The postman always rings 48 times

You know that terrible feeling when you wake up well-rested on a weekday, and the sun is actually way up in the sky and so forth? That was me this morning.

“Oh, HELL, why is the sun up?” I asked myself, grabbing my phone from bed.

8:08, my phone said happily. What did it care? It just had to phone. It didn’t have anything else to do. You know what it had to do on Sunday, though? It had to update. Ohhhh, it was soooooo intent on updating Sunday. So I let it, and you know what it did? It somehow disconnected the annoying-as-hell alarm on my iPhone, which won’t let you just have an alarm, no. You have to set up a whole go-to-bed PLAN where they dim all the lights sweet darlin’ a half hour before bed, and play you a sweet lullaby and tell you how long you slept and JUST SET THE ALARM OH MY GOD.

Anyway, so I bounded out of bed and fed everyone this morning, dashing to my laptop at 8:29, thinking, Oh, it’s the Monday after a holiday. They won’t have any work for copy edit to do anyway. It’ll be fine.


I was wrong.

So that was my breakneck morning, and now it’s lunchtime and I’m writing to you from the confines of my robe, as I have not yet showered and I’d like you to take time out and also take your tines out—go ahead, get your forks—to appreciate that I am prioritizing this blog over my hygiene.

While I was working this morning on emergency projects, on projects that required I administer 10CCs of Ringer’s Lactate and transport, I got many pieces of mail at the door, many deliveries, a thing that did not drive Edsel berserk or anything.

First, Faithful Reader Andrea, from whom I stole Forest*, sent me some of my romance magazines, and it is all I can do to not call in sick and read them all day long. I can’t wait to see if she picks her husband or God in this one!

(*When I found Forest I said, I cannot have a 4th cat. That would be insane. “I’ll take him,” said Andrea, who lives 6,392,40302 miles away. She planned a big road trip to come get her a Forest. Then on the day before she was to arrive, we talked and decided I should keep him. Then he fluffed out and got smokey and she has resented me ever since. The end.)

Then, after that, boxes came from my mother and I can’t remember if she said go ahead and open them or don’t open them till Christmas and EVERYTHING IS TOO HARD.

Then after THAT, a box came from FR Kris.

She made me an afghan and LOOK HOW PRETTY.

So now all I have to do is get through this day and then I can SIT THERE, like a LUMP, and read romance magazines under my afghan until my phone plays me a lullaby and tells me when to go to bed.

I’d also better go shower with what is left of my lunch hour, as I have a Hugh Hefner robe look that I am not pulling off in the same manner he did. How come he looked suave and come hither and I look clinically depressed?

Before I go, just now that pretty ornament that I hung from the wreath just up and jumped off the wall, there, and crashed to its death. Ding DANG it. granted, I had it hanging off a branch precariously AF, but that’s beside the point.


P.S. And another thing. This weekend, I put on Facebook pictures of my Christmas decorations, and I said, “If you see things I can move around, tell me.” This apparently was everyone’s invitation to remark on just everything, when what I wanted was, you know, “Move that ornament in front of that whatever” and everyone said they hate tinsel. Do you hate tinsel? I love tinsel.

We gather dust together

Man, I just got back from all the Black [Plague] Friday sales. I left the house at 2:30 a.m. so I could stand in line at Highland Appliance. Got a mean deal on an Atari and several Teddy Ruxpins.

I don’t even know what an Atari is. Is it like Pong? I played that once, circa 1977, at my Uncle Jim’s. He was young and newly married with a baby on the way and probably should not have been spending his hard-earned money on Pongs. He also had a CB radio he probably shouldn’t have indulged in, which I similarly played with.

This was back in the ’70s, when in my hometown anyone could work in the factories and make a pretty decent income. Once I was in my parents’ bedroom watching TV, but when I opened the door, there was a trail of money down the hall. I was pretty delighted by this and kept picking up the cash, till I got to the living room and there was my Uncle Jim, who lived to vex me, laughing. He took his money back.


Anyway, I played Pong once and sort of reached my Pong threshold. Did video games get interesting-er or are they pretty much just Pong with better pictures? Also, say “Pong” one more time.

Did they even have in-store sales this year, she asks sequiter-ly? I know nothing about them. Since I don’t have TV I don’t see commercials. I just see Instagram ads that know my very [dark] soul.

Anyway how are you? I am surrounded by Christmas bins that hailed from the snake shed, and my throat has become sore, which of course led me to assume ‘Rona Barrett 19th Nervous Breakdown was here till I remembered I am allergic to dust and what exactly do I think these bins gathered all year in the ssssssshed?

I always forget about my exotic dust allergy till I experience it. Then I’m all, why the sore throat and runny nose? I ask this of myself while I’m in an attic or inhaling a dust bin or standing in a dust storm or mixing something in the dust bowl or hanging with Dusty Springfield. Then I remember my allergy and right then I know. Really keeps me from enjoying dust like everyone else.

I don’t even WANT to decorate the house, but if I don’t I’ll feel like I’m not participating in society, which I’m not. I guess I like to give the outward appearance that I’m festive.

This damn Black Friday cat is lying across my wrists, as per usual, and let me tell you something. The whole rest of the day I’m over here saying, “Forest, please come sit on me. You’re so cute. Come here Forest.” and all day he gives me that blank blinky look that cats give you. The only time he has any interest in me is when I’m blogging, and then all of a sudden my wrists are a tempting silk pillow.

He’s so lovely, though. His fur is so thick, and yet silky. I really do need to get him a different water bowl. His entire ruff gets in the bowl, so his chest is forever wet, which is pleasant for no one, particularly my wrists right now. Next paycheck for sure. I just checked to see if I got paid today, because payday is the 30th but that would mean the deposit would have to go in Sunday and how is that possible, so I was hoping maybe it was there today, but no. I have a very lucky $13.13 in checking today. Look, it’s not like I’m low on food.

I, like everyone else here in America, had turkey and dressing and mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes—because it’s important to have both—and pumpkin pie yesterday, and look not unlike a big glop of mashed potatoes myself, so I have the vim of a housecat. I have the vim of Lily right now.

What I really want to do is watch season two of Virgin River and drink forbidden coffee all day. Watching Virgin River is like watching 8 to 10 hours of a Hallmark movie.

But these dusty bins are scratching at my throat, telling me to get my ass all Christmassy. My favorite thing. Christmas.


P.S. Pong

Work, work, work, turkey.

My vacation is over and I’m going back to work today. I haven’t unpacked yet.


Oh, that’s funny. Remember unpacking? Remember packing? I guess some people really are packing suitcases and flying to destinations like there isn’t a plague, but I’m not. I’m not because you are, so thanks.

Anyway, I have only a three-day week so I plan to pack a lotta livin’ into the 24 hours of work that I have. I don’t know what work is going to be like this week. Heavy with cramming everything in in three days or ridic with no work to do because it’s a holiday week? ‘Tis a mystery. A mystery I will uncrack like it’s Sunday night and I am the Hardy Boys.

There’s a photo I don’t have time to locate, but it’s one of my favorites from Thanksgiving week about five years ago.

At work, a huge ton—as opposed to a small ton—of us were on just one account. It’s all we worked on, just that one account. And for some reason, that was, like, a magic time. We all sincerely liked each other and we worked together really well. We had an entire floor to ourselves and it seemed like we had fun every day. We’d work really hard and there’d be, like, one little break in the day where we’d all discuss what’s the most old-man sandwich or what have you.

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving they told us we could leave at 3:00, so we were readying to go. For some reason we had the dog daycare live stream up on someone’s screen. It wasn’t my screen, and I really can’t recall really why it was up, but Tallulah was doing something cute and a bunch of us gathered around a coworker’s screen and we were all smiling.

I know this because someone took a picture from behind that screen, of all of us smiling at Talu’s antics. She wrote a little caption about the end of the day before a holiday break and all of us enjoying a moment together.

I sort of long for that time. First of all, we’re all off that account and scattered around the building now. And lots of people are gone altogether, off at new jobs. Also, of course, of the people still there, I haven’t seen them since February 17.

And if you’d told me at the time that I’d long for that moment I’d have been shocked. That was in 2015, and I’d moved out of the house I shared with Ned and back into the house I owned. I was devastated that it hadn’t worked out. But I remember that whole fall as being golden and warm and full of really fun happy hours with those coworkers. Other than the breakup part, things were pretty great! I wish I could go back and tell myself, “Yeah, OK, but this is way better than being on month 9 of a pandemic.”

I also wish I could tell myself, “You just turned 50. This is the last moment you have to look remotely good. Go work it.”

But I did none of those things. I think I mostly went to happy hours and felt sad about my breakup and had no idea I’d lose Tallulah three months later.

Is there a time like that for you? A time that was technically bad but when you look back on it you kind of miss it and wish you’d appreciated it more?

My friend Sandy and I talk about when we lived together circa 1989. We both had jobs that paid, like, $7.50 an hour or something. We had wooden milk crates for tables and we went to happy hours that served free heavy hors d’oeuvres for our dinner.

And somehow? We wanted for nothing. Between the two of us, we owned every beauty product known to man. We shared clothes, in a now-depressing size 5. It was like we just had two closets. Dinner was all set, so we just had to figure out breakfast and lunch and often that was an oh-so-needed SlimFast.

We had everything! We were broke but we had everything! The guy in the next apartment even had a tanning bed, so our tanning needs were even taken care of.

I wrote a paper for a class and my professor returned it with a note: See me about a scholarship to England.

I mean. We had everything when we had nothing. Have I mentioned?

Some eras seem sort of bad at the time but they really aren’t, in retrospect. And some seem wonderful but when you look back you think, God, I wasn’t even myself that whole time. Or, Geez, I was pretending to be happy but really I was just irritated. At least that’s how it goes for me.

It’s just a few minutes before 8:30 now so I’d better get ready for either the deluge or the thimble of work coming my way.

Good times bad times, you know I’ve had my share,
June Zeppelin

In her own words

This morning I was doing all my things, which mostly includes slopping the 87 domestics up in here, and I was impressed with the sun so I snapped it. Hey, who sent me the orange tea? There was no note. I’ve been meaning to ask.

Also, though, I was putting a load of laundry in—because I really know how to throw down on my week off—and I saw Forest, whom I had just let out, tear across the backyard after Milhous, who turned right at the end of the yard, while Forest ran straight up a tree.

Seriously, I think he has just the best life.

To Forest, this yard just must look endless. And then there’s the wild part out past the fence that he similarly loves.

You know, I’ve asked the lawn guy twice to take care of the weeds back there and now I’m sort of annoyed. He’s going to get a strongly worded text. Happy holidays!!

I’m tryina think of what else I’ve done on this, my week off, other than watch The Crown and wait for corona. Which is oddly congruous. Oh! I know! Speaking of crowns, I also watched Diana, In Her Own Words, which was a movie/documentary made from a bunch of tapes of Diana.

In her own words.

Do you remember that scandalous book about her way back when? She really did set that book up, written by Andrew Morton in the ’90s, a book I believe was called Diana, In Her Own Words but maybe now I’m just stuck on that phrase. Anyway, they had a go-between. Andrew Morton, which if you take one look at him you feel in your bones that he’s sleazy, would send tapes to Diana via the go-between. His tapes had questions, and her tapes would be the answers.

Tapes. In her own words. And that is how that book got written in the ’90s when we all wore brown lipstick and piece-y bangs like they were flattering. Has anyone seen my chunky-heeled loafers?

So then recently some yahoo, possibly even Andrew Morton, who looks like maybe he’d sell high-end colonics, made a whole sort of documentary using Diana’s tapes

in her own words

describing stuff about her marriage and time with the royals.

So I watched that. I learned things, which is saying something because I thought at this point I knew all there is to know about that fekking family. Someone could ask me, “What was your great-grandmother’s name?” and I’d be all, Hmmmm. But I could tell you all about Diana’s family. and Charles’s. And Kate Middleton’s.

Also, Princess Margaret is my people.

Anyway, here’s what conclusion I came to as a result of listening to Diana, in her own words. The conclusion I already had, and that most of us have who are into the royal family, is that she was very young and forced into something bigger than she imagined and she wasn’t strong enough to handle it.

All true.

And that she was a good yet troubled person with a gift for empathy and talking to people and the world was charmed by that.

All true.

But also, each story Diana told

in her own words

would end with how then she rushed home and binged and purged. Or she rushed into the room with a knife and hacked at herself. Or she threw herself down the stairs in front of Queen Elizabeth. I mean. There were a LOT of these stories. And I understand that to do any of these things means one is in a lot of pain. I do.

But there is never, from Diana—in her own words in case you didn’t know these were her own words—there is never any insight from her that possibly her behavior might have been …exhausting for those around her. Especially for a buttoned-up group like your warmhearted royals. She’s just always annoyed that they don’t become a sympathetic audience as a result. That they don’t suddenly get her a blanket and some tea and listen thoughtfully to her woes.

I mean, it’s gotta get old after awhile, Diana. There has to be a middle ground beyond your constant histrionics and the royals’ catatonics.

And these are the thoughts of June, in her own words.

One thing I miss about Typepad, really the only thing I miss about Typepad, is they’d tell me how many words I’d written when I wrote posts so I could try to keep my pithy words, my own words, at around 600, as that is when people begin to drift off. But here I am just floating on a page with no idea how much I’ve written.

So I’ll go. But I know. I’ll think of you each step of


Okay, bye.

P.S. As I am doing laundry on this, my week off, I wonder if anyone else is completely taken with that Gain with the scent that lasts. What’s it called? I am on that new anti-seizure medication for my migraines and I think I’m getting that can’t-think-of-words thing all over again. But I haven’t had a migraine in seven days! Anyway, Gain. The kind that smells good for weeks. Love it. Would marry it. Would be June Gardens Gain, which I already am thanks to lockdown. Hand me a diaper I’m ready to wrestle.

Crowd fun.

Do you suppose it’s ironic that my tidying up book is just a wreck? I imagine Marie Kondo would be all, Get a coaster, bitchy-san. I think “san” is “Mr.” in Japanese, so that whole thing made so sense.

Anyway, hi. I’ve been up for awhile on This, My Week Off, mostly wrangling cats.

This one has been simpering at the back door, hoping I let him out and I don’t want to.

So I distracted him with his toy mices. Mices is a highly acceptable word in your loftier circles. Your loftier cat-toy-discussion circles.

But let’s talk instead about my dangerous Monday. My dangerous Lidaysons. That is a perfectly acceptable word in your loftier circles.

As you know, from your Big Book of June Events and also yesterday’s post, I had to get up and dash out of the house early, on That, the first day of My Week Off, and head to the dermatologist for my annual scan-me-for-cansa. When I moved to TinyTown, that’s how they pronounced it: cansa.

I made it there right on time and noted I was in the same parking lot where I get my Latisse/Botox, and was highly tempted to waltz in there, not literally, ask get me some Latisse. But Latisse is $109 a bottle and I just bought everyone’s Christmas presents so it was exactly like Gift of the Magi which I don’t have to tell YOU was written by a Greensboro author now we are full circle lift baby lion boom.

[Brought to you by the Committee to Boycott June if She Makes the Baby Lion Joke One More Fekking Time]

Now, since this pesky hoax of a pandemic began, I’ve been to the doctor twice. Once to get up to date on my I-don’t-have-a-spleen boosters (seemed like a good time to be, oh, immunized against pneumonia, for example) and also to see the headache doctor, which in case anyone is keeping track at home, I have been plagued with more migraines and I am annoyed.

These are two separate doctors, obviously. Had I had Siamese twin doctors where one side was my migraine doctor and one was my general practitioner, I might have led with that.

In the case of my general practitioner, she made me get tested for COVID before I could come in at all. Once my test was fine, I was allowed to come back for m’shots. I was the ONLY patient allowed in to the whole shebang, there was no one at the front desk, and I was whisked (not literally) to a room for my booster and sent home quickly.

In the case of my headache doctor, I had to answer do-you-have-COVID Qs, no one was allowed to come with me, no one else was in the lobby, and there was a glass thing between the receptionist and me.

So I assumed my dermatologist would be similarly COVIDed up.

Oh my god, no.

I mean, they did take my temperature when I walked in. When I walked in TO THE CROWDED WAITING ROOM. I was stunned. I didn’t even know crowded waiting rooms were legal anymore.

I mean, it wasn’t crowded, like, you could barely find a place to sit crowded. But there were easily five or six of us just sitting there. There was also no glass or plastic to anything between me and the beleaguered receptionist.

I waited maybe 10 minutes, stunned, and was just about to get up and tell them I’d be outside and call me when it’s my turn when, in fact, they called me.

I was ushered into a room right away, which was good, but once the doctor came in I had to remove my mask for her to check my face for the skin cancer.

When I was done, she gave me a card and told me to present it to the checkout person.

THERE WAS A LINE to do so, so I left.


For a doctor’s office, it seemed startlingly cavalier.

I had a hair appointment today and also my barf shots at the headache clinic, but I called and rescheduled both for two weeks out, telling both places why.

Both of the people I talked to thanked me profusely for rescheduling.

Also, later in the day, the headache place was clearly not communicating well with each other—which as we all know is the backbone of any good oh fek it—because I got a call from someone in a back room there, who said she knew I was coming in for those shots and she wanted to warn me they are


with insurance, and also did I know I had to keep RE-getting them every three to four weeks. Eventually I’d meet my deductible and before you stampede for the keyboard my deductible restarts in July.


I mean, are these really gonna work? They better really work. I’m already scared to get them and now they cost four hundred million dollars?? AND they make me barfy? Did I mention they better work??

So anyway that’s my latest. My lawn guy is here and I also feel like such a lady of the manor sitting in here while he weeds and mows and really what I am paying him for is to look at snakes so I don’t have to.

I really like my lawn guy and I’d like to point out that his English is a hell of a lot better than my Spanish. However, I was charmed today when he texted, “Miss June, do you want me to moe and blow the leaves, or just moe?”

…I just Googled Moe, with the intention of showing Moe from The Three Stooges, but what I got instead was a lot of Moe from The Simpsons. People’s current references are stupid.

Anyway I just looked out and waved at my lawn guy because I feel guilty now. He’s really just a lovely person.

I’ll pen you tomorrow as I wait for symptoms. You got anything to stop this coffin?


The people’s blogger

As I’m sure you can imagine—not that I think this is a part of your rich fantasy life—Edsel poops out on the grass. He almost never poops on our walks, saving that only for the rare times I say, “Oh, I don’t need a bag today.”

Anyway, this morning I opened the back door and all the animals burst out of it like they were clowns and my house was a Volkswagen. Which, let’s face it, it’s not much bigger. What I saw next delighted me.

You won’t BELIEVE what happens next. Click here for an infuriating slideshow that shows you a photo and then on the next slide, text next to that same photo.

Forest pooped in the lawn. Not in the dirt in the garden, which I have seen the other cats do and which is fine by me. He just went over to the grass where Edsel does it and squatted. It was a delight. He must’ve thought, well if ed sell do, it OK.

In case you are not a cat person—and if not why on earth do you read me—cats usually poop somewhere like a litter box or in dirt, where they can cover it up 47 times after. They don’t just go randomly in a lawn the way dogs do. Leaving it out there for the world to see. But Forest? He doesn’t care who sees.

Good cat, Forest.

He is, however, practicing his morning routine now, where he lies on my wrists while I type this post, sometimes reaching over and erasing the entire thing with one velvety paw, and thank god for Command Z.

It’s hard to lose patience with someone this pretty.

Anyway, enough of my cat du jour. What really matters is Season 4 of The Crown was on this weekend, and Season 4 is The Diana Years. I capitalized and italicized that last part myself, with my nervous system.

Oh my god it was all I could DO to wait for Sunday till it got here. I woke up and was all, GASP!!! Like Christmas morning. With Princess Diana.

And because I know myself, I know I had the stamina, the wherewithal, to sit there like a lump for 10 hours and watch every episode all day long till I got a dull headache. And to avoid doing that and not savoring it like Edsel with his dinner, I made myself a list of things I had to get done between each episode.

For example, I made pumpkin chili. Then I got to watch an episode. I switched my shower curtain from the summertime one with pink and coral pompons to the burgundy and turquoise one with Frida Kahlo on it. Then I got to watch an episode.

Princess Diana had both shower curtains in the palace. She totally did. Shut up.

Anyway, that meant that in between tasks, I got to sit like a lump for FIVE glorious episodes yesterday, and when you combined it with all the shit I got accomplished (see also: Christmas shopping, all via catalogs), I spent the whole day with Princess Diana and her bulimia, and you have to hand it to me for watching that, as it was quite graphic.

I suppose it’s meaningful in some way that my phobia was her go-to for calming down.

The point is, it was like 10 o’clock at night when I finally looked at my phone, and had every human I’ve ever known in my lifetime called or texted or messaged me?


So I had to send about 40 “Sorry, it was my day” messages and then I went to bed.

Oh! In case you haven’t watched it yet and the season has been out for 24 hours what’s your problem, there is one scene where Princess Diana is engaged, making her Lady Diana, still, and if you want to irk me please call her Lady Diana now. Anyway, there was one scene where they are engaged, so the queen and Prince Charles take her into this room with some dude there, and he has this huge box

even telling you about this I get the squeals all over again


and in it were these


and she got to PICK ONE for her engagement ring! I mean, there were giant diamonds and also rubies and emeralds.

OH my GOD!!!!!! If I’d gotten to do that he coulda climbed on Camila right there in front of me. Hooo care? Lookit these rings!!!!

Also, the one she chose is the very last one I’d have chosen for myself. Diana and I both have July birthdays, and I’d have chosen our birthstone, ruby. Which I just typed as runy and YOU try to type around a cat.

I almost think if that story is true, that she got to just PICK from among priceless rings, that it was worth plowing into a concrete block at the end.

I have to go. Despite it being my week off, I scheduled a dermatologist appointment for 9 a.m., which is a wonderful way to relax straight off the bat.

I have to go get m’skin looked at now.


At home with June

Since yesterday, I have been working with someone on a large presentation. She gets a few pages done, alerts me, I go into our system—not literally. Like, I don’t shrink myself and walk around inside a computer system.

Anyway, I download the presentation, look at the few pages she’s done, upload them and carry on. I did this on and off till 8 last night, then got up early and did it again and I figured in between times I will talk to you.

I took all next week off of work because I am illogical. After my appointment TEN DAYS AGO with the migraine specialist, I thought, “Wow. If I’m to go off my migraine medicine, I’ll bet I’m going to have a rough week. I’d better take time off


It makes no sense. Because of course the very day I was at that doctor I got a migraine, as I was getting nearly every day, which is what drove me there in the first place. Why did I think two weeks was gonna be my sufferin’ succotash time? I already DID my suffering LAST week and missed two days of work as a result.

However, conveniently, I have myriad appointments next week, which is smart of me seeing as the coronavirus numbers are higher than ever, so go me. Gadabout, June! Gad a bout.

One appointment is to the dermatologist, who combs me for skin cancer annually. I got the automated call about it last week and it is always news to me. “Oh, right,” I always say. My dermatologist is hot. And not, like, blonde I’m trying really hard hot. Just naturally hot.

It occurs to me that while she’s there, can’t she give me a Botox? I mean, I don’t go to her for Botox but don’t all of them do Botox now? You should see the Panama Canal in my forehead after going all year with no Botox. I can’t believe it’s not gutter.

I also have an appointment to get my hair colored after a whole year of coloring it via a subscription home coloring service. My hair is a soothing creamsicle shade that no matter how much I tell them, “SEND ME A COOL COLOR” turns orange. Why? I don’t know. Anyway I cannot take any longer and if that is what brings me the Hey-19, so be it.

There’s some other appoi–oh yes! Also too next week I got BACK to the migraine doctor to get the barf shots that freaked me out 10 years ago. These are shots I get in my head and neck to help with the stiffness in m’neck, and the getting-shots part doesn’t freak me out (see above re Botox), it’s the feeling nauseated part that does.

I have toyed with just not going to this appointment and the jury is still out on that.

I am doing all the other things he has told me to do. I am working, slowly, on reducing my caffeine. It is killing me. I also today am ordering more groceries, all using the shopping list of allowable foods he gave me, foods that are, to reiterate, lettuce and chicken.

My coworker Griff, of the Ridiculous Griffs, recently went to the drive-up window at Subway and they got his order wrong. He’d ordered a sandwich with chicken and myriad vegetables on it and got a sandwich with just chicken and cheese on it. And here is the part that makes Griff Griff.

He SAT in his CAR, pondering what sort of asshole would order a sandwich like this. It really pissed him off. He pretty much made a vision board emulating the person he imagined would order just chicken and cheese.

Another coworker told me she spoke with a Subway sandwich-maker once, who said it really bothers her when “grown men” come in and just get turkey on a bun.

“You could have made that at home.”

A fair point.

I’ve no idea how I got off on this tangent, but do you know what I’m noticing? Even though I haven’t had a migraine since last week’s pain-and-agony extravaganza? What I notice is each morning, while I’m eeking out the communion glass of coffee I am now allowing self, I have a slight headache.

I don’t drink, because alcohol always gives me a migraine now. So it’s not a hangover. Have I always had this slight pain, and not really noticed it, and that is why I embrace coffee like it just returned from war?

Am I having it only now and it’s just caffeine withdrawal?

Is it cause I grind my teeth at night like they are tiny organs and I am a monkey in a top hat?

Is it a tumor? It’s likely a tumor, and like every other blogger out there I will go get a brain MRI and then ever mention it again.

Anyway it’s annoying and I’d like it to stop.

I guess I’d better go prod the person I have been working with to see if more pages are available for me to look at. I am also clean out of contacts, meaning I am wearing my glasses, meaning I can’t see up close, so every time I have to copy edit, I have to take off my glasses, pick up the laptop, bring it close to my face but not too close because Forest is lying between me and the laptop, and then god forbid I have to type anything. I have to do it one-handed so I can hold the laptop with the other. It’s a sophisticated look and a lot like how I envision Jackie Kennedy editing things.

I’ll talk to you next week, when I am having my grand vacation here at home, as opposed to the rest of my year here at home.

The weather is here; wish you were beautiful.

Finally legal

I was reflecting yesterday, after a confluence of events that don’t matter, about a time my ship came in and I didn’t get on it.

Picture it: Burbank, California. 2006-ish. Marvin and I were living in a 1926 Spanish-style bungalow, a bungalow I’d waste a lot of time trying to find a photo of, but let’s say I maybe did that and only found several stupid pictures of my own hair through the years.

The house is completely not germane to the story but when I think of that time that is what I think of.

So instead, here is a house I just Zillowed from the street we lived on, a house remarkably similar to our rental, so you can literally sort of picture it.

Picture it: Burbank, California. 2006-ish. Marvin, my spouse, fmr., and I lived in a 1926 Spanish bungalow that we rented for $1600 a month. I pay $800 a month for my entire mortgage now, but that’s neither here nor there.

We also had one of those purple Apple computers, remember those? Remember when they had all the colors, like blue and green and turquoise? And by “they” I mean the people at Apple. I don’t mean the world is devoid of color now. But it kind of is. Those computers were fun. Why everything gotta be gray now?

This is completely not germane to the story but when I think of that time that’s what I think of.

In 2006-ish, I’d been a freelance proofreader for years, a thing I loved at the time because one thing you don’t really want to do in LA is have a job you have to drive to. So I didn’t. I’d get up every weekday and meet my friend for a long walk, and I’d set the timer on the coffeemaker for 8:00, so right when I came home coffee was brewing.

I didn’t make that much money but when you consider taxes and clothes and lunches out and driving it wasn’t so bad, the money I made. I think I brought in like $25,000 a year and a real job would have garnered me about $40. OK, so it was kind of bad.

But Marvin had a good job and was making bank at this computer place. He had also gone back to school to become a teacher.

In the evenings, Marvin and I would sometimes also take walks. Sometimes we’d just stroll down to R and get something. R was this convenience store on the corner that had a sign with all the letters faded except the R.

R was a magnificent convenience store. It was very old, and had creaky floors and a colorful display of do rags near the cash register. I’d always pick out which do rag I’d want. Usually magenta. Best of all, R had just the smuttiest, most disgusting dirty magazines you ever saw. A signature move of mine was, when we were invited anywhere, I’d go down to R for my hostess gift. I’d pick up one of the horrific magazines along with some of the incense R sold, an incense with the refresh-your-house scent Pussy.

The first time I saw it in the window of the convenience store, I did that kind of hysterical laughing where you have to bend over, and then after you try to go back to your dignity—you know, way back there where my dignity is, you’ve seen it—but you keep getting hysterical again.


Anyway, a nice gift bag with a dirty magazine and some Pussy incense was my go-to hostess gift circa 2006, and I really feel like my flowers in a Mason jar circa last-year-when-I-went-anywhere just doesn’t have a same panache.

The other thing is, I was down to the R alla time, as you can imagine, buying last-minute cat food or sanitary napkins or what have you. And Mr. R was always pleasant to me, UNLESS I was buying one of his dirty magazines. Then he barely acknowledged me.

This rankled.

I mean, YOU’RE the one who chose to provide Finally Legal in your establishment, Mr. R. Now you’re judging ME for purchasing your wares? Incidentally, you’re running low on Pussy.

None of this is germane to the story but you know the drill.

So Marvin and I were on one of our evening constitutionals when he mentioned that he was coming along in his teaching degree, and had I noticed that when he GOT said degree he’d be making a lot less, and had I considered maybe returning to a “real” job to make more money to make up the difference.

So I did.

I got this job on the other side of Los Angeles, and I know in other cities, normal cities, that means, oh, dangit, 20-minute commute, but let’s just say no. No, that’s not how that went. I drove an hour each way, going approximately 1 mile per hour, to my job across town.

However, I loved that job. I got a job as a copy editor at an in-house ad agency for a company that made a bunch of stuff you’ve heard of. A flower delivery service you’ve heard of—you’ve seen their ads during the Super Bowl.

A fruit drink you’ve heard of.

A water in a square bottle you’ve heard of.

Other products you’ve heard of.

The in-house ad agency was one floor of a high rise the owner purchased, as you do, a high rise that had an in-house curator who changed out the gardens and art every season just to make it interesting for us. Several times a year we got free flowers after photo shoots, and all the fruit juice you could ever want.

And the people! I loved the people. Everyone was creative and funny. I shared an office with the other copy editor, and he was brilliant. I can pay him the highest compliment I could ever pay a person:

He never annoyed me.

We’d work together in silence for hours, then one of us would say something hilarious about the work we were working on, then we’d laugh and work in silence for hours again.

One of the things they had us do that has nothing to do with copy editing, and this is something I’ve run across a lot in my years of copy editing: No one really knows what a copy editor does. Anyway one thing they had us do was check new floral arrangement name ideas and see if there was a copyright on that name already from a competitor, such as a competitor I won’t mention but it rhymes with STD.

Anyway I remember working in silence one afternoon while we looked up potential bouquet names, and my coworker just saying,

“Smells Like Grandma.”

And then we giggled at this potential bouquet name. Not Pussy-incense giggled, but giggled all the same.

Oh my god anyway.

So one day my flip phone with sparkly Hello Kitty sushi dangling from the antenna rang, and it was this company, this finance company. I’d interviewed with them in the heady days of Marvin first saying, “Get a real job.” I thought for certain I had the position but I did not. I found out from a friend they’d hired from within.

But I wasn’t wrong that they’d liked me. Another job had come up and they’d remembered me and did I want to come interview for it.

“Oh, no thank you,” I said to them. “I really like where I am now.”

For some reason, this set a fire in their loins. Me turning down this fancy finance company was, like, so unheard of or something, that they called me back again. They told me about all their perks. They told me about their two bonus programs a year. They reminded me they were just 15 minutes from me, instead of an hour.

That did sweeten the pot.

So I interviewed with them. Twice! They had me in a large room with many people, MANY people, interviewing me for several hours with no break or food. The second time I went there, I discretely brought a bag of nuts the company I was working for sold, nuts I ate in the bathroom when I got the nerve to ask if I could have a break.

I seriously think the grueling nature of the interview process was part of the deal. Like, if you could handle multiple people grilling you in a conference room for five hours with no break, you were in.

I also recall going back to my office on the other side of town after the interviews, and how colorful our space was, how colorful our people were. How we laughed and didn’t wear gray suits. The candy dish on the work table in the center of the room. The funny poems we left on the coffee pot.

They offered me the job, the finance place did, and it was $3,000 more than I make now, 14 years later. With the bonus system, it’s about $25,000 more than I make now.

It didn’t take me long to say no. And I’ve not regretted it. But now I sit here in my fairly bad neighborhood with my fairly badly colored hair and my fairly small 401(k) and I wonder how life would have been different if I’d taken it.

Do you think I’d have turned all corporate and said things like touch base and so on? I probably woulda been too scared to have a blog. I wouldn’t even know any of you. Maybe I’d have one of those terrible modern houses in a development. A house with more than one bathroom, though. A real place to put the 47 litterboxes! Oh, wouldn’t that be nice!

Anyway, it’s really the only time I ever had an opportunity like that, and I didn’t take it, and I’ve worked in advertising ever since and advertising people are really my people.

Did you ever do something like that? Did you ever turn down something other people would have seen as your big opportunity and you don’t really regret it? Did you end up regretting it? Do you ever ponder it? Would you like some Pussy incense?

These and other Qs burn in my brain.


Yes, sir, yes, sir; two bags full.

I got my Christmas cup out early.

Really, last year, I had one of those moments where you’ve put all the Christmas things away in their bins, and searched every light fixture and plug for any teensy Xmasy decoration that your mother—who likes Christmas and sends things like Christmas nightlights—sent you, and you finally feel assured that you’ve got it all, and then you find a Bah Humbug mug and


this ridiculous black cat just hit some key and deleted half of what I was writing and I had to go into drafts and restore what I had and now I have the livid of a thousand suns. You know how livid they all are.

He doesn’t just get between me and the keyboard. No. He also won’t ALIGHT, so he keeps walking back and forth across me/the keyboard, swishing the World’s Most Fluffy Tail,

purring and smelling of kitten food.

Anyway the point is I just kept that cup in the normal cupboard all year. It was not banished to the Christmas bins, and now when the other Christmas cups get here it will brag about its wonderful year in the normal cupboard. Hanging out next to the Carolina Theater mug.

If I have to give up coffee I guess I’ll become one of those people who is really into tea. I can’t wait to see who is hovering over the keyboard to deliver the earth-shattering news that some tea has caffeine in it.

I like peppermint tea. Maybe I’ll get some extra-fancy peppermint tea. I also like green tea, and they must make decaf green tea, right? Oh, lord, what has become of me? A caffeine-addicted reader who has cats on her is who I am. I guess I can be most of those things with tea.

In other ridiculous news, I have a dog. Last week, I ordered stuff on Chewy, which—in case you’re a tidy person with no pets—is a site where you can order pet supplies. I have a problem with ordering SIZES on Chewy, as they offer no banana or anything with which to compare, and have more than once received a bag of dog food taller than my own self.

This happened yesterday, and not only did I receive ONE bag of dog food taller than my personal self, I received deux. Dos. Tea for two. And now we’re full circle boom lift baby lion I need to get over that line.

Dude. First of all, I assure you I did not order two bags of dog food, so I think I got free food. So, yay? But, dude. There is so much dog food up in hurrrr.

Thank god that dog doesn’t have a heart condition, because I have senior dog food for the next five years. I mean, that’s an exaggeration, which is not like me, but I’m going to go out on a limb, here, not literally, and say I have dog food through April.

I have one unopened bag taller than my own height, which is 9’4″, in my clothes closet. Then I opened the other bag and poured what I could in the now-miniscule-seeming dog tin,

then I also put some in a baggie.

after putting the rest in every single container I have in the house. These containters were then very scientifically crammed haphazardly into the pantry. And by “pantry” I mean “closet where everything unseemly goes.”

There’s kibble in to-go containers, old yogurt thingies, Rubbermaids, cookie tins.

Even no-nonsense Mr. Brawny is appalled. Mr. Brawny is tear-ing up. Get it? Do you? What do you want from me? I’m like whisper-caffeinated at best.

Anyway I’m good on dog food. Remember this day: November 10, 2020. A day that will live in infoodmy. Then check with me in April to see if I’m still on those two bags of dog food. You’ll ask me and I’ll be all, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

You wrote an entire post about it, June.

I did?

I’d better go and do work things for a change. In case you’re worried, I’ve fed the dog.


P.S. I totally forgot the bottom of this mug had this:

Dear Mom: You really captured the spirit with this particular gift.

Double header

When we were last together, we didn’t know what Nevada was going to do.

…Oh, wait.

We didn’t know what Nevada was going to do, and also I had been told by my headache doctor, the one who made me nearly break my barf streak 10 years ago, that I had to give up my headache medicine because it was causing more headaches.

Look, how is that my fault? Make better medicine, then. Don’t make medicine that makes headaches come back. We all have to function. We have to keep going. We don’t have the luxury of lying in bed endless days with a sick headache, says the woman who just spent 5 days lying around sick. If you make a pill that makes it go away, we’re gonna take said pill.

The thing is, for the last, oh, I can’t even tell you how long, I’ve gotten a migraine nearly every day. If I go two whole days without the twinge of one, it’s notable. And here’s the sad thing: I always say to myself, Maybe I’m done having them. I do it every time there’s a lull. Maybe it’s over. Maybe it’s Maybelline.

So when my doctor said, “Next time you get a headache, you simply cannot take medicine,” that next time came sooner than you’d think. It came that day, actually, last Tuesday, but I had to see who was elected president and you all see how that worked out, but I took an Imitrex that night. Screw it.

Then on Wednesday afternoon, the pain came back. Just like the cat in the song. The pain came back, we thought it was a goner. But the pain came back. It just wouldn’t stay away, away.

Anyway, so I told myself, Here we go. I won’t take an Imitrex. And once again, Dear Imitrex: Make better medicine, then. Again, how is this my fault? Why am I the one who has to be tortured for doing what your damn medicine says to do, which is take one as soon as the pain even hints around that it’s on its way?

My ex-mother-in-law used to call Marvin and me and say she was “giving half a thought” to visiting. That meant her ticket was purchased and her bags were packed. When my head tells me it’s giving half a thought to giving me a headache, I’d take a pill. It’s what you’re supposed to do: nip it in the bud. Oh, now that’s bad?

Anyway. So I had a migraine. With no drugs. It wasn’t pleasant. It hurt. I missed work. I was nauseated. But I got through it. It lasted 24 hours, but I got through it.

I had one hazy hour where the pain was kind of receding when


It wasn’t just migraine pain, which by the way is already dreadful. I got a whole nother migraine, along with racing thoughts, panic attacks, inability to sleep, chattering teeth, and?

My favorite!

Nausea. I won’t go into it, but be glad you’re not my roommate. Edsel is traumatized.

That was Thursday? Friday? Oh my god I really don’t know. It’s all sort of a haze of misery. Nothing made me feel better, and that’s likely because I could take nothing. He’d prescribed me a sort of muscle relaxer but I was allowed to take it just once.

At some point over the weekend, the pain part and the racing thoughts subsided, but the nausea stuck with me. Thanks! Thanks for being there through thick and thin.

So now it’s Monday (right?). He has me on this new preventative, that I’ve taken since Thursday despite how rotten I have felt, and I think it’s making me feel out of it, because I need more symptoms. I also have been lowering the coffee consumption, which does not make me bright-eyed.

Anyway here it is Monday (right?) and I have




and I’m ready to punch Ouiser. I’m so goddamn mad I could scream. And I have to copy edit things, which means I’m encouraging a migraine. Copy editing always makes me get a headache, but what doesn’t anymore.

So that’s how things are going over here, and also someone needs to pull Forest aside and tell him this whole lying on me and patting at the keys while I blog is something I am NOT IN THE MOOD for and he’s lucky he’s silky and adorable.

So that’s me and my sitch. This all better fekking work.