Thursday, January 2, 2014

Musings on New Year's Eve and Fireworks

I spent New Year’s Eve online on twitter – under my pseudonymous account –  tweeting back and forth with Josh Groban and his fans. He was home alone.  I was home alone.  He said he had pink eye, though he may have been joking about that.  I am recovering from chemo.

I had the opportunity to go up to, but decided I was just too tired.  My ex and my sons went.  They all came back with colds.  I’m glad I didn’t go, as I’m immune compromised and shouldn’t be in close quarters with people who are sick.  Since bathrooms are shared there, bugs go around pretty fast.

I had fun tweeting back and forth with people.  It was quiet.  There was no issue about being on the roads with drunk drivers. 

Later I watched the YouTube videos of fireworks in London, Dubai, Singapore and Taiwan, in that order.

Obviously, Dubai won – hands down, no contest.  Those fireworks were extraordinary – and kind of scary.  It’s amazing if no one was injured.

I am thinking, tho, I’m glad I saw it on YouTube and not in person.  It would have been noisy.  It would have been smoky. 

I’m thinking back on fireworks displays I saw as a kid.  I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.  This was the fourth of July. 

We went out to a local park where the city put off the legal fireworks.  We put on lots of OFF!, because Madison is very buggy in the summer.  We sat on a blanket on the lawn.  The people shooting off fireworks were situated at a safe distance from us.

They shot off one firecracker at a time into the sky.  As each one went off, the whole crowd would say “oooooo” softly, in awe, because they were very beautiful. 

There was some time between each one, maybe a minute.  We could watch them go up into the sky, while we were waiting.  They made a sort of whistling sound and a slight sparking at the back of the unit as it rose, so you could track it, so it wasn’t dull waiting. 

There were a few that were merely loud, like the bang of a cannon ball, and made a bright light.  There were a few displays on the ground, on frames, that they lit up and they made sparkling pictures. 

At the end they had a finale, where they shot off maybe twenty or thirty at the same time.

I think it took about twenty minutes.  It started at 9pm.  We were home by 10.  We had some handheld sparklers that we could use at home & draw pictures with in the air.  I liked those, though now I think they’re considered too dangerous for kids.  We didn’t get hurt, fortunately.  Also, we had some caps that we could pound with hammers on the sidewalks during the day before.  Those made a banging noise.

We thought it was cool.  We had no clue what might be in the future for fireworks.  The idea of what just went on in Dubai couldn’t even have occurred to us.

When my mom was a kid, they just had a small cannon and a few small fireworks at home, which was even smaller than what I had.

When I think about it, I wonder if we’ve gained anything here.