The Littlest Meap

God knows the temperature’s hot enough to hatch a stone

Posted by: meaplet on: July 4, 2008

I spent the summer I was 17 in central Massachusetts, just outside Worcester. I’d taken US history the previous year, and had gotten to the state level with my History Day project on Hamilton and Jefferson. So to say I was a little bit fixated with the Founding Fathers would be… a bit of an understatement. And here I was, on the side of the country where it ALL HAPPENED, and I was thrilled. I’d grown up spending the Fourth attending the Frontier Days parade in Willits and associating the holiday with rodeo. That year, though, I spent the fourth of July watching fireworks over the harbor in Bar Harbor, ME. The history I’d loved and the location I was in were united, for the first time ever, and I was radiant with the idea of this country that I lived in.

Flash forward to the summer I was 24 (which is to say, today). It was my third summer back in California after going to college in Massachusetts. And, just like every summer since the one when I was 17, the history was gone again. I tried and failed to rent 1776, so instead I stood out barbecuing tofu kebabs in the Mission and listening to hipsters accuse each other of being anti-American(1). And then I watched Zoolander.

In short, I had a day off of work, and a really fun night with my friend Jen. But it was a great day celebrating the Grill Things In the Summer While Fireworks Boom holiday, and not the Hey Remember When Jefferson Was Self-Aggrandizing in the 1890s and Convinced Everyone To Celebrate His Achievement On the Fourth of July and Not Any Of the Other Big Dates In the War holiday, which is kind of sad (2).

But something kind of hilarious did happen when I was leaving Jen’s:
Bizarre European: Is it okay if I urinate on somebody’s home?
Me: Whatever, dude. ::walks bike to corner::
European: ::follows:: No, really, I’m not going to get arrested or anything?
Me: ::Looks at him blankly::
European: You aren’t an undercover cop, are you? You aren’t blending in like a local with your bicycle and the thing in your hand [a bike helmet] waiting for me to pee, and then you’ll arrest me?
Me: You’ve caught me. I’m an undercover cop.
European: ::starts explaining why he wasn’t able to pee in a bar::
Traffic light: ::turns green::
Me: ::bikes away, relieved::

(1) Note to self: When you see a t-shirt with the text “Die hipster scum” for sale, and you think to yourself, “I should get that. It would be ironic and hilarious” then you have already lost.
(2) I kind of broke up with Jefferson in college. I sort of refer to him in the style of a bitter ex these days.

6 Responses to "God knows the temperature’s hot enough to hatch a stone"

I tried, and failed, to watch 1776 with Liz O’Grady last night but we were thwarted by the fireworks being way late (not ending til 10:30) b/c they were scheduled after the local baseball game and it went way long (yes, I live in a small town). We just finished watching John Adams (please, please tell me you’ve watch it!) on Tuesday and were like, “shit, what will we do on the 4th?” Oh yeah, watch 1776. We’ll watch it today though, oh yes.

You know, your friend SK over here owns it. :-) I would have been happy to lend it or sponsor a viewing!

I haven’t seen 1776 for so long. And I haven’t watched the Adams miniseries yet either! I fail.

Dani: If you did actually watch it, then you’re way cooler than I am. I just ended up watching way too many 1776 fanvids on YouTube (Brokeback 1776 is surprisingly hilarious; I do not suggest the one that tries to make Dickinson sing “Sexy Back” as it doesn’t work out that well).

SK: I would love to see it again. But do you know what I would love even more? Spending time with you? I’m crazy busy through the weekend of July 20th, but I’d love to see you sometime after then?

Marjorie: It’s ok, I fail too if those are the standards. I haven’t even read Joe Ellis’s recent book–it’s just been sitting on my bookshelf since I bought it on the way to visit you.

Marjorie: A corollary on the “tree falls in a forest” question.

If you respond to a comment on my blog in your .plan, and I respond to your .plan in a comment in my blog, will you know?

You love John Adams because everyone should. If it is just rubbed off on you, then it is the right kind of rubbing off. Go read the Adams/Jefferson letters and THEN you will have your own love of him.

John Adams/Abigail Adams is my ultimate OTP for life. They have their own love stamp, for heaven’s sake. This makes them better than anybody else. (The John/Abby letters c. 1776 are an acceptable alternative to the Adams/Jefferson letters 1804-1826, if you only want to read a single year, rather than 22 years)

This is much easier than answering the tree/forest question: yes, I will notice. Although your model is a little simplified: I think it was blog comment->my .plan->your .plan->my .plan->blog comment. We are such members of the information age, I may have to go lie down with a cool cloth on my forehead.

It would appear that right after John Adams got a huge shot of publicity is an inopportune time to try to check out any Adams letters from the New York Public Library. But I have put them on my queue. Because having one’s own love for something is better than love by proxy.

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