Friday, August 19, 2011


Larry David is an actor, writer, comic, who's created and playing the lead in a television sitcom, "Curb Your Enthusiasm." The show started on HBO. It's in is its eighth season, and can be seen nightly locally in re-runs.

My husband, John Cullum, auditioned for Larry David recently. JC has very specific ideas, and prepares for auditions carefully. He doesn't like to improvise, though he'll improvise for me -- do a jig, play Hamlet ala Richard Burton; he loves to imitate me at my barre, or pretend to be Agnes the Maid when he's cooking us supper.

Anyhow, JC reads scripts carefully, and asks to see the entire script if it's a play, or a TV series. He has to know what the concept is. (He won't play a part that's offensive or gratuitously "dirty." He doesn't like to play villains, so if you want him for a bad guy's role, he'll look for what's sympathetic about the character, and try to find an aspect of the bad guy that's good.)

A date and time was arranged for John to read for a role in an up-and-coming episode that Larry David had written. There were "sides" -- three one-line speeches. The scene wasn't described. There were no notes on who the character was.

We've watched "Curb Your Enthusiasm" -- not regularly. We don't watch any shows regularly but I'll tune in "Seinfeld" reruns, when we've got fifteen minutes or so to spare. We've certainly enjoyed some of the brilliantly amusing scenes Larry David wrote with Jerry for the "Seinfeld" series.

As an actor, I find Larry David interesting -- not handsome, sexy, or memorable. He plays the starring role in his series as an average, ordinary guy, reacting to ordinary hum-drum things. But his sudden bouts of jealousy, paranoia, prejudice, his sudden unwillingness to be categorized, insistence on doing everything his way -- it's very funny.

And my reactions, are John's reactions. We generally think alike about things like this. David's a talented actor who has slowly, gradually turned himself into a face, a style that you remember -- if I remember him, and John remembers him, I'll bet you will too.

(Hey, I know his name -- for anyone who's involved in the creative aspects of television to become a "name" that people remember, that's a big accomplishment.)

So when John Cullum auditioned for him -- well, it seemed like a good show, and a good possibility for JC.

The moment John got home, I asked "What happened?"

"It was a bomb," JC said. "I did the three lines with a stage manager."

"You didn't do the scene with David himself?"

"No. With a stage manager, who didn't know any more about the script than I did. When I was finished, Larry David asked me to try the first line again. I did."


"Larry David said. 'thanks,' and turned to his assistant for the next name on the list."

"That was it? You didn't chat. about Robin Williams? You didn't talk about the fun you've had working with Robin on his movie a few months ago?" (When actors get together, conversation about mutual pals quite often gets things going.)

"No, Em. I didn't."

"But... gee...there was no other conversation?"

"Honey, I bombed," JC said.

"You didn't improvise?"

"I tried to, but there was nothing in the script. I bombed," John said, before he picked up the phone and gave his agent a report.

No doubt about it . John Cullum didn't get the job.

In case you haven't seen Larry David's show, here's an amusing somewhat risque episode that I'm glad John wasn't on.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


So, the "Beauty" does what?

SHE wears what's in vogue, be it miniskirts, super high heels, and goes for extra long eye lashes, pinkish lipstick.

HE'S probably into the biker look, and short hair.

"Beauty" is something that guys and gals, know! They read magazines, study ads, check out dot coms, watch talk shows, and inhale, devour, swallow what the commentators and their guests are wearing.

And of course, they keep a eye -- three, four or five times a day -- on their mirrors.

I know all this of course, because beauty-doings have been part of my life ALL MY LIFE, though lately ... well, for instance-- I have fantastic purple dress -- fitted bodice, flowing circular skirt. It gets me wows but ...

I want to wear it, but haven't been wearing it If I eat, the waistband is too ... well ... it's snug.

Also, dammit, my hair's a bother -- if I wear it loose it's lovely, but loose needs to be sprayed, and re-checked, re-done throughout the day. Lately, I've been clipping my hair to one side, rolling it into a sausage -- getting it out of the way takes no time --it looks okay -- it's MUCH less trouble.

Actually, I haven't worn a dress in a long time. Black pants and one of my black blouses looks neat and quite chic (certainly chic enough for the delivery guys, post lady, post man, super, and clerks in the grocery and drug stores.

Yes, if I wore make up ... (I wear a little, once in awhile, eye liner, some liquid makeup, pale lipstick -- I look "beautiful," "very nice," My husband says if I ask "how do I look?") Anyhow, I don't wear makeup every day. I don't need to. I like the way I look in bathroom, bedroom, and studio mirrors.

The fact is, when you're growing up, there's a lot you have to do for beauty's sake. You want people to notice you when you're job hunting, or trying to build a career. It's time-consuming, tricky -- figuring out what's flattering and just a little different -- you don't want to look like everyone else or "run of the mill." It's extremely important when you're growing up, to be memorable.

You're in that growing up phase for -- gee, how many years --a decade, two decades? Actually, it's what most people keep doing all of their lives. "Mirror, mirror on the wall" becomes just the looking glass -- a tool. You check it, study it, front and rear views, profile, close up and from a distance.

Your eye reports what you see -- you are getting older, you still look good, maybe a little less good this year. You consider all the popular cremes, beauty parlor treatments, Botox, life style lifts, surgery -- yes, no, maybe, not now .... yes, no, maybe, not now.

Gee ... now that I'm thinking about this... gee ... I have never dressed to please men or women. I've been doing what I've been doing TO PLEASE MYSELF.

Should I change my ways? No. Maybe use liner, liquid makeup, lipstick? No! WEAR MY PURPLE DRESS. NO!!!!

You've got to go with your current decade -- the clock ticks -- the year changes, the years change, you have changed. Like it or not, be where you are, be what you are.

You might as well enjoy it.

Monday, August 15, 2011


The DEBT talk -- the ceiling! cut this! cut that! -- well, at least the daily ranting about the debt's simmering down.

Now is the time for me to dare to grab the subject, and ask loudly, ask smartly, or dumbly, why does the debt have to be paid off?

Don't shout back your answers right now. Just travel along with me on this subject for a minute.

Experts -- the best, most trusted, smartest money advisers, say pay off the national debt so that our children and their children and their kids, and the kids' children aren't inheriting it.

Experts say, pay it off now, before the interest on the debt becomes more than the debt itself. This is credit card practical reasoning, that you and I are familiar with.

Politicians have made this their issue -- it sounds good. It's sells. It appeals to folks with families, homes, possessions that they've worked hard to get-- stuff they've bought with their credit cards.

Does this practical, solid, sound, financial reasoning apply to our country?


We can pay for what the government is/was/ passionately, trying-trying to handle, IF tax cuts are not renewed, IF those who benefited from these tax cuts pay their taxes.

We are fighting a war.
Health care needs financing.
Roads, bridges, buildings, railroads, electrical grid, our power supplies need repair. refurbishing, updating, and expanding.
Our population is growing -- things are being used more than ever before.
People need jobs. Fixing things will make jobs.

We can't have America the beautiful, can't fight the wars we're fighting to expand and protect democracy, can't fix what's broken down and worn out, can't pay for SS, Medicare, health care, and unemployment insurance, without spending money.

Stop, close your mouth -- don't spout the logic, the seductive words of politicians. Go with what you know about this country and want to maintain in this country.

I'll say it again -- if our government stops spending money on current needs, in order to pay off the money that was spent by the government years ago, we're stuck with where we are right now. Right now we are stuck.

Okay, I know and already can name people, friends, who do not agree with me.

Friends, Americans, countrymen, stop repeating the bad words -- wash your mouth out with soap -- those bad words are personal convictions, election hopes, promises, political dreams. Let's handle what's happening right now.

Fun pictures about all this: