Friday, March 29, 2013


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Today I present two movies for your consideration. Both are available on DVD. The first is Argo, the recent winner of the Best Picture Academy Award (2012, Rated R).

In 1979, revolutionaries took over the U.S. embassy in Iran, captured the personnel inside, and held them hostage. However, six people escaped unnoticed to the Canadian ambassador's residence, where they were taken in until the effort to get them out of the country came to fruition.

In reality, much of the work for this operation was performed by Canadians, but Argo focuses on  CIA operative Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck, who also directed), who shepherded the Americans out of Iran.

Although I knew what was going to happen, this movie had me on the edge of my seat. I really felt the tension. Technically, it's a good film, and the actors are all fine. I particularly liked the work of Alan Arkin, who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award.

Although this movie is not for children, I recommend watching it with your teens so they can learn about a very difficult time in America's history. Or if you're too young to remember the hostage crisis, then you should definitely watch the movie, but keep in mind that not everything happened exactly as it's portrayed.

When Favorite Young Man was born in 1980, his baby book had a section for important news events taking place at the time. I remember very clearly that the first thing I wrote was "American hostages are being held in Iran." Walter Cronkite, who was long known as the most trusted man in America, concluded his newscast on CBS each night with the number of days the hostages had been held in Iran. It was all just so horrible and frightening, but oh! how grateful we Americans were to the Canadians when we learned they had sheltered six Americans, who came home unharmed.

And Canada, I thank you again.

Argo has The Janie Junebug Seal of Approval.

The second movie I present today is in French, so if you don't do subtitles and don't speak French, forget about it right now. It's Rust And Bone (2012, Rated R).

Ali and his young son, Sam, live with his sister and her husband. Ali works as a bouncer at a nightclub, where he first meets Stephanie (Marion Cotillard). Stephanie works at a Marineland-type attraction, where she trains whales and puts on shows with them. But then because of a horrible accident with a whale, her legs are amputated above the knee.

Stephanie calls on Ali, and as he helps her recover, they embark on a sexual relationship. Ali also starts fighting for money, but not professionally. It seems to be some sort of informal "fight club" in which the winner takes home the money from betting.

I'm usually a fan of French movies, but not this one. Although I like Marion Cotillard very much and her performance is quite good, Rust And Bone didn't grab my attention until the last 15 minutes. I found the rest of it boring, and I was eager for it to end.

Ali's character is not a sympathetic one, although he improves throughout the course of the film. But at first, he hits his son when he's not ignoring him, and after he becomes involved with Stephanie, when they go on an outing, he leaves with another woman.

I didn't like the violence in the movie, nor did I care for the graphic sexuality. This movie is most definitely not for children, and I wouldn't allow teens to watch it. If you're a big Marion Cotillard fan and don't want to miss this performance, then go for it, but be prepared for a lot of violence and anger.

I cannot give Rust And Bone my seal of approval.

However, I wish you a beautiful weekend, filled with joy and perhaps some Argo.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I love it when good stuff happens -- like receiving an unexpected gift in the mail. I talk to Elisa from The Crazy Life Of A Writing Mom almost every day. We aren't just shooting the breeze, though we do that, too. We talk about her business, Wayman Publishing. Some good stuff happened to Elisa and Wayman today, so I want to remind you about the very cool Wayman giveaway:

From now until the end of May, anytime you purchase a Wayman book or e-book, you can send the verifiable receipt number to, and you'll automatically be entered to win an iPad Mini.

Go here for further details:

Elisa works so hard for the authors who publish through Wayman. It's not easy to start a business, and she deserves our support. I applaud Elisa for giving writers a chance to get their work out into the world. Elisa has become my middle child (she fits in perfectly between Favorite Young Man and The Hurricane) even though I've never met her. 

I've said it before, and I know I'll say it again: Blogging has given me a family. I love you all so much.

Now here's something good that happened to me recently. When The Hurricane was in elementary school, she took after-school art classes with a teacher named Betsy Stempien, who had a very positive influence on The Hurricane. When my little storm was here for Christmas, she even said that the time she spent with Betsy was one of the most positive aspects of her childhood.

I have a number of The Hurricane's paintings hanging in my house. She may have become a mathematician, but she's also a great artist. Betsy really sparked a love of art in my child. The Hurricane took numerous studio art classes and art history classes in high school and college.

But Betsy did more than teach The Hurricane how to draw. She offered my child wisdom and comfort when she needed it.

I was thinking about Betsy last week, so I Googled her. I found a phone number I hoped was hers. I called and got voice mail, and said I was looking for Betsy Stempien who used to teach after-school art classes.

Well, she called me back on Saturday. I had found the right person. To my surprise, she remembered The Hurricane and she remembered me. I told her what The Hurricane does now, but mostly I tried very hard to tell her what a positive impact she had on my child. We had a lovely conversation.

It was good stuff.

Elvis Aaron Schwarz is at a family reunion, but he left a message on my voice mail this morning. He said, You are who and what I want.

More good stuff.

Hi! Remember me?
I'm Elvis Aaron Schwarz.
My baby doll calls me Honey Bunny.
Don't you even think about calling me Honey Bunny.

I miss you, EAS! 

my two girls together
really good stuff
Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

P.S. I almost forgot to ask you to do something. Thursday, March 28th, is Rita's birthday. Even if you don't follower her, please visit her at Soul Comfort's Corner to wish her a happy birthday. 2013 has gotten off to a rough start for her. Let's give her some bloggy lovin'. She's a great lady!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Favorite Young Man doesn't read my blog, but I'm going to wish him a happy birthday here anyway, because it gives me a chance to brag about him.

I could tell you how high his SAT scores were, or I could tell you how hard he works; but I'd rather tell you how kind hearted he is.

He was and is a very good athlete. At the end of one baseball season when he was in elementary school, the coaches gave trophies to the kid who had the most home runs or was the best at this or that. After they gave out the trophies, one of the coaches told Dr. X in private that FYM had actually won every award, so they gave him the trophy they considered the most prestigious and the other trophies went to the kids in second place. I was glad they spread the awards around.

The following summer I was splashing in the public pool with The Hurricane, when a woman approached me and asked, Aren't you Favorite Young Man's mom?

Yes, I answered.

Well, she said, my son played baseball for the first time this spring and I can't begin to tell you how kind Favorite Young Man was to my son. He helped him learn to play and really encouraged him. He's a great kid.

I felt very grateful that she took the time to tell me about FYM.

FYM became a lifeguard when he was in high school. He worked at the lake in a state park. On the last day the lake was open for public swimming -- Labor Day, and of course it was crowded -- FYM came home without a shirt. All summer he had spent time with a young man who was developmentally disabled and had a job in the park. FYM talked to him and played catch with him. The young man often said he wished he had a lifeguard's shirt. So, on that last day, when work was over, FYM took off his shirt and gave it to the young man.

Yes, he's literally someone who would give you the shirt off his back.

Incidentally, that same day FYM saved a child from drowning. From his seat in the lifeguard's chair, FYM saw the little boy fall, but then get back up, coughing. FYM kept an eye on the boy, whose parents were nowhere in sight. The child fell again, and he didn't get up. FYM pulled the boy out, performed CPR, and radioed a park ranger for help. The parents showed up, and the boy was medivacked out to a children's hospital. He lived because FYM took his job seriously -- even though he had to contend with teenage girls who camped out around his chair and greeted his arrivals and departures with Hi, Cute Lifeguard, and Bye, Cute Lifeguard.

The baby he's holding in this picture is not his, though I wish I had a grandchild.

This little girl is AR, daughter of FYM's friends, RL and LL. LL told me that after AR was born, FYM came to visit her in the hospital. The baby was fussy and LL was so tired. She really needed a nap. FYM took the baby from her and comforted her. LL fell asleep, and when she awoke, FYM was still sitting next to her bed, holding her new baby.

AR is quite the young lady now, but when she started talking, one of her favorite questions was, Where's FYM?

I've often asked that question myself because he's been so busy for so long, playing his trombone during high school in every sort of band -- including a punk ska band called The 13th Tribe -- playing sports, working, being a great big brother to The Hurricane, helping friends who move, babysitting . . . the list goes on and on.

He's done so much for me, and like the lady who came up to me at the pool, I can't begin to tell you how kind Favorite Young Man is.

Thanks for letting me try.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, March 25, 2013


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I'm thrilled for all my friends who have released books recently or are about to release books. I'm saving my pennies for an Amazon purchase so I can read the following books:

Oh, my little friend Nicki Elson is so adorable, and I know her new book will be great. Divine Temptation will be released tomorrow, March 26th, which happens to be Favorite Young Man's birthday, which means that 33 years ago I was in our tiny apartment, waiting for my little bundle of pooping joy, who is now 6'4".  It must be a good day to release a book because it was certainly a good day to pop out a baby, who turned out to be so very intelligent and handsome and hard working, and presumably, continues to poop. Maybe he's the angel in Nicki's book. He seems to tempt a lot of women.

Our beloved fishducky's book will be released March 29th, available at Amazon, or the new Wayman Publishing Web site. I can't imagine anyone who could write funnier fables than Fran Fischer, and you'll want to check out everything on the Wayman site, including their cool giveaway.

The Blogger's Survival Guide: Tips and Tricks for Parent Bloggers, Wordsmiths and Enthusiasts by Lexie Lane and Becky McNeer was released by Wayman Publishing yesterday. I look forward to having this guide on my bookshelf with all my other reference books. When I have a question about how to do something on my blog, I know this is the book I'll turn to. It's NOT just for parent bloggers. It has tons of blogging information.

Poor Rick Watson probably doesn't believe me anymore when I say I'm going to buy Life Happens, but I swear, Rick, your book is on my wish list. I've been wanting to buy it for a while, but ya know, life happens and stuff gets in my way.

Last, but certainly not least, I must have Treadwell by Dana Joy Wyzard, a.k.a. Little Lotta Joy. I'm so happy to see this woman published that I even made t-shirts for her in my shop. If you'd like to wear the cover of Little Lotta Joy's book, please visit You probably won't want the shirt that says "I Wrote The Book," unless you go around trying to claim that your name is Dana and you wrote HER book, but a couple of the shirts have the book cover without any additional words. (Considering Dana's skill with a gun -- she made the bullet holes in the cover and she didn't do it by shouting BANG -- I must recommend that you not claim to be the author of her book.)

I've also added a couple of Editor's Tip t-shirts to my shop at . They're called "Grammatically Correct Tease." You can wear 

The back of the shirt says "Wayman Publishing." If you'd like a grammatically correct shirt that doesn't say Wayman Publishing, then I can make it for you, but I really don't know why anyone would want a shirt that doesn't say Wayman Publishing.

Well, that's all for now. You know some of the books on my wish list, and they will be mine. Oh, yes. They will be mine.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, March 22, 2013


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Today I present for your consideration a movie I love, The Sessions (2012, Rated R, recently available on DVD).

Mark O'Brien (John Hawkes), a writer and a poet, had polio when he was six years old. Now he's 38, it's the 1980s, O'Brien spends most of his time trapped in an iron lung so he can breathe, and he wants to lose his virginity.

With the encouragement of an understanding priest played by William H. Macy, O'Brien seeks the aid of a sexual surrogate named Cheryl Cohen-Greene (Helen Hunt), who takes him on a journey through sexuality without pitying him or treating him as if his disability is anything unusual (O'Brien can leave the iron lung for a few hours at a time and breathe with a respirator, but his spine is crooked, making the position of his body somewhat unusual). 

(Father Brendan: [speaking about Mark's decision to find a sex surrogate] I have a feeling that God is going to give you a free pass on this one. Go for it.)

Mark develops feelings for Cheryl and writes a poem to her, which angers her husband (Adam Arkin). Cheryl tries to treat Mark as she would any other client, but eventually, she begins to feel love for him in return.

What's a sex surrogate to do?

The Sessions is based on an article written for a magazine by the real Mark O'Brien in 1990. He passed away in 1999.

Watching it made me wish I had met the man. I know The Sessions is just a movie, but if Mark O'Brien was anything at all like his character in the movie, then he had a wry sense of humor, a delicious curiosity about life, and a great mind. 

This movie is tender and funny and poignant and everything one wants in a movie. The cast is excellent. Helen Hunt was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her role as Cheryl.

I've been a Helen Hunt fan for many years. I never watched the sit-com she was in that was so popular (Mad About You), but I adored her way back when she was on a TV favorite of mine, the medical drama St. Elsewhere. She deserved her nomination, but I think John Hawkes should have received a Best Actor nod as well. His character is a man who longs to experience love in all ways, and Hawkes plays the part so well.

The Sessions has The Janie Junebug Highest Seal of Approval.

This movie has graphic nudity and frank discussions of sexuality, so it's not for children; but it is not pornographic in any way. Dee, I think you will like this one.

I wish you all a beautiful weekend.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Joan: [pushing his gurney] Would you mind if I asked you a favor? 
Mark O'Brien: What, you need help moving furniture?

Monday, March 18, 2013


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I had a plumbing emergency on Friday that lasted until Tony the Plumber Man arrived on Saturday and made everything better. It turned out to be a minor plumbing problem, but before I knew that, I pictured my little house going up like Old Faithful.

If you know me at all, then you know I am capable of worrying (more than just a bit), expecting the worst (the glass is eternally half empty), and not being able to think about anything other than my worries (I'm so focused).

But during this worry episode, a miracle occurred. A book arrived in the mail Friday afternoon, and it actually distracted me from the plumbing problem. The book is so good and so funny and so sweet and so poignant that I stopped seeing my house as a geyser, and I instead pictured Suzy Soro meeting celebrities, sometimes in chance encounters and sometimes because she was invited to cool parties and dinners because she's a comedian.

The book is called Celebrity sTalker: Stories From a Woman Who Thinks Celebrities Are Dying to Talk to Her. Only They Aren't.

Suzy Soro blogs at Hollywood: Where Hot Comes To Die. I've followed her for quite some time, so I was thrilled when I found out she had written a book. Her blog is great. If you don't follow her, I hereby order you to follow her NOW. Because you are missing out if you aren't a Suzy Soro follower. She will lead you where no other blogger has gone before.

Occasionally, I receive a PERSONAL email from Suzy. She's very nice and always makes me laugh, but I can't help thinking OH MY GOD THIS EMAIL IS FROM SUZY SORO WHO PLAYED THE WOMAN WHO GOT THE LAST CHOCOLATE BABKA ON THAT EPISODE OF SEINFELD.

Okay. I'm over my little fandom thing now, and I can write about the book. Soro tells wonderfully funny stories about running into folks including Angelina Jolie (who was shopping for groceries -- can you believe it?), Brad Pitt, Diana Ross, Oprah, Mick Jagger, Betty White, and the list goes on and on.

What got me hooked, though, is that this book isn't just about meeting celebrities. It's about the ups and downs of Soro's career as an actress and comedian, and how much it means to her to meet these people. It's adorable when she writes about meeting Richard Pryor and having her picture taken with him.

She could count on Phil and Brynn Hartman as friends, and she's loyal to their memories. She refuses to trash Brynn (just in case you've forgotten, Brynn shot and killed Phil and then committed suicide) and explains that people who are in the grip of an addiction don't think clearly. And Brynn was an addict.

But Celebrity sTalker is not a book that will make you feel sad. Here's an example of her great sense of humor and excellent writing as she discusses Malibu:

The supermodels slouching on picnic tables while they have a hearty lunch of an Altoid and a decaf half-caff are interspersed with all the underpaid personal assistants of the rich and famous. Although it's sometimes hard to tell where Rich ends and Poor begins, finding a poor person in Malibu is as rare as finding the Winklevoss twins at Mark Zuckerberg's house. No item in any store in Malibu needs a price tag because it would just prompt the buyer to ask the sales clerk what this "funny little piece of paper" is. If INS ever shows up unexpectedly in Malibu, a lot of pissed-off white people are going to have to learn to load their own dishwashers. 

I'm feeling power mad today, so in addition to telling you to follow Suzy Soro's blog, I hereby order you to buy her book. If you click on the complete title higher up in this post, it will take you to Amazon, where you can get the paperback or buy the e-version for those strange little book reading devices that my kids already told me I won't like and I know they're right because I like to hold a real book in my hands.

And I especially like holding Suzy Soro's book in my hands.

You can also get Celebrity sTalker from Barnes & Noble. It's not expensive, so run along now and make your purchase.

You'll be glad you did.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, March 15, 2013


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Today I present for your consideration a movie directed by Steven Soderbergh (a great favorite of mine). It's called Contagion, and it's available on DVD (2011, rated PG-13).

Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) is returning to her home in the U.S. after a business trip to Hong Kong. She doesn't feel well, and by the time she arrives, she's definitely ill, and not just suffering from jet lag. Beth's husband, Mitch (Matt Damon), also must pick up his stepson from school because young Clark is sick.

Beth suddenly collapses and has a seizure. She's rushed to the hospital, where she dies. Mitch has difficulty comprehending that his wife has actually passed away, and when he returns home, the babysitter frantically tells him that she thinks Clark has just died.

Thus begins an infectious illness that quickly roams the world, seeking victims. Doctors work frantically to try to isolate the virus and develop a vaccine.

As the virus spreads, so does the panic. Adding to the fear is a very popular blogger (Jude Law), who insists that forsythia is the secret to recovering from the virus.

Crowds mob a pharmacy to obtain forsythia, and when they're told the forsythia has run out, they break the glass above the pharmacy counter in a desperate attempt to obtain help. Looting breaks out all over. Many police officers won't work; nurses go on strike because of the lack of protocol for treating the sick; chaos ensues.

I really like this movie. Soderbergh is a master at building tension, interspersed with moments of quiet kindness and bravery. The performances are excellent. It's practically an all-star cast with Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Elliott Gould, and Marion Cotillard as doctors. The work to isolate the virus and the geometric rate at which it spreads is quite fascinating.

Contagion has The Janie Junebug Seal of Approval.

WARNING: If you are squeamish about illness and medical matters (Maggie), you won't want to watch this movie. You will see characters who foam at the mouth and have seizures. Even I felt a bit freaked out by a quick scene during which the medical examiner cuts off the top of pretty Gwyneth Paltrow's head while performing the autopsy on her character. This movie is definitely not for children.

Now that I've given you a warning, I must say that this movie is worth watching. I also want to tell you something about Steven Soderbergh that I find very interesting. He serves as his own cinematographer and actually edits the movie as he films it. Great, great director.

Dr. Ian Sussman: Blogging is not writing. It's just graffiti with punctuation. 

I wish you all a pleasant weekend.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I've noticed that a few of you have mentioned on your blogs that it's Girl Scout cookie time where you live. Well, a few days ago, Elvis Aaron Schwarz and I walked past the grocery store and saw a nice mom out selling cookies with some cute little Girl Scouts.

And when it's Girl Scout cookie time, I always have a serious Thin Mint jones goin' on.

I can eat an entire box of Thin Mints in less time than it takes to write a silly blog post, and writing silly blog posts does not take very darn long for Reporter Junebug, who used to whip out a newspaper article faster than the speed of sound.

I freeze my Thin Mints. Then I hold the entire box in my left hand, while my right hand grabs one frozen cookie at a time and stuffs said cookie in my mouth, rapidly chewing, followed quickly by a swig of milk. Skim.

Thin Mints are my crack and my smack and my everything, and they are not good for me. I knew I had to break the chain, end the addiction, go cold turkey in spite of the suffering I would endure.

I needed my man to save me from those little bitches Girl Scouts.

Honey Bunny, I begged, you have to help me. I'm a Thin Mint addict. Keep me away from those damn fricking little Girl Scouts. DO NOT LET ME BUY THIN MINTS.

Elvis Aaron Schwarz, my savior, my manly man, put his arm around me and said, Don't you worry, baby doll. I got you.

A grocery store employee was coming toward us with a long line of carts that needed to go back in the store. Elvis started a zig-zag maneuver. He was going to take me past the table and around the carts. We would go where we needed to go and I would be safe from the smack. I mean, uh, cookies.

But at the last second, just when I thought I was safe, just when I was steps away from escaping cookie crack, that bald bastard my honey bunny swung me around and toward the table and he said to those cute little fricking  Girl Scouts, Excuse me, do you have any Thin Mints?

I could. Not. Believe. It.

My honey bunny betrayed me.

Did they have Thin Mints? Why, sure they did.

We'll take two boxes, Elvis told them sweetly.

Then the man actually turned to me and said, You'll have to pay for them. I don't have any cash.

I paid for the crack, put the boxes in my messenger bag, and told him for the rest of the day that I was keeping both boxes.

Don't to that to me, baby doll, he begged.

I paid for 'em. They're mine, I threatened with a leer. You'll have to work for your cookies.

So before he went home, I let him have his box because he deserved a little reward for services rendered.

Now I have a box of Thin Mints in my freezer. I'm proud to say I have eaten only four cookies. I did not devour the entire box. I don't want to look like this when I go out with Elvis Aaron Schwarz:

I want to look exactly the way I did when we bought the cookie crack. In fact, someone snapped a photo of us that day, and I just found it online:

Hi! Remember me?
I'm Elvis Aaron Schwarz.
Isn't my baby doll the most beautiful woman you've ever seen?
I love her more than Thin Mints.

Oh, Elvis Aaron Schwarz. I think I might love you more than Thin Mints, too.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Whether you're interested in American history, unusual marriages, or a good old-fashioned political scandal, I have just the book for you: A Secret Life: The Lies and Scandals of President Grover Cleveland by Charles Lachman

Lachman provides an overview of Cleveland's life, but focuses on the rumor about him that seems to be reality. I've read many times the little rhyme about Cleveland, Ma! Ma! Where's my Pa! Gone to The White House! Ha Ha Ha!

Based on all the research the author has done, it seems to be almost undeniably true that when Cleveland was a lawyer in Buffalo, New York, he raped a widow named Maria Halpin, who subsequently gave birth to his son. The piece of evidence that's lacking, as far as I'm concerned, is a DNA test, and I don't think that's going to take place at this late date.

The book is quite a fascinating read. I love presidential history, and I enjoyed learning more about Cleveland, especially since I'd read so many references to the rumor that he had an illegitimate child.

I don't want to tell you what happened to the son, or to his biological mother, because it would spoil too much of the book for you. However, I will fill you in on some interesting facts about Grover Cleveland:

  • In the course of three short years, Cleveland went from being Mayor of Buffalo to being elected the Governor of New York, and was then elected President in 1884.
  • Cleveland's closest friend, Oscar Folsom, was killed in an accident in 1875. As the executor of Folsom's estate, Cleveland helped Folsom's widow raise her young daughter.
  • Cleveland became the only president to get married in The White House when he took as his bride his former ward, Frances Folsom. Cleveland was 48; Folsom was 21 (the youngest First Lady in history).
  • The Clevelands went on to have five children. The last was born when Cleveland was 66.
  • In 1888, Cleveland won the popular vote for the presidency but lost in the electoral college to Benjamin Harrison.
  • Cleveland regained the presidency four years later -- the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms.
Lachman's style is light and makes for easy reading. He makes a point of saying that the definitive biography of Cleveland has already been written, but he wanted to bring the man's secrets to light. 

And Grover Cleveland certainly had his share of secrets.

President and Mrs. Cleveland

Happy Reading, Chickadees!

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I've had suggestions and requests for bumper stickers and t-shirts to add to my shop at

So, thanks to you and your great ideas, I made a number of additions to Janie Junebug's Tease over the weekend.

On the main page I added the following:

JEWS DO IT OVER CHICKEN SOUP (credit goes to fishducky)

JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES DO IT DOOR TO DOOR (credit goes to Coffeypot)

I'm sorry I don't remember who requested a shirt about Scientologists, but I came up with


My shop also has two additional sections now. To reach them, click on the links on the main page of the shop. The first section has two bumper stickers, requested by our great pal Melynda, the herbalife queen. The bumper stickers say:



Melynda also requested t-shirts for the military, so my second new section is called Military Tease. I have the following:



Now for ALL the rest of the military t-shirts, I owe a huge thank you to Coffey. He's my favorite dirty old man vet, and he came up with these ideas for me:












Thank you so much for your ideas and for providing publicity. I sold my first shirt last week! Now I only need to sell about 2,000 more to pay my tax bill.

Remember, the link to my shop is at the top of the sidebar on my blog. Spread the word -- please?

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


Monday, March 11, 2013


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I realize it's been a long time since I asked you a What? Monday question, but I just plain ran out of questions for a while. Then recently I was reading this post by Gina Gao, who blogs at Modern World.

Gina is a student, and she's had a couple of experiences with other students plagiarizing her work, including an older law student who stole her writing!

Gina's post got me wondering about our writing, especially related to the blogosphere, so here are the What? Monday questions:

Has anyone ever stolen your writing or your ideas? If so, what did you do about it? 

As far as I know, no one has ever copied my writing. Occasionally, I'll pick up on another blogger's idea and run with it, but I give credit where credit is due.

For example, when Samson the Samoyed, who sometimes blogs with his mom Inger at Desert Canyon Living, called his girlfriend Gracie a bitch because he found out that bitch means a female dog, Franklin thought it was funny when he posted on my blog to say that I'm Elvis Aaron Schwarz's bitch. If I recall correctly, though, we attributed the joke to Inger and Samson on at least two occasions.

Now, how about you? Has anyone ever stolen your writing or your ideas? If so, what did you do about it? 

I'd also like to encourage you to follow Gina at Modern World. She's intelligent and writes very well. If you're young, then you'll relate to her. Those of you who have kids in the young adult range may learn something from her about those difficult to fathom people living with you or dropping by with their laundry who used to be your children, and we old folks can keep up to date with Gina.

And we have a bit of happy business today. Our beloved Nicki Elson, who blogs at Nicki Elson's Not So Deep Thoughts, has a new book coming out on March 26th. It's called Divine Temptation. The big cover reveal is today at Michael Di Gesu's In Time... blog!

Well, I already went to his blog and grabbed the cover so you could see it.

Looks good, don'tcha think? The brief description of the book reads Maggie Brock has everything under control...until an angel shows up in her bedroom.

Nicki! I'm so excited for you! The book looks very tempting.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, March 8, 2013


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I have two movies for your consideration. Both are available on DVD.

The first is The Master (2012, Rated R).

I'm going to tell you right off the bat that I didn't really understand this movie. If it had a point, I don't know what it was. Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) gets out of the Navy after World War II and joins a cult called The Cause, led by The Master (Philip Seymour Hoffman). The Master teaches reincarnation and leads his followers in exercises that are supposed to lead them to some sort of self-realization. The Master's own son tells Freddie Quell that his dad is making up The Cause as he goes along.

Nevertheless, Quell becomes an ardent follower, and develops a close relationship with The Master, though The Master's family warns him that Quell drinks and will cause trouble.

In spite of the failings in this movie, I can tell you three reasons to watch it:

  1. The portrayal of the relationship between Freddie Quell and The Master
  2. Philip Seymour Hoffman's performance
  3. Amy Adams' performance as The Master's wife
Phoenix was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award, Hoffman for Best Supporting Actor, and Adams for Best Supporting Actress. As you probably already know, none of them won. I was most impressed by Amy Adams' quiet intensity. I have loved her since she played the adorable girl in Enchanted, but this is a completely different Amy Adams.

The Master has The Kinda Sorta Janie Junebug Seal of Approval (never before given).

The second movie is Being Flynn (2012, Rated R). I could relate to this movie. It incorporates two of my favorite themes: the inteconnectedness of humankind, and writing the story of your life.

Nick Flynn (Paul Dano), who is in his 20s and jobless, suddenly hears from his father after an 18 year absence. Jonathan Flynn (Robert DeNiro) is being evicted. He requests his son's help in taking his belongings to a storage shed. But soon after, Nick gets a job at a shelter for the homeless, where  Jonathan becomes a regular "guest," confusing Nick and disrupting his life.

Jonathan is an alcoholic with grandiose delusions that he is a brilliant writer. Nick actually has the potential to be a writer, but with his father around, he starts using drugs, and almost ends his career before it can start.

Dano and DeNiro work well together. Being Flynn is based on a true story. I found it interesting and moving. Being Flynn has The Janie Junebug Seal of Approval.

Warning: Neither one of these movies is for children. I wouldn't let younger teens watch them either, and older teens should watch only with parental supervision and a willingness for discussion. If you do not want to hear profanity, see graphic nudity (The Master), or drug use and alcoholism (Being Flynn has both and The Master has a great deal of drinking), then you don't want to see these movies.

On the other hand, if you watch them, you'll see some great performances by excellent actors, and I liked the hopeful outcome of Being Flynn.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Hi everybuddy. It's Franklin. I'm sorry, but I'm not my usual tail wagging happy self.

You won't believe what Mom did to me.

Just try to guess.

She took me to the booty shop.

She said I was dirty and I smelled like a dog. Well, I AM a dog. Does she think I'm gonna smell like a cat? Oh, man, that would be so gross.

The lady at the booty shop is nice. I've been there before. Her name is Candace and she tells me how sweet and bootiful I am.

But, the indignitaries I suffer when I'm there. First, Candace gives me a bath. I get wet and cold. But then she uses a big blow dryer to get the wet out of my fur, and she brushes me. Just when the bristles of the brush start to feel good and I think I might fall asleep, that's when the worst part happens.

Candace shaves the, the, I don't know if I can say it, I think I'm gonna cry, but I have to tell you everybuddy: Candace shaves the fur on MY BUTT!

Mom says the fur on my butt gets longer than the rest of my fur and little leaves and sticks and even some little bits of somebuddy's poop get stuck in it. It's embarrassing, but it's even more embarrassing when Candace makes me stand on a table in front of all the other dogs and I have to stick my butt up in the air and they all stare and I know they're laughing at me.

I was so glad when Mom came back to get me. But can you believe she actually pays Candace to do that to me? Mom could be using that money to buy chew toys and treats.

I say no more booty shop.

I wanna stay home every day and play with my brother Harper.

Thanks for listening to my troubles. Don't tell Mom I said so, but I still love her.

And I love you, everybuddy.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Elvis Aaron Schwarz came to town to take me out to dinner Friday night. We hadn't seen each other in about six weeks. What with my flu, followed by the worst allergies I've ever had, and all the overtime he's been working, we simply haven't had time to get together. I don't know if I've ever told you this, but he lives a little more than an hour away from me.

He's very thoughtful, though, about checking in with me by telephone and email. When I had the flu and bemoaned the fact that I was running out of food and medicine, he offered to drive all the way here to go to the store for me even though he would have to go right back home because he had to work the next day.

Now, that's what I call thoughtful. Fortunately, I didn't need to ask him to do all that driving just to go to the pharmacy and the grocery store. But he was there for me if I needed him.

I was giddy with excitement over seeing him, and we had the giggles all evening.When he arrived, I walked out my front door, and he said immediately, You look nice.

He looked nice, too. Just like this:

Hi! Remember me?
I'm Elvis Aaron Schwarz.
I took my baby doll out to dinner
at The Crazy Egg.

That's right, Johnny Elvis. We went to a cute little restaurant in my neighborhood called The Crazy Egg. They specialize in, uh, what is it again? Oh, yeah -- eggs. They serve breakfast anytime.

Because The Crazy Egg is so close to my house, I know a number of people who work there. Our server Friday night was a very nice lady named Jackie. I asked her how she was, and she said, Great! I'm a new mom and a new grandma at the same time. I got my four-month old granddaughter a month ago. I've cut back my work to four days a week. I'm so happy. I was just what she needed, and she was just what I needed.

Jackie showed us pictures of her beautiful baby girl, took our order, and walked away. I told Elvis that I had no idea what had happened to the baby's parents, and I thought it was wonderful that Jackie didn't see the baby as a burden dropped on her.

We chatted some more, and then Elvis got one of his little grins -- the grin that means "I'm about to tease one Janie Junebug." 

I think we should have a baby, he said, grinning a little more.

I said, You do realize that I'm 54 years old and I had a hysterectomy more than 20 years ago.

Yes, he replied, but I think there's a little egg left up in there with my name on it.

I started giggling and couldn't stop. Jackie brought our dinners, and I told her what Elvis had said. She patted him on his bald  head and said, You're so cute.

When we finished eating and headed out the door, Jackie called goodnight to us, and Elvis said, We're going home now to start working on that baby.

You all will be the first to hear about it when I'm pregnant, and I know you'll never forget the day because you will also hear that they're having a snowball fight in hell.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, March 1, 2013


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I present for your consideration a great documentary entitled Undefeated (2011, available on DVD -- would I see it if it weren't available on DVD? Not bloody well likely).

Undefeated won the Best Documentary Academy Award one year ago, and I'd say the film richly deserved the award.

The filmmakers followed the Manassas Tigers football team in Memphis for an entire season, managing somehow to disappear into the background and not interfere with interactions between coach Bill Courtney and his players.

During the season the film was made, Courtney was in his sixth year of volunteering as the team's coach. That's right. The man volunteered to coach the team. The school was so poor they couldn't even have a football team until Courtney, a business owner, stepped in to help. During Courtney's first two seasons as coach, the team traveled around, getting paid for practice games with other teams and getting their butts kicked. Then when the actual season started, they were exhausted and defeated. The Manassas Tigers didn't win a single game. Courtney ended the debilitating and denigrating practice games by encouraging other business people to donate the money so the school could have a team. He also recruited assistant coaches.

Courtney then encouraged a group of talented junior high students to attend Manassas and work with him. They did, and they developed as players and as men. Finally, during their senior year, they have an undefeated season and go to the playoffs.

I have absolutely no interest in football, but I found myself cheering for these kids. I certainly admire Courtney for volunteering, and I appreciate the sacrifices his wife and four children made so he could help so many young men living in poverty, and for the most part, without positive male role models in their lives.

This isn't a film to watch with young children because of the profanity, but I think you can watch it with kids 13 and older -- you know what your kids can handle better than I do. You might want to warn your teens I will wash out their mouths with soap if they repeat the language in this film, and then you can tell them what a naughty mouth I have and someone can threaten to wash out my cake hole.

I wish Undefeated had been around when Favorite Young Man was a teenager. It's so inspiring to see these kids succeed. The love between Bill Courtney and the young men he coaches is a beautiful thing to see. And getting a picture of the way the players live is an education.

One player has a chance of getting a football scholarship, but he needs to get his grades up and improve his ACT score. The coach wants to get a tutor for him. But the neighborhood in which he resides is so horrible that no tutor will go there.

But, don't worry. The coach solves the problem, just as he solves so many problems.

I cried tears of joy at least three times while watching Undefeated.

Dee, in spite of the profanity, I think you will love this film. A woman as tenderhearted as you are will be moved by the difficulties and the successes of the team.

I think quite a few of you will want to watch this documentary with your teens. Undefeated has The Janie Junebug Highest Seal of Approval.

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend. 

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug