Friday, July 22, 2011

Reasons to Like Summer

We're facing our thirty-zillionth consecutive day of temperatures over 100 (actually, I think we're somewhere in the 22 days range, but I lost count). I remember loving summer when I was a kid, but that may have been because we were out of school and there were fun things to do like go to swimming lessons or play on the Slip 'N Slide. And there were times when I lived in places that had a normal summer, when summer was the warm time when you could be outdoors, not the time you had to hibernate in the air conditioned interior or risk heat stroke. In the interest of focusing on the positive instead of making myself miserable by counting the days until October, I'm making a list of reasons to enjoy summer:

1) Summer fruit
I'm practically living on fruit these days because there's so much good stuff that's available inexpensively. I'm eating cherries for dessert every night, there are blueberries and strawberries on my morning cereal, and then there are peaches and watermelons. It's tasty and good for me. These days, I can get these things at other times of the year, but they cost a fortune and have to be shipped in from Chile.

2) Summer television
Once upon a time, summer was a dead spot full of reruns and failed pilots run as television movies (though those could be fun, even if they were frustrating because you would have liked to see those series more than the ones that were actually picked up). Now, the cable networks have summer series, many of which I like better than those from the regular TV season. There's Leverage on TNT, a lot of the USA lineup and the summer lineup from the network formerly known as Sci Fi. Haven would be on my list of top-three series, Warehouse 13 is like a combination of all my favorite elements rolled into one show, and Eureka is good fun if you turn off your brain and all critical thinking. Alphas may not stick for me, though. I'm giving it one more try, but the second episode bored me to the point I barely paid attention to it. It came dangerously close to being turned off in the middle of an episode. It's nice to have something to watch while huddling under a fan.

3) Summer movies
Well, sort of. This has been a slow summer for me. The only movie I've seen is the final Harry Potter, and there's not much on the horizon, other than maybe Cowboys and Aliens. I'm not a comic book fan, nor am I a superhero fan, and that seems to be the bulk of movies coming out this year. On the up side, this is when HBO gets last summer's movies, which gives me more to watch without leaving the house.

4) The swimming pool
This is one thing that holds over from childhood. I don't get in the pool unless it's warmer than 90 degrees outside, and the hotter the better because then the water feels good, so it's one thing that's best done when it's really hot. I like swimming late in the day when our pool is in the shade but the water retains the heat. I haven't been swimming yet this year, though, in part because it's been too hot to walk to the pool, and the few times I have ventured out, there have been kids in the pool. It's a community pool, and most of the people who live here are either retired or childless couples and singles, but there seem to be a few more families with kids now, and that means fewer times I have the pool to myself. I don't get in the pool when there are kids unless the parents are also in the pool because there have been a few times when the kids were behaving very dangerously while the parents have been nearby but ignoring them while they read a magazine or talked on a cell phone, and I realized that as the adult in the pool, I'd be put in the position of being the first responder if something went wrong, and I'm leery of being forced to take life-and-death responsibility for someone else's kids like that. So, I stay out of the pool when there are kids, which limits my pool time. But I will have to make a point of hitting the pool. School starts the week I get back from WorldCon, so then I should still have plenty of warm days that are child-free.

5) My birthday
I have an August birthday, so that's always something to look forward to in the summer. Not that I'm eager to age (although it beats the alternative), but it's fun feeling special for a day. If I play it right, I can milk it for longer than that with multiple celebrations with different groups of people.

6) It's convention season
I've been a homebody this year because writing is more important than promoting right now, but summer is peak season for science fiction conventions around here. That means time hanging out with friends and discussing geeky stuff. I'll be at WorldCon in a few weeks, and then there's FenCon in September, but that's getting into fall, when it will start getting cooler …

and, oh dear, I'm looking forward to fall again. It's about seven weeks until September, and usually the 100-degree days have stopped by then, even though it's still hot. The way I have my work currently planned, I should be able to take time off in October to enjoy my favorite time of year. Which means I need to get moving on today's errands so I can spend a busy day writing.

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