Thursday, July 16, 2020

Distractions, distractions… five and a half months remaining in this drain-circling route to utter madness and I yearn for a respite. At the time of this writing I am perhaps seven or eight hours away from Abbey heading to bed in preparation for the early morning flight that will leave us childless once again, at least until December. The high-water mark of 2020 has likely seeped by, or at the very least is slipping through time’s fingers. Today’s writing should remain brief. I’ve got life to live here.

National Give Something Away Day

There are so many ways to interpret this one. In a sense, we give Abbey back to Abbey so she can head west and finish her degree in the next ten months or so. In another, more immediate sense we gave her a bunch of supplies to keep her going for the next few months: protein bars, school supplies and such. But that didn’t feel like enough to truly commemorate this day.

And it wasn’t. I did give something away to her, but what the item was isn’t important. Sacrifice is what’s important. Through all the craziness of 2020 a bit of release-of-stuff is good for the soul. Moving on.

National I Love Horses Day

Again, in an attempt to maintain some sense of brevity… I don’t. I don’t mind horses, they are majestic creatures who have put up with a lot of crap from humankind over the centuries. They have been essential to our development as a species and eventually in our embrace of technology. They are stars of the western film, and the sound of a horse trotting might be one of the most gloriously hypnotic rhythms the mind can absorb.

But do I love them? No. I’ve ridden a horse twice, and enjoyed it in every part of my being, apart from the groin part. But a horse also nearly stomped our daughter into oblivion once, and ever since that day I’ve eyed horses with a bit of suspicion. Sure, it was a one-off thing, and the horse got spooked so technically it wasn’t his fault, but that bit of suspicion is still there.

Jodie on the other hand, she adores horses. She has had several in her life, even to the point of showing them in those cute little outfits with the smart hats. On her, not the horse. Horses are inevitable in our lives, as I believe with the appropriate doses of yoga and exercise she will ride one again someday, probably as often as she can. So this is Jodie’s day to declare.

National Tapioca Pudding Day

Deep beneath the cassava plant is a starch that was given the name tipi’oka in the Tupi language in northeast Brazil. The word is most literally defined as ‘coagulant’ or ‘sediment’, named for the starch sediment that oozes out during extraction. Tapioca pudding, which is tapioca mixed with milk or cream, is a Brazilian delicacy. Some places will incorporate coconut milk.

It’s funny – this was considered in one 2016 article as Britain’s most hated school pudding. School puddings are, for those who were not aware, common in Britain. Kids call it frog spawn because it looks like a bunch of lumpy tadpoles swimming in dairy. Other nicknames include fish eyes and eyeball pudding. So yesterday was our day to celebrate eyeball pudding. Awesome.

We ate some, and agreed wholeheartedly with the throngs of British children (and former children) who don’t like the stuff. Jodie doesn’t mind the mush aspect – she’s quite the lover of rice pudding, which gets its special day in August – but she doesn’t care for the flavour. I found it to be a tasty vanilla pudding, but with those little regrettable balls of goo they used to put into that Orbitz soda. I wasn’t a fan, preferring the chocolate pudding we celebrated in June. But we did our part and gave it a fair shot.

But they’ll always be eyeballs to me.

National Pet Fire Safety Day

Launched eleven years by the American Kennel Club, this is a day for people to take a moment and make a plan for their pets in the unlikely event of a tragic fire. We’ve got a tricky situation right now – in the event of a fire in our four-level split, we might be pinned upstairs, leaving the only path of escape as our window, and a drop far too precarious for the dogs. But alas, we’ve got a workaround.

By the end of the summer we will have moved our bedroom downstairs, providing us with a ground-level alternate escape route. I also added these handy stickers to my Amazon cart. These are stickers which we can slap around the perimeter so in the event of a fire the rescuers will know to haul three dogs from the premises. Hopefully that never happens.

We walked around our home and checked for pet dangers. Stray cords were tucked back, and we took three lighters off Liberty – she seems to be going through a rebellious period right now. This is a valuable addition to the calendar, and I assure you we celebrated it fully. Time’s a tickin’. We have to move on to the next party.

National Gummi Worm Day

Made from pig parts (specifically porcine gelatin), these are one of the tastiest candies of the lot. Gelatin candies have been big sellers since they were introduced by Fryers of Lancashire in 1864, and there are presently so many varieties we are probably fortunate that each one doesn’t get its own special day. The gummi worms will suffice.

We celebrated this by eating them, as pictured above. It’s the only way to dine.

Be A Dork Day

Thanks to Thomas and Ruth Roy for capturing something beyond geekdom in a celebration. A true dork is awkward, clumsy, and utterly doofus-esque. It refers to someone who is silly, just the right amount of clueless, and an absolute misfit.

We celebrated this one as we celebrate it every day: vicariously, through our dogs. They have mastered the subtle art of dorkdom. We bow to their excellence.

National Respect Canada Day

We respected our country yesterday the best way we knew how: we didn’t boast about it. We were apologetic to one another, and we even took advantage of our brilliant health care system with Jodie and Abbey both taking trips to the dentist.

Canada is awesome. It’s not perfect, and we’re working to improve it, but it’s pretty damned awesome. And out of respect I will keep this brief as promised and move on to what we’re doing today.

Abbey’s flight is off the ground and we are back to repeating that same 2020 day perpetually, at least until the snow drops and mucks up the scenery. Here’s today’s menu:

  • National Personal Chefs Day. We will hire a personal chef to serve us… no, I’m kidding. I am the personal chef around here.
  • National Corn Fritters Day. I will be making some of these for the first time in my life.
  • National Fresh Spinach Day. Do we have some laying about? If not, we’ll have to get some.
  • World Snake Day. Stopping short of actually playing with a snake, we’ll just freak my mom out a bit by talking about them.
  • National Stress Awareness Day. Is there anybody on this crazy roller coaster of a year who isn’t aware of stress?
  • Guinea Pig Appreciation Day. We’ve never had one in our house, but we can appreciate the joy they bring to others.
  • World Kebab Day. This actually happened last Friday. Or it might not happen until December. There are conflicting reports, but we’ll celebrate the July one today.