Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Seventeen. We are seventeen celebrations away from our goal of 2,000. Even if we got cute and said we’d do 2,020 this year, we’d only need another 37 before the end of the year. Our original goal was 1,000 but I knew we could top it. Now I’m half-tempted to hit those last 37 and shut ‘er down. But this was to be a year-long ordeal, and backing out at this point would go against my obsessive nature. Besides, some of our indulgences were repeats and very vague approximations of a celebration; I want to make sure we hit 2,020 legit, indisputable promotions of revelry. To that end, we roll on:

National Espresso Day

The hope for this one was that Jodie would talk her assistant principal into brewing her an Americano to enjoy during her day at school yesterday. In fact, she arrived at work to discover that 10 of her fellow teachers were in isolation, meaning she had to literally race between three different classrooms to teach three groups of students at once. There wasn’t much time for distraction. So we’ll just acknowledge that we celebrated this last Saturday with our lattes, but neglected to snap a photo.

The first time I ordered an espresso I was 18 years old and trying to sound all fancy and European. I didn’t expect to receive a tiny little shot glass of powerful-tasting coffee. I was confused. Do I sip it? Let it cool down then shoot it? Do I lick salt off my hand first, like with tequila? Or do I substitute non-dairy creamer?

We can thank a man named Angelo Moriondo for developing the first steam-driven machine to cram hot water through coffee back in 1884. That was the start of the espresso phenomenon, and it’s probably why so many coffee beverages have an Italian sounding name (including ‘espresso’). My aged palette has now learned to love a great espresso, though I still feel silly holding one of those little cups.

But I do appreciate the effects. Espresso has saved me from dozing off in many a meeting over the years. Very worthy of celebrating that.

Woolfenoot

One of the more fun aspects of this weird year of celebratory indulgence has been learning the back-story to holidays that I’d had no idea existed. Most of them are vague, many are profit-driven, and some are just folks who felt we needed to pay attention to something. But every so often you get a really goofy one with a good backstory.

Woolfenoot was created by a 7-year-old kid in New Zealand. He wrote a story about it, and decided the 23rd of November should be the commemoration of the Great Wolf’s Death, and that dogs and dog lovers everywhere should be treated extra-special on this day. His father supported his kid’s story and put it out into the world of social media, where apparently it gained enough traction to show up on my radar, a half-world away. It also led to a children’s book being published. A book which donates a percentage of its proceeds to animal charities because this is apparently a top-quality dad at work here.

If you’d like to support the cause, please follow the link.

The tradition here is to give a gift to a dog lover, or to a dog. I have already done my once-per-week outing, and Jodie will get inundated with gifts at the mandatory time next month, as will the other dog-lovers I know. But the dogs can get bonus treats – making animals happy is the true Woolfenoot spirit.

This was a tiny blip in this year, but one of the most satisfying and smile-inducing blips. Happy Woolfenoot to all.

Fibonacci Day

For those of you who may have slept through the two Tom Hanks long-hair art-adventure movies a few years back, the Fibonacci sequence is a sequence of numbers in which the next number is the sum of the previous two. The first in the sequence are 0, 1, 1, 2, 3. Someone felt that 11-23 would thusly be the correct day to celebrate Fibonacci and his sequence. But why does it even need celebrating?

Something tells me if I’d asked that question about every one of these celebrations I’d still be hoping to hit my initial goal of 1,000 celebrations this year.

This sequence of numbers actually pops up in a lot of weird places. It shows up in the golden ratio, that mystical mathematic that calculates beauty and perfection in our minds. It can be applied to music. It shows up in the inside of a pineapple, or in the arrangement of leaves on a stem. It shows up in honeybee reproduction. It’s everywhere. I recommend viewing this TED talk about the topic, which is how we celebrated the day yesterday. Well, it’s how I celebrated the day. Jodie was busy running around and plugging gaps in her school’s staffing yesterday. Besides, she already exudes the golden ratio of perfect beauty anyway, so why should she have to celebrate?

Math is not our favourite topic, but sometimes it can be inarguably neato. This is one of those times.

National Cashew Day

We all know that cashews are the prized nut in any mixed nut variety. The cruel and selfish pluck them all first, leaving the rest of us with grizzled pecans and flavourless filberts. The savvy among us will simply buy the Costco thing of cashews, because who needs any other nut? I’ll proudly proclaim myself a fan of almonds, pistachios and even peanuts, but if there are cashews to be had, all other nuts can step aside.

And what else can the cashew do for us? In Cambodia they use the bark of the cashew tree to build boats. The cashew apple – the fruit from the tree – is actually edible and, by some accounts, delicious. More importantly, it can be used to create feni, a double-distilled liquor brewed from cashew apples, with an impressive 40% alcohol content punch. The oil from cashews is used in folk medicine. Cashew shells have been used to create lubricants, paint, and even weaponry. You can also use the oil to create a resin for carbon composite products if you’re so inclined.

We are not. We simply ate cashews and celebrated their spot at the top of the nut hierarchy. They were great.

Today we find ourselves only 13 celebrations from our goal – or 33, depending on which goal we’re talking about. Here’s what we have to choose from:

  • National Sardines Day. I think we’ll pass on this one.
  • Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day. I’m starting to reach the conclusion that celebrating *is* my unique talent.
  • Brownielocks Day. This is just a silly way of saying we’re celebrating brunettes, apparently.
  • D.B. Cooper Day. One of the greatest mysteries of modern times celebrates its anniversary today.
  • National Use Even If The Seal Is Broken Day. I don’t know if our sense of adventure runs quite this hot, but we’ll see.

2 thoughts on “Tuesday, November 24, 2020

  1. Hey! I got a pingback on your Wolfenoot story. Just a small note that I’m the Kid’s Mum, not his Dad, but so glad it gave you some joy.

    Also this a super cool project! ❤

    Like

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