Friday, January 31, 2014

About That Jolly Holiday Thing

I failed. It only took two weeks into the new year and I failed. It was going great, I was having fun, I was inspired, I was ready. Then I went to London for work. With 3 days notice. And I was going to be living there for 6 to 9 months. So things got really crazy really fast and I could barely get through every day much less find a reason to celebrate each day.

Now I'm not going to be living there for 6 to 9 months. And it's entirely my choice, my call, my decision. Because I didn't want to be there for an extended period of time. I didn't want to be away from home home in NC and home in DC and my family and my friends and my Tivo and my crafts and my perfect queen bed and my hot hot shower. I loved living there at 22 but I also hated it. It's so far away and I missed so much while I was gone.

By saying no, maybe I'm missing out on an adventure and maybe I'm missing out on a great career opportunity. But I don't think so. I feel so right about this.

I've been 30 for almost exactly one month. So I'm not pretending to suddenly be looking back at my 20s like they were so long away. Or like they were even that awful because, really, they weren't. Yet I know that 5 years ago, maybe even 1 year ago, I wouldn't have had the strength or confidence to say that I'm more important than my job.

In the words of Forrest Gump, that's all I have to say about that. I don't want to abandon Jolly Holiday entirely so I'll think of ways I can incorporate it while actually writing regularly again. I need to be writing regularly again.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January 15: Hat Day

If I don't wear a hat in the winter, within two minutes outside I feel like the inside of my ears are bleeding. It can take a good half hour for them to stop hurting. It's not pretty. Needless to say, I have a lot of hats. (I just started keeping them in my vintage Eastern Airlines bag my mom bought me a few years ago. My Poppy worked for them for many years and it makes me smile.)

So even though I wear a hat every day, to celebrate this day, I wore the very first hat I bought, either as a senior in high school or a freshman in college. It's an oldie but a goodie.

Wednesday Words

"Quiet people have the loudest minds."
-Stephen Hawking

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January 14: Dress Up Your Pet Day

Confession: I don't hate when people dress their pets. I mean, I don't approve of tutus or glitter--even animals deserve some dignity--but I think a cute sweater or funny t-shirt is just adorable.

Our first Peanut had a red sweater with black diamonds on it. It even had a bit of a turtleneck. It was so cute. And a few years ago we bought second Peanut* a pink argyle sweater because she is a Southern girl, after all.

She also let me put a bow on her as a pretty necklace.

I couldn't find any pictures of Dimples dressed up, but she was terrified of the camera so that could be why.

Since Peanut girl is home in North Carolina and I can't really dress her up today, I thought I'd go for a little virtual dress up.


She'll be ready for the runways of Paris in no time.

*My sister gave first Peanut his name and when we got Peanut and Dimples they were already named. Out of respect for dear Peanut the First, we always refer to him in as Peanut One or First Peanut or Peanut the Magnificent.

Monday, January 13, 2014

January 13: Rubber Duckie Day

Conversation I had at work today:

Me: Do we still have that giant rubber duckie?
Her: I haven't seen it lately. I think [Name Redacted] may have taken it when he left. It might be on the other side though.
Me: Ok, I might look later. I'm not crazy, btw.

The point of this? We used to have a rather large rubber duck at the office. I planned on using him or her to celebrate this day, but my plan was dashed. Instead, I just took a listen to this lovely song that just has to make you smile.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

January 12: Clean Off Your Desk Day

There's some dispute on the holiday sites as to whether this day is today or tomorrow. But since I cleaned my desk at home today, I'm saying it's today. Yay productivity!

Yes, that's clean. You should have seen it before.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

January 11: Step In a Puddle and Splash Your Friends Day

What an odd holiday. I love to joke with my friends as much as the next gal, but I'd never jump in a puddle and soak them. However, it did happen to rain alllll day today, and since I was out running errands in it in my awesome wellies, I thought I could jump in a puddle and splash someone else: me! I am my own friend, after all.

It's a puddle, I swear. It just didn't photograph well.

Friday, January 10, 2014

January 10: Bittersweet Chocolate Day

Chocolate is by far my most favorite food. Always has been, always will be. But it has to be milk chocolate. Dark or white chocolate shouldn't even bare the chocolate name. However, since today was bittersweet chocolate day, I took one for the Jolly Holiday team and took a bite of my cooking chocolate. Which may have gone bad since it didn't taste bitter, sweet, or like chocolate.

Later that night, I had a toffee chocolate bar. It was life changing.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

January 9: Balloon Ascension Day

On this day in 1793, in Philadelphia, Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard made the first aerial voyage via hot air balloon in the United States. He was the first to do various things in Europe, including making the first aerial voyage across the English Channel from England to France. In addition to being an aeronaut, Blanchard was also an inventor. Some of his creations included a rat trap, water pump, and various things related to flight.

I'm afraid of hot air balloons and I don't trust them so, no, that's not how I celebrated his day. I did, however, take a cue from Mr. Blanchard/infomercials and create my own invention. Or, rather, make a janky, but free, version of something that was already invented.

I present to lady's bracelet helper.

You've probably seen the sleeker version of these advertised on TV. My new Tiffany bracelet that I got for my birthday has a delicate and tiny clasp that I can't fasten myself. Enter a clothespin, drink stirrer, felt, hot glue, and some electrical tape. It's not exactly manned flight, but it sure will make my mornings easier. It also proves that you can give the girl some Tiffany, but she is forever and always her father's daughter.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

January 8: Argyle Day

Well today is just the greatest holiday thus far. A whole day devoted to argyle?! While every day should have at least a little argyle in it, it's still nice to have a day set aside just for it. (For a refresher on how much I love argyle, you can check here.) To honor the day I threw on one of my fave argyle cardigans and my UNC argyle socks. Because really, nothing says argyle quite like Carolina blue.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

January 7: Tempura Day

The first time I had sushi was also the first time I had tempura. Mmmm vegetable and shrimp tempura. In the south we just call it fried veggies and shrimp, but whatever it is, it's good.

Tonite I made my own baked tempura. I baked the broccoli and cauliflower to make it a little more healthy and because y'all may remember I don't like frying things.

It wasn't as good as a restaurant's, but it made for a nice dinner.

Monday, January 6, 2014

January 6: Epiphany/Three Kings Day

In the Christian tradition, today celebrates the revelation of Jesus as the son of God. This is also considered Three Kings Day as many believe this is when the Magi visited Baby Jesus. One of my Hispanic co-workers told me that growing up, she and her sisters always got three gifts on this day. While I had never heard of that, I have heard how some families give just three gifts on Christmas, each representing one of the gifts the Magi brought. To celebrate this tradition, I bought myself three tiny things. These only loosely relate to the Magi gifts, but I tried.

Gold: Something you really want
Symbolically gold represents kingship, as in Christ the King. It also represents the purification process we go through in our trials as a Christian.  

I had a terrible headache yesterday and it was below freezing. All I really wanted was a cupcake. So a red velvet cupcake is what I had. I don't know who would consider this purification, but God made cupcakes exist, and they made me happy, so it works.

Frankincense: Spiritual or cultural growth
Frankincense represented the divinity of Christ because frankincense was burnt as an offering to God. 

I'm fascinated by where Biblical events took place and the locations of cities and where they are in the modern world. This book is full of good information.

Myrrh: For the body
Myrrh represents the bitter cup that Christ had to drink in suffering for our sins. It also represents the the healing for us that His death brings. Myrrh was used for embalming and therefore represents the cross He would bear.

I bought body wash. Specifically, "heavenly" body wash. Suddenly this seems kind of ridiculous, but I swear I've read about other people doing it. If you're a believer, then you know that body wash doesn't come close to Jesus' sacrifice, it's just a really basic way of remembering it.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

January 5: Twelfth Night

Random Bonnie Fact of the Day: The only Shakespeare play I've ever attempted to read voluntarily outside-of-school was Twelfth Night. After hitting the renewal limit at the library, I never finished it. I have no regrets.

Moving on to today's holiday. According to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (via Wikipedia), Twelfth Night is "the evening of the fifth of January, preceding Twelfth Day, the eve of the Epiphany, formerly the last day of the Christmas festivities and observed as a time of merrymaking."

Many of the day's traditions involve eating and drinking. (The best traditions usually do.) One of the traditions is drinking wassail, which as far as I can tell is basically apple cider. I just so happened to have some wassail -- technically mulling spices -- so I boiled some apple juice and had me some wassail. Out of my William and Kate mug, in honor of the drink's British origins of course.

Now all I can think about is the portion of the Claymation Christmas Special where the people think they're singing "here we come a waffling." I like waffles, too.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

January 4: Pop Music Chart Day

In high school I used to love looking at the Billboard charts our paper would print every week. (I think it was either on Tuesday or Wednesday.) I liked to chart my favorite bands and see who had suddenly risen or fallen. It's been years since I looked at a chart--I don't even know if they're still printed in the newspaper--so I thought this would be a good day to observe.

I went to the Billboard Hot 100 chart and decided to listen to the number one song. Which is Monster by Rihanna...and Eminem. My love for Rihanna is well known, and I believe my complete and utter hatred for Eminem is also well known, but I listened to it anyway.

Damn you, Rihanna, for being so wonderful that I almost ignore Eminem. Well, not ignore, just tune out for a minute.

Friday, January 3, 2014

January 3: Drinking Straw Day

Today was a celebration of the creation of the drinking straw by Marvin C. Stone in 1888.

I love straws. My favorite are bendy straws, of course, but I've really gotten into the pretty paper straws that have become more popular the last few years. I'm currently on my third box of these that I use every day at work.

It so happened that straw day coincided with my family birthday celebration. We tried a new restaurant in the downtown of my hometown. I brought my own straws to ensure we could adequately honor the occasion.

It was a wonderful time with my family. We laughed a lot and just had a good time. I was spoiled by my siblings, as usual. Melissa brought some crackers and we all wore our crowns and played with the little toys before we left.

As a bonus, we got to go up and down my favorite street at Christmas: Center Street. It makes my heart happy.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

January 2: National Science-Fiction Day

Nerds the world over celebrate today as Sci-Fi Day in honor of sci-fi mastermind Isaac Asimov. Who, among other creations, coined the word "robotics." I've never read anything of his but I know Daddy loves his "Foundations" trilogy. I've also downloaded his short story "Nightfall," which is called the greatest sci-fi short story ever written.

Enough about Asimov. I celebrated Sci-Fi Day with my favorite sci-fi obsession: Doctor Who. Who else? I started by putting on one of two pairs of DW socks I got for Christmas.

Then I turned to Netflix and watched an episode of the original 1960s series starring the very first doctor, William Hartnell. (For context, we're now on the 12th doctor.) This was the first episode I've seen of the original iteration. It was especially enjoyable to see Hartnell in the role since I just saw a BBC original film about how Doctor Who came to be. (If you're a fan, I highly recommend it.)

After that I went back to my doctor (Ten) and watched a pure fun episode from the fourth series of the 2005 reboot.

The contrast between the two was stark, but the music, the TARDIS, and the overall feel was the same.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January 1: New Year's Day

You might be thinking, "Wow, how original, she chose New Year's Day as her first holiday." You would be right because it's not very original. But it's not my fault that the first day of the year and thus the first day of this project happens to fall on my favorite holiday, on my favorite day of the year, on my birthday.

I love my birthday. There's a countdown to it, I always have the day off, and I take full advantage of doing whatever I want whenever I want because "it's my birthday." Today that meant sleeping until 10, getting dressed at 1, drinking a glass of Prosecco at 2, providing occasional assistance to Daddy as he fixed the washer, but mainly lounging on the couch watching the "Happy Endings" marathon on VH1, reading the latest Nicholas Sparks novel, and napping. Later Mom made my favorite meal of flank steak, I opened presents, and got some vanilla and chocolate almond cake. 

It was the perfect day. With the exception of that whole pesky turning 30 part. That part I'm still not quite ok with. But the little blue box with the bracelet inside from the parents is certainly easing that pain a bit.

Standard birthday present shot taken in front of the Christmas tree.
I can't tell you how many of these we have over the years.

Making Every Day A Jolly Hoiday In 2014

I love celebrating events, milestones, dates, people, and things. Sometimes it's an official party or shower and sometimes it's just me grabbing some champagne on the way home because I hit a big deadline. Just in the past year I baked a cake for the wedding of two fictional TV characters, co-hosted a wedding shower, and made all sorts of decorations and favors for a bachelorette party. (Technically a beach-elorette bash.) I like making an ordinary day even just a little bit extraordinary.

This is why every day in 2014 I'll be celebrating a holiday. Just google "list of holidays" and you'll see that every day is literally a holiday. And, in most cases, every day is literally several holidays. Each day I'll blog about what holiday I'm celebrating and how I'm celebrating it. Maybe I'll eat a certain food for a certain holiday, go to a certain store for a certain holiday, or read a certain Wikipedia article for a certain holiday. (Hopefully not the latter too often; I want it more interesting than that.) I've already got some ideas for January and you'll just have to follow along to see what they are.

The last time I did a daily project in 2008, I'd wait days before back-posting several things. Since I have a smart phone this time around, I aim to write each and every day. I'll also be blogging other stuff too, I hope, so it won't be all holiday all the time.

I've always believed in appreciating the small things, in celebrating the seemingly mundane, and in finding joy in anything you can. I think that this project will really embody all of this and more.