Monday, November 2, 2020

The first of the month is traditionally the most celebration-packed day. And November is no exception; there were more than a dozen possible celebrations to choose from. And if this were still February, I’d have tried to nail all of them. But this ain’t February. My desire to ensconce myself in intensive revelry in order to pad these articles upwards of 4000 or 5000 words has faded into a strong desire to get this the hell over with so I can live the rest of my life just a little. I missed out on all the free time of quarantine, and I feel as though I’ve sucked dry all the palpable joy I’ll be able to squeeze from this project. But that doesn’t mean we’re giving up. No, we still went a little wild yesterday, all without actually doing too much. For example:

Buy A Doughnut Day

We bought our doughnuts on Saturday actually, and this day technically landed on Friday. And I’m acknowledging it as part of our Sunday – not simply because I forgot to include it in yesterday’s article (I absolutely did), but because doughnuts are often the high point of our weekend, so it makes sense that we drag this celebration across the entire three days.

For those who are wondering, the doughnuts pictured above are the S’mores doughnut, covered in marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker crumbs, the berry cheesecake doughnut (x2), and the French toast doughnut. Also, one plain one for the puppies. Hey, it’s just dough. They love it.

And lest anyone local wonder where this magnificence was born, it was from Destination Doughnuts on 124 street. We have gone there literally every Saturday since they opened in December of 2017, apart from the few Saturdays in which we’ve been out of town. We can’t recommend them enough – their dough is next-level fluffy and wonderful, and they don’t skimp on the toppings. They are everything a doughnut should be, and they aren’t even paying me to plug them like this.

National Calzone Day

I promised myself I would not go all Ben Wyatt on my readers and spend this entry gushing over how wonderful the calzone is. This is partly due to the fact that I know for a fact that a large percentage of my regular readers have no idea who Ben Wyatt is, and if they haven’t leapt into Parks & Recreation by now, they probably never will. But the calzone is a tasty treat, far more so than the pizza pockets of our youth.

A Stromboli is a very similar beast, but tends to feature no pizza sauce, simply dough rolled up with Italian meats. The calzone is a true portable pizza delivery system. They are frequently sold by street vendors in Italy, because they are a great walking around food. Pizza can be messy. In fact, if made properly pizza absolutely should be messy. That’s part of the fun. A calzone can create a mess too, but only if it’s too full of stuff, or if the eater is careless and doesn’t respect the effect of gravity on foodstuffs.

One thing I find rather odd about pizza places around here is how infrequently the calzone shows up on the menu. It almost qualifies as an ethnic food option it’s so rare. And while I’ll generally prefer to eat a pizza (I’m seldom if ever walking around, let alone walking around when I’m trying to eat), I’ll still get a hankering for that extra layer of dough sometimes.

Pictured above is a meal our son, Colton, prepared not long ago – a truly home-made calzone, which he described as delicious. I’d have preferred a way of celebrating this with my own calzone, but I’ll accept his help with this one, as we were having salmon last night. But celebrating is a family affair, so we’re appreciative of the help. And it looks so damn tasty.

National Brush Day

I was really hoping this would be an elaborate celebration of some innocent soul who thwarted an attacker by smacking them with a hairbrush or something, but no – this is just a day to remind us all to brush our teeth. The placement of this ‘celebration’ is conveniently the day after Halloween, when kids all around the world are devouring an excess of sweets. I suppose that makes sense.

Apparently oral disease causes kids in America to miss 51 million school hours every year, and parents of those kids to miss 25 million work hours caring for them. That’s a lot of lost time, and a good deal of that agony could be avoided with proper brushing. Brush, kids. Fucking brush.

We made use of several interpretations of this (mostly unexciting) day. We brushed our teeth. We brushed our hair. I took the snow brush and brushed off the car, despite the fact that our car is parked inside a garage and we have no snow whatsoever in the city right now. We brushed Liberty, and she seemed to really enjoy it. We brushed. It was a hell of a day.

National Sports Fan Day

I found one source that claimed this day to be on the first of November, another that claimed it landed in October. Whatever, we didn’t celebrate it then so we’ll celebrate it now. We are sports fans, albeit unusual ones.

When it comes down to it, Jodie and I are lovers of theatre and cinema, and the drama associated with both. For that reason, it only makes sense for us to follow one league with any kind of closeness, as we can invest ourselves in the dramatic tales of triumph and personal tragedy with an attentive eye. We grew up as lovers of American football, so the NFL is our league of choice. And the best part about being a football fan is that most of the games are played on Sunday, so we can get all our sportsness out of the way in one big indulgence. We can skip the Thursday or Monday games if they don’t seem particularly interesting, or if Tom Brady is involved. Fuck that guy. Enough already.

So as sports fans we tuned in for seven hours of commercial-free football, courtesy of NFL Redzone, which bounces from game to game and captures all the best action. It’s a lot more effortless than the way I used to watch, which involved flipping from game to game to game, hoping I wouldn’t miss anything particularly important. Or, going back to the days before NFL Sunday Ticket, I’d have one or two games to choose from, period. Some teams, like the Cleveland Browns, I wouldn’t see all season, not even once.

This is a great time to be a sports fan. You can legally bet practically everywhere, you can join in on all kinds of fun and weird fantasy activities, and you can keep track of everything in a not-stop surf through the internet’s dense forest of statistics and news. Yesterday we spent most of the day horizontal, hanging with our dogs and watching grown men get paid gazillions playing a game we all love at the highest level. It was wonderful.

International Scented Candle Day

I’m going to brush by this one pretty quickly. We lit a scented candle yesterday, which had a vaguely hot-buttered-rum aroma. It was lovely. We use scented candles from time to time, not usually on a whim but more often to cover up either the smell of a dog’s digestive output when it tragically lands upon our floor, or the smell of the cleaning agents we’d use to clean up after the dog’s digestive output. You see, we associate the smell of those cleaning agents with the dog accidents now, so they’re just as bad. It’s only a matter of time before the candles get associated with covering up the cleaning agent smell, and we’ll grow to hate them too.

But that’s the beauty of scented candles – you can just change up the scent. Everyone has their favourites I’m sure – mine is the one we have that smells like baking bread. Baking cookies are nice, and so is lavender and lily of the valley and whatever other floral shit tickles your nostril hairs. But you just can’t beat the smell of fresh bread.

And, because it’s a hell of a lot easier to click ‘purchase’ on a website than to learn how to actually bake bread, the candle will do just fine.

National Cinnamon Day

Jodie’s French toast doughnut, pictured above, contains a lovely sprinkling of cinnamon. That would count for our celebration for this one because outside of a fresh cinnamon roll smothered in gooey icing, this is Jodie’s favourite method for cinnamon delivery onto her taste buds. And the cinnamon rolls weren’t happening; we bought a Costco-size box of them a few weeks back for National Cinnamon Roll Day, and we wound up eating all of them. We must try our damnedest to escape 2020 with at least some dignity.

Cinnamon comes from the inner bark of a tree. Many different types of tree, actually. Some are specifically grown to be harvested for their delicious spicy inside parts, but there are plenty of cinnamon trees out there, doing nothing but existing, letting their tasty bark go to waste. Not that we’re advocating chopping them down and hoarding their cinnamon for yourself so you’ll have a lifetime supply, but we’re not advocating not doing that either. It’s up to you; we’re not the tree cops.

Cinnamon is more than a spice though. Well, it’s not now, but throughout history it has been more than a spice. It was revered since ancient times – it goes back beyond 4000 years, back to the point where we can’t say with absolute certainty where it was first tasted. But it existed as a currency, as a prized gift for royals, and perpetually intertwined with notions of alchemy and magic. Cinnamon is the flavour of adventure, of mystery and the unknowable. Its seductive sweetness conceals a spicy zing unlike any other vibration in the cosmos.

And it rocks on top of a French toast doughnut.

Zero-Tasking Day

We nailed this.

This is exactly what I hoped it would be. A day for tasking yourself with nothing, and committing to doing what you want, not what you need to get done. To be clear, Jodie did not nail this day at all, as asking her to take a day to not work on any of her school work, or to mark, or to tutor, or to do something productive is thoroughly unrealistic at this point. Had Zero-Tasking Day dropped in early August, she’d have aced this one. In November, not so much.

But dammit, I came through. I made food because I was hungry, not because I was obligated to. I walked the dogs because I enjoy their company, and I’m working my way through Stevie Wonder’s discography on our walks right now and I’m getting to the really, really good shit. I tidied up here and there as I wanted to, because I like not living in squalor and filth. I published my article because I wanted to share the photo of Liberty and I in costume with more people. I didn’t even write – I’ve been arranging it so I can write around Sundays for a few weeks now.

I zero-tasked. I watched football. I lit a candle. I brushed my teeth. It was a tremendous Sunday.

And off we go, into another 5-day week during which we will question once more why on earth we still have 5-day weeks in this age of convenience. Here’s what’s up:

  • Fill Our Staplers Day. The first Monday after a daylight savings switch; we did this in the spring. A rerun, but a good rerun.
  • National Deviled Egg Day. I like deviled eggs, but only one or two of them. Do we have it in us to make deviled eggs? On a fucking Monday?
  • National Ohio Day. And our food selection for this one has not been made yet. Tune in to find out!
  • Color The World Orange Day. This is meant to raise awareness for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, so we’ll do our best to add some orange to our lives.
  • Job Action Day. A day for exploring career options. Believe me, that has crossed my mind a lot this year.
  • Broadcast Traffic Professionals Day. Yes, traffic reporters need a little love too.
  • Cookie Monster Day. That’s good enough for me.
  • Dynamic Harmlessness Day. I have no idea what this is. I will find out and report back if it’s worth celebrating. Heck, I’ll report back anyway.
  • Look For Circles Day. This is a celebration for young kids who are learning about shapes. I don’t think that will apply, unless we can get Liberty to catch on.
  • Practice Being Psychic Day. What the hell? Why not?

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