….or for my friends not in the lower 48, Happy Thursday!
For those of us that are in the lower 48, today’s the one day of the year where grilling your food over an open flame is mandatory and every man, woman, and child must light at least one fuse that is attached to some sort of explosive that could remove a digit if said digit is too close at the time of detonation. Yes, Independence Day(not the alien flick either) is a holiday where things go boom and folks proudly display their American flags and American pride. We kicked some Redcoat ass and we aren’t about to let them forget it. Yup. Well, I’m sure that’s a sentiment well worn and displayed in the lower “lower” 48 anyways. But here, it’s basically an excuse to get drunk, get sunburned, and blow s**t up. Oh, and eat hamburgers and corn-on-the-cob. My personal feelings regarding the Fourth of July are this: I appreciate the freedoms I have living in the U.S., and I really don’t need one day to look at explosions in the sky to be reminded of that. I can just turn on CNN, BBC, or MSN and see the turmoil Egypt, Syria, Turkey, and the struggles between Israel and Palestine to know we’ve got it pretty good here in the U.S.A. I have a government-sanctioned day where I don’t have to work. I can stay home, hang out with my family, drink a couple beers, eat some grilled food, laugh, look at the amazement in my kids’ eyes as they watch those bottle rockets red glare, bursting in air.
So the last two days have been filled with nonsense and fun. Let me catch you up, shall I?
Tuesday we had an old friend come by for a visit. Actually, she’s the gal that set my wife and I up on a blind date back in January of 1991…our Junior year of high school. She was supposed to come with us on this blind date but decided at the last minute she couldn’t. So, it was a mildly awkward blind date where my wife came by and picked me up(yeah, I still didn’t have a drivers license…super cool) and we went and saw the movie Mermaids with Cher and Winona Ryder(equally awkward). Afterwards it was breadsticks at Noble Romans. The rest is history. Well, there was lots in-between then and now, but that’s for another time. So anyways, our friend came by with her four year old son and they stayed a good couple hours. It was good catching up with her. She lives in Virginia now and has finally found a good spot to grow old in the world. That afternoon the kids and I headed into town and I grabbed a copy of Tangerine Dream’s Stratosfear for $5 and a new copy of Miles Davis’ Round About Midnight from my good friend John Vance over at Karma Records here in my neck of the woods. Davis has barely left the turntable. Tuesday night we had a horror movie marathon. We watched The Bay before my wife got home(super creepy and gross….it’s still not safe to get back in the water). Then once she got home she made some caramel corn and we watched The Blair Witch Project. You know, that movie still holds up in my eyes. The kids weren’t nearly as impressed as my wife and I were back in 1999. Oh well.
So yesterday the kids and I headed to Fort Wayne. We stopped at Sweetwater Sound for a bathroom break and stayed for the arcade games. They have a very cool game area where guests and employees can play billiards, ping pong, and skee-ball. I grabbed a couple packs of guitar strings and drooled over various Gibsons and Fenders. So after leaving Sweetwater we hit Neat Neat Neat Records and my friend Morrison Agen and I snagged Kraftwerk’s Autobahn and a Collector’s Edition of Black Sabbath’s Vol. 4 in clear vinyl. We made our way to Hyde Brothers Booksellers and were blown away by the amount of books they have. It’s literally floor to ceiling. A veritable maze of literature. The kids made out like bandits and I snagged a John Coltrane biography. Then we walked down the street to Shooting Star Records. A hole-in-the-wall that is filled with vinyl treasure. He got bonus points for having a cute cocker spaniel in there for my kids to “ooh” and “ahh” over. An import copy of Radiohead’s Hail To The Thief made it in my grubby hands. We got back to the car and headed to the other side of Fort Wayne to Half Price Books and I snagged NM copies of Led Zeppelin III and Miles Davis’ Milestones. My oldest daughter found Douglas Adams’ entire Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy series in one giant book…for $7. She was thrilled. I’d promised I’d get her a John Green book, but they didn’t have any, so our last stop was Barnes and Noble where she found two books of his she was wanting. Well, dad obliged. We got home around 5:30pm and I grilled pork chops and we read our books and listened to our records till 11pm.
So here we are. It’s Thursday, the Fourth of July in 2013. I’m four days into my vacation. The sun is shining, the beer is chilling and there’s meat to be grilled. And maybe even a fuse or two to be lit.
Life is good.