I love that the Fourth of July holiday wound up in the middle of the week. Of course, I would not have minded a long weekend by having it fall on a Friday or Monday, but breaking up the week right in the middle was pretty nice, I must say.
On Tuesday night, Katie and I met up late to go see License to Wed. Not a spectacular movie by any means. In fact, parts of it were just downright bad. But if you go into it realizing that Robin Williams is not even a quarter the actor he used to be and that now he's a guy that just relies on over-the-top behavior to get a few pathetic yuks, then you'll be okay. Clearly, it was he that ruined the movie for us. Not that the rest was great, but we can easily pin a vast majority of our frustration on him and his "acting." Discussing it afterwards, we think we would've preferred someone like Dustin Hoffman in the role. It would've made for a better movie.
The next morning, we slept in late and made ourselves breakfast. Then we watched this week's episode of Miami Ink and flipped on the full version of the Concert for Diana on our Music: HD channel (I guess it's part of the VH1 family since it kept all the VH1 commentary throughout).
Let me tell you, NBC dropped the ball with their Matt Lauer-hosted, one-hour rebroadcast of the show. Katie had been looking forward to the concert for a couple weeks and so we watched it. They played, maybe, a grand total of seven songs of which only two were even decent and then they kill it after an hour??? What? They had something better to play on their fourth-ranked network over the summer dead season? They butchered the entire purpose behind the concert which was to capture Princess Diana's love of music and the arts and share it with the world. All NBC execs did was pick out a few of what they considered to be the more popular artists and play one song by each. They missed out on letting the world see a ballet company that Diana loved as well as reproductions of several songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals sung by some of the artists that made them popular on Broadway. Between each artist, they would either flash over to commentary by VH1 veejays or to a pre-filmed testimonial on how Diana affected the life of someone personally. The person would speak to the camera accompanied by archival footage or photos and then, when it was done, the camera would show that the person was in attendance at the concert.
The full-length concert was very well done and the Princes William and Harry did a fine job planning this six-hour spectacular (with help, I'm sure) only to have it slaughtered by Never Broadcasting Cualidad (okay, I was having trouble with the "C" so I resorted to Spanish. Sue me).
Of course, during this concert, we were cleaning the lower level of our house. We finally gutted our pantry closet and made it much more usable. It's quite nice now actually. We followed this up with shopping for new bikes. I think we found ones that we like and may go buy them this weekend. We've been using the same old $70 Target-purchased bikes for six years now and they're just not holding up well. This has a lot to do with the fact that for the first three years we owned them, we didn't have a garage in which to store them, so they stayed on our back porch during the winter and I would have to clean the rust off each spring. Not pretty. So we'll soon have new ones. Yay!
And now, the fireworks! As we did two years ago, we headed to St. Charles, the next town north on the Fox River, and watched what I consider one of the best suburban fireworks displays around. They did not fail us this time around either. Brian and Jen drove up for the display and I'm pretty sure they enjoyed them, too. It was about 25 minutes long and we had prime seating right across the river from where they were being launched.
God, I love fireworks. And me, of all people, forgot a camera. Go fig, eh?
Hero du Jour: I would be remiss if I didn't mention my eternal gratitude to Baba (I know it's not his name as I'm pretty sure this translates to "Papa") of Baba's Groceries, a small Indian grocery store in the strip mall where we parked for the fireworks. On a day when everyone either closed early or never opened in the first place, Baba kept his tiny little grocery open until just an hour before the fireworks started. On this hot, muggy day, he made a killing selling water bottles and snacks to the lumbering masses that forgot to bring their own and needed some cold refreshment. Smart man. And he was a nice guy, too. "Oh yes, those are very good cookies!" he said to me as I tried to figure which Indian cookies (made in Canada, of course) to buy. I chose the Pista cookies and they were, as he promised, great.
Asshat du Jour: A recap of our Fourth of July holiday would not be complete without pointing out the fact that Katie's earth science teacher kept her in class on the third until 9:15 at night. With people wanting to leave on holiday combined with the fact that half the other classes at the college were canceled and those that were in session were being let out a little after 7:00 p.m., you'd think this yahoo would be kind enough to forego any additional teaching. Nope. Instead he makes Katie and her class finish out the time with an hour-long video about how weather changed the course of World War II.
I hope you all had a good holiday as well.
Oh, and if you haven't submitted song lyrics for the second Lyrical Challenge, please do so today. I'll be picking one lyric per person and posting them tomorrow to have you vote on which ones you want me to use.