June lays down a rule

I do not delude myself that anyone cares what I think. But you do have to care about my new rule.

If you’ve read me awhile, you know that one thing I try very hard to do is allow both sides of an opinion. I’ve had a few blog posts over the years where I say, “Today we’re going to say something nice about the other side. If you cloak your praise in sarcasm or backhanded compliments I will delete you.”

I deleted a sweet 90-year-old woman because she could not say one nice thing about the other side. And by the way, her other side was my other side.

People digging in and being convinced they’re right is my least-favorite thing and in my opinion the cause of all strife in the world. As a liberal, I know that every single thing I think may not be right. If you’re conservative, please know that I know you are right sometimes.

I do this exercise with myself and oh, it’s painful.

I read other opinions. Measured ones. The latest example is that I went to reputable breeder websites. Yes, I just called them reputable. I did it while we’ve been locked down. I looked at breeders, dog breeders, cat breeders. As someone who not only volunteers for the shelter and who just goes to the shelter in her off time for yucks, breeders are … not my cup of tea.

But what I do is ask myself, “Am I wrong? Could any of what I think be wrong?” and then I go look at the opposing side and get mad and sweaty and my heart races but keep looking anyway. It’s important to me.

Adopt don’t shop is something I dearly believe. But maybe my opinion is wrong. It’s true. It might be.

I tell you this because it’s how I usually think. It’s hard, and I get very angry, but I know the basis of all anger is fear. Fear that I might be wrong. Fear that I might be right and unable to change things.

So, really. I try to see both sides.

The last thing I’m going to do is be the condescending white savior lady and link you to sites where you might read things about racism to change your mind. If you’re a, “But all lives matter!” person you already don’t think you’re the problem and you won’t click any links. I know this.

So the only thing I can do is say this: I know George Floyd did not deserve to die. And while I have always welcomed all opinions, there will be no “All lives matter” comments here. There will also be no, “But why did they…?” Nope. Go tell it somewhere else. I won’t have it here.

That’s the first time I’ve not allowed other viewpoints—as far as I can recall, anyway—in 13 and a half years.

That said, my beloved downtown is hurt. Kit’s shop survived it, and she boarded her windows for now. She also said numerous times on her social media channels that the people destroying stores downtown were not black protestors.

That’s all I gotta say about that.

In other news, and is there actually any other news? Oh, right, we’re having a pandemic. That pesky thing.

At some point last week, the Fiat dealership called. They sold my teensy baby blue car, which will always be my favorite car ever, and they wondered if I had the spare key. I did! So I got my mask that best matched what I had on and drove down there.

Look how dusty everything looks. God. The camera adds 10 pounds. Of fur.

Anyway, the irony is the location of the dealership is the same street that my accident was on, so I had to screw up my courage, put on what was apparently a cat-fur-covered dress and head out into a pandemic and also Danger Street.

So that was relaxing. But I made myself do it, because the longer I’m in here scared the harder it’s gonna be. And I had been getting less scared of a car screaming into the back of me and then all this crap happened and it reared its head again. Reared its rear end again.

My most consistent relationship has been with anxiety.

Anyway, I headed over there, and both my yellow MINI Cooper and my baby blue Fiat are sold, and someone is going around driving MY cars. I bemasked myself and headed inside, and there were all the car dealers just unmasked as the day they were born, unless they were born to Zorro or what have you.

Really?

So I stood 87 feet from the dealer. My six feet is everyone else’s 87 feet. The dealer remembered me, since I’ve bought, you know, TWO cars from there in a year. Once I had a box of newborn kittens with me when I went in there to get the title or license plate or something, cause I was coming to or from the shelter on that same street. So I sort of stand out at that dealership.

As if being the yahoo who bought two cars in one year doesn’t make me stand out enough.

Anyway.

Since I was already out and about, I decided to go to work. I know! Festive.

I drove all around the building, and my nine years of memories there came flooding back. Here’s where the farmer puts up his stand on Fridays and sells me my strawberries, which I dearly miss.

Here’s the tree where Austin and I tried to save Squirrelly Maclaine.

There’s the entry to the park, where we take our 3 o’clock walks.

I even went inside, where I see people have added to the collection of solar figurines.

My desk calendar is still on February. There were signs up about distancing and washing your hands, left over from when people were still going to work but we knew the plague was upon us. I noted with some glee that no one stole the hand sanitizer on my desk. Good job, coworkers! I’d totally have stolen my hand sanitizer.

I took it with me, along with the Frida Kahlo nail polish my coworker Jane West gave me, so I can do my own pedicure. SIY. Screw it up yourself.

I took a fine, sharp shot of that polish. I used the June Gardens 2010 Photography Seminar Commemorative Camera. And yes, I do have a framed photo of myself that reads, “Her Royal Cuteness.” It was a gift from TinaDoris before she left. Plus also I just liked framed photos of m’self.

Anyway, it was nice to get out and about, and it’s a sad day when your out and about is going to an auto dealership and walking around your empty office. Now I gotta wait two weeks to see if either outing killed me.

That’s all I do now, wait two weeks to die of outings or visitations.

I’d better head to work, and by “head to work” I mean turn on my work email whilst I stay exactly where I am. I did buy one of those beanbag-bottomed desktops to hold my laptop and phone and I’m the very height of work-at-home sophistication now.

Elegantly, as elegance is learned, my friend,
June

Mmmm, salt!

Do you think the cats recognize Edsel as a different species, or do they think he’s just Favorite Cat, who gets treats after he does tricks and gets to sleep in the room with me while they’re relegated to the chairs, couches, three cat beds or the unused condo all night?

In unrelated news, today marks 100 days that I’ve been home. It must be nice to watch my mental decline.

Yesterday I had to drive through the pharmacy window. Not literally. That might have made the news before I got here. I mean I drove to the drive-up window to, as Mick Jagger would say, get my prescription filled.

When my pharmacy tech, who was wearing his mask wrong (nose out) (points at germs>>those out), went to retrieve my pills, my dolls, I stared longingly past his station to the store itself. When was the last time I was physically in there? More than 100 days ago, that’s for sure. I dearly wanted to just wander the aisles of CVS, which is really sad.

When I lived in TinyTown, I remember one of the women—and they were all so lovely and sort of highfalutin’ Southern women—telling me she spent one whole afternoon just wandering the aisles of the drug store, just looking at everything to pass the time. And I thought, “That is the most depressing story I’ve ever heard.”

Now I’d LOVE to do that.

Anyway.

As I type this, I notice how bothered I am by my hand soap. My mother loaded me up with not one but TWO backups of liquid soap for the bathroom sink when she was here, a thing I never do. I don’t buy backups. I don’t have backup singers and I don’t have backup products. Although I could really use a good couple of backup singers just to prove my point sometimes.

{she’s home} {wooo wooo!}

Anyway she got me two Soft Soaps in some unoffensive scent, and I’ve used up one of them because who washes her hands 47 times a day like a surgeon?

{cleaning her hands. wooo wooo!}

I like how my backup singers have automatically become Pips instead of like some rapper saying, “Yeah” all the time.

I was perusing the online shopping the other day for more hand sanitizer, and you could EAT off my hands at this point. You know you you can go into those petting zoos and pay extra for the little cones of pellets for the goats or what have you? Right now those goats would not think twice, behind their slitty eyes and into their slitty goat brains, about if my hands were clean.

Get pellets from cleen la-a-a-a-a-deeeee.

{Oh, she’s goat speakin’}

{wooo wooo!}

{yeah yeah}

Anyway in order to justify the shipping costs from Bed Bag and Behind, as Faithful Reader Paula calls it and apparently I’m obsessed with her this week, I also ordered liquid soap even though I already have a backup, and see above. See riveting above.

I was so excited to try out my new scents from Bed Bag and Behind, so once the first Soft Soap was used up, instead of getting the next Soft Soap, I went rogue and got the Sea Salt and Lime in my cupboard.

I’ve been home 100 days.

My tiles look perfectly clean in real life, and when I take a photo of my potato-chip-flavored soap they look disgusting.

Anyway why do I keep thinking “salt” is going to be a scent I’ll like? Mmmmm, salt! That’ll smell delicious! Lemme go sniff m’Morton’s in anticipation.

Actually, it’s not the salt that’s bothering me; it’s the lime. It’s so limey. So now whenever I wash my hands and then after I’m off doing something (at home), I’ll be all, What smells cab driver?

…I want you to know I just got up and Scrubbing Bubbled those tiles. Bothered me.

I really don’t have much else to tell you, because I get up at home, go to the living room or den and work at home, work out at home, eat at home and then go to bed at, yes, home. It doesn’t make for riveting blog fodder. Pandemics: They attack your blog.

Homily,
June

June quickly recaps her weekend of fun, frolic and tons of crowds

It always makes Faithful Reader Paula uncomfortable when I say anything like this, but it’s 7:52 and my goal today is to write this post and shower before 8:30, as that is my work start time and it’s funny but now that my commute involves opening a laptop, I’m “at work” on time a lot more often lately.

My, that was a concise sentence. I’m a regular Hemingway.

The reason it makes FR Paula nervous is she’s what you might call a tense New Yorker and my having any time constraints makes her read fast so I’m not late. She realizes this is insane but can’t help herself. I know way too much about the inner workings of many of you, who I wouldn’t actually recognize on any street if you banged into me, which is rude because six feet, ya dunces.

Anyway, here I am, recapping my “holiday weekend,” which involved me being in this house, so.

Ima look at the pictures on my phone to see if there’s anything worth telling you.

This is the first time in my life I’ve gotten a violet to bloom. Usually I get a violet filled with pretty flowers, watch the blossoms curl up one by one, then have a plant with green leaves for years. However, I asked all y’all what I should do and someone said, “Feed it” and lo and behold it works. I’ve been whipping up pork chops for it.

I ordered and received a new phone case. Before this I had a combination wallet/phone case but it turns out I hate having a combination wallet/phone case. For many reasons. All of them boring. So I got this case on Etsy for like $13 and I am quite pleased with it. Have you ever thought about how many phone cases you’ve had in your lifetime or do you not change them out on a whim the way I do?

I remember taking my flip phone to the mall to have it bedazzled with pink gems in an Eiffel Tower shape. I also had an antenna decoration that was Hello Kitty inside a sushi roll. I forget why.

Paula, it’s 8:01. Going through my photos and uploading them always takes more time than just straight-out writing. I know you’re over there being a cat on a hot tin type or whatever.

Edsel the Pretzel and I finally got bored with our 90+ days of being home trying to avoid that pesky pandemic, so on Saturday, I think it was, we got in the car and took an aimless drive to the country. It was lovely and we saw many pretty country houses and country fields and country mice and country crocks. Eventually we saw a sign for a state park, so we got out and walked on a trail for a bit.

There were multiple signs about keeping your dog leashed, so I wasn’t too worried. Just as we got back in the car, this dude, a hippie-looking dude, came out of nowhere with his golden retriever off leash. Edsel didn’t even see the dog till we were pulling away, and then he got out his Hitler voice. Good lord his bark is loud. I really wanted to roll down my window and Karen the guy but instead I waved and smiled cause it’s the South.

Leash your goddamn dogs. Your dog may be great. He also might get his “good” ass kicked if he wanders over to a dog following the rules on a leash. Jesus.

People are so fekking entitled.

Speaking of which, did you see that woman in Central Park yesterday? Not you, Paula, who lives in New York and is currently nervously reading me at the speed of sound. Everyone in general.

This Harvard-educated birdwatcher, who also happens to be a man of color, was in a part of Central Park that is for bird-watching. It has some amazing number of species there, and, whatever, birds are for eating, says the cat-lover. Anyway, you can’t have your dogs off leash there. This woman had her cocker spaniel off leash, of course, because the world is apparently hers for the taking, and he asked her to leash it as the dog was tearing through this bird area. She said no and they got into an argument.

Not only did the woman say, “I’m going to call the police and say an African American man is threatening me” and then proceed to put on a hysterical voice for the police, she also continued to not leash her dog and in her haste to call the police on this man, was choking her dog and not noticing it.

Just Google Amy Cooper Central Park. I can’t watch that video again for numerous reasons.

Anyway since then her life has gone to shit. They took her dog away, she’s been put on leave at work. But that man just has to wait for the next time something like this happens.

So I spent a lot of yesterday being pissed off about that.

And finally, to wrap up my festive Memorial Day plans, I still can’t get the dang deadbolt off my door, which isn’t that big of a deal except I have a black doorknob and a gold deadbolt and no one should have to live that way. Let me go outside maskless and walk my dog off leash and ponder the unfairness.

Anyway, yesterday morning I texted 5 men I know to ask their advice, one of them being Hulk who immediately left the conversation then texted me, resulting in exactly what I didn’t want: multiple text conversations.

The point is, Austin, my coworker, crnt., came by yesterday and tried to get that dang thing off.

He was unable to, and felt unmanly as a result, and I assured him it was not him. None of us are manly enough to get that feck feck fecking lock off my door.

What is cute is that as ridiculous as my neighborhood is, my next-door neighbor came out to see if I was okay, seeing as a masked man was messing with my door and all. I sort of love how everyone watches what everyone is doing. Mostly because I’m never doing anything controversial. We’ll see how I like it when I start laundering money.

Paula, I’m sorry to tell you that it is 8:39 now and I not only didn’t get to shower, I am “late” for work. I made the mistake of opening work email in the midst of typing this, and I had 14 messages and one of them already stuck in my craw. Ima take my dog outside without his leash so we can walk about the neighborhood and stew.

Doesn’t stew sound delicious?

Time managemently,
June

June’s friends carry on, those wayward sons.

Do you know what I think I need?

I mean, need is a strong term.

But I could use one of those trays that you put your laptop on. Because at the moment, I just literally put my laptop on my, you know, lap, and it’s wobbly and annoying all day long.

Also? I need a longer cord. I have to either use my laptop comfortably (yet wobbily) for 15 minutes and watch all the power drain out or position myself so I’m six inches from the wall and it’s plugged in. That’s fun. I’m like an appliance all day.

Who even knew any of this was going to be an issue?

Anyway how is everyone? Is today terrifically different from other days? Is there anyone out there who has changed pretty much nothing, you’ve gone to work every day and haven’t locked down at all? I’d be riveted by your story.

My most exciting news is the other day I washed my hair, and when I got out of the shower I thought, why am I putting gel on my hair? No one’s gonna see me, and this gel is expensive. It really is. I get big tubs of it and it’s like $35.

So I let it go. I never watched Frozen—why would I?—but I know people are forever saying that re Frozen. So I let it thaw. And now I look like Moses. I’m not even gonna show you a picture, that’s how bad it is. My hair is gigantic. Remember that meme everyone sent me awhile back about how you can’t control everything?

I just stole this offa someone’s Pinterest.

You know what annoys me? Other than everything. When you’re trying to look something up and 9 times out of 10 it leads you to Pinterest and you have to be a member and it irks. Don’t tell me, “Oh, I have your answer here!” then “PSYCH!”

I also hate that my phone guides me to news stories and then, “Sorryyyyyyyy. You have to be a subscriber to see.” THEN DON’T TELL ME THAT STORY EXISTS. I will never, ever, I don’t care if it’s Barry Gibb’s sex tape, never subscribe after that’s done to me.

Also too, Wayfair. “Oh, here’s a pretty thing! Click on it!”

“SORRYYYYY. You can only look if you enter an email address.”

You, Wayfair, are an asshole. Is it Wayfare or Wayfair? Either way it’s way unfair.

You’re welcome.

I guess I’m spending a lot of time perusing the internet these days.

Since my life is boring, lemme fill you in on some of my friends.

Remember my friend Jo? Back in, I don’t know, 2011? She sent me her book, after she somehow found my blog. “We’re kindred spirits,” she wrote. It took me ages to ever read it, and then I did and said, “We’re kindred spirits.”

I would never utter a thought that included kindred or spirits in it, and I realize you don’t utter thoughts, but I thought something like, Hey, I like her. Anyway, she and I started hanging out, and she’d have these things every month called BookUps, which I wish still existed, where each month people would meet at a different bar or restaurant and just read. It was her way of scheduling it for people who say, “I don’t have time to read.”

Here she is at a BookUp in early 2012. Those were so great. As was that coat, that she got at Kit’s store.

Anyway, the point is, when I met her she was seriously single and she stayed that way for years, but last week she got married!

She didn’t give me permission to show her wedding picture. I mean, she didn’t say, “No, you can’t use my wedding picture, you wretched hag,” but I didn’t ask her and feel weird about posting it. But she wore all red! And her witnesses stood 6 feet away. It’s so exciting!

The other friend news is that Lilly, of the person Lilly and not my cat Lily, texted me the other day. She owns a feed and garden store, and in the back, in a truckload of … I think she said hay? She found a mom cat and two teensy kittens!!!

!!!!!

“You know I’m gonna have to break quarantine,” I said, COVID be damned. Co-VID yourself. As soon as she can actually touch the kittens she’s gonna let me know and I will STAMPEDE over there, and I guess it’s not surprising that the thing that will get me out of this house, finally, will involve a baby animal of some sort.

So life is continuing on out there in the world, and I’m Miss Havishaming it in here. I’m missing Havisham. I’m missing ham.

If you’re still staying in, what do you think is the first thing you’ll go do once you’ve released the hounds and headed outside?

Indoorsily,
June

P.S. I think I figured out why I have a sort throat every day. GERD. I have the GERD and I’ll bet that’s it. I won’t make any life changes to get rid of it, don’t be silly, but I’m willing to medicate myself to kingdom come.

Herdy GERDily,
June

P.P.S. I forgot to tell you that other than the pajamas I have on currently? I am completely 100% caught up on laundry. Isolation. It has perks!

Tideily,
June

P.P.P.peepeepeepee S. Jo just sent me a wedding photo!

Day Junely

Yes, I AM the yahoo who went out in the rain and took pictures of her day lilies just now. Why are some of the leaves yellow? Does anyone know? These are the day lilies my neighbor R and I planted last year after they’d been dug up at a construction site and left on a truck to die a painful death. We each planted some in our respective yards, and she says mine are doing better than hers. R says these are very old day lilies, I forget why she said that. I guess they’ve been at that site for ages.

I have officially become an old lady. Talkin’ bout her lilies.

Let’s talk about heroin and TikTok to youthen things up.

It’s kind of hard to concentrate (like it’s usually so easy for me) what with half the house staring at me. I’ve no idea what they want, seeing as I spent the first 20 minutes of my day pilling, feeding and letting these arses outside to do their bidness. Like, what more do you NEED from me? Whaaaat? Wat wat waaaat??

Yesterday was a productive day. I worked for ages, and once I was done, I asked my TV to show me cardio workouts for old people, and they gave me this delightful workout from a woman who, granted, never stops talking, but it was good. No, literally, she never stops talking. For 30 minutes.

Don’t be that guy. Don’t be the “What was the workout, JOOOOOOOON?” guy. I literally got YouTube up on my TV, said, “Find a cardio workout for people older than 50” and it gave me one. You can do that too. I have faith in you.

Actually, that leads me to another Is it just cranky June, or is it everyone?

You post something on social media. Let’s say you post a photo of your new ‘do. Not that anyone can get new ‘dos RN. But still. You post your sunset across your lawn, let’s say.

“Where did you get those lawn chairs?”

I don’t know why this annoys me, but it does. Truthfully it rarely happens in my own posts, because who wants anything my poor ass owns. It’s more with famous people.

“Would you mind telling me where you got that shirt, Alana?”

I follow Alana Stewart on Instagram. Weren’t we aiming to seem young in this post?

First of all, WHO CARES? It’s not the point of the post. Second of all, way to make the poster do more work. I guess that’s what bugs. The person took a picture, thought of a pithy thing to say, edited the shot, posted it, then has to remember where she got her bust of Ru Paul that’s in the background?

Is it just me? Do you find that annoying when people do that? And don’t get me started on people who ask a question that if you just scrolled up you’d find addressed 50 times in the comments.

Anyway, after my cardio for old people, I asked my TV machine to show me new tricks for dogs, and Edsel and I worked on “sit pretty” for awhile before it dawned on me that might hurt his back, seeing as he has spondylosis.

Then I headed out to collect my Mother of the Year award.

I literally tried to teach an old dog new tricks.

Edsel got old so fast. Like, a year ago, okay, his face was getting a little white. But in this year he’s gotten the heart thing and the spondylosis thing (it means that he grew new bones over his old ones because, as the vet explained it, his body was trying to make up for the bone loss he had there from arthritis). He just seems so slow and crippled up all the time now. When he changes position he groans.

The only time he’s really animated is the 5 minutes a day we play with Blu. The vet said not to play it with him anymore but it makes him so happy. So I do, but I literally set the timer on the microwave and I look into the kitchen window to watch the time so we don’t overdo. Cause sometimes we’re having fun and then we’ve gone too long before and the drunk thing happens where he falls over due to his heart trouble.

Anyway, came on fast, his old-man-ness. He takes three pills in the morning and two at night and eats old man look at my life food.

They should totally name a dog food Old Man Look at My Life.

I guess that’s all I have to tell you, and it’s hard to tell you new things when each day has been exactly the same for 90 freaking days.

I did have one epiphany.

When I was 13 or 14, I read in Cosmopolitan magazine—in sort of a roundup of beauty tricks article—where this model said, “Every night I brush my eyebrows to train them to grow upwards (I think it’s working!).”

Every day of my life since then, barring migraine days, I have done exactly that. I had the same eyebrow brush from 8th grade (I read that Cosmo article and STAMPEDED for the mall) till the year 2003, when I bought a new eyebrow brush that I still have. Every ding-dang day I’ve brushed them upwards hoping to train them.

Recently I ordered caster oil to regrow my eyebrows, as they have gotten sparse with the 20 years of waxing them (and brushing them up). The caster oil came with a little eyebrow brush, so now I have that in the bathroom for even more upward brushing.

The other day I was in the bathroom, brushing up on m’brows, when it hit me.

I don’t think it’s working.

I’ve been doing this damn thing FOR ALMOST 40 YEARS and I finally came to the conclusion that you can brush your eyebrows up and it won’t train them to do a goddamn thing. Not even sit pretty.

So there you have it. That’s today’s epiphany from quarantine.

Have a day (lily),
June

June loses her looks. (What looks?)

I just caught sight of myself in my robe just now and thought, man, this robe is kind of bulky.

…’twasn’t the robe.

It was so great when I had no appetite for six weeks after my SURGERY, and I’d go all day nibbling on one biscuit or what have you. The last time I ordered groceries, I ordered a box of Drumsticks, FFS.

God, Drumsticks are delicious. Ironically, eating Drumsticks is what makes me unattractive to Tommy Lee.

Did you ever watch that video, that Pamela Anderson/Tommy Lee video? They were both very pretty people. They never say one intelligent thing through the whole video. “Hey, gorge-ass.” “You’re so hot, Tommy.”

How do people get through life not bored to tears if they never say anything? It’s the same with the one dating site I’m on.

“Happy Sunday.”

“Hey, June.”

“Good morning.”

“Hello.”

And, I mean, I’ll grant you the first time you contact someone, you might say something banal. But after I say hello back, to just get another version of “Happy Sunday” or “How are you?” is enough to make me delete. The other day, after about four of these exchanges, with me carrying the entire conversation on my bulky-robed back, I said, “Could you say something resembling anything? I’m dying, here.”

And? Nothing.

So that’s how that’s going.

How are all 10 of you? What’s going on over there in your houses, where I hope you’re staying? Since I had two electricians, two neighbors and 824834240 boxes delivered in the past week, including that box of Drumsticks, I’m just sittin’ here waitin’ for symptoms. Do you do that, or is it just me?

It doesn’t help that I have a sore throat every day. It’s not like when you have a cold and it hurts to swallow, it’s just sort of slightly irritated back there. It’s enough so that every day I can panic mildly.

Both my parents are allergic to cats; do you think I have an allergy to cats and I don’t know it? I’ve had those allergy tests where they pick your back and I just keep getting that I’m allergic to trees. But maybe I grew into a cat allergy and I’ll have to drive these creatures to a field.

And of course we all know about my dust allergy. Maybe I don’t dust enough, seeing as I dust never. Maybe that’s why my throat hurts every day. The grandmother I turned into was allergic to dust and she wasn’t supposed to dust, which is a conundrum. Also she had trouble wearing earrings that weren’t fancy metal, and I do too.

All earrings just hurt me after awhile; do they hurt you?

I haven’t worn jewelry since god was a child. Nor do I put on makeup. Maybe we should all make an effort to gussy up more, even if we’re all home. What say you? Unless a whole mess of work shows up on my computer, I’ll put on makeup after I write this.

So, basically, I’ve gotten fat, I wear no makeup, my hair is half-white/half dyed blonde, I’m free of adornments and I never dust. Wait, why is my one dating site not working again?

Attractively,
June

P.S. I put on makeup!

Secret Storm

On Friday, at a time of the morning that probably wasn’t legal, my lawn guy Victor came to cut my grass. It woke me up, the sound of not just the riding mower but also the dang leaf blower. It was awful, and I’m going to go ahead and assume all my neighbors hate me. My intention is to tell him to come later in the morning but I never got to say that Friday and here’s why.

When I was awakened by the lyrical sound of BLAAAAAAAAA, I got up and showered.

I emerged from the shower to the sounds of poor Victor, who I like a lot, cleaning the glass from having shattered my storm door into 12 million pieces. He was mortified. “Miss June, I am so sorry. I’m going to clean this up and get you new glass and install it,” he said. He’d been so concerned about not hitting my car with his leaf blower, but instead hit the door with it.

Edsel and I watched him curiously while he meticulously got up all the glass.

I opened my front door, then stepped back 400 feet. “You know, Victor, I never really liked that storm door anyway,” I said. “Why don’t you give me a few free lawn services, the good one where you do all the weeds, and we’ll call it even.”

So we made a deal, not shaking on it.

After he left, I realized I was gonna have to paint the trim where the storm door used to be.

Also, I was gonna have to remove that hot-pink smudge off the column. bah.

On Saturday, I searched my snakey garage. I’ve never seen a snake in that garage/shed, but it’s an old building and I hardly go in there so I just assume it’s riddled with generations of snake families and also rodent colonies.

However, the man who lived here before me had a cool old car in there and was clearly in his garage all the time. He was one of those exceedingly tidy people, which has made living here an enjoyable experience and now I’m here to ruin the utter care he took of this place. The shed still has jar lids, because he was one of those people who kept nails and things in food jars screwed to wood. He was very organized.

I’m telling you this because I knew he’d be the type and I was right: in the snake garage, the sssssshed, are small cans of paint, all labeled with “front porch rails,” “kitchen walls,” etc. And sure enough, there was a can of paint for touchups to the house.

I’d like to marry someone like that. I wouldn’t like to live with someone like that—we’d kill each other. But maybe he could be in the next house over, organizing my thoughts.

So on Sunday, I got my small can of Sherwin Williams Smoky Quartz and painted my door trim.

Then I decided I should probably get a storm door anyway. Further reports as developments warrant.

Meanwhile, since I was over there at my door, I thought, “I’m gonna try to put on my new doorknob.”

In my old house, I eventually replaced every gold doorknob with a color that didn’t make me sad. Here, one again, my front door and deadbolt are a shocking terrible gold, and months ago when we were allowed out places I bought a nice unshiny black doorknob and it’s backup singer, the black deadbolt. I never put it up because I never felt like it.

And then I did. And that was a mistake.

Getting rid of the electric gold knob wasn’t easy. It’s old, and didn’t have the traditional screws you’d expect. But I YouTubed it and after a sweaty hour (it was hot out) got the doorknobs off. I figured I’d worry about the deadbolt second.

I unpackaged the nice black doorknobs. And? Too big. The hole for the doorknobs wasn’t big enough.

You know how Cokes at McDonald’s have gotten ridiculously bigger since the 60s and we all weigh 300 pounds? Same with doorknobs now. They’re bigger and more imposing. Why has everything gotten bigger? You should see the size of my great-grandmother’s china plates. The dinner plate is what we’d use for snacks at a party now.

I asked around via my texting machine, and my neighbor R walked over with this giant file. “Am I breaking out of prison?” I asked her, the two of us stretching out like we were Hands of God to exchange that file.

I rubbed hand sanitizer on the handle of the file, and then?

I filed.

I filed and filed and filed.

I started filing at 1:30. I was still filing at 5:00.

I was sweating everywhere there was to sweat. Memories of me were sweating. My school pictures were sweating. My future self was sweating. My hair just got bigger as I file filed filed the hole, got the doorknob, tried to fit it, and filed again.

I was the Rockford Files. I was a sweater girl. Holy god.

Finally, FINALLY, the hole was big enough. The doorknob would finally — file-ally — fit in the hole.

And?

The doorknobs wouldn’t get flush with each other. They’d meet up nicely when I clicked them together NOT in the door, but in the door? I was screwed. When you install doorknobs, first you have to install the silver clicky thing, you know, the thing that looks sort of like a slice of cake that opens and shuts the door? What’s that called? Anyway that goes in first, then the two doorknobs have to fit in the holes of that clicky thing. And these doorknobs weren’t fitting.

At this point it was getting sort of late in the day, and I had no doorknob at all.

I’d had to really rip the old gold, the Rold Gold, doorknob apart taking it off, and I helplessly held the many shiny gold parts in a panic. Could I stick them back in the door? The hole was now five hours larger than it had been.

The broom and dustpan are because, and I want you to brace yourself, there was a lot of sawdust from FILING FOR 100 HOURS.

Panicked, I texted Alf, my ridiculous handyman. “Eym in da mowntins. Whattup?” he texted, because you know how he texts. He tries to make his texts as unreadable as possible. I ignored Alf. What good could he do me in the damn mountains?

So I did what any normal person would do: I got on Facebook. “I have an emergency,” I wrote. “Does someone have a handy husband?” I know that’s sexist, but I didn’t have time to be politically correct. I needed a no-nonsense man.

Within seconds, my phone was booping and beeping and ringing and what-all, and maybe I should have asked in a less public way. Not only did I talk to the guy I went to 9th-grade prom with, I also Facetimed, looking RIDICULOUS, with a faithful reader’s husband, who told me a way I could jerryrig the door for the night, at least, till I could get a doorknob really on.

But then? Like the cavalry? Came my neighbor, A., down my street.

A and I lived across the street from each other during my Year Abroad, but we never met. Then she moved into this neighborhood just months after I did. Because she’s handy and can rewire and knock down walls and stuff, she started an Instagram page called MyMillhouse, where she shows her improvements she makes to her little house that’s identical to mine except for the part where you can see all three fireplaces because she’s knocked down walls to make them all visible and I waste entire Sundays tryina put on a doorknob.

I didn’t know about her Instagram page till a faithful reader wrote me and said, “Hey, June, isn’t this your neighborhood?” And that is how A and I became friends.

It’s weird, too, because at first I wrote her on Instagram and she wrote me back, and we did kind of a tentative, “We can see each other’s houses. We should meet” thing, but then we kept running INTO each other. At New Year’s, we were same party across town.

At the pub near us, we were both at the Inebriated Spelling Bee, where we were both knocked out in the first few rounds.

Anyway there she was, coming down my street with her tool apron and a face mask. I was never so glad to see someone, despite my 50-foot-side hair and lack of shower. I told her the doorknob just wouldn’t work in our 98-year-old door. “We just need to find a way to secure my door for the night or something, I said,” as I left the room to get her some lemonade.

Click!

All I did, y’all, ALL I DID was get a glass, dump ice into it, pour lemonade, and when I came back she’d already put the new doorknob on. IT TOOK HER A MINUTE.

“How did you do that?” I haired at her. Seriously, y’all, my hair.

“Sometimes it just takes another person to try,” she said generously, and we all know that isn’t true.

Holy cats.

However, we couldn’t get the deadbolt off because like the gold doorknobs, there are no visible screws and here’s the best part: I don’t have a key for that thing. No idea where one is. A. says she’s gonna look up how to remove it anyway, and I’m going to try to deal with the emotional truth of having a black doorknob and a gold deadbolt.

Meanwhile I’ve now had electricians, Victor, R and A. here all in one week, so it’s been nice knowing you. Be sure to ask the paramedics to admire my new doorknob when they come get me.

Knobbily,
June

The body electric

My dishwasher works, and my refrigerator is plugged into the wall like a normal person, thanks to a visit from two electricians, 114,000 viruses and me parting ways with $126.

In case you just got here—let’s say you just heard about blogs. “I’m from 2001. What is a beee-log?” In case that happened, I’ll tell you that on Sunday night my fridge stopped running, thereby making all prank calls useless (where’s Prince Albert, though?). Then a day later, I tried to run my dishwasher, and? Morte.

This alarmed me, as it seemed like an unusual coincidence they’d both die together, like Romeo and Juliet. Then I mentioned it to you guys, and you know how that goes.

YOU’RE GOING TO DIE IN AN ELECTRICAL FIRE JOOOOOOOON.

LET ME EMAIL YOU PERSONALLY RE THIS JOOOOOOOOOOON.

THE FLAMES! THE FLAAAAAAMES, JOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo

So I called an electrician. Alf, my ridiculous handyman, recommended I call someone named Robert, so I called Robert and Robert never answered me. However, I’d like to say Robert one more time.

Robert.

Anyway after … Robert never answered me, I Googled and got actually a really lovely electric company.

I called the electric company by shouting, “HEY, YOU GUYS!” We’re gonna turn it on. We’re gonna bring you the power.

They responded same-day, and they were very polite. They sent a little picture of my electricians along with bios on them, so I could see how hot they were gonna be and could dress accordingly.

Then they called — on time — to say they were on their way and did I need anything, a drink or anything from the outside world. I am not making that up. I really would have loved a soft drink but did not want to put them out.

When they arrived, I was nervous. No human has been in my house other than me since god knows when. Months. I took them through the back yard, where Edsel was showing fang until he saw they were two men.

O, ware Edzul manners? Come in! Get you a treet? Treeet in treet jar. Take! Edz luff you both so bad. To ignor preeevus fang.

It had been so long since I’d seen Edsel simper over men. It was sort of a delight.

They were both bemasked and begloved, and I had a mask on too while I told them the saga of the Romeo and Juliet deaths in my kitchen. Meanwhile, Edsel had gotten his clay so he could make a bust of them.

Then I skedaddled into the living room, thinking of all the shedding virus going on in my kitchen. They pulled out the fridge, where 394823023 cat toys resided, and they pulled out the dishwasher, so basically everything I eat or clean is laced with corona.

When you guys were knocking on my door and ringing the bell to tell me my wires were on fire, one thing you kept telling me was to check the CBGB outlets or whatever they’re called. “Sometimes you have to reset them,” you’d tell me, like I didn’t already know that. When the fridge died Sunday night, I immediately checked all of them.

When they redid this kitchen, they pulled out all the stops on adding outlets. Holy cats. I have more outlets in the kitchen than in the rest of the house combined.

I checked this one over by the stove. Nope. Twas fine.

Oh, look, an outlet on the OTHER side of the stove. How necessary! But nope, it’s fine. Under the foil are strawberry biscuits I made. I know. Who even am I? There is never any need to ask how I made something, BTW. If I made something, it means I googled, How do you make ____ and used the first answer. Anyway, that outlet was fine too.

Half an inch away is another outlet, where my coffee pot goes and if that was gonna die I wasn’t going to take it well. Nope. Fine. Fine as frog’s fur, as my gramma would say.

I want you to brace yourself, but there was another AFLCIO or whatever outlet just a few feet away.

This is the outlet right near the love story that is the fridge and dishwasher, so I tested it 47 times. Nothing. It looks as though my corkscrew might be enamored with that outlet. There’s any number of things going on in that kitchen that I don’t know about, since all I make in there is coffee and haste.

I heard the electricians in there moving stuff for quite some time, so they could get germs in every corner, and Edsel had gotten his tap shoes and was showing off for company, shuffling off to Buffalo.

“Did you find it?” I asked them a couple times. They’d gone to my fuse box, which they assured me is not unsafe so thanks for those hysterical emails, and still couldn’t figure it out.

Finally?

“Ma’am, we’ve solved the problem.”

Do you see here? Right where the fat cat is, smoking her cigars and looking at her pocket watch? See how there’s a vacuum there?

Earlier, I might even say SUNDAY, I tried to vacuum, and the thing was dead. I looked down, and the plug was just barely in the outlet. I plugged it in and sure enough a few hours later my vacuum was charged and all was right with my world.

Except? I think I pushed the clicky thing in my USDA outlet or whatever it’s called, the outlet that PROVIDES POWER TO MY FRIDGE AND DISHWASHER, and went about my day until I noted the fridge was not turning on its heartlight.

“Don’t feel bad, ma’am,” said the nice electricians, whose names are now tattooed on Edsel’s spindly forearm, “it took us forever to find the cause, ourselves.”

So while you were all technically right that I should be pressing the FICO button or whatever it’s called,

Well.

I was gonna say some sort of disclaimer after that. But you were right. The problem was the DMV outlet had been tripped.

So.

Electra Woman and Dyna Girl-ly,
June

Dawn

Now my dishwasher is broken.

Careful readers, meaning readers who’ve read me for the last two days, will note my refrigerator stopped running this weekend. I now have the fridge plugged into my orange Christmas lights extension cord, and it’s draped becomingly across my kitchen floor and up onto the cupboards where it’s joined in holy matrimony with a power strip. Won’t you join my tour of homes?

That was hideous enough. Now the dishwasher just up and died. Up and died like Mr. Bojangles’ dog. So once again, to avoid a repair person coming in here and infecting me and all my children

[I totally just Erica Kane’d your ass]

I’ve gone ahead and ordered dish soap, a tub and a rack to do dishes by hand. Goddammit. This shit is getting more Little House by the minute. You remember all the stories of Laura ordering Palmolive through Amazon.

What could be wrong? Why the fridge plug and now my dishwasher? You don’t plug in a dishwasher, or do you? Oh, GOD.

The good news is, my footstool is done, so I’ve helped that small business, along with my giant contribution to Kit with my $15 flower paintings. Hey, Kit, do you have a nice small side table? I can’t afford it yet because foot$tool. Still. Keep me informed for next pay period.

I also ordered a t-shirt from my friend’s general store out in the country. I already had one in blue and it’s the softest t-shirt I own. So I ordered one in salmon and it came yesterday. I’m swimmin’ upstream in it!

Am I ever.

Also, while we’re up, here’s my tarot reading for this month, under the category “The home.” I keep the notes from my readings on my phone, for quick access.

“Major” doesn’t mean a major appliance. It’s me telling myself that this was a major arcana card.

This is a major arcana card. It’s the ones that read The Emperor or The Fool or what have you instead of six of wands or eight of cups, etc. When you draw a major arcana, it means this part will have more of an influence on your life than if you’d drawn, say, a Page of Swords.

You THINK?

Back in the late ’90s, Marvin and I moved into a cool 1940s-era duplex in LA. It was absolutely magnificent, favorite place I ever lived, except for one thing: No dishwasher.

So Marvin and I, being the modern equitable couple we were, decided to take turns doing dishes. The thing is, we’d eat something and then I’d go do dishes. Then it’d be his turn.

Breakfast? No dish-doing after. Lunch? Eh, do them later.

Marvin would wait until we were using clothespins as cutlery and measuring cups for, you know, cups. And then he’d stand there and complain about how long it took to do dishes.

We lived in that place for six years. Did he ever learn? He did not.

I remember out that kitchen window you could see the triplex of our neighbor, Mr. Robert, and his wife, Mrs. Robert. According to Alicia, who lived across the street, they once got into a fight and she heard Mrs. Robert screeching, “Fuck-a you! FUCK-A YOU!”

They were foreign. I forget where they were from. Everybody was foreign in LA. I once counted how many people at work spoke with accents and I had more coworkers with accents than without. It was cool.

Anyway, Mr. and Mrs. Robert (his real name was so not Robert, but he said it was Robert, so okay) had a mother who lived in the front apartment of the triplex, and a caretaker came every day to help out. The caretaker would go in the yard and do tai chi, and sometimes I’d take my hands out of the soapy water and do tai chi with her in my kitchen.

The Mrs. Robert mother watched very loud Korean dramas, and eventually I got into them too, a thing that annoyed the bejeesus out of Marvin, as apparently it’s hard to tune out Korean from another room. Maybe Mr. and Mrs. and Mother Robert were Korean. See how nothing gets past this rapier mind?

When I should have had a blog is back then, when I lived in that cool neighborhood in that cool apartment. Life was just more interesting then. But then and now I am dishwasherless and pandemicky and goddammit.

Brokenly,
Juan Robert

Decorative books and other offenses

I got an ad for decorative books on one of my social media channels. Like, you can buy this bundle of books to zip up your decor. I’ve no idea if there are actual words inside of these books.

Am I the only person who finds this deeply offensive? I do like these colors, though. Would it be okay if I bought them and displayed them and insisted I find them deeply offensive but look how pretty? Would that be okay?

Speaking of pretty, I joined a seaglass appreciation page on Facebook. I’ve been joining a lot of pages on Facebook lately because I’ve been staying in. Harr. Again with that funny joke.

What I enjoy is half the time when you join a group, they make you fill out a questionnaire first, before you can be in their, you know, exclusive club on Facebook. I think the Facebook group (Face)Book of June has those Qs as well, but I can’t remember why. Although sometimes people will say something in there and I think, “You have no idea what Book of June is, so you? Why did you join this group?”

“June, are you married?”

“Haha. That’s funny. Do you like sports, June?”

“June, why don’t you get Edsel a puppy?”

Anyway, the point is, when Facebook groups present me with those hard-hitting questions, I try to offer as ridiculous an answer as possible. “Why do you want to join I Heart ’40s design?” “Because I adore a clean, modern, stark, minimal look.” I mean, if you’re going to insist I answer a question, at least ask a thoughtful one.

How are all y’all all doing, anyway? I’m sort of okay.

The weekend before my surgery (“Did you ever have surgery, JOOON?”) I went to our mall here–it’s one of those outdoor situations where you go into one store then have to go outside again to get to the next shop. I was bustling about, getting comfortable things to convalesce in, finding things to keep myself amused whilst I lay about. At the time, I assumed I’d be out for two weeks and wanted to stock self up accordingly.

Here I am 409 weeks later and I still haven’t colored all my coloring books.

My point is, at one point in all my bustling about at that mall, I got some coffee and sat in my car. It was sort of chilly out, so I drank my coffee there, in front of Old Navy, to perk myself up before I continued shopping.

Did you ever get just a rush of happy for no reason? I got one of those there, in my car, drinking coffee in front of Old Navy. One might suggest it was a rush of caffeine, but I no longer get those. I just drink it to keep from getting sick now, the addiction is so deep.

That was the last time I was in a crowd, in public, without a care in the world other than thinking I was going to have some minor surgery that’d put me out for two weeks. I wasn’t worried about that part at all. That was my last venture out. Who knows when I’ll venture out in a crowd again?

I see on social media people saying they’re getting together with friends or traveling here and there or even just idly shopping and I can’t imagine. I’d be nervous as a cat if I did any of that. And I don’t even have anyone to worry about coming home and giving it to!

The thing I miss most about living in LA is the places I used to go to. I want you to brace yourself, but there was an old movie theater I adored. (“Do you like old things, JOOOOON?”) There was also a long drive I used to take, down Sunset, all the way to this cool restaurant way up in the hills. That’s the stuff I miss. The places. I suppose that makes me unsociable but it’s the truth.

And that’s what I miss now, too. Places. Going to my old movie theater here. Going to the country to get ice cream. The place I get strawberries. Kit’s store.

All my activities involve old things and eating.

Anyway, I hate change. I hate not being able to just go out and pop into Old Navy without spending two weeks afterward monitoring every cough. I’m doing it, because my need to shop does not supersede my desire to not spread illness or take up a hospital bed. But I hate it.

So that’s why I ask. How you doing? What do you miss?