Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Bauer Power

Aziz Ansari is actually quite a funny guy. Check him out over at his website.
Now, I don't really watch much TV anymore. No, it's true. My students can hardly believe it. "How can you not watch TV, Mr. Leab? That's impossible!"
Well, I do actually watch a few shows, but the only one I never miss is 24. Now this season of the show is...well...not so good in my opinion. It's got tension, but it's also predictable and sometimes way the hell out there (I'm a federal agent who hijacks a plane...sigh). That being said, 24 has taught us many things about life. Thus I present Aziz Ansari's comedic writing about a great show.
7 Ways to Use the Lessons of '24' at Work.
Comedian Aziz Ansari on how to get ahead following the rules of CTU.
By Deborah Netburn, Times Staff Writer
April 11 2006

1. If your boss catches you shooting heroin in your office, just say its part of your cover. If he says, "What cover?" Yell "Federal Agent!" and tackle the crap out of him.

2. If you are sleeping with a beautiful European woman, be careful - she is probably a terrorist/assassin that is using you to get information to kill her next target. Continue sleeping with her, you may be able to uncover valuable information that could stop the assassination from happening!

3. Sometimes you have to kidnap your co-workers kids to get stuff done
Lazy Co-worker: "Look Aziz, I can't get the report done by Tuesday."
Me: "Oh really? Well my men* are holding your children."
Lazy Co-Worker: "OKAY! I'll have it on your desk first thing!!"
*This reminds me, you should probably hire "some men," they are quite a useful asset. You can find great ones on Craigslist for an affordable rate.

4. If you get arrested, no matter how large or small the crime, just pretend like you have some valuable information and agree to give it up only under the condition you are given full immunity signed by the President. Don't worry they'll get him on the phone.

5. Don't be afraid to go rogue - if you think your bosses orders don't make any sense, ignore them and obey your own. In the end, your actions will be proven correct and you'll be praised for having the balls to break protocol. And not only that, at some point you'll get to steal a co-workers car!

6. If your bosses orders REALLY seem ridiculous, then chances are he's working for the enemy and your workplace has been compromised. This is when you want to inform everyone in the office that you are carrying a loaded gun. You may also want to bring "your men" into the situation at this point.

7. Is there a secure room in your office that you want to access, but can't? Find someone who does have access and cut off their thumb. (Note: Only use this tactic when the room in question is locked by a thumb scan. Actually do it anyway, its good to practice.)

Aziz Ansari is a comedian based in New York City. He recently won the Jury Award for Best Standup at HBO's US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Ramblings for the Evening (04/26/06)

I hate testing time. It ALWAYS seems to be testing time (Thanks NCLB!). Sigh.
Justin, stop biting your hands. Yeah, you heard me.
All right, let's just get to it.
So, without further ado: JESUS NEVER PUNTS!
Airline Intrigue:
Anybody read USA Today? I do. I like the pretty color pictures! Ok, so I get it to balance the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune (it falls almost right in the middle). I've said it before: I read about six newspapers a day, as well as multiple blogs. I like to read. My students don't get that.
So, two days last week being dedicated to MCA testing (Hate...it...so...much), I had the chance to really dig over every single word of the paper more than once (usually I read only a few articles more than once). A few days ago, the business section of the paper discussed the amenities of the airlines. Almost NONE of the airlines give food or headphones for free. It's insane. Most airlines charge $5 for a sandwich. Are you kidding me? A sandwich? I can actually get a better sandwich for less at Panera Bread. Headphones? Hey, they're $3 a pop. Sigh. I actually bring my own, but, funny story, the last time I tried to use them on a plane, the attendant tried to take them away. I'm not kidding. She pulled them down from my head and said, "Sir, you cannot use those on this flight. However, if you wish to listen to the movie or music, I can give you a headset...for three dollars."
I think the only thing louder than the jaws of the passengers around me hitting the floor was my, "Yeah...right, lady!" That's proposterous. What's next? "Sir, did you bring that food on the plane? Yeah, I'm going to have to take that and make you watch as I put it outside at 35,000 feet. Have a nice day!"
Even better is the fact that Airbus (at least I believe it's Airbus) is adding standing room only seats. Padded backboards with belt buckles. Wow, do you get a drink with that?
Look, I hate flying. It's not the turbulence or the fear of crashing (Lord knows after all the near-misses and not so near-misses, I'm not scared of that anymore...just can't sleep on a plane). No, my issue is with the other people and the fact that it's like taking a bus in the sky. I prefer trains. Seriously. The best part of being in Europe a while back was taking the train to get around. It was fantastic. I truly wish we had a system like that here. I don't mean the current Amtrak system. I mean the bullet train that goes 300 miles per hour. I would go from here to New York by train. I would.
Stephen Colbert:
The man is hysterical. That's how I feel, whether you agree or not. I don't know how you feel about him, dear reader, but he consistently makes me laugh. Ever since the report he did on whether or not Prince Charles was gay (see the pic on the left), he has never stopped being funny. Over the weekend he was hosting the White House Correspondents' Dinner. I couldn't sleep so I flipped around and found him on C-Span (don't knock it...it's a good channel). It was the end of the dinner, and Colbert was giving the keynote speech. It was hysterical, but the crowd...never laughed. At least the audio wasn't good enough to hear a single laugh. As he roastd the media, the administration, and such, there wasn't a peep. The only laugh came when he bit his thumb (if any of my students are reading this, you should get what that means) at Scalia...and the judge returned the gesture.
Colbert ever had a movie where he tried to escape from Helen Thomas and her incisive questions. It was brilliant. The crowd? Hated it. They were silent. It was as if Colbert stood up there and extolled the virtues of Hitler. Sigh.
Humor is a dying art. No one appreciates a sutble ribbing. If you don't watch The Colbert Report, you need to start doing it. It's smart humor. Very smart.
That being said, Mr. Colbert, should you ever read this. Make sure you point out that USA Today mentioned all the stars who were at the dinner...except you. They never mentioned you sir. Apparently they don't like your truthiness.
Prom Time:
Hey, hey: Prom is on Friday night. Am I going? No. Was I invited? Sadly, for the second year in a row, yes.
Last year it was a guy and a girl. This year? A lovely senior asked me. I guess it would have been a lark to show up...but I love my job.
That leads to the next question: Would I chaperone? That's a tou....NO!
Granted, if I did chaperone, I would show up in my tux (I have a Humphrey Bogart tux with the white coat and black pants), but it ain't happening folks.
The reason I bring up Prom is because I am amazingly shocked at how much people will spend on this ONE NIGHT. If it were a wedding, it's one thing. That's an event that's, sadly, designed to be lavish. But Prom is just a dance. One girls told me that the whole night will cost her almost $1,000. WHAT!!!!? That's insane. INSANE!
I asked her to explain the breakdown. The money went to:
The limo
The dress
The hair
The nails
The tickets (which are now $75 this week...mine were never that expensive.)
The shoes
The boutonnière (The guy's lapel flower for the uninitiated.)
That comes out to 1K. Oy vey.
What's worse? That doesn't take into account when they go into more than one. One of my seniors is going to three proms. THREE! Holy Moses, dear readers. That's frightening. Crazy, even. She'll spend almost two grand to head to these proms.
I also look at these places that now allow you to reserve a dress and let others know it's yours. Wow. Don't buy that dress, Melanie! Jamie already got it.
Maybe it's because I'm a guy. You just need a tux, a corsage, and the ability smile over...and over...and over. Oh, and to pay for dinner.
Look, it's a dance. That's it. People make it into way too big of an event. My ten year high school is coming up. I talked to three people (basically to tell them I'm not coming and will probably never return to the school...ever) and all three didn't mention Prom. If Prom is the end all, be all of your high school career...there are issues, folks. I'm just saying....
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Doe! A Deer...in my Yard:
My neighbor came over tonight to thank my wife and I for babysitting (She has a toddler who thinks I'm funny...stupid kid...just kidding...sort of). As we stood there talking about how great the kid is and the such, we heard a noise, like someone traipsing through my lilac bushes. We walk around to the back and there, standing in my roses...is a large doe. Both of us froze.

There is a moment when you see an animal, no matter how harmless it is, where your brain goes:
"Holy crap. Free food."
Just kidding. It goes:
"Holy crap. What do I do now? Hmm. Options...now!"
Then you start playing out the scenarios.
My neighbor and I stood there staring at the deer, and she stared back. Here's the issue, however. My neighbor's car was against the other side of my yard, which meant the only way out...was through us. The deer stood fast and quiet for a few minutes (and chewed on one of my plants), then, having had its fill, it wanted to leave.
The doe...moved toward us. My neighbor bolted. I just stood there as the doe bounced by me. Deer are fascinating creatures in the way they move. This doe was obviously afraid of me (most people and creatures are), and she bounced by me. It was beautiful.
Maybe I'm just sappy.
And finally:
Confusing Bumper Sticker:
Ok, dear readers, I want your opinions on something here.
As I drove home tonight, I read a bumper sticker that read "Republican for Voldemort".
What does that mean?
Is it a Liberal ripping on Republicans saying they would vote for evil?
Is it a Republican saying that he/she likes Harry Potter?
You tell me, dear reader.
Until tomorrow...or later,