This Is Funtertainment

by Lance Ekum on · 72 comments


“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” ~  Maya Angelou

What a fun day indeed!  I am hon­ored to share with you an inter­view with Jan­nie Fun­ster, the “princess of fun”.  Jan­nie is an amaz­ing, fun­tas­tic, smil­ing, and real friend here at the “Jun­gle of Life”, and some­one whom it gives me great plea­sure to share with you today!  When not answer­ing my prob­ing ques­tions (see below!) — Jan­nie spends her days writ­ing and singing music, being an awe­some mother and wife, author­ing her very enter­tain­ing blog, and just gen­er­ally hav­ing fun with life!

NOTE: We’re hav­ing our first ever give away here today!  For the price of a com­ment, one lucky win­ner will be cho­sen to receive a copy of Jannie’s recently released debut CD, “I Need A Man”.  Win­ner will be cho­sen at ran­dom, from all received com­ments — on Fri­day May 29th.

And with that, please help me in wel­com­ing Jan­nie here today!

I ask her some chal­leng­ing ques­tions, and Jan­nie answers them with poise, grace, and humor…

1. Tell us a lit­tle bit about who “you” are (fam­ily, career, any spe­cial life expe­ri­ences you’d like to share, etc.)

Well, Lance, funny you should ask!  I was just telling my new clog-dancing bud­dies yes­ter­day that I’m an East­ern Cana­dian farm-raised gal from a long long line of  “Twin­kle Shoot­ing” Irish ances­tors.  Back in the Moth­er­land I entered (and often won,) every carrot-peeling con­test I could find before going off to col­lege, then taught junior high French for a cou­ple of years until I ran off hap­pily here to Texas with my landlord-love-of-my life, Jim.  Been here in the “Live Music Cap­i­tal Of  The World” almost 19 years!

Lance’s Com­men­tary: Carrot-peeling con­test!  Were I to enter some­thing like that I’d surely lose a finger…

2. How long have you been blog­ging, and what led you to start writing?

It was a foggy morn­ing at  6:41 May 22nd, 2006 when I started my old blog as an “added fea­ture” of the tem­plated web­site I cre­ated to pro­mote our band “The Fun­sters. ”  But that blog never had (nor never would have, boo hoo,) the options of com­ments.   Imag­ine my thrill when I finally came to my senses last Sep­tem­ber and switched to a Word­Press blog WITH COMMENTS!
As to writ­ing in gen­eral, I was 4 or 5 when I scratched “I love you,” on a scrap of paper to my Aunt Tillie — which she still has!  And have kept writ­ing, with no signs or desire of ever stop­ping.  And you?

Lance’s Com­men­tary: Com­ments add so much to the con­ver­sa­tion!  And if you’ve never vis­ited Jannie’s site, get over there and check it out.  It’s loads of fun!

What’s the deal here — you send­ing the ques­tions right back at me?  Well…writing isn’t some­thing that’s always been with me — at least not at the same level as it has been for you.  Or maybe more appro­pri­ately — it’s not some­thing I’ve always done.  I think a part of it is that writ­ing feels per­ma­nent — and that held me back — the idea of a recorded copy of my thoughts.  Is that inse­cu­rity on my part?  It’s taken time to be “ok” with writ­ing.  For me, it all started just over a year ago –when the “Jun­gle of Life” was born.  It’s been a fan­tas­tic jour­ney through my mind, and with the help of so many oth­ers to make it all pos­si­ble.

3. Tell us about your singing / song­writ­ing, and how long you’ve been doing that.

I was prob­a­bly born singing.  Used to drive my friends crazy by singing instead of talk­ing to com­mu­ni­cate. (But they still hung around me – go fig­ure!)
Dreamed of being a singer as a child, but my path veered else­where.   I look now at those interim years as song research!
Then, at 30, when I picked up a gui­tar at my neigh­bor Leigh’s house and she taught me a cou­ple of chords, I wrote a song imme­di­ately.  And fol­low­ing a rather cir­cuitous, yet steady route of voice, gui­tar, song­writ­ing and per­for­mance classes, here I am –  just a reg­u­lar gal with a pen­chant for fling­ing lyrics into melodies and shar­ing them via guitar.

I still can’t believe I’ve just released my debut CD called “I Need A Man”, as in “I need a man with a chain­saw, I need a man with an axe – a guy who’s good in the gar­den, who’ll give my weeds a whack…”   (Did I men­tion half those songs won awards? ? ) And that the CD can be pur­chased off my site, only $10.00 each, with low S&H.  Packed to any­where in the world with aro­matic moon­beams and a spe­cial Jan­nie love incan­ta­tion.  Oh, I didn’t men­tion that?  How totally remiss of me.  😉
The CD also con­tains a pre­cious song Kelly wrote and sang in one take when she was 5 years old.

Lance’s Com­men­tary: I think this is so cool — you’ve released your first CD!!  I love the whole thing, and the last song, with Kelly singing, is very sweet.  The world is a bet­ter place because you picked up that gui­tar and fol­lowed your dreams!  And one more thing, Jan­nie — I have a chain­saw I like to play with…

On a side note, Mil­wau­kee has a large sum­mer music fes­ti­val, Sum­mer­fest, in late June/early July.  I think this would be an awe­some place for you to show­case your tal­ents (and hey, I’ll have a place for you to stay the whole time)!

4. Jan­nie, when I think of you – I think music (and maybe bra-flinging).  Besides music, what else makes your spirit soar, your heart skip a beat?

Ah, Lance,  I love the explo­sion of spring­time, a per­fect glazed donut, my husband’s (land­lord ?) sweet whis­tle, my daughter’s laugh, my mother’s hugs, my dad’s grin, my broth­ers’ spon­ta­neous accor­dion and har­mon­ica  hoe-downs, my sister’s twinkle-shooting eyes.  The wind on my face.   The sun on my roses.  The scent of  the pines every­where as soon as I step off the plane at home.  My morn­ing cof­fee –  light and a bit sweet.   My new “Moun­tain Mist” scented brand of laun­dry soap.

Lance’s Com­men­tary: What great things in life, all of these that you’re deeply con­nected to (the laun­dry soap t00?).  Some­day, we shall meet for cof­fee — my treat!  You can bring the donuts…

5. What do you see as the real pur­pose of your blog (in other words, why do you write)?

Lance, the real pur­pose of my blog is to take over the world (but don’t tell any­one, okay?)  To get and give a lit­tle fun and love and fun­ster­ment.  But mainly to be heard.  How ‘bout you?

Lance’s Com­men­tary: Your secret’s good with me!  Jan­nie, when I think fun and love all wrapped together — you’re it!  Keep shar­ing your voice, in all the ways you do.

More ques­tions for me??  So, what’s the pur­pose of my blog?  I write to get things out that I have in my head and in my heart.  And in that process, or jour­ney really — it helps me to bet­ter under­stand myself, and to really live the life I want.  There’s some­thing about writ­ing it down for me that makes it all more real.  So, that’s why I started to write.  I also find that I write as a way to con­nect with oth­ers.  Like with you!  And every­one who vis­its these pages…you all add so much!

6. Tell us one unex­pected thing that has hap­pened to you in the last year.

You mean besides find­ing  that won­der­ful box of assorted but prac­ti­cally brand new mis-matched socks at a yard­sale?   Yes, the one-same yard­sale where I scored the (over) half a tube of super glue that was just the ticket to mend my cow-milking tro­phy that crashed from the shelf the night the fan­dango party got a lit­tle wilder than usual!  Well… my hubby sur­prised me with a beau­ti­ful new white kitchen sink for Moth­ers Day.  Installed!
And the joy and love I’ve grown to feel for all my blog­ging buds – that was pretty unex­pected, and wel­come, indeed.

Lance’s Com­men­tary: This is what’s so great about you, Jan­nie.  And to every­one read­ing here — this IS Jan­nie!  In an off-the-wall sort of way, she is able to write some­thing light-hearted and deeply mean­ing­ful in the same para­graph.  Jan­nie, I love it!  Espe­cially the socks!!

And the con­nec­tions with oth­ers in the blog­ging world — I’ll agree that’s a pretty sweet gift indeed!  Have fun with your new sink (although Jim is mak­ing me look bad!)…

7. If you had to pick one thing as your great­est achieve­ment, what would it be (and why)?

Finally get­ting to be a mom, after years of heart­break­ing infer­til­ity and mis­car­riages. Hope­fully rais­ing a nice lit­tle human to bring more sun­shine than rain to this (and all other,) planets.

Lance’s Com­men­tary: Jan­nie, I can’t even begin to imag­ine how dif­fi­cult those years must have been.  You have some­one very spe­cial in your life now, and from every­thing I’ve wit­nessed, she’s a true off­shoot of you.  That’s tes­ta­ment to the great job you’re doing as a mother!   Our galaxy has a bunch more sun­shine!

8. A fun day with your fam­ily – tell me what that might con­sist of.

Oh, a dream fun day would be wak­ing up in a great lit­tle hotel in Paris with a fab­u­lous view, hav­ing café /croissant on the ter­race, then enjoy­ing the Orangerie museum, where Kelly and I could explore to our heart’s con­tent after Jim set­tled into a nice ham­mock beside the museum deck.  (Kelly and I can tire him out!)  He’d be kept well there with lemon­ade and tran­quil­ity at an even tem­per­a­ture of  75 beneath a shady tree.  Then we’d all three have a leisurely lunch on the Champs Ely­sees and  stroll mer­rily through the Tui­leries, up to the Lou­vre. But not actu­ally go in the Lou­vre,  but head over to Pere LaChaise to look for Jim Mor­ri­son.  And that evening attend a party at the Ritz, Place Ven­dome — with every one of our friends and fam­ily, who’d been flown in and put up cour­tesy of some secret-admiring phil­an­thropist.  And my hair would curl just right for the occasion.

Lance’s Com­men­tary: Wow!  I hope I’m on the “friends” list (and it’s not just to get a free trip to Paris).  Jan­nie, I love your imag­i­na­tion, it fits the whole “Fun­ster” name so well!

9. Deep-down, Jan­nie, what makes you, “you”?

Well, Lance, you’d really have to ask the Great Almighty what he used for ingre­di­ents in me.  But I’m guess­ing poetry, pan­sies and pas­try were in the mix!  Maybe a hint of two of mis­chief.  And a flash of  pinkish-blue.

Lance’s Com­men­tary: The “Great Almighty” did one fan­tas­tic job with you!

Clos­ing Thoughts: Jan­nie, it’s been awe­some hav­ing you here today!  Your thoughts — whether on your blog, your com­ments here, or in the music you sing — they all are uplift­ing and just plain fun!  I love how you’ve went out after some­thing you believe deeply in — your music.  And this is proof for all of us here, that tak­ing some risks with our­selves and really lis­ten­ing to what our heart is say­ing — can lead to some pretty amaz­ing things happening!

Jan­nie, thank you for being here today, and for shar­ing “you” with all of us!  You are sun­shine to our planet, and to all the plan­ets we know about, and even to those that haven’t yet been dis­cov­ered!

Lance writes sto­ries from his heart, aim­ing to inspire and moti­vate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he’s not here, you can find him hang­ing out with his fam­ily, rid­ing a bike, or just gen­er­ally act­ing goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Tree­house newslet­ter and get addi­tional inspi­ra­tion in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
View all posts by Lance Ekum

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