Thursday, March 28, 2013

Marine Corps I come!

Starting at noon yesterday, I and thirty thousand other people spent ninety minutes plus in front of computers hitting refresh, screaming, pounding fists on desks or legs as we tried repeatedly to get to the registration page for the Marine Corps Marathon. Unbelievably I got to the registration page four times and finally on the fourth attempt it appeared to work.
I received the official confirmation email at 7:30 last night. I'm in! What an amazing feeling. I am now wicked excited and nauseasly nervous.
This will be my first marathon! I figure if I'm going to go fo it I might as well go for it in a big way and at the best race. The Marine Corps Marathon is the best and I am thrilled to be a part of the 38th Marine Corps Marathon.
Every year I make a list of new things to try and this year, a marathon was at the top of my list.  Looks like I am going to get a shot at making that goal.
Now the hard part begins. Training. Lots and lots of training!

Friday, March 22, 2013

What is this world coming to?

What is this world coming to when everywhere you turn the classic or old way of doing or referring to things is no longer valid or is considered politically incorrect? Sorry for the rant, but I just had to get this off my chest. I fear for our future generations.

I found out this morning that at a kid’s school they no longer cross their legs “Indian-style” and sit down, they sit “crisscross applesauce”. Seriously, what is that? I mean seriously, folks. Think about it! No wonder our kids are growing up a bunch of sissies or psychos. Kids are no longer allowed to play cops and robbers or Indians and cowboys? So what are they supposed to do, play zombies and vampires?

In some schools parents are not allowed to send in homemade baked goods, they have to be store bought. Well, gee, homemade is always better, and what if you are a parent who cannot afford to buy baked goods for your child’s class? In some schools they don’t allow parents to send in treats due to so many food allergies present today.

You know why there are so many food allergies? Because we don’t let kids be kids! Because so many parents don’t let their kids go outside and play in the dirt. When I was younger, my mother would kick us out of the house and tell us, “Go get the stink blown off of you.” Then she would lock the door on us and not let us in for at least an hour. Heck! When I was a kid, we only wanted to play outside. There was no such thing as antiseptic hand cleaner that people and schools buy by the truckload, which disrupts your immune system.

Schools are canceling Honors awards ceremonies because the kids who didn’t receive high-honors might feel bad. Oh! Like canceling that event didn’t just make the kids who earned the awards feel bad, thus providing them incentive to achieve less.

Every kid gets a trophy in sports? Should we stop keeping score now? Oh, wait, we practically do. In some sports, like little league baseball they say every kids gets to hit the ball no matter it takes him three strikes or twenty. While this might seem noble in some people’s eyes, it seems cruel to make a child stand there until he/she hits the ball. How do the children learn the rules of the game? Where will our future pro athletes come from if we do not promote the game, its rules, sportsmanship, and yes, the scary, yet politically incorrect word, “competition”?

How is this real-world? We’re sending the wrong message to our children. Do they think they will just be given a job and not have to compete against others? Do our children think that they will be praised in the real world for just doing their job or for going above and beyond? Do these people really believe that businesses want employees that only produce the minimum?

Teenagers aren’t allowed to color their hair or cut it a strange style or they get kicked out of school. Don’t you remember seeing kids with Mohawks and rainbow-colored hair walking down the school halls? Sure you laughed or maybe you thought, “Wow, I should do that.”

What happened to self-expression? What happened to kids being kids?

Some schools are considering dropping courses like physical education (gym to you and me) and art classes. Why? Do we not want our kids to have creativity? How are the future artists and musicians of America going to learn what medium fascinates them? Not all parents can afford to buy an instrument, let alone pay for lessons. Are we expecting our kids to learn about sports from television? Hmm...that's maybe not such a great idea. Have you seen some of the wat sportsmanship has been exhibited on national television? Does no one care about our kids being physically fit? Or is the state of obesity in this country going to continue to grow?

When I was a kid, we would walk to the town pool to swim…without parents. We would walk into town to buy an ice cream cone with our allowance from the Dairy Queen or a pop (soda) from the local drugstore. These taught us survival skills. You learned to find your way, to pay for a product or service and to make sure you got correct change back. And of course, you had a curfew to be home by so you learned responsibility and to tell time. In today’s world, that would be considered child abuse. What?! Do you know a better time than childhood to learn responsibility, right from wrong, and rules?

Am I the only person who looks at these ridiculous political statements and thinks, “What a crock!” Doesn’t anyone see that these exact politically correct ideals are actually mentally and physically incorrect for our children? That we are causing more harm than good because we can’t let a child be a child.

If a child is not allowed to be a kid in his or her younger years, when do you expect they will be? You got it! When they get older.

No wonder so many of our youth grow up to be older in years, but not actually grown up. We need to teach our children values that we grew up with, the value that politics have stripped from our homes, our schools, and our personal lives. Help our kids understand that competition does not equal low self-esteem. It’s meant to make you strive to be your best and give your most. As long as you do that, you are successful. We need to teach our children survival skills. If you want a soda while shopping in a store, you have to be able to count the money and put it in the machine or pay the cashier behind the counter, without your mommy holding your hand. You have to be able to ride a bus without your father following behind in a car.

If you never take off the training wheels, you never learn how to ride a bike. We need to help the children of the world learn how to ride a bike, how to fall and get back up, and how to clean up that scrape and smile, because they made a mistake, but have learned from it.

Most importantly, we should let our kids be kids. We should let them get grungy and dirty, play kickball and cops and robbers. Let them eat dirt, make mud pies, and play with bugs. They should wear whatever they are comfortable wearing and they should feel free to wear their hair long, short, or pink.

If you don’t hold the ties that bind so tightly, then the child learns, grows, and has a chance to develop. Right now, we are choking our children and stunting their growth and their potential.

My parents always told me I could be and do whatever I wanted to as long as I wanted it bad enough and worked toward it.

Can you say the same is true of today’s younger generation? Can you say that all this politically correctness isn’t creating a bunch of “namby pamby’s” who think the world is going to be handed to them on a silver platter and that nothing will ever go wrong? Or because we don’t allow for self-expression in their formative years that they won’t go completely off the wall and won’t know how to express themselves when they are adults and potentially express them in the wrong way.

I, for one, want our children to grow up happy and healthy and with a good sense of self. I don’t believe that pressing our future generations to fit some politically correct mold will accomplish that, do you?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Books and Brewery

With my next book release approaching in a couple of months for AT FACE VALUE, I've been doing some thinking. Yeah, okay, I think a lot, but this has me thinking of Ireland. In particular, it has me dreaming (maybe not dreaming, but daydreaming) about the Dingle Brewing Company.

The Dingle Brewing Company sits at a fork in the road in a small building that was once a creamery. It resembles more of a house than a brewery.

Beneath and alongside the brewery runs a spring, the same spring water that is used in its beer called Crean's, named after Tom Crean, an explorer and a hero who died in 1938.

Crean's is a hefeweizen and is fantastic!

Here's why I am thinking about Dingle Brewing Company. When you sit down to read a good book, don't you usually pour yourself a glass of something cold and maybe a tad alcoholic. I do! I like a nice cold beer. Some people prefer wine, but me, I'm an old-fashioned kind of girl. I prefer a hearty brew with a lot of taste to pair with my latest fiction novel.

Don't you think that a book launch party at an Ireland brewery, one that I have visited and enjoyed in one of my favorite places in the world would be the perfect place to launch a book that takes place in Ireland? One of the main characters has Irish roots and her family owns and runs a local pub. What could be more fitting than a Books and Brewery launch party at the Dingle Brewing Company?

I would love to get their beer here in the states, but gee, I would not be adverse to traveling to Ireland for a good beer and a fun book launch.

What do ya think?

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