Monday, July 7, 2008

God Bless the U.S. of... Texas

It was a good Fourth of July weekend. Any long weekend that starts with a date DURING THE DAYTIME just can't go wrong, right?

M had Thursday off so we went and saw Wall-E. It was easy to find a babysitter for the middle of the day on a Thursday and the theater wasn't crowded. We enjoyed the movie a lot and deemed it acceptable for munchkin viewing, which means we can go as a whole family when it gets to the dollar theater. (But definitely not before that. Money doesn't grow on trees ya know...) The kids have never been to a movie theater before and we have to go before theaters go the way of the dinosaur. I mean, pretty soon we'll probably just watch movies when they come out on some holographic screen that projects directly onto our eyeballs or whatever. I don't know. Sounds painful, but then again, so are earbuds.

Anyway, M and I went for a matinee at the local theater that also serves you food there in the movie theater. It's amazing what good pizza does for the movie theater experience. Hmmm, let's see. Artificial butter flavored popcorn that will probably give you cancer or artichoke hearts and pesto pizza? Good food is my second biggest motivator for watching movies at home. (The first is the flexibility to turn on subtitles, ask M to stop the movie and let me talk, and take potty breaks.) Why don't theaters here just let you bring in outside food? The ones where I grew up do and it's great. Most theaters don't offer diet caffeine-free sodas, so Mr. No Sugar No Caffeine M's options are water or nothing if they don't let him bring his own drink. Hmph.

The only snafu was that I ordered a chocolate shake during the movie and it never showed up. When I asked what happened, it turned out that they had accidentally given it to the couple next to us and the couple never said anything and just drank it. Seriously, what were they thinking? "Oh, I must have won the 213th customer award which means an unannounced free chocolate shake!" There are only two realistic options. Either they were dishonest enough to be glad they could steal someone else's chocolate shake, or they were so oblivious they didn't notice that the Coke they were drinking tasted really chocolately and creamy. Some people. Whatever, in the end they gave me my chocolate shake to go and all was well. I nursed my chocolately concoction during a quick run to the bank and the drive home and finished before we got home so I didn't have to share with the kids. Perfect.

To get in the spirit of things, Claire and I had a little pedicure session.

Because what could symbolize the freedom of our country more than patriotic toes? I think this is what our armed forces died for, right? I'm sure our founding fathers would be proud.

Then on Thursday night we set off our own modest set of fireworks. The kids had a lot of fun and our lawn enjoyed all the extra watering we gave it beforehand to reduce it's flammability.

You see, we don't technically live within the city limits. It's a long boring explanation so for the purposes of this discussion, all that matters is that the fuzz can't bust us for lightin' off fireworks at our house. M and I enjoyed being able to celebrate this great country of ours by legally using some mild explosives. I truly think it symbolizes how this country came to be and the day we stop trusting each other with fireworks is the day we might as well give the country back to King George. But that's a different heated discussion for a different day. Moving on. We did get a little surprise though. One of the fireworks we got turned out to be one that shot some showers of sparks about 30 feet in the air. The lady who sold the fireworks to M and Claire led them to believe it didn't "go very high." It was interesting to contemplate the fact that 30 feet apparently wasn't very high. M felt a little guilty, at least at first... Stay tuned.

"Hey, Cletus! Where'd ya put the motor for this thing?"

Because we're classy like that. In my mind's eye, the motor is in a bathtub. In reality, it's in the garage. I wanted to sell the electric lawnmower left by the previous owners on Craigslist. Who cares that the housing was a little stomped on by a 16 year old who accidentally mowed over the extension cord? What could possibly go wrong with an exposed electric motor??? In the end, I lost not only because of safety concerns, but also because M realized he had a free big electric motor on his hands. You never know when you might need one of those. Or so he says. So the old lawnmower was gutted and the chassis left to be thrown away. The kids noticed that what remained looked like a kid mower. And a new outdoor pastime was born. Seriously, the kids pushed that thing around the yard for HOURS this past weekend. It's a shame they weren't actually getting our yard work done for us... yet.

Then we went to a park where the city's big fireworks display was.

While we were waiting for the fireworks, there were sky divers. Almost as good as the fireworks if you ask my kids.

And now it's time for everyone's favorite game. Study the following pictures carefully (trying not to laugh at the squiggles caused by my apparent case of Parkinson's):

Now here's the game. Guess which one of these specimens of pyrotechnics occurred directly over my house. (Assume the photos are lettered A through L.) Leave your answers in the comments section. It's probably obvious, but I still think it's makes my point. When we got back from the park, our next door AND across the street neighbors were setting off their own fireworks. The kind with a mortar you had to load yourself. They went at least 50 feet in the air. They were so loud, the kids wanted to go inside. M didn't feel bad about our one silly one that went a measly 30 feet up anymore. This was our first 4th in a house and the first time we've ever lived somewhere where fireworks were legal. I don't know if it was the legality or the fact that we're in Texas, but the evening was a little crazy. The whole neighborhood was lit up with tons of fireworks. It got so that M and I had trouble figuring out which ones were "professional" and which ones were "schmoe" fireworks. It does seem like as much as we give Texans a hard time about all their "Texas pride," they sure are patriotic. Maybe it's that anyone who's that passionate about their state is bound to be pretty passionate about their country too. Or maybe they just have so much excess Texas love that it spills over onto America. Whatever, I just know it was great. Our neighborhood just felt so AMERICAN.


Pickles & Dimes said...

Great fireworks photos! Jason threw two smoke bombs at me yesterday, which dyed our lawn a pretty orange color.

I'll guess E for the non-professional one.

azufelt said...

I was pretty bummed... they banned them in our WHOLE county this year, so no crazed neighborhood this year!
I think letters....D,E, & F were for sure taken at your house... the others, not too sure about.

Sheyenne said...

I'm guessing all of them were taken above your house. That's how you got the pictures, right?

azufelt said...

well, they did go to the city display too.... and I wouldn't think that if they were taken from your own house there would be so many multiples in one shot... that's how I based my guess.

Leann said...

I vote F with K as a close second.

Leann said...

oh... 2nd comment...

The stars, did you do those by hand? Or did you have a template?

G said...

Stars were nail stickers. As evidenced by the fireworks pics, my hand isn't steady enough to paint those by hand with nail polish. They were the inspiration that started it all. They came with some mini nail polishes I bought for party favors awhile back.