Downloading — no lie — 726 pieces of email. Can’t ever go out of town again.

It appears we escaped with only one hairball waiting for our return. All three cats appear to be healthy and happy. Ray sent a present to Cal — a “Video Catnip” tape. It’s a half-hour video of birds and squirrels. Ray had written a note to Cal, reminding him how they were once best friends, and specifically told Cal not to let Taylor watch the tape because Taylor’s so mean.

You see what I’m working with, here.

Anyway, Cal couldn’t have cared any less about this video for the first five minutes when the screen was filled with images of birds and squirrels and a wacky America’s Funniest Videos song played in the background. Then that segment ended, and was replaced with footage of squirrels and birds at the park.

Bingo.

Cal attacked the television screen a number of times. Ray, your project was a success.

But I’m not here to complain about how my television screen will now have paw prints. I’m not here to bitch about more cat woes. There’s something much worse going on.

Somehow over the past week a very large scary object has started growing next to my left nostril. It’s hideous. I’m not a zitty girl, and other than the one pimple per period I don’t normally have that much to worry about. My skin gets dry and flaky, but I spend too much money on products that keep that in check. I have no products for this strange new zone I’ve grown on my face.

The eruption zone.

It appears a small volcano has taken residence on my face and it’s causing swelling along my left cheek. I tried to ignore it at first, as every mother fusses at her daughter, “Leave it alone!” I reminded myself that I’m not supposed to touch it, no matter how much it hurts.

Now it’s really really really hurting. I figured all the chlorine and sunshine would help dry it out, but whatever this thing is lives underneath all seven layers of my skin and isn’t planning on celebrating Groundhog Day anytime soon. People are staring at it when I order lunch. The woman who brought me my pina colada the other day recommended a good acne medication.

It’s just one pimple. Why do strangers feel the need to help me? Why do they all have to get so involved?

I can’t stop thinking about it. When I look down my face, I can see it, laughing at me. Making a mockery of my face. I hate it! I have meetings tomorrow and the next day and all next week, and I’m just going to have to find some kind of major concealer to cover it up. Or maybe I’ll wear an ugly hat. Or a strange wig. Keep their focus on the top of my head and not directly in the center of my face. I’d rather be known as the Ugly Hat Girl than the Freak With The Nose Nipple.

And I’m sunburned, which I knew would happen, but still. If I take off all my clothes, it looks like I’m wearing a white bikini. My friend yelled at me for only wearing sunscreen with SPF 20. “You’re Nicole Kidman. You should be wearing at least three times that.” So I bought 50, and used that for the rest of my time at the pool. And I wore a shirt when I swam today. The only painful area is around my underarms, right where the bra straps slide back and forth, back and forth, b-a-c-k a-n-d f-o-r-t-h, all day long. Ow. Ow. The drive home? Ow.

So, to recap: aloe vera pits, crater face, hairball carpet, paw print television.

And yes, there are mornings when I wake up and wonder, “How is it possible that anyone on this planet finds me sexy?” So, you don’t have to write in and ask. I’m aware of the problem. I’m working on it.

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