‘Gossip Girl’ Giveth and ‘Gossip Girl’ Taketh AwayYou might expect that we feel some solidarity toward the TV and film writers who are striking this week, since we’re writers too and all that. Yeah, not really. Actually, we have always kind of resented TV writers since they get paid way more than we do (damn them for making such a smart career choice), and we suspect that most other print/Internet-y people feel the same way. Or, at least, their mothers do. Basically it’s kind of like a Serbs-versus-Croats situation. But now we at Intel have a real reason to be pissed at those guys. Our too–small–to–write–for–the–Harvard Lampoon brains just realized that because of the strike we may be deprived of future episodes of GOSSIP GIRL. Although (thank you sweet Jesus Imitation of Christ) new episodes will air tomorrow night and next week, the L.A. Times is reporting that the CW only has 13 of the 22 planned episodes for 2007–2008 in the can, which means that, depending on how long the strike lasts, we could run out of new episodes by February.
Is Kate Beckinsale Too Hot to Play Judy Miller?MEDIA
• Matt Drudge cracked open The New Republic’s Iraq fabulist controversy once again. Did the mag’s Baghdad diarist really make up details about mass graves and troops ridiculing a disfigured female soldier? Franklin Foer complains that Drudge’s docs could only have come from the Army. [Slate, NYO]
• Chris Jones, the managing editor of Portfolio.com, announced his departure from the mag after giving notice over a month ago. High-level rumors also indicate Joanne Lipman may soon be relieved from command — but only for the Website. [WWD]
• The Judith Miller movie is now filming in Memphis, and let’s just say that Kate Beckinsale is way too hot to be a reporter. On the other hand, the Valerie Plame CIA character, played by Vera Farmiga, looks just about right. [WP]
V-Day in CeleblandSpike Jonze and Drew Barrymore spent Valentine’s Day together. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban spent Valentine’s Day apart. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick spent Valentine’s Day together, but seemed “distant.” Mike Myers, Hugh Jackman, and Joan Collins all spent Valentine’s Day at the Waverly Inn, though, presumably, not together. Mike Bloomberg’s favorite singer is Aretha Franklin. Liz Smith says Steve Schwarzman’s birthday blowout could have cost as much as $15 million.
Lady Godiva Was a Metro-North Rider
Christmas may be the busiest time of the year for the Postal Service, but at the Godiva chocolate shop in Grand Central, the evening commute home on Valentine’s Day seems to take the, um, bonbon. The crowd-control measures in place — corralling maybe 40 or so candy-craving commuters when we stopped by a few minutes ago — include a maze of rope lines and a system by which customers pick out their chocolates and then wait their turn to pay. Other last-minute lovers will appreciate Grub Street’s roundup of what culinary canoodling spots had tables still available when they checked this afternoon, and the magazine provided a cheater’s guide to Valentine’s Day. See? We’ve got all your bases covered.
Slate Knows No One Loves You, Provides Highbrow Dirty Talk
Don’t despair, lovelorn: Slate is today offering an anthology of sex poetry, presumably as a salve to those of us who won’t be getting any. We’ll leave it to you to read the actual verse, but we’d like to highlight three curious facts. First, that Robert Pinsky, the Webmag’s poetry editor and a former U.S. poet laureate, seems even more obsessed with who is gay than Rosie O’Donnell is; second, that Emily Dickinson’s “If You Were Coming in the Fall” is not a double entendre; and, third, that Robert Frost’s “Putting in the Seed” is. Class dismissed.
Great Poems About Sex [Slate]
Ove Is All AroundWe enjoy Google’s longstanding tradition of altering the search engine’s logo to commemorate various holidays and notable events. But we also wish — today, especially — that the logo designers consistently remembered their company’s name includes an L. Other than that, well, Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too, Googe.
the morning line
Giuliani’s Horse Manure• Deceased cop Cesar Borja may not have been the hero the press claimed, but it doesn’t mean the issue he symbolized is off the table. Mayor Bloomberg says that post-9/11 illnesses are costing the city $400 million a year, and called for $1 billion in federal aid. [Bloomberg]
• Giuliani’s presidential run is getting more entertaining by the hour. Yesterday, the ex-mayor stumped at a farm-equipment expo, saying he’s not “an expert” on the subject but will be by the end of the campaign. Uh-huh. [AP]
• Schools chancellor Joel Klein is rolling back some new rules in the wake of the city’s school-bus fiasco. For instance, 5-year-olds may now not have to navigate Manhattan on their own, MetroCard in hand. [NYP]
• The City Council has been threatening to regulate pedicabs for a while now, but this time, they’re serious: Say hello to licensing, compulsory insurance, safety inspections, and a citywide pedicab cap at 300 three-wheelers (there are about 500 now). [amNY]
• And fill your Valentine’s Day with images of old codgers coupling: The Times drops a feature about local sex educators who grapple with the Greatest Generation’s pharmaceutically induced sexual renaissance. Most haunting line: “collapsed uterus can complicate penetration.” [NYT]
Pre-Valentine’s Product Testing: Do Pheromones Work?
When the publicist for a company called Pure Romance called last week to offer a pheromone-based perfume called Basic Instinct for potential Valentine’s Day coverage, we were, of course, drawn in. So we slapped the stuff on a dedicated New York reporter and sent her down to The Otheroom, in the West Village, to see how it worked. (We also forbade her from paying much heed to the slight allergic reaction it caused on her ears, nose, and throat.) Five men at the bar gave her a whiff. Did it work? Well, at the very least, we now know that telling a man you’re wearing pheromones can make an effective pickup line.
Valentine’s Day Countdown: Step Away From the RosesIt’s nearly Valentine’s Day; do you know where the love of your life is? Neither do we. But here’s the guidance we learned this week from New York’s intrepid band of dating bloggers.
• Threesomes are interesting; lasagne is not. Somewhere in Brooklyn, there is a boy who doesn’t want to hear about what his friends had for lunch again, ever. Even if eventually the conversation moves on to the fact they’re dating bisexuals. [Forksplit]
• Subway rides are, ipso facto, unromantic. If you’re going to try to experience sexual fantasies on the subway in this weather, of course you’re just going to feel like a “huge winter muffin in my 5 degree weather outfit”! But the muffin thing’s a start. [Virginist]
Beef Lifts Us Up Where We Belong
Bad news for all the single people of New York: Valentine’s Day is mercilessly creeping up on us. (Depressing, isn’t it?) There are several gastronomic ways to mark the date, as the Underground Gourmet points out on Grub Street today. You could stay at home and order pizza; you could drown your sorrows in a vat of Häagen-Dazs; you could spend the evening with the gallant General Tso, who in such cases we have always found to be both an officer and a gentleman. Or if you’re determined to celebrate your singlehood — and perhaps ensure that you remain that way — you could try the sandwich the Underground Gourmet has identified as Sandwich of the Week: the Breakup Burger. Find out all about it at Grub Street.
Sandwich of the Week: Twisted Burger’s Breakup Burger [Grub Street]