At 52, June finally plays with a full deck

“I have to blog,” I just told my mother. Not that I have a blog.

When I’m visiting her, I always emphasize how, if I’m writing, I don’t like to be interrupted. Ruins m’flow.

“I know you have you write, you’ve told me and told me,” she said from her perch in the living room. I have. I’ve tried to write all the other days she’s been here and as soon as I sit down, she’ll be all, “Where are your spoons?”

So, I said, “Okay, here I go. Really writing now.” I sat down. Stretched my claws. Poised over the keyboard.

“Did you feed Edsel?” Continue reading “At 52, June finally plays with a full deck”

Rare. In the bloody way, not the special way.

Do you think of yourself as normal? I have never once, for as long as I can remember, considered myself to be normal. And I'm glad of it, although I haven't always been. I doubt anyone else finds me normal, either.

There was one woman who was married to my friend, a woman who made it a real point to seem different, kind of like that What's Goin' On chick, you know who I mean? 4nb6

Like, the second you meet her, she's got so much "Look how weird I am" happening with her look that you can't help but think, Hey, bundle of insecurity, how's it going?

Four Non Blondes. That was the name of the What's Goin' On band. I can't tell you how delighted I am that they made "non" stand alone like that. Like the cheese. Standing alone.

The point of my story is my friend's wife–the Hey World, Look at Me wife–found me desperately boring. "Oh, a tattoo on your ankle. How original." Yes, if only I'd had the creativity to get that feminine neck tattoo, Grace Kelly doppelganger, over there.

Other than that bitch, no one finds me all that normal. I don't think. Maybe they do and I just think my insides show, like one of those refrigerators with glass doors.

This might be genetic, this thinking I'm a rare flower. My grandmother, the one I'm turning into–and let's just call a spade a spade and call her The One I've Turned Into already–went to a restaurant when she was a kid, and she ordered a steak, rare, because she thought it meant it was this precious piece of steak or something. That there was no other steak like it in the world. When this bloody hunk of meat appeared on her plate she about died.

I don't know how I got on this tangent, other than I met this man from New York on one of my dating sites, a man from New York who's moved here, and my first thought was why did some fancy New Yorker pick a gal from Michigan like me, who likes sparkles and Real Housewives, and then I remembered the whole not-seeming-normal thing, which is probably refreshing for a New York man surrounded by women with french pedicures, Beach Girl bumper stickers and monogrammed commuter mugs. That was a short sentence.

Not that I'm saying there's a romance brewing in a commuter mug, by the way. I have no idea yet. I was just more stuck on the New Yorker thing.

Did y'all have those York Steakhouses in your malls? Those all dark in there places? I think it had burgundy wallpaper. We did for awhile, and I remember it was delicious after a day of shopping for Lip Smackers and Andy Gibb 45s. Also, welcome to how my brain works. As if you didn't know already.

There's nothing like steak served cafeteria style. If there were a York Steakhouse, I'd march right over there at lunch today. Because ravenous. I did that damn high intensity workout again last night, with my tenant, fmr., and listen to this. We decided to go a little longer, like Big Red. "You want to try two minutes more?" I asked. Believe me, two more minutes feels like to kill you when you're at the end of that thing.

Nevertheless, we persisted.

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In other news, not that I've given you even one piece of news so far, I saw this photo on Facebook–I think Faithful Reader Paula put it up–and was stunned to find Midcentury June. Everything about this photo is Midcentury June. I want to know everything there is to know about this woman. I wonder if she's still alive! She could give Late Century June some advice, such as never, ever get a Boxer.

I love that picture so hard. The more you stare at it, the more shit you find to love.

I'd better get ready for work, as I am wont to do. I finished my latest freelance assignment, but another is coming next week. And I still need to write a Purple Clover this weekend. I can't seem to figure out how to start this particular column. It haunts me. I should probably just start writing and I'll be fine.

Also, I wrote an animal behaviorist about making an appointment for Edsel, and got a VERY snooty note back about how my vet needs to recommend said behaviorist, that I can't just make an appointment, who do I think I am with my generic ankle tattoo. But then I read that Prozac takes 4 weeks to kick in, and it's not been 4 weeks, so I decided to see if he seems better in a week or two. Poor sad Edsel. How many times are we gonna say that? In this life.

He doesn't seem sad right this minute. He's over here developing a real crush on m'toast. Edz can see reel fewchur with towst.

I'd better go, but oh! Last night I started streaming The People v OJ Simpson OH MY GOD, riveting. They didn't make Marcia Clark's hair bad enough, though. I know from bad hair.

I'll catch you later. Let's all meet up at York's, near the Sears entrance to the mall.

Dude looks like a Junie

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I made it all week on my remaining $10, and then payday came and hello mortgage, but still, we got Christmas bonuses this year and you guys donated $10 apiece to celebrate my 10 years of blogging (oh, did you know it was my anniversary of blogging? I never mention it), so I finally had cashola to Christmas shop.

Say, there was a sentence, sentence-maker. Also, thanks, y'all!

I really don't have many people to shop for. My cousin Katie and I have been exchanging good deeds each year in lieu of another shitty candle. She can totally afford to buy me things, and I totally can't, so she's being nice plus also she's that type of hippie who prefers doing good deeds to a gift. I can't get behind people who think that way.

So I did one deed for her and may do another to round it out. It'll be like I got her a shitty candle and also a shitty Christmas ornament. Hey, book club gifts.

That leaves my Aunt Mary and Uncle Stuart, my mother and stepfather, and my stepgrandmother, who always wants something perishable or usable, as she has had enough shitty candles for a lifetime. Lifetime, Shitty Candles for Women.

I hate being a woman. I mean, I don't, because I don't ever want to get drafted or be expected to spit or reign in my emotions. But I hate being a woman in this society. Every woman friend I have, all two of them, are outside the norm. One might even say we're a tad cold, in comparison to the hugging, saw-this-and-thought-of-you, gift-bagging, inspirational-card-giving regular women in the world who, you know, nurture.

Nurturing sucks.

Am I weird? Don't answer that. Also, please don't think about my un-nurturing grandmother who I'm turning into.

"If you're turning into her, why don't you just stop yourself?" Ned asked me in a conversation not long before our terrific breakup-and-a-cab-ride finale.

Yeah, that's easy.

I have been poised over the keyboard for a minute, here, stopping myself from further comment.

Moving on.

What I like about myself is I still haven't even made my first point, which is that I could finally afford to Christmas shop, so last night I started.

Last night I finished.

When my Aunt Mary was here visiting this fall, I took her shopping, as that is her joint, and she wanted to go in this kitchen store you'll be stunned to hear I've never even noticed. Oh my god that store was da bomb! All of a sudden I felt I needed teensy teapots and La Crouton or whatever they are products and knives, oh knives and also avocado pitters. Okay, I actually really could use one of those. I eat a lot of avocado.

Why so chubby?

So what I did was, I memorized the things she picked up and admired, and then I forgot them, and then I went back in there yesterday and remembered some of them and Dear Aunt Mary, don't read this post.

I saw some things for mom in there, and I really admired these blue-green coffee mugs, and I wanted to buy one for her and one for me, which is something my Aunt Kathy always does when she buys gifts, but I did not because $21 apiece for a goddamn mug.

Aunt Kathy had kids of her own. We've never exchanged Christmas gifts. But sometimes she sees things and thinks of me. Then thinks of her.

Mom had specific things she wanted for Christmas, and while I was searching, I met this nice woman from Europe who's just moved here and is cold. Cold cold cold. I could tell she was lonely, as she was the one who started talking, and after we were done it occurred to me I really should've slipped her my digits.

I didn't because I feared she might be nurturing. Then I'd be stuck with one of those women who send you little things all the time and tag you on Facebook with cutesy sayings and then I'd spend all my time wondering how to get out of this European debacle like I was America in 1776. Hand me my fife.

The point is, I got my shopping done in an hour, everyone bought for, and then I came home and took 7 hours to wrap everything, because cats are assholes and also because I have no skills. None. I can't wrap a simple box without it looking like I had it wrapped by the Nubs for Hands Society.

Then I put everything in boxes and today I will assault the guy in the mailroom who already hates me because when you guys send me gifts it comes to work. "Another reader gift," he'll say, floomping a package down. It's always, like, Edsel food or an anvil or something. It's never a gift of air.

The point is, I'm a dude. I mean, I'm a dude in every way with the shopping and not nurturing and explosive temper and dick. The only way I'm not a dude is I can't fix anything.

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This is for everyone who says, "Iris is faking it. She's not blind." She's faking it really well, then.

Look at S Dan, just plotting his next dick move back there.

So, another part of me being broke this month is that I was out of conditioner. I use this specific kind for curls, and it's expensive, so I washed my hair Sunday and then decided I could just deal with it till Thursday when I could get conditioner.

Yesterday when I was done shopping, I remembered the conditioner, so I went to Ulta, which as you can imagine wasn't crowded at all 10 days before Christmas. I was in the forever line, like stamps without the nice picture of Kwanzaa, behind this man with a cute paper shopping list. Like, what is this, 1972? He was crossing things off it, and I saw him glance back at me, and because you know how I am, I was all, I must be lookin' HOT.

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Then I got home and saw my no-conditioner hair. Holy god. He must have been hoping the authorities were on their way. My hair is an octopus.

Also, that nose. You guys. That nose. GODDAMMIT.

Okay, I gotta go. My hair is wet, because you'll be stunned to hear I decided I'd better do something with it.

Nurturingly,

Jooooon

I really thought y’all were gonna write my name in

What I'm not going to do? Drone on about politics when half of you feel one way, half feel the opposite. Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

What I am going to do? Make you hear about m'trip home so far. No photos yet cause it's a pain in the ass to search my phone, select photos, email them to myself, get on my email up on mom's laptop, drag the photos onto mom's desktop, then upload them here.

[Whole room dearly wishes I'd talk about politics.]

First of all, I almost missed my damn flight. I stupidly scheduled to leave out of Raleigh, an hour away, fairly early in the day. I gave myself lots of time, but still got stuck in traffic and was 15 miles from the airport with less than an hour till my flight.

If I'd had a theme song right then, it'd have been Mission Impossible. It'd have been Under Pressure.

So I called Delta Dawn to ask that what that flower was they had on while I drove, and of course it was all, "Press one for blah de bloo," which was impossible because I was driving and what companies could do to make everyone happier is hire humans to answer the phone right away. And also to not tell me that I need to pay attention to all the prompts because "our menu has recently changed."

YOUR FUCKING MENU HAS NOT RECENTLY FUCKING CHANGED. HOW STUPID DO YOU THINK WE ARE? YOU JUST WANT US TO GIVE UP AND NOT CALL YOU, DELTA STUPID AIRLINES. AND EVERYBODY ELSE.

Anyway, I kept screeching, "Representative," and finally that worked, and when I got a human I told her the story of how I've never missed a flight before, but I was stuck in traffic and now it's 50 minutes till my departure and I'm at a standstill three exits away.

"We recommend you get to the airport 90 minutes before your flight," she said, and that is when I shot her. But other than that she was helpful, and when I finally got there and drove 39439494 miles in a circle to park and schlepped my suitcase 70 miles and stood in line to check my bag and stood in line for the anal probe and got to the gate, the plane was boarding.

Then in Detroit I got off my plane and my next plane was in a different terminal

…and already boarding.

Mother of god.

Anyway, the good news was I left North Carolina at 9:38 and got to Saginaw at 1:30, ready to kill my own self.

"I brought you Quiznos," said my mother, who knew of my charming day so far. "I looked at the menu and ordered exactly the opposite of what I'd ever get." She handed me my steak and cheese.

She'd wanted me to go terrecktly to her book club with her right from the airport. My stepfather bought me the book they were reading; he was going to book club, too. I read the book (Let the Great World Spin–highly recommend. Don't get bored at first) but I was in no mood. No mood.

I went home and napped while they went to book club.

Then mom and all her hippie friends had an election night party, and you know how Mary Richards' parties always went? This doomed party was right up there with the time Lou Grant and his wife broke up at Mary's party. (The same party that Lars slept with SueAnn Nivens. Do you recall that? I hadn't. Guess who's been binging Mary Tyler Moore?)

I noted on Facebook that I was home, and I don't know why I do this, because 394858493 people from my past always do the, "Oh! You're in town! Why don't you drive 35 miles to my house and we'll catch up from that time we last saw each other in 1982!" thing.

I suppose I should be delighted that this happens, and that people don't say, "Oh my god, I hope June doesn't remember I live here," but it always puts me in this awkward position of, well, no. No, I really can't abandon my actual family and so on to hang out, seeing as I'm home about once a year and usually for around 72 hours and even then I probably won't see everyone who's blood. Because damn Catholics.

However, there was this woman I was good friends with in junior high who saw I was home. We worked the library together for fifth hour in 8th grade. Working in the library was an excellent way to get out of gym. Anyway, she saw I was home, and attending my mom's doomed pantsuit party, and could she come, and I was excited to see her so I said okay to the man.

That line is only funny to When Harry Met Sally fans.

She came? With Kurt Russell wine. "Kurt Russell is my Barry Gibb," she announced to the room at large, and right then they knew. She was my people. 

I was unable to resist doing the pain-in-the-ass practice of uploading a photo of my junior high friend and her Kurt Russell wine for your viewing pleasure, so while I was up I got some more photos for you.

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I mean, did you even know Kurt Russell made wine?

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Aunt Kathy, mom and me at Mom's pantsuit party, before it took a turn. Before it became less a pantsuit and more a prick suit. Andy Sipowitz used to say that on NYPD Blue when he was being crabby. "Sorry, didn't mean to put on my prick suit." I try to work that into conversations as often as I can. It's not easy.

Okay, you seriously have no idea what a pain that is, so no more photos till I get home.

My mother's phone rings all the time. Her home phone. Does your phone ring anymore? I mean, I'm assuming you don't have a home phone; I don't. Your cell phone, though. The only person who calls me, ever, is Ned. Back when we were dating in Round 1, he called every night we didn't see each other and we'd recap our day, and he does so once again in Round 2. But other than that? I mean, my aunts will call maybe once a month. My mother calls. And then I call her back, adding to her ringing phone.

There are also many people bounding in and out of here all day. My mother is way more social than I am. If people wandered in and out at my house I'd be all, WHAT.

I'd love to italicize that "what" to fully emphasize my crabby, like you need that further emphasized, but I can't highlight it and scroll up and hit ital. I am hampered, y'all.

Anyway, I've talked too long as it is, so I will recap more for you tomorrow. This will give you something to look forward to, sort of like Christmas Eve.

MtMomMore

Okay one more. Mom says we look like we're posing for a new Mt. Rushmore. Also, mom needs to give it up on the raised eyebrows look.

Surprisingly,

June

At one with the nail salon. And food.

No human has eaten more than I did today. People have won pie-eating contests and they consumed fewer calories than me.

I am home, in Saginaw, for what would have been my grandmother’s 100th birthday. We decided to celebrate it, and everybody came and it was a good time and also there was food.

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I got in yesterday afternoon, around 5:00, and as we were nearing the airport, we flew right over a pumpkin patch. It was very exciting. I saw all the orange round things in the ground, and right then I knew.

I demanded that we head straight to the manicure place, because of course I hadn’t known I was coming here till like Thursday or something, and I hadn’t had time to get m’brows waxed, and I didn’t want my whole extended family to be all, “When did we become related to Lloyd Bridges?”

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My mother, who is apparently two feet tall, and I went to the manicure place, and I am not sure if I’ve told you about my mother’s problem. When I lived in LA, I used to take her to the nail place in my neighborhood, and right next to it was a cute store that had things in it like clothes and jewelry and incense and soaps. You get my drift. I can no longer recall was it was called, and if anyone knows what that store used to be on Rowena, near Griffith Park, next to Nails Perfections–which I swear to god that’s what the nail place was called–I’d be much obliged.

Anyway, we’d get our nails done and head to the store, and EVERY TIME, EVERY.TIME. my mother would smear her manicure because she looked at something. I’d say to her, “Don’t fuck up your nails” and guess what she’d do.

Yesterday while she was STILL IN THE CHAIR, she fucked up her nails and had to have two fingers re-done. She is incapable of being still. I can be still. I am at one with the nail salon.

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Anyway it was good to be here with decent nails and brows, and to see Gus, my mother’s dog, who has managed to outlive Talulah, which is all he ever wanted anyway, as he attacked poor Talu when she was but a pup. And now Lu resides on my bookshelf, lookin’ ashy, and all is right in Gus’s world.

He was particularly enamored of my eyebrowns.

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My mother and my Aunt Kathy live two houses away, and the festivities were at my aunt’s house. I didn’t really commence eating till I got there. I had a green apple at my mother’s, and that was the last I saw of my healthy living. As soon as I got there I made coffee, and had a cinnamon roll my aunt had made, and then oh look! Cheese! And whaddaya know, guacamole! Ole! 

Those are my cousins, above, who you will note are much thinner than I am. I was the chubby cousin, and I can’t figure out why the stubborn pounds.

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Oh, look. More thin cousins. There was spaghetti and manicotti, and who was I to not take both? Oh, and bread. There was plenty of crusty bread, plus, hey, we can’t let the rest of the cinnamon rolls go to waste.

I took photos for y’all of all my Aunt Kathy’s bathrooms, which when it’s easier for me to upload photos I will do a whole Aunt Kathy’s Bathrooms tour for you. It’s number two on my list.

HAHAHAHAHA.

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Aunt Kathy has two dogs: this is Newbie. She has a brown eye and a blue eye, just like David Bowie. She was humping Iman the whole time we were there. Unnamed-6

This is my Uncle John. He is my aunt and mom’s older brother. He had his DNA done, as did my Aunt Kathy, and if anyone wonders what to get me for Christmas, I so want that Ancestry DNA test. Find out if I have a little black in me. #Goals.

Why don’t I just go ahead and date a man of color already. There was one man of color who asked me out this past year, and he was way cute, but he’s the one who didn’t think “That’s what SHE said” was funny “because I guess this academic just doesn’t see the humor in that stuff.”

So. Man of color who ISN’T a tool.

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Best Aunt Kathy and me photo, ever. I think I’m glad because someone’s pulling out more food.

Anyway, everyone stayed all afternoon, and we looked at old photos, and I got to hang with my OTHER cousin Katy, the non-lesbian one, who lives in Detroit.

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We’re the same age, and I used to go visit her at college, and no shenanigans were ever involved in those weekends. No, sir. Anyway even though years pass and we don’t see each other, once we do we find out we have all the same neuroses and medical issues, no matter where we are in life. Hashtag, Pee When We Sneeze.

Finally, everyone had to get back to their regularly scheduled dwellings in Detroit, and I ate everything so no one would have to clean up food, and now I’m back at my mother’s blogging to you. My plane leaves early tomorrow, so it was a whirlwind trip.

I leave you with photos of Aunt Kathy with Newbie and Uncle Bill with Roxie. I hope you hold on to your hat, but I loved those dogs.

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Talk to you later.

XO, Joon and her food

P.S. I didn’t even MENTION the deviled eggs.

P.P.S. I swear to you, my mother just came in here to ask if I wanted something to eat.

June’s deep secret revealed

The jig is up: I'm going to Michigan this weekend, and then again in November. Dear Person I Am Not Related To Who is in Michigan: No, probably not, re seeing you. When I DO get there, I get booked with family things pretty fast.

This coming weekend is what would have been my grandmother's 100th birthday, so my family is having a celebration for her, and I really hope my cousins are reading this because I'm about to say that as gramma's favorite, I really wanted to be there.

But what my mother didn't know is I'd secretly planned to go to Michigan in November for my mother's 70th birthday, so I didn't think I could do both.

Oh, I was being stealthy about my mother's birthday. I was having clandestine talks with my stepfather, which is nearly impossible because land line, no Facebook, shared email account. How do either of them have affairs?

One time I was talking to my stepfather about my plans and in walked my mother. "Well, I hope you feel better," he said. He's a doctor. It would be not unlike me to be calling him for medical advice. "Oh, that was good, Harry!" I said.

Nevertheless, somehow she figured it out.

Goddammit.

That still didn't solve the fact of two trips to Michigan in one month + June's income = sad. I told all this to Ned when I saw him at the old movie theater when I went to see Carrie the other night. Of course he was there. I figured he would be.

The next morning I got an email from him with an itinerary. "You're leaving for Michigan Saturday morning, returning Monday. Can you take Monday off?"

Ned. Not the worst ex-boyfriend anyone ever had.

So that's exciting. Now I'm laundering everything so that I don't have to wear a robe all weekend. I know I just said I had to launder everything the other day. Hashtag one load of the really popular stuff four days ago.

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This whole time I've been talking to you, Iris has been in the window meowing at me for no reason. I mean, I'm certain she thinks she has a reason. But I assure you she does not.

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Perhaps she's protesting this sitch in general.

Anyway, so I'm off. Tomorrow night I have a little cocktail party to attend and then Saturday morning I get on a plane and see my people. My cousin Aunt Katie the Lesbian won't be there–she has to work. She's a nurse. They work a lot.

I wonder if she can get a medical team together to take care of this nose? Oh, dear god, my nose. I hate it so.

I gotta go to work, as I am wont to do. I have negative $63 in checking, so I'm not at all excited about payday tomorrow. Payday? Eh. Take it or leave it. I've got my negative sixty-three dollars. (I keep forgetting I have savings. Oh, good! I'm not as destitute as you'd think.)

Okay, I'm off. What are you gonna do this weekend? Other than pester me because you're only 93 miles from Saginaw and we went to junior high together so wouldn't I have time to get in the car to meet up with you while I'm home for 48 hours.

XO,

Jooom

Jooom. Goddammit.

But the liver and child reunion is only a motion away

I probably shouldn't be workout buddies with my ex-boyfriend, but so what. If you'll recall, from your Big Book of June Events, Ned was complaining of neck pain, and with my medical degree and minor in psychology, I determined he had all sorts of repressed feelings that were manifesting in physical sensations,

a thing I informed him of right before the call came that he had a broken neck. Okay, DR. JUNE.

His (actual) doctor told him that he shouldn't go to the gym, or ride his bike as if he's trying to win some race, and as a result Ned is depressed and feels fat. "Can you take walks?" I asked. So now, of course, being Ned, he walks at 10:00, he walks at 3:00, then comes over right after work to walk with Edsel and me, and what he does not know is without discussing it, our walks just got 2,000 times longer.

As soon as he pulls up now, Edsel gets twitterpated, because not only is it UNKKLE NED! O EDSUL GOD!, it also WALK TIMES! O EDSUL GOD!!

Yesterday we saw a downed tree–a whole tree!!–in the park. "Want to walk down there and look at it?" asked Ned. Edsel and I clutched our pearls. "Down that steep hill?"

Ned led Eds and me down that hill, Eds' dainty paws approaching cautiously down. Just as we were near the tree, Ned said, "Watch out for black snakes," and that's when the dog and I had to be revived.

In the meantime, I went back to the headache study place yesterday so they could check me out. Check it out now, funk soul brother. I weigh TWO POUNDS MORE, and why, god? Oh Edsul god. But my blood pressure is 14 over 12.

Here are some things that irk me about being in this study.

  1. "Oh, will you tell me what you're doing for the study? I'll do it too and NO MORE MIGRAINES!" First of all, I'm in one of three groups, so I have no idea if I'm in the real group or not. Second, I'm in the middle of what's clearly a multimillion-dollar study, and giving away their secrets seems …unseemly. "Thank you," said the nurse yesterday when I told her I said no to people who were asking for details and recipes and so on. So my instinct was correct on that.
  2. People think it's a traditional migraine diet. "Can you have chocolate?" "Oh, wait, you're not supposed to have wine, right?" It's not the regular stuff we already associate with being triggers. It's new. That's why it's a study.

When I got to the migraine place yesterday on campus, I was ushered to a room where I sat right underneath a 2015 Liver Transplant Reunion calendar. The nurse bustled in, took my lack of blood pressure, asked me a few questions, but all I could think of was how bad I want a 2015 Liver Transplant Reunion calendar. I imagine in 2017 they will have covered the 2016 reunion, right? And they'll make another calendar, right?

I'm just saying, family. Christmas is right around the corner.

Finally, I admitted to the beleaguered nurse assigned to me for six months how enamored I was of the Liver Reunion calendar. "You know, I've never noticed that before," she said.

I told her about the grandmother I'm turning into having a Holocaust calendar every year. She clearly donated to some organization, and as a reward, they'd send her this cheery Holocaust calendar, a thing that kept arriving even after her death. She would have enjoyed getting a posthumous calendar. The uselessness of it would have tickled her.

And if you knew the grandmother I'm turning into, knowing that her cheery personality had an annual Holocaust calendar is even better. Also, if you knew her, it was highly likely she did not like you.

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After my visit, I passed Chris and Lilly's store on the way home, and once again they were not there, leading me to now believe they do not really OWN a store and just made that up so I wouldn't feel sorry for them. I sent this image to Lilly, saying, "I just shoplifted all this from your store."

I got a mum, obvs, and some bird seed, as I have put the bird feeder on the other side of the window from the cat condo, in a flash of brilliance. Steely Dan likes to sit there with Iris and chitter at birds.

However, the other day I was trying to leave but I could not find SD. I looked in all his regular spots, till finally in desperation I headed to my closet and there he was, on the top shelf, sleeping on one of my purses. HOW DID HE GET UP THERE?

When I got home later I moved the purses and put a little blanket there.

Anyway, I also got a stick of duck jerky for Edsel which was gone so fast I couldn't even photograph him eating it, and finally some lavender rosemary lip balm which is to die for.

The woman at the checkout counter was ringing up someone else, and when he left he said, "I love you."

"I love you too," she said as he left.

"Wow, friendly place," I said, handing her my stuff.

She laughed. "That was my nephew."

I signed for my things and as I headed for the door, I called, "I love you!"

I didn't tell her I knew Chris and Lilly. I spared them that.

I have to go to work now, because gotta keep myself in duck jerky, but yesterday we were kibbitzing around on Facebook and got on the topic of your families and me. Do you tell your family and/or friends about this blog, and if so, are they sick to death of hearing about some woman they've never met?

Do tell. I find myself wanting to quote you guys sometimes and it's just easier to say, "A friend of mine…" "A friend of mine says you can't even get hookers and blow for $40,000 a year." That sort of thing.

See you at the 2016 Liver Reunion.

June

Party in a paper

"Did you ever take an actual copyediting class?" my boss asked me, and not in a mean way. We were talking about what we studied in college, and did it have anything to do with what we did for a living. I studied English, and at my school there were three tracks you could go on, or were they tracts? I have no idea. Anyway, teaching, business and literature.

Guess which one I picked? Hey, sensible.

To this day, I can read the shit out of a book.

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Anyway, my boss, featured above–and I realize I used to have a boy boss. I have a whole 'nother boss now. THE POINT IS, she got out her copyediting book from college, from those days of yore, and it was this sort of spiral-bound thing that still talked about picas and point sizes and laying out pages, literally. With your hands. Oh, it was charming.

"You can look at it if you want to!" my boss said, and who wouldn't want to go down pica lane? I spent from 1982 to the year 2000 worrying about picas and leading and kerning and points. Then I didn't. Computers worried about it for me.

She handed this book to me, this book she's kept and treasured all this time, a book that was as pristine as a newborn fawn, which technically would be covered in goop but stay with me.

And I got lipstick on it.

IMMEDIATELY.

A big smear, which much have been on my hand, and hey, corporate ladder. Why so elusive?

Steely Dan Silverman (good idea, y'all) just ran off with the muffin paper from my blueberry flax muffin. I mean, have fun with that. Looks like a party in a paper.

In other news, I'VE GAINED WEIGHT and I have 42 dollars. Payday is tomorrow. I was worried sick when my aunt was here that I'd run out of money running hither and yon to stores and restaurants and the like, but look! Got it just in, at $42. And the headache place gives me a $25 gas card every time I go, and yesterday I was almost on E, used the card, and got three dollars back.

So technically I have 45 dollars.

"Why am I fat?" I emailed my coworker, Austin, who does cross fit like it's fun and also stands around eating raw pepper all day. I was so annoyed, because I've been following this damn headache diet pretty well, with the eating of fish every day and the no processed foods (except yesterday I was upset at a work thing and got Pop Tarts. It was my first really bad cheat. The five potato chips the day before was bad enough), and we decided I can't (a) eat salty snacks even though they're allowed and (2) drink like a sailor.

So last night I had no wine. I was wineless. It was weird.

I went seven years with no wine at all–I didn't drink. But then I took it back up again, because I'm no quitter, and you know I go back and forth on that. Should I drink? Shouldn't I? Should I stay or should I go, now? I haven't had any negative consequences from it, but I worry. I mostly worry because of my father.

A few weeks ago, I forget what post it was, but a commenter got on my blog late at night and left three really nasty comments in a row. They were about how Lottie was better off without me, and I remember the final one read, "Did you ever notice how everyone does better when they're away from June? That includes lovers."

Now, normally when I get a nasty comment, I roll my eyes, sometimes shoot off a reply that I later regret, but mostly it hurts my feelings for maybe half and hour and then I forget about it. I've been doing this almost 10 years. I'm used to mean people popping out sometimes.

But this one was late at night, and I was here doing nothing, so I got on Typepad to see who left it. If you suddenly decide you hate me, but you've left me comments before, even if you disguise your name and email I can see who you are. That's how, years ago, I figured out this WING NUT from my old job was leaving mean messages (not the ones above). Before the mean comments, she'd written me a really

really

long email (we'd worked together about four weeks total) about her life and what was happening and how her dog wasn't convenient anymore, and would I go on my blog and find a home for him?

I declined.

But back to the nasty comments from a few weeks back about my pets and lovers. I got on there to see who'd left them, and it was my father.

Yeah. My father.

We haven't talked in years, because last time we did he also said mean things, and that was enough for me. But that night I was so angry that I wrote him.

He wrote back and said he was ashamed to have had anything to do with me, and that I should just kill myself.

I don't know what this behavior is. For most of my life, we were great friends. He was the person I called first when anything bad happened, as he always made me feel better in a way no one else could. Now he'd made me feel worse than anyone ever could. I'm his only child.

I blame this change of personality on substances, although I can't, of course, be sure. And I don't want to be addicted to anything and 70 and alone and telling my loved ones that they should kill themselves.

I have no idea how I went from lipstick on a copyediting book to all this, but there it is. I got deep, man. To top it off, I'm late for work.

Shhhhhhh-ugar.

Mrs. Robinson has a weekend

This weekend, I saw the most beautiful man I've ever seen, surprised Marty Martin, entertained my Aunt Mary, and saw my friend Marianne. It was a very M weekend.

So, my aunt and uncle have been here since Wednesday, and before they got here I alerted them: Kayeeee had planned a surprise for Marty's 50th for some time, like before-summer some time, so I invited them to come along with me that night, because I was for sure going. They said they'd entertain themselves, and what I like are visitors who can, in fact, do just that rather than being all, But I'm HERE! I need you to dedicate all your seconds to ME! For days at a TIME! What do you mean the rest of your life is still happening in the meanwhile?

So right after work Friday, I screamed to the inconvenience store near me to get bad wine to take to the party. I am a delight.

This kid, and I mean, I can't tell if someone's 22 or 27 anymore, but no one I should be having indecent thoughts about, got out of a shitty car.

Oh my GOD.

He had longish-hair, and it was shiny and wavy and dark. It wasn't long so much as it was just sort of messy and sexy and, yeah, long-ish. He had piercing blue eyes, which met mine through the glass of the store. He was probably excited his grandma was there to buy for him.

When he walked in, I tried not to look, but fortunately he dropped his change all over the floor, so I turned around. He had the kind of muscles that were defined but not huge and gross.

His jawline was to die for. Oh my GOD, did I mention?

And then he struck up a converSAtion with me, because he probably worried he'd have to help me to my car, I'm so doddering, and the whole time I thought, "If I just get a photo of him to send to Marty, Marty would see it and totally understand why I'd said, 'Hey, sonny, let's take this nine-dollar bottle of wine back to my pad.' and never showed up at his party.

However, I didn't, because decent person other than lusting for men in their youth, a thing men do without apology all the time so fuck it. Maybe I should go back to the convenience store every day till I see him again, be his saccharine daddy. I don't have enough money to be anyone's "sugar" anything.

I didn't take photos at the party, but the best part was that one of his friends got him a flying fuck. It's a big thing that spells out FUCK with a propeller on top and you can literally fly it around the room. Best give ever. Someone gave a flying fuck.

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The next morning as soon as I got up, we all went to the farmers market, and by "we all," I mean my relatives and me, not the young hot boy and Marty and me. Which would have been quite a combination.

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Mary bought vegetables like they're a thing, and she came home and MADE pasta sauce, like that's just a thing you do, using the oil from my headache study, so I could have it. She also bought bread, which I could NOT have, and of course during dinner (DELICIOUS), everyone was all, "This bread is marvelous." "Isn't this bread something?" "This bread is better than that hot boy."

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In general, I took Aunt Mary all over yonder all weekend. My Uncle Stuart occasionally sat some of our trips out, and watched sports at my house with Steely Dan, who took a big shine to Stuart and slept on his lap and so on. SD is fetching, I mean both as an adjective and as a verb. You throw his little mouse and he leaps across the floor and brings it back in his teefs.

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We shopped, as Aunt Mary is wont to do. There's an old white vanity I'm dying for at this vintage shop I love–called Adelade's, if you're ever here–a steal at $185. Am mulling. It could go in the second bedroom. The blue bedroom. Oh, it's so pretty.

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On Sunday, we went to the Reynolds mansion, the site of much tobacco-doings, and I pointed out to Mary it's the cause of several of our relatives' deaths, but hey. Pretty gardens and shops. So.

Way back yonder when Ned and I were dating, he'd always said he wanted to meet Aunt Mary. She was forever sending me gifts and so forth, and he was curious about her after all my stories. So he came along to the Reynolds mansion with us, and to dinner after.

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I think they all liked each other. They started talking about world events and politics, so I stared at foliage and so on till they were done.

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Oooo! A watermelon! And a white…something gourdy!

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June. Gardens. BAH!

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Eventually, we got up with Marianne, who was only allowed two grapes for dinner. It's what we do to be hilarious in my family.

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Ned. Defensive at dinner, since 2016. That glass of wine never left Marianne's hand.

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It wasn't so much duck face as it was nightmare face.

Anyway, now today Aunt M and Uncle S are getting on a plane, and my life is back to normal, and by "back to normal" I mean Ima hang at the convenience store more than is necessary.

Pistachio-crustedly,

June