Friday, March 6, 2020

When every impertinent particle of the known universe blackens its elbows and bruises the sky, we may take for granted the inner peace we’ve cultivated. We sit poised on a perch buoyed by over 300 celebrations, the clang of this perpetual party already wearing down grooves in our perception, but what really is the catalyst for joy? Incessant provocation and a leaden focus on frolic? Or the abandonment of one’s rigid milieu in exchange for hours of mental quiet? These are the questions that battered my Thursday. In short – are we creating happiness or keeping ourselves from it? Should we turn off, tune out, and climb in? Abandon the madness?

Fuck that, we’ve got too much to do.

National Cheese Doodle Day

Alas, I have found a typo – contrary to every source I found online, this should be National Cheez Doodle Day. The doodle is not a genre of snack but rather a brand produced by Wise Foods out of Berwick, PA, a subsidiary of Arca Continental. We were unable to celebrate the true Doodlosity of the day, as Cheez Doodles (and presumably the rest of the Wise fleet) are not available in this part of the country. But that’s okay, they aren’t the original doodle.

For that we’d have to go back to the Cheetos, or “Chee-tos” as we knew them growing up. The story goes that Charles Elmer Doolin, who had already rocked the everloving fuck out of the corn-based snack when he invented the Frito, concocted the things in his Dallas-based research kitchen in 1948. Then, unable to market them nation-wide (Frito was a small company), he partnered with Herman W. Lay and the rest is history. Actually, so is that part – it’s all history. What a stupid expression.

But wait, what about Morrie Yohai? According to Cheez Doodle lore the snack was first baked by Mr. Yohai for Old London Foods, also in 1948. Could it be there was a simultaneous spark of cosmic inspiration that birthed two separate puffed cheese snacks at the same time? We may never know the doodle truth. But we can enjoy the goods.

Jodie prefers the Cheetos puffs, I go for the Canadian-made Hawkins Cheezies, which also sports a lineage that traces back to the post-war years. The 40s were a golden time for cheese-based cornmeal treats.

National Absinthe Day

A7ET0J Absinthe

As mentioned yesterday, we hadn’t chanced upon any absinthe at our local liquor shops, so this will be a toast in spirit only – pun only slightly intended. I’d heard stories that absinthe will kick apart the walls of imagination and spark hallucinogenic dalliances and puff-pastry visions of the surreal and the sublime. When I actually tried it, I was disappointed to learn it’s just really strong hooch that kicks your brain square in the balls.

Absinthe is made from wormwood, and the star of the flavour show is anise, so it’s not entirely unlike Sambuca with truck-nuts. Part of its appeal was the fact that it spent much of the 20th century banned in the US and Europe. It has seen a resurgence in the last few years, but we’re still riding the crest of that wave. France didn’t release its legislative hold on the drink until 2011.

Part of the hype can be traced back to French psychiatrist Valentin Magnan, who noted that absinthe-drinking alcoholics were more prone to seeing hallucinations than non-absinthe-drinking drunks. That’s most likely because the absinthe drinkers were the hardcore boozers. Oscar Wilde, Vinnie Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec also piled on the phony PR that absinthe will send people trippin’.

It won’t. But the high alcohol content (usually 45-74%) will kill you faster than most other booze-sources. So watch your step if you’re having a sip. At least you won’t have to worry about the ceiling melting.

National Poutine Day

Canada has some brilliant culinary traditions – ginger beef, green onion cakes, Hawkins kick-ass Cheezies – but nothing screams CANADA at the top of your tongue’s lungs like poutine.

Poutine has become a food group in this country. You can order it with pulled pork, with brisket, even with bison. Throw some Montreal smoked meat on there, and substitute mozzarella cheese for cheese curds if that’s more your thing. Some folks have poutine with foie gras and truffles, others will toss on some cranberry sauce and stuffing for the holidays. There’s no wrong way to eat poutine – it’s like pizza. Let your imagination go crazy. Hell, even Tim Hortons sells poutine now, and they make almost nothing edible.

We both grabbed some poutine from New York Fries (separately, from two different locations, because we’re just wired to think alike). As far as national foods go, this is astoundingly unhealthy. It’s also inarguably terrific.

Nametag Day

Jodie was, as mentioned, at her school’s open house. She wore a nametag. There’s really not much else to say about it.

This is the next entry in Celebrate Your Name Week, and it’s fine, but there’s really no digging into the history of nametags, or telling any great stories about how nametags have made a profound impact on our lives. It’s nametag day. Jodie wore a nametag. That is all.

Oh good, I love a day when a full day of work coincides with nine celebrations. Let the madness proceed!

  • National Day of Unplugging. Since we both work with technology and this project is shared and written about using technology, this will be tough. But we’ll find a way to make it work.
  • National Dress In Blue Day. Why blue? In support of colon cancer awareness. Keep that poop-chute clean, people.
  • National Speech & Debate Day. Jodie may get her kids into a rousing debate. Maybe we’ll get into a political debate in a Youtube comments section. That’s always smart.
  • National Dress Day. I don’t have a dress. Even Jodie doesn’t wear a lot of dresses. But tomorrow she’ll wear one.
  • National Frozen Food Day. We will be dining on… TV dinners? What the fuck.
  • National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day. Assuming we can find some, dessert will be delightful.
  • National Oreo Cookie Day. Yes, we’re stocked up.
  • Day of the Dude. Tomorrow we will abide. Maybe a White Russian is in order.
  • Middle Name Pride Day. I don’t have one so this one stings a little. I guess Jodie gets to celebrate and I don’t.

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