Saturday, February 6, 2010


Michael Moore, creator fantastique -- truth-teller with humor, and a huge sense of what our country is, where we're at, and what's important to us, the people who live here, who sense what's good and what's bad about our country -- he reminds us what's wrong with America right now.

Dolly Parton, singer, composer, amazing -- an ultra female woman, who is what she IS as she performs -- honest -- funny, serious, dramatic, romantic -- indefatigably creative, she gives and keeps giving of herself, of her joyful connection and deep knowledge of country music.

Gene Hackman, actor extraordinaire -- gracefully retired, though the images of the men he created are still so vivid, real, alive in our minds -- Buck Barrow (Bonnie and Clyde), Popeye Doyle (The French Connection), Harry Caul (The Conversation), Coach Norman (Hoosiers), Reverend Scott (The Poseidon Adventure), Rupert Anderson (Mississippi Burning), Sheriff Little Bill Daggett (Unforgiven), and many others -- he's created 80 roles in 80 films.

Christine Baranski and Lily Tomlin --
"character" actresses supreme,
uniquely talented, uncannily able to become other women,
create reality, tragic, comedic, villainous, heroic and be STARS,
be beautiful or ugly, young or old, without distracting us with who they really are.

There are other great good guys in show business, current, up for awards -- but Tomlin, Baransky, Hackman, Parton, and Moore don't demand attention, and haven't been in the current news, or recently advertised.

I want to put them and what they are, and what they do, on a banner that flashes the names of these remarkable artists.

Friday, February 5, 2010


It's new! If I sign up and join, everything I buy with my credit card is noted, and shared with others.

Huh? What? Why? Is that what I need -- an online accountant peering over my shoulder where ever I go, whenever I shop?

According to its founders, Blippy is very helpful. It publishes what amount of money I charge to the credit card -- exactly what I bought, and the name of the store.

That's "very helpful?" But that's on my statement -- that's all Blippy does?

The founders explain that what's important and significant about their new, social networking Website, is that it shares this information with other members of Blippy.

Tech Crunch and staff writers, who've joined, report that publishing what you charged and bought and where you bought it, will possibly help you spend less -- also, it can encourage you to spend more. What's apparently profoundly important is that you are connecting with others who are observing how you spend your money, and that tells your Blippy friends what's important to you.

If, for instance, you are spending too much on a membership at gym, members will tell you. When others see what you're buying on Amazon, iTunes, or Netflix, and notice what your favorite restaurant is, and how much you're spending at your favorite bar, they're getting to know a lot about you. Their comments about bar bills might inspire you to drink less (or use cash, not your credit card).

And of course, like any other social networking site, being a member of Blippy, gives you a feeling that you're surrounded by friends, even when you're not.

It's easy as pie, they say. You just push a button and all the data is transmitted.

I can't help wondering if pushing a button, having a Website tally your spending, making it available to others, isn't going to encourage a new breed of identity thieves, or marketeers, who will figure out new ways to take advantage of you.

Also before you join, make a list -- put down on your list the items, the things you might buy or do that you would NOT want to share with your friends.

Even as I begin to think about my list, no way, would I want to join Blippy.

But here's the reviewer from Tech Crunch, discussing with Kaplan, one of the founders, how great it is.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Avatar, which I didn't love (or really like), is heading into movie history. Oscar-predictors are certain it will get "Best Picture," "Best Director" and probably "Best Editing," and "Best Original Screenplay" awards.

Everything I read about Avatar is about money. And innovative technology.

It's already won the "money" award for toppling Titanic's $1.8 billion box office record, and it continues to soar at the box office.

After the DVD is released, Avatar will most likely be the most discussed movie in history, for its special effects -- innovative camera work, the amazing body suit undergarments and skullcaps that enabled the 102 tiny cameras to image the actors faces and bodies -- and for the computer generated scenes that are about 60% of the films.

Of course, there are those who want to debate the movie's messages about human rights, racial extermination, the corrupted military, and environment preservation -- there's plenty that can be discussed other than technology. But the "money" is super spectacular -- what's flowing into the box office is creating an ever-larger audience -- everyone is seeing it -- that means if you haven't seen it, you better see it -- and wow! gee! -- that is the best advertising there is.

A few months ago, I finally saw Titanic on my kitchen television set, and found Winslet and DiCaprio lovely as the doomed lovers. The hype kept me from seeing it sooner. I refuse to be brain washed into trying a medicine, reading a book, buying any kind of product that's over advertised, and the movie was.

And Avatar is.

Apparently, these days, at the movies, we need to be awestruck by marvelous things we've never seen before.

Does that affect you? Are you thrilled when you're seeing something spectacular that you never saw before? It doesn't do anything for me, except awaken my awareness of the editor, director, scenic designer, photographer -- their brilliance, and skill.

Avatar didn't touch me or tell me anything that I haven't seen and been told before.

Watching it, I was restless.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Even if you happened to see it in the news, here's a bit of what he said again.

It cheers me up, and maybe it'll help.

What a guy -- dropping in, no script, no speech, just talking with them, saying what needed to be said.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I looked at the picture and thought "EEEK! They're ugly."

They are barefoot shoes called "Toe Huggers." is promoting them, Amazon has a full range of Vibram Five Finger shoes for men and women, and ToeSox for Yoga/Pilates.

They're touted on Time Magazine's Fitness page by Bryan Walsh, staff writer, jogger. He made a video podcast of himself donning a pair, and jogging along an outdoor path, discussing the contact, the grip, the compression involved, and the recoil.

It's one more thing to buy that's not essential, and not very useful.. I know because I was a barefoot modern dancer. (Hired by Doris Humphrey, and Charles Weidman, who were the artistic offspring of Denishawn -- Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis, the founders of Modern Dance.)

Rehearsing with the Weidman company (it was my first professional job as a dancer), the bottoms of my feet began to develop "splits," places where the friction of the foot against the floor created abrasions on the ball of the foot.

After a while, the abrasions got worse -- opened up -- split apart. Also, my fourth and fifth toes got sprained, doing "turns" (pirouettes). The toes had to be taped and splinted with a tiny piece of wood. It took about three weeks to heal. Later on, it happened to the toes on the other foot.

I tried elk sandals but couldn't anchor them firmly. I bought flesh-colored ballet slippers and that was the beginning of my moving away from being a modern dancer, and becoming a semi-balletic "contemporary" dancer.

Aside from my personal experiences with bare feet, I know dozens other people who've taken dance classes, who love running around in bare feet. It's fun, it's feels great, but they get "splits " or what I call the "creeping crud" (an itchy spot where dirt creates a rash, and the rash starts expanding).

Bryan Walsh's article quotes the Director of the University of Delaware Running Injury Clinic, who said -- "We evolved to run barefoot and when we put shoes on we are taking away the function of the foot."

I say we've evolved way beyond that, and for daily running or dancing, stick to slippers or your sneakers.

If you do Yoga or Pilates, you'll be slipping and sliding if wear toesocks. Spending $50 to $170 on Toe Huggers may make you feel that you're exercising better (for one or two wearings), but more than likely you'll begin to feel that the repetitive exercise is just plain boring.

What can you do?

Try exercising to music that makes you feel like dancing -- bombastic, romantic, symphonic classical, rock & roll -- whatever thrills you, gives you goose bumps. Tell yourself, "I'm dancing," while you're repeating the boring exercise routine over and over -- varying it in your mind -- continually re-inventing what you're feeling, and you'll find yourself enjoying the repetition.

It works!

Hey, I'm an expert!

Monday, February 1, 2010


Everyone is telling President Barack Obama what to do, what's urgent -- what he has to do right now!

This is the guy we elected after a couple of years of studying him, checking him out, poking around in his past and current life, examining and re-examining everything he ever said and did.

We picked a man who is a uniquely gifted leader, a strong-minded powerful person, and now we're undermining him. We are helping the people who have made up their minds to negate everything he tries to do.

Confident commentators are quoting polls showing that even Black voters are moving away from supporting him; others are making semi-psychoanalytic observations, telling us, telling the world, and telling Obama that "his cool comes off as cold," -- that "he's leading with his head, not his heart."

It's destructive and dumb. They don't know all the facts and factors that the President is juggling, and they're filling the air with wise sounding words, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing -- advice that's piling up around the White House, walling him in.

Obama's face is on the cover of Newsweek's February l issue, and inside the magazine, five columnists have given President Obama their advice --specifics, like "you've got to take a stand right now with Iran!"

Time Magazine, February 1, has President Obama on the cover, seated in his oval office, one leg crossed over the other, holding a pen/pencil, gazing in the direction of the papers on his desk, obviously thinking. "NOW WHAT" is emblazoned on the cover in large, bold. black letters telling us, selling us on "the poor guy, just doesn't quite know what to do."

Yay, we've got free speech! Yay, we the people are participating more than ever in expressing our ideas of how our country's problems can be solved.

Boo, the media is working harder than ever to be more important, more powerful than ever.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


John Travolta's castle surprises me -- it's so complicated and fancy looking. He's always seemed like a down-to-earth guy who works at his craft, not someone who needs to tell the world that he's a big star. Maybe the airplanes parked on his lawn in front of their hangers is why the Travolta palace seems too too huge.

Billy Joel's palace looks like an apartment house, or a business building. It's too close to his neighbors. I can't imagine what all the windows are for, unless it's three floors, an upper and lower window on each floor. I wouldn't want to live there.

Halle Berry's castle looks like it belongs next to Billy Joel's. It's not charming, it's just large. It's too close to the neighbors. At least her upper porch looks comfortable and has a homey feeling.

The Oprah Winfrey castle -- wow -- it's ostentatiously large and old-fashioned looking. It's odd, because Oprah bends over backward to be everyone's friend, and not a queen. How do you take care of a castle that size? She probably has at least 4 servants, and provides living places for them.

Hugh Heffner's mansion is a palace, home to quite a few live-in "bunny" girl friends, according to all the publicity. I like the huge tree in front of it. I like the lived-in look of his place. But I wouldn't want to live there and be another girl among the girls. .

Eddie Murphy -- why oh why does he have such a sprawlingly large place? It could be a hotel resort. Maybe it's for sleep-over parties. The vastness of it certainly says Eddie Murphy has, or had a lot of money . Where does Eddie live, and sleep?

Sylvester Stallone's castle looks more like a home, than the other palaces. It's huge, and sprawling but I like the lived-in look of it.

J Lo's and Mark Anthony's home. Rich, ritzy, fancy -- it's too much like she is. But that's Jennifer Lopez -- making sure she's noticed, and always, always "The Star."

These castle homes (except Heffner's and Stallone's) seem as if the star's PR people and managers picked them out, to prove, to emphasize how fantastically rich and successful they are.

To me it proves all these stars are still working hard to stay on top, still competing for Hollywood-style fame and glory.