Saturday, October 23, 2010

Money for Nothing

I just finished a book - it's been a little while since I've read one since I've been catching up on my magazines, but I finished it. It's called "Money For Nothing: One Man's Journey Through the Dark Side of Lottery Millions" by Edward Ugel and I must say, it was an incredibly interesting read. Based on the title, you would probably think that it is about a guy who won the lottery and in a way, he did - but not in the traditional sense that you would think. This book is about a man who worked in the lump-sum industry. When a lottery winner decided to get annual payments (since not all states offer lump-sum choices when they win) and spends all the money and is strapped for cash, they can sell some of their payments to a lump-sum company. Edward was one of the salesman in the industry who would negotiate for those payments. While in theory it sounds like they are doing the winner a favor (by being able to help them out when they are strapped), the winner is getting screwed out of some of their money. These salesman are earning hundreds of thousands of dollars - which in the case of some of them, was comparable to winning the lottery.

This book completely opened my eyes to a side of the lottery industry that I never knew existed. I had always thought that if I was ever lucky enough to win money (which is only possible if you play, which I don't), I would be able to take care of my boyfriend and pay our bills, as well as paying off my school loans and maybe being able to go back to school. Coming from someone who worked on the other side of the equation, I began to understand why some people who had won the lottery wished they hadn't.

I love reading autobiographies and non-fiction books. There is something about reading about real people and situations that opens my eyes to so much more that is outside my own little world. I think this book is definitely worth reading and I would definitely give it an A+, five stars, whatever you want to rate it as. It is a book that I may not have initially been attracted to, but coming from me (someone who will read just about anything), I'm glad I took a chance and read this book.

Peace and Love!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Take me back...

I've been gone for far too long. I don't know if I have ever mentioned it before, but I am a horrible blogger. I either seem to totally forget about it or think that anything I could possibly write about seems stupid or redundant. But in this case, I don't care if what I am saying is either of those things.

So being bored out of my mind and wanting to listen to some music tonight, I decided to go back in time (I guess) and listen to some music that I haven't listened to for a very long time: the Backstreet Boys. That's right - I said the Backstreet Boys. When I was in middle school and high school, they seemed to be all the rage - and I listened to both them and N*SYNC, which (if you know me) means that my musical taste is spread out all over the place. Sometimes, I think listening to something as old school (and somewhat comforting) as music from my past makes things better, even though it doesn't really change anything that is going on. Music just seems to have a way of making people feel better or bringing out emotions in us that have been suppressed for a while. In my case, I think it is more about remembering what my life was like before medical issues and bad decisions. It takes me back to a place where I didn't have a lot of responsibility, thus not leading to disappointing a lot of people. Here I go ranting again. Oh how things change...

Peace and Love