Saturday, March 15, 2014


Em praises John for all the things he's been doing for her since her surgery in January.,

Though she's recovered and back to dancing again, John's -- his fetching things, delivering her to the "pee-pot," tying her shoes -- all that plus Agnes' chores" (that's what they call John when he's cleaning and cooking) continue to amaze Em.

John says Em recovered quickly -- her dancer discipline amazes him. Em insists it wouldn't have been possible without Agnes.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


What do I fear?

That aliens are already here, and that they'll take over the earth?

Yes, Stephen Hawking's predictions about aliens is in the worry corner of my mind. And maybe you, like me, are worried about Jihadists -- black widows -- a kid with a bomb in his underwear -- a nut, with a gun in a mall, at the museum, or in the movie theater? All that and environmental things -- wicked weird weather, over population, running out of breathable air, food and water? Yes I worry, but what can I do about any of these things?

Martin Luther, in the sixteen century, said, "Pray, and let God worry."

While I'm trying to pray, I'm shivering. What I fear more than anything is the MONEY MEN.

This book, written 15 years ago, and lots of other books have warned us. They've explained why we need to beware of the super rich, kingpins, CEOS, who can afford to buy, create, or find new ways to control the world -- use the world's resources -- the land, air, clouds --  the stock market, wars, elections, oil, coal ....  (Add to this list whatever is on your mind. Behind the scenes, the MONEY MEN  control wages, immigration,  guns, education, fashion, cosmetics, art, pop music, movies, sports  -- name anything that you want, like, need -- the MONEY MEN control it.)

Can we stop them?

NO. They're big beyond "big" and complexly interconnected. Masons, Illuminati, Koch Brothers -- famous names, and the names behind the famous names -- these guys with their legal teams created SuperPacs, and have found legal ways to raise as much money, spend as much money as they want on getting what they to get what they want.

Who are they?  They're on Forbes' list --click and check out Forbes' The Worlds Most Powerful People.

On the list, you'll bump into Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Obama and quite a few other good guys that the MONEY MEN ignore. Knowing the names on this list isn't important. Just realize that the most powerful guys in the world are on the Forbes' list and they are affecting everything spiritual, cultural, political, about your life.

A long time ago I saw ta film, "The Naked Jungle," starring Charleston Heston and Eleanor Parker.  He was running a plantation that got overrun by ants -- the "marabunta."

THE MONEY MEN are marabunta. They are eating up everything.

Whoa!  They can't eat up me or you, if you own what you believe in.

The only way to stop them is to think for yourself.  Think yes or no, right or wrong, good or  bad, I want  or don't want, I like, dislike, I believe, disbelieve. Don't trust ads, movies, news, facts, percentages, pronouncements -- keep track of, and stay on the track of your thoughts. 

Your thoughts drown the marabunta MONEY MEN, and flush them away like debris.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014


This picture does not thrill me. This team does not thrill me. It's Meryl Davis and Charlie White. I certainly remember their names -- they are Americans, and the two-time (2011, 2013) World champions, who were, according to the announcers, sure to win again at the Sochi Olympics.  

And they did win.

Why don't they thrill me?

I think it's their choreography. The coaches who create the choreography (the sequence of steps that Figure Skaters and Ice Dancing Couples perform), utilize what the Coaches have learned from years of watching who, and what, wins. And the coaches, like the performers, are in competition with other famous coaches. 

Just for the moment, borrow my sense of what's wonderful about dancing, which is, according to Webster's, "to move one's feet or body, or both, rhythmically in a pattern of steps, especially to the accompaniment of music -- to leap, skip, etc., as from excitement or emotion."

Wonderful dancing, thrilling dancing, has to do with the physical beauty of the performer -- proportions, legs, flexibility -- the ability of the performer to express what he's feeling in gestures, hands, arms, head, and focus.

Our most famous choreographers are known for what they did differently from one another. Agnes de Mille was great at romance -- telling a story, using lifts, and meaningful, but non-literal gestures. Jack Cole, who's known as the "father of theatrical jazz," is remembered for tour de force, exciting "floor work." Bob Fosse, who was endlessly creative, choreographed fantastically sexual scenes -- his passion for women, especially his lovers, (Joan McCracken, Liz Minnelli, Gwen Verdon, and Ann Reinking), enabled him to invent stunning, incredibly exciting moments of bodies intermingling.

Of course, the coach-choreographers who created the routines for Davis and White use steps and sequences that won medals for other ice dancers, but I think it's hurting the Ice Dancing Couples as well as solo skaters.

Figure Skaters -- golly, it's getting to be tiresome -- that typical suspenseful build into the first lutzes,  the triples, the axels, and all the other requisite jumps and turns that get us  cheering and tell the judges how good the dancers are. And Ice Dancing Couples -- their jam-packed routines have no time for a tilted head, or a breath -- not even a slightest pause that expresses feeling -- but without it, it's hard to sense what the dancers are feeling.

Charlie White, every so often, seemed to be a man who loved the girl he was dancing with, while Meryl Davis, a marvelous instrument, never pauses, or adds reaction other than an occasional smile. Yes, this team did more steps and did them faster, better, super neatly, but there was no dramatic, suspenseful build, till the music got louder and the dancers swirled into their final pose.  

Take a look at Charlie and Meryl using my dancer eyes. The actual video of the winning performance isn't available, but here's their "Scherherazade." Yes, they are amazing -- but they have left me with no thrilling visions of real dancing that I want to replay in my mind. 

Anyhow, hurray for them, they WON the Gold for Ice Dancing in the 2014 Olympics -- they are the first American  team to win it. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014


It was LOVE at first sight, when John heard Robert Preston singing 'Trouble in River City." Preston's baritone with bass tones, marvelously crisp diction -- continues to amaze John.

John treasures his memories of rehearsing and performing with Preston. on a musical that never came to Broadway -- "We Take the Town." No actor, other than Richard Burton, has affected John Cullum as profoundly as Robert Preston.