Item! It's political mania out there, and yours truly has been in the thick of it! Now, I know I shouldn't do politics, but this year has been so spectacular that I had to put in my two cents worth.

First we had The Republican National Convention, which was in San Diego. Why? Maybe that's because San Diego is so close to San Francisco, a city Jack Kemp holds dear to his heart, if you catch my drift. At any rate, everything went smashing, and the wonderful Nancy Reagan looked lovely.

Then came the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the city with thick shoulders. Certainly, the convention fell under the shadow of the 1968 Democratic Convention held in Chicago with riots and violence. Well, there was none of that this time! The boys in blue were on their best behavior, and I think they deserve a big round of applause.

Speaking of Chicago, basketball wild man Dennis Rodman is certainly something, isn't he? Who knew he had a book in him? Not me, for sure. And what a book it is! It's one of those "kiss and tell" books that everyone seems to be so fond of, so don't go reading it looking for pointers on your layup. Apparently, he and Madonna, well, you know.

Item! I just saw the movie Mary Reilly with Julia Roberts. It's the classic Jekyll and Hyde story, told from the perspective of the maid, and I have only one thing to say: Oscar-bound! Now, don't put all your money on my word, but I'm pretty sure this will be the year for the Pretty Woman.

Oh, I'm sorry, it's now Ms. Roberts since she divorced that singer. Good for you, Julia! And kudos for a job well done in your movie acting... Good luck with that acceptance speech!

Is it just me, or are these car commercials just getting weirder? I mean, like those ones with the phone and the desk and the guy? Yeah, I thought so.

Hey, Claude Rains! Would you get in touch already? I'm losing faith! What do I have to do to get you to stop by for a chat, throw in some devilishly good Harvey Family Deviled Eggs from our secret recipe? Heck, I'll even throw in the recipe, if that would help! Just don't tell Mom.

Item! That Bill Paxton is all Twister-ed up... in love! That's right, my sources say the dashing movie star has been seen "around town" with an as-of-yet unidentified lady friend. Congratu-lations, Bill! Don't go chasing any storms, now that you've got a special sweetheart to look after!

Ladies! Brace yourselves! Football season is almost underway! Better hold your husband or boyfriend tight, otherwise, you probably won't see them until after the Super Bowl. You know how we men are with our football and pretzels!

Sadly, this summer marked the end of John Tesh's remarkable Entertainment Tonight career. Apparently, he wants to devote more time to his music. I hear it's a sort of new age saxophone thing. Well, that's not usually my thing. Her-man's Hermits is more my speed, but if his music has the same style and flourish that he does, I'd probably enjoy it.

To a comrade in arms in the biz, a fond farewell. Hey, do they have a replacement for you on E.T. yet, John? I just might be available. Just kidding, John—I've got other fish to fry!