What’s the best cereal? When did you look your best?

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I took this yesterday and just now noticed the cross growing out of my head. How'm I gonna wear my hats? Crap.

I have an early doctor's appointment (finally going to the allergy place) so I've got to go. Talk amongst yourselves. I've got two things I've been wanting to ask you saved on the Notes section of my phone that've been there since November 1, 2015.

What is or was the best cereal, ever?

What year did you look your best?

Did I already ask you these questions and just never take them off my notes? Cause that'd be like me.

Please to discuss please.

(I lean toward Boo-Berry and 1989.)

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June gets stuck on a thing

I'm trying to think of what I did all weekend that kept me from blogging. Since blogs are out, shouldn't I come up with another verb? Website-ing.

By the way, there's a woman at work who's our social person, and I don't mean she has the gift of gab and is a marvelous hostess. I mean she handles all the social media stuff. Anyway, she says I really need to, you know, get off Typepad and actually have a modern-day place to write. She said people might come here and see how dated this all is and not take me seriously.

As if anyone takes me seriously.

Another guy at work who does things like this said he'll transfer me and my freaking 10 years of blog posts over to WordPress or Squarespace or whatever for a hundred bucks.

Step one: Get a hundred bucks. But I figure I can do that fairly soon. Bake sale!

Anyway, the weekend. Did I just black out through it or something?

Hang on and I'll upload my pictures from this weekend for a little reminder.

I know I left for Raleigh soon after work Friday–nothing exciting, just had to do some stuff there. Not a date or anything cool like that. I've gotten off the OK ridiculous Cupid for now and made the decision to not date for awhile. So naturally some man harassed Edsel and me on our walk Saturday. I mean, he not only thought I was pretty, but he even said, "Nice dog," which, come on.

By the way, Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big totally had a Love Addict/Love Avoidant relationship. Not that I'm obsessed or anything. But they did. I watched reruns this weekend, for a change.

Hey! I just finally thought of something I did this weekend! Dog walk, harassment, Sex and the City, Love Addict obsessing!

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My damn pictures finally uploaded, and from this weekend, I found many, many photos of The World's Saddest Dog. Even Iris is concerned at this point. Or perhaps she's waiting for enough ennui that she can attack. Either way.

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You've no idea how many times a day he presses his head on me for hugs. You know how I feel about hugs, but I allow it from dogs. Poor Edsel. I just don't know what to do for him. He's lonely, even if he does have a rambunctious cat friend. I realize it's his fault, but he doesn't know that part.

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rambunctious cat friend

Note the holes in my snow leopard pajamas. They were among my favorites, and this was the first time I've slipped them on all winter, and holes. I have one word for you: That goddamn Lottie. I wore them one last beautiful time, then tossed them. There were holes everywhere. Have I said That goddamn Lottie yet?

Anyway, I spent a lot of time reading this weekend, and doing some writing about the Love Addict/Love Avoidant, because it's my new obsession and it's kind of nice to figure out what the FUCK is wrong with you, but here's my complaint. You read about this–what do you want to call it? Character flaw? Anyway, anything you read about it, it tells you over and over again what it IS, with very little concrete answers for what the hell you DO about it.

"Work on your self-esteem." Oh, fuck off. Okay, let me go "work" on that. Out in the garage. With my tool chest. I mean, everything I read just sort of says vague stuff like that. Probably because the real answer is, you're doomed.

"Practice self-acceptance." Oh, thanks! Clear as a bell.

Actually what they say is one thing Love Addicts can do (and "addict" is kind of a dramatic term. What it really is is an anxious attachment style, which sounds hot. Hello! I'm anxiously attached! Let's go!) is find someone who's securely attached. They said Love Avoidants never really do that, because secure people aren't interesting to them. But that the Love Addict can find a secure attachment person, which is what I did when I found Marvin.

So. There's hope. -ish.

At least I have a new hobby.

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Yesterday, when I wasn't obsessing about my disorder, I very Love Addict-ly went to The Other Copy Editor's new old bed and breakfast. I mean, it's an old house that they just got. Above is the soap in the bathroom, which I must find because it was the best-smelling soap, ever. Oh my god.

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Anyway, her husband, who is gregarious AF, of course had three friends of his own over, and that was fun, and at some point in the afternoon it dawned on me that those two are around the same ages as Chris and Lilly, and they own a business as do Chris and Lilly, and that maybe they'd all like each other.

So now I'm having them all over for dinner, even though every single person in this scenario actually knows how to cook and I do not. Also, C & L will be forever traumatized by The Edsel Incident, but they're coming over anyway. (I tried to find the old blog post for you but could not. But once, Chris and Lilly were coming for dinner, and Edsel licked the lasagna before they got here. I should have probably not blogged about that, but there you go.)

I'd better go to work and so on, but I'll talk to you tomorrow, when maybe I'll have sad pictures of Edsel to show you. Poor Edsel. I wonder if he's a Love Addict?

Obsessively,

June

Turns out, brows really affect your look

Yesterday I came home from work, as I am wont to do, and I was putting my many many goddamn bills away in my cute bill-holder '60s thing. I moved it with me all the way from LA.

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Cute bill-holder '60s thing.

When I heard a nose from above. The attic door was opening!

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Okay, this is a terrible view of the attic. It's that thing with lights on it up above. I became obsessed with Edsel back there licking Steely Dan's dish. Edsel! Get out of there!

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Jesus.

Anyway, if there had been a murderer in the attic, or the Ken cryer, he or she would have been able to off me without a struggle, because I just stood frozen, watching the door open from above me.

It was fucking Steely Dan.

Y'all.

That cat can walk through walls, I am now convinced of it. And I am also convinced that he is the smartest damn cat I have ever known. And he's still a kitten! In three months he'll be teaching me trigonometry! HOW did he get up there again, and who knew he knew how to open the damn door? He just kind of squeezed out and jumped down. Jesus Katie Christ with that cat.

Obsessed readers will note my new free ottoman is regaled to that back room now. With my tenant, fmr., coming over to work out in my rather shrimpy living room, I've had to move it back there for space-keeping. I just totally made up a phrase. Space-keeping. Let's all make up phrases and words today in our comments.

She came over again last night, T,f. did. One thing I knew about roping her into working out with me is that she'd be reliable. She's not flaky like me.

Have I ever told you this story, about my high school boyfriend calling me a flake, and how it took me 35 years to get mad about it? Well, maybe 35 years. Whatever 1981 till around 2009 is. Yesterday I was saying I wish I looked 7 and a half years younger (long, stupid story) and then I did a little scenario. "Yeah! June? She's probably about 42!"

Around 15 minutes later it dawned on me that my age minus seven and a half is not 42. Goddammit.

Anyway, so picture it. High school. Tenth grade, to be exact.

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I remember tweezing my brows using someone's brows in a magazine as a model, looking in the mirror then looking back at the magazine. I read it would soften my look. Instead I look precisely like someone who would cut you in the Bronx.

Also? Sun-In.

Anyway, there it was, 10th grade, and Giovanni Leftwich had been after my hot brow look all semester, ever since the busty girl he'd formerly liked moved away. I am not even kidding you, we stood there waving her moving truck goodbye and he turned and was all, "Heyyyy."

I'd wanted nothing to do with him for that long long stretch of August to December, but then something shifted for me, mostly that my best friend started liking him, and right then I knew.

I loved Giovanni Leftwich.

But the thing was, I really did. I mean, got there in a weird way, but after he'd been following me around all fall, I kind of got into it.

So then there was this dramatic showdown, where my best friend and I told him we both liked him, and could he please choose one or neither of us so we could continue on with our important tasks such as buying Candies and watching General Hospital.

He chose me. Probably because I went to his school and she was quite a drive. The point is, he chose me! And I was deliriously happy!

Till three weeks later when he dumped me.

I was on the phone with him, tearful. This was my first heartbreak. "Why?" I asked him, doing my Nancy Kerrigan impression.

"Because you're a flake and I don't like you anymore," he said. Really it was probably his mother, who never liked me and who had a little trouble with appropriate boundaries re her son.

Those words rang in my head for decades. Decades! Till one day it hit me.

I WAS NOT THE FLAKE.

For MONTHS he'd been pursuing me, and when I finally liked him back, boom, he didn't like me anymore. WHO'S THE FLAKE HERE?

Fortunately, I'm still in touch with Giovanni Leftwich, so I sent him a choice email re this tragic scenario (we'd get back together two more times in our life after that first torrid three-week extravaganza).

His response? "I don't remember any of that."

Goddammit.

Anyway, at least I finally got justifiably mad about it.

My diary from that heady time contains a lot of "words can't express…" Words can't express how awful it was to see him in the hall today. Words can't express how bad I feel.

You should see my current diary. Oh, words are being expressed all right. So are my anal glands.

I guess that's all I have to tell you, except oh. Why am I so shiny?

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I was taking photos of The Needy Committee last night, which I just typed the Nedy Committee and goddammit. Anyway, I turned the camera on myself, which I've told you before is the name of my book for sure. Anyway, what gives? I'm 51. I'm 42 plus seven and a half. And another half. Plus a half. And a half. How can I have wrinkles and oily skin? Come on, god.

As I type this, the sun is shining behind me, and all of a sudden there was a huge cat-shaped shadow next to me. There was Steely Dan, in the back yard, halfway up the tree. I jumped to take a picture but he jumped down, and now he's resentfully back inside.

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Eating the big-cats' food because he already engulfed his kitten food in 8 seconds.

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god {scurfle scurfle} dammit {crunch}

Moo. Yakety yakety yakety.

Edsel stuck his paw straight up my nose this morning. Managed to get a claw in each nostril, and now m'nose hurts. So I gotta fit a trip to the pound in along with my regular duties. Maybe I could just do a whole drop-him-in-a-field excursion.

He and Steely Dan are starting to do this play/wrestle thing that I really want to capture better on film. SD bats at Edsel's snout, and Eds does the bow play thing dogs do, but then he gets really excited and SD runs under a table or something. He's acutely aware of the size of his opponent.

But speaking of that dick SD, yesterday evening I heard a thump, and there was Steely Dick on the little shelf on the back of the house.

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So here was my view last night, without Steely Dan being INSIDE, but rather him being outside, on the little shelf.

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Here is the little shelf that's outside. Visual aids, by June. Also, I see the handyman left nails out. Thanks.

So there I was, going about my business, when I heard a FLOOMP, and there was SD outside, having just jumped on that shelf. "How the HELL did that cat get outside?" I was thinking, because HOW IS HE GETTING OUTSIDE, when

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He leaped from that shelf onto the roof. ONE LEAP.

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Shelf, Roof. Seriously?

I ran outside, and there he was, peering down at me with pride. He was all puffed up. "You know what? Fuck you, Buddy," I said, and went back inside, because kitten mom of the year. Twice I've stood outside in the cold like an idiot trying to lure that cat who WON'T STAY INSIDE off the roof. So I went in, fed everyone else dinner, and we had ourselves a fine evening, till

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he jumped down and onto the shelf again. reddy to come in!

Asshole. I shoulda named him James Taylor, if he's always going to be up on the roof.

In other news, Mary Tyler Moore is dead. Goddammit. When I found out, I immediately got the idea to take a photo of me throwing my hat, so naturally I asked my partner in crime, Austin, if he'd take my photo.

One thing I required, back when I was online dating, was that the person not say they are looking for their "partner in crime." Jesus Christ. It was even in MY profile. "If you do not have 'LOL' or 'partner in crime' written anywhere on your profile, write me."

Anyway, then I needed to find a hat, and the yoga girl at work has a knitted cap that reads Namaste, I am not even kidding, so then Austin, my P-i-C, and I headed to the parking lot.

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When I plugged my phone in last night, here was the first photo to load. Asshole. He might as well be Steely Dan.

Once I got Austin off the roof, we took a series of photos of me tossing a hat, such as…

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this and also

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I'm gonna make it (maniacally) after all.

And speaking of my coworkers, I know how you all get all Mrs. Robinson about my young coworker Ryan, who stopped by yesterday–he works on another floor now. He's all growin' his hair long and looks fairly Christlike.

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"WWJD–what's with Jesus's 'do?" I asked, then gazed at self fondly and told my family I'd met The One.

Speaking of which, and do you wish I'd stop saying "speaking of" all the time? Me, too. But speaking of The One, the other night I drove my own self to Winston-Salem and saw Jackie, which is not about Jackie Gleason but rather Jackie Kennedy. Wanted my money back but they wouldn't give it to me.

No, no. I adore Jackie Kennedy, as you know, and wish to be like her and could not be less like her other than we both have vadges, and you know what Jackie Kennedy probably said a lot? "Vadge."

The movie was riveting, and sad, and afterward the whole theater of maybe 15 people just sat in silence for about a minute. It was like in Mad Men, when Don Draper took his kid to see Planet of the Apes, and at the end the kid said, "Jesus." (see Ryan, above)

Am on roll today.

The point is, that's the first time since 2011 that I have gone to that theater without Ned. I told this to Faithful Reader Fay yesterday: You know in the Family Circus, how sometimes they show the grandma, and she's doing things and the perforated outline of grandpa is next to her, cause he's dead and so on? That's how I felt. The walk to the theater, getting the popcorn, driving home, it was all very Ghost of Ned.

I thought about how promising things were in the beginning. An old friend of his telling me, "I've never seen him look at a woman the way he looks at you." His relative telling me, "You're the one, I can feel it."

Of course, I also remember telling him that and him scoffing, so.

I'm still reading obsessively about the Love Addict/Love Avoidant, and I was IMing with a boyfriend from long ago last night, and we determined that we, too, had that dynamic. The woman he married ends up letting him be quite a bit, and it turns out that's exactly what he needed. But it was a nice talk, and he wasn't all, "You were a nutbar and I was delightful." Instead he acknowledged his part in things, and had nice things to say about me, which was lovely to hear.

I gotta go. Wearing my cute dress today, so look out, world. Or, alternatively, ignore me, world.

Photo on 1-26-17 at 8.31 AM #2

Terror, or a mild annoyance, in the night

"June."

It was 4:00 in the morning, and I'd been half-awake already for whatever reason.

…did I just…did I just hear my name? I waited a second. Nothing. Maybe a cat moaned in a way that sounded like "June." As they do.

"June!"

"Grrrrrrr," growled Edsel, quietly. His lifted his head from where it has been on my hip. My heart started to pound. Why is everything scarier in the middle of the night? You get diarrhea during the day, it's an inconvenience. You wake up with it, you feel all panicky. Which is what I was feeling then. It was a man's voice, sounded like an older white guy, no one I recognized.

I'd been plugging my phone into the computer at night and using my regular, old-fashioned alarm clock instead, but last night I just happened to bring my phone with me; it was right next to the bed. Should I call 9-1-1? Instead I crept out of bed like I was miming, and I really need to get over that line, minced to the doors and made sure they were locked. Then I decided to look carefully out the window.

I have 97 pair of glasses and I could not find one goddamn pair. Every pair I picked up in the dark were reading glasses, and any time I need reading glasses I can only find real glasses. Finally, yes! There were some real glasses.

First I tried to look through the peephole, and has that ever served you even once? That thing is useless. So then I mince mince minced to the window.

"Jude! Judy!"

Was he saying June or Jude? And for everyone in the know, he was using my real name, and I'm changing all these stupid names to fit this blog. Is there even one person left out there who does not know my real name at this point? I am a mystery. I am Mona Lisa.

Deranged

See. I was trying to look mysterious, but instead I look fairly deranged. Also, now that you've seen my picture, you know that I lived through this story and I just took all the tension out of it.

So there I was, at the window, peering through it so teensily, lifting the blind so subtly, that right then I knew. I'd turned into my other grandmother. She used to listen to the police radio, and then if anything was happening nearby, she'd race arthritically to the window and peer around the curtain, as if it were going to be happening right outside her living room.

Anyway, I saw nothing, but Edsel kept going with his low grrrr, so I knew the idiot was still out there. I couldn't tell, as quiet as it was outside, if he was in my yard or across the street. Then I heard a loud boom.

Oh my god. Was that a gunshot?

I called the police. I turned into my old neighbor Alicia (once I was done turning into Gramma). I called the police on his ass.

How often have you called 9-1-1 in your life? Because I feel like I call them inordinate amounts of time. "(Hey, June. 9-1-1. How's Steely Dan?")

I told them the sitch, and as I was telling it I heard that idiot guy again, and this time he was clearly not saying my name. And since he was still out there, I assumed he hadn't shot anyone. I had, however, looked at my phone when I heard the loud noise, in case the police needed to know right when it happened. Once, Nora Ephron was in her kitchen, and she heard a scream, and looked at the clock just in case, and it turns out it WAS a murder, and she was able to say, "I heard it at 1:37 p.m."

I was lying there actually trying to make myself go back to sleep when I heard a small dog yap-yap-yapping. I went back to my Gramma's School of Peering, and lifted one iota of the blind, and there were the police, talking to a man with a tiny dog. The police eventually drove off and the man walked away.

My theory is it was Buffalo Bill with Precious, which is only funny if you're obsessed with Silence of the Lambs as I am. Really, we should have a whole June Movie Film Festival, where we all rent my favorite films and come back to discuss them after. Oh my god I love that idea.

When Harry Met Sally

Annie Hall

Arthur

Silence of the Lambs

It's a Wonderful Life

And as a bonus, Say Anything

The point is, I have no idea why that idiot was shouting outside my neighbor's house, and I guess I never will. But it was a delightful way to be awake from 4:00 till 5:00 today.

Mysteriously,

June! Judy! Jude!

Facing June Addiction

Yesterday, I got up early to go to the allergy doctor. I hurried around, and tore over there to be on time, and when I got there, right at 8:00?

They were closed.

I walked up to the door and knocked. No lights on. They'd given me paperwork, so I opened it. "8:00," it read. I left the paperwork in their mailbox in a huff, and went home, annoyed. I could SEE my workplace from the doctor's office, but I'd taken the morning off and goddammit, I was sticking with that. If you don't need half a day off three weeks after Christmas, when do you need half a day off?

At 8:30, I called there, irate. Of course I'd called before then, and got the cloying, "If this is a true medical emergency, please hang up and dial 911."

Why don't you go fuck yourself? I HATE that condescending message. And also, what's with doctor's offices not letting you leave a goddamn message? What is this, 1972?

I also hate, "Please pay close attention, as our prompts have changed." YOUR PROMPTS HAVE NOT FUCKING CHANGED. SHUT UP.

The point is, I finally got someone. "Yes," I said, because I always start these things with"Yes…" I told the woman my woes, and she looked me up on her screen.

Name? I told her.

Date of birth? I told her.

Address? OH MY GOD JUST TELL ME WHAT'S UP.

Turns out my appointment is on the 31st. …yeah. I can remember the appointment lady saying, "How about Monday?" I remember it. I don't know what happened, there. And I even said back, "I'll see you Monday, then!" as I left.

Anyway, the good news is that because I had all that extra time yesterday, I found a freelance gig. They are planning to send me work already, a thing that Faithful Reader LaUral had something to do with, so thanks, LaUral.

This is good, because money? I'm hurtin'. During my year abroad I got all my credit cards and my car paid off, which was great, then I got here and Tallulah got sick and my car broke and hello, country song. Plus all my freelance work dried up, and it kind of saddens me that one has to take extra work beyond work to make ends meet these days.

But there it is, now I have some work, so good. Because my tank is on empty and I have $60 till January 31, which by the way is the day of my doctor visit, GOD. Everyone knows that.

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In the meantime, my tenant, fmr., came over to work out again, a thing my cat, current, thoroughly enjoyed. That's why the Lily is a tramp.

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We had to put old Obssessy McStalkerson, old Fred ASTARE, old Melanie Sniffeth, in the back room, because he is incapable of letting us be while we do Tracy. He down dogs, he rolls around, he sniffs us, he–OH MY GOD EDSEL. So he had a happy new year, in jail. That's only funny if you know It's a Wonderful Life by heart, and who doesn't?

It's nice to have someone hate Tracy with me. "Geez," Tenant, fmr., will say, as Tracy robotically lifts her leg in the same way for the 59th time and looks like she could do 100 more with no problem. Do y'all remember when I made Kaye do Tracy Anderson with me and she almost real-life unfriended me? Anyway, Tenant, fmr., will be here again Wednesday and not the 31st.

I have to go. I had a deal with myself that I'd read 200 books this year, and so far I've read a really dumb Terri McMillan book, a really dumb book I got out of the little take-a-book-leave-a-book library in our park, a book I realized when I was done is a trilogy and now I have to read the rest even though dumb. And now I'm reading a relationship book. I want to keep going on that one this morning before work.

It's really weird. I found the book in my closet–my closet I hardly ever go in. It's a new book, and I'd clearly starting reading it at some point because a page is dog-eared, but I don't remember buying it and I don't remember reading one single word of it.

I even looked in my Amazon emails to see when I got it, and nothing. I showed it to Tenant, fmr., and she didn't leave it here.

Anyway, it's exactly perfect for me. It's exactly the problems I had, and there are ways to fix myself, and I was tempted to contact Ned to say, THIS BOOK IS US. HERE'S HOW WE FIX IT. But (a), we're in a no contact thing for a reason and (2) I don't think he's ready to hear it. Clearly I wasn't when I first got this book. I don't recall one word of it.

It's called Facing Love Addiction, and it talks about the Love Addict/Love Avoidant duo and how they interact with each other, and why they are the way they are and the whole time I was reading it I was all, OH MY GOD! So now I'm at the back of the book where you have to do writing exercises, which I did last night after T,f. left, till my hand hurt.

So, that's exciting. Because between you and me, I was baffled that I could get into something so intense and dramatic and on/off like that. I mean, I did that when I was 22, but I figured well, I'm 22. I had no idea I was capable of something this insane at 51. I thought I'd grown out of acting that way. But clearly I haven't. I have been ashamed, really, of how all-consuming this relationship has been. If I were my friend I'd be so sick of me by now.

So it's good to have hope that I can maybe not do this again.

I'll talk to you tomorrow, or maybe on the 31st.

56. Steely Dan just walked across the dang keyboard and typed “56,” so let’s let that be our title

It's Sunday night, and while I should be watching The Wonderful World of Disney while my mother sprays Hair-So-New on my tangles and tries to roll up my June hair onto bristle-y rollers, instead I am writing you.

Isn't it funny how some small, stupid thing from your childhood informs the entire rest of your life? I remember that sinking feeling of it being Sunday. I'll bet if you sprayed the scent of any Hair-So-New near me I'd feel it all the more.

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Creme rinse. When did we all stop saying "creme rinse"? Probably about the same time we all stopped asking for Seven Seasons Italian Dressing. Green Goddess.

Hey, are we out of Wish Bone?

We are, but we've got some Catalina left.

This is why you shouldn't let me talk to you on Sunday night, when I've got the whole evening in front of me, with nary a man to distract me, and my mind to wander all over yonder.

Speaking of which, I went on a date this weekend. My first since being back on this exciting dating-in-your-50s scene, and probably my last for awhile. I'm just not ready. I had another date with another person scheduled for Monday night, and I've canceled it. There's no point in me even trying to get it up for another man till I'm good and done with thinking about Ned. Whom I miss all the goddamn time. I don't know what's wrong with me. It's like missing the blitz.

Oh, but the reason I'm writing you on Sunday is not only to avoid my mom and her bristle rollers, but also because I have to get up early tomorrow and go to the doctor. Cel-a-brate good times, come on! Sadly, that's like the 86th time I've sung that line that this week, which only tells you how riveting my life has become.

You know how my throat keeps feeling like it's swollen, and it drives me berserk, and I went to the doctor these past two weeks in a row so he could stick scary things down my gizzard? He says maybe part of my problem is I have allergies.

"Do you have allergies, June?"

"No," I said, "I don't think so. I mean, my eyes water when I walk outside, and half the time I think I'm getting a cold but it's just that my throat gets irritated. Oh, and both my parents are deathly allergic to cats and I have three."

"You're going to get tested for allergies," he said, sending me next door, where they probably have some sort of racket going with the EENT place. I'm hoping they'll tell me I'm NOT, in fact, allergic to grapefruit, a thing they told me 10 years ago when I last got allergy tests back in LA. I miss grapefruit. I know my mouth always felt funny after I ate it, but that could have been the weather or muscle or something.

You know how you diet and work out constantly and you lose zero weight and some asswipe always tells you you're building muscle, which weighs more, and you know that can't possibly be true? I was trying that as the excuse for my grapefruit mouth. How's it working?

Anyway, I'm kind of excited to learn about my allergies. Back in LA I was allergic to a bunch of LA-ish trees. And this is the allergy capitol of America, did you know that? Go, me.

Now I'm sort of thinking about '70s food.

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"Can we get Wrapples? No, it's NOT just the same to melt caramel in a stupid pan, MOM."

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In what way do you mean "MSG in a box"?

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This was the sort of shit my mother, who never once let me have any fun, would expressly forbid, so I'd get Gramma to buy it for her house. As I recall, Fruit Float was absolutely fekking delicious.

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Yes, God. Oh, I could go for a big glass of this right now. You had to puncture the can, remember?

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Once in the 2000s I was craving these, and Marvin found them online and had them shipped to me from Australia. They were just as delicious and non-food-y tasting as I'd recalled.

"Chocolate flavor" is always a good sign.

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"Let's take Ding-Dongs and make them offensive!"

I've talked with people about Ding-Dongs before. Not every region had them. They were the WONDERFUL and DID I SAY WONDERFUL YET snacks, above, only not inexplicably Native American. I don't know when they decided to switch over to injun snacks, which were acutely necessary.

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Remember when this was the Doritos flavor? Then they came out with nacho cheese flavor, and it just TOOK OVER. Same with how you used to be able to get a Quarter Pounder or a Quarter Pounder with Cheese. It was a choice. Then apparently every chubby American in the world (hey, that made sense, June) ordered it with cheese, because now you have no choice. YOU MUST TAKE CHEESE.

Good gravy, now I'm starving.

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I.LOVED.THESE. What's with everything having a baseball card inside it? Maybe that's what's in my throat. A baseball card.

I have to go now, and eat every single thing in my kitchen. Which is not good as I am currently low on funds and did some poor-person grocery shopping this weekend. Things like a tub of popcorn, a thing of rice, a bunch of almonds. All my food is in the beige/off-white category for the week. It's very '70s. And now we've come full circle.

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Holy god, I miss the '70s.

Processed-ly,

June

Oh, I’d like to, but I have to translate Mandarin

Well, I did it. I lived through my anniversary with Ned without caving and talking to him. It's now been 40 days since I've seen him. So basically he's Lent.

I mostly just tried to not be swallowed by my gaping maw yesterday. To-Do List: Escape maw.

We had a team-building thing at work, yesterday, and before that I had a lot of thinking-hard work to do, so that helped.

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Yes, a dog IS kind of part of our team.

There was a happy hour after work, but I didn't go because I do not feel happy. Instead, I went to therapy, because par-tay, and then after I screamed to the grocery store for migraine meds and got some water. Because par-tay.

I changed pharmacies, as Ned and I went to the same one. My grocery store's pharmacy is pretty good; they're usually fast. The pharmacist has quite the personality on her, however. Celebrate good times, come on! It's sparkling, is what I'm saying to you. If there were a spider up in the corner of her pharmacy, the web would read Some Personality.

If you had a web, what would your spider write about you? Mine would be all Get Over It Already.

At my old pharmacy, the pharmacist's name was Anemone, and I always wanted to see him undulate floral-ly but he never did. There was also an assistant or tech or whatever named Anais, and while she knew she was named after an author, she never pursued any further information. I'm the one who had to tell her she was named after erotica.

Wouldn't you, you know, LOOK UP the person you were named after? How can you go through life being that uncurious? Do you just stare out the window with your mouth half open most of the day?

Speaking of which, we have a new president today. A Ned anniversary and the inauguration in 24 hours is almost more than I can bear.

I'm wearing black today.

Anyway, when I got home last night, my tenant, fmr., came over and we worked out together. We'd been complaining of our …signature looks we had going, and we decided if we had someone else to account to, we'd work out more. She's going to come over again Sunday after she finishes bottling gin.

I swear to god.

Any time you ask her if she's available for something, she has the weirdest answers. Last time I asked her, "Hey, you going to hee-de-bloo bloo?" she said, "Oh, I wanted to, but I have my ukulele lesson."

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Then yesterday, I was all, "When can we work out again," and we can't on Saturday because I get my roots done THANK GOD BECAUSE WE'RE LATE WITH IT, and then I have a date. My hairdresser got the flu. That's why my hair is late. And now I'm Shirley Maclaine when Deborah Winger had cancer and Jack Nicholson came to the pool.

You know, then. That time. Faithful Reader Paula will know the scene I mean.

Anyway, I asked my tenant, fmr., when she could come over again to work out and she said, "I can come Sunday, after I bottle gin."

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Apparently there's some small group of men doing the artisanal thing with this small gin plant, and they get volunteers to help them bottle it. I think you get to drink gin after. I don't know how my tenant, fmr., finds things like this. Last weekend, she went to the big cat preserve and watched them grind Christmas trees to give to the big cats. I have no idea why they even wanted Christmas trees. Most of the big cats I know are Jewish.

Coincidentally, gin tastes like Christmas trees to me, so she's kind of doing a circle of life up in there.

Oh my god I have to get in the shower and get to work where no one likes me and they don't care if I'm even there. One thing I like about feeling tragic is it doesn't permeate to every corner of your life or anything. It doesn't cloud everything. Nope.

Okay, talk to you later.

Some personality,

June

Cats

[Insert song from Cats here. I know of none. Is "Cats in the Cradle" from Cats?]

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I took this of Lily yesterday when I was playing Blu with Edsel in the back yard. She's really an indoorswoman. Door's wide open and she doesn't care. SD was in his room eating lunch, but that will be irrelevant, as you'll soon see.

As part of my don't-kill-your-own-self project, I've been trying to keep as busy as possible. One guy at work said when he was brokenhearted, he scheduled event on top of event, and "You're still stuck with yourself at the end of the day, but you're so exhausted all you do is sleep."

That is why I stayed a little late at work, then decided to get a restorative manicure after, a thing I can ill afford, but shut up. I went to Freddys first, which is this new fast-food place that replaced the Burger King that shut down in my neighborhood. Which, how does a Burger King get shut down? It's been there for decades. It's on the busiest street in town. George Bailey, the richest man in town.

Anyway, I got damn grilled chicken and the damn Baked Lay's, dammit, because FatGate, and my plan was to eat them as I drove to Hot Nail or Pretty Nail or whatever the fuck my nail place is called. They all have "Nail" in the title. In LA I went to Red Nail. I used to actually make appointments. Oh, I need you to hear how not-interested the woman was who answered phones there.

Perfect that Iris meows during that. This is why I'm late for work, by the way. Making art films for you such as that.

Anyway, once I smelled the damn chicken sandwich, I pulled into the parking lot, watched This Is Us on my phone, and ate, and really the whole experience was delightful. I was putting er'thang in the bag, to get out my car and throw it away, and as soon as I turned to my driver's-side window,

there was a cat staring right at me.

Of course my first thought was, "KITTY! I LOVE YOU KITTY!" and then it was oh, shit. I gotta save this cat. There are no houses anywhere around that place. He was orange, with a white and orange little cat face. I immediately named him Freddy.

I got out the car like I was miming or something, and minced over there with my Baked Lay's crumbs, and of course he shot away from me in terror.

And that was the next half hour of my life. Mince. Shoot. Mince. Call kitty kitty. Shoot.

Eventually he ran under a fence to the next business, and my full intention is to go back there today to lure him with something more enticing. Maybe I'll be like Bugs Bunny and dress up as sexy girl cat.

Anyway, I got my manicure, with all my cash money, then I came home and don't even feel sorry for Edsel, as he only goes out once a day now unless I go with him. He's just getting weirder. Anyway, he'd already peed twice yesterday, a record number for him, so I knew he was good. I got home and fed him, and fed the regular cats, and I was all, "Where's Steely Dan?"

You have no idea how much I say this. That cat is obsessed with going out, and I don't WANT him to go out, and he dashes out when I'm not looking. The other day Marty Martin was over and it happened. I wanted to show off Steely Dan and he was nowhere, so finally I opened the front door and there he was.

He climbs the trees. Any time he's escaped, he heads directly up a tree and hangs there like a lunatic. With my new back door, he jumps to the bottom window and hangs there just like the poster about Friday's coming.

I stomp and bang the door whenever I come home now, and stomp my feet as I leave, hoping it'll scare him from going to the door. It never works. Iris, meanwhile, has a nervous breakdown.

Anyway, I looked in all his dead-asleep places, because he's either tearing around here like a loon or dead, but no. He was nowhere.

"mew!" I heard. From above. And right then I knew.

That ASSHOLE was on the roof. Again. I have NO EARTHLY IDEA how he got out and how he got on the goddamn roof. So there was me, all night–ALL NIGHT–trying to lure him down. He dearly wanted to COME down, but was too scared to jump. I got food, I got a chair, I cajoled, I put on my sexy girl cat suit. Since he's fixed now, it meant nothing.

Finally I thought of The Fireman I dated for three days or whatever. "You never see a cat skeleton in a tree." I mean, I wasn't gonna call the police at 11 p.m. to get my cat down. I went to bed, thinking I'd never sleep, worrying about his punk ass on the roof, my cat on a cold tile roof, but actually I fell right asleep cause good mothering instincts.

The first jerk to wonder why I didn't think to go outside and capture on film my cat on the roof in the night gets banned for life from this blog. Oooooo! Not that, June!

I was fast asleep when "mew!" I could tell he was in the attic. "Oh you have got to be kidding," I thought, throwing the covers back, Edsel following me expectantly. I opened the attic, and there he was. "MEW." He'd missed dinner. He was quite ruffled re that.

I kissed his little velvet-y fur and got him new food. Iris had gleefully eaten his food-on-a-dish enticement meal I'd created earlier. He purred and carried on.

And then today he tried to get out again.

That's all the cat news from over here.

Mew.

Cat Stevens

Pan in the azz

I just let Edsel in from the rainy morning, and I watched as he avoided both–both!!–mud-trapping rugs I have laid out in the back room.

Dogs. they're a pleasure.

You know, I don't understand him. I can tell that he's bored, although he wrestles with Steely Dan a little. But he and Lottie would run run run run run around the back yard in a circle all morning while I blogged. I'd hear them stomp across the deck over and over. How can he not miss that? I think he does. I still can't think about The Incident with Lottie without getting really upset. It was so terrible.

And he LOVED Tallulah. Loved! She was his whole life, other than me and Blu. Why doesn't he want a second dog? WHY? Now he just follows me around and sleeps all the time.

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I took this really fast, Steely Dan coming up here as he does every morning to cover up my offending coffee. He turns in his op-ed piece every day.

It's been awhile since I've said this to you all: Every day. Not always one word. You use the adjective  "everyday" when you're describing a not-special event. You use every day to mean you do something daily. Here we go again:

I wear my everyday clothes every day.

I have harped on this numerous times. But I still read things like, "I read June everyday." Which is of course never true. No one abhors him or herself that much. But the everyday/every day. It is my thing, man. It is my one mission in life to get this straight in people's minds. I realize maybe I could have loftier goals.

I was talking to someone just last night, and I told him the thing I hate more than anything are emoticons. If you can't get your point across with words, if you are a middle-aged person who has to resort to smiley faces, there is a problem. "It's the worst trait a person could have," I said.

"Really? Not racism?" Mr. Earnest said. Whatever, dude. No one is ever going to like you, Earnestine.

Oh my god I just remembered something. I had a dream last night that I was superintendent of schools somewhere, which is extremely likely, and I sent out an email saying we were starting a program so that kids could have free breakfast and lunch every day (not everyday).

Some woman came up to me and told me she hated that program and my liberal agenda. And I punched her right in the mouth.

This is why I'd make a terrible superintendent of schools.

I think I dreamed that because–and I realize some of you voted for him and this will annoy you–I keep feeling like it's as though they elected me president. I mean, I'm impulsive and immature and I certainly wouldn't be above shooting off high school–level insults on social media without any forethought. But the thing is, I'm aware of these flaws and how bad of a, you know, president I'd be. I don't have the fortitude.

I don't know. I'm kind of nervous about the new president. And I'm never one to HATE the other side. You know how I feel about that. I detest that shit. It's insane to think all your beliefs have to be the right ones and there's no possibility that you're wrong.

But this feels different. This feels out of control.

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In happier news, I went to a woman's thing last night. I don't mean I visited The Great Vagina or something, and is that a thing? "Oh, you were in Greensboro? Did you catch The Great Vagina? It's over by the Y."

Anyway, no. It was a big get-together that my coworker Slutty Pancakes put together, where women come and kibitz and network and so on. That is why my name tag is so hilarious. Cause it was a Great Vagina get-together.

And of course The Thing happened to me. I've told you about this, how I'm drawn to charismatic women and the friendships never work out? One woman walked in, and I made eye contact with her the second she was there. She saw my name tag and threw back her head and laughed.

I loved her right away.

But see how healthy June is? I recognized it, and of course I have no idea if the friendship wouldn't work. But I knew The Pull, and capitalizing needlessly is a big thing with me today. So the point is, I did not pursue. My theory is, if I'm drawn to anyone right now, it's for the wrong reasons.

Same with men. If I meet a man and he starts to do The Thing (C.N.®), and for me The Thing is he seems really great at first but quickly becomes unavailable, I plan to recognize it. Because that is M'Pattern (C.N.®).

And by that, I mean he emails me or he calls or he texts, and yay, we meet and it goes well? Then a month in he'll start not contacting me the whole day, or we're three months in and we're still seeing each other once a week or something? Gone.

When men do that, I get all intrigued and smitten and OH I'M GONNA WIN HIM OVER.

Three months into my relationship with Ned, we were sleeping together, and I asked if he wanted to be exclusive and he said no.

I should have ended it then. I should never have slept with someone before exclusivity.

Six months in, we were still seeing each other once a week. And he was still going to this half-price wine night every Wednesday, which is frankly a huge pickup event. I was never invited along.

Five years later, here I am, still getting over him. The other day I made a list of how all my relationships went, and while some were okay and normal, I had a lot of "He seemed really great and attentive, and then he wouldn't be."

I mean, maybe that's cause I'm a giant unlovable pain in the ass, which I just wrote as pan in the ass and maybe I'm that, too, but if you think that's what I am, we shouldn't be dating.

Insights, by June.

I gotta go. My hair is wet and I'm texting Hulk and writing you at the same time, so.

He's so compelling. Kidding.

Luff,

Juan

Click here. You won’t believe what happens next.

The other day, I was doing some crucial cosmetics shopping with my equally deep friend Alex from work. (I ended up getting a color-correcting stick that makes me look like Kabuki theater, and a brown lipstick I thought would be delightfully nude but instead looks like I'm pooping straight out my mouth.)

I had to put on reading glasses to see any of the product info, and really, when it gets to that point, shouldn't you just give up on trying to look pretty? At this point I'm just the last part of Lola the Showgirl, with faded feathers in her hair. Now it's a disco. But not for Lola.

I watched 27-year-old Alex, or however the hell old she is, I just say in my mind that they're all 27 cause what's the difference. It's all the same from 20 to 34, for me anymore. Anyway, I watched her pick up mascara tubes and read the back like it was nothing. "How the hell can you do that?" I asked, reaching in my purse.

Out of the 39494958333204 reading glasses I own, the only ones in my purse were my tinted Miss Blankenship-from-Mad-Men ones they gave me at work.

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Actual, unretouched photo of Miss Blankenship glasses. Miss Gardenship.

Youthful Alex was debating volumizing shampoos, a thing I could not help her with at all, but when she finally looked up at me, she interrupted herself in midsentence to say, "Wait. Why are you Bono now?"

I do not know why, but in these last few suicidal gaping maw days, that sentence creeps into my head and I giggle like an idiot.

I like how you can see a reflection of me in my Blankenspecs. It is a metaphor for my life.

In other news, Edsel is goofy.

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Good job on making him sit first. I suppose most of you saw Eds's french fry face on Facebook, and hey, June, alliterate. But I wanted to be sure to share it with the masses. The tens of you who read me and aren't on Facebook. Basically any time I show you something on Facebook and then here the next day it's mostly because I know my mother hasn't seen it.

Of course, now my mother's going to say something like, "You can make french fries at home, yourself. Save money."

Yes. Let me just go purchase potatoes, purchase whatever the hell you need to make them that shape–would that be a knife?–purchase oil, salt and pepper and then boil them in said oil or whatever the hell you do. Sounds convenient.

Following is a list of things my mother has told me I could just make at home to save money:

  • Those protein packs from Oscar Meyer, with the cheese, turkey cubes and nuts in it. Yes, after I've rustled up that turkey, I so could!
  • Yogurt
  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Sandals
  • Coal
  • Brylcream
  • Hamburgers
  • Corkscrews
  • Douche
  • An ottoman

Okay, I got off track, but "ottoman" did remind me of some magnificent news. I know I've told you before I joined NextDoor (Big Book of June Events page 1337), a site where you and all your neighbors can speak electronically rather than in real life because face to face is horrifying. Anyway, you get to go on there to discuss when you all hear a siren or a scream because someone chopped off their own hand making homemade coal.

You also get to read about people "rehoming" their dogs, and I realize I rehomed one–47–of them just this year, but it was because they'd be so dead otherwise. ("You know, honey, you can make a dead dog at home. Saves money.") Anyway, despite all that, I get to sit in lofty judgment of all the "rehomers."

THE POINT IS, I saw a notice on Sunday that someone was getting rid of their ottoman because they're moving, and I got right in my car in my pajama top and got it.

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Look! Look, look! Oh, see June's ottoman.

Ottoperson.

I loaded that big-ass motherfucker into my car all by myself. It was some feat. Also, the top opens so you can store stuff, but I haven't decided what needs storing. Maybe I'll just put the cats there till I need them.

Why the hell is that dog on the couch? June's Iron Fist Dog Discipline School. Branches are opening near you! Sign up now!

Anyway. Ima go. I'm wearing a skirt today. Though it might cheer me up to be able to bend over and look straight at m'cooch. You gotta get joy where you can find it these days.

Oh, before I go, I will show you this.

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Every day at 3:00 at work, we take a walk in the park nearby. I took this photo yesterday and I love it. That's Austin's kid in front, there. She worked with us for awhile yesterday because Martin Luther King said she had to. I like that kid. I guess Austin can't show her she's in a world-famous blog (Serving 15 readers!) because I have just said "cooch" and "motherfucker" in the last minute and a half.

Catch you later, from down here in the Silence of the Lambs pit,

June

June would make heart hands, if heart hands didn’t make her want to kill everyone

Awhile back, I read a really funny article about a woman in an abusive relationship. As you do.

You know how some things you read just stick with you, and 45 years later you're at the home telling your roommate, a 97-year-old apple doll who spends her evenings plucking at invisible threads and moaning anxiously,  "You know, once I read a funny article…"

It was like that.

Also, I'd like to know who's paying for my half-room at the home. Surely I'll be old and alone and forgotten. I mean, I'm halfway there. Woahhh, livin' on a prayer.

The point is, the article was great. The writer talks about what it's like to be a funny person in a not-funny situation, and several times since I've thought of her and wondered how she's fared.

Yesterday, after a whole weekend alone and half-forgotten in my sunny cottage, my Annex of Anguish, I Googled, "Can you get hypnotized for a broken heart?" and there was an article that was hilarious about this woman who'd done just that, in LA, where all Things Like That are possible. I should know this, as I'd cruise the drive-thru before work to get cupped and detoxed and past-lives-read at least a few times a week. Sometimes you'd pay it backward and buy your own coffee in 1792.

In LA, they have a cupcake vending machine. I am not even kidding you. It was walking distance from my work, and while you may think nobody walks in LA, when one has a CUPCAKE VENDING MACHINE, one walks. In LA. This was before gluten was invented, though, so maybe it's gone or moved to the Hispanic neighborhood or something.

The point is, after thoroughly enjoying the article on this woman's broken-heart hypnosis, I clicked on her name to see if there was more about her, or if perhaps I could marry her, and there was the funny article on abusive relationships.

And right then I knew. She was the same person.

So now I have a new writer to love, and God may have taken away Carrie Fisher and Nora Ephron and any semblance of physical appeal, but she gave me Julieanne Smolinski, and that's not too shitty.

Oh, also? Her Twitter handle is @BoobsRadley. That there is enough to love her.

P.S. Obligatory pet shots:

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Edsel gives birth to a cat

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Steely Dan is sick of your shit and he's this close to unfriending you.

June knows the code

As I was recovering from one of the 70,000 inevitable fights with Ned that I've had over the last five years, I asked him, "Do you feel like all the time there's this black, gaping maw of despair inside you, and all the time you're looking for distractions to avoid the maw?"

"No," said Ned.

That is when I emailed Daniel Boone, who I still talk to from time and time, and here's why.

Me: Do you feel like all the time there's this black, gaping maw of despair inside you, and all the time you're looking for distractions to avoid the maw?

DB: Oh my god, constantly. Doesn't everybody?

The point of my story is, I've been at the mouth of the maw all week. This is the longest I've ever gone not seeing Ned (37 days, but who's counting?), even though we broke up a year and four months ago. Which in case you wanted tips, breakup tips, from June, is NOT A GOOD IDEA.

Tip #1 From June's Breakup Book: Do not see your ex just all the time. Do not think, Hey, I'm bored. Maybe I'll see a movie with my ex. Maybe I'll see the dick of my ex. Surely I'll get over him if I do that.

I know. You can't get this kind of brilliance just anywhere.

Anyway, so there's that, and also there's the part where I'm having this EMDR therapy, which, you know, look it up. The point is, it's supposed to work fast, but the day after you have it you may feel a little weepy.

Heh.

ALL I DO IS CRY. ALL THE TIME. I am so sick of myself I could puke, but I can't because I'm too busy crying. I cried at work all day Friday. All day. I tried to make this subtle, and went to the fire escape when it got too bad. No one noticed but Austin, who by the way had sent me an email earlier in the week titled, "Are you busy this weekend?"

Oh, yay, I thought, opening the email, feeling adored.

"Can you dog-sit? We're leaving town."

The point is, Austin noticed his dog-sitter was blue. "Is everything okay?" he asked, a local kennel on speed dial. "Do you want to go talk?" So we stood on the dock, the dock of the workplace, watching the time roll away. I told him my woes, and he was reassuring, and then I went back inside and cried.

Seriously, it's getting annoying.

And I know you mean well, but do you know what I don't want? Emails, texts, messages, IMs and so on. I know you want to be all sunny and encouraging, but I'm just too depressed to write back. And if you're thinking of writing me, a hundred other people reading this are, too, so then I'll feel guilty about being too depressed to thank everyone, and just, you know, smile fondly right now and be all, Oh, June, and we'll be good.

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Fortunately, I had something to do Friday. Took my tear ducts out on the town. There's a guy here who wrote a great book called Trunky: Transgender Junky, and he read from it at our bookstore. My coworker Molly knows him, BECAUSE SHE KNOWS EVERYONE ON EARTH, and after reading his book she was inspired to write three songs that as I listened to them I thought, I want to download these all right now. Right this minute. I want to go home and listen to them constantly. Then I felt a tad weepy.

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When it was over I turned around and saw some of my coworkers in the crowd, who you can see were delighted to see me and probably wonder if I'm busy because their pets need sitting. Anyway, we sat together afterward for awhile and talked, which was good and I think I didn't cry that whole hour.

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Afterward, I fulfilled my dog-sitting obligations with a dog who abhors me. Seriously, that dog was Carin as a dog. Remember that reader Carin who hated me? If this dog knew the Wi-Fi password at her house, she'd have logged on and left a scathing comment here. She'd have unfriended me on Facebook. She'd have signed me up for stupid email subscriptions like my hater. Oh my god, did that dog bark at me. She followed me around so she could bark at me. She'd leave the room and come back, appalled that I was still there. And then she'd bark.

She gave no shits about my gaping maw. She wished I'd fall in.

That dog. Not a fan.

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Iris: no one gives shit about gaypeeng maww, mom. Lily: we totlee over it

On Saturday, I got up with one of the Alexes and we meant to go to a movie but it was sold out, and REALLY, Greensboro? Go find something else to do. So then we went downtown, not in a euphemistic way, but literally, and I had to shield my eyes from the Ned-house pass.

The point is, we went to this new bakery, and the good news is at the back of said bakery is a speakeasy. You have to know the code to get in. A large, lovely man of color was just coming out of there, and we asked him the code, and he paused, like, Are they cool enough to know this? but then he saw my sad gaping maw eyes and gave it to us.

That speakeasy was magnificent. Oh my god, I love it. It's all dark, with big leather benches, and it's so clandestine. I want to live in the speakeasy. Speak? Easy.

Anyway, that was about it. I did note last night that Steely D and Edsel kept lounging in the same positions all night.

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I sent this photo to Alex, who noted SD's straight pimpin' pose with his arm up.

Today I have no plans, other than laundry and some Tracy Anderson, that syphilitic bitch. I hope that you have plans far more exciting than that, and you're going to tell me about them in the comments so I can live through your whirlwind of a life.

Cheerily,

Juin

Lord, make me an instrument …that doesn’t gag me

Yesterday, I had to go to the doctor, because my throat is still bothering me. Do you remember about a year and a half ago when they put me out and checked my throat because it always feels like it's CLOSING UP on me? And they were all, "You have GERD." Yeah, thanks. Looking forward to paying $900 for that.

Anyway, it's been bugging me again, so I went to a different doctor, and be sure to tell me things like, "Take Prilosec, June."

The point is, he grabbed a piece of gauze and right away I got panicky. He grabbed my tongue, and stuck that damn mirror thing in the back of my throat.

Next thing I knew, he'd flown across the floor on his little rolly chair, so fast and furiously did I put that man's arm out my mouth and shoved it across the room.

"Sorry," I said, "that makes me panicky."

We tried again.

Roll. Room. Oh my god, did I shove that man out my way.

"We're going to have to use the hooo-dee-frooo-gen-hooogan," he said, then called for his delightfully gay assistant, who had liked me when the day began.

"Is this going to be awful?" I asked, starting to get sweaty. "Well, no, I don't think so," said Delightfully Gay.

And that is when they shoved a tube into my nose with no numbing stuff. I let him do it for maybe 30 seconds before bursting into tears, the kind of tears a four-year-old would burst into. It was ridiculous. I had no idea I was gonna cry like that.

DG handed me some tissue. "Your makeup is just everywhere."

"Well, I didn't get a really good look at your larynx," the doctor said, "but I'm not worried about cancer, and I do know you have sinusitis."

So I'm on a Z-Pack and I have to go back in a week. I'm also supposed to elevate the head of my bed, a thing that last guy said didn't do any good. How Ima do that alone is beyond me. If you don't hear from me, it's because my bed collapsed on me.

When I got to work, my bra was wet, I'd been sweating so much. It was a relaxing doctor visit. They should include that looking-down-your-nose thing as an option at the spa.

In the meantime, that closed group I was on on Facebook? Had another flouncer. I referred to flouncing the other day, but if you didn't see it, it's when someone gets mad a group or a thread online, and instead of just quietly leaving, they announce they are going. A few people have done that here. "I've HAD it with you and your sinusitis, June!" they'll say, slamming the door.

Anyway, in this particular Facebook group, whenever someone flounces, people put up the most hilarious memes.

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Anyway, I got a big kick out of all those, and giggled myself silly, then quietly left the group, because really it's not that nice of a group. It was a childfree-by-choice group, which is great and all, but really it was a "I hate all women with kids, and I hate their children more" group. It wasn't supportive, it was just mean.

I was looking forward to rolling my eyes at the occasional insufferable mom, don't get me wrong. The kind who, when you announce your promotion or trip to the Netherlands or whatever, they'll say, "Magnum pooped in the potty for the first time!" Everything has to be about their kid. Those women. But I wasn't prepared to detest all mothers in the world. I mean, what about Mama Leone? She leaves those nice notes on the door.

And what about all the flowers that you planted, mama, in the back yard? She seems like a nice mother.

And you can't deny the subtle charm of Mother Teresa. So.

I gotta go. I'm running late because I sat here like an idiot watching Anderson Cooper the person not the cat argue with that Kellyanne Conair or whomever and I was riveted. Mostly I was riveted by how she had gloss on her bottom lip and not the top. "Purse your lips," I kept thinking. "Fix that shit."

But before I go, I had one of my "FINE, then" moments this week. I was throwing a ball for Steely Dan this weekend, to celebrate his neutering. I invited, I don't know, 60 people? You know how I get.

So a TON did not RSVP, and that makes me furious. Like, out of proportion to the act furious. It's just so fucking rude. But then 24 people said yes. Which, yay! But then people started changing their minds. "Oh, I forgot. I'm being made pope that day." That sort of thing.

So day before yesterday, I was at my desk, and I got three Nos in a row. Boom boom boom, all within an hour.

"FINE, then" I said, and canceled the whole thing.

It was so something my grandmother would have done.

Then I was inundated with messages. "Are you really canceling?" they'd ask, because you know how those fake cancellations are. "I was planning to come!"

Then I felt sad. All sorts of people wanted to come over, and I got all FINE, then, and I KNEW I was being all FINE, then when I did it. Whenever I feel weepy at the back of my throat, my closed throat, I know I should not make decisions. But there it is, and I'm not having a party, and I've made plans to go out that night with just one friend, and we aren't sure what we're doing other than we decided NOT a color run. So.

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My FINE, thens are really my worst trait. Well. That and this nose.

Talk at you.

FINE, then.

June

June’s weekend. With special guest stars: pet photos

My robe sleeves are wet (dishwasher and changing pet bowls) and now I have that pleasurable feeling of receiving teensy kisses from Satan every time I move m'arm.

I feel like I haven't talked to you in forever, so let's begin.

Friday

We knew we were getting a winter storm, which for here is like learning Godzilla is coming or something. Everyone rushes around and speaks Japanese but we dub them in English. I came back from lunch and my desk phone was lit. Not that it was drunk, all worried about the storm, but there was that increasingly elusive "you have a voice mail" light, which in five-plus years there has probably been lit four times, usually to tell me I have flowers.

Pfft. I'LL NEVER GET FLOWERS AGAIN.

"June, this is David at the fire department," the message began, and my heart leapt out of my chest on danced on the desk like that animated paper clip you used to get on Microsoft Word.

My heart/paper clip was dancing to the tune of "My pets are toast, my pets are toast, my pets are toast."

I mean, when something like that happens, you lose all logic. How, in six minutes of driving back to work, did my house burn, my pets char, the fire dept. get my work number and leave a message?

Turns out it was the fireman from where I had given them Violet.

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If you just got here–and hey, welcome to blogs, person who never left 2006. Anyway, four years ago, someone left a puppy in my car and I ended up giving her to a local-ish volunteer fire department. The guy who became her dad, took her home with him and stuff, was who was calling.

Violet got suddenly and frighteningly ill. He'd taken her to the vet, and it didn't look good. The vet could do a test to see if Violet could even be saved (at the time they thought it was a twisted spleen), but the test was going to be hundreds of dollars.

It was terrible to hear that fireman cry. When he decided to get the test for her, I got online and asked for donations, and you all listened, and I thank you all so much. That was amazing.

Tests, emergency surgery, a transport to another facility all were for naught. They eventually told the fireman there was nothing he could do, and Violet was put to sleep that same night. She'd had an autoimmune deficiency, and I don't know more than that because I didn't want to pepper these obviously grieving people with a hundred questions. The point is, we've covered their vet bill and we helped to try to save her, even if it didn't work. There will be a memorial service for her at the station, and of course I will go.

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So that was a terrible day.

We got out of work early that day, as soon as the first flake was in the sky, and no I did not go skydiving, Shekky Greene. I headed to the store, a thing no one else had thought of, holy cats. "It's not worth it," a man said to me, after I found a parking spot IN TIBET and walked in.

He was right. The line went all the way back to the produce section. I turned around and walked right out that store. On the way back to Tibet, I saw Ian, the coworker I spent Christmas with. "It's not worth it," I told him, the secret code for Grocery Storm Watch '17.

"We're gonna be snowed in. I don't have wine. FUCK THAT," Ian said, marching into the store with grim determination like he was about to storm Normandy. He's probably still there, in line.

The snow was just starting to cover the ground as I got home.

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Saturday

When I woke up, I was more excited than I was at Christmas. I WHIPPED open a blind, then squealed.

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Sa-NOWWWWW!!

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And here's the part that made me sort of sad. How many years now have I been showing you the dogs frolicking in the snow? Here's poor Edsel, doing the lone frolicking.

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He tried to get me to play with him, but I was pretty useless in the frolic department. I realize it's his fault, but I still feel bad for him, not having a playmate. Also, THAT SHED OH MY GOD. When you pull the doors now? They just fall in. Sheds are 8 million dollars, have you priced them? Really, I don't even need a damn shed. I could just have that thing taken away like Bernadette Peters' snails.

I guess if I didn't have a shed, where would I put the rake and the lawn mower and all that stuff? The living room?

Anyway, we went on a really long walk, Edsel and me, not Bernadette Peters and me, which I might have lead with. We watched kids sledding, and Edsel got his snout all snowy. Then we retired to my abode, which was fun till it wasn't and I got all FUCK THIS SNOW like Pa Ingalls in The Long Winter.

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While it was still delightful.

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The miracle of birth

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wat da fuk dis eben bee?

I cleaned the house and talked to my old pal Alicia from LA, got the neighborhood gossip. If you remember Alicia, you'll be stunned to hear she got into a fight with one of the neighbors, who insisted he went to Harvard Law School and knew he was in the right.

"You may have pass by dere," she said in her accent, "but you never walk in. You see the outside of Harbard, you go home."

Oh my god I love talking to Alicia.

Sunday

"Want me to come over? We can do tarot cards and yoga," texted one of the Alexes, because the concept of "I'm holding a phone" is lost on millennials. "Aren't you scared to drive?" I texted–I text–back.

"Fuck that. I'm from Jersey," she said, showing up with dog food, as Eds was dangerously low.

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So I read Alex's tarot cards for the upcoming year, and then we did something called yin yoga, where you hold the poses for three minutes, and mostly today my ankles hurt. I have no idea why.

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Edsel was obsessed with our being on the floor. Every time I looked at him, he was doing dog yoga. The first hilarious person to make a downward-facing dog joke gets nama with my stayed.

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Edsel achieved zen or whatever.

After Alex left, I decided I could do stuff I never get around to doing, like for instance I have this picture frame I've never filled. So I looked though photos to find just the right pictures that were also vertical.

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This one did not make the cut, but I love it. It's my cousin Katie the lesbian and me at our OTHER cousin Katy's wedding in the '90s. The shoes are COMIN' off. Let's dance. They only name my cousins some form of the name Katie. I have 14 cousins. K8T, the last one, is pretty annoyed by this trend. As is my cousin Qué-Tea.

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Eventually I settled on dad at the Smithsonian and mom, gramma and me at prom. I did not take my mom and grandma to prom, although if I had, they probably would not have said, "That's another dollar" when I ordered a refill on my Coke at dinner. My date was such a gentleman.

So that sums up the weekend, and today they're having us come in late, not that it will make any difference, because it's really cold so the roads will just stay icy. Yay.

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It's still pretty out, though.

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And my pets are not charred. So yay. Bright side.

Icily,

Juan

Mere slip of a June

It's been a month since Ned and I broke up, part two of our endless breakup. The point is that, as I have alluded to before, my weight may have been mentioned, and I was shocked and humiliated.

I went home (via cab) (cabdriver assured me that "any man could see you are not fat, madame") and when I woke up the next day, the very first thing I did, before I even fumed, was get the Lifesum app. I'd never even heard of that app, I just Googled "diet apps" and it came up.

I'm telling you, it's a good app. I wish I were getting paid to say this, but I am not. I can hook it up to my FitBit, or in my case, my FatBit, and it tells Lifesum how many calories I burned that day. And every time I tell Lifesum what I ate, it gives me either a smiling or a disapproving face.

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It's pretty pleased with my 79 cups of black coffee. Okay, anorexia encourager. Anyway, it also tells me how I'm doing on fat, carbs and protein each day, and the app is my color of blue that I like so well. Shade I guess I mean shade. I'm too skinny to make sense.

Because although for the first week or two it felt like the DAMN SCALE wasn't moving (I went with traditional reduction in calories. The app gives you a bunch of diets you can do), today I got on the scale, and in one month?

I've lost 11 pounds.

FUCK YEAH.

I AM A STICK.

Okay, so I'm still at a depressing weight. But I'm ON MY WAY, dammit.

Mostly, I've stopped doing stupid things. No alcohol during the week. When I took The Poet out, I ordered wine and didn't finish it. No fast food. You know, the stuff that as a grownup I shoulda been doing anyway.

So that's exciting.

I gotta go–I slept in–but let me ask you this. If you could go back in time (IF I COULD TURN BACK TIII-OMM) (I gotta get over my Cher impression) and tell yourself anything, what would it be?

Go.

Slightly,

June

WHAT?

My friend at work, The Poet, has a birthday on December 31. Which is sort of cool in every way, except for the part where no one cares about you on your birthday.

EXCEPT ME. I DID. But then I got my mysterious throat illness, and I was willing to still take The Poet out, but she did not want to catch my disease, nor did she want to hold me in her armchair so she could feel my disease, so we made plans to go out last night, and last night we did.

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Here's me waiting for The Poet to show up. She worked later than I did, as she is on a fancy account and they work a lot.

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I took her to the hotel I like to go to, the scene of my first date with Ned, but that's not important right now. It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now. The Poet brought fortune cookies, as she'd had them from a previous festivity, that festivity being, I believe, that she'd ordered Chinese for herself, and let's get this party started.

Hers said a house without books is not a home. She read it, and then we laughed like hyenas. She is not without books. It's very booky at her abode. If the police came by, they'd say, "Book her." She's got books, is what I'm saying to you. In fact, she's got so many books that she somehow found this man from Africa, who has a name we've never heard of, like Ohu or Ohio or Mantooth, and he comes over regularly to take away the books she's gone though and decided to donate. "Omaha came by and took 300 more books with him," she'll say.

So, books. Yeah.

Mine said at the end of the day, think about what I got from a day and what I gave to it. "Well, that's just smug advice," I said, not eating my cookie. "That's not a fortune. That's a school marm."

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We toyed with getting appetizers, but settled instead on the dessert plate, which contained internal organs. Mmmmmm!

Really, that photo was not flattering. It was that thing you get in New Orleans, a Bin Laden or a bidet or a Ben Wa or whatever. Then honey graham creme bruleé that Marvin would have died for, a mint chocolate cheesecake, and dark chocolate mousse.

Anyway, we weren't there long before a live band started, and if you ever want to make me happy, please play live music while I am trying to have a fucking conversation.

"WHAT?" we said, the rest of the night. And The Poet is such a loudmouth as it is. She probably went home and poeted about the whole evening. The poem will be titled, WHAT?

I as really hoping they'd play Lyin' Eyes, as you know that's The Poet's favorite. I can't hear that song without delighting in telling her I heard it, then inevitably throwing in a line from it. Because I found out early, how to open doors with just a smile.

That'd be so helpful when I have groceries.

I came home and, after several disasters, got off OK Cupid. Oh my god, I give up. Everyone I liked didn't like me, and everyone who liked me was either creepy or unemployed. One guy I talked to for days, and I kept asking about his life, and everything was nebulous.

"Why did you move here? For your job?"

"It was sort of a crisis that brought me here."

Okay.

Finally, after DAYS, I was just direct. "What do you do for a living?"

"I'm in a 'transition' right now," he wrote. His air quotes, not mine. "Trying to find the career that will suit me."

He's 45.

And this was not an isolated incident. Look, men of America, none of whom read my blog, do not get on dating sites if you are not equipped to be in a relationship. That means being in the middle of a life crisis, being unemployed, being under-employed, being a nutbar, etc.

So while I fumed over that, I also decided I am probably not ready to be in a relationship, either. I have to get over Ned 100%. I have to get to the point where I can run into him or god forbid hear about him (you have no idea how many people at work feel the need to tell me they saw him out and about) and it would mean nothing. Until I get to that point, I'm not good for anybody, either.

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I decided all that last night while obsessing over my cats. These last two weeks have marked five years since I got Iris and soon after, Lily. The Frost sisters. Did you forget their last names are Frost? And–oh my god! Yesterday was the three-month anniversary of getting Steely Dan Silverman. Idiot savant about dates.

The point is, I'm obsessed with Steely Dan. The Poet remarked about what a beautiful cat he is, (even when he's making that face, above) and he truly is lovely.

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Attitudinal. Catitudinal. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Woooo! Oh, this sure is a humor blog, June.

He's just so sweet, and so adventurous, and he purrs when you pick him up. Look. Iris will always be my f-a-v-o-r-i-t-e of my cats, because Iris is amazing, but oh, he is really da bomb. I lucked out on this Craigslist find.

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I don't know why Edsel never lays his head on the dog bed.

Oh! And speaking of things I can't afford, like a bigger dog bed that he'd still hang his head off of, my Steely Dan ball is coming up this pay period and I seriously have, like, 50 dollars to spend on it. I need cheap decoration ideas (ball themed) and one, like, soup or meatball recipe or something I can make. Everyone is bringing snacks and wine as well, so.

Okay, go! You're like my personal Pinterest.

WHAT?

June

Playmate of the month

I let Edsel out this morning, as I am wont to do, and 15 minutes later I was struck by his quiet-ness, a habit not usually reserved for Edsel. I looked out the back door…

and he's eating a rabbit. How very French. He clearly just caught it–there's fur just everywhere. Oh, that poor bunny.

If Tallulah were alive, you know I'd have credited her with catching it, never dreaming Eds was capable. And no, Iris was in here with me. I'm with you on that thought.

Anyway, here I am, showered for work, thank God. I'm the only person looking forward to getting back to the regular schedule. But when your family is 80,000 miles away and you're newly single

AGAIN

it gets rough. And of course I had all the time in the world to yell at myself for being back in this particular spot again this Christmas, just like last Christmas. Last Christmas, I gave you my heart. The very next day, I was dead.

Poor George Michael. Didn't one of you say, when we listed what Christmas songs we hated, that you hated that song? I do too, and I didn't even realize it was a George Michael song.

Oh, and speaking of what–

oh, god. Now the hawks or buzzards or whatever are in my yard. I made nothin' but a hound dog come in. Steely D and his no balls is OBSESSED now, all pressed against the window, lookin' at birds. This is quite an ecosystem you've created, Edsel.

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Jesus.

Anyway, as I was saying, speaking of what a terrible person I am, I had a dream right before I woke up. Oh, good. June's gonna tell us about her dream.

I was with a bunch of kids, you know, the way I always am, and we were waiting for a bus or something, when one of the kids walked out around a parked bus and almost got hit.

"Eeeeeeek!" everybody yelled, and I went back to my book after a suitable moment of "that was close."

"Why weren't you watching her?" these two kids yelled at me. They'd been walking past. They were somewhere between 8 and 15.

"Watching her? …what–oh! That kid! I have nothing to do with that kid," I said, trying to return to my book. It was true. Whatever I was doing with those children in the dream–probably taking them to the recycle center or something to mash them into pulp and make something useful out of them, whatever–that one kid was not with my group.

"YOU NEED TO WATCH KIDS AT ALL TIMES," the idiot child yelled at me. I remember it was a black kid and a white kid who had wandered up, disapproving of me. Very Wee Pals. They walked away, all huffy, the way Steely Dan does when he jumps up to the brewing coffee and scrapes his paw around it every morning and then leaves with his ears back. Yes, he's now at the whole pot trying to bury it, because apparently he hasn't made himself clear.

Anyway, in the dream, I chased after the kids.

"I DO NOT NEED TO WATCH KIDS AT ALL TIMES," I screeched. "They aren't my kids! I'll bet you have those kinds of moms who hover over you, don't you. She takes you to soccer 11 times a week, tells you you're special. WELL YOU AREN'T SPECIAL!" I screamed. "NO ONE IS!"

Then I woke up.

I start a new antidepressant today. Oh, go on, I don't really need it.

All morning I've felt guilty about screaming at kids that they aren't special. Mr. Rogers I am not. I am Mrs. Sregor. I've never wanted to have a neighbor just like you. I've never wanted to live in a neighborhood, with you, so let's make the least of this terrible day.

Jesus. All that's left of that poor rabbit now is one leg. Should I go back there, get it, make a keychain?

By the way, the only reading glasses I could find, out of the TWENTY THOUSAND PAIR IN THIS HOUSE, are the tinted ones the health committee at work gave me. I look like Miss Blankenship from Mad Men.

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All right, I'd better get this party started. I'm coming out so you better get this party started. Does anything make you want to get a party started less than someone so full of herself that she demands things get started when she arrives?

You're not special.

June

Suck zinc.

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Well, here we are. My favorite day of the year. No one expects us to be festive, and thank god for that. Do you enjoy my new sugar skull calendar? Remember when I had that vintage Better Homes & Gardens calendar that I was so obsessed with, and I made you look at the picture each month? Expect a lotta sugar skulls in 2017.

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I had a lot of this action over the long weekend.

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And also this. Which is worlds different from the photo above. Someone is 100% well from his de-sacking. Couldn't care less. Full of vim.

When I got out of work whatever the hell day we got out–does time seem weird right now?–I was definitely fighting a cold. In fact, I was miserable. I woke up on New Year's Eve and felt just rotten. I was sad, because my plan had been to go to The Other Copy Editor's open house. She and her husband just bought a huge place and have turned it into a Bed and Breakfast on the same damn street I lived on during my year abroad. They were having their first big party there, with a band and everything.

All day I shivered under blankets, and got up to gargle with warm salt water, and sucked zinc. As you do.

Finally, at around 5:00, I decided I was too ill to go anywhere but I'd better go get something to eat because I was down to salad dressing again (I'd also had plans to take The Poet out for a nondrink, as well. The 31st is her birthday. I called her and said, "Let's do this. It hurts to talk but I'll nod." She demurred).

So I showered, dressed, headed to the store and got chicken, came home, and realized…

I felt perfectly fine.

ALL DAY my throat had been killing me. It hurt to swallow. It hurt to drink water. I WAS DYING and then boom. I wasn't.

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I also noticed my hair had dried particularly well, so I said FUCK IT and got into maniacal ware…

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and went to The Other Copy Editor's open house. I drove AROUND THE WORLD to get to her house without passing my year abroad house. Seriously, I don't even know the cockamamie way I did it, but I did.

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I got there and I was all, Oh HELL yes.

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It was amazing. I met lots of cool people, including the guy I was sitting with at the top of the stairs when I took this photo. It was an excellent place to people watch.

I met a couple who have young twins and a 10-month-old, who were so excited to be out and dressed they almost couldn't stand it. They told me that recently, in the car, they were playing the song Farmer in the Dell, and one of the twins has become obsessed with the idea of the farmer taking a wife.

"The farmer takes a wife, Daddy?"

Yes, he'll tell her.

"The farmer takes a wife?" she'll say, 14 seconds later.

She can't get past it. It haunts her. We discussed cognitive skills, and differences among twins, and finally I summed it up with the brilliant, "I never have reason to play Farmer in the Dell in my car."

I really don't. I've canceled my Sirius radio, in an effort to be fiscally responsible, so maybe I'll pick up the Farmer in the Dell CD. The live version.

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The Other CE and me. I guess now she's B&B owner, not TOCE.

I stayed till just before midnight, as I didn't want it to be all 12:00 and no one to kiss. I decided to not drive around the world with every drunk in America out, so I got all my courage up and drove past Ned's, shielding my eye like a horse blinder, so I wouldn't look at his house when I went past. I did it. Without incident.

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I got into my cougar pajams just as the fireworks went off outside. I stood on my porch with a split of Prosecco and toasted the damn new year. Such as it is.

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Oh. Well, that's good news.

Today Ima go to the store and get groceries for the week, and get all my damn laundry done. Since this infernal endless holiday period began, I've been trying to get all my laundry done and I never do. I have only hand-washables left at his point, so that's what my afternoon looks like. I'm like Indiana Jones, over here, with my adventures.

So, there it is. I got through the holidays and didn't kill myself, so score. Winning. On top of my game.

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Pffffft,

June