Nov. 1981. Dear diary: You know, I've got a lot more going for me than many other people. I'm very smart, I'm NOT ugly, I'm not shy, I'm not a social outcast, I'm not fat, I've got nice hands, a pretty class ring, a nice house, expensive stereo, leniant rules, straight teeth, thick hair, and a good voice.
So Christmastime is here, as the Peanuts would say high-pitchedly, and here’s what I’ve done thus far…
Yesterday, I got this urge to clean the house. I don’t know why. Maybe I’m pregnant and nesting or something miraculous like that. Maybe I’m about to give birth in a manger. The point is, I laundered and dusted and cleaned all fekking afternoon, and there I was, mopping myself into a corner, as I do, when the doorbell rang.
“WOO WOO WOO WOOOO WOOF!” said Edsel, who really has a limited vocabulary.
I literally had no way to get to the door without screwing up the mopping. “Who is it?” I shouted, the way Laverne and Shirley used to while they held their baseball bats.
“It’s Happy,” said Happy, who is a faithful reader and who somehow knows where I live, I forget how. I wish now that’d I’d thought to eat her, as then I could tell you she was my Happy Meal.
“Hang on!” I said, then mince mince minced over the chair and the still-drying floors to the door, which to tell you the truth now that they’re dry don’t really look any different. My wood floors don’t really shine anymore, and hey, Stepford Wife. Nice concerns.
The point is, Happy feeds and takes in feral cats, and this one is living in her laundry room at the moment, and she wondered if Ned would want this cat, who looks like NedKitty if NedKitty had dipped her tail in ink.
I SO THINK HE SHOULD. And certainly this personal decision should be mine and not his. Anyway I texted the photo and he hasn’t said either way, which will stun everyone who knows Ned and his lightning-fast decisions.
Happy also gave me this jaguar of color, because it reminded her of Steely Dan, and lemme tell you what. Every time I see that thing out the corner of my eye, I think it’s Steely Dan.
And the reason I keep seeing it out the corner of my eye is Dear Happy: I am sorry to tell you that Edsel is obsessed with Jaguar of Color. Obsessed. Like, he slept with it last night. Obsessed. I think you got Edsel a gift, after all.
Anyway, as the day drew to a close, I left Dickus Americanus, up there, during the .0007 seconds she sleeps a day, and stampeded over to my coworker Austin’s house, as he invited me to a little gathering at his house. Yes, I realize I just told you my coworkers don’t like me, but he resides in the minority. He’s like someone who voted for McGovern or something.
Not wanting to break our record, I put on my next Chubby Stick color beforehand, in Mighty Mimosa, which is dumb because mimosas are orange, but I do have to say I enjoy me a mimosa, because getting drunk at breakfast is the way to go.
I also wore my ridik coursage that Ned’s stepmother gave me years ago, a corsage I adore but that I can’t pin on right, so as soon as I got to Austin’s it fell off and I stuck everyone with m’wayward pins like they were all my voodoo dolls.
I like Austin’s friends. This is the guy who also likes old pictures of people he doesn’t know. His wife and I got into a very deep discussion about Highlights Magazine, and she expressed her disdain for The Timbertoes (“I don’t know what they are, and I don’t know what their message is”) and right then I knew, I loved her with all my heart.
Because she’s right. Why are they wooden? Why are they 1800s-looking? WHO THE FUCK ARE THE TIMBERTOES AND WHAT DO THEY WANT WITH US?
“You only ever find Highlights Magazine at the doctor’s,” she pointed out. “And that one Bible Book, which I read once as a kid, not realizing the stories would all have morals,” she said. Then she went on to imitate for me the drawings inside that book, doing a fine imitation of everyone at the crucial moment when they readjust their moral compass, which apparently happens in every story.
“Oh my god, that book is ALWAYS THERE at the doctor’s and I never once picked it up,” I said to her. “It’s like those strawberry candies, where the wrapper looks like a strawberry? I sort of know its there, but I also barely even acknowledge it exists.”
There was another woman at the party who, when I asked how she knew Austin and his wife, told me how she was new to town and desperate to make friends, so after a few perfunctory meetings with Austin’s wife, she one day chased after Austin’s wife’s car with a post card, which she eagerly slammed onto the window.
“It had every possible detail,” Austin’s wife told me. “Her shoe size, her kids’ ages, everything.”
At the end of the night, when I was leaving, that same woman came up to me. “I wanted to slam a post card at you but I don’t have any,” she said, and we exchanged numbers and kissed.
Austin’s party gets hot. The real housewives of Greensboro.
Speaking of hot, Austin had a fire on his TV, despite actually having a, you know, fireplace. “This is better than a real fire,” said Austin. “It got 5 stars on Netflix.”
This lead us all to want to see a 1-star fire, which we figured would be one guy trying over and over to light wet wood, and eventually just tossing in and burning a Solo cup.
Austin’s dog continues to be perhaps unhealthily obsessed with Austin, although she did, oddly, give me the time of day, which is rare.
I also took time out of my busy schedule to admire Austin’s kitchen wallpaper, as I always do, and I see the Prosecco had set in at this point, because nice focusing. Austin and I spent about 45 minutes discussing the use of typography on said wallpaper, and would we, as a designer and a copy editor, have been okay with those equals signs, and the cursive/all caps fiasco, and the fact that there is clearly an extra space before “drops,” till finally I announced, “We are the two most boring people in the world.”
This is another friend of Austin’s, who I threatened to put in my blog last night, but I forget why. Because Prosecco. He’s the husband of Post Card Wife.
Anyway, I see I have droned on about Xmas Eve for too long, kind of like my stay at the Prosecco table last night, and I don’t have time to describe Christmas and this has instead become all about Eve, and I would take credit for that joke but really The Poet made that one up, and damn her and her writing awards.
Hey, June, is ensuring good sentence structure part of your job? Because, job. Well done.
I’ll talk to you tomorrow, when I will describe my not-at-all-chaotic Christmas with a Kitten, volume 3949294. ‘Tis not my first Xmas with a kitten. Probably won’t be my last. That doesn’t mean it’s never a pain in the Prosecco, though.
“So where all have you gone since you’ve been back in Saginaw? Which bars?”
I’m 52. People keep asking me all about the nightlife I’m experiencing here in the mecca of nightlife that is Saginaw, Michigan, and so far my answer continues to be, I’m 52. Show me that bar scene! Fifty-two-year-old, tearin’ up mid-Michigan!
So it appears that it’s Thanksgiving, or it was, anyway. My Uncle Bill, seen here kibitzing with my stepfather who is a saint, got here early to bring a roaster and also too the turkey, which was convenient. Then it was ready before everything else and every time I looked over at my Uncle Bill, he was eating that damn turkey. By the time dinner was served, there were merely the picked-clean bones left by Uncle Vulture.
Speaking of people my Aunt Kathy has been married to, my Uncle Leo also arrived, with sweet potatoes. My mother somehow scammed all the men into cooking, with her ERA bumper stickers and her consciousness raising and so on. We were all very Free to be You and Me at House of Family of June today.
Dooooods. I so totally wanted to insert an Amazon link right here (for Free to be You and Me, of course), because it’s Thanksgiving, and you’ll be shopping soon, and what a fine time to remind everyone I have an Amazon link. But apparently I can’t do that from my phone. Remember there are links to Amazon on the sides and bottom of my page. I am a terrible marketer.
You really are.
Aunt Kathy made pie, and also a salad with walnuts and apples in it, which was delicious. Mostly my part was I ate things, and got in the way, and kissed Gus.
Finally, it was time to eat, and my mother and I had to sit at the kid table while the adults talked stock markets and war. I’ve really no idea what adults talk about.
I took selfies after we ate, like I was Kim Kardashian. Kim Kar-sit-ian.
Uncle Leo and me.
Aunt K and mom and, you know, me.
Mom’s friend Gwen and oh look. Me.
Gwen is an excellent audience. She laughs at all my lines, whereas the rest of my family is over me.
After dinner, my Uncle Leo and Gwen and I were in the kitchen, and my Uncle Leo set up the scene for what looked to be a very long story. He started talking about his family history, and who begat whom, starting from when his family were cave people and so on, and then he paused and asked, “What story was I going to tell?”
And that sums up my family.
Gus not no you peeple.
The evening was drawing to a close and everybody was getting their coats off of my bed, because God forbid I have a room of my own, and someone asked, “So, you going out dancing tonight?”
I’M 52!!!! I’d break a hip. Going out dancing. Who am I, Lola the Showgirl?
Dood get lyfe
So that was Thanksgiving ’78 or whatever year this is. I’d stay and talk but I gotta pop a coupla mollies and hit a rave.
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.”→
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.
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.
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.
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.
I am still sick. I know, man. This it it. Elizabeth, I'm coming to join you, honey. I'm going to the doctor at 4:00. IF I MAKE IT THAT LONG.
In the meantime, a Realtor, and yes that really is a proper noun, is coming at noon to see what my house is worth. I'm hoping $800,000. Dream big. Last night, feeling precisely poopy, I came home and flopped exhaustedly on the couch when I realized this place looked like hell.
So I tidied. Yes, despite being very seriously ill.
After I took this photo, I put away the cat toys on the floor too. Tidy Tess! Also, nice symmetric pulling of the blinds.
You can see Edsel was a big help.
That box on the table is cause a faithful reader sent me retro makeup and candy–thanks, FR! I don't want to say her real name, cause I don't know if she uses that as her screen name, and that's always a thing. I don't want to ruin anyone's life, so we'll just call her a faithful reader in case she's an underworld spy or the wife of a close friend.
Wife of a close friend.
It's not a table unless a cat is on it. I have four people coming for dinner this weekend who are all like, "Yeah, great" right now.
wut we havin for dinnur?
I don't know if I told you my dishwasher broke, and guess what else I should have had Alf the handyman fix? Dang.
I see I still have to wash the cupboard doors, there. Honey and lemon juice from a goddamn piece of salmon the size of a Munchkin's dick. That's what spilled there.
Pile of crap, now with with cat tail!
Cat found under pile of crap; story at 11:00.
Son of a–you guys. I just heard a ruckus outside. I know what that ruckus is. Guess who was on the roof?
As soon as I went out there, he jumped down, and yet refuses to come inside. He just stares at me rebelliously, proudly stomping about, and runs away when I approach him. Asshole. HOW DID HE GET OUT??
I know this LOOKS like a request to go in, but really he just wants to balance on the screen like he does. Show off his skillz.
Action shot. Edsel is appalled.
See? That's all he wanted. He won't come in. This cat is a bigger asshole than Lottie was. Why does God abhor me so? I'm a good per–okay, that's why God abhors me so.
It was Lottie who tore this screen on, like, day one. See above ref to God's abhorrence.
not rilly in mood to come in, thanks all same.
Anyway, so now the place is tidy-ish and I will alert you forthwith re if I am going to sell my cute house, which I really don't want to do.
Oh, also, they're moving my workspace. "Seems like June has told us that before," readers are thinking, sipping their espresso and vodka. Yes, it's true. I haven't worked there six years yet and this will be my 10th move. The exciting news is I'm movin' on up. I've spent lo these many years in what they call the Garden Level, which is a delightful euphemism for The Basement. We have been visited by black widows, and I don't mean Coretta Scott King, snakes, mice and also a lack of windows.
I strolled up to my new spot yesterday and…windows!!! I have a window now! Now I gotta obsess about where Ima park. It'll be a whole new world. Also? Closer to the vending machines. Score!
All right, I'd better go. I look forward to conversing with you later, and for the more hysterical of you to worry about Steely Dick Dan, who is clearly magic and we all just need to accept it.
I thought of writing you during actual Christmas, but I figured you had enough to do without checking in on my ass. So here's how Christmas went, and I'm sure you're pulling the chair in closer so you don't miss a word.
We got off work early on Christmas Eve eve, so I went to the store (what crowd?) and got stuff to make Christmas lasagna for myself, then I schlepped to the wine store (what white crowd?) and got wine to take to the parties I'd been invited to. June, popular since never, cause frankly she's a pain in the ass, but people felt sorry for me.
I hustled home and Lily gave many shits about my arrival. This bed was for Steely Dan, who I thought was a girl and he couldn't be more of a boy, and therefore gave up this bed after about one try. He sleeps on beds of nails and the talons of dead eagles he's slaughtered and so on. So Lily was happy to take over his girly bed. His Helen Gurly Brown bed.
Anyway, the next 24 hours were something of a blur, and to tell you the truth I was looking forward to the weekend being exactly what I had planned: parties and then me getting to be alone. But I hardly DID get to be alone, with the "Can I drop something off" people and the dropping-in people and the calling-me people and I REALLY AM OKAY ALONE IN FACT I RELISH IT.
My mother sent me money to buy a new back door, so on Christmas Eve I got my eyebrows waxed, then I went to Lowe's, and every time I thought about asking about my back door I got the giggles. I was also just drawn to the mirrors, like a crow.
When I finally peeled myself from the mirrors and stopped giggling over "back door," I sauntered to a cute 17-year-old salesboy, asked about back doors, giggled, then coquettishly let him show me his back doors. [snurfle!]
We talked about back doors [heeeee] for quite awhile, and after I'd convinced myself he was dying to come home and see my back door for himself, I paraded hotly through the store, got to my car, and once I saw myself up close, I gasped. The aloe on my eyes from the waxing had moved all the eye makeup directly onto the center of my eyelid, making me look precisely insane.
I'D HAD A MIRROR AT MY DISPOSAL! WHY DID I NOT SEE IT? Anyway you can't tell up there but trust me. I looked ridik.
I cleaned myself up and put on a dress and headed to my friend Ian's party. I work with him, and I've been knowing him and his wife for awhile now. Back before they moved into the (ADORABLE) house they live in now, they had the apartment next to Ned. Remember Ned? That guy I went out with for awhile?
Here's Ian's wife, who you would love. You would. You would love her. They are both from Puerto Rico, and they know how to host, man. I was the only non-family member there, and I quickly realized I was the only one without an Ivy-League degree, so I was sort of the village idiot. But when am I not?
They have the kind of house you never want to leave, and EVERYTHING.WAS.DELICIOUS. Everything. "Have you ever tried hooo de blodoo-oo?" they'd ask, handing me some Puerto Rican dish. "No!" I'd say, then die at whatever new good thing I was eating. Mother of God.
It was, like, the perfect evening. His whole family is our people.
Edsel and I went to bed so Santa could come. And he did! Mom sent strawberries.
Peg sent flowers.
wat anyone send edzul?
This was the first year I got more gifts from readers than from people I know in my actual life. Just proving that in real life, I am not likable.
Dear Faithful Reader who sent me the '50s swan decals: I'm fuckin' framing those. Oh my god.
You guys know me too well.
I think I'm easy to shop for. Is it vintage? Well, then does it sparkle? You're golden!
As usual, my friend Dot sent me a card with her dog on it, and not her kids. Everyone else gets her kids.
Someone was a Christmas dick.
So, it was a good Christmas, and my lasagna was delicious, even though I realized too late that my whole recipe box is apparently at Ned's. Remember that guy Ned I dated briefly? I did not call for it, but soldiered on with no recipe, and it turns out I know how to make lasagna in my head. Not that I cooked it in my head, cause weird.
Also, I'd like to point out that I moved out of that place 14 months ago and just now noticed my recipes are gone.
Oh, god, loading all these pictures has taken forever and I gotta go. Tomorrow I will show you The Great Dismantling of Christmas and also how I rearranged the furniture. Helen Keller is coming and I want to drive her crazy.
Hope your holiday was snazzy, and that you all got ponies.