Friday, January 27, 2012

Holidays I Observe

In the interest of making lists, I compiled all of the holidays I observe and sorted them by how much I like them. I don't always observe all of these holidays every year, and some of them aren't really holidays but who cares.

#1 - My Birthday (Oct 9)
Okay, this is not an actual holiday, nobody gets this day off work, but it often involves chocolate (for me anyway). If you want to get this day off work, tell your employer that you follow the religion of John Lennon and this is Lennonmas

#2 - Halloween (Oct 31)
My favourite holiday that is actually a holiday. It's the kind of holiday most people probably don't get off work unless they have kids or something but for me it's still super fun. I stopped trick or treating when I was twelve or thirteen so these days I either go out and get mad drunk or stay at home with a bowl of candy and a couple old horror flicks.

#3 - Queens County Fair (Varies)
Hands down the best four days in September. They got chickens, they got cows, they got horse hauling matches, they got rides, they got wicked poutine and the Estabrooks have a booth with fucking amazing apple cheesecake. Woo.

#4 - Talk Like a Pirate Dat (Sept 19)
This "holiday" doesn't have a whole lot of deep significance but it's a great excuse to annoy the fuck out of co-workers, relative and friends alike. The problem is of course since it's not widely observed it's easy to forget about.

#5 - Fat Tuesday (Varies)
AKA: Mardi Gras; Pancake Day
If you are Catholic this is apparently the day before lent where you eat all the eggs and butter and stuff in your house. If you are me, this is the one day of the year you can justify eating pancakes for supper. It's also Mardi Gras which I would imagine would be fun if you live in a warm climate. Mardi Gras sucks in the maritimes because it's usually snowing around that time.

#6 - Summer Solstice (Around Jun 21)
This is the longest day of the year and the official beginning of the season we call 'road construction' in Canada. It's one of the few seasonal festivals that doesn't really have a corresponding religious holiday that I know of. There are actually very few summer festivals and most of them aren't observed in contemporary culture so I try to always take stock of this day.

#7 - Spring Equinox (Around Mar 21)
Almost as good as the summer solstice, this is the day when you start to feel like winter might not actually last forever. It's still cold as fuck but it's getting better. The day and night are of equal length, more or less, and it will only be a few more months until summer is here. Yay. It is also a good time to start planting your crops.

#8 - Fall Equinox (Around Sept 21)
Not only is this the first day of autumn, it's also kind of the last day of summer. It's the last warning to get your shit done while you can still go outside in a t-shirt, and a bittersweet event. I like fall a lot, the trees turn all kinds of sexy colours but it's also about impending death which somehow makes it more sexy. Go figure. Aaaaand it's a harvest festival so there's food.

#9 - Canada Day (Jul 1)
Go Canada! Also a statutory summer holiday.

#10 - May Day (May 1)
The holiday between the spring equinox and summer solstice, marking the weather really starting to warm up, and all the woodland are coming out hibernation and fucking one another. It's the only day of the year you can justify going outside and running around a giant penis naked.

#11 - Winter Solstice (Around Dec 21)
I always had a bit of a problem with Christmas because I am not a Christian and celebrating the birth of Christ seems kind of crass when y0u don't even believe in the dude. The winter solstice is an acceptable alternative.

#12 - New Years (Dec 31-Jan 1)
This holiday, like the autumn festivals, is both exciting, hopeful, and immensely depressing. It gives you time to think about all the shit you want to get done in the new year, and all the shit you didn't get done in the previous year. There are also fireworks. I like fireworks.

#13 - Guy Fawkes Day (Nov 5)
Fireworks. Fireworks. Fireworks. Also the most exciting day in November, my least favourite month.

#14 - Groundhog Day (Feb 2)
AKA: St. Bridget's Day; Bill Murray Appreciation Day
I love this day because it's total bullshit. Some motherfuckers yank a sad ass groundhog out of a hole in Shubie and make predictions about the weather to come. It's great. But on a less bullshitty note, it's the holiday between the winter solstice and spring equinox, and in pagan culture it had something to do with snakes. And Bill Murray.

#15 - Victoria Day (May 21)
I'm not sure what the point of this holiday is but I used to get two days off work. It's also traditionally the first day I go swimming each year. It's cold.

#16 - August Holiday Day (August 15)
I just made this one up. August needs a holiday. Let's make this happen, guys. We'll tell them that it's the ancient Mayan day of rest or something and deserves a four day weekend.

#17 - Thanksgiving (Varies)
Harvest festivals are the best because they involve feasts. I don't give a shit about the significance of this day I just want some fucking pie.

#18 - April Fool's Day (Apr 1)
The one day of the year you can get away with just fucking lying to people. I love it. Traditionally this holiday had nothing to do with pranks. Instead, one person would dress up as a 'fool' and run through the streets. The rest of the village would chase him with sticks and if they could catch up with him before he reached town hall, they would beat him viciously.

#19 - St. Patrick's Day (Mar 17)
On this day, even if you're not Irish, you can pretend to be Irish and get really drunk. I have a good deal of Irish blood and have no idea what the fuck this holiday is about other than getting totally wrecked.

#20 - Easter (Varies)
I used to kind of enjoy this holiday when I was little and it was just about painting eggs and eating chocolate. Then I got a little older and realized the theological significance of it and it sort of lost it's fun for me. There is still cheap chocolate and often a ham dinner but it feels wrong to enjoy these things when I don't believe in what it's all about.

#21 - New Brunswick Day (Varies)
This holiday is in August. There is usually a barbeque.

#22 - Newfie Joke Day (Mar 31)
Some of my best friends are newfies and I resent this holiday.

#23 - Remembrance Day (Nov 11)
I don't think anyone can say that they particularly like this holiday. It's important to have it but it's all about honouring those who gave their lives for freedom. Not a lot of fun.

#24 - Valentine's Day (Feb 14)
AKA: Single's Awareness Day
Believe it or not this day does not get any less depressing or pointless when you aren't single. I'm sure there are people out there who get all lovey dovey with their significant other on VD Day but it just feels so crass and consumerist.

#25 - Novembrance Day (Nov 1)
I sort of made this one up too. It's the first day of November and therefore the most depressing day of the year. Having a Novembrance Party may aleviate some of the depression.

#26 - Christmas (Dec 24-25)
I'm really not one of those people who hates Christmas just because everybody else loves it. And I don't hate Christmas, I just don't like it very much. I was never especially keen on it, it's just kind of embarrassing when you don't have any money. Throw on top of that my father died on Christmas Eve and it's really not a holiday I can see myself leaving the house for in the next few years.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Obssessive lists

I am a list maker. I make lists for virtually everything. I always thought that I was a freak until I went through some of my late grandmother's stuff - she made (and kept) lists of things I wouldn't even think to list. So, you know, it's genetic. Don't blame me.

At the moment, I have six cross referenced lists of things I want to do in the next couple of years, organized both by priorty and cost. I have lists of foods I would like to eat more of and foods I know I should probably eat less of. I have a list of all the DVDs, videos and CDs I own just in case some go missing. I have a list of movies I want to see. I have a list of bands I have seen in concert. I have a list of upcoming stories on my webcomic. I have lists of fictional characters I may use at some point in one of my stories. I have a list of stories I haven't written yet.

Somehow, nothing on these lists ever seems to get done. I make a list of things I should do every day but it just gets lost in amongst all of the other lists. I don't know where the lists go once I'm done with them either. I just stop thinking about them and for me they effectively disappear. I'm sure when I die whoever is left to move my shit will think "holy fuck she made a lot of lists".

The one thing I have not made is a list of lists.... I'll be right back.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Must Finish NaNo

I'm not sure why I didn't finish my novel for NaNoWriMo during the allotted time period this year. I think that perhaps it's becoming a habit for me. I have not completely my annual novel since I believe 2007, the second year I participated.

In previous years, I have had things like work holding me back from novelling every day, but this year I was unemployed. I didn't have a single other thing to do apart from just write all god damn day. But I didn't. Around the fifteenth my interest in the novel dropped off almost entirely. I think I realized that I had skipped too many days to make them up and decided to quit while I was only a little bit behind.

This novel was unusual in that I didn't plan it, either. My last few attempted novels were meticulously planned before committing them to paper. But this one, like my first two, was just started with a vague idea on November 1st.

And ultimately it's that idea that compels me. After November, I thought my half baked novella would just sit in a dusty old file in my documents, mocking me with it's incompleteness. But it calls to me. And I've started working on it again.

Now I have no time frame, I'm just writing when I have something to write but I'm up to 33K words now so I'm getting close-ish to my goal. I'm not sure that the story will last that long but who cares. I want it to be semi-finished. I am driven to get the story out of me lest it fester in the depths of my brain.

I simply must finish NaNo

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Baconator - A Review

My brother and I were on the road today and starving because neither one of us had had breakfast. He suggested we stop somewhere and get the biggest, greasiest burger we could. We stopped at a Wendy's and he ordered a Baconator. I thought "Baconator" sounded pretty good - almost like it had bacon in it - so I ordered that too.

"The Baconator is all meat" my brother said. I did not understand the gravity of what he was telling me until we got our food and returned to the car. I sucked back my poutine as usual (because I apparently have a death wish) and unwrapped the burger.

For those unfamiliar with "The Baconator" as I was before two thirty this afternoon, it is comprised of a soft white bun, ketchup, mayonnaise, bacon, processed cheese and two burger patties. There is no lettuce, tomato, pickle, relish or mustard involved with the baconator. It's all meat. I began working on it, delighted as the grease ran freely down my chin, onto my hands and all over the wax paper I had set down to protect the interior of the car.

It was incredible. It was like being assaulted by the revenant souls of pigs and cows who had been killed in a grease fire and were not happy about it. It was disgusting. It was probably the most north american meal I have ever consumed and I felt guilty doing it.

On a positive note, I have a pretty heavy cold right now and can barely taste anything but the flavour of the apple smoked bacon shone like a beacon of apple in a sea of meat. Don't get me wrong, I love meat but sometimes too much is too much.

The true horror of the baconator came a little bit later, maybe fifteen minutes as I had shoved the final bite of burger down my gullet. We were back on the road and I was feeling a little dizzy from the sudden meat attack to my system when I started getting a sharp pain around the bottom of my rib cage. "Holy shit" I said, poking the spot gingerly lest it burst.

"Heartburn?" my brother asked.

"I sure as hell hope so. If it's not that than either my liver is giving up on my or I'm having a heart attack" Then it occurred to me - how long could a person go eating one baconator per day before their heart exploded? This is not an experiment I want to undertake as I enjoy my life too much, but, you know, theoretically I'd like to know that.

Anyway, I was somewhat relieved to take an enormous shit when I got home as that suggests the burger is already leaving my body. I have written this for posterity, so, in two years time when I find myself saying, "Hey, The Baconator... that sounds good" I can have a reminder of my past experience.


I've decided to merge all of my old blog ideas into one big old conglomerate. The problem I was having with blogging was too many blogs and this seems as good a place as any to send all of my blogs to. So... that's what's happening. Stay tuned.