Friday, July 24, 2020

If this project only serves to document the arc of my mental health throughout this clusterfucked 2020, then so be it. Nearly seven months in, it’s clear we aren’t changing the face of human culture with this little experiment (not that we thought we would), nor are we any sort of a beacon of hope for the masses. We are the end result of our response to circumstance. Yesterday that result was a puddled mass of gooey anxiety and trepidation, fleeing shadows so dark I will spare you their descriptions. It wasn’t a day I’d care to repeat. Fortunately it was broken up by sufficient distraction:

Gorgeous Grandma Day

This is an odd one. We have Grandparents Day in September, and a handful of other celebrations which honour parents of parents this year. But this is the only one in which we are asked to make an aesthetic evaluation of the family matriarch. It’s a little weird.

Since neither Jodie nor myself have living grandmas of our own, we instead looked to our kids’ grandmas. My mother was decided to be the one honoured, as she is the one deeply linked to this project, and her actual concern over the creative output of her kids makes her more gorgeous, at least as far as this day is concerned. I wrote her a text and advised her of this, to which she responded, “Do I get presents?”

The answer, of course, is yes. One single present, and that present is an appearance in today’s article. It really couldn’t get much better than that, could it? I asked her to send over a selfie, but she requested we use a file photo instead. The above shot is from two years and a day ago. My mom is the one with the least amount of fur. Ain’t she gorgeous?

National Vanilla Ice Cream Day

We have celebrated ice cream numerous times so far. Here’s a quick summary:

Strawberry Ice Cream Day was on January 15. We had Ice Cream for Breakfast Day on February 1, the same day I made a Baked Alaska for Baked Alaska Day. Also all ice cream. We had Butterscotch Day on February 15, for which we ate ice cream. Rocky Road Day was June 2, Chocolate Ice Cream Day June 7, then there was Ice Cream Soda Day on the 20th. Pralines Day on the 24th? Ice cream, of course. There was National Creative Ice Cream Flavours Day on July 1, followed by Peach Ice Cream Day and National Ice Cream Day in the last week. And don’t forget Strawberry Sundae Day and Make Your Own Sunday Day earlier this month. And look, Hot Fudge Sundae Day is tomorrow.

In short, we are eating a lot of ice cream this year, probably more than any other year in my life. For most of these, we have been purchasing ice cream and keeping it at home, so there have been leftovers. Maybe our best bet is to start pursuing our ice cream from local vendors and eliminating all those leftovers. I fear all the exercise in the world isn’t going to be able to combat this gluttony.

But celebrate we must, and celebrate we did yesterday. More on this below, because of course it wouldn’t do for this day to be solely about the vanilla ice cream, would it?

Hot Enough For Ya Day

I’m pretty sure the purpose behind this day is pretty clear. With summer having been in full swing for a month now, it would be acceptable (if not overly original) to ask someone, “Hey, hot enough for ya?”

My answer yesterday would have been an emphatic no. We were under an overcast sky pretty much all day, with temperatures barely climbing above room temperature. This has been the story for much of the summer so far, though next week may offer some genuine hammock days, to borrow parlance from one of Wednesday’s celebrations.

I’m just going to leave this here then. I did ask Jodie if it was hot enough for her, and her response was the same as mine. Ask us again in a week.

National Refreshment Day

This celebration ties in with the last one, in that we are to savour a tall glass of refreshment in order to escape the incessant summer heat. Again, probably ideal for much of the United States and the less polar-adjacent parts of Canada, but not really in the cards this week. Still, we are meant to celebrate and celebrate we do.

Pictured above is my chosen beverage of utter refreshment for this humble event. It’s a mix of Pink Whitney, a shockingly delicious pink lemonade-flavoured vodka, with soda water. If this looks like something an alcohol newbie might drink in order to mask the taste of the booze, it absolutely is. But who cares? It’s delicious and refreshing, and that’s the point.

Refreshment, of course, does not require alcohol. We would be careless if we were to suggest otherwise. However, when one is not beleaguered by heat and/or humidity, but instead by ineptitude and utter disregard for one’s well-being by one’s employers, alcohol doesn’t hurt. In moderation, of course. Refreshing, delicious moderation.

Sprinkle Day

Tiny balls or rod-shaped bits of candy, that’s how sprinkles are defined in the dictionary. For most of us, sprinkles are the necessary crunch that elevates an ice cream sundae to the levels of exalted magnificence it deserves. A candy company in Brooklyn claims to have invented chocolate sprinkles, but some variety of sprinkles have been used in desserts for centuries.

So what can we learn about sprinkles? The name ‘jimmies’ to mean sprinkles was first documented in 1930, but that’s more of a regional northeast-US thing from what I can gather. In the Netherlands and Belgium, and also in Suriname and Indonesia, which the Netherlands used to control, it’s common to eat sprinkles as a sandwich topping. Just with butter mind you – I’m quite certain they aren’t just scattering chocolate sprinkles onto a BLT. But it’s considered a breakfast food. There’s something to ruminate on. Those little butter-sprinkle sandwiches are called Fairy Bread in Australia and New Zealand.

For some reason this is considered tremendously weird by our culinary standards in this part of the world. But we also consider Pop Tarts to be a breakfast food – well, some of us do. And I remember commercials for Hostess Breakfast Donuts while I was growing up. So weird is in the eye of the beholder.

We had sprinkles on our ice cream yesterday. Celebrating those two things separately wouldn’t have made sense. As evidenced above, our sprinkles hail from the George H.W. Bush presidential administration. It’s quite likely I was in the tenth grade when these were produced. Fortunately, they were still edible, with no lingering effects I can see. Yet.

I’ve been looking forward to this day all week, and not just for the onset of the weekend, but for this stuff:

  • National Tequila Day. It absolutely is. And it is necessary.
  • National Drive-Thru Day. I guess our dinner plans are secured.
  • National Cousins Day. I have several cousins I will reach out to today, plus two that I won’t for various moron-related reasons.
  • National Tell An Old Joke Day. So this family goes to see a talent agent, saying they have an incredible act…
  • Amelia Earhart Day. A day to toast one of history’s most awesome humans.

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