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summer

100 more reasons you'll always be a camper
Bitch’in Life, Humor, My Bitches

100 (More) Reasons You’ll Always Be a Camper

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It’s that time of year again — temperatures are rising, school’s out and if you’re like me, you start an inner final-phase countdown toward the two months you live ten for: summer vacation.

Thing is, it ain’t necessarily what it used to be. As a grown-up, summer “break” starts with a mad scramble of labeling underwear, a seemingly endless stream of P (planning, prepping and packing) and the inevitable draining of all your assets (time, energy, finances) and ends with someone else heading out for the time of her/his life while you sit at home, hitting the goddamn refresh button on the camp website to see if you can catch a glimpse of your kid looking as happy as you always were when you were her/his age.

All I can say is STOP THAT. Stop it right now because you and I both know that once a camper, always a camper. You don’t need to live vicariously through your child because camp is in your blood and makes you a better person every single day. read more

100 reasons you'll always be a camper
Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life

100 Reasons You’ll Always Be a Camper

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It’s that time of year again — summer solstice has turned the air soft, sweet, and warm, and kids everywhere are packing up and heading off to camp.

If I could throw myself into a trunk or a duffle bag, believe me, I would. There are many excellent things about being a grown-up, but not spending the lazy, hazy daze with no greater stress than getting yourself to fourth period after rest hour — I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t wish they were back at camp?

This summer my camp celebrates its 65th year, and I’m debating going back for the auspicious occasion. Then again, I’m with Thomas Wolfe — you can’t go home again. And actually, I don’t necessarily need to go anywhere.

Once a camper, always a camper.

Don’t believe me? Here are 100 reasons you’ll always be a camper:

100) When you wake up each morning, a bugle goes off inside your head, ensuring you’re definitely up for the day. Bonus points if it includes a record crackle and someone telling you to “wakey, wakey, wakey!” (Or some equally horrible/excellent early morning greeting.) read more

beach ready for summer
Bitch’in Life

7 Ways to Get Yourself Ready for a Kick Ass Summer

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Memorial Day is upon us, and if you think preparing for summer is as simple as whipping out your white jeans and stocking up on sunblock, then perhaps Mr. Heat Miser has already gotten to you… melting your brain into a puddle of listless, lazy-hazy-dazy cells.

Once upon a time, summer was a snap, and the only stressors you had to deal with was trying to find a dry swimsuit to wear to the pool or finding a missing flip flop. But as an adult with a day job, offspring (if you’ve got ’em), a couple of pets (ditto), and about a zillion other 24/7 obligations (ok, we all have THAT), summertime tends to boil down to a hot mess of schedule-shifting chaos.

They call it a break, which unfortunately can be quite literal. As in break your spirit, if you’re not careful.

With that in mind, here are 7 ways to get yourself ready for a kick ass summer:

1) Make yourself a super fun schedule: Why should the children have all the summer excitement? Think back to the joys of camp — one of the best parts was having a boatload of activities to do every single day that kept the routine fresh, enjoyable, and a welcome break from the normal school year grind. So here’s a good idea: be your own camp director, and calendarize activities that you can look forward to. I’m talking about beach days, sailing/waterskiing/boating, going swimming, hiking, doing an art or craft project, playing tennis or other outdoor sport you enjoy, and even taking a nice, phat middle-of-the-day break for general recreation where you can sit on your ass and play jacks if that’s what you want to do. (And OF COURSE that’s what you want to do… that’s what I want to do anyway.) read more

Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life

Staycation, All I Ever Wanted…

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You know how when a song gets stuck in your head, and you realize it’s there because it’s somehow expressing some deep, hidden emotions?

What about when every time you turn on the radio, the same tune is magically, and perhaps a bit ominously, playing?

In the past two days, I’ve heard “Vacation,” by the Go-Gos no less than 10 times. By the time it came blaring over the system in my dermatologist’s office, I was ready to fall on the ground and scream, “FINE! You’ve got the damn beat, now leave me alone!”

Summertime is clearly all about vacation time. Our internal clock is set to “School’s Out for Summer,” and doesn’t recalibrate until, “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” or maybe even, “Another Brick in the Wall.”

But it’s a cruel, cruel summer… now that youth is gone. (That’s the lyric, right?) The gerbil wheel of duty, obligation, and responsibility never stops spinning, and little things like doing laundry, cooking meals, getting dressed for work, and even waking up (before you go-go — sorry, couldn’t resist!) is hard as hell. read more

Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life, Recipes

CAMP!

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Ah, Facebook — the ultimate documentation of seasonal shift. As I scroll past scores of smiling kids dressed in matching t-shirts and clean shorts, posing in front of Greyhound buses and overstuffed duffel bags, there’s only one time of year it could be.

Summertime.

Camptime.

Once upon a time, that ecstatic face belonged to me, the result of counting down 299 days until that moment. I look at those happy children and a warm wash of nostalgia comes over me, like peeing in my bathing suit during second period swim class. And just as quickly, that pleasant sensation gives way to a consciousness that underneath my calm surface lurks a deep, murky feeling as green as the muck in the lake.

ENVY.

Is it so wrong that more than three decades later, I would do anything to go back to camp and despise those happy children who have taken my place on the camp-bound bus?

My parents shipped me off every summer for two months from the time I was ten. Today, that seems like a long time, particularly by West Coast standards. But back then, that stretch was almost not enough for the Witness Protection Program of my youth, aka camp. There in rustic cabins, around dining hall tables, up at the stables and down by the lake, all sins were forgiven, as campers’ true identities were erased, and with a fresh slate we reunited with friends who knew and loved us in the best possible way: just as we were. read more