**Editor’s Note:I chose this for another “Throwback Thursday” post ~ great reads from last year I’m not ready to archieve w/o one more pass. Enjoy!
I’m an honest person. In fact, I hate lying and am usually terrible at it. I’m the kind of person you should never ask “if your butt looks fat” in those jeans. While I wouldn’t be heartless about it, I’d probably say that we “can find a more flattering style.” So knowing this about myself, I was shocked and appalled by my recent behavior on a shopping trip to a local specialty store.
My friend Cristy at work has the coolest little loose leaf tea pot. I fell in love with it as she kindly made me a cup of tea one afternoon when I was feeling under the weather. So, after some internal deliberation about spending money for something that I wanted but did not necessarily need, I knew that I simply had to have one, too.
Before I went shopping, I estimated that I would probably spend about $30 on a tea pot and a couple of ounces of tea. I knew from the moment the sales clerk opened his mouth that my carefully planned budget had met its match. This guy knew more about tea and tea accessories than Bob Barry knows about Sooner football. He was simultaneously incredibly helpful and terrifying.
I was firm on only spending a set amount in this store and he was the czar of cross selling. I picked out the tea pot and then moved on to tea. I already knew which type I wanted so I asked for two ounces. He reminded me that you ‘get a better price break if you buy four.’ I was still feeling strong at this point and stuck to my guns. “No, I’ll just start with two ounces, thank you,” I said.
Then, he threw the first curveball my way. “You’ll need a tin to store it in. Otherwise it will rot. Would you like the small one or large one?” My mind started racing. Rotten tea? Well, I can’t have that! I had no choice but to buy the tin, right? So, I weakly said, “I’ll take the small one.” Score one for the tea king. Continue reading Little Green Lies: Fibbing for Budget’s Sake→
I was recently watching a report on Prince William and Kate’s 11-day swing through North America, when the reporter said the Duchess is bringing with her 40 different outfits, but not her “stylist.” I guess I should applaud her for being able to dress herself for a week and a half, but that simple statement just reminded me of the chasm between the royals and the rest of us. I am no fan of a leisure class living off the hard work of others, either in Brittan or in this country.
Yes, we have our own royals; they just go by the name “super rich.” Words do not describe the disdain I have for politicians that in the attempt to get our country’s fiscal house right propose aiming such belt tightening solely at the middle class and below, while refusing to ask the super rich to share the burden that Wall Street and investment banks created.
You know we live in a world upside down when CNBC’s Jim Cramer of Mad Money fame (a Wall Street cheerleader if there ever was one) says he is embarrassed to be in line at Starbucks knowing his Wall Street gains are being taxed at a much lower rate than the incomes of the middle class workers behind him.
We are now almost three years out from when we learned those whiz kids on Wall Street were actually just street hustlers using our money to put billions into their own pockets while putting at risk our entire national economy.
In the summer of 2009, I sat down with The Nation’s columnist Bill Grieder to talk about the financial mess our country was in. Grieder has spent the last 40 years covering our nation’s capitol and says when it comes to pointing fingers for financial meltdown and subsequent recession; there is enough blame to go around. Continue reading On The Horizon: A Royal Pain→
The coach is always an easy target. If your team looks bad, the knee-jerk reaction is always to blame the coach. If players aren’t living up to their potential, must be the coach’s fault. If there’s a key breakdown at a crucial moment in the game, the coach is clearly an idiot. If your team’s fortunes don’t turn around immediately, this coach must not be the right man for the job. If your kid isn’t getting enough playing time, the coach must have no idea what he’s doing.
Professional and collegiate coaches get paid big bucks, and I’m sure many of you would trade places with them in a heartbeat. Not me. No thank you. I’m not sure the paycheck is worth the constant pressure, scrutiny, hatred, name-calling and second-guessing that coaches put up with from fans, players, and media. Even if you can handle it, what about the toll it takes on your family? Every day, your kids get to hear about why you stink at your job. Entire websites are created just to promote and encourage your firing. Your demise is almost imminent from the moment you take the job, because there is no sympathy, no grace, and zero tolerance in the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world of sports. These days, owners fire coaches like it’s a bodily function.
Let’s say you’ve got thick skin, and can get past all the material pointing out every reason why you’re an imbecile. Good for you. Now all you’ve got to do is take a group of men, women, or children and turn them into winners. Do that by managing several different personalities, varying backgrounds, an assortment of skill levels, and a dizzying array of attitudes. You have to know who to coddle and who to criticize. Who gets treated tenderly and who gets a dose of tough love? Make sure you earn your players respect, but don’t be too hard on them. Keep things fun and entertaining, but not too fun, because then you’ll lose that respect. Keep players happy with minutes and playing time, and you better know how to massage the ego of your stars and high draft picks. And if you happen to be a high school coach, good luck explaining to parents why Timmy didn’t make varsity. That’s a fun conversation.