Saturday, October 3, 2020

If art is the flavour of life, then let celebration be the post-swallow belch that reminds us where we’re at and what we appreciate. And that is the heart of this project: to capture that belch, and every hiccuppy burp or guttural brapp that surrounds it. We’re steering toward 2,000 such belches this year, which begs the question: how often to people actually belch in a year? It has to be more than 2k, right? Perhaps this will be next year’s project: a running tally of all gases leaving my body through whichever orifice they choose. Would anyone follow along with that? I’d certainly get to write shorter articles. Something to consider. For now, here was our Friday:


This is, from what I can gather, a wholly unofficial day devoted to the celebration of plaid. Plaid, as we all know, is a pattern of Gaelic descent, proper regalia for full formal Scottish dress, a symbol of 1990s grunge, and the fastest speed one can travel in the galaxy. If you don’t get that last reference, speak to someone with a knowledge of 1980s cinematic comedy.

In Scotland, a ‘plaid’ is a noun, not simply a description of the tartan pattern. A plaid is the large piece of cloth worn as a kilt, or a blanket you’d throw on a bed. The pattern is technically known as ‘tartan’, and each Scottish family has a specific pattern that is linked to their last name. I looked into this earlier in the year and learned of my own family’s look. It was a nice pattern. Didn’t do much to slim my ass, but maybe I need a better tailor.

Anyhow, Plaidurday, held on the first Friday of October (why not a Saturday? No idea!), is a day for us to wear some plaid (or tartan) and enjoy it. The official website suggests high-fiving folks wearing plaid, or simply saying nice things to people so that you give the impression that people wearing plaid are nice. That’s weird, but weird in a positive way so I’ll take it.

National Denim Day

In case you’re wondering if we already celebrated National Denim Day on April 29, well, that was just Denim Day. This is the National one. I hope that clears things up.

The Denim Day on April 29 is for a good cause: it draws attention to sexual assault – a scourge on humanity that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. This one also has some heart behind it. This one is put on by Lee Jeans (still a thing – who knew?), and it’s a fundraiser for women’s cancer. People are asked to take the cost of a pair of jeans and instead donate that to a cancer charity. Not bad – two denim days, and neither are an arbitrary “hooray for denim” sentiment. There may be hope for this world yet.

This one gets celebrity endorsements though. Christina Applegate has done the honours several times, first because her mom is a survivor and then again because she herself went through it. Other names like Pierce Brosnan, Rob Lowe, Yasmine Bleeth, Patricia Arquette, Felicity Huffman, Mike Rowe, and Charlie Sheen (before he went all weird) have leant their names and faces to this cause.

Fuck cancer. It’s been said many times by many folks in many different ways, but that’s as clear as we need to be. It’s beatable. And when it can’t be outright beaten it’s often treatable. We’ve come light years from where we were 50 or 100 years ago, but we’ve got to keep fighting. And if us wearing denim helps (it probably won’t), we’ll do it.

National Name Your Car Day

This is no more complicated than it sounds. Pick a name for your vehicle.

I am no stranger to named vehicles. My buddy Josh had “the Falcon” – his parents’ Chrysler when we were in high school. The 1969 Oldsmobile I got when I turned 16 (already an antique by then… the car, not me) was named Maggie after the titular character in Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May”. This was appropriate, since after a year of constant breakdowns I truly wished I’d never seen her face. I named my next car Janis, and she was about as much of a short-lived partier as the lady she was named for.

But that was it for me. Jodie named her first two Mini Coopers (“Maizie” and “Millie”, I believe), but we have had this Toyota Rav4 for fourteen years now and she has never gotten a name. Is it too late? Probably not.

So I had a look at some recommended names. There is the school of thought that the name should be tied in with the vehicle’s colour, so since it’s red we could go with Elmo, Weasley, Annie or Fireball. We could pick a Japanese name since Toyota is a Japanese company, but that would seem weird, wouldn’t it? I don’t know if I want to name it after a mighty starship: Enterprise seems too haughty, Discovery is too recent, Super Star Destroyer is too lengthy, and Battlestar Galactica seems too dated.

I offered my pick to Jodie yesterday: the Heart of Gold. Not from the Neil Young song (which is fine), but after Zaphod’s ship in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I think it’s infinitely improbable that Jodie will be on board with that name, or that it will stick, but I’m going with it.

World No Alcohol Day

Ugh. I don’t know why I celebrated this one instead of Kids Music Day, but here we are. This one was created by some folks at the World Health Organization back in 2008 as a way to bring attention to the negative effects of alcohol. And really, as a casual drinker who enjoys the occasional buzz and really digs the taste of a lot of alcoholic offerings, there aren’t many negative effects. But I recognize that this is not the case for everyone. Alcohol has decimated lives, ransacked entire cultures, and led to the premature demise of far too many people – most tragically those who hadn’t touched a drop but happened to be in the wrong drunk driver’s path.

So if not drinking for a day in order to remind ourselves of this is what we must do, then we must do it. I have a couple of friends who are struggling with the crutch that alcohol provides, and I worry about them. This is an easy celebration to sluff off with a quick joke, but sometimes a quick joke isn’t enough respect for what the calendar entry really means.

We didn’t have a drink yesterday. That said, we did employ some alcohol in the creation of our main course with dinner, but that shouldn’t count. As an ingredient, alcohol is fine. No one is chugging back fried scallops to satisfy an addiction, unless they have a weird addiction to shellfish. That may be a real thing, I honestly don’t know, nor will I know unless there’s a national day for it. Until then, we’ll roll right along:

National Fried Scallops Day

This is also exactly as simple as it sounds. We had scallops, we fried some scallops. We used fresh parsley, lemon, garlic and white wine. It was terrific, and a fine return to the kitchen for me after being sidelined for over a week with this damn broken foot. Since we had already celebrated the mighty scallop at least once this year, there’s really not much more to say. Scallops are delicious. Fry happily, folks.

And now we’re in our weekend, which should mean a limited stretch of celebrating. We’re trying to enjoy the rest of 2020 or as much of it as we can, and Jodie’s trying not to explode from all the stress. Here’s our potential roster for today:

  • National Techies Day. I guess it’s a day to do something with technology. Does playing video games count?
  • National Boyfriend Day. Today is a day for Jodie to celebrate all her side-pieces. Heh. Just kidding. I hope.
  • Mean Girls Day. Well this sounds like a rather fetch celebration.
  • National Kevin Day. I know some of those! Here’s to the Kevs out there.
  • National Poetry Day. So much poetry in this year of celebration. Maybe tomorrow’s article will be written in verse? Maybe I should shut up.
  • Global Smoothie Day. Jodie has a smoothie every morning, but on weekends we go for brunch. Might postpone this to Monday.
  • International Frugal Fun Day. A day to enjoy some fun that doesn’t cost much.
  • Look At The Leaves Day. This makes sense – we are at peak autumn colours right now.
  • National Family TV Show Day. Any TV show can be a family TV show, can’t it? When the kids were old enough we all watched Prison Break and 24 together.
  • National Virus Appreciation Day. So who wants to make the Trump joke?
  • National Caramel Custard Day. If we can find some, we’ll eat some.

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