We kick off our college issue with a civics lesson, courtesy of a remarkable TV show. Before President Josiah Bartlet began trouncing Bush and Gore in the polls, The West Wing had a few things going against it. It was--and is--smart. Critics took to it like a DC intern takes to lip gloss. This month we asked its cast (only the fifth ensemble in our history) to sit for a Playboy Interview with Contributing Editor David Sheff. Keeping things progressive, we also include a liberal helping of skin. Get ready to pass the baton to Leilani Rios, our favorite cause célèbre. She was thrown off her college track team for moonlighting as a stripper. Now she paces her way through a pictorial by Mark Edward Harris. Does she do a fast lap? Only if you don't tip. Here's our tip. Check out the swamp foxes of South Carolina and rocky top teases from Tennessee in their particularly humid pictorial. We gave you a hint--just a hint--with our cover Playmates, composed by digital artist Mark Frazier. Speaking of Lady Vols, when UT alum Erin Zammett interned for Playboy two years ago, she regaled us with stories of the sweet and sexy lives of college jocks. Her perspective triggered a debate among us regarding the costs and privileges of top-tier programs. It serves as the basis for her report College Sports in Crisis. Running counter to the mantra that young stars are spoiled, in-house football analyst Gary Cole complements Zammett's piece with an essay on intense, focused athletes. He should know. He's been putting together our Pigskin Preview for years, with uncanny results. This year he predicts the apotheosis of the Miami Hurricanes. Unfortunately, the hero in the winner of our College Fiction Contest is a charming but chronic loser. Fishboy by Matt Mclntosh will leave you gasping for air.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478). October 2001, Volume 48. Number 10. 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 8-8 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 1310-264-7575), Southeast: Bentz & Maddock Inc., 5180 Roswell Road, Suite 102, South Building. Atlanta, Ga 30342 (404-256-3800): For subscription inquiries, call 800-999-4438.
Because we could have been caught. "When I went to visit an ex in New York, we went barhopping with his I buddy Tony. All night long Tony and I ogled each other. We brushed up against each other constantly. He was intriguing, secretive, alluring and not single. However, the immediate question was how to ditch my ex. Later that night, we all went back to Tony's girlfriend's minus-cute one bedroom. She was out of town. The three of us got in bed together to watch TV. My ex passed out. Tony and I started subtly caressing body parts under the covers. Would my ex wake up? Would I he be upset? When was Tony's girlfriend coming home? We got so intense we left the bedroom and I gave him head on his girlfriend's kitchen floor. I felt bad not wanting to be with my ex, but I was excited by the danger. Naughty, naughty! Does that make me a slut?"
Playing saucy moll Adriana La Cerva on The Sopranos doesn't require too much preparation for actress Drea De Matteo. The 29-year-old chain-smoking Italian American grew up in Queens with her family and a godmother called Monkey. She has more tattoos than she can count (including AC/DC on her stomach). She also runs a hip East Village boutique called Filthmart, where she and her boyfriend, Michael Sportes, sell vintage rock tees and their own denim line. Drea has taken a lot of heat for her bad-girl lifestyle, but she hasn't had trouble finding work. Last summer she showed up in Swordfish, Jon Favreau's mob movie Made and the Martin Scorsese-produced thriller Deuces Wild. When she's not busy playing house with Christopher on The Sopranos, the real Drea gets domestic in her Manhattan walk-up with Sportes and two cats named Treble and Bass.
While We've all been assaulted by idiotic teen comedies, o (Lions Gate) has sat on the shelf for two years. Its release was postponed once, after the Columbine High School shooting, and again, after another such incident. Having now seen the film, I can express righteous indignation that a movie with serious intent has been suppressed while brain pollution like Dude, Where's My Car? has infiltrated the atmosphere. O is a retelling of Shakespeare's Othello, with Mekhi Phifer as a black basketball star at an otherwise all-white prep school in South Carolina. Martin Sheen is his coach, who considers himself the boy's surrogate father, while Sheen's son, played by Josh Hartnett, feels usurped and neglected. Hartnett seeks revenge by souring his teammate's relationship with the dean's daughter, Julia Stiles. By layering the issues of teen angst and modern racism onto Shakespeare's already-potent story, screenwriter Brad Kaaya touches a raw nerve. By casting and staging the film so well, director Tim Blake Nelson has wrung every drop of drama out of it. If O strikes some people as melodramatic, they need only recall the heightened emotions of their teenage years, or consult daily newspapers for a reality check. [rating]3-1/2 bunnies[/rating]
It's no secret that men dominate the movies nowadays. You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of women who have box-office clout, and it's even harder to think of a mainstream movie in which a woman actually carries the story.
From the director's chair: Barbet Schroeder. Known to connoisseurs for:Maîtresse, Idi Amin Dada, Barfly and the current Our Lady of the Assassins.Better known to mainstream audiences for:Single White Female, Desperate Measures, Reversal of Fortune.Does he always want to alternate between small, personal films and bigger Hollywood Movies? "That's what I like, that's how I feel alive. This last movie I did with Sandra Bullock [the upcoming Murder by Numbers] was a heavenly experience." Why did he choose to use digital moviemaking in Our Lady of the Assassins? "For me, it made the adventure even more exciting. Not only was I doing something crazy like shooting in Medellin, but I was also exploring the cinema of the future, so I doubled the stakes. I wanted the city to be one of the characters, and through the increased depth of field of high-definition, I was able to have the city present in every shot." Why do people think a digitally made film is just a Glorified Home Movie? "Because people have not yet seen the new Star Wars, and when they do, they will understand that this is a totally different ball game. Our Lady of the Assassins is a directed movie, it's a written movie and it was lit like a movie. It's a movie movie." What does he bring to the table as a Lifelong Movie Lover? "I don't know of any serious artist who doesn't think about what was done before and try to do something new, try to honor the classic by reinventing. Knowing film is crucial to me in the same way knowing painting is for a painter or knowing literature is for a writer." Having produced films before becoming a director, what did he learn when he finally stepped behind the camera? "That you're alone."
"My favorite hard-to-find American movie is Billy Wilder's Big Carnival (Ace in the Hole)," says director John Sayles. "It's one of the first to recognize how the media can not only distort but actually alter events in their quest for a juicy story. Wilder is at his most pessimistic, and Kirk Douglas is brilliant as the charming, opportunistic newshound. Dark, relentless and beautifully framed, it has one of the greatest last shots in cinema. One of the best films never to make a dime at the box office."
The Netherlands has a legalized sex industry, legal marijuana and clean syringe distribution for addicts. Does it work? The documentary Sex, Drugs and Democracy (Gallery Six) seems to think so. Our old friend Bruce Williamson summed it up as "a provocative argument for fighting social taboos by making them legal." Included in the DVD set is the U.S. government film Hemp for Victory (1942) and the moronically entertaining Reefer Madness (1936). There's also a CD with music by usual suspects such as George Clinton. Despite its preaching to the choir, this film may open some bloodshot eyes.
Film buffs collecting DVDs in 2001 will welcome the arrival of Citizen Kane on disc (Warner Home Videos, $30). Kane, number one on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 greatest American movies, remains an exhilarating cinematic ride 60 years after its debut, a work of swaggering genius from Orson Welles. With a brand-new transfer from the best elements available, this two-disc edition promises to deliver Kane in dazzling digital form. There are two full-length commentaries--one by writer-director and Welles biographer Peter Bogdanovich (This Is Orson Welles, Harper Collins), and another by Roger Ebert. This being a collector's edition, there's enough to keep one busy with the remote control for hours, including news-reels from the 1941 premiere, a memorabilia gallery and the original theatrical trailer. Instead of the cheesy promotional behind-the-scenes features found on some DVDs, Citizen Kane arrives with a bona fide Oscar nominee, The Battle Over Citizen Kane, which tells the background story of William Randolph Hearst's efforts to try to stop production and distribution of the film. The 1996 documentary is riveting history, and it served as the foundation for HBO's RKO-281 (which would have been a nice inclusion here) in 1999.
Big Wide Grin (Sony) is Keb' Mo's family CD, with songs by Gamble and Huff, Bill Withers, Slim Gaillard, Sly Stone and Stevie Wonder. There's one for his dad (Color Him Father, updated to make the hero a stepparent) and one for his mom. But the best material is Seventies soul converted to sly blues, especially the O'Jays' Love Train, Withers' Grandma's Hands and Sly's Family Affair.
Dancing on Graves Department: Jim Steinman, best known for writing Meat Loaf hits, has a vampire musical on its way to Broadway. Based on Roman Polanski'sFearless Vampire Killers, Dance of the Vampires is described by Steinman as a "musical for people who think musicals suck."
We figure Kinky Friedman is responsible for George W.'s winning-Florida. Bush's exact margin of victory is accounted for not by soccer moms or derelict seniors but by fans of his mystery series featuring a Jewish Texan country-and-western private eye. The Jews in Florida who didn't vote for Pat Buchanan had, as a result of Kinky's novels, developed a lower resistance to anything Texan. This time, Friedman moves his ragtag collection of fictional Village Irregulars to Hawaii. The staccato-paced plot involves a missing journalist and woven baskets holding the bones of ancient Hawaiian kings. But we suspect that most fans of Kinky read him for his bizarre digressions. Steppin' on a Rainbow (Simon and Schuster) will do nicely. Also, look for Kinky Friedman's Guide to Texas Etiquette, subtitled Or How to Get to Heaven or Hell Without Going Through Dallas--Fort Worth (Harper Collins). It asks what constitutes polite behavior for guys wearing belt buckles the size of license plates and who like to piss off the porch? Or women whose pickups sport bumper stickers like I Have PMS and a Handgun? Kinky regales the reader with Texas trivia, last meals requested by death row inmates, famous Texans with mutant genitalia and Aggie jokes. We call this a movable barbecue.
Air rage, first love, Internet porn, abortion and the apocalypse are all fodder for master storyteller T.C. Boyle in After the Plague (Viking), his sixth short-story collection. The title tale, a disturbing vision of a disease-ravaged earth and its survivors, is one of 16 (three of which have appeared in Playboy) gathered here. Boyle enters a new phase as he tackles contemporary issues. He doesn't disappoint. His intense style and trademark narrative twists are, if anything, more effective than ever.
You'll want to get a copy of Stuff Guys Need to know (Citadel) even if you never ask for directions or read assembly instructions. John Hunt gives readers the straight dope on gambling, first aid, auto care and other topics in a tone that sounds more like advice from a buddy than a how-to manual. He takes on tasks most men assume they can do without help--building a campfire, jump-starting a car, setting up a VCR and sewing a button on a shirt. He also includes guidelines for the chores that most men admit they know next to nothing about: selecting a diamond, changing a diaper, removing a stain and other domestic duties. Read up and get set to dazzle scornful women with your newfound abilities. Learn to order the best wine to complement the food, grill the perfect steak or open a clam without bleeding all over your shirt. Essential for party setup, Hunt's book includes basic bar knowledge as well as breakdown of various types of beers, wines and liquors. But the most important thing, for the next morning: "How to Prevent or Cure a Hangover" is told from two different perspectives--a doctor's and a bartender's.
It's hard to pigeonhole Percival Everett. Working between the traditions of the academy and the African American tall tale, he writes with a sharp satirical voice predictable only in its provocation. Everett's 14th novel, Erasure (University Press of New England), is the story of a world-weary professor and novelist who returns home to DC to tend to his dying mother. Upset by public indifference to his formalist novels and the success of Oprahfied fiction, the professor writes My Pafology, a sort of South Central Native Son. This novel within the novel, which is ostensibly written by one Stagg R. Leigh, becomes a huge hit, complicating the narrator's identity and proving once again that bad art drives out good. At the heart of Everett's book are various crises of identity--racial, familial and authorial. Erasure demonstrates the folly of racial assumptions in America. It also shows how our culture alters its past--how we repudiate our own histories. We're too quick to assume and we're too quick to forget. Everett is a novelist we should definitely keep an eye on.
In his autobiography, Life and Def (Crown), Russell Simmons reveals how brass-knuckles entrepreneurship made him the Donald Trump of hip-hop. In the late Seventies, while supporting himself by selling fake cocaine in Queens, Simmons started Rush Productions, managing new-school artists. Soon after, he and Rick Rubin founded Def Jam Records, which launched the careers of LL Cool J, Run-DMC, Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys and DMX. Foreseeing that hip-hop was more than just the music, Simmons left his mark on other industries, including television (Def Comedy Jam), film (The Nutty Professor) and fashion (Phat Farm). Although the book is stiffly written, you won't learn these sorts of secrets to success anywhere else. Here's a sample: Never hold on to grudges, because your enemies may someday work for you; and practice yoga daily--while listening to Tupac, of course.
Halloween is a day eagerly anticipated by those of us who like to party hearty. It is a harvest festival and an illicit orgy packed into one night of bonfires and costumes and masks--a golden moment in autumn when raw emotions are released and mead consumed by drunken warriors who are serviced by luscious and willing wenches. The world goes mad as people prepare for the darkness and cruelty of the winter that lies ahead.
Sorry, superstars and captains of industry. We're tipping off the world to Cayo Espanto, Belize's best-kept secret. The beaches on this private island (just a few minutes by boat from San Pedro) still won't be jammed, as there are only five oceanfront villas (three with private splash pools, above). Laze away the day or treat yourself to bonefishing, fly-fishing or spearfishing. Or scuba dive above the world's second-largest barrier reef and explore the ruins of a jungle city in Guatemala. Cayo Espanto's daily rate, $895 to $1195 double occupancy, includes all meals (they're prepared by the island's private chef). There's a three-night minimum, but we bet you stay longer. Go to aprivateisland.com for more information.
Twenty-five years ago, Gary Chinn started the Garrett Wade catalog business, which specializes in woodworking tools. Chinn began the business when he couldn't readily find the quality tools he needed to do serious work. He has now produced Tools: A Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia (Simon and Schuster) as a guide to and appreciation of the chisel, plane, rasp and riffler. There's also a section on the ideal workspace. This handsome book makes for compelling reading, even for armchair woodworkers.
Tipping. Do you want to know the most effective way to get what you want? Tip in advance. That's one of the many secrets on how to give a gratuity in Tipping for Success, a book by Mark Brenner. Not only does he clue you in on the art of greasing palms, but he'll also teach you the four things you never want to do when tipping. • Country club racing. The Virginia International Raceway, just across the North Carolina border, has reopened as a combination automobile and motorcycle road course and country club. A swimming pool, tennis courts, and hiking and biking trails are just some of the alternatives for members who don't want to make like Dale Earnhardt Jr. Look for more racetrack and country club combos to open around the country. • Going low pro. In an effort to avoid the scrutiny of cops, Los Angeles gang-bangers are forsaking baggy jeans and bandannas in favor of more conservative, low-profile clothing. • Presale concert tix. Join an Internet fan club for your favorite artist or log on to a subscription-based Internet access service as a way of securing great seats before they go on sale to the general public. • Timepieces are money. Piaget is reintroducing its classic Polo watch. It's gold and thin but still weighty. Prices start at $11,000.
Despite claims that its crime rate has dropped, Mexico City is still a metropolis where you want to stay alert. Never hail a cab on the street--have the hotel, restaurant or bar call one for you. Polanco is the area where the city's best hotels are situated. It's well lit, so you can barhop. Start with drinks at the lobby bar in the Presidente Inter-Continental (Campos Eliseos 218), which features a huge tequila menu. Forget the salt-and-shot method: Here you sip tequila from a snifter and chase it with nonalcoholic sangrita. Locals eat a late lunch, so don't plan to have dinner before nine. La Hacienda de los Morales (Vazquez de Mella 525) is a terrific restaurant within walking distance of the Presidente. Housed in a former colonial mansion, it boasts three bars and a broad range of entrees that includes such local specialties as crepas de huitlacoche (crepes made with corn fungus). La Valentina (Mazaryk 393) is a nearby restaurant that specializes in mole dishes. After dinner, head for Barfly (also in the same plaza), a multilevel nightclub with live Cuban music, or Habita (Mazaryk 201), a boutique hotel. Its rooftop bar, Area, is currently the place to hang out. If Area is too jammed, the hotel's lobby bar is a lively alternative with wall-to-wall senoritas.
"Asking me about my taste in clothes is like asking Ralph Kramden his opinion of gourmet dining," says magician David Copperfield, who admits his choice of duds has continued to evolve. "I went through a period where I wore a lot of Yohji Yamamo-to's stuff. Then I did the leather jacket thing with the motorcycle boots, then suits for a while. But none of it felt right. Now I wear the same clothes as when I'm just hanging out: jeans, sweatshirt and sneakers." Copperfield also describes his personal style as "wash-and-wear. If you can't throw it in a machine, get it clean and put it back on, it ain't happening." He has no patience for shopping, which is odd, because his father owned a men's clothing store. "Show me a three-way mirror and a tape measure and I start looking for the exit sign."
We can see Ernest Hemingway sitting in this chair, a deep-sea fishing rod in one hand and a mojito cocktail in the other. For about $1300 you can be Papa too: The Pilar Fighting Chair (Pilar was the name of Hemingway's boat) is being added to the Ernest Hemingway Collection of furnishings and accessories that's sold in stores nationwide. Crafted in a mahogany finish with a polished aluminum base, the Pilar chair is bar-stool height. Ernest would have liked that. E-mail hde hemingway@aol. com for information on it and other Papa products.
While stroking me during foreplay, my girlfriend slid a large rubber band over my cock and behind my balls. After a few more strokes and licks, she had given me the biggest, hardest erection of my life, and it seemed to last forever. My girlfriend loves this trick because it prolongs her pleasure. I am curious as to what it's called and why it works. Are there any side effects?--J.A., Austin, Texas
In 1936 some 20,000 spectators gathered in Owensboro, Kentucky to witness the public hanging of Rainey Bethea. Bethea, a 22-year-old black man, had been convicted of raping and murdering a 70-year-old white woman. After the hanging, a mob fought for souvenirs. That was the last time an American executioner played to a crowd. Over the years, various groups have campaigned for a return to public executions. Most recently, the killing of Timothy McVeigh renewed the argument that such an act would satisfy a country's need for justice, or closure, or simply revenge.
What would Benjamin Franklin think of the Internet? How would the founding fathers react to Ken Starr or the Drudge Report? Would Alexander Hamilton challenge a telemarketer to a duel? What do we make of a world where Supreme Court nominees scoff at the right to privacy; where business leaders buy and sell information collected in milliseconds; where companies market videotapes claiming to show lovers caught on security tapes; where gossip has become a national industry?
As a man with HIV, John Doe had a difficult time finding the drugs he needed to sustain his life, particularly the HIV protease inhibitor ritonavir. He commended his local chain-drugstore pharmacist for keeping supplies of it. The druggist suggested he write a letter of thanks to the parent company. Doe was shocked later to discover that the company published his letter, including his name, in its widely distributed newsletter. The local pharmacy displayed an excerpt from the letter above the cash register and in a window. Only Doe's family, close friends and his health care provider had known of his HIV status. Once exposed by the pharmacy, he began to receive threatening phone calls and had his home vandalized.
Want to make a statement? Founded in 1975, the Erotics Gallery in Manhattan has an extensive selection of sexually charged artwork from the past three centuries. You can browse its catalog at EroticRarities.com, Shown here are (clockwise from top left) Rowboat, a 1920 French water color by an unknown artist; Doug John's Bust I; an R. Gotsch poster from the 1978 Hooker's Ball in San Francisco; an anonymous French watercolor, Wheelbarrow; and an unattributed bronze sculpture, Yogi.
This is definitely not George W. Bush's White House. Secret Service agents play Frisbee with a beefy guy in a Drew Carey Show cap. In place of Lafayette Park and the Washington Monument are the looming Burbank Hills under a brown and smoggy sky. The White House columns are hollow and painted white, and the desk in the president's office is a fake (though a perfect replica of John Kennedy's desk). When the president, played by Martin Sheen, arrives, he's not in a motorcade limousine with bulletproof windows. He's pedaling an old, fat-wheeled bicycle.
One day last January, Ramogi Huma, a former linebacker for UCLA, joined by nearly two dozen current and former players (as well as NFL cornerback Daylon McCutcheon), held a press conference to announce that the way big-time college athletics is organized has to change.
Linda Bensel-Meyers, with a B.A. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon, has been at the University of Tennessee for 15 years. She supervises the university's tutors and teaches classes as an associate professor of English. Since she began denouncing academic corruption in 1995 and exposed UT tutors who did course work for athletes, her life has been turned upside down. She is embroiled in a divorce and custody battle for her three sons, ages 14, 15 and 17, because her husband claims her efforts to reform college athletics have put the family in danger. But she still plays the organ at her church in Maryville and is more determined than ever to bring about reform. She is one of the most passionate members of the Drake Group, a national coalition of faculty members who are determined to change the system. Bensel-Meyers spoke with Playboy in her cramped office overlooking Neyland Stadium (population on autumn Saturdays: 107,000).
No one enjoys college like an athlete. That became Clear to me when I was an all-state high school volleyball player in New York and spent a weekend as a guest of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. I fell in love with the place--and became a Lady Vol. I was a nonscholarship female athlete who tat on the bench for a team that wasn't going to the NCAA tournament. But even I had privileges other students did not have. All athletes had access to the best computers on campus, personal academic advisors, state-of-the-art weight and training rooms and exclusive cafeterias. I livedwith athletes, ate and studied with athletes and dated them. In fact, it was rare foran athlete to have a nonathlete friend. It certainly wasn't practical.
The abuses in college athletics are well documented--star running back who drives a new car provided by a well-heeled booster-alum; mother of a 6'10" high school basketball player mysteriously comes up with a down payment for a house soon after her son commits to a big-time basketball program; dominant pass rusher has an agent who gives him under-the-table money in anticipation of millions to be made come draft day. There are also the stories of classes not attended, term papers written for players by academic advisors, athletes who compete in college sports for four years but never receive a college degree. The stories are a mainstay of sports pages, talk shows, exposés, books, even movies.
In Her Favorite Automotive fantasy, classic-car buff Leilani Rios is cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway toward Malibu Beach in a 1957 Corvette convertible in two-tone baby-blue and white. "That's my fantasy car," says the 21year-old kinesiology major at Cal State-Fullerton. Her real car has some muscle, too: The 5-foot-tall, 98-pound Rios drives a 1967 metallic-blue Mustang with a white vinyl top. "I love classic sports cars," she purrs, giving new meaning to the term autoerotic.
Shortly Before I turned 18, my dad drove me across the country to begin a college career in fisheries at a less-than-half-rate school in Nebraska, fisheries being a field that at the time I believed was the source of all true knowledge. No matter what the source was, or is, I wasn't having any luck getting into four-year schools, and, not too long before graduation, I received a letter in the mail offering me the opportunity to enroll. I didn't remember applying, actually. But things had not been going well for me at all, and when this school said they wanted me to come and, yes, they did offer classes in fisheries, I thought someone in this world of sorrow had finally been born with good sense and that I'd better go.
It started in 1957. President Eisenhower was in his second term. McDonald's hamburgers cost 15 cents. The Edsel was just going into production. Thirty-one-year-old Hugh Hefner was editing his astonishingly successful men's magazine on the eve of its fourth year. Collier's magazine had just folded, and Hefner, a magazine fan, realized that a special annual sports feature, Collier's pigskin preview and preseason All-America team, was about to be orphaned. He immediately called Francis Wallace, Collier's football swami, and asked if he'd continue selecting All-Americas and his top 20 teams for Playboy.
Cincinnati Native Stephanie Heinrich has slipped into her new life at Los Angeles' Playboy Mansion like she would slip into a comfy pair of pajamas. "It's like a college dorm," she explains. "I'm friends with all the girls, but there's always one who you kick it with the most. My new golden retriever, Beamer, lives with me at the Mansion and I love going swimming with him, but he's afraid of the monkeys and chases the big African cranes." The 21-year-old aspiring actor was a teacher's aide in high school and studied criminal justice at the University of Cincinnati before taking time off to fulfill her teenage fantasy of posing for Playboy, first in October 2000's Girls of Conference USA and then as Playboy.com's first Cyber Girl of the Month. "If I go back to finish school someday, I'd like to work my way up to being a homicide detective," she says. "I also think drugs are a big problem today, especially with younger kids. I've always wanted to see if I could fix that somehow. I would just like to help get one drug dealer off the street."
The University of Iowa's Q Bar is stuffed with more than 500 buzzed college kids mashed against a small stage near the back of the room. Forty rows of guys in T-shirts and girls in halter tops, tight pants and platform shoes are sardined together, swilling beer and cocktails while trying to keep their footing. The stage holds equipment but no people. An open door lets in sporadic breezes, giving relief to the crowd. But the natives are getting restless. As one person, and then the entire crowd, chants, "One more song! One more song!" the floor shakes. Finally, the Nadas emerge from backstage--a.k.a. the bar's rooftop--and burst into an encore. The crowd erupts. Girls embrace.
There is something impressive about a guy who can plop a goldfish into a full beer bong and down it in three seconds. But the best-looking girl at the party isn't going home with that guy. Girls want guys with serious flair. And there's no better way to give off a sheen of confidence than with slick clothes. Of course, if you're not comfortable, clothes look like a costume. So. the latest designs are just comfy sweats and a spring break T-shirt. Start with a button-front shirt by Ben Sherman or Hugo Boss--something with enough flair to fly the confidence flag--and stylish, updated cords from Axis. Or go for a heavy-gauge sweater or colorful polo and thick velvet jacket. The key is tweaking traditional looks to suit your style. Just remember that, like your major, your personal style makes a statement. Don't get stuck with a look by default or, worse yet, with what your mom leaves under the Christmas tree. And a footnote: Pay-attention to your shoes. Girls will.
The walks in beauty like the night, this sexy but strangely wholesome ghoul next door. For 20 years Cassandra Peterson has portrayed Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, queen of all Halloween media, who, like the undead and Dick Clark, spookily never seems to age. Now she's been captured in all her towering-haired, voluptuous, campy-vampy style by renowned pin-up artist Olivia de Berardinis. Peterson says she has always been a fan of pin-up art, such as the classic Vargas works. "I think Olivia is (concluded on page 174) Envira (continued from page 132) the female Vargas. I love her artwork. She combines the sensual with the coquettish. I always dreamed of having one of those drawings of myself, and finally it's happening."
She is the best thing about CBS' top-rated drama, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Her character K.C. brightened China Beach and won her an Emmy in 1990. Her appearances in Stephen King's miniseries The Tommyknockers and her stint as George Clooney's love interest on ER were more than memorable. In fact, Marg Helgenberger enhances every project she accepts.
The 12 teams of the Southeastern Conference inspire more than their share of football fanaticism. More than 5.5 million fans go to Sec games every season, and SEC teams have won more bowl games than any other conference. But, more interestingly, the Sec schools enroll some of the most gorgeous women in the country. When we visited the conference, we expected to be bowled over by beauty. And we were. We were also overtaken by the aggressive pubic barbering we saw. Many girls have given up the patch entirely. We're not sure what to make of this--but we think it requires further study.
Parents may call it broadening your perspective. We call it getting credit for having the time of your life. With 5000 study-abroad programs (more than 2800 of them taught in English), you ought to be able to find one that offers tropical biology in a place where you'll want to party your ass off. Most students head for the UK, Spain, Italy, France and Mexico, but the more adventurous ones check out South America and Australia. Even if you can afford only a summer or short-term program, there are more than 2200 to choose from. Here are some tips, websites and offbeat ideas to get you started.
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 46, 55--56, 98--99, 124--129 and 183, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
Unless you're playing strip poker, a night of cards is still a guy thing. If you're the host, stock up right. That means whiskey, tequila and beer (nobody drinks cosmopolitans or chardonnay on poker night), plenty of snacks and good cigars. Poker isn't poker unless there's smoke in the air. When it comes to cards, dump your old ones and invest in a new deck. Casinos use plastic cards, not plastic-coated, so the corners don't bend. Never play for bills or coins: It's too hard for suckers to part with real money. Plastic chips will do in a pinch, but heavy clay chips have an authoritative clink when tossed into the pot, and they look great housed in a chip carousel. (Monogrammed chips are best and add to the intimidation.) If you play frequently, buy a poker table such as the mahogany-finished one pictured here. It seats eight, has wells for chips, indentations for cocktail glasses and bottles, and foldable legs for storage. Now pump some Springsteen through your stereo and deal. The only thing you're missing is a cocktail waitress to pour drinks and light cigars. But being a gracious host goes only so far. To cover your expenses you need to win, so pick up a copy of Super/System ("a course in power poker") by Doyle Brunson, Caro's Book of Tells ("the body language of poker") by Mike Caro or The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky. Gamblers General Store in Las Vegas sells them along with the chips, chip carousel and plastic playing cards shown below. Will the books help you rake in a big pot? You bet.