Saturday, July 11, 2020

The weather has graciously promised us two days of decent summer weather before spewing its rainy fury back in our direction, and as such I have once again felt the twinge to curb my incessant rambling for a bit. I love the sun, and it pains me that National Hammock Day lands on a Wednesday when I’ll be working. Also, judging by how our summer has been so far, it may be raining. So we will swim in the solar sweetness today as we did yesterday. Which didn’t stop us from climbing all over this madness:

National Kitten Day

We’ve celebrated puppies, and we’ve celebrated dogs and cats in their adult beings several times this year. It should be no surprise to anyone that, after food and generic feel-goodness, pets are among the most commonly celebrated aspect of life in this project. Pets are what ground us. They also have the power to elevate us above the mucky fog of our daily lives, and provide us with an innocence and understanding we can all strive for.

We don’t have kittens lying about our home, as it would likely stress out our canine research assistants. Believe me, Trixie needs no more stress in her life. She’s having a rough week.

Fortunately, we know numerous cat-lovers, and when prompted on social media yesterday they proceeded to flood us with kitten pics. Pictured above are Charlie, Tim’s Cats, Cheddar, Gabriel, Sophie & Henry, Ruby Foo & Sadie Sapphire, Ferris Mewler, Charlie (a different one), Radar, Fluffer, Peppers, Bob, Maggie, Lucky, my uncle with some barn kittens, Louie, Poot, Bob (a different one), Mow Mow, Charles Edward Stewart, Guilford Dudley, Toe Beans, Glitter and Smudge.

And if that wasn’t enough, below is my uncle David once more, trying to eat one of the aforementioned barn kittens back in 1985. We may be firmly in the camp of dog people, but we’ll never tired of looking at pictures of kittens. Thanks to everyone!

Cow Appreciation Day

On the one hand, this day was formulated in 1995 by Chi-Fil-A, a company known for being on the wrong side of many political issues – absolutely none of which has anything to do with selling chicken. They came up with a gimmick in which a “smart cow” wrote “EAT MOR CHIKIN” on a billboard, as if to poke fun at how cows don’t wish to be slaughtered and consumed. Ha. Anyhow, the involvement of this restaurant chain makes me less than eager to embrace this celebration.

On the other hand… cows! Cows are awesome! Some folks want to tip them, others want to make purses from their flesh. Yet they don’t complain, they simply stand around chewing cud until their destiny comes a’ callin’. I’ve enjoyed cows from afar, given that a road trip to Calgary or Jasper from here will involve driving past several hundred or several thousand cows, depending on the day. They seem affable enough, happy to concentrate on their chewing and the swooshing of their tales.

Then we have someone like Alexis, pictured above, who is one of Jodie’s old students. She has always loved cows in the same weird way our daughter has consistently been fascinated by pigs all her life. On the pig side of things, we have two bulldogs, both of whom exhibit piggy traits. There is no canine equivalent to cows, at least as far as I know. This week Alexis finally got to meet her first cow, and she was so excited she had to text her former teacher a photo of the event. Jodie got her permission to include it here, as it’s clear Alexis appreciates cows more than all of us combined.

Unless my barbecue is involved. Because I will appreciate me a whole heap of cow if given that opportunity. Sorry, Alexis.

Don’t Step On A Bee Day

This is so straightforward I had to look it up to see if I was hallucinating. Turns out I’m not. By not stepping on a bee for the entirety of yesterday, we celebrated this in exactly the way we were intended to.

Well, in fairness the day also exists to draw attention to the bee crisis on our planet, and to the fact that if we lose the bees from our ecosystem we may as well start packing up and saying “you’re welcome” to the dolphins for all the fish. So support your local beekeeper or better yet, become your local beekeeper. We have considered this and ultimately put the idea on hold because I’m not confident it will work out with our dogs. But who knows?

The bees need us, and we need the bees. We don’t need the wasps – I mean, we probably do because of the fragility of nature and all that bullshit, but fuck those guys. We were proud not to step on, swat, or even berate a bee for intruding on our morning coffee yesterday.

Dab Day

So the story goes that if you flip 7/10 upside down it sort of looks like the word OIL. The idea behind this celebration is that one should consume some cannabis oil, either in shatter form or as a concentrate. I suppose 4/20 isn’t enough to truly appreciate cannabis culture, especially not when every single mixed drink or alcoholic beverage gets its own special day.

This sounds like some recent invention by a desperate stoner, foolishly mistaken that inventing a celebration will allow him to take a day off of work, and that might just be so. But this one at least has a smidgen of history behind it, having been first celebrated in 2012, years before pot became legal in Colorado and Washington.

Rolling Stone has published a handy article with a number of dabbing products featured, absolutely none of which I have tried. But the use of concentrates is a good thing; a well-made vape pen (no vitamin E oil!) can portion out a modest high and some quality pain-numbing effects, while doing dabs can send you into the stratosphere. And all of it is cleaner on your lungs than puffing back a joint full o’ herb, or so I’ve been led to believe.

Jodie did not indulge this day, so it became a treasured father/daughter bonding moment. Kind of brings a tear to the eye, don’t it?

National Clerihew Day

So what the hell is a clerihew anyway? Is it some sort of horned or pronged giant rodent from the wild boreal forests of northeastern Manitoba, famed for its off-setting flatulence and magical healing abilities? No, it’s actually a poetry style invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley. Here’s how to build your own clerihew, if you’re so inclined:

  • It’s a biographical poem, usually poking fun at someone famous.
  • It has four lines of irregular metre and length, because it’s funnier if it’s kookier.
  • Rhyme scheme is AABB, and bonus points if you can make it a forced rhyme. And,
  • The first line must be the person’s name.

And that’s all there is to it. I’ll try out a few, but I’ll warn you, the ones I read as examples online weren’t all that hilarious, so I don’t expect much.

Ol’ Pat Sajak

Has looked about the same since way back.

Compared with most game show hosts he’s smarter,

But turning the actual letters is harder.

Remember David Leisure?

His fame flickered fast, could have caused a seizure.

He was on Empty Nest, that’s true, true.

But to me he’ll always be Joe Isuzu.

A moment of pause for Dennis Farina,

A character actor, probably sweet as a gardenia.

As a gangster or cop, he’d always act with class,

Just before he kicked someone’s ass.

The Honourable Lorne Dach

Represents me provincially, he’s got my back.

In a legislature packed with wack-jobs,

He fights the good fight against Kenney’s hack-knobs.

Hey, how about David Leisure?

I wonder if he’s a fan of Weezer?

For a longer career, he would have wished, ya?

Remember in Airplane! when he played a Hare Krishna?

Poetry is fun!

And with that we turn our attention to yet another day, this one in actual summer weather:

  • National Cheer Up The Lonely Day. I think we’re all a bit lonely these days, aren’t we? If anyone needs a clerihew written, I’ll cheer you up with one.
  • National Blueberry Muffin Day. Another day, another dessert.
  • National Rainier Cherry Day. We could find cherries, but apparently it’s hard to find the Ranier variety this year.
  • National All-American Pet Photo Day. Our dogs will do something patriotic, like maybe acknowledging that black lives matter.
  • National Mojito Day. Now we’re talking.
  • National Seven-Eleven Day. Check the date… time to go for a Slurpee.
  • Make Your Own Sundae Day. I thought you’d never ask.
  • Bowdler’s Day. A day for contemplating censorship. That’s fun!
  • World Population Day. A day for… population.

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