Tag Archives: Fourth of July

Fourth of July on Mars

If we ever figure out a way to get some sort of a permanent settlement up on Mars, how are they going to figure out when to celebrate the Fourth of July? Because, you have to think about the science, right, a Martian year isn’t anything like a year here on Earth, it’s much longer, something like six hundred and eighty six days.

So assuming we colonize Mars, I’m naturally guessing that we’re going to want to divide those days into twelve months, just like we have here. Would it make sense to do that? Would we be cool having a regular Fourth of July over here knowing that, over on Mars, they’re having one that’s something like twice as long? Wouldn’t that diminish the importance of our July 4th?

And these are all just fundamental questions of how long a Martian Fourth of July would take, and what it would look like. We haven’t even begun to address the more complex issues, like: how would they get enough hamburgers and hot dogs up there for a barbecue? Do fireworks explode the same way out there than they do over here? What if we find a race of aliens living under the Martian surface, and what if they already have their own holiday scheduled for the same day, would we really be expected to share?

We’re still a long way off from a permanent settlement on Mars, but not that far away. All I’m saying is, we should be thinking about this stuff, just drawing out some sort of a long-term strategy.

Happy Fourth of July.

I miss summer vacation

What am I supposed to do for the rest of the summer? The Fourth of July is long gone. There aren’t really any holidays to look forward to until Labor Day, which in my line of employment, it’s more of a joke than an actual holiday, because I always work Mondays at the restaurant, and especially on holidays, especially on holidays that don’t really have anything to do with anything real, it’s like people go out to eat in droves. Personally, I’d never wait on line for more than ten minutes to sit down and eat, but I’m clearly in the minority here, because on any sort of a day off, it’s like, let’s go out to a restaurant everybody.

Labor Day, it’s an actual day of labor for me. So I’m not counting that as a holiday. And then Columbus Day? Again, it’s the same. Most jobs still make you come in anyway. I think it’s just banks that take the day off. But that’s not until fall. I’m losing track of where I was going with this. It’s still technically summer, and I can’t think of anything special to do.

And I don’t know what the problem is, really, because when you think about it, there’s nothing really at all different about July or August than there is February or March. They’re all just regular months, go to your regular job, wait for the next holiday, which is always way too far away. It’s just the weather that changes. I’m freezing, and then the next thing I know I’m way too hot.

It just sucks because we spend the first twenty-two years of our lives having summer as a vacation. Even if you had a job growing up, which I always did, you still got two months where you didn’t have to go to school. When I was in high school, and then during those summers in between college, I’d love to work some crappy job. One, regardless of how pointless the work might have been, it was all very temporary. And two, it was a break from the normal routine. No school, no classes, something different.

And then you’re an adult and the weather starts getting warmer and there’s still that expectation that something different is going to happen, that for two months anyway, even if I’m not going to be able to sit around and do nothing, I’ll at least get a well needed change of scenery.

Now I’m twenty-nine, so I’m still at this point where the majority of my life experience is telling me something different than what I’m actually experiencing: a life of going to work over and over again, maybe I don’t hate it, maybe sometimes I do hate it, but it’s something that I have to deal with, because it’s never going away, there’s no rest at all. Once in a while maybe I’ll take a day off or a couple of days, a week or two once a year, but that’s it.

It’s just so soul crushing. And I hate sounding like such a whiney little brat, I totally realize how entitled this all sounds. But I just hate the fact that we have this warm weather, that all I really want to do is just go outside and run around and relax and play with my dog and cook a nice meal. I’d get my writing done when I felt like it, I’d have plenty of time to read the newspaper or some books, all of the stuff that I never get to do.

Because my real life is just waking up, struggling to get a run in, making myself sit down to write all of this stuff out, why? Because I want to be a writer. Why? So that way I could do all of this fun stuff that I’m talking about without having to sacrifice seven hours a day at a restaurant. And again, I don’t hate it. I definitely don’t love it, but in terms of a job that I have to do to pay my bills, whatever, I could have it a lot worse.

But all of that stuff, the reading, the cooking, more exercise, more time to just take a walk with my dog, maybe do a little gardening, there’s never enough time. I always go to bed at the end of the day thinking that there was so much more that I wanted to do that I wasn’t able to because I had to go to the restaurant and run around like a crazy person getting this, doing that, and by the time I get home, I always tell myself, you can do it Rob, you can stay up a little bit longer and get some more work done. But then I’m asleep. And then I’m waking up again. And it’s the same old, same old, every day, winter or summer. I just want to go outside. Just give me two months to go outside and hang out. That’s not so bad. We’re a pretty rich country. This is a pretty advanced society. Can’t we make it so we take turns working? Right? Wouldn’t that be nice?

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July everybody. And by everybody, I’m talking about Americans, of course. Real Americans. What’s a real American? Well, I’m not going to get into a political diatribe. Anybody who knows me understands that I never insert myself into political controversies. No, I like to stay above the fray, out of the spotlight. OK, yeah, I’m known to make the occasional passive-aggressive comment on my relatives’ Facebook posts. Whatever, maybe sometimes it’s something bordering more on aggressive-aggressive, I’m only human.

Captain America punches Hitler

But I’m a human American. And as an American, I can say that the Fourth of July is the one day out of the year when Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs can lay aside their differences and focus on what makes us different from everybody else. Call it American exceptionalism, you know, that feeling you get when a big group of people start chanting “USA! USA!” and then you start chanting it too, and you’re all really pumped up, almost daring a different group of people to start chanting something else.

Can you imagine what it would be like if an equal sized group started chanting something ridiculous? Like, “Germany! Germany!” or, they’d be saying it in German, I’m not going to bother writing out the German word for Germany, seeing as how it’s the Fourth of July and everything, but in that scenario, things would get ugly pretty fast.

Luckily, all we have to do is look back at history to imagine how that one would play out. We’d probably lose a bunch of really great chanters, but they’d be the greatest chanting generation ever, and it would be worth it, because this is the greatest country in the world. Sorry Canada. Sorry every other country in the world.

Sorry Puerto Rico, and look, I get it, it’s kind of nice to be wanted, but you think we’re going to keep up this courtship forever? One of these days it’s going to be like, all right, are you with us or against us? And you might be like, “Well, it’s complicated, we have to have a series of referendums. Ask us again in another twenty years,” and that’s when we’re going to pull the rug right out from underneath your feet. And maybe we’ll give statehood to some other country, people who really want it. Denmark? Chad? I could just keep listing random countries all day.

But why would I want to talk about any other country besides America? Especially on the Fourth of July. Forget all about that Canada and Denmark and Chad stuff I was talking about earlier. Let’s focus only on America, for real. I went to the arts and crafts store the other day with the idea of making my own custom globe, one with only America, like it would be the earth’s only giant country. That’s a globe I figure that all Americans might be able to rally behind. Obviously there’d have to be water, but that’s OK, it would just be one giant ocean, and I’d call it the American Ocean, and it wouldn’t really be as big as giant America anyway.

But walking into an arts and crafts store with an idea for a project is a lot different than actually figuring out what you’d have to do to make that project a reality. I started talking to some sales clerk about my idea, and she just kept giving me the craziest faces. Again, I don’t want to get political, but she was clearly one of those unreal Americans I was talking about earlier. Maybe she wasn’t even American at all. Jesus, I can’t believe I almost bought something from a potential non-American, and this close to the Fourth of July.

But it’s OK, because I didn’t buy anything. It would have been a lot of work, involving stuff like paper mache and mod-podge and … well, it doesn’t matter, I’m not really a crafts guy I guess, and so, who knows, maybe when I strike it big some day I’ll be able to hire a real globe maker to make my dream globe a reality. But for right now I’ll have to settle with this regular globe that I bought and covered up with blue paint. You know, all of the non-American parts. But it’s not the same, it’s like, regular America, just by itself, it’s too small surrounded by such a large ocean.

Anyway, I don’t want to keep anybody too far away from their barbeques and celebrations today. Go out there and eat a bunch of hot dogs, and make sure your flag lapel pin isn’t on crooked, and if you see anybody chanting anything else, just pretend like you’re one of them, like you’re chanting whatever it is that they’re chanting, but slowly start to alter the trajectory of the chant in a way that, after a few minutes, nobody will realize that they’re all actually chanting “USA! USA!” I’ve seen if happen before. It’s difficult, but it’s totally doable. Happy Fourth everybody.