Posted by missjunebug on August 30, 2009
Where There's Smoke... Photo by mjb2009
How hot was it today? Hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk? Maybe. missjunebug didn’t go outside long enough to find out. Where was her cool ocean breeze? The rustle in the frothy palm trees? The gentle sway of the bougainvillea? Not anywhere near where missjunebug was.
The air was still. The heat was palpable. The eastern horizon was filled with Pompeiian clouds of smoke and ash from the Station Fire (35,000 acres consumed so far).Â Her little bug heart goes out to all the SoCal families in the line of fire and the brave men and women on the fire lines.
She hopes the tropical weather activity moving up along the coast of Mexico and into Baja gets here quickly. What SoCal needs is some serious marine layer and a big break in the some-don’t-like-it-hot temperatures!
Double Trouble! Photo by mjb2009
Posted by missjunebug on August 26, 2009
missjunebug has finally overcome her cluelessness when it comes to clutter. She has a few problems that mostly revolve around shoes and books and cooking utensils and magazines and oh, did she mention clothing in a full range of sizes from slim to boing!!!
She always imagined that someday she would get around to cleaning out the flotsam, jetsam, and detritus of her living space. In this daydream she wakes up with the best of intentions. Today would be the day to (you name it!) clean up all her closets! clean out her junk drawers! sort out the books she no longer needed! go through her clothes closet and cull out the hopeless and heinous ghosts of wardrobes past! Yes! She would do it all!
Contemplating her plan over a second cup of coffee, she makes a list of all the de-clutter projects she can think of.Â She even goes to the trouble of putting little squares next to each item on the list so she canÂ âˆš them off when she’s done with them!
A last sip. A final entry. And she’s off to her little study to tackle the first project on her list: the books and magazines! She looks around at the outsized stacks of magazines (almost hip height from the floor up!) and the bookshelves bulging with books stacked vertically, horizontally, diagonally on the straining shelves. (See previous post Aug. 15 re. missjunebug’s BuyBiblio Disorder). She is transfixed by the enormity of the undertaking.
Snap out of it, missjunebug.
Still she doesn’t flutter a wing. She. cannot. move. It dawns on her that she must be suffering from a new disorder: ParaClutteralysis. She very slowly takes one step back, then another, then another until she is at the door which she closes on her way back to the kitchen for another cup of coffee.
She looks wistfully at her list, folds it up, and slips it in her jeans pocket. Maybe she’ll take a look at it later. The extra caffeine clears her head that came close to exploding when she saw the nature of the undertaking with all those books! all those magazines! She wasn’t a candidate for the new A&E Hoarders show…yet.
Still she needed a remedy for her ParaClutteralysis stat!!
missjunebug retreated to her little laptop and searched her Outlook Task lists for info related to getting organized. She discounted the recommendations to (1) hire someone (puhlease! who can afford it? (2) head to the Container Store (A problem deferred plus who needs more useles containers?) (3) rent a Pod container (Never admit defeat! The clutter cannot win!).Â Then she came across a bit of Flylady wisdom she had gleaned from the very cluttery www.flylady.net website that actually made sense.
Baby steps. Brilliant! missjunebug translated this to mean it’s not all or nothing. It’s something. Just do something. One shelf of books to sort. One small piles of magazines to go through. What a revelation!Â In an instant missjunebug went from Clueless to Clutterless! Well, not exactly. But she did manage to overcome her ParaClutteralysis long enough to get one shelf of books sorted: to keep, to toss, to donate! Snap!
Posted by missjunebug on August 25, 2009
missjunebug and her jbBro were emailing back and forth about an idea they’d both hit upon at the same time (great minds and all that). Here’s the idea: Preparing an aging parent for a move to a care home is just like preparing a son or daughter to attend college away from home.
Think about it. The aging parents’ children help do the research for the best facility they can find that is most suited to the parent’s mind and temperament. In the same way, the proud parents of the college bound support them in finding the college or university that’s the perfect match for their interests, aptitude, lifestyle, and future career hopes. And a match for the parents’ pocketbook. Which brings missjunebug to the next point. The sticker shock of college tuition is EXACTLY equivalent to the sticker shock of care home prices. Both can easily top 50 large a year. Excuse missjunebug while she gulps a very large gulp. How to pay? Get very, very creative and in missjunebug’s case thank her lucky stars that she has a Mr.JB in her life.
Next there’s the gathering of stuff to pack up and here the lines of care home and dorm life are not only parallel, they occupy the same directional line exactly. Sheets, pillowcases, bedspreads, lamps, coathangers, clothes, toiletries, shower caddy, flipflops, books, family pictures, radios or ipods, and other personal effects are must haves at both places. Now the fun part: sewing on or ironing on or hot glue-gunning all those personalized nametags on all that stuff.Â An easy fallback is the Rub-a-Dub laundry pen or a nice black permanent Sharpie.
The last part of the comparison falls away. The dorm life adventures and academic pursuits that await the college student are legion: get togethers, mixers, parties, classes, seminars, labs, lectures and those great fall football games. It’s only slightly bittersweet to drop off the college frosh at the door of his dorm and watch the bonding magic happen. The parents have their own wonderful memories of college life to confirm their son or daughter’s life will be very good here.
The social events that await the aging parent in the care home are more circumscribed. Graham crackers and lemonade on the secured patio are no comparison to ZA bucks Pizza at midnight in the basement of Keenan Hall and a quick game of pool after the study session wraps the day before the big football game. Still, there are lovely places to sit, interesting people to shuffle around and look at, and the occasional random act of inappropriately removing clothing. Hey, what a minute, that happens at college, too, doesn’t it?
Seriously though, each constitutes part of a communal life, a passage to a next life. For the college grad, a romance or two perhaps, a career path then an independent life awaits. For the aged the path is short indeed, but if the research has paid off and the care is good, these final days are filled with white-haired seniors of another kind singing sweet songs,Â drinking sweeter lemonade, sitting in comfortable chairs in aÂ semi-circle on a sun-dappled patio and smiling.
missjunebug hopes they are smiling.
Posted by missjunebug on August 24, 2009
Many Thanks From Mary O.! Photo by mjb2009
missjunebug and Mr.JB finally decided it was time to pay their own way.Â Instead of freeloading off all the other generous listeners to their local (and excellent) NPR radio station KCLU (88.3), this year they ponied up the money for their own donation!Â Why the change of heart?
Two words: Mary Olson. She cajoled, poked, prodded, enticed, and finally, guilted them into it during the week long spring fundraiser. As the human dynamo station manager, her twice yearly fundraising efforts on behalf of KCLU are prodigious indeed. The true payoff is the terrific programming the station provides thanks in part to the generous donations of its listeners. missjunebug’s personal favorite? Marketplace!!
So what does all this have to do with “Sultry Jazz…”? Just this: missjunebug’s and Mr.JB’s donation was a nice little quid pro quo. In return they received tickets to see Diana Krall at the Santa Barbara Bowl for her August 23 performance. The best part of all was that day marked 29 years of (mostly) blissful marriage for missjunebug and her Mr.JB. On the way down to the concert, missjunebug said to Mr.JB she couldn’t believe two things: A. That’s it had been 29 years, and B. That they’d made it that long!
missjunebug is pretty funny when she wants to be. Mr.JB laughed a good laugh.
The reception KCLU hosted in the Glen for its patrons was a pleasant prologue to a lovely evening. missjunebug spotted Mary Olson instantly. She was welcoming each and every person as they entered the reception area. Of course, the sound of her voice confirmed it, but missjunebug knew that was just the kind of thing Mary would do. missjunebug and Mr.JB enjoyed chatting with the irrepressible Mary, factotum Jim Rondeau, tireless reporter-in-the-field Jim Palminteri and the other faithful KCLU adherents. All this and a concert, too!
The lovely Ms. Krall glamored the crowd with her rich, textured vocals and accomplished jazz piano. The stars twinkled above and missjunebug could still see a twinkle in Mr.JB’s eyes!
The Glen at the Bowl Under the Sheltering Oaks! Photo by mjb2009
Waiting patiently for an evening under the stars with Ms. Krall! Photo by mjb2009
Posted by missjunebug on August 20, 2009
Yikes! Crunchtime! Photo by mbj2009
missjunebug thinks about this line from time to time. She heard it in the nifty movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. She thought about it a lot yesterday after she was collateral damage in a really nasty wreck at the corner of Olson Rd. and Moorpark Rd. (locals will know exactly what intersection she’s talking about). Sad to say, her little five-door IS wagon got smushed up. What was missjunebug doing? Sitting at her left turn lane red light minding her little bug business waiting patiently for the light to change.
But as many of you know, no good deed goes unpunished. While missjunebug was blithely listening to NPR , two outsized SUVs tangled it up pretty good in the middle of the intersection, but suddenly they weren’t in the intersection so much anymore; one of them was ramming into the front end passenger side of her car! Bummer times 10. All missjunebug could think of to say were a few choice words she can’t repeat here. She said them a bunch of times! Fortunately, her windows were closed!
Even more fortunately, everybody walked away. Two of three cars got towed away. And missjunebug was soon on her way home after all the police reports were filled out. She thinks the firemen and policemen on the scene did their jobs with grace and compassion and she’s pretty sure that little teenage girl trying to make an unprotected left turn should revist her DMV booklet, especially the chapter on making unprotected left turns. Heads up! You don’t have the right of way!Â You yield to oncoming traffic!!
Super nice Fireman! Photo by mjb2009
Just the facts, ma'am. Photo by mjb2009
Posted by missjunebug on August 16, 2009
Carpe Diem! Visit the Pompeii Exhibit at LACMA! Photo by mjb2009
missjunebug et al. (Mr. JB, TinyJB, & TinyJB’s college buddy) headed out to the fab LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) today. After a delicious brunch at Comme Ã‡a in West Hollywood, they were ready to partake of the splendid exhibit entitled Pompeii and the Roman Villa Art and Culture Around the Bay of Naples. The Bay of Naples was to Pompeiians and Romans as Rodeo Drive is to Hollywood Celebrities: Can’t live without! Richie rich Romans enjoyed the leisurely life of the well-accoutered villa replete with art inspired by classical Greece, sumptuous gardens, elegant interiors, and perfect views of the harbor and the waters beyond. Many aspects of the Roman good life were well represented in the sculptures, statuary, friezes, urns, and implements of the 1st century featured in the exhibit.
missjunebug’s favorites? The exquisite marble statue of Aphrodite/Venus (no arms, but lovely nonetheless), the intricate philosophers mosaic (easily a kagillion tiny pieces comprise this work of art!), the wrestling Hermaphrodite (a fun trick played on the viewer here!), the superb Roman glassware (some on loan from the Getty Villa), and the gorgeous red fresco entitled The Moregine Triclinium: Apollo and the Muses (not discovered until 1959!).
Afterwards, mjb et al. motored down Hollywood Blvd. past Vine and took a look at the culture of the current time.Â A heavy-breathing Darth Vader. A threatening Storm Trooper. An angelic Michael Jackson in white from head to toe adorned with feathery sequined wings. Many flip-flop clad onlookers milling about. Hmmm.Â What a difference a couple of thousand years make.
Posted by missjunebug on August 15, 2009
Evidence of missjunebug's BBD Photo by mjb2009
missjunebug has done some self-analysis lately and realizes she might be suffering from a serious mental malady: BuyBiblio Disorder.
She just can’t stop buying books. She’d like to put the blame squarely where it belongs: Amazon.com Yes, that’s right. Amazon.com is at the root of her illness. Jeff B. and his crowd over at Amazon.com have made it ridiculously easy for her to seek out new titles, search inside the books, read the customer reviews, and then purchase all the books that pique her interest or even download them to her iPhone using her Kindle app for perfect portability. With her credit card on file, it’s a quick, one-click and she’s got her UPS guy coming and going for days at a time week after week or her iPhone buzzing with new content to read to her heart’s content.
She’s currently working her way through cookbooks as fast as she can whip up a batch of homemade cookies, and believe missjunebug when she says she can whip up a batch of homemade cookies (and eat them!) P.D.F. (not Portable Document Format Ã la Adobe, but Pretty Damn Fast!). Thanks to the divine inspiration of Julie and Julia (check out missjunebug’s post August 7, 2009), she just received her copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. What a revelation and she’s just read the forward! Of course, she also had to have a copy of the latest Mark Bittman book Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express, expressly designed to get missjunebug improvising in the kitchen with simple paragraph style recipes that guarantee tasty results! Before that it was Michel Roux‘s fab little treatise on eggs called, appropriately enough, Eggs.
She could go on and on but you, dear reader, are no doubt getting the idea. missjunebug can fall back on her ready excuse: just trying to keep the economy afloat by keeping money in circulation! Yes, that’s it. She doing her part to help Obamanomics succeed! Boosting retail sales! Creating jobs! Bringing smiles to the faces of publishers everywhere!
Maybe missjunebug doesn’t mind having BBD after all. (Cue: LOL!)
Side effect of mjb's BBD: Scrambled Eggs "magda" on Fried Bread from Michel Roux's cookbook "Eggs" Photo by mjb2009
Posted by missjunebug on August 14, 2009
Love those ears!! Cozy up, little kidlet! Photo by mjb2009
missjunebug is still recovering from all the funnel cake she ate at the fair, but she roused herself from her sugar stupor long enough to post her favorite fair photo. Livestock Rocks!
Posted by missjunebug on August 11, 2009
A Parade Wouldn't Be Complete Without These! Photo by mjb2009
On the way to Pete’s Breakfast House last Saturday (Check out mjb review in the Post for March 29 2009: A New Mantra: Let’s Do Breakfast) mjb and Mr.JB found all the roads blocked off to Main Street in Ventura. Access to Pete’s: DENIED!
They got a little curious about what was going on but then they spotted some men with matching brown suede vests on horseback, some colorful clowns (Yikes! mjb has a deep-seated fear of clowns, even colorful ones), and a crazy number of tractors nowhere near a farm.
It could only mean one thing! The Ventura County Fair Parade was about to begin. mjb and Mr.JB went with the serendipity of it all and staked out their curb-side territory right after they polished off the world’s best breakfast at Pete’s Breakfast House. mjb had her usual: waffle + side o’ bacon; Mr.JB went exotic: Chili Verde Omelette with Jack Cheese and Sour Cream. mjb swoons just thinking about the one bite Mr.JB allowed her.
The parade was almost as fun as eating breakfast. Marching bands! Clowns! Tractors! Horses! Line-Dancers! Military Men and Women! And some really, really friendly politicians waving to their curbside constituents! Cool.
By the end of the parade mjb was ready to head to the fairgrounds, but alas, Mr.JB reminded her of all the Saturday morning chores that awaited them. No problema! mjb will be heading to the fair with a dear friend and her dear daughter for some serious mid-week fun!
missjunebug promises to report back with all the delicious details (read: funnel cake!!!) and to expound on the down home crafts, farm animals, horticultural exhibits, and kitchen-y enterprises the fair is famous for!
Silly Shriners in Tiny Vehicles! Photo by mjb2009
Marching Bands! Photo by mjb2009
Mr.JB's Delicious Pre-Parade Breakfast! Photo by mjb2009
Posted by missjunebug on August 10, 2009
Sometimes when missjunebug is out and about she takes pictures of signs she finds interesting or appealing or appalling. Here are two that caught the eye of her iPhone.
A Fine Sign in an O-So-Lovely Setting! Photo by mjb2009
mjb wants to know Who brought up the people responsible for this hot mess??? Photo by mjb2009