Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mandatory Halloween Costume Discussion

with M, of course. S has long since outgrown trick or treating.
"What are you going to be this year?"

"Dunno. Maybe something scary this year, not a mouse like last time."

M rummaged in a box filled with old books that I hadn't dropped off as a donation yet and let out a yell of triumph. A Darth Maul mask, and black cape rewarded her efforts. She dropped the mask and pranced around in the cape, a good 6 inches too long for her.
"I'm going to be a Dementor, this Halloween."

"How about carrying around your little rake with that costume? Then you could be the Grim Raker. I could even glue a few leaves on, for effect."
"No, that would be funny, not scary."
Oh my, you have no idea how scary a pile of leaves can be to us phyllophobics during the fall. I would have a heart attack, for one, if a Grim Raker were to greet me when I opened the door.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hear, Hear!

It's that time of the year again when our yard sits carpeted in brown, red and yellow. Our deck too. I decided to try a little bit of raking at lunchtime and headed out, rake and bags in hand. And iPod and earbuds. Nothing like listening to mellifluous Carnatic music while I filled the bags with the oak leaves.
At least, that's what I thought till I bent down to scoop the leaves into the bag, and the right earbud promptly fell out, leaving just a tiny tinny sound from the left earbud. I spent half an hour juggling garden gloves, leaves, rake and earbuds, and ended up with only one bag filled where I normally would have managed two or three.
How do all those ads show smiling sportspeople and breakdancers twirling around with impunity, while their earbuds appear glued to their ear and don't fall out as easily as mine? Am I special, or deficient in some way?
Then I chanced upon this article, and learned that there is even a name for this affliction: Earbud Cartilage Deficiency Syndrome. Yay, at last someone has investigated it and possible solutions.
David Pogue, I salute you!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

All Pinked Out

This month has everything in sight turning Pink, fountains, cabs, billboards, junk mail, you name it,  as a reminder of the fight against Breast Cancer. But I have a case of Pink Fatigue, much like this NYTimes blogger.
(In fact, I suspect she stole (a la Inception) into my pink-addled dreams and pilfered my initially planned blog post title.)
Case in point: At a recent PTA meeting, we were exhorted to wear pink, and if we didn't, we were kindly supplied with pink frosted cupcakes, pink lemonade and handmade pink ribbon pins by some crafty mom who filled her evening with creating such delights, till we screamed Uncle and submitted pinkfully to the pink. All Hail the Pink Ribbon!
Even the superintendent turned up in a pale pink shirt with his regulation black suit, claiming it was the only thing that he owned in pink. The initiator of the 'Think Pink' trend was much gratified, but cast a slightly jaundiced eye at my non-regulation trending to magenta pink top, largely camouflaged by a pale blue hoodie.
Of course, it's all about symbolism, marketing, tons of money flowing in to the corporations that choose to participate (with miniscule donations to the American Cancer Society or Susan Komen Foundation.) A backlash has long since begun, even against the excessive commercialism that seems to permeate the issues behind seeking a cure for a very serious disease.
Seriously speaking, I would rather see more reasoned discussion of the environment, the social trends and other well-supported known causes for the increases in incidence of breast cancer, rather than cutesy exhortations to 'Think Pink' and pour money into the coffers of big 'corporate sponsors', some of whom hawk or even contribute to the increase in incidence, either through their products or the means by which they operate.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Does anyone recall these seriously cheesy ads for a motorized wheelchair called the Hoveround?
Now, it's been replaced by a newer untuned voice-over, but the original 'Go go go in my Hoveround' remains as haunting as ever. It echoes in my brain every time I see the ad.
What do those Hovering Seniors do for entertainment? Well, there's always adventures like this one, I guess.
"Jerome and Darlene Kilian began arguing inside the restaurant and were asked to leave. Once in the parking lot, Jerome refused to give his wife the car keys, so she began chasing him around the parking lot in her wheelchair.

Restaurant employees said it took her just seconds to make her way across the parking lot.

At one point, the husband hid behind a neighboring Dunkin' Donuts, which is under construction, while his wife "zipped" around looking for him.

Restaurant employees said this went on for about 15 minutes before Pennsylvania State Police arrived and charged the couple with disorderly conduct."
Maybe Mr. Tom Kruse (no, unfortunately not the Tom Cruise), CEO of Hoveround should audition these two for a Mission Impossible style ad for his Hoveround chairs. That would be an instant cult classic!