Where Neighbors Come Together

For once, there was cat drama on my NextDoor that didn’t involve Steely Dan.

wat? steeeleee dan pleasure of lyfe.

Do y’all have NextDoor? It’s a website just for your neighborhood, so you can know right away who’s racist. They should just go ahead and update their name to BigotNextDoor.


That’s his house. So.

Anyway, I signed up awhile back, thinking it would be convenient to know where the yard sales were, or if anyone was giving away free Irish Wolfhounds or what have you. I had no idea it’d be such a source of entertainment for me.

My favorite NextDoor in my neighborhood thus far was the one titled The Affair Continues… I could not click “See More” fast enough. There is a crater in my phone from me hitting “See More” so hard.

This BUSYBODY had been photographing a man and his car, because he had the nerve to park in front of her house, can you imagine? Who has the audacity to park on the street like that? Anyway, according to this woman, he then would regularly walk to my street and was having an affair, despite having taken wedding vows that this woman was somehow privy to. Perhaps she photographed his wedding. From a window.

When people started to accuse her of, oh, maybe not minding her own business so well, she threw out the “but my KIDS” excuse, which is really my favorite fallback. “I don’t want my KIDS knowing about this kind of behavior!”

The only reason your kids would know is because their mom is pointing her iPhone out the window like a crazy person.

Anyway, last night there was another FOUND CAT announcement, and I always click on those, because 75% of the time there’s a photo of a smug gray asshole eating canned food on someone’s porch.



But in this case, it was a striped cat, a sort of mangy-looking thing who’d be having more luck in the wild if Steely Dan weren’t cockblocking all the mice, which I’m certain he is.



No woman can write anything on NextDoor without being shrill.


It’s…the 4th of July.

Anyway, on Wednesday a woman found Mangy cat, and then all in that same day, she took him to the vet; took him to the PetSmart, there; got him special food and meds; declared her kids to be “in love” with this cat; and did a whole, “Internet, meet Kirby!” announcement.

On Thursday, another neighbor said, “That’s my cat.”



And see. At first I was on the “found a peanut” woman’s side. She finds this sick cat, and then some negligent cat parent strolls in all wanting her cat back, or even worse, lying to get a free cat. Like this whole neighborhood isn’t sick with healthy cats lounging around for the taking.

If he’s your cat, why isn’t there a note on NextDoor? Why aren’t there signs up on poles? Why didn’t you chip him? Why did you let him out? Why are you that height? Why? BUT MY KIDS.

Here’s what’s starting to annoy me about the world. When did we get so weird about our animals? When did we get so smug, and decide we were the only people who knew best, and you’re only a good person if you do ALL THE THINGS on a GIANT LIST of things one must do to be a good pet owner?

When did we all become the woman taking a picture of the affair guy? But with cats?

Anyway, as I watched this unfold last night (oh, trust me. I had to will myself to go to bed), it was evident that the woman who really owned the cat had

  • already TAKEN her cat to the vet where
  • it was given a gluten-free diet (which, pfft) that it had to be on for a week before it
  • could start its diabetes meds, and
  • IT WAS A WANDERER, which I know nothing about, and
  • the last time it wandered off, this woman HAD put something up on NextDoor and no one answered and the cat came home on its own.

This was not good enough for Kirby’s new mom. She insisted the woman who owns the cat PROVE it was hers. Because everyone wants a sick old cat. And she wanted to be paid for all the trouble she went to, and included a photo of the vet bill.

“This is insane,” said the actual owner of the cat. “This is extortion. Give me my cat back.”

I love NextDoor.

Anyway, eventually “Kirby’s mom” gave the cat back, and threw–THREW!!–the medication she had taken it upon herself to purchase in the doorway of the actual owner of the cat, then left a scathing wrap-up comment about it to the rest of us, which I noticed she’d been thanked for.

Who thanked this nutbar? I wondered, so I clicked.

She’d thanked herself.

So. That sums her up, right there.

Meanwhile, another woman who has always driven me berserk, who I’ll call Kitty Chip, chimed in every so often, during this whole diatribe.

“Please, everyone, chip your kitties.”

“Make sure your kitties always have a chip.”

“All kitties should be chipped.”

OH MY GOD GET A HOBBY. Says the woman who just blogged at you about her NextDoor.

And also, stop referring to cats as kitties.

I really wanted to pull a Hulk and say, “You all know this is going on The Best of NextDoor, right?” but I did not. I stayed out of it. Other than to write a thousand words about it here.

thank goodness we dignify in dis howse

Gladys Kravitz-ly,



What’s newwwww? Mah curiosity is piqued.

Remember when Linda Ronstadt put out an album of old songs? Which is now sort of ironic, because she sang what were at the time 40-year-old songs, and now it’s been nearly 40 years since her album.

Did you further know that when the Beatles played at the Ed Sullivan theater in 1964, the amount of years that had passed between World War I and that appearance were SMALLER than the number of years that had passed from then till now?

Not to mention, it’s been TWICE as many years since Happy Days was a show, as it was between the 1950s and when the show Happy Days was on the air.

Welcome to my brain.

I’d never noticed till this moment that she had a mullet in an album of songs from the ’40s. Also, I just want you to know, when I type to you, those little apostrophes, such as the one in ’40s, look straight up-and-down for me,

Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 8.12.14 AM.png

but I make sure they butt up against the word before them and then make a space, so the apostrophe in, say, ’40s would curl to the left, thereby indicating I’m abbreviating something that comes BEFORE “40,” but it seems like every time I read back a post, that damn apostrophe is going the wrong way anyway.

Welcome further to my brain.

Once, this man wrote me on OK Cupid–which I’m not even on anymore because I give up–and when I looked at his profile, he kept referring to the 70s’ and the 90s’ and so on.

I wrote him back.

“While I don’t think we’re a match (oh, don’t you, June? Don’t you?), I just wanted to mention that when you’re abbreviating a decade, the apostrophe comes BEFORE the two-digit number, to show you’re leaving off, say, 19 or 00. I’m an editor, and I apologize for being obnoxious.”

He never answered, and months later I saw his profile again.

“I lived in Tallahassee from 92′ until 04′.”

Goddammit. No one appreciates my craft.

Why did I mention Linda Ronstadt? I forget. But I do recall that she hadn’t quite transitioned to crooner from country in that album, because she would always sing, “mah” instead of “my,” which rankled. “You are mah sunshine…”

Didn’t she put out, like, more than one of those records? I think she did.

Oh my god, June. Say something resembling anything.

IMG_3964.jpgWhen we left off, I was powerless and unshowered. My power had gone out at 2:42 a.m. (I have all the valuable texts from Duke Energy), and it wasn’t coming on anytime soon. I was working from MY DAMN PHONE, proofreading things on my couch, when I noticed some movement. It was my dick.

Alternatively, it was a gaggle of energy men, and I don’t mean they were all leaping about like The Wiggles. Thank god.

They didn’t knock or look trepidatious or anything. They just stampeded into my yard without asking and looked at the wires. I have wires back there, which will inevitably lead to my 17 forms of weird cancer, but what’re you gonna do?

IMG_3967.jpgThey gathered together to hear the Lord’s blessing and also to cut branches down all hither and yon in my yard. Mah yard, as Linda Ronstadt would say. Here they are, above, in the gaybors’ yard, reaching across, doing a reacharound, to get to my yard.

And when it was over?

They left 32932949394 branches lying around.

IMG_3976.jpgI mean. Thanks? Hey, Edsel, fetch.

Eds, by the way, was surprisingly subdued about people being in the yard. He reacted nonce yesterday.

IMG_3979.jpgI just went outside to photograph the branches for you, and as I headed back to the house, I noticed this…

Also, does anyone, ANYONE, have pets and screens? Because this IS the pet-resistant screen and look at it. Every year I have to put in a new screen. Why do I bother with a screen door? Look how Eds has marred and dirtied the handle.

Marred AND dirtied. Wow, June.

Anyway, last night on Next Door, the gaybor left a very annoyed message about how Duke Energy had treated both my yard and his, and he spoke to five people who said the leftover branches were our responsibility till he got someone to say they’d help us. Then he wrote me privately to tell me all the intel that he’d gotten, and left me his contact’s name, which I am sorry to tell you is very dirty-sounding and I do not dare write it here in case he Googles himself, which he should not want to do unless he wants to see some very specific gay erotica.

That’s an unfortunate name,” I wrote to the gaybor, whose love for me no doubt continues.

Anyway, that’s that drama. At least I have power.

I gotta go. I wasted 10 minutes trying to unstain the screen door where Edsel has ruined it, and this is why I need Ritalin. Not to mention the part where I brought up Linda Ronstadt and I’ve no idea why.

Steelee find mom ponderous

I also see I have to clean the damn gutters. I can never relax.

All right. Talk at you.



June Heads Back

I meant to get here earlier, but I was on the phone all morning.

Recently, I discovered I had 5.5 days left of vacation time that I did not take this year, and while I can roll three of them over, I also took today and tomorrow off. Ima Christmas shop today, and then tomorrow I planned to scatter Tallulah’s ashes.


you wut?

Tuesday was what would have been Lu’s 10th birthday, and it dawned on me that I should scatter some of her ashes where I found her, near TinyTown, and then maybe at our old house in TinyTown if I don’t get arrested, and then some in my backyard, and then I found a store on Etsy that sort of bakes in some ashes with metal and then you have a necklace. Also, say “and then” one more time.

il_570xN.921029745_svxuSo that’s what’s going to become of Talu. She was an outdoor girl; she wouldn’t have wanted to be in that stereo speaker on my shelf forever.


And by the way, I did not find Lu in TinyTown, proper. Hey, I wonder if my haters think I made up finding her, too. Anyway, I FOUND her on a busy two-lane road when I was driving to Raleigh for a job interview. And girl, once I got this idea, you have no CLUE how long it took for me to figure out just exactly where I found her. But I did it!!

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 4.38.35 PM.png

Here it is! Here is the busy corner! This shot was taken November of 2007, and since she was just a pup when I found her, the vet estimated she was born December 5, 2007. I COMBED this shot for a pregnant dog, because HOW WONDERFUL would that have been to see in this photo? A Beagle or a Pit, all heavy with Lu child. Maybe Lu’s mom was inside, with her new pups already. What if I get there tomorrow and one of Lu’s siblings is there?? GUESS WHO I WILL BE BRINGING HOME.

So, I guess it was maybe because I was planning this, but today I had a bad feeling, a weird feeling, and I Googled my friend Lucy, from TinyTown.

She and I got up with each other a few years ago–we went to the museum in Charlotte, and had ourselves maybe a bit of wine in the museum cafeteria. So cultured!

I found out that she died in her sleep this year. I wish someone from TTown had told me. I’d have stampeded back there for her funeral.

Lucy was one of the women who belonged to the Episcopal church, where I was a stunning and effective church secretary. I really liked all the women there, I really did, but she was special  to me. She was beautiful, first of all, which is important to me, because spiritual and deep. Also, she had this low, sexy voice, and was ready to be sarcastic at the turn of a dime. She’s everything I wish I was, had I been born Southern.

I dearly loved her.

So, I called her husband, Dr. Whit. He’d been the TinyTown doctor forever. Pretty much delivered every resident. Lucy agreed to marry him after I think three weeks. She told me she didn’t want anyone else to get him.


“Hello, June,” he said, as he picked up the phone.

“How’d you know it was me?” My number AND my last name have changed since we last spoke.

“My TV told me,” he said.

Dang. Things got fancy in TinyTown. Also, I love how everyone there still has a real phone. Anyway, we had ourselves a nice talk about Lucy, whom it turns out we were both pretty fond of and

OH MY GOD! CRAP! I just remembered! Out of all the hilarious memories I have of her, I remember she said she wanted to be cremated, and then she wanted to be put in a cardboard box, so she could be ashes to ashes ASAP.

But she wanted to be in a TIFFANY box. And I, idiot that I am, CALLED TIFFANY to ask if they’d just send me a box. Then I told them why.

News flash: They did not send me a box.

DAMMIT. I wonder if she got her Tiffany box. Oh, this all makes me want to cry. I WISH I had known she was so ill.

The point is, I’m not only headed to TinyTown tomorrow to scatter Lu, but also Ima have lunch with the good doctor. Then Ima pop over, drive all the way across town, as it were, to see the Johnson-Johnstons, a couple I also liked from the church. Her maiden name was Johnson, and she married a Johnston. Or vice versa. Anyway, I have thought of them often because they, too, moved out of their house, then back in, and hung pictures right back up where they’d been, and when I moved back here after my year abroad I thought of that a lot.

They did it for a job, though. Not a tumultuous relationship. So.

In all, I am v v excited about tomorrow, and I will fill you in on all the deets as soon as I can. I’m so glad I got to live in TinyTown for as long as I did. I heart those people.

And I really hope Lucy got her Tiffany box, after all.

June’s Iron Fish of Discipline

Last night, Edsel was acting weird.

Eds, when he’s not being a nutbar. Also, try to have some teeth, Eds.

I understand that doesn’t narrow it down much. But he did the thing I really hate, where he was lounging in his chair, then sat up straight and started BOOF-ing. And looking at the back door.

BOOF! His hackles weren’t up, but he was EXTREMELY alert. “Edsel, stop it,” I said. I always say this, like getting him to act…not alert will make whatever’s upsetting him go away.

Because in my mind–and, oh, you really don’t wanna go in there–he’s acting this way because the Manson family is out back. Because the devil is hobbling around back there, on his way to my attic, like at the beginning of The Exorcist.

Why did the devil have to enter through the attic? Don’t you think he’d have had more clout than that? “Man, I want to possess this child, but I can’t get past the bouncer. Better go in through the vent up here.”

So Edsel would not stop being…alert, despite my bone-chilling command, and I really have control of this dog. Eventually, I let him out, not without worrying that once I opened the back door that Freddie Mercury Kruger would burst in.

See. Why do I always think of great Halloween costumes such as Freddie Mercury Kruger the second Halloween is over? I have mentioned about 87 wonderful cat names/Halloween ideas through the years, and aren’t ANY of you keeping a list?

He ran to the right, which is not his style. The right side of the yard is for pooping; everybody knows that.

IMG_1935.jpgHe never poops first. First he runs straight back, in order to bark at Jackie the gaybors’ Greyhound, or at the small white fluffy thing in the adjacent yard, whose name escapes me but is inevitably Sugar or Sassy or Desdemona. Okay, money is on Sugar.

Then he goes to the left, to his pee tree, and FINALLY to the right if there is a poop need. And let’s say there’s the rare poop emergency, something he must address straightaway, even before Searching For Jackie Gaybor. Then he poops over to the left, by his pee tree.

Look, I don’t make up the rules. I just observe them. Also, I’m probably gonna need a new tree soon.

The point is, that dash to the right got my attention. So I flicked on the light, prepared to die, and looked in the right of the yard.

It was a kitty! And not one of mine!


IMG_1936.jpgThis poor black-and-white cat, a huge specimen, was up in this sort of spindly weed tree over by Poop Station Number Two. Over by Mrs. Brown’s Dropoff Point. And no, he is not still up there this morning, which won’t stop someone from saying, “I don’t see the cat, June. Where’s the cat, JOOOB?”

“KITTY!” I said, to the jaguar-sized black-and-white creature, whose eyes were glowing, horrified, at the sight of Edsel glaring up at her.

I’d forgotten that other cats would fear the Eds. “Edsel, go inside.” He dutifully did, and my next class of June’s Iron Fish of Dog Discipline starts soon.

Iron Fish. Goddammit.

“It’s okay, kitty,” I said, and if I had a dime for every time I’ve tried to reassure a horrified cat that things are okay. You know who never believes you that things are okay? Horrified cats.

Also, how did he hear a CAT in the yard? I understand that dog is endowed in the ear department, but CATS DO NOT MAKE NOISE, one of their more positive traits, along with being down to earth and making great quiche.

Also, also, Steely Dan was back there. In the yard. Completely unconcerned that a giant speckled cat was in his weed tree. This lead me to believe that they are friends, and perhaps stomp largely through the neighborhood together, one seeing things in black and white and one appreciating the gray areas.

o steeleee god, mom. get lyfe. also, make bed.

The point is, Piebalderdash LEAPED off the weed tree, then TORE through the yard, which I am sorry to tell you prompted Edsel to DASH out the house and CHASE the poor cat in a circle, which lead me to shout, “EDSEL, you LOVE cats!”

Piebalderdash got out through squeezing under my fence and into Peg’s yard, a trick all cats seem to know instinctively. I sincerely hope whomever buys Peg’s house does not mind cats. Or own a cat-hating Rottweiler or anything.

This leaves me with several questions. Several issues of our time.

  1. Who is this cat? How is it I’ve never seen him despite walking this damn neighborhood every damn day since 2008?
  2. How did Steely Dan meet him? Are they really friends or just coworkers?
  3. Could Piebalderdash be SD’s lover? Is Steely Dan like a really butch gay guy cat?
  4. Would cat-loving Edsel have really eaten that cat had he caught it? Or was it more of a game?
  5. How would a piebald cat fit into my color scheme? Would I, in fact, have to get a black-and-white dog in order to balance things out?
  6. What is wrong with me?

I guess today I should check NextDoor for missing cat notices. You know I like looking on there anyway, cause it’s such a passive-aggressive fest anyway.

“I’d just like to THANK the person who…”

“To the person who was playing music at 2 a.m. last night…”

“Who is parked in front of my house?” Really? WHO GIVES A FUCK?

The lady who’s obsessed with her neighbor’s affair has dissipated, mostly because the other neighbors told her she was a terrible nosy person for (a) reporting every time the man in the affair stopped by (he had the nerve to, yes, park in front of her house) and (b) photographing said car AND SAID GUY as he got into and out of his auto.

I mean, she IS a terrible person with no life, but that didn’t mean I didn’t want updates.

I like how I say this woman has no life, but I droned on 1,000 words about a cat in my yard.

This is what they throw at you when you walk into Lowe’s. Ugh. This is the very opposite of what’s in my head. Again, you don’t wanna go in there.

I’ll talk to you tomorrow. I leave for Michigan tomorrow–I work only one day this week, which was dumb, because even with my days off this week, I have five and a half days left of vacation, and I will probably not use them. So I shoulda taken today. But now I have a whole project I have to do TODAY, so I can’t, like, call in and say, “I’m using a vacation day!”

Ah, well.

Talk at you.

Everything looks worse in black and white.



There will be another waiting for me the minute I get back.

Enter rambling

You know what I want for Christmas? One of those paper towel holders that you stand up on your counter.

^^^^^AMAZON LINK!^^^^^^

Several months ago, one of you said, Hey, June. Why don’t you become an Amazon Associate to earn more money? And so I did. I put up a permanent link to Amazon on my sidebar (See? See it? Are you looking at my side bar? [slap] Keep your eyes off my side bar. Perv).

And sometimes I’d throw in an Amazon image here in the post that, if you click on it, you get to Amazon, and say Amazon one more time.

And by the way, for some reason I can’t ever put a link to Amazon with words on it. Like, one of these…



THE POINT IS, I am forever forgetting to add links to Amazon in my posts.

  1. So, click these images
  2. You’ll get to Amazon.
  3. If you shop after you’ve clicked over,
  4. I get cash.
  5. Cold cash.
  6. Don’t you have Christmas shopping to do or whatever?

Forgetting to add Amazon links is why I don’t have money. I’m not ambitious enough.

And speaking of numbers, yesterday I was talking to a reader who said, “The number of comments you get don’t represent how many readers you get.”


Of COURSE it doesn’t. Did she really think that 50 people read me a day? That’s so sad. Also, I forget that not everyone works in social media the way I do.

Anyway, I told her how many readers I get normally, and then she looked at how many comments I get normally.

I rarely check how many comments I get. I just get emails from you when you comment and go, “Heh, yeah” or “HAHAHAHAHA” or “Oh, fuck YOU” or whatever. Anyway, she figured out it’s like one comment for every 35 or 52 readers or something.

It was maths. Reader, can you remember the exact ratio? Cause you know how I get with numbers. They come to me on gossamer wings and flitter out my head dusting rose-gold glitter.

IMG_1871.jpgNot-So-Faithful-Reader Ryan and I took a walk yesterday. “You’re too TALL to photograph,” I kvetched, so he came up with this dramatic scenario so I could fit him into the frame…

IMG_1872.jpgBelievable. Do you beLIEVE in life after love {after love after love}

I guess mostly what I did today was enter here rambling, and talking about Amazon and numbers and hooo care, then plunk you into the middle of my yesterday and not be linear at all.

I once took an African literature class, which is something you do in college when you’re all high on the gange, which actually I never was but roll with it, so to speak. Anyway, I read a story where this person wandered a village, and each hut had a number, and he’d visit Hut 4 then Hut 86 then Hut 3, and all the American people were all OH MY GOD VISIT IN ORDER.

Which was a thing we didn’t even NOTICE was bugging us till the professor pointed out we were being, I don’t know, not African or something.

So thank heavens at least 10 of my 50 readers are in Africa.

IMG_1860.jpgAnyway, Nervous Nellie and I visited the vet yesterday, where it turns out that even though I am spending $800 a month on flea meds, the fleas are resisting and now Eds, and most likely his cat backups, are having the fleas. Dammit.

And here’s what happened. Yesterday after said vet appointment, I got on Facebook and I was all Diagnosis: Fleas. And then I said the vet had to prescribe something.

This was followed by 939549323 comments with people telling me what flea medication to get.

“But I–”

“See, I already–”

“Yeah, I got–”

I give up.

I also, on Facebook, asked everyone to not IM me, and one person I don’t actually know in real life wrote, “Oh, but I IM you to show my eternal love” or whatever, and I wrote back and said, “Yeah. that’s great, but an unbalanced person contacted me that way, twice, and now every time my IM thing lights up, I get shaky and sick thinking she’s back.”

I understand, she wrote.

The very next day she sent an IM. No apology, no “I know you don’t want IMs,” nothing. And it was a goddamn animated thing about Christmas. Hey, unfriend.

I mean, I could not have expressed my needs and why I had them more clearly. Jesus.

IMG_1878IMG_1874IMG_1875Also, I stepped on Steely Dan last night. I didn’t MEAN to. I didn’t plan a night of STOMP at my house or anything. He was in the hall, and it was dark in the hall, and he is dark, and I know you have gotten the drift and wish I’d move on already.

I TRIPPED over him with one foot, then STOMPED terrecktly on his tail and oh, did he HISS and run off.

Did you ever chase after a cat you were just accidentally mean to? It’s so fruitless.

“I’M SORRY STEELY DAN! I LOVE YOU HONEY. MAMA’s SO SORRY!” He did not give one shit. It was not possible for him to have put his ears back any more fiercely.

As you can see, above, he forgave me enough to lurk on the fridge for breakfast. So. We’re working past it, with time and counseling.

How many photos of cats in that window ARE there, do you think?


Oh my god, Francis was SUCH a dick.


Anyway, I know I had other things to tell you, but I am Africa today, so I’m all over the place.  I have GOT to get my freelance work done this weekend, and I have a hundred pages to go, followed by spellchecking it and looking for consistencies throughout, which means I only have about 86 hours to go.

And no, I’m NOT being paid by the hour. I got a flat fee. This whole book was so stressful that instead of using the money I earn for something practical, I’m getting a kilo of weed, a willing lawn boy and Boston Market delivered to my door.

Can you even buy weed by the “kilo”? I should probably get into drugs briefly so these references remotely ring true.

IMG_1873.jpgI leave you with the following Gladys Kravitz news: My youngster neighbor is moving. Or else he’s a lesbian on his third date.

Not that I’m glued to my window like a shut-in or anything, but I noted his girlfriend left awhile back, and maybe he’s going wherever she went.

That’s the house where the lady would come home from third-shift nursing in the morning, with a paper bag of fast food, and I wanted to run over and tell her, “You’re moving more and more slowly, and it’s this fast food that’s killing you,” because as we all know, my food pyramid is banging.

Turns out, she was dying. She got diagnosed on Halloween, was dead by New Year’s day. She no longer felt hale and Hardee’s.

This is why I have bad luck.

So then this whippersnapper moved in a few years back, and I guess he’ll be selling the house, or god forbid renting it to his delinquent friends. But whatever happens, I hope that nice couch stays on the curb just forever. Total Joey and Chandler couch.

Okay, talk at you. I’ll try to write this weekend, as I will be isolating to get my work done and if I don’t somehow contact the outside world, I will get weird. Which you can see I’m far from.



The one where June misses Halloween

For years, we’ve been doing this project at work that is what you might call detailed.

If you’re a proofreader or a copy editor, all three of you, it has everything that takes time. Names you need to check? Yes. Numbers? Yes. Details that’re listed in several places and they all must match? Yes. Fact-checking up the ying? Oui.

Is it really important, so you can’t mess up? Yes, yes, yes.

I hadn’t worked on this thing in years, but last month I did, and found all sorts of errors that would excite only another copy editor (a word was lowercase in a few places, then capped in a few others, then…ready, three copy editors?…BACK TO CAPS AGAIN!) and I was extremely in love with self. This is the shit that gives us life.

So, I found all these errors, and was excited, then I got the thing again at blueline and found an extra word (“to”) in a paragraph.

What’s a blueline, June? This is riveting, we promise.

It’s the final, final version of something before it goes to print. And lots of what we do at work anymore doesn’t even GET printed, but print is scary. You screw up with print, that mistake is there forever. Or worse, that mistake means you have to reprint, and that’s never good.

The point is, because this thing is so huge and detailed and so on, I worked with the manager of the project and we worked out a schedule to determine when I’d read this thing, and when I’d again reread it, because detailed.

That schedule started yesterday. I’d had it on my calendar for weeks: Big project starts today. I was supposed to take all day yesterday and all day today on it.

Then next weekend I take it home and read it again.

When I got to work yesterday, it wasn’t ready yet, as everyone working on it is on business trips. They’re working on it from said trips, so it’d be with me any second.

“Hey, June, here’s another project. Can you work on this today?”


The thing is, I was just sitting there waiting, unsure of when it’d get to me. So I hemmed and I hawed, and I finally took the project, which turned out to be (wait for it) a lot of stuff, and detailed, and so on.

Naturally, the second I began, I got an email. “You can start that other big project now!”


Then I got two other emails from two other accounts I work on. “Here’s some work. Can we also discuss it in detail?”

And, “Here’s a project. Can you not just edit it, but write this and this? Here’s what I was thinking and what I want and…”

I had to write both those poor folks back and say, I can’t even read this whole email right now.

So I worked. And worked. I hadn’t put on my Frida costume yet, because everything that could have gone wrong yesterday morning DID go wrong, including THE CITY SHUTTING DOWN MY FREEWAY EXIT to get to work, so the plan was I’d get dressed at lunch.

Naturally I worked through lunch, then when I did get away, I had to run errands, so okay. I wouldn’t dress up.

“The costume contest is starting on the dock,” I heard the front desk announce, at 2:00. For the first time in my seven Halloweens there, I did not watch the contest, much less participate, as I had planned. I don’t even know what people dressed up as.

At 4:00, kids were coming for candy, so around 3:00 I just took my computer and went home, so I could work in peace. I was that curmudgeon.

Kit was supposed to come over last night, help me hand out the candies, and I had to cancel on her.

And by the way, just like my morning, everything that COULD go wrong with me getting the work and doing the work, did go wrong.

And truth be told, by 6:00, I was done. I could not make myself think any more. I’d been thinking so intensely. So I shut off the computer and lay blankly for awhile, till

“Trick or treat!

“Wooo! WOO WOO WOOO WO!” snarled Eds.

If Edsel were a normal dog, we could do things like I could dress up as Little Red Riding Hood (Medium-to-Large, Depending, Red Riding Hood) and he could dress as the big, bad wolf. He could sit next to me nicely, with his gummy fangs or whatever, and everyone who came to trick or treat could say “Oh, there’s that cute dog that we pet on his walks” and so on.

would like salty dog, or maybe banana dakkeri.

Instead, Edsel dressed as banished-to-the-back-room guy.

wate. dis not jist for blawg? eds really back heer?

I did not photograph trick or treaters, even though you want me to be the weird woman who photographs every fucking thing, because how, exactly, was I going to ask, “Can I photograph your children and put them online?”

The best parts were the one kid who said, “Oh, please, not a Snickers.” I gave that child coal I had left over from my own Christmas stocking.

And then this very small person just started barreling in. “You have a doggie!” she said, and my reputation precedes me. “Yes, I–”

“I want to see the doggie!” Her parents were all Ebony, don’t go in that lady’s house. Ebony didn’t give a shit. She wanted to see the doggie.

let chyld see doggie. it totlee safe.

And finally, I saw Ava’s family. Of course, I recognized Jane right away, with her June hair and her attitude. In years past, she’s been Katniss or whoever that is, and other popular costumes of the day, and I’m all, Why aren’t you dressed in a pumpkin head or a plastic mask from the grocery store the way I would have been at your age?


But this year, she was just barely dressed as anything, and was taking a smaller child around, so I guess she’s aging out of this process. Jane is, I’d estimate, between seven and 19 years old.

Her brother I met way, way back, when I just had Tallulah. He’s the kid I ran into on a walk once, when Talu had been rolling in the blackberries or boysenberries or whatever the fuck grows in my yard that she used to roll in and get purple spots.

“I wish I had a yellow and blue dog,” I remember him saying. He asked about Lu’s breed for awhile, and told me about his dog. “What kind of dog is he?” I asked. I hadn’t met his dog yet, who in fact is an enormous, calm, steel-gray 100% pit who is Ava’s best friend.

“Oh, he’s a pet bull and a beagle,” that kid said at the time. And that is when I knew he was full of the shit.

The point is, a group of teenaged boys came to the door, boys who really should not even be trying to trick or treat, and he had cool hair, but I didn’t register that was old pet-bull-and-a-beagle, there.

“Ava’s gotten really big,” he said to me, and right then I knew. Oh, it’s that kid!

He’s somewhere between 11 and 32.

So, in reality, I guess I had the kind of Halloween most adults have who don’t work at a creative agency. I mean, I worked all day and handed out candy at night and The End. BUT I’M USED TO COSTUMES AND PARTIES AT WORK.

I gotta go. I’m slap in the middle of that project, and when you think of June today, and you will, think of me bent unergonomically over details. Deets. June checks the deets.

I know that seems scary in general, but when it comes to copy editing, I am stellar at the deets. Copy editing and stalking boyfriends: June is the deets master at those.

Okay, boo.

edz can come out nows?

You’re so already out, Eds.






It’s a pretty good crowd for a–oh, shut up.

steelee disgyze. you cannot see. …pay no attenshun to tale.

Right now, everyone is outside except for old Steely Dickly, here, and it occurs to me that if he were my only pet, I’d be miserable. He’s never HERE. He comes in to eat, maybe sleep with one gray arm strewn across his eyes, chew a few of my beloved clothing items, then leave for 17 hours again.

Also, that brick needs some sort of molding.

Speaking of pets who make me miserable, on Saturday, the trainer came to help me with Edsel.

Eds not shur

She’d asked me a litany of Qs re Eds and his charming personality before she got here, and then when she arrived, we talked about him some more. When I told her that Tallulah died a year and a half ago, tears pierced the backs of my eyes.

Did you ever have that happen to you? You’re perfectly okay-ish with something, but then you’re in a clinical setting 800 years later and you tell the fact of the matter and it hits you all over again? Anyway that was me Saturday.

“And she was our leader,” I said, hoping I would not need a Kleenex. All the women in my row at work, and I just made it sound like Cell Block H. Who can take a nothing show that lasted maybe one season in 1974 and drag that joke out for 40 years? Anyway all the women in my row at work have colds, and I convinced self I was getting it too, so I purchased an entire SIX-PACK of Kleenex, mostly because it was on special and also at the end of the aisle so I didn’t have to walk very far in, and why so hippy.

“She was our glue,” I told the trainer. “And while she’d BARK at other dogs, like a very angry chesty women such as myself, she’d never actually HURT anyone. And so when any dogs were at our house, no one was ever attacked …UNTIL she was gone.”

The trainer worked with Edsel for awhile and surmised that basically he’s a sweet dog who’s completely unqualified for the position of leader, and I will not make a presidential joke here, and see how mature? She said that while Tallulah was BORN for that position, Edsel’s basically “a huge chicken” who, because he is, overcompensates and blusters and I will continue to not make any references to anyone who may or may not be in the White House.

She said he really has to know he doesn’t have to BE in charge, that I do (I do?), and then she showed me ways to show him that.

Now, here is where I get uncomfortable. Because when I put his little picture on Facebook and a video of him being calm around dogs this weekend, I saw a lot of “tell us EVERYTHING” comments, and then I was all, Oh dear. Do I release the trainer’s state secrets? I mean, I just paid her a shit-ton of money for those.

IMG_0164.JPGSo I’ll …kind of tell you? Will that work?

Okay, so first of all, we yelled at him. I don’t mean I stood over him and told him all the things about this relationship that have bugged me all these years. But when he came near my food, he got a


a very sharp


that startled him, and let him know he was NOT MY EQUAL (he isn’t?) and that he can’t just, oh, have my yogurt any old time (he can’t?). Oh, he was stunned. He was a letter C, and basically he tried to hide INSIDE one of the wooden chairs.

This lead me to want to go hug him, and tell him he was a good boy, but it turns out that’s how I turned Edsel into the psycho that he is, and I have to be firm with him, yet still love him, and WHO THE HELL KNEW.

So after I’d let him know who’s boss (WHO IS THE BOSS, I THOUGHT IT WAS TONY DANZA), we went on a walk in order to see other dogs and really show Eds the old iron fist.

Lemme tell you something. It was a beautiful Saturday. It was a pretty good crowd for a Saturday, and that lyric has always bothered me, and I realize Billy Joel is a millionaire and I’m not, but what a dumb line. It’s right up there with “Like a knight in shining armor, from a long time ago.” Oh, thanks for the specificity, there, historian.


Anyway, my point is, it was a perfect Saturday afternoon in my dogged neighborhood, where every yahoo has a dog, and?

No one. It was like there was a dog strike. We couldn’t FIND a dog. Who did we have to fuck to find a dog around here? I even went to Ava’s house and knocked on the door to see if they’d bring her out, like bait. They weren’t home.


Finally, FINALLY, one woman had an ancient black Lab, and sure enough, Edsel whined like he always does, and the trainer

SNAPPED his two

TWO! (for safety, due to the come-with-me-and-escape-my-collar thing from last time oh my god PTSD)

leashes, said “HEY!”

and even squirted him with a squirt bottle. Oh my god, did he letter C. “Edz haff no idea. Edz totleee sorry. Do Edz need to rite letter to lab? He so will.”

I mean, he got submissive immediately. In the past, when he snarled at dogs, I screamed and yelled, but it never got through to him. I have no idea why.

After that, we headed to the park, in search of more dogs.


edz gets it! he do!

Y’all. He was  DREAMBOAT. I realize my ass is not what you’d call a dream, but it was a boat. Nor is that SWEATER anything to write home about STEELY DAN GODDAMMIT, but that dog.

IMG_0178.JPGDude, look at that. Two huge dogs over there, and there’s my dog. Oh, just strolling past. IT’S A GODDAMN MIRACLE.

1FA64514-33CD-4F37-AD1B-E4B9A2309E2F.jpgAfterward, he slept for 17 hours.

Yesterday I had to go buy a second leash and Dear Harris Teeter: If you’re thinking, “Oh, we’re good on our supply of leashes for dogs,” you’re deluding yourselves. I had to get him a RED leash, which has zero to do with his whole cool blues and seafoams look he has going with his Gentle Leader and Martingale collar, and I, for one, am aesthetically displeased. But we walked and walked, and for once I was DYING to see a dog, and WHERE THE HELL were all the dogs this weekend?

Finally, we saw his favorite thing, a puppy, and it was DYING to come see us, and Edsel put up his (considerable) ears and I HEY!‘d him, and SNAPPED the leashes and squirted him just once, and?

I was walking a letter C.

The next dogs we saw? Zero incident. And those people know from Edsel and me. I could tell they were surprised. “Is that dog unwell? Did she lobotomize him?”

So that was worth it. If you’re local-ish, I linked to her at the top of this, so if you ask me how to reach her, I will snarl at you like Past Edsel, and I wonder where he got his unpleasant personality.



P.S. I’ve been on Ritalin since Saturday. Having just read this without knowing that, can you tell at all? I can’t tell, but I will say this: RITALIN IS WONDERFUL. Oh my god I’m on the top of the world lookin’ down on creation.

Valley of the Dolls-ly,

June again

The People Who Must Look at June’s Nose

I just hit snooze for an hour, then when I finally did get up, I put my contacts in the wrong eyes. I don’t mean I woke up Vladimir Putin and put my contacts in his eyes. You know what I mean. Continue reading “The People Who Must Look at June’s Nose”

June goes back to work

I gave up having cable TV about a year ago, because basically I was paying $110 a month to watch Bravo. And while I DO miss the old movie channel (a LOT), I kind of like having Amazon Prime and also, way down the rung, Netflix. Continue reading “June goes back to work”