Thursday, February 6, 2020

To anyone keeping track, it was thirty-six days into this party when the sewing spool of rationality began to throw its hips into a wobble – one so acute we could feel it through the floorboards. Our attention is being pulled through a pneumatic tube, changing direction from celebration to celebration on a manic whim. And in the foggy middle of the miasma we have an as-yet-untrained puppy with more kinetic energy than a Thor-powered dambuster shot.

Yeah. We’re making croquet references now. We are celebrating at peak frequency, motherfuckers.

National Weatherpersons Day

In a flit of departure from style, I wanted to utter a few words in honour of the weatherperson of my childhood, a man who will always be the standard-setter in this town’s public meteorological hall o’ fame. The great Bill Matheson, pictured above.

Bill didn’t so much present the weather as he performed it. He introduced characters we’d come to know: the Idaho High, the Mother Low, and “that dreaded of all meteorological phenomena, the Siberian High.” He drew swirls and arrows on his map with a black marker, long after every other TV weather-spinner had switched to graphics. He’d warn us to “gather ye rosebuds, while ye may” if a frost was approaching, and he’d conclude every night’s forecast with a slam of his pointing stick upon the floor, like a beat poet decreeing the light into darkness.

Bill oozed his love of language in every broadcast, turning science into music and balancing it on its head. He’d tell us about the town of Baker Lake, N.W.T. on a regular basis, if only to offer us a comparison with one of the nation’s most frigid and barren climates. Bill made the weather an event.

In 1995 at the International Weather Forecasters’ Festival in Paris (and sadly, I missed attending that year, due to a women’s skeet-luge competition I was covering for GQ), he was voted the world’s best weather presenter. We were lucky to have him; he was offered a job with ABC in New York in the 70s, but opted out of applying for citizenship. He was a WWII paratrooper under a Canadian flag and he wasn’t about to relocate.

Our beloved Mr. Matheson retired in 1999 and passed away in 2006. Congrats, Bill, for being the best we’ve had.

National Girls & Women In Sport Day

The plan was for Jodie to attend a sporting event in her school – one powered by girls, of course. Unfortunately, the Avalon girls’ basketball team had played on Tuesday (and won!), so there was nothing to watch but an empty gymnasium.

We both attended a game last year, which is doubly exciting because they went on to win the city championship. We’d had the same good fortune when we caught a live preseason Denver Broncos game in the summer of 2015.

We will soak up our share of female sport later this year when the Olympics take over popular culture for a couple weeks. We’ll also hope for equal pay with their male counterparts for all those women when they return home.

National Shower With A Friend Day

What else is there to say? We shared a shower yesterday morning, which meant one was perpetually cold and away from the water stream, mostly shooing away our aforementioned pooch from making it a full-on social scene in our tub. Needless to say, at the unholy crack of 6:00am, with a manic golden retriever infant drawing our attention, there was no funny business.

Also, there was no photograph. We’re still a family website, motherfuckers.

National Chocolate Fondue Day

When you give someone the gift of a little fondue set, they probably won’t use it until at least one of them forgets it’s there. Then the other (more mentally-sound) half of the couple will note that, hey, it’s National Chocolate Fondue Day and we can finally break it out! Meanwhile the forgetful one had been ready to give up on this celebration. Let’s just say I married well, and thank goodness for that.

Just a note about chocolate fondue: the chocolate is also often flavoured with rum or kirschwasser (a liquor I’ve only ever heard about in a Steely Dan song). We kept it simple tonight. We also learned how easily we can make a habit out of this. Fondue Fridays has a great, sonorous ring to it, no?

National Nutella Day

Originally sold from a bakery in the hazelnut industry town of Alba, Italy, Nutella was the brain-kid of a man named Pietro Ferrero. Once he figured out his product would sell better as a creamy spread than as a solid block (this went down in 1951), he changed the face of breakfast for millions.

Yeah, breakfast. It feels like you’re eating candy when you spread Nutella on toast, mostly because you are eating candy when you spread Nutella on toast. Or on anything – it’s a chocolate spread. The jar still suggests it should accompany our first daily meal, but Ferrero was sued over claims of nutritional value, paying out a $3 million settlement in 2012.

A single U.S. serving of Nutella clocks in at 200 grams. That’s for two tablespoons. The Canadian serving is half that. Odd, given that our bread is not any smaller.

If the name Pietro Ferrero sounds familiar, it’s because his company also makes Ferrer Rocher chocolates. And Kinder chocolates. And Tic-Tacs. Ferrero was basically the Italian Willy Wonka, minus the slave labour (I hope).

We tacked on a sampling of Nutella to our fondue experience last night. The stuff may not be healthy, but it’s damn addictive.

Read Aloud Day

We had initially planned an elaborate video in which we’d take turns reading to our canine creatures, but Jodie took her medication a couple hours too early and she was laying perpendicular in our bed, wholly unconscious, by 8:30.

So I took the reins on this one, grabbed some Walt Whitman and amused Liberty with some fine verse and emotive imagery. She sat still for nearly four seconds so I considered this one a win.

Today will be lighter in celebrations, but heavier in fun.

  • National Frozen Yogurt Day. Yep, another day all about frozen desserts, smack-dabbity in the middle of winter.
  • National Singing Day. We will sing. We will sing a song. We will sing it loud. We will sing out strong. We will annoy anyone in earshot because neither of us are great singers.
  • Waitangi Day. New Zealand’s big day means a New Zealand feast, when my beloved auntie (one of them) comes by with a delicious pavlova. And no, I’m sure she’s not just coming to meet the new dog…

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