Sandy Schwinkendorf, and other faithful readers

You know how I enjoy the phrase "as you may or may not know," because it's so useful. But as you may or may not know, some years back, a reader created a Facebook page for fans of this blog. And really? You're a fan of this blog? You poor thing.

The page is called Pie on the Face, and the first person to come back and say, "I can't find Pie IN the Face, June," gets a personal visit from me. For 11 days, I will follow you and say, "As you may or may not know" over and over again.

While you're cooking: "As you may or may not know…"

While you're pooping: "As you may or may not know…"

Having sex with your husband: "As you may or may not know…"

Having sex with the person you're having an affair with: "As you may or may not know…"

Oooo, is anybody having an affair? Sign in anonymously and tell us the details. That's fascinating. I will not judge, I promise. The older I get, the more mysterious people are. Nothing surprises me anymore, especially people's sex things.

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So, anyway, one faithful reader decided to go on Pie on the Face and have a picture day. I want to say the person who decided to have picture day was Amish Annie, but to tell y'all the truth, you'll contact me or speak on Facebook with your real name and not your blog-commenter name here, I have no fucking clue who you are.

Email from: Sandy Schwinkendorf: June, I wanted to write you about blah blah. Here are all my intimate details about blah. And blah blah, too! As you know, because I've written you before.

Reply from June Gardens: Who the fuck is this?

Reply from Sandy Schwinkendorf: It's Paula H&B. I've been reading you for eight years.

Oh my god anyway. So yesterday was the day that you were to show a picture from your day, and Amish Annie or Sandy Schwinkendorf had quite the turnout. I kept going to PieFace yesterday to see who else had submitted a photo, and there were more than 232. At least there were 232 comments last time I looked. Some of you just started TALKING among YOURSELVES on that thread, and I'd be all, STOP TALKING. I WANNA LOOK AT PICTURES.

Although I was riveted by the person who showed us she was going on a first date, and was gonna throw up from nerves, and then she reported back it was a dream date. That I wanted to hear more about. Anyway, go join Pie on the Face and take a gander at everyone's day yesterday, from around the world. Okay, I think one photo was from England and the rest was from here in America, but still. Around the world-ish.

In the meantime, I did everything I said I was going to do yesterday. I also bought a dog bed, and when I got home I realized it had a grammatical error. I'd never have purchased it had I noticed.

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yuu expect edz to sleep on this travesteee?

Shake and LAY down. Goddammit. You want my hint for knowing when to use lay or lie? Place. PLAYce. Lay the silverware on the table. But lie down. You don't place down.

Lie lady lie, lie across my big brass bed.

 

If I lie here. If I just lie here. Would you lie with me and just forget the world.

 

Oh, lay your hands. Lay your hands on me. See, this one gets it right.

 

The thing is, you want to be over the Thompson Twins, then every time you hear a Thompson Twins song, you say, "GodDAMMIT, this is a good song."

We need to bring puffy-on-top hair back into vogue.

Okay, I gotta go shower. I hurt my back washing the dogs this weekend, or maybe I hurt it walking to work and back each day last week, then doing Tracy Chapman and by the way I've GAINED FIVE POUNDS, so fuck it. Point is, my back hurts, and Ned's hurts in the exact same spot. Don't you hate people who say "exact same"? It's like saying plan ahead.

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Of course I photographed me walking to work. Can I HAVE a moment I do not record on film? Well. "Film."

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Here's part of my walk. It's lovely, really. Today it's raining, so I'm not walking. I'm like a black woman, not wanting to get her hair wet. Oprah taught me that, that black women do not like to get their hair wet, and I have found that to be true. I still don't know why though. Will some black woman out there tell me?

I will talk at you later. Here's my latest Purple Clover, because Sadie can never find my articles on there. See, I've STAYED with Sadie, at her HOUSE, and yet if she sent me an email with her real name, I'd be all, Who the fuck is this? I only know y'all by your sign-in names.

Talk to you later.

XO,

Sandy Schwinkendorf

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June anticipates her alone time

It's Sunday morning, although technically it's five to 12:00, so "morning" is pushing it. Ned warned me days ago that he is playing golf with his dad today, and that he'd have to be there by 12:30, and my first thought was, "Darn," but to tell you the truth then I kind of started looking forward to an afternoon to myself. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like Ned and all. But I have to write something for work today anyway, and the idea of a quiet afternoon yawning before me was sounding more and more wonderful.

Now Ned is saying he's leaving at a different time, and is bounding loudly about the house getting golf-related things such as–oh, hell, I don't even know what golf things you'd get. But he was looking for a hat, and he had this little cart he dragged out, and he keeps shouting from other rooms, "Where are you? What are you doing?" and I keep hoping for my yawning afternoon and it keeps not happening. So I'm hiding up here talking to you.

NedKitty is in here with me, sleeping on top of the laundry hamper, which seems to be her new spot. The sun shines in here on her old bones and I think she likes that.

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nedkittee bonez do not be old. she spry, like jayne fonda. eff you, stepmom.

Now that NedKitty sticks her head under the shower twice a day–or more, if we shower more–she has a permanent brown spot on her head. I have no idea why it's brown. Or why it comes out when she gets her head wet.

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But it does.

Anyway, Tallulah is also here, sleeping under my chair. She and Edsel were smelling so terrible that we took them in the back yard and hosed them off and shampooed them yesterday. We've always washed them in the tub before, but it gets clogged, and they didn't seem to mind the hose one iota. The water didn't get very cold, and they'd just come back from a long, hot walk as it is.

It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again. I feel like my dogs would be all, okaaa. we not mind hoze. screw you loshun, weerd murdur man.

Lotta petspeak in this one.

Now Ned is up here sighing pointedly and moving stuff around, which means he wishes for me to ask what's wrong so I can assist him with something. Oh, quiet afternoon, how I was longing for you.

Longing for youuuuuu.

Other than writing that article for work, I thought I'd think of some Purple Clover ideas. Anyone have any? And don't say, "June, write an article about that time you lost Tallulah!" These people don't know me, and if you read the comments they don't like me, either. I seem to incite more hateful comments than anyone else who write there. I think it's because most people are very literal and do not know from sarcasm.

Do you think if you read me it means you're funnier than the average person? I do. I think in general my readers have a sense of humor. You have to, just to tolerate this hair. Just this morning, I was lying on Ned and I felt him push my hair down, out of his way. "Am I puffing on you?" I asked. "You're always puffing on me," said Ned. "You're like a puffin."

I am. I am a puffin. And not everyone likes a puffin.

Okay, Ned has just announced he's leaving, and I can start my alone time. First, Ima read the Sunday Times and eat my leftover shepherd's pie. Then Ima wonder why the stubborn pounds. Then, I will write my article. Lemme know your Purple Clover ideas, will you? What's been on your mind, if you're a person older than 50? Tell me everything.

I'll talk to you tomorrow.

Luff,

Joooon, who's alone again, naturally

Moon Pie

"Ugly baby alert," said Ned, while we were at dinner. I perused the restaurant. "I don't see any babies at all."

And thank god. There is no need to bring babies to restaurants. That's why god invented babysitters, y'all.

"It's still inside the mother, but look at the parents. The world should brace itself for one ugly baby in a few months."

Ned is a terrible person. I saw the poor pregnant woman, who, okay, was no looker. Neither was her husband. Ned and I sat over there in judgment, like we were Mr. and Mrs. Universe enjoying our salmon salads.

"Sometimes two uglies make a pretty, and vice-versa," I pointed out. "That North West is no looker, and he has two good-looking parents."

I have no idea if North West is a boy or a girl. In any event, not a cute baby. And stuck with the name North West. However, he/she will be rich forever, so.

After our meal and the spreading of our generous thoughts, Ned said, "I need to go to the party store." That's what they say in Michigan, "party store," and in fact a cop said it to us during our trip. You may wonder why a cop was talking to us, but in fact it wasn't interesting so I'm not gonna tell you.

As opposed to this riveting tale.

"I can't begin to tell you how excited I am that you now call a convenience store a party store," I said. "I've said it ONCE," said Ned. "It's not like it's my new phrase."

We headed to the party store, and I admired the moon on the way–did you see it last night? When we got there, Ned asked if I needed anything and I said only if they have Mallow Cups. I stared at my phone inside the car while Ned gathered his party supplies–and by party supplies, I mean pretentious craft beer.

He got in the car. We headed home.

"So, no Mallow Cups?" I asked.

"No, sorry. They didn't have any."

We rode for awhile in silence.

"Are you joking with me, and in a minute you'll pull out a Mallow Cup?"

"June, there are hardly ever Mallow Cups anywhere. Did you want me to get you some kind of substitute chocolate?" I stared at Ned, bereft. What kind of question was THAT? We were almost home, but he took a right turn and we headed back to the party store.

I don't want to even SEE the words "high-maintenance" coming from your comment, Hulk.

I went in with him this time, so I could find my Mallow Cup substitute. My Mallow Cup cubic zirconia. "Why don't you get a Moon Pie?" Ned asked me, which was an excellent idea. "Do you want one?" I asked, grabbing a chocolate. Yes, they make unchocolate Moon Pies, and why?

Ned acted like I'd asked him if he wanted to adopt North West.

"Oh, get OVER it," I said. "It's one teensy Moon Pie."

"I've had my fill of them, " said Ned, giving the guy 69 cents for my delicious treat. "I told you before, we used to ride our bikes to the store, buy a Moon Pie and a grape Nehi, then sit in the back of a truck at the used car lot to eat it."

He has. And that could not be more Southern.

I unwrapped my pie as we headed to the car.

"Aren't you going to wait till we get home?"

If there's anything that inspires wrath, it's asking me to wait till we get home. In 1994, I established a rule with my then-boyfriend that if he never asked me to wait to eat something till we got home, that I'd never ask him what he's thinking.

"You KNOW I hate that question," I said through Moon Pie.

I admired the moon in the sky as I ate the moon in the pie as we drove home. Then even though our TV is fixed, we forgot to turn it on last night. Instead we watched Iris try to attack the dangly thing on the lamp, which half the time she'd miss and it'd hit her in the face.

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"How does she ever kill things?" asked Ned. "She must be able to just sense the blood coursing through the veins of living things."

Poor Iris.

Anyway, that was my evening. There wasn't much to it. But I'm excited about tonight's moon anyway.

June blogs to avoid seducing the cable guy

I had to work from home this morning while the repair guy fixed my TV and Internet. We haven't had TV all summer. Just now, Bewitched came on! Apparently he fixed the TV and time. Hellooooo, 1971! Do I get my owl mobile back? Cause that thing rocked '71.

Once he's done, I'll walk to work. I've been walking this week cause my car is in the shop. It's been just lovely out, so I don't mind, plus I'm at 10,000 steps so EARLY now.

I'd like to throw it out there, just as an aside, that Ned just rushed home because we couldn't figure something out, and he noted the repairman may have been a large man of color. "Can I go back to work now, or are you not to be trusted?" asked Ned.

So while he's working and I'm up here trying to think unsexy thoughts, I'll just plop my remaining vacation pictures in here and go. Talk to you tomorrow!

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Okay, I have to mention this one. We tried to take a family portrait, and my hair completely blocked my cousin Katie the lesbian. All you can see is her drowning hand. Oh, this kills me.

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You can finally see poor Katie. And I love how Gus is totally posing, too. Wait, where's my cousin Maria? Dammit.

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I was walking Gus in my mother's neighborhood one evening, and there was a food truck at a house where there was a party. The owner of said truck walked out. "June?" she said. "BARB?" I said.

It was a woman I'd been friends with in high school! She has a bacon, yes, food truck now. Gus got a piece of bacon, which he savored and took much time nibbling delicately. Pfft. And she gave ME a chocolate cookie covered in bacon. DYING. And THE BEST mac and cheese you could ever ask for. DYINGGGG. If you live in Saginaw, here's her truck's info.

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I had to record on film that we got to sit with the middle seat open on our flight. Okay, we were the very last row of the plane. Still.

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My mother has had weird shit from my wedding for ages. She had napkins with our name on them, and invitation envelopes for the longest time. Here we found a bottle of bubbles, which people blew at us when we marched back up the aisle. I mean, as "aisle" as you can be outside. Can you BE an aisle? Ohmygod, I have got to stop talking.

The point is, Ned was blowing the bubbles and then he got annoyed that I took his picture. "It's inappropriate," he said. "It's disrespectful to Marvin."

Ned is a nicer person than I am. Which is a big leap.

Luff (and speaking of luff, let's not even get started on Edsel and the repairman of color today),

Jooooooon

What’s the matter with the clothes I’m wearin’

I still have no WiFi at home, and I had so many more pictures to show you. I know you are the Indian with a tear right now. This is as bad as litter.

Since I can't talk to you, let's do this: What was the number one song on your 15th birthday? For me, it was Still Rock-n-Roll To Me by Billy Joel, which, eh.

The Guy Who Sits Next To Me had No Scrubs by TLC. Wow.

I want to say Ned's was Lady by Kenny Rogers. I'm not even sure of it, but now I want to say it cause it's so awful and it kills me.

You? Just Google "Number One Song on [add your 15th birthday here]."

Go!

Oh, also? I'm your knight in shining armor and I love you. You have made me what I am and? I am yours.

The Return of June

We are back in the South, where as soon as we opened the airport doors, the humidity hit us and it was impossible to breathe. However, here was our sky last night as we sat on the front porch.

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I slept like the dead last night and now it's 7:30 already, plus our WiFi is acting nutty and I want to cockpunch it. So without further ado, Ima just show you our pictures from our trip and give you a brief description. Don't you hate people who do that? Remember when they'd hand you the pack of photos, and instead of just letting you peruse them at your leisure, they'd be all, "Wait! I have to explain what you're seeing."

Oh my god, no you don't.

And now you have to cram in behind a camera, or stand there till your back aches behind someone's computer, and you just wish they'd be done showing you their photos already.

That's my blog today. Welcome!

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Here's my mother being hilarious behind Ned. He spent his entire trip staring into that infernal phone, answering work emails. Mobile phones are the worst thing to happen to vacations since photographs.

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While I was home, I gandered at photos from my childhood and took pictures of them. Fortunately no one was there to say, "Wait, I have to describe what you're looking at!" Anyway, here's one of the depressing clown paintings I've told you about before. Also, when I sit now, I no longer have to look at my feet before me.

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Here's mom in more current times with exactly the same hairdo and a blueberry pie she made. Hi Hi, Pie. That joke never gets old.

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My stepsister is a charter member of the Fake Smile Club®. We had, like, four seconds to talk at that memorial.

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Ohmygod, MB! I went to college with MB; she grew up one little town over from me, but we'd never met till college. Then we were friends. She'd go home for the weekend and so would I, and I'd go to her grandma's with her and drink beer from a can at the dining room table. Then, she moved to LA when I did. MB, not her cute grandma. We were friends there.

Friday night, Ned and I went to this Motown night downtown in my home town, AND THERE WAS MB. Her mom is ill, and she's moved home to care for her. I saw her sitting at a picnic table, yelled, "MB!!!" and waved. Shew waved back, like, "Oh, there's June" and then REALIZED HOW FUCKING FREAKY THAT WAS and SHOT up and was all, "OH MY GOD IT'S JUNE!"

The last time we saw each other was in 2007, in Los Angeles. We stayed till the end of the Motown and then walked down to this bar she goes to. She lives in downtown Saginaw now, which in my day was unheard of. In fact, see that cool old building behind her, the tall one? I'm pretty sure that's her apartment, if I'm not mistaken.

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Here's ridiculous MB dancing to the juke box, at the bar downtown, with her friends. Have I mentioned being downtown was unheard of my whole adult life? Glad it's coming back.

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Here's a guy dancing with his daughter at the Motown event. See the poor old abandoned building in the background? That's how downtown always was before, so this is cool, that people are coming back there.

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This was also downtown; a hotel bar. The building hasn't been a hotel my whole life. In fact, in the '90s, I WORKED in this building for my town's community foundation. And now it's a bar! Which is fitting, as I was usually headed to a bar right after work back then. Anyway, it was lovely, and has an old bank vault in the back where you can have private parties. And there were gay men there! Gay men are always a good sign that a neighborhood is coming back.

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At the memorial we went to, you were invited to take a rock of Wendel's. Wendel was an artist, who made stuff out of rocks a lot, and he had a huge collection. I took the one with pink in it, my mother took a shiny one and made me kind of have rock envy, and of course look at Ned's. Oh, I'll just take this unassuming rock, over here. I don't want to be any rock trouble.

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Much like we were Barack Obama and that prime minister, we took a selfie at the memorial, but at least we were in the church basement at this point. When we looked at it, my mother said, "It looks like my hair is made out of paper, doesn't it? Like two pieces of paper on either side of my head."

This struck us so funny that we were those people in the corner who you hate, who won't stop giggling like idiots. You can't take us anywhere.

Anyway, this picture kills me. "Ned, I feel like something's come between us," I told him.

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I have to get ready for work, and so I'll show you MORE pictures tomorrow. I KNOW. Lucky.

For example, just to get you anticipating it, I ran into an old friend of mine on a walk, and Gus and I got bacon out the deal, which I will tell you all about. Gus and I had a fine time this week, and when I got home my dogs could totally smell I'd been on the cheatin' side of town. The cats didn't give a shit.

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I blame my other-dog smell for Tallulah acting out and stealing Blu.

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Edsel be piss. Return Blu to riteful owner.

Mañana,

Joooooon

Oh, deer

Really, the most exciting part of yesterday was when we saw the deer not 20 feet from us.

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See all three of them? The second fawn is sitting behind the bush, on the left. Oh, I kiss you all so bad I do!!

When I get back and have time to bore you with my every nuance, I will tell you all the stuff we've done so far, but yesterday we drove to Ann Arbor for the memorial. My stepfather was excited to see Una, my stepsister, and he only had, like, an hour with her. So Ned and I said we'd walk around town and look at things while the four of them drove around looking at things, because my stepfather had ankle surgery recently and can't walk anywhere.

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Ned looked on his phone. "What're you doing?" I asked, annoyed. Why can't we just live in the moment and not look at a phone? "I'm seeing if there's anything near us to walk to."

"There's EVERYTHING to walk to! We're at University of Michigan! Everything's interesting here."

But Ned insisted, and he found a cemetery nearby, and we like old cemeteries. It really was only a block or two away, and when he looked at his phone to make sure we were headed in the right direction, I huffed again. "Can't we just get lost and have fun?" And here lies The Great Divide between Ned and me. Ned is precise. You may be stunned to hear that I am not.

But as soon as we rounded a corner, there was just a beautiful cemetery. We wandered around and admired excellent old names, possibly giggled at the Felch family, and in general I was elegant and sophisticated as I always am.

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We were coming up to an incredibly ostentatious tombstone on our left when Ned gasped. I looked to our right, and there were the three deer, RIGHT NEXT TO US! At first I thought they were fake. I mean, there's no way a real deer and her two fawn would be right there in front of us.

If only I'd had my shotgun.

Ned and I stood as still as we could, which was easy for me as I am 90% statue, see above. Oh, it was so cool. Finally I couldn't help but whisper, "Hi, honey!" to the mom deer, and that is when she rolled her eyes at me and stalked off. She didn't run, she just walked away casually. One of her fawns did, too, but the one who'd been sitting all along was all, eff you humins. Delta Fawn not afraid of you.

I just came up with that name right now. The other one is Fawn Hall. I just came up with that, too. After I write this, Ima write self a most flattering sonnet.

Anyway, it was cool. And Ned was all, Who was right about mapping our walk?

It was one of those things we kept talking about all day after, and probably my mother and stepfather are sick of us.

Today we have a big get-together with our whole family, and I have already taken 8849393 photos of everything, and if I were you I'd just avoid this blog altogether till you feel like it's safe and I'll stop showing vacation shots.

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June, signing off from bustling Saginaw, Michigan.

The smell of June is strong

I'm in the backyard at my mother's house, blogging at you from their fancy Mac Air laptop. I know! Remember how any other time I've ever blogged from here, I've been all, George Washington blogged here, so slow was their computer? And for years I was banished to the basement, like some sort of tortured princess, but not Rapunzel, because who'd climb this hair. Plus, you can't climb from a basement. Good spatial relations, June.

Then for a few years I got to at least blog from the den, which wasn't bad except people would forever be milling in there all casual-like. "You done blogging yet?" You know how I like that.

So now it's just me, some birds, those bugs that make the buzzy sound, and Gus, my mother's dog. Last night before our car even pulled up the driveway, my mother said Gus was at the window. The smell of June is strong.

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it do be

This morning, Ned and I were just waking up when the door BURST open. There was Gus and his door-opening snout, standing tall and proud, as tall and proud as a 20-inch-high dog can stand, wondering why the heck we were still here. Then he wagged his stump. So now I'm up.

Anyway, we're here because there's been a death in the family, and I know you're all, "Who? I know all your people, Jooon." So I will try to explain, but good luck following.

You know I have a stepsister, right? Una? I'd get a picture of you but I'd have to figure out how to open a new tab, google us, download the photo and really I'm pressed for time. Am busy executive. Speaking of which, Ned is upright in bed right now, answering 49494923 work emails from his vacation, and remind me not to have a busy executive job the way Ned does. They should give you another day off for each hour you answer work email on vacation.

Anyway, Una, my stepsister, married Marvin's best friend, Bill, in 2002. They met at a Thanksgiving we had, in 1998. Una came because she's my stepsister and hey, free trip to LA thanks to my stepfather and mother. Bill came because he was our next-door neighbor. That was it. Once their eyes met over giblets, the rest is history.

We hung out all the time in LA, and now that I live here I never see her anymore. The point is, Bill's stepfather died, and he was a really great guy. He was an artist, a really cool one. I'd link to his obit but I'd have to figure out how to open a new tab and–oh look! I opened a new tab and found his website. Am Internet guru.

So, that's sad, and I really liked him a lot and I'm glad I was able to make it here to his memorial. If you live in Michigan, please do not do The Thing to me. Every time I announce on any form of social media that I am in Michigan, someone I would dearly love to see from my past will contact me. "You have time for a visit?" And I would love to, but no. I am here for 72 hours. That said, Dottie, email me! Can you come here on Sunday?

See what I did, there? But my mother is having a family get-together that day and you don't even know how long it's been since I've seen The Dot.

And yes, Hulk is also going to be there on Sunday. But that's the only time I really have and I can't invite everyone or my mom will have a stroke.

Today we're all going to this wilderness place to walk around and see, you know, wilderness. I hope there's a wildernessey bar out there. "Oh, look! Glasses of chardonnay growing wild!" Then we might go to this restaurant that serves local food and you kind of have to eat what they have that day. I hope there's chardonnay growing that day.

Could I sound like a bigger drunk? Time with family. It brings out the best in you.

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My mother just took this picture of me out here blogging in all my hair glory. She didn't know how to email it to me, so I had to grab her phone, text myself, open MY phone, download this image, EMAIL it to myself, then download it to this computer and upload it to this blog. See what I do for you people? And it's a horrific picture of me, too!

I am inches away from a bird nest back here, and the mom bird has schlepped food to her babies while I'm out here. I wish she'd schlep me some chardonnay. Maybe some neighbor is in her yard with a glass of chardonnay at 10:30 a.m., and the bird could dip its beak in there, then fly here and drop some in my mouth. What the hell is the point of birds if they don't do that for you? Jesus.

I guess I'd better go get ready to be wildernessy. I'll have you know that even thought I spend ALL FEKKING DAY flying yesterday, I still got in my 10,000 steps. I was that asshole power walking during layovers. Don't know when I became this person.

Later today, if there's time, I'm setting my mother up on Facebook because she's the only person left in society to not have a Facebook, other than Faithful Reader Sadie, who is next on my list. Once mom is up, everyone has to friend her.

All right, I'll catch you later. The memorial's tomorrow, and we'll be driving out of town for it, so not sure I can blap at you then. But maybe I'll write you afterward. I'll force Una to take a selfie with me at the memorial, like we're Barack Obama and that hot prime minister or whoever it was.

Appropriately,

Joooooon

Griff and the Shrimp-Shaped Pinata

For 120 years now, Griff has worked where I work, and his general cantankerousness has amused everyone who comes in contact with him. He has extremely strong opinions on things that don't matter. Such as, "Mango salsa pisses me off."

In fact, he has so many opinions that I am going to intersperse some of his better ones throughout this story, in pink. Like this:

Why would anybody eat apples when pears are so much better?

Griff's been in my department for as long as I've been there, but what I've found out through the years is that other departments he's worked in have been equally amused and fascinated by The World's Crankiest Person that is Griff. One department actually had a t-shirt made up of his famous lines ("Applebee’s is for rednecks who don't drink alcohol with their meals.") and of course, TinaDoris made a whole Twitter page for him.

So when he mentioned his birthday was coming up, I jokingly said to one of the Alexes that we should find him a shrimp pinata. You have no idea how often shrimp comes up as one of the things he is passionate about.

I mean, I think most women would sleep with Buck Owens for free.

The thing is, you can now find anything on the Internet, and today's mission is to leave a comment telling me about the weirdest pinata you can find online. It took me four seconds to find a shrimp-shaped pinata, and before I could stop myself, I ordered it.

I announced this to the people at work at large, and plans were made to get him candy for the stuffing of said pinata, and then a day later I was toiling at my desk and one of Griff's friends from work came down to our area. I like this guy a lot, he's hilarious, and I just assumed he was there to visit Griff. When he kept standing in front of my desk, I did the friendly thing I always do, which is to keep staring at my screen but growling, "WHAT."

"I thought you might like a donation to your pinata," he said.

And right then I knew, I was a dick.

Anyway, it got here, the pinata did, and day before yesterday we hurriedly sneaked candy into it while Griff was at lunch. Then we had to wait for him to leave for the day, and all gathered around to decorate his desk with blow-up fish (he's a seafood fan, to say the least. One wonders if he was a mermaid in another life) and tinsel and a lovely card, in which people had signed things like, "Your smile is what gets me up in the morning" and "Happy 60th!" People are such dicks. That's why I like them.

Did Helen Keller ever actually do anything?

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I know the pinata looks sort of like a Vermicious Knid or a number 6 or something. Whatta ya want from me.

When we got ready to hang the thing, I guess I just assumed there'd be string lying around, which makes no sense given that we are not a string store, but assume is what I did. The guy in the mail room was already gone. So, finally I found these not-working Christmas lights, which we made this guy named Meder hang, because he was still at work and he's tall.

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Then we all had to wait for Griff to get to work yesterday, even though we knew he'd pretty much look at his pinata and not react, which is what happened.

I hate people who have three names. It’s so self-important. Take two like the rest of us, asshole.

At 2:30, we had the big pinata-bursting party on the loading dock. "Did we get string?" I asked Bitchy Resting Face Alex, who had said she would do so at lunch. "No," she said, and this is why Griff has just gone crabby. Soon I will be just like him. Sometimes I already am, and The Guy Who Sits Between Griff and Me is in a crank sandwich.

This time we found the mail room guy, and lemme tell you something. If you don't like the mail room guy, there's something wrong with you. He's just a nice, good guy, and he got us a ladder and some string, and next thing you know, we had us a pinata moment.

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Once the Sour Patch Kids and 49394394 golf tees were scattered all over the loading dock, we dove for them like idiots, but our coworker Neil dove for the shrimp eyes.

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Ohhh, I see.

Everyone's a comedian.

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So that's the short story about the shrimp. The shrimp story, if you will. And now Griff is another year older, and puttin' the happy in birthday.

I've never danced. I don't even respect dancing.

Everything and nothing

This is one of those days where I have no idea what Ima blog about. What I'm saying to you is, prepare to be deeply bored.

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Here's Ned at lunch the other day. Some days we both come home at lunch. Some days we actually have lunch. And Dear Ned: We put that candle holder on the record player 10 months ago. Do you think we might get to hanging it on the wall soon?

Ned and I differ about our neatness. He gets up every Saturday and sweeps the whole house in its entirety, and won't let me do it because he said he'll just have to go behind me and do it all over again. He also makes the bed every morning, which I would not do.

But newspapers and mail and pictures that need hanging and things like that, he can literally leave lying around for years. It drives me berserk. I am forever sneaking old newspapers into the recycling when he's not looking. And he'd really say, "Hey! Don't recycle that Greensboro News & Record from March 11! I wanted to read that!"

Ned gets annoyed with me because I don't wash every dish thoroughly before I put it in the dishwasher, to which I say WHY HAVE A DISHWASHER THEN?

"Look at this!" he'll say, disgusted. "This plate is a mess!" There will be one hint, just a memory, really, of something on that plate and Ned will be all, "I'll just have to put this back in the dishwasher again if you don't clean this" and then he'll get a SCRUB BRUSH and make the thing so clean you could do surgery on it, THEN he puts it in the dishwasher.

On the other hand, it would never occur to him to Windex the bathroom mirror if his life depended on it.

So, we differ. But we complement each other's styles, really, so that's good.

"The 'For Lease' sign is gone from the yard," Ned just announced to me. You know those idiots across the street who made all the noise, who I called Jimmy and John because they ordered takeout every single night?

Gone. Kicked out, I'd assume. Because we're old people, Ned and I convinced ourselves they were selling the drugs, because people would run up and run back to their cars. I know all old people think every young person is selling drugs.

Anyway, this is a nice neighborhood, and has a neighborhood association, so those dastardly kids didn't last long. They left a couch and chair in the yard when they moved, then drove up later and put graffiti on the chairs just to be spiteful. Ned saw them. Damn hippie drug dealers.

I saw our neighbor walk over–old guy, too–and right the furniture so the graffiti didn't show, and then the kids came and dumped MORE furniture. What a couple of jerks.

But that drama ended, and to tell you the truth, they were pretty quiet, there, at the end and I hadn't minded them till my neighborhood looked like the Bronx with that darn tagged furniture. I guess this is the nightmare shit you hear about when you rent your house. People always love to tell you the nightmare stories.

"Oh, you're pregnant? Let me tell you what happened to my sister. She gave birth to a full-grown ostrich!"

Why do people think that's considerate?

So. Anyway. New neighbors coming soon. Further reports as developments warrant.

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In other news, one of the Alexes at work is taking pottery and she made me this pretty cup in my new favorite color. Isn't it cute? That ostrich-feather kitten clock is from Griff, whose birthday it is today. I'm sorry to tell you I found a shrimp-shaped pinata for him and last night we hung it over his desk. We figure he'll be grumpy about it. He keeps a golf club at work, I am not kidding, and he can knock it down with that.

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I guess that's all I have to tell you. Attached please find a photo of my cleavage and Ned and me out to dinner the other night. We like to go to this hotel restaurant, where we had our controversial first date, and order appetizers and eat outside. That night we got crab cakes with almond butter and also a tomato plate that was delicious. Then we got two kinds of mousse: salted caramel, because caramel isn't allowed to be unsalted anymore, and dark chocolate. Mother of god. Delicious.

Our first date was not at all controversial. That's a line from Say Anything. Ned doesn't even remember that line from that movie, but he still calls it our controversial first date now.

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Oh, and here's a photo of Ned out with Naughty Pro, Slutty Pancakes, Bitchy Resting Face Alex and her husband, and also with her back to us is the wife of The Guy Who Sits Next to Me. Sometimes people get mad at me: "You just SAID MY NAME. You didn't give me a blog name!"

People are so persnickety. That was a fun night, though, and there were food trucks and I got a delicious burrito with no cilantro in it.

All right, I guess I'd better go to work, as I am wont to do. I told you everything and nothing, as I am also wont to do.

XO,

Joob

A love story with a happy ending. I know! Weird.

One fall evening back in 2012, Ned and I were at this local theater. It's got little round tables where you can drink and watch plays, and what's a better combo than that? We were still in the flush of new love and were relatively gross at that point, but I saw the Naughty Professor sitting alone at one of the other tables.

Images-2"Oh, I work with that guy," I said to Ned. I barely knew the Naughty Pro, but I did know he was a friend of The Poet, who is my favorite person at work.

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"I was in line next to him up at the bar," said Ned. "He ordered Chardonnay. Gay guy, right?"

I mean. Okay, yes. But to judge someone by their–okay. What straight man orders Chardonnay.

"Maybe we should ask him to join us," offered Ned, so I got up, reminded Naughty Professor who I was, and next thing you know we're all watching this scary-ass Halloween play together in that intimate room.

After, we sat around the little round table and had a round table discussion. BAHAHAHA.

Yeah.

We talked about scary movies. Ned talked about going to see The Ring all by himself. It was terrifying, and he nervously walked home and flicked on the hall light, and

BOOM!

the light bulb blew up! It just blew up!

And that is when he called his mother.

Gay guy, right?

ImagesThe Naughty Professor told us how he'd been in a relationship for 18 years, and that just a few months earlier, his partner had died of cancer. He said he was just pretty much forcing himself to go out and do things so he wouldn't stay home and wallow.

This is the kind of thing that breaks Ned's heart. "I'm so glad we asked that guy to sit with us," said Ned, over and over that weekend. "That story is terrible, and he seems like such a good guy. Bless his heart."

Everyone always says when Southern people say that, they mean it all bitchy, but I have seen Ned really mean "bless his heart," so I can't figure you damn people out. Margaret Mead needs to come here and study you fuckers.

Anyway, after that we were friends, Naughty and me. I remember going out with him on election night that year; we sat in a bar and watched the results. "Hey, have you considered, you know, dating yet?" I asked him.

"Oh, honey, no," he said. I was married for 14 years, and I know it's hard to get out there again, but having someone die on you would be so much worse, so much bigger of a loss. I listened when he told funny stories about John, his partner. There were stories where John was hilarious. There were stories where you were all, Oh, my GOD with John! You did NOT do that. I found myself wishing I'd known John. I feel like he was my people.

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It was maybe a year later that Naughty Professor–who you guys named, by the way. I was just cleverly calling him Not Wes–said maybe, just maybe, he'd consider doing some casual dating. He hadn't dated anyone new in 20 years, so he was scared to death. "Oh, it'll be FINE," I said, because I'm a delight to talk to and not at all dismissive of people's fears. But I knew it would be okay. Once anyone got a load of Naughty Pro, they'd be smitten for life. So to speak.

Images-3I swear to you it was a week later that Ned and I had lunch with Naughty Pro, and I asked him, "How's it going with trying dating?"

"Oh, I had three dates this weekend," he said.

Gay men. They don't fuck around. Well, they DO fuck around, and sometimes I wish I could be a slutty gay man. Wouldn't it be fun just for a little while? But no. I'm a girl. I'd go to a glory hole and develop feelings for the hole.

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At the very beginning of 2015, Naughty Pro told me he'd met someone kind of special. It was a guy he and John had always been friends with, but now that their statuses had changed, Naughty Pro and this guy saw each other in a different light. They had a ton in common, were similar in so many ways, and Naughty Pro seemed kind of…encouraged. The next time Ned and I saw the NP, he and his man had just gotten back from Cuba.

CUBA!

Sometimes Ned and I drive to Raleigh for the day. So. Just as glam.

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I am delighted to announce to you that my friend Wes, aka the Naughty Professor, is engaged to be married. He proposed in Provincetown just a few weeks ago.

I've watched someone go from grieving to slowly recovering to getting back out there to finding happiness with someone else. It's been an honor, really, to watch that. It gives me hope for the world. I am so happy for him I could burst my light bulb.

Oh my god, does this mean we get to go on some kind of spa weekend bachlorette thing? It just gets better!

June blogs, naked and annoyed

While Ned swept the house, I Windexed the mirrors so I can see myself, and also Soft Scrubbed the sinks. I got the ends of my robe sleeve wet, and I read once that getting the tips of your robe sleeves wet is like receiving tiny, terrible kisses from the devil, and I have never read anything so true.

So I came in here to blog, and I RIPPED off my robe and sat down.

"Are you getting ready to look at porn? What're you doing?" asked Ned, broom in hand.

"My sleeves got wet," I said, and commenced to blogging.

So here I am, in the altogether, about to tell you about how annoyed I am altogether with my bank and my mortgage company. Really, the only interesting thing about this post is my nekkidness, and given that I'm 50, even that's not very compelling.

Some damn company bought my mortgage company, which was bought by the original company I had in the first place. And Dear People Who Buy Companies For a Living: Maybe YOU are getting rich, but you're fucking it up for the rest of us, and I know you don't care. You don't even care that I'm naked right now.

So my mortgage is due on the 1st, but they give you a grace period of the 16th, which is stupid, and why not just say it's due on the 16th, then? The point is, this new company has not sent me a hello or an account number or payment coupons or ANYTHING. The only way I know I have a different company is my old company told me.

On the 1st, I called the old company, waited on hold. "How do I pay my mortgage?" "Call the new place," they said.

So I did. And I held. PLEASE ENTER YOUR ACCOUNT NUMBER.Well, I can't. I don't have one.

PLEASE ENTER YOUR ACCOUNT NUMBER.

Oh my god, I CAN'T. Give me a person!

Finally, I got a person, who said indeed, my mortgage would not be late till the 17th, and to call back in a week and they'd have an account number for me by then.

Yesterday I called the place, and after waiting on hold I finally got a person and I asked if I could pay by phone. Of course not. Of course I couldn't pay by phone. God forbid it be easy for them to get my money. They gave me a website to go to, and all sorts of info to fill in, and WITH ALL MY TIME SEEING AS I HAVE A JOB, I filled it all in, and hit Make Payment.

….!

We're sorry. We cannot process this information.

Oh, son of a BITCH. So I put it all in again, and this time it said okay, you have made a payment.

Ten seconds later I got two emails. Your payment was received.

Two emails. Two conformation numbers.

Oh, son of a BITCH. So I called the mortgage place again, waited on hold, again. Had to hear this delightful suggestion that I go online for my convenience, which, yeah. Also, every 10 seconds, they'd interrupt the hold music to tell me to do something or other, "using your PIN number. Your PIN number is…"

PIN number. Why not just TRY to give me a stroke while I already hate you? I kept making a mental note to tell whomever answered the phone, "You know, the N in PIN stands for number." But I did not. Because of course by the time I got someone, I was delirious and my lips were dry like when they finally picked up Tom Hanks from that island.

"Oh, there's no way we can cancel one of those payments, ma'am," said the beleaguered operator. "Just no way."

"I find it impossible to believe there's no way you can reverse one of these payments. You guys were the ones who told me to enter all the info again. This wasn't my fault."

"You could just make two payments!" she suggested brightly, like everyone just has a spare $870 to throw at their mortgage. Wow, what an idea! Thanks, Idea Woman!

After talking to three people there and hearing that hold message about PIN numbers, I gave up and called my bank. "Yes," I said, because you know when you make these calls you always start with, "Yes…"

"Yes, I paid my mortgage today, and the company thinks I wanted to make two payments three minutes apart, because that makes so much sense, but in fact I do NOT wish to make two payments, so can I cancel one of the payments through you?"

"You want to make a payment, ma'am?"

If there's one way to make me come screaming through the phone cord to bang your head repeatedly on your desk, it's to sit there while I tell THE WHOLE STORY and then show you did not listen to one word.

"No, I DON'T want to make a payment. I want to CANCEL a payment. How do I do that?"

Also, "phone cord." Modern.

Because both payments were for the same amount, and OF COURSE THEY WERE, the bank told me they couldn't make a stop on just ONE of them. There was NO WAY they could do that.

You know what everyone was? Helpful.

I called the mortgage company again, and hey, while you're on hold, did you know for faster service you should go to their website at WWW we're inefficient dot com? Also, PIN number.

This time I spoke to a "specialist" and by "specialist" I mean someone in a different room in India, and I hope you're sitting down but they said there was no way–NO WAY!!!–to reverse one of my payments. I had now heard this from 49439492 people there.

"Well, then please note I'm stopping BOTH payments and you aren't getting one till this is cleared up," I said. I got the guy's full name and employee number, and he said he'd make a note on my account.

Then, because my ear didn't hurt enough, I called the bank. Did you know you should pay attention to the prompts because their options have recently changed?

WHY HAVE PROMPTS ALWAYS RECENTLY BEEN CHANGED? WHY? IT NEVER MATTERS ANYWAY, because all you do is push buttons till you can talk to a person who doesn't help, either.

"Yes, I'd like to cancel two payments," I finally told someone.

"Ma'am I'm required to tell you that each transaction will be $35," said the operator.

!!!!!!!!!

"Look, YOU'RE the people who told me you can't stop just one payment. YOU'RE the ones who insisted that that is TOO arduous of a task to undertake, so don't charge ME twice because you can't function." Oh, I was Daffy Duck at that point, so pissed was I. I was spittin' from my bill.

There was a pause.

"Ma'am, I see you've never canceled a payment before, so we can give you a courtesy waive this time and you won't be charged."

It's amazing how things are so set in stone at the bank. Fuckers.

So I got both payments canceled, at no charge, and all I had to do was wait for the payments to not go through, then I'd stampede to that convenient website of my mortgage company, the one I now trust so much, and make another goddamn payment.

This morning I got a message on my phone.

"Ma'am, this is the mortgage company. The IT department was able to cancel one of your payments, so just one will go though."

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June. Read by 579 people since 2015. Or not.

[Boring who-reads-me stuff below, but scroll down and I show you where it gets interesting again. I mean, "interesting" is a relative term.]

Hello, all 579 readers!

Okay, I know I have more readers than that. Because the last time my old counter thingie, Sitemeter, told me I had just 579 visits in one day was in 2009. And Sitemeter wouldn't just make up visits that never happened. If anything, it told me fewer visits than I actually had.

Let's say you looked at my blog at 10 a.m. Then you came back at 10:28 to read comments or gaze fondly at my picture.

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Sitemeter would not have recognized that as two visits. Two visits from the same computer in less than half an hour, did not count. So if you live with your mom, which is a little sad, and you look at 10 and she looks at 10:29, that counts as one visit.

There's a guy at work whose whole job is analyzing this stuff, and he said if a website sends a call to action like, "Tell me you read me," you get a response of 3%. So if 579 people responded, that was 3% of you. Okay, no way to I believe I have that MANY readers.

Still, that was fun, and I saw names I've never seen before, and there are relatives and friends I didn't know were reading! Cool. Hi, everyone! Hi, person who said I was so unattractive! Whatever can you mean?

Photo on 7-16-15 at 5.47 PM #2

Okay, I was trying to find a really bad photo of me where I looked unattractive, but I saw this one and fell in love with self all over again. Look how cute! You can't hurt ME, trolly mean person who said I was unattractive. That's nothing six pounds of makeup can't cure, as shown above.

Oh, and people got on Facebook and said, "My comment didn't show up!" But for everyone who said that, I found his or her comment. Remember, if there are more than 100 comments that day, you have to scroll to the bottom of them, click SHOW MORE COMMENTS down on the left, and see the NEXT 100.

Scroll to the bottom, hit SHOW MORE COMMENTS again and see the NEXT 100. And so on.

If you do comment, it may take a few minutes to show up, and remember if there are more than 100 comments to click the SHOW MORE COMMENTS thing.

Worst-case scenario, you went to spam and I'll see it later that day and post it. Don't send 14 of the same comment unless you want to kill me, as the girl who keeps sending me comments about how hideous I am may or may not want to do.

At the end of yesterday, the girl who sits across from me who has June Hair was getting ready to leave.

"Hey, June Hair, you read my blog, don't you?"

"Yeah," she said, locking her drawer and gathering her bag.

"Did you…leave a comment? I can't recall."

"Oh, I was so overwhelmed by all those comments. I didn't."

"Could you have missed the point ANY HARDER?" I groused at her. No one at work likes me. Anyway, THANK YOU ALL WHO DID COMMENT! That was fun.

[OKAY, NOW THIS POST GETS INTERESTING AGAIN!]

Lenny_kravitz_02See what I did, there? I made it interesting. Yes, of course I looked for pictures from where his pants split at that concert the other day. How quickly do you think I stampeded to that scenario? For the love. And then I was all, Oh. Hunh. Yeah. I guess he was working right then, and not…angry. I was hoping for a whole Pachelbel's Canon scenario, if you know what I'm sayin'.

YES I KNOW CANON AND CANNON ARE DIFFERENT. I also know a cannon and man bits are different. But I was hoping not in Lenny Kravitz's case.

Why doesn't Lenny Kravitz call me? And while Pachelbel may have slight June Hair, you know who has extra June Hair? Is Handel.

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June's blog. Come for the naked-ish Lenny Kravitz photos. Stay for the hot Handel hurr action. I feel like Handel was no stranger to the Frito Burrito, which leads me to something I've been thinking of for months and just haven't done. Shouldn't I totally have a weekly June's Junk post, where I show you not just my junk, because who doesn't want to see that, but also I review one junk-food item? Wouldn't that be great? I eat the junk you're afraid to.

I'll work on that, but in the meantime, last night Ned and I schlepped to the last movie of the summer at our old movie theater, and that movie was Grease. It was as crowded as when they show It's a Wonderful Life. And we really did all sing along! And we clapped after the better songs, such as Summer Nights, which you can't beat, really.

After, we went to look at stars. All this week there's been a meteor shower, and last year at this time we were way high up in Northern Michigan, and it was easy to see them. This year we're here, in this bustling city, but night before last we were sitting on the porch and Ned said, "I just saw a shooting star!"

"Really?" I turned my head toward the sky. You should know that my one talent in life is the complete inability to ever see shooting stars. It's kind of my claim to fame. Everyone ELSE will see it and I'm looking at my cuticles.

After Ned said he saw one, I spent the next 20 minutes with my head turned that way, talking to Ned but not looking anywhere but at stars. The SECOND I turned to look at him, finally, he said, "WOW! That was such a good one just now!"

Goddammit.

So after the movies, we took some chairs and schlepped to the park near us and sat in the grass. And? Nothing. We sat there forever, and I was getting a migraine, so we got up to go and

I SAW ONE! I saw one just as I was giving up! You know what it did? It shot right across the sky, is what it did! Oh, it was exciting.

It even read The More You Know at the bottom of it. Did I ever tell you I once had a dream I was the The More You Know Star? I don't know what to tell you about the crap I dream.

Okay, I have to go, so I can wash my Handel hair.

Thanks again for commenting yesterday, if you did!

You're a fake and a phony and I wish I'd never laid eyes on you,

Sandy

Are you reading this dumb blog? Tell me!

I had to get to work early today, because my car. I had to take it to the shop, and Ned had to drop me off, which means I got here at, like, 5 a.m.

So because I'm here I cannot blog, but can you help a sister out?

Since 2007, I have used this thing called Sitemeter that told me how many people came to my blog in a day. Then, a few months back, Sitemeter got all wonky and started directing you to other pages. I was advised to get the hell off Sitemeter.

So then, to see who was looking at my blog, I tried Google Analytics, and you have never been to a site that is harder to figure out. It's like they're trying to make you mad. So I quit them in a huff, as I do.

This means I have no way of knowing how many people are reading this dumb blog. So here's what I wanna do today: Let's have a real-life count. If you read me, just leave a comment (JUST ONE!) saying, I read. Or hey. Or whatever.

If you come back to this page today, leave another comment. I'm back. This tells me how many new visitors I get in a day and how many repeats.

I know you don't owe me a damn thing, but it'd be a cool experiment and won't cost you anything, so help a sister out, even if she says things like Help a sister out. Let's try it and see! I think it should be somewhere around 1,000 to 1,200 people. But I have no idea if that's accurate.

LET'S SHOW THE WORLD WE DON'T NEED THEIR SITE COUNTERS! WE CAN DO IT OURSELVES!

Thanks!

P.S. Remember not to comment twice unless you left this page and came back later. Trying to keep it really clean, this count. Plus also you've said interesting things that I want to reply to and cannot and it's killing me.

P.P.S. If you want to be sure your comment posted, first of all know that I'm checking spam from time to time so it may post later. Also, if you do a search for your name, open ALL the comments. You have to keep hitting See More Comments at the bottom of this post, over and over again. If you STILL don't see your comment, email me rather than posting multiple comments. MERCI!

I’m just a mirage in your kiddie pool

Yesterday, I ended up working out for 100 minutes. I don't even know what to tell you. I got inspired. It was a dumb inspiration. My muse is an asshole.

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Before. I've no idea why I look like I'm preparing to be slaughtered. Except MAYBE I KNEW.

After
After. Note the addition of a sports bra, which was the only wise thing I did yesterday.

I look vaguely insane in the "after" picture. And let me tell you what. No one, in the history of time, has enjoyed a turkey burger on two pieces of toast more than I did last night.

After all that mess, I came up here and started scrolling listlessly through my photos while I dried from a shower. Not that I NEEDED a shower. Americans are so hygiene-obsessed. Anyway, eventually I did a thing where I'd scroll to the count of five, then when my scrolly thing stopped, I'd count the fifth picture in. These are the photos I landed on.

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Here's my friend Jo and my dog Tallulah, back at my old house. Two of my favorite yellow-haired people.

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The sparkly reindeer Kelly gave me! I'd FORGOTTEN about them, which is why it's fun to unwrap your Christmas shit, if you ask me. You get pleasantly surprised by whatever sparkly, drag-queen thing you bought the year before. Also, Jackie Kennedy had a TV special once: Christmas Shit at the White House.

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Three enthusiastic baby shower guests at TinaDoris's shower. I could not be more in love with this picture. That shower was actually really lovely. Sitting with three bitches made it funner-er.

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Mush.

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Oh. My old haus. My old flowers. My old serial-killer neighbor across the street. Actually, near the end, there, when I had a moving sale, he came over and was quite nice. YOU HAD SEVEN YEARS TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF.

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New haus. Ned. I have always liked this picture.

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 Sigh.

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Me, in case you wondered who this was, at the Scrabble tournament in 2014. Nerd Tournament, 2014. As opposed to the cool cat I am now. I lost that necklace and I loved it. I also had a tank top that same color that I ALSO lost, and have no idea where. Am guessing some hotel room somewhere, which makes it sound like I'm a call girl, and I wish. Could use extra cash.

Did I tell you about the $900 error I made with m'fine math skillz, resulting in me having $76 from last Friday till this one? I managed to go all weekend without spending one dime.

The best part was when I so smugly called the bank. "Yes, I put in a deposit from my tenants a few days back. I put the same check in each month, so why is it taking so long to clear this month?" I had my snippy I'm-calling-a-business voice. The one where you always start by saying "Yes" before you launch into your story.

"Ma'am, that check cleared three days ago," said the teller. They probably all have a warning flyer at their call centers. IF JUNE GARDENS PHONES, IT IS NEVER THE BANK'S ERROR.

"But how [scrolling through online statement]…holy cats, it did clear! I have $76 IN REAL LIFE?"

Fortunately, I had Bank of Ned and also a freelance check came in this week, so I'm golden again. I think I'll go spend $900 of it god knows where without noticing.

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Ned having a fantastic time at my mother's house. This could have to do with the fact that she only fed him peach pits and water the whole time we were there. She used that deviled egg to taunt him.

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Ned, at a hotel bar in West Virginia. As you do.

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Edsel looks like a '70s ad for Bain de Soleil.

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I totally used Bain de Soleil, for the Saginaw, Michigan tan. I looked exactly like the above photo. And by "above photo," mean the one of Edsel.

All right, I have to take my sun-damaged skin to the shower now and go to work like a normal person. I mean, relatively speaking. Tonight we have Dazed and Confused at our old movie theater, and tomorrow it's a Grease singalong. Ned says he refuses to sing along, but even I can't resist a few bars of Hopelessly Devoted, and I abhor musicals. So I think he'll sing along.

If not, I'm totally forcing my coworker Fleeeta to go. Fleeta will be in the middle of the workday and for no reason start screaming out DO YOU BELIEVE IN LIFE AFTER LOVE? She has musical Tourette's.
Okay, now I'm totally in the mood to go dance at the gay bar.

Gayly,

June

Let it go, but not in a Frozen way. Isn’t that a Frozen song? Why do I know that? Sad.

Ten days ago, I spent three hours and $165, plus tip, at the hairdresser, where I got new color that was supposed to be lighter and looks exactly the same as it did when I walked in, minus the gray roots. And just now, as I moved my hair aside to brush my eyebrows, I saw gray.

Sometimes I'm tempted to just give up. Like, let's say one day Ned and I break up. (Hi, Ned. Are you enjoying this little fantasy?) I could try to stay as cute as a 50-year-old can stay and reel in a new man, or I could just give up. Like, I'm not a rail now, but I could get actually fat. You know? And wear elastic-waist pants. And eat anything I wanted, which I already do, but  in larger quantities.

And I could stop leaping around to Tracy Chapman 19 times a week. I could just settle in to old age and stop trying to do ANYTHING with this ass, which despite all my leg lifts and 10,000 steps a day is spreading at an alarming rate as it is.

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wut do be up wif mom azz?

No, I have NOT put sheets on that bed yet. I KNOW. I'm busy building my ass.

And my hair. I could cut it all off and let it be gray. And I wouldn't have to spend $300 every three months on Botox. And I wouldn't have to curl my eyelashes, or Latisse them. Which is another $120 every six months or so. I drag that bottle of Latisse OUT. In fact, I'm out of it now. Wasn't one of you gonna send me your bottle because you hated it? You all are as bad as me, with the "I'll send it" and never doing it.

I mean, I'd look like HELL, but god, wouldn't it be lovely to stop trying to appeal to men? Most of them look through me anyway, at this point. You turn see-through after you're 35. So why do I even try?

I'll never do it. First of all, grooming is my hobby, and I'd miss sex. And I don't have grandkids. If you have grandkids, you have permission to be cushy and dowdy and everyone thinks you're cute as a button. When you're single and childless and unattractive, you're Eleanor Rigby. So I'll continue to wax and polish and exfoliate and zip up my non-elastic jeans.

But isn't it a lovely fantasy?

June talks about food a lot, but is not on the MaryJane, she swears

We just got a new toaster and butter dish, and I have a collection of vintage slips. I was wearing my coral slip–in which I look fetching if you ask me–Sunday morning when I went out to get the paper and got a brilliant idea. I ran in and grabbed the butter dish and held our cold stupid butter up toward the sun while I perused the front of the New York Times.

"What are you DOING?" asked Ned, whose life has become a series of events that make him feel like Ricky Ricardo. "I come down the stairs and all I see is you in a slip, on our front porch, holding up a dish of butter."

"Well, nothing's worse than hard butter," I said. I mean, you feel me, right? Nothing IS worse. Probably when I go to hell it'll be all hard butter and passwords that don't work.

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When I wasn't showing our neighbors my slip and our butter, I was eating other things. On Saturday night, one of the Alexes invited me over to eat her Blue Apron, which wasn't as kinky as it sounds. She orders this food delivered to her, and it contains all the ingredients you need for three different meals. Here is the one we cooked, and yes, "we." I helped. She didn't know the trick about pressing the knife on the garlic clove to get the paper off. Behold my kitchen wisdom.

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Because nothing's hilariouser than the tongue-on-the-tongs joke.

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Everything was delicious, I am not even kidding you, and because Alex had 14 brothers growing up, she finished her food in 11 seconds and had to wait for old Only Child Luxury, here, to take forever to eat.

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What really matters is I wore my sparkly shoes. This whole post is turning into what I ate, and what I wore.

After, we watched two episodes of Upstairs Downstairs and ate cookies. Peanut butter chocolate.

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The next day, I dragged happy Ned to the arboretum, and by "dragged," I said, "You wanna go walking somewhere? It's so nice out" and he said, "How about the arboretum" so there you go. And you can see how happy he is about it. But when we got there and saw they had a butterfly garden, I died.

June's post from hell. This damn hard butter.

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A few days ago, I went on Facebook and asked how many times a Good Girlfriend would go see baseball in a summer, because I've been twice and may or may not be getting pressure to GO FUCKING AGAIN. Hulk said, "Once for every time you've made him go to a butterfly garden." I quite haughtily told Hulk I have NEVER dragged Ned to a butterfly garden and two days later there we were.

"Oh my god! You have to pose in front of the sign so I can show Hulk!" I said. As we approached the sign, which must have been made by butterflies because it was, like, gray on white and would NOT show up on film, we passed a family, and Dear People at Public Parks. You do not OWN the park. I realize you want to all dress up in white shirts and take a family portrait, or lie on a blanket and dry hump, and more power to ya. But that doesn't mean I'm not gonna walk right past you because IT'S MY PARK AS MUCH AS IT IS YOURS GET OVER YOURSELF.

I realize that "made by butterflies" joke didn't even make sense.

So we minced past this family all in white, posed stiffly before a passel of flowers. The dad kept trying to get the kids' attention. "Heyyyy. Heyyyy. Heyyyy," he said, with all the enthusiasm of, say, Hulk at a butterfly garden.

"Hurry up and take the picture," said Ned. "I don't know how long I can stand to listen to the Jewish Fat Albert," he said, which struck me as hilarious and I did the thing where I laugh so hard that I bend over, and gasp, and snort, and the whole park stops to look at me. I'm probably that family's Christmas card this year.

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GodDAMMIT, it's late all of a sudden and I have to go to work, which means you don't get to hear about the quesadillas I ate or the Thai food, and that is a travesty.

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Ned, being dragged to Thai food. Oh, he was NOT.

I gotta scream outta here, but here's my latest Purple Clover and please give me ideas for what to write about, as I have another deadline today for next week's column and am Ren and Stumpy. And don't say something stupid like, "Write about the time you made up the word sparklefraffle. Write about Carin." I have to come up with UNIVERSAL topics, not inside jokes about us. And right then, you knew.

Okay talk at you.

Hungrily,

Jooob

Having a fit. Bit.

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There's a woman at work, Susan, who found personalized Cokes for every single one of us. She left them on our desks yesterday and it was very exciting. Naturally, in that super-private open-floor plan, I could hear everyone's excitement as they discovered their bottle. "Wow! Cool! Who gave me this?" everyone would say.

Every single time, I'd stand up and announce, "I did! That was from me!"

Each time, my coworkers would barely flit their eyes my way. "Really, who did this?" they'd ask.

A few of my coworkers put their Coke bottles on Facebook. "My coworker got all of us Cokes with our names on them!" they'd write.

"You're welcome," I wrote each time.

One annoying coworker noted that I received THREE Cokes, one for June, one for Ned, and one with my real name on it. "So Susan was extra generous with you, and yet you're going around still taking credit for giving everyone the Cokes," she said. Everyone's a critic.

"I really think it's weird how Susan's taking the credit for all my hard work," I said conspiratorially to said coworker. "It's just wrong."

No one likes me at work. I may win a least-popular badge at any moment.

Susan of the Coke Susans is also my Fitbit friend, and she for the second weekend in a row has challenged me to the Weekend Warrior badge. That means that by the end of Sunday, whichever of us takes more steps wins a million dollars and a torrid night with Jon Hamm. You can imagine my incentive.

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Last night, without realizing my stupid activity didn't even COUNT toward Weekend Warrior, I did half an hour of Tracy Asshole Chapman's cardio video, the one where she leaps around like an asshole for 30 assholian minutes till your thoughts are sweating. Then, to make matters worse, I did her mat video, which is a video that isn't very shiny. Attached please find me lolling exhaustedly on the couch after, and you'd look dead, too, if you'd done all that.

The day dawned with a little Ned action, which in case you wondered garnered me zero activity points and no steps whatsoever. I think we need to incorporate marching band sex, get out the 76 trombones, as it were.

Since that did me zero good at winning this damn challenge, I got on some pajamas (need workout clothes. Did I mention?) and did damn Tracy Asshole Gold again. While I did that, Ned swept the house. Not for bugs like we're being spied on, but to perhaps gather the pet hair that may gather its rosebuds while it may.

The arm portion of this workout is enough to make you want sharks to just come over and gnaw your arms clean off. Seriously, that'd be less painful than this workout.

"UGH," I moaned, putting my arms down for a second.

"You really can and you really must," said Ned. There's a part in the arm exercises when that damn Tracy Asserson says, "I know you feel like you can't keep your arms up any longer, but you really can and you really must."

It's sad that Ned knows it by heart now, too.

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After that, Ned went on one of his 9-million-mile bike rides, where he gets his 10,000 steps in immediately, and it always makes me mad. I took each dog separately for a W, and I know I can say the whole word here with just us talking, but I'm worried Edsel will somehow know.

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While we were W-ing, I took pictures of stuff I like, like this house. Why won't you buy me this house?

A few weeks ago, Ned and I were W-ing the dogs, and this kid down the street was having a very convenient lemonade sale, as the house next door was for sale and having an open house, and it's kids like that who'll be rich one day. I'd never have thought to be that entrepreneurial. I'd have stayed in the basement watching Lost in Space the whole time that open house went on.

The point is, by the time we got there he was out of lemonade and had resorted to iced herb tea, and it was 25 cents or 10 cents, I forget. I had Ned run home and get a dollar, and we got two glasses and I let him keep the change because Big Spender. Also Ned's Dollar.

The POINT is, that was the best damn iced tea I've ever had in my LIFE. It was DELICIOUS. I keep hoping I'll see the kid, or his mom, to say, What the hell kind of tea WAS that, because I'd MARRY that tea and be Mrs. Tea.

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Or I could marry Edsel and be Mrs. Pee.

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A guy down the street makes sculpture out of bike parts. If I didn't love my bike so much, I'd have him make one for me. BAH. See, it's funny cause I can't ride a bike. June's failings. They're hilarious!

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Finally it was time for the changing of the guard dog.

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it about fekking tyme.

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I took more pictures and tried not to think about hitting 10-damn-thousand steps. Peppers! Caliente! Which Typepad wants me to change to "clientele." Dear Typepad: Be whiter.

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I like this lace curtain and old-fashioned flowers.

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Fairy tale cottage. Just last night, Ned and I had a pertinent discussion about who here would be which dwarf, because there are seven of us. We decided pretty quickly I'd be Grumpy, because, you know.

Ned would be Sneezy, because there is NO NEED to be that loud about it. Seriously.

Edsel is the obvious Dopey.

Iris is Bashful. When people come over, she disappears, which is a shame because she's so cute.

NedKitty is Sleepy, which Ned said he didn't like because she's old and it sounds like she's on her way to her Great Demise. Lemme tell you something. I have been with Ned now almost four years, and since DAY ONE he's been worried about that cat's demise and HERE SHE STILL IS.

Tallulah is Doc. She's the smart one.

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Lu do be dok.

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We were just nearing home when we ran into Ned and his bike. "I'll see you there," he screeched, and tore off ahead of us, on probably step number nine million and forty-two.

Afterward, we both sat listlessly in the back yard, and I am sorry to tell you I am STILL not on 10,000 steps, but I AM on 8,050. And for NOW I'm beating Susan, which is all that matters.

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Sitting listlessly has its advantages, as I had a rare sighting of a dopey Edsel in his natural habitat. You know who probably had 10,000 steps by 9 a.m.?

Fitbitly,

June
 

The one where Tallulah kind of acts like a jerk.

We spent $950,000 on a dog gate when we first moved in here, because one of us didn't want the dogs on the couch or the bed. I will let you throw caution to the wind and hazard a guess on which of us that was. We spent countless hours finding the just right gate, and Ima let you throw caution to the wind and hazard a guess on which of us took countless hours to pick the right one.

Finally, we got a small-business loan and purchased a gate, which will be paid off in 30 years. Ten minutes after we set it up (Ima let you throw caution to the wind and hazard a guess who I mean by "we"), the dogs figured out how to open it.

"Hunh. It must not have been latched," said Optimistic Ned, closing the gate once more, only to be visited by the spirit of my dogs seven seconds later, and by "spirit" I mean my actual dogs. wee out the gayte! not want you to miss Lu and Edz!

After drawing up blueprints like he was Wyle E. Coyote, Ned went to Lowe's and got a bunch of doo-be-doos and secured the gate. He went straight to the doo-be-doo section, where Frank Sinatra worked.

The result is that the gate is dogproof as long as Ned is the one who closes it. He has some kind of magic touch, and I need you to try try try to understand he's a magic man.

With Ned gone this week, I had to get up and perform all the farm duties in the a.m. I had to clean the litterboxes, feed NedKitty her old lady food, feed my cats their who-gives-a-shit-they're-young food, let the dogs out, let the dogs in, feed the dogs, take up NedKitty's old-lady dish because inexplicably Lily just loves it and will gobble it down while NedK looks on miserably.

I totally feel for NedKitty, as she is the weird only child who doesn't know how to handle siblings. She is so my people. Also, old.

The point is, I got in my 10,000 steps before 8:00, pretty much.

The whole time I was running around caring for all these goddamn Brady Bunch, blended-family animals, Tallulah kept creeping upstairs. And I've told her a hundred times, Sundown, you better take care if I find you been creeping round my back stairs. But Lula Lightfoot, over here, didn't give a shit.

"Tallulah, get downstairs," I told her. I let her up here to SIT ON THE BED ONLY while I'm blogging in the morning, but if I'm not in here with her, she's eating the litterbox, eating the cat food, eating the cats. She wreaks havoc everywhere she turns when she's upstairs unsupervised.

"TALLULAH! Downstairs!" I told her for the third time yesterday morning. She'd slink down the stairs sexily, like she was made of molasses or doing her Ellie May Clampett impression, with what can only be described as a Fuck You look on her dog face, only to flump on her dog bed bitchily.

I was sweatily bringing laundry up from the basement when I saw the damn gate open again. This time I was pissed.

"TALLULAH!" I tried for my stern voice and stamped up the stairs. "GET.DOWN.STAIRS.NOW."

My Howard Stern impression worked, because there she came, head low, slinking past me down the steps. I put my laundry basket in my room and stomped back down.

"BAD GIRL," I said, because Donna Summer. Tallulah was on her bed again, still hanging her head chastised-ly. I grabbed the dog gate and slammed it shut, trying to get the definitive close that Ned gets when he magically gets the gate shut so dogs can't escape.

When I slammed the gate, she flinched.

Flinched!

Her little dog eyes got all scrinchy. Oh, it was heartbreaking. I could hear Ned's stupid boy voice in my head. "Good. She needs to learn." Tallulah will do anything Ned asks, and even stuff he won't. If he even looks at her wrong, she goes meekly to her bed. Ned is the kind of person who would have good dogs. I am not.

I went upstairs and commenced putting my laundry away, and with each pink shirt I hung up, I saw her little flinch. Oh, I couldn't stand it. I went back downstairs and to her bed.

Edsel was lying with his head on her haunch, because he knew she felt bad. Edsel spends all day worrying about who feels bad in this house, and assumes there's nothing exuberance can't fix. This is particularly enjoyable when you have, say, a migraine.

I knelt down. I petted Lu's square Pitty head. "I'm sorry I had to be stern, Lu. You know I love you and you're my puppy. You have to not go upstairs whenever you feel like it, okay?" I'm one of those parents who ask their children if it's okay. When I see this in stores or whatever, it drives me berserk. "I need you to not have a tantrum, Ethan, okay?"

I sat with Lu and also Edsel, petting everyone till their tails wagged, which of course Edsel's tail ALWAYS wags, but you know what I mean. I could tell the mood had lightened in Dog Emotion World. So I turned around and went back upstairs.

Seven seconds later I ran into Tallulah up here, her snout happily in the cats' dish.

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Lu not give one shit.

Nary a Ned

A rundown of my evening with no Ned in it…

7 a.m. till 5 p.m.

I was so looking forward to having the house to myself for one night, just to come home and sit quietly and do nothing. Ned's a big do-things guy, and to tell you the truth, I am not that into doing things ALL THE DING-DANG TIME. Like, last Friday, I just wanted to read my book. "Are you just gonna read your book?" asked Ned, like I'd suggested I might medically induce myself into a coma or something.

And Ned is a big reader, but he puts that off till, like, 11:45 p.m. when he's run out of all other things to do.

That's one of the questions you should ask someone at the beginning of a relationship, before you're sucked in by the feelings. How are you at just coming home and reading from, say, 5:00 till bedtime? Cause I'm great with it.

So Ned left yesterday morning, and I wished him well and all that, and then I set about making plans to do nothing all night.

And that is how I ended up doing salsa in the park with two of my coworkers. And it was MY stupid idea!

"Oooo! Tonight's Fitness by the Fountain is salsa! Who's in?" I'm afraid I may have done a sad white-girl salsa dance for everyone.

5:50 p.m.

Out of 49594434 coworkers, two fell for my dance of whiteness, so I came home and got into my sexy workout clothes to meet them downtown, and I TOTALLY FORGOT that you guys got me Amazon gift cards for my birthday, and oh my god, nice, thank you, and I have to buy some better workout clothes.

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Here I am, ready to put the sauce in your salsa. As I was getting ready, Ned called. "Isn't it a little hot for salsa by the fountain?"

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I mean.

6 p.m.

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As soon as I got to the park, there were Fleeta and Flauta, waiting for me. Y'all already know Fleeta, there, on the left, but that's my new coworker who couldn't come up with a blog name, so I told her I'd give her one. I know that I do not know any ugly people. Am aware.

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Here was our salsa teacher, god love him. The rhythm is gonna get you, tonight. Once Ned and I somehow got into a discussion about which would be worse, if the rhythm got you, or colon cancer. Don't even ask.

During the class, when we were supposed to be learning salsa and gettin' all coordinated, Fleeta noted a young man of color running shirtless past us, a young man teeming with the muscles. That were sweaty. I can't remember anything else for like an hour after that.

7:10 p.m.

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I came home and made myself a turkey burger, and I realize there's no turkey in this picture. I was waiting for it. Once an old boyfriend of mine painted a mural of his whole family at their lake cabin. It was a huge painting of them enjoying everything in the yard and on the lake and so on. He somehow forgot to add his mom to the mural. "Where am I?" she was crestfallen.

"You're inside the cabin," he told her.

The turkey's inside the cabin.

8 p.m. till 9:30 p.m.

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After that, I did some freelance work. I'm doing more statistics textbook proofreading. I know! You envy my adventures such as proofreading statistics. What can I tell you? I'm greedy. Since I moved in with Ned, I've paid off my car and one huge, annoying super-interest-y credit card, and I'm less than a month from paying off another. I keep doing extra work to pay everything off as soon as I can. Ned's doing the same thing, and then I get a new nose.

That's my goal. Saving up for a new nose.

I finished my work, which I hadn't planned to do. When I freelance, I make myself a little schedule of so many pages per day, but with Ned gone I just got it done. Will mail it off and invoice the crap outta that place and RICHES WILL BE MINE.

9:15 p.m.

That meant I had plenty of time in my pressing evening to peruse BuzzFeed. I found this stupid page that was titled, like, 27 Things That'll Make You Laugh or something (do NOT ask me to find it again), and usually those don't actually make me laugh because I was born in 1965 and not 1995, but this time I was standing there beside myself over the whole thing.

Like, these stupid things from the news…

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Those were funny enough, but then I got to this image of the poor girl who accidentally attached a picture of Nicholas Cage instead of her resume.

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I mean, it wasn't just ANY picture of Nicholas Cage, either. At this point I was starting to do that hysterical laughing, where the dogs come in and wonder if you're new.

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Oh my god. He liked it so he put a ring on it! I was peeing on my own self, and the dogs were calling the authorities, and that's when my phone rang. It was Ned again.

"Are you okay? You sound a little…stuffed up." I tried to explain about BuzzFeed, but mostly Ned is over me. Who is probably tickled to be in a hotel without my ass for a night?

9:45 p.m.

After we hung up, I was gathering my things to go to bed when I heard the wind. Faithful Reader Happy gave me the most beautiful pale-blue windchimes for my birthday, and they were out there doing the tinkle thing, only like, you know, they meant it. If my windchimes had heads, they'd have been bobbing them. Maybe saying, "Mmmm-HMMMM."

Edsel and I went outside and there was a huge storm on its way. The sky kept lightningning constantly, and that is totally a word. It wasn't raining yet, but it was fixing to. Eds stood next to me on the back porch, proud and loyal. Then right when the first drops hit, he screamed out to the yard, got Blu, and came back next to me.

I guess he wanted to make sure he didn't leave Blu out in the rain, like that cake.

There was loud thunder for a long time, and tough Pit Tallulah came and very casually draped herself under my chair the whole time.

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Lu do NOT be skare. Lu pretending to be under hupp pa. Lu Jew ish bride.

So that was my Nedless night, and tonight we go to a baseball game, because Doing Things. Sigh.

Your caliente pal,

El June