Saturday, April 10, 2010


Putting winter clothes away, I found a scarf -- a favorite floaty, embroidered, blue one, that I've looked for dozens of times. I was sure it was lost and gone forever!

There it was, on the floor of the closet, not difficult to see!

I wore it -- you can't see it, but it was there around my neck, as we remembered what happened when we couldn't find one of our serving spoons.

Friday, April 9, 2010


His Apple iPad is now in stores, being applauded, frowned at, wondered about, as people are standing in line, waiting to buy it.


I am a FROWNER. Sit back, and hear my little story.

I had my first "writing aid" machine in the early 70's when I was rising, not there, but ascending to the top, the pinnacle of my dancer-performer days.

On a transcontinental tour, I'd written a journal on a portable typewriter, as we drove from one performance to the next. The journal wasn't publishable, but a literary agent friend liked it, and said, "Em, you ought to write a novel."

Arranging performances for my Dance Drama Company, I'd discovered the Friden Flexowriter. (It had computer abilities before computers were in the marketplace.) It automatically typed my basic "selling" letter, but paused for inserts. I wrote to colleges -- sent out 3000 "personal" letters twice-a-year, inserting the college president's name and address, and possible dates for a performance there.

Thinking I might be a writer someday, looking into new technology to see if there was anything to help me with my 6000 "selling" letters, I fell in love with an Exxon Qyx typewriter -- it displayed what you typed in a box -- you could fix typos, save a corrected paragraph on it's 3-inch disk.

I bought 10 disks and started a novel. A month later, I traded the Qyx for Exxon's Vydec "Word Processor" -- a huge green monster with an 18" x 18" black screen that displayed a full page -- 46 lines!

"Dar- ling - you - ere - grow - ing - old... " I'm singing, remembering how wonderful it was -- to be able to write, edit, and save a entire chapter on an 8-inch Vydec disk! Because of the Vydec, I was able to write, polish, and sell 90 pages of a first novel, and get an advance from Bantam Books.

Then I saw the first IBM portable computer. It weighed 27 lbs., but I could take it with me on tour. The 5" x 7" brown screen with orange letters wasn't lovely, but it had a "hard drive" that could hold an entire novel. Wow! With a printer, and Word Perfect Version 01, I could cut, paste, and edit a book.

"Dar- ling - you - are - grow - ing - old.....silver - threads - among - the - gold ..." There I was in the early 80's, dancing, and on the verge of getting my first novel published.

Time marches on. Various faster, larger PC's have come and gone; it's a Word Perfect 14 now, on 3 computers that sit near my dear old Vydec desk -- a glamorous, expensive, curved 9 ft. slab of beige Formica, that surrounds me in a semi circle.

Today, thrill is in the air, because of .Steve Jobs. "HOW HE WILL REVOLUTIONIZE READING, WATCHING, COMPUTING, GAMING AND SILICON VALLEY is on the cover of Newsweek. Steve Jobs' face (slightly reminiscent of Charlton Heston's "Moses"), is the cover of Time. Both magazines contain respectful, admiring biographies of Jobs, the innovator.

But the computer machines I used -- Flexowriter, Qyx, Vydec, IBM existed before the young Jobs was working in his garage, inventing the Mac. (No wonder, I'm prickly about the hullabaloo over "innovative" Steve.)

Yes, "... you - are - grow - ing - old... " I sing, aware that Apple's Steve Jobs and Microsoft's Bill Gates are also growing old.

Our Mac Os X Leopard annoys me -- there's no "right" click, and if you want to delete a line you have to backspace. Yes, we can make movies, and create music on it, but editing, cutting, pasting is much faster and easier on a PC.

And I don't like the hymns of praise all over the media, the braggadocio of "APPLE DOESN'T ASK PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT, IT TELLS THEM WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO WANT NEXT."

It's fascistic! Sure, the Apple guys are glowing, thrilled, proud -- they feel they're introducing the home computer to millions of homes that never could afford them. But that's baloney. A basic iPad costs $500 (plus tax); and at that price, it is NOT able to do what a computer -- my cheap $600 one, or my $1400 expensive one, or our $2000 Mac -- can do.


I object! I say NO! And I'm not alone -- there are other guys, young and old, who do not want to be forced into the Steve Jobs or the, Bill Gate style, or the style of any of their brilliant brainy buddies such as Paul Allen or Steve Wozniak.

Okay, so with your iPad you can turn the page, read back-lit, bright, easy to read published things, and download tons of apps-apps-apps. And it can be your be-all-end-all, beloved, one-and-only tool, but remember, Apple and Jobs are in the money-making biz.

Yes ..."Dar- ling - you - ere - grow - ing ... out of date, but beware, folks -- don't rush out and grab this shiny new Apple before its ripe.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I loved her in the TV show "Cheers," loved her in "Look Who's Talkimg, "the movie she did with John Travolta, and "Veronica's Closet," the television show she did about high fashion.

(I remember wild, wonderful outfits she wore, her marvelous, different colored hairdos, remembering the ease with which she went from comedy to believable real tears.)

Kristie Alley has a "Helen of Troy" something about her -- she's a face and a spirit that's launched a thousand ships/projects/fans. And never really fails -- when she was the spokeswoman for Jennie Craig and got replaced, I figured "too bad for Jennie -- Kristie's on to other things.

But ...

I avoid her Scientology connection. We had a seriously ailing actress friend who was being "cleared" by a Scientologist, and she kept giving the Church most of her earnings instead of consulting an MD. Also, other friends, claiming ecstatically that they've found themselves through Scientology, pressed us, "You ought to come to a meeting!"

What we've heard and read about L. Ron Hubbard inspired us to keep away.

So Kristie's relationship to her religion I brush aside, as I do with some of her outrageous actions that have been publicized, about her marriages, divorces, and emotional ups and downs.

I'm a fan. She's fascinating, and unpredictable. Whenever I hear her name, I want to know what's the latest news -- what's she's doing now?

Hurray, I thought as I tuned in the "Larry King" show, and there she was, chatting about her new television show, "Big Life," and "Organic Liaison," her weight loss program.

I cringed a little. "Organic" is attached to many foods that aren't particularly healthy, though it implies that everything about the food is pure and good for you. And "liaison" suggests a close relationship, connection, rapport.

Off to I went, to see Episode One, of "Big Life."

There she was -- very large, voluptuous, in a lavender satin gown with her bosom overflowing the gown's lavender bra-cups -- blond Kristie Alley, in her down-to-earth, way that makes you feel she's a personal friend -- explaining that "Organic Liaison" was a sure-fire way of gaining good health, and achieving weight loss.

I couldn't nod.

Was it the script? She delivered it perfectly, but the speech, the promo was glossy excessive, like a dozen other products that are sold after midnight, when air time is cheaper. And the table with her products -- lavender, pink and blue be-ribboned bottles and flagons -- "drink me" potions that she said would help you curb your appetite, lose weight, sleep and feel better about everything." .
.. it was right out of Alice in Wonderland ...

Episode One of "Big Life:" Kristie, blubbery fat, in a homebody's smock, was caring for her pets, rambling on about her diet/weight travails. It was in three parts. I turned it off after part one. It was boring...

I watched some of Episode Two. It was boring.

Well ... I'm a fan and a fan is a fan. Kristie-Helen of Troy-Alley will more than likely surprise us with who-knows-what -- she's magical, inventive, creative, and not done with trying a new something on top and over the top that'll grab us, get us laughing and crying and applauding.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


It's a new name to learn.

All those foreign, un-pronounceable names of people and places we've had to learn ... Struggling with them, I'm amazed at the way names roll off the tongues of newscasters. The first few times I heard "Al Quaeda," it was pronounced differently by various announcers.

I'm still not totally sure -- is it "Kay-da" or "Ki-da?"

So who is this Hekmatyar person, and why is he suddenly important?

Reuters news said: "Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is a vicious, brutal, devious warlord. He could also be one of America's tickets out of Afghanistan."

(THAT got my attention! Afghanistan to me is a fire and brimstone hell where we shouldn't be -- where we're stuck, mired like other countries have been. Has anyone ever won a war there?)

Here's more (more tricky names and places), gleaned from other major news sites: "Shamshatoo Camp, just outside Peshawar has always been the most tightly organized and disciplined Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan. The only law within its boundaries is that of Hezb-i-Islami (the Party of Islam), led by the notoriously ruthless warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar."

(Apparently, Hekmaytar is a well-known killer. When the camp was his main base, people of Peshawar saw corpses floating in the canal that runs next to the camp, and knew they were the bodies of Hekmatyar's enemies.)

Washington knows all about him. They've been contacted by Hekmatyar's spokesman and told that Mr. Hekmatyar will have to be reckoned with, if America wants to wind down the war in Afghanistan.

Referring to the Party of Islam's 15 point peace proposal to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, that calls for a total U.S. withdrawal by the end of the year, the spokesman, Mohammad Daoud Abedi, (another name, a California businessman), says, "We have decided to make conditions right so that international forces can leave with honor."

So "WE" is Hezb-i-Islami, the Party or Mr. Hek? Is this good news, or is it a threat?

General Petraeus has told the Pentagon, "You make peace with your enemies, not your friends." Other officials in the Pentagon agree with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who recently, declared, "It's too soon to begin discussing peace in Afghanistan."

What do "we the people" think?

I'm pacing, circling, dizzied with wishing, hoping, praying we end the endless war and get out of there. Why is it important that we leave Afghanistan with honor? Does honor mean we've won? Does winning prove we're more powerful than the Taliban? Does it say the Taliban has lost?

Lose? In the eyes of which beholder?

Is it important because it proves -- sort of vaguely -- that the UN Forces have power, and must be dealt with? And an honorable exit will -- perhaps, maybe -- postpone other terrorist attacks?

Has terrorism terrorized us to such an extent that we let men die, so that we are winning, when we are not? Does war make the other guys our enemy? But we are their enemy!

For God's sake, for America's sake -- TAKE AWAY THE WORDS! SAVE THE LIVES!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


A wall of women is around her, right now, hushing and shushing the invaders.

Who are the invaders? Everyone -- friends and relatives with advice.

And the media with a foray of questions, predictions, opinions (from other celebrities), and breaking news (confessions from adulteresses who insist they're involved). And the paparazzi trespassing with cameras and their own hungry eyes peering into her bedroom, and the doings of her husband Jesse J., who convinced her that she could love-him-trust-him-rest-her-mind, dispel her aloneness.

And he probably isn't what she thought he was.

I don't need to know the real story or the full story.

It's what love is. You can't control whom you fall in love with. You can try. But being in love is being out of control, and even IF, at moments, you perceive something you don't want to see, even IF a voice in you whispers that something doesn't feel right -- if you're in love, you cannot pay attention.

I wouldn't want to be a woman who has never experienced that.

And it's impossible to imagine that Sandra B, with her ability to be fragile subtle, funny, tragic, intense, logical, or impulsively illogical -- a woman who can DO and BE anything and has the intelligence to read scripts and know what roles to try -- it's difficult to believe she wasn't aware of the possibilities that her husband might be unfaithful.

So, did she make a horrible mistake? Blind herself to his vulnerability, his need for success, gratification, adulation? We will never know.

I don't trust anything we've been told, I don't trust the utterances from needy-greedy other women who have a chance now, to make themselves into an "name."

We like you Sandra Annette Bullock, admire you for your talent, and magical abilities to understand and represent so many aspects of what a woman is.

(That's the message I'm sending her -- she doesn't know me, I don't know her, I'm just part of the wall of women thinking about her, wanting to reach out to her.)

Handle it, do with it what you do when you take on a role -- breathe your way into feeling out what Sandra B. needs, wants, wishes, and can do.

Monday, April 5, 2010


I don't care about Iraq's democracy.

I don't trust it,

I don't like the lives lost, the money gone, in order to achieve this (important? ) change.

Skimming the good things, I keep reading about bad things.

Fraud was 40% in the first election. In this second election. it's estimated at (oh goody) 20%.

But the Sunni guy who opposes Shi'ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's gang (they call it his "coalition") thinks there's an élite counter-terrorism gang run by Nouri al-Maliki.

"It's totally political," whispers an aide. "If the Prime minister's a terrorist, why didn't they get him before he was elected?"

Oh? So who is "they?" I guess "they" is the power behind the power, the guys who make the decisions, but "they" seems to be some hidden group (coalition?) with NO names.

Mmm ... That's sort of, kind of, hard to applaud.

Anyhow, Bush set up "troops to be out end of August." Obama set up 50,000 support troops to be out by 2011.

Oh goody?

Vice President Biden said, "Democratic Iraq will be one of our great achievements."

Boo! I admire Biden, but boo! Is this achievement worth the death of Americans, the blotches of poverty that we have throughout the United States, because money we spent over there was money we needed to spend here?

I read somewhere that Iraq has 6,000 candidates for 325 seats in their parliament, and some 86 parties are taking part in the election. If that's good news, a hopeful sign, than I am a -- a dumb jerk?

(Well, maybe I am.)

Meanwhile,. U.S. soldiers are there. What's going to happen when they're gone?

Chalabi, an anti-Saddam guy we've supported, is gaining stature. Is that good or bad, and do I care? I'm worried about anti-Obama guys killing hope in America.

Joe Biden is an optimist. Others, who are delighted by the progress in Iraq, have their fingers crossed.

My fingers are crossed for us. Will we become the united, United States again soon?

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I saw this in an advertisement that wasn't selling anything, except "Doctors Without Borders."

She's in Haiti, intensely concentrated, listening to the heart of a child.

The intense concentration of the child ... is he seeing something, feeling other hands that patted him, remembering someone, or is he seeing his mother lying on a pallet nearby?

We continue to hear about Hollywood people who are deeply involved, committed to helping homeless, devastated Haitians re-start their lives -- with food, and shelter, and much needed medicine.

The televised celebrity events are old news, forgotten publicity that tugged on one's "heart strings" in the way that famous performers know how to do. Today, I found some names to thank with a mention -- actor Jimmy Jean-Louis, actress Dania Ramirez, former NBA player Cliff Robinson, director Paul Haggis, the well known actors Josh Brolin, Diane Lane and Madeleine Stowe.

The picture haunts me because of the countless children in Haiti (and all over the world) who are lost -- so huge a number that being haunted is ... well, it isn't meaningless, but it's seems like self pity. How often have we seen parents and families mourning, sobbing, and watching them, we sense that they are crying for themselves -- weeping because they feel so helpless.

The picture and the look on the child's face tells me DO SOMETHING.

I didn't include actor Sean Penn in the thank you mention list -- he's in Haiti --what he's doing there is huge.

The 7.0 earthquake happened on Tuesday January 12 at 10.04.53 Eastern Standard time. The epicenter was 15 miles W.S.W. of Port-Au-Prince.

Penn arrived 9 days later, January 21, accompanied by 11 doctors, and a business person named Jenkins, with whom he has established a Haitian relief organization. He brought 1000 water filters. He said, "The idea of us being here is to make sure the aid gets to them."

He's s been in Haiti since then. He's worried because the rainy season is coming and thousands sleeping in the tent cities, where he's sleeping, will lose even that.

WHAT CAN I DO? Hold the picture of the angry child and the Doctor in my mind?

I'll hold it in my mind, keep it on my mind until l think of something I can do.

Right now I'll send money to the Jenkins Penn Haitian Relief Organization -- click here if you want to donate to them.