Thursday, January 23, 2020

The waters of this party river are gushing by at a rate we’d never anticipated. We are at least ankle-deep in the throes of this manic mission and we’re finding ourselves feeling every little strain it had threatened to throw at us. Time strain? Sure, I’m working until 10 or 11 every night on these articles and our goofy videos. Energy strain? Yep – sleep can’t come soon enough. Priority strain? Busy days make for busy jugglers, and the notion of boredom is on a year-long hiatus, as expected. Financial strain? Absolutely. Grocery bills have been higher, and the post-holiday January crunch is hitting us right between the fiscal gonads. But still… we’re having fun. So we ain’t stopping now.

National Polka Dots Day

Call this one a demonstration of the slippery harmony of a celestially-tuned universe. Having found a new resource chock full (and you know it’s full if it’s at chock-levels) of new National Days no one has heard of, I started out this day not knowing polka dots were on the menu. As luck would serve it up, I’d already selected the one pair of dotted socks from my drawer. Like the guiding hand of cosmic woohoo, steering me deftly into the next festivity.

So what the hell is a polka dot then?

We all know polka dots, of course. Apparently the pattern can be traced back to Medieval Europe, back when no machinery meant dotted clothing looked uneven and a bit wonky. These clothes were also frowned upon, as the dots made people think of other common dots… like the bubonic plague or smallpox. Over in Africa dotted patterns were all the rage – it should be noted that the bubonic plague was not.

The dots pattern, unsurprisingly, became associated with the polka dance craze of the 19th century, right when the clothing came into style. That’s it – there is no cozier connection between dancing the polka and the polka dot; they just happened to hit the zeitgeist in tandem, and so they’ll be forever linked.

Library Shelfie Day

It’s a “shelfie”… ha ha. Thank you, New York Public Library for coming up with a pun in the title of today’s celebration.

There are many ways to commemorate the Library Shelfie – organize your books by author, by size, by chronological date of release – whatever works for you! I suggested we sort our books by colour, but Jodie didn’t see the point. Instead we have our books clumped together into vague genre groupings, which means we’d probably be searching our shelves just as much for a specific title as we would if they were sorted by hue.

Yesterday was about poking our attention into our book collections, to remind us of what we owned, to encourage us to pick a few to donate, and maybe to inspire a re-read or two. Most of our books are electronic these days, and many of the actual paper beasts we flip through wind up given away so someone else can experience the joy. But it’s always a fun travel through the literary countryside of our adult lives.

Come In From The Cold Day

This was another surprise from that new site I’d found. Come In From The Cold? What could that mean? I investigated.

And… I found nothing. I found at least two websites who will confirm that this is indeed Come In From the Cold Day, but no history, no origin story, no reference to a Joni Mitchell song, no link to a 1963 novel by John le Carré. Nothing. So… I came home from work, went out to shovel for 90 minutes, and subsequently Came In From The Cold. If I can’t speak to the source with authority, I can simply take the name literally.

National Blonde Brownie Day

Lastly yesterday gave us another opportunity to enjoy some delicious baked treats, courtesy of my mother. She volunteered to be this project’s official baker, and so far she has hit every treat out of the park, past the parking lot, and right smack-dab through a picture window into a dimension of pure delicious bliss. We’d never tried out the blonde brownie before, and they were all kinds of magnificent.

Blonde brownies are just like regular brownies, except they use vanilla instead of cocoa, and they also use brown sugar. So you lose some of the chocolatey gooeyness (though the chocolate chips in these babies filled that void), and you get a wholly different flavour experience. Blondies have quickly become one of my favourite treats we’ve tried this year, and this is certainly one of the better holidays of the 110+ we’ve sampled so far. So what could top it?

Today poses a few challenges. With precious little free time, a scant amount of usable daylight and no pie in the house, we’ve got a few hurdles to leap.

  • National Pie Day. Will we have time to pick up some pie? It’s not looking good. We may postpone this one and tie it in with a celebration we’ve got this weekend. We’ll see.
  • World Spay Day. Originally I’d planned for us to visit a vet and witness a spaying, just like those theater-style operating rooms we’ve seen on TV and in the movies (Junior Mints sold separately). But that seemed silly upon reflection, so we may simply discuss the joys of having two spayed pups instead.
  • National Handwriting Day. A good day to get some cursive practice in.
  • National Snowplow Mailbox Hockey Day. This is just like it sounds: hockey played with a mailbox puck while driving a snow plow. We don’t have access to a snow plow, and even doing this with our vehicles will seem silly, given that we get home after the sun has gone down and we couldn’t even capture this on film. Another solid maybe. This will be a tricky day – let’s just work on keeping the strains at bay.

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