Posted in Holiday

Bursting Bombs and Why I Love Them

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Happy 4th of July!!

This holiday seems to become more and more controversial every year, and this year the furor surrounding it has exponentially grown.  I, however, love Independence Day in all it’s American glory.  Hot dogs, sunscreen, family, flip flops and tank tops, parades, and especially fireworks.

An unpopular opinion these days, I know, but I just can’t help myself.  Here’s why:

  1. They’re BEAUTIFUL! – Bright bursts of color against a black night sky? Yes, please! There is a reason they have been around for centuries, the wide range of chemicals that can be used to make stunning colors and shapes is an art form all to itself.
  2. You have to be there. – Fireworks are some of the hardest things to snap pictures of, so really the best way to enjoy them is to put down that camera and be fully in the moment.
  3. Americana, for me. – When I think America, a small part of me is drawn to the down-home, redneck, country element of my childhood.  There is something about four-wheeling through open fields, county fairs with sketchy rides and handmade quilts, hunting weekends, Budweiser, and sitting on the porch watching guys blow things up that just feels like home. Bringing me to my next point….
  4. Displaced PYROMANIA. – I may have a small fascination with fire.  As an element it is the all consumer, the ability to make something that was here, here no longer.  Because of that, it absolutely terrifies me.  So I like to let others do the lighting (preferably a professional), I just like to watch.
  5. Celebrations! – We don’t just shoot them off for no reason, duh! We are usually celebrating something spectacular: a wedding, a festival, the birth of a nation that began the push for modern democracy across the globe, no biggie.
  6. Fireworks are like bombs. – What!?!?!? Yep that’s a positive thing.  We started using them to celebrate a victory because they looked like the explosions of war.  We are a nation born out of a really cool idea and a whole lot of gun powder.  Watching them, I am fully aware of their terrible power.  I am reminded that this terrible power can destroy many things, tear families apart and leave a mess behind. But out of the ash of that destruction can rise amazing strength and and creation, just like our country has done more than once.

While I am aware that for some these “bombs bursting in air” can be really scary and a reminder of times they’d like to forget. For me and many, they are a reminder of those that have put themselves in harms way to protect us at home through all of American history. I think now more than ever we need fireworks, to remind us of the power we hold in the world and, like the bursts of color, how fleeting this all can be.  So let’s enjoy them tomorrow for all the reasons we may have, be considerate and careful in how we set them off, and if someone is frightened, help them.

E Pluribus Unum, y’all.

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Posted in Kentucky

Basketball is Better in Kentucky

Yesterday was the first day of the Major League Baseball season, the Men’s NCAA Basketball Championships were last night (though I did not watch in protest to my Cats being bounced), this weekend the Masters begin at Augusta, as does Keeneland’s Spring Race Meet. Spring is a busy time for sports and Lexington seems to center many of its social occasions around them. But when you stop to think about it, in a sports focused community, why don’t we have any major league sports in the ENTIRE state of Kentucky?

At first glance it could be that our population couldn’t support one with our meager 4.5 million people. It could be that our rank of 47th wealthiest state per median household income can’t finance the stadium and upkeep that would be required. Or it could be this little game we like to call college basketball.IMG_5241

The state of Kentucky has 7 universities that have received bids to go to the NCAA Tournament. It was a grand total of 154 bids by Kentucky schools, including 2017. Complete List Here That’s a lot for a state of 4.5 million people. Universities of Kentucky and Louisville are ranked in the top 5 most profitable basketball programs in the nation year after year, often holding the the top spot. Games for both schools are major social occasions and family traditions that many in the state hold dear, passing down reserved seats through generations. Your CATS or CARDS fandoms are fierce battle lines in the state, but everyone supports the Murray State Racers when they earn a spot in the national spotlight. Because in Kentucky basketball is community and pride, it’s homegrown kids who bring positive recognition to our state. It’s a powerhouse of NBA stars who have called Lexington home and come back to visit. It is two coaches, Pitino and Calipari, who have fully embraced our state and it’s people (as proven by their horrid pizza and car commercials). If we had a professional team, it would be hard to love them quite as much as our college athletes that have come here to work hard and play a game they love.

(7 Universities that have received bids to the NCAA Tournament: Kentucky, Louisville, Western Kentucky, Murray State, Morehead, Eastern Kentucky, and Northern Kentucky)

Note: I didn’t include the Women’s teams, purely because this blog isn’t long enough to contain my love for both.