Monday, October 12, 2020

A joyous Thanksgiving to all, except for those who are celebrating Columbus Day, or to those who think Columbus was a massive dickbag and prefer to celebrate the Indigenous folks he helped to slaughter instead. No matter what fuels your party-motor today, I hope you eat lots, drink as much as is responsible (and maybe more if you can), and have a magnificent time not hanging out in a sizeable family gathering that could spread this stupid virus and keep us semi-locked down for a few more months. Be smart. Be sensible. Learn how to enjoy your own company. And if you’re looking for something to make it all more fun, here’s what we got up to yesterday:

National Sausage Pizza Day / International Pizza & Beer Day / National Pizza Month

Pizza is, without question, the greatest food ever devised by humans. You’ve got all your food groups – and I mean the actual food groups, not the “chocolate is a food group” pretend ones. You’ve got bread in the crust, dairy in the cheese, veggies in the sauce and/or toppings, and meat. In this case, that glorious enigma of sausage meat.

I’ve seen sausages get made. I know the gruesome backstory. I worked a single shift at Queen City Meats back when I was figuring out what jobs I want to never again do, and I watched them cram that grotesque pink slurry of animal parts into an intestine casing, then hang those stuffed intestines in a smoker for a few hours. They gave me some to take home at the end of the day, no doubt bemused by the look of ghastly disgust on my face as I cleaned up the animal-gut-strewn floor at the end of my shift. I didn’t go back. But I did eat those sausages, because once you block out the process of making them, they are good eatin’.

That day doesn’t always pop into my head when I’m eating sausage on a pizza (or in any other context), but sometimes it does. Yesterday it did, though that may be because I was brainstorming how to fill this little section of this article, having already written about the history of pizza earlier in the year. Anyhow, mission accomplished. It was a terrific pizza. And it was accompanied by a terrific IPA, because pizza and beer are truly the ultimate combination.

National Kimberly Day

I have no source for this day. I have no context for this day. All I can find online is that we’re supposed to celebrate the Kimberly people in our lives today, and no one seems to know why. I happen to know a couple of Kims, though none particularly well. But I did as I was supposed to, and wished them a happy day. I can only imagine how much this brightened their Sunday.

I scrolled through a list of Kimberlies online, and found there were some I despised, but most have contributed quite amply to our collective culture. On the crap side you’ve got Kim Kardashian, who starred in a sex tape and somehow turned that into a billion-dollar empire. Kim may be the garbage-person our society deserves, but she holds no sway over my daily life. Same with Kim John-un, who is probably not technically a Kimberly, but for the sake of this day let’s say he is.

The great Kims? Kim Cattrall comes to mind. She was the embodiment of voyeurism in the early 80s, and a consistent source of hilarity on Sex & The City. You’ve got Kim Fields, who sparkled 80s television as Tootie. Kim Basinger, who at 66 is still drop-dead gorgeous enough to probably stop Batman in his tracks, is another top-tier Kimberly. Kim Novak was one of Hitchcock’s blondes, and her performance in Vertigo is tremendous.

That’s it for famous Kimberlies. I hope you sent some love toward your own Kimberlies yesterday.

Computer Learning Month

Ever since 1987, October has designated as Computer Learning Month by the Computer Learning Foundation. Does this mean we should be taking time every October to learn more about computers? Does it mean we should be learning about anything else by using a computer to assist us? Does it mean we should sit down with our computers and try to get them to learn from us, possibly by filling their hard drives with stories about how sausages are made or how great Kim Cattrall was in Porky’s?

I think it’s the second one. I mean, it might not have been in 1987 when this celebration was created, back when most computers had monochrome screens and distance learning was done by mail with paper, not over the internet. But this is 2020 (as we all know), and things are different. More and more kids are switching to online learning to escape the threat of disease. Jodie has been signed up for online learning for her Masters degree since long before the virus hit – it was the only thing that made sense, given her always-frantic schedule.

She is doing her part for Computer Learning Month, specifically over-burdening herself with work to make sure her down-time is rare (and, as such, very appreciated). She even signed up for that Indigenous online course through the University of Alberta, the one Dan Levy was promoting. And it’s all keeping her astoundingly busy. Did she do it for the education? Or did she do it because she knew we’d be able to cross another celebration off our list in October? I’m going to guess it’s the latter.

Talk About Your Medicines Month

Like I said before, October is deeply full of month-long celebrations like this one. And this is one that’s relatively easy to tackle, since I’m not yet on a complex roster of competing medications. I say ‘yet’ because I’m sure it’s inevitable. I’ve been feeling the creeping tendrils of old age scratching at my perimeter lately, possibly because I somehow found a way for gravity to induce a pointless injury that is taking way too long to heal. Maybe it’s because of the birthday I just celebrated. I’m 46 now; the next time my age will match a record speed, I’ll be 78.

But, as mentioned yesterday (or, in the ‘yesterday’ article I published right before this one), I am on happy pills. Sertraline, to be specific, which is a generic form of Zoloft. It’s a small daily dose, but it has kept me floating upright for the last few months. Every so often I feel cocky enough to drop off the meds, believing that since I went a good 5-6 years without any medications and any problems, I can just ease back into that. Nope. I’m sticking with my happy pills until they prove to not be enough.

I also pop a candesteran every day, which is for blood pressure. How’s that for a middle-age confession? Yes, my blood pressure is slightly high, and now I have lost the ability to check it regularly at the drug store because I don’t want to touch communal medical equipment until this virus goes away. In fact, I’ll probably avoid it after that. I guess I should pick one of those machines up for home.

The only other medication that tickles my innards is cannabis, which was prescribed to me several years ago for pain management. It still works for that, and also for managing my anxiety in a way that sertraline can’t hope to achieve. I saved that one for last, as it’s my favourite medicine in the bunch. This should surprise no one.

Today we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving in the most Canadian way, by saying thanks. To stuff. To people. To dogs. We’ll also have all this to choose from:

  • Thanksgiving. I just said that.
  • National Kick Butt Day. Nice. I’ll go get into some random fights with people today.
  • National Online Bank Day. Well this will be a riotous affair, I’m sure.
  • National Vermont Day. You know what they love in Vermont? Maple syrup. You know what I love? Yep.
  • National Freethought Day. Time to let our thoughts go and live an unshackled life. I think.
  • National Gumbo Day. And sadly our favourite gumbo spot is closed today.
  • National Pulled Pork Day. Our favourite pulled pork place is the same as our favourite gumbo place. Dammit.
  • International Moment of Frustration Scream Day. Hooray! A day to scream in frustration!
  • English Language Day. I know, the UN wants us to celebrate the language, but we might just speak it and call it a day.
  • International Plain Language Day. Well that’s a big nope from me. I like my language to stay fancy.
  • International Day for Failure. Sounds about right.
  • International Face Your Fears Day. I fear an afternoon nap. Anyone believe that?
  • National M&M Day. Now we’re talking.
  • National No Bra Day. No bras for either of us. This is the second such day of the year, and the first in which Jodie doesn’t have to go out in public.
  • Silly Sayings Day. You know what they say…
  • National Train Your Brain Day. So this would be another celebration in which I can play some word puzzles and logic puzzles and call it a win, right?
  • National Yorkshire Pudding Day. It’s either this or M&Ms for dinner tonight. I still haven’t decided.
  • Treat Yo’Self Day. I’ll be out shopping with Tom Haverford and Donna for this one.

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