Sunday, August 9, 2020

This weekend prompted a reminder, as I slid right through a day without posting a thing to social media or to this site: this is not a writing project. Several years ago I had tasked myself with writing at minimum 1,000 words every day on a new topic, every day for 1,000 days. No day was skipped, be it Christmas Day, a day in the thick of illness, or a day in which we spent 13 hours driving home from Vancouver. But this is about the celebrations, and we can catch up on those. With that in mind, I allowed myself the opportunity to relax. We spent the weekend at a virtual Folk Fest, and we spent it well: with family and friends visiting, and a tremendous amount of down-time. All we managed to do was this:

Jodie’s Birthday

There was no bumping this one. I couldn’t have, even if I wanted to.

Jodie and I met at a very strange point in both of our lives. We were both clawing our way from different strains of sadness and dissatisfaction, though neither of us anticipated finding our path across a cluttered counter of grease-drenched breakfasts and $4.99 plates of liver and onions. We worked at the greasiest of spoons in a dirt mall that was teetering on the verge of collapse. And yet here was where I found a towering intellect, an unending source of compassion, and an unlikely purveyor of quality comedy, all bundled into a tiny, perfect human.

Jodie and I have been the best of friends for as long as we’ve known one another. We have grown closer over 2020 due to proximity, which we fully anticipated; we have a tendency to grow stronger the more time we can spend together. It happens every summer, and it has happened over the last 4.5 months. There is literally no other human with whom I’d want to be stranded.

If you have seen her smile, you have seen that unique tint of luminous magnificence that permeates the air around it. Her astute cerebral motor is powered by the unrelenting might of her heart, which reaches out instinctively to all who need it – even to those whose worthiness of such empathy falls short to the untrained observer. She has devoted her life to her students, to her art, and now to solving racism (which, mark my words, she will do), yet she has never allowed any of her passions to cast even the slightest shadow on her commitment to her family. We have never watched her successes from the back seat, instead we have shared them, aided and abetted them, and embraced them as part of her team.

I have read the scribblings of thanks and admiration from her students over the last two decades, and they all hum to the same tune: Jodie changes lives, and she does so through encouraging others to step forward and grow. I have observed countless stories of gregarious deeds and boundless generosity, but Jodie’s method is more subtle: she provides strength to those around her. In doing so, she creates stronger, kinder, more caring humans who feel boldly confident to channel their artistic energy out into the world in everything they do. The rippling effects of this Jodie would never acknowledge, and none of us will fully understand, but it is powerful and profoundly brilliant. She shines her light through all of our lenses, and in this she brightens the world in an unfathomably massive way.

And I’m the lucky schlub who gets to laugh with her, scritch dogs with her, celebrate 1,300 ridiculous things with her, and bask in that magnificent smile every day. Happy birthday, love.

Bonza Bottler Day

Yes, we did our eighth Bonza Bottler Day during our weekend of music. Jodie sampled the MASH grapefruit drink, which she described as “good” in a bold stroke of biting culinary criticism. I tried the Jarritos Pineapple soda, which was fine, albeit a bit sweeter than I’d have liked. Apart from a smidgen of water and lots of beer, it was all I drank over the weekend.

I’d write more about all this, but there’s really nothing to say.

International Cat Day

This occurred on Saturday, and once again my online friends helped out with some gorgeous feline specimens. Here you go:

Today I’ll be playing some serious catch-up, which means that today this *is* a writing project, and certainly a heavy one. Here’s what we have to get to, along with the other stuff I’ve missed over the past few days:

  • National Rice Pudding Day. Jodie’s favourite! And she’d have had some yesterday, but dammit, we did nothing yesterday. It was great.
  • National Veep Day. Do we watch an episode? It was a fine show – we’ll see how the day goes.
  • National Book Lovers Day. Actually, we did some reading yesterday so this one might be covered already.
  • National Singapore Day. I don’t see us making it to Singapore today.
  • National Spirit of 45 Day. Maybe we’ll break out some old records.
  • National Shapewear Day. There’s a day to celebrate stuff that makes us shaped like other stuff when we wear it? Cool.
  • National Lazy Day. I’d say we covered that over the weekend.
  • National S’mores Day. We actually covered this as well.
  • National Connecticut Day. In our continuing journey around the US kitchens, we’ll take a stab at lobster rolls for dinner.
  • National Spoil Your Dog Day. So, like any other day.
  • Gay Uncles Day. Also known as Guncles Day!
  • National Polka Day. Dammit. When is National Funk Day?
  • National Hand Holding Day. Within one’s reasonable cohort, of course.
  • National Coworking Day. This might be tough to squeeze into National Lazy Day, at least if we do that one right.
  • National Duran Duran Appreciation Day. Now we’re talking.
  • Smithsonian Day. I guess some love to that museum.
  • International Vlogging Day. We may put together another video, though it’s looking like a busy day already.
  • World Lion Day. I feel like we shouldn’t skip this one. Lions are awesome, and deserve a day.