Been some glum news of late. Lots of people down in the dumps, lots of struggles within the orbits. Time for a commercial break...time to take a moment and kick everybody in the head to remind them of one simple fact--summer is almost over. Get out there and make the most of it, people. Here's 11 things I truly dig about summer.
#1 Summer Produce: I'm pretty authoritarian when it comes to food, serving as a chef and culinary guru to my family and most friends. Sure, we live in a blessed society where we can waltz into any upscale market and score whatever we want, I mean, have ever been to California? It's ridiculous. But the roadside stands, man. The peaches. The nectarines. Jersey Corn. The perfect tomato sandwich. Do I need to explain this? #2 Iced Caffeinated Beverages: Not some frothy 5000 calorie nonsense. I'm talking the unsweetened, traditional BLACK COFFEE and TEA. By the gallon, dude. Like a lemon slice in the tea. #3 Macking Starboard Beam Reaches: Sailing steered at right angles to the wind on the starboard tack and fast. Translation? No real destination, get out of the way, and let's get to the raft up so everybody can go swimming. Whoo-hoo! Speaking of swimming.... #4 Swimming Outside in the Dark: Otherworldly. Really. With suit or sans. #5 The Liberation from the Tyranny of the Wetsuit: Like losing a suit of armor in the open water. Lasts until mid-October. #6 Wearing Scott "Hokuleas" Every Single Day: I don't care what you call them. Slippahs, flip-flops...the way foot traffic should be. #7 Lingering Sunsets While Flying Kites: It's weird but it's really relaxing. Try it. #8 Watching Wimbledon and the US Open of Golf: Okay, technically the US Open doesn't take place in summer but it's in late June, are we splitting hairs here? Used to like watching the Tour de France, but I'm disenchanted. #9 Going to the Movies on a Hot Day: Oh give me the blockbuster, plot thin and well-freon-ed. #10 Summer Reading: For some reason in the summer I kick into hyper-drive on the reading front. This year has been no exception. Highlights? Kostoff's LATE RAIN and Gran's CLAIRE DEWITT AND THE CITY OF THE DEAD. #11 Music Outside: We're all jacked in, satellite and MP3-ed to death. But I miss the radio in the background, the way that (for some reason) FM classic rock stations play more Boston and Van Halen than at any other time of the year (it's true!)...and let's hear it for concerts outside, huh? I don't care if it's some balls-out festival in a stadium, a street corner jam, or the local kids' orchestra blaring the brass in the park. Outdoor music just plain rules. This year's highlight for me was this concert. (Please note the time on this video, Steve Weddle and Keith Rawson if you stop by [shudder]):
KIERAN SHEA’s fiction has appeared in dozens of venues including Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, Dogmatika, Word Riot, Plots with Guns, Beat to a Pulp, Crimefactory, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir ...as well as in some beefy-looking anthologies most of which will make you question the tether of his shiny, red balloon. To his self-deprecating astonishment he's also been nominated for the Story South’s Million Writers Award twice without sending the judges so much as a thank you note. He co-edited the satiric transgressive fiction collection D*CKED: DARK FICTION INSPIRED BY DICK CHENEY and his debut novel KOKO TAKES A HOLIDAY is out now from Titan Books. Kieran divides his time between 38°58′22.6″N- 76°30′4.17″W and 39.2775° N, 74.5750° W.