• It seems nearly impossible to fathom that someone as brilliant and funny as Robin Williams could be so tortured emotionally that he takes himself out of the human race. Yet, last week, one by one, each of us across the whole globe, fixed our attention on the sad news of this beloved actor’s suicide. Sometimes, a blip of news in the vast sea of information we are bombarded with daily, seems to slap us so hard in the face that we can almost hear the collective groan rippling through space and time. Then we all try our best to reckon with reality. And what a devastating reality Robin Williams’ death reveals - that someone who, by his very nature, brought

    Aug 26,
  • For "Hooked on Daytime TV", Part I, click here; for "Hooked on Daytime TV", Part II, click here!    "...Erica Kane Martin Brent Cudahy Chandler Roy Roy Montgomery Montgomery Chandler Marick Marick Montgomery had clearly been through some changes..."  I dropped in on the Pine Valley crowd on "All My Children" a few years ago to see what, if anything, had changed since I'd tuned them out. My impressions: 1) The majority of the townswomen were underfed and overexposed, and viewers were expected to see these as desirable traits; 2) 20-year-olds were running every major manufacturing, retail, and media empire on the eastern seaboard; 3) Erica Kane Martin Brent Cudahy Chandler Roy Roy Montgomery Montgomery Chandler Marick Marick Montgomery had clearly been through

    Mar 28,
  • For "Hooked on Daytime TV", Part I, click here!   ...There you had your infamous Luke and Laura storyline; your major heartthrob, Dr. Noah Drake; your nefarious Cassadine family...and an up-and-coming ingenue named Demi Moore, done up boldly in the Flashdance trappings of the day...   So there I was, this kid parked in Ohio for the summer, longing to watch cartoons and comedies, but faced with the interminable sins and sufferings of "All My Children". I was only slightly taller than Aunt Nickie's family collie, and considerably less intuitive than he, yet forced to cope, along with my aunt, in the overwrought aftermath of Phil Brent's departure from Pine Valley for Vietnam.

    Mar 27,
  • Watching Grandma watch the soaps gave me my first experience of seeing a human being talking to a television set. She often felt compelled by decency to ask these fabulously-coiffed but deeply-twisted soap people, "Are you really gonna tell that lie?", or "How long you think it's gonna take before he finds that out?"...   How far back does your soap-opera memory go? I must not yet have been in school when my mother spoke to me of one Amy Ames, a heart-of-gold heroine featured on "The Edge of Night". There was also a guy named Adam Drake at some point on the show, and a dark-haired beauty named Nicole. Who these people were, I don't know; I can only remember

    Mar 26,
  • For "Babysitting Made Easy", Part I, click here!   I stood for a moment in a rainswept parking lot with a small, padded person hanging down my back...with me gripping his calves tightly as we gazed off in opposing directions...   Spanky and I'd done a million horsie-back rides without incident. But as it happens, we'd never done one outdoors in winter, with Spanky gloved, cushioned, layered, and padded as if for a historic lunar expedition. In my mind, as we made our way across the Black River Coliseum parking lot, it did, in fact, register on some level that his grip was beginning to loosen, that his hold on me was receding ever so gradually. But I thought he

    Mar 25,
  • A dear friend gave me the chance to take her visiting 4-year-old cousin to see "A Garfield Christmas" at the Black River Coliseum last winter. I, who have no children, jumped at the chance to play auntie to a great little guy. I'll call this young friend of mine, oh, "Spanky", I suppose, for his pre-school street cred may require some discretion here, since he's already made one risky public appearance with a dork who obviously knows nothing about his kind. I myself didn't realize how little I knew about very little humans until the evening of the event---and by then of course, it was too late to secretly deposit him back on the family doorstep and flee without arousing

    Mar 24,

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