A Bang of a Weekend

July 7, 2016 at 2:25 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

My mom and sister came to visit over the Fourth of July and we had an absolute blast, pun intended. We managed to visit some of the biggest tourist destinations in the city (i.e. The Field Museum and Navy Pier…hell, we even took a water taxi from one to the other), enjoyed third-row seats at Wrigley Field to watch as the Cubs beat the Reds, ooh’d and aah’d at a scary and death-defying fireworks show basically in my backyard, ate a ton of delicious food and drank lots of delicious beverages and watched a couple of movies (To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar and Independance Day, respectively…we have diverse tastes. And Patrick Swayze has great gams). We even got our nails done! As always, their visit was a great one and over much too short even though they were here almost five days.

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Perfect!

It’s always really hard to say goodbye to my family when we part ways but I’m so, so thankful for the fun times we had. I really value our quality time and the fact that sometimes we can give each other shit face-to-face versus via text or over the phone. Because sharing is caring, right? Plus, we couldn’t be too sad when we departed because I’ll be home again in about two months. For my bridal shower.

In other news – holy crap I’m getting married in less than four months! And since I didn’t burst into flames while typing that, I guess it’s meant to be. Look out married bliss, here I come!

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Independence Day!

July 5, 2013 at 11:52 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Yesterday was one of the best Independence Day’s I’ve had in while.  Scott and I woke up early to make our way down to Daley Plaza,

Fight for our rights!

Fight for our rights!

where a group of civil minded people met for a rally against NSA.  If you haven’t heard of what’s been going on with NSA security and a guy named Edward Snowden, I suggest you Google both him and the Fourth Amendment.  That Amendment, which states that “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”, is basically what we are trying to protect.  We met up at noon and spent some time listening to speeches before marching to Millennium Park.  Along the way, we passed out flyers and information to anyone who seemed interested and we received quite a bit of attention from people walking the streets.  When we got to the park we dispersed for a bit and then met back up to walk to Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain.  There were perhaps 200 of us in all and if nothing else, we spread the word to people who may not have known what was going on.  We got both positive and negative feedback, which wasn’t surprising.  It felt really good to get out and rally for our rights and it was exciting to see so many people so passionate about the same issues.  The fight for privacy is far from over but it was a good start and a really good way to begin my 4th of July.

I like how it looks like something out of a Harry Potter movie.  Unfortunately, the guy with the wand didn't create that specific firework.

I like how it looks like something out of a Harry Potter movie. Unfortunately, the guy with the wand didn’t create that specific firework.

After the march, we came back home to eat some lunch and watch Independence Day, which is pretty much a tradition with me.  I do love me some Jeff Goldblum, what can I say?  After relaxing for a bit we packed up a basket full of sandwiches and snacks then walked down the street to the local park, where all our neighbors get together in a huge fireworks display that seems to be kind of an annual thing.  I’m not sure if different groups are just trying to out-do each other or what, but it was insane.  Fireworks were shot off from at least four areas over the course of at least three hours – talk about impressive.  And I’m not going to lie, it was also kind of dangerous.  Since it was a Bring-Your-Own-Fireworks event, there were lots of smaller groups shooting off bottle rockets, roman candles and the like.  One specific group had a bad habit of shooting things of waaaay too close to the crowds.   At one point, a roman candle fell to the ground and started shooting at people sitting on blankets – our group was just narrowly out of the line of fire.  Some guy who’s friends were actually hit (everyone was okay) tried to fight the guy who was shooting them off but luckily calmer heads prevailed and things didn’t get too crazy.  And those dangerous guys moved further away, which was good.  There were still lots of debris and sparks that fell around us though and as the night wore on and people continued to drink, we made the wise decision to go on home.  It was still a great show and I’m so glad it’s so close to home!

It was a truly great 4th of July and I’m glad I got to express my freedom in many different forms.  The whole day sort of felt like a Sunday too which is nice because it’s really just Friday now and that’s my favorite day of the week.  Weekend, here I come!

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Premature Malfunctionation

July 5, 2012 at 11:35 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

Yes, I may have made up a word.  Deal with it.

From the Associated Press:

SAN DIEGO — The Fourth of July fireworks display above San Diego Bay was over in a flash after a malfunction that the show’s producer blamed Thursday on a computer glitch caused the planned 20-minute spectacle to burn up all at once.  The mishap occurred minutes before the scheduled opening of the Big Bay Boom show, the Coast Guard said. Guard spokesman Rich Dann told U-T San Diego he’s never seen so many fireworks go off at one time.  Online video shows multiple light bulb-shaped explosions flaring up from barges in the bay, lighting the night sky over downtown San Diego. Rapid snaps and pops punctuate the blazes, which begin to fizzle and sputter in a matter of seconds.  Show producer Garden State Fireworks, the Port of San Diego and the San Diego Fire Department said there were no injuries. Hundreds of thousands of people witnessed the short-lived spectacle. 

Well, that was fast


Garden State Fireworks has apologized, saying they’re working to determine what caused “the entire show to be launched in about 15 seconds.”  August Santore, part-owner in the company, said tens of thousands of fireworks on four barges and a pier had been prepared. But because of a glitch or virus in the computer firing system, they all went off with one command, he said.  “Thank goodness no one was injured. Precautions all worked 100 percent,” Santore said.  The 122-year-old company produced hundreds of holiday shows across the country Wednesday night.  Santore said the company feels “terrible” about the mishap.

Garden State Fireworks has staged pyrotechnic displays for the 1988 Winter Olympics, the Statue of Liberty Bicentennial Celebration and New Year’s Eve in Central Park, New York.  “We are a good strong company, and we rely on technology. We’ll take the ridicule as long as no one was injured,” Santore said.  The Port of San Diego and dozens of area companies and civic groups pay about a quarter million dollars to put on the show, said Michelle Ganon, director of marketing and communications for the port.  Ganon said she understood between 350,000 and 500,000 people were expected, but she was waiting for an official crowd count later in the day.

This was 11th year of Big Bay Boom show in San Diego.  Special parking, carpools and free shuttles were set up, the San Diego Trolley was packed, hotel rooms facing the bay were sold out, a patriotic score was set to be simulcast on a local radio station and the show was set to stream live on the Web.  “After the big explosion, a lot of people were in awe … until nothing came after it,” San Diego resident Michael Freeby told U-T San Diego. “The general consensus was that there had been some budget cuts. I waited nearly an hour after, and seemingly so did the large crowd, including people who apparently camped for the fireworks and were still there when I left. Total disappointment!”

Source

While it must really suck to be one of the people that shelled out big bucks for a hotel room for this event, I can’t help but smile just a little.  Does that make me a bad person?  I don’t know about that but I do know that when I was still hearing fireworks at 11pm in my neighborhood last night (which was a work night), the thought of them all going off at once early in the evening sounded mighty appealing…

 

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Set a Spark

July 5, 2011 at 9:59 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

As I’ve mentioned once or a thousand times, I’ve pretty much fallen head over heels in love with my new neighborhood.  Last night I fell even harder.

Pretty!

So the City of Chicago is broke, per usual, and decided to cut back on their fireworks displays for the Fourth this year.  That didn’t stop my little neighborhood and I trekked to the park 2 blocks from my building with my mom and a friend last night to check out what the locals had to offer.  We were not disappointed.  The show started right at dark so by 8:30 we had lights in the sky and by the time we were settled with our blankets and lawn chairs 10 minutes later, there was plenty to ooh and aah over.  It seemed like every man, woman and child within a 10 mile radius came to the park and yet there was still ample sitting room for all.  The fireworks were being shot off from three main locations and so they were blowing up pretty consistently.  The bulk of the show seemed to end a little after 10pm but we were still hearing them go off at midnight.  With nearly two full hours of non-stop fireworks, my 4th of July really ended with a bang.

I’m allowed to make bad puns.  Deal with it.

I will admit that not everyone had as much fun as we did at the park.  A woman with a little wiener dog came and sat near us mid-way through the show and about 2.3 seconds later both she and her dog were surrounded by well-meaning yet menacing little children.  They just wanted to pet the dog but the poor pup was already a little freaked due to the noise and crowd and just wanted to get away from the kids.  This led to quite the little circular chase and the dog was clearly outnumbered.  His owner caught our eye once or twice with the whole “What can I do with this” look on her face – the kids’ parents were sitting right next to us too but they did nothing to calm their rowdy children down.  The woman ended up having to take her dog and leave after a few minutes, which I really can’t blame her for.  I hope that pooch got some belly rubs and treats before the night was over.

I, on the other hand, really enjoyed the festivities and fireworks without belly rubs or treats (though that wouldn’t have hurt).  After a weekend with my mom spent eating and drinking all over the city, hanging out at the museum, walking through drunks in Wrigleyville (bad idea), shopping, watching Independence Day (how my mom made it 15 years without seeing this bit of history is beyond me), eating and drinking more and then hitting the beach (nearly a bad idea), capping the entire weekend with the display of lights was just about a perfect ending.

As much trash as I talk and as upset as I sometimes get over things, I will admit that I am glad to live in this country.  Thanks for a great weekend, America (and Mom)!

 

*EDIT** I’d just like to say how glad I am that I no longer have my old job at the learning center in the suburbs.  I would’ve spent yesterday at work instead of being paid to hang out on the beach.  My new job is much better and I lucked out with that too.  Sorry, suckers former coworkers!

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