Friday, August 29, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

We head into the Labor Day weekend with The Cephalopod Coffeehouse.

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.

To join us or to visit other participants, please click on The Armchair Squid, the blogger who is the host with the most. Here we go:

My brain sizzles. Flames shoot from my fingertips. Pyrotechnics explode where I dare to walk in my house.  My eyes dive and pounce on the sentences. The words make me wince. Then I shout my approval. My book choice for August is Nothing In Particular by Kate LeDonne.

Trigger Warning: Book depicts severe abuse in a number of scenes.

Kiera Graves is a teen-age girl with big dreams who is stuck in a small town where she serves as a virtual slave to her abusive parents––especially her father, who is a school administrator and protected by the community––but every time they knock her down (literally and figuratively), she gets back up and defies them by surviving. She's supported in her struggle by a small group of close friends, a few adults who see the truth, and by disappearing into her love of music. It's the eighties. Welcome to Indiana.

Although Nothing In Particular is set in Indiana, it could just as easily be located in Florida or Alabama or Washington or . . . pretty much anyplace, I guess, because abuse doesn't have boundaries.

I liked this book as soon as I saw the cover. It's very creative.

About five minutes after I opened the envelope in which the book arrived, I began reading. I took time off from blogging to read––to read with particular care because this book means a lot to me, especially coming so soon after our series on bullying. Kiera is bullied in such an extreme fashion. Most of the kids in her high school hate her because she dares to be different. She's not another cow in the herd. She's intelligent and talented and so hard working.

I also relate to her parents calling her "you little shit" because that was my mommy's special name for me.

As I got into the book, I started to wonder if it hadn't been edited. I noticed some errors. But as I continued, I realized that it's written in stream of consciousness. Fortunately, the book includes information on how to contact the author. I took advantage of that situation and proceeded to (probably) make a pest of myself with questions. LeDonne confirmed that the book is stream of consciousness, but acknowledged that it has a few unintentional errors, although it was edited.

No, no, no, I protested. This book should have errors. Kiera is in a hurry. Everything is coming at her so quickly. She's telling her story as fast as she can, in the true voice of a teen-aged girl. Mistakes are natural and appropriate. 

You know the errors are okay when your Queen of Grammar approves of them.

LeDonne's voice is powerful, and her story is credible. Anyone who thinks that what Kiera experiences could never really happen knows nothing about abuse and the power of a psychotic authority figure: 

I remain in a ball. If I uncurl, he will beat me worse than if I can protect my abdomen. I cry and whimper for him to stop. Through my tears, I see my mother standing at the door watching, with a taunting smile. My father drops me like a sack of laundry and I try to scoot away. He kicks me in the head really hard. That's the last thing I remember. Living here is like living in a house that is burning down, and the windows and the doors have been nailed shut. 

I feel very moved by Nothing In Particular, which earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval. If you're afraid of reading it, I understand. I offer a small spoiler: Kiera will be okay. I relate to the portrayal of abuse, but it didn't send me into intense, wailing anxiety. This kind of book is important because some people don't believe this sort of thing happens. They don't believe that a trusted figure in the community and his attractive wife might be assaulting their child. Often, Kiera's most basic needs aren't met. She doesn't even get to eat regularly. And medical care? Forget about it. That's a reason for another beating.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this kind of garbage happens all the time. We need to read these accounts, whether they are fact or fiction, because knowledge is power. 

I received my copy of Nothing In Particular in exchange for an honest review. I don't think I can be more honest about this book. It's excellent. If you're an eighties music fan (Nicki Elson), then you'll really love it.

You can purchase it in multiple places:
Barnes & Noble Nook Book at

From Amazon at

The link I provide for Amazon will lead you to the softcover version of the book. They also have the Kindle version, just as Barnes & Noble has the softcover.

I wish you a pleasant Labor Day weekend, and do me a favor, please? Don't bully anyone, and if you know of someone who is bullied, even if the bullying comes from family members, then please try to help that person. Some people may claim their bullying is a joke. It's kind of like someone who makes a racist statement and then says, I don't know why you're taking it that way. It's just a joke.

Abuse is no joke. It's just abuse.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I'm so glad I can present an appropriately titled movie that I like very much. It's Labor Day (2013, PG-13, Available On DVD).

Adele (Kate Winslet) is depressed. Her husband left her because he couldn't stand to be around her sadness anymore (poor him). She lives alone with their son Henry (Gattlin Griffith), who I think is about twelve years old. Adele seldom leaves the house, but once a month she and Henry shop for supplies. During a shopping trip on the Thursday before Labor Day, a man approaches Henry, who is looking at comic books. Frank (Josh Brolin) requires assistance. He is wounded and bleeding some. With his hand on Henry's neck in a possessive manner, Frank insists on going home with Adele and Henry. Frank (Josh Brolin) has escaped from prison.

Is Frank a threat, or is he Adele and Henry's salvation?

I didn't know much about Labor Day. As I watched the opening credits and discovered it was based on a novel by Joyce Maynard, I took it as a good sign. I'll add the novel to my Amazon wish list because the screenplay is so good.

I'm impressed by Josh Brolin's performance because he's tender, yet frightening. He keeps the audience guessing about Frank's true intentions. He's also smoldering. I don't think I've seen him sexier, and I did not think Josh Brolin could be sexier. Kate Winslet is excellent, as always. Adele is needy, off-kilter, but strong enough to confront a challenge. I like a character that grows and changes, as Adele does.

I read on the Internet Movie Database that quite a few people don't like this movie because they think Adele is stupid and weak for doing as Frank tells her. Rather, I say she's confused and frightened, but willing to do what she thinks is necessary to protect Henry.

Labor Day earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval with The Gold Star for Sexy and a Blue Ribbon for Poignant.

Please pardon my blogging absence of late. I wanted to read a particular book with particular care. I'll review this particular book tomorrow (Friday) for The Cephalapod Coffeehouse blogfest. Prepare for my review because this book makes my brain sizzle, kinda like when I stood in the puddle of water and touched the back of the leaking refrigerator, which you can read about HERE just in case you missed that particular adventure.

I have also been taking advantage of my Affordable Care Act health insurance (thank you, President Obama; I love you). I lost my colonoscopy virginity on Monday. I don't know why the preparatory drink is called Golytely when it should be called Goshityerbrainsout, but drinking the stuff and having a colonoscopy is better than finding blood in your poop and learning you have late stage colon cancer. I apologize for being so graphic. You really don't want colon cancer, though, and if you have it, it's better to find out as soon as possible. The colonoscopy itself was nothing. Apparently, I have quite the comely colon.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Quiet, please.

I am reading.

Tiptoe away to avoid trouble.

But first, please enjoy this offering from fishducky:

Friday, August 15, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I titled my post THE FIELDS MEDAL! THE FIELDS MEDAL! because of the sequence in Good Will Hunting when Sean (Robin Williams) chastises his former college roommate, Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard), for pushing Will (Matt Damon) to be what Lambeau wants Will to be.

Lambeau: You're angry at me for doing what you could have done; but ask yourself, Sean. Ask yourself if you want Will to feel that way, if you want him to feel like a failure.
Sean: Oh, you arrogant shit! That's why I don't come to the goddamned reunions, 'cause I can't stand that look in your eye. Ya know, that condescending, embarrassed look. You think I'm a failure. I know who I am, and I'm proud of what I do. I was a conscientious choice, I didn't fuck up! And you and your cronies think I'm some sort of pity case. You and your kiss-ass chorus following you around going, "The Fields Medal! The Fields Medal!" Why are you still so fuckin' afraid of failure?

I can't remember if it's in Good Will Hunting or something that I read––maybe A Beautiful Mind––that The Fields Medal is described as the Nobel Prize for mathematics, only it's so much more important that it's only awarded every four years.

This week has been a hard one. Sad for many of us. But at least one cool thing happened: for the first time ever, a woman won The Fields Medal.

Maryam Mirzakahni, 37, is a professor at Stanford University. She grew up in Iran, so she is also the first Iranian to win The Fields.

I hoped The Hurricane would be the first woman to win The Fields Medal, but it's okay by me that Maryam Mirzakahni paved the way.

You kick mathematical ass, chicky baby. Congratulations.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Today's first movie is Parkland (2013, PG-13, Available On DVD).

Many of you will recognize this name immediately because it's the hospital in Dallas where President Kennedy was taken after he was shot.

President and Mrs. Kennedy arrive in Dallas. Abraham Zapruder (Paul Giamatti) takes his place along the motorcade route with his motion picture camera, and then takes his place in history. Doris Nelson (Marcia Gay Harden) is a nurse at Parkland Hospital who remains calm while everyone around her, at first, is too shocked to take action. Robert Oswald (James Badge Dale) faces the shame of his brother Lee Harvey Oswald's actions. Their mother, Marguerite Oswald (Jacki Weaver), revels in the attention heaped on her family. A host of other well-known actors also appear in the movie, including Billy Bob Thornton, Zac Efron, Colin Hanks, and Jackie Earle Haley.

All of these characters come together to portray the assassination of a president on November 22, 1963. This movie isn't about conspiracy theories or solving crimes. It's about chaos.

I felt quite touched by Paul Giamatti's performance. Zapruder is reluctant to allow anyone to see the footage that depicts the actual shooting. Marcia Gay Harden is also quite good. She's the kind of take charge nurse I like.

I am a bit amused, however, by the disclaimer at the conclusion of the movie. From the Internet Database: Although based on a true story and depicting real-life people the end credits state: "All characters in this film are fictional and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental."

Although we see President Kennedy in news footage from that day, an actor is credited as portraying the president. I guess the actor plays the corpse.

Parkland is not a brilliant movie, but it's interesting and moving. I don't think I'd show it to children––it would be too confusing for them––but I would definitely watch it with teens and be prepared to explain the action and to talk about the ubiquity of the question among multiple generations: Where were you when you found out President Kennedy had been shot?

Parkland earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Approval.

Our companion documentary is JFK: One PM Central Standard Time (2013, TV-PG, Available On DVD and Netflix Streaming). Narrated by George Clooney, this show should be available from multiple outlets.

The photo representing this movie on Netflix says "PBS." The above photo, from the Internet Movie Database, states that it's part of the "Secrets of the Dead" series, which is on PBS. IMDb also notes the following: Shown in Britain on 22 November 2013 as a one-off special under the title "JFK - News of a Shooting" to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's assassination. Whence it came, it's an interesting documentary that, similar to Parkland, is about chaos. But in this case, the chaos revolves around reporting what had occurred in Dallas, with a special focus on CBS News and Walter Cronkite.

The documentary is filled with fascinating details; i.e., Walter Cronkite had to make the initial TV report that the president had been shot from a radio booth because no camera was available in the newsroom. After the camera was obtained, it took about 30 minutes for it to warm up so Cronkite could go on the air. The show his report interrupted was As The World Turns.

Cronkite had been a wire service reporter. He absolutely would not report something unless it was confirmed by official sources. His behavior was so different from that of today's so-called television journalists and all their speculation. They seem to be hired, for the most part, for their affability and good looks, or sometimes their anger with the totality of humankind.

Thus, in spite of information coming in from reporters on the scene, including Dan Rather, Cronkite began his stint on the air by stating that three shots had been fired at the presidential motorcade (see news clip below). Cronkite gradually released more information as he received it. 

Quite a few journalists who were in Dallas that day present their recollections. One woman (I'm sorry; I don't know her name) says the press car arrived at the hospital before the president's car. A Kennedy aide revealed immediately that President Kennedy was dead. (In Parkland, doctors discover a faint pulse that leads to a desperate attempt to resuscitate the president.)

Priests were called in to give the president the Last Rites. As they left, they revealed that Kennedy was dead. Finally, a spokesperson for The White House held a press conference to confirm that President Kennedy was dead. After that confirmation, Cronkite reported the president's death.

At the news conference, the time of death is set at 1 p.m., although no one actually knew what time Kennedy "officially" died.

Again, I don't recommend this film for children, but if you are so inclined, then you should watch it with teens. You may be astonished by some of the details you learn.

JFK: One PM Central Standard Time earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval and Appreciation for Disseminating Information.

I am tempted to watch Dead Poets Society this weekend, but I don't know if I'm ready for it yet.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Monday evening I learned that Robin Williams died, apparently because he decided it was time to go. Newspaper articles state he suffered from severe depression and had, on and off, been more than a dabbler in the use of drugs and alcohol.

I felt numb when I found out. I wasn't without feelings, uncaring. I felt as if I were in a bubble and nothing could touch me.

You see, it could have been me––except I wouldn't get all this publicity, thank God.

I started to feel the loss on Tuesday when I read a headline that said something to the effect of the following: Robin Williams needed to know that depression is temporary and that people who are suicidal should ask for help.

The problem with all these platitudes and "it's gonna be okay if you ask for help," is that depression isn't necessarily temporary. I've been depressed for as long as I can remember. Yes, I truly think I was depressed even when I was a small child.

As for asking for help, let's not go there because I don't want to discourage anyone from asking for help. And by writing those words I've probably just discouraged someone, so I'm going to go ahead and say that asking for help isn't easy and that people who ask for help don't always get it.

I wasn't a big Robin Williams fan when I was young. I never watched Mork and Mindy. I think it was on at the same time as The Waltons, and I was a John-boy fan. Loved the whole family. I didn't want a boatload of kids, but I knew I wanted my family to be close and loving.

So I pretty much ignored Robin Williams. In about 1984 or so, we watched a Robin Williams stand-up comedy show. I'm pretty sure we saw it on videocassette because we didn't have cable TV. It was a miracle we had a VCR.

X thought that Robin Williams impersonating Nadia Comaneci with a high voice and silly accent was hilarious. Robin Williams moved from one character or joke to the next without stopping to catch his breath. I didn't think he was that funny. I wondered what was on the other side of that mania. He had to come down sooner or later.

Then he started making movies. Some of the movies were silly, but some of the movies were lovely. I don't know how many times my kids and I watched Dead Poets Society. I discovered I liked Robin Williams, the actor playing the part of a teacher who inspired his students. I especially liked the quieter moments in the film, when he quoted poetry.

And then along came Good Will Hunting. Robin Williams won the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award, and he deserved it. Every time The Hurricane came home from college on break, she watched Good Will Hunting. I don't think she watched it to see Robin Williams. She watched because of the relationship between the professor and Will, and because of the math. But we didn't have any complaints about Robin Williams. He was great.

I know I've seen him in movies since then, but none of them thrilled me. It's enough for me that he made Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting because those were two heartbreakingly beautiful parts.

It was good knowing you, Robin. I don't know why I'm here, and you aren't. It's not because I'm a stronger person than you are. I'm sorry you're gone.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I can't remember if someone was talking about a writer's love of eavesdropping on a blog or on some writers' forum-type thingy. But I definitely love to eavesdrop. I learn so much from it, and it gives me ideas. I especially enjoy listening to conversations in Spanish. I think, Those people have no idea that I know what they are saying. hehehehehe

What? They just called me a "fat whore" in Spanish? Well, that's not very nice.

But insults don't make me give up the listening addiction, and sometimes listening gives me a blog post.

Willy Dunne Wooters arranged for me to use the pool in his very nice apartment complex. One day last week, two young women, probably about twenty years old, were prancing around the pool in their bikinis (WDW is not allowed to go to the pool without me now that I know about the bikini-clad girls.)

One girl said to the other chicklet, My mother is so stupid. We went to a restaurant that had a sign that said 'free wi-fi.' She wanted to know where the wi-fi was. She actually thought you can see wi-fi.

The other girl shook her head and said, Old people and technology.

Yup! That's me, and everyone else older than . . . 50? 40? We are such idiots.

Then my two chicklets started talking about Facebook. I'm sick of everybody not knowing how to spell, one of them said. They keep spelling awesome wrong. It's a-w-s-o-m. Why do they, like, put in extra e's, ya know?

The other girl shook her head and said, Nobody knows how to spell anymore. I'm glad I learned, like, ya know, how to spell.

Me, too, ya know, chicklet. Like, me, too.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, August 11, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

A while back I told you I had a problem with my refrigerator. Many . . . A number of you . . . Some . . A couple of you wanted to know what happened. I said I would tell you after we finished the BULLY FOR YOU series, so now, here is the story of the refrigerator that thought it was a shower or maybe a washing machine.

Here is a photo of Frigidaire:

If you look to the left of Frigidaire, you can see he's the kind of refrigerator who dispenses water and ice.

He is also a depository for magnets and some postcards, such as Leda and the Swan, which The Hurricane mailed to me from Italy when she was in high school. I think she'd been home for two or three weeks before the postcard arrived. She sent this particular card because I read Yeats' poem to her.

Leda is covered with a magnet because she is bare ass nekkid.

Frigidaire also boasts the postcard from the donkey sanctuary The Hurricane visited on her eighteenth birthday. To the right of the donkeys are two of my favorite girls in the whole world. They are Middle Child's two oldest children.

So you can see Frigidaire keeps quite busy giving me ice and water and holding cards and photos. Oh! and Frigidaire is covered with tiny words on magnets. Anyone who visits my house is allowed to rearrange the magnets, even if what the person creates with the words is considered naughty by some other people who are prudes.

The problem with Frigidaire began one weekend when I thought I heard water running in the kitchen. I looked around. No leak under the kitchen sink. No water to be found. I told Willy Dunne Wooters that I heard water running. He said, I don't hear anything. (Well, what in the hell did you expect him to say? He's as deaf as a post.)

On Monday I spent more time wandering around the kitchen. The noise was coming from the refrigerator. I looked in the freezer. Nothing. No puddle coming from under the refrigerator.

By about 7 p.m. that Monday, the noise was really getting on my nerves. What was going on?

I decided the sound came from behind the refrigerator, so I decided to pull out the refrigerator in case I could spot a problem. Before I pulled, though, I looked at the water pipe that's behind and slightly to the left of the refrigerator. I'm sorry it's kind of hard to see in this photo, but there wasn't anything to see at the time because no water was coming from the pipe:

So putting my puny muscles and bad back to work, I pulled on the refrigerator. I pulled Frigidaire more and more. I could feel that he was going over some small bump as I pulled. Suddenly he jumped over the bump, and water began to squirt out of the plastic tube that carried the water from the pipe to the refrigerator so I can have my water and ice. The bump had been that tube. I realize it's difficult to see the water coming out of the shower head, but it was a lot like this:

Water wasn't pouring out. It was spurting out, streaming out, gushing out, spewing out, shooting out. I hope that gives you a general idea of how much water was coming out of the tube, and how it was erupting.

It seemed that Frigidaire had been sitting on his own tube for a long time. He had finally worn a hole in the tube. When I moved Frigidaire off the opening, the kitchen became very, very wet in a very, very short time. Eek! I squealed.

I ran to grab a stack of old towels, which I scattered in the deepening pool, and I tried to turn off the tap.

Of course, it wouldn't budge.

So I stood on top of the hole in the pipe, like the little boy who kept the damn dam from bursting by putting his finger in the hole. I texted Favorite Young Man. No response. I emailed Willy Dunne Wooters. No response. (We'll talk about that lack of response more on another day.)

I couldn't just stand there forever. I ran to my closet as quickly as one runs in sopping slippers, and grabbed my sandals. I ran next door and knocked. Then I knocked again. Sweet Young Allison opened the door.

Eek! I said. Water! Eek! Is Anthony home? (She doesn't know that I call him Hot Young Anthony.)

Sweet Young Allison said that (Hot Young) Anthony was on his way home and asked if she should send him over when he arrived.

Eek! I squeaked. Please!

I ran home and went back to standing on the hole in the tube. I called Tony the plumber man and left a message for him. I accidentally touched the back of the refrigerator and felt a snizzle. I am standing in a pool of water with an electrical appliance, I thought. This is not good, I thought, though my brain felt quite foggy from the emergency.

I unplugged Frigidaire.

Just then Hot Young Anthony, my beloved savior, ran in the front door. I turned off the water to the house, he said. What happened? he asked.

I showed him.

Hmmmmmm, he said. Just then the phone rang. It was Tony the plumber. He already knew what was wrong although my message had mostly consisted of me squealing, Eek! Water! Hole in tube!

Tony said he was on another job and couldn't get to my house for at least 90 minutes.

He started to tell me what to do and what not to do. I said, Anthony is here. Please tell him.

And I turned the phone over to my deliverer. (Tony the plumber is also Hot Young Anthony's plumber. I found Tony because Anthony told me that Tony is the best plumber ever, and Anthony knew of what he spake.)

Anthony said, Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Okay.

He gave the phone back to me.

Hot Young Anthony said, Tony said to go to Lowe's and get a steel cable. He said it's easy to hook it up.

That's easy for you to say, I thought.

I must have looked more than my usual crazy because Hot Young Anthony started wiping up the water with the towels. Then he offered to go to Lowe's to buy the cable.

Yes, please, I said.

He returned a few minute later (Lowe's is very close). He took off the old plastic tube, and put on the new steel cable. He went outside and turned on the water to the house. Everything worked, and water no longer spurted.

I thanked Hot Young Anthony about a million times and asked if he wanted to get laid. No. I would not really do that. He is married to Sweet Young Allison, and I am in love with Willy Dunne Wooters. But I sure felt like making the offer.

Hot Young Anthony said, It was no trouble at all. We're always glad to help.

He said that the good thing about what had happened was that now the kitchen floor was clean. I felt a tiny bit embarrassed about the amount of dog hair that had been behind and under the refrigerator, and then I got over it.

Everything was fine. I have the best neighbors ever and the best plumber ever. Tony called back very quickly after I left my Eek! message. Although it was a Friday evening, Tony was willing to come here to take care of the problem, and he was even more willing to save me a good bit of money by telling Anthony what to do. The cable cost $16.

I would have preferred to fix it myself, but I was in Eek! mode so I was very grateful to have a rescuer.

I have saved a life here and there and written newspaper articles on stuff that came up twenty minutes before deadline, but squirting water overwhelmed me.

And that is the story of the refrigerator that thought it was a shower, or maybe a washing machine.

Mr. Frigidaire has been on his best behavior since that night.

And so have I, because I don't want God to have a reason to punish me. Not that He would do that.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I have an unusual pairing of movies this week. One is a film based on fact, and the other is a documentary that is, in part, about the facts in the film. I enjoyed both of these tremendously.

The first is Saving Mr. Banks (2013, Rated PG-13, Available On DVD).

Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) has begged author P. L. Travers (Emma Thompson) for twenty years to allow him to make a film based on her series of books about a certain nanny named Mary Poppins. She has consistently refused. Then money becomes tight, the books are no longer selling as well, and she acquiesces.

Travers travels to Los Angeles for two weeks to consult on the script, over which she supposedly has final approval, and proceeds to drive Disney staff members insane with her demands. Julie Andrews is too pretty to portray Mary Poppins, who should not be chirpy and cheerful, according to Mrs. Travers––the formal name she prefers. Mrs. Travers is appalled that some animation will be included in the movie. She doesn't want Dick Van Dyke to play Bert.  She hates the songs by the Sherman brothers––Robert (B. J. Novak) and Richard (Jason Schwarzman).

However, she also reflects on her childhood with her father (Colin Farrell), who encouraged her to live in her imagination and to never stop dreaming. But Travers had to face reality: her father was an alcoholic, and life was not sunshine and rainbows and bright colors. Rather, it was hard times and the darkness of loss.

Walt Disney: "No whimsy or sentiment!" says the woman who sends a flying nanny with a talking umbrella to save the children.
P.L. Travers: You think Mary Poppins is saving the children, Mr. Disney?
[Walt and the other filmmakers are stunned silent]
P.L. Travers: Oh, dear!
[Walks away]

After two years of hard work and compromises, in 1964 the film is released to great acclaim––from almost everyone except Mrs. Travers.

Saving Mr. Banks, from Disney Studios, seems a labor of love. The Internet Movie Database states:

The production team were absolutely meticulous about every detail of Tom Hanks' portrayal of Walt Disney, right down to measuring the exact length of his mustache.

I love this movie. I can't imagine anyone other than Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson in these roles. Saving Mr. Banks is touching and funny and well written. It also makes me think back to getting dressed up to see the movie in a theater when I was five. Oh, how we loved the songs. We had a book of music from Mary Poppins. I felt so proud when I learned to play "Stay Awake" on the piano. Such a lovely, nostalgic mood this movie generates, in spite of Mrs. Travers' sputtering irritation.

Saving Mr. Banks earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval, along with the right to go fly a kite and spend your tuppence on crumbs to feed the birds. I don't know if young children would relate to this movie. Plus, it has some sad moments. I also don't know if teens would be interested in it.

Watch the closing credits. You can hear a tape of the late Pamela Travers talking about how the movie should be made.

Our documentary is The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story (2009, PG, Available On DVD). Robert and Richard Sherman were Walt Disney's in-house songwriters.  They wrote songs for animated features, songs for The Wonderful World of Color, songs for rides in Disneyland, and the songs for Mary Poppins, for which they won two Academy Awards.

Although the two worked together to write hundreds of songs that made us want to sing along, the brothers couldn't stand each other. Their sons, cousins Gregory Sherman and Jeff Sherman, made the documentary in an attempt to bring about some rapprochement between them during their later years.

Robert and Dick comment on their relationship and method for working together, and many stars from Disney films and other musicians describe "the boys," which studio workers fell into the habit of calling them.

It's sad that these extremely talented brothers didn't get along. It was so bad that when they appeared at events, Robert's family would sit on one side of the room, and Richard's family would sit on the other side. They didn't socialize.

Robert, who died in 2012, seems the more dour of the two. He appears quite depressed. He reveals his love for painting and explains that he was with the first Americans to enter Dachau as World War II reached its conclusion. He painted to push the thoughts of the concentration camp out of his mind. He was a haunted man.

Richard, the younger brother, is much more upbeat. His enthusiasm is contagious, but his older brother didn't catch it. However, Richard did not fight in World War II, which seems to be the defining event in Robert's life.

I love everything I learned about the boys' childhood, how they began working together, their writing process, and the decline they faced at Disney Studios after Walt's death.

In later years, however, they were asked to assist with a stage production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (they wrote the songs for the move), and they wrote several new songs for its reincarnation. Much is made in the documentary about the stage production of Mary Poppin, but without mentioning P. L. Travers' insistence that no Americans be allowed to work on the new Mary Poppins, especially the Sherman Brothers. Her will even stipulates that only British composers can write new songs for the musical.

Robert B. Sherman: [talking about Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers] She was such a witch.

The Boys makes an excellent companion piece to Saving Mr. Banks, but if only one film interests you, it's okay. You don't have to watch one to understand the other. I doubt if children would be interested in this documentary, but they might enjoy it if they like music and they've seen Mary Poppins.

The Boys earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval and the Seal of the Greatest Delivery of Information.

Happy Viewing!

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Sunday evening Willy Dunne Wooters and I watched the season finale of Last Tango In Halifax, a romantic show on PBS that we love (WDW says we are just like the main characters). Then we stopped by the bedroom for a visit, just to make sure it hadn't disappeared as rooms sometimes do. After that, we cuddled on the couch in the living room as we said goodnight.

Suddenly I saw a ginormous, gihugic palmetto bug hanging around just below the edge of the fireplace mantel. I squealed and pointed. Willy Dunne Wooters said, Good God, that's a big one (I, too, had made that statement when we checked on the status of the bedroom).

I ran to get one of my yellow shoes, the yellow shoes I don't like very much because they aren't a true yellow. They're mustard.

I used the yellow shoe to try to smack the palmetto bug. The bastard escaped (they always do at first; they like to create a real competition in the area of Person v. Palmetto Bug) and ran up the wall and hid under a plate that's hanging above the mantel.

See the plate with pink roses above the other plate?
He was hiding under the higher plate.

I can't take down the plate to hit the bug, I wailed. Why not? asked WDW.

I'm afraid I'll drop it and break it, I wailed, and my great grandmother brought that plate with her when my family left Norway to live in the U.S. That plate is a Norwegian antique. So is the one under it. 

I'll get the bug spray, said Willy Dunne Wooters. Where's the bug spray?

It's on the cart at the back door where I keep the cleaning supplies, I wailed (lots of wailing in this post). But we can't get the spray on the plate. It could damage the plate and my great grandmother brought it to the U.S. from Norway.

Keep an eye on him and make sure he doesn't escape, said Willy Dunne Wooters.

Then I heard all this fumbling around with the cleaning supplies on the cart at the back door, while I stared at the plate and saw an antenna poke out just a tiny bit at the top of the plate.

Willy Dunne Wooters returned. I can't find the bug spray, said Willy Dunne Wooters.

Jesus Christ, I wailed. I gave him the mustard shoe and went to get the bug spray.

See the big red and white container on the top shelf?
It has a spraying wand on the side that resembles a bright red penis.
That's the bug spray Willy Dunne Wooters couldn't find.
I guess I shouldn't expect much.
He is the man who complained that my glass cleaner was 
absolutely worthless when he was actually trying to clean
his glasses with laundry stain remover.

I returned with the bug spray and very carefully sprayed a tiny bit under the edge of the plate. Then a bit more under the opposite side. Then more under the bottom.

Finally the bastard scooted out and headed for the safety of the ceiling. Willy Dunne Wooters stood on my cedar chest, which lives in front of the fireplace that I don't use, and smacked the hell out of the palmetto bug. He hit that m#f! so hard that palmetto guts splattered the wall.

I'm sorry this photo is kind of dark.
Can you see the cedar chest in front of the fireplace?
It has a tapestry on top of it.
I was pretty darn impressed with the way that my WDW
jumped up there and smacked the palmetto bug
with the mustard shoe. 

The late Mr. Palmetto fell on the mantel. I scooped him up with some toilet paper and flushed him. And, yes, I wailed the entire time.

Wooters + Junebug = 100 points

Palmetto Bastard = 0 points

Infinities of love,
Janie Junebug

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

When I wrote the title for this post, I thought ha ha ha! I've invented a new word: apologizer. Then I checked to be sure that the word originated with your Queen of Grammar, and learned that apologizer is already a word. Or else someone got it in the dictionary awfully fast after I typed it.

It means, of course, someone who apologizes.

Here, someone named Amber Ray acts as an apologizer, but I don't know why she uses a photo of Willy Dunne Wooters when her apology is to Ryan Gosling:

Last week I was critical of a blogger because I thought she was doing something wrong. I was the one who was wrong, and I apologized. I know quite a few of you read my apology because you commented on it. Therefore, my question is as follows:

Do you think I can get a job as a professional apologizer?

When you wait 45 minutes in a restaurant and get a sandwich with mustard when you specifically said no mustard, or you get a bill that's $300 more than you're supposed to pay, or you work for Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court says that Hobby Lobby doesn't have to give you health insurance that covers your birth control, then do you think you'd feel at least a tiny bit better if you received a sincere and loving letter of apology from the person who made your sandwich or the person who coded the bill or certain justices on the Supreme Court (not Ruth Bader Ginsberg because she wrote a very strong dissent, but Clarence Thomas, you owe the world a lot of apologies, buddy)?

I'm just kinda thinking that all those people who make mistakes might not have the time or the grammar skills to write letters of apology, so maybe I can become a professional apologizer and write those letters. I wanna earn an honest living.

I have to admit, though, that apologizing for Clarence Thomas is probably beyond my capabilities.

In case I have you wondering about apologizer v. apologist, an apologist is someone who writes or states a defense of a case or belief. I learned that when I took The History of The British Novel (thank you, Dr. Winter), but I don't remember why.

If you need an apologizer, please keep me in mind (not you, Clarence, and not Arnold Schwarzenegger). Hey, spell check recognizes Schwarzenegger. That's interesting. I didn't think it would.

The world is an amazing place. Right, Willy Dunne Wooters?

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

P.S. Thanks to all of you who read my apology and were so kind to me. The person I criticized very graciously accepted my apology.

Monday, August 4, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I hope I don't make a lot of errors in this post. I've had quite a morning.

First, I took Franklin to the vet for his annual exam. He was very well behaved.

Even though we added Willy Dunne Wooters
to our account and got a 20% discount because
he's such an old dude, the cost was $464.

While we were at the vet's office, I made an appointment to have Harper's teeth cleaned later this week.

Harper needs senior dog blood work and an
EKG before he has his teeth cleaned. The technician
mentioned 500 or 600 or something. I don't
even know if that includes cleaning the teeth.

I had to hire a new yard guy. When Franklin and I got home, he was doing something in the yard. I'm not sure what it was. He might have been mowing the grass.

I would pay him to walk around the yard, gazing
at the weeds surrounding Lake Junebug.

I feel rather faint. Perhaps my corset is too tight. Finding Mr. Darcy in my yard pushed my brain into whirly-twirly time.

It's been a while since I wrote a post about the search terms people use to find my blog. I admit that some terms make sense, such as, why does mr. rogers wear a sweater? I wrote a post a long time ago debunking an email that circulated for years. The email claimed that Mr. Rogers wore a sweater to cover the tattoos he got as a grizzled warrior in our armed forces. Some forms of the email claimed he was a sniper. Mr. Rogers was never in the military. He was a veteran of the seminary. Mr. Rogers is always in my top ten list of searches, and that's fine with me. I loved Mr. Rogers. I miss his gentle voice and sweet demeanor.

But I do have some strange stuff on my stats page. My favorites from the past week are as follows:

  1. margaret rose foot fetish
  2. anne hathaway yoga pants toe
  3. boobs on deck
Foot fetish has shown up before, but never with margaret rose. I've also seen boobs on deck previously. And, no, I don't mean that I've seen actual boobs on the deck of a ship so don't attribute your naughty ideas to me. I don't know why that search has popped up again, similar to a cold nipple. I wear bras that promise to provide maximum nipple coverage. 

What do you suppose the meaning is of anne hathaway yoga pants toe? Recently, I posted a photo of Anne Hathaway wearing, or almost not wearing, a sheer dress, but yoga pants toe? If you know what that means, please whisper it to me in an email, because I hope suspect it's something absolutely filthy interesting and educational.

The search term with the highest numbers is rusty yates. I know that's because my most popular post ever is about Rusty Yates leaving his wife Andrea alone with their children when he had been warned not to do so. She was very sick (psychotic), and, of course, she drowned the children. That's a news story I'll never forget.

On a happier note, one dunked in chocolate, ryan gosling shows up in my top ten search terms.

I don't know why photos of Willy Dunne Wooters appear when I search for Ryan Gosling, but I have no complaints.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, August 1, 2014


I'm sorry, but movie weekend will have to wait.

I hurt someone's feelings. She knows who she is, and I am so sorry.

I hope no one else saw the terrible thing I did. It's especially bad because I just had the series on bullying, and I bullied this person.

I am very, very sorry.