Saturday, December 24, 2011


Emily Frankel introduces the poem that Clement Clarke Moore wrote and published in 1823.

John Cullum reads aloud, "Twas the Night Before Christmas."

Friday, December 23, 2011


Here's me last year, December 23, 2011, talking about my most favorite gift. In the video I mention my husband's job.

Though John Cullum is not in "Scottsboro Boys" which, alas, closed, he's going to be a guest in "30 Rock," and "The Middle" on television, in January or February.

Anyhow, I still feel the same way about my favorite gift -- it's not very expensive, not very rare -- just a gift that I was given in a brown manila envelope, stuffed with crinkled-up newspaper.

Why the gift is still my favorite, most loved gift is not because of the way it looks, but what the giver figured out, and why the gift was chosen.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Here's a photo of George Clooney's castle In Lake Como, Italy.

If you are a George Clooney fan, (I am, sort of), you notice that he's in the news more than ever. Is it just the fame balloon that's blown with more air because he's doing more films? Or because he's sexy, good looking, optimistic? Or because he's got ideas and issues he's promoting?

Time Magazine reporter, Richard Stengel, asked the actor/director/activist questions that has me wondering if Clooney might be a presidential candidate someday? (Surely George has seen Robert Redford in the film, "The Candidate," and is very aware of handsome, good-looking Ronald Reagan's switcheroo from actor to politician.)

Stengel asked George, "Are you disappointed in Obama?" Clooney, who supported Obama in his pre-election days, not only said "no." Clooney said Hollywood ought to be handling Democrats, who have not learned to promote their achievements.

Stengel said, "What about Reagan's comment, that a candidate needs to be a good actor?"

Clooney replied that Obama was a good actor when his back was up against the wall, but could use some pointers -- a good director's directing on how to handle day to day communication. George described the work he's been doing to help the Sudanese -- the satellite camera he installed 400 miles above the scene, so that the world could see the real war and see what's really happening in Sudan -- not tribal fighting -- the graves, tanks , helicopters.

Was Clooney tweeting on Twitter, Stengel inquired.

"No, said George. said. He explaining that he drinks in the evening and doesn't want anything he says or does after midnight to end his career -- where "you can kiss my ass" can be spelled all wrong. (It was an astute answer -- celebs are constantly misquoted, or attacked for accidental references that can be grossly misinterpreted.)

Re his fabulous home in Lake Como, Italy: George confirmed that his living there has inspired boat loads of tourists who are now saying he paid $25 million for his house. "Which I did not pay."

About the Wall Street protesters, Clooney said, "Every time there's an actual grassroots movement that isn't funded by people trying to increase a grassroots movement, is interesting."

(Mmm ... he answers questions, elusively, doesn't he ... )

When Stengel asked what George thought about billionaire Warren Buffet's statement that rich people should be paying more taxes, the wealthy Clooney didn't say yes or no. He said, "I don't know how you can argue about that."

At the end of the interview Stengel asked "Would you run for office?"

Clooney quipped, "No. I'd from FROM office. My job is much more fun."

A question I would ask my husband's friend George: You're not shy, in fact you seem to promote your very busy sex life with various gorgeous girl pals -- will you ever get married?" (All those different girls Clooney seems to be going steady with ... it makes show-biz-wise Em wonder a bit wickedly, but realistically -- with his reverence for the Clooney name, I would think he'd want a passel of kids? Could George Clooney be gay? )

Anyway, it's fun wondering. Here he is in a recent television interview.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Hmm ... You and your partner would like to make a baby but you can't make one?

Baby -- eyes, velvet-like perfect skin, sweet delicate kissable lips, wiggling limbs, tiny toes -- petal ears and grabbing needing-me-teeny tiny fingers -- breathtaking beauty ...

You can't make it without sperm.

Sperm donors ... Who are they? What do they earn? Why do men to it? To ejaculate -- the need to? Or is there something that I don't understand about ejaculating -- the joy -- enjoying the wetness, the mess? Or is there a profound joy in the seed of one's own seed?

I looked up Artificial Insemination. It can cost $2000 - $10,000, depending upon how and where you find a donor. And donors make contractual demands that may not fit with what a gay couple or a childless straight couple wants, sometimes absolutely desperately needs.

Nowadays, you can find 'donorsexual' on the web— a service for free.

Newsweek reporter, Tony Dokoupil, describes a married female couple's adventure, sorting through ads, forums, websites, picking out a right man who is giving his sperm away altruistically -- meetings with the man, learning about his health, negotiating parental rights, and his attitude toward revealing his identity to his future offspring, and finally arranging the donation.

Insemination requires a meeting, a method of injecting fresh sperm into the woman's vagina. If sexual intercourse with a stranger is out, it can be done in different ways -- at a hotel, in your car, or (as the married female couple arranged) in the restroom at Starbucks. The donor ejaculates into a cup, you, the female, take the cup and attaches it to your cervix. It's not a pretty picture, but sperm dance and can enter you.

It didn't work for the female couple, so they are trying again.

Dokoupil writes about the new Free Sperm Donor Registry (FSDR) that's set up like a dating service, with female recipients and male donors. FSDR has about 2,000 members, 400 donors, and already claims a dozen pregnancies.

Should we cheer? -- doctors have been moving procreation into the lab, and creating families for straight, gay, single, and married partners. There are fee based websites in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, jobs -- a sexually talented man can make (possibly) $12,000 from working twice-weekly.

There are serious concerns, diseases, weirdoes, falsified records, even the possibility that a busy donor might be creating potential incest

For some people I'm sure its sexy, exciting. For others it solves career concerns, and focuses their next 16 year -- baby growing up is a 16-year commitment.

With a baby you shape and control and re-define yourself. Yes, you can do all that without a baby but gee -- live -- why not let life happen?

I wrote about pets recently, and people wrote back about their pets, how their love surrounds you with unconditional love. Baby is much more than that. You create with the baby what baby needs -- a condition of love -- a fire burning forever, a perpetual flame. No fences, laws, rules, hand-me-down words tell you what this means. It's a deep, noiseless, indefinable, silent, inner feeling that never stops growing.

Can you name any one, single, solitary thing in your life like that? I can't.


Sounds like sperm donor is something to consider.