Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The call is coming from the house!!

BOO! Were ya scared? Did you need your Schlitz? Who is this trashy couple, having to get all drunk to carve a pumpkin? THERE'S a good idea. Let's drink beer and wield a sharp knife!

Do you think anyone, in the history of time, drank Schlitz from a glass?

So, here's something I hadn't thought of. Candy for Halloween. Not really a thing I am supposed to be purchasing. Or is it? The rule is, it can be bought at the grocery store if I cannot make it at home. Okay, yes, I could go out and buy candy molds and suddenly learn how to churn out the chocolate, but that would be way more of an expense.

I guess I will go out and buy regular candy. I do not know how to make miniature 3 Musketeers at home. Nor do I know how to make Circus Peanuts, which I detest, and therefore am going to buy so I do not eat leftovers.

When I lived in Seattle, I had two female roommates (if you read my blog comments, these roomates identify themselves as Sabrina Duncan and Master Instructor Susan Harris, which was the name of the aerobics instructor on the videotape we worked out to. Videotape. 1991 called), and Master Instructor Susan Harris would go buy Halloween candy on, like, October 1. You KNOW it would be gone by Halloween.

So EVERY YEAR we'd go out and buy another bag at three seconds to darkness on Halloween, so the poor children wouldn't starve.

Anyway, I am supposed to be editing something right now, and you can see my work ethic is as strong as ever.

Remind me to tell you how ABSOLUTELY SCARY AND CONFUSING the church secretary job is.

If you go to church, please take a moment to appreciate the person who wrote that bulletin. And if they forgot to mention someone's birthday on Sunday? GET OVER IT. Maybe the secretary had eight funerals to make bulletins for that week. That's all I have to say about that.

Everybody write in and tell me what the scariest movie is! I say The Exorcist, hands down, nothing scarier on earth, cannot even look at a photo of it. You?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Cold War

If I hadn't had cats all my life, and didn't know perfectly well they are soulless, empty devil creatures devoid of emotion, I would swear my cats have never loved me more. I was just on the toilet, folks, and Winston jumped on my lap and stayed there. You should have seen our bed last night. It was like we were having a cat orgy. Francis glued in between us on the pillow, Winston on my feet serving as feline slippers, for which I am eternally grateful.

It is cold. Coooooolllllld. It was like 30 last night. I have not seen 30 since, well, since I myself was 30. Before I had this toboggan run between my eyebrows. Before I had a full beard, like Pa Ingalls. Back when I was on the other side of 130 pounds. Back when my vision was maybe 20/30 instead of 20/300.

I just wanted to stick with the "30" theme. In reality, my vision is 20/400, which means that what you see at 20 feet away? It looks like it's 400 feet away for me. And now? My close-up vision is gone too. Hello, 40s! Thanks!

I just got back from the eye doctor. Can you tell? There is a doctor that comes into my tiny town twice a week. It took me one and a half minutes to drive to his office, and there was parking directly outside. The parking was free. This small-town living is not all bad.

Anyway, he told me what everybody tells me. Well, not everybody. The guy who bags my groceries rarely tells me this. But what he SAID was, now that close and far vision are both going, I have to either wear really wonky contacts that go near and far, wherever you are, I know that my heart will go on. (You're welcome.) Or, I could have Lasik surgery.

I have been toying with the idea of Lasik for a while now. I could perfect my far-away vision, then only use reading glasses when needed. It would be so much better. Everyone I know who has had it has loved it. And yes, I know there are horror stories. Someone's eyeballs fell out and now they look like Don Knotts or whatever.

I read depositions for a living for years. I have heard it all. I should technically be afraid of gas pumps, hazelnut coffee and rear-end collisions, too. But I am not.

So, please give me your opinion. I said medical necessities were viable expenses this year. Is Lasik viable? I am currently writing to you with two totally different contact ideas in my eyes. They are at war with each other. I have Begin and Sadat in my corneas.

Please be my Jimmy Carter.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hi-Ho, Silver Shoes!

Yesterday on this blog, I listed things I plan to buy as soon as next year begins. Kellie asked if I planned to buy shoes next year, and I told her that just last week my mother bought me a pair of cute plaid flats. She said, "Good, because I was tired of looking at the silver shoes."

You guys. Look at every picture above. Every time you can see my shoes in my blog, from July to the present, I AM WEARING THOSE DINGITY-DANGITY silver shoes!

Oh, it's sad. And look, here's what I wrote about the silver shoes in September:

I had to buy an emergency pair of $30 silver metallic flats in July, and can I tell you how I have worn the pee out of them already? They have little tears in the metallic. I'll bet I have worn them 70 of the last 90 days.

Clearly, from my very own turncoat blog, this was not an exaggeration. If Marvin Gardens had a remotely metrosexual bone in his body, he would have noticed and pointed it out. But he didn't.

Anyway, I am just saying. This not spending is not pretty. I know I could have worse problems in this life beyond silver shoes, but that doesn't make it un-bad.

In happier news, my pal stie, who is cute no matter what her kids tell her, has awarded me with the Blogging that hits the mark award. Thank you, stie! I wish I could award this right back to you! In fact, I do.

I would also like to award Frankie of Frankie Can't Relax. I love reading her blog. It is funny, it is sad, it is completely relatable. I can't help but wish her the best every time I read her. She's the kind of person you want for your best friend.

I also bestow this award to Dan at The Hawaiian O'Brien. I have so admired my friends Dan and Renee for chucking everything and going to Maui to live. It was a dream they had for a long time and they went off and did it.

They hated it. That is probably an exaggeration, but they ARE going back to LA. Turns out Maui? Pleasant to visit, not so easy to live on. But you know what? They TRIED it. They had a dream and they followed it through. I think that's the most important thing you can do in this life. Do the thing you think you cannot do.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Things I am Going to Buy January 1, 2008 at 12:01 a.m.

Okay, what'll be open then? Just my big bottle of Boone's Strawberry Hill or whatever I ring in the new year with. But as SOON as those stores open:

1. A book on World War II.

I know. Feminine. But the reason is that there is this Time Life book about island fighting that my grandfather is in. He was bored one day in like 1977, and found it at the library. (I am certain that "bored" meant he was about to drive an ax through my grandmother's head, but he would never, ever have admitted that.)

What kills me is he was so low-key about it. "Hey, I'm in one of those war books." He mentioned this at the end of dinner like a month later. I would have put up a billboard in town and stood in front of the book store dressed in my Marine outfit offering to autograph copies.

But the BEST part is that it's not just some boring soldier picture where he's standing in line looking militaristic or whatever. No. He is doing the JITTERBUG with some other (probably equally drunk) soldier, for a group of laughing ABORIGINES.

I am not making this up. And that is just so him, in a nutshell. He would do anything for a laugh, including posing with me and several mannequins in the middle of Jacobson's Department Store's fall display. (My grandmother was mortified. The ax was on the other foot at that point.)

2. A tape measure.

For anyone who actually reads this ridiculous blog, you know that I recently had to measure myself with an apron tie. It wasn't pretty for me or for the apron. Since next year I am doing a healthy living blog, I will need to capture these stunning measurements in a truer fashion.

Whenever Marvin Gardens and I dance to "Brick House," which as you can imagine is often, when they get to the "36-24-36, ow! What a winning hand" part I always sing, "36-32-40, ow!"

I delight myself every day.

3. A caliper.

Measures body fat. See above. No apron tie is gonna tell me that.

4. A SECOND pair of sweatpants.

I know. I'm livin' large.

5. A GOOD camera.

I want my blog photos to be better. I made the fatal mistake of asking my father, a former photographer who loves nothing more than comparing things before he purchases them, for his opinion on what I should buy. Good lord a-livin'.

After I awoke from the cyanide tablet I gave myself so I wouldn't have to hear about cameras anymore, I decided to buy one of the cameras Posy Gets Cozy touts on her blog.

See? No need for real relationships anymore! Just have cyberfriends! And do what the cyberfolk do!

6. Smashbox Photo Finish serum.

Makes you look perfect. I am out of it. I look less than perfect. I look like Keith Richards. Can't wait till January 1.

Stairway to Heaven

Do you think it's a bad thing that I told our minister, aka my new boss, that my favorite part of church was snack hour? (I had some biscuits with country ham, an egg salad sandwich with the crust cut off, and a really good cookie that may have involved Rice Krispies, but I cannot be sure.)

He said, "It's mine too" but he was probably being polite. Considering he probably spent all WEEK thinking up a SERMON and all. Again, that corporate ladder is mine for the taking.

I guess a church secretary job isn't all that corporate. I am more climbing the stairway to heaven. If there's a bustle in my hedgerow, I won't be alarmed, yeah.

As per usual, I met some lovely people at church today. Everyone is so nice! And they already know I came from LA, so that's convenient. Get that fact out of the way. I think they expect me to call them "dude" and ask their sign. Which of course I would like to know, but I can find out when I add their birthdays to the church bulletin.

In other news, my shower is very clean. Today I think I am going to cook something major for dinner. It is sort of cold out, and we have no free activity planned, so cooking always works. Last night it was so cold that two of our cats got under the blankets with us. They have never been chilly before, and I think they are confused. Winston seems to be walking around with his fur kind of puffed out. Like he's trying to put more distance between his skin and the world.

I guess that's all I have to say about our spend-free day. I am getting very excited about the health blog I am starting January 1, and I still ask for suggestions as to a name. It does not have to have "bye bye" in it, folks. But should I remain June Cutoff Cash? Should I become June Cholesterol Cash? June Cutoff Fat?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Born to Clean the Shower

Now, you see? Things could be worse. I could be Sting.

Ozzy Osborne said that. I can't help but love him.

But what I meant was, I could still be back in Los Angeles, unable to breathe. Like Marie Osmond.

I certainly have dropped a lot of names today.

Instead, I am here, in continually rainy North Carolina. Today we are going to clean the house. I am going to clean the bathtub in the way that a friend of dcrmom's told us about on her blog. You have no idea how excited I am to try this method.

Remember when I used to do things like go to bars and tie my bra on my head for excitement? Of course you don't. You have only ever known me as dull, spendless June. Well, trust me. Cleaning the shower did not used to be my weekend highlight.

Last night, we went to a free Halloween celebration at the planetarium. In the room where they show the stars and planets on the ceiling, they were showing The Twilight Zone.

The only problem with this is that I had never been to the planetarium before and I wanted to look at everything, including Bubba the black snake, who inexplicably lives there. But the girl running the whole show was dying to get us right in that room and make us watch The Zone right away. I'm all, "Hang on, sister! Let me look at Bubba, would you?" But you have to be NICE here because everybody KNOWS everybody, so the person I snap at at the planetarium ends up being the principal's daughter or something and then Marvin would get fired. Or whatever.

Anyway, it was a good version of The Zone -- and how annoyed are you that I keep calling it The Zone? -- and when it was over, we got a bag of candy. There were SweetTarts (my personal favorite), Hershey bars, bubble gum that immediately lost its flavor and a "Born to Recycle" tattoo.

Nothing says tough like a "Born to Recycle" tattoo.

I will let you know how the shower cleaning goes. I hope you can stand the suspense.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Has anyone seen my teeth?

Remember yesterday, when I still enjoyed life and was not beaten down by it?

So, I went out into that rainy-ass day to do all my car activities. I had a list from that annoying Marvin Gardens.

12:00: The car inspection place. It is at the top of my dreadful hill, with everything else interesting, in town. It's one of those cute old gas stations which is no longer a gas station. In fact, when Marvin told me where to get my car inspected, he said, "Go into town into that place that's no longer a gas station." So right there I knew.

All the real gas stations are on the busy street right on the edge of town. They all have gigantic food marts in them where one can buy boiled peanuts and surprisingly few Hostess products. (I promise I have never bought any treat from these food marts.) One of the fancy new gas stations has a neon sign that reads, "Clean bathrooms." Does this really bring people in who wouldn't come in otherwise? And really? Clean?

So I walk into the place, which has a tiny sign saying "car inspections." Advertising is not a priority here. Everybody just assumes everybody else knows where everything is, so there is little sign help.

It is like you'd expect the walk-in room of an old gas station to look. There are really, really cool old vending machines, a TV, a desk, and a huge notice:

We have found a set of teeth. Please ask us if you are missing

Other than that, the place is empty. I mean, there is literally no one there. Pretty soon, though, I see a man coming through the driving rain, holding a brown bag. This can only mean one thing: he went to the [insert town name here] Grill, the best restaurant on planet Earth.

"Did you go to the grill?" I asked him, holding open his own business's door.

"I sure did! Got me two barbecue sandwiches. Not supposed to eat 'em. Gonna eat 'em anyway," he said.

Loved him.

"I would eat there every day, if I could," I said.

"You wouldn't live many more days if you ate these barbecue sandwiches every day."

I stayed an hour, and we discussed his kids, his love life, grilling, his 1978 car that he loved, Las Vegas -- which he kept thinking I came from -- and why someone wouldn't notice their teeth were missing.

Somewhere in there, he put my car up on those rampy things and I think he blew the horn. Then he said my car passed inspection and charged me $9.

Now, look at all the time I have taken just telling you about the inspection. I still have the DMV, the license plate place that sells fruitcake and the world's hardest and most confusing secretarial job to get to. I will fill you in tomorrow, as my hands hurt from secretary-ing last night.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The One-Woman Band at June's House

It's rain rain raining. Which is good because (a) it never rains in California, the girls don't they warn ya* and (b) we are having like the worst drought in the history of time or something.

Sadly, however, I have to go out in my !!!!CAR!!! and run 72 errands. Marvin Gardens expects me to get my car inspected, get my North Carolina driver's license and get license plates. Geez, am I nothing but AVAILABLE to do these things? I have a hard-hitting secretarial job to get to today, too.

My hair is not going to look good in the license picture if it is raining. They will have to make the square bigger to fit my hair.

I wonder if you have to say how much you weigh here, like you do in LA. Cause I've been weighing "127" since I moved to California. Perhaps I will weigh "128" here, as I am 10 years older now.

Speaking of Marvin Gardens, which I wasn't but get over it, last night I was trying to look through Wisteria catalog (why do I torture myself? At the beginning of this year, all catalogs went straight to recycling. Plus also not to mention too, how did they FIND me again?) when Marvin came in and said he had to talk to me.

He looked very serious, like perhaps he was going to tell me he'd always been a Kennedy, a Jewish Kennedy, but was waiting 10 years to tell me to make sure I wasn't a gold digger. Or that he'd been a huge fan of Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance, all these years and was going to run off to join his troupe.

"I have a cold," he told me,with the solemnity of a Supreme Court Justice, "and I didn't sleep well while you weren't here. I need my sleep. Please do not disturb me now for any reason." And with that, he very dignifiedly went off to bed.

This is why I am an awful person. HOW BADLY did I want to find a way to wake him up? How MUCH did I wish I had a huge pair of cymbals and a matterhorn? I wanted to wait until midnight and jump on the bed, shaking him, to ask his opinion on who decided Jello needed fruit in it. Did it happen by accident, like the Post-it Note? Or did someone consciously do such an odd thing. Was it during the time housewives were given speed as diet pills? What did he think?

But I'll have you know that Good June took over, and I listened to the TV on low and shut the bedroom door and tiptoed around, giggling quietly at the idea of my matterhorn.

All right. I will try to do my 78 errands without hitting McDonald's.

*How terribly, terribly old am I? That was a song in like 1972. Probably no one reading this remembers it but me. I might as well quote Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay while I'm up.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Flush with stories

Really, I wish everyone thought they were as funny as I find my own self. When I was back in Michigan, I visited my friend Donna, whose family owns Remer Plumbing & Heating. There are many fun things on display in the store. Look at that cool selection of knob colors on the left, there!

Do you think Remer's will get a GIANT rush of business, thanks to my fascinating blog giving them a mention? Do you think they'll sue me for saying anything about them? Do you think they've figured out who peed in their display toilet?

Anyway, I just wanted to write and tie up my loose ends, as it were. I suppose saying "loose ends" next to a photo of me on the pot is not pretty.

First of all, I did end up buying the AP styleguide online. I really can use it all year, and I really can write it off, too. So I took the copy editor's test that the ad agency gave me, sent it in, they offered me $36,000 a year and I emailed them and said no thank you. Not because of the money (which would be like making $67,000 in LA), but because it's so far from home and I would have to get a studio apartment in Winston-Salem and that just seemed ridiculous.

Then as for my church secretary job, I begin training for it tomorrow evening. The current secretary is the town librarian, so we're doing it after she gets out of work. And for those of you threatening to call the minister and tell him sordid things about my past, I am sure he would not be so shocked. I can't be the first person to have stolen a Miller Light display from Ewald's bar.

Also, I keep forgetting to tell you that I spent whatever $9.99 and $11.99 added up are (I hope I don't have to do math at my church) to purchase cool old wooden chairs for our kitchen table. I found them at an antique store my mother is obsessed with. Everything there was cute cute cute. And I do think kitchen chairs are necessary. I know we could eat on the floor and pretend to be really into Asian culture or something, but please.

And finally -- unless you can think of something else I keep saying I'll tell you -- when my Aunt Mary was here, I took her to the Pee Dee Wildlife Refuge, of which I am enamored. Also it is free. Anyway, we walked around for a while, and I told her there was a drive one could take, too. So we went off on the rustic woodsy drive with Aunt Mary's rental car, only to discover a GIANT tree that had fallen in our path. Before I could even get my wits about me, Aunt Mary RACED out of the car and REACHED under the fallen log to lift it out of the way.

Okay, Jaime Sommers, I was not aware you had been in a parachute accident and received superhuman strength during your reconstructive surgery. Upon which muscle did Aunt Mary think she was going to draw upon to move a tree?

Secondly, hello, snake country! I remember telling my father I was scared of the snakes here and he jokingly said, "Just don't move a log real fast." What was his own sister then doing?

Needless to say, Aunt Mary was not able to roll a tree, so I had to get out of the car and direct her, going BACKWARDS on these TINY TWISTY roads, all the way to the entrance. You can tell this was stressful because I used all capital letters.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Road trip for $68

Why does all hotel soap smell the same, yet no other soap on earth smells like hotel soap?

I am back from Michigan; I have officially reclaimed my car back from my mother. I have also attached a nice photo I took of Gus, my mother's dog. It would have made more sense to have it in last time, but I didn't have my fancy "putting pictures on the computer" equipment.

My little Bug and I got reacquainted through Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. I am over the U.S. Didn't I just drive through California, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee like two months ago? Enough already. Am I running for president? Geez.

So, my mother packed me all kinds of food (turkey sandwich, apple, two kinds of chips, Vernor's, chocolate chip cookies, that blueberry pie she kept trying to get Big June and me excited about) and I ate those throughout the trip. I went to the Best Western in Ohio last night, and there was a free breakfast at the restaurant next door, so I had that this morning (had me some nutritious biscuits and gravy, with equally heart-healthy home fries. What heart attack?).

And did you know it is cheaper to pay for your hotel room in cash? I did not know this fact. Therefore, excepting the price of gas (which totalled $49), the whole trip cost $68 for my hotel room. I had such a terrible migraine last night that I didn't eat dinner. I highly recommend getting one as a diet plan.

Good gravy, I was sick. These stupid migraines come in waves. Did you know I get migraines? There is even a name for people like me: migraneur. Isn't that ridiculous? Wouldn't you just want to smack someone if they said to you, "I am a migraneur"? Migraneur. It sounds like I should have a woman's torso and goat legs or something. Migraneur.

Anyway, all this being ill and eating biscuits and gravy and driving 810 miles got me to thinking. Maybe next year, my blog could be all about me trying to become healthier. Because seriously? Other than, say, Sid Vicious, I am the unhealthiest person you know.

I could try different things each month: green tea, exercise, meditation, vegetarianism. And at the same time, I could continue to ramble off the topic like I always do. Wouldn't that be fun?

At the side of the blog, I can put my measurements and my body fat and my cholesterol and stuff. Oh, won't this be exciting! Can anyone think what to call it?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Only You

It's Sunday night, and we are back from the woods. There was much walking and stick-throwing for the dog, and general communing with nature and crispness.

My mother had a paint-by-numbers picture up there, and I spent 73,000 hours working on it. It is supposed to be the kind of thing that anyone who comes to visit the cabin gets to work on, but that annoyed me. After the 47th hour, this painting was mine. I did not want any yahoo up there messing up the cardinal or the light in the window.

I am an only child, did I mention that?

And actually, speaking of which, I would like your opinion on this scenario. Please note that I have to tell you that I bought chairs for our kitchen table and my mother bought me clothes and SHOES, but first I wanted to ask about this.

My mother has a cousin, also an only child, who has the same name as me. Ever since I was born, this poor cousin has been "Big June" while I got to be "Little June." If I were her I would hate me.

At any rate, Big June and her husband also came to said cabin on Saturday. They walked in. We said our hellos. The men went outside to move a boat or some manly thing. Big June found a photo album and started looking at it. I was maybe seven feet away, painting my paint-by-numbers kit. For a lovely three minutes, we did this.

Me: [Paint paint paint.]
Big June: [Peruse peruse peruse.]

All of a sudden my mother came in, chatting like a magpie. "Have you two looked at that lake? And those colors! You should have seen it this morning! It looked like the trees were on fire! Oh!"

Me: [...paint paint paint...]
Big June: [...peruse peruse peruse...]

After a minute or two, my mother came back in, this time from the kitchen. "We have pie! Do either of you want pie!? It's blueberry! It has real filling! There's coffee! Do you want to walk down by that lake? I'll be outside if you want to walk down there."

She left, and after a while Big June, never looking up from her album, said, "She wants to talk."

"I KNOW," I agreed heavily. We were appalled at this idea. It was as if my poor mother, who just wanted to converse with her out-of-town daughter and her guest, had suggested we all strip naked, make bikinis out of metal Jello molds, and plunge into the icy lake.

"I think this is an only child thing," I told Big June. My mother comes from a loud family of five.

So, is that it? Are we happy to be silent together because we have no siblings? Are there people from giant loud families who also enjoy their quiet time? Does quiet time equal "we aren't having fun" for you? Or are Big June and I just huge bitches?

I would like to hear from people on both sides of this family fence.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I guess "down South" is just as bad...

Last night, I sat around the dinner table with my family, and everyone who was a blood relative gave an example of a time they threw something heavy at a loved one.

Seriously. There was a screwdriver -- which I guess is not heavy, just dangerous -- a wooden paddle, a beer bottle (that one was me)...then my poor uncle, who married into the family said, "I threw a dishrag at your aunt once." Okay, wimp. Be a real man!

Isn't it nice to come home and realize you're totally screwed thanks to your genes?

I am still here in Michigan. Today we are going to my mother's place in the woods. People in Michigan call this "Up North," which I have a problem with. North is always up.

I did not spend any money on day one of my vacation yesterday. We went to a huge antique store in town, where I came across my high school yearbook -- which is making me feel young, having it appear in an antique store -- but I did not purchase it. Even though there are five photos of me in said yearbook, including two with old boyfriends who I bounced back and forth between throughout my entire high school experience.

One friend used to say he could tell what season it was based on my current boyfriend. Apparently I dated one in spring and one in fall. Aunt Mary has seasonal jewelry, I had seasonal men.

Yesterday we also drew names for Christmas, as a bunch of us are going to Wisconsin to my cousin Katie's. I drew Katie's name, and Marvin Gardens drew my stepfather's name. You have no idea what a coup this is for us. These are the two people who will actually be glad that we have to make them something. They are both deep and profound. As opposed to me, who throws beer bottles and wants an emerald for Christmas.

I will be without a phone or computer all weekend, so I hope you all have a lovely few days. Do not do anything interesting while I'm gone, as I will not be able to read or talk to you about it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

In Saginaw, Michigan (Saginaw, Michigan!)

I am typing you from the basement of my mother drinking coffee out of a mug that reads, "60 years/Ready for Anything" which if you ask me is probably untrue.

I am not literally inside my mother, like Slim Goodbody, rather I am in the basement of her HOUSE. I was just picturing what it'd be like to have to live down here if I ever got divorced. It's kind of cozy. There is a piano and a sink.

Now, before I get off on a tangent about something, namely not spending at an airport, I want to tell you that I am very flattered to have gotten a writeup in the following:

Apparently this is a high-falutin' site where they find writers they like and say nice things about them, which they did for me today. Thank you, Readers and Writers Blog! I feel fancy. I never think of myself as a writer. I think of myself more as a narcissist.

And by the way, if anyone remembers back in early August when my mother typed a post for me while I dictated over the phone, I logged onto my blog here to find she never signed out. So all this time she totally could have been hacking in. If she had computer knowledge (perhaps she could be 60 and ready to learn computer things), "PAM IS HOT!" would have been pasted into all my old posts every third paragraph.

MAKE LOVE NOT WAR! See? She did it again.

I must go get ready for the onslaught of relatives who will be parading in for the showing that is me in my glory, and I realize I just made it sound like everyone was attending my funeral, but I did want to write in and assure you I did not even LOOK at the oh-so-tempting book and magazine store at the airport. I brought my own book from home, one I have read 47 times, and I was perfectly content.

Okay, I can't stand it. I have to also admit to you that I had a bad headache and spent $3.10 on a small latte from Starbucks while I was there. I needed caffeine. It was medical. Sue me. I cannot spend anything anymore without picturing all of you shaking your heads in disappointment. Cut it out.

I know I have left you twisting in the breeze re my job/stylebook decision, and someone has mentioned I never told you about the disaster at the nature center (Aunt Mary, do you want to tell about it in the Comments?) and I certainly need to make fun of that bustling Tri-City Airport here in Saginaw, Michigan. But all of that must wait for another day.

OUR AIRPORT IS LOVELY! (there goes hackin' mom again)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Oh, snap!

I am trying to type around the 15-pound, stripy body of my cat, Winston. He is glad I am home. I had the nerve to be gone for two hours at garden club.

In case you're thinking, "Funny. June never mentioned her love of gardening" (for some reason this just reminded me of the movie Airplane. "That's funny. Bob never vomits at home." Oh, that movie makes Pepsi come out my nose.) that would be because I have no love of gardening. I suck at it.

I always want to be one of those people who have lovely flowers in their yard, who can't wait to get out to the dirt. Instead, I go every year and spend $11,000 on pansies and Johnny Jump-Ups (which may actually be a fancy word for pansies, but whatever) and peonies and all sorts of things, only to murder them painfully by July. My picture is up as a Most Wanted at the plant post office.

Obviously, there was no purchasing of doomed pansies and such this year. But someone asked me to join this club and I said okay.

Actually it went more like:
Athletic, no-nonsense older woman in straw hat: "You'll join our garden club."
Me: "Oh, I'm terrible at gardening."
No-nonsense: "I'll pick you up at 9:45 Wednesday."

So, we gathered at the oldest home in our town, which is now a lovely museum. There were 9 million vats (or are they called flats? Or are flats just shoes? Again, whatever.) of pansies, snapdragons (which the women all called "snaps." I have to learn the lingo) and large, scary gardening equipment.

There were maybe 20 of us. Everybody was dressed for gardening, yet somehow managed to look adorable. I don't think I've told you how well-dressed people tend to be in the South. There is not a lot of trendiness -- I no longer have to look at 58-year-old women rockin' the sleeveless mini, and I mean you, Farrah Fawcett -- but everyone always looks very...neat.

We ate, and we stood around in the backyard of this lovely 1700s home, and everyone looked tidy and cute, and I thought, "I like this garden club! I'm gonna have some more ham on a biscuit!"

It was then that the woman who drove me there started barking the orders. I will try to capture her accent.


You have never seen genteel, embroidered t-shirted women move so fast. Suddenly wheelbarrows, enormous clippers and potting soil was everywhere. We apparently go to each public site: the library, courthouse, etc. and do all the gardening.

And we are not talking about just a little digging and weeding. Sister, I PULLED enOURmous vines of kudzu and ivy out of the ground. I sawed, I clipped, I sweated like the manual laborer that I was. And if you think they just used me because I was the spry young 42-year-old, you are so wrong. These women were way better than me, out there in the hot sun, sawing and gossiping.

In two hours, this town looked glorious. It really was satisfying to see all the weeds gone and the kudzu cut back for the next four minutes until it grows again. And I got to work out and eat for free!

Garden Club rocks.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Should I Buy It?

Let me recap for anyone just tuning in.

For 15 years, I lived in big cities. Big big big. There were cabs and trends and people with silly-colored hair. There were dogs named Steve and people named Apple.

Then two months ago, we moved to the middle of nowhere. There is one restaurant. There is no book store. Everyone has the same area code. There are about three last names total.

This is what I thought I wanted, until I got here and realized going to the middle of nowhere? When you want a nice weekend to relax? Great. LIVING in the middle of nowhere? Where there are no sidewalks or poetry slams or secret clubs with no sign that you have to just be cool to know exist? Not so great.

And I hate poetry slams.

So last week I had a job interview at an ad agency, doing pretty much the same thing I did back in LA. Of course, the ad agency is two hours from my front door, in a real city.

I had pretty much decided I was not going to take the job, when today they sent me a copy editing test. Which is kind of insulting when you've been a proofreader/copy editor for 10 years, but still. They have to make sure I am not an impostor.

Here is my dilemma. I can take the test and just see what kind of money they offer me after I pass the test. Fine. So I waste an hour of my day. Who cares? The PROBLEM is, if I take this test, I have to go online and spend $25 for an online style guide. I have 12 million style guides here at home, but this ad agency uses a style I don't have.

(A style guide is not a book about hem length and whether patent leather is okay. It is something proofreaders use to determine whether it is correct to say 2 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. Different style guides have different rules about this. 2 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. can cause proofreaders to cut each other.)

So do I spend the $25? If you are REALLY just tuning in, you should know that I am not supposed to be spending extraneous money through the rest of this year.

Now, I could use this style guide for my freelance work, and I could write off the purchase. But really, I am spending $25 to take a test that will lead to a job that there is a 90% chance I will say no to. Unless they offer me $60,000 a year.

(For those of you in, say, New York, I know you are thinking, "$60,000 a year? Why is that your cutoff point? Because you can stay on welfare and have two incomes?" Actually, snotty New Yorker who I already resent and you do not even necessarily exist, $60,000 here is equivalent to nearly $120,000 in Los Angeles. So shut up.)

Okay, so help. What do I do? Do I take the test and buy the style guide? Do I email the ad agency and tell them I have a fancy job here in this town as a church secretary and forget you? Do I call them and say, "This is not worth my time unless you tell me I get 60k. Will I?" And I will actually say "k" just to be annoying.

What say you?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sorry, wrong number

Here is what happens in Los Angeles when the phone rings and you see a number you don't recognize on your caller ID:

You: Hello?
Person on phone: [silence] [Click].

Sometimes you get a friendly person.

You: Hello?
Person on phone: ....Mohammad?
You: Oh, you must have the wrong --
Person on phone: [Click].

Here is what happens in Teeny Town, North Carolina when see you a number you don't recognize on your caller ID:

Marvin Gardens: Hello?
Person on phone: What'chu doin'!?
Marvin: Um. I think you have the wrong number.
Person on phone: What!? Well, how you doin'? Who is this?
Marvin: Well, who is this?
Person on phone: This is Miss Edith Pickle. What'chu doin'?! Who is this?
Marvin: Again, I think you have the wrong number. This is Marvin.
Edith Pickle: Marvin who? Marvin Johnson?
Marvin: Marvin Gardens. You must have dialed --
Edith Pickle: Well, I was looking for Marvin Johnson.
Marvin: Yes. Well, this is Marvin Gardens, so --
Edith Pickle: I was calling to see how Virginia was doing. How is she, have you heard?

Honest to God, I have never heard Marvin talk on the phone for a longer period of time, to anyone, not even me, and we DO NOT KNOW EDITH PICKLE. Well, we do now.

Virginia is doing great, by the way.

Update on Churchy Job

So, I am now the official secretary at the Episcopal church. I work 16 hours a week, and I set my own hours. I think I'll go in 9-12 each weekday (1 p.m. on Friday) and then go home and do my Los Angeles proofreading.

Now naturally, today when I got home from meeting with the minister, I got an email from the place I interviewed last week, saying they are very enthusiastic about me and they are sending me a proofreading test.

Good gravy.

And in case anyone was worried, I am not really going to buy sweater sets for my new job. I will wear my old, crappy faded outfits until January 1st. But in January 2? Sweater purchases galore!!

Not only is church free, apparently they pay you.

I went back to church yesterday. And I may have gotten a job from going.

No, I am not going to become a nun.

As the -- what would you call it? The ceremony? The show? The SERVICE! -- service ended, once again people came over to talk to me as though I were a celebrity. And does this town kill me at all? One woman said, "I hear you're going back to get your car this week!"

And you are...?

For some reason, it doesn't bother me that everyone is up in my grille. I do have a blog, after all. You all know it when I scratch my watch or wind my ass.

After I signed autographs and worked the crowd, I was on my way back to those snacks when the minister asked if he could talk to me. Seems the church secretary quit and he heard (of course) I'd had an interview this week, so was I interested?

So, in an hour and a half, I am going to CLIMB the HILL and go talk to him. This kills me. I love the idea of being church secretary. I mean, if it's full time, I can't do it, as I am still working part time and charging a fortune to LA clients. But if it's 20 hours a week?

I am so getting sweater sets in every color, and also cat-eye glasses with sparkles on the sides. Don't think I won't. I am going to be just like that annoying secretary in the Mitford series, who says "peedaddle" all the time.

Perhaps I should remember that it is called a church service if I take this job.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Tonight we are having Mr. H. over for dinner. And by that I do not mean that we are having our dead cat, Mr. Horkheimer, for dinner. Although technically we are, as his ashes are still on our dining room hutch.

Mr. H. is one of Marvin Gardens' co-workers, another teacher at the school. I did not want to type in his real name, lest children Google him and find this blog, and then one day Marvin Gardens will go to work and all the kids will be calling him Marvin Gardens. Which does not command respect, really.

"Hi, Marvin Gardens!" which will inevitably lead to "Hi, B&O Railroad!" "Good morning, Community Chest!" You can see it will go nowhere good. Why do you people have kids, again?

When we moved here from Los Angeles two months ago, we donated our kitchen table to charity, as it was decidedly wobbly. Which I know does not seem kind. "Here are our dregs! Move forward, unfortunate person! Prosper!" But the charity assured us that the table was still good.

So we lived here for the first six weeks with no eating table whatsoever, relegating all meals to the living room, where we ate during Reba. This led to crumbs on the couch and eventually ants.

A few weeks back, we found the coolest 1950s Formica table, which we bought, as some sort of table seemed a necessity. But what we didn't buy were chairs. When we want to eat at the table, we drag this computer chair in, and a chair from another desk elsewhere in the house.

But now we are having an actual third human at the house. This will mean that we will either have to pull up the rocking chair, so I will have to be Granny on the Beverly Hillbillies during dinner, or we'll have to bring in one of the lawn chairs from outside. Which does not look insane at all.

Maybe I can be one of those women who never sit down during dinner. I could keep pretending that I have to jump up and check on the lasagna. Or I could say in our culture, the woman eats after the men do.

Alternatively, I could act like I'm too angry to come to the table. I could cross my arms over by the sink and huff. Or I could sit in Marvin's lap the whole time, and gaze at him like I'm Yoko Ono.

Fortunately, Mr. H. is like 22 years old or something. Probably most of his friends don't have a real dining room table and chairs. Perhaps he expects more from a couple in their 40s.

But maybe he is just excited about the free lasagna.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Return of Saturn and Marvin G.

Today is the 11-year anniversary of dating Marvin Gardens the second time. We dated in college. Then we broke up. For 10 years. Then 11 years ago today, we saw each other again and we got back together and got married and he dragged me to a teeny tiny town in North Carolina. The end.

I am coming off a three-day migraine, and have not gotten dressed today, much less done anything nice to celebrate our 11-year anniversary of dating the second time, but Marvin got me a card at WalMart and put $5 in it. He wrote, "Go crazy." So wooo! I get to blow five bucks!

Cards are verboten, by the way. Marvin totally broke the rules. But it's only once in a lifetime that you get to celebrate dating the second time.

My beloved blog pal at Fully Operational Battle Station sent me a you-know-we-don't-know-what-the-word-meme-means meme. Somebody recently gave the definition of "meme" in their blog recently, but I have blocked it out already. Anyway, here we go.

Jobs I’ve Had:
1. Making boxes in an old morgue.
The boxes had nothing to do with the morgue, they were boxes that someone was eventually going to put presentation materials in. I think they just rented the morgue because it was there.

2. Bartender at a health food restaurant.
Which always seemed incongruous.

3. Editor of those horoscopes in a tube.
You know those little horoscopes? In the clear plastic tube? They're like a buck and you can buy them at the checkout stand at 7-Eleven or the drug store? Yeah. Edited those.

They did my astrological chart before they hired me. When I quit, they said the reason things were crappy at the office was because the office was in its Saturn return. I said, "Saturn may be returning, but I'm not."

4. Public relations person at a woman's clinic.
No, seriously. I had to PROMOTE gynecological procedures. "Our pregnancy tests are better than theirs!" I mean, what are you supposed to say?

Places I’ve Lived:
1. Saginaw, Michigan
2. Seattle, Washington
3. London, England (Okay, for a summer. But still.)
4. Los Angeles, California

Food I Love:
1. Chocolate-covered strawberries
2. Flautas with guacamole
3. Thai chicken with spinach and peanut sauce from Thai Siam in Seattle
4. Turkey, dressing and mashed potatoes. Oh, with corn.

Websites I Visit:
1. (because I'm deep)
2. (he is the funniest man ever)
3. craigslist (I like to apartment hunt in other countries. Try it!)
4. (I can still dream of spending.)

Places I’d Rather Be:
1. Hanging with Laura Ingalls Wilder in 1890
2. Watching wild gorillas in Africa
3. Go-go dancing at the Whiskey in 1966
4. Dancing in my flapper getup at some illegal gin joint in 1920

Movies I Love:
1. Say Anything
2. It's a Wonderful Life
3. Love, Actually
4. When Harry Met Sally

TV Shows I Watch:
1. Reba
2. The People's Court
3. Reba
4. Commercials before Reba begins (God, I miss cable)

People I Tag:
Oh, listen. If you want to do it, do it. I don't want to force anyone. Like Tee or Our Lady of Perfection. No, sir. Not you guys. Not Kellie. Nope! That'd be wrong. And I would never pick on jtcosby. Absolutely not.

Karma is Foor Me

Do you see this rather tasteless photo? This is what comes up if you Google my real name. This is what they pulled out to show me at my interview yesterday.

Why couldn't it be a picture of me saving kittens or singing to orphans? I had to be making fun of some dead guy. Somewhere, Mr. Foor is having the last laugh.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

June spends $84

Yesterday morning, I was sitting here minding my own business -- actually I wasn't. One of my freelance jobs is to read legal documents, so I was minding everyone else's business -- when the phone rang. It was a fancy ad agency in Winston-Salem, wondering if I'd like to come in for an interview.

All I know is I had nothing to wear to this interview. I was a freelancer for years, and at my last job, you could wear whatever you wanted. I pictured myself going into the interview in my one pair of (pink) sweatpants and my Saginaw Valley Tshirt.

In the closet, hanging mournfully, were an old pair of black pants that were from a suit I wore to an interview in 2002, a place where they hired me and I worked for a day and three hours because it was Hades in a high rise. The pants would. not. button. I think they shrunk at the dry cleaner's. That's my theory.

So I had decided to wear the really brown, wintery outfit I had worn to a fancy interview I had had back in January, even though it is 90 degrees here. I would look like I was a meth addict throughout the interview, or maybe they would think I was just really excited about the job and perspiring with drive.

Then yesterday, on my way to read to Miss Lilly, I popped in to this ridiculous clothing store in town. Fred Segal it is not. And do you know I found the cutest suit? Either I am forgetting what fashion is, or I got a deal. It is a gray/blue color, which looks good with my eyes, and the jacket ties rather than buttons. It was $84. Folks, I bought it.

Today I got up at like 2 a.m. to drive Marvin to work, so I could have our one car. Seriously, you guys, I had no idea how early that man had to get to work. It was pitch black outside. I felt more like I was taking him to the ER than work. I actually saw an older woman, in curlers, out power walking. In the total darkness. You have to hand it to her.

Other than my new $84 suit, I look insane. I have not had a manicure, facial or a wax of anything in 10 months. I look like the caveman on the Geico commercial.

The other thing is, thank God I have McDonald's gift certificates left over from my pal Rosie Papaya. Because if you think I want to also worry about what to pack in the car that is nonperishable, you are not thinking right.

Okay, here I go.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Support can be Beautiful



Frankie is right. I promised I would tell you about measuring my own self with an apron, and I am a woman of my word.

For many, many years, in fact the first 27 years of my life, I was terribly skinny. My grandmother thought I had a worm. People used to say, "You're so small, if a big gust of wind came, it'd carry you away" which resulted in a phobia of wind that is a whole other blog entry.

Suffice it to say, I was not large in any way.

Then one day in my 27th year, I was having dinner at the home of this gay couple I knew. I point this out only to explain that they actually had a bathroom scale, being self-respecting, body-conscious gay men and all. Me? The only scale I got on was this big loading scale outside the museum where I worked. I always weighed 113, 117, maybe, so who cared.

Well, I got on Jeff and whatever-on-earth's-Jeff's-partner's-name-is, and I can't believe I forgot, and I weighed (dun dun dunnnnnnnnnn!) 134.

After this surprise, I also discovered that I really could no longer go braless. And I discovered the Victoria's Secret pushup bra. Hello!

Oh, weighing 134 was exciting. Suddenly I had a girlish figure! And I was not subtle about it, with those pushups. I would have just worn pasties to work if I could have gotten away with it, I was so thrilled to be ...curvy, as they say.

Ten years and pounds later. I am home, freelancing, wearing my pajamas. It's a hot day, and I think, "What is resting on my ribcage?" I was startled, just as I was startled years before on that scale, to discover what was resting was, well, my bosoms.

All of this is to tell you that circumstances have changed for me in that area, and I guess I have made it evident that I apparently pay no attention to myself until something dire happens and I say, "Hey! I weigh a real amount" or "Hey! I need to lift and separate!"

Well, what is bugging me lately is, "Hey! My brassieres are uncomfortable ALL THE TIME." I suddenly feel like I am wearing a corset, or that a boa constrictor is curling around my midsection. So I think I may be wearing the wrong size undergarment. Nothing gets past me. I'm a regular Sherlock Holmes, over here.

So imagine my delight when I saw on my Google homepage, under the "How to" section, "How to measure your bra size."
"This is it!" I thought. "I can measure myself and figure out what size I really need, and perhaps I can breathe out again!"

The directions tell you to get a tape measure and measure in two different places, then you do this adding and subtracting and all sorts of terrifying things that I am bad at.

Well, we have no tape measure. Why would we ever need one? We do not sew. We are not entering Miss America. It has just ever come up. Now, if I were BUYING things, I could zip on over to the evil WalMart and get me a tape measure. What are they, a dollar? But nooo.

So I pace around the house, frantically. There must be SOMEthing I can drape around myself, then measure that. Why is there nothing drapey in this house!? What about the hose? Would the neighbors talk? Why don't I own any ribbons? Or scarves, decorative scarves?

Finally I alighted on my apron, the strings hanging innocently on my kitchen door. Ripping it off the knob, I headed into the bedroom with its full-length mirror, and draped it around me, digging my thumbnail into the string to mark my place, so I can then get a ruler and measure. Okay. Now I just have to find our ruler, and measure how long that piece of apron string went.

WHERE is the ruler!? I KNOW we have a long, what are those called? YARDSTICK! I know we have a yardstick! Shirtless, digging my nail into an apron string, I tear up the house one-handed, looking in every closet and cupboard. How do you lose a YARDstick? It is THREE FEET LONG.

I finally find a 12-inch ruler in the desk. At this point I have made a permanent dent in that apron string. I do my measuring, and apparently I am a 32FFF.

You see? You don't need to spend money on a useless tape measure! This not spending is fun! Really!

Being Episcopalian is Free

I am in the Bible Belt, let's face it.

Here, people are forever asking us, "What church do you go to?" Um. None. First of all, Marvin Gardenstein is Jewish, and if you think there are any whatever-Jewish-churches-are-called around here, you are sadly mistaken. And I was raised by Godless hippies, so I have never been a churchgoer.

Technically, though, that is not true. My parents, the Godless hippies (my mother is now very active in her church. I feel I must clarify this before she shoots off an angry reply in the Comments section, providing she can figure out how to send a comment), wanted me to live in an integrated neighborhood, which was fine until eventually I was the only white kid in my public school and all the other kids (rightfully) resented the hell out of my middle-class, white self and started beating me up every day.

Enter the Lutheran private school in my neighborhood. I went there from third through sixth grades, attended church each Wednesday morning and any time the children's choir was requested to appear. Which by the way included funerals. I was 10 and attending like two funerals a week or something.

So I was a churchgoer for four years, and to this day nothing comforts me more than a church rec room. I have all sorts of happy memories of waiting there for Christmas or Easter pageants to begin, the smells of the heater and coffee and winter coats.

At any rate, at the top of our horrid hill on our street is a beautiful Episcopal church, built in 1834 (above is a photo of it which includes horrifying snow). I always like coming to it because it is so pretty and because it means I am done climbing that hill. I thought about going to it one Sunday, but felt weird about it.

Then last week, not one but two members asked me to come this Sunday. And do you know we had the best time? Everyone was so nice to us, and the sermon was so interesting! He talked about The Wizard of Oz, Mark Twain and Mother Teresa. I'm telling you, this minster was fascinating.

And why did no one tell us there was food? Afterwards, you go into the recreation room -- my favorite place -- and have coffee and delicious snacks. Had anyone told me snacks were involved, I'd have visited much sooner. We were surrounded by the nicest people at that snacky social.

Someone even offered Marvin a biscuit with country ham. I got far away from him at that point, certain he was going to be struck down. Yes, Jewish husband standing in an Episcopal church, please have some HAM now. See you in the afterlife.

So, I think I will go back. Alone. Safer that way.

To recap the weekend: Friday night, free homecoming parade. Saturday, free German festival. Sunday, church (although I did put two dollars in the basket; it was all I had. How much are you supposed to put in there?) and later Sunday, a free pumpkin patch visit, which is a whole 'nother blog entry. Now, I know this was not dinner at 21 and dancing at -- whatever counts as a fancy place to dance. It was not a weekend in the Hamptons. But still, free, fun, and including country ham. What more do you need?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Marvin Gardens + Michael Jackson = TLA

Okay, here is the link to one of Marvin's 14 sites (who loves himself long time? And thinks we all want to hear every detail about his life?), wherein he tells the "I worked for Michael Jackson" story.

Some of you said you wanted to hear it. And speaking of assuming people want to hear all about one's life, tomorrow I will tell how I tried to determine my bra size using an apron. By now I have built it up so much (so to speak) that when I finally tell it, it will fall flat (again, so to speak). Maybe I'll write it from my wireless! BA! Ha ha ha haaaaaaaaa....

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Achtung, Baby Puppy

After last night's free and oh-so-fun orange-shirted homecoming parade, how could today have gotten any better? Oh, perhaps with a free German festival in South Carolina.

You must understand, I am from Michigan. Every single person in Michigan is 100% German. They kick you out if you are not. There are glockenspiels, there is lederhosen, everyone is extremely on time, and I will leave the Nazis out of this.

To put it in a nutshell, Michigan? German German German. Oh, and everything is a haus, not a house. One of my friends got her bridal gown at The Wedding Haus. No, I am not kidding.

To go to South Carolina to see a German festival, I had some pretty high standards, here. I was expecting Eva Braun and Goethe and Heidi Klum to be there, popping out of cuckoo clocks. So you can imagine my surprise when there was barbecue and shaved ice stands. And some of those towels that have knitting on the top, so you can button them to the fridge.

Where were my GERMANS? My PEOPLE in the HAUS?

There was not even an oompah band to be seen.

The only good news is that there were puppies there, who were up for adoption. Oh, they were sweet. They were mixed breed puppies from a rescue place. And you know what I was thinking? I was thinking that (a) I am home all day, PERFECT for puppy raising. I was also thinking that (b) I have been so blue. What better way to brighten my spirits than with a puppy snickerdoodle lover pie?

And yes, I would call it puppy snickerdoodle lover pie ALL THE TIME. Which could be why Marvin Gardens did not see my logic about getting a puppy. That, and we have three cats and we are not allowed dogs at this rental house. But other than that...

Oh, and next time I write, could someone remind me of how I tried to determine my bra size using an apron? It needs to be told.

Friday, October 5, 2007

I Love a Parade

It was homecoming tonight for the high school, so naturally there was a big parade.

(You have never seen so many people dressed in orange shirts in your life. It's like we were all afraid of hunters. And when I say "we," I mean everyone other than myself.)

Believe it or not, traffic was crazy getting to the parade route (I actually found it hard to believe there could be that many people on the street and that many people on floats, but it WAS homecoming, so maybe people actually came from other towns), so we walked up the hill, that HORRIFIC HILL, to the parade.
Even the mailbox feels sorry for me.

Once we adjusted to the altitude, we found a spot and watched the festivities.

Every time I see bagpipers, who I love, I can't help but think of "We have a piper down!" from the movie So I Married an Ax Murderer.

I was sad that they did not have the actual homecoming king and queen in the parade, but apparently they announce who they are at the actual football game. In my high school, they told you like a week ahead of time so the queen could prance around proudly and the rest of us could say it was a setup, and she didn't deserve it, and other awful high school things. Anyway, this is the king and queen of the nursing home, which I thought was so cute I actually cried. They were so excited! Waving at everybody, smiling. I loved them.

Now, this is what I glean is a wonderful organization that helps kids at risk or some such thing. I was starting to cry again because all the kids were holding up signs that said things like, "I am the next President of the United States" or "I am the next Supreme Court Justice" and such. I thought it was so esteem-building. But then I realized the poor Supreme Court Justice kid had his sign upside down, which killed me. Because I am a horrible person.

Finally, the parade was over, and after I said, "What happened to the homecoming queen? We don't get to see the homecoming queen?" 486 times, we headed home the back way, so we wouldn't get run over by the actual traffic that was actually present, for once. Luckily for me, the back way involves that block where all the cats let me pet them, and I held a tiny baby kitten, so it worked for me.

Go, whatever the name of our football team is! Woooooo!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Sparklefraffle in my Wrist

I couldn't type you all day, because I have a hideous pain in my left wrist. I mentioned this to Marvin Gardens, who suggested that I was doing something crude in my spare time. I will not torment you with the details. Let's just say that perhaps he should look into graduating seventh grade soon.

What I like about Marvin is his sensitivity. Perhaps he could volunteer in an ER, and people could tell him their woes. Or one of those all-night phone lines where you call with medical emergencies. I'm sure he'd be popular.

Marvin and his empathetic self aside, I wonder if I have carpal tunnel or something?

I do spend a lot of time on the computer. And I have been doing a lot of intense, fast editing, as I got a new freelance job proofreading transcripts. So I have to listen to the tapes and read along. I try to quickly make corrections without stopping the tape, as I am being paid by the page. So the faster I go, the richer I get. And apparently the sorer, too.

My other excitement for today (if one can consider wrist pain and being insulted by one's own spouse "excitement") was that I got to go to WalMart, which I kind of consider an evil store. Take this city, for example. Most of the people here used to work in the textile mills. Now no one has jobs, so they are poor, so to save money they go to WalMart, which TOOK THEIR JOBS AWAY.

Ironic. It's 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife.

But WalMart is close to the assisted living place where I read to Miss Lilly, and besides, there isn't any other store in town, honestly. At any rate, we were completely out of dish cloths, and I want you to know that frugal June tried very hard to do without. I cut up kitchen towels, I cut up old t-shirts. But finally I gave in and spent the $2.98 for eight washcloths. Which -- okay, evil WalMart -- I admit was a deal. So I sold my soul to get it.

Also, finally, I think it is official that I am going to go to Michigan and buy my VW Bug back from my mother. Perhaps you wonder, "Are there no cars for sale in all of North Carolina?" and the answer is no. It is illegal to sell cars here. Everyone has to sneak into South Carolina for auto purchases.

No, no. However, Marvin looked into it, and because we have only been here two months, they want to charge us like 30% interest, as we are a flight risk. Which irritates me. A flight risk. Who are we, Bonnie and Clyde?

I know this is spending money, but living without a car is so. ding-dang. depressing. Someone here today said, "You'll feel better once we get some wheels under ya!" I love people here.

Anyway, my mother is paying for the flight, because I am 42 and my mother pays for my flights, and then we can pay her whatever we can afford per month for the car. Plus also too, I get my Sirius radio back.

Howard Stern is going to seem so clean-cut after living with Marvin.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Things I am Obsessed With as of Late

1. There is the most beautiful blog I have ever seen, called Posie Gets Cozy. Now, one of you out there has it on YOUR blog, you know, over on the side where you list other blogs you like? What the Sam Hill is that called? Recommendations? Links? "Hey, look yonder"? Seriously. There is some blog world name for those blogs we put on the sides of our blogs. Could I have just said the word "blogs" any more?

At any rate, the woman who creates this site makes me sick, sick, I tell you, with jealousy. EVERY SINGLE VISUAL on there is absolutely my taste, 100%. How I wish I had visual skills like this woman. And a good camera. Because I assume that camera must be good.

Oh! That blog is lovely. I have blog envy.

2. I have had not one, but two dreams that I was seeing the Sex and the City movie. Now, that is sad. I am dreaming about a movie. But I am so upcited for it, as my cousin used to say. When she wasn't 30, married and a homeowner and was more, like, two.

My sister-in-law made the fatal error of sending me Season One of SATC for my birthday one year. I had of course heard of the show but I didn't have HBO, and besides, that Mr. Big thing irritated me. Too obvious.

So I watched the whole first season in, like, a day, and it turns out "Mr. Big" is called that because he is fancy and important to Sarah Jessica Parker's character. So what did I know?

I was a regular at my video store after that, and I eventually rented every single episode, only watching the finale actually in real time. Then I made my mother buy me the box set for Christmas. Do you know I have watched that box set in its entirety twice, then I went back and watched the shows that had the director's extra comments on them?

Oh, do I love that show. And I love Carrie Bradshaw. I always wanted to live in New York and be a writer who weighed 102 pounds. And she has my hair, but somehow pulls it off without looking insane.

The movie comes out in May. I will be spending then. So you can imagine I will be first in line to see that thing, even though there is no movie theater in this town.

3. The Cazalet chronicles. Have you read these books? There are four of them. They are the story of a wealthy family in London, starting right after World War I and going through World War II. You cannot put them down. They are the kind of books you lie in bed and think about, and then you get up and read till 4 a.m. until you have a headache.

The first one is called The Light Years. The author is Elizabeth Jane Howard. Plan on getting nothing accomplished for the next month.

I have already read all four books, but I am reading them again. What with my rereading and rewatching shows, it is a wonder I ever try anything new at all.

4. Country ham. How have I gone my whole life not having this? You can't swing a dead cat around here without someone selling country ham, and if I had my druthers, I'd read my Cazalet books all day, eating country ham and waiting for that Sex and the City movie to start.

I'll bet that Posie Gets Cozy woman would never do such un-lovely things.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Orange you glad I stopped drinking?

I am only going to talk about this once.

Not because it is a touchy subject for me, but because talking about it could be absolutely wrong of me. I have been reading up on this on Google (again. What did we ever do before hair gel and Google? Were we just frizzy-haired know-nothings?), and I think I have the rules down pat. So here I go.

Your gal June likes her the wine. She has liked the wine since about ninth grade. And it liked her.

June, who suddenly needs to speak about herself in the third person, as though she were a member of the royal family, but who in this case is more a member of the Crown Royal family, was goooood at the drinking.

She could consume an entire bottle of Reunite Lambrusco between the 7-11 and her high school, which was one block away. She never threw up (except for once, after two bottle of pink champagne, which sounds so pleasant and feminine, doesn't it? Yeah, not so much when it is coming back up along the side of Kim Schwanecke's car). She never stumbled or got droopy eyes. Or any of those amateur things that other drunk high school girls did.

Through a series of unfortunate events, it became apparent after about, oh, 20 years or so, that perhaps your gal June should not be drinking the wine, per se. That perhaps it was getting a little out of hand.

So, now is the part where I cannot go into any more detail about that. Let's just say that from 2002 until this summer, not a drop of alcohol, nor any other mind-altering substance, touched my lips. Or her lips. Do I really have to continue in the third person? Thank you.

Now, between 2002 and the present, I realized more and more what a bad idea drinking had really been. All the time I thought I was having fun? Really what I was doing was avoiding everything. Meeting a potential romantic partner? Always did it drunk. Breaking up with someone? Drunk every time. Getting OVER a breakup? Oh, come on. Wine, please.

So, in essence, from ninth grade until 2002, I did not grow up at all, because I never learned how to do anything without a filter. I was so glad to be sober, and finally growing up and all that.


There Marvin and I were in Nashville, on our road trip to our new life. The new life I was convinced I would be fine with. Fine! Leaving all my friends? Fine! Leaving a big city, even though all my life all I ever wanted to do was live in a big city? Okay!

So in Nashville, I had a beer. Then I came here and had another beer.

By last week, I was back to drinking wine every night. I added it up, and from Sunday until Tuesday, I'd had over 10 glasses of wine. By myself. Alone in the house. Fun! Not at all a problem! Mmm-hmm! Go, June!

I had talked to an old friend about the fact that I was drinking again, and I told him that maybe on October 1st I would go back to not drinking. But I told him I had an issue with choosing October 1st as my sobriety date, because October had so many connotations with the color orange. Which I was not fond of.

My friend, who has known me -- wow -- 20 years now, said, "You know, anyone else? I'd say they were in denial, and avoiding what they had to do. You? I know being associated with orange is a legitimate concern for you."

Then the other night, Marvin and I turned a corner and there was that beautiful moon. That gorgeous, orange moon in the sky. And orange looked beautiful to me. And the next day, I saw a guy with an orange shirt, and his shirt had one word on it. That word was "Surrender."

So, for the moment, your pal June is a non-drinker again. It just seemed kind of a major thing to be not blogging about, but I'm gonna leave it out of the public eye from here on out. It breaks with certain traditions.

Besides, buying wine is hardly a necessary expense. I won't even let myself have Eclipse gum, for goodness sake.

No eclipse. Give me that full, orange moon.

Marvin Checks in as a Guest Poster. He wanted to call this "Hello, Cleveland!" but that makes no sense to me and it's my blog.

Marvin and his Gardens here. June has asked me to write a guest post, as she is a bit under the weather today. Actually, she is a bit under the covers. Although every thirty seconds she asks "What are you saying now?" Which really sounds like "whufffaaaaoooooooosayyyynnnowwww," from under the down comforter, which is really just a down comforter cover now, as the actual down part of it that goes inside has somehow gone missing.

Anyway, I'd just like to say thanks to everyone out there who has followed our adventures in frugality thus far. From my side of the fence, it hasn't been so bad, though I miss things like being able to pop down to the record store and buy the latest release by some band June has never heard of before. Though this is less of a problem for me now, since Jack's Record Rack, the only music shop in town, closed down sometime during the Carter presidency.

Which reminds me that I used to live next to a guy in college who we called Konstantin Ben Chernyenko, who came up with the generic name of "Psycho and The Tendertones" for any band he had never heard of that I happened to be blasting out of my Panasonic cassette boombox (with detatchable speakers) on that particular day.

"Listening to Psycho and The Tendertones again," he'd ask, rolling his eyes as he shuffled off to class.

So besides music, and concerts, and new guitar strings, and DVD concerts of bands June has never heard of, and packs of new Polaroid film for my various vintage cameras, and half the stuff on eBay that I see, and the fact that I can't go out and find a 1975 AMC Pacer X to park in my driveway and never work on, I am fine.

But June isn't. She is going to lose her mind if I don't show her this post. And I am going to get fired if I don't get ready for work. So, keep on keepin' on y'all. Marvin out.