Saturday, September 26, 2020

Another glorious sunny day in a September that hasn’t received the memo that 2020 is a dumpster-fire, and a frost-filled September would totally fit that groove. Too late, evil weather gods – you slipped up on this one. Of course we can always taste the irony that walking outside to enjoy this weather would be difficult, due to my still being employed and needing to sit at a desk. Also, with a busted foot excess walking is discouraged. But I’ve got all this wonderful celebrating to do! Today’s list (see yesterday’s article) is immense. I opted to pick and choose, and to try to keep the writing relatively brief. Let’s see what goofiness ensued:

National One-Hit Wonder Day

A one-hit wonder is simply defined as a song that became the only hit by a band or artist. Not everyone gets this right. Even the playlist I found on Spotify to fill my day with these golden oldies is inaccurate. Frankie Goes To Hollywood, for example. Sure, “Relax” was a #1 hit, but “Two Tribes” was #1 in England for nine weeks. This is the problem – people have to look at a single country to accurately dub some of these songs with that title. A-ha only kicked the Billboard charts in the ass with “Take On Me”, but they were massive in their native Norway.

Sometimes a one-hit wonder is a good band’s only breakout hit in our part of the world, like the ones above. Sometimes they are simply the one time a band managed to achieve greatness, like with Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ “Come On Eileen” or Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit In The Sky.” Other times, the songs are insipid trash that happened to catch the public’s attention because sometimes the public wants stupid shit on their radios. Examples of this would be Gerardo’s “Rico Suave” or Los del Rio’s “Macarena.”

I’ll toss in a few others that deserve mentions. Nena’s “99 Luftballoons” is catchy and timeless. The Knack’s “My Sharona” is epic, especially the album version with some killer guitar work. The Buggles’ “Video Killed The Radio Star” is not only a hooky song, it happened to capture a pivotal moment in the evolution of the music industry. Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” will always be an icon of its era. Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” isn’t a great tune, but it opened us up to the brilliance of Bobby McFerrin.

Crank up your favourites. It’s their day!

National Tune-Up Day

Some topics don’t require a lot of research, and I think those may be my favourites. This is one of them – it’s a day for folks to start tuning up their home to be ready for winter. This can mean inspecting and/or cleaning out one’s vents, ensuring one’s fuel jets are working properly (that’s a furnace thing, though if you own actual jets you should probably winterize them too), and checking one’s intake vents for blockages.

I did none of that. I had planned to tune my guitar but the thought of walking all the way down to the basement to grab it with this stupid cast on my foot doesn’t appeal to me. So I opted to celebrate this one according to the spirit of the day.

Every year we call ATCO, our natural gas provider, and ask them to come and provide a free cleaning of our furnace’s sensor. When we forget to do this, our furnace conks out and provides only cool air. This inevitably happens when the temperature drops below -20, meaning we spend the day wearing parkas in our house until the tech arrives. Yesterday I made the call to book this service so we can avoid that unpleasantness.

Thanks, calendar!

Math Storytelling Day

We’re supposed to tell a story with math today. I can do that.

This is the story of my shattered (well, ‘broken’) bone. I was descending the six stairs to the kitchen. I was carrying one plate plus one bowl plus two stale pizza crusts, which clearly equalled more than I could handle because I fell to the floor at a rate of 9.8m/s2. I was advised it would take 4-6 weeks (times seven that’s 28 to 42 days, times twenty-four means 672 to 1,008 hours) to heal. Given that I fell to the ground on Tuesday, we can add six weeks to that date and we’ll land on November 3. So my recovery will wrap up on election day.

I’m hoping the healing energy pouring into me over that time, plus the amount of time for American voters to come to their senses, will equal a result to that election that is not objectively stupid. I guess we’ll see how the math shakes out on that one.

It’s a sad story, but now it’s a sad story with math. I guess that makes it… better?

Better Breakfast Day / Better Breakfast Month

Yesterday we were supposed to be having a better than average breakfast. Given that our workday breakfasts have been either cereal or a protein bar for me, and a smoothie for Jodie, I think we upped the ante sufficiently by having avocado toast and some fruit. It’s all part of this nutritious breakfast.

That’s all. We ate well. Have we eaten better breakfasts all month? Well, no. Better than nothing breakfasts, I suppose. But yesterday’s was a weekday treat.

National Cooking Day

In a sense, we have celebrated this one almost every day of the year so far. This is as generic as it gets, given that there’s no National Food Day or National Stuff Day. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t cook anything yesterday unless you count avocado toast. And you shouldn’t – you prepare or throw together avocado toast, you don’t cook it.

But I enjoyed some of my leftover shrimp fried rice from earlier in the week, and I cooked the fuck out of that stuff. Cooking is a joy. It combines the security of following specific directions and the chaos of being able to improvise. It’s a joy to see a gaggle of ingredients come together in order to form something great. And it’s not for everybody – which is also a bonus. I cook and Jodie cleans, and given how much I dislike cleaning, everybody wins. Jodie can’t stand cooking but she loves a home-cooked meal. We’ve got a system.

Cooking over the next few weeks will be difficult, as I have been instructed to remain off my feet as much as humanly possible. But as soon as I’m able, I’ll be back in that kitchen, hopefully putting together something that tastes palatable. We’ll see what the calendar tells me to do.

Binge Day

To celebrate this day we are supposed to pick a show and binge-watch a few episodes. It’s hard to find a lot of time to do that, but we did toss on a couple eps of Community and Parks & Rec last night, as Jodie continues to gradually make her first journey through that show.

The age of binge-watching is a bit on the double-edged side. On the one hand, it’s great to be fully immersed in a show, and to follow its story without having to pause and wait through an agonizing cliffhanger. We first experienced this phenomenon together when we rented the first couple of seasons of 24 from Blockbuster. That’s a hard show to stop watching if you have the entire season in front of you. In another sense, my first binge-watching would have been Saturday Night Live, as I plowed through my parents’ Betamax tapes full of sketches from the first few seasons.

But I find when binge-watching comedy the laughs tend to lose their edge after the first couple of episodes. To truly enjoy a comedy show it’s best to limit yourself to two per day. Keep things fresh and move on.

Yesterday was a day to ignore that advice. So we did.

Sport Purple For Platelets Day

(her pants are purple – it was 7:00am and our lighting skills hadn’t woken up yet)

Hey, you might not know someone suffering from Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, but chances are you know someone who knows someone who has heard of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura. ITP is a nasty little disease that leaves people bruised and bleeding and utterly fatigued, all because they don’t have enough platelets in their blood. For those who missed out on that science lesson, platelets are the little dudes in our bloodstream that create clotting so that we don’t die from a papercut.

It’s not usually a terminal condition, but it can be quite debilitating. And yesterday was the day we were supposed to wear purple to bring attention to those who are suffering. Why purple? I don’t know, maybe because the disease has ‘purpura’ in the name and that shares the first four letters?

Anyhow, it’s also a good day to remind us to go give blood, and in general to watch out for one another. It’s also a good day to note how great my wife looks in purple. Me, I wore a purple T-shirt. Kind of boring. But at least we’re down with ITP.

Today promises to be a very busy Saturday, one which we may skip almost entirely because we covered so many topics today. Here’s what’s up:

  • National Singles Day. We already did this one, or one just like it, by eating single-serve food items for the day. This might be too much of a rerun.
  • National Seat Check Saturday. To check the baby seats in our car. We don’t have a baby seat, for obvious reasons.
  • National Hunting & Fishing Day. Given my immobility, I may just go for some hunting and fishing in a video game.
  • National Family Health & Fitness Day USA. We’re not in the USA, and again, health and fitness ain’t happening today.
  • National Ghost Hunting Day. What about ghost fishing?
  • National Public Lands Day. We could go to a park. That would count.
  • National Dumpling Day. Dumplings are yummy. Will we eat any? Tune in tomorrow for the exciting result. (spoiler: probably not)
  • National Pancake Day. We have had pancakes a few times this year for various celebrations, but this seems like the important one.
  • National Situational Awareness Day. In case you were wondering if literally every idea on the planet has its own day.
  • National Good Neighbour Day. Will our neighbours get cookies? Probably not. Maybe a smile and a wave?
  • Astronomy Day. Oi. This is another one of those packed days.
  • Fish Amnesty Day. I didn’t know fish asked for amnesty.
  • International Rabbit Day. A day to celebrate all international rabbits.
  • International Lace Day. A good tribute to RBG and her famous neckwear.
  • Lumberjack Day. Another thing I might have done if (a) I wasn’t wounded, and (b) we weren’t in a pandemic. Go out and swing an ax.
  • Museum Day. No, we’re not going to watch me hobble around the museum.
  • The Last Of Us Day. This sounds a little dark.
  • Wildlife Ecology Day. Yeah, I don’t feel like doing 20 celebrations today. But hooray for wildlife and whatnot.

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