Summertime has arrived, and to be honest I do not particularly enjoy this season. It is hot, and I don't have air conditioning, and I tend to get very sweaty and grumpy and foggy headed. Nevertheless, one must look for a way to power on through until the world cools off again and you can pick your duvet up off the floor and put it on your bed again. Here's what keeping me going this summer:
1. Rereading Wuthering Heights - Sometimes, on a day so hot I can feel my eyelids sweat, I find it is pleasant to read about people wandering about the icy, frigid moors of England, committing weird, petty cruelties upon one another. I cannot tell you why I find this book so soothing, but it is my favorite summertime read. I think it is akin to the allure of watching “Vanderpump Rules” – sometimes it’s just fascinating to watch some beautiful sociopaths wreak havoc. Buy Wuthering Heights (Penguin Classics) here.
2. The Madame Clairevoyant Column – this is the horoscope column on The Cut written by Claire Comstock-Gay, and it is my favorite horoscope column of all the many that are out there. Is astrology real? I honestly do not care. I strongly identify as a Virgo and reading horoscopes makes me happy, and Claire writes really beautiful and encouraging words. Could we not all benefit from some kind and gentle encouragement? Read the column here.
3. The Bon Appetit YouTube channel – I stumbled upon Bon Appetit’s videos when YouTube suggested I watch a video where their pastry chef, Claire, makes homemade Skittles, and I was instantly hooked. You obviously should watch all of the pastry chef junk food recreations Claire does, but after that, I also very much enjoy a series they put out called “It’s Alive!” where a chef named Brad makes fermented foods, which maybe sounds boring, but I promise you it's extremely fun and funny. Also there’s this video that I watch about once a week where a chef named Molly makes a bacon and cheese sandwich, using individual egg-in-a-holes for the bread. It’s the most delicious sandwich I’ve seen, but my vegetarianism and lactose intolerance means that I can consume basically none of the sandwich components, so watching this video is probably the closest I’ll come to eating this fatty carby wonder. That yolk ooze! I die. Find all their videos here.
4. Popsicle Molds – I got a set of popsicle molds at the beginning of summer on a whim and it has paid off HANDSOMELY. You can make so many things out of popsicles: frozen smoothie pops, chocolate almond milk fudgsicles, lemonade ice pops. My house does not have A/C, so I eat at least one popsicle per day these days. Just, as a word of warning, be better than me and remember that booze will not freeze in your home freezer, even if it’s really low alcohol content. It’s not going to work for you. Do not do as I did and wind up spilling chilly, slushy crème de menthe all down your white shirt because you thought maybe you could make boozy mint popsicles if you turned the freezer to the coldest setting and just wanted it badly enough. You can’t do it. Trust me. Buy reusable popsicle molds here.
5. Stardew Valley – this game came out a while ago but I only just discovered it so I’m calling it a new trend. Stardew Valley starts with your grandfather dying in front of you. Admittedly that’s a little bleak, but STICK WITH ME, OKAY? Grandpa gives you an envelope on his deathbed and tells you to open it one day when you’re feeling really desperate. Then the scene cuts to you in a massive gray office building, working in a cubicle and looking pretty tragic. You open the envelope and find out that your grandfather left you a farm in a place called Stardew Valley, so you move out there and start tending your farm and learning all the weird town gossip and mining and fishing and wooing the locals. It makes me unspeakably happy, after a hard day, to go do some virtual hard labor on my fictional farm. I am currently in fall of year one, and I have three chickens and a dog named Noodle, and I have never felt so successful and fulfilled. Buy Stardew Valley here.
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