Grass, revisited

Somebody has eaten grass and then, you know, revisited said grass on my front porch. I discovered this today as I got up and went to the porch. It’s closer to my door than this photo below so you mercifully cannot see it.

I love this picture, by the way. Even though everyone’s trash and recycling is in it. Even though the people across the street have their giant semi in it. It’s more of a complete than a semi.

Look how Eds is staring at me like I hung the damn moon. Which I did, by the way, and I never get credit for it.

The house across the street is empty. Won’t you be my neighbor? I’ve painted such a tempting picture. A Realtor told me recently that this area is “a gem” and will be exploding in popularity soon. I can already see it, actually. Since I’ve moved in at least three other people like me* have bought houses here, and mine is no longer the expensive house. The rich-lady house. I broke the $100,000 mold, paying a big $111,000 for my abode. But just recently there have been houses selling here in the 120s. I know!

Everyone on the West Coast—or the East Coast, really—just fainted. Hey, man, I know. I lived in LA for 10 years. “Oh, this two-bedroom ranch house is cute. And just $885,000! A steal!”

Also, I assume it was a cat and not a hobo. Eating grass and revisiting it, I mean. *And by “people like me” I mean people who didn’t grow up here and get the house handed down to them, which is what most people have going on in this hood. People like me are people who have bought in and not inherited, as it were.

Is it politically incorrect to say hobo now? What is hobo even short for? I’m assuming it’s like Soho.

…I just looked it up. A bum is someone who won’t work. A tramp is someone who works when he has to. And a hobo is someone who is a traveling worker. None of these sound very sensitive. Did all these get invented in the ’30s when people couldn’t help it? Rude.

If I had the chance I would so be a bum. Or a trophy wife. What’s the difference? A trophy wife has to keep up her appearance, a thing I’m not doing, so it’s back to bum. I’ve never understood people who are rich and keep working. Why not lie around? Enjoy the fruits of your laurels?

In general, am scattered today. I still hate everything but what can you do?

I still haven’t heard from the vet about Iris’s test results. I’ve called twice and they are clearly very busy. “Vet’s office. Is this an emergency or can you hold?” So I hate to call them again. I hope today is the day. If the cute-sounding vet does say Iris needs the radiation, or if he recommends it as the best course of action, what I’ll do is come back here, say, TAROT READINGS FOR SALE and you can go to the right of this page if you’re on a desktop, or scroll to the bottom if you’re on your phone, leave a donation in tip jar, then email me—

You know what? Too hard. If he recommends radiation I will come back and put all that info in one place. But what you’ll end up doing is telling me what categories you want me to cover and the amount of time you want me to cover. Like, my love life for the next year. My career for the next two months. Etc.

If he says ear gel we’ll forgo all that, except maybe I’ll still sell tarot readings because I act like Edsel’s cardiologist visit isn’t in a week.

I just found this picture on my Ring, as well. No one has enjoyed a security device as much as I.

By the way, it was not my cats who presented me the grass that had been up inside them. My cats were in all night and this grassy discovery was first thing today. So now some RANDOM cat—hey, why didn’t Ring show me this happening?

…I just checked. Scrolled through the whole night and I can tell you when the neighbors turned off the porch light (around 11:18). No evidence of grass-filled cats coming to my porch. What gives, Ring? God. Maybe it was some sort of ghost cat. Who ate real grass from the great beyond.

Anyway I guess that’s the highlight of today so far, that someone randomly coughed grass onto my porch and I don’t know who. I’ll be back to report on Iris’s health if there’s anything new to report.

The grass is always greener on the other side,

Limited-time only.

My mood is one of poor. I know it’s hard to believe because normally I’m so sunny.

I cried during work yesterday, and got panicked and sweaty, for about the 40th time. Afterward, I had to take a Xanax because I couldn’t, you know, right myself.

So that’s jarring, and I couldn’t quite shake the dread and anger and sadness of that, so I took a damn Xanax and got into bed with Little House in the Big Woods, as I always turn to my Little House books when things are at their worst.

Then I woke up at 6:00 because I’d already slept 8 hours at that point and was all, “Why am I so dizzy?” I’d totally forgotten.

But here’s the other thing that’s making me blue.

Three times lately, Edsel has fallen down. Twice on his way up the back steps–well, wait. Once on this way up the steps and once on the patio on his way toward the steps. Both times I convinced myself he had, like, tripped on something. A teensy banana peel.

But lately, when I wake up, he just flumps his tail on his dog bed but doesn’t get up. I know he’s dying to join me but I think it hurts too much, despite his medication. I’ve taken to getting on his bed with him in the morning. He used to always get on the bed with me when we woke up, so now it’s just my turn to join him, that’s all.

Today I got up I petted him awhile, got the violin leg going, then said, “Let’s go outside,” which is on his list of favorites, along with breakfast and humping Lily. But when he got up, he fell over. Just splat, right onto the hardwood floor.

I hate to be Scarlett O’Hara vomiting a radish and shaking my fist at the sky, but come on.

The anniversary of my car accident is coming up: August 19. Everything had been going OK up till then. But then I had a concussion and couldn’t read or watch TV or go on the internet for a month. OK, I said. OK. I can get through this. OK.

And I did. I shopped and listened to I think it was 7 audio books.

Then Edsel got diagnosed with congestive heart failure weeks after I got better. OK. I said. He might live with that for a long time.

OK. I can do this.

Then almost immediately after that I had the “I have to pee all the time” thing, and multiple doctor visits, and 6 tests for cancer, some of them excruciating. I was horrified for months. I woke up horrified, I worked horrified, I went to bed horrified.

The worst part about terrible things happening is the part where you have to keep going. You can’t just sit in a room sobbing while people bring you coffee.

Then we sort of figured out what was going on, I had surgery, and OK. So the surgery was harder than we thought it was gonna be. OK. I can just get through this time. Also, sometimes I still have the pee feeling. But OK. I can live with it.

Then there was a pandemic.

For six months I’ve holed up here in my house while half of you parade around with your reunions and parties and play dates while I wait it out because I can’t afford to fool around with it, nor do I wish to spread it to people worse off than me. There is an old lady in my neighborhood. I am dying to talk to her. I see her on her glider in the evening, reading the paper. I won’t talk to her, though, because if I got her sick I couldn’t live with myself.

OK, I say. This is a lonely dull time and not everyone in my country cares about others. OK. That’s just how things are, but OK. I’m a tad disillusioned with where I live, but OK. My theory is the loudest protestors are the most scared. The “it’s a hoax” people are horrified. I compare them to Fitz, the feral I fostered who was so mean. I knew it was just fear and had compassion.

Something about that dog falling down today put me at my limit. I cannot say it’s OK one more moment. I cannot say I can do this one more time. I can’t. I can’t fucking do this.

Fuck it. Fuck everything.

Fuck a huge bag of all of this shit. Fuck it.

And that’s my post for today.

Thirteen, going on 13 and one day

What made clowns decide on the onesie for their look? Somewhere, the first clown had to say, Ima pull on this onesie. Maybe add a ruffle. Why? Was it because it was some sort of circus troupe and that’s all they had to wear?

Quarantine. Month six.

This is the 13th anniversary of my moving to North Carolina. We moved here when NC was having a record number of days of 100-degree heat, so that was relaxing. Here’s my first blog post from North Carolina the day after we got here. I said that very specifically because someone would delight in stampeding to say, “But that post was dated August 6, Jooooooon. You said you moved there August 5, JOOOOOON. Why didn’t you tell Marvin you had to stop schlepping boxes to blog that first day, JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON?”

We had to fly in the cats. They boarded in Los Angeles while we drove here, and once we arrived safely in NC my father had to go get them at the kennel and put them on a plane. Then Henry, Winston and the cheerful Francis all flew first class—or under the plane, whichever—to Charlotte, North Carolina. Francis totally got drunk and harassed flight attendants. Tried to cram a giant bag in the overhead. Moved his seat all the way back. He didn’t give a shit.

When I left Michigan in 1992, I spent four years in Seattle—but they were very formative years and it seems like longer. Ten years in Los Angeles, where I was either betrothed or married to Marvin. And now 13 here. Making the grand total of years I’ve been gone 139, according to my maths.

Oh, I was sad when I first got here, although “here” wasn’t Greensboro, it was a teensy little town that so far has had two COVID deaths—it’s among the counties I check. Also, I joined a book club in that town and ended up sleeping with one of the other members after I was appropriately separated. Also, Marvin joined a band in that tiny town and two of the four members hit on me, after I was appropriately separated, so I have to say I got a lot of leg out of TinyTown.

Now I like it here. In Greensboro. I drove around this weekend because it’s my new way of killing time, although I have a fear of having to pee. Where do all y’all pee now? This is actually relevant because in a few days I have to drive Edsel to Charlotte for his cardiologist appointment and I KNOW I can’t drive him all the way to Charlotte, wait for his appointment, then drive back and not pee. Do I need adult diapers like that astronaut who was definitely an anxious attacher?

Do tell.

Anyway, I drove around the country this weekend, for maybe two hours, which is an amount of time I can go without peeing. I am a rock.

In all, ’twas a fruitful drive. I even stopped at Arby’s, and let me tell you something shocking. In the last six months, I’ve gotten fast food very seldom, and each time I do it’s so awful! What gives? Are they cooking it different or am I losing my taste for it now that I’m Chef Do Tell?

Last night I made rice with ginger in it, and a stir fry of pork, scallions and green beans. I now own three pans. I KNOW! But I hate to think I’ve lost m’taste for the food that is fast. It’s who I am, like Tara. It’s where I get my strength.

I have to go. It’s six minutes till I should officially be “at work” and I need to gird my loins with coffee. You know what it is that stresses me out? It’s not that lots of work is ahead. It’s the unpredictability that stresses me. If they say, “Here’s a project. It will take 9 hours. Go do it and bring it back.” If they say that, I am glad to do it. But “Here’s a project. It will take 9 — oh, wait. Work on this thing instead and still get the — oh! Can you also do this? Why not? Hey, are you done with the 9-hour thing yet? Why not?”

It’s the lack of control of what’s coming at me that makes me tense, I’ve realized. A lot of work, I can do. Unpredictable work, that’s what makes a pearl in my oyster.

That sounded dirty.

Anyway, it’s time.

Loins. Girded.

Little inflammation on the prairie

We’re having a hurricane today, because of course we are. I said good morning to my Google Home, which is saying a lot because you know how I detest the phrase “good morning” or anything close to it, and yet that’s how you get your Google Machine—as my mother calls it—to tell you the news of the day. You have to say, “Good morning, Google” and every day my insides rankle. Then your Google Machine says, “Good morning. June.” or at least mine does. Then it tells you the weather, the headlines, you know the drill.

Today, Google Machine ended with, “A hurricane local statement has been issued. Have a good one.” And by the way, he won’t tell me WHAT the local statement is, and if you ask him, he defines what a local weather statement is. Computers. We don’t have them all mapped out yet.

Anyway, a hurricane. Sure. Sure, we are. Of course we are.

In my Little House series, not that I wrote them, there’s one book titled The Long Winter, and I hate to spoil things for you but there’s a long winter involved in the plot, a winter that actually happened. I mean, all winters actually happen, but I’m saying Laura Ingalls Wilder describes a horrific series of storms that really did hit her town in 1888.

This is a picture taken near her town with iPhone 1, where the snow is as tall as the damn train, which is what I might have titled my book instead of The Long Winter. Look at that tiny man atop the train. We’re talking snow.

What happened was, these storms would swirl up, starting in October, y’all. October. There was no pumpkin spice anything for Laura Ingalls Wilder, because out in the prairie, if there’s a blinding snowstorm, you have to stay home. If you’re wandering from, say, Ye Olde Starbucks to your house? If you miss your house because you can’t see due to the storm? You could just keep walking endlessly into the open prairie and freeze to death like Jack Nicholson at the end of The Shining.

Also I like how the 1888 coffee shop is Olde English. The coffee shop that polishes your furniture.

The snow storms of 1888 were relentless. They’d swirl and howl and refuse to wear a mask and carry on and Wi-Fi was spotty at best and everyone had to huddle in one room where the stove was. It would blow for days like my college roomate, then blissfully shut up, unlike my college roomate, then a day or so later another one would come. They had to tie a rope from the house to the stable so they wouldn’t get lost between them and do the dreaded walk of shame into the prairie.

Now we pay big money for cryotherapy to freeze. I’ll bet inflammation wasn’t a big deal on the prairie.

Eventually the trains could not get through and the whole town ran out of food and Laura and her family lived on just wheat UNTIL APRIL, and Ma’s keto was shot to hell.

My point of telling you all this is this: At one point Pa, who was mellow and cheerful and whom I loved as a kid and now when I read his antics I’m all, Jesus. Get it the fuck together, Pa. But anyway Pa, who was usually so happy-go-not-lucky, at one point stood up. He was full of wheat and rage. He shook his fist at the wind and said, come at us, motherfucker. Come at us. Go ahead and try. Then Laura allegedly sings some inspirational song that I feel certain was a plot embellishment from old Rose Wilder Lane, Laura’s daughter, who incidentally wrote a book called Let the Hurricane Roar and here we are full circle.

And that’s how I feel about a hurricane during a pandemic. Oh, let the damn hurricane roar. Stop trying to fucking scare me with everything. If everything’s a priority, nothing’s a priority. Cut it out.

As I typed this, daring whatever to come my way, poor Iris just threw up all over the vintage tablecloth I washed and ironed two days ago. Also, that was the last of her food, and I have to put on a mask and my haz-mat suit and get her more later today if there’s not a hurricane blowing through town. So now she’s meowing for food and I’m all, You just HAD food. It was there in your stomach. If you’d keep things in their rightful place you wouldn’t be in this dilemma.

I did call the vet about her yesterday, and the chippie who answered said she didn’t think they HAD ear gel there, but that she’d ask the vet and call me back but she never did. I know they will call me eventually this week, with the more detailed labs, and now I am picturing a yellow Lab with great attention to detail. Sort of a Lottie Blanco Lab. Labby Blanco.

If you were going to get a Lab, would you get yellow, black, red or the controversial silver? I saw a silver Lab puppy once and I have never forgotten how beautiful it was.

Anyway, I have to go. The Poet and I are splitting a magazine this week. She doesn’t work Mondays, so they sent it to me to start it, and I worked on it all day yesterday. I am hoping to get a few more pages done before she gets to work, and by “gets” I mean she turns on her computer. My goal is for her to say, “Oh, wow, I don’t have to do much of this at all!”

Then she’ll wander into the prairie with her celebratory Olde Spice latte, never to be seen again.

Ten-Topics June

Hyper Iris

As you know, from the messages your local town crier keeps bleating in the square, Iris hasn’t been feeling well for about a year. She looked bad last year, her fur falling out in chunks.

(The group I hung out with in college included one of the three Finnish people on our campus of 50,000. He used to kvetch that he could not meet a woman. “Women all want a chunk. You don’t want a man like me. You want chunks.”

He meant hunks. Chunks. Oh my god. My best friend ended up dating him for years, even after college, not caring if he was a not a chunk. Talk about your long-distance relationship.


I took her to the vet—Iris, not my friend who liked the Fin. Although once I dressed as a mermaid for Halloween and complained I couldn’t walk because of my fin. “Sometimes neither can I,” she said, nudging me like she was a construction worker.

The vet said Iris had either irritable bowel disorder (IBD) or cancer, which was relaxing. Apparently it’s hard to tell the difference, and to find out for shizzle she’d need exploratory surgery. So we treated it like IBD and hoped for the best. Part of that treatment was giving her a steroid pill every day.


I have somewhere in my blog archives a photo of Iris as a kitten, foaming at the mouth because I’d given her a pill. She is the nicest cat, and yet when you give her a pill? Oh my god. She Flails, Fights and Foams till I don’t give another F. She will not swallow the pill. She will defiantly foam until the pill is gone.

And yet for several months last year, I did this with her, I think two times a day. It got to the point where she hid from me all the time, and I was starting to think she’d be better off dying of her stomach condition than to have to live under the couch all the time, avoiding me.

But then the steroids made her really sick. They lowered her immune system and she got that hunched-cat look that sick cats get, and instead of avoiding me under the couch, she insisted on going outside and hunching against the house. I think it was warmer there than my AC meat-locker house.

I get hot flashes.

I took her to a second vet because that was ridiculous, and instead of steroids we put her on a special diet that costs a lot and that Milhous loves. He would much rather have Iris’s special stomach food than his own delicious in-my-prime food. The whole time Iris eats I have to watch, or Milhous will jump up and shove her aside and eat her food, and she stands there helplessly because she’s Iris.

Anyway. We did that all last year and this active, go-places year, then as of late there was so much drama with my vet, and the office closed, and I had to get a new vet. Vets are my new doctor.

I made an appointment for the I. at the new place, as her fur was falling out again. And she was doing nothing but standing on the kitchen table and screeching at me for food. In fact, when I went to put a photo of her on this blog, I realized I have none. I had w94934030r9394304 of everyone else, but none of her. She’s not been socializing with the rest of us. Also she is heavier and yet I can feel her spine.

I got down the carrier on Saturday morning, which all cats get obsessed with and repelled by, like all my relationships. They all walk low and sniff the carrier and hustle away, then creep back like they’re hyenas and the carrier is a dead antelope being munched on by lions.

Except for Milhous, who opened the cage door and got right inside. Settled in. I had to dump him out to put Iris in. Never in my life have I had a cat just get in that carrier for fun.

Anyway, I told the vet how all Iris does now is stand on the kitchen table and screech at me. My theory was her stomach was worse and she thought eating would help.

It turns out her stomach is doing fine. The IBD is under control The eleventy-thousand-dollar special food is working for her. But now?

She also has hyperthyroid. Her thyroid is a contestant on The Price is Right.

I didn’t even know that was a thing, but apparently it is and after talking with you all on (Face)Book of June this weekend, it happens rather a lot. The vet could feel it in her neckeldy area, her thyroid I mean, and her bloodwork was just this side of high. He suggested we send it to the lab to tell us more and I agreed. I don’t know what more it’s gonna tell us, but I enjoy my bill being as high as possible.

And speaking of a high bill, here is the other part.

My choices, he told me, were to give her a pill every day



Or I could have this radiation treatment done for her. It’d be a one-time only thing, and it would get rid of the hyperthyroid condition. The cost? $1,600. They don’t do it at his office but that’s the amount he recalled it being.


So that’s the choice I wanted, but you’ll be stunned to hear I don’t have $1,600 right off the bat. What I’m going to do, then, is allegedly I will hear today from the lab, get pills for her as a result of those results, then pill her


until I can save up for the radiation treatment.

So I had this brilliant plan in mind when I went to (Face)Book of June on Saturday, offering to shill my wares. What I said I’d do is give anyone a tarot reading for, like, what $5? $10? A donation? And I’d keep doing that till I’d saved enough money for this.

Lots of you said you were in, and on Saturday I read quite a few tarot cards.

But then there’s a reader, Rita, who’s been reading me for 10 years now. She used to work at a vet’s office and she said, “Why didn’t they tell you about the ear cream?”

The ear cream?

Apparently there’s an ear cream I can also put on Iris that is the same as giving her the pill, and the cost is more reasonable than, you know, $1,600.

So NOW I plan to call there as soon as they open to ask if we can opt for that.

And that leaves me in a awkward position. Because something like five or 10 of you donated to Iris’s cause and some said, “Do NOT give me a tarot reading, June” because some of you don’t want to hear any bad news. I understand this, as I give myself a tarot reading every month and sometimes it says bad things and it makes me nervous all month. The bad isn’t usually as bad as I think it’s gonna be, but I’m on edge all month, waiting.

Anyway, if you are a person who donated to this cause and did NOT want a tarot reading, I will return your donation as soon as I find out we don’t have to go with the radiation treatment. Your donations are just sitting there in PayPal in my tip jar. I just have to hit a button to refund it, I think.

If we DO have to give her radiation, I will be back to shilling tarot readings. It’s my one skill. I guess I could copy edit something for you. We’ll cross that Iris’s expensive bridge when we get to it.

So that’s all, other than that I was considering taking one of Lilly’s kittens but I think the timing is not conducive to a whole NEW kitten right now. I hate it when I have to parent myself. Also, I mean Lilly the person and not my cat. Not that Lilly the person had kittens. Don’t be obtuse.

Anyway, that sums up my weekend, was obsessing about that, and now it’s time for work and I will update you as events warrant.


You know how sometimes I write about nothing?

I sat down here to type you and just as I was poised for my first word of nonsense, Milhous jumped up here and knocked an entire cup of coffee off the table. Remember yesterday when you discouraged me from driving them all to a field? Now look what you’ve done.

By the way, no one laughed at my brilliance with “feld not field” yesterday.

Let’s say you actually don’t know this. My last name ends in feld. Like Ziegfeld Follies. Like Seinfeld. And yet? Every single day of my life I get called “field.” Well. Not now, because I go almost nowhere so no one can call me anything but invisible.

I have been taking walks after my workouts and as a result have ended up socially distantly sitting in my neighbor R’s yard a bit more. She has a fire pit that of course isn’t going RN because it’s 407 degrees out. But she has a nice bricked area and Adirondack chairs, which for some reason Ned always called hurricane chairs and now I want to say that too and god help me.

He also called Mel Blanc “Mel Watt” and I want to do that too.

I know we’ve discussed this before but it always tickles me: What do you say wrong because someone said it wrong? It’s usually a child who fucks it up first, as they do everything. My cousin Maria said someone was “big-bone-ded” once and now I always say that, and it’s good I didn’t become an orthopedist. “Madam, I’ve come to the conclusion that you’re big-bone-ded.” If I were a doctor I’d call people madam and sir. I’d also twist my mustache knowingly instead of Nairing it.

Anyway, look:

Look at my poor pear tree! It’s literally weighed down with fruit. I guess I have to, I don’t know, trim it? After it sheds its fruit? Somebody hep me. HEH. Good god. [Stagehand gets cape]

That tree is nothing but work. You cannot eat the pears. They never get soft. Be sure to tell me to put them in a bowl or paper bag. But there must be SOME way to get them edible. I sometimes wonder if Trudy the fox comes in and eats them at night. Someone does, as when I endlessly clean them some are munched, but we also have a squirrel who risks his life daily to hang in this yard so it might be he. Between Milhous and Edsel trying to kill him on the daily I can’t imagine what keeps him here. Maybe he’s a pear addict.

That ovary hanging on the tree is one of a trio of wasp deterrents my mother sent me at my birthday. Allegedly the wasps see it and take their gin and tonics and go elsewhere. They think it’s a large, impressive wasp nest. It’s kind of like how a man will aggressively hit on you till you say you have a boyfriend, and all of a sudden he respects the man and leaves you alone.

Anyway my pear tree looks like it belongs in McDonaldland or something, doesn’t it?

I risked the COVID and went to Lowe’s this weekend for a rake so I could gather ye pearbuds while ye may. I entered through the outdoor garden part, grabbed the rake like I was in some sort of race against time—literally—and paid outside at the garden center. Then I came home and Howard Hughes’d my hands. I like how I see some people on social media all, “Here we are, all 70 of us from around the country, on our annual trip!” and I’m running out of Lowe’s like it’s burning building. I’m Pee Wee Herman with the snakes running out of there.

Speaking of kittens, and we weren’t, but we always kind of are, since the angry feral mom ran off and abandoned her children, Chris and Lilly have moved all the kittens into their screened-in side porch. I sort of can’t imagine and also totally envy their chaos. If that damn mom comes back there pregnant again I can’t imagine the kind of trouble she’ll be in with C&L. Raising her passel of mealy-mouthed brats.

I gotta go. I got 2 hours into a task at work yesterday and I had the wrong version. So now I’m behind. Also I have to make more coffee; thanks, Milhous. If he were any kind of a good cat he’d be prancing in the kitchen on his blond hindies, making it himself.


The day June got over cats

Lily injured me last night and it’s so cringey and disgusting that I won’t tell you how.

OK, I will.

She was on the coffee table and was trying to lug her girth over to the couch, which for a cat should be easy. (I guess I should have alerted you I was speaking of Lily my cat rather than Lilly my friend. Lilly my friend has no girth and she certainly wasn’t trying to leap from my coffee table to the couch. I would have lead with that. Although I guess I AM leading with that but never you mind.)

Anyway, I was absolutely exhausted, as I am wont to be lately. I get up and immediately get to work nowadays, and all day long while I’m working on one thing I get notices to work on something else. When the day is finally over, I have my trainer Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and on a day I don’t, like today, I have some other “as soon as work is over” plan. Like, today, I am going to Bona the wood floor in the living room, as I had the area rug taken out to be cleaned because you’ll be stunned to hear that after two years of dog and cat action that rug has grown dingy.

It gets back tomorrow, the area rug does, so tonight is my big chance.

Oh. And Bona is a wood-floor-cleaning system that works great.

Anyway, so by about 8:00 I am usually at the lying-on-my-couch-staring-blankly part of my evening, as I find myself absolutely drained these days.

I was in that state when Lily the cat lugged her girth over to the couch, except she did not make it over the SIX INCHES that exist between table and couch, and instead was commencing to fall between the two, except she


to cling on. It was a cliffhanger. An armhanger. I had a beautiful girl hanging on my arm, literally. She was like that guy in the old silent movie who hangs from the clock. So, ALL OF HER CONSIDERABLE WEIGHT was hanging BY CLAWS off my arm.

I am sorry to tell you that I screamed, because the pain was exquisite, and she freaked out and spent much time trying to remove her claws from my arm, which by the way was even exquisiter. Then she did the thing where she waddled off huffily, ears back, and normally this would be the part of the human/cat relationship where I am following fruitlessly, saying, “I’m so SORRY, Kitty! Come here, Kitty!” but at that point I just wanted both of us dead.

Today I have a perfectly paw-shaped gouge on my arm and it hurts like Hades. Please be sure to tell me how cat things can get infected because I haven’t had billions of cats my whole life or anything.

In sum, cat for sale.

Anyway, how are you? I found yesterday’s organization tips wonderful, and was particularly enamored of Laura who sent links out her ASS. This is so great! Once I Bona the floor and have arm removed I will get started on purging books. Then I will get some dividers for closet, but I have to wait a pay period, as area-rug cleaning was pricey.

Other than that nothing is new except NOTHING stops Milhous from clawing the furniture. He doesn’t care if you clap your hands or say a sharp, “No!” Edsel gets U-shaped, but Mil cares not. He likes getting squirted. He ADORED clawing past the tape I put up.

My next idea is to drive all three cats to a field, not a feld. I’ll take Iris just on principle. Drive them all out, never have cats again. Be one of those people with a tidy home and no fur on her clothes. Delete all the cat-related pages I follow, which will mean I will have one page I follow on Kate Middleton. Who by the way, has no cats and her clothes are impeccable.

I have to go. I have 10 hours of work ahead of me and then it’s Bona time. It’s like hammer time but with no big pants.

Cat lady-ly,

P.S. Speaking of Lilly, the mean, angry feral mom cat ESCAPED a few days ago! She got out of the cage, out of the room with a door and out of the garage. HOW? But she did. So now they are taking care of all 8 kittens even harder than they were before. I am now speaking of my friend Lilly and not my cat Lilly. Oy.

The theme. The theeeeeeme!

We have a theme today, and as you know, when I have one of those I like to delve right in.

As you know, from your Big Book of June Events, I have a small house, built in 1932. A house that was built by the Cones, who were not pointy people but rather a rich family who had mills here in my Southern town. They built a whole neighborhood of matching houses for their workers to work in while they bathed in wealth a few miles away.

My neighborhood encompasses three blocks and 14 tons of drama. Most of the houses were built in 1922, but my ultra-modern home was built 10 years later, although they used the same plan so mine looks just the same. They didn’t add any 30s doo-dads. Everyone was too depressed in the ’30s to doo-dad.

I realize this photo ^^^ is looking outside but it was all I had on my phone, from my Ring camera, and you know how I get. If I get distracted we will NOT GET TO THE THEME, and you know I hate to miss a theme when I have one.

Okay, fine. FINE, then. I went online and got you a photo of the outside of my house, feat. Edsel.

I’ve been here pertnear 2 years. When I got here, it turns out 999 square feet isn’t much, and I had to get rid of my three floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, my hutch I drove you all crazy about updating in aught 11, and many many books.

I got 999 square feet but a hutch ain’t fittin’.

Wow, June.

Okay, so as the years have ticked by, the big two years, I have sort of, you know, gotten disorganized. I do, however, have much cuter lights lining my walkway than is shown up there. Remind me to take a photo for you. They have this lacy look that shines all on the walk. Oooo, it’s adorable!

Okay, fine. I plundered my Instagram. Don’t ask me what brand they are. I went to Amazon and typed “walkway lights.”

Oh my god, my theme.

My theme today is Help June Organize. If you are the organize type. And if you do comment, and I can’t believe I am still saying this but it happened again this week, you do not need to leave a name or email to comment. You don’t have to sign in in any way. You can just type to your heart’s content.

Okay, here are the things I need help with. I can’t believe we’re finally on the theme!

Despite donating 32949430420 books, I still have who knows how many. Also, my birthday was 2 weeks ago so maybe I could get rid of those cards. But the point is, despite these three bookshelves, I have leftovers and put them…

… in the kitchen cupboard. Now that I am cooking, as you can see, actual, you know, kitchen stuff needs to go in there.

I keep lots of pots and pans in the bottom drawer of my oven, but it’s no longer enough room. So I’m not apologizing for needing my kitchen for, you know, kitchen supplies.

So I need an idea for where to put the books in the kitchen. Keep in mind there is LITERALLY NO MORE ROOM for any bookshelf action. Maybe I just need to get rid of more books. Ugh.

Also, storage. It is likely, if you are an organized type, that my closets are going to kill you. What I need is advice on where to move stuff around so it’s not so all over the place.

The closets in a 1932 millhouse suck asp. Apparently no one had clothes and workout equipment and sheets. I keep MOST of my sheets in a drawer in my dresser, which you advised me to do ages ago, but there is overflow.

Here is the one closet in my bedroom. Oh, 1932 charm! My asp. I need to stop saying that.

In here is the draft thing I put under the door in winter, an umbrella, some beach towels, a pillow and leftover sheets that won’t fit in the drawer with the rest of the sheets. Hi. I’m Marie Kondo [bows].

Above my useful “closet” is a cubby I can’t open unless I try it with a knife. Relaxing.

In the room I’m in now, the computer/work/kitten room, the one with the fireplace. You’ve seen it. In here are two large closets and here’s what I have in them. Prepare to die.

In one closet are all my winter coats, winter clothes (I change them out with summer clothes in winter) as there is no coat closet in the 1932 living room, as apparently there was no winter in 1932. Also included are my suitcase, a fan, a workout ball and some art I haven’t hung. Above this is a shelf that has mementos like Grammy’s old papers and slides and stuff.

Here’s the other big closet. In it are bedspreads that Iris sleeps on, shoes, weights, resistance bands and The Resistance, dresses, summer clothes and shoes. In the shelf above are old papers and purses. The tote has SOME gloves and scarves, but other gloves and scarves are in the dang living room in drawers.

In the living room are two dressers.

Mostly they have DVDs, blankets and throws and the rest of the gloves and scarves. Also there is a coffee table that opens to … more throws!

And finally, I have a hope chest here in this computer/kitten room that I CANNOT OPEN for some reason but it too has (wait for it) blankets.

So that is my situation and it bugs.

Your thoughts?

Themefully, Theme from a themefully,

Theme. We have a theme. Gosh darn it, Ange.

Before I begin, because I do have a theme today, I need to tell you this little story about my inevitable climb up the corporate ladder.

We have this feature at work called Teams, where there is no “i.” In Teams, we can chat, call each other, have large video meetings, etc. During meetings and calls, we can turn on our video camera or just use the photo of ourselves that we chose.

Teams is also tied to our email, so if we, for example, put down on the email calendar that we are out, everything on Teams will also know we’re out and offer a polite but brief message re our outness should anyone message us.

In other words, every method of communication we have at work is tied to Teams.

I offer this information because last week I had a series of migraines, which is how migraines usually work for me. If I get one on Monday, I will take a pill, feel better, then on Tuesday get another one. This usually lasts a few days till I (a) run out of pills or (b) reach the threshold of how many I’m allowed before overdosing like Karen Ann Quinlan or some other current overdoser or (c) take a pill but the pill no longer works.

No matter which of these I get to, eventually I have to give up and go to bed and be miserable for 12 to 24 hours.

I was in the go-to-bed part of my cycle last week when I got on Teams and said, “Hey, other copy editors, I am dying and need to go lie down for the rest of today.” Then I added the line I use often, because you know how I am when I get a line, about how if I could remove my own head and replace it with the corpse of Don Knotts’s, I would. Then to further drive my point home, I replaced my Teams picture with Don Knotts’s.

I adored myself for this added emphasis, and went to bed. The next day I returned to work and replaced that hilarious Don Knotts photo with one of, you know, myself.

I don’t even particularly like this picture of myself that much but it was on a folder on my desktop so I used it. My coworkers know what I look like so why does my Teams/email picture have to be lovely like one of the stars of Petticoat Junction or another current overdoser?

So today I got right to work. I had much to do, so I messaged a vice president of our company, and my boss, and even someone in HR. So furious was my exchange of work messages. See June work. Work, work, June. Oh! Oh, oh!

It was midmorning before The Poet said, “Wow! You really did have a head transplant, June!”

“…What?” I asked. At this point I’d also messaged several editors and project managers.

“Don Knotts! You really had your head replaced.”


I saw me.

Me and my giant enormous bulbous nose, and if you loved me you’d get a group to chip in for a nose job for me.

But Poet did not see me. She saw Don Knotts.

I tried uploading my image again. Just when I finished I got a message about work from a creative director. “Love your avatar,” he said.


My boss, the VP, HR, all the project managers and creative directors and GOD KNOWS WHO ELSE all got Don Knotts all of yesterday and this morning when they wrote me. Every time I sent a serious, worky message,

DON KNOTTS WAS SENDING THEM! And not even Mr. Furley Don Knotts. Goofy, bow-tied, purse-lipped Barney FIFE Don Knotts. With his one bullet and his passionate affair with Thelma Lou.

I shut Teams down and tried again. I restarted my computer.

“How about now?” I asked copy edit, a group that was over my shenanigans circa 2013.

“Still Don Knotts.”

Eventually, Don and his Knott had to contact IT, and I THINK we have it solved but I can’t be certain because I had to get some stuff done that involved me trying KNOTT to think of how every message I sent was sent by

Click and subscribe for more corporate ladder tips. Thank you for coming to my Knott talk.


Priceless and Pregnant

Before I begin, and I do have a theme today, I want to mention that I went back to Chris and Lilly’s yesterday because I wish to 100% ensure I am riddled with COVID-190. It’s the extra-strong version.

I went back over there to look at the kittens and as of this writing, 4 are still available. If you live remotely close to NC, like, if I drive three hours and you drive three hours, I’ll will bring you a kitten. They are a combination of boys and girls, and I’d tell you how many of each except THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME so I don’t know who all I’m dealing with, here. I’d pick one up, sex it up, put it down, pick one up and say, Is this the one I just picked up?

My point is this. Somehow Lilly and I mentioned fever and ague, which we said out loud at the same time, except Lilly said, “ag-you” and I said, “awwg.” I started reading those books (Oh. This is a reference to Little House on the Prairie books. I just assume everyone has every plot point from them right in their heads and would know what I meant as soon as I said fever and ague. Sorry.)

(The entire Ingalls family got fever and ague, see, which we now call malaria. Except back then they didn’t know how you got it and some people said it was from watermelon. Other people said it was made up by Democrats.)

“Is it pronounced ag-you?” I asked Lilly, who seemed so certain.

Lately I’ve learned this magnificent at-home copy editing trick: If I worry I’m looking at a misspelled word, I can just say, “Hey, Google, how do you spell xerophthalmia?” and Google Home will say, “Xerophthalmia is spelled x-e-r-o….” What I am STUNNED about is how often Google Home, who is a smug ass, subtly points out I am mispronouncing the words I wish to spell. Stunned. I’m like one of the Real Housewives. At least I don’t say hide it under the carpet.

IT’S SWEEP IT UNDER THE RUG, you eeeeeeeeeeeeegiots. Some say brush it under the carpet, but the point here is you … never mind. I’ve gotten off track. And I do have a theme today.

So we looked up fever and ague, Lilly and I did, and if you look something up in Merriam-Webster it has a little speaker icon you can push that says the word out loud for you so you know if you’re pronouncing it right. When I lived with Ned, I remember telling him this trick and then all night he’d be on his side of the couch, his phone saying, dick, dick, dick 49 times in a row.

So it turns out it’s fever and AGGGGYEW, which I never knew, and so stunned by this was I that I went home and looked it up on my own and I’D BEEN LOOKING AT THE WORD WRONG. In my HEAD, it was auge. But in real life, it’s spelled ague. Which I still might have pronounced in my mind as awwg.

My 8-year-old self looked at the word as auge and never really looked at the word again.

Hi. I’m a copy editor. Won’t you hire me for your next important work?

“You thought it was awwwwg,” said Lilly’s child Z, who is somewhere between 3 and 11 years old and who is much smarter than I. Except I’d like to point out she referred to Pride and Prejudice, because all 3-to-11-year-olds do, except she called it Priceless and Pregnant. So I don’t know where she gets off making fun of my slang for a disease from 1870 that I didn’t know.

At this point, I see our theme has gone out the window. We will address it tomorrow, but I will give you a little hint at the excitement to come.

I have this house, see, and I’ve been here two years, see, and I’m starting to do that thing where, for example, most of my sheets are in a drawer, except for these few sheets that don’t fit so they’re over here.

And my books are on these shelves, don’t you know, except for the two rows of books in the kitchen cupboard.

So what I need from you is your organizational skillz, and if you don’t have any, pipe down and watch the orgs at work.

I used to have a book club here at Book of Juan, and we’d meet on, like, Sunday afternoons and discuss books in the comments. Every month there’d be one or two, “I didn’t read it” yahoos on there. This was back when I’d get hundreds of comments, so to wade through those, “I never read the book, June, but blah de blooo de bloooo, dee blee deee” people drove me out of my skull and I stopped having book club.

My friend Paula in Seattle, not the New York Paula who comments here, stopped getting baked goods from this one store because the shop owner would count out your change by saying, “That’s one wrinkled George” and she couldn’t take it any longer.

This store was on the ground floor of our building at work, and also in our building was the FBI, and finally one day one of those FBI men said, “Heyyyyy,” about Wrinkled George and it turned out Wrinkled George was, like, one of the most wanted men in America. Can you imagine? “I’m most wanted. Think I’ll set up shop in the FBI’s building.”

Anyway they arrested him. But she, my friend Paula, got equally annoyed with the next bakery she went to, because each day she’d go in and ask for a plain scone (she doesn’t like flavors) and they’d say, “Oh, we already sold it.”

This drove her out of her mind. If they knew she was coming every day, why not make two? We sold it.

I guess I’m telling you this because it makes me seem less fussy about the “I didn’t read the book” attendees at my Mince Words With June, which was what book club used to be called back when this blog was called Bye Bye, Pie.

I really did come here with a theme.

Okay. Bye, then.