Friday, September 25, 2020

Forty-six years minus five days – this is the amount of my life which was allowed to transpire with not a single act of damage to my skeletal structure. Then gravity had its laugh and I find myself sitting with a puffed-up air cast on my foot and instructed to move around as little as possible, as though that were not already my life’s philosophy. The temptation to avoid celebrating these little madnesses continues to thrive, but my ambition to get the hell through this year without allowing this project to falter and fail will push through once again. Here’s what I was up to yesterday:

National Punctuation Day

I was at a loss about how to celebrate this day, so for National Swap Ideas Day back on September 10 I reached out on social media to ask folks what they thought. There were some creative ideas, but one in particular jumped out at me: look into the campaign to eliminate the apostrophe.

Eliminate the apostrophe? Everyone favourite flying comma? Okay. I’m curious enough to do some digging.

One autumn day back in 2018, Tiger Webb of ABC News (an Australian ABC, not the network that used to air Perfect Strangers) decided to pen an opinion piece in which he makes his case for the eradication of the apostrophe. Mr. Webb appeared vexed by the regular trickle of grammar-police emails questioning why ABC News reporters seem to struggle with the correct use of the apostrophe.

First off, he goes after contractions. Maybe “can’t” and “won’t” really dont need them but wouldnt they look weird without them? And if were going to leave contractions apostropheless, then were and were are going to look mighty similar. Even the possessive use is derided by Mr. Webb. I guess differentiating between the boy’s Skittles and the boys’ Skittles isn’t important to him. Maybe they don’t have Skittles in Australia, I don’t know.

I wouldn’t be sad if we decided to yank the apostrophe from contractions – though it would take away some good, easy hints for contestants on Wheel of Fortune. But it’s (or its) important for indicating possession and differentiating it from the plural. I vote thumbs-down on the mighty apostrophe’s demise, and encourage folks – in particular the journalists at Aussie ABC – to simply learn how to use it properly. It’s not that hard.

Lash Stylists Day

I thought it might be fun to become a lash stylist for this day, then I realized that this would be completely insane, and no one should ever allow my fingers that close to their eyeballs. Even I don’t know all the places these fingers have been.

Besides, we already have a lash stylist in the family, my sister-in-law Niki. And she’s fantastic at what she does – Jodie sported false lashes for months on end, loving the fact that she needed no makeup to go out, as the lashes did everything eyeliner would do and then some. Alas, an allergy to the glue developed and she had to go back to her plain ol’ awesome eyelashes, but we’ve still been steering people toward Niki whenever possible.

Eyelashes are something I pay almost no attention to on my own head, except when there’s some crusty gunk I need to evict from my own. But they do frame the eyes quite magnificently, and a good set of lashes can, from what I’ve been told, do wonders for a person’s look.

If you need your lashes done, make sure you’re getting them done by someone who knows their stuff. And if you’re in this part of the world and looking for someone, I can steer you in the right direction. Tell her I sent you. Also, tell her I’ll accept homemade cheesecake as a finder’s fee.

National Recovery Month

I know, this is not a month to celebrate recovery from falling down the stairs like a schmuck and breaking one’s toe. But that’s what I’m recovering from right now, okay? Just let me suffer in peace.

This is actually a month for drug and alcohol recovery (duh). I can also speak to this one. I enjoyed a solid 7-year run popping pain pills like they were Pez. I also took two Pez candies every four-to-six hours when needed, just like they were pain pills. I felt it balanced things. I knew I had a problem, but I felt I was functional. I had suspicions that the other issues I was battling (depression, sleep apnea, narcolepsy) might be related to the pills, but my doctor assured me that was not the case.

Long story short, I have a new doctor now. I didn’t go the traditional route of hitting rock bottom then entering a treatment program to set me straight. I accidentally went cold-turkey for five days in another country (I’d forgotten my pills at home somehow) and came back never wanting to touch the stuff again. I was extremely lucky in that the mental break from the addiction was remarkably simple. I’ve even had a Percocet prescription since, when I had my wisdom teeth yanked out, and when the pills were done I didn’t ask the doctor for more.

Like I said, I was lucky. If you or anyone you know needs some help getting drugs or alcohol out of your life, there is no time like the present. It’s 2020. The world is a fiery ball of weevil-poop soaring around the sun at this point. While some may say this means we should drink and smoke ourselves into a stupor to break away from all the stress, that’s actually the opposite for someone dealing with addiction. Now is the time to flush away those vices and dive into a new obsession. You’ve got time to learn to paint, build a shit-ton of LEGO or sketch out elaborate maps to the locales in your favourite children’s stories. What, you’re going to a movie? To a nightclub? No you’re not – there’s a pandemic out there. You’ve got the space in front of you to step forward. And you can do it – drugs and alcohol will not make 2020 any more tolerable if they’re already derailing your life.

And so ends my Recovery tirade for the month. But you can bet I’m celebrating my own every day. The depression may have needed some extra meds to kick it to the curb, but the sleep apnea and narcolepsy – I know, it sounds like I made that up, but I didn’t – went away immediately. It was all the pills.

And my life now is infinitely better, broken foot or no.

Kiss Day

Yes, this is the fourth or fifth generic kissing day of the year. And yes, we celebrated this one just like all the rest: by kissing.

Thanks for paying attention.

A delightfully brief day yesterday, which left me plenty of time to be pissed off at my new foe, gravity. Here’s today’s lineup:

  • National One-Hit Wonder Day. I’m sure I can find a great playlist of these. And by ‘great’ I mean it will contain “Come On, Eileen”
  • National Comic Book Day. I’ll have to see if we have one. Maybe I’ll write and draw one in my free time.
  • National Lobster Day. No, we didn’t have lobster planned. The stuff we bought last time was $20 worth of utterly unforgettable seafood.
  • National Tune-Up Day. We’re not going to tune up our car, but I can tune up a guitar. Will that count?
  • Math Storytelling Day. We’ll have to see how creative I’m feeling for this one.
  • Better Breakfast Day. A great breakfast is as good as eating gets. And it’s even better if someone else makes it for you.
  • National Cooking Day. Wonderfully generic for a change!
  • Binge Day. I’m not sure if my bosses would appreciate me breaking into this one too early.
  • Hug A Vegetarian Day. No… don’t hug anyone, unless they’re in your cohort.
  • Love Note Day. Well that just spoiled the surprise.
  • National Bakery Day. Does it count that we’re going for doughnuts tomorrow? Yes, that always counts.
  • National BRAVE Day. A day for honouring women who lift other women up. But, not like cheerleaders.
  • National Crab Meat Newberg Day. Oh just fuck off already; I’ve got a broken foot.
  • National Quesadilla Day. This is turning into a weirdly busy little Friday.
  • National Food Service Employees Day. Tomorrow’s article may end up being 30-40,000 words.
  • Save The Koala Day. Can they save themselves? I’m a little busy over here.
  • World Dream Day. Maybe if I dream I did all the rest of this stuff we can count that for all of them?
  • Sport Purple for Platelets Day. I can choose a purple shirt. At least I know I can do that.
  • World Pharmacist Day. We’ve already shown love to pharmacists this year, but aren’t they awesome enough to deserve more? I say hell yes.