Saturday, November 19, 2011


Em reminds John Cullum how difficult it is for her to accompany him to any museum. By the time he has oriented himself, she's finished and ready to leave.

Is it incompatibility or a basic difference in their minds?

Em thinks John approaches new plays, new scripts, in the same way he approaches an excursion to New York City's Metropolitan Museum or MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Do you use emoticons? Do you do a lot of texting?

Smileys, keystroke expressions -- colons, parenthesis, dashes, and texting -- are for me what Pig Latin used to be -- a kid's way of excluding the adult world. Pig Latin is good to talk around your parents cause they won't know how to speak it.

Here is is a sample sentence: "Igpay atinlay isyay oodgay otay alktay aroundyay ouryay arentpays auscay ethay ontway ebay ableay otay understandaye. "

Yes, I used to speak Pig Latin expertly, but now it seems a really silly thing to do.

Why are so many people, adults as well as kids, texting and using emoticons. Why are others turning "you " into "U?" Why not express what you feel with words and say "I'm amused," rather than "LOL?" or inserting a Smiley, or ((: ?

Is condensing words, expressing yourself with symbols and abbreviations, an easier or faster way of communicating? Does it communicate more fully?

Does it imply you're with it? Cool? Too busy to waste time with an email? Maybe it makes you feel frisky, peppy, young, but it makes me fret. I have to search for the symbol and look it up. You are sending me on wild goose chase

Well, texting, emoticonning makes self expression simpler, briefer. But what is it really commentating? Isn't communicating the reason why you're cell-phoning, chatting, emailing, texting, sending pals emoticons ? Isn't it why you're on Facebook reading my blog, reacting to it and sending me comments?

Actually, when people send me emoticons, or keystrokes, I tend to skim what they've said.

Niall Ferguson (Newsweek columnist) said Americans 13 to 17 send and receive about 3,339 text messages per month -- girls average about 4000 or more. He said "If the earth was hit by a gigantic asteroid or engulfed by a super Tsunami, a teenager might send a last message -- C U later. or : ( ...

Yes. I had to look it up to figure out that it means "I'm not happy."

I think this stuff dumb-downs your mind. I think you need to use language, and words, more and more, not less and less.

Aside from words on TV and in films, writing words and reading words, gets you living a life other than your own, feeling things other than what's in your personal world -- looking at art, nature, the sky, the stars -- those twinkling far away specs that can light up your mind.

Hey guys, kids, grownups, old folks -- try NO texting, NO emoticons. If you're not sure what to say dig for a word, maybe another one and another -- say them, send them, toss them out and catch what gets tossed back at you and you're hearing and seeing and saying and feeling things.

Try it. It makes you taller, smarter --probably younger, sprier, and also rich -- richer in some of the ways, maybe even all of the ways you want to be rich.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


The sense of time passing changes. I remember when a day seemed so long -- so many, many things that were going to happen, things I was waiting for, endless waiting for a friend to arrive, for a walk, for hop-scotch on a sparkling sidewalk, a trip, for a game to begin or end, waiting to eat, rest, put away my toys.

I remember when time was a school day, stuff to learn, memorize, study, draw -- crayons, chalk, scissors, colored paper, glue, and homework. And tests -- tests, tests, tests -- blighting my life, hovering over me.

Then came the time when I was getting nice looking -- time was time to scrub away blackheads, shampoo time, time to check in the mirror, time to try different cosmetics, and my period -- oh dear -- was Aunt Jane going to arrive? (The euphemism, back then, was "Aunt Jane" or "the curse.")

And then came the "time" for dates. A second later it was time for getting married. Wasn't I too young? Did I need legal permission to say the vows? Were vows important? Oh my --I thought, at age 18, "I am running out of time -- if I'm going to be famous, I have to make it, do it, become something extraordinary now."

I was running around a racetrack, the clock. And its numbers -- 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 9 10 11 12 knelled the hour, the date, the day of the week, the week of a month, the changing seasons, the year.

Twenty-five -- I dreaded that birthday, thinking "I'm old." thinking, "No I'm not." Thinking "better hurry, you'll be twenty-six in a minute."

I knew I wasn't old, but I knew I better look out or I was going to turn into one of those older girls, who weren't girls -- they were women, committed to some career that I knew wasn't really what they had in mind when they were children. But wasn't that life? You had to conquer what you wanted to get, and get it while it was still within reach, or it was gone, gone.

Thirty -- bad day at "black rock." I didn't want to climb over the rock and ever be 31, or horrors, 35. I read biographies of older women and men who managed to be successful after 35. Time was an hour glass, filled with colored sand. trickling down, running out of the top awfully fast, and the sand wasn't really sparkling, like sidewalks used to be. The sidewalks I hurried along didn't sparkle when I was rushing from morning dance class to a rehearsal, to see an agent, to discuss publicity photos, racing to another class. (In your thirties you know that the sparkling flecks in the cement sidewalks are an illusion created by the sun.)

Faster and faster I went -- went to a shrink to learn how to slow down, enjoy the present. Oh dear -- he fell in love with me and turned patient Em into the doctor who had to "cure" herself, and him.

And hold onto what I knew was the essence -- to do something, be something that no one else was, and be famous. In books? I was already in some books. Be great? I wasn't great, but I was exceptional. Be successful? I was more successful than most people I knew but what was successful? Who would I, could I be other than me?

Hurry, hurry, I thought, when I found myself weeping for things I lost -- love lost -- chances lost -- dreams that vanished.

I learned how to create time by being super efficient, remembering things, making lists, planning, organizing, hiring help, buying time.

Banishing time.

I woke this morning as an older woman, and thought I am not running out of time. I have more than enough time to do whatever I decide to do.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


"Wow," the Cullums exclaim, remembering how they used to dress up, dress fancy, in order to be noticed, get heads turning, photographers clicking away, wherever they went.

Recalling their extravagant chic outfits, that probably inspired lots of people to imitate them, the Cullums are aware that what they wear, nowadays, is different -- not head turn around things, but clothes that enable them to do what they want to do, without calling attention to themselves.

Have the times changed? Or is it us? the Cullums ask themselves. (They know that they KNOW the answer!)