Thursday, November 24, 2005

Slander a la Leab (11/22/05)

Ok, so I won't be around to post until Sunday night. However, I figured because so many of you actually responded to my attempt at slander (shows you how much people miss you, Slanderizer), I would do it again.
Hope you enjoy this week's entry:
Sinister Truths Revealed at Photo Shoot

The September issue of Mpls St.Paul Magazine featured an article about Minnesota News Anchors (and lovebirds) Frank Vascellaro and Amelia Santaniello. Beyond the beautiful shots of their home, a few secrets were revealed when the I.T. Team showed up to watch the shoot. A few tidbits are now revealed (thanks to the court lifting our "gag.":
Amelia talked about “needing her chiropractor,” to get through the day. “Chiropractor,” is in fact a code-name for her drug dealer. He meets her every Thursday just outside of the WCCO news building, where she gets a combination of Vicodin and Cocaine.
Frank is an alcoholic. He talked about the fact that he can’t live without, “the quick-pull wine opener.” Careful observation (and snooping through garbage) discovered that Mr. Vascellaro drinks three bottles of wine a day. That’s right, a day. Even during the shoot, Frank was “reeking of merlot” according to the photographer, and he needed a break to throw up in the sink behind him.

Amelia, all the while, just tapped her feet and muttered something about her chiropractor.
Because of the couple’s crazy schedule, they keep a full team (about 5) of Colombian refugees in their basement as slaves. At one point, one of the twins (Joe) spilled cereal on the floor, after being told (by Frank), “You know the punishment for insubordination,” the basement door opened and what appeared to be two under-fed people wearing rags on their bodies and collars around their necks started sweeping the floor.
Joe and Francesca are not the couple’s kids. In fact the twins are actually the offspring of two of the Colombian slaves. When her real mother appeared to start cleaning, Francesca tried to run away from the table. What the viewers couldn’t see was that Frank had her tethered to the table. She couldn’t get to her mother even if she tried. We knew not to intercede, because the couple warned everyone visiting their house that attempts to free the children, “will be met with serious repercussions. Don’t make us call 'The Don' down here.”
The couple’s “first child” (also known as Sam) is, in fact, not a child. He is a 32 year old little person named Emilio. He poses as the couple’s son in exchange for food, a green card, and the occasional hooker.
Anyone who wants to see the couple’s home should approach it with caution. Frank, not wanting attention when off the news set, hired an ex-marine to lay down booby traps for anyone who approaches the perimeter. So far only Amelia's father wasn't ready.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Ok boys and girls.
I'm leaving for Missouri.
I hope you all have a fun Thanksgiving.
I will return with mail on Monday.
Until then, may your days be easy, may your love be plenty, and may you be happy, healthy, and wealthy.


Too Far?

Did I perhaps go too far with my slander for Thursday? Will people understand that it's JUST A JOKE?
You tell me.
I've already gotten one email (yeah, I'm skipping school today as I have a long drive ahead of me) saying that it was, "a little over the line." Then again, I got another email saying, "It was pretty funny."
Either way, it's just a joke.
Here are some random thoughts this morning:

-It MUST have been a slow sports day yesterday. With all the basketball games (college or pro), the hockey games, and the college football games, Sportscenter still had President Bush pardoning Marshmallow as one of its top plays for the day. Now forgive me for being...slow, but when did a politician saying, "Ok, turkey, you get to live (think Dirty Harry)," constitute a sports moment? Seriously. Were players SO bad yesterday you couldn't find one more highlight. I've mentioned this problem in a
previous post. When I was a kid, I used to watch Sportscenter every night before I went to bed (yes it was late, my family is a bunch of nighthawks). They had class. I would watch guys like Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann give the scores with the occasional joke. Now it's almost all jokes with the occasional score. What's next? Will they start showing Bush or other politicians signing documents?
"He's looking for the pen. Time is running out. He's going to go with the blue pen, which he calls 'Binky' according to friends. He's over the paper, and he lays the smackdown to that bill."
Maybe it's just me.
-Minneapolis was named the 34th most dangerous city in America. I find that absolutely fascinating. Maybe it's because I grew up on the East Coast, but I always thought of the Midwest as this quaint, safe place. Hell, when I told people I was moving to Minnesota, they said, "Oh, that's a really safe place. It has to be too cold to commit a crime."
Yet, now Minnesotans are afraid to walk around Block E as so many people have been beaten or robbed. Now, I've lived in St. Louis, which wasn't so bad. The thing that drags St. Louis down (or puts them so high on the list: 3) is East St. Louis which is technically in Illinois, but whatever. It's a hell hole. It's so bad that John Carpenter shot Escape From New York there because, "It looked like it had been hit by the Apocolypse." This was in the 80s folks. It hasn't gotten better yet. When I was in college, a girl I know had her car stolen, and it was dumped in East St. Louis totally stripped. Not a good day for her. The rest of the area? Pretty nice.
Then again, I've never been one to be afraid of walking or going somewhere. When I was five years old, I left my parents' apartment and walked through New York a few blocks to see them at their restaurant. There are parents I know, including mine, who are slightly horrified by that story. They think, "You were damn lucky. Today, you'd be stolen."
It's not just there. Both my sisters were mugged in almost the same spot in San Francisco. Not me. Maybe it's because I'm a guy, or maybe it's because I look crazy (beard, scruffy hair, kinda big, muttering to myself), but people leave me alone. I'm the guy who can walk down the center of a sidewalk, because everyone will move out of my way. On a really bad day, I can make people cross the street instead of walking by me. That's not bad for a white guy.
It's just fascinating to me that Minneapolis, which to me is quaint, is on the same list with Detroit, Cleveland, Compton, and more. That's all.
Ok, that's it for now.
See you all later.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Ramblings for the Evening (11/22/05)

Warning, there is a great deal of swearing in this post. You've been warned. Now you can't sue. HA!
And so Turkey Day creeps toward us. I'm almost counting the minutes until my wife and I hop in the car and drive those long, flat seven hours through Iowa into Missouri until I reach the tiny town of Raymore. If you've never heard of it...don't fret. Most people haven't. The only thing it's really known for is a golf course that a lot of Minnesota business people like to play.
I like my in-laws, don't get me wrong. It's just...well...they're born again Baptists. It's gotten better in the last couple years, but.... Let's just say I don't EVER talk about politics around them...or God...or anything that 's going to cause arguments. If I argue with them, I won't end until someone dies, and I don't think my wife will forgive me for killing her dad.
Ok, let's get to it.
So, without further ado: YOU EEEEEDDDDDIOOOTTT! (That's for Michele)
Damn Minnesota Drivers!!!!!:
Look, I get it. People in this state cannot drive, but somehow it's getting worse. Today I saw a
woman not look to her right when she pulled out. She has a stop sign, I don't. I'm doing 40, and she's on a cell phone. Without even looking to see if I'm coming, she pulls out. I end up hitting my horn and shooting around her. (Here's where it gets good.) This woman speeds up and gets on my tail, then she hits me with her brights and honks. Is this the end of it? Hell no. She follows me for four miles until I stop at a gas station, gets out of her car, and proceeds to yell at me WHILE STILL ON HER CELLPHONE. That's right, whoever she was talking to got to listen while this woman berated me about cutting HER off. I'm sorry, I always thought that a stop sign meant YOU STOP WHILE I PASS BY, JACKASS!
Now, as you may or may not remember, dear reader, I haven't been sleeping, AND I've been stressed out. I did something I have only done once before: I decided to show this lady the full and awesome power of my anger. After listening to her yell at me for about a minute, I grabbed her phone from her hand, told the person on the other end, "She'll call you back later," took off the battery from the back and whipped it into the grass across the street. Then, before she could say anything, I said, "Listen you stupid cunt. YOU cut ME off back there. You never even looked to see me coming. I'm sorry that God didn't grant you any fucking brains OR looks, but the very fact that you were ON THE PHONE and DIDN'T LOOK is the real problem. People like you are the reason why GOD INVENTED ABORTION, BITCH! You better step the fuck off before I go into my car, grab my bat and show your car what it would have looked like if I hadn't been a good driver. Ok? The best part? The guy on the other side of the pump started clapping. This wasn't the end, however. The woman then said, "You threatened me. And you broke my phone. I'm calling the police and sueing your ass."
I was ready for this.
"Go ahead. I will ask them to get your cell phone records for the time. It will show that were on the phone and not paying attention to the road. THEN, I will counter sue for emotional damage and for a frivolous lawuit. I WILL BLEED YOU DRY. And then, when your homeless and having to explain to your children why you live in a box, I will show up and give them money with explicit instructions to leave you in that box. And finally, when you're dead, I WILL PISS ON YOUR GRAVE. Any questions?"
Did I overreact? Oh very much so. I could also tell by this woman's expression that she was not ready for any of this. I asked her again if she was going to call the cops. She said no. I apologized to her for screaming, to which she apologized back for not paying attention. I suggested that she get a hands-free set and to not follow people anymore. "When you follow a person, it usually puts them on edge."
My wife thinks I overreacted way too much, and I'm lucky I wasn't killed. I just want people in this state to learn to drive correctly.
He's got X-Boxelitis: (or this one's for DeRusha)
So I had three classes today. The breakdown was as follows: 39 in first hour, 34 in second, and
27 in fourth. Total that's 100 kids. Now, the kids actually there were: 27 in first, 24 in second, and (drumroll) 15 in fourth. That means I had only 66 out of 100 kids or 2/3. Another way to put it is 33% were missing. Wait, it gets better. Out of 33 kids, 15 were out for vacation or being sick or just plain skipping for some reason. 18 kids were out with their new X-Box 360s. How do I know these 18 kids were out with X-Boxelitis? Let's see, yesterday a few of them told me they wouldn't be in, others left notes. THEY LEFT NOTES!
Mr. Leab,
I won't be in today, because I was able to get an X-Box 360. Timmy brought my homework, so please make sure it's added to my grade.
Have a great Thanksgiving,
(Names have been changed to protect the stupid.)
Come on people. It's JUST a video game machine. It can't solve world hunger, and for God's sake, it won't help you get through high school. Sure, it helps you blow off steam, but you couldn't make it two more days until break?
Then again, how many people will out with some sort of mysterious ailment tomorrow?
If students put in as much energy to their homework as they did avoiding school, their lives (and my life) would be easier.
World's Ugliest Dog Dies:
No one cries. Wonder why that is? Could it be because the dog looked like it had been reanimated through a voodoo curse? Seriously, look at this dog and tell me I'm wrong.
Random Insomnia Thought:
I thought of a great argument for a classroom. Maybe it's been done, I don't know, but here it is:
Was George Orwell actually a prophet when it came to where the government was going and what it would do, or did he give certain people the ideas on how to control the people.
In essence, was he a visionary, or the cause of the problem?
On the one hand, I could see how people look at Orwell and say, "Wow, in the 1950s he was talking about the government controlling people's thoughts and (shock of shocks) lying to us. That's insane." But don't you think it's more likely that a few people read 1984 and said, "That would WORK! Now, how can I push the government that way?" Seriously.
Or is it just me?
Rivalries Go TOO Far:
This past weekend was rivalry weekend in College Football. Now, before you say, "Who the hell cares, Leab!" hear me out. In Alabama, a couple of guys at a frat party on the Alabama campus were stabbed for wearing Auburn colors. Alabama takes it's football super-duper seriously. (Right, Sherye?) It's not the only place, however. A guy in Ohio was grabbed by three men and thrown out a window for wearing Michigan colors. Hell, it's happened to me too.

When my wife and I moved to Minnesota, we drove from Michigan (where we worked the summer after graduation) across Wisconsin. Our Ryder truck was a lemon and we had to stop and spend the night in Madison. Unfortunately for me, it was Saturday, a rivalry week, and Wisconsin was playing against Michigan. Why is that a problem? I was wearing dark blue. So, Mrs. Leab and I duck into an Applebee's for dinner. Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, is wearing red, and there I am wearing blue. I was threatened, I had a beer dumped in my lap, and one guy threw a quarter at my head. I never said I was a Michigan fan, I just had the colors on in the wrong place. Our lemon Ryder truck, which had Michigan plates, was also tagged with Wisconsin colors (probably from a spray can). Not a good night, folks.
It's getting worse. People take the rivalries SO far that parents won't speak to children, brothers and sisters fight, and worse, husbands and wives leave the house. One guy I know went to Virginia, and his wife went Virginia Tech. Every year, when the schools meet, the loser from the previous year has to go a hotel for the weekend. I'm not kidding. Either he or she goes to a hotel from Thursday night until Sunday afternoon. That's rough and kinda crazy. Yes, the term fan was born from fanatic, but there has to be line. Stabbing someone? Crosses the line. Kicking out your spouse? Crosses the line. Pouring beer on a guy you don't know? Well that's why you paid my tab (the waitress went to Michigan...hehehe).

And finally:
Hello Anger, My Old Friend... (A la Simon & Garfunkel...anyone?)
I've been feeling angry again. This is a time of year when we're supposed to be humane with each other, but more and more I see people not caring. I watched an old woman ask two people for help before a third person came over and pulled down an item for her from the top shelf at Byerly's. I saw a kid tell her mom, "who cares about them? It should be about me."
It just depresses me.
Worm talked about people with broad shoulders. The difference is that I can't just go through the motions. I can't just nod and give the pat answer. I wish I could. Even when the person is a complete stranger (like everyone who talks to me on planes), I fully listen.
I can't really explain it.
Ah screw it.
If you see me on WCCO holding a stick of dynamite, remember two things:
1. My left side is my good side and
2. I only talk to J.D.
Ok, maybe I won't be that extreme.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Mail Mondays (11/21/05)

What a horrible day. This isn't about insomnia, this is about things not going right. But, because it's Monday, the problems will have to wait until tomorrow (or I may not talk about them. I don't know, I don't want this to be a blog about "oh woe is me." That just feels wrong).
As for mail, it's been a thin week. I'll respond to what I got.
Oh, and before I start, I want to apologize to Michele for not making it to the blogger gathering. I still owe you a drink.
Mail time.
Are you making fun of Mounties?
Our cops can at least catch the criminals.
At least we aren't jelly donut-eating idiots, eh?
You better be careful in the future.
A Loyal Canadian

Sigh, I'm going to assume you're from Alberta. Many Canadians from Alberta seem to should I put this...humor. If you go back and look at
the post, you'll see the whole thing was a joke. Can malls talk? No.
Look, if I really wanted to make fun of the RCMP, I would talk about Ren and Stimpy (Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen, anybody?), or I would talk about the fact that THE DISNEY CORPORATION USED TO OWN THE MOUNTIE IMAGE! Don't believe me? Here it is in black and white. To use the image, they had to pay Disney. Can you imagine?
"We need a few more cars, eh? How much is that gonna cost? I'm getting a skull cramp....Someone call Mr. Eisner and find out how much we owe...and get it in Canadian, eh?"
Ok, but seriously, I like the RCMP. When I was working at the Tobacco Document Depository, I was assigned to work with the RCMP. Apparently they were doing research for several cases up in Manitoba. Nice guys (and they were all guys). We ended up going out one night for beer. That's when I heard all about how Canadian beer is better than American beer (an argument my brother-in-law brings up almost everytime I see him).
I'm not knocking the RCMP. I just thought that a strip club called "Mounties" would be a great double-entendre. That's all.
Rap is crap. Period. You can't compare it to country music. All rappers care about are killing each other, taking their "bling-bling", and "bitches." At least country music has redeeming qualities.
Angry Country Fan
(Author's Note: I didn't put in the whole letter as the rest of it is just ripping on me and the site. Apparently, I'm an Un-American idiot with multiple problems...I love this country).

Ok, ACF. Let's get to the root of the problem.
I could easily start and say you're a racist, but that's not the point, and I don't think you are. I think the problem is that you are looking at two or three people and saying, "Wow, this is all of that genre. Everyone is like that." Yup, you're generalizing. I could do the same thing with country. There's a song, for example, called "I Wish I Were A Woman (So I Could Go Out With A Guy Like Me)" Hmm. If I generalize than I can say that all Country music is about gay men. A man wants to be a woman to date himself? Woman trapped in a man's body? Homosexual.

Do I really believe this? No, but you get the idea about generalizing.
Sure, there are some rap songs dealing with pimps, killing, etc, but there are also songs that are affirming. Country is the same way. We all tap our foot to the Dixie Chicks while they sing about killing a man. Sure he was a wife-beater, but it's still murder.
In all honesty, most rap fans couldn't care less about country and vice versa. Sure, you have guys like Big and Rich singing about, "bling-bling" (which to me is proof a word is no longer cool and probably dead when it's used in a Country song), but that doesn't mean you're going to have a ton of African-Americans at a Garth Brooks concert. Look at last year's NBA All-Star game. They had Cowboy Troy and Big and Rich perform. When they cut to the crowd, who was jamming to the music? The white folk. Who was looking around wondering what the hell was going on? Mostly the black folk.
It's hard not to generalize, I know, but we have to work on it. Otherwise I'm going to get called an asshole a great deal more.
Then again what do I know? I'm the ultimate villain in the world: A white, middle-class man (who likes all sorts of music). I could be wrong.
Tomorrow we'll have ramblings and a quick note for Wednesday, then...I'm off to the in-laws.