The heated campaign for the presidential seat is in full swing. Mud is flying, insults are on the rise, and who’s standing on the right of the photo and who is on left becoming clear. As an aside, is it my imagination or does the press take the absolutely worst pictures of Hilary Clinton and use them in their articles? I’m not necessarily a Hilary camp follower, standing in line at the market and having this horrendous likeness of Mrs. Clinton staring back at me off the front page of the National Enquirer or some other trash can liner makes me want to defend her. It’s like someone taking your worst DMV picture and posting it as your profile picture on Facebook.
On Good Morning America yesterday they were saying kids today might take upwards of 1,000 pictures of themselves every day to capture the one perfect shot to post on their public media pages. Really? I’m amazed they find time to nourish themselves. Wow. I have spoken to this many times, but I can’t imagine that other people besides myself don’t find this a bit self-focused. No pun intended.
Also they were talking about school stats slipping, and teens interest in sports diminishing. The stats pointed more towards technical devices but they credited the lack of interest in sports to the over zealous parents standing on the sidelines during their kids games. You know the ones. Crimson faced, screaming at the players, the umps, their own children, with flecks of spittle foaming at the corners of their mouths. I wouldn’t want to play either.
My son was in soccer and other organized sports most of his young life. This was his choice certainly. I never pushed him to participate in anything rather encouraging his interest if he showed any. He was born with so much excess energy we actually had him tested to see if he fell within normal limits. He did. Sports turned out to be the perfect avenue to capture all this energy and use it in a constructive manner. Where he got his sports acumen from I haven’t a clue. Neither his father nor I could pass a footstool without falling over it and I actually set a school record for throwing a softball the shortest distance ever recorded. Winding up my arm the ball land approximately 3″ from where it was thrown. I could run, I have to say. Track was something I excelled at. Perhaps since running was the only thing I did really well in the sports arena it was thrown in by means of self-preservation for all the missed swings in baseball and catches on the football field.
Looking back I was an excellent runner in football as well. Had to be. I could neither catch nor throw the ball, but if one accidentally remained in my grip I could move that puppy into the end zone. In spite of my athletic challenges, I spent many a summer weekend player powder puff football at the local parks with my friends. Whether you excel, or simply enjoy playing being outside and participating in a team sport, it is energizing for the soul. Somewhat alarming lately is how many young football players are getting seriously injured. Four high school players died from head injuries sustained while participating in a game in the past month in our area. I’m not sure whether it is more players are getting injured, or we’re more informed with news coming in at our fingertips every few seconds.
Personally I admire anyone with the intestinal fortitude to get out on the field, hunch down and look into the faces of some of those massive players without emptying their bladders on the spot. I would be running for sure, but most likely in the opposite direction.
Parents perhaps need to lighten up. It is a game after all with sportsmanship meant to be taught by those older than the players. The outcome of the game does not determine the destiny of man, simply stats on a board and a trophy somewhere down the line. I have observed some parents heaving insults at their offspring, embarrassing them with poor verbal marks on their playing skills, and generally making annoying asses of themselves. You cannot live through your children for heaven’s sake. Remember you are purportedly the adult in the group. Yes? Just because you scored a goal for the other team during your senior year does not leave you the option to push your child to complete your career aspirations. It makes me mad, as you might have noticed.
We have three of our grandchildren in sports at the moment. Rick’s grandson (I call him mine as well) is in football and my son’s children. My son keeps his son and daughter well immersed in activities. To his mind this keeps them busy. “Idle hands are the devil’s playthings” and such. They excel at sports. Again, I must recheck his birth certificate to see if somehow I received the wrong baby. I have videos of them barreling down icy hills on skis, skimming across water on knee boards, snorkeling in the Caribbean and screaming as they traverse enormous water slides. No fear. As a kid I suppose I had little fear as well. I can recall diving off cliffs into rock lined waters with little thought as to how easy it would be to break my neck or cause myself bodily harm.
Once I tried hang gliding. Yes I did. Lessons were held atop a high cliff in Southern California overlooking a particularly gorgeous strand of coastline lingering far below the edge. Graceful gliders ran to the edge and floated off like lovely birds soaring over the Pacific I would assume enjoying the wind in their hair and the freedom of flying. The lessons were to last most of the morning and I was told children as young as four enjoy the sport. Fine, shaming before I’ve even made a fool of myself. Nice.
We were not to shoot off the high cliff but rather to begin with dunes. As usual I took the monumentally simple and injected my spin on it. Running down the hill with all the equipment feeling my “wings” flapping like an ungainly stork I took a direct dive into the sand ending up hanging from my harness. This brought about much laughter from my friends and anyone else observing the travesty. I completed the lessons and managed several escapes into the air but never actually went back to take the plunge over the cliff. Chicken, yes. Alive, yes. Check, and check.
This salad is as nice to look at as it is once it reaches your taste buds. The ribboning takes a bit of elbow grease, but it’s worth it.
1 carrot, peeled and shaved
1 English cucumber (medium) shaved
1 zucchini, shaved
3 green onions, chopped
3 cups of baby spinach, torn into pieces
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
Using a vegetable peeler shave slices lengthwise off the vegetables and place in mixing bowl. Rinse spinach and break into bite size pieces. Add oranges and sesame seeds and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss with red wine vinaigrette just before serving.
Red Wine Vinaigrette
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. honey
2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil
Place all ingredients in the blender but the oil. Mix well. Slowly add oil with blender running. Chill for 1 hr. prior to use.