Monday, October 26, 2020

Never in my life have I been so deeply enamored with utter boredom. Having concluded a weekend that featured as highlights a trip to the doughnut shop, a new Borat movie, and a fairly exciting end to the Detroit/Atlanta game yesterday, I was relieved to have spent most of my time doing practically nothing. I read. I watched stuff. I played some games. I hung out with my wife, my dogs and myself. Sure, there were celebrations in which to indulge, but they scarcely made a dent in the calm waters of my days off. Here’s what we managed to fit in yesterday:

National Mother-In-Law Day

A man named Gene Howe, whom I’m certain was the favourite son-in-law of his wife’s mom, created this day back in 1934 when he was the editor of an Amarillo newspaper. Yes, this is another manufactured holiday to sell greeting cards, flowers and chocolates, but whatever. We’re used to those at this point, aren’t we? In fact, it was the American Society of Florists who ultimately determined that this day should land on the fourth Sunday in October each year. It was inevitable that they’d take charge.

My mother-in-law is not presently a part of our 2020 narrative (her choice, not ours), so it fell to Jodie to fawn all over the wonderful glory that is her mother-in-law, also known to many as our team baker and all-around adorer of our dogs. She came by for dinner last night and we toasted her fondly.

The relationship of mother-in-law to child-in-law can be one fraught with complexity. To your significant other, this is the woman who was (most likely) their first huge attachment, emotionally speaking. If you don’t along with her, it could foretell years of awkward family gatherings. But when the relationship is strong and supportive, a mother-in-law can be an absolute joy. Mine was, at one time in our lives. Hopefully she will be again.

So give a hug to your mom-in-law if you missed out on the opportunity yesterday. Unless she pisses you off, in which case simply scroll down to the next thing. That’s the beauty of this weird project – there’s always a next thing.

Sourest Day

Sweetest Day, which we glossed over seven days ago, is basically a knock-off of Valentine’s Day. Sourest Day, which was invented in 1977 by a guy in Ann Arbor, Michigan who happened to have a friend with the last name “Sauer”, is a curious counterpoint. One of my sources say we’re supposed to celebrate this one by being a grump-ass miserable sonofabitch. I’m fully in favour of that; while I tend to spend most of my days in a relatively congenial and amiable state (the drugs help with this), I am also fully cognizant of the benefits of occasionally embracing one’s grump-ass miserable sonofabitch side. It’s a part of who we are.

Another one of my sources (actually a couple of them) suggest that we should celebrate this one with sour foods. So we did that, with the Sour Patch Kids pictured above. They aren’t my favourite snacks, but they were fine. It was hard to feel tempted to be miserable on purpose yesterday, when the biggest events of the day involved sitting on my ass and watching football, and… that’s pretty much most of my day, actually.

I held off on scowling and oozing unpleasantness unto the world yesterday, and for that decision I hold no regret. The day was sour in flavour only, as any day should be. Besides, we’re trying to have fun with this crap, right?

National I Care About You Day

Yes, this is simply a day to tell people you care about that you care about them. This is a day we have celebrated numerous times throughout the year, but not once in the last couple of weeks. So I thought we’d give it another go. Why not?

We conveyed this sentiment to one another, to my mother (since she was here anyway), and to our dogs. That was enough. This one we kept as simple as possible.

National Greasy Food Day / National Pork Month

This could have comfortably landed on pretty much any day of the year and we’d have accommodated it. I am particularly tickled that this entry happened to plop right after National Food Day, a day that is meant to turn our focus and attention toward healthier food alternatives, in spite of the fact that the same day also honoured bologna and licorice candies. There is no pretense today. Greasy food reigns supreme.

And it should. Not every day – I’m aware that we have to make responsible choices so that we live long, have lots of energy, and blah blah blah… but we are trying to forge a string of celebrations here. A succession of fun-havings. And you don’t have fun with salad. You don’t live life on the edge with celery. Sometimes you just have to swallow up the grease and smile.

With so many options to choose from yesterday, we opted for the classic: bacon. Bacon creates its own grease so magnificently. In fact, most of the jars of collected grease that we acquire throughout our cooking exploits wind up full of nothing more than bacon grease. It is the greatest greasy food, and perhaps the greatest food. It complements a Sunday morning like nothing else.

We were proud to be eating greasy yesterday. At least we had an excuse – next time (which will possibly be today) we won’t be so lucky. And hey, we also got to cram in National Pork Month. Apologies to my fellow Jew-types who may be offended by my wallowing in the delights of grease-soaked pork meat, but what can I say? Tasty is tasty. And pork in all its forms (I think – I haven’t tried pigs’ feet yet) is delicious.

National Seafood Month

Is it National Seafood Month? Or was that a one-time designation for October that has never again be revisited? I only found one source for this month being a thing, and that source led me to a 404-not-found error, so I really can’t be sure. But hey, yes I can! That’s no way to dive into a month like this! If no one else sees this as National Seafood Month, then they will now, because another source – this one you’re reading now – claims it to be so.

To celebrate this we tried a seafood chowder thing we bought from Safeway frozen a couple months ago. It featured haddock, scallops and shrimp, and was a solid 6/10. We were slowed down a bit by the choice of whether to use a fork or a spoon to eat it (the box had a picture of what appeared to be a spork), but overall it was a fine meal.

Seafood is a treat for us, one that we have learned to love again once our daughter moved away. She isn’t a fan of any seafood, a choice that I’m sure she blames us for. But we enjoy most of the goodies that come from the ocean or from lakes, and we certainly enjoy the contents of this feast. I remember hearing as a kid that seafood was brain-food, and whether or not that’s true I don’t really care at this point. My brain is only likely to deteriorate going forward no matter what I eat, so I’ll just call seafood tasty food and eat it for that reason alone.

National Tight End Day

This is such an obscure celebration we only found out about it in the middle of the afternoon yesterday, whilst we vegetated upon our mattress in the midst of seven hours of commercial-free football. A couple years back, shortly before a game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Detroit Lions, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle were joking around, and while their stories of how it came to be are somewhat muddled, it’s agreed that they declared it to be National Tight End Day, if only to give Kittle an excuse to catch the game-winning touchdown pass (which he did).

The joke was brought up again last year in the 49ers locker room, with the fourth Sunday in October pitched as the landing pad for the party. Yesterday the NFL jumped on board and declared the day to be official (though really, meaningless), and made sure that every tight end in Sunday’s games was mic’ed up for their broadcasts.

So no, this one hasn’t yet been picked up by Chase’s Calendar of Events as an ‘official’ celebration. But Gentleman George (that’s my nickname for him; I hope it catches on) racked up 5 catches for 55 yards yesterday, and his 49ers handed Bill “Emperor Palpatine” Belichick the worst loss of his New England Patriots coaching career. Enjoy the stank in the league basement, Patriots. I’ve waited a long time for your downfall.

And a happy Tight End Day to Gentleman George and all the rest of ‘em.

Another glorious day in which celebrations pour down like rain and we selectively aim our proverbial umbrella to keep away the ones we’d rather skip. Here’s what’s up:

  • National Tennessee Day. Check out yesterday’s entry on bologna to see why I laughed when I saw this. Due to reasons beyond our control, this one may be pushed back a couple of days.
  • National Mincemeat Day. I actually enjoy mincemeat. But I don’t feel any desire to learn to make it.
  • National Chicken-Fried Steak Day. We had this earlier in the year for one of our state days, and it didn’t inspire us to want it again.
  • National Mule Day. Always fun to celebrate an animal though.
  • Worldwide Howl At The Moon Night. This doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all. Does it?

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