Thursday, November 30, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Franklin launched into his "something is wrong" bark a while ago. I went to look out the living room window and expected to see a cat. Instead, I saw three police cars and a dilapidated truck stopped in the road only a few yards from my palace.

I spied with my little eye a police officer going door-to-door, so I went outside to try to find out what was going on. An officer told me that they had caught "the group" with the truck. They had stolen the stuff in the back (furniture, from what I could see) from "around the corner," and then they were going around stealing boxes left by UPS at houses in the hood. The police did not have any packages with my address on them.

I am not going out to take photographs. I don't want to get in the way of what appears to be an ongoing investigation.

I'm grateful to Franklin for informing me about this bad behavior. He probably saw the whole thing.

All I can tell you is that this business of stealing packages seems to be gearing up along with the holidays. Watch out!

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Several years ago, a friend came to stay with me for a few days. He perused a page on Wikipedia and wondered out loud about some marks following the name of the subject he was reading about. I told him that the marks were symbols from the International Phonetic Alphabet. He said, Well, they don't do any good if people don't know what they are.

He was right––as he is occasionally. So today I'll clue you in on the IPA so when you come across it, you know what it is.

The IPA consists of symbols that resemble letters in the English language. It's based on Latin. Each symbol represents a sound in oral language. It's used by linguists, lexicographers, and a variety of people who want to learn how to pronounce words or names, whether in their own language or any other language. It can even be used to represent unrecorded languages.

I learned the IPA long ago when I took a class on linguistics. I don't remember all the symbols, but I still get the general idea of a pronunciation when I see it written in IPA.

Let's take the example of Milo Ventimiglia, who stars in the popular NBC show This Is Us, which I started watching because my good friend Rita at SoulComfort's Corner recommended it. Ventimiglia also played Jess on The Gilmore Girls, a show I adored because it's about my daughter and me.

Need I remind you yet again that I am the real Lorelai Gilmore?

So if we look up Milo on Wikipedia, we see this after his name: /vɛntɪˈmljə/ That's the pronunciation of Ventimiglia in IPA symbols. 

You can find the entire IPA chart with its symbols and sounds online. It looks like this:

Yes, I know it's too small to read. Don't start complaining in your comments. Look it up online if you want to see a larger version of it. You can do it. You can also find helpful information HERE.

So now you know what those funny symbols mean when you happen across them, even if you don't know how to read them. But you can learn the IPA if you like, or pick out your favorite resource for the symbols and use it as a reference guide.

You're welcome.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, November 27, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Although I don't watch 20/20, the show that Elizabeth Vargas currently co-hosts, I've seen her on TV many times over her long career and have always admired her for her intelligence and poise.

I had no idea that she has suffered from severe anxiety for as long as she could remember and that she had turned to alcohol to self-medicate until I read Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction.

If you've ever said, I don't understand these people who claim they have panic attacks, then this is the book for you. Vargas writes this description of the anxiety she experienced during her childhood:

When you are anxious in the way that I was, fears begin to feed on themselves. The feeling is so unpleasant that you start to notice everything, wondering if it is going to make you want to jump, wondering if you should run. I was poised at all times, it seems, to flee the bugs, the snakes, or a patch of marshy soil that looked like it might melt into quicksand. Even little things that normally don't bother people can send an anxious person up a wall My brother was exposed to the same terrors as I was, but to me at least, he seemed to glide through, unperturbed.

As a young adult, Vargas turned to alcohol to alleviate her anxiety. In this book she describes her eventual treatment in rehab, relapses, divorce, and continued efforts to change her life.

Even if you already have empathy for people who have panic attacks, I think you'll find Vargas's memoir of interest and enjoy her success that hasn't come to her without very hard work.

Between Breaths earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Appreciative Approval.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Note: This review is a fair and impartial one, not affected by my receipt of the book from a Goodreads giveaway.

Friday, November 24, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Yesterday was dreary and rainy, but the weather couldn't dampen the scent of the turkey and all the other good food I had prepared.

As the turkey spent its time in the oven, I watched a favorite movie from 1984 on Turner Classic Movies: Places In The Heart. It stars Sally Field (she won her second Best Actress Academy Award and gave that often misquoted speech), Danny Glover, and John Malkovich.

Every time I see the final sequence, I have tears in my eyes. Yet I have always wondered about the presence in the church of characters who have died or gone away. Edna Spalding's (Sally Field) late husband is there, next to the man who accidentally shot and killed him and was lynched for it. Moses (Danny Glover) appears, although he's had to leave the Spalding farm because of an attack by the KKK.

But yesterday, as the characters took Communion, I finally realized that all are in place because in the end, nothing is left but love and forgiveness.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Wow! This Battle of the Bands was a close one. I'm not voting because it won't change the outcome.

The winners are

Simon & Garfunkel with 17 votes

while PigPen Theatre Co. finishes with a respectable 15 votes.

Thank you for voting, and I wish the rest of you in the U.S. a blessed Thanksgiving.

I'll ask Simon & Garfunkel to sing us out with one of my favorite songs.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, November 20, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

This is your last day to vote in BATTLE OF THE BANDS: THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK. The contenders are Simon & Garfunkel and PigPen Theatre Co. I'll announce the winner tomorrow.

I want to give you as much information as I can about PigPen Theatre Co., but all I know can be found on their Web site HERE. Wikipedia doesn't even have a page about them.

They are seven guys who met in 2007 during their freshman year at Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama in Pittsburgh. They wanted to create original plays, but they didn't have any money. They found that one way to make their creations work was to add music.

In 2012, they began releasing albums. In addition to their Web site, you can learn more about them by watching their TEDx talk:

It's only 11 minutes long, and it's very enjoyable. What I know now is that I'd love to see them in person.

I appreciate it that you've been willing to open your ears, hearts, and minds to them. I happened upon their cover of The Only Living Boy In New York on YouTube and knew I had to use them for my battle. Thanks to you, they're making a respectable showing. I thought Simon & Garfunkel might blow them away.

How about if we ask them to play us out today with their original song, Bremen, and with another of their covers?

See ya tomorrow with the battle results.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

The lyrics of The Only Living Boy In New York are copyrighted, but you can find them online if you can't understand them when they're sung. I think they're easier to hear than a lot of lyrics, such as "there's a bathroom on the right."

Of course, the song is my choice for the current Battle of the Bands. My contenders are Simon & Garfunkel and PigPen Theatre Co. If you haven't voted yet, I hope you'll do so at BATTLE OF THE BANDS: THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK.

Paul Simon wrote this song. Although I've cautioned my readers many times against thinking that the poetic persona is the poet (or songwriter), in this case, Paul admittedly addresses Art.

But he begins by calling Art "Tom." As you might recall from my post yesterday, A BRIEF HISTORY OF SIMON & GARFUNKEL, the duo had their first success as Tom & Jerry when they were in high school. Art was Tom.

So why does Tom fly to Mexico? He has a part in the 1969 movie Catch-22, directed by Mike Nichols. Nichols gave Simon & Garfunkel's career a big boost when he used their music for the soundtrack of his hit movie The Graduate in 1967.

Art wanted to try to have an acting career, but Paul was left behind. They would have gone to Mexico together for the movie because Simon had been offered a role, too. The offer was rescinded when Nichols cut the part. That left Simon as the only living boy in New York. Losing something that had been in his reach must have been painful for Simon.

I can't imagine that Nichols wanted to break up Simon & Garfunkel, but the split recounted in this song foreshadows their break-up as a musical pairing, which occurred the next year. Garfunkel, however, did not have a big career in movies. He played Jack Nicholson's friend in Carnal Knowledge. That and Catch-22 were his biggest accomplishments. As a singing solo act, Garfunkel had some success, but nothing compared to that of  Rhymin' Simon.

The lyrics of The Only Living Boy In New York are wistful and lonely, but Simon wishes Garfunkel well. In the future, the two often did not wish each other well.

The Only Living Boy In New York wasn't one of their big hits, but it's been covered many times. Simon & Garfunkel also gave Zach Braff permission to use the original in his 2004 film, Garden State. 

It's a beautiful and deceptively simply song.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Now that we've chatted about Simon & Garfunkel's association with Mike Nichols, how about if we listen to something from The Graduate?

Saturday, November 18, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Now that we're finished with the silly distraction of the potential job, we can get back to what's really important: Battle of the Bands.

As you may already know, the song for my current battle is The Only Living Boy In New York. The contenders are Simon & Garfunkel and PigPen Theatre Co. If you haven't voted yet, please visit THIS POST to do so.

The history of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel can be summed up as making beautiful music together, splitting up, taking verbal jabs at one another, reuniting, splitting, not speaking, and reuniting.

The duo discovered they could harmonize in 1953 when they were in the sixth grade in Queens. They continued to sing together as high school students. In 1957, they recorded a composition of their own called Hey, Schoolgirl as Tom & Jerry. It was a modest success, and they appeared on American Bandstand.

Their next attempts at recording together failed. College beckoned. Simon majored in English and went to Brooklyn Law School. Garfunkel studied art history at Columbia University and then earned a master's degree in mathematics. Both made attempts at solo singing careers, with Simon spending some time in England. When he returned to the U.S., the two recorded some songs together again, but weren't successful. One of these was The Sound of Silence.

Then a remix of The Sound of Silence hit in 1965––and it hit big. No more stage names. They were Simon & Garfunkel, folk rock duo. In 1966, they had three successful albums that produced four big singles. They became one of the most popular groups in the world during the remainder of the decade, but both wanted to make some changes. Paul Simon wanted to become a solo recording artist, while Art Garfunkel embarked on an acting career in movies. Both have said they only wanted to take a break from each other for a couple of years. The break became more or less permanent (in spite of some television appearances and their hugely successful free concert in Central Park in 1982) when an album that they were to record together instead turned into a Paul Simon solo project.

Creative differences? Sick of each other? Hurt feelings? All probably apply to the end of their recording career.

In 1990 when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Garfunkel thanked Simon for "enriching his life." Simon's response was "Well, Arthur and I agree about almost nothing, but it´s true: I have enriched his life quite a bit now that I think about it." 

Garfunkel has referred to Simon's short stature over the years in disparaging terms and said that he spoke to Simon in high school because he felt sorry for him.

From 1993 to 2003, Simon and Garfunkel rarely spoke. In 2001, Simon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. In his acceptance speech, he stated, "I regret the ending of our friendship. I hope that some day before we die we will make peace with each other [long pause]. No rush."

Yet in 2003 they began to perform together again and have toured regularly, although Simon insists he'll never record with Garfunkel again. Garfunkel has also experienced problems with his vocal chords that have sometimes limited his ability to sing. They are 76 years old.

They have 10 Grammy Awards. Their last studio album, Bridge Over Troubled Water, was released in January, 1970, and became the best-selling album of all time until Michael Jackson released Thriller in 1982.

In my next post, we'll talk about the lyrics for The Only Living Boy In New York.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

From The Concert In Central Park, with 500,000 in attendance:

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

My posts about the background of The Only Living Boy In New York and the histories of the two contenders in my Battle of the Bands (Simon & Garfunkel and PigPen Theatre Co.) will be delayed or might not happen at all, but I'll certainly return on November 21st to announce the winner.

At long last, I'm in the final stages of getting a job. I can't tell you what it is, but it involves an extensive background check. I have a lot of forms to fill out. There's so much I don't remember about my own work history, such as starting and ending dates. It's probably going to take me a while to get through all the paperwork.

Please say a prayer for me, send positives vibes toward Florida, cast a happy spell, and wish me well. If everything works out, it will mean a new job for me in the new year.

In the meantime, if you haven't voted yet in my BATTLE OF THE BANDS: THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK, I hope you'll listen to the two versions of the song and tell us which one you prefer.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's November 15th, so it's time for this month's Battle of the Bands, hosted by Stephen McCarthy at STMcC Presents 'Battle of the Bands'. I urge you to visit his blog to see the complete list of participants in the battle and to visit them.

Here's the deal: I present two renditions of the same song. In your comment, you vote for the one you prefer, and if possible, tell us the reason for your choice. You have until midnight on November 20th to vote. On November 21st, I'll tell you who the winner is.

Today I present a competition . . . well, I'll let T. S. Eliot tell you what I'm thinking through the voice of the poetic persona in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock:

"And indeed there will be time / To wonder, 'Do I dare?' and, 'Do I dare?' . . . Do I dare / Disturb the universe?"

For I have known them all already, known them all––
Have known the evening, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
     So how should I presume?

I did not think, Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell, that I dared make anyone compete against Simon & Garfunkel, performing a song that Paul Simon wrote to/for Art Garfunkel. Paul and Artie are icons of American music.

I am one who would say, Of course I shall vote for Paul and Artie. I cannot do otherwise. But I dare disturb the universe because I heard a cover of The Only Living Boy In New York that gave me chills although I adore the original.

But how should I presume? Even if this battle is a blowout in favor of Simon & Garfunkel, then at least I will have introduced you––if you do not know them already, as I did not––to PigPen Theatre Co.

In the days to come, I'll also write posts about the meaning of The Only Living Boy In New York and the histories of Simon & Garfunkel and PigPen Theatre Co. If you cannot vote today, it's okay. You'll learn and you'll listen more and you'll come back from a farther room to vote another day.

We participants in the Battle of the Bands often ask our followers to ignore videos of the bands if we use them, but I shan't do that today, for music can be more than aural grandeur.

We begin with Simon & Garfunkel:

And now PigPen Theatre Co.:

Thanks for joining me in this battle. I hope you enjoy The Only Living Boy In New York.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, November 10, 2017


Hello. It is I, Penelope.

Mom Mom does not feel well. She keeps dashing off to the bathroom to sit on her white throne. Do not worry. I am tending to her.

That is all.

Friday, November 3, 2017


HI! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi, every buddy! It's me me me me me me, Franklin the Bordernese, and I wanna show you some pretties that will please.

Me and Mom know a very cool blogger named Low Rainy Day, and she . . .



Her name is Lorraine, says The Queen of Grammar who always has to get stuff just right.

Now let's see if I can continue without more interruptors.

Lorraine blogs at We are:Clamco. Me and Mom have liked Lorraine for a pretty long time, but we got even more interested in her when she started painting pretty things on rocks. Yes! Fur real rocks, like you find outside.

Lorraine even sells the pretty painted rocks, and we gots some. I can't show you pitchers of them because they're going to be Kissmas presents. You know how I love Kissmas.

But Lorraine said we can use some of her pitchers to show you her rocks.

Looky here:

Lorraine's rocks are so bootiful that she has sold most of them, but if you wanna see what she has left so you can buy me a Kissmas present, you can look at her Facebook page. She has a photo album there with lots of rocks she's painted. You can ask her which ones are still left and how much they cost.

Some of them are sins of omission, which means . . .

What now?


They're commissions, which means that people ask for them and Lorraine paints what they want on the rock.

But if you don't wanna buy rocks, it's okay. Me and Mom hope you will visit Lorraine because we think you will like the pitchers on her blog of her painting and then she shows us how the rocks turn out.

Mom actually said something pretty smart about the bootiful rocks. She said, Franklin, sometimes people say "dumb as a rock" or "stone deaf." Suck phrases suggest that a rock is as dead as anything can be. But when Lorraine turns a rock into art, then it lives because art is alive forever.

Don't you think Mom is rotund?


Mom says she's not rotund and that the word I should use is profound. snicker snort

Mom is kinda rotund. snicker snort snicker snort

I wonder if I can hold a paintbrush in my paw.

Penlapee! Do you wanna take a nap?

Here she comes.

Okay I love you bye-bye.