Saturday, April 20, 2013


Em insists that  John Cullum share with their audience, what has been bugging him when they watch television. .

The current, latest new batch of commercials that shows children disrespecting their parents upsets John -- even as he's describing how the kids have learned to cheat, lie, and actually punch Mom and Dad. 

Discussing this trend, John Cullum and Em wonder if it has to do with what everyone learned from watching last year's election campaigns.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Say her name, see her face, hear her speak -- you're thinking PRESIDENT.

Hillary Clinton has changed.

I look at her as women look at each other, noting details that tell  me how she's feeling --  tell me that she's feeling sadder, older, more concerned about the world. She used to dress very carefully; her hair and makeup always looked as if they'd been done professionally. Nowadays, her hairdo isn't always a "do" and her outfits don't look like as if they've been carefully chosen. Often everyhting about her seems to be the way it just happened to be.

I see puffiness under her eyes, fuller cheeks, the H lines around her smile, the thicker waist, wider-ness of her hips. I sense that the way she looks doesn't really matter very much to her, nowadays.

I wonder if she has a man friend, a lover, other than Bill -- loudly I tell myself, it's none of your business, but I wonder anyhow.

I found these photos -- a statement by David J. Rothkopf and headline on CNN -- "Will Hillary be President?" (He's CEO of  an  international advisory firm specializing in transformational global  trends.)

Look at a couple of the photos. I think that  Hillary Rodham Clinton, right now, woman, wife, mother, former  Secretary of State, former candidate running for president, is  translating all those aspects of herself, all those feelings into  positive actions  of mothering, fixing, fighting for, and doing.

Hey, maybe you ought to take your time and look at all 40 photos.  It's the story of you and me and Hillary who's grown up as we have grown up --40 picures of Hillary down through the years  and our changing world.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


This picture of Sheryl Sandberg on the cover of Time Magazine annoys me.

The words imply that if you're a woman you'll hate her because she succeeded where you have failed.

It sounded as if it was the voice of a man. I figured it was Richard Stengel, the magazine's Managing Editor. (I think, based on what he expressed about various  women issues,  he's chauvinistic.)

As I read the article, "Confidence Woman,"  I realized it was a woman's voice -- the cover story on Sandberg was written by Belinda Luscombe, a reporter whose interviews with celebs I've enjoyed and used in quite a few blog posts.

Sheryl Sandberg is COO (Chief Operating officer), for Zuckerberg's Facebook, handling the business, not its artistic direction. The article details her background and ascent to becoming, according to Forbes Magazine, the world's most powerful woman in business.

(Yep, I better say it again -- Sheryl Sandberg is top of the list of the world's 20 most powerful women in business.)

It's a five page article, detailing how Sheryl handles her work, does everything with "huge" energy, and is also a marvelously successful, happy, good wife and mother.

(Yep, all the things that we women strive for, Sheryl Sandberg is doing, and doing superbly, impeccably well.).

Aside from running a $66 billion tech company, she's created a nonprofit foundation with corporate partnerships, online seminars and guidelines for establishing support groups -- already embarked on an ambitious mission to reboot feminism and re-frame discussions of gender. There's been nothing like this "Lean In" idea since the launch of Ms.Magazine in 1971.

The cover story includes 42-year-old Sheryl Sandberg's summary of her recently published book "Lean In" (already a bestseller) -- it's two pages -- explaining Why I Want Women to Lean In..


I find it difficult to focus on feminism when survival is an urgent issue -- those two countries building nuclear weapons -- side-by-side with our deep concerns about gun control, health care, voter's rights, veterans, and... oh my goodness... So very much attention has been paid to women -- health, rape, abortion, vaginal this-and that -- in this year of political hot air, hot air that's supposed to get us women steamed up.

I'm saying whoa, Belinda, whoa, Sheryl....

Sheryl's strong feeling that now is the time for women to lean in and unite with one another -- it feels -- yes, FEELS -- weirdly behind the times.

My instinct is to lean out -- LEAN AWAY.

I'm picturing flowers in a vase. A dozen, two-dozen long stem-roses leaning in is just a marvelous clump of roses. But if you arrange them so that they lean away from each other, we see one rose blooming, one budding, another ready to open -- each individually interesting, fragrant, beautiful.

Being an individual -- being YOU isn't easy. You have to blot out other voices, other visions, a sense of what other women do and are doing -- all that stuff from movies, books, advertisments.

It's distracting, confusing, a lot of noise -- it can be a din, but you have to learn to listen to your own inner voice.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


When Em asks John Cullum what profession he'd chose to be if he weren't  an actor, John isn't sure.

Emily reminds him that before he came to New York, he worked in his father's real estate business.

John reveals that he'd choose real estate, or any similar profession, where he could be powerful.

What about teaching?

John admits that he enjoys teaching, but his favorite work is writing.