After a Fashion

Your Style Avatar asks, "What's black & white and splooged all over …???" And keep your eyes peeled locally, kids, in the next few weeks, Austin becomes celebrity central.

HOLLYWOOD BABBLE-ON We can look forward to a slew of movie stars visiting in the fall (not to mention during the upcoming Texas Film Hall of Fame, too). Quentin Tarantino will be filming his new movie Kill Bill here, among other locations, starring Uma Thurman, Warren Beatty, Michael Madsen, Lucy Liu, and possibly Samuel L. Jackson. Though we don't know which of those stars will be here, the story concerns Uma's character, who is shot and survives in a coma for five years. When she awakes, she's really pissed off. Uma always seems to be one of the coolest actresses around -- and reportedly, one of the nicest, too. Locals who dealt with her during her last visit had the nicest things to say. She just gave birth to her second child with husband Ethan Hawke, so maybe the whole family will be in tow while she's here.

KNOWLES THIGH-SELF Beyoncé Knowles, who is overexposed in every way possible, has a very tough row to hoe (or is that "tough ho to row?"). She's been cast in the new Austin Powers movie -- previously, but no longer, titled Goldmember -- as a "sexpot." Her contract stipulates that she have daily workouts with a personal trainer to help her fight the battle of the bulge and keep her "bootylicious." Along with that, she has had to turn in her "lifetime membership" cards to the fast food chains Popeye's and Baja Fresh to her scandal-ridden father for safekeeping until filming is completed.

THE VERDICT IS IN An informal poll among girls age 16-21 reveals that 'N Sync is better than the Backstreet Boys, but that the Backstreet Boys are cuter. Says my charming spygirl, 19-year-old Kristen, "The Backstreet Boys are so two years ago, but all of them are cute, as opposed to 'N Sync, where only one of them is cute." Did you hear that, boys?

THIS JUST IN Publicists have announced that bosomy fossil Ann-Margret has recorded her first gospel album -- presumably she's called it Viva Las Jesus.

YOUR LAST HIT WAS WHEN? New York magazine reports that after Anna Sui's show during fashion week, security actually stopped Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis from going backstage. "I'm a rock star," snapped Kiedis. "You should know who I am." Gee, Anthony ... that sounds like something you'd expect to hear from someone like Tiffany.

DATING TIPS The current issue of MensHealth.com has a list of 13 things you should not say or do on a first date -- everything from "Don't get drunk ..." (duh) to "Don't talk about your ex ..." (double duh). Having recently been on the dating circuit myself, I have a few additional suggestions: Don't brag about your porn collection; avoid any sentence that begins with, "My parole officer says ..."; and definitely don't recount your history of venereal disease.

OH, PUH-LEEZE, MONICA! The New York Post recently reported that "an emotional Monica Lewinsky choked back tears yesterday when asked about her role as national punch line -- but said a healthy sense of humor has been her best defense." On the fourth anniversary of her first questioning by FBI agents regarding her affair to re...member with Bill Clinton, Monica continues to try and market herself as a viable celebrity by publicizing an HBO documentary called Monica in Black & White, which chronicles the "red all over" ex-intern's press coverage after the scandal broke. Personally, I preferred the Monica not in black and white, but the one in the blue print dress with its white, um, accessories. But the plucky plebe continues to believe that she has something useful to say. Of course, so did such timeless luminaries as Fanne Fox (there's a name to look up, Monica), Rita Jenrette (remember her? After her notorious scandal, she made her glittering film debut in Zombie Island Massacre), the Hart-felt Donna Rice, and Gennifer Flowers. But Monica has clearly done her homework, and after asking herself, "Where are they now?" she attempts one thing after another to keep her name on everyone's lips. What she doesn't understand is that the public will always remember her for her slutty behavior in the arms of (... under the desk of) our trampy ex-prez. So when she introduced her line of handbags a couple of years ago, it was always a case of, "Cute handbags ... you know they were designed by her." But she would like us all to forget that she brought the president to his knees (or was it the other way around?) and concentrate on her other attributes. "There's a difference between a pleasant joke and a personal joke," said Lewinsky. "The ones that take my last name and equate them to [a sex act] that a lot of people in the world do, is a really cruel thing to do." But, I, for one, can never forget her leering eyes and gummy smile as the lurid details of her affair were made public. During a recent press screening of Monica's documentary, the questions got a little hairy, and Monica turned beseeching eyes to her handlers, saying "You said they'd be nice to me." They weren't. Asked why she continues to seek publicity, she said, "I'm able to fill in some of the historical gaps and correct some inaccuracies." The "portly pepperpot" (as she was referred to by the New York Post) added that she would just be "a small footnote in history." A very small one, Monica. Monica in Black & White airs March 3.

HANG UP & DRIVE Cell phones have been such an amazing -- and deplorable -- development. When I did time as a bridal consultant at a local department store, nothing was more galling than to have the client's cell phone ring -- usually with some hideous tone that plays the theme from The Godfather or Beethoven's "Für Elise" -- and when the caller obviously asks, "What are you doing?" and the client answers, "Oh, nothing," it was easy for me to determine my place in the client's list of priorities. I've seen a disturbing amount of incidents lately of sheer stupidity involving drivers using cell phones, usually involving some cute young ponytailed babe in dad's SUV, yakking up a storm and paying zero attention to traffic. Texas should consider doing what the state of New York has done: ban the use of cell phones in cars, unless the driver uses a headset. It's a great idea, but doesn't really solve the problem of being distracted by your conversation while you're on the road; it only frees up your hands to shoot the finger at drivers who get upset at your erratic driving. Of course, with the advent of the headsets that are almost invisible, now you, too, can wander through the grocery store alone, jabbering and gesticulating and looking like a delusional outpatient. Or, my personal favorite: the cell phones with a speaker so that the general public gets to hear both sides of the conversation. A recent example included an obnoxious real estate agent who made sure everyone at the beauty salon knew just how important she was by conducting a business transaction in which we were (unwillingly) privy to the details. In closing the conversation, she said to the caller, "So how are you these days?" And the caller said, "I'd be fine if my butt didn't itch so bad." Very classy, no?

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Texas Film Hall of Fame, Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill, Uma Thurman, Warren Beatty, Michael Madsen, Lucy Liu, Samuel L. Jackson, Ethan Hawke, Beyoncé Knowles, Austin Powers, Goldmember, Popeye's, 'N Sync, Backstreet Boys, Ann-Margret, Anna Sui, Red Hot Chili Peppers, A

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