Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day

So, we went to our friends' BBQ today. I was a bit nervous, since the boy had taken a very early nap today and I wasn't sure it would last him until bedtime. Luckily, with the exception of about 15-20 minutes, he was happy and charmed the pants off everyone there for 4+ hours. I think we have a social butterfly on our hands. He walked around to everyone, showed them the ball we'd brought with us, said "Hi!", smiled and flirted. There was a 1 year old little girl and her 3 year old brother there, and the little girl just grinned and giggled at our boy, and the older boy kept bringing him his ball and hugging him. It was so sweet. I was watching that "big boy" climb on things and jump off of them and wondered if that was in my future as well. I know boys can be rowdy, but so far mine has been adventurous without being really foolhardy. It'll be interesting to see if he becomes more of a daredevil or if he will keep some of his consideration as he grows. One guest at the party said our boy looked at people as if he was thinking, "I'm going to be your boss someday." I have to say I think that is a really nice compliment! Clearly they can see the intelligence in his eyes that his (biased!) parents can see. It's reassuring, I guess, since I know he can understand much more than the 3-4 words he will say regularly. He will say many others on occasion, but he sticks to "Daddy," "puppy" and "Hi!" most of the time. I know he'll bust out a paragraph one of these days, I'm not really worried. I just know those wheels are turning in his head. For a toddler, he is quite thoughtful.

Anyway, when we got home my husband finally downloaded "World of Goo" from the Wii store, and I got hopelessly caught up in the game for a few hours, so that is the cause of my lateness to blog today, my wrist hurts now!! For the uninitiated, the game is full of interesting animated puzzles in which you need to build particular structures with "goo balls." Things often make it much more difficult than it sounds. I spent half an hour trying to get out of one level alone, and others I finished in 2-3 minutes. I recommend it if you have a Wii.

For the holiday today, I thought I would gather a found poem from patriotic literature and song lyrics. Enjoy!

Melting Pot

My country, ‘tis of thee,

for amber waves of grain

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light

I’m proud to be an American

Give me your poor, your tired,

sweet land of Liberty,

for purple mountain majesties

land that I love

what so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming

Where at least I know I’m free

of thee I sing

above the fruited plain.

Stand beside her

whose broad stripes and bright stars

and I won’t forget the men who died

your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

Land where my fathers died,

America! America!

and guide her

through the perilous fight

who gave that right to me

the wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Land of the pilgrims’ pride,

God shed His grace on thee.

Through the night with the light from above.

O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming

and I gladly stand up next to you

send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me

from ev’ry mountainside

with brotherhood

to the prairies

and the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air

and defend her still today

let Freedom ring

from sea to shining sea.

My home sweet home

gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Haiku News

McNair shot to death
with a woman called his "friend."
Family: broken.

Report says Iran's
"President" wants public talks
with Obama. Huh.

1.6 million
in lottery for 9k
funeral tickets.


Anonymous said...

Independence Day fun:

Stars & Stripes FOREVER! (Muppets Variation)

Minerva said...

thanks for the link! I LOVE Sam the Eagle, I think he's my favorite non-core Muppet character.

Anonymous said...

Me again; and I swear, one day I will learn to be sure to sign before posting.

I like Sam, but I also have a sneaking affection for the cranky old geezers.

And now for something completely different---the National Anthem, as played on the Electric Baseball Bat:

(You may want to approach the volume cautiously; the first note practically blew me out of my chair!)


Minerva said...

Cicely--Statler and Waldorf are also endearing, yes. For awhile they did movie reviews via the internet. I have to see if they are still doing it.

As for the video, wow! Thanks for the volume warning, but that is amazing.

Incidentally, what do you play? I studied clarinet through high school, still hope to pick it back up someday.

Alicia said...

Love the new found poem! It's so fitting ;)

Anonymous said...

Ooooh, bad move! Prepare to be bored at length! ;)

I started on clarinet in grade school. Two years later, my younger brother and sister wanted to start band, but my folks could only afford to buy one instrument, so my sister got the battered second-(at least)-hand trumpet, and my brother started on the clarinet. This worked well until we were all going to be in the same band---there's a little-known law of physics that states that two kids cannot play the same single-mouthpieced wind instrument at the same time---so my folks found a used oboe in a pawn shop, and I taught myself how to play that.

Then, going into high school band, it became evident that trying to march with an oboe was not only likely to be expensive in terms of reed purchases, but potentially a novel form of suicide, so since I was bigger than my brother, the director put me on bass clarinet (my best, least self-conscious instrument) for marching season, and I played oboe during concert season.

I picked up flute at college (obvious move for a biology major, no?), and when my brother got to play the school's contrabass clarinet, I played with it when I'd come home on the weekends; that was a trip! (And there's an anecdote I could add here involving an onion-and-mayo sandwich, but always leave 'em wanting more, right?)

I tried learning bassoon, but I have these short, stubby little fingers; even with the hand-rest unscrewed and removed, my pinky refused to reach the lower keys.

Oh, let's see.... Years later, I joined the SCA, and started playing recorder (the tenor is my favorite), and I can play with (as opposed to play) a bowed psaltery.

Wake up!!!

Now, aren't you sorry you asked? :D


Minerva said...


Cicely--from one band nerd to another, I knew what I was asking for and was not bored in the slightest. My nutshell version: I started at 5 or 6 with piano lessons, which progressed to violin in 4th grade since my school had an orchestra, but then clarinet in 5th grade because we moved to a district that only had band and not orchestra. When I went to college I left my clarinet home but joined choir, so now I sing mostly but I'd like to pick my clarinet back up someday. I thought about learning oboe at one point but never got up the guts. I picked up flute on a lark one summer for fun with my clarinet teacher (he taught all wind instruments), and once I played a soprano sax he had and I tried to convince my mom I needed dice there.

Anonymous said...

I've always envied people who learned how to play the piano. My poor brain just refuses to accept that it's possible to read more than one line at a time; I suspect that this would be a problem with some strings, too, but I don't know for sure. I've always thought it would be neat to learn to play the harp, but never had the spare cash to spend on one. Pity, though; there was a very pretty Irish harp for sale at Silver Dollar City a few years back, when we had season passes (so we could take The Boy to get disgustingly wet every weekend). I heard a hammered psaltery quartet once; that was frickin' awesome. I wish someone in the local SCA group had one, so I could test-drive it.

The oboe isn't that hard, once you've gotten used to the reed. The fingerings are a lot like flute fingerings, or recorder fingerings (allowing for the lack of keys, of course). As far as vocal goes, I've always said that I can carry a tune in a bucket....provided it's a big enough bucket. :P