Wow! 2015! missjunebug is surprised to still be here! She is officially a five-year survivor of Ovarian Cancer AND a five-year writer of her little blog. Fortunately, most of the posts here have assiduously and intentionally avoided the subject of OC which is best handled elsewhere on the internet and have instead focused on a merry miscellany of raves, rants, reviews, recipes, and any other serendipitously selected subjects that crossed her mind and buoyed her spirits. She’s looking forward to more posting fun in 2015 that her readers (all 8 of them!) will enjoy and she’s hoping to be around to ring in 2016!
In the meantime, missjunebug has set for herself a few minimalist resolutions that she’s ready to get, well, resolute about!
missjunebug’s Minimalist Resolutions for 2015: missjunebug resolves
1. to write one sentence a day in her awesome Mr. Boddington’s Studio five-year journal. She’s sure her Master’s Degree in English will help her construct loaded compound-complex sentences that are information rich but space saving! This nifty little memory keeper has a delightful, colorful cover and fun graphics on each page. Inspiring! Simple! Doable!
2. to strap that Fitbit back on to track how few or how many steps she’s taking each day. No goals. No required 10,000 steps–although she does love seeing that little digital sign light up!!! She’s just going to let the Fitbit keep track and see what happens.
3. to scale back getting on her Aria (Fitbit connected scale) to once a week. No more daily obsessing.
4. to get small where food prep is concerned by exploring the fab recipes in her new The Complete Cooking for Two cookbook by those nerdist foodies at America’s Test Kitchen. She’s tired of eating Ree Drummond‘s Cowboy Spaghetti casserole for two weeks running–it’s just too much for two! and she’s disenchanted (and slightly revolted) by all the mysterious containers of leftovers lurking in the frig.
5. to be a gym drop out. Bucking the new year January trend, she just canceled her membership because, Surprise! she never went anyway, so what’s the point of pretending that she’s ever going! More power to those of you who can actually get in your cars and drive to your gym, saddle up machines and lift dumbbells (nuf said).
6. to put into action The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, a truly life-changing look at the stuff of life. missjunebug promises not to roll her socks into an ugly ball, but to fold them gently, pat them, and thank them for all their hard work!
7. to keep a Moleskine Book Journal (Thanks ElderJB and his lovely bride CBjb (Ciao Bella!)) so she can remember what the heck she read all year! Simple one-page entries will help her hit the highlights and assure herself she’s making progress, exercising brain cells, and learning to be a more empathetic human being. Yes! That’s what good literature does. NPR says so!
8. to put that “more epathetic human being” to good use in the world by being kind first and saving pissed off for later or maybe never.
mjbTip: Make some of your own minimal resolutions for maximal success! Happy 2015!
missjunebug loves the way the new app Yo keeps it simple. She’s particularly fond of it because her ElderJB has used this abbreviated greeting for years, unless, of course, he’s super enthusiastic and then he says: Yo Yo.
Yes, that’s right: there is an app for that. An app that sends a greeting/affirmation/confirmation/dispensation/rectification/notification in two simple letters: Yo. Tired of texting and getting misunderstood because of aggressive autocorrection? Try Yo. Need to let someone know they need to contact you or assist you? Try Yo. Want to keep in touch with a significant other and just let them know you are thinking of them with a two-letter shout out? You gotta go for Yo.
No, missjunebug is not making this app up! Its creation was commissioned by Moshe Hogeg who grew weary of texting laboriously to his assistant, for…well…assistance. Mr. Hogeg is the CEO of Mobli, a photo and video sharing service who contacted Or Arbel, a former techie employee at Mobli to figure out how to solve Hogeg’s problem. Arbel came up with Yo, the app that allows users to say Yo to their contacts and like ElderJB, if they are really enthusiastic they can double tap the contact and send out a Yo Yo.
Can missjunebug hear a What What?
Before you scoff her off, be warned that Yo (It’s That Simple) has been financed to the tune of a cool million bucks and an equal amount of priceless buzz. Some of that buzz comes from Mr. Hogeg who sees a whole new way to do lightweight, unobtrusive communications with those people we are in close contact with that are, yes, in our contacts!
missjunebug wonders how soon Mark Z. will scoop up this laconic app with the two-letter one-word lexicon. P.D.Q. she suspects.
missjunebug also wonders about all the ways Yo can communicate some useful messages when Mr. Hogeg’s team finesses this app. Yo: Notify a missjunebug reader that there’s a new post to read? Maybe. Yo: Let a soccer fan track World Cup goals scored? Why not?
missjunebug has been doing some interesting reading lately. She came across a quotation in Roger Rosenblatt‘s book of personal meditation entitled Kayak Morning reflections on love, grief, and smallboats that is not only worth sharing, it is worth living by. Read it and believe. Then act on it!
Be kind, for everyone you meet is carrying a great burden.
I can no other answer make but thanks,
And thanks, and ever thanks.
William Shakespeare Twelfth Night
When missjunebug is at a loss for words, she has no qualms about borrowing some from her literary elders. Of course, Wills is ever her man for supplying words sweet and sincere to convey deep gratitude for all the care and concern conveyed to her in myriad ways these last two weeks.
Phone messages, flowers, cards, emails, texts galore, and more. Facebook messages and phone calls too, offers to visit, have lunch out or bring food in! missjunebug is on overwhelm especially because she is well into Ovarian Cancer vs. missjunebug Round Three at this point! She knows you especially understood and respected her need to get through the rough and tumble post-surgery days without visitors. Her limits learned through previous hospital stays required summoning whatever energy she had for the early and hardest stages of healing (read: most painful). She’s learned her resources are finite and the conviviality of the most well-intended visitor can take as well as give. Ever thanks for letting her rest quietly and for keeping in touch with kind messages and lots of XOXOs.
missjunebug wants to award one “thanks” each from Shakespeare’s lines to trusty Mr.JB, ElderJB, and TinyJB who provide for missjunebug love unconditional and replete with happiness.
missjunebug’s plan now is to heal, to move forward, to live each day fully and mindfully, and to express sincerely her gratitude for friends and family she will ever hold in her heart.
Then she plans to treat herself to a new wig! No matter what is going on, missjunebug manages to get some shopping in!
missjunebug has decided to write her missive about Valentine’s Day on Valentine’s Day Eve. Pourquoi? (the requisite bon mot of French for V-Day) you may ask?
Because tomorrow missjunebug will be way, way, way too busy scarfing down See’s Candies Strawberry Creams and swilling Frexinet Champagne in that sexy-chic and sleek black bottle and swirling her new Jennifer Miller Jewelry faux (another Français bon mot!!!) diamond-size seven-yellow gold bracelet around her wrist that she ordered for Mr.JB to give her (natch!), to be bothered with anything wordpressy and tedious.
missjunebug has mixed feelings about V-Day what with all the commercial hoop-la, Lifetime cry-fest movies, and rom-coms littering the airwaves, streaming bands of Netflix, and guilty pleasure-rented iPad movies. (missjunebugTip: Skip Blue Valentine with Gosling and Williams: triple downer on steroids, but an excellent film–save it for a dark and stormy winter’s night. But if you do choose to watch it –even though the title alone should scare you off–have Jane Eyre (2011) or Pride & Prejudice (any version will do) or Downton Abbey Season One waiting in the wings for an emotional uplift because you are going to need it after BV).
missjunebug’s bottom Valentine line is it’s all about LOVE.
So how do we fall back into LOVE if our Sweetie Pies (MrJB for mjb) have been with us for 30+ years??? missjunebug has done thousands and thousands of loads of laundry, washing the Jockey t-shirts and underwear (eww: skid marks!) of her SP about a kagillion times, fixed countless sometimes-inspired meals, (sometimes not), made the bed every morning (or at least her half of the bed, because mjb must admit, her SP makes his half–thanks Mr.JB), planned social outings because somehow that task falls to her most of the time, and even set the queue for their streaming evening entertainment (no more WWII movies puhleeze, Mr.JB; missjunebug is currently partial to French subtitled rom-coms, a cut above the American ones–except for any American-made rom-com with her guilty crush AplusK. (sigh). Sorry Demi, you did the one thing that can’t be allowed a woman in Hollywood married to a (much) younger man: you got old. missjunebug so does not envy you this V-Day.
But missjunebug digresses. How to get the LOVE back into a mature marriage? That is the V-Day question. And here are missjunebug’s super practical, maybe no-fail mjbTips to help you just do it. After all, LOVE is a verb, an action, (mjb’s Master’s in English pays off big time) and that will make all the difference.
1. Say a prayer every night thanking God for your man. missjunebug has a dear friend who recently lost hers and believe mjb when she says that is NO picnic. Her dear friend is shouldering on, but the thing is, she no longer has a solid, manly man shoulder to lean on. Think about that the next time you start mentally nagging your SP. At least he is THERE to listen to your nagging if you have the temerity to vocalize it. mjb advice: Stifle the nagging. It is a guaranteed marriage and romance buzzkill. Don’t ever, ever go there. A) It doesn’t work. B) It’s rude as well as unkind and (mostly) unwarranted. and C) It doesn’t work. You’re a smart cookie. Figure out a way to politely cajole or do the damn thing yourself that has to get done…remember LOVE is also a verb, not just a noun. Okay, so say that prayer of gratitude to soften you naggy attitude. You won’t regret it, and God and your help-meet with appreciate it. Guaranteed.
2. Be happy to plan the social outings. You know all your girlfriends are having to do the same thing, too, so have some fun with it and double date or triple date. mjb has two dear friends + hubs that she and her Mr.JB celebrate New Year’s Eve with every year. No better place to be than in one of their homes, drinking champagne (or martinis–triple olives, please), and popping Poppers when the clock strikes twelve and poor old Dick Clark gets rolled out again on his taxidermy stand to wish us all a Happy New Year‘s. Fun times x 6!!! So bust out that calendar, email, text, tweet, or call your married friends or solid single friends–don’t invite problems with unattached women you can’t trust–because our silver fox men are looking better and wealthier every year! True dat. And make some fun plans to do something, anything that shakes up the routine a bit. A movie, a dinner and a movie, a museum date, a local play, a music experience, a quick stroll around the outlet malls (okay, maybe not so quick), a walk along the beach or in your own neighborhood! Many, many fun things to do if you’re willing to make the initial move. Just do it!
3. Praise your husband to your children. You loved ’em and nurtured ’em unconditionally, but your SP taught them how to be wonderful men and women. ElderJB and TinyJB don’t spend much time referencing what they learned from their mom missjunebug, but you can bet Mr.JB gets mentioned repeatedly in sentences that begin: I remember Dad said… I remember Dad did this.. I remember everything I every learned from Dad and just now I’m beginning to appreciate his profound wisdom as a man, husband, father, friend, breadwinner, spiritual leader, and all round great and ethical human being. So say ElderJB and TinyJB. So says missjunebug. So say we all.
4. Keep buying you SP’s wardrobe and sending those shirts to the cleaners-you know you’ll never get around to ironing all of them so don’t kid yourself! Keep your man well-clothed and encourage the occasional haircut, eyebrow trim, and nose and ear ream-out. Speaking of ream-outs. Get him in for his colonoscopy asap if he hasn’t had one yet! This kind of maintenance is absolutely essential for a full and fun second half of life. And throw in a physical with a good internist while you are at it. Encourage good grooming and exercise to maintain your SP in tip-top shape. Who benefits? He does, of course. But so do you!
5. Feed you man according to the Michael Pollan/Mark Bittman plan. Food does matter so “eat food, mostly plants, not too much.” And throw in a little red wine for good measure. One of mjb and Mr.JB’s faves? Monogamy Cabernet Sauvignon featured on a previous mjb blog post! But choose his fave and you can’t go wrong. Cheers!
Are there other tips? Keep things interesting in the bedroom. A little lovely lacey and racey lingerie never hurt (missjunebug must try this herself sometime!). Surprise him every once in a while with an interesting story, an amusing anecdote, or just a line or two from the newspaper you can quote to him. Have both of you listen to NPR together in the morning as you prepare for your day…lots of good stories to talk and debate about that are always in the news. Listen to Marketplace.org for some fun and scary facts about our economy! Our local NPR station KCLU 88.3 has the best local coverage, too, for Ventura County so you get triple benefit with news, weather, and traffic reports. This year Mr.JB and mjb donated some funds and received excellent seats to see Yo Yo Ma, master cellist, up in Santa Barbara in April. What a great cause to support and what a great gift in return! Thanks KCLU and program director Mary Olsen. Sweet x 88.3.
Other mjbTips? Just love him up before he leaves the house with a big hug and love him up with a big hug when he comes home. It’s rough out there, and our SPs are not getting any younger, better maybe, but not younger. Somehow what they’re up against, is younger, faster, hipper, and much more technologically expert, so fortify them with hugs infused with LOVE and encouragement.
Are you back in love with your SP yet? No? Okay, then think of all the reasons you married him in the first place, and yeah, you picked him!! That’s a really good thing to remember!
Is he sweet? funny? kind? adventurous? smart? capable? loving? spiritual? giving? cute? handsome? (lucky you! But missjunebug will take intelligence over looks any day of the week and twice on Sundays! just mjb’s pref.) or all of the above? (even luckier you!). In other words, remember why you fell in love with him and want to be in love with him again. It’s all still there, you just have to take the time to discover it again.
And remember what Rhianna wisely sings, “I found love in a hopeless place…I found love in a hope-less place.”
You can too! Now go give your man a big Valentine’s Eve hug and an even bigger one tomorrow!
What was the first thing missjunebug did on her BIG 6-0 B-Day? Checked her Facebook page, natch. As much as she complains about the invasive nature of media, technology, i-this, and i-that devices (of which she owns all the them–thanks to Secular Prophet S.J. (may you R.I.P.), she couldn’t wait to see who offered up to her Birthday Greetings from around the country. She loved reading every last one of them! From elementary school friends she hasn’t seen in decades to church friends to close friends, to dear family flung far and wide, it was a thoroughly delightful way to start her 6-0 B-day. Whatever did she do before Facebook? Thanks, Zuck Dawg for this amazing, invasive, confounding, delightful tool of communication without which missjunebug’s life would be socially impoverished fo sho. And thanks to all my fbfriends for fond birthday greetings. And, hey, missjunebug even got some email greetings, text-mail, phone calls, and cards IN THE MAIL!!! with sweet wishes, too. Special thanks to those who took the time to write in cursive (dying art!) their greetings. Life is good. Life is good, indeed.
As for sixty? It sucks.
As one of her dear fb/church friends said: “This year 6 wins, 0 losses.” missjunebug loves this idea so much so that she’s figured out what those future wins should be:
missjunebugWin#1: Continued Good Health with the C-word a distant memory.
missjunebugWin#2: Living in the Now, just like Eckhart said. No past. No future. Now. Now. Now.
missjunebugWin#3: Loving neighbor/other as self, just like J.C. said. He is missjunebug’s homeboy.
missjunebug’s Win#4: Cherish family and friends forever, just like Facebook says: Stay connected, but missjunebug suggests,”Do it in person!”
missjunebug’s Win#5: Cash in those airline miles and resort points and travel often and open-minded. missjunebug’s dear Mr.JB and she head for Central Asia and Australia in 2012. STANS, here they come for the Transit of Venus! And Aussies, fire up the barbie and the Total Solar Eclipse! Fun times to come in the big 6-0!
missjunebug’s Win #6: Continue to write her little bug heart out on missjunebug.com for fun, for learning, for legacy! She hopes you’ll continue to check in with her from time to time!
missjunebug is sure this is not news to most of Â you: There’s a high probability adult children will boomerang back home sometime during their twenties or thirties. Blame it on these uncertain economic times and the current job market. Blame it on the willingness of Boomer parents to continue to provide extended refuge from the real world for their children. Blame it on what ElderJB calls a generation “Slow to grow up.”
Or maybe there’s another way to look at it: Celebrate the second chance to bond with adult children who bring with them their indefatigable exuberance and outrageous opinions and recently lived life experience! That’s the way missjunebug plans to look at it!
Having just had both ElderJB and TinyJB home for a good chunk of time during the holidays, she has fresh appreciation for all they bring to her sometime circumscribed world. These bugboys are smart! insightful! cynical! hilarious! loving! and always surprising! Chances are pretty good ElderJB won’t be calling the Hacienda home again anytime soon since his semi-permanent digs are in Rwanda(!), but TinyJB may be joining the junebugs as he plans for his next steps. missjunebug admonished him to do all he could not to end up back home and he assured her he only ever wanted to be a guest here, not a resident, but missjunebug wants TinyJB to take comfort in the little mat outside the kitchen door that says “Welcome!”
missjunebug remembers her own fleeing from home and never looking back, but she lived in chaotic-question-authority-never-trust-anyone-over-thirty times! She’s pretty sure that things are different today and parents and adult children share iTunes playlists, facebook pages, twitter tweets, emails, Skype time, and Kindle recommendations! Maybe it’s technology that’s provided an even playing field and means of connection that missjunebug’s parents’ generation could not even begin to dream of. Or maybe economic realities necessitate pulling out Plan B: Move back in with the peeps!
The best of all possible worlds will provide a seamless transition from university graduation to interesting and challenging work for the Boomers’ adult children. But in case Real Life 101 requires some recalibration, know that despite what Mr. Wolfe said, you can go home again.
missjunebug wonders if she and her fellow bugs are getting closer through technology or farther apart. She had the good fortune (and excellent planning, thanks, r.h.) of seeing that terrific (and slightly terrifying) gem of a film The Social Network on opening day. She was antennae deep in good buzz about the film and made the effort to catch it early instead of 3 months down the road on Netflix. She’s glad she did. Superb acting, directing, writing based on that little gem of a book The Accidental Billionaires which is worth the quick read. Enjoyment x 10. 4 out of 4 stars. Oscar worthy.
That said, missjunebug worries a bunch about too much online time for all of us, digitizing our lives instead of participating in them, texting instead of talking, facebooking ourselves into feeling lonelier and less connected (or making others feel that way), and speaking of Facebook, she worries about the “socially autistic” genius of Mark Zuckerberg. To say he is one with the glowing screen of his laptop as depicted in the film by actor Jesse Eisenberg is a substantial understatement. To say he exhibits a misguided (thanks partly to Justin Timerlake’s Sean Parker) disloyalty to his one true friend is at the center of his anti-heroic non choices. He sets himself to act in a technologically distanced default mode and leaves the rest to the lawyers.
Zuckerberg as played by Eisenberg (ZuckerEisenberg?) shares much in common with the tragic Shakespearean hero: the hubris (of genius in Mark’s case) and the ambition (for something to substitute for the Harvard Final Club he never gets into, but as he points out near the end of the film could buy and turn into whatever he wanted). The fatal error? That part is pretty easy to figure out: the cold and distanced betrayal of his one and only true friend Eduardo Saverin.
To his credit, for ZuckerEisenberg it’s never about the money. As Mr.JB has pointed out to missjunebug numerous times, money is a very short term motivator. True dat. But what may motivate ZuckerEisenberg is much, much darker than that. Or maybe he just wanted to get laid.
Last week missjunebug was checking in on facebook.com, reading a few comments here and there, enjoying smart remarks, inanities, and, some pretty cogent observations (well, maybe one cogent observation) when she saw an old friend was online who has only lately been (sort of) converted to the social network nonpareil. Actually, her very savvy Â (and gorgeous) daughter set her up a facebook page that is, shall missjunebug say, a work in progress. But she digresses.
The bit of banter exchanged clumsily by facebook-style emails (so annoying)–missjunebug’s dear friend is not up to speed on the instant chat portion of facebook yet–produced the following cogent observation: “Hey, I’ve got an idea, why don’t you call me or I’ll call you!”
Brilliant! missjunebug and her friend had not talked on the phone for years, who knows how many had gone by. Too many, missjunebug is sure. But with that one magical phone connection she and her friend tripped the friendship fantastic and talked and talked and talked and talked. Husband reviews, unabashed praise of children who turned out all right despite what they did or didn’t do as parents (whew! missjunebug hears the whrrrrr of the dodged bullet streaking by!), career highpoints (missjunebug’s brainy friend is singlehandedly running a school district after strategically working her way from the classroom to the boardroom. Can you say USC phD?? Hell, yes, missjunebug’s friend can! They talked houses (exquisite burdens), health (compromised but fixable), travel (foursome va-cays? maybe, if there’s an eclipse in the mix), girlfriend roadtrips (where Â and when does missjunebug sign up??) and a few hundred other topics of extreme interest to both of them.
Had much time passed since their last heart to heart? Absolutely. Did it make a difference? Only in the sense that both of them realized what a great thing they had going for them as friends and they should have never drifted apart. But as the poet says, “Yet knowing how way leads on to way…” the inevitable happened.
But wait. missjunebug is not quite finished yet with her little story. Toward the end of the conversation her friend mentioned that she and her dear Bear were attending a wedding at the weekend that was a quick 45-minute drive from Mr.JB and missjunebug’s home! Are you kidding her??? missjunebug was bug-eyed with delight that they might be able to pull off a long overdue reunion.
After all, missjunebug and Mr.JB had a lot to be grateful for where their friends were concerned: they helped arrange the blind date that has lead to 30 years of (mostly!) marital bliss!! They even made sure that not one, but two pastors (a husband and wife team) officiated at their tiny ceremony. (Attendance: 6) (Bottles of champagne consumed: 12) missjunebug’s friend possessed the prescience that missjunebug would eventually get right with God again and be super thankful she had had her marriage spiritually blessed by those in the know. How wise her friend was!
Segue to a quaint Â Italian cafe in a quaint old-town setting in So-Cal. missjunebug, Mr. JB, and their dear friends spent an afternoon lunching together and laughing themselves silly about everything under the sun and more. For missjunebug, it couldn’t have come at a better time as she works her way through a few health:compromised issues. But this particular afternoon, she held all worries in abeyance and basked in the glow of friendships forged anew.
Just how lucky can one little missjunebug get? Pretty damned lucky. To have friends such as these.