November 10, 2021

😒 Thanks for nothing, November 10th!

Happy Area Code Day, I guess. As much as we enjoy telling you about the arbitrary made-up occasions we should celebrate on any given Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, this one really feels like scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of occasions. You might say that November 10th is really (wait for it)...phoning it in.

Area codes were made up by AT&T and Bell in 1940 and then implemented in 1947, blah, blah, blah.

Real talk: area codes have truly been nothing but trouble if you really think about it. If you're over the age of 30 or so, they were a harbinger of preposterous long distance phone bills. (Remember those?) Nowadays they spark pointless small talk, because if you've moved from one region to another over the course of your adult life and kept your original mobile number, like a zillion people have, you will inevitably be dragged into conversations about the area code in your number.

"So you live in California, but you have a DC area number?!" Yes, Susan, sometimes people live in one place and then move to another place and keep their old number, both for convenience and for having this conversation ad nauseam. "I went to DC once on a field trip in middle school!" Uh huh. Great. Hope you enjoyed the confusing streets and short buildings.

Being a east to west coast transplant, the area code in my number seems to imply it's fine to call me any time after 8AM Eastern time, because some segment of the east coast population does not seem to be aware of time zones or the idea that people move cross-country and keep their numbers. As a result my phone has been in do-not-disturb mode for 8 years (that, and I just hate phone calls).

Throwing phone in a lake gif

I have a rich and active fantasy life, and this one in particular comes up a lot.


It's also National Vanilla Cupcake Day (yawn) but I guess we can put a few candles on top for these people born on November 10ths of yore:

Actress Brittany Anne Murphy-Monjack, born today in 1977, who starred in films such as Clueless, Freeway, 8 Mile, and Girl, Interrupted.

Stand-up comedian and actor Tracy Jamal Morgan, born today in 1968. Morgan is best known for playing Tracy Jordan on 30 Rock and as a Saturday Night Live cast member, both earning him Primetime Emmy Award nominations.

English author Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman, born on this day in 1960, known for works such as The Sandman, American Gods, and Coraline. Gaiman is a dedicated user of fountain pens and has said that he writes the first draft of all his books with one. How delightfully retro!

Finally, serve up a Big Bird-sized cupcake for children's TV program Sesame Street, which premiered on this day 1969! I wonder what today's letter and number are?

OK, let's get to the reason you are presumably here — to click fun links intended to brighten your day!


1. Comedian Alex Falcone miniaturizes his apartment in Lego form

If you enjoy obsessive, detailed, and unnecessary projects you'll appreciate Alex's spot-on mini version of his full-sized dwelling.

2. Choose your own IKEA adventure

Why immerse yourself in the hellscape that is a trip to IKEA on a Saturday when you can torture yourself from the comfort of your own home? This website simulates a Saturday trip to IKEA, perhaps as a reminder to never visit an IKEA on a Saturday. (Especially early on in a global pandemic to procure office furniture, as I did in July of last year. Never again!)

3. Make up artist Jody Steel treats us to some impressive transformations

Jody posts mesmerizing videos as she paints her face to look like horror film characters and surrealist art.

4. The English language is tOUGH

This classic I Love Lucy clip highlights one of the many ways our language is confusing, particularly with words ending in "ough".

5. Australian mom turns her kiddo's meals into works of art

This Aussie food artist creates Shrek characters on bagels and Harry Potter characters from mashed potatoes. Very whimsical!


OK! Hopefully these little diversions helped to brighten your day! We'll be back here in your inbox on Friday with NEW ART, more random holidays, celebrity birthdays, a new episode of the Boredwalk Podcast, and (probably) more! Until then...

Peace, love, and tossing our phones into the sea,