June’s electric weekend

I tried to stay close to home this weekend. These at-home jokes never get old.

For some reason, work kicked my arse to Topeka and back last week, which isn’t good because I’m supposed to shelter in—what the heck does “shelter in place” mean, anyway? It makes me think of freeze tag, which by the way was always a stupid game.

Anyway.

Work kicked my arse, and I worked a little late Friday, or as I like to call it, Friyay. That too never gets old. “I’m shutting down my computer and not THINKING about work till Monday,” I said to Edsel, who was not only looking forward to Friyay but also Caturday.

The moment I closed my laptop I got a headache.

This is a common migraine-y thing, that the pain comes AFTER the stress. I don’t know why. I also don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky. Stormy weather. Since that migraine and I got together.

So my head summed up both Friyay and Caturday.

My faithful companions joined me on the bed, and it was totally 100% for sure because they cared and not at all because I was a large warm area on the bed. But at one point in my agony I looked over and saw Lily shooting me daggers.

That was comforting.

Then on Sunday—or Sunday Funday, there’s nothing I like better than when people write that. On Sunday Funday I got up all my courage and drove down to the post office to mail my StitchFix bag.

When you subscribe to StitchFix, they send you a box of clothes, and a bag to mail them back in if you don’t keep them all. I have never kept them all, I don’t think. And now, in the time of our plague, I had to mail the bag back. I in fact kept ZERO clothes this time, as none of them wowed me enough. Let’s say “Wow factor” since we’re saying all the words I love today.

Anyway, I drove to the post office with my bag and my baggage; I had my mask and my gloves and my hazmat suit and my immune system all ready to get the nerve to touch the handle on the mailbox there at the post office, and when I got there?

Slots. Teensy slots. There was no way to mail my bag without GOING INTO THE LOBBY.

Oh my god.

I’ve literally been nowhere since this whole business started. Nowhere. And now I had to go into the post office lobby, where germ people probably lick all surfaces just to vex me.

I suited up in my hazmat men-from-E.T. outfit and got to the door. Inside was an old man. There’s an old man standing next to me, making love to his tonic and germ.

I didn’t go in, as the lobby isn’t what you’d call roomy in the hips, Clarice, so I stood outside in my jaunty mask.

You’ve never seen an old man take his sweet time longer than this motherfuckin’ heifer. Jesus Katie Christ. I don’t even know what he was DOING in there after he stopped making love to his tonic and germ. I kept peering in there and he was OBLIVIOUS. Was he drawing stamps?

Finally, after six hours and 49 types of virus floated at me in the air, he walked out, and when he saw me he LEAPED back like I had the red prongs of corona sticking directly out of me. Oh, NOW he’s got the fire down below. Sure.

As I mailed the damn bag, it occurred to me that last month all I did was stick the bag in my door, at home, where my mail slot is, and Bernie my mailman took it.

Ding-dang it.

So now I await all the symptoms, because I ventured out, and I will alert you forthwith via my dry cough.

Also, last night, on Sunnight Funnight, I opened my fridge door for a change, and?

No light.

Hunh, I thought, opening the freezer.

No light.

Goddammit.

I checked my extremely modern fuse box, and even replaced the fuses with each other, but ’twasn’t the fuse. After much hemming and hawing, I plugged a lamp into the outlet where the fridge is plugged in?

And?

Outlet isn’t working.

Did I mention this is an extremely new and cutting-edge house?

So I spent my Funnight in the shed, where I’m certain eleventy snakes riddled with coronavirus don’t reside or anything, digging through my Christmas boxes till I found an extension cord. And?

Current situation. Look, at least my refrigerator’s running, so you can go ahead and prank call me now.

I really don’t want anyone IN here fixing anything, but I did text my ridiculous handyman, Alf, who as you may recall sends me the world’s most annoying texts back, where I swear he TRIES to make it impossible to discern his meaning.

Oh my god. What.

So that about sums me up, and tells you all about Friyay through Funday, and I personally hate everything and all germs and also electricity. The whole kit and kaboodle pisses me off. I miss normal life. I miss my electric youth.

In a Whirlpool of emotions,
June

Yes, I did go straighten that magnolia picture

I like how yesterday my goal was to get you to ask each other about each other and instead it was everyone asking me stuff while I had one of the busiest work days ever. Nevertheless, I persisted.

That line never gets old.

I worked all day yesterday, as one does, then took a break and worked out for an hour with my sadistic trainer who did the workout better than I did even with a broken finger she had to have operated on. Did I tell you she broke her finger? Walking her dogs. And I don’t mean she was playing with a yo-yo. She literally was walking her dogs. They lunged at another dog and they are huge and Darn, that’s the end.

And what you want in a situation like that is me as your masochist. “So, where you having your surgery?” I asked her. “Covid Health, or … ?”

No one likes me.

Anyway, after my workout, which was my relaxing break, I sweatily came back to the “work area” [Narrator: Her work area is the couch] and did some more work.

I have this friend who does a Jacques Cousteau impression. He’d have the worst French accent you ever heard. French dressing has a better French accent than this guy. “By zeez time, my lungs where ayyyyyking for aire,” he’d say. That was his one Jacques Cousteau line. “By zeez time, my lungs where ayyyyyking for aire.”

I tell you this because it was the end of an intense day, and there’s another one coming up today, and when I finally shut that laptop down last night, by zeez time my lungs ware (I can’t quite capture the fake French accent of the word “were”) AAAAAYYYKING for wine. Oh, I wanted wine. Had there not been a pandemic out I’d have gone to the store. Where I could have caught The Virus and my lungs would be ayyyyking for aire.

I considered ordering some to be delivered but it just felt decadent to do that. So I toughed it out, because everyone’s all, June, stop being so tough. You don’t have to be no-nonsense ALL the time.

Anyway, I desired wine. Did not get any.

I did, however, get my nice camellia prints from Kit’s store. They’re nestled with my vintage paint-by-numbers magnolia. I’m quite pleased with them. Let me show you my whole flower wall here from my work space. [Narrator: Her workspace continued to be the couch.]

Do y’all have AirDrop? Now that I’ve got my work laptop here at home, I discovered that when I take a picture from my phone, it gives me the option to push “AirDrop,” and that photo bloops straight over here to this laptop.

Anyway here’s my whole wall of flowers, which I didn’t set out to do but now this is what’s happened. I apologize for that lamp being in the way. That lamp is the bane of my existence. I bought it in 2015 after my year abroad, and one of the lights just doesn’t work. It just doesn’t. Also, it whines. It constantly makes this terrible high-pitched sound that drives me berserk.

And it’s cumbersome.

Now that I’m, you know, enjoying more time at home, I realize what I want over next to the couch is a simple table/lamp combo, kind of like what I have on the other side of the room …

[AirDrop!!]

Anyway, if anyone has any table/lamp suggestions I would appreciate it. Also Edsel doesn’t feel well today. He has good days and bad, and he feels nauseated today. His stomach was roiling, I heard it, and then he went outside and ate grass for a long time. Also, he ate breakfast, but he hesitated first. Now he’s over there being Pitiful Pearl. I feel so terrible for him. I hate his bad days.

I know most people adore their aging dogs’ bad days, so it’s good I wrote from this unique perspective.

Crap, it’s 8:28 and I have to get started on working at work from my workspace.

[Narrator: Her work–SLAP]

Ask day

Remember when Marcia Brady signed up for every extracurricular activity at school? That’s me right now with saying, “I’ll take it” to every assignment that comes up at work. I stopped at 7:30 last night and started again at 7:30 today.

But since I can’t stay—I’m just rushing in, eating a bit of your coffee cake and rushing back out—I think today should be ask day.

Is there a commenter you want to know more about? Anyone you wonder if they’re still around? In the comments, ask. Like, Hey, Sadie, why aren’t you on Facebook? or Hey, whatever happened to that one guy from the Netherlands who used to comment? Are you still here but silent?

I’ll talk to you tomorrow, after I’ve sprayed you all with my volcano model and decide I like ceramics.

P.S. You can ask me stuff too. I’ll just have to answer it when I’ve done all my work. I am totally shoving my bangs aside with the back of my hand that is holding a scrub brush right now.

The fabric of our lives

I’m just gonna warn you right now that I have no direction in mind today. I just opened the laptop, asked Edsel to MOVE HIS DAMN HEAD oh my god with that dog, and got started with talking to you.

Why do I get all these clingy animals, such as for example e.g. Lily and Edsel? I like a hands-off pet, whom I can admire from a distance. You know who I liked? Steely Dan. Oh, I loved that cat. He really, really is keeping his distance at present.

I keep hoping the chip people will call me and say they found him, and he’ll be an older, grizzled, cuddlier version of Steely Dan. Like when Morgan Freeman got out of prison. Red was here.

Oh! I know something I can tell you!

This was my grandmother’s chair. The grandmother I’ve turned into. When she owned it, it was a burgundy Naugahyde with brass tacks in it. At some point in the ’70s, she gave it to my mother and me.

This weekend I went through every photo I have, throwing out stupid pictures of scenery, out-of-focus shots, people I didn’t know, etc. (Although of course I still have my collection of photos of people I don’t know.) (There’s a difference between photos of people I don’t know from 1940 as opposed to some random guy in a Saginaw bar in 1990.) (I don’t KNOW why. Stop asking.)

I got rid of a ton of useless photos (really, stop taking pictures of the horizon) and reorganized my photo area in these roomy 1922 closets I have here. At some point I found a shot of Grammy’s chair in its original state; when we first got it it was still burgundy Naugahyde. And did I take a photo of it to show you? I did not. It sort of looked like this, although of course not this shape:

I gotta tell you: I hate today’s designs. Everything looks thin and flimsy. It’s all supposed to look “clean” but to me it just looks unsubstantial. Like a souffle. Everything’s a souffle and I want a steak.

That table would fall right over if you sat on it in conversation. You’re tryina have a dramatic Lifetime Television fight, and you sit on the edge of that table for emphasis, and go flying. Also, what’s that douche doing on the table?

Anyway, Grammy’s chair used to be burgundy Naugahyde and it had, like, brass tacks along it. I sort of wish it still looked like that. Grammy was always in it, with her More cigarette and her thick plastic insulated glass filled with diet 7-Up on ice. I believe she stored that on a TV tray, and why didn’t she get a real side table?

At some time in the ’90s, my mother recovered the chair. In 2011 she gave it to me.

My dogs immediately got this fabric dirty, and I really never cottoned to the Little Naugahyde on the Prairie look of this fabric. So when I finally got some money together, I had it recovered.

Careful viewers will note the footstool is missing. That is because recovering the chair was, like, $750, and I didn’t have the scratch for the footstool. You know who DOES have the scratch for the chair? That goddamn Milhous, who is the scratchiest cat I’ve ever owned.

Anyway, last week I got an email. The guy who owns the recovering store, which I would have called 12-Step Recovery but he did not, sent out an email saying although his place wasn’t open, he was willing to let people drop off their stuff safely, contact-free, and he would personally recover furniture one piece at a time, not using any employees.

I’ve been killing myself tryina support my friends with small businesses. Kit’s going to be able to survive another month because I just spent $15 on a pair of camellia prints from the ’30s. I actually can’t wait to get my prints. She’s delivering them to my door because I have an in.

Kit is currently on Instagram (@designarchivesvintage) doing videos, showing off her wares since people can’t go to her stores, and I screamed on over to tell her I wanted the camellia prints she was recently touting. “I thought of you when I saw those,” she said, because I’m overblown and slightly red.

So I emailed my furniture guy. “I want my footstool recovered! Can you fit me in?” And that is how I found myself driving across town to the guy’s store. The parking lot was empty. It was all sort of eerie. He came out with mask and gloves, propped open his door, I ran just barely inside with the footstool, never speaking to him, ran back to my car, and then we made plans over the phone.

It’s gonna cost $200, which I don’t actually have to spend, but I’m trying, folks. I’m trying to help.

The best part of that whole scenario was finding the fabric I’d bought for the footstool. I knew it was here somewhere. The fabric store had had a big sale at one point, and I knew I wanted to one day cover that dang thing, so back on October 4, 2018 I traipsed out to the fabric shop and got it on the cheap. I know this because once I finally located that fabric in this roomy house, it was still in the original shopping bag with the receipt still tidily inside.

Anyway that’s exciting. I’ll have a footstool for Milhous to claw. Also new camellia prints that are old.

I’d better go. Yesterday I did the thing where I changed from pajamas to a new pair of pajamas. Today my goal is to shower and put on yoga pants. I know! Stretch goals.

You know what really annoys me, other than having a pandemic, which is annoying in general? My counters are always sticky. Is this what happens when you eat at home all the time? And WHY are they always sticky? I feel like I’m constantly wiping them, and then next time I check, WHAT IS ON THE COUNTER?

Also I run the dishwasher like 5x a week. I used to run it once weekly.

I miss Sonic. I miss my Sonic youth.

Okay, really going now.
The touch, the feel, of June-ton

Feel the purse

Hey there, all you cool cats and kittens.

^^^ Obviously, I watched Tiger King, finally. Holy … cats. So to speak.

And now, the happiest moment of my life, the day I held a baby lion, is marred. MARRED, I tell you, knowing that baby was harmed by being petted for cash. Goddammit. I can never have anything nice.

I put this photo on Facebook the other day and someone asked, “Is that a tiger?”

Does it … look like a tiger to you? Let me feel your forehead. No, wait, I can’t. Let me feel your forehead with this 6-foot arm.

Let’s all look at a tiger together, class.

Tigers have stripes. Stop eating that Elmer’s Glue.

That day when I pulled on my mother’s sweatpants with pockets and headed to a county fair (there was a period, so to speak, from like 1999 to 2014, when every time I went to visit my mother I’d get my, you know, monthlies. EVERY TIME. Even when it wasn’t time. In this particular case, we were at her cabin in Northern Michigan, or as they redundantly say in Michigan, “up north.” And I ran out of pants, as all the ladies know can happen. So I borrowed mom’s sweatpants. DID I KNOW I WAS ABOUT TO HAVE THE HAPPIEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE?

I did not. As one often does not. And now this moment of sweatpants with pockets is engraved in my mind forever.)

THAT DAY, when I pulled on my mother’s sweatpants with pockets and headed to the county fair, they had lion and tiger petting for like 10 bucks or something. I waited in line for an hour, so excited I could hardly stand it. They told me it was a rescue situation.

I was more drawn to the lion. Tigers just seem so predictable.

Her name was Savannah, and she was 14 weeks old. It’s been well over 10 years, maybe even 15, and I still remember that.

In the documentary Tiger King, they talk about the addiction of petting one of those big cats. I know what they mean. I don’t know how I didn’t end up one of those women with hair too long for my age, wearing cat print all the time and owning 15 leopards. It’s still kind of my dream.

Leopards are really my favorite, followed by black panthers because they’re so cool. But you bring me over a serval and I’d be fine as frog’s fur. Any big cat, really. Yes, I will take that big cat off your hands. And why can’t they be released back into “the wild,” as if there’s wild left? Can’t we sort of work out a plan to introduce them back in or something?

I’m writing you outside, right now, as I am introducing myself into the wild. The sky is sick with singing birds, including some sort of hawk, and there’s a pigeon on the telephone line over my house. Calling her friend with her feets.

My own big cats, who are not big at all, have been leaping onto and off of my chair, here, because they’re probably pissed off that I’m not discussing them.

I have to hand it to Eds, who tried 47 times to get on his hind legs, what with his back trouble and all. But he did it, just so he could woo/eat his brother. Not entirely sure of his motive ATM. He was totally that “Perseverance” poster people have at work.

If you’ve read me awhile you know how many times I’ve painted that metal chair. I sort of like it like that, actually. Even if you haven’t read me awhile you can see three colors, there, so you could probably hazard a guess about how many times I’ve painted it.

“Is that a lion?”

I’d better go. They sent me something Friday to work on this morning at work, and I like it when they do that. When you’re the copy editor, you’re the last person to get the job before it goes out there into the world. So as you can imagine, Monday mornings aren’t the busiest. And yet if you put on your timesheet that you sat around waiting for work, you get the pursed-lips look. I mean, you get no look at all because quarantine, but you FEEL the pursed lips.

Anyway today I have a task to do straightaway, which is exciting and I can avoid the purse. It’s 13 minutes to 8 as I write this, so I’ll start right at 8 and then I can knock off right at 5, which is good because I have my trainer at 5:30. She broke her ding-dang FINGER last week, walking her giant dogs, and that is why I injected Edsel with back poison, so I don’t have to walk him.

That’s not true. I’m to give him “controlled walks,” per my vet. You know about my iron fist of control.

I got my Stitch Fix box and it’s really very hard to take full-body pictures of yourself, but I did take some and I’ll do a vote-on-Stitch-Fix soon. Maybe.

Pandemically,
June

The tale of Mr. IP Freely and the beee beee peeee birds

Let’s talk about guilt.

Yesterday, I was in my back yard throwing Blu for Edsel, which in and of itself causes guilt, because he loves it yet it’s bad for his bad heart. I made the decision to play it with him anyway, just a little, because who wants years of NOT getting to do what you love followed by heart failure?

Anyway, I’d seen some activity at my birdhouse as of late, with birds flitting in and out of it. And last night, I heard

PEEE PEEEE BEEEE BEEEE PEEEE!

which is one of my favorite sounds, along with coffee finishing brewing and the snap of a lipstick lid going back on.

BABY BIRDS!

Not snapping their lipstick. Beeee beeee peeeee beeeing in my birdhouse!

And then I remembered old murder paws, over here, and why I always gotta have cats? Lily, who never caught anything ever, hardly, is too fat to murder now. She’d have to get a gun, like Tony Soprano. And Iris, who used to kill everything in her sight, so to speak, has also gotten older and certainly blinder, and her killing days are over.

But Milhous.

To be fair, Mil has only killed hisself one rat, and that was a quote from my neighbor last summer. “Milhous done got hisself a rat!” He seems to be more of a lover than a fighter, and joins Michael Jackson in many duets.

That doesn’t mean, however, that a birdhouse full of bald tasty helpless birds wouldn’t, you know, appeal.

So, last night, after dinner, I wouldn’t let Milhous back out into the yard. He likes to take a constitutional back there after he’s dined, but no. And, oh, that did not go over. He stomped about, mowing. He was driving me berserk, frankly.

He jumped onto the dresser by the front door and pawed at the blinds, peeking out through them the way my gramma did when her police radio told her trouble was near.

He jumped onto the tassel I have on my front door, swinging his whole body on it like Miley Cyrus with a wrecking ball.

But I stayed resolute, which actually isn’t like me, but I can’t stand to think of those

BEEEEPEEEEBEEEEPEEEs

getting munched on by stupid Milhous.

This morning, as I let Edsel out, Milhous came

LEAPING

out of nowhere, and ran out the door.

“Godda—” I headed toward him to bring him back in, and you know what he did?

He peed.

He peed in the flower bed.

He peed and peed and peed.

“Oh, Milhous. Honey. I’m so sorry,” I said, and for what I think is a first for me, petted a cat whilst he peed.

Does Mil only pee outside? I tried to think if I ever saw him in the litterbox. But it’s at the back of the house where the laundry is, so I don’t really, you know, hang out over in the vicinity very often.

So there was my guilt. Oh, I’m RIDDEN with guilt, and why is it always ridden, guilt-ridden, like how it’s always voracious reader and not some other word? Seems like if you were a reader you’d know another word, like avid, for example.

Did he have to pee all night? Clearly he did. He peee peeee peeee peeeeee!d

Oh, it makes me feel terrible for him.

And then, when he was done, he dashed off, like he does, into the back of the yard, ears back like a devil.

So now I’ve set up a roomy workstation at the window, so I can work and look out at the feeder, to make sure he doesn’t turn into Sylvester the Cat, climbing that pole to get to the birdhouse.

…There he is! That MFer. Birdhouse behind him. That’s good. He’s not concentrating on it.

I’ve been spotted!!

Nothing gets past this creature.

…I just got up to see if I can lure him back in.

But he’s dashed into the morning. Probably so he can pee freely, poor thing. So I’ll be on watch here, working on boxes of water.

What’s your guilt today?

Saint June of Joint Health

I’m headed out into the world, during a pandemic, to spend my last $83 on my dog’s medicine.

I totally tried to make that sentence sound as martyred as possible. Didn’t I totally sound like Mildred Pierce or something? I’m such a good mother. Nothing’s too much of a sacrifice for my children. I’m like the mom in Willy Wonka.

Really, I get paid tomorrow, so we will be destitute for only today. If only Milhous can stop paying for PornHub premium we’d be all set.

Edsel is already on two kinds of heart medication, and not that I’m noting it while clutching pennies or anything but they cost $165 a month combined. He’s also taking some chews twice a day for joint health, at $25 a jar. His special old-man food isn’t that bad, actually, at at about $20 a month. But then we also have his flea and heartworm medication, and the part where he needs to go to the vet every six months now for heart follow-ups.

So a MISERLY person might resent his NEW medication, which is to make his arthritic spondylosis-y back better. But the vet, who knows what she’s doing, gave me a week’s supply free and I could really see he felt better. I was wanting to hold out to actually buy it until payday was here, but we ran out of his medicine on Saturday and I can SEE he feels worse without it, and that is why I’m heading out and counting all my change to get him his new medicine today. I don’t want to make him wait even one more day.

I totally need to pull a babushka over my head, resigned, and open the heavy battered front door with my chapped worker-woman’s hands right now. Off to make a sacrifice for my dog.

Iris has to eat special food now, too, for her irritable bowel, and her irritated mom, which is a delightful $50 a bag and which healthy Milhous seems to just love. You’ve no idea how many times I see him munching her health food made from gold and ignoring his delicious canned junk that oughta be way more delicious. Picture someone choosing a kale smoothie over mashed potatoes.

Meanwhile, I’m typing this outside and watching Mil chase a grasshopper all over yonder. His diet is supplemented as it is without $600-a-nibble gastrointestinal special cat food.

Anyway, pets. June’s oft-repeated tip from the top today is don’t get three pets who are the same age, as they will, you know, age, and then you have to treat their ailments at the same time.

I used an old photo of Lil because I don’t wish to find her, find the phone, photograph her then upload it here.

I’d better go. I am writing this during my “lunch hour” and must get to vet.

Meanwhile, tell me what weird things you’re eating out of desperation. For example, I mixed spaghetti noodles with olive oil and some Parmesan cheese and it was magnificent. I also learned it’s easy to make rice; my mother left 47 boxes of it here for some reason. I never ever ever make rice, but now I do, because it’s there and why all the carb lbs, June?

Also, what’s the difference between a grasshopper and a cricket? Don’t they look the same?

Curiously,
June the Mother

forked flick

I was screwing around with my blog settings the other day; I can never find what I’m looking for in these settings. I’m like U2; I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.

But remember when we were all quilt squares when we commented? Well. YOU were. I used my baby picture. The other day, I found a way to change our quilt squares to monsters. That was exciting for like a day, but then I wanted to change them to something else. It took 48 days to find where to do that. After wandering in the desert of WordPress for 40 years, I finally changed our little icons to … what even are they? But while I was searching, while I was in the desert and passed Jim Morrison doing peyote, I saw a button that said, “Advertise on WordPress!”

I can advertise on WordPress? I used to advertise using the Amazon, but they were such jerks with their rules that I said forget it. Plus also I don’t like how they treat their workers.

So I clicked on “Advertise with WordPress” or whatever. When I look at this blog I can’t see any ads, or maybe sometimes I see, like, an ad for WordPress itself. “WordPress. We don’t treat our workers like dung. WordPress.”

Anyway, that’s why there are ads here now, to answer the 29493249492 emails I’ve been getting about it. If it actually makes me any money I’ll keep it up because I’m as uncertain about my future as you are. So if you can just sort of tolerate them, I would appreciate it. I’d say if you can just tolerate them during this difficult time, but if I see that phrase one more time Ima plotz.

Also I have no idea where to go back to turn the ads off. So.

Meanwhile, back at the millhouse, who is sick of thinking her sore throat is the end of her? Is it me? I’ve literally had a sore throat every single day since March, and it’s either psychosomatic or allergies, or I have the longest mildest case of COVID ever. It’s like COVID .09.

I keep thinking I should take a Claritin, but I’m one of those people who takes any allergy pill at all and 10 minutes after dips herself in honey and rolls herself in golden feathers and walks about the neighborhood chanting in tongues. I act like they used to act on Dragnet when the hippies smoked the pot.

Oh! Speaking of tongues!

This weekend I went to my flower bed in my front yard because out of nowhere it was COVERED in the filmy purple weeds that are annoying me and destroying my whole Flower Lewk® I’ve got going. So on Sunday I pulled on a pair of actual pants, like workout pants as opposed to pajamas, and started pulling those filmy weeds.

I was about 15 minutes in when my actual pants and I hunkered over to a new section, pulled, and?

Snake.

Tee, don’t read this. Although Tee already saw this on Facebook and got the vapors then.

You know, the whole time I’ve lived in North Carolina, which is almost 13 years now, this hasn’t happened to me. It’s very snakey here and I’ve feared it. I fear the writher. I’ve been on walks where people say, “Oh, look, there’s a snake” but I’ve never discovered one on my own.

It was weird, cause for a split second I sort of said, Oh, there’s a snake slithering at me, all calm like. And then I screeched, like a normal person, and leaped out of my flower bed and into the road, also like a normal person. Then I sort of gyrated about, screeching manfully, and flailed my arms about, panicked, because I was convinced there were 40 snakes hanging off me like I was Medusa. Eventually, I sort of sat on my car, shaking, watching the snake, who was sort of S-shapedly sitting on a garden rock, staring at me.

watssssss wif laydeeee? [forked flick]

Anyway, very scientific research reveals it was a garter snake, and I’m not even getting married, and frankly if I’m going to be terrified and flail about in my yard, I’d have preferred it was a cobra, which is what Ima stick with when I repeat this tale to my grandchildren.

Many years ago, I broke up with someone on September 7. I’m good with dates. Anyway, on September 21, I was at the bar I went to regularly, and in he walked with a new woman. I had the same reaction to them as I did the snake. My first reaction was, Hunh. There’s the love of my life with another woman. Then a few moments later I threw my wallet at his head.

I’m not saying it was my finest moment. I’m just saying it sometimes takes me a moment to react.

I must go now, as I must work. I wrote this ages ago, got distracted by work, then realized I hadn’t finished this or hit “publish.”

I leave you with a gift from Marvin, who clearly is looking through his old things because he has sent me 394923094923 texts of images of old letters, and things he stole from our landlord’s junk pile in the shared garage and so on.

Here is the song Marvin wrote and recorded for my mother’s 60th birthday. She’d asked him to write her a song.

You’re welcome.

Joon

Smooshed

I once read that if you look at Sophia Loren’s features individually, they aren’t that great. But if you smoosh those features together, somehow it results in Sophia Loren, and she’s lovely.

I tell you this not only because I’ve been cooped up with animals like Joseph in a manger and think odd things now, but also because I was thinking about myself.

Wait, what?

No one gives Joseph any credit, by the way. Not only did he marry someone who was having someone else’s baby, he also had to sit around in a cold manger on Christmas. Wise Men brought him bupkis. And there had to be zero cell reception out there.

Anyway, what I mean is, when you think about all my personality traits individually, I have all the traits people don’t like. I’d like to think I’m in the wrong era, the way we do about women with Rubenesque bodies in 2020, but I don’t think it works that way for personalities. I think my traits have always been eschewed.

First of all, you might not have noticed this but I have dramatic delivery. I don’t mean to have dramatic delivery. It just comes out that way. Sometimes I’ll see a video of myself and think, Oh my god calm down. When I’m talking, I don’t realize I’m lifting my eyebrows to kingdom come and emphasizing every third word breathlessly like I’m starring in a 9th-grade play. It’s just how it comes out of me.

Also, I’m self-centered. Again, I don’t MEAN to be. Sometimes—I mean, back when we could stand in groups of three and talk to each other, sometimes one person will be telling a story, and the other listener responds before I do. “What did you do after you stabbed him?” the other listener will ask.

And I’ll think, DANG. It did not occur to be to ask a follow-up Q. I was so gonna lunge into the tale of when I stabbed something with my steely knife but I just couldn’t kill the beast. I mean, my go-to is to reply with a story about myself.

I’m telling you all this not because I think you don’t already know I’m repugnant. You must, by now. Oh, and don’t forget my cranky side! That’s another charming bit of my pers.

Also I make up abbreviations like “pers.”

But I’m TELLING you all this–

–don’t forget about my ADD, and how I can never get to the point!

I’m TELLING you all this because on Saturday I had the trainer at 10. I set my alarm for 8, so I’d have time to eat protein and put on my leotard so on. Then when I woke up on my own, totally rested, I knew it was bad. IT WAS 20 MINUTES TO 10. Why didn’t my DING DANG alarm work?

Don’t forget my organizational skills! Another winning personality trait.

I had just enough time to medicate the dog, feed the cats, let everyone in and out and in and out and squeeze box, then I pulled on a sports bra and just kept my pajamas on.

I did, however, take time to pull down the little headband I use to wash my face, so it looked like a sweatband, and launched into Physical as soon as my trainer turned on her Zoom. Look how appalled Edsel is.

My headband is pink, with gold sparkles, and has bunny ears. I’m 54 years old. See? Horrific personality traits.

Halfway through, my trainer’s dog ran to the door in alarm. “I am so sorry,” the trainer said. “Keep doing your crunches and I’ll be right back.” What’s sad is I really kept doing my crunches. When she came back, I asked, “Who was at your door?”

“Oh, another client dropped off a bottle of wine for me and treats for the dogs.”

Wait. What?

“In a million years, it would never occur to me to go out and get you a little gift,” I said. It really wouldn’t. I have no nurturing gene. I guess some women just zip around town, even during a plague, leaving gifts for people.

“I know you wouldn’t,” she said, “but I like you anyway.”

See? I’m Sofia Loren. Despite these personality traits that suck, like four people still like me.

Generously,
June

TGIF. Pffft.

This morning, I was admiring my rose bush again, so I went outside to film it for you. I’ve no idea why I decided on making a whole movie for you, but I did, and once we see Edsel? Listen for the neighbor’s rooster. I love hearing the rooster.

Oh, I hope you can hear him. But if you can’t, he sounds like this: Errr-er-er-er-ERRRRR!

You’re welcome.

I’m hearing him, like, 70 times while I type this, and he must be in a good mood. Maybe he’s modeling for the new box of Corn Flakes. How processed does corn have to get to become a flake? Maybe it’s just corn that never shows up when it says it will.

You’re welcome.

Anyway, I’m sitting at the laptop again, petless ATM because everyone went to the back yard to hang about. Lily, who only started venturing out last week, and who can’t even haul her girth up to the dryer to eat so I know she REALLY can’t jump the six-foot fence, is out there looking sort of like how I look at a sled hill or a pool. Sort of uncertain and waiting to see if anyone else thinks it’s fun. I watched her the other day out there, and she watched Milhous stretch so she did too.

Stretch goals.

You’re welcome.

Oh! Here’s the other thing that’s new, thanks to those GODDAMN CATS.

After all my hard work, and placing spare pieces back in the box like a miser, THIS IS WHAT I GET. HOWWWWW did they lose this piece? And awwwww, dawgs, I looked for it. I looked under the fridge with a flashlight, under the stove, under the area rug, under the candlestick where Mil likes to store his kill such as water bottle caps.

Nothing. That piece is gone. I suggested Mil may have eaten the puzzle piece, like Curious George. Maybe that guy who insists on yellow 24/7 can visit him in the hospital.

Have you ever been that happy to drink barium in your life?

Also, I would like a monkey. And if you’re going to annoy me and tell me Curious George is a chimp or an orangutan or whatever, I have no use for you. Same as people who insist on telling me something is an insect and not a bug. Oh my god go give yourself a barium enema, know-it-all.

And I like how simple house cats have gone ahead and RUINED MY LIFE but eight seconds later I want a monkey.

It’s an APE, June.

I guess I always think the next pet will fill the hole in my soul, when we all know that apex is unfillable.

An apex isn’t a hole, June, it’s—

Why so dead RN?

Also, my throat hurts, as usual, and it’s been hurting every day since March and yet every day I wake up with a sore throat and say, I’m Corona Barrett.

Why such a simple sleeve?

Anyway, it’s almost the weekend. What a relief. Can’t wait to just chill around the house. We have our Friday work happy hour today, where we all get on our computers and look at each other, and someone’s usually funny, so that will be like half an hour where I feel relatively normal. Then tomorrow morning I have my trainer.

We also worked out Wednesday, for the first time since my

SURGERY

and oh my god. Pain.

She and I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get her dog to notice my dog and it never worked.

At some point in the workout, Iris wandered in. “Oh, is that the blind one?” Everyone knows entirely too much about me.

Iris likes me to open the closet so she can sit on the folded comforters in there. I let her, but after while I noticed she’d opted for the uncomfortable wooden chair I’d rolled out of my way, instead.

“Are you taking a selfie?” asked my trainer, who is shocked by nothing anymore. But I was NOT. I was taking an Iris-y. And I hang things inside-out to avoid pet fur, Curious George. Since I have 20 fur-filled creatures and now I’m getting a gibbon.

“Curious George was not a gibbon, June. He—“

Sigh.

You’re welcome,
June