Tuesday, September 30, 2020

The mental calisthenics I have to do each morning before first glancing at my calendar are rather impressive. It takes more chutzpah than I’d care to stir up to face down this daily report sometimes, and it’s not from a lack of imagination so much as a lack of time. Once I subtract my daily goings-on and my job, I find I have little time to do more than write these reflections on how much I enjoyed chocolate milk the day before. This has propelled me to want to do a re-organization of how we will be approaching the last three months of this project. Do we need to dive into every food, every animal, every little wear-this-piece-of-clothing celebration we’re told to? Or can we become more choosy? I think we’ve earned our choosiness. Here’s what we chose for yesterday:

National Drink Beer Day

Keep in mind that National Drink Beer Day in Sweden lands on December 3. We may end up celebrating on that day too, as I don’t want our scores of Swedish readers to feel that we’re neglecting them.

This may be the easiest celebration since National Napping Day – I cracked open a beer and drank it. There’s nothing else to say, except that I’m worried I didn’t do it right. I’ll have to keep practicing this one so that I’m in top form when December 3 rolls around. I’ve got to keep it up for the Swedes.

Freedom From Hunger Day / Hunger Action Month

There are two ways we could have approached this one. First, the funny way: take a photo of our dinner and point out that it freed us from our pre-dinner hunger. Problem is, that’s not very funny. We have standards here at Celebrate366 Industries which state that a joke is allowed to be woefully unfunny if either I or one of my three canine companions find it to be humorous. Even Rosa wanted nothing to do with that flat-ass gag.

So we’re going to lay down a little seriousness here instead. Because hunger is actually a serious concern for a disturbing amount of humanity. Southeast Asia is bursting with human beings, but a whopping 281 million people there are malnourished. 66 million primary school kids in Africa show up to school hungry. That’s almost double the population of Canada, and that’s just the hungry African kids.

This day’s official website is worth a visit, not just for depressing facts and statistics like the ones in the previous paragraph, but also for providing a number of donation opportunities for folks who want to do some real good. You’ve got to be wary about charities and check them out to ensure they’re on the level, of course. Another option is to donate to the local food bank, because you don’t have to travel to far-off lands to find folks who go to bed hungry every night. Jodie and I discussed bringing some food down to the homeless camp in town known as Pekiwewin. We’ve got to watch out for one another.

You see? There’s so much more we can do when we all pitch in and stay away from the quick one-off non-funny jokes.

Fish Tank Floor Show Night

With so many puppy and kitty days peppering the calendar, what about the poor fish tank fanatics? When do they get instructed to give a little love to their scaly friends? The answer is… well, never. You don’t give love and affection to your fish. I’ve had dozens of fish in tanks throughout my life, and sure, you can talk to them and say encouraging and complimentary things to them, and no one will see you as ridiculous. But if you start picking them up and petting them, you may be unwittingly torturing them. Just stop.

So given that fish are a pet that require no love, we do not have a day in which we are instructed to give them love. Instead we acknowledge what fish are really about: they’re something for us to look at, and to give us the feeling we aren’t completely alone in the universe. It’s a noble calling, and I salute the tetras, the angelfish, the Plecostomuses and so on who do it for us. They provide a show, and we watch the show.

That’s all this day is about. Simply tuning into our fish and enjoying the ballet of their swishing and swooshing about the weird-coloured gravel and the cheap plastic treasure chests we’ve decided should be their environment. Enjoy the floor show.

For those of us who are not fortunate to have fish about, there’s always a virtual alternative. I found this website, which provides lengthy videos of various fish tanks. It gives you the experience of having an aquarium without having to deal with the expense of food, filters, and medicine. It wasn’t quite the same, but it was a fish tank floor show, so I’m saying it counts.

National Honey Month

Honey is wonderful. It’s the throat-soother in a hot rum toddy, it’s the splash of sweet joy that can liven up a tea, and it’s even good on pizza. I know, that sounds stupid, but I swear, it works.

This month is an annual celebration of American beekeeping. While we are not beekeepers ourselves, we are big bee fans. And I’m a big honey fan. Honey is so thick and viscous, microorganisms can generally not grow within it. That means honey will not spoil, even over the course of centuries.

Just so we’re clear on the honey production process, bees fly out of the hive and suck back some of that sweet, sweet nectar from a flower. They store it in a “stomach” that sits beside their actual food stomach, then puke it out for the hive bees to ingest. Those bees pass it along, affecting the nectar’s content with their enzymes and such, until it gets spewed into the honeycomb storage system. If humans created anything this way, I pity the species that sees the end result as food.

But when bees do it, the end result is this awesome stuff. I enjoyed a bit of honey straight-up yesterday, and thanked the bees for hooking us up.

And hey, don’t forget about the medicinal properties of honey. It may do nothing for a cough, but you can use it on a burn or a post-operative infection. It can be used to treat the side effects of radiation therapy. Apparently if someone swallows a button-style battery, honey is used to ensure the esophagus isn’t damaged when they try to extract it. Hopefully this never comes up for you or anyone you know.

Thanks, bees. Honey is the best.

Off we go into another wild yonder of miscellany. What glories await us on our Tuesday battlefield this week? Will I emerge damaged and broken like I did last week? Here’s what’s up:

  • National Coffee Day. Drink coffee? Yes, I think I can squeeze this into my day somehow.
  • National Starbucks Day. The coffee we make at home right now happens to be of the Starbucks variety, so that works out well.
  • National Biscotti Day. I’m not sure if we have any lying about, but if we don’t… to Starbucks perhaps?
  • World Heart Day. A good day to do something good for the heart.
  • Broadway Musicals Day. As Broadway rolls through yet another night of being dark, this will be accompanied by a pang of pain.
  • Goose Day. “Geese are assholes,” Jodie would say. But, as our old friend Wayne from Letterkenny might reply, “If you’ve got a problem with Canada Gooses then you’ve got a problem with me, and you’d better let that marinate.”
  • National Mocha Day. How many hot beverages can we celebrate in one day?
  • National Attend Your Grandchild’s Birthday Day. This is weirdly specifically for people who have grandchildren, and whose grandchildren are having a birthday party on this day. None of this applies to us, even a little.