Thursday, August 17, 2017


Emily Frankel praises her husband for handling things that scare her -- she thinks he's always wise and brave.

John describes how he handled some dangerous situations back in the days when he was drinking too much, but his bravery had more to do with booze and bravado, little to do with courage.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Wish you could temporarily disappear from your present world and see a whole different EVERYTHING?

I'd love to be here!!!!!!

'Taint a fantasy -- I saw the photo in a magazine touting super vacations. You can rent this room for $250. You get breakfast in bed served by a butler. You get a 360 degree view of the alps, the true sense of nature, freedom, space.

Hey, is it something to consider? Switzerland’s tourist season peaks during the months of July and August, when the weather is most pleasant. You'd probably need to book an accommodation months ago -- Switzerland’s hostels, hotels, and inns fill up quickly in the summer. But, if you'd like to explore the alpine nation with less shoulder-rubbing, September and October are ideal -- less crowded and the weather remains agreeable, or try next April, or May.

Laugh this away, realizing -- it's impossible -- you're too busy -- you don't really need a vacation. Or put this vision in the corner of your mind, visit it, and dare to dig into it, and find out if it's something you could really do.

WOW!!!!! With all the grim dark things in the news today, wouldn't it be lovely to wake up in this  room tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


  A well-known actress we know is suing a major movie website because when it revealed her age, she started losing jobs.

My husband, a legendary performer, is currently being offered jobs for  dying grandpas, and great-grandpas with Alzheimer's. Why? Because his  age is more or less known, and producers  feel if you're over  sixty, you are old. (J.C. would probably do better if he gained 20 pounds  and walked with a cane.)

Picasso's haunted, sad-faced self-portrait of his older self is on the left.  There are wonderful memorable words about age in in Shakespeare's plays. In all the arts, and in life, words/words like birds, ads/fads, a-mill/a-thousand new, true, cure-you things are affecting, infecting people with AGE-itis.

It's what every one gets soon or later in little and big ways before or after a birthday....well... maybe every birthday, Guys, maybe daily, so you need to do some little and big things, even very major things NOT to get it.

Starting now, keep away from ANY food, food supplements, pills, talk shows, advisers, therapists, knowledgeable friends, counselors, TV doctors, real doctors--keep away from humans who say, "At your age you should... you shouldn't..."

ALSO, keep away from I should be earning a good living. That's deadly. Also historical summaries: At age (?) others in my field were already established. Beware of "a person my age shouldn't wear..." Beware of "a person my age can't..."

If you're trying to sell a book, play, painting, style, a concept -- trying to land a job, go to college, learn a new language, craft, skill, technology, do not think about age. Do not wonder if anyone else has tried, at your age -- to become a famous, successful, income-producing whatever... Just do it.

Watch out for age-cliches, age-rationales, age as a factor. NEVER think at my age I need a flu shot, vitamins, must keep my weight down, exercise, walk, jog. It's okay to be aware of bladder control, but why do I forget things, why didn't I hear that -- THAT will get you to conclusions about how often you need to see the doctor, the dentist, the optometrist.

See doctors if, or when you absolutely need to.

Also,  if you're registering or joining something that asks your age, lop off a large chunk of years. If you can't lie, then skip whatever it is.

A world science panel recently said "Age 90 Is the new 50.” I don't think 90 is  the new anything, but if age 90 IS the number that says you are old, think of Betty White, and Warren Buffet, and if you're  actually approaching the 80 number, don't utter, mutter, or murmur it to anyone, including yourself.

So what about celebrating your birthday. I suggest DO NOT. If you get birthday cards, get the return addresses from the envelope, and throw the cards out. You can't stop people from saying "happy birthday," but a bunch of people singing "Hap -py  B i rth- day To Y O U" should be studiously avoided.

Aging is easier if you do the things I've mentioned above, carefully, discreetly, and gracefully. If you can't lie, or avoid your loved ones, well... you will age a little -- not a lot -- if you wisely, carefully, cautiously keep eyes and ears open, keep on your toes, and steer clear of the pitfalls listed above.

Am I worried about age? Well....


Not really. I just worry about getting AGE-ITIS.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


That's me!

That's what I often look like as I watch films on our bedroom television set.

I am not sure what the actors are saying.

For instance, if leading characters are arguing -- it sounds climatic and I do hear a few words -- I find myself supplying appropriate dialogue, based on what I have gathered thus far about the story that's unfolding.

Quite often, more often than I like to admit, it bothers me -- sometimes characters whisper, or it's just bad 
pronunciation, or the actors get so deeply into what they're feeling, they don't pay attention to pronouncing words clearly -- they just let words run together.

I can't blame this on our TV set. News and commercials are clear. But it's seriously annoying. Quoting Shakespeare's Hamlet, I tell the television, "Speak the speech I pray you as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines."

The other day, in desperation, I fixed the settings on our television to display captions. The dialogue appeared in a white strip with each word easy to read. It's somewhat distracting from the story that's unfolding, but it helps.

Maybe it's just as well that I am missing dialogue -- the stuff I am not hearing is stuff I don't want to hear.

Hey, maybe, probably, the dialogue I am inventing improves the film!


I turned off captions.  Now, I simply murmur --

Friday, July 28, 2017


Joanna Quaas, ninety-one-years old, is doing what athletes one-quarter her age often struggle to do.
I'm riveted.

To do a plank, lie on a mat or floor, face down, forearms on ground, clasp hands together, squeeze muscles in buttocks, straighten your legs -- here's the basic position.
Joanna Quaas is doing an advanced plank, straightening her arms, like in a push up, sustaining it for more than a minute.  I can manage to do it the basic position for 16 seconds.

Joanna Q got her start in gymnastics at 10-years-old, but had to quit because her family moved from Saxony, East Germany to a different part of the country. When World War II erupted, she was required do a year of social service, then married. After having three children, and playing competitive handball for fun, Quaas took up gymnastics again at 57 and has continued to exercise one hour a day. She  said, “My face is old but my heart is young. Maybe the day I stop doing gymnastics is the day I die.”

Golly, that hits me -- reminds me of me, around 6-years-old, making  a pact with God to "Dance till  the day I die." Hey, I'm an ex-dancer who's earned a living and danced professionally all over the world -- nowadays, I warm up and dance every day for about 40 minutes. Do I do it beautifully...? Well, I think so -- I don't perform my dance on a stage for an audience, but I feel wonderful, like a  real dancer doing it.

Realty:  I'm a full time writer, hunched or slumping at a desk working on a computer throughout the day, except when I'm doing my dance.

Hey, we age. We can't stop aging, but being able to do what one used to do is major -- even if you can only do it more or less -- striving, trying, working to keep 'cutting the mustard' is what we have to do -- need to do -- to make aging not a bad time, but a good, interesting, okay, part of life. 

Golly, if I added a plank exercise to my daily workout,
instead of being hunched when I'm working, I might be able to attain, and even maintain a sitting-tall posture. 

Watching Joanna Quaas, a not sleek, svelte, pretty young woman, observing Joanna in the video below and in all the other videos I've watched, I delight in this older woman's sense of humor, and obvious pleasure as she performs advanced gymnastics and that incredible "plank."

No doubt about it, I'm giving  the basic "plank" a try. She inspires me.

Guys, if you're intrigued, and want to try doing a plank at home, here's a link to video: BEGINNERS Workout.

Monday, July 24, 2017


Spur of the moment John Cullum and Emily discuss their new nightly ritual.
It's a silly wonderful thing -- making dessert.  Creating it, fussing over it, and devouring it has become a favorite thing to do.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


Ah, the sweet smell of newly mowed grass ... it always gets to me....
It brings back memories of our lawn after Daddy mowed it. My older sister got to mow it sometimes, and then, finally, I was allowed to push the lawn mower. It was fun. It was hard to get the mower rolling, but wow, once I got it going I didn't want to stop -- I loved making a pathway in the grass.

A twig got stuck in the cutter blades. I had to figure out how to get it unstuck. Almost immediately, it  happened again, and again -- twigs, pebbles, more twigs.

With all the stopping and starting, mowing became a big chore. I was glad when my sister told me, "You aren't strong enough to mow the lawn, Em."

Even so, that sweet-sweet smell -- it meant summer, no school, long days with me free to do whatever I was in the mood to do.

Free -- what a feeling -- that feeling as if every day were Sunday. It made me aware of time passing quickly, grass re-growing, needing to be mowed, which meant soon -- too soon -- the summer would end and the wonderful green would turn yellow and brown.

Yes, newly-mowed grass means green, sun, sweat, blue sky, sleepy wonderful freedom. I no longer remember who said I had to learn to rake it up. Raking the remnants wasn't fun -- fun was in the precious, sweet smell.

I got too-too busy and didn't see or smell any grass for a long time.

Now, I never see newly mowed grass except in television ads. Even so, I remember -- oh my yes -- I do remember, that sweet, sweet, sweet smell and it still gives me a powerful feeling that has to do with loving nature for giving us the gift of grass -- taking it away -- giving it back to us every summer.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Want to know what the rest of your life is going to be like?  Be forewarned about the bad things and the good things?

Would you trust a fortune teller to read your palm, check out your lifeline, and tell you how many years you have left?

Well, a California company, 23andMe could help you. Since we are made of cells and there are 23 pairs of chromosomes in every cell, this company's DNA testing can give an ordinary person (like you and me) a window into their DNA.

23andMe was founded five years ago by two women, Anne Wojcicki, and Linda Avery, who have  top-drawer credits and years of experience in the field of genetic testing. Their company's DNA test kit was named "Invention of the Year" by Time Magazine in 2008.

Right now Avery is working specifically on Alzheimer's. Anne Wojcicki runs the company now. She was married, is now divorced from Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google, whose Mother has Parkinson's. It's not surprising that Google invested $3,900,000 in the company.

Yes, there are other companies that do DNA testing, but none offer to get your results in eight weeks, for a $199 fee that includes a conference with a doctor. Others  charge between $1000 and $5000 for a DNA report that your doctor must explain to you.

One can't help wondering about the hugely advertised diseases. Whenever you turn on your television, you're bombarded with fearful things.

23andMe reports telltale markers for 10 diseases. Anyone who buys the $199 the DNA test kit which tests ancestry as well as health, will automatically learn about their potential for:
    Parkinson’s disease, nervous system disorder, impacts movement.
    Late-onset Alzheimer's progressive brain disorder, destroys memory & thinking skills.
    Celiac disease: inability to digest gluten.
    Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, raises risk of lung & liver disease.
    Early-onset primary dystonia, disorder creating uncontrolled muscle contractions.
    Factor XI deficiency, blood-clotting disorder.
    Gaucher disease type 1, an organ & tissue disorder.
    Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase deficiency, (aka G6PD), red blood cell condition.
    Hereditary hemochromatosis, iron overload disorder; thrombophilia, blood-clot disorder.

The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) just recently suspended its ban on 23andMe. At present, it is the only company allowed to give out genetic disease reports to consumers without a doctor’s prescription. Current 23andMe customers in the U.S. will get these reports, but due to regulations, it is not happening for other customers in other countries.

So would you buy a DNA test kit from 23and Me?

Galavanting on the Internet, I've looked at videos and comments of medical people and ordinary folks with pro and con opinions about DNA testing. I read a blog by a guy who bought the 23andME  testing kit and was on the verge suicide because of the bad news.

Are you thinking hmm...?

Would you rather keep floating along, dancing along the way you’re dancing, or would you at some point -- go ahead and find out where you’re heading? Me, I'll keep dancing. What about you?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


I'm giving away free copies of my novel, "Somebody, Woman of the Century," hoping you'll find time to peek at it -- browse, skim, and start reading my heroine Cordelia's story.

Born out of wedlock on day one of 1900, the events in her life coincide with first light bulbs, radio waves, first phones, flivers, victrolas, wars...bustles to bikinis, the Pill -- major happenings as well as trivia.

At 18 Cordelia's the Mother of twins, at 19 in silent movies, 27 on Broadway playing Juliet, age 30 first news lady in radio, widowed at 32 married to a powerful publisher, 37 first female on TV; age 43 an older woman birthing daughter with birthmark, at 50 number-one famous TV reporter. Age 59, she's mothering daughter Kate's baby Miranda; at 64 she's running 18 newspapers, coaching Miranda in tennis, working for Mz Magazine, helped by two beloved best friends who are also, both, her lovers.

Click title "Somebody"
Get a free copy
July 12, 13, 14, 15

As the 20th Century is ending, the way Cordelia passes onto her granddaughter her own powerful energy and passion to take on the future, is what most of us would like to do for our children, if time and opportunity give us a chance.

Saturday, July 8, 2017


What don't YOU want to think about, or discuss?

That question gets husband John Cullum and wife Emily Frankel sharing what's on their minds. Listing the things NOT to think about turns into an amusing exchange of fears and confusions.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


I love this photo of John Cullum, my husband.

He's in his Rutledge, Senator from South Carolina costume for "1776," the film Peter Hunt directed. He's listening to John Adams, (played by William Daniels) and thinking about voting aye or nay when it's time to vote.

I love the look on John's face -- so real -- actor Cullum as Rutledge was thinking, planning, contemplating the issue, and probably also thinking about the song he was about to sing.

John told me that this scene in the movie had been done as a "master" long shot -- cameras and lights repositioned for the medium shot and filmed again -- the set up was again changed for the closeups -- he'd already sung "Molasses to Rum" twice. He told director Peter, "Better get it this time, I've just got one more "G" in me."

(JC told me just now that if I listened to the film again, I'd hear how he "slipped into the high note, that "G." He's a Baritone -- a G can be tricky.)       

Wife, fan, lover of John Cullum, loves that photo of the man she fell in love with at first sight, the guy who had evolved from a very good-looking, handsome, leading man on a stage, a leading man who could rivet an audience -- into a man who could truly star in a show and draw thousands of theatergoers. I've probably seen the film more than a dozen times since it premiered in 1972.

Yes, wife Em WAS, IS always enthralled by this John in that moment, in that marvelous film, stunned by the power in him, artist, musician, singer, actor performer that he is, still is. Here he is, yesterday working on a video for a new project -- audio-videos we'll be publishing on our YouTube Channel & on Facebook. He studied the "take" he'd just finished. Even though I loved it, today he's re-doing it. 

Hey, why am I jabbering about private thoughts?

I'm doing it to remind you that people with whom you are intimately involved change, grow up as you change, and it's amazing and wonderful, the way viewing them freshly grows you up too.

Friday, June 30, 2017


Mark Zuckerberg's been visiting large and small towns. Dressed in a suit, shirt and tie -- not in the usual T-shirt and jeans -- Mark Zuckerberg has been talking about the future. says Zuckerberg is preaching "compassionate globalism" like he preached at Harvard's Commencement on May 25 -- it was "an unmistakable political platform, putting forth the idea that the U.S. explore a "universal basic income, a stipend distributed to all Americans that will provide a cushion against technological disruption." Though Facebook's CEO has said more than once that he is not running for president, Buzzfeed says: "If Candidate Zuckerberg ever happens, he will most certainly look like the 33-year-old man whom we just saw at Harvard."

Vanity Fair says, "If Mark Z doesn't want people to think he's running for president, he hasn't been all that convincing. A year ago he pressed the Facebook board to approve a clause that would allow him to retain control of the company if he took a leave of absence  to serve in the government." The magazine mentions that he hired David Plouffe, Obama's 2008 campaign manager, to help run the philanthropy he runs with his wife -- The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative -- and says the most obvious sign of his ambition is-- "during the past three months he's been rubbing shoulders with farmers, factory workers, Nascar drivers -- in Texas he planted a garden, in Wisconsin at a family farm, he fed a calf."

According to the New York Times -- "It's a stunt. Pit stops, like the Addiction Center in Ohio, have been meticulously documented on Zuckerberg's Facebook page. Zuckerberg himself says that his travels are a way to connect with Facebook users. Those who know him say he's serious about escaping the Silicon Valley bubble as his company grapples with questions about its responsibilities and its role in the lives of its users. The trips he's making, colleagues say, have "plunged him into self reflection." says, "If Mark Zuckerberg wants to make the world a better place, he should start closer to home," referring to the fact that fewer than 4 percent of his US employees are Hispanic, and just 2 percent are black," but even if Facebook's hiring practices might not seem world-changing, Mark Zuckerberg is the respected leader of one of the world's most powerful companies, and other firms will follow his lead. quotes what Zuckerberg said in his recent speech at Harvard: "Changes start local. Even global changes start small with people like us. The CEO should take care not to skip over the simplest solution."

Are you thinking hmmm....?

I am sensing the father, husband is concerned with what his 15-month-old daughter, and the new baby (due in September) will inherit, and thinking what he could do if he were running our government, aware that he would be able to make life on the planet much better for millions of people if he were president.

President? Wow!

As as a Facebook user, frustrated often by its rules and regulations -- the fact that there is almost no way to contract a human on Facebook -- feeling serious concerns about my privacy and the ways in which Facebook is making millions of dollars, I do not like Facebook's boss -- I don't like "LIKE," the word that Facebook's creator has turned into a word that everyone uses for expressing important feelings. But this young leader's strong, clear sense of our thinking, his experience, his enormous success makes me feel that he could be a president contender in 2020, or the election after that.

Yes, maybe he should be thinking about running the world.

Here's a pared-down video of the Harvard speech. You can criticize the speech, the 33-year-old Zuckerberg smiling too much, his excessively sincere quality, but he's got powerfully important things to say.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


New words fascinate me. This one is in Merriam Webster so it's been officialized.

Wise people have said,
Willa Cather, recognized back in 1913 for her novels of frontier life on the Great Plains, said: "Give the people a new word and they think they have a new fact."

Boris Yeltsin, politician,first President of the Russian Federation said: It is especially important to encourage unorthodox thinking when the situation is critical: At such moments every new word and fresh thought is more precious than gold."
It is especially important to encourage unorthodox thinking when the situation is critical: At such moments every new word and fresh thought is more precious than gold. Indeed, people must not be deprived of the right to think their own thoughts. Boris Yeltsin
Read more at:
It is especially important to encourage unorthodox thinking when the situation is critical: At such moments every new word and fresh thought is more precious than gold. Indeed, people must not be deprived of the right to think their own thoughts. Boris Yeltsin
Read more at:
It is especially important to encourage unorthodox thinking when the situation is critical: At such moments every new word and fresh thought is more precious than gold. Indeed, people must not be deprived of the right to think their own thoughts.
Read more at:
It is especially important to encourage unorthodox thinking when the situation is critical: At such moments every new word and fresh thought is more precious than gold. Indeed, people must not be deprived of the right to think their own thoughts.
Read more at:
It is especially important to encourage unorthodox thinking when the situation is critical: At such moments every new word and fresh thought is more precious than gold. Indeed, people must not be deprived of the right to think their own thoughts.
Read more at:
It is especially important to encourage unorthodox thinking when the situation is critical: At such moments every new word and fresh thought is more precious than gold. Indeed, people must not be deprived of the right to think their own thoughts. Boris Yeltsin
Read more at:
Give the people a new word and they think they have a new fact. Willa Cather
Read more at:
Give the people a new word and they think they have a new fact. Willa Cather
Read more at:
Give the people a new word and they think they have a new fact. Willa Cather
Read more at:

Perhaps what's most memorable, and important is what this wise man told us:

The New Meaningful Word is nice-sounding, not ugly, obscene, but practical. It's sensible. Yes, this new word could be a good word for the guy who agrees and  accept what the judge rules.

It's also a good word for these guys who, over the past six months have believed, supported, obeyed bull-baloney-blather, and daily phony-baloney pronouncements.

Yes, nowadays, a lot of people are evolving.

Yep. Yessire! They've evolved. They're now "sheeple." 

Am asking quietly -- are you one of them?

Sunday, June 18, 2017


I don't love doing the laundry, but hurray -- I just turn a dial on the washer, pour in a liquid detergent, and plop in what's in the laundry basket. Golly, I remember when we had to cart it to the launderette that was nine long blocks away. 

Hey, down through the ages, doing the laundry -- washing the clothes you wear -- getting them clean, fresh-smelling, nice to put on again, has evolved. No matter how old or young you are, you probably remember what your mother did, how often she did it, and what tools and what soap she used.

Was it one of these? It reveals her age, and yours more or less.
Did she use Rinso? Since 1908 when Hudson's Soap which was sold to Lever Brothers in the UK, then manufactured but unsuccessfully promoted by Unilever in the United States, Rinso was the laundry soap everyone used. 1936 to 1950, it was advertised on the radio, the sponsor of soap operas, and "The Amos 'n' Andy Show," with ads happily chanting the slogan "Rinso white, Rinso bright," until Proctor and Gamble started telling the world about Tide.

Well, open your mind guys, soon, hopefully very soon, we'll be using Beads. You're gonna grab a handful of Beads and throw them onto the clothes. They're are key component in a laundry system developed in the UK ten years ago. At the University of Leeds, School of Textile, researchers found that tiny nylon beads mixed with a tiny amount of water, acted like a sponge and soaked up dirt from fabrics they started washing in a new washing machine they were also developing, named "Xeros."   

It looks like current washers but it's different. In various hotel laundry rooms where they have been testing the new machine, they proved that Xeros, with Beads, removed dirt -- did it gently like hand-washing, even absorbed stray colors (like a rogue red sock that can turn all your laundry pink). ALSO Beads can be reused hundreds of  times.

Newsweek Magazine, said in its recent "Magic Beads" article -- "It could be the biggest leap forward in the laundry business since electric powered machines rendered wringers obsolete." Los Angeles Times said, "Xeros and Beads will ease California's drought and help save the environment," and published this picture.

You can't buy a Xeros or Beads yet. Fourteen locations have them, including several laundromats, an athletic club, and various hotels; it costs $1,500 per machine per month for upkeep and maintenance, including collection and replacement of the Beads. But the Xeros company is working, night and day, to create a domestic version.

Golly, I hope it's soon. Like I said, I don't love doing the laundry. Note, in the selfie, my fake smile and the size of the pile.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Wife Emily tries, for the umpteeth time, to tell John why she loves him.

  Husband John Cullum tells Emily why he loves her. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017


Want to go on a cruise on a ship that was built for rich people who can afford to spend just about anything for luxurious pleasures?

It's the Regent Seven Seas Explorer. Almost an acre of marble was used to decorate the interiors.  It cost more than $450 million to build and become what it claims to be -- "the most luxurious ship in the world."

Walls are decked out with $7 million in art including Picasso lithographs and Degas originals, and the menus are laden with lobster, caviar, pate foie gras, escargot, and an international array of gourmet dishes. Of course, every dish served in the Seven Seas Explorer’s various eateries can also be delivered to patrons’ rooms at any time of day. If you dine in the Regency's super-elegant Pacific Rim Restaurant, the Tibetan prayer-wheel sculpture on display near the door weighs as much as three cars and cost $500,000.

Here the main entrance.

This is one of the 5 dining rooms.
Here is a typical bedroom, plus sitting room suite.

Of course you have a private deck:
You can swim in this teak-lined swimming pool or the larger main pool below.

On the Regency Explorer's Caribbean cruise, a single passenger pays $1200 a night for the smallest suite. The fanciest suite, the $10,000 Regency suite, has a Steinway Grand Piano, an $80,000 mattress and a pillow menu, so you can choose your pillow. You can also ask for the $150,000 Savoir bed. Savoir reputedly makes the best bed in the world.

Top-notch room service includes Lalique wine glasses; silverware is Christofle. There are two sets of dishes: Bernardaud and Versace. Overhead you'll see Preciosa Chrystal Chandeliers and the glass on the walls and windows is Murano. Visiting the bathroom, anything/everything you might need is available -- they're equipped like L'Occitane cosmetics shops.

Where do you want to go? Prices start at $5,499 (U.S.) per person in a Veranda Suite for a 10-night round-trip Miami cruise, to $134,999 in a Regent Suite for a 27-night cruise to Copenhagen from London.


Well, if we can scrounge up another hundred-thousand or so, for the wardrobe my husband and I would need, I'd love to take the 27-night cruise. Even if we went to Miami, we'd need fabulous clothes to go with the fantastically fabulous, ridiculously, excessively expensive everything else.


Picturing this, imagining all this, is by itself, a fun fantasy vacation from one's hectic busy life in a bustling big city....


Tuesday, June 6, 2017


I like Annette Bening -- whatever she "plays" always involves me and seems real. I like  Geena Davis -- whatever she plays involves me and seems real.

Both these women are over the Hollywood Star hill -- they're forty +  -- a loud age number that suggests that a woman is no longer ... What?

Geena, early 60's
Annette, late 50's

Looking at the photos closely, I see crows' feet, the center of forehead think wrinkle, indentations in their cheeks as they smile. They do not have young faces. Even so, if you saw either of them on the street, you'd excitedly stare and probably want to rush over and say "I'm a fan and I've loved your work for years."

I especially loved Geena the first time she holds up a store imitating the Brad Pitt character she slept with. I loved Annette in the scene where President Michael Douglas asks if she's nervous about sex, and she appears naked, except for wearing one of his shirts.

Burned in my mind is a vision of Geena, excited, bravely bold, and Annette, fearlessly humorously loving. There are other not young, over the hill actresses I love -- Sher, Shirley MacLaine, and just about anything Bette Davis did.

The Mount Everest of being beautiful, staying beautiful is a terrifying doomed ascent. I speak for myself, but also translate what's in the minds of many women who would love to be not aware, daily, hourly, of how they look whenever/wherever they see their reflection in a mirror -- in a bathroom, a window, a storefront, or a tablespoon. Yes, you can check the state of your lipstick, your mascara, or the shine on your nose in any piece of silverware.

Do women in cultures where old age is revered feel this way? I suspect they are aware the way I'm aware. It is a real realty.

Aging is dying. A plant dies; a human dies. Let this fact of life -- dying -- inspire you to use your time, more seconds and more and more seconds -- better-fully-richly.

Trying helps.


Friday, June 2, 2017


Responding to the topic that Emily Frankel picks, John Cullum and Em find themselves behaving somewhat ridiculously.

Having listed time-wasting, purposeless things they more or less habitually do, suddenly John sums it up. and explains the why-and-wherefore of the silly habits they've revealed.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


I noticed in The Week Magazine, a small article headlined, "Tooth Heal Thyself."

I grabbed it, and read every word. I'd just had my teeth cleaned. It takes a half hour to get to get  there, an hour in the Dentist's office, another half hour to get back home; costs about $300 to get "no urgent problems, come back in six months," though I have a cap that needs to be replaced, which will be three appointments that will be costly in time and money.  

Can one NOT go to the dentist and keep one's teeth in shape? The magazine article mentioned that you could keep your teeth healthy, even heal a cavity by chewing on a stick.  

I googled -- read articles in Newsweek, and Time -- found references, quotable quotes from established scientists confirming that you-yourself can heal cavities with "nutrient rich foods" -- finally, bumped into the World Health Organization. In bold print, in its international reports on oral hygiene that were published in 1986 and again in 2000, the World Health Organization  recommends the use of Miswak.

Here's link to the Wikipedia photo and article: "Minerals in this root or twig include potassium, sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, and calcium oxides. These ingredients all strengthen the tooth enamel. The bark contains an antibiotic which suppresses the growth of bacteria and the formation of plaque. Research shows that regular use of miswak significantly reduces plaque, gingivitis and growth of carcinogenic bacteria."

On Miswak's website, (it's pronounced "miz wa"), I learned that Miswak, (Salvadora persica), was used by the Babylonians some 7000 years ago; was later used throughout the Greek and Roman empires, and also by ancient Egyptians, Muslims and Inca civilizations; is used in different parts of Africa, Asia, especially the Middle East, and South America. "It naturally strengthens and protects the enamel with resins and mild abrasives for whiter teeth and fresher breath; reduces stains from tobacco products, coffee and teas; the form of the twig massages the gums, and makes it easier to get to the hard-to-reach places for a standard toothbrush. It is used in place of the ordinary toothbrush and toothpaste -- the miswak stick requires no toothpaste whatsoever."

I'm picturing myself chewing on it. You can buy it on for $1.99 -- buy a few, a bunch, or purchase it on Etsy, Ebay, Walmart, Amazon.  My husband said, "Let's try it -- let me be the guinea pig." Our two sticks will arrive in about a week.  

Thursday, May 25, 2017


Time Magazine recently published the 100 Most Influential People In The World 2017.  (If you want to read it, click the link.)

Jeffrey Bezos and LeBron James are on the list.

Bezos continues to amaze me. The more we get to know him, see what interests him, get a sense of where he is going business-wise, I am impressed by his ideas. He focuses on what the world needs now. Yes, I'm hearing the melody of "Love Sweet Love," but he is singing that the world needs a future where people can live, work, play with hope and joy, and a feeling that they are doing something important. Yes, I'm thinking of the Ten-thousand Year Clock, and Blue Origin, his space Rocket that's soon going to travel to Mars, projects Bezos has been expanding and financing, along with many, many other things he's providing for us.

Time Magazine's list includes major, important people's names, but without question Jeffrey Bezos is my choice for "number-one, influential."

LeBron James is also my choice for number-one influential.

James' talent, amazing mind, and hero's energy and drive -- to win, to do what needs to be done for his team.

With his fame, name, and winning, he made a foundation.

He has invested in the next and next generations.

He is intensely focused on inspiring and encouraging kids.

He is teaching them that talent, study, perfecting one's talent, combined with passion and tenacity and decency, can do the impossible.

Yes, Lebron James and Jeffrey Bezos are at the very top of my list, Emily Frankel's list, of who is major, important, profoundly influential.