Chinese New Years

This February 3rd is the Chinese Year of the Pig! The Pig is the twelfth of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. Pig was late because he overslept. Another story says that a wolf destroyed his house. He had to rebuild his home before he could set off. When he arrived, he was the last one and could only take twelfth place.

The Pig is also associated with the Earthly Branch and the hours 9 through 11 in the night. In Chinese culture, pigs are the symbol of wealth. Their chubby faces, and big ears are signs of fortune as well. Pigs have a beautiful personality and are blessed with good fortune in life.

Famous People Born in Year of the Pig:

  • Ronald Reagan: February 6th, 1911
  • Alexander the Great: July 21st, 256 B.C
  • Thomas Jefferson: April 13th, 1743
  • Michael Jackson: August 29th, 1958
  • Elton John: March 25th, 1947
  • Hillary Clinton: October 26th, 1947
  • Andrew Jackson: March 15th, 1767
  • Ernest Hemingway: July 21st, 1899
  • Alfred Hitchcock: August 13th, 1899
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger: July 30th,1947
  • Mitt Romney: March 12th, 1947
  • Snoop Dogg: October 20th, 1971
  • Stephen King: September 21st, 1947

World Cup Avicii Mac Miller Stan Lee “Black Panther” Meghan Markle AnthonyBourdain Stephen Hawking

National Plan For Vacation Day

Did you know that over half of Americans report having unused vacation time at the end of the year? Don’t let that be you!

National Plan for Vacation Day, celebrated on the last Tuesday of January, is a day to encourage Americans to plan their time off. You don’t have to go to exotic places, or half way across the country to relax. Take a staycation and learn about the area you live in.

Steps for planning your vacation time:

  1. Confirm your time off benefits with your employer. Determine how much time off you earn. Don’t forget to make note of any office closures, weekends, and major holidays. Americans who plan out their vacation days are more likely to use all their time off, and the best planners know the key to success is blocking the calendar early.
  2. Create your own itinerary for your visit to the Mid-Willamette Valley! Check out some sample itineraries based on travel styles to get some ideas!
  3. Share your dates with your manager, and share your trip with your family and friends! Americans who plan out their vacation days are more likely to use all their time off, and the best planners know the key to success is blocking the calendar early.
  4. Don’t forget to share your photos on social media, tagging the places and businesses you visited.

Have fun!

World Cup Avicii Mac Miller Stan Lee “Black Panther” Meghan Markle AnthonyBourdain Stephen Hawking

Ugly Christmas Sweater Day

Feeling bored? Uninspired by life? Do you need four cups of coffee just to break the monotony of the 9 to 5? Fortunately, there is one special day in December that will alleviate these common maladies. That day, my friend is National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day on Friday, December 21st!

Lurking in the murky depths of many people’s wardrobe is a colorful, brash and in most cases, highly embarrassing novelty Christmas sweater which, were it not for Ugly Christmas Sweater Day would probably never see the light of day. When Ugly Christmas Sweater Day comes along, it is time to stop being ashamed of the contents of your wardrobe and start busting out the ugly. There is such a thing as “so awful you can’t really hate it’, and Ugly Christmas Sweaters fit the bill.

Launched in 2011, this annual celebration, which is growing in popularity every year among adults and children, is not simply an excuse to parade humiliatingly-unfashionable seasonal knitwear featuring Rudolph, Christmas puddings and Frosty the Snowman; it is a light-hearted and enjoyable fundraising event with a serious aim in aid of Save the Children.

Since then it has been used as an important event to help drive charity funds for organizations that help children around the world deal with illnesses that should be anything more than a minor inconvenience. The firm belief that children should not die from easily treated diseases is what brings this holiday to the fore. It is often speculated that we subject ourselves to a minor harmless ailment, the sight of these hideous sweaters, to help save the children from medically similar situations.

National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is about proudly sporting your favorite ugly Christmas sweater for the entire day… regardless of the circumstances. Wear it to school, to work, to your sister’s wedding. Got an important interview on Friday? Oops, tough luck. Worried the judge will increase your sentence if you show up to court in an ugly Christmas sweater? Sorry, no exception.

Share this special day with your friends and spread the word. Also, please send us pictures strutting your stuff in an ugly Christmas sweater.  We can’t leave Dallas out of the awesomeness that is, Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. Let’s rock this!

 

https://www.savethechildren.org

Gingerbread House Day

Gingerbread houses are a favorite holiday pastime with families, be it with parents, grandparents, or even both! But these delicious, decorative bread houses have always been a staple of the holiday season for as long as people can remember. Where did they come from? Who came up with the idea? To answer those questions, we must follow the ghost of holiday’s past into the history of Gingerbread House Day!

Food Historians, yes there is such a thing, ratify that ginger has been seasoning foodstuffs and drinks since antiquity. It is believed gingerbread was fist baked in Europe at the end of the 11th century when returning crusaders brought back the custom of spicy bread from the Middle East. Ginger was not only tasty; it had properties that helped preserve the bread. According to a French legend, gingerbread was brought to Europe in 992 A.D. by the Armenian monk and later saint, Gregory of Nicopolis, or Gregory Makar. Ginger bread figurines date back to the 15th century and baking human-shaped biscuits was practiced in the 16th century.

The gingerbread bakers were gathered into professional baker guilds. In many European countries, gingerbread bakers were a distinct component of the bakers’ guild. Gingerbread baking developed into an acknowledged profession. In the 17th century, only professional gingerbread bakers were permitted to bake gingerbread except at Christmas and Easter. In Europe, gingerbreads shaped like hearts, stars, soldiers, trumpets, swords, pistols and animals were sold in special shops and seasonal markets.

The tradition of making decorated gingerbread houses started in German in the early 1800s. According to certain researchers, the first gingerbread houses were the result of the well-known Grimm’s fairy tale Hansel and Gretel. In modern times the tradition has continued in certain places in Europe. In Germany, the Christmas markets still sell decorated gingerbread before Christmas.

To celebrate Gingerbread House Day, take the family out for a shopping trip and pick up the supplies necessary to make a gingerbread house. Then let the younger members of the family pick out the decorations that they want to add to the gingerbread house. Finally, pick out the decorations that you want and add them to the house.

Mad Hatter Day

October 6 is a day set aside each year to bring out your silly side while celebrating National Mad Hatter Day. The day was chosen due to the label tucked in The Mad Hatter’s hat band that read “In this style 10/6”.

The fictional character, The Hatter or The Mad Hatter from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is typically acting silly, and that is how the creators of this day decided on their theme of silliness for National Mad Hatter Day. Sir John Tenniel illustrated The Mad Hatter and all of Lewis Carroll’s colorful characters beginning in 1864. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was first published in 1865.

In 1986 some computer-folk in Boulder, CO celebrated a general day of silliness, inspired by the drawings don by Sir Tenniel. It was announced that year on computer networks, becoming more popular as people realized its value – some people did less damage by celebrating silliness than if they had done their jobs.

In 1988 it was first recognized as an official holiday and received its first national press coverage.

“Mad as a hatter” is a colloquial phrase used in conversation to refer to a crazy person. In 18th and 19th century England mercury was used in the production of felt, which was used in the manufacturing of hats. People who worked in these hat factories were exposed daily to trace amounts of the metal, causing some workers to develop dementia caused by mercury poisoning. Thus, the phrase became popular as a way to refer to someone who was perceived as insane.

Taking our inspiration from The Mad Hatter, or any of Carroll’s characters for that matter, we may pursue laughable, absurd or even confusing adventures on National Mad Hatter Day. Break out from the usual routine. Ask ridiculous riddles much like The Hatter’s own, “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” Play croquet with plastic pink flamingos or wear a funny hat to work. Throw a tea party, just don’t forget to, “change places!”

Did you know Lewis Carroll, a pen name for Charles Lutwidge Dodson once answered The Hatter’s riddle? In the 1896 edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Carroll wrote as part of his preface, “Because it can produce a few notes, tho they are very flat; and it is never put with the wrong end in front!”

Love Note Day

Almost as old as the first written language, the love note historically has been one of the most romantic ways to tell that special person how you feel about them. However, with the fast pace of our modern day lives, the art of writing love notes and exchanging them with one’s sweetheart is slowly dying. Love Note Day aims to change this and is held on September 26th.

A love letter or note is a way to pen down one’s deepest feeling about another person. It does not have to be romantic or sappy. It can convey a vast selection of emotions, from adoration to anger, from joy to sadness, and from admiration to disappointment. This day can be at its most effective when the recipient of the message isn’t aware that Love Note Day even exists. Consequently, a loving message will come as a pleasant surprise, and just be what they need to hear.

So walk away from your computer screen, bring out the scented paper, the fanciest pen you have, and find yourself an inspiring place to sit and get cracking on that love note. Give it to your sweetheart, perhaps during a nice meal or while on a walk in the park. If you don’t have time to hand write your love note, maybe you could sent your love a nice email that says how much you love and appreciate them. Leave some love notes around your home for your loved one to find. Hide them in their lunch or their gym bag, stick the note to the bathroom mirror, so that’s the first thing they see in the morning, or quietly slip it into their pockets before they leave home. It doesn’t have to me someone special. Who says a love note can only be for a romantic partner? Send a note to a friend or a family member to tell them how much you love them. Read love notes and letter written by famous people – maybe they will inspire you to write one of your own.

 

Did You Know…

The oldest surviving Valentine’s Day love letter in the English language dates back to 1477? Called the Valentine’s Day Love Letter, the note was written by Margery Brew to her fiancé John Pasto.

International Talk Like A Pirate Day

Once upon a time — on June 6, 1995, to be precise — John Baur and Mark Summers were playing racquetball, not well but gamely. It wasn’t their intention to become “the pirate guys.” Truth to tell, it wasn’t really their intention to become anything, except perhaps a tad thinner and healthier. As they flailed away, they called out friendly encouragement to each other -“Damn, you bastard!” and “Oh, jeez, my hamstring!” for instance – as shots caromed away, unimpeded by their wildly swung rackets.

On this day, for reasons they still don’t quite understand, they started giving their encouragement in pirate slang. Mark suspects one of them might have been reaching for a low shot that, by pure chance, might have come off the wall at an unusually high rate of speed, and strained something best left unstrained. “Arrr!,” he might have said.

Who knows? It might have happened exactly that way.

Anyway, whoever let out the first “Arrr!” started something. One thing led to another. “That be a fine cannonade,” one said, to be followed by “Now watch as I fire a broadside straight into your yardarm!” and other such helpful phrases. By the time their hour on the court was over, they realized that lapsing into pirate lingo had made the game more fun and the time pass more quickly. They decided then and there that what the world really needed was a new national holiday, Talk Like A Pirate Day.

First, they needed a date for the holiday. As any guy can tell you, June 6 is the anniversary of World War II’s D-Day. Guys hold dates like that in reverence and awe so there was no way they could use June 6. Mark came up with September 19.

They also decided that the perfect spokesman for their new holiday was none other than Dave Barry himself, nationally syndicated humor columnist and winner of the Pulitzer Prize. So, naturally, they forgot all about it.

For seven years they celebrated International Talk Like a Pirate Day pretty much on their own, with their friend Brian Rhodes actually reminding them that the event was coming up. Frankly, they usually forgot exactly when Talk Like a Pirate Day was supposed to be or even that there was such a thing. Brian is one of those guys who programs every important event into his computer so that a reminder pops up the day before. John and Mark may be the founders of Talk Like a Pirate Day, but Brian is certainly the godfather.

Things would probably have continued indefinitely on that low-key note until John, Mark and Brian were little old pirates in the Home for Retired Sea Dogs. They had a national holiday that almost nobody knew about, and they were content with that.

Except for one happy accident. One day in early 2002, John chanced upon Dave Barry’s e-mail address. Dave Barry is syndicated columnist and the author of between four and 6,000 books and the second funniest man in the universe. They were two guys (three if you count Brian, and that seems only fair,) but Dave is like a whole parade with brass bands and elephants. They reasoned that Dave would be able to bring attention to Talk Like A Pirate Day in a way that Mark and John (and Brian) wouldn’t be able to if they lived to be 200. Ambition suddenly burned bright, and sending e-mails is a very easy thing to do. Which is why they finally got around to contacting him.

The first e-mail introduced themselves, and told him about their great idea — Talk Like a Pirate Day. They knew he wouldn’t be able to resist. Then they offered him the only thing they had, the chance to be official national spokesman for the event. They clicked the send button, casting their bread upon the water.

Surprisingly, they had an answer in a matter of days. It’s a great idea, he said, but then he asked the fatal question. “Have you guys actually DONE anything about this? Or are you counting on me to carry the ball here?”

Very perceptive of him. The way they answered would be crucial in bringing Barry aboard. They decided on the truth, with a lot of kissing up thrown in. “Well, we’ve talked like pirates every Sept. 19, and we’ve encouraged our several friends to,” John wrote in reply. And Mark put it in perspective when he wrote, “We are dinghy-sized-talk-like-a-pirate kinda guys, but you, Dave … you are like a frigate-huge-sized-talk-like-a-pirate kinda guy.”

In early September, John got a phone call from the feature editor at the local paper, someone he had worked with for several years before leaving the newspaper business. She sounded confused. “John, I was editing this week’s Dave Barry column and it’s about … Is this you?”

It was. The nationally syndicated columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning writer of “distinguished commentary” became convinced of the great potential of such a holiday. He had written the column.

Thus, International Talk Like a Pirate Day was born.

Eat an Extra Dessert Day

September 4th is Eat an Extra Dessert Day, a day that encourages people to treat their sweet tooth with a second helping of dessert. It is unclear who created this awesome but unofficial holiday, but we think that whoever it was, deserves a big slice of cake.

An extra dessert should be eaten sometime during the course of this day. Desserts are usually a sweet course served after the end of a meal. While in the past typically this meal took place at the end of the day, in modern time’s desserts can accompany a mid-day meal as well. Desserts are also known as sweets in many part of the world.

The word “dessert” is derived from the French word “desservir”, which means “to clear the table”. Fruits and honey were probably the first sweeteners used in food, and the dawn of desserts was bolstered by the expansion of the use of sugar. Sugar was in use in India before 500 BCE, and through trade it arrived in places such as Macedonia and China over the next thousand years or so. It wasn’t until at least the 12th century that it arrived in Europe. During the Industrial Revolution desserts began being mass produced, and they were able to be processed and preserved in new ways, which increased their popularity.

Indulge yourself in a little extra dessert on this day, and inform everyone you know about this happy holiday. We are convinced that it will soon become everyone’s favorite made-up holiday. Try a dessert popular in another country, or plan a trip to one of the best dessert spots in the United States. Make your own desserts, and then share them with friends, family, and co-workers. But don’t get carried away, as to be true to the holiday, you should really only eat one extra dessert.

As with anything in life, we would recommend balance. Tomorrow balance the extra dessert with a little extra exercise. We have wonderful gyms, and activities to try here in Dallas. Try something new! Stop in a Harvest CrossFit to learn about their brand of exercise, go to a yoga class at Chateau Bianca. If classroom style is not to your liking then try one of the three gyms conveniently located downtown.

Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it to? Not us.

 

Take Your Pants On A Walk Day

July is great for going to the beach and watching fireworks, but apparently it is also good for… taking your pants for a walk?! That is right – July 27th is Take Your Pants on a Walk Day. A whimsical name for a good day. Celebrated each year this day is a day to get outside and go for a nice walk. It makes sense that where you go, of course your pants will also go.

There are many jokes and cartoon drawings about putting your pants on a leash and actually walking them as you would your pet. We guess that one could do that, however, we would recommend make sure that those are extra pants from your closet and that you are wearing some while on your walk.

Today is about getting out and getting exercise. Make it a fun time with your friends. Take a nice walk along the river, or through the park and enjoy the outdoors, while at the same time, getting the health benefits from your walk, maybe even take your camera with you!

This year Take Your Pants for a Walk Day is easy for us Dallas residents, and the surrounding community to observe. Tomorrow is also the kick off for Summerfest! Come down to the Courthouse lawn and show off your hometown pride. Tomorrows schedule starts with the Willamette Valley Greeters with networking and shopping opportunities for local Chamber business owners. Vendor booths, BINGO, and activities with the National Guard start at 10 in the morning and goes all day until the concert. Throughout the day we will have local entertainment on stage such as Parkside Self Defense, Clouded Skies, and LuAnn Ritts. Starting at 12:30 come down and dunk a dignitary in the dunk tank. Dallas Fire Department will be holding a Waterball Competition at 6 pm. To finish off this great day of fun Ants In the Kitchen will be playing at the Academy stage from 7 pm to 9 pm.

Can you think of a better way to enjoy the summer weather, and take your pants on a walk? Neither can we. Come down, dunk a few people, explore the vendors, and visit with the community.

Embrace Your Geekness Day

Pokemon fans to Final Fantasy nerds, LARP’ers to Medieval Reenactors, rise up and be proud! Don your Lyre Pipe hats and your rattan swords, polish up your gunblades and bundle up your pokeballs, Embrace Your Geekness Day is for you! No matter what your fandom or what impassions you to creativity and brings skip to your step, cry it loud and proud! The Geek and fan community is truly one of the most amazing and creative groups out there, and every year more geeks are crying their fandoms loud and proud.

What exactly does it mean to be a geek? Well, definitions differ (and believe me, you don’t want to look up the Victorian age definition of a geek) but in today’s world it just means one thing. A geek is completely obsessed with one or more subjects, and can speak fluently on it for hours, sounding like a walking encyclopedia of geeky facts.

Wellcat Holidays organized the holiday stating that we all should be proud of the things that define us, and little defines us as much as those things we’re passionate about. “Dungeon games, comic books” we should have no shame about anything we’re into. In fact, you should shout it loud and proud. Geekdom brings people together, whether they’re sharing their love of a mutual fandom, or talking about their individual fandoms to inspire others to check it out, they love community. Some of the most amazing costuming and tech gadgets have been put together by people inspired by the shows, stories, and games that they love. That’s the power of being in touch with your imagination, and that’s what Embrace Your Geekness Day is all about.

If you have a fandom you’ve been hiding in a closet, don’t let it sit there unloved anymore. Get out into the world and wear your favorite shows t-shirt, talk to your friends about the stuff you love, maybe even try an arts project. Don’t restrain yourself to just comic books, dungeon games, and mangas. What are you passionate about? People, animals, sports? Embrace it. Embrace Your Geekness Day reminds us that we’re not alone in our Geekness, and the world is a better place for our bright showing of imagination, creativity, and pride. Now get out there and get your geek on!

14 Memorable TV Geeks for Embrace Your Geekness Day:

  1. Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory
  2. Steve Urkel from Family Matters
  3. Lisa Simpson from The Simpsons
  4. Ben Wyatt from Parks and Recreation
  5. Dexter from Dexters Lab
  6. The Kids from Stranger Things
  7. Liz Lemon from 30 Rocks
  8. Screech Powers from Saved by the Bell
  9. J.D. from Scrubs
  10. Abed Nadir from Community
  11. Dwight Schrute from The Office
  12. Willow Rosenberg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  13. Stuart Minkus from Boy Meets World
  14. Eric Forman from That ‘70s Show