Thursday, September 21, 2017

MOVIE WEEKEND: THE BIG SICK

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

TIP TUESDAY: LET'S TRY TO GET THIS ONE RIGHT

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.

What?

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

IRMA, YOU WERE A LOUSY GUEST

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

PENELOPE DISHES ABOUT IRMA

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

CAN'T BRING ME DOWN!

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

WAITING FOR IRMA

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.



Wednesday, September 6, 2017

NOT TO WORRY

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Tourists are being evacuated from the Keys. Later today, residents of the Keys will probably be evacuated. There's talk of evacuating Miami.

If Irma makes her way to Jacksonville, it won't be until late in the day on Sunday. Even if she dies down, she should bring enough rain to fill Lake Junebug again.

Oh, goody. 

The Sunshine State is not fooling around. This is our governor, who has promised to respect Irma in the morning:


His name is Skeletor. I know I said I wouldn't make up nicknames for people without their permission, but I did not come up with this name for him. Besides, I think he knows that people call him Skeletor.

Okay. His name is really Rick Scott:


He just barely got elected.

Anyway, don't worry about us. If we're in an evacuation zone, which is not likely, Favorite Young Man will carry us all to safety.

Or at least he'll carry Penelope. She's his favorite


It's time for a Hurricane Preparation Nap now.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug



Tuesday, September 5, 2017

EDITING & IRMA

Dear Hearts and Gentle People,

I am busy editing as I prepare for the arrival of an unwanted guest at Lake Junebug Resort. Her name is Irma. You can learn more about her HERE, but don't worry too much about Florida. Although the governor has already declared a state of emergency, that link is to CNN, which means it is fake news. Sad! How easily the governor of Florida has been fooled by the lying media.

We have plenty of dog food. We'll be sure to stock up on water and cookies. Everything is better with cookies.

In place of TIP TUESDAY, please enjoy the chart below.

I'll see ya when I see ya.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


Thanks, fishducky!








Thursday, August 31, 2017

MOVIE WEEKEND: A MAN CALLED OVE

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

A Swedish film, En man som heter Ove, which in English is titled  A Man Called Ove, is the perfect movie to watch this weekend to cheer you up, whether you're sad about Hurricane Harvey, worried about North Korean missiles, sick of the 45th president, or all of the above (2015, PG-13, Available on DVD and free on Amazon Prime Streaming). This movie is in Swedish with English subtitles.


Ove (pronounced oo-vay and portrayed by ) is a man alone. His beloved wife Sonia has died. He's being forced into retirement. He's the Grumpy Gus of his neighborhood, where he demands that everyone follow the rules.

He visits Sonia at the cemetery regularly, where he promises her he is going to join her. Ove then sets out to commit suicide, but what could be tragic turns comedic as one thing after another interrupts his attempts. The worst interruption of all is by his annoying new neighbors from Iran, who do nothing but cause him grief.

As the movie progresses, we see flashbacks to Ove's boyhood and his youthful romance with Sonia that help us to understand what kind of person he really is: a man with a heart of gold who goes to great lengths to help those in need in spite of the personal cost.

A Man Called Ove earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval. It was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2017 Academy Awards and is based on the novel of the same name by Fredrik Bakman. I haven't read the book, but I certainly want to do so now. Its overarching theme is my favorite––the interconnectedness of humankind.

Happy viewing!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

MY ASTUTE OBSERVATIONS RE: HURRICANE HARVEY

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Have you noticed that in spite of the devastation in parts of Texas and Louisiana that quite a few people are pretty calm and relaxed in places where insanity could easily reign? (I'm not saying that some people aren't upset and in tears, and they have a right to be.)

What I see on my TV is a city that's pretty much in ruins, but people aren't panicking the way they did during Hurricane Katrina.

I see two major differences with Hurricane Harvey:

1. People can connect with others on Twitter, Facebook, whatever. People have even used social media to get out the message that they need to be rescued. Having some kind of a connection with the world instead of feeling totally alone means a lot.

2. I see people being rescued with their pets. Cat carriers are loaded into boats. Dogs ride on their daddy's or mommy's shoulders. During Hurricane Katrina, if I remember correctly (and if I'm wrong you can set me straight), people were told they couldn't bring their pets to shelters. They had to leave their beloved animal friends behind to die. Do you think I'd climb into a boat and float away without Franklin and Penelope?

If your answer is HELL NO, then you're correct.


One rescuer spoke of picking up a family that included a bull mastiff who weighed well over one hundred pounds.

It's a well-known fact that having a pet can bring down blood pressure, along with having other health benefits, especially relief from depression and anxiety. If I were dragged away from my pups, I'd scream and cry non-stop. They are my family.

Additionally, when people reach the shelters, they seem to have supplies on hand, the supplies that the people of New Orleans lacked: water, diapers, food, clothes, blankets.

Not everyone will survive Hurricane Harvey. Some people have already died, and no doubt, some pets have died and will die.

But I see a greater spirit of camaraderie during this hurricane. At first I thought that not having a mandatory evacuation of the city was insane. Then I learned that when they had an evacuation in the past (not sure when it was or what the emergency was), that people panicked and more were killed in the evacuation than in the rest of the emergency.

Not evacuating also leaves a lot of people there who have boats and are willing to use them to save others.

I also don't see news reports about African Americans who are looters, but white people who do the same are simply seeking out supplies. I see white, black, and Hispanic people working together. It's a world away from the hatred we saw in Charlottesville.

Let's keep the spirit of togetherness going.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


Here's a bit of presidential trivia:

When Hurricane Betsy hit New Orleans in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson went to the city and visited evacuation centers, as reported HERE and in numerous other places:

"On September 10, 1965, the day after Hurricane Betsy plowed through southeastern Louisiana, President Lyndon Johnson flew to New Orleans.  He went to the people, to shelters where evacuees were gathered, to neighborhoods all over the city.  There was no electricity and, so that people could see and hear him at one shelter, he took a flashlight, shined it into his face and said into a megaphone, "My name is Lyndon Baines Johnson.  I am your president.  I am here to make sure you have the help you need."

And that's exactly what he did.  He cut through bureaucratic red tape and, before he'd even left the city that day, he saw to it that the wheels were set in motion for the city's recovery.
Those who remember Betsy will always be grateful to President Johnson for his decisive leadership, his critically needed comfort and his determination to bring timely help to the area, and to immediately start rescuing, recovering and rebuilding."



Monday, August 28, 2017

NICK NAMES ARE ONLY COOL IF . . .

the person to whom you give the nickname likes it, Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell.

In THIS POST that I wrote last week, I chatted about giving nicknames to people. Some of you pointed out in your comments, and they were wise comments, that we have to be careful about nick names (The High Guy who works at Target doesn't know that I think of him as The High Guy and he never will, nor will anyone else know except for all of you out there and Favorite Young Man, and FYM doesn't even know which person I'm talking about because he's never seen The High Guy).

Fundy Blue, a.k.a. Louise of Standing Into Danger (one of my favorite blogs, not that all the rest of you don't also write my favorite blogs), made the following comment:

Funny post, JJ! I admit to occasional mental, not-uttered, nicknames for certain people in my life. And I've been collecting various nicknames for our leader which is hilarious fun. 

As a second and third grade teacher, I had to spend time dealing with conflicts and hurt feelings over nicknames. This age group has a heightened sensitivity of what is fair and what is not. The topic of fairness cropped up all the time. Young kids can be creatively cruel with nick names. So we would have class meetings every year, sometimes multiple times, over the issue of names and nicknames and the fairness of using them. 

The worst brouhaha occurred when one of my white boys whispered to the black girl sitting next to him (during a spelling test) that she had lips swelled up like a pufferfish. So for several days she was "Pufferfish," and what a time I had dealing with the fallout and stamping out the use of that nickname! 

Who would suspect that a science word I added to the spelling test for bonus points could lead to meetings with the principal, the social worker, the psychologist, and outraged parents on both sides of the racial divide, not to mention having to rearrange the seats in my classroom? 

I would always share that I had multiple nicknames when I was a kid based on both Myrtle and Louise, as in variations of "Myrtle the turtle lost her girdle" and "Weasel" and that those and other nicknames I was plagued with really hurt. So there was a lot of emphasis on learning what name each child wished to use and learning its correct spelling.

I don't have a problem with nicknames now, and I [sic] always happy when I get a big hug from my brother and he whispers, "I love you so much, Weasel." LOL


Thank you for sharing this story with us, Louise.  A nickname is never cool if it's shared publicly and it hurts the person who has been given the name. Many of us are already self-conscious enough.



When I was a medical assistant in a doctor's office, the other underlings and I had nicknames for each other. The second medical assistant was Neesie; the x-ray tech was Teeny; the receptionist was San-Pan; and I was June––for June on Leave It To Beaver because I was thought to be the kind of person who would vacuum my house while wearing a dress and high heels. June gradually morphed into Junebug, which is how I became Janie Junebug.

But we also had a second part-time receptionist. I nicknamed her Marge for the police chief in the movie Fargo. I think I called her Marge two or three times before she said, Please don't call me that.

That was the end of that nickname. Never used it again.

And that's the way it should be, unless a nickname is so unkind that it should never be uttered at all. In fact, I should have asked her if it was okay to give her that nickname. That's my policy from now on, unless I don't ever call the person by the nickname.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

MORE WORD PARTS

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

In THIS POST, we talked about prefixes, suffixes, and root words. To date, that post has had more than 1,400 page views. I have no idea why it was so popular, but let's see if we can break that record by discussing more meanings of word parts (I'm not telling Willy Dunne Wooters about the 1,400+ because he'll say it's spambot; I'm sticking my tongue out at you, WDW).

According to our source, Vocabulary for a New World by Linda J. Palumbo and Frank J. Gaik, "learning the building blocks of words can help you to figure out and remember the meanings of many new words you encounter."

Palumbo and Gaik point out in one section of the book how the root "patri or pater, for father, spawns several related words."

Patri plus archy, which means rule gives us

patriarchy = rule by the fathers

Patri plus mony, which means wealth gives us

patrimony = the wealth of the father

and

patrimonialism = a system of authority based on inherited wealth

The suffixes -ic, -al, and -ous mean "made of or characterized by" and can be "used to turn some words into advectives."

poetic = in the form or spirit of a poem
porous = having pores
aquatic = of the water 

Do you recognize these word parts related to forms and measures?

morph
plasty
meter
macro
micro
chron

Neo, of course, means new, as in neo-Nazi, but I'd say a Nazi is a Nazi is a Nazi.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug



Thanks, fishducky!






Monday, August 21, 2017

DO YOU INVENT NAMES FOR PEOPLE?

But I don't mean obscene names for the president, Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

We've always been big on nicknames in my family. My mother used to call a young woman with short curly hair who lived in her neighborhood "Betty Boop." It became so popular that everyone who lived there started calling the woman Betty Boop––sometimes to her face.


But I also invent names for people based on certain facets of their personality or their behavior (not cruel names).

A few months ago I shopped at Target and no matter what I said to the cashier, he replied, oooookey doooookey. Based on the way he emitted his okey dokeys, I suspected he was as high as the sky.


Naturally, his name is now "the high guy." I have no idea what his real name is.

And how about those name tags some cashiers wear that say

GEORGE
7 YEARS

I know it means that the person has been working there that long, but I always want to ask, If you've been George for seven years, then who were you before that?


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug




Friday, August 18, 2017

I AM IN A BAD MOOD . . .

And you do not want to deal with a Junebug in a bad mood, Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

When Donald Trump was elected, I was shocked. I didn't turn on the news until late in the afternoon on that fateful day. I looked at the available returns and polls and knew: She will win the popular vote, but he will win the electoral college.

For the next two weeks, I cried every day. But I was also in denial. I told myself and my friends, It's going to be all right. Somehow it will be okay. We'll be fine.

Then I looked at the glass in my hand and realized it was half-empty. I accepted reality.

Now we've had a tragic clash in Charlottesville, with bad people on both sides, according to the president. But why did people who don't even live in Charlottesville gather there to hold their White Nationalist shindig? The side with the Tiki torches may have had a permit to gather, but they didn't have a permit to incite violence. With a group like that, however, a gathering amounts to inciting violence. That's what these good ole' boys are all about, and Charlottesville was not prepared to deal with their numbers.

As each day passes since that event, I haven't learned to feel calm and at peace about it. I haven't said, This too shall pass. I haven't let it go and moved on.

Rather, as I learn more about what occurred from people who were actually there, my anger grows. I'm beyond being able to say, Let's find something to laugh about.

Favorite Young Man and I watched quite a bit of news on Saturday and Sunday. He expressed surprise that such a thing would happen in Charlottesville, a liberal university town.

I told him that Charlottesville has long been a town divided (no doubt town officials disagree with me), and, thus, ripe for the picking by the KKK, Aryan Nation, alt-right––whatever they call themselves, "they" are those who come in hatred.

I went on to explain to Favorite Young Man that white descendants of Thomas Jefferson wouldn't consider allowing the black descendants of Thomas Jefferson to join their organization until the black descendants took DNA tests to prove their lineage, and even then the descendants of the Jefferson-Hemmings union were invited to attend the white descendants' meetings as guests, not as full-fledged members. This occurred in spite of the fact that historians began writing about the children of Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemmings, in the 1970s. This occurred in spite of the long-known "open secret" in Charlottesville that if one saw a light-skinned black person with red hair, then that person was likely to be a Jefferson family member. This occurred in spite of the knowledge that Sally Hemmings and her siblings were of mixed race and were half-siblings to Jefferson's wife. Hemmings' children were of mostly European descent. But one drop of so-called black blood? They're not the real thing, apparently.

I doubt if the white descendants ever had to take DNA tests to prove their status.

This refusal to acknowledge ALL of Jefferson's direct descendants is an emblem of the division in Charlottesville, a town that is predominantly white. And Southern.

Sadly, my theory about the town has been confirmed by some articles I've read and by comments from citizens of Charlottesville. One African-American woman stated that the master in Monticello had been looking down on them in the town for far too long. That doesn't mean we should knock down Monticello and disavow Thomas Jefferson as one of the founders of our country, but it does mean we need to recognize his role in the misery that was slavery. It does mean we need to recognize his second family.

We can acknowledge the grief and the mistakes of slavery in museums. We do not need statues of Confederate leaders in parks and city centers. To ask "where will it stop?" and suggest that statues of George Washington will be pulled down next is to demonstrate one's ignorance. Yes, George Washington owned slaves, but he wasn't a traitor to his country who suggested that the Union of States be divided.

I also heard someone say on television that having a statue of Robert E. Lee certainly wasn't as bad as having a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest. Aren't they all traitors to the Union?

Plus, until a few years ago, my own city had a Nathan Bedford Forrest High School. It took many years to remove the name of the man who founded the KKK. Now, let's change the names of all schools named after Confederate leaders. We don't need Jefferson Davis High School any more than we need Robert E. Lee High School. Let's name our schools after peacemakers and heroes, not losers.

Yes, I am one angry Junebug, and I don't picture myself getting over it anytime soon.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


public domain photo

"Let us reject any among us who seek to reopen old wounds and to rekindle old hatreds. They stand in the way of a seeking nation. Let us now join reason to faith and action to experience, to transform our unity of interest into a unity of purpose. For the hour and the day and the time are here to achieve progress without strife, to achieve change without hatred—not without difference of opinion, but without the deep and abiding divisions which scar the union for generations."

Friday, August 11, 2017

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: A FINAL EVENING ON LAKE JUNEBUG

Gentle Readers . .  and Maxwell,

I first published A FINAL EVENING ON LAKE JUNEBUG on October 6, 2014. It's had 232 page views, but it won't complain if more people look at it. I think it's a good time to read it again, or read it for the first time, because Lake Junebug overflows from daily thunderstorms.

A unique feature in this post is the appearance of the late, handsome Harper––a smooth collie/malinois mix. Harper plays two roles. First, he is the "wildlife." The he returns as the suave, dignified guest, Monsieur Malinois. Exactly the kind of dude you meet during a vacation on Lake Junebug.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug, proprietor



Many of you have written posts about the arrival of autumn. It's still warm here in Northern Florida, but it's pleasant. The humidity is tolerable. While the weather is nice, I recommend you take one last vacation for the year. You need an evening on Lake Junebug.

My prices are low (however much I owe the IRS so about $4,000 and that can be a group rate if you want to bring some pals or the whole family). It's rained a great deal lately so the lake is full. Notice the trees reflected in the beautiful clear water:



Architecture buffs will enjoy attractions such as the steps that lead down to the lake:



Look at the beautiful vegetation right next to the lake:



You'll feel as if you're visiting the Galapagos. Wildlife surrounds Lake Junebug:



Monsieur Malinois, I presume? You meet the elite when you vacation on Lake Junebug:



The dining area, where our chef prepares gourmet meals on the grill:


Another lovely view of the deluxe amenities:



The fence guarantees privacy should you want to indulge in a little skinny dipping:



I haven't set up the hammock yet, but it's a hammock for two. Romance guaranteed. If you bring the kids, they can sleep on the deck itself. They'll be thrilled by this outdoor adventure.

Be sure to book your trip soon. If you wait too long, the party will be over.



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY . . .

AND DON'T COME BACK SOME OTHER DAY, Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

With a thunderstorm nearly every day, Lake Junebug is quite full. I would suggest that you make your reservations for the Lake Junebug Resort, but it doesn't stop raining long enough to do anything.

I was out gallivanting around this afternoon when today's storm started. Going from a store to my car, I got soaked. I looked as if I had taken a shower with my clothes on.

Before yesterday's storm, it was somewhat dry just long enough for Franklin to roll in the muck in the backyard. His new name is Stinky.



According to the forecast, the weather system that's with us now is supposed to hang around and get worse by the weekend. I don't know how it can get worse, but anything is possible.

Lappie is fine now. She has no complaints about the duct tape holding her together.

I continue to apply for jobs, so I'm not blogging regularly. Previous interest from employers resulted in an interview for a job that I could have done in my sleep. Of course, I didn't get it.

The search continues.


Infinities of love,

A Soaked Janie Junebug


Lake Junebug looks a lot like this photo that I took after Hurricane Matthew visited us last year:


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

After a scan, I think Lappie is herself again--except that one corner of her case will be held in place by duct tape.

It's going to take me a while to catch up on everything.

Thanks to all of you who offered sympathy and advice.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

OH DEAR OH DEAR OH DEAR

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

My laptop is home, but she is wounded and not working properly.

I should not have taken her to a repair store without talking to Willy Dunne Wooters first. He had a good experience with this chain of stores, but the place he used is in a different location. The store closer to my home is run by children. They might be self-described nerds, but they are not very responsible nerds.

They want $200 to repair her. Don't tell Lappie that I said this, but she's not worth it. She only cost about $400 in the first place.

Therefore, I'm not spending $200 on her. Yes, I can duct tape her together (it's the bottom case that came apart in one corner), but she'll have to be replaced at some point.

And she is not the same sweet Lappie I took to the store run by child nerds. Ads pop up on her all the time. Notices pop up that say Google is tracking my searches. I know I had some kind of blocker on her, but I can't remember what I did before to make her my darling Lappie.

Oh, dear. Oh, dear. Oh, dear.

I bet one of you will remind me how to make her into my Lappie again, or Willy Dunne Wooters will help.

I'm not thinking clearly after my terrible experience with the little boy nerds.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, July 28, 2017

SORRY, NO CEPHALOPOD COFFEEHOUSE

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I apologize because I haven't done my Cephalopod Coffeehouse post about my favorite book that I read this month.

My beloved friend Laptop has cracked apart on the bottom left side. I hope she doesn't have to be replaced!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, July 27, 2017

THE REAL DESMOND DOSS: AMERICAN HERO

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Yesterday I reviewed the movie Hacksaw Ridge. I promised that today would be about the real Desmond Doss, who is played by Andrew Garfield.

Andrew Garfield


Desmond Doss
Spoiler Alert: If you are interested in viewing Hacksaw Ridge, then you might not want to read this post.

First, I thank those of you who set me straight on the length of men's hair during military service in World War II. The buzz cut required of future generations was not yet de rigueur.

While Desmond Doss was alive, he wouldn't allow a movie to be made about his exploits because he said it would be a typical Hollywood movie. Plus, he was a humble man. However, he did participate in the creation of a documentary called The Conscientious Objector (2004) before he died in 2006. I would like to see this film, but it's not available on Netflix or Amazon Prime. It can be purchased on Amazon. The DVD is a manufacture-on-demand item that costs $2.47. It's classified as an "add-on" that ships for free if included with a $25 purchase.

The most moving part of Hacksaw Ridge for me was the end: it includes footage of the real Desmond, his brother Hal, and some of his army comrades. Thus, I'm especially interested in the documentary.

Now, here's some information about The Real Desmond v. The Movie Desmond.

Movie Desmond [MD] insists on enlisting.
Real Desmond [RD] was drafted in 1942.

MD finishes training and heads straight to Okinawa for his initial experience as a medic during battle.
RD shipped out to Guam, then Leyte in the Philippines, and then to Okinawa.

MD nearly shoots his father while saving his mother when his father almost shoots her.
RD's mother broke up a fight between her husband and his brother and asked RD to hide the gun his father used to threaten his brother. RD vowed it would be the last time he touched a gun.

MD's father is an abusive drunk.
RD's father drank, but not to excess. He was not abusive.

MD first sees the woman he will marry when she's working as a nurse.
RD met Dorothy at church. She did not become a nurse until after the war. She did so then because RD was disabled and she needed to help support their family.

MD misses his wedding because he's put in a cell to await court martial.
RD--didn't happen.

MD is pulled out of bed and attacked by the men in his company.
Although RD was harassed, no such beating occurred.

MD is nearly court-martialed.
RD was threatened with court-martial by one officer, but another officer told the first that he had to respect RD's status.

MD's father shows up in his uniform from WWI to ask his former commanding officer to prevent MD's court martial.
RD's father called a church War Commission when RD was denied leave. RD was then given a pass so he could see his brother before he shipped out with the Navy.

MD treats Japanese soldiers and lowers them over the side of a cliff in the same way that he rescues Americans.
RD was told by the other men in his company that they would shoot him if he treated a Japanese soldier. 

All of the action in the movie appears to take place during a few days. The real Desmond Doss went through far more than is depicted. In fact, Mel Gibson said that he didn't show everything that happened to Desmond because people would not believe it:

"Mel Gibson stated there were aspects of this event that were true but that he couldn't include in the film because he felt people wouldn't believe they were true: Doss stepped on a grenade to save his buddies and was hit by shrapnel, but as he was being carried away by medics he saw another soldier hurt; since Doss himself was a medic he jumped off his stretcher and treated that soldier and told the medics to take care of other wounded soldiers; he then crawled back to safety while being shot at by enemy snipers."

By the time Doss reached Okinawa, he had already been awarded two bronze stars for bravery. Later, Harry Truman awarded Doss the Medal of Honor. He was the first conscientious objector to be so honored (Alvin York also received the Medal of Honor, but he carried a weapon and for a time denied that he had been a conscientious objector). 

No one is sure how many men Doss saved at Okinawa by lowering them over the escarpment. The unassuming Doss thought it was fifty. Others placed it at 100. The official number became seventy-five as a compromise, but Doss also treated numerous other men.

Desmond Doss returned to the United States as a severely disabled man because of his wounds and because he had contracted tuberculosis before his discharge from the military in 1946. He lost a lung and five ribs to this scourge and spent most of six years in hospitals. He was given an overdose of antibiotics that caused him to lose his hearing for twelve years. He then received a cochlear implant and regained his hearing.

He was married to his beloved Dorothy until her death in 1991. They had one child, Desmond T. Doss, Jr. 

My point about the movie is that the real life of Desmond Doss was more than enough to make a great movie. Gibson didn't need to embroider the tale and turn Doss into a Christ-figure. I can't imagine that Doss would have liked that. He did not want to have a typical Hollywood movie made about him. And Gibson thought that people wouldn't believe the extent of Doss's bravery? I believe the truth. Real, living heroes are not stock characters. They are not clichés. They are complex human beings who deserve to have their stories told without the distractions of unnecessary changes.

"Mel Gibson said that the battle scenes were influenced by nightmares he had during his childhood, when his father Hutton Gibson, a WW2 veteran who served in Guadalcanal in the Pacific theatre, described the horrors he witnessed as bedtime stories."

The horrors witnessed by Mel Gibson's father––NOT the horrors witnessed by Desmond Doss. Keep it real, Mel.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Sources: History vs. Hollywood, Internet Movie Database, Desmond Doss



President Truman presents Desmond Doss with the Medal of Honor.
Photo courtesy Desmond Doss Council
An aging Desmond Doss
Photo courtesy Desmond Doss Council



Note: Most of the actors in the movie, including a number of the American soldiers, are played by Australian actors. Gibson cast the Australians to attain Australian tax incentives for the making of the movie


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

MOVIE WEEKEND NO-NO: HACKSAW RIDGE

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I believe that art transcends time, place, and even its creator. If it doesn't, then it must not be art. Mel Gibson, a misogynistic anti-Semite who would feel right at home in the White House, has created yet another piece of non-art with the movie Hacksaw Ridge (2016, Rated R, Available On DVD and HBO).


I was appalled––appalled I tell you––when Mel Gibson received an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. A nod from the academy tends to mean "we forgive you for being a drunken asshole because you have created true art." Ha! In Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson uses stock characters and clichés to explore the paradox of a non-violent person in the middle of great violence. In other words, the theme is that one brave man working alone can become a Christ-figure during the hell that is war.

I did not add Hacksaw Ridge to my Netflix queue because I detest and despise Mel Gibson. But Hacksaw Ridge did receive quite a few award nominations, and won some, including two Academy Awards (thank God one was not Best Director for Mel Gibson). When it turned up on HBO a few nights ago, I thought, Okay. I'm not paying extra for it. I'll watch it.

I'm sorry I did except for the opportunity that it provides me to warn you that it is a hideous movie. Here are some examples of its stupidity:

  • Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) is the son of a drunk Virginia hillbilly who served in the Great War and deals with his PTSD by beating his wife and kids
  • Desmond follows his mama's example and becomes a devout Seventh-Day Adventist
  • Desmond falls in love at first sight with a nurse
  • Desmond feels he must enlist during Dubya Dubya Two
  • Desmond is a conscientious objector, whose commanding officer won't assign him to be the medic he was promised he could be
  • Therefore, the sergeant makes it clear to his men that they should beat the crap out of Desmond
  • He's about to be court-martialed when Hillbilly Daddy shows up in his Great War uniform and saves the day
  • Desmond goes off to the Battle of Okinawa and saves a shitload of men
  • Before the men go into battle a second time, they wait for Desmond to finish praying
  • Desmond saves a metric fuck-ton of men while running like Secretariat toward the finish line as glorious movie music plays and he chants, Please, God. Let me save one mo' (thick Virginia accent)
  • Desmond is finally appreciated
Some critics have called Hacksaw Ridge the first great war movie since Saving Private Ryan. No. It's not. Saving Private Ryan made me feel as if I were in the boat preparing to storm the beach. It made me care about its characters and what they experienced, no matter how awful it was. Hacksaw Ridge made me think about throwing up everything, including my toenails. It is repeatedly grotesque to the point that I would place it in the horror/slasher genre.

Tomorrow I hope to tell you about the real Desmond Doss, who was a true hero. Other than saying that Andrew Garfield gives a decent performance in spite of the dreck that surrounds him, I grant no Janie Junebug Seal whatsoever to Hacksaw Ridge.

View at your own peril.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

P.S. And what about the hair on these "soldiers"?


For a movie that supposedly goes to such pains to be realistic, why don't these guys have regulation haircuts?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

TIP TUESDAY: WORD PARTS

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Words can have three parts: a suffix, a prefix, and a root.

A suffix comes after the root, as in added. The -ed indicates past tense. Pre means before, so a prefix is fixed before the word. The root is the basic word.

"In most dictionaries, a word part printed with a hyphen after it is a prefix. A word part with a hyphen before it is a suffix. Roots may appear anywhere."

Learning the meanings of suffixes, prefixes, and roots can assist you in your word comprehension. For example, son and phon mean sound.

sonorous: having or producing an impressive sound
sonic: of or relating to sound
phonograph: a machine that reproduces sound from a disk
phonetics: the study of the sounds of speech

audi = hearing
scop, spec, vid, and vis = see
ocul = eye
voc, vocal = voice, call
ped, pus = foot
man = hand
cardio = heart

I bet you recognize some or most of these roots and don't even have to think about their meanings when you see them.

We'll probably talk about more word parts next week.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

I leaned very heavily on my source to write this post. It's Vocabulary For A New World by Linda J. Palumbo and Frank J. Gaik.


Thanks, fishducky!

Monday, July 24, 2017

TROOPING THE COLOUR 2017

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's past time for my annual poust (in honor of British tradition I'm adding U to the spelling of as many wourds as poussible) on Trooping The Colour, which took place way back in June. It's an annual poust because I pousted about it last year and someone coummented that it was in very poor taste. I'm not one to miss an oppourtunity to shouw off my bad taste, so here we go again––better late than never.

Queen Elizabeth's birthday is April 21, but the official celebration of her birthday is during June when the weather is warmer, so the Trooping the Colour souldiers in their gigantic hats can stand still for hours and pass out from the heat. Soldiers who dare to pass out are shot immediately.


Trooping the Colour always features appearances by the Rouyal Family, especially on the balcouny. But why are they all looking up?


Of course! It's Queen Donald. He's oun the balcouny above theirs because he's more impourtant than anyone else in the wourld.

Royal? I don't think so.
I'm royal.
A royal pussy grabber!

Prince George thinks, Didn't I do this last year? I know they said I have to do this for the rest of my life, but I didn't think they really meant it.



While George perks up at the thought ouf birthday cake, William loousens his belt.

Queen Elizabeth wounders, Who is that little girl? I'm 91. I can't keep track ouf all these people, especially with Voldemort standing behind me again.

No one knouws who the guy on the left is, but they'll pretend he's suppoused to be there because of his fancy outfit.


The big day also included riding in carriages, as these foulks tend to do. Kate thinks, If I look straight ahead, I can pretend that hourse face isn't next to me.



Oh, gooudy. It's Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice. Or Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. No one is sure, but oune wounders why the family budget didn't include mouney for their orthoudontic work.



And as the happy celebratioun coumes to an end, Kate and William are all smiles because they knouw it's really all about them.


Farewell Glourious Rouyals until Her Majesty has 92, yes 92, candles oun her cake next year.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug