The one where June tries to bleach her teeth, dies

I’ve bleached my teeth before. When I was getting married—oh, you should say a silent thanks to the deity of your choice that there weren’t blogs when I was getting married. Because nothing mattered more than my looks for the year leading up to my wedding day and I’d’ve spent that year talking about nothing else. I lived on water, peaches and Lean Cuisines. Yeah, yeah. Don’t bore me with how much sodium and MSG those have. In 1997, Lean Cuisine were the starving bride’s meal of choice.

Every day after work, this other girl, Angie (who had already gotten married so why did she bother), and I would head across the park to a gym, where if you lived or worked in this suburb of LA (glamorous Commerce, California, where I proofread for a textbook publisher), you could work out free. They had step aerobics in a trailer next to the gym, and rather than use the free gym with weights and stuff, we inexplicably did step aerobics, using two steps, every weekday without fail.

Then I’d drive the hour home, because LA, and eat my dinner peach and I’d down 47 more pounds of water.

I also went to the dentist and got a teeth-bleaching kit so I could dazzle m’crowd. I was gonna be bones and white teeth bones. ‘Twas the theme of my wedding. If they’d yet invented those freestanding places you drive to to get your teeth bleached, they must have been exorbitantly $$ because otherwise I’d have used them.

As it was, my dentist made me a mold of my teeth, then sold me this goop that twice a day for like an hour each time I had to put on and live my life. Seeing as the only time in the day I wasn’t eating peaches or leaping aerobically onto a step was during work, so I’d put that terrible goopy tray on at 10 a.m. and then again at like 4:00.

I remember one assy coworker accused me to trying to “get attention” by doing this during work, but all I did was slip on a guard and lean over my work and read it. I had a job where I literally never had to speak or look at anyone if I didn’t want to. I just took my work and slid it back into the in-box for whoever the hell looked at it next.

People are forever accusing me of trying to garner attention when in fact attention just comes to me. I don’t have to ask for it. I’ve never once said to myself, “How can I get anyone to notice me at this juncture?”

Anyway, to tell you the truth, I don’t remember my teeth looking any whiter.

Then in 2010, I was getting my hair cut at this salon right across from Ned’s old apartment but I didn’t know Ned yet because I was married. Stuff like that is weird, isn’t it? When you think back on a time you were near someone who’d become major in your life but you were blissfully unaware at the time.

Anyway, a drag queen worked there (at the hair salon, not Ned’s apartment), doing manicures and so forth, and she was running a special on teeth bleaching. I signed up mostly because I wanted to hang around a drag queen. It was two sessions, under a blue light. After, I tried to friend said drag queen on Facebook and got an “I’m not accepting more friends, but follow my page!” response. I wrote back, “You’re kidding” and that was the end of that.

To tell you the truth I don’t recall my teeth looking any whiter.

Two years ago, I was at my dentist because I used to go places and not fear it would kill me to do so. I saw in the corner a contraption. “Is that for teeth bleaching?” I asked. I never, ever, ever give up because Winston Churchill was huge on teeth bleaching.

So I made an appointment to get my teeth bleached on what turned out to be the day after my car accident, so then I had to cancel cause concussion, then when I finally went, they laid me in a chair, put this whole thing over my face, stuffed my mouth with cotton, laid another thing over my mouth, then shone this light on my face and I said,

“Ahh-ahhh. AHHHH! Ahhh-ahhh!!”

“You want me to stop?”

“Ahh-HAAA.”

I had a total claustrophobic panic. I was totally smothering under all that shit they’d piled on my face and nose and nose and face and then they’d crammed my mouth with shit and where was breathing supposed to happen, exactly? My gills?

I couldn’t do it. And I was totally humiliated and felt like a diva but my whole back was sweating in a panic and I left that chair looking like the Shroud of Greensboro.

“You can buy our at-home bleaching kit instead,” they said. “We already made a mold of your teeth for your at-home touchups anyway.”

So I did, mostly because I felt I owed them something for smothering me to death and rescheduling and all.

Then for two years that whitening kit has sat there mocking me. I’ve been busy worrying about my bladder and my ovaries and my pandemic. But this weekend, I saw it and thought, What if I emerged from this cocoon looking marvelous? Sure, I’ve gained 25 pounds and my silver roots are two inches long and I’ve shot absolutely nothing in my face for more than a year so I look like the puppet Madame, but what if I emerged from this cocoon looking marvelous because white teeth?

Because history has shown teeth whitening has a dramatic effect on me.

So Sunday night I got the mold of my teeth out, and the gel, which is almost expired so good thing I got it out. I read the instructions and carefully applied it to the mold. Then I slid it onto my teeth and thought of that fekking bitch from the textbook place, accusing me of seeking attention.

“I’m doing this all alone, in the privacy of my home. Bitch,” I said to her. And as you can see I didn’t go on about it in my blog later.

I shut off the bathroom light and moved to the living room where

Ow.

Ow!

“OWWW!” I said out loud, by the time I reached the couch. “OWWW! AH AH AH AH AH OH MY GOD OH!”

Edsel is acutely aware of my every move and mood, and this outburst rendered him into a nautilus shape. He was terrified. So I tried to keep my emotions on the inside, where they belong, but

MOTHER

OF

CHRIST

the pain was exquisite. EXQUISITE.

It was in my lower back teeth, on both sides. It literally felt like someone was doing dental work to me with no Novocain. Oh my GOD, it hurt.

I minced to the sink and ripped the mold out my mouth and even though I was scared for water to hit it, I rinsed that crap out my mouth.

BOING, BOING, BOING, went my nerves in my teeth.

The pain was all I could think of.

“Am I going to have to go to the ER and catch COVID because of my stupid bleached TEETH?” I thought. I mean, that’s how bad the pain was.

I minced to the cupboard and took some Advil and minced to the couch (I learned to mince during pain or sickness from my Aunt Kathy) and willed myself to be calm while my teeth said BOING! BOING! BOING!!!

After about 40 minutes of exquisite pain, and I wish I were into pain because that would’ve made it a lot more pleasant, it subsided.

You’ll be stunned to hear I threw the gel out. I also threw the teeth mold out, as I would be scared even a trace of that gel is in there and just the thought makes m’teeth ache.

So that’s the history of my teeth bleaching. Stay tuned for next week’s history channel, when we’ll explore all the ways I’ve tried blush.

Toothily,
June

The undamp

Mercury is retrograde, and let me tell you how I’d know that even if I didn’t know that: I got out my laptop to blog at you, which I’ve done every weekday morning for close to a year now, ever since I started working from home after my surgery and then right on into our pandemic. Today? I can’t log on.

“That’s not your password,” said my laptop.

“Well, yes, it is, though, is the thing,” I said to my laptop.

“Newp. No. It just isn’t,” said my laptop.

In normal circumstances I’d handle it in the way of my people: By throwing the laptop down the street and then getting in my car and running it over. But it belongs to work so I got my phone out and got on our messaging system.

“My computer is saying I have the wrong password but I don’t,” I told the fine people at IT, who are over me.

“IT is offline,” said my phone.

NO THEY AREN’T. THEY’RE IT. THEY CAN’T SHUT DOWN.

So then I made the long trek over here to my desktop computer, old school, the way Laura Ingalls Wilder did it, to blog at you and email IT the way I used to circa 2006.

And?

My keyboard didn’t work. I began typing and no WORDS came up on the screen.

So then I plugged the keyboard in, and THANKS FOR ANY WARNING WHATSOEVER THAT ITS BATTERY WAS LOW, STEVE JOBS AND MERCURY, and now I am finally, finally here writing you.

…I have no idea what I was gonna blog about now.

Oh, I know. My weekend. That fascinating thing.

On Saturday morning, I got up and couldn’t do my usual thing, which is wash the kitchen and bathroom floors. I am out of floor-washing stuff, and I have done something stupid which renders me broke till this Friday, payday. I WAS BEING NICE and helped out two people with money stuff, but overdid it and then I forgot about an automatic withdrawal of a payment I make to something annually, of course, and now I am living on the edge till Friday, trying not to spend any money at all, including spending that $5 for some Mr. Clean.

Or however much Mr. Clean costs. How much does it cost?

…I just looked. Depending on the size and where you get it, it ranges from $2.99 to $7.99. Why do they do that? Does the .99 really fool us? It must or they wouldn’t keep that up.

Anyway it’s really kind of a challenge for me, a game, if you will. Can Joooooon go all week not spending a dime and make it to Friday? Can Joooooon not sign up for automatic withdrawals of things because they always screw her up? Can Jooooon help people and feel like a nice person but not fucking overdo it like she’s the Moneybags guy from Monopoly?

So, because washing the floor was out, and let me tell you how much that bothers me. ONE WEEK I’m going without washing the floor, and I can’t TELL you how seldom I washed my floor at my old house. I don’t know what changed from there to here other than I know the guy who lived here for 50+ years was a neatnik and some of his spirit washed over me or something.

This house is just so nice and tidy and it inspired me to keep it that way. And do you remember the one time he came over, as I know him vaguely, I had orange peels just sitting there in the computer room? I never ever do that but the day he dropped by, Mr. Neatnik, ORANGE you glad I stopped over?

Anyway, since the kitchen and bathroom floors have to be filthy and littered with dirt, I decided to clean my area rug in the living room. I stood in the living room surveying my domain, and realized I’d have to, you know, move some stuff out of there.

So I took out the cat condo no one uses and the smaller bookshelf and the dog bed and the two cat beds and the side table and the wood chair Iris lounges on when she’s feeling well (she’s a lot better lately) and when I got everything piled in the hallway, I said, “I oughta clean the wood floor, too.”

So then I rolled out the barrel and also the area rug, which was relaxing and not at all hard to do myself, what with having to pick up heavy furniture and everything.

So then I Bona’d the wood floors, which if you’ve used Bona I’ll tell you I did the cleaner AND the polisher, and I know you always run out of polish first but I had some so yay. But halfway through, my Bona mop broke so then I had to replace it with the mop from QVC my Aunt Mary sent me and can we just make a deal right now? Any time I say “from QVC,” can we know it’s from Aunt Mary and we save us some keystrokes?

“Us.”

THEN, after the floor dried, THEN I hauled the area rug back and sprayed it with the rug cleaner and then got on all fours like a washerwoman, which I literally was, and scrubbed the rug using the microfiber rags I got from QVC

[pauses to see if we remember our deal]

because the instructions said to use with “a sponge mop” and I don’t have one because it’s not 1972. I didn’t spray the dining room table with lemon Pledge after then set a bouquet of daisies on it, either.

Then I moved the detritus in the hallway to make a barricade so none of the 56 animals would go in there, a thing I’d done previously while the wood floor was drying, a wood floor I then covered in an area rug so why did I even clean it, even.

The thing was, I had also washed my comforter, the big puffy one, because even though it’s the dead of winter I am finding that comforter too hot. The plan was to wash and dry it and store it in one of my storage bags you all told me to get, the kind you suck all the air out of, the same way I do out of any room I enter.

But that thing is huge, so it dried, sort of, but not totally, so I laid it out on the bed in the hopes it’d be undamp, the undamp, after a few hours. So after I was done in the living room, I glanced in the bedroom and

OK. I guess everyone wants to lounge on the damp comforter. This ought to help move matters along.

So we were all stuck there for a bit, just waiting for shit to dry, but eventually the area rug in the living room was dry, and I placed it back under the heavy furniture and then moved the wooden chair and the bookshelf and the cat beds and the side table and my attitude back in there, and I settled onto the couch to watch TV. And?

Cat pee.

Something about either the cleaning agent or what I’d done made the rug smell cat pee-ish.

My cats are adults and they are trained. I won’t have it any other way. Besides, they mostly “go” outside, in the dirt out there, which I do not mind. So I really don’t blame them. If anything, maybe it was a foster from ages ago. But I think what I really smell is just a cleaning agent I don’t agree with. A cleaning agent I’m arguing with on Facebook.

So thank heavens I did all that work.

Is that part of Mercury retrograde? Someone tell me. Of course, your message will be garbled.

Clearly,
June

P.S. I got so caught up in my rug I forgot to tell you about bleaching my teeth so don’t let me forget to tell you that tomorrow.


Ze4stfully. I didn’t mean to add that 4 but I’m keeping it and it can be our secret word.

Here’s what I did with my mantel/mantle/mantull/manteal last night. I think in the spring I’ll zest it up with the flamingo and my green vase and so on. And maybe literally add Zest. Just bars and bars of Zest.

When my friend Paula was getting married, I was a bridesmaid, so I was helping sample wedding cakes, which by the way is not too shabby. For my wedding cake, do you know what I wanted? White flavor. I like that white wedding cake flavor and had no desire to muck it up with butterscotch or mint julep creme or anything.

But Paula did, which is funny because she is without a doubt the fussiest eater I know other than Milhous. She only ever wants plain. If she were ever going to have sex with a woman, she’d pick Sarah Plain and Tall.

She doesn’t want the plains to be fruited.

We worked together, and she used to get mad because the bakery in our building made one plain scone a day and often they’d say, “Oh, we already sold it.”

This incensed her and I see her point. Why not make two? They knew she’d be there daily, asking for the plain scone.

MY POINT IS, I was over there tasting wedding cake, which is not too shabby of a task did I mention, and one of the flavors was lavender, which is pretentious AF but what can you do. I rather enjoyed it, however, except for when her husband said, “Are you trying the lavender? Doesn’t it taste like you’re eating Zest?”

And right then, lavender cake was ruined for me, forever by Judy Blume.

Anyway, one of you wants me to move the Collie over to OVERLAP the Boston terrier and I might but I have shit to do. (I’m back to discussing my mantelle.)

Remember last year when I felt like I had to pee all the time and I had 57 tests and surgery and finally they just said, “You’re an old lady”? And they gave me hormone cream and pills? (I’m done talking about my mantill now.)

Well, I’ve run out of pills and they won’t give me more unless I go in, which

INFURIATES

me, beyond just selling the plain scone. You know they won’t look at any portion of my physical body. I’ll just tell them, you know, I feel like I gotta pee all the time if I forget to take the pill but if I take it I’m usually OK and they’ll say, “That’ll be 900 dollars, please. Here’s your refill.”

Lu annoy.

If I walk in there and the place is teeming with people I’m not staying.

Meanwhile, Iris’s antibiotics have kicked in a bit and she meowed to eat today. You’ve never seen someone more enthusiastically put a cat on a dryer. I mean, I’m sure that scenario comes up all the time for you, and when it does, believe me when I say I did it with more zest.

We have a theme today.

And she really ate. All week she’s been either not eating at all, or eating like my friend Paula when any food is mixed with any other food. “This pizza has something on it beyond cheese. I’m just peck at it delicately till you’re done then we can go.”

“Oh, this toast has butter. I can’t have anything on my bread.”

“May I have water without ice, please? I want my water plain.”

When she was a kid, the only thing my friend Paula’s mother could get Paula to eat was heads of iceberg lettuce. She put her on the dryer and gave her a bowl of lettuce.

Anyway, Iris looks better too. So, the terrible upper respiratory part of her illness is passing, but the inside irritable bowel/pancreatitis part is still there. She has lost two pounds in 10 days, and her fur is separating. Do you know that look? When cats’ fur get separated-looking?

But at least her nose isn’t stuffy and her one half of a good eye is open again.

I did call the vet’s office to see what the protocol was and if I can go inside with her if we have to have a final curtain call. If she has to eat on the big dryer in the sky. (Yes, I can.)

They asked me questions about did I want her ashes and yes, I do, and finally I said to the receptionist, who used to work at dog daycare so we go way back, “I hope Iris isn’t listening to this conversation.”

“Just tell her you’re calling for a friend’s cat.”

I’ve always enjoyed that receptionist. Once I saw her at a bar and it was so funny to see she had legs. She’s always behind a desk.

Remember going to bars? Although some of you still are! Great job! Thanks! For all of us who are high risk, thanks a bundle for doing your part! Nothing matters more than you getting your drink on.

Anyway I’d better go work and put gel in my hair for the big venture out to the doctor. It feels weird the days I know I have to really leave the house. It makes me kind of nervous. I’m like an old lady who plans one thing a day. “I can’t see you that day because I have to go to the bank.”

I’ll talk to you Monday, with my new pee pills and my same pissy attitude.

I am, once again, asking for your help

In my computer room, which is my favorite room, really, I have a fireplace mantel. If I ever get enough scratch, I will tear down the offensive paneling in two other rooms and reveal THOSE fireplaces as well. They are all coal-burning but I like the look of a fireplace.

Right now, the fireplace and mantel that ARE out and proud have this on them:

This room is dog-themed, and only one person—faithful reader Audra’s girlfriend Debbie, who rescues Huskies for a living—walked in and noticed it. I don’t mind the dog theme, but I just feel like mixing it up. Also, it distracts me from any sad sick pet things going on, here.

Here is a closeup of the mantel stuff.

So, that’s what’s up here now and it doesn’t all have to go. But below are photos of other doodads in my house. See if anything doesn’t strike your fancy that I can add to mantel.

By the way, this looks easy but it’s going to take me forever to get all these photos on here and you are welcome for this riveting content.

Below’s all the shit IN the cupboard. No, I never did finish that Marie Condom book.

Let’s mosey to the living room.

Anything from the bathroom shelves strike your fancy? Or do you need a Band-Aid?

So that sums up the shit around my house. Let me know your thoughts and I will show you what I did with the mantel. Unless no one says anything and I get zero comments and the mantel stays as it is. In that case, we’ll never mention it again.

XO,
Mickey Mantle

Is it time to let my pet go questionnaire

I don’t really have time to write today. Iris was simpering around me this a.m. and what I like about myself is it took me awhile to notice. I was doing my usual morning stuff, which involves letting Edsel in and out 47 times (he has a ritual) and feeding the cats—including hoisting giant Lily up to the dryer so she can eat like she needs it—when I was finally conscious of Iris walking around me, winding her way around my ankles.

“IRIS!” I exclaimed. I’d already lifted her to the dryer, site of many cat foods for her eating pleasure, first thing and she’d shown no interest.

In the end, it turns out she would eat if I fed her away from everyone else, holding the bowl in my hands, and only after I’d broken her canned food up into teensy bits. But she ate. A little.

So now it’s 8:18 and I really can’t stay (but baby, it’s cold outside. Here’s a roofie). But I did want to tell you about the questionnaire the vet left in the bag of Iris’s liquid antibiotics.

It’s a quality of life questionnaire and it turns out I have none.

Bah.

It was a really very helpful list of questions you rate from 0 (oh hells yes this is my dying pet) to 2 (you’re outta your mind) and then you add up your score. Questions like, Is the pet hanging out with everyone else (that was one of the things that led me to call the vet: She’s been in the bedroom almost all the time), is the pet eating and drinking (I gave that a 2, but now she’s eating a little yesterday and today), has the pet’s disposition changed, as in does she still abhor the stuff she hates (no; she’s still charming Iris who hates nothing, mostly).

Anyway, my score was right at the beginning range of yes, the end is near but you probably don’t have to call the hearse just yet.

I’m not going to be the person who doesn’t call the vet until the cat is soiling itself and all bones, either, though.

I’d better go. I have to be “at work” in one minute. I’ll be dividing my time between working and obsessing about this cat.

Sickly Iris

I’m not sure when Iris started doing her pressing spines thing, but it wasn’t when I got her as a kitten, in 2011. Back then, despite her limited vision, she was a little spitfire who just wanted to be outside killing things.

And she really did have limited vision, despite all the jokes that she was faking it because she was such a good hunter. If you moved the coffee table to vacuum, for example, you’d screw up her leap from it to the couch. She’d clearly memorized the distance. Sometimes she’d stand on the table and reach her arm out for the couch before she jumped, just to make sure it was there.

And if you tried to shine a laser pointer at her? Nothing. No response. Which was always funny, because she got around so well it was easy to forget her vision was even an issue. Not to mention the hunting, which I already did. Those first few years I had her, she gleefully murdered just everything. And sometimes she just maimed things and brought them inside. Once a live cicada. That was peaceful. Once a live bird. Also peaceful.

Once I was pulling up to the house and saw her leap easily five feet straight up in the air after something. She was amazing. “She has a fifth sense for hunting,” one of you said once, and it was my favorite thing anyone has ever said about Iris.

Anyway, I know the pressing spines thing was, you know, a thing by the time I moved in with Ned in 2014. He went to bed way later than me, which he would tell you is just part of his circadian rhythms and I would tell you is part of love avoidance, but whatever. Different topic for a different day.

He’d put me to bed every night, and as he did so, Iris would come in and I’d roll to one side and she’d press her spine up next to mine. We’d stay that way till Ned came to bed at 1:00 or 2:00.

When I moved out, after a year of being love-avoided, she kept up the spine-pressing, and she does it to this day. It’s so comfortable. And she’s not fussy: If you move, or roll over, she just adjusts.

I often am tempted to roll over and spoon her and kiss her cat head and tell her how good she is but Iris isn’t a cat like that. She’s friendly but not clingy. So I respect the affection she does give me and don’t ask for more.

For the past several years, she’s gotten sicker.

I think it all started when two loose dogs came into our yard and nearly killed her. They lacerated her liver, broke her pelvis and cause all sorts of damage to her. I think that’s how she got pancreatitis, which is a condition that flares up painfully now and then. She throws up blood when she gets a flare-up and it’s awful.

I’ve noticed when she gets those flare-ups she then inevitably gets a flare-up of her chronic rhinitis, which is this terrible upper respiratory thing where she has to keep her mouth open in order to breathe. She sounds like Darth Vader when she has it.

If those two things weren’t bad enough, she has irritable bowel disorder, and I can tell that’s been making her miserable.

And? Her eyes are worse. The other day, I called her in, and she was on the table in the back yard. She put her leg out to feel for a surface, over and over again. She was scared to jump down, so I got her.

Even worse, I cannot medicate her. I’ve told you about that when she had her thyroid issue in the fall. She will foam at the mouth till her medication has left the building. I’ve had cats all my life. I’ve never NOT had a cat. This cat won’t take medication. So I can’t even make her feel better with this stuff.

And I was trying. I had medicine I was trying to give her for her irritable bowel, which an ultrasound last week revealed was pretty bad. I blame myself for stressing her out, because after a week of wrestling with her and her foaming, this weekend she got really, really sick. She threw up copious amounts, then got her terrible rhinitis, and she didn’t eat or drink from Saturday night till just this morning.

So, yesterday I called the vet. “I think it’s time,” I told him. He listened to my reasons, but when I was done, he suggested we give her liquid antibiotics to get her over this rhinitis, and I felt guilty saying no. I felt like I was murdering her if I said no. So I drove her sick, wheezing self down there, they hooked her up to an IV for fluids, gave her a B12 shot, and brought her out foaming at the mouth.

“We gave her her first antibiotic. Does she always drool like that?”

“This is what I’ve been telling you for months. Yes.”

“She looks pretty rough. She’s well-loved here, please know that. Call us tomorrow and we’ll talk about next steps,” said the technician, petting Iris through her carrier.

So, last night, Iris, who had been on her rocking chair nonstop for days, jumped down from it. It woke me up, as I’ve been sleeping lightly, listening for her condition to worsen.

Seconds later, I felt her jump on the bed. Her steps seemed lighter than usual.

And then? She pressed spines with me. And I couldn’t help it. I rolled over and spooned her and kissed her cat head and told her what a good kitty she is. And how much I admire her spirit.

And you know, she didn’t mind. She purred through her Darth Vader breathing. She let me do it. Eventually I rolled over and we pressed spines all night.

Today she really is a little better and finally, finally ate a little. It looks like a Golden Corral up in the cat food area, so many choices do I have up there for her. Tuna juice? Kitten food? Canned special Iris stomach food? Special Iris kibble? Can I make you some dry toast? JUST EAT.

She opted for her canned special stomach food that costs 9 million dollars a can. I’m glad because at least it won’t set off her IBD.

So even if she pulls through this, I don’t think I should keep Iris going much longer. Her bad days happen more than her good.

I think it’s nearly time for her happy hunting grounds in the sky.

Edsel the rebel

Through trial, error, and encounters with a particularly barky Doberman who lives at a house where his owner’s license plate reads “Queen,” Edsel and I have discovered an evening constitutional that usually involves seeing no dogs. Each day that we accomplish this, we feel the thrill of victory.

If we see dogs, we feel the agony of defeat similar to that one guy’s agony of defeat who tumbles off the ski mountain and rips down the sign.

I guess that’s more what I feel. What Edsel feels is, “WOO WOOO WOOO WOOO WOOO. EDZUL KILL YOU FOR EXIST. WOOO WOO WOOO. DO YOU NOT NO EDZ ONLY DOG ALLOW TO EXIST!?!? WOOO!”

Our successful no-dogs constitutional involves walking to one of our dead-ends, then to another, then to a school parking lot, an Elks Club parking lot and a church parking lot. If we feel really walky, we head to Forest’s cemetery. Then we retrace our steps home.

Because there is a plague, both the school and the Elks lots are empty. Once Eds and I climbed the stairs of the Elks and saw a youngish girl inside and she and I and Eds all got frighted. I still don’t know what the hell she was doing in there. Was she an Elks ghost?

Because it’s the South, there are sometimes people parked in that church parking lot, because Southern people gonna get their God on, plague or no plague. But we still rarely see people. Just their God squad cars.

I’m telling you all these fairly dull facts to tell you how ridiculous I’ve been about the soccer field, which is attached to the back of the school.

Back in the fall, there were kids in the soccer field, so we’d avoid said field if we heard playing. When Edsel meets children, he winds his leash around my legs and hides behind me.

And by the way, when I was in high school, the only kids who played soccer were the (fairly hot) exchange students. Sometime in that brief, you know, 40 years since high school and now, it’s required that every kid in America play soccer. What even is that?

Anyway, now it’s winter and no one plays soccer just like all the soccer fields of 1983, so Eds and I walk across the fallow field as part of our constitutional. He doesn’t pee on it. It’s not part of his balanced pee-fast. Which made no sense. What I’m saying is I don’t let my dog pee on the soccer field that kids then play on, because for some reason I’m supposed to think kids are more important than dogs, which I don’t.

My point is this.

For months now, I’ve wanted to drop the leash when we’re in the field. I’ve wanted to drop the leash and let him frolic. I never do, though, because I think the minute I do is when someone else will finally show up and let their dog go free in that field, and then Edsel will gleefully gut the free Pekinese with his underbite fang and drink its guts with a grin.

But the other day I looked past the leafless trees. I could see all around me, and clearly no one was anywhere. We had the field all to ourselves.

Fuck it, I told myself. I’ll let the dog frolic, just this once.

So I dropped the leash.

I dropped the leash and watched Edsel, expecting him to pull a Tallulah-level freedom dash across that soccer field. I expected him to be a blur of free dog joy, prancing across that brown field like he was a soccer ball kicked by the exuberance of life.

Edsel looked down at his fallen leash. Then he looked underbitedly up at me. Then he looked down at his leash again.

“You’re free, Edsel!” I told him, like I was Abraham Lincoln.

“Prance, Edsel, prance!”

I may have even run a little myself, to try to encourage him to, you know, feel how loose, high, and free he was.

Edsel, his face nothing but concern, his brows knitted, picked the leash up with his mouth and trotted after me. Everywhere I tried to run, he trotted after me with his leash in his mouth. Whenever he’d catch up to me, he’d nudge me with his leashed mouth.

When I was a kid, I used to announce when it was my bedtime.

I guess Eds takes after me. Not following the rules makes him feel anxious.

Edsel seems to thrive on our routine. I think if he were a person, he’d be the kind of person who eats the same thing for breakfast every day. I realize he actually does eat the same thing for breakfast every day, but you know what I mean.

He had no desire to frolic and break the rules. It made him bothered as heck, is what it did.

So I took the leash like I was supposed to, and we headed back home on our normal route. His brows unknitted immediately.

PTSM

I walked into the bathroom this morning, and the little bathmat was strewn across the floor and crinkled, the trashcan was knocked clean over and a washcloth had fallen off the tub. I like these signs that, in the night, Forest and Milhous were having themselves a time.

Speaking of, though, also this morning I headed to the snake shed, as I have a basket hanging outside of it where I store the various Blus for Edsel’s chawing pleasure, and right in front of said basket lies a rather large, rather dead, quite frozen mouse. I am once again going to assume F and M had themselves a time.

I really didn’t want a fourth fucking cat. But I’m so pleased by their partnership. The Law Offices of Forest & Milhous.

Forest & Milhous, DDS.

Milhous & Forest, Member FDIC.

Anyway, in other news, you know I can’t tell you everything right? I can’t. But dawgs, this was a week. I had a big thing going on, and now it’s done and everything’s back to normal.

But here’s the thing when you’re a migraine person. Once you come down from all the drama is when you get a migraine.

So I had one all yesterday, and it was annoying, and now I’ve woken up with it still here and it remains annoying. It’s low level enough that I can work, but I’m working with nausea and pain.

Also I am trying to type you from around the very fur-filled body of Forest, of the bath-mat-skewing Forests, of Forest, DDS, and every third word I type onto his actual fur on top of a key. All in all this blogging experience is a 3.

Also, speaking of blogging, I have to change my lewk, here. I mosied over to the ads, and you know what? This new format doesn’t show as many ads, so my cash money has gone way down, and what the hell. I wonder if I could tweak the ads instead of change my design. Like, look around and see if I could shove more of them at you, somehow. I don’t know. It’s a thing I’ll have to do when I’m not working and when I’m not working I’m so busy reading 1970s romance magazines or throwing Blu or spying on my neighbors that I never remember.

I do like this format I currently have so I’m loath to change it.

I guess that’s all I have to tell you, mostly cause my head hurts and I hate everything, so I’ll show you pictures I took this morning of the light on things.

Years ago, Miss Doxie made me a flower to put on my coat. I’ve had it on this lamp since I moved here but today I saw the light on it and it was so pretty.

Here’s the light on Milhous’s arse. Member FDIC.

Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution. And it costs $71.30.

I want you to get your sunglasses out so you can handle all the white Ima throw at you, but it snowed here overnight.

I know! Lily and I just hope we can dig out from under it.

I have American spirit, not the cigarettes, and I know I can rebuild.

Allegedly the tree guy is coming this week to pare back m’pear tree, which as you can see from the photo above got all screwed up last summer. Turns out you gotta trim your fruit trees every year, a thing no one TOLD me, so last year the pears broke a lot of the branches and what a pain in my patoot that pear tree is. I love it, though. I love the blossoms on it and the pears you can’t eat. I don’t love the hornets but I’m sure there’s some ecological reason we have to have hornets.

Why we gotta have fleas, though? As you can imagine, fleas are a hot topic in this house. I spend about $120 a month on flea prevention. I buy Revolution.

Don’tcha know, they’re talking about a Revolution and it sounds like a whisper.

If you didn’t drive around in college in your Toyota Corona with this Tracy Chapman album constantly playing on your tape deck perhaps this joke is lost on you. And yes, there WAS a Toyota CORONA.

There was this one guy I’d see at various bars and parties and he was hilarious and I forget why I never dated him. I do know that for most of the time I saw him I had a boyfriend who was an archeology major, and he was always off on digs and this funny guy always called my boyfriend, “The guy who likes dirt better than you.”

Anyway, I pulled up to some house party once and there was that funny guy. He took a look at my brown Toyota Corona and he was all, “Hey, June, nice family wagon.”

Why on earth didn’t I date that guy? Why’d I stick with Middle Earth dude, always digging the ground somewhere else?

I always pick the wrong men.

Do you know when I woulda been a more interesting blogger? Is back then. Oh, lord, you guys, every day was different. There was always drama, a new man around every corner, tearful breakups, passionate reunions, secret flirtations.

I’ve heard if you have borderline personality disorder or histrionic personality disorder you can grow out of them. Some personality disorders are forever, but some you age out of sometimes. I’ve never been diagnosed with either BPD or HPD but signs point to maybe I had a smidgen of them when I was younger. I think I aged out. Now I’ve grown sort of boring and stable.

It just sorta crept up on me.

I’ve been in the same job for 10 years. My credit score is close to 800. I broke up with someone in 2015 and just never took up with another relationship. For the last year, I cook dinner every night. Using salt and a garlic press and a vegetable streamer and shit.

Who even am I? I used to drop classes to get the refund so I could buy earrings. (To be fair, the time I did that, they were fabulous earrings. They looked like strands of DNA with multiple-colored big beads. Do not regret.)

Now I don’t even WEAR earrings cause they hurt m’ears. I mean.

Anyway, my insides are quieter and I guess that’s good for me but I’m telling you, had blogging been a thing in 1985, I’d have a bigger audience. You’d all make popcorn before each entry. It wouldn’t be, “Here’s where Lily slept” it’d be “I woke up in Puerto Rico today cause I felt like it.”

I kind of miss impulsive old me.

But also impulsive old me would forget to register for college, so.

Anyway, I gotta go. Nonimpulsive NEW me signs in for work every day on the dot at 8:30. This week I’ve been “coming in” early because I’ve been working in this large, painstaking project I get a few times a year.

Seriously, who even am I? Ugh. Can I regain my fun disorders? Is there a pill I can take or a rejuvenating cream?

Stable-ly,
June

Where did you get that funfetti gravel?

I read an old blog post of mine, dating back to aught 12. I read it not because I am completely full of myself—although I am—but because a reader said it was one of her favorite posts and I couldn’t remember much about it.

In one weekend, according to that hard-hitting post from aught 12, on Friday I went to a play and then out to dinner at a pub. Then on Saturday I got in the car and headed to Raleigh, where I went to a record store, a rose garden, an exhibit of Gone With the Wind memorabilia, and finally to a museum of natural bones or whatever those are called. Not to be outdone, Sunday found me in Winston-Salem, where I saw a movie and had dinner.

That’s more than I’ve done in the past 365 days. Good lort.

Granted, at the time I was tryina impress Ned, with whom I did all that shit with with. With.

That’s, like, a great weekend for him and while I’m certain I was delighted to be with him because that was peak in-love-with-Ned time, in truth that’s wayyyyy too much running amok for me. How was I not cranky by Sunday? Get in the car and go to Winston? We just WENT to RALEIGH yesterday.

Anyway, this post won’t share nearly as many gadabout whirlwind stories, although I did see Ned. Once. And we went one place. Well, that’s not true. We also got Edsel and the three of us got Edsel’s Gabapentin at CVS drive-thru. So, two places. Two! Ah-ah-ahhh.

Dear June: Stop being the Count.

Anyway, here was my one venture out of the house all weekend:

And yes, it was a cloudy, dull day. Also, why so chubby, JOOOOON.

Also, I know I am the crabbiest person alive, so tell me if this also makes you crabby or if it’s just me. When you post something online and people have to know where you got everything in the photo. I actually once had someone ask me, “Where do you go to GET ice cream in the country?” after I posted that I’d gotten ice cream in the country.

I’ve also had what are those plates, what is the name of that mascara, what’s this, what’s that—WHY? WHY do people want to know this? Are they seriously going to rush out and copy it? Or do they want to know how much I spent? WHAT IS IT?

The fact of the matter is, I usually don’t even know the answer. So that’s the worst part, that then I have to do research to answer. I have to head to the library and get the microfiche.

I know there are people who, for example, know the color paint they used in their living room. You know what color paint I used? White.

(I do remember the paint name Quietude, which Ned says I speak of the way boys speak of the winning home run they made in Little League, but there is no Quietude even in my house right now. I can’t even recall the color I ended up getting for my porch ceiling last summer.)

Anyway, Ned and the drive. We were celebrating, Ned and I were. Ned, of the go-29-places-in-2012 Neds. Starting today, Ned has to return to his office in person, and since I’m high risk and all, we aren’t going to see each other until we both have vaccines. I mean, maybe we’ll take walks 75 feet apart the way my coworker Austin and I do. But he used to be the only person who came inside my house.

You know, this whole plague I’ve done some weird stuff, like shave my legs every day and wash the kitchen floor every Saturday. I guess I’m doing those things for me since no one else experiences them. Except for all 10 of you, now that I’ve told you.

Every month or so, Ned would see my floors and say, “God, your house is clean.”

Anyway. So Ned got me in his Mustang he’s so obsessed with and we took a long drive into the country like I like to do and it went like this.

“Ned, this isn’t the country.”

“I know. We’re headed there. First we have to drive through all these depressing neighborhoods.”

“If I wanted to look at depressing houses I could have stayed home and looked out my window.”

[10 minutes later]

“Ned, this is still not the country.”

“I know, I just … I don’t know where we are.”

Ned refuses to let the direction woman on his phone have a voice, and right there is the problem with men. So instead he STARES at his PHONE while he’s DRIVING and it makes me nervous as a cat and anyway finally we were in the country but first we passed this house:

That was pretty riveting and we turned the car around and drove past it twice, but anyway then we were in the country.

Our ice cream place has now turned itself into a drive-through so you don’t COVID inside their store, and that’s pretty cool. Also, they opened up the field across the street so you can park and watch the cows who made your ice cream. When we were done, I got out of the car to throw out our little dishes and napkins and noted they have, like, party gravel. I shoulda captured it on film. It was gravel in all these funfetti colors like pink and seafoam. My driveway at the back of my house, on the way up to the snake shed, is in need of more gravel, and who wants to funfetti that gravel now that she knows that’s a thing?

Anyway, a drive to get ice cream made us hungry, and those pounds just won’t GO, so we got food at this local restaurant we used to haunt regularly, and ate it at my house. I had french dip. Oui.

Then, as I said, we took Edsel to get his arthritis medicine and once again he forgot his dog wallet so I got it AGAIN.

And then that was it. He left and it’s just me in this house. I don’t know when I’ll see Ned again, and he was the only person in my bubble. I guess this’ll be a fun experiment to see if I lose my mind. There was some stupid song I once heard on American Top 40 that went, “Back off, bitch, before I lose my MINNNNNND. Well, now everyone has backed off. So let’s see if I lose my MINNNNNNND.

Experimentally,
June