Monday, August 25, 2008

What I Did On My Summer Vacation Work Time

Remember all those ‘what I did this summer’ things we had to write at the beginning of every school year. In ‘A Christmas Story’ they called them ‘themes’ but I don’t remember what we called them at my school, though ‘pain in the arse’ comes to mind. With that being said, I shall honor the traditional last week of summer by writing what I did this past summer just for you. For musical accompaniment, may I suggest a few songs? There is the Lettermen song that was also covered by the Beach Boys – ‘Things We Did Last Summer,’ The Beach Boys’ ‘All Summer Long,’ The Beach Boys’ ‘Keep An Eye On Summer’ (there’s a pattern here, but I can’t put my finger on it) or Kid Rock’s ‘All Summer Long,’ for the hipper kids in the audience.

You could also play it safe by using any Jimmy Buffett song (or for a melancholy end of summer accompaniment, may I suggest Jimmy’s ‘When the Coast is Clear’ or Billy Joel’s ‘Famous Last Words’). That’ll really help you keep it real while you are reading this. I didn’t overdue it on the hip scale there, did I? I try to be hip, but I fail so often. Perhaps I should go ahead and get a hip replacement? It’s OK, you don’t have to dignify that with a remark. Enough of the Jive Talkin’ (Bee Gees), let’s get to the good stuff. And now, what I did this summer:

I had a good summer. It was fun. Summer is hot. My mom does not let my friends play in our house at summer. I like the beach. It is nice. The water is cold. I went on vacation. It was fun. I played with my dog. She is light brown. It was fun. I made a sandcastle, but my dog stepped on it. That was not fun.

Ok, that’s more like what I would have written back when I was getting my hands slapped with a ruler by my school marm. I just wanted to relive the glory days (Bruce Springsteen) before I reflect on my summer. Thanks for indulging me.

Now, as far as this summer went, it wasn’t that spectacular, but it’s not unusual (Tom Jones) to have less than stellar summers in these days of working for a living (Huey Lewis and the News). I did get to start the summer with a visit to the hospital to kick start my heart (Motley Crue) back into normal sinus rhythm. I really don’t recommend the shocky shocky as a way to start summer, unless you really want to jump start it with a jolt.

Then came the morning I shall never forget. As I was getting in my Saturday morning walk and try to jog session, I came across a real deal Weber Kettle grill that was being given away FOR FREE. Some people may dream of winning the lottery or the gold medal, but finding a free Weber Kettle grill is my big moment. And then to make it even better, I finally found my Shasta Grape soda at the store a week or so later.

That was followed by my family trip to Oregon so that Lucy and Ethel could be flower girls in my cousin’s wedding. This made them get very excited about weddings and marriage in general. I told them they could wait and told each one of them ‘girl, you’ll be a woman soon (Neil Diamond) and that seemed to calm them down. While the mini-family reunion during the wedding was nice, the countryside where my Aunt lives in McMinville, Oregon was amazing. On top of a hill surrounded by wineries and real deer, not that fake Bambi crap at Disneyland, was a sight I will not soon forget. My mom’s constant and unrelenting insistence that once I finally got up there I would want to move there proved accurate. However, living somewhere requires one to have a job in the same general area, so no dice.

The best part of the trip though was the well-planned and ever so highly anticipated trip to the Tillamook Creamery, better known as the place they make Tillamook cheese, which is in my opinion the best made cheese on the planet. Keep in mind however that ‘the planet’ to me consists of parts of the US, 2 of the Hawaiian Islands and Needles, California. Though there is only one weekend of what we consider to be summer left, I do not think it too premature to officially declare that this was the highlight of my summer. The more than 3 trips (basically, whenever they changed employees) I took through the cheese sample line was Heaven (Bryan Adams). The joy derived from their ice cream and all the cheese I brought home cannot be put into human words. Trying to do so would make me sound like Darryl Hannah when she tries to speak in ‘Splash.’ It was a good time. I may or may not have mentioned the cow we saw that gave birth on a farm on the side of Highway 1 on the way to the cheese factory. When you think about it, we got to experience that whole circle of life thing. Cow is born, cow is milked and cow’s milk makes cheese. I’m teary just describing it, really.

After that came the 4th of July, my second favorite holiday after the two day celebration known as Christmas Eve (my birthday if you don’t have Facebook and need to set a reminder for yourself right now) and Christmas. I’ll remember this year’s 4th for the steroidal kiddy pool we got and swam in all day and for American Joey Chestnutt’s thrilling overtime victory in Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. We were so close for Corona’s fireworks that the ash fell on us after each shell burst. Actually that wasn’t so cool since I washed my truck the night before. The stretch between early July and mid August was quiet, save for the weekly trips to Disneyland to bask in the glow of the happiest place on Earth. That all changed in mid-August though. Because…

The Olympics this year were amazing. The competition was outta sight, as was most of Beijing because of the smog. Wow, it’s sad really. That was the last Beijing smog reference I’ll ever get to make. I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t even bring myself to watch the closing ceremonies because the ending of the Games took a little piece of my heart (Janis Joplin/Faith Hill). I have no idea what I will do each night until my grieving is over. Even the Angels game I went to with the guys tonight didn’t dull the pain. It’s a shame that the summer had to end at the same time the Olympics did. There is a tiny little bright spot though. NASCAR hits the Auto Club Speedway here in So Cal this weekend. Am I going? Nope, I’m watching Lucy and Ethel alone this weekend. Wait, that’s not a bright spot. Awww man…

9 comments:

Patti said...

But don't you guys have summer-like weather all year long where you live?

I've never heard of a blizzard blanketing Southern Calif..

Oh, the calendar season. I see. I may just have to send you some fall foliage shots when I take them. ;-)

JustRun said...

A free grill? jackpot!

That was quite the summer. It makes me want to recount mine so that I have some proof that I actually did something.

Amy said...

You had quite the busy summer! Very cool all the neat things you did! I have to agree...Tillamook is WAY better than Kraft!

Love all the song lead ins too...

Sizzle said...

I kinda miss those summer recaps now. But I don't want to believe that summer is over! I think I can prolong it another month seeing as how the weather is usually good in Seattle through September and I have no kids to send "back to school." Let me live in my fantasy summer a little while longer, please.

There sure are a lot of songs in that post (clever idea!).

Just telling it like it is said...

I liked the first rendition of your summer experience..Kind of sounded like my son...
Son," what are you going to write about your summer"
Son," I had fun" a seventh grader at his best!!!

chefmom said...

I am truly jealous...the Tillamook cheese factory. AND a free grill. You have the luckiest luck. Maybe it will happen to me when I wish upon a star. (Jimney Crickett)

meleah rebeccah said...

"Tillamook cheese, which is in my opinion the best made cheese on the planet"

Have you ever had the 'Laughing Cow' cheese? In the wheel?

(and you can answer that in your next Q & A)

Employee No. 3699 said...

I’m late (TWSS) on this comment about your Summer Song (Joe Satriani) theme, due to a summer cold. Sorry.

Ami said...

Family vacation trip is the best idea for summer vacations.