Saturday, August 22, 2009


We've been ordering from a new Chinese restaurant -- two especially good dishes: ISLAND PRAWNS -- apples, pineapple, lichee sauce; CURRY CHICKEN -- thin sliced white breasts, ultra spicy sauce. JC likes their PEPPER STEAK and loves their PORK LO MEIN so it's "our place" for now.

Our new place has a fast delivery guy on a motorcycle, and the girl who answer the phone and takes the order speaks reasonably clear English.

BUT the fortunes in their cookies .. well, these fortunes cookies are different

Huh? That's a fortune?

Religious, philosophical message. Old fashioned, stiff, and a bit boring.

Pleasant, not thrilling, okay fortune.

True, wise, mature, and even hopeful. I might paste it on the string on my door.

Is the writer guy into Scientology?

Now he's cooking with gas.

I think I'd appreciate this fortune more if the second phrase came first. Or if the whole thing was reversed.

Huh? Maybe the guy who wrote the fortune is a girl?

Philosophical, a little dull, but optimistic.


Nice? (Boring, and simplistic.)

JC likes this one. I don't.

I have about eight more cookies to eat. I love the new Chinese restaurant's two specials, but these fortunes .... Oh well ... maybe the fortune cookie writer is on Prozac.

If you want any of them, let me know, Click the Ask Em icon, and I'll send you a copy.

So -- -- see my post, "Fortune String" -- June 22.
Big question: DO I, DON'T I keep them?
Should I paste the new fortunes on the string that's on my office door?

Friday, August 21, 2009


JD has been looking at a 2009 Mini Cooper all year. He phoned yesterday from the dealers, as he bought it. He sent us a photo of it parked in his driveway (in N. Hollywood.)

MOM EMAILED HIM ===============
Got the photos of your new car. It's GREAT looking!

Did you get the car cover? Don't economize -- with all those Mini Wheat commercials you've been doing, you can afford it!

Worrying about money is one of your worry things. You won't run out of money, and if you do -- financially, (as well as in 100,000 other ways) we are always there for you.

Hug from yr Ma -- I'm glad you bought what you wanted!

JD REPLY ================
Hey Ma -- I went on the MINI COOPER blog last night. You wouldn't believe how dangerous the environment is for a car. Apparently I have to wax and wash this thing IMMEDIATELY. I'm not sure why, but it has something to do with the wax job that dealers do to make the car look fresh. If you wax the dirt INTO the car, you'll never smile again. If a bird shits on it or a tree saps on it, the doomsday clock begins to tick as the acids eat through the coating towards the paint, where damage will ensue and you'll never smile again.

I have to learn about "claying" the car. I have to learn how to wax the car and apply special cleaners for each of the surfaces - windows, wheels, tires, paint, interior.

Yes, I bought the car cover but that was just a 200 dollar joke. And if the car is dirty when I put the cover on, the grains of dirt will come off on the cover and then the cover will grind the grit into the finish and nobody will ever smile again!

I shouldn't have converted my garage into a gym. I should maybe construct a new garage. Or find somewhere to garage the car.

And never drive it. Just "clay" it and clear-coat it continually.

I can sit inside the car but I must wear a mask, in case I sneeze and bacteria eats through the leatherette steering wheel.

We have adopted a child. I need a new therapist just for this car. Someone to help me, to talk me through this. I didn't know a man could have a baby. They can!

You can blog about this if you want.

Love, Mini Wheat

(Instruction for Em's blog readers: Click "Mini Wheat" and you'll see my favorite commercial.
Here's the link: Http: if you want to see what our-son-the-actor has been doing between readings of Shakespeare's "Richard the Second.")

MOM REPLY=====================
Dear Mini,
I'm not able to stop laffing -- got to use your "HOWL" in a blog!

What you read in the MINI COOPER blog is what I was told by the pro car washer who came to our log cabin to wash, wax, and point my Acura Legend. All the scary stuff you learned about dirt ruining the metal , this pro PROVED TO ME, showing me three places where the metal was already showing signs of serious damage.

So naturally I never called him back. We washed and waxed it ourselves.

Well, my dear Mini Wheat. here's Mama's not-mini advice. Treat it the way you have been treating your previous cars. Cars wear out, and so do people, and this car will be a big wearer outer. You do not have to keep it pure. It is yours; it can lose its virginity.

I'm still chuckling over "having a baby would have been easier." Let the fucker wear out, and if birds shit, or life doo-doos on it, so what? Life shits, and does doo-doo on you, while good things are happening!

Love from the Maxi- Mama who bore the Mini-Wheat.

JD UPDATE======================
I got the windows tinted for $275 and there are already some imperfections in the tint. There's a small scratch in the window glass on the rear. A couple of paint chips on the front of the car, one of the wheels has a small scratch. The big news: I'm not in love with driving it right now. It's cramped, the controls are very confusing, I can't seem to get comfortable (my old Legend is much more comfortable). Also, it rides on "run-flat" tires which are very hard. I could spend $2500 to get new tires but then there's no spare with the car, so I'd be in a major hassle if I got a flat... Oh well. It's kind of funny to me that I wanted the car so badly and now I'm kind of disenchanted with it. It looks very cute, though. The gas mileage is good and the acceleration is terrific.
More later...

I PHONED a few minutes ago and said -- "You're going to love the very things that are making you uncomfortable, annoyed, disenchanted. Motherly Advice: When you get up, every morning for a week, throw a pebble at it. And take it for a drive around the block."

Thursday, August 20, 2009


What's the hill?

" ...You never know exactly the minute, the place. You climb the hill all your life and you're going on and on. You reach a flat place now and then but a flat place is going someplace on the way up your hill. And then ... Well, it feels the same. The wind's the same. You're still walking but ... but the top of the hill is gone and done with and you're going down. Not up. Going down. You don't quite know how or when going up got to be going down. But you're going ... down ..."

That's a quote from my play "Bdway Arts." Jim, a tap dancer, part time janitor says it, as he's eating peanuts, drinking beer, polishing the mirrors in a rehearsal studio.

Is Jim me? Am I on that hill? I felt that I was. Jim was, and still is a way of expressing my thoughts.

Britney Spears -- on a comeback, back to looking beautiful, is singing and doing her sexy dance moves -- once again thrilling her audiences and paparazzi. There are still headlines in columns, but rarely major attention being paid to her right now. Here's "On the Run," (if you see an ad first, be patient, the next clip is Britney nowadays.

(Whew ... how would you feel if people were looking at a clip of you in your life, running to the john? NOT GOOD!)

Madonna made a surprise appearance at Britney Spears' sold-out show a few months ago, in New York City.

Shortly before Spears, 27, took the stage, Madonna, 50, arrived with her manager and several bodyguards. She walked up the main stairs to the VIP "suites" -- everyone noticed her -- celebrities don't need to use the main stairs to get to their VIP seats in a suite.

During the 90-minute show, Spears gyrated her way through mostly tunes from her last two albums. Just before Spears' encore, Madonna left, with hordes of screaming fans gathered around her. A columnist wrote -- "The little smirk on her face tells us Madonna loved being a distraction to her friend's final number."

Madonna gets a few headlines, not as much as last year when things between her and A-Rod were serious -- quite a few comments about where, what spots on her face have been improved with plastic surgery. Here's a recent video of "Give It 2 me," by Madonna.

I'm not a gossip columnist; they're both professional celebrities, doing what every famous female can do -- to look great, be admired, adored, loved, emulated, and continue to be more famous, sell more albums, be seen everywhere, all over the world.

Me ... I never was in that league. So why am I writing this? Why do I pick them, not other Grammy, Emmy, Oscar, major leading ladies? Is it because their names have been so marvelously promoted, that even I, who shy away from shows like "Entertainment Tonight" and "Access Hollywood," nevertheless absorb the gossip?. (It's an osmosis process -- that's why you need a staff of PR people if you want your NAME to be a NAME, remain a NAME for more than fifteen minutes.)

A hill is a hill -- a slope, an incline, a rounded natural elevation of land lower than a mountain. So here's the big question again -- why did I write this? If you clicked the link, you saw the clips. They were the most recent ones I could find.

"... You don't quite know how or when going up got to be going down. But you're going ... down... " I wouldn't want to be on the mountain with Britney and Madonna.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Be green! I am green! I have a "green thumb." I conserve water, paper, and use the swirly energy-saver bulbs, even though they don't illuminate reading material as well as old fashioned bulbs do. And of course I recycle.

Oh dear, alas ... my poor skimpy, droopy jade plant sitting on the bench in my hallway, under the bright fluorescent in the ceiling -- it's going, going, not quite gone -- I can't throw it out! Small, not exceptional, special, or beautiful even in its youth, this plant -- for more than three-hundred-sixty-five days I've given it some dew with my sprayer, and said hello! (That's me -- I greet favorite things in the morning.)

Actually, sweet potato plants are what I love, but sweet potatoes in NYC are invariably banged and bruised. (When they're trucked into town, they're probably thrown into the bushel baskets.)

Of course, I examine each potato carefully at the store. But when I put six under my table, with tooth picks suspending them in jars of water, I may get one or possibly two that will sprout after three weeks in the dark.

Store-bought plants, even ones from the Union Square farmers' market ... ridiculously over-priced. I won't do it! I can afford it, but the days when I was poor have scarred me -- not with a "red A" over my heart -- with a C (for cheapskate).

When JC brings me flowers, I'm delighted, and the next day, upset, knowing they'll soon be wilting, not wanting to see them droop, and start the watching process -- the checking, then postponing with an aspirin and fresh water, their inevitable demise.

Fish in my three fish tanks have always, invariably turned into woe. Though I kept the tanks under-populated, and mothered, fed carefully, and cleaned the tanks, fishes go -- TOO soon they die. In my own, inimitable way, I created interesting, artistic driftwood arrangements for the tank interiors, but keep the lavender lights out -- I still find myself remembering "George the Koi, and Goldy, my year-old goldfish.

Birds? Fran my friend, web designer and blog coach, lost a bird last week -- a sweet friend who perched on her head, and ate from her hand -- a beloved pet whom she found five years ago on the ground, and nurtured.

I'm not sure I could face it -- a real living creature ... I'll think on about it -- New York City air, the noise, the unexpected things that happen with our heat ... oh dear ....

I'll just keep hovering over my poor jade plant. And on my way to the grocery store, I'll look for something very hardy -- a geranium -- I'd love a bunch of them in that old green pot ... maybe I'll plant a bulb - - - - - - - - - >

I'll settle for cactus.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Did you ever see it on TV?

Here's a promo.

I'd heard the name (heard of Hanna Montana, and some of the kids who were in High School Musical), but I have never watched anything on the Disney Channel.

Well, I had an adventure on Waverly Place which I visited online, trying to find out when a show JD was in was going to be broadcast in NYC. The title was "Vampires and Justin" -- JD said the title might get changed, but those were the words I was searching for.

I'm not an online expert. JD, who's a brilliant, lightning-fingered Web browser, knows what to click to get to a link that links to the link to where he'd like to end up.

I'm not a Mrs. Christopher Columbus sailing into uncharted seas. I know the world is round. But, my trips online tell me that the world is flat. Lookout, beware -- I can easily fall off the edge.

I certainly could have drowned, when I accidentally pressed the "enter" key on my keyboard. I got lost, clicking up, clicking down -- I never did find a Wizards' schedule for New York City, except on a vast, complicated schedule -- shows, times, details on the cast, the story-lines for many, too many shows, and names -- casts of characters that after awhile, made me realize that Selma, and Justin were major characters.

So I traveled, following links to more photos, more show titles, more casts of characters and never found JD.

Friday, I was doing my warm-ups, annoyed by an ad with a bunch of slithering, bump and grinding girls selling Optimum on line, singing an infectiously stupid ditty. I dashed to the TV after rondejambes (leg circling) on the pause before battements (kicks). Grabbed the remote -- hit some numbers -- oh my goodness, oops, whoops -- what a shock!

JD -- gesturing -- in an exaggerated, high style, threatening the excessively, exaggeratedly, fearful girl. JC raced in --. we'd been talking about seeing this show for days.

JC the Dad noticed the vampire teeth in his son-the-actor's mouth. Not Mom. Mom was noticing JD's handsomeness, good haircut, his neat voguey short beard, intense eyes, good movements -- important things the "Mother" and "Em-the-Knowing Professional" should notice.

Was it two minutes or seven minutes of shots, that suggested the girl was afraid of being bitten by a Vampire but sort of enjoying the fray? Lots of shots, then a wild finale at a high school dance that I couldn't make heads or tails of, plot-wise. End of show.

Wow! JC's a Hamlet, or a Richard II, or III in Shakespeare, a marvel with words and inventive shaping, filling out, fulfilling a character. Would I wish for him to be on a sitcom? No, though I understand (don't we all), that an actor needs somehow to make a 'name' in order to make a movie career.

Sitcoms and movies are what he's striving to get. And me, on the sidelines of another actor's career, an actor who "made it," but didn't get the immortality of movie stardom ... well, I'm inwardly heaving a sigh -- the win some, lose some sound of Em-the-Knowing Pro.

Yep , I know striving -- use of self -- that's the Win.

What do Mom and Dad say to their son on the phone? Congratulations? ICK -- being congratulated for merely being seen in a "nothing" part is repulsive. Comment about the show? Gulp -- how to say Waverly Place is "not the cat's pajamas."

Mrs. Christopher Columbus, off the boat, back on land that she knows, says -- "It's fun, being your mother, watching you work" -- being a writer, I found ways to say it inventively, truthfully, expressing delight and amusement, in my visit to the foreign land of Waverly Place.

Monday, August 17, 2009


If I were just starting out, wanting to be a dancer more than anything in the world, what would I do, how would I go about it?

Would I take a couple of classes a day? (I checked around town -- dance classes cost $10 to $15 per class depending on how many you take in a month.) So 40 classes a month is $400? Whoa -- guess I'd take one a day and do workouts at home same as Em has been doing for years.

What would I study? Ballet, free style, acrobatics, tap, ballroom? Yep! ALL OF THEM! Anything I saw dancers do on TV -- tricky fast steps, wriggle-jiggling, tap dance applause-getters, spins on my head, spins on my butt, back flips, no handed cartwheels, and gorgeous wild splits! (Well ... I'm not that limber -- I don't really have that kind of body.)

Hey, stop thinking negatively, a Newbie has to try to do everything, including what she can't do naturally. Newbies have to get technique, get experience on their first few jobs, and earn money to support themselves the first year or so.

(Holy cow ... job hunting today with thousands of wanna-be dancers who are pouffed up, cosmetically fixed up, augmented ... how can I hope to be noticed? Am I going to compete?)

Yes! I'll be going to auditions. Every day I'll read the online sources and learn about casting calls. I took a look just now -- Disney Entertainment, Universal Studios, My Space has listings for commercials, exotic dancers, "freestyle" dancers to interact with customers, dancers for a one-night-stands tour, girl "bachlorettes" -- it says you just have to send your resume and pictures.

(Jeepy weepies ... this is ... exhausting ... why am I feeling so sleepy?)

Look! Right here -- open your big eyes -- "Dancer Nanny wanted;" ad for a Flamenco Dancer; two girls, salary plus room and board -- a group in Vermont called the "Naked Truth Dance Company" wants two girls who are willing to dance ... naked... ?

Okay, I can be a Nanny and do some typing, filing, like I did when I worked for Dance Magazine, (see my April 5 post, "Credentials"). And here's a list of salaries: $450 per week for a ballet company; $2000 for a three-day shoot on a commercial; exotic dancer, $2000 a week plus tips; Broadway Chorus, $1,509 a week, extra if you're a dance captain or an understudy. (The salaries-- aren't they just about what dancers used to be paid twenty years ago?)

STOP. Money is not the point. What's important is the dancing -- flying, spinning, leaping, running -- the lightness, the power, the athletic joys of moving to music! The whole point is the dream. So, what's the big, biggest BIG dream for Newbie young dancer?

Why not emulate someone who's famous right now?

I researched "names" -- looked at three lists -- the only "name" I recognized was Margot Fonteyn. But I'm not going to panic. I'll create a NEW DREAM based on current ballerinas, and young "featured" dancers in shows -- I'll learn the names, look at the pictures, and read the reviews. (I stopped reading them years ago because raves for other dancers made me lose my nerve.)

Maybe I'll strive to be ... a Michael Bennett, the guy who created "A Chorus Line?" If I were a Newbie, would I know who Martha Graham, Anthony Tudor, Agnes DeMille were, or Twyla Tharp, Alvin Ailey? (Am getting a sinking feeling that hardly anyone knows these names.)

STOP. I never did want to be like anyone else, and I, as a Newbie can have my own vision. (Fact: spur of the moment, EM cannot cook up a vision, because she's an ex dancer, looking at a dance world that she didn't grow up in. Fact: the time to dream is when you're young and you don't know all the reasons why a vision you have is impossible.)

BE PRACTICAL. Focus and work, and try to get on one of those TV shows. Head for "So You Think You Can Dance." The dancers all have hugely limber bodies and tons of technical skill. Or get on "Dancing with the Stars." Study the hit sitcoms, pick a TV star, and pull strings, and offer to dance with him. Or e-mail Randy Jackson, and get in a group on "America’s Best Dance Crew."

(Yikes ... what I love about dancing is doing whatever a movement makes me feel ... whooey, I hate trying to dance exactly the way a bunch of other dancers are dancing!)

STOP. No moaning. I don't want to be like the kids in the finals, on the homestretch of "America's Got Talent," who weep, telling the judges, "Please pick me, this means more than anything, I've prayed for this, worked night and day for this -- oh PLEASE, I need this more than anything in the world!"

Dammit. I've tried to think like a person starting out and I can't. I wouldn't want to be a dancer or a perf0rmer -- not anymore. If I were a Newbie I'd be a doctor!

On my desk, right here to my left, are my ballet slippers. It's 6 p.m. Okay ... so ... well ... Am I going to take my barre and do my dance tonight?

Of course I am. I am what I am, what I am. I'm the popeyed EX dancer..

CLICK "Popeye"

That's me, doing his dance,
doing his moves.

I love spinach!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


The laces on my sneakers are about 10 inches too long. I can pull out the extra length, make a knot, tuck in the knot at the top eyelets, but it's hard for me to tuck it in. ( I usually snag and tear a fingernail.)

Or -- I tie my shoes the normal way, take the long loops and tie them into a double knot. Tightly.

But -- if I don't make a very tight double knot, it often comes loose while I'm walking, and I have to stop on the street, and re-tie my shoes.

Why don't I buy new laces? Once, I took the laces out and measured them, and then tried to buy short laces. I checked in a couple of stores. They only carried the too-long laces I already had. Therefore, I live with the inconvenience.

Okay -- maybe I ought to buy a different sneaker. (Mine are Reeboks.) I recently bought another kind of sneaker, nice-looking, not decorated with the usual colored streaks. (Yay team -- I hate the decorations!)

These excellent new sneakers, like the Reeboks, the shoes stretch. The first time I wore them, the tied laces made a large bow, but it was acceptable. Now, after a few wearings, because I need to tie the laces tighter, the bow flops on the ground, and has to be retied, and double-knotted like the Reeboks.

"Em --" (I'm pretending I'm you, one of my blog readers.) "What's so significant, important about your problem with shoelaces? Why are you telling us all this, in such detail? To make what point? What can we gain from this experience?"

Answering your question:
I think the sneaker manufacturers should solve this problem. At the prices they're charging, they could give you another set of shoelaces that are shorter.

Who needs that extra ten inches, fat footed EE people? My feet are a C width which isn't narrow. Like I said, sneakers stretch -- sooner or later you need shorter laces.

JC always has to shorten his -- he pulls out the lace at the top of the sneaker, ties the knot, tucks it in easily, firmly , with his strong fingers.

"Em..." (you are asking me) "Why don't you get him to do yours?"

Oh dear ... why don't I?

Am I getting to be a crotchety, complainer, fussing over unimportant things while ... while Nero fiddles and Rome burns? While there's a strange flood in my green bathroom? OH NO? OH YES! From the water tank that's attached to the toilet!

(This morning was the 4th time I'd noticed some water, but each time I told myself it's nothing.)

Today, JC The Plumber spent an hour trying to get the tank unscrewed from the back of the toilet bowl.

When Plumber JC got to the hardware store with the crumbled washer, the guy at the hardware store said --"Hey man, where did you get this toilet -- in India?"

(It's a hundred year old building, and the tank and toilet might have been there when we bought the building umpteen years ago.)

So naturally, shoelaces bug me.

And now that JC's got his super speedy new computer, mine, which I love seems ... slower. It's fine, except when booting up, I occasionally get a minor error message -- a registry data file has been recovered by use of a log file --"recovery successful" says the error, but I have to click OK or the booting up doesn't continue.

Okay! So, I think maybe it's time for a new computer, and my looking for an online Website that sells white shoelaces in varied lengths. And buying a water-saving, silent-flushing, green porcelain, new toilet for my green bathroom.