Saturday, May 18, 2013


Do the Cullums, John Cullum and Emily Frankel argue?  Have serious clashes? Angrily disagree?

Yes. Just about every issue in their lives gets them arguing--disagreeing--. sometimes angrily, but more often with passionate conviction.   

John says Em wins the arguments but Em is certain that they both win--she absorbs his point of view and he realizes her point of view is more practical.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Echoes are still echoing -- talk-talk about Boston, the school in Connecticut, and the latest horrifyingly bloody death/murders -- it's buzzing around like a gnat that's arrived with the change in the weather.

What can I add to the mountain of words by commentators, philosophers, scholars, movie makers like Michael Moorhead, who created "Bowling for Columbine," a documentary about the 1998 Columbine High School massacre. 

Listening to Michael Moore I just nod.

Reading James Poniewozik in Time (he writes about entertainment and pop culture), I'm nodding. He's seen all the shows that are being devoured by us. He knows the plots, and the latest batch of villains and heroes. Loud and clear, Poniewozik deems this year's shows more thrilling, more horrifying than ever before.

Okay, thrill and horror is what makes shows into money-maker hits. We've got Nielsen, IMDB, Hollywood Reporter and a half-dozen other Websites announcing the daily, weekly numbers that tell producers that violence wins them bigger money numbers.

I used to watch movies, classical old ones, usually, avoiding the violent, gimmicky new ones. But lately, after surfing the news shows, and mostly hearing about the weather and sports, I tune in one of the true life crime shows -- "48 Hours Mystery," "Snapped," "Dateline," or the Investigation Discovery channel -- maybe a "Deadly Women," or "Wicked Attraction," or "Fatal Encounter" episode.
Like airport sandwiches, they are neatly slapped-together, suspenseful tales of murders and disappeared persons that are served with not very good actors -- a slice of tragedy you can munch on, turn away from, and return to for another munch.

They're familiar, not inventive, surprising or shocking stories that seem more real than the realty shows about survivors, bachelors, housewives, or models. 

Watching one of these oft-told tales, you know right away who's the good guy, and who's bad. Motivations are variations on the typical greed, lust, jealousy stuff that doesn't leave indelible impressions, or involve you like Jodi Arias, Casey Anthony, Scott-Lacy, O.J., or assassinations.

What about the wonderfully packaged NCIS shows?  I don't watch them. They're jam-packed with excessive reality that seriously bothers me.

I don't want to be bothered.
Konstantin Shalev 
Hey, the world's over -crowded, and we're warned of death possibilities daily from environmental sins that we're  committing, 

Those true life crimes get me feeling ... what?

Maybe a little sad, a little blue.  I find myself thinking tsk-tsk, alas, what a shame.

They're like bible stories -- no matter how many times you visit them  -- they affirm your sense of right and wrong.

Hey, it's entertainment!  It keeps me from worrying about the real, truly horrible realities that I see and hear about every day, all day long --all, all, all the things in the world that are happening that seem to be rushing us to the end of the world.

No wonder violence is getting more popular everyday.

Hurray, for the crime shows and their neatly wrapped slices of tragedy.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I like him. 

He seems to be a normal, un-theatrical, creative guy, who participates, and innovates, but goes with the flow of the times.

I don't buy anyone's CD's or learn lyrics of songs, but whenever I see Timberlake -- hear him, hear about him -- yes, even if it's fan gossip -- I pay attention.

Researching his background gave me a sense of an ordinary person growing up -- a smart kid with an aptitude for music and real talent -- with a winner's self-confidence, plus a business man's instinct of what to do with his talent. 

Was this inherited from his father, who was a Baptist minister in a small town on the outskirts of Memphis? I skimmed the family stuff -- it didn't seem important to know. What drove the young man seemed to be personal, practical thinking.    

Actually,  whenever I see Justin Timberlake in today's news, or performing, he seems relaxed and just there -- he IS what he Is -- not a guy who decorated himself with a style, a speech pattern, or personality that he chose from other males whom he admired.

I keep feeling this guy has a lot of nerve -- he listens to his inner voice, a voice that we don't hear.

How did he grow into being 32, producer, actor, performer -- a star in music as well as films -- a performer who's  been awarded six Grammys, four  Emmys, has his own recording label, and co-owns two restaurants?

Timberlake was discovered on "Star Search," a  popular talent show back in the days before "American Idol."  He became the youngest member of a group called "N Sync" that grew into a very famous boy band.  During their hiatus, Timberlake released his solo albums, "Justified and FutureSex/LoveSounds, which spawned "Cry Me a River" and "Rock Your Body," and his singles "SexyBack," "My Love," and "What Goes Around...Comes Around,"  The albums sold more than seven-million copies worldwide.

I know Timberlake is now married to actress, model, singer, Jessica Biel. I know he was romantically involved with Britney Spears, and later, with Cameron Diaz.  I was one of  the140 million viewers that saw the 2004 super bowl show when he, while dancing with Janet Jackson, tore off a part of her costume that exposed her breast briefly. I liked the way he apologized, later, and said it was something they'd actually rehearsed.

What delights me is the way Justin Timberlake has been expanding himself as an artist for the past five years, putting his music career on hold while focused on acting -- starring in the films, "The Social Network," "Bad Teacher," and "Friends with Benefits."

Recently he released a third album, "The 20/20 Experience," which includes his hit single, "Suit &Tie."

He's still that same, regular sort of guy -- not outlandishly wild -- no hair all over his face or weird outfits, but that easy-going, natural way he moves, dances, sings -- and his choice of songs, I really like.

He fits in, wherever he goes. Here's a bit of what he recently  did when he performed at the White House for the President and Michelle.

And yay -- here, after his five-year hiatus, is Justin Timberlake now.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Who brings home the bacon?  It's John Cullum, who's become an expert shopper.

John, praising Em for being so busy, doesn't complain. He's proud of the fact that he knows where to buy food as well as household supplies in their neighborhood.

The Cullums are both delighted that they've found a way to keep their household running smoothly.