Sunday, September 20, 2020

When motivation is imperiled by the loss of a glorious, forward-thinking soul, one must take stock of one’s priorities. Each tick of the clock is a siphoning of our power to grasp the day. We spent most of the day yesterday in a navy-blue funk, as yet another great voice of progressive reason passed through the veil. We spent most of the rest of the day with fists clenched in rage as duplicitous crap-weasels immediately attempted to cash in on her demise. Ultimately we had to remind ourselves that we live in a slightly more enlightened nation, and that as the structural beams of the America we love may be feeling the heat from the flames, we are fortunate to be tucked away up here in the tundra. We didn’t get up to much, and writing about it was not inspiring me. Here’s what made the cut:

International Talk Like A Pirate Day

Of all the strange and quizzical celebrations we have stumbled through this year, this was one I was actually looking quite forward to. I have a weird love for this idea, possibly because it was one of the first nonsensical, outlandishly bizarre “holidays” I’d ever heard of. Two gentlemen who call themselves Cap’n Slappy and Ol’ Chumbucket came up with this day after one of them fell to the ground during a game of racquetball and inexplicably let out an “Arrrr”. That was in 1995.

Seven years later, one of the two men sent a note about the inside joke they’d been celebrating annually to humour columnist Dave Barry, whom I would credit as one of my writing mentors, but I don’t want to make him feel bad by seeing what silliness he has inspired. Nah, fuck it. Dave Barry is gold. Everyone should be buying all his stuff.

Anyhow, Dave made this one go viral before ‘viral’ was a good thing (which, in 2020, it probably isn’t anymore). And as I alluded in yesterday’s article, this was an annual celebration in my office up until about a year before I arrived. There are photos of the staff all done up in pirate garb, and no doubt uttering a hearty “Ahoy, matey” at one another. Whether or not that was followed up by downing some rum and contracting scurvy, I have no idea. That all shut down by the time I’d arrived, as the fun-event-planner lady retired.

So we talked like a pirate. We did our part. It wasn’t great, but it was yo-ho-hokay.

National Clean Up Day

At first I thought this one was a freebie, as we had planned to clean the house anyway. It’s National Professional Housecleaners Week, but we had decided to opt out of the expense, partly because the housecleaner we would use has been spending a considerable time engaged in close-contact indoor athletic activities, and partly because we could use the cash. We still have over three months left of this madness; getting sick or going broke now would be a deep bummer.

Also, this day has pretty much nothing to do with cleaning one’s house. This is also Coastal Clean-Up Day – it’s all about picking up litter and leaving the world outside a tidier place than it was when we woke up in the morning. That’s a shame; I’d already taken a photo of my mop.

But I did my part. I took our dogs out for their daily sojourn (and my daily infusion of loud headphone music), and picked up a few scraps of litter along the way. It’s not a difficult thing to do, though I understand if one wishes to hesitate or go get some gloves before picking up an improperly-discarded disposable mask. But we cleaned up some of the planet, and since I couldn’t take a photo of doing so while still maneuvering our wild canine beasts, I’ll use the photo of our mop. Ain’t it nice?

National Butterscotch Pudding Day

We have celebrated chocolate pudding and we have celebrated vanilla pudding. There might be a day for celebrating figgy pudding in December, but having no idea what that is I’m kind of hoping there isn’t. So yesterday we picked up some butterscotch pudding and downed some.

Well, I did. Jodie isn’t a fan, and she isn’t willing to consume any additional food in 2020 that she doesn’t like, just for the sake of this project. I get that. She’s got enough to deal with trying to stay healthy among a bunch of snivelling, perpetually grotesque pre-teens. She shouldn’t have to come home for a miniscule two-day weekend and have to spend some of that time eating a pudding she doesn’t like.

I threw myself on the grenade. And frankly, it was a delicious grenade. I like this stuff – it was my favourite flavour of pudding as a kid, and it holds up today. Though if pressed to choose, I may opt for chocolate now. I don’t know – we haven’t eaten pudding prior to these celebrations for several years, so I don’t think we’ll be picking it up again as a habit. But who knows? Maybe we’ll get jiggy with figgy in a few months?

It’s 2020. I’m not ruling out anything.

National Dance Day

Launched some ten years ago by Nigel Lythgoe, that British dude on the amateur dance competition that may or may not still be on TV, this is simply a day to groove. Nigel was smart; he got the day to be co-sponsored by a Congresswoman to give it some official oomph, and timed it to coincide with an episode of his show. It used to be in July but moved to September – is that also so it ties in with the reality competition? I don’t know, and I don’t care to know.

I just want to dance.

There is an official 2020 National Dance Day dance, and the instructional video to learn it can be found on the official website. To be perfectly honest, we didn’t learn the dance. Jodie is in too much pain to bring any sort of physical versatility to the table, and my only dancing specialty is the Arthur Fonzerelli slow-dance that’s basically just a long hug. But on Saturday nights I make a point of listening to some of the Dance Party show on the First Wave satellite radio station (it’s like an 80s nightclub, minus the lasers and cocaine), and I busted a move or two.

Dancing is great for the soul, and a lot of souls could use the lift right now. This day may have passed by, but if you didn’t celebrate it yesterday I highly recommend you crank up some tunes and let loose. Let your spirit fly for just a few moments. Lock the real world outside of the moment and just be.

International Red Panda Day

The red panda is a deeply cool creature. They have very little in common with the beloved Giant Panda, and aren’t even closely related to them. But they kind of look like a fox, a housecat and a panda had some weird sexual tryst and somehow combined their DNA to spit out this creature.

You can only find these little critters in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China, or in zoos all over the world. There are fewer than ten grand still wandering in the wild, which makes them endangered. Like the giant panda, they chow down on bamboo (which we celebrated on Friday by pulling up the corner of our bedsheet), and like the giant panda they have a false thumb sticking out of their wrist bone.

They are solitary, quiet creatures, except when it’s mating season. Just like me! They scurry up trees when they feel they are in danger, and if necessary they’ll stand on their hind legs to look tall and tough, and defend themselves with their claws. Apparently one fellow at a Japan zoo could stand on his hind legs for ten seconds. That’s pretty impressive; some days I can’t even achieve that.

Red pandas have to worry about snow leopards and a few other large predators, but let’s face it, humans are always going to top the reasons why most endangered creatures are on that list. Look at that face up there. How can we not take a moment to give a crap about a species with that much inherent cute? Happy day, little dudes.

Responsible Dog Ownership Day

Look at those beautiful faces. How could we not be responsible in caring for them?

There is a lot you have to keep track of as a dog owner. Water dishes and food supply are easy, making sure they get exercise, regular shots, vet visits and dental care is also a concern. It sickens me to hear stories of people getting puppies and giving them up because the puppy cuteness doesn’t always stick around (we were lucky – look at those beautiful faces!)

We did our thing, took our dogs for a long walk, gave them plenty of treats, and even let them tag along for the drive when we picked up supplies in the morning. And of course, the dogs need love… that’s the easy part. These doggos are spoiled beyond spoiled, and that’s the way they’ll stay until their clocks stop ticking. With all the joy they bring into our lives – especially in a year when stress has been pouring in with a persistent gush – they deserve it.

It’s football day, and that means I would rather not spend very much time writing. But here’s what we have to conquer today:

  • National Fried Rice Day. That will make for a nice evening meal, unless we bump it for a day (which we absolutely did).
  • National Pepperoni Pizza Day. And suddenly a new contender emerges. Can you put fried rice on pepperoni pizza?
  • National Punch Day. We won’t be making a fun sangria punch… but we’ll come up with something.
  • National String Cheese Day. A fun snack for kids, but we haven’t had any of this stuff in the house in more than a decade.
  • National Gibberish Day. Can I get away with just writing a few paragraphs of utter gibberish? Shit, I think I can!
  • National Neighbourhood Day. A good time to bump the football games for some classic Mr. Rogers episodes?
  • National Women’s Friendship Day. Technically I don’t think I can celebrate this one at all.

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