Ginger Pop: Summer Loving

By Amber Kelly-Anderson

I have a confession: when I check my email each day, I get excited when I see The Baraza as the sender because I love reading what my fellow residents have to say. Granted, many of the posts I have already read, but something about having them in my inbox, polished and gussied up with their images, just makes my morning coffee taste a bit better.

There is a trend that I have noticed among some of our residents lately—we seem to be focused on lists and summer. Lists make sense because they are fun to write and easily digestible on a computer screen. I think the summer stuff will have to be excused because many of us live in Texas. It was 101 here yesterday, so pardon us if it seems we’re jumping the gun. The weather is making us do it.

Therefore, this week I present to you my list of Summer Pop Treats that I am most looking forward to.

1. The Inevitable Pop Song That Gets Played To Nosebleed Inducing Extents

Every June/July/August there seems to be that one song that defines that summer. Some that immediately come to mind include “Living La Vida Loca,” “Boom Boom Pow,” and “Soak Up the Sun.” Of those, probably “Soak Up the Sun” is my favorite because it has that catchy summer song beat, but it also references her “friend the communist.” In addition, I think Cheryl Crow is probably one of the few summer hit writers who I see actually going out in nature. So far it looks like Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” may be THE SONG; however, I’m hopeful that other contenders will arise in the coming weeks. I just don’t buy her going to “catch a wave.”

 2. Big Movies With Big Casts and Big Explosions: Plot Optional

In one of my early posts I bemoaned Hollywood’s push of style over substance particularly when it comes to 3D. While I still feel that way about 3D, that prejudice does not otherwise apply to summer movies. Entertain me! I’m paying $8 a ticket (for non-3D), I have begged and pleaded (and possibly sold an organ) for childcare, I’m skipping my mortgage payment for a tub of popcorn– Blow some stuff up, have some aliens drop by, fly a tank—I don’t care. Because of my kids I usually only get to see two or three big movies each summer. This summer I am super lucky because Christopher Nolan and Joss Whedon have been kind enough to make some little superhero movies for me to enjoy. Thank you, gentlemen. And Pixar is finally doing a movie with a female protagonist? Be still my sun-soaked heart.

 3. No Rerun Television

Kids today are so spoiled. Never will they know the suckage of summer reruns because someone finally wised up in the world of cable and started running certain shows only in the summer. True Blood? Pour me a tall glass. Ahhh . . . refreshing, particularly with the teased return of Denis O’Hare. (Although I still miss Circus of the Stars which usually played in the summer. Watching Alfonso Rivera on the trapeze was good times.)

 4. The Bravo Summer Promos

For the past two years, Bravo has promoted their summer offerings with fun spots lousy with Bravo-lebrities and pumping to a catchy tune (“I Kissed Him” by Macy Gray and “I Wanna Go” by Britney Spears). Last summer’s featured Housewives, Matchmakers, and Hairstylists at Camp Bravo. My summer camps were never that awesome.

5. Reading Big Kid Books

For most people summer means reading the newest equivalent of a Jaqueline Susann novel. And while I do find I can only reread Valley of the Dolls during the warmer months (and wearing knock off Pucci), summer is my time to read more challenging books. During the school year I am always grading or dealing with other school related things; there is no way I can focus on anything challenging, so I end up reading YA or genre stuff. This summer I my reading list includes The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, and 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. (I am currently plotting to suck my fellow residents into a Baraza Book Club . . . but let’s keep that between us, shall we?)

What about you, readers? What delights are you eager to experience?