Saturday, January 12, 2013


Emily explains that she still feels haunted by the election madness.

John Cullum, seizing the topic, chats about mistrusting commentators and politicians.  He thinks we'll get back to normal.

The Cullums reflect on the fact that nowadays, the mistrust and suspicion that the truth isn't being told,  isn't much different than it was after the last election.


Thursday, January 10, 2013


We know the face. We're aware of the stability of this woman, who has not wavered in her support and loyalty to the President. of the United States.

Stability? -- wrong word -- it's fake/wise --it's fake/ psychological -- it's NOT what I feel like talk-writing...

She is a THERE person. She believes in something, and she puts herself, her mind, time, and money -- it costs money to do what she's been doing -- all that, Nancy Pelosi gives -- all that she has to offer, she's been giving as the House Minority Leader.

Okay, I can copy and paste in right here a list of things she;s specifically been working on for the past four years. It's a huge list. There's been a lot of traveling, making speeches, selling, meetings, chatting, endless phone calls -- name any issue that the President has worked hard to achieve, and thar she blows.

(The phrase popped in my mind -- it's what you say when you see a whale blowing water from the hole at the top of its head.)

It's more than Nancy P. being an especially important, tall, strong, loud presence in D.C. Pelosi uses her experience, her skills and knowledge to make sure you -- whoever you are, whether you're importantly high, or unimportantly low, or educated or not -- Nancy works to get you to understand, and support what she is supporting.

Wait a minute, whoa --  how can she be so busy with what she's seems to be doing all the time, and maintain a personal life? She's married to Paul Pelosi, the man she married the day they graduated college in 1962. They have five kids. They're grandparents. (If you want to know more, here's a good source -- Personal life of Paul and Nancy Pelosi.)

Asked about her career in politics, Nancy Pelosi has said, "Devote time to having a balanced life. Because the success of politics can overwhelm you. You cannot have your personal well-being depend on your political success. This is hard. There will be disappointments and you can’t tie everything to it. You must have a sense of self beyond the politics.” Talking about raising her family, Nancy said, "To me, the center of my life will always be raising my family. It is the complete joy of my life. To me, working in Congress is a continuation of that."

Hey, I'll buy that. Just recently a wet-behind-the-ears (27-year-old) NBC reporter asked a dumb question -- suggesting that maybe, at her age, she ought to retire. Listen to what Nancy said


Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I got stuck on the obituary page in Time Magazine.

Elliot Carter, dead at 103 -- a composer known throughout the world, whose music I listened to back in my choreographer days.

And Darrell Royal, age 88, a beloved, successful football coach -- he led the University of Texas's Longhorns for 20 years. The stadium where they play every Saturday, bears the coach's name.

They've been gone for a while -- Carter left the world this past November, on the 5th, and Royal left on November 7th, but even though I never knew either of them personally, I find myself thinking about them.

The composer started composing when he was 21, and never stopped. He won two Pulitizer Prizes; he was continually evolving, expanding and trying new things. His works were played throughout the world, and wow -- just in the last 10 years of his life, he created 40 musical works.

The coach? All those years -- years piled onto years of playing winning football -- it made Darrell Royal a uniquely special expert in the game.

Stubborn, committed, unrelentingly determined men -- that's what they both were. They chose to devote themselves to their work, and never stopped learning, improving, expanding, teaching, researching. Each gave his profession things that affect it and will continue to affect football and music, probably, in the years to come.

Royal said, "Football doesn't build character. It eliminates the weak ones." Think on that for a moment -- what that meant to the men Royal trained, advised, and influenced.

Carter said, "I tried to, but I could never write anything that I liked or was worthwhile. I threw it all out and realized that I had to make a serious study -- that my tastes were far more advanced than my abilities." Peruse these words, and feel how they express a humbleness, curiosity, a reverence for his work.

The Time reporter who wrote about Carter said: "His rhythmical, complex work is not easy listening -- the quartets have been called the most difficult music ever conceived, but those who take the time to understand it are richly rewarded "

The other Time reporter said, about Darrell Royal: "He stood for the values that make coaching a worthwhile profession."

Hey, it's a tribute to these two men, to be singled out, mentioned and summarized on the day they died (as each of them was), by the media. It made me wonder what Royal or Carter would think about what was said, and then I found myself wondering what would I want said about me after I've left the world?

What about you?

Whether you're young, or feeling your age, sometime in the hours that fill your days, ask yourself what you'd want to be said about you. I think it keeps changing as you grow older, so maybe once a year, ask yourself what do I want, what am I striving for?

Take a look and listen:


Here's Darrell Royal: 


Sunday, January 6, 2013


When hurricane Sandy hit NYC, John Cullum and Emily Frankel were not  inundated with water, but their part of town (Chelsea) was seriously affected.

They're still recovering from but their five and half days, when they were cold, hungry, and stuck in their 5th floor home, unable to function normally..

The Cullums are back in the world now, but how vulnerable they are, how all of us are -- what Mother Nature can do to us -- is a new, frightening reality.