AI: Summertime, and the living is easy … isn’t it?

It seems to me that there is nothing lazy about summer.  At least not my summer — not these days.

It used to be, I think. Back when I was in high school, it was all Italian ice, Shakespeare in the Park and getting sunburned swimming all day at Jones Beach. Thunderstorms, black outs and heat waves. (No, really, I’m talking about 1989!)

So far this summer, in 2012, I haven’t seen a play or spent any appreciable time in the sun. I’m way to busy for that, or so I think. And then today I had ice cream. (I am still on my perpetual quest to find a good Italian ice outside of New York, however.) And all of a sudden it’s summertime, and I don’t want to miss it. I want to see lots of movies and go to the drive-in and cook corn on the cob.

What says ‘summer’ to you?  What mid-year activities/food/sights can’t be missed?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm ET.


A B Kovacs is the Director of Døøm at Empty Set Entertainment, a publishing company she co-founded with critical thinker and fiction author Scott Sigler. She considers herself a “Creative Adjacent” — helping creative people be more productive and prolific by managing the logistics of Making for the masses. She's a science nerd, a rabid movie geek, and an unrepentantly voracious reader. She doesn't like chocolate all that much.

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  1. Summer means warm nights where long walks or bike rides through the city are to be enjoyed.

    Also, good “Italian ice” is found in Philadelphia, where it is called “water ice” for some reason. It’s just as good, if not better, than it is in New York (I may be biased).

    1. I’m heading down to San Diego’s Little Italy this weekend to see about finding the SoCal version of this so-called “water ice”. I am still skeptical it exists outside the five boroughs, but I persevere.

    2. I was in Philly last weekend. I bought a cooler there specifically so that I could smuggle some water ice back up to Buffalo with me. :)

  2. I live in San Francisco, so the whole warm-weather summer doesn’t really exist for us. For years I didn’t really feel all that different in the summer.

    I now have a son in elementary school, and try to be as active a parent as I can, which means I interact with other moms during the school year. What summer now means to me is not having to listen to anyone speak positively about homeopathy, astrology, etc.

  3. summer used to mean bbq, camping, and living on a bicycle, but nowadays it means emptier busses & campus, and no marking.

  4. I work at a school as an occupational therapist. Summer means not having to hear about all the anti vax crap or how wonderful Jenny McCarthy is. I’m also currently 8 months pregnant so I’m trying to enjoy my time before the baby comes. Though I usually volunteer at the SPCA I haven’t done so because I’m worried about possible infection or injury. Can’t wait to get back into it though.

  5. Summer used to be visiting a friend who lived in a nearby village on a remote farm. Lugging 6 feet speakers outside and listening to blues and hard rock.
    Sitting on seats from an old Deux Cheveaux. Roasting sausages in the fire pit. Drinking Grolsch beer from swing top bottles. Plop, and the smoke that rose from the bottle…
    Swimming in the small lake next to the farm.
    ‘t Was like camping but with all the comforts of home.

    Then came university and long holidays on a shoe string budget. With my brother and 2 friends railing accross Europe. Cycling in Britain. Those were the days.

    This year I’ll be at the Truckstar Festival at the local race track. It’s the largest truckers meeting in Europe. My footbal(soccer) club manages the official camping site next to the race track. I get to wear a fluorescent jacket, talk into a walkie-talkie and boss people around ;-). I’m so excited!
    It’s going to be a long week of booze, unhealthy food, sleepless nights and a lot of fun.

  6. Summer means ICK ICK ICK ICK CRANK THE DAMN AC UP. (I was not made to live in the Southeast.)

    However, it also means Dragon*Con near the end of it, and that is sufficient to make up for the heat.

  7. A.Real.Girl,

    Summer time living has never been very easy where I live. Man its hot!

  8. As a frequent freelancer, summer means just more of the same. The only trips I go on are for personal events like weddings. Though I did see Roman Holiday played on the big screen in Bryant Park this week. That was nice, if a bit muggy.

  9. 117 degree highs, and 95 degree lows. :P Lots of sun. Haboobs. Every summer, it seems.

    This one last summer was huge:

    The AP reports that the massive dust cloud, also known as a “haboob,” was around 5,000 feet when it arrived in Phoenix, but radar data reveals that it reached heights anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 feet high prior. The storm appeared to be around 50 miles wide in some areas, KSAZ-TV reported

    Hot cars: Being unable to touch the steering wheel. Burning yourself horribly on the metal seat belt.

    Monsoon storms! Tons of thunder and lightning and sometimes some insane wind with occasional rain. :P

    Summer trips to my very hot home town (hotter than Phoenix) to jump in the ice, cold river. :D

    1. I envy you. Where I live it’s 10ºC (50ºF) at the moment, 8:00 (GMT+1). Temperatures will rise to a staggering 16ºC (60.8ºF) and that’s in the heart of summer. Torrential rains add to the summer fun.
      One of the worst summers in recorded history.

      1. We’ve already had a reallllly hot summer. I suspect we won’t feel any real relief until Halloween.

    2. Marilove: I’ve been to Phoenix once (on a conference in Scottsdale) and I made the mistake of trying to walk to a store. In the middle of summer. With no shade bit one or two knee-high cacti.

      I quickly retreated to my hotel and called a cab.

      To my defense, I am European, and three blocks on the map didn’t look very far. I started worrying when I couldn’t even see the end of the block I was on. Oh, I learned a lot about urban planning on that trip.

      1. Hah! Phoenix is really spread out. :) I’m lucky in that I live in Central Phoenix, close to downtown, but yeah, even then…. I went 8 years without a car here!

    1. Or cake with lemon drizzle, vanilla ice cream on the side. Better yet, undercooked lamb shanks on a bed of frikeeh!

        1. Indeed, how else can you safe it last minute by cutting the meat of the bone and pan frying it?
          I forgot it’s best accompanied by a spiced lamb fillet that’s been sous-videed till it’s a “beautiful” grey, with figs and a yoghurt foam on the side.

          It was the losing dish on thursdays Masterchef Australia. Summer to me also means catching up on cookery shows from all over the world and trying the recipes.

  10. Riding my bike in the forest and exploring new trails.

    Actually, I was just going to bed, but I think I’ll go for a little ride now.

    1. No, going to bed it is.

      Anyway, summer is time for biking, since everything is covered in snow and ice here all winter.

      Also, canoeing on a still lake in the wilderness surrounded by the greens of trees and distant mountains. Aah. I’ve spent far to much time indoors this summer. Time to change that.

  11. Since I graduated from high school more than a decade ago, summer really hasn’t meant much difference to me.

    When I lived in Florida, it mostly meant dealing with daily thunderstorms, hurricane season, and heat.

    Now that I’m in Arizona, it just means more heat than I really care for (and making my job a royal pain in the bum).

    Now that I think about it, I’ve become rather cynical of summer.
    Maybe if I lived elsewhere it would be different.

    1. I think it probably would. Where I live, way here north f the arctic circle, summer is when it doesn’t snow for a few months, and winter is the rest.

      I’m just not used to heat.

      When I visited Spain and Estonia last year, I overheated and had to stay in my hotel room on the hottest days. Up here, a warm day is around 15-20 degrees celcius, or 25 if you’re lucky. Call me bizarre, but I rather like this. You can always put on more clothes, but there’s a limit to how much to can take off.

  12. Haha! I’m already vaccinated for whooping cou—

    FUCK! That reminds me that I need to get vaccinated for two of the Hepatitises. I don’t remember which; they all have letters after their names.

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