Martha's Mansion Fever

Martha's feeling a little low these days. Hmm. Could it be because "Martha" isn't as cool as her prison nickname, "M. Diddy"?

An article in August's Vanity Fair describes Martha Stewart as more "depressed, less energetic" than she was before being convicted last year of lying about a stock sale. She told the magazine that her five months in a West Virginia prison -- where she was known as M. Diddy -- were less restrictive than her current home confinement, which she calls "hideous."

She says her ankle bracelet "hurts," and compares herself to tortured writer Franz Kafka. "I even got a Kafka T-shirt to wear," she is quoted as saying.

These days, she does what anyone under house arrest would do: practices yoga, decorates her home in shades of gray and plans for her fall reality show on NBC, "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart." She says she won't mimic Donald Trump's signature line, "You're fired!" Instead, she plans to try out lines like, "You're back in Boise for apple-picking time." No, really.

Puppy Love

But can she type? Washington's Fido-friendly Fairmont Hotel welcomed Jana, a black Labrador puppy, just 2 1/2 weeks ago, and the dog is already being treated like a member of the staff.

Fairmont spokesman Diana Bulger told The Post the puppy has an e-mail address (, and business cards are on the way. Jana is put to work most days greeting guests at the front door along with the doorman. After that, she hangs out near her doghouse at the concierge desk. It's a ruff life.

The hotel is raising the pup to be a guide dog for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. In addition to her hospitality duties, designed to acclimate her to people, Jana attends a two-hour class twice a month with other trainees. The hotel plans to have Jana on its staff for over a year before she returns to Guiding Eyes to be evaluated and possibly assigned to an owner. Next thing you know, she'll be gossiping around the water cooler.

Noted . . .

* Now you see them, now you don't. President Bush and first lady Laura Bush made a fleeting appearance at a Fourth of July bash on the White House lawn for thousands of staffers and guests Monday. Illusionist Wayne Alan, a performer at the event, told The Post yesterday that the duo "came out and waved to everyone from the balcony." And then they . . . nope, that was all. The couple never even made it down to the lawn. Those Bushes really know how to party.

* Political battles spark up everywhere, even in the freezer. Star-Spangled ice cream, a mail-order frozen concoction that promotes conservative values, is now available in mid-Atlantic retail stores and ready to go to war with Ben & Jerry's. Star-Spangled founder Richard Lessner, a Washington consultant by day, told The Post his company takes aim at liberal-minded Ben & Jerry's because "we disagree with their politics." However, he admits the conflict is a bit one-sided: "We challenge them to taste tests. They pretty much ignore us." Ben & Jerry's spokeswoman Chrystie Heimert told The Post simply: "They are no perceivable threat to our business." Ouch.

. . . And Quoted

"I remember my friend and I used to play the record of 'Grease' and sit in class with our fingers crossed for months because we thought if we did that, Olivia Newton-John would just come into the classroom." -- Ewan McGregor to Playboy magazine.

-- Compiled by Korin Miller

from staff and wire reports

Martha Stewart shares her woes with Vanity Fair.Nice doggie: Jana welcomes travelers to the Fairmont.