Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I am so grateful because I've received many loverly gifts of late.

First, I entered a giveaway at Nicki Elson's Not-So-Deep Thoughts. My beloved friend Vebarino, a.k.a. Nicki Elson, had paid a visit to M. Pax to celebrate the launch of Mary's Rifters Series. As part of the celebration, the loverly Mary gave away a loverly set of e-books.

Normally, I don't enter e-book giveaways because e-books are too hard on my photophobic eyes. But this time I entered and won. I felt certain those books could go to a good home.

I asked my oldest sister if she reads e-books. She replied with a no, that she listens to audio books on her long commute to and from work. However, she said she thought her son's wife had a Kindle. I got in touch with my niece by marriage, and she was indeed quite pleased to receive these books. It made me happy that I could do something for her because she has three young sons. I hope she enjoys a little distraction from her many mom duties.

Thank you, M. Pax and Nicki Elson.

Next, on John Gray's blog Going Gently, he showed off some beautiful kitchen towels he had received from our friend Joanne Noragon at Cup On The Bus. A woman of many talents, Joanne had woven these towels herself. I tucked a little thought into the back of my brain about emailing Joanne to ask the cost of the towels so I could purchase some.

Before the thought could get from the back of my brain to the front, I received an email from Joanne offering me two of the loverly towels, but if I accepted them I had to actually use them to dry dishes, wipe counters, and that sort of thing. I was pleased to agree, and a few days later, these two loverly towels arrived in the mail:

These towels are so soft I want to wear them.

Thank you, Joanne!

Some of you may recall that I featured Amanda Ax's etsy shop, LaylasTrinkets, on my blog a while back. You proved yourselves to be excellent shoppers, and you darn near cleaned out Amanda's stock of loverly jewelry and art.

I told Amanda that I had a charm bracelet of poor quality that had broken. Could I send her the charms and would she make a new bracelet worthy of them? She could, and did!

Isn't this bracelet loverly? My charms are a rose, a grand piano, a cat, a teddy bear, a treble clef sign, and a DOG! I can add more charms later if I want. The bracelet isn't exactly a gift because in exchange for Amanda's beautiful work, I will edit for her husband Brandon of Writer's Storm: Brandon Ax. However, it's a gift to know Brandon and Amanda.

Amanda welcomes custom orders, and of course I recommend her work quite highly.

Thank you, Amanda!

One more photo today. I put on nail polish Saturday evening. At first, I didn't like it. It was too bright. But then it grew on me, like a mold or a fungus. So I'm showing off my loverly nails:

WDW doesn't like the polish. Too bad, Wooters man, too bad. I think it's cheerful.

So here I am on this Tuesday with an attitude of gratitude.

Thank you! You are loverly!

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, September 29, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Rachel of When A Lion Sleeps, Let It Sleep has started a "Tough Topics" series on Mondays. I asked if she, as a long-time server,  would please write a post for us about what servers experience with their pay--and I lose the term "pay" loosely. I don't know how anyone can read this post and insist that servers don't deserve to earn a living wage.

I hope you'll visit Rachel at her blog to comment on this post and to follow her. Here's Rachel:

Hey everyone. It's Rachel, Janie's bloggy daughter, from When A Lion Sleeps, Let It Sleep.

I worked in a family-owned Italian restaurant for just over a year, about half of which was spent as a server. When I moved to Arizona, I worked in a big, corporate steakhouse with asshole managers for five months until I quit, because said asshole managers were in fact, assholes. (Also, I got a promotion at my other job, so I didn't need to keep the server job.) I'm sure that you've guessed what the subject of my guest post is.

Serving. More importantly, tipping.

Servers in America live on tips.

Most servers don't even get paychecks anymore, because the government assumes that each server makes at least 15% in tips every single shift, so the government collects taxes on that assumed 15%. The percentage is based on sales. If a server sells $100, then the government is going to assume that they made $15, so they will collect taxes on that $15 that the server may not have even made.

Let's use a 10% tax because from what I saw online, that's fairly average. That comes up to $1.50. So, regardless of what the tip was, you would already owe the government $1.50. That's not very much, when you think about it, but that's not all.

All of taxes collected come out of the server's paycheck. In nearly every city of nearly every state, servers make between $2.13 to $3.00 per hour. Taxes vary from state to state, so we'll just stick with my example, but keep in mind that when you add in state tax as well as the regular tax,  you can owe even more money. With all of the taxes being taken out and the paychecks being next to nothing to begin with, most servers don't even get a paycheck. None of the servers I know ever gets a paycheck for more than $15. Usually, it's closer to $5 or less.

Then, to top it all off, the server also owes other restaurant employees a percentage of the money. It's called "tip out." It's different in every restaurant, but in the Italian one I worked in, it was 2.5% of the total sales and the steakhouse was 1.75% of the total sales. The tip out is split between the hostesses, the food runners, the bussers, and the bartenders. There might be more people on that list depending on the restaurant also. Whether or not the server makes the amount, they still have to tip out. In some restaurants, I've been told that the tip out is up to 50% of the tips earned. Let's stick with the 2.5% of the total sales because that's the example I'm using, from my own personal experience.

So now you know how the money is divided up. Assuming that the server got the $15 tip on the $100 tab, we can take away the tax, leaving the server with $13.50. Then we have to take away the $2.50 that goes to the tip out. So that would leave the server with $11 that they would actually get to keep from it, since the taxes are taken from a paycheck that they probably won't ever see.

The customary tip in America is to leave at least 20% for good service. So minus the tax it would be $18.50 and then minus the tip out, the server would then walk with the $16 remaining. That's pretty decent to leave with.

But the problem is, a lot of people are assholes, so let me tell you the story where all this math becomes relevant.

It was a Friday night, so the restaurant was slammed. I wanted to turn tables, because the more tables you can have in your section, the more money that you can make. I was only given a four table section, but two of the tables were not ideal so it was very hard to get people to sit there. A table of two was in my section at table 93. It was an older man in a wheelchair and his grandson, who was a little older than me.

I introduced myself and told them about our specials. They were new to the restaurant so I offered them some suggestions. They each got their own appetizer and a glass of wine. It came out as quickly as possible on a busy Friday night. I ran everything out to them myself, because I knew how busy the food runners were. My other good table, booth number 102, was a party of four, whom I greeted and got drinks for. They had a lot of questions for me, but table 92 kept calling me over just to chat.

In order to get to the booth, I had to walk by the table, but I couldn't do so without them stopping me for something. They never needed anything, though, which meant that I was wasting time when I could be helping the booth of people who actually did need my services. 

Table 92 ordered two entrees and two more glasses of wine. There were special instructions involved, which meant that it took me twice as long to ring in, because I had to make sure that it all went onto the computer correctly. Even so, they had their meals within fifteen minutes. I was finally able to get over to table 102, to give them much-needed refills and get their full order. They were annoyed, understandably, but very nice about it.

Everyone got their food and was eating, all six people. I was very happy. It gave me time to help out the other servers who had a more ideal section, so were much busier with larger parties.

Table 92 called me over. The old man wanted the bill, which I handed to him right away, and asked me to wheel him to the bathroom. He must have weighed well over 100 pounds more than me, but I got him to the bathroom and he went inside alone, because I am not that nice. The bill stayed on the table for ten minutes before he came back. I was fine with it, because their bill had come up to $99.61. They had been there for about two hours at that point, but I was hoping for the 20% tip because that would roughly even out to making $10 per hour that they were there.

The old man came back, handed me a hundred dollar bill, and I went to the back to close out the check. I wasn't gone more than two minutes, but when I got back, they were gone. I was hoping that they left some extra cash on the table, since I saw quite a bit in his wallet when he opened it to give me the $100. I didn't find it. I called the bus boy over. We tore the table apart but we never found anything. My tip after two hours of constant service was 39 cents.

But no, I didn't even get to keep it, because I owed $2.50 in tip out alone, plus taxes. I literally paid about $4 to work. I didn't get paid. I paid money to do the job that I was supposed to be paid for. Can you name one other job that has to do that?

Not only did I have to pay to serve them, but I could have seated at least two other tables where they were sitting, if they had not sat there for so long. Then to top it all off, my service suffered at booth 102 because they were so needy-chatty. I lost more than just $4 because of all of that. On a Friday night, I walked with a minimum of $70 every week, but that night I walked with about $30.

Even if there is bad service, I will never leave less than 10% because I know they have to pay tip out and taxes on it. For good service, I will never leave less than 20% because I know that somebody else will walk without leaving anything at all and that my tip will at least help pay for tip out and taxes. Because why the fuck should you have to pay to go to work?

Thank you, Rachel, for explaining this injustice to us. Maybe some readers will leave larger tips as a result of Rachel's post. And if you can't afford the tip, then don't eat out.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, September 26, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's time for this month's Cephalopod Coffeehouse.

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.

To join us or to visit other participants, please click on The Armchair Squid, the blogger who is the host with the most. Here we go:

My book for this month is The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story Of The Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan.

I've heard of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, but I had no idea that it sprang from nowhere during World War II so that workers who were recruited--and eventually it was home to 75,000 residents--could do their part to help build the atomic bomb. The majority of these government employees did not know what they were doing. They were told not to talk about their work, not even with each other.

This book is filled with interesting facts, yet Kiernan's relaxed writing style makes it easy to read. I love all the anecdotes told by people who worked in Oak Ridge. I felt as if I could put myself in their places and feel what it was like to be there.

I want to let Kiernan tell you about her book herself:

The book has some sad stories, too, particularly regarding segregation. The workers of color had to live in their own area, usually in "hutments." I was appalled, but not terribly surprised, to learn that one black male employee who was injured in a car accident was injected with uranium. Someone wanted to study what would happen to him. The bones broken in the accident weren't set for days while he was injected and samples were taken from him. Many who worked on The Manhattan Project also suffered from feelings of guilt after the bombs were dropped.

I enjoy history, especially about World War II, and although this book is about "the girls of atomic city," information about plenty of men is included, too.

Oak Ridge still exists. The population has decreased, but remnants of the original city can be seen. A permanent exhibit about the town's part in the war is there. I don't know if it would be worth visiting. It doesn't really matter. I'm not going anywhere. But Kiernan intrigues me with this book and makes me want to learn more.

I purchased my copy of the book from Amazon at http://goo.gl/GsgLsR.

The Girls of Atomic City earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval, and as promised, it has historical ties to the movie I reviewed yesterday, Infinity (click on the title of the movie to read my review).

Happy reading! Thank you, Armchair Squid.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I am grateful to Netflix for telling me I would like this movie. I am so moved by it that I want to lie outside in a completely dark place to marvel at the stars. But then the mosquitoes would bite me and a palmetto bug would creep into my hair, so I am satisfied by the thought of Infinity (1996, PG, Available On DVD).

Infinity makes me a little sad because the story c'est tragique and because it came out in 1996, but I didn't know about it until a few weeks ago.

Not many physicists are well known. Fewer physicists publish books that are a popular success. Richard Feynman (Matthew Broderick) was such a physicist. Infinity tells the story of his education and work on The Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, New Mexico, but to a greater degree, it is the story of the great love between Feynman and his wife Arline (Patricia Arquette), who is diagnosed with tuberculosis.

Broderick and Arquette portray the beautifully romantic love between the couple to the nth degree. Critics often accuse Broderick of never playing anything but himself, or Ferris Bueller. If Broderick is himself in this movie, then he needs to change his name to Richard Feynman. This is his finest performance. Arquette is lovely, and such a good actress. I'm not very familiar with her work, but I love her now.

Furthermore, Infinity is Broderick's directorial debut, and his mother, Patricia Broderick, wrote the screenplay. What a collaboration between a mother and son.

Congratulations to the cinematographer, as well, who captured many beautiful shots, some by accident, according to Matthew Broderick and Patricia Broderick

It's well worth your time to listen to the Brodericks' commentary on the DVD. It includes many interesting anecdotes, and I always enjoy learning about the technical aspects of filming.

I'll share one of their stories: When they tested the movie before an audience, one of the oft-repeated comments was that Broderick didn't sound as if he's from New York. The audience thought Arquette's New York accent was spot on.

Of course, Broderick is from New York, and Arquette is from Los Angeles. Arquette worked with a coach to capture her accent.

Richard Feynman: Mathematics is a language. It's very difficult. It's subtle. You couldn't say those things any other way - and I can talk to dead people with it. I talk to Copernicus every day.

Infinity earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval. It also has a historical connection with the book I'll review tomorrow (Friday) for The Cephalopod Coffeehouse.

I doubt if young children would like this movie. It might be a good way to introduce teens to physics and The Manhattan Project.

Infinities of mathematical love,

Janie Junebug

P.S. Warning: This movie does not have subtitles and it skips around in time a bit. One must watch carefully to follow the plot. For that reason, Willy Dunne Wooters did not watch it with me. Without subtitles, he has no hope of understanding people with Bronx accents. 

I just noticed something about the DVD cover: Why is Matthew Broderick's name over Patricia Arquette's face, and Patricia Arquett's name is over Matthew Broderick's face?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

We need to do some serious praying. If you don't pray, then please send positive thoughts or healthy visualizations to these dear people.

I'm not listing them in order of importance. Everyone is equal.

First, Beth at Day by Day With Beth Marie needs us. Beth is so nice that I have no idea why she tolerates a weirdo like me. Beth had cancer. She got better. Now the cancer is back, and her family has had some losses.

Please pray with me for this lovely woman. It wouldn't hurt to visit her blog and leave words of encouragement, too. *HINT*

Second, my friend Carol has a daughter named Dee dee, who is my twin from another mother (we were born one day apart the same year). Dee dee had cancer. She was cancer free for three years. The cancer is back.

Please pray with me for my twin.

Third, my friend whose husband died (Jackie) is already back at work. Thanks to your suggestions and the generosity of the Wooters man, things are looking up for her financially. Emotionally I know it's going to be tough for a long time.

Please pray with me for Jackie.

Finally, this is so piddly that I kind of hate to ask, but I've needed a regular job for a long time. I love editing, but I don't get enough of it to help me feel secure financially. If I get a job, I will still edit for you if you want me. I'm applying for a job at a business with whom I have an association. If they don't hire me, I'll feel embarrassed every time I go in there, but I have to take a chance.

Please pray for me that I'll be brave and that the bravery will lead to a job.

Now here's the plan. Whatever you are doing today at noon, six p.m., and ten p.m. Eastern time (or as many of those times as possible), please drop what you're doing and pray with me for five minutes. I want us to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. You can pray other times, too, but I really want God to notice these prayer requests. Remember that noon EDT is eleven Central Time, ten Mountain Time, and nine Pacific time. Those of you who live in other countries will have to figure out the time for yourselves.

Don't even give me any crap about not believing in God because you have to believe in something. Ask that universal being or creator to help all these people, or send healing light and uplifting vibes.

Thank you for your help. I know I'm a little bossy, but sometimes I have to be authoritative. I believe in the power of prayer, although it doesn't mean I always get what I want. God is a lot smarter than I am.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

First, I must ask: Did I tell you that my neighborhood restaurant opened back up? If I told you, then I'm sorry for repeating the news. If I didn't tell you, then I'm sorry I left you out.

When last we stood at the door of the neighborhood restaurant, the door was closed, it was dark inside, and a little piece of me died. No sign announced hours or a reopening. I went to a place up the street that called itself a grill. The food was tasteless. The ambiance was yucky. Service: mediocre.

The grill had been open a few weeks. It went out of business about a week after I visited (no relation). The great news is that I drove past my neighborhood restaurant the next week, and they were open. I made a quick turn into a parking place and dashed inside for a nice little meal. They are now open from seven a.m. until three p.m., every day. No more evening hours.

I don't care as long as they are there.

Yesterday I was in my restaurant, eating my scrambled eggs, when I heard the voice of a young person behind me. She said, I got points taken off my essay because I used snuck as the past tense of sneak. The teacher said it was sneaked.

She had me at "essay."

I turned around and stared into her eyes so she would know how important I am. Yes? she asked, with a curtsy and a faretheewell.

I explained all my blah blah yada yada yada about language changes, and it's hard on grammarians, especially moi  because I'm the Queen. I told her that sneaked is the past tense of sneak, but snuck is becoming acceptable.

She said that her teacher had offered her partial credit if she could prove that snuck can be used as the past tense of sneak. She looked in a dictionary, showed it to her teacher, and received her credit. I felt pretty surprised that the teacher didn't know that snuck is accepted. It may not be what some of us like, but it's okay to use it. I won't hear it and shout, Off with their heads!

So that's how I served my subjects yesterday, and I am here for you at all times. Your Queen abides.

Cartoons courtesy of loyal subject The Queen of fishduckery:

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

The Dude: Yeah, well. The Dude abides.
The Stranger: The Dude abides. I don't know about you but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' he's out there. The Dude. Takin' 'er easy for all us sinners. Shoosh. I sure hope he makes the finals.

I've gotten behinders on reading your bloggs. Please for give Yer Queen. I shall catch up as kwickly as is humanly, or dogly, possible. I say dogly because sometimes Franklin comments on your blogs in my place. That dog loves the blogosphere.

Oh, that reminds me that Favorite Young Man and I went to get some fabric last night and we saw a woman walking a beautiful rough collie. We admired the collie, and I said, I love collies. Verily and thus I says unto youse guys.

Monday, September 22, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It has come to my attention that people are spreading rumors about my man, Willy Dunne Wooters. They say he had a baby with some woman.

It's not Wooters. It's that actor named Ryan Gosling:

See? This Facebook post is from before the baby was born. Here's Ryan with Eva whatever-her-name is:

The baby has been born. They had a girl. Goody for them. They don't know what they're in for.

I know Ryan Gosling and Willy Dunne Wooters look alike. The resemblance is amazing. But please keep in mind that it's this Ryan Gosling guy who had the baby, and not my WDW. This was Willy Dunne Wooters' reaction when I told him everyone thinks he is a new father:

See how shocked he is? Please stop gossiping about my man. He's so upset he had trouble rinsing the shampoo out of my hair:

Infinities of Wooters love,

Janie Junebug

P.S. Please stop by Rachel's blog to wish her a happy birthday! She's a sweet girl. Tell her I sent you so she doesn't worry about stranger danger. Her blog is When A Lion Sleeps, Let It Sleep.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I thank all of you who have made suggestions. I'll be looking into your advice.

I appreciate the fact that you care.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Dear Hearts and Gentle People,

A friend of mine became a widow Monday night. Her husband hadn't felt well for a while, but he refused to see a doctor. Monday night he felt worse. I don't know if she drove him to the hospital or called an ambulance, but he died in the hospital. She is bereft.

I feel rather zombie-ish. I'm going to take a little blog break. I want to help with fundraising. She is in a very difficult financial situation. Willy Dunne Wooters has already pledged $300. I love that man. He is so generous. I don't ever want to be without him.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Earlier this summer, Shecky Shady, a.k.a. Shady Del Knight of Shady Dell Music & Memories, presented me with The Sunflower Blogger Award.

I was happy to accept such an honor, but I put off writing this post because I'd just gotten into mosh pits. The kind for old people, where we bump each other with our wheelchairs. I got my finger pinched one day and haven't been back to the pit.

When Sir Shady received this award, he answered a list of questions sent to him by his accusers friends, and then he created a list of questions for the bloggers on whom he bestowed the award. I'm not going to pass on the award to anyone else, unless someone wants it. In the mood for an award? It's yours.

However, I shall answer Sir Shady's questions:

* Why do you blog?

It's my therapy.
Talking to a therapist never helped me.
I'm much happier now that I dump my problems on the entire world.

* Are you an early riser or a night owl?

Sometimes I seem to be an early riser, but it's because I never went to bed.
 I like the quiet of the night.
I accomplish so much.

* What is your favorite smell?

The late, great smooth collie Faulkner had a comfort scent that can't be replicated. 
He didn't smell like a dog.
Maybe he smelled like an angel.

* When you are feeling sad what's the one song
you could play or sing to make you feel happy again?

* When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

This young girl still lives inside me.

* How would you describe your personality?

Although I believe everything happens for a reason,

* Name something difficult you accomplished 
in your life through sheer determination.

X and I moved around a lot so he could get degrees and have a career.
It took me twenty years to get my BA in English,
but I did it.
Education means a lot to me.

* What do you consider to be the most important world
or national event that has taken place in your lifetime?

The births of my children.
Other people might not think they are world or national events, 
but to me, nothing can be more important.

* If you had to spend the rest of your life in a different
century, past or future, which century would you choose?

I'm sorry.
I can't choose.
I live in the moment.
I live with my past.
I can't leave.

* If you were asked to speak extemporaneously for
one hour about anything, what topic would you pick?

My children.

So, there you have it. I done did answered the questions, and I thank Shady Del Knight for the very nice award.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Willy Dunne Wooters is afraid that I don't have enough shoes, so we must embark on a shopping expedition today.

Photo courtesy of fishducky, who is a bit of a stalker.

I love the way Willy Dunne Wooters tells the salesperson what sort of shoe I'd like. WDW is such a take-charge man. Of course, I'm a take-charge woman. It makes for a feisty relationship.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, September 15, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Willy Dunne Wooters took a week of his vacation time from work not long ago. For the most part, we piddled around and watched movies and talked and smooched, and then we smooched some more.

One day, WDW said, How about if we drive up A1A to St. Augustine tomorrow? I want to take you to a restaurant I like.

How can I say no to this man?

I've visited St. Augustine before and found it to be a tourist trap. It turned out WDW wasn't taking me to the touristy part. He knows where cool St. Augustine is. He turned off the road before we reached the creepy looking and expensive Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum. I thought he was lost and needed to turn around or wanted to look at the view, because the building in front of us didn't look like much. It turned out to be our destination: Matanzas Innlet Restaurant, owned by Jerry and Joni Galasso, at 8805 A1A South, Summer Haven, Florida. Technically, I guess we weren't in St. Augustine.

When I realized we had gotten where we were going, I said, Let's look at the water.

It was a beautiful, sunny day:

This is the view from the side of the restaurant that faces the water. Out on that strip of sand in the distance, some people were playing with dogs.

As we enjoyed the breeze, a server who was outside said, Here comes a manatee!

Within a few seconds, a manatee popped up to greet us. He didn't hang around long enough for me to take his photo, so I have to steal a manatee photo from the internet.

Is he cool, or what?

I couldn't hug Mr. Manatee, so I hugged Willy Dunne Wooters for bringing me to such a nice place.

Matanzas has tables outside, close to the water. WDW is like a lizard who enjoys soaking up the sun, but I'm Ms. Hot Flashes so we ate inside. Matanzas is very pleasant and comfortable, and oh my goodness, the food! Delicious!

This is a shrimp dish that WDW ordered:

I started with calimari, and then had the best mahi-mahi sandwich ever. WDW refused to try the calimari. I don't know why so many people won't eat calimari.

We also enjoyed the Matanzas sense of humor:

The next sign is kind of hard to read. It says KIDS throwing rocks in water will be made to retrieve them:

Kids throwing rocks will be fed to resident bullsharks:

My guess is that the owners are disciplinarians when it comes to kids throwing things in the water. They even urge their guests to forget about telephone and social media for a while. The bottom of the menu says, sit back, relax, we do not have wiFi, TALK TO EACH OTHER. your food will be out soon. put your cell phone away. catch up on gossip whether it's true or not. no yelling. be nice to your server. elbows off the table. sip your sweet tea. if you enjoyed your meal go to TRIPADVISOR and share it with the world. If not remember what thumper's mother said: "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say nothin' at all!"


I had such a good time. If you come to visit me, and I like you, I just might drive you up A1A to Matanzas. 

Maybe Mr. Manatee will greet you.

Or you'll spend a little time with a lover man:

That's right: Steve Buscemi is yours. Willy Dunne Wooters is mine, all mine.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

I just realized that some of you might now know that calimari is squid:

When it's deep fried, which I suppose is very unhealthy but I only eat it about once a year, it looks like this:


More yummy:

Friday, September 12, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I'm pleased to share an excellent book with you today--a book I love because it's beautifully written and character driven.

I first learned of Small Island when it was made into a mini-series and shown on Masterpiece Theater. The acting was so good. Then I found out it was a book. I had to order it.

Small island has more than one meaning in this book. During, and shortly after World War II, some Jamaicans leave their small island for the Mother Country of England. Although they think it is their Mother Country, England is--in its own way--a small island with many small-minded people.

Queenie Bligh is a kind-hearted Englishwoman who does not see color. She lacks prejudice. She is warm and welcoming to the Jamaicans who rent rooms from her. Queenie's husband Bernard went away during the war, and although it is now 1948, he has not returned.

Queenie has a brief sexual relationship with Michael Roberts, who is from Jamaica. Living in Queenie's home are Gilbert and Hortense, who do not know about Queenie's involvement with Michael. They are from Jamaica also, and are newlyweds. They don't know each other very well. Hortense, who is well educated and well raised, is appalled by the prejudice she faces in England. She believed England to be a land of good manners and certain niceties, but she is more articulate and polite than most of the English people she meets.

In this excerpt, Hortense speaks of her life in Jamaica and her desire to teach in an upper-class Jamaican school:

My dream was and always had been that I should find employment teaching at the Church of England school in Kingston, for it was there that light-skinned girls in pristine uniforms gathered to drink from he fountain of an English curriculum. But my interview for a position saw the head master of that school frowning, concerned not with my acquired qualifications but only with the facts of my upbringing. I evoked my father's cousins and told him of Lowell Roberts, my father, a man of character, a man of intelligence, noble in a way that made him a legend. The headmaster unwittingly shook his head as he asked me of my mother, my grandmother. His conclusions--although no word on the matter passed between us--was that my breeding was not legitimate enough for him to consider me worthy of standing in their elegant classrooms before their high-class girls.

Although Hortense cannot get a teaching job at the Church of England school in Jamaica, she is shocked when she can't get a teaching job in England itself. We see also from this excerpt that Hortense has her own prejudices before she arrives in England to join the man she has married.

Gilbert, on the other hand, is relaxed, but rather foolish when it comes to dealing with his new wife. Gilbert has already learned to accept that the English are prejudiced against the Jamaicans. Hortense is appalled by the bigotry--a bigotry seemingly shared by everyone except Queenie.

When Bernard finally returns home, his deep streak of prejudice mixes with Queenie's lack of hatred to create the climax.

Small Island earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval. Congratulations to Andrea Levy, who won multiple awards for this novel that was released in 2004.

I don't know if Small Island is available on DVD, but if it is, then I recommend watching it.

Happy Reading!

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Gentle Readers .  . and Maxwell,

I have three movies for you this week. They can all be classified as comedies, but each is unique. I hope I have something for everyone.

The first is a bit goofy. It's Here Comes The Boom (2012, PG, Available On DVD).

Scott Voss (Kevin James) is a biology teacher at a high school. He's the kind of teacher who is late to school and puts a newspaper over his face so he can snooze and ignore the students. Scott Voss has one thing going for him: he doesn't like authority figures. He's furious when the school's principal announces that the school doesn't have enough money to continue the music program.

He investigates various ways to save the conductor's (Henry Winkler as Marty Streb) job, and finally hits on becoming a mixed-martial arts fighter. He was a champion wrestler in high school. Even though he's turned into a lazy slob, he figures it's not too late to learn.

And learn he does. It's totally implausible that this guy could hold his own in a fight, yet the movie has a sweetness and charm because it's about a sacrificial gift. You can probably watch this with your kids, but, as always, please watch it without the kids first. You might end up with a five year old who won't stop with the kick boxing moves.

Here Comes The Boom earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Approval.

Second, we have Extract (2009, R, Available On DVD and Netflix Streaming).

Joel (Jason Bateman) owns an extract plant. He and his workers produce those little bottles of vanilla and other flavors that we need in our kitchens. Joel hopes to sell the company, but that plan is endangered when one of his employees is injured, and a new employee named Cindy (Mila Kunis) turns out to be a con artist who wants to suck the company dry.

Plus, Joel has problems with his personal life. Does his wife Suzie (Kristen Wiig) have plans to cheat on him? Should he take advice from his friend Dean (Ben Affleck)?

Willy Dunne Wooters watched Extract with me. We love it. It's the kind of quirky indie film we think is hilarious. The acting is excellent. I always like Jason Bateman, and I've never seen Ben Affleck so funny.

Extract earns The Janie Junebug & Willy Dunne Wooters Seal of Highest Approval. Not for young kids since it's rated R.

Our third movie is the type of film you'll love or you'll hate. It's This Is The End (2013, Rated R, Available On DVD).

A large group of young celebrities play themselves attending a party at James Franco's house when the apocalypse arrives. We have Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, Michael Cera, Rihanna, Paul Rudd, Channing Tatum . . . the list goes on and on. Many celebs play small parts, some uncredited, such as Jason Segal.

This movie is wild and crazy and hysterically funny. I felt pretty certain I would like it because Favorite Young Man told me I would, but I wasn't sure if this was a Willy Dunne Wooters' kind of move. Well, it is. We laughed so hard at this film, but according to the Internet Movie Database, a lot of people think it's stupid. You have to decide for yourself.

This Is The End earns The Janie Junebug & Willy Dunne Wooters Seal of Highest Approval. I bet older teens will love it.

Jay Baruchel: I don't wanna die at James Franco's house.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I'm bewildered, but I feel confident that at least one kind soul among you will be able to explain away my confusion.

I usually grocery shop at Target (thank God they put an end to that open carry nonsense). I like Target because 1. if they don't carry it, then I probably don't need it, and because 2. prices are lower. A twenty pound bag of kibble costs $2 less at Target than it does at Publix.

Publix is crowded. The aisles are too small (Hey! just a little grammar note: please stop spelling "aisles" as "isles." The two most definitely have different meanings.) The Publix parking lot is more dangerous than I-295, going any direction. I've been the recipient of at least two hit-and-run bashes to the rear of my poor little car. Sometimes the carts at Publix are all in use because it's that busy.

I'm fond of Target's wide aisles. It's easy to peruse the products.

And I felt quite pleased recently when I noticed signs in the produce department saying "We support local growers":

Excellent, I thought. I want to support local growers. Isn't that what Alice Waters and the whole Chez Panisse thing is about? Not that I've ever eaten there, but the fresh, local food concept is cool.

I bought a bag of lemons because I like lemon in my water when it's hot, and it's definitely hot now.

At home, I took a lemon out of the bag so I could cut it in quarters. It had a sticker:

California Lemons

So, I guess I don't understand the local produce thing.

See that lavender state hanging off the bottom of the right side (some of you might call that the eastern part) of the U.S.? That's my state. I live in Florida.

See that green state, the very big one on the left side (or west coast) just below Oregon? That's California. My lemons came from California.

If you look at Florida and California, and then at California and Florida, does it make sense to you that produce from California that travels all the way to Florida is "local produce"?

If California is "local," then I should be able to get in my car and go out for lunch with The Hurricane. I wonder what time I should leave. Maybe noon if we want lunch at one?

But how do I handle the three-hour time difference? When it's noon in Florida, it's nine a.m. in California.

'Tis a conundrum.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug