Friday, March 27, 2015

THE CEPHALOPOD COFFEEHOUSE: MY SALINGER YEAR

Dear It's . . . and Its,

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 March is
My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff.




I purchased this book  HERE from Amazon.

When I saw the title of this book, I thought,  Say no. Run away. Tell Someone.

Then it kept turning up on all these best books of 2014 lists, so I decided that maybe it wasn't about a maniac who lived in the woods in New Hampshire for a year because she hoped she would meet J.D. Salinger and he would explain the meaning of life to her and what Zooey really thinks.

This memoir isn't really about Salinger. It's about Joanna Rakoff, who seems to have time traveled backwards when she gets a job at a literary agency where everything is written on typewriters. The entire office, including Joanna's boss, exists in the past, so it makes sense that one of their biggest clients, Salinger, hasn't published anything in decades. 

Rakoff has little contact with Salinger, who is hard of hearing:

I picked up the phone and heard someone shouting at me. "HELLO? HELLO?" Then something incomprehensible.  "HELLO? HELLO?" More gibberish. Slowly, as in a dream, the gibberish resolved into language. "It's Jerry," the caller was shouting. . . . "WHO IS THIS?" he asked, though it took me a few tries to understand. "It's Joanna," I told him, nine or ten times, yelling at the top of my lungs by the final three. "I'm the new assistant."

"Well, nice to meet you, Suzanne," he said, finally, in something akin to a normal voice.

These exchanges with Salinger are few and far between. He comes into the office once while Rakoff works there. He gives her some good advice about writing, but it's just part of her Salinger year as she lives in New York and learns to be a grown-up and comes of age as a writer. Part of that coming of age is reading Salinger's books over and over. Ah, if it were only so simple. I can read books over and over, but I have to write to be a writer.

Rakoff wrote a successful novel called A Fortunate Age, which I would like to read. Her writing appeals to me because it's warm and uncomplicated and funny and open.

My Salinger Year earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug




Thursday, March 26, 2015

WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT APRIL

April flowers bring May showers.



Whoa. This April Fools thing will give me a headache. Let's scroll down.




















Willy Dunne Wooters has a birthday on April first.


I know, baby. I can't believe it, either. You are still young and handsome, but anytime you need  reassurance, you just ask, baby.



Willy Dunne Wooters will not celebrate his birthday in any way. If I send him an e-card, he'll delete it without looking at it.


The babies have nothing to do with Willy Dunne Wooters. They're just cute.





Quite a few of you will do the A - Z blog thing during April. I will not join you. In fact, I hope to disappear.


I need to read.




I need to edit, but I don't edit with a red pen, or a pen of any other color. I edit on the computer.

I may pop up a few times during April, but




Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, March 23, 2015

SERIES MONDAY: BETTER CALL SAUL

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Several weeks ago, the Wooters man and I watched the first episode of Better Call Saul with trepidation. Could this prequel to our beloved Breaking Bad be any good?



We love it. It's not Breaking Bad. It doesn't try to be Breaking Bad. But Vince Gilligan's careful planning appears every week.

In the first episode, we see Saul (Bob Odenkirk) in his post-Breaking Bad assumed identity. Then we go back in time to Albuquerque, 2002, six years before Breaking Bad begins. Saul's name is Jimmy McGill. He's a young criminal lawyer who will take pretty much any case he can get, even if he has to invent it. He also takes care of his brother, Chuck (Michael McKean), who is not all there and has taken an extended leave of absence from his own successful law firm.

Oh, how excited we were when Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz) appeared to protect his abuelita from Jimmy's scam. And MIKE! Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) is a recurring character. We've gradually learned more of his back story.

But Better Call Saul is not a mere spin-off of Breaking Bad. It can stand on its own, thanks to Vince Gilligan's brilliant lighting, color palette, use of time jumps, and dark comedy. You can watch this show and find something to appreciate even if you never watched Breaking Bad.

Saul Goodman: I'm the guy on your speed dial right after your weed dealer.

The show airs Monday nights on American Movie Classics at ten o'clock, EDT. Three episodes remain in this, the first season. Fortunately, AMC shows all the episodes on Monday evening as we lead up to the new episode at ten.

If you don't have AMC, then you can watch on Amazon Instant Video. Thus far, I haven't found a DVD release date.

Better Call Saul earns The Janie Junebug and The Willy Dunne Wooters Seal of Highest Approval. We LOVE this show.

AMC ordered a second season of Better Call Saul seven months before the first season premiered.

Happy Viewing!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

CHERDO DRAWS FRANKLIN AND CAPTURES HIM PERFECTLY

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I hope you'll check out Cherdo on the Flipside today. I love Cherdo's drawings, and today's is the best ever. It's even better than when she drew me as a paper bag puppet wearing a bathing cap--one of those horrible bathing caps with the plastic flowers that stick out.

Today's drawing includes Franklin, and Cherdo captures him perfectly. He has a little grin on his face. I think it's because he's next to Cherdo's poodle Coco.

If you don't follow Cherdo yet, you should. Trust me. I don't know why you should, but trust me. Cherdo is a sweetheart and very funny. *I just realized this reads as if I don't know why you should trust me about following Cherdo. The reasons to follow Cherdo are many. I meant you have no reason to pay attention to me, except when I tell you to follow her. And when I tell you to do some other stuff, like send me money.

I have her phone number. Sometimes I call and leave a message in song on her voice mail. Songs have included "My Cherdo amour, lovely as a summer's day" and "The moment I wake up before I put on my make-up, I say a little prayer for Cherdo."

Cherdo hasn't even reported me to the police!




Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, March 16, 2015

YOUR QUEEN MUST EDIT . . . AND CLEAN

I know it's shocking that a queen should have to clean her own house, but I need to catch up on cleaning, sleeping, and editing. That comma right before "and editing"––that is the famous Oxford comma. 



QUIETPLEASE.

I'EDITING.

I'll check in with you when I can, and I might write a post or two.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, March 13, 2015

FRANKLIN FRIDAY: HERE IN DOGTOWN

Hi! Hi Hi Hi! Hi Every Buddy! It's me, Franklin the Bordernese,


Some stuff has changed here in Dogtown. Mom and I gossip chat about the differences when we go for walks.

The next-door neighbors, the ones who liked to talk outside our bedroom window in the middle of the night, moved away. They don't have a For Sale or For Rent Sign in their yard. Another neighbor told us they're just gonna let the house sit there with junk in it. We hope rats don't move in because then they'll want to visit us.

We have a new dog in Dogtown, too, so it's Dogtown more than ever. Some people moved in with their wiener dog one street over. That same another neighbor told us that the man who used to live in the house died, covered up by all his junk. He was a hoarder, Mom said.

It's too bad that some people keep so much stuff in their houses that they don't have room left for them.

Mom says I'm a hoarder when she finds my toys and bones all pushed under the couch. I know exackly how this guy feels:


Mom never lets our house get messy because she has COD. CDO! I dunno, but having too much stuff isn't healthy.

I'm glad Mom keeps our house clean.

That's all I have to say.

Okay I love you bye bye.


Franklin the Bordernese

Mom says I have a great profile.