Friday, November 27, 2020

MOVIE WEEKEND: HILLBILLY ELEGY

 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Has anyone else watched Hillbilly Elegy (2020) on Netflix streaming? I'm a little confused by it.


Hillbilly Elegy is based on the 2016 memoir by J.D. Vance, a book I haven't read in which I now feel interested. Glenn Close (Mamaw--Vance's grandmother), Amy Adams (Bev--Vance's mother), Gabriel Basso (adult J.D.), and Owen Asztalos (young J.D.) inhabit their roles––an ability I admire tremendously. Everyone else in the movie is great, too.  Ron Howard directs.

Adult J.D. has to leave Yale Law School, where he seeks a summer internship with a prestigious law firm that will pay him enough money to allow him to stay in school, to return to the town where he grew up, because his mother overdosed on heroin. We also see numerous flashbacks to J.D.'s younger years as he struggled to deal with his abusive mother and the addictions that apparently began when she was a nurse in a hospital and stole pain pills.

Young J.D.'s crusty, tough grandmother took him in and scared away his bad friends. She demands he pay attention to his schoolwork:

Mamaw: I don't care you hate me. I ain't in it for popularity. You gotta take care of business, go to school, get good grades to even have a chance.

So, what bothers me about the movie?

Does it magnify stereotypes or reflect real life? Mamaw and Bev deal with abusive men, never have enough money (it bugs me that Mamaw smokes like a chimney yet lacks funds), spout profanity constantly, and are quite nasty themselves. Mamaw gets rid of her cruel, drunk husband, but he lives down the street and they spend some time together. Bev goes from one bad man to another. 

Real life: physical and emotional abuse exist and the cycle is hard to break, lots of people remain addicted to smoking no matter the consequences, drug and alcohol abuse are a never-ending problem, many people curse, and plenty of people are nasty. Mamaw and Bev probably would have been Trump supporters. 

I hope you can see why I ask for your opinions of the movie. 'Tis a conundrum for this Junebug. 


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug 


: I don't care you hate me. I ain't in it for popularity. You gotta take care of business, go to school, get good grades to even have a chance.  

Thursday, November 26, 2020

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM A GRATEFUL JUNEBUG

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Everyone knows that 2020 has been a tough year. We're all afraid of getting the Corona Virus, but we're tired of wearing masks. We're tired of the folks who refuse to wear masks or who put on the masks but don't cover their noses. Some of us have even lost a family member or a friend to the horrible virus. The United States went through a tough presidential election. Those who voted for Donald Trump are disappointed. Businesses closed––some never to reopen. Unemployment rages. Plenty of people can't pay the rent or the mortgage. Some don't have enough to eat. Food banks struggle to help. 

I have it relatively easy. I have food. I can pay the mortgage. I don't go to stores unless I must, which has happened only twice in the past month. Franklin and I continue to go for walks to the neighborhood park, where we can stay well away from peeps. 

I have many reason to be grateful, including the following:

  • We'll have the vaccine soon. Healthcare workers will receive it first, which is as it should be. I have no fear of getting that shot.
  • Joe Biden was elected. That says it all for me about the election.
  • After two-and-a-half years, I resigned from my job. When I applied and Human Resources questioned my experience with Janie Junebug Righting and Editing, so many of you emailed HR to let them know that, yes, I assisted you with your writing. I'll always be thankful for that. Now I'm glad not to be there anymore. I prefer editing. Maybe I'll come across another job with health insurance.
  • Favorite Young Man and I will eat Thanksgiving dinner together today.
  • I'm on a different antidepressant, which improves my mood.
  • I love my children. I love my friends. I love Franklin and Penelope. I love you.

Here's something cool. Sherry Ellis of Mama Diaries sent me a copy of her second middle-grade book, Bubba and Squirt's Mayan Adventure, published by Dancing Lemur Press. I love Sherry. I love her writing. I'm thankful she allows me to edit her work. She presents a great learning experience for young readers. I hope you'll consider ordering a copy for your favorite- or not-so-favorite child (I don't earn anything for promoting the book; I'm happy to do it).


Doesn't the cover look great?

I'm super-proud of Sherry for her persistence in getting her work published.

Now, how about the rest of you turkeys? Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving today, why are you grateful? What will you eat for dinner? I pray that each and every one of you has a safe home, a good meal to eat, and someone to love.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug





Tuesday, November 3, 2020

THE BIG DAY

 Dear Hearts: Will it take until this baby is grown up for us to have an election result?

Will Bernie Sanders become president if you don't vote? I swear Robyn wouldn't vote if it meant that her beloved Bernie could be president. 



But I suspect that a lot of us have already mailed our ballots or dropped them in a ballot box. I voted early by mail and was able to confirm that my vote was received and counted.

It's still an important day, though, so if you aren't among those of us who have voted, please get your butt out to your polling place.

I wish Carol had run for president. She'd be the best one ever.



Carol has already voted. Now, how about you?







Monday, November 2, 2020

A NEW ROUND OF DOGGY TOY SNEAKERY

 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's been a while since I wrote about the game of Doggy Toy Sneakery, but this is a good time to bring it up because the game changed Saturday night. We have a new player.

Doggy Toy Sneakery has always been a game between Franklin and me. Each autumn when it cools off––as it is now––Franklin picks up a doggy toy. He's furtive about it. Very sneaky, as if he's a secret agent.

He takes the toy to the backyard. I go out to pick it up and bring it back in the house.

Sometimes I don't see that he's taken a toy, but I discover it when I go out back. As usual, it comes back in the house so he can take it out again.

Saturday night, Franklin picked up a green ring toy. I watched with joy as he took it outside.

The game had begun!

But Penelope also watched. Within minutes she marched outside and brought the toy back in, where it has remained thus far.

I shall keep you apprised of any updates on the game.

It's been a joy to finally see Penelope gain confidence and develop relationships with other people. It started with the lovely lady who lives across the street. Penelope allowed herself to be touched because the lovely lady kept her back to Penelope but held her hands behind her. Penelope responded by touching her hand. Soon she allowed complete petting.

Then Penelope bloomed while Carol was living with me. Penelope trotted in and out of Carol's bedroom all day long. Carol responded by sharing snacks with Penelope. The snacks and love from Carol helped Penelope to open up the same way my tea roses do.


Isn't this the sweet face of a happy little girl?













And here's the face of a sneaky boy.

It's time to shop for Penelope's winter wardrobe. She'll be pleased to have new clothes.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

You know what to do this week if you haven't already done it: