Thursday, October 15, 2020

Once the term “dusting of snow” pops up in someone’s meteorological observations, you know it’s time to settle into that six-month journey into the frigid abyss. I find comfort in my continued ability to work from home, and remain resolved to my commitment that the dogs will not be walked once the mercury plunges beneath ten below. Mostly I’m excited to see how my Seasonal Blues might get vanquished by the ever-present window at my side, exposing me to a level of sunlight I have not experienced throughout a winter before. This could be the year I find winter tolerable. And only the first chunk of it will involve these perpetual indulgences into realms both wonky and illogical. For example, all of this:

National Bring Your Teddy Bear To Work/School Day

Last month (September 9 for those who are keeping close track, and I know most of you probably are) we celebrated National Teddy Bear Day. On that day I introduced the world to Buckley II, the sequel to Abbey’s most beloved stuffed animal. Abbey kept Buckley close, bringing him on every sleepover, every vacation, and even on those cold/flu days when she’d be stuck in front of the TV all day, Buckley was standing by.

Someone bought her another identical Buckley a few years later, which really killed that awesome parental feeling that we’d purchased a unique and special companion for our kid. But Abbey understood that’s how capitalism works, and she gave Buckley II a comfy place to chill while Buckley I still received all the good attention. Now she’s 23 and living on the west coast, and I have no doubt Buckley is still perched beside her on a nightly basis. As for his sequel, that was a gift from Abbey to me.

So we don’t have an actual teddy ‘bear’ to speak of around here. Even if there is a stuffed bear somewhere downstairs, Buckley II gets the honours of taking part in this holiday. With him above is Clyde. Clyde is actually one from my own childhood. Both creatures were given this dubious honour of taking part in a celebration with us. And since Jodie bringing them to her school would mean potential exposure to viral grossness, it made sense for them to accompany me instead. For Buckley II that meant travelling one room over. Clyde already takes up residence in my office, so that was easy.

I suppose the idea here is to appreciate the comfort and security of being young, home, and tucked into bed, all while recalibrating e-commerce architecture structures for proper integration into TPS reports. Or whatever.

national lowercase day

yes, the plan here is to stick with lowercase for the duration of this section. i will also be looking into some trivia about our lowercase letters, because otherwise i could fill this space with anything and it would be the most unimpressive celebration of the year. i’m still holding on to national felt hat month for that one.

pictured above are the two lowercase ‘a’ options. you’ve got the double-storey ‘a’ and the single-storey ‘ɑ’ (which may end up looking the same, depending on how wordpress switches my font choices around). quite simply, the single-storey version is the one that caught on for handwriting, while the double-storey one was the one that printers settled on. the backstory is, unfortunately, no more interesting than that.

even the lowercase ‘g’ presents some weirdness. we all know the ‘opentail’ version, the one we write by hand. it’s a circle with a fish hook dangling below it. but we also have the ‘looptail’ lowercase ‘g’, which features two closed loops joined by a line on the left side, which makes it look drastically different from its opentail companion. a study done at johns hopkins showed that most people forgot there were two ‘g’ options to choose from, and most were unable to successfully identify the correct looptail ‘g’, since they assumed the connecting line was on the right side, not the left. so this is one lowercase quirk that apparently slips right on past us.

a lot of folks will stick to lowercase in their text messages because it’s simply easier, plus autocorrect will swoop in like a superhero and fix a few of those errors. jodie and i both prefer to include uppercase when necessary, mostly because we are lovers of language and the rules surrounding it, and we don’t wish to forsake them. but yesterday we went all e e cummings / kd lang and forsook them to the wind. it’s a weird basis for a celebration (and of course, i can find no backstory on who decided this should be celebrated), but weird is standard procedure this year.

National FRUMP Day

Here’s another day for which I found zero notable sources, and which may only exist in the mind of a blogger who penned a blog entry back in 2005, declaring that this day was coming up. That same blog entry also comments on the cancellation of Paris Hilton’s reality show, and that Roger Moore might enjoy prunes, given his advanced years. Well, Joe Hickman, army historian and casual pop culture blogger from 15 years ago, Roger Moore is dead now. I hope you’re happy.

Anyhow, this day is meant to focus us on being FRUMP: Frugal, Responsible, Unpretentious, Mature, and… and that’s all. I guess the ‘P’ at the end stands for ‘Person’. So you’re not being a FRUMP person, just a FRUMP. Got it. Let’s see how easy this is for me.

First of all, frugality comes naturally to me. I’m part Scottish, part Jewish, and astoundingly terrible with handling a budget. As such, I make every effort to spend as little as possible on luxuries. Jodie is just as bad as I am, and yet we both screw up and over-spend sometimes. We aim for frugality as often as possible, because sometimes we know we’ll be splurging. Usually that day will be a Saturday, when brunch beckons, and time allows us to shop. But on a Wednesday? This shit was easy. I didn’t leave the house, and as such I didn’t spend a dime yesterday. Jodie went to work, but was also able to make it to midnight without spending anything.

Next, ‘Responsible’. Well, I walked the dogs (I can do that now!), fed them, and refilled their water. I did actual work stuff during my work hours. Jodie went to school and did her job. We were responsible enough. Unpretentious? I did my best not to mock or deride others for anything yesterday, and that was trickier than I’d expected. I’m not the type to troll people on social media for liking Two and a Half Men or the Bay City Rollers, but I do like to laugh at those who subscribe to silly conspiracy theories or idiotic political / human rights beliefs. But I held that in check. That helped with the ‘Mature’, since as an avid pot smoker, video gamer, and generally immature schmuck, I can only achieve a certain level of maturity before it’s just not feasible anymore.

But dammit, we FRUMPed like pros yesterday. And now I can go back to being an immature, spend-happy, wildly irresponsible and pretentious dickbag. Whew!

National Dessert Day

That’s it? National Dessert Day? Nothing more specific? Cool.

We have been making desserts all year, whether it’s baked goods from our lovely and talented team baker (hi, Mom!), a myriad of ice cream concoctions over the summer months, or the Baked Alaska I somehow cobbled together at the end of January. And yes, every one of those desserts have been properly honoured by getting shoved into our mouth-holes for a proper celebration. Now we face the generic, the open-ended, the infinite potential. Whatever shall we do within the parameters of National Dessert Day?

Leftovers. We still have a massive amount of strawberry shortcake from National Angel Food Cake Day, a few slices of key lime pie that my mom baked over the weekend (for no specific National Anything Day), the slices of pie that accompanied our extremely late-delivered Swiss Chalet meal, and a bunch of Caramel M&Ms from yesterday. So we were not short on dessert treats.

And there was certainly no need to acquire more. We are dessert professionals at this point, so we just picked what tickled our fancies and dove in. I love it when these celebrations are this easy and delicious.

As of today we have only 77 days remaining in the year. Not that we’re counting down or anything. Here’s what’s on the menu:

  • National Aesthetician Day. Jodie celebrated this one last week with some quality eyebrow work.
  • National Cheese Curd Day. Sure, we’ve celebrated poutine a few times this year. What’s one more?
  • National I Love Lucy Day. These episodes should be easy to find.
  • National Grouch Day. Finally we can embrace our inner misanthrope.
  • Global Handwashing Day. I think it’s best if we wash our hands more often than once per year, especially these days.
  • National Mushroom Day. I just ate mushrooms on Tuesday in an incredible recipe that I didn’t photograph. Maybe that will count?
  • World Maths Day. Ew. Math doesn’t get any more appealing when you pluralize it.
  • World Students Day. Jodie can cheer on her students I suppose.
  • National Get Smart About Credit Day. Hoorayyyyyy…..
  • International Day of Rural Women. Let’s all embrace our inner rural woman, shall we?
  • International ShakeOut Day. No idea what this is, but I hope it involves dancing.
  • My Mom Is A Student Day. I suppose our kids can celebrate this one.
  • National Chicken Cacciatore Day. I wonder if this dish includes mushrooms. Or cheese curds.
  • National Pug Day. Yes!!!
  • National Roast Pheasant Day. That’s a lot of poultry for one day.
  • Spirit Day. An LGBTQ+ day, not a day for consuming alcohol. I was a bit disappointed about that.

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