Friday, March 27, 2015


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


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


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


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


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. 



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


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.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Dear Drug Takers, Drug Fakers (Placebos), Hemp Bakers, Drug Makers, Straight Stayers, and Pharmaceutical Reps,*

I, Your Queen of Grammar, a.k.a. C'est Moi, hereby proclaim that you must beware of more than one bus.

These are buses. Your Queen of Grammar notes that a number of very nice people spell buses as busses. Some Web sites will tell you that buses are busses, but here's an excellent explanation of the word from

In 21st-century English, buses is the preferred plural of the noun busBusses appears occasionally, and dictionaries list it as a secondary spelling, but it’s been out of favor for over a century. 

In 21st-century English, buses is the preferred plural of the noun busBusses appears occasionally, and dictionaries list it as a secondary spelling, but it’s been out of favor for over a century. 

After bus emerged in the 19th century as an abbreviation of omnibusbuses and busses (the logical plural of buss, an early alternative spelling of bus) vied for dominance for several decades. By the early 20th century, though, buses was the clear winner, and it has steadily become more prevalent. Today, buses appears on the web about 15 times for every instance of busses.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, and I'm sure you will, is to leave a comment to demonstrate that you know what buss means, or you may invent a definition, but please, I beg of you, stop spelling buses as busses.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

*Salutation inspired by the one and only Pickleope of Strangely Naked.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Even if you don't know Inger, please visit her at Desert Canyon Living with a positive message or a prayer. Her husband is very ill.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, March 9, 2015


Dear Rachel, Shady, Andrea, and All of Our Other Friends Who Guessed The Sender of the Tulips,

The tulips are gone.
They cannot stay.
They wish they could live one more day.

Here's their farewell photo by my lovely lamp,
right behind Labor Day by Joyce Maynard,
a favorite here in our camp.

I took a photo of the tulips with Joyce Maynard's book because recently, Joyce updated the information about the fund for Rosa's education (click HERE to read about Rosa of Guatemala). I recall that some of you joined me in donating to the fund. It now has $16,000 in it, which is enough to support Rosa for two years. At that point, she'll be an RN. Cool beans.

Now, let's get back to those tulips. Shady Del Knight told you who sent them last week on Friday, and he was sure of his response. He was correct when he said the tulips came from Rachel of When a Lion Sleeps, Let It Sleep.

Rachel has become yet another adopted child––my youngest, in fact. Move over, Hurricane.

Here's Rachel.
She thinks she's a cat.
Please don't burst her bubble.

I wrote down the names of everyone who tried to guess the identity of the sender. Shady received extra entries for getting it right. Then I put the names in my pink cashmere hat:

I pulled out a slip of paper. The name on it was

Andrea of Maybe it's just me. Congratulations, Andrea. Please let me know where to send your gift, which is this wood box:

That is not a picture of Willy Dunne Wooters and me, but you can pretend it is if you like. You can even feel free to put a different photo in the opening. The box has a clasp, and when you open it you will find

a variety of Ghirardelli hot cocoa mixes and some raspberry-flavored candies.

Thanks to all of you for reading and commenting!

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Saturday, March 7, 2015


Dear Huddled Masses Yearning to Be Free,

The tulips remain in the living room today,
but now they greet you from the cedar chest.
No more clues I give to you.
Would you like to scoop some doggy doo?

Wow! What a lousy picture. What good does a digital camera do me?

Well, I expect an answer: What good does a digital camera do me?

I cut off the tops of the tulips. The blue candle leans so far over I think it must be drunk. SJP should be more prominent in the shot. You can barely see her.

You have until midnight to guess who sent the tulips.* Best wishes.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

*See HERE for information about tulip guessing. It seems your minds are resting. The guesses have petered out. Use your imagination and shout it out!

Friday, March 6, 2015


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Where are those tulips today?

They decided to preside over the living room.

Susie of Peaked in Junior High said in her comment yesterday that she knows who sent the tulips*. I hope she reveals the answer today.

My writing this week leads us to this song, which I hate:

That's Martha Reeves and Dusty Springfield explaining to us that if we want to get a man, then we have to do whatever he wants: "You've gotta wear your hair just for him." Bite me. If I want pink and purple hair, I'll have pink and purple hair.

Why is "love" so often associated with ownership? If my ex-husband owned me, then how could he give me away? I guess it's a lot like those people who say, That damn dawg digs holes all over the yard so we gotta git rid of him.

I love Willy Dunne Wooters, but I certainly don't own him, nor does he own me. I own my Self, including my vagina. However, Franklin owns me, and I own Franklin, because neither one of us can manage without the other.

Now here's the clue for you about the tulips. They arrived with a card that says HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BLOG MOM! REMEMBER, SADNESS AND TEARS ARE NOT ALLOWED! LOVE YOU! BLOG DAUGHTER

Who sent the tulips?

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

*For information about the Who Sent the Tulips? contest, please click HERE.

P.S. Although I adore Franklin, I can hear him rolling around in the backyard (that's because it's eighty degrees and the windows are open). I'm sure that the rolling around involves rolling in poop. I will not complain tonight because he doesn't sleep in the bed with me.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Where do you suppose the tulips are today?

 What a nice choice. They stayed in the bedroom, but moved to the dressing table so they can be close to Favorite Young Man, or at least a photo of Favorite Young Man from 1997.

Of course, we still don't know who sent the tulips––well, I do, and so does the sender.* I think the problem with the guesses is that they're too obvious. Today's clue is that the sender has a vagina.

Now you know we've been mentioned on each other's blogs, and she has a vagina. I think it's reasonable to believe that the sender is a female blogger, and someone I follow, who also follows me.

I was going to write a post today about the fact that we women own our bodies, even if we're not treated as if we do. Then I visited Shady Del Music & Memories and learned that Lesley Gore died. Thus, I present my favorite Lesley Gore song. It states what I want to say to you, but does so in a much better way than I could:

Lesley was 68 when she succumbed to lung cancer. Once upon a time, I would have thought that 68 is quite elderly. Now, at 56, I think I'm just getting started.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

*For information about the contest, please visit HERE. If you're still reading, here's another clue: She's [the sender] intelligent and hard working. Despite her youth, she was promoted to supervisor and now a manager at the store where she works.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Some of you are quite imaginative with your guesses.* The clue for today is that the sender of the tulips has been mentioned on my blog, and I've been mentioned on the sender's blog.

Where are the tulips today?

Oh, how nice. They've decided to visit the bedroom. They're on top of the wardrobe with my Teddy Bear and my angels.

Now I have a story to tell you about my training when I went to work in the nursing home. One day in class, a student said she'd had to, you know, clean, you know, like, a patient's suzie.

What is a suzie? I demanded.

You know, like in between her legs, you know, she answered.

Our instructor said, Suzie is a word that's used locally to mean vagina.

Well, I've never heard that before, I said.

And we're not going to use it on the job, said the instructor, because we're going to use correct terms.

Remember the George Carlin video (HERE)? I wrote, Notice, please, that we (Americans) change words as we try to depart from reality.

That brings us back to vaginas. You might not have seen the following video, or you might like to watch it again. It's Eve Ensler in The Vagina Monologues:

While Ensler asserts that vagina is not a sexy word, her video reminds us that a vagina is a vagina. It's not a suzie, a twat, or a split knish. I imagine some cowboy pushing back his hat to say, I'm gonna get me some pussy.

Well, buddy, it's not a pussy. It's a vagina, and it's part of a woman's body. Let's not turn it into something as unrealistic and unimportant sounding as a pussy––a cat to be owned by anyone. I wonder how many rapists think, I'm after vagina tonight. I'm gonna beat the crap outa that woman so I can take out my anger on her vagina.

Yes, the vagina is part of a woman's body. It's a tender part, an easily injured part, a too easily invaded part. If a man stopped to think that a woman has a body part called a vagina, instead of thinking he's gonna get him some pussy, do you think a chance exists that he would think of the woman as a woman, and not as a thing to be owned?

I don't think so, either, but I have to toss the idea into the ether and see where it lands.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

*For information about the contest, please click HERE.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I won't name names, but some of you bent the contest rules yesterday. One comment per day does not mean you are allowed to put multiple guesses in your one comment. Play nicely and stick to one guess a day, please.

Mommy always has to give such specific instructions.

Now, where are the tulips today?

Ah, here they are in the family room, on top of the pie safe. They wanted to prove they aren't afraid of heights.

Because no one guessed the giver* of the tulips correctly yesterday, I offer one clue to help you decide who sent the tulips: The tulips were delivered by a florist.

Next on our agenda is a video in which George Carlin talks about how "shell shock" eventually become "PTSD." I saw this video on someone's blog and wanted to ask the blogger "do you mind if I use it," but it didn't work because I thought the blog was fishducky's at fishducky, finally! I emailed fishducky to ask if she objected to my using the George Carlin video she used recently. She said she didn't know what I was talking about, but to go ahead and use whatever I wanted. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Thus, I don't know which blog showed this video, but I thank the person who used it because it helps me make my point:

Notice, please, that we (Americans) change words as we try to depart from reality.

Here's a photo, taken during the first World War, of a shell-shocked soldier:

So sad, isn't it?

I look forward to reading your guesses: Who sent the tulips?

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

*For contest rules, please see the THIS POST.

Monday, March 2, 2015


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Someone gave me pink tulips for my birthday on February 23rd. I adore them. Here they are in the kitchen:

I'll post a photo of the tulips in a different spot in my house every day this week because they don't like to stay put. They want to see my world.

The tulips are such a beautiful present, and now I want to offer you the opportunity to win a present.

Can you guess who gave me the tulips?

  • For every guess you make in the comments section of my blog, you get one entry. If you get the right answer, then you get ten entries. I will appreciate it ever so much if you will restrict yourself to one guess per day. You can guess every day this week. Guessing ends at midnight on Saturday, March 7th, EDT. If no one figures out who gave me the tulips, then I'll give you a clue each day, starting tomorrow.
  • If you don't want to guess, but you want to make a comment, please go right ahead. 
  • If someone guesses who the giver is, I won't reveal that the answer is correct so that everyone can continue to guess.On Sunday, I'll put the names from the comments in a hat or a jar or something, and I'll pick a name, or maybe Franklin will draw the name. The person whose name is drawn will receive a gift from me and the person who gave me the tulips.
  • This contest is limited to the U.S. and Canada because I simply cannot afford to ship the present half-way around the world.
  • The present will be a surprise. I won't reveal what it is until I'm ready to send it. If you are the winner and you don't want the prize, I'll draw another name.
  • I'll announce the winner on Monday, March 9th. If you are the winner and you want the gift, you have forty-eight hours to let me know your name and address. I will not reveal your personal information other than your blogging name. For example, if I won, then I would say that Janie Junebug won the gift.

Do you have any questions? I might have left out some vital information, such as WHO GAVE ME THE PINK TULIPS?

Let the guessing begin.

A close-up of the tulips,still visiting the kitchen.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug