Monthly Archives: March 2011

Lottery Fever!

Lottery fever is happening. Mega Millions is at $312 million and Super Lotto is at $17 million. I play the lottery on occasion. Most I have ever won was $1000 on Lotto when I was in college. When the numbers get as high as they are this week, it’s very tempting to play. I know my chances are winning are less than getting hit by lightning, but a girl can dream.

What if I won…? What would I do with all that money? First, I wouldn’t have to look for a job anymore or ever again. That would be nice. Pay off all the bills and finally buy a house. Dreams that only money can buy.

But money can bring problems to. As Biggie said, “Mo Money, Mo Problem.” First you have to deal with the onslaught of media. It’s a great story for the media, instant millionaire. I have been the person telling the reporter go out and find out who won all that money. Of course, once your name is out there, every person you ever knew, or wanted to know will start calling looking for a hand out. You have to isolate yourself. You can elect for your name not to be released by the lottery, but in this day of Twitter and Facebook, it is really hard to keep something like that a secret for long.

You would also have to invest that money wisely. Statistics show that over 1/3 of people who win the lottery will file for bankruptcy. It also shows, that divorce rate among those who win is higher than the national average. Those are sad odds. People also don’t understand the tax situation for winning. First, you are not winning that lump sum. First you have to choose, whether to take payments from the state which will equal out to the lump sum over 20 years or opt for the one time lump sum payment which is about half of the advertised winnings. Once you have figured that out, you have taxes to pay. The federal government and state both take their cut, so now you have less than half of the payout left. So really you maybe end up with 1/8 or 1/16th of the advertised winnings.
With all that said, it’s would nice problems to have. Some money is better than no money.

So best of luck to everyone today. I will be buying my tickets too. A girl’s gotta dream.

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March Madness

It’s March Madness time. Time when normal TV goes away (except for American Idol and Survivor) and NCAA College hoops dominates the airwaves. I am not a big basketball fan but I love March Madness. There is something about it that sucks me in. I think it has to do with the possibility of some underdog small school beating out a juggernaut power house school. There is one every year. Who doesn’t love a good underdog story, except maybe the team who gets beat by the Cinderella team.

As an alum and fan of Fresno State, I know what it’s like to be one of the Cinderella teams. In 2008, Fresno State came out of nowhere and won the National Championship for baseball. No one thought the Dogs had a chance in hell but they did it. It was awesome. I watched the game and screamed like a crazy woman when they won. I even watched the victory parade in Fresno on my laptop.

I wish college football would get with the times and start a playoff system. The BCS rankings leave no room for a sleeper of a team to win a National Championship. God forbid non-BCS schools like Boise State or Fresno to ever be considered in the top 4. I know that there are Billions of dollars at stake with all the bowl games but who really cares about CareCare, Bubba’s HotWings Bowl. The names are getting worse every year. It would be nice if they took the Top 30 teams in the nation determined by the AP, USA Today College Coach poll and the BCS mockery of a computer program combined and let them play. Last two standing play for the National Championship on New Year’s Day. No more college football after New Year’s Day. I liked it when I was nursing a hangover to settle in and watch the championship on New Year’s Day. Bring it back.

The NCAA has a real opportunity this year to get unbelievable TV ratings and generate real interest in college football. It will probably be the only thing in town while the NFL lockout grinds on. If you start a true playoff system like they use in College Basketball and baseball, the ratings, sponsorships and cash will pour in. People want to watch an underdog team like Princeton, Pacifica or Fresno State beat a juggernaut like Alabama or LSU. Look at the ratings of Boise State games. People want to see the little guys win. Go Cinderella Teams!!!

On a side note, the Fresno State Women’s hoops team won the WAC Championship and take on North Carolina on Saturday in the Women’s Tourney. Here to hoping another Cinderella team winning! Go Dogs!

The No-Fun-League

The No-Fun-League has locked out the players and it’s looking more and more likely that we will not see NFL games this fall. It’s a real sad state of affairs. I love football. I love everything about football. I look forward to the draft every April and then start the countdown till training camp. I grew up in San Jose and was a 49ers fan. Notice the past tense. I still follow the 49ers but my love for them died when Eddie D was forced out and the York’s made a mockery of the team. My father was a huge 9ers fan. He actually went to games when they played at Kezar. My father and I have never been close but football was the one language that we could both speak to each other. I now know that I became a fan of the game because it was the only real way that my father and I could ever have a relationship. So for that I thank him.

Now the owners and players may deny me my fall past-time. I am trying very hard to understand the key issues for the two sides but it really comes down to billionaires vs. millionaires. I can’t relate. I will never have that kind of money. $20 million salary to play a game must be nice. One of the key issues is that the players want to see the financials of the teams for the past 10 years to really see what the owners are making. The owners of course said no. I don’t blame them. Minus the Green Bay Packers who are actually owned by the public, these are private companies. This would be like the employees of Facebook asking Mark Zuckerberg to account for every penny for the past 10 years. Facebook is a private company and they don’t have to disclose the financials of the company to the public. The owners of NFL teams have the same right. Though I do agree with the players, I would like to know how the owners are crying poor when they are making billions in revenue from tickets to merchandise to TV rights.

Speaking of ticket prices, the owners need to wise up on that. They have priced out most families from ever experiencing a game live. Cheapest seats for a game average about $60 a ticket. You then have to factor in parking ($25), food and you are looking to drop about $350 just to go to one game. I don’t know about you, but I can’t justify paying that much when I can watch the game at home for free (unless it’s a Raiders game which is always blacked out.) Plus going to a game is no longer a safe place for a family with kids. Candlestick is a pit. They place is rusting and falling apart and it’s a joke that the 49ers play there. It’s cold and difficult to get to, not something I want to drag my family too. Raiders games, forget about it. No family in their right mind should take kids to see a Raiders game. There is fighting, drunk people and beer being thrown and that’s just in the parking lot. If owners want to continue to make the billions they are making, they need to start making it affordable and more family friendly to go to a game.

So I will sit and wait and hope that there will be an NFL season. I will at least have college football. Go Dogs!!!

Sorry Charlie, you are not “Winning!”

I am so over Charlie Sheen and “winning!” It’s a catch phrase that everyone seems to be using and it’s already old and annoying. God, help me even my daughter is using it. It’s all over Twitter and Facebook. People want to be funny but it just comes off as so annoying.

The sad state is that Charlie Sheen is not winning. What career he had is now being flushed down the toilet with the rest of the vomit he spews out on his drug binges. Now I am not a mental health professional, but from the interviews I have seen, that man has some serious psychological issues. He seems to blame everyone else for his failures. His ego is out of control. Sorry, Charlie, you are just not that hot or that smart. You are now just a washed up actor that is one drug binge from being six feet under.

I feel so sorry for Sheen’s family and children. How he is still able to see his children is beyond me? No child should be subjected to the craziness that surrounds Sheen. His family really can’t do much but sit back and watch the three-ring circus that is Charlie Sheen’s life. They can try to help him but you can’t help a man who thinks he is so much better than anyone else and that there is nothing wrong with him. I hope Denise Richards is able to get the kids away from him and shelter them from the public downfall of their father.

I really hope that Charlie Sheen gets the help he needs before he hurts someone or himself. It would be a “winning” situation for all.

Houston, we have a problem…

I have come to realize just recently, that my child is hyper-sensitive. I don’t know when it happened or if I just chose to ignore it but it’s becoming a bigger problem. It’s bad enough, that I sometimes have issues relating to my daughter with her being the ultimate girly-girl but now she is an uber drama queen.

Lauren is at the age right now where she questions everything, how is a car made? Why does it rain? What makes green green? A day doesn’t go by without 20 questions on what is going on around her. I am happy she is so curious and I do my best to tell her as truthfully as I can about what she is asking. Sometimes I don’t know and tell her so and say, let’s go to the computer and find out. Thank you, Google and Wikipedia. Other times I just avoid the questions outright: Mommy, how do babies getting in mommy’s tummy? Mommy, what happens when someone dies? Two deep questions that I just don’t think she or I are ready to handle right now.

But sometimes my truthfulness bites me in the ass. Last night started out a typical night. Lauren came home from preschool and I asked her about her day. She told me how at school they did a fire and earthquake drill. So I asked her what she learned. She told me about what she needs to do if there is a fire and then how she has to get under a table and protect her head if there is an earthquake. I praised her for learning that and then the dreaded question came, “Mommy, what is an earthquake?” I explained in my basic science about how earthquakes happen and we feel the ground shaking, kinda like when a big truck drives by. I watched my curious child turn from curious to frightened. She ran from the room crying. I chased after and found her under our coffee table protecting her head. She was crying away saying over and over. “I don’t want the earthquake to get me.” It was heart breaking to watch. She was scared out of her mind. I tried to re-assure her that earthquakes are rare and only last a few seconds. Nope, that caused more crying.

I had to break out the big guns. I called my husband. I knew it was the wimpy thing to do but I also know that my daughter thinks the world of her daddy. So poor Daddy at work trying to fix a server that went down , had to calm his hysterical child down. It took over 20 minutes and even then; I don’t think it convinced her that everything was going to be ok.

I could tell it was going to be a long night. She calmed down but I knew as soon as bedtime came around, the earthquake phobia was going to rear its ugly head again. That is exactly what happened. Two hours of her screaming from her room about wanting to sleep with us so we could protect her from the earthquake. I felt bad for her but also frustrated. Why does she have to be so damn sensitive? My husband and I finally calmed her down and she did get to sleep at 11pm. Ugh!

I have always wanted to be somewhat truthful with my child when she asks about the world but now I am learning I will just have to tone it down or outright lie to my child so that she can cope with reality. I hope she grows out of this. It’s becoming increasingly hard to explain to her about stranger danger without her wanting to stay indoors and never go out. I don’t want her afraid of the world but want her to understand what is out there so she is prepared. What is a mother to do?