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2006-07-04 - 8:31 a.m.

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July! K and I bought oogabs of food (organic), wine, and beer, and invited an eclectic bunch of guests.

I'm not a super patriot type, but I've always liked the fourth in a strange way. When I was a kid, we always used to drive down to the Arch and hobble around in the heat, eating greasy food from the international village and buying ridiculous glow-in-the-dark things for our heads before we settled in the grass for the fireworks, and then waited in line for another hour to get out of the parking garage. I always remember thinking that the 4th of July should be celebrated in cool October in the mid-continent.

In grad school, the 4th always represented one of those wonderful days at work when no one showed up and I could work at a relaxed pace, with my door open blasting music, undisturbed. And then in the evening I would pack up my clarinet and go off to a bandstand in some park where I would play cheesy standards, like Bernstein or Andrew Lloyd Weber medleys, a few classical pieces arranged for band, the Macarena... before ending with the skin-tingling 'Stars and Stripes Forever' under a fireworks display. That was my favorite part. Patriotic or no, I love playing marches, and this one is just so much fun.

I celebrated the 4th with excitement and a bit of parody when I lived in Germany. Inevitably, one of my friends would show up with a huge American flag. My kittens spent their first full day with me on the 4th in 2002, which was the same day that my bestest buddy Heddy arrived from the USA. She and I prepared a blowout feast that survived the rain. We still attribute the party success to the famous blue jello flag that we made, complete with coconut-and-canned-pineapple dreamwhip-filling (not shown):

This cake inspired multiple conversations about whether or not any food actually comes naturally in that shade of blue. This year the conversation might revolve around whether or not eating such a cake would constitute desecration...

Anyway, this year there will be melon and strawberries, as I think that women of childbearing age should only consume a limited amount of dreamwhip in their lives, and I've certainly exceeded my limit.

So, it is already miserably hot by 8am here, and so I'm sitting here typing in the buff. It may be time for me to dress myself up a bit before the landlord stomps up the stairs to arrange setting up of the backyard for the party.

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