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February 5, 1999

THE MISS USA PAGEANT. Tonight! I am telling you this only because it takes place in Branson, MI -- as breakup music ground-zero, second only to Nashville, and Breakup Girl's second-most-desired travel destination.

MONICA LEWITNESS. I have pledged to try keep things generally postive here at the Superlist. So on this issue, I will plead the Fifth. (They couldn't just wait for the book?)

GETTING OVER JOHN DOE: A STORY OF LOVE, HEARTACHE, AND SURVIVING IN STYLE. Our heroine loses her dude, but -- following maxims such as "Don't Drink and Dial -- not her dignity. One of the rare few non-bitter, non-mean, non-pathetic, non-Cathy, spoon-with-this-if-not-him books about love (or lack thereof).

THE INTERNATIONAL HOUSEWARES SHOW. Recently, in Chicago, sponsored by the National Housewares Manufacturers Association. Theme: "The Healthy Home." Featured products for wheezing critterphobes/newly-single Lady Macbeths included: Eureka's Enviro Steam Cleaner, a sanitizing $99.99 mop replacement that kills E. coli and salmonella, Bissells' upright steam cleaners that spell death for dust mites, and several bagless vacuums featuring clear plastic dirt collectors. "The consumer has the perception she's [!] cleaning better because she can see the dirt [boxer shorts, car keys, issues of Maxim] right in front of her," said Bruce Gold, executive vice president.

MS. LIZ SHANKLAND. When she married Gerald Toms, this Welsh PR exec didn't change her name. But others did it for her. Tired of being introduced at parties as Mrs. Gerry Toms -- not even a "Liz" in there -- she started the presses, taking out a classified ad that read: "Although she has now publicly pledged undying love for her husband, she has not changed her name to 'Mrs. Toms.' Instead, she will continue to be known -- personally and professionally -- as Ms. Liz Shankland, and makes no apology to the misguided fuddy-duddies who believe that to be strange or unconventional." You go, Ms. Thang.

KEVIN KNUSSMAN. On Wednesday, a jury awarded $375,000 to this Maryland state trooper who argued that he was refused extended child care leave because he was male.You go, Dad. And when BG is President, there will be baby changing tables in men's rooms.

LIVING TOGETHER? A new Rutgers study suggests (as others have in the past) that unmarried couples who live together are (a) about 48% more likely -- if they marry -- to divorce, and (b) well, not all that happy, really. Pay heed, and Breakup Girl will be happy, as premarital ohabitation also makes your wedding gift 48% more difficult to shop for.

MELROSE PLACE. Cancelled. Now will you guys stop living with your exes, too?

HOW TO MARRY THE RICH. Speaking of which. Apparently one of the most popular adult ed classes in New York City. Instructor Ginie Sayles -- who is, at least, honest -- has developed her approach into an industry, including books, audio lectures, and seminars around the US and Canada. Now people are after her, I guess.

THE TOWN & COUNTRY WEDDINGS ISSUE. Speaking of which. Make a cup of Godiva hot chocolate and page through the dreamiest weddings ever, plus sound planning and family-politics advice applicable even to serfs. And wait 'til you see the splendid mile-high cupcake-cake on page 124. Wow. Shut up, I know you keep a file.

THE X-FILES. Part One of a shocking tell-all. Part Two airs on Valentine's Day. Conspiracy?

THE EAGLE PIN. Speaking of which. Washington's power babes are all sporting a gold eagle pin perched on a faux pearl (created by jewelry designer Ann Hand). And at the same time, the Center for Gender Equality reports that American women are becoming increasingly conservative. So if you ask me, the bald bauble is some sort of secret homing device/stodginess serum masterminded by ... well, let's just say "The Eagle Forum has landed."

THE SPORTS EVENT CONFLICT CATCHER AND CONCEPTION BLOCKER. With this database, parents can enter Junior's arrival date and find out which of 3,000 sporting events they may thus have to forego. Or, they can choose an unmissable event -- say, the Brooklyn Blades' annual tournament in Toronto -- and the Conception Blocker will tell you precisely when (i.e. nine months earlier) to, uh, dress (in latex) for the game. You can also map directions from, say, Fenway Park to the nearest hospital, just in case. Finally.

DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION. Twister meets the Electric Slide meets Simon; cyberdating meets "Shall We Dance?" In the arcade game/dance craze currently sweeping Japan, players pay $1.75 to "climb onto a lighted platform and dance with a computer-generated partner, trying to match their footwork to arrows on a 29-inch screen...a sensor underneath the platform monitors whether they are stepping up, down, left or right and keeping time with the rhythm" (CNN). Pairs and team competition, too, with scores posted at the company website.Finally.


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