Electric slide

To the reader who sent me zucchini bread: My love for you is a little intense right now. It might make us both uncomfortable eventually.

I want you to know I’m sitting UP at my DESK and not hunched in bed with the laptop or moaning posts into my phone. This is progress, although I can tell you it’s not 100% comfortable yet, sitting here. In this chair. Waitin’ on you. Oh, girl, to see things my way.

I didn’t want to bring it up, but I had surgery 10 days ago. I didn’t want to make a big deal. I also have not left my house or put on pants since coming home from the hospital 10 days ago, and I guess this is what it’s like to give birth, other than there is no squalling needy creature I have to raise for the rest of its life unless you count Lily.

Actually, I have had great affection for my pets during this, my convalescence. They’ve been a delight, all of them, particularly Edsel. Remember at the end of Marley and Me, when Marley is old and can finally walk nicely through that field? That’s Edsel now. He’s such a good boy.

Anyway, since I’m stuck in the house for weeks on end, I’ve decided to take on the things I always meant to do, but had a life and did not.

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Yesterday, I played Dark Side of the Moon and watched The Wizard of Oz simultaneously, which I’ve always heard is a trip, because apparently I’m Shaggy now. You start the album on the third roar of the lion before the credits.

Oh my god! That was a trip, Scooob! There were times they’d knock or laugh or talk about a heart or chop a door with an axe and it was RIGHT ON THE BEAT. And many times, the song would end with the scene in the movie.

Anyway, well worth my time, watching it that way. Did you ever see footage of Mama Cass watching Janis Joplin at Woodstock? That is because you weren’t married to Marvin. Sometimes I wish Marvin’s wife, crnt., and I could form a support group. Anyway, Mama Cass, pre-ham, watches Janis Joplin and keeps shaking her head mouthing, Oh, wow. Oh, WOW. That was me watching the Wizard of Oz with Dark Side of the Moon yesterday.

After that, I finally started my righting-my-slides project I talked about. I told myself I only had to fix one wheel per night, otherwise I’ll get that sweaty, cranky mood I wish to avoid. I shone the slides on my wall, which is painted paneling and one day I’d like to rip it all down and the only reason I haven’t is I don’t want to ruin the original molding and it scares me. Anyway, they had grooves, my slides, but what can you do. Here are some images from the past that I flipped the right way and actually saw as they were intended for the first time.

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Yes, there WAS a black spot on the slide that looked like something in my nose. Fixed it.

I like it when people say, Your hair wasn’t curly! As if no one else’s hair changed after childhood. As soon as adolescence hit, I got the George Washington look.

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My Aunt Mary at prom. Now with paneling! I love this dress. A year later, my Aunt Kathy wore it to HER prom. Aunt Kathy, using those in-law connections.

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Hello, dog I don’t know. Has anyone changed less in life? Other than my hurr.

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Hello, cat I don’t know. This is a cat at a really pretty hotel we stayed at, in Canada. It’s a polite cat cause it’s Canadian. Also, I promise you I did not even consider climbing that tree. Was placed, like prop.

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Sums up my feelings about being outside.

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Here I’ve managed to show more “enthusiasm” about being outside, but I promise you I was biding my time. Ned used to tell me when he was young he was literally outside all day, in creeks and baseball fields, catching toads and so on, and I think, I would have abhorred you. And vice versa. He’d have been like every kid, who looked at my avid indoorswoman status with disdain.

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Bob Dylan and I share a hairdo.

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Why was I given teapots and records to play with? Was there no cat?

But here’s what I really wanted to show you.

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Oh, hell, yeah. Trova! At Pace! Columbus!

Years ago, I wrote about the art from my childhood. For years, YEARS, I sat around the little entryway from the living room to the dining room (color scheme: pink, yellow, turquoise, green, red, blue) wondering, What is a Trova? What is a Pace? CHRISTOPHER Columbus? For the life of me, the meaning of this poster eluded me. Was the white silhouetted man named Trova?

If my parents had put up a nice landscape I might have spent those hours forming useful thoughts and today I’d be a successful banker.

I like the tiny TV at the end of the table. I don’t recall getting to watch TV at dinner, EVER, and would have welcomed the lack of bonding to watch I Love Lucy or what have you. Maybe my mother watched TV at lunch or something. Ooo, maybe this was during Watergate. Oh, that’s an excellent guess on my part.

I have to go. I have to order a yellow cube lighting fixture and begin my Growing Up With Leggy Plants seminar. But there’s a chance I’ll fix more slides tonight, and for this you should be rapt with anticipation.

June. At Pace. Columbus.

 

Pat Nixon is my spirit animal

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how shud lille no?

What day is this? Thursday? Yeah. I think it’s Thursday. Is this week taking forever, or is it just me?

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I get good light in my little millhouse, which houses Milhous. At my old house, I could never really see the sunrise or sunset, not to sound too Fiddler on the Roof about it.

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But now in the morning I can see the sunrise from the back of the house, and at night the sunset at the front.

IS THIS THE LITTLE GIRL I CARRRRR-RIED; IS THIS THE LITTLE BOY AT PLAYYYYYYY?

Why do I know those lyrics?

When I was in high school, my best friend was way into musicals. It was awful. I remember being at her house on summer afternoons and she’d play these horrendous musicals (redundant) on this tiny 1960s record player (her parents didn’t have a lot of money) and I’d have my Walkman on, listening to some ZZ Top.

I should probably not admit the ZZ Top part. She’s got legs. She knows how to use them.

Profound lyrics. I guess Paul McCartney’s wife would not appreciate those lyrics, but otherwise…

Anyway, maybe when I wasn’t going crazy for a sharp-dressed man some of those musicals seeped into my consciousness.

My best friend had the cutest parents. She’d been a surprise. Her brothers and sisters were like 10 years older and so on. So her parents had been in WWII. My GRANDPARENTS had been in WWII.

And oh my god, the food. Her mom made stuff from scratch every night. They canned things. And there was always too much, a thing I took advantage of forthwith. I was over there a lot, and my best friend’s brother and I would think of all the euphemisms for poop we could. You know I enjoy a poop joke.

Just the other week, when I was in Michigan, my Uncle Bill taught me UFO: unidentified floating object. See. Even as I write this, I am giggling like an idiot.

I am 53 years old.

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And apparently, my inner adult, which rears its head nonce, is Pat Nixon. On the inside, I’m Pat Nixon. She was so dignified, standing there while her husband did that weird peace sign thing. She was so coiffed.

Maybe Pat Nixon is my spirit animal.

Oooo, that reminds me. Last night I dreamed foxes and bears were chasing me. I always got away, but at one point they caught a Lab, and the Lab’s owner wrestled the Lab away.

Interpretation, please. Thank you.

Today is my mammogram, and if you’ve been here for, you know, 11 years or anything, you know this is not my favorite. It’s not a day I anticipate, like, say, April Fool’s Day or something great like that.

I just wanna get in there, get m’test, get the letter saying all is well. That’s all I want. I tried to find a place that gives you same-day results, but there aren’t any locally.

Anyway, other than that, other than the part where I am horrified, nothing is new. Oooo, my new glasses get here today, but now that two weeks have passed since I ordered them, I hope they’re not too Elton John.

“Ten minutes at Elton John’s and you’re gay as a maypole.” Name that movie.

I gotta go to work. Pat Nixon didn’t have to work. I mean, she had to First Lady, but whatever. How hard is that?

So I’ll go. But I know. I’ll think of you each step of the wayyyyyy.

But before I go, I wanted to ask you: Is there anything from your past that you swear existed that no one else can remember? Like, the other day, when I mentioned my grandmother, I said in the comments that she had this souvenir, one of 3949492292040048344849293 knickknacks she owned.

It was a phoenix or a roadrunner. My uncle lived in Arizona and she’d visit. Anyway, it wasn’t very large, maybe the size of your hand. But you could open it up, and inside there was–I swear–a Native American wedding going on INSIDE THE BIRD, as you do. And I think the whole thing was sparkly inside.

I mean, she had this tchotchkec circa 1973 and I haven’t seen it since she died in 1985. But NO ONE remembers it but me.

I also swear there was a harmonica you could get at McDonald’s, shaped like a cheeseburger with a bite taken out of it. Can’t find it on the Google.

Am I making these up? Is Pat Nixon in there playing tricks on me? I don’t know.

Okay, officially late now.

Squeeze-Box-ily,
Juan

 

Portret van June Gardens

I watch a lot of YouTube videos because any time I don’t know how to do something around the house, I just YouTube it. Once I watched a video titled, “How to take down a ceiling fan and replace it with a light,” and the whole video was a guy replacing a ceiling fan with another ceiling fan, and also not telling you to turn off the power first. So I’m not saying it’s always a stellar solution.

The point is, you’ve no idea how often YouTube tutorials start off, “Hey, guys.”

This makes me disproportionately furious. Hey, guys! Oh, shut up.

So, hello. Is what I’m saying. Hello. Is it me you’re looking for? …Why?

I thought I’d recap my weekend for you, which includes barf, so why did you come here, again?

FRIDAY

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On Friday night, because the world was my oyster and I’m living that swinging single life, I prepared my house to paint it Saturday morning. I’m not saying that I painted my house, just the living room. As I was moving shit around, I found this photo of me at a museum, lookin’ at a Calder. I guess this was before I figured out that modern art annoyed me.

I wonder if my parents went there to add to their collection of horrifically depressing art.

Anyway, I took pictures down, I filled nail holes, I scooched furniture, and generally by the end of it was in a mood. I believe I had popcorn for dinner and went to bed.

SATURDAY, or, if you’re something of an ass, CATURDAY

IMG_0122.jpegIMG_0120.jpegIMG_0132.jpegThe day dawned with Mr. Obsession obsessing over my every move while I tried to find the painter’s tape, the paint tray, the PAINT, the–OH MY GOD EDSEL GET A HOBBY.

Just when I said that, he came in here and began today’s baleful staring. I guess his hobby is whitening his face. Is he into kabuki theater, or what’s going on with that?

Dear June,
Maybe you could come up with a new line beyond that kabuki one.

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Anyway, I’d like to tell you I went crazy with the before and afters, but I was busy. To sum it up, the walls were beige and now they’re Alabaster.

Ooooo, I forgot one crucial thing! Careful readers will recall that I always go to Sherwin Williams, namely because the whippersnapper of color who works there and seriously I think lives there is hot hot hotty hot hot. Oh my god. I can’t tell how old he is, but somewhere between Jail and I Should Be Ashamed.

On Friday, I strolled in there for drop cloths–and I guess I didn’t cover the TV or the terrible pink dresser and oh my god, let’s fix that dresser–but the POINT is, I walked in Friday and he said, “Heyyyy! I know you!”

I mean.

I know maybe it’s because I PAINT CONSTANTLY and am my own Eldon, but it was still exciting to be recognized by a hot whippersnapper.

I had to return there Saturday, or if you continue to be assy, Caturday, SANS makeup or shower or anything, and I prayed to god he’d have the day off but he LIVES there, I’m assuring you.

Anyway he was still nice to me even though our 70 years’ difference was incredibly apparent. Hey, Russel Crowe.

I was trying to think of someone who always looks puffy.

Hey, country guy who hosts that one talent show people think is cute but to me, he just looks like a guy I went to high school with that I run into at a bad bar.

What’s that guy’s name? I can see him but have no idea. Those talent shows do nothing for me. I enjoy highbrow entertainment such as The Real Housewives.

Anyway, here.

White living room, now with terrible pink dresser!

First of all, I’m tempted to just mount the TV. I’ve been single a long time. Bah. No, I mean, why do I need a whole clunky thing there anyway? But I need the dresser in general, cause I don’t know if you’ve creepy-crawled my place in your spare time, but it’s not what you’d call roomy.

What did mill workers in the ’30s do with all their DVDs and workout t-shirts? Which is what those drawers have. I wish I knew some, like, organizer, who could come make better use of my tiny space.

I wonder what she’d say about the 700 books in the kitchen cupboard.

Anyway, after the paint was dry and everything was put back, I went out for awhile, even had a glass of wine. And here’s my problem. I don’t drink much wine anymore because it’s Russian roulette for me. You never know when it’ll give me a migraine.

Well.

SUNDAY
I woke up in the middle of the night, and man was I sick. I had a migraine, a bad one, and I was violently ill. Oh, it was not welcome news.

I had this friend who was on a dating site, and he’d dated this woman for a few weeks till he got a message ON THE DATING SITE, from the woman’s FIANCE. He said finding out they were dating was “not welcome news” and I always loved the understatedness of that term, despite the fucking stalking abilities of that fiance.

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Ugh. In case you’re wondering, though, that Thayer’s Witch (soundths like I’m lithping) Hazel is good, but don’t do what I did and get it in cucumber scent. I wanted it to be that delightful fake cucumber but it smells like, you know, a cucumber.

I spent a great deal of Sunday recovering from that awfulness. The migraine, not the buying cucumber witch hazel.

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Everyone was willing to lie around with me, and Edsel was able to meet his goal of staring at me for at least 70 hours this weekend.

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Milhous: do she alwayz barf? Iris: fek off

Also, Sunday was Marvin-my-ex-husband’s birthday.

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Finally, I rallied enough to go out and get a cheap throw for my new chair that the cats can’t seem to get enough of. Also, I got root spray because the last time I had my hair professionally colored was August, and I look like Shirley Maclaine in Terms of Endearment when Deborah Winger is dying.

Dear June:
Maybe you could get a new line for when your roots are bad.

Did anyone see D Winger being rude to Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live? Does she not realize the entire world is on his side?

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Anyway, I also got new slippers, and on Instagram I wrote, “New slippers, who dis?” and fell in love with self all over again.

Then as the evening drew to a close I once again got out the Google Art app and someone needs to do an intervention. As usual, I was not pleased.

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Goddammit
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Goddammit (June-hair edition)
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GODDAMMIT (Agnes Morehead as an old lady edition)

So I switched angles.

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God. DAMN. IT.

I gotta update my profile.

More hilarious humor and toilet shots on the next Bye Bye June’s Book.

It’s Britney, bitch

I’ve sat here for two days making little changes to this now-defunct site. “Should I start this up again?” I ask myself. Then I think about all the ways people could be unkind and I walk into the next room, all sweaty.

To be fair, I’m menopausin’, so I walk into every room all sweaty these days. Mother of GOD.

While I menopause and reflect, I also think about nice people. The nice people outweighed the not-nice ones up in here. Not literally. I mean, I don’t know how much you weigh. Maybe that would be a nice place to start. Let’s all get reacquainted by writing in and saying what we weigh!

Yeah.

So if I do come back, what do you want to know? Because I could sit here and recap the whole dang four and a half months and bore you to tears if you wanted. Also, the good news is, maybe five people will even see this site is up so there won’t be that many questions, and maybe I can write one nice, concise, here’s-what’s-you-wanted-to-know post and we can move forward from there.

Meanwhile, what’s new with you, five people? Tell all. Including your weight.

Love,
Jooob.

I seriously didn’t mean to write “Jooob,” with a b, but it was nice to get that typo back, just like old times.

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yuu way HOW mutch? eyeriss can’t see it. think yuu look grate.

Weathered Vain

“Leaves no oily residue,” my eye-makeup remover reads. I just read that this morning while I was washing off the oily residue from my eye-makeup remover.

Just tell the truth. Jesus. “Removes your makeup pretty cheaply because it’s the drug store brand.” You know what I really like is that Clinique eye-makeup remover, but it’s too rich for my blood. Even though I got new lips yesterday like I could afford it.

Wait. What?

On Tuesday, I had a consultation at the same place that I get m’Botox and m’Juvederm. In case you’re local, I go to Barber Center and I see Robin.

You know I hate my lips, right? And I already have a Gor-Tex implant in the top one, from 1998, and lemme show you my lips, former.

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Al Gore-Tex

Okay. Here’s me and my blemish and my lips, fmr. I took this Monday. I’ve no idea why. I’m certain there was a reason at the time. …Oh, I remember. Self-obsession.

So I went to the consultation on Tuesday, and this Robin over there, man does she look good. Not fake cat-lady good, either. The point is, she said, “Thin lips are really hard to bring out. We can add bloo-dee-blah and see if that works, and on top of that, add bleee-dee-bleep-bloo if we wanna keep going.”

That all sounded good to me, but she’s so in demand that she wasn’t available to do it till August 29. “That’s fine,” I thought, and don’t you hate people who say, “I thought to myself”? Who the hell else do you think to?

Anyway, my theory was that’d give me time to save my pennies.

Then yesterday at work, the phone rang.

“Robin has had a cancellation. Do you want to come in today?”

I wonder if we’ve met. Hi, I’m June. I’m impulsive. How do you do? LET’S STREAK.

I mean, I could have said, “Oh, I’ll wait till August till I’ve saved my pennies.”

“I’m taking an early lunch!” I announced, and hightailed it right to the office of beauty and naturalness. The building of aging gracefully.

While I was waiting in the lobby, my old workplace called and up and offered me a job. I am not kidding you. It’s the place I worked at circa 2008–2009. I demurred. Then I went in and had my lips done did. Talk about your dramatic day.

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She don’t lie, she don’t lie, she don’t li-docaine.

This is what she used on me, and look at this bitch. If I had her regular lips, I’d be praising Jesus and all the saints.

“We’ll try Volbella,” Robin-who-looks-great said, (“Volbella.” Good lord.) “and if we want to keep going with other stuff, we can.”

First, I iced my lips, and I don’t mean I murdered them. Then she put this numbing cream on me, and maybe this process was the other way around. It was all a whirl. I woke up yesterday not knowing NEW LIPS were at hand.

IMG_8867.jpgHere’s me yesterday with the numbing gel, waiting for my million shots to the lips. SHOT TO THE LIPS, AND YOU’RE TO BLAME. Darlin’ you give aging a bad name.

I mean, I think you have to hand it to me that with all this last-minute-ness, I thought, Oh, shit, I’ll probably blog about this. I should take a fow-toe. So I did. And flattering lights in there? When the lights, shine down, on the biddy.

How much of that lidocaine you been takin’, honey?

Then she gave me the shots.

Mother of pearl.

Look. I get through Botox like it’s nothing. And I had Ultherapy and wanted to die (I think I’m beginning to see the results of that, by the way). This pain was somewhere in between.

Mostly, the fact that my lips were so numb freaked me out. It felt like they were 11 feet wide, and I worried, “Am I able to breathe? I can’t really feel my breathe parts.”

And then also, and I want you to brace your own self, but having needles poked right in your lips really hurts. But each shot included lidocaine (Take your silver spoon, dig your grave), so it got more numb as time went on.

Who here is hoping hard I keep referencing cocaine songs?

We used up the Volbella, and after some discussion, in which my lips did not actually move, we decided I’ll stay with just this for now, give it two weeks to settle in, and see if I want to add this other stuff on top of it.

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quack

So here they are now.

“It looks very natural,” my Aunt Kathy said, when of course I immediately texted her the results of my day of needles.

“Yeah, that’s the problem,” I wrote her back. “Natural is never my goal.”

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Lip, lack, love

So here’s before, with the flattering numbing cream, and after. I think I will probably go get more shit put in. Because last night Ned stopped by, which by the way, I pulled into my drive just as he did, because I had been out on a very important mission.

IMG_8900.jpgFaithful Reader and now Mother of One of My Foster Kittens LaUral sent me info on this: rosé vodka. You know in the cartoons where someone takes off in a hurry and there’s a little puff of smoke behind them?

“Hi. I’m a girl,” my new lips said to the indifferent woman at the liquor store. “I hear there’s a rosé vodka.”

She sighed and took me over there. To the vagina section of the liquor store. The only good thing that happened was this song came on:

and it turns out, we both love it, if you’ll forgive the pun. So we had us a little dance party in the vagina aisle.

Anyway, so Ned popped over, and I was all, “Oooo! I won’t say a thing, and we’ll see if he notices my new giant lips.”

He didn’t.

Oh, I was pursing them, and smiling with them even though they hurt. I was turning my head in every direction. That male, straight motherfucker.

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wat rong wif U

Anyway, I can tell, but I will probably add to the lip sitch in a few weeks.

Oh, and yes to the rosé vodka! I tried it straight and it kind of tasted like rosé wine, but then I added it to my PowerAde Zero Fruit Punch flavor, and it was a dream. I hardly ever drink now, because I’m tryina be thin and also wine never fails to make my head hurt, so I think the last time I drank was that party back in early May. The good news is I have one drink and I’m all painting my body gold and singing Wild Irish Rosé.

Don’t give me any lip,
June

Oh, you know. Just cats, The Simpsons, and blender-licking.

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You’d think Lily would bite his face off. But needy. Both of ’em.

Some nights, Edsel is just too much. With the flumping dramatically off the bed whenever I move a corpuscle. Then floomping back on a minute later. With the pressing his head on my neck as hard as he can, for pets. At 4 a.m.

So some nights I kick him out. Last night was one of those nights.

But I let Lily stay, which I rarely do, and last night I was reminded why.

Good lord. This cat has some sort of disorder. Some sort of friendliness disorder. You don’t get a cat so it’ll be friendly. You get a cat so it can lie sleekly across the room and glare at you.

“Yes, I’d like to return this cat? Yes, I do have my receipt, hang on. …Well, she’s too friendly. Something’s broken. She needs her bitch meter turned up.”

She constantly–CONSTANTLY!!–pushes her head into your hand. You have no idea how hard a cat can push her head into you till you’ve dealt with this one.

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fek yew

Actual, unretouched photo of Lily right this minute, making an elusive trip to the food bowl.

Meanwhile, in the back of my ranch, Edsel was left to his own devices. When I got up this morning, I saw he’d taken my robe to the couch and slept with it. So now I have to walk through this life knowing Edsel sobbed into my robe all night.

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fuk yew mean it

I just noticed that Lily has moved on to Iris’s dish.

And while nothing is more interesting than hearing about someone’s pets, let’s move on to talk about someone’s work. Wooo! Lemme get more coffee, June.

Busy, is what it was. I literally got 11 hours’ worth of work done in 8 yesterday, and also my blog post was published, the one I was kvetching about doing yesterday. So that was active. After work, I got my hair done because I was shooting moonbeams out my head and not in the good way. What roots?

I should just give up and go gray. If I didn’t dye my hair and didn’t get Botox, I’d save approximately 12 million dollars a month. But I’d look like hell and hate myself. But, see, I already look like hell and hate myself, just underneath “blonde” hair. I should just officially give up and embrace my inner old lady. Which is getting more and more to be my outer old lady.

One day I will look back at photos from this time and think, “I was so young!” That’s depressing.

You know, from age 12 on, I was under the misguided impression that beauty was just around the corner. That I’d just have to get through this one awkward stage and there it would be: my peak of looks. Except that never happened and I spent my whole life looking eh. Eh, she’s all right.

And now I’m on the downward spiral of age and it isn’t going to get better. Although do you watch the Real Housewives? How can you read this blog and not watch the Real Housewives, is what I wanna know. Anyway, Kyle looks particularly good this season, and not fake, either. So if I become a millionaire, maybe then I’ll start an upward spiral.

Speaking of which, I won a dollar playing instant lottery this week. Do you recall, in your Big Book of June Events, that on January 1 I won $100? And I was all, “It’s gonna be MY YEAR!”?

Turns out, it was really everyone’s year and not just mine.

Still, I hadn’t bought a lottery ticket since and the other day I had a dollar so I went to town on the machine at the grocery store and boom. Dollar. Clearly I am on some kind of streak. When I return to the grocery store–

and here is the part where my mother is shocked that two days have gone by since I last went. “Make a list, honey.” But really, what else have I got to do?

Anyway, next time I go to the store I will buy another lottery ticket with my last one, and this is how they get you hooked. Next thing you know, I’m Marge Simpson at the casino.Simpsons_05_10.jpgRemember when she got hooked on the gambling? What do you mean, you didn’t catch that episode in 29 years of that being a show? Is The Simpsons still on?

To be fair, I’ve never once watched an episode of Gunsmoke, which is the second-longest-running show after The Simpsons. But to be fairer, I was a zygote when that show started, and also, who wants to watch a Western?

There is nothing that will make me change a channel quicker than a Western. My grandmother was forever watching Westerns like they were good. Oh, look. A cactus. And a bar. And someone shooting someone. Say, is that an Indian?

HOW IS THAT INTERESTING?

Plus also, anything having to do with the courts or justice or law or murder mysteries. I just don’t care. I read some Agatha Christie when I was a kid because my Aunt Kathy loved then, and what I liked about them was her Britishness. I wanted to hear how she made a spot of tea. I didn’t care who lay prone in the drawing room.

So what I’m saying is, I have also never watched those Law and Onions or whatever they’re called. And those Murder, SUV or whatever. Of course, now I have no TV, so I watch nothing except binges of the Real Housewives, which is good because it’s reality, everyone. I only watch what’s real.

But truth be told, and pull up a chair cause I’m ’bout to tell you a shameful secret. Truth be told, those housewives shows are getting old. It’s the same thing over and over. Someone gets offended and then 8 episodes are devoted to the one woman saying. “We need to talk about how offended I was” and then they offend each other anew, or a new person gets mad, and really in the grand scheme, hoooo care. I just like to see when they pop into the plastic surgeon for a spot of collagen or when they show us how much they spent when they go shopping together. Whoever thought to always show us the cash register at the end is a brilliant person.

Also, Philip Roth died. Did you hear? I’ll bet he was a real fan of the Real Housewives.

All right, I gotta go. I realize this was a pressing post, but oh! My smoothies come today!

collection-smoothies

I don’t know how I got to be part of this demographic, but on Instagram I keep getting the same ad, where this hot young girl in her 20s lives in this million-dollar clearly NY apartment and she gets up every day and inexplicably rubs her lips in her bathroom mirror. “Every morning, I do what I gotta do,” she begins, and apparently that involves rubbing her lips. And she looks good doing it. I’d look like I had a nervous tic.

“Then I have one of my smoothies. It feels like I’m doing something naughty.”

See. That’s how hot 20-year-olds think. I’ll show you something naughty, you vanilla whippersnapper.

Anyway, then she gets this delicious-looking smoothie out her freezer, and she makes it in a fancy blender, and then

LICKS

HER

FANCY

BLENDER

and manages to look adorable doing it. Then she kisses her teensy shitty little dog and leaves.

June. Losing readers with shitty small dogs, since 2018. Just get a cat if you need such a purse-sized dog. See above about what a pleasure cats are.

The point is, I watched this ad until I became convinced that if I just got these smoothies, my life would be transfigured and I would be cute and hot and living in New York with a nervous dog the size of a button. Hashtag goals.

I hope that model isn’t real and that that’s not her real dog, cause then I would feel bad. I guess that shitty small dog is someone’s dog, right?

MY POINT is that I signed up to get these smoothies, and allegedly here is a referral link that means you get three free cups and I do, too. I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess you have to buy some, too. You’ll be stunned to hear I didn’t take time to read all about it.

I’ll report back to you on if they’re good. You can choose what kind of benefits you want and they adjust the ingredients accordingly. I chose beautifying, because I want to be 20 and a millionaire.

Delusionally,
Joon

Skate away

I used to run. Did you know that?

Not fast or anything. I kind of plod. But I took a running class once in college. I probably need some precise amount of credits to get my student loans that term, or something, and I know gym classes were always one credit.

I remember the very first day of class, trying to find my way around the physical education building and somehow opening the door to the men’s locker room.

And right then I knew, I was going to like running.

And I did. Even though I’ve never been fast, or graceful. I’ve never been one of those women you see gliding down the sidewalk in cute athletic garb. But I remember leaving that running class in bike shorts and a purple tie-dyed shirt–because 1989–and going to my work study job at the museum (our offices were in the museum’s warehouse), knowing I looked sort of good. My legs got nice right away.

“How far did you run today?” people at work would ask me. I’d always feel accomplished when I told them. “RIGHTEOUS!” I remember my museum boss saying once, when I told her how long I’d run.

I ended up living in London that summer. I had this English professor I was obsessed with because I admired him so much. He was brilliant and caustic and original, and he returned one of my papers with “See me about a small scholarship to London” across the top. It was one of the best moments of my life.

I saw him about that scholarship. Then I called the bar I’d snootily quit months before, proud of not needing it because of my fancy $7.45 an hour work study bike shorts job at the museum, to ask for some shifts back. They gave them to me, and in a month or two I’d raised enough to get to London to live all summer.

When I think of that summer, I think of reading The Bell Jar in a pub while church bells rang nearby, and I think of my morning runs.

My dorm was in the same park as the London Zoo. I’d run all the way down to that zoo. Once the wolves ran with me, all the way to the end of their cage. And I heard pink flamingoes chattering. I didn’t even know they made any noise. I guess it was because it was just me and them that they felt okay to squawk.

I think it was when I got back that I stopped running that time. If I recall, my new apartment complex had free aerobics or something very early ’90s.

Ten years later, I was in Los Angeles, getting a pedicure at one of my two pedicure hotspots. I went to either RedNailMayIHelpYou near work (that’s how they always answered the phone, with the enthusiasm of warm lettuce) or Nail Station near my house.

I was at Nail Station that time, waiting for my feet to dry, when I saw a pamphlet for AIDS Project Los Angeles’s marathon fundraiser. They’d take six months to train you, and you raised a few thousand dollars for them, and then you’d be flown to Chicago for the marathon in October.

“That seems like pretty much the last thing I’d ever do,” I thought. So I did it.

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What I remember about running for that stretch of time was how I’d eat breakfast and then by 10 a.m. get the receptionist at work to get us grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches from the restaurant across the street. Then two hours later I’d have lunch. I looked magnificent.

I remember waking up early and driving down to the park for our training, and seeing nothing but hundreds of those light necklaces people wear around their necks when they run in the dark.

I remember running 23 miles along the beach. I remember how close my group got, and times we’d have to stop running because we were bent over laughing so hard.

After we’d run the marathon, one big tough guy emailed us all to say we kept him off heroin, that group did. He said he missed us so much it made him cry just typing us.

I wonder how that guy is now. He had gang tattoos, I remember.

On Friday, I pulled on a sports bra and my old running shoes and I got a leash and Edsel and I headed out for a run.

I thought it would be awful, but my old plodding body knew what to do. I knew the first 10 minutes are always the worst. Your lungs hurt, and you feel everything jiggling at you in protest, and you feel like there’s no way you can keep going.

But then you can. Then you do.

I could hear my breath coming in a rhythm I’d forgotten, and my feet pounding on the sidewalk. And as we reached the first mile, I realized why I was running.

I was running because I’m furious. I’m furious that I’m not married at 52. I’m furious that Ned didn’t turn out to be who I wanted him to be, and that Marvin disappointed me too. I feel marginalized at work, and a lot of my friends have moved away, or got married and don’t talk to me (note to self: Stop being friends with people you used to sleep with).

I don’t look the way I did when I was 25, and meeting new people isn’t as easy as a result.

I thought I’d be more financially settled than this by now.

I thought I’d be important, somehow.

Instead, I seem to be shrinking in every way but physically.

So I ran. I ran because I didn’t know what else to do.

And as I did, I thought, Well, maybe you really do have no interest in men now. Maybe it’s not just something you’re saying to get through this lean time. Maybe it’s true. So, have no interest in men.

And maybe you do feel bad about work. It’s still six minutes away, you know how to do it and there are a lot of people there you feel very affectionate about. Still, if you feel bad about it, feel bad about it.

Maybe there aren’t so many friends right now. And maybe you have no interest in making new ones. So, just don’t have so many friends right now.

I could hear my feet. Pound, pound, pound.

I started to notice how pink the trails of planes were as they flew overhead. I smelled the magnolias and smiled at the puppy behind a neighbor’s fence.

I made it the whole way, stopping just once after a hill. Edsel ran next to me like a police dog or something. If you just give that creature something to do, he’s pretty obedient. He smiled the whole time.

Back when I used to run in London, I didn’t have any way to listen to music, so I’d THINK songs. For some reason the song that ran through my head the most was River by Joni Mitchell.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on, it goes.

If you lived here, on Friday evening, you may have seen a slightly chubby middle-aged woman running with a goofy smiling dog. Maybe you were wondering why she bothered.

She did it because she found a river she could skate away on.

Don’t fence me in

When we last left each other, flush from our reunion, I told you that Steely Dan was injured and I’d taken him to the vet. It turns out, it wasn’t a cat fight. It was a rock lobster.

No.

It was a fence or maybe a tree. They think he got caught in a fence. Like he’s a steer or something. Anyway, in his endless quest to be mysterious, it turns out Steely Dan is really easy to pill. Affable Iris, the second-most cheerful cat on earth (after Winston, fmr.), is an

ASSHOLE

about taking a pill. Evil Steely Dan, who’d just as soon cut you as cuddle with you, is all, Oh. Okay. You can shove that thing in my gullet. Fine. Is there any port?

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dreeem of ouwt

But here’s the thing. He really. Really. Really. Wants to go out. And the vet has him on antibiotics for a week and wants him to stay in.

IMG_7087.jpgHe wants out. Though. Is the thing.

And I have to remain ETERNALLY VIGILANT, because he can figure out doors as long as they’re not deadbolted (at least he hasn’t figured out deadbolts…yet. Now he has all this time on his paws to Google it), and so far this has happened twice…

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God da–GET BACK IN THE HOUSE
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Where’s the–GODDAMMIT

So that’s been relaxing.

Other than my endless parade of animals and their animal drama, today marks 10 years that I moved into this house, and to celebrate, I’m getting a crown.

Taaaa-daaaa!

Dental work scares me. I don’t like it. I’m getting the gas, so I will be fairly oblivious, and that’s for my sake AND the poor dentist’s. I’ve got a new dentist after the whole hygienist-who-never-stopped-prattering fiasco at the last place (if you just got here–heh–I got up all my courage to ask for the other hygienist, and I saw her once, and then the next time I came they gave me the chatterbox again, so I got up my courage and asked AGAIN, and they scheduled me with ol’ Chat Room AGAIN. The End), and he seems pretty highfalutin’ with his equipment and so on, so maybe my crown won’t be so bad.

Other than that, since we haven’t talked in a coon’s age, let’s go see what my photos can tell us about what the HELL I’ve been doing lately…

IMG_6980.jpgDo I even wanna know what I was thinking when I took this?

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Why must all my screens be useless?

I went to Home Depot, then Lowe’s, then Home Depot again last weekend, because no one else ever thinks to go there on weekends, so it was like a big relaxing cavern, really. I picked up these succulents because I fall for any novelty.

Really I was buying paint and switchplates, but that never stops me from a pink succulent impulse buy.

I also tried to go have tea with my coworker Nefertete, and TEA with NeferTETE was almost too much for me on the cute level, but guess what.

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And yet? You’re not.

They were CLOSED.

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Portrait of a Bereft June

We tried to go to a coffee shop and I want you to gird your loins. CLOSED. Had the world ended? It was Monday at 5:45 p.m.

So we ended up at a bar in a restaurant, and the bartender kept insinuating himself into our conversations, probably because Nefertete is young and hot. And then I choked on my wine, as I am always choking on liquids, and careful readers will recall that I’ve already been knocked out and had a tube down my throat to see why and there’s no reason BUT IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. So.

IMG_7014.jpgOooo, and I went to the farmers market this weekend and got my annual plants. These are called frrrrr-deeee-glloooo-de-harbels, and they need pretty much zero care. They feel kind of hard, like a succulent, and apparently it rains just enough here that they thrive in front of my house like this.

I get them every year, and they last April through October.

Then at some point in November I look up and they’re all dying and brown the same way I am, and I throw them out unceremoniously. The way the world has with me.

The point is, while I was marketing like a farmer, the woman who sold me my flowers was young-ish. I can’t tell the difference between 22 and 35 anymore, but she hovered in that general age range. We’d been kibitzing a bit while she rang me up, and she rolled her eyes when she said, “You wanna get hit on by men over 50, this is the place.”

I hadn’t expressed an interest in being hit on, by the way. She said that in response to ANOTHER saleswoman having been hit on.

And right then, it hit me.

Fuck you, men over 50. I mean, really. Fuck you.

Men who are 55 are always going to try for the woman who’s 22. Or they’ll claim they like women their own age but have a leering eye that tells another story.

I know I said a few months back that I’d given up, but right then, at the farmers market which really does not get an apostrophe so don’t get your knickers wadded, right then, I King Kamehameha gave up.

It’s not that I’m not interested in men my age. It’s that I don’t like them. They’re kind of horrible people. And maybe that seems, oh, a tad general, but I’ve been out here tryina meet them since 2015 and have not met very kind men.

They were kind when we were all 32. They were! But I think the kind ones got swooped up in committed relationships. For the most part, what’s out here are men who aren’t good. They’re the evil leftovers. And I guess the same could be said about me, but while I’m flawed, I’m not addicted to porn or leering at 23-year-olds like I actually have a chance.

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How I feel about men, on the inside

So that closes that chapter.

I’ll talk to you later, post crown.

Royally,
June

Heel

img_6733.jpgAs you all know, because you’ve drawn my life story onto the walls of your cave, my pal The Poet is a fancy poet. She’s being sent to London next week, to read her poetry to all of London. She’s big, Ben.

The point is, Fancy The Poet came to my desk the other day, and I was like, “Oh, I like your necklace. Are those ostrich heads?”

Ostrich heads. That’s what I saw.

“Why, no. These are the Towers of Frooo-De-Hoog, from Bluufle Bluffledorf.”

img_6734.jpgAh, yes. Of course. If I recall from my extensive research, those are some of the better towers.

I feel like when I was in high school learning how to hold my Southern Comfort, The Poet was learning things. And that is why no one cares if I ever see London again. Or France. Or anyone’s underpants.

Also, while we’re on the subject of friends at work, my coworker Frapdorp hates the name Frapdorp. “It’s terrible,” he insists.

So because Ima tell a story about him, we must run Frapdorp through the random name generator and see what we come up with.

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…Okay. It came up with Alex. Dying. Let’s try again…

My coworker Davis Monk has a daughter named Iris, which is cute because maybe you didn’t know this, but I have a cat named Iris. Check your cave wall. Anyway, Davis Monk’s Iris is forever saying really funny, smart things and I like her even though I’ve never met her.

Lately she’s been gunning for a cat, and right then I knew. She was my people.

The point is, they got one. They went to some sort of cat-saving org, and Iris the person fell in love with an adult cat even though bitsy kittens were there, and I have to further admire her for this. Every day now, Davis Monk is telling me the cute things the cat does. It sounds like a bit of a Lily cat. It’s lookin’ for love, this cat is.

Iris also has a cat at her mom’s.

“Why did I never think to try this angle?” I asked Davis Monk. I already had Mittens at my house, Mittens my childhood cat, and YES I NAMED IT I WAS 8 FUCK OFF. But I coulda asked my father if I could have a cat at HIS place, too. Why. Why did that never occur to me?

“I pretty much thought that’s what kids did. They tried to find the angles like that,” said Davis Monk, and now I feel like I have to go back and redo my childhood, which would include not ordering that hot chocolate with whipped cream that I revisited mere moments later in the parking lot of Sambo’s at age 11.

The point of me telling you this is that I tell you all sorts of stupid things so why wouldn’t I tell you this, and also that I DID think of something I got my father to get me without letting on that my mother had already forbade me to get them.

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Freaking Candies, man. Now with hose!

Was obsessed. OBSESSED. With getting a pair. And because I was, you know, 14, my mother thought maybe they weren’t appropriate. But this one girl at school [random name generator gets fired up again], Merlene Culp, had them. She had ALL of them.

Merlene Culp was attractive, and she had a similarly attractive older sister, and they lived with their single mom, and I’d heard they all shared clothes. So these 9th- and 10th-grade girls were wearing, “Hey, world, I’m 35 and single in 1978” clothes.

Oh, they had good stuff. High-heeled boots they tucked into their designer jeans. Satin blouses. Gold ID bracelets. I mean, the Culp sisters had it going on.

They even made up dance routines, and at dances would perform them to, say, Rapper’s Delight, and we’d all stand around and think, “If only I had a pair of Candies, I’d be cool like Merlene and Darlene Culp.”

At least that’s where I took it.

After high school, I never saw either one of them again. I think they attractive-d out of Saginaw, Michigan for life.

So I wanted Candies. In the worst way. And mom said no.

But dad said yes! I forget why. Like, in what way did I convince him that high-heeled mules were perfect for a teenage Michigan girl, where it’s 30 degrees out 9 months of the year? But I got red ones, and sexy neutral ones, and I feel like I even might’ve had the blue.

And man, did I clomp through snow and ice in those muthers. I didn’t care. I was sportin’ my Sassoon jeans and my Candies. I was ready to take on the world. Or the Fashion Square Roller Skating Rink over offa Bay Road.

If I had time, I’m certain I could find you photos of me in them. And we would toast the ’70s and a teenage girl’s ability to manipulate her parents. But I do not have time, because time has, in fact, marched on, and now I must clomp to a job in broke-toe folk festival clogs.

Candies, oh. I need you so.
June

She lost her youth and she lost her Tony. Home perm.

There’s a weird smell in my house, and I took out the trash hoping that was it, but I just noticed it again as I came in here, and I can’t help but think, What did a cat murder and bring in here? Like, somewhere the circle of life has circled, and I’ve yet to discover it.

Steely Dan leaps into the attic whenever he can. My theory is there is a rotting mastodon upstairs.

Also, please keep calling the attic “upstairs,” June. You’re not a bit delusional. Say, what are those faded feathers in your hair?

The ’70s had two songs about faded insane women, women who were both probably younger than I am today. Delta Dawn was only 41. No wonder her daddy still called her baby. Whippersnapper.

And I feel like when they were talking about Lola the showgirl, hadn’t 30 years passed since she’d lost her youth and she’d lost her Tony? So girlfriend was likely 50s.

Goddammit.

I also recall being 15, listening to Bob Seger telling us how Sweet 16 had turned 31, and I remember thinking, God how pathetic. You’re 31. Don’t go out. Then I spent every night of being 31 out on the town, pretty much. So.

You shoulda known me in my 30s. Although I was basically this with a smaller living space and hips. And a lot more action. Act-shun. I had a roommate who’d go to work and fill everyone in on the latest with my love life, because it was forever changing. I was 31 when I finally settled on Marvin, and she told me she went to work, and someone asked, and she said, “Oh, she finally met someone she really likes” and they were all, “Oh.” All disappointed.

THANKS, STRANGERS WHO JUST WANTED THE DRAMA.

So anyway, strangers who want the drama, here I am.

I’m icing my arm, a thing that Faithful Reader Paula envisions as me applying frosting to said arm, and harrrrrr-dy harrrrr, FR Paula. In the meantime, I am in extreme pain. As my grandma would say, I can hardly stand the pain.

My grandmother, the one I’m NOT turning into except for this, was a trifle…dramatic about her aches and pains. She had the arthritis really bad, though, and I hear that hurts like a bitch.

There was a nightclub across the street from her house, eventually. It had been some sort of hall, and then there was an actual, like, dance club or something. One night my poor grandmother walked over there, because she had arthritis in her hands and couldn’t open the new childproof caps to take her medicine. Had a bouncer or whatever open it.

Poor grandma. Sweet 16 had turned 61, and she was at the club. With her aspirin.

It was in her knees, too, the arthritis, and I have knee pain all the time now. What the fuck with the being old bullshit? And I don’t know if you’re online-dating, but as you know I took it back up last week like an

EEEEEEDIOT

and

all you see out there are 55-year-old men finishing a mud run, which pisses me off, because stop. Embrace your old age. Says the woman who just got laser beams in her face for two painful hours.

The point is, how can they do all that stuff? Doesn’t everything hurt? Everything hurts on me.

And do you recall a time when you didn’t have to search for

GODDAMN READING GLASSES all the time?

I have a giant jar of reading glasses here AND at work, and yet I always need reading glasses.

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I can’t shop for cosmetics without reading glasses (can’t read labels), I can’t go to restaurants without them (had to have the waiter read me the menu once), I can’t do anything in the kitchen (HOW long do you microwave this particular Lean Cuisine?). I can’t look at my phone when I’m sitting in the car possibly waiting to get a Burrito Supreme.

IT’S RIDICULOUS.

So I’ve got them everywhere. Those old ladies with glasses on a chain had the right idea.

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Oh, what is that SPOT on my little DESK?

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And yet? Two hundred times a day, “Where are my reading glasses?” Can’t they fix this shit? Can’t they make it so this doesn’t happen? What did people do in the olden days when they needed to read and had zero Rite Aids in which to purchase the readers?

Did they just up and not see things? I guess they did. They also fell over with croup all the time, so.

I’ve gotta go. I’ve gotta take my creaky ancient self into the shower, and creak over to work, where everyone is 19 and I’m the dowager, all of a sudden. I remember when I used to be the cute person at work. I mean, you know. I was a solid 6.

Also, while I’ve been writing this, with ice on m’arm, Iris asked to go out. Now she’s mowing to come in. Lily has been doing that purr/meow thing where she wants my attention, and is rubbing her teeth against the chair, my leg, the desk, the air, the world.

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Finally, I resorted to putting her on my lap and typing around the football that is her figure. She’s been pushing her stupid needy head into my typing hand, and my one good not-being-iced arm, ever since.

img_6527.jpgEdsel has gone in and out and in and out and in and out through the screen door and barked at Jackie the personality-free greyhound so many times that I finally yelled at him and now he’s Vitamin C.

Also, that floor is stained. Is there a way to remove DOG MUD from linoleum? Or am I screwed? This floor has been here for 10 years. Maybe I should replace.

The point is, it’s a sad day when Steely Dan is the good pet. I’ve no idea where he is, which means he’s feasting on the mastodon upstairs or he’s on the neighbor’s roof. Knocking down nests or what have you.

Sweet 16 turned 52. Sweet 16’s got 52 pets.

XO,
Jewb