Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Ramblings for the Evening (12/6/05)

The one thing I really don't like about this time of year is how dry Minnesota get. It is incredibly dry. My skin feels horrible, and I'm taking in what feels like double the amount of water. It sucks.
So, without further ado: I GIVE YOU...DERELICT!
The Weather? Fair:
So the Vikings won their fifth straight game, and all of sudden everyone is ok with them. This is is hysterical. I was listening to KQRS yesterday, and they were ALL about how great the Vikings are. Only a few months ago, they left the team for dead and talked about how they couldn't cheer for them. It was the same with a bunch of my colleagues.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but it's amazing to me how many fair-weather fans there are out there.
My wife is a Kansas City Chiefs fan. Loves the team. Even when they are losing, she cheers for them and believes they can win the game.
Me? I cheer for many losing teams: The New York Mets, the New York Knicks, The New York Jets (that's a tough one this year, but I still cheer), the Minnesota Wild, and the New York Rangers.
I admit that I gave up on the Rangers two years ago. Not because they were losing, but because the General Manager traded away the most popular player on the team (a guy who had spent almost 20 years with them). However, last year he said he would commit to youth, and he has. That shows me something.
At Wild games, I am amazed that people would leave. Example? Phoenix came to town and took a two goal lead into the first intermission. People left. "That's it, dude. The game's over. Let's went!" And they left. It ended up being a close game, but no one cares.
When you win, the world loves you. When you lose, they scorn. Many Wild fans are walking away right now, because the team has been losing lately. However, if the team starts winning again, they'll come back.
It's the same for the Vikings. If they lose every game from here on out, all we'll hear about is the boat, and all the other crap this year.
Pick a horse and stick with it through thick and thin. That's how a real fan is.
Simple Life 4 (Or Why I Hate this Country):
SIIIIIIIIGGGGGGHHHH! Ok, a show like Arrested Development is going to be canceled, but fans clamored for and are now getting ANOTHER season of the Paris Hilton/Nicole Richie show? And what's the premise? The girls will split time as a surrogate wife and mother to a family, and the family will vote on who is better.
This is what people want. THIS.
Look, I laugh when I hear, for example, that Paris Hilton wants a mini-tiger for Christmas. Sure, I also die a little inside, because I know there are girls out there who will want to emulate her and so will want a mini-tiger, but mostly I laugh.
The problem is this whole "rich bitch" image is now being celebrated. Look at MTV's Super Sweet 16 show. Girls whine and complain in order to get a huge 16th birthday party. It's insane, and it shouldn't be celebrated. You want another example? Here's a story from the International Movie Database:
50 Cent, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks and members of Aerosmith and The Eagles joined forces to create one of the year's greatest live line-ups at the weekend, when they played a private Bat Mitzvah celebration gig. Multi-millionaire David H. Brooks paid a reported $10 million to hire the artists to perform at his daughter Elizabeth's party at New York City venue The Rainbow Room. Brooks is said to have chartered his company jet to pick up Aerosmith rockers Steven Tyler and Joe Perry from their Saturday concert in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He reportedly paid the stars $2 million to play a 45-minute set, while 50 Cent is thought to have received $500,000. Petty wowed the gathering with an acoustic performance, while The Eagles stars Joe Walsh and Don Henley played alongside Fleetwood Mac singer Nicks. Other acts to perform at the extravagant event included Ciara, Nicole Richie's fiance DJ AM and saxophonist Kenny G. However, Brooks has denied the reported cost of the event. He told the New York Daily News, "All dollar figures were vastly exaggerated. This was a private event and we do not wish to comment on details of the party."
$10,000,000?!!! What the hell, folks? Sure, if you have the money, you should spend it, but what are they telling their daughter? "Everything you want, you'll get?" What happens if life doesn't turn out that way?
This, to me, is a huge problem in our country. Wasted money.
Let's say, however, the "dollar figures were vastly exaggerated." Does that mean it was ONLY $5,000,000? Oh joy. Hey, Danny the homeless guy off of 94, it was only 5 mil. Phew!
Law Students:
Apparently being a lawyer for Saddam Hussein will get you...uh...killed. Nice. So, here's my propostion for the newest reality show. As you may or may not know, the jobs for law students are drying up. It used to be (in the 1980s) there were three openings for every 1 law student. That meant options. Then, in the 90s, it whittled down to 1 to 1. Still ok for options, but now more cuthroat. In 2005 (that would be now), the pendulum has shifted. There are 5 or 6 students to every 1 job. Even more cutthroat. So, here's my proposal. There are going to be Law students who need a job. Why not create a show where fifteen of the brightest minds become Saddam's law team. Whoever survives, gets their own law firm. Could you imagine?
"Janel was in the lead, but she was killed by Shiite extremists. That leaves Andrew and Kate left."
Maybe it's too barbaric, but come on. Don't we have enough lawyers out there? Plus, could you imagine how you would put that on your resume?
John (or Jane) Q. Public
Legal Experience:
Law Offices of Jihad and Hallah
-Trial and appellate matters include commercial, construction, patent,employment, consumer, insurance, and personal injury disputes (including Saddam Hussein).
You'd be hired.
People Say the Darndest Things:
Lewis Black has a bit where he talks about being in IHOP and hearing a woman say, "If it weren't for my horse, I wouldn't have spent that year in college." He then goes on to talk about how his brain essentially melts trying to figure out what it means.
I had that experience over the weekend.
My wife and I went to a Christmas Party (that's the final topic below). It was odd. Anyway, this guy is talking to me, when his wife comes by. He stops talking and turns to her in order to ask something. Her final comment is, "It's not like electrical tape hurts it at all."
That quote is still rattling around in my head. What does she mean?
The couple is Catholic. Is she talking about fixing their Christmas lights? A crucifix? Did she mean something about sex? How weird would THAT be?
This is the amazing thing about catching the end of conversation: Without the proper context, your brain goes searching to make connections. That's what Black was talking about in his schtick. When your brain goes into hyper-drive trying to make the logical connection, it starts to hurt. I stayed awake for an hour after the party (yes, an hour) trying to figure out what she meant.
The smart thing to do? I should have asked, but I didn't really know this woman, and they already thought I was quite weird.
And finally:
Leab is a Stranger in a Strange Land:
One of my wife's Uber-bosses had a Christmas party on Friday night. Seeing as how it was for her career, I went along. You have to understand, the guest list was such that I knew NO ONE! Usually I know one or two people. Not that night. However, my wife waits until the last minute to tell me the ultimate surprise about the party: There will be an hour of Christmas Carol singing!!!!!
Can I sing? Sure. Can I do carols? Not so much. When I was a kid, we used to go to church at Christmas time so my mother could sing. She loves to sing. I didn't know the words, so I would just say, "Four" over and over and over again to the beat. It sounded like I was singing. As I got older, I started singing both the male and female parts (I got bored), but at this party, I knew very few of the songs being sung.

Let's begin with the arrival. From the moment we arrived, my wife and I got separated. I end up over by the appetizers watching her talk with her boss and co-workers. Around me were spouses (most of whom knew each other). Best moment? When a younger gal introduced herself and her husband. Turns out hubby is a honest-to-goodness rocket scientist. Also turns out that both of them were home schooled (and have the demeanors to show it) and hate teachers. Then they ask, "What do you do?"
My answer? "I kill baby dolphins."
There was a gigantic pause.
Now, I'm not knocking home schooling. It can be done very well, but more often than not, most home schooled kids have issues with talking to other people (or social issues for short). This girl did. Everything was TOO matter of fact, and when I proved her wrong on something, she stopped short of pulling out a knife and going for my eyes.
Back to the jobs. I let them stew. It was obvious they didn't catch the humor. So I told them, "Oh, I'm just kidding. I'm a high school teacher."
Another pause.
"That's...unfortunate." And that was it for our conversation for the rest of the night. They avoided me as if I was plagued with bird-flu and trying to bleed on them.
Want more fun stuff? I was the only person there with even a hint of Judaism in him or her. Everyone around me was Catholic and very aryan. Oh...SO aryan. When my wife mentioned that my father was a Jew, I was supposed to talk about how I understood guilt...just like the Catholics. Ummm, yeah. My mother is protestant, my father a Jew. This means : A. Not Jewish , and B. Not guilt-ridden. It's not a Jewish father sitting in the dark, folks.
When I explained I was a Taoist, my wife kicked me...hard.
Then, to complete my utter hell, we were given the "best seats in the house" for the carol singing. Catholics aplenty stared at me (The "token Jew" as my wife's boss's wife mentioned) to make sure I sang. Not going to lie to you: I didn't know half the songs. Part way through I got so bored, so I started singing them in German.
"O Christmas Tree" become "O Tannenbaum".
"Jingle Bells" become "Slichten Fah".
I did that until the local church choir director started asking, "What are doing? What's a Tannenbaum?"
It wasn't the worst party I've ever been too (At least my wife didn't cheat on me there, right?), but it was very uncomfortable for me. I can get along with anyone. Really. It's all about faking it, but this was really tough.
The ultimate highlight of the night? The boss's son runs over to me and hugs my legs? Why? No clue. He just ran over and hugged me. I was shocked. The boss was shocked. Every party goer was shocked. I just stood there and said, "Thanks kiddo. That was nice." He then hugged me again. Never talked to the kid before, never seen him before, and pretty sure that the boss wasn't too happy. Kiddo wouldn't hug his uncle, but random Jewish-looking guy? No problem.
Finally, at the end of the night, one guy says to me (SO NOT KIDDING), "You know, if you grew your hair out...you'd look like Jesus."
What would you say to that. "Gee..um..thanks. Well...that's me...I look like the savior...Wooo...yeah."
What did I say to that? "Thanks, Bob. I don't usually get told I look like J.C. Awesome" (with a thumbs up).
I love my wife, folks. I love my wife.

Final note: I know, I know. I have ripped on Christianity ALOT. If you're reading this and Catholic, I am not saying that you suck. All I'm saying is that I grew up in a predominantly religious-free zone. So when I come into someone's home and next to the Christmas Tree is a almost life-size crucifix...it's a little creeptastic. That's all.


Voix said...

I find the dazzle eyed Aryan Catholics kinda creepy, too, and I'm pretty darned Catholic.

Leab said...

It's a little weird.
Instead of "One of us," I could swear I could hear, "Not one of us" being whispered...