Monday, December 7, 2020

While today might be historically known as a day that will go down in infamy, I’m not sure if our slate of celebrations are really set up to leave that kind of lasting impression. Yesterday we didn’t get up to much in the way of celebrations at all though, so I feel like we need to tap on the gas just a little to make up for it. We’ll see – we have surpassed our goal of 2,000 parties this year, and while we are committed to making it through all 366 days, we no longer feel obligated to do weird shit like learn what a sacher torte is and bake it. Here’s how we spent yesterday:

National Microwave Oven Day

Remember the World’s Fair? Once upon a time, gigantic leaps in technology were unveiled at these massive events, and journalists would carry stories of these futuristic doo-dads back home for folks to ruminate on just how bitchin’ the future might be. It was at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933 when Westinghouse demonstrated a device that cooked food between two metal plates attached to a shortwave transmitter. The world was impressed.

But it was eight years earlier when self-taught engineer Percy Spencer was working on an active radar set when he noticed the microwaves began to melt a chocolate bar in his pocket. Thus began the experiments. The first thing cooked in a microwave oven was popcorn. The second was an egg which exploded in the face of one of the experimenters. It took until 1945 for Raytheon to file a patent on this tech, and until the early 70s for them to find their way into homes.

Growing up, I always had a microwave. I’ve never known life in the era when you’d have to use an oven for all re-heating purposes, though I acknowledge I’m of the first generation of kids who can say that. Yesterday we used our microwave to heat up some leftovers, and we appreciated its presence in our kitchen. Some things, like pizza, fried chicken, or anything with a crunch to it, should still be heated up in the oven, and we absolutely will not cook with the microwave because we know better. But for what it does, we would not want to live without it.

Put On Your Own Shoes Day

This is another celebration for which we could find no origin. Perhaps it was created by a mother of a young child, hoping to encourage them to finally take that step and learn how to put on their own shoes. Maybe it was some drunkard over at Chase’s Calendar of Events, looking to prank his editor with a few entries that don’t actually exist.

That’s okay. We no longer really question where these weird days come from. The strangest ones were concocted by a couple in Pennsylvania just for the sake of concocting weird celebrations, so what’s to stop others from doing the same? At least this one is fairly easy to celebrate: I walked the dogs. In order to honour this celebration properly, not once did I enlist any help from anyone else in donning my own footwear. Nor did I attempt at any time to don the footwear of someone else – there are two ways one could read the title of this celebration.

So we celebrated this one properly, whatever the weird journey it might have taken from someone’s twisted brain to our list of December 6 activities. We are in to the very end, folks, even if it means we have to put on our own shoes.

Only two? Yes, only two celebrations yesterday. As I said, we might get up to more today, but then we might not. Here’s what we have to choose from:

  • National Illinois Day. Deep dish pizza was a consideration for this one, but we’ve already done that. Maybe something else will jump into our brains.
  • National Cotton Candy Day. There’s really only one way to celebrate this. Sure, we whiffed on picking up some rhubarb vodka the other day for that celebration, but we aren’t going to be missing this one.
  • National Letter Writing Day. It’s kind of weird to me how many days there are in the year to celebrate writing letters. Who writes letters anymore?
  • Walt Disney Day. To be clear, Walt’s birthday was on December 5, but whoever created this day felt it should be celebrated on the first Monday of the month. Weird? Not as weird as Put On Your Own Shoes Day.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Hey there, party people. We’re at it again, romping through the tiny details of the universe in the hope that we will extract some previously undiscovered source of mana. Somehow we found that in wearing socks and brown shoes a couple days back, and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before we encounter National Dish Soap Day or National Hungry Hungry Hippos Day. This ride just keeps getting weirder and weirder, and I fear we might be weirdening ourselves along with it. It’s too late to stop now though, isn’t it? If it isn’t, please let us know. Here’s what tickled our attention yesterday:

Bathtub Party Day

The suggestions for this celebration, which was created by Thomas and Ruth Roy, those perpetually busy Pennsylvanians who have invented roughly seven dozen celebrations of note, are weird. One site tells us we should toss our little kids in the bath and let them go crazy with the bubble bath. I mean, okay. I’ve never been one for bathing multiple children at once; that seems to me like something that should have gone out of style with rotary telephones and Tab cola.

The other option I read is that we should simply take a bath with a quality bath-bomb, maybe some candles, some later-catalog Sting through our speakers and maybe cucumber slices on our eyes. But we have done that twice so far this year, and neither time did it feel like a ‘party’. That’s a cop-out.

But you know what’s always a party? Having Rosa around. She is an energy ball with more quirks and oddities than a pack of peculiar pups. Since she is our guaranteed party, we simply invited her to bring her boisterous mirth to our bathtub for a few moments. She didn’t get an actual bath mind you – that’s next weekend so she’s good and fluffy when our daughter comes home – but look at her. That right there is a party on four legs with one floppy, flamboyantly fabulous ear.

National Blue Jeans Day

What other way can this day be celebrated apart from simply wearing some jeans? I put on jeans first thing yesterday morning (which was, for us, around 11:00), and I wore them on our weekly supply run, which included doughnuts, avocados and breakfast. I like jeans, especially once they are good and worn-in. It used to be a delightful treat when casual Friday rolled around, because those were jeans days.

They were. They aren’t anymore, and haven’t been for a couple years now. To be clear, I never started experiencing Casual Friday as a part of office culture until I moved to my present office floor, back in 2014. At first it was kind of a novelty, like the first bite of a rather bland baked good – but still one you’ve never tried before. Wearing jeans meant that at the end of the day I’d be staring down dozens of hours of free time, and at least two days where I wouldn’t have to wake up at some stupid ungodly hour and drag myself to the bus stop.

Then, as my work experience turned a bit sour a few years back, my attitude began to change. We had all of our work-perks taken away from us, and my bland beige office was reduced to a blander beige cubicle. I decided that, since my job never entails me interacting with people outside of our department, I would simply wear jeans whenever I wanted to. And I did. And my bosses never brought it up to me. So I released Casual Friday and replaced it with Casual Whenever The Hell I Wanted To Day.

In 2020, jeans are fancy dress-up wear for me. All summer I wore shorts, and all spring, autumn and (let’s face it) winter I’ve been wearing sweatpants. This is my new reality. For a stretch there, I even wore sweats on our supply runs. I simply didn’t care. Now I get all fancily attired in my denim once a week. But as soon as we came home I switched back to sweats in order to decorate the house… and I hadn’t taken a photo yet. You’ll have to take my word for it – I wore the damn jeans.


Here’s a piece of trivia of which I was previously not aware: bowel cancer is the third biggest killer of humans on the planet. That disturbing notion is at the heart of this celebration which, much like its companion, Movember, seeks to raise awareness (and also funds) for cancer research. I believe the idea is that you should start the month clean-shaven then allow December to grow your face-pubes to their greatest extent.

That’s all groovy, but I did not begin this month clean-shaven. For the same reason I opted out of adding Movember to our list of celebrations, I am simply not in a place wherein I’d like to mess around with my facial hair situation. The beard is good. It keeps my face warm and makes me feel more jolly and Christmas-ish. So instead I’ll settle for raising awareness in this fashion: by telling y’all to get your bowels checked out. The third biggest killer of humans? I didn’t even know it was in the top three for cancers.

My beard will probably remain on my face until I scoot through the ol’ portal to the next plane, or until I need some sort of weird face surgery. I’ve welcomed its presence since October of 2013, and I’ll keep it around. And I’ll shout my bowel cancer awareness from the hills, at least virtually.


This one is for the ladies who would also like to use body hair to raise awareness for cancer. It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like, and we’ll stick with the above photo to represent it, thank you very much. This one is apparently good for raising awareness of all cancers, and it certainly appears to be the most interesting way to raise awareness for pretty much anything.

That’s about enough for this one.

Today is Sunday, and as with any Sunday it’s not a day in which we want to get up to a whole lot. Here’s what’s staring us down from the other side of our calendar app:

  • National Pawnbrokers Day. Is there any chance of us heading to a pawn shop today? That’d be a big ol’ nope.
  • National Microwave Oven Day. Now we’re talking. We will use our microwave oven and celebrate its glorious existence in our lives.
  • St. Nicholas Day. We didn’t do the shoes full of candy thing, so I’m afraid this one won’t be happening.
  • National Gazpacho Day. Cold soup? In December? Pass.
  • Put On Your Own Shoes Day. Was ‘Wear Brown Shoes Day’ too much of a challenge for you a couple days back? I found an even easier one.
  • Mitten Tree Day. This is a craft project. We aren’t big on craft projects.