Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Cool Stuff for Summer

Summer is supposed to be slow and lazy with nothing more to look forward to than crap TV and the latest female detective novel in paperback, right?

Hell, no! This summer has turned into a treasure trove of cool new stuff to do and enjoy. You gotta check some of this out.

Music: Raul Midon is an enormously entertaining singer and guitarist whose jazzy, pop, folk style is irresistible. He has the intense enthusiasm and gorgeous guitar work of Jose Feliciano with a little Wynton Marsalis mixed in. And his CD is only $8.99! You gotta hear him. He's this summer's Nora Jones.

TV: Have you seen Hooking Up? It's on Thursdays at 9 on ABC. It's NOT another pile of the reality TV scripted crap with tribal councils, contrived competitions, etc. Documentary film makers follow a dozen women as they search for Mr. Right (ar at least Mr. Right Now) through internet dating. Bottom line: no matter how good looking you are, dating success (as in life) depends on being yourself, trusting your instincts, and having a positive attitude.

Books: I can't seem to travel without three or four books because I can never predict my mood. So, here's a wide variety of choices:

Prepared to clear the decks? Read Ready for Anything by David Allen. It's not just a book to get you organized, it will open you up to many possibilities. Truthfully, this might be difficult to absorb by those folks who enjoy their world just the way it is. A slim volume broken into small sections that make it easier to internalize. I wish I'd known about him sooner.

Wanna know what bloggers are saying about weight issues? My friend Deb recommends Tales From the Scale compiled by Erin Shea (her Lose the Buddha blog has chronicled her efforts to get healthy for the past 3 years and it's great). Tales is a compilation of observations from blog writers who have wrestled with the fat monster.

And for total fun, read Carl Hiassen's Skinny Dip about a smart woman whose husband shoves her overboard during a cruise. Maybe it's his experience covering the bizarre world of Florida politics, but no one tells a story with a more wry sense of humor than Carl does. He's addictive.

Movies: Me, You, and Everyone We Know contains a scene that made me laugh harder than I may have EVER laughed in a movie. And it's a beautiful story about love, family, and trying to move forward. Director/writer Miranda July is brilliant and wise.

Other good films include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Batman Begins, and The Fantastic Four. My friend Logan also recommends the new documentary about Shirley Chisolm and I've heard the March of the Penguins is fantastic. The Wedding Crashers looks raunchy and hilarious and A Very Long Engagement, featuring Audrey Tatou looking for her lost lover during WWI, is out on DVD.

Well, that ought to keep you busy when you're not lying in a hammock under the shade of your back yard.


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