July 7, 2011

American Illumination

After marching in and watching a parade, eating a bag of cotton candy and getting Mommy to buy her a tri-woven chain of red, white and blue beads, Julia pronounced her Fourth of July holiday “the best day of my entire life.” Hey, if spun sugar and plastic beads make her that happy, then I’m thinking that I can lower my usual exacting and perfectionistic holiday standards a whole whopping lot and not wear myself out quite so much. . . .

My fireworks photos did not come out exactly the way I had envisioned, but I love the end result – they came out looking more like some kind of celestial outer space event – like a supernova or a nebula or like a scene from ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’.

Star clusters. (Told you I was an astronomy geek.)

Disco in the sky.

Alien squiggles are invading!

Independence Day.

I saw that film, by the way, ON the 4th of July the year it came out and I sat in the 4th row, which I normally never do, and I tell you, that was a FUN July 4th that year! My mother and I are strangely obsessed with that movie, we watch it every time it comes on television – my husband Andrew laughs himself silly at this absurd fact and tells me again and again what horrible movie taste I have. . . . I’ll defend that movie’s sheer level of awesome to anyone at any time thank you!

Radical. Exploding lightning strikes!

And before we officially put Independence Day festivities to rest for the year, let’s discuss this little gem of fabulous, ‘American Fairy Tales’.
Now, this is one for older kids, probably 8-9 plus, so Julia hasn’t read these yet. I own a copy and it was one of my absolute childhood favorites. It’s still in print!

Do you recognize the author, L. Frank Baum? He wrote that most American of classic children’s books, ‘The Wizard of Oz’! If you are unfamiliar with his fairy tale book, oh what a treat you have waiting for you. These are some FUNNY fables, I tell you what – my personal favorite is ‘The Magic Bon-Bons’ :

The back cover description gives a great summary of these silly tall tales, which are somewhat ‘Twilight Zone’-esque:
“In Chicago, an ordinary key unlocks a magical trunk packed with robbers and a pie. In Boston, five magical bon-bons make an ordinary senator, an ordinary professor, an ordinary girl and her ordinary parents do the most extraordinary things! A young cowboy lassoes Father Time; the dummy in Mr. Floman’s department store window comes to life; and a tiny beetle gives a New England farmer and his wife a pump which pumps not water, but gold!”

I’m dying to know, has anyone read this besides me? Anyone? I’m such a nerd.

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