Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Thanks to the magic of facebook, I've discovered that today is poutine day. I'm not sure that today is actually poutine day, but supposing that it is, then, you're probably interested in knowing what it is. According to the facebook friend that I learned about the day from, "poutine day is, quite simply, the day on which we all eat poutine. Nothing says friendship more than fries smothered in gravy and cheese." Nothing like celebrating friendship by eating food that will likely end all of your lives early. Anyway, now you know. The 24th of October is poutine day. A great way to kick off the last-week-of-October season, which ends with Hallowe'en, that long slow feast of sugar consumption which could finish off the job that the poutine didn't.

Speaking of days with names, apparently, October 2 is Name Your Car Day. I've decided to name my car John Coffey. So. Happy belated Name Your Car Day. Last time I named my car, it ended up needed replacing within half a year. Hopefully the naming of the car was not the cause of its unexpected demise.

It's old news now, but one of McGuinty's first moves in his second term as Premier of Ontario is to declare a new holiday called Family Day, to take place on the third Monday of February. I think a better name would be Thanks For Nothing Day. I've been getting this day off for quite some time now, including the four days following it. These five days, as a whole, are referred to by students as "reading week". It's a secret we've all been keeping that we get these days off in February. Now that I see that I'd be getting shortchanged on a holiday, though, I think it's time to let the cat out of the bag [2]. The third Monday in February is also known as Heritage Day. I know this because every year around the time of our (formerly) secret week off, we get an email saying that the administrative staff have the day off [3]. I'm pretty sure it applies to a lot of other public servants too. So they don't get anything off either. Maybe that's why one of the secretaries nearly bit my head off the last time I locked myself out of my office and needed her to let me back in. Furthermore, the proposed holiday is in February. February folks. It's cold then! Presumably, by the name, the purpose of the holiday is to spend time with family (which, was the purpose behind other holidays). It makes sense to have a week off during this time of year, because you can go away to somewhere warm. But how far away can you get on a long weekend? Not very far, and wherever that is, it'll probably be just as cold. If Thanks for Nothing Day doesn't just doesn't have that ring, perhaps you could call it Take Your Kids Outside and Have Them Freeze Day. Speaking of weeks off. There's another week off around them time of year. This was a well kept secret too until the passport fiasco of earlier this year, when hordes of people were lined up for hours to get their passports so that they could go away for March Break. I guess I shouldn't speak for everybody. Not everyone lives the comfortable academic life like I do. If you're one of those, I hope you have fun with your family in the middle of winter. I, on the other hand, will be too busy with my reading week to enjoy Family Day.

[1] A friend with whom real life communication has almost exceeded by facebook communication. Real life communication itself has centred around the pros and cons of facebook.

[2] It wasn't really that hard to keep this a secret, since, as a graduate student, I mostly just talked to other graduate students, if I talked to anyone at all. It was a bit tricky, though, to come up with a fake reason for skipping a week of class on the third week of February six years in a row.

[3] And when the administrative staff have the day off, then there's not much point in the rest of us coming in. We're pretty much lost without them. Well, I know that I am. Whatever it is they get paid, it's probably not enough [4].

[4] I'm still too lazy to hyperlink my footnotes [5].

[5] I'm also too lazy to proofread. Please don't mind the typos.

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