Wednesday, March 23, 2022


We are off to collect our holiday present from Big Cuter and Queen T - a weekend of food and fun surrounding tickets to the NCAA's March Madness Elite Eight game on Saturday.

We know what seats we have.  We don't know what time the game will begin.  And, since you have to win on Thursday to play on Saturday, and Thursday is tomorrow, we don't know who we'll be seeing.  It could be Duke and Gonzaga, which would be very cool.  Arkansas vs Texas Tech.... not so much. 

The uncertainty is compounded by the fact that Arizona is in the South bracket, playing in San Antonio, and the game we are seeing in San Francisco is the West bracket.  It is possible that Arizona could be playing at the same time as what we will be seeing.... a fate too awful to contemplate.  We are hopeful that wiser minds prevail, and the television and advertising and NCAA gurus recognize that they can extend their audience by showing the games one after the other. At this time, there is no definitive answer.

San Francisco's mask mandate is gone.  This means we can enjoy the game without face coverings.  This means that we will be sitting with thousands of other people, indoors, for the first time in 2 years.  The last time I was in a large public venue was with Taos Bubbe on March 11, 2020, when we saw the last performance of The Last Ship.  Sting thanked the few of us in the audience for showing up.  Little did we know that it would be years before we did something like that again.

It will be interesting, unnerving, new, and nuanced.  We're bringing masks, just in case being unprotected is too overwhelming..... and this brings me to the point of this post:  masks.

Loops behind the ears don't work for those of us with hearing aids.  The devices fly off when the mask is removed.  The straps interfere with the proper placement of the devices and they are often found hanging from my earlobe, wrapped around the strap, dangerously close to being lost forever.

Unfortunately, the N-95's with straps around the head are very difficult to find.... unless you call CVS and discover that they have just receive a pallet of free - FREE!! - masks from the government.  

Do you want the free ones? the clerk wondered.  I laughed, said YES! and we both thanked Joe Biden for keeping me safe as we wondered at the absurdity of the proposal to cut the pandemic research and testing funds by the same Feds who were providing this giant stack of masks
to anyone who asks.

Individually, they have a flat front, tight straps, and a long under the chin piece that seems to be more useful than those that stop at the jawline.
I wouldn't go so far as to say they are comfortable, but the price was right and they do the job and we are now more than ready to traverse through airports and sit next to strangers in this new, semi-post-Pandemic world.


  1. Enjoy the game without face coverings? Not me! You are wise to take the good masks with you.

  2. Well, I hope you have fun whichever teams you get to watch. If it's not your team, adopt one of the others and join in the fandom!
    I wear hearing aids and use KN-95 masks with ear loops. Pulling out the hearing aids is something I have to be vigilant about, but I do not want straps around my head. My husband does wear those and they seem to be a pain to put on.
    Have a great time, and go Gonzaga!

  3. I still don't go anywhere without my mask, not that I go many places. I wear hearing aids and I use the masks with straps behind my ears, I've never had an issue.


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