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NaNoWriMo: What is it?

Put the ice queens, princesses, witches, monsters, pirates, Doctors, and whatever other costume the kids wore away.  Halloween is almost ove...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bigheaded Stars?

So, last Sunday I just didn't have any inspiration, but this week?  Last night one of my friends' significant other was working when a band just happened to pull into the gas station.  He mentioned that he was a fan and was offered an autograph by the lead singer.

I should probably inform you at this point that this friends' significant other is very similar to my husband, just as my friend and I are very similar.  We all happen to like the band that pulled in and offered him an autograph.  It wasn't surprising when he turned them down.  See, he had been asked to work a shift when he's usually sleeping so he work his night shift which he was supposed to work tonight.  This meant that my friends had to put off their plans for homemade BBQ chicken that she was going to make when she got home.  On top of that, he works at a gas station.  What was he going to have them sign?  Their receipt?  His arm?

So apparently, his refusal of an autograph, which he would have been ecstatic to get if he and my friend were attending the band's concert when offered, prompted them to possibly doubt the fact that he was indeed a fan of their music because they apparently asked him for one of his favorite songs by them.  Now as I previously mentioned I'm a fan of the band as well as is his significant other and my own husband.  When I was informed of this my mind literally drew a blank as to any of their songs!

However I recognized the band as one I enjoyed as I looked them up on YouTube, where I realized rather quickly that they were the band for some of my favorite songs.  Now it's not that I don't know the songs because when I listen to them or watch a well created amv(anime music video) that was created to the songs by them I don't always realize who the artists are.

This brings me to my point though, are celebrities getting to expect too much out of those who claim to enjoy their work?  I can't tell you the name of every actor or actress and all of their performances that I enjoy.  When I say I enjoy something and then get quizzed to prove that I know who or what I'm talking about, it makes me start to hate what I enjoyed.  I can enjoy an artist's music but despise the artist.  I hate hearing people say they won't listen to something or watch something because a person they don't like is the one performing it or even in it(and yes there are people that refuse to watch something because of a specific actress.  My mother-in-law hates Lindsay Lohan.)

Why are we expected to be able to list what songs or movies or performances those that we enjoy have to their name?  Why are fans expected to have at all times a list of things to put proof to their fan credence?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fourth of July or Independence Day

So in America we are raised knowing that the Fourth of July is a holiday.  When we start school we start to learn why it's a holiday.  The really thought provoking part about it, for me at least, is that if we were to tell a non-American "Happy Fourth of July," will they understand why?

Other countries have an Independence Day, but it's not always the same date and for some nations, they may celebrate something completely different or call it by another name(Bastille Day).  It's like how Britain celebrates Guy Fawkes Day and the only reasons Americans even know it exists (unless they watch British TV) is because of calender notations and history classes, if they paid any attention.  So sometimes I start to think, what do tourists who hear "Happy Fourth!" while visiting America think.  Then I start to wonder what else should we say?  I was talking with a customer where I work about it on Thursday night and we thought about Happy Independence Day, but we ran into the same issue, would tourists understand?  Finally we jokingly said goodbye with "Celebrate your independence."  I think this is actually a very fitting greeting for around this time of year.

Now, I live in the Midwest, more specifically in the St. Louis Area.  I have to admit that when I think of Independence Day, yes the Will Smith movie comes to mind, but after that it's extreme heat, barbecues, fireworks in the country, and pools.  So this year when the weather was so gorgeous with no rain and no extreme heat, it was practically perfect.  I will admit that once the sun was down, it a tad chilly for me in shorts and a tank top, but it was still a gorgeous day.

The actual fireworks were a bit of a letdown, though.  It may be just because I'm getting older or because of the state of Illinois' laws on certain types of fireworks, but after watching for a mere fifteen minutes, I was beyond ready to go home.  The highlight was the smiley face that was actually upside down.  Was the firework made like that or was it set off incorrectly?

After we got home (I should probably inform you that I have a dog that had already scratched my legs up profusely) I mistakenly believed the rest of the night would be rather quiet.  One of our neighbors must have had some fireworks they wanted to set off.  I didn't go to look because I suddenly had a lapful of dog and when she doesn't want me to move she becomes extremely heavy.  This usually happens when she's terrified.  Typically, she is only scared of noises that she can't find the source of.  Thunderstorms, she wants to look out the window.  A couple of years ago, there was ice and snow on the roofs that was melting.  As these sheets fell on some of the buildings it would sound like heavy furniture being dropped out the window, if you can imagine that sound when you live on the top floor of your building.  One day we saw it occur and heard the accompanying bang as we were walking.  This allowed us to see the cause and she didn't have an issue with it.  She's even fine around guns(My husband hunts).

Fireworks, however nice to look at, she refuses to listen to at any distance.  In fact, once we were far enough away she couldn't hear them, she enjoyed watching them from our truck window.  I digress though.  Between that neighbor setting off their fireworks in town and the memory of a picture on Facebook of a man putting a sign in his yard that read, "Combat Veteran Lives Here," or something similar, it made me think of a few reasons folks who live within towns, or cities, or have close neighbors, should go out of town to set off fireworks.

The first one was illustrated through my own dog's reaction.  How many dogs completely freak out when the Fourth roles around?  I only ever met a total of none.  Every dog I've ever met hates fireworks.  There have been some that are more tolerant, but they have all been older dogs.  The second was triggered in a way by a memory of an episode of Criminal Minds.  I don't remember which one but a man was caught in a PTSD episode, triggered by a construction zone.  How many veterans of war, gang incident survivors, and others who suffer problems due to loud sounds can safely listen to fireworks at a close distance?  How many in towns or cities who erroneously set off fireworks even think about the possible consequences?  As a child, I never really cared about the sound.  It was just a part of the show, but now I start to wonder just how bad that sound is to not just us, but others as well.