Saturday, August 24, 2013


"Have you become more like your father?" Em wants to know.

John describes his father, and explains that he finds himself taking on more of his father's characteristics instinctively. 

Em wondering if it's a fact of life -- "If we had a daughter, I guess she'd  become more like me, or rebel and become completely opposite?" . 

That John has become more conservative and more of a stickler, very much now, like his father was, is what the John and Em observe .

Cullums see it happening to their son, actor JD, too.


Thursday, August 22, 2013


She is a queen -- a ruler of the theater world where I live. What she does, or doesn't do, what she says, how she behaves, what roles she chooses to play -- all that affects me.

She's an older and wiser famous lady -- not a has been, but a "once-waser." Everyone used to know her name. Now, I don't think they do.

I'll always remember her as the beautiful Guinevere with Richard Harris in the film,  "Camelot;" as Isadora in the film about the iconoclastic modern dance pioneer, in which Vanessa danced as if she were a real dancer -- and as the liberated, liberal "Julia."

Oh my, there were a lot of protests when she played a Jewish Singer at Auschwitz, in "Playing for Time," -- Zionists hated her for her outspoken support of the Palestinians -- the Jewish Defense League picketed the awards ceremony when she was nominated for an Oscar for her role in "Julia." Even so, there were many more unforgettable roles she played for which she won awards and nominations. She is the only British actress ever to win the Oscar, Emmy,  Tony, Cannes, Golden Globe and the Screen Actors Guild awards. She has also garnered many headlines about her marriage to director Tony Richardson, their two children, and the son she had with actor Franco Nero.

I can't compare Vanessa to anyone else I have focused on because of their artistic excellence because she is ... something else. I am searching for words -- she walks alone; a spotlight on her; on the moment at the moment.

Whether you approved of her activism, her blunt blatant support of things you thought were wrong, or not -- her money was where her mouth was. It still is. She never catered to us, trying to win our approval. She IS what she is -- the epitome of what she is doing as an actress and where she's standing now.

Nowadays, Vanessa Redgrave grows larger and opens her heart, her arms wider and embraces more of whatever it is.



Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Oh goody, I thought, as I opened my magazine and read the story  that went with the cover picture. I figured it was an article about how to enjoy the summer.    

It was by Jeffrey Kruger, senior editor for Time, who has written more than 40 cover stories, and eight books on science and technology. The article was seven pages long, chock-full of facts about being happy in America, and our natural impulse to pursue happiness. 

The article started interestingly, with the Pilgrims arriving in Jamestown, Massachusetts, determined to pursue happy lives in the new world. It continued, decade by decade -- detailing what was new and how it affected us -- light bulbs, electricity, phones, railroads, autos -- things like the Hoover Dam that expanded our ability to obtain food, money, comfortable living, and recreation -- things we are still improving as we pursue being happy today.

Explaining that the pursuit of happiness fires up the need to seek other ways to be happy, the article included percentage numbers -- how many people, male, female, rich, poor, working, or unemployed, felt they were happy  (or not happy) -- were they optimistic or pessimistic -- were they, or weren't they as happy as they expected to be at this stage of life -- did or didn't they believe social media helped them.

There was a double-page spread called "Games of Happiness" that showed pathways for pursuing pleasure -- how work, romance, having kids, your childhood, aging, your life style (exercise, watching TV, volunteer work, having pets -- it was huge life style list  -- how all those things affect affected happiness

On each page, author Kruger dutifully listed his sources: "Journal of Labor Research," "Journal of Positive Psychology," "Bureau of Labor Statistics," "World Happiness Report," "Psychosomatic Medicine," "Journal of Positive Psychology," "MTV Research and Strategic Insights."  The names bothered me -- the statistics bothered me -- the author seemed to be proving something about happiness, but what?   
Hey, go read the article -- c;lick -- this is a link! It's a ton of stuff that adds onto a ton of information that's already lying on top of us, squashing our thoughts and feelings. Nowadays, we're told and sold what's good; asked to like/dislike, approve/disapprove, vote yay or nay -- react immediately. No wonder newspapers, magazines, and publishers are going out of business -- reading, and thoughtfully digesting information is, nowadays considered, by many, to be a big waste of time.

Hey guys, c'mon!  If you want to be happy, zero in on you -- taste, smell, touch, see, hear, and PERCEIVE how you feel -- just be you, a single, solitary individual who's doing something, and is focused on doing the work of your work.

The info in Time is mudifying and nullifying something that's obtainable if you practice perceiving and doing what feels right.  

Sunday, August 18, 2013


If you could be anywhere in the world on vacation right now, where would you want to be, and what would you want to be doing?

John wants to be in NYC -- visiting all the wonderful places in the city that he never has time to visit anymore.

Emily, thinking more specifically, wants to know if John, right at the moment that they're making the video, would rather be doing something recreationally, like swimming or driving a car.

Remembering the fun they had renting a rowboat, the Cullums decide they'd like to rent a boat and go fishing.