It’s Almost Time!

We are gearing up to launch our little experiment in mirth and madness tonight at midnight. Naturally, our first celebration will be that of the New Year, and we will be indulging in some interesting global traditions for welcoming a new calendar to our walls. You can learn more about our mission in the video below:

Looking to sprinkle some foreign weirdness into your festivities tonight? Here are a few of the more colourful traditions we dug up. We will be celebrating a few of these tonight, as packing them all in seems… well, a little tacky. Choose your own and join in!

  • Burn a scarecrow to banish the ill fortune you racked up last year! (Ecuador)
  • Use round things – they represent money and abundance. (Philippines)
  • Drive around to the homes of friends and family and smash dishes on their front door after midnight – NOTE TO OUR FRIENDS & FAMILY: we will not be doing this, don’t worry. (Denmark)
  • Jump off a chair as midnight hits for good luck. (also Denmark)
  • Drop some ice cream on the floor. (Switzerland)
  • Carry suitcases around with you, in hopes of bringing about more travel next year. (Colombia)
  • Eat 12 grapes along with the 12 chimes of the clock at midnight. (Spain)
  • Ring a bell 108 times to banish all human sins. (Japan)
  • Throw coins into the river for good luck. (Romania)
  • Bake coins into cake, but try not to choke on them! (Bolivia)
  • Throw buckets of water out the window to drive away evil spirits. (Puerto Rico)
  • Throw furniture out the window for some unknown reason. (South Africa)
  • Make pancakes! (France)
  • Throw buckets of water at each other, and smear one another with grey talc. (Thailand)
  • Throw bread at the walls to get rid of evil spirits. (Ireland)
  • Burn an effigy of someone who deserves it. (Panama)
  • Eat seven times throughout the day to ensure abundance. (Estonia)
  • Be the first to cross the threshold of a friend’s home – a tradition known as first-footing. (Scotland)

So many options, and only two New Years to book-end this project. Have fun, and share your stories with us. Happy 2020, all!

Nine Days

I’m not particularly good at self-promotion. This threatens to haunt me like a malodorous funk throughout this experiment, with WordPress coughing up our celebrations all over social media. Thankfully, I am not what should be promoted anyhow. The stars of this show are melba toast, nylon stockings, raspberry bombes, monkeys, ballpoint pens, blonde brownies, dogs, frozen yogurt, lumpy rugs, Nunavut, statistics and noodle rings.

Colo was the first gorilla to be born in captivity, on this day in 1956. She had a motherfucking tea party for her 50th birthday party, and that’s awesome. How about a legitimate contender for the greatest song of all time – Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” – celebrating its 55th birthday today? Spending three minutes and eleven seconds of my day today soaking in the immeasurable majesty of that song – that’s the point of all this.

Today is the 150th birthday of American poet Edwin Arlington Robinson. He won the Pulitzer three times in the 1920s, which seems unthinkable. The sliver of a minute it takes to read his ode to shop clerks is the prize of this project. His poem has a thematic connection to the themes in Kevin Smith’s first film more than a century later. That flavor of unexpected linkage, that transient moment of awareness, that’s what will either sustain me through the next year, or else it will wear dull and turn to tedium by early spring. Let’s hope not.

The logistics of this project are such that I feel I won’t ever be prepared. Are our plates ugly to the extent where the finished photos of our culinary triumphs will appear grotesque and unpalatable? Will I be able to blame it on the dishes?

It’s the bowl.

So I’m making a pledge to continue to suck at self-promotion. The focus of the experiment is the daily roster of whatever the universe wants me to appreciate on any given day. Those roster contents can promote themselves. A year from now I’ll be exchanging cookies with someone for National Cookie Exchange Day, and I’ll be shooting back a notable chunk of time to appreciate Be A Lover of Silence Day. Given the constant cosmic drone of this time of year, that silence will be appreciated. It should be a good day.

The calendars are posted, and they are but the menu at this point. I’ve got close to 1,800 items listed, plus more National Whatever Weeks and National Whatsit Months, and I have zero expectation that I’ll hit them all. But 1,000 has been a good number to me, and if I hit 1,000 celebrations in one year – genuine, authentic appreciations – I will consider this a victory of execution. If the resulting impact on my mood, my perception, and my sense of connection to the universal tether of joyous vibration is positive, I will consider this a victory of spirit. If I don’t gain twenty to thirty pounds from all the baked goods and chocolate-covered morsels I’ll be downing, it will be a goddamn miracle.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the moment to click ‘like’ or ‘follow’ or even to not click ‘block this tedious ass-hat’ on social media. Yes, we are taking Patreon donations, and from time to time I’ll pop out a brief mention about it, but only because I don’t want to cheap out on the ingredients when I cook haggis for Robbie Burns night. This is going to be a weird, expensive little year. But it’ll be worth it, if only for the melba toast, nylon stockings, raspberry bombes, monkeys, ballpoint pens, blonde brownies, dogs, frozen yogurt, lumpy rugs, Nunavut, statistics, noodle rings, for Coco the Gorilla, for Edwin Arlington Robinson, and for Sam Cooke’s greatest b-side.