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