Friday, April 4, 2014


I have to cheer the musical "Rocky," even before I've seen it, or read all the reports on it.

Golly, how many times have I seen the film -- the first one -- then II, III,  IV, V, and VI, "Rocky Balboa?"

How many times?  Countless times I have been excited by composer Bill Conti's music that crescendos as Rocky goes for an early morning run, and races up the steps of an imposing building, and celebrates being at the top!

Rocky, the character we meet in the first "Rocky" -- each time I meet him, I think, "What a hero."

Want to have a minute of slightly wicked, gossipy fun?  Click the link and read the blog I wrote in August 2010, Stallone. Back in the nineties, I sort of met in him at the Malibu Gym, and sort of flirted with him. Back in those days there was a lot of speculation about his private life and curiosity about what he was working on.

I wonder how Stallone feels about his work -- all the films he's made and other memorable characters he's evolved? The hero "Rambo," with all the violence in it, was hard for me to watch. But "Cop Land" -- the small town Sheriff that Sylvester played, an over-the-hill guy who refused to be silent about what his corrupt buddies were doing -- it was one of my favorites. I know you have your favorites, so here's the list of what he's done.

He's done everything -- screenwriting, directing, all kinds of fight choreography, designing, casting, costuming, producing, as well as promotion.

Why am I blogging about him?

It's the goose bumps I've gotten. He's 67, still a builder -- a contractor, bricklayer, worker-guy with big energy. Age prejudice won't stop him; the need for money won't stop him. He couldn't have created the heroes he keeps creating if he, himself, didn't have a powerful sense of honesty, and wasn't a hero himself.

Will the musical "Rocky" become a smash hit on Broadway? It's open, they're selling tickets already for next year. The officoal mid-March opening got mixed reviews.  Read what Ben Brantley the New York Times said about it -- there are some wonderful  quotable quotes. Will "Rocky" be like "Spider Man," sold by word of mouth despite the limitations that were pounced on by the critics?

My husband, John Cullum, and I know producers, writers, directors, casting agents who have put their eggs in the basket of a musical that flopped, and turned various flops into a money-making long-running shows.

I think Stallone will hone itwhile he's working on the next project and the next -- keep honing it, till the Rocky musical will become a real smash hit -- anevening of goose bumps.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


"SPY GLASSES help you do what you want to do," said Google’s co-founder, Sergey Brin, when he announced "Project Glass" five years ago.

"The glasses work like a hands free smart phone, displaying messages, images, and maps of the world in front of you. The glasses have built-in cameras that allow you to capture moments without disrupting them."

Saying that, Brin tossed his baby son into the air and declared, “If I tried to capture that with a camera I’d drop my son.”

What a gesture, what a way to show us that Google Glass -- those eye glasses -- were something we were going to want to buy.

In 2012  I blogged about Google Glass -- the actual device really couldn't be bought yet -- it was one of those futuristic things, like driverless cars.

Can you buy Google Glass now?  Well, you could order it.  Ebay listed some "like new" Google Smart Glasses -- prices -- $1550 to $6500. In April, Google announced you can buy Google Glass, but only wear it for a day, and of course get a full refund. The wear-for-a day plan is still part of Google's pilot project.

I can't help wondering who owns the photos and recordings, and what about the folks you record without getting permission. Meanwhile, Google is ironing out another serious problem -- the battery doesn't last long enough. Their digital photography experts are working on using "nanotechnology," (using teeny batteries); experts are also  experimenting with “gesture-based” technology, that would let you take photos with the blink of your eye.

Hey, maybe Google Glass will replace smartphones, and give us more mobility -- utter Mobility -- global, universal, ultimate freedom from lots of other things that go with being a human?

Anyhow, keep your eyes wide open, and go with the flow of it -- sooner or later the price will come down and you can try it Though personally, I can't imagine why in the world I'd ever wear Google Glass, I suggest we just "row, row, row ours  boats gently, down the stream."

Row, row ... upstream? downstream? are we heading for the rapids? A waterfall? This music expresses my trepidations. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Of course, when you are taking a picture of yourself, wear makeup and a flattering outfit. You can get practical advice about light and camera angles if you click this link:
               How to Look Good in Pictures, 11 steps.

Hey guys, you don't need to bother with the 11 steps, if you read what Em has to say, based on experience.

First of all, you need to have something on your mind, not your camera.

Banish the vanity thoughts like should I have put on more lipstick? should I have worn a simpler outfit?

Ignore the discomfort, like my eye itches, or it's tricky to smile when the sun is in my eyes.

Stop thinking about the fact that you are posing for a picture. On and on goes the train of your thoughts about you, your work, the things you have to do, and what to do if the picture turns out poorly.  Stop all those thoughts.

If you want a smiling picture, remind yourself about something that happened recently that was fun, or something that made you laugh. If you want a serious face, recall a death that touched you -- you can even produce glistening tearful eyes it you dig in to one of your real sorrows. If a sad, serious face is wrong -- you want a thoughtful or hopeful or confident look -- find a specific memory within yourself.  Concentrate on it, and you'll probably have that face in your picture.

For some people this is acting -- finding within yourself a reality -- the reality becomes the play and the play script. The fact is, right now, as I am telling you how to look good in a photo, I am giving you a crash course in acting.

The stage is where you are. You are the stage manager and the director. The script is what you, the playwright, perceive as your "best" face.

Keep the thought hot, fresh, vivid, and you'll have a wonderful SELFIE -- yes -- a photo of the real you -- the handsomest you -- the you that you're proud of being.


Oh it's fun to take the truthy truth and turn it upside-inside-out- and-down, make righty-right stuff wrongy-wrong.

     John Boehner, speaker of the house -- he is helping the country solve its problems.

     Obama -- race-prejudiced President whom we trust, just can't be trusted.

     Womens' issues, gay issues -- they're just about solved.

     Gun control and immigration -- they are going to be solved.

Other reversible truths abound. My favorites: There's no real problem with the weather. Automobiles have been vastly improved.  If you're not sure about a symptom, call your doctor, and he'll advise you.

There's Time Warner's daily, brain-washing "enjoy better" TV commercial, when you can't get your favorite channels anymore; daily-nightly sexual potency pills that you MUST take if you want to be sure you can "do it," and, my goodness of course, two pain killers are better than eight, and...

The latest new AB exercises, butt exercises, lose weight pills, and rub-in creams that guarantee comfort for up to sixteen hours -- they'll make you look better, feel better.

Click the link, and buy -- you might cry when you realize it's mostly a lie, but you won't die -- with double think, trouble is solved, dissolved.

Hey, if you are planning to buy a major something-or-other, click, and listen to this video.


I am not a member of the Robert Redford fan club, but this video has fascinated me ever since I saw it in Time Magazine, when the magazine selected Redford as one of  "The 100 Most Influential People."

Today I planned to publish my blog about global warming, but with all the latest, seriously bad news--beheaded reporter, ISIS, Israel, Gaza, Putin, Ukraine, Syria... no.

Hey, Redford, what he has done, and is still doing for our country -- his positive energy -- this man's voice is what I want to hear today.

I have written about him and explained why he impresses me -- click 

Here's what Robert Redford said about himself.


When Time Magazine spends its cover on a scientific subject, I pay attention -- the magazine reaches millions of people -- it's got to be something that's going affect us or in some way change our lives.

The issue is loaded with math, numbers, scientific jargon -- I had to boil it down to figure out what the "Infinity Machine" is, but you can click this link and read the eight pages yourself.

Apparently, big minds, big corporations, are currently working on a new computer machine that could unlock the power to solve our most difficult problems. Major companies and major government agencies, supporting the development of this, are convinced it will change how we "cure disease, explore the heavens, and do the business of the earth."

I borrowed those zinging words from the author of the article, Lev Grossman,  (Should we trust Grossman -- age 44, American novelist, journalist; author of the novels "Warp," "Codex," "The Magicians," and "The Magician King;" senior writer and book critic for Time?) Well, he's Harvard and Yale educated; and he reveals that major critics question where this may be heading.

This article tells us that on classic computers, information is stored in bits. On a quantum computer, information is stored in qubits -- therefore faster calculations are possible because it can process (perform) multiple functions simultaneously.

So the quantum computer will be able to: "design safer planes, discover distant planets, cure cancer, win elections, help cars drive themselves, reduce weather deaths, develop more effective drugs, cut back on travel time."

Grossman includes a lot of technical details, but without more knowledge of quantum physics, I think we civilians have to read the list, and more or less be impressed with how this could change the world.

The article, like a mystery story, digs deeply into where this is happening and reveals the largely secret background. There's a small company of 115 employees, in Vancouver, B.C.  There are five "D Wave" computers that they've built, thus far; each cost "10 million a pop." Each "D Wave"  is a black box 10 ft. high. Inside each box is a cylindrical cooling apparatus containing a "chip" that's been chilled to around  "20 millikelvins," which is about 459.6°F." 

The guys backing this venture are a scary list: In-Q-Tel, (high-tech investment arm of the CIA); defense contractor Lockheed Martin; a computing lab that's hosted by NASA, and largely funded by Google; and a U.S. intelligence agency that D-Wave executives decline to name.

Is this where we are really heading?

I read a similar article in Time, February 2011,  "SINGULARITY." It's scientific proof that the day is coming, in about 30 years, when artificial intelligence will be greater than human intelligence. In this 2011 article, different authors and different scientific proof that machines will be running the world in 2045 was supported by the same scary guys -- Google, Lockheed, NASA, CIA, etc.

What are we supposed to feel or do about this? Hide? Disbelieve? I can't fucntion on a day-to-day basis feeling that the end of the world that I live in is going to turn me into a plant.

If you are brave, curious, amazed, scared, or in the mood to know more, click and read Singularity, fact or fiction.

All I know, for sure, is that I fear what the picture on that cover predicts.

Monday, March 31, 2014


That's me, my hands are not, blogging today. 
I am taking a vacation -- each blog will run for  three days.  On the 3rd day, I will be "vacationing" -- dancing --  exercising, my body, head to toe.