Saturday, February 25, 2012

Have a grand weekend

Ivy and I took my new friend Kim of SOS Aloha (link) fame up on the offer to spend some time at Bellows beach yesterday. Bellows is easily one of my favorite beaches. The sand at Bellows is like powder. You don’t need beach shoes to protect your feet and it’s not usually crowded. Ivy had a great time, first at the playground and then in the sand. She’s a fearless little creature, let me tell you.

It was a bit overcast at first, but that just means no immediate sunburn :-)

I hope wherever you are, your weekend got off to a good start as well.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Going home

This is the 1,092 ft-long nuclear-powered supercarrier USS Stennis. Earlier today The Stennis left for San Diego, CA. You see the soldiers manning the rails? You spot their family members accompanying them on this “tiger cruise,” the last leg on their way home from deployment?

It’s quite an awesome sight.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Letter in response to RWI excluding same-sex novels from Magic contests

Dear Jackie,

I’ve been thinking about how to politely word this letter to you about your decision to exclude same-sex books from your chapter’s contest, but the truth is I hope you receive so many e-mails that it’s impossible for you to read them all. I also hope you forward them all to your uncomfortable judges and that you’ll find the courage to ask the same uncomfortable judges to exclude themselves from the judging process.

Here’s the thing: if you’re uncomfortable reading romance, don’t be a romance novel judge.

I took the liberty of having a look at your 2012 MTM Rules & Information page. Three things popped out at me immediately.

“…our only requirement is that they are regular romance readers.”

You know that adage “you get what you pay for?” Clearly, making literacy the only requirement for your judges may not have produced a high caliber pool of volunteers to choose from. I’m guessing you tried to keep it simple to include as many potential judges as possible. Ironic that your attempt at inclusion led to such exclusion, isn’t it?

“They tell us which categories and what “heat” level they prefer to read, so our entrants’ books get into the hands of people who might give them the most favorable rating.”

And when a few of them indicate that they are uncomfortable with same-sex, you go ahead and change your rules to exclude and discriminate, rather than telling the judges that they may not be a good fit for you? I sure hope none of the angry letters you’re no doubt receiving attack these judges for their discomfort level, it is their right to feel as they do, but this is 2012 and we should be above such blatant discrimination. Think of it this way: if your judges said they felt uncomfortable reading about Latinos, would you put “No Hispanics” up on your website?

“Our final round judges are chosen for the diversity of their romance reading interests.”

Diversity? Hmm … Do I even need to go there right now? There’s nothing diverse about “man + woman,” when “woman + woman” and “man + man” are excluded.

N.L. Gassert

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Honda Commercial Fail

Facts first: I have been married for nearly twenty years. I have three children. I drive a Honda (and I love it).

But what’s up with the new “leap” Honda CR-V commercials? Who came up with those? And can you get your money back, Honda? Seriously, this is 2012, and you’re insinuating that life ends after marriage and baby!?

The two commercials that I’ve seen are the baby question and the marriage proposal. In the baby question, the man (after having been told by his female partner that she’d like a baby) stops to consider all the things he wanted to do before having children: See the Northern Lights in Alaska, built an attack robot and go spelunking with his friends.

The first time I saw the ad, I didn’t think much of it. I turned to my husband and asked, “why can’t he go to Alaska with his baby?” My husband, wise man that he is, just shrugged his shoulders. We’ve lived on two continents, travelled countless airline miles, survived typhoons and one earthquake and somehow managed to do it with kids!

Then came the marriage proposal, which made even less sense. The woman who was asked turned to the camera to let viewers know that there were so many things she wanted to do first. Like hike with her friends, learn to play the drums and finish her short film.

Seriously? I can understand that a new father may not want to go exploring deep dark caves with a baby. It’s certainly not an activity that lends itself to bringing kids, but short films and drums? Northern Lights?

What’s up, Honda? What makes you think people can’t still have fun and adventures after they tie the knot? What’s with the bucket list? Your life isn’t ending. Fun isn’t over. On the contrary.

These commercials would have worked much better if the people turned to the camera, told us what they wanted to do in life and embraced the notion of doing it with loved ones and a family. Just think how much more awesome those Northern Lights are through the eyes of your toddler and in the arms of your partner.