Thursday, November 27, 2008

Yanksgiving... Yanks taketh it away.

Thursday, November 27, 2008 - In a world that has us complaining constantly about that which we do not have, and whining in unison about how bad things are... along comes American Thanksgiving. A time to reflect on the things for which we can be thankful. A time to bring family and friends together. A time to gather those who are near to us... and hit the malls.

Yanksgiving is the start of the retail season. If anyone feels more thankful, it is the malls, the big box stores, and the television stations. Ahh... the festive cha-ching of the cash register and pumped up ad time. No matter how bad the first 7/8ths of the year has been, Friday is all about going from bleak to black - and if you aren't too comatose from all that turkey, the sales start when the clock strikes 12:00. Black Friday... get your list started.

It is that warm fuzzy time of the year... where we roll from giving thanks for all we have directly to thinking of all the things we don't - but are hoping to have in a few weeks. The tree will be lit at the top of the needle. The lights will be on at all the malls. The snowman decorations will be appearing on a lawn near you.

I'm Canadian. I live in Canada. I am right now smelling the turkey in the oven, and wishing that this isn't the meal everyone talks about for years to come... and not in a good way. But Yanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays. It brings back warm and fuzzy memories of spending time with good friends, without a care. I miss those days very much and so this year, though I am in Canada, I am cooking Yanksgiving dinner and will be thankful for the friends who will share it with me. I will also think on the other things in my life I have to be thankful for.... and get that list started. Dear Santa, I've been a very ok girl this year...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Flowers the colour of blood

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 - I realize that the signing of the Armistice agreement to end World War I was 90 years ago today in 1918, officially ending the war on the 11th day of the 11th month at 1100 hrs (the 11th hour). In Canada, Australia, the UK and other Commonwealth countries, today is Remembrance Day. In the US it is called Veterans Day, although until 1952 it was Armistice Day. In New Zealand, France and Belgium, it is still called Armistice Day. For Poland, today is Independence Day.

It doesn't matter what you call it, 90 years ago today, the first World War came to an end but not until the end of many hundreds of thousands of lives. This day has come to represent more than the celebration of freedom, and the mourning of the lives lost in that first World War. Indeed, it has become to represent the great sacrifices made by all soldiers, both alive and dead, in order that you and I can be free. There is a war going on as I write, and you read. Whether in peace time or in war, at this moment there are thousands of men and women at war.

Each year by the middle of September, Poppy lapel pins start showing up on store counters and on jacket collars all over town. This year however, there seems to be a short supply of Poppy Pins. For the first year in my adult life, I have no poppy. I didn't get one in the mail. I haven't seen one in a store anywhere I've been in the last three weeks. There hasn't been a Veteran on the sidewalks selling the pins. The Veterans are getting too old to stand on the streets to push the poppies, and stores hate to give up valuable counter space without a profit. So for the first time, I have no poppy. Even more disturbing than that, I overheard a group of teenagers this weekend who were all wondering what the red flower was all about. Now THAT is disturbing.

I may not have a Poppy, but at the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month, I will stop what I'm doing and give a minute of silence to remember the sacrifices of others and to thank them for the freedoms I enjoy now.

The 11th day of the 11th month is also Twins Day in Taiwan. This is a festival for biological twins. Apparently the date was selected because 11-11 looks like a pair of twins. Must be something to this date in Asian cultures. As 11-11 is also Singles Day in China - a day to celebrate the single lifestyle. Really, if you are single, do you need one day to celebrate being single? Isn't every day a celebration? Whatever other things today brings (Happy B'day P), lets celebrate with blood red poppies.

Monday, November 10, 2008

So many numbers, so little time.

Monday, November 10, 2009 - Ten digit dialing is a pain in the finger. Seven numbers is hard enough to remember. But along came cell phones, and suddenly every house had not one, but two or more phone numbers. Seven numbers just wasn't enough. So, the area code became part of every day dialing. And that meant new area codes. A house could have two phones, and each one was a different area code. Got very confusing.

But like all things that change, we just get used to things. Need to use the area code to phone a friend, no problem. We adapt. We adapt so well, that I don't remember what it was like to only need to dial the phone number. I'm amazed at just how fast we do adapt to changes. Today is Area Code Day. There may not be any formal celebrations today, but maybe it's a good excuse to pick up a phone and call a friend. Or call someone in a different area code. Oh hell, just call a random number and see if you can strike up a conversation. Tell them you are just trying out a new area code.

How easily we adapt to changes as a society is pretty fascinating. Microsoft launched Windows on November 10 in 1993. I remember that first Windows computer I had and how many people thought it was a silly expense to have that computer in the first place. It was an expensive typewriter. Now, if you find a house without a computer, that is the odd ball out. Computers are everywhere. We not only adapted to their use in the work place, but we now can't imagine life without them. what is next? We've adapted to the $4.00 coffee. We don't think twice paying the Electric Bill regardless of how high it gets. Sure we promote 'conservation', but unplug the coffee pot? Never.

We would never put our credit card numbers in to a machine, and yet, we shopped more online last holiday season than ever before. This year will be no exception. (Well, maybe the market downturns will slow a few). And if we were todl we haqd to give up our cars now... it probably wouldn't go over well. Gas hit $1.50 a litre, and upwards of $4.00 a gallon.... we drove. We just adjusted the amount of money we forked over at the pump. Did we drive less? Crap no... we just adjusted. We did complain about it for a while, but pumped the gas regardless.

We adapt. Maybe we adapt out of sheer laziness. Maybe we adapt because it's less hassle than getting up in arms. Maybe we just don't care. I gotta believe it's an issue of said laziness. But today - be lazy. It is Laziness Day. Don't know what the origin of such a day is, but I'm sure the folks who came up with it meant to tell the story. Perhaps they figured we'd all adapt so the why wasn't important. Who knows. Who cares. I'll just be lazy for the day because. I'm adapting.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Just Another Brick in the Wall...

Sunday, November 9, 2008 - Even the most random of events has order. When thing seem to be right out in left field, it has order. The seemingly random movements of the boys on the field has much order. Chaos in our lives, no matter how chaotic it might seem, has order. In science this is called Chaos Theory. In matters of the day to day - it's just life.

Some people thrive in the chaos. Chaos is a place I feel the most at home. I tried to be on of those organized, put together, got it together kind of people. I put things away and couldn't find them. I spent hours looking for things because they were where they were supposed to be. I NEVER think to look there. I look under things, I look through things, and I look in all my pockets. Keys have their own randomness. They are most certainly somewhere, and only they know where that might be. November 9th annually is Chaos Never Dies Day. As long as there is patterns (known and unknown) Chaos will never die. Thankfully, I will forever be in my element.

Chaos is not so comfortable for others. Some are just unable to deal with changes of any kind. But change too will never die. Things happen. Things happen more often than they don't happen. Part of the chaos perhaps. Time gets away from you, and time goes by. Today is Sunday. I am still trying to get those things done that I needed to do last week. But hey... welcome to my chaos. I think procrastination is really avoidance, and avoidance is a way to protect one's walls. But the beautiful thing about walls is that even the best constructed walls can come down. On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall came down. In Germany, today is celebrated as the Berlin Wall Opening Day. So put your walls down for a day and stop procrastinating.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Is that a pointy hat or are you just happy to see me?

Saturday, November 8, 2008 - Idiots. The world is full of them. There are those who haven't a clue and know it (the easy idiot), those who haven't a clue and don't care (the happy idiot), those that haven't a clue and talk about it (the funny idiot), and those that haven't a clue and don't know it (the dangerous idiot). Idiots are indeed everywhere.

Nowhere are idiots more prevalent than in politics. I have just been to see W. As a movie, it wasn't so wonderful. As a portrait of a man who has been 'dubbed' the worst President in US history, it was terrifying. In some ways, it showed that he was a child of two people who ultimately didn't believe in him, and who never got over their disappointment that the Presidential appointment didn't go to his brother. Really, how much worse could Jeb have been? Dubya spent his life trying to earn the approval of his parents. That isn't what I found scary. What I found scary was that Dubya is so much more than the dangerous idiot. Dubya hasn't a clue, and has the brains to back it up. He is the brilliant idiot. He manipulated first Texas, followed by the entire country, and lastly, the world.

Now the brilliant idiot has but a handful of weeks left in office, and the hole that's been dug will take more than one term and a new President to fill. Today is Dunce Day. If Dunces unite, we could be hooped. We could get more than Bush... we could get an entire house and senate full. Like that could ever happen. What? Oh crap.

Parents have a duty to ensure that if their kids are going to grow up to be politicians, that they are not also dunces. Mommas don't let your dunces grow up to be politicians. Today is also Parents Are Teachers Day. This may be the most important job a person can have. Don't mess this one up or you could end up the mother or father of a President. 

Friday, November 7, 2008

Trash Talk and Magazines

Friday, November 7, 2008 - Ever notice that the trashiest rag mags are always at the checkout stands? No matter how much you try to deny it, you just can’t stop yourself from reading the covers. You may even pick it up and flip through the pages until it is your turn to pay. Then you quickly put it down, with a look of disgust and disbelief on your face – on the off chance the next person in line caught you with the ‘publication’ in your hand. It’s almost worse than your secret need to watch TMZ. I have to admit it. I watch TMZ. I go out of my way to watch TMZ. I would NEVER however admit to such de regeur. But seriously? The blonde fella with the long hair and that to die for smile? I’m not much in to the surfer look, but strap me to a board and call me Gidget.

From the monotone newsprint magazines of the past, to Emags and online forums – People to Mad Magazine, from Time to the National Enquirer, magazines have come a long way baby. News magazines seem to be falling off those checkout counter racks and being replaced by “In Touch”, “Globe”, “Hello”, “OK”, “Celebrity Hairstyles” and “Soap Opera Digest”. It is as though the news that is fit to print has gone the way of the Dodo…. turning us all IN to Dodos. If you want to access the magazines that contain actual news, thought provoking articles, and commentaries on the state of the planet, you need to turn to your computer on. Newspapers are another apparent dinosaur set.
Newspapers once held a place of importance nearer the checkouts. Today, if you want a paper, they are in racks past the checkouts. You don’t see them until you’ve paid the bill and are unlikely to get back in the line-up and have to stand there through another price check for feminine hygiene products that you know is only being done because buddy in front of you is embarrassed to be picking up for the girlfriend in the first place.

There are still a handful of fabulous magazines that have stood the test of stupidity. Scientific American, though they increased the number of ad pages, is still a thoroughly fascinating read. Men’s Health and Women’s Health have lots of great information and Mental_Floss and Vanity Fair offer up hours of entertainment. Reading a magazine online is alright. The content is there. But that tactile experience of flipping pages with a magazine on your knees while you lean back in to the sofa is missing. Sure I lean back with my computer on my knees, but my knees get too warm, and when I fall asleep, the computer makes a heck of a ruckus when it hits the floor. Today is Magazine Day. Now that the rains have come, I think I’ll stop on the way home and pick up a couple magazines for the weekend. I see slippers, and mugs of steaming hot coffee, and falling asleep on the sofa with the pages of a magazine stuck to my cheek in my future.

There are other reasons to celebrate, and tonight is the night the ladies don the pants and do the asking. It’s Sadie Hawkins Day. You know, 40 years ago, this day probably had some meaning. In today’s dating world, the women seem to do as much inviting as the men anyway. In honour of Sadie, I've asked a not so blond fella to a movie. Oh heck, forget Sadie Hawkins. Grab a magazine and a remote and invite yourself out for a night of page turning.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Get Lost

Thursday, November 6, 2008 - Winter is around the corner. Temperatures are beginning to drop and the rains are falling. There will be snow, and mittens and scarves. Will there be bikinis and rum punch in the future? Toss me on an island somewhere warm and throw away the compass. I'll either find my way home, or not. If not, I'll gather up a few sheets of plywood and a fridge and open up my own roadside bar. Jimmy Buffet... here I come. Of course I won't set up beside Margaritaville - my plywood bar won't have poolslide. Hey, maybe being marooned isn't such a bad plan. It is Marooned Without a Compass Day.

In a perfect marooning, I would take with me my favourite meal (Mom's lasagna, a Caesar salad and garlic toast). For reading, I would bring a subscription of Scientific American and a copy of A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. For guests, I would like to bring Payton Manning and Denzel Washington (for obvious and not so obvious reasons). I couldn't survive without coffee. Kona, Blue Mountain, Kenyan, Columbian... matters not. I am a slave to coffee.

Of course today is also Festival of Total Submission. Maybe I can make that part of my marooning. After all, I'm there with a QB and Denzel. Wonder if I can license Denzel and Payton as spokespeople for my Plywood Bar? Hell, if you got to get lost without a compass, my bar is a great place to end up.

Pint anyone?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wonder what Homer is cooking?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008 - Well. Last night was quite the election finale. I don't know what it means for Americans, for Canadians or for the world, but I'm sure it is a step in the right direction. After all, the hole that W has dug couldn't be any deeper. There isn't a shovel with a handle long enough to keep digging - though I'm sure with American ingenuity, he could have come up with something. Instead, the USA has voted for a man who seems to be a polar opposite to W. Obama is taller. Obama is younger. Obama uses all the consonants when he speaks. Obama can sink a basketball. Obama will use his Harvard education help choose the right next moves. Obama will be able to understand the briefings documents and may not need the pictures. These are the things I think are important to Obama's election.

I turned CNN on this morning to see what the "best political team on television" had to say about this long fought battle. There isn't an analysis that goes by that they don't talk about him being the first African American President. I am not convinced this is what elected him. I believe it was Obama's ability to bring people together. Go figure. A black man bringing people together in the USA. I'll take it. And the world will take it as well. Today is World Community Day and there is no better day to celebrate.

Leading up to the election I had fear that the American voter who outwardly supported Obama's campaign would get to the voting booth, and find they were just unable, secretly, to get over the colour of the package. Thankfully I was wrong. If nothing more is made out of the colour of the President Elect, I'll be ok with that.

Now for the future First Lady, Michelle says she will not take on a policy portfolio, but rather be there for the family. Well, fresh from the highs of the win, and the crash of the adrenalin, today is Michelle's day. Yesterday was for Barack, today... is Men Make Dinner Day. Barack - you can't order a deep dish, and you can't order in. Today - you get to make dinner for your girls. You may not get another chance to don an apron until 2012 (2016 if you're lucky).

Now for Marge, Homer making dinner tonight could be trouble. Ooh... it's National Doughnut Day. Sorry Marge, better luck next year.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting on a Barbarian

Tuesday, November 4, 2008 - I could talk about the obvious. I could go on and on about the greater global picture of what is happening in the polling stations across the USA. This whole page could be about the fear of the future that will undoubtedly come from todays results. Florida could be paid for once again. We could pass up one who is bound to be the better bet for not just the USA, but also for Canada and the world. But, I am fearful that the better man will not win. I see "Joe the Plumber" and every other American who wants to do the right thing, walk in the polling booth with the intention of voting for Mr. Obama, and at the last minute, sway because they just can't see giving a vote to a man with more melanin in his skin. After all, that melanin surely changes the way he would lead a nation. But I just can't think of any good reason to go on and on about the Presidential elections. We've had a two year campaign from which the media will be suffering serious withdrawal in a few days, and there isn't much more I could possibly add to the rhetoric.

So instead, I'm going to talk about today's other celebrations. Today is Use Your Common Sense Day. I'm not making this stuff up. I promise. But common sense may be the one thing that won't get used today. Instead, today may be used to exercise ones 'gut instinct', rash decision making or lack of common sense.

Common Sense. A radical idea. defines common sense as "sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence". This presumes that even those without specialized knowledge are able to make sound decisions. Four years ago, I had high hopes that common sense would prevail, leaving common non-sense to the cast of SNL. No such luck. Common sense is what keeps us from hurting ourselves and others. It is what stops us from judging people based on the things that have no relevance on ones sense of self, beliefs, or ability to do the right thing. Seems circular no doubt, but common sense is the ability to judge people on their common sense. Wonder what the judges will have to say at the end of this day. Just keep your fingers crossed that Common Sense prevails - even if it is JUST for today.

There is another good reason to not talk about the obvious. Today is also Waiting for Barbarians Day. I'm sure this can be tied in to said obvious, but really? Do I need to connect those dots? With any luck, we won't celebrate this one at all. Of course, it's really a crap shoot. Roll those dice baby, but after you exit the poll. Try and celebrate Common Sense Day while you're in there. The world begs you.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Working in the kitchen... for a change.

Monday, November 3, 2008 - You know that saying... "If you can't handle the kitchen, get a real job"? There are so many reasons to get out of the kitchen that have nothing to do with a real job. How about cause I bloody well can't cook? Or I'm tired of Char... and I'm not talking fish.

There are many things I am good at that do get me out of the kitchen. I can swing a mean golf club. I can call the plays before the QB, I can drive a mean train. I tell a good joke, and I can pick out a great wine. I just don't know how good I am at the domestic thing. A friend often tells me the most domestic thing about me is that I live in a house.

All that being said, I think I would make a fabulous husband. Now if only I could find a man that would be a great wife. Seriously? I'm a work-a-holic. I would love to come home to dinner and a glass of wine. However, I still like pampering, and bubble baths and trinkets and the rest of the girlie stuff. So where do I go to find a man's man that can cook, and do laundry, and vacuum and bring me a beverage after a long hard day on the trains? Today might not be the day to go looking. Today is Housewife's Day. So today isn't my day for so many reasons. Oh well. I guess that's why I don't have short wee feet. I have to stand just that much farther from the stove.

I am my own cliche - but that works out for me too. Today is Cliche Day. See, today is all about me!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Sunday, November 2, 2008 - Ah Sunday. A day when North Americans foster that warm and fuzzy relationship they have with the sofa and Fox Sports. Football. There just isn't enough days in the week full of football. Today, I watch the Jets and Bills, the Packers and the Titans, the Colts and the Giants, and although I may actually be multi-tasking... after all, I have to flip back and forth between games, I am ultimately only doing one thing... nothing. After all, an afternoon of football is like re-charging. It may look as though there are many things on the go... the remote, the beverage, the cheering, the tears... but deep down, it is actually doing nothing. It's Sunday. It is what Sunday is all about. Of course the Republicans may believe differently - they may be the ones multi-tasking (sitting in a pew AND checking the scores on their iPhones). But for the rest of us... we are zero-tasking.

Assuming the position was the most work we've managed. And in our nothingness, we are celebrating the spirit of the day. Today is Zero-Tasking Day. A day to do nothing. Indeed, the only thing that could ensure this day is celebrated exactly as it is meant would be someone to fetch the beer. "Rex? Are you with me buddy?."

I wonder if when Morris hit the Net he had any idea how badly he was going to be messing with Zero-Tasking Day? Today is the 20th Anniversary of the day the Morris Worm hit the Net. Morris was the first virus that really opened up the eyes of not just the engineers, but the average Internet user, that the on-line world wasn't a friendlier world. It was just another parallel to what we already knew. There are idiots on every plane. On the upside, Morris did create an entirely new area of study and commercialism. There are firewalls, spyware detectors and virus protection packages on every shelf and they sell. And as for Morris? Sure he got convicted of computer fraud... and then took a cushy job as professor of comp sci at MIT. Morris was certainly multi-tasking - with one non-tequila soaked worm he showed the world the Internet wasn't a nice place, probably had a few laughs, employed a few lawyers, stirred a new brand of legal specialty, spawned a new industry, and lined up a great gig.

I just don't think I can be as ambitious as Mr. Morris today. If anyone is looking for me, I'm bonding with my sofa.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A M M M M M M M Mole for Your Troubles

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 - Remember your chemistry? Do you remember the number of atoms in a mole? How, infact, did someone count the number of atoms in a mole? Was this a large mole or a small mole? Is there a difference between the number of atoms in a mole versus a gerbil? According to Amadeo Avagadro, the number of atoms (or molecules) in a mole is
6.022 X 1023. So from 6:02 am to 6:02 pm on 10/23 (October 23rd), science teachers are celebrating National Avagadro's Number Day. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, and a peck was a mole, and pickled peppers where say pickled carbon atoms, then we know just how many pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.

If you stutter, Peter Piper is a pecker. And that Sally who sells the sea shells at the shore... well she's a real &*#!. And today is neither Peter's nor Sally's day. Today is also International Stuttering Awareness Day. There are so many challenges in the world as it is. Imagine if you also faced the world with a stutter... it's a troubling, and challenging speech impediment to overcome. Now imagine if you are in Chemistry class and have to explain the phenylalanines or combustible compounds... I'm guessing that this isn't your day either.

Some days are just better left unsaid.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Count your Pumpkins Before they Hatch...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 - Pumpkins. They are everywhere at this time of year. They are in every store, outside the stores, on steps and porches... and soon they will be in bits on the street, in your back yard, on the car...

But the best thing about pumpkins is pie. You just can't get enough pumpkin pie. As the pumpkin is a vegetable, the pumpkin pie is not really a desert. It's a vegetable course. So someone got wise and decided that if you take a vegetable, load it up with spices and cream, put it in a pie shell, you can pass off your vegetables as desert. After all, what else do you do with pumpkin? As a vegetable, it isn't the greatest. Now if you really want to turn pumpkin in to something special, the pumpkin cheesecake is better than pie. Better than chocolate, take that same pumpkin pie, load it up with cream cheese, and turn it in to a dairy serving as well. It's like dining multi-tasking. So for Pumpkin Cheesecake Day, go ahead and multi-task. I wonder if you can turn eggplant or zucchini into a dish that would earn it a day of its own?

Does this sound remarkably like babble? I haven't begun to tell you about my collection of buttons. I have this very heavy brass jar that was my Grandmothers. I've had it for years, and for the first time since she passed away, I knocked it over and lo and behold, there are buttons in that jar. I'm guessing the red ones are from my wee red coat when I was 5. There are buttons there from dresses and jackets and shirts that surely my Grandmother thought she would one day get to sewing back in place. Now I have a whack of buttons and none of the clothes to which they belong. But like anything people collect - they don't need a purpose. My good friend collects crystals. She has crystal elephants and panda bears and so many others. Do they have a use? Not so much. Are they adorable? Certainly. If they weren't adorable would they still serve a role? Sure. She loves them and that's what matters most. I have a brass jar full of old buttons. Round buttons, plastic buttons, wooden buttons... buttons. For someone who didn't know I was collecting buttons, I could really go on and on about them. Babbling is ok - it is Babbling Day. Babbling about buttons works too... It's Count Your Buttons Day. I haven't counted them - but if I get serious about collecting buttons, I'll be sure to count them out.

I could sort them by shape, size, fabrication, number of holes....

Monday, October 20, 2008

Time for an Oil Change?

Monday, October 20, 2008 - Maintaining the car isn't always high on my list. I put gas in it, it goes from point "A" to point "B" pretty much without much else in the way of intervention. Heck, half the time I don't remember even doing the driving. It's as though after you get in the car and point it to the destination, it gets there. I'm sure there is more to it than that, but hey... I'm still alive. Of course I've been called Crash for many many years.

But alas the car needs more than gas. It needs air for the tires, coolant for the coolant thingy, washer fluid for the windows, air filters for the air conditioning, and oil for the engine. If not for the little sticker on the inside of my window, I'd never remember to do the oil changes. Hell, I don't remember to send birthday to my mother and that's only once a year, never mind once every quarter. In keeping with my complete inability to remember when to get my oil changed, today was Oil Change Day, and lo and behold... I have the same oil in the car I had last month. We'll see if I can get that sorted soon. If not, I'll drown my sorrows in a vat of brandied fruit.

Brandied fruit is a funny thing. Take a nice piece of fruit, soak it perfectly good brandy and add them to a door stop of a cake called the Christmas Fruit Cake. The only thing about the entire process that is the brandy. But today is as good a day as any to dip a few pieces of apple into a snifter. It's Brandied Fruit Day and we are all supposed to eat 5 - 10 servings of fruit and veggies a day.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hot flashes? Shave.

Saturday, October 18, 2008 - Stubble. Five o'Clock shadow. Going Don Johnson. Facial fur. Winter face. Grizzly Adams. Playoff beard. Call it what you want... there is no time like the present to rid yourself off the hair that grows on your face. It's No Beard Day and that means today is the day to pull out the razor. Go for it. If you dare go bare, go bare from facial hair.

I suppose there are pros and cons to facial hair. Pro... you save valuable shaving time in the morning. Con... you probably use up all the time you saved in the morning plucking stray lunch bits from your Chin Pet throughout the day. Pro... you look masculine. Con... Grizzly Adams was masculine, but he lived in a hut in the bush with a bear. Pro... Your face is warmer in the cold weather. Con... Warm face cold nose. Pro...You come out looking more mature. Con... most of your gray hair finds its way to the face first screaming "I'm old". Pro... you've made the playoffs. Con... You won't need it come March anyway, the Canucks are already on the golf course.

So what about the summer months? Is there sweat under that beard? When it is hot and humid out, does it get a little damp in all that hair? Imagine if the bearded guys had to experience menopause? Hot flashes and fur? Doesn't seem like a good mix.

Ok, so I'm probably not the best person to talk about menopause. I experience cold flashes. Moments of chills that my grandmother used to tell me meant someone was walking across my grave. At the rate I have these chills, I'm guessing I'm going to be buried somewhere pretty central. Maybe I can get put under the sidewalk of a Starbucks... in a paper cup. I wonder if menopause will be less chilly? The hot flashes sound pretty good right now. I wonder if menopause will be less chilly? Hot flashes sound pretty good right now. What? I said that already?

Today is World Menopause Day. If you know anyone who is experiencing this 'life changing' event... give them a little slack. They won't necessarily remember your name, or where they met you. They might start stripping in the middle of a cold snap. They may borrow another personality for a while, but with any luck, it won't take long. I'm not sure exactly how to celebrate this one. Maybe part of the party means shaving the beard to ease the hot flashes. Worth a try.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hairy Boobs and Shaking Balls

Friday, October 17, 2008 - Golf... the sport of kings (and queens, and men and women, and kids, pros, novices, honesty and cheating). There is no club in my bag better than my pencil. There isn't anything quite as effective as the 'Foot Wedge' or the 'Hand Wedge', and when all is done, a 'Sandwedge' and a beer. Though it's hard to convince your foursome of these more creative clubs, there is one golf tradition that is easy to run with... the Mulligan.

Ah the Mulligan - the ever present 'free' ball that needs not be counted, written down, scored, played with... In my foursome, there are two Mulligans. Each 'nine' gets you another Mulligan. These are the balls one likes to keep in one's bag. You know there is going to be two balls each round that you just don't want to remember. The Mulligan is an important part of the game. If you can get out on to the course today - take more than two balls off your card. On Mulligan Day you should really get all the play out of these free balls as possible.

From balls to boobs - today is also Mammography Day. Always "celebrated" on the third Friday in October - today is the day to get out there and check the girls. Is it surprising that Mammography Day was first declared as such by President Clinton? If you are one of the millions of women who won't be celebrating today with an actual Mammogram... how about lying out in the garage with your girls behind a tire of the family car. Get the husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, pal, to drive back and forth over each boob. Maybe with any luck that stray hair that has popped up will get caught in the tire treads.

Today is also the anniversary of the premier of "Hair" on Broadway in 1967, and the day that the great San Fransisco Earthquake hit in 1989. This is a shake'n, rock'n hairy day all around. As long as you aren't' completely bald (sorry Uncle), this is a great day. Even better if you are a male golfer with a bad slice. Nothing but free balls and a lower score card for you today.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bosses and Hungry Bookworms

Thursday, October 16, 2008 - Seriously... I would write more, but I now have four bosses, and each one has a project. For some bosses I wear steel toed boots, for others I wear heels. But for all of them, I wear a hard hat. The dictionary has many ways to describe 'boss'. According to Unabridged (v 1.1) 'boss' is
/bɔs, bɒs/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[baws, bos] Pronunciation Key - –noun

1. a person who employs or superintends workers; manager.
2.a politician who controls the party organization, as in a particular district.
3.a person who makes decisions, exercises authority, dominates, etc.: My grandfather was the boss in his family.
–verb (used with object) be master of or over; manage; direct; control. order about, esp. in an arrogant manner.
–verb (used without object) be boss. be too domineering and authoritative.
8.chief; master.

Ah, the boss - the director, foreman, head, manager, overseer, superintendent, supervisor, taskmaster, chieftain, slave driver... Whatever you call yours, today is National Boss Day. Check in your thesaurus for other words, but don't linger too long. Today is Dictionary Day. The thesaurus will just have to wait.

Today is also World Food Day. Millions of children, men and women are starving throughout the world.
Televisions broadcast hours and hours of images of starving children on other continents. It is an epidemic that ultimately affects all of us. Take a good look around that corner you invariably look away from. There is poverty and hunger right out our back doors. Given the recent economic downturn, it will be out your front door as well. If there was ever a time the food banks needed more help, it is indeed now. When you stop in at the grocer, stop by the food bank bins and donate.

It is also National Feral Cat Day. I'm not sure what the feral cat did to get an entire day. Is it a coincidence that it's today? Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls anyone?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Arrrrr you surrrre?

September 19, 2008 - It was a tough day on the racquetball court. Balls flying here and there. Sweat pouring off the brow. a few bruises, and most certainly a few pints afterwards. Two guys, John Baur and Mark Summers, were having their regular game coloured by a few fun phrases like "That be a fine cannonade."

Ah Rrrrraquetball. Arrrrrrrrrrrre you sure you arrrrrrrrrre up for such a challenge? No? Neither were John and Mark. Seems that after the game, far too many pints of ale, the concept was born, and alas, Talk Like a Pirate Day was born. That be a fine day. Take your wenches and your swashbucklin' mates out to sea and raise a few dollars for your favourite charity.

John and Mark have determined that this year is the Year o' th' Philanthropic Pirate... Your booty should be given away, shaken up and not divvy'd up amongst your crew. Really? A pirate giving away the booty? Obviously this is a day for us non-pirates. There ain't a self-respecting pirate out there would give away the stash.

If International Talk Like a Pirate Day was created in a moment of insanity, imagine the other days that just haven't hit the International radar yet? Arr... I've gots idears festerin' now.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I can haz cheezeburger?

September 18, 2008 - Weeks go by when you don't even think about junk food. You don't even notice the golden arches, the red head with pigtails, the strangely handsome guy with the crown,  or the round head in the box. Then there are days when all you can see when you drive down the road you see chicken, and ice cream, and burgers, and wings every which way your head turns.

So what explains this basal urge for deep fried salt and buttered ice cream? Is it a lunar cycle? Hormonal cycle? Advertising? Who knows exactly what causes this need, but when it hits, it is hard to pass through without a drive through.  The entire fast food industry can thank the person who first but beef in a bun and then topped it with cheese. Ah... Cheeseburgers...  I can haz one?

Today is Cheeseburger Day.  There are days you may want to skip over, Eggplant Day or Mushroom Festival lets say.  But who would skip over a Cheesseburger Day?  Available at every drive through, this is a day that can easily be celebrated.  I recommend celebrating with a side of fries. 

Today in 1851 the New York Times first hit the news stands.  I wonder if they were advertising for Cheeseburgers back then? I bet even in black and white, a good cheeseburger add would be pretty convincing.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

As American as....

September 17, 2008 - What is more American than Fox News? No?... Okay, how about CNN? Morgan Stanley? NBC? Reality Television? When others think of things American they don't always think of the things that Americans think about when they think of things American. Ask an American what is American and you might get Baseball (even though Baseball is a modification on the original English Rounders), Basketball (invented in Canada by Canadian James Naismith at McGill University) or Apple Pie (an old English recipe from early 1300's). The trouble is, neither America or Canada are really cultures unto themselves. We are a blend of all the things our fore fathers brought with them, or imported to alleviate their home sickness or boredom. After all, CNN was decades away, and Electronic Arts was still working on the charcoal drawings for Cricket '87 (1787 that is).

Boredom may actually be the oft forgotten forefather of American culture. Now THAT can be considered American. After all, the more that was invented to save time, the more time we had to fill.

Today, though maybe not as American as pie, we celebrate Apple Dumpling Day. Heck, the Apple Dumpling Gang was pretty American. Maybe today is all about Don Knotts, Tim Conway, Bill Bixby and Slim Pickens. That is surely more American than the dumpling - which is most certainly a European thing. Today is Citizenship Day. Maybe there are a few questions on the Citizenship test about baseball and apple dumplings. My friend will be writing that test one day... wonder if I can influence his study material choices?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rocking and Rolling

September 16, 2008 - Do you remember when making dinner was as easy as opening a can, pressing the contents in to a shape, and peeling it out? How about when baking a cake was as easy as mixing a few cans together to come up with that perfect cake of the perfect colour? Remember when becoming a sculptor too was as easy as opening a can?

I remember most when those cans only came in a few colours. Red, blue, yellow.... and if you blended them together, you could come up with purple, green, orange.... Ah Play Doh. Those were the days. There was the Play Doh hamburgers that were sometimes a little bit green. The Play Doh hotdogs which had a funny way of looking like lips, but rarely like a hot dog. I was a master of making people out of Play Doh... if the stick person model works. Actually, looking at some of the models in magazines now, I think I was merely ahead of my time. I have recently seen a few models who have a greenish hue about them. That's what happens when you mix carbs with water.

And Play Doh is what happens when you mix flour, food colouring, and some other chemicals with water. There is a little discrepancy between the patent office and the Hasbro website. It's seems the patent for Play-doh was issued in 1955 to a guy from Ohio who wanted a safe toy for his kids. Hasbro says it was a newfound use for a soap and cleaning compound in 1956 and called it PLAY-DOH. Regardless of where it originated, or those three fabulous colours it started as, you can now get a 50th Anniversary Pack of 50 colours. I bet those hamburgers will look much more appetizing today than they did back then. So for National Play Doh Day, go ahead and sculpt your dinner, then smoosh it all back up again and make rocks.

I missed a ton of great days to write about in the past few weeks, including Chocolate Milk Shake Day (September 12), Fortune Cookie Day (September 13), Be Late for Something Day (September 5 - though I can guarantee I inadvertently celebrated this one), Frankenstein Day (August 30) and International Literacy Day (September 8), but I'll be damned if I will miss this one. Today is Collect Rocks Day. Not just Play Doh rocks, but rock rocks. Rocks make up the foundation of so much... gravel, sand, concrete... hiking trails... Where ever your travels take you today, be sure to stop and admire the rocks. They come in a great range of colours, sizes, shapes... so much to collect. How about a scoop of Rocky Road Ice Cream? Rent Rocky? Rocky 2? 3? Watch a little Flintstones? Listen to a little Rock n' Roll? So many options, such a short 24 hours. I may have to settle for making a rock out of my hot pint Play Doh and calling it "Pebbles."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Felt Hats and Free Software

September 15, 2008 - There are excuses and there are no excuses. I... deserve no excuses. I have been trying to figure out a way to balance life, work, fun, and writing and sadly, the writing has taken a back seat to my social calendar and my love of a new job. That new job has me out of the house at 06:45 each morning, and until recently, I was under the impression that 06:45 was an urban legend. I had heard of this early morning thing, but thought that a thorough internet search would find that there was no such thing. Indeed, I was hoping that my research would show there are late nights, and late mornings only. It turns out this 06:00 hrs thing is indeed real.

That job starts early, but I am enjoying it more than I thought I would. I have traded in my high heels for steel toed boots, and traded in a great haircut for a fine, firm, brain bucket. Yes, I spend a few days here and there wearing a hard hat. I'm a long way from media spokesperson and communications director, but honestly... I can't remember having this much fun at work. My work is a little like going to kindergarten each day. I never know what I'm going to learn, or what cool new toy I'm going to get to play with.

My stylist likely doesn't think much of my hard hat. It plays havoc with the do, but if something fell on my head, my brains would have somewhere to go. If I were wearing a felt hat, my brains might seep through and spill out on to the floor. But a felt hat would indeed be more stylish. Today is Felt Hat Day. Might be a great day to pop a feather in to your chapeau and sing a song. It is also Sing Out Day so go ahead... be jaunty. Flaunt your hat and your song....

Oh oooo....
I've been working on the railroad.
All the live long day.
I've been working on the railroad,
please don't take my brain bucket away.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Herb who?

August 29, 2008 - So there you are, ready to start making dinner. Do you go for the tenderloin stuffed with figs and blue cheese? Roast lamb with rosemary and sage stuffing? Mac and Cheese? Seriously, I'm not alone in the notion that Mac and Cheese is a delicacy... a meal fit for candlelight and wine. One of my best friends can't wait for her husband to head out of town so she can trade in the roast radicchio and pork medallions for a box of the good ol' noodles and cheese sauce.

There is comfort in the foods that we secretly love but hate for anyone to know about. In secret... I'm a sucker for ravioli from the can, Mac and cheese with ketchup, cold pizza reheated in a fry pan... real gourmet food.

When it comes to cooking, I'd really rather someone else do the work. If I'm going to bother to cook, I only want to do that for someone. Cooking for myself is just easier with a menu to work from - and my kitchen repertoire includes every takeout menu for a 3 mile radius. But... alas, eating out means salt. Loads and loads of salt.

I don't fully understand the need for the amount of salt that restaurants seem to use. I can cook a similar dish at home, use no salt to speak of, and it tastes dang close to the same. Looking at the sodium content of some of the restaurants dishes, one meal could have the equivalent of 2 days salt. Go figure. I don't use salt, and then I wonder why when I eat out I need to drink so much ah, water. Today is Less Salt More Herbs Day. Got to be better for the body, and I'm sure it will be better for the pallet. Tonight, I shall try Mac and Cheese with a bit of rosemary and thyme. You never know, maybe I'll create a new delicacy I won't have to hide to enjoy!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I did it just because...

August 27, 2008 - People do strange things... but then again the things we do only qualify as strange because of someone else's reference points. My reference points reach a long way in each direction. I'm sure there are odd things I do on a regular basis that would have others claim they are strange. And maybe they are, but I do them because they entertain me, make me laugh, or get me through an otherwise long day.

It poured rain in Vancouver yesterday. Problem is... we had a tee time. Not one to miss an opportunity to get in a round of golf... we strapped our clubs to a power cart, changed golf gloves, and hit the course. Can't say I played well, but I can say we played. We were soaked to the skin, and the score card was a bit soggy, but... it was a pretty good night all around. Was that a strange thing to do? Why on earth would we want to get out there in the pouring rain? Just because.

In June myself, and two friends jumped out of a plane at 12,500 feet. One friend is in her 60's, the other was almost 85. Why did we jump? Just because. When I pass a decent sized puddle and the sun is shining, I can't jump in to the middle of it fast enough. Why? Just because. I can't say what I'll get in to today, but I do know that whatever it is, I will do it just because. Today, afterall, is Just Because Day. A day to do something because. Not because it is a great idea, or the right thing. Do something because it is something to do. Just be safe in doing it. I don't think if you put yourself or someone else in danger it would be much of an out. But hey... you want to sprinkle potpourri on the front lawn - go for it. Want to change the tires on your scooter to pink wall tires... just go ahead.

You may also want to consider being kind and compassionate to someone in need today. In celebration of the anniversary of Mother Teresa on August 27, 1910, today is Compassion Day. Take an extra sandwich to work and share it with someone in need. If anyone asks you why you did it, tell them you did it just because.

All for Parking and Parking for All

August 26, 2008 - Parking meters are the bane of my existence. Expected to always have a handful of change to be able to go anywhere, I am constantly re-stocking the parking meter money tray. Yet somehow, I get to where I want to be, find the perfect place to park, and no change. In Vancouver, parking downtown is $6 an hour in any meter and a tad cheaper on Sundays in some areas. That means that to go for brunch, one needs to carry four (4) Loonies, and four (4) twoonies at a weight of roughly four (4) pounds just for eggs and toast. If you were to carry around your parking money in your trousers, the weight of all those coins would wear holes through your pockets. It is actually cheaper to walk to Brunch and take a taxi home.

This weekend, while digging around in the car looking for that elusive Loonie for just 20 more minutes on the meter, I stumbled across the American version of the crazy Canuck coin... the Susie B. A one dollar coin featuring Susan B. Anthony. I was on the verge of putting her in the meter when at the last minute I found another coin in my pocket. I saved Susie B from what would surely have been a dark end. Today is Women's Equality Day or Susan B. Anthony Day. It is the day that women were given the vote. It was a marked day in history, and they commemorated it by issuing a coin that nobody uses. It is almost like saying the vote is worth no more than a buck, but you'll be damned to part with it or put it in the meter for a mere twenty minutes of parking.

Equality isn't something that we have been given in a congressional vote. Equality is something that we have to earn as human beings. If you can treat those in your life with equal parts of respect and compassion, than equality is something you have earned in return. Equality is blind to gender, race, orientation or ability. I have always felt that I treated everyone in my world equally, yet I sometimes treat myself differently than I do others. I don't give myself the credit I maybe deserve while I second guess my abilities. In the end, it isn't so much about me, but about the people around me - and I have nothing but respect and belief in those who surround me.

Equality comes in a few other forms as well. It turns out that both men's and women's steel toe boots are equally ugly and nobody looks good in a hard hat. If this is equal - then all for equality, and equality for all.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Appologies All Around

August 25, 2008 - You know that saying time flies? It seems it goes by in a heart beat. I have been remiss in publishing my blog for two weeks now. In fact, life has gotten so fast and exciting, that I almost completely forgot about this blog - as I am sure you have too.

Here is hoping that this isn't the first time you've read it, or worse, the only time that you have visited is in the past two weeks. Seriously, I'm not this irresponsible. What I indeed am is living a life that I forgot how to live. Seriously... I am working at with a new company that is so far out of my realm of knowledge that going to work each day is a little like going to kindergarten. I'm never sure what new toy I'm going to get to play with or what new thing I'm going to learn about. I have learned about fall arrest, ladder safety, union negotiation, 25,000 watt power safety, transformers, power collection shoes, tunnel construction, shunt straps, rack out and lock out of power breakers, feeder breakers, and all kinds of other things that I never knew I didn't know.

I haven't done much about this blog for other reasons as well. I have to attend safety meetings each morning at 7:30 am. Until this last week, I didn't know there WAS a 7:30 in the morning. Outside of work, I have found a few new distractions that have kept my evenings occupied - some of which are new to me, some are re-newed to me. And with all this going on - I was still anxious to fit in a bit of golf. Did I mention the new iPhone? Surely a phone shouldn't entertain so.

So all this to say, I am sorry. I am remiss, and I feel bad. I will make it up by attempting to be extraordinarily astute and funny for the next little while. I promise you that I am indeed sorry. Today is after all Kiss and Make Up Day. I am kissing and making up. Please forgive me.

If there was a way to turn back time and get the last two weeks back, I would surely have written more. The only one who may be capable of that would be the great Wizard of Oz. After all, I hear he is a wiz of a wiz, if ever a wiz there was. Yes, today is also Wizard of Oz Day. It premiered on this day in 1939. I am also sorry that Wizard of Oz is so dang hard to type. I beg your forgiveness dear backspace key. I didn't mean to pound on you so hard.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

First born, second born, only born HEY!

August 10, 2008 - Can an only child ever really appreciate the dynamics of brothers and sisters? Probably not. Infact, I doubt the average only child could know what it is like to have siblings. Some of us are lucky enough to have cousins. Some have friends that are so much more than friends, they are family. On the other hand, only children didn't get labeled the 'oldest', 'youngest', the dreaded 'middle child', or worse... 'the baby of the family'. Nope, we only children were merely princes and princesses.

But what about the middle child? According to psychologists, the middle child has a sense of not belonging. The fight for attention, and often try harder to be different. On the flip side, the middle child will often be middle achievers - working only hard enough to get through. Psychology says that middle children are also more likely to be creative and artistic, but have a hard time staying focused on one thing. This spills over to their personal relationships. It is insecurity? Are middle children loners or are they just trying to find their place in the world?

I was an only child, but by reading this I want to know where my brother and sister are? Sounds like I was a middle child. Of course, I was also the oldest and the youngest too. So are single children messed up because they don't know if they should be over achievers, under achievers, or coddled? Does this describe any middle children you know? Today is their day - Middle Child Day - so celebrate. Spend the day on the patio, under-achieving. Let that project sit unfinished. Don't look to the first born for direction, just hang out coddling your lack of interest - no pressure. Oh hell, just be down right lazy.

Today is also Lazy Day. Even if the middle children you know don't fit the so called "Middle Child Syndrome" mold - encourage it for just the day. Hey, it's Sunday, it's August, and that seems like a perfect day to do nothing. As an only child, I will first get up, wonder what's in the day for me, get around to it when I get around to it, golf, brunch, and then be deadly lazy. See, as an only child, I get to do it all. Wonder when Only Child Day is - or rather, which day this year ISN'T Only Child Day?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

12 Step Programs for email?

August 9, 2008 - Email. Could you live without it? Would you even remember how to put a document in an envelope, find a stamp, lick a stamp, find an address, write the address, and then wander the streets aimlessly looking for a big red or blue box that will receive your envelope and hope it got there in time? Heck, I don't remember the last time I had to print a piece of paper and personally hand it over. Email rules my world. I rely on Email to send info, receive info, touch base, entertain, plan, and organize my life. Even before the Blackberry, I was addicted to email.

Today is Send an Email Day. So in honour of send an email, an iPhone was born into my life at 0545 hrs. It is a beautiful bouncing baby boy, weighing approximately 4.7 ounces. I'm sure this is the beginning of an even bigger email addiction. A relationship with 0's and 1's that even the most self controlled can't fully control. For people like me... addicts... we are probably exactly who the carriers want as iPhone customers. So today, I will send an email. I will likely send more emails than I needed to send just because I can. Worse, I may send text messages like a fiend, and play online, and update facebook from the car because I can. When all is said and done, it is a phone, and I don't pay for calls on the weekend. Today, I will also count the calls I place from the phone capable of having sending an email. I got today covered.

Today is also a great day to go yard sale'ing. Why else do people sell their yards on a Summer weekend? Some people are even selling their garages, junk, furniture, and junk. If you are in the market for a new garage, a lawn or someone else's junk... National Garage Sale Day is definitely the day to do it. I often drive by these Summer events and there is indeed a part of me that wants to stop and take a look. A part of me wants to join in on the festivities and offer up my junk. Another part of me wants to have a by-law written to limit the days in which one can hawk their junk out on the sidewalk. Environmentally, they may have some benefit... recycle, reduce, reuse. I just don't think it meant reduce your crap by putting it out on the front lawn, reduce the crap in your house by re-locating it to someone else's house, and make sure it gets a second use. What isn't new to you is new to someone else? Maybe this is the weekend for the by-law. I'll go write that email - on my new to me iPhone.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Happy happy joy joy

August 8, 2008 - Or... as the Chinese are promoting... 08 08 08 - Eight is a lucky number. Eight is a number much sought in license plates, addresses, and phone numbers. The number 8 in Chinese sounds like the word for wealth and therefore is lucky. Hence, the Olympics will begin on 08 08 08 at 8:00 in Beijing. For a friend who's birthday is today, this must be the start of a great new year. And for the athletes at this year's Olympics, luck might come in handy since breathing might be a tad difficult.

But 08 08 08 is also The Day to Create. For the creative, today is your lucky day. I create a daily article, often pulled from thin air, and most certainly created on the fly. I tried to create with paint once. I made a lovely painting in oils of blue. I thought it was of he bay at Chippewa Park, but really... it was just 'blue'. My grandmother however, thought it was the best blue. She framed it, and hung in on the wall for all to see. My grandmother was the best. She tried to teach me how to knit so I could create something from wool. I didn't much get the hang of it and created instead a lovely square of beige. Not long enough to be a scarf, not big enough to be a place mat, it was just a big of beige. Eventually I did learn to knit, but my aunt was the one who finally taught me that skill. I did eventually create a sweater - but at 14 months and a conservative $15 per hour, that sweater cost thousands of dollars in labour and by the time it was done - it was summer. The next sweater I knit will be knit in Taiwan.

In University, I thought I would learn to sew. I could buy fabric and turn them in to clothes. I brought out the sewing machine, bought a patter, and proceeded to create a house coat. What I ended up creating was more of a blanket. Too long to walk in, and too big to fit in a regular wash machine. It was a giant square of burgundy. The next time I thought I wanted to sew, I went to the mall and picked up a little something someone else had already sewn.

Today, if I create anything, I will create happiness. I'm much better equipped to create fun and laughter. Today is Happiness Happens Day. I believe that happiness isn't a right, nor is it anyone else's responsibility. Happiness is something that you happens because you let it happen. After watching an hour of news it may be hard to believe that there is any happiness out there, but it is all around us. It happens on crowded buses and subway cars, on planes, on the street, in music, and in words. Happiness is there. If you are looking for it, it will be found. So today, when you buying your lucky lotto ticket, or starting a new project, enjoy the moment. Happiness happens between your ears.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Perfectly preposterous pictures

August 7, 2008 - When you are looking for that perfect gift, a small token of appreciation for the people in your life who do so much for you, sometimes merely by being in your life, where do you go? Do you go to the mall? Or the craft store? Do you stop in at the drug store and get the perfect card? How about getting that great picture of them printed and framed? Of course the problem with that is... the picture you think is the best picture, will undoubtedly be the one they really hate.

Pictures are a funny thing. Indeed people don't always look like themselves in pictures. When you reduce one's four dimensional self to a two dimensional image, surely they will just not look the same. It is as though when you take depth and time out, you lose the essence of a person. Are our best features found in the space and time that the camera just can't capture? But with the right lighting, and the right lenses, it is possible to get that perfect picture... but it may not be the perfect gift. No matter. Today is Say "Cheese" Day. Pull out your camera and take a few pictures. Don't shy away from the camera today. Even if you don't look your best, looking back on photos of good times in your life is always fun. So I guess today would also be a good day to go out and have a good time.

Today is also Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day. I swear I do not make this stuff up. Perhaps this is a day to thank the manufacturers for all those fabulously impossible packaging options. You know the ones. You buy something, you get out to your car with the intent of opening it to use it, and without a box cutter or a pair of industrial scissors you are just not going to get it open. How about the packaging that is twelve times the size of the item - but the box looks good? And my favourite packaging... a tiny item shrink wrapped to a cardboard backing the size of a school binder. I wrapped a gift for my mom once in a box, wrapped up in a box, wrapped up in another box with a rock in it. It took more time to package it than to unwrap it. Was that preposterous? Perhaps. But it sure was fun. My mom in retaliation (or to keep me from opening all the presents I find and then re-wrapping them) uses a preposterous amount of tape on packages. Seriously? If she were her and I was me... I would do nothing different. Without all that miles of tape, I would be opening the box to have a quick peak. Oh yeah, mom? I opened every present every year and had a quick peak. Thank god for all those acting classes.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Breath that could curl your nose?

August 6, 2008 - Is it possible to take someone serious when they are breathing on you the breath that knocked out Kong? How is it that the worst breath possible isn't noticed by the person with that bad breath - yet they have a nose mere centimeters from the source? Are we immune to our own aromas?

We seem to be unable to detect the scents that are coming from our own person. It is an immunity that comes from repeated exposure. Much like overcoming allergies to your own cat, hanging around with your own odors long enough and your detectors shut down. How much would you then have to smell in order for your odor to be noticed? Today, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of soaps, scrubs, body washes, shampoos, lotions, potions and wipes that can take care of any smell you can throw at it. There are perfumes, colognes, body sprays, deodorants and antiperspirants all with the intent of ensuring your smell isn't offending anyone. For your breath there are teeth wipes, gum, mints, Tic Tacs, mouthwash, toothpastes, and breath sprays. In today's well stocked personal hygiene aisle, there is a scent and a flavour for everyone.

Toothpaste now comes in vanilla, fruit, cherry, cinnamon, mint, winter mint, fresh mint, natural mint, orange mint, spice mint, citrus burst, lemon ice, mint green tea, mild mint, lavendar, cola, apple, paradise splash, and more. Then there is the kids' flavours that includes watermelon, bubblegum, grape and chocolate. So... today, on Fresh Breath (Halitosis) Day, you should be covered. Brush, rinse, spit, and chew in any flavour you choose. Today should be the one day you can get on a bus, a train, a plane, or elevator and not need a gas mask. Save those for Beijing.

If you do run across a few mouths that make your nose curl, pack a few packs of gum around. Spread the news... fresh breath is on the menu for the day. If you run across a few mouths that make your toes curl, pack around a stick of emergency gum and a note pad to get their number. And if you get a number - wiggle your toes. After all, it is also Wiggle Your Toes Day... and that just sounds like fun. I wonder if your feet smell too?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Post Weekend Hangover?

August 5, 2008 - When the long weekend is over and you are expected back at the office... how do you deal with the depression? Do you put your nose down and get to it, or look at the piles of stuff and wonder if you should just wait until after lunch and the End-Over passes. (The End-Over is the painful symptoms that follow a long-weekend. An End-Over is not quite a hang over, but just as sad... They most often happen each Monday, but symptoms are more severe, and require more treatment on the Tuesday after a long weekend.)

Summer in Vancouver means racking up as many patio hours as possible before we need to return to work, saying good-bye to the Summer, the sunshine, and welcoming the rains of Fall, Winter and Spring. In attempts to push off the End-Over for as long as possible, Monday night of the long weekend is spent on a patio. Any patio will do. Coffee shop patios are good. Restaurants, bars and pubs are even better. In a pinch, you can hang around on the curb beside a street vendor hot dog cart. A patio (or curbside eatery) is a patio (or curbside eatery). Last night, a friend and I walked the dogs in search of the perfect patio to while away the last of the long weekend, and stave off the start of the End-Over. Not a unique idea by any stretch of the imagination. There was no patio table to be found, and the hot dog carts were put away for the night. The End-Over was near.

Today, we are back to work, and our noses are to the grindstone. Now I understand why today is Work Like a Dog Day. It will take really good treats and a promise of another long weekend to motivate me today. I would rather work like my dog. Since his retirement from active service, he works hardest on napping and playing.

Getting to work is another story all together. Traffic isn't any lighter in the Summer than it is in the fall. It used to be that the number of cars on the road dropped in the Summer months. Now, every day is rush hour. The only really noticeable difference is that rush hour starts earlier for the ride home. By 1500 hrs, folks are heading home, to the beach, to the bar, pub and restaurant patios, or home to mow the balcony. Imagine what that commute would be like without traffic control? The first traffic light was installed today in 1914 in Cleavland, Ohio. I wonder how bad the commute was in 1914 that they needed traffic lights? Thank god for the red, yellow and green. If you do make it to a patio for the evening, raise a pint for Traffic Light Day, and imagine how long it would have taken you to get there if not for the lowly traffic light? You might not have arrived in time to get a table.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sisters, Brothers, Friends

August 3, 2008 - Friendship is the one thing that holds us all together. Whether you have family or not, hundreds of friends or just one, friendship keeps us grounded. I live thousands of miles away from my family. Though I have great friendships with my mom, my aunts, my uncle, my cousins, I have been fortunate to also have amazing friendships with the family I wasn't born into but rather the family members I got to choose. It's probably a good thing my friends aren't the family I was born into. We are a rag tag bunch of people, each with their own idiosyncrasies and craziness.

There are my opinionated friends who are never short on words or shy to tell me what I think on any subject. It's a family trait... I too am a tad opinionated. There are friends who get a bug about something and go at it with both barrels, or are a tad obsessive compulsive. Family trait? I might have a bit of an addictive personality. There are friends who have been part of my life for what feels like centuries. Loyalty must run in this family. There are friends you travel with, friends you party with, friends you can stay at home and watch TV with. There are friends who share your taste in movies, friends that get your sense of humour, friends who don't 'get' Monty Python, friends who do, and friends who tolerate Flying Circus. The one thing that seems to be true of all the friends that I hold near and dear... is that they are all a little bit crazy. Alas, I am the one thing they all have in common. Does that say something about me?

Regardless, I will celebrate all my friends - those related and those that are not. Today is Friendship Day, and it is Sisters' Day. Seems to me they are interchangeable. So, to all my friends and my sisters, have a watermelon. Oh yeah - its also National Watermelon Day.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Forgiveness and Champagne

August 4, 2008 - Forgive me readers for I have failed to post. Yesterday, my post sat in the draft folder and did not make it to the page. The best part of that is... yesterday was International Forgiveness Day. Go figure. So.. belated post, belated pardon?

Today, is Monday, August 4th. In Canada, the first Monday in August is a long weekend with various names across the country. On the East Coast, including Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, it is Natal Day. Ontario, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan call it a Civic Holiday. In Alberta it is Heritage Day, and in New Brunswick and BC we call it New Brunswick Day and BC Day. Call it what you want, it is a long weekend in the heart of Summer - and a chance to recharge your batteries. For those of us who are solar powered, this is a good thing. The golf courses are packed, the beaches are shoulder to shoulder, and the beer stores are re-stocking the shelves by Saturday morning. Beer... Canada's summer bubbly.

Dom Perignon would probably not be impressed with that nickname. After all, when Dom got busy and found bubbles in the wine on August 4, 1693, he stumbled upon something we still think is pretty special. Champagne Day is a great day to order a bottle of bubbles. We can celebrate a day off, a long weekend, the sunshine, the colour of grass, the colour of dead grass, a house full of dead Bordens (today is the day they found Lizzy's folk in their home in Massachusetts)... who cares. Any reason is a good reason to pop a cork and celebrate. Heck, maybe I'll change the name of this blog to "Daily Reasons to Pop a Cork". Now that some of the best wines are switching to screw tops... what will become of the cork in the Champagne?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Game, Set, Sandwich

August 2, 2008 - Remember those great songs of the eighties, when music attempted an 180° turn from the touchy feely music of the 60's and the 70's? There was the Police:
"De do do do, De da da da"

And Trio really racked their brain when they came up with these inspired lyrics:
"Da da da,
What you will and what you won't, aha aha aha,
Da da da"
The lyrics are, to be fair... simple. None of that bourgeois capitalist writing needed. Just a good beat, and a few syllables here and there and we'll call it music. Like the Dadaists before, anti-art was where it was at.

Dada is an informal international movement that wanted to destroy the traditional culture and aesthetics because they believed that it was this clinging to ideals that brought about war. Dadaists describe Dada as "a phenomenon bursting forth in the midst of the postwar economic moral crises, a savior, a monster, which would lay waste to everything in its path". Needless to say, it hasn't caught on with art historians, artists, or for that matter, the masses. In keeping with what seems the non-sense of Dada, today is Dadaism Month.

How is a day a month? Good question. The Dadaism month was selected by randomly picking days and months from the proverbial hat. Dadaism Month will continue on on other days throughout the year. On those days... we shall hum and sing all the da da da songs we can think of.

If da da da doesn't work for you, today is also National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, and also Tennis Ball Day. I can't explain the tennis balls, but maybe a tennis game and an ice cream sandwich makes a ton more sense to me. Game, set, sandwich!

Friday, August 1, 2008

World Wide Web of Lies?

August 1, 2008 - Before the Internet, there were libraries, and reference books, and the set of encyclopedias. Before the library, there was lore, and before lore, there were cave drawings. Imagine, if you wanted to look up the weight carrying capabilities of a sparrow in a windstorm, and all you could rely on was that set of leather bound books you bought from a guy at the door, and the library across town that will be open tomorrow from 1000 - 1800 hrs... I'm guessing you'd be hard pressed to find the answer. You are watching a movie on TV and there is an actor on the screen that you just can't place. They won't show the credits, and by tomorrow, you won't be able to remember the details enough to ask your movie buff friend who is currently working in Beijing.

Today is World Wide Web Day, and honestly, we couldn't live without it anymore. Today is all about instant gratification. It is about having a question, and finding the answer in mere seconds. I am so hooked on having my Web, that I can't remember the last time I so much as watched TV without keeping my computer at hand. There is always something to look up, check out, find or learn. Today, I learned that oxygen, as an element, was discovered today (for the third and last time). It was discovered independently by Joseph Priestley, Carl Wilhelm Scheele, and Antoine Lavoisier. Though they each discovered oxygen, it was more of a race to publish the findings. Priestley won that race. Does that make today Oxygen Day? Should we just spend the day breathing in and breathing out?

The other thing about the World Wide Web is its ability to turn all of us in to experts on some subject or another. I, for example, am now an expert in bizarre holidays and observances. In fact, Oxygen Day? I created it. Wikipedia? Could we live without it? Proof that if you do put a million monkeys in a room with the internet and a slew of information, eventually, you will create a far more inclusive, accurate, in depth encyclopedia than that slick door to door sales guy had to sell. Granted Wikipedia is a constant work in progress, but that is its simple beauty. It would be a pain in the butt if you had to change all those books in libraries around the world by hand.

Today is the first day of August. We are now nearing the bottom of the sixth inning of 2008, and the Fall is just around the corner. For this month, perhaps we should concentrate on the important things in life this month. August is Admit You're Happy Month, National Golf Month, Peach Month, and National Picnic Month to name just a few. This is important stuff. And after a round of golf, peach pie, and a picnic, who wouldn't be happy? (Well, me actually... after a round of golf, I'd rather skip the picnic for a pint at the club). There are some great days ahead of us. August is truly the heart of Summer. I bet you could look that up online and read about going out and enjoying yourself!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The mutt has it.

July 31, 2008 - Dogs are a funny breed. They are truly the most successful of parasites known to civilization, a success they continue to exploit today. When man was part of a nomadic tribe - dogs were there - feeding on the scraps, ingratiating themselves for the warmth of the fire, and in return, offered little more than the ability to bark if someone or something else tried to get near the flames (or the food). They succeeded because they gave the impression they were offering more than they received. In reality, dogs were taking. And take they did.

Today, dogs have really taken this to a new art form. The work their way into family portraits, convince us that they need raw food, steak, popcorn... whatever you've got... they are happy to help with. Yup, dogs are parasites. Of course in return, they give us sad and pathetic eyes. They give us reason to eliminate wads of cash from our wallets. They encourage us to stay home, bring in dog walkers, pay for daycare... really... anything they might on occasion want, desire or think about. Dogs are indeed parasites. And we wouldn't have it any other way. Nor, for that matter, would my dogs.

My dogs are a pretty unique pairing. One is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, the other, a Chihuahua. But there are so many other dogs out there who don't get to be a 'breed', but rather get classified as mutts. Today is Mutt's Day. A day to celebrate the diversity of these four legged, loving, taking, adorable dogs who are a little bit of this and a little bit of that. The mutt is a breed of its own, and whether or not the Kennel Clubs agree, I think they should be allowed to compete too. Some of the best looking and best behaved dogs I've ever met are indeed 'mutts', or cross-breeds, or half-breeds. Same can be said of some of the humans I know too - but don't call them mutts - they are better looking than most 'pure-breds', whatever that means.

Today is also Live Better Than Yesterday Day. I think this is something we should consider every day. Tomorrow is August, and though July can be one of the best months of the year, perhaps the next month will offer up some excitement too. Live better today than yesterday, next month better than this, and next year too. What a great plan for making sure that you get everything you can out of life. I'm in. And next month, I'll be in again. My dogs continue to live better and better day after day, why shouldn't we?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Kicking tires - kissing hubcaps

July 30, 2008 - The auto has changed our world. We go farther, walk less, and continually expand our worlds - and our waistlines, because of the car. In honour of Henry Ford's birth today in 1863, today is Kiss Your Car Day. Cars have changed our air and our pocketbooks, and yet we baby these machines. My neighbour makes a weekly chore out of washing and waxing his car. A good friend is horrified when a bird drops a gift, or a bug commits suicide on her windshield (Hey... what is the last thing to go through a bug's mind when it hits a windshield? It's butt.) Needless to say, she washes her car.

In high school we coveted the cool cars. Everyone wanted a convertible, a Mustang, an import. Me... I had a wood panelled station wagon. It was a Chrysler Town and Country. It was affectionately known as "National Lampoon's Vacation, Party Hardy Chuck Wagon From Hell (NLVPHCWFH)... or Chuck for short. There were ups to having such a beast of a vehicle. You could easily fit 12 friends in it for a quick spin at lunch to avoid the cafeteria. The drive in meant you could back in, open the hatch and stretch out (sorry Mom). And, you could drive around with your chicken suit and have room for the tail. On the way to Falcon Lake one summer, with my grandmother in the car, Chuck's transmission gave out. I would like to blame my uncle for not believing me when I said the transmission was slipping, but I think it was being forced to carry around a gianormous Chicken Suit (I was a mascot).

After the new transmission, and a great holiday, Chuck was retired. Post Chuck was my first 'import'. A Mazda 626 that was loaded with all the features, but no back hatch for the drive-in movies. The sun roof proved to be a great feature on long drives to Winnipeg for football games and shopping. Though the Mazda never got a great name, it was my Mazdarati. I drove that from Ontario, to the Coast of BC and back. It treated me well, and when it retired, it retired to the golf course covered in cages and working the driving range.

Then there was a stream of cars that garnered me the nickname "Crash". Though never my fault, I had a '93, '94, '95, and a '96 in just under three years. There was "Andale! Andale! Yeehaw!", "Sparky", "Prince" (it was a raspberry Baretta), and "The Green Machine". The first three of those cars were domestic (Ford and GM). They lived their very short lives with a target painted on them. "Green" was another Mazda, and lived until she was traded in for yet another Mazda. My current car, "Indy", is also a Mazda. Nothing against Henry Ford, but I have had better luck with those imports. Of course I can't fault domestic cars for safety. In four accidents, I only ever suffered a bruise from a seatbelt, and a broken toe (of course that was because I kicked the truck that hit me - which, as it turns out, the insurance company didn't believe was an injury resulting from the accident).

So, the moral in this story is this... when you head out the door to get in your car to drive where you once might have walked, celebrate the spirit of the day. Don't kick your car.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The final frontier... and a ziplock bag of pasta

July 29, 2008 - Space, the final frontier, is the last vestige of man's domination of our world, and the vast area surrounding her. Today in 1958, President Eisenhower signed into law the National Aeronautics and Space Act, creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The imaginations of the world kicked in to high gear and boys and girls everywhere dreamed of being astronauts and space explorers. Final Frontier Day is for everyone - young, old, dreamers and realists. For in reality, we are now exploring space. We have rovers on Mars, we've hit golf balls on the moon, and we've built telescopes powerful enough to see the zits on the faces of jet passengers - oh, and the other planets too.

Everyone has their own final frontiers too. Some frontiers are emotional, some are less so, but they are often personal, and require introspection. My final frontier has its own collection of aliens and things alien to me. I have an uncanny ability to keep people at an arms length, especially if I think they are getting close. My space explorations have at the very least allowed me to recognize this, and to admit it. That may be my small step. I hope that the lack of gravity in space will make the giant leap that comes next easy. In the end, all I can do is strap on my moon boots and hope for the best. After all, sometimes all you can do is jump and hope you land somewhere on your feet.

When an astronaut leaves this planet, do they experience a feeling of detachment? Is there a disconnect between what they know to be true of themselves and the world around them and what could be possible? Is space really the final frontier, or is it just the next step in our social and cultural evolution? In all honesty, we have come so far in the past 100 years, that I can't imagine where we will be in anther 100 years. But I bet the astronauts will still be eating pureed lasagna and Tang, even today on National Lasagna Day. But does food still taste like food when it's mush? Fruit is a good choice but other than that, I can't imagine pureed chicken cordon blue or steak and potatoes. Now my mom's lasagna... it would be good even out of the blender. I won't need space food on my odyssey, but I wouldn't turn down a slice of lasagna and a side Caesar.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Direct advertising... the future is starchy.

July 28, 2008 - Milk. It does a body good. Got Milk? Where's your mustache? Milk your diet. Three a day. Got Chocolate Milk? (Today is Chocolate Milk Day.)I'm sure that milk ads have far outstripped cigarettes, liquor and even beer ads for being some of the most pervasive and long running ads in history. For as long as I can remember, I was more likely to watch the ads on TV, and reading Voque is really nothing more than a hundreds page ad. Ads catch my attention. They speak to me. Perhaps that speaks more to the quality of the programs wrapped around the commercial breaks.

There are a handful of really good programs on TV - but the commercials can be really brilliant. Remember the Sanka soap opera? How about the old lady looking for a bit of meat in her hamburger or the one that wiped out and couldn't get back on her feet? This is good stuff. The Kokanee Ranger's life in jeopardy, but his fate won't be revealed until the fall. How about product placement in movies? The new Mini in the Italian Job? That was one looooooong commercial for a small car. On the Internet, you can have your ads delivered to you based on what you are viewing online, what you've searched for in a search engine, or on key words in your emails. As advertising gets more prolific, and invasive, we will one day be able to have commercials fed to us direct to eye lid as you walk past a store or shopping district. How about the ads that come to our cell phones? There is a company here in Vancouver that has worked on a device that will beam ad texts to your phone as you walk by. Can the eyelids really be that far behind?

Remember singing telegrams? If there was a way to deliver these to your door cheaply, you can bet you'd be getting a knock on your door. Especially today on Singing Telegram Day. As we celebrate the anniversary of the singing telegram, be careful to whom you open your door. You could be accosted by a giant singing potato with a milk mustache begging you in song to drink Chocolate Milk.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

What's Up, Doc?

July 27, 2008 - What's Up, Doc? Let me tell you what isn't up first. After a really good party, and everyone goes home, you are left with a few things that need to be dealt with. Empties. Many, many empties. These must be recycled. Dishes. There are always dishes no matter how much you try to do the environmentally UNfriendly disposable plates and cups. Garbage. There are bags of garbage to be gathered and taken out. I was counting on all of this.

What I wasn't counting on was Post Party Depression. After one of the best house parties I've ever had, and one of the best mixes of people I have ever put together, I am now home with my dog in the lull of the gathering. It is a little like a calm after a storm. Dim Sum didn't do it. A beverage with a friend didn't do it. Phone calls from many of the guests didn't do it. Listening to music isn't doing it either. So, Doc... What is up? I suppose the only thing that can cure this disease is another party. This weekend is Caribbean Festival in Vancouver. I'm going to guess that a bit of Reggae and some dancing is what Doc would order. Take two dances and a Red Stripe and call me in the morning.

Bugs Bunny may have said it best, but I wonder if he was counting on that answer? Infact, Bugs Bunny made his debut today in "A Wild Hare" in 1940. So today, on Bugs Bunny Day, ask "What's Up". Run from the Coyote, eat a carrot, and dance a bunny hop. Bugs would have it no other way.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Aunts, Uncles, and Dare Devils

July 26, 2008 - One's family is a great source of stories to tell at parties. After all, we are what we know. We know how crazy our family is... every family is crazy. But without them, we couldn't be who we are today. Today, I am a day older than yesterday, but I feel ten years younger, because I spent last night with friends both new to me and friends I thought were lost to me. We laughed and joked and told stories of then, and stories of now. What I have come to realise is, these stories - of friends and family - are who we are. My family has been a great source of stories. Not that they were funny people, but we were very close. I feel as close to my Aunts and Uncles as I do to my mom, my cousins...

So to my Aunts and Uncles, thank you. Today is Aunt's and Uncle's Day. I can tell you stories of ordering steak with Uncle Bill, of shopping with Auntie Issie, or taking my Ford Festiva up the hill with Auntie Heather. I can tell you of my Uncle Doug and all his one liners, but not many of those would be fit to print. My Aunts and Uncles were a big part of my childhood, and when I tell some of the stories now, a big part of my present. Though I must admit, the stories I tell at parties are usually embellished (after all, my family wasn't as crazy as some others).

It is also All or Nothing Day. I can't find an origin for this day, or how you are meant to celebrate it. I'm going to guess it should just be a day of extremes. Do you gamble? Bet the house. After today, you can live in cardboard. If you are a smoker, go ahead and smoke everything you can get your fingers around. Maybe tomorrow you will quit. If you are thinking of quitting... today could be your day. For today, there shall be no grey area. Things today are either very much so... or not so. All or Nothing Day is also known as Go For it Day. Is there anything you've been standing on the edge over? If so... jump. Today is the day.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Peace, Harmony, and Cannibalism

July 25, 2008 - When we lived in caves and ate our relatives, did we really understand the future? When there was no technology, and life was marked by the phases of the moon, did we have an appreciation for new developments or improvements in weaponry, or new ways of harvesting firewood? If you haven't experienced cultural and technological changes there would be no reference point for the types of change that would be coming thousands of years later. When life was so much shorter then, did you think about your future or was your future the next day or the next meal?

Today is Act Like a Caveman Day, but perhaps since we no longer live in caves, it may mean that for today, you don't look too far in to your future, but rather enjoy the day for what it is... today. There is no need to hunt for your next meal, or wonder what Cousin Herbert will taste like slow roasted, so instead, you'll just have to enjoy your next meal and maybe worry about what you are going to do for lunch tomorrow.

I wonder at what point Cavemen began marking the passage of time. I would imagine the cycles of the moon made for a good calendar. Thirteen evenly spaced months of 28 days would make for a 364 day year. Pretty close to what we have now - and since life was short, the one day off on the start of the spring hunt wouldn't make much difference.

There is a movement afoot to return to a more natural calendar of 13 months of 28 days. The challenge is that other day... which is solved by a Day Out Of Time. Day out of Time is on July 25th each year and has been celebrated since 1992. The idea is that the calendar of 13 months of 28 days, which makes for a perfect year of 52 weeks has one day that just doesn't count. July 25th was chosen because it was Green Day in Pioneer Square on the Gregorian Calendar. Day out of Time is just that... it is the one day in a year that is out of time. It isn't on this new calendar. It is merely a time to celebrate life, cancel debts, to pardon and forgive.¹ But why change our calendar system in the first place?

The idea was born out of a notion to reclaim the natural rhythms of the earth - to bring peace and harmony back in balance. I have no doubt that changing the calendar would bring little in the way of harmony and peace. Imaging the fights that will inevitably happen when you find out you're in the wrong month, you've missed an appointment, the Oscars were last week? How about when you have to have all your id changed (Yay... DMV lineups) because the new calendar has wiped out your own birthday. You thought you were a Libra? Guess again. Now you have to change your personality too. And what about those of us whose birthdays fall on July 25th? Does this mean I don't exist? Or do I just not have birthdays? Damn. This will not bring about harmony. Cavemen lived by this lunar calendar. Seriously, do you think they lived in peace? They had to live in caves, draw on the walls with ox blood, and hunt for food. Hell, they ate Cousin Herbert. This was not a fun peaceful family dinner (especially for Herbert).

Happy System Administrators Day too! Don't know where I would be without the net - how ever would I have learned that today just doesn't count?

1. Day Out of Time Movement website has all kinds of information on celebrations and festivals.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sisters, Brothers, Cousins

July 24, 2008 - Remember all those family get togethers? How about the 'kids' table' during the holidays? Summer BBQs that seemed to always fall on the best day in the summer to have been home hanging out with your friends but you had to be present? Think back to those events. Now think about who made them bearable. Who was it at the kids table with you? For me, it was my cousins.

I had many cousins - we were all close in age - to eat with, fight with, laugh with, break toys with, scrap with, get in trouble with, throw food at... I'm not certain I could have survived any of the big family events at all if not for cousins. Today is Cousin's Day. I was the only girl in a group of four of us that were all closest in age. There was David, Andrew, and Bill. I learned some of life's most important lessons from these cousins. I learned that it's easier to play in a pair of overalls than it was to play in a kilt and patent shoes. It was better to punch back than to run upstairs crying. If you are going to teach a girl to burp, the Coke shouldn't be so cold. If you throw up Coke instead of burping, you should aim away from your cousin. I also learned about boys. I wasn't actually their little sister - so they introduced me to all their friends.

A couple years behind us in age were Ryan, Kelly and Rob. I learned lots from them too. If you are going to spend the summer watching TV on the satellite dish be prepared for what you might find. We watched the shuttle blow up in front of our eyes on a giant screen when what we were trying to find was a cartoon.

From Andrew, I learned that life can be approached with a smile regardless of what you have to deal with. From David I learned that life may hand you challenges, but you will never escape them unless you look them square in the eye. I also learned from him that you can't actually beat up a car. Neither Andrew nor David is with me anymore, but the lessons will stay with me for life.

From Bill, I learned that you can take the back wall off the garage and get the dirt bikes out unnoticed. I also learned that if you tee a golf ball up in the front lawn and wait for a train to go by across the street, you can really improve your game. Maybe most importantly, from my cousins, I learned that even an only child can have brothers and sisters, and the kids' table wasn't the worst place in the world to have dinner.

Today is also National Drive-Thru Day. I live thousands of miles away from my cousins now. There is no more kids' table, and there are no more burping lessons. But now I'm old enough to drive a car, and to eat alone. Drive-Thru windows have really made that easy.

I would love to go back in time and have another Christmas dinner at the kids table instead of hitting the drive thru, but time does not stand still, and I just don't have the time to sit down for a meal. While working on my fries and the too cold Coke today, I'll think fondly of my cousins. I promise I won't belch the Coke all over the wind shield.

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