On this inauspicious Thursday, offering little more than meetings and spreadsheets at work (meetings and children for Jodie), I found myself immersed in exhaustion. I worried for the stability of my consciousness, even as I walked from desk to boardroom to desk. Was it the cumulative effect of nearly 200 celebrations gobsmacking my endurance? Or was it the presence of a canine cyclone, chewing and leaping and peeing through our home?
Definitely the latter. Good thing she’s cute.
National Frozen Yogurt Day
Oh, froyo. You’re like ice cream with a snarky, thick accent, one which is not at all unpleasant. You’re lower in fat, though that episode of Seinfeld will keep us all a little suspicious of that claim. You were rolled into North American mouths in the 70s, but people complained of your yogurtiness, as though you could express yourself in some other way.
Ah, but you did. You first called yourself Frogurt and slopped into cones. Then you mimicked soft-serve behind TCBY counters. New sweetener tech enhanced your Q rating. Overseas you greet your audience with an ebullience of yak and camel milk. You get your own National Month in June (when it makes more sense for us tundrarians to snarf you down). And you maintain your outlaw status by not being regulated by the FDA in America. Why? Because you’re just too bad-ass for all that paperwork.
The curse of dairy which has befallen those of us with late-onset lactose intolerance is broken by yogurt, that glorious dairy product with live bacteria cultures who eat the nasties and allow us to digest it. But froyo / Frogurt / Frogozyurt is more cruel… most varieties contain no lactose-munching bacteria and are therefore toxic to my insides.
And that’s why the heavenly creator gave us Lacteeze and its competitors. Pop a pill or four, and I can dive head-first into a swimming pool of frozy-yogi and live to tell the tale. Unfortunately, last night was dedicated to another, far superior dessert substance so our only tribute to this icy yum-fest is here, in prose..
National Singing Day
Yesterday evening I improvised a wholly arbitrary lyric and melody as I tidied up the house, giving an impromptu concert that received scathing reviews from Trixie (whose musical tastes are immaculate), but some positive comments from Rosa, who was most likely just sucking up for some treats. Liberty, in a response we’d fully expected, bounded chaotically into a snowbank, then came in and peed on our floor.
Jodie joined in a Tommy James & The Shondells singalong during her afternoon staff meeting. Truth is, neither of us are seasoned singers. Jodie can actually hold a tune in place, whereas I tend to kick it above and below key like a hackey-sack, rendering it actually painful for me to listen to myself. When our kids were young I’d serenade them each night before bed, usually with a Beatles song (it’s good for the soul if their catalog is intrinsic). They didn’t care that I sucked. I didn’t care that I sucked. Our neighbours… well, we just didn’t ask them.
Singing is an expression of unrefined, raw energy. It immerses us in a moment, and connects us to something infinitely grander than anything in the tangible universe. Singing is, by its very nature a celebration, which is why so many traditional celebrations (real ones, not like National Nutella Day ones) include singing as one of their rituals. To celebrate singing in and of itself is to wrap one’s emotional arms around the galaxy.
The Treaty of Waitangi, signed 180 years ago yesterday, welcomed New Zealand into the British Empire, and set forward the nation’s roll of history. The key issue was, of course, what to do with the Maori, who had arrived there much earlier. Rather than enslave or sequester the indigenous tribe, the Treaty gave them ownership of their land and all the rights of any subject of the Empire. I don’t know enough about New Zealand’s ups and downs to know how things worked out for the Maori in the decades after the Treaty was inked, but this was a positive note upon which to begin to build a country.
The Treaty was grand, but there weren’t really annual festivities in place to celebrate it until much later; New Zealanders tended to cheer their nation on January 29, honouring the day William Hobson first showed up and planted his foot on local soil. In 1974 “New Zealand Day” was declared a national holiday, and (after a federal election flipped their leadership) it was renamed “Waitangi Day” in 1975, in order to properly commemorate the treaty.
The parties on Waitangi Day tend to include Maori traditions and military salutes. Locals aren’t parading through the streets or launching fireworks into the night – it’s more like our August long weekend. Just a great time for a day off in the middle of summer. Unfortunately, like Canada Day / Independence Day, it always lands on the 6th instead of getting bumped up against a weekend.
My beloved auntie (one of them) dropped by with a pavlova, a dessert that contains meringue, fruit, and some otherworldly dash of unfettered, unrestrained nirvana and bliss. It is a dessert that haunts you with memories for weeks afterward. There is simply no possible way to overstate the magnificence of this dessert. It makes my taste buds swoon so much they bump their heads against my teeth. I will likely dream of nothing else until at least June.
Named for Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, this treat exudes an ethereal grace and unconquerable charm. We’d proudly call this the celebration of the week – possibly of the year, thus far.
Except for that damn dog. She’s still stealing the show.
Once again the volume cranks upward, as today takes on a bevy of unabashed bonanzas.
- National Wear Red Day. I can do that! In honour of American Heart Month we will be sporting some crimson threads.
- American Heart Month. While we’re at it, we will learn a bit more about why the heart deserves its own month.
- Give Kids A Smile Day. I would have to seek out children for this, so I’ll entrust my lovely wife to get some giggles out of her students.
- National Bubblegum Day. Hubba Bubba? Bubblicious? Some other brand? We’ll do a bit of testing and blowing and popping.
- Work Naked Day. I have already promised my boss I’d celebrate this one from my home office, not from within the confines of my grey-beige cubicle.
- National Send A Card To A Friend Day. I can do that. I have friends and access to postage.
- National Fettuccine Alfredo Day. I love when these days select my evening menu and save us the consternation.
- Wave All Your Fingers At Your Neighbours Day. Great. Because our neighbours don’t think we’re weird enough.