Sunday, May 10, 2020

The stars brightened as the earth solemnly dimmed yesterday, as the news of the passing of one of rock ‘n roll’s most vivacious architects spread through the cyber-waves. Beyond grief we found gratitude, as our lives are all a little richer with a dollop of a wop bop a loo-bop, a wop bam boom in it. We persisted with our celebrations because that’s just what you do. Around here, the party just doesn’t stop.

National Lost Sock Memorial Day

Where do the missing socks go? This is a question that has vexed humankind for as long as we’ve had washing machines. Probably longer – I imagine socks went missing perhaps at a greater rate back when laundering them required rocks and churns and bluegrass percussion instruments. Some weeks I’ll find I have a single in the clean laundry, usually of the forgettable plain black or white pairs from Costco. The next week, its mate will sometimes show up. I chalk it up to a clothing vacation. Hey, sometimes we all need a break.

So today is the day we are supposed to comb through our drawers and source any single socks whose mates went out for cigarettes and never came home. I looked, but both our drawers came back in happy even numbers – we had no socks whose partners might show up on a milk carton. Everyone and their mate was accounted for.

If you’ve got a sad and lonely single in your sock drawer, maybe take him or her (or them, if your sock is gender-fluid) and give them a bit of love. If enough time has passed, maybe consider repurposing that lonely little dude or dudette (or dude-them) into a puppet, a nickel-filled weapon for under the bed, or even a mask, if you’re okay wearing something over your mouth that was once draped across your foot. Be creative!

And long live the lost socks. Above is one that Liberty has been carrying around the block in stages over the last few days. Hopefully it’ll find its way home, and not into ours.

National Butterscotch Brownie Day

Back on January 22, we celebrated National Blonde Brownie Day. Those were delicious brownies made with brown sugar, which gave them a buttery flavour. Back then, in those simpler times, we could eat a few then bring the rest to work for our lucky coworkers. Yesterday we celebrated the butterscotch brownie in a very different way, which is funny because it’s the exact same brownie. Of all things to get two days this year, congrats to the blondie.

And honestly, these should get two days. At least. They are far superior to the standard brownie, having a fluffier texture and a creamier, lighter taste. Another huge thanks to our team baker (hi, Mom!) for coming through in a huge way, and with a different recipe that was much tastier than the ones we made back in January. It came down to either this or the coconut cream pie this week. I have no regrets.

Of course, we don’t have the ability to simply drop the rest of this batch into a common area for our fellow staff members to enjoy. And that’s okay; now that staying home is the new everything, we can just say “fuck it” and keep these around until we eat them all. Our team baker kept half the batch, which lessens our guilt, but then do we need to feel guilt anymore? We’re indulging in these celebrations because it’s all we have in the world to indulge in right now. Nope, I’m calling this a win, regardless of the quantity we devour. These are damn delicious.

National Sleepover Day

This day has a curious origin. I was expecting some kids’ craft store or maybe a sleeping bag company coming up with this one to promote kids getting together and having a fun, wild time, just quiet enough to not awaken the parents in the next room. Instead this day was created by makeup company bareMinerals and Cosmopolitan, the noted sex-quiz magazine. I suppose trying on makeup and giggling along with “57 Ways to Satisfy Your Man with a Spatula” might fit in with an all-girls sleepover. I honestly don’t know.

How did I spend my childhood sleepovers? Eating too many snacks, staying up as late as possible and talking about anything and everything. Video games factored in most of the time, and if it was on a Saturday (which it usually was), tuning in to Saturday Night Live was always on the menu.

Last night we celebrated this in the most authentic way possible. We had sweets (our weekly doughnut run, plus brownies), and we both fell asleep next to our best friend, plus numerous dogs. We stayed up late talking. That said, no one put on makeup and no spatula-related pleasuring took place so maybe we weren’t wild enough. Fortunately, the sleepover continues tonight and indefinitely into the future, so we’ll get there.

National Dog’s Mom Day

This celebration is brought to you by Dig, the dog person’s dating app. That’s comforting to know that if things ever go south in our marriage (and let’s face it, she’ll only put up with me through so many weird long writing projects), there’s an app out there strictly to link dog lovers together. They created this day to honour their female clientele, the mommas of dogs around the world.

That said, we are going to take a slightly different spin on this. Since our resident human dog-mother is also a human human-mother, she will get all that love poured onto her today, on the proper Mother’s Day. Her kids aren’t in this province right now anyway, so she’ll get her thanks-mom hugs from our canine associates. Yesterday we celebrated our two elder statesdogs, Trixie and Rosa, as they have both spurted out a litter of puppies apiece (pictured above), and therefore know the tribulations of motherhood, albeit in a weird dog context.

We were fortunate when those two had their brood that their breeders took over and handled the dirty work. When our previous dog-mom, Yoko, had her batch of nine pups, we ran the show. This meant tube-feeding two of them every two hours, day and night. It was a wild time, and no one ever threw us a special day. Happy day to both our mom-girls. May you be forever grateful you’ll never have to go through that again.

National Train Day

Launched as an initiative by Amtrak in 2008, this day has actually been discontinued. In a sense. Initially I think Amtrak wanted to remind people that trains exist, and that they’re a great way to get to your destination much slower than taking a plane, but just as expensive.

Neither of us have been on a train – not counting subway, light rail public transit or the train at Disneyland – in decades. It’s not out of disdain for the railways or anything – our society exists because of those lengthy coast-to-coast tracks. It’s just that there aren’t a lot of places to go. We’d love to take a train to visit our son in Toronto, but that’s a long trip and not cheap. We could venture out west through the mountains, which would be terrifically scenic, but then we’d be there without a vehicle. It’s on our list of maybes, but not in our plans for 2020.

In 2015 Amtrak shelved National Train Day, which would regularly get a famous person some event-appearance money, for a series of train days throughout the spring and summer. So it’s entirely possible we were the only ones celebrating National Train Day yesterday. And all we did was head to the tracks on the south side of the city and take a couple of photos. Actually riding a train would have meant close human contact – assuming the trains are even still running right now, apart from freight.

So long as people undertake these bizarre mirth-a-thons, National Train Day may live forever. We did our part.

National Miniature Golf Day

I felt I needed to consider this celebration, even though we couldn’t go out and physically play 18 holes of mini-golf. This one hurt. Mini-golf is a sport so inviting anyone can play it. You can thoroughly stink at the game, but it doesn’t matter. If you’re with the right batch of people you’ll laugh a lot, and ideally set a maximum stroke limit for each hole, so that no one falls too far behind.

I’ll never forget the night many years ago when Jodie and I turned on the TV to find a miniature golf competition on the sports channel. This was no fancy course with windmills and animatronic gorillas, just a series of tricky greens with a few obstacles and corners to hit around. In addition to the small number of players, the audience consisted of three or four elderly white guys, two of them shirtless, overweight, and with very little body hair. They stood stoically, their hands on their hips, as though they were watching a delicate medical procedure, or possibly an oil change, taking place in front of them. It was riveting.

We have two mini-golf courses at our mall, the “outdoor” one by the food court where every passing tourist and shopper can marvel at your lack of putting skills, and the black-light course upstairs. Last year my coworkers and I took a run at the upstairs course, which is decked out in a medieval sort of theme. I don’t know if the lighting really enhanced the experience, but it’s mini-golf – it’s just fun. No one cares who wins, you just need to hang out with people who make it enjoyable.

This celebration is merely a statement of longing for the day when I can feel the worn green felt beneath my shoes, and the plastic, germ-crusted handle of a borrowed putter between my palms. One day we’ll be back on the mini-links once more.

Stay Up All Night Night

This is an event created so that those of us who do not stay up all night because of our jobs, or studying, or any other commitment can experience the hardships of making it to sunrise with no slumber.

We did not do that. We have both stayed up all night in the past, usually (for me) with some sort of medicinal assistance. But we’re middle aged adults who both still technically report to work on Monday mornings so spending one night burning that proverbial candle at its mouth and ass ends would lead to days of recovery. This year is stressful enough without adding ‘days of recovery’ to the schedule.

Much love to the overnight shift – it’s not an easy thing to set one’s internal clock to something askew from the rest of society, but without you things simply wouldn’t get done. Shelves wouldn’t be stocked, supplies wouldn’t be shipped, and late night anal-insertion episodes would not be tended to by emergency physicians. We salute all of you, but last night we did it from bed. I mean, it was also Sleepover Day. Sleep is right there in the title. We couldn’t mess that one up.

Today is about as light and easy as a Sunday gets around here. For Jodie, anyway. I get to treat her, so I’ll stay hoppin’.

  • Mother’s Day. Did you forget? You’re screwed at this point if you did. My mom, our team baker, is coming over for our first hosted dinner since before all this madness.
  • National Clean Up Your Room Day. Good advice for kids everywhere; no way this is a coincidence that it lands on Mother’s Day. We’ll tidy up. Well, I will.
  • National Washington Day. Washington cuisine? Well, we had Starbucks on Saturday, so we’ll opt for salmon, a Washington favourite.
  • National Shrimp Day. Did I say salmon? Okay, salmon with shrimp. No worries, I found a recipe.
  • Trust Your Intuition Day. Always good advice. Unless you have crappy intuition.
  • National Small Business Day. Small businesses are facing a year unlike any other, so they’ll get some love from us. We aren’t leaving the house, but we did on Saturday, and we did support local businesses. At this point, we all pretty much have to.

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