Thursday, May 25, 2017

MOVIE WEEKEND SNIPPETS

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's been a long time since I reviewed a movie for you. Because I've seen quite a few movies, I'll give you "snippet" reviews.

I saw all of these movies on DVDs sent to me by my friends at Netflix.

Lion Carol and I watched this one together. We loved it! Dev Patel is great, and he is a sexy man.

Paterson Paterson's last name is Paterson. He lives in Paterson, New Jersey. He drives a bus. He goes home every night and eats the dinner cooked by his wife. Then he takes her dog for a walk. The dog sits outside while Paterson goes in a bar and drinks one beer. Then he goes home. But into Paterson's mundane existence we insert the fact that he writes poetry--beautiful poetry. His wife expresses her artistry by painting everything in sight and deciding she wants to be a country singer. She also loves her husband's poetry. I love this movie. Art can be where we least expect it. By the way, Paterson's favorite poet is William Carlos Williams, who was from Paterson, New Jersey.

Jackie Dull, breathy-voiced debutante grieves after her husband's assassination. How could Natalie Portman be nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award? Watching this movie led me to Google more info about Jackie Kennedy, though. I didn't realize that Caroline Kennedy allowed her mother's oral history recorded for the JFK Library to be released much earlier than Jackie Kennedy had decreed. Did you know Jackie called Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson "Colonel Cornpone and His Little Porch Chop"? Now, that made me laugh.

La La Land I thought I didn't like this movie because my expectations were too high. Then I discovered that some other bloggers didn't like it, and Favorite Young Man said he knows a lot of people who didn't think it was that great. This movie won Best Director and Best Actress at the Academy Awards? Not okay. I realize that the actor who looks so much like Willy Dunne Wooters is in this movie. He's fine. He's always fine. He rises above the material.

Deepwater Horizon Big disaster.

The Light Between Oceans Sweet and sad.

The Infiltrator Dull character study that only gets interesting at the end.

Demolition Love, love, love, love it! Go, Jake Gyllenhaal! His character's strange reaction to his wife's death in a car accident makes for a great movie. Give Jake an Academy Award already.

You'll learn more about two nine-year-old boys on Tuesday. Tomorrow is The Cephalopod Coffeehouse, so I have to tell you about the best book I read this month. Monday is Memorial Day, so I have to memorialize my favorite vet. Oh, wait! Tuesday is TIP TUESDAY. The boys might not be back until Wednesday.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

WHAT DO NINE-YEAR-OLD BOYS DO WHEN THEY'RE HOME ALONE?

This post is Part II of a series that began with TWO NINE-YEAR-OLD BOYS.


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

What do two nine-year-old boys do when they're home alone?

They scream and climb on things. Then they shout and climb. Then they yell and climb.

It's noisy; get the point?

The climbing includes climbing trees and climbing on whatever happens to be in their backyard that allows them to look in their neighbors' windows. They are such climbers that I can see them from the waist up above my privacy fence, which is seven-feet tall.

not my adorable little neighbor

Their worst climbing is when they clamber up on the crappy shed in their crappy backyard, jump to the roof of my garage (which has asbestos shingles so just wait until you learn about mesothelioma, boys), and then drop down in my backyard. I did not witness this particular climb. My neighbor saw it, and I don't know how they got out of the yard because my gate was still chained and the ladder was not removed from its spot in the garage.

Remember No Country For Old Men?
"MY" nine-year-old boys will grow up to be this guy.

They also like to throw things. Throwing started with them tossing toys into my backyard. I thought the toys had come over the fence by accident when they were playing, so I tossed them back. A few hours later, the toys would be in my yard again. So I gave up on that and let the dogs chew on the safe toys. Unsafe toys went in the garbage can.

"My" nine-year-old boys can be food-throwers at times. I guess this happens when they have something for supper that they don't like, although God only knows who prepares their meals since no adults live in the house. One evening I found numerous slices of fresh cucumber in my backyard. My brilliant mind deduced that their meal had included cucumber in a salad. I don't want the dogs to eat the food because it might be poisoned, which I think could be true because if I cooked for those kids I would poison their food.

So I cleaned up the cucumber. The next evening the cucumber magically replaced itself in my yard. Left-overs for supper, I thought.


The two-nine-year-old boys don't limit themselves to throwing toys and food. They have become more aggressive, perhaps because of the lack of cucumber in their diets. They throw things AT the fence. The largest items appeared to be big, clunky pieces of firewood.

That made quite the smacking sound, which frightened Franklin and Penelope. I wouldn't be worried about what two nine-year-old boys do when they're home alone except for these three reasons:


  1. They might injure themselves on my property and their non-existent parents could blame me and even sue me. Because they are home alone, if I saw that they were injured, I would feel as a reasonable person that I should use my prodigious first-aid skills to help them by handing them band-aids and screaming at them to go call an ambulance for themselves.
  2. I'm concerned about property damage. Sooner or later, they will throw something at the fence that damages it and breaks it down. Then Franklin and Penelope will not have a secure yard, and I'll have to make a big fuss to get the damage repaired.
  3. They scare Franklin and Penelope. Franklin barks at them, which leads to them barking back at him because they aren't really nine-year-old boys; they are feral dogs. Although Franklin makes a valiant effort to protect his yard, they frighten him. So he runs inside and doesn't get to enjoy his yard during rare nice weather. Poor Penelope is terrified of her neighbors to the point that she won't go out if they are out. This problem leads to hours of Penelope crossing her legs because she needs to pee. She trembles, hides behind my chair, and turns into a pitiful sight.
Penelope crosses her legs much tighter than
Mona Lisa after four drinks and does not look this relaxed.

Now the question becomes: what does one do about two nine-year-old boys who are at home alone?



Here come the words you adore: to be continued, but you should blame yourself for this to-be- continued-thing because so many of you read my to be continued stuff about the dentist who stopped accepting my insurance. So there.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

TIP TUESDAY: THERE & THERE'S

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

You didn't really think I'd continue the story of the two nine-year-old boys today, did you? No way. You have to wait. The world needs TIP TUESDAY.

I'm not editing now, so I have time to blog. I like blogging, but someone please send me a book to edit. I'm available for a reasonable price. Ask Willy Dunne Wooters. I'm what's known as a cheap date even if the invitation is to edit.

All right. That's enough self-advertising for now.

First, we discuss there. If I've edited anything for you, then you know I'm prone to telling my clients that there makes a poor subject for your sentence.

Example: There are police officers all over that crime scene.

Let's change it to Police officers are all over that crime scene. 

Can you think of a way to make it even better? I bet you can. How about using a stronger verb?

Second, let's talk about there's. There's makes me crazy because I see it used incorrectly all the time.

THERE'S = THERE IS

Example of use that makes me crazy: There's hikers climbing the mountain.

Is is singular. Hikers is plural. If you insist on using there as your subject, then please get your there's correct. How would you improve our sample sentence?

Okay. I think I've fussed enough for today. Somebody hurry up and hire me.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thanks, fishducky!

Monday, May 22, 2017

TWO NINE-YEAR-OLD BOYS

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Two nine-year-old boys live in the house behind mine. They probably think I live in the house behind theirs, but nope! I was here before they were. My dogs have peed in the backyard enough that I can definitely claim this as OUR territory.

They're not identical twins,
but let's say they both look like this.

Now you might have noticed that I didn't mention that adults live in the house behind mine––because I swear to God no adults live there. It's the two nine-year-old boys.

I have seen a carousel of adults revolving around the house. They go in and out of the doors and talk on their cell phones in the yard behind MY backyard and blow cigarette smoke toward my house. I do not believe for one second that any of those adults live in that house. They just keep revolving and smoking and talking into cell phones.

Now, how do I know that the boys are nine years old, you might wonder. It's because they drove me so crazy one day that I yelled at them. I screeched, Where are your parents?

Er potter's nert ahm, they seemed to say. I'd heard everything else they'd been shouting for hours but when I asked them a question, suddenly they couldn't be heard.

I went over to the very tall privacy fence that somehow does not protect me from nine-year-old boys. I asked again, Where are your parents?

After three or so attempts at understanding them, they finally spoke loudly enough so I could hear them say, Our father's not home.

I used to be a newspaper reporter. I can conduct an interview with the best of them.

How old are you? I screamed.

Eventually their whispers wafted through the ether: We're nine years old.

Nine years old and they're at home alone on a school day––or what should have been a school day.



The words you dread as much as I dread nine-year-old boys: to be continued . . . 


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, May 19, 2017

PENELOPE DISCUSSES THE LIVING ROOM RUG

Hello. It is I, Penelope.

Mom Mom edited two books, so she ignored you and she ignored Franklin and me. We have not been fed or petted in weeks. Or perhaps months.

Mom Mom neglects me.
She treated us even worse during February when she went on a vacation to a place called the hospital. I do not know what she did on this vacation, but when she came home she was very tired. I think she went to that place to drink frozen margaritas. (So selfish!) It is true that Human Brother was here and he stroked my beautiful fur for hours, but Mom Mom has no reason to ever go away from us.

When Mom Mom came home, she said that she and Willy Dunne Wooters could not stand the odor emanating from the area rug in the living room. She and Daddy Dunne Wooters told me that the ammonia coming from the rug made their eyes burn and it was MY fault. I did not and still do not know what this statement meant.

This is what I say to Mom Mom
and that Daddy Dunne Wooters.

Get over it, Mom Mom.
And I tell you that Mom Mom is NOT the real
Lorelai Gilmore.
Daddy Dunne Wooters rolled up the living room rug to take it outside. A neighbor said he would like to have it. Mom Mom asked him how he could stand the odor. (Smart Ass Mom Mom!) He said that he had been in an accident and does not have a sense of smell.

I am glad the rug went to live in another house. It was ugly. (And Cheap. So Cheap!) (Bad Taste!)

Now the floor in the living room is made of wood. Sometimes when Mom Mom goes out, she comes home to find a puddle. Mom Mom says if I continue to leave puddles on the floor, I will have to go in the prison cell while she is gone.

I think I shall make two or three puddles the next time Mom Mom is gone because when I go in the prison cell, I get my Kong. It is always frozen and has peanut butter inside. (Delicious! So Delicious!)

Ha ha on Mom Mom.

That is all. Goodbye.

Mom Mom is The Queen of Grammar,
but I am The Queen of This House.

Monday, May 8, 2017

MY GIRL SAM FOUND HER BIRTH FAMILY

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Sam, who cares for my golden tresses, found her birth family. I didn't even know she was looking.

I'm going to see her tomorrow, so I hope she'll tell me more about the search.

For now, here's the link to a story that ran on a local TV station: https://goo.gl/FXU1Jq

I continue to edit!


Love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, May 1, 2017

I SHOULD BE BACK BUT I'M NOT REALLY

Dear Hearts and Gentle People,

A to Z is over. May is here. I should be blogging again, but I'm not (unless you count this note as a blog post) because I have TWO, count 'em, TWO books to edit.

I am a diligent junebug. Franklin and Penelope are my faithful assistants, as always.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thanks, fishducky!
I do love to make up words.

Friday, March 31, 2017

THE CEPHALOPOD COFFEEHOUSE: MOMMY TRIED TO KILL ME BY SUZY SORO

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,



Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the works they enjoyed most over the previous month.  Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun. This blog hop is hosted by The Armchair SquidClick on the link to sign up and join us.

The best book that I finished this month is Mommy Tried To Kill Me: Why It's Never Too Early To Start Drinking In Paris by Suzy Soro.

Suzy Soro is my favorite celebrity I've "met" online (she's also the only one who has ever responded to my emails or to tweets in which I mention her). She's hilarious, and I wish she still blogged. When I learned she had a new book out, I bought it immediately.




Suzy and her sister Lindy spent parts of their childhood living in France with their mother, who had gotten divorced from their father after twenty-nine years of marriage, and later married a Frenchman named Jean. But now little Suzy and Lindy are all grown up, and their mother is not running around Paris with Jean (thank God because he's dead). But she has become a lady of elderly or at least older status, who can still pull what Suzy and Lindy call "The French-Face: an eye roll up to the left, an almost imperceptible shake of the head, and a contemptuous, dismissive shrug. I'm a standup comic: I can recognize signs of contempt from space."

So the older lady who can French-Face with the best of them is eighty-nine, refuses to live in the United States so she can be near Suzy and Lindy, she's fallen in her Paris home and she doesn't have one of those buttons to push to say I've fallen and I can't get up (let me clue you in on something: those buttons are worthless because when I worked in the nursing home, we played host to a load of people who had fallen and couldn't get up and they had the button but couldn't remember how to push it or maybe their thumbs got cut off when they fell), so someone scooped her up and took her to the hospital. Suzy and Lindy travel to Paris to see their mother, and Suzy stays on to clean out the apartment her mother has decided to sell and to help darling French-Face Mommy recover. 

This book is Suzy's memoir about her stay in Paris, doing the best she can to assist someone who does not want her assistance, and whose every conversation with Suzy "invariable devolves into what I'm doing wrong with my life, like how I never got a real job. And don't have a 401(k). Or at the very least, a husband with a real job and a 401(k)." Suzy also reveals plenty of interesting and unusual family secrets, including stories about her father's numerous wives.

Mommy Tried To Kill Me is poignant and Sorodonic (my combination of Soro and sardonic) by turns. When it gets too sad––as stories about elderly people who are injured and sinking into dementia must do, especially when they pick on the daughter who is doing her utmost to help out while freezing to death in Paris and trying to remember the French that has pretty much absented itself from her brain––you can count on Suzy to come up with a Sorokism (my combination of Soro, which means funny in some language other than French, and some sarcasm): "If parents want to hide something, they should attach it to their keys. They can never find those."

Mommy Tried To Kill Me: Why It's Never Too Early To Start Drinking In Paris earns The Janie Junebug Seal Of Highest Hilarical Tinged By Whimsy And Weirdness Approval.

You can purchase it on Amazon at https://goo.gl/zWy0Qy. You can also buy Suzy Soro's first book, Celebrity sTalker, on Amazon at https://goo.gl/9QgSvP, but you'll have to buy the Kindle version unless you want one of the four paperbacks they say are available for $59.99 and up. Or I'll consider selling my autographed copy of this hilarious book for about a million bucks. It's negotiable, but my rock-bottom price is $999,999.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Hey, you. Yeah, you, the person who read my post all the way to the end. The people who quit early are going to wonder where I am during April. Well, you are in the know if you read a tiny bit more. I don't blog during April because I leave the cruelest month to the A to Z-ers. I'm editing a book, and should have one or two more to work on soon. If you have a grammatical emergency or want to beg me to edit your book, please email me at dumpedfirstwife@gmail.com. I'll be back on blog patrol in May. Be there or be square.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

CAN YOU WIN THE NATIONAL SPELLING BEE?

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Fishducky of fishducky, finally! sent me this link to a spelling test of sorts:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/christopherhudspeth/only-a-true-smarty-pants-can-correctly-spell-these-spelling

Click on the link and you'll find the pronunciations and definitions of twelve words contestants have needed to be able to spell to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Then you're given two possible spellings for the word. Choose the one you think is correct.

If you like, you can share your score in your comment, or not.

Shall I tell you my score? Maybe you should try to guess. A hint: I did not get all twelve correct.

This test is easier than being in an actual spelling bee (not that I was ever in one) because you have the choices spelled correctly for you to choose. You don't have to start from scratch.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


Here's Rebecca Sealfon, my all-time favorite National Spelling Bee winner:



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND A CAKE

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Today is my dear friend Rita's birthday. The first part of 2017 has been rough for Rita. Her beloved cat Karma died, and she's had surgery on both of her eyes. I hope you'll hop over to SoulComfort's Corner to wish her a happy birthday.

My Favorite Young Man had a birthday on Sunday. He's now thirty-seven years old. I mentioned that I would make a cake for him and use my mother's chocolate frosting recipe, and Anne in the kitchen of new happenings at the table and whatever asked if I share recipes. I do share, so today instead of grammar tips, you get chocolate frosting tips.

This recipe is not exactly the same as my mother's because I've modified it over the years. It was a big favorite when my children were growing up, and a big favorite when I was growing up.

First, bake a 13x9 cake. This frosting isn't thick enough to stay on a layer cake. I like to get pretty durn fancy, so I used a yellow cake mix.



Slop about one-third cup butter and one-third cup milk in a small saucepan. Add one cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I think my mom used two squares unsweetened baking chocolate, but in a second, you'll know why I use the chocolate chips).


Stir over low heat until the chocolate chips melt. Eat a few chocolate chips before you put the pan on the burner because you'll need strength from the chocolate to get through this detailed and complicated process.


When you buy the chocolate chips, be sure to get a much bigger package of them than you need. Pour the remaining chocolate chips into a Tupperware container and hide them in the back of a cabinet in case of a chocolate emergency, which can occur as frequently as everyday.


Here's what the mixture looks like when the chocolate chips have melted. It's kind of like chocolate soup.


Stir in one cup of granulated sugar. Return to heat, a little bit higher, but watch it carefully.


Bring to a low boil for one minute. Remove the mixture from the stove and set the bottom of the pan in cold water. DO NOT let the water get in the pan. Stir the chocolate until you feel it getting thicker.


Dump the chocolate on the cake. If you pour it on from one end of the cake to the other, then you don't have to spread it out.


Let it cool for a bit so the chocolate hardens some, but you want it to remain kind of soft because that's how it tastes best (helpful hint: you can also make this frosting, let it cool a bit, and then pour as much as you want on a bowl filled with ice cream; you will think you have died and gone to heaven).

Cut a piece of cake and put it on a pretty red plate. Devour.


Now here's what irritated the heck out of me when the kids were young and my son still does this: the corner pieces are the best because the frosting runs down along the front and the side of the cake. See how I cut a piece of cake from the first corner? It stands to reason that the next piece of cake would be cut from the middle, but oh no! My son cut the next piece from the other corner. Thus, you end up with a cake that is nothing but middle, but it still tastes good.


Yes, Hurricane, you can have your cake and eat it, too.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, March 27, 2017

MY OCD CONFESSION

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

As I tap away on my laptop, I hear Franklin dreaming. He's on the floor behind my chair. He breathes heavily, whimpers a bit, and kicks the chair. I hope his dream is a happy one. Last night I had a dream about The Waltons––yes, the TV family. Some of the younger cast members showed me all over the set for the show. They also told me some cool secrets about how the show was made. I don't remember any of the secrets. Sorry. I realize you're itching to know.


A few years ago I saw Michael Learned (Mama) in a play at a dinner theater. Lord, deliver me from dinner theater.

Anydisorder, I'm not here to write about The Waltons, though it was my favorite TV show for many years. I still watch the occasional re-run.

I'm really here to tell you about my obsessive compulsive disorder. Sometimes I joke that correcting grammar scratches my OCD itch. I also like to have a place for everything and everything in its place.

But I don't care if someone moves the lavender vase on the living-room shelves half an inch to the right.

I think my desire to be organized comes from worry about losing things. I doubt if it's a true obsessive compulsive disorder. I don't wash my hands until they bleed. I don't dust the envelopes that come in the mail. I don't even care that a dead leaf has fallen from Franklin's fur and is on the rug at this moment.

No, I have a different kind of OCD. It falls in the same category as the type that compels some people to pull out their hair (Trichotillomania). 

When I was about eight years old, I began to pull the skin off from around my nails. Any little dry bit of skin had to go. Anything that wasn't smooth and perfect? I picked until it was gone. I also bit my nails sometimes, but it was really the skin that bothered me.


not my fingers

Eventually my mother noticed and tried to make me feel ashamed for what I was doing. I was already ashamed. I didn't need her help. Sometimes other kids noticed. One even said to me, I do that, too.

The skin removal was an on-and-off thing for years. X also noticed and tried to embarrass me (I was already so embarrassed that he just made me more miserable). As I grew older and had more emotional strength, I countered his attacks by asking why he picked at his face and scalp all the time (so there, X).

Divorce didn't end my compulsion. I tried to stop myself by wearing cotton gloves around the house and wrapping my fingers in large bandages. Nothing helped.

Finally, I asked Google about my problem. Within a few minutes, I knew what was wrong. I also learned that it could have been much worse. Some people pull off so much of their skin that they have large sores.


Now that I could name the problem, I asked Google what I should do about it. Although some people need medication to help them stop excoriating, I decided to try a different solution: acrylic nails.

The nails worked like magic. I haven't pulled off my skin since I got them a few years ago.

About every six weeks, I have a "fill-in" done on my nails to keep the gel polish looking neat as the natural nails grow out. It costs about twenty dollars, and boy, is it worth it. 




Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

P.S. I write this post in case you have a similar problem and don't know what to do about it.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

I'M SICK OF NEEDING A NEW DENTIST

To read Part One of this diatribe CLICK HERE, and to read Part Two, CLICK HERE.

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I shouldn't write multi-part stories. I bore myself.

All righty, then, when last we saw our Fair Junebug, she'd been told that the dentist's office had never accepted her insurance (following four years of appointments), and she learned the insurance company's "customer service" department was worthless, which didn't surprise her in the least because it's common knowledge that customer service was created to make us all insane.

Next step: I called the guy who sold me the insurance. He actually answered his phone. His name is Joseph, as in Jesus, Mary, and the guy who stands around to watch all the hullabaloo surrounding his wife who isn't even having his baby.




Joseph listened to my story and said, I wish I could do something about this, but unfortunately I can't. I can tell you what happened, though. Of course they accepted your insurance. I see this happen all the time with dentists' offices. They open and they want new customers, so they accept all sorts of insurance. Then they become successful and they stop accepting some types of insurance, but they don't tell you until after your appointment.

Joseph also apologized for the response I'd received from "customer service."



I appreciated it that Joseph didn't try to weasel out of the situation, just like Mary's dude. He couldn't stop dentists from doing people dirty over insurance, but he gave me a straight answer, and he apologized.

My response was to call N______ D_____ and tell them what Joseph had said about them accepting and then suddenly not accepting my insurance. The person on the other end of the phone did not say one word. She didn't argue with me. She didn't protest.

I also added the new tidbit of information to my online review of N______ D_____.

Because I had made my next appointment with N______ D______ before I was told they didn't accept my insurance, I waited until the day before the appointment and then called to cancel. The appointment person asked if I wanted to reschedule. No, I said. I will never be back.

A couple of months after the kerfuffle, I received a bill from N______ D______. It was for my final toofer cleaning with them, but it wasn't very large. I paid it and waved goodbye with my middle finger.

Although I'm not happy about what happened with N_____ D_____, at least I can share my story to make other people aware of their actions. I'm also glad that throughout the ordeal of trying to learn what had happened, I remained calm. I didn't scream or curse at anyone, but I'm persistent and I kept asking questions until I learned the truth.



Now, I need to have my teeth cleaned. It just so happens that I received an advertisement in the mail a few days ago about a new dentist's office that opened not far from my home . . .

Don't worry. Not happening. I'll figure it out.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

DO YOU STILL WANT TO KNOW WHY I NEED A NEW DENTIST?

Continued from Monday––to read the first part CLICK HERE.

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

When last you saw your Queen of Grammar, she had been to the dentist to have her teeth cleaned and heard these words: We don't accept your insurance. We've never accepted your insurance.

That's not possible, I replied. I've been coming here for four years. The first question I asked before I made an appointment with you was if you accepted my insurance. I wouldn't have come here if you didn't. Besides, you've called my insurance company twice to find out my share of the cost for two procedures.

All of this led to the billing person and the office manager squawking and running back and forth between offices.



Finally, the billing person said, I don't know what to tell you. You should probably call your insurance company, but since we've never accepted your insurance that means your bill is going to be huge.

Which led to me squawking and running in circles until someone pushed me out of the door and told me which car was mine and told me how to start it because I had lost my memory at the words "your bill is going to be huge." Four years of dental services? Four freaking years? Not possible.



So I called my insurance company. The "customer service" representative for my dental insurance told me that I was assigned to G_____ D_____ (I'm in a dental HMO), and no, that does not stand for what you think it does, you filthy-mouthed blasphemer of God.

I said, G_____ D_____ went out of business years ago. They weren't open when the insurance assigned me to them, so I found N______ D______ and made them my providers.

The customer service rep said, You are assigned to G______ D______.

They went out of business years ago, I said.

Rep: You are assigned to G______ D______.

Me: G______ D______ went out of business at least five years ago.

Rep: You are assigned to G______ D______.

Me: G______ D______ went out of business at least five years ago.



I guess you get the idea that the "customer service" representative was there to say the same words over and over and not to provide customer service.

Next, I called N______ D______'s billing office. I went through the whole story. The person said, I don't know what to tell you. We don't accept your insurance.

Steam came out of my ears. It made my golden tresses limp and sad looking.

I went online and found the five-star review I'd given to N_______ D______ and changed it to one star. I left my original comment praising their work, and then added that I had to change the five-star rating I'd given to them and provided a brief explanation.



Okay. I'm tired now. That's all for today. To be continued . . . 


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

TIP TUESDAY: TRACK CHANGES

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

You didn't think I'd really continue the story about the dentist today, did you? No way! It's TIP TUESDAY. The dentist story will probably continue tomorrow.

You've written your first book and you want all the niggling details to be correct, so you look for an editor (preferably moi). I reply in a timely and polite manner. Among the other information you receive from me, you learn that I edit using "Track Changes."

Track Changes might seem daunting if you've never heard of it before, but I learned to use it. I tend to think that if I can learn how to do something on the computer, then any computer user can learn how to do it because I am no technological genius.

If you don't need to use track changes, but you'd like to check it out, go to a Word document. Select the Review tab. Look to the right in Review, and you'll see Track Changes. Click on it and then play around with your document. Make some corrections and changes to see what you can do.



Track changes allows me to make corrections and comments on the manuscripts I edit without printing everything out and marking up the manuscript with a pen, which would probably give me writer's cramp, to which I'm prone.

I tippety-tap on my laptop, and before you know it, you have your manuscript back on your computer with my corrections in red text. No confusion between what you've done and what I've done. If I want to explain a correction or suggest a change, I can highlight your text and then make a comment about it off to the side of your manuscript.

You read through my suggestions and have the option to accept or reject them. Or if you want another person's opinion, you can send your manuscript to that editor who can't possibly be as good as I am but I forgive you, and the other editor's comments and corrections show up in a different color.



I always suggest to my clients that they learn how to use Track Changes before I return their manuscripts. This site has an excellent written explanation of Track Changes, along with a video:

http://www.gcflearnfree.org/word2013/track-changes-and-comments/1/

Some professors also use Track Changes to help their students improve essays before they receive the final grade. When I was a grader for a professor, you'd better believe I wish I could have used Track Changes for that job.

What kind of experiences have you had with Track Changes? Robyn Alana Engel, no complaints allowed from you, even though you put my name in The New York Times and it has nothing to do with pedophilia.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


Monday, March 20, 2017

WHY I NEED A NEW DENTIST

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Back in 2012, the dentist I was seeing had such a strict attendance policy that I got kicked out for missing two appointments (I missed one because I was ill and called during the night to say I couldn't make my morning appointment, and I missed the second one because my GPS sent me to a fast food "restaurant" and refused to admit that it wasn't the dentist's office. I called to say I was lost and was told I was so far away that I couldn't make the appointment and it was my second missed appointment, so farewell). I was disappointed because I liked that dentist and his staff, but really? Two appointments and do not pass go? Do not collect x-rays and a cleaning?




So where to go next? I don't like to miss my every-six-months toofer cleaning.


If only I could find a dentist as devoted as the elf on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.


Dude gave up a great full-time toy making gig, including health insurance and all the candy he wanted, in favor of fixing teeth.

No elves came my way, but I did receive an advertisement in the mail for a new dentist's office that was opening near my home. I called to ask if they accepted my insurance. Yes! was the enthusiastic response. I made my appointment.

Got to the office without any problems. It was a brand-new building with a Keurig in the waiting room, comfortable chairs, and many exam rooms––most of which were dark. They had just opened, after all, so they didn't have many patients. I liked the hygienist, liked the dentist. He wanted to replace some of my old fillings that I'd gotten when I was a child. Made sense to me. Some of those fillings were forty years old (amazing since I was thirty).

One of the billing people called my insurance company to check on coverage for the replacement fillings and told me how much I'd have to pay. Insurance covered most of it.

The appointment for the new fillings fell on Halloween. Everyone dressed up. The hygienists were all cats. The dentist wore a chicken head. All was well. I gave the office a stellar five-star review on Google.

And so the years passed. I kept my appointments and my teeth. With each visit, I saw the business grow. The exam rooms were no longer dark. Each one had a patient. Several dentists worked there, along with a large staff of hygienists and people to handle billing and appointments.  After a couple of years I had another procedure that required another small partial payment from me.

Then I went in for my second cleaning appointment of the year during 2016. Finished, with clean teeth and minty-fresh breath, I went to the desk to make my next appointment. The appointment and billing person looked at her monitor. I could see she was confused. Just a minute, she said, and dashed off to talk to someone in a private office.

She returned to tell me, We don't accept your insurance. We've never accepted your insurance.

To be continued.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug



Friday, March 17, 2017

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING AND LISTENING AND READING

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Now that we know about the wiretapping of Trump Tower by President Obama, it seems to be a perfect Friday for a



with this post I published on June 19, 2013. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING AND LISTENING AND READING has had 152 page views.

While you read, I'll get back to peering into my microwave to find the cameras. Thank God Kellyanne Conway warned me about them. No more heating up a snack while topless.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug



I've been hearing a lot about how the NSA, under the guise auspices of Homeland Security, has continued to read our email and listen in on our conversations – a practice begun during a previous administration, and because no one is minding the store, the shoplifting continues. I realize that this behavior annoys, pisses off, or even inflames some people.




But I read a very interesting article about how government spying on the American people averted a tragedy earlier this year when a couple of young men planned to plant some bombs at the finish line of the Boston marathon.

What's that you say? Huh? Those guys did that and didn't get caught till AFTER they killed and injured some people and caused all sorts of trouble? Oh, shit crap what the fuck my bad. Haven't watched the news since . . . I don't want to bring up that tragedy.

Well, since the covert actions continue, I want to volunteer to be of some assistance. I'm not very good at spying on people. I don't even make a good nosy neighbor. Sweet Young Allison was several months into her pregnancy before someone mentioned to me  I noticed she had a baby bump.

Because I'm not a good spy, then I want to volunteer to be spied on. If the government will concentrate on me, they can stop bothering some of the people who are upset about the whole schlemiel.

I don't mind at all if they watch me. They can put a nanny cam in my house.



The government can listen to me 24/7, including in my bedroom.



They can read my letters to my mother-in-law. They can read my email. They can follow me everywhere I go, which is usually from the house to the yard and back in the house. Maybe a spy will even remind me not to weed whip my leg again (and I was not wearing shorts when I did that, Coffey).

American Public: I want to be the U.S. Government's Whipping Girl.

I am so fascinating that no one will bother the rest of you ever again.




Please. Martyr me. I can take it.