Tuesday, February 4, 2020

If any day will stick with us long after this project has been surrendered to our senility and cannabis-aided memory loss, it will be February 3. And here we thought watching the Chiefs win the big game would be the February highlight…

National Golden Retriever Day

It would be a monument to irresponsibility if we were to celebrate National Golden Retriever Day by acquiring a new puppy. We are acutely aware that there are 332 days remaining, and that many of them are devoted to dogs. We simply can’t dive so deep into this madness that we wind up beflocked by canine hangers-on. It would be a blatantly poor move.

So yeah, we totally got a new puppy. A golden retriever. But this had been in the works for a couple of weeks, ever since our vet reached out to Jodie and offered to place a new puppy with us. It was on Saturday while I was punching this keyboard that I happened to glance ahead and observe this day in our scope. Call it coincidence, call it the universe following its set-up with a stunning punchline.

For now her name is Liberty, named (of course) after Gerald Ford’s dog. We thought of picking a name that tied in with this project, but neither ‘Celebrate’ nor ‘366’ are appropriate monikers for someone this cute.

So when the last bow is snuggly yanked and this project has been crammed into our closet to populate our timelines’ backstories, we’ll still be celebrating February 3.

National Football Hangover Day

What, if anything, is a football hangover? Is it an alcohol-type hangover from having consumed too much during the big game? If so, we failed in this task. I tossed back that lovely Chimay Blue, but even at 9% a single bottle is not going to inspire a hangover. Besides, I force-fed myself hangover fuel once for this project; it won’t happen twice.

We could call it a hangover from a massive game (and it was massive!), after having spent two weeks poring through every meticulous analysis of Travis Kelce’s pinky toe vs. a zone defense, or how well Jimmy Garoppolo performs against a blitz from odd yard lines vs. even yard lines. Except… we didn’t do that. I don’t know if I read more than one article of analysis in the lead-up; we have been a little preoccupied.

So let’s celebrate the hangover from a busy and brilliant season. We have NFL Sunday Ticket so we watched portions of most of the 256 games this regular season. While our gut-parts were once again scrunched into a furor over watching player after player go down with an injury, we still enjoyed the ’19 season. It featured a high scoring shootout between San Francisco and New Orleans, some impressive end-zone choreography, and the Patriots were eliminated from the postseason on the first weekend. We are looking forward to September, when we will learn how to appreciate a football season without watching quite so much of it.

We’ll still be partying.

National Women Physicians Day

This celebration was not at all a coincidence; I booked an appointment with my physician (a woman) a couple weeks ago. She’s a fantastic doctor: she’s attentive, she listens, and she gave us the thumbs-up to semi-immerse ourselves in frigid fluid back on January 1. She doesn’t dispense drugs like they’re candy, but she knows the medications in her arsenal. Since we began to see her on the regular we have both felt comfortable and cared-for under her watch.

So what’s the big deal about women physicians? Women have been doctors for as long as I can remember. A quick glance at history answers that question, however. 2017 was the first year in history that more women were enrolled in American med schools than men. In Canada, the split for family medicine doctors is 53% male, 47% female, which is pretty close to even. But once you get to specialists, the split is 60/40. Surgical specialists? 70/30. Is it a case of women preferring to dive into family medicine, or are we still crawling out from the old-boys-club dark ages? It’s worth noting that surgical specialists make more than 40% more take-home cash than family doctors.

If you have a female physician, be thankful we live in a nation where the balance is at least approaching even. But we’re not there yet.

The Day The Music Died

We know the story, we’ve seen the movies (Busey’s or Diamond Phillips’), and we’ve heard the Don McLean bio-song. A Beechcraft Bonanza takes off from Clear Lake, Iowa, stacked with some of the greatest musical talent 1959 had to offer, and before long it dives into a cornfield, killing everyone on board.

When this project first launched with the ambitious scheme to honour daily birthdays (and a happy one to James Michener, Norman Rockwell and Gertrude Stein!), a conscious decision was made not to take note of death-days. John Lennon’s perhaps, since it’s the 40th anniversary, but otherwise, no.

But this day goes beyond simply mourning the loss of two men whose voices could have helped to define the 1960s (apologies to Big Bopper fans – I don’t think novelty records would have set a lot of trends once the Brits showed up). It’s a reminder of the mirror between art and mortality, and how one transcends the other on a dime. It’s a day for cranking up “Peggy Sue” and truly celebrating that mirror, and how art will outlive all of us.

National Carrot Cake Day

Back in 1591 an English recipe for ‘Pudding In A Carret Root’, which was a carrot crammed with shortening, cream, eggs, raisins, sweeteners and spice, was published to the world. This was the (albeit weird) origin of one of humankind’s most triumphant cakestuffs. The carrot cake truly hit its apex when Antoine Beauvilliers, the former chef to Louis XVI, introduced his recipe in 1814.

The idea behind carrot cake is – and we fully accept this – weird. I’m wary of those who choose to bake zucchini into loaf form, but why should carrots be afforded the same promotion to dessert status? It’s a vegetable. No one is looking for celery pie, or lettuce ice cream. But the carrot makes it work.

We went with a couple of gorgeous carrot cake cupcakes from the local Sobey’s bakery. Why not an entire cake? Because we still have a heap of heavenly hash and a bevy of Baked Alaska to eat, and this madness isn’t ending soon.

Doggie Date Night

Our primary and secondary operational support dogs were in a bit of a state today with the new arrival, so their date night was a quiet one in front of the TV, once the chaos had settled.

And wow, will this chaos continue now.

Today will feature a modest menu of mayhem.

  • National Homemade Soup Day. I’m coming home and making soup. I’ve seldom made soup from scratch, but what the hell.
  • National Hemp Day. We don’t have any clothing made of hemp, but we do have a close relative of hemp on hand and ready to roll up.
  • National Thank A Mail Carrier Day. Our mail carrier is pretty awesome. We will make sure that is known.
  • National Create A Vacuum Day. Might not have time for Mr. Wizard-type science experiments, but we’ll see.

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