TinyTown, revisited

In August of 2007, my then-spouse, Marvin, and I moved from Los Angeles to Wadesboro, North Carolina. We went from a population of 3 million to a population of 3,000. It didn’t occur to me that this might take some adjustment.

But this is what I DO in life. I plow through it, never thinking anything through, then being stunned by the struggle because I didn’t think things through. I wish for you to put this on my tombstone, along with the 40 other things I’ve asked you to put on my tombstone, which at this point is something of a scroll. A stone scroll. That you can somehow pull out to read all the epitaphs I’ve written.

“You wanna visit June’s grave today?”

“Ugh, no. I can’t even deal with unrolling her stone scroll.”

Anyway. So instead of sitting, oh, still, and letting myself be charmed by TinyTown, I immediately commenced to finding ways to leave. This is why, on February 27, 2008, I was driving to Raleigh for a job interview, when I passed a little dog on the side of a busy road.

IMG_2509(I just took this yesterday, and was stunned by just HOW busy that road was. Tallulah was less than 3 months old when I found her, and you guys, she was past that gutter. It gives me chills. She was probably moments from being in that road.)

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 4.38.35 PMI never made it to the interview, because as we all know by now, I made the best U-turn of my life and swooped that little puppy up and into my car. My initial plan had been to knock on the trailer doors, there, to say, “Here’s your dog,” but when I saw all the yards weren’t fenced, and that she was so very skinny, and once I saw the sun glint through her gold eyelashes, I instead shut my car door and put her in the passenger seat. And right then I knew, I had myself a Tallulah dog.

I’ve never known something so certainly, and never loved someone so fast. It was her gold eyelashes that did me in. Those gold eyelashes assured her spot as my passenger that day.

100_1312She was the best passenger I ever had, for 8 years.

This week would have been her 10th birthday, and I decided it was time to scatter her ashes all the places she loved. That included her first home, where I found her; the house we had in TinyTown; my yard here; the dog park; and any other places I can think of where she was happy, i.e., anywhere Edsel wasn’t.

(She was never a fan. Don’t tell Edsel. He was nothing BUT a fan of that dog.)

So yesterday I took the day off work to drive back to TinyTown and to where I found her, which by the way is precisely nowhere–it’s not even a town. Tallulah was a small-town girl. Livin’ in a LONELY world. She took the midnight train going an-y-where.

Also on June’s scroll: She burst into bad ’70s music when no one wanted her to.

The problem was, yesterday was our first snowstorm of the year. Go, June! Wait, did you just plow through something without thinking it through? Hunh.

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Checking out the first flakes, which you can’t see, but trust me.

Just as soon as I got out to the car, it started to snow. It was so pretty, and I was all, Oh, it won’t stick.

Oh, June.

IMG_2476.jpgSo, once again, my favorite passenger and I got into the car and headed on down the road a piece.

I took the country roads to take me home, because it’s a really pretty drive, and normally I’d have stopped to take photos for you, but as the grandmother I’m turning into would say, it was pouring the rain. It wasn’t far out of Greensboro that the snow turned to rain, but man, we’re talking rain. Much rain. It rained longer than Queen Elizabeth.

Oh, June. You’re not funny.

IMG_2502IMG_2499Whenever I return to TinyTown, I am charmed by the people and the beautiful old houses and I think, Why the hell did I ever leave TinyTown? I wonder if I’d have gotten divorced if I’d left. I wonder if I’d have ever met Ned. I’d never have had a Steely Dan, or known a single Alex.

But left it I did, which means I missed the news that my friend Lucy died earlier this year. She was a woman I met through the Episcopal church, where I was the best church secretary the world has ever known.

My stepbrother-in-law Bill once told me about a guy he knew who chucked it all to become a mushroom farmer. He wanted a simpler life. Turns out, being a mushroom farmer is really hard, and you have to constantly keep up with the heat and the moisture and the soil and your mushrooms and LIFE WAS NOT SIMPLER.

IMG_2495.jpgThis sums up my experience of going from being a proofreader at an ad agency in Los Angeles to being a church secretary in a town of 3,000. IT WAS THE HARDEST JOB I EVER HAD.

But man, did I love the people there. I saw the church and the steeple, then I opened the door and saw all the people, and they were fabulous.

It’s funny–when we first moved to TinyTown, we had one car, a car Marvin would take to work. So my only entertainment was walking, and right outside our door was the world’s steepest hill, so every day in the August heat, I’d climb that hill. This church, the Episcopal church, was at the very top, and I’d sit on the wall and spit up blood while I caught my breath. I would admire the architecture every day. At night, the steeple would be surrounded by barn swallows, but I didn’t know what they were yet.

I’ve learned a lot of things living in the South: To be, not to seem. What a barn swallow is. To enjoy conversation. A ham biscuit. And that not everyone automatically believes in evolution.

I didn’t know I’d end up working at that church, is my point.

Anyway, when I learned my favorite parishioner Lucy died, I called her husband, Dr. Whit, and we made plans to get together yesterday.

IMG_2480.jpgWhen I pulled up to his house, he ran out for me with an umbrella, and does anyone want to join me in wondering why I left TinyTown? He’d made a cozy fire in the living room, and we had lunch and talked about just everything. That’s the thing about the people there: They all have the gift of gab. They make an afternoon fly by, because they actually know how to have conversations. No one checks a phone, no one dominates the talk. It’s a skill everyone there seems to have.

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The good doctor

IMG_2481.jpgI was stunned to see they still have their mean cat, Dixie, named because she was found out behind a Winn-Dixie 14 years ago. “Has she gotten any nicer?” I asked hopefully. “Can I pet her yet?”

“Oh, no, don’t do that,” Dr. Whit warned. “Don’t ever do that.”

IMG_E2486.JPGOf course, we talked about Lucy, and he even gave me some of her ashes, and I got my nerve up and asked, and YES, she got to be buried in her Tiffany box after all. I really almost cried when I found out. I so wanted her to get her Tiffany box.

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I think we both had a really good afternoon.

After our visit, I stopped at the church and scattered a little Lu around the back door. I used to work every day from 8–12, and she’d be in her crate during that time. If I ever had to return for more pressing church secretary duties, I’d take her back to work with me for the afternoon where Dear People of TinyTown: Occasionally she’d poop in the nave maybe a bit. I am sorry. SHE WAS JUST A PUP. It was just a little puppy poop.

I remember her little excited puppy self clamoring to the back door of the church, trying to get up those big stone steps. And I remember Father Mike very tolerantly saying, “Hello, Tallulah” when he’d see us together in the office. He was the kind of guy who kept dogs for hunting, so you have to hand it to him that he didn’t fire me on the spot.

IMG_2490.jpgI also drove through the bustling downtown that continues to be adorable, then over to my old rental house, which doesn’t look good. They cut down some greenery, somehow. I want to look at old photos to compare the difference, but it looks barer now.

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Depressing.

Nevertheless, since no one was home, I sneaked to the back yard like a common criminal and scattered Lu where I stood with her for countless hours in the cold, holding her leash, saying, Go potty go potty go potty go potty until we’d give up and go inside, where she’d poop on the floor as soon as we got in.

“Lu really prefer to poop in nave.”

Then I popped in on some other friends I made in TinyTown, Jerry and Rachel. They are the very definition of gracious. They served me hot cider and chewy almond cookies on a silver tray. Also on my tombstone: She never had elegant silver trays.

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More elegance in one strand of my elegant hair than June will ever have.
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I concur.

Careful readers will note this is the couple who had me over a few Christmas Eves since I moved to Greensboro. Their house was built in the ’20s, and they are the second people to ever own it. It has built-in cabinets, and one of those fireplaces with the wood columns and the mirror built in over it and OH MY GOD THAT HOUSE Y’ALL.

IMG_2491.jpgI forget how happy the people of TinyTown make me. And when I left their house, Jerry walked me to my car with an umbrella over me.

Hey, why’d I leave TinyTown?

Anyway, the weather was not letting up, and I basically hydroplaned my way to Tallulah’s old homestead. I saw a kid playing in the yard of one of the trailers, and I was tempted to ask, “Did anyone steal a puppy from you when you were just a wee child?” but I did not. Instead, I very casually walked around the grass, scattering Lu out in the driving rain, looking, I’m sure, not remotely berserk in my suede fringe boots and fur-collared retro coat.

IMG_2503.jpgThe closer I got to home, the snowier it got, and while hydroplaning was not relaxing, neither was slipping on the ice. Despite my concrete shoulders, I took time out of sliding on the road to open the gift Jerry and Rachel had given me, a big tin of peanuts, and what better time to delve into a tin of peanuts than when you’re on an icy road, with cars spun out every few miles and ambulances everywhere? It’s a moment that cries out for a peanut break.

Tip for readers: Some tins of peanuts have very sturdy foil tops. These foil tops will SLICE YOUR FINGER TO RIBBONS should you choose to, oh, eat peanuts and drive.

You have no idea how badly I cut my own self. Turns out, bleeding and driving don’t mix. Oh my god, I was Nicole Brown Simpson. I was Sunday Bloody Sunday. I was bloody, Mary.

The peanuts were delicious.

I made it home alive and Dr. Whit even called today to make sure I did.

IMG_2514.jpgIt didn’t even snow that much–although it’s still snowing as we speak. But it’s that kind with the icy top layer, like a creme brûlée. And today I was supposed to go do something exciting that I was gonna tell you about, but now that’s been put off.

But that is probably good, since I have droned on forever about my day in TinyTown, and talk about your gift for gab.

Not as gabby as my tombstone is gonna be, but you know what I mean.

Chattily,

June. Of TinyTown, fmr.

June would make heart hands, if heart hands didn’t make her want to kill everyone

Awhile back, I read a really funny article about a woman in an abusive relationship. As you do.

You know how some things you read just stick with you, and 45 years later you're at the home telling your roommate, a 97-year-old apple doll who spends her evenings plucking at invisible threads and moaning anxiously,  "You know, once I read a funny article…"

It was like that.

Also, I'd like to know who's paying for my half-room at the home. Surely I'll be old and alone and forgotten. I mean, I'm halfway there. Woahhh, livin' on a prayer.

The point is, the article was great. The writer talks about what it's like to be a funny person in a not-funny situation, and several times since I've thought of her and wondered how she's fared.

Yesterday, after a whole weekend alone and half-forgotten in my sunny cottage, my Annex of Anguish, I Googled, "Can you get hypnotized for a broken heart?" and there was an article that was hilarious about this woman who'd done just that, in LA, where all Things Like That are possible. I should know this, as I'd cruise the drive-thru before work to get cupped and detoxed and past-lives-read at least a few times a week. Sometimes you'd pay it backward and buy your own coffee in 1792.

In LA, they have a cupcake vending machine. I am not even kidding you. It was walking distance from my work, and while you may think nobody walks in LA, when one has a CUPCAKE VENDING MACHINE, one walks. In LA. This was before gluten was invented, though, so maybe it's gone or moved to the Hispanic neighborhood or something.

The point is, after thoroughly enjoying the article on this woman's broken-heart hypnosis, I clicked on her name to see if there was more about her, or if perhaps I could marry her, and there was the funny article on abusive relationships.

And right then I knew. She was the same person.

So now I have a new writer to love, and God may have taken away Carrie Fisher and Nora Ephron and any semblance of physical appeal, but she gave me Julieanne Smolinski, and that's not too shitty.

Oh, also? Her Twitter handle is @BoobsRadley. That there is enough to love her.

P.S. Obligatory pet shots:

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Edsel gives birth to a cat

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Steely Dan is sick of your shit and he's this close to unfriending you.

June’s going to kiss you. She won’t even wait.

I'm trying to think of anything of note that happened to me this weekend after The Hair Incident of Saturday, but mostly I had migraines on and off.

TAAA-DAAAA! Thanks, June. Thank god I'm here today. Took time out to visit yer ass.

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Yesterday was finally a nice day, after 46 days and nights of rain, so Edsel and I took a long walk, and then practiced our non-expressions.

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Then we practiced our "stuffed and mounted" look.

It really was an excellent day yesterday. The kind of fall day where it's still warm, but not remotely oppressive, and you think, "Do I need a coat?" because it's breezy, but then you don't. I had to get some work done yesterday, which sucked because who wants to think of work on a Sunday. Even God doesn't. Even God's all, screw that. I'm restin'. Sittin' on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon. Goin' to the candidate's debate.

But I also went to a very bad movie. It was called The Last Film Festival and even though Jacqueline Bissett is on it with her hoots, it was not worth it. Her hoots are still fabulous. Girlfriend must've had 'em lifted or whatever. They were divine.

The movie was not.

Also, I have to sneak my own popcorn into the movie now, as I am not allowed to eat movie popcorn on my migraine diet. Except the thing is, my popcorn that I make with Parmesan cheese and nutritional yeast is 48 times better than that block of salt they sell at the movies. Shoulda been doing that all along.

I remember one of my very first conversations with Ned was about what we eat at the movies, and he was big into his ice (he likes that choppy ice, what's it called? Where it's like little slivers that you can't avoid? I hate that kind of ice). Re popcorn, we were both strongly non-butter people.

But even without that disgusting butter, eating movie popcorn is like after you've made out with Lot's Wife.

How much have you missed my Lot's Wife humor?

I remember having this conversation with him and being excited that he was rich enough to get snacks at the movies. Marvin used to discourage me from snacks. "Why do we need popcorn?"

We're divorced now.

Did I ever tell you about when we went to the movies in LA, and the ticket taker greeted us from behind the counter? She was seated. "Oh, don't get up," Marvin said, really snotty-like.

We walked over there and she tore our tickets from our wheelchair.

You know that feeling where your blood turns to ice?

Anyway, in summation. BYOP is better than BYOP. Bring Your Own Popcorn/Buy Your Own Popcorn. Down with BYOP. Yeah, you know me.

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In the meantime, I'm trying to find ways to keep the World's Most Rambunctious Kitten amused. He is the cat version of Lottie. I can't have a sedate pet. No one mention Stanley, a thing I regret EVERY DAY. Anyway, he likes bird and squirrel videos, SDSilverman does. He acts just how you WANT a cat to react to them. All my other cats have been bored and look around at everything else when I get these videos out. Not Steely Dan.

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Also, no one wants to play with that spitty ball, Edsel. No one.

I'd better go. Did you watch the ridiculous presidential debate last night? When did we all stop being grownups?

Dignifiedly, in her smoking jacket and ascot,

June

P.S. After I'm done writing these posts, I always go over to my categories and pick some that apply. It just occurred to me that it's the same as hashtagging. God, I'm annoying.

June Recaps Her Weekend; Nation Riveted

I did a lot this weekend. See, the obvious joke would be to say something about Ned now, under the category of Things I Did. But I will not. Because dignified. I'm dignified like Rip Taylor.

Rip Taylor-1

Anyway, I have a lot of weekend to tell you about, and Ned is right this second complaining about work things, as I am TRYING TO WRITE, and he knows the rule and yet has clearly disregarded said rule. Before we moved in together, I said, If I am at my computer writing, there is no speaking to me unless something or someone has actual flames bursting out. Not Edsel's-acting-a-little-gay flames.

Speaking of which…

IMG_4269New dapper collar for Edsel. "Man, that is one gay collar," said Ned, and by that I think he means happy and whimsical and nothing that smacks of homophobia. Because Ned is NOT homophobic, although he has never kissed a man. I asked. Am I the only one who figures all boys kiss and play swords and so on? And yet hardly anyone I've dated has admitted to such a thing. 

One of the things I did this weekend, obvs, was to think about gay young boys and also go to PetsAren'tSmart and get flea meds, because nothing strikes fear into Ned's heart more than the idea that we get infested with fleas. He's very tidy, Ned is. My point is, I am physically unable to walk into that store without lusting for all the pets. It's like going to a strip club, looking at some strange.

IMG_4248This trip to PetsDescartes did not disappoint. Kitlers!

IMG_4242Stripey kitten who may have resulted in this conversation: "Can I have that kitten?"

"No."

"PLEASE can I have that kitten?"

"NO."

"There is nothing I like more than a knobby kitten head," I announced to Ned.

"Wait," said Ned. "More than a puppy head? More than Violet?" That was the PetSmart where someone put Violet in my car. That was an excellent day, that day was.

"Yes, more than a puppy head. Puppies are a close second. But nothing beats a teensy kitten. Why can't I have a kitten?" I said. I see no reason I can't have one.

IMG_4219_2"You have 11 perfectly good cats at home," he said. I pointed out that they have fully grown heads, and that's boring. Somewhere three miles away, Lily resent.

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The point of this whole story is my dogs got super-ludicrious collars, and both abhor me today. Nothing says "Tallulah" like a huge pink bow.

"I feel like if it were up to Tallulah, she'd wear a plain brown leather collar," I mused.

"If it were up to Tallulah, she'd ride bareback," said Ned. "She'd be free of any collar." He's right.

I act like that trip to the pet store was the highlight of the weekend, when in fact it was a blip. On Friday night, we went right after work to this brewery to meet up with some of the people from my work, and at midnight, those same people had ended up on our front porch and Ned made jalapeno margaritas. Our porch is perfect for entertaining. I mean, it's small, so "perfect" isn't really a word that's remotely accurate. Our porch is pretty good for entertaining.

IMG_4241On Saturday, Ned and I drove to Raleigh to celebrate his niece's high school graduation. I love how Ned's sister-in-law added teensy graduation caps to everything all over the house. Killing me.

IMG_4234Nothing says "graduation" like a phallic balloon.

I like Ned's people. They are always nice to me, and they aren't all uptight or anything. I once dated someone whose family was really quiet, and I was nervous as a cat around them.

IMG_4232This is one of Ned's nieces; she got a kitten with a knobby head two years ago and now she wants a dog. She is my people. If you're wondering who did the damn ears behind me…

IMG_4225…it was this kid, who is frighteningly one of my people. I mean, you should meet him. He is our people. Trust me on this.

IMG_4228Ned's brother and sister-in-law have a dog with the cutest feet ever invented on a dog. He growled at me, though, because I had the nerve to get too close to his food, like I was dying to reach in there and grab some dog kibble when I had a big dish of macaroni and cheese available to me on the table. Whatever with that dog. Still. Muppet feets.

IMG_4261On Sunday, Ned and I schlepped to Winston-Salem to see a dumb French movie with Catherine Deneuve, that of course had naked people in it, because French, but they had those depressing real bodies, not Hollywood bodies, so eh. Plus, that theater usually had excellent popcorn, and yesterday it was clearly old. Attached please find Ned telling a story about someone dancing, I forget who.

IMG_4266 IMG_4267Attached please find Ned laughing because I showed him how I'd managed to capture on film the elusive Ned dancing moment. Look at that floozy with the legs a few tables back. I admired her shoes throughout.

The restaurant we went to had an Art-o-Mat machine, which I've told you about before, GOD. They took old cigarette machines and put in little boxes of art you can buy for $5. Naturally, I bilked Ned of five dollars and screamed on over to the Art-O-Mat.

IMG_4250I had no idea what this was going to be.

IMG_4251Oh, EARrings! Cool. My hair is incapable of looking not chaotic.

I guess that sums up my weekend, but oh! Marvin went to LA and just knocked on the door of our good friends Robe and Beige, to surprise them, which KILLS ME and I wish I could have been there, except how weird would that have been. Hey, Ned, I'm headed to LA with Marvin like the old days. You don't mind, right?

20150607_193723They all went to Antonio's, which is where the six of us would meet up. Look, there's Marvin in the back, there, with his two man dates. Then in the gray v-neck is my stepsister, Mil, who married Marvin's best friend Bill, the guy who's feeling her up. At the front on the left is my friend Beige, whose songs I use a lot for my end-of-year slide shows, and her husband Robe, who I would get on the phone to call Beige and end up talking to him for six hours then saying, "I have to go. Tell Beige I said hi."

Oh, I can't even stand it. Marvin also went to our old house, where we lived under Rik, and sent me photos of that.

Sigh. I miss LA a little.

Okay, bye. Here's my latest Purple Clover, which I revamped from a blog post I wrote awhile ago. I can't wait for Purple Clover to put it on Facebook and see the comments. "Those inflatable men are funny!" I adore people who just looked at the picture and didn't read the article. ADORE.

Wordily,

Jooooooon

A thousand words.

IMG_1357When I was at my mother's house a few weeks ago, I found this picture of my Aunt Kathy (left) and mom in polka dots, back in 1975. It was my Uncle Jim's wedding. Look how hot they are! I remember they'd show this to people and ask, "Which of us is prettier?" which made no one have an uncomfortable look or anything.

Now that Ned and I have signed the lease (eeeeek!!), I've been throwing things away (like my USELESS PRINTER, and no one buy an HP, ever. EVER! If your printer breaks, they have an 800 number, and try to charge you $100 to help you), and taking things to Goodwill (there are dresses I've moved from Los Angeles to TinyTown to here, and not worn once) and going through papers, and I found this photo:

IMG_1473This is my ex-best friend and me, back in the '90s when I lived in LA. It was between Christmas and New Year's, I remember that. Also, note how I am creeping around to feel her up. She was too tall to feel up.

And really? Really? There's anyone left who DOESN'T know how we broke up. Okay, here.

I wish I still had those dreadful jeans. And at this point, I must not have been living in LA for long, because Marvin hated black, so my all-black wardrobe became my all-pink wardrobe. Since Marvin has left I've purchased approximately 900 million new black shirts. Or seven. Somewhere between 900 million and seven.

Okay, I gotta go. I guess it's okay to tell you why I have to look nice tonight: I am being interviewed by a magazine, about this blog. It's a local hoity-toity magazine, one of those thick shiny ones that's at hotels or fancy doctor's offices where you may or may not get your Botox, if one did that and didn't embrace natural aging the way I do, with a good diet and clean living.

Hey, that lightning bolt almost hit me right in the head.

Anyway, it's exciting. I have no idea if they're taking my photo, but I got my red boob shirt on just in case. Naturally, today I ran out of hair gel. Yes, I did. So my hair will be 50 feet wide, but why fool anyone into thinking it doesn't usually get wide?

So that's the story. Am famous. Ish. Am almost famous. Am Stillwater.

Why doesn't Billy Cruddup ever call me?

Widely,

June

Branch manager

This morning I saw a branch in my driveway. Being a branch manager, IMG_0666I went out to investigate.

"Branch manager." How do you stand the hilarity?

IMG_0667It turns out a huge part of my cool old tree fell down. We had serious rain night before last, and I have no idea why it waited till last night to collapse, but what I can say is Dear Ned. You gots you a tree to clean up. I tried to move it myself and pfft.

IMG_0669It even (ethen) uprooted my lavender. I LOVE my lavender. That tree is on my list.

As I was photographing this disaster in my polka-dot robe, guess who just waltzed out the front door? ware mom? ware mom? need mom. ware–chitz. she see edz.

IMG_0670 IMG_0671Here's the part where he turns into an ashamed letter C, like he does. edz so sorry. cannot express.

Oh, come here, you moron.

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IMG_0674oh yay oh yay oh yay. MOM!

I just want you to know that after I put up that last picture, my mouse stopped working, so I changed the damn batteries and…nothing. NOTHING. I did the technical trick where you beat the crap out of the mouse and still, nothing. So I did the obvious thing. I called Marvin. He made me unplug my computer and plug it back in, and for a terrifying moment there was blackness, just like in my soul, and then boom. Computer was on, mouse worked.

So now I'm pressed for time, and wanted to tell you how I went to yoga in the park with Bitchy Resting Face Alex and TinaDoris last night, but now there's no time to tell about it. Fleeta had also said she was gonna go, then said she had plans. "I'm gonna have to blog about you canceling," I warned.

"Go ahead, but if you put in that awful picture you always use for me, I'm gonna kill you."

So I got up and took a picture of here right then and there, and here's Fleeta's Official New Photo®.

IMG_0661Cute dress.

Tonight Ned and I are looking at a house to rent, which we will probably not take because they want nine hundred million dollars a month, but OH, it's lovely and is half a mile from my work and also it has four bedrooms so we can ignore each other if we want. So what'll happen is I'll look at it and get emotionally attached and then feel bad I can't live there. Kind of like every time I visited San Francisco back when I lived in LA.

June, branching out.

Flap

Yesterday's comments were riveting.

I have nothing interesting to ask you today, and I am sorry. I know I still need to tell you about my long December, but telling you about my months that I wasn't here requires me to look at all my photos and download them onto my desktop and then upload them onto here, and let me tell you what a speedy job Typepad does with uploading your photos. Here's what happens when you upload photos onto this site:

Time-watch-waiting1

Impatience Slow_internetIt takes awhile, if you're picking up what I'm throwing down.

So I'll do that on a different day, when I have time. In the meantime, tonight Ned and I are going to the old theater we like to go to, where everybody knows our name, to see The Birds. Which of course makes me think of my old neighbor, Rik. "Ohhhh, da birds."

See that green building behind idiot Rik? That's my old apartment, and where he squatted and pretty much killed my poor landlord with neglect. Oh, how I abhor Rik. Oh, how I miss my old neighborhood.

Rik is super-sane. And not at all annoying. I noticed he is listing my dead old landlord as his acting manager now.

"This is a very powerful lawsuit." Oy. ANYWAY, Ned and I are going to see The Birds, and I will try NOT to think of Rik. I suggested we go out for wings first, and I just had a plaque engraved.

For June, who loved herself.

This Sunday is my two-year anniversary of dating Ned, although in my opinion our two-year anniversary should be the day we started writing (January 5th), because we both knew we liked each other as soon as we wrote. But Ned says it doesn't count till we officially saw each other, and I don't know why Ned gets to make up all the rules.

We didn't exchange Christmas gifts last month, Ned and I didn't, because we both were broke, so we decided to have Christmas on January 19th, our anniversary. I have Ned's gifts all ready, and am very excited to give them to him. Now if I could just NOT FALL between now and then and stay among the living.

The only other news I have is that I am -$173 in the bank, and hey, how's that fiscal responsibility going? Oh, it burns me up. I knew I was going to run low in checking, and I HAD ENOUGH in savings to cover everything, and I kept saying to myself, I have to get online and transfer some savings over just in case. But I used my ATM card at the grocery store to get Metamucil for the dogs (did I tell you about that?) and the card went through, so I thought, okay, everything is still fine.

It turns out, the bank automatically gives you this stupid overdraft protection, so they KEEP LETTING charges go through, but they charge you $36 A TRANSACTION. So that $11 Metamucil cost $47. Checks went though, $36. I paid for popcorn at the movies, plus $36. I HATE THE BANK.

I called and begged for their mercy but they would not budge. Banks ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Maybe I should sue them. This is a very powerful lawsuit. What the hell does he even MEAN by that? How is a lawsuit more powerful than another? Oh, he bugs. Now thanks to YouTube, he can bug me from afar.

Okay, I must get to work, so I can do worky things and then go to The Birds. I have a large day ahead of me.

On the wings of love,

June

June Takes Wayback Machine, Writes to Self. (Because god forbid she do anything important with wayback machine, like, oh, 9/11 or what have you.)

If somehow we were able to travel around in time–and don't really smart science-y people claim we really can? If so, will someone go back to 1983 and find my dang senior yearbook? Where'd I LEAVE it? Oh, and on your way out of the '80s, please drop me a line about not getting that spiral perm. Thanks.

Anyway, if we were able to travel around in time, here's what I would say to 2003 June.

Dear 2003 June,

First of all, that cell phone you have, the one that's the size of a shoe, will not last that long, so don't go to the mall kiosk and get them to bedazzle it with pink rhinestones. Honest. I mean it. By next year you will turn that flip phone in, and that pink sparkly Eiffel Tower decoration is a goner.

Also, June, your summer of 2013 looks like this:

IMG_1199You'll spend breezy evenings walking your dog and waving at your neighbors. Yes, dude, it is your dog. I KNOW you've wanted a dog forever. Isn't she dignified? Wait'll you smell her.

You have a dog because you have a house. I know! Over there in 2003, houses cost, like, 8 million hundred dollars, and that is because you are in Los Angeles, still, and also because the economy is good. Live it up with that economy, June. Live it up now. Your salary will still not be in 2013 what it was in 2003 in LA.

And yes. You, my dear, do not live in LA anymore. You are in the South, like Scarlett O'Hara and Ouiser and Harper Lee and Otis the town drunk.

IMG_1204You'll sniff your neighbor Peg's magnolias when you walk your dogs (yes, dogs, plural. Let the other dog be a surprise, 2003 June. Really. Just don't think about it), and you'll sit on your front porch with a Mason jar of ice water after, watching the lightning bugs and hearing the world's loudest cicadas.

P.S. Don't eat Peg's gazpacho. Just don't.

IMG_1186Some days, you'll lie by the pool with a nice boy (Let's let the answer to "Where's Marvin?!" be a surprise, too).

IMG_1093He might could be the kindest boy you've ever met, but not in that gross "You're a really nice guy, but…" sort of a way. Yes, he gives the homeless guy outside the grocery store a dollar every time he sees him, but he's also sarcastic and smart and doesn't put up with a lot of your crap. So he's, like, hot nice. Oh, I can't wait for you to meet him.

IMG_1192You'll have a fun job, with interesting friends. And as the morning light shines into your kitchen, you'll make stuff like this. Oh, don't panic. This is as cook-y as you get. A lot has changed, but THAT hasn't. Come on.

Some days you'll have breakfast on your deck, and you'll hear baby birds in the birdhouse you put in the yard. You'll smell the mimosa trees, and hear the train in the distance, the same train that is .007 inches from The Nice Boy's house. Sometimes late at night you'll hear the train and smile, knowing The Nice Boy is hearing it too.

IMG_1185I know, 2003 June, that you're pretty happy, what with your cool 1940s apartment in a cool LA neighborhood. With your $300 haircuts and happy marriage. I know things are good. But I just wanted to let you know that 2013 June is pretty dang happy, too. You might say she's delirious.

See you in 10 years. And I mean it about the bedazzled phone. And Peg's gazpacho.

Love, June

June Gardens’ Day Off

Guess who has a day off. Dayyyyyy off! Dayyyyy-yyy-yyy off. Daylight come and me want to go blog.

There was a store in Seattle called the Bon Marché. I imagine it's still there; they tried to compete with Nordstrom, which, please. You cannot compete with any Nordstrom. Anyway they were constantly having one-day sales, to the point where you no longer GAVE a shit about their one-day sales, and they did their ads to the song Day-O. Which did not drive me berserk in the slightest.

 

Oh, I beg you to look at this '90s commercial and see the super-cool jeans. I beg you.

I have no idea how I got off on this tangent. …Oh! Right! My day off. Daayyyyy off!

I took this daaayyyyyyy off because I was originally scheduled to take my friend Dick Whitman to have a biopsy. He's having…medical woes, and everyone keep him in your thoughts, although in my extremely reliable medical opinion he's going to be just fine. At any rate, instead of today's fun biopsy, he's decided to get a second opinion. And since I already asked for the day off I said eff it.

So I'm doing laundry and eating last night's pizza:

IMG_1154
Hey! There's a quarter! Behind the computer! Am rich. This changes whole day.

Then after I shower I'm taking the car in for an oil change–I know!–and having lunch with my ex-husband Marvin, then going to the store to buy salmon. Ned is coming over for dinner and then we're gonna see the new Before Sunrise movie.

Did you ever see the first two of those movies? It's Ethan Hawke and that French blonde actress who is pretty. I once rode on an elevator with her when I lived in LA. She was going to the gym and I was going to a movie, and that's why she's famous and I'm not. In the first movie, which took place in the '90s, they meet in Europe while he's backpacking. They spend one night together and fall in love and at the end of the movie, they plan to meet back at the train station in six months.

That's how it ends. But then nine years later they made a sequel and now there's a SEQUEL sequel. Am excited to see what happens next. Maybe in the movie she'll mention our elevator ride.

JULIE DELPY!! That's her name. Or maybe it's Julia. Whichev. Blonde, pretty, French. Your basic nightmare (™ Nora Ephron). (That was practically a Nora Ephron quote. Hers was "Thin, pretty, big tits. Your basic nightmare." Which is how I hear myself described constantly. It's exhausting.)

Oh! I forgot to tell you that this week while I was walking the dogs in my Marshall High School t-shirt and black stretch capris (™ every dowdy person walking their dog anywhere), a very dapper old man got out of his car and said, "You're a beautiful young woman." I mean, I realize he'd probably escaped from some home for the delusional, but so have I, so.

Is anyone freaking out that I'm having lunch with Marvin? Or are you all used to our relatively civil divorce? I'll take his picture, if I can, for everyone to enjoy his plaid du jour.

I must go get this party started, but before I do, you need to know I moved the bed to sweep and am delighted to report I found Blue.

IMG_1155Not as delighted as others of us, who seem to be as obsessed with Blue as ever. Absence does not dim the love for the Blue.

IMG_1157edz hart do go on and on. edz luff Blu so bad.

Look how disgusting that toy is. And yet I hold it like it's the World's Greatest Treasure. Which it is. Sometimes, just to be a butt, Talu takes Blue away even though she has zero interest in it. Do you remember when Edsel was a puppy,

6a00e54f9367fb88340133f54ba938970b-800wiand Tallulah took all the toys and put them on the center of the bed, because Eds was too little to get up there? Talu is a dick.

Okay, am off. To do my things. To enjoy my day off. Dayyyyyy–okay, done.

The FINAL COUNTDOWN! You’re welcome.

"I told them," I emailed …friend, after giving all y'all all my big news yesterday. I sent him the link, too.

"I don't even read your blog that often and I'm even sad," said …friend, after looking at yesterday's post. And it IS sad, isn't it? I like the beginnings of things, and I dwell sadly on the end. I've done this for so long I won't even know what to do with myself at first.

IMG_1233
"You should take a picture of me NOT eating a salad," …friend said later that day when we were having dinner. How much are you going to miss my crystal-clear photography? I'm not gonna miss all the queries from people who're into photography. "How do you DO it, June? What camera do you use?" I mean, it's exhausting. I have a gift, okay?

IMG_1232
Big pile of fried green tomatoes. God, I love the South.

So I took pictures of us not eating salads ("us." Like I am just MADE of salad.) but then I said, "I have to get used to this. I don't need to document my every move anymore."

"You sure you want to do this?"

"No."

And I'm not. Now that I've heard from so many of you, and you were so nice, and some of you even emailed me personally to tell me how much you read me or times my dumb blog got you through stuff, I feel totally torn. I do.

IMG_1230Lu tore too. Liturlee. We getteeng stittchis out soon?

Look at her little shavey leg, where they put an IV. Get away from my dog. With your needles and your knives and so on. We go in an hour and no more cone for Lu. Truthfully I've had it off her for a few days now. She mostly leaves her injury alone. And who needs to maybe trim that foliage in the back yard?

Geez, Lu. Get on it.

Oh, and at my neverending freelance job, I am down to working noon to 5:30, because the guy who had surgery is back half time, and anyway I said, "Tallulah has a vet appointment at 10:30 but I think I'll still be on time." And they were all, "…the office is closed tomorrow."

It IS? I totally would've shown up to an empty office had Lu not had a vet appointment.

100_1329Mom dizapoynt lillee. could be more orrganize?

Geez Louise, is that fur by the door, there, in the Lily picture? I shouldn't take pet shots; it just makes me see stuff that needs to get done around here.

Oh! But I asked if there was anything you wanted me to blog about and you said pet psychic. So okay.

When I lived in LA and had the fabulous cat Mr. Horkheimer,

IMG_1238hooo? you know, lillee fabyouluss too.

(somebody asked about Lily, too. Hence the all-Lily, all-the-time-except-for-when-I'm-showing-fried-green-tomatoesness of this post)

ANYWAY, when I lived in LA and had the wonderful Mr. Horkheimer, he got a mysterious illness. I took him to the vet 17 times and they were like, well, it could be his KIDNEY, it might be his LIVER….

Thanks. In the meantime he's spraying blood and losing weight. So, my friend Karina had a horse, and let me tell you something. No woman who has a horse just, oh, has a horse. Every friend I have who owns a horse can never be found anywhere but with that horse. Horses are to women what golfing is to men. Addictive. Is what I mean.

So Karina told me that some pet psychic came to the stables and read all the horses. She said, "Maybe she can tell you what's going on with Horkie."

See. When you live in LA? After awhile people say stuff like that to you and you just go, "Oh, thanks! Good idea!" Like she'd just recommended a plumber. "Yeah, call this guy to snake your pipes. Oh, and this woman here will give you a past-life aura reading and cleanse your toxins!"

So I did. I called Lydia Hibey, pet psychic. And oh! It was so great! She said often animals come into our lives to teach us something. Not Hork. He was there to be admired and pampered. That was it. "How'm I doing on that?" I asked. "Horkie tells me you're an A+!" she said.

The pet psychic even told me that Hork said he hated it when we lived with "those girls." In Seattle, Hork and I lived in a house with Stacy and Paula, and they had a Sheltie. Do you know from Shelties? They are not what you'd call mellow dogs. And Hork? ABHORRED that creature. Oh. Hated. He'd hide on a dining room chair and swat that animal when it trotted by high-strungly.

Anyway, the pet psychic recommended I get these bovine pills from the store and mix them with turkey baby food, and do you know Horkie improved for about a year before he finally just up and died? So I got an extra year of Mr. Horkheimer. And that is good. Because he was magnificent.

IMG_1143we getteeng kind of sik of heereeng about that cat. currint pets magnifsint too. ..not edsel. but rest of us.

Anyway, that's that story. I'd hate to leave you hanging with any untold story. So let me know if there's anything else you want to hear.

I guess I better shower and get all good-looking for the vet's office. Which means I'll be getting to the vet in 1992.

Sigh. June. Kind of sad.