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.

Friday, October 27, 2017


Hi! It's me! It's me! It's me! Me me me memememememememememe! I'm Franklin the Bordernese! When I run I'm as fast as a hurricane's breeze!

Early this morning when it was still dark and Mom was asleep, me and Penlapee came up with a plan. We wanted to go outside to run and play, but we knew Mom wouldn't want to get up.

So I paced up and down next to the bed and whimpered a little bit to make her think I needed a potty break real bad. Sure enough, we fooled her. She got up and we went out in the backyard.

What Mom didn't know is that we weren't coming back. When Mom called us, Penlapee kept running in circles and I hid behind the garage. Mom acted all sweetie sweet and said, Come on now. Let's go back to bed, darling puppies.

Ha! I came out from behind the garage so Mom thought we would come inside. Instead, I ran over and hid under the big bush.

Mom came out on the deck and said in a way that was kinda stern, Now that's it. Get in here. It's time to go back to bed.

Penlapee was still running in circles (I don't know where she thinks she's going), and I hid behind the garage again. Mom started to get kinda mad. She said, Get in this house right now!

Nope! Not us.

Mom went inside. I thought she'd go back to bed and we could play as long as we wanted, but that's not what happened. Mom is a tattletale. She really went inside to get Big Human Brudder. He gave me a bath with the hose a few days ago and he squirted my butt. It was so embarrassing.

Big Human Brudder came out. The jig was up. He said, Come inside.

We went. We have to do what he says cuz he can pick us up and move us wherever he wants us to be. We hate that.

Mom said, This is ridiculous. It's five a clock in the morning. Now let's all go to bed.

And that's what we did.

But only because Big Human Brudder was there.

Okay I love you bye-bye.

This happened to me once.
Thanks a bunch for the cartoon about it, Mrs. Ducky.

Saturday, October 21, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Thank you for your interest in my return to the Battle of the Bands, hosted by Stephen McCarthy at STMcC Presents 'Battle of the Bands'I appreciate the time you took to vote and read my posts about the song for my battle––Strange Fruit.

And the winner is

Billie Holiday with 18 votes


Nina Simone finishes with a respectable 13 votes.

After spending so much time on a song about lynching and writing about the connection between its author, Abel Meeropol, and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, I had a nightmare Thursday night that I was fighting with someone who was trying to kill my daughter in the electric chair. I didn't sleep well the rest of the night. 

I mentioned the nightmare to my son and told him I would also be opposed to his execution in the electric chair (or by any other means).

Isn't it strange that the man who wrote with such eloquence about lynching went on to adopt the sons of people who were, in essence, lynched by their own government?

On a happier note, it's a bit cooler here. Franklin and I have resumed our walks to the neighborhood park. While we often meet other dogs who are walking their people, last time we met a horse. She was beautiful, and was accompanied by her human friend, who had stopped to give her a break from her trailer.

That's the first time we've come across a horse in the park. Franklin was curious about her and seemed unafraid, but when we returned to the path, he was in a hurry. She had four legs, but she was the biggest dog he'd ever seen.

I'll leave you with another song by Abel Meeropol, whose pseudonym as a songwriter was Lewis Allan in honor of his two stillborn sons with wife Anne. Sing us out, please, Ole Blue Eyes.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, October 19, 2017


If you want to read my posts for this week in sequence, please start with BATTLE OF THE BANDS: STRANGE FRUIT. The contenders are Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. You have until midnight on Friday, October 20th, to vote. I'll announce the winner on Saturday, the 21st.

My posts that expand on information about Strange Fruit are the following (in order):


And now for today's post:

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Today we finally get to the connection between Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Abel Meeropol, who wrote Strange Fruit.

Michael and Robert Rosenberg, known as Robbie, went through hell when their parents were arrested, tried, and executed. Michael, who was ten at the time of the execution, remembers their parents better than Robbie, who was only six.

Here the boys are escorted by their grandmother to visit their parents in prison a few days before the execution:

Although the boys spent some time with each of their grandmothers, no relatives wanted to keep them. Everyone was afraid to be associated with the convicted criminals. Michael himself recalls denying that he had any association with his parents.

They ended up in an orphanage, where they were abused.

Their parents' will named one of their lawyers, Emanuel Bloch, as the boys' guardian. Bloch found a home for the two with none other than Abel and Anne Meeropol, who had never met the Rosenbergs but were sympathetic to their cause.

Abel and Anne adopted the boys, who are still known as Michael and Robert Meeropol.

Here are Michael and Robbie with Abel Meerepol:

The two credit the Meeropols with saving their lives. Both grew up to have their own families, successful careers, and to acknowledge their identities as the sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

In fact, for many years they fought to clear their father's name. As more information became available to them, they accepted his guilt, but continue to believe that what he provided to the Soviets was useless.

They asked President Obama to exonerate their mother before he left office, which he did not do. They are ardent believers in their mother's innocence. She was convicted because of her own brother's false testimony.

When he consented to an interview with 60 Minutes in 2001, David Greenglass stated: "I would not sacrifice my wife and my children for my sister. How do you like that?" He still insisted on having his face and voice disguised. 

Thanks to all of you who have followed this series of posts that began with the song Strange Fruit.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Michael Meeropol

Robert Meeropol

If you'd like to read more about Michael and Robert Meeropol, I suggest, where you can read the transcript of their interview with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes. I also recommend Ivy Meeropol's documentary, Heir To An Execution. Ivy is Michael's daughter. The documentary is available on HBO Now, can be purchased from Amazon, or is available on DVD from Netflix.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

As we continue with connections to my current Battle of the Bands song, Strange Fruit, I have a summary for you of the case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, which is so complicated that I can't possibly unravel it in a blog post. However, many sources are available online for further reading.

In 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, a married couple with two young children, were convicted of espionage for leading a spy ring that provided atomic bomb information to the Soviet Union. On June 19, 1953, they were executed in the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York––first Julius and then Ethel. Julius was 35, and Ethel was 37.

Calling the case "controversial" is quite the understatement.

Were they guilty? Were they victims of anti-communist hysteria in the U.S.? The answer to both of these questions is yes.

During the two years between the conviction and execution, and in the decades since, their supporters have argued that they were innocent, that they were framed, and finally, have been forced to acknowledge that they bore some guilt. The execution seems to have been an insane overreaction.

Here are the basic facts:
  • The U.S. did not share information about the atomic bomb program with their allies during World War II, the Soviet Union. 
  • In 1949, the U.S. government was shocked when the Soviet Union tested an atomic weapon.
  • In 1950, the U.S. learned that a physicist and German refugee working on the Manhattan Project gave information about atomic weapons to the Soviets throughout the war. Fuchs said his courier was a man named Harry Gold.
  • In May, 1950, Harry Gold was arrested and confessed. He identified David Greenglass as another participant in the scheme. Greenglass was a machinist in the U.S. Army who was assigned to the top-secret Manhattan Project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
  • In June, 1950, David Greenglass was arrested and confessed to giving secrets to Gold, who passed them on to the Soviet Union. 
  • David Greenglass also identified Julius Rosenberg, an electrical engineer who was his sister Ethel's husband, as the person who persuaded Greenglass's wife, Ruth, to recruit him and said that Julius Rosenberg gave atomic secrets to the Soviets. 
  • Rosenberg's Soviet contact agent was Anatoly Yakovlev, to whom Rosenberg provided numerous documents and drawings connected with atomic secrets.  
  • Morton Sobell, another accused conspirator, took off for Mexico City. He was extradited to the U.S. and was tried with the Rosenbergs for conspiracy to commit espionage.
So what was the case against Ethel Rosenberg? Not much, but she became part of the ploy to convict Julius because the idea of a very stiff penalty against both of the Rosenbergs was supposed to make Julius confess. David and Ruth Greenglass, in exchange for charges against Ruth being dropped, changed their testimony from David passing secrets to Julius Rosenberg on a street corner in New York City to David passing secrets to Julius in the Rosenberg's apartment, which Ethel then typed up in their living room.

The ploy didn't work the way that government prosecutors thought it would. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were called to testify before a grand jury and were indicted along with David Greenglass and Anatoly Yakovlev. During the grand jury hearing and at their trial, the Rosenbergs never implicated anyone else. They refused to incriminate themselves. The judge in their trial sentenced them to death for conspiracy and blamed them for American deaths in the Korean War. They were the only two people to be executed for conspiracy during the Cold War.

Up to the last minute before their executions, Ethel was told she could save herself by admitting that her husband was guilty, but she wouldn't do it.

Jean Paul Sartre said the executions were a "legal lynching."

And what happened to others who were accused?

Harry Gold was convicted and served 15 years.

Klaus Fuchs was convicted in Great Britain and served nine years and four months.

Martin Sobell was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison. He served 17 years and nine months. In 2008, he admitted he was a Soviet spy.

David Greenglass was sentenced to 15 years in prison, served 10, and went home to his wife Ruth. They lived under assumed names. In 2001 he recanted his testimony against his sister and admitted that he lied to spare his wife and their children. Ruth died in 2008 at age 83. David died at age 92 in 2014.

Yes, Julius Rosenberg was guilty, but Sobell and other sources have claimed that the information Julius Rosenberg passed to the Soviets was of little value.

Ethel was probably guilty of hiding money for Julius. She also allegedly asked her sister-in-law Ruth to convince David to join Julius in the spy ring. All four, along with Martin Sobell, were members of the American Communist Party.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg could not possibly have deserved the punishment they received.

When they were executed, their sons Michael and Robert were ten and six years old.

Next time, what happened to Michael and Robert and how is the author of Strange Fruit involved?

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

If you haven't voted in my Battle of the Bands, please check it out at The song is Strange Fruit. The contenders are Nina Simone and Billie Holiday.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

We're on the subject of Strange Fruit, the poem that became a song, which is featured in my current Battle of the Bands. Click HERE to listen to two versions of the song and cast your vote for Nina Simone or Billie Holiday. It's a close battle because both renditions are so good.

My post for yesterday is THE ORIGINS OF STRANGE FRUIT. It touches on the history of lynching and reveals that the author of the poem, and subsequent song, used the pseudonym "Lewis Allan."

Lewis Allan was Abel Meeropol, an English teacher and member of the American Communist Party (which he later left). His poem, first known as Bitter Fruit, appeared in a teachers union publication. Meeropol added music to his words, and with his wife, Anne, and a singer named Laura Duncan, began to perform it as a protest song.

A couple of different versions of the story about how the song made its way to Billie Holiday exist, but she began to perform it regularly as part of her live act and recorded it in 1939 and 1944. She claimed in her autobiography that she helped write the song along with two other people, but numerous sources state definitively that words and music are by Lewis Allan, a.k.a. Meeropol.

In 1999, "Time" magazine named Strange Fruit the best song of the century.

The Meeropols were also less well known for their link to an unusual event: the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

Abel and Anne

Yes, the Meeropols and the Rosenbergs were all Communists, but they didn't know each other.

Coming up next: more about the Rosenbergs.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, October 16, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

If you visited my blog yesterday or today, you know that I've re-joined the Battle of the Bands and that my first competition is between Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. The song is Strange Fruit.

The lyrics to Strange Fruit made their way into the world in 1937 in the form of a poem by "Lewis Allan," a New York City teacher who put his thoughts into an extended metaphor after seeing a photo of two African-American men who had been lynched.

The lyrics of the song are copyrighted, but they're quite easy to understand in either of the recordings posted HERE for my Battle of the Bands. (If you haven't voted yet, I hope you'll do so after listening to Simone and Holiday.)

Now, where do I go from here? Do I tell you about the man behind the pseudonym Lewis Allan, or do I write about lynching?

I guess I choose lynching, with information about the writer of the song soon to follow.

I won't include any photos of people who have been lynched. If you want to see them, they're not difficult to find. It was common for the murderers to photograph their accomplishment, and even to put the photos on post cards.

"Lynch Law" means a punishment without trial. For black men in the U.S., a lynching meant being accused of some fault or crime, being dragged from their homes or pulled off the street by a mob––often members of our oldest hate group, the Ku Klux Klan––and then hanged. Sometimes these human beings, thought of as sub-human by white supremacists, were tortured and their bodies burned. In addition to making the photos into post cards, the killers sometimes kept body parts as souvenirs of their great triumph.

How many people have been lynched? Probably upwards of 4,000, but I can't give you an exact figure. Black people aren't alone in being the targets of such hatred, although they are the largest group. Jews, immigrants, Catholics, and gay/lesbian people can be included as common targets of hatred.

To learn more about lynching, please visit HERE to see a map of the United States that shows where lynchings took place between 1835 and 1964. This site also has more information about mob violence. Another good source of information is the Southern Poverty Law Center.

It's well past lunch time, but for some reason, I have no appetite.

I guess we know why Lewis Allan felt compelled to write Strange Fruit.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Sunday, October 15, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Welcome to my return to Battle of the Bands, hosted by Mr. Stephen McCarthy, who blogs at STMcC Presents 'Battle of the Bands'.

On the 15th of each month, I'll present two versions of the same song. You vote for the one you prefer in your comment, and I'll tell you the winner on the 21st. Voting remains open until midnight on the 20th.

Our song for this month is Strange Fruit. The "strange fruit" to which the song refers is that of "black bodies"––victims of the horrific practice of lynching.

I wasn't going to use Billie Holiday's rendition of the song for the battle because she made the song famous, but I find Nina Simone's singing so compelling that I decided to let the two compete against each other.

This week on my blog I'll provide more information about the song and its composer, who played a role––probably unknown by most people––in the story of a family torn apart because of the execution of the parents by the U.S. government.

Here's Nina Simone:

Here's Lady Day:

Now I turn the question over to you. Do you vote for Nina Simone or Billie Holiday?

 Please visit STMcC Presents 'Battle of the Bands' to find the list of participants in this bloghop.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, October 12, 2017


To read the first part of this story, please go to I WAS PHISHED AND I NIBBLED ON THE BAIT.

To read the second part, please go to WHEN I NIBBLED THE BAIT, IT DIDN'T TASTE THAT GREAT.

To read the third part, please go to I CHOKED ON THE BAIT WHEN I WAS PHISHED.

All right, Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Let's finish this damn story no matter how long it takes. I'm sick of it.

Here's how I figured out that I absolutely, positively was being phished. I went to the Sas Web site and took a look at their employment information. It said that recruiting emails and job information would only come from verified email addresses.

William George, Jessica Julious, and Dexter whatever his last name was all had gmail addresses.

I informed Willy Dunne Wooters, who said if I had set up the Google Hangouts interview with Dexter, that is when he would have asked for my birthday and Social Security number under the guise of performing a background check so they could give me this great job. Fortunately, when the bait didn't taste right, I didn't swallow it.

It occurred to me that this experience was a lot like the fake news stories that are online (and I'm talking about actual fake news and not the real news that the doofus in the White House claims is fake because it tells the truth about him). The stories might seem interesting, but if you read them, any sensible person can tell that the "news" isn't real. The source isn't respectable and known. The stories are often badly written. The whole thing doesn't make sense.

Sas also had an email address in the employment section of their Web site, so I sent them the fake emails. I received a very nice note in return from an HR person––with an email address–– who confirmed that it was a scam. She also said she'd forward the emails to their legal department to keep them informed because they try to prevent Sas's name from being used in this way.

A couple of days later I received a recruiting email from a business that's not too far from my home. I know it exists. I know where it is.

But I didn't apply for the position until after I called them, asked for HR, and spoke to someone who confirmed that the job was real and they were recruiting me. It hasn't led to an interview––yet. Maybe it will. I try not to lose hope.

In other news, I'm returning to The Battle of the Bands on a once-a-month basis. Each month on the 15th, I'll present two versions of the same song. You can vote in your comments for the one that you prefer. I'll announce the winner on the 21st.

The 15th of October is this coming Sunday, so be there (here) or be square.

I've already chosen the song for my return. It's hauntingly beautiful and its composer played an unusual and rather interesting part in history. Yes, Silver Fox, you know what it is, but don't reveal the title, please.

See you all soon. Thanks for sticking with me throughout this story. Maybe it will help you avoid being phished.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, October 9, 2017


To read the first part of this story, please go to I WAS PHISHED AND I NIBBLED ON THE BAIT.

To read the second part, please go to WHEN I NIBBLED THE BAIT, IT DIDN'T TASTE THAT GREAT.

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It wasn't right. I knew it wasn't right. Why would I send my résumé and cover letter to Sas one day and receive an email from them about an interview the very next day? Why did the first email come from "William George," while the second came from "Jessica Julious"? Both names seemed suspicious to me.

I got in touch with Willy Dunne Wooters to ask him about Sas.

He said that Sas (pronounced sass) is a real, high-end company, and I should be prepared to sound tech savvy in my interview.

But I'm not tech savvy, I said.

I mean that you should be able to tell them that you know they do data analysis instead of saying you don't know what they do, WDW explained.

His final remark was, Just be careful you aren't being phished.

I already suspected I was being phished.

Sas is in the data analysis business. I'm not a technical writer. If you read the second part of this story and saw the comments, then you know that the email asking me for an interview was filled with errors. Besides, what kind of high-end company does interviews on Google Hangouts?

When Favorite Young Man got off work that day, I told him the story. He was like me. At first, he wanted to believe it was true. Forty-eight bucks an hour to work from home? (Sas does not have an office in my city. I learned that in my research.)

Want to believe it's true = It's too good to be true

We went back to the Sas Web site. That's where I found the definitive answer to my question. I'll tell you what I learned when I continue this never-ending saga on phishing.

Except we will have an end.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, October 6, 2017


HI! Hi! Hi! Hi hi hihihihihihihi Every Buddy! It's me. It's me. It's mememememememememe. It's Franklin the Bordernese and here in Florida we never freeze!

Mom says that lots of sad things have been happening in the world so it's a good idea for me to take over today. She thinks I'll cheer you up. She also says that next week she'll continue the story about how she was pissed.


She says it's phished, but that doesn't make sense to me because that's not a word but I know Mom is pissed a lot. We love her even though she's grumpy and always saying Chicago prefers, Chicago prefers. Who cares what Chicago prefers? I don't.

So anydog, this funny thing happened in the backyard. It was a super duper hot day. Penlapee was wandering around, sniffing every blade of grass before she could decide which one she wanted to pee on. Penlapee is like that.

I was getting hotter and hotter waiting for Penlapee and I noticed that there was a shady spot underneath Mom's nightgown. She hadn't gotten dressed yet because she says people who work at home get to work in their jammies, but I never see Mom do much of any work.

Because of the shady spot, I stuck my head under Mom's nightie. And you won't believe what I saw there. You really will not believe it. MOM WAS NOT WEARING UNNERWARE!

It was the funniest thing I've ever seen. snicker snort NO UNNERWARE! snicker snort Mom looks so funny under her nightie without her pink granny panties! I would describe everything to you but I'm snicker snorting so hard from remembering it that I don't think I can explain it. You have to take my word for it that Mom looks hilarious without unnerware. snicker snort

The man next door was out in his yard. He's nice and he likes me a lot. I thought he could use a good laugh so I took my head out from under the nightie and I barked to get his attention. I tried to say Hey! Come over here and look under Mom's nightie. She's got no unnerware, but I was snicker snorting so much that I couldn't tell him what there was to see. He said, Hi, Franklin, and he went in his garage. Boy, he missed his chance for a snicker snort. snicker snort

I'm so tired from telling this story and snicker snorting so much that I need a nap.

Before I fall asleep, would you like a kiss? Put your face down close to the box with the light in it, and I have my face up close. I'll give you all the kisses you need. I love to kiss, but I'm not kissing Mom under her nightie with no unnerware. Nope. I draw the line there. But you can have a big kiss on your cheek or smack dab on your mouth. Ask me for a kiss anytime. My kisses make every buddy feel better.

Okay. I love you. Bye-bye.

Thursday, September 28, 2017


To read the beginning of this story, please click on I WAS PHISHED AND I NIBBLED ON THE BAIT.

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

After I sent my cover letter and résumé to "William George" of Sas, which is a real company that has a beautiful, professional Web site, I was surprised to find another email from Sas in my inbox the very next day.

This time "Jessica Julious" wrote:


        Sas Institute has approved your application for the position of a Content writer/Editor after careful review of your resume/portfolio and we want to arrange you for an immediate interview with our Human Resource hiring Manager Dexter Jackson ASAP.

        To begin the process you need to get a Gmail account and install Google Hangout on your PC or phone and add Dexter on his hangout ID then send him a message on hangout to communicate with him, you can do the hangout chat interview either on your computer or mobile.

        We look forward to hearing back from you asap and i wish you best of luck with your interview.

Human Resource,
Dexter's Hangout ID: I removed the link because I don't want you to click on it

Interview code: Saswriters007.

I had already started to suspect that the job was too good to be true. When I received the second email, "scam scam scam scam" wouldn't stop running through my brain.

What is it about the second email that you think tipped me toward believing it was a phishing expedition?

Once again, to be continued . . . .

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Today I present The Silver Fox, who blogs at The Lair of The Silver Fox (where else could he possibly blog?), with his tips for writing dialog. Considering that The Silver Fox writes the best dialog of any blogger I know, I hope you'll take his thoughts to heart, and I hope you'll follow his blog. Even if you aren't interested in comic books and dead celebrities––he writes some killer short stories, too––I recommend that you read his blog every time he posts something because he's a great writer. We can all learn from the greats.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Today's post is a "simulcast" of sorts, due to be posted on my blog and on Janie Junebug Righting and Editing, the blog of "Janie Junebug." That's all you need to know, I guess.

*  *  *  *  *

People who've read stories that I've written have often complimented me on the way I write the dialog -- or "dialogue," if you prefer -- between my characters. Janie asked me several months ago if I would be interested in writing a guest post for her blog. Typically, I procrastinated, but finally, here it is.

In the guise of presenting this as a cohesive article, I'm just going to give you a bulleted list of random thoughts on the subject of dialog, in no real order.
  • The most important thing is to make your dialog sound real, "real" being defined as true to how the individual character would speak.
  • This may sound painfully obvious, but one of the most important parts of writing good dialog is to listen to people, and the way that they talk. Since I'm a nosy little cuss anyway, this has never been a problem for me. I've "overheard" a lot of conversations in my time.
  • Keep in mind that people rarely speak correctly. Even educated people will not necessarily talk the way that they write. (This is a case of first learning the rules, and then knowing which rules to break, and why. Don't be afraid to use improper grammar in your dialog, but don't overdo it.) 
  • Even a Grammar Nazi like myself, who cringes at the way some folks speak, will often say "can I" when I should really say "may I," or "I don't feel good" when we all know I should say that "I don't feel well" instead. How often do you hear someone say "I will" instead of "I shall," "who" instead of "whom," and "I could care less" when the correct term is "I couldn't care less?" Quite a bit, right?
  • Having said that, if your character is a college professor or someone similar, he or she might very well speak using proper grammar. Let me repeat that you should always use dialog that's appropriate to its speaker. When I had a writing partner, we shared a blog on which, among other posts, we had an ongoing serial featuring characters which were idealized versions of ourselves. I usually had to re-write the dialog he'd written for the character based on myself, because his dialog just didn't sound like me. To list just two examples: Once, he posted a supposed email I'd written, in which I used the popular abbreviations "LOL" and "ROFL." Well, I never use either of those (although I do occasionally use "IIRC," and "btw" for "by the way"). And in another post, his original version of my dialog had me using the expression "goddamn," which I absolutely never say. But I digress...
  • Even people with an extensive vocabulary don't always utilize said vocabulary when they speak. Personally, I've found that using so-called "big words" in a conversation can often derail the conversation itself if and when the other person or persons speaking to each other didn't understand some word that I used. I once used the term "disparage" when talking to someone who interrupted me to ask what the word meant. I began using the word "motivation" rather than "impetus" for the same reason. I used to get a lot of funny looks when I used the word "impetus." Maybe they thought I was saying "impotent." Anyway, there's also the fact that using certain words might make people think that you're trying to impress them, and they'll resent it. I once heard Jon Stewart use the word "vituperative" not once, but twice, during a single week of broadcasts on The Daily Show. Although it would have been easy enough for someone to discern the meaning of the word from its context in these two examples, I don't think I'd dare use "vituperative" on an everyday basis.
  • Real people use contractions. Constantly. Of course, if the character whose dialog you're writing is an uptight, stuffy, pain-in-the-ass kinda guy (or woman), an absence of contractions in his or her speech may be just the thing you're looking for to convey the character's stodginess to your readers.
  • Have you ever prepared for a confrontation by planning in detail what you're going to say to your employer, boyfriend/girlfriend, or someone else the next time you see him or her? It almost never worked, right? That's because you may have written a "script" for yourself, but you can't do it for the other person, too. In effect, that means that they're ad-libbing to your script, and they'll interrupt you, or change the subject slightly, or misunderstand something you said and question you about it. Anything might happen, and recognizing that may help you to write an interesting and realistic exchange among your characters.
  • Remember that in real life, nobody likes to feel that they're listening to a speech, so one person will often interrupt another, even if the interrupter in question only says things like "uh-huh," "right," "I see," etc.
  • People don't always finish their sentences. Sometimes they can't put their complete thought into words, and their voices just trail off.
  • No matter how many times you've read that proper grammar dictates that you should never end a sentence with a preposition, people do it all the flamin' time when they converse. In fact, I just did it purposely in my previous bullet point.
  • People split infinitives frequently, even though you're not supposed to ever do it. Heh.
  • Somewhere along the line, most people got it into their heads that the word "me" should almost always be avoided. That's why you hear things like "The police came to question her and I," when "her and me" is correct. On a related note, I've often heard people begin a sentence with "Her and I," as in "Her and I went to the store." Is that an incorrect usage? Of course it is. The correct expression would be "She and I." Do people make that mistake all the time in conversation? Sure they do.
  • With the exceptions of characters who primarily used contemporary slang -- like "Say, what kinda hooey are you tryin' to hand me?" -- actors and actresses in movies of the 1930s and 1940s were often given lines that one would never use in a real conversation. To list only one example, in Now, Voyager, Bette Davis said "Oh, Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars." That's a great, memorable quote, but who the hell would actually say something like that in the real world? Try to avoid things like that.
  • I'm going to wrap this up by telling you one of my little tricks, and it applies not only to my dialog, but to a lesser extent, my narration. I use italics to stress certain words. Using italics pretty much forces your reader to read the sentence in the way that you want it read. And the placement of that stressed word is often very important. For example? "Hey, that's my wife!" means something akin to "Hey, I know that woman over there! Boy, do I ever!" And then there's "Hey, that's my wife!" which probably means something to the effect of "Don't kiss her. Go home and kiss your own wife." And "Hey, that's my wife!" no doubt means something like "I'm not married to any of those other women. I'm married to that one." My former writing partner had a tendency to stress words at random, and that frequently made for some awkward reading. Try that sentence this way: "My former writing partner apparently stressed random words, and that frequently made for some awkward reading." Just doesn't sound right, does it? I sure had my job cut out for me when I worked with him!
I'm sure there are several other points that I should have mentioned and didn't, but I think this'll do for one post!

Thanks for your time.

Janie Junebug here: Thank you, Silver Fox, for enlightening us. I love your writing! And I think you'll like knowing that I do use "vituperative" in my everyday life.

Monday, September 25, 2017


Before we get into today's subject, please remember that tomorrow we have a TIP TUESDAY post by The Silver Fox (who blogs from The Lair of the Silver Fox) with his suggestions for writing good dialog. His characters are such smooth talkers that they could charm me right out of my pant . . . never mind. But I know you won't want to miss his post, which will be on his blog and mine.  

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

As you might recall, I was without electricity for a little while and without the internet for a longer while after Hurricane Irma blew through town.

When my internet returned, it took quite a while for me to get through all my emails. Last week I discovered quite the interesting email in my inbox at my other email address––the one I use when I'm not Janie Junebug. It had arrived the day after the storm.

You also might recall that I've been job hunting. What I don't think I've mentioned is that I use to search for jobs. My financial adviser recommended indeed to me. One of his other clients used it to find a job.

Anyjob, here's the email I received:

Sas Institute near you is now hiring for a Freelance Content Writer/Editor. We are looking for a Content Writer/Editor, who will report directly to the Director of Marketing, to efficiently deliver high-quality website content that serves as compelling advertising copy while also leveraging proper SEO principles. The ideal candidate has a strong understanding of how to create informative copy within the confines of SEO principles and can edit content to meet quality and accuracy standards with the ultimate goal of providing accurate, informative and engaging content.

Duties may also include:

Check content for accuracy and errors.
Edit content for proper grammar and punctuation.
Edit content for clarity and readability.
Proofread, edit and review content for quality, value and uniqueness.
Review content to ensure effective SEO keyword density
Meet deadlines and Adhere to deadlines.
Write technical content, how-to articles, sales copy and blog posts based on research.
Brainstorm article topics for new & existing web projects.


Medical/Dental/Vision plans, and paid vacation and personal time off.
We pay you $48/hr.
Monday -Friday , Part time & Full time flexible hours daily.
You can even work remotely. forwarded us your contact email so if you feel you are qualified for this position, please submit a resume or portfolio to (I removed the link because you shouldn't click on it) to apply.  

Would you take the bait? I did. 

I emailed a beautiful cover letter, my outstanding résumé, and the Web address for my writing portfolio to "William George." 

I'll tell you what happened next after we've enjoyed TIP TUESDAY by The Silver Fox. In other words, to be continued . . . . 

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Willy Dunne Wooters prays
that my leap at this job doesn't break my bones.

Thursday, September 21, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

The Big Sick is a quietly funny movie with an interesting history (2017, Rated R, Recently Released on DVD).

The movie stars Kumail Nanjiani, a stand-comedian who plays himself, and was written by Nanjiani and his wife, Emily Gordon. It's loosely based on their real-life relationship.

Pakistani-born Kumail and his family have lived in the U.S. for years, but Kumail's parents still expect him to follow Pakistani traditions, such as having an arranged marriage. They also want him to become a lawyer.

Instead, Kumail has become a stand-up comedian, and he falls in love with an American girl named Emily (Zoe Kazan). Their relationship falters, though, when Kumail refuses to introduce Emily to his parents. He can't even bring himself to inform his parents that he has a girlfriend, and that he's not interested in any of the Pakistani women to whom they introduce him.

Then the big sick occurs. Emily is sick––so dangerously ill that it's life threatening. Will Kumail choose his relationship with Emily or his relationship with his family, or will he find a way to have both?

I like this movie a lot. It has some poignant moments, but ultimately, everything works out (I say this for those of you who need to know that the movie won't depress you and there's a  happy ending, but I don't think it's really a spoiler because I already told you that Kumail and Emily are married and they wrote the movie together; you should also take a look at the closing credits because they include some photos of Kumail and the real Emily, and Kumail's parents).

Kumail's difficulties with his parents are funny because Kumail can find the hilarity in them. Emily's parents are played by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano. I love Holly Hunter. I always think that Ray Romano is playing Ray Romano, but he's okay, too.

The Big Sick earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval. This is a movie I'll want to see again when it turns up on HBO or Netflix streaming. For my first viewing, I watched a DVD mailed to me by my friends at Netflix and delivered by my friendly neighborhood mail carrier.

Happy viewing! Beck, will you sing us out, please? Devils Haircut is part of The Big Sick's soundtrack.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Here's an error I see all the time, and it bugs the heck out of me:

Let's try and go to the grocery store tomorrow.


Tomorrow you're going to try (at something, I don't know what), and after you try, apparently you want to go to the grocery store.

What you want to say is the following:

Let's try to go to the grocery store tomorrow.

Please don't think I'm singling out anyone because of this error or that I don't want to read your blogs because of it. It's a mistake that's all over the place.

I have good news for you. Next week's TIP TUESDAY will feature a guest post by the man who doesn't write guest posts.  He's The Silver Fox, who blogs at The Lair of the Silver Fox, and he's going to try to help us learn how to write better dialog. His dialog is mighty smooth.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thanks, fishducky!

Monday, September 18, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Here we are, a week after Hurricane Irma, and all is well.

I have some Irma-related photos for your viewing pleasure.

Favorite Young Man read after the storm was over and we were without electricity:

We grilled delicious steaks:

This branch fell on the deck with quite a thud:

The backyard after Irma: 

The water wasn't as bad as it looks. It's almost dried up now.

The steps to the deck:

A neighbor's tree blows in the wind:

You can't see it in the photo, but the tree split in half at the top.

The pile of debris I created in the front yard:

That's not my car, but you can see that my leaves-and-branches sculpture is longer than the car. I still have plenty of leaves to rake in the yard.

Thanks to all of you who tried to stay in touch with us during the storm and expressed concern for our well-being. I'm sure you can see why I keep saying that it could have been a lot worse:

This is not my house, but it's nearby:

I'm very sorry for the people who have to deal with such damage, but no one died here.

The suffering caused by Irma in some areas is beyond anything I have ever experienced.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, September 15, 2017


Hello. It is I, Her Royal Highness The Princess Penlapee, I mean Penelope (that damn Franklin makes me forget my own name).

We had a big storm. Mom Mom forced me to take potty breaks in the rain. I was angry.

I got back at Mom Mom yesterday. I sneaked out to the living room to take a potty break there. Ha ha, Mom Mom.

When Mom Mom criticized me for making a puddle, I went outside and buried my paws in the mud. Then I came inside, went in the bedroom, and wiped the mud off on the quilt on our bed. I don't mind a little mud on the bed, but Mom Mom hates it. Ha ha again, Mom Mom.

I hated Irma. She was ugly and mean and she hurt many people, but not us. That is because I made her go away. I huffed, and I puffed, and I blew Irma away.

Now I have ordered Human Brother to pet me.

That is all. Goodbye.

I am soft and cuddly.
Human Brother adores me.
Everyone adores me.

Thursday, September 14, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

At last, I'm back online.

I've heard on the news that my city of Jacksonville, Florida, is experiencing historic flooding, but I haven't seen it. I'm not one to go out sight seeing after a disaster.

Irma was different from last year's Hurricane Matthew. The wind was worse (hence the branches strewn all over the yard), but the rain wasn't as heavy––at least not in my neighborhood. Lake Junebug has some water, but not enough for a swim. If you've made reservations at The Lake Junebug Resort, please don't cancel. You can watch Netflix (through the window--you didn't think I was letting you in the house, did you?) now that the internet has been restored, and you'll still receive your gourmet meals. The exercise program has been improved with the addition of yard cleanup.

Franklin is distressed. Since the storm ended, he has wanted to spend all his time in the backyard. He seems to feel that he has to guard the piles of debris. I wish he'd stop and allow someone to steal it.

We were without electricity for 24 hours. Not the end of the world. We read while it was light. Then Favorite Young Man read by flashlight, and I read on my tablet.

Others have suffered far more than we have. It's still difficult to find items such as bread and milk in the grocery stores, but we're fine. Favorite Young Man went back to work on Tuesday. He says some businesses are open. Some remain closed.

I'll provide photos of the crime scene after I finish the book I'm editing and send it back to its author.

And to the man who sent me such interesting text messages during the storm, thanks for the entertainment. We'll keep our little tryst a secret from Willy Dunne Wooters.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Saturday, September 9, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

My policy continues to be the following: do not worry.

We are prepared. We have tons of water and food. We are NOT in an evacuation zone. The only people in Jacksonville (northeastern Florida) who have been told to evacuate are those living in mobile homes and manufactured houses (I suspect people who live at the beaches will receive a mandatory evacuation order at some point). My house has been here since 1940, and it's not likely to go anyplace now.

Jacksonville has six shelters open; two are "pet friendly," but the pets have to be in crates or cages, and owners must have the animals' vaccination records.

Although the national news programs are screaming about Irma––and yes, she has behaved abominably––she's supposed to tire out some before she gets to us. She's been one busy lady. She will need a rest.

A lot of businesses are closed or closing early––only fair to their employees. Some gas stations are running low on fuel, or are closed. Liquor stores appear to be doing a brisk business. I suspect the neighborhood bars will remain open.

I'll try to keep you updated throughout the storm. My main concern is the possibility of losing power, but the propane tank for my grill is full so if we must, we'll cook on the grill when the storm is over. We might cook on the grill anyway. We have steaks.

My lovely friend who lives in Atlanta tried to convince me to pay her a visit, but Favorite Young Man and I don't want to spend hours in the traffic when it doesn't seem to be necessary. If we do have problems, we can always decamp to the apartment of one Mr. Willy Dunne Wooters. I told my friend that he never loses power. She asked why.

My response: he lives in a gated community and the storm gods don't know the code.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Yeah, that's my Willy.