Look Up!

I know I’m late, but it is still fitting.  It’s International Astronomy Day!  Of course, the best time to celebrate is at night, looking up at the stars with the ones you love, or your Yorkie named Morris.  I’m sure this guy has the best seat in the house, but I’m not ready to be one of the millionaires blowing my money on trips to Mars.  Number one, I think it’s silly and a little dangerous, number 2, I’m not a millionaire.

I enjoy looking at the stars and imagining my loved one looking down at me.  Yes, I know that’s not exactly how it works, but nevertheless, that’s what I do.  What do you imagine when you look up at the evening sky?  I hope you don’t imagine owning a piece of the moon, but if you do, here’s  a link to a guy selling it off by the acre – Lunar Land. Most purchases are made sight unseen.  Packages are as low as $29.99 and as valid as Rumpelstiltskin saying you owe him a bag of gold.  To each his own.  I won’t judge you, but I’ll silently be questioning your relationship with reality.  Still, enjoy the evening, look up, and…

Holiday on my Friends!

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One time at band camp…

It’s Tell a Story Day!  For clarification, today is different than Tell a Lie Day. The stories you tell today, whether fact or fictitious, are solely for entertainment purposes, not to deceive or deflect blame for something stupid you did or did not do.  Today is the day to share your wisdom with an age-appropriate story from your past or your favorite fairytale, fable or short story.  Celebrate it with friends, children you like or in a lonely room talking to yourself.

I went to school in the UK for about a year and studied at the University of Plymouth. I’d never been there before, I didn’t know anyone, and there were a lot of new things I had to adjust to, culturally.  I was minimally prepped before I left with a handout from my host school.  But, since I was going to another English speaking country, I wasn’t as nervous as I would have been had I chosen the program in Spain.

On my first night out, I decided to go to a club called The Walkabout.  I thought it was an odd name.  And, at the time, I had no idea what a walkabout was.  I looked at the flyer that said fancy dress and thought it would be a fun night.  So, I put on a cute dress and left my flat ready to experience Plymouth nightlife.   After entering and exiting my cab from the wrong side of the street, I made my way inside The Walkabout.  It looked like a rave.  It was pitch black and as I entered, I followed this fluorescent tunnel to the main dance floor, where it just got darker.  If it weren’t for the fluorescent hot pink, neon green, and yellow lights flashing every second, I wouldn’t have been able to see a thing.  As my eyes adjusted, I looked around.  That’s when I first thought I was seeing things.  Fog and smoke rose in the air from machines somewhere in the corners of the venue.  And, although I knew I hadn’t taken anything, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me.  As I looked around, I saw a man dressed like Peter Pan in the corner, and a sexy bunny awkwardly dancing with Superman on the dance floor.  “Is it Halloween?” I thought to myself, truly thinking it was possible they celebrated it on a different day.  It was early September, not that far off, I guessed.   I decided I needed a drink, so I made my way to the bar and the Grimm Reaper served me a whiskey sour.   My lack of accent gave me away, “Are you American?” the Grimm Reaper questioned. 

“Yes,” I replied.  

“I love America!”  I’d later learn that’s a common response, well at the time it was. 

“Why is everyone in a costume?” I asked. “Is this a theme party?”

“No, it’s fancy dress tonight.”  

Fancy? I thought to myself.  I looked at my cute LBD and suspiciously thought “fancy” must mean something else here.  With the Wicked Witch and Dorthy chatting on my right and Chewbacca on my left, I leaned over to the Grimm Reaper, “Does fancy mean costume?” Laughing, he said, “Yes, it does,” and disappeared.  He returned a few minutes later with a cape and a mask.  I thanked him, bought us shots and my LBD turned into Phantom of the Opera for the rest of the night.  Good times.  

HOLIDAY ON MY FRIENDS!!!

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Heavenly!?

Whether you like them straight up, twisted, salted or sweet, these pub treats have been around since before the eleven-hundreds.   It’s Pretzel Day!

theravada-buddhism-1802873_640Although these snacks have ended up on bar tops, they had a more heavenly start in life.  If you’re a fan of pretzels in any form, you should thank a monk.  Modeled after the crossed arms of young monks praying, the original soft pretzel was distributed as treats when the young boys said their prayers correctly.

Well, of course, you mention young boys and the Catholics get on board.  Next thing you know history is documenting soft pretzels being distributed by Catholics with the explanation that the three holes and twisted design represent the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Also, during Lent, flour, water, and salt didn’t compromise spiritual sacrifices.   From here pretzels took off, being associated with good luck, prosperity, long life, and spirituality.  They were given to the poor as literal spiritual sustenance, the Swiss used them in weddings as a spiritual “tying of the knot,” and Germans wore them around their necks for good luck.  Have you ever considered wearing a pretzel?

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Well, if your Sherlock Holms hasn’t kicked in yet, the soft definitely preceded the hard pretzel.   The first deliberately made hard pretzels were made in 1861, invented by Julius Sturgis in his Pennsylvania shop.  Bakers realized they could make more money from a product that lasted longer in an airtight environment because they could be distributed further from the shop and be available to more customers.  Cha-ching!!! By 1935 Reading Pretzel Machinery Company became the first pretzel manufacturing company in the U.S. and still produces 80% of pretzels in the states.

All of this history is great but let’s get into the real debate, savory or sweet?!  

I’m sweet all the way!  But these days the list of pretzel snacks is daunting from cupcakes to crab pretzels.  Who’s on board?  Celebrate by going over!  I have a cousin who used to truly believe she was addicted to pretzel.  An intervention was staged and I don’t know if she has even smelled a pretzel since, for fear of relapsing.  Today, she may have to just reminice.  I don’t want to be blamed for a relapse.  As for the rest of you whether salty, savory, or sweet, get twisted and HOLIDAY ON MY FRIENDS!   

 

 

Deoxyribonucleic acid

It’s DNA Day!  Today we commemorate the completion of the Human Genome Project in April of 2003 and the discovery of DNA’s double helix structure by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953. This is a day for everyone to learn more about genetics and genomics.
target-1747234_640I took a genetics class in college, so, let me explain this in laymen terms (this is gonna be fun).  DNA is basically the boss of your body and every cell in it. And, while it’s not the only reason you’re so much fun to be around, it has something to do with it.   Every cell in your body has DNA giving it instructions to follow, so everything goes according to plan.  But, just like when people don’t do what I say, things get messed up and BOOM, you’re stuck with a disease or an odd growth on your neck.

To celebrate, I think the first thing you should do is thank or blame your parents.  They gave you the DNA, not me.   Secondly, you should probably want a better explanation than the 80 words I gave you.  The National Human Genome Research Institute can help you or that place called college where you get that thing called an education and you can prove it with a degree.  To my surprise, there is a lot of celebrating going on today, #DNADayChat on Facebook and Twitter to join a live Q&A or check your state for DNA Day events.  There’s a huge cluster of activities in the Carolinas!  But, if you’re like me and there is NOTHING on the NIH map for your area and you’ll be at work during the live chat, I suggest you binge watch CSI and learn how not to leave your DNA all over a crime scene, #SpreadTheWordNotYourDNA.

Below is a video of how you probably shouldn’t celebrate today, unless making silly videos is part of your DNA.  Have fun and HOLIDAY ON MY FRIENDS! 

Don’t Swaddle a Cop

Just so I’m very clear, I’m referring to pork when I say it’s Pigs in a Blanket Day! Traditionally referring to sausages wrapped in pancakes, this culinary delight has evolved to include hot dogs, miniature wieners, and Italian Sausages wrapped in anything from a pancake to a bagel.    I think it goes without saying that today should definitely be celebrated by eating an appetizing interpretation of swine in dough.

THERE ARE SO MANY RECIPES!!  Chefs have really gone out of their way to make these staple freezer to stove to plate appetizers gourmet.  For so many reasons, this guy is probably my favorite. Talk about authentic.

Evidence shows pork in pastries have been circulating the globe since the 1600’s.  Be inspired and take your piglet to another culinary level.  Here’s what I’m thinking of trying tonight:  diced tomatoes encased in an Italian Sausage that is then wrapped in mozzarella cheeses before being placed in a flaky, puffed pastry casing.  Eat creatively and …

HOLIDAY ON MY FRIENDS!!!

 

Find your happy place

It is so beautiful outside and children-655542_640it’s National Picnic Day!  Why wouldn’t you want to celebrate? Unless your picnic table looks like this, you should eat outside today.  Grab a book, some snacks, some friends (even if they’re imaginary), and soak up the sun.  If you hate picnics and have an aversion to eating outside, it’s also Take a Chance Day.  I suggest you embrace the outdoors, take a chance that nothing will attack you, and the ants won’t steal your meat.

As for me, I’m going to get some crab legs and sit in the middle of the park like I own the darn thing.  I’ve got my e-book, notepad, and Zyrtec. Carpe diem!

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HOLIDAY ON MY FRIENDS!

What’s up, JellyBean?

If you want to eat a pink grapefruit, blood worms, and swallow your snot all in one handful, you’ve come to the right holiday.  It’s National Jelly Bean Day!  And, if I have my cult classic correct, we have Harry Potter to thank for making earwax, rotten eggs, and vomit editable (I use this term loosely).

RRJBAlthough they date back to the 1860’s, I couldn’t find anyone who knew how or why these candies were invented.  However, this little usually fruity snack has made its way from American candy dishes to American culture.  Jelly Beans are used everywhere, from the classroom to baby showers.  It is even listed in the dictionary and apparently, jellybean art is a thing.   Pictured here, is jelly bean fanatic, former President Ronald Reagan.  This portrait hangs proudly in the Reagan National Library and is made of 10,000 jellybeans and polyurethane.  Don’t eat it.

I’m not the jelly bean eating type, never have been, but I do enjoy guessing the number of jellybeans in a jar, putting them in plastic eggs for Easter, and throwing them across the room into other people’s mouths.  You can celebrate today by doing any or all of the above.  You can also play the jellybean board game or use them to teach your kids math, art, and science.  I mean seriously, who knew sugar and dye could do so much?  If you know who or find out who, please let me know.  I’d love to discover a secret patent that proves I should be a millionaire.  Until then, enjoy a stinky sock and …

HOLIDAY ON MY FRIENDS!

 

jellybean – noun 1) A gaudily dressed man; faddish dresser (1919+), 2) A stupid person; fool; sap: The jelly beans I went to school with(1915+), and 3) A novice; rookie (1950s+ Baseball)