Monday, July 05, 2004

Three Two-Day Holiday Weekend

It's always weird when a holiday like the Fourth of July falls on Sunday. With nearly any other holiday, the official celebration would just be moved to Monday to make a three-day weekend. But since the Fourth is better known as "the Fourth" than by its official name, Independence Day (say the latter to most people, and the first thing that will come to mind is the movie), you can't just change the day. The Fourth has to be on the Fourth, just like Christmas is always on December 25, no matter which day of the week it occurs.

So is today, Monday, a holiday or not? It depends. For banks and government offices, yes. For retail, usually not. For entertainment venues, no way (Halfling was surprised to find out that his parents both have the day off today on a day he has to work). As for me, my oppressive boss (a.k.a. me) decided that if anyone wanted a lesson today, I'd happily teach them. About 2/3 of the people scheduled today decided to take me up on that, so it's a pseudo-busy day at best. (UPDATE: One of them already forgot this afternoon...free money for Kev.)

Since I am working a bit today, I celebrated the Fourth on its proper day, and it was a good one. I went to Halfling's for swimming and a cookout with his family and Angie, and then Dingus and Cassi joined us for a sojourn to Garland's Star Spangled Fourth. It was the most crowded I had ever seen downtown Garland. We mostly wandered around, took in the sights, and had floats made out of this righteous homemade root beer (true to form, it was served out of a gigantic barrel). The fireworks show was good, if a bit brief and partially obscured by a tree branch where we were sitting. Halfling noted that the Disney fireworks blow everyone else's out of the water, but considering the cost of going to Disney (lots) vs. Garland (free), this would do for now. The country music resumed after the fireworks show, so after few tunes into Tracy Byrd it seemed like our cue to leave.

So yeah, it was a great day, having totally negated the potential pitfalls of being single and living in an area with no blood relatives.. Though I've had places to go the past few years, I almost used to dread the Fourth in college because I frequently spent it alone (seems like I'm always single on that holiday, along with Valentine's Day, but at least the latter usually has TMEA to pass the time). But now, thanks to Halfling, my "brother from a different mother" (yes, there's probably a song or CD title in there) I do have family in town again (remembering that everyone has two families: the one they're born into, and the one they choose), and that certainly made yesterday as fun as it was supposed to be. Only the presence of my next girlfriend (and eventually, wife and kids) will make the picture any more complete than it is now.

When we were very young: The Daily Prawn has a well-written ode to being ten years old. Since the site is Australian, there are a few unusual terms to us Americans, but I think I have some of them translated: "footy" is football (is that soccer or Australian rules football?); "mozzie bites" are mosquito bites; I'm guessing that a "takeaway shop" is something like a 7-Eleven. There are some great names for food treats, too: Choc-top, Funny Face, Paddle Pop, Red Pole and Mr. Whippy cones. I'm not sure about certain games that are listed (billy carts, elastics, bullrush, catch & kiss), but maybe James will chime in and help us out since he reads this site now.

QUOTE OF THE DAY (classic edition): "Do they have the Fourth of July in Switzerland?"--multiple students in the summer of '99, before my trip to the Montreux Jazz Festival, after I remarked that I'd be spending the Fourth of July over there. I explained that yes, they have the day (it's not like their calendars just skip from the 3rd to the 5th, obviously); it's just not a special holiday over there. On that particular Fourth, half a world away, I hiked down from the top of the mountain Rochers-de-Naye, wearing my Old Navy flag T-shirt in the process, a tradition that continues (wearing the shirt on the Fourth, that is, not climbing the mountain) to this day.

I sure hope we get to go back there next year... *crosses fingers*

19 comments:

G. Travis said...

Hey.. at least you didn't get dumped on the 4th.

Kev said...

True, but Coop wins the prize in that area; he broke up with his last girlfriend the day before Valentine's Day!

James said...

Lol - I love our Aussie colloquialisms!

Ok, Footy could probably just be a general term - either Aussie Rules, Rugby League or Rugby Union). However, in Sydney (where I live), if you say Footy, it's Rugby League. In Melbourne, that will more likely be AFL (Aussie Rules).

Mozzie bites are mosquito bites - that's correct.

A takeaway shop is probably what you guys might know as a corner shop, or maybe a milk bar. Either way, it's a shop that sells hot chips, chicko rolls... all that deep fried stuff. Plus the really good homemade style burgers.

Choc-tops are just an ice cream that you'd get from the movies - small ball of ice cream on a cone covered in chocolate. They came pre-made, so they were different to normal ice cream with chocolate. But they were always a special treat when you went to the movies as I was growing up :)

Funny Face and Red *icy* pole - these two are just flavoured [yes flavoUred ;) ] ice blocks. But they were quite common and popular, not to mention cheap.

And Mr Whippy is the ice cream truck man - you know, the panel van that drives around your streets and you buy an ice cream from him!! There's so many of them now... but they're all Mr Whippy to me :)

Now, games:
Billy Carts are awesome - they're just wooden seats on wheels pretty much... with some form of steering. You'd ride em down ur street (I lived on a very quiet street with a tops hill) and it was awesome fun. I had so many cuts and grazes from falling off, but they were *awesome* fun :)
Elastics was mostly a girl-thang... but it's where you have a large loop of elastic and put it round the ankles of two ppl and they stand apart a bit. Then ppl would take turns jumping on it, in it, outside it... there was a routine I'm told! And the elastic would gradually get moved higher.

Bullrush is tops too - just a massive group of people on one side of the field. One person (or two sometimes) would be chosen to be in, and they'd stand in the middle and yell 'BULLRUSH' and *everyone* would run across the field. The idea was for the ppl who are in to tip (or tackle if parents or teachers weren't around) ppl and then they were in with you. Then once everyone was across, it was yelled again. Each person who was caught was in the middle and was trying to catch the ppl running - this bit is reffered to as 'gang-ups' :)

Catch & Kiss is pretty obvious...? Hehehe - guys vs. girls... usually the girls would be running around and we'd have to catch them. When we did, we kissed them :D Pity it doesn't work like that anymore......


Hope that helps! I've probably raised so many more questions just by answering these ;)

James said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kev said...

OK, Blogger was being weird and double-posting comments, which is why I deleted the second one from James; it was an exact duplicate of the first. (But why don't they just get rid of a deleted comment altogether? What they did up there made it look like I was censoring him.)

Thanks for the enlightenment, James; what you said only spawned two more questions: Hot chips? Chicko rolls? I'm guessing hot chips might be french fries...

Catch & Kiss is pretty obvious...? Hehehe - guys vs. girls... usually the girls would be running around and we'd have to catch them. When we did, we kissed them :D Pity it doesn't work like that anymore......True; nowadays, if you did that to a girl who wasn't your girlfriend, she'd slap you...with a lawsuit. *sigh*

G. Travis said...

You know.. that Catch & Kiss thing would be pretty funny. Imaging a bunch of 30something single business women in their business woman clothing running from some men while squealing "EEEEEEEEEEE!" and giggling. It would definately get people to stay in shape. We'd be running around all the time.

Annika said...

Sounds like fun *giggle* ;)
Cassi

Annika said...

Sounds like fun *giggle* ;)
Cassi

Annika said...

Sounds like fun *giggle* ;)
Cassi

James said...

hehe - go that triple comment! Blogger's still playing silly buggers :D

Actually, that Hot Chips and Chicko Roll comment is what I thought would throw you guys!!! Ok... hot chips are basically french fries - except fatter. They're so much nicer than Maccas ones. And chicko rolls...... hmm hard to explain. It's like a big spring roll except with a much different taste and different stuff inside :)

Kev said...

Heh, this is just like you said it would be the other day--every answer spawns a new question. But I'm gonna try my guess at this one: Maccas = McDonald's? Over here, we tend to call it "Mickey D's."

Annika said...

Wow, my bad... sorry Kev ;)
Cassi

Kev said...

Heh, it wasn't your fault, Cassi; Blogger's been acting up lately (see next post).

James said...

yeeeeeeah, Maccas is McDonalds! :)

Kev said...

Cool, I got one right... :-)

Oh btw, you said that every ice cream truck down there was Mr. Whippy; when I was growing up, every ice cream truck was the Good Humor man (that's right, humOr, haha)

James said...

phhhft... u guys need to learn to spell ;)

But why the Good Humor Man???

Kev said...

I dunno, our spelling uses less letters than yours...less keystrokes, more efficient. ;-)

Good Humor is the name of the company that was pretty much the pioneer in neighborhood ice cream delivery in the States. I think they made the ice cream as well as delivered it.

Kev said...

Oh, and here's a link to the people who make Good Humor nowadays:

http://www.icecreamusa.com/home/home_g.asp

James said...

Wow! Good Humor is pretty much exactly the same as our major ice cream company - Streets. They're probably owned by the same dude... they have the same logo, and quite a few similar ice creams! So there you go :)