It’s a pretty good crowd for a–oh, shut up.

IMG_0177.JPG
steelee disgyze. you cannot see. …pay no attenshun to tale.

Right now, everyone is outside except for old Steely Dickly, here, and it occurs to me that if he were my only pet, I’d be miserable. He’s never HERE. He comes in to eat, maybe sleep with one gray arm strewn across his eyes, chew a few of my beloved clothing items, then leave for 17 hours again.

Also, that brick needs some sort of molding.

Speaking of pets who make me miserable, on Saturday, the trainer came to help me with Edsel.

IMG_0153.JPG
Eds not shur

She’d asked me a litany of Qs re Eds and his charming personality before she got here, and then when she arrived, we talked about him some more. When I told her that Tallulah died a year and a half ago, tears pierced the backs of my eyes.

Did you ever have that happen to you? You’re perfectly okay-ish with something, but then you’re in a clinical setting 800 years later and you tell the fact of the matter and it hits you all over again? Anyway that was me Saturday.

“And she was our leader,” I said, hoping I would not need a Kleenex. All the women in my row at work, and I just made it sound like Cell Block H. Who can take a nothing show that lasted maybe one season in 1974 and drag that joke out for 40 years? Anyway all the women in my row at work have colds, and I convinced self I was getting it too, so I purchased an entire SIX-PACK of Kleenex, mostly because it was on special and also at the end of the aisle so I didn’t have to walk very far in, and why so hippy.

“She was our glue,” I told the trainer. “And while she’d BARK at other dogs, like a very angry chesty women such as myself, she’d never actually HURT anyone. And so when any dogs were at our house, no one was ever attacked …UNTIL she was gone.”

The trainer worked with Edsel for awhile and surmised that basically he’s a sweet dog who’s completely unqualified for the position of leader, and I will not make a presidential joke here, and see how mature? She said that while Tallulah was BORN for that position, Edsel’s basically “a huge chicken” who, because he is, overcompensates and blusters and I will continue to not make any references to anyone who may or may not be in the White House.

She said he really has to know he doesn’t have to BE in charge, that I do (I do?), and then she showed me ways to show him that.

Now, here is where I get uncomfortable. Because when I put his little picture on Facebook and a video of him being calm around dogs this weekend, I saw a lot of “tell us EVERYTHING” comments, and then I was all, Oh dear. Do I release the trainer’s state secrets? I mean, I just paid her a shit-ton of money for those.

IMG_0164.JPGSo I’ll …kind of tell you? Will that work?

Okay, so first of all, we yelled at him. I don’t mean I stood over him and told him all the things about this relationship that have bugged me all these years. But when he came near my food, he got a

HEY!!!!

a very sharp

HEY!!!!

that startled him, and let him know he was NOT MY EQUAL (he isn’t?) and that he can’t just, oh, have my yogurt any old time (he can’t?). Oh, he was stunned. He was a letter C, and basically he tried to hide INSIDE one of the wooden chairs.

This lead me to want to go hug him, and tell him he was a good boy, but it turns out that’s how I turned Edsel into the psycho that he is, and I have to be firm with him, yet still love him, and WHO THE HELL KNEW.

So after I’d let him know who’s boss (WHO IS THE BOSS, I THOUGHT IT WAS TONY DANZA), we went on a walk in order to see other dogs and really show Eds the old iron fist.

Lemme tell you something. It was a beautiful Saturday. It was a pretty good crowd for a Saturday, and that lyric has always bothered me, and I realize Billy Joel is a millionaire and I’m not, but what a dumb line. It’s right up there with “Like a knight in shining armor, from a long time ago.” Oh, thanks for the specificity, there, historian.

I mean, WHEN WILL YOU GET A BETTER CROWD AT A PIANO BAR THAN A SATURDAY.

Anyway, my point is, it was a perfect Saturday afternoon in my dogged neighborhood, where every yahoo has a dog, and?

No one. It was like there was a dog strike. We couldn’t FIND a dog. Who did we have to fuck to find a dog around here? I even went to Ava’s house and knocked on the door to see if they’d bring her out, like bait. They weren’t home.

COME ON.

Finally, FINALLY, one woman had an ancient black Lab, and sure enough, Edsel whined like he always does, and the trainer

SNAPPED his two

TWO! (for safety, due to the come-with-me-and-escape-my-collar thing from last time oh my god PTSD)

leashes, said “HEY!”

and even squirted him with a squirt bottle. Oh my god, did he letter C. “Edz haff no idea. Edz totleee sorry. Do Edz need to rite letter to lab? He so will.”

I mean, he got submissive immediately. In the past, when he snarled at dogs, I screamed and yelled, but it never got through to him. I have no idea why.

After that, we headed to the park, in search of more dogs.

IMG_0161.JPG

IMG_0158.JPG
edz gets it! he do!

Y’all. He was  DREAMBOAT. I realize my ass is not what you’d call a dream, but it was a boat. Nor is that SWEATER anything to write home about STEELY DAN GODDAMMIT, but that dog.

IMG_0178.JPGDude, look at that. Two huge dogs over there, and there’s my dog. Oh, just strolling past. IT’S A GODDAMN MIRACLE.

1FA64514-33CD-4F37-AD1B-E4B9A2309E2F.jpgAfterward, he slept for 17 hours.

Yesterday I had to go buy a second leash and Dear Harris Teeter: If you’re thinking, “Oh, we’re good on our supply of leashes for dogs,” you’re deluding yourselves. I had to get him a RED leash, which has zero to do with his whole cool blues and seafoams look he has going with his Gentle Leader and Martingale collar, and I, for one, am aesthetically displeased. But we walked and walked, and for once I was DYING to see a dog, and WHERE THE HELL were all the dogs this weekend?

Finally, we saw his favorite thing, a puppy, and it was DYING to come see us, and Edsel put up his (considerable) ears and I HEY!‘d him, and SNAPPED the leashes and squirted him just once, and?

I was walking a letter C.

The next dogs we saw? Zero incident. And those people know from Edsel and me. I could tell they were surprised. “Is that dog unwell? Did she lobotomize him?”

So that was worth it. If you’re local-ish, I linked to her at the top of this, so if you ask me how to reach her, I will snarl at you like Past Edsel, and I wonder where he got his unpleasant personality.

Love,

June

P.S. I’ve been on Ritalin since Saturday. Having just read this without knowing that, can you tell at all? I can’t tell, but I will say this: RITALIN IS WONDERFUL. Oh my god I’m on the top of the world lookin’ down on creation.

Valley of the Dolls-ly,

June again

I’m in my prime. You are too.

First of all, before we all up and forget, it’s Steely Dan’s birthday. He is one, according to the estimated birth date the vet gave him back when I first brought him in. I would take a picture of old Steely Dan, but he’s outside tripping the elderly or whatever the hell. Continue reading “I’m in my prime. You are too.”

Marzo Thomas

IMG_5734

Look how well my daisies are doing! …I got flowers for our receptionist on Valentine's Day, and I over bought and couldn't fit all of the flowers into one vase, so I was all, "Guess I own daisies now." And it's, according to my math, 279 days later and just look! My fancy flowers I got from one of my many many admirers already died. That was more ranunculus and larkspur, so. Is it possible the daisies grew? Cause I swear I made them shorter than that when I cut them.

June's blog. Come for the flower talk. Stay for the skull talk.

IMG_5735

See? Skull talk. As you know, if you whip out your June's Events Binder, I purchased a Day of the Dead calendar this year, and it's ALMOST as exciting as that vintage Better Homes & Gardens calendar with which I was so enamored in aught eight or nine.

Here is March. I mean, the month and also the skeletal image. Nice, eh? And look at the happy skeletons on bikes down at the bottom! Charmed! I'm sure!

What language is Marzo for March? Is that Spanish? June's blog. Stay for the bilingual action.

Speaking of skeletal, I'm on yet another diet and it's driving me berserk. I eat and then I think, "Wow, when can I eat again?" Every time I think that I think of my mother, who owns Weight Watchers, and who always says, "You shouldn't feel hungry."

WELL I DO. But I'm not on WW. I'm following a diet I found online. The first person to ask what it is has to make me food. Why do you guys do that? WHO CARES? It makes you hungry. Don't go on it.

Basically it's a menu of a few choices for each piddly meal. In the morning I have a smoothie with HALF a banana. Oh, fuck you. Half a banana. Then at lunch I have the saddest little sandwich you've ever seen and at night I get, like, the THOUGHT of salmon or chicken, really just a memory of them, and another goddamn salad.

Last night at around 9:00 I considered which pet to eat first. Lily, obvs.

IMG_5732
we not like way yuu look at us

Yesterday when I got up, I came in here to blog at you, and the Internet would not work for me, so I went ahead and started my foodless day. My Biafra day. Who can take a Biafra day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile.

Now I'll get hate mail from Nigeria, and RIGHTFULLY SO. Once years ago I mentioned the potato famine here, and got some scathing, 80-foot-long email from an Irish person, who was hardly magically delicious. "What if I mentioned the Twin Towers?" he leprechauned at me. I mean, okay. The potato famine was 150 years ago, but sure, there, Peter O'Tool.

Someone was cranky without his carbs.

The point is, I'd wanted to tell you that Edsel's vet called day before yesterday, to see how he was doing on Prozac, and I was all, eh. And the vet suggested I get an adult dog for him, which DON'T SAY THINGS LIKE THAT, so instead Eds went to daycare and seemed to have a high time. Maybe that's the solution.

After, I took him out for a pup cup at a fast food place, which now that I think about it was my last decent meal before Calorie Fest, over here, with my "Snacks: apple or hot water" diet.

IMG_5682

It almost looks like he's my conscience, here, on my shoulder like in a cartoon.

Anyway, it cheered him. Stay tuned for me caving and getting an adult dog soon even though I've found a practical, workable solution.

And speaking of my pets ("WHAT? You're speaking of your PETS?"), Alf my handyman came by yesterday and I want you to understand I know Alf is not one of my pets. Also, that really is his name. Alf. And I let him be around the cats anyway.

Bah.

As you know (June Binder), I've had a windfall, not to mention your Wind Song stays on my mind–

Wind Song. How did I go my entire adolescence without thinking about how hilarious the name Wind Song was? Oh, excuse my wind song. I had cabbage.

Anyway, windfall, and as a result I asked Alf to (a) fix the motion lights at the side of my house, especially now that my Next Door informs me this creepy guy is back in the neighborhood. Also, (b or not 2b), fix the DAMN screen thing that is missing from the roof, that we assume Steely Dan is using to escape.

Oh my god. I'm so pulling on my Gloria Vanderbilts right now.

Look how they spelled Escape. Annoying. Lu annoy.

Naturally, when I came home for lunch, there was Alf, who always manages to be at my house right when I'm there, trying to enjoy my one fleck of tuna on a communion wafer, and maybe I should just join one of those dating sites for men who like…curves. That's what we'll call them.

He was on the roof, replacing that screen thing, and we were kibitzing, when he said,"Oh, look at tree cat!"

  IMG_5710IMG_5718
Goddammit, Iris.

Anyway, all the things Alf fixed were way cheaper than I thought they'd be, which gave me money left over to (wait for it) (biscuit is on your nose right now) (wait) (wa–oh, fine) TRANSFER MY BLOG over to WordPress! There's a guy at work who, you know, can do this sort of thing and he's working on it today!!!

We discussed it yesterday, and he said, "Go on WordPress and select a theme."

Oh my god.

I obsessed for HOURS about a theme. HOURS. I hope you like my theme. It's not up yet, but the address is gonna be EffJune.wordpress.com. Don't go over there NOW. It's precisely nothing right now.

"Do you really want it to be Eff June?" he asked, because he's a decent member of society.

Okay, I'd better go. I already put this on Facebook, but enclosed please find a photo of Eff June at a party in 1984.

Photo on 2-3-17 at 8.36 PM

I clicked the wrong goddamn photo, but why so angry, June? COULD IT BE HUNGER?

IMG_5690

Here we are. Giovanni Leftwich, my boyfriend ca. 1981–1989 (it was on and off. Thank heavens I have mature, stable relationships now) found this in an old box. At the left, there, is my high school best friend Donna, who I wish would have a drink and loosen up. In the middle was our good friend's girlfriend at the time. We loved her. And there's old chicken hair at the right. Wow.

I remember the shoes I had on that night. They were from the '60s, slingbacks, silver sparkles. I loved those fucking shoes. Also, every single thing Donna has on belongs to me.

Including that girl. She was MY experimental years girl, not Donna's.

I never had experimental years. Did you? Do tell. Let's have lesbian reveal today at the Pie, soon to be Eff June. I'll still keep the name Bye Bye, Pie, don't worry. EffJune was a shorter address, though.

Okay I have to go. Next time we talk I will have eaten maybe a plum and a nut.

As god is my witness,

June. Of the Eff Junes

Taquit-oh, June

Ned has to move. Did I tell you that? Our gaylord–well, HIS gaylord, is selling the place, a thing we distinctly asked him about in 2014 when we moved in, and he said he had no intention of selling.

Of course, I'm one to talk, having kicked out my poor tenant, fmr., after just one year.

Speaking of that whole debacle, since Ned has to move and all, it's thrown him into quite the tizzy. I know you don't KNOW Ned, but perhaps you've been able to glean that change is not something he embraces with glee. Also, decision-making. Not his strong suit.

"I'm going to go look at a house right now," Ned texted (text) me right at the end of the day.

"You want me to come with you?" I asked, knowing that was dumb.

"Yes," he said.

I knew he did. I knew that's why he was telling me. I knew he'd be thrown into panic at having to possibly make a decision, and that he needed someone to remind him of the home's good and bad points so he could obsess for 45 years. I also knew I had no business going to look at a house with Ned.

So I put the address in my phone and off I went. Because wise. Wise old owl. Wise old fat owl, according to some.

It was in his grandparents' neighborhood. They'd lived in a tree-lined part of town with a private trail and lake, which Ned remembers fishing and swimming in as a kid. "Oh, it'd be cool if you lived here. You could go to the same job your grandfather did (Ned works for a family business), live in his neighborhood. You'd be just like your grandfather, except, you know, with no wife or kids or commitment whatsoever."

Hey, passive. How's your aggressive?

There turned out to be a huge monkey mural in the living room, which if you ask me is a selling point, but Ned was not taken with the idea. The good news is he doesn't have to debate whether to take the house. "You want to go to dinner?" he asked, and who am I to turn down a free meal and all of you are shouting "JUST GO HOME, JUNE. YOU HAVE FINE CHEF BOY-AR-DEE PRODUCTS RIGHT AT HOME WHERE IT'S SAFE. JUNE."

So I got in the car and we headed to our Mexican restaurant. "Our," fmr.

It's one of those nondescript places, in a strip of stores, that's really good. TinaDoris and her spouse took us there in 2013 and we've gone ever since. It's the taquito place, Fay.

Ned and I went there one Sunday evening years ago, and I got mad at him–I forget why but I think it had to do with me feeling jealous of another woman because it almost always was–and we argued all the way to my house, where I got out of the car, stomped toward the house, then at the last minute turned around and hurled my leftover taquitos at his car.

Ned backed out of my driveway in a huff, then had to drive all over town to find an all-night car wash, because he could hardly pull up to work Monday with taquito car. The worst part of that story is the next day at lunch I said, "Ooooo, I have those leftover taq–no, I don't."

For some reason Fay loves this story. I guess she enjoys my rage and ridiculousness or something. She brings it up at every opp. I just said opp. Once after our endless breakup Ned called me, and I told Fay, and she asked all Stevie Wonder-ly, "Did he just call. To say. Taquito?"

Then she had a bust made of herself.

Anyway, there we went, Ned and I did, and you'll never guess what I ordered. "You'd better finish the whole thing right here," Ned said.

IMG_5546

Careful readers will note not just Ned, of yore, but also the background of this photo. Because who's back there behind blue-shirted guy? Is it my tenant? FMR.? Of yore?

"What are YOU doing here?" I asked her, because of all the margarita joints in all the world, she had to come into mine, fmr. With my boyfriend, fmr. The relationship that ruined her life, fmr. The life she had in her cute little rental house, fmr.

If you were her and you saw me there with the person I broke up with, which as a result rendered her homeless, would you not have pressed my face into the deep fryer?

"It's National Margarita Day!" she announced. Thank god she's taken to drink.

"I'm here with Ned," I told her, because everyone has to know my everything. She and I have plans to do our dreadful workout tonight, which will not begin to burn off the margarita/taquito combo she and I had going, but it's a start.

The point is, I can't do anything clandestine in this town without getting caught. The only other thing I have to tell you is that I was complaining to Ned about how when I get up in the morning, Edsel, Steely Dan and one or both adult cats follow me into the bathroom. Steely Dan stands on my shoulder the whole time, like we're posing for a Very Special Olan Mills portrait.

"I'm surrounded by animals in that tiny bathroom," I kvetched. "I'm like St. Francis of A-piss-i."

Then I called Fay to get the name of her bust worker.

How many of them hormones you been takin’, honey?

Yesterday evening, after a very busy day that I'm sorry to inform you Ima tell you about, I headed to the grocery store to get cat food, because the cupboard was literally bare in the cat food department. I really have to look into that deliver-pet-food-regularly thing you guys keep telling me is out there on the world wide web. What is it, again? Is it on the Amazon? Because it feels like I'm at the store getting food or litter eleven times a week.

Anyway, while I was there, I got some of this really good chicken salad they sell from this deli in Wilmington, and it's the best goddamn chicken salad you have ever had in your life. I usually don't splurge on it, but goddammit, it sounded delicious.

I got home and dumped the cat food in the bin, put the chicken salad in the refridge, and commenced to doing some freelance work. All I could think of was that chicken salad. "Oh, go have a little," Rotten June said to me, who clearly has a much larger influence over me than Practical June.

"It's too late to be eating anything like chicken salad," Practical June said, her voice hoarse from lack of use.

So I didn't have any, and in the middle of the night I woke with a migraine, which makes sense given my very busy day that I am sorry to inform you Ima tell you about. I stumbled out of bed, got water from the refridge, took a pill and stumbled back to bed.

I woke up with no migraine, but when I got to the kitchen?

I hadn't shut the refridge door all the way. How hard are you gonna slap me for continuing to say "refridge"?

Everything was warm. I can't eat the chicken salad.

GOD

DAMMIT.

Practical June can go fuck herself.

Do you remember during my year abroad when I killed myself to make pumpkin chili and then we forgot to put it in the

refridge

and I had to throw it all away? I hate shit like that.

Anyway, m'weekend. [Everyone pulls chair closer with rapt attention. Or not.]

IMG_5401

Faithful Reader Stacey sent me this photo she found of someone who is clearly related to me. First of all, we look alike, if I weren't currently 87, and second of all she has June Hair and eighth, she totally overdid it with the flowers and sparkly choker and so on, and that right there seals the deal. Distant relative.

"Oh, I know! I'll pair my ruffly Prince shirt with my very involved jacket with an entire bouquet of flowers thrown jauntily over my shoulder and pop some in m'hair as well and don't forget the sparkly choker!"

She would so like Hello Kitty.

Anyway. That happened, and I also got into the show Z on Amazon, which isn't that good but I am riveted by Zelda Fitzgerald so I just want to see what happens next. I've read books on her, so I sort of, you know, know, but I want to watch it on film.

Christina Ricci is totally miscast as Zelda, and then noticed Christina Ricci is the producer and right then I knew. Once I was getting a pedicure in my neighborhood and she and I were the only people in the place. I had to act like I hadn't noticed Christina Ricci and I were the only people in there who weren't employees, read my Glamor all casual like and so on.

The very next day, I was at the grocery store in my neighborhood probably buying fucking cat food, and there she was, in produce.

"Hi," we said to each other, half-heartedly. We both knew. She was probably texting her friends. "June Gardens is totally here at Paint Nail!"

I can't remember what my local pedicure place was called. Any friends who still read me in LA, help a sister out. It was on Rowena and Hyperion, right next to that store that had clothes and jewelry and incense and so on, which I also can't remember the name of.

Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 7.47.52 AM
NAIL STATION! I just Googled it. It looks like the store next door is gone and that Nail Station has taken over. You go, Nail Station may I hep you. That's always how they answered the phone. "Nail station may I hep you."

Their English is better than my Vietnamese, so maybe I could shut up now.

Oh my god I'm not even on Sunday yet.

So Sunday dawned and it was beautiful out. Sunny, breezy, in the 70s. It was like the perfect day, and my daffodils are just about to bloom. I had plans to see my friend Jo, but she took ill. "I hate feeling awful on a beautiful day," she said. I pointed out to her that there will be other pretty days, unless she dies from her illness, in which case she is shit out of luck.

You know what sounds good? Is some chicken salad.

Anyway, I lounged outside with my cats while I drank my 25% caffeinated coffee (that's going better than I thought it would, by the way).

IMG_5415
Then I did my horrific high-intensity interval training that my horrific co-worker Austin horrifically told me I should do to lose weight, and if it weren't working I'd stop doing it but it is so I soldier on. After that I did Tracy Anderson arms, and then I showered and decided I should really get out of the house on such a nice day, so Edsel and I headed to a trail.

There are about a million parks and trails in this town, resulting in every middle-aged yahoo on dating sites wanting to find a woman who loves the outdoors and hiking and sweating and doing color runs and so on, and what I need to do is move to Ohio and find some nice man who enjoys sitting around and dive bars.

Everyone AND THEIR DOG was out on that trail, and you know how relaxing Edsel is when he sees another dog, so that was fun. We were about 40 minutes in when it occurred to me this trail was not a loop.

Son of a…

So we turned around, bright eyes, and my point is, after my horrific interval training and Tracy Anderson-ing and my 900-minute walk, I was what you might call hungry. Edsel was looking like a delicious duck dinner back there.

I dropped his punk ass off, and I'm totally picturing him letting himself in with his key and waving goodbye while I back out of the driveway. I went to the new park and got a chicken pita with hummus and a lemonade at the little Middle-Eastern stand that they will probably ban any minute. PITA BREAD IS A THREAT TO OUR NATION.

IMG_5419

I offer you the world's least-flattering photo of myself wherein it looks like I'm elegantly mustached. It also looks here like absolutely no one else was at the park, like the whole thing was deserted and I'm Eleanor Rigby, but in fact it was crawling with people.

What I discovered, and this is important, is that that park is EXCELLENT for dog-watching. There's a little dog park there, and yesterday I saw two yellow dachshunds–and who knew they came in that color?–a brindled Whippet, a huge hound of some sort with long long earses, and?

And??

A baby German shepherd.

OH MY GOD, that baby German shepherd! HE WAS SO TOOOT! I LOVED HIM SO BAD!!! With his big floppy earses.

Hang on, I gotta take a moment to glare at Edsel.

Then I went to see La La Land, which I wasn't even that interested in but I like to see all the nominated movies before the Oscars, otherwise I get bored at the Oscars. I act like I'm going there with Cary Grant or something.

Man, was I all in after that. I was too tired to even watch another episode of Z after I did my freelance and debated chicken salad with myself. Some guy at work told me when he's getting over someone he keeps himself so busy that by the time he gets home all he can do is crawl into bed. So.

Hey, I wish I'd talk more. Ima go. Someone tell me about that get-food-delivered site. kthanxbye.

Currently,

June

P.S. (Mother of GOD, June.) I forgot to show you photos of Lily grooming Iris.

IMG_5427  IMG_5428
IMG_5436
Wut?

The Big Game

Yeah, well, so. I saw Ned again.

I KNOW.

Everything you're gonna tell me, I already know. I KNOW, okay? Goddammit.

On Friday, I went to a goodbye party for one of the Alexes, one who's actually named Alex, and it bugs her when, say, I call our coworker Tiffany "Alex." "I'm the real Alex," Alex will say. The trouble is, there were 72 Alexes there for awhile. Now they're all mostly gone. This particular Alex is moving to Colorado, which is perfect for her, all outdoorsy and hippie-ish and shit.

People come and go so quickly at work. I'm like a classic at this point, with my six years. I'm the Chanel of coworkers. Who needs to get a new joke, do you think? I'm the Tim the Toolman of jokes. "Whuuuuut?"

Anyway. That was fun, and it turns out one of Alex's friends who showed up was this whippernapper I'd talked to on OK Cupid for awhile way back in 2016, so that was kind of funny. Pretty soon I will have almost dated every man in town.

So I left that get-together, which was right after work, after an hour or so, because I had to go home and watch Edsel refuse to go outside. He hates going outside. He won't go. In fact, you're reminding me that he didn't go out last night and he hasn't gone out this morning. Hang on.

I just forced him to go out. I have to take him by the collar and make him go. "And stay out!"

Poor Edsel. I'll let you know when the Prozac kicks in.

Anyway, I got home and Ned called. "You want to go get a drink?" he asked.

You know at the beginning of the Mary Tyler Moore show, when she has the meat, and hesitates about throwing it into her cart, but she does so anyway? That was me.

We met at the controversial scene of our first date, which was not controversial at all other than it was the start of this FIVE-YEAR push-me-pull-me-llama relationship I seem to be in. We were having a fine time sitting up at the bar, which technically I hate doing, but still, we were having fun. Then this DJ started playing I Will Survive and we realized it was old-people disco night. All sorts of people our age got up and shook their groove thing, yeah yeah.

Fortunately, this bar is part of a swank hotel, so we just took our drinks and headed to the fancy lobby, and we sat there for ages–ages!!–just talk talk talking about everything, including my newest obsession. Guest starring The Love Addict and The Love Avoidant!

I mean, there I was talking to Ned, and it was like my whole insides were made of sparkles. I get all sparkly when I'm with Ned, until our NEXT AWFUL FIGHT when I feel like I'm made of silt.

So then the next day he came and got me and we went antique shopping.

Did I mention I KNOW?

We went all over looking for things, neither of us having anything particular in mind. The landlord is selling our old house, so Ned will have to move if he doesn't buy it, which he's considering. He could raise his family there.

HAHAHAHAHA

Anyway.

IMG_5271

Ned bought me this pictures I admired, and oh my god look at them. Why can't everything be from the mid-century? I mean, I am. And look how I turned out.

Then I'm sorry to tell you Ned bought me lunch and then that evening we may or may not have gone to that mysterious speakeasy I told you about. We drove out to the old mill that they've made into restaurants and so on, which were all closed because late, and of course there's no sign or door or anything. But then we saw two well-dressed people going through a door that looked like it led to a utility room or something, and man did we stampede for that door. Then you go down a long hall, type in the code that you have to get from Twitter, and there we were,

It was packed. But we got a table. I had a whiskey sour. I think Zelda Fitzgerald enjoyed a whiskey sour. Actually I'd dearly love to know what she drank, but I think her drink of choice may have fallen into the category of "anything."

Anyway, on Sunday I observed my pets and allegedly cleaned the house, although today it's back to looking fur-covered, so.

IMG_5251

I moved my free ottoman into the spare bedroom, and I read my book in there for awhile Sunday. There's one of those take-one-or-leave-one book things in our park, and I've gotten three books out of there lately that I've read. This one is by the same person who wrote Olive Kitterage, which was a very good book. How did I get fingerprints all over it? Faithful Reader Paula is dying a million deaths right now.

IMG_5261
I like being home with my pets, watching them be evil.

IMG_5256

Here's Iris, trying to intimidate Steely Dan so he gives up his delicious canned kitten food. Not that the food is made from kittens. Also, note there's Steely Dan, not giving one shit about Iris.

Being home gave me plenty of time to do this in my head: I love Ned, STOP IT. I love Ned. STOP IT.

So that was relaxing.

Oh, and speaking of Ned, NedKitty has been taking her eleven thousand medications and Ned said she is eating again and also meowed and flicked her tail. So. Woot! Livin' large. She also climbed to the top of her kitty tower–he sent me a photo.

On our antique-shopping day, we stopped off at that pretentious pet store where the woman with the butch haircut works, the one Edsel loves so bad. Anyway, we went there because Ned was looking for low-phosphate food, and you can imagine what a lightening-fast decision he made about that. That place is overwhelming as it is–they have an entire big room dedicated to just pet food and it's a lot to take in.

Fortunately, there was a woman there who had a teensy baby Goldendoodle puppy named Marvin, and the first person to ask why I didn't whip out my phone and take a photo of a stranger has to live in my chaotic brain for a month. I'll just slip you right in there and you'll have to avoid all my bouncing thoughts. Good luck.

IMG_5278 IMG_5273
Last night, my coworker Austin and his wife had me and some other friends over to watch The Big Game. On both accounts I've worked on at work, we've been forced to refer to The Super Bowl as The Big Game, a thing you'll notice a lot of companies do now that I've pointed it out. Apparently The Super Bowl will call the police on your ass like my neighbor Alicia if you say The Super Bowl.

Therefore, Austin and I could not get enough of ourselves and our "big game" references.

IMG_5283

I had a slight fear that Austin, who is the least-obnoxious cross-fitter you know, would have all healthy food at his Big Game party. He's the guy who brings green peppers to work as a snack and does not kill himself and/or stampede for the Famous Amos in the vending machine by noon, which is what I'd do if you forced me to snack on green peppers.

IMG_5272

Oh, shit. Big bowl of carrots. But there was also chili and bean dip and guacamole and beer and cookies and wings. So yay. Guess what I ate all of and guess what I did not touch?

Hey, June, why are your hips in another zip code?

IMG_5279

Obsessed readers will recall that I am particularly enamored of Austin's old-lady wallpaper in the kitchen, a thing they keep wanting to change and then alternately loving. I'd keep it, of course, but I just put three kitchy girl pictures up in my house, so.

IMG_5281

Austin pointed out that if you have time to count out 60 drops, you have time to get to the store and buy a teaspoon.

I have to go. I did not see one commercial last night that I'd write home about. Which is sort of what I'm doing right now, and note me here not writing about any commercials.

I leave you with one question we came up with last night, which is: What do you not want anyone to see you eating? Austin enjoys a peanut butter sandwich dipped in milk, but only standing at the counter and when no one is looking.

You all know I eat Parmesan cheese out the green can. That'd be mine. And another friend buys butter at the grocery store and eats it like a candy bar in the parking lot.

What's yours?

Talk at you.

Jooooon

Suck zinc.

IMG_4682

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

IMG_4599

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

IMG_4636

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

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

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

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

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

I felt perfectly fine.

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

IMG_4680

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

IMG_4646

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

IMG_4650

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

IMG_4654 IMG_4655 IMG_4659 IMG_4665
It was amazing. I met lots of cool people, including the guy I was sitting with at the top of the stairs when I took this photo. It was an excellent place to people watch.

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

"The farmer takes a wife, Daddy?"

Yes, he'll tell her.

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

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

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

IMG_4652

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

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

IMG_4668

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

IMG_4620

Oh. Well, that's good news.

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

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

IMG_4679

Pffffft,

June

Oh, good. Christmas.

Hi! [Breezes in, opens your cookie jar.] This is it? God.

Yesterday morning my damn computer kept spooling at me and groaning and waving a hanky and basically my computer was Ashley Wilkes, neglecting the wood stack and gazing at the sunset, missing 12 Oaks, so I said "Fuck it" and didn't blog.

At lunch I finally shut the damn thing off and started anew, and my computer seems like it's back to full Mammy strength. Who was it who hated my references to Gone With the Wind all the time? Was it Bitchy Resting Face Alex? Because, irony.

IMG_4348

Guess who I just spent the evening with? It was either Ashley Wilkes or BRF Alex. Please note the top of her door. She caught and slaughtered Colonel Sanders. I didn't want to show you the mount she made of him. He's such a beloved figure.

I don't know if it's because I said I never get invited anywhere on my last post, or if I put it into the universe, or–more likely–coincidence, but ever since I was last here, my phone won't shut the fuck up. "Come to this!" "We're having that!" "You're invited!" So that's good. Seriously, I heard from people I haven't heard from in YEARS these past 48 hours. I got so many texts and IMs that I finally got rid of my Facebook message app. Like, my phone was insane. Weird.

Anyway, BRF Alex invited me over to eat some of her delicious chicken pie, which is not a euphemism.

IMG_4344
All these years we been knowing each other and she only ever invited me over one other time, and I stood her up–can't remember why, now–and it had become sort of a joke between us how I was never allowed in her house after that faux pas. But now that I'm the new, in-demand June Gardens, that's all changed.

I spent much time obsessing over her dogs, who don't give you much choice. (Mom, I brought them some of the dog cookies. Am hit amoung BRF Alex's dogs.)

IMG_4341
Here's black-and-white Edsel.

IMG_4352
And black-and-white Tallulah.

IMG_4345

There's her husband, whom I ignored because black-and-white versions of my dogs. We banished him. He remembers The Colonel. He stays on his best behavior.

Isn't their house cute? Doesn't it piss you off that people in their 20s have such a cute place? When I was in my 20s I lived under a bridge with some crack.

Anyway, so yesterday we got out of work early. Now I have four long days here with no real plans except for Christmas day, despite my in-demand self. I am determined to not get depressed. I have a whole list of shit I'm doing, none of it that fun, except I do plan to get my brows waxed. Kaye has forbidden it, but I cannot stand myself a minute longer so Ima go spend that six dollars and FUCK IT, KAYE. It's Christmas!

There's next year's Christmas card.

IMG_4402

Anyway, so since I was home and it was still light out, Edsel got a long walk, in which he snarled at all dogs, which, is that a self-loathing thing? It's like when I hate all show-offy girls.

IMG_4417
We ran into Aunt Peg on our walk. Peg always tries to get Edsel's attention when he's outside, and he never has a word for her.

IMG_4414
fuk yoo ant peg

Peg is headed to her daughter's for Xmas, which is good. I worried. I'm still rolling her trash to the curb each week, and she acts like I've bought her a house. It's really not that big a deal. Still. If we wanna go around talking about what a wonderful person I am, I've no issue with that.

One of the things Ima do this weekend, this endless fucking holiday fucking weekend, is pick out which posts I wanna make a book out of. Hence my new truncated look on my posts. Reading the archives on this thing is a pain in the ass. And I don't own Typepad, so there's not much I can do other than this truncating, and having, like, 100 posts on one page.

And while we're on the subject of this blog and readers and so on, here's a blanket answer to the 2394838484 messages I've gotten:

  1. No, dear reader, I would not like you to take me to my colonoscopy. It's very sweet, but it's a, you know, vulnerable thing. My mother is taking me. As that is her job. That's what she signed on for 67 years ago. IMG_4425
  2. Yes, dear reader, I'm sure your package got here. I think this is the first year gifts from readers outnumbered gifts from people I've met, which is once again very sweet. I have opened exactly zero packages that've arrived these past few weeks, because they're mostly from Amazon and I don't know who they're from, but I assume they're Xmas-related. On Christmas I will open them, and thank you accordingly. I need a bridesmaid over to write down the names and the gift.

People must feel sorry for me this year. Join the club. I feel just terrible for me.

Someone is meowing somewhere. Goddammit. Hang on. We all KNOW who it is…

IMG_4429

He just wanted attention. God help us, everyone. He's one of those head-butting kitties. He likes to be petted. I like that about him. I do not like the "ME BORED!" meow, however.

All right, I gotta go. These eyebrows aren't gonna wax themselves.

Luff,

Joooon

A 51-year-old woman complains bitterly about cat food. Which is not at all sad.

One of you was nice enough to send me a few cases of canned kitten food, which when I think about it musta cost a pretty penny and thank you again. The good news is that Steely Dan just loves it, and his fur is so gleamy and soft.

IMG_3553

Jesus. I thought I'd better get a visual aid, like you don't know what Steely Dan looks like, and just try to get a photo of Mr. Gleamy and Soft when he's in kitten mode, which is all the time. So that was 20 minutes of my day, and this was the best I could get. I deeply enjoy the cat/dog fur on my robe. How'd that happen, do you think?

IMG_3554

The rest of the photos all looked like this.

Anyway. So I've been floomping a small can in his dish every day, and the other times I feed him I give him dry kitten food. "I wonder how much I should actually be feeding him?" I wondered, squinting at the size-two font on the back of the can. Seriously, who can read that?

Apparently, I can, because it read: Up to 20 weeks, give kitten as much as he will eat.

Twenty weeks. Why don't you go fuck yourself. Twenty weeks. That's precisely like people saying their baby is 22 months old. GOD FORBID YOU SAY 'HE'S ALMOST TWO.'

So I had to do the advanced math and I finally figured out what they MEANT was five months. Till a cat is five months old, give him as much as he wants. Which by the way would be fine if I were Croesus. As much as he wants. He'd eat 47 cans a day.

But then. Oh, get this. THEN, when he's 20–30 weeks old, the teensy can reads, feed him "2/3 of an ounce per lb. of body weight per day."

…..?

Two-thirds of…

Oh, go fuck your own self. Are you fucking kidding me? Ima floomp a can in there every day till he's grown up. Jesus. Has this can-writer met America? We're still trying to figure out how a deck of cards can be a serving. Two-thirds of an ounce for every pound. Kindly take your can instrux and stick then where the sun does not shine, and I don't mean Seattle.

I'd just like a sit-down, I really would, with the yahoo who came up with that as a formula. Oh, surely everyone in the world will (a) know what their kitten weighs at all times, and (2) has time to figure out that math and convert the fraction and so on.

Seriously, who is this humorless schmuck? Where is he? Has be been laid EVEN ONCE in this lifetime? If so, how much did the woman weigh when you divide it by two-thirds?

Did NO ONE at his workplace say, hey, Plonathan, I'm wondering if these feeding instructions, not to mention this font, are not quite user-friendly. I wonder, Plonathan, if we can simplify these just a bit for stupid people, aka most of the country.

PEOPLE STILL THINK IT'S "awe" when something's cute! People think it's "at her becon call"! People think it's "for all intensive purposes"! BUT WE'RE SUPPOSED TO FIGURE OUT 2/3 OF AN OUNCE FOR EVERY POUND THE CAT WEIGHS.

Oh, but "for weeks 30 to 52, feed half a can per lb of body weight." Oh, thanks. That's so much easier.

IMG_3556

This is as clearly as I can see it, so this photo is perfect. Maybe it just really IS that blurry.

Honestly, this is a huge thing with me, as you can see. Instructions that make no sense. I got an email just last night that I read three times and still couldn't make sense of. WHY CAN'T WE SPEAK CLEARLY ANYMORE? I think the real sign of intelligence is being able to state your point simply and concisely.

Says the person who just went on 20 paragraphs about cat food.

June tells you what she ate. Riveting.

Because you know how linear I am, I'll describe my weekend for you, Friday through Sunday, and how long do you give me to screw that up?

Does it bug you, you Tidy Tess types, when I'm all over the place the way I am, or does it fascinate you, the way happy, well-adjusted people fascinate me?

IMG_2298

I checked my photos, and this was taken Friday. It's the only photo I took Friday, and I clearly took it by accident. I think that's the ceiling at work. So, I must have accidentally taken it at work. Nothing gets past me. I saw my work ceiling, and right then I knew.

At least I think it's work ceiling. Oh my god, who cares. Let's discuss instead how my skin is sagging around my mouth and how we all need to hit my tip jar to fix that shit. I'm thinking only of all of you. Having to look at that sag award.

At lunchtime on Friday, I came home and did the thing I do to myself occasionally, which is get obsessed with an old movie in the middle of it, watch an hour of it, then have to return to work. This one starred Gregory Peck and Deborah Kerr, who always annoys me a little bit. She's always so convinced that she's smart and cute in every movie. She's always a little smug. With that goddamn smirk.

Anyway, he was F Scott Fitzgerald, and she was some woman named Sheila, which Gregory Peck kept annoyingly pronouncing as "Shilo," and I was all, "Where's Zelda?"

Zelda Fitzgerald has always fascinated me.

Zelda-sayre-fitzgerald1

With her whole It Girl of the '20s thing, which is cool enough, to ending up drunk and crazy, and I wonder what was wrong with her, really. I mean, is it something she could be taking a pill for now? Did she have something half our over-posting-on-Facebook-friends have today?

It turns out in the movie, she was already sanitariumed and in Asheville, a thing I didn't even know about her till I went home and rented the whole damn movie because I wanted to know what happened next. Poor F Scott Fitzgerald was on a downward spiral, and no one cared about his writing anymore, and young people thought he was dead, and he was the victim of ageism.

I FEEL YOU, F SCOTT FITZGERALD.

This entire time I've been writing you, Edsel has rested his head on my lap, so I let him out, then he wanted back in and when he did Steely Dan wanted desperately to go out, which of course no. So now Edsel's back with his head on my lap, wriggling the rest of himself, and S Dan is crying pitifully and trying to climb my robe to let me know just what an outrage he finds this.

IMG_2317
Rare Steely-Dan-sleeping pose.

IMG_2302
On Saturday, I dragged some of my friends to the Greek Festival, which is more a food festival, but whatever. We got there just as the dancing was ending for two hours, which reminds me of this woman I worked with at a restaurant in my college town. She didn't go to MSU, and there was a Tommy James and the Shondells concert at MSU. She walked EIGHTY-SEVEN HOURS trying to find the venue on campus, and when she finally got there, she heard, "Mony, mony! Thank you! Goodnight!"

Thank you. Goodnight. That has always killed me.

IMG_2299

So I missed the dancing, but I did not miss getting all the food the Greek gods had to offer. I had some Zeus-y roasted chicken, and it was well-cooked so I don't think I'll get food Poseidon-ing. I took my Nikes right over to the rice and stewed green beans, and had a little Hera the dog with a glass of Greek wine.

IMG_2304

There was this whole NOTHER line for pastries, and it moved one Demeter per hour. I'm sorry to tell you I got five different desserts, and Eros must have made the almond crescent cookies. Mother of Zeus it was delicious.

Naturally, yesterday morning was when that headache study called to ask what I'd eaten the day before, and I was so pleased to say, "Nine hundred Greek pastries."

Dammit, it got late, and I have to go, but yesterday I saw that new Jeff Bridges movie called Hell or High Water, and I know it looks like a boy movie but it's really very good. Highly recommend.

Talk to you later,

F June Fitzgardens