Cougars Just Wanna Have Fun.

The horses are running at the Del Mar Racetrack, but the competition for Miss Cougar Del Mar is over, at least for this season.  The 2011 winner was Rosa Hildebrandt from Chino, California.

Miss Cougar Del Mar 2011. Photo by: Jennifer Armour

From Miss Hildebrandt’s photo in the local papers, she’s a youthful looking 51-year old who knows how to strut her stuff.  Her electric-blue mini-dress was as tight as an unopened jar of dill pickles.  Her smile was a bright as a full moon.

As a businesswoman, Rosa also knows how to handle herself.  Commenting on a request she received for a sexual favor in exchange for a vote, she said. “That’s ok…thank you so much. It’s not all about that, you know?”

Well, it’s not all about that.

Still, she appears a bit on the defensive concerning the image of cougars as women on the prowl.  “Our group is more tasteful, and we take pride in what we do,” she remarked.  “We’re not out there swinging on stripper poles.”

Did anyone say they were?

Opinions certainly vary on whether the contest is tasteful or tacky, but it sure brings in the crowds, especially those who qualify as cubs.  “I wish they had this every Friday,” said one 20-something male.

Another rhetorically asked, “Am I cougar bait?” And then he answered his own question, “God, I hope so.”

The day of the event the two previous title holders were on hand to wish their successor well.  How could they give up their fun in the sun?

Rosie Goldstein of 2009 gave a rousing rendition of Del Mar’s theme song, “Where the surf meets the turf,” reminding attendees, as if they needed to be reminded, “to take a plane, take a train, or take a car” to get to the racetrack by the sea.

Another winner. Photo by: Jennifer Armour

CC Perkinson of 2010 had just returned from a “Cougar and Cub” cruise to Mexico.  It wasn’t reported how she made out.  In September she will appear on an episode of “Fear Factor.”

There’s apparently life after wearing the crown.

© 2011 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved


Endless Summer in San Diego

Photo by: Leadenhall

Summer officially is here when the San Diego County Fair opens at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in mid-June.  The site was constructed in 1936 with a half-million dollar grant from the Works Progress Administration.

An all-time attendance record was set this year, with the 1,412,113 visitors enjoying the variety of livestock, endless arts and crafts exhibits, professional garden displays, super-duper carnival rides, and top-notch entertainment.

And then there’s the food.  The most popular item was “Deep Fried Kool Aid.”  I have no idea what that is, but 100,000 people tried it.

The second half of the summer revolves around thoroughbred horse racing where the “turf meets the surf” in Del Mar.

Same locale; different crowd.

Blogging about last year’s season, Del Mar Racing Thoroughbred Club CEO, Joe Harper, wrote, “Horses, hats, silicone and spandex.  It was all here and hanging out.  Sports stars, politicians, celebrities and wannabes.”

“Hats” refer to the “One and Only Fabulous Hats Contest” on opening day, a popular tradition started in 1995.  Participants, which include a good portion of the female contingent, compete in four categories:  best racing theme, funniest or most outrageous, most glamorous, and best flowers.  The Bing Crosby Grand Prize winner earns two round trip airline vouchers, courtesy of American Airlines.

Less than two weeks later, women over forty vie to become Miss Cougar Del Mar.  This competition was first held three years ago to showcase the Cougar II Handicap Race, Del Mar’s longest event at one and a half miles.

“Cougar” is urban slang for a woman who looks young, dresses young, and dates young, usually men eight years or more her junior.   Some feel it is a derogatory term, but that doesn’t damper the enthusiasm of the contestants.

Photo by: Bill Gracey

Miss Cougar 2009, Rosie Goldstein, wore a strapless red and white dress the day she was awarded the title.  “I hold my head up proud,” she emphatically stated.  “I have never felt more beautiful than this year.”  Exactly what year it was she didn’t say.

Miss Cougar 2010, CC Perkinson, believes that being a cougar “empowers women to keep a healthy mind and a healthy body.”  It’s good to realize “there’s men out there that are attracted to you.”

The four finalists for Miss Cougar 2011 have not yet been selected.  They will each receive clubhouse admission for a day at the races and VIP concert passes for later that evening.  The winner also has the honor of presenting the trophy for the Handicap.

The deadline for applications is July 24, so there’s still time to send in a photo and explanation of your qualifications.  My motto: if you’ve got it, flaunt it.

Hats off to the ladies of summer.


© 2011 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved


Cameron & Justin Together Again

Eat Me! Photo by: Quick Free Recipes

In Bad Teacher Cameron Diaz looks great.  And she never stumbles in her six-inch, red-soled Christian Louboutin heels.  “I don’t need a blackboard or a classroom to set an example,” she proclaims, letting it all hang out at the car wash.  Lecturing one of her twelve-year old students on being too full of herself, she informs the girl that she’s not sexy.  Now, when I was your age, I was sexy.  I bet she was.

On the other hand, Justin Timberlake looks dorky.  He acts dorky, too. He’s ready, willing, and able to chaperon the class trip, and he eagerly plays with the Period 5 teacher’s band, soulfully singing off-key, if that’s possible.

If Diaz’s character is inappropriately suited to her chosen career, her colleague is inanely satisfied about his vocation.  Both actors, however, seem to be enjoying themselves and each other in the R-rated summer comedy, even when she’s bored to tears as he dry humps her in a hotel room on a school trip.  That’s chemistry!

Still, Cameron looks like the older woman.  She always has.  I guess that’s something no cougar can change, even with Botox.

Diaz is now 38; Timberlake is 30.  When they were dating, the press often referred to the difference in their ages, much to her annoyance.  She told W magazine in 2004, “It’s not like this is the first time in the history of human relationships that people were drawn to one another because of who they are, not what age they are.”  Good point.

Throughout their four-year relationship, rumors continuously circulated that the couple was arguing, making up, getting married, arguing, and cheating on each other.  They made good copy.

The tabloids attributed their break-up to Timberlake hiring Scarlett Johansson as a femme fatale in his video “What Goes Around.”  This was years before Johansson found out that much older men, like Sean Penn, twenty-six years her senior, were more to her liking.

Of course, the issue of Cameron and Justin having dated came up while promoting Bad Teacher.   When asked how it was working together, Diaz responded, “We had a great time.”  She also noted, “Any worry that we had was like what the media was going to turn it into.  Because we all know what they can turn it into.”

To the same question, Timberlake replied, “It’s fine.  We have to believe there’s somebody out there who dated and who are still friends.”   He continued, “We are also both really awesome.”

Jason Segel, 31, also in the flick, thinks so, too.  Of Justin, he says, “He’s supremely talented.  It’s almost frustrating how talented he is.”  Of his older female co-star he relates,  “I constantly hit on Cameron Diaz, and she constantly tells me she has no interest.”

Diaz must still be seeing Alex Rodriquez because I think Segel is as cute as a teddy bear.

© 2011 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved


Zsa Zsa and the Prince

If Elizabeth Taylor was the last movie star, then Zsa Zsa Gabor was the first to be famous for being famous.  She was all glitz and glamour, and I mean that in the best possible way.

She had a witty sense of humor.  Known for her many relationships, she was often asked, “How many husbands have you had?”  Without a blink, she replied, “You mean other than my own?”

In fact, Zsa Zsa nine times, if you count her union with Felipe de Alba.  It was subsequently annulled because her divorce from husband number seven, Michael O’Hara, had not yet been finalized

She is now married to  Frederic Prinz Von Anhalt. They tied the knot in 1986, making it her longest lasting relationship.  And he came with a title, even if it wasn’t one to which he was born.

Zsa Zsa Gabor by Classic Film Scans

Zsa Zsa is twenty-six years older than her spouse.  Does that make her a cougar? I think she’d rather like the title and all that it implies.

At 94-years old, Ms. Gabor is in very poor health.  She’s been partially paralyzed since a car accident in 2002, and she suffered a stroke in 2005.

Almost a year ago she broke several bones falling out of bed and required surgery to replace her hip.

In January of this year, she had her right leg amputated above the knee to stop the spread of gangrene.

Since then she took ill with pneumonia, suffered complications from a feeding tube into her stomach, coughing up blood, and slipped into and out of a coma.

Throughout her trials and tribulations the Prince, has been by her side, sort of.  He’s always been distracted by various extracurricular activities.

As an example, in 2007, he threw his hat in the ring along with Larry Birkhead and Howard K. Smith, claiming to have fathered Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter.  Paternity tests showed otherwise.

That same year police found him naked in his Rolls Royce Phantom.  He maintained several women had mugged him.  Presumably, the family jewels were left intact.

Last year, Von Anhalt filed papers to run for governor of California, pledging to legalize marijuana and prostitution, taxing all vices.  He said then governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, warts and all, had inspired him.  He should have found a better role model.

Late fall he was hospitalized for swallowing a bee while sunbathing in the backyard.  Soon after he was back in the hospital after accidentally gluing one of his eyelids shut.  He had picked up a bottle of nail glue, mistaking it for eye drops.

A few months ago Von Anhalt announced he and his wife were trying to become parents using an egg donor, artificial insemination, and a surrogate.  It was something he said she had hoped for ever since they got married – a quarter of a century ago.

He put her Bel Air mansion on the market for $28 million, intending to move his bride to a condominium, something else he said she always wanted to do.  A few months later he reduced the asking price to $15 million.

To cover her medical expenses he has made known his plans to auction off her treasured fur coat collection and her fancy designer dresses.

Justly concerned, Francesca Hilton, Zsa Zsa’s daughter, only four years younger than her stepfather, now 68, is preparing to take him to court to protect her mother’s dignity and keep him from trashing her estate.  But that doesn’t seem to concern him.  He’s a prince with no charm, a cub that never grew up.

© 2011 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved


You Go, Girls — Part Two

“I’m certainly not the first person to be in a relationship with a younger man,” Demi Moore said in response to the press coverage of her relationship with Ashton Kutcher, fifteen years her junior. “But somehow I was plucked out as a bit of a poster girl.”

She’s right about that!  Among certain Tinseltown types these May to December relationships go way back.

Is anyone familiar with the passionate affair between femme fatale Marlene Dietrich and actor Yul Brynner?  She met him back stage at the original production of The King and I in 1951.  He was a thirty-year-old hairless hunk, and she wanted him.  Despite his being married and her being nineteen years his senior, she had him.  Their obsessive relationship lasted four years before he tired of her possessive jealousy.

And what about Cher?  She’s almost as famous for dating younger guys as she is for being a gay icon.  For a brief time she went out with Tom Cruise, sixteen years her junior, and Richie Sambora, thirteen years younger than her, among others.  Just a few years ago at 62, she was dating a 38-year old biker dude named Tim Medvetz.  His claim to fame, besides hooking up with Cher, was to climb Mount Everest after recuperating from a bad motorcycle accident.

The most legendary of Cher’s live-in love interests was Ron Camilletti.  When they met  on her birthday in 1986, she was turning forty and presumably felt like giving herself a present.  He was a 22-year old bagel baker.  They were together for three years.

In 1991 Elizabeth Taylor, 59, took Larry Fortensky, a 39-year old construction worker, to be her eighth and last husband in a reported two million dollar wedding ceremony at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.  She playfully called him “Larry the Lion” because of his blonde shag.  When he tired of being called “Mr. Elizabeth Taylor,” they divorced after four years.  They remained friends until her death.

And Madonna has always had her “toy boys”.  In fact, wasn’t the expression coined with her in mind? (Well, it should have been!) Carlos Leon, her personal trainer and the father of her daughter Lourdes, was eight years younger than she, and her husband Guy Ritchie, with whom she had a son and adopted two more children, was ten years younger.  We’ll give her credit: these were serious relationships, and the age differences can even be categorized within normal boundaries.

But then it went over-the-top.  A month after getting her divorce from Ritchie, Madonna met Jesus Luz, a Brazilian underwear model, on a fashion shoot. He was 22; his mother was 37, and Madge was 51.  It was apparent the young man was brought up well.  In interviews he refused to talk about his girlfriend.  After a year, he called it quits, citing their lack of common interests. Within months Madonna was dating a 24-year old French break dancer.

Being fit and thin aren’t necessarily requirements for being in the club, but these characteristics inspire a certain level of confidence, even among the well-known and popular.  After losing weight while appearing on this season’s “Dancing with the Stars,” Kirstie Alley, 60, was ready for romance.  She found it, too, with 21-year old rapper Shanice Boyd.  Unfortunately, Boyd was a Momma’s boy, literally, still living at home.

A good sense of humor helps, too.


© 2011 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved


You Go, Girls — Ellen Barkin Et Al

I’m still thinking about the news, okay gossip, from the other day concerning Ellen Barkin.

Barkin, now 57, has hooked up with a twenty-six year old.  They’ve been living together for two years.

Her boyfriend, Sam Levinson, is the son of Barry Levinson, the director of her 1982 movie Diner.  He’s apparently following in his dad’s footsteps, having directed Barkin in his feature debut. In fact, that’s how they met: he had sent her a script that she agreed to produce and star in.  They apparently worked well together.

What’s the surprise?  Surveys show that a third of women over forty are dating younger men.  But does younger mean a few years, like two or three, or do they mean a decade or two or, in this case, three?

These May to December romances are becoming more common or, at least, more visible in Hollywood and its East Coast counterpart.  Some twosomes even make it down the aisle.

Demi Moore, 48, whose twitter handle is mrskutcher, just celebrated her fifth anniversary with Ashton, fifteen years her junior.  The difference in their ages has been wagging tongues since they were dating.  Poking fun at herself, Moore appeared on Saturday Night Live when Kutcher was host.  Made up to look really old, like 82, Moore went on stage using a walker, complaining that her support stockings were killing her.  In the last few months, the chitchat has been that he’s having an affair.  At the moment, they’re holding on.

Other high-profile pairs have not been able to keep it together. Courtney Cox and David Arquette were married eleven years.  Their seven-year age difference had less to do with their breakup than did their disparate personalities.  He has a childish side; she does not.  “I don’t want to be your mother anymore,” she told him.  Cox, now 47, stars in Cougar Town.  Her character, recently divorced, is trying to come to terms with getting older.

In 2009 Susan Sarandon, then 63, broke up with Tim Robbins, 51, her partner of twenty-three years.  He might have been seeing Meg Ryan, or maybe he was suffering from a mid-life crisis.  To occupy herself post split Sarandon invested in a ping pong (also known as table-tennis) club in NYC.  Rumors have been circulating ever since that she’s going out with 31-year old Jonathan Bricklin, a partner in the club.  Well, she does have a history.

Sandra Bullock’s relationship with Jesse G. James was always considered offbeat for reasons that had nothing to do with her being five years older than he was.  The girl-next-door involved with a tattooed biker with his own cable television show?  Come on!  And, yes, there was another women involved who had her own body markings.  The five-year marriage ended in 2010.

Eva Longoria filed for divorce from basketball player Tony Parker in 2010. Neither her being seven years older than him nor a foot shorter had anything to do with it.  She discovered he was having an affair with the wife of one of his former teammates in 2010.

Halle Berry split from her boyfriend, supermodel Gabriel Aubry, after four years and a baby daughter. Despite his being handsomely compensated for his work on the runway, she paid all the bills.  Ten years younger than Berry he hadn’t yet learned to carry his own weight, and she was tired of it.  They’re still arguing over custody.

As far as Ellen Barkin is concerned, she’s undaunted as to the future of her relationship with Levinson. She’s been overheard saying she’ll part ways with him when “they roll me out in a wheelchair.”  Given her age let’s hope that’s not sooner than she thinks.

© 2011 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved