BUBBLING WITH PROMISE: Soap opera fans are an intensely loyal (and intense in general) lot (friends will vouch for my intenseness). So don't doubt the prospects of a Web site scheduled to launch Thursday that will provide audio streaming of all-occasion greetings and answering machine messages, general or personalized, in the voices of some of the genre's most popular stars.
The project comes from actor Robin Mattson, who has portrayed some of the soaps' best-known characters (Hope Bauer, Guiding Light; Heather Webber, General Hospital; Gina Blake Demott Capwell Capwell Timmons Capwell Lockridge, Santa Barbara; Janet Green Dillon, All My Children, to name a few). She rounded up 30 friends and former co-workers to provide the voices, including Tony Geary (Luke, General Hospital), David Canary (Adam-Stuart, All My Children), Peter Reckell (Bo, Days of Our Lives) and Martha Byrne (Lily-Rose, As the World Turns).
A press release promoting www.soapgrams.com says more than 1,000 different messages can be sent, for a price (generic messages $1.99, personalized messages and answering machine messages $2.99).
A letter accompanying the release very helpfully points out that given the problems with the mail lately, audio streaming greetings are a perfect way to send your holiday wishes without worrying about flying spores.
IT'S A DOG'S DEATH: Winner of the Best Press Release of the First Half of November Award:
"America's favorite pug, Malcolm, passed away two months short of his 17th birthday late last week. Malcolm, who belonged to famed screen legend Sylvia Sidney, was left to the National Arts Club when she passed away several years ago. While at the club, Malcolm was treated like a king, dining on lamb chops and basking in his celebrity.
"Malcolm will be missed by the Club as well as several of his celebrity admirers, including Yoko Ono and Placido Domingo.
"If you would like more information about Malcolm, let me know.
NAIL BAIT: If you've seen closeup pictures of Sarah Jessica Parker's and Martha Stewart's hands, this won't impress you, but their manicurist, Deborah Lippmann, and "the lippmann collection team" will be at Nordstrom in Tampa's International Plaza on Saturday giving complimentary manicures.
Lippmann has joined the parade of celebrity groomers offering product lines. She and her "team" also will report on "celebrity nail trends" and provide "insight into fashionably glamorous nail technique, colors and designs," according to a press release, from noon to 7 p.m. as part of Nordstrom's grand opening activities.
ANOTHER KIND OF SOAP OPERA: To mark its 122nd year (why not?), Ivory, "the soap that floats," developed a two-pronged campaign: It is reviving its original packaging for six months. And through March it is producing 1,051 bars designed to sink. If you get one, you can win a $100,000 grand prize, 50 $1,000 prizes or 1,000 $100 prizes.
Another retro note: In 1879 dollars, that's a grand prize of approximately $5,246.60.