Saturday, March 29, 2014


Right off the bat John describes wonderful old photos of Gielgud. capturing you Gielgud as an exceptionally handsome young actor.

John explains that when he auditioned for the part of Laertes, in Burton's "Hamlet," he auditioned poorly. The only reason he got the job was Burton, who insisted that John Gielgud hire him.

Rehearsals were hellish -- the great actor- director Gielgud's ideas clobbered John Cullum creatively.

John Explains how Elizabeth Taylor helped him conquer the role of Laertes.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


I can't stop picturing this Superbowl ad.

Did you see it?  It was Jerry Seinfeld and George -- one of those million dollar ads --  the two of them sitting across from one another.

It was the two of them right now, today.  They were older. Both of them had less hair.


I watch re-runs of  old Seinfeld episodes. I see them whenever it's possible -- it's usually possible at dinner time, when we turn on our kitchen TV.

I get absorbed in the story even though I have seen it previously. It seems fresh. I laugh. Sometimes I cheer, or applaud Jerry, or George, Kramer, or Elaine.

Ooo -- I didn't like seeing a thicker looking Jerry with a receding hairline. It clashed with my sense of him as the wryly amusing, sophisticated, self-aware bachelor.

Of course, I know that many of those episodes are around 15 years old.  Of course, I've seen Jerry briefly in a few guest appearances and news alerts, and I was aware that he was somewhat less handsome, and physically more mature.

Why does that ad, that Superbowl vision of him and George, continue to upset me?

Golly, we lost Shirley Temple -- she was major in the lives of my sisters, and me; and we recently lost Pete Seeger, who represented an energy and feeling for mankind that was unique and affected my world when I was working as a performer.

Seinfeld doesn't represent a special something-or-other to me, except a time in my life when I looked forward to watching TV, and sharing his casual but utterly up to date feelings of what was importantly unimportant.

Well,  maybe I'm mourning that he, and his humor, and that time in American life are gone, and probably I've been relishing the dinner time TV re-rums because they enable me to go back and relive them again.

Realty: Jerry Seinfeld is older, so are George, Elaine and Kramer.  

Reality: I have to handle that they are older, and deal with what's importantly important -- I am more mature. Probably I am wiser.  Ooouch -- I am older.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Wishes are for kids. 

Though I am a grownup, I still wish for things.

Like a child, I've given myself three wishes.

I try to make what I'm wishing for very practical, so that it could possibly come true.

I try to keep in mind "if wishes were horses, beggars would  ride."

I repeat to myself what Eleanor Roosevelt said --" “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”

WISH # ONE ...
I wish there were no ads on television.

Yep,  I am spending one of my three wishes on this even though I realize that ads are the king/queen/jackpot-maker of success on television.  Yep, television decorates my life -- it is on like a radio whenever we're in the kitchen, and I hate -- H A  T  E -- what ads have done to our minds. Ads cram my mind with unfactual facts about disease, politics, cars, and foods, while influencing our culture -- shaping a dumb-dumb corrupt reality.

WISH # TWO ...
I wish all religions of the world would stop warring with one another and accept each other.  

It's a big wish -- that all the different "God" beliefs -- Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism. Sikhism, Confucianism, Shinto, Taoism, Jainism, Baha'i, Zoroastrianism -- would stop hating and rejecting the other versions of God and right and wrong.
       I am using up a wish on this because I see and hear the huge conflict building in otherwise good people -- for instance, those who fear Islam, hate Islamics, and wish to destroy them. That hatred is destroying those people. I have to clear the decks and the various things in the world that keep me from focusing on what I want for me. 

I wish I could go into the studio and dance my dance.

The choreography of my dance isn't steps. It's  the synchronization of movement with some wonderful  music -- "Fantasia On A Theme by Thomas Tallis," by R. Vaughn Williams. I have been dancing to this music every day for more than 15 years. The "dance" changes as I have changed, but the flow of thought that is my dance gives me joy. Like a prayer, it lifts up from my mind, my limitations, woes, wonderings, and vanities, and deeply involves me in just dancing my dance.

It's a bit nutty that I have a dance. but if you think of it as my prayer ritual, maybe you will nod, and understand.

I can't dance my dance and do my prayer when I feel the ads on TV and the potential war between world religions will destroy the world.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Em moans "Oy vey" and describes John reading Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina" aloud to her nightly.

The great writer's excessive detail wears her out.

John explains how Tolstoy and the other great Russian writers have inspired him since he was a teenager, but Em insists, "Nowadays, Tolstoy would NEVER get published."