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February 19, 1999

LUCIANNE GOLDBERG. Goldberg's ever-more-flagrant insouciance -- in contrast to Linda Tripp's latest martyr makeover-- has catapulted her into the realm of Pure, James-Bond-villain Evil. I say it's refreshing. She's like the Hustler to Tripp's Playboy; at least she's honest.

JAMA SEX STUDY. Revisiting data compiled in 1992 for that big famous sex study by the University of Chicago, researchers report that 43% of American women and 31% of American men have an iffy time in the bedroom. If you're now a statistic [insert not-really-worth-it joke here about new "statistics" for men to "recite"], here's the silver/non-celluloid lining: if it's not always as good for you as it was for, say, Will and Viola, well, you're not weird. And if you're among the happy folks -- well, never mind, you're probably not reading this.

SPEECH RECOGNITION. Newsweek reports that "until recently, speech recognition was used mostly as a substitute for typing on home computers. But now the technology has improved to the point where businesses are turning to speech systems designed for use over the telephone ["Welcom to MovieFone!"]." Experts predict that more and more home, car, and toy-type items will soon be able to follow voice commands. Scientists at Breakup Girl Labs are currently beta-testing similar technology for boy/girlfriends.

TANGO. EW: "Filmmaker Carlos Saura's latest, in which a successful Spanish filmmaker contends with a midlife crisis, a jealous ex-wife, and a gangster financier to complete his film about the dance of passion." Like a fine after-dinner Amontillado for those of us who came of age through "Lambada."

SECRET ADMIRERS. Thongs and things have taken all the romance out of romance, they say. And blatant blabbing's certainly out, so other forms of flirtatious -- if not clandestine -- communication are coming back. Examples: Shakespeare's Seduction Kit and Shakespeare's Love Kit, word magnet sets with vocab like "quiver" and "codpiece;" the website; and Susan's Romantic Adventures: A Secret Admirer's Kit, which --- call it Stalker Shortcake -- includes a pre-printed pink cupidy note, a pre-recorded cassette, etc. (Perfect for you if you're in that in-between stage between giving up on The Rules and acquiring imagination, self-respect, etc.)

USRDA OF CHOCOLATE? In the February New Woman, Elaine Feldman, M.D. points out that bittersweet chocolate contains all sorts of good-for-you antioxidants. Even better news: do you know how much you have to eat in order to reap these heart-healthy benefits?

CHOCOLATE LIP GLOSS. Serendipity now sells its signature Frrrrozen Hot Chocolate in lip gloss form. Yum. Now someone tell the Cape Cod people to do the same with "salt and vinegar."

REAL ESTATE ROMANCE. BG's NYC-based advice seekers (hello, KC) often -- understandably -- stress out over moving out. But, as the Times pointed out last week, "Real estate agents can be the ultimate matchmakers. Not only do they have insider information about buildings and neighborhoods better suited to singles than strollers, but some are surprisingly willing to broker romances as well as leases." Mention is made of Patricia Price of Patricia Price Realty and Gil Neary of DG Neary Realty, who are both willing to -- discreetly and appropriately -- make introductions among clients, owners/renters, superheros in studios, etc.

SENATOR HILLARY? She's got my vote. But she'd have to live here. Perhaps she could call Patricia or Gil?

LIFETIME. The cable network has tapped Carole Black to be its first female head. Maybe now they'll do television for women.

SWEATING SUPERSTARS. New World Wrestling Federation action figures that actually simulate perspiration. Gregoire anticipates that the celebrity limelight-breakup version is soon to follow.

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