Friday, January 30, 2015

THE CEPHALOPOD COFFEEHOUSE: BEING MISS BY FRAN HILL

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's time for The Cephalopod Coffeehouse, hosted by The Armchair Squid.

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.

My book for January is Being Miss: A fictional account of a teacher's day in a boys' independent school by our blogger friend, Fran Hill. Fran, I love you. Just in case you don't know already, I do. I can't help loving you. You make me laugh so hard. 

Fran blogs at Being Me. You should follow her, but put on your nappie before you read her posts.

Because e-books are a bit hard on my weak, beady little eyes, I was thrilled when Being Miss became a paperback. I expected a lot of you, Fran, and you didn't disappoint. 

Being Miss is funny and quirky and adorable and everything I want it to be.




Lord, have mercy. If a student isn't picking his nose, then another one barfs up everything he's eaten in his entire life. "Miss" tries to teach these darling angels while dealing with her fear that she's about to be fired, and worrying that the entire staff will soon know how technologically deficient she is.

Fran, you had me with the first paragraph:

The good news: I dreamt about Johnny Depp again last night. He snogged my neck, and said, 'I don't care if you're in your mid-forties, five foot two, and the whole of Keira Knightley could fit into one leg of your trousers. You are all I have ever wanted in a woman.' The bad news: we were in a classroom, watched by eighty Year 9s with wildebeest ambitions, plus all their parents, the Big Issue man from outside Tesco, my Auntie Maud who died in 1983, and a school inspector in the corner.

Hard to believe, I know, but it only gets better from there. 

If you live in the U.S., then please purchase Being Miss at http://goo.gl/5kcH4i, or buy the Kindle edition on Amazon at http://goo.gl/efMsMP. If you are fortunate enough to live in the UK with Miss herself, then you can order the book from Fran on her blog at http://goo.gl/YUSJ5Q, which you can also reach by visiting Being Me.

You can even check out Fran's work on her next book by signing up to follow her at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fran-Hill-Writer/430140043700388.

Amazing, isn't it, that Johnny Depp says virtually the same thing in Miss's dreams as he does in mine?

Being Miss earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug








Thursday, January 29, 2015

JUST AN OLD FASHIONED LOVE SONG

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Recently everyone's best friend Shady Del Knight mentioned Three Dog Knight in a post (yes, that's intentional), which you can read HERE. I still have all my Three Dog Night albums, including one that's autographed by two of the dogs.

The post made me think of my favorite Three Dog Night song, so I must share it with you.


Infinities of old-fashioned love,

Janie Junebug


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

MOVIE WEEKEND: THE SPECTACULAR NOW

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

MOVIE WEEKEND decided to move itself to Wednesday because it heard that some of you are snowed in. Today we feature The Spectacular Now (2013, Rated R, Available On DVD).


Sutter Keely (Miles Teller) lives in the moment. Why think about the future when he just wants to enjoy today? He hides his true feelings behind his gregarious personality and a flask, unless he has a can of beer in his hand. One morning he wakes up on someone's lawn only to meet Aimee Finicky (Shailene Woodley). She knows who Sutter is, and explains they go to the same high school.

Sutter and Aimee start dating. Sutter even offers her a drunken invitation to the prom--a promise he thinks he won't keep, a promise she tells him he doesn't have to keep, but he does. Soon Sutter gives Aimee her own flask, and she drinks the Kool-Aid, though she's not forced to do so.

I praised Shailene Woodley's performance in The Fault In Our Stars (click HERE to read the review), and I have nothing but praise for her here. I also like Miles Teller. Woodley and Teller are naturals. The Spectacular Now is a coming of age movie, and Sutter has a lot of growing up to do. It's a tribute to the screenwriter, director, and Miles Teller that I don't simply dismiss him as a jerk.

This movie is worth watching to see these performances. Miles Teller now stars in Whiplash, which is nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. J. K. Simmons is considered a shoe-in (I know you think it's shoo-in, but check the etymology) for Best Supporting Actor, and already won a Golden Globe.

This movie is not for children. If you decide to watch it with your teens, be prepared to discuss the choices that Aimee and Sutter make. According to online sources, the conclusion of the movie is quite different from that of the Young Adult novel on which it's based.

The Spectacular Now earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval.

Why shovel snow when you can watch movies? Happy Viewing!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

JIMMY STEWART

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

When I reviewed It's A Wonderful Life (click HERE for review), I mentioned that I might write a post with details about the great Jimmy Stewart.  In keeping with my new policy of attempting to kind of follow through with my mentionings, here's the Jimmy Stewart post. Some of this info is stuff I happen to know, and some of it comes from Wikipedia.

James Maitland Stewart was born in Indiana, Pennsylvania, on May 20th, 1908. His father owned a hardware store. Jimmy was expected to take over the store one day. It didn't happen. Instead, Mr. Stewart eventually displayed his son's Academy Award in the window of the store.

  • Jimmy's first experience with acting came during his prep school days at The Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. You might recognize the name of this school. It is The Hurricane's alma mater; she also acted for the first time at the academy. 
  • When Jimmy Stewart was a student at the academy, it was a boys' school. No girls allowed.
  • Jimmy went to Princeton following his prep school graduation. He majored in architecture, but soon found himself drawn to the theater department.
  • He graduated from Princeton in 1932. 
  • Jimmy had parts in some plays on Broadway. Most of these productions were not successful.
  • MGM signed him to a contract in 1935.
  • Jimmy Stewart made ninety-two movies. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1941 for The Philadelphia Story.


Jimmy Stewart with Katharine Hepburn in
The Philadelphia Story.




  • Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda were close friends.
  • Jimmy married Gloria Hatrick McLean in 1949. They were married until her death in 1994.
  • He joined the Army Air Corps in 1940. My dad was a flight instructor in the Army Air Corps. Jimmy did not need my father to teach him how to fly. He was already an excellent pilot.*
  • He flew many missions and enlisted in the Air Force Reserves, as did my father. 
  • Jimmy became a Brigadier General in 1959, the year I was born.
  • He died in 1997 at age eighty-nine.
Jimmy Stewart is my all-time favorite actor. He made so many movies I love that I can't possibly recount them all. It's A Wonderful Life is my favorite movie. My favorite Hitchcock movie is Rear Window, which starred Stewart and Grace Kelly. 

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington
You Can't Take It With You
Destry Rides Again
Rope
Harvey

Oh, how I love Harvey, the rabbit only Elwood P. Dowd can see. I think my children's favorite Jimmy Stewart movie is The Spirit of St. Louis. They discovered it on AMC and insisted that I watch it when it came on again. I had never seen it. There's no such thing as a Jimmy Stewart movie that I don't love--except I've never liked Vertigo, so let's not talk about it.

In his later years, I remember Jimmy Stewart sometimes reading his poetry on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.




The poem Beau still makes me tear up.

God bless you, Jimmy Stewart. I'm grateful I can still watch your movies, you tall drink of water at six feet, three inches, just like Favorite Young Man. I think I miss Faulkner as much as you missed Beau.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug



*I did not mean to give the impression that my father knew Jimmy Stewart. They both happened to be in the Army Air Corps during World War II, and then both were in the Air Force Reserves. If my dad had been Jimmy Stewart's buddy, I would never stop telling you about it. I would write a post about their friendship every single day.

Monday, January 26, 2015

FREE BOOK FROM SONYA ANN

Hello, Darlings,

Sonya Ann, who blogs at at A Mom, Money, and More, announces the completion of her book, Stratagem A Life Perceived

For five days, she's very generously offering the e-book for free. Go HERE for the free download, or if you don't have a Kindle, download a free app HERE. The app allows you to download the book to your computer. To celebrate, Sonya Ann is having a $25 Amazon gift card giveaway.


Big time congratulations to you, Sonya Ann. A book is quite an accomplishment.

Best wishes!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

WELL, WHADYA THINK?

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

As we welcomed the new year, clad in a disposable diaper (the new year's baby--not us, well maybe some of us), I let you know in a post that I had to cut back on my blogging time. I had to make other parts of my life priorities, including editing, writing, reading, and taking better care of myself.

With those goals in mind, most of my blog posts have decreased in length; I don't respond to all comments, just a few by email; I don't comment on as many blogs as I did previously; and although I read as many blogs as time allows, I don't read as many as I did before.

Since I initiated these changes, I've noticed that my page views have been cut in half, but the comments have continued to arrive.

What do you think of the adjustments I've made?  Do you feel neglected if I don't comment on your blog? Are you brokenhearted when I don't respond to your comment? I can't imagine that shorter posts would upset anyone.

I'd love to know what you think. If you have suggestions for ways to improve my blog, or if you can't stand me, then please tell me so I can ignore you.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


Image courtesy of fishducky.


Friday, January 23, 2015

ANN PATCHETT MARRIED HER DOG

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I was rather shocked to learn that author Ann Patchett married her dog, but it was in The New York Times so it had to be true. They reviewed one of her books and mentioned "her stabilizing second marriage to her beloved dog."

I understood Ann's feelings. Dogs never let us down.

But then I discovered this letter she wrote to The Times:

Puppy Love
To the Editor:
I was grateful to see my book “This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage” mentioned in Paperback Row (Oct. 19). When highlighting a few of the essays in the collection, the review mentions topics ranging from “her stabilizing second marriage to her beloved dog” without benefit of comma, thus giving the impression that Sparky and I are hitched. While my love for my dog is deep, he married a dog named Maggie at Parnassus Books last summer as part of a successful fund-raiser for the Nashville Humane Association. I am married to Karl VanDevender. We are all very happy in our respective unions.
ANN PATCHETT
NASHVILLE
Lord, help us. We can't even trust The New York Times to get their commas right.

Image courtesy of fishducky.


If you're look for a good book to read, I recommend Bel Canto, written by none other than the accused dog marrier, Ann Patchett.


 Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, January 22, 2015

MOVIE WEEKEND: CHEF

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Ole! Do I have a great movie for you today (Ole! Tengo una gran pelĂ­cula para usted hoy). 
It's Chef (2014; Rated R; Available On DVD; Written and Directed by, and Starring Jon Favreau).

Prominent Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) disagrees with the owner (Dustin Hoffman, who comes off as a real doofus) of the restaurant where he works about the menu to serve to a well-known food critic (Oliver Platt). Casper gives in to Doofus's menu commandment, even though the chef should be in charge of the kitchen, and receives a lousy review. After Casper has a confrontation--to put it mildly--with the critic and it goes viral, Casper no longer has a job. His life is in disarray. He has virtually no relationship with his young son Percy (Emjay Anthony), and he's divorced from Percy's mom, Inez (Sofia Vergara).

At first Casper rejects Inez's suggestion that he start a food truck, but when he gives in . . . well, you have to watch it to see what happens.

I love this movie. I love the screenplay. I love the way it's shot. I love the acting. Favreau is perfect. The kid who plays Percy (I could make fun of the name Percy, but I won't) is a great help to his dad, but not in that obnoxious kid is superior to parent way. I don't watch the TV show with Sofia Vergara and have no idea what it's called, but she seems like someone who would be your friend and wouldn't care that she's gorgeous and you're not (although I am). I love the concept of building I can't tell you what because it would be a spoiler, and I enjoy the Cuban culture in the movie.

Chef earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Whoop-Di-Doo Approval because it's fun and cool and all sorts of good things. I did not watch this movie with Willy Dunne Wooters, but I know he'll love it. I'll probably order it again from Netflix, or buy it when the price comes down, so he can see it and I can enjoy it again.

I don't think Chef was nominated for any Academy Awards, but some critics had it on their lists of movies that might be nominated for Best Picture, although it would be a stretch.

Happy Viewing!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

CLAP ALONG IF YOU FEEL LIKE HAPPINESS IS THE TRUTH

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

A few days after Christmas, a text exchange with one of my favorite nephews (they're all my favorites, except one) made me happy. His mom, my sister-in-law, has dementia and now lives in a care home. She has always been very thin. Her already-small appetite pretty much disappeared when she learned her diagnosis.

From my past work in the nursing home, I know that many people will continue to eat sweets, even if they've given up on everything else. As long as they don't have diabetes, they might as well enjoy their treats.

So I used 1-800-BASKETS to send a few goodies to my sister-in-law. My nephew texted me that when he left her on Christmas Day, she was happily munching on some chocolate popcorn. That made me so happy.

Then my nephew texted that I am his favorite auntie. I replied, No I'm not. I'm not rich enough.

He wrote, Well, I do need a dumpster for my mom's house from Auntie L____, but you are my funniest and most intellectual auntie.

Does a better compliment exist? Happy, happy, happy.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug





Tuesday, January 20, 2015

her head is in a spin
she's not sure who she am
her fingers leave no prints
her life's work is a sham

Monday, January 19, 2015

THE MAN FROM ATLANTA

The Man From Atlanta
 by G.L. Wallace 
(reprinted with the permission of Carol Wallace-Conner)

When the man from Atlanta passed through the portals of
Ebenezer Baptist Church, into the harsh blinding
light of America's racist reality,

Rosa Parks took his hand;

And there a people made a stand that set a whole nation
into motion from the streets of Montgomery, Alabama;
They did a slow dance together; it was hard in the 

beginning because they had forgotten the steps and
had trouble learning the tune;

But they danced and they danced, and they were winning soon,
and there evolved a whole new Black wave of dancing and
singing that had been lost in the centuries of chains

weighing on the feet of bondmen;

Hope took over from fear and let a new people appear, proud
and determined, they turned a nation around, to look in
the mirror of itself, and relisten to the pseudo-sick-sweet

words of liberty and death, uttered with faltering breath;

When the dancer's feet slowed with fatigued-progress, they
asked, "How long?" and the man from Atlanta said, "Not long,
no lie can live forever;" When they thought they heard

him wrong and they asked again, "How long?"

"Not long, even a nation shall still reap what it sows; the moral
arm of the universe reaches out but it still bends
towards justice;"  justice, way down yonder in the land

of cotton, where the very word had been forgotten and

An age old regime of disenfranchisement lay preserved in
Mississippi mud; the dancers came to Mississippi on
winds of change so profound, that they brought the

governor's mansion crumbling to the ground;

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York state;
let freedom ring from the snow capped Rockies of Colorado;
let freedom ring from Pennsylvania's Alleghenies and

Look Out Mountain in Tennessee;

And a great gathering there will be when Black and white,
Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, shall join
hands and sing in the words of that old spiritual from

the past: Free at last, free at last;
thank God a'mighty I'm free at last;

Oh to be a dancer and sing all sorts of songs! at Selma Bridge,
Ain't Nobody Gonne Turn Me Around; by the dogs of Birmingham,
We Shall Not Be moved; in Washington D.C.,

We shall Over Come;  "Are you tired sister?" marching along 
beside me, seventy years old and Black;
She says, "My feets is tired, but my soul is rested."

Oh, to be a dancer and sing all sorts of songs; when I must
meet the most common denominator of us all, to dance my
final dance and sing my final song, don't say too many

words over me, please don't talk too long

Of plastic prizes, and planetary awards and degrees of education;
for I've been to the mountain top, and I've seen the promised
land; so when you speak of me after I'm gone try to make

them understand -- that I loved somebody;

That I could study war no more, but will beat my swords into
plowshares and spears into pruning hooks; if they ask the
meaning of my life, and you must give an answer, say that

I labored in the vineyards of the Lord as a singer and a dancer;

For an assassin's bullet in Memphis can not kill a dancer;
an assassin's bullet will never pierce the armor of his
soul; an assassin's bullet will never touch the spirit of

the dancer moving in our hearts, cleft as the rock of ages
to hold him;

Has anybody here seen my old friend Martin? I been kind of
missin' him lately; can you tell me where he's gone?
Birmingham, Chicago, Jackson, New York, Memphis;

he freed a lot of people, but the good they die young;

When the man from Atlanta stepped from the hallow sanctuary
of Ebenezer Baptist Church, a troubled world grasped his
hand; he sang with them, danced with them, prayed with them,

freed some folks, LOVED SOMEBODY,
then we just looked around and he was gone. 




*Not to be reprinted or distributed without the permission of the copyright holder, Carol Wallace-Conner.

Friday, January 16, 2015

CELEBRITY CRIMINALS IN WHAT I WANT MY WORDS TO DO TO YOU

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Last week I reviewed a documentary called What I Want My Words To Do To You, about a writing workshop playwright Eve Ensler holds in a women's prison. (Read my review HERE.) The documentary is lovely, but I was a bit surprised to see some "celebrity" criminals in the group.*

The first two were part of the Weather Underground and looked similar to benign retirees. Judith Clark was sentenced to 75 years in prison for her role as a driver in a robbery that ended with three homicides:



Kathy Boudin was sentenced to 20-years-to-life for her part in the same robbery. She was granted parole in 2003:



The participant who really took me by surprise, though, was Pamela Smart:



Now 47 years old, Smart has been in prison since 1991, when she was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, witness tampering, and being an accomplice to first-degree murder. In the documentary, Smart does not look like someone sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. If being a prisoner can make you look that good, then convict me.

Her hair is perfect; her make-up carefully applied; she's nicely dressed; her long (fake) nails are beautifully painted; and the woman wears a lot of bling. I've seen at least two movies based on Smart's case. I thought, How come a woman who convinced some teenagers to murder her young husband isn't in shackles and solitary confinement (not that solitary confinement is the answer to dealing with dangerous criminals--it usually makes them worse because they lose their minds)?

But during the documentary, as Smart dealt with her writing assignments, she mentioned that Bill, the 15 year old who killed 24-year-old Greggory Smart, committed the murder after she ended her relationship with him and said she was going back to her husband. She spoke of the fact that she will never leave prison, while one of the accomplices--Bill's friend who drove the car the night of the murder--has been paroled, and a boy who waited in the car has been released. Bill, who pulled the trigger, and his friend who held Smart down, will first be eligible for parole in 2015. She also took responsibility for the fact that the affair led to her husband's death.

This information made me curious about Smart. I did some research about her online, and I hope to see a documentary about her that was on HBO during 2014. It's true that it was incredibly stupid of her to have an affair with a 15-year-old boy. It's possible that she encouraged him to commit the murder.

But she wasn't there the night that Greggory Smart was shot in their home. She didn't pull the trigger. She did not put the gun in Bill Flynn's hands.

She seems to have been portrayed as the wanton woman who convinced a much younger man to commit murder. She was only 23 years old herself. The case received a tremendous amount of scrutiny by the media. The trial was televised. A teenage girl who was involved in the case signed a $100,000 option for the rights to her story. The boys all arranged plea bargains before Smart's trial began.

I also learned that although Smart looked great in the documentary, prison life has not been pleasant for her. She has a metal plate in the left side of her face, where she no longer has any feeling, because of a severe beating by two inmates. "Sexy" photos of her were published in the National Enquirer in 2003. She complained about the photos and received two months in solitary confinement. She later filed a lawsuit claiming that a prison guard raped her and sold the photos to the magazine. The suit was dismissed, but she and another inmate filed again, stating they were sexually assaulted and coerced into posing for photos. This time, Smart received $23,875 from the state of New York.

Pamela Smart: sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. I wonder how much her gender, youth, and beauty had to do with the way she was treated. She says she wishes she had received the death penalty.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


* I consider them celebrity criminals because their crimes made them infamous.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

MOVIE WEEKEND: BOYHOOD

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

No, you are not wrong about the day of the week. MOVIE WEEKEND has moved to Wednesday just for today so I can make some Oscar predictions before the nominations are announced tomorrow (Jan. 15, 2015). Of course, my predictions will come as no surprise to those of you who read anything about movies.

This week's movie is Boyhood (2014, Rated R, Available On DVD, Written and Directed by Richard Linklater).


Linklater spent twelve years filming the same cast members as a family to create Boyhood. The story is seen from the point of view of Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who ages from five to eighteen. One might expect that a movie filmed over twelve years would result in a Grand Guignol epic. Although the film is naturalistic, it's a fairly quiet movie that at first seemed a bit boring. Then I became engrossed in the family's life, especially that of "Mom" (Patricia Arquette).

According to the Internet Movie Database, Linklater made ten - fifteen minute short movies each year from 2002 to 2013 and then edited them together to create Boyhood. If he had died, his close friend who plays "Dad" in the movie, Ethan Hawke, would have finished the film.

Here are my Oscar nominee predictions for Boyhood: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress for Arquette, maybe Best Supporting Actor for Hawke, in addition to various and sundry other nominations in smaller categories. The film has a good chance of winning in all the categories I mentioned with the exception of Best Supporting Actor. I wish Ellar Coltrane would be nominated for Best Actor and Lorelai Linklater for Best Supporting Actress as Mason's sister, Samantha (yes, she's Linklater's daughter), but I don't think either will happen.

Through moves and education and alcohol and drugs and quiet moments and arguments and loves gained and lost, Boyhood is a masterpiece. It's an organic whole, but I didn't want it to end, even though it's pretty long at 165 minutes. Boyhood earns The Janie Junebug Seal of . . . what? What's higher than Highest Approval?

Be sure to see this movie before the Academy Awards air on Feb. 22nd.

Happy Viewing!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


P.S. Don't worry about my lizard stomping and the spillage of guts. I stomped with my tiny foot in a pink slipper. The lizard said, What in the heck? and ran away.

P.P.S. I almost forgot to say that although I don't think the depiction of a certain "deity" in cartoons is wise, as a former journalist, Je suis Charlie.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

LIZARD OF THE WEEK

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's unusual for me to have a lizard in the house two weeks in a row. It must be the weather. Like all natives of Florida, they can't deal with temperatures in the thirties.

This week's lizard was in the laundry room and was light brown rather than bright green as was the lizard of the previous week. He looked a bit like this, but I can't find a photo with his exact color:



I didn't have anything handy for stabbing purposes, so I stomped on him. He ran behind the washing machine. I haven't seen him again, not have I seen his bright green friend.

Letter to local lizards:

Lizards,

You do not belong in my house, per our previous agreement. Get lost. I shall continue my attempts to stab and stomp you to death. I know you eat insects. That's great, but you belong outside. Go join your friends. Even if I don't kill you, you will die inside my house. Then you will be lizard dust, sucked up by Mrs. Roomba.

Sincerely,

The Queen of Grammar

That is all. Oh! I just remembered that some of you seemed concerned about yesterday's poem. Please do not confuse the speaker, a.k.a. the poetic persona, with the poet. The poem is a poem. Willy Dunne Wooters has not been banished. If the Wooters man were gone, I would not have a place to rest my head because of course my head belongs on his chest with my left leg over his left leg and my left hand on his tummy. NOW, that is all.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, January 12, 2015

You know the time will come
you'll wish for me and I'll be gone
You'll wish for the woman
who would bring you chicken noodle soup
You'll wish for the woman
who would scramble your eggs
You'll wish for the woman
who would laugh at your jokes
You'll wish for the woman
who would gasp when you kiss the back of her neck

You'll wish, but she'll be gone.

Friday, January 9, 2015

AT LONG LAST: ANOTHER SEASON OF DOWNTON ABBEY BEGINS

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Downton Abbey's latest season arrived on PBS last Sunday night (Jan. 4th). I realize that the following information may come as a shock to you, so stand closer to the fainting couch: I didn't DVR the show to watch at a later time. I WATCHED IT IN REAL TIME.

Rita Pita Pan of SoulComfort's Corner and I have discusses the first episode by email. We grant it our approval. In case you haven't seen the episode yet, I have one word for you: FIRE. It's kind of like Rosebud in Citizen Cane, only not.

You'll see for yourself.

And did you catch the Downton Abbey Christmas greeting that featured George Oceans Gravity, a.k.a. Lord Hollywood? Although Christmas has come and gone, I feel it is my responsibility as royalty to force this adorable bit of hilarity on you:









The video was made to benefit a British charity.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


Thursday, January 8, 2015

DOCUMENTARY WEEKEND: WHAT I WANT MY WORDS TO DO TO YOU

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I saw a great documentary recently. It's What I Want My Words To Do To You: Voices From Inside a Women's Maximum Security Prison (2003, Unrated, Available On DVD).

Playwright Eve Ensler (best known for The Vagina Monologues, which I've never seen but I love the title) conducts a writing workshop with some of the prisoners in Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women. According to Wikipedia, Ensler continues to hold these workshops and has done so since 1998.

What I Want My Words To Do To You gives us glimpses into the workshops and the writing of the prisoners, and we get to see performances of some of their work by such actresses as Marisa Tomei and Mary Alice.

Considering that one of my favorite things to say is WORDS ARE POWER, then I guess it won't come as a great surprise to you that I am moved by this documentary and give it The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Feminist Approval. Also Non-Feminists Approval, just in case you think Rush Limbaugh is a god of some sort.

I was surprised to see some "celebrity" criminals in the workshop. More about that another day. I've noticed that I quite often write that I'll continue a topic on another day, and then I don't do it. One of the changes I hope to make to my blog is returning to a subject when I say I will.

Joyous Viewing!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

THE NEIGHBORS DISAPPARATED

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Before I tell you about the neighbors, I feel I must--again--reply to those of you who think I'm cruel for killing lizards who enter my home:

IT'S MY HOUSE.

Now for the happy story of the neighbors who disapparated, and no, I did not stab them with the scissors. First, I should make it clear that we are do not speak of Hot Young Anthony and Sweet Young Allison, parents of Adorable Little Caroline. My angel neighbors remain in their places. Hot Young Anthony even cleaned up my leaves. I did not ask him to do so. He simply did it. I think he feels sorry for me, and he should so it's okay.

The neighbors who disapparated are the ones on the other side. The ones who chat loudly in their driveway at three a.m. Right outside my bedroom window. The woman wanders in and out of her house all night, as she smokes one cigarette after another. Her wheelchair makes a thumpa-thumpa noise as she goes up and down her ramp. They also have weeds growing out of their roof. I don't know why, but the weeds bother me even more than the chatting and the thumpa-thumpa.

I last spotted these neighbors a few days before Thanksgiving. It was dusk as Franklin and I returned home from a pleasant walk. The woman and her wheelchair were out in the front yard. How are you? I inquired.

I have three angry cats in cages, she replied with a mouth so sour I suspected she had just sucked on a lemon.

Oh, dear, I murmured and made a beeline for my door.

I figured Wheelchair Smoker Woman and Silent Husband were going to drop off their cats at her daughter's home and then head out for a vacation.

It is now January seventh, and I have not seen them. No one has mentioned them. No FOR SALE or FOR RENT sign is in their scraggly front lawn. Occasionally lights are on in their house during the evening, and I think, They've returned.

But, no, it must be the daughter checking on the house. But I haven't seen her coming or going.

They have disapparated. I love the spells I learned by reading the Harry Potter books.

heheheheheheheh


Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble . . .


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

THE LIZARD ARRANGEMENT

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I get the impression from reading some of you comments on yesterday's post (SEE HERE) that you think I'm cruel for stabbing lizards who enter my home.

What I failed to explain is that I have a legal and binding agreement with the Local Lizards Union that I made within forty-eight hours of moving into my humble abode.

The deal is as follows: Lizards, you stay outside. If you come in the house, I shall kill you.

What could be simpler than that? The green guys don't belong in here.

The Hurricane used to have an arrangement with Faulkner, the Original Dog. Each morning he waited patiently as she ate her toast. When she reached the last corners of the toast, she gave them to Faulkner. I know it's not the same as stay outside or I'll kill you, but some agreements must be honored.

So Little Green Bastards, stay the hell out of my house, or I'll stab you.


Infinities of lizard love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, January 5, 2015

DEAR 2015

Dear 2015,

Have you been here long enough to form an opinion about what you have in store for us? How many airplanes will disappear?

I suppose you can't reveal that number. I hope it's zero.

I need to make some changes. I'm not ready to tell the world what they are, but they might involve blogging a little less and writing and editing a little more. I suspect the world can survive without a dose of me every day, Monday - Friday.

I don't know why, but it seems worth mentioning that the night before last I found a lizard in the TV room. It was behind the shelves on which my office supplies are organized. It was an unusually bright green lizard. I tried to stab it with some scissors that were at hand because, as I said, we met behind the office supplies, and office supplies include scissors.

You bastard, you ran away every time I came at you with the scissors. How did you know they would kill you if they had the chance? What other experiences have you had with scissors?

I told Willy Dunne Wooters that you visited, but I didn't tell him about the attempted murder. He thinks I should scoop up the likes of you and set you free outside. I don't know why. So many of your ilk are already running around. He seemed quite shocked that I sometimes stab your species with a fork, or whatever else I can grab, such as scissors.

You got away, so Willy Dunne Wooters will be better off if he doesn't know what I tried to do to you. Is there a lesson in your escape? Am I better off not knowing what 2015 will bring?

You won't be nothing but another year with a 5 instead of a 4 at your end, will you?

If I make changes, you can still count on me to be Your Queen of Grammar.




Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug