The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 19, 1998 · Page 42
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The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page 42

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Thursday, March 19, 1998
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Thursday, March 19, 1998 THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER Newsmakers Elton John on grieving for Di: Enough's enough Parents wonder how one son 'turned' gay Dear Ann Landers: My husband and I are beside ourselves. Our 24-year-old son Calvin told us last week that he is a homosexual. Calvin has dated lovely young women from time to time but never had any long-term relationships. He seemed to prefer the company of his male "pals." They all appeared to be decent and respectable, and we never thought a thing about it. Calvin took l ' ' ' . 'f f V f ra Q -1 Iff m- r V - " c I A r ' 1 - I 1 17' f M mii 7 s m(( J i! . . . a roommate two years ago, and they recently decided to buy a condo. They both act perfectly normal, not effeminate. Can you tell us what made our son take this unexpected turn in the road? There are no homosexuals in my family or my husband's that we know of. We are devastated at the thought that he will never mar Ann Landers Associated Press RICHARD DEAN Turn off the Di grief machine, Elton John pleaded in a Brit TV interview shown yesterday. Alluding to a Hollywood fund-raising tribute to her memory next weekend, the singer said: "1 think it's time to give it a rest." As to this summer's charity gig organized in her name by her bro, Earl Spencer, at their ancestral home, Althorp, John said: "I'm not sure about the concert and I'm not sure of all the ideas about perpetuating the thing." Meanwhile, Di's butler, Paul Burrell, who'll be guest of honor at the Hollywood event, said in his first published interview since her death that it was pretty much left to him to sort out her personal possessions. Her bro and two sisters apparently had little interest in it, he said. Locally connected . Jonathan Larson's Rent, opening here this summer, set an all-time ticket-sales record Monday for the Merriam. Its total of 5500,615 bested the previous mark of $183,946 set for the March 1997 production of West Side Story. Author Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth) will give a free talk, "The Secret Struggle for Womanhood," at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Campus Center at Rutgers in Camden. South Philly greengrocer Johnny Lerro is looking for audience members when he tapes his syndicated TV feature, The Produce Tip of the Day, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 28 at the Convention Center. Between takes, he'll give out recipes and unspecified prizes. Lerro is seen in 25 markets. Meredith Zamski, 35 next week and raised in Bala Cynwyd, is the credited coproducer of the movie The Real Blonde, now playing at the Ritz at the Bourse. Proud mom is Wayne's Judith Zamski. Steven Starr, owner of the Northern Liberties nightspot District, is bringing in from Gotham celeb DJ and remixer Junior Vasquez next Thursday to start a regular Cream party night, a reachout to the gay crowd. Admission: $10. Temple prof Jim Hilty will discuss his book Robert F. Kennedy: Brother Protector at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Atwater Kent Museum, 15 S. Seventh St. St. Charles Borromeo prof Frederick L. Miller, author of The Trial of Faith of St. Therese of Lisieux, will talk at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Pauline Books & Media, 9171A Roosevelt Blvd. Before that, Southwind will play traditional Celtic music, beginning at noon. William Buchsbaum, author of The Macmillan Spectrum lnvestor'r.hoice Guide to Blue Chip Stocks, wili tell how to pick 'em at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Princeton's Barnes & Noble. Philadelphia Wings captain Scott Gabrielsen, who'll retire at the end of the season, will be honored prior to Saturday's 7:30 p.m. game with New York at CoreStates Center as the first indoor lacrosse pro to play 100 Peopletalk By Liz Smith Tara Daley of Haddonfield 'second from left) was among the finalists in Teen magazine's Miss Teenage America 1998 pageant, which honors high school girls for academic and community work. The others were (from left): Samantha Clemens of Upland, Calif; Sanaz Harirchian of Warren, N.J.; Melanie Marion of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Megan Weber, the winner, of Zanesville, Ohio; andjanese Marie Jackson of Clinton, Md. proposal to publishers next week. Nobody was interested the first time around, but the repeat changed things. "All of a sudden, it got more complicated," said Mirabella editor Michael Solomon. "Was she a pedophile? Or was this a tragic love?" Whatever! Body language Jenny McCarthy seems to have had second thoughts about her breast implants, noting that they "gave me something to make fun of." In the latest issue of Redbook, she notes: "If I take them out, I'm afraid they'll look like shrunken raisins. But I still have a feeling you'll see a dramatic decrease in my bustline in a couple of years." Markings Kim Ng, deputy to general manager Brian Cashman, is the first woman to break into top management of the New York Yankees. Formerly with the Chicago White Sox front office, she's in charge of negotiating players' salaries. ry and have a family as his two brothers have. Please tell us what you can about this shattering blow. We need your help in getting through this. Accepting but Sad in a Southern State Dear Accepting: It's good to know that you're accepting, but your son did not take a sudden "turn in the road." His sexual orientation has been present from the beginning. In other words, he didn't get that way. He was born that way. You need to learn more about your son's sexual orientation in order to deal with it intelligently. Please write to PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) at 1101 14th St. N.W., Suite 1030, Washington, D.C. 20005 or visit the organization's Web site at http:www.pflag.org Dear Ann Landers: I would like to comment on the letter from "A Desperate Woman," whose husband's ex-wife was demanding that their daughter, Mandy, age 11, report everything that goes on in the house. Your response "It is obvious that his daughter is trying to divide and conquer" was off the mark. It is clear that this poor child is being used by her biological mother to spy on her father's household, and the girl probably can't say no without feeling that she is betraying her mother. "Desperate" should insist that her husband tell his ex-wife to stop using Mandy as a spy because she is suffering irreparable harm by being made to choose sides. She has probably been told that her father and stepmother are "no good." The natural mother is the problem, not Mandy. As the child of divorced parents, I know what I'm talking about. If my stepmother had turned on me the way you suggested Desperate should, I think my already fragile world would have collapsed. Please reconsider your advice. A.W. in Durham, N.C. Dear A.W.: A zillion readers have asked me to "reconsider" my advice. Consider it reconsidered. I'm taking 40 lashes with a wet noodle. Mandy's father should tell his ex-wife to knock it off. Dear Ann Landers: A close friend of mine introduced my widowed sister to a man she thought would be a perfect fit. I have learned through another source that this gentleman, who is a widower, had an affair while his wife was ill with breast cancer four years ago. Was my friend obligated to inform me of this, or does one affair not a villain make? Puzzled in Kookamonga Dear Kook: In my opinion, it was an act of friendship to put the two unmarrieds together. That person who carried the tale makes me wonder what motivated him or her to pass on that information. "Probably 1 could repeat the Vice President's speech quite closely." Oh, that's OK! Big Apple tabs are fascinated by the prospect of a Times copy editor, 51, undergoing a sex change. There's a tidbit a day about the event, including the subject's posted notice advising the staff to what's happening, saying: "I have decided to resolve a longstanding conflict in my life by beginning to live full-time as a woman." Before, surgery next year, the first step will be showing up for work dressed as a woman. The book beat The story of teacher Mary Kay LeTourneau's obsession with a 14-year-old boy has caught the attention of publishing houses now that she's pregnant a second time apparently by him and looks headed for a long prison stretch. Vet true-crime book author Gregg Olsen has signed with St. Martin's Press to do a book called If Loving You Is Wrong. Jim Fielder, a teacher who used to work with LeTourneau, is shopping a treatment he says is authorized by the subject. And agent Frank Weimann said he'd submit a games. Couples Unless the pair fall out before Monday, Matt Damon's Oscar night date will be Winona Ryder. They'll party cpres-ceremony with Damon bud Ben Affleck and his current, Gwyneth Paltrow, who's been a Ryder pal since before she met Damon. It's all so . . . right! Filmmaker Jim Threapleton, 24, moved into the London digs of Titanic movie star Kate Winslet, 22, last weekend. Said he: "Moving in with her is going to be fantastic." Said she: "He makes me laugh my head off." It's diversionary! Talk of the Times Martha Stewart finally got back to the New York Times on its published accusation that she napped through a speech by Vice President Gore Sunday at a $15,000-a-plate Democratic fund-raising dinner in a Manhattan hotel. Seems she was only resting her eyes. "I'm going through eye-exercise therapy," explained the domestic dominatrix. "I'm supposed to sort of, like, rest them, and they get very dry, especially in crowds." She challenged: This article contains material from the Associated Press, Reuters, New York Post, New York Daily News, New York Times and USA Today. The one-two punch of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck Good Will Hunting (written by and starring childhood pals Matt Damon and Ben Affleck) has become the biggest hit movie that Miramax has ever had, garnering $110 million to date. Damon and Affleck are Oscar nominees for best original screenplay for Good Will Hunting, and Damon is also up for best actor. The two are already working on another movie. Damon has a 150-page original he is now editing with Affleck. Ben will star in this yet-unnamed project, and Matt will play a supporting role. Speaking of Oscar nominees, four of , the major movie males touted for best actor this year are approaching or over 60: Jack Nicholson, Robert Duvall, Dustin Hoffman and Peter Fonda. Damon is the exception; he's only 27. Speaking of Afflecks, when you see the name in the credits for MGM's coming feature The Mod Squad, it'll be identifying Ben's brother, Casey, set to play opposite Claire Danes Danes is also featured in Fox Searchlight Pictures' forthcoming Polish Wedding, along with Lena Olin, Gabriel Byrne and Mili Avital Misha Philipchuck, the sensational 9-year-old Russian boy who star's in The Thief (nominated as best foreign picture), can't wait to meet Gloria Stuart, the 80-something star of Titanic. Misha plans to give her a painting of the Titanic made by a Russian artist. In the painting, this Titanic doesn't sink. It sails right past the iceberg. Supermodels Esther Canadas and Mark Vanderloo met just eight months ago on a fashion shoot for Donna Karan New York. They fell in love and signed a multimillion-dollar two-year exclusive contract together! (They now affectionately refer to Donna as their "Cupid godmother.") In Milan, Mark proved chivalry wasn't dead. He went on bended knee to ask for Esther's hand in marriage. When the show moved to Paris, Mark presented her with an exquisite engagement ring. This was right after the aborted Giorgio Armani fashion debacle, and it made Mark and Esther about the only happy people in the darkened City of Light. They are waiting to set a date. Have a question or a comment? Write to Ann Landers, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Box 11562, Chicago, III. 60611-0562. Senior ForUITI By Kent S.Collins Retired lifestyles as varied as people Mi9 Mil Third, retirement lifestyle is, to a large degree, determined by personality. Tell those adult children that you will be their role model for graceful old age, the image of wisdom and composure. Let them find other models for the active retirement lifestyles they now approach. Have a question or comment? Write to Kent S. Collins, The Inquirer, Box 8263, Philadelphia 19101. His column appears each Thursday in this section. ; 1 How long is that dachshund in the window? It can be up to 30 inches if it's standard size, or 20 inches if it's miniature. QMy dear children, all of them middle-aged, are so kind and wonderful and stupid. I've been retired for 15 years, but they're just realizing my social and economic state because they're beginning to contemplate their own golden years. They read that retirees ought to be active and adventurous, perky and self-reliant. I am not any of those things anymore. I used to be all those things, but my adult children were too busy building families and careers to notice me when 1 was 64. Now that I'm a widow, considerably older and slower, they wonder why I'm so dull. They conjure up images of their future retirement and fret that mine is not what they want theirs to be. Isn't that stupid? A Yes, it's "stupid," but innocent enough. Possibly, your children are looking to you, as they may have done all their lives, as a role model. As you are learning and may have to teach them, the retirement lifestyle varies, depending on age and income, health and attitude. At 70, some retirees are getting very old, while others are still active at 80, physically and intellectually. Second, income varies as much for the nonworking people of this country as it does for the career people. The common denominators of Social Security and Medicare may be similar across the spectrum of seniors, but savings and pensions make some rich and some not.1 With Peter Mucha QHow do birds know a new feeder has been placed outside? - Kori and John Williams, McDonald Elementary School, Warminster A Dogs and cats can sniff out a meal in a jiffy. But birds rely on their eyes. They need to see the food as they fly or hop around. Or at least they need to notice other birds feeding. So sometimes weeks wall go by without birds using a new feeder. One solution is simply to move the feeder to a new spot, says Chris Fore. She and her husband, George, own the Wild Birds Unlimited store in Haddon Township. If the feeder has been kind of hidden, try a more open spot. But be sure to keep it near some trees or bushes, so they'll feel safe. Another idea is to leave some Word Watcher By Morton S. Freeman QIs this sentence punctuated correctly: "Mr. Roberts' memo, referring to his schedule, will be reviewed"? Alt is not. Except when referring to (concerning, pertaining to, or relating to), meaning "about," begins a sentence, it is an essential phrase and is therefore not set off by commas. QWhat guideline applies to the use of the word unlike? A Treat it similarly to the way you treat like. Its reference must be a noun or pronoun, not a clause ("He donated generously, QHow long can my puppy get? He is a dachshund. Samantha Ryan, Roberts School, Wayne A Dog fanciers know all about what breeds should weigh, but they don't really keep track of lengths. Luckily, though, some people who raise dachshunds were willing to get out their measuring tapes. Dachshunds come in two sizes, miniatures (under 11 pounds) and standard (16 to 31 pounds). Full-grown miniatures seem to get about 20 inches long, from the nose to the base of the tail, while standards are closer ty HQ inches. Qlf basketball is played in the winter, why isn't it in the Winter Olympics? - Allison O'Neill, St. Pius X School, Broomall A The Winter Olympics has a simple rule: Every sport must have something to do with ice and snow. That's why you won't see such indoor sports as gymnastics, wrestling, weightlifting or basketball at the Winter Olympics. Dear Kids, you want answers? We want questions! Send one or many. Give your name, school, its town and state. Write to: Kids' Talk, The Inquirer, Box 8380, Philadelphia 19101. Or use e-mail: kidstalkphillynews.com Drawings should use dark lines on j plain white paper. To find a feeder, birds use their eyes, not their noses. To alert them, it helps to leave clues. clues. Sprinkle seed on the ground or even on top of the feeder. If the birds find that seed, they should find the feeder. Birds need water, too, so putting out water might help. Some people even use bits 6f aluminum foil to get birds' attention. More tips: Try a mix with black sunflower seed as the first ingredient. And keep tljose cats indoors. unlike his, uncle"). f

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