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Monday, October 27, 2014

Sexy Halloween

Halloween uses "humor and ridicule to confront the power of death." (Sam Portaro) 

Has Halloween become the celebration of sexiness? Last time I checked, Halloween served as an acknowledgement of death. Not the same thing. Although some will make a connection between sex and death. Don't the French call orgasm "la petite mort" ("the little death")?

Maybe that's why Halloween has become increasingly sexy. Let's blame it all on the French! But really, what does the need for females of all ages to show as much skin and curves as possible on that occasion stem from? And how disturbing is it when it involves prepubescent girls?

As it turns out, dressing up sexy for Halloween might not be as much of a choice as we might think. For the most part, sexy costumes is what the market offers to females. Even in toddler sizes, there is a "sexed-up" version of the traditional Cookie Monster, Police Officer, Firefigther and what not. As for the "girl costumes" that do not qualify as sexy per se: they still, for the most part, put the emphasis on looks and being beautiful - princess galore! (as opposed to actually accomplishing something, empowering yourself and being useful). What does this teach our kids? As is it a "natural tendency" for them to look for "gender appropriate" and stereotypical costumes, or does society slowly but surely instill the idea in their malleable minds?

Let's see what this mom thinks about it (interestingly, a lot of the readers who comment below the article do not agree with her rant; what do YOU think?): click here.

This and this should also get you thinking about Halloween costumes and appropriateness.

Let us know what you think!

Ah, but Halloween is also a great opportunity to express your creativity. Here is an excerpt of what my eight year-old wrote in preparation for this sweet holiday (spelling mistakes corrected; contents her own):

Outside, two ghosts were swinging on the swings and talking about how much they loved being able to walk through walls and fly. When they were done, they decided that they wanted to scare somebody, so they went inside Bob’s house through the window and scared Bob and Kevin right out of their pants! Bob and Kevin screamed at the top of their lungs and ran out the door into the woods… and got lost. But luckily they had fruit bowls on top of their heads, that they had put in the morning when they woke up. Somehow the fruits were still good! So they each had five pears and five apples. After that, Bob and Kevin found a river. They were super thirsty so they drank. They talked about the ghosts. Bob did not know that his house was haunted! The house actually belonged to the two ghosts! Meanwhile, the two ghosts were wondering why Bob and Kevin were in THEIR house. They didn’t even know them! The two ghosts' names were Hallo and Ween, so put together, it was Halloween. They went to their beds, that were sink-proof so that they would not sink through, and started happily sleeping. Then the way that they woke up was by hearing a loud sound! The loud sound was actually a wrecking ball about to crush both of them! Quickly they got out of the house and left to build a new one. Their new one was going to be in Ghostville so that they were not the only ghosts around. And also when they woke up they could go to their neighbor’s house and say "good morning, how are you?" without spooking them, then go back home and eat breakfast, then go for a nice walk, come back and do whatever ghosts do other than scare people. Meanwhile, Bob and Kevin were still lost in the woods somewhere that nobody knows or will ever know. So basically Bob and Kevin were in the middle of nowhere. That is so very sad. And the ghosts were still wondering who Bob and Kevin were and why they were in their house! But it kind of makes sense because the two ghosts had gone on a two-year vacation to Disneyland and had just come back, and so they hadn’t scared somebody in a long time… that’s why Bob and Kevin thought they could move in! Finally, at night, Bob and Kevin found a friend whose name was Joe, and he brought them into his house and gave them hot chocolate so they were warm and toasty in Joe’s house. Joe asked Bob and Kevin how they got lost in the woods and they had to explain how and why that happened.

Happy Halloween everyone! Choose your costume wisely! And be ready to be spooked!

Friday, October 24, 2014

It's getting cold and gloomy: prepare your survival kit!

After some wonderful fall weather, we have been experiencing cold, damp (or plain wet) weather. Everyone had to resign themselves to turn on the heat in the house. The leaves are putting an end to their colorful show. It's dark when we wake up. It's dark right after supper. And it won't get any better.

How to fight back? Especially when - depressing - memories of last year's winter creep in and arouse PTSD-like symptoms? Here are some possible strategies to make the most of the next six months.

Keep going outside. It can be intimidating, the cold, the dark, the windy, the damp. Still get out there. Spending some time under the fall-winter-spring sun can do wonders. If you stay long enough, maybe you will notice the unique beauties of the cold season: the last days of the fall, the birds that stay all year-round, the white powder that covers everything, the silence.

Try a winter sport: skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, hockey, or simply playing in the snow. The idea is 1) to replenish your vitamin D - notably to prevent seasonal depression - you might even want to invest in light therapy; 2) to find ways to enjoy that unforgiving season.

Practice summer sports... indoors: swimming, tennis, badminton, basketball, soccer, etc. Work out in the gym. Sweat! It will make you forget how cold it actually is out there.

Walk and run. If you've been brisk walking or running regularly... keep at it. If you haven't, why not start now? Keeping fit and breathing some fresh air is sure to keep bad moods at bay.

Sleep. You might want to sleep more than you do in the summer. Human beings might need to "part time hibernate".

Engage in a creative activity such as drawing, painting, writing, making music, taking pictures (all photos on this post were taken after the last leaf has fallen and before the first tulip has appeared).

Indulge in cold weather pleasures such as bubble baths, warming up by a fireplace, wearing sweaters and scarfs or fleece PJs and slippers, reading tons of books, eating soup or fondue. Fuel up with good stuff, like lots of fruit and vegetables. Speaking of which: cook or bake. Have hot chocolate, chai tea, mulled wine, hot cider, eggnog and what not.

Do all the things you don't do during summer because it's ''Too darn beautiful outside'': visit museums and libraries and movie theaters and restaurants and cafes.

Feel grateful that you don't need to cover up in sunscreen or bug spray, mow the lawn, garden.

Travel: if your time and money allow for it, go down south for a welcome break from the dreadful weather.

Any other strategies to suggest?