Friday, January 10, 2020

In the course of this manic blast of perpetual revelry we must remind ourselves not to gloss over these celebrations just to tick them off the list. These are all worthy of our best intentions, otherwise we’re in this for the wrong reasons. That said…

National Apricot Day

This one didn’t work out. Finding a fresh apricot in Edmonton in January is trickier than finding a prize-winning tulip in a sack full of farts. So we resorted to our ol’ pal Del Monte and a can full of mushy apricot halves, gargling beyond the brink in their flaccid juices.

We sampled this during our nightly Youtube shoot, so you can capture the moment of unmitigated disappointment on each of our faces as we dug in. We’ve both had real apricots, and they possess a bold, strident pang of refreshing magic in every bite. That flavour was certainly present in this can’s innards, but it was like listening through a fifty-foot Victrola speaker. Muddled and distant at best. Only a hint of what we truly appreciate about the apricot.

Apricots are beloved in the eastern hemisphere, perhaps more than in the west. Apparently they are verboten among US Marines though. Since the war in Vietnam a cloud of superstition has lingered over the fruit, in particular if the fruit’s devourer is near to a tank. Bad juju. If you’re a marine three breaths away from a combat zone, you follow that juju, I get it. But if you’re not a marine, I hope you enjoyed a fresh, actual apricot yesterday.

National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

Integrity. Courage. Community. This is the motto of the Edmonton Police Service.

Unfortunately, the EPS twice failed to return our emails as we requested to take part in a ride-along, or to take a tour of the downtown precinct. So that’s all the love they get today.

I (Marty) am fortunate to share a sprawling beige office with Alberta’s Consumer Protection Unit, a group of peace officers who track down sketchy landlords, shady contractors, and nefarious (and damn they do get nefarious) employment agencies. These folks won’t get a Chicago-based NBC primetime series made about them, but they get results, often in the form of recovered money from contractors who disappeared mid-job.

Yes, I brought them donuts. Yes, I know that’s pretty cliché and I make no apologies for it. They don’t get a lot of recognition and love (as evidenced by their lack of TV series), but we appreciate them. I hope some of you went out and hugged a cop yesterday. And hopefully you asked for permission first, otherwise you may not be in a location where you can read this article.

National Static Electricity Day

I tried. Oh, how I tried. I kicked off my shoes at work and every time I left my little cubicle I shuffled across the carpet, then tried to conjure a sweet zap by touching a filing cabinet, a doorknob or a (willing) co-worker. Only one of my fellow office pals (hi, Bonnie!) matched up and shared a spark with me. Jodie had better luck in her drama room, even more than she’d expected. Those unanticipated ones are always great, aren’t they?

Static electricity is an imbalance of the positive and the negative. Electrons scoot about like confused little ants and leaves the protons to rule the roost and swing their big proton dicks around until they get zapped back into proper behaviour.

This is why I never taught science. I tend to get a little bit loose with the metaphors. But you get the point.

National Hot Tea Month

It’s our first National Month celebration! Jodie enjoys a steamy cup of Sleepytime every so often, and every morning coffee may give her a kick-start, but it’s the jasmine pearl tea from David’s Teas that floats her through her morning.

After water, tea is the most consumed beverage on the planet. It’s a part of British afternoons and accompanies every Chinese meal. It’s refreshing when it’s iced and some prefer it iced and sweetened. Walk into any tea store and you’ll see so many options you couldn’t possibly try them all. Or could you? Might this be our 2021 project? Teas366.com? We’ll see.

As we glide into a particularly wicked weekend of sub-twenty-below temperatures and likely another dump of sore-muscle snow onto our pavement, we get to have a little bit of fun along the way.

  • National Houseplant Appreciation Day. I can’t imagine our house without its plants. They give us oxygen and they give us company. Quiet, distinguished company. That doesn’t poop on our floor. I’m looking at you, Rosa.
  • National Bittersweet Chocolate Day. We’ve got some award-winning delicacies from a local chocolatier that we will be savouring throughout the day. Edmonton is home to a surprisingly world-class chocolate scene, and that’s just groovy.
  • National Oysters Rockefeller Day. Jodie is dreading this one. Let’s face it, oysters are, by any measure, grotesque. The texture is snot-like. But damn, the butter, herbs and flavorings to make them Rockefeller are divine.
  • National Cut Your Energy Costs Day. It’s going to be extremely cold. We may not embrace this particular one.

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