Friday, October 21, 2005

Ramblings for the Morning (10/21/05)

How strange. It's almost nine a.m., and I've done...nothing. It's a very odd feeling. I would say other teachers know what I mean, but I think many of the teachers I know already can relax at a moment's notice. Wonder what that's like....
Well, anyway, without furthur ado: NOT MY HAND! (seriously, do any of you know any of these?)
Lap it up:
Look at this man. Beyond just his utterly off appearance, this man managed to spend, according to the NY Daily News story, $241,000 on strippers and such at the famous Scores club in NY. Let's start with the club. Scores is like an even more upscale version of Sheiks here in Minneapolis. If you're a celebrity (be it Queen Latifah, a wrestler, David Beckham, or even Brad Pitt), you head to Scores for all your stripping needs. Now, company men also head to Scores (as is evident by this story), but most are smart enough to either take someone to help them (such as a sobber buddy. This is a person who doesn't drink and then makes sure you don't do anything stupid....You know, like pay the price of a condo in Minneapolis for strippers, or drive to Chicago in the middle of night, it's all relative. There were three other men, but they all drank). Now, McCormick is from Missouri. Yes, the same state my wife is from, and the same state where we went to college (also the strip clubs in Missouri are actually across the river in Illinois...but that's another story). He has three kids and is married. Oh, and his salary? Around $700,000 a year, so this Amex bill is about 1/3 of what he makes. No wonder he looks like a deer in headlights.
American Express is suing him and the Savvis company for the money. You see, he felt the charges were, "padded," so he didn't pay. That's a hell of a bill to miss. With 18.4% interest...ouch! So the question becomes this: did McCormick know what he was doing? The spokesman for Scores says you don't talk to the customers about the money they're spending. Also, they can't provide an itemized bill of where the money went. If it was all on a credit card, how do they not know where the money went? Did they just say, "Hmm. Charge him $10,000, and we'll just divy it up." Scores also has other lawsuits against that say roughly the same thing: The bills were padded.
Of course, on the other hand, there's the question of McCormick's sobriety at the time. Maybe he wasn't drunk, just excited about closing a billion (yes, with a b) dollar deal. Maybe he didn't have a single drink, but hoped that some of his companions (there were four guys in total) would pick up some of the bill. That would mean each guy would have a little over $60,000 to pay, or roughly what it would cost to go to the University of Minnesota (as an in-state student) for 4 years.
Personally, this story just saddens me. A great deal of people are dealing with money issues. This guy thought he only blew $20,000 on strippers. $20,000! That's only $10,000 less than the starting salary for teachers in about 20 states. Excess spending...seems to be the thing that America does the best nowadays.
Dead Men Get No Parking Tickets:

An Australian Traffic cop noticed a car was parked illegally and decided to slap on a parking ticket. He walked around the car, got the tags, wrote up the ticket, and walked off. Here's the problem. There was a guy in the passenger seat, and he was
dead. Reported missing only 9 days earlier, the 71 year old man apparently died in the car. The cop, who may have been in a rush, or may just not have really noticed, missed the dead guy in the driver's seat. Now, I bring up this story, because I noticed that many people have stopped observing the world around them. When I was in college, the Psychology department ran an experiment where they have students stand out in crowds and hold up random signs with instructions. For example, one sign read, "If you are reading this, shout, 'Great sign!' out loud." Next to the person holding the sign were two other students who would tick off how many people looked, how many people didn't, and how many people did what the sign said. Now it sounds odd, but it was an interesting experiment. The final tally said that most people didn't notice the sign. If they did, they didn't follow the instructions. What does that say about us? There's an urban legend that a man died in a subway car in Los Angeles, and no one noticed. I believe we're starting to become more and more introverted to the world. Instead of seeing each other, and the world around us, we only see our little space.
On another note, you have to feel bad for the person in the chicken suit or any one of those costumes (even mascots) who have to be out in the blazing sun. They're paid pretty much nothing, get yelled at by pretty much everyone, and, if you're a mascot, more often than not you're attacked by the opposing team and beaten. Sounds like fun doesn't it? Hello? Anyone? That's what I thought. I remember the guy at my high school got tackled by one opposing team's cheerleaders Those gals slapped him around. It was tough for him. He was made fun of for the rest of the year.
Lawyer Dead...No One Bats an Eye:
One of the defense lawyers for Saddam Hussein is dead. That was quick. Seriously. He was shot and dumped behind a mosque. Apparently people aren't happy about this new November court date, still, as Stephen Colbert put it, that's Sweeps time on TV.

Smile, You've Just Been Booked:
This is hysterical. Now, I'm not going to do a political rant here, but really like the fact that for his mugshot, Tom DeLay smiled. I think that's just plain funny. Everybody at the DMV for license pictures almost never smiles. Anybody who is arrested never smiles. You're not happy about the fact that you've been taken in by the Po-Po. It's not a "happy" thing. Yet, here's DeLay smiling as if he was having his picture taken for "Government Official of the Year." One commentator said, "He's smiling, because he's white and rich and will get off." I don't think that's what it is. I think he's smiling, because this experience is funny to him.
And finally....
Rules to Live By:
I recently discovered that a former student of mine posted some advice I gave her. Honestly, I was kind of shocked, but apparently she "liked what I had to say." So, I end this rambling by giving you the advice I gave her. You can decide for yourself if you like/hate/don't understand. whatever this advice.
Leab's Laws of Life (for his former student)
1. Adapt. Either fit into the situation, or make the situation fit you. Don't sulk or bitch. Just react.
2. Realize that the situation is hopeless, but not serious.
3. Don't panic.
4. When upset, take three deep breaths. This slows the heart rate and clears the mind.
5. Realize that life is incredibly short. If a yardstick represents the history of the universe, we are the last millimeter on that stick. Our lives are as short as a blink on our phones. If you sit around and mope and think woe is me all the time, life is going to pass you by.
6. Don't listen to anyone who tells you that right now is the best time of your life. Life gets so much better as time progresses.
Feel free to discuss.


faith said...

My God, $241,000 on sstrippers. That boils my blood.
I like LEab's laws of life!

Admin Worm said...

Leab, the DeLay thing cracked me up too. He had to have practiced at home, knowing that his mugshot would make wonderful political ad fodder.

We're doomed.