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TMI Questions: Happy 4th of July!

Ahh, the Fourth of July!  May it bring us the best of weather, clear skies, slight breeze, great temps.  I used to love to go camping on the Fourth, but obligations no longer allow such a luxury.  

Still, I like nothing more than being outdoors for this particular holiday.  Fingers crossed, maybe I will manage to sneak away to the prairie to sun my buns and find a little fun!

I hope all of you have a great long weekend.  Enjoy!

Questions designed to reveal Too Much Information

TMI Questions: Happy 4th of July!

How many times have you watched ‘Independence Day’?

I assume you are referring to the movie (I use the term loosely) starring (again, loosely) Will Smith.  I managed to get through it once.  Will Smith is annoying, as was this movie.  Do you remember that awful Dudley Moore movie about a tank, where Eddie Murphy seemed to be in one film, while Dudley was doing another?  Yeah, this reminded me of that disaster.  I considered ‘Independence Day’ one of the worst movies ever, until two years later when ‘Armageddon’ came along.  That movie set the bar to a new low, one that Michael Bay has managed to continue to scoot under with each subsequent release.

Do you like fireworks?

Love them.  In the bedroom (the garage, the basement, the parking lot, the public park, the river bank, the stairwell, the…) and out.  As for those in the sky?  I am just like everybody else who has ever ‘oohed’ and ‘ahhed’  along with a crowd of people, our necks craning skyward in the night.  I can’t imagine the science that goes into creating fireworks (I know nothing about them), but the results they produce give meaning to the word ‘spectacular’. 

Which are the best fireworks show you've been too?

My favorite experience, oddly enough, took place in the worst place I’ve ever lived.  It was for some small town celebration.  I’d spent the day with my production company, doing two different shows – one, a vaudeville act with me as emcee/main performer (I sang ‘And The Band Played On’, no one the wiser), and the second was a USO-style show - a quartet, we sang a ton of standards, had a ton of costume changes, and I did a Fred Astaire number from ‘Bandwagon’: ‘Dancing in the Dark’.  I did my best to use as much of the original choreography as physically possible, but my dance partner, a lovely, tall, willowy woman who went on to a number of duet gigs with me, was not up to some of the challenges. The USO show was a huge hit and we were booked all over Iowa for the remainder of the year, and could have done many more shows, but I bailed at the end of the year, moved to L.A., and the production company folded.

Oh, the fireworks?  End of the day, sitting on a blanket next to the river that snaked through the town with a couple of the troupe members.  I felt like I was an extra in a production of ‘Picnic’. It was a slice of Americana that has stayed with me ever since; one of my few good memories of (shudder) Iowa.

Did you/do you light your own fireworks?

No.  They are legal in Minneapolis, but I don’t consider my yard large enough to do them, one of my dogs is terrified of them, and I refuse to inflict that nonsense on my neighbors. 

That said, my neighbors, on the other hand, have no issue with firing these things off at all hours of the night, and any given day of the week.  I hate it.  My dogs hate it.  I hate the mess the bottle rockets make.  And many of the devices they set off seem inappropriate for an urban setting.  Yes, I am that guy; the cranky old man.

One Fourth of July, I had neighbors setting off these huge displays in the alley at 2:00 am (they started at 9:00 pm) (I blogged about it).  I had to work the next day and complained and in exchange I was called every derogatory term a gay man can be called.  Years later, the woman apologized.  She has diabetes and didn’t know it – so excessive drinking made her behave badly (really badly) and her son had just gotten out of prison (he threatened to break my legs and kill me once when I tried to dissuade him from beating the crap out of one of our mentally challenged neighbors).  She has been sweet since then (the son – back in prison), but… the scars remain.

Have you ever hurt yourself setting off fireworks?

Not that I remember.  I have a healthy respect for them.  If that firecracker didn’t go off when I thought it should, I just wrote it off as a dud and moved on to the next one.  My older brother was not as smart, he leaned down to pick up one that did not go off and it went off near his left ear, resulting in permanent hearing loss in that ear. 

Do you have special plans for the 4th?

All my sisters have plans, so I will be tending to my folks, sitting with my Dad, mowing lawns, etc.   Pride was just last week, so that was my fun time. 

I think I may go purchase some tofu dogs and vegi-burgers and have a cook out on my backyard grill either alone or with a friend.   At night, I will hunker down with my dogs and endure a night of full of explosions.  The mentally challenged, one-eyed Jack Russell terrier has the most issues with it.  He will keep me up all night.

What are your plans for the long weekend?

I plan on working on Friday.  No one will be in the office, so I can snoop in everyone’s desks, eat all the food in the refrigerator, and steal lots of office supplies (no, not really).  I might throw out everything in the fridges in the kitchenette, though.  When people ask on Monday, I will just shrug and say, “Must have been the maintenance people.  Should have put your name and a date on it.”  I work with a lot of very inconsiderate people (or privileged dicks, as they are more commonly known) and I like to exact my revenge on occasion.  Yes, I realize that makes me no better than they are… so I probably won’t go through with it (except for the moldy stuff).

I will spend most of Friday writing and working out at the gym.  No one will be there, so maybe I should invite a special guest.  Naw, that special guest thing isn’t going to be happening either.   I will just be writing, listening to tunes, and working out.

Saturday or Sunday, I may sneak away to the prairie.  That would be fun.  Get some sun (probably Saturday, since Sunday it is supposed to rain).  I will just do all my normal weekend things: laundry, clean, mow, garden, walk dogs, clean garage.  Though I am thinking of going through my music room and donating a bunch of stuff.  Two years ago, I donated a bunch of keyboards and synths that I had lost interest in.  It made a lot of room.  I might take it a step further this weekend.  Oh, and go through my clothes: toss and donate.

I know… I am boring.

Have you ever kissed someone and seen fireworks like Bobby did when he kissed Millicent?

I had totally forgotten about that episode (was a devoted viewer in the day).  I love Melissa Sue Anderson (Melissa Gilbert, too). (Whatever happened to Melissa Sue?)

I experience ‘sparks’ from time to time, picking up on the energy of a dude.  But I only recall twice in my life when there were fireworks.  First was when I was 17, during my freshmen year.  I was working on the pit crew for a touring production from the Guthrie that was visiting my college.  I was busy working on something, when the actors arrived.  One came up to me and I looked up and ‘POW’.  He was a gorgeous Italian New Yorker, twice my age, wearing an WWII Winter Army Coat with the giant collar standing up – which is what I wore at the time.  He asked me something several times, because I just kept staring.  He then gave me a killer smile and walked away.  

After that, I was solicitous, to say the least, falling all over myself to make his time in our theatre a pleasant experience.  I even gave him a tour of the lighting booth, hoping that he would kiss me, but he didn’t.  Instead, at the reception after the show, in front of a whole bunch of people gathered around, he made a point of sharing what hotel he was staying at and included the room number, while staring at me.  Needless to say, I scraped up enough money for a cab and made my way to that hotel right after the party.  

I was nervous, as I was a hopeless romantic who believed in destiny and all that crap (hey, I was a very naïve 17 year old).  I sat on the end of his bed and watched ‘The Midnight Special’ featuring Cliff Richard.  I kept my eyes on the screen and babbled on about Cliff’s career.  Finally, he made his move and kissed me.  We fell in love.  I had a lot of trouble coping… with the gay thing and with love.  Six months later it ended.  It was not a happy ending and it took me like ten years before I would consider such a thing again.

The other time I experienced fireworks?  Two years ago (?) I was at the Eagle for ‘Show Tunes’ night.  A friend had dragged me there.  I saw this tall, muscular, bearded man who I vaguely remembered from somewhere.  We bumped into each other, moving around the bar, and he seemed to know me.  He kissed me and before I knew it we were heavy mad-macking in the middle of the bar.  It was some of the best kissing ever.  After fifteen minutes, he told me he had to go find his friend, but would be back.  I waited.  He didn’t come back and I’ve never seen him again.

But then, isn’t that what fireworks are supposed to be?  A brief burst of pure brilliance that simply fade away in the night sky, leaving you breathless, filled with wonder, and hoping for more?

Yeah, that’s me in a nutshell.

Happy Fourth, everyone!


Fireworks - Katy Perry 


mistress maddie said...

What a fun and festive post! Well I did see the movie once, so-so movie, good if nothing is on. I can see fireworks from my bedroom window, where every other Friday they set fireworks off in celabration of summer. Of course I also have plenty of the other variety also!!!!!

whkattk said...

Watching Independence Day each July 4th is a tradition in our house. Love the film - Harvey Fierstein is a hoot! I like the fact that there are intense scenes but at the same time there's a bit of a "wink."

'Dancing in the Dark' from "The Band Wagon" has to be one of my all-time favorite film clips...

Have a terrific 4th!!

Stan said...

You are so interesting.
I'd love to join you for a veggie burger done on the grill.
Enjoy your weekend.

Anonymous said...

have an AWESOME 4th!