Friday, August 29, 2014


Mom and Dad, John and Emily, have different wishes for their son, Hollywood actor JD Cullum.

It's a discussion the Cullums have had many times.

John thinks in practical terms of what's feasible and realistic, based his son's reputation, and Emily tries to figure out what would make JD happy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


We have loved him, admired him, looked down on him; we have gossiped about him, praised, applauded, booed, and wondered about him.

We have watched him growing up. Watched him changing, taking on ever larger projects, risking his money and his reputation -- professional as well as personal. We have had the privilege of watching a feisty, cute, young guy become a major producer, writer, director, star.

Here's a list of films he's acted in and produced, and here's a list of awards and nominations. Both are are impressively long lists, and gee -- to me -- they are very significant. There are other film stars who have done what Cruise has done, and yes -- facts and lies surround every star, but Cruise has kept expanding, taking on challenges, apparently undeterred by success/failure fears, and money concerns.

Good reviews, bad reviews, gossip column jabber, rumblings and mumblings with ugly, disturbing headlines about his private life -- but no matter what is said about him, the artist in this guy keeps reaching -- wider, broader, higher, and bolder -- reaching for universal ideas about what a man believes in and what drives him.

Do I love his films?  Some of them I do love; others are not my cup of tea. Even so, I bow to him. I don't bow to a many artists, but this one is growing, and very much in tune with the times.

He's fifty-one now -- here's a photo -- not a posed studio shot. I snipped it from the trailer of "Edge of Tomorrow" -- a moment when the actor's face says everything.   

I'll be part of the audience that watches and takes in the next and the next and the next artistic venture of artist Tom Cruise.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


What can one person do about plastic bags that are polluting the world?  We, my husband, John Culllum, and I, are still using plastic bags.

I can blog and remind you guys that what we are doing is harming the world.  Golly, I've blogged about trash a half-dozen times -- describing plastic bags over-filling landfills, clogging lakes, rivers, and oceans that are already filled with trash islands that are cram-jammed with plastic stuff that will never completely degrade even after it becomes -- in 20 to 1000 years -- fragments. The fragmented bits, looking like food, poisoned by chemicals that have created the plastic, continue, like a serial killer, to kill creatures and plants and destroy our ecosystem.

Hey, we've heard most of this bad news before. Why don't we bring previously used bags with us when we shop? Well, we are not lazy, but it's very inconvenient, and ...  well, we forget. My mind is overloaded with blog-writing and publishing routines, and my husband, who buys groceries on his way home from performances and appointments, finds it awkward to bring used plastic bags to the theater or an interview.

The problem is our kitchen garbage can. We fit plastic bags in the can. (two bags in case one leaks). When the can gets full, we remove the bags, put them in the large, heavy duty plasic bag that's in the hall container that our janitor empties once a week. (The city's Sanitation Department disposes of it.) 

Trying, as one small person, to do something, I suggested, "John, we could try to use just one plastic bag in the kitchen can."

Remembering the mess when a bag leaked, John said, "Surely there are some sort of biodegradable liners ..."

I said gee!  Got up from the table, headed for my computer and Googled.

Holy Smoke!  Before my eyes was a page with more than a dozen dealers -- lists of biodegradable bags, liners, all sizes, different strengths -- my God -- phone numbers and links  -- big bags , tall cans, small cans, sandwich bags, food-storage bags -- one box or a case of 25 -- free shipping if you spend $99 -- FDA approved, "completely biodegradable," and prices -- a quick look said they were reasonable.

Hey, we are not poor, and we're not lazy -- we can change our ways, even if it's inconvenient at first.  (If this "plastic bag" blog gets you thinking of doing the same thing -- check; gogreen,com;

Will we actually do it? It could take at least an hour, maybe more on the phone. The new bags might not fit; we might  need a new kitchen can. Will I find reasons not to bother? Probably a lot of people haven't stopped using plastic bags for the same reasons that I haven't stopped.

Well ...  if one person can change, other folks can change.

Hey, busy-lazy-lady --  get up and get going -- change your ways today!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


When John and Gene Hackman were playing missionaries in the film "Hawaii," they discussed their futures.

Suddenly, John was off to do "On a Clear Day," and Gene, not sure where he was heading next, moaned, "I should have studied singing."

Emily and John chat about movie star Hackman's retiring because he doesn't want to play the dying grandpas that John plays now.