Let’s start this article off right by getting one thing straight: I fucking, fucking, fucking, fucking hate winter. I am not coming to this mind-blowing conclusion because I’m some sort of Californian transplant or anything, it’s coming from the perspective of someone who has lived at the base camp of the Rocky Mountains for my entire life. Winter was actually really fun as a kid, but that’s where my blissfully rosy memories of the season come to an end. I have spent entire childhood days building massive snow castles, enjoying multiple sledding excursions, and I have even received a few brutal concussions from hitting fence posts as we towed ourselves on snowboards behind a 1976 Ford LTD through the snow-packed roads of our neighborhood. Even the simple act of being outside by yourself in the dead of night, with a heavy snow falling around you, silencing every sound around you, and can almost feel like a religious experience in itself.
So why all this animosity? Well, now that you are a fully formed adult, winter has become nothing more than playing a new round of Dumbfuck Danger Avoid Death in your car each and every single fucking time it snows. Every new season pits your driving abilities against a brand new batch of drivers with bald-ass tires driving on ice for the first time in their lives. Nothing is worse than having your car (and your basic livelihood) taken out from nothing more than a few seconds of poor judgement and loss of control. Shitty winter driving is solid argument for the coming of completely automated vehicles, as it really is time to take the flawed human judgement completely out of the equation and just let Google (and Jesus) take the wheel instead.
The ice-packed streets are full of uninsured drivers who have no idea what they are doing, in their nearly-broken-down 1994 Toyota Corollas, and you would think that’s probably the worst of it, right? Nope, you still are going to totally fuck your back up from shoveling tons of snow around, lest you be sued by a random, clumsy pedestrian or exorbitantly fined by your HOA who has nothing else with their day but to bust your balls. Speaking of your home, these huge swings in temperature also do a number on the utility lines going to your house as well. Water pipes can burst open in the worst possible places, and electrical transformers can explode on the slightest whim, turning your million dollar home into a cold, dark primitive cave containing an Xbox One that you can’t use. Winter is clearly the chosen official season of insane sociopaths and undiscovered serial killers.
While it can often be as pretty as a postcard, winter can totally suck my balls.
Right at this very moment, there are two feet of freshly fallen snow piled up on the roads outside your windows unless you live somewhere nice like Bath Salts, Florida. Just because you are trapped indoors for the entirety of the weekend, it doesn’t mean that Old Man Winter has to own you. Fire up your phone, slap on your ugliest sweater, and use these helpful tips to trick your brain into thinking that the glorious days of summer have finally arrived! (Hint: also avoid looking outside)
Listen to Happy Music/Watch Summery Music Videos!
I know I’m guilty as hell of pasting the fucking link to this video everywhere I go online, but it’s done with nothing but the best intentions! Sometimes, all you need is some upbeat, funky music to turn that cold weather seasonal depression frown upside down! “Seven Days In Sunny June” is an killer tune by itself, but the amazing video for this song is where it really shines. Jay Kay and the boys are throwing one of the greatest summer parties that you’ve never been invited to. There’s minibike racing, smoky barbecues, poolside bicycle antics and even some fucking hovercrafts! It’s clearly the greatest summer party in the history of mankind, and it’s available on YouTube so you can revisit this amazing summertime party any time you wish. You can almost smell the carmelized char of the burgers mixing with the zinc of the sunscreen as you watch all these beautiful people have the time of their lives, washing tiny cars in skimpy bikinis outside of a rented castle.
Fun fact: The word “bomb” is edited out of this video version, which is a really odd word choice for censorship. They don’t even really do that good of a job either, as they still manage to miss a couple “bombs” tucked away inside the prechoruses.
If that video doesn’t do it for you, or you hate Jamiroquai (because you are some sort of freak weirdo) then try listening to some other “summery” sounding bands like 311 or the Red Hot Chili Peppers. These bands may be a little older and established, but they have a specialized knack for capturing all the great sounds that encapsulate that wonderful summer feeling.
Sometimes you just need to feel the warmth from the heat generated by a bunch of naked dudes in the desert, decked out in gallons of lipgloss and sparkles like some sort of R-rated Claire’s commercial. I totally get it.
Fun Fact: The Chili Peppers recorded Blood Sugar Sex Magik inside the same mansion that the Beatles took LSD for the first time!
Make a Tasty Summer Meal!
While some staple summer produce like watermelon or sweet corn might be lethargic, sad and completely out of season during these cold winter months, you can always go with some “evergreen, yet summer!” foods that will make your kitchen (and dinner table) feel like it’s sweltering in the July heat!
My favorite winter blues cure-all is a combination of a some deep-fried (I never said this was gonna be healthy) coconut shraamp and fries, paired with a few tall highball glasses filled with some powerful rum and Coke. Trust me, this comfort meal does miraculous wonders for healing your summer spirit animal, and now for the best part: shrimp is ALWAYS in season!
A pretty respectable Coconut Shrimp recipe can be found right here. The end result looks really appetizing, and this method of shallow pan frying uses less oil (frying coconut in a large deep fryer makes one helluva mess and creates a lot of wasted oil full of burnt coconut shards) and has a detailed process with pictures for kitchen idiots like myself. Be sure to always add a splash of Corona to the batter, as it makes a massive difference in the flavor of the final product!
Fun Fact: Humans only eat the back ends of the shrimps, so what do the packaging factories do with the rest of them? Shrimp heads make up 90% of all dog food! Delicioso!
The fries are easy too. Cut up a potato, fry until brown and put on paper towels, and douse with healthy amounts of Lawrey’s Seasoned Salt. You’re welcome – The tip jar is on the counter, and all the peeps around here call me “Chef Ptomaine”. I’m not a huge fan of condiments, so I don’t ever craft dipping sauces for shrimp, as I would rather focus my attention more on the complimentary drinks instead.
As far as the rum and coke goes:
Half glass of Sailor Jerry’s, Half glass cola of choice. Add some ice and an umbrella if desired, and enjoy the ensuing mouth numbness and pleasantly warming island-themed vertigo. Seriously, the pairing of the sweetened shrimp with this knockout (literally) island beverage will have you checking your shorts for sand!
Fun Fact: Sailor Jerry was an actual real person, sort of like an alcoholic Walt Disney who really liked to draw boobs.
Watch a Summer Blockbuster!
Now that your belly is full of summer, and you most likely also have a wonderful island buzz, it’s now time to dim the lights and watch an enjoyable summer movie (or two)! Some of the better choices are:
- Meatballs (Part 1 ONLY)
- The Meg (seriously, this movie is AWESOME!)
- 47 Meters Down
- Any movie that has a shark in it will do, really.
- Oliver Stone’s JFK
Sit back, enjoy the sounds of the screams and bathe in the inherent terror of the open ocean. It’s the one of the most important ingredients of summer.
Fun Fact: Two of my greatest fears live in the ocean. 1) I fucking hate stingrays and their goofy fucking grins, and 2) am petrified of the underside of boats. I can’t really explain it, either. However, everything else that lives in the ocean is a-ok with me tho.
Play Some Sexist Volleyball and Gamble!
I’ve touched on this topic before, and I still stand by my original assessment. Dead Or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball (for Xbox systems) is undoubtedly sexist and objectifying as fuck, but the overall “island getaway” feel of the game is unbeatable. Or it can also be very beatable, if uh, that’s what you are looking for.
I love the ocean animations, the soft whistle of the sea breeze, and you can swear you can feel the warmth of the virtual sun setting on the horizon as you lay out to catch those last few rays of sunlight. You don’t even have to participate in any actual volleyball games if you don’t want to. You can chose to do absolutely nothing over the course of the game, and spend all your days frolicking around at the pool or swimming in the ocean if that activity suits your fancy. Sure, the ladies and all their bouncy bits are the main draw for most folks, but I love this game almost exclusively for the incredibly chill island atmosphere and happy soundtrack.
Plus, there’s gambling at night, which may not have the same allure as the surrounding oceanic paradise, but it still manages to feel exotic. No matter how many hours I spend inside that casino, I can never get enough of George Duke and his Brazilian Sugar.
Fun Fact: There was a third entry to the Dead Or Alive Xtreme Volleyball series, but it was universally hated by everyone who touched it and was never exported to the States! NICEASPIKE!
Binge On Some Summery Anime!
Based on the above entry, my next helpful summer idea is going to go in the complete opposite direction. On Amazon Prime, I found a really fun little series that has a summer vibe that cuts so deep, you can smell the chlorine wafting off of the pool. The only complaint I have about this series is that it is pretty much 5 straight hours of skinny dudes standing around in Speedos, complaining about the pitfalls of highschool life.
DIVE!! is a unique story about an after-school diving club for teenagers who are training hard to qualify for the coming Olympics. While the guys-wearing-nothing-all-the-time angle was clearly not a strong selling point for me, the beautiful setting, dive club pool itself, and the repeated trips to the ocean bring the feeling of summer to life in ways that very few mediums can. After watching a few episodes of DIVE!!, all you are going to want to do is slap on your own skimpy bathing suit and go splash around in the pool with these fellas.
….in a completely platonic way, tho.
Fun Fact: Seriously, not gay.
Eat Some Watermelon Bomb Pops!
These delicious treats are so great, that I included them in our “Best of 2018” list! It’s now March of 2019, and I still have a shitload of these fucking things taking up almost all my freezer space. Please feel free to swing by my house and take some of these off my hands. I’d really love to make some room for some Michelina’s Wheels and Cheese.
Fun Fact: I hope I did not embed too many YouTube links in this article, thus breaking the internet again. WordPress has some really lousy customer support on Twitter that doesn’t handle criticism very well…
Summer: It’s not just a season, it’s also a state of mind. Hang in there, kid.