Saturday, January 16, 2010


It's the end of the afternoon in New York City, before the weekend begins. When I look out my window I see the first signs of evening -- feel the warmth from the radiator near my desk -- hear the sound of cars on our street speeding to the avenue -- trucks making their last delivery -- yellow cabs delivering and picking up people, shiny automobiles already on their way home.

The feeling I have had today, the good feeling most of us have had about safety, warmth, water, food, phones, lights, walking on the busy streets with others going somewhere -- shopping, picking up groceries, mailing a letter -- knowing you'll soon be sitting down for dinner, relaxing, watching television, maybe taking a shower before brushing your teeth.

We'll be safe in our beds, with our soft pillows and comforters and blankets and sheets, while millions in Haiti are sick, dying, homeless, thirsty, hungry, desperate, wandering.

We'll think are we safe? We've thought that before. We feel sad for the children and the dead and those who may still be alive but not found -- can't hold that thought for long, but we bless the men and women who're arriving from all over the world in order to help.

We'll think all those other thoughts you have when you're okay and so many, many people are not.

We'll wonder is it God, or punishment, or nature -- why them, not us, not me? We'll shake our heads, unable to blame a God, a government, a war -- and maybe chat back and forth with someone about what's happening there, lifting the weight a little from our minds.

Words help. Sending money helps. Going to sleep in your warm, blanketed, sheeted, pillowed bed helps -- the feeling of being oh so lucky to be who you are, so gifted to be where you are, with a tomorrow that's predictable, safe -- yes, you'll be safe like you were today ...

"Thank God," you'll think inside yourself, and that helps you close your eyes and fall asleep.

A good life, being safe in your home is an incredibly precious gift isn't it?

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I'd clicked the television channel accidentally. It was the People's Choice Awards. Her name was mentioned, and there were cheers, loud applause as I saw this vision the other night.

Girl/woman encased in white, very low cut -- almost full bosom-revealing (two inches above the nipple I'm guessing) -- tight, almost girdling, white gown, sort of like a body-suit (chest to knee), that flared out into a floor length skirt, as this woman/girl stood up.

I thought should I change the channel?

I couldn't change. I'd heard the name. I wasn't sure if I'd ever heard Mariah Carey sing. I certainly hadn't seen her before.

I was fixated on her as she negotiated the trip from her seat in the audience -- stood up -- not straight -- she bent over -- there was a shot of her full-to-the-brim, very round-breasted cleavage, and proceeded with her two male escorts.

Then, she sort of minced, almost waddled in her white, ultra-high, spike heels (I thought five-inches was the highest heel available but these must have been six inch heels), to the stage, where she seemed a little off balance, mentally, emotionally, physically.

Was it because she was thrilled, or looped on something?

No. Mariah Carey said "Hiya" in the most loveable, natural-sounding, down-to-earth, seductive, charming way. And laughed, and said that friendly, informal hiya again, and murmured a few things about how great it was to be there, and get an award, and who ought to be thanked -- mentioning names and credits of beloved people she absolutely had to thank for getting her the award -- that large, crystal People's Choice award they handed her.

The award looked awkward, too large, too pointed -- I'm not sure why but I thought it was sort of ... phallic.

"I'm going to do a post on Mariah Carey ... got to do a post on her," I said to myself while I was thinking -- What an outfit! What a warming, utterly friendly warm tone of voice! She really loves the audience! No wonder the audience loves her! She must be a marvelous singer!

So, I've browsed what's recorded -- browsed what's on YouTube -- looked and listened. And read about her.

She's forty.

She's called an "American pop and R&B singer-songwriter, actress." Her mother was an opera singer. As a school girl, she did all those things young girls do, when they can sing, dance, and do parts in plays. When she was eighteen she met a Columbia records executive, who married her, guided her into her first five, top-of-the-chart singles.

At twenty something, in the nineties, she took full creative control over her looks, and her music, (predictably), separated from her husband, and signed with Virgin records. She had a breakdown. Then, she did "Glitter," a film and its soundtrack that sort of bombed. Then she began the climb back up to the top, to the forefront of popular music. Where she is now.

In 2000, the World Music Awards named Carey the best-selling female artist of all time, and she has recorded the most number-one singles for a female artist in the U.S. ...etcetera ... The credits, the records she's broken in terms of albums, hits, sales of her albums and singles go beyond Elvis Presley's.

If you've heard her, seen her -- you don't need a boiled-down biography. But I hadn't. I wanted to know about her background, and I've spent a few hours listening, and watching her perform biggest hits.

What she is -- is an actress, acting out sexy, sensual scripts she's written – lyrics, music, choreography, costumes by Mariah (and her staff) -- tone poems about herself day-dreaming, with men and boys longing for her, in beautifully crafted seduction scenes. But the acting in them is so full-out, that it distracts from her voice.

It's a big voice with a large vocal range that seems to be able to do anything, go anywhere – soft, hushed, whispered, belted out, and capable of rippling, occasionally, into exciting hot rhythms, as she's into demonstrating, illustrating, being the words and the music.

The song and the music isn't on your mind. Her face, hands, torso, legs, her smooth, perfect skin -- everything about her body is.

The hiya girl/woman, the low-down, sophisticated, slutty, sweet, affectionate, elements of a gorgeous woman, confidently thinking you love me, I love you, you can't resist me -- is in everything I've managed to listen to, and see.

I found myself directing her, choreographing her in my mind, shouting at her -- do less -- much less -- don't work so hard -- no more cleavage, no more stroking, caressing yourself -- it not boring, but it's too much.

I put some click-able things in this post, for you to look at, listen to and see what you think.

Mariah, the actress, talking about playing an unglamorous social worker in the film, "Precious."

Mariah Carey performing her song "Obsessed"

Mariah Carey, performing "We Belong together"

(P.S. JC and I have been doing videocasts, and I'm seeing myself as I was as a dancer, as a performer, and as I am now. And my note to myself is LESS, DO LESS -- LESS IS MORE.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


How many days have we been listening to the Harry Reid, Trent Lott blabber?

Why has this story become so major that it's talked about every few minutes on every channel?

Here it is again -- the symptom -- the wrong-doings of the media that worried me last year (and the year before) -- worry me because I think it's hurting us now more than ever.

Is it a problem of the media not having anything "grabby" to talk about -- the media needing a subject that will get listeners interested enough to sit through the usual four to six commercials, waiting for the show to resume?

We've got weather, money, unemployment, health care, problems with schools being over-crowded, elections looming in important states. We have reverberations still from what happened and didn't happen in Copenhagen.

And certainly another view of where last year's hardliners are will sell, and get plenty of attention? And predictions on what will happen to Jay Leno's show, when it's back at it usual time, but only a half hour? What should Conan O'Brien do, and Simon -- will his quitting next year end "American Idol?" Why not speculate on what his new "X factor" show is about?

Every time a black (with no "Negro" accent) explains that the comment was unimportant, and accurate -- equal time is given to a Republican to say what they've been saying (and doing) for many, many months -- explaining how Trent Lott and Harry Reid are in the same boat, and complaining bitterly about Lott being disposed of, while Harry Reid's "sin" is being covered up.

With this nonsensical stuff being repeated, a wrong, harmful, untrue idea is being sold and will be bought by more people.

I'm just saying what we know, and asking why can't the media stop this "fairness" -- this "balanced reporting" on the current, nonsensical accusations?

How can we stop them? It there anything I can do except complain?

I fear, and feel, that it's a ball rolling down a snow covered mountain getting larger, bigger, thicker, huger by the minute. I wonder if it will affect Barack Obama's decision, when it's time for him to think about his job, where it's heading, and what it's doing to him and his family and blacks --will it occur to him not to seek a second term?

We need him. What he is doing for the country is amazing, great, important -- what works, and even when what Obama is doing doesn't work -- it is working to make us a free country again.

Okay, he's a brave man, and what I'm thinking has undoubtedly occurred to him and Michelle. But now, right now, is the beginning of how we may someday be able to end race prejudice and I want the media to help us, stop making it more so, and worse.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


This is how you may look in the Secure 1000 Personal Scanner. 150 of them have been ordered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

C'mon now -- be truthful, are you really shocked, perturbed, absolutely against it?

Anyone who travels by plane knows it is hell to be on a plane and wonder -- quietly, privately in some corner of your mind – is there someone on this plane with a bomb? Even thinking about it just for a second is awful!

Okay -- IF you're out of shape -- who cares? Who knows? Once you've left the screening cubicle, no one knows it's you except a screener -- an employee sees a few-hundred bodies like yours every day.

Surely you know that your friends, no matter how nice they are, have noticed where you're bulging -- friends notice -- they just don't say anything! As for inbred modesty -- it's out of date! We've all been seeing females on television, in movies, in magazines -- with overflowing cleavage -- not just a peek, major revelations about breasts, belly-buttons, and buttocks. And men; in jockey shorts or trunks, with their private parts, every curve and bulge revealed.

Republican Congressman, Utah's Jason Chaffetz, who has vowed to stop gay marriage in D.C., is sponsoring a measure that would prohibit the use of full body imaging for primary screening at airports. He's said -- "As a society we are going to have to figure out the balance between personal privacy and the need to secure an aircraft. And there is no easy answer."

There is an easy answer -- if the pictures can be taken, stop complaining. Just do it.

Metal detectors, which have been around since 1970, can find knives, guns and grenades. They would not have detected the explosives on Christmas Day, in Urgar Farouk Abdulmutallab's underwear.

According to various sources, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Millimeter Wave Scanner (we have 40 in 19 airports) might have detected Urgar's explosives, but might not. There are plans to increase the number of them to 900 by 2014. But ... let's deal now, with NOW!

The Secure 1000 Personal Scanner, also called the Backscatter X-ray, will probably have the scanner (the person who's looking at you), in a room other than the room with the actual machine, and that provides you, the passenger, with a modicum of privacy. Though explosives hidden in body cavities might not have been detected without further screening, this scanner would have detected the explosives in the man's underwear. And that's why the TSA wants more of them.

What's the solution? Awareness; interaction, and communication that the President has demanded. Put away false modesty. And if you have children, teach them what you and I need to learn.

Monday, January 11, 2010


If your name is known, and your face is recognizable, you've got clout. If you're on TV every day, each day you're bigger and better known.

We've already got new personalities, making sure their faces, their names, are out there, with their political ideas being sold to the public -- paving the way for a seat in the Senate, maybe a bed in the White House.

Joe Scarborough is – with denials, with grinning shrugs when asked about his political plans -- clearly edging into the next presidential; race -- there were illusive, slightly joking remarks, about a SCARBOROUGH - BILL MAHER ticket in a recent Newsweek Magazine article.

On his morning show, Joe's stronger than ever remarks, his somewhat pontificating opinions, and iffy, on-the-fence replies to tricky questions, tells me "look out for Joe."

And he's nice-looking, 46, the right age.

Yes, this guy is a real Joe -- maybe not as well known as McCain's Joe the Plumber -- but "Morning Joe" is catchy -- J.S. is making sure he and his show, his opinions and the possibility of him running for president are being planted ... developed.

Lou Dobbs is another famous face and name, and probably a candidate for Senator, or president -- he said so, on his Website. There were articles about his announcement on,,,

Is Dobbs attractive to voters? polls (which are Republican biased), indicate that Dobbs might get 14% of the vote. Rassmussen also says that any new name attracts about 6% and its polls suggest he may attract Perot-like presidential support. (That sounds as if Tea Partiers might find him their cup of tea.)

To me, Lou Dobbs seems out of date, cranky, outspoken -- I feel as if he's saying "I am right, because I'm always right." Unless he connected with some new young hero (which doesn't seem like a wise move for a new young hero) Lou Dobbs for President will, in my opinion as a prognosticator, fade, fade away.

But ....

Remember, Al Franken was formerly a star on "Saturday Night Live" and now he's a senator. Also, former governor, Senator Mike Huckabee, who looked good in 2008, now has a show on Fox News. Former governor, Sarah Palin, is definitely running for something -- probably president, and Glenn Beck recently announced his "100-year plan" for America.

Being recognizable, I think, is number one important.

Knowing how to work the media, of course, has long been essential for a serious politician. And nowadays, it's more important than ever.

Time Magazine says: "In 2010, a media career is itself a viable basis for political power -- and even a political career."

Who else is going to toss a hat in the ring?

Here's a list from Wikipedia.
* House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia
* Former Vice President Dick Cheney of Wyoming
* Governor Luis Fortuño of Puerto Rico
* Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich of Georgia
* Former Governor of Arkansas, Senator Mike Huckabee
* Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana
* Former Governor Gary E. Johnson of New Mexico
* Former Governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin of Alaska
* Former Governor George Pataki of New York
* Representative Ron Paul of Texas
* Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota
* Representative Mike Pence of Indiana
* Former Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts
* Former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania
* Senator John Thune of South Dakota

Don't forget, Former Governor Jesse Ventura of Minnesota.
And Ralph Nader of Connecticut.

Keep your eyes peeled -- for the news getters; the headline grabbers whereever they appear

AND LOOK AT THE WOMEN IN THE NEWS. Not just the men -- Hilary almost won -- times have definitely changed.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


We -- my husband, actor John Cullum, and I -- knew nothing about podcasts, and certainly knew nothing about videocasts -- one month ago.

One month ago, spur of the moment, Fran Weil, my Website designer, said -- you and JC ought to do a podcast.

What in the world was Fran talking about?

Fingers flying, we learned from seven different Websites that sell you information -- more or less -- how to go about creating a podcast. After further chats with Fran, we delved into the problem of disseminating our broadcasts. Should we use RSS something-or-other, or ITunes, or YouTube?

All of this has been like learning a foreign language in four weeks.

Though a producer gave JC an ITune thingamajig, neither JC or I had never used it. RSS was confusing. I didn't know anything about YouTube till Fran led me there, and showed me how a YouTube short film can be used in a blog.

While we were reading and downloading details, we spoke with Asa, a highly trained, skilled technician, who'd did sound effects for my play, "Shattering Panes." He suggested that with the Mac computer, the two of us ought to be doing a videocast.

We fretted and fussed, but with Asa's help, we've learned how to shoot a video on our Mac.

The learning process -- the preparation for a "shoot" -- arranging lights, figuring out a script, deciding where to sit, what to wear, should we wear makeup, fixing the background -- we've yelled at each other, complained, argued -- and though we didn't seriously contemplate divorce, this past month has NOT been a time of loving rapport.

We're thinking of the first short videos we've completed as "previews." We're not locked into a style -- we need reactions -- click the icon, and pick out one, and take a look.


Right now we're "playing" with format -- trying to make it more informal, and more fun to do, and certainly -- hopefully -- fun to watch. . We're planning to do a vidcast once a week. If you like what you see, or hate it, or get confused or bored -- please -- let us know what you think.