blackhawkdownWe have a 4th of July tradition where we watch Black Hawk Down. I think it started as bit of a coincidence. One year we were hanging out in 4oJ and opted to watch Black Hawk Down because 1) it’s a bad ass movie 2) it’s sort of patriotic 3) it has nice “fireworks”….

After the movie concluded, we heard fireworks going off from the Austin Fireworks show downtown. The next year, we happened to be hanging out on 4oJ again and put in Black Hawk Down….hence a tradition started.

This year, in addition to watching Black Hawk Down, we’re gonna have a BBQ for lunch. I made up a list of our menu.


It’s not too ambitious a list but it will require pulling out the grill from the garage. I’m particularly looking forward to the Fried Okra and Apple Cake. 🙂

My job on the list is the salad and cake! The recipes are extremely easy so I doubt I’ll mess them up.

The cake I’ll be making is from Rachel Ray’s old cooking show: My Sister Maria’s Easy Apple Cake

Chapter 31: Human Nature

When I heard that Michael Jackson had died yesterday, I felt incredibly relieved for the pop icon. I always figured he suffered relentlessly since his demise since the late 90s. It’s better for stars like that to die early on I think. Dealing with the loss of being on top for the rest of your life after being a God among mortals can’t be easy to live with..

However, I am terribly sad at his passing. For me the death of Michael Jackson sort of just symbolizes a full end of an era. Music has always been a gigantic part of my life and certain albums reflect a specific part of my history. Thriller was definitely the first pop album I ever listened to. I spent so many weekends dancing with my brother in the living room to Human Nature and Billy Jean. My father would put certain songs on repeat, which back then required him to move the needle on the record player. He and my mom would sit and watch us dance and it’s one of the strongest memories I have from my childhood.

Throughout the years, the succession of his music was always present in our house. And regardless of his own failures at creating a nuclear family, his music profoundly laid a soundtrack for my tight family bonds. His death is a reminder to me of the end of that structure a family has growing up when all the kids are young and haven’t ventured off on their own. It represents that small blip of history where we were a family. It’s just a picture now….we’ll always have that sense of unconditional love regardless of our now more disconnected nature…but it will never be the same.

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