Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Hour - sort of - at The White House -- by Sybil Adelman Sage

They could have been any three guys chugging beers except that they were President Obama, Cambridge police officer James Crowley and Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., nibbling on peanuts and pretzels on the White House South Lawn, nobody willing to say, "My bad."

As Vice President Joe Biden joined them, Lucia Whalen, who happened to be passing by the White House, called 911 to report "strange activity on the South Lawn." The police arrived and led the handcuffed Barack Obama and Professor Gates off the property. Biden and Crowley had a chugging contest, after which they covered the Oval Office with graffiti, later characterized by Obama as "stupid."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Michael & Paul Have Issues" - by Sybil Adelman Sage

The post-Olympics Michael Phelps has had a run of problems, enough so that Comedy Central might think about doing a spin-off from its new "Michael & Michael Have Issues," this one to star Phelps, with the simpler title, "Michael Has Issues."

The most recent is that his record was broken by Germany's Paul Biedermann, wearing a polyurethane suit that was credited with adding to his speed. The fabric will soon be banned by swimming's governing body, FINA.

Lessons learned:

When late for an appointment, wear polyurethane.

Stick with the Miracle Suit. Though it doesn't add speed, it does make you appear ten pounds thinner. You may arrive late, but you'll be svelte.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dog Breeders Make A List -- by Sybil Adelman Sage

In today's New York Times, Merce Cunningham garnered the entire Page A22 ("continued from Page A1"), consistent with the paper's policy of chronicling accomplishments when a celebrity dies. But would the choreographer have felt diminished if he'd known that he'd be linked in death with Martha Watson Stern, "Dog Breeder, 72," also honored with an editorial obit, though much smaller, and on Page A23 (not "continued from Page A1")?

"Are dog breeders now considered celebrities?" I asked my husband, who doesn't share my preoccupation with rite of passage announcements and their reflection of one's status. Not just any dead person can get a nod from the Times obit editors. The newspaper has strict standards, but Martha Watson Stern was deemed newsworthy by virtue of having owned the Texas kennel that bred Bo, the Obamas' dog.

This is a big day for breeders, who, with this recognition, will find themselves being asked to endorse rawhide bones, provide book blurbs and help getting kids into nursery schools and colleges. Names from Westminster will be dropped at Hampton parties. "Oh, she bred the bitch Rahm Emanuel almost bought for his kids."

To show their gratitude, breeders might consider discouraging paper training, at least on the New York Times.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Nobody's Asking Me -- by Sybil Adelman Sage

As it appeared on wowowow:

Larry King interviewed Michael Jackson’s father for an entire hour and found out nothing I couldn’t have told him. It’s not that I was intimate with the King of Pop. I’d never been to Neverland, hadn’t gone mall shopping with Michael or, in fact, ever met him. But I did read an issue of his dermatologist’s Daily Variety while waiting to see Arnold Klein’s partner, David Rish, who was treating my eczema. I thought it strange that a skin doctor, even in Beverly Hills, subscribed to a show-business trade paper. As the story has unfolded, that may not be the dermatologist’s only quirk. And though mine is not a name associated with Michael Jackson, I had no less information than Joe Jackson, who told Larry King he’d learned about his son’s death from fans. I couldn’t have answered when Larry asked where Michael was being buried, but neither could Joe. Given that Michael never forgave his father for slapping him around, I’m sure he’d have preferred to have me, or perhaps almost anyone else, discuss him on national television. Larry King slipped up big time.

Similarly, I was watching 40 years ago when Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon, but was I asked to talk about that memory? All the interviews were with NASA people, though I was prepared to talk about this event in a way none of them could. Having been single for 38 years, I’m well acquainted with what it feels like to have men walking all over you. It took years to get the footprints off my face. For me, it was a refreshing change to have a man walk on the moon. Even then, I wanted to warn the moon, "Sure, right now he’s having his picture taken with you, but don’t be fooled. Once he’s done tromping on you, you’ll never see this guy again!"

I was also overlooked during the public mourning for Walter Cronkite, though I’d been a loyal viewer, fixated on the TV during all of Cronkite’s coverage of the JFK assassination, Watergate, the Iran Hostage Crisis and the Beatles’ first appearance on American television. I was not approached by CBS or any news stations to share my feelings about one of my favorite anchors. Like so many, I considered him "the most trusted man in America," though given my history with men, the bar had been set rather low. My personal connection with Walter Cronkite was, admittedly, not intimate, but not everyone they interviewed was necessarily closer to him than I’d been. I once lived in an apartment building with a woman he dated after the death of his wife, though this wasn’t while they were involved.

Since I have not been overexposed, I’m keeping the phones free as my turn must be coming. I go to doctors and deal with co-pays, so am a natural to comment on Obama’s health-care reform speech. If not that, many friends know I got locked out of my house the night I was nominated for an Emmy and had to crawl in the window when I returned home (after not winning), which makes me a logical choice to discuss the incident with Harvard’s Henry Louis Gates being arrested after getting into his own house. At the very least, I’ve had both good and bad cuts, so I expect I’ll be brought in to discuss Michelle Obama’s recent hairstyle change.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

New Diplomatic Strategy at the White House -- by Sybil Adelman Sage

President Obama, who became part of the conversation after saying Sgt. James Crowley, a white police officer, "acted stupidly" when he arrested Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. in his own home, personally telephoned the two men with the hope of resolving the discord by inviting them to the White House for a beer.

If this works, look for Obama to schedule Octoberfests to mediate a truce between:

North Korean dictator Kim Chong-il and South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak

Senior Leader of Hamas, Ismail Haneya, and Fatah head, Mahmoud Abbas (mint tea)

Dick Cheney and George W. Bush re Scooter Libby (O'Doul's non-alcoholic malt beverage for the former prez)

Candy and Tori Spelling

David Letterman and Sarah Palin

Perez Hilton and

Friday, July 24, 2009

Did Jenny Craig Stir the Pot About Dr. Regina Benjamin's Weight? -- by Sybil Adelman Sage

It's my suspicion that the controversy about President Obama's nominee for Surgeon General may have been instigated by Jenny Craig with the hope of attracting Dr. Benjamin to become a spokesperson for her diet and appear on commercials with pictures of overweight "before" pictures, followed by "after" shots showing the newly svelte winner of the Mac Arthur Genius Award, now free to wear clingy, matte jersey and thin enough to serve the country.

More than ever before, we should pay careful attention to the tiny words that flicker imperceptibly at the bottom of the screen in every weight loss promo, a message designed to go unnoticed: "Results may not be typical." Not only are we unlikely to trim down as dramatically as this select group, but, additionally, dieting is no assurance we will be tapped to be Surgeon General.

Look For New version of "Jersey Boys" - by Sybil Adelman Sage

Weekly Variety:

There will be an open casting call for corrupt types to play the mayors of Hoboken, Ridgefield and Secaucus, Jersey City's deputy mayor, and two state assemblymen and five men to play rabbis from New York and New Jersey, accused of laundering millions of dollars.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

An Open Letter to President Obama: from Sybil Adelman Sage

Dear President Obama:

My husband did his best to console me once it became clear that I wasn't among the progressive bloggers you considered influential enough to participate in the conference call to help gain support for your health care agenda. "I'm sure Obama tried to call," he said, "while you were at the gym." With your numbers slipping, you might show more respect for my readers, who will, I'm sure, be indignant on my behalf and are likely to organize protests in major American cities as well as on the lawn of the White House. I just hope they don't trample Michele's vegetable garden.

Though I didn't hear from you personally, I saw you on TV, trying to persuade the general public that we need health care, "sooner, rather than later." Had I been among the elite group of bloggers included in the call, I would have shared what had been my highly successful strategy for pressing a very reluctant boyfriend to marry me "sooner, rather than later. With my input, all of America would shortly be insured and able to have long-overdue hysterectomies, hip replacements and gall stones removed. And your ratings would surely reflect their gratitude.

Hillary, too, didn't call before leaving for Bangkok. If she had, I'd have given her the name of a tailor who'd custom make pant suits for a fraction of what she pays here. Like me, she may not be on today's call sheet, but if you should speak to her, tell her to stop in at Milan Suit on Sukhumvit Road near Soi 14.

Monday, July 20, 2009

How To Remain A Nobody - by Sybil Adelman Sage

For those who haven't read it on WOWOWOW:

Fame, I discovered at an early age, requires being cordial to strangers and tipping at least 20%, just two reasons I carved out a life to insure being a nobody, a status that’s highly underrated. A nobody isn’t asked to appear at charity events, is less likely to attract stalkers and can blow off religious zealots in airports and Greenpeace workers on street corners. A nobody is free to abuse food or drugs without getting media attention and is in less danger of family secrets being revealed in a memoir written by a former nanny.

I was first officially recognized as a nobody when a friend’s chauffeur stopped in front of a New York theater to drop me off. Someone rushed over to check out who was in the limo, immediately dismissing me with a disappointed wave and telling a companion, “It’s nobody.” That was a memorable moment, confirming I was free to go out in public with no make-up, something I value far more than being able to snag a table at Rao’s.

An important step to insure obscurity is being born into a family where you’re not expected to go on stage and sing with your siblings even before you’ve learned long division. I had an added advantage in that none of my dead grandmothers had been named, “Paris,” so I wasn’t saddled with a name that makes fame almost inevitable. My first job was in Marketing Research, a field populated with unknowns, where even the hottest of the coder-tabulators can freely walk around without dark glasses and not get assailed by admirers. In fact, no one in the lobby of the Empire State Building was willing to stop and help me complete a survey by answering a few questions like, “Which bathing cap would you be more likely to buy?”

After moving to L.A. and getting involved in show business, my early jobs – taking dictation from a studio vice-president or answering phones for the manager of the Marquis Chimps – did not put me at risk of notoriety. It wasn’t until I started working as a secretary to prominent, show business personalities and later as a scriptwriter that I experienced fame, witnessing embarrassing adulation, shameless staring, whispering and requests for autographs. There was no way to avoid being exposed to secondhand fame.

When we both sported the same frizzy, Harpo Marx-like curls, I was often mistaken for Barbra Streisand, accosted by her fans and, more surprisingly, greeted by her friends. “How are you, Barbra?” I was asked, clutched to the chest of a stranger while doing lunch (show biz people “do” everything), at the Paramount commissary.

“Fine,” I answered, struggling to get free, “but I’m not Barbra.”

Several years later, I became a television writer and agreed to being interviewed for an article that would appear in “TV Guide.” Obscene phone calls and letters from prisoners alerted me that I had to be more discreet. I couldn’t afford to be careless and risk losing my nobodyness. To avoid gaining prominence, I signed with agents who promised “a five year plan,” code for that’s the length of time they take to return a phone call. And I did my part by turning down offers to produce hit shows and freely expressing opinions at meetings that contradicted those of network vice presidents. I managed my personal life similarly, avoiding becoming Oprah’s best friend, not marrying Bill Gates, Donald Trump or a Kennedy, never having an affair with a married politician, staying far away from YouTube and not becoming the governor of Alaska.

To retain my nobody status, I’ve chosen to blog, rather than pursue a newspaper column or book deal. It’s not totally worry-free as there are bloggers who achieve celebrity status, but I trust my readers will tweet, dig and comment in moderation so as not to threaten my nobodyishness.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Older Women Having Babies?!! Sybil Adelman Sage

A 66-year-old woman and a 70-year old woman have recently given birth, and now Jenny Brown, a 72-year-old who lives in London, is attempting to have a baby, going through in vitro fertilization treatments that began when she was in her early fifties. The reason she gives for waiting is, “My studies meant that children kept getting delayed.” Did she ever consider taking a speed reading course?

Brown is appealing for women between the ages of 20 and 35 to come forward as possible egg donors, explaining that by carrying the baby, she'll pass on her genetic material. "I believe the baby will look more like me that way." Does she really want to give birth to a grey-haired newborn with liver spots and reading glasses?!

If this trend continues, the cost of fertility treatments could put an additional strain on Medicare.

Monday, July 13, 2009

What's Really Behind Sarah Palin's Publicity Sybil Adelman Sage

Sunday's Washington Times quoted Sarah Palin: "I will go around the country on behalf of candidates who believe in the right things, regardless of their party label or affiliation." My suspicion: a brilliant blackmail strategy to inspire candidates to fork over hush money to lose Palin's endorsement.

In today's New York Times friends have reported that Palin's hair, the most substantial thing about her, has been thinning. My suspicion: Sarah is fishing to do commercials for Rogaine.

And on the topic of fishing. My suspicion: the overalls and rubber boots are a shameless ploy to get her on the cover of the L.L. Bean Catalog.

The very public tensions between the soon to be former governor of Alaska and her not quite son-in-law, often referred to as "the father of Sarah Palin's grandchild." My suspicion: they're gunning for a sit-com, All in the Family meets Northern Exposure.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bush's Wiretapping Missed Ensign's Extra-political Affair

How inept was the Bush White House that with all their warrantless wiretapping, they never listened in on the ever-growing group of married, Republican politicians having extra-political affairs? They knew nothing about John Ensign's involvement with Cindy Hampton, who'd been his bookkeeper, until her husband, the Nevada senator's former chief of staff, went public with the story.

It's no surprise that the recent report, compiled by five inspector generals, questions how much valuable intelligence the wiretapping program has yielded. If the eavesdropping didn't pick up on local transgressions right there in Washington, how could it conceivably have been effective in the "war against terror?"

Conservative Christian lawmakers are said to have created a safe harbor in an apartment building known as the "Prayer House." Would it not have been more fitting to name their highly charged, testosterone frat house "Animal House?" I suspect they've had to tweak prayer books to conform to their lifestyles, and that in their version of the 23rd Psalm, they excised, "Lead us not into temptation."

Cindy and Doug Hampton both lost their jobs, but received $96,000 as "severance pay" from the senator's parents. Doug, who might have been a valuable addition to the wiretapping squad, is now employed by a Las Vegas airline, where he has the apt title, "vice president of government affairs."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sarah Palin and I are both lame Sybil Sage

After twenty-nine years of marriage, I could fairly be called a lame duck wife, whose family and friends are bored with my anecdotes and mustard chicken. I am, therefore, announcing that it will be better for everyone in New York State if I pass the torch and let someone else do the talking and cooking for my family.

This does not mean that I won't be useful to my loved ones. I'm wired to be useful, but I do not need a title to serve. My resolution followed the realization that I have no intention of marrying again so it makes perfect sense to terminate this marriage, which is what I will do in three weeks.

Sunday, July 5, 2009 online support for adulterers e-mailed me today, introducing their site as a “Discreet Dating Community For Married People, and for Single People that want to meet and date unhappy married people.” needs editing. Among the many grammatical errors is that the description should read…”for single people who want to meet and date unhappy married people.” And I suspect they mean “unhappily married people,” rather than downers.

Did someone steer them to me? Perhaps a vindictive Nigerian I'd ignored? Did my husband receive the same opportunity? Should I be concerned that he’s now at his computer?

The options provided are:

Press here if you want to have an affair with a married woman or man
Press here if you're in a relationship and want to have an affair
Press here if you want to have an affair with a married person

Missing is the reason that would tempt me: “Press here if you’re happily married, but looking to connect with politicians to have a voice in the nation’s health plan.”

The evidence is married people manage to have adulterous relationships without assistance. Could it be that this website was generated by spouses looking to catch their mates? Or by Mark Sanford’s spiritual advisor? (I'm aware that's a sentence fragment).