02/14/2013 10:35 am ET Updated Apr 16, 2013

Love Is in the Air Today... No Driving When Obama Speaks... Aflac Duck Inundated With Get-Well Cards

"It's kind of amazing, given our politicians' obsession with self-promotion, that we haven't yet seen a line of Congressional colognes," writes Frank Bruni in the New York Times.

I know, I know -- I'm supposed to have a big February valentine quote right here. But I couldn't resist that one because I just read a story about Drew Barrymore in Harper's Bazaar. She put her family's great theater name on a successful scent. These days it seems to me to be a fact that unless you have a cologne, makeup, a fashion line, a rock star guitar personality, or a cooking scheme -- you are all washed up.

But I make up for these lacks. After all, every single year of my long career, I have received, on February 14, a beautiful Valentine from the Mazzola family. this year's is from Sylvia, Alison, Tad, James and Christina. Lovely. They were photographed in Denali, Alaska. (Isn't everybody? Either there, or on a cruise ship, or a private jet or yacht!)


I enjoyed the State of the Union speech and its attendant hoopla on television. This is about the only time we actually see most of our lawmakers, justices, cabinet members, vice president, speakers and movers and shakers in one place, shaking hands, kissing, hugging, applauding or not applauding and you can read their lips and gestures informally. (Of course, the Secretary of Energy Steven Chu did not join because one member of the president's cabinet always stays away in case of an emergency.)

If the building exploded, he would become the President of the United States!)

Anyway, it was amusing that the NY Post's Michael Starr recommended six TV alternatives to watching President Obama address the nation. He wrote that instead, one might see "House"..."When in Rome"..."Top Gear"..."Dance Moms"..."Citizen Kane"..."Ramsay Behind Bars."

Well, I admit I was tempted because "Top Gear," adapted from the British long-running hit about competing when driving big, little, broken down, exotic and ordinary cars and machines is an unbeatable bit of fun. I don't drive anymore and I know nothing about automobiles, but this History Channel outing is one of the most entertaining competitions in the what-will-they-think-of-next genre. And stars as grand as Dame Helen Mirren and Johnny Depp and the like adore coming on this show to talk about driving adventures and sometimes, they even actually compete. If you've never seen "Top Gear," give it a look. But, no, not when the President is speaking.


I once advised the AARP magazine to start sending itself out in a brown paper wrapper so the postman and neighbors wouldn't know that one had reached the age of 50.

But I see my young and talented pal Marlo Thomas doesn't care about such things. She has written a delightful article for the current issue of AARP, titled "Head Over Heels: Finding love later in life can be chaotic, inconvenient...and perfect."

It's all about how she met Phil Donohue, a fellow love sufferer who said he didn't ever want to marry and she thought, "How perfect...a man who thinks like me." Well, you know what happened next? Three years later they were wed and are still glad about it.


Didja know those Aflac TV commercials where the duck suffers a broken beak and wing are made by Publicis Kaplan Thaler advertising? And they are to make you sympathetic and aware that the duck, a working actor, needs the help offered by Aflac. And so do you. After the first ad ran, 30,000 people sent the duck get well cards.