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Friday, January 29, 1999

"CRISPY" M&MS. Oh, for God's sake. It ain't broke. Each one has, like, one Rice Krispy inside. And they're shaped funny, like Nerds. In a blue bag?! They are totally unnecessary. Also, delicious. (On a related note -- talk about mad cow flava -- check out B&J's new Bovinity Divinity="milk chocolate ice cream and white fudge cows swirled with white chocolate ice cream and dark fudge cows." Fudge cows.Fudge cows.)

IVANA'S LIVING IN STYLE MAGAZINE. Ground zero for 80s nostalgia. Read and realize how much easier your life is without the fashion/grammar challenges of the rich and famous (Ivanka, p.61: "I can usually never find [jeans] long enough for me but these were a real find. I was wandering around Paris with my model friends when I spotted them and they cost me the grand sum of $20." Ivana, p. 60: "The skirt is on the shorter side, which shows off my legs -- something which my boyfriend [Count] Roffredo Gaetani totally approves of.")

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE. Finally saw it. Oh, my God.

TACO BELL VALENTINE'S DAY CONTEST. "Just send us a picture or videotape showing us how you would propose to your sweetie using the 'I think I'm in love' Chihuaha plush toy and we'll send the winner a $10,000 diamond engagement ring." Yo quiero see other people!

THE LONG, SANDY HAIR OF NEFTOON ZAMORA. Michael Nesmith is no longer keeping his literary impulses under his hat. In the ex-Monkee's well-received first novel, protagonist Nez (hmm) gets mixed up with a gal who just may be part Martian, part Zuni, part Delta Blues singer... their whirlwind/wormhole romance/quest for the meaning of life takes them from an enchanted New Mexican village to a self-help guru's desert enclave, to the heavily guarded compound of a billionaire megalomaniac with a dastardly plan to destroy all truth, intelligence and beauty. Phew. And you just have to meet her parents.

MELLOW EXERCISE. According to two studies in this week's JAMA, everyday physical activity -- as opposed to regimented gym workouts -- may be just as effective in the long run in terms of lowering body fat and improving cardio-fitness. Recommended activities include: ballroom dancing, gardening, walking a longer route to wherever you're going. Great news for newly-singles who now need to go to the "other" drycleaners, say, or to avoid the West Wing.

TEA LEONI. Is pregnant. (I know, BG is, like, totally the last person to know this. Evidently Gregoire et. al. had, um, conspired to keep this from me.) Anyway, I think this is terrific news. Really great. Really. Really. I think this is great I think this is great I think this is great I think this is great I think this is great I think this is great. Fudge cows. I think this is great. I'm trying.

HOUSEWORK SURVEY. Almost half the people polled by the Soap and Detergent Association have fought with a partner over housecleaning issues; 1 in 10, they say, have actually separated over "Was too your turn to vacuum!" type stuff. The study also found -- stop the presses! -- that women do the majority of housework. One researcher's recommendation: "Train a man to clean!" Hey, that's not only patronizing, it's also: another chore. Better incentive from smart cookie NY marriage therapist Sharyn Wolf, who could have told you this before the soap people stepped in: her own questionaires suggest that men who do housework live longer (less artery-tightening stress and conflict, better feelings about marriage), have happier children (less resentment at home), and have partners who initiate sex (when relationships feel "fair," women are more inclined to be attuned to and act on their desire). Okay, so, everyone? Don't just "help" -- divide the labor and conquer. Also check Ivana's mag for housecleaning tips ("hire cabana boy").

ADULTERY '00. If you're a presidential candidate, marital fidelity is"the question for 2000," according to William Bennett. Maureen Dowd says this is why we need to elect a woman. Unless you figure that the notion that women are more virtuous is exactly the kind of thing that gets them not elected.

MOST POPULAR NAMES. The Social Security Administration reports that in 1998, the most popular boys' names were: Michael, Jacob, Matthew, Nicholas, Joshua, Christopher, Brandon, Austin, Tyler, and Zachary. For gals: Kaitlyn, Emily, Sarah, Hannah, Ashley, Brianna, Alexis, Samantha, Taylor, and Madison. Given your guys' letters, I'm surprised Psycho Hose Beast isn't in there somewhere.

CHOCOLATE: NURTURE, NOT NATURE. According to the New York Times, "in a study of college students in the US and Spain, an international team of researchers found that the peculiarly female lust for chocolate appears not to be psychological but cultural...Spanish women who craved sweets did not show the same intense devotion to chocolate. Spanish women were no more enthusiastic about chocolate than Spanish men." This is because they have each other.

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