Wear Something Gaudy Day

October 17 is not a day to be plain or ordinary. The point of Wear Something Gaudy Day is to stand out by wearing brightly colored fabrics, intense patterns, or something merely without taste or fashion. It’s the day to pull out the neon pink shirt, or those things in the back of the closet from the more colorful 1970s. In those days, I had a pair of jeans with huge flowers on them, so bright they caused a Canada goose to attack me one day. Of course, anything one wore as a teenager is probably considered gaudy or tacky now, so now’s the time to relive those days, and perhaps embarrass the children at the same time.

Cute Calendar says about this day: “The origin of this jolly day lies in the US comedy show “Three’s Company” from the 70s. The character called Larry Dallas had the idea of celebrating such a special day. Wear Something Gaudy Day might lack taste and fashion but it surely provides a lot of fun and turns the world into a more colorful place.”

Of course, for fans of Doctor Who, the epitome of gaudy was the sixth man to play the part, Colin Baker. It is said that the producer at the time kept sending his costume back to wardrobe to make it more tasteless. The colors and styles clashed violently, including oranges, reds, greens, blues, pink, and yellows. I’ve included a picture to demonstrate.

October, as we are getting ready to end daylight savings time, seems like a good time to celebrate this day. If the days are becoming dark and dreary, it doesn’t mean that people need to do the same. Instead, dress as brightly as the changing leaves. Show the world that you can shine.

Quotes about color

Color is only beautiful when it means something.–Robert Henri

Color does not add a pleasant quality to design – it reinforces it.–Pierre Bonnard

Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.–Claude Monet

Color in certain places has the great value of making the outlines and structural planes seem more energetic.–Antoni Gaudi

All the other colors are just colors, but purple seems to have a soul – when you look at it, it’s looking back at you.–Uniek Swain

Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.–Oscar Wilde

Each color lives by its mysterious life.–Wassily Kandinsky

Colors speak all languages.–Joseph Addison

Colours are brighter when the mind is open.–Adriana Alarcon

A color is as strong as the impression it creates.–Ivan Albright

Color is the fruit of life.–Guillaume Apollinaire

A dominant colour possesses tremendous power in making a painting unique.–Mary Bassi

Color… thinks by itself, independently of the object it clothes.–Charles Baudelaire

Colour is a creative element, not a trimming.–Piet Zwart

Color is an intense experience on its own.–Jim Hodges

Colors express the main psychic functions of man.–Carl Gustav Jung

Color, rather than shape, is more closely related to emotion.–David Katz

It almost always happens that true, but exaggerated, coloring is more agreeable than absolute coloring.–Michel Eugene Chevreul

Color is a matter of taste and of sensitivity.–Edouard Manet

Colour is, on the evidence of language alone, very bound up with the feelings.–Marion Milner

Colour is as variable and evanescent in the form of pigment as in visible nature.–Walter J. Phillips

Color is the language of the poets. It is astonishingly lovely. To speak it is a privilege.–Keith Crown

Not only can color, which is under fixed laws, be taught like music, but it is easier to learn than drawing, whose elaborate principles cannot be taught.–Eugene Delacroix

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National Grouch Day

As Oscar sings in the “Grouch Anthem” it is the day for grouches of the world to unite. October 15 is the day set aside to celebrate your inner grouch. According to the dictionary, a grouch is a habitually irritable or complaining person and most grouchy people are at their happiest when others around them can share in their misery and general unhappy nature. It is said that the folks at the Sesame Street Magazine created this day to pay tribute to their resident grouch.

This might seem to be an odd thing for me to feature in this blog, but the topic is near and dear to my heart because of my Dad. He used to pretend every Christmas to be grouchy and Scrooge-like, when really he loved the season as much as anyone did. This led to us always finding a “Grinch present” for him, such as a little stocking of coal, various crab items, various Grinch items, and other such. The very best year, he complained about people having artificial trees, so we made him a small artificial tree that we strung with Brussel sprouts to decorate it. He was delighted.

Seriously, though, all of us are grouchy or grumpy at one time or another. We wouldn’t be human if there weren’t things that irritate us. This is the day when you can complain about what is bothering you, as long as you don’t let it become your default setting. So fuss about the weather, or the traffic, or the pain in your knee, or your least favorite politician. But above all, be sure to listen to the Grouch Anthem.

Here is the first verse:
Grouches of the world unite!
Stand up for your grouchly rights!
Don’t let the sunshine spoil the rain
Just stand up and complain.


Quotes about being grumpy

Am I grumpy? I might be. But I think maybe sometimes it’s misinterpreted.–Harrison Ford

I’m a perfect example of the grumpy, old man. I’m really good at it.–Ned Beatty

In actual life I am a grumpy old bag.–Dawn French

I used to be good with kids, but as I get older, I’m grumpy and terrible with them. As for doing a gig at a 6-year old’s birthday party, you couldn’t pay me enough.–Johnny Vegas

It’s true, I’ve become one of those grumpy older women.–Penelope Wilton

I’m not romantic at all. I’m a moaner. I should be on Grumpy Old Men. I’m terrible.–Bruno Tonioli

The line between angry young woman and grumpy old lady is very fine.–Judy Horacek

Normally, in anything I do, I’m fairly miserable. I do it, and I get grumpy because there is a huge, vast gulf, this aching disparity, between the platonic ideal of the project that was living in my head, and the small, sad, wizened, shaking, squeaking thing that I actually produce.–Neil Gaiman

Hopefully I’m not a grumpy old guy sitting in the corner, yelling at people and demanding things.–George W. Bush

I’m not always a positive person. I wake up grumpy, I read the newspaper and I get furious that the world is still at war.–Jason Mraz

Don’t ask me any questions right now. I’m grumpy and I’ll probablly make fun of you.–Effie Kaligaris

It is the prerogative of wizards to be grumpy.–Jim Butcher

I don’t want to sound like some grumpy old man telling you to get off my lawn.–Michael Wilbon

Guys my age are married or divorced or grumpy, fat and balding.–Madonna Ciccone

I don’t describe myself as a sociable person now. I can be quite… you know… grumpy? Is that a word? I guess I can be a bit grumpy.–Nick Frost

I’m that grumpy old guy yelling at all those pesky little Grizzly Bear fans to get offa my lawn.–Chuck Eddy

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International Day for Failure

October 13 is the day we, if not celebrate, at least admit that, failure is something universal. The idea for this day originated at the Aalto University in Finland. The official website  for this day says, “Without the possibility of failure there is no success, they go hand-in-hand. After all, failure means you have grabbed the opportunity to succeed. Day for Failure is the best day to show some stupidity, error estimation, awkward moments, and other fails to the world. So let’s celebrate our shortcomings and failures, share our experiences and promote the understanding of failure as a learning experience.”

An article by Alana Schetzer associates failure with risk-taking. She says, “If you don’t take a risk, then you can’t learn and you can’t grow as a person. If you look at how children learn and grow, they try things all the time and get it wrong and then they try again. They have a great resilience.” Failure can be a way to learn to do something better – at least you learn what doesn’t work.

When I worked at Amazon, the company gave a prize at our big company meetings that acknowledged some major creative project whether or not that project succeeded. The idea was to create an atmosphere that encouraged risk-taking and thinking big.

There is often a stigma attached to failure, particularly in our culture that rewards success so highly. We fear to look foolish or incompetent. Yet failure is often the path to success. J.K. Rowling’s  Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was rejected twelve times before it was reluctantly published. Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Think how different our lives would be today if he had given up.

So don’t be afraid to fail. It only shows you are trying!

Quotes about failure

Accept failure as a normal part of living. View it as part of the process of exploring your world; make a note of its lessons and move on.–Tom Greening and Dick Hobson

All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.–William Faulkner

Being afraid to fail is what prevents many of us from trying something new, putting ourselves out on a limb. It often stops us singing, running, working for an exam or telling a joke in company. Fear of failure can also stop us trying to pray. Just in case nothing happens. Just in case we feel foolish. Just in case we make a mess of it.–Lucy Winkett

The biggest job we have is to teach a newly hired employee how to fail intelligently. We have to train him to experiment over and over and to keep on trying and failing until he learns what will work.– Charles Kettering

Do not take yourself too seriously. You have to learn not to be dismayed at making mistakes. No human being can avoid failures.–Lawrence G. Lovasik

Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure.–George Eliot

Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.–John Dewey

The freedom to fail is vital if you’re going to succeed. Most successful people fail from time to time, and it is a measure of their strength that failure merely propels them into some new attempt at success.–Michael Korda

If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.–Woody Allen

Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over gain, and you will grow stronger until have accomplished a purpose – not the one you began with perhaps, but one you’ll be glad to remember.–Anne Sullivan

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International Day of the Girl Child

While there has long been an International Women’s Day and an International Day of the Child, neither of these days recognize the unique position of girls. International Day of the Girl Child is an international observance day declared by the United Nations; it is also called the Day of the Girl and the International Day of the Girl. October 11, 2012, was the first Day of the Girl.

According to the UNICEF, There are 1.1 billion girls in the world today. Unfortunately, in much of the world, they are often faced with discrimination, violence, and lack of equal opportunities. Too often, particularly in developing countries, girls are married very young. Once that happens, they lose access to education, and are vulnerable to sexual and other abuse. Part of the UN’s goal is to gather data on these girls. On the assumption that “what gets counted gets done,” they have called for action for “increased investment in collecting and analyzing girl-focused, girl-relevant and sex-disaggregated data.”

The most important thing that can be done is to give girls access to education. Educated girls stand a better chance of understanding their culture and being able to think for themselves and make choices for their own lives, rather than being sold to a man in a forced marriage.

One way to get involved is Because I am a Girl, a global movement driven by Plan International to ensure girls everywhere can learn, lead, decide and thrive. They declare:

  • All girls have a right to an education
  • All girls have the right to take part in the life of their community and country
  • All girls have the right to decide if and when to marry and/or start a family
  • All girls have the right to live free from violence and have equal economic opportunities.

Women’s equality starts in childhood. Girls deserve a chance.

Quotes about girl power

Why can’t a girl be smart without it being explained away as a rare supernatural phenomenon?–Cat Winters

Girls should be strong together. Strong like steel, merry like the tinkling of chimes dancing in the wind.–Kristin Halbrook

Being a girl doesn’t make you weak, Parker. It makes you special.–Ali Novak

Girl power is about loving yourself and having confidence and strength from within…–Nicole Scherzinger

Astonishingly, not all girls get dressed just to please men. –Jojo Moyes

I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels.–Maya Angelou

We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back. We call upon our sisters around the world to be brave – to embrace the strength within themselves and realize their full potential.–Malala Yousafzai

Girl power in my mind is to let girls be exactly what they are. Let them be angry. Let them be resentful. And rebellious. Let them be hard and soft and loving and sad and silly. Let them be wrong. Let them be right. Let them be everything. because, they are everything.–Amy Sherman-Palladino

If you want to change a whole people, then you start with the girls. It stands to reason: they learn faster, and they pass on what they learn to their children.–Terry Pratchett

The only power any man has over you is the power you give him.–Renee Ahdieh

What’s “suitable for kids” defines what sort of kids we as a society want. And right now, the girls society wants are the ones who can fit on a short list—while the list for boys is without borders or end.–Jason Porath

Gender equality is not a belief, it is not an idea – it is a key element of the society that will define whether we the humans shall march ahead towards glory and advancement, or sink into the abyss of an existential doom.–Abhijit Naskar

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World Post Day

World Post Day is celebrated each year on October 9th. The event was declared by the 1969 Universal Postal Congress in Tokyo as a means to mark the anniversary of the Universal Postal Union’s (UPU) creation in 1874.

Approximately 150 countries take part in celebrating the World Post Day every year. Some of the countries promote their new postal services or products at this special day and reward their employees for good services. Most of the countries organize philatelic exhibitions and issue new stamps. Displaying posters on World Post Day in post offices as well as public places, conferences, seminars and workshops including cultural, sport, recreational activities are other activities. Speech is given by the high rank officers at this day about the history and achievements of the postal services.

Although many, if not most of us use email or texting for our everyday messages, the post office is still an important organization. Businesses rely on it, and so do regular people for delivering parcels. Where I am living now in rural Ireland, An Post is the only reliable means of getting packages to my house, because the local mail people understand how addresses work in these villages. Amazon UK sent me a package via another service, and it never came at all. They resent it through the post and it came in two days.

There are three purposes for this special day.

  1. The World Post Day aims increase the awareness of people about the postal sector role for people and businesses every day.
  2. It is celebrated to let the people about its contribution towards the social and economic development of the countries.
  3. It is celebrated to encourage the countries to carry out various activities to generate the big awareness among people and media about its role and activities on a national level.

So appreciate your post office today!

Quotes about the (mainly U.S.) Postal Service

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. [The Motto Of The U.S. Postal Service]–Herodotus

The Postal Service delivers mail six days a week to nearly 140 million addresses. Every year this number increases by 2 million.–Joe Baca

But the fact is, Mr. Chairman, for all the challenges the Postal Service of the 21st century faces, it still retains its traditional place as a key cog in how American businesses conduct their affairs and how Americans all across this land communicate.–John M. McHugh

The Postal Service’s unmatched ability to reach every household and business in America six days a week is a vital part of the nation’s infrastructure.–Joe Baca

A federal court has ruled that the U.S. Postal Service must reduce its stamp prices. The change in stamp prices is expected to affect as many as seven Americans.–Conan O’Brien

I don’t buy a lot when I travel, but when I do, I like to send gifts from wherever I am. It’s fun to find the local post office.–Juliana Hatfield

All the new technology seems redundant to me. I was quite happy with the United States mail service. And, I don’t even have an answering machine, for God’s sake.–Kurt Vonnegut

That’s my dream job, to be able to mail songs out to people who want to hear them. Paste my face on them and not travel all over the world trying to sell them.–Kristin Hersh

I’ve worked in a factory. I was a garbage man. I worked in a post office. It’s not that long ago. I like to think that I’m just a regular guy.–Denzel Washington

Give me the old familiar world, post-office and all, with this ever new self, with this infinite expectation and faith, which does not know when it is beaten.00Henry David Thoreau

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Nobel Peace Prize

At this time of year, the Nobel prizes are announced. One of the most interesting, and the most controversial, is the Peace Prize. It has been awarded mostly annually to those who have “done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”

What makes this interesting to me is that the Norwegian inventor, Alfred Nobel developed dynamite, and owned an arms factory. Granted, the original purpose of dynamite was to produce a safer explosive for industrial use but to have someone who manufactured arms create a peace prize is odd, to say the least. Many believe it was his friendship with the prominent Austrian pacifist Bertha von Suttner inspired him to establish the prize for peace, but no one knows for sure.

As a Quaker, I am proud that the American Friends Service Committee received the award for their work in rebuilding Europe after World War II. Other well deserved winners have been those like the Red Cross, Amnesty International, Nelson Mandela Jimmy Carter, Malala Yousafzai, and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, who received the award in 2017.

However, the Peace Prize has also been controversial, both for the people who have received it, and those who have not. For instance, Gandhi never received the prize, though Martin Luther King Jr. did, as one who followed his ways. Many feel Eleanor Roosevelt should have received the prize, but she did not.

Some who seem odd choices to me are Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Kissinger, and Mikhail Gorbachev. It has not been disclosed how the committee decides on who gets the prize.

Controversial or not, it is good to celebrate peace. May we always work towards that in our world.

Quotes by Nobel and others about peace

My dynamite will sooner lead to peace than a thousand world conventions. As soon as men will find that in one instant, whole armies can be utterly destroyed, they surely will abide by golden peace.–Alfred Nobel

I intend to leave after my death a large fund for the promotion of the peace idea, but I am skeptical as to its results.–Alfred Nobel

Good wishes alone will not ensure peace.–Alfred Nobel

For my part, I wish all guns with their belongings and everything could be sent to hell, which is the proper place for their exhibition and use.–Alfred Nobel

The arms race can kill, though the weapons themselves may never be used…by their cost alone, armaments kill the poor by causing them to starve.–Vatican statement to the U.N., 1976

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children… This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.–Dwight David Eisenhower

For it isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.–Eleanor Roosevelt

If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.–Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind… War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.–John F. Kennedy

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World Teacher Day

World Teacher Day is an official United Nations holiday. The UNESCO Website explains, “Held annually on 5 October since 1994, World Teachers’ Day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers… The 1966 Recommendation constitutes the main reference framework for addressing teachers’ rights and responsibilities on a global scale.”

This event celebrates teachers at all levels of education from preschool through university. UNESCO describes it as “an opportunity to commemorate teacher’s organizations worldwide and also aims to activate support for teachers.”

I shared an apartment with a teacher for some time, and I can testify that she did not begin to be paid enough for the time she put in outside of class, the money she spent to make her classroom an attractive and useful place of learning, and the caring, and skill she lavished on the children. I’m glad we have a day to honor teachers, but they truly deserve more than one.

This also a day to show support for teachers, even if it is as simple as a note of appreciation, or the proverbial apple. But it is also a time to make sure that teachers are being supported by the school board and local government in the form of class sizes small enough for each student to get the attention he or she needs, for adequate resources for the classroom, for adequate pay for the important job they do, and for continuing education opportunities,

Teachers mold the next generation and deserve our gratitude and our support. So if you still have children in school, why not make it a family project to show your appreciation in some way. If not, you probably know a teacher who would appreciate thanks and support. Teachers, we salute you on your special day!

Quotes about teachers

The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself.–Edward Bulwer-Lytton

The best teachers are the best storytellers.–Frank Smith

The educator must believe in the potential power of his pupil, and he must employ all his art in seeking to bring his pupil to experience this power.–Alfred Adler

A good teacher is never done … always trying to reinvent, improve and inspire.–David Carlson

The good teacher makes the poor student good and the good student superior.–Marva Collins

A good teacher must be able to put himself in the place of those who find learning hard.–Eliphas Levi

Good teachers empathize with kids, respect them, and believe that each one has something special that can be built upon.–Ann Lieberman

The greatest sign of success for a teacher … is to be able to say, “The children are now working as if I did not exist.”–Maria Montessori

I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit…–John Steinbeck

I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.–Albert Einstein

In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something else.–Lee Iaccoca

The job of a teacher is to excite in the young a boundless sense of curiosity about life, so that the growing child shall come to apprehend it with an excitement tempered by awe and wonder.–John Garrett

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary new material, but the warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.–Carl Jung

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