The never-ending story
It took John Isner of the U.S. from Tuesday until Thursday—a record 11 hours, five minutes—to post a first-round victory at Wimbledon over France’s Nicolas Mahut. An exhausted Isner lost in the second round Friday to Thiemo De Bakker of the Netherlands. “I was just low on fuel out there,” Isner said.
Big news for little Monaco
It’s 55 years since the postage-stamp principality of Monaco experienced the wedding of a prince. Back then it was the fairy-tale marriage of Hollywood star Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III. Last week 52-year-old Prince Albert II, the only son of the late couple and a former Olympic bobsledder, announced his engagement to Charlene Wittstock, 32, a former competitive swimmer from South Africa. The prince, a long-time bachelor who admits to having fathered children with two of a bevy of younger ex-girlfriends, met Wittstock in 2000 when she won the 200-m backstroke at a swim meet. Rumoured plans call for them to tie the knot twice next summer: once inside the prince’s 235-room palace, then in a televised ceremony at Monaco’s Nôtre Dame of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral.
Loud and proud
The Stanley Cup came out of the closet Sunday, held aloft at Chicago’s Gay Pride parade by defenceman Brent Sopel in one of his last acts as a Chicago Blackhawk. Sopel, traded Thursday to the Atlanta Thrashers, rode the Chicago Gay Hockey Association float accompanied by his wife, Kelly. The couple made the gesture in honour of Brendan Burke, the son of Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke. Brendan died in a car accident in February, months after announcing he was gay. Brian Burke said his family was moved by the gesture. “This is not a small step,” he said. “It’s a bold and important one.” Meantime, New York’s Pride event featued a Cinderella story of sorts. Constance McMillen, who was banned from her Mississippi high school prom, served as grand marshal of the Manhattan parade.
Cheaper than a Hooters franchise
For years the Naked Cowboy (real name Robert Burck) has wandered New York’s Times Square wearing briefs, strumming his guitar and extracting cash from tourists for pictures. Now, cue the Naked Cowgirl, the new persona of Sandy Kane, a former stripper. She poses for photos in her red, white and blue cowboy hat and matching bikini. Last week Sandra Brodsky, her real name, was served with a cease-and-desist letter for trademark infringement by Burck. He demands Brodsky sign a Naked Cowboy Franchisee Agreement, at a cost of US$5,000 a year or
$500 a month.
Greed is also kind of annoying
“Greed is good,” actor Michael Douglas famously said in his role as the grasping Gordon Gekko in the 1987 hit Wall Street. Apparently his ex-wife, Diandra Douglas, took the lesson to heart. She wants half his earnings from his upcoming movie Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. The two divorced in 2000, with Diandra collecting an estimated US$45 million and two houses. A clause in the settlement allows her 50 per cent of revenues for any movies he did during their 23-year marriage. Her lawyer Nancy Chemtob told a Manhattan Supreme Court justice that Diandra is entitled to the cut because the new movie is a spinoff of Wall Street.
Guns, money, iambic pentameter
For Vancouver Island poet Suzanne M. Steele it wasn’t enough to imagine the Afghan theatre of war. She had to see it for herself. “Theirs is a tough job. An ugly job sometimes,” she wrote recently of her experience as an embedded poet with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. “But inevitably they laugh. Almost always they laugh.” Now, back on Canadian soil, she runs the Arms poetry project with Alice Major, Edmonton’s former poet laureate. They’re gathering works from soldiers and family members at the website www.inarms.ca as part of the Edmonton Poetry Festival. Meantime, Karen Solie has enjoyed the kind of month most poets only dream of. Last Thursday she won Ontario’s $10,000 Trillium Book Award for Poetry for Pigeon, her third collection. Weeks earlier she won the $75,000 Griffin Poetry Prize for the same book. “You rule, Karen,” a fan called out that night.
Dying to get to Vegas
Singer Lady Gaga has already acted out her own death onstage, and now plans to outdo that performance by including dead bodies in an upcoming show. She is said to be in talks with scientist Gunther Von Hagens—known for his Body Worlds, exhibits of human corpses preserved with silicon—about ways to use his knowledge in her Monster Ball tour. She reportedly asked him to create a set for her shows in Las Vegas for March next year.
The busy, busy life of a PTA mom
It began when a man installing signs at the side of the road in West Valley City, Utah, had his car stolen, allegedly by Sylvina Beagley, who happened to be nude and who also happens to be president of the Day Break Elementary School PTA. The man grabbed her car and gave chase, along with police. Beagley crashed into a fence, police said, but somehow slipped away from her would-be captors. The mother of two then snatched a police car, only to crash that. Police finally resorted to Tasers to make the arrest. She faces multiple charges, including lewdness.
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