Saturday, November 14, 2015


Emily says John Cullum is a remarkable 'bedmaker." She describes the way he makes every sheet and coverlet smooth and perfect.

Listing his talents as a repair man, plumber Emily recalls the way the leak in her bathroom was fixed. Aside from singing, and acting, there's no doubt about it, John Cullum can "fix" things that ordinarily take an expert to fix.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


This 17th century picture of the wheel of fortune speaks to me, like William Shakespeare's King Lear does.

The August 2005 hurricane Katrina was the costliest natural disaster as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States. An estimated $71 billion has been spent restoring and rebuilding New Orleans. 
       As the tenth anniversary of this disastrous event was celebrated, we learned that income for whites has soared. The African American population has higher unemployment and is poorer than it was in 2005. What's thriving in New Orleans are young, middle-age whites.

The October 2012 hurricane, Super Storm Sandy, was the second most costly hurricane in the U.S, that will end up costing about $48 billion, after all the funds are finally allocated. 
       Today, we see photos of smiling people who are back to leading their normal lives, but we continue to hear about homes, roads, schools, and businesses, that are not yet restored.

I keep thinking of what Shakespeare's King Lear said, in Act 4 after a horrendous storm:
"The storm itself, the winds and rain the low lying land,
Poor naked wretches, whereso'er you are,
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you
From seasons such as these? O, I have ta'en
Too little care of this!"

I know Lear's speeches from creating a line-by-line adaptation of "King Lear" in contemporary style language, for my husband John Cullum.  Alas, John preferred the classic "King Lear."

I remember how Sandy affected our lives in New York City -- with no electricity, heat, hot water, phone, or food except what was getting spoiled in the refrigerator -- everything stopped for a week, and afterwards, it took quite a few weeks or things to normalize.

Golly, if I had a home or a business that was destroyed by Sandy would I fix it up? The Atlantic coastline, beaches, low-lying lands, global warming, worsening weather, ice melting in the arctic -- all that was involved in creating Super Storm Sandy -- could happen again. And, according to Time,
Huffington Post, Washington Post and The Associated Press, all that was done to rebuild New Orleans, would be erased by one monster storm.

Actually, thinking about what might happen again, I relate more to what "Call of the Wild" author, Jack London, said about fate: "Darn the wheel of the world. Why must it continually turn over? Where is the reverse gear?"

That's what we need, immediately, right away, quick! We needed it yesterday. We need it more than ever today.

Sunday, November 8, 2015


 I saw this in a magazine.

That title got me shuddering. I don't need more bad news reminding me that our country is in trouble. I don't need to add my voice to the outcry about guns and mentally ill guys.
I hated the title of that article, and immediately started reading it. The criminal justice professor at the University of Alabama, Adam Lankford, dug deeply into mass shootings and published the fact that the U.S. has more people who own guns than any other nation, and  that the U.S. has had more massacres than any other country in the world. He also noted that shooters in our country, more than shooters in other countries, were more likely to use multiple weapons and carry out their rampages in schools or workplaces.

He investigated what it is about American culture that incubates mass shooters and said, "Crime and deviance occur when there’s an unhealthy gap between people’s dreams and aspirations -- our culture has people reaching for the stars and slipping and falling probably more often. Our public mass shooters, based on comments they have left in notes, most frequently cite blocked goal achievement (such as being expelled from school or fired from work), or negative social interactions (such as being bullied by fellow students, coworkers, or supervisors). Mental illness can distort perceptions of such things, and exacerbate the person's inability to deal with them in a non-violent manner. That school and work represent these grievances may explain why American mass shooters are more likely than those in other countries to target schools and workplaces."

Nodding yes, feeling no because the Professor was summing up for me what I have heard before in smaller doses, I put the magazine in my "NO  pile of subjects about which I don't want to write, like, for example -- political candidates. I love my country. I don't love what's going on right now.

Okay, Professor Lankford -- I have to admit -- loud and clear -- that your title fired me up and has inspired me to say -- I pray that President Obama will find a way to restrict gun sales, and STOP gun sales to the mentally ill.