunches when a COMET of gas shot out, and you should have seen Lily's fluffy recoil. Poor proper Lily. She's practically waving her lace hanky.)
Anyway, I told said reader that I am professionally depressed. Depression runs in my family, and if you ask my grandmother, she'd tell you she was the INVENTOR of depression, and certainly the Most Depressed Person We Should Feel Bad For on Planet Earth Ever®. Then she'd look out the window and sigh.
So, the fact that I seem not depressed all the time is a miracle, and I must be Meryl Streep of faking cheerfulness, because my insides are crazy, y'all. My insides are a Pink Floyd record. But I really don't wanna go around like my grandmother, who drove us all berserk with her lying around with a hand to her head. But the real me lies around with a hand to her head.
Which leads me to ask, what thing are you hiding really well? Maybe you aren't even all that aware of it. But what do you THINK it is? You can sign in anonymously if you wish.
SIGHHHHHH (look out window).
Mondays are always my ridiculous day, as I have an hour-long weekly meeting at work right from 4:00 till 5:00, and then I have my my student–for whom I have to make lesson plans–and finally my Purple Clover articles are always due on Monday.
And I want you to know I did ALL THOSE THINGS, and basically was in pajamas by 8:30. Hooo care? I was exhausted.
I just finished a really large book I re-read from 15 years ago, called Gloria, and now I need a new book to read. With all my spare time, because I'm not moving in three weeks or anything. But you know how I am. If I don't have a book to fall back on I feel like I've forgotten my cigarettes or something. Not that I've ever smoked. But I imagine it's the same. I mentioned this analogy to Ned, who said when he smoked there was never, ever a time he'd forget, or run out of, cigarettes.
My point is, book suggestions? Nothing stupid. I mean, if it's like those impostor perfumes where they say, "If you liked Obsession, you'll LOVE Stalker!" but instead they say, "If you liked Twilight, you'll LOVE Vampires at Dinnertime!"
Not that I didn't read Twilight. All of them. I know. Shut up. That's why I say nothing stupid. Because I'll read something stupid just as easily as I'll read something good.
The other morning I was at Ned's and read a delightful short story he'd been reading, where a guy is on his honeymoon, having sex with his beautiful wife, and four pages later he kills himself. Ned has darkness in his soul.
Speaking of Ned, the other day he emerged from my kitchen, munching my box of lime Wheat Thins. "THIS is what I'm worried about when I live with you," he munched. I had no idea what he meant.
"UNHEALTHY SNACKS!" he said, and if you ask me, Wheat Thins aren't even that bad. Wait till I pull out the marshmallow fluff. Who do you think will win in this healthy/unhealthy war? Will I get all salady or will he help me with my weekly love letter to Hostess?
Also, you should SEE his closets. Everything's hanging the same way, all straight and tidy and so on, and there aren't 17,000 unmatched shoes on the floor, and no 900 tins of old love letters or sachets or hats or old shrugs I can't get rid of flopping all over the shelf on top. What I'm trying to say to you is Ned is neat.and.tidy. How soon till he kills me dead and uses Twinkies as his reason? "I wasn't used to processed foods! My brain snapped!" Marvin will come get on the stand in his defense.
All right, I have to go. Tonight I'm going to pack for awhile, then Ned and I are getting together. Oh, and I plan to try to mail your crate pictures tonight. PayPal me if you haven't, with your address.
And don't forget, books! Oh, and I forgot to promote yesterday's Purple Clover, which was rude of me. BAH!