Saturday, August 4, 2018


 My husband, John Cullum, a legendary performer, is currently being offered jobs for dying grandpas, and great-grandpas with Alzheimer's. His  age is more or less known, and producers feel if you're over sixty, you are old. J.C. would probably get more jobs if he gained 20 pounds and walked with a cane.

Picasso's haunted, sad-faced self-portrait of his older self is on the left. There are wonderful words about age in Shakespeare's plays. In all the arts, and in life, words like birds flitting around, and a-million/a-thousand new, true, cure-you things, are infecting people with AGE-ITIS.

It's what every one gets, sooner or later, before or after a birthday. Here's what I suggest -- little and big things you can do -- NOT to get it.

Starting now, keep away from ANY food, food supplements, pills, talk shows, advisers, therapists, knowledgeable friends, counselors, TV doctors, real doctors -- keep away from humans who say, "At your age you should... you shouldn't..."

ALSO, keep away from "I should be earning a good living." That's deadly. Also historical summaries: At age (?), others in my field were already established. Beware of "a person my age shouldn't wear..." Beware of "a person my age can't..."

If you're trying to sell a book, play, painting, style, a concept -- if you're trying to land a job, go to college, learn a new language, craft, skill, technology, do not think about age. Do not wonder if anyone else has tried, at your age -- to become a famous, successful, income-producing whatever... Just do it!

Watch out for age-cliches, age-rationales, age as a factor. NEVER think at my age I need a flu shot, special vitamins, must keep my weight down, exercise, walk, jog. It's okay to be aware of bladder control, but "why do I forget things, why didn't I hear that" -- THAT will get you to conclusions about how often you need to see the doctor, the dentist, the optometrist.  See doctors if, or when you absolutely need to.

Also, if you're registering or joining something that asks your age, lop off a large chunk of years. If you can't lie, then skip joining whatever it is.

The World Science Foundation recently said "Age 90 Is the new 50.” I don't think 90 is the new anything, but if age 90 IS the number that says you are old, think of Betty White, and Warren Buffet, and if you're  actually approaching the 80 number, don't utter, mutter, or murmur it to anyone, including yourself.

So what about celebrating your birthday? I suggest DO NOT. If you get birthday cards, get the return addresses from the envelope, and throw the cards out. You can't stop people from saying "happy birthday," but a bunch of people singing "Hap -py  B i rth- day To Y O U" should be studiously avoided.

Aging is easier if you do the things I've mentioned above, carefully, discreetly, and gracefully. If you can't lie, or avoid your loved ones, well... you will age a little (not a lot), if you wisely, carefully, cautiously keep eyes and ears open, and steer clear of the pitfalls listed above.

Am I worried about age? Well....


Not really. I just worry about getting AGE-ITIS.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018


If there was a nuclear bomb alert, would you know what to do?

Two passionate, uninhibitedly vociferous members of the advisory board of the Carnegie Foundation's REINSTATING CIVIL DEFENSE project, Alex Wallerstein and Kristyn Karl are demanding that the 1952 "Duck and Cover" film be immediately sent to all schools, and kids throughout America start practicing.

RCD's advisory board includes everyone -- nuclear health physicists, specialists, highest level experts, former Secretary of Defense William Perry, celebrities, even screen writers -- they've been updating and re-vamping CIVIL DEFENSE. Since the Cold War it's been a federal government program.

After World War 2, Harry Truman created Civil Defense.1962's Cuban Missile Crisis got JFK demanding a $700 million national shelter plan. President Carter got FEMA handling nuclear preparedness along with floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes. Reagan's $4.2. billion,130 page Planning Guide says on page 66, "Take shelter in the nearest and most protective building or structure and listen for instructions from authorities" After 9/11, former Secretary of Defense Perry and many other powerful officials convened in DC, insisting America do what Switzerland has done -- equipped towns and cities with shelters, first aid, food and a system for measuring radiation. This has not been done in our county yet.

Most Americans (especially younger ones) have no practical idea of how to respond to the warning of an actual nuclear emergency. What happened in Hawaii in January -- false alert at 8:10 a.m -- lit up cell phones saying, BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL -- widespread dangerous, costly panic.

Fact: Ten years after 9/11, Americans have no sense of what to do. The latest media headlines, despite the President's "successful" meeting with Kim Jong, tell us North Korea is currently expanding production of nuclear fuel at various secret sites. There could be a nuclear threat tomorrow.

Scenario 1 an exchange between the U.S. and Russia or China involving hundreds of thermonuclear weapons; there might be a 20 to 30-minute warning, before lights start going out, throughout the world.
Scenario 2 -- a nuclear terrorist scenario, detonation of a smaller, 10-kiloton device in a major American city -- little or no warning -- tens of thousands killed during the initial blast, thousands would have a short time to protect themselves from the subsequent fallout.
Scenario 3 -- North Korea threat, involving 100 or 150-kiloton device over a city like Los Angeles, with a 30 minute warning -- an estimated 195,000 to 241,000 deaths and 510,000 to 629,000 injuries from both the blast and the radioactive fallout.

While RCD  experts are arguing about adding "stay tuned" to films, the passionately concerned professors, Wallerstein and Karl are shouting 'There won't an Internet, cell phones, and radios!'

Take a look: "DUCK AND COVER" shows you simple things you can do, and do fast, that might preserve your life.