Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fire, explosions and sparkly things

A few thoughts on the 4th of July:

1.) Fireworks are a great combination of man's love of fire, explosions and sparkly things. And if you have ever made it to a Knecht Family 4th of July Street Party you know that they also incorporate man's love of impromptu dance routines and fake fist fighting.

2.) It will someday be discovered that one of the original drafts of the Declaration of Independence listed the unalienable Rights as "Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness, and Homemade Ice Cream."

3.) One of my favorite 4th of July memories was when we went to the Dodger game and sat out in the pavilion and at the end of the game they let us walk through the bull pen and out onto the field to lay on the grass and watch the fireworks. It was so magical that there may have been unicorns prancing around pots of gold.

4.) When my sisters and I were very young we used to roam around our neighborhood picking up remnants of used fireworks. We thought they were treasures.

5.) I once heard Sarah Vowell on This American Life talk about how she bonded with her dad over shooting off a cannon he had built. She always considered herself a little anti-gun so she was genuinely surprised by how much she loved it. I am more than a little anti-gun but I am not surprised. Because tonight when I caught a few minutes of a show on PBS that aired the festivities at the Capitol and they were playing the 1812 Overture, complete with lots and lots of cannons, I shouted "Weeeeeeeeee!!!!!!" every time one went off.

6.) Speaking of music on the 4th, you all should become organists. Because playing "Battle Hymn of the Republic" on the organ is so much fun. Even when you're a really mediocre organist (Hi!), you just pump up the volume and play it a little fast and you feel like you're at a parade.

7.) More on patriotic music. We can probably all agree that the piccolo is a very obnoxious instrument. Except when it is played during Stars and Stripes Forever. I want to march around and wave a flag whenever I hear them play their part.

8.) Ten Million Imaginary Points to the person (outside of my family) who can correctly identify this movie quote: "Alright America! I love ya'! I'm proud of ya! We gotta go."


Anonymous said...

Ooo, no idea on the movie quote and I'm not gonna cheat and google it.

Also, I played the trombone in high school and whenever people mention sousa marches, and Stars and Stripes forever, I have flashbacks. Your mention of the piccolo has those licks from that march jumping around in my head like popcorn, or flight of the bumblebee!

Bronwyn James said...

Field of Dreams! And I didn't cheat.

Stephanie said...

I have played the piccolo during Stars and Stripes forever - and am here to tell you that my fingers have never been the same. Those runs are wicked.

I miss lighting fireworks - Phoenix doesn't allow them. We moved from a state (South Carolina) that didn't care what you bought or shot as long as it wasn't technically considered a firearm to having to wonder whether it would cause a fire if you slammed too many of those poppers on the ground at one time.

I love that you pump up the volume on Battle Hymn of the Republic - it's one of my favorite songs in the hymnal.

Chris and Gina said...

Didn't you love picking up the old "flowers" fireworks on the 5th? That is one of my favorite holiday memories. BTW, when we were watching the Stadium of Fire fireworks, Chris leaned over and said, "Let's do the 4th on the numbered streets next year." Yeah for the 4th of July!

Rach said...

In Defense of the Piccolo: Now Rachel. You know that without the picoolo, songs like "Live or Let Die" would be downright boring. And the 1812 Overture may have cannons, but the build-up to each cannon shot wouldn't work without the piccolo. Believe it or not, but heavy metal would sound wrong without the piccolo. Yes, when it is played badly, as it often is by high school students in local marching bands, it is excruiciating. But don't knock the piccolo. Just ask Tchaikowsky and Sousa.

On another subject, I would love to celebrate the 4th with your family some time. I know it would be terrific.

courtney said...

Field of Dreams! and now that i've typed it i see it's already been said, but i swear i typed before i looked and didn't cheat. "step outside you nazi cow." ohhh amy madigan and your brownie cap, how i love you in that movie.

Anonymous said...

Field Of Dreams and I also didn't cheat. Amy Madigan rocks the Casbah. "It was JUST LIKE the SIXTIES AGAIN!!" *fists*