July 05, 2007

Gratuitous Fourth of July Round Up Posting

What a great Independence Day we had.

First off was the trip to see the Nats play the Cubbies. I think I can safely say that the eldest Llama-ette is now thoroughly hooked on baseball, and thus, no matter what else happens, I have done at least part of my job as a Dad correctly. This game sealed the deal, a one run affair with some great defense until the bottom of the fifth when Dmitri Young, on whom the gel had already developed her first ball player crush, obliged her by hitting a grand slam and cracking the game open. (He hit a double later - I certainly hope the Colossus didn't take him off his fantasy roster.) Plus, as we were sitting down the right field line, she got to see Young playing first base up close. All in all, the gel was in nine innings of paradise.

As for the other two Llama-ettes, the seven year old is juuuuust beginning to grasp the game, and cheered heartily at the more obvious plays. In the meantime, being the cheerful, happy creature that she is, she had a great time simply soaking in the crowd, the noise, the fireworks and the general spectacle of things. As for the five year old? I think she liked the french fries most of all.

Aaaaaaand, because I'm so neurotic about getting to any event or appointment promptly, we were in time to pick up our O-fficial George Washington Bobble-heads:


After the game, it was a dash home, a quick shower and then on to a friend's cook-out where, among other things, I met an interesting lady who was unaware that Long Island Sound is part of the Atlantic Ocean and not a large lake. Talking to her, I had a sudden flashback to ninth grade and Mr. Jennings' history class. The school had decided to experiment with abolishing advanced classes that year, instead mixing the smarter kids in with the regulars in the hope that they would raise the overall standard. (At least, that's how it was explained to me.) The actual result was that the regular classes stayed pretty much the way they had been previously, except that each one now held half a dozen kids who were bored out of their minds by the slow pace and vapid discussion. Anyhoo, in Mr. Jennings' class was a young lady who I and an equally bored friend once managed to convince that the earth really was criss-crossed with lines of latitude and longitude. They were laid out in toilet-paper, we explained. "Oh," she said, "Well, what happens when the lines go across the oceans?" That was okay, we said, because they laminate the paper in clear plastic to protect it from the elements, including water.

Chatting with that young lady's adult counterpart last evening, I couldn't help thinking again that H. L. Mencken was about right. ("About what, Tom?" you ask. About pretty much everything.)

But back to the party. Despite a thundershower that rolled through in the middle of things, it cleared off enough in the end to allow the kids to shoot off fireworks. Actually, I should say "light" instead of "shoot off" because the ever-vigilant nannies of the Fairfax County Guv'mint frown upon any firework that launches itself or any of its parts into the air. Thus, kiss my hand to the bottle rockets and Roman candles of my own yoot. One needn't go very far to find a more firework-friendly jurisdiction, but the kits sold by the local Costco only contain fountains, snakes, sparklers and things of that sort. Whoop. De. Doo. However, it entertained the kids, which is what mattered. And it was pleasant to stand there and take in the smell, one which I love. The air was so still and humid that the powder smoke only dissipated very slowly, hanging like a cloud all around our host's back yard and making delightful rings, wreathes and other ethereal shapes. (These being the times they are, I did overhear somebody behind me fretting about the health risks of inhaling firework smoke, but I believe he was pretty universally ignored.)

We didn't take in any of the professional displays last evening, the Llama-ettes (and the Missus, for that matter) having had enough fun for one day and promptly falling straight into bed after we got back from the party. Instead, I simply sat at the open window of my library, reading a book and listening to the various ordnance going off near and far. There were two or three separate parties in the immediate neighborhood, plus the big display at the local high school a couple miles off, producing among them a very pleasant cacaphony of bangs, booms and whistles. It didn't happen this year, but when conditions are right you can even hear the distant rumbles of the display on the National Mall rolling up the Potomac Valley, a phenomenon that always puts me in mind of Napoleon for some strange reason.

All in all, a very satisfactory holiday.

Posted by Robert at July 5, 2007 10:25 AM | TrackBack

Sure enough, he was on my bench. I started Konerko at first.

Posted by: The Colossus at July 5, 2007 10:17 AM

The gf told me about your daughter's feelings fir Dmitri; when he smacked that grand salami, we both thought the same thing. Glad you all enjoyed the game!

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