A few things. A few matters. Some housekeeping. Don’t you fucking hate people who say that? Is there anything you want to read less about than someone’s “housekeeping matters”? I mean, other than how little you want to hear the “let me back up” details.
I didn’t get to go to my work Christmas party. I had to work, like I was Cinderella. And all the powers that be said to me,”You’d better not stay here and work. We’d better see you at that Christmas party.” But I knew, in my heart of hearts, that I really had to get this thing done or it wouldn’t get done on time. I have to work on it today, too.
Then the next day I felt very sad for self, looking at people’s Instagram shots of our very lovely party at the lovely country club.
Alo, regarding my windfall from our last conversation/poll, June did something responsible.
[I’ll give everyone a moment to gather him- or herself.] [Like there are any hims reading this.]
When I get paid on the 1st, I use that paycheck to cover utilities, credit cards (fmr., as the only credit card I have now is the vet one, which, hello, keeps having a balance and why? Why, one wonders), the car payment, bullshit like that.
And why do I have to pay for electricity AND gas? Aren’t they the same thing, practically? Annoying.
Then the 15th, I pay my mortgage. Technically it’s due on the 1st, but they give you a “grace period” of the 16th. Why not just say it’s due on the 16th, then? I don’t know.
Anyway, I refinanced m’car recently, and they charge me less if I let them do an automatic withdrawal, and they insist on doing that on the 15th. So for several sad months now, my car payment and my mortgage come out of the same paycheck, leaving me with about 11 dollars that pay period.
So because I was flush this time? I paid my mortgage AND all my regular bills, to get myself out of that cycle, and now the first of the month will be sort of sad, but the 15th will always be really good, so I can save
save some of that flush-15th money to tide me over for the billsy 1st.
God, June, tell us more. Tell us about a couple housekeeping matters.
Who sent me this? Weeks ago this was on my doorstep, with treats for the pets and so on, and it was lovely, but no note.
And who sent me this? Came with a note about being glad I had a cyst, but no signature.
Whoever you anonymous gift-givers are, thank you!!
And finally, last night I started my end-of-the-year video, and even though I have 28 more days of this year, I am presenting it to you now, because really, what is going to possibly happen that I’ll need to include it in my veeeedeo? Hmmm? What?
Every time there’s a picture of a table, it’s from yet another date I went on that proved unfruitful. If you wanna see it full screen, click on the video’s title, and it’ll take you to YouTube where you can choose “full screen” in the lower right.
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.
Instead, Edsel dressed as banished-to-the-back-room guy.
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.
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.
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”→
7:33: OH MY GOD. SERIOUSLY? Scream out of bed, dash to shower. Wash hair.
We curly people don’t wash our hair every day. Many of us have a concoction we create in dollar spray bottles purchased at Target. The concoction contains water and lavender oil. Or water and conditioner. Or water and gel. Or water, conditioner, gel and flax seed. Or whiskey.
Some of us have had all of those iterations in our spray bottle from Target. We spray our hair, scrunch it, and go the whole day with our hair looking like shit.
Since I’d had Bernie from Room 222 hair all week, and current references for four decades, yesterday was an actual wash-and-start-over day.
7:45: Put hair in careful microfiber towel for curly people, make coffee, feed animals, go outside with Edsel to watch him pee, as is required by law, lest you deal with a dog who will not go outside ALL DAY, and who hovers near you underbitedly wishing it be tyme to go out and watch Edzul pee alreddy cause he relly haff to go.
7:50 Begin blogging.
9:01: OH MY FUCKING GOD HOW IS IT ALREADY–
9:02: Throw on anything, pop in contacts, pour more coffee, scream out door. Catch reflection in car mirror.
Hair still completely soaked.
9:05–9:11: Drive to work with sunroof open and all windows down. Get to work and glance in mirror.
Hair still completely soaked.
9:12: Turn on computer hurriedly, glance at boss to see if he’s absorbed in work and not noticing lateness (NEWS ALERT: Boss is always absorbed in work), begin five-article project you promised another team that you were supposed to start the day before but were too busy.
9:13: PING! New deadline assigned.
9:14: PING! New deadline assigned.
9:15: PING! New deadline ass–
WHAT THE FUCK.
At work, we have software that, once your part of the task is completed, you check off a box and the next person in line gets an automatic email saying it’s their turn and with a deadline for their part.
Often, for some efficient reason, these deadlines are mythical, so the person before you will then email you personally to say, “Really, this has to be done tomorrow at noon.”
9:16: PING! New deadline assigned.
9:17: PING! New–OH STOP.
Then I started getting the personal emails. Hey, June, don’t make it bad. Take a sad article, and make it better.
In half an hour, I had 11 new assignments. Eleven. I won’t get 11 in a week sometimes. Those were followed up by “These deadlines are legit” emails from the editor before me.
9:30–12:30: Begin work on the 11 new deadlines, ignoring the five articles you still have to do for the other team. Get one done.
12:31: Realize you haven’t peed. In bathroom, glance at self.
Hair is still completely soaked.
12:35–1:30: Drive home, let Edsel out, stand watching Edsel pee as is required by law, realize you’re standing blankly thinking about all that you need to do back at work. Eat something that’s 15 Weight Watchers points (Amy’s Organic 3 Cheese and Kale) because there’s no time to think about thawing a chicken breast right now and that 15-point concoction is right there smiling at you kale-ly from the freezer.
1:37: Return to work, begin slaving on those five articles.
2:09: Email, “Is there any way you can get those articles done early?
2:10: Email from another team: “Did you forget you were going to proof our presentation today?”
3:00: Party for leaving coworker. Everyone heads to conference room to celebrate, except you and your boss. Boss has as much and very likely lots more to do. You sigh, pound your hands on desk, throw head back in annoyance, swear, and at one point, glance over at boss. He’s calmly typing, absorbed in work.
3:11: During yet another dramatic sigh and head throwback, glance down at boss, who is typing and sipping water calmly, like he’s on a meditation retreat or something.
“HOW CAN YOU BE SO CALM?”
“I internalize everything,” says boss, never looking over at you and your still-soaking-wet hair.
‘That’s why you will have seven heart attacks one day.”
Boss finally looks over. “If you have so much to do, why are you talking to me?”
“What’s the point of you being the only person here if I can’t complain to you?”
3:12: Feel like boss is 100% over you.
4:50 p.m.: Person who asked if you’d do the five articles for her, and then if you can do them early, comes over. She is a good sort of a person. Have commiserative talk about how busy everything is, discuss who has cried at work today, smile wanly at each other and continue.
6:35 p.m.: Four of the five articles are done. Sure, there are the 10 others, and that presentation you forgot and have to do Saturday, but four of the five articles are done.
6:37: See The Poet in parking lot. Have commiserative talk. Realize Poet leaves every day at this time, then goes home and writes deep poetry. Realize Poet never once throws head back dramatically at desk.
6:40: Glance at self in mirror of car. Hair has dried into a ‘do not unlike Gene Wilder’s.
6:52: Plunk bag of carrots next to work computer (see above ref to 15-point kale) and begin freelance work.
8:30: Try to stop freelance work.
8:32: Feel too squirrelly about stopping now, when you could finish this whole project tonight.
8:52: Get email from woman at work who you did four our of five articles for. “I hope people tell you how much you’re appreciated.” Smile warmly at email. Coworker is good soul who never writes things like THANKS!! : ). Coworker writes in English. Coworker is bomb.
10:20: Finish current freelance assignment. Email Tank the Miracle Angel Baby, whom you’re working with on said freelance gig, to tell him. “That’s great!” he writes back. “We have one that’s five times as long as that one that we plan to get to you Tuesday.”
10:21: Mentally count dollars. Mentally tell self that if you can’t drive with broken back, at least you can polish fenders.
P.S. I forgot the good news, that at lunch, while I was staring blankly at Edsel, I also called my bank and set up a savings account, an account they will automatically add a certain amount to every 15th and 31st, an account I cannot access with my ATM card. Am practically Suze Orman. Plans to smile manically under corporate haircut and tell you all YOU can’t afford it, appearing forthwith.
Yesterday, I got up early to go to the allergy doctor. I hurried around, and tore over there to be on time, and when I got there, right at 8:00?
They were closed.
I walked up to the door and knocked. No lights on. They'd given me paperwork, so I opened it. "8:00," it read. I left the paperwork in their mailbox in a huff, and went home, annoyed. I could SEE my workplace from the doctor's office, but I'd taken the morning off and goddammit, I was sticking with that. If you don't need half a day off three weeks after Christmas, when do you need half a day off?
At 8:30, I called there, irate. Of course I'd called before then, and got the cloying, "If this is a true medical emergency, please hang up and dial 911."
Why don't you go fuck yourself? I HATE that condescending message. And also, what's with doctor's offices not letting you leave a goddamn message? What is this, 1972?
I also hate, "Please pay close attention, as our prompts have changed." YOUR PROMPTS HAVE NOT FUCKING CHANGED. SHUT UP.
The point is, I finally got someone. "Yes," I said, because I always start these things with"Yes…" I told the woman my woes, and she looked me up on her screen.
Name? I told her.
Date of birth? I told her.
Address? OH MY GOD JUST TELL ME WHAT'S UP.
Turns out my appointment is on the 31st. …yeah. I can remember the appointment lady saying, "How about Monday?" I remember it. I don't know what happened, there. And I even said back, "I'll see you Monday, then!" as I left.
Anyway, the good news is that because I had all that extra time yesterday, I found a freelance gig. They are planning to send me work already, a thing that Faithful Reader LaUral had something to do with, so thanks, LaUral.
This is good, because money? I'm hurtin'. During my year abroad I got all my credit cards and my car paid off, which was great, then I got here and Tallulah got sick and my car broke and hello, country song. Plus all my freelance work dried up, and it kind of saddens me that one has to take extra work beyond work to make ends meet these days.
But there it is, now I have some work, so good. Because my tank is on empty and I have $60 till January 31, which by the way is the day of my doctor visit, GOD. Everyone knows that.
In the meantime, my tenant, fmr., came over to work out again, a thing my cat, current, thoroughly enjoyed. That's why the Lily is a tramp.
We had to put old Obssessy McStalkerson, old Fred ASTARE, old Melanie Sniffeth, in the back room, because he is incapable of letting us be while we do Tracy. He down dogs, he rolls around, he sniffs us, he–OH MY GOD EDSEL. So he had a happy new year, in jail. That's only funny if you know It's a Wonderful Life by heart, and who doesn't?
It's nice to have someone hate Tracy with me. "Geez," Tenant, fmr., will say, as Tracy robotically lifts her leg in the same way for the 59th time and looks like she could do 100 more with no problem. Do y'all remember when I made Kaye do Tracy Anderson with me and she almost real-life unfriended me? Anyway, Tenant, fmr., will be here again Wednesday and not the 31st.
I have to go. I had a deal with myself that I'd read 200 books this year, and so far I've read a really dumb Terri McMillan book, a really dumb book I got out of the little take-a-book-leave-a-book library in our park, a book I realized when I was done is a trilogy and now I have to read the rest even though dumb. And now I'm reading a relationship book. I want to keep going on that one this morning before work.
It's really weird. I found the book in my closet–my closet I hardly ever go in. It's a new book, and I'd clearly starting reading it at some point because a page is dog-eared, but I don't remember buying it and I don't remember reading one single word of it.
I even looked in my Amazon emails to see when I got it, and nothing. I showed it to Tenant, fmr., and she didn't leave it here.
Anyway, it's exactly perfect for me. It's exactly the problems I had, and there are ways to fix myself, and I was tempted to contact Ned to say, THIS BOOK IS US. HERE'S HOW WE FIX IT. But (a), we're in a no contact thing for a reason and (2) I don't think he's ready to hear it. Clearly I wasn't when I first got this book. I don't recall one word of it.
It's called Facing Love Addiction, and it talks about the Love Addict/Love Avoidant duo and how they interact with each other, and why they are the way they are and the whole time I was reading it I was all, OH MY GOD! So now I'm at the back of the book where you have to do writing exercises, which I did last night after T,f. left, till my hand hurt.
So, that's exciting. Because between you and me, I was baffled that I could get into something so intense and dramatic and on/off like that. I mean, I did that when I was 22, but I figured well, I'm 22. I had no idea I was capable of something this insane at 51. I thought I'd grown out of acting that way. But clearly I haven't. I have been ashamed, really, of how all-consuming this relationship has been. If I were my friend I'd be so sick of me by now.
So it's good to have hope that I can maybe not do this again.