FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: It’s The F*cking Fourth of July, Betches (And Happy Belated Canada Day, Too!)

Hello, patriots and compatriots, and welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread! We have one of these every Friday because we long for connection, but today our special Internet-wide celebration of ourselves is even more chock-full of fireworks and picnic baskets because IT’S THE FOURTH OF JULY. For a grrl like me who hunts down American flag print anything and listens to a lot of Bruce Springsteen, this is the most wonderful time of the year. So let’s party!

American flag on white boxer dog wallpaper

I’m celebrating Independence Day from Seattle this year, where I’m arriving via Vancouver because I’m on a trip to see my boo. In other words, I feel really good about myself and the amount of red, white, and blue liquor I’m about to consume because this year, I celebrated Canada Day, too. I’m a fine-tuned nationalism machine, and I’m here to listen to your star-spangled dreams.

Today is a day for fireworks, barbecue sauce, probably a lot of drunken squalor, and a ton of misdirected conversations about politics, none of which would be as fun without you. Which brings me here! I’d like to chat with you about pretty much anything that’s on your mind, especially if it includes your favorite song about the US of A or the memories you have of riding the tilt-a-whirl with your middle school crush at your small town’s Fourth of July carnival. But also, we can talk about anything. Like, seriously anything. Hold nothing back. I’d also love to see pictures, and will reward all of you who pass through here and leave behind memories of a lovely pet creature thing in your life with a photo of my dog, Eli. (He loves America just as ironically as I do, JSYK.)

SO! How are you celebrating this fine day in American history? Or, rather, if you’re the rest of the world, how’s your Friday going? Maybe you’re reading an awesome book or wearing a new crop top — what’s that all about? If you’re out grillin’, what’s your recipe? Also, does anyone else here want to talk about vegetarian sloppy joe because I want to talk about fucking vegetarian sloppy joe, even if I do insist on calling them “Fancy Janes” because of this one time Stef did.

Okay, footloose and fancy free loose cannons! Time to let ‘er rip. Tell me your life – and maybe engage and interact with someone else in the thread today, too. After all, what would Ben Franklin do? Besides drink, that is.


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Carmen is the Feminism and Straddleverse Editor at Autostraddle, meaning she helps expand your mind and your queer girl clique. She's mother to the most adorable dog on Earth and hates paying more than one dollar for a good slice of pizza. At times, she self-identifies as "the baddest bitch." You should follow her on Twitter and Tumblr because it makes her feel good about herself when people do.

Carmen has written 586 articles for us.

139 Comments

  1. Thumb up 22

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    I’m celebrating by tweeting gay 4th of July pick up lines

    Girl I’d like to Yankee Doodle Do you tonight

    Let me turn that ass red, white, and blue

    *takes off your bra* Look at those mountains, majesty

    Girl your clit ain’t nothin like Roanoke – I’ll find it every time

  2. Thumb up 3

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    Sometimes I miss when the 4th of July meant decking out my bike for the community parade with free ice cream, eating my weight in grilled meats (oh wait…I still do that), and watching the fireworks.

    But today I can’t complain – I’m not at work so I’m watching a special about the joy of pork before babysitting my fabulous 2 1/2 year old nephew. Happy day, all!

  3. Thumb up 2

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    Well I’ll be spending my fourth of july at the Denver Botanic Gardens and then finishing it off watching some fireworks with a couple of friends. If anyone from CO knows of anything super awesome going on, let me know! Happy Fourth everyone!

  4. Thumb up 1

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    I hope everyone has had a good day and will have a good weekend too.

    I celebrated today by doing a 10K race this morning (I’m such an uncoordinated and clumsy klutz that cross-country is the only sport I’ve ever felt confident doing). I finished in under 40 minutes, which makes me happy.

    Tonight, I’m going to drive and visit my parents. There will be grilling, I’m certain.

  5. Thumb up 4

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    Happy Independence Day to all the American’s that celebrate it! I am not American, but I am reading an awesome book… Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things; it is so great.

    Other awesome things to happen this week include my eats-all-my-food and loudly-squables-with-boyfriend roommate moving out, reconnecting with a friend from college – who has also come out since leaving – and that scissoring article.

    Also: The comments on that article.

  6. Thumb up 5

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    I just killed a spider with my hand, which is gross and violent and thus very american! Also I’m listening to REM. Scathing political commentary right here, oh yes.

    Anyway I’m super excited to get raging drunk later and eat lots of red white and blue desserts and run around with my friends!

  7. Thumb up 4

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    I have a terrible weakness for lame jokes, ‘dad’ jokes, memes, and all the lowest forms of humor, so I’m unironically browing ‘murica jokes on Tumblr/Reddit and laughing to myself. XD

    *runs off to listen to team america and other humor videos with gratuitous swearing and intentionally ridiculous electric guitar riffs*

  8. Thumb up 3

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    I had a lovely evening watching fireworks, drinking, and seeing a cool local rock band last night. Tonight, I will do none of those things. Well, I might drink. Also, the last couple weeks have been really awesome and yesterday amongst all the other awesome, I had all the feels because of a special/interesting/exciting conversation I had with someone and it’s all thanks to this very web site! Thank you, AS!

    Happy 234, y’all! I’ll be pumping my patriotic playlist all night long (which consists entirely of random songs that happen to have “America” in the title).

  9. Thumb up 7

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    i’m currently waiting for the right moment to break it to megan that we have to buy potatoes so i can make the potato salad i’ve been thinking about SINCE I WOKE UP.

    oh and duh watching independence day. JIMMY NOOOOOOOO

  10. Thumb up 2

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    My 4th of July kicked off with the Spice Girls playing on the radio…… aside from the fact that they’re British, that’s a pretty doggone good way to start celebrating America.

    Beer…Steaks..Explosions… ‘Merica!

  11. Thumb up 12

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    Y’all. One of my life long dreams came true this past week at Seattle Pride. I. Met. Megan Rapinoe. Light of my soul and vision of wonder, Megan Rapinoe. My girlfriend spotted her when we were about to go home and I’m pretty sure I went into shock. I couldn’t say a damn thing but fortunately my girlfriend chatted her up and asked for a picture. Here is a cropped photo of me and Megan. Pardon my goofy non-smile.

    As for the 4th of July, it’s barely underway here but I at least look festive!

  12. Thumb up 3

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    I am celebrating temporary independence from my roommate, who is spending the weekend with family! It’s a nice prelude to permanent independence from her and her lectures about How to Be a Real Adult.

    Later this evening will be hot dogs, ice cream, and fireworks with my friends. Just like the Founders celebrated it. AMERICA.

  13. Thumb up 0

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    I’ll be watching fireworks from my back yard, yay. And all the kinds running around with their glow in the dark thingies, which I love and for some reason makes me think of Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday. Not American but…

  14. Thumb up 1

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    I’ll be watching fireworks from my back yard, yay. And all the kids running around with their glow in the dark thingies, which I love and for some reason makes me think of Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday. Not American but…

  15. Thumb up 7

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    Okay, so I’m going to pose 2 questions here:

    1) What’s the most patriotic movie you know? Obvious answers include Independence Day and Top Gun, but one of mine is a Few Good Men.

    2) Best Patriotic pick up line? I’m working with “On a scale of 1 to America, how free are you tonight?”

  16. Thumb up 7

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    I’m currently gaining a new appreciation of the film Donnie Darko, because I’m watching it stoned. I think I’m doing Fourth of July right? Right? Because fireworks are like sparkles and sparkles are like… SometimesIDoubtYourCommitmentToSPARKLEMOTION!

  17. Thumb up 4

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    I just moved to Seattle two days ago. So… I don’t know what I’m going to do today. Once my brain can’t handle studying for the bar I think I’m going to wander to the arboretum by my house and see what I can see.

    Also, courtesy of Isa Moskowitz, vegan sloppy joes are Snobby Joes. Because they think they’re better than everyone. :D (Only vegans and vegetarians get to make that joke though, sorry omnivores.)

  18. Thumb up 9

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    I legitimately forgot it was a real holiday this weekend because I’m going to see QUEEN + Adam Lambert tomorrow and so I guess what I’m doing to celebrate is going to the gayest show of all time. I have a lot of feelings about both Freddie Mercury and Adam Lambert, so I AM NOT EMOTIONALLY PREPARED FOR THIS SHOW, AUTOSTRADDLE.

  19. Thumb up 2

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    I was supposed to celebrate the 4th on the beach in NC and go to my cousin’s wedding, but I had to cancel the trip because of Hurricane Arthur and the fact that we would have been right on the beach.
    Instead I’ve spent my time listening to a Kate Leth podcast with Grace Ellis and Brooke Allen that centered on the Lumberjanes comic and then working on finding an apartment share in NYC.
    Fortunately I’ll be able to celebrate the 4th with my neighbors and maybe get some fancy schmancy beers. I just hope the conversation doesn’t center on politics or statements that start with “I have nothing against gay people, but . . .” =/

  20. Thumb up 3

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    Waiting to meet my brother’s girlfriend and sweating like crazy because our stupid air conditioner only gets the air in the house down to 83 degrees and I’m SUFFOCATING. But patriotic berry parfaits later, so whoo!!

  21. Thumb up 14

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    I was drinking some vey american coffee today and a cute girl with pink hair told me that she likes my style. WHILE I WAS WEARING MY A-CAMP SHIRT. Was she flirting??? Is this a sign from the cosmos I will make out with a hot girl during the fireworks while listening to Katy Perry’s “Firework”??? Only time will tell. Update tonight.

  22. Thumb up 3

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    I’m thinking of combining the 4th and 14th (for my American wife and the French half of me ) and storming the US prison system to celebrate…

    …or we could stay home and watch “Pretty little liars” in bed…

  23. Thumb up 3

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    Spent most of my day hanging out in the gorgeous backyard of my ultra-conservative but totally accepting of my marriage to their daughter in-laws. They are such awesome people, and I have such a hard time figuring out why they have the political views they have. But anyways, we spent the day swimming and eating lots of hot dogs, cheeseburgers and potatoe salad. We are also babysitting my 3 year old nephew, who is adorable, but exhausting.

    Soon we will go watch fireworks. I love fireworks. It was briefly mentioned that we skip them, and I reminded my wife that if I miss the fireworks I will have a tantrum bigger than the 3 year old could even imagine. I don’t know why I love fireworks so much. But I do, and I don’t care. Giant pointless but pretty explosions in the sky make me happy.

  24. Thumb up 2

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    Happy 4th of July America!
    So I celebrated my own birthday today rather than America’s, because I can’t celebrate tomorrow on my actual birthday as the Tour De France is coming through my hometown in Yorkshire and there are road closures so folks can’t come to where I live. We had bbq wings and burgers and ice cream with toppings and board games with queermo gals and a dude friend…it was awesome. I won at Monopoly. Tmrw I’m hiding from the pomp and circumstance at home, with my GF and dog who has a sprained foot. Poor puppy :(

  25. Thumb up 1

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    I did nothing today except read since I couldn’t go visit my parents and my girlfriend is visiting her brother. I finished “The Well of Loneliness” and “And the Band Played On.” Well of Loneliness destroyed me, the Band Played On was infuriating. Both were so well written, so touching, and so true.

  26. Thumb up 2

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    It’s already the 5th here, oops. I didn’t do much/anything for the Fourth of July, even though if I tried hard enough, I probably could have found some fireworks somewhere in the city. (It’s fireworks and festivals season in Japan.) I should have taken some sparklers outside to the park, but eh. It’s not that big a deal for me.

  27. Thumb up 2

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    I didn’t do a ton today, my baby is afraid of fireworks :/. Even smoke bombs scared the crap out of her. I put her to bed, just a minute ago.

    I got a new phone last night. New-ish. It’s used, I guess. The main thing is that it doesn’t freeze every other second like my old phone did. I’m tired, I wish I had taken a nap.

    There’s a minor who I’ve been snapchatting who I swear is hitting on me, but maybe it’s just a cultural difference. … It really is unfortunate that she’s a minor, because she does NOT look like one. DON’T give me that look, I don’t have a crush. I’m just saying, she’s unfathomably attractive.

  28. Thumb up 3

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    Currently I’m playing catch up on all shit I should have gotten done at work this week (j/k I’m lurking Autostraddle instead, duh):

    Later I’ll probably head up to my roof to watch the Fireworks show with my brother, since I have a pretty good view of the entire city.

  29. Thumb up 2

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    I worked this morning and a co-worker told me that there are too many immigrants coming to America these days. Right.

    My friend and I made a delicious dinner though, and I am wearing a red T-shirt and blue shorts. We quoted a lot of Team America, World Police and watched the last 20 minutes of the Brazil-Colombia game. The dude that left on a stretcher sobbing his face off broke a vertebrae! Ouch.

  30. Thumb up 2

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    Hmmm. I started the 4th out by not waking up until noon! Yay! Then I spent about an hour and a half at hour local pool, after which my dad and I went kayaking. I ended the day with my church youth group watching fireworks. Pretty decent day, besides seeing a totally gorgeous girl and not being able to flirt. :( Seriously.

  31. Thumb up 2

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    Ah, well today I have been functioning on very little sleep, as I was at a friend’s birthday party last night, and stayed up till about 5 in the morning watching The Hangover Part 2. That was not really my plan, but it’s hard enough falling asleep on a floor without also having a movie loudly playing at the same time. Other than that, the party was pretty awesome. I got to see people get into a frosting fight (I was trying to get a dog to stop attempting to eat a rock, so I did not participate). I also got to try out scuba gear, try to eat some spicy soup/yogurt mix made of I-don’t-know-what, and sit around a bonfire while discussing internet politics and later strangers’ relationship drama.

    Other events of this week: I cut off a foot and a half of my hair. Oddly enough, while it is significantly more out of control than before, I’m having an easier time accepting defeat and just pretending it’s intentional.

    People have been lighting off fireworks every now and then for pretty much the last two weeks, and I’m hoping this is the last night for it. I’d be a bit more celebratory, but my dog is absolutely terrified of fireworks (and thunder), and tonight it got to the point she seemed to be trying to merge her face with the side of my stomach. Things have since calmed down, fortunately.

  32. Thumb up 1

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    Happy BBQ & Fireworks Day to my fellow Americans!

    I just had some amazing grilled corn with cayenne pepper, a tiny bit of butter to hold the cayenne, and some Romano cheese on it!

    The neighbors about 4 houses down have been setting off illegal displays of fireworks from their yard every night for the last month and a half (yet no cops have come…), so my dachshund is perma-nervous lately when she never was before. Those same neighbors have set off 14 fireworks displays of their own today, 12 of which have been shot off within the last 20min, and 4 of which have been large displays with at least 10 massive fireworks going off at a time, filling the sky with sparkles. It’s pretty, but my dog is wailing and barking in terror, trying to climb onto me and hide under my arm because it’s so loud and so very close. Poor girl. :(

  33. Thumb up 1

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    i honestly just have been sitting here for the past 20 minutes watching fireworks shows on youtube and earlier today i had a nice dinner of fried eggplant and fried okra and fried sweet potato fries and and fried pickles…

  34. Thumb up 4

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    I’m stuck living with my parents in a Jersey suburb, for now, so I went to the town fireworks with an old friend from high school. OF COURSE we ran into other people who graduated with us, like 7 years ago already. Weird. Anyway, this one guys mentions that he recently saw this girl Allie… Allie was THE GIRL, ya’ll. She was my First Crush! The one who made me GAY. I was totally in denial about said crush from about 8th grade through senior year of high school, but ya know. Anywho! He mentions how he saw her, so of course I asked what she was up to, where she was living, etc, because old habits die hard. He said she lives in Portland now, works as a midwife, is involved with lots of feminist and radical causes, and is “very bohemian.” LOL, she still sounds amazing! Maybe only I think that’s amazing. Haha, oh high school.

  35. Thumb up 2

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    Does it count if I was mostly sporting (aka watching all the sports-World Cup and Wimbledon) and watching PLL and the Good Wife? Also chicken hotdogs in whole wheat tortilla wraps, zucchini Mac and cheese, cucumber tomato onion salad and some fireworks on the roof with delicious beverages and connecting rooftop neighbors.

  36. Thumb up 1

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    All I know is I worked on the 4th this year which meant HOLIDAY PAYYYYYY. Turn down for what?! #klubdeer5ever I have no idea what I’m saying because fireworks have been nonstop since I left work at 1915, went to the gym and came home.

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      AAAAND I feel bad I don’t have a metal earth thing this Friday. I have the White house and Capitol building and lots of US monuments but life is taking over as we know it !!!!!!!!!

      And no one tell my perfect human I’m sacrificing our face time for AS time because God knows I’ve been sort of inactive this week!!!!

      Sorry, I miss camp and keep looking at my shirt. And the deer head. (more on that later) And I miss you guys. ♥

  37. Thumb up 2

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    To celebrate the Fourth of July, I had a delicious meal of classic American summer foods: barbecued hot dogs (the natural all-beef kind from Trader Joe’s), potato salad, strawberry lemonade, BBQ potato chips, and s’mores!

    Now I’m going to start watching Pretty Little Liars, from the beginning, for the first time ever, and I’m so excited! (Thank you, other local public library, for having DVDs of almost every TV show ever, broadcast and cable, so that I can watch all the shows I otherwise wouldn’t get to watch because of money or past airdates.) I have nothing else to say besides EMILY FIELDS, YAY!

  38. Thumb up 7

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    It’s been a pretty interesting fortnight since last I posted!

    Firstly, this happened:

    And as a) a Game of Thrones fan, b) a resident of Australia, an island to which few celebrities come and c) a resident of South Australia, a state within Australia to which even fewer celebrities come… this was the best!

    Another thing that happened is that I was arrested for the first time.

    This happened as a result of part in a nonviolent sit-in at the office of a local member of parliament. I did this with a host of Christian leaders and one rabbi, and we did it to ask the question of when 983 children will be released from immigration detention. We weren’t leaving without an answer, and as a result, stayed on past (peaceful, calm) negotiations with police and were charged with trespass.

    I now have been fingerprinted and have a mugshot in the system somewhere. I also have a good sense of the excellent acoustics of the holding cells at the city Watch House (Rabbi Shoshana and I did some singing when we were in there for 40 minutes waiting to be processed).

    It’s also made it a bit interesting trying to ride home from work, because a part of my bail condition involves not going within 100 metres of the office again, so I have to deliberately take a different route- a habit that’s hard to crack after a shift when on autopilot! (Luckily I remembered!)

    The action we did garnered some national and international press coverage and led to some excellent conversations – we even had some police officers we were interacting with (who were curious about it all) listen to our opinions and stories and express interest in learning more – they said that we had taught them something. They were intrigued by our actions, mostly as folk who had never been arrested before, to choose to be involved in this.

    The action came as the fifth in a bunch as part of the Love Makes a Way movement – the others of which have happened in offices of our Prime Minister and opposition leader’s offices. Sadly, horrible refugee policies aren’t a one-party issue; both of Australia’s major parties have terrible ones.

    More about the issue:

    For those that don’t know and haven’t seen the damning national and international press coverage, Australia is now in a horrendous, unbelievable spiral of appalling behaviour towards asylum seekers coming to Australia seeking refugee status. We have a government breaking international law and not batting an eyelid at it.

    *TW*

    The latest is that our government has intercepted a boat of Tamils from Sri Lanka at sea and just *handed them back to the Sri Lankan government who they were fleeing, which will most likely result in their torture and/or death*. (The government denies doing this but reports suggest at much and their lack of clarification is incredibly telling).

    There are hundreds of children in detention – some of whom happen to attend a school that I teach at (through being in one of the ‘better’ (but still inadequate) detention facilities that is in Australia and allows children to go to regular schools).

    I see these beautiful kids around school once a week and can’t imagine them being in indefinite prison-like situations with a lack of proper medical care and educational facilities. And I can’t bear the idea of seeing them losing hope to the point that they want to self-harm or not be on this planet anymore (the incidents of which are appallingly high for children in detention, and rare except in cases of exceptional mistreatment otherwise).

    Hence my decision to take part in the sit-in. I did it because as a Christian, I know someone who wasn’t afraid to risk arrest in order to create a more just world (ironically, a key figure in the same religion claimed by our immigration minister). So there’s that.

    It’s been an interesting fortnight indeed.

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      ‘I see these beautiful kids around school once a week and can’t imagine them being in indefinite prison-like situations with a lack of proper medical care and educational facilities. ‘ – to elaborate: whilst the detention centre the kids are in now isn’t great, it’s one of the better ones in the country. Our government is in the process of closing onshore detention facilities like this and sending people in these to offshore facilities at places like Nauru and Christmas Island. They have been shipping people with 8 week old babies to these places; they have at times come at 3am to move people (theorised to be because it’s harder to get legal council or have activists around at this time, plus it’s more unsettling for the people involved; the government has been busily creating more and more horrible processes and facilities in order to de-centivise asylum seekers coming to Australia).

      Australians are literally in the middle of a point in our history when later, our children and grandchildren will look back and ask ‘what did you do to stop this?’.

      It’s a scary time.

  39. Thumb up 2

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    I made it a point to take the day off since it’s a holiday and I’ve already clocked 70 hours this week. So I went sailing, drank lots of rum and helped my buddy heckle some of the other sailors on the water. Because ‘Murica.

  40. Thumb up 2

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    I had a great 4th! I spent the night with my childhood best friend. We used to spen every 4th together. Then there were some years we didn’t, this was the first time we’ve been together for it since then. It was great, she had gotten a kitten and he was the most precious thing in the world.

  41. Thumb up 3

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    Could someone explain this to me like I was a 6 year old, why do lefties celebrate patriotic holidays in North America? I’m Australian, and Australia Day marks the date of white invasion, and is characterised by a wholesale vomiting of racism from white Australians, and I know that the 4th of July and Canada day celebrate independence from the Brits so it’s not exactly the same.. But celebrating nations that were built on stolen ground and being left wing seems odd to me.

  42. Thumb up 8

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    Me: So, I have to tell you something
    Little Sister: What is it?
    Me: I’ve been wanting to tell you for so long but….our brother already knows.
    LS: What?
    Me: Well, I’m not pregnant if that’s what you’re thinking
    LS: OK….
    Me: Isn’t it obvious? I mean, hasn’t it been?
    LS: What’s obvious?
    Me: …*deep breath* – I’m pretty gay dude. Yeah…
    LS: Really?
    Me: I mean, c’mon?
    LS: Why didn’t you just tell me before! Awww!
    *big hug*

    And that’s how I came out to my little sister a few hours ago. On the drive home, we shared crappy dating stories.

  43. Thumb up 3

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    I wished that a certain tall slender girl from the Bronx would finally know that I think she is an amazingly cute , pretty woman, and let me be her Kitten gf.

    That would make fireworks go off in my heart and mind like the world has never seen!!

  44. Thumb up 2

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    I agreed to making waffles with a friend this morning, and right now I really wish I hadn’t. I’m sure it’ll be fun, but he’s supposed to be here in 30 minutes, and I am not at all ready to get out of bed yet.

    as for the fourth, mine was super low key. nice though, especially given that I started the day with zero plans. slept late, played a video game for a while, hung out with a couple friends: dinner (pizza and whiskey cokes–that’s pretty American right?), a weird movie, and ended with good late night conversation.

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