Monday, September 28, 2020

Well, I hope y’all had a magnificent Sunday. I certainly did, and you’ll read about almost none of it here. The first entry should adequately explain why – I had other things to do besides celebrate a bunch of prescribed weirdness yesterday. I had me to celebrate yesterday, and that took up pretty much the entire day. A huge hug for the ladies in my immediate world, who filled my day with heaps and scads of joy. I have a magnificent wife, a godsend of a mom, and three canine assistants who assist with more than they can possibly understand. The kids also called, and that brightened my day as well. So did football. So did not celebrating much of anything else:

My Birthday

Happy birthday to me. I’ve had some good ones over the years. My parents allowed me to throw a party every year, the highlight probably being the year I got a roulette wheel and a felt table-topper with a craps game on it. My friends and I played casino (I think we were 11 or 12), not for real money of course, and had a blast.

When I was 30, we took a hot air balloon ride that went straight up and down. We rescheduled for a few weeks later and actually got to travel around the city. When I was 40 my wife threw me a wonderful party, and I got to celebrate the fact that I had completed a 1,000-day writing project that was far more inspiring than this one, at least to me.

Three years ago she surprised me with a trip to Vancouver to visit our kid and to see Ben Folds perform live. It was an incredible weekend. Yesterday’s celebration was far more tame, partly due to a vastly different world around us, and partly due to the puffed-up boot cast on my foot. But I did what I love to do on a Sunday, which is sit on my ass and watch football.

Sure, I’m older. But I’m okay with that. Hell, I got an excuse to keep the article short. That’s a big ol’ win right there.

National Chocolate Milk Day

Chocolate milk is a scourge on childhood obesity, but as someone who is no longer vulnerable to child obesity, I simply don’t care. It’s a great drink. Even with my lactose intolerance, I’m willing to pop a few pills so I can enjoy a glass of this now and then. It’s not something I seek out, but it appears it sought me yesterday because the calendar told it to. I understand.

Not much else to say – I had a cold glass of chocolate milk, nodded my head in approval, and went on with my day. How else does one celebrate such an occasion?

National Crush A Can Day

This is a day to teach folks about the wonders of recycling. So here we go:

Recycling is good. Please recycle. You can actually get money back for these things. That’s all – I drank a can and crushed it, and now my educational crusade has completed the celebration. Happy day, everyone.

National Scarf Day

My wife loves scarves. It’s her favourite winter clothing item. Mine would probably be my winter coat, because it’s the only time of the year when I have sufficient pocket space for my phone, my wallet, my keys, and an overfilled packet of Big League Chew.

But it’s not Winter Jacket Day or Big League Chew Day (which should really be a thing). It’s Scarf Day, and above is my wife in a scarf.

Yeah, we’re really racing through these. This is my birthday present to myself – finally an article that clocks in at under 1,000 words for the first time in ages. (note: we actually finished at over 1,300 words. Another birthday ruined!!!)

Classical Music Month

In 1994 President Bill Clinton, who was not burdened with the pressures of the perpetual social media spotlight on his every actions, could still do fun things like designate September as classical music month.

Look, you’re not going to find a lot of people passionate about classical music these days when compared to the other genres that keep people’s attention glued to a backbeat. But when you break down the very concept of ‘good music’, you’ll find so many elements of classical in the stuff being written today. Classical music told stories through lengthy instrumentals. The way we read music is defined by classical. And it features its own brand of renegade superstars, from Wolfie Mozart to the atonal avant-garde stuff that rose up in the last century.

I’ll admit, I rarely listen to the stuff. My tastes cover most genres, but I don’t have a deep connection to any classical piece, outside of John Williams’ Star Wars oeuvre. But, in order to properly designate this as a celebration I have listened to a few choice selections from Brahms, Chopin, Mozart, and Rachmaninoff, who always delights me with some twisted-up dark shit. We used to go to the symphony, and we loved it. In fact, we downright long for it these days. Just to sit in a room and be wowed by beauty on a stage would be a delight.

Until then, I’ll crank up a few more classical tunes before September is up, but only in small doses. I can only  hold out so long before I need to hear some funk hitting the one, y’know?

Daughter’s Day

Okay, I can take a bit of time and pour some thought into this one. After all, the notion of ‘daughter’ kind of defined the lines of my life’s path, didn’t it? I became a dad when I was 22. I knew from the second I saw that screaming little face I was hooked. There was no turning back. I knew I could twist and squish that kid into something special.

Abbey was not a normal kid. Honestly, I don’t know what a ‘normal’ kid is, except that they’re probably rather boring. Abbey was not boring. She kept a steady rhythm at a young age. Maybe that’s something all kids can do, and all parents feel theirs is special for it, but she was good at it. And she loved music and art and make-believe. None of that has changed. She grew exactly as I felt she would: headstrong and stubborn, tossed and tormented by her emotions, and smart enough to be self-aware to the point where it hurts.

Sure, her teenage years were fraught with angst and frustration, and yes, she drove us both to the point of anger that could – in theory, of course – drive a person to murder. But she was never quite the pain in the ass that I’d been advised teenage daughters could be. She didn’t go through a phase of openly hating us (secretly hating us? Don’t know – ask her), and she never lost her spark. She became a performer… actually, that started within her first week of life and simply hasn’t stopped.

Now I’ve got an adult daughter who makes me laugh more than pretty much any other human. Her humour can still be a bit meme-y and over-reliant on whatever catchphrase she happens to be in to at the time, but she’s brilliant and funny, and she continues to inspire me every day. I still want to be a better father to her. I still get excited and start counting down the days once we book her flight for a trip home.

She is one of four humans in my life who enrich my every moment, and I am deeply grateful for the privilege of being a part of this ride with her. Now enough about her – it was my birthday yesterday, dammit. It’s supposed to be all about me.

Here’s what we’ve got for a Monday morning post-birthday hangover type of day:

  • National Drink Beer Day. We have had several beer days so far this year. That does not mean we’ll be skipping any that are left.
  • National Strawberry Cream Pie Day. I don’t see one of these in our future today, but we’ll wish.
  • National North Carolina Day. We got caught up on our state-to-state travels. We’ll see what awaits us tonight.
  • National Bunny Day. Bunnies are awesome.
  • Freedom From Hunger Day. I suspect this is more of a global famine awareness thing than a just-eat-stuff thing.
  • Fish Tank Floorshow Night. This is a day to watch fish in an aquarium. We might have to find a virtual one online.
  • International Right To Know Day. Sounds like fun.

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