Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Britney says she is marrying for love

Britney says she is marrying for love. Love, got it people! Now get off her back, the part of her back which shows above her low-riders. I think she will be very happy! Yes, I do. And this love will last and last. At LEAST as long as some of JLo's marriages!

Spears Says She Is Marrying for Love

Singer Britney Spears Says Her Recent Engagement to Dancer Kevin Federline Is for Love

The Associated Press

NEW YORK June 30, 2004 — This time, she's marrying for love, Britney Spears said of her recent engagement to dancer Kevin Federline. "Marrying Kevin was the last thing I was thinking about doing," Spears tells People magazine in its July 12 issue. "But then I said, `You know what? This is my life and I don't care what people think. I'm going to get married. I'm in love with him.'"

Spears, 22, and Federline, 26, began dating a few months ago, after her Las Vegas wedding to childhood friend Jason Alexander in January. That marriage was annulled 55 hours later.

Of the quickie Vegas ceremony, "That thing was a total ugh," she says. "I was not in love at all."

This is different, says Spears, who's wearing a five-carat diamond set atop two slender platinum, diamond-encrusted bands on her left finger.

Federline popped the question on an airplane while flying with Spears from Ireland to New York after the European leg of her tour. "I'd known for a while that she's the one," he says.

"I kissed a bunch of frogs and finally found my prince," says Spears. "I feel like I've found my happily ever after."

Federline, who performed as a backup dancer for Justin Timberlake, Spears' former boyfriend, previously was involved with Shar Jackson, star of TV's "Moesha." They have a 2-year-old daughter and are expecting another baby.

In an interview set to air Wednesday, Jackson told syndicated entertainment show "Access Hollywood" that "after I meet her (Britney) and everything's cool, we can be one big happy family."

Jackson also said that she feels no animosity toward Spears.

"You should never blame the other woman, never," Jackson said. "There's life after Kevin, and I'm living it!"

Spears says she plans to meet Federline's daughter and wants children of her own someday. "I'm not pregnant. (But) I definitely want to have some kids. I see myself with four or five."

She adds: "We're starting with a dog. I just got a Maltese named Lacy."

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Go Mira!

How come it is such a big freakin' deal that Mira Sorvino married a younger guy? Why didn't the articles mention how freakin' old Michael Douglas is when Catherine Zeta-Jones married him or when Donald Trump got engaged to a much younger model??

Mira Sorvino marries 22-year-old beau

Marriage is first for actress

Tuesday, June 29, 2004 Posted: 10:05 AM EDT (1405 GMT)

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Wedding bells have rung for Oscar winner Mira Sorvino and her 22-year-old beau.

Sorvino, 36, married actor Christopher Backus June 11 in a private ceremony at the Santa Barbara courthouse, Sorvino's publicist, Mara Buxbaum, said in a statement Monday.

It's the first marriage for both, Buxbaum said.

Sorvino won a best supporting-actress Oscar for Woody Allen's 1995 film, "Mighty Aphrodite." She also appeared in the films "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" and "The Replacement Killers."

She is the daughter of actor Paul Sorvino.

Backus has appeared on the NBC sitcom "Will & Grace."

Courtney, Courtney, Courtney...

By Rachel F. Elson

Courtney Love Arrives Five Hours Late for Court


Love was scolded by a judge who said her lateness was grounds for arrest.

Perhaps Courtney Love needs a new watch. The rocker and actress turned up more than five hours late Monday for a Manhattan court date, earning her a strict scolding from the judge.

"I was on the verge of ordering a bench warrant for your arrest," Judge Melissa Jackson told her, according to Court TV.

Love, 39, who faces assault and reckless endangerment charges for allegedly whacking a fan with a microphone stand during a March concert in an East Village nightclub, was due in court at 9:30 a.m. Instead, the former Hole singer sauntered in at almost 3 p.m. -- wearing pink spike heels, a low-cut pink dress and smudged, glittery eye makeup.

"Three o'clock is not acceptable," added Jackson, who set Love's next hearing date for Sept. 7. "The rules apply to you the same as everyone else, do you understand?"

Love pleaded not guilty to the charges in May. She also faces three separate cases in California -- one felony and one misdemeanor drug charge, and an assault charge stemming from her alleged attack on another woman whom Love found curled up on the couch at Love's ex-boyfriend's home.

After arriving in court Monday, the former Hole singer sat in the gallery, offering cigarettes to two other defendants and gesturing to the courtroom sketch artist about the size of her nose, according to published reports.

On her way out of the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse on Friday, Love smiled for the crowd and linked her arm with that of her lawyer, Scott Tulman, to descend the steps.

"You like my lawyer?" she said, "He's cute, huh?"

Love also buttonholed a New York Post columnist and said she was pregnant -- but later reversed course. "I'm pregnant!" she claimed first, then turned coy: "Let me put it this way -- I have to quit smoking," she told Andrea Peyser. Shortly afterward, though, Love denied the entire thing. "If you put that in, Andrea, I didn't tell you! ... I didn't tell you because it's not true. Deny! Deny!"

Monday, June 28, 2004

The hell of summer bathing suit shopping

Posted on Mon, Jun. 28, 2004

It's the summer nightmare

Along with leg waxing and hearing a guy say, "I need space," bathing-suit shopping ranks right up there on the list of Painful Times for Women.

I know. I just spent a torturous afternoon in the dressing rooms of the Deptford Mall looking for swimwear.

I had been dieting and sort of exercising. My waist squish seemed, well, less squishy.

So I took the plunge and went shopping. Here was my first thought: "Yipes! When did bathing suits begin to cost $86 each?"

Here was my second thought, upon donning an $86 bathing suit: "AIIIEE! Whose body is that, and why is it attached to my head?"

The first suit made me look like an apple. No waist. Just my chest and stomach. Round, round, round. Might as well just roll me down the hill until I reach the bottom.

The second suit defined my bosom, but to the degree that it might frighten the children. Memo to swimwear designers: I am not in a James Bond movie. Just lounging beside the pool at my apartment complex.

Most of the bathing suits come with tags and charts, telling me which fault a particular suit will correct. But first, I must determine if I am a pear, a rectangle or an oval.

As previously mentioned, I was feeling quite oval-like in that one particular suit. Perhaps that was the problem. I was a round person in a square suit!

And what is with the suits with skirts? Now, I don't intend to flash my butt to the entire beach in a thong, but no way am I wearing a suit with a skirt.

Now that I am in my 30s, I must admit that I did not appreciate myself when I was in my 20s. Like most every other woman, I thought I was too fat. This was when I was a size 6. Ha!

This leads me to say something to all you 20-something women: I command you to go put on your bikinis! Immediately! No, I don't care that you haven't shaved your legs. Now stand in front of the mirror and say, "I look good!" Because you do.

My friends are young, older (not old), short, tall, thin, not so thin, and everything in between. Each has her assets and flaws. Like me, almost all of them hate bathing-suit shopping. Each copes in a different way.

My friend Lisa, who is 39, refuses to wear a bathing suit. She puts on shorts and a tank top at the beach.

Judy, who is very, very pale, thought a tan would make her look better in a bathing suit. So Judy, who is 37, got one of those spray-on tans. It turned her skin yellow. For a whole week, she looked like a Simpsons cartoon character.

My friend Meghan has another method for buying a bathing suit. She goes to a store and looks at suits. She is outraged at their cost. She leaves. Sometime later, she goes back, hopefully when the suits are on sale. Then she becomes outraged that the suit doesn't seem to fit.

Meghan, who is 24, said the latest object of outrage was the "tankini." This two-piece suit is supposed to be flattering and fit better.

"But they don't," Meghan said. "They just squish everything, and then it hangs out of the bathing suit and it looks worse!"

Her solution? A discount clothing store where she got a suit that didn't cost too much and "fit well enough."

I found one, too. It is blue and black. Thankfully, it does not make me look like a bruise or a plum.

Or, more important, an apple.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

My review of "Fahrenheit 911"

Hey all. I saw "Fahrenheit 911" last night in New York City with my friend Lisa and two of her work pals. Here it is the next day and I am still thinking about the movie. It's everything the hype says it is. But here is the thing - if you like George Bush, you will think the movie is full of twisted truth and cheap shots. I f you hate George Bush, you will hate him even more. I am not sure how many on-the-fence voters will be influenced by this movie. I hope some.

It was cool and also sad, seeing the movie in NYC. The theater was huge and sold out. The crowd clapped a lot, especially at the end, and made lots of comments to the screen. The saddest part of the movie is the section about 9/11. The movie handles it well. You don't see the planes hit the World Trade Center, but you hear it. And you hear the screams and the sound of the Twin Towers collapsing. It was dead silent in the theater for that part. It felt like everyone was holding their breath and maybe saying a quick prayer.

As a journalist, I have to be fair and objective in my work. And I am. For instance, I am opposed to the death penalty but I have written numerous stories about defendants who got sentenced to death and you would not detect my bias. As a professional, I could meet George W. Bush tomorrow and write a straight piece about it. As a Democrat, I hate him more and more and can't even stand to hear anything he says on the radio or tv. It is all such a joke.

So yes, I liked the movie and urge everyone to see it. There is some justified criticism of the movie. For instance, it had a more slap-dash feel to it than "Bowling for Columbine." I felt this one was a bit more rushed in how it was put together.

The first section of the movie is all about the Bush family's ties to the Saudi Royals and their billions. The movie makes a case that the U.S. wasn't really trying all that hard to find Bin Laden and doesn't intend to find him. Saddam and Iraq were always the targets and money is the key. This part of the movie is a bit confusing and I wanted to know where Michael Moore got each bit of information. I know it is well-sourced but his argument skipped around a bit.

The second part of the movie focuses more on people - Moore's strength. He profiles peace activists, soldiers, Iraqi civilians and the mother of an American soldier who died in Iraq. They make the point - that this war is stupid and evil - much better than Moore does in his voiceovers.

Other strong points involve interviews with the American soldiers in Iraq. They are all so young! Our freedom is being defended by 18-year-olds!!! I have always supported the troops and always will. But it is a tragedy that so many of them lost their lives for a war that's entire premise was based on lies. Lies, lies. Lies.

Here is another interesting point of the movie - that the Bush administration is basically scaring us silly for no good reason. All the terror warnings are just a way to keep us on edge. Worked for me! But I don't think it will anymore.

As for cheap shots, yes, a lot are made at George W. Bush's expense. But it doesn't help that W. is such a freakin' moron to begin with. This movie made me really, really angry and that is a good thing.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Paul Wolfowitz is a weasel

When in doubt, blame the messenger.....

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 24, 2004; 8:35 AM

Paul Wolfowitz is basically accusing journalists of cowardice.

In case you missed it, here's what the deputy secretary of defense had to say this week on Capitol Hill:

"Frankly, part of our problem is a lot of the press are afraid to travel very much, so they sit in Baghdad and they publish rumors."

Before I tell you what I think, let me share some comments from an e-mail I received from former Pentagon spokesman Charles Krohn, a retired Army colonel:

"It's bad enough that Wolfowitz makes such a statement. What's worse is the motive of the person who put the bug in his ear. Having spent three months in the presidential palace in Iraq supporting the infrastructure reconstruction program, I worked closely with the media who worked closely with me. . . .

"But when the insurgency started pushing news south, some of the same voices complained about the media's falling down on the job. This is worse than hypocrisy; it's scandalous. When senior officials express disappointment that schemes to manipulate the media aren't working well, one might say it's a triumph of principle over power. A truly professional public affairs staff could have worked out compromises. Unfortunately, the political dilettantes running the show were unable to rise to this level."

Wolfowitz is right on one point: Western journalists in Iraq have sharply curtailed their travel, and to their great frustration, we are getting a narrower view of Iraq as a result. But the suggestion that they are too cowed to leave Baghdad ignores the great courage that many of these journalists have shown.

In the past couple of months:

• New York Times reporter John Burns and several colleagues were blindfolded and driven to a makeshift prison before being released after eight hours.

• Times reporter Jeffrey Gettleman and his driver were abducted by gun-toting men with scarves over their faces before being released.

• Washington Post reporter Dan Williams barely escaped death when his car came under hostile fire after he traveled to Fallujah.

• CNN correspondent Michael Holmes also escaped injury when his car was blasted by AK-47s, but two of CNN's Iraqi employees were killed.

• In another attack, hostile fire shattered the window in a car carrying Fox's Geraldo Rivera.

Wouldn't any prudent person be careful about traveling on these dangerous roads? Are journalists supposed to be cowboys who chase stories with no regard to their personal safety? And aren't the reporters operating in an environment that administration officials predicted long ago would be a safe and democratic environment once Saddam was toppled?

Oh, and one more thing. If Paul Wolfowitz has any evidence of the press publishing "rumors" in Iraq, he should put it out, and I'll criticize the perpetrators as well. There's a valid argument over whether the media are overplaying the violence and overlooking the progress being made in Iraq. But I'm not aware of anyone running with flat-out rumors.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

I got tickets to see "Fahrenheit 911"

WHEEE!!!!!!!! I got tickets to see "Fahrenheit 911" on Friday in NYC with my friend Lisa. We had to search online through about 10 theaters to find one that wasn't sold out! But we did. So we are going to a theater in Times Square. I can't wait.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Mary-Kate Olsen has an eating disorder!

Mary-Kate Olsen in Eating Disorder Rehab

 The teen star checks in to a treatment facility for a "health-related issue"

By Stephen M. Silverman, People

Olsen's spokesman did not specify her condition in his statement.

Mary-Kate has entered a clinic for treatment of an eating disorder, sources tell PEOPLE.

"Mary-Kate Olsen recently entered a treatment facility to seek professional help for a health-related issue," Michael Pagnotta, a spokesman for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who turned 18 on June 13, said in a statement Tuesday. "She is thankful for the encouragement and support of her friends and family who are with her every step of the way."

While Pagnotta did not specify what the health issue was, sources say the treatmentis for an eating disorder.

The sisters, who each boast an estimated net worth of $150 million and will enter New York University as freshmen in September, have been the target of public speculation about their weight. As they admitted in a PEOPLE cover story last month: "Being in the public eye, you're labeled that you have an eating disorder," said Ashley. "You have a drug addiction," said Mary-Kate.

Ashley, however, was quick to add: "We don't have problems! There's nothing to worry about."

Earlier this year, the sisters saw therelease of their movie New York Minute, and on June 7, the Olsens celebrated their graduation from Campbell Hall, a private school in North Hollywood.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Sniff! I missed this Indigo Girls concert because I was too poor to go

Thanks-filled night with Indigo Girls

For The Inquirer

"Thanks, y'all," repeated Amy Ray and Emily Saliers after nearly every one of their 21 songs Friday night at the Mann Music Center. Throughout the almost-two-hour set, the Indigo Girls were nothing if not appreciative.

The mostly female crowd returned the love, singing in mass harmony to "Power of Two," "Closer to Fine," and other old favorites, shimmying to the ska-fueled "Heartache for Everyone," the hoedown "Yield," and other recent favorites, and cheering the reference to same-sex marriage in "Trouble."

Backed by their three-piece band, Saliers and Ray alternated lead vocals throughout the hot and sticky evening, which they said reminded them of their native Georgia.

Saliers has a penchant for acoustic ballads and for mixing socially conscious metaphors into love songs. "You've been the hole in my sky, my shrinking water supply," she sang in "Fill It Up Again" from the recent All That We Let In.

Ray has a rock-and-roll streak that favors electric guitars and angrier emotions; the set-closing "Go" was surprisingly loud, with moments of discordant feedback. She also experiments with roots genres: The mandolin-driven "Dairy Queen" pulsed with a reggae beat; and accordion, pennywhistle, and harmonica amplified the Civil War references in "Become You."

The two were at their best when singing together, whether in counterpoint on "Perfect World" or in close harmony on "Shame on You," and on the captivating medley of "Chickenman" and "Bitterroot," which prompted someone in the crowd to shout, before Ray or Saliers could say it, "Thanks, y'all."

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Excerpts from NY Times article about "Fahrenheit 9/11"

NY Times


June 20, 2004

..."After a year spent covering the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, I was recently allowed to attend a Hollywood screening. Based on that single viewing, and after separating out what is clearly presented as Mr. Moore's opinion from what is stated as fact, it seems safe to say that central assertions of fact in "Fahrenheit 9/11" are supported by the public record (indeed, many of them will be familiar to those who have closely followed Mr. Bush's political career).

Mr. Moore is on firm ground in arguing that the Bushes, like many prominent Texas families with oil interests, have profited handsomely from their relationships with prominent Saudis, including members of the royal family and of the large and fabulously wealthy bin Laden clan, which has insisted it long ago disowned Osama. Mr. Moore spends several minutes in the film documenting ties between the president and James R. Bath, a financial advisor to a prominent member of the bin Laden family who was an original investor in Mr. Bush's Arbusto energy company and who served with the future president in the Air National Guard in the early 1970's. The Bath friendship, which indirectly links Mr. Bush to the family of the world's most notorious terrorist, has received less attention from national news organization than it has from reporters in Texas, but it has been well documented."

Get ready for the conservative criticism of Moore's new film

But this is a good sign.

'NY Times' 9/11 Reporter Reviews Facts in Michael Moore Film

By Greg Mitchell

Published: June 19, 2004

NEW YORK We had Ronald Reagan Week in the press, and Bill Clinton Week will pass in a few days, and then Michael Moore Week will surely arrive. The New York Times gets a jump on it in tomorrow’s Arts & Leisure section with a lengthy appraisal of the facts and opinions in Moore’s controversial film “Fahrenheit 9/11” which will be released on Friday.

The author of the piece, reporter Philip Shenon (who has covered the federal 9/11 commission for the past year) predicts that Moore “may face an onslaught of fact-checking” unlike any a documentary film-maker has faced before. Shenon’s verdict: “It seems safe to say that central assertions of fact in ‘Fahrenherit 9/11’ are supported by the public record….”

He also quotes Moore telling him, “without an ounce of humor,” that attempts to libel him “will be met by force.” He reveals that Moore has readied a “war room” to offer instant rebuttal to conservative critics; hired Democratic activist Chris Lehane; and has a team of lawyers ready to bring defamation suits.

Shenon says Moore “is on firm ground” in arguing that the Bushes have profited handsomely from their relationships with the Saudis, including the bin Laden family and the Saudi rulers. He also notes that Moore is safe in charging that Bush paid too little attention to terrorism before 9/11, and suggests he is accurate when he claims that during Bush’s first eight months in office he spent 42% of his time on vacation (the source being The Washington Post.

And he predicts that perhaps more “damaging to the White House” than any statistics in the film is its unedited replaying of the seven minutes Bush spent reading the book “My Pet Goat” to schoolchildren in Florida after hearing the news of the second attack on the World Trade Center.

But Shenon adds: “The most valid criticism of the film are likely to involve the artful way that Mr. Moore connects the facts, and whether has had left out others that might undermine his scalding attack.” Shenon cites one unproven assertion that Saudis own 6 to 7 percent of the United States. Despite criticism, he reveals, Moore has left in the film dark claims that the bin Laden family was allowed to fly out of the U.S. before air space was open to anyone else.

Shenon also reveals, however, that Moore has deleted his claims that Attorney General Ashcroft did not take any commercial flights in the summer before 9/11, after finding that he had done so “at least twice.”

Friday, June 18, 2004

I don't care what Madonna says. I'm NOT calling her Esther

She says her strengthening faith in Kabbalah has also led her to detach herself from some of that pain by inspiring her to adopt a Hebrew name for herself: Esther. The names is derived from the Persian name Satarah, meaning "star."

"I was named [Madonna] after my mother," she explains. "My mother died when she was very young, of cancer, and I wanted to attach myself to another name. This is in no way a negation of who my mother is. I wanted to attach myself to the energy of a different name."

My sister's life-long obsession with the musical "Annie" is finally getting her some press!

Let me just say, there were many, many years of listening to "It's A Hard Knock Life" when we were growing up. Many, many, many,

Festive SMT celebration marks 'Annie' opener


Last update: 18 June 2004

Enthusiastic audience members made their appreciation known at the opening night of Seaside Music Theater's production of "Annie" on Friday.

There was applause, some whistling and a hoot or two as they cheered the sponsors, sets, performers, musicians and, of course, the dog -- Sandy. And when it was all over they stood and vigorously continued to voice their gratitude. Then many of those in the "standing room only" crowd took their ebullience with them to an opening night party at the Hilton Garden Inn near the airport. Martin Charnin, the creator of "Annie" for the Broadway stage, was the host at the post-theater poolside festivities. Martin, as you probably know by now, was here from New York for the kickoff of Seaside's summer season, which included being the honored guest at a benefit dinner on Thursday. The Broadway legend was the lyricist and director of the original Broadway musical, and Friday's production was the first time he had seen an "Annie," which he didn't direct. He said the experience was "thrilling and terrifying at the same time." Once it was over, he handed out kudos and signed an abundance of autographs.... Shelly Burch came from Orlando to attend the opening at Martin's invitation. Shelly was in "Annie" on Broadway for two years, playing the role of Star to Be, who has a solo in the song "N.Y.C.," before moving to the part of Lily St. Regis. Martin is credited with discovering Shelly, who went on to play Claudia opposite Raul Julia in the original Broadway production of "Nine" and performed in "Stop the World I Want to Get Off" with Sammy Davis Jr. ....

Jennifer Quigley and her husband, Kevin Little, also were here from Orlando for the show. They are "Annie" groupies, and Jennifer has seen the show about 18 times. She first saw it 25 years ago in Philadelphia and has been in the Broadway audience three times. Jennifer, who learned of the Seaside production on the Internet, thought the show ranked right up there with the best she'd ever seen.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

"Ocean's 12" opens on Dec. 10

You know where I will be on Dec. 10 George! Shriek! I love him! Shriek!

THE PLOT: The plot of Ocean's Twelve revolves around the feud between Ocean and Terry Benedict.  When Benedict gets close to proving Ocean's involvement in the Vegas heist (portrayed in Ocean's 11), Ocean decides to carry out a bigger heist and pay him back.  He plots to steal the Vanderspeigle Getuigschrift, the first corporate stock certificate ever issued. This relic of the East India Trading Company resides in Amsterdam, Holland.  The second job takes place in Rome. The target is the famous Coronation Egg, a magnificent wedding gift from legendary goldsmith Faberge to Czar Nicholas and Alexandra in the late 19th century.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Funny crime blotter

I came across this funny crime blotter in the Charleston City Paper when I was visiting the city last month. It made me laugh. Out loud. Ha Ha!

* Blotter Drunk O’The Week: The man who was seen by police last Monday on State Street “stumbling over City sidewalks several times, crawling across the sidewalk, and then lay [sic] across the sidewalk where he urinated on himself.”

* Two Saturdays ago, a man told cops that he stopped in at a Meeting Street kwikgegmart to ask if the clerk would swap two quarters for the same amount in smaller change. After the clerk told him he had no time for him and to get out of the store, the man pointed out that he didn’t need “to be an asshole about it.” Enraged, the clerk came around the counter and held the man at bay in the store for 20 minutes, saying he would show him what being an asshole was like. The clerk told cops roughly the same story, but said the man was also trying to make off with a $1.99 tin of smoked oysters.

* Blotter Jailhouse Overheard Quote O’The Week: “I’ll help any child whose momma is a teacher.”

* A man was arrested at a Sam Ritt discount department store last week for attempting to steal $150 of Phat Farm clothes. If convicted, he could soon be sporting Work Pharm clothes.

* A Mills Street woman called police last week after she discovered a suspicious looking plastic bag with a cylindrical canister hanging from the handle of a hallway door of her home. With the package was a nearly unreadable note including the phrases, “get C.C., smear of products. It wasn’t there when I bought people. It Housins is still playing. Is come in after I had locks change.”

* Police stopped a 16 year-old Monday morning at the corner of Mary and Meeting streets. During a search of the car, police found a bottle filled with 49 unknown pills. Presumably, the 50th one was a stupid pill, as the kid was driving solo with only a beginner’s license.

* A State Street art gallery owner called police last Monday to report having received a series of threatening phone calls. Imagine her terror when she was told the calls were coming FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE! No, seriously, cops traced the calls to the gallery where two kids, ages 12 and 13, had been “playing with the phone.” The boys’ mother promised police that she would “discipline the children.”

Horrors!!!! Britney Spears cancels summer tour!

Britney Cancels Tour Due to Bad Knee By Stephen M. Silverman,


  The summer leg of Britney's Onyx Hotel tour has been cancelled.

Britney Spears is checking out of the Onyx Hotel -- for now. On Tuesday, the pop princess pulled the plug on the upcoming leg of her North American summer concert tour due to a severe knee injury she suffered while shooting a video last week.

Spear's Onyx Hotel show was due to continue June 22 in Hartford, Conn., and wrap up Aug. 15 in Bakersfield, Calif. She'd already played five weeks of dates in the U.S. and another six of Europe.

But Spears, 22, must now remain off her feet for six weeks with her knee in a hard brace, followed by at least eight to 12 weeks of rehabilitation, her Jive Records label said in a statement. As far as the canceled dates are concerned, the label said she "hopes to revisit those cities in the future."

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

I hate my cell phone company. An essay

Lo, it is summer, when the air is warm and fragrant and the construction workers at my apartment complex destroy many trees in order to build more apartments.

Summer is a time when I travel. And travel I did. To the South, land of hoopskirts, really hot weather and various permutations of peanuts. The South is where I spoke, at length, on my cell phone. I love my cell phone. If I am not talking on my cell phone, I am text messaging with my cell phone. Or I am checking my e-mail or voice mail with my cell phone. My cell phone is me and I am it. Or something.

I return home, to the land of New Jersey, and apartment construction and trucks that back up and go "Beep! Beep!" till I think I will go mental. But nooooo. The mental torment was yet to come.

It arrived in the form of my cell phone bill. In the amount of $333. Yes, I had gone over my minutes. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy over my minutes. And I had forgotten to set the little timer on my phone so I didn't know how MANY minutes I was using. And it is not like the cell phone people tell you!!!!!! NO! They want even MORE minutes, for which they charged me 35 cents a minute!!!! AIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

So I can not use my cell phone. Not for a good long while. Not till I pay off the $333 bill. Which will take me all summer. Too bad cell phone people - you will have to WAIT to get your money. Because I am not talking to you.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Two summer movies to see: Mean Girls and Saved

I saw two great movies over the weekend, "Mean Girls" and "Saved."

"Mean Girls" was written by Tina Fey, the goddess of "Saturday Night Live" and it stars a bunch of SNL cast members, as well as Lindsay Lohan. Loved it. Loved it. So sharp and accurate and true.

"Saved" is a satiric look at a Christian high school and the problems that ensue when one of the students realizes he is gay and his girlfriend gets pregnant by him in a desperate bid to make him "normal." The cute kids from "Almost Famous" is in this - Patrick Fugit - and so is Mandy Moore, who proclaims she is full of God's love while hurling a Bible at her friend's back.

And McCauley Culkin! He was FABULOUS as a bitter kid who is wheelchair bound.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Awwww. Such a shame!

Limbaugh, third wife getting divorce

By Scott McCabe, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Saturday, June 12, 2004

WEST PALM BEACH -- Rush Limbaugh, the Palm Beach-based conservative talk radio icon, announced Friday that he is getting another divorce.

It was the third marriage for both Limbaugh, 53, and his 44-year-old wife, Marta, a native of Jacksonville. Limbaugh's latest marital difficulties come while he is under investigation by Palm Beach County prosecutors over allegations of illegal doctor-shopping for painkillers.

The couple's decision to end their 10-year marriage was mutual and amicable, and was unrelated to Limbaugh's admitted addiction to painkillers, said his spokesman, Tony Knight.

Rush LimbaughRush Limbaugh
Read the latest news from The Palm Beach Post on the part-time Palm Beach County resident:

Audio:Limbaugh reads statement

"He decided it would be better to make an announcement than to have his listeners and friends find out via some other source," Knight said.

Limbaugh hasn't filed for divorce yet, and Knight wasn't sure whether Marta had formally filed.

Marta Limbaugh could not be reached Friday. Her mother, Esther Seegert Peluso of Titusville, said she hadn't heard that Limbaugh and her daughter were separated and that she was surprised, given that they had celebrated their 10th anniversary just two weeks ago.

Limbaugh and the then-Marta Fitzgerald's love affair began in 1990 on the information superhighway. Going by the name of the "Jacksonville Jaguar," Fitzgerald contacted the talk show host through the CompuServe message network to ask his advice on how to challenge her President Reagan-bashing professor at the University of North Florida, where she was a student. Reaganhad once called Limbaugh "the No. 1 voice for conservatism in our country."

Fitzgerald's husband at the time, Tom Fitzgerald, said Limbaugh didn't respond to her first query. She got angry when she heard Limbaugh respond on the air to some flight attendants who had written wanting to meet him.

So she wrote Limbaugh a scathing letter, calling him pompous and telling him he was wasting his time, Fitzgerald told The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. This time, Limbaugh responded.

"That's how the whole relationship got started,'' Fitzgerald said. ''They started corresponding back and forth.''

Limbaugh escorted Marta, who was divorced from Fitzgerald in 1992, to the 1994 Super Bowl, Israel and New Orleans. He playfully hinted to radio listeners about his "Jaguar," and eventually Marta moved to New York, where Limbaugh owned an Upper West Side apartment.

The two were wed May 27, 1994, at the Virginia home of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who officiated. Attendees included former Education Secretary William Bennett, another family values advocate who later admitted to a multimillion-dollar gambling habit.

The couple found sanctuary from Limbaugh's critics and loyal admirers -- his dittoheads -- in a $24 million oceanfront mansion in Palm Beach. In 2000, Marta Fitzgerald bought a nearly $1.1 million pied-a-terre.

The commentator, born Rush "Rusty" Hudson Limbaugh III, often broadcasts his daily three-hour show from a studio in a commercial area of Palm Beach.

The decade-long marriage was the longest for Limbaugh, who once said he had little time for love because "I'm too much in love with myself."

carried on nearly 600 stations to 20 million listeners.

In October, as The National Enquirer prepared a front-page exclusive, "Rush Limbaugh Caught in Drug Ring," the talk show host announced he was entering a drug rehabilitation program because he was addicted to painkillers.

The previous evening, Limbaugh had resigned as an ESPN sports analyst, following mounting criticism over his TV comments that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated because the media wanted a black quarterback to succeed.

At the same time, prosecutors here announced they were investigating whether Limbaugh illegally went "doctor-shopping" to obtain pain pills. The practice refers to visiting several doctors to receive duplicate prescriptions of controlled narcotics.

Limbaugh, who has not been charged with a crime, has repeatedly fought back against the charges and negative publicity he has received over the matter.

Last month, Limbaugh paid for full-page ads in The Palm Beach Post and theFort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel to attack prosecutors for what he called a politically motivated investigation. Limbaugh also regularly lashes out at prosecutors and reporters and defends himself during his show.

The criminal case against him is on hold pending a decision from the 4th District Court of Appeal. The court will decide whether the seizure of Limbaugh's medical records, which were taken by investigators in November, violated privacy laws.

Prosecutors say they need the records to determine whether to bring charges against Limbaugh.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Back AWAY from the chalupa!

Assaulted With a Chalupa

D E S  M O I N E S, Iowa —
A man apparently upset that he didn't get the taco he ordered has been charged with assaulting a Taco Bell clerk with a chalupa.

Police say that on June 3, Taco Bell employee Nancy Harrison was working at the restaurant's drive-through window when Christopher Lame ordered food.

Later, Harrison said, Lame returned to the restaurant and complained that he got a chalupa instead of the taco he said he had ordered. (A chalupa, for the uninitiated, is similar to a taco but a different shell.) Harrison asked Lame for a receipt, and he went back to his car and came back with the bag that contained his order. Lame, police were told, grew upset when Harrison told him the restaurant was about to close. Harrison said that as she began to turn away, the irate customer threw a chalupa that hit her in the face, near her right eye.

Lame allegedly then fled but Harrison took down his license plate number as he drove away. Authorities tracked down and identified Lame through the license plate number.

Lame has been charged with assault and is scheduled to appear in court on June 15.

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

How newspapers plot their anti-Bush coverage

(This is a JOKE, for the few Republicans who read this weblog and may need that explained to them.),0,6474566.story

CAUCUS People, Politics, Punditry

Hartford Courant

By Jim Shea
June 9 2004


On a fairly regular basis, newspapers are accused of acting in concert to slant their coverage of President Bush.

This is, of course, true.

Although newspapers generally act independently, when it comes to President Bush they take great pains to always be on the same page.

Here is an inside look at how the process works at a typical newspaper:

First thing every morning, the top editors meet to discuss how the paper will be unfair and negative toward the president in the next day's paper.

This anti-Bush meeting is nicknamed "Get Shorty," and is presided over by the Skew Editor, who is generally, but not always, the most rabid Bush hater on the staff.

After a general plan of attack is agreed upon, the Skew Editor communicates with his counterparts at other newspapers to make sure everyone has their distortions straight.

While this is occurring, political editors at individual newspapers are meeting with their staffs to assign stories, and fill them in on the tone and content of their reporting.

These meetings can get pretty heated, particularly when a reporter feels the chosen direction of a story could come across as being even-handed.

It might be good to digress here for just a second to discuss how a reporter becomes a political writer.

Essentially, it is a fairly straightforward career path. Whenever an opening for a political writer comes up, the most liberal journalist in the pool of applicants is given the job.

As you may well imagine, paring down the list is extremely difficult given the left-of-communism leanings of pretty much all journalists.

Occasionally, the job of political writer will go to a reporter who has views that might be considered moderate or mainstream, but these people never last.

Conservatives are also excluded, unless they are so far to the right politically that they come across as wacko, in which case they are usually made op-ed columnists.

Anyway, after the political writers and editors get done molding stories to fit their preconceived notions, copies are faxed to the Democratic National Committee and the Kerry Campaign for final tweaking.

The stories then go to the copy desk, where the headlines are written.

A word about copy editors:

Copy editors who handle political stories are mainly selected on their ability to qualify headlines. This talent is important in the event that there is positive news about President Bush that cannot be buried deep inside the paper. You have no doubt seen their work:

500,000 Jobs Created in May, But a Guy in Ohio Is Still Out of Work.

Tuesday, June 8, 2004

Jennifer Lopez might be pregnant

(Just an aside: There is no way Jennifer Lopez can be considered a "strict Catholic." Um, no.)

New York Post


JENNIFER Lopez was in such a hurry to marry Marc Anthony because she has a baby on the way, sources say.

A guest at Saturday's quickie surprise wedding told our source that Lopez, called "Lola" by her bridegroom, is pregnant. Another friend confirmed that La Lopez has been telling close pals she's expecting.

Other sources told PAGE SIX, which broke the news of the Lopez-Anthony engagement last month, that she's been very careful not to show any cleavage (a heaving bust line gave away Gwyneth Paltrow's pregnancy) and has been wearing loose clothing.

Lopez's business manager, Simon Fields, hemmed and hawed before declining comment on whether she is pregnant.

And one thing is for sure: when "Monster In Law" is done filming, the workaholic Lopez has a free and clear schedule. J.Lo, who is usually working simultaneously on a movie, an album and her clothing line, has nothing on the books — leaving plenty of time for bed rest, which is just what her obstetrician would prescribe.

Fields said: "There are some scripts we are looking at right now, but nothing is set yet. She has no plans."

Pregnancy would explain her quickie wedding to Anthony, who had obtained a quickie divorce just four days earlier from his ex-wife (and mother of his two kids) Dayanara Torres.

Lopez, a strict Catholic, is not about to have a child out of wedlock, and has made no secret in the past year about wanting to start a family.

"Stop the Presses! Reagan is dead!"

    Go To The New York Sun Home Page

.Publication:The New York Sun; Date:Jun 8, 2004; Section:Front page; Page:1

When Reagan Died, the Nation’s Obituary Writers Were in the Desert — and Out in the Cold


Staff Reporter of the Sun

    There is an old newspaper joke about two reporters and an editor who discover a magic lamp.When the genie grants them each a wish, the reporters ask to be transported to lush tropical vacation spots. The editor’s wish is to get the reporters back to the office on the double.

    At 5:02 p.m. on Saturday, when the news of President Reagan’s death flashed over the Associated Press newswire, many of the nation’s top obituary editors and writers were far from their newsrooms, and largely out of reach of their editors — attending the annual Great Obituary Writers’ International conference at the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas, N.M.

    “We were in a somber discussion about the coverage of the 9-11 deaths and the deaths of soldiers in Iraq,” said Adam Bernstein, an obituary writer at the Washington Post.“It kind of capped the experience of the convention.”

    Rumors that Reagan was at death’s door had been circulating for several days, but it still came as a shock when two conference participants burst through the doors crying, “Stop the presses! Stop the presses!”

    A number of the approximately 45 assembled obituary professionals from America and Britain raced for the single payphone in the hotel lobby, and the winner was the thirtysomething Mr. Bernstein of the Washington Post, the most youthful reporter on hand.

    “I raced to the phone to block the
Daily Telegraph from getting access,” said Mr. Bernstein, explaining that he had little role in the four front-page stories and eight-page pullout package that his paper ran Sunday.

    Like the competitive reporters in a scene from “The Front Page,” Mr. Bernstein said, “I almost wanted to put an ‘Out of Order’ sign on the pay phone.”

    Since Reagan had announced he had Alzheimer’s disease over a decade ago, most newspapers had a package of coverage in place, including a main obituary, sidebars covering Reagan’s earlier careers in sports announcing and acting, as well as timelines and numerous graphics. So few of the obituary writers in attendance were needed critically.

    Second in line for the payphone was Shari Baxter, an assistant news editor at the Dallas Morning News, who had directed that newspaper’s Reagan coverage.

    “I felt shock and disbelief,” Ms. Baxter recalled. “I couldn’t imagine a worse scenario. This was my biggest project.”

    She said her favorite parts of the Dallas Morning News’s coverage were trivia items, such as the origin of the epithet “Teflon Presidency,” which Ms. Baxter said was first used by Colorado Rep. Patricia Shroeder, who thought of it while cooking eggs for her family.

    Ms. Baxter immediately headed for the exit and drove to the airport in Albuquerque. She missed her paper’s deadline however, and had to be content with directing final details by phone.

    Ms. Baxter said she had gleaned one nugget: News coverage included the fact that the Rev. Billy Graham was too ill to attend funeral services Friday in Washington. If anything, Rev. Graham’s reputation is larger in Texas than anywhere in the nation. Ms. Baxter said she was planning to get started on his obituary immediately.

    Carolyn Gilbert, who has organized each of the seven Great Obituary Writers’ conferences noted that it was not the first time that reports of a major death had disrupted proceedings. “At the second conference [in 1999] we had a false report of Bob Hope’s death,” she said.

Monday, June 7, 2004

What to buy Jennifer Lopez for her THIRD wedding!

Shock at J.Lo's stealth wedding Ben coughs up 'OK'

J.Lo tied the knot, again. Jennifer Lopez's third trip to the altar surprised even her family - and got an apparent blessing yesterday from her ailing former fiance, Ben Affleck.

Affleck - the man who put the Ben in Bennifer - flashed two thumbs up yesterday when asked by Us magazine how he felt about her Saturday wedding to singer Marc Anthony.

The actor, who was released from the hospital on J.Lo's wedding day, reportedly was recuperating from bronchitis at his mother's home in Cambridge, Mass., when the press caught up with him.

"The world's got a few other problems," said a spokesman for Affleck, the Boston boy whose high-profile engagement to the Bronx bombshell crumbled less than six months ago. "Leave him alone."

Sources said Lopez's family didn't know what they were in for when they arrived at her Los Angeles estate Saturday.

"They thought they were going to a party on a summer afternoon. They didn't dress up. I think Jennifer was glad they didn't wear tracksuits," a close friend of the newlyweds told the Daily News.

Also surprised was Anthony's ex-wife, former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres, who learned of the nuptials from press accounts. The Torres-Anthony divorce was finalized Tuesday, just four days before the Lopez-Anthony wedding.

"Her family is saying, 'Good riddance' to him," a source told The News. "I think it's cruel for Marc to remarry so quickly like this. But maybe it brings Dayanara some peace."

Lopez and Anthony had dated in the 1990s, when J.Lo appeared in one of the heartthrob crooner's music videos.

Torres "always said that their problems had to do with Jennifer. She thought that Marc was hung up on her. Marc insisted, 'No, we're just friends. That was all in the past,'" the source said.

For all the drama and speed surrounding the nuptials, Lopez seemed not at all flustered. The 33-year-old bride wore white - an ankle-length, off-the-shoulder gown, complete with flounces and a demure white veil.

Anthony, a 35-year-old ­father of two, was clad in a cream-colored tux with a striped, blue-and-yellow tie. Bridesmaids wore turquoise dresses.

"She's married, she's happy. But she really wants a moment of privacy. For one day, she was a normal girl - as close as Jennifer Lopez can get to being a normal girl," a friend told The News.

The bride's dress reportedly was designed by Vera Wang, who was said to be miffed after she made a dress for the foiled Lopez-Affleck wedding.

Though Saturday's wedding party with 40 guests - among them Ricky Martin - was simple, it wasn't plain.

As J.Lo said "I do," she was covered in $7 million in jewelry, including a platinum and diamond necklace designed by Neil Lane. She wore earrings, bracelets and hair ornaments to match.

J.Lo husband No. 1, bartender Ojani Noa, who has bad-mouthed Lopez in the past, could not be reached for comment. Husband No. 2, dancer Cris Judd, was not in a good mood yesterday.

"I don't want to talk about her," said Judd, who on Saturday was at a party a few miles away from the wedding. "I'm going back to sleep now."

His father, Larry Judd, was too angry to snooze. "Here she goes again," he told The News. "I don't have any respect for her at all. How could anybody else?"

With Nancy Dillon

Thursday, June 3, 2004

Several unrelated thoughts

1) I am back home in lovely South Jersey. During the trip, my headlight blew out, my windshield cracked and my gas gauge became wacky.

2) Julia Roberts is pregnant with twins. However, I am concerned she is telling everyone when she is only nine weeks along.

3) Did anyone catch George W. on television today talking about the resignation of George Tenet? W. is COMPLETELY inarticulate.

4) It is possible that Marc Anthony and JLo will marry but it will not be happy.

5) On the "Dr. Phil" show is a married couple with sex trouble. She will only have sex if he buys her something. Like designer clothes or a T-Bird. He is bothered that this seems "businesslike." Um, YEAH!