Last week I talked about the winter blues getting me down and you guys responded in kind. I think we are all feeling it right now. It's common knowledge that February is the worst and the beginning of March rarely offers any reprieve. And despite some higher (yet soaking) temps for today, we are likely in for another snowy mess tonight, so it's time to tighten our grip on that last shred of sanity we are all holding onto by the very tips of our fingernails. Here are a couple of ideas that occurred to me that just might help evoke the warmth of sunnier days.
- Pump up the jams! I took Waist Not with Jonathan this week, and aside from completely kicking my butt, his play list was ON POINT. After the triple threat of Mariah, Whitney and Janet, I could barely contain myself in wide second. My mood was completely lifted. So, instead of listening to my usual array of podcasts during my walks and while cooking, I've been turning up the music instead. A few of my faves to put a smile on your face?
- "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" – Whitney Houston (If you don't get a little pep in your step from this one, perhaps you haven't realized that you got into a car accident on your way to the store and are now living in a weird miniature model of a city in the attic of the house you used to live in while the creepy new people living downstairs do the calypso with their shrimp cocktail. Beetle Breakfast? Beetle Orange? Forget it.)
- "Love Will Never Do" – Janet Jackson (Not only is Janet's 1,000 watt smile enough to brighten up your life in this video, but you've also got young HOT Antonio Sabato "Dimples Like Swimming Pools" Jr. and Djimon "Abs for Days" Hounsu dancing their tuckuses off (tucki?) for you in the searing dry heat of a desert somewhere. Someone check the thermostat, I think it's gonna blow!)
- "Dream Lover" – Mariah Carey (She is frolicking in a field of tall grass and flowers wearing a tied-up flannel shirt and jorts. There's sun, ponies, hot air balloons, dancing, writhing around, and everything else you'd want in a classic summertime jam.
- "Summer Breeze" – Seals & Crofts (To take it way back, this song just does something to me. It makes me nostalgic for an era I didn't live in and has me wishing a warm breeze would blow through some jasmine that's actually blooming anywhere but in my mind.)
- "Under the Boardwalk" – The Drifters (Because can't you just feel the sun and sand and saltwater when you listen to this one? Who doesn't want to be on a blanket with their baby, having some fun?)
2. Watch a summer movie! Nothing transports you to warm weather mode like a good summertime movie. Make a pallet in your living room or grab a couple of lawn chairs and throw on one of these classics, and you'll start to smell the sweet scent of freshly cut grass, chlorine, and coconut Hawaiian Tropic.
- The Sandlot – This movie has not only become a cultural touchstone, it's synonymous with summertime. Sweaty kids guzzle Coca-Cola Classic out of ice cold glass bottles dripping with condensation, ride bikes, swim in the city pool and get mouth to mouth from Wendy Peffercorn. Watch and get nostalgic for a time where you could hang outside with your buddies all day long and just shoot the sh*t without worrying about getting kidnapped. Haven't seen it? You're killin' me, smalls! Don't be such an L7 weenie! (Oscar Meyer even!)
- Now and Then – This is Christina Ricci's finest work (outside of her portrayal of Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family movies, which are ridiculously underrated). Follow this group of girlfriends as they come of age, ride bikes, uncover family secrets, poke around cemeteries, save each other from flash floods, and flirt with Devon Sawa before his Casper fame. If that doesn't appeal to you, let's just say that the soundtrack to this movie might just be one of the best ever assembled and is the essence of summer in 21 tracks.
- Dirty Dancing – No explanation needed. I carried a watermelon.
- Stand by Me – See all the reasons why you should watch The Sandlot and add in a dead body, leeches, and feelings that only a Stephen King story can evoke.
- Do the Right Thing – It doesn't get much hotter than the non-stop sweat fest that is this movie. Hydrants are pouring into the street, Rosie Perez is rubbing ice cubes all over her body, and people in the streets are on the verge of exploding from the heat and tension of summertime in NYC.
So if we indeed get a big snow day tomorrow, I plan to pump up the heat at the crib, wear bright colors, play some jams, eat pineapple, make myself a tropical drink with a little umbrella in it (or at least a Corona with lime), maybe make a citrus-soaked ceviche and watch a summertime flick. Fake it till you make it, right??
What songs and movies are on your list?
See you in class!