Tag Archives: Uncle June

Festive Fall Tips for the Domestically Disabled

Considering the fact that middle class white women are freaking out over everything pumpkin flavored, it’s safe to say that fall has arrived.

Seeing as I hate 90 humid degrees and 90 inches of snow, fall is a great season for me. Along with the beautiful foliage in Michigan and the chance to finally wrap up the horticultural hospice I’ve been harboring for the summer, it also means playoff baseball, college football, hockey and hoodies—just a few of my favorite things.

I know some people are already freaking out over Halloween, but seeing as I deal with it five months out of the year for work, I’m over it. Plus, I believe my tips from last year shall remain eternally relevant, so we’re skipping ahead to my tips for a fabulous fall.

Outdoor Decor

Start by putting a wreath on the door that says “festive, yet I’ll dive behind the couch if you ring the bell and expect me to put on some pants.”

wreathdoor

I might be a Publisher’s Clearing House million dollar winner if not for the fact that I perform a death roll behind the furniture the second I hear the doorbell.

If that fails to ward off those looking to interrupt your upcoming preparation for winter hibernation, simply build a corn maze in your front yard that never quite leads to the door (this also works well with your desk at the office.) The added value with this situation is that you can charge a bit of admission, which might come in useful when exploring the next tip below.

Seasonal Shopping

Shopping for that festive wreath is a great chance to get your Christmas shopping done. Who doesn’t love pumpkins, decorative corn and Halloween candy? I’ll tell you who. People who don’t appreciate you thinking ahead and being proactive with your gift-giving prowess.

Shopping early—and economically—leaves more time to drink spiked cider come the harsh winter months.

Indoor Decor

You don’t have to be Martha Stewart and devise a centerpiece out of unicorn hair, sparkly pine cones and the tears of kittens. You can basically take crap that you find in your yard and call it festive. Just spray some pine cones with apple cinnamon air freshener and stick them in a basket with a few colorful leaves and acorns.

Plus, after the season is done, you can take the tops off the acorns and use them for fashionable little berets or tiny serving plates for your traveling gnome.

juneberet

Sorry that it’s a bit blurry, but Uncle June never stands still for long.

The trick is to gather these things before you “rake,” and by rake of course I mean wait for a windy day and gently urge the piles of leaves to migrate into the neighbor’s back yard.

Speaking of which, the neighbor kids’ basketball—the one they are constantly bouncing loudly against their garage door every. single. day.—looks quite similar to a pumpkin. Considering they’re back in school now, you can sneak over while they’re gone and turn it into a festive-looking decoration to be used for an impromptu pumpkin chuck.

Not only is this festive fun, but it’s a physical activity you can do together as a family. After all, someone has to keep lookout.

Happy Fall!

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Master of Your Domain

Living alone means that all the household chores are my responsibility. While I generally don’t mind cleaning—thank you OCD!—and actually find it relaxing at times, there are certain annoyances that I will not tolerate.

You have to put your foot down and assert your domestic dominance, as giving in to an appliance or a dust bunny only shows weakness, and trust me, these things prey on weakness.

Take for example the vacuum, whose job description literally entails it sucking crap up.

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Without the suckage, it’s simply a large noisy thing with a light on the front that terrorizes the cat (a bonus feature they really should advertise, come to think of it.) Because of this, I will stand over the vacuum for 10 minutes and force it to suck up a string before bending over and picking that crap up myself.

I did not spend five minutes five years ago picking out a vacuum so that I could pick up the debris myself, good sir!

And I often find the dustbuster—named as such because it’s supposed to bust the dust—to be more temperamental. It will often passive aggressively push dust around the room instead of actually sucking (busting?) it up.

Oh, you wanted ME to pick that up? Well, I never….”

Unacceptable. I will run the little bastard until it needs to be charged to make sure that it busts up that one grain of rice it spit out. Suck it up and do your job—literally.


A more seemingly innocuous perpetrator is the mini-blind. No, I’m not going to suggest that you actually clean a mini-blind, as it’s a scientific fact that much like shower curtain liners, it’s easier to just throw them away and get a new one.

This involves the raising and lowering of said mini-blind with those two little strings on the side.

juneblind2

It seems simple enough, but one wrong pull and you have a completely crooked blind with one side way up to the left while the other sags down to the right. Then you try and straighten it out and the right side goes up while the left side sags down.

Do not accept this asymmetrical configuration of window coverings, my friends. I don’t care if you stand there pulling on each string for an hour like you’re milking a cow. If you don’t even that shit up, the next thing you know you’re literally blinded by the light.


Moving on to the bathroom, I feel the need to warn you that the toothpaste that leaps off your toothbrush like a kangaroo will immediately become as stubborn as super glue the second it hits—and adheres to— the sink.

It can be tempting to let that slide, and you might even consider it “artsy” to have patterns dotting the sink interior. Stop the madness. Nine out of 10 dentists agree that one must immediately scrub the spot in the sink, lest one falls into the cavity of cleaning complacency.

Plus, that crap stays glued on.


This last one isn’t really about cleaning, but I will try and make it helpful by saying you should clean your remote control. I read somewhere that there are 12 teen million germs and probably the origins of the swine flu on the average remote, so Clorox that thing ASAP.

Possible HAZMAT situation aside, my issue is when the remote control simply gives up. The batteries are new, the little red light at the top of it blinks when you maniacally press down the buttons with increasing rage, but yet…no action.

juneremote2

Do not—I repeat—do not change the channel yourself.

Stand up right next to the TV and force that remote to change the channel, adjust the volume or set a reminder to watch Baseball Tonight. And henceforth from said display of power, refer to it only as “the remote.”

Why? Because as with all the domestic dysfunction in your house, you are the one in control.

Never let them forget that.

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Be Mine

I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention Valentine’s Day—that holiday in between Christmas and Mother’s Day that card and flower companies use to guilt people into spending more money in an effort to show that they care.

I know. I’m a hopeless romantic.

But to be honest, even though I’m single and not willing to mingle, I really don’t mind Valentine’s Day. I like the decorations, the fact that I have a reason to bake and the image of a meddlesome cherub flying around armed with a weapon.

So to celebrate the holiday this year, I’ve decided to forgo sending myself a heartfelt card and instead explore a few viable Valentine options. (Food and drink suitors were excluded, as those are obviously tops on my list.)

My Shovel

We have been spending a great deal of intimate time together these past couple of months. It hasn’t been easy, but I have to admit that the shovel’s icy demeanor is oddly compatible to my own. Together we have made the neighbors jealous with our quick and thorough removal of things in our way—mostly large amounts of snow—which left me feeling slightly superior and a little bit cold.

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Okay. Mostly cold.

And while I get the feeling that as soon as things heat up it’ll be gone, I’m okay with the seasonal nature of our relationship. I like my space…and being warm.

My Couch

If by “afternoon delight” you mean coming home after work, watching “Ellen,” plodding away on the computer and then eating, we have a serious thing going and have for some time.

Our love is nothing new — my couch gets me, it really gets me. While it took me a long to let myself literally settle down and relax, I now find comfort—and often a stray piece of broccoli — in the confines of the cushions.

Scentsy

We were introduced this past Christmas by my mom, and given my love for smelly things and not being left in the dark, this combination nightlight/air freshener is basically all that is proper and good in this world. Never fussy, never needy, a simple flip of the switch radiates both light and light scents. I have to admit that I’m smitten.

Uncle June

This cranky bastard is still hanging around, and while he’s a good backup plan and travel companion, the drunk dials at 2am have seriously got to stop.

june2wine

However, I just can’t deny that creepy little face and the fact that he speaks not a word.

This Blog

We fall in and out of love, usually on a day-to-day basis. At times I feel like I don’t know what I would do without it, while other times I feel like it’s that pain-in-the-ass friend you have to constantly reassure isn’t a huge loser who nobody loves (and that no, their ass doesn’t look big in those pants.)

Our relationship has spanned years of good times and bad and evolved into something I never thought it would—a book, priceless connections, a reason to overshare and broadcast insecure rambles to strangers on the Internet.

But I suppose that’s just how love is—a wonderfully messy mix of delight, frustration and Internet stalking.

I know. I’m a hopeless romantic.

*This post was not sponsored by Scentsy. However, Uncle June slipped me $20 to mention him.

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Who is your Valentine this year?

Houston, We Have a Problem

I’m still in Houston but thought I would drop in a minute so that when I get home Monday night I can pretend this whole trip never happened and go back to blogging about normal neurosis.

Why?

Because the day before I left I thought I was getting a cold, but it turned out to be some version of the flu. This whole trip I’ve been dealing with a migraine, runny nose, cough that rivals an emphysemic geriatric and feeling as if I’ve been body-slammed by an elephant. Add in airline travel, long days and general crap and fun times are abounding!

Although Uncle June tried to claim it, I’ve been curling up in this robe in the moments between work and the chills.

Although Uncle June tried to claim it, I’ve been curling up in this robe in the moments between work and the chills.

Anyway, my whining is over. Probably.

As an apology I will share a few insights and pictures, simply because I don’t have the mental capacity to actually do anything more than that and I’m doped up on DayQuil.

Dr. June to the rescue!

Dr. June to the rescue!

If the fate of the world depended on me figuring out how to collapse the ironing board in my hotel room, we would all be doomed. No matter how I flip it around and hit it with random things—nothing.

However, when life hands you lemons, stick them in your shirt to make it look like you actually have boobs. Or just use the ironing board as a table for some of your junk, which is exactly what I’ve been doing.

Even though I bring my hotel flip-flops, I will still request extra towels to use as “yellow brick road” of sorts from the shower to my socks in the other room.

One of the fashion shows.

One of the fashion shows.

After stuffing 350 sponsor goody bags with products at the House of Blues for the event we put on for 800 people, one might just become delirious and try on leftover fishnets, Smurf hats and blinking glow-in-the-dark glasses.

HighestHeel

Or glow-in-the-dark shoes, perhaps?

There is nothing scarier than dragging your sick ass into the bathroom in the middle of the night and coming face to face with yourself in the magnifying mirror.

I’m pretty sure a majority of travel days are spent waiting for the automated sink/soap/paper towel dispensers to work.

I pretty much look like this, except I don't wear a dress.

I pretty much look like this, except I don’t wear a dress.

Despite looking like death, a lot of people walking around the show recognize me from my picture each month in the magazine. Hearing them tell me they enjoy the publication I put together each month is always satisfying.

At least I think that’s what they said. Again, maybe it was a hallucination.

On a positive note, I took a few minutes to sit on a park bench outside the convention center and no one threw money at me under the assumption that I was a homeless person. I consider that a win!

icerink

An outdoor skating rink in Texas? Sure, why not?

Anyway, this post is lame and I’m sure you’re thinking, “But that looks like fun!” At this point I will remind you that I missed the fun because I was sick and just want my own bed, shower and food.

Crap. I guess I wasn’t done whining quite yet.

At any rate, the next time I post I’ll be home and I promise something better than this. Probably. For now, another picture of the world’s happiest animal, as promised.

How can you not smile?

My furry little peace offering.

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Humor me. What’s been your worst traveling experience?

On the Road Again

It’s that time of year again.

Uncle June is traveling, my friends.

In case you’re new here, my OCD and general outlook on living prohibit me from enjoying traveling for work. However, it’s a necessary evil that happens every year towards the end of January when I go down to Houston.

It starts with a 6am flight Thursday (3am alarm) and ends Monday night. We put on a party Friday night for 900 people in the industry, 300 people Saturday night and I work the trade show the whole weekend. There are many 14-16 hour days.

Because I’m me, the majority of those 14-16 hours each day are spent stressing about finding vegan food (the one place nearby is closed on the weekends) and avoiding the flu epidemic.

Side note: I’m going to see if I can make the “professional chest bump” a thing instead of a handshake.

Many people say, “It sounds likes fun!” or “At least you’re not stuck at home!” These people are crazy. It’s a work trip, not a vacation, and I prefer to be stuck at home. 

junesombrero

Last year he found himself in a little sombrero. Ole!

Why?

Thank you for asking:

1. Travel is not comfortable, and I don’t just mean for vegans with OCD. Something about shoving long legs into an airplane seat, sleeping in a bed with lumpy pillows and trying to avoid touching anything that probably served as the origination for the Ebola virus just doesn’t make it’s way into travel brochures.

2. Travel is also painstakingly long and stressful. You’re on someone else’s schedule and waste days just getting from one place to another, and that’s not counting the time spent when you get where you’re trying to go.

3. When you’re on the road, you can’t get other stuff done—especially with the crappy hotel Internet you have to pay $15/day for. When you get home, you have to rush to do laundry, restock the fridge and get caught up on everything else work-wise that had to be delayed because you were traveling for work.

junedorthy2

And then I found Uncle June in Dorothy’s cleavage.

But all of that aside, I’m grateful to have a job and know I’ll be home soon enough.* I won’t be chained to my computer every second though, so you’ll have to survive without my constant tweets and updates.

Stay strong!

I’m always in observation mode, which means I’ll milk at least one or two posts out of this mid- and post-trip (depending on crappy hotel Internet, of course.) If nothing good happens I’ll just use this space to tell you nothing good happened, feed my feelings and then distract you with pictures of the happiest animal in the world or a post I wrote that includes an open letter to my sock.

buzzfeedanimal

It’s really a win either way.  

*This statement sponsored by that voice in my head reminding me I need to keep my job and pay my mortgage. Carry on.

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Ba Ha-Ha-Humbug

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

While I would debate that fact for several reasons—that is neither here nor there—as the holiday season is here and there, and with it comes a variety of expectations. You see, we are often presented with “ideal” situations that in reality, fall a bit short.

But have no festive fear! No holiday season is perfect, and as long as you don’t hold things to the ridiculous standard often presented to us, your expectations will surely be met.

The Meals

Expectation: Martha Stewart is truly a genius in that she makes her beautiful soirees look elegant and effortless—and calls them “soirees” and not “dysfunctional family functions.” The food is perfect, the conversation is jovial and no one’s career choice, sexual preference or bodily functions are discussed.

And no one ends up drunk under the tree.

Reality: There will not be enough chairs. Someone will pronounce “hors d’oeuvres” as “whores de-vores” (that would be me). The food will be good, but conversation will cover someone’s career choice, sexual preference or bodily functions. There will be a debate over whether the plastic silverware can be reused for Easter and whether it’s pronounced “PEE-cons” or “pick-ONS,” which will lead to an inappropriate joke about nuts from that one creepy uncle.

Romantic Gifts (as presented in jewelry ads)

Expectation: Cue cheesy background music and a setting that involves a fireplace and gently falling snow. Two people are casually huddled around the tree with hot cocoa as he pulls out a small box to surprise her with a rock of some sort. They kiss and live happily ever after.

Reality: What they don’t show you is that later he poses under the mistletoe wearing nothing but a well-placed Santa hat, thinking that small little box with the bow has earned him at least a few nights of appreciation. She will be too busy tweeting a picture of the ring to show off to her friends to notice him—or care when she does—meaning the ornaments on the tree won’t be the only blue balls in the room.

Exterior Illumination

Expectation: That your house can be perfectly decorated with thousands of twinkling lights and décor in no time at all, with your handiwork serving as a beacon of light for all other holidays revelers.

You will never have to launch an investigation over this carnage. But on a positive note, Frosty has been fixed. A Festivus miracle!

Reality: Despite trying to put the light strings away “neatly” last year, they will come out of the storage container in an arrangement that looks suspiciously like a Noel noose made of tangled up wires. The ordeal will begin with a joke to make sure to call 911 if you fall off the ladder—ha, ha, ha!—and end with a simple wreath on the door after the discovery that half of the bulbs just don’t work, despite testing each one and hanging them up.

But even though most will experience a less-than perfect meal, sub-par gifts (make donations, not debts people) and defunct decorations, remember what’s truly important—family, friends and your holiday spirit(s).

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Uncle June Does Dallas

Thursday night Uncle June is grabbing his bags and heading out for another work trip to Texas, but instead of Houston, it’s “June Does Dallas.”

homejune2

I’m going, too.

You know I hate travel, but this time I’m going by myself, I’ll be home Sunday afternoon and it’s a convention that will require comparatively minimal effort in comparison to the other trips.

I went to this convention two years ago, and although I’ve tried to block out the traumatic memory, I feel the need to tell you exactly how not wonderful it went in hope talking about it will eliminate the chance of it happening again.

It started out okay in that my plane landed safely (always a good thing) and I arrived at my hotel room to find a nice gift basket welcoming me to the event.

However, I soon found out that the promised Internet connection didn’t work and they had no plans on finding out why that was. At all. I had to walk through the rain to a coffee shop and buy tea so I could use their connection for a couple hours each day/night to get work done.

But that was the least of my worries that trip.

The first day I was there I lost my favorite zip-up hooded sweatshirt walking back from said coffee shop. Not only was it my favorite sweatshirt, but it was my only coat for the trip.

The mall that my hotel was connected to—one that included a food court with veggie options—closed at 3pm during the week and didn’t even open on the weekends (this is still the case, but I’m including it anyway.)

At a costume party the second night I only lasted until 8pm, not because it was nearing my bed time—although it kind of was—but because I became extremely queasy.

I ran back to my room and began dry heaving into the hotel toilet.

So there I was—dressed like a hippie and dry heaving into a foreign crapper, wondering if it was food poisoning or the flu—when I started to lose my vision as a migraine set in.

Five minutes later I was half in my pajamas but with my hippie hair piece still in, still dry heaving with a migraine and my OCD raging, wondering how things could get worse.

After a sleepless night of nausea and several pleas with the devil to take my soul in exchange for relief, I soon found out how things could get worse.

I went to e-register and get my boarding pass for Sunday’s flight and found out I had made my reservations for MAY 18 and not APRIL 18. I could detail the long story and frantic conversation with the airline, but it boils down to me being a distracted idiot and that my travel troubles aren’t limited to simply being directionally challenged.

At any rate, that trip was a disaster but not because of the convention itself, so I’m hoping this time will be exponentially more pleasant. At the very least, I hope to not find myself dry heaving into any toilet anywhere and have access to the Internet if I do so I can blog about it.

And since I know you’re wondering, I have triple and quadruple checked my itinerary.

I will be coming home Sunday.

Of this week.

With the gnome…and hopefully a better story. 

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