Saturday, May 21, 2011

Poetry at 160kbps

I just realized that the lyrics to Cake’s “Short Skirt Long Jacket” are actually pretty good poetry:

I want a girl with a mind like a diamond
I want a girl who knows what's best
I want a girl with shoes that cut
And eyes that burn like cigarettes

I want a girl with the right allocations
Who's fast and thorough
And sharp as a tack
She's playing with her jewelry
She's putting up her hair
She's touring the facility
And picking up slack

I want a girl with a short skirt and a lonnnng jacket......

I want a girl who gets up early
I want a girl who stays up late
I want a girl with uninterrupted prosperity
Who uses a machete to cut through red tape
With fingernails that shine like justice
And a voice that is dark like tinted glass

She is fast and thorough
And sharp as a tack
She's touring the facility
And picking up slack

I want a girl with a short skirt and a lonnnnng.... lonnng jacket

I want a girl with a smooth liquidation
I want a girl with good dividends
At Citibank we will meet accidentally
We'll start to talk when she borrows my pen

She wants a car with a cup-holder arm rest
She wants a car that will get her there
She's changing her name from Kitty to Karen
She's trading her MG for a white Chrysler La Baron

I want a girl with a short skirt and a lonnnnggggggggg jacket

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

A few days ago I received a nice gift from my friends Stuart Sharpe and Shayna Sharpe at Regional Reps: a coffee mug.

Now before you conclude that devoting a blog post to somebody giving me a promotional mug is a waste of precious Internet resources, let me explain. (By the way, it is predicted that the Internet will be swallowed by the sun in a mere 2 million years. Consider yourself warned.)

First, the mug was sent via U.S. mail in a box with no packing material whatsoever, and yet it arrived unscathed. I have sent indestructible lead weights via U.S. mail, with bubble-wrap, peanuts and boxes within boxes, and they still managed to break in transit.

Second, the mug could not have been more timely: my old “I Heart Tony Hayward” mug inexplicably developed a leak about three and a half months ago.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Final Destination

The other day, during one of my all-too-frequent work breaks, it suddenly became absolutely necessary for me to learn what Phoebe Cates was up to these days.


Boys of all ages remember only one thing about Ms. Cates: her classic turn as Linda Barrett in the cult classic Fast Times at Ridgemont High, a performance which turned many a boy into a man, if you catch my drift. But after a string of forgettable follow-up roles, she pretty much dropped out of sight.

But, as it turns out, Ms. Cates may be out of sight, but not out of site: she lives on in hyperspace at, a New York City Boutique, and has a comfy life with 16-year hubby Kevin Kline.

Those who are accustomed to your correspondent’s drunken-sailor essay construction will not be surprised that this piece has relatively little to do with Phoebe Cates herself. Rather, it has to do with an entire class of people each of whom is, in the words of Mr. Shakespeare, “a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.”

Another example is my friend Richard Beymer, he of West Side Story and Twin Peaks fame, who is living a quiet life on a farm in Iowa, making small documentary films for his own amusement featuring the sort of characters who attach themselves to low-wattage ex-personalities. (Kato Kaelin would be the breakout star of that sort.)

Poor Richard doesn’t even have a website, but he does have a MySpace page, which speaks volumes in itself. I mean, seriously, who has a MySpace page? MySpace these days is like the shopping mall whose anchor stores are the Department of Transportation and the U.S. Army Recruiting Station.

Which brings me to the real point of this story: there is a vast class of ex-stars who don’t even qualify for bottom-of-the-barrel reality shows on bottom-of-the-barrel cable networks. When they were casting “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here,” I am pretty sure the names Phoebe Cates or Richard Beymer – or Kato Kaelin, for that matter – never came up.

Sure, these people probably have fulfilling lives and are happy in their anonymity, but they’re not doing anything for you or me. And, having plunked down my five bucks for a ticket to Fast Times or West Side Story, I don’t consider the debt to be discharged.

last-chance-channel So I am launching a cable channel for the Cateses, Beymers and Kaelins of the world. I’m calling it The Last Chance Channel, and it’s strictly for the back alleys of Beverly Hills. Relative luminaries like Stephen Baldwin, Pauly Shore and The Situation are too big for this room.

To anyone who’s ever Googled the likes of Ms. Cates, Mssrs. Beymer, Kaelin, or the countless other one- or two-hit wonders who barely qualify for a “Where Are They Now?” feature in your Sunday-paper magazine, this channel’s for you. Call or write your local cable or satellite company and insist they make room for The Last Chance Channel.

William Katt and Judge Reinhold will owe you big-time.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Geek Wars

The battle between Google ("Don't Be Evil") and Apple (headed by Dr. Evil) is getting interesting. The latest salvo is Google's announcement that they are opening their own music store later this year. This, of course, is a shot across Apple's bow.


(In the open-source spirit of Google, I have a suggested logo for their new service. I would never dare this with Apple, because I know they would dispatch armed militia to my home to seize the artwork and haul my ass off to jail.)

The question is, Which of these two will prevail in the long run?

My answer: Google.


Apple's viability is completely wrapped up in its ability to continue to innovate. While I'm sure there are many bright people working at Apple, the real brand is Steve Jobs.

Exhibit A: Look what happened at the COMDEX or Macworld or whatever it was during the time that Steve was dealing with his health issues. Not only did the company fail to introduce a cool new product, but the anonymous guy who did the non-introducing was both regrettable and forgettable.

Meanwhile, quick—name Google's CEO. Even if you can, who cares? Google is gobbling up the best and brightest, giving them a lot of freedom to innovate, and they're not afraid to throw stuff against the wall to see what sticks.

I fear for Apple's future when Mr. Jobs is no longer running the show. I have no such fears with Google. The only question is, Will Google turn evil?

Passing Culture

I just got the latest brochure from what passes for culture in Orange County, the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, and things have definitely taken a turn for the worse.

Bowser aka Jon Baumann, formerly of Sha Na Na

The upcoming season comprises a combination of acts that appeal to old people, acts you'd expect to find in dinky, dingy lounges in downtown Las Vegas, and acts for really old people.

To wit: They have a bunch of "An Evening With…" events, featuring burn-outs from the Sixties and Seventies, and then they have their "Nostalgia Series."

The good news is, there are plenty of seats available for the latter, because everyone who gives a crap is dead.

Sports Central

I don't know much about sports, but evidently something significant happened this week involving something called "the Lakers."


As nearly as I can figure, "the Lakers" consist of a man named Phil Jackson and someone named "Kobe." There are two people who show up to watch "the Lakers" do whatever they do—Spike Lee and Jack Nicholson. The rest of us watch Spike Lee and Jack Nicholson watching "the Lakers."

As to what "the Lakers" actually do, I gather from their press conferences that they apologize. A lot. Since they engage in some sort of competition, I'm guessing that they go out onto "the court" and try to out-apologize their opposition.

So, apparently on Wednesday night they won some sort of apologizing tournament, because about a billion people showed up to celebrate their victory—and they must have used up all their apologies to win the tournament, because there was none left for the post-event press conference.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Modern Marvel

I have had this gizmo for about six months, and every time I use it, it amazes and amuses me.

Space program? Cures for dire diseases? The Sham-Wow? All pale when compared to the coolest device ever:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Very Different Night, Indeed

I was doing some research on Easter the other day, because saying "Happy Easter" seemed kind of odd. The guy was crucified, after all, so saying “Happy Easter” is kind of like saying "Happy Daniel Pearl Day" three days after—well, never mind.

As a non-practicing Christian—which, incidentally, is exactly the same as a practicing Christian minus one service a week and one randomly-selected observance per year, and maybe less alcohol—I was curious about what the big deal was.

I found the answer easily enough—if I could pull a stunt like that, we’d all be saying “Happy Mitcheller”—but then I got curious about Easter’s Semitic counterpart, Passover, a much more colorful and interesting event, even though it always seems to involve Manischewitz (rivaled only by Two-Buck Chuck as the Worst. Wine. Ever.).

As it turns out, the most scholarly research on the subject of Passover is at, involving somebody named "Mr. Matzah." (Or maybe Mr. Matzah was an hallucination brought on by too much Manischewitz—although it can be argued that (a) there's no such thing as too much Manischewitz or (b) any Manischewitz is too much Manischewitz.)

Mr. Matzah

But wait! I have pictorial evidence that Mr. Matzah exists. He’s obviously another holiday icon wannabe designed to scare the crap out of young children: "Eat up all your bitter herbs or Mr. Matzah will pay you a Midnight visit ..." (It turns out that Mr. Matzah has a lot in common with Catholic priests.)

Anyway, פסח שמח to all, and to all a good night.

Call me sometime. Sunday is good; we're not doing anything.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Salad Solution

The label on something I picked up the other day said …



See for yourself:


I was understandably curious about a foodstuff that claims to have 48% fewer calories and 90% less fat than itself. So I opened the package, whereupon it went into an infinite feedback loop and sucked all the calories and fat out of everything in the kitchen.

I now weigh 42 pounds.

I wonder if Kirstie Alley knows about this.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Good Times with Don Vito

For Halloween a radio forum website – the terrific Radio Sales Cafe - asked its members to recount their scariest sales experiences. That, plus a promo for The Sopranos I saw that evening, reminded me of the following:

For me the scariest experiences involved working with, er, connected businesses in a certain suburban market. (If you've seen any of the Godfather movies, you know what - and where - I mean.)

By the way, in that market, you either worked with such businesses or - do I haveta paintcha pitchure?

There was this one night club, a dinky little dive, that for some inexplicable reason booked all the top talent of the day. (Their tour schedule would be like, Las Vegas ... New York ...dinky dive ... Miami ...)


The owner was a guy we'll call Vinny (not his real name; he had a kid that made Sonny Corleone look like an alter boy, and I don't want any trouble). Anyway, Vinnie was a great guy. Always wanted to give me a little extra sump'n sump'n for my superior service (like I'm going to give him anything but). Like a car. ("Don't worry about those holes; they'll buff right out.")

But then, I guess because he was such a great guy, all his vendors always gave him a little extra sump'n sump'n, too.

Then there was Sal (same deal, except he had a daughter, who bore an uncanny resemblance to Sonny Corleone). Sal was away a lot on "vacation." Upstate. Anyway, in between his “vacations” I spent many an entertaining hour at his estate, where he threw the Best. Parties. Ever. (The entertainment, inexplicably, was the same crowd that played the aforementioned dinky dive.)

Later I found out Sal was the tutti-frutti-di-tutti-capi or whatever it’s called - I don't have my copy of The Godfather handy) of the area branch of the Family. Good thing he liked me.

Good times then. Scary now.