Friday, August 27, 2010


Oh, I don't like that word -- BUNGLIN G -- how many times have I heard these sentences:
... "The President needs to stop bungling!"
... "Why did President Obama bungle it?"
... "Obama'a a bungler!"
..."Obama didn't do what he should have done -- he bungled it."

Good God! We elected the strongest, most energetic, most truthful, logical, educated, passionate candidate -- gave him the presidency, because he was, far and away, the best person for the job.

Why do we need the newspapers, magazines, the media, our friends, the discussions, the polls, the interviews, the comments over and over -- opinions of secondary, unimportant others who are striving for something -- a job in government, a better contract with their employer, notoriety, publicity for themselves and their plans for getting elected, or whatever?

I could write this post about any of the sixteen, twenty, men and women who are doing guest spots, and point out how they're conniving, vying for, wedging themselves into the limelight for personal gain -- not because they are patriotic and want to serve the country.

What's patriotism? It's vigorously supporting your country and being prepared to defend it. Why can't we be patriots and get behind this President, and support him?

If you think he's possibly wrong, think before you blurt it out and fire up your friends who want to be fired up, need to be fired up, because they don't really understand what's going on.

Do you?

President Obama cannot solve quickly, the problems he inherited from previous presidents, all men whom we elected, applauded, agreed/disagreed with, but re-elected. He needs time, advice, support, research, small steps, affirmation, before taking major large steps that will affect everyone in the country, maybe everyone in the world.

Putting our brains and energies and thoughts right now into who ought to be the next new president is ridiculous, negative, unpatriotic.

What we are doing is putting into the mind of our strong, young leader, the thought that he's already undoubtedly had -- strengthening the thought that right now in America, a black man cannot be president and have the support of his party, or the people who elected him.

Stop! Look! Listen! We are at a dangerous crossing. We can lose what we gained -- the incredible victory, the change in so many men and women that enabled Americans to put their trust in a man, elect a man, who is not white, to lead the country.
This is the way the world is. White is not the best, or biggest, largest most important color/race to be.


Thursday, August 26, 2010


When I more or less met Sylvester Stallone about ten years ago, the rumors about him were flying. They were about his sex life -- him needing a "pump" to get "it" up.

If you are shocked, don't be. The gossip world goes through atrocious, utterly inappropriate speculations about celebrities, and Stallone was a super celebrity. Is the pump idea uglier than what we think, wonder about, imagine about our current "stars?"

I'm not a trustworthy barometer. "Dirt," about Madonna, Mel Gibson, Sandra Bullock, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres, Lady Gaga, Angelina Jolie, catches my attention. Also Britney Spears because she's quirky-creative, and then there's Tiger Woods -- how's he doing? Why isn't he winning the tournaments? And other names you'd recognize -- new names -- they drift by me like sounds without pictures.

For instance, last night I heard some talk about the Kardashians and I have no idea who they are. Two-thousand-and-ten seems to be a year when "dirt" is needed. It keeps us from thinking about nuclear bombs, poisons, enemies that could end the good life that we're living, as we're mulling over the latest gossip.

Sylvester Stallone is "ROCKY," and that music, that vision of him in Philadelphia, still excites me, delights and inspires me!

Right now, Stallone is top news. "The Expendables," the new film he wrote, directed, and stars in, is number one at the box office. Plans are already underway for a sequel.

Well, I remember "Sly" Stallone at the Malibu Gym where I worked out with my trainer (Renee Rogers, you can check her out on Facebook). I'd watch him across the machine-filled room -- carefully -- I didn't want to be misconstrued as a "fan."

There's a protocol in Malibu, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills -- you pretend that you're ignoring the celebrities. You do not ask for autographs, or bother them. They're treated as ordinary people, living normal lives. (Yes, fans -- tourists -- often interrupt a celebrity at the post office, supermarket, or restaurant, but if you're resident, you look away quickly.)

But gee -- I wanted to see what exercises Stallone did when he worked-out, and ... well, I wanted him to notice me.

Most of the noticeable women at the gym were gorgeously attired, assiduously strengthening muscles above and below their D-cup boobs. I was the only A-cup female around with hair starkly pulled back, who looked and exercised like a dancer.

Though Stallone didn't have the heavy-muscled look of "Rocky Balboa," he was working with weights. I don't use weights. I was doing my split-stretches -- on the floor, then with one leg sideways, up on the wall, then in an arabesque, leg behind me, up along the wall, with my hands on the floor. (Renee and I called it "ef-ing" the wall.) Whenever I did that stretch, just about everyone in the gym watched me.

It was fun. I was writing full-time, certain my book, "Woman of the Century" was going to be published -- not performing but I was still capable of dancer-moves. And I was dying to say something to Stallone about "Staying Alive" a movie in which he directed John Travolta (the sequel to "Saturday Night Fever" that bombed.)

I loved that movie -- Stallone-the-director's eye for dance was amazing -- he knew what was worth capturing, what made a dancer great. Also, I loved his work in "Copland." Stallone-the-actor had created a heroic character that was a loser, not a macho winner -- a partially deaf sheriff of a small town in New Jersey, a guy who believed in right and wrong, and exposed the corruption of the Manhattan cops who lived in his town. Stallone's Sheriff was remarkably real -- a sympathetic, believable, genuine hero.

Well, I never said a word to Mr. Stallone. At that point there was too much stuff in the news about him and his women -- ex-wife, new wife, latest new girlfriend and the pump. He was fifty -- maybe none of it was true, and he was just finding out who he was.

And there I was making supper for John Cullum in my kitchen in NYC, and on my kitchen TV set -- Sylvester Stallone was being interviewed about "The Expendables."

What Shakespeare's Kent said -- "Fortune, goodnight --smile once more and turn thy wheel" keeps echoing.

So today I'm saying what I didn't say to him (for him and for you to hear): I admire you, Mr. Stallone -- I'm delighted that you're back in the news with a big hit.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Take a look!

The arms and legs of a Giant (Halliburton), are wending their way into your community, into your very own backyard, and poisoning your water.

My yard?

The Giant is drilling for natural gas in people's yards in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Colorado, Wyoming, Michigan, in Texas and Louisiana, and preparing to do it in the Catskill/Delaware watershed, which supplies all of New York City and Philadelphia.

Pay attention -- this is serious!

People need money so the Giant is buying permission to use their backyards. It's Halliburton under different names, and various natural-gas drilling companies under different names, buying the right to proceed with "Fracking."

F-r-a-c-k-i-n-g is a petroleum industry technique that pumps large amounts of water, sand, and chemicals underground at high pressure to open fissures that improve the flow of oil and natural gas.

It's Deja Vu -- I'm talking about your yard, not the Gulf!

Mining companies pump water, sand, and a cocktail of noxious chemicals, including benzene and toluene, into the ground until they build up enough pressure to fracture the bedrock and release the gas trapped inside.

And it's poisoning my water?

Yes, people are using bottled water, but they're still getting sick. In Wyoming people are reporting headaches, nausea, itchy skin, dizziness, and difficulty breathing. Again and again tests prove that gas drilling puts contaminants in the air. And even when the readings says that formaldehyde levels, are Hot, red-hot and deadly, they are rationalized away in the company's favor.

You can buy bottled water, sure -- but you can't buy bottles of Evian to maintain a herd of cows.

Furthermore, the natural gas companies have started trucking in workers (off of the rigs in the Gulf), to counter the protests of concerned citizens that are saying no to fracking. Also, the formaldehyde levels in the air and water are regularly underestimated. and home owners are not being fully informed about the dangers of fracking.

Under federal law, companies aren't required to reveal the chemicals they are pumping underground. The only restriction the EPA (Environment Protection Agency) has issued is that frackers cannot use diesel oil. It's a loophole big enough to drive a truck through. Thanks to the Bush-Cheney era's accommodating legislation, frackers can use other compounds that have the same toxic chemicals as diesel -- they aren't even required by law to list their toxic ingredients.

Explosions, fires happen. In June, an explosion at a drill site in Pennsylvania spewed 35,000 gallons of fracking fluids onto the ground and into a nearby stream. It took 16 hours to stop the flow.

How do we stop this? What can we do?

Work with Democracy for America, DFA, a watch-dog group founded by Dr. Howard Dean. He's the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and a man the White House trusts.

Contact DFA and sign their petitions.
Dan Mulligan, National Field Organizer
Democracy for America
(802) 651-3200 ext. 115

Most people don't realize what's happening. I'm a blogger, writing, doing my job . I can't do this myself, but the DFA can -- maybe, just maybe, if we contact them right away -- bring this issue to the national stage.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Whenever I read the names of famous left-handed people, I can't help wishing I were a lefty.

I'm right-handed but I'm strangely, unusually symmetrical. I keep getting invited to conferences of hypnotists and psychoanalysts. After I say I can't be put to sleep by a hypnotist, and some expert hypnotizes me, I simply obey. And lift my arm or do what they command.

They ask me questions;. After I answer, and they "wake" me, they say I am exactly, equally left brain and right brain. Apparently it's rare, and interesting -- I've read that left brain people are more creative, right brain are more successful in money making, and business.

Even so, as far as I'm concerned, the best, most creative guys throughout history, were lefties.

Do you want to know what Obama, a lefty, really thinks? Watch his hands.. Scientists say when lefties discuss things they feel positive about, they gesture with the left; they use their right hand for things that are negative. Right-handed people do the opposite.

Associating good things with the side of your dominant hand extends beyond just gestures. Researchers found if you’re right-handed, you’re more inclined to think, in general, that things on the right are good, while left-oriented things (people, images, whatever) are bad. Again, the converse is true for you lefties.

Does this mean that our bodies influence the way we think without our ever knowing anything about it?

Maybe Tea Partiers and Republicans have "Sinistrophobia?" It's the fear of left-handedness, or things -- anything -- on the left side. There's a national Left-Handed Day -- this year it landed on Friday August 13th. Friday the 13th frightens people who've got "Triskaidekaphobia" -- fear of the number 13.

(It might be interesting to do a poll on which guys in Congress have both "Sinis" and "Trisk" phobias -- maybe that's why they're such passionate NO-sayers.)

Aside from Obama, other left-handed presidents are Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, James A. Garfield, and Herbert Hoover. Other great lefty leaders include Mahatma Gandhi, Otto von Bismarck, King Louis XVI of France, Queen Victoria, (plus her left-handed successors -- King George VI, and Prince Charles).

Other major lefty leaders include Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Julius Caesar and Fidel Castro.

Lefties make up to about 15% of the world’s population and there is a probability of this number increasing. Why? Researchers say it might be testosterone -- it suppresses the growth of the left cerebral hemisphere and so as an embryo develops, more neurons migrate to the right hemisphere. (Maybe it's something to do with Viagra?)

The fact is, even nowadays, some parents and teachers discourage their kids from writing with the left hand -- force them to write with their right hand, punish them if they don't. In many societies (including ours) you don’t greet with the left hand -- it's seen as a form of disrespect.

Many of the foremost thinkers in the world are lefties -- Sir Isaac Newton, Aristotle, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Joan of Arc, Helen Keller, and Benjamin Franklin. Also Lewis Carroll, Mark Twain and Goethe, and Leonardo Da Vinci, and composers Mozart, Beethoven, and Paul McCartney.

Lefties in show biz -- it' s a wow list -- Tom Cruise, Whoopi Goldberg, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Keanu Reeves, Jay Leno, Lady Gaga, Oprah, Julia Roberts, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and Chaplin, also the new kid Justin Bieber, and directors Spike Lee and James Cameron.

Top southpaws in sports: Lew Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Pele, Martine Navratilova, and Mike Tyson.

And don't forget Bill Gates is a lefty, also, Henry Ford and David Rockefeller.

Left-handed people have excelled in every field. I can't help thinking the most important most noteworthy people in the world are left handed ... Gee, I read someplace that Osama Bin laden's a lefty ...

Hey, being a righty is okay! I'm happy, being one. Take this test. Here's a link to take a test and find out about your brain. Don't cheat, don't hurry, do it carefully. Maybe you're equally a lefty-righty like me.

Monday, August 23, 2010


"Work of Art" was a cable realty show on Bravo that brought together two dozen artists and four critics.

Each week there was a different "make art" episode. One show was "make a junk sculpture." Each contestant was given $100 to spend and 48 hours to create something. Another show required the participants to use only a child's tools, like crayons, chalk, scissors and paste.

(I must say these assignments sound interesting. Painting is one of my hobbies -- the walls of my home are my gallery, family and friends are my audience.)

The prize was mentioned a few times -- the winner was going to get$100,000 and a show at the Brooklyn Museum. The show gathered 1.2 million viewers since the first airing in June.

Every week, one contestant was booted off the show with -- "Your work of art didn't work for us," spoken politely, elegantly by the beautiful hostess, China Chow.

The semi final show was 3 contestants. Each was given $5000 to go home and create whatever he or she wanted.

A 23-year-old, perky, skinny, energetic, articulate black artist, Abdi Farah, won the $100,000. His show can be at the Brooklyn Museum until October 17th.

Here's a self portrait Abdi painted,
Here's some of his sculptures.

If you are an artist working on a creative project, does this show, "Work of Art," fire you up? Would you want to be on this show? I find myself wondering what's happened to the artists who were booted off the show -- how do they feel? Are they still doing creative work?

"Work of Art" caused a sensation. The LA Times called it "piddle;" the Wall Street Journal, dismissed it. Some bloggers hailed the program for demystifying the artistic process, establishing that "anyone can create art." Other bloggers and critics said that what was produced was trash.

T-r-a-s-h -- how easily, how frequently that term is used in upper echelons of the art world. And yet the trash is sold for millions of dollars, generally after the artist is dead, long gone.

Do you have to die to win in the art world? What makes trash turn into great art? It looks odd? It looks like nothing? It's boring? Weird? Shocking?

The people in charge of this show have marvelous credits: Jerry Saltz, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated art critic for New York Magazine; Simon de Pury, one of the art world's most knowledgeable auctioneers; China Chow, a style plate model, actress, socialite, daughter of fashion designer, Tina Chow; co-producer Sarah Jessica Parker, who's become a major film actress, producer, celebrity. These four people picked the judges (all names' in the art world), and also raised the money to fund the project.

To me they sound like IN-ies -- chic people -- what we used to call the "Jet Set."

I guess that's what bothers me. The Art World has always seemed like an upper class, exclusive group who love, salute, and pay homage, pay enormous sums of money for things that don't touch me at all. Also, the art works that were created for the show seem ... well, interesting ... but not very special.

Even so, Abdi seems to be a talented, ambitious artist, who has worked as an artist most of his life. And winning this contest will undoubtedly launch him.

If the show is renewed next season, will it mean something to painters, and other artists? Will it be like American Idol -- inspiring thousands of hopefuls, as the other realty shows for dancers, chefs, hair stylists, and fashion designers seem to do?

Well, why not renew it? Why does this make me uneasy?

Maybe because winning isn't quite the right feeling for an artist, or the right thing for motivating creativity. The drive to create comes from something within a person that shouts, pushes, keeps banging on the doors of his mind, demanding to be expressed.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


John Cullum and Emily Frankel discuss the value and importance of being "good-looking" -- how it affects your career.

In show business there are exceptions. John reminds Emily about what happened to her, how her life changed after after one audition.

Yes, these days, when it comes to getting a job in the business world, how you look is perhaps more important than education or intelligence. In theater and films it continues to be a combination of looks and drive.

John discusses various well-known actors and how their imperfections -- in terms of height, for instance -- affected them, and inspired them to work harder and expand their horizons.