Wednesday, July 05, 2006

#139 - A Woodyette Fourth

I don't think they even appreciated why they should be excited. I just know that they were.

The Fourth of July has come and gone here at Hacienda Woody, and the Woodyettes gave the celebration their best effort. Daddy, unfortunately, was required to work for a goodly portion of the day in order to meet looming deadlines, but that didn't dampen the spirit of the occasion at all.

First, we rolled out our new flag. Our old one was looking noticeably worn and spotted when I put her up on Flag Day (which also happens to be Jelly's birthday... she's the only one who gets a flag flown in honor of her special day!), so I decided to buy another one on Monday. We posted our colors and stood back to admire the crisp red, white and blue as it waved in an honest-to-goodness breeze. Hot as it was, we were getting an on-shore flow from the beach areas and the flags in the neighborhood spent the day getting wrapped around their various poles. The sight of Old Glory attached to several homes in the immediate area is stirring enough, but to see it unfurled in a breeze is magnificent.

The girls made signs wishing everyone a Happy 4th, and we spent the better part of the day either relaxing or (in my case) computing. When I finally shut my laptop down at 7:00, though, the real celebrations began.

We started with your basic American picnic for dinner: hot dogs and corn on the cob. We watched the "Capitol 4th" celebration on PBS until it was time for our local fireworks to kick off. At that point I escorted the girls to our front porch where, if they perched on the railing, they could see the higher displays through the trees in our neighborhood.

We had worried that perhaps the girls would be unimpressed if they weren't able to go see the fireworks in person at the park where they were held. I needn't have been concerned.

Actual transcript of Woodyettes after the show:

Jelly [dancing on the balls of her feet and gesticulating wildly]: Momma! We saw millions of fireworks!

Doodle [not to be outdone]: We saw billions of fireworks!

Jelly: We saw bazillions!

Doodle: Germillions!

Jelly: Sicillians! (Or maybe she said, "sazillions." I thought "sicillians" was cuter.)

So the Fourth was a big hit with my kidlings.

Less impressive, on the other hand, were the televised celebrations. The Capitol 4th program was fine, as far as it went. I can handle Elmo in settings like this because I'm all for pandering to the kids, and also because Elmo represents what I consider to be the purer Muppet art. He can actually project personality and fun in his performance, even if his voice is enough to make me physically ill for a week. Stevie Wonder was in fine form, although he is beginning to show his age. Even his voice is not what it used to be.

We tried the Macy's celebration, but tuned it out until the actual fireworks began. Then it wasn't so bad.

Three observations on the Boston Pops celebration:

1. Keith Lockhart still looks (and acts) like a petulant infant.

2. Steve Tyler and Joe Perry? Aerosmith?? Are the Pops that desperate for market share? At least Tyler was coherent enough to wish everyone a Happy 4th at the end of the program. Perry just stood there waiting for the meth to wear off. Note to self: Tyler is a runt. Just sayin'.

3. Dr. Phil and his wife are many things. They are not emcees.

Bad television notwithstanding, we had a good 4th. For us it begins with our annual viewing of "1776!" which we watched on Saturday. I actually forgot that I'd meant to add "National Treasure" to the tradition, so perhaps I'll make up for that tonight.

As soon as I'm finished processing our traditional meal from last night, I'll finally admit that the holiday is over.

Independence, indeed.

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