As I adjust my musical earworm from “June is Bustin Out All Over” from Carousel to “In July” from Sara Bareilles, I’m bracing myself for a bit of a chaotic few days to come. The East Coast, like the rest of the country, spent the last week or so in extreme weather – here, meaning thunderstorms, wind, hail, and possible tornado activity – only to have a weekend of thunderstorms to come. And what would this all be without poor air quality due to the Canadian wildfires? It left my eyes burning today after a quarter-hour outside. Sounds like a good excuse to stay in the air conditioning here, my friends.
Luckily: I’ve got a few activities ready to toss your way!
Eat: I am not going to recommend anything gourmand this weekend – or really even anything that inventive, or even seasonal. Far from it: I’m going to recommend that you take something easy and you make it fancy. There are so many evenings when I’ve peered into my pantry not even knowing what’s in there, and it is moments like that when my bougie pasta sauce has saved my life. Specifically, my bougie Rao’s pasta sauce. It is expensive. I am not pretending that it is not. But when you’ve got only the energy to boil water for some pasta, and you need to reward yourself for even doing that – use the Rao’s. Pick it up on your next box store run (Target, Walmart, Costco) or grab it online (Amazon or Rao’s own website.) You can thank me later.
See: There is something so wonderful and magical about summer carnivals and amusement park trips. I grew up going to church carnivals, the Boardwalk arcades, and Six Flags, and those are some of my most nostalgic memories. Whether you got to do that a lot, or not at all as a kid: check out a local carnival or fair this summer. Grab the funnel cake, or the popcorn, or the corn dogs. Win a teddy bear from a teenager that is bored and waiting for the night to end so they can hang with their friends. Ride the ferris wheel or pick your favorite animal on the carousel. Don’t let them make you grow up.
Do: My friend Stephen and I were talking recently and he mentioned that he had gotten super interested in graduation speeches. There are a whole host of famous ones out there, but take a look at those given by people that interest you, that you admire, or perhaps most interestingly, those you wish you could ask for advice. They’ve given it, just not to you, before now. I personally have always loved the not quite commencement speech: “Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen,” which was written by Mary Schmich for the Chicago Tribune. For optimal effect, watch the music video here which includes the old-school VH1 logo in the corner. Read this one that Stephen mentioned delivered by David Foster Wallace. And check out this one from Shonda Rhimes, which she delivered in 2014. She gets credit for being the only one I know of for using the phrase “poop my pants” in a commencement address.
And on that note (wow, and what a note!) I’m wishing you a jarred-but-authentic, win-a-prize, inspiring kind of weekend. I’ll be taking time off during our July Program Break, but I’ll see you in a few short weeks!