Monday, February 6, 2023

HOLIDAY HEADQUARTERS: TOP SHELF OF BOOKCASE

 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

At last the time has come for The Mantel Gang to share what they did over the holidays. First, they moved to their holiday headquarters––a secret location known as Top Shelf of Bookcase.


 They took the time to attend some public events, however, starting with their attendance at a Thanksgiving Day Parade. 


Following the parade, they buckled down and got to work, but someone new joined them to monitor their health. It's Dr. Fauci!

He's so diligent that even in  retirement he doesn't want his friends to get sick.





Their next public event was The National Tree Lighting Ceremony.


After working very hard throughout most of December, everyone took a break just before Christmas so they could enjoy the holidays.

They gathered in a new location––Top of Armoire––where they went walking in a winter wonderland.




















Then President Biden wanted to attend church. He invited them all to join him. Suddenly everyone was busy. They claimed they had plans with their families or had already accepted other invitations.


Don't tell Joe, but they actually gathered around the Christmas tree to play some drinking games, led by Justice Ginsburg and Nancy Pelosi, who raised their gavels in unison.










Hillary imbibed a little too much and started to sing, which almost broke up the party. 

Here you can see she holds out a glass of liquid refreshment for Barack, but he preferred to smoke his holidays away.







The action figures haven't decided where they'll gather next. Do they want to move back to The Mantel, where they're on display all the time, or would they prefer a more secluded spot? I can tell you they've done a lot of whispering about classified documents. Shhhhhh!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, February 2, 2023

HE STARTED TO FIGHT WITH DETECTIVES BEGAN ACTIVELY RESISTING GRABBED FOR DETECTIVE MARTIN'S GUN WAS GIVEN MULTIPLE COMMANDS TO STOP RESISTING WHICH HE IGNORED





Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

When I feel devastated and discouraged––as I do now––I often turn to Mama Carol for wisdom and advice.

 After Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd, I texted Carol: I hope police officers will think more carefully before they brutalize Black people. Carol responded: I don't think anything will change. There is something inherently wrong in a person who acts that way.

She was right, of course. 

So now we deal with the murder of Tyre Nichols. I asked Carol if she had watched the video. Yes, I saw it. It is awful. I think everyone should see it so we don't become complacent with the number of these kinds of events. I don't ever want to "get used to it."
I also asked her to help me understand what had happened. She wrote: The only thing I can think of is that this country was built on greed and lack of concern for others. Police across America have shown this mentality over and over. 

If you watched the video or read about it, you know the events of the night did not take place as the police reported them,

I'm sorry the police report has "the cussing pastor" across it. The person who shared it is known by that name. 

 


Because the proceedings were captured by cameras, we know Tyre Nichols ran from the police only after they attacked him.

The "officers" punched Nichols, kicked him in the head, pepper-sprayed him, and hit him with a baton WHILE HE WAS RESTRAINED. It destroys me to hear him calling for his mom. I can't begin to imagine what this young man's family is going through. That's a pain no one should have to experience. 






The officers talked, laughed, tried to get their stories straight, with Nichols propped up against the side of a car. It took 23 minutes before an ambulance showed up. Some EMTs had already arrived, but they didn't do anything for him. 

He died in the hospital, three days later. 




I'll leave you with this image of a 29-year-old man who was stopped for alleged reckless driving near his mom's house. He was a dad, a skateboarder, and an aspiring photographer.



Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

ELEVEN NOMINATIONS FOR EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE

In case you haven't seen them yet, here are the nominations for Academy Awards. What are your choices or predictions?

I haven't seen all the nominated films, but I admire Elvis,  All Quiet On The Western Front, and Everything Everywhere All At Once.


Best Picture

All Quiet on the Western Front

 Avatar: The Way of Water 

The Banshees of Inisherin 

Elvis 

Everything Everywhere All at Once 

The Fabelmans 

Tár 

Top Gun: Maverick

Triangle of Sadness

Women Talking

Best Director

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — Everything Everywhere All at Once

Martin McDonagh — The Banshees of Inisherin

Todd Field — Tár

Steven Spielberg — The Fabelmans

Ruben Östlund — Triangle of Sadness

Best Actor

Austin Butler — Elvis

Colin Farrell — The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser — The Whale

Paul Mescal — Aftersun

Bill Nighy — Living

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett — Tár

Ana de Armas — Blonde

Michelle Yeoh — Everything Everywhere All at Once

Michelle Williams — The Fabelmans

Andrea Riseborough — To Leslie

Best Supporting Actor

Brendan Gleeson — The Banshees of Inisherin

Judd Hirsch — The Fabelmans

Barry Keoghan — The Banshees of Inisherin

Ke Huy Quan — Everything Everywhere All at Once

Brian Tyree Henry — Causeway

Best Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett — Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Kerry Condon — The Banshees of Inisherin

Jamie Lee Curtis — Everything Everywhere All at Once

Stephanie Hsu — Everything Everywhere All at Once 

Hong Chau — The Whale

Best Original Screenplay

Todd Field — Tár

Tony Kushner and Steven Spielberg — The Fabelmans

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — Everything Everywhere All at Once

Martin McDonagh — The Banshees of Inisherin

Ruben Östlund — Triangle of Sadness 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie from a story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks — Top Gun: Maverick

Kazuo Ishiguro — Living

Rian Johnson — Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Sarah Polley — Women Talking

Edward Berger Ian Stokell Lesley Paterson — All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Cinematography

Empire of Light 

Elvis 

Tár 

All Quiet on the Western Front 

Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths

Best Film Editing

The Banshees of Inisherin 

Elvis 

Everything Everywhere All at Once 

Tár

Top Gun: Maverick

Best Original Song

“Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman

“Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick

“Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

“Naatu Naatu” from RRR

 “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Music (Original Score)

All Quiet on the Western Front 

Babylon 

The Banshees of Inisherin 

Everything Everywhere All at Once 

The Fabelmans

Best Visual Effects

All Quiet on the Western Front 

Avatar: The Way of Water 

The Batman 

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Top Gun: Maverick

Best Production Design

Elvis 

The Fabelmans 

Avatar: The Way of Water 

Babylon 

All Quiet on the Western Front 

Best Documentary Feature Film

All That Breathes 

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed 

Fire of Love 

A House Made of Splinters 

Navalny  

Best Documentary Short Film

The Elephant Whisperers 

Haulout 

How Do You Measure a Year? 

The Martha Mitchell Effect 

Stranger at the Gate

Best Animated Feature Film

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio 

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish 

The Sea Beast

Turning Red

Best International Feature Film

Argentina, Argentina, 1985

Belgium, Close

Germany, All Quiet on the Western Front

Ireland, The Quiet Girl

Poland, EO 

Best Live Action Short Film

An Irish Goodbye 

Ivalu 

Le Pupille  

Night Ride 

The Red Suitcase 

Best Animated Short Film

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

The Flying Sailor 

Ice Merchants 

My Year of Dicks 

An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It 

Best Sound

All Quiet on the Western Front 

Avatar: The Way of Water 

The Batman

Elvis 

Top Gun: Maverick

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

All Quiet on the Western Front

The Batman 

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever 

Elvis 

The Whale

Best Costume Design

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever 

Elvis 

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris 

Babylon   

Everything Everywhere All at Once 


Friday, January 20, 2023

PENELOPE SPEAKS: AT LAST I GET TO TELL YOU ABOUT KISSMAS

 Hello. It is I, Penelope, most adorable doggy in the world. Here I am on my couch, where I rule the living room.


It has been about a million years since Kissmas and I haven't gotten to tell you about my presents from Santa Paws because Mom Mom has been hogging the computer. Her selfishness knows no bounds.

Of course, you already know about one of my gifts––if you had enough sense to pay attention to me before Kissmas. I have my beautiful hoodie costume.



Santa Paws brought the hoodie because he knows I am THE CHOSEN ONE who will star in a new movie about the adorable reindeer who can fly and his friend, the pink polka-dotted elephant. I will play the elephant in this costume, of course, and in the new movie, mine will be the starring role.

Santa Paws also brought something very special for us on Kissmas Eve. 

My big brother Franklin and I each get our very own Bark Box every single month for forever. 


Mom Mom said, YOU get a Bark Box and YOU get a Bark Box. Everybody gets a Bark Box.

She seemed to amuse herself by making this ridiculous statement so I tolerated her silly behavior.

The first Bark Box had yummy treats and some toys. This is my dragon:


My dragon makes squeaky noises. He is funny. I removed one of his ears. I think he wanted me to chew on him a bit.

Mom Mom asked me, Do you want to be a surgeon, Penelope?

Sometimes Mom Mom says the most pointless things.

I cannot be a surgeon. It is my destiny to be a movie star.

Franklin also had a dragon in his Bark Box. If Franklin wants to play Doggy Toy Sneakery, then he can take his dragon outside for Mom Mom to pick up and bring back inside. He is not allowed to touch my dragon. I want my dragon in my house.

All right. I have said what I came to say. Goodbye. That is all.

Friday, January 13, 2023

"I'm not sitting here as some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette" -- Hillary Clinton

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Tammy Wynette's life was the stuff country songs are made of. She experienced multiple marriages, multiple lovers, gave birth to four daughters, attained country music superstardom, dealt with a husband's alcoholism, a kidnapping that might have been faked, addiction to prescription painkillers, and posthumously there was a missing will, and a wrongful death suit.

Born Virginia Wynette Pugh on May 5, 1942, her father died when she was nine months old. Her mother sent her to live with her grandparents in a shack without electricity or indoor plumbing. She grew up picking cotton in Mississippi while dreaming of becoming a singer.  

As a teen, she sang with a friend and even got paid for it at times. High school friends described her as precocious when it came to men and dating. Her mother stopped her first high-school attempt at marriage, but soon she planned marriage to a man who instead remarried his ex-wife. So Wynette married his brother instead. The brother was Euple (I am not making this up: EUPLE) Byrd. The marriage lasted from 1960 to 1965 and produced three daughters. Although Wynette had attended beauty school, she had bigger plans than working as a cosmetologist.

She and the children moved to Nashville in 1966, where she met and married a musician/songwriter named Don Chapel. She got her first recording contract that year and her stage name was changed from Wynette Byrd to Tammy Wynette because someone thought she looked like a Tammy. She and Chapel performed together, and her hunger for stardom increased. 

Country music "belonged" to men. With hard work and talent, Wynette, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton slowly but surely turned country into a women's game as well. Wynette had her first chart success in 1967, but her income from singing was small, and the marriage to Chapel wasn't going well. Chapel took nude photos of her and passed them around to other men. Later, he used the photos as leverage against her. Wynette's 1967 marriage to Chapel was annulled in 1968 and true stardom came to her with Stand By Your Man, I Don't Wanna Play House, and D-I-V-O-R-C-E. It was the beginning of 30 million records sold worldwide.

And she met country star George Jones, her idol.

Wynette and Jones had a passionate relationship. They married in 1968. Their duets added to her success and fame, and kept his career alive as his stardom faded because his thirst for alcohol could not be quenched.

Wynette gave birth to their daughter, Tamala Georgette, in 1970. The birth led to an emergency hysterectomy––the beginning of health problems and pain that stayed with Wynette for the rest of her life. Scar tissue constantly formed in her body. She had approximately three dozen surgeries to remove it. It also affected her gall bladder. She began taking prescription pain medications and became addicted.

Marriage to Jones was violent and difficult. One year at Christmas, Jones attacked Wynette and chased her around their house with a rifle. As portrayed in George & Tammy, he fired shots at her and destroyed the Christmas decorations and some of the gifts. When she hid his car keys to stop him from driving drunk, he rode to town on the lawn mower to get his alcohol. He didn't show up for recording dates and performances. Although their touring bus proclaimed them Mr. and Mrs. Country Music and they were referred to in the country music world as President & First Lady, Jones became known derisively as No Show Jones. 

Wynette filed for divorce in 1973. She and Jones reconciled. After a fight, she filed for divorce again. The marriage ended in 1975. Her addiction did not.

Without Jones, Wynette had to develop her own stage show. Her career remained strong, although she hated it when audience members shouted, Where's Jones? She had some high profile relationships, including Burt Reynolds. At times, she recorded with Jones and  performed with him. But in 1976, Wynette married Michael Tomlin. The marriage was annulled later that year.

The following description of events occurs in George & Tammy It is not verifiable fact. Wynette finds nasty graffiti on her front door and becomes fearful. Wynette thinks Jones is behind it, but it's really songwriter George Richey, who wants Wynette to depend on him for safety and security. When Richey's wife, a friend of Wynette's, threatens to tell Wynette what Richey is doing, he beats her. Wynette also doesn't like to inject her dugs. Richey takes over the injections.

Wynette and Richey married in 1978. He became her full-time manager. Her daughters alleged that Richey forced Wynette to perform when she was sick, gave her drugs when she said no, or, alternately, withheld medication from her when she wanted it. She began missing concerts.

In 1978, Wynette reported she had been abducted from the parking lot of a mall by a man hiding in the backseat of her car who strangled her with pantyhose and beat her. Rumors flew that George Jones was behind the attack. Her daughters alleged she staged the kidnapping to cover up for a severe beating she received from Richey.

Although Wynette entered the Betty Ford Center for treatment of her drug addiction, she became ill while she was there and had surgery to remove part of her stomach. Her  addiction continued.

On April 6, 1998, Tammy Wynette died at the age of 55. A blood clot went to her heart. She also had powerful pain meds in her blood. Richey claimed they had been sleeping on adjacent couches all day in the living room of their home and when he awoke in the evening, she had passed away.

Wynette had allegedly made out a handwritten will that included trusts for her daughters and designations of her personal belongings to her daughters. In George & Tammy, Georgette sees the will and so does George Jones. 

Richey said he couldn't find the will. He inherited everything. Richey remarried and when he died, his widow sold many of Wynette's personal effects. In 1999, Wynette's daughters filed a wrongful death lawsuit again Richey, Wynette's doctor, and a company that delivered prescription paid meds to her home. The doctor said he had told Richey to take Wynette to a hospital not long before she died. Yet Wynette's daughters dropped Richey from the suit. What remained of the lawsuit was dismissed by a judge.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug