Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
"Do you know of any suitable boys? Please call us or send an email with details if you know anyone who might match."
"What are your basic criteria?" ( Always a good idea to find out the customer specs and requirements before preparing a list of suitable candidates.)
"Well, he must be Telugu speaking."
"Is that all, I know at least two dozen eligible boys, shall I send you the list?"
"No, no, no. He must be vegetarian too."
"Oh, then the list will have only 4 or 5. What else?"
"He must be a doctor with a green card or a US citizen."
"No, no, no. A plain doctor will not be enough- he has to be a surgeon", interjected the girl's mother, adding another critical attribute. "We can't settle for less, after how we've educated our daughter."
"And he needs to be tall and fair, not older than 35 and with good horoscope and family background."
Even if I could come up with a "boy" who is all of the above, the problem would be that such a paragon might be already married with two kids, and unwilling to take on Wife # 2 because of antibigamy laws. Or even worse, divorced with two kids. Hmmm, maybe I should put in a word for Candidate C. My husband gives me a warning look before I shoot off my mouth mentioning names.
"Of course we will do our best, Uncle", he grinned at our matchseeking friends.
Now you see why I am totally unfit for this business: too much frankness and snark will get you only so far. A diplomat's delicate touch and tenaciousness would come in handy, I suppose.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Suji was delighted, taking every opportunity she found to run down to the library. She loved to kneel between the book cases, riffing systematically through the spines till she found her favorites. Sometimes, Champ, the librarian’s black poodle, would trot up to her, waiting patiently from a possible doggie treat as she petted him for a few minutes. The treat never came though, Suji had no clue that it might be something Champ would enjoy. Then it was on to the next library patron, who might be hiding a small snack in his pocket.
The Book Exchange cupboard under the stairs was another magical place. Musty and dusty, reeking of old books long forgotten, most kids stayed away from it, not caring for the contents largely placed there by avid bibliophiles seeking a gentler retirement for their outgrown favorites.
Suji surreptitiously brought a couple of unwanted books from home and placed them in the cupboard, picking out a couple of much desired books in exchange. Some books on the bottom shelf were even marked “borrow and return any time”, so she delved into those with a special vigor. There were hard bound editions of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s ‘Little House’ books, that had Suji curled up in her bed, reading as if her life depended on it, even as she ignored Amma’s calls to dinner. Those books would move with her from the old apartment to a newer one, and not return to the Book Exchange cupboard till they left
Appa would occasionally pick out Enid Blytons for Suji on his frequent business trips to
There were even a couple of French books to vary the charm: a translation of a Mallory School series book of Enid Blyton's called "Le Theatre au Malory Towers" and a nondescript translation of a mystery adventure "Secrets au Clair de Lune". Suji was particularly taken by the description of the secret cabin where the protagonist went with her little notebook to write.
What to do about the lack of a secret cabin? She could remedy that by placing a bedsheet over the old dining table and crawling in there with a torch. That would have to be her 'secret' spot to write in the notepad. Suji started filling the pages one after one, lists of favorite books, doodles and drawings,anything and everything that she thought that she wanted to keep secret, though from whom, she didn't know. There were no really close friends with whom to share these secrets.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Anything by Billy Mays, in his trademarked shouting gravelly voice:
(All words have been mangled in this recreation, beyond the product names)
"Mighty Putty... will make anything stick to anything"
"Oxiclean... pulls out any stain from any fabric"
"Fixit... will cover any scratch on your car"
All these are offered for the measly price of $19.99 or $9.99 + Shipping and Handling (the mysterious terms that should make you quake in your shoes- what if the S&H turned out to be twice the advertised cost of the product?)
I was surprised to find out that the redoubtable Billy Mays has a local link, being a native of McKeesport, a manufacturing town SE of Pittsburgh ( I've driven through it in a quest for a tunnel-free route to work.).
Another terrible TV ad favorite is the one with lyrics about how wonderful Pittsburgh and America are, and soaring music to match, only to descend into bathos advertising "George Moving and Storage", which begs the question: Is that a hint to the wise that Pittsburgh is the kind of town to move out of at the earliest opportunity?
Then we have the inimitable rapid-fire patter of clean-shaven Richard Bazzy for some Ford dealership. I never can make out a word of his sales pitch, but we gawk at the TV for the duration of the ad, where he's probably trying to fit in 30 seconds worth in a 10-second spot.
Who said local ads aren't fun? They're the funniest ones on TV!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Coming back, I hoped for a better against-the-flow timing, but got mired in school traffic, with crossing guards holding up their stop signs as they waved packs of kids across the road.
Tomorrow, determined to stay out of the tunnel-vision crowd, I've used the maps at google.com to plan a route that takes me away on side roads. I will need to time it and see how long it takes.