Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth

Happy July 4 to all.

I'm remembering having a lot of fun with sparklers and other home fireworks when I was growing up, I guess before those things were considered too dangerous. I also remember one year living someplace (I think in Houston) where we couldn't have real fireworks, so I attempted to make my own. I made my own confetti by coloring paper and cutting it into tiny squares, then loading this into small plastic bags. I imagined that when I threw the bags up in the air, they would "explode", showering down confetti like fireworks in the sky showered sparks.

I also made my own sparklers. Remember the plastic images, often part of cheap kids' toys, which appear to move when you turn them from side to side because there are different images that you see from different angles? I tried to duplicate the effect by coloring a piece of white paper with "sparks" in gold and silver, then folding lots of little 90 degree crinkles into the paper, making a bunch of little sharp hills and valleys, so that when you moved the paper back and forth it would look like the sparks were moving.

Neither of these things really turned out as I imagined, but I tried enthusiastically. I used to make a lot of things out of paper when I was little, come to think of it. I put paper turrets on my room once so I could live in a castle. Once, when someone came to visit downstairs while I was still in pajamas, I decided to make clothes out of paper. I made the front of a shirt and pants, carefully colored, and attached with loops of paper around my back. For some reason, I thought a hat was important too, so I made a vaguely pilgrim style hat with a buckle. (No, I did not normally wear a hat like that. But then the shirt I made had a picture of a sunny day with a rainbow on it, and I didn't have a shirt like that either.) I think I really thought that it would fool people into thinking I was wearing regular clothes.

In retrospect, I was a very odd child.

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