Tag Archives: summer

Friday Happy: All we are is ducks in the wind

Feeling a little knocked down by the sudden onslaught of harsh winter this week? Take some inspiration from this:

[NSFW, if you work in the kind of place where you regularly play internet videos aloud without headphones, though if you work in such a place where that’s acceptable thisis  probably is SFW]

192 days till summer y’all. Though I prefer to take the more optimistic, goal-oriented approach to beating winter: 11 days till the winter solstice, y’all, when at least the days will stop getting shorter.

Now back to looking for a real winter coat.

All summer/drinking water

Because apparently I’m a sucker for any song with “summer” in the title, especially this year, I have had this song on repeat for a week now:

It’s sponsored by Converse. So, whatever, big deal. It’s not like they’re succeeding in selling me anything. I mean, at last count, I happen to have a staggering, all-time high, seven pair of chucks in rotation right now. But all that came well before they put Beth Cosentino in a pair of hi-tops.

Continue reading

Inverted Soapbox heartily endorses…

…a record-breaking 90-degree day in April.

wonder wheel!

I don’t have much to add to that, save for the fact that 90 degrees beaming down from above and the sand between your toes is enough to chase off those tax-day blues. Sometimes you just need to see the ocean to remind yourself that the world has an edge, and that the horizon does in fact stretch on to unchartable lengths only hinted at by the briney scent of the air mixing with coconut oil, Rihanna and weed smoke at Coney Island. Continue reading

Timeline of a Free David Byrne Concert in Prospect Park

The following events take place between 3:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. Monday, June 8, 2009.



Then this:


Then this began:


Followed by a whole lot of this:


But then this:


Which was awesome.

Then, a lot more of that other previous thing:


Then, uh, this, apparently:


and this:


and, wait? this too?:




and finally, this:


David Byrne, you do strange things to Brooklyn. How often do you spot the Ghostbusters’ Mobile when you’re drunkely wandering down the street? Once in a lifetime, I’d say.

Also, Prospect Park is reporting the official count for the crowd was 27,000 people. And then David Byrne rode his bike to the after party in Park Slope.

Friday Happy: Hustle to the mall to get me a short set

It’s Memorial Day weekend. That means one thing….


Summer means stale strains of Sublime songs pumping out of speakers every 20 feet on the Seaside Boardwalk; long lines for a table at the Carrabba’s on Hilton Head (yes, Carrabba’s); Congressional recesses; the cool refreshing oasis of a movie theater showing the latest Pixar film; and, this year, probably a lot of long, lazy days lying out on the roof drinking Brooklyn Summer Ale and reading The New Yorker and lots and lots of comic books (and I do mean lots). It also means personal hygeine shrinks to a bare socially acceptable minimum and my wardrobe recedes into the essential vestments necessary to keep the more shocking bits of self away from scrutiny. Jeans will be put on reserve for formal functions, and only used begrudgingly.

Today’s Friday Happy will be a text-based adventure from a 2008 McSweeeny’s Short Imagined Monologue. Also filed under Things I Wish I Had Written, a file that is becoming tragically obese:

A Pep Talk
for the New Pair
of Shorts I Will Wear
Every Day This Summer.

– – – –

I understand you had higher hopes for where you’d end up. But the simple fact is that I chose you, not some fashion-forward type who’d wear you once every few weeks to lobster boils and garden walks and might even have you professionally laundered. Beyond that, I need to make clear up front that, for me, you aren’t leisure wear, weekend wear, or yacht wear: I won’t be wearing you in the off-hours when I’m not in a suit, because I don’t own a suit. I’m going to need to rely on you all day, every day, day in and day out, until summer is over or you fall in tatters to the ground and cease to be clothing anymore.

It won’t be easy. Washings will be erratic and, at times, infrequent. Creases and lines will become visible. A permanent outline of my wallet will form in your back left pocket. People will make jokes about you being able to stand up on your own. All sorts of drinks, foods, and smoking materials will be dropped on you; some of them will stain, some will bleach, and some will leave unsightly burn holes. At times, I’ll sleep in you. I like to camp, and I’m a bit of a drinker. There will theoretically be times when I wear you for periods of 48 or even 72 continuous hours. The basic rule of thumb will be that if I’m still standing you’re on duty.

Also, I lose at least half my guitar students in summer, so I’ll need you for day-laboring assignments that will involve exposure to anything from thorn bushes to roofing tar. You may find yourself asking why I’d opt out of wearing pants to protect my legs, and the simple answer is that after years of experience I’ve learned to endure scrapes, abrasions, and burns on my legs over being hot. I sweat profusely about the groin area whenever the temperature exceeds 80 degrees. Your tag referred to your fabric as “breathable,” and let’s hope to God, for your sake and mine, that’s true.

Despite the challenges, though, when all is said and done, you will know that it was you and you alone who got me through the summer. At the very least, take comfort in knowing that when it’s over it’s over—you won’t find yourself sandwiched in some musty thrift store awaiting an owner who doesn’t believe in underwear. You’re going out of here in a garbage bag. So buck up and let’s get on with it. A friend of mine is having a fish fry and he needs help cleaning 11 catfish he caught this morning.

Living in Ocean City, Md. one summer, I decided early on to see if I could get by wearing only one pair of board shorts the entire summer, my rationale being that between surfing, ocean swimming and dips in the pool a few times every day, the trunks would be in a constant state of tumble wash and rinse. This went about as well as you are imagining, and about a month in I ceded to decorum and added at least one other pair of shorts to the rotation. Growing up in Jersey, I had a friend Brad who, every day before we went to the beach, would squeeze some shampoo into his Nike hat and throw it on his head so that he would have a ready made wash job as soon as his be-capped head dipped below the waves. Somehow this worked for him.

Oh, what the hell, here’s a video too. It’s Will Smith Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff’s beloved “Summertime” circa 1991. If this song doesn’t fill you with the sunny happiness and anticipation of the season ahead, you have died. Please stop reading this blog, as it creeps me out.

A hopeful winter thought: people somewhere are drinking outdoors again already

I wrote a story this week last year about how the first signs of summer already start to peak their heads out this time of year on Hilton Head. A year later, it’s snowing in New York City and so many people have flu it feels like the first act of a friggin zombie movie. And the beach bar mentioned below just opened again for the season the other day.

I still don’t regret the move in the least. And for a kid with summer breeze in the veins like me, that’s saying a lot.

Tiki Hut reopens… and it sure feels like summer

Published Saturday, February 16, 2008

photo by Jay Karr/Island Packet

photo by Jay Karr/Island Packet

Maybe it’s the eternal optimism of the school child, or the sun-loving hubris of South Carolinians who refuse to take their beers or brunches indoors even in the dead of winter.

But there’s something about this time of year, an ephemeral quality that’s hard to nail down, that causes people to start shaking out their patio umbrellas and dusting off their beach chairs as summer on Hilton Head Island comes to life.

People in other parts of the country are still crowding around living room fireplaces and digging out from harsh winter snowfalls. Not here, where the most nascent signs of the season debut this week.

Planning for the island’s big spring events is well underway by now and a handful of restaurants that closed for the (albeit short) winter season reopened over the past few days. [MORE]

I used that word “hubris” on purpose, and I wasn’t being in the least bit pejorative. One of my favorite qualities about coastal South Carolina was its absolute stubborn refusal to cede the outdoors to the changing of the seasons, even when the paltry feint of winter rattled the windows. Everyone kind of looked at the weather in January and February, said “fuck it, you’re not the boss of me,” and went outside anyway. This is why propane-powered heat lamps were invented, why I stood in a light jacket drinking a beer at an outdoor oyster roast while watching through the window of a bar the Packers and Seahawks battle it out in a snowstorm so violent it looked like the TV was covered with static, and it’s why the island’s most-popular brunch spot used space heaters, plastic guards on the patio railing and even blankets left on chairs for customers to reclaim the use of its outdoor seating when that other, non-summer season was around.

The other environmental hubris I’ve noticed is in the arid California desert near Palm Springs, where civilization has been forced to pipe in water from afar to exist in a place probably not really meant for human habitation. That one makes me less happy. But I do not know what their brunches are like out there (save for the date shakes).

Still, only 122 days until summer. Not that I’m counting. Except I am.