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Christina’s Corner: June 2024

June is quite possibly one of my favorite months. There’s Pride, a riotous celebration of love and being who you are. The sunlight lasts until 8:30 at night, and it makes time for so much more time outside – and the garden has surprises yet to be told. Then, the temperatures in my state aren’t yet stiflingly hot, and you can sit outside at night around a campfire and still need a light layer. I will entertain other seasons, but summer will always have my heart. 

When I’m not brushing dirt from under my fingernails, here are some things I am doing to enjoy the cool, temperate inside.

Eat: I am sure this is not a new concept at all, but I have been practicing it every Friday: salad on pizza. Pizza is probably a perfect food, and the salad component used to be off-putting to me. Why ruin a perfect food with something healthy on top? But I recently discovered the beauty of a nice chopped salad with dressing on top. It adds a crunchy layer and the dressing can be such a perfect contrast to the sweetness of the tomato sauce. My suggestion: get a plain pizza (or, if you’re in New Jersey, try a Trenton-style tomato pie). Add some chopped romaine or iceberg lettuce, croutons, and creamy ceasar dressing or nice balsamic. Voila. 

See: I just started watching a show on HBO Max (I refuse it call it Max, like many of us with good sense and reason.) It’s a documentary called Ren Faire. It is still the early minutes of the first episode, but I am hooked. It’s about the Texas Renaissance Faire and this guy who created it named George. He’s called King George, and his home is a combination of a Medici Mansion and something out of an escape room. George is old, and he knows it. He’s out to find someone to take over when he’s gone. And a lover, but that’s another story.

I am no stranger to Rennaissance Faires: my tiny liberal arts college had its very own outdoor Renaissance Faire each Spring, complete with a human chess board, Jacques ze Whipper, and screaming “dragon!” each time a plane flew overhead. I have enjoyed the Ren Faire myself in the times since- who doesn’t love fairies and people *committing to the work*? It’s always been a delight.

But there is something about this full-scale operation, this multi-million dollar dynasty of Renaissance performance. You see all the behind the scenes, people who are arguably drunk on power, and all the clashes that come with it.

I haven’t seen Succession, but this feels like Succession with pointy shoes. I am HERE for it.

Do: I am trying a new trick to actually get myself out of bed. It starts when I’m still in bed. I’ll pick a song – sometimes its something off of Cowboy Carter, others it is a throwback like “Sail” by Awolnation. I treat myself like a dancer following choreography: my job is to put my feet on the ground when the beat drops. Why does this work? I have no idea. Did I read this anywhere? Nope, I totally made it up. And let me tell you: works like a charm. Here are five songs to try it out. 

  • 16 Carriages” by Beyonce. When that strum hits about 24 seconds in, I feel a surge of energy and I want to take on the world.
  • Valerie” by Amy Winehouse. I try to get my body moving when Amy stars crooning, but if not, try for 30ish seconds in when the horns start. Nothing like a good horn section!
  • Aint No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel. Real talk: is there any song more beloved by… everyone? I think not. Get those feet on the ground and ready to groove when the chorus starts.
  • Espresso” by Sabrina Carpenter. I’m not immune to the fun vibes and the catchiness of this tune. “I’m working late, cuz I’m a singer”? This is cheeky pop that gets me feeling ready to move about 10 seconds in.
  • Be My Baby” by the Ronnettes. If you can’t get up immediately, you get a second chance about 30 seconds in. 

Have a stepped-up classic, committed to the character, determined to groove week!

– Christina