In the great words of Bill Pullman, “Today is the day we celebrate our Independence Day.”

I personally celebrated by looking for updates from Anime Expo (essentially no titles were licensed that I care about, so there’s no need for the mass linkage I had feared earlier) and taking a nap. It was quite patriotic.

It was more an independence day for my wallet than anything else, in light of the dearth of interesting licenses; the fewer titles the studios release that I care about, the more money I have. Yay! Most disturbing is what wasn’t announced today: SaiKano, which I blogged about previously. Apparently none of the major studios (Pioneer, ADV, Bandai, Media Blasters) have it; by process of elimination (with a small amount of guessing), one arrives at the conclusion that Funimation must have it.

Funimation, if you were unaware, is the fine company that brings us DragonBall Z.

Actually, to be fair, they’ve done a few other series as well—including the highly regarded Fruits Basket—and the only issue people have had with those releases is with their translation (namely it being too stiff, as I understand). Considering the show is in a foreign language, though, that could be a pretty big problem. We’ll see, tomorrow.

This evening Eric and I did the Only Thing To Do In Corvallis On The Fourth Of July: go out to the bridges downtown and watch the fireworks. The show was nice, if not similar to the show every other year, and even included some new types of fireworks. (Though they were different enough to register as “new” to me, they weren’t different enough for me to bother remembering what was different about them. Well, that’s not quite true: there was a giant yellow sphere, a giant sphere with many colors—red, blue, green, yellow, etc.—and a white one with many little mini-fireworks that all spun around in tight circles.)

More notable than the show was Riverfront Park; it is now quite the pleasant place to hang out. There were a large number of families with young children roaming along the wide path that’s been constructed along the length of the park, and a good number of elderly people who had staked out parts of the nice, green, grassy fields that run alongside the path. The path even continues under the two bridges in and out of town; it’s rather creepy to be underneath an old wooden bridge when a car drives on it. The bridges weren’t as crowded as they have historically been, simply because many more people elected to stay back and sit in the park.

For those of you who don’t know, Riverfront Park used to be a sea of cement and dirt. You would typically see at most four people in the park, all of whom would be slack-jawed skateboarder types. Ordinary folk didn’t spend too much time there, and especially didn’t hang around when it got dark. The change has been dramatic, and definitely for the better.

Eric and I did note, however, that the college-age demographic was sorely underrepresented in our non-scientific survey of the people. The giant speakers by the river blared out, before the show, such patriotic tunes as the Bangle’s “Walk Like an Egyptian” and Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me With Science.” (The fare became more traditional once the fireworks started flying.) The group of kids—yeah, I’m now old enough to call some people “kids”—to our right had some type of minor popping firecracker, and were throwing them at each other in between making various references to boobs (“If one of those hits me in the boob, I’m gonna be pissed” “Nah, boob’s too soft for [the firecracker]”; “show [cars passing by] your boobs!” “don’t tempt me, ’cause I will!”; etc.). The guy and gal behind us constantly oohed at each firework, especially once they noticed the (quite nice) reflections that the fireworks had in the river. A quartet of ducks passed calmly underneath the bridge. The people behind the Super 8 kept setting off illegal fireworks that sometimes rivaled those of the Jaycees.

The Corvallis Police Department sent a couple guys to tackle the offenders, who were quite drunk and belligerent about the entire ordeal. Everybody else just laughed.

Okay, I made that last part up.


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