Sunday, February 7, 2010

In which we celebrate an excellent holiday and win fabulous prizes

Part I:  We Start the Day in an Unusual Manner

Saturday was International Ice Cream for Breakfast Day (IICBD, for those in the know).  I only tell you this because it seems that not enough people are aware of this wondrous day.  I found out about it on Friday and can now clearly identify what was wrong with the last 40 Februaries. The fact that the holiday was kept secret from me for so long is astounding.  The holiday actually originated in my hometown before I was born.  How is it that the holiday has made its way to entirely different countries, but I had to find out about it from a blog by someone who doesn't even live in Rochester? No one even showed me the clip about it that appeared in the local paper last week.  It's almost as if the world thought I couldn't be trusted with this information.  Very Suspicious.  But all to no avail.  I have found out and I wasted no time in preparing.  I bought a tub of ice cream and my kids enjoyed waffles a la mode for breakfast.


But that's not all.  We don't do things half-way here, and it was clear that something that was so good the first time around could only improve with repetition.  So we also had ice cream with lunch.  And some of us may have had ice cream for afternoon snack.  Or as an appetizer before dinner.  Fortunately, on IICBD,  Ross's Second Kit-Kat Principle* is temporarily suspended and the ice cream is just as good the second (or third or fourth, as individually appropriate) time as it is the first.  Particularly if you start adding chocolate syrup.

You might think that any day beginning with ice cream would reach its peak pretty early, but apparently the Laws of Conservation of Happiness  (LCH)** are also suspended on IICBD, leading to . . .

Part II: We Have a Winning Day

We like to win; it's better than losing. We have tried both and are pretty confident in our opinions.  But we understand that we can't win EVERYTHING.  That would be thoroughly unreasonable and, applying the LCH (see below) might even require that we experience some disappointment in order to restore balance to the universe.  This is especially true of any event involving a raffle.  I won a prize once when I was in high school, and never won another raffle prize until my 40th birthday, when I won three prizes in the same raffle. So when I bought my kids tickets for the nursery school raffle yesterday, I was careful to remind them that we might not win anything.

Ha!  People who eat ice cream for breakfast are exempt from raffle disappointment.

Take a look:


A basket of bath goodies!


A basket of candle goodies!!


A basket of dog goodies!!!


A toy excavator!   (Oh goody!)

Does it get any better than this?? Four raffle prizes.  FOUR RAFFLE PRIZES!!!!!!!

But wait, there's more!

Sixth grade basketball game?  We won.

High school hockey game?  We won.

Clearly we are on the verge of exceeding our happiness quota.  In order to bring us back into harmony, I spent the morning in Sunday School with my daughter, evaluating my beliefs about life's major issues with the help of a pile of sixth graders.  I spent the early afternoon in a nursery school budget meeting and the later part of the afternoon trying to figure out some video editing software that was much too complicated for me.  I also complained loudly about the state of my house (can't anybody put their dishes IN the dishwasher? And are socks really too heavy to be carried all the way to the laundry room?).  I feel I have done my part to restore some balance to my world.  Just to make sure, I will go back to work tomorrow and spend the day analyzing the law of government tort liability while my four year old  climbs up my office chair and demands marshmallows for breakfast.  When I  feel harmony has been restored, I will be ready to reveal my plans for . . .

Part III: I Train for the Knitting Olympics.

(pictures and story to follow!)

*Ross's Second Kit-Kat Principle (RSKKP, again for those in the know) states that, regardless of how good the first Kit Kat is, the second can never be equally good (stated mathematically as KK1 > KK2>KK3).  The principle is universally applicable to all candies larger than the "Fun-Size." Various corollaries address the extent of Kit-Kat Enjoyment Decline (KKED) based on such variables as individual hunger, proximity to dinner, and whether the subsequent candy bar was either the last in the house or was taken (by force, trickery, or outright theft) from a sibling.  The study of the effect of Halloween on the principle is a relatively recent development.  Certainly, the reason for the suspension of RSKKP on IICBD is worthy of future attention.

**Basically, the idea is that there is only so much happiness to go around, which makes a spectacularly successful day a statistical rarity.  One branch of this study actually goes so far as to suggest that any unusually large dose of happiness will be offset at some point by  Joy Cancelling Events until balance is again achieved.  The same laws explain why it is not possible for all members of any self-contained group of people (members of the same household, staff, team, government, etc.) to be happy at the same moment.  Certain poorly understood multiplier effects come into play for events involving a great deal of preparation or inordinately high expectations, such as Thanksgiving or large family reunions.

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