Friday, April 10, 2020

Normally a four-day weekend revs with a throaty rumble, blasting through the monotony of daily life in a cloud of spectral smoke, driving thoughts of workday grind into a frenzied scurry out of sight. This particular quartet of sunrises will see us taking a break from the relatively convenient task of working at home so we can… sit at home. This four-day weekend will emit barely a sneeze of surprise and wonder, but such is the downside of an otherwise sedentary lifestyle. We will have more time for celebration if nothing else (and yeah, not much else). Here’s how we tackled our last day before the weekend yawned open:

National Cherish An Antique Day

March 1 (remember March 1? When life was normal?) was National Old Stuff Day, and we dug out Jodie’s old doll (made with actual human eyelashes, so that’s gross) and my old copy of Sgt. Pepper on reel-to-reel. So why celebrate essentially the same thing just a few weeks later?

No, we’re taking a different tactic for this day. Yesterday we spent some time discussing what antiques we would like to own – stuff we cherish out in the world, but don’t possess ourselves. Like I said yesterday (or possibly the day before, I can’t tell anymore), this is our tune, we’ll choose the notes we play. We are presently in a state of object-divestment – we are aiming to rid ourselves of possessions rather than accumulate them. So this is all an act of pure theory.

Jodie’s dream vehicle is a 1956 Ford Thunderbird. They seem to be going for between $35k and $50k online so we are absolutely in the realm of theoretical discussion here. The original T-birds were 3-seater sportscars designed with luxury first, speed second. The ’56 slapped the spare tire on the back, giving enough room for two or three bodies in the trunk – ideal for sneaking folks into the drive-in. The Thunderbird was described by Ford as “a personal car of distinction.” Well, Jodie is a personal woman of distinction, so I guess this fits.

I don’t have a particular antique that I fancy. I would love the customized neon palm tree and rainbow that used to take up an entire wall of my childhood home. It would be fun to have an antique pinball machine – a friend of mine is restoring them for fun now, and I have to settle for pictures. If you have a particular antique that brightens up your life, give it a hug today! Or yesterday – but you can still do it today. We won’t tell.

National Name Yourself Day

We did an entire week of name-related celebrations at the beginning of March, including Fun Facts About Names Day, Discover What Your Name Means Day and Unique Names Day. We also went over the origins of our names – what’s left? Yesterday we were supposed to name ourselves.

I asked Jodie if there was a name she’d always wished she had. There wasn’t. I thought about that myself – having never liked the name Martin as a kid (and I’m still not fond of it), did I wish I was a Lloyd? A Julius? A D’brickashaw? Not really – Marty has served me fine ever since Michael J. Fox made the name cool in the summer of 1985.

Should we give ourselves porno names? Nope, Jodie wasn’t into that. I suggested a few for us: Lou B’dupp, Slappy Thunderthrust, Regina Kokksokkett… nope, not happening. We have been named, and these are the names we’re sticking with.

But it did prompt an interesting, albeit frustrating (for Jodie) conversation yesterday. That’s more celebrating than I was expecting from this one.

International ASMR Day

Autonomous sensory meridian response. That’s what this celebration was about. If you’re not familiar with ASMR, it’s essentially a tingling sensation that starts on your scalp and oozes down to your spine in a little wave of pleasure. Think drugs without the drugs. It’s a gentle euphoria that can be brought about purely by sound.

“Great!” says the beer-swilling, weed-smoking voice inside of you that has grown weary of booze and cannabis and is longing for a cleaner, more natural high to pass the time during quarantine. “But will it give me the munchies?” The answer is no. Probably – I didn’t look it up, but it’s not likely. This will cost a lot less than the more commonly thought-of libations however. All you need is a pair of headphones and someone whispering softly into the mic. I checked out a video of Gillian Anderson doing ASMR and it was neat. If you’ve ever wanted to hear Gillian Anderson whisper the word ‘braingasm’ into your ear, you should check out the video.

Some people can get that tingly feeling from certain types of music, listening to light tapping, or even watching someone perform a mundane task. Once you get the hang of it, you can just sit quietly and bring yourself to a ‘braingasm’ on your own, with no outside stimulus. The people who can experience this best are those who would score high on the neurotic scale in a personality test, and usually more often the introverted folks among us. You know, the ones who are shrugging off this quarantine like it’s no big deal.

If you’ve never tried out ASMR, you absolutely should. There are no side effects, and it can be quite relaxing. If it turns out not to be your thing, that’s okay – alcohol and cannabis stores are considered to be essential services right now, so there’s always that option.

National Unicorn Day

The unicorn. A horse with a horn in the front. Sounds magical? I don’t know – have you seen a platypus? That’s a creature that looked as though God was blasting through the tequila (or possibly a lengthy ASMR session) when He invented it. The unicorn is pretty tame in appearance, at least by comparison.

The Greeks spoke of unicorns, not because they factored into their extensive mythology structure, but because they were certain the creatures were real. They were described in records of natural history as living in India, which at the time was the pinnacle of foreign and exotic to the Greeks. Might still be – I haven’t asked a Greek person.

The unicorn was picked up in Christian stories as a beast that can only be tamed by a virgin. <insert cheesy 80s movie joke here> The beast was also tied to the plight of young lovers, so it showed up a lot in the spiritual artwork of the medieval period. As far as mythical beasts go, the unicorn has a lot more staying power than, say, a minotaur or a hydra. It is associated with calm, with love and with innocence. It’s attractive and never frightening. So yesterday we paid tribute to the noble horned steed and its remarkable dent in the historical record. Not bad for a pretend creature.

After a super-quiet Thursday, we venture into Good Friday with another relatively light schedule. Gin & Tonic Day was yesterday, but we’ll celebrate that a couple days late, when we head out for supplies. For today:

  • National Cinnamon Crescent Day. Great, more desserts!
  • Encourage A Young Writer Day. We both know a few of these, so we’ll send out some kind words.
  • National Siblings Day. This one is all on Jodie – she will reach out and say hi to her siblings. I have none, so I’ll just weep quietly and eat all the cinnamon crescents.
  • National Hug Your Dog Day. Okay, I’ll do this instead.
  • Good Friday. We don’t celebrate this in any religious capacity, but we are grateful for the day off.
  • Beatles Good-Bye Day. Again, not a celebration for us, but a day of note: 50 years ago today the Beatles announced their break-up. That one hurts.