Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mixed Messages

I've discovered that the world is full of mixed messages. I'm even sending some myself. Like this: Happy Easter! Or is that Happy St. Paddy's Day?! I can't seem to get it straight! These two holidays aren't supposed to be so close together. It's causing me great angst. What if I get confused and find myself digging up the Easter lilies in search of Shamrocks? Or worse (much, much worse!) drinking green beer while coloring eggs. Can you imagine how that would turn out? Well....actually, probably pretty cool, come to think of it. I mean geez! What can go wrong with green beer involved (besides the local pastor finding me hip deep in the flower bed with Easter lilies strewn all around, full to the gills with the green brew and shouting "How come no one's ever after my lucky charms!)?? Yeeeeaaaahhhhh. Never mind. But you see what I mean, right? It's always dangerous to send those mixed messages. Even the local stores are starting to do it. Check this out:

Yo, Ross! If you think it's such a great idea for us to "dress less", why do you sell so many freakin' clothes? Me thinks Ross should either invest in some more light bulbs or go all out and open a nudist colony with this sort of message being sent! (I'm voting for the light bulbs, myself).

Here's one message that is not mixed at all, however. I want to give a shout out to Emily, who is Jennifer's daughter. She sent me the sweetest little message the other day and I want her to know how much I appreciate it! What a sweetie. Jennifer's told me a little bit about her and all I can say is, it's probably best that we live so far apart. I get the feeling Miss Emily is my kind of kid which means I would probably be a horrible influence over her. I have a truly shameful habit of teaching kids the fine art of sarcasm and mischief. I know, I know. It's wrong. Funny. But wrong. I'm kidding, Jennifer! No way would I try to corrupt your sweet daughter (wink, wink Emily). Oh wow. I can't seem to help myself. I just sent a mixed message without even meaning to! Seriously, though...thanks for the message, Emily! I loved receiving it!!

Now I'm off to see what other mixed messages are awaiting me. I'm headed to the mall this afternoon with my husband, my boys and one of my boys' girlfriend. Ah, the mall. Now that's a place that just screams "mixed messages". Like all those mannequins, posed in bizarre ways, sporting cute little clothes that somehow manage to convey to even the biggest of us women that we, too, could look simply smashing in that hip, streamlined outfit. (That's usually not just a mixed message, it's a downright lie!). But I'm in the mood to be lied to so off I go! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Someone Thinks I Got it ALL Wrong with Yesterday's Post

Hey guys, it's finally happened to me! I got a snarky comment (anonymous of course).

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Attending an NFL game: $260, Getting Shot at to De...": First off, all your girlies need to get your panties out of a wad. All I'm hearing is nothing but a bunch of class envy. A bunch of whining that really says "Boohoo, how come I'm not making that kind of money"Professioanal football isn't just a game, its a business. It's neccassary wether u like it or not. Look at all the jobs it creates from the players down to ticket takers.Second, when it comes to OU football, there seems to be a lot of misconceptions. OU football is 100% self funded. Not one red cent of one students tuition goes to OU football. So blaming high tuition cost, low professor salaries on football cost is totally bogus. Coaches salaries, players equipment, travel cost are all paid for with tv and bowl money. Matter of fact there are two of the newer buildings on campus that were built with the gracious donations of OU sports (combined). And the football program donated the funds for all the science equipment in one of the science buildings.So you all get your facts straight before getting on a whine fest.If you want to rant and rail about something, why not the conglomerate of the Oprah Winfrey. A person who does nothing but sell you crap and lies.Or how about that other mega-conglomerate of Martha Stewart. What a fraud.Get your priorities straight

This fella (and call me sexist, but from the tone I'm just assuming it's a man) seems to think I don't have MY priorities straight. Not only that, but it's okay for a state funded university to pay a football coach nearly $6 million dollars a year because, as this guy says "OU football is 100% self funded". Well great! That's makes all the difference. Except for one little, bitty, tiny ol' sports programs aren't in place merely as recruiting grounds for professional sports. They are supposed to help promote the school. That doesn't mean they have carte blanche to take advantage of the public or to become filthy rich off of the backs of students. And if they can contribute enough money to build 2 new buildings, just think what they could do if they weren't shelling out huge amounts of money to one individual to coach this non-championship winning team. (Which, by the way, proves that OU fans don't necessarily need championships in order to be fans of the school. I've been stupidly spending dollar after dollar on OU merchandise before and after the last championship). Or better yet, imagine how many more scholarships the university could grant to people born without great moves or silver spoons! But nice try, Anonymous. You almost made it sound so...I don't know, what's the word here...legitimate? As to the pro games. Sure it's a business. And it's a business that creates a lot of jobs other than those for the players. So what. Wal-Mart's a business, too. And their industry helps to create other jobs in a multitude of yet more industries. I'm willing to bet you wouldn't advocate paying those stockboys multi-million dollar annual salaries. Or even the store managers. Although I suppose if they entertained you enough you might consider it, huh? Also, I noticed that you failed to address the issue of military pay as it was presented in relation to the atrocious salaries I mentioned in my post. Not much to say there, eh? Can't come up with a snarky comment to demonstrate the reason for such a disparity? Of course you can't. Because there is no reason why we, the American public, see such nonsense and tolerate it with the whole "There's nothing we can do" attitude or even better, the "Professional sports is a business" attitude. I mean come on! I'm all for business being successful. However, professional sports is basically a service industry, the same as any other. And it's up to the customer to decide how much they're willing to pay for a service. I think if we stripped the stars from our eyes and viewed athletes as the entertainers they are and quit paying them as if they were working diligently to cure world hunger, we'd all be better off. One more thing, Anonymous...feel free to slam Oprah and Martha. Can't say as how I'm a fan of either, and to be honest, Oprah gets on my last damn nerve...using her influence to try and garner votes for a candidate (because yeah, Oprah's who I always look towards for my political advice!). If Oprah wanted to provide a service for her viewers, she would highlight all the candidates - pros and cons - and let her viewers decide for themselves. Lord knows she's got the platform to do that.'s 7:30 in the A.M. and I haven't even had my coffee yet so I'll close for now. Mr. Anonymous got my blood pumping early! Thanks so much for that, sir. Good to know you can provide a service yourself, even if you did manage to sound a bit like a condescending, chauvinistic ass with your "Oprah" and "Martha" references. Thinking that's all us women folk can clutter our sweet little heads with? Hmmm. I think it's safe to say, sir, that you judged poorly.
Peace Baby and See You on the Gridiron of Healthy Debate!

P.S. I'll be doing a post soon about the flagrant abuses of our entertainment dollars by Hollywood, too, Mr. Anonymous. Wonder if it will stir the same reaction in you as my sports one has done? (Just for the record, I'm going with "no".)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Attending an NFL game: $260, Getting Shot at to Defend our Country: $29,000, Playing with a Football for a Living: Priceless

I'm sure you've all heard about our impending recession. Gas prices continue to skyrocket, as does the rate of home foreclosures. Roma tomatoes are going for a whopping $1.68 a pound at Wal-Mart and a six-pack of Mr. Goodbars has gone from $2.50 to $2.68 (let's not dwell on how it is that I'm so painfully aware of that particular fact, okay?). People all across the country are tightening their belts and preparing for the bad times ahead. Well...almost everybody. There are those among us who probably don't need to worry about such trivial things as; "can we afford next week's groceries" or "will winter outlast my heating bill budget". People like Ben Roethlisberger, who is the starting quarterback for the National Football League's Pittsburgh Steelers. Ben's a very valuable guy. He must be. The Steelers recently announced they've signed him to an 8 year, $102 million dollar contract. That's $102 MILLION. That translates to almost $13 MILLION dollars A YEAR. To play football. Yeah, tough times for Ben, huh? Talk about making huge contributions to the human race, right? But wait...there's more. A few months ago, it was announced that Bob Stoops, the head coach of my beloved Oklahoma Sooners football team, will earn at least $5.77 MILLION from the University of Oklahoma in 2008. Of course, that figure could go up, when you factor in the additional income he could gain from various performance bonuses. The man coaches college football. To be specific, he coaches a college team that hasn't brought home a National Championship Title since 2000 (but who's counting championships, right-o?). And he's worth how much? Geez. Just last year, Mr. Stoops earned a paltry little $3.5 million salary (which, by the way, was 36 times that of a professor's salary at OU during the same time). Again, he's a football coach. Period. Just to put this in perspective, let me point out that, in 2005-06, the average cost of attending a year at OU (tuition, fees, books, room and board and related expenses) was $16,790. For out-of-state students, that number was $24,677. Who would have thought these sort of inequities would have ever been excepted by us, the American public? But wait. There's more! Anybody know who Adrian Peterson is? He was a running back for OU back in 2006. A pretty darn good running back, too. In January 2007, he announced that he would forgo his senior year at college in order to play professional football. The Minnesota Vikings signed Adrian for a pitiful little $40.5 million over 5 years (with $17 million of that guaranteed). Doesn't seem like much compared to Ben of the Steelers, eh? But don't fret for Adrian. Like so many of today's professional athletes, he's found a way to scrape up a little extra cash. For example, on the 15th of this month, he'll be appearing at a sports memorabilia store in the Ft. Worth area. And all of us common folk can come by and get an autograph (if we act soon enough, that is). The "autograph tickets" are going fast. Yeah. They sell "tickets" to get an autograph. For a mere $99, you may have a magazine or a card signed. For $129, you can have a mini-helmet signed. For $149, you can go for the gusto and have a full size helmet, a jersey or a ball signed. And just to prevent any confusion, let me clarify...the cost of these "autograph tickets" does not include the cost of the card or the magazine or the jersey or whatever it is you're having signed. Yes, Mr. Petersen is charging us, the people who already pay his salary in one way or another as fans, for the honor and privilege of owning a copy of his signature. What a deal. 'Course, the sports memorabilia store is getting a cut of those figures, too, so it's not like ol' Adrian is completely robbing us blind. At least not single-handedly. By the way, do you know what the average cost of an NFL ticket is? Somewhere between $65 and $80 each. So it will cost a family of 4 at least $260 to go to an NFL game, plus the cost of parking, plus the cost of refreshments, plus the cost of any souvenirs. For one game. Wow. No wonder all these teams can afford to pay these athletes so much money. We keep handing it to them hand over fist. So what in the hell does that make us besides stupid, gullible and starstruck? What does it say about us that we have people losing their homes, we have couples working 2, 3 and 4 jobs between them just to make ends meet, we have high school graduates unable to go to college because the costs are just too onerous to bear...yet we hear about salaries such as this and all we do is shake our heads at the egregiousness of it all as we're forking over copious amounts of money to pay for the tickets to their venues. Here's a thought...why don't we just quit buying the tickets? Why don't we quit buying the merchandise put out by these teams and organizations? Why don't we quit acting like imbeciles and take our power back! The fact that most of us can't afford to attend an NFL game because it costs too much is our own fault! The fact that buying a football jersey to "support" our team of choice will put us back about $80 is our own fault! The fact that our children can't afford college without benefit of their parents savings and/or scholarships is our own fault! Take this power back, people. Quit supporting these organizations that have stopped caring about US. Stop revering athletes and coaches and teams. They are supposed to be entertaining us, not holding us hostage. I for one have decided that I've bought my last Oklahoma Sooner t-shirt, jacket, baseball cap, whatever. Same goes for the Eagles stuff I've bought my sons and the Seahawks stuff I've bought my husband. No more. If they want to pay players and coaches that much for what they do, they'll do it without my support or my money. Oh, and before I end this...I'd like to point out what a real hero makes in our country...a staff sergeant in the United States Air Force brings home somewhere around $29,000 per year. Yep, that's right. Our service members who are fighting a war, getting shot at and/or living halfway around the world away from their families (and sometimes all three!) make about .5% of what a college football coach makes. Shameful. That's the only way to describe it. Shame. Full.

P.S. Meme from Jennifer at Dust Bunny Hostage:

Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more (no cheating). Find page 123. Find the first 5 sentences. Post the next three sentences. Tag 5 people.

My computer is located in our "Star Wars" room, which means the nearest book to me is, naturally, a Star Wars novel. Specifically, it's the one I just finished: Legacy of the Force; Revelation. (Yes, I'm a geek. Sue me!)
Anywho, here goes:
"Commit fully to the attack. Don't let up. Don't stop to think. "

These sentences are what Boba Fett was thinking to himself as he went to speak with his ex-wife who had just been released from carbonite after 30 or 40 years. That Boba. Facing personal relationships the same way he faced his bounties - like a chore to be gotten through in order to get a reward. Typical male. I won't tag 5 people to play this, though. I'm just too flippin' tired after my "athletes are overpaid" tirade. Feel free to play along if you'd like, though!