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This Year, the Fourth Is A Five-Day Vacation

Happy Fourth of July!

It's not in your imagination if the last week has seemed rather slow. Nobody, anywhere is getting any real work done all week long! Fire up the grill and make yourself a burger that deserves a long op-ed piece. Or something?

Since the Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday this year, it's a five-r, vacation-wise, even if your vacay is by the printer tray. Even Mitt Romney is using this week as a working holiday. Which one of your waterfront vacation homes will you jet ski in front of today? Hmmm. I'm getting the impression that optics aren't Romney's forte.

Here in Washington D.C., it'll be interesting to see how tonight's fireworks shows unfold amid continuing, widespread power outages due in part to a widespread lack of power company employees. Don't touch that downed electrical line; help is on the way. From Richmond. Or Delaware, or North Carolina. Apparently?

As a fledgling local, there's also the question of how much to do in today's energy-sucking heat. We trekked down to the National Mall on the Fourth last year, where we waited in lines 20-deep to use Smithsonian museum restrooms. Let's just say the museums are a bit crowded on the Fourth of July. Of course, if you stick around the Mall long enough, there's the awesome, big, mind-blowing fireworks show that is followed by the prospect of packing your family onto a Metro train car like a sardine with sweaty tourists from everywhere else and arriving home after 1 a.m. once you are able to escape the confines of the parking garage. Who's hosting PBS's A Capitol Fourth this year? I vote for Barry Bostwick, or Jimmy Smits. Throw in some Elmo for the win.

I'll whip out some sparklers for the kiddies as I remember my World War II-era mother, who survived the Great Depression and would sit on the front porch lamenting how setting off fireworks is like sending good money up in smoke while my young, Gen X self gleefully twirled a sparkler. Yes, it was sort of a downer, but she did have a good point, especially since firework sets can be so expensive these days. And it's debatable whether we're emerging from Great Depression II. By the way, it won't be Barry Bostwick OR Jimmy Smits hosting this year. It will be Tom Bergeron, host of Dancing With the Stars. But he's also hosted America's Funniest Home Videos, hasn't he? Okay, I'm seeing the synergies here.

Sigh. I started out heading somewhere with this post but I've lost my way. However, I am, like every other American, in the middle of a fabulous five-r and it's been a very long recession. So I'll make no apologies this time. Whatever you do, have fun and be safe. And happy 236th birthday, America!

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