Friday, Jun. 18, 2010

Lily Tomlin's Short List

There are few actresses as versatile as Tomlin: she's performed onstage and -screen, in productions ranging from sketch comedies to serious dramas, and has taken home Tonys, Emmys and a Grammy to boot. This month, she starts a guest-star run on the legal thriller Damages. When she's not working 9 to 5, you might find her taking her daily dose of kitsch or downloading a book onto her Kindle.

One giant leap
I found Craig Nelson's book Rocket Men, about the first men on the moon, endlessly fascinating. The sweeping human adventure thrilled me as much as the hilarious man-made mistakes tickled me--like the NASA designers' neglecting to put handles on the Eagle's outside door, so Armstrong and Aldrin had to leave it ajar before they took their momentous walk. No doubt they took that "giant leap" with one eye on the door.

Reading companions
When I need an infusion of feminism, I read Robin Morgan to remind me of what I always want to remember. When I need a surge of mystery and oneness to open my heart, I read the magazines Parabola and the Sun. When I want to be hit upside the head, I turn to Richard Dawkins. It's that glimmer of seeing what he's getting at that brings me back each time with determination.

Radio days
Stephanie Miller as commentator-comic Mama and her irreverent two-man band of merrymaking mischief monkeys get me laughing every morning. Then I get deeply serious with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!

Kitsch maven
Check out the Allee Willis Museum of Kitsch at, and don't miss the Kitsch o' the Day. It's a destination you'll visit again and again.

Years ago I enjoyed John Naisbitt's Megatrends. Now I plan to download his China's Megatrends onto my new Kindle — a megatrend I'm hoping he mentioned in his first book.