Wednesday, August 5, 2020

In searching for how to launch today’s article I find my gaze perpetually drawn to the deep, rich blue sky outside. Why am I here, writing an introductory paragraph to a day that consisted mainly of eating cookies? Is it necessary to ease the reader into a mostly inconsequential series of entries in this year of constant partying? Should I allow myself the respite and just point myself toward my hammock already? Or could it be that in ruminating over the purpose of this introductory paragraph I have successfully fulfilled my obligation to tradition? I’m going with that. Yesterday, I also went with this:

National Night Out

This is a Texas thing, and in the interest of absolute clarity it has been bumped to the first Tuesday in October this year. But this is because the activity itself (I’ll stop short of calling it a genuine ‘celebration’) involves numerous people walking in close proximity to one another. I guess the hope is that this virus will have run its course by October 6.

National Night Out is an opportunity for citizens of a community to connect with their local police. Now that I think about it, there may be another reason this should be delayed – police in certain areas are at odds with their communities. That aside, this is actually a great idea. It’s simply a matter of walking around one’s neighbourhood with your neighbours and local law enforcement, in order to build on the notion of community accountability and people looking out for one another.

This event doesn’t exist up here, and now seems like very much the wrong time to contact the police and get it going. I suppose everyone owns masks now, and our virus numbers are nowhere near panic-levels like they are in Texas, but still…

We did our part by taking a walk outside and around our neighbourhood. We brought our vicious and menacing canine research companions with us to make sure any roustabouts or ne’er-do-wells understood that this community is protected by the very essence of savagery. I’m sure our neighbours slept a little easier last night.

Hooray For Kids Day

I have no origin story for this day. Someone decided kids should be celebrated on August 4, and this was the best name they could muster up. Hooray for kids.

To be clear, we did nothing involving kids yesterday. We will have a few kids popping by for our backyard Folk Fest this weekend, so it’s not like we’re completely excluding them from our lives, it’s just that we don’t encounter a lot of kids in our day-to-day activities. At least, not when Jodie isn’t at work. And when she is, I’m not sure “hooray” is always the word she’d use to describe the experience.

So in honour of all the kids out there, we spared them our cynicism and lack of desire to do anything kid-like. We wish them the best, and hope that maybe our threatening and muscle-flexing walk around the neighbourhood will protect them as well, but we simply had no kids with whom to interact yesterday.

Both of our kids are grown up and scattered across this massive country. I sent them each a quick ‘hooray’ text, even though it barely covers the minimum requirements for this celebration. But we do what we can.

Not every celebration is going to hit it out of the park.

Admit You’re Happy Month

Come on, people. It’s August. Look around you, tally up the glorious wonders of your life and just admit you’re happy already. Unless you aren’t, in which case you shouldn’t fool yourself, nor should you lie to others about it. Actually, it doesn’t matter if you lie to others about it, just don’t lie to yourself. Get happy. Happy is usually achievable, if only in brief little spurts.

I am, without question, happy. Not without the aid of numerous medications, mind you (most of which might be rum), but I am happy. I’m happy to be on vacation, to have spent most of 2020 sequestered with my best friend and three comedic furry companions. I’m happy my job allowed me to work from home, and if I’m able to continue doing so as the numbers rise once again next month, I’ll be even happier. Mostly I’m happy because I learned the key to my professional happiness, and that’s to work from home. Not through the pandemic, but permanently. This is my happy place, and it’s also where I’m most productive. Just look at this ridiculous project; most of the heavy lifting has happened right here.

At the end of August Jodie returns to school, and our government has made it clear that they will be providing only the most meagre of protections. This means either our Covid numbers will skyrocket or else they won’t, and we’ll have beaten this thing. We’ll hope for the latter, but we are aware that the former will potentially involve one or both of us becoming sick. Yes, we are updating our wills. How fucked up is that? It also means we won’t be seeing my mother (and our team baker) as we both could be asymptomatic petri dishes. September will be a new test of happy.

But happy reigns supreme right now, and we choose to exist in this sunny, relaxing present. Happiness is a bright blue sky, terrific company, and few obligations to drag you down. It may be fleeting, and it may face challenges in the very foreseeable future, but we will both admit to being genuinely happy today.

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

On May 15 we celebrated National Chocolate Chip Day by learning about the interesting history of the chocolate chip (which is intertwined with its appearance in cookie form), and by enjoying some of my mother’s brilliant peanut-butter-chocolate-chip cookies. It was terrific, and it prompted my mom to bake some more for Abbey’s arrival the following month. As luck would have it, we had a couple of those cookies from an even more recent batch on our counter.

And then our team baker brought over a few of her oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookies, which Jodie loves dunking into her coffee. I’m not a big dunker, but I love these cookies too.

And that was it for the celebration. We had no cannabis-infused chocolate chip cookies to enjoy in the evening (we’re still rocking through those ginger snaps), and we didn’t go out of our way to do anything more monumental than simply enjoying some cookies. That’s really what this project was supposed to be about, before Covid gave me all this time to write and write and write. Just enjoying the shit we’re supposed to enjoy and savouring it.

And that’s exactly what we did.

Our Folk Fest starts tomorrow, so expect the articles to be a bit trimmer and the celebrations a little more hand-picked than normal. Here’s what we’ve got for today:

  • National Oyster Day. These are not easy to come by in town right now, due to obvious reasons. Still, we might listen to some of the Blue Cult variety.
  • National Underwear Day. No going commando today.
  • National Work Like A Dog Day. Prepping for a weekend of socializing and grooving to music will require some work. But ideally I’d rather work like one of our bulldogs.
  • International Traffic Light Day. Woohoo! Now this is a party!
  • Green Peppers Day. We have peppers, but they aren’t green. This wasn’t on our list of pre-researched days, so we’re unprepared. That’s okay, we’ll improvise.

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