Friday, December 20, 2019


HI! Hi! Hi hi hi! Hihihihihihihihi! I loves every buddy!

Do you know it is almost Kissmas? Santa Paws brings presents for Kissmas!

I'll tell you what my presents are after Santa Paws brings them.

This year I gots an early present. I have somethin' I never had before. A grandma! Her name is Grandma! Isn't that amazeballs (Ewwww. I shouldn'ta said that. It reminds me of something I'm missing.)?

Mom calls Grandma by another name. It's Carol. Her real name is Grandma.

I had seen Grandma lotsa times. Mom would go to pick up Grandma or Grandma would come here and Mom would go dashing out to her car. Mom always explained that they were going out gallivanting around but I still don't know what gallivanting is.

Now Grandma lives here with me. She usually doesn't close her bedroom door all the way. That means I'm supposed to go in her room whenever I feel like it. I go in to lie down on the rug unless Grandma's hands are not busy and then she rubs my head and tells me how bootiful I am.  Sometimes her hands are busy but I lift them up from what they're doing because I need her to pay attention to me.

This pitcher is of me and Grandma. You see I'm lying down and those things with the hearts are Grandma's legs in her jammies. As soon as Grandma moved in I got friendly with her by resting on her foot.

Mom looked up what it meant when a dog likes to lie down on your foot. It means that Grandma is part of my pack.

If Mom had asked me, I coulda told her that.

Grandma is the very bestest Grandma ever. Sometimes she feeds us and lets us outside, especially when Mom swishes outa here in a dress to that dumb werk thing.

It kinda makes me a little bit mad that when Grandma is making a fuss over me that Penlapee comes over and sticks in her big concrete blockhead so that Grandma has to pet Penlapee, too.

Whatever, Penlapee.

I wish you all a big Merry Kissmas and I hope that if you don't have a Grandma that you get one for Kissmas.

Okay I love you bye-bye.

I need to rest after doing all that writing. Maybe I will sleep till after Kissmas and when I wake up I'll find my presents from Santa Paws.

Monday, December 16, 2019


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Illness prevented me from writing this post immediately after Carol arrived, so many of you already know that she's here with me as my very own snow bird. When I was in so much pain and had to go to the emergency room, one of her friends told her, Carol, God always puts you right where you're needed.

And I have definitely needed her. I hope she's happy here. I know she's glad to escape the cold and snow of Wisconsin.

Carol arrived in October and will probably depart in May. She used to stay with one of her daughters, but the daughter moved back to Milwaukee and now lives in Carol's house there. I was happy to invite her to stay with me.

At 80-years-young, Carol is sharper and stronger than I am. In fact, I'd venture a guess that she's sharper and stronger than most everybody.

Carol and I met when I was hired as a crew leader for the 2010 Census and she was on my crew. I asked her to be one of my two assistant crew leaders because I could see that she had the intelligence and the patience for the job. She tells everyone that I was her boss. I always respond that I could never be her boss.

We like to go out gallivanting around together, even if the gallivanting only takes us to appointments with my doctors and to Costco.

Although it took me quite a bit of time because I tire easily, I've decorated for Christmas more this year than I had in a long time. Favorite Young Man never got his butt over here to get the decorations that were in the attic, so I asked the adorable young man next door if he could get them out for me. He could and he did. He just might become my new Favorite Young Man. I have promised him a batch of my best Norwegian cookies, but he might not receive them until after the holidays because the pain in my right shoulder won't allow me to stir the thick dough.

I decorated the living room, and I asked Carol if she would like to have a smaller tree that only had lights on it in her bedroom. She said, Sure. Then she decorated the tree so beautifully that we put it in the family room. Here's Carol at work:

So now we have a gold tree. The larger tree in the living room has all my other decorations. We've decided that next Christmas we want a gold tree, a red tree, and a whatever's-left-over tree. Here's the living room:

My mom painted the Santas and gave me many of the ornaments on the tree. I also tried to make a practice of buying special ornaments when we traveled. One was a woolly little sheep made by a member of the von Trapp family (we once stayed at their lodge in Vermont). Sadly, the sheep is no longer with us because the late, great Harper decided it was a doggy toy. He thought some other decorations were doggy toys, too. He taught me to put anything that might be considered a doggy toy up high on the tree.

And as angry parsnip says, here is your pretty for week. It's Carol, who looks so beautiful in her church-going finery:

I also have a photo of Willy Dunne Woofers (we changed his last name because he loves the dogs) naked and sprawled out on my bed. Be glad that I don't share that photo with you.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Some of you might have seen on the news that we have two missing children here in Jacksonville. The Amber Alert came out yesterday afternoon. They were last seen playing in front of their house. They are six-year-old Braxton Williams - Male, 6 and his sister Bri'ya Williams - Female, 5. Please remember these children in your prayers or in whatever way you communicate with the universe. I burst into tears when I saw the alert. It hasn't been very long since a little girl disappeared in Jacksonville and her body was found in Alabama.

It's been more than 24 hours. They could be almost anywhere by now. Please watch for them. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Put a comma before too at the end of a sentence or in the middle of a sentence if too means also.

I want to see Green Day, too. 

I, too, would like to see Elton John.

No comma for too in You are just too full of crap.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

When I have new writing on my blog I usually post a link to it on Facebook. Facebook or something won't let me post the link now. I wonder if it has something to do with the struggle I went through last night to get rid of Messenger, which should probably have a nastier name. I somehow let Messenger take over and then I couldn't text. I got rid of Messenger, but now I can't post my link on Facebook. Weird.

User opted out of platform: The action attempted is disallowed, because the user has opted out of Facebook platform.

What have I done now to make the Facebook gods angry with me?

Saturday, October 26, 2019


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I'm sorry I've been AWOL. I've had a lot going on that I'll share in future posts.

I'm happy to say that I'm sleeping better--most of the time. I combined your tips with suggestions I read online.

I've cut back on Diet Pepsi, especially after 6 p.m. I wash my sheets twice a week and like the white noise provided by a sputtering fan. I am learning to relax in bed instead of being upset that I can't sleep. I've even discovered that if I'm awake all night, it's not the end of the world. I accomplish a lot on sleepless nights.

I was afraid of going to work without sleep and then driving home at midnight. But I did it once and I wasn't at all tired and didn't feel sleepy while I was driving.

A yoga studio has opened near my house. They're going to offer private lessons sometime soon. When they do, I'm going to give it a try to see if I can do it. I think relaxing and stretching will be good for me. My biggest fear is that I'll get down on the floor and won't be able to get up.

Work is much better. I have a new manager. So far so good.

Some happy things are going on in my life (more to come).

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, October 8, 2019


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

"To sleep, perchance to dream" is from Hamlet and actually refers to death and the hope for a dreamlike state without problems. I don't want to die. I want to sleep at night and stay awake during the day, but I thought the quotation worked. Does it? I can't think clearly.

My sleep problems keep getting worse. I couldn't sleep Saturday night. I made myself stay awake on Sunday. I was so sleepy.

So I went to bed about ten o'clock Sunday night, put on my C-PAP, and I lay there hour after hour, wide awake. I took off the C-Pap. Couldn't sleep. I finally decided to get up and read at about 4:30 a.m. Around 10:30 I fell asleep and didn't wake up until about 6 p.m.

So of course, I couldn't sleep last night (Monday). Here I am on Tuesday morning. What do I do?

This sleep thing is causing a serious problem with my work. I've tried all sorts of things that I've read online. Don't sleep during the day. No caffeine after 6 p.m. Get some exercise. Practice good "sleep hygiene," which means having clean sheets and a comfortable bed and pillows, no internet or looking at your phone, use your bed for sleeping--not for reading or watching TV.  You name it and I've probably tried it.

Yes, I have a lot of worries, but I don't think they're keeping me awake. I don't know what's keeping me awake. My doctor knows I have this problem. The last time I saw her she became irritated with me, to put it nicely. She thinks I'm not doing what I should. Now I don't feel like going to see her.

I do have odd work hours. That gets in the way of regular sleep, but even if I'm off work for a while, I can't sleep at night.

After not sleeping for 24 hours or so, I feel pretty uncomfortable about going to work because I have to get home at midnight. What if I can't concentrate at work and screw up something important? What if I fall asleep while I'm driving? How do I stay alert enough to get through work and get home?

I'm a mess.

You probably have suggestions for me. I welcome your ideas, but please forgive me if I'm grouchy. I'm tired.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Update: I appreciate your sympathy and suggestions. You came up with some things that hadn't occurred to me or that I didn't read in all the articles about how to fall asleep. I'm ready to turn off the computer for the night, drink my milk, and read for a while or watch something relaxing on TV. I'm experiencing something right now, however, that really has me thinking. As soon as I looked at the time and thought about bedtime approaching, I felt the anxiety grab me--that clenching in my stomach and the thought that I'll get no sleep. I believe now that my anxiety plays a much bigger role in this problem than I thought it did when I wrote the post this morning.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Bildungsroman has been my favorite literary term for a long time.

I don't remember having a favorite before bildungsroman. I like other terms, too, but not as much. Synechdoche is awfully good.

Bildungsroman is a German term used to describe a coming-of-age novel. Bildung means formation;  roman means novel. Pronounced bill-dungs-rome-ahn.

It's my favorite for two reasons, at least at the moment. I might think of more reasons later.

First reason: I like saying it. It rolls off the tongue with a lovely combination of consonants and vowels and sounds so mysterious.

Second reason: The best essay I wrote in college for my beloved Dr. C. was about A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man by James Joyce, which is a bildungsroman. I also structured the essay as a bildungsroman. Dr. C. always spoke with us students before we began writing (I'm sure it averted many catastrophes). He liked to see an outline.

He didn't think the bildungsroman approach would work for my essay. I assured him that it would. I had outlined ways to write it using other methods. I could see that the bildungsroman was the right way.

Fortunately, I was right. If I felt a bit better (I have an upset tummy), I'd dig out the essay from my files and share his comments on it with you. Sometimes when I'm sad I get out one of my old essays and read it. Dr. C's comments always make me feel better.

I got an A+. It was the beginning of a string of A pluses that lasted until I graduated.

Oh, my lovely Dr. C. He changed my life.

A Portrait of the Artist is in the #2 spot on my list of my favorite five. The Great Gatsby occupies first place. The Sound and The Fury is in third. It was also part of the late, great Faulkner's registered name. Officially, he was Faulkner of Sound and Fury. The dog of my life.

Do you have a list of favorite novels? Perhaps a favorite bildungsroman? I'll be surprised if you have a favorite literary term.

Some other examples of a bildungsroman include

Please tell us what your favorite bildungsroman is.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Two examples of a bildungsroman: could Boogie Nights and Anne of Green Gables be more different?

Saturday, September 28, 2019


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Recently I went in an Ikea for the first time. So much . . .  stuff. Everywhere.

And the people. Hordes.

And although I had never been to Ikea, I knew that buying stuff there can end in a suicide attempt or a divorce because everything has to be put together. You want a basket? You have to weave it.

I thought I might get through life without ever going to Ikea, but Favorite Young Man wanted to look for a rug for his new place so we went. My eyes rolled back in my head. Then my head spun around like the girl in The Exorcist. Oh, the horror.

I turned to look at something I will never own and when I looked back, Favorite Young Man was gone. Had the other shoppers eaten him, or had he gone to the place called Lost?

I had to call him to beg him to find me. I sat down on a bed and told him what the closest sign said. He got to me about six hours later. I was so grateful. I really needed to pee.

But the title of this post is A SONG HAS BEEN FOLLOWING ME, and it started following me in Ikea. I heard this song I knew but the voices were strange. It was a cover of Deacon Blues. It took me about an hour or ten to figure it out because I was in Ikea and I couldn't think and when I finally recognized it despite the weirdness of it, FYM said he'd never heard of Steely Dan.

I gave up on humanity in that moment.

FYM is the one person I can count on to know important information.

I can no longer rely on him. I guess I might as well give him up for adoption. Surely someone wants to adopt a 39 year old who can keep your car running.

But then, using my Harry Potter magic skills and with the help of a dragon, I escaped from Ikea and came home and late that evening when I had pretty much recovered (I just had a slight rash that I treated with lots of drugs), I watched a movie. What did I hear?

Deacon Blues. Thank God it wasn't a cover.

A couple of days later I watched some TV show. I don't remember what the show was because they played Deacon Blues.

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell, Deacon Blues is stalking me.

Where will it turn up next? I like Deacon Blues, but what if it keeps following me and ends up attacking me?

You know this wouldn't have happened if I hadn't gone in that damn, sick Ikea. I'm surprised I survived it.

Where will Deacon Blues turn up next? Help me, O Lord. I am thy humble servant (although I don't cook and clean for you or anyone else). Please save me before Deacon Blues goes from being a great song to being a big pile of manure that buries me.

I also must say that I looked up Steely Dan and I was pretty shocked to learn where they got the name Steely Dan. I'm not giving up that information. If you want to know, then you have to find it yourself. I'm just sayin' that William S. Burroughs must have spent a big chunk of his life stuck in Ikea and when he finally got out, he became a heroin addict.

And remember that if you buy something at Ikea . . . let's not even go there. Push it out of your mind.

SAVE YOURSELF! Soylent Green: it's made out of people who were captured in Ikea.

Oh, the humanity.

But, um, since we're such close friends now, Steely Dan, will you please sing us out? I think you know which song it has to be.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug, who survived the hell that is Ikea and lived to tell the tale

Why does the Steely Dan guy at the keyboard keep doing that Stevie Wonder-type thing where he throws
his head around? And he's wearing sunglasses. I am so confused.

Sunday, September 15, 2019


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

This post is the last one about Fosse/Verdon, and it's been a long time coming. Other events have distracted me. Fosse/Verdon has a number of Emmy nominations, but it's up against stiff competition. The Emmy Awards will televised on Fox on Sept. 22nd.

When Fosse choreographed All That Jazz for Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera, he had to make concessions to the decreases in Verdon's abilities and stamina. It was her final starring role on Broadway.

After Fosse's death, Verdon worked with Ann Reinking (they had become close friends) to keep the Fosse legacy alive. In 1996, Reinking created the choreography––in the Fosse style––for  a revival of Chicago, in which she played Roxie Hart. As of 2017, Chicago held the record for the longest running Broadway musical.

In 1998, Reinking participated in bringing the revue Fosse to the stage to showcase his work.

Verdon supported these successful efforts, and also helped to create the Verdon Fosse Legacy to teach dance, raise money for charity, and encourage recreations of Fosse's choreography.

By no means did Verdon sit at home and mope. She dated. She starred in such movies as Cocoon. She appeared in TV shows.

Nicole Fosse went through some tough times when she emulated her dad's drinking and drug use, but she recovered, married, and had three children. When Nicole's husband died, Verdon moved in with her daughter and her grandchildren to support and assist them.

She wasn't there very long before she died of a heart attack. On October 18, 2000, the lights on Broadway dimmed in her honor.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Sing and dance us out, please, Bob and Gwen.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

The hurricane for which I prepared last week that decided to vacation in the Bahamas should finally be here, allegedly, in a few hours. Dorian, why not spread the misery around a bit instead of dumping everything on Bahamians? Those poor people.

The last forecast showed that the hood will get one inch of rain (not even enough to fill Lake Junebug so I can open the resort) and wind gusts up to 45 mph. I've been pulling down dead branches for days. The few I can't reach might come down tonight or tomorrow. Then Dorian will move on and probably continue hiding off of the coast. Or if you're Donald Trump, Dorian will be in Alabama.

Jacksonville is so dead because of lilapsophobia that the buses aren't even running. I told Favorite Young Man to bring coffee with him. He was sure that Dunkin Donuts would be open. Now he must suffer a coffeeless life. DD closed at about noon today. However, The Waffle House is still open. I think every Waffle House is open because the one at Jacksonville Beach, an area under a mandatory evacuation order, is open. I guess if FYM gets desperate enough for coffee, he can walk to a Waffle House. It will be a long walk, but that's life in a busless society.

I used hurricane waiting time to do laundry and clean the floors in my kitchen and dining room. Made a pasta salad. If Dorian is worse that expected, do not fear. I have food and water and Diet Pepsi. If given a choice, I would like to keep the electricity on. It's supposed to be reeeeeeallllly hot after the storm. We're talkin' humid and in the high nineties. I suppose Dorian won't ask me about the power. 

To add some special entertainment to the waiting period, I activated a free Showtime trial because I'd heard that the seven-part series Escape at Dannemora is good. FYM and I watched and thought it was great.

Directed by Ben Stiller and based on the true story of two inmates who escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility in 2015 with assistance from a prison employee, the series provides further proof that truth is always stranger than fiction. 

Joyce "Tilly" Mitchell and her husband Lyle, played beautifully by Eric Lange, make the perfect almost-too-dumb to be believed married couple. Patricia Arquette portrays Tilly and manages to give the best performance in an outstanding cast. I've been pleased to see Arquette's success in recent years. 

We are big Benicio Del Toro fans and he didn't disappoint us. He and Paul Dano––who is great, too––play the inmates with whom Tilly becomes much too friendly.

Despite the tension involved in a prison break with inmates who managed to lead the police on a not-so-merry chase for almost a month, the series has some laugh-out-loud moments. The show is slow paced, but that's appropriate. It's not a story that should be told in a rush.

Favorite Young Man joins me in recommending Escape at Dannemora, which is not for children. Teens, maybe. I always suggest that parents watch first to decide if it's okay for the younger members of the family to join them.

Well, that's pretty much everything I have to say for now. I've posted some hurricane updates on Facebook. If anything exciting happens, I'll be sure to let you know––unless we really do lose power.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, August 27, 2019


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Sometimes it doesn't matter how many times we proofread. We still make mistakes and don't spot them because our brains automatically correct words that are close to being spelled correctly.

When I was a newspaper reporter, we received dozens of complaints from readers if we had a single misspelled word. Callers would tell us how stupid we were. They'd laugh at us. They'd shout at us. I once said to a colleague, We get thousands of words right every day, but we make one little mistake and people go crazy.

I once wrote manger instead of manager in a graph on the front page. I checked the graph several times. An editor checked it. The graphic artists checked it. Manger still still got past us.

At least I didn't work at the newspaper that made this error:

Keep proofreading! We can't give up even if a mistake gets past us every now and then.

And let's not "shits to Boston."

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, August 23, 2019


Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!

It's me, it's me, Franklin the Bordernese, let's talk quietly please.

Come down here close to the box with the light in it so you can see my face real good. Mom is resting.

Me and Penelope are not happy. Mom going to werk is bad, bad, bad, bad, very bad. You know I'm serious because I didn't tease Penelope by calling her Penlapee.

Some buddy A human bean person said bad things to Mom at werk. The human bean has said bad things to Mom since she started werking at that werk. The human bean said even worse things not too long ago. Mom had to be a tattle tale because she didn't want the human bean to say bad things to other ladies.

An instigator called Mom and asked her questions and questions and questions and questions until she got so tired that she cried. Me and Penelope were upset. Mom doesn't cry very often, and usually when she cries, it's because she's happy.

The instigator asked other people questions, too. The instigator decided that there wasn't any evidence that the human bean person said what Mom told about. The human bean also said he didn't say the bad things.

I say that if there isn't any substantiation (wow that's a big word) that the human bean said things, then there also isn't any substantiation that he didn't say them. And why are that human bean's words worth more than Mom's words?

Me and Penelope never bite. I've never growled. Penelope has only growled once. I think that we can figger out biting and growling. If we find that human bean person, we will growl and we will bite him because Mom is our Mom. She's the only Mom for us. No human bean should be bad to her.

That's all I gots to say except that Mom's bruises are all going away.

Okay. I love you because you are not that human bean person. Bye bye.

I am practicing my growl.

We gots Daddy Dunne Wooters and Human Brother on our side, too. I wonder if they know how to bite and growl. We can teach them if we haf to.

This is how Daddy Dunne Wooters shows that he cares.

Monday, July 22, 2019


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

After winning four Tony Awards and marrying Bob Fosse in 1960, Gwen Verdon took a break from performing to produce their daughter, Nicole Fosse, in 1963.

Nicole Fosse, Bob Fosse, Gwen Verdon
April, 1986

"Verdon resumed working alongside Fosse in the title role of Sweet Charity on Broadway three years after Nicole was born. That was their last collaboration as husband and wife.

'I was living like a wife and a mother, which was really what I wanted to be, but I was the wrong kind of wife for him,' Verdon told the New York Times in 1981. 'I think Bob outgrew me. Bob started writing and he was involved in all kinds of things, and I was so involved with Nicole I didn't really care if I worked or not.'" (source: The Oprah Magazine)

I have my doubts about Fosse outgrowing Verdon, as if he were superior to her. It seems more likely that she knew she couldn't continue to let her star fade as her husband f***ed their marriage away. 

So she created the role of Charity Valentine in Sweet Charity, choreographed and directed by Fosse.

I'm sorry, but I don't know the year of this television appearance by Gwen Verdon and don't
 know what show it was. Maybe the Tony Awards?

In 1969, Fosse directed and choreographed a movie for the first time. It was Sweet Charity, not starring Gwen Verdon. Her part went to Shirley MacLaine because the studio wanted a young, fresh face. Verdon taught MacLaine the steps and assisted Fosse with directing.

She received no credit, but in the end, maybe she didn't mind because the film flopped.

Fosse got another chance at directing a movie in 1972 with Cabaret. As usual, Verdon pitched in and did whatever was needed, although their married life was coming to an end. Fosse/Verdon portrays Verdon as begging Fosse to end his affair with the film's German translator because she's humiliated by it. She flies to the U.S. to get, of all things, the gorilla head that was used in the movie. She returns to their hotel room to find Fosse in bed with the translator. An article I read said that he was in bed with two women.

That was it. They never divorced. They continued to work together. Verdon stated in many interviews that Fosse made her into a better dancer. Fosse was quite dependent on Verdon to "help" him with his work. When he won The Best Director Academy Award, he thanked his friend, Gwen Verdon, among other people.

As Fosse/Verdon continues, Verdon goes after the rights to Chicago with a vengeance, telling Fosse over and over that if they can do the musical with her in the role of Roxie Hart, then Nicole will be "set for life." Fosse always responds that Nicole will be fine, Nicole is set, they don't have to do Chicago. He tells Verdon that she's too old to be an ingenue, but finally, they bring Chicago to the stage in 1976.

The show didn't start out as a huge success, but it certainly wasn't a failure. When Verdon needed surgery and had to take six weeks off, Fosse brought in Liza Minelli to play Verdon's part. People flocked to the show and didn't stop coming when Verdon returned.

Fosse did a couple more Broadway shows and directed a few movies––some successes, some failures. He and Verdon worked together on a revival of Sweet Charity in 1987. On the way to the premiere, he had a heart attack and died in Verdon's arms.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Fosse and dancer Ann Reinking were partners from 1972 to 1978. She played Katie Jagger, the character based on herself, in Fosse's 1980 autobiographical film, All That Jazz. Leland Palmer played "Audrey Paris," the Gwen character. In her only film, Erzsébet Földi plays daughter Michelle. Roy Scheider had the Fosse role of Joe Gideon. All That Jazz has more than one great number, but I'm going with this one because it includes the three female leads.

Sunday, July 14, 2019


Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon are played by Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams
in the FX series Fosse/Verdon

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Following Gwen Verdon's success in Can-Can, she won the 1955 Tony Award for Best Actress In A Musical for Damn Yankees. In 1957, she won the Tony Award For Best Actress In A Musical for New Girl In Town. In 1959, she won again for Redhead.

Four Tony awards in less that a decade, along with parts varying from small bits to starring roles in numerous movies.

Gwen Verdon might have met Bob Fosse in passing before he choreographed Damn Yankees. She definitely knew him well when he choreographed and became a first-time director for Redhead.

Fosse was married to his second wife, dancer Joan McCracken, when his relationship, which wasn't limited to dancing, began with Verdon.

McCracken's career came to a halt because of her type I diabetes––not as treatable as it is now. During her marriage to Fosse, she had a heart attack in 1955 and then had a lengthy stay in the hospital because of pneumonia. Doctors told her that her career as a dancer was over.

After encouraging her husband to become a choreographer and promoting his career, Fosse rewarded McCracken by divorcing her in 1959. He married Verdon in 1960.

Joan McCracken died in 1961. She isn't widely remembered.

So let's pause the Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon story here to honor Joan McCracken with "Pass the Peace Pipe" in Good News, 1947.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Wednesday, July 10, 2019


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I'm not done writing about Gwen Verdon, but posts will be sporadic. I did something crazy on Monday: I went back to work.

Yes, I probably have quite a few emails to read, along with regular training that we do. I don't know yet. I can't access anything on my computer. It took quite a while for my supervisor, my manager, and a nice lady named Linda who called me "young lady" (of course I told Linda that I love her) to figure out how to re-activate my account. When next I work, I hope I'll be able to actually work.

I've been kinda hanging out and getting paid for it. Don't tell but on Monday, I took three lunches. I had my lunch, and then I kept two friends company when they had their lunches at different times. On Tuesday I only took two lunches.

I was nervous about returning, but when I went in the building, I felt comfortable right away. Then I saw on my colleagues' computers that many of our systems have changed. Furthermore, I didn't recognize most of my colleagues. All but one are new! They seem very nice.

For now, I'm the only "original" on my team, which means that I was part of a team that went through training together 18 months ago and then worked with the same supervisor and manager. People dropped out pretty quickly. One left at the end of the first week of training. I think we started with 22. Two other originals should be returning soon. For now, though, I delight in my original status all by myself.

It's difficult to become accustomed to sitting in a desk chair again. The chairs are fine; however, nothing at work can match my chair where I sit right now, with my feet up, next to Penelope, who is next to Franklin.

The bright, brighter, brightest overhead lights bug me, too. My eyes are very sensitive to light (it triggers migraines), and when I'm back on the computer, it will be worse. So last week I had my eyes checked and ordered computer glasses and sunglasses. I'll pick them up tomorrow. I'll let you know if they help. A lot of people have tired eyes from working on a computer so much of the time.

I'll blog as I'm able to do so. Gwen Verdon deserves our attention. I was able to order Damn Yankees on DVD from my good friends at Netflix. I started to watch the movie, and I'm pleased to report that Gwen Verdon has top billing.

I also have an author friend's book to read and edit. That makes me happy.


Who remembers flower power? This performance is from The Carol Burnett Show, sometime in the late '60s. It's not Gwen at her most brilliant, but she was always a pleasure to watch.

Monday, July 8, 2019


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

If you're as old as I am––and I'm old––perhaps you remember when an announcer would say that a TV show had to be interrupted because of a breaking news story or simply because the TV stations had to have a chance to say, This is WIBW in Topeka, Kansas.

For now, we interrupt the story of Gwen Verdon because I have to do some stuff. It seems unhappily appropriate that we have a delay now as we reach the part of Verdon's life when she became known as Bob Fosse's wife.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Gwen Verdon, Bob Fosse, and Gwen's son Jimmy

Friday, July 5, 2019


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

In 1942, teenager Gwyneth Evelyn "Gwen" Verdon was in her bedroom while her parents gave a party (this account is based on bits and pieces of the story of her life that Verdon told her daughter Nicole, that are then portrayed in the FX series Fosse/Verdon, no doubt with some embellishments). An older man named James Henaghan came into the room and forced himself on her. Later in 1942, Verdon's parents forced pregnant Gwen to marry their friend Henaghan.

Her 2000 obituary in The New York Times stated that she eloped with Henaghan at age 17 because she was in love. "During a 1983 interview for the public access show Spotlight, Verdon laughed when the interviewer noted that she had married at that time because she was in love and it was the 'proper thing to do.' Verdon said with a laugh, 'I did not think it was the proper thing and I was not in love.'" (source: Bustle)

James Henaghan, Jr., known as Jim or Jimmy, was born in March, 1943. The marriage was already a struggle. Henaghan was a drinker and a gambler who wrote for The Hollywood Reporter. When he disappeared on a drinking binge or whatever he felt like doing, Verdon wrote his column and filed it. She left her husband on New Year's Eve, 1943; they divorced in 1947.

Gwen Verdon was a young girl with a child to support. She turned to her roots in dance to do the job.

When Verdon was two years old, she had rickets, which left her with knock knees. Her mother, who was a dance teacher, took her little girl to class to make her legs stronger. By age six, she danced on stage. At age 11, she had a solo dance in a movie.

After the divorce, she asked her parents to take care of Jimmy so she could work as much as possible. Verdon assisted choreographer Jack Cole for five years, and performed specialty dances in movies. She also taught numerous starlets their steps.

Then she turned to Broadway. In 1953, her breakthrough came when she had the second-lead in Can-Can. With Verdon receiving great reviews during out-of-town performances, the star of the show, Lilo, demanded that Verdon's numbers be reduced to two. Yet Verdon's Garden of Eden performance stole the show. She won her first Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in  Musical.

In 1955, Verdon starred in Damn Yankees, choreographed by Bob Fosse. She went on to play her role in the 1958 movie. How could Fosse, with his love of turned-in toes and legs, not adore the girl whose childhood knock knees allowed her to perform his moves so perfectly?

Dance for us, please, Miss Verdon.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Movie of Damn Yankees: "Whatever Lola Wants (Lola Gets)" 

Could she be cuter and funnier?

(additional sources: Vanity Fair, Town & Country, Wikipedia)

Wednesday, July 3, 2019


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Perhaps you already recognized elements of Bob Fosse's choreography before I started writing this series of posts, or you might have noticed certain moves in the sequences I've posted from Damn Yankees and Cabaret.

Here's what Fosse Style is to me:

rounded shoulders

hip rolls

thrusts, considered quite sexually suggestive at the time

tiny movements filled with meaning

pigeon toes

smooth, including the snapping of fingers

looks simple but it ain't


the tiny movements suddenly become gigantic--huge kicks, big turns, jumps

jazz hands or cupped hands

intense stare


sideways shuffle

sometimes white socks revealed noticeably above black shoes

HATS--preferably bowlers

If you noticed something that I missed, please tell us in your comment.

Now, take a look––if you like––at Ben Vereen and cast performing "Glory" in Pippin:

Bob Fosse directed and choreographed Pippin, which premiered in 1972. Fosse won Tony Awards for Best Direction of a Musical and Best Choreography.

Something else about Fosse style: Each move has to do with the plot and the character. If you've seen the entire movie of Cabaret, you know that every song and dance interspersed between the characters' actions has something to do with them and their story.

Now I'd like to show you one of my favorite numbers. From the 1957 movie The Pajama Game, Carol Haney performs "Steam Heat" with Buzz Miller and Kenneth LeRoy:

"Steam Heat" introduced America to Fosse style when he choreographed it for the stage in 1954––his first job as a choreographer, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Choreography––and he recreated the choreography for the film. *see note

When Bob Fosse died in 1987, his widow, Gwen Verdon, and his partner, Ann Reinking, kept his work alive.

When I started this series on Fosse and Verdon, Birgit of BB Creations pointed out that we can still see Fosse's influence in Michael Jackson's dancing. We should also include Beyoncé and Single Ladies.

Michael, you were creepy, but I ask that you dance us out today so we can see how Fosse style evolved in your work.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

*note: Carol Haney was ill and had to be hospitalized while making the film of The Pajama Game. Supposedly, her work wasn't up to par. If she wasn't at her best in that movie, then I can't even imagine what her best looked like.

Monday, July 1, 2019


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

In 1972, Bob Fosse choreographed and directed Liza with a "Z": A Concert for Television. I did not see it when it was on television originally, but a few years ago I asked Netflix if they would please send me the DVD of the concert. They obliged; I was enchanted.

I love the song that I'm asking Liza to sing for you today. She managed to go back in time and recreate a performance from her youth.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Take it away, Liza!

Sunday, June 30, 2019


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I saw this photo on the news today:

This car is wedged between two buildings at a retirement home in Pennsylvania. No information yet on how it happened.

I feel sorry for the owner of the car. It must have been quite a shock to have one's car end up this way.

I hope to get back to writing about Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon tomorrow, but this week is a busy one, packed with appointments.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, June 28, 2019


I'm sad about some friends' problems and so much of what's in the news breaks my heart. All those children--and adults--in detention centers (or concentration camps) makes me sick. Little kids are trying to take care of toddlers, who don't even have diapers. They're cold and they don't have decent food. In one of the adult centers it's so overcrowded that people can't lie down. They sit, packed in together, or they stand. It's so bad that some people stand on toilets to get out of the crowd. Then that causes problems for the people who need to use the toilets. People, especially children, are sick and even dying. I weep as I write this. 

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, Donald Trump and your minions.

Thursday, June 27, 2019


I'll be back with more Fosse and Verdon in a day or two. I am tired and distraught by a lot of bad news.

Let's have another number from Cabaret. Watch the dancers' movements and start to become aware of the Fosse style, if you aren't familiar with it already.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

THE WOMEN . . . and Fosse

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Bob Fosse lusted after women, and he harassed women to get what he wanted. Lots of women.

He was married three times and had a long-term partner. He wasn't faithful to any of them. “Bob grew up around strip clubs. Women were his hobby,” [Gwen] Verdon once reportedly said, according to Winkler. “He’d even cheat on his mistress. Part of him felt guilty, another part was ecstatic.” (source: The Oprah Magazine

Wife #1: Mary Ann Niles––his dance partner, married in 1947, divorced in 1951
Wife #2: Joan McCracken––dancer, married in 1952, divorced in 1959
Wife #3: Gwen Verdon––dancer, married in 1960, separated in 1971, never divorced, had a daughter named Nicole Fosse in 1963, Verdon was with Fosse when he died
Partner: Ann Reinking––dancer, with Fosse from 1972 to 1978, Reinking and Verdon were friends
Other Women: too numerous to know, but during the 1970s he seems to have been involved with 
Jessica Lange on and off

I could write all sorts of trash about the ways Bob Fosse used women (each wife helped him reach greater heights in his career), but it's too damn depressing. That's why I didn't finish writing this post last night. I couldn't continue to write about a man who treated women so badly.

However, I have been tweeting and posting on Facebook about another man who mistreats women. This particular man's defense against the allegation that he raped E. Jean Carroll is "she's not my type."

It made me wonder if my friend's 90-year-old grandmother who was raped was her rapist's type. And how about my patient in a nursing home who was in a vegetative state and was raped? Was she her rapist's type?

Rape is not a crime of lust. It's a crime of anger, domination, and control.

I don't want to watch Bob Fosse dance today. I'd rather ask Liza Minnelli to do one of her brilliant numbers from Cabaret, the movie that earned her the Best Actress Academy Award in 1973. Joel Grey won Best Supporting Actor. Bob Fosse won Best Director, even though he was up against Francis Ford Coppola, whose The Godfather won Best Picture.

Cabaret had ten Academy Award nominations and eight wins, a record for a movie that didn't win Best Picture. It also won numerous BAFTAs, Golden Globes, and other awards.

Thank you, Liza, for performing for us today.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug