Sunday, August 31, 2008

"Don't ask, don't tell" ---by Sybil Adelman Sage

"Don't ask, don't tell," proved to be less of a panacea in the military than had been hoped and creates problems for me also. "Don't tell anyone" all too often accompanies a juicy revelation I'll then be busting to repeat while "Don't ask" is the price I pay for being a parent.

In exchange for hearing something private, I'll nod eagerly and promise I can be trusted not to tell. In almost all cases, I hold up my end, but the urge to blurt it out is no less a test of will power than a leftover chocolate cake in the fridge. The constraint mode is not easy for me.

Whether or not the secret I've agreed to keep is of interest to anyone isn't even the issue. A friend recently revealed that a plot of a novel nobody I know has read was based on a true experience, cautioning me not to repeat what she'd told me. Though I have trouble remembering passwords and pin codes, anything told in confidence remains prominent in my thoughts and causes me to worry about my capacity for non-disclosure.

Because my honor is on the line, I hold to the deal except when staying contained proves unbearable. Rationalizing that there could be no collateral damage, I've occasionally given myself permission to confide in someone who doesn't know and will never meet any of the people involved. This isn't, I'll admit, sticking to the compact, but since I haven't a confidential relationship with either a therapist, lawyer or clergy, it's sometimes the only way for me to cope with the burden of keeping a secret. And the big question is whether or not there's a presumption with "don't tell" that you won't share the information with your mate.

The "don't ask" component has less wiggle room. As parents, we know that what we construe as "interest" is perceived by our kids as "none of your business." Asking not only doesn't lead to an answer, but it's likely to generate irritation. There are also friends who create boundaries and withhold information we wish they'd share. I try to be sensitive and respectful though that, too, does not come naturally and requires suppressing an overwhelming desire to ask direct, probing questions. Various attempts to chisel away at these barriers have been unsuccessful and forced me to conclude there's no way to coax these types into submission.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Who Is McCain's Running Mate? ...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Early this morning Joe Scarborough, Andrea Mitchell and Peggy Noonan were continually interrupting their dissection of Obama's speech in an effort to track the whereabouts of the likely VP candidates for John McCain, dismissing each as he was discovered not to be en route to join McCain in Dayton.

The suspense was a gift. It would have been a jarring "Morning After" to go to bed with Barack Obama and wake up with Joe Lieberman, an experience not unknown to many women.

It was then announced that McCain's choice is Alaska's Sarah Palin, whose experience is being questioned as she's been Governor for 18 months, and prior to that was the mayor of a town of 8,000. With further probing, maybe her resume will prove to include having been in student government or that she'd served on a condo board, which would add immeasurably to her credentials.

In her initial introductory speech, the VP candidate showed she has good hair, the requisite lapel pin and kids with names that sound like butterfly categories, which raises the issue of judgment.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bicoastal Broads not Invited to Convention Blogging Center...by Sybil Adelman Sage

The convention was meticulously planned, calculated to showcase party unity and support for the candidate, who will, according to what is now being said, be ready on Day One. Careful attention was given to the speeches as well as to which color pant suit Hillary should wear. Reaction shots of the former President kvelling and repeatedly mouthing, "I love you," we can only presume were directed to his wife.

There was, however, a serious oversight. Neither of the Bicoastal Broads was invited to the Convention Blogging Tent. Was this a deliberate affront? Were we remiss in not organizing our readers to demand we be a presence at the convention? Regardless, we now ask you to throw your support behind the bloggers who are there. It's not about us; it's about you. Read The Huffington Post. That's what we're going to do.

I'm trying not to feel insulted. If the Clintons and Obamas managed to put their tensions behind them, shouldn't I find a way to forgive? If Obama and Biden could unite as a team, shouldn't I find a way to forgive? If Hillary can hang in with a husband who'd turned the Oval Office into Motel 6, shouldn't I find a way to forgive? (Pause here for applause and waving of signs). Do you think I've been watching too many political speeches?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

HOW TO KNOW YOU'RE OLD...by Sybil Adelman Sage

"Taylor & Joe: The New Justin & Britney?"

Okay, I'll admit it, I no longer recognize most bold type names in gossip columns, which is why I was excited to come across the headline, "Taylor & Joe" as Renee Taylor and Joe Bologna are familiar to me. I remember them in Lovers and Other Strangers, Made For Each Other, Calucci's Department, If you Ever Leave Me, I'm Going With You and, of course, Renee as Sylvia Fine in The Nanny.

That Taylor and Joe are making news assured me I'm not as out of the loop as I'd been fearing. Wondering what they'd done to warrant this attention, I read on. "Oh, to be young, gorgeous, rich, talented, famous and in love...the rumor mill is abuzz as Joe Jonas (the middle Brother) and pop-country crooner Taylor Swift are rumored to be an item after several less-than-chance encounters between the two."

This wasn't going well for me. The story continued, "In July, she told the magazine the two were just "friends'." You know you're old if you're asking which one is the she: Joe or Taylor?

Other clues:

Your tennis racket is in a press.

Movies for you are $7.50 tops.

The phrase "hooking up" suggests a dialysis machine or intravenous tube.

Mystery means, "Where did I leave my keys?"

It takes a moment before you remember that Paris and Britney are not places in France.

You think a Blackberry is a fruit.

Orthotics and statins figure into your conversations.

It doesn't feel entirely natural to say "The Former Soviet Union" or "African-American."

You still get flustered by "call waiting."

Your jewelry can be used in an emergency to summon a first responder.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Margaret Thatcher has dementia. What's Bush's excuse? ...Sybil Adelman Sage

For the last eight years, Margaret Thatcher has been suffering from dementia, but she certainly isn't the only politician whose reasoning powers have been questioned over that same period of time.

Her daughter, Carol Thatcher, recalls a conversation in 2000 when her mother confused the Bosnian conflict in the 1990s with the Falklands war of the 1980s. Fortunately, she wasn't in a position to send troops to the wrong country.

The former Prime Minister is said to be struggling not only with memory problems, but with words. No comment.

Monday, August 25, 2008

the weintraub's vs. the chinese...by judi sadowsky

last night, as i was watching the closing ceremony of the bejing olympics, i was bemused to hear the commentators oohing and aahing over the lavishness of the program. listening to them, i realized that these were people who had never been to the weintraub bar mitzvah.

when anderson weintraub turned thirteen, his parents threw a party that would have made the chinese turn green with envy. talk about organization - marilyn weintraub had begun planning this gala on the day of little anderson's bris. you want to talk about fireworks? you haven't seen anything like it until yetta mandelbaum discovered that she had been seated at the same table as marcia goldstein, the bitch who had the nerve to wear the very same dress as yetta. and the 100 meter dash? picture 200 jews being told the viennese sweet table was open.

when anderson was lowered to a piano stool, from the ceiling, in order to serenade his guests with the theme from "star wars" you could have heard a pin drop. marilyn and sheldon weintraub spared no expense for anderson's launch into society. they, just like the chinese, pressed all kinds of volunteers into service in order to make anderson's day special. unlike the chinese however, the weintraub's let ugly little cousin tiffany sing.

yes sir. the chinese could sure take a page from the weintraub's. i don't know what kind of goody bag the olympic audience left with, but the weintraub's sent all of us home with bagels and lox and a copy of the sunday new york times.

"It's the catharsis, stupid," by Sybil Adelman Sage

"I'm Still Here," should be the theme song for P.U.M.A. members, who seem to believe that Hillary has a grandfather clause entitling her to the nomination, if not the presidency. "Party Unity My Ass" could help create a President McCain as the group is nothing if not rigid and defiant with many refusing to vote Democratic unless the candidate is Hillary.

As for Hillary, she, too, remains in campaign mode, referring to Obama this week as "my opponent." She's done her part to keep the group fired up, explaining a final hurrah is needed before they can be expected to let go of their dream. That Hillary is reluctant to back off is understandable. She'd never considered not winning, firmly announcing at the outset, "I will be elected." We know she's tenacious, not one to let go.

Voting against your own values and interests is misguided and self-defeating. By refusing to embrace Obama as the candidate, these Hillary supporters are like the mistress who directs her anger at her lover's wife. It's fair to have doubts about Obama, but their moving over to McCain is more a function of rage than a reflection of ambivalence.

Hillary and her supporters are turning the 2008 race into "Fatal Attraction Politics."

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hey, I need Biden too! ...by Sybil Adelman Sage

This is Biden's weekend with his virtues being extolled 24/7, waking me up to the fact that I should have tapped him. With Biden beside me, my lack of foreign policy experience would not be an issue. He'd raise my stock in Delaware and with Latinos. I would also have the reflected glory of the courage and grace he showed while coping with personal challenges.

As for his tendency to speak out of turn? I've made a gaff or two. By my husband's calculations, it may be closer to two or three hundred. If our family had a crest to pass along, instead of assorted doilies crocheted by my grandmother, a fitting design would be an open mouth with a foot in it.

To the few dissenters carping that Biden doesn't represent change, a Sage-Biden team would be a big change for everyone. But maybe the strongest argument for me getting Biden is that he never said I'm not ready for anything. I sure missed the boat on this one.

For sale: website named Sage-Biden

Saturday, August 23, 2008

mccain should take a page from candy spelling's book...by judi sadowsky

if there was no l.a., what in the world would the new york times write about? the other day, on the front page (o.k. it was below the fold, but still) there was a huge article, with pictures, about candy spelling. it seems, ms. spelling, the widow of television producer aaron spelling, is downsizing. she is selling their $150 million dollar mansion "the manor" and purchasing a $47 million dollar condo. ms. spelling, who apparently does not like the word widow, refers to herself as single now and no longer feels she needs such a large home. after all, a single gal, rattling around in a 56,500 square foot home can get kind of lonely.

candy wants to travel and see the world. it seems that all the years she was married she never went anywhere because aaron was afraid of flying. but put away your hankies. all those years candy had to be content, to be home bound, in a home that contained a wine tasting room, a bowling alley, a china room, a silver room and a gift wrapping room. now that she is downsizing, by combining two duplexes, she will have to make due with, at 4000 square feet, a much smaller master bedroom, but she will still be able to keep her dining room table that seats 26.

the spelling household staff will shrink to half of the twenty people she currently employs and only three will continue to live with her. while well in the spirit of downsizing, ms. spelling was quoted as saying that "her china, silver, wardrobe, wine cellar, ball clock collection (whatever the hell ball clocks are) and the gift wrapping room are non-negotiable. i'm not giving it up".

candy is quite a little trooper, and i certainly think there is another bleached blond out there who could follow her lead. perhaps, if cindy mccain really wants her husband to be elected, she should start thinking about a little downsizing of her own.

"The Graffiti Tour," yet another form of insanity...by Sybil Adelman Sage

As if we don't have enough of a PR problem abroad, two Americans, Jim Clay Harper and Danielle Bremner, have been accused of spray-painting their way across the continent, putting their tags — "Ether" and "Dani" — on trains in London, Madrid, Paris, Frankfurt and Hamburg.

Given the current exchange rate, how did a 26-year old New Yorker and her 23-year-old boyfriend afford such an ambitious trip? Can graffiti "artists" apply for grants? Bremner attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, but apparently was willing to forego Fashion Week for this adventure.

Upon their return this week, police arrested them for having caused thousands of dollars of damage to New York's transit system and greeted them with handcuffs, not yet decorated. If convicted, each faces up to seven years in prison, which, if the penal system is smart, should be in a fixer-upper.

Friday, August 22, 2008

"Coming out" cards, etc...by Sybil Adelman Sage

In addition to its line of coming out cards, Hallmark will be introducing same-sex marriage cards with neutral messages that don't mention wedding or marriage, making them appropriate for a commitment ceremony as well. "Two hearts. One promise," one says.

"It's our goal to be as relevant as possible to as many people as we can," a company spokesman said. Hallmark has diversified and now offers cards for interracial and inter-religious marriages as well as blended families, difficulty getting pregnant or going through rehab.

With specificity increasing, look for cards that say:

Call it global warming, I'm hot for you

Age is a state of mind. Happy 15th birthday to an adorable gold medal gymnast

Thinking of you from across the miles in war-torn Iraq

Congratulations on not losing your house

You're the kind of friend I can turn to when I need a kidney

Seasons greetings from our asbestos-laden FEMA trailer to yours

It's not you, it's down-sizing

Wishing you a speedy recovery, especially since you have no health insurance

There's nothing more special than a new baby, no matter who the father may be

Hey, it's just a student loan you have to pay off, not the national debt

Your son, the martyr, will always be remembered

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What you sleep on as important as whom you sleep with...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Hard and soft have long been an issue in the bedroom, but anyone who's shopped for a mattress in recent years knows things have gotten more complicated. Foam, inflatable, super-firm and pillow-top have been added to the mix, making mattress shopping as time-consuming as buying a house.

You're advised to lie down to test the feel of each mattress, and you find yourself worrying about whether or not coils are durable, the Tempur-Pedic sleeps "hot" and the value of memory foam top pads. After 26 years of marriage that included a son and three previous mattresses, we discovered my husband and I are incompatible as he prefers firm while I like cushy.

Many stores offer a free trial period, which is lucky because the first mattress we bought proved on night one to be impossibly hard and was replaced almost immediately by a Shiffman pillow-top, a concession well suited for a self-righteous couple as each has reason to feel short-changed. Despite our new addition, homeless people on the street continue to sleep more soundly than my husband, who may be restless because this super-heavy mattress has to be rotated every six months to prevent it conforming to the shape of our bodies. This is not a concern for the guy on our corner who has only a blanket and cardboard box.

Any pleasure I might have gotten from the new Shiffman was called into question by Lindsay Wagner's commercials touting the Sleep Number bed as the only way to sleep as it allows you to adjust the firmness on your side to your own taste. Why didn't we see her commercial during our thirty day trial period? This option did cause me to wonder, however, how often cheating has been uncovered by someone finding the setting on their side of a Sleep Number bed had been changed.

Could Obama's running mate be...? by Sybil Adelman Sage

With the speculation about running mates, Joe Biden is telling reporters, "I'm not the guy," a response that's become less convincing.

We all remember Bill Clinton pointing his finger while articulating his version of "I'm not the guy," which was followed by everyone affiliated with the Bush administration protesting, "I'm not the guy" when confronted with having ignored a memo alerting them to the threat of a terrorist attack on American soil, lying about weapons of mass destruction to justify invading Iraq, cronyism, revealing Valerie Plame's identify, sending an inadequate number of troops into Iraq, mistreating prisoners of war and pretty much everything else.

More recently John Edwards tailored "I'm not the guy" to his needs after the National Enquirer showed a man with perfectly styled hair holding a baby in an expose about Edwards' mistress having given birth to an extremely profitable baby, adding a surprising twist because a friend of Edwards, Andrew Young, claimed to be the baby's father.

Let's hope that Joe Biden's denial doesn't lead to Andrew Young announcing, "I'm the one."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Another Fay moves to Florida...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Fay stormed into Florida this morning, joining the other Fays, Lucilles, Sophies, and Estelles who had come before her. With her soaking rains and gusty winds, she interrupted some Mahjong games, yet she was not as destructive as expected. Her rain swept across desolate streets littered with palm fronds, reminiscent of the wallpaper behind her credenza in the den. There were no reports of storm surge damage, but Fay's butcher always liked to say her bark was worse than her bite.

Police had a curfew in place. Oh, like Fay doesn't know about curfews? You don't think her sons Mort and Jeffrey had to get home before wild stuff started to happen in the streets? Warnings for people to take precautions had been issued. National Guard troops were at the ready, 200 truckloads of water and 52 truckloads of food were available for distribution. Those who had Thanksgiving or seder by Fay know that would have been maybe one meal.

Fay never achieved her predicted hurricane status, yet another thing for her to complain about, along with the bunions and the way Irv's wife treated him.

Bingo to whomever named this one Fay!

Monday, August 18, 2008

so much for mccain and the "cone of silence"...by judi sadowsky

now that we know that, most probably, john mc cain had evaded pastor rick warren's "cone of silence" saturday evening, i would like to know where warren put the unused cone, because we sure could use it now.

while i don't normally agree with right wing evangelicals, i totally am on board with this "cone of silence" thing. the mind boggles at how many situations that little cone could come in handy. it is obvious, of course, that any and all politicians would belong in the cone, not just so that they couldn't hear what was being said about them, but also to protect the rest of us from their 24 hour incessant rantings. i think nancy grace and all employees of fox news should spend a good part of every day in the cone as well as anne curry (just because she annoys me), george bush, and karl rove. fortunately, for all of us, dick cheney lives in his own personal "cone of silence". i wouldn't mind my very own cone, for use on my next door neighbor who insists on having loud cell phone conversations a t 7:00 a.m. outside my bedroom window and now and then i wouldn't mind giving the husband a few minutes in the cone.

this "cone of silence" thing could catch on. it would be like an adult naughty mat. every time a grown-up behaves badly we could give them a time out in the cone. i think we've got something here. i wonder if pastor rick has patented it yet. if not i might just go into the "cone of silence" business. i think i can have them ready by christmas.

The many faces of being a woman...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Channel surfing last night at midnight drove home what being a woman means in 2008:

At the same moment as a re-run of the Obama/McCain interview with McCain citing E-Bay founder Meg Whitman as one of three people whose opinion he'd seek out should he become president, the teenage female gymnasts were shown executing seemingly impossible and gravity-defying floor programs and then managing to congratulate rivals while a few stations away two morbidly obese women whose efforts to lose hundreds of pounds were being shown, and CNN was presenting a special on women in Afghanistan who have to sneak off - at great risk - to get an education.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Congratulations to Michael Phelps and John Edwards...by Sybil Adelman Sage

These two guys deserve recognition for having the most extraordinary loyal, supportive friends.

Michael Phelps could not have broken the Olympic record by getting an eighth gold medal without the dedication of his three teammates. John Edwards was allowed to distance himself from the baby born to his mistress, Rielle Young, because his friend, Andrew Young, issued a statement claiming he, also a married man, is the father of her baby.

Remember when being a good friend just meant saying, "You look thinner" and helping someone move?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

freezing to death in the E.R.....by judi sadowsky

when the husband complained of chest pains a few hours before bedtime, i gave him an antacid and told him to man up. when he woke me at one a.m. and said we needed to go to the hospital... "NOW" i was out the door in a flash. driving ninety miles an hour, through the deserted streets of los angeles, got my heart pounding. i was only praying that the same adrenalin would keep his heart pounding as well.

at the emergency room i knew to say the magic words - chest pains - and we were taken immediately. once those steel, sliding doors closed behind us, we entered a never, never land, not to emerge for seventeen hours.

here is what i learned that long night into day. emergency room workers are marvelous, kind, patient and efficient. here is also what i learned. the person complaining of chest pains gets a bed and warm blankets, the healthy driver gets a plastic chair. there are no windows in an emergency room and as two a.m. turned to five a.m. and night turned into day i lost all sense of time. while the husband, hooked up to every machine known to man was poked and prodded and tested, he also got to sleep. for hours on end i watched his chest rise and fall. i kept vigil with the machines that spelled out his pulse and blood pressure and heart rate. when he opened his eyes i smiled. when he fell back to sleep i huddled, as best as one could huddle, in my plastic chair, shivered with cold and lack of shut eye, and tried not to be terrified.

the rest of the story is long and boring. after seventeen hours he was released on the proviso that he return a day later for an angiogram. that test determined that his heart was fine but he may need to have his gall bladder removed. i can live with that. after all, who needs a gall bladder anyway.

seventeen hours, with nothing to do but worry, taught me a lot. i learned that after 42 years of marriage, his heart and my heart are truly one. i learned that if his heart were broken, mine would break. i learned that they can take every organ in his body and he will still be mine and i learned that the next time he wakes me for a trip to the ER, i will take a blanket.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Testosterone Trials...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Hormone replacement therapy was all the rage...until it wasn't. In response to a study, many women switched to alternative remedies with mysterious names like "black cohosh." After months of suffering with burning mouth syndrome, I was advised by my trusted gynecologist to return to HRT.

A recent test showed my body was producing no testosterone, so we added an extremely low dose to be increased slowly. Though I was initially pleasant when my insurance company failed to reimburse me for the medication, I've gotten testy. The pills must be kicking in. I told a friend about it and she expressed concerns. "Aren't you worried about getting facial hair? Don't you think you should get a second opinion? What if your voice deepens?"

We were on Cape Cod so I joked, "I'll move to Provincetown." I explained that my dosage is being raised slowly.

"But how will you know if it's too high?" she persisted.

"Don't worry," I assured her. "I'll slow down once I find the remote is in my hand."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"Mastering the Art of French Cooking With A Spy" -- by Sybil Adelman Sage

It's a relief to find out from a source unconnected to Karl Rove about a person's secret identity as a spy. The news du jour is that Julia Child, the famous cookbook author, not only knew how to make a bechamel sauce, but was sleuthing for the agency that was to become the CIA.

The woman must have had tremendous time management capabilities. Did she go undercover while a chicken was marinating? Did she always make it back in time to stir her sauce? Did she ever use her sleuthing skills to steal a cassoulet recipe from Craig Clairbourne?

Will this inspire other secret agents to write books? "Beauty Tips by Valerie Plame?"

Monday, August 11, 2008

Team USA is The Redeem Team...by Sybil Adelman Sage

The millions watching as the American male swimmers realized they'd won the Olympics gold in the relay race will never forget their reactions. Full-blown amazement gave way to uncontained ecstasy as they processed the unexpected and hard won triumph. Seconds before the first swimmer hit the water, the TV announcer had been saying that he'd done the math every which way and it always came up with the French taking this event. But these guys made the impossible a reality.

The French swimmers had made it known they'd come to Beijing determined to wipe out the Americans. These are our allies, but in 2008 America is not winning popularity contests. Sitting in the stands, his lapel pin designed to signal his patriotism towards a country whose image he's destroyed, was George W. Bush. The man has not earned the right to share the glory afforded the country by its athletes.

While the American basketball team has been dubbed The Redeem Team, the performances of all American contenders in these events are helping restore our country's image. Team USA could rightly be called The Redeem Team as each Olympic entrant is not only seeking to fulfill a personal goal, but doing damage control for the last eight years.

Team Bush, like Team USA, made the impossible a reality. No matter how we'd done the math, we all underestimated what they'd eventually do.

If a woman can't be too thin, a man can't be too fat...by Sybil Adelman Sage

A man who's dropped 550 of the 1,235 pounds he weighed when he was in the Guinness book as the world's most obese person left his home for the first time in five months this week with the aid of a forklift and a platform truck.

On his specially designed bed, he traveled to the shore of a lake in northern Mexico. Obviously affected by all the recent coverage of infidelity, my assumption was he was stealing off for an illicit outing with a blonde videographer, but, in fact, he was accompanied by his girlfriend.

At some 700 pounds, he is still unable to walk. His last trip outside his home was in March 2007, when six people pushed his wheel-equipped iron bed out to the street as a mariachi band played and a crowd gathered to greet him. Prior to that, he hadn't left home in five years.

It's worth reflecting that the guy does have a girlfriend. If "No woman can be too rich or too thin," we might add, "No man can be too fat or too homebound."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Follow the money or jewelry to get a story...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Shortly after John Edwards announced his willingness to take a DNA test to establish that he's not the father of the daughter of his ex-mistress, Rielle Hunter, she refused, insisting she wants to protect her own privacy and that of her daughter.

The 42-year-old mistress, it's been revealed pretty much everywhere except perhaps The Nature Channel, met Edwards in a bar, was handsomely paid for traveling with him and making videos despite having no qualifications, gave birth to Frances Quinn Hunter on Feb. 27th and the birth certificate lists no father though a married former campaign worker, now living in a $5 million Santa Barbara home courtesy of a friend of Edwards near the $3 million home the uber-private Hunter and her daughter live in, has claimed paternity. Privacy? It's a little late for that.

You don't have to be an investigative reporter to be suspicious about the claims by an Edwards staffer that without even conferring with the candidate, he took it upon himself to provide his own money so the mistress and campaign worker who took credit for fathering the baby could be protected from the press by moving into California estates. The money, he'd like us to believe, did not come either from Edwards or from campaign funds. This gives new meaning to the concept of a discretionary fund.

Complicated relationships invariably involve huge sums of money as well as jewelry. They haven't done a study, but my theory is the worse the guy, the better the baubles. There are, in fact, two new web sites for women who want to sell jewelry they've received from exes: ex-cessories.com and exboyfriendjewelry.com. The latter shows a picture of a ring or necklace along with a complaint on the order of, "He was lazy, cheap and a piece of crap, obviously he must go."

If jewelry is put up for sale with the explanation, "He had an affair and a baby he denies fathering," we can be sure The National Enquirer will find it.

They may soon have a web site for recycling cheating guys. And, sadly, there are women who will be eager to take them on.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Political Sexual Scandal Test...by Sybil Adelman Sage

It's becoming almost routine for me to listen to a contrite confession from a husband (happily, not mine) admitting to having had extra-marital sex. A case can be made that it's none of my business, but Breaking News clearly feels if a politician has strayed, I should be immediately alerted.

Further analysis and details are then provided by Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Keith Olbermann and Larry King, by which time the story has become personal, impossible to ignore. I can't return to business as usual, and this is even before the scandal has been mined into comedy by Jon Stewart, David Letterman and Jay Leno.

There was a time when a married politician could have an affair without intruding on my life. Whatever JFK was doing, it was never in my face. Gary Hart was my first major betrayal. It was 1987 and my mother, who was in a hospital dying, removed her oxygen mask, which she'd never done, seemingly needing to confide something of consequence. Was there a family secret about to be revealed? An unexpected inheritance? What my mother whispered (and turned out to be her last words) was, "Gary Hart's career is over." For me this was the beginning of the era where political scandals became our domain.

One mistake could be absorbed. I can't speak for Gary Hart's wife, but most of us were able to forgive him and move on. In recent years, however, cheating, lying and being outed have become media events, part of the political landscape. The rationale, if one is needed for it being considered our business, was political contributions may have been involved. The endless stories may explain why we have no memory left. Our brains have been used up storing names of those in political scandals?

Following is a test so you can determine if this is has happened to you. Can you link the politician with the transgression?

1) John F. Kennedy --- A) e-mails to House pages

2) Eliot Spitzer --- B) Chandra Levy

3) Bill Clinton --- C) Guy in airport bathroom

4) John Edwards --- D) D.C. Madam hookers

5) James E. McGreevey --- E) Rielle Hunter

6) Gary Hart --- F) Judith Exner

7) Larry Craig --- G) Donna Rice

8) Gary Condit --- H) Monica Lewinsky

9) Mark Foley --- I) Ashley Alexandra Dupre

10) David Vitter --- J) Golan Cipel



Answers:

1-F
2-I
3-H
4-E
5-J
6-G
7-C
8-B
9-A
10-D

Friday, August 8, 2008

Donatella Versace's hairdresser & others I'd make sure to avoid...by Sybil Adelman Sage

This week's "Time Out" (courtesy of my dentist's waiting room) announces that Donatella Versace's hair stylist has moved to a new salon. This was of special interest to me as that would be one of the people I'd take pains to avoid.

Others are:

Joan Rivers' plastic surgeon

Donald Trump's interior designer

Bill Clinton's anger-management therapist

Starbucks cleaning crew

Ed McMahon's financial planner

Keith Olbermann's tiemaker

Chefs from the Olive Tree

Tom Cruise's psychotherapist

Hillary Clinton's campaign manager

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hillary's Baaa-aaack! ...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Sure, we miss Hillary. She added drama and excitement to the campaign. There was someone else to be critiqued, feared and accused of flip-flopping. She was the long-awaited alpha female who allowed us to feel hopeful. I didn't know John Kennedy. John Kennedy was no friend of mine, but, still, I can say...Paris Hilton is no Hillary Clinton.

Hillary, too, clearly misses the action. She's now pushing for her supporters to be recognized at the convention, her argument being that it's not for her, but they need "a catharsis" before they can move on and put their considerable weight behind Obama.

I don't get this. Isn't losing the primary the political equivalent of being dismissed from a job or dumped by a lover? Isn't that our signal that it's over? Hillary asked for help replenishing her campaign debts. That seemed reasonable, the political equivalent of severance pay or a settlement. But if Hillary's supporters are entitled to recognition for their loyalty, then all of us who've stood by friends after they've been fired or broken up with deserve the same opportunity.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Where there's fire, there's a burning Bush...by Sybil Adelman

Having just watched the documentary, Bush's War, on Frontline, it took little for me to believe the allegation in Pulitzer-prize winning author Ron Suskind's book, "The Way of the World" that team Bush had forged a letter trying to demonstrate a link between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein to justify the war.

The film starts by showing the internal struggle among the Bushies with those who had misgivings about invading overruled, followed by four hours of the damage, destruction and deaths that followed. When producer Michael Kirk was asked if it was conceivable that there was a legitimate case for going into Iraq, he answered, "If it was there, you can bet someone in the media would love to report on it."

Suskind's book claims the White House concocted a fake letter in the fall of 2003, backdated to July 2001 meant to come from Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, director of Iraqi intelligence under Saddam, to support having sent troops to Iraq earlier that year, calculated because their earlier justification, i.e. Saddam having weapons of mass, destruction, had been shown to be erroneous.

According to the book, a letter was provided to a British journalist by an Iraqi government official that said 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta had trained for his mission in Iraq, establishing a link between Saddam and al-Qaida, which Cheney's office had been pressing CIA to prove since 9/11. Suskind contends there is no link.

Everyone who's ever been given a nickname by Dubya and some who don't want them are in denial mode, stepping forward to refute the allegations.

Will justice be done? Some say forgiveness isn't ours to give, that it's a religious issue, but I'd like to see an aggressive investigation so those of us who are pained can learn the truth. If heinous acts have been committed, there should finally be accountability. We've been down this road before, but maybe this time?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Is this Clintonfreude? ...by Sybil Adelman Sage

With former presidents like this, you don't need enemies...is what the Obama campaign is likely to be muttering since Bill Clinton told ABC News, when asked if the PDC (presumptive Democratic candidate, Obama's current tag) is ready for the job: "You can argue that nobody is ready to be President." The Resentful Former President followed this with other conspicuously tempered, begrudging endorsements.

Might we suspect the RFP has a case of Clintonfreude? He's said to be more insecure than any other president, narcissistic with an overriding need to be liked. It's being theorized that he views Hillary's loss as a personal attack and Obama's star quality as diminishing his own charisma. And you don't even have to turn to Fox-TV for those assessments.

If Obama wins the election, he'd be well advised to have a team of dogs sniff the Oval office before moving in.

Monday, August 4, 2008

why i love l.a....by judi sadowsky

today, in the august issue of westside today i read something so interesting i had to share it. it seems that irena medavoy, local socialite, most famous for having sued her dermatologist who had given her her botox injections has a new cause. since the last round of botulism that she had had injected in her head caused her to experience headaches that were so severe she was forced, at one point, to miss an oscar night party that she and her husband, a hollywood producer, had been invited to. not only did she claim that the injections had ruined her social life they had also impacted her ability to "perform her wifely duties".

apparently, not being able to wash floors and iron shirts drove irena to get out there and help the little people. irena has started an organization called adopt-a-nun. it seems that while elderly priests receive benefits from the church nuns do not. some of them are sleeping on cots, head-to-toe in old gyms and are deeply in need. if you adopt "your nun" will pray for you every day and correspond with you as well. in the article there is even a photo of irena and her husband with a nun. the caption reads "mike medavoy (who adopted his OWN nun) sister mary and irena medavoy" the caps are theirs, i swear.

sister mary looks perfectly nice and not that old. the article didn't say what happens to the nun after you adopt her. does she move from the old gym into your beverly hills guest house? are you responsible for the care and feeding of the indigent sister? come to think of it, maybe the medavoy's nun looks so good because they have been slipping her a little botox on the side.

Let the Cheetos fall where they may...by Sybil Adelman Sage

People report encountering religious figures in unexpected places, sighting Jesus or Mary in a window. This will never happen in our house since our housekeeper is compulsive and would immediately spray Windex on anything unusual.

Food is another source of discovery of religious and representational shapes, the most recent by a woman named Kelly Ramey, who believes she found a depiction of Christ in a bag of Cheetos, which she named, "Cheesus." This is another experience I will never have since I pop junk food into my mouth without stopping to look at it. It's conceivable I've eaten all the apostles without noticing, my own version of The Last Midnight Snack.

Some sightings have proved to be profitable. A grilled cheese sandwich did well on e-bay, and a cornflake shaped like the state of Illinois garnered $1,350 earlier this year. Ramey plans to keep her divine Cheeto in a safe deposit box, perhaps waiting for the economy to turn around before putting it up for sale.

We don't hear of Jews finding godlike images in strange places, but that may be because we're commanded, "Thou shalt have no other Cheetos before me."

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Where in the world is Thomas L. Friedman? ..by Sybil Adelman Sage

Does Tom Friedman spend any time at home? Doesn't his wife mind rattling around alone in their 11,400 square foot home on 7 1/2 acres in Bethesda, Maryland, or does she enjoy not having to share the space? Does anyone else wonder if Friedman has his clothes cleaned by hotel valets? Does he take drinks out of the Mini-Bar? How much time is he in the air? Waiting on the tarmac? Does he buy airline sandwiches? How often does he need a new passport?

Maybe it's not my business, but I think the man is away too much. I admire curiosity, and traveling is an adventure, but what about the family? Am I the only one worrying about this? When there's a week without a Tom Friedman column, I'm relieved, hoping he's catching up with Ann and his daughters.

Today's column starts, "Jorgen Peder Steffensen made me an offer I couldn't refuse: 'If you come to Copenhagen, I will show you a Christmas snow, the snow that fell between 1 B.C. and 1 A.D." Friedman goes on to say he doesn't go to the Arctic Circle every day. No, he can't. He's everywhere else! Steffensen, an ice specialist, knew Tom Friedman would turn up. I bet he'd come if I asked him over to dinner.

Without any effort, I can cite some places Friedman's been -- India, Baltimore, Britain, France, Germany, Israel, Montana, Beirut and Israel. I saw him on TV interviewing Indians at a call center and another time climbing over the fence in the West Bank. How much does he have to run around? Is anyone else annoyed that he went to the Arctic Circle?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Slydial, another strategy in the game of Phone Tag...by Sybil Adelman Sage

There have always been ways of ducking uncomfortable confrontations, whether it was the easy blow-off, 'I'll call you during the week," or responding to a ringing phone by frantically asking an employee or family member to say you're not in.

This week Slydial was introduced, technology that takes personal protection to a new extreme, surpassing Caller I.D., e-mailing and text messaging to assure you're never forced to deal with another human being. Slydial lets you call a mobile phone and go straight to voice mail, eliminating the fear that the phone will be answered and involve conversation, as it was once designed to do.

Cell phones are providing other new features. Taking a cue from movie special effects, you can now add background traffic sounds when calling to say you're late. Surely someone is working on sounds to support the story that you're in an emergency room, being held at gunpoint or have been deployed to Iraq. We might anticipate award shows for this new artistic form.

Technology is eliminating all potentially sticky situations that could be caused by actually connecting on the phone. Breaking up with someone will be easier than ordering a pizza. Doctors can leave word on your cell phone that it has, indeed, caused a malignancy without having to hear your despair and take all that time to answer questions.

Where is this heading? Will Slydial lead to Slyski, where you appear to have come down a double black diamond trail? How about Slysex, where you can roll over and claim you're done?

Friday, August 1, 2008

a woman of a certain age...by judi sadowsky

today i got a haircut. this is a once, every six weeks occurrence, but for me it is always a big deal. i don't know if it is because i experienced a bad haircut trauma as a young child or if it is just natural for those us born under the sign of leo the lion to obsess about our manes, but there you have it. a haircut is always a something to be gotten through.

i told my hairdresser that i wanted something new and different. "how about bangs" i suggested. "nope you always hate bangs after we cut them" said ryan my hairdresser of thirty years. I insisted - he refused. finally ryan (whose real name is jeffery - another long story) looked me straight in the eye and said "judi, you are not a young woman. you might not libe around long enough to grow out bangs".

after i stopped laughing, i took a long hard look in the mirror. he was right. i was no longer a young woman. it didn't matter if katie homes and carla bruni had bangs - and looked great with them. they were young. they could afford hair blunders. my hair is like the stock market. i am at at an age where i can not afford to make any mistakes. i may not live long enough to correct them.

Color war broke out between Camp McCain & Camp Obama...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Yesterday color war broke out between Camp McCain and Camp Obama.

McCain accused Obama, "He played the race card and he played it from the bottom of the deck." This was in response to Obama's having said, "...What they're going to try to do is make you scared of me...'You know, he's not patriotic enough, he's got a funny name, you know, he doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills'."

What we want to hear from the candidates is how many of those bills it will take to buy a gallon of gas and what each will do to provide affordable health care and make America energy-independent.

Note to Camp McCain: we learn nothing from your commercial using Britney Spears and Paris Hilton to suggest Obama is a celebrity, unqualified to be president.

Note to Camp Obama: however tempting, spare us a commercial showing McCain with Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor on life support.