Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Ballad of Melanie McGuire

I have always been a big fan of The Mamas and The Papas. I was watching a recent Channel 13 documentary about them during a begathon featuring the still fabulous Michelle Phillips and it occurred to me that the only person who had a good singing voice among the foursome was Mama Cass.

Before we get to the ballad of Melanie McGuire.. let’s first look at another McGuire… the very talented Barry McGuire…who sang the very powerful song “Eve of Destruction”. He and Roger aka Jim McGuinn were becoming big time rockers with The Byrds when John Phillips was looking to form The Mamas and The Papas. That piece of rock and roll history along with the story of how The Mamas and The Papas got together is told in the legendary M and P song Creeque Alley...and knowing the song will greatly enhance your enjoyment of today’s column. I recommend you click here to see an incredibly informative website that explains what the song is about. One of my buddies was a big fan of The Mamas and The Papas and named his body parts - One day he had a terrible case of Jock Itch and announced that "John and Mitchy were getting kind of itchy".

Today’s column is "The Ballad of Melanie McGuire" who was convicted Monday on charges that she barbarically murdered her husband by hacking him to bits and dumping him in a suitcase off the Chesapeake River. What really bugs me about this woman is her sheer narcissism that she thought she could just kill this poor guy and get away with it. She even had the audacity to cover her tracks by challenging EZ Pass charges that put her near the Chesapeake, and bizarre taxicab adventures explaning how she went to Atlantic City to move her husband's car as "a prank to annoy him". Does she really think she is so smart and the cops are so stupid? Constitutionally speaking she had the right to a strong defense, but does she really think her bigshot lawyer Joe Tacopina really believed she was innoncent and didn't take on the case so he could get a ton of free publicity with Court TV face time?

I find it hard to believe that she acted alone, and after watching a ton of Law and Order reruns, it amazes me that her narcissism never allowed her accept the inevitable plea deal to give up an accomplice who must have helped her with the heavy chopping and the suitcase packing. Its incredibly arrogant that she wouldn’t take a plea and instead went with the Little Miss Innocent Defense, led by bigshot lawyer Joe Tacopina. Both of ‘em had egg on their face on Monday.

For those of you who haven’t been following this sordid storyline.. Melanie McGuire has her own website soliciting money for what turned out to be her losing defense fund. According to the Melanie McGuire website, she started out life as Melanie Slate, growing up in Ridgewood, New Jersey. She graduated Middletown High School South in 1990, graduated Rutgers in 1994 and a Nursing School in 1997. Murder wasn’t the first of The Ten Commandments she opted to violate.. She started having an affair with her murdered husband while he was married to his first wife… and then started her little affair with her colleague Dr. Bradley Miller while she was 9 months pregnant.

In case you missed the trial… Melanie was accused of chopping up her husband,.. putting him in 3 suitcases and then hightailing it down the Turnpike where she dumped the suitcases off a bridge into the Chesapeake River. At the time, she was a nurse at a fertility clinic and having an affair with Fertility Doc Dr. Miller. Her trial was on Court TV and her lawyer is high profile defense att'y Joe Tacopina. She had originally reported the husband missing, shortly after they bought a new house in Warren County…. claiming he had a gambling problem and she told cops she thought he was at Trump's Taj Mahal casino. However she did admit she went down to AC.. found his car… (even though most people can't find a car in a mall parking lot; yet she found it in AC!) and moved it just to mess with his head. The cops also had a couple of ex boyfriends call her, and while secretly recording the conversations, tried to get the fellas to get Melanie to fess up. She also denied being on the highway when the suitcases were dumped… disputing EZ Pass records showing tolls paid by her. Is that the height of arrogance? Kill somebody and then order EZ Pass to remove the charges? I wonder if she haggled with the salesman when she bought those suitcases?

By the way, if anyone is offended by the song, I apologize, the song is not intended to cause pain.. the real pain came when this horrible woman hacked this poor guy to death. I watched her cry Monday afternoon as the jury rightfully threw the book at her.. she cried because she's not as smart as she thought and she got caught. How much pain was he in as he got chopped to bits? But inevitably, through the power of Google.. somebody will meander over here... how ironic that was the same website Melanie used to find ways to murder her husband! That just did not look good for her when her husband ended up dead. She also poisoned him with a forged prescription she picked up at Walgreens near my old condo, and stayed at a hotel right near the Walgreens! Employees for both those establishments testified during the just completed trial. I was also fascinated by the unconfirmed rumors that they never found this poor guy's tuchis.

The Ballad of Melanie McGuire is to the tune of the classic “Creeque Alley“.. a rather complex song, yet it matches up perfectly like the poetry of Shakespeare’s Iambic Pentameter.

Here is the original song off You Tube.. Now as it plays on your screen read along with the words.. It wouldn’t be a bad idea if you watch the real version also, since it really is a pretty awesome song…

And now…. The Ballad of Melanie McGuire!


Melanie was bitchy and getting kind of itchy
Just to leave her ol’ hubby behind…
Her boss Dr. Miller who was dating a killer
Thought his nurse was just fine
In the court Joe Tacopina sat
He told the jury, hubby was a rat

Melanie McGuire was a suitcase buyer,
In NJ…. y’know where that’s at?
She chopped her hubby up
But where‘s his ass?…

Doc Miller said “Melanie… you know that aren’t many
Who can make those moves the way that you do.. Lets go south“..
Melanie said “Boss.. golly don’t you think that I wish
I could spend more time with you…”
She wondered if she could kill with a gun, knife or bat? …
So she pulled the choice right out of a hat.

Melanie McGuire was a suitcase buyer,
In NJ…. y’know where that’s at?
She chopped her hubby up
But where‘s his ass?…

When Melanie was a wife,… she wanted a new life
And figured it all out one day
She drove down the turnpike - with a deadman she didn’t like
Not to New York - the other way
She told cops her hubby was losing at Trumps
But she really had a bag filled with stumps

Melanie McGuire was a suitcase buyer,
In NJ…. y’know where that’s at?
She chopped her hubby up
But where‘s his ass?…

Hubby Dumps, Don Trumps, Body Stumps, Bridge Jumps,
Melanie would work as hard shed play
Drink up, broke up.. her life was shook up
She decided it had be that way
Once a nurse for a doc of fertility
Now she’s a Court tv celebrity…

Melanie McGuire was a suitcase buyer,
In NJ…. y’know where that’s at?
She chopped her hubby up
But where‘s his ass?…

Broke, busted, disgusted…
Old boyfriends cant be trusted
On tape, they asked if hubby was tossed in the sea
Melanie couldn’t take it,
She knew she had to fake it
The jury would know eventually
Tacopina maxed her American express Card
Finding hubbys car in AC was so hard

The defense machinations, was her imagination
The lies went on indefinitely

But Melanie in Prison is becoming a reality…

Becoming a reality

Hey maybe I'll get my fur hat and borrow Neil’s guitar and record this and post it on You Tube.

Now for the Clip of The Week… Here is the original Barry McGuire classic.. Eve of Destruction… Can you imagine if they had MTV back in the 60's? It's kind of an odd video don't you think? And let's not even discuss those pants!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Home Sweet Home - Tales From The Bunkey Room

A few months ago, I was reading the Star Ledger, probably in one of my condo’s 2 bathrooms, and I saw an article about a guy who grew up in Roselle. And I said Wow.. So did I! Our family had a house there for 30 years!

Then, it said he took classes at Kean College.. And I said Wow.. So did I! …before I transferred to Montclair State…

And after that he lived in the Avenel section of Woodbridge.. And I said Wow.. So did I!.. I rented an apartment there for 4 years after we sold our Roselle house in March of 1997...

And the article said he was filming a movie in Highland Park… And I said… Wow… I like movies.. And I’ve been to Highland Park… and I hear they are going to build a movie theater in Highland Park. But, that’s as far as the similarities go.. Trophy Wife has made some pretty nifty home movies that I have posted here. And my buddy Mike made some fantastic home movies in the 1990s.. portions of which are embedded at the end of the column as today’s Clip of the Week.

Anyway, one night late last year shortly after that article appeared… Trophy Wife and I were house hunting and saw a closed off street with a lot of big trucks parked nearby. We moseyed on over to check out the hullaballoo and as it turned out the aforementioned movie was filming right then and there!

Wait a second.. Did Nate just say he was house hunting?

Yep… and today I can finally say that after a decade of apartment and condo living….. Trophy Wife and I have bought a house… And we just moved in… almost exactly 10 years to the day that my mom sold our original Roselle house! So, to celebrate this momentous occasion, today’s column is about… My Old House!!

Most of these last 97 columns were put together in the 2nd bedroom of our condo where I kept the computer. We called it the Monkey Room because the prior owner had put in this absurd Monkey wallpaper. The prior owners of our new house left a bunk bed behind in the computer room… so we have renamed the Monkey Room…. The Bunk-ey Room! .

When I was born 30-something years ago, we lived in an apartment in Washington Heights till I was a year old when we moved to NJ. It was my idea. Our first year in NJ, we lived in an apartment, and then we moved into our Roselle house which I wrote about in January when I told of my first experience with a sub sandwich. plus a bizarre run-in with a love sick guy who was leaving a gay bar in the nearby shopping center!.

For 30 years that house was home.. until my mom sold it ten years ago and bought a condo in Edison. .. Now ladies and gentlemen after a decade of living in an apartment, my old condo and then another condo.. Nate has returned to living in a house! (With special thanks to the amazing Mortgage Jedis John and Mike.) And that means I get a new place to write this blog! Incredibly the house is actually near where that movie was filmed by the Roselle/Kean/Avenel guy! And I apologize… but after an exhaustive search, I cant seem to recall his name!

Lots of people have different memories of where they grew up.. Some happy …. Some not so happy. Even though we had a couple of shivas there… my memories are generally quite happy. I think houses should have landmark status. Shortly after we moved away, the people that bought our house called me to get some mail that had been delivered there… and when I went to pick it up, they nicely invited me in to show me what they had done with the place. I was shocked, stunned and mortified to discover that they had changed it!! To me that house.. the place I grew up…. always looked a certain way, and I couldn’t believe that it hadn’t achieved landmark status of some kind.

My earliest memories of the house are from the early 70s.. My parents bought it from a lady named Mrs. Ebert.. No relation to Roger who I hope is feeling better… The house was a 3 bedroom 1 and a half bathroom split level and my dad had an office in the downstairs area. It was the first one on the street …no neighbors to stage left, just like our new house. We also had a golf course behind our back yard. I used to watch the golfers but as a kid, I don’t recall ever seeing those popular 70s Stars of David chains or afro haircuts among those participating in the hoity toity golf games.

In the early 1990s a tornado ripped through Roselle, going through the golf course at an angle headed towards the shopping center. The sub shop was spared.. But not our house. Because we were the first house on the block, we were the only house that was damaged. Structurally, the house was fine.. just damage to awnings and a fence plus a lot of downed trees. The only way I even knew something was awry was when my friend Harmon called me to tell me the tornado story was on the 11 o’clock news with footage of the shopping center. Within moments of seeing this, my mother called to say she was ok….Luckily, she was out of the house when the tornado hit… and when she came home, this was the sight that greeted her!

And this believe it or not was our back yard!!

The reason for the fence… the kids 2 houses down were a bit older and turned out to be hillbillies or as they say in Yiddish vilde-chayas.. and my parents had to do their best to keep me from away from them and their anti-Semitism. Maybe they were white supremacists? I learned about that with their constant chanting of “Jew“ not to mention they lit a fire in our front yard etc.. Nice parenting there!. Years later when I was 16 or 17 and taking driving lessons, the now “young adult” saw my rather hefty driving teacher and asked her if she was the fat chick I was dating.. You would think they would have grown up by that point. Thankfully, that family sold their house and as their moving van drove off, and we all joyously bid them adieu, the real estate prices promptly increased! They are probably all on welfare or dead by now.. Incidentally, scandal may be back in town. Last year a primary election victory was overturned due to some hokey pokey with the absentee ballots - I wonder if that candidate was living in the town when I was there..

Over the years I redid my room every once in awhile.. In the 80s I had to studify it just a bit for my late teens and early 20s and eventually got a TV and a rickety old barca lounger and made it into a real he man palace. Me and my buddies watched Super Bowls, Buster Douglas knocking out Tyson, the 1984 Nebraska Miami Orange Bowl and of course Game 6 and 7 of the 1986 World Series. (I was cutting class at Montclair State the day the Mets won the game in Houston) My buddies would come over to hang out… One day my mom poked her head in offering us grapes to which one buddy replied.. “Yeah.. And can you peel them?” After that recent 24 unresolved confrontation between Martha Logan, and her ex husband,, I don’t think I would ever ask a woman to do anything involving a knife and fruit! Can you believe Martha Logan stabbed that rat of an ex husband of hers with a fruit knife? Now Jack Bauer gets a call from Audrey Raines.. Where was she.. In the bank on the now defunct ABC show “The Nine”?

We had a lot of fun shindigs at that house…and holiday dinners and Passover seders. One memorable year, my dad who was not born in the USA was reading from his snazzy new Haggadah (Passover book) and didn’t realize that the word “victual” is not pronounced the way it’s spelled. And when our neighbor Mr. Seftel corrected him to the proper pronunciation.. he looked at Mr. Seftel and corrected him….. “Well my book says “vict-shoooals”. The retelling of that story is an annual tradition at our seder.. And, Mr. Seftel’s grandson is now a big shot movie producer, although I don’t think he has filmed any movies near our new house..

My parents always had parties at the Roselle house, including a retirement party for a colleague who Clemens-ily used the party as a time to announce that she was going to un-retire! Therefore it was part of my genetic blueprint that forced me to throw a huge shindig when my mom went down to FL to see my uncle. The house became party central that fateful Saturday Night Feb. 20, 1988.. And a couple that hooked up at that party actually got married... Every single person I knew in 1988 was at that freaking party… including many people I didn’t know!. And somebody bought a movie cam and shot some footage including a shot of me carrying a big chair down the stairs that my buddies Chris and Harmon find incredibly hysterical… and always request to see it when they come over. Now they can always see it because I am going to post it as part of The Clip of the Week

Since I commuted to college, the house was home till 1990 when I moved to Sparta. But even then it was still “home” and also a good place to do laundry. I moved back from ‘94 until ‘97 after I left the radio station where I had been working. . Over those 30 years, it was a place for blizzards, a very young Nate’s asthma attack and graduation parties… and I wasn’t too thrilled about the idea when the house was put on the market in late 1996.. But in reality,. I was moving to an apartment , and my mom didn’t see any reason to live in a big house all by herself.. On Labor Day Sunday. September 1,1996, (8 years before my wedding on Labor Day Sunday 2004) my mom decided to have a yard sale and allowed a friend to have her own table in the driveway to sell stuff from her house that she was also planning to sell. My grape peeling buddy came by to visit and quietly approached my mom and asked her if she realized what her friend was selling. My mom looked at her table while her friend strolled off, and was stunned to realize that there was an unused but open boxed… combination enema - douching apparatus! My mom tried to cover it up with some other crap, but every time she did so, the friend returned to her table and promptly uncovered it, proudly displaying it like they were the Crown Jewels! After the sale was over, the friend said she was happy she made a few bucks to which my mom loudly retorted… “Yeah.. But nobody bought your douche-bag”.

Ten years ago as the moving truck backed out of the driveway, and took our neighbor’s telephone wiring with it.. It was Goodbye to “House Life”.

Now its back to mowing the lawn or hiring someone to do so, shoveling the snow, dealing with flooded basements which will be discussed in an upcoming column. No more condo maintenance fees.. No more condo meetings where women complain that their old neighbor walked around his house with the shades open and they saw his shmeckle... unless they were looking at the life size painting that former Governor McGreevey allegedly has in his bedroom. And all the other fun stuff.. I get a driveway.. a basement and 3 count ‘em 3 bathrooms to read The Star Ledger comics.. The only page in the Today section that doesn’t include TV Critic Alan Sepinwall to wall Sopranos coverage. . And hopefully… lotsa happy memories too. I am definitely gonna miss that condo.. This was the first home Trophy Wife and I bought together.. And we came home the night of our wedding.. which was in Linden at my old synagogue… and I carried her over the threshold! We then went to a hotel that night, and it was fun watching her check in using her brand new last name. I told the clerk it was the first time she was using that name.. And then with a straight face told him it was our first night in the Witness Protection Program.

With the big move, you may have noticed that the posting schedule has been erratic over the last month. This column’s posting date has been changed a few times when our closing got delayed, and with the news events concerning Imus . . And believe me, after being away for close to a month… I have had a lot to say! So stay tuned for comments about topics such as the Melanie McGuire murder trial, The Highland Park mayor accusing fellow blogger Lauren Kornfeld of stealing her (not nappy) hairstyle, and all of the other craziness.

So now if you will excuse me, I am in the mood for some victuals, so I am going to go peel some grapes. And I gotta prepare for my garage sale.. If I could only find where I left that douche bag!

Time for the clip of the week… Today its Kean-a-scope Theater…

In addition to the famous chair carrying scene, today’s column features clips from home movies at the house. There’s that popular chair carrying clip but most of this comes from a tour of the house that we shot on March 15, 1997... The footage was shot by my friend Mike Roth, and you get to see some bizarre stuff at that house.. Including my mother who subtly implied that she didn’t like me going near her antique lamp!. I still have that focokta lamp.. That lamp goes so far back.. Here is a pic from the late 60s of a cute little baby looking in awe at that lamp.. and notice how my grandfathers both wore jackets and ties when Little Nate came for a visit. The shot was taken at my grandparents house in Far Rockaway, before my Mom ended up with the lovely lamp, and now we have it. During the move, it was boxed like all Italian Lamps… In a box stamped “Fragile”…. When I heard the director of "A Christmas Story" died last month it made realize that Life is Fragile. Anyway, the movie is underneath the pic.. Click play to start the festivities!

Now time for the Movie...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Return of the Witch Trials

There are 2 things that seem to passionately tug at America’s Heartstrings… innocent little children with catastrophic diseases, and the daily happenings on American Idol.

First the kids with cancer.. Its horrible.. Its tragic and may we never know of such hardships… and kudos to those who take the time out of their lives to help these kids and their families. They are true angels.

Here we are deep into the season on American Idol and we have this Indian kid… he’s 17 so he’s not an adult in the legal sense… people pick on his hair and his voice has drawn the ire of many and the delight of wiseguys such as Howard Stern and Vote for the Worst.com. I think I heard that some bigshot with Fox (maybe it was Simon Cowell?) has already said there is no way this guy will be allowed to win. Basically….. for those of you who follow these things.. It is perfectly ok to make fun of this guy and his hair…

And then you have Imus…

This is a story involving a very evil man who is filled with hate and should keep his big mouth shut.. And that‘s Al Sharpton I am talking about.. Imus’s nappy haired comment which was intended as a joke fell very flat and like a lot of other stuff he says.. just wasn’t funny. Let’s get it straight.. I’m not a big Imus fan… However, he is right on the money when he went to the Today show and told Al Sharpton that the term originated in the Black community…. Imus also had a freudian slip and called him Hargis, as in the fake minister he used to do bits about in his WNBC heyday…..I must admit I also noticed during the NCAA tournament that the women there were not quite the same as the Lady Techsters of the early 80s led by current Baylor coach Kim Mulkey and her little pony tail.

But Al Sharpton.. He should just crawl into a hole somewhere and shut his trap instead of his absurd demands that the man lose his livelihood. What does Al do for a living? He leads protests about “white interlopers” in Harlem that led to a riot that caused seven deaths at Freddy‘s Store. He led protests in Brooklyn after a car accident killed a black child that led to a pogrom and the death of innocent Yankel Rosenbaum. And he stood beside Tawana Brawley…. the 1980s version of the Duke lacrosse rape hoax, and turned her phony rape accusations into a racial incident.

His big mouth may have influenced MSNBC, a network with no viewers after 10 am, and now CBS Radio to drop the show effective immediately. This week has been the Imus million dollar fundraiser for sick kids at Hackensack Hospital and The Imus Ranch for kids with cancer. Despite the fact that this was the week of the big fundraiser did that stop Sharpton and his attention getting protests? And how much money has Sharpton’s self serving publicity cost this charity? How about we hear from cancer kids what a bad person Imus is?

Amazingly Al actually picketed outside CBS during the Imus Radiothon… (Imus smartly changed his broadcast venue) Did Al implore parents who heartbreakingly lost a former Imus ranch kid to cancer to not appear on the show, even though Imus’s organization provided some much needed help during such a terrible time in their lives? I would like to meet Al about a year from now and stand with him at the bedside of a dying child so he can explain how his yearning for publicity cost that child a chance to spend a summer playing with animals and petting goats and milking cows. Let Al explain it to that child how he timed the protests during the Radiothon as he spends his last evening on this Earth in a hospital bed while his parents heartbreakingly watch their child slip away in gut wrenching pain . What has Al Sharpton ever done for kids with cancer? Actions speak louder than words.. And in Imus’s case his actions for these kids.. many of them black and female…. speaks volumes… moreso than a bad attempt at humor.

Here is another reason why Sharpton is a hypocrite… When a black actor on Greys Anatomy in a fit of anger called a gay actor a “faggot”…. where was Al Sharpton? I didn’t hear a word out of Sharpton about the actor’s anti gay comment… But of course…. if the gay actor would have had the audacity to call the actor by a black racial slur…. Sharpton would have been all over the place with that big fat mouth of his, picketing outside ABC, and demanding that the actor be fired for his comments.

Check out wfan.com for more info about making a donation to a fantastic charity whose big fundraiser is losing a lot of money due to this latest Al Sharpton publicity tour. And listen closely to what Bo Dietl says on the news channels about this topic…… he has been a great spokesman during this Imus witch hunt. I also betcha Imus will be back…. syndicated from another network or on satellite before Al jumps on his next shoot now ask questions later crusade.

On the other hand however, I must admit I was very interested in what Coach Stringer had to say.. She is what Sharpton is not… smart, well informed,…. a role model to young women,. a teacher, a leader and a person who I have always admired. So when she says her players' feelings are hurt, it makes you realize that people in public may be fair game for Imus rants.. but maybe young 18 and 19 year old women should not be. Another Don - Mr. Trump made insults to overweight women with his Rosie O’Donnel comments.. I didn’t see Richard Simmons leading protests outside Trump Plaza.. And Thank God for that. But remember folks….. in our world we are allowed to pick on a 17 year old Indian kid on American Idol…as many have.. Where do we draw the line? And who the hell is Al Sharpton to decide where that line is drawn?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Nate's World of Birds


What does it mean? I remember a recent Bill Gates interview where he spoke of his childhood.. While other kids dreamed of being cowboys and firemen… Gates obsessed over computer software. You can see that his passion turned into something that became an incredibly lucrative career. Hey… I’m working on my second million…. I gave up on the first!

I think about what I’m passionate about.. Even though the blog is about game shows, TV and Movies.. I think its time that we change the format of this blog to a topic that means a lot to me.

Birds…. I love them. Aside from women, they are the most majestic of God’s creatures and with wings that enable them to fly, they are the envy of all of us landlocked humans who must subscribe to the laws of gravity.

And what kind of a horrible anti-bird society do I live in? I belong to an otherwise fantastic religion, but it just irks me that chickens and chicken soup are a crucial part of each Sabbath and holiday dinner… I’m proud to be an American, but it shames me when we make horrible jokes about poor terrified turkeys whose deaths will lead to a bunch of overfilled tummies on Thanksgiving Night. This is absolutely horrible.. And worst of all.. If you want to be efficient… the saying is… “kill 2 birds with one stone!” Can’t we use a better statement folks? This just breaks my heart. I mean we have a saying “Don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house“.. Of course not.. you don’t want to break the glass! But why is it ok to kill 2 sweet innocent birds with a stone? How shameful!

Today, in honor of Sunday’s Mets - Cardinals 2007 Baseball Season Opener… the first Nate’s World of Birds column is about The Cardinal. . Even though the baseball team named for that bird that beat my beloved Mets in the playoffs last year.

According to the folks at Wikipedia… The Cardinals or Cardinalidae are a family of passerine birds living in North and South America. These are robust, seed-eating birds, with strong bills. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes usually have distinctive appearances; the family is named for the red plumage (like that of a Catholic cardinal's vestments) of males of the type species, the Northern Cardinal.

Cardinals mate in early spring. Their nests are loosely woven in tall bushes such as honeysuckle and rose. Their diet includes seeds and small berries. In fact, the berry of the holly bush, which is rich in beta carotene and lycopenes, is responsible for the brilliant coloring of the male specimen.

OK enough of this silliness.. Happy April Fool’s Day!!