Saturday, September 12, 2020

One of my inspirations for launching this project was the prospect of taking the time to appreciate and savour the ingredients which enhance the flavour of existence. And we have – the whiskey sour was divine and we are now semi-addicted to avocado toast. We have zeroed our attention on all sorts of important things we’d taken for granted (National Can Opener Day was something special indeed). But 2020 has played its own hand and taught us to appreciate things in a very different and unexpected way: our health, our home, our dogs, and the magic of sweatpants, for starters. Still, maybe there is more we can add to our roster of rejoicing for the year. Maybe we’ll fall into something that will become our next big favourite. For example:

National Make Your Bed Day

I was hoping this was something more than it was. This ranks up there with National Unload the Dishwasher Day or National Dust the Trophy Case Day, neither of which exist because A CELEBRATION FOR A MUNDANE CHORE IS STUPID.

Okay, it’s great getting into a made bed at night, and that is really the oomph of this celebration. The act of making the bed is uninteresting. So… we made the bed. I don’t know how to proceed beyond that, except to add some filler. Who invented a made bed? Do nations in the southern hemisphere make beds upside down from the way we do? What hot new celeb bed-making styles are heating up the internet in 2020?

Should we make the bed three times in three different types of bedding? Should we make a second bed, perhaps out of bamboo? Should we write a song called “Make Your Bed” and try to lay down some tracks before nightfall?

Okay, enough filler. This won’t go down as a new favourite. Moving on.

National Emergency Responders Day

Okay, apparently this day also lands in October, or in May if you live in Ontario. But fuck it, this is the one that deserves our attention. Nineteen years ago yesterday, first responders in New York had to respond to an impossible situation. The senseless act of terrorism was meant to slap an exclamation point on their extremist cause, but it ended up killing some of the best of us. Of the nearly 3,000 who died in that disaster, 412 were emergency workers who showed up after the fact, racing in to pull as many lives to safety as they could.

Emergency responders are our front lines. The importance of their little niche in society cannot be overstated. With all the progress we’ve made as a people, and in particular as we push through a period of significant social progress (we hope), we can’t forget that when our lives are in the balance, it’s the emergency responders who might keep us from that noiseless void.

I can’t fathom the mind of someone who works in this sort of position. I get nervous when delivering a Powerpoint presentation in case it makes my team look silly – that festers in my stomach for about an hour leading up to the meeting. The consequences of my job are literally nothing compared to what these people do. They, along with the folks in the emergency room, are our modern superheroes.

We held a moment of silence (mostly – the dogs were snoring) for the emergency responders we lost on that day.

I Want To Start My Own Business Day

To be clear, I really don’t. But if I’m being honest, over the course of our 25 years together, Jodie and I have put some thought into various businesses we could theoretically start together. The upside would be we’d spend more time together, and possibly find a new dimension to our relationship as we built something grand. The downside is that neither of us possesses even a lick of business sense, and we’d have undoubtedly tanked, lost all our money, and bitterly learned to loathe one another. So we’re happy how things turned out.

Here are a few of the ideas we’ve floated. I’m not making any of these up.

  • We both wanted to open a blues bar. Yes, we met in a restaurant, but neither of us have any experience in managing staff, or in calculating whatever math is involved in establishment ownership. We just really love blues music, and thought it would be a blast having our own place to catch live bands every night.
  • We considered a liquor store specializing in craft beers before learning the markup for liquor stores was crap, and before a dozen such stores had appeared in our city.
  • We contemplated making greeting cards for people you don’t particularly like. Stuff like, “Yeah you just had a baby…” <open card, look inside> “…but you’re still fucking ugly.”
  • Obviously I want to own a record shop that caters to the quirky and music-obsessed like John Cusack in High Fidelity.
  • Jodie would also like to own a bookstore that serves good coffee. Perhaps our two stores could be joined together and we could just sit around all day and indulge our passions.

Nevertheless, none of these will likely be in the cards anytime soon. She’s a teacher and I’m a whatever-the-hell-I-am government office drone. It’s our fate for now, and most likely going forward.

At least until we can find a way to become professional celebrators. We are fucking trained for that shit.

Pain Awareness Month

The American Chronic Pain Association has designated this month to be the one to deserve our attention. And why not? I have been dealing with chronic pain for almost twenty years so we’re old friends. And yesterday I found a fresh new pain and a delightful welcoming into old age when I stood up to stretch and immediately tweaked something in my neck. I was stretching and yawning, not exercising. It still hurts today. This is my forties.

Pain Awareness Month was first launched by the ACPA back in 2001, which is right around when my chronic pain began in my arms. Are the two linked? Did this organization’s establishment of a month to draw attention to pain somehow lead to my being in pain all the time? I’m not going to say yes, but just to be a pain in the ass I won’t say no either. Someone must be to blame for all this.

So if you know someone who’s suffering, maybe reach out to them this month and buy them a new Playstation or something. I’m not saying that’s going to help, but it’ll certainly make their day. And if you are one of the many who deal with chronic pain all the damn time, I feel you. You are anything but alone.

Just be careful when stretching; you could make things worse.

National Dog Walker Appreciation Day

This one is brought to us by Wag!, an app that apparently will set up dog owners with professional dog walkers to help them keep their pet exercised. Sounds like a dream to me. In our house, I’m the dog walker. And I’m not complaining, for two reasons: first, I need the exercise to rid me of the excess pounds this project has put onto my midriff, and it’s not yet winter. That’s when I’ll be bitching.

I love walking our little beasts around the neighbourhood, and they clearly have a great time too. Trixie displays more energy than she offers up pretty much at any other time, Rosa moves like a little motorized robot, and Liberty just loves showing off her tricks (in exchange for treats, of course) at the park. After a few good sit-stays, she jumps all over me with an unrestrained delight that is downright infectious.

Not only that, but it’s the only time of the day when I get to spend some quality time buried inside my headphones. So here’s to me, and here’s to appreciating me. Aren’t I great? Probably not, but Liberty thinks so, and that’s all that matters.

We’ll have a delightful little day today… tomorrow we’ve got football all day. This project will be gearing down for Sundays, as long as the NFL stays active. But that’s tomorrow. Here’s today:

  • National Video Games Day. We will absolutely be making time for this one. Well, I will – Jodie will pretend to not care then spend two hours playing her brick-breaker game on her phone.
  • National Chocolate Milkshake Day. Again, I love these easy-to-want-to-do celebrations. This will be fun.
  • Programmers Day. We will probably not become programmers in a day, but… yeah, we probably won’t.
  • National Day of Encouragement. You can do it!
  • German Language Day. Ich bin ein celebrator.
  • National Iguana Awareness Day. Who doesn’t love iguanas? Well, some people probably. But forget them, at least for today.
  • World First Aid Day. I could have used this yesterday with this damn neck thing. Oh well, close enough.

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