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.

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