Sunday, July 06, 2003
Happy belated Fourth of July! May you revel in your independence from silly taxing British folks. But don't let that stop you from buying Harry Potter.
I actually did most of my celebratin' on the third of July, since that's when the good ol' Swampscott fireworks were. The night began with a cookout chez Kate. The food was good, as it often is chez Kate, and the people there were entertaining enough to keep me from expiring sleepily in my potato salad, as is my wont at boring events.
Then we went down to the beach where they were firing off the fireworks. There were a lot of people there, since it the fireworks were combined for both Lynn and Swampscott. And, of course, there were numerous ne'er-do-well Nahant folks lurking ominously in the shadows. So quite the crowd, quite the crowd.
We saw a number of children walking around with various glow toys, as is traditional on the fourth (or third). You know... those blinking visor things, and the like. But there were a few which seemed to be new this year (or else we were only noticing them for the first time this year). A lot of kids were wearing blinking blue earrings, which were the very height of ill-advised fashion. In my opinion.
There were also roving bands of childrens wearing blinking red devil's horns. On their heads. Evidently, this was meant to be festive. But... what does this mean? What are these children trying to say? We support America and Satanism?
Anyways. The weather seemed to be cooperating. It was pleasant out, not too warm and not too cool. It was cloudy but not precipitating. All seemed to be going as planned.
Then the fireworks began. It rapidly became clear that good things were not meant to be. The clouds, it transpired, were very low over the water that night. So low, in fact, that they were no mean distance above the firework-shooting barge. So low that the fireworks, when fired, went directly into the clouds. Therein they exploded. Thusly, no fireworks were seen by us poor spectators on the shore. All that we saw were little lighted trails going up into a giant, ponderous cloud, followed by a palely colored glow emanating from said cloud.
So we saw some nice green clouds, red clouds, blue clouds, pink clouds, purple clouds, and yellow clouds, but no actual fireworks. This somewhat detracted from the firework-viewing experience.
But the show must go on! All the fireworks were fired off in due course, and the finale was visually indistinguishable from the rest of it (the cloud remained illuminated), except that the noise got a little more cacophonous. I'm not entirely sure if they kept on trucking once they realized that no one could see anything because they decided to be troopers about the whole thing, or because they couldn't think of anything else to do, or because the fireworks were on some sort of automated system and they couldn't stop it once they started it up.
I suppose, of course, that it's conceivable that those on the barge, right underneath the fireworks, might not have realized that everyone else was only seeing vaguely colored smears of light glowing ethereally from behind clouds. Alas.
clouds are not conducive to fireworks displays
After the show (such as it was) we stood around and let the streams of parents tugging unfulfilled and cranky children pass on their way to their now immobilized (by the crowd) vehicles. We had much chattage. We also saw Darya, which pretty much made the night of every one of my friends.
Then we departed for the parts which shall remain unnamed herein, lest the person who housed us get into trouble. It was supposed to be a relatively quiet event, with our friends and not really anyone else. One or two juniors has asked if they might come, and the host had agreed, being of an amiable mind at the time. We arrived at the designated place, and began the amusement (i.e. drunken hijinks). A couple of juniors arrived. A couple more arrived. With ridiculous celerity, the seniors found themselves outnumbered by what must have been 5 to 1.
Needless to say, the good host was not much amused by this. The question was posed, "Did you guys bring the whole grade?" The juniors sort of shifted around sheepily at this, but no response was forthcoming. The answer, so far as I could tell, was very close to 'yes'.
That was the third. The fourth was altogether more sedate. I had a cookout at my house, which was attended by all adults, me and Noah. So me and Noah spent the entire time alternately chatting and watching movies. We saw Mighty Aphrodite, Heist, and American History X. Mighty Aphrodite was sort of funny but unnecessarily weird. A typical Woody Allen movie. Heist I actually enjoyed, just because it's so rare these days to get a character who's unreservedly 'heroic' and always one step ahead. Everyone's got to have a tragic flaw these days, so it was nice to see someone clever enough to always be winning even when you thought otherwise.
American History X... well, it was one of those movies that you watch and then realize that every issue you're concerned about in your own life is utterly trivial. It was a damn good movie. I mean, not only was the message very serious and important and good, it was conveyed in a most masterful way. Yup. Disturbing, at points, but most well worth seeing.
There were fireworks in Nahant on the fourth but I didn't go for a myriad of reasons. It ended up sounding as though I didn't miss anything much in any event. So my tears are kept in check.
Last night I saw 28 Days Later. It was freaky. A good movie, but I was filled with fright. Not so much as Hana, though. I was sitting next to her, and I think it is safe to say that I've never seen anyone freak out quite so much at a movie. She was jumping and flinching in her seat during the previews. Anyways. The movie. There was scariness. And it was well made. And I was sort of awed that they managed to do the entire thing on digital film. And I was very happy about the way that they ended it, or else I wouldn't have had any sleep that night. As it was, on the drive home I kept sort of expecting red-eyed bloody people to jump out of the shadows on the sides of the road.
The whole SARS thing is evident, of course. And there's sort of an AIDS undertone too. And I think they went a little heavy-handed near the end when they did the whole 'there is no difference between Infected and Not Infected people, all of human nature is bestial' thing. Well. That 'll make sense if you see the movie. Probably.
So, don't go see it if you're scared by SARS, blood, poppy techno music, or monkeys. But it is a good movie. So go see it if you have no fear of these things.
Going to go watch Adult Swim. G'night all.