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March 26, 1999

SELF-HELPLESS: THE GREATEST SELF-HELP BOOKS YOU'LL NEVER READ. Breakup Girl has no sympathy for trite, lite self-help, and neither do parody authors Jon Bines (head writer for the Associates, Breakup Girl LIVE's sketch group!) and Gary Greenberg -- who point out that the fact that self-help books are the most popular genre in publishing is "amazing considering that nobody will ever admit to reading any of them." Enjoy such titles as: Cats are From Saturn, Dogs are From Pluto: A Practical Guide for Improving Communication with the Opposite Pet, The Ruler: Time-Tested Secrets for Seeing Whether Mr. Right Will Measure Up, and Martha Stewart Loving: Perfect Sex-- plus artwork by our very own Chris!

TOUGH JEWS Tonight! Rich Cohen, author of "Tough Jews: Fathers, Sons and Gangster Dreams," discusses the topic of his recent book. Metropolitan Synagogue, 40 E. 35th St.; March 26, 8 p.m.; free. (212-679-8580). Mensches and bad boys! Go, go, go!!!

KOSHER SEX. Distinguished Rabbi Shmuley Boteach from Oxford -- also a 31-year-old father of six -- was just in town promoting this new book. He is all for a good time ("When you take off your clothes, your spouse should think dirty thoughts"), as long as you're married ("no chuppa, no shtuppa"). (Oh, my.) At an appearance last week, an NYU doctoral candidate in psychology named Benjamin Dattner -- who, apparently, was just dumped by a Rhodes scholar who knew the rabbi -- told the NY Times, "As far as I know, my sex life is completely kosher because it's nonexistent. I'm here to find out how, when it becomes existent, I can insure it's kosher." Anyone know him?

THE LIPSTICK: YOU KNEW IT WOULD HAPPEN. Three Custom Color Specialists have blended (copied) the Club Monaco shades of Glaze and Cherub shades into a hybrid named Miss Monica after the lips that made it famous. $45 (Good lord.) 888-262-7714. Doesn't anyone want to know what Breakup Girl wears?

OLIVE YOURSELF. In other very important beauty news, Rome-based Cali Cosmetics has introduced a line of olive-oil-based beauty products (lotion and cleanser), now available -- though almost sold out -- at Manganaro Foods on 9th Avenue. Yum. A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and that.

SAND IN YOUR FACE. Okay, one more. Microbrasion -- teeny crystals used to, well, sandblast off the top layer of skin -- is the lastest dermatological rejuvenating procedure. "Forget wrinkle cream," writes my merry tipster. "It's 'The English Patient' solution to aging."

SMART QUILL. According to the New York Times, British Telecommunications is developing a computerized pen that writes -- how old-fashioned! -- and works as an electronic organizer and a text-recording device. Its motion sensors will record hand movents; .to translate into digital text, users will dip the pen into an electronic inkwell connected to a PC with Smart Quill's translation software -- ie no keyboard! Okay, but can it bark?

"RESIDENTAL GATEWAY." In other very important geeky news, the German company Siemes has come up with a technology that allows phones to program a VCR, control the home thermostat and turn on the power for coffee makers and other appliances. Thereby underscoring Breakup Myth #6: "Now I'll get so much more exercise."

FINAL HOMECOMING. Given the age-old vamps-crash-prom conceit, here's a life-imitates-art-imitates-undead tidbit: Fox Licensing and Merchandising is offering a new line of prom dresses based on the homecoming gown worn by vampire slayer Buffy Summers. The "drop-dead" collection will be available at Nordstrom's, Rampage and Patricia Fields stores with price tags ranging from $124-$148.

...WITH MAVIS LENO. Afghanistan: Hollywood Community Speaks Out. The Hollywood Community and women's rights and human rights leaders will gather to discuss the human rights abuses against the women and girls in Afghanistan by the Taliban regime. This, as opposed to the Oscars, is time well spent.

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