While I’ve lost weight since I moved here, first from the act of moving in, and then from not drinking because all alcohol looks like a mug of migraine to me now, I haven’t worked out at all, really. I did one day of HIIT for old people on YouTube and while you’d think that would do it, it hasn’t.
I can’t even stand myself. Please help me decide which workout to do next. You have 23 hours to answer. Right now it’s 7:50 Eastern time on January 16. Whichever is the winning selection, I will try for three months and report back to you.
It’s Monday night, and I’m finally home in my pajamas with a glass of white grape juice because I’m a riveting member of society. Just the IDEA of having wine gives me a Pavlov headache now. So, grape juice in pajamas it is.
Really, my entire goal each day is to get to the part where I’m home in my pajamas for the night.
Just as soon as I got into said pajamas, which I’ve been anticipating all day, did I mention? I got an email about some freelance work I’m doing, and I have to RE-do some of it, because it’s writing, not copy editing, and this is the first time I’ve worked on this particular thing, so I figured it might not be perfect. But I was JUST FINALLY GETTING to the relax part and now I’m tense.
But I’m not gonna work on that now. I’ll think about it tomorrow. I’ll get tense tomorrow. Except I’m tense NOW.
Today, I went to work, as I am wont to do, and had some harrowing copy editing to do. You’d think copy editing would be all relaxing. Maybe you even say the annoying, “You get to read all day!”
Hah! Right. I mean, make sure Mr. Steiner’s name isn’t occasionally Mr. Stienmen the 86 times we mention him, and remember the client doesn’t like the word sparklefraffle, even though this article is about the Sparklefraffle Fair, and don’t forget to check the name of the city the fair is in because it just changed and we fixed it in some places but not all, and, oh, do this all in five minutes.
What are some misconceptions people have about what you do? Because you know what copy editing rarely is? Relaxing. You’re the very last person to see the thing, so it always ends up getting to you late, and you’re asked to do something like edit 80 pages in an hour and a half, which is not possible, but people think it is because people think I
a thing. “Oh, you get to read all day!” And I’m sure people’re all, “Well, I could read 80 pages in an hour and a half.”
So what do people think about what you do that is dead wrong?
I hope someone here is a pharmacist so they can tell us why it takes 45 minutes to give me 9 prepackaged pills. I mean, just like how you can’t “copy edit this real quick,” there’s probably a logical explanation for why it takes 45 minutes to give me the same 9 pills I get already packaged in a little foil-and-bubble container every month. It’s not like they have to compound my pills or count them out. But still. I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt, here, pharmacy folk.
Anyway. So I went to work as I am wont to do, and I know I already said that. Then at lunch, I went to the hippie healthy co-op where everyone stands in place before the salad bar, in their politically correct TOMS shoes, in order to feel the vibrations of everyone who passes by or whatever. I grabbed an earth-friendly container made of kelp and mentally stabbed 10 stationary hippies with a bamboo skewer to get them out of my way. I mentally had a hippie kabob. I got me some spinach and some blueberries and some salmon and some beet juice, and $642 later I was out the door.
I thought hippies were busy giving peace a chance and making macramé plant hangers. How do they have money to spend $9,000 on lunch? And yet they all do.
After work, I went to the regular grocery store in my neighborhood where everyone looks like a member of ZZ Top or a ZZ Top tribute band, because I live in what you might call a working-class area now. I much prefer ZZ and his Top to the hippies at the healthy store and I’m sorry.
Anyway, while I squeezed past Ray-Nathan and Bucephalis’s confab about NASCAR and chew, I got yogurt and popcorn and grapes and hummus and cheese, which are pretty much m’staples anymore, and then I came home, fed everyone who contains fur, let the dog out, put the groceries away, did a load of laundry, begged Edsel to come inside and got my coat on and left again.
By the time you read this, it will be Lottie Blanco’s birthday. I wanted to get her a little something, because she’s always feeding me and she got me a housewarming gift and besides, don’t you like it when you get to work and someone’s recognized your birthday, somehow?
So I schlepped to the store to try to find her something, and I like how an entire weekend just yawned behind me and did I do it then? No.
Lottie Blanco is less girly than me, and I know that narrows it down. But the pink sparkly boa I’d have gotten, say, Wedding Alex was not going to fly in Lottie Blanco town.
Anyway, I found a little something for her, and a card, and I hope she likes everything. Then I schlepped back here and let the dog out again because he’s obsessed with something out there, and unloaded the dishwasher and did more laundry and ate some cheese and grapes and had this delicious grape juice, and that pretty much sums up my day and my neck is KILLING me because somehow I made all of this stressful.
Why? Why do I do that? Did that day sound all that stressful?
My freelance isn’t due till Friday and it’s maybe one hour more of work. My commute is six minutes. I met all my deadlines today. Tomorrow is payday and I still have $239 left from last paycheck. I mean, I’m golden! And yet? Shoulders up to my ears.
Because I was born in 1812 (Overture), my school years went like this:
Elementary school: Kindergarten through 6th grade. (Also, if you want to get on my nerves, pronounce it “kindy garden.”)
Junior high: 7th through 9th grade. (Also, if you want to get on my nerves, call this * an “as-ter-ik.”)
High school: 10th through 12th grade.
I know now there are some years in there called “middle school.” I did not experience this phenomenon. I experienced junior high. Where, truthfully, I ate a lot of Junior Mints. And shopped in the juniors section. And we all wondered who shot Jr.
Back in the ’70s, my Uncle Leo taught 5th grade. Not to me, but to other kids. And starting with my 5th-grade year all the way through junior high, my Uncle Leo would rave about one student who was my age: Cardinal. (He wasn’t the ONLY student my uncle raved about. Uncle Leo got attached to many students, students who would actually pop in and visit him and so on. My Uncle Leo is extremely extroverted. Possibly TOO EXTROVERTED. Dear Uncle Leo: Stop fekking loving life.)
Anyway, Cardinal and I went to different elementary schools and junior highs, but by the time we got to the same high school, I was already over him, so enamored of him was my Uncle Leo and even my Aunt Kathy, who of course was also there when Cardinal would pop by. “Oh, he’s so funny!” she’d say. “You have to meet him!”
It’s a lot like how I feel about Disneyland. At this point, people have raved on about it so much I hate it.
When high school began, I was walking home from school on, like, day three with one of my friends, who said, “There’s this guy who went to the other junior high. His name is Cardinal. Have you ever heard of him? He’s so funny!”
Had I ever heard of him. Good gravy. His name was burned into my brain at that point.
Eventually, I saw the elusive Cardinal, at the roller skating rink, as you do. Someone pointed him out to me, and there he was, wearing overalls. He had curly hair. “That’s him?” I asked. He just seemed like a regular dude. In overalls.
It turns out, all that time, Cardinal had been hearing about me, as well, from my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Leo, who seemed hell-bent on having us mate. (Dear Aunt Kathy and Uncle Leo: That eventually happened. Also, hi, mom.)
They showed him my attractive and not-at-all masculine bowl-cut-and-cowl-neck junior high school photos, and he was all, “Hunh. …Yeah.”
And right at the beginning of high school, he met my other high school boyfriend, Giovanni Leftwich, who said to him, “There’s this girl I like, June Gardens. Let’s get out of sixth hour and go walk past her sixth hour,” and they did, and Giovanni was all, “THAT’S HER!” and Cardinal once again thought, “Hunh. …Yeah.”
What I’m trying to say to you is it was love at first sight. Man, were we ever impressed with each other.
What ended up happening was, one bleak February afternoon in 10th grade, Cardinal walked on over to my Uncle Leo’s for a visit. I imagine people don’t do that now, do they? Just randomly visit teachers. If you’re in 10th grade now you probably have scheduled play dates and you’re planning to live at home for at least 15 more years and you aren’t allowed to walk anywhere without a parent attached to you like a backpack.
Anyway. My uncle was looking at slides from photos he’d recently taken. What you should know about Uncle Leo is he gets INTO things. Playing the fiddle, tapping trees for sap, veganism, the stock market, stained glass. I mean, he embraces these hobbies wholeheartedly. He becomes Gordon Gekko and Yull Brenner and Charlie Daniels … and then he’s over it.
So right then he was into photography. He got out the slides and forced Cardinal to look at what I imagine to be 58 photos of the same flower, the way people who are newly into photography make you do.
Anyway, one series of slides was of me. Because I’ve had this charming personality all along, from birth I’ve been in a Show-Me State, these pictures were of 10th-grade me, dressed top to bottom in my grandma’s clothes. Oh, I’d placed a babushka atop my June hair, slipped on one of her housedresses and her cat-eye sunglasses, even some orthopedic gramma shoes. The photos he took were of me in this getup, holding hands with my then-teensy cousin Katie.
How I wish I had one of those pictures, incidentally.
So after all those years of seeing me doing my male impersonation in junior high, and after not being impressed with my profile during Mrs. Vitito’s sixth hour, somehow the sight of me dressed as a gramma is what did Cardinal in. He had to have me.
So from 10th grade up until we were 21, Cardinal and I dated on and off more often than — well, I can’t think of anything funny that goes on and off a lot.
Afterward, after the lovin’, we stayed friends (depending on which woman he was dating could stand us being friends, and Dear Every Single Woman Cardinal Dated from 1986 to the present: WE ARE JUST FRIENDS OH MY GOD).
My point is, the ’80s found me hanging at Cardinal’s house just all the time, till we both moved away.
So when I found out Cardinal’s dad died last month, I started thinking a lot about those years. Here’s what I remember about Cardinal’s dad.
First of all, I did the math–god help us everyone–and of course when I met Cardinal’s parents, they were younger than I am now.
I remember Cardinal’s dad was the first person I knew to have a phone in his car. Cardinal would leave my house at night and eight seconds later, the phone would ring.
“June! Guess where I am? THE CAR!!” Cardinal would say. It was so EXCITING. Also, Dear Cardinal’s Dad: I’m sorry that that probably cost you $80.
I remember his dad listened to The Doors on Sunday mornings, and that he grilled really good steaks. I remember being there one summer evening, getting ready to have a steak, when their two Afghans ran through the yard and knocked the whole grill over. Cardinal’s dad did not have a tantrum the way I would have. He just calmly saved the steaks he could.
Incidentally, Afghans are not bright dogs.
And no matter how many times we broke up and got back together or hung out as friends, any time I reappeared at Cardinal’s house, his dad never said, “I thought we were through with you.” He just always welcomed me and took the whole thing in stride.
Cardinal’s parents retired to North Carolina, so I was able to drive to the memorial yesterday.
When I walked into the church, after first showing up at the wrong damn place (“The ad said it was at the funeral home,” I said. The ad. What the hell is wrong with me?), I was worried I was STILL at the wrong place. I didn’t recognize anyone.
It took several minutes for me to place Cardinal’s family, and for them to place me. His mom said she stood looking at me hug Cardinal and wondered who the hell I was. “It’s the person who haunted your kitchen for years,” I said.
There was his sister, who was always nice to me. And his brother, who caught me hiding in the closet once when I was up in Cardinal’s forbidden room. There were Cardinal’s nieces, who when I last left them were in high chairs and who now have kids of their own. Once I got used to what everyone looked like now, I totally recognized everyone.
Afterward, we went back to Cardinal’s mom’s house, and we sat around talking for awhile, and I thought about Cardinal’s dad. If it weren’t for him, none of those people would have been in that room. Those funny, interesting people.
He was married to Cardinal’s mom for 60 years. He had three kids and if I’m counting right, seven grandkids and a few great-grandkids. And there they all were, carrying on without him even though no one wanted him to be gone. All of his kids went on to have kids, and even though he’s gone, he continues, you know?
The only memories I have of Cardinal’s father are happy ones. I only remember him being nice to me, and welcoming, and funny. And that’s a pretty good legacy to leave if you ask me. Leaving someone with good memories and a more-than-slight desire for a grilled steak.
Yesterday sort of kicked my ass in the feeling-bad department. There was a situation with so-called friends in real life, where I thought I was among my people, but it turns out I … wasn’t. This made me feel quite blue, and unloved.
I toiled at my desk all day like Bartleby the Scrivener, facing the wall of my outsiderness.
Yes, those were the kinds of feelings I was immersed in, where I was thinking things like, “The wall of my outsiderness.”
Part of what I had to do at work yesterday was call people to fact-check things. The other copy editors–and see yesterday’s post where I say I’m not like other copy editors–do not enjoy calling strangers to check facts, whereas I loves it. Oh, I do. Everyone I meet is so lovely.
“How do you do that?” asked another copy editor, after I hung up from yet another pleasant call. “My exchanges are so often tense. Maybe it’s the part where you sound friendly.”
Shy people have never made sense to me. Just FAKE BEING FRIENDLY. Why is that hard? Have the sun in your voice! For fuck’s sake.
But look. Since I teeter on the very edge of the introvert/extrovert line, I was getting drained as the day wore on. And plus also I felt bad about what had happened earlier in the day. Drained and unloved-feeling are not a combo that works for keeping the sun in your voice.
Then I got a text. From my friend Sandy.
From somewhere around 1978 to about 1984, everyone on planet Earth–except maybe you, the reader I’m now explaining this to–watched General Hospital. Seeing as it was on at 3 p.m. (on channel 12), I don’t know how we all managed to do so, although I seem to remember rushing down the freezing sidewalk in freezing Michigan to our freezing apartment to not miss a moment of it after school. Did I really get out before 3:00 in junior high? And why did I have to be a teen when there weren’t VCRs or whatever?
I like how the most modern recording device in my mind is a VCR.
Anyway, a big draw of General Hospital was Laura Vining Faulkner Webber Baldwin Spencer Cassadine Spencer. At least those were her last names when I left her, in 1984. She may have added a pearl or two in the ensuing years.
Another not-nearly-as-big-a-draw-at-all was a restaurant where they all confabbed, a restaurant across the street from General Hospital called The Floating Rib.
Why? Why The Floating Rib? And yet they all stampeded over there in between Lasa Fever outbreaks. “Bobbi and Jeff are at …The Floating Rib.”
I guess I should not be surprised that writers who came up with the hospital name General Hospital can’t come up with a restaurant name better than The Floating Rib.
Anyway, it turns out that while most of us watched General Hospital all the way up through Frisco Jones’s shenanigans and then lost interest? Apparently the folks in Port Charles just kept right on going.
Imagine all the things you’ve done since 1984. In all that time, given a few years off for Bare Essence or whatever,
Laura Vining Faulkner Webber Baldwin Spencer Cassadine Spencer (aka Tyger Hayes) has been slogging over to General Hospital to work. And now she’s the mayor of Port Charles! Well deserved, I say.
I was given this crucial info yesterday from my old friend Sandy, whom I met in the dorms in 1984, making her, apparently, my Official Replacement® for General Hospital. I can honestly say, with all the dumb-ass shit we ever did together, including sitting on opposite ends of the couch reading gossip magazines for 20 hours at a time, we never watched General Hospital as a couple. A Current Affair? Oh, hell yes. But ever GH.
And yet, apparently it was part of our fiber, like Tara is to Scarlett.
My point of all this is that for some reason, the idea that The Floating Rib still exists somewhere, and that despite her fancy job and fancy house and fancy husband, Sandy is still aware of The Floating Rib with me, warmed m’cockles, is what it did.
And despite the fact that she’s in Michigan and I see her once every 10 years, I remember a time I needed her to do something awkward for me, and I called her and began with, “Can you do something for me?”
And her answer was immediately yes. Not, “What?” Just yes.
And despite the fact that there was this time in college where a whole bunch of people didn’t like me? And what’s with me, anyway? How unlikable am I? Anyway, there was this time when all of my regularly scheduled college friends took a turn, like that chardonnay you leave in the fridge too long, and tens of people didn’t like me, but Sandy never wavered.
People come and go. But every once in a while, there’s another eyeliner-loving, gossip-magazine-reading, Floating-Rib-knowing pal who’s been there all this time, just like Port Charles and Laura Vining Faulkner Webber Baldwin Spencer Cassadine Spencer.
“I’m finally, after three months, getting my brows waxed at lunch today,” I announced to the other copy editors in my row. “Three months! It’s not like me to let myself go like this.”
They stared at me a bit.
I’ma go ahead and tell you right now, I’m not like other copy editors. If you wanna be Michael Jackson about it.
Other copy editors, and I think I speak from experience as this is my 22nd year of doing this job, tend to be more, well, low-key than me. I don’t even know why I’m a copy editor. Yes, I do. Marvin told me to be one, in 1997. I’m a copy editor cause of Marvin. Marvin also told me to be a blogger in 2006 and that’s why I am. Now that Marvin’s not here anymore, who’s gonna tell me what to be?
Anyway, I’ve let myself go, mostly due to my move, and I told the other copy editors this pertinent fact.
“I’m looking at you right now, in full makeup and hair, with giant earrings and cute shoes, talking about how you’ve let yourself go,” said another copy editor, who by the way was wearing a skirt with little proofreader’s symbols all over it and I COVET IT.
Nevertheless, I persisted with my theory, and stampeded to the brow wax salon and got properly groomed. It didn’t take long, so I had time to dash in and pick up something for lunch before heading back. Food, yay!
There’s a new restaurant in town that’s supposed to be healthy. Naturally, Ned had a city-wide parade to commemorate its opening. Naturally, I’ve never even considered going there.
But go there I did, post-brows, because it was less than a block away and my other nearby choice was Hardee’s. I considered walking to said healthy place, but there are no sidewalks. So I drove a few buildings down, turned left
and entered hell.
It was like Times Square on New Year’s Eve, without the fun. There was plenty of screaming and vomiting and Ryan Seacrest, though. The ENTIRE WORLD was in that tiny parking lot, and you couldn’t turn around, or leave, or do anything really except hope everyone ate and digested and left so you could finally do ANYTHING with your car long about 3 p.m.
I ended up going the wrong way down a back alley, which sums up my life, and parking in another parking lot that warned I’d be towed if I weren’t going to that particular restaurant. Oh, I wanted them to try. Oh, how I did. Because you’d have read today about how a middle-aged woman with giant hair and good brows disemboweled the entire car-towing industry with the foil edge of her contacts container. It’s all I have in my purse to disembowel anyone. I’ve thought it over.
I walked ON THE STREET to get to the restaurant, and when I entered, it was one of those places where you curl around the outer rim of the store and order at a counter, like Ponderosa only without any fun steak or pudding. My choices included a lot of quinoa and kale, two of the saddest words in our language.
And oh, did the white ladies love this place. Who ARE you women in yoga pants at noon? Why don’t you have to work? Also, if you don’t have to work, MUST you stream into restaurants between noon and 1:00? You’re already a trophy wife. You win. Let us have our goddamn lunch hour. We get ONE HOUR A DAY. Let us have it without waiting for a parking space, a waiter and a table.
When I began that line yesterday, I still had a glimmer of hope left for my future. By the time I left, I had the haunted look of those miners who were trapped for weeks.
Finally, after 12 hours, there was only one person left ahead of me, and she was a simply beautiful young girl with smooth hair and slender legs that didn’t touch in the middle. She had on those ankle boots all girls under 30 insist on wearing, and while I’ve caved and bought some, I always feel vaguely like chubby Peter Pan in them. Peter Pan if he’d let himself go.
The entire time she waited in line, Slenderella, over there, Puss in Boots, up yonder, crossed one booted ankle behind the other.
Why? Why do you need to do that? How are you even balancing? And furthermore, why?
When she got to the counter,
are you holding onto your hat?
When she got to the counter, she MADE A CALL. I could not hear what she was saying, but she had 8 million questions for the beleaguered person behind the counter. The ENTIRE WAY UP that endless line are little signs and menus telling you where EACH DAMN PIECE of food is sourced from, and how everything’s made, and what allergens are in them, so WHAT did Bootenanny need to know that HADN’T BEEN ANSWERED IN THAT ENDLESS LINE?
She stayed on the phone the entire time, like she was at a Christie’s auction, ankles crossed, and I envisioned fricassee-ing her on the hot surface behind the counter. Hog-tying her would have been easy; she was already halfway there.
I got a chicken bowl with purple rice (why?) (the rice probably crosses its ankles when it stands) and black beans and avocado and resentment and WAY WAY WAY WAY too much lettuce. No one needs that kind of lettuce in their life. No one.
Anyway, I got back to work IN A MOOD, and can anyone else tell me if this bothers them or if I’m just a cross (ankled) person in general…
If you eat at your desk, does it bug you when people want to discuss what you have? We sometimes have food trucks at work, and inevitably, someone will say, “Oh! Is that from the food truck?”
No. I brought a cheeseburger and fries from home and placed them in this handy open cardboard container. It’s a wonder it’s all still hot, isn’t it?
I got to my desk, did I mention in a MOOD? And poor Fewks, the guy next to me, was all, “Eating healthy today?”
Guess who did not have good health after that. Was it disemboweled Fewks?
It probably would have been better for my blood pressure to go to Hardee’s.
I don’t sleep with Milhous, because bestiality is illegal, but also because he’ll run up and down the bed all night endlessly and I’ll have to snap his neck.
But last night I was all settled into bed, I was a settler, with my iron skillet and my loin sack or whatever, when I realized I’d forgotten to brush m’teeth.
So I FLUNG the bedclothes aside dramatically even though no one but Edsel was there to appreciate it, and WHIPPED open the bedroom door annoyedly.
And there? Was Milhous.
He was leaning against the door, all splayed out like the Sphinx.
Little Milhous! All forlornly leaning against the door all night. I mean, I just assume he’s forlornly out there all night.
That run-aroundy bastard still isn’t getting in, though.
Other than that, I’m trying to think of anything else that’s happened that’s remotely interesting. My throat is starting to hurt, and if I’m getting a cold Ima be annoyed.
Ah. Here’s something relatively interesting: I noticed someone at work has little toy soldiers in yoga poses, which I thought was charming.
Also, it’s nice to have Iris home. Also also, I have got to fix that dresser that I ruined. Also also also, don’t tell me that my chair is at an odd angle; I’m using it to uncurl the rug. I’ve had this rug nearly three months and one side of it still sort of curls up. Does anyone have any hints, or is anyone fairly hefty after the holidays and willing to lie on one corner of my rug for a day or so?
Speaking of audience participation, I did move some stuff around and get rid of things on my bathroom cubbyholes, but I haven’t finished yet. I like the idea of raiding my china cabinet for containers.
Oh, hell, I have to go. I realize the best part of life is the thinner slice and also that I had nothing of note to say to you today.
I have to go unbutton my shirt past my ribs.
Lift your eyes if you feel you can. Reach for a star and I’ll show you a plan, Juun
P.S. It’s January 9. Does anyone still have remainders of Christmas around? I have all the X-mas-themed cookie tins out because my mother wants me to mail them back, MOM, and also one Christmas card displayed that came later, as it is really a thank-you card from my mother. I guess the only reason I still have Christmas remnants is because of mom.
Because my madcap adventures never stop, I had a dental cleaning yesterday. Oh, June, that’s crazy.
I’ve been going to a new place because the dentist I went to for 11 years had a hygienist who talked endlessly. I don’t mean she talked a bit. SHE TALKED ENDLESSLYYYYYYY. Plus, it hurt when she did my teeth. Probably because she was talking and not paying attention.
So some years back I screwed up all my courage and called the office. “Yes. Um. Next time I go in, may I be scheduled with Muta instead of Chattina?” And they did it. I was so sweaty asking for that, worrying they’d say, “But why?”
And the next time I went in there, I was cleaned by Muta. Oh, she was wonderful. She spoke occasionally like a normal person, and the whole experience was lovely.
Then the next time I went in there, everyone was out for a funeral except Chattina, whom they decided should stay behind and man the office. Gee. Why. Why didn’t they want her along at the funeral, do you think? Why’d that person die, do you think? Did he or she die of chatting?
So she cleaned me to the tune of This is My Life Story Told in Painstaking Detail, and I did not make an appointment when I left. I thought I was so clever with that tactic. But when I DID call to make the appointment with Muta, a few months later they called to remind me of my “cleaning with Chattina.”
GOD DAMMIT. And that’s why I picked up my teeth and headed to a new office. And oh, this new hygienist is wonderful. She doesn’t hurt at all, and she’s pleasant but not talky, which may have something to do with the fact that I told her halfway through, “You know what I like about you? You take time to enjoy the silence.” And she agreed that talking endlessly was draining on her as well. And then it was super extra quiet and I felt bad. They probably have a note on my chart: VOW OF SILENCE PATIENT.
Our problem, and by “our” I mean women in America, is we feel the need to talk to establish that we like each other. Silence is only for when we’re pissed. “Nothing. Nothing’s wrong.”
But really, when you actually like someone and feel comfortable around them, you can have an hour of silently doing your thing while the other person does their thing (in my head when I picture this, one person is teaching a chicken how to dance and the other is knitting Bible covers. You know how I say you never want to be in my head?) and it’s perfectly fine.
Why can’t we do that with our hairdresser, our hygienist, our manicurist? Why can’t we be all, “You do your thing and Ima read this Chicken Dance magazine”? Why isn’t that better than, “Did you have good holidays?” “Oh, ya. We ate a lot. Hah hah. You?”
Anyway, of course I need crown replacements for all the crowns I got years ago, and I love how when you’re paying $49,000 for those crowns they don’t mention they’ve got maybe 20 years on them.
Also, the free toothbrush they give you? Every time they give me one, I base how well my next six months are gonna go on the color of the toothbrush they give me. Like, royal blue? Price is Right losing horn.
Orange? Jesus, just put me in a coma for six months.
But this time? I got a lavender toothbrush! Ooooo, good times are headed my way!
Also at my dentist they give you a small tube of lip balm that I really like. This time my flavor options were citrus, ass and almond swirl. I went for almond swirl.
So that sums up my trip to the dentist, and I thank you for your attention to this pressing matter.
Y’all were so helpful when I was recently trying to organize my shoes that I thought I might elicit your help in the bathroom. Someone push on my head!
(When I was a kid, for about six months after my parents separated, my mother and I lived with my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Leo. They had one freaking bathroom because their house was built in like 1890 or something, and it was haunted. The whole house, not just the bathroom. Anyway, most mornings all four of us would be in the bathroom at the same time, and my Aunt Kathy would be on the toilet asking for someone to push on her head, a thing I found hilarious then and now.)
Let’s push on.
In my own house that has one bathroom because it was built in 1932, I have these cubbyholes, where allegedly one cutely stores one’s stuff. As you can see it’s moved from cute to horrifically sad in three short months.
So what I thought I’d do, see, is first of all get some slippers because when did these hardwoods get so drafty-feeling? Hang on…
Okay, let’s go to the bathroom. Every time I say that, I am delighted…
For those of you without org skills, and June please say “org” just all the time, you can at least creepy-crawl my bathroom cupboards, and who doesn’t like to do that?
The very top shelf has nothing, and next to that a case I use to store my makeup when I travel. I have limited closet space and also I think that case is pretty. Chris and Lilly gave it to me at some point, I forget why. Birthday?
Row two has a painting a friend made, and generic Kleenex. Really, I don’t know why I’m not a home-decorating blogger. The shelf next to it has an empty jar and a photo of my Uncle Leo and me. I guess we’re still sharing a bathroom.
Row three: Perfume I don’t use because it’s the wrong season for it, a pink container with nothing in it, water in a spray bottle to refresh my curls, and two kinds of facial cleanser I use because Hot & Flashy said to. (When I linked to her just now, I realized I’m using the wrong Yes to Coconuts cleanser. Goddammit. That’s why I’m not hot and flashy like her.)
Next to that cubby, and June please say “cubby” just all the time, is dog shampoo, a brush I never use anymore except for twice a year when I actually brush my hair, and soap.
Next row: Empty jar that used to have cotton pads in it but I found having an open jar was easier. Hair cream and more face products that Hot & Flashy told me to get. If Hot & Flashy told me to eat the blood of live rabbits I’d do it. Have you seen her? She’s so goddamn pretty.
Next row, another pink container that has nothing in it, and photos of my gramma, my Aunt Wa, mom and me.
I know you wish there were more rows, AND THERE ARE!
Next row: hair clips I never use and a flamingo. There’s a statement you make every day. Next to that is this pretty container that has all my reading glasses.
The famed cotton pads, and a jar crammed with contacts, scissors, Q-Tips and bobby pins. Honest to god what is wrong with me. Oh, and an emory board.
Then? Kleenex again and some special fancy soap from Chris and Lilly. Beside that, toilet paper, which as of this photo sesh–and be sure to say “photo sesh” just all the time, June–was taken away because Milhous won’t let me have toilet paper out.
The very bottom row, not pictured because you must be sick of my rows. You must be on death row. You’re about to have a row with me. Anyway the bottom row is a hair dryer I use maybe once a month and then nothing. Anything I’ve put on the right side of that bottom row gets taken out by Milhous.
Why do I always at all times have some iteration of a baby animal in my house?
Okay, so if you wonder if there’s anywhere else I could stick this stuff, let’s go look at the one sad closet devoted to bathroom supplies.
(“This is why I prefer my McMansion,” the reader said, swinging her horseshoe haircut decidedly. “Charm over closet space? Never!”)
The closet is a tiny little door you open with a latch, and here are the contents.
Top shelf has all the toilet paper Milhous refuses to let me display. That box has all the things in it you don’t want displayed, like Nair for giant mustaches and suppositories. Oh, and those washcloths are especially for makeup removal, and when I put them on the open shelves in the bathroom I come home to them splayed just everywhere in this house. Perhaps if you are planning to help me today, one suggestion might be, “Take that goddamn kitten to the pound.”
This next crisp photo has a backup magnifying mirror in case my current one stops working (shut up), toothbrush heads, contacts, root dye, Latisse brushes (why they gotta make the packaging so insanely huge?) and a charger for a toothbrush that no longer works.
Towels and washcloths crammed in every nook because no room. Hey, any openings in your McMansion development?
And finally, very neatly folded bathroom mats, now with Milhous and Iris. Imagine if you didn’t read on Saturday. “She has her dead cat in her linen closet!”
Here are both the shelves and the closet from a distance, as Bette Midler would say.
So that’s my situation. Please fix it. Thank you. Love JOOON.
On Saturday mornings, I like to clean. Well. “Like” is a strong term. But this house is so quaint and pretty and I want to keep it that way, so on Saturdays, I dump out the litter box and take it outside, hose it off, air it out, that sort of thing.
Then I take the back entryway rug outside and shake it, sometimes hose it down, too, hang it outside for a bit to dry.
Then I wash all the floors and throw the water outside. My point is, on Saturday mornings I’m in and out more than mama’s squeeze box.
On Saturday, December 22, exactly seven years to the day I adopted Iris, née Sugarplum, I saw her go out one of those times. Well. “Saw” is a strong term. It was only later when I obsessively reviewed my every move that I recalled her strolling out the back door during my endless trips out the backyard.
Iris went out all the time at the old house. But at this house, Lily goes out not at all and Iris maybe once every two weeks. And I used to think that was kind of a shame, because there’s a dead end behind me and a dead end to the right of me, and the next three blocks are also dead ends, plus also behind me is nothing but wilderness till it drops off and there are railroad tracks way down below.
It seemed pretty safe for a cat to wander, is my point. But no one was wandering. Iris would stroll to the backyard, maybe lounge on the grass for 15 minutes, then always come inside, and she did this only every few weeks.
That Saturday, December 22, I was getting through my cleaning in a hurry because Jo was coming over so we could go to that fabulous beauty supply store, and then after that it seems like I had a party or something. It was three days before Christmas, man. It was a busy time.
So it was dark out before I noticed Iris wasn’t home. I think maybe it was when I served dinner, and I like how I act like all the cats sit at the table and I bring out those dishes with domed lids on them. Anyway, I called her and she didn’t come home.
I didn’t like that at all.
The next morning I called her again and no Iris. When she wasn’t hungrily at the back door that morning, I was really worried. This was not an Iris move. A Steely Dan move? Oh, sure. But look what happened to him.
That’s when I began the obsessive tracking of everything I’d done the day before, and registered her stroll out the back while I was whacking a rug like it was 1892 or whatever.
In the ensuing days, both Ned and I traipsed endlessly through that bramble behind my house. I pulled on waders like a crazy person so I could check every nook. I think it was the first Sunday that we both saw a huge bird of prey circle-circle-circling overhead.
Right then I knew. I knew with every fiber of my being that Iris was dead. Maybe a fox got her. Maybe a coyote. Maybe she fell off the cliff that leads to the train tracks and got run over.
Still, I walked all over my neighborhood, I asked people, I checked the shelter and Craigslist. I called the shelter and got Sugarplum’s chip number. (God, that’s a horrific name.) (June, driving away readers with pets named Sugarplum since 2019.) I even walked right into a neighbor’s two open sheds. But in my heart, I knew she was dead. She wouldn’t just … not come home.
And I didn’t say anything about it here because people would say, Oh, my cat wandered off and came back or Oh, you never should let cats outside, and I was too sad to hear either thing. I know cats come back; I have Lily’s 52-day story. But not blind Iris.
I finally told you after it’d been more than a week, I think, wasn’t it? I’d long since given up by the time I’d told you. And I could not even think about it. Oh, it was awful. Iris is my favorite. She’s so plucky and has that little smile all the time. Oh, sweet Iris.
Yesterday morning I was blogging at you while it was still dark and I heard a meow. I JUMPED up from this chair and RAN outside, calling for Iris because I’m telling you it sounded just like her. But nothing was there. I decided maybe it was some cat in here meowing and I was being delusional.
Last night around 5:20 I arrived home from work. I had dinner plans at 6:30 and was considering doing some freelance work, so I was all preoccupied as I pulled up to my house, and
in my own car, because THERE WAS IRIS! Just sitting on the glider on my front porch. Just lounging with her little smile, like a Southern lady, if a Southern lady sat on her haunches.
“IRIS!” I screeched, and you can imagine the neighbors. “There goes that old cat lady again.”
“Are you okay?” I picked her up while she looked at me with her little blind smile. She was all bones.
I took her right to the water bowl but she wasn’t thirsty. So I carried her like she was Heidi and I was Grandfather, over to the food and you’ll be surprised to hear a bite to eat sounded good to Iris.
Of course, it was only later that I Googled it and read if a cat’s been missing for a long time, you should feed them slowly. I read this after she ate three cans of food.
Everyone here was very curious about why she smelled like Monty Hall or like she slept with three leopards or spent two weeks at the blackjack table in Vegas or whatever the hell her smell told them.
But mostly we were just glad she’s home.
Last night Iris slept with me and as always, we pressed spines. I woke up today worried I’d dreamt the whole thing till I felt her little bony cat spine still there behind me.
If you think about it, it might make sense that someone opened their garage to leave for a Christmas trip the Saturday before Christmas, and arrived the Friday after New Year’s, doesn’t it? I think Iris might have done an Edsel impression, hanging out in a garage. Cause an Edsel is a car, see.
Anyway, she’s home. My Iris is home! I was never so happy to get out a third cat dish.
P.S. I was just taking the trash out and she wanted to go outside. The answer is
Well, this is weird. My therapist graduated me. Me! And when I think about it, she’s right. I mean, other than my crippling phobias and deep desire to mate with Barry Gibb, I’m pretty good.
I saw her last night and got the news that I seem pretty good and don’t really need to go anymore. My mother pointed out that she’s like all my doctors who die or quit, and why have I been in therapy since 1975, do you think, MOM?
Anyway, now I’m completely mentally sound and it’s likely I’ma have to lord that over you at every turn. I’ll be like Nellie Olesen, but instead of a candy shop, I’ll have my degree from therapy.
I think that’s pretty much my biggest news from yesterday.
Oh, but also this happened…
My boss, fmr., is back! He’ll be working remotely, unfortunately, but he’s back! I guess it’s good he’s remote, as you’ll recall we got off on the tangents. In fact, when I saw him yesterday and learned he’d returned, I said, “You can’t work here for real unless you agree it was a baby that Billy Jo McAllister threw off the Tallahatchie Bridge,” and he was all, “I can’t agree to that because it isn’t true” and 45 minutes later the person trying to do his paperwork was still standing there helpless.
So, yes. Remote. That’ll work for all of us. But YAY!
My job is a weird place where people come and go a lot. My industry is a weird one where you leave one job and see 49 of the people you worked with at the next job. It’s very Laverne and Shirley leave Milwaukee for LA and Lennie and Squiggie and Laverne’s dad and girlfriend also are in LA.
Why didn’t Laverne’s dad ever marry that girlfriend? Or did he? And if he did, did he marry her at the bowling alley or Laverne’s apartment? It always annoyed me that they did that on Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley. Those were the most popular shows of their time, and yet the makers of Happy Days couldn’t swing for the temporary wedding chapel set. “Oh, we’ll have prom at Arnold’s!”
Also yesterday, my friend Dot sent me Irises because of Iris, a thing I still can’t think about. I just looked back at them and they’re starting to open. I wonder if I should take them to work, lest some buff-ass kitten leap onto the mantle and break this pretty purple vase.
Iris died exactly to the day seven years after I adopted her. Isn’t that weird? December 22. I didn’t tell you about it for several days cause I could not.
I’ve heard other people say, after their pet dies, that they can never get another, never do that to themselves again. I’ve never felt that way, but now I kind of do.
But, I mean, it’s not like I’m out of pets. I’m not a slob. Well. But I wasn’t right then. The scenario was this. I walked into the bedroom and Edsel as usual had taken my robe from the bathroom to the bedroom, where he likes to rub his face longingly into every crevice. I went to the bed to get the robe and Edsel jumped up for pets, then Milhous jumped UNDER the covers and I threw them to the side so he wouldn’t smother. Then Lily jumped up cause needy. And that is why everything in that photo is messy.
I’m not messy; I’m mentally strong.
Okay, I gotta go. Oh! One more thing. You’re all in the door trying to back out.
What am I, a 2C or a 3A?
I had this pertinent discussion with Wedding Alex yesterday at work, but I’ll get your opinion as well. It matters because the products I buy and the methods I use to have decent curls depend on it. Good luck; we’re all counting on you.
I need to get over making titles with “19” in them.
When I was a kid, I thought being 19 was the coolest age. I mostly thought this, I think, because my father was friends with this guy from work who was 19, and we’d all go to the hockey games together. I thought he was the hippest, that guy. He had black feathered hair and a large mustache. He kind of looked like Super Mario, now that I’m dwelling on it.
Is a hat trick hockey or bowling? Oh, Michigan. How you vex me.
Anyway. I realize it’s the most wonderful time of the year and all, the time right after the horrific holidays, and yesterday, my favorite day of the year, I didn’t even get to write you. I was running late, and also I assumed some people were just returning from the tropics or wherever and had to catch up on my 57 posts, read the tragedy that befell Iris and so on. I gave you time to peruse. See how good I am to you people?
…I just now wrote a whole hilarious paragraph and FUCKING MILHOUS deleted it. He’s been kicked out now. He’s in boarding school.
Kittens are wonderful IN THEORY.
So I got up on the most wonderful day of the year yesterday to this.
Since November-ish, I’ve been using a line of products called Prose. As with everything I buy now, I got inspired to do so from Instagram, who knows JUST how to tempt me.
On the Prose website, you fill out a questionnaire about your hair (Answer: Troublesome) and they send you shampoo, conditioner and “conditioning mask” just for you. Conditioning mask is where when your hair is really bad, you wear a mask. “Wait. Is that June or Mrs. Livingston from The Courtship of Eddie’s Father?”
What I was starting to say till the ADD kicked in was that Prose is giving me larger fatter curls and I like them as long as they don’t SPROING like that in the a.m.
And also, I’ve been obsessing over Curly Girl groups on Instagram (I wonder how Instagram knew to send me shampoo ads) and one person did a whole tutorial yesterday on how she refreshes her “second-day” hair (days you don’t wash your hair), and I wanted ALL OF HER PRODUCTS that she used. Then I remembered Faithful Reader Not-Gwen sent me an Amazon gift card, so I
there for those products, which will all be here in a matter of days, so THANK YOU, Faithful Reader Not-Gwen.
Once I got to work yesterday and was thinking about work and not my hair [Disclaimer: Am always slightly thinking about hair], a package came from me from the beleaguered mailroom guy, who is 100% over me and 100% over all y’all all for sending me things, but don’t stop. “Another one of your readers,” he always says, sighing.
But it wasn’t a package from one of you. It was from my Aunt Mary. I’d sent her and her spouse some Google Home speakers for Christmas and they hated them and sent them back.
I decided to keep them for my own self. Oh my god, last night was fun.
Also, WordPress has this new editing system and I have no idea why my movies are so lean-to-the-left-y.
Anyway, last night I had my Google Home calling me Dimebag Cooter, Hot MILF, Ass Poop and today it’s calling me Queen Victoria. That alone was worth the price of admission, y’all.
It also played me a guided meditation I squirmed and got distracted through, woke me up this morning and told me the news and weather and how long my commute will be (Answer: Still six minutes.)
Tonight when I get home, it’ll say, “Good evening, Queen Victoria.”
Oh, and also, while I was home last night obsessing about Home, which is a new sad level of recluse I’ve entered, I had three men over here
to fix my plumbing
for three hours
[chicka-bow–STOP, QUEEN VICTORIA DIMEBAG].
Since I moved in here, I’ve had zero good showers. Ten minutes in the water turns ice cold, and the last few moments are always panicked Silkwood shower-ish. It dawns on me that it’s JUST ME showering here, so what the hell?
I called the plumber, and they took out coils and recoiled and lay still in the grass all coiled up and hissin’ and after three hours and
SIX-HUNDRED FORTY-FOUR DOLLARS
they said I was all set. I have a three-year warranty on their repair, thank god, because guess what.
Silkwood freezing shower today after 10 minutes.
Has everyone SEEN Silkwood? Do you even know what a Silkwood shower is? Silkwood is a good movie. It has Meryl Streep, and Cher being a lesbian. And I believe Kurt Russell being straight. No, they do not both tag-team Meryl Streep. God.
So I guess I’ll be calling the plumbers again. Plumbers, by the way, who were big fans of the Edsel/Milhous love fest that went on here until this morning’s unfortunate transfer to cat boarding school.
I mean, the two of them are ridiculous. They wrestle. Milhous gets on his sandy toes to rub his head on Edsel. He walks back and forth under Eds’s legs. The two of them are a regular show. And they were really showing off for company last night.
My neighbor’s rooster just crowed, and I feel very Olivia Walton as I type you on my giant computer, the way she did in every episode. I must go now and dry my hair, as I rinsed it under the ice water that was my shower just a bit ago and it’s not remotely dry.
Man, he just crowed again. Do you think Peter is out there deceiving anyone?
Yesterday, I dragged self to work feeling not so fresh. That 36-hour migraine had done me IN.
December 31 is The Poet’s birthday, a thing I mention every year, I think, because it bothers me that no one has time to notice her, not that she’s a real ride-my-unicycle-while-I-play-my-one-man-band-instruments type, but still. Plus, this was a major birthday. Let’s say The Poet is 90 years young as of December 31.
So there we both were, two of the four people who actually went to work yesterday, and I asked her if she still wanted to go with me to The Other Copy Editor’s bed and breakfast that night, for their big New Year’s party.
“Not really,” she said. And the thing is with The Poet, you never know if she’s just being nice because you’re clearly green like the Wicked Witch of the West and you look like the last person who’s ever going to go out that night, including Stephen Hawking’s corpse, which polls indicated had a 95% more likely chance of raising the New Year’s roof than me.
We decided to get birthday tea instead, and we couldn’t find an open tea place, and I don’t want to once again refer to Dan Fogelberg’s song about buying a six-pack at the liquor store. But there we were, in the same predicament as Dan Fogelberg and his old lover at the grocery store. If we ever sleep together, and you know we will, please, I beg you, refer to me as your old lover. In fact, I want you all to be all, “Lovely post, old lover” from this moment on.
After assuring The Poet I had decaf tea at my house (she’s a migraine person too), we got there and found out all I have is caf. Why buy the cow when the caf isn’t free.
That made zero sense, and I know it. Why’d you ever sleep with me?
Nevertheless, we persisted, and I gave The Poet some Vernors, which, as she is not a Michigander such as myself, she does not drink like it’s water. I had caffeinated tea, because I’m a rebel and I tore my dress. Also, my face is a mess. I’m 53. What do you want from me?
The Poet is really a dog person, but when you’re at my house you can’t help but notice cats, even though mine keep dying off at an alarming rate.
I can’t imagine it’s remotely fun to be at my house if you’re not into cats.
Anyway, she left, The Poet did, and whatever discouraged her from staying longer, do you think? Was it my fine selection of herbal tea and cat-free zones?
When she left, I made a nutritious dinner,
And really, I felt so awful that my whole goal was to keep down those fish sticks while I lounged in a robe. But then I got a text from TinaDoris.
“You going to the B&B?”
Oh, goddammit. Once she got the idea in my head, and once I knew she was going, it sounded kind of fun. So I threw on pants, which was already way beyond my goals for ending 2018, and really looking fairly awful, I headed to the party.
It was one of those things where once you show up, you’re so glad you did.
There were all KINDS of people from work there.
And it was all festive and shit.
There was one couple there who wore pajamas and I LOVED THEM.
The great thing about parties at The Other Copy Editor’s B&B is you can wander into all the rooms.
I just splayed there on the bed and sang Love For Sale. Disclaimer: No one bought.
And what party would be complete without Ned, who lives on the same street as the B&B and came over after some stupid sporting event, an event TinaDoris’s spouse (“You’re not going to blog me, are you?” he asked) and Ned discussed ad nauseam all night.
Speaking of nauseam, I wasn’t feeling all that great. But I blew my noisemaker instead of chunks, because I’m a tough, no-nonsense brunette now.
I was outside on the balcony during this one.
Oh! And also?
There was a proposal at the party! I cut their heads off to protect the not-remotely-knowing-they-were-getting-blogged.