Monday, September 30, 2019

POETRY MONDAY: BEAUTY

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Darling jenny_o of Procrastinating Donkey  participates in Poetry Monday. This week's topic is beauty.

Although I don't plan on being part of Poetry Monday or a regular basis, I want to share a poem that I wrote several years ago. I hope you will think it's a beautiful poem, but more important to me is that it represents the beauty of a connection between two people. Connections don't always last. They can be beautiful while they do.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

untitled


I get into my cold bed at night and
I whisper the silly nickname
I have for you and then
I talk to you softly about 
what it would be like if
you were here with me.
We would sit in the afternoon sunshine
with our books and 
share a kiss and a cocktail.
Then I would prepare a fine feast 
for us and we would dine 
at my whimsical blue table
while the blue clock behind us
quietly ticked off the minutes
until evening.

Then we would walk the 
dogs to the park
and talk about our books
and hurry home
to softly slide 
down the hallway
to my beautiful bedroom.

We would climb into the bed,
now warm,
and hold each other 
until you rested your ear
on my breast
and told me my 
heart was beating,
gently and kindly,
as it should.
Then we would make love
in the moonlight
until our two hearts grew together
and we realized 
the glow of the moon
came from 
within us.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

ARE YOU UP TO DATE ON YOUR IMMUNIZATIONS?

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

The anti-vaxxers frighten me. They will allow their children to spread preventable illnesses that can be very serious and even cause death. Anti-vaxxers endanger all of us, but especially children.

The last time I saw my doctor I requested the measles vaccine (actually MMR for measles, mumps, rubella--none of which you want to have).

"Before the measles vaccination program started in 1963, an estimated 3 to 4 million people got measles each year in the United States. Of these, approximately 500,000 cases were reported each year to CDC; of these, 400 to 500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 1,000 developed encephalitis (brain swelling) from measles. Since then, widespread use of measles virus-containing vaccine has led to a greater than 99% reduction in measles cases compared with the pre-vaccine era. However, measles is still common in other countries. Unvaccinated people continue to get measles while abroad and bring the disease into the United States and spread it to others." (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

I was born in 1959. My mother swore that I never had a childhood illness, but I know I had chicken pox. She didn't see it because my eczema was so bad.  She also didn't like to be bothered by our illnesses. I can't imagine that I had the MMR vaccine when it came out, unless my mother was forced to get it for me or didn't know that I was getting it.  *Note: I'm not saying she was an anti-vaxxer. She didn't know anything different from kids having childhood diseases, and as I said, she did not like to be bothered by us needing a doctor's care.

I haven't gotten my flu shot yet, but get it I will as I do every other year. I can get it for free in the Wellness Center at work, in my doctor's office, or from a pharmacy. I know some people believe that the shot gives you the flu. It's a killed virus. It can't give you the flu. You might have a reaction to it, but the reaction is usually a lot easier than being sick with the flu.

"Flu vaccines that are administered with a needle are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu vaccine viruses that have been 'inactivated' and are therefore not infectious, or b) with no flu vaccine viruses at all (which is the case for recombinant influenza vaccine)." (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

The CDC states "that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine."

Each autumn when I get my flu shot, my arm is sore for a day or two. Sometimes I don't sleep well during that time because moving around hurts my arm. Some years the shot hurts a bit more than others. 

I'd rather feel kind of crappy for a couple of days than end up in the hospital with the flu: "But in the United States alone, 36,000 people die and more than 200,000 are hospitalized each year because of the flu." (source: Harvard Health) I am very much aware of the fact that the flu vaccine does not guarantee that I won't get the flu. I prefer to take my chances with the vaccine.

I also asked my doctor about a shingles vaccination. The last time I inquired, I was told that the vaccine was very expensive and wasn't covered by insurance until age 65. That's changed. My doctor says it's now recommended that [almost] everyone 60 and older get the shingles vaccine. I have to call my insurance company to make sure they cover it. If they don't, depending on what the price is, I might pay for it myself. Shingles bite the big one.

The vaccine is made from a live virus, but the virus is weakened so the vaccination should only be a problem for people with weakened immune systems. You can get the vaccine at a pharmacy or at your doctor's office. Your doctor will be able to tell you if you should not receive a vaccine. 



Shingles is a re-activation of the virus that causes chicken pox. I saw it frequently when I worked in a nursing home. My sister-in-law had it for a long period of time. I don't know if it ever went away. She has dementia now and is no longer able to write letters.

I'll let you know when I've had my flu shot, and I'll tell you what I learn about the shingles vaccine. My doctor says it's called Shingrix.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


By the way, if you're an anti-vaxxer and you want to get nasty here, don't even bother. I'll remove your ass. However, if you have something intelligent and provable to share about why some people can't be vaccinated, then I'll be interested as long as you are polite.

Oh, and by the way, how many of you are aware of the flu pandemic of 1918? Approximately 16 million people lost their lives because of the first World War.

Approximately 50 million people died in the flu pandemic. Bodies had to be piled in the streets. Coffin makers couldn't keep up. I suspect a lot of people would have been grateful if there had been a flu vaccine.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

A SONG HAS BEEN FOLLOWING ME

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Recently I went in an Ikea for the first time. So much . . .  stuff. Everywhere.

And the people. Hordes.


And although I had never been to Ikea, I knew that buying stuff there can end in a suicide attempt or a divorce because everything has to be put together. You want a basket? You have to weave it.


I thought I might get through life without ever going to Ikea, but Favorite Young Man wanted to look for a rug for his new place so we went. My eyes rolled back in my head. Then my head spun around like the girl in The Exorcist. Oh, the horror.

I turned to look at something I will never own and when I looked back, Favorite Young Man was gone. Had the other shoppers eaten him, or had he gone to the place called Lost?


I had to call him to beg him to find me. I sat down on a bed and told him what the closest sign said. He got to me about six hours later. I was so grateful. I really needed to pee.

But the title of this post is A SONG HAS BEEN FOLLOWING ME, and it started following me in Ikea. I heard this song I knew but the voices were strange. It was a cover of Deacon Blues. It took me about an hour or ten to figure it out because I was in Ikea and I couldn't think and when I finally recognized it despite the weirdness of it, FYM said he'd never heard of Steely Dan.

I gave up on humanity in that moment.

FYM is the one person I can count on to know important information.

I can no longer rely on him. I guess I might as well give him up for adoption. Surely someone wants to adopt a 39 year old who can keep your car running.

But then, using my Harry Potter magic skills and with the help of a dragon, I escaped from Ikea and came home and late that evening when I had pretty much recovered (I just had a slight rash that I treated with lots of drugs), I watched a movie. What did I hear?

Deacon Blues. Thank God it wasn't a cover.

A couple of days later I watched some TV show. I don't remember what the show was because they played Deacon Blues.

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell, Deacon Blues is stalking me.

Where will it turn up next? I like Deacon Blues, but what if it keeps following me and ends up attacking me?

You know this wouldn't have happened if I hadn't gone in that damn, sick Ikea. I'm surprised I survived it.

Where will Deacon Blues turn up next? Help me, O Lord. I am thy humble servant (although I don't cook and clean for you or anyone else). Please save me before Deacon Blues goes from being a great song to being a big pile of manure that buries me.

I also must say that I looked up Steely Dan and I was pretty shocked to learn where they got the name Steely Dan. I'm not giving up that information. If you want to know, then you have to find it yourself. I'm just sayin' that William S. Burroughs must have spent a big chunk of his life stuck in Ikea and when he finally got out, he became a heroin addict.


And remember that if you buy something at Ikea . . . let's not even go there. Push it out of your mind.

SAVE YOURSELF! Soylent Green: it's made out of people who were captured in Ikea.

Oh, the humanity.

But, um, since we're such close friends now, Steely Dan, will you please sing us out? I think you know which song it has to be.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug, who survived the hell that is Ikea and lived to tell the tale



Why does the Steely Dan guy at the keyboard keep doing that Stevie Wonder-type thing where he throws
his head around? And he's wearing sunglasses. I am so confused.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

GWEN VERDON ALONE

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

This post is the last one about Fosse/Verdon, and it's been a long time coming. Other events have distracted me. Fosse/Verdon has a number of Emmy nominations, but it's up against stiff competition. The Emmy Awards will televised on Fox on Sept. 22nd.

When Fosse choreographed All That Jazz for Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera, he had to make concessions to the decreases in Verdon's abilities and stamina. It was her final starring role on Broadway.

After Fosse's death, Verdon worked with Ann Reinking (they had become close friends) to keep the Fosse legacy alive. In 1996, Reinking created the choreography––in the Fosse style––for  a revival of Chicago, in which she played Roxie Hart. As of 2017, Chicago held the record for the longest running Broadway musical.

In 1998, Reinking participated in bringing the revue Fosse to the stage to showcase his work.

Verdon supported these successful efforts, and also helped to create the Verdon Fosse Legacy to teach dance, raise money for charity, and encourage recreations of Fosse's choreography.

By no means did Verdon sit at home and mope. She dated. She starred in such movies as Cocoon. She appeared in TV shows.

Nicole Fosse went through some tough times when she emulated her dad's drinking and drug use, but she recovered, married, and had three children. When Nicole's husband died, Verdon moved in with her daughter and her grandchildren to support and assist them.

She wasn't there very long before she died of a heart attack. On October 18, 2000, the lights on Broadway dimmed in her honor.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Sing and dance us out, please, Bob and Gwen.







Tuesday, September 3, 2019

HURRICANE DORIAN WATCH: ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

The hurricane for which I prepared last week that decided to vacation in the Bahamas should finally be here, allegedly, in a few hours. Dorian, why not spread the misery around a bit instead of dumping everything on Bahamians? Those poor people.

The last forecast showed that the hood will get one inch of rain (not even enough to fill Lake Junebug so I can open the resort) and wind gusts up to 45 mph. I've been pulling down dead branches for days. The few I can't reach might come down tonight or tomorrow. Then Dorian will move on and probably continue hiding off of the coast. Or if you're Donald Trump, Dorian will be in Alabama.

Jacksonville is so dead because of lilapsophobia that the buses aren't even running. I told Favorite Young Man to bring coffee with him. He was sure that Dunkin Donuts would be open. Now he must suffer a coffeeless life. DD closed at about noon today. However, The Waffle House is still open. I think every Waffle House is open because the one at Jacksonville Beach, an area under a mandatory evacuation order, is open. I guess if FYM gets desperate enough for coffee, he can walk to a Waffle House. It will be a long walk, but that's life in a busless society.

I used hurricane waiting time to do laundry and clean the floors in my kitchen and dining room. Made a pasta salad. If Dorian is worse that expected, do not fear. I have food and water and Diet Pepsi. If given a choice, I would like to keep the electricity on. It's supposed to be reeeeeeallllly hot after the storm. We're talkin' humid and in the high nineties. I suppose Dorian won't ask me about the power. 

To add some special entertainment to the waiting period, I activated a free Showtime trial because I'd heard that the seven-part series Escape at Dannemora is good. FYM and I watched and thought it was great.



Directed by Ben Stiller and based on the true story of two inmates who escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility in 2015 with assistance from a prison employee, the series provides further proof that truth is always stranger than fiction. 

Joyce "Tilly" Mitchell and her husband Lyle, played beautifully by Eric Lange, make the perfect almost-too-dumb to be believed married couple. Patricia Arquette portrays Tilly and manages to give the best performance in an outstanding cast. I've been pleased to see Arquette's success in recent years. 

We are big Benicio Del Toro fans and he didn't disappoint us. He and Paul Dano––who is great, too––play the inmates with whom Tilly becomes much too friendly.

Despite the tension involved in a prison break with inmates who managed to lead the police on a not-so-merry chase for almost a month, the series has some laugh-out-loud moments. The show is slow paced, but that's appropriate. It's not a story that should be told in a rush.

Favorite Young Man joins me in recommending Escape at Dannemora, which is not for children. Teens, maybe. I always suggest that parents watch first to decide if it's okay for the younger members of the family to join them.

Well, that's pretty much everything I have to say for now. I've posted some hurricane updates on Facebook. If anything exciting happens, I'll be sure to let you know––unless we really do lose power.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug