Thursday, 17 May 2012

Lukewarm Child in the City...

Hello Friends.

Well it's that time of year again! We're in that golden period where it probably won't snow tomorrow, but it's not so hot as to be insufferable. Not officially summer, but really my preferred few weeks. I never used to be a giant baby about it being too hot until I moved into the top floor of an apartment with no air conditioning in a humid place. Now I'm a sweat-stained infant. So really, this is my summer in the city. Break out your lighter sweaters or heavier t-shirts. Plop an ice cube your Ovaltine to take the edge off. Go swimming in an indoor pool and leave with your hair still kind of wet. It's tolerable spring.

Dream: Have a blast this tolerable spring.

Goal: Achievable. Every August, with a bag of frozen peas dripping on my pizza gut, I always think, “Why didn't I appreciate those last few weeks of May? That's when it was perfect.” Well now it's that time, and I'm going to celebrate it.

Plan: Enjoy summer activities before everyone else wises up and tries to join me. Activities like:

Sitting on a patio. This is an awesome way to enjoy passers-by and marvel at how heat lamps just don't set places ablaze. If it gets cool at night, ask to move inside. Pretty sure servers love finding a place for you.

Going to the beach. It's too cold to swim and definitely not warm enough for shorts, so I recommend setting down a blanket, then an anti-sand layer of garbage bags, then resting your be-kakhi'd legs for a quick read of an old magazine and then you're done.

Outdoor concerts. The beauty part is, you don't have to actually attend, and watch those weird, crunchy earth mother types with babies on their hips doing that swaying dance way to close to the speakers. Instead, when a friend asks you to a potluck where everyone has to bring something vegan-friendly, you can say, “Oh! So sorry, I have tickets to an outdoor concert.” Avoid both activities and download episodes of Bob's Burgers or Veep or whatever.

Wearing a blazer or sportcoat over a t-shirt. This was my jam in high school (I was not popular in high school). A great way to tell people you're all business (or are you?), the t-shirt and blazer keeps your arms warm and your pits moist (but who cares, you've got a jacket on). And when people see you coming they think, “Oh it's just another businessman and, hey wait! His t-shirt advertises a novelty product or service from the olden times! Definitely more hip than square, pals!”

Walking where you once did drive or, in my case, take transit. Considering commutes, it's nearly impossible to do away with all transportation entirely in favour of walking, but I recommend getting off a stop or two early and avoiding the mad crush of people all trying to get on or off at the same time. And if you have a really short distance to travel before a bus gets to a subway stop or the end of the line, just walk it. I take a really crowded bus when I get off work at 5 pm, and everyone is trying to get to the subway station. It gets so full that, as the bus gets closer and closer to the station, it will stop picking up those lazy, stupid dinks who can't walk two blocks to the subway. The assumption is that another, less-full bus will be along shortly, or that they should just be able to hoof it that short distance. Trust me, non-transit-takers, nothing is more satisfying than watching someone see a bus pull up to them, only to not open their doors and bypass them entirely. They get all mad and make the “what the fuck?!” open-armed gesture instead of merely walking five minutes in beautiful weather. I should mention, though, that elderly people, moms with young'uns, and folks with reduced mobility are always picked up regardless of location, as they should be. Every bus patron stands to offer a seat, or moves further back and gets even cozier to allow these people on. It renews one faith in persons. But the healthy folks who can't put one foot in front of the other? Enjoy your walk, suckas!

Eating ice cream. Trust that I have ice cream year around, but there's something about eating it in cold weather that just feels stupid. It's like you've insisted on wearing pajamas to school, or including the dog's name on your outgoing answering machine message. Both things you certainly can do, but should you? But when it gets even a little bit warmer outside, no one can fault your indulgence in an ice-cream treat. I'm particularly fond of frozen yogurt this year too. Recently, a friend introduced me to Menchie's, this frozen yogurt chain where you do everything yourself. You load up a cup with a flavour of your choice (and they have cutesy fun ones like Birthday Cake, Peppermint Lime, Barbecue Maple) and then the fix-ins! The fix is in for these fix-ins! Crumbled up toffee? Yes. Sprinkly-dinklies? Sure. Marshmallows in pastel colours? Affirmative. Dates? Fuck you! There aren't any dates! It's all CANDY! Cram your sweets hole with candy you sugared tramp! Then they just weigh or measure your bowl and determine a price arbitrarily. “Total's $3.75 but a few more sprinkly-dinklies would have run you eighty dollars.”

These activities and more are why I look forward to the coming weeks. Summer is such a short time, really, and the pressure to fill it with fun is immense, so why be beholden to specific dates? Summer is more a state of mind than the proper time to wear shorts (which is never, by the way). So slip a blazer over that tea and meet me on the patio of Menchie's, unless it gets coldies. Let's have fun that can't be measured.

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