Sunday, April 29, 2007

We built this... Starbucks?

What happens when you rewrite the words of a horrible song for a Starbucks? I bet you never imagined the end result: We Built This Starbucks on Heart and Soul.

This may be the first time ever, but I am simply at a loss of words at this phenomenon.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Cow trees: Part II.

Let's assume that my contention is correct: Some day, cows will grow on trees.

When cows do grow on trees, will vegetarians start eating beef?

Something to think about.

Matching luggage.

Everyone over the age of twenty-five has some sort of baggage. It's only the quantity of baggage that changes. Some of us have hat boxes full of baggage, while others have entire sets of steamer trunks.

Me? I got a nice set of matching carry-ons.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Saucy Bordello: Part II.

I'm looking for someone who would like to move into The Bordello. For only $600 a month, you too can have all the comforts of home. A large bedroom, office space, covered parking, central air, your own bathroom, and women wandering about in stockings and heels. What more could you ask for? If anyone is interested, feel free to write to me at

In other Bordello news, I have procured furniture for my haven of hedonism. Isn't it lovely? A Victorian era sofa and two matching chairs. I had to drive out of state to get the set, but it's now securely in my basement, awaiting its arrival.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Marconi plays the mamba.

Starship's We Built This City is reputed to be the worst song ever written. I was simply aghast when I discovered this. The worst song? Ever. But, but, but... We built this city! On what? On rock and roll! Surely such a rockin' song could hardly be the worst song EVER. To prove it to myself, I downloaded the song and started listening to it with my roommate.

About halfway through the song, I asked my roommate, "Did he just sing 'my pony plays the mambo?'" Surely not!

My trusty roommate Googled the song for me. "You're close," she said. "It's 'Marconi plays the mamba.'" Of course. That makes much more sense.

I poured over the song lyrics. I watched the video on youtube. While my colleagues watched video footage of the Virgina Tech shooter's "multi-media manifesto," I listened to Starship ask me, "Who rides the wrecking ball into rock guitars?"

I considered doing a verse-by-verse analysis of the song in the same vein as my MacArthur Park exegesis. To do so, however, would simply be a perverse use of my time (because clearly, what I'm writing now isn't a perverse use of my time). I was going to explain how the song is really about how awful Corporate America and law enforcement is. Now that's something I can totally get into. Instead, however, I will address only a few lines that are especially telling. If, however, you would like to know all the lyrics, you may find them here.

Someone's always playing corporation games.
Who cares? They're always changing corporation names.
We just want to dance here. Someone stole the stage.
They call us irresponsible; write us off the page.

Clearly, Starship is lambasting and sneering at those who take the corporate dollar. But what they're really doing is being ironic. Kind of in the same fashion as Alanis Morisette, where the only thing ironic about the song Ironic was that nothing she sang about had any irony in it. (Alanis totally had the last laugh on that one.) Where's the irony here? How much did We Built This City sell? Lots. In fact, I just paid ninety-nine cents to download it yesterday. It's been on commercials. Nothing is more ironic than a band taking the corporate dollar while chastising those who take the corporate dollar. Kudos to you Starship. That was clever!

Don't tell us you need us 'cause we're the ship of fools.
Looking for America coming through your schools.

I need to take this opportunity to make a lyric correction. I've listened to this song at least twenty times today. The lyric is NOT "simple fools." It's absolutely "ship of fools." When I asked my friend Robin what they hell they meant by "ship of fools," she pointed out that the name of the band is StarSHIP. Ah-ha! I bought it.

However, Starship's aforementioned irony struck me so much that I have since changed my mind. They were going deeper than a mere play on the name of their band. Indeed, "ship of fools" is an old allegory that has long been used in literature and art. With self-deprecation, it describes the world as a vessel whose deranged passengers neither know nor care where they are going.

Perhaps Starship is pointing out that our schools are flawed and failing, and that unless corporate greed stops, bastions of learning will merely be pumping out ship upon ship of fools. Or perhaps the band is stating that they are the so-called ship of fools. What with their rock and roll, they don't know where they're going and they don't care. Watch out! That attitude will be coming through your schools! And do you know why? The answer is simple. Because we built this city. On rock and roll.

There is only one more lyric that needs elaboration. For those who have gotten this far, I've saved the best for last:

Marconi played the mamba. Listen to the radio. Don't you remember...
We built this city. We built this city on rock and roll!

Guglielmo Marconi was interested in the work of Heinrich Hertz, who demonstrated that one could produce and detect electromagnetic ratioation, or "radio waves." Marconi's ideas were not his own, but he commercialized a practical system of radio communications. In fact, he established the first transatlantic radio service. His competition was Nikola Tesla, who you may remember from his appearance (played by David Bowie) in The Prestige. In short, Marconi is often credited as being the creator of what became the radio. Rock on, Marconi.

But what about this mamba thing? Most people think it's a dance. But it's not. The mamba is the most deadly type of snake. Ever. Seriously. I'm not making this up. The mamba is a snake. So perhaps Starship fucked up and meant to say "mambo." But come now... a band so brilliant as to use the phrase "ship of fools"? (Note that the band didn't write this song. Elton John's longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin wrote the lyrics.) No way. "Mamba" could not have been a mistake.

So what does Marconi playing the mamba mean? Clearly, "Marconi" is referring to the radio itself. The marconi. The device. The radio plays a deadly snake. Listen to it. We built this city. The snake -- the mamba -- is slithering from the speakers. Ready to kill greedy corporations. Ready to squeeze the life out of the police. Ready to free the world of all that is evil, and to leave behind only the youthful idealism that is encompassed by the tenets of rock and roll.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

America's Next Top Moron.

So I'm flipping through channels on television right now. I've come across America's Next Top Model. I've never seen more than five minutes of this show before. And now I know why.

Today's episode tasked each of the top six potential models with reciting a thirty second Cover Girl script. Not one of these women could recite the entire script all the way through in less than twenty takes. These girls in their early twenties cry at the proverbial drop of a hat. "I was hit by a car when I was seventeen and I have bad short term memory," one girl cried. Literally cried. Tears running down her would-be-model face.

Each girl received an evaluation from the judging panel. Tyra gave each girl tips on how to model -- facial expressions, little waves, how to wrinkle their noses. She contributed to the dumbing down of America (as if we, as a nation, need to be dumber). After watching this, I have come to a conclusion: Tyra Banks is the Devil and must be destroyed.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A note from my lawyer.

An e-mail from the attorney handling my closing upon discovering my occupation:

I don't think I knew you were a public defender. You seemed to be a nicer person than a lawyer.

Monday, April 16, 2007

This shit is bananas.

Remember Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl? I do. For nearly two years, the lyrics have been driving me bananas. See I'm going bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. What on earth did all this mean? What was a hollaback girl? Why was this shit bananas? And why did Gwen have to spell it out for us?

That was back in August of 2005. Little did I know at that time that one Mr. Greg Stacy had unlocked the proverbial door to the song. He had studied it and had made some sense of the seemingly nonsensical lyrics. What was a hollaback girl? Mr. Stacy explains: “Gwen is apparently the captain of the cheerleader squad; she is the girl who “hollas” the chants, not one of the girls who simply “hollas” them back.” Why was this shit bananas? Why is it spelled out? According to Mr. Stacy, “Here, Gwen steps away from this bloody spectacle for a moment to comment on the madness and ugliness of what we’ve just witnessed, and, by extension, the petty rivalries of high school in general. This shit is bananas, Gwen tells us, and we can only agree. And lest we miss the point, she spells it out. And repeats it another three times.”

For a full analysis of Hollaback Girl: This shit is bananas.

Once I had Gwen’s mystery deciphered, though, I began to think about other songs. some time ago, “Charlie” (a.k.a. AIDS Boy from the always-entertaining On sleeping with Republicans) and I were discussing the song MacArhur Park. Someone left a cake out in the rain. But why? Why is all this sweet green icing melting? Does the song make any sense or is it an acid trip flashback? There must be something in there that makes sense.

For over a year (since the AIDS Boy debacle) I've pondered this question. If Mr. Stacy can decipher out Hollaback Girl, surely I can figure out MacArthur Park. And with a little help from a friend of mine (who is way too skinny for his own good), here goes.

Spring was never waiting for us, girl.
It ran one step ahead
As we followed in the dance.

Clearly, a much older man wanted to have a springtime affair with a young girl who wears too much yellow. (This much will become clear later.) And so their affair commences. However, the powers that be -- Mother Nature, God, whatever or whomever those powers are -- recognize that such a springtime affair would be wildly inappropriate, what with the man being so inappropriately old. Thus, Spring did not wait for them. They attempted their affair, but often found themselves rained upon. Serves that older man right, too. Shame on him for his Lolita complex.

Between the parted pages and were pressed
In love's hot, fevered iron
Like a striped pair of pants.

Despite nature's telling this couple not to proceed, they proceed nonetheless. They are pressed together. In love's hot iron. Like a pair of pants being pressed at the dry cleaner's. And this was the 1940s. Gangster pinstripes from the '20s were "retro." They were all the rage. Of course the pants were striped. Polka dots hadn't come into style yet. How's that for some imagery?

MacArthur's Park is melting in the dark.
All the sweet, green icing flowing down.

All that rain on the lovers' proverbial parade. Now, just in case you, dear readers, were unaware, MacArthur park is a real place. Back in the '40s and '50s, it was a little piece of heaven out in L.A. Young couples picnicked there. The locals played checkers and backgammon at little tables. But all that rain as the much older man and young girl tried to catch up with Spring. So sad. They try to have picnics of their own... but alas...

Someone left a cake out in the rain.
I don't think that I can take it
'Cause it took so long to bake it.
And I'll never have that recipe again.

The lovers attempt their picnic once more. The young girl prepares a lovely cake. Chocolate. With green butter cream frosting. They have fried chicken as well. And sandwiches. And lemonade. All spread out on a red gingham tablecloth. Oh, what a lovely picnic. But it starts to rain. (Will the couple ever learn??? They are simply not meant to be together!) So the girl and the older man run about, picking up food, bringing it into the car, trying to save it from the ravages of the downpour. But in their haste someone leaves a cake out in the rain. The cake is destroyed. The young girl, lovely as she is, had improvised with the recipe. It took her hours to make. The special ingredient was love. But the cake was destroyed. She'll never be able to make it again. Indeed, she is starting to realize that the affair was a bad idea. She will never have the love in heart -- that special ingredient -- to make the cake again. She just can't take it.

I recall the yellow cotton dress
Foaming like a wave
On the ground around your knees.

The affair is over. The young girl has come to her senses. The older man is wistful. He has masturbatory fantasies about her yellow cotton dressed. The one that lay on the ground around her knees as she bend over his swelling member. Before their cake was destroyed. Before she left him. Before she realized it was a love that would never be.

The birds, like tender babies in your hands.
And the old men playing checkers by the trees.

He is nostalgic as he remembers how lovely the girl was. How she saved little lost birds who had fallen from the nest. He recalls the old men playing checkers. Did those men see what really went one between the couple?

And then we hear the chorus once more. MacArthur's Park is melting. The young girl in the yellow has left him. And he is left to wonder... where did the love go? What might have happened if that cake hadn't been left out in the rain?

I need a hobby.

I had a long weekend. Four days. Friday through Monday. And you know what I did? Absolutely nothing. My friends were all busy and I was bored. So it occurred to me that I need a hobby.

I have decided to start a garden.

I know, I know, it doesn't sound like something I would do. But why not? I can go out and commune with nature. I can play in the dirt. I can stop shaving my legs and start wearing Birkenstocks year round. I think this will be good for me. I can have fields of broccoli. I can rip carrots from the earth. Soon, I'll be able to quit my job and hawk my veggies at small roadside stands. I can grow flowers and sell little bouquets of wild crap at farmers markets.

I'll be Mother Earth. I'll stop taking medicine. I'll use organic anti-perspirant that doesn't really do much. I'll install solar panels so that I don't have to heat my water using extra energy. Gone will be the days of such luxuries as air conditioning and indoor plumbing. My blog will be published via carrier pigeon. After my hair growth takes hold (from that not shaving thing) I'll sheer my pubes and knit sweaters for small, starving children in the antarctic.

The possibilities are truly endless. All this from starting a garden.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Every now and then I like to add a little humor to my job. It's good for bringing to the office a certain sense of levity; it works to relieve the pressure. How do I do this? Simple. I act like a twelve year old and giggle at ridiculously asinine things.

SCOTUS, for example.

"SCOTUS" is an acronym for the Supreme Court of the United States. The Supremes are the big boys (and girl) of the Federal court system. You know, the ones who elect presidents. The folks who tell us how many generations of imbeciles are enough (see Buck v. Bell). All that jazz. They deserve the utmost respect and reverence.

Today as I walked by the office of a colleague, I poked my head in through the doorway and told him to "lick my SCOTUS." Then I giggled like a schoolgirl.

Google has a sense of humor.

Follow these simple directions.

(1) Go to

(2) Click on the "maps" link.

(3) Type "New York to Paris, France" in the search field.

(4) Scroll down to Direction #23.

(5) Chuckle.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

The Devil is a lawyer.

When Mike first introduced me to the film The Devil's Advocate, I didn't realize that the movie was supposed to be a thriller. I sat there and watched the film grow more and more ridiculous. "I can't be that drunk," I thought to myself as Al Pacino's face started to glow red.

The premise? Wearing a tan suit, Keanu Reeves defends a rapist in his Southern hometown. He wins the trial and is recruited to a big, lavish law firm in New York where Al Pacino is the partner. Keanu is a fabulously wonderful defense attorney and is winning cases where the defendants are so very clearly guilty. Does he know the witness he puts on the stand is lying? No! But the audience does and therefore, Keanu the Lawyer is a dirty, evil man.

Chaos ensues as Keanu takes on the world. He stops paying attention to his wife, who commits suicide and dies a tragic, bloody, gruesome death. He turns into a bastard. Clearly, all criminal defense attorneys are assholes, so this is to be expected.

Near the end, we discover that Al Pacino is not just the partner of the law firm, but he's also Keanu's father. And you know who else he is? Lucifer himself. Can you believe it?? The devil is a lawyer! But why the law? Oh, the answer is clear: "Because the law, my boy, puts us into everything. It's the ultimate backstage pass. Did you know there are more students in law school than there are lawyers walking the earth?"

At the very end, we come to find that the entire the-Devil-is-a-lawyer thing was all a dream. Keanu never went to New York. He's still in the bathroom during a recess. He still has the rapist to defend. What does he do when he goes back into the courtroom? He withdraws from representation? Why? A crisis of conscience. Apparently rapists don't deserve to exercise their due process rights when their lawyers believe they're guilty.

This movie is like a story told to small children. "Watch this," parents tell their children. "If you become a lawyer, your spouse will die and you'll come to find that your father is the Devil. Become a lawyer, a become the Devil yourself."

Friday, April 6, 2007

A letter to my mortgage broker.

The following is a true letter I wrote to my mortgage broker:

April 6, 2007

To whom it may concern:

I have been asked to author a letter describing “how I intend to live in CT and work in MA.”

I would like to preface this letter by stating that I completely understand your concern in this matter, as interstate travel in order to maintain employment can be extremely hazardous. Notwithstanding the fact that there are some people who commute each week from California to New York, your concern is very real. Indeed, as every map indicates, there is a thick black border surrounding each state; a lifeless no-man’s land where all roads, and even topographical markers are split in twain. I have, however, secured a talisman which protects me and my worldly possessions from the ravages – both mythical and radiological – that emanate from these forsaken grounds.

With my safety secure, I am able to traverse the border between Connecticut and Massachusetts in my automobile every day. It’s thirty-five minutes each way, but I successfully brave the dangers nonetheless.

In short: I drive 30 miles to and from work each day.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


The other day I was at work and I was thinking about some of my favorite commercials from the 1980s. Upon reflection, I realized it was McDonald's that always had the best ones. As I mosied on down the hall on my way to the restroom I found myself singing, "And I would eat my fries myself and not give any to my dumb brother" to the tune of Fur Elise. (I always remember lyrics, remember). I sang the song all day.

McDonald's Commercial: Recital.

Or how about the McD's commercial with the douchebag kid who can't skate? I love that one when I was a kid. I identified with it. I, too, was an uncoordinated blond kid who garnered sympathy from animated animals. I still get goosebumps watching it.

McDonald's Commercial: Douchebag Kid Who Can't Ice Skate.

I've always loved McDonald's marketing folks. Every now and then they come up with something really stellar. Who was the genius who got back from his four-martini lunch and thought: Hey, you know what would be fabulous? Taking a classic song and bastardizing it to sell Big Macs!

McDonald's Commercial: Mac Tonight!

But the best -- BEST! -- McDonald's commercial ever was for the McDLT. You don't remember the McDLT? It's because it didn't last long. The premise was good, though: keep the burger hot and keep the lettuce and tomato cool. That way you get a quarter pound of beef on the hot, hot side and the hot stays hot. McD! Crisp lettuce and tomato on the cool, cool side and the cool stays cool. McD! The beef stays hot. The cool stays crisp. But it together, you can't resist.

But you know what's even harder to resist? Jason Alexander singing about burgers.

McDonald's Commercial: McDLT.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

The Saucy Bordello.

Four years ago I thought that electric blue and stainless steel was the be all and end all in decorating. I wanted my world to be sterile and cold. Then on December 26, 2005, it all changed. I found myself at Pier 1 the day after Christmas. I'd never been a big fan of Pier 1, but the 75% off signs seduced me and drew me into the store. But what was this sale on? Christmas products, of course. And so I found myself walking out of the store laden down with a hundred dollars of 75% off red items.

What to do with all these red things? The answer was simple. Redecorate. Create a 1920s bordello. Become a madame for a harem of busty and scantily-clad women. So I went all out. Or at least I tried. Red lamps, red and gold curtains, candles, framed renderings of nude pin-ups, fringed pillows. Sadly, my ideas far surpassed my budget. And so I was left with a room with a lot of red and gold, and a red lantern hanging over my black futon in the living room. Hardly a bordello.

But now I have my chance. I am buying a house. It's structural integrity is intact. However, the living room floor is covered with brown sculptured pile carpeting. The wallpaper depicts some sort of brown and blue amorphous blobs. The wallpaper must be peeled down! The 1970s wall-to-wall must go! Now I have the opportunity. The opportunity to really go all out and finally create my bordello. Newly painted walls, rugs on my hardwood floors, and new furniture.

Sadly, however, I am horribly bad at anything artistic or visually aesthetic. Mike said he would help me. In the meantime, however, I'll gladly accept any decorating ideas.