It doesn’t get much better than spending the 4th in Our Nation’s Capitol. We are starting off with a baseball game then headed to see a friend at Walter Reed (seriously, thank a veteran today) and topping it off with watching fireworks over the Washington Monument. The only think that could possibly make it better is if we could sleep in our own bed tonight. But, I’m trying to stay positive and not complain. We are a million times better off than many because we live in this great country.
If spending the 4th in DC is on your bucket list, you always have a place to stay! Just make sure we have power first.
One last thing, get on over to the All-Star Ballot and vote #brycein12. Kid’s living the dream and making America’s favorite past-time a whole lot of fun to watch.
Many of my non-Northwest friends have never heard of this holiday. You haven’t either? It’s otherwise known as NOID – “National Outdoor Intercourse Day”. The origins are sketchy, but my alma mater, Washington State University claims it. Nearby University of Idaho also claims it as well as a handful of other Northwest colleges. WSU doesn’t have a lot of claims to fame, but there are a few. For one, WSU has produced some damn fine quarterbacks (Mark Rypien and Drew Bledsoe to name a couple). And Edward R. Murrow is one famous graduate, and also the namesake for the highly regarded Communications School. Tom Tuttle from Tacoma, Washington chants the WSU fight song in the movie “Volunteers”. And, we’ve been called dorkiest fan base in America because we manage to get the Washington State University Flag on every episode of ESPN’s Game Day since 2003 (because they refuse to go to Pullman). It was even spotted at the Master’s Tournament this year. Cougar fans have pride, even when their team sucks. And, winning or losing, they are nice. (See my previous post for some further context on this). They have fun and know how to party. You can be anywhere in the world and see somebody with a Cougar logo on and yell out “Go Cougs” and you’ll have an instant friend.
Back to the 8th of May: I don’t know why it started — I’m not sure anyone really does. But, I have heard that the University had banned blankets from the grassy areas because they were afraid that something other than picnicking or studying was going on. So, in true college student rebellious fashion, the students declared the 69th day of March to be an unofficial holiday. I suppose that they could have just picked the 69th day of the year — but that is in March and it’s cold in Pullman in March. Given the free-spirited, laid back, party atmosphere of the school, it makes perfect sense that the 8th of May would have it’s origins there. So, other universities can claim it, but I’m going with the WSU folklore.
When I was in school we just called it outdoor sex day. I was actually shocked to discover that it had an acronym “NOID”, with N standing for “National“. And today, I’ve actually heard people call it “International“.
And suddenly, the WSU tagline takes on a whole new meaning:
So, whether you partake in the holiday or not — there’s a little bit of Northwest history for you.
We have spent the last week in the South. Lloyd had a conference in Nashville and Jake and I accompanied him on the trip. Since he would be occupied with meetings, we took the opportunity to visit friends on Birmingham for a couple of days. We decided to take the kids to the Civil Rights Museum. I’m not sure what I was expecting…..or perhaps I wasn’t expecting the reactions we had. To start, the friend I was with is married to an African-American and her son is bi-racial. At one point, Jake turned to me and said, “Mom, of it weren’t for people like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, I wouldn’t be able to play with Brandon!”. He’s absolutely right and I was so happy that he was really “getting it”…after all, that was the point of the museum. He became increasingly indignent as we proceeded through the museum….asking me WHY we would treat people this way. WHY on earth would people burn crosses when the cross was a symbol of forgiveness and freedom from sin? I didn’t have a lot of answers for him. But, I was proud of him for feeling such empathy. At the end of the tour, we got to hear/see MLK’s I Have a Dream speech and Jake applauded throughout. As for me, I was equally as appalled. And I wondered to myself if I would have been one of those that cheered on the Freedom Riders as they made their way toward New Orleans. Even more….would I have been willing to endure the persecution. I like to think that I would have been.
So as we look forward to hearing Barack Obama’s speech at the DNC ( which, incidentally will occur on the anniversary of the I Have a Dream speech), I am even more hopeful for our country…and for the America that Jake will have the opportunity to experience.