Read the Article Here – From author and former literary agent Nathan Bransford’s blog. Good points.
Being chased by rabid zombies in the night – running through woods and stomping through murky waters. Running for your life from Zombies whose skin is falling from the bone. That’s what people want when they sign up for a Zombie run. They want to be scared out of their minds. They want to run for their lives.
My teenager who loves all things Zombie and her big sister signed up for the DFW Zombie Run. They’ve been looking forward to it for months. They dressed in black so as not to be seen in the dark. They liked the rain – it would be so much more fun in the wet and mud. They were strategizing before they left – if one of them were cornered by an undead hoard, would the other leave her and go on? But…
Not much strategy required when you’re just running down a sidewalk in the semi-dark. Turns out, the race was pretty lame. Not like the video which inspired fear. The only fear inspired would be for skinning your knee if you happened to slip on the concrete. The course was just a normal sidewalk, with barely any trees or bushes behind which Zombies could hide. The Zombie’s flesh was not putrid and decayed; only lame face paint signified who the Zombies were and who were not. The runners only got three flags (lives), not four. And even though my girls didn’t care, there were no rest/water stations as advertised.
This race boasted that they are the only one which gives cash prizes. But the only prize my girls were really interested in was that of escaping the grasp of deadly Zombies with their lives. Well, they sure escaped with their lives, that’s true. But turns out, the only thing they had to be concerned about was whether they could finish running a 5K – the pseudo Zombies waving as they passed (well, I exaggerate some, but still…) Is it a wonder that the DFW Zombie Run FaceBook fanpage has already been removed??
Are the other races any better? I don’t know. But the video for RunForYourLives.com looks a little more intense. But videos are staged. Who knows? My girls wanted a challenging and horrifying race, and all they got instead were sore legs.
Life After Service: Health Risks For Veterans
– by Emily Walsh
Veterans give a lot to their country. Their sacrifice extends well beyond just the time they spend in active duty. These individuals face long-term health risks many years after their service. From Iraq veterans who run the risk of mesothelioma to all combat veterans who struggle with a host of mental and physical ailments, the price is great. It is important for veterans to stay on top of their health once they leave the military. Regular doctor’s visits are important for picking out problems before they are too serious to fix. Veterans should also focus on eating right and maintaining an exercise routine.
Long-Term Mesothelioma Risks
Many veterans are exposed to the risks of cancer. This especially true among people who have served in urban warfare areas like Iraq. Many of the buildings in Iraq are old and full of asbestos. This means that when those buildings are destroyed, harmful things enter the air. Veterans who work on demolition teams are more apt to contract mesothelioma cancer. A smart veteran will stay on top of these problems by taking on routine doctor’s visits. Even if you don’t have a horrible disease, seeing a doctor is a positive for your health.
Keeping Up With an Exercise Plan
One of the primary problems for veterans in the wake of service is keeping up an exercise plan. Many veterans run into a problem faced by former athletes. They are accustomed to burning thousands of calories per day with physical training and combat operations. When these veterans get out, they maintain the same eating habits without the old exercise routine. This can lead to many health problems, including heart disease and diabetes. A good exercise routine will ensure that you avoid the long-term problems created by poor lifestyle choices.
Staying on Top of Mental Health
A white house release detailed some of the mental health risks faced by veterans. That report, which can be found here, provides guidance to veterans on how to seek the proper mental health support for their issues. This is one of the important and often overlooked aspects of health that many veterans ignore. It is important to get any potential issue checked out before it becomes a major problem. Veterans have the power to improve their mental health. Eating right, getting on a structured schedule and sleeping the proper amount will bring about better mental health. Professional assistance is important as well.
Veterans have given a tremendous amount to this country. When they return from war, they still face many barriers that civilians can never understand. Long-term health risks persist for these individuals. As a veteran, it is important for you to understand these risks and do your best to mitigate them. See your doctor as often as possible to get out in front of problems before they get too serious. Develop a serious exercise routine to keep your body in shape. Don’t forget about your mind and the mental health risks that can act as pitfalls for veterans in your position.
When he’s 6-1 and 300 pounds. However……unfortunately, he really IS on a 12 and under pee wee football team. On our opponents’ team. Yesterday.
Standing an entire foot taller than any of the other kids was a 12-year-old boy with the body of a man. No one could believe he was only twelve. And aren’t there weight limits? There is a reason for the names PEE WEE and LITTLE LEAGUE.
I wanted to learn more about weight requirements for pee wee football, so I did some research this morning.
I think the boy we played must be the same boy who was banned from the Mesquite, Texas league in August of this year for being almost 165 pounds over the weight limit. His coach and mother protested for him, because he cried over the decision; football has been his dream, and he is still just a 12-year-old boy.
Apparently, some leagues have limits and some don’t. And some leagues just require that the extra-large player put an X on his helmet, to indicate he is only eligible to play certain positions. (The X is definitely not for the players’ notice; believe me, they didn’t need any extra help in noticing this boy. One of our players facing him even called a “time out” himself!- forget waiting on the coaches! )
Although admittedly my child is on the smaller side, this boy weighs almost 4 times what he does, and at least 3-4 times more than most of the other boys on our team.
We had three injuries yesterday; our kids were absolutely getting run over by this boy – what were they supposed to do with him? I think our kids were very courageous; this big boy was scary. (He was bigger than our coaches, and we have an ex pro player and a current pro player as coaches!!).
I get the fact that this boy’s dream is to play football, and that his mother supports his goal. I want to help my child fulfill his dreams as well. But I also want to keep him in one piece. To protect him from getting a broken neck or back from being crunched by a 300-pound 12-year-old! I get the dream fulfillment thing, but come on guys – SAFETY HAS TO COME FIRST!
I’m sure some people who support the “no weight limit” contend that football is a dangerous sport – live with it. But I would say to them that my boy knows football is dangerous, and accepts that fact. He tries his hardest to be brave and suffer through the tackles and stompings. It’s a given in football – as long as the players are all on a relatively equal footing. But 300 pounds??? Seriously??
The boy banned in August says he’s not ready to play older kids – he’s still inexperienced in football, and needs to get experience and improve his skill by playing with kids his age. But how much skill and experience do you need when you’re a 300 pound player tackling 75 pound boys? You just have to fall on them and that pretty much does the trick – not much skill needed there. And you don’t have to worry too much about getting tackled – it would be like your opponent running into a brick wall.
And what about the 300 pound player? I know he wants to play, but won’t injuring one opponent after another after another cause him to feel some guilt? What if he seriously injures someone? As his mother said, he’s only 12, with the feelings of a 12-year-old. Well, I have to say that my 11-year-old would be distraught if he permanently injured another kid, not to mention causing less serious injuries over and over and over. (A skilled tackle on our team almost quit football because he is so good at tackling opponents, but was upset when they got hurt.) I would think that after a while, this mammoth 12-year-old will have to deal with some self-esteem issues.
I am fascinated, captivated, enthralled and mildly obsessed with all things related to quantum physics.* Understand that I’m not really actually smart enough to wrap my mind around most of it in any coherent way. But I’ve done a fair amount of reading and I’ve applied my newly acquired knowledge to my life in some practical ways. I thought I would share.
My ten-year-old creative boy reminded me that it was time to get his birthday party invitations sent. As always, he opted to create his own invitation. He had the perfect picture – a monkey in dreadlocks. Cute. He prepared most of the invitation, and then I finished it off. He diligently printed them, and put them in large white envelopes, for distribution later at school. My husband and I both looked at that invitation and thought it looked pretty good. Here’s the funny monkey picture our minds were seeing.
But here’s the monkey picture that was actually in the invitation.
Oh S *#@!!
How could that happen? I thought I’d been such a good mom to get those invitations out so quickly. Holy Crap.
Fortunately only one got distributed (I’ll have to call his mother!) – the backpack was being held hostage at school because of a power outage, and thank God, the rest of the invitations were held hostage too.
Thanks to his big sis noticing the monkey’s unfortunate activity in the pic (as she laughed her ass off), we get a re-do, hopefully avoiding irate parents, and the school principal calling to tell me that my kid will be going to alternative school for the rest of the year.
Another testament to the fact that parents are required to have all-seeing eagle eyes, seeing everything – even the things so obvious you can’t miss!
I received a special request from a young sailor in the Navy. He was just deployed to dangerous waters, and needs a diversion to help pass the long seven months it will take to come home. He wants books and graphic novels. And not just any books – he wants scary. Terrifying. The scariest I can find. He read Goosebumps and Harry Potter as a boy, and horror is really the only thing he likes to read (and my books, of course!). So now….I need to find the scariest books out there.
Whose books are the scariest? Stine, King, Koontz? I’m looking for crazy scary. No kiddy crap, was the request. Does anyone have any favorites? Please help me scare the uniform off this sailor, and send your ideas this way. I’d love to know that when this sailor crawls into his coffin of a bunk and hunkers down against the darkness of the night, he can read until he scares himself silly, chasing the boredom back to the netherworld.
In the past, when anyone asked if my kids were on select sports teams, I would shake my head and say, “Just call me a bad mom, but I’m not interested in giving up my life to a sports team”. Of course, I always maintained that if one of my kids had a serious passion for playing a game, I’d consider it. But at the time, I never had to worry about it. Sports was for fun. It was a hobby to do on your off-time, to get exercise and learn to work with a team. None of my kids ever cared about getting really, really good. That is, until now.
Not only does my teenage girl love one sport, she loves two. Volleyball and softball are her passions. I can see it in her enthusiasm to play. I can see it in her determination to be not only on time for practices, but early. Before school. In the dark. And let’s face it, if a teenager is giddy about getting up at 5:30 on a Saturday, to be at school by 6:15, to play in a tournament lasting all day and possibly into the night, then she’s got a definite passion for the game.
Extracurricular sports isn’t what it used to be. It’s not just playing with the church league like I did when I was a teen. A recreation league is now frowned upon as the place where beginners and “maybe not so talented” girls play. Select leagues are where it’s at. You know, those leagues with paid coaches, and thousands of dollars in fees, and traveling across the state (or even the country) for tournaments.
Team sports is now big business. It’s a kid’s route to a potential college scholarship. It’s intense and demanding. I’m sorry that kids today have to start playing so young to begin acquiring their skills if they want to excel. If they want to play high school sports, or college sports. Just like the Olympic athletes – they’ve spent their entire lives working toward that athletic excellence, and their families have devoted their own lives to that excellence. But does the cost (on many levels) outweigh the benefits? I guess it just depends.
I think the passion will make the difference. If the passion is there, then maybe it’s all worth it. Not many people get the sincere pleasure of pursuing their passions in life. It’s a privilege and a rare thing to do what you truly love to do, day in and day out. So if the opportunity presents itself……? We’ll see.
What do you find in a Christmas movie? Some are filled with the magic of the season. Some are filled with the knowledge that each one of us is special. Some teach us that the spirit of Christmas is giving more than we receive.
Last night, my mother and I watched The Gathering, starring Ed Asner and Maureen Stapleton, made in 1977. If you’ve never seen it, it’s about an older man who left his wife because of selfish reasons, and dismissed his grown children because of differences he was too proud to overlook (including one son who had dodged the Vietnam War draft). This man is diagnosed with a fatal illness that will leave him only a month or two to live. It dawns on him that he is out of time to mend his family, and decides to have one last Christmas gathering before he dies.
Not only is the message clear, and lasting, but it brought back memories of past Christmases in my family, especially for my mother. My father looked quite a bit like Ed Asner, and was gruff and sometimes brutal in his view of how a family should be, and how the world should be.
When they were decorating the tree, Maureen Stapleton unwrapped a cookie made from baker’s clay, decorated with sequins and marker. Just like the ones my siblings and I made when we were kids. The head was broken from the body, and required super glue for mending, reminding my mother of all those baker’s clay cookies made and decorated so long ago, and crumbling after being stored and unwrapped year after year for the last 40 years.
Especially poignant was the scene where Ed Asner, as the patriarch of the family, read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas to the kids before bedtime, adding to the magic and anticipation of Santa, whose reindeer and sleigh was surely not that far away. My father did that too. He had a special Night Before Christmas book – the cover padded and puffy – that was pulled out every year for the one traditional story that had to be read before bedtime.
But instead of leaving Santa cookies and milk, as Ed Asner suggested to his grandchildren, my dad had assured us that Santa was tired of so many cookies, and he was surely sick to death of milk. Better to leave him a Big Mac from McDonald’s, with a cold Diet Dr. Pepper to wash it down.
The Gathering was bitter-sweet. Bringing back those wonderful childhood memories of Christmas, but then reminding both my mother and me that sometimes you couldn’t go backwards, only forwards. Sometimes, there was simply no more time left.
The movie ended with us knowing Ed Asner would never see his children again, and would leave his family behind within weeks. My dad won’t be coming back either.
Sometimes, it is, in fact, too late. But more often than not, there’s still time to make things right, and to let others know how much they mean to us. When the opportunity presents itself, don’t waste it – seize the gift when it’s given.
Again, my ten-year-old boy had another creative brainstorm. Since he loves dogs, and he needs to earn some cash (those Beyblades don’t just buy themselves), he decided to launch Christian’s Dog Walking service.
Well….uh….ok. Profound words from Mom and Dad.
After deliberation, we told him he could distribute his flyers just to the neighbors up and down the street. Which he did. The first day of distribution was done with scotch tape, which didn’t reap any rewards. But the second day was hand delivery. Bingo. He got his first customer.
A Great Dane. …BOSS (literally, and probably figuratively as well). But a sweet Great Dane.
With trash bags in pocket (after all, his flyer said he’d pick up poop too), he left the house for his first job. We were proud of his enterprise and responsibility. (He’d even given up a trip to Grandma’s because he’d committed to walking the dog).
My boy walked that dog once. Then he went over to play with the dog in his yard later, and was commissioned to come back in the evening for another walk. He was even paid in advance – a dollar for each walk.
As evening approached, he set out once again, trash bags in pocket. But on the way to his customer’s house, the 104-pound neighbor-dog had just gotten back from a frustrating, long visit to the vet. He was apparently in a very bad mood. He ran from his mistress, sniffed my little boy once, bit him on the leg, and ran off.
My boy kept walking to his customer’s house. Once the man found out what had happened, he told my boy he should wait on the walk; he should go back home to get doctored.
But lo and behold, as my little boy walked back by the neighbor’s house, the same dog ran up to him again. He screamed, and tried to hold his hand out to protect his leg, but…
Yes, you guessed it, the dog then bit his hand.
The bites were pretty bad, but thankfully not worse. No mauling or muscle damage, and he escaped stitches. Thank heaven for his customer who drove him back down the street to mom, and thank heaven for Care Now clinic, so people who have weird stuff happen to them after hours won’t have to sit forever in the ER.
So my little boy’s first day at work was both satisfying and brutal. But at least he earned some combat pay (Boss’s dad thought it was in order), and at least he got to skip his shower.
But unfortunately, he had to learn early on that some days work just really bites.