Things noticed on a random basis. The last several times we've been on vacation to various areas, including NYC, Myrtle Beach, Toronto, Atlanta, and Virginia Beach among other places (this is over the last couple of years, mind you, so don't think I have the ability to spend all of my time on vacation), I've noticed a lot of mixed race couples and their children. Maybe I'm just a big ol' liberal in this line of thinking but I think that is the sort of diversity growth that makes the US such a great nation. Fifty years ago, miscegenation laws would have ensured that this would never have happened and now there are growing numbers and they all appear to be doing pretty well (as they appear to all be able to travel based on my own very unscientific notion as we were all doing touristy things in each of those areas). Maybe one day we can stop applying labels to people based solely on the color of their skin and just apply labels based on intelligence, speech, area of residence or any other number of equally prejudicial items... *sigh*
I haven't seen as much of the Olympics as I would like but it's been a rather busy time (note to self - if I'm that "busy", then I need to learn how to reorganize my time and not be so damned busy!). Ok, so maybe I just haven't cared as much about the Olympics this time around. Or perhaps it's the fact that, in the US, the broadcaster (NBC) is almost entirely focused only on the US athletes and I like to hear the stories of the women from Saudi Arabia who were finally allowed to attend the games for the first time ever and other sundry, and equally interesting, stories. However, I have noticed the medal counts and that the US and China seem to be dominating them. So, it made me wonder about the approach of the two nations. China has specialized sports facilities (circa Soviet Union) where children are identified early and spend their entire lives doing only those sports with no other life - often even away from their families. Great sums are spent by the state and the children are failures if they do not achieve the highest honors. In the US, most athletes are either supported by their families or support themselves while doing their own training on their own time. For them, success is as much about getting medals as it is getting to the games themselves - and US fans take pleasure in learning those stories regardless of whatever medal success they may get. I have to admit that I prefer the US method but maybe that's just because I am steeped in that culture - does that mean the Chinese are wrong?
For the rest of this week, I will enjoy my vacation. I am finishing "The Game of Thrones" (by George R. R. Martin) and enjoying it. I just finished the entire Hunger Games series and found it interesting even if the ending of the last book threw me just a little bit - not sure I liked the evolution of the series. Probably write up some poetry and maybe even a short story (for the writer's group that a certain someone keeps hounding me about and I keep saying we need to start as I need that kick in the butt). And then I'll go back to work next week and die from the thousand or so emails I'm sure I've gotten this week... But that's next week so leave me alone for now... :-)