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”

Mr. Greensboro

Yesterday was a harrowing workday, which resulted in my shoulders up right on my ears pretty much for 8 hours. When I was done with my GODDAMN DAY, I dearly wanted a drink. I never drink during the week now, part of my weight loss plan that’s resulted in precisely no weight loss. Continue reading “Mr. Greensboro”

Lime-a-Ritas with Laura Ingalls Wilder

I hate podcasts.

I’m SORRY. I’m sure your sister’s really is magnificent. Continue reading “Lime-a-Ritas with Laura Ingalls Wilder”

Linear. That’s what I am. Yep.

I have a new thing that bugs me.

"WHAT? How can that be POSSIBLE, easygoing June!" [Leans into computer, rapt.]

When someone refers to any emotion being "at a cellular level." Oh, shut up. Yes, my cells know I got kicked out of Brownies when I was six, and they're still celling over it. Jesus Christ.

Disclaimer: I was da BOMB at Brownies. Everyone loved me. I was the best Brownie. Nobody was a better Brownie than me. Have you seen the video (veeedeo) of all the times Donald Trump says he's the best at something? I can't find it, but it's funny. You must trust me on this. Or do a better job Googling. Whichever.

I kind of wish that, when I was typing you in the morning, someone would just stand behind me and lift my bosoms for me. I realize they've invented an article of clothing that will do that, but in the morning I type you in whatever pajamas the cat hasn't eaten, and it's an issue. Do you think I could hire, like, a 16-year-old boy, a foreign exchange student or something?

And that was the day the police burst into June's house.

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Plucky little on-her-6th-or-7th-life Iris and I went to the vet yesterday, to see what condition her condition was in. She's really very good in the car, as opposed to Lily, who once you put her in a carrier observes the following:

MEOW!

MEOW!

MEOWWWW!

When the vet walked in, he was very somber. "How is Edsel?" he asked.

"Well, he's–"

"The Prozac didn't seem to work, eh?" he went on, starting to examine Iris.

HE THOUGHT EDSEL WAS THE DOG ATTACKER!

Edsel! Attacking Iris!

I mean, okay, he eats puppies, but that doesn't make him some kind of monster. "No, no, no!" I said.

That's another thing that bugs me. It bugs me a lot, in fact. People who can't just say "no." They gotta say, "No no no no no no."

SHUT

UPPPPPP.

Anyway, "No, no, no," I said. "Edsel did not attack Iris! Oh my god, no! He's been so concerned about her! He loves the cats!"

And that is when I started overcompensating for Edsel, talking about what a wonderful brother he is, how he provides for our family and we have such good times when he's not in a fang-y rage.

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"So, the Prozac is working for him?" the vet asked.

"Not really."

Anyway, Iris's potassium levels are back to normal. She had one count that was still high, but my girl has a whole lotta muscle and tissue damage and that's to be expected. While we were there, her pain medicine wore off, and she started the walking around growling thing that is both adorable and awful. I gave her more as soon as we got home.

The vet said while she's on her crappy antibiotic, that white liquid stuff that if you have a pet you've given your animal at some point, it'll make her not hungry. I'm still tempting her with Steely Dan kitten food

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goddammitz

and she's willing to at least eat some of that. And speaking of how that cat should not even count as a kitten anymore, speaking of how the Pope should give me a dispensation and let me feed him regular food, when I was at the vet, I was smiling at the cat carrier, because it's one of those ancient hard plastic ones, as opposed to those cute collapsible ones you modern folk have now, and on top of it, in magic marker,

THIS MAGIC MARKER! So different and new!

in magic marker it reads "Ruby." It was the carrier we used to fly her from California to here. And then there's a laminated tag on the carrier that reads, "Henry" from when I took him to the emergency vet once. It's like a little history of my 9,000 cats.

I just remembered something. Yesterday was the anniversary of Ruby's death. Eight years. Okay, weird.

Anyway, for the first time, I noted an envelope taped to the carrier as well. It was Henry's papers from the time he was at the emergency vet, same reason he had the laminated card. The point is, while I was waiting yesterday I opened the envelope. Fully grown adult Henry weighed 7.5 pounds during that vet visit.

Steely Dan is 8 months old. He weighs more than 10 pounds.

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Here's why! Last night I brought food in bed to poor convalescing Iris, who is staying in my room for now. She nibbled at it a bit, but eventually SD came in and, my, what a delightful visitor he is. "Oh! Food gone beggeeeng!"

Did your mother ever say that when something was still left? "Biscuits going begging!' "Potatoes going begging!"

My friend's mom did. Please see above list of things that bug me.

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This picture absolutely kills me. I title it The Indifference of Youth. I also title it, For God's Sake, Get New Curtains, June.

In other news, I walked three miles yesterday. Because you're mine, I walk a mile. Wait. That's not how it goes. Anyway, at work, we have this little walk we do called Fuchs Loop, because Fuchs at work discovered it, and you get to walk past a lot of rich people's houses, and I had time to take that walk in the a.m. and the p.m. I'm like the convenience store. AM/PM June.

Then Edsel and I took our walk and then I went to the grocery store and I was all, man, I feel kind of tired. And right then I knew. I'd walked a lot yesterday.

Also, and here's where you start to feel bad for me. Not my hangdog cat or my insane dog. Not my sad bedroom curtains or my sagging bosoms. No. Here's why.

They were out of my flavor of La Croix.

Article-2289326-1876C3F2000005DC-48_634x460 Bd6d71622fc93cadcf3977cd0a76f222 LOSS-GRIEF-christian-books

"Did you find everything okay?" the chippie at the checkout counter asked me.

"You were out out Berry LaCroix," I said.

"…What's that?"

Okay, don't ASK me if you don't CARE, is what I say. Jesus. So then I got home and watched The Gilmore Girls and all I could think of was how a can of Berry LaCroix sure would be good right now.

I gotta go. I sent a letter to the rotten neighbors who refuse to call to say, "Sorry our dogs are maulers" and I included the receipts for both vet visits, coming to a grand total of $1,968.37. I feel like that letter will be received less willingly than a letter from, say, Publisher's Clearinghouse. I should have gone over there with the invoices and a few balloons.

Okay, June, out.

Joe Lies

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I be Hutch. Wear be Starskee?

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hahahahahaha

Anyway.

I hadn't had my eyebrows waxed since Wilford Brimley was a child, so I went to Elegant Nail & Tan, which I realize suggests all kinds of featured services that do not seem to include waxing, but you must trust me on this. While I was waiting, I got to know a woman sitting next to me. We talk talk talked and we're the same age and both single and finally we exchanged numbers and picking up women is super easy.

Why can't I get my eyebrowns, as they say, to look at good as they get them to look? It's completely worth the six dollars.

Other than that, I went to the grocery store and loaded myself up with frozen yogurt bars for the next two weeks, and because I try to get in plant-based foods, one of the boxes was strawberry flavor. The other bars were vanilla, and isn't the vanilla bean a plant? I think it is. So. Diet. Complete.

I have never seen a tanning bed at Elegant Nail & Tan. I'm not saying there isn't maybe one back there, but I've never seen it, and I've never heard anyone come in there and say, Yes, I'm  here to tan? Maybe they need to rethink their moniker. Elegant-ish Nail & Old Magazines.

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At my old seat at work, I looked at an Impressionist-ish painting of fall trees against a blue sky, and now I look at multiple Os. That picture of me on my bulletin board is from this time we had to take selfies for a client presentation, and one day the janitorial staff left a note that read, "Is this trash" on a box, and some jokester put that note on my selfie and an eternal joke was born.

I meant to Google why companies move you around a lot, like, what's the benefit to them, but I forgot. If anyone knows, I'd be curious. Some people at work are really traumatized over it, if they've been at their desks forever and so on.

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Others of us are excited to be reunited after being ripped apart. Like Joe and I were ripped apart.

Name that movie.

Anyway, other than that, I have a gigantic freelance job coming up starting tomorrow and going until next Friday. So if I up and disappear, it means I'm behind and I'm frantically working to get it all done. So be sure to pepper me with IMs and emails. WHERE ARE YOU, JOOOOOOOOOOOOOON? Are you dead, JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON?

I have already gotten my delightful credi card debt down to the next number. So, like, if I were 11,000 thousand dollars in debt, which I'm not thank god, I'd be down to 10,oooo now. Yay. So I keep plugging away. Which doesn't help pay the bills at all. "June keeps unplugging and plugging her appliances, yet she still has debt."

Shouldn't Tallulah have to pay this? Someone wake her up.

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Iris and me having an Elliott and E.T. moment. Beeeee good. She's always good. I mean, to everyone but baby birds. And adult birds. Or anyone rodent-ish.

Also, I've noticed that there are always cars now at my next-door neighbor Peg's. Sometimes just one extra, sometimes two. Someone's been rolling her trash can to the curb, as well. This worried me, so I called her, and she's never called me back. It's been, like, a week. I don't want to be all Gladys Kravitz and go over there, but I feel like something is definitely up. There has never been a time Peg hasn't called me back.

Maybe she has Noro virus. Hey, June, you ever gonna get over Peg giving you Noro virus?

What do you think?

All right, I have to go to work, try to find my new desk.

Your friend and mine,

Juan

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.

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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.

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.

Save June

Yesterday was a queer day. Did you ever see The Color Purple, when Celie says that about the weather? "It was a queer day." I always liked that line. When I was a kid, the word "queer" was all over the book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and so one afternoon I told my babysitter she looked queer and she got furious at me. Furious! I had no idea what was so wrong.

She was this big, solid woman who took me fishing a lot, married to this mere slip of a man, and in retrospect I wonder if they had some sort of it's-the-early-'70s arrangement, and now I feel bad. I had no idea the word meant anything but out of the ordinary. I was trying to expand my vocabulary.

Anyway. I got up early yesterday so I could rush off to the doctor to get my allergy test. As I pulled up, there was this college girl in sweats and a messy ponytail, going in with her dad, and I was so over her beleaguered "Oh my gawd, it's EIGHT" attitude. Once I was at the airport and there was a college girl in the same beleaguered getup AT TEN. Give me a break. It was the Greensboro airport, so it's not like she was on a layover having flown in from London or anything.

Okay, see. I can tell already today I will be hard pressed to stick to the subject at hand.

The point is, they stuck my back with allergens, and I had to lie there for 15 minutes, waiting. "You want your phone or a magazine to look at?" the red-haired chippie asked me after she'd poked me all over yonder.

"No, I'm good," I smugged. "I can be alone with my thoughts."

So then she left and here were my thoughts for the next 15 minutes: Ned, money, Ned, what'm I gonna do about money, Ned, Edsel, Ned, wondering what you all were saying about cereal, Ned, wondering why I can't stop with the Ned bullshit and when'm I gonna get over it already, Ned [Hey, good thoughts, JUNE.] and then it was time for the doctor to come look at my back.

Turns out, I have an allergy to dust mites.

I know. Try to relax. It'll be okay.

"That's it? That's all I'm allergic to?"

Yep.

"Did you test me for grapefruit?"

Nope. But they could do a blood test for that if I wanted. I demurred. At this point I'm over grapefruit. If only Ned could be grapefruit.

As soon as I got to work, I told every coworker about my severe allergies, and if you ever wanted to meet a group of people who are 100% over me, you should come see my coworkers.

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Over-Me Coworker #48859

"You know how people are always saying 'I don't want your pity'? I want nothing but your pity," I told everyone. They all seemed to already know this.

As the day wore on, we decided to organize a walk, a June's Dust Mite Allergy Walk, and I'll be getting the pledge forms to you forthwith. Also, I am coming up with a ribbon for you all, an awareness ribbon, so if anyone asks you, you can say, "Oh, do you not know about June's dust mite allergy?"

My idea is, it should be dusty, and dust should fall off of the ribbon, but the "dust" would be glitter! Right? Someone get on making that. We'll be rich. I'll never have to work again, which I shouldn't anyway with this allergy.

Then at lunchtime I took old homo sapien canine to the vet.

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I actually really love that photo of Eds. It captures his goof. Anyway, he's been really down, despite that smile above. He was, in fact, shaking up there while he smiled.

Smile tho' your heart is aching
Smile even tho' it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
You'll get by

Anyway. He's been so squirrely lately. Like, yesterday when we got up, and were headed down the hall, and he just stopped and hung his head and wouldn't go any further. And he never, ever goes outside unless I go with him. This past weekend I was looking for him, and he was curled up in a C on the couch, like I was storming over there wielding a sledgehammer.

You could have a steam train
if you'd just lay down your tracks.
You could have an aeroplane flying
if you bring your blue sky back.

I want to be your sledgehammer
why don't you call my name.

Welcome to the inside of my head.

Anyway, thank god he acted squirrely at the vet, so I didn't seem crazy, although given my medical condition I'm sure they'd overlook it. "Might Over Mites" is my slogan, by the way. It'll be on all my t-shirts and hats and support bracelets.

But really. He turned into a letter C there, and jumped on the chair and hid behind me, and cowered and so on the whole time, so the vet is giving him Prozac, which will be good because it'll probably be extra stressful for Eds when he learns about my dust mite allergy, so.

I got to tell the vet how Tallulah died, and then we moved twice, and how he misses Ned (Edsel does. The vet doesn't miss Ned. That I know of. Maybe he and the vet just ended a torrid Brokeback Mountain affair. What do I know?) and how he ate the puppy and knows I was mad at him. So that was cheerful.

Anyway now I have to go on Good RX to find the cheapest place in town to get dog Prozac. There's a thing no one ever said in my grandmothers' day.

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I took old 19th Nervous Breakdown home, and as we pulled up, I don't know what made me look in the tree, but there it was. "Is that…? Oh, son of a BITCH," I said, getting out of my car with my camera for you all. You can't tell how high up that little bastard was; I zoomed in. He was wayyyy the hell up the tree. And when he saw us, he just clambered on down. "HAI!!"

My handyman (The handyman! The handyman can!) found a vent on my house that's missing its screen, and with all my dollars Ima get a new screen so Houdini, up there, can't escape anymore.

Allegedly.

Really, that kitten is magnificent. I mean, I really admire his brains and ingenuity and athleticism and even his dickishness. He's really quite remarkable, and he's burying Lily right now, who mostly sits around and sheds chubbily.

Finally, I talked to a bunch of places about doing freelance, because my money sucks, y'all. I'm dead broke all the time. Further reports as developments warrant.

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In the evening, my tenant, former, came over to work out again, a practice that obsesses Edsel. He cannot wrap his head around why we're on the floor and not willing to make out with him the whole time. Also, you can't see, really, but behind Edsel is my coat hanging off a chair, because tidy, and the whole time he was over there Steely Dan kept reaching from under my coat to smack Eds, and he'd jump up, confused, look around and flump down again and it'd start all over.

Dis part of room pointee.

Finally, last night I decided to snack on some nutritious Fritos, and I noted I had some queso dip in the door of my fridge, from god knows when. Perhaps I purchased it during the Spanish-American war, because while I enjoyed me that dip quite a bit, about an hour later, things weren't pretty.

If I'd been a dog, I'd have been a Shih-tzu.

If I were soda, I'd have been Squirt.

If I were mustard, I'd have been Grey Poupon.

Oh, it was bad. So I went to bed early just so I wouldn't have to think about how sick I felt. Today I'm at a 7–not perfect, but I can function. Which is brave of me, considering my dust mite allergy.

That wraps up my queer day. On a queer day, you can see forever.

Manically,

June