Throughout the month of August, I'm aiming to write 25 blog posts. This is post #4 of 25. Find them all in the "blogathon 2014" category.

I’ve only been doing this blogathon thing for five days, but in those five days (and three posts), I’ve written 4,500 words. Rather, I’ve blogged 4,500 words; I’ve been posting to support forums and writing emails and doing a lot more writing elsewhere in my life. Needless to say, I was starting to feel some significant burnout–and I still had 22 more posts to go.

This was weighing on my mind as I walked into the kitchen this morning to get breakfast, and I saw it. An idea struck me.

See, here’s the thing. I love old-fashioned cake donuts. They are easily among my favorite donuts of all, second only to buttermilk bars. And when R and I went grocery shopping this weekend, she bought some.

But not for me.

She bought two boxes of glazed old-fashioned cake donuts to bring for a coworker’s birthday celebration this week, which means I definitely cannot touch them.

Two. Whole. Boxes.

I walk by them every day. I see them, giving me those alluring eyes.[ref]What, your donuts don’t have eyes?[/ref] I don’t think R understands how much restraint I exercise on a daily basis just to keep from devouring them.

But I think I can help illustrate the point for her.


It’s important to take breaks now and again. Can’t be all business all the time.

Comic bemoaning how the word "astrology" is taken to describe pseudoscience

[Editor’s note (06/04/2012): I changed the title of this post from “Astronomers got gypped,” to “Astronomers got screwed.” “Gyp” is a racist term that plays off of notions of the Romany people as sneaky and conniving. That’s not something I want my blog to perpetuate. -Spencer]

Similarly, whatever a ‘talking’ wishing well may be, it obviously was a center of attention separate from the crèche.
Justice Blackmun, County of Allegheney v. American Civil Liberties Union (1989)

I sat down at my desk this afternoon and noticed that something looked out of place.A new book on my shelfWell, that’s odd. I don’t remember having a copy of a fundamentalist Christian novel on my shelf. Let’s take a closer look…

Opening a copy of Left BehindThat’s funny, it doesn’t seem to close all the way. It feels kind of heavy, too… I wonder what’s going on here.

A hollowed-out book filled with salt-water taffyThe taffy!?! I’ve been had!

Well played, Mom and Dad. Well played indeed.

I don’t think of myself as too much of a Japanese culture freak. I don’t read any manga, watch any anime, or own any blatantly Japanese video games. I don’t draw manga, either, and I think it’s really quite ridiculous to attach “-chan” or “-kun” to the names of my American friends. However, I’ve got to come clean on one account.

There are some Japanese snack foods that are absolutely delicious.

One of my favourite Japanese snacks is called “Yan Yan”. It consists of a bunch of biscuit sticks in a container that also holds a tub of frosting. The sticks, when dipped in the frosting, make a great-tasting snack. Of course, being a Japanese product, it has potential for Engrish.

During this summer, I noticed that this potential had been realized. I had purchased two containers of Yan Yan on a recent trip to Uwajimaya, a local Oriental supermarket, and when I opened one up, I found the most bizarre thing on my biscuit sticks: Little icons of animals had been baked on, along with odd sayings.

Being the analytical, records-oriented person I am, I took note of the animals and their respective sayings. For your enjoyment (or perhaps bewilderment), I present to you the Yan Yan animal sayings.

Sheep: Wool sweaters
Bat: Only in the night
Octopus: Lucky number: 8
Squirrel: Your best friend
Snail: Snail mail?
Fox: Beware of lies
Cow: Muuuuu
Stag beetle: Love it.
Starfish: Star + Fish
Goat: You are lucky today.
Rhinoceros: Think big
Whale: Biggesy (sic) mammal
Chick: Lucky colour: yellow
Horse: Gallop away
Chicken: Kokekokko
Zebra: Herbivore
Beetle: Lucky colour: brown
Squid: Black ink

I’m a fan of the stag beetle’s cryptic “Love it”, or perhaps the simple “Herbivore” for the zebra.

Oh, Engrish. You never fail to amuse.

For the first time since its conception more than two months ago, Tie Day Friday will be observed in December!

Tie Day Friday is a holiday I thought up a while back. It’s observed on the second Friday of each month. Participation is simple—you just wear a tie all day. I had originally intended it to be only for neckties, but you can wear a bow tie or a bola tie if you so prefer. I personally find clip-on ties to be godawfully tacky, but if you really want to wear one, I can’t stop you. The holiday isn’t “Not Clip-On Tie Day Friday”.

Haven’t got a tie? Wander on down to your local thrift store. I’m sure you’ll be able to find one that’s either quite nice or horrendous, depending on what you want out of the holiday, for a rather insignificant amount of money.

Normally wear a tie? Wear a special tie, or wear a normal tie in a different way. Be creative.

No, there isn’t any reason for this, other than I just wanted to have fun this year. I think people get too tied up in routine, and fun little holidays like this may break the monotony in one way or the other. I’m still trying to think up more.

Hope you’ll celebrate Tie Day Friday with me this upcoming month, and in months hereafter!