Monday, August 31, 2009

ZIPCARS ARE THE NEW HOOKING UP -- by Sybil Adelman Sage

"Why buy when you can rent?" a premise that's been many a guy's guiding principle, has been applied by Zipcar to transportation, causing "Fortune" to dub it, "the best new idea in business."

A Zipcar member goes into a parking lot, pulls out an IPhone, taps a button on the screen and poof, a little car starts honking to say, "I'm over here, take me!" It costs $11.25 an hour, there's no commitment, and you can return it without any concerns about where it will spend the night or who's going to take care of its needs tomorrow. You don't have to insure it, giving it all the appeal of a mistress who won't write a tell-all book.

The company was founded in 2000 by two women, Robin Chase and Antie Danielson, using the internet and wireless technology to keep track of their fleet of fuel-efficient cars. These women, so savvy about the concept of sharing, may want to invite women who suspect their men may be zipping around, to use their data base system and find out where they are at any given time.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Please sign this petition -- by Sybil Adelman Sage

I signed this petition to honor Ted Kennedy, was delivered to senators:

"In honor of Ted Kennedy, name the reform bill that passed Kennedy’s health committee ‘The Kennedy Bill'. I added a minor modification -- that my husband must pick up the piles of clothing and sections of The New York Timeshe’s been strewing on the floor during our 27-year marriage.”

The passage of this bill is important to those of us who not only worry about medical insurance, but have to choose between stepping or picking up recently removed men’s clothing and assorted other discarded items or picking them up because this week, feminist author Fay Weldon, in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, advised that if a woman wants an easy life, she pick up her husband’s socks.

Each time I toss a sneaker into the closet, sock into the laundry bag and "Style" section into the recycling bin, I remind myself that my husband replaces bulbs, washes greasy pots and scours the griddle, hangs photos, rearranges the food pantry, pays our bills and manages the record-keeping, takes the car to be inspected and tops off the wiper fluid, moves furniture, handles everything electrical and digital, orders cartridges for our seltzer machine, and recovers lost data, both in my computer and brain. But you'd think someone willing to do all that - and uncomplainingly - would pick up after himself.

Without support from Congress, I'm left with no recourse other than to lock him up in our apartment and hold him hostage until he sympathizes with his captor in what’s called the Stockholm syndrome, when he will become dependent on me for survival and feel guilty enough to put things away. But what happens if our car runs out of windshielf fluid?

Let this be added to Teddy Kennedy's legacy.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Barbra Streisand may have new version of "You've Got a Friend" - by Sybil Adelman Sage

A former boyfriend of Barbra Streisand’s has put three, 50-year-old tapes of her singing in his Greenwich Village apartment on the web site, MomentsInTime.com with bids starting at $1 million dollars. Barry Dennen met Streisand in 1959, having taken over for an actor who’d dropped out of an off-off-Broadway production of “The Insect Comedy,” a play in which Barbra and Barry both appeared as butterflies. All the fluttering, not surprisingly, led to their becoming lovers, making me wonder whatever happened to the original butterfly who’d been replaced. Whom did he pollinate?

Dennen claims he put Streisand on the road to stardom by exposing her to chanteuses and cabaret singers, which, without his assistance, would surely have escaped her notice among all the other distractions of New York City. Details of their relationship are available in a book he wrote in 1997, “My Life With Barbra: A Love Story.” According to his web site, “He is currently very active doing voice-overs for vidoe (sic) games, including the voice of FatMan in the hugely successful video game Metal Gear Solid II, and Master Li in the recently-completed Jade Empire." He is planning a book. Might it be, "My Life With Barbra: The Law Suit?”

Were we all remiss not to have gotten pre-nups, pre-shtups or pre-artistic agreements before we shared our creativity, beds and bodies? This raises the issue of what moral and legal obligations we have to former lovers? Isn’t there a statute of limitation on our personal lives?

Am I in danger of an old boyfriend writing, “My Life With Sybil: A Love Story?” Will someone allege to have introduced me to “Leave it to Beaver” and, thereby, claim responsibility for my career as a television comedy writer? Will riddles, pissy letters, yearbook inscriptions and autograph books I signed that ended, “2 good, 2 B, 4 Gotten?” be auctioned off? Worse, will I face the embarrassment that the starting price will be considerably less than $1 million?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' on at Whole Foods -- by Sybil Adelman Sage

The people have spoken, well, vegans and the Prius set. Those who who buy pesticide-free and sustainable foods are boycotting what had been their house of worship, Whole Foods, to protest the store's chief executive, John Mackey, publicly denouncing governmental participation in health care.

This is nothing if not change, which Obama had promised us. Conservative Theodore Olson is favoring same-sex marriage, and Republicans eager to undermine Obama are undoubtedly instructing their drivers take them to Whole Foods to show support for Mackey's position by buying tofu. W ill this be the new definition of "alternative lifestyles?"

Monday, August 17, 2009

Don't Text Message While Performing a Circumcision & other texting guidelines -- by Sybil Adelman Sage

Recent studies show that DWT (driving while texting) is dangerous, making text messaging the new drinking. Even before these findings, I was never tempted to text, work on a crossword puzzle, tweeze my eyebrows or polish my toenails while behind the wheel. I live carefully, changing the batteries in my smoke detector as soon as it buzzes, not using plastic in the microwave and being sure to take a baby aspirin daily.

But apparently others are text messaging while whipping along a highway, feeling an urgency to respond to, "Yo, where do you want to hang tonight?" and then, most unfortunately, slamming into another car. Such was the case with a 22-year-old Arizona woman who hit a stationary emergency vehicle, despite the blazing warning lights, as she was text messaging and driving.

It’s not only mortality and bodily damage at issue, but during the claims process, insurance companies check cell-phone use preceding an accident, and texting affects your chances of being reimbursed. Texting while driving, like fooling with your cell phone, BlackBerry or GPS system, has been determined to be a leading factor in accidents. I anticipate a follow-up study telling us that an electric razor, Kindle and a personal vibrator are also not recommended for use while operating heavy machinery.

Studies indicate that close to half the drivers aged 16 to 17 admit to texting while driving. In some states, young or inexperienced drivers are banned from using cell phones, even a hands-free kit, with emergency calls exempted.

Until further studies are performed, my advice is to stay away from using your cell phone or other handheld device while piloting a plane, waterskiing or rope climbing, performing delicate eye surgery or a circumcision, being under oath or a chuppah and during sex, even if you find yourself momentarily in a hands-free circumstance.

Friday, August 7, 2009

"Bill Clinton...or else!" -- by Sybil Adelman Sage

There's been speculation that caving to Kim Jong-Il's ultimatum that journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling would be released contingent on Bill Clinton appearing in North Korea could lead to other demands. They may be right.

The Chinese government announced it will cancel the trials of two men who'd pushed for official inquiries into the causes of school collapses during the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province only if Bill Clinton comes to China, helps build earthquake-proof school buildings and eats their heavily-peppered chicken specialty.

Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad agreed to ease up attacks on the protestors and replace his beige jacket providing Bill Clinton comes to Iran and accepts him as a friend on Facebook.

Wal-Mart stipulated that it will develop a more responsible and sustainable policy only if Bill Clinton will be the spokesperson for the company.

New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he will prohibit cars from driving on all Manhattan streets and serve four more terms unless Bill Clinton makes a You Tube video with him.

Bunk twelve at Camp Indian Head is refusing to clean up their bunk unless Bill Clinton is hired as their tennis counselor.

Bill Clinton, proud of his success, has offered to help resolve the feud between Heidi Klum and Elle Mac Pherson.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"Always Ready Man:" 24/7? - by Sybil Adelman Sage

How many times have I been jolted out of a deep sleep by a TV commercial with a booming male voice pushing Cialis so that he can "always be ready"? Getting awakened by promos for sexual aids is the new getting awakened to have sex.

Cialis also makes a shorter-acting dosage that will limit his readiness to three days, no doubt tailored for those with sexual ADD, medical residents, firefighters, astronauts and the terminally ill, but also useful for the commitment phobic. By checking the dosage, the partner can predetermine how long to expect him to stick around … unless he’s a day trader and will spread his readiness around.

As a woman already multitasking and on overload, I hope our house will be a Cialis-free zone. And it’s not just my husband I'm thinking about. I wouldn’t welcome an "always ready" guy at one of our dinner parties. The commercial cautions those taking the sex-enhancement pill not to drink excessively, which can be a useful screening tool. If a man is limiting his alcohol intake and is not a recovering alcoholic or Muslim, it could be he’s on Cialis. As a hostess, I’d rather not have a dinner guest who’s "always ready" come into the kitchen while I’m scraping food off plates.

The promo makes the claim, "Only a physician can determine if it’s right for you." Aren’t they overlooking the guy’s partner, the one who has to respond to his new, round the clock readiness? It could cut into time designated for finishing a novel, training for the marathon or engaging in a scrapbooking project. I've been told Cialis is a blue pill. So is Ambien. Would he notice if they were switched?

There’s an added cautionary note advising the "always ready" guy to call his doctor if he has an erection lasting more than four hours. Trying to reach a doctor is a lot like calling Fandango. You get a series of taped options, telling you the appropriate button to push, none telling you what to press "if your erection is heading into hour five." Better than calling a doctor may be to scamper over to Hooters.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Memo to Julie Powell of "Julie & Julia" - by Sybil Adelman Sage

Everyone has heard of you -- the blogger who set out in 2002 to prepare every recipe in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," which was turned into a book and then released as a movie. On your blog you assert that you are returning from the red carpet opening in Los Angeles to Queens with the intention of reclaiming your pre-Julia lack of stature. I have bad news. Obscurity is like virginity: they're irreversible...even in Long Island City, where there are not all that many celebrities to share the limelight with you. Also, I hate to remind you that Long Island City is closer to the Hamptons than the upper East Side.

Trust me, I'm a certified nobody. I was prescient and had the good sense not to come up with the Sybil/Mina Project, dedicated to my deceased mother and her incomparable borcht, brisket, schav, sour pickle and blintzes recipes, thereby retaining the rights to my nobodyness in perpetuity. Unlike you, I knew that Meryl Streep would be cast as Mina Adelman (a role Meryl could have played with her hands tied behind her back even while rolling dough to outdo Mina's sister-in-law, Clara, in their lifelong knish showdown), assuring me that the blog/book would become a major motion picture.


You can return to Queens, but you'll be bringing amenities from your corner suite at the Four Seasons Hotel. We nobodys stay at the Out of Season Hotel, and our travel arrangements aren't booked by a publishing house or PR firm. We use Priceline. And we don't have Q & A's at Borders. The only question asked of us in a book store is, "Do you have another credit card? This one isn't working."


The reality, Julie, is the ship has sailed. You can't go back to being a nobody...certainly not while the movie is in theaters and you're awaiting the release of your next book, which could be double jeopardy as you have the added risk that Meryl Streep, with an almost unparalleled range of talent) will be cast as the butcher you apprenticed for and you'll have yet another huge box office hit to interfere with the normal life you crave.