Sunday, November 8, 2020

I’m keeping things brief this weekend. I have no choice – my fingers hurt for two reasons: one, I’ve been shovelling what feels like a winter’s worth of snow off my sidewalks every few hours and my everything hurts. Two, I spent a lot of my non-shoveling time yesterday dancing, and I do a lot of intensive finger-work in deploying my dance moves. Still, I felt there was some stuff I had to cross off my list.

World Numbat Day

First of all, I had to learn what the hell a numbat is. If it’s a real animal, why doesn’t it show up in Microsoft’s dictionary? Is it like a wombat, but more numb than… womb? That doesn’t even make sense. The ‘official’ website for this celebration is hosted in Australia, so I think we can safely conclude that this is an Aussie creature, and therefore it probably is able to kill humans with a simple flick of its cute little ears.

Actually it seems like humans have had to step in and help out these little marsupial critters. They’ve been driven onto the endangered list. And unless you happen to be a termite, the numbat won’t likely try to kill you. Numbats have 50 little teeth, but they don’t use them for anything. Termites don’t need a whole lotta crunchin’. They have sharper eyes than any other marsupial, likely because they thrive during the daytime, because they need to watch out for all the other wildlife in Australia that does try to kill everything, and because termites are small.

Unlike other marsupials, numbats have no pouch, which makes them decidedly less interesting as a cartoon character I guess. Here’s a fun fact – they retire to a small nest at night, the door of which they block with their butts to keep predators out. I admire a creature that knows how to use their rear end to their advantage. They aren’t really closely related to the wombat at all, despite the name similarity and the fact that both are Australian-based marsupials. I suppose the wombat would win out between them, since they aren’t at all endangered, and they’ve made their way into Microsoft’s dictionary.

But we skipped right over World Wombat Day on October 22, didn’t we? So the numbat claims the ultimate victory by showing up here in this project.

Hungarian Opera Day

Really? This one I decided to celebrate? I literally blew right over Country Music Month when it would have been remarkably easy and enjoyable to crank up some old Johnny Cash. But here we are. Hungarian opera.

First off, I’m not a fan of opera. I’m not a loather of opera either – I simply have never attended one in person, and much like with any piece of musical theatre I want to see the music performed in the full and proper context of its creation. So when I finally go to see an opera, I’ll happily listen to opera.

Or, when the calendar tells me to, I’ll also listen to opera. Hungary has over 200 years of opera history, having first thrived off imported German and Italian opera. They didn’t really start pumping out their own stuff until Ferenc Erkel started writing them in the mid 1800s. And by coincidence, that’s whose name I pulled up on Spotify and let play throughout the writing of this piece. I didn’t pick the guy because of his place in Hungarian opera history, but because his name was Erkel and I was hoping to evoke a tiny mid-90s sitcom chuckle from myself. It didn’t really work.

I’m really more interested in the Hungarian State Opera House, pictured above. As a fan of architecture I’m fascinated by old buildings like this. It opened to the public on September 27, 1884, so exactly 90 years before I was born. Coincidence? Couldn’t be. Gustav Mahler was director of the opera from 1888 through 1891, so the place has seen its share of big names in the opera world. According to a study done by acoustic engineers in the 1970s, this building has the third-best acoustics in Europe, right after La Scala in Milan and the Palais Garnier in Paris.

It’s a beautiful structure and I’d love to see a performance there someday. Does… does it have to be an opera? Okay, okay, I’ll try it. Someday.

Bittersweet Chocolate With Almonds Day

We didn’t go hunting for a bar that featured dark chocolate and almonds. We simply ate the ingredients, sourced separately, as one. It was a passable dessert, but not really on par with the doughnut we’d secured for later in the evening.

That’s all. It’s a food thing. We ate the food. We did the thing.

Book Lovers Day

We celebrated this back in August, on the date upon which it’s supposed to be celebrated. But here it is again, with a small handful of websites claiming it’s a November thing. At this point I’ve been listening to Hungarian opera for the last 30 minutes or so, and I’m willing to accept any variant of truth that the internet cares to toss at my feet. Sure. Yesterday was the day.

Pictured above is Jodie reading her current non-school-related book. She has about a dozen books on racism through which she is working every day, but this is the one she’s reading for fun. It’s a Russian novel, and she has given it the kind of praise that tickles my brain-parts: the language in the novel is beautiful. It’s translated from the original Russian, of course, but done so in a way that is evocative and poetic at the same time.

Book lovers should celebrate their passion more than once every year, I suppose. So a happy day to book-lovers (and democracy-lovers) everywhere.

Today is another day in which my everything hurts, all thanks to Mother Nature’s dickish dump upon our fair city over the weekend. Here’s what we may celebrate when we aren’t recuperating:

  • National Cappuccino Day. It will be hard to get one of these without leaving the house. We aren’t leaving the house.
  • National Harvey Wallbanger Day. We’d need to head out and get some Galliano liqueur for this one. Again, not leaving the house.
  • World Urbanism Day. A day to celebrate city-planning. I might actually have a way to do this one without leaving the house. No way we’re leaving the house.
  • Cook Something Bold And Pungent Day. I don’t know – when I come in from shovelling I’m pretty bold and pungent already.
  • Abet And Aid Punsters Day. Not a day to spread puns around the internet, but certainly one for encouraging others to do so.
  • Shakespeare Authorship Mystery Day. Do we want to delve into this little batch o’ conspiracy theories?
  • International Tongue Twister Day. These are always fun.
  • National Dunce Day. I can qualify for this. My brain is tired.
  • National Parents As Teachers Day. A lot of people have been celebrating this – often against their will – this year.
  • World Pianist Day. Sure. But I’m not watching that movie. I’d have to go out and buy a copy, and there’s no fucking way I’m leaving the house.

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