Friday, March 16, 2018


When I put on my sneakers, yank and tug extra hard on the laces, I think of Joe Busby. My latest new pair of sneakers arrived with laces that were way too long.

Click --
visit what I found on the Internet 

I bought two pairs of strong, correct length laces for $1.26 + $3.00 for shipping. I emailed my thanks to the company, asking, "Who's the owner? How do you guys break even?"

Somebody replied immediately in an email, and said:
      "Joe Busby was a manager for ten years, buying and selling. traveling a lot  for Honeywell in Dayton. When he moved to Cincinnati, he started the shoe lace business. He and his wife wanted to raise a family.  Her full time job involved her traveling as well,. Honeywell, headquartered in Morristown, New Jersey, produces thermostats, security systems, and turbo-chargers for vehicles. He selected shoe laces because it allowed him to create a niche-market for himself where he could  make them and sell them from his home."

Hey, Joe Busby -- I am a blogger, writing short essays -- creating them and promoting them on Twitter and Facebook so that they'll be read. Having written six novels that are selling, (not very well) on Amazon, observing that people are reading less and "blogging" with their photos, expressing their ideas with  "likes" -- it doesn't make sense for me to devote myself to writing a new novel. It takes a year or so, to write a novel -- you can create a post for a blog in five to eight hours.

So I strain my brain every day, figuring out what to blog about... I wonder if Joe Busby felt what I feel -- somewhat frustrated, purposeless, when he was working for Honeywell.

Oh boy, I could write a book about all the things nobody told me about growing older -- like white socks. Years ago, I laughed because my mother, even in the summer wore white socks when she retired for the night. Mom didn't tell me, nobody ever mentioned the leg cramps that we get (my husband gets them too) if we don't wear socks.

Hey, right now, wow, today, right this minute, I could start a non-fiction seventh book -- a big-fat-ever-expanding narration about stuff that nobody warned me about-- fun to research it-- get folks to share what's bugging them and sell it-- like Busby-- 2 cents + postage. Yay yay -- that oughta keep me creatively percolating, for a year or two or ten.

Hey, yay yay yay -- friends, pals, followers, that's my blog today!!

Monday, March 12, 2018


"Orwellian" things unnerve me. It means a situation, idea, or societal condition that author George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free and open society.

I dug into Week Magazine's article, "Orwell Comes to China." China's 1.4 billion people are going to be given social credit scores that rate their trust-worthiness and place in society. The government is working to push citizens toward good behavior. It's already been done in 30 cities.

Similar to FICO (U.S credit-score company), China is taking into account the good things and bad things you do -- do you pay your bills on time, take care of your parents, how you use your phone apps -- are you calling taxis, ordering food, scheduling doc appointments, restaurant reservations, do you give to charity, do you sell things that are tainted, have you ever run a red light?

In China, everything you do, search for, or buy, is on a phone app that everyone uses to pay for goods or services. They spend $5.5 trillion in China compared to our $112 billion. Beijing, (the government) can find out if you criticize the government, along with who you are trying to meet on a dating app. Anything suspicious, odd, or inconsistent, gets flagged. "Good" citizens with high ratings get access to things like travel visas and a good school for their kids. "Bad" low rated people lose access to bank loans, government jobs, and can't even rent a car.

Beijing plans to get this program everywhere by 2020. The technology utilizes the facial recognition that is currently used to unlock doors, and the smile-to-pay app that restaurants use, and will feed information on you into a current government surveillance program called "Sharp Eyes," which utilizes the security cameras that are already everywhere, and encourages neighbors to inform on one another. Your score will include school report cards, college marks, applications for jobs, and who you socialize with. All this private information is now harvested by the E-commerce giant Alibaba,  also known as Alipay, who is evolving the future government system, "Sesame Credit."

Is this Orwellian, or Big Brotherish, or Hitlarian?
I'm thinking of what's happening on social media. On Facebook there are quite often messages reminding  you to celebrate the day you met a "friend" whose name you may not recognize, and ads telling you to boost your post on News Feed for $5 -- a post reaches just 25 friends ever since Facebook cut down everyone's News Feed. On Twitter, with the President tweeting, there are now kinder rules enabling you to use more than 40 words, and say good morning, or have a happy Monday, to your "followers."

Won't nicer, more parental social media inspire/infect Republicans, who are doing Orwellian-Big Brotherish-Hitlarian deeds, to protect our country?

My eyes are open big.

Guys, open your eyes!

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Can you do what you used to do, and do it well--do it as brilliantly now as you did a few years ago?

The discussion gets John Cullum and Em revealing some realistic concerns, joking around, as well as singing.

Sunday, March 4, 2018


Steve Martin at 48 said, "They smell 50 in this town." Now he's 72, doing more than ever even though he's "over the hill."

The "HILL?" Yep! When you have a career, you are on your way up a hill. If you get to the top, it's a level plateau. You can stay there for awhile even though you still need to keep climbing a bit, to stay where you are. At some point, though it feels the same, the going up is going down.

This guy -- comedian, writer, playwright, producer, banjo player, pianist, dancer, composer, juggler, winner of Emmy, Grammy, American Comedy, and "Lifetime Achievement" awards -- singing, dancing, joking -- is always surprising us with new and unexpectedly current things.

Okay, Steve Martin is not hosting the Academy Awards this year but maybe he'll be in another play on Broadway -- well, probably not -- Broadway needs hot names and Steve Martin is not hot. Yes, he has fans, fame, he's a name throughout the world, but he's busy doing something off beat in some odd or unusual place where no star has ever appeared before.

Right now he's touring, playing the banjo, reaching a whole different kind of audience in the music world. Why? Because that's what he's in the mood to do. The video below reminds us of the amazingly many, MANY very different things he's been passionately involved with.

Golly, I love what this guy does. I want there to be more Steven Martin, more plays, films, shows, albums, books, DVD's -- he's more richly inventive now than ever before. I invariably find myself laughing with him and at him because his attitude toward the realities and UN realities of life in America fits me, expresses what I feel.

Yes, I love Steve Martin.

Here's an amazing video that will remind you of many projects that you've seen or heard about, and reveals a great deal about the real man that I didn't know which inspires my exclaiming WHAT A GUY!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Dear JD, I wrote this for myself before my last birthday because I didn't like being a year older, and I wasn't sure what project to do next.

Since March 1 is your birthday, and the show you were in just closed, you'll be thinking about your career as an actor -- what to do next -- stay in LA, move to NYC, work on a one-man show, or maybe teach. When pressure is on you to do something -- start something new, finish an unfinished project, make a decision, confront an issue -- if you do not start/ finish/ decide/ confront/ -- you are immobilized.

JD, there are two you's -- Grownup-You, and Child-You.

Grownup-Em has coped, handled, negotiated, avoided, confronted, and accomplished many things -- Child-Em has fears, impractical dreams, and expectations -- often feels unsure, not very capable, wants to sleep, or watch a dumb TV show -- but sooner or later Grownup-Em tells Child-Em what to do, or not do, and calms the child self by pointing the child in a direction.

Jd, if you chat with the Child-You patiently, logically, lovingly, the child feels safer, and can even handle scary things. The Grownup-You knows how to organize disorder into an orderly sequence of activities, like....
One, two, button my shoe.
Three, four, close the door,
Five, six, pick up sticks.
Seven, eight, close the gate.
NINE -- you're fine!
Ten is not the "big fat hen,"
It's just the end of a sequence.

Jd, tell the child in you it's okay, and
Help the child push worries away and
Banish, make vanish all the fears --
And strongly advocate "no tears!"

The balm is being calm.
It helps the two you's
Unwind, and re-find
Peace of mind.

Jd, that's my happy birthday message.
Care for, support, love your child parentally.
Parent the Child-You.

Saturday, February 24, 2018


Emily knows this is a favorite topic for her husband, John Cullum.

Dreaming of being in films since he was very young, John enjoys naming the names, and explaining why these famous stars continue to delight and inspire him.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


The headline in the NY Times scared a lot of people. In December, two pilots, (Navy Fighter Jet pilots), saw a cigar shaped object that moved strangely -- not like any known aircraft. They sent this video to the head guys at the Pentagon.

Our government has been investigating the possibility that aliens have visited the earth: Between 2008 and 2011, the Pentagon spent $22 million in a secret program that examined reports of flying objects -- unexplained sightings by pilots of aircraft that moved at what appeared to be incredibly high speeds with abrupt changes of direction and no visible signs of propulsion. The Times article also said the government had constructed specially modified buildings to house mysterious "alloys," (mixtures of metals) recovered from UFOs.

Wondering about that cigar-shaped object, I came across a photo from a California naval base, and a photo of UFOs rotating, not moving ahead, just rotating.

Jeff Wise, in NY, responding to the N.Y. Times article, said, "The hyped video about the cigar shaped object is too fuzzy to make out anything. Since 1940 we've been seeing unidentified objects in the skies. As for the storage shed, did scientists test the alloys. and determine the metals were not of earthly origin? The newspaper creates a sense of mystery with its questions, but leaves the questions unanswered. These techniques are great for exciting an audience but prove nothing."

Professor Michio Kaku, head of the theoretical physics department at City College of New York and CUNY Graduate Center, creator of award-winning documentaries, an authority on this subject, published this commentary on what the two pilots saw.

Summary of the situation by Luis Elizondo, former head of the Pentagon's UFO department.

Guys, the Washington Post said:  "It's surprising how little attention this story got. The idea of an alien invasion has not broken through the Trump bubble.  Like the solar eclipse of last summer, the hunt for extra terrestrial life reminds us that we are just a small part of an inconceivably large universe. In this year of petty partisanship and all-consuming chaos. that's something of a comfort."

I'm not comforted. Two distinguished, foremost authorities said "It could be aliens." (also) "We are probably not alone." I am wondering what can we do, what should we do about the aliens?

Friday, February 16, 2018


 What's the nicest thing about today, the sweetest NICE thing that you enjoyed?

The Cullums, spur of the moment, think back on moments throughout the day that were special, delightful, and have fun reliving things.

Monday, February 12, 2018


Is there a HUM? People are hearing a HUM. Videos and recordings confirm there's a HUM.

I never heard of "The HUM" until I read about it the other day,  but I can't stand noise -- but when I hear my neighbor's highfi -- the bass beat reverberating in my walls --I go nuts.

This is a photo of the HUM which The Week Magazine published a few weeks ago.

Some folks have described it as sounding like a heavy diesel engine idling in the distance. Others say  the sound starts low and becomes a high pitched buzz. This map shows that it's been reported from everywhere in the world -- from Vancouver in Canada to Europe, Asia,  Australia, and New Zealand.

Is this mysterious noise a provable scientific fact -- is it real, or a delusion?

Researching, I learned that throughout the 20th and now, in the 21st century, hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have reported hearing  it. It started drawing media attention in England when the Bristol Sunday Mirror asked, in 1977, “Have You Heard the Hum?” Letters came flooding in from places that were far from the hustle and bustle of cities, describing an idling diesel engine noise that was audible at night, mostly indoors.

A nurse in a small village in Scotland said, "A thick, low hum permeating the entire house is keeping me awake. My husband, who had tinnitus, doesn't hear it but people look at me like I was mad. It makes me sometimes dizzy and nauseous."

Doctors have said the noise could be as a result of tinnitus or Ménière’s disease, but nothing conclusive has been published in medical journals. Hearing protectors do not help. Patients have  reported that wearing ear plugs, the body vibrated. High quality microphones cannot record the sound, and more often than not, other people in the immediate vicinity can hear nothing.

Experts have said the sound could be industrial equipment, or high pressure gas lines, wireless communication devices, electrical power lines, electromagnetic radiation, the mating calls of fish reverberating off ship hulls and buildings.

In 2010, Time Magazine listed The Hum as the 7th most annoying sound in the world, while Livescience featured it in their :‘Top 10 Unexplained Phenomenon.”

I read this to my husband who said, "Good God, we already have enough unexplained things to worry about," so I showed him these two videos.

 2006: Taos, New Mexico. 

Spain, in 2013.

THE HUM is real. If you've heard it, tell others about it -- use social media to apread the word so that scientists will find out what's causing it and what we need to do about it.

Thursday, February 8, 2018


Fried, pickled, raw -- or as a super-delicious sauce for chicken wings, or your main entree -- roasted Cauliflower Tandoori with cilantro/onion chutney that you eat with your fork and steak knife.

Someone gave us three large containers of homemade Cauliflower soup for Xmas. My husband had potful of my Hungarian stuffed cabbage to devour, a recipe I learned from watching my mother. I ended up enjoying every last drop of the soup while John feasted on my cabbage rolls.

"The Case Against Sugar" best seller published six months ago, with numbers and thorough research, shows us that the  sugar industry's been covering up its role in  heart disease, Alzheimer's, and cancers. Although US consumption of sugar has decreased, manufacturers are making up for it by adding the "bad for you" saturated fats the FDA removed in 2015.

Since we stopped using sugar, use Sweet & Lo, or Splenda rather than sugar. I know the no-no's about artificial sweeteners. Based on my own observations, I ignore them.

This low-carb, high-fat diet, based on a diet that reduced epiletic fits -- wow -- more than 20 studies show it  can help you lose weight and prevent diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer's. Weight loss seekers are loving this diet -- eating bacon burgers, and other high fat foods, starving the body of glucose apparently turns you into a fat burning machine.

The Ketogenic diet reminds me of the Atkins diet, which worked at first, but was difficult to maintain. Dr. Atkins had a doctorly crush on me in my dancer days. I wasn't overweight but thought the diet would give me more energy. He taught me to make a cottage cheese pie with heavy cream, and cinnamon -- something delicious I could snack on all day without feeling tired.

The charcoal that's in water purifiers, is now in food. You now can order charcoal burger buns, lattes, even charcoal ice cream. Can you picture yourself licking a black ice cream cone, or eating a hamburger on that black bun?

Doctors say charcoal absorbs just about anything bad that you eat -- including medications and nutrients, but yay, you can gobble a forbidden fantastic dessert, without gaining those pounds.


Here's some new new snacks to try.  (click link -- you'll see each one in glorious detail.

I must say I'd probably enjoy the Bantam Bagels.

Bet my husband would love the Texas Tamales, or the
Peanut Butter Banana Bites.

Which of these snacks would you love to taste right now?

I'm longing for spring weather, and a double dip cone of black ice cream with sprinkles.

Sunday, February 4, 2018


What Emily wants to talk about is her husband's way of thinking. But that is not what John Cullum is in the mood to discuss.

Never quite answering her questions, chatting a little about this and that, John explains why it helps him to examine complex issues in imaginary conversations with with philosophers like Aristotle and Stephen Hawking. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


All the women pictured in this issue, called "THE SILENCE BREAKERS," have been praised for telling how and when they were abused by powerful men.

Yes, they are brave. It took courage to reveal the details -- sexual specifics of what was done to them. And now there are shocking, detailed revelations from more than 100 young girls who were molested, abused by the former USA gymnastics team doctor, and sports physician for Michigan State University.

We're into the first phase of a revolution that may change the way children are brought up, and will affect our culture. But there is an element in what happened to the women on the cover of Time Magazine, the MSU gymnasts, as well as the Me Too women all in white at the Grammys, that is not being mentioned.

Being a woman, I know how I was taught from day one of my life to be female, be like my mother,  her mother, grandma and all the mothers before her -- to be sugar and spice and everything nice. To be sweet, charming, cute, sexy-seductive-lovable, in behavior, clothes, language -- in all the ways a baby, little girl, young lady, grownup lady, woman should be whatever she does, whatever career she chooses. It relates to why the gymnasts at Michigan State University didn't tell about the abuse for many years.

Your femininity helps get you to the next level and next -- get more help, more attention from the coach and other experts -- it gets you into meetings with powerfully important men and women who can help you be more successful. The women, and young girls who have been abused got themselves into a situation with an abuser because they needed something from the abuser.

And the abusers, the men, even MSU's sports physician, who've been taught, trained, conditioned by our culture from infancy as snips and snails, and puppy dog tails, into needing to do what they did -- that is not being mentioned either.

Hopefully, the thousands of things that shape us -- especially movies, television, music, and commerce-related ads -- what "Victoria's Secrets" sells us, what we buy, love to wear, and try to be -- will change.

It's starting to happen. It could change how males and females need to behave if we change the sugar and spice aspects of femininity, the puppy dog elements of masculinity, and become truthful, straight forward in pursuing our dreams, needs, and goals.

I showed this to my husband. He said, "Don't publish this, A lot of people are going to be offended by this."  If you're offended, I'm sorry but its what I perceive as the truth.

Saturday, January 27, 2018


Bill Gates, guest editor of the January 15, 2018 Time Magazine, an issue chock-full of hopeful events and optimistic people who are doing good things for the world, told the magazine's readers:

"Reading the news today does not exactly leave you feeling optimistic. Hurricanes in the Americas. Horrific mass shootings. Global tensions over nuclear arms, crisis in Myanmar, bloody civil wars in Syria and Yemen. Your heart breaks for every person who is touched by these tragedies. Even for those of us lucky enough not to be directly affected, it may feel like the world is falling apart.

"But these events—as awful as they are—have happened in the context of a bigger, positive trend. On the whole, the world is getting better.

"This is not some naively optimistic view; it’s backed by data. Look at the number of children who die before their fifth birthday. Since 1990, that figure has been cut in half. That means 122 million children have been saved in a quarter- century, and countless families have been spared the heartbreak of losing a child.

"And that’s just one measure. In 1990, more than a third of the global population lived in extreme poverty; today only about a tenth do. A century ago, it was legal to be gay in about 20 countries; today it’s legal in over 100 countries. Women are gaining political power and now make up more than a fifth of members of national parliaments—and the world is finally starting to listen when women speak up about sexual assault. More than 90% of all children in the world attend primary school. In the U.S., you are far less likely to die on the job or in a car than your grandparents were. And so on.

"I’m not trying to downplay the work that remains. Being an optimist doesn’t mean you ignore tragedy and injustice. It means you’re inspired to look for people making progress on those fronts, and to help spread that progress more widely. If you’re shocked by the idea of millions of children dying, you ask: Who is good at saving kids, and how can we help them do more? (This is essentially why Melinda and I started our foundation.)

"So why does it feel like the world is in decline? I think it is partly the nature of news coverage. Bad news arrives as drama, while good news is incremental—and not usually deemed newsworthy. A video of a building on fire generates lots of views, but not many people would click on the headline “Fewer buildings burned down this year.” It’s human nature to zero in on threats: evolution wired us to worry about the animals that want to eat us.

"There’s also a growing gap between the bad things that still happen and our tolerance of those things. Over the centuries, violence has declined dramatically, as has our willingness to accept it. But because the improvements don’t keep pace with our expectations, it can seem like things are getting worse.

"To some extent, it is good that bad news gets attention. If you want to improve the world, you need something to be mad about. But it has to be balanced by upsides. When you see good things happening, you can channel your energy into driving even more progress.

"That is what I hope you will take from this issue of TIME. I’ve asked some of the people I respect most to write about what makes them optimistic.

"You’ll learn surprising facts about the state of the world, and you’ll meet heroes who save lives every day. It’s a crash course in why and how the world is improving. I hope you’ll be inspired to make it even better."

Thanks Bill Gates for giving us these strong good words.  It's a never-to-be-thrown-out issue of Time Magazine.
The issue included:
"The Kids Will Be All Right," by Warren Buffet.
"Defending The Dreamers." by Lawrence Powell Jobs.
"Girl Power" by Malala Yousafzai.
"What Men Can Do To Help Women," by Bono.
"Precedent for Change, Time For Hope," by Avan du Vernay
"The March Forward," by Melinda Gates.

Born in 1955, William Henry Gates, age 62, entrepreneur,  author, philanthropist, with his friend Paul Allen, Gates founded and built Microsoft, the world's largest software company, and  became one of the richest men in the world. With his wife, the Melinda and Bill Gates foundation has  given $35 billion to charities.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


The CULLUM'S  don't agree about how they approach work, and life, in terms of discipline.  

In the course of a day, John Cullum likes to do what he's in the mood to do, while his wife, Emily Frankel, plans and organizes how she spends her time.

Friday, January 19, 2018


The title under grim picture in Time of a hand holding the injection needle says:
      "The Fiercer-than-usual Flu Season Will Meet a Less-effective-Than-usual Vaccine."

Time Magazine's highly respected senior reporter, Alice Park, explains: "This year's virus is in rare form. Experts report that the vaccine may not be as effective as they'd hoped. Normally, vaccines are grown in about four months in chicken eggs but minor changes that are being made to the growing process may be contributing to lower effectiveness."

According to the CDC (center for disease control), this year’s shot includes H1N1, H3N2, but the changes could be making the H3N2 strain less potent which would limit the immune response it triggers in the body. This could lead to people remaining susceptible even if they got their flu shot. Scientists, while trying to shift away from egg-based vaccine production, have not yet found a reliable alternative.

Should you survive the season without getting vaccinated?

No, says leading experts. Even if it isn't effective against one strain, it will protect you against the others. When it comes to viruses, the science is clear: some protection is better than none.


Monday, January 15, 2018


WOW!! "Time Magazine," said there's a new pill that will cure depression that affects 300 million Americans. I have been, more or less, one of  them.

The six page center-fold article, loaded with history, detailed the effectiveness of pills, such as Prozac, Celexa, Zoloft, and Luvox, that depressed friends of mine have taken.

Ketamine  -- that's the new drug!  Ketamine is what Anesthesiologists use to put people under before they are anesthetized for surgery.

"In the past 20 years I have not seen anything like this," says Dr. Cristina Cusin, a clinician, researcher who runs the Ketamine Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital. "Studies have shown 60% to 70% of people with treatment resistant depression respond to Ketamine."

Dr. Cusin revealed that approximately 400 patients have been involved with the studies. The Ketamine injection treatment lasts 7 to 14 days; to maintain the cure you need to keep getting injections; it costs $400 to $800 per treatment; it's not covered by insurance insurance.

Time explained that there are many private Ketamine clinics throughout the United States. Since it is FDA approved as an anesthetic, physicians can prescribe it for any condition they believe it may help, including depression. It's injected into a muscle. There are, so far, no rules governing clinics, but patients trying it, were saying it makes them feel "great... not depressed... hopeful... energetic... capable of activity..."

Major drug companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Allergan are working on Ketamine, and other similar drugs. They've announced that they may have a pill like it or better, by 2018, and 2019.  Doctor Gerard Sanacora, head of Yale's Depression Research Program says: "I think it's the most exciting treatment of the last 50 years. There's a lot we don't know about it, but any new drug that almost makes it to the finish line is a huge win."

...."huge rules" makes me uneasy.... 

Even so, for decades, since its first issue in 1923, Time Magazine been a major reliable, highly respected source for news. Like most of our newspapers and magazines, Time is in a survival mode with its readership declining and costs rising, so Time's been reformatting, firing and hiring new top executives. A new pill grabs readers (like the magazine's 2016 centerfold article that highly touted a- "possible cure for Altzheimer's" which may or may not cure Altzheimer's.) Anyhow, in a year or two maybe Ketamine will help a lot of depressed folks who don't respond to treatment.

Like me. Having been been psychoanalyzed and also had short term therapy with a few other excellent therapists, I've learned a lot about what causes my depression. But aside from Freudian stuff, who isn't depressed nowadays, with so many terrifying, serious,  unsolvable issues hanging over our country as well as the world?

Hey, I perk myself up -- cure myself with work -- a project, something I'm doing like writing this blog. Work gets me learning, expanding, striving, and with it comes some tingling moments of excitement, daydreams. Sure, dreams fizzle, but momentarily thinking that what I'm writing might reach a lot of people, might get published -- those big and little thoughts keep firing up big and little hopes... and and Emily Dickinson...

Sure, a pill might help, but you can change the subject in your brain. Hey, try it now. Focus on anything you could do right this minute -- quickly shove away the idea -- then, focus on it again. Even if it's a tiny, itty-bitty bit of nothing, grab it. Cure yourself for ten minutes, an hour, even a week.

Thursday, January 11, 2018


Emily Frankel, Cullum's wife says, "John, As you started out, whom did you want to be like as an actor?"

He explains when and how, back in Knoxville, Tennessee, films inspired him pursue a career in theater.

In this video that we made sometime ago, what John Cullum says about why he devoted his life to acting, is what he feels right now, today, stronger than ever.

Sunday, January 7, 2018


"Who's the Greatest Genius of All time?" Walter Isaacson asked some of the men and woman who are on Time's list of "The Most Influential People of  2017." Having written books on Ben Franklin, Albert Einstein, Steven Jobs, and Leonardo Da Vinci, the question was certainly an appropriate question for Isaacson to ask the people on that list, who are pioneers, leaders, titans, artists and icons themselves.

George Church, 63, geneaologist who pioneered gene-editing technology, chose CARL BOSCH, the chemist who converted nitrogen gas into ammonia for fertilizer, and revolutionized the way human's grow food.

Patricia Bath, ophthalmologist, age 75, first African American doctor to receive a medical patent, chose MARIE CURIE, winner of Nobel Prizes in 1903 and 1911 who discovered radium, polonium,  and radioactivity. 

Ann Patchett, best selling author, age 54, winner of many major book awards for her novels -- "Bell Canto," "Commonwealth," and "State of Wonder," chose JANE GOODALL whose studies of Chimpanzees changed the world's attitude toward animals.

David Adjaye, age 51, award-winning architect, chose J. MAX BOND, whose many museums stores, and house developments make him one of the worlds most innovative, revolutionary architects. 

Christopher Edwards Nolan, 47, film director, acclaimed as one of best filmmakers of the 21st century, chose DAVID HOCKNEY, renown image maker -- photographer, researcher, authority on the development images and the use of optics in painting and in film down through the ages.

Rihanna, 20, award-winning singer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur, chose MICHAEL JORDAN, Chicago Bulls sports hero who transformed his sports career, what he accomplished in basketball, into a legend.

This is a photo of the award-winning innovators who expressed their opinions.

(Note Rihanna in the middle, who announced, "I'm 100% involved  creating and expanding "Fenty Beaty Makeup Collections."

Golly....who would I pick....?

I'd pick  Einstein, Newton, Pasteur, the names, the geniuses I heard about over and over as I was growing up, Also Mozart, and J.S. Bach who affected what I did, loved, and worked on in my world.

Walter Isaacson, putting together the Genius issue for Time, elevating Leonardo Da Vinci beyond the smartest of Leonard's peers, said, "Talent hits a target that no one else can hit--genius hits a target no one else can see..." And ends the article with: "Da Vinci was a genius. He was, more important, the epitome of the universal mind, the person most curious about more things than anyone else in history."

I bow to that.

So who would YOU select as the geniuses who profoundly affected your world?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


It's my first day back at work since the holidays.

Things don't seem much different from last year, when I was recovering from the election, worrying about our street, and what the new President will be doing, or not doing.

The small building they were tearing down last year is now an empty space that will become another parking lot, or someone will build a much taller building in the lot. Taller buildings make money, a few million per floor. More floors in the tall buildings across from our house are becoming condos for wealthy people with kids.

Looking out my window two days ago I saw their huge marvelously decorated Christmas trees. Today there are already two trees at the curb.

Soon all the trees will be in the street. After the holidays, you pretend not to notice the branches becoming brown and pine needles on the floor, until you notice pine needles on your kitchen floor and in the bathroom. Our tree is already in our hallway, waiting to be lugged downstairs.

The condo folks across the street will be elevatoring their trees downstairs where theirs and ours will rest ignobly on the curb till the garbage guys arrive to toss the tree into their bins.

Ah, our tree... oh my... As our son, my husband and I opened our presents, the way it twinkled and glistened reminded us of other years. Our son, actor JD lives in LA. He's already back there rehearsing for a new show, but he'll be here in February, helping me install the new computer we got for me for Xmas.

The computer will help me write -- I don't want to blog about politics, and mourn the good things from the Obama days that are being stopped, outlawed, curtailed, but I'm revising one of my plays, maybe producing it again -- that's fun!

My husband (John Cullum) will continue performing on Broadway in the "Waitress," while working on his one-man show and our audio book project. It delights me, how his friends and fans enjoy the way he tells my stories when he's reading one of my novels aloud.

Hey, it'll be Ground Hog Day soon, then Valentine's Day, first day of spring, 4th of July, Halloween, and in a minute it'll be Xmas/New Years again. We'll be very busy and our street busier than ever with a new parking lot, and kids. They'll have pets, and playmates. There'll be school buses taking them to school, and more grocery, drugstore, UPS deliveries.

I'll learn the names of the delivery guys and the latest new postman -- knowing names helps make my street, my world, into a friendly safer neighborhood. Children in the condos will be fun to watch from my window -- next time I see a child at the window  I'll wave. Kids wave back.

Here's a video that suits my mood -- "Bye Bye Christmas Tree," -- hello tomorrow!