Monday, March 31, 2008

if ariana huffington can do it so can i - i guess....by judi sadowsky

this afternoon i had an appointment to join the ranks of my contemporaries and get my first botox injections. i was set to meet with the doctor at two o'clock. by 9:00 a.m. i had chickened out. i wasn't afraid of the pain. everyone from my trainer to the check out girl at the market had assured me it wouldn't hurt. and i wasn't as afraid as i used to be of injecting poison in my head - so close to the brain that it makes me queasy just to think about it. no, i chickened out because of something my son said. now, before i go any further i feel i should tell you that my son rarely, if ever, comments on my appearance. i don't know about the rest of you mothers of sons, but mine never seems to actually see me, in the same way that he never actually seemed to notice the new sofa . he is not a bad son - he is a wonderful son. he is kind, caring, considerate and if his only fault is, that to him, i am just another piece of furniture, than so be it.

when i mentioned that i was getting botox, however, he was outraged. "why would you do a thing like that"? he asked. "i don't know. to look younger, better. all my friends have done it. even my manicurist has had botox". i answered. "and if they all jumped off the brooklyn bridge..." he retorted, calling to mind an old phrase of mine used ad nauseum, i am sure, during his childhood. i shrugged. he went on. "don't you see. if you get botox you will lose the you in you". "what are you talking about"? i asked.

he went on to tell me how the thing he loves best about my face is how expressive it is. botox would change that he was sure. he understood why i would want to look smooth, unlined and younger but it didn't necessarily mean that with all that i would look better. and so i canceled my appointment.

ten minutes after canceling, i picked up the business section of the new york times and there, on the front page, in living color, was arianna huffington, in all her fifty-seven year old glory and not a wrinkle or line in sight. that face, that had created one of the most successful blogs in the blogosphere was as smooth as a babies bottom. suddenly, i felt guilty. i felt i had let our loyal bicoastal broads' fans down. didn't they deserve a wrinkle free co-founder as well?

now, all of you know that i, like sybil, would do anything for bicoastal broads, so if any of you feel that i should grit my teeth and go get shot up before our first anniversary bicoastal broads' cross country bus tour, speak now or forever hold your peace.

Have the FOB's become SOB's? ...Who's still supporting Hillary? by Sybil Sage

This campaign has developed the "how much longer can this drag on" tediousness of an Oscar show with one of the notable side effects being how many Clinton supporters have broken ranks. For months I haven't had a dinner where someone hasn't whispered, "I started out for her but switched to him." Both Clintons' ratings have suffered, and there's a good amount of speculation about what's perceived as Bill's ambivalence.

I was pleased, therefore, on Hillary's behalf, to read in today's New York Times that Richard Mellon Scaife, a former member of the "vast right-wing conspiracy" who'd worked to undermine the Clintons, is claiming to have new respect for the indefatigable, female contender.

But as I read on, I learned that Scaife's motivation may be suspect, that he could be praising Hillary because she's perceived as easier to beat by some Republicans. Equally unsettling is the reliability of The New York Times, which has, on page A4, no fewer than nineteen Corrections: For The Record.

It's entirely possible we will, later this week, read that it was Lanny David, not Scaife, who was praising Hillary. If there's one thing we can be sure of, it's that the paper is in need of additional fact checkers.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Stuff Jewish People Like...by Sybil Sage

Todays "New York Times" features a story on the blog, Stuff White People Like, which has garnered a book deal for the writer. The blog is deserving, not only of a book deal, but a TV series. It's got a focus and hits the right notes with great humor and insight.

Because Bicoastalbroads strives to be original, I wouldn't consider revising the name to "Stuff Jewish People Like"...unless it would result in a book deal. In June we will be commemorating our one-year anniversary. We've discussed launching a capital campaign that would allow a road trip with the two broads -- accompanied by groupies, a hair stylist and manicurist, therapist, caterer and chiropractor -- in a brightly painted bus touring the country to meet and greet our readers. Neither of us does well with Mapquest so hope those of you in Monterey Park would be willing to come into LA, maybe to Westwood, to that spot so popular with protestors.

Readers, this is payback time. Please go to the comment section on the blog and give us feedback. That's the kind of thing Jewish People, oops I mean Bicoastalbroads, likes. Be assured we will create memorial plques to honor those you choose and you will be properly thanked in the acknowledgment section of our book.

Friday, March 28, 2008

A man admits he was wrong...in print yet! by Sybil Sage

Though women can be quick to point out when a man is wrong and it's become routine for "The New York Times" to print retractions and corrections, it's rare to hear a man admit he was wrong.

Turn in your hymnal books to page E1 (Weekend Arts) to share my appreciation of theater critic, Ben Brantley's statement: "And yes, that quiet crunching sound you hear is me eating my hat," in a reappraisal of his review of an earlier performance of "Gypsy", starring Patti Lapone.

Kudos to Ben Brantley. Let's hope The Learning Annex hires him to teach others that saying you were wrong can be right. And the class shouldn't be limited to men.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Whom would you choose to snoop on: John Mc Cain or Anna Nicole Smith? ...by Sybil Sage

Along with Hillary Clinton, John Mc Cain and Barack Obama, whose passport applications were improperly viewed by State Department workers, we now learn Anna Nicole Smith's privacy was violated. These employees clearly don't have enough to do. If there's going to be snooping, it should be to make sure they're not putting in for overtime pay.

What, I wonder, don't we already know about Anna Nicole Smith? Do passport records have secrets that haven't appeared in the tabloids? What I don't hear on TV "news" shows, I find out while waiting on line at the supermarket. There's almost nothing we're not privy to except maybe the Clintons' financial records, which, I have to admit, I'd peek at if they were to appear on my desk. Aside from that, my complaint would be we're getting too much information.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

back to the future...by judi sadowsky

on easter sunday, while many folks were either in church, in their yards hunting for brightly colored eggs or parading around town in their easter bonnets, i was at home depot in downtown l.a. with my son.

i love home depot. not that i have ever, once in my life, done anything that remotely resembled a do-it-yourself project, but i still get very excited walking into a home depot. it is so large and so jammed pack full of possibilities. i could spend hours just walking up and down the aisles imagining a brand new bathroom or a whole roomful of natural wood plantation shutters. alas, my son and i were on an errand that came no where close to any of my martha stuart like fantasies. we were there to buy four moving blankets to help pack up my daughter's art.

finding a bathtub is easy, finding moving blankets required hiking up and down many aisles before we were successful. when it came time to check out, we walked to the front of the store. there were no cashiers. "now what"? i asked my son. he pointed to an aisle with a counter and a small computer screen. "what's this"? he patiently explained that what i was looking at was a self service checkout lane. he then went on to explain that it was simple and all i had t do was read the directions. i told him he could do it, but he refused, shaking his head. "you can do it mom. the only way you will ever learn is by doing it yourself".

i was instantly thrown back thirty years. my son was seven and i had taken him to the bank to open his first savings account. i told him what he had to do and what he had to say to the teller. i told him i would be right there, watching him but that he had to do it himself. "the only way you will ever learn is by doing it yourself". i remember the look on his face. it must have been the very same look i now had on mine.

o.k. i thought, i can do this. i looked over at the next aisle at a little girl, in a pink easter dress, calmly scanning a twenty pound bag of fertilizer. i took a deep breath and dug into my purse for my reading classes. the line behind me was growing longer. first i had to scan the blankets. o.k. i did that. then the screen lit up. "cash or credit" it demanded. i looked at my son - he shrugged. alright, i pressed "credit". then back into my purse for my credit card. there was grumbling from the line. usually, when you have a live cashier, the line's hostility is directed at them. now all the pressure was on me. i managed to stick the credit card in the right slot and sign the screen. i started to walk away when the machine let out a loud screech. i turned to see my son laughing. unfortunately, no one on the now fifteen person line, was laughing. i had forgotten to remove my receipt from the machine. by this time i was sweating. but my ordeal was not yet over. i still had to bag my purchases.

by the time we left home depot i was exhausted. it is true that i had learned a new skill but one
that i hoped i would never have to use again. my son tried to console me. "mom, get used to it, this is the future". "the future"? i thought it was the past. i remember when i was a little girl, my mother always got me to do my homework by telling me that if i didn't study hard, i would end up like our neighbor's daughter annette, who was a checkout girl at our local market. my mother would ask "do you want to be bagging other people's grocery's for the rest of your life"? who knew, with all my education that that is exactly what has come to pass. and they call this the future?

You can pick your friends and now genealogists can pick your relatives...by Sybil Sage

Barack Obama is a distant cousin of Brad Pitt while Hillary Clinton is related to Angelina Jolie, according to researchers at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Hillary's seder table will need an extension now that they've discovered she's also a distant cousin of Madonna, Celine Dion, Alanis Morissette and Camilla Parker-Bowles.

Genealogist Christopher Child makes the point, "Lots of different people can be related, people you wouldn't necessarily expect," a thought that's occurred to me during many a family event.

These newly unearthed relatives could create all sorts of complications. Hillary can expect to get hit up for concert tickets and the performers will surely get solicited big-time by her campaign. With the ever-growing Jolie/Pitt clan, both candidates better earmark some nights for babysitting.

This news is making me anxious as it's not inconceivable my name will appear when they research family connections to Joe Lieberman, Eliot Spitzer, William Kristol, Jerry Lewis or Jerry Springer.








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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My friends have different moral dilemmas than Hillary, Obama, Spitzer, Paterson & Mayor Kilpatrick...by Sybil Sage

Whether justifying loyalty to an inflammatory pastor, erroneously claiming to have been dodging sniper fire upon arriving in Bosnia or the ever-popular act of committing adultery, our politicians are far less scrupulous than my friends. That can't be good.

David Paterson, now filling Eliot Spitzer's sullied shoes, announced with pride he'd never used public funds for his sexual dalliances as if he deserves applause. Today's scandal du jour is Detroit's Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, whose text messages have become public domain. We're at a point where politicians could preface every speech with, "Oops, my bad."

My friends operate in a different moral arena. Sure, we may rip out an osso buco recipe from Gourmet Magazine at the dentist, play down past drug usage to our children and hire illegal aliens, but the issues we grapple with are less disreputable, things like:

-What are the rules for regifting?

-Does contributing to a private school entitle us to expect admission when we recommend our accountant's kid?

-Should we sublet our apartment if the lease doesn't allow it?

-Can we write an enthusiastic blurb for a book we don't really like?

-Would anyone be hurt if we had a guest stay in the room we deduct as a home office?

-Must we include the couple who introduced us when inviting the new friends to dinner?

-What's the harm of returning something we've worn for only a few hours?

-Are we irresponsible if we drive when we could take public transportation? Does the car have to be a Prius? And, of course, what do we do about fruit from Chile?






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Monday, March 24, 2008

You can find out if you're pregnant or bipolar with a home test....by Sybil Sage

A prominent psychiatric geneticist at the University of California, San Diego, who's dedicated himself to identifying the biological roots of bipolar disorder. announced that he'd discovered several gene mutations closely tied to the disease and proceded to sell bipolar genetic tests directly to the public over the Internet. Patients receive a plastic cup, which they spit into and return for an analysis of the DNA in the saliva. The doctor acknowledges that the presence of these gene variations is no assurance that someone will actually develop the disease, considering his $399 test as an aid for doctors trying to make a diagnosis.

I'd like to offer my own test that doesn't require spitting or spending, which may be less intriguing to those with bipolar as the manic phase is accompanied by the desire to shop:

If you have intense mood swings, experience delusional highs and depressive lows, go see a shrink. If you're a hyperactive shopper, attracted to mall stores and the Home Shopping Network, that's yet another reason to worry. If you've ever flicked on the light late at night or pulled over while driving to call an 800 number in response to a commercial for an item "available if you call right now for only $19.95," that's another indicator of bipolar.

My suggestions include other psychiatric disorders also. If you think this is about you and are tempted to call and scream at me for sending a cryptic message, you may be interested in my paranoia or narcissism diagnostic detectors.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

me, my son and garrett the jewish astronaut by judi sadowsky

in may 1961, i and the rest of my high school class were ushered into the auditorium to watch alan shepard become the second man, and first american, to be launched into space. i must admit, that at the time, while watching the grainy black and white photos playing out on the thirteen inch screen in front of us, i was much more interested in the fact that elliot weintraub had chosen to sit right behind me. did his throwing spit balls at the back of my head and swatting me on my shoulder with his lab book really mean, as i thought it did, that he liked me?

knowing less than nothing about the space program, and bored to tears by our science teacher, mr. morabito, go on and on about the "new frontier", i and the rest of my classmates were far more interested in the upcoming spring dance than this one, lone man's venture into the great beyond.

last week, my son adam flew down to orlando, florida to watch his friend garrett board the space shuttle for a two month stay on the international space station. that's right. my son has a friend who is an astronaut and garrett, the jewish astronaut, right now, as i am typing, is some where in space sending photos and e mails to adam - here on earth.

now, i don't know about the rest of you, but frequently my computer does things i don't even begin to know how to correct, and as far as downloading photo's from my camera - forget about it. but garrett, the jewish astronaut, is emailing and photographing with ease and adam and he are having fine old chats. i am amazed that, in the space of less than a lifetime, i have gone from, obsessing over elliot weintraub while history was being made, to witnessing my son corresponding with a pen pal from outer space.

What would Jesus say about Jamie Lee Curtis Baring her breasts on the cover of AARP The Magazine? ...by Sybil Sage

Sunday morning talk shows, having exhausted this week's discussions about Hillary and Obama, segued to a provocative question -- "Would Jesus support the death penalty" --causing me to wonder if I should leave for the gym or stay tuned to see if this might lead to their debating Jesus's feelings about Jamie Lee Curtis celebrating her upcoming 50th birthday by posing gray-haired and topless on the cover of the May-June issue of AARP The Magazine.

There are, I'm sure, women this age whose naked bodies would sell magazines. Jesus may disagree, but I'm not sure Jamie Lee Curtis is the one we want to see. AARP The Magazine isn't on stands competing with Hustler. It starts arriving by mail once you reach the age to qualify for senior discounts, the go-to periodical when you're curious about gadgets for arthritic hands. A hot, post-menopausal babe on the cover is unlikely to spike their circulation, and I doubt that a man of any age will hide the upcoming issue under his bed.

While supportive of a woman feeling proud of her body, I'm squirming about the exhibitionist aspect. I'm okay to undress in front of my husband and in Loehmann's communal fitting room, but would be more enthusiastic about a 50-year-old woman appearing on "Jeopardy" and demonstrating that her memory is holding up as well as her boobs.








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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bravo to Bill Richardson for having the courage to call Hillary...by Sybil Sage

How, I wonder, did Bill Richardson prop himself up to make the call to Hillary, which was sure to get testy, if not actually nasty, once she heard he'd decided to endorse Obama? This is the sort of news one dreads communicating, right up there with, "We shouldn't have had unprotected sex" and "I've fallen in love with someone else." Okay, maybe even worse since Richardson had held two senior positions with the Clinton administration and Bill had recently flown to New Mexico to watch the Super Bowl with him, part of team Clinton's effort to secure his support.

Richardson could have made it easier on himself by continuing to dodge calls from the Clintons and letting Hillary see him at Obama's side on CNN or opting for the cowardly route, sending an e-mail that read, "I'm coming out for Obama, but SNL will do a truly hilarious sketch about your friends deserting you that will end up boosting your ratings more than having me on board. LOL, Bill."

Richardson deserves credit for imparting this unwelcome message in a menchy way.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Either shit or get off the pot by Sybil Sage

I thought I was sluggish but then the story about the woman sitting on her toilet for two years made me feel like a powerhouse, someone in perpetual motion who doesn't know when to stop. This is an extreme case of an attachment disorder. She missed the spring sales and the primary. What kind of woman is this?

I also saw my husband as attentive until this boyfriend appeared in the story, a guy who put up with her behavior and even fed her in this position. He's truly God's Love We Deliver.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

the eyes had it! by judi sadowsky

yesterday i lost my glasses. i looked everywhere and for four hours i could not find them. part of the problem of losing your glasses is that, without them, you can't see well enough to find them. i tore the house apart and was in a complete rage when i happen to walk past the bathroom mirror. i try very hard never to look in this particular mirror in daylight. not only is there a large window next to the mirror but just above it is an enormous skylight. i was much younger when we built this house and i never could have envisioned, back then, that a day would come when looking in the mirror, in direct sunlight, would be so painful.

at any rate, i looked and much to my surprise, i looked great. not a wrinkle or a line to be seen. as a matter of fact even my increasingly gray hair seemed to be darker, shinier and silkier looking. i squinted and moved closer to the mirror. there was no doubt in my mind - i definitely looked ten, o.k five, years younger. i stepped back so i could get a full length look and i swear to god i looked thinner. not dramatically, but just enough so that i could probably fit into last years jeans without lying down on the floor in order to zip them.

suddenly, the fact that i couldn't read, could not watch t.v. and definitely could not drive a car did not matter so much. without my glasses, i looked great. unfortunately, a few hours later i found my glasses - right where i left them. i was relieved because i could read the morning paper but sad that with my glasses, back on the end of my nose, where they belonged, i was thrown back into old age.

that night, the husband mentioned that he was thinking of getting lasik surgery. i panicked. i realized, that all these years he had been telling me how beautiful i was, how young i looked and how amazing it was that i never aged - he wasn't just being nice - he was blind! and that, my dear friends is how i like my men. if i can help it, there will be no surgery for him. it is bad enough that i have to see what i really look like, there is no way i am going to let him see it as well.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

hair today - gone tomorrow by judi sadowsky

being a woman of a certain age, i have grown used to the fact that i am dry in places i used to be wet and wet in places that once were dry, but this hair thing is a whole different story.

it seems like only yesterday that i had had a monthly waxing appointment. in one day, i could count on olga to rip out the unsightly hairs on my upper lip, eyebrows, underarms, legs and bikini line. now, there is not a stray hair to be found in any of those areas. not that i would ever, in this life time, wear a bikini again, but no one ever told me that you can actually go bald down there.

the strange thing is that while all the usual places i used to grow hair are bare, suddenly hair is sprouting up in places where hair just does not belong. at the gym the other day i kept swatting at an itchy spot on the back of my thigh. finally, after a number of times of trying to ascertain what was causing the itch, my fingers grasped on to a stray hair that was growing mid thigh. i grabbed it and pulled. it was six inches long. when had it gotten there and how could it have grown so long without my noticing it? long thigh hairs, bad enough, but what is the deal with big toe hair? the last few times i have gone for a pedicure, my vietnamese manicurist bambi (all the manicurists in my salon pick what they think are american sounding names) has started to threaten me that she is going to charge me for a pedicure and a trim.

embarrassing enough, but not as embarrassing as those dark black hairs that have started to sprout on my chin. i suddenly realized that when the wolf in little red riding hood says "let me in, let me in by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin" he must have been imitating grandma who he had so recently eaten. now i know what old age is and now i know why old women are so often cranky. they are dried up, soaking wet, hairless, old hairy things. i just wish that our creator, in his/her infinite wisdom, had figured out a better system that was just a little bit less messy and a lot more dignified.

Dinner parties are expanding to accommodate the late-breaking news...by Sybil Sage (last post before vacation)

They're attributing our current fatigue to having just moved our clocks ahead, but my thesis is we're all staying up later as dinner parties stretch out so we can cover the wide range of topics unfolding on what feels like an hourly basis.

Over drinks and appetizers in the living room we size up the other guests, trying to determine their politics, easing into whatever caucus or primary results will be revealed during the time we'll be together.

By the main course, we know if they love or hate the Clintons while managing, of course, to learn where they grew up as well as what work they do or once did interspersed with some background information about their roots, where their family members now live as well as which foreign countries they've most enjoyed visiting. Outside of Manhattan, it's conceivable that this is where golf courses, commuting and Starwood Club memberships might get put into play.

The post-entree/pre-dessert salad course works well as by now we've had enough wine and built up the trust to be more candid. Last night's topic du jour was, "How could Spitzer have imagined he'd get away with this" which segued to, "Why do wives appear on camera next to their cheating husbands", which got us back to the Clintons. By dessert, we'd all agreed the wives likely stand by the side of their cheating husbands for the sake of the children, which was addressed in today's "New York Times" by Dina Matos Mc Greevey, who wrote, "Frankly, all I was thinking about was my daughter."

Over perfectly poached pears dipped in chocolate, we wound down, speculating on why anyone would pay $5,000 for a prostitute (is that more than Raoul Felder gets?), the consensus being if you're in politics, you should get sex for free, and Spitzer's unexpected wild spending was handled in today's "Times" also by Maureen Dowd.

With so much news to cover, today's hosts don't dare serve fewer than five courses.

Monday, March 10, 2008

clean, clear water by judi sadowsky

i woke up this morning to hear matt lauer telling me that our nation's water supply has been "contaminated" with all sorts of pharmaceutical drugs that we have been literally flushing down our country's drains each time we pee. this is troubling news for oh, so many reasons, the least of which is, just how well do they clean our water before they recycle it and send it back through our taps? not that anyone ever asked me, but i never thought it was a good idea to recycle toilet water in the first place.

just after matt's cheery report, our local news came on. the headline of that program was that the los angeles department of water and power was planning a rate hike. wait a minute. could this possibly be a coincidence? i think not. i believe, that while i am not normally a conspiracy theorist, the drug and water companies are in cahoots. the drug companies peddle all this medication, on television and in magazines, making it look so attractive to be taking these drugs. we buy the stuff - pee it out and it gets into our water supply. then, the clever water company charges us for it. that's right folks. we in los angeles are soon going to be paying extra for those special doses of anti-biotics, anti-psychotics, vicodan, valium, viagra and god knows what else has been peed into our water.

and to think, that when i was a child all my parents had to worry about was fluoride in our water.

Eliot Spitzer was a truly "hands on" investigator of prostitution...by Sybil Sage

Eliot Spitzer, we learned today went beyond the call of duty and was truly hands on in his investigation of prostitution. He was caught on tape making a date with a prostitute working for Emperors Club VIP, where the Governor of New York was identified as "client number 9". Who, I wonder, was "client number 1?"

It was the Spitzers' turn for what's, sadly, becoming the traditional television confessional with the wife at her husband's side while he announces his remorse or, in the case of John McCain, an indignant denial.

These wives all seem amazingly stoic and supportive, their composure, hair and wardrobe making the statement, "I'm ready for my close-up!" Have they been mentored for such occasions? Are their closets divided into daytime, after 5 and "stand by my man" outfits? And should the "don't ask, don't tell" policy extend to include politicians, or is that understood in their marriage vows?

The sleeping child in the Clinton 3 AM commercial is an Obama delegate...by Sybil Sage

"With friends like these," Hillary could well be muttering were she to take a break from stumping and smiling,"...now that 17-year-old Casey Knowles, the angelic, "sleeping" child in the 3 AM commercial, is appearing on TV to say that stock footage shot of her eight years ago was used in the 3AM Clinton commercial, the irony being she describes herself as an "Obama delegate."

Yet more astounding is the effect of Bill Clinton's participation in this campaign. Hillary could not be accused of paranoia if she were to question her husband's feelings, however unconscious, about the Clintons returning to the White House. While ostensibly supporting his wife, the former president, an experienced and brilliant campaigner, has not been the asset supporters had anticipated. My husband was the first to suspect that Bill was conflicted, but others are now saying the same thing.

Best that Bill Clinton and Casey Knowles not appear on the same TV show...for many reasons.

Friday, March 7, 2008

i've got a hole in my aura

after a really lousy and emotionally draining week, a friend of mine suggested i go see her reike master and get my chakras cleared. for those of you who don't know anything about eastern healing practices, or don't happen to live in los angeles, reike is an ancient japanese practice for healing both the body and the mind. i really didn't know much about it myself but, since it wasn't going to hurt, i figured i would give it a try. i knew i couldn't feel any worse than i already did.

the master (or mistress, i guess, as she was a woman) was very nice and very calming. she barely touched me as she worked her hands down my body from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. after about fifteen minutes she suddenly let out a gasp. "what's wrong"? i asked. "someone has punched a hole in your aura" she answered. "can it be fixed"? i was starting to grow anxious. i had just come through a really traumatic week and the last thing i needed was a hole anywhere, much less in my aura.

"not to worry" she said as she began scrubbing the air above my body. after about five minutes she stopped. "there you go. good as new". when i went to pay her she wouldn't accept any money. she said it was the worst tear in an aura she had ever seen and she couldn't, in good conscience, take money for repairing it. i must admit, i had no idea what she was talking about, but i walked out of there feeling much better than when i walked in. here i was with a brand new, spanking clean aura and it was free.

as i got in the car my cell phone rang. it was a dear friend who just returned from a long trip abroad. i was so happy to speak with her that i started the car and neglected to put on my seat belt. i was driving and talking, on the way to meet my sister for lunch, when i heard a police siren behind me. i pulled over. it seems i had made a right turn on a red light. making a right on a red is something that you are actually allowed to do in california except when there is a great big sign that says "no right turn on red". the policeman said he guessed i missed the sign because i was so busy talking on the phone. i had a cop who thought he was a comedian. i gave him my license and then he asked for my registration and insurance card. i tore the whole car apart but my registration was no where to be found and my insurance card had expired.

after writing up the ticket the cop asked me why i was driving around like this - no seat belt, no registration and an expired insurance card. i figured, at this point i had nothing to lose and so i told him "i have a hole in my aura". "oh god, have you been reikied?" he asked.

i love l.a. it was a lousy end to a lousy week but it was over and only in my home town would a cop, who had just given me a ticket, be concerned about my chakras.

Big Breasts Free a Model in Japan...by Sybil Sage

Charges were dropped against a bikini model in Japan, who'd been convicted of kicking a hole in her boyfriend's door and crawling into his house after discovering he'd cheated on her. Her attorney demonstrated that the hole was too narrow for her too have squeezed into and the appeals court determined that the size of her breasts meant she couldn't have committed the crime.

We all remember, "If the glove don't fit, you must acquit," where size worked well for the the defense.

Yet another instance of the all too familiar formula: big boobs + appeals = happy ending.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The fictitious biography by Sybil Sage

There's a new category of book -- the fictitious memoir -- the most recent being "Love and Consequences" by Margaret B. Jones, purporting to be by a woman claiming to have been raised in poverty by a black foster mother, who sold drugs for a gang in a tough Los Angeles neighborhood. The fraud was revealed by the sister of the author, a white woman whose real name is Margaret Seltzer, who'd grown up in a prosperous area of L.A.'s San Fernando Valley with her biological family, who confirmed that the memoir had been fabricated.

That scandal followed last week's discovery that the Holocaust memoir "Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years," by 71-year-old Misha Defonseca, was a fake. It wasn't the first wannabee Holocaust victim book, a previous one being a chronicle by Binjamin Wilkomirski, who was stripped of the literary prize he'd been awarded for what turned out to be a fake memoir of life in a Nazi concentration camp.

Two years ago, James Frey, author of an Oprah Book Club selected memoir, "A Million Little Pieces," admitted he had made up or exaggerated details about his drug addiction and recovery. O.J. Simpson's stab at "fictitious non-fiction", "If I Did It" was perhaps the most sensational of this type of faux reportage.

Esquire Magazine, it was reported in today's "New York Times", has assigned a writer to create a fictional, first-person diary of Heath Ledger's last days, to be some sort of hybrid between truth and fantasy, a form the magazine has used in the past and expects its readers to understand.

Writers are now joining the group of politicians, suitors and salesmen who have no qualms about blurring the line between fact and fantasy. I'm considering my entry: "A Mensa model puts an end to the trafficking of women while bringing peace to the Mid-east."

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Does everything have to be about the economy, stupid? by Sybil Sage

Though my husband and I choose flights that allow us to accumulate mileage on American Airlines and I remember the euphoria of finally acquiring enough Blue Stamps to get a blender, I wince when I hear parents bribe their children, and was disturbed by the front page story in today's New York Times about public school students being rewarded monetarily for scoring well on tests. Teachers, too, the students will learn from this story (unless they're not compensated for reading the news) that their teachers, too, stand to receive a bonus for improved test scores.

What message are we giving these kids? Is doing well not enough of a reward? Is there not a better way to place a value on learning? If the reward system works, has anyone considered awarding points to the kids and letting them donate their earnings to a cause more worthwhile than getting new I-pods for themselves? Wouldn't we all take pride in seeing a hospital pavilion or shelter come out of this experiment with a plaque reading, "A gift of the students of P.S. 188?"

The amount cited in the story, somewhere in the $30 range, may serve to motivate students whose parents aren't already doling out an allowance comparable to an entry level job, but we should consider how this reward system might impact on private school students, who'll need to be rewarded with stock portfolios and their own villas in St. Bart's.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Glad I'm not a Superdelegate...by Sybil Sage

These past months have been agonizing as I've waffled between supporting Hillary or Obama, who seemingly sense when I'm conflicted and do something to undermine my confidence, which is why I'm eagerly looking forward to end this stage of the campaign. The candidates are holding up far better than I am.

I caught Hillary on Saturday Night Live, was won over by her warmth and wit, her readiness to laugh at herself and only hope Obama doesn't turn up on South Park to further confuse me. I feel pressured to get my one vote right and am grateful not to be a superdelegate.

As if this weren't enough of a struggle, today on AOL, I'm being asked to vote on film clips, as follows:

Which of today's TV's Top 5! clips is your favorite?

Clip 1: Hillary's 'SNL' surprise
Clip 2: Ellen's strong emotions
Clip 3: The stinky contestant
Clip 4: A dream come true
Clip 5: The worst singer ever


Would everyone stop soliciting my vote and leave me alone to figure out which dead Nigerian fortune I should accept.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

obama boy takes texas by storm by judi sadowsky

saturday morning the husband left for texas to campaign for obama. he was going with a friend and they were to be stationed in austin. their group leader is max kennedy, son of the late robert. they arrived saturday afternoon and by late in the day the first phone call came.

the husband was exhilarated. he and his friend had been assigned the task of going door to door in a huge apartment complex somewhere in downtown austin. two bald, jewish , middle-aged men ringing doorbells on a saturday afternoon in texas. i only wish i had sent a camera crew with them to document their day. i asked how many doors were slammed in his face. "none" he answered. "it seems nobody is home in austin on a saturday afternoon". but he was not deterred.

that night the husband called again. this time he was exhausted, his feet hurt, he thought he might be coming down with a cold and yet he still had not lost his enthusiasm. "this is just like the 60's when i campaigned for JFK" he gushed. i had to agree with him - he sounded so happy and yet i knew it was not just like the 60's. in the 60's we were on drugs. now, in our sixties, we are on medication.

A winter coat for $39?!! I'm on my way. by Sybil Sage

In recent years I've been railing about the exhorbitant prices being charged for leather bags, boots and sushi. So I was surprised and excited to come across an ad this morning while flipping through New York Magazine in the Sales & Bargains listings. "Bargain prices on wool sweaters (now $25), winter coats (now $39)." I turned to my husband to suggest we visit the store. "Where is it?" he asked.

"Oh, it's the Trixie + Peanut Pet Emporium." They also have pet carriers on sale. Cocker spaniels are now wearing coats at the prices I expect to pay.

My husband might have teased me except that I've kept the story alive though it was many years ago when I was preparing to wash our dog and unable to find her conditioner until I finally located it in my husband's shower. He was insisting it was his, falling quiet only when I read the label aloud, "Use full strength on show day."

These are the mishaps that didn't happen back when our vision was 20/20.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The fear of the 3 a.m. phone call...by Sybil Sage

The ads begin, "It's 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep. But there's a phone ringing in the White House. Something's happening in the world."

In politics fear is known to be effective, which is why it's been called into play. But with the two democratic candidates, my fears may not be those they'd intended. I visualize Hillary waking up, discovering Bill is not in the bed, looking at the caller I.D. and knowing who's on the line. She's admitted she's a fighter and this aspect of her life likely is a factor.

And since we're familiar with Obama's bedroom habits from Michelle's interviews, his snoring could well drown out the sound of a ringing phone and when it finally gets answered, he'd have to first rinse his mouth to get rid of the morning breath she described. Time would not be on their side.

Moreover, those of us whose kids are in their 20's are all too aware that they're not asleep. Forget the White House, that's when we most fear our phones ringing.