Thursday, June 3, 2010

Really, though, is there anything better?

I have slight food obsession going on right now. I've always been a bit of cook and found it to be incredibly cathartic at the end of the day. However, since summer is now upon us, I am completely consumed with summer fare. Cold friend chicken and cole slaw, hot dogs with all the fixings, popsicles, anything bar-be-qued or grilled, potato salad, ice cold diet coke, hamburgers with enough cheese to clog an artery. I want it all! All these foods have such a deep seeded place in my memory of what summer should be. There's a smell to the air and a feeling to participating in these summer feasts that has just reminded me of one more reason I am so thankful to be back in California, doing exactly what I'm doing and loving those who there to share it.

It's definitely not just the food cravings either. You want a certain beat to your music, just the right about of a breeze, top off the 'roller skate' (aka the code name for my car), no make up, Ray Bans and the ever present scent of Hawaiian tropics sunscreen. You choose to spend your time in a different manner that turns every event into a celebration for summer. I understand this time of year will never have that unadulterated feeling of freedom we had in school, but it still will hold an anticipation and excitement that not even the month of December can compete with.

So for this upcoming summer in the ultimate sunshine state of California I plan on the following:
1. Unplug the cable for the television. There's no need. When True Blood comes on, I will just have to find somewhere else besides my house to watch it.
2. Find an excuse to get out of the house and do something outside at least once a day. Even if that includes my walk to work.
3. Buy a box of otter pots and finish them by the end of summer.
4. A minimum of 5 Oakland Athletics games. Baseball is the ultimate summer activity.
5. Actually see fireworks on the Fourth of July. NO working at night and missing the fun stuff for such an epic holiday.
6. Get thee to the beach. And I don't mean Lake Tahoe. I mean the real, honest to God, Pacific ocean included beach.
7. Run through sprinklers.
8. Read everything by Jane Austen... Because I have the time to for once.
9. Suck it up and go down to Pyramid and buy a growler of pear cider. There really is nothing like it on a warm summer night.
10. Get tickets to the Shakespeare festival in Orinda. I haven't done that since I was in high school and quite frankly, that just sounds amazing.
11. Make so much sweet sun tea that I float away.
12. Not sure which one, and I really don't care actually, but go to a concert. And attempt not to get sun burned.

I think this is a solid start to getting summer done well.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Alacrity should be a way of life

a·lac·ri·ty [uh-lak-ri-tee] 1. cheerful readiness, promptness, or willingness. 2. liveliness; briskness. I have recently been going through a phase of literary exploration that has strayed into the classics. Currently on the night stand is Jane Austen's Emma which is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Maybe I relate to Emma's naivety, her infallible opinions, or her complete awakening towards her own insignificance, but the word alacrity kept appearing. Hearing my mother's voice in my head instructing me to "go look up the words you don't know," and I came across this little gem of archaic English eloquence.

The energy and enthusiasm to just be ready to go ahead with whatever is thrust your way is something I am occasionally able to accomplish but not with the regularity that I would like. There is something completely liberating to know that you have made the choice to just be ready. No matter the situation, the changes or the upheaval of plans; you just choose to cheerfully be ready. I'm not saying I want to go to the extent of Yes, Man although a day or two could certainly open your eyes to the potential your own life can offer. Just a consistent thought that powers and shapes the choices you make. It was truly thrilling to come across such an exhilarating word that is not used often enough.

Basically, say yes more often than you say no.