Get your Rah-Rahs out. Our monster college issue is a course directory on pop culture. Interviewing Mike Tyson carries some of the danger of climbing into the ring with him. He might knock you out or, even worse, chew off your ear. Since his stint in prison, he has broken up with Don King, fought Evander Holyfield and battled depression. Recently, this turbulent soul sat down with Mark Kram, and the result is the Playboy Interview as acid test. In one of the best reads of the year, Tyson quotes F. Scott Fitzgerald and relates his version of what happened in his hotel room with Desiree Washington. Then he launches angrily into how he is "doomed," "outside of society" and a "rare flower that blossoms in adversity." Tyson is not an animal--he just plays one on pay TV.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), November 1998. Volume 45, Number 11, Published Monthly by Playboy, 680 North lake shore drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. subscriptions: U.S., $29.97 for 12 issues, Canada, $43.97 for 12 issues. All other Foreign, $45 U.S. Currency only, for new and renewal orders and change of address, send to Playboy subscriptions, P.O. Box 2007. Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. Please allow 6-8 weeks for processing. For change of address, send new and old addresses and allow 45 days for change. Postmaster: send form 3579 to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. Advertising: New York, 730 fifth avenue, New York 10019 (212-261-5000); Chicago: 680 North Lake shore drive, Chicago 60611 (312-751-8000); West Coast: SD media, 2001 Wilshire Boulevard, suite 200, Santa Monica, CA 90403 (310-264-7575); Southeast: Coleman & Bentz, Inc., 4651 Roswell road Ne, Atlanta, Ga 30342 (404-256-3800); Boston, Northeast Media Sales, 8 Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston 02109 (617-973-5050) for subscription Inquiries, Call 800-999-4438.
Clay Pigeons (Gramercy Pictures) is a sexy tale of murder and deception laced with black comedy. It opens with a bang--marking two first-timers, screenwriter Matthew Healy and director David Dobkin, as filmmakers to watch--then takes a twisting path to a less-than-satisfying conclusion. In a quiet Montana town, Joaquin Phoenix finds himself implicated in one death after another and blackmailed by his best friend's slutty widow (Georgina Cates, hiding her British accent but little else). Enter friendly good old boy Vince Vaughn, who has charm to spare, a goofy laugh and a lot going on behind his smile. Janeane Garofalo, always a treat to watch, turns up as an FBI agent who's out of her element in a one-horse town. With its heady mix of humor and mayhem, along with its inventive casting (veteran Scott Wilson is just right as a slow but steady sheriff), this is a film with parts that are greater than the whole. [rating]2-1/2 bunnies[/rating]
We've seen the same shot so many times, whether it's in Volcano or Deep Impact, it's become a Nineties cliché: a TV reporter clutching his logo mike, telling us what's happening in the plot of a film. But wait--I thought that we were already watching the plot.
Stanley Tucci has become a familiar face playing heavies and mobster types in films ranging from the kiddie comedy Beethoven to The Pelican Brief to Deconstructing Harry. But, he says, "Had I waited around for somebody to cast me in a substantial leading role, I'd still be waiting. You just have to do it after a while."
Polygram Video, with NFL Films, continues its Greatest Games series featuring classic gridiron matchups replayed in their entirety. Included in the latest batch: the 1981 NFC championship between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers (highlighted by the dramatic Montana-to-Clark bomb, a.k.a. "the Catch"); and the 1958 championship game between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants, which ended in sudden death overtime. Both tapes feature current interviews with on-and off-field participants (each tape $19.95).
Move over, baby boomers. They were born a couple decades after you--between 1965 and 1977 to be exact--and while they missed out on the Hula Hoop, Huntley and Brinkley and Woodstock, they made up for it with Nintendo, Nirvana and Beavis and Butt-head. Playboy Home Video's Gen-X Girls ($20) features our own homegrown talent--Net surfers, latte drinkers, navel piercers and all--in seven different fantasies that go to the heart (and elsewhere) of the "just dare me" generation. Trust us, you won't feel old--you'll feel great. To order, call 800-423-9494.
For someone whose screen work is so, er, thought-provoking, adult-film star Jenna Jameson's short list of video diversions is down-right benign. "The Wizard of Oz is definitely up there," she says. "I can still watch it over and over. I used to think I was Dorothy. Grease is another one. In high school I played Sandy. But don't ask me to sing--you don't want to go there." On the darker side, Jenna lights up at the mention of Mob flicks ("My favorite of all time is Scarface, because I'm really into violence. And I like The Godfather, too"). But for the benefit of X-philes everywhere, Jenna can't help but recommend one of her own classic scorchers. "I would have to say Flashpoint. Why? Because I fuck so good in that one."
Talk about extras. Vivid Interactive's new adult DVD titles--including A Woman Scorned, Head to Head, Bangkok Nights and Spies and Lovers ($35 each)--feature multiple angles (pick your favorite view of the action), multiple screens (all scenes play simultaneously on a grid of miniframes), virtual sex (you can get interactively naughty with Vivid star Kobe), custom editing (for DVD-ROM) and even a Bad Girls room (a jail cell environment in which pretty nasty stuff is played out). So much fun you'll forget how dirty it is.
Dave Alvin turns the title track of Blackjack David (Hightone) into a personal testament to the craziness of love and the price paid for it. The disc's ten other songs are Alvin originals, but his grave voice and delicate guitar picking suggest something ancient is behind them, too. Whether he's singing a modern murder ballad (Mary Brown) or telling the story of a man still devastated by Vietnam (1968) or delivering another lost-love ballad (The Way You Say Goodbye), Alvin has gotten so good at using his rock-country-folk mix that it's hard to imagine a tradition of narrative songs that didn't include him.
With the recent death of Junior Kimbrough, 71-year-old R.L. Burnside is one of the last and greatest links to fellow Mississippi blues giants such as Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters. Burnside is still playing his visceral, raunchy electric blues in the juke joints that others left for the bright lights of Chicago and other points north. His records on Fat Possum have been mesmerizing in their gutbucket intensity. When I heard his latest, Come On In (Fat Possum/Epitaph), would be sprinkled with drum loops, vocal samples and other trendy electronicaI feared the worst. Would his stinging slide work? Would his chainsaw rhythms lose their edge? Not a chance. The same team of remixers responsible for Beck's Loser enhance Burnside's vibe, rather than mess with it. They sampled only Burnside and his superb band. When they boostthe drums or loop a vocal line it's so organic you barely realize it's not a regular track. They use electronics to emphasize and highlight what's already there--one of the most innovative and thrilling blues records in years.
Gomez arrives from Britain with colossal hype from the UK's music press. For the past 20 years about 95 percent of the English bands with similarly colossal hype have sucked and nobody could remember their names after three months. But in the case of Gomez, and their debut album Bring It On (Virgin), we find one of the five-percenters. The most obvious reason is Ben Ottewell's voice, which sounds a lot like Gregg Allman's (if Allman were fronting a bright and versatile English rock band that disdained 12-bar structures). Ottewell has soul, understands the existentialism that informs the best blues, yet manages to avoid most of the clichés. Co--lead singer Ian Ball sounds like a breathy hipster. The contrast between them holds musical interest throughout the album. Instrumentally, Gomez relies on imagination and wit, putting song structures and lyrics up front with almost no guitar wash or big drums. Do not mistake moderate tempos for mope rock. Gomez is eerie, not self-pitying.
Whitechocolatespaceegg (Matador), Liz Phair's new album after four years, finds her poised again for recognition as an imaginative, eccentric singer and songwriter. She still writes from a female perspective--even when she's impersonating men, as she does on two songs about girls and one about a son's daunting birthright. But the prim, outspoken raunch that made her notorious has been scaled down. And none of these are as memorable as Go On Ahead's analysis of a marriage strained by the birth of a child, or What Makes You Happy's assurances that this guy is the one, or Uncle Alvarez, about a con man hanging from the family tree. Phair has a gift for evoking middle-class life in spare, arresting songs, and she knows sex is part of that. But all of life is what interests her.
On the cover of Maxwell's Embrya (Columbia), the sensual singer-songwriter is submerged in water. It's an apt metaphor for the moody, soft sounds on his sophomore CD. While his debut, Urban Hang Suite, was a direct attempt at aural seduction, Embrya is more subtle. It's also pretentious. Never in the history of R&B has a love man used so much punctuation to woo. Titles such as Drowndeep: Hula and Matrimony: Maybe You will give DJs quite a mouthful. Thankfully, Maxwell cuts through the verbiage and delivers wonderfully arranged vocals that say all the things his lyrics don't. There's a supple willfulness to Maxwell's musical method that gives Embrya a unity rare in this era of singles-oriented albums.
During the mid-Sixties, millions of American kids had simultaneous revelations: They would stop flipping burgers and form bands in their garages. They would be as big as the Beatles and write songs with fuzz-distorted or jangly guitars and pouty vocals. And, of course, they would explain the psychedelic mysteries of the universe in three minutes or less. Many of these bands had at least one truly great song before they headed back to their day jobs. Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968 (Rhino) is a four-CD boxed set that collects more than a hundred of these garage-punk classics, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous. Who can resist Dirty Water by the Standells, Little Girl by the Syndicate of Sound or the immortal Louie Louie by the Kingsmen? Not one of them is boring.
Jermaine Dupri has been a revitalizing force in black pop, producing works by Kris Kross and Aretha Franklin. On his own CD, Life in 1472 (So So Def), he remains mostly in the background, handing the mike to rappers ranging from legendary old-schooler Slick Rick to 1998 hitmaker DMX, with femme input from Da Brat and Lil' Kim. The result is crass and clever, arrogant and catchy--a celebration of living large that's hard to resist even if you don't approve.
The world outside bluegrass has discovered Ralph Stanley as the last giant still standing. Clinch Mountain Country (Rebel) presents two discs of Stanley in collaboration with Bob Dylan, George Jones, Vince Gill and Patty Loveless. Stanley's voice struggles to reach the peaks it once did, but it is more than compensated for by the beautiful wisdom and experience of his phrasing on tracks such as Pretty Polly (with Loveless), The Lonesome River (with Dylan) and The White Dove (with Porter Wagoner). If you love singing for its nuances, delight in traditional songs and aren't afraid of hymns, you'll be able to hear this album for what it really is: not a tribute but a testament to the continued vitality of an artist and his art.
It's difficult to debate a composer's intentions when the composer is also the performer. Ever since Edison recorded Brahms, there have been composers recording their own music. It's hard to surpass Dmitry Shostakovich's renditions of his Preludes and Fugues. The Revelation label has released seven CDs of the Russian composer playing his work on piano. They will forever alter the way you hear his music.
It's tough enough to lose your job to a computer--never mind to a chubby character from a video game. But that's the future British top gun pilots face as the UK's Ministry of Defense experiments with a new unmanned aircraft designed around the artificial-life technology from the CD-ROM game Creatures. Looking more like Beanie Babies than like Tom Cruise, Creatures' computer animals are equipped with adaptable brains, evolving genetic codes and complex biochemistry. The game, made by the UK company Cyber Life and published by Mindscape, lets players hatch, train and breed a colony of the furry pets. The British military uses Creatures' intelligence technology to create airplanes that not only fly themselves but also make decisions to complete missions without human intervention (and, we suspect, emotion). So far, these virtual pilots have learned how to bank simulated jets in turns, pursue enemy aircraft and evade attack. Let's just hope they don't stumble across an online version of 2001: A Space Odyssey and decide HAL was right.
Speaking of virtual life forms, you'd have to be living in a shack to have missed the hype surrounding Nintendo's new Pokémon game for Game Boy. These virtual critters hit North American shores this fall following a huge success in Japan (where they have their own television show). Owners collect, nurture, train and trade the 150 Pokémon monsters and battle against each other by linking two Game Boy units. Not a bad way to relieve office stress--and at $30 per Pokémon, it's cheaper than a therapist. Computer fanatics are equally enthusiastic about the megadata-storage capacity of DVD-RAM, a new recordable variation of the digital video disc. Creative Labs is introducing the first DVD-RAM drive, priced at $500. It can stash up to five gigabytes of material on new $35 blank DVDs, and it's backward compatible, so it'll play DVD movies, CD-ROMs and audio CDs. Creative Labs also has developed an interesting variation of surround sound for the PC, called Environmental Audio. The new technology will immerse you in the 3D soundtrack of PC games, provided you also have the company's Soundblaster Live and DeskTop Theater 5.1 speaker system. If you're looking for a more stimulating gaming experience, BSG Lab's Intensor chair rumbles and vibrates in sync with the on-screen action and audio tracks of PC, PlayStation and Nintendo 64 titles, and it has a slew of speakers for brain-numbing sound. Prices range from $300 to $600.
Online auction sites have become the Web's hottest hangouts, probably because they give average-joe surfers the chance to wheel and deal anonymously, without the pressure or snobbery of a Sotheby's. Among the most trafficked of these spots is e Bay (www.ebay.com), a hub that hosts millions of auctions a month and offers items in more than 800 categories. At eBay, you can bid on everything from speedboats to computer gear to vintage toys to collectibles. Sellers typically pay the auction site a dollar or two to list items, as well as a small percentage of the sale price. Winning bidders deal directly with the seller to arrange payment and shipping, so caveat emptor. When an auction is in progress, bidders are notified by e-mail if they've been outbid, sometimes leading to frantic bidding wars that can make the most sensible shopper think nothing of forking over $100 for a glow-in-the-dark hula-dancing figurine. Which leads us to believe that the next big thing on the Net will be a 12-step program for recovering auctionholics.
Just what golfers need--another toy to fuel their obsession. Tiger Golf (pictured below) is a handheld electronic game from Tiger Electronics that resembles a driver with an LCD screen for playing out a round of 18 holes. But instead of just pressing a series of buttons to move the ball across these digital links, you have to actually swing the gadget. The better your swing, the better you'll play. Sound familiar? Buttons on the head of Tiger Golf let you choose among 13 clubs. Sound effects and changing weather and course conditions enhance the play. The price: about $20. • Also new from Tiger is a tabletop version of the computer trivia game You Don't Know Jack. Now in its fourth edition (see "Multimedia Reviews & News" for details), this PC and Mac CD-ROM series is one of the few that we still get excited to receive (blowing up demons, tanks and aliens gets old fast). Tiger's new mobile version has all the attitude of the original game, 500 fresh questions and a $35 price tag. • Looking for a compact way to add theater sound to your entertainment system? Try Pioneer's new SimpleSolution HTV-2. Based on a technology called Virtual Dolby, this sound system creates a surround effect via two pieces of gear: a control center that sits atop a 27-inch or larger TV, and a subwoofer. The control center has two amplifiers--one with 40 watts per channel and one with 120 watts per channel that drives the subwoofer. We tested the HTV-2. Setup is easy and it sounds awesome--especially considering it's only $500.
With the holidays looming, we thought we'd cut through the glut of computer and video-game software to bring you the best titles of the season. Most cost between $30 and $70, and many are variations on familiar themes. Think sequel when you're out shopping and you won't waste a cent.
Terrific travel bargains continue to proliferate online as more airline sites on the World Wide Web offer discount deals unavailable through agents. Last-minute weekend travel is the way to go for the cheapest flights. American Airlines' site (www.americanair.com) posts reduced first-class and coach fares via e-mail every Monday (international fares) and Wednesday (domestic fares) for departure that weekend. TWA (www.twa.com), United (www.ual.com) and Northwest (nwa.com) feature similar deals, though they may not offer international or first-class discounts. If you're a frequent visitor to the Orient, Cathay Pacific CyberTraveler (www.cathay usa.com) has unbelievable Internet deals, such as an All Asia Pass for round-trip economy travel to Hong Kong from New York or Los Angeles, plus 30 consecutive days of travel to any of 17 Asian cities, for only $899. If you prefer to cut to the chase, visit Web Flyer (www.webflyer.com) or Best Fares (www.bestfares.com), which compile all Internet-only airline specials. Best Fares even includes a Snooze You Lose section of drastically discounted specials that are good for only a few hours, such as a round-trip ticket from Newark to Seattle for $198. Those who register with 1travel (www.1travel.com) specify the cities to and from which they wish to travel and receive weekly e-mail airfare specials. In addition, 1travel posts weekly e-mail messages that list the best deals from major cruise lines.
The new Guggenheim Museum is only one of many reasons to visit Bilbao, Spain, where you can enjoy some of the best drinking and dining in Basque country. In fact, in this, the largest Basque city, the only passion that ranks on par with soccer or jai alai is eating. And eating is an all-night event, so pace yourself accordingly. Early evening is tapas (or pintxos) time, so start at the city's top tapas café--Casa Victor Montés (8 Plaza Nueva)--for the wild mushroom, sausage and cheese appetizers. Move on to Casco Viejo, the city's old quarter, for chiquitos (miniglasses of beer or wine) at Café Iruña (13 Calle de Colón Larreátegui). Then head to Restaurante Guria brasserie (66 Gran Via) for Bilbao's signature dish, bacalao al pil-pil (salt cod in garlic sauce). Zortziko (17 Alameda de Mazarredo) serves creative, contemporary haute cuisine in an elegant setting. Try the dorada al jugo de berberechos (dorado in cockles sauce) if it's on the seasonal menu. For adventuresome palates, there's eel and truffled lobster at Gorrotxa (30 Alameda de Urquijo). The restaurant is tucked away in an alley crammed with nightclubs and bars, the coolest of which are unmarked. Look for the Herriko Taberna social club, identified only by an outer wall splattered with militant graffiti. Then put your salsa moves to the test at Jaragua (9 Calle Ibáñez de Bilbao). Serious partying doesn't start until two A.M., so refuel with mellow live blues at Cotton Club (25 Gregorio de la Revilla) before hitting the cavernous disco Distrito 9 on c/Ajuriagerra. Afterward, follow the locals along the sweating stones of the old quarter to greet what's left of dawn.
The last time there was any New Year's Eve partying at Versailles was in 1788, when Louis XVI and other aristocrats danced and drank like there was no tomorrow--and there wasn't. Now one of the world's most famous palaces will be the scene of Le Bal du Roy (December 31, 8:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.), as about 650 fun-seekers from around the world converge on its 1250 rooms for a night of food, wine, song, costumed revelry and God knows what else, as only the French can provide. The party's host is Olivier Fresnay, general director of the Paris office of Atwood Richards, the world's largest multilateral trading company, and a formidable fund-raiser. In fact, a "significant portion" of the $1300-per-person ticket price will be used to restore furniture and art at the palace. "This will be one of the few New Year's Eve parties where the expectation lives up to the reality," Fresnay promises, with a mile-long stroll through the king and queen's private quarters, a display of Marie Antoinette's jewelry, cuisine inspired by Louis XV's dinner for Madame du Barry served in the Galerie des Batailles and fireworks viewed from the Hall of Mirrors. Furthermore, this year's attendees will be given special consideration for an even bigger bash next year to celebrate the millennium. Call 212-355-0400 for more info or tickets, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gerber's five-ounce Multi-Lite (pictured below) is smaller than a typical multipurpose tool, yet it houses seven stainless steel locking tools (including Fiskars scissors sturdy enough to cut Cordura), an amber-colored LED light that can be separated from the case and a storage compartment for tweezers, toothpicks, matches, extra batteries for the light and other small items. Price: about $65. •The Fearless Diner: Travel Tips and Wisdom for Eating Around the World (also shown here) by Richard Sterling is a new edition in O'Reilly & Associates' Travelers' Tales series. This literary mess kit covers manners and mores, restaurant survival and drinking customs for peripatetic gourmands. ("The world's worst Indian restaurants are in India. The best ones are in London.") The pocket-size softcover costs $7.95, and its list of references and resources for books, supplies, Web sites, programs for swapping houses, etc. alone is worth the price.
If you missed Private Parts, Howard Stern's tell-all autobiography, here's another chance to get the skinny on the King of All Media. Matthew Hoffman's raucous recap, The Completely Unauthorized Howard Stern (Courage Books), follows Stern's trials and triumphs--from prepubescent pornographic puppeteer to radio's raunchiest bad boy. Best of all, we get the dirty details of his outrageous on-the-air antics.
True believer, con man, cokehead, genius, lunatic, stud, selfless worker and self-promoter--these were just some of the sides of Abbie Hoffman. Abbie was a chameleon, according to a couple hundred friends, foes and acquaintances whose memories, along with Hoffman's, constitute Steal This Dream (Doubleday). Larry Sloman's smoothly edited oral history of the rebellious yippie follows him from civil rights struggles in the Deep South to peace and love in the Haight to the 1968 Democratic Convention to the good vibes of Woodstock. But Steal isn't just a biographical tale of Hoffman; it's a clear-eyed look at the revolutionary spirit of the Sixties, when all things seemed possible. The more jaded, less political Nineties are embraced in music critic Simon Reynolds' Generation Ecstasy (Little, Brown), a breathless exploration of the rave phenomenon and its euphoria-über alles philosophy. Reynolds thoroughly covers the history, sights and sounds of rave culture but ignores the point Hoffman knew instinctively: Getting high on music, sex and drugs can be great fun, but you shouldn't take it too seriously.
Have you had it with life on earth? Good news: There's a sensible alternative. Check out these six books about outer space. Ian Ridpath's Stars and Planets (DK) is the perfect sourcebook for learning about the night sky. The visually compelling Secret Language of the Stars and Planets (Chronicle), by Geoffrey Cornelius and Paul Devereux, investigates various heavenly enigmas. If you would like to learn about more than just Orion and the Big Dipper, Antonin Rükl provides great direction for amateur astronomers in the Constellation Guidebook (Sterling). Alan Bean was the fourth man to walk on the moon. In 1981 he quit the astronaut business and dedicated his life to the pursuit of fine art. Three decades after his moonwalk, Bean unveils his paintings of the lunar landscape in Apollo: An Eyewitness Account (Greenwich Workshop). Stephen Sansweet, the Los Angeles bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal, can't get enough of Chewbacca or Snaggletooth in Star Wars: From Concept to Screen to Collectible (Chronicle). As John Glenn prepares to return to the heavens at the end of October, Back in Orbit (Longstreet) commemorates the Ohio senator's refusal to act his age.
Short stories are hard to write; they demand compression. They also need tight characters and a concise plot to keep us interested, and they seldom pay the rent. Which is why some writers turn to novels even though it's hard to maintain the intensity that made their short stuff kill. At times even an acclaimed novelist can't grip us with a longer story, which is the problem with Tim O'Brien's latest offering, the 347-page Tomcat in Love (Broadway Books). Ironically, Tomcat's first chapter, a standout, originally appeared as a short story. From there, O'Brien chronicles the sometimes humorous, sometimes wincingly over-the-top first-person misadventures of Thomas Chippering. Chippering is an insufferable linguistics professor, incurable flirt and ignoble Vietnam vet obsessed with revenge (his wife has left him), the power of language and the gravity of faith. Along the way, O'Brien loosely draws on Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita--there's more than a little bit of Humbert Humbert in Thomas Chippering--without managing to seduce us as Nabokov did. Michael Knight, the winner of the 11th annual Playboy College Fiction Contest, wrestles with the same difficulties of form. His wonderfully humane stories--collected here in Dogfight (Plume)--involve couples and pets, sex and fights, beer, poker and cigarettes. What's impressive about these stories is that they gather their considerable power not from stylistic flash or conceptual cleverness but from the fact that they tell us only what we need to know. Knight's simultaneously released novel, Divining Rod (Dutton), is less breathtaking though still satisfying. It starts with a murder, then flashes back to a small Alabama suburb of neighborly hanky-panky, golf course weirdness and searching souls.
Easy way to weigh less: Increase your fiber intake to 36 grams a day, and your body will absorb about 130 fewer calories daily.... Fitness for cheapskates: According to the American Council on Exercise, the top five fitness products for under $20 are jump ropes, dumbbells, resistance tubing and bands, water bottles and Thorlo sport-specific socks.... Does HMB work? Three grams a day of the dietary supplement combined with resistance training increases strength and lean muscle mass with no health risks (and may also help runners, cyclists and other endurance athletes).... Snore no more: Shrinking soft-palate tissues with radio waves is a promising painless alternative to surgery, masks and other remedies.... The other red meat: Ostrich is lower in calories, fat and cholesterol than lean beef or even skinless chicken.... Home HIV test to trust: Home Access, the only FDA-approved version on the market, is available in drugstores or by calling 800-HIV-Test.... Take-out testicle insurance: Take 400 to 800 I.U. of vitamin E daily to prevent long-term damage after a low blow.... Babying bum knees: Avoid deep lunges and squats, downhill running, leg extensions with heavy weights, bike seats set too low and stair-climber steps set too deep.
It has been a typical week for soap operas: On All My Children Erica got angry at Mike and chased him around with a forklift. On Another World Jake insisted on a divorce while Cameron ran off with Amanda. On Days of Our Lives Bo got spooked when he heard Swamp Girl hum a tune that Hope used to sing. On General Hospital an intern was found hanging from the rafters at the Nurses' Ball. And on One Life to Live Asa and Max hatched a plan to control Todd's outbursts (after Kevin and Barbara failed to sedate him).
Here's a fabulous way to avoid the traditional turkey. Establish yourself in California's Napa Valley at Meadowood (800-458-8080), a wonderful resort in St. Helena that features two restaurants, a wine school and a regulation croquet court. From there it's easy to visit the wineries (Chandon, Mondavi and other large houses welcome visitors) that produce vintages that even the French acknowledge as being first-rate. To receive special treatment, ask your wine merchant to call ahead for you to wineries that may not be open to the public or those that may be coaxed to provide special tastings. Napa Valley is also a culinary wonderland. The French Laundry in Yountville has been listed as one of America's top restaurants (it was number two in our 25 Best Restaurants article last March), but also check out Bistro Jeanty in Yountville, Celadon in Napa and Brannan's Grill in Calistoga. Of course, you can have a wonderful meal at Meadowood itself. Thanksgiving is a time to count your blessings; in Napa, they're abundant.
It seems that every sunny day, more people decide to learn just how hard it is to hit a golf ball. Despite titanium club heads and tedious infomercials, a reliable golf swing continues to be elusive. One of the best ball strikers, Canadian legend Moe Norman, uses a radical swing technique that could relieve many hackers of their frustration. The essence of Norman's technique is being marketed as Natural Golf. His approach is unusual, from the grip to the stance to the swing itself. For beginners, it's likely to be easier to learn than the traditional golf swing. The best example of its simplicity is the grip. Instead of fussing with the artful, easily misaligned traditional Vardon grip, Natural Golfers hold the club in the palms of their hands as if it were a hammer. They pick up the club and swing straight down at the ball. Not a lot of mystery to it: Swing down, hit straight, have a good time. There are Natural Golf schools from Palm Springs to Pinehurst to Phoenix. The iron beauties at left are Natural Golf clubs. The grips and the heads are designed to help you get the most from your Natural Golf swing. Price: $1317 for nine irons and three woods with steel shafts.
You're probably familiar with this scenario: You squeeze in your workout during lunchtime. By the time you're finished, you have 15 minutes to shower, get dressed and make it back to the office. Trouble is, ten minutes after your shower you're still sweating, and by the end of the day you're no one's idea of a dinner companion. You didn't give yourself enough time to cool down. Many trainers recommend up to half an hour of cool-down time--during which you should walk, stretch, sit with a towel over your head, anything that lets your overheated body assume its regular temperature. A dermatologist friend of ours--someone who sees a lot of adult acne erupt on the necks, backs and shoulders of his patients who don't cool down--suggests an efficient shortcut. After your workout, grab a brief shower and then jump into the pool for five or ten minutes. It's refreshing and it lowers your thermostat in a hurry.
Named after New York's Manhattan Club, the manhattan--full-bodied and flavorful--is the perfect fall quaff after a summer of gin and tonics. Make it with two ounces of bourbon, half an ounce of sweet vermouth and a dash or two of Angostura bitters, all stirred and strained into a chilled manhattan glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry. (A quarter ounce each of sweet and dry vermouth makes a perfect manhattan.)
Now that we all have had time to savor the good but mass-produced extra-virgin olive oils, we thought we should alert you to the top tier of oils--those made in Tuscany in vintage small batches. The trees of Tuscany can yield a rich, pungent and extremely aromatic oil (and the yield may be as small as two or three half-liters per tree). The names to note are II Palagio, Podere Ferale, Vetrice, Le Boncie and Alberto Cipolloni, among others. Drizzle these oils over grilled bread rubbed with garlic and you'll have stepped up to a higher level of taste experience. To buy and learn more about these oils, call the Rare Wine Co. at 800-999-4342.
"Shopping for clothes used to suck the life out of me," admits Michael Chiklis, who recently played tough guys in ABC's The Commish, Broadway's Defending the Caveman and Warner Bros.' Soldier. Nonetheless, he owns about 20 designer vests and a porkpie hat and occasionally visits the supertrendy Fred Siegel store on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. (Other favorite shopping sites are New York and Paris for "funky boots and shoes and great sunglasses and accessories.") On the town, Chiklis has a self-styled "casual elegant" look. "I think I was born in the wrong decade," he says. "I love the Forties. Really clean lines and classic suits." His choices for dressy occasions include looks by Donna Karan, Armani and Versace. His downtime wear is strictly J. Crew. "I'm not into an outrageous array of styles and colors," he says. "I save my theatrics for the theater."
You already have a $7000 Hasselblad camera, a $6000 lens and a contract from PBS to document the sex lives of wolves in the Northwest Territories. Why not spend an additional $105,000 for the SV-1 photographic-utility vehicle that is pictured above? Made in Richmond, British Columbia by Safari Vehicles Manufacturing, the SV-1 is a diesel-powered home for photographers who need an ATV that's built like a tank. It will get them to remote locations and allows them to stay in comfort. Inside the cabin, which is mounted on a Mercedes-Benz Unimog chassis, are cozy quarters that include a full bathroom (with hot shower) and a partial solar electrical system. Call 604-276-9881 for more information on specs and importing regulations.
In June you ran a letter from a fellow who complained about his wife and their sex life. He asked, she gave, and that upset him. My wife and I are in our 60s, and she used to be like that. If I didn't ask, it didn't happen. I pointed this out, and she replied that she is no longer interested in sex. She said, "If you can find someone else to do it with, I don't think it would bother me much." I told her she was nuts, that it would destroy our relationship. Here was our solution: After I read the newspaper on Sunday mornings, I take a bath. When I'm finished, she takes a bath. Afterward, she walks silently past me on the way to the bedroom, I follow her and we have sex. I never ask, she never offers. We call it Pavlov's Poke. Sometimes if you don't ask, you shall receive.--R.T., Seattle, Washington
Are you a sex addict? Because you're reading this article instead of looking at Miss November, there may be hope for you. According to the self-proclaimed experts, the downward spiral begins with a casual peek at a pin-up. Before you know it you're running up four-digit phone-sex bills, masturbating 75 times a day, watching kinky Swedish erotica for weeks on end and exposing yourself on the bus.
For eight years now, gays and lesbians have converged on Orlando, Florida to celebrate their sexual identities. Disney World is the site of Gay Day--an unofficial event attended by tens of thousands of partygoers. This year the city allowed The Watermark, a local gay newspaper, to hang rainbow flags along major boulevards as symbols of diversity.
Who are the critics of sexual harassment laws? "The millions of men who want to have a young woman in the workplace suck their cocks." --From Andrea Dworkin's comments at a Yale Law school conference organized in honor of the 20th anniversary of the publication of Catharine Mackinnon's Sexual Harassment of Working Women, the first book to argue that sexual harassment in the workplace should be a federal crime
When Mike Tyson enters the lobby of the Trump International Hotel in New York, he makes it clear he's none too happy. And when the meanest boxer who has ever lived is in a bad mood, it's a sight to behold. He is scheduled to finish the second lengthy session of the "Playboy Interview" in his hotel suite, but his mood, and the rules, have changed. He demands that this phase of the interview take place in Central Park, where the sun and humidity will cause his bodyguard to fetch a towel so Tyson can mop his sweat.
It's the same old nightmare. A deadline approaches and we have to turn in a final paper on college sex habits. Where did we leave those notes? Here they are. The highlighted words jump out: Cuddle. Finger sex. Romance. Special. Dormcest. Floorcest. Quiver. Doggy style. Cancún. Dry Sex. Gentle. Slow. Stranger. Rough. Champagne. Blindfold. Cuffs. Sweat. Blanket. Strawberries. Beer Goggles. Whiskey Dick. Pussy farts.
Anyone looking for an explosion of lust on Hollywood's big screen in 1998 has almost certainly been disappointed. Thrill seekers might do better seeing New York sloshed away by a tidal wave (as in Deep Impact) or stomped to death by Godzilla. Oh, there's still sex and mass destruction in cinema. It's just more romantic than racy these days, even in a family-oriented hit such as Titanic, which features Kate Winslet posing nude for movieland's man of the year, Leonardo DiCaprio. When they share carnal knowledge in the backseat of a vintage automobile below deck, the heat is expressed rather tamely by a hot hand thrust against the car's rear window. Posing in the buff also was the way to go in the glossy remake of Great Expectations, with Gwyneth (text continued on page 92) Paltrow stripped to be sketched and ogled by Ethan Hawke. Except for the 1997 holdover Boogie Nights--Paul Thomas Anderson's ode to the pornochic era of yesteryear--the late Nineties have looked restrained, with more voyeurism than flagrant exhibitionism.
I once dated a girl who took me home for Christmas. This was when my hair was in long dreadlocks and I was working nights at 7-Eleven. The job wasn't as bad as you might think. I read magazines all night, and everything was free. The surveillance cameras didn't work. My boss was too cheap to fix them.
For some reason, you have $200 to burn. You found it in an old coat. Your fool brother-in-law paid you back for bailing him out of jail. It makes no difference--a windfall is a windfall. Now, in the privacy of your own home, at 1:15 in the morning, you check to make sure the wife and kids are asleep, hop onto the Internet and blow the 200 bucks on electronic blackjack. Congratulations. You have become a criminal.
I'll never forget the night in mid-September 1992, during my freshman year at Yale, when my roommate and I found ourselves talking with two girls, one an Andover graduate and one from the deepest South, in a wainscoted dorm room. The question on the table was: "What is the kinkiest thing you have ever done?" Three of us gave our lame answers, and then it was Miss Andover's turn.
Despite what you see in these photos, Tiffany Taylor does not spend most of her time languishing amid beach dunes. In real life, the 21-year-old from Maryland is too busy studying criminal justice, moonlighting at Hooters and looking after her leopard gecko and seven ferrets to sit still for long. We met Tiffany at Okno, an achingly hip Wicker Park restaurant, in Chicago, during a break in a week of location shooting.
You know, honey if you'd like to ask another girl to join us some night, that'd be ok with me. all right!Wait! maybe it's a trick!I'd love to, baby!I knew it, you Pervert! Get out!Or Maybe she really does want to try it...Oh yes! yes! This is what I've always been missing!
Like father, like son? James Hoffa seems to share none of his father Jimmy's gangster qualities. A look back at Jimmy's career, based on news reports and Hoffa, the definitive bio by Arthur Sloane, shows how Jimmy helped build the Teamsters into a national powerhouse over 2 million strong. But it was a triumph marred by violence and corruption, with the government and the Mob alternating as friends and enemies.
Bag the books and stow the syllabus. In college the challenge is learning how to flip--to make the grade in every scene from classroom to frat house. You need outfits that say you're cool and styling with stuff that rates among jocks and art history majors alike. Clothes-minded scholars will notice that this year history repeats itself. Classic gear like cargo pants and generic varsity jackets are back, with updated lines and modern fabric blends. The effect is reminiscent of Geology 101: earth tones with a touch of color. On an Intro-to-Philosophy style note, remember that a simple layer of clothing is what separates you from your classmates. You wear your best stuff just to get the chance to throw it on the floor of some navel-ringed honey's dorm room. In the moments that matter most, clothes are immaterial. But before you can take it off, you have to learn how to put it on.
Well, pardon me all over the place, but is the so-called Y2K crisis really going to do to the world economy what Godzilla did to New York City? Will the inability of many computers to distinguish dates in the 20th century from those in the 21st century mean we'll be buried in cyber-rubble from the mother of all computer crashes at one second past midnight on January 1, 2000?
The late-night call-in show "Love-line" airs in 55 radio markets and on MTV. Its co-host Dr. Drew Pinsky has become something of a sex-advice lightning rod, especially among young adults. Who better to talk with the good doctor and assess the cut of his sexual jib than the Playboy Advisor, Chip Rowe? Dr. Drew seemed delighted. Adam Carolla, the comic who has been Pinsky's on-air partner since 1995, seemed hurt. Carolla's favorite magazine had come calling, and it wanted to interview only the voice of reason. How much fun is that?
Point your Web browser to www. theacc.com and hit return. Within seconds you'll be greeted by a parade of colorful logos from the nine member schools of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the scrappy eastern flank of the NCAA. The ACC site offers a chat room for fans, links to the universities and the latest conference poop.
Below is a list of retailers and manufacturers you can contact for information on where to find this month's merchandise. To buy the apparel and equipment shown on pages 28, 30, 32, 39, 124-129 and 179, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
Sliding sideways and being cool about it are what I've wanted to do ever since I dreamed about that first fast car. Recently, I had a chance to slide like a skate at an ice-driving school in Steamboat Springs, Colorado sponsored by the folks from Bridgestone Tire Co. Their purpose is to teach drivers how to handle a car that is trying to break loose on ice, as well as to demonstrate the virtues of their awesome Blizzak snow tires. My purpose was to go skidding: sideways, frontways and ass backward. They accomplished their mission. Me too. School starts with a brief classroom session in which instructors teach the principles of driving on ice. Then they put you on a one-mile racetrack that has a snow base, a glare ice surface and eight turns with snowbanks piled at the corners. It's one thing to be told in class that tires don't function well when they receive two different inputs at one time. It's another thing to be looking for the apex of tricky turn two while you're sliding toward a wall of snow in a world without traction, trying to brake and steer (and think) at the same time. Talk about serious fun. Out on the track with your arms crossed the wrong way and your feet doing the wrong thing and your eyes in the wrong place and the car sliding sideways, you listen for the voice of your all-seeing instructor on the two-way radio. Usually, his message is simple. "Faster," he says. "Do it faster." He means think, unwind the wheel, brake or get off the brake--faster. The school provides each full-day student with a personal video of his distinctive style of sliding beyond the threshold of control, pylons flying. Each video has an accompanying, and appropriately embarrassing, narration. My final question upon graduation was: "On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate the average driver's skills in an emergency situation?" The answer from my instructor: "Zero." If you want to be more than a winter-driving zero, take a trip to school. The one-day course--which seemed most useful to me--is $225; the two-day performance program is $975; a half-day introductory taste will run you $115.