Last night this was my wonderful bedtime reading.
By Paul Rudnick, New Yorker. I am Marie-Celine Dundelle, and I do not need a book contract to reveal that French women are superior in all matters. Our secret lies in an attitude toward life, a point of view that I can only call Frenchy. For example, let us discuss weight loss. The American woman obsesses over every calorie and sit-up, while in France we do not even have a word for fat. If a woman is obese, we simply call her American. Whenever my friend Jeanne-Helene has gained a few pounds, I will say to her, “Jeanne-Helene, you are hiding at least two Americans under your skirt, and your upper arms are looking, how you say, very Ohio.”
To maintain my figure, I eat only half portions of any food, always arranging it on my plate in the shape of a semicolon. For exercise, at least once a day I approach a total stranger and slap him. And late each afternoon I read a paragraph of any work of acclaimed American literary fiction, which makes me vomit.
Two days ago it was Hugh Hefner, today it is Elton John who catches me by surprise. Apparently, Elton is ready to start a family now that he is retiring from the road. People Magazine reports:
The singer, 62, and husband David Furnish, 48, welcomed son Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John on Dec. 25, John’s rep confirms to PEOPLE.
The 7 lb., 15 oz., baby was delivered via surrogate in California.
“We are overwhelmed with happiness and joy at this very special moment,” the couple, who exchanged vows in a civil ceremony in 2005, said in a statement. “Zachary is healthy and doing really well, and we are very proud and happy parents.”
Just last year, Furish told PEOPLE they were going to wait to start a family until John was ready to come off the road.
“We don’t want to put the raising of children into the hands of nannies and housekeepers,” said Furnish. “We want to be active parents. We have godchildren [and] kids that we support in Africa, so we’re fine.”
I have long believed that similarity in interests rather than similarity in age is much more important for a good relationship. This, of course, raises the important question: Just what are the common interests of Hugh and Crystal. I am not a big fan of reality TV shows, but now I am eager for Chrystal to become the main attraction of the reality TV show (which I just learned about) The Girls Next Door. I want to see how the 60 years in age difference works out when they are not going into the bedroom. What the news story below does not mention is that Playboy Entprises has fallen on very hard times lately. On the assumption that Chrystal believes that Hugh has big dough left, I can understand why Chrystal would want to marry Hugh given that Hugh in all likelihood will not be around that long. But why would Hugh want to marry Chrystal. Because she will not be his bunny unless he marries her? Will Hugh’s daughter, Christie, who ran Playboy Enterprises until 2008, offer her services as bridesmade? I am beginning to think this is all a big publicity stunt and this announced mariage is not what the Pople has in mind for the institution. What a story. I need to start watching The Girls Next Door.Continue Reading
From Writer’s Almanac: Stoppard was a drama critic, and while watching a performance of Hamlet he began thinking about the minor characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who are hired by King Claudius to spy on Hamlet.
Stoppard decided to write a play that would tell Hamlet from the point of view of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. In Stoppard’s version, they spend the play worrying that their lives have no meaning, and it’s only by participating in Hamlet’s story that they find any purpose. The play was called Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1967), and it made Stoppard the youngest playwright ever to have a play staged by the National Theatre in London. He was just 29 years old. When it had its premiere in New York, Stoppard was asked what the play was about. He said, “It’s about to make me rich.”
From Time.com: With his shaggy white hair, Frank joked that his mastery of the conference is simply a function of his inability to focus. “There’s one piece of advice I give young people—generally they don’t want us pontificating to ‘em—try to find a line of work where a central characteristic of your personality is an advantage rather than a disadvantage,” the Harvard Law School dropout told Politico last week. “For me, that’s a short attention span. A short attention span is a helluva handicap if you’re trying to write a Ph.D. thesis, but it is essential if you’re going to preside over a legislative conference with 17 issues coming up in a day.”Continue Reading